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S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Using Unlicensed Assets From Doom 3?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the that's-a-serious-charge dept.

Games 108

segafreak writes "ShackNews reports that S.T.A.L.K.E.R.:Shadow of Chernobyl may contain unlicensed assets from other commercial games such as Doom 3 and Half Life 2. Though this has yet to be confirmed by any of the developers involved, if true this would be somewhat worrying. 'Responding to inquiries made by Shacknews, id Software CEO Todd Hollshead stated: I've seen a post on a web forum that claims DOOM3 assets are used in another game, but we've been working hard on Enemy Territory: Quake Wars as well as our own internal project and have not had the time to fully investigate or otherwise verify that the claim is true. Only from what I've seen on the Web, it's concerning. However, it may turn out to be nothing.'"

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Brown AND Gray! (4, Funny)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678079)

OMG, that could be true. I'm pretty sure S.T.A.L.K.E.R. has brown walls too!

Re:Brown AND Gray! (1)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678803)

The next thing you know someone will tell us that Doom is just a ripoff of a certain James Cameron movie!

Re:Brown AND Gray! (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679053)

What's wrong with brown walls? It makes splattered blood look like a deep shade of maroon. :P

Re:Brown AND Gray! (2, Funny)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#18680159)

But does it have crates?

OMG they killed Freeman! You bastards! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18684315)

Gordon's PDA [photobucket.com]

and his ugly mug [photobucket.com]

Gordon's corpse has some nice loot on it. Oh uh *^*^*^*^*^*SPOILERS*^*^*^*^*^*
...too late? Anyway, he's found dead in the game.

Specifically... (2, Interesting)

ACS Solver (1068112) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678091)

It seems that Half-Life 2's normal maps and water are used. For those too lazy to read TFA. Wouldn't it be ironical if the reason Stalker finally turned from vapourware into a real product is that they "borrowed" HL2 and D3 assets...

Re:Specifically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18678403)

As has been mentioned and in the article we're talking shader maps here, that's hardly the sort of thing that is the time consuming part of game development. Now if they literally lifted the level geometry and events and other art assets you might have a point, but as someone who works in game development there are two things that take forever, art, specifically unique models/maps/animations, and scripting/level design/implementation. I don't see this is the reason that the game was finally released, they might have done it and it might have saved time, but it's hardly the reason S.T.A.L.K.E.R. saw release.

Besides copyright in Eastern Europe is a bit muckier than it is here. I hardly think wholesale lifting of the Stalker (1979) film and the novel Roadside Picnic without any apparent licensing would fly in the US of A.

Oh and even if it was, it wouldn't be ironic. But irony is among the most misused words in the modern lexicon, so . . .

Re:Specifically... (2, Informative)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679045)

Boris Strugatskiy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arkady_and_Boris_Str ugatsky) allows copying and reproduction of his works without royalties. He's a rare example of a writer who does not write only for money.

I've played STALKER and it's absolutely not similar to HL2 or Doom. I don't deny that they may have 'borrowed' some models (probably, it was accidental) but the game itself is absolutely NOT a rip-off from Doom/HL.

Re:Specifically... (0, Redundant)

ACS Solver (1068112) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679199)

Sorry, but the fact that the game is very loosely based on a Strugatsky novel doesn't mean that the developers can use works of others. If you want to use HL2 assets, you need Valve's permission, even if what you're making isn't at all similar to HL2.

Re:Specifically... (0)

(A)*(B)!0_- (888552) | more than 7 years ago | (#18681481)

"Boris Strugatskiy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arkady_and_Boris_Str ugatsky) allows copying and reproduction of his works without royalties. He's a rare example of a writer who does not write only for money."
This has nothing whatsoever to do with this issue.

"I've played STALKER and it's absolutely not similar to HL2 or Doom."
Are you misunderstanding the article? No one is claiming that. The claim is that textures were infringed upon and used without permission of the artists.

"I don't deny that they may have 'borrowed' some models (probably, it was accidental)"
Why is it probable? You can't just make that claim without any evidence to back it up.

