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Ian Cooper

HeroQuest SRD and OGL, genre packs

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19 hours ago, Michael Hopcroft said:

Thank you for the offer.

he problem I see is that many genres are variations on other genres, leading to the likelihood of multiple creators working on things that might be considered very similar. Like distinguishing between wuxia, anime-style fantasy, and the really over-the-top shonen series like the Dragonball franchise (I'm thinking about the style, not getting a license to make a Dragonball game). Tat's the problem I face when I inquire about something like that -- how do I know someone else isn't doing something so similar that we'll eat into each other's market?

 

Well, if TPTB will tell you and work with you to adjust your idea, And once they do and you get the go ahead, then its up to you to make a supplement that we all have to buy because it is so damn good :)

Don't be afraid of failure or success; that is the thing I have learned in my quest to be a free lancer and game developer. 

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On 8/22/2019 at 4:23 AM, Michael Hopcroft said:

The problem I see is that many genres are variations on other genres, leading to the likelihood of multiple creators working on things that might be considered very similar. Like distinguishing between wuxia, anime-style fantasy, and the really over-the-top shonen series like the Dragonball franchise (I'm thinking about the style, not getting a license to make a Dragonball game). Tat's the problem I face when I inquire about something like that -- how do I know someone else isn't doing something so similar that we'll eat into each other's market?

 

Yes, that is a risk with any OGL engine, and the more successful it is, like D20 or PbTA, the greater the risk that you will be playing in a crowded field. There isn't really a way to fix that.

Ultimately, the HQ system needs more players, and I suspect that Ryan Dancey's original argument around the OGL of the network effect remains helpful for HQ to pull in more people. The more games there are that use HQ, the more willing people will be to play it because they have played other games that use the engine. 

I can understand there is a risk to investing if you can't protect your monopoly over a certain genre using the engine, but I think the trade-off with increased market size through OGL is worth it.

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Thank you for all your advice! I think I will be pitching my fantasy anime idea soon enough (things like Slayers, Sword Arts Online, Overlord, etc.), especially as influenced by video games like the Final Fantasy series.

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I suspect there is room for more than one supers game. Cosmic Zap is aiming to genre-emulate a very specific niche in comic book fiction, . If someone made a game that was optimized for the style of 80's X-Men soap operas or goofy Silver Age puzzle mysteries, they wouldn't necessarily be competing head-to-head, and they are selling very different experiences.

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Say,  @John Wick , would you be open to blessing a Houses of the Blooded genre pack for QuestWorlds? I was reading HotB tonight and was struck by the parallels with extended contests, community resources, and so on.

Edited by JonL
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On 8/23/2019 at 10:53 AM, Michael Hopcroft said:

Thank you for all your advice! I think I will be pitching my fantasy anime idea soon enough (things like Slayers, Sword Arts Online, Overlord, etc.), especially as influenced by video games like the Final Fantasy series.

Excellent!

In the end, there will never be any guarantees.  Even if another product seems nearly-identical and comes to eat your lunch... yours may be the better, and eat their lunch instead.  Or both may coexist... frankly, to the overall health of the line!

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On 9/28/2019 at 12:13 AM, Lemurion said:

Hey @Ian Cooper is there any more news on this you can share?

I've been the hold-up on this, as James Lowder and I needed to carefully review and edit the legal language we will be using for our OGL.At the end of the day, I was not comfortable hanging our hats off WotC's language (if indeed we were legally entitled to use their copy-written license which is explicitly not OGL - I know several other companies have done that but I still was not comfortable repurposing a license that in fact applies to another work altogether). But that review is finished and we should have the final document out soon!

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12 hours ago, Jeff said:

I've been the hold-up on this, as James Lowder and I needed to carefully review and edit the legal language we will be using for our OGL.At the end of the day, I was not comfortable hanging our hats off WotC's language (if indeed we were legally entitled to use their copy-written license which is explicitly not OGL - I know several other companies have done that but I still was not comfortable repurposing a license that in fact applies to another work altogether). But that review is finished and we should have the final document out soon!

Despite the original language, will it be semantically equivalent to the commonly used OGL such that materials can be commingled (possibly requiring both with both license texts be included in distribution at that point)? While I respect your caution and diligence, if rolling your own means that someone couldn't put out QW material that mixes in names of spells from D&D or Pathfinder SRDs, Invoke/Compell mechanics from Fate, or super-power building tools from Mutants & Masterminds, you'll only be in a slightly better position than you were with the HQ Gateway License. Cross-pollination and network affects are a big part of what makes open licenses so powerful. I'd hate to see one silo be traded in for a somewhat nicer silo.

If HQ had been released under the common OGL or appropriate CC rather than a fairly open but nonetheless proprietary HQGL from the get go, it might have occupied the market space that Fate does now. Network affects are not to be underestimated.

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On 9/30/2019 at 4:06 AM, Jeff said:

if indeed we were legally entitled to use their copy-written license which is explicitly not OGL

I know you're the lawyer & all, but  § 6, 9, & 10 all pertain to outside parties utilizing the license itself. The assertion in the preamble that the license itself is not Open Gaming Content is about making it clear that the license text is not subject to the broad permissions enumerated  for such in §1, but rather the narrow modifications specified in § 6, and 9 and the inclusion mandate in §10.  Really, it's entire raison d'être is for other publishers to use it.

