|Yes, and I'll pay to play||33%||[ 39 ]|
|Yes, and I'll help||22%||[ 26 ]|
|Yes, but it sounds impossible||14%||[ 17 ]|
|Maybe - depends on the price and the skills required/on hand||21%||[ 25 ]|
|No, bad idea - we'd just make a mess of it||5%||[ 6 ]|
|No, let it die||5%||[ 6 ]|
|Total Votes : 119|
|22/08/2011 21:12:55 Re:Can/should the wee-community buy and develop Weewar?|
chatted to developer bert, who is out of EA and left weewar for good, he said some relevant things:
0. our initiative was new to him completely
1. he said we need a leader or a responsible person otherwise we hardly can offer/negotiate anything
2. we need to start doing stuff, do something smaller, small features apart from weewar directly. I think it´s a good idea, to see if/how the the team can work together.
in other words: we need to start do something, not just talk
3. he suggests to offer EA some sort of collaboration
4. he thinks if some people come together who are motivated can achieve things but it is a lot of work indeed. weewar looks simple on the surface but is much work underneath and many who offer their help will leave being faced with that workload.
then we talked about the rip-off uniwar.com, it´s success and the mobile market in general. he said it was simply too much work for him to bring weewar to the mobile market back then.
finally he mentioned, if we´d get it, we should focus on making it run smooth again in first place, and that the reasons for server crashed probably are not to be found in the code.
ps: I asked for his ok to post this
I also presented this initiative to bladum who was in the final stage of weebot development and whipped out an independent second framework back then, which was quite advanced (transport units + fog of war) but never got finished completely. I asked him if it does interest him, we´ll talk tomorrow, in my opinion he seemed interested but more in supportive role than in lead programming, because he starting up his own mobile / multi platform gaming business at the moment.
I´am also about to contact kajah tomorrow after I come home from my day job, who was the lone creator of the working and finished weebot framework in .NET, just want to ask him simply, if he´d be interested at all.
|22/08/2011 21:57:06 Re:Can/should the wee-community buy and develop Weewar?|
Kersplat (from Warnet) informed me about this idea and I would like to add another proposal to the basket. (I am developing Warnet)
When playing weewar I felt that this game could develop into so much bigger and here could be so many cool features to make it better. But the problem was that no one was making it better, it is just standing and no one doing anything. That and the love for turn based strategy motivated me to make my own version and Warnet was born.
So my idea would be to transform weewar into Warnet engine. Warnet has all the game functionality weewar has and much much more (for example fog of war, history, charts, unit transportation, scripting capability to add interesting action paced campaigns. At the moment working on even better AI). Fog of war, unit transportation and history would be very complicated features to add to weewar. Probably forcing to rewrite big parts of the source... And who knows software costs, changing is a lot more expensive than making it right the first time (fact!)
Furthermore, Warnet engine is much more stable. (off course problems might happen, there is no 100% guarantee, but we haven't had any accidental downtime.)
Additionally, performance! Warnet is sitting happily in a shared host with many other websites also using the server, not in a dedicated server. Warnet is developed horizontal scaling in mind (adding more servers is easy to offer better performance).
And Warnet is built having different rulesets in mind with different graphics. In short, it is more like an engine, not just a game.
Maintance - For me it seems keeping weewar running is quite an expensive business - server problems, probably legacy code (not well documented, so new guys will have a headache in developing new features) and some of the errors are really weird and for me seem like architectural problems. (My profession is software architecture) Of course these are not facts and they might not be true, so correct me if I am wrong because I have never seen weewar source.
I also like weewar and have spent huge amounts of hours playing it and it is actually quite sad to see what is happening to it.
So let me know what do you think about this idea? I think it would definitely give a second life to weewar! I know that many of you find Warnet website different and feel home in Weewar, but try to imagine it
I am very excited about this idea!
