Free and open source game scenarios

Free and open source game scenarios

Postby eugeneloza » 16 Sep 2017, 18:59

I wonder if there is any "centralized" place, where people could share game scenarios with FOSS-compatible license. I know we have OpenGameArt for art and it even has "documents" chapter, however it is far from being scenario-oriented.
I'm not speaking about just stories or novels, but about game-ready content (i.e. some generic plot, characters, dialogues, descriptions, ideas for game screens/locations, some reference/concept art, etc.).
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Re: Free and open source game scenarios

Postby Julius » 16 Sep 2017, 19:07

Hmm, not sure if that would really take off though. I guess unless it is a quite extensive body of lore (with concept art and such) I doubt many people would be interested in implementing some one else's relatively basic ideas.
What I mean is that I doubt that there is much demand for such a thing, no?
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Re: Free and open source game scenarios

Postby Duion » 17 Sep 2017, 12:54

Games should just include or support mods by default as many already do, in some cases the game is even built around it, Spring RTS works that way or The Dark Mod I think as well, the game is the framework, the content are user mods.
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Re: Free and open source game scenarios

Postby eugeneloza » 17 Sep 2017, 17:21

What I mean is that I doubt that there is much demand for such a thing, no?

Yeah, exactly. Thou I can't express the idea correctly. Maybe giving a few examples would do better?

1. Last week I've seen a "help me" request at another gamedev forum and it inspired me to write a scenario for the game. Author ignored my proposal, but anyway, I had a lot of fun writing it, and was so inspired that I later extended the scenario from initial 2 to 11 pages and now it's almost complete "simple game" plot with 9 chapters, 8 characters (2 main characters, 2 enemy bosses, 4 NPCs). ~80% game-ready.
170912_Njimerah+.odt
The Circle of Njimerah
(54.1 KiB) Downloaded 420 times

Of course, I've already had all the fun and so discarding this scenario into a thrash bin is just fine :) However, maybe there are people who are looking for some fun story and can't write dialogues themselves or just need to get some inspiration... Of course, those scenarios should be a hundred or more, to provide some decent choice. And properly organized, sorted and searchable.
Moreover, the scenario, of course, should be adapted to specific gameplay mechanics, so it's rather searching for authors, not just bare scenarios. If someone would PM me and say: "Hey, can you finish this one and change it a bit? I'd like to use it in my game..." - I'd be more than happy to finish the job.
Thou, scenarios are not images. There can hardly be two games with equal scenario :) That's what makes such approach difficult if not impossible.

2. I'm developing a FOSS RPG for several years by now (still too early to start a topic, because it's not playable yet). I'd gladly pick some unique NPCs for the game which would add more diversity to the gameplay. E.g. a database of NPCs or NPC groups with FOSS-compatible license and convenient search/sort might be a serious help.
E.g.
Name: Amy
Class: NPC with a quest
User rating: 3 out of 10 (based on 2 votes)
Race: preferably humanoid
Gender: preferably female
Age: child
Setting: any
Style: casual
NPC group: none
Used: Not yet. (Don't forget, the site rules require you to mark every NPC you use in your game/story as used)
License: CC0
Short description: Amy is a child. She has a problem, she has lost her doll.
Tags: child, doll, cute, quest, short, small, npc, girl, search
Content:
- (crying)
- Hi...
- Why are you crying, little one?
- I've lost my doll... I can't find it anywhere...
- Aw... that's a nasty problem. Do you remember, where did you see it last time?
- I've played with it in the park yesterday...
- I'll look for your doll, just don't cry. Ok?
- Ok. I'll try...
(after finding the doll in the park)
- Oh. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
- You're welcome. Just be more attentive to your stuff in future, ok?
- Yes, I promise. Thank you again. You are so kind...
(generic phrases)
- Hi!
- Thanks again for finding my doll!
- My doll is so cute!
- I like my doll very much. It's the only toy I have.
Content amount: short
Comments (1):
Cute, but not bright enough. Not a memorable character.


the game is the framework

Not all games can do like that. And even if the game is an efficient and easily-moddable framework, it still requires some "initial" scenario/mod to start with. Or even just to test it during development.
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Re: Free and open source game scenarios

Postby farrer » 18 Sep 2017, 12:09

eugeneloza {l Wrote}:2. I'm developing a FOSS RPG for several years by now (still too early to start a topic, because it's not playable yet). I'd gladly pick some unique NPCs for the game which would add more diversity to the gameplay. E.g. a database of NPCs or NPC groups with FOSS-compatible license and convenient search/sort might be a serious help.


It remind me that qubodup wrote a few good characters profiles few year ago for DNT (without quests). If there's some place to upload it, I'll for sure (and with a few others I had somewhere)...