On 9/30/2019 at 4:06 AM, Jeff said:

I know several other companies have done that but I still was not comfortable repurposing a license that in fact applies to another work altogether

§5 specifically calls out releasing original works as Open Gaming Content. Nothing in the text restricts its use to games tracing their lineage to D&D3.

As a point of reference from the Open Gaming's antecedents in the world of software, countless non-GNU projects utilize various flavors of the GPL, the MIT & Berkely licenses are used widely beyond those universities' remit, and the Mozilla and Apache foundations are far from the only ones to utilize their eponymous licenses.

Perhaps consider whether multi-licensing the SRD might both allow you to gain the comfort and certainty you're wanting from your house-license, yet also allowing QuestWorlds to benefit from inter-operation with the broader ecosystem of OGL works.

If you simply want nothing to do with the fruit of WizCo's tree, Creative Commons: - Attribution - Share Alike would be another solid candidate for a weak-copyleft license, explicitly allowing open derivative works to commingle with proprietary content in a single Collective Work much as the OGL does. It's less broadly used in RPGs, but at least it wouldn't be a silo.

Edited by JonL
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On 10/1/2019 at 12:13 PM, JonL said:

If you simply want nothing to do with the fruit of WizCo's tree, Creative Commons: - Attribution - Share Alike would be another solid candidate for a weak-copyleft license, explicitly allowing open derivative works to commingle with proprietary content in a single Collective Work much as the OGL does. It's less broadly used in RPGs, but at least it wouldn't be a silo.

Pelgrane Press’s SRD for the Gumshoe was originally released for OGL and CC, though it looks like version 2.0 is available only under the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution Unported License.

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I guess the question for me is whether the rules will have significant enough changes that I can work on a HQ project now and not have to do the entire thing over again when the SRD is released into the wild. I own both HQ and HQ:G so I have a core to work with assuming the system undergoes no substantial changes.

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On 10/14/2019 at 6:14 PM, Michael Hopcroft said:

I guess the question for me is whether the rules will have significant enough changes that I can work on a HQ project now and not have to do the entire thing over again when the SRD is released into the wild. I own both HQ and HQ:G so I have a core to work with assuming the system undergoes no substantial changes.

There has been clarification around terminology mainly, so that it is consistent etc. Similarly a few progressions have been standardized on the +3, +6 +9 etc scale. One major change is around character advancement which we have tried to make more meaningful. But it's compatible with HQ and HQG, it's just cleaned up.

I'd suggest that we would expect to see the SRD come out, everyone to error trap, and then for us to re-release a fixed version. We hope to have an efficient process for that.

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18 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

There has been clarification around terminology mainly, so that it is consistent etc. Similarly a few progressions have been standardized on the +3, +6 +9 etc scale. One major change is around character advancement which we have tried to make more meaningful. But it's compatible with HQ and HQG, it's just cleaned up.

I'd suggest that we would expect to see the SRD come out, everyone to error trap, and then for us to re-release a fixed version. We hope to have an efficient process for that.

Thank you very much. So write now, translate when the new documents come out? Sounds like the approach to take.

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On 10/16/2019 at 9:34 AM, Michael Hopcroft said:

Thank you very much. So write now, translate when the new documents come out? Sounds like the approach to take.

That would be my approach.

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My daughter's Girl Scout troop is working on their "Playing the Past" badge, and rather than let them skate by with a pioneer-picnic or something, I'm running a time-travel/historical adventure for them with QuestWorlds.

At the last meeting, they randomly rolled their characters' place and year of birth, and I helped them figure out what culture they were from, pick a language appropriate name, etc. Since then, they've (hopefully) been researching their characters' home era and culture and filling out their character sheet with details about their time-traveling tween adventuresses.

Tonight, Hypatia of Alexandria, Empress Wu Zetian, and Admiral Grace Hopper will summon them to their Time Orrery with a mission.

 

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20 hours ago, swashbuckler said:

Hey all, just wondering if there is any more news on the OGL/SRD front? Even if there's no ETA to share, it would be great to know if there is any progress? Is it still a thing? 

Given the proximity of Sacred Time, I wouldn't expect too much new News at this point.

I'd welcome being wrong, but honestly would plan on waiting until the new year.

 

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According to the Runequest/Glorantha panel at Dragonmeet last month, where Ian Cooper was one of the Chaosium staffers present, the QuestWorlds OGL/SRD is very very close. So hopefully it won't be much longer.

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On 12/24/2019 at 10:32 AM, Steve said:

According to the Runequest/Glorantha panel at Dragonmeet last month, where Ian Cooper was one of the Chaosium staffers present, the QuestWorlds OGL/SRD is very very close. So hopefully it won't be much longer.

Ohhhh, that's great news! Thanks for letting me know.

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5 hours ago, Martigan said:

What is Questworlds ? The name of the open licence game for Heroquest ? I have found nothing about that.

Yes, the name for the open licence version of HeroQuest.

It hasn't appeared yet.

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