This message was edited 5 times. Last update was at 22/08/2011 21:59:15
|23/08/2011 02:46:05 Re:Can/should the wee-community buy and develop Weewar?|
|Balduran - quite honestly i think you'd get half teh current weewarriors to come over to warnet if you put in a package of units that replicated the ones here. i think the big difference in moving to warnet for me was trying to learn the new units as well as not being as interested in the knights-theme. I know the basics are the same, but was more fun playing with tanks. juvenile I know.|
|23/08/2011 03:42:01 Re:Can/should the wee-community buy and develop Weewar?|
|I have to echo the sentiments of RD, and say that while there isn't anything wrong with Warnet (it's actually pretty impressive what you've been able to accomplish), the bottom line is that it ISN'T Weewar. Perhaps, I might be persuaded to move permanently (and exclusively) to Warnet if you were offering different tilesets/rulesets. All that would be needed in this scenario is a talented artist that could replicate Weewar works without risking copyright infringement (no small task I realize).|
|23/08/2011 05:20:02 Re:Can/should the wee-community buy and develop Weewar?|
I like warnet (all the more so because I have been able to play warnet while weewar has been offline!!) but I like weewar better. I like the clean, board-game style graphics and the rules/tile set. WeeSpy is pretty cool too, and weewar has a better player profile screen.
Sooooo my preferance for weewar is based more on look and 'feel' than program / actual game.
Can warnet handle different unit/terrain versions? If so then it looks like a much better investment than fighting EA for rights and figuring out the weewar programing issues. Based on what others have said here and elsewhere the best we might hope for with weewar is to keep the current game alive for the old-timers and the occasional new addict (like me
|23/08/2011 08:03:11 Re:Can/should the wee-community buy and develop Weewar?|
I did not mean to go over to Warnet into the Medieval theme. That is totally different :p
I meant that weewar ruleset (all the tanks, planes, terrains etc) would be copied into Warnet engine (and of course graphics too if allowed) and new site opened just using warnet engine. (It even does not have to be called warnet and on best scenario would still be weewar)
Like I said, Warnet has all the functinality weewar currently has + more, so it can replicate it easily. No battle calculations, unit stats etc would have to change.
This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 23/08/2011 08:12:37
|23/08/2011 09:23:36 Re:Can/should the wee-community buy and develop Weewar?|
As much as i'd love to see changes to the Weewar code and whatever Balduran has a point. If your starting again, hell even if you buy from EA, it would be a wise move to use his existing platform.
I don't think it's so difficult to replicate Weewars style. bright colours, simple graphics, maybe it won't be quite the same but close enough.
Thanks for saying so, weespy can be ported to work with any game preferably with an API but if it has a website I can interface with it. There's every possibility it would work better with Balduran's API. The Weewar API causes me a lot of problems which won't be fixed without development. It's possible Balduran has done it differently/better or that some development can be done to make improvements.
|23/08/2011 09:36:16 Re:Can/should the wee-community buy and develop Weewar?|
I'd love to "save" weewar. Not sure I can help all that much though, being some kind of environmental scientist - climate programmer. Teaching myself Java right now, so who knows? I'd see myself as a paying pro-member as well as tutorial and/or campaign developer. Wouldn't mind helping in forums, with newbies and such. 3-4 hours per week?
As for take-over ideas: I feel we REALLY have to wait for an answer by EA if they're thinking about selling it or not, and at what price. It's fun to speculate until we get that answer, but there are obviously very (too?) many options. Who exactly has contacted EA when and what have they said so far? Have they acknowledged that they received the question? Is somebody there thinking about this at all?
Maybe the best way ahead would be following the "spadequack" scheme. I.e. elevating some more interested & capable players to admin/developer positions. That would avoid a lot of legal (who owns what after a take-over?), technical (server move) and financial questions (EA would keep on paying server & bandwidth bills). And that might be all it takes to get this baby moving again. I mean without spadequack, this boat would have sunk long ago. Imagine 3-6 spadequacks and I'm close to wee-Nirvana.
I have no ideas about spadequack's job's details though, like does he get paid at all? As freelancer or full-time staff? How many hours is he currently investing? How far reaching changes can he do? Has to ask some EA guy each time?
