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General Category => Blog => Topic started by: kat on June 29, 2015, 09:08:14 PM

Title: Doom 4, Snapmap and EULA licensing
Post by: kat on June 29, 2015, 09:08:14 PM
Doom 4 (idtech 6) Editor 'Snapmap'

Doom 4 is set to include an editor, Snapmap (https://youtu.be/2KApp699WdE?t=40m55s), to so fans of the game will be able to make mods and levels once the game is released. Whilst there's no-doubt going to be a fair bit of information about this in the coming months, one aspect likely to received little to no coverage will be the EULA under which the tools can be used. For most individuals the terms will be of little to no consequence, largely because in the grand scheme of things their work is unlikely to be picked up by anyone (unless it's truly unique or fun in some way). For hard-core modders or level designers however, if Snapmaps EULA is anything like the one for RAGE (http://cdnstatic.bethsoft.com/bethblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Rage%20Tool%20Kit%20FAQ.pdf) (PDF pg 8), authors will essentially be relinquish their claims (RIGHTS) of authorship and ownership of any work created using the tools.

The two primary and pertinent sections are; first defining "New Materials";

All uses of the Editor and any materials created using the Editor (the “New Materials”) are for Your own personal, non-commercial use solely in connection with the applicable Product, subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement

It's important to note the distinction being made here, that the mere ACT OF CREATING is itself subject to the EULA terms, which also applies to ANYTHING made with the tools.

Next come the waivers, that if these tools are used to create new content doing so means;

[... ]
If You distribute or otherwise make available New Materials, You automatically grant to Bethesda Softworks the irrevocable, perpetual, royalty free, sublicensable right and license under all applicable copyrights and intellectual property rights laws to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, perform, display, distribute and otherwise exploit and/or dispose of the New Materials (or any part of the New Materials) in any way Bethesda Softworks, or its respective designee(s), sees fit.  You also waive and agree never to assert against Bethesda Softworks or its affiliates, distributors or licensors any moral rights or similar rights, however designated, that You may have in or to any of the New Materials.  If You commit any breach of this Agreement, Your right to use the Editor under this Agreement shall automatically terminate, without notice.

Again it's important to note that although the agreement can be breached, doing so ONLY disobliges the user from using the tools to create more content, it DOES NOT nullify Bethesda's claim over materials that may have already been made available or even created.

Again, whilst these concerns may be of no interest to 'noobs/newbs', they should give pause for thought to the more seasoned modders/mappers, especially when it's unequivocally stated that NO commercial or for-profit exploitation is permitted (and that would include revenue generated from advertising). In other words, it's less likely those big projects of past 'doom' games are going to stand any chance of being publicly remunerated or supported without causing their respective author significant legal issue, something Bethesda is not shy about doing.

[Both Bethesda and id Software were contacted about for clarification; Bethesda said they "have no information on upcoming products from our development studios". No reply from id Software as of time of writing.]
Title: Re: Doom 4, Snapmap and EULA licensing
Post by: ratty redemption on June 29, 2015, 09:24:02 PM
interesting and if i recall correctly, splash damage attempted to use that type of eula when they were about to ship quake wars, but then withdrew it after backlash from the modding community.

and when did rage become moddable? has it been since it's release?
Title: Re: Doom 4, Snapmap and EULA licensing
Post by: kat on June 29, 2015, 10:14:18 PM
Rage always had the potential to be fully moddable it just wasn't anywhere near being properly supported. That being the case, that 'potential' meant Bethesda, being the publisher, needed to have a legal cover they could use to claim the content created if someone managed to do that. Hence the EULA. It's not just Rage though as Skyrim uses the same EULA (http://store.steampowered.com/eula/eula_202480), similar ones apply to other moddable games, and not just those published by Bethesda.

The upshot of all this is that if a person is in anyway competent, they should be directing their energies towards efforts they CAN monetise, especially given tool availability these days - even using idTech 3 or 4 is a viable option.
Title: Re: Doom 4, Snapmap and EULA licensing
Post by: ratty redemption on June 29, 2015, 10:45:48 PM
understood and now i'm getting back into games content creation, i'm glad to be taking the route of developing my own game using unity (if i get on well enough with the tech) as opposed to spending months, if not years, modding some other company's game, and not having copy right to my work.

it's a shame the industry has gone in this legal direction, especially as id software previously had such a good relationship with their mod community. but now they are owned by bethesda, i can understand why id is conforming.
Title: Re: Doom 4, Snapmap and EULA licensing
Post by: kat on June 29, 2015, 10:57:35 PM
The rationale behind these EULA terms is to protected publishers from being obliged to remove content retroactively. In other words, should someone or some other company take legal action and win(!), the terms are such that Bethesda would not have to remove content already distributed, nor would they be obliged to offer financial remedy. Trouble is, the language these EULA's say a whole lot more than that.

