Hi, at beginning I will write some background so even people who hear about this first time are informed about whole story and after that I try to provide all facts I have.
Basic intention and motivation: What the hell "NOTA team" is doing?
People from notAlab are openly trying to prepare the distribution of spring game Spring 1944
which is as much as possible easy to use by mainstream user regards many aspects of user friendliness. Distribution created by us should not be fork, mutator or any other derivation of the game.
It is supposed to be polished and tested release based on actual developer versions. It is supposed to be done with blessing
of active devs of the game - without that we see no point to do that. (more about blessing
and alternative scenarios below).
Why you should want do that? Another evil plan of nota guys???
We do that because we like Spring 1944, we think it is great game and it deserves bigger player base. Sure, this is not our only motivation. Other motivation examples, maybe too honest for this forum:
- current players get more opponents to play with (I can imagine many benefits of bigger player base which does not need to be described)
- we want to attract people to Spring in general (which is part of usual agenda last years - e.g. Spring jams, GDS 2016, BETS AI tool, making Spring part of bachelors and masters curriculums on czech universities, etc.) We think that attention of this kind can be one of the ways to attract not just new game devs, but also engine devs - generally new blood.
- we want to prove some new concepts with our lobby (yes, benefit only for notAlab!)
- we want to get and share some experience with exposing Spring engine based game to the wide audience a professional way (we think not only ZERO-K can do that)
- we can do that relatively easy because all game content is legal, its game mechanics are ready and except some UI improvements the game as whole is very close to release (=> the plan is realistic, in reasonable time)
You can argue or disagree with any of points, but I think all of them are at least not immoral and I hope I prove below that they are also legit, legal and also acceptable from perspective of the Spring community.
Flozi says your plan was to do that to make money.
Flozi is right in fact that during the planning we were considering to do a release on Steam which would generate some small money (more as a marketing tool, less as a gold mine
). I tried to contact all developers which took part on content making in s44 until i reached Flozi which strictly refused the idea. Since that moment (I think it was Nov-Dec 2016) I stopped to hunt remaining content devs and from that time monetization of any kind of the game was no longer an option
What Flozi (im not sure if intentionally) do not expose in comment here was the idea that most of the money (>80%) generated by any kind of release would be sent directly to the Spring community maintenance & Spring 1944 devs (in some reasonable ratio). Also I think it was clear for him that we have kind of well discussed support in our effort from other reachable Spring 1944 devs, so I have no idea why this is taken in question especially by him.
So what kind of support? Tell us your version about the stances of Spring 1944 devs
I try to be short here:
- We announced our plan to active devs in Sep 2016 - we considered as active dev yuritsch and JAL in that time, also we contacted Nemo about his opinion. All three mentioned people were supporting the effort in general (the motivation), there were detail discussions about what tools are appropriate but there was no major problem seen opposing the idea (or JAL did not care much).
- I tried to contact Flozi with plan about monetization - once it was refused and I have seen no special interest from his side, I kept the future relation towards this developer following the license rules.
- Before GDS 2016 (October 2016) where the Spring 1944 was first time shown to the game dev audiance and journalists we created this trello board which captures all our effort in getting the good distribution of the game: https://trello.com/b/3HG4uzst/ - on this site all our accomplishments and advances could be seen without any restriction and anyone with account is allowed to comment anything we do there.
- on notAlab project page - http://notalab.com/projects/s44-release-support-2016/ - we are also announcing the latest milestones completion which is linking given trello board
- there is always available our repository where we construct our "beta" builds and "stable" releases based on latest dev versions - https://bitbucket.org/notalab/game - from history you can see that in beta branch from which the stables are created there is nothing more that dev stuff with our version signature for notAlab hosted servers. It is not fork, it is just production branch kept on different git-host because of production automation reasons.
- we created credits screen in lobby in quality which given game deserves https://trello.com/c/AlvQWV4r/ - this is our tribute to all people working on project and this way we show the respect to their work, do not steal anything from them and also fulfill some licenses demands in far better scope than some forgotten "readme.txt" somewhere in game archive.
- In October 2016 - Jan 2017 period (later we were busy with other projects) we were literally constantly bombarding any player in S44 battlerooms with news from development, asking for suggestions to our distribution package, we were rapidly improving support for lobby (e.g. git dev builds of game hosting, UI improvements regards players comments, adding easy-to-use idiot-proof skirmish, making great game trailer). In this period there could not be player of this game who would miss our intents, our communication or any kind of our presence. Yes, thinksome, including you and frju. You know our links, you know our intentions.
- We invited Nemo on GDS 2016 to discuss personally some aspects of our plan with him. As many of you he questioned our notAlobby source-doctrine but regards the plan with Spring 1944 his stance was clear: once you follow the licenses and do not try to fuck up with other people who worked on s44, he was supporting it. Nemo, correct me if Im wrong :).
