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Re: Don't release the code yet

#91
Interesting responses. Some quick (so maybe not perfectly worded) reactions:

1. You say "collective ownership," I see "tragedy of the commons." Unclear ownership -- and that's what diffuse ownership would be -- leads to poor use of resources because no one feels the responsibility to shepherd those resources productively.

In the specific case of LT, I think the only minimally workable option like this is to explicitly label everything public domain, with the additional proviso that nothing built from that code may be called "Limit Theory." That doesn't get you a workable, sellable LT (though a game inspired by the LT code is possible), but it would at least let anybody who wants to study Josh's code (and then roll their own) do so.

2. I may be imagining it, but I feel like I'm maybe hearing a faint moral tone to "release everything to everyone," as though there's something ethically dubious about Josh assigning his code to a person or group of his choice.

If so, I disagree with any such view. None of us own the LT code just because we threw some entirely speculative money at the LT Kickstarter, any more than we own the code to Skyrim because we licensed the right to play it from Bethesda. It's Josh's code. Whether he dumps it or assigns it or anything in between, zero moral obloquy pertains to him. He owns the LT code, and he can do whatever he wants with it -- and that is not just an "is," it is an "ought."

3. My suggestion that Josh officially assign the code to one person or group is based on my wish that a version of LT is released. A playable game is my primary interest (beyond Josh's well-being). If something else was my primary interest, such as encouraging picking through Josh's code for individual snippets of coolness, then I also might endorse just dumping the code for whoever wants it. But that's not my primary interest; what I'd like to see is an actual, playable game that implements as many of the components of Josh's original vision as possible, because that game would be awesome.

And so I endorse Josh assigning his code to one person or group because I think that's the most likely pathway to achieving the goal of completing a playable LT-lite. There's a reasonable counter-argument that having multiple groups trying to build a playable LT-like game increases the odds that one of them succeeds. But the rebuttal is that making the code available to everyone would potentially divide programmer talent among competing groups, and could lead to arguments -- some possibly legal, because humans :roll: -- about whose game is the "true" LT successor.

Also, suppose a single team tries and then themselves also conclude they're unable to succeed. Nothing would stop them from saying, "Well, we tried and failed" and then releasing the code to everyone. But the inverse of that doesn't work; once the code's been handed over to the world, it is no longer possible to focus development resources within a single team.

So, again, I'd look with extreme disfavor (for whatever that matters to anyone) at any hint of a suggestion that there would be anything morally or legally wrong with Josh turning over his code to one person. That said, if he's absolutely convinced that no working game, not even a subset of LT, can possibly be made by anyone from the existing LT code, then I'd support a simple world-release. Otherwise, I'd like to see something like LT get made, and I think assigning the code to one person/team is the best hope of accomplishing that goal, bearing in mind that they can dump the code to the world if they also independently conclude (rightly or wrongly) that no game can be made from it.
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Re: Don't release the code yet

#92
jokegred wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:17 pm
How has no one brought up Blender? Blender wasn't even a community to start... it basically got open-sourced off of a massive crowdfunding effort, and has only gotten better since! Open source works, this has been empirically proven! I'm a bit sad about how poorly this community seems to think of it... especially considering how many people here program and seem generally knowledgeable and thoughtful about these sorts of things. I guess there's not a whole lot of precedent in the gaming industry, but to my eyes, this is one of the best opportunities I've seen to date to prove that it is viable.

Also, and this one started FOSS, but Linux is open source... And that has incredibly high market share in like... every computing market besides the desktop one. Obviously GIMP/Krita and stuff but those have been brought up so I won't mention them.

Sorry about the fact that this has been the only thing I've commented about recently; I'm a long time lurker who programs who is... err... passionate about FOSS.
Blender, Gimp, Inkscape, Libre Office, etc. Those are productivity tools. They get incrementally improved, but where already good tools in the first place. They will permanently stay being useful. (Until a better product comes out.)
Of course, open source works.
But how many open source GAMES do you know, that have had a noticeable impact?
Games are entertainment. I dont think the methods of everyone contributing a little will works here (outside of mods). Especially not if there was no rounded game in the first place.
Games need some core people deicing on the gamedesign and art, to first craft a solid vanilla game. Thats usually a closed team (company) hoping to make a profit.
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Re: Don't release the code yet

#93
Flat: I was just wondering why you think releasing to a single person is the best option.

I fully understand that having an organised and managed developer community for an open source project is best, this should indeed be the target if some people want to make something out of the code. So we agree on the wish (where is the Genie when we need him?) to have such a community taking over development.
But what would it disturb to have the code also released for the whole world? It is not either or, it is on top; this adds (beyond being interesting) the off-chance that a lonely developer does something out of it...