"but the game itself is absolutely NOT a rip-off from Doom/HL."
Who said it was?

Re:Specifically... (3, Funny)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678433)

No, it would not be 'ironical'. It would be 'ironic'. Ironical is not a word.

Re:Specifically... (1)

3278 (1011735) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678611)

Firefly reference.

Re:Specifically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18679671)

Don't be an ass. And if you are going to be an ass, you should at least be right.

http://machaut.uchicago.edu/?resource=Webster%27 s&word=ironical&use1913=on

Re:Specifically... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18680125)

Erm, the word is "rightical", not "right".

Re:Specifically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18680655)

This is why we need a mod for "-1; Wrong." -TUAC

Re:Specifically... (3, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | more than 7 years ago | (#18681587)

That's good. You just lie there and be ironical.

Re:Specifically... (1)

Xenolith (538304) | more than 7 years ago | (#18682845)

Perhaps not. But disironicalisationalism is.

Re:Specifically... (1)

saintm (142527) | more than 7 years ago | (#18686565)

I fail to see any irony in the situation.

It would be ironic if development had been delayed due to the developers suing id for stealing their content, and now it has finally been released it contains id content.

Re:Specifically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18687049)

I agree, that'd be more like "alany" than irony...
kind of like rain on your wedding day, or a free ride when you've already paid.

Re:Specifically... (2, Funny)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678553)

Wouldn't it be ironical if the reason Stalker finally turned from vapourware into a real product is that they "borrowed" HL2 and D3 assets..

Indeedy. Or it could be even more ironicalized, and a totally ironicalizational version of "Duke Nukem Forever" could be made using stolen components.

Re:Specifically... (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679071)

I kind of doubt it that they "borrowed" the asserts to get release ready. I would assume that they used them as placeholder early on, which is a very common thing, and then forgot to replace them in the end before release. Its not like any of the asserts is some artistic masterpiece that would be impossible to recreate in a day or two.

Re:Specifically... (1)

neongrau (1032968) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679583)

not "asserts"

it's "asses"! so i guess they borrowed their "bump-maps"

*scnr*

Re:Specifically... (1)

blincoln (592401) | more than 7 years ago | (#18681217)

I would assume that they used them as placeholder early on, which is a very common thing

Why would any developer take that kind of high-risk chance? Maybe I'm missing something obvious here, but using crappy "sketch" textures would prevent this kind of huge potential legal issue *and* make it very obvious which textures still needed to be replaced before release.

Re:Specifically... (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 7 years ago | (#18681447)

Given how long Stalker was in development I kind of doubt that they had everything well planed from the beginning, normally of course you would keep foreign data very well separated from your own and only use in very early in engine prototyping to begin with, but then in all those years things might have gotten a bit wild and uncoordinated and things ended up where they didn't belong.

Two CEOs in, one CEO out! (2, Interesting)

davidwr (791652) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678095)

I say let the corporate execs fight this out the new-fashioned way...

An in-game cage match.

Possibly not stolen (2, Insightful)

vr0p (1073844) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678215)

From the linked screenshots, the alleged borrowed assets appear to be shaders or bumpmaps and such. That is, tools for the map developer that the gamer doesn't "see" per se. Perhaps, like sound effects, companies license the use of such "tools"? I know I've heard the same gunshot noise in 500 movies and video games, and that crazy death scream...

Re:Possibly not stolen (1)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678305)

I know I've heard the same gunshot noise in 500 movies and video games, and that crazy death scream...

Yeah, good ol' Wilhelm Scream has been in every single movie since 1977. I think he even put out a new wave album in the '80s.

The infamous gunshot noise (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678799)

I know I've heard the same gunshot noise in 500 movies and video games,

There's an infamous ricochet sound that's appeared in dozens of movies. I once went to a talk by an audio guy from Lucasfilm who showed a collection of about thirty short clips from movies made over several decades, all with the same ricochet sound. It was recorded in the 1940s, used heavily during the Western movie and TV boom of the 1950s, and picked up from old Westerns in later years.

