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[Freeciv] game standards

[Freeciv] game standards

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To: "freeciv" <freeciv@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [Freeciv] game standards
From: "Brandon Van Every" <vanevery@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 16:57:48 -0700

> It's fairly easy to invent new games; I've invented a couple myself.
> It's hard to find enough players.

Aha!  So, you'd rather rip off a popular standard to get more players
than do the hard work of creating your own standard?  This is ok when
the game standard is in the public domain, like Chess.  It is not ok
when some team of overworked game developers sweated blood over
something to make it good, hoping they'd be reneumerated by their
royalty checks so they'd have the funds to do it again on some other
title, and then someone comes along with a blatant clone to alleviate
them of unit sales.  Now, if you just made a game that "started from Civ
but went somewhere else better," I'd have no objections.  It would be a
different game, a different standard.

> ... but this is totally mistaken.  Freeciv was created because
> 1) Civ *did not exist* on the platforms most of us work with

The world doesn't owe you cross-platform compatibility, nor open source.
For instance, in my personal case I'll probably conjure up a
Civ-influenced game someday, with Windows as the primary platform, I'll
probably do a Linux port afterwards, and people who insist I was
supposed to provide a Mac version can go fuck themselves.  My
development dollars, my personal financial risk, my perogative.  Oh, and
I keep forgetting that consoles even exist.  I'd relent on ports if I
got rich for my efforts and had money to burn on porting costs.  Like,
if my gaming franchise became as popular as Quake.

> 2) it has a couple of features that *screamed* to be implemented
>    in Civ, but never were, or only later (e.g. playing over the

So, play or write a different game that has multiplayer.  The world
doesn't owe you multiplayer.

> 3) Freeciv does not cut into Hasbro's profits *at all* and certainly
>    wasn't written with that objective in mind

How do you figure?  How many people play Freeciv as opposed to buying
Civ II: TOT in the store or something?  And before you say "all the
Linxers," keep in mind that not all Linuxers stick exclusively to Linux,
nor is Freeciv playable only on X Windows.  I've got a ported copy on my
Win98 box right now.  And since you guys went open source, you can't
stop Win clones from existing.

> I wonder, if they have ignored Freeciv for 5 years, why would they
> that now?  But I guess some newsgroup reading will help here.

In the case of Axis & Allies, Hasbro was about to release its own
official A&A software title after years of neglect.  The company making
Dogs Of War was getting commercial profit from their clone, it was
eliminating the potential of sales and was an absolutely crystal clear
blatant infringement of copyright.  So, shutting them down was a

Hmm, one might theorize that because you guys are always cloning *after*
the official game is created, you might not ever be perceived as a
threat.  Whereas in the weird case of A&A the clone existed *before* the
official software version did.  That's what happens when you implement a
computer version of a board game.  I do see one scenario where Hasbro
would definitely want to sue you: if they ever published a "Best Of Civ"
collection, with all the versions together for some cheap price.  Of
course, this in many respects is the current Civ II: TOT so I'm thinking
you're just not on their radar screen.

> > [...]   Would anyone like me to perform the Hasbro
> > experiment?  Just as an acid test of "what I know?"  Hey, maybe
> > substantiate that really there's absolutely nothing to worry about.
> Mmm ...  i can't speak for anyone else here but I'd personally like
> to see a little more clarity in this matter.

Well, the "nice" way to get clarity is to take my suggstion: go to and have a discussion there about what you guys
need to do, or not do.  That's the rational path I was hoping some of
you developers would come to.  The irriational path is "We're right!
Screw Hasbro!  And screw you Mallor for suggesting it!"

Cheers,             Infernal Troublemaker                    Troll
Mallor              "By simple mistake, mortals themselves amuse."

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