So again for me, “whom you release to” is an independent question, and whether this community can start an targeted effort to make a product using this release is another one.

As my usual disclaimer, though: I agree that even as a backer, we have no rights to the code. If Josh wants to release it, which may be a good idea for him to actually have a chance to see results from his hard work, than I would do it with a license that don’t allow profit without him having his share.

I personally still think that if he can emotionally deal with it, the best option would be to release some “demos” in order to have something to show and to finish this part of his life on a positive note. This should be something that can be done in few hours of code, as a hobby besides his new main activity, and could include: a screen saver type showing generated planets (if the current engine can generate only 5 planets? Then just those five and flying around!), another with whatever was done with ship geometries (if most are broken objects, than so be it), perhaps a small dog-fight without economy or so like the prototype, or such isolated things.
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Re: Don't release the code yet

#97
Flatfingers wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:48 am
Unclear ownership -- and that's what diffuse ownership would be -- leads to poor use of resources because no one feels the responsibility to shepherd those resources productively.
Even if that's true, there's nothing unclear about putting the source out to the world.
In the specific case of LT, I think the only minimally workable option like this is to explicitly label everything public domain, with the additional proviso that nothing built from that code may be called "Limit Theory."
I can't imagine why you have a problem with anyone calling anything they do "Limit Theory", or why you think anyone would want to - it's not a popular brand, it holds no inherent value, and really, so far I think you're the only person I've heard who gives any kind of concern about it.
I do fully agree that no-one should pass off their game as though it's Josh's, but I can't think of anyone that would be confused and be misled by any attempt.
2. I may be imagining it, but I feel like I'm maybe hearing a faint moral tone to "release everything to everyone," as though there's something ethically dubious about Josh assigning his code to a person or group of his choice.
I do indeed feel that it's more ethical for Josh to give the code to the KS backers than to any other group. I can't see how you can argue that point, honestly. My point is that if Josh does decide to pass on the code to anyone else, I would prefer it to be passed to us backers or open sourced, as I've said, so the law of numbers might mean something gets made from it.
3. My suggestion that Josh officially assign the code to one person or group is based on my wish that a version of LT is released.
Then statistically, allowing anyone with the will to try is the most likely way you'll get your wish.
what I'd like to see is an actual, playable game that implements as many of the components of Josh's original vision as possible, because that game would be awesome.
If Josh were going to somehow engage someone to try and complete LT as we've all talked about it, I'd certainly support that. Barring that circumstance, and I can't imagine that would ever be Josh's plan, then it's just counter-productive to release the code the way you're talking about.
But the rebuttal is that making the code available to everyone would potentially divide programmer talent among competing groups, and could lead to arguments -- some possibly legal, because humans :roll: -- about whose game is the "true" LT successor.
But you're assigning a purity and a value to the *name* that doesn't exist - there *is no* LT. No-one is going to fight for the right to call their game LT - there is literally less than zero value in doing it, who would want their game to remind people of a failed project?
In addition, it really doesn't matter a damn about any 'true' successor - if two different games get made, that's great for everyone involved.
Finally, you mention that two projects would divide programmer talent. Well, it doesn't work like that. It's like saying that there shouldn't be so many open source projects, because they all divide the programmer community among them. If someone has an idea, like City of Titans, and someone else wants to make Valiance Online, guess what? They both get to try. If CoT died tomorrow, their devs would not automatically go and join VO. They might join another game dev project, they might not.
Also, suppose a single team tries and then themselves also conclude they're unable to succeed. Nothing would stop them from saying, "Well, we tried and failed" and then releasing the code to everyone. But the inverse of that doesn't work; once the code's been handed over to the world, it is no longer possible to focus development resources within a single team.
But why wouldn't a second team be given the chance to work solely on their project than? And then a third, and a fourth, etc. After all, if the philosophy is that the only way this is going to work is if one person controls the source at any one time, then there's no end to that premise.
Otherwise, I'd like to see something like LT get made, and I think assigning the code to one person/team is the best hope of accomplishing that goal, bearing in mind that they can dump the code to the world if they also independently conclude (rightly or wrongly) that no game can be made from it.
If what you say is true, then this has *already happened*, and one person/team DID try to make it work, and so according to your statement, they should now "dump" the code. Alternatively, if what you say is NOT true, then releasing to the world is the alternative anyway, so either way, your theory has already proven not to be workable.

