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Grand Theft Pixel
June 20th 2000, 10:15 CEST by Seth

Less of the same - I'd like to talk about a different kind of theft (other than piracy for a change).

Every once in a while, I like to sit back and browse the Shack for game previews that might interest me. It was during one of these 5 am sessions that I stumbled across a new game using the Unreal engine called "Undying" (not just "Undying", but "Clyve Barker's Undying") brought to us by none other than Dreamworks (the same folk who brought us Trespasser, if I'm not mistaken). No, I'm not questioning the fact that those guys were allowed to make another game (while Looking Glass folds), I'm questioning apparent geometry theft for use in their game.

Excuse the seemingly erratic subject change, but this is relevant. I followed The Wheel of Time about as closely as I could without a restraining order for about 2 years. I feel I can justly say I knew about as much of the game as a non-member of the development team could. I was privy to a little bit of the story long before it was revealed by the designers, and got to see screenshots before they were released to the public (what great times those were for such a dorky kid!) and during that time, I studied those screenshots very, very closely. Which is why I noticed that this screenshot of a level from Clyve's Undying that is using what is quite possibly the exact same architecture/geometry used in this Wheel of Time level (to get a better view, take a look at the structure in this "primitive").

Ironically, the versatility of the Unreal engine is probably to blame here. Perhaps making the native map files accessible to anyone who double clicks UnrealEd (which can literally be used to cut and paste geometry from one level to another) is to blame in this instance, but what can't be denied is that what is there is borderline digital plagiarisim, and that's not cool.

C O M M E N T S
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#1 by "3actsInABog"
2000-06-20 10:30:04
Um, aside from those two screenshots being of squarish buildings, what else are we supposed to see?  I see two squarish buildings.  Little windows on either side of the main gate in one, little side passages off to the sides of the main gate of another.
  This is classic design of a square building.  Note that several of the Q3A shots posted earlier show similar symmetry.  Not great art, but square buildings.  Show me a FPS, and I'll show you THAT screenshot.  Daikatana, Quake2, Unreal, SOF to name a few.  Someone should hide the coffee from Seth.
#2 by "Andy"
2000-06-20 10:31:46
andy@planetcrap.com
Well there's certainly a similarity, I'll give you that much.

Did they steal the idea? Possibly. We can't know one way or the other. But as similar as the Undying level is to the WoT level, so the WoT level is similar to a section of e2m6 in the original Quake. So maybe WoT stole from Quake? Maybe Undying stole from Quake? Maybe it's just coincidence.

But if Undying *did* copy the general idea from Quake/WoT then I'd take that more as a complement than theft. The designer saw the architecture, liked it, and reproduced it (sort of) in his own level. Just as I, you and hundreds of other amateurs have done countless times in our levels.

Well-spotted though. Good to know I'm not the only one with this sort of obsessively good memory. ;)
#3 by "Andy"
2000-06-20 10:43:34
andy@planetcrap.com
Here's a shot of <a href="http://www.meejahor.freeserve.co.uk/e2m6.jpg">e2m6</a> in Quake. The doorway is under water, but the <i>tall towers with high windows</i> idea is there.

A level I made myself was <b>much</b> more similar to the WoT shot than the Undying shot is, but I've never played WoT and I wasn't consciously copying e2m6, so it was just coincidence. The Undying level could be coincidence too.
#4 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-06-20 10:57:51
seth@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
<b>#2</b> "Andy" wrote -
<QUOTE>Well there's certainly a similarity, I'll give you that much.

Did they steal the idea? Possibly. We can't know one way or the other. But as similar as the Undying level is to the WoT level, so the WoT level is similar to a section of e2m6 in the original Quake. So maybe WoT stole from Quake? Maybe Undying stole from Quake? Maybe it's just coincidence.

But if Undying *did* copy the general idea from Quake/WoT then I'd take that more as a complement than theft. The designer saw the architecture, liked it, and reproduced it (sort of) in his own level. Just as I, you and hundreds of other amateurs have done countless times in our levels.

Well-spotted though. Good to know I'm not the only one with this sort of obsessively good memory. ;) </QUOTE>

Here's the quirky part, imitation is the sincerist form of flattery, sure. But what I was getting with plaigarims is using *pre-existing* levels and minorly reshaping and and retexturing to acquiese the publisher. "Borrowing" ideas is nothing new, and it's certainly not a bad thing.