Re:The infamous gunshot noise (1)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678941)

there's also one of a semi honking a horn as it passes the camera. i've heard it in probably at least 15 different places.

Re:The infamous gunshot noise (1)

ROBOKATZ (211768) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679359)

I notice this a lot. It's most noticeable if the sound is in a video game where you hear it over and over, and then on TV or in a movie. The absolute WORST has to be the "128 and central.." police radio chatter. In every police show and movie ever made. And Sim City.

Re:The infamous gunshot noise (1)

mikael (484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18680625)

If you watch reruns of the "CHiPs" series, many of the "journeys" between home and police headquarters simply involving driving round three or four times round the same street block.

Re:The infamous gunshot noise (3, Interesting)

blincoln (592401) | more than 7 years ago | (#18681285)

There's an infamous ricochet sound that's appeared in dozens of movies.

According to one of my music/audio professors back at University, the reason for that is that it's very, very difficult to get a real ricochet to happen (I assume this is qualified by "...in a way that's safe for the shooter and audio engineer."). I seem to remember something about the people who recorded it having someone shoot thousands of rounds to get a handful of ricochets on tape.

Re:The infamous gunshot noise (1)

loraksus (171574) | more than 7 years ago | (#18685839)

Fire a .22 from a rifle at a shallow angle towards a 1/4" deep puddle on top of mud/dirt and you'll get the bullet whizzing about 9 times out of 10. Too steep and you'll just get a splash and the mud eats the bullet. Not really any way to be too shallow.

When the bullet hits the water at the right angle, you don't get much of a splash, but the impact destabilizes the round enough for it to start spinning rapidly.

Re:The infamous gunshot noise (1)

EvilIdler (21087) | more than 7 years ago | (#18685407)

The most annoying re-used sound effect must be the metal door.
It's being used for damn near every door opening AND closing in
games and movies, whether appropriate or not.

Re:Possibly not stolen (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18684037)

2 sounds I first heard in doom 1 makes its way into numerous movies.

BFG swish sound as the ball of plasma explodes is used often with fire shots.

Door opening sound seems to be used often. the clang of the heavy doors seems ot show up everywhere.

Re:Possibly not stolen (1)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678409)

but, from TFA:

the original filenames from the Doom 3 folders remained the same--for example, a file with the Doom-esque name "lights_impflash.dds," referring to one of the game's enemies, was visually modified in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. folder but retained the filename.
i doubt one of those media licensing companies would have referenced the Imp when creating the files. unless, perhaps, they were originally commissioned by id and its original intended use was in Doom.

Re:Possibly not stolen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18678419)

Perhaps I'm not understanding you, but shaders and bumpmaps are integral to what the player sees. I've done my fair share of map building for Half Life 2, and those water textures are prevalent on many maps. The evidence, if true, is damning.

As far as sound effects; many companies use common assets because they're licensed from the same organization; it's easier to subscribe to a sound bank and take what you need than have a dedicated sound effect team.

Re:Possibly not stolen (2, Informative)

dunezone (899268) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678435)

I swear Ive heard that damn door opening sound from Doom in so many different places, home, work, school, etc.

Re:Possibly not stolen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18679235)

Awesome sound that one. It was used in a recent Dr Who episode for sure - the one on the asteroid around the black hole. That had a lot of Doom references.

Re:Possibly not stolen (1)

ROBOKATZ (211768) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679463)

Heh, ever watch 'Modern Marvels'? You'll hear it in the intro and every time they go to commercial. Some of the Imp noises also seem really common. I remember some creature on 'Earth 2' made the same noises as the Imps, for example.

Re:Possibly not stolen (1)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 7 years ago | (#18680605)

It's also the alien UFO door sound in X-COM by Microprose.

Re:Possibly not stolen (1)

penp (1072374) | more than 7 years ago | (#18681397)

Strangely enough, in World of Warcraft some animals have the same dying noise as Imps from the original Doom (go kill a Giraffe in The Barrens and you'll see what I'm talking about).

