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Clarifications From A Halogen Team Member

Zonk posted about 8 years ago | from the now-that's-fan-service dept.

47

The folks behind the now shut-down Halogen Halo mod noticed your concerns in the comments for Saturday's story. Adam Saltsman, a team member, took the time to answer some of the questions you posed. He touches on why they bothered to do it in the first place, and the much discussed issue of 'getting permission from Microsoft'. From his comments: "MS Games is, not surprisingly, a game company. Therefore, they will happily and cheerfully support machinima ads for their own game made for free by other people. However, they are quite touchy (to an extent that we did not previously understand) about people making GAMES about their games." Many thanks to Adam for putting this together for us. Read on for his complete response.Hi, my name is Adam Saltsman. I created all of the infantry units and weapons for Halogen, and I was hoping I could answer some of the outstanding questions/assumptions made by many of the commenters on Saturday's post.

  1. "Why did they even bother making a Halo mod?" A multitude of reasons. One, we are only about 5 guys. Who all work fulltime, and some of which were also attending school. It's not like we had the time or ability to create a whole universe ourselves! While we did bring a lot of original content to the mod, it was all extended or heavily based on Bungie's concepts. This was fun for us, because we really enjoyed the designs (despite not enjoying the games THAT much) and it was a HUGE time saver. Also, there were a LOT of people out there (in the tens of thousands) that wanted a Halo RTS, and Microsoft sure wasn't filling that need. We thought that if we approached it professionally and seriously that maybe they'd let it slide; obviously we were wrong.
  2. "If they were going to make a halo mod, why didn't they just ask for permission?" With our magical powers of hindsight, sure we would have done certain things differently. Basically our plan was something like this: just make it, and hope that we get it either finished or to a level of completion where people would be really impressed with what we'd managed to do with a 5yr old engine and some severely limited FPS IP. Also, in a lot of ways, we just wanted to play a Halo game that we felt was big and galactic and really felt huge like Halo should (rather than like a rail shooter, for example). We thought that if we asked MS Games that would just shoot us down without being able to see how great it could be. Our intent was never to sell this thing, but we still treated it like a very, very careful publishing pitch. Why on earth would MS ever grant dev rights to 5 people spread all over the world to develop something as resource intensive as an RTS? Just seemed far-fetched. However, if we showed them how good a game it could really be...
  3. "Well they should have kept this on the lowdown, so MS wouldn't have noticed and canned them just to protect its IP from ravenous adoring fans." Its not like no one knew about this mod; we were slashdotted a year ago, were on the front page of RvB, Bungie definitely had their eye on us, we got mentioned in a couple print mags...we were not shut down because we got "too big" or "just got noticed". I think I know why MS Games canned us, just need to wait a couple of weeks to make sure, so I'm not really comfortable writing about it yet. But I'm 95% sure it had nothing to do with "spontaneous noticement", and very little to do with "MS are teh jerks and will do anything to stop their IP from being Xploited!!"
  4. "Microsoft lets Red vs Blue do their thing; if these guys had just asked for permission, then there would be no problem." Erm, not exactly. MS Games is, not surprisingly, a game company. Therefore, they will happily and cheerfully support machinima ads for their own game made for free by other people. However, they are quite touchy (to an extent that we did not previously understand) about people making GAMES about their games. When the 2d sidescrolling halo fangame was released and apparently had no problems, we thought maybe they'd let our RTS do its thing too.
I hope this helps clear things up!
- Adam

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9/11 - Five years on... (1)

ringbarer (545020) | about 8 years ago | (#16083073)

... and Linux STILL isn't ready for the Desktop.

Re:9/11 - Five years on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16084358)

Never forget: "You're with me, leather!"

What was the motive? (1)

Cybert4 (994278) | about 8 years ago | (#16083074)

To me, the biggest question by far, is if it had financial motivations. If it had no financial motivation (not even a donate link), then that is a far different question. Just like copying a CD for your friend is a lot different than selling the copies on the corner.

Re:What was the motive? (5, Informative)

BondGamer (724662) | about 8 years ago | (#16083098)

He already stated what he thinks the motive is. If you can't read between the lines: Microsoft is going to announce their own Halo RTS.

