Donating to Battle for Wesnoth

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Re: Donating to Battle for Wesnoth

Postby iceiceice » August 16th, 2016, 3:03 am

@Doofus-1:

I don't know how a "clawback" would work. Probably, Jetrel is free to re-release any sprites that he made under proprietary licenses. And any art that they commissioned, they hold copyrights to.
Outside of that I don't think they could. For instance most of the terrain graphics is probably GPL and they can't change that.

But it's also not clear how GPL applies to art, if it imposes a meaningful restriction, etc.
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Re: Donating to Battle for Wesnoth

Postby Dave » August 16th, 2016, 6:09 am

I just thought i would clear a few things up:

Wikipedia Frogatto and Friends wrote:In contrast to their previous project, The Battle for Wesnoth, the Frogatto team did development as a small centralized team, with the intention of building a solid engine and a game to showcase that engine, before trying to build a community around the game. Due to the licensing situation, the original authors faced protests from the community when they attempted to commercialize The Battle for Wesnoth, given that the community contributions were significant and these contributors would not get a share from the revenues. Trying to avoid such problems in their new project, they initially started working with a small group, adapted a dual license for the engine code while keeping the game content non-open.[7]


I'm not sure who wrote this but I think it is poorly written and doesn't really represent things well at all.

The main reason we develop games is for fun. Battle for Wesnoth has been developed for enjoyment of the developers and people who share our tastes. (When I say 'the developers' I really mean anyone who has contributed at all).

Frogatto was developed for fun. It's true the style of development of Frogatto is different to Wesnoth but this simply evolved over time based on the people who chose to be involved in that project and their preferences. It's not part of some "master plan" or explicit choice of some different development style.

---

We did file for a Battle for Wesnoth trademark recently, and it has been granted. The reason for this is fairly simple: we have had a number of occasions where people have used Battle for Wesnoth's assets in dubious ways. One fellow, for instance, tried to put Wesnoth on Steam on his own accord, apparently trying to sell it for his own profit. We managed to get that taken down, but after consulting a lawyer we were advised it would be much easier to stop people misusing Wesnoth's assets if we owned the trademark on it.

As an example, without the trademark, some developer could make a cheap clone of Wesnoth -- using their own code, but they might be able to reuse our art and music and other assets -- put it up on the app store, or steam or whatnot, sell it, not give away their source code, call it "Battle for Wesnoth" and there would be nothing we could do about it. The trademark means that people can't do something like that.

I am happy to answer any questions about the trademark. We are certainly not going to use the trademark to prevent any fair uses of Wesnoth.
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Re: Donating to Battle for Wesnoth

Postby Dave » August 16th, 2016, 6:14 am

Also incidentally, we are looking for a new coder to help port Wesnoth to iOS. If anyone is interested or knows somebody who is interested please let me know. The iOS port is badly out of date at this point and someone with those skills would be very much appreciated.
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Re: Donating to Battle for Wesnoth

Postby Jetrel » August 16th, 2016, 6:47 am

iceiceice wrote:You might also want to read what they write about Wesnoth here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frogatto_%26_Friends
Appears that Jetrel, shadowm, marcavis, and others have edited it at various points.

Wikipedia Frogatto and Friends wrote:In contrast to their previous project, The Battle for Wesnoth, the Frogatto team did development as a small centralized team, with the intention of building a solid engine and a game to showcase that engine, before trying to build a community around the game. Due to the licensing situation, the original authors faced protests from the community when they attempted to commercialize The Battle for Wesnoth, given that the community contributions were significant and these contributors would not get a share from the revenues. Trying to avoid such problems in their new project, they initially started working with a small group, adapted a dual license for the engine code while keeping the game content non-open.[7]


Andrettin wrote:I've read that on Wikipedia before, but found no mention of it anywhere in the forums; would be nice to be able to read a bit of that history.


It's not history - it's completely bogus. Some guy with an apparent axe to grind wrote that all in one edit. :|
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?ti ... =629081226


So, the actual history is that I wanted to do a small, focused project (we're talking about frogatto, here) for two reasons:

Creative control - to be able to work on something without having to constantly argue with people over why you're writing the story a certain way, or adjusting the stats a certain way, etc - I'm sick to death of fighting with people when I'm doing completely gratis work. It's why my small trickle of contributions to wesnoth, over the past few years, have basically just been silent - doing something I know is good, committing it, and not having to fight with people every inch of the way. It's absolutely insane to put up with when I'm doing professional-level work for free.