What I *think* you're really saying, is you'd like for a Josh Jr. to come along and take over development. I'm sure we'd all like that too. In that circumstance, it makes sense not to bother releasing the code. But, that's not going to happen, and would require Josh to do an inordinate amount of work to find such a person and be persuaded that they know all the parts of LT that we want to see made, and that they think that's right, and that they have a plan and think it can be done. I am willing to pay actual money (again) that this is not going to happen. Best case, Josh releases the code, and someone gets inspired to make some kind of space game from it. All other routes lead to dust in the wind. Dude.
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Re: Don't release the code yet

#98
0111narwhalz wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:31 am
Damocles wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:38 am
But how many open source GAMES do you know, that have had a noticeable impact?
Well, I can't speak for the "impact" part, but titles like Dwarf Fortress, Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead, OpenTTD, and Oolite come to mind.
Dwarf Fortress isn't open source, but Nethack is open source.

My personal thoughts: I do feel like it is unethical to only release it to a single person. For argument's sake, let's say there's a 0% chance of the game being released if it's open-sourced, and a 50% chance of the game being released if only given to one person.

- In the first scenario (open source) the backers at least get the code. Josh has given them everything he could. They get 100% of the fruits of his labor. Sure, it's not playable, but it's something.
- In the second scenario, the code goes to one person. The game being completed at all is very far from a sure thing. Even at a 50% chance, that's a 50% chance that the backers get nothing out of it - and a 100% chance that they'll get nothing out of it for the foreseeable future. Not only that, but this "one person" could edit the code, call it theirs, and try to release it on steam for, say, $20. The backers have a game, but they have to pay $20 on top of what they've already paid - and that's just horrible. But there's nothing stopping this "project manager" from making money off it, so why not? If they actually completed the game, I'm sure they'd feel like they deserved it.
- If the Project Manager gives the code a go, spends six years on it, and then throws in the towel and releases the source code, that's still six years spent doing nothing. I figure at that point, the code would be utterly useless to almost anyone. At that point, any community will be dead. Open sourcing it at all at that point serves no purpose, because nobody will care, and those (very few) that do will likely not have the resources or ability to make something of it (or, likely, they would've already been on the team - unless the Project Manager is terrible at recognizing talent).


The backers deserve something, and they shouldn't have to wait for it. I think everyone has been more than patient enough already.


I feel, though, that this conversation has taken a fairly political turn (democracy vs oligarchy).
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Re: Don't release the code yet

#99
Not to dismiss your other objections, Ringu, but I think this one is the key:

Ringu wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:39 am
you mention that two projects would divide programmer talent. Well, it doesn't work like that. It's like saying that there shouldn't be so many open source projects, because they all divide the programmer community among them. If someone has an idea, like City of Titans, and someone else wants to make Valiance Online, guess what? They both get to try. If CoT died tomorrow, their devs would not automatically go and join VO. They might join another game dev project, they might not.

First, I think you'll find I didn't say "two" or any other specific number of independent projects. My actual expectation is "many" -- and yes, I do think that winds up unnecessarily and unhelpfully splitting up talent.

But something else I should have mentioned is that I'm not overly emotionally invested in any of the LT code release options. It's not something under my control, in the first place, so I see no value in tying my happiness to something out of my control. And in the second place, what I consider a lesser option -- just dumping the code to the world -- isn't all that awful a thing. I don't think it's optimal for getting an LT-like game made, but I also don't think it would be the end of the world. I'm not arguing from any such totalizing perspective.

Which means this isn't something I feel is worth a bunch more defensive words from me on. I've explained my view; if others have different views, OK by me.

So now I wait to see what Josh actually does. And then I'll go from there.
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Re: Don't release the code yet

#100
I was recently reading a book about Pioneers, and in it, it had a section on Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman and Ray Tomlinson.

Now that I have your attention, the bit that stuck to me most was Linus words on how open source works:
- Passion

I know it myself, I have a passion for what I want LT (or whatever it will be known as) fill a gap for me and the gameplay I am looking to experience most.

I used to love reading the fingers (linux program, you old bods will know what I'm talking about) from when John Carmack was developing for iD Software back in the days.
Wanting to share snippets of code so that the next person who comes along, can get up to speed, and challenge the master.
John (Carmack) would then get passionate about learning the new way, and come out with more ingenious solutions as a result.