Re:What was the motive? (3, Interesting)

twistedsymphony (956982) | about 8 years ago | (#16083695)

That was my first guess when I heard the news. Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't Halo originally going to be an RTS before bungie was bought by MS? There have been rumors about a Halo RTS in the works for a while, before Halo 3 was announced a lot of people were speculating that the next title might be an RTS. Not to mention it makes sense; RTSs get barely any coverage on the console space (debatably because they're hard to play with a controller). It'd be in MS's best interests to build their start franchise laterally instead of making it just a straight sequel machine.

Re:What was the motive? (1)

heartless_ (923947) | about 8 years ago | (#16084069)

Who wants a Halo RTS? Isn't there enough teenagers throwing around deregatory comments with just the FPS games?

Re:What was the motive? (1)

kinglink (195330) | about 8 years ago | (#16085044)

Originally the game was going to be a First person shooter with 3 unique storylines. I believed intellegent squadmates were planned, but fully a FPS.

However of course Microsoft bought them, unique story lines were canned, squadmates were ok, but it became a shell of the original idea.

Depends on what you wanted exactly (1)

MMaestro (585010) | about 8 years ago | (#16085509)

Halo 2 and the novels hinted at multiple storylines; Master Chief, Arbiter and arguably Cortana "could" have seperate storylines. Master Chief is obvious, the Arbiter is hinted to have been in the first Halo but simply never crossed paths with the player/Master Chief in the games/novels, and Cortana is alone or disconnected from the player for several missions gathering information some of which are revealed in the novels.

If you want to get extreme you could even make Sergeant Johnson (the black Marine who reappears throughout the two games) a seperate storyline. Then theres Captain Keyes (Halo 1, whos storyline would be short but insightful) and Captain Miranda Keys (Halo 2, whos storyline would compliment the Arbiter's).

Re:Depends on what you wanted exactly (1)

kinglink (195330) | about 8 years ago | (#16085757)

Sorry, no no no

I should have said 3 unique story lines. 3 story lines from three different races, each would be for the most part completely seperate. So one would be master chief, the other two wouldn't even be "human"

Re:Depends on what you wanted exactly (1)

Wolfrider (856) | about 8 years ago | (#16086006)

I think it would sell if they came out with "Halo 2: The Untold Story" for the original Xbox. There are a few story sequences that come to mind:

o When Sarge Johnson gets in the Pelican, leaving MC to take out the lizard-snipers
(" Outskirts " level ) -- Play as Sarge

o Level 9 "Regret" -- Miranda asks Johnson to meet her at the Library. -- Play as Sarge, then as Miranda

o Level 10, Marines fighting the Flood

o When the Arbiter gets in the transport (right before he gets "killed" by the head Brute - the humans are in the other transport and slightly ahead. This is where Miranda grabs the Icon and nearly falls. The humans have a whole battle sequence that Arbiter finds when he enters the last part of the level. -- Play as Miranda

--Thanks to:
http://halosm.bungie.org/story/halo2_level_transcr ipts/lv04_outskirts.html [bungie.org]

Re:Depends on what you wanted exactly (1)

MMaestro (585010) | about 8 years ago | (#16086751)

Actually there are even more, larger battles that take place in the Halo universe that the Master Chief (and therefore the player) never see.

In Halo 1 alone, theres a battle between the Marines to recover the weapons and equipment onboard the ship (now you know where all the Warthogs and Scorpion tanks came from) and the Covenant (which explains why the ship is filled with them on the last level.) An easy D-Day styled missions with lots of mortars going off around you and the player rushing through in vehicles.

In the novel, there are several chapters dedicated to what the other Marines were doing while Master Chief was running around Halo. They attack a Covenant outpost to establish a base camp on one of those buildings you see in the second level, discovered the Flood underneath their base and repelled a Covenant attack all while the Master Chief was away. Thats easily 2 missions there.

Sometime between 343 Guilty Spark and the end of the game, Sergeant Johnson is running around M.I.A. and only mysteriously reappears in the third novel (the novels never explain how he got picked up.) Since he has no super armor like Master Chief, you can make it a stealth mission.

And then there are several mini-missions involving the Marines that appear seemingly out of nowhere on some missions. The Marines that were already fighting on board the ship before the Master Chief was even given a weapon on the first level, before he showed up on the second level to rescue them, and then there are Marines that the Master Chief meets near the end of 343 Guilty Spark. There are probably more but I can't remember off the top of my head.