Disillusionment in Dilletantism - Honestly, I've become deeply disillusioned about dealing with the peanut gallery on open-source projects; if I run into people who are serious and committed, it's a whole different story - but I'm done spending entire nights trying to coax penny-ante sprite contributions out of people who aren't interested in doing any serious work. I wasted, cumulatively, a few years of my life doing that on Wesnoth, TheManaWorld, and Allacrost. I just got tired of fighting a losing battle; it was a mix of either realizing I was doing all the work myself, or realizing that I'd get way more "total output" by just doing things myself instead of tutoring people who aren't really seriously trying. Wesnoth was the least bad of these; Allacrost got so bad that l realized I had made 90% of all the art assets (including 100% of the terrain). I really realized at that point - hey, if I'm going to make an entire game singlehandedly, I'm probably better off making my own game, because I honestly wasn't really a fan of the FF6-style gameplay allacrost had. I prefer more strategy in my RPGs (like a certain TBS everyone here is familiar with ;) ).

It's not about open-source, since frogatto, for example, still is open source. It's about dilettantes versus hard workers - I want to work in private with serious, hardcore people who really want to make something amazing. Not people who poke at doing pixel art two weekends per year. I was naive to waste my time on that.



Frogatto is being sold, but what it makes is a pittance compared to my day job. My main interest is for it to be self-funding. I use the money I've earned to commission people to make things that are too time-consuming for me to do myself (a few bits of art and music, so far). I'd rather be paying with money it's made on its own, rather than out-of-pocket.

Frogatto has also always been mostly open-source, despite having created 99% of it myself, and fully holding the copyright to it - basically the only things not being open-source being the things that would only be useful to someone ripping it off, rather than reusing it to make a new game (level designs, the core characters, and the dialogue writing, etc). I'm hugely in favor of people reusing my code+art to make their own games (and several people at this point have some little anura projects going on github lifting heavily from some of the stuff I've made). I'm not interested in someone doing a dupe-and-dump hack-job on it, but I'm very much interested in enabling people to learn from and reuse my work to actually be creative and make their own stuff.
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Re: Donating to Battle for Wesnoth

Postby Andrettin » August 16th, 2016, 8:21 am

Dave wrote:I just thought i would clear a few things up:

I'm not sure who wrote this but I think it is poorly written and doesn't really represent things well at all.

The main reason we develop games is for fun. Battle for Wesnoth has been developed for enjoyment of the developers and people who share our tastes. (When I say 'the developers' I really mean anyone who has contributed at all).

Frogatto was developed for fun. It's true the style of development of Frogatto is different to Wesnoth but this simply evolved over time based on the people who chose to be involved in that project and their preferences. It's not part of some "master plan" or explicit choice of some different development style.

---

We did file for a Battle for Wesnoth trademark recently, and it has been granted. The reason for this is fairly simple: we have had a number of occasions where people have used Battle for Wesnoth's assets in dubious ways. One fellow, for instance, tried to put Wesnoth on Steam on his own accord, apparently trying to sell it for his own profit. We managed to get that taken down, but after consulting a lawyer we were advised it would be much easier to stop people misusing Wesnoth's assets if we owned the trademark on it.

As an example, without the trademark, some developer could make a cheap clone of Wesnoth -- using their own code, but they might be able to reuse our art and music and other assets -- put it up on the app store, or steam or whatnot, sell it, not give away their source code, call it "Battle for Wesnoth" and there would be nothing we could do about it. The trademark means that people can't do something like that.

I am happy to answer any questions about the trademark. We are certainly not going to use the trademark to prevent any fair uses of Wesnoth.


Jetrel wrote:It's not history - it's completely bogus. Some guy with an apparent axe to grind wrote that all in one edit. :|
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?ti ... =629081226


So, the actual history is that I wanted to do a small, focused project (we're talking about frogatto, here) for two reasons:

Creative control - to be able to work on something without having to constantly argue with people over why you're writing the story a certain way, or adjusting the stats a certain way, etc - I'm sick to death of fighting with people when I'm doing completely gratis work. It's why my small trickle of contributions to wesnoth, over the past few years, have basically just been silent - doing something I know is good, committing it, and not having to fight with people every inch of the way. It's absolutely insane to put up with when I'm doing professional-level work for free.

Disillusionment in Dilletantism - Honestly, I've become deeply disillusioned about dealing with the peanut gallery on open-source projects; if I run into people who are serious and committed, it's a whole different story - but I'm done spending entire nights trying to coax penny-ante sprite contributions out of people who aren't interested in doing any serious work. I wasted, cumulatively, a few years of my life doing that on Wesnoth, TheManaWorld, and Allacrost. I just got tired of fighting a losing battle; it was a mix of either realizing I was doing all the work myself, or realizing that I'd get way more "total output" by just doing things myself instead of tutoring people who aren't really seriously trying. Wesnoth was the least bad of these; Allacrost got so bad that l realized I had made 90% of all the art assets (including 100% of the terrain). I really realized at that point - hey, if I'm going to make an entire game singlehandedly, I'm probably better off making my own game, because I honestly wasn't really a fan of the FF6-style gameplay allacrost had. I prefer more strategy in my RPGs (like a certain TBS everyone here is familiar with ;) ).

