Why every Blender user should support FOSS game development solutions

(Ace Dragon) #1

Consider the fact that if you use a commercial engine, the company behind it reserves the right to change the EULA at any time, even if it means you being forced to kill your project.

While Unity Tech. has made controversial EULA and monetization decisions before (ie. going to subscription only for the pro version). They recently made another change which has shocked the community and caused a lot of people to now be in violation.

To see how controversial the recent decision is, take note of the growing dumpster fire on Unity’s forums. Many users are now wondering if they can still trust the company and if they should still use the engine.

The answer, embrace the new breed of FOSS engines with no EULA’s and the freedom to make any project any way you want (with the only restrictions being on the side of your publishing platform, not your tool). This is similar to what Ton has often emphasized with Blender, your own tool with no restrictions or legalize to parse through.


(burnin) #2

Generally, the main problem with EULA is having an absolute power, being an absolute legally binding contract in the land of the States United (& the collaborators of the Empire). :wink:
IIRC, it’s validity (jurisdiction) is even above the constitution. (IMHO, paradoxical nonsense)

While on the other hand… EULAs are not generally enforceable nor legally binding at least in Europe, if it first doesn’t comply with the regulations of the EU & the country which signer is citizen of. But even then any EULA disputes must be sorted out on the civil court. It’s of no matter to Public prosecutor.

(rawalanche) #3

If you don’t actually develop games, then it may be easy to say this… Like “They are evil, don’t use them!”. But if you actually want to succeed, want to make a living making games, want to make really high quality game in an acceptable amount of time, then something like Godot is absolutely not an option when it’s standing next to Unreal Engine, which is free to use as well.

Sure, they’ll take 5% of your profit, but does saving those 5% really pay off when you will spend 500% more of the development time in Godot writing your own stuff UE would come bundled with? On top of that, you will likely not write it nearly as well as Epic did, so in the end, both performance and visual quality of your game will suffer as well. You would spend much, much more than 5% of your resources to implement additional functionality to Godot to match UE4 capabilities. Even only the small subset of them you’d need for your particular game.

Considering these factors, 5% of revenue share vs 500% development time + worse resulting quality and performance is an easy choice to make.

The reason I am mentioning UE4 instead of Unity, to which the article is related to is that UE4 is a real alternative to Unity. Godot or any other FOSS game engine is not, if you are serious with game development to such a degree you would ever consider Unity in the first place.

Blender is extremely unique unicorn in the world of FOSS software, because unlike pretty much any other FOSS software, maybe except Linux, it doesn’t suck compared to commercial alternatives. In fact, it does not suck to such a degree it’s even viable alternative. But this situation is not the same everywhere else, definitely not in the game engine field.

Pitting Godot against proper game engines is like putting a disabled infant inside a UFC ring with Brock Lesnar.

(burnin) #4

Which doesn’t mean alternatives won’t grow (By the looks, the more commercial entities push on the user base, the more and the better alternatives become - so in one way it’s a good thing, as an evolution).

But true, if it benefits you to a certain degree, be ready to fight for your rights, but choose your battles wisely.

(Ace Dragon) #5

I do agree that for many people, dealing with the EULA and choosing a commercial solution is the best way to go.

However, it becomes a different situation where the company behind your product suddenly changes the license on you and screws up your business plan (which might lead to you going bankrupt rather than making a profit). A lot of people are facing the possibility of having to kill their product after spending a lot of resources on the development (which will be especially so if the intent is to require every Unity user to use their brand new proprietary solution if they do any kind of multiplayer).

Many indie developers do not have much of a financial cushion to fall back on, so redoing large chunks of their code will just be too much.

(rawalanche) #6

That’s definitely true. However, Epic so far has track record of going the exact opposite way. Providing millions of dollars of their commercial assets for free, making UE4 free, providing complete source code for the entire engine, starting new games store with the pure intention to give developers more money than Steam, immediately after reducing the cut they take from all the UE marketplace sales… etc…

So I think they, in particular, deserve benefit of a doubt. Overall, at this point in time, situation in the game engine world is not so dire that the open source engines would be the only option if you seek stability :slight_smile:

(sundialsvc4) #7

Personally, I have serious doubts as to whether this EULA change would ever stand up in court, once it gets challenged there – and it probably will be, lest this sort of thing be allowed to become un-challenged precedent.