Besides the documents group in OGA, which seems unused (but I do believe its first intention was for this kind of submissions), there's the writer's forum there, where there's a few submissions: this one I liked a lot back when it was posted, but never implemented myself (but every time I remember that I got the feeling that I must implement it someday), and no one ever implemented it AFAIK...

Which led us to what Julius said about there's no demand for this (probably on FLOSS world everyone is already involved on its own projects and ideas, etc)...
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Re: Free and open source game scenarios

Postby freem » 18 Sep 2017, 20:08

Actually, I think inlibroveritas might have some place for that. Not really game-oriented, of course, but there are scenarios there, for films and theather (not sure for the tearher word thought).
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Re: Free and open source game scenarios

Postby Andrettin » 18 Sep 2017, 21:17

I think something like this could be a great source for PnP RPG players, providing them with ready-made scenarios.
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Re: Free and open source game scenarios

Postby domtron » 29 Sep 2017, 13:13

I thought this was a cool idea so I started playing around with it a bit. I followed a tutorial to setup a basic node.js application with simple user authentication and now I'm adding a form for submitting content and code to store it in a database. I mention the tutorial because that is where the styling comes from with some minor tweaks from me.

This is probably vaporware, but if I get a decent MVP I'll upload the code to github for anyone to expand on or host. Unfortunately the place I used to host toy projects like this for public testing (since it was free) has changed their setup so I cannot upload it there anymore. :( But i'll attach a screenshot below of the form for submitting content.

I'm posting now because I didn't want the thread to get too stale.
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story_site_screen.png
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Re: Free and open source game scenarios

Postby eugeneloza » 29 Sep 2017, 13:30

domtron, wow, looks cool!
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Re: Free and open source game scenarios

Postby domtron » 30 Sep 2017, 23:19

uploaded to github at: https://github.com/DomtronVox/open-game-plot. I slapped the MIT license on the code as I usually do, but I really don't care what license it is if someone thinks it should change.

Also experimented a bit and got the heroku free tier to work so you can see it live at this address: https://open-game-plot.herokuapp.com

Definitely not production quality of course. Basically you can register, login, and submit content, using the partially finished submission form, which gets stored in a small free database supported by mLab. Currently no way to view submitted content and there is a bug which says "bad request" when it redirects you after a submission. If I get the bug fixed I'll start working on the content viewing code.

Edit: fixed the bug mentioned above.
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Re: Free and open source game scenarios

Postby Sauer2 » 01 Oct 2017, 16:19

eugeneloza {l Wrote}:I wonder if there is any "centralized" place, where people could share game scenarios with FOSS-compatible license. I know we have OpenGameArt for art and it even has "documents" chapter, however it is far from being scenario-oriented.
I'm not speaking about just stories or novels, but about game-ready content (i.e. some generic plot, characters, dialogues, descriptions, ideas for game screens/locations, some reference/concept art, etc.).

Is the general idea that people create some sort of game ontology that a game can consume more or less automatically?
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Re: Free and open source game scenarios

Postby Julius » 02 Oct 2017, 13:12

Hmm, unlikely that that would be possible as there isn't a standard. But for automatic translations it might be interesting to setup some sort of system.
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Re: Free and open source game scenarios

Postby eugeneloza » 02 Oct 2017, 18:36

Sauer2 {l Wrote}:Is the general idea that people create some sort of game ontology that a game can consume more or less automatically?

No, that's near to absolutely impossible.
There are two ways I saw this (and I'm not a professional writer, so my opinion is very lame):
1. Some nearly game-ready scenarios, that someone can "take and use". E.g. this can be a set of dialogues that can appear in almost "any game" - they don't require extended cutscenes and will fit into a platformer/match3/tetris/arkanoid/pacman/any simple game. Usually those are among two, max 3 characters discussing where are they heading next. Like the first example in the first post.
2. Some semi-standartized parts of the content, e.g. NPC with a in-depth description / dialogue / etc. These can be used as bricks in building a large scenarios. Mostly only for "side" characters that are not part of the main plot, but create some diversity and background. Therefore they should be as "neutral" as possible regarding to setting/plot/background. Like the second example in the first post.
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Re: Free and open source game scenarios

Postby mdtrooper » 03 Oct 2017, 15:49

Well, twelve years ago somepeople started a wiki about a universe of science fiction (free or public domain I don't remember it)....but it was in spanish.

