An OpenMW "competitor" or scam?

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lysol
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An OpenMW "competitor" or scam?

Post by lysol » 24 Aug 2016, 15:16

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/39 ... -morrowind

Is it just me or does this feel really really fishy? I found the link on a thread on reddit.

As I said in that reddit thread, why would a guy making a super engine that runs all the modern TES games AND Fallout 3+4 call his engine Call of Morrowind?

And why would a serious Kickstarter campaigner write something like this in the "Risks and challenges" section??:

The biggest risk is that you dear reader won't back this campaign, this is a challenge for me, but given that you've made it all the way down to this odd legal notice style section nearly at the very bottom perhaps you are feeling stirrings inside you, perhaps you are wondering about clicking that nice green button up there labelled "Back this project". I know it's a long way to scroll to get all the way back up there (or across there on the app), but I promise you if you do it, it'll be worth it.

Oh great, I feel so confident now.
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Re: An OpenMW "competitor" or scam?

Post by psi29a » 24 Aug 2016, 16:01

A cross platform game engine for Morrowind! Play on Android, Mac, Windows or Linux! On the go! In Virtual Reality! Co-op multiplayer!
Someone contact Matt from Bethesda, tell him to release the hounds. ;)

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DestinedToDie
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Re: An OpenMW "competitor" or scam?

Post by DestinedToDie » 24 Aug 2016, 16:04

Call of "Morrowind".

I think OpenMW avoided having "Morrowind" in its name for a reason. Intellectual property reason. I wonder if Bethesda would have any beef with this guy using "Morrowind".

The second issue is it being on Android. While not infringing on Intellectual Property, didn´t Bethesda not like the fact that a branch of OpenMW was made to run on android?

I mean, if someone doesn´t like this guy, they could let Bethesda lawyers know about the existence of his project...

Edit: Psi29a posted faster than me. :D

Some of the videos seem surprisingly convincing, but then again... OpenMW has been in development for 8 years to get as far with only Morrowind, and this guy has all Bethesda games working on android just like that? Hard to believe it´s true.

https://www.kickstarter.com/profile/39614857 This guy exist for real? Didn´t get anything on reverse image search. He´s got sunglasses and a hat on, so hard to identify from Facebook and social media.
Last edited by DestinedToDie on 24 Aug 2016, 16:44, edited 2 times in total.

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scrawl
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Re: An OpenMW "competitor" or scam?

Post by scrawl » 24 Aug 2016, 16:34

Interesting. Looking at the videos, his engine seems to be where OpenMW was 4 years ago in terms of playability (glitchy rendering, no user interface, no dialogue, no AI, no gameplay... ). And he wants to finish the rest in 6 months? On his own? Not to call bullshit, but I would have allocated a bit more time.

A lot of information is missing. How long has he been working on this? What are the tools/libraries used and their licenses? I think I saw Bullet in one video. Is he aware of the other Morrowind engine projects out there and what are his reasons for starting his own? Where is the proof for him being the "maintainer of Java3D" and his 20 years of development experience? A Linkedin profile or something would be nice. What reversing engineering techniques are being used? Is it legal to sell an engine that reimplements Bethesda's? The common defense used by reimplementations is providing interoperability, but I'm not sure if that defense also applies to commercial use.

He claims that he's just making the "engine", but then he offers a "name an NPC and his dog" perk? How does that work if he doesn't ship the game data? And since when are there dogs in Morrowind?
I am first author on 8 software patents
Is that something to brag about? Depends on your opinion on software patents I guess.

I wouldn't call it a scam, the video footage looks real, I just don't see a reason for someone to back this with the information that is available. I'm obviously biased though.

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lysol
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Re: An OpenMW "competitor" or scam?

Post by lysol » 24 Aug 2016, 16:36

DestinedToDie wrote: Some of the videos seem surprisingly convincing, but then again... OpenMW has been in development for 8 years to get as far with only Morrowind, and this guy has all Bethesda games working on android just like that? Hard to believe it´s true.
Agree with you, when I've watched some more of it it does seem convincing. On the other hand, it seems like it's just basically a 3d viewer at the moment since I haven't seen any gameplay at all. It's like he's put all his effort on loading .nif:s from various versions but not any effort in real gameplay.
DestinedToDie wrote: https://www.kickstarter.com/profile/39614857 This guy exist for real? Didn´t get anything on reverse image search. He´s got sunglasses and a hat on, so hard to identify from Facebook and social media.
Haha, Detective DTD is on the case! :D
scrawl wrote:
I am first author on 8 software patents
Is that something to brag about? Depends on your opinion on software patents I guess.

