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The Frozenbyte Bundle Hasn't Breached $1M USD

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  • #16
    Originally posted by JoelFB View Post
    The source codes use a custom license, as these are our first source code releases ever and we weren't quite sure about how to do it, so we went the route we thought was safest for now. We may move Jack Claw to GPL later (SGs maybe not, but who knows).

    I hope this helps. Also a big thanks to everyone who's supported this.

    - Joel, Frozenbyte
    It's a mistake to think that your particular situation requires a custom license. This type of thinking is very common in the corporate world, but it's just misguided. If you're going to open source it, use a license that is already approved by the OSI (or better yet, the FSF).

    You really only need to pick between about five licenses: LGPL 2.1, LGPL 3, GPL 2, GPL 3, and Apache/X11/BSD liberal licenses. If you can't stomach licensing your code under any of those licenses, then you need to re-evaluate what exactly is your goal with releasing the code.

    License proliferation is a huge problem, because new licenses cause a lot of uncertainty. A license is a legal document, so an ordinary person trying to understand it is basically like a typical consumer trying to read x86 assembler. The words don't mean what you think they would mean, because it's written in "legalese", not English. So before we can understand what your custom license really means, we have to ask a lawyer.

    The licenses I mentioned above don't have that problem, because they've existed for years (some of them for over a decade) and in that time they've been looked at by countless lawyers in countless countries, and some have even been tested in court. So the safe bet is really to go with those licenses.

    And your custom license's problems aren't limited exclusively to your customers, either: it may turn out to be a problem for you, too, if your license's legal interpretation is not what you expected it to be. Using one of the widely-used licenses, copyleft or not, would make it much easier to certainly interpret the document. Using a well-understood and widely accepted license is better than using a license custom-tailored to your organization, in my opinion.

    You can still recoup from this mistake by selecting one of the FSF-approved free software licenses for all your current and future source releases, and just relicense Shadowgrounds and Jack Claw as such. I'd personally opt for a copyleft license, but I really don't care whether you go with copyleft or not, as long as it qualifies as free software (respecting the four freedoms).

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    • #17
      Originally posted by JoelFB View Post
      Hi guys,

      Yeah we're happy about the sales, no question about it. There's a lot of ifs one can throw around but at the end of the day we have got enough to cover the remainder of Trine 2 development. So that's good.
      Excellent, the gameplay video I've seen for T2 looks really good. I'd hate to see that project fail.
      - Jack Claw can be played on keyboard & mouse now (v2, F1 toggles between kb/mouse and the gamepad)

      - Jack Claw Linux/Mac ports are coming very soon - Mac is already up and running but has some crash issues and doesn't look as good, and Linux isn't far behind
      Well that's good news.

      - There's a playable teaser flash of Splot available from the bundle download page (but of course not the same thing as an actual game)
      Yeah, I played it. But it's just a flash game, I've got to assume that the real game will be much more polished.

      The source codes use a custom license, as these are our first source code releases ever and we weren't quite sure about how to do it, so we went the route we thought was safest for now. We may move Jack Claw to GPL later (SGs maybe not, but who knows).
      I don't think you need to worry about preventing commercial use of SG anyway. I've looked at the engine code, and (as you yourselves noted in the documentation) it is quite messy. It seems to have been written with the attitude that no one is going to see it anyway.

      I don't think it's worse than other Bundle code releases in the past (except maybe Aquaria,) so don't think I'm bashing you specifically, but code drops get widely used only if the code is specifically designed for easy adoption, and yours really wasn't.

      In other words, the only hacking people will do on this source code is specifically to support the Shadowgrounds games; someone looking to start his own game project will look elsewhere. That's not a bad thing, because even that kind of work will help ensure the longevity and continued improvement of your game. I know I personally would be interested in doing those AI improvements. And as soon as there is Linux code available, I certainly want to fix some sound bugs I've noticed.

      I believe that the best way to make that kind of stuff easy is to use a GPL-compatible license for the code. That's what the community is used to, and that's what the community is set up for.

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      • #18
        Yes I think we'll get the games to the Ubuntu Software Center soon after the bundle. There's a gazillion things to take of first, but hopefully in a month or two we'll have them up there.

        From our side I can say that we will deliver on our promises - the Mac/Linux of Jack Claw will be out soon and Splot should be out in 2-3 months. Of course schedules can always get messed up and we don't want to sacrifice quality for deadlines, but in any case we are not talking about too many months here. We've been doing this for a while (10 years actually) and I think we're professional enough to make it happen - and that was probably one problem for many purchasers. Some could say we're not as indie as the other companies/teams in the previous bundles, and maybe they're right - but I like to think that we very much have that same spirit here, despite being bigger and perhaps focusing on more "traditional" story-driven games.

        The Intel situation is also a factor and has indeed prevented many people from enjoying the games (you can always get a refund from the Humble guys btw). This is something we most likely will never be able to fix unfortunately.

        I think we'll be posting our "postmortem" on the bundle sometime this week on our blog, will be interesting.