Re:Possibly not stolen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18678699)

More like PROBABLY not stolen. Most of the "infringing" material looks like very stock content that came from a content pack. Why pay some guy $50+/hr to make light maps, normal maps, etc. from scratch when you can buy a pack for a couple hundred bucks, tweak 'em a little and save a ton of money? It's pretty common practice both for large and small game developers.

Re:Possibly not stolen (5, Interesting)

freshmayka (1043432) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678757)

Commercial businesses provide a ton of licensable and even public domain content for developers to use. It's like stock photography but for things that game developers need like textures, bump maps, sound effects, etc.

It's also possible being that HL2 and Doom3 are highly moddable games that an individual on the STALKER team borrowed assets because they needed quick place holders but then they forgot to replace them - or it's also possible the assets they borrowed are in the public domain.

Still, I've seen this getting a lot of coverage on the web and some people even insulting the developers saying things like "only russians steal". It's quite ridiculous considering the artists clearly spent thousands of hours designing unique assets for this title. It's like harping on three or four words used in a novel that also appear somewhere else.

Even if this was flat out stealing assets from one game to use in another, it appears to me not unlike stealing a high-hat from one song to complete your song. It's such a small piece of the artists work that it seems silly to consider it a stolen asset used to get rich quick - so sue the crap out of them. What is more likely is the asset was just "the right one" and the artist used what worked best in that situation.

Still, if the files in question are actually (c) to a specific company, I still think it's unlikely they'd take much legal recourse over it. It'd be hard to prove it has caused major damages or that it's been the sole reason STALKER is making money.

oh and for reference, I understand what it's like to have your violated. my music is all over russian mp3 websites being sold and I don't see a penny. But hey it's getting out there! :D

Re:Possibly not stolen (3, Funny)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678879)

Still, I've seen this getting a lot of coverage on the web and some people even insulting the developers saying things like "only russians steal".

Yeah. GSC is Ukrainian!

Re:Possibly not stolen (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 7 years ago | (#18680851)

some people even insulting the developers saying things like "only russians steal".

Russians, and the team that gave us Duke Nukem [dosclassics.com] . They even stole graphics from Hi-Tech Excretions' horrible PC port of Mega Man, for gawd's sake!

Perhaps that's the real reason DNF is taking forever -- the team is actually creating their own graphics resources this time around.

Re:Possibly not stolen (1)

ACS Solver (1068112) | more than 7 years ago | (#18683189)

I don't think anyone can doubt that the Stalker team created a lot of unique art. But the problem lies with creating precedents. If GDC stole some HL2/Doom3 assets, it doesn't matter if they're just some small shaders - if Valve/iD let it slide, they're basically setting a precedent.

Re:Possibly not stolen (5, Informative)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678845)

From the linked screenshots, the alleged borrowed assets appear to be shaders or bumpmaps and such.

The du/dv and normal maps for Half-Life 2's water definitely aren't shaders - they're inputs for shaders, but don't themselves contain a single line of program code. As with Doom 3's light textures, they're definitely artwork - while the player indeed won't 'see' them as they appear in the games' datafiles, they're quite distinctive and do contribute to the original games' artistic directions.

It would be quite strange to licence such textures from third-parties. They're not photographically sourced, so no big photo libraries would carry them - and in the case of the light textures, anyone halfway competent with Photoshop could make some decent facsimiles from scratch fairly quickly. It makes sense to buy sound libraries (to save shooting guns, breaking objects and releasing monsters in a clean and tidy office) and photo references (need to find some rusty old machines, tumble-down buildings etc.) - but not 128x128 pixel blobs of light.

I suspect the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. graphics programmers were independently implementing some fairly similar engine features to Doom 3 and Source, and to test their work 'borrowed' the shader input textures from the games they were emulating. Then, through forgetfulness, miscommunication or deceit, the original placeholders got left in the game.