It's not about open-source, since frogatto, for example, still is open source. It's about dilettantes versus hard workers - I want to work in private with serious, hardcore people who really want to make something amazing. Not people who poke at doing pixel art two weekends per year. I was naive to waste my time on that.



Frogatto is being sold, but what it makes is a pittance compared to my day job. My main interest is for it to be self-funding. I use the money I've earned to commission people to make things that are too time-consuming for me to do myself (a few bits of art and music, so far). I'd rather be paying with money it's made on its own, rather than out-of-pocket.


Thanks for the clarifications :) Goes to show why Wikipedia isn't trustworthy. I completely understand your rationale for preferring to work with a smaller, more committed group. I personally prefer working alone exactly for those reasons. I think your current system - in which you accept contributions but only with copyright transfer or CC0 dedication - is quite good, as it allows you to take the game(s) wherever you want.

I hope we will see Frogatto on Steam sometime soon :)
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Re: Donating to Battle for Wesnoth

Postby Aldarisvet » August 16th, 2016, 9:06 am

Heh, Frogatto was greenlit at Dec 2013 and still is not being sold on Steam, only on Appstore.
I think we can relax about wesnoth-2 with such speed of work :D
Some day there would be professional made Wesnoth-2 by core team which would be for buy in Steam, but that is exact thing a topicstarter wanted to have - to have an ability to pay for the game he likes.
And given Jetrel's position, I cant see that devs value the community's contribution too much actually :)
It's partly right from one side, because UMC creators are mostly use high-quality mainline images for their campaigns and rarely produce something new (doofus's works is the only really massive exception I think) and from the other side, because for recent years a common player in most cases had no idea about an UMC content. Common player somehow likes mainline campaigns, which is a dev's product, they were UMC some days, but that was a long ago. The loyal community is needed for PR mostly, to spread the word about the game.
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Re: Donating to Battle for Wesnoth

Postby Dave » August 16th, 2016, 4:38 pm

Jetrel wrote:Creative control - to be able to work on something without having to constantly argue with people over why you're writing the story a certain way, or adjusting the stats a certain way, etc - I'm sick to death of fighting with people when I'm doing completely gratis work. It's why my small trickle of contributions to wesnoth, over the past few years, have basically just been silent - doing something I know is good, committing it, and not having to fight with people every inch of the way. It's absolutely insane to put up with when I'm doing professional-level work for free.

Disillusionment in Dilletantism - Honestly, I've become deeply disillusioned about dealing with the peanut gallery on open-source projects; if I run into people who are serious and committed, it's a whole different story - but I'm done spending entire nights trying to coax penny-ante sprite contributions out of people who aren't interested in doing any serious work. I wasted, cumulatively, a few years of my life doing that on Wesnoth, TheManaWorld, and Allacrost. I just got tired of fighting a losing battle; it was a mix of either realizing I was doing all the work myself, or realizing that I'd get way more "total output" by just doing things myself instead of tutoring people who aren't really seriously trying. Wesnoth was the least bad of these; Allacrost got so bad that l realized I had made 90% of all the art assets (including 100% of the terrain). I really realized at that point - hey, if I'm going to make an entire game singlehandedly, I'm probably better off making my own game, because I honestly wasn't really a fan of the FF6-style gameplay allacrost had. I prefer more strategy in my RPGs (like a certain TBS everyone here is familiar with ;) ).


Just to be clear, I don't necessarily agree with any of this.

I have very much enjoyed the Wesnoth community's involvement in the development of Wesnoth and feel they have made it the game it is today. I greatly appreciate and value everyone's contributions in making Wesnoth the game it is today.

Incidentally I am currently developing Argentum Age, a collectible card game which I am hoping will eventually grow into a community effort as a high quality open card game. If anyone is interested in trying it out and considering getting involved I would be happy to get you set up with it, hear your feedback, and talk about how you can help contribute.
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Re: Donating to Battle for Wesnoth

Postby Pentarctagon » August 16th, 2016, 11:22 pm

Dave wrote:
Jetrel wrote:Creative control - to be able to work on something without having to constantly argue with people over why you're writing the story a certain way, or adjusting the stats a certain way, etc - I'm sick to death of fighting with people when I'm doing completely gratis work. It's why my small trickle of contributions to wesnoth, over the past few years, have basically just been silent - doing something I know is good, committing it, and not having to fight with people every inch of the way. It's absolutely insane to put up with when I'm doing professional-level work for free.