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        • #19
          Anyone downloaded it? How big are the installers, just wondering because I could buy it and download it from university network at 100Mbits againts homes 512kbits. And my laptop has limited capacity of storage(approx 10gigs free).

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          • #20
            allquixotic, thanks. I see your point (and read it earlier on our forums - thanks for all your insight there btw!). However the problem at the moment is that we have not yet familiarized ourselves with the GPL license or others, so it would be a much bigger risk at this point to go with that than with our custom one (at least we think we know what it allows, but yes I do see the point you make). I'd also say that if there's any license confusion, we are just an email away. Anyhow I hope to be able to talk more about this near the end of the week.

            MaxToTheMax, yeah the code is messy, I've been listening to our programmers go off about it for years. It's hack upon hack, and all goes back to 2000/2001 and our RTS strategy game concept ("we don't need multiplayer right? Let's save a few months of work and write singleplayer only code.").

            Let's see how the license evolves - hopefully I'll have some news on that later this week or early next week.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by tuke81 View Post
              Anyone downloaded it? How big are the installers, just wondering because I could buy it and download it from university network at 100Mbits againts homes 512kbits. And my laptop has limited capacity of storage(approx 10gigs free).
              The Humble Frozenbyte Bundle is maybe 3-4 gigabytes per platform. Shadowgrounds is around 850 MB, Shadowgrounds Survivor 1.1 GB, Trine 650 MB (old stuff removal finally), Jack Claw 400 MB, and then there's the soundtracks.

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              • #22
                For 64-bit Linux, the installers are:
                Trine: 617MB
                Shadowgrounds: 779.6MB
                Shadowground Survivor: 1.1GB

                Source code for either Shadowgrounds game or Jack Claw is 2.7MB, Jack Claw Editor/Assets are 488MB, and the 3 sound tracks range between 70 and 135MB.

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                • #23
                  Thank you. Are any of these game suitable for children(age 4 and 6)?

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by tuke81 View Post
                    Thank you. Are any of these game suitable for children(age 4 and 6)?
                    Here's the age suggestions:

                    Trine - 12 years (also younger ones can play with adult supervision, it's fantasy violence and lighthearted)
                    Shadowgrounds - 16 years
                    Shadowgrounds Survivor - 16 years
                    Jack Claw 16-18 years (not rated officially, but the most violent game of these)
                    Splot - 3-6 years (will take 2-3 months until the game is available)

                    So Splot will definitely be alright, and Trine might be ok if you're playing with them - there is fighting against skeletons and other creatures, so it's hard to say for sure and probably depends on the kids and their exposure to other media/games. The other games I wouldn't recommend for kids, they are violent.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by tuke81 View Post
                      Thank you. Are any of these game suitable for children(age 4 and 6)?
                      Trine is similar to a side-scrolling platformer, includes skeletons/undead as enemies. Might require more coordination than a 6 year old can provide as well. Not sure about the others.

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                      • #26
                        Thank you for both. Have to limit children computer use a lot anyway so one new game should be enough by now

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                        • #27
                          Does anyone else feel like $0.01 purchases shouldn't be allowed? From an economical point of view it's worse than piracy due to the transaction handling fees...

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                          • #28
                            I know the devs have been ideally against enforcing a pricing restraint of any type. I personally think that it should be required a person pays at least 50 cents or something.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by JoelFB View Post
                              The Intel situation is also a factor and has indeed prevented many people from enjoying the games (you can always get a refund from the Humble guys btw). This is something we most likely will never be able to fix unfortunately.
                              I think Intel and Gallium drivers are working now, if you're willing to compile Mesa from git master and install the S3TC lib.

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                              • #30
                                @JoelFB
                                You updated the Trine installer, but instead of fixing "undefined symbol: gdk_pixbuf_new_from_stream" now you require a newer GLIBCXX_3.4.14. What's the logic behind that when the game runs with lenny but the installer does not? Maybe ask Svartalf how to create a correct installer. Of course i can do something like that:
                                Code:
                                INSTALLER=Trine-1.32.run
                                DIR=$HOME/trine
                                DESKTOP=$(strings $INSTALLER|grep -F .desktop)
                                unzip -d $DIR $INSTALLER
                                strings $INSTALLER|grep -A7 Desktop|sed "s|%s|$DIR|" >$DIR$DESKTOP
                                cd $DIR
                                ./createShortcuts.sh desktop menu
                                That works for the other games too, just change the first 2 lines to whatever you need. But that also shows that your create/removeShortcuts.sh code is stupid. Change:
                                Code:
                                DESKTOPDIR=$(xdg-user-dir DESKTOP)
                                to this line to get rid of the stupid error when xdg-user-dir is not there:
                                Code:
                                DESKTOPDIR=$(xdg-user-dir DESKTOP 2>/dev/null)
                                Instead of
                                Code:
                                [ "$DESKTOPDIR" == "" ]
                                use
                                Code:
                                [ -z "$DESKTOPDIR" ]
                                and then "#!/bin/sh" will will work - no bash needed anymore - basically you can replace the "==" by "=" too - that still does not look nice but would be dash/POSIX compatible.

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