To say that you are henceforth not allowed to use their product with another product (with which they are apparently having broken-down negotiations at the moment), or to otherwise use their product in a particular way or for a particular purpose, is very likely to be found un-enforceable.

And, since there’s obviously “real money” being put at risk here, there could very quickly be lawsuits seeking punitive damages – and, getting them.

EULAs in-general, and exculpatory clauses in particular, are highly questionable anyway: did you actually “agree,” or did you just click a button that you knew you had to click to install the thing? And, presuming that you did make a conscious act, if the EULA is then changed, did you agree to that change, which was made years later, when you initially clicked that button, years ago?

Likewise, courts have already decided that you can run “your” software on a cloud server instead of your own equipment, as though it was your own equipment, provided that your actions are “as though it were your own gear.” e.g. You can’t provide a “freely available service” that would provide to the general public something that they should have to pay a license fee to use or to do. But a licensor can’t stipulate where your equipment is located, “in the cloud” or otherwise.

And I daresay they won’t get away with “lowering the hammer” by a change to the EULA, especially when it is known that negotiations are going on with the party affected and that those negotiations are not going well. That’s the sort of thing that makes lawyers start sharpening their pencils.

(ouraf) #8

Unless we got an amazing patron saint investor that “pull a blender” on a big, feature rich, well documented and popular engine (forget unity and ue: both are too rich to be bought)
AND some big industry player starts bringing strong titles with it (no need for it to be triple a, but it needs to excel in its niche: like paradox games with their strategy titles).
AND a dedicated group of developers keep adding cutting edge features to it
AND it’s fully capable of porting games to the current gen consoles
AND offers performance and workflow comparable with the market champions

I think the cryengine knockoff amazon was working on is open source, but i don’t know which license it uses. And for visual novels, renpy is getting traction (its their niche and it delivers a good balance between features and ease of use… it’s python anyway), but other than that, i don’t recall any open source engine excelling in a niche and competing with the general purpose ones

(Ace Dragon) #9

A lot of young alternative engines tend to die early on (as one factor at least) is because their main goal is to essentially “build a better Unity”.

What that means is they copy Unity in almost everything, but make the features better (ie. C# as the core language, Prefab/Scene philosophy, component-based, ect…). If you’re trying to make a Unity, then people who already have invested in the real thing will be hard to sway.

That is why I personally like Godot, it takes a rather different approach to game development and doesn’t just copy the popular workflows (ie. every asset is a scene and everything can be reused, nested, and inherited).

It’s like the BF’s focus is not just about creating a better Maya, but rather striving for a superior approach to DCC work.

(dgorsman) #10

Open source may mean access to the source code, but that doesn’t mean that it will last forever. Development can still stop. While some will be OK making minor tweaks few will be willing to put in the effort required to update for new OS releases, supporting new hardware, different file formats, and other highly technical tasks.

Commercially there’s the “I know that program” hurdle. You provide something which runs only on a platform they haven’t heard of, there is going to be a reluctance to make use of it. I’m sure most are familiar with the phrase “IT won’t let us install things, what can I do?”.

(Canseco Gpc) #12

Godot engine seems to be doing well, not only on the technical side, but because they have 2 full time paid developers and almost got money for a third one.

(wolfmanyoda) #13

Every Blender user should support whatever they want.
Not a fan of hive mentality.

(Ace Dragon) #14

It looks like Unity defused the controversy a bit by cutting back on the lawyer-speak in their ToS and loosening the restrictions on third-party services.

However, there’s a number of people (outside of active members on the Unity forums and official blog) who are still pretty wary of taking the company’s word, with some still saying they are switching to an open source engine.

In a way, Unity Tech. fell into the same mistake as many other companies, and that is a EULA that looks like it was written by lawyers.

(sundialsvc4) #15

Yes, but it looks like Unity also might be making the mistake of “not looking over your shoulder to see who might be coming to take your lunch!” The only constant in the computer hardware/software industry is: change.

I think that here they made a very costly, very high-profile mistake that will have negative implications for their business for quite some time to come.