Disillusionment in Dilletantism - Honestly, I've become deeply disillusioned about dealing with the peanut gallery on open-source projects; if I run into people who are serious and committed, it's a whole different story - but I'm done spending entire nights trying to coax penny-ante sprite contributions out of people who aren't interested in doing any serious work. I wasted, cumulatively, a few years of my life doing that on Wesnoth, TheManaWorld, and Allacrost. I just got tired of fighting a losing battle; it was a mix of either realizing I was doing all the work myself, or realizing that I'd get way more "total output" by just doing things myself instead of tutoring people who aren't really seriously trying. Wesnoth was the least bad of these; Allacrost got so bad that l realized I had made 90% of all the art assets (including 100% of the terrain). I really realized at that point - hey, if I'm going to make an entire game singlehandedly, I'm probably better off making my own game, because I honestly wasn't really a fan of the FF6-style gameplay allacrost had. I prefer more strategy in my RPGs (like a certain TBS everyone here is familiar with ;) ).


Just to be clear, I don't necessarily agree with any of this.

I have very much enjoyed the Wesnoth community's involvement in the development of Wesnoth and feel they have made it the game it is today. I greatly appreciate and value everyone's contributions in making Wesnoth the game it is today.

Incidentally I am currently developing Argentum Age, a collectible card game which I am hoping will eventually grow into a community effort as a high quality open card game. If anyone is interested in trying it out and considering getting involved I would be happy to get you set up with it, hear your feedback, and talk about how you can help contribute.


While you're here though, what is the plan/intention for wesnoth2?

Is wesnoth2 meant as a replacement to current wesnoth/would wesnoth2 end up replacing wesnoth1.14/1.16/whatever on Steam at some point?

Is it essentially just wesnoth-using-anura, or are there going to be balancing/gameplay/etc changes as well?

Is the code contribution model going to be similar to current wesnoth? The zlib/libpng license which the anura engine uses for its /src directory is listed as GPL compatible, so I can't imagine there would be a some kind of ideological divide or anything, but at the same time iceiceice mentioned earlier that "most of the community developers were not invited to join wesnoth2".

What kind of timeframe is wesnoth2 on? Is the goal to have it ready in 2/3/5 years?
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Re: Donating to Battle for Wesnoth

Postby Dave » August 16th, 2016, 11:36 pm

Pentarctagon wrote:While you're here though, what is the plan/intention for wesnoth2?


I have tried to minimize the discussion regarding wesnoth2 so far because it is experimental and I have done a lot of experiments and prototypes of projects over the years which don't pan out. I hate talking about my projects before I am certain they have at least a reasonable chance of success since I think it is unfair to make people excited (or conversely, anxious) over something only to be disappointed. I dislike vaporware as much as the next guy.

However, since the cat is apparently at least part of the way out of the bag, so to speak, I will prepare a little explanation on wesnoth2 and try to post it in a new thread sometime soon. I will link here when I do so.

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Re: Donating to Battle for Wesnoth

Postby Jetrel » August 17th, 2016, 1:28 am

I think I "wrote in anger" on my last post, so rather than redacting it and pretending it didn't happen, I'd like to offer a softer side of the same coin.

I'm pretty burned out, here, and part of my burnout comes from how much I care about all the people who do contribute seriously to this project. You guys are awesome, and I know that the frustrations I expressed are something hugely shared by numerous people on the project - they're your pain, and my rant was there to tell you that I'm feeling it too. I admire everyone who's taken the time to help people on wesnoth, because even if it's often thankless work, you're the reason why we have a community that's created anything.

We've got a lot of people here who really work hard, respect each other, and want this project to succeed. You guys are the reason I hammered away on this project for ... well, a decade, now. You guys are what make open-source a force for good in the world - in fact, you're the only reason it works at all. In addition to that, our community is also the only reason anyone's heard of wesnoth, and is the source of a huge amount of community content that continues to keep this game alive, ten years after it started. I deeply appreciate everything you guys have done.

If I've said anything that makes you wonder if I question the value of your efforts - the fact you've made any efforts automatically makes you a good guy. I do appreciate it.
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Re: Donating to Battle for Wesnoth

Postby doofus-01 » August 17th, 2016, 2:14 am

Jetrel wrote:I think I "wrote in anger" on my last post, so rather than redacting it and pretending it didn't happen, I'd like to offer a softer side of the same coin.