Its one of the biggest criticisms of the Halo series. Even though the storyline is loaded with possible battles (only THREE of TEN missions take place on Earth, theres a massive 'what was happening meanwhile...' question there), Bungie simply hasn't delivered. In Halo 2, its obvious the Elites and Brutes don't get along, before the game ends a civil war has pretty much broken out among the Covenant, and in the Arbiter's missions you find dozens of remains and remnants of a Human vs Covenant vs Flood battles. Push comes to shove, the Halo games could easily be broken down into 3 or 4 games (not counting Halo 3.)

Comprehension (1)

Cybert4 (994278) | about 8 years ago | (#16083976)

Please reread what I said. Carefully.

Re:Comprehension (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16084312)

Since no one else appears to get the obvious. He is saying that he didn't think they ever had a shot at being published, they were just a bunch of garage developers from different locales. Now their mod is mega popular and Microsoft is going to release a new Halo RTS. Here is the very important part Halogen is to be that new Halo RTS. Congrats guys if you do actually get this published!

Re:Comprehension (1)

chrisbtoo (41029) | about 8 years ago | (#16090129)


Here is the very important part Halogen is to be that new Halo RTS. Congrats guys if you do actually get this published!


That's pretty much how I read it, too, although see this comment [slashdot.org] for why it might not be Halogen itself that gets published. My guess is that MS hired the team to work on their own development, and that shutting it down was a condition.

Re:What was the motive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16085904)

Funnily enough, they did the same thing to a piece of software that was being developed by a young aussie - told him to shut it down, then about 2 months later they released something of the same name: Windows Defender anybody?

Re:What was the motive? (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | about 8 years ago | (#16086005)

There's this funny thing about trademarks, intellectual property and the like. The owners are required to stomp unauthorized derivative works when they find out about them, or they run the very real risk of losing the rights to it.

But why didn't Microsoft do this before? There has been lots of noise about it!

MS is a big company. A very big company. Even if someone climbed over the wall at the Gates estate wearing nothing but printouts of screenshots from the Halogen project, it would still take a very long time to filter through to Microsoft's IP lawyers. Microsoft is large enough that not only doesn't the right hand know what the left is doing at all times, but the upper ventral tentacle is often left completely out of the loop.

Red vs Blue (3, Informative)

Have Blue (616) | about 8 years ago | (#16083168)

It is not true that MS just "let Red vs Blue do their thing". The RvB team has had a private agreement with MS from very early on that allows the use of their IP.

Re:Red vs Blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16083221)

My point was not that RvB got away scot-free without ever talking to anyone. It's that RvB was able to make an agreement with MS because they are machinima, whereas we would be unable to make any agreement with MS because we were making a game (according to reliable sources at Bungie anyways).

Re:Red vs Blue (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | about 8 years ago | (#16084820)

And yet, you do mention that Halo side-scroller...

So yes, unless MS was planning to directly compete with you (make their own RTS), I feel somewhat ripped off, having never gotten to see what you did with this thing.

Re:Red vs Blue (1)

RoadDoggFL (876257) | about 8 years ago | (#16085043)

The RvB team didn't start off with a private agreement. In fact, I believe it was at a (the?) Bungie Fanfest in 2003 or 2004 that the Rooster Teeth guys were invited and spoke with some MS reps that "congratulated" them with "it's ok, we're not going to completely sue the shit out of you."

They haven't been supported, they've just been allowed to work and a deal was worked out over time. Same thing here but since it's a competitor's game, it doesn't help MS as much (or at all).

he's a better man than I (0, Troll)

theStorminMormon (883615) | about 8 years ago | (#16083184)

I think I know why MS Games canned us, just need to wait a couple of weeks to make sure, so I'm not really comfortable writing about it yet. But I'm 95% sure it had nothing to do with "spontaneous noticement", and very little to do with "MS are teh jerks and will do anything to stop their IP from being Xploited!!"

Perhaps there is some reasonable explanation for M$s behavior, I don't know. He seems willing to patiently wait to find out. That's a lot more patience than I have. Just when i was starting to feel like MS wasn't entirely a blight on the face of the planet (free version of XNA, realizing how much of a pain in the ass linux can be to actually use, grudging respect for aspects of the .NET frramework, etc.) they come out with this nonsense.

It's funny to me that M$ had that ad campaign about the dinosaurs. They ARE the dinosaurs. Just like the RIAA, the MPAA, and everyone that's suing Google's project to make books search-able online, I feel like the last remnants of business feudalism are still waving rusty swords and shouting obscenities while those of us not stuck in the 14th century get on with the business of making life better without trying to own, control, and manipulate everything along the way.

