Matt Grandstaff and Android Development

Anything related to PR, release planning and any other non-technical idea how to move the project forward should be discussed here.
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sandstranger
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Re: OpenMW 0.31.0

Post by sandstranger » 16 Aug 2014, 07:09

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raevol
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Re: OpenMW 0.31.0

Post by raevol » 16 Aug 2014, 08:58

Sandstranger, we all really appreciate your contributions to this project, they've been fascinating and a really interesting bit of development for us all to watch. If we end up having to stop the android version, please understand that we all really appreciate your efforts, and none of it has gone to waste.

That said, I think we are all really interested in 2 things:

First, did that message actually come from Bethesda? It doesn't look very legit. If it didn't actually come from them, we've got nothing to worry about.

And second, if it did in fact come from Bethesda, where do we actually stand with this? None of us want to do wrong by Bethesda, we all really appreciate their work and their games. That's why we're here, after all. But we're also really proud of the work we've done on our project, and want clarification on the specific details of what's going on.

And if Bethesda is going to send us a legit notification to cease work on a mobile port, they need to send it from a legitimate Bethesda communication channel, like a Bethesda company email, and they need to send it to our project lead. I understand that open source projects can be confusing for closed source companies, but that's really what needs to happen.

Those are just my thoughts though. Please correct/advise as you see fit! Especially those who may know more about the legal side of this...

EDIT: It does look like the gstaffBethesda account is an admin on the Bethesda forums, so that answers that question.

EDIT2: Another interesting part of this, is this is the second acknowledgement by Bethesda that our project exists. Which is cool! We all definitely want to do right by them in this case, so let's be diplomatic in how we handle this. I think we all really just want clarification, as that message sandstranger received doesn't really accurately portray what we are doing.

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psi29a
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Re: OpenMW 0.31.0

Post by psi29a » 16 Aug 2014, 09:04

I have a few questions (mostly for Sandstranger):

1) Why were you on Beth's forums in the first place?
2) Did you post anything and so, can you show us the thread?
3) When you got that message, why didn't you contact us first?

These are important, because communication is key and I have to admit, your control of the English language isn't that great. Things do get lost in translation.

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raevol
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Re: OpenMW 0.31.0

Post by raevol » 16 Aug 2014, 09:11

I pm'ed the gstaff account this:
Hi Matt! I am raevol (aka Mickey Lyle) from the OpenMW project. Recently one of our project contributors relayed that he had received a communication from you about our project. We are a bit confused about the details of this communication, and would really appreciate if you could weigh in on our discussion:

http://forum.openmw.org/viewtopic.php?p=26436#p26436

Please be aware that we are an open source project, and as such, pinning down who are "official team members" who can legitimately speak for our project is really difficult. If I can trouble you to post on our forums, that would be great, but if not we really would appreciate if you could contact our project lead, Marc Zinnschlag, who is the only person really qualified to represent the project. Marc's email is: <taken from github>

I hope this message doesn't get lost in your inbox! Thank you for your time, and we really appreciate any reply!

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sandstranger
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Re: OpenMW 0.31.0

Post by sandstranger » 16 Aug 2014, 09:20

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rab
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Re: OpenMW 0.31.0

Post by rab » 16 Aug 2014, 09:26

It's not a surprise. There is a trend for re-releasing old / classic games from PC and consoles on mobile platforms - it's probably a lot less work than coming up with something new, and old pc games are much better than modern made-for-mobile repetitive puzzle rubbish. I guess Bethesda (if it really is from them) wish to protect this possible future revenue stream.

Of course a better way to do that would be to sell their morrowind data files for use with with openmw on mobile. The hard work of porting the game is (almost) already done, but they could supply some missing technical info (skill formulas, etc.), anything that is still needed to help the project reach v1.0. Then openmw could be released on google play and they can sell the game content package to be used with it. From their point of view it's pretty much money for nothing.

Either way, openmw itself is an open source game engine that happens (ok, deliberately) to be compatible with morrowind data files. While ever openmw can only be used to play morrowind they might have a case to complain (albeit I don't think any actual legal basis to), but once the engine is used for third party games with no connection to morrwind at all that argument disappears. We need that free, example game for the engine asap. If people choose to load up their legally purchased copy of morrowind on to their mobile after that that's up to them.

densm27
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Re: OpenMW 0.31.0

Post by densm27 » 16 Aug 2014, 09:47

rab wrote: We need that free, example game for the engine asap.
Yes, that's it. If we finally make that Example Suite (as planned before), this can be represented as a standalone game. We can even add a statement (in Big Red Letters) to the description, saying that "For legal reasons it is not allowed to use original Morrowind data on your Android device". Well, "not allowed" does not mean "not possible"..

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Greendogo
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Re: OpenMW 0.31.0

Post by Greendogo » 16 Aug 2014, 10:11

densm27 wrote:
rab wrote: We need that free, example game for the engine asap.
Yes, that's it. If we finally make that Example Suite (as planned before), this can be represented as a standalone game. We can even add a statement (in Big Red Letters) to the description, saying that "For legal reasons it is not allowed to use original Morrowind data on your Android device". Well, "not allowed" does not mean "not possible"..
I agree, but I'm not going to restart the Example Suite efforts until we've got a relatively complete and working OpenCS. Making the Example Suite on Bethesda's "TOOLS" is now something I absolutely want to NOT DO (there are more reasons than just this pseudo-legal snafu)

But on the other part of your statement, I don't think we should put a message like "It's not allowed to use blah blah blah" because it's disingenuous. Mostly everyone using OpenMW on an Android device will be using it for playing Morrowind for the foreseeable future, and as we've discussed before, there shouldn't be a legal problem with doing this. Perhaps we need to create an Android install tool too?

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sandstranger
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Re: OpenMW 0.31.0

Post by sandstranger » 16 Aug 2014, 10:48

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densm27
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Re: OpenMW 0.31.0

Post by densm27 » 16 Aug 2014, 11:07

Greendogo wrote:I don't think we should put a message like "It's not allowed to use blah blah blah" because it's disingenuous. Mostly everyone using OpenMW on an Android device will be using it for playing Morrowind for the foreseeable future, and as we've discussed before, there shouldn't be a legal problem with doing this.
Don't know if this example is totally correct, but.. There is a game for Android (among other platforms) called Wagic. It actually is "Magic the Gathering" TCG, with all the game mechanics copied, but without any original art. In their description, they tell about their legal issues with copyrighted content, and send all the people in search of pictures to Google.
Of course, the difference is that they actually distributed content, while OpenMW doesn't, but if BethSoft will have any _real_ arguments against having MW content on Android, such a message can be needed.

Anyway, of course we should wait for something more official than a PM to one of the devs from a newly registered guy.

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