I wouldn't call it a scam, the video footage looks real, I just don't see a reason for someone to back this with the information that is available. I'm obviously biased though.
Haha, indeed, I'm probably biased as well. He also presents it as a good thing that he is the only developer of this (probably) closed source project. Yeah, so that when he suddenly gets tired of developing this, no one will ever be able to continue the project since the source is closed. Sounds promising.

Yet, as you say, it doesn't really look fake after all when I've watched a few more videos.
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DestinedToDie
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Re: An OpenMW "competitor" or scam?

Post by DestinedToDie » 24 Aug 2016, 16:46

I found this: https://github.com/philjord/ElderScrollsExplorer Source code for his engine?

https://sourceforge.net/projects/elderscrollsexplorer/

Maybe someone who isn´t code-illiterate like me can check it out and share their opinion?
scrawl wrote:Is he aware of the other Morrowind engine projects out there and what are his reasons for starting his own?
Seems to be. Comment from this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIdjuFqE-dE

"Phil Jord8 months ago
OpenMW is amazing, between morrowind and oblivion the file formats (nif, esm, and bsa) changed the most , more than between oblivion and fallout 4 so it is probably a bit of work for them..."

It´s starting to look like his project might be real. But even more real is the question why waste time doing all this if you could just use it to progress OpenMW to load Oblivion, Fallout 4, etc. Maybe OpenMW would be long past 1.0 with his help. Elderscrollsexplorer, as I understand, aims to do the same as OpenMW, except it´s 4 years behind in development with only 1 person working on it. Whatever is the point of elderscrollsexplorer when you already got OpenMW? I´m just mindblown. Philip Jordan if you´re reading this please explain.

Edit: Upon closer inspection of the kickstarter it looks like he is giving out licenses to people who back him.

" Lord Vivec 700 NZD

Not for the faint-hearted. This is for people who really want to change the world.
Includes

Invitation to the Beta
1 License for each platform (Android, Mac, Windows, Linux)
Personal thanks in the credits of the game (WAIT WHAT YOU´RE SELLING A GAME?)
Name one NPC (and their house and dog) to a canon compatible name"

So basically his plan is to sell licenses to use his engine, as well as mods he makes? Plus the Beta access cash-in. Btw can´t I just download it for free from SourceForge right now? Why didn´t he mention that in the kickstarter?

A unified engine for all TES games might actually pretty good, but I think any sensible Morrowind player will stick with OpenMW.

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Re: An OpenMW "competitor" or scam?

Post by Shnatsel » 24 Aug 2016, 20:06

According to github logs, he got this far in 2 years. Although the initial commit is 5,000 lines of code so probably the project has history from before that time

*clones the guy's repos just in case*

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Capostrophic
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Re: An OpenMW "competitor" or scam?

Post by Capostrophic » 24 Aug 2016, 21:21

(Still) seems 2fishy4me.

also, more info
shitty lingua anglica grammar ftw

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psi29a
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Re: An OpenMW "competitor" or scam?

Post by psi29a » 24 Aug 2016, 21:50

I looked around a bit on his github and it looks genuine enough. LGPL, build instructions, some documentation. I haven't built it myself however. Anyone give a try yet?

All in all, he has a world explorer that can load assets and world data from various games and you can fly around looking at terrain, water and some statics. Speedtree instances are replaced with static (same) pine-trees when going through Skyrim for example. This is pretty impressive given the scope of his game support and for just one person.

It is however not a game engine, it is not something you 'play'. No avatar, creatures, npcs, quests/log/journal, maps, AI... you get the idea. In my opinion, he has a long way to go in re-creating anything playable.

It is neither a scam nor currently a real competitor imho. He does need to protect himself better, I don't think Bethesda is going to play nice with goals.

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Re: An OpenMW "competitor" or scam?

Post by philjord » 25 Aug 2016, 12:25

Hi, I'm Phil, I'm the guy behind Call of Morrowind.

I would like to not be seen as a competitor to OpenMW, but I can see how that link is made.

If anyone wants to ask me questions I'm happy to answer them.

Feel free to be as skeptical as you like, no one wants a fraudster trying to rip people off :)

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