-stormin

Re:he's a better man than I (4, Interesting)

Babbster (107076) | about 8 years ago | (#16083365)

Wow. What a batch of utter nonsense, and modded up to boot. If this was a Disney-themed RTS featuring characters whose copyrights should have expired years ago, I might be able to agree with you (apart from your ridiculous anti-corporate comments). But Halo is IP from this millenium that has, so far, had only two games.

I suspect you'd hold a different opinion if Bungie was still an independent developer that just happens to make games for Microsoft consoles...

Re:he's a better man than I (1)

theStorminMormon (883615) | about 8 years ago | (#16084837)

If they were trying to sell the game, I would understand.
If they were trying to pass the game off as official, I would understand.

But if they are giving the game away for free without any deception, than really there's only 2 alternatives:
1. The game is typical "fan" quality, and thus offers no competition for any potential official releases.
2. The game is so good, that MS buys it and (for much less than it would have cost to develop in-house) releases the game officially.

In either case - I don't see why making an RTS version of an FPS is anything other than making fan-fiction based on Harry Potter. Do you see Scholastic or Rowling coming down on all the fan-fiction out there? Of course not.

Why should this be any different?

-stormin

Re:he's a better man than I (1)

lt.com.riker (946759) | about 8 years ago | (#16085564)

"Do you see Scholastic or Rowling coming down on all the fan-fiction out there?"

With the way the MPAA and the RIAA have been going at it, i would say lets just wait for a BPAA (Book Publishing Association of America). Then we can start watching people get sued left and right for even hinting that a work might be based on the IP of another author.

Re:he's a better man than I (1)

Babbster (107076) | about 8 years ago | (#16085575)

And what if the game sucked beyond belief and turned people off to the idea of a Halo RTS, reducing the sales of Microsoft's hypothetical product?

Whatever one might think of copyright laws (I find the length of copyright terms ridiculous but am pretty sanguine about everything else), they exist and they do serve a purpose. Microsoft certainly wouldn't be in business without them. Of course, neither would the majority of software development houses, book publishers, television and movie studios, etc. The major benefit of copyright law is that people who create copyrightable works get to own them. If I write a novel, someone else doesn't get to come along, copy my words and profit from them without my consent (and, of course, without me getting my cut).

My point is simple: Microsoft is not a villain in this situation. They simply decided that they don't want someone else using their properties (copyrighted, trademarked, etc.) to create a videogame. That isn't an unreasonable position to take. There are lots of reasons to despise Microsoft, but this isn't one of them.

Re:he's a better man than I (1)

theStorminMormon (883615) | about 8 years ago | (#16085670)

And what if the game sucked beyond belief and turned people off to the idea of a Halo RTS, reducing the sales of Microsoft's hypothetical product?

That's retarded. One of the things I said was as long as no one confuses their product with an official product. So how could you possibly see a FAN-made RTS and then get "turned off" to the idea of a genuine RTS? That's absurd. No matter how badly a fan-RTS turned out as long as everyone knows it's not an official RTS there will be no brand-dilution. That's like saying someone would read some really awful fun-fiction and then decide not to read the 7th Harry Potter book. Not. Going. To. Happen.

Whatever one might think of copyright laws... Blah, blah blah. Look, when I start saying "all copywright laws should be abolished", then the rest of our paragraph will at least be relevant. So then we can decide if it's right or not. But since I haven't said that, it's not even relevant. So let's not waste time arguing about it.

My point is simple: Microsoft is not a villain in this situation. They simply decided that they don't want someone else using their properties (copyrighted, trademarked, etc.) to create a videogame. That isn't an unreasonable position to take. There are lots of reasons to despise Microsoft, but this isn't one of them.

People don't own ideas. Period. Get that through your head. Not even copyright laws say that. "Intellectual property laws confer a bundle of exclusive rights in relation to the particular form or manner in which ideas or information are expressed or manifested, and not in relation to the ideas or concepts themselves. It is therefore important to note that the term "intellectual property" denotes the specific legal rights which authors, inventors and other IP holders may hold and exercise, and not the intellectual work itself." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellectual_propert y)

People own specific rights to use the ideas (putting it loosely). Anyone else can use those ideas, as long as they are not infringing on those rights. In simple terms: no harm, no foul. Until I see how the fan-RTS was actually going to negatively impact MS I'm just not buying your silly property analogy - as though a fictional character can belong to someone the way a pencil can. Please.