There is a news about this wiki (in a "spanish" slashdot): http://barrapunto.com/articles/05/11/19/0927202.shtml

And this is the last backup in the archive.org: http://web.archive.org/web/200810172104 ... le=Portada
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Re: Free and open source game scenarios

Postby eugeneloza » 03 Oct 2017, 21:02

mdtrooper I wonder, what FOSS license (for content) requires clear notification of changes of the content made? Some kind of Mozilla or Apache license?
At this time I'm working at a huge "universe" (in hard sci-fi setting), but I want clearly "separation" between "official/acknowledged" content (which I retain "control" of) and any side additions that do not fit into "my" understanding of this universe. Due to the fact, that the Universe has to fit into the game I'm currently making :)
(UPD) I mean: like GIT. I have a "own" repository which I work at. Anybody can fork the repository and make changes, push them back and I decide whether to accept them into "my" repository.
Thou, that's question is very theoretic at the moment, while the content amount is enormous (~500 A4 pages) its mostly in Russian (especially finished pages of ontology, races, planets, galaxies, etc.) :)
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Re: Free and open source game scenarios

Postby mdtrooper » 14 Dec 2017, 15:10

Sorry, for the answer is late.

Maybe...the best license for the documents are https://www.gnu.org/licenses/fdl-1.3.html or any of Creative Commons.

But your project sounds awesome...could you tell more about this?



it sounds awesome.
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Re: Free and open source game scenarios

Postby eugeneloza » 16 Dec 2017, 07:29

mdtrooper {l Wrote}:Maybe...the best license for the documents are https://www.gnu.org/licenses/fdl-1.3.html or any of Creative Commons.

Well, I see CC-BY-SA as rather licenses to "final" document, not for the documents of "collective work in progress". I need something more like GPL but for documents - kinda permissible and viral license. Maybe some sort of MPL or Apache license? But again they're suited for the code, not for documentation...
But your project sounds awesome...could you tell more about this? it sounds awesome.

Made a topic here, however, after a recent failure to make the interface for the game the current state is very pessimistic... https://forum.freegamedev.net/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=7733
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Re: Free and open source game scenarios

Postby Lyberta » 17 Dec 2017, 01:09

CC-BY-SA is as viral as GPL.
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Re: Free and open source game scenarios

Postby Julius » 17 Dec 2017, 08:22

Lyberta {l Wrote}:CC-BY-SA is as viral as GPL.


This is getting a bit OT, but my impression is that the CC-by-SA is only as viral as the LGPL, which is IMHO a major disadvantage of it... or rather spotlights the lack of a proper GPL equivalent for art assets.
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Re: Free and open source game scenarios

Postby palrogg » 17 Dec 2017, 16:07

Really cool app Domtron! I could register, then some errors prevented me from adding content. I wrote the details in a pull request.

Eugenelozza: Maybe it’s not about the license, but the version control? A Git-like system, as you said?

To keep control of the "official” content, you could theoretically use CC-BY-ND (no derivatives), so people need to ask your permission, but it’s a non libre license.

We had an interesting case in the French speaking community: the dvorak-fr keyboard is CC-BY-ND (http://www.algo.be/ergo/licence.htm). When another, much better French Dvorak keyboard was made for X.Org, the author declared it illegal (https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=15407). Months of silly, unproductive competition. Nine years later, there’s still two Dvorak keyboard layouts: the badly concieved CC-BY-ND layout, and the new “Bépo” layout (Bépo instead of Dvorak-fr, because of this issue).
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Re: Free and open source game scenarios

Postby Lyberta » 17 Dec 2017, 17:18

Julius {l Wrote}:
Lyberta {l Wrote}:CC-BY-SA is as viral as GPL.


This is getting a bit OT, but my impression is that the CC-by-SA is only as viral as the LGPL.


Where did you get that impression? If you use CC-BY-SA in your work, your work must be CC-BY-SA.
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Re: Free and open source game scenarios

Postby eugeneloza » 17 Dec 2017, 18:07

palrogg {l Wrote}:Maybe it’s not about the license, but the version control? A Git-like system, as you said?

Oh... yes, exactly. Just thought about that myself.
I also meant the Apache license feature that the modified version must "state (significant) changes from the original". Or zlib license that requires users to rename the derivative work so that it is "not misrepresent as the original". Thou I have very blurry image of how it's implemented :) Especially relative to game scenario and Universe Lore.
I have absolutely nothing against derivatives, but if someone produces alternative lore or story it should not be mixed/confused with the original ones.
CC-BY-SA is as viral as GPL.

The problem is not in being viral (actually I don't even need that limitation, thou it'll be welcome). The problem is that I understand CC-BY sort of licenses as license for the art. I.e. Someone painted a picture under CC-BY-SA. I grab this picture, process it in GIMP to get the effect I want and insert into the game (not forget to credit the author!) But, how will it work with a document which has many chapters, pages, many of which can be created/modified by a set of different people in different time. It's like several painters painting the same picture at the same time. Ok, everybody agrees to publish their commits under CC-BY-SA, which of them should be credited and how? Is a single commit in fixing spelling in "my cut" -> "my cat" counts? Someone forks the document and changes it - is it the same document, but advanced, or is this a different document? I believe these questions have answers, but it seems to me that it's not as convenient as GPL for the code.