So who really cares if there are multiple versions of LT code out there?
Let everyone do what they want, in the knowledge they can learn from it, but not profit from it.
For the vast majority, they will download, try to get it working, dabble here and there, but mostly, give up.
For the remainder, there will be a passionate group of people who want to bring this project to life, first and foremost, and then to expand on it.
YAY PYTHON \o/

In Josh We Trust
-=326.3827=-
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Re: Don't release the code yet

#101
FormalMoss wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 5:35 am
So who really cares if there are multiple versions of LT code out there?
Let everyone do what they want, in the knowledge they can learn from it, but not profit from it.
For the vast majority, they will download, try to get it working, dabble here and there, but mostly, give up.
For the remainder, there will be a passionate group of people who want to bring this project to life, first and foremost, and then to expand on it.
Agreed, those different teams working on LT, different projects going on parallell, "splitting up talent" - they only exist in the fantasy. If you'll be able to find 5 people with enough skill and passion to work on it for some more years I'll be surprised. I'm pretty sure the only (slim) chance for LT to survive in whatever form is open source.
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Re: Don't release the code yet

#102
Talvieno wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:36 pm
My personal thoughts: I do feel like it is unethical to only release it to a single person. For argument's sake, let's say there's a 0% chance of the game being released if it's open-sourced, and a 50% chance of the game being released if only given to one person.

- In the first scenario (open source) the backers at least get the code. Josh has given them everything he could. They get 100% of the fruits of his labor. Sure, it's not playable, but it's something.
- In the second scenario, the code goes to one person. The game being completed at all is very far from a sure thing. Even at a 50% chance, that's a 50% chance that the backers get nothing out of it - and a 100% chance that they'll get nothing out of it for the foreseeable future. Not only that, but this "one person" could edit the code, call it theirs, and try to release it on steam for, say, $20. The backers have a game, but they have to pay $20 on top of what they've already paid - and that's just horrible. But there's nothing stopping this "project manager" from making money off it, so why not? If they actually completed the game, I'm sure they'd feel like they deserved it.
- If the Project Manager gives the code a go, spends six years on it, and then throws in the towel and releases the source code, that's still six years spent doing nothing. I figure at that point, the code would be utterly useless to almost anyone. At that point, any community will be dead. Open sourcing it at all at that point serves no purpose, because nobody will care, and those (very few) that do will likely not have the resources or ability to make something of it (or, likely, they would've already been on the team - unless the Project Manager is terrible at recognizing talent).


The backers deserve something, and they shouldn't have to wait for it. I think everyone has been more than patient enough already.


I feel, though, that this conversation has taken a fairly political turn (democracy vs oligarchy).
Thank you for making how I feel sound pretty.
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Re: Don't release the code yet

#103
Talvieno wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:36 pm
The backers deserve something, and they shouldn't have to wait for it. I think everyone has been more than patient enough already.
I actually am starting to feel like this announcement of releasing the code is probably more a of disservice to his backers than anything else. It's giving false hope.

LT is dead. Morn and move on. We will see nothing come of it. No one has the time, money and skill to finish what Josh is (if he ever actually does) going to release.

Sorry guys. Accept the truth.

Josh can't even face his community and interact with them outside of a long message telling them its all done. Not that I am surprised at this point.
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Re: Don't release the code yet

#104
Zanteogo wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:31 am
Talvieno wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:36 pm
The backers deserve something, and they shouldn't have to wait for it. I think everyone has been more than patient enough already.
I actually am starting to feel like this announcement of releasing the code is probably more a of disservice to his backers than anything else. It's giving false hope.

LT is dead. Morn and move on. We will see nothing come of it. No one has the time, money and skill to finish what Josh is (if he ever actually does) going to release.

Sorry guys. Accept the truth.

Josh can't even face his community and interact with them outside of a long message telling them its all done. Not that I am surprised at this point.
What's the point of posting something so disrespectful? Just don't post if you feel this way. Let people have a look at the game code if it's released. It's not up to you to decide if Josh should or shouldn't release the code. You don't speak for all backers, or all supporters here on these forums.
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Re: Don't release the code yet

#105
Zanteogo wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:31 am
Talvieno wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:36 pm
The backers deserve something, and they shouldn't have to wait for it. I think everyone has been more than patient enough already.
I actually am starting to feel like this announcement of releasing the code is probably more a of disservice to his backers than anything else. It's giving false hope.

LT is dead. Morn and move on. We will see nothing come of it. No one has the time, money and skill to finish what Josh is (if he ever actually does) going to release.

Sorry guys. Accept the truth.

Josh can't even face his community and interact with them outside of a long message telling them its all done. Not that I am surprised at this point.
Why do you think people have unrealistic hopes? This is a strawman argument. Most people who spent the last 6 years here knows dince long not to expect too much.

Nobody expects a game release, but this does not mean a code release is not a value: technophiles hope to learn something from the code. I, for one, would be interested to read a bit of it. Some wizard may be able to salvage some code to make a cool screensaver/screenshot machine... who knows.
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