-stormin

Re:he's a better man than I (1)

Babbster (107076) | about 8 years ago | (#16085777)

...as though a fictional character can belong to someone the way a pencil can. Please.

Yes, that's exactly what copyright laws are designed to make possible. If I go ahead and write a series of books about a kid named Harry Potter who goes to a magic school called Hogwart's and waves a magic wand, and then I distribute those books - free or not - then I'm violating copyright [and trademark] law. Now, whether the holder of said copyright/trademark decides to come after me for it is the decision of that person/entity, but they'd be within their rights to do so and I'd lose. The owner of the copyright doesn't have to prove damages - they only have to prove that their work is protected by copyright and that the alleged violation infringes and doesn't fit under one of the exceptions included in the law (parody, criticism, etc.).

The work being discussed here isn't an evolution of some nebulous idea like "marines in space wearing armor and fighting aliens." It's a derivative work based on another work (or series of works - games, novels, etc.) protected by copyright. Just as Paramount can't run out and make their own Terminator movie, Microsoft can't run out and make their own Starcraft FPS and Stephen King can't write his own Harry Potter book (without permission from the various copyright and trademark holders) - whether they decide to do it for profit or not.

Re:he's a better man than I (2, Insightful)

theStorminMormon (883615) | about 8 years ago | (#16085850)

Yes, that's exactly what copyright laws are designed to make possible.

No, it's not. Please turn your brain back on. Copyright laws give you SOME rights, they do NOT give you the same rights as possession of physical goods for the very simple reason that ideas are NOT physical goods. This isn't rocket science. If you go by a car, I can't do anything with that car without your permission. But if you go write a story about Harry Potter, I can write one too. I can write ten if I like. Now I can't distribute them, true, but that's not the point I was making. The point I was making is that the rights associated with intellectual property are NOT identical to those associated with physical property, and therefore simply making an analogy to physical property is insufficient to win an argument.

You clearly aren't thinking this through, as this statement demonstrates: "Stephen King can't write his own Harry Potter book (without permission from the various copyright and trademark holders) - whether they decide to do it for profit or not."

Stephen King can write any damn book he wants. He can write a book about how Captain Kirk meets the Master Chief on the Planet of the Apes, and then they go visit Jack Bauer to help him fight terrorist evil. I can write such a book, you can write such a book, ANYONE can write such a book. This is precisely why your attempts to view intellectual property as physical property fail so completely. They're not the same. And you know what? Microsoft can make their own Starcaft if they want. Who's going to stop them? Under what basis?

And if Stephen writes his book and gives it to his kids to read - do you honestly believe copyright law would allow someone to sue him? Now, if he tried to publish it, we may run into issues. But where do you draw the line between publishing and distributing to friends? Where do you draw the line between Stephen King working on his own to write a book for fun about Master Chief, and someone trying to steal someone else's ideas?

And you haven't even mentioned the fact that parody comes under fair use.

My point is simple: your arguments fail completely and utterly because you have never stopped to realize that physical property and intellectual property are not the same things. Figure that out. Then we'll talk.

-stormin

Re:he's a better man than I (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16086177)

Hate to break it to you, but, historically, Bungie was a Mac come first, foremost, and last until they were assimilated by the bo-, er I mean acquired by M$.

They produced other games that were very popular and somewhat moddable, Myth(RTSish, maybe mac only too, never looked for a windows version) and Marathon(FPS series, mac only), and NEVER had a problem with people creating mods of whatever kind for them. They also made a few other games, that were, IMO not very memorable(I got the bungie action sack or whatever they used to call it.)

Before Bungie was assimilated they WERE a VERY cool company, now they're just M$ drudges, and this shows it. Bungie had a long and respectable history, and this behavior would never have happened b4 M$ got their sticky fingers on the goods. The only good thing that I can say about this whole thing is that some of the Bungie guys probably made the money that they really deserved, although I don't doubt for a second that M$ paid too little. (Apple also gets a nice HUGE lemon for not counter offering for the ONLY good mac games company that ever existed... especially when Apple was, theoretically, touting OSX "gaming"... good thing that the moved to x86 and people can use a variety of means to run real deal windows games...)

Re:he's a better man than I (1)

amliebsch (724858) | about 8 years ago | (#16083503)

But of course if it was Microsoft ripping off GPL assets, then copyright and trademark is a good thing, right? IP for me but not for thee?