E.g. in the lore: In order to move faster than light, special "hyperlightspeed tunnels" are constructed by resonant explosions of stars ("clean" supernovae). Moreover, during the story at some points it is inevitable to blow up stars in habitable star systems, practically, killing all of their inhabitants. Somebody might say: "No way, that's a damn genocide! Most of those were innocent persons. Vegetos could have figured it out by themselves, given some more time, there's no need in destroying their homeworld" and he writes an alternative story/lore where everything is fine and dandy. I have nothing against that, but my story is different and I don't want players to be puzzled, why characters in-game are arguing whether it was necessary to destroy it or not, while they have just read at the unofficial wiki, that Vegetos home is ok.
Another example. In Thess civilization only females survived the Great War. Someone will say: "That's sexism and discrimination! Either both genders survive or none. Moreover, the State of Thess just sells its citizens, as if they're items - disgusting" and writes/changes the corresponding articles. I don't mind that, anybody is free to do what he thinks best. But I don't want players to get a "surprise!" when after reading the unofficial wiki they try selecting a Thess male character only to stare at a fossil with inscription "extinct" or when other characters find out that the Commonwealth actually bought Thess character, not enrolled her.

P.S. maybe, it'd be good to move license-specific posts to a separate topic?
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Re: Free and open source game scenarios

Postby c_xong » 18 Dec 2017, 02:26

I don't really understand how copyright licenses can enforce authorial intent; to me, it's a sledgehammer solution to a non-problem. Surely if the author says it's canon that's good enough? Or at least, to parts of the audience who cares about that author's canon.

For example, if eugeneloza writes Adventures in hyperspace, and I contribute a typo fix, eugeneloza can take it and say "yep, that's good, it's canon". Whereas if I contribute a story that blows up Planet Vegetos, he can instead say "no I don't like it, that's non-canon". The readership can then decide for themselves, and decide (a) eugeneloza's canon is great, Planet Vegetos is still there, or (b) I really like that side story, I think Planet Vegetos can be destroyed.

This is similar to the situation with Star Wars canon, fans are free to decide whether they accept Disney's canon or if they accept the expanded universe, or parts of it.

I don't see how licensing is supposed to help. For non-trivial changes, no one apart from eugeneloza can create canon. Unless (a) eugeneloza declares it canon, in which case the licensing is redundant, or (b) I reassign the copyright to eugeneloza, which seems unattractive to lots of artists. On the other hand, if the readership really likes stories written by people other than eugeneloza, they are still free to disregard official canon and decide on their version of canon.
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Re: Free and open source game scenarios

Postby eugeneloza » 18 Dec 2017, 13:49

to me, it's a sledgehammer solution to a non-problem

Yes, I absolutely agree. Actually I can't even properly formulate the problem :)
But you got the word "canon" right. Thou it's not as simple as in Star Wars universe (actually made up by one author or by a very limited number of authors). And as far as I'm working on a closed repository now with limited access by few other authors - and we could always talk about contradictions or plot/lore improvement - there is absolutely no problem. However, when we're talking of open-source: It's "release and let go" - so, practically, no one (even me) will have control over what should called "canon" or not.
Moreover, I don't expect serious contributions here, so I really know that I'll be making this game almost alone, at least until I'll be in betta-stage (if it'll ever reach alpha :)). So, on practical side there'll hardly be any spin-offs/unofficial forks even if the game succeeds. And the whole problem will hardly ever arise, except for, maybe, some trolling efforts (which anyway should be treated differently).
Basically I don't even care whether my version will be "canon" or not. If someone gets the source and makes something better, I'll be only pleased with that, even if my opinion is different.
Much more "probable" problem are unwanted spoilers (before the actual game release). E.g. the current game docs contain passwords and other solutions for puzzles. Even some parts of lore are not expected to be disclosed too soon in the storyline (e.g. why the voice the characters hear near the Lighthouse may sound familiar).
Yeah, again I'm "mixing" things together due to not being able to formulate the problem properly.
Well... it's all about keeping that "user (player) experience" smooth and simple, trying to avoid any possible problems that may spoil it: uncertainity in lore due to several variants available online, spoilers, etc.
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Re: Free and open source game scenarios

Postby GunChleoc » 31 Jan 2018, 16:02

You can use version control to distinguish what is canon and what isn't: Your own fork is canon, everybody else's fork is non-canon unless it gets accepted into the main repo. Have a look at how Battle for Wesnoth distinguishes between mainline content and user made content. It's all a matter of presentation and the way the community grew.
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