The difference is, with UnrealEd the designer could have actually copied that level piece by piece, and with how precise it is, I wouldn't be suprised. Direct theft and indirect inspiration are two completely different things, my friend.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#5 by "Desiato"
2000-06-20 11:09:03
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com
This is bullshit. The shot in the "Undying" game looks like crap frankly compared to the level with the portcullis worked into a seperate structure. Also the geometry is sufficiently different to not make me think that the two are "identical"...

I guess if you look at level geometry enough you'll start to say "ooh ooh -- that window is *square* just like that other level!!" Uh...yeah, sure. This is more of a limitation of designing realistic-looking architecture than outright copying.

I sure as hell wouldn't copy the building from "undying"...it looks like crap. Very basic, and the textures are very bland. I think you're being led astray by looking at that "conceptual sketch" of the other level. I'm sure you can abstract any levels geometry and see similarities to other levels.....so?

Most buildings in real cities look like big boxes covered with glass windows....so did they all copy each other?? No, certain practicalities forced the design to be constrained to certain limits. The same thing goes for car design. To achieve certain "f" air-resistance coefficients, designs naturally converge on a given shape, which result in a lot of cars having the same profile. Would you say that *they* are all copies as well?

I just don't think you have a leg to stand on, if anything -- you only prove that the human mind is very adept at finding patterns in things that aren't really there....

Desiato
#6 by "Andy"
2000-06-20 11:09:27
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#4</b>, Seth Krieg:
<QUOTE>
The difference is, with UnrealEd the designer could have actually copied that level piece by piece, and with how precise it is, I wouldn't be suprised.
</QUOTE>
He could have, but I very much doubt that's what happened.

Even if the designer saw the WoT level, liked it, thought it would work in his own level and decided to copy it, by the time he'd lifted it from WoT, put it into his level and fiddled with it enough to make it fit, he could have just built the thing from scratch.

It's really not *that* similar. It's more of a passing resemblance. But hey, I'm not goint to say you're wrong... you've given it more thought than I have.
#7 by "Andy"
2000-06-20 11:14:10
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#5</b>, Desiato:
<QUOTE>
This is bullshit.
</QUOTE>
Good, respectful, well-reasoned argument, followed up with...
<QUOTE>
I sure as hell wouldn't copy the building from "undying"
</QUOTE>
...proof that you didn't even understand what Seth was saying. Well done.
#8 by "ynohtnA"
2000-06-20 12:55:04
ynohtna@ynohtna.org http://www.ynohtna.org/
Has anyone patented crates yet?
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#9 by "BloodKnight"
2000-06-20 13:56:19
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
Now this is quite stupid, so two castles have some things that are look the same, right?  The point?  TALK FUCKER

Sorry for the rude behaviour, but I know this site supposed to post about the stupid things in the gaming world (which there is plenty to post btw), but something like this is very pointless.  I have a feeling there is going to post "Grand Theft Weaponary", and someone 'stole' a rocket launcher for their FPS 'from' Quake 3, and though they have small similar things like it shoots a rocket.  

:)
#10 by "shaithis"
2000-06-20 15:02:08
chrisb@gamespy.com http://www.gamespy.com
Whether or not you all agree that the two screenshots appear to have more than just a passing similarity, this topic is still valid in that it brings up a perfectly reasonable set of questions. Can one copyright a piece of their level? Who's to stop an unethical designer from loading up UnrealED, stealing a piece of WoT, and retexturing it for their game?

And Andy, while I agree that in a lot of cases it would be faster and easier to build the thing from scratch, there are certainly exceptions. There's also the fact that there are far more level designers out there working with the Unreal engine than there are level designers capable of producing that kind of architecture from scratch. Not every level designer, professional or otherwise, is WoT quality. :)

-shai
#11 by "Darkseid-D!"
2000-06-20 15:08:09
Darkseid-d@planetcrap.com http://www.captured.com/boomstick
Gentlemen.

shut yer yaps.


Warren, seeing as YOU WERE A LEVEL DESIGNER FOR LEGEND WHO WORKED ON WHEEL OF TIME.

care to comment.