I can't see it as being an attempt to save time or money during development - the screenshots I've seen contain some vastly more difficult and impressive map, character and prop texturing, so their artists are definitely more than capable of knocking together some quick light textures. Maybe a programmer did the original borrowing, and nobody on the art team realised where these new textures were actually from?

Moral of the story, though - don't use other people's stuff as placeholders. You might forget!

Possibly not stolen-BSDHolders. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18679363)

Re:Possibly not stolen (1)

Some_Llama (763766) | more than 7 years ago | (#18682007)

There a sound of a metal door creaking and then closing that is also universal, from games to movies I always hear it.. Any movie where a metal door opens or closes will use this sound.

  i wonder where it originated...

There was also a movie that used the background music from Warcraft3, but i forget the name of the movie offhand...

troubling if true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18678235)

This is very troubling if true. It will mean that id can go after anyone who uses black in their games...

Re:troubling if true (2, Insightful)

CogDissident (951207) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678457)

Remember this is a Zonk story.
It is a allegation that stalker may possibly use the same assets as are used in HL2 or D3, and an assumption that they did not pay for the rights to use these (through purchasing the same developer tools, or simply paying eachother off).

Good ol Zonk, posting a story that is not just an assumption, but an assumption of an assumption.

Re:troubling if true (1)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679081)

The evidence is pretty good - no assumptions needed.

What I'm guessing will happen is there will be a patch to remedy the situation. It's unlikely we'll see legal action, but I suspect we'll see some apologies and maybe some firings.

Interesting (4, Interesting)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678275)

While the Mapcore post that first made the alert was made on April 1st, I have remained skeptical mostly because of the very generic nature of the naming systems. How easily could two different companies come up with nearly identical images called "grate7" or "fanblade." I dabble in texture making a little and, for me atleast, all water normal maps turn out nearly the same, so I don't think I see the HL2 connection. We do know the developers are fans of HL2, though, as they refer to it directly in the game [gamespy.com] . I am significantly less skeptical about the Doom3 connection, however, once I noticed a certain file entitled "hellgate1"

Re:Interesting (2)

DeltaSigma (583342) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678801)

Those of us intimately familiar with Doom3's assets know that the pictures floating around with this story do contain Doom 3 image maps.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18679167)

Or are they actually image maps that were previously stolen to be used in Doom3? The only difference being that the Doom3 artists took the time to change the filenames?

Who knows... And as an end-user, I really don't give a shit.

Clearly true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18678337)

I think it is clear that STALKER's all-black textures were stolen from Doom 3. I also suspect that some of the dynamic darkening techniques were stolen from Doom 3.

Theft is simply recognising that we are all one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18678375)

And then enjoying one's own property.

Maybe not completely damning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18678423)

There's been some question as to whether or not this content is actually used in the game. Theory goes that in order to build up a quick proof of concept to shop around to publishers they did use content from Doom 3 and Half-Life 2, but it has all since been replaced with original content. The original files remain due to typical game developer laziness/bad organization that results in old, unused development content going out (a la Hot Coffee).

Of course that doesn't mean it was ok to steal content for even just their concept, but it's quite as bad as if that content is used in the retail release.

STALKER IS DOA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18678497)

That game so much promise and greatness about it...4 years ago! I am on its dead boards for the last 3 years. This is another Daikatana in the making in the end, or maybe for better it will be Duke Nukem Forever!

Absolutely true (3, Insightful)

UncleRage (515550) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679011)

With the small exception that it actually came out a few weeks back and, with some exceptions, is a relatively polished game. True that MP isn't nearly what many had hoped (8+ coop anyone?), but that doesn't detract that despite the long development cycle... it's a real game, not vapor.

And, IMHO, it's a pretty good game at that. So, yer post is absolutely true... with the exceptions of comparisons to Daikatana and DNF. Oh and the bit about the boards... they're pretty jumping, actually.

So other than the inaccurate reference to those other two games, and the comment about the dead forums... man, you're right on!

