Wesnoth book

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Wesnoth book

Postby NeoAmos » March 8th, 2014, 11:39 pm

I have no desire to create my own content for wesnoth, but as a passive consumer, I thought it might be nice to share my opinion on what I think would be awesome in the Wesnoth world. One of the things i enjoy most about the game other than the game itself is the epic backstories about the rise and fall of empires. Obviously this will only happen if there is someone who really wants to get into it devotes their time, but I think it would be awesome if someone were to write a book-length wesnoth story. I'm just saying, I would definitely read it :D

And theoretically, would it be legal for said person to publish such a book and sell it for their own gain, or is such a thing against the rules / community spirit? Im just thinking the book could gain popularity from the wesnoth community, giving it an edge over similar books that have no similar base of origin. From there, it could blow up (ny times bestseller?) which means => more players => a revamped wesnoth game => awesome. Just thinking out loud here. Idk if the fantasy fiction book genre is all exhausted or not what with lotr and all of the other books it has spawned. Then again, maybe wesnoth is just another generic copy of lotr, idk.

Anyway, if anyone is inspired by my rant, I want to hear about it :D
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Re: Wesnoth book

Postby Dugi » March 9th, 2014, 11:03 am

If you look at the fantasy section in a bookshop, you see tons of books that are replaced by other books when sold out, neither of them is a bestseller unless it is Harry Potter, Eragon, The Night Watch, Lord of the Rings or Lovercraft. But still, an average selling book might do.

I think that I can write a story. I have tried a few times to write a novel, but my mastery of language is insufficient. If you can write nice sentences and add lots of unimportant details, we might become a team and write something together :lol:
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Re: Wesnoth book

Postby Velensk » March 9th, 2014, 4:00 pm

I've seen a number of Wesnoth campaigns that I think would have made better books than campaigns (though I don't think they'd have been great books without a lot of fleshing out) but by and large I don't think the Wesnoth setting has a lot going for it to make a particuarly interesting story. There are (quite intentionally) few good sources of conflict specific to it that could not be written in a setting that is better designed for it. For all the history we have recorded, Wesnoth is remarkably politically stable and militarily mighty enough to handle itself. Internal conflicts could be introduced but they'd either have to be very small scale (which works against wesnoths setting IMO) or they'd have to be a rewrite of history. If you wanted to do an external threat you'd have to find something to make it not simply the account of a war (IMO again. I suppose some people like hearing accounts of fictional wars with magic, monsters, and stuff. I find that if I want to read accounts of a war it's more interesting to read about real wars and that in fiction wars serve better as an element of the story and setting).

I rather suspect that most of the more interesting stories the setting would lend itself to would be stories that I wouldn't particuarly want to read. I think there's plenty of material with the orcs and maybe some of the dwarf and elf factions.

Of course, a sufficently skilled writer can do good work with anything as long as they have some direction they want to take it. I just don't think that the Wesnoth setting makes it easy.
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Re: Wesnoth book

Postby pauline » March 9th, 2014, 6:05 pm

As an aside: by chance, I found a thread about "A Novel of Wesnoth" by A-Red,
I´m reading "Stone Remembers" right now.
Unfortunately, the feedback-ideas to encourage such contributions seem to be not practicable,
there´s not even a link on the "Poetry of Wesnoth"-site.
As for me, I´d find it already interesting if the sites with the history of
Wesnoth, Pre-Wesnoth, Factions and Races, and the most notable Wesnoth Figures
were up-to-date … preferably with references to – at least the most epic – UMCs. :)
Yeah, well … I myself don´t play enough to add significant data to this wiki-pages. Sorry.
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Re: Wesnoth book

Postby johndh » March 11th, 2014, 9:44 pm

Stone Remembers: A Novel of Wesnoth viewtopic.php?f=32&t=30782
The White Lich viewtopic.php?f=32&t=28739

Both are Wesnoth novels and both are quite enjoyable. I also wrote a short story set on Irdya as part of development for the proposed southern continent. I intend to write more, but it hasn't been a priority lately: viewtopic.php?f=32&t=39699
It's spelled "definitely", not "definately". "Defiantly" is a different word entirely.
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Re: Wesnoth book

Postby Groggy_Dice » March 12th, 2014, 6:40 am

NeoAmos wrote:And theoretically, would it be legal for said person to publish such a book and sell it for their own gain, or is such a thing against the rules / community spirit?


As a derivative work of the Wesnoth setting, such a novel would presumably have to be released under the GPL. The GPL does allow authors to publish and sell such works, but it also allows anyone else to sell or copy the GPL'd work also. This could limit the author's potential gain.

As for whether that would be against the "community spirit," that is a different question, and one on which the "community" may not be unanimous.
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Re: Wesnoth book

Postby NeoAmos » March 14th, 2014, 5:13 am

hmm, sounds like this idea wont necesarily be going anywhere soon... but in the mean time thanks for posting links to Stone Remembers and the White Lich. I will definitely give them a read :D
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Re: Wesnoth book

Postby CIB » April 17th, 2014, 10:09 am

The wesnoth setting is GPL'd? That sounds.. counter-productive.
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Re: Wesnoth book

Postby Andrettin » April 17th, 2014, 12:37 pm

CIB wrote:The wesnoth setting is GPL'd? That sounds.. counter-productive.