Ds


+include obligatory Bowels comment
#12 by "Andy"
2000-06-20 15:35:41
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#10</b>, shaithis:
<QUOTE>
Can one copyright a piece of their level?
</QUOTE>
How could you <b>not</b> copyright a piece of the level? :)

Let's consider an Unreal/WoT mission pack. It should be copyrighted and pirating it should be illegal. But if you can't copyright small sections of individual levels then what's to stop someone from distributing the whole thing and saying that all they're actually distributing is a collection of small sections, none of them individually copyrighted?

(That sounds stupid but I'm being serious, hypothetically.)

I can't imagine there's any defence to taking a section from an existing level and selling it, including it in your own level, making it available for download, etc. If the level's copyrighted, surely every component part of it is too?

This is where it would be really helpful for one of the silent masses to speak up. I'm sure there must be someone out there who at least studied copyright at college or uni, or better still is qualified.
#13 by "Andy"
2000-06-20 15:41:56
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#12</b>, Andy:
<QUOTE>
How could you <B>not</B> copyright a piece of the level? :)
</QUOTE>
I mean, unless you deliberately release the copyright, like you could put the level into the public domain with a notice saying that people could take sections from it if they wanted.

But if the level falls under normal copyright law (whatever that may be) then I'd imagine each bit of it does also. But my knowledge of copyright law doesn't go any further that sending stuff to yourself in a sealed envelope and then putting it in a bank vault...
#14 by "Valeyard"
2000-06-20 15:43:58
valeyard@ck3.net http://www.ck3.net
Sorry Seth, but this is really reaching.  When you think about the different styles of architecture, this sort of similarity is bound to occur.  Frankly, I don't think that the images are very similar at all.  The Undying shot could just as easily have been a copy of the church in They Hunger or any other game with a church in it.

How many ways can you create an old-style church in a 3D engine without having them start to look similar?

-Valeyard

<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#15 by "Greg"
2000-06-20 15:55:03
I looked at both pictures, and, while they are similar, both have distinct features. Sure you could generalize it to be two tall rectangles separated by a house like structure. But each one seems to have a style that really can't be shared.

WoT's building is definately a Greek/Roman inspired building, while the Undying building is more like a Gothic church.

The problem is they follow the above formula as a base. However, none of the little details are shared. The WoT building follows the Ionic/Doric/etc column structure, and the Undying building has spartan and defensive features you would expect from Gothic architecture, as well as the arched entrance.

Greg
#16 by "Andy"
2000-06-20 16:06:09
andy@planetcrap.com
I mentioned waaay back in the days of post #3 that a Quake level I'd made was somewhat similar to the WoT shot Seth linked to. Three pics:

<a href="http://www.meejahor.freeserve.co.uk/shot1.jpg">shot1</a>
<a href="http://www.meejahor.freeserve.co.uk/shot2.jpg">shot2</a>
<a href="http://www.meejahor.freeserve.co.uk/shot3.jpg">shot3</a>

(Those are taken in 800x600 software mode because glQuake dosn't work properly on my gfx card. The lighting gets screwed up.)
#17 by "Desiato"
2000-06-20 16:10:29
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com
Andy -- that's what I get when I post at 4 in the morning.

Okay -- so switch A with B, it isn't *that* hard is it?

Have a nice day.

Desiato
#18 by "shaithis"
2000-06-20 16:17:56
chrisb@gamespy.com http://www.gamespy.com
<B>Andy</B> -

fuck, I miss Quake.

Those three shots have more atmosphere than all of Q2 and Q3 combined.

-shai
#19 by "Diseased"
2000-06-20 16:25:32
diseasedanimal@yahoo.com http://htp://www.therainforestsite.com
Agreed.  Quake's storyline may have been poor but it had atmosphere Q2 and Q3 can only dream of.
#20 by "Cinorom"
2000-06-20 16:28:45
com@com.com http://www.goaway.com
Ok, here's my 2 cents:

Suppose you made a game level, and called it, oh, I don't know, <QUOTE>Nuke San Francisco.</QUOTE>  Therefore, in your level, you'd have the Golden Gate Bridge, the Transamerica Building, etc.
Does that mean that you can copyright 3D models of these structures?  Therefore, NO ONE else can create a 3D level that contains anything that remotely resembles these famous architectural items?  That would be the STUPIDEST thing I ever heard.  But it seems that this is the argument here.

Peace!
'norom
#21 by "Andy"
2000-06-20 16:34:35
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#20</b>, Cinorom:
<QUOTE>
Does that mean that you can copyright 3D models of these structures? Therefore, NO ONE else can create a 3D level that contains anything that remotely resembles these famous architectural items? That would be the STUPIDEST thing I ever heard. But it seems that this is the argument here.
</QUOTE>
Well then you've misunderstood.