Re:he's a better man than I (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16084008)

yes. Because obviously "ripping off" the "concept" of plasma grenades and the word halo is equivalent to taking someone else's years of code without permission.

Re:he's a better man than I (1)

theStorminMormon (883615) | about 8 years ago | (#16084850)

That's totally different. That's IP going from "open" to "closed". If, on the other hand, MS came in and grabbed some GPL stuff, improved it, and kept it under the GPL then I'd have no problem with it. Would you?

-stormin

Re:he's a better man than I (1)

amliebsch (724858) | about 8 years ago | (#16084929)

No, but my point is that the restrictions on closing GPL code are only possible because of the exact same IP rights that Microsoft is choosing to exercise, but to a different end.

Re:he's a better man than I (2, Insightful)

theStorminMormon (883615) | about 8 years ago | (#16084982)

Let's short circuit this and just point out the obvious: there's a difference between what is right and what is legal. I'm not contesting Microsoft's legal right to control their own IP. I'm just questioning the intelligence and ethics of doing so in this specific case.

Now I don't know all there is to know in this case. Maybe they're about to announce a Halo-themed RTS, or have some other reason to need to crack down. But I doubt it. And since I doubt that, this seems like just another knee-jerk reaction to step on fans.

People who love Harry Potter write fan-fiction, people who love Halo make fan-games. Let the fans have their fun. That's all I'm saying.

-stormin

Re:he's a better man than I (1)

Babbster (107076) | about 8 years ago | (#16085813)

And since I doubt that, this seems like just another knee-jerk reaction to step on fans.

Yeah, because Microsoft hates everyone who buys a Halo game. They also kill puppies and kittens in ritualistic sacrifices.

The bottom line is that you don't like Microsoft and you have what you consider a perfect excuse to take shots at them. If this situation were reversed and Microsoft was creating an FPS game based on some independent developer's original RTS to distribute freely via download from their website, which side you be on? Maybe Microsoft was just a big fan of the original game!

Re:he's a better man than I (1)

theStorminMormon (883615) | about 8 years ago | (#16085879)

The bottom line is that you don't like Microsoft and you have what you consider a perfect excuse to take shots at them.

Oh shut the hell up. If there's one thing worse than linux leet fanboi hackzorz bashing microsoft, it's these annoying people who run around thinking that any criticism of MS is based on some kind of pre-existing bias. Get over yourself. You think you've got me pinned as someone that hates MS, and you don't know jack.

MS does a lot of good on several fronts. Do I have to provide a list of all the good things that I appreciate from MS to pass muster and prove that I'm worthy to criticize them?

Sheesh. If MS grabbed a C&C game and made, say, an RPG out of it and I knew they weren't hurting Westwood Studios then I'd be fine with it. The entire reason MS's actions piss me off is that an indie developing a fan game is no more threatening to a book than a couple of fans making a fan-version of Harry Potter (book, movie, I don't care). As far as I know, the Halogen guys weren't trying to profit. If MS wants to grab someone else's storyline and make a game out of it with no motive for profit and no threat to the company, then I say have at it. I'd be thrilled if, for example, they picked up Duke Nukem Forever and actually released it!

Go find someone else to burn as a witch in your inquisition.

-stormin

Re:he's a better man than I (1)

Babbster (107076) | about 8 years ago | (#16085960)

Ah, this from someone who used "M$" in the original post. Don't worry, I will indeed find someone else with whom to have a discussion. As with most cultists, you're convinced that you're right and there's nothing that could dissuade you...

Re:he's a better man than I (1)

theStorminMormon (883615) | about 8 years ago | (#16086109)

And as with most people committed to argument-by-fallacy, you can't recognize logic when it slaps you in the face.

I used "M$" instead of "MS" in that post because I was (*gasp*) annoyed at Microsoft. Go look through my history if you like, and try to see if I've referred to them as M$ before. I don't think that I have.

Anyway, some light reading:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poisoning_the_well [wikipedia.org]


This "argument" has the following form:

        1. Unfavorable information (be it true or false) about person A is presented.
        2. Therefore any claims person A makes will be false.

Examples:

        Before you listen to my opponent, may I remind you that he has been in jail.
        Don't listen to what he says, he's a lawyer.
        As with most cultists,...


Funny how your "argument" fits right in.

-stormin

I love black women! (-1, Troll)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 8 years ago | (#16083228)

I really do!