Warnet seems very nice. Might be a solid base for some weewar-flavored spinoff indeed. Copyright lawyer around?
|23/08/2011 13:03:26 Re:Can/should the wee-community buy and develop Weewar?|
+1 @ Darkbee and RD
Also, thanks to Cas for the report on the chat with Bert. In response to his concerns: I think we already have leadership/co-ordination - R&G, Spade, me, you, and others who I think will get more serious as this gets more serious. The programmers are specifically interested in/have the skills to develop a mobile version - Rosy, his programmer friend, Rahl, Daithi, Yourtime, etc. Other answers below.
Can you ask Bert if he would be interested in helping us as we move forward?
Let us know what Bladum and Kajah have to say.
Exactly. Spade wrote an email to Mark at EA and sent it on Saturday or Sunday. I reviewed it and it basically asked if they would sell, for how much, or collaborate with members, and in what form. I assume Mark has received the email - he did respond to the one I sent him back in the spring. I assume we will hear back from him soon.
My impression is that the majority of Weewarriors, especially the technically skilled and game developer ones, DO NOT WANT to work for free for EA to help them make money off Weewar. So, even if EA offered some collaborative arrangement in the present which would allow us to help save and develop the game yet keep it free for users, they would presumably, eventually, profit from that by re-introducing fees. I for one am against that path, although some may not be. I would be open to the possibility if those who helped were compensated I guess, for the sake of the community, but I'm not really excited about helping a maga-company like EA.
I, personally, am much more interested in being part of a community-based game - owned and developed by members. I like Balduran's offer a lot, but does it really go in that direction? Doesn't he want to make money off Warnet/a Warnet version of Weewar too, eventually? Balduran, what say you?
Perhaps that's OK with folks, seeing he's not a big nasty EA-like monster?
1) Members of the wee-community buy the rights to Weewar from EA and work with others in the wee-community to fix and develop the existing code/game.
2) Members of the wee-community buy the rights to Weewar from EA. We shut it down/turn it into a link to Warnet, shifting the graphics and whatever is useful over to Warnet, making a deal with Balduran that ensures community ownership and direction of Weewar.
3) Some (i.e. more) of the wee-community defect to Warnet and establish a more Weewar-like game there, without any deal made with EA. Who owns and benefits in this case?
Also, from chat:
McMonster: There must be many examples from other copy-cat game copyright infringement cases. I will ask dbthaw, the lawyer, if s/he can do a little research
Daithi: it's like i said before, copyright is about stopping exact duplication
McMonster: anyone know any indy game-makers whove been hunted by the big guys?
Please read the first post in the thread for background info and the rest to get caught up on discussion to date.
PLEASE KEEP YOUR COMMENTS AS BRIEF AND SUCCINCT AS POSSIBLE SO THAT OTHERS WILL NOT BE INSPIRED TO BREAK YOUR FINGERS. And try to avoid poo pooy naysaying in this thread - thoughtful critiques welcome however!
Please bookmark this webpage so that weewarriors can communicate about (buying) Weewar if the site crashes long-term or is shut down: http://saveweewar.wordpress.com/
Please VOTE in the poll at the top of the thread.
This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 23/08/2011 13:24:13
|23/08/2011 15:28:01 Re:Can/should the wee-community buy and develop Weewar?|
Updates and answers:
1) I have not received a response from Mark, but Mark may not be working at EA/Bioware anymore. I had emailed Alex about this initiative too, and he said it's an interesting idea and to hold tight as he looks into some of the options. His signature title says Studio Manager, so it is likely that he has been promoted up to Mark's position and Mark is working elsewhere. I'll email Alex for an update soon.
2) Last summer, I did a paid internship with EA, working on Weewar. After the summer, I did some side work for pay for EA, and got some course credit for a project on it too. Tournaments and replay are built into the base code now, but 1) have not been tested well and 2) do not have an interface.
That paid side job ended in December. Since then, my access to the code repository has been revoked, which is understandable, so I cannot change the code. However, I maintain access to the server, and help restart it and address server issues as they arise. I also write on the blog and read and answer support emails. I am not paid by EA now and volunteer my time when Weewar has problems. I do not have to ask anyone to make changes to the server, but as a courtesy, I notify Alex of any major changes I make.