Seth is talking about someone opening a level in an editor, lifting out the actual brushes that someone else has created, and putting them in a different level so he can claim them as his own work.
#22 by "Andy"
2000-06-20 16:37:20
andy@planetcrap.com
(In case anyone is wondering why I'm posting so much nowadays, it's because I've got 24/7 free access so I'm online most of the day, and CrapSpy's loaded and checking for new posts every five minutes.)
#23 by "Vengeance[CoD]"
2000-06-20 16:42:41
rhiggi@home.com
<b>#20</b> "Cinorom" wrote...
<QUOTE>

Ok, here's my 2 cents:

Suppose you made a game level, and called it, oh, I don't know,
<quote>Nuke San Francisco.</quote>Therefore, in your level, you'd have the Golden Gate Bridge, the Transamerica Building, etc.
Does that mean that you can copyright 3D models of these structures? Therefore, NO ONE else can create a 3D level that contains anything that remotely resembles these famous architectural items? That would be the STUPIDEST thing I ever heard. But it seems that this is the argument here.

Peace!
'norom


</QUOTE>

Most maps being made of squares, no one could use your squares either :-) if each piece were copyrighted.
You could make a map of the bridge, you just couldn't copy someone elses and change the testures.

I'm pretty sure all the pieces aren't copyrighted Andy.  Otherwise you would need permission for the words you use as they are already contained in books.  I guess the question is where are the chunks big enough to be considered copyrightable.  The first three chapters of someone elses book?  A paragraph.  I dunno.

V





<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#24 by "Cinorom"
2000-06-20 16:46:12
com@com.com http://www.goaway.com
But I'd argue that it doesn't matter.  I understand what you're saying... but there's no way to prove it.  Even if you had a "polygon comparator" the perp could move a few points around, and they'd come back as different.  It would be quite a subjective thing as to HOW different a model has to be to be "legal."  ESPECIALLY if both models were of the same object.  And, suppose you have a GREAT idea for a level, yet your artistic ability isn't up to snuff.  Can't you borrow other people's pieces to realize your concept?  Sure, you SHOULD give them credit, but if you don't, it's more a moral issue than a legal one.  

Feel free to disagree further... :)
#25 by "Cinorom"
2000-06-20 16:47:57
com@com.com http://www.goaway.com
oops, my reply was directed towards Andy... I think I agree with V.  

...I also have constant internet access...at work...oops... :)
#26 by "Andy"
2000-06-20 16:57:18
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#24</b>, Cinorom:
<QUOTE>
Can't you borrow other people's pieces to realize your concept? Sure, you SHOULD give them credit, but if you don't, it's more a moral issue than a legal one.
</QUOTE>
You know what... since the Bleem and Network Solutions rulings I wouldn't dare predict how any case like this would go. The legal system has really lost the plot as far as intellectual property is concerned, so you may well be right.
#27 by "fyrewolf"
2000-06-20 17:07:09
<quote>A paragraph. I dunno.</quote>

All you need is enough to prove that the person infringed.  If they copy a paragraph word for word, you've got an easy case (unless they claim fair use).  Usually when people willfully infringe on copyrights, they try to cover their tracks, so a case may actually hinge on a paragraph here and there or even particular sentences.

f.
#28 by "Cinorom"
2000-06-20 17:23:45
com@com.com http://www.goaway.com
All you need is enough to show that the person infringed. If they copy a paragraph word for word, you have a simple case (unless they scream fair use). Usually when people purposely infringe on copyrights, they try to hide the evidence, so a case might actually hinge on a paragraph here and there or even particular phrases.

...I wonder if it's a case of the human brain's power... the above paragraph is OBVIOUSLY a copy of f.'s message, but I changed some words, at least one per sentence.  Is human "pattern matching" ability viable in court?  Tough call...I guess it should be to some extent...but then, no... Augh!
#29 by "fyrewolf"
2000-06-20 18:11:38
A old teacher of mine once told me how mapmakers prevent copyright infringement.  After all, how do you know if another mapmaker hasn't just used your map to trace their own and sell it?  They method they use is to put an error in the map.  Usually a short sidestreet that doesn't exist (and may not even be named).  Therefore, if anyone copies the map, you can prove it in court by showing how the error you introduced was also in the infringing maps.  I don't know whether they still do it (or ever did it.  It may be a UL.), but I always found it interesting.