[EDIT] it also, in principle, disobliges them from being held to DMCA and their being challenged on grounds of content misappropriation.
Title: Re: Doom 4, Snapmap and EULA licensing
Post by: ratty redemption on June 29, 2015, 11:38:48 PM
understood, i think, i don't blame the companies for wanting to legally protect themselves, i just wish they would find a more user friendly way of doing it.
Title: Re: Doom 4, Snapmap and EULA licensing
Post by: kat on June 30, 2015, 05:39:08 PM
It's more to do with the publishers iirc. Looking at License.txt for Doom 3 and Return to Castle Wolfenstien (and presumably Quake 4, and Wolfenstein - not installed so can't check) when id Software properties were published by Activision, it has the standard 'non-commercial' use and 'copyright' language which allows users to create "Permitted New Creations" (pretty much anything) and distribute them so long as that doesn't include actual game content and is not for commercial gain. But beyond that they don't make any claims of what amounts to a de facto ownership over what is produced with their respective tools.

[...] You shall not rent, sell, lease, lend, offer on a pay-per-play basis, or otherwise commercially exploit or commercially distribute the New Creations. You are permitted to distribute, without any cost or charge, the New Creations only to other end-users so long as such distribution is not infringing against any third-party right and otherwise is not illegal or unlawful. [...]
Title: Snapmap isn't for oldschool modders
Post by: kat on April 26, 2016, 03:43:49 PM
How does Snapmap work
Snapmap works by providing the User a huge array of prefabricated units and template files that can be 'snapped' together, hence the name, like building bricks. Prefabs are linked through the use of connection nodes that, as a chain, form a map of level. Within each prefab unit the user can place additional content in the form of 'scatter' or 'environment furniture'; again all provided for the User. For the most part all new content is created this way, as a 'mashup' of preexisting assets. Bethesda Plays DOOM SnapMap (https://www.twitch.tv/bethesda/v/62765871).

Who is Snapmap for
The target audience for Snapmap is everyone. The use of prefabs and templates mean anyone with access to the game and Editor can make content for the game and share it across the network. No particular skill is required because much of the tedium of creating content has been done already, all that's needed is to snap parts together and populate them with smaller details.

Snapmap is not GtkRadiant of old. Modding is not the modding of old.
Content is now 'social' and easily shared and distributed across 'SnapChannel', which necessitates custom content be low-bandwidth, map files essentially now just hold positional coordinates, prefab identifiers and game flags so the game knows what to load, where to place it and what to do with it, no other verbose structural information (brush volumes and so on), or content distribution is needed for others to quickly access and easily play through, and edit, new creations.

At time of writing it is still unclear whether the new idtech engine and Snapmap can accommodate fully custom content in the traditional 'modding' sense of previous games and game engines; although Snapmap works by providing prefabs, it's not known if it's possible to create brand new elements that can be loaded by the editor, for example 100% custom player models a la Quake 3, new level assets or set-pieces, textures and so on. Sadly it's unlikely because the Snapmap network is a closed environment, it has to be otherwise idtech and Bethesda would be open to liabilities for distributing copyrighted materials[1]. So whilst the way the tools work opens it up to a wider user base, that content may become iterative rather than expressly original.

Watch live video from Bethesda on www.twitch.tv

[1] This also likely means that in submitting maps, levels and content, the User 'agrees' to Bethesda 'sub-licensing' their content, allowing for it to be modified, changed and distributed. So whilst 'attribution' is made, it's not known if this type of activity can be disabled/is optional (if Bethesda is looking to monetise Doom content like they have attempted with other IP they own, attribution also raises questions in terms of percentages and payouts.
Title: Re: Doom 4, Snapmap and EULA licensing
Post by: ratty redemption on April 26, 2016, 04:02:12 PM
interesting tech and i don't blame them for wanting a closed environment. although i know personally i would have more fun creating new content in blender and unity and having as much creative freedom as possible.

saying that, i look forward to seeing what the doom snapmap community comes up with, especially if they are showcasing their work on twitch or youtube.
Title: SnapMap minimum specs
Post by: kat on May 13, 2016, 09:38:20 AM
Minimum specs for the game and therefore SnapMap are as follows - note also a 'live' (but not necessarily persistent) connection is required for SnapMap (no 'offline' mode in other words), to run SnapMap the editing PC/device needs to be capable of running the game;
Code: [Select]
OS: Windows 7/8.1/10 (64-bit versions)
Processor: Intel Core i5-2400/AMD FX-8320 or better
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 670 2GB/AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB or better
Storage: 55 GB available space
Additional Notes: Requires Steam activation and broadband internet connection for Multiplayer and SnapMap
Title: README: Doom PC-DVD installation
Post by: kat on May 15, 2016, 08:36:46 AM

An internet connection IS REQUIRED to install the game.

The PC-DVD contains only enough data to install initial aspects of the game (approximately 10% of total game data it appears), the remainder, some 45 gigabytes (GB), are downloaded directly via Steam.

Doom (IV) does not install, nor run, in it's entirety from the DVD.