- To make sure our intentions are clear and also future relations of s44 devs and notAlab are clear, we created public declaration of our future relation with the project devs https://trello.com/c/ioxM9dFa/ (created Feb 8, 2017) which anyone is still able to comment and affect because this is still in process as you can see in status. In that proclamation you can see that our intent is to get written confirmation of support of active devs and even (not mandatory, but really wanted) support as many people which have any relation with s44 (as players or retired developers). Htere is explicitly stated that our role in "development" is mainly the release management and support to players - we are not supposed to change the game rules (=derive the game in any way).
- Also we did attempts to reach the official s44 page with announcement of our coop (one todo point in https://trello.com/c/ioxM9dFa/) and place links to our dev boards, release repository and other feeds there, but because there 2 or 3 s44 "official pages" actually, we were not sure where we should contribute, yet. (still in process)
Some people can say we could do more but at the same time we are limited by other peoples interest to communicate. I tired to do my best in time-budget I had so our actions were as much as possible coordinated with what we can call "s44 community". There is always some reasonable effort you can invest and im not sure if more effort would change anything. All the time - if we noticed we do not have personal support, we for sure are strictly following all rules based on licenses (code and content) and also rules based on community definitions
Recap regards main points reported as problems
- we have autohosts, game repo public, all open source
- we don't earn money from anything
- we have support from active developers who spent the most of the dev time with game in last year, also we have conditional support from Nemo :)
- we are sad we don't have Flozi in gang supporting us :) but we follow all rules he defined by his license. We respect his major contribution in project and his opinion is important for us.
- namely we respect and follow all instances of GPL or CC licenses we found in the content (or its docu)
- I was explicitly allowed by yuritch to do 2.31 release which was based on latest dev branch. It is available on springfiles so anyone can get it and use it. repository from which the build was created is public
- majority of players have no problem with us
- there are some less active devs or some active players which didn't give us blessings but we try to communicate with them openly, we do not try to trick them, we respect their right to disagree and in our policy there is no intentional action to "make their lives harder" or even in general "make them unhappy". As we said above our premise is "good relations" with Spring 1944 devs because we are not forking the game, we just do the production work => getting game as it is created by current devs to people. We are not able to finalize the release without good relations with s44 devs. There is no point to do anything against their will.
- Noone proved, yet, that we did anything against will of active s44 devs, actually I proved opposite thing including screenshots with yuritch's personal permisions to do some actions (trello links above). From my knowledge, correct me if im wrong, i do not see thinksome here https://github.com/spring1944/spring194 ... ntributors as active core developer. If we are violating something, it is thinksome's opinion.
This is our legitimacy to do stable release and host server with given release.
So what about thinksome?
The story is quite simple for me.
- He hates notAlobby and through that argument all related to it is bad. I hope that we made clear here: viewtopic.php?f=55&t=34014 that since agreement there is followed notAlobby is formally and practically OK from Spring community perspective and it should not be reason for any restriction of people or projects related to it.
- I see some practically rivality between him and us. Since last year thinksome was the only provider of s44 rooms (with admin rights and practical control over all setups there), he had some control over what we can call "s44 community". Once there are "competing" autohosts where hes just ordinary user, It is degradation for him.
- He insist on seeing stable release commits in repository of his choice. In ideal world I would agree with him, but real situation forced us to have all automated build setups on one repository provider. I consider it as minor issue and thinksome's demand slightly as an excuse. If source code is open, he can check and see whatever he wants in codebase of production branch.
- Beeing silent about all facts I mentioned above in this thread initial post is prove for me this blame is partly personal revenge or at least unfair hit.
- I respect that all people have right to question our approach, especially those which are not informed in detail about our last actions in last 8 months.
- I'm glad that you were able to wait some time before going nuclear I have bunch of other duties in real life so I was not in Spring universum last week to react as fast as maybe needed.
- I hope we proved that core of the blame - that we do something behind s44 devs backs - is disgusting lie and all comments based on this assumption are then invalid.
- Thinksome, I consider the way you solved your problem as poor. What about confronting me first personally before you drag the issue directly to this flamewar arena?
So judges (moderators and admins),
As representative of notAlab I let the judgment on you and we will respect your decision. If my arguments are not enough and you have any problem with the situation as it is, please suggest us some solution which will make it more acceptable for you.
As I said we prefer talks, not fights and bans. Our intention was to get some benefits for us, s44 and Spring (for all three groups at the same time) and we really tried to avoid problems. I hope you appraise our continuous constructive approach (record of our communication is the best prove) compared to destruction (bans, disable, remove,...) which is what I only see at our opponent.