Certainly fps mapmakers could do the same.  Strange gemometric brushes hidden in other objects to prevent people from simply cut-and-pasting their work.  Probably not necessary now, but it may be in the future.

f.
#30 by "netgee"
2000-06-20 19:25:18
ryan@shiftclick.net
No offense, but I've gotta agree with some of the earlier posters, this news item really is reaching a bit far out there.

"Quake3 had walls and UT had walls, conspiracy!  conspiracy!"

--gee
#31 by "Desiato"
2000-06-20 19:36:48
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com
One way to prevent outright copying in Unreal/Unreal Tournament is to intersect your whole level with a builder brush.

Granted, some levels will be too complex to do this, but if you do succeed -- you essentially make the whole level "unified" You can't move individual brushes after the fact, and you certainly don't have an easy way to "cut and paste" out of the editor.

I suppose someone could still import your *whole* map, but then they would still have to clip away a massive part of your level to make it work. And doing individual vertex edits would drive any normal mapper insane if you had to do it to 100+brushes.

Just a thought. Not a perfect solution though.

I do like the idea of "embedding" something in a level to mark it uniquely as yours. The easiest would be to make a texture and in the fringes put some identifying information that you could only see if you panned it over enough on the brush.

Desiato
#32 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-06-20 19:37:02
seth@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
<b>#14</b> "Valeyard" wrote -
<QUOTE>
How many ways can you create an old-style church in a 3D engine without having them start to look similar?

-Valeyard </QUOTE>

Want to give me five minutes? I'll show you.

I have only have a modicum of talent in medieval architecture, but that's all it takes for something original.

What I was getting at was;

Same engine,
same editor,
down right eerily similar architecture... questionmark<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#33 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-06-20 19:41:15
seth@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
<b>#11</b> "Darkseid-D!" wrote -
<QUOTE>Gentlemen.

shut yer yaps.


Warren, seeing as YOU WERE A LEVEL DESIGNER FOR LEGEND WHO WORKED ON WHEEL OF TIME.

care to comment.



Ds


+include obligatory Bowels comment </QUOTE>

I actually talked with Warren a little before posting this, something to remember (if he does/doesn't reply) is he is now an employee of Epic, who licensed the technology to Dreamworks. So a possible conflict of interest might exist, which might be why he's keeping quiet. Don't know though. I'd really like to hear from Glen Dahlgren/Paul Mock on the matter.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#34 by "Brandon 'GreenMarine' Reinhart"
2000-06-20 19:52:45
brandonr@3drealms.com http://www.3drealms.com
Those castles aren't even close together!

Come on guys, whatever happened to the killer public commentary on the state of the industry?  This is poking in shadows for controversy.  Christ!
#35 by "Cinorom"
2000-06-20 20:01:57
com@com.com http://www.goaway.com
<QUOTE>
Those castles aren't even close together!
</QUOTE>

Oh, so now proximity is an issue?

<QUOTE>
This is poking in shadows for controversy. </QUOTE>

But what if someone copied your shadows?

LOL....
#36 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-06-20 20:02:43
seth@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
<b>#34</b> "Brandon 'GreenMarine' Reinhart" wrote -
<QUOTE>Those castles aren't even close together!

Come on guys, whatever happened to the killer public commentary on the state of the industry? This is poking in shadows for controversy. Christ! </QUOTE>

Ask Warren what he thinks about it, Brandon.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#37 by "Warren Marshall"
2000-06-20 20:06:41
warren@epicgames.com http://www.epicgames.com
Yeah, I worked on Wheel of Time, and you might dismiss this since I work at Epic now ... but personally, I don't really care about this "issue".  :)

So they copied the general shape of the building.  It doesn't take away from WoT, and the buildings don't look THAT similar ...