What they should have done... (1)

Mondoz (672060) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678599)

They should have embroidered the images with a few footnotes in order to avoid prosecution under the incomprehensibly tortuous DMCA laws.
A later and wilier developer should send the images backwards in time through a temporal warp, and then successfully sue id Software for infringement of the same laws.

How meta! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18680751)

They should have embroidered the images with a few footnotes in order to avoid prosecution under the incomprehensibly tortuous DMCA laws.
A later and wilier developer should send the images backwards in time through a temporal warp, and then successfully sue id Software for infringement of the same laws.

Wow. You found a funny way to plagiarise a passage from the Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy about a funny way to plagiarise a passage.
How meta of you!

Procedural texture generation (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18678613)

What could have happened, judging by the images, is that both teams used the same 3rd-party procedural texture generation tool (or public domain source code) and both kept the default "seed" for the random number generator rather than plugging in a new number.

Re:Procedural texture generation (1)

DeltaSigma (583342) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678901)

First, no, that isn't what happened. While it's possible that most of the images cited could be create procedurally, an experienced video game artist will tell you that it would take far less time to generate most of those image maps in photoshop. Tablet input is very fast, and far more intuitive than tweaking algorithms to produce base shapes, then seeding more complicated algorithms to overlay multiple varying patterns.

Second, is there some organization of procedural texture trolls out there or something? Must procedural textures be mentioned in every video game article?

Re:Procedural texture generation (2, Funny)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679211)

Perhaps the troll posts are generated procedurally?

Re:Procedural texture generation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18683445)

Clearly you've never used a procedural texture generator. Any decent one (ex., Corel's) can generate 20 excellent tiling "water surface" or "rock" textures in a minute. After that all you need to do is adjust the gamma curves and you're done. Try doing the whole thing manually in Photoshop. In fact, Photoshop kind of sucks for drawing. It's fine for photo compositing and editing, but no one really uses it to "paint". That's why god created Fractal Painter. Oh, and BTW, I *am* a video game artist.

Re:Procedural texture generation (1)

He Who Has No Name (768306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678973)

That's actually quite possible. Maybe even likely. When you're using a tool whose sole purpose is to be random, it doesn't usually occur to you that if you don't change the base seed, your 'random' result will look identical to everybody else's.

I know I almost never change the base seed for procedurals in 3ds Max from the default 12345. Sometimes that can be useful, too... and sometimes it can be a pain in the ass.

I'd let the STALKER team speak their piece before we banish them to the Chernobyl-Pripyat Exclusion Zone.

"Worrying Development"? (4, Insightful)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678755)

I know I haven't been able to sleep since I heard this story! S.T.A.L.K.E.R., might have (may have, even), used some highly generic normal-mapping textures that the user doesn't really see, from other games!!! God damn that is worrying!

Think of enourmous damage that has been done to the Half Life and Doom franchise by such a thing! I was looking forward to the next Doom game, but it is all ruined for me now.

The next thing you know, people will be sampling a half second loop from other people's songs, adding other musical elements over it, and turning it into a new piece of music! And children will be encouraged to cut pictures out from magazines, and glue them on another piece of paper to create a new piece of artwork... IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS EVEN!!

Won't someone think of the childre... er, the big multinational corporations!!!

Re:"Worrying Development"? (1)

DeltaSigma (583342) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678965)

Oh game developers will sample another game all the time. Thing is, the game developers that do that are modders. They usually don't charge people for their work, and always cite the sampled game developers in credits.

Missed the point (0, Redundant)

thepotoo (829391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18680763)

Wow. Way to completely miss the point of this. Imagine if you were a developer working for id, and these were your texture (which you'd spent months of your life working on) which had been "borrowed". Without giving you credit, no less.

Or, say this was an indy developer they had copied textures from. Would you still say the same thing then?

The point I'm trying to make here is that the Doom 3 engine is available, and id wants people to use it. They also need to make money to continue developing games, so they LICENSE the engine. If the STALKER people wanted to use parts of Doom 3, they should have paid the reasonable license fee. It's that simple. Oh, and your analogies are completely flawed.