EA did not want people writing code without getting paid, and I don't think they want to pay someone the wage of a part-time software developer to work only on Weewar. Weewar makes no profit right now and costs them money to run, and the potential profit is very low, relative to the studio's other interests. These stances may have changed, but it's unlikely.
The idea of a community collaborating with EA to develop Weewar is, as far as I know, unprecedented, so we should wait and see what Alex finds out about the options here.
3) I believe a game concept cannot be copyrighted, so Warnet and other similar games are safe. A game's overall look and feel and full set of creative game mechanics can be copyrighted though. Cloning Weewar using the same, or very similar, units and terrain tiles, with the same ruleset would I believe be copyright infringement. However, I don't think EA would care enough to do anything about it.
Edit: I think using slightly different graphics, and removing and adding some units and changing the rules just a bit would be enough to be safe from infringing. However, as Daithi brings up in the chat, even if we're in the right, we don't have the resources to fight a lawsuit from EA if they decide to bring one on us.
This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 23/08/2011 15:44:19
|23/08/2011 17:05:38 Re:Can/should the wee-community buy and develop Weewar?|
(Copied from a chat with McMonster), I'm too lazy to write it again in other words.
I've just read your topic and I have to say I'm quite impressed. I've been talking about it with a few people some time ago and it seemed impossible. I understand that it largely depends on response form EA/foremr EA employees, but it'd be great to save such a unique game.
I'm interested in the project. I'm no programmer, but I'm very creative person and I used to do graphics design (and I think I'm not bad at it) so I'd like to participate as a game designer (game mechanics, artwork, pixelart, webdesign). I'm a student so I should be able to invest about 3-5 hours/week (but it depends on circumstances).
|23/08/2011 19:04:47 Re:Can/should the wee-community buy and develop Weewar?|
It's quite difficult to say something, because I see, there is much said, but enough questions open. If we ("we" in reference for the whole group) decide to make something new and try to catch the soul of weewar, we should think about the right start too, I didn't inform much about the current possibilities, but I think one of the most important thing we should focus is reusability, to convert to different languages for other plattforms and before we even start to think about the soul of weewar.. we will need a flexible and much extensible framework. I know, maybe it's quite early to talk about this, but better now than not.
This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 23/08/2011 19:29:54
|24/08/2011 03:54:36 Re:Can/should the wee-community buy and develop Weewar?|
I think we ask EA to donate the software to the public as an Open Source software project. They get:
a) To save money, maybe, by no longer supporting a game which may be losing them money.
b) Good press
c) Trademark ownership. They get to keep to the Weewar trademark and brand, and decide how it gets used.
a) the game
b) to avoid the massive headache of ownership
This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 24/08/2011 03:55:41
|24/08/2011 04:09:56 Re:Can/should the wee-community buy and develop Weewar?|
I suggested elsewhere asking EA to donate the game to the commons as Open Source software. Even if they wouldn't, and insisted on selling, I would still suggest that whatever entity purchases it make it Open Source.
I would suggest that a nonprofit membership association, run by a board of volunteers, be formed, and that this entity oversee both the game's development and finances.
There is little profit potential in Weewar anyway, but so much to gain by donating it to the commons:
a) volunteer contributions (not just shiny new features, but bug-fixes too)
b) avoidance of ownership battles, not just of the software IP, but of the bank account.
c) subjugation of the profit motive within any individual involved
The first step is to say to EA: "Look, we have a nonprofit, we have $1,000 in our corporate bank account, we have a hosting contract with Rackspace, and we have a project maintainer who knows the application well and has committed to maintaining it for a 1 yr term at 10hr/week. If you Open Source the project, and give us the Weewar trademark, and we will give Weewar a good home."
|24/08/2011 04:20:18 Re:Can/should the wee-community buy and develop Weewar?|
Do you think they would be interested in open sourcing Weewar?