How so?
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Re: Wesnoth book

Postby Dugi » April 17th, 2014, 1:00 pm

If something in GPL licensed, it can be sold for money. If it is a program, you have to make the source code available (you may ask for some payments regarding delivery to prevent abuse), but it doesn't mean that the compiled executable must be freely available. If it is a book, the text (or the source code) is available in the book, and buying the book is the delivery fee. People aren't allowed to earn money by redistributing it against your will, and people downloading the book would download it also if it wasn't allowed.

Correct me if I am wrong, but things like this are also allowed to do with GPL licensed stuff:
- making a fully GPL game that works only if connected to a server and connecting to that server requires paying for creating an account (the server requires money for upkeep and electricity anyway, you can make your own server at home if you have the skill to compile it and can play it alone)
- making and selling a non-GPL game that uses GPL (or maybe CC) graphics it downloads from somewhere and keeps downloaded on the user's disk afterwards (I think this is an abomination, though)
- making a GPL game that uses non-GPL music it streams from youtube if connected to the internet (so you can distribute a wesnoth mod that makes it play Iron Maiden)
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Re: Wesnoth book

Postby johndh » April 19th, 2014, 5:30 pm

Andrettin wrote:
CIB wrote:The wesnoth setting is GPL'd? That sounds.. counter-productive.

How so?

While the GPL can be applied to any copyrightable work, it is designed for software code, not documentation, literature, art, ideas, etc. There are parts of the license that just don't make sense for anything other than software code and it's not designed for easy art sharing like, for example, Creative Commons licenses. In some ways, the GPL actually excludes art content as "mere data", in that GPL code can be executed on whatever data you want, regardless of whether that data is GPL. This is the same concept that allows a GPL word processor like LibreOffice to open documents that aren't GPL themselves and why a GPL music player can work with even the kind of musical licenses that the RIAA would approve.
For reference:
https://gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#G ... anSoftware


The license is also (by necessity) complicated and difficult to parse for those unfamiliar with it. I'm not a lawyer but I think of myself as somewhat bright and I've been involved in free and open-source development for years, but there are still a lot of things in the GPL that I don't know or don't understand. Another problem with it is that since every copyrightable part of Wesnoth is covered by the GPL, it seems to me that any work based on or including any portion of Wesnoth (involving any place names, characters, events, etc.) would also have to be GPL, even if it doesn't make sense to do so. For example, how would the GPL's requirements apply to a dramatic re-enactment in a municipal park, or someone cosplaying as Thursagan?
https://gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#W ... ForManuals

Personally, I think it's misguided that the art content of BfW is only GPL, and I'm sure there are developers who would agree with me, but my understanding is that it would just be infeasible to relicense everything because the copyrights belong to the individual artists (not to the BfW developers as a whole) and each one would have to agree to the change. (For reference, see https://gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#Consider) I think the best that could really be done at this point is dual-licensing future content as both GPL and a sane art license like CC-By-SA, provided that it is not a derivative of any previous GPL work. A problem with that would be that it would mean keeping two separate lists of all of the content that was GPL and all of the content that was dual-licensed. Perhaps some day all of the old content would be replaced through the natural processes already happening (you don't see many v1.4 sprites, do you?), but it would take years if it would ever happen at all.

Another option would be for the copyrights of future contributions to be given to BfW's governing body rather than sublicensed. That way, the devs could relicense them as needed. However, Nexuiz demonstrated how that can be a bad idea. Essentially, the situation is less than ideal but the bed has been made and now we've got to sleep in it.

The only advantage I could see to having the Wesnoth setting covered exclusively by the GPL is that it might prevent other people from making proprietary (i.e. closed-source) games set in Wesnoth, but I'm not sure that it would even accomplish that.

If relicensing were to work, I think a hybrid approach would work best. It would entail contacting as many art/content contributors as possible and asking them if they'd be willing to relicense their work as something else in addition to GPL. Those who consent to that would have their stuff put on the list of dual-licensed assets, while everything else would remain GPL-only. Then, it would be established that future contributions (not based on GPL assets) would be dual-licensed as well. It wouldn't solve the problem completely overnight (if ever), but I think it would be a vast improvement and would make Wesnoth's assets much more reusable by other free/libre projects.

Dugi wrote:If it is a program, you have to make the source code available (you may ask for some payments regarding delivery to prevent abuse), but it doesn't mean that the compiled executable must be freely available.

You only have to distribute the source code to the people to whom you distribute the executable. If I make a custom Linux distro and sell it for $15, I only have to give the source code to the people who paid. I don't have to make it publicly available on the internet. That might be what you meant, but it's hard to tell, so I thought I'd clarify.
https://gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#C ... CostsMoney

People aren't allowed to earn money by redistributing it against your will

I don't think you're correct about this. If someone buys my $15 Linux distro, they can compile their own versions and sell it or give it away for free as they wish, as permitted by the GPL. This is one of the main barriers to monetization of free/libre works.

making and selling a non-GPL game that uses GPL (or maybe CC) graphics it downloads from somewhere and keeps downloaded on the user's disk afterwards (I think this is an abomination, though)

One of the ways to get around licensing content under GPL when using the Blender Game Engine is that the executable is GPL but it can link to other (non-BGE) Blender files that are "mere data", so that seems like the same thing and I believe you are correct. I could be wrong.

- making a GPL game that uses non-GPL music it streams from youtube if connected to the internet (so you can distribute a wesnoth mod that makes it play Iron Maiden)

Assuming that Iron Maiden's music is "all rights reserved", this would be illegal for different copyright reasons, but I suppose it could stream from a service like Jamendo. Alternatively, it could play music that was already on your computer's storage, since that would be "mere data".
It's spelled "definitely", not "definately". "Defiantly" is a different word entirely.
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