As someone who has written a few tuts for the GE, and has also fixed some bugs, I should be in a good position to answer this, but I’m sure I’m as unsure of the answer as many GE users.
I’ll use an actual example of a 3D project that I was going to create using Blender, but decided to use Director / Shockwave 3D instead ( as this is what I use in work every day, and also I know that I can release closed source apps with absolutely no comebacks ).
Hopefully this will raise some discussion, and some firm answers as to whether Blender could be used in this way. For a commercial developer for me, this “unknown” element makes it difficult for me to use Blender as part of my work. If I purchase Director for around £1000, I know that I won’t ever be asked to release my source code, or pay any additional fees for using technology that happens to reside within Director.
PROJECT - 3D Comic Book Viewer
I’m creating an image viewer, that uses the 3D graphics card to allow the user to zoom / pan around the page easily.
It loads CBR/CBZ files - a well-known format for storing digital scans of comics.
I’m writing a blog about the development of this viewer right now - you can also download a working Windows prototype of the viewer from the blog at the link below…
For the purposes of this discussion, lets imagine that I’ve developed the this exact project using the GE, as a commercial developer.
Firstly, I’m not going to release the source code for the application - it’s going to be a closed source project.
Secondly, there is a potential that the application will be used in 2 commercial environments.
- I’m going to sell multiple copies of the application online for $10
- I’ve got a $1000 contract to use the application as part of a commercial interactive art installation ( where it runs on a wall-mounted screen over a 3 month period )
There may be a few reasons for remaining closed source…
- I’m not comfortable releasing my poorly written code to the public
- I don’t want my competition to have access to my hard work - ie I don’t want them to be able to take my solution, and use it to implement similar solutions for other potential clients in that area.
As mentioned above, imagine that I haven’t developed in Director, but I have used Blender and the GE to make it.
What potential issues would I now face, if I didn’t release the source code.
On a related issue, I’m aware that the .blend file can be extracted from a .EXE. We can ignore this fact for now, and take it up as a separate discussion later on ( eg modifying the Blender source code to create the resulting EXE in a different way ).
I’m looking forward to the replys, which will hopefully make it easier for me to use Blender in my commercial ( offline ) projects - which will of course lead me to fixing more bugs in Blender.