Re:Missed the point (1)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18680975)

The textures I saw were fairly generic normal maps, not textures.

For example:
http://www.shacknews.com/screens.x/stalker_assets/ S.T.A.L.K.E.R.+Asset+Incident/1/thumbs/070408_stal kerassets_lights_stalker_01.jpg [shacknews.com]

Yeah, I am sure those id guys were really slaving over those.

Re:Missed the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18687111)

SO, you're saying we are free to steal from other people as long as we don't THINK they will mind?

There is a perfect explaination for this (1)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678829)

Stock content. You don't honestly believe that every game shop has it's own team rendering water and grabbing those renders, transfering them into displacement maps and putting them on to each puddle individually, do you?
There are dev-shops and kits for specifically this purpose. You buy trees and procedurals by the dozen. It's perfectly likely that both teams bought the same stock water procedurals. F.e. I bet the horses in LOTR and 300 are all from the very same rig.
No news here. Move on.

Re:There is a perfect explaination for this (1)

He Who Has No Name (768306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679445)

F.e. I bet the horses in LOTR and 300 are all from the very same rig.

Completely off topic, but I'd take that bet and put some serious money behind it.

Movies are a completely different can of worms from games. With as many in-house tools that places like Weta Digital, Manex, Lucasfilm Digital Ltd, Mill Film, Digital Domain, and major post houses like those use, they would probably love to buy an off-the-shelf rig--but almost certainly can't, because there are no off-the-shelf content sources for their proprietary tools.

I seriously doubt Pixar or Weta can just drop a Character Studio "House Of Moves" rig into Marionette or Massive.

Re:There is a perfect explaination for this (1)

Big_Breaker (190457) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679965)

LOTR and 300 are both movies. That said, I still doubt the models are the same.

Re:There is a perfect explaination for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18680113)

If I'm not completely mistaken, Massive is somewhat integrated in Maya, and Weta actually do use Maya for content creation. They may have trouble buying just a bunch of polygons and animating that with thier in-house scripts, but textures and background models should pose no problem at all to import and use in a movie. The same goes for Pixar.

Re:There is a perfect explaination for this (1)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 7 years ago | (#18682623)

There is a Hollywood Studio that specializes in digital animal rigs (dunno the name right now). They started of with a sophisticated horse rig which was their only product for quite some time (a few years I recall). A good mamal rig takes lots of experience and hundreds of hours to build and optimize. There is a market for this and studios use content like this all the time. The famous William screams are just one example. And that's not even something you'd need stock content for, 'cause it's easyly made.

Re:There is a perfect explaination for this (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18680411)

I'd say that's unlikely. Doom 3 was the game to pioneer normalmapping IIRC (in development, other games were released using it between the initial announcement and the final release of Doom 3) so it's pretty unlikely that there was much stock content around before then. Also some files were pretty specific. Why does STALKER have files named imp shot or hellgate?

So that's how they were ... (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679219)

able to finish the game that fast.

No wait, you said S.T.A.L.K.E.R. ...

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (1)

negated (981743) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679435)

Steal Textures And Later Kreate and Eventually Resell?

Re:S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18680143)

Steal Textures And Later Kreate and Eventually Resell?
You started out well... But unfortunately with one "and" used in the acronym and another not-used... It kinda killed it for me.

Perhaps: Steal Textures, Abduct Lightmaps, Keep Extracted Resources?

How do you think they got it out so fast? (0, Flamebait)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679459)

Come on, judging by how quickly this game went from development to the shelves, was there ever any doubt they must have stolen a lot of code?

[ducks]

Re:How do you think they got it out so fast? (1)

TempeTerra (83076) | more than 7 years ago | (#18685379)

Pish. Whoever modded the parent Flamebait probably doesn't know that the game was in development for a long time - it was previewed, with playable code I think, then disappeared from the games industry rader for a while. At the time I thought it had done a DNF.

Textures were open source? (1)

everything_X3N (1068036) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679631)

This story is several days old now. I heard a rumor on Gamespot PC forums that the textures were open source, but I haven't found a link to confirm...