Most Retarded RTS Subject Matter Ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16083265)

There are hundreds of utterly lame RTSes out there, but nothing as lame a fucking Halo??? themed RTS. Why the fuck would anyone go through the effort to create a game based off of one of the most dreadfully mediocre FPSes of the past five years? Wow, its got that kewl shiny metal effect and...and...

Thank you Microsoft!

Re:Most Retarded RTS Subject Matter Ever (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 8 years ago | (#16083626)

I actually thought that Halo had a lot of fresh vehicle/character designs and really enjoyed playing it on my PC when it wasn't crashing which it did every few levels. I gave Halo 2 a miss, though, and will continue to unless they bring it out for PC. I don't play FPSes on game pads, it's like trying to drive a car whose controls consist of an up-to-down lever for steering, a 1080-degree-rotation wheel for throttle, and a control cluster lettered in azerbijani or something, which would be fine in azerbijan, but not too helpful here in the english-speaking world. But anyway, I digress... Halo was pretty fun, just not the best FPS ever. Or even in the top five.

Re:Most Retarded RTS Subject Matter Ever (1)

Raistlin77 (754120) | about 8 years ago | (#16083970)

From what I remember reading somewhere, Halo 2 will be out on PC, but for Windows Vista only...

Halogen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16083552)

Halogen Team Member? Did they interview Chlorine and Fluorine?

*Sigh*, typical computer science person. (1)

Cybert4 (994278) | about 8 years ago | (#16084398)

Just a little knowledge of engineering/physics results in all this smart-ass (from the slashdot faq) stuff.

Still didn't answer a key question (3, Interesting)

skorch (906936) | about 8 years ago | (#16083581)

As pointed out repeatedly in the prequel to this article, these guys were making their mod using the C&C engine, which is EA property. So while even if these guys had no intention of distributing it for profit, and even if it turned out to be a success, it would be impossible for MS to officially capitalize on the promotion of their IP because it is based on software that doesn't belong to them.

And then people are ignoring the fact that if MS hadn't tanked this project first for using their IP on someone else's software, EA probably would have for using their software to promote someone else's IP. There is no way either of these two entities would be able to compromise on a project like this, and it would be naive to presume that both companies would lay down their arms to allow these guys to do their thing (as holding-hands-around-the-world beautiful as that might be).

My question, which I doubt the guys involved in this project can answer, is whether or not the same outcome would have happened if they had used an MS owned RTS engine (there are some out there, Rise of Nations comes to mind). I would be very surprised if MS were less willing to approach these guys with some kind of deal if the project had started out using entirely MS owned products from the outset. And if they would have still killed the project, my guess would be it's either because it planned to significantly diverge from Bungie's intended continuity or brand direction, or they have plans brewing as we speak to develop a Halo based RTS in house and they didn't want a potentially popular, free competitor out there months to years ahead of their own product.

Now I'm no fan of MS, but I always try to be fair, usually willing to give people (and companies, even the big evil ones) the benefit of the doubt, and generally consider if I wouldn't do the same thing if I were in the same position. Given the conflicting IP issue with the game engine, I don't see too many options for MS to resolve this issue that doesn't have them either shut the project down, or have them restart the entire thing using one of their own engines. Given those choices, I think I can guess which one is easier and cheaper (and arguably shortsighted, but so is just assuming a big company would be ok with you using their IP to do anything).

To be clear I am sorry to hear the project was killed, sounds like it might have been a fun project. I would have preferred to see MS take a different route, but I'm not going to use this as an example of how MS is any more evil or greedy than any other company out there.

Wish it could be more like Star Trek: Armada (1)

VictorxVonxDoom (939675) | about 8 years ago | (#16085013)

Back in 2000 Activision released Star Trek: Armada and great modding ensued many times encouraged by makers of the game. You had Babylon 5: Armada , Star Wars: Armada, etc... great times great mods. I dont recall anyone getting upset over IP rights and shutting projects down. Heck when STA 2 (2001) came out the developers released better tools for the modding community. It made the game better you had more playtime out of it (Borg vs Shadows need I say more). In my opinion if its not being sold there should be no problem its all about trying, learning, and having some fun. Also if the mod is so good it hurts sales of a legitimate companys project maybe they need a job. more http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek:_Armada [wikipedia.org]

Who is this guy? (1)

Taulin (569009) | about 8 years ago | (#16086588)

Man, he sounds like one of those guys who likes pugs.
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