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Some questions about the license and legal issues

Posted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:47 am
by AloC83

We are looking to develop a game along the lines of Red Alert 1 for our company. We would like to retain the look and feel of RA1 as far as possible but we are not sure if there will be any legal ramifications of using their original artwork as-is. I know RA1 is now free but the EULA that comes with the free download is very particular about their rights over the artwork.

Since OpenRA is reusing a lot of the original artwork I thought I will ask the developers if they had to seek special permission from EA for doing so?

Posted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:16 pm
by Lamoot
If you're serious about your game, you should avoid using their art assets (especially if you plan to sell your game). OpenRA is different in this. First, the project is not commercial, so the creators aren't earning money based on somebody else's work. Also, the project offers the engine while the art assets are downloaded from EA itself. This doesn't mean EA can't interfere, but it's harder to say OpenRA is "stealing" art assets from another game and using it for personal gain.

For your game you said RA1-like game. Instead of copying the art assets themselves from RA1, copy the artistic principles and approaches that gave RA1 the feel it has. A few to mention:

*isometric graphics with fixed camera perspective (no 3d rotating, angle etc.)
*small units on the screen
*units have large parts made of house-colour (that colour that changes depending on the owner)
*deployed building animations
*units based on real-world tanks, aircraft, weapons (apc = m113 apc, hind = hind, apache = apache, heavy tank = t80 tank with 2 barrels etc.) Also, a different real-world unit can take the place a RA1 unit has. E.g. Cobra helicopter for Allied helicopter.
*weapons and devices from cold war fantasy and conspiracy theories
*Different housecolours. There's a big difference in what housecolours RTS games use today and what colours RA1 used.

Posted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:16 pm
by Gecko
If you plan to use their assets commercially, prepare for EA's wrath.

IE: Dont use it for anything thats 'not open' and don't try to sell anything including their assets + even that won't guarantee anything as long as you don't sign a contract with EA.

Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:27 am
by AloC83
yeah i thought as much....i guess the best ppl to answer this would be EA but its been a while since i mailed them and they haven't answered....typical really.

Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:39 am
by Gecko
Let me rephrase : I'm 99.99% sure that they will not allow usage of their assets in commercial projects (except if you pay them a shatload of money, and even then...)