I think games borrow stuff from each other all the time ... it's really not a big deal.  People use other peoples work for inspiration ... it's the way it works.  If anything, I should be flattered that someone thought something in WoT was cool enough to copy the style from (even though that particular building wasn't mine).


shaithis :
Why do you miss Quake?  Did you uninstall  it?  Is something preventing you from playing it?  :)
#38 by "Darkseid"
2000-06-20 20:10:04
Darkseid-D@planetcrap.com http://www.captured.com/boomstick
tbe Nuke San Francisco concept is a moot point

simply because you have an 'original' both are based upon.


however, in the WOT case, the castle was the 'original' and the other shot POSSIBLY derivative or plagiarised.



btw, hate to say it, those quake 1 shots, make me think very strongly of exsisting quake levels..

the castle itself made me think 'ah yeah the level where you shoot the 2 switches either side) Ogre Manse or somesuch.

(too long since I played QUake sp)

Ds<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#39 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-06-20 20:12:14
seth@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
<b>#15</b> "Greg" wrote -
<QUOTE>I looked at both pictures, and, while they are similar, both have distinct features. Sure you could generalize it to be two tall rectangles separated by a house like structure. But each one seems to have a style that really can't be shared.

WoT's building is definately a Greek/Roman inspired building, while the Undying building is more like a Gothic church.

The problem is they follow the above formula as a base. However, none of the little details are shared. The WoT building follows the Ionic/Doric/etc column structure, and the Undying building has spartan and defensive features you would expect from Gothic architecture, as well as the arched entrance.

Greg </QUOTE>

I disagree. Both have the arched entrance, both have the "defensive turrets".

How what I'm wondering is what Gothic architecture you're referring to, I can't find anything Rayonnant in either shots. The entire premise of Gothic style is to radiate light, I don't see very many windows in either shot. The only thing I would compare either to is a Romanesque/Burgandian chapaize. Besies, nothing inherint to gothic architecture makes me believe they'd be any more prone to building defenses within their buildings than any other style.

<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#40 by "Apache"
2000-06-20 20:13:40
apache@warzone.com http://www.voodooextreme.com
those two shots do not look very alike.
#41 by "Darkseid"
2000-06-20 20:13:58
Darkseid-D@planetcrap.com http://www.captured.com/boomstick
dont be so bloody silly

if they were in the goth style .. theyd be painted black with white tops, draped in ripped black cloth, with marilyn manson and sisters of mercy posters around the place !



we now return you to your regularly scheduled hysteria.



Ds<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#42 by "Andy"
2000-06-20 20:15:44
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#38</b>, Darkseid:
<QUOTE>
Ogre Manse or somesuch.
</QUOTE>
Ogre Citadel or Wizard's Manse, and it's nothing like either of them.
#43 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-06-20 20:22:25
seth@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
Greg: Seems we were both wrong, something struck a nerve and I glanced through one of my books.

The style is most likely Norman/Anglo Norman with Romanesque influences. (see Jumieges, Notre Dame
Caen, La Trinite, Caen, Saint-Etienne)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#44 by "flamethrower"
2000-06-20 20:24:37
flamey_at_evil@hotmail.com http://flamethrower.evilavatar.com
<b>#34</b> "Brandon 'GreenMarine' Reinhart" wrote...
<QUOTE>

Those castles aren't even close together!

Come on guys, whatever happened to the killer public commentary on the state of the industry? This is poking in shadows for controversy. Christ!
</QUOTE>

Brandon, there are a reason Andy's threads are more popular. ;)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#45 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-06-20 20:53:30
seth@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
<b>#36</b> "Seth Krieg" wrote -
<QUOTE>#34 "Brandon 'GreenMarine' Reinhart" wrote -

Those castles aren't even close together!

Come on guys, whatever happened to the killer public commentary on the state of the industry? This is poking in shadows for controversy. Christ!


Ask Warren what he thinks about it, Brandon.</QUOTE>

D'oh, keep forgetting you guys don't work in the same office anymore, sorry.
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#46 by "Scott Dalton"
2000-06-20 20:54:18
sdalton@legendent.com http://www.wheeloftime.com
Well, I'd have to say that were someone to directly rip brushes from a map to create a new map (especially on a commercial product) - that would be inexcusable.  

However, in this case, I don't think that's what happened.  While these two buildings do have some similarities, its pretty clear that this level from Undying wasn't ripped or stolen from WoT.  

Possibly they were influenced by our architecture, and if so, thats totally great!  I'm definately flattered by that, but I seriously doubt there's anything beyond that.

In reality most of WoT's architecture was very heavily based on real world architecture and styles.  As such, it follows a lot of existing architectural conventions for establishing the looks of many areas - many times combining multiple influences into one.  In much this same way, if Undying draws from real world architecture, they may end up with similar looks, because that's just how real buildings look.