Re:Textures were open source? (1)

Tim Browse (9263) | more than 7 years ago | (#18680601)

Aren't all textures open source?

Or do you mean they were distributed in ASCII ppm format? :-)

Re:Textures were open source? (1)

everything_X3N (1068036) | more than 7 years ago | (#18682731)

Open source in this case means that the textures are part of a library that is available for anyone to legally use. 'Open source' doesn't always refer to source code.

Re:Textures were open source? (1)

Don_dumb (927108) | more than 7 years ago | (#18687057)

Open source in this case means that the textures are part of a library that is available for anyone to legally use. 'Open source' doesn't always refer to source code.
Isn't that really termed 'public domain', let us not over use the words 'open source', lest they lose all meaning.

Finally! (4, Funny)

Zhe Mappel (607548) | more than 7 years ago | (#18680019)

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is the mod that makes Doom 3 fun!

Re:Finally! (1)

grub (11606) | more than 7 years ago | (#18681239)


Haha, so true it hurts! Doom 3 was a corn-laden turd.

Re:Finally! (1)

revengebomber (1080189) | more than 7 years ago | (#18684849)

AND you can hold a flashlight with your gun!

Bogus info on this thread (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18680817)

There's a lot of bogus info on this thread. The assets used do appear in game - the flashlight lighting texture and the water texture are easy to see match Doom 3 and Halflife 2 /in game/. They're not from a common texture pack or common procedural generator, they're original works swiped directly from Doom 3 and Halflife 2 complete with intact file names. It's not really surprising this happened, as during beta, STALKER massively swiped Counterstrike sounds and models the same way for the multiplayer component of the game with the intent of replacing them during development. What probably happened is they forgot about some of the stuff they were supposed to replace and shipped it.

It doesn't look like anything really major was swiped (so far), but it's enough to cause them legal issues with Valve and Id. It's also a good example of why you shouldn't ever use placeholders that would be a disaster if you forgot to replace.

Smear campaign (0)

rinkjustice (24156) | more than 7 years ago | (#18680989)

How completely unfair to the developers and investors of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. to be publicly accused of using code/assets from other products, but not have the accusations substantiated! Even if they're found innocent, this bad press has already done the damage.

If I was Game World/THQ, I'd be pissed!

Re:Smear campaign (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 7 years ago | (#18681841)

The accusations _are_ substantiated. If you read the article, Doom 3 and Stalker contain lightmap files that have the same filenames and look identical. Looks pretty open and shut to me, particularly when some of the filenames are specific references to the creatures and objects they were used for by id.

Flashlight.... (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 7 years ago | (#18682915)

The flashlight texture in D3 and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. are the same.

Outsourcing? (1)

brumby (93242) | more than 7 years ago | (#18683885)

Several years ago, a game came out about 9 months after one I'd worked on, with some of their map tiles being identical to the ones in our game. After a bit of discussion with the other company, it turned out they'd outsourced most of their art development, and all the copied tiles came from one of the art houses "best" artists. A bit of digging revealed that this guy was making a fine living, by copying graphics from other games and tweaking them. He'd done it to dozens of games before we caught him. He got fired from the art house he was working at then, but I'm sure he was back in business in no time.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. devs have been caught out in the same way.

so what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18685795)

so what if people want to make a videogame in which you fight, say, a Shambler, a Headcrab and Blanka? should they not be allowed to use the original bitmaps/meshes? i dont see why one should not be allowed to use whole characters intact, as long as it's clearly a citation (which is not the case here, but still) other posts compared the issue at hand with the sampling of rimshots etc in popular music, which i think is correct. one should, however, also consider the equivalent of 2 live crew STEALING whole synthieloops from kraftwerk, as lots of goodness will come out of such a practice =)

For once, it's on topic.... (0, Troll)

Talgrath (1061686) | more than 7 years ago | (#18686143)

In Soviet Russia, STALKER steals from you!
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