That aside, I really don't think these two areas look that similar...  Undying's almost has a spanish colonial look to it.  


Scott
#47 by "Valeyard"
2000-06-20 20:57:19
valeyard@ck3.net http://www.ck3.net
Let's say, for example, I wanted a medieval castle in my game.

Some elements might include:

Moat/Drawbridge
Main Entrance/Portcullis
Tall Towers on either side of entrance
Loopholes (meurtrieres)
Ramparts with crenellations
Primarily stone structure

This gives you quite a few options, but the differences are going to be:

Amount of symmetry
Sizes of elements
"Decorative architecture"

You <b>could</b> create an infinite variety of castles from creative use of those elements.

The problem is that if you're creating that castle for a game, you're now interested in making sure that it is recognized instantly as a "medieval castle".  Because of that, the variations in design elements are going to be limited.

The general population has a pre-conceived notion of what a castle looks like.  The closer you stay to that "average perception" the easier it will be to set the mood.

Comparing the two original pictures.  They appear to be of two <b>very</b> different sizes and shapes (longer vs. taller).  One is mostly symmetrical, while the other isn't.  The decorative touches and details are different.

They're <b>definitely</b> not similar enough to make accusations about cutting-and-pasting brushes from in a level editor.  Arguing that the "concept" was copied is more accurate...but the "concept" for either could have been drawn from the same original sources.

Unless it was a completely original design, never seen before...it's simply silly to cry "foul".

-Valeyard
#48 by "Valeyard"
2000-06-20 21:00:29
valeyard@ck3.net http://www.ck3.net
"from in"  gah!  Try "within".

-Valeyard
#49 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-06-20 21:02:45
seth@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
<b>#46</b> "Scott Dalton" wrote -
<QUOTE>Well, I'd have to say that were someone to directly rip brushes from a map to create a new map (especially on a commercial product) - that would be inexcusable.

However, in this case, I don't think that's what happened. While these two buildings do have some similarities, its pretty clear that this level from Undying wasn't ripped or stolen from WoT.

Possibly they were influenced by our architecture, and if so, thats totally great! I'm definately flattered by that, but I seriously doubt there's anything beyond that.

In reality most of WoT's architecture was very heavily based on real world architecture and styles. As such, it follows a lot of existing architectural conventions for establishing the looks of many areas - many times combining multiple influences into one. In much this same way, if Undying draws from real world architecture, they may end up with similar looks, because that's just how real buildings look.

That aside, I really don't think these two areas look that similar... Undying's almost has a spanish colonial look to it.


Scott </QUOTE>

Scott, hrmmm, it just strikes me as strange how every other detail in the screenshot is rather... plane, and then there's a facade that looks very similar to the one that was in your game, released about 10 months ago. Giving them that, and supposing it was simply borrowed from real world architecture, it struck me as odd that they have a rather nice looking facade stuck inside a giant subtracted rectangle. The two don't fit, IMO.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#50 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-06-20 21:07:01
seth@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
<b>#47</b> "Valeyard" wrote -
<QUOTE>Let's say, for example, I wanted a medieval castle in my game.

Some elements might include:

Moat/Drawbridge
Main Entrance/Portcullis
Tall Towers on either side of entrance
Loopholes (meurtrieres)
Ramparts with crenellations
Primarily stone structure

This gives you quite a few options, but the differences are going to be:

Amount of symmetry
Sizes of elements
"Decorative architecture"

You could create an infinite variety of castles from creative use of those elements.

The problem is that if you're creating that castle for a game, you're now interested in making sure that it is recognized instantly as a "medieval castle". Because of that, the variations in design elements are going to be limited.

The general population has a pre-conceived notion of what a castle looks like. The closer you stay to that "average perception" the easier it will be to set the mood.

Comparing the two original pictures. They appear to be of two very different sizes and shapes (longer vs. taller). One is mostly symmetrical, while the other isn't. The decorative touches and details are different.

They're definitely not similar enough to make accusations about cutting-and-pasting brushes from in a level editor. Arguing that the "concept" was copied is more accurate...but the "concept" for either could have been drawn from the same original sources.

Unless it was a completely original design, never seen before...it's simply silly to cry "foul".

-Valeyard </QUOTE>

To show you it can be done, I will do it. And it will look absolutely nothing like either.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
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