Cheers, I know the feeling. :oops: And thank you for following up.
Dave wrote:We did file for a Battle for Wesnoth trademark recently, and it has been granted [...]

I am happy to answer any questions about the trademark. We are certainly not going to use the trademark to prevent any fair uses of Wesnoth.

I saw dark and hostile motives because the active developers were kept in the dark while legal maneuverings were under way, but if it was just a defensive move against folks we could all agree are jerks, maybe it can just be a gentle lesson/reminder for better communication? I'm sure neither you nor the developers (or potential contributors) want to spend time playing lawyer, I'm glad to hear this was all nothing.

Jetrel wrote:continues to keep this game alive, ten years after it started.
What is your intention with regards to this old Wesnoth? For example, are you still going to work on the Lisar sprites? Is the Burning Suns elves commission still a thing?
Or have you retired?

Thanks.
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Re: Donating to Battle for Wesnoth

Postby Dave » August 17th, 2016, 5:25 am

I have posted this topic regarding wesnoth2: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=44477
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Re: Donating to Battle for Wesnoth

Postby Jetrel » August 17th, 2016, 8:58 am

doofus-01 wrote:
Jetrel wrote:I think I "wrote in anger" on my last post, so rather than redacting it and pretending it didn't happen, I'd like to offer a softer side of the same coin.

Cheers, I know the feeling. :oops: And thank you for following up.


You're a particular person I had in mind as a shining example. :D

doofus-01 wrote:
Jetrel wrote:continues to keep this game alive, ten years after it started.
What is your intention with regards to this old Wesnoth? For example, are you still going to work on the Lisar sprites? Is the Burning Suns elves commission still a thing?


The main holdup is I'm pouring just about all of my free gamedev time into Frogatto. Frogatto's had several "playably finished" versions before, things where you could progress from the start to the end, fight the final boss, and win the game. But they have all been mediocre in a lot of really telling ways. We've been greenlit on steam, and I want to release it, but it needs to be great before it goes on there, because it's the biggest market in the world, and when we hit it, we're probably forming the only permanent public impression we're gonna get. That sort of thing where people tweet a few news articles and are like "oh yeah, I think I heard of that..." - I don't want that sentence to end with "... and I heard it looked cool, but it's kinda boring". My fear is that once that's made, it's set in stone; the kind of flaws we have are the kind of things normal developers never change about their games partway into development - we're still tweaking things like player physics and the player's basic attacks, even this late into development. Everything I know about how PR works for games tells me we get one chance "to make a case that we're worth further interest". Anything past that, we can take some borrowed-time on. But if we fall under that minimum threshold, we're toast.


I don't have to hit some crazy holy grail on the game, but there are really some genuinely shameful lacks I'm trying to address. For one simple example - the game comes in four acts, and - in a game that very clearly uses the tried-and-true narrative cycle where you progress through part of the game, fight a boss, have some story, and rinse-and-repeat... we had (past tense now) no boss fights at all in Act 2 or 3. None... and barely any in the first half of 4. We introduce an expectation for the player in the very first part of the game, and we fail to pay that expectation off as the game goes on. That's one example of many different things which were just - we can't release on steam like that. People would rightly look at us and point out that we're a janky, unfinished indie game; and toss us off on that trash heap of the main "promising but forgettable" could-have-beens.

It's a lot of work; I'm doing 80% of the level-design, all of the non-engine programming (the best way to describe this is that if Anura is Gamemaker, I wrote a game "in" it - and I think that's a fair comparison with Anura actually kicking the tar out of Gamemaker in many respects), all the writing, and of course ... all the graphics. It's been a huge, huge amount of work for one guy - I'm blessed that Anura and the work going into it has been such an insane force multiplier, but Frogatto is really the sort of thing that can't get done in a reasonable amount of time if one person's doing everything - and frankly, I wanted to do a big part of it to prove to myself I could. To have the experience of taking it all on holistically, and knowing how all the decisions affect each other from the most micro to macro level.

It's perennially been "6 months away for a while". I feel like we're actually close at this point, but yeah, I'm not giving estimates. Most of my list of goals is checked off, though. It'll happen. Eventually.

-------------

Once I actually get it done, I think I'm probably going to swing a rather decent amount more time back to wesnoth, because I no longer have a gun to my head; I no longer have an unfinished novel, so to speak. My main goal on wesnoth is to pick up where I left off with the unit sprites. The great thing about them is they're reusable across all of the things I'm interested in being a part of; I don't have to pick between a hypothetical wesnoth 2 or wesnoth 1; they're the same sprites for any game.

I have recently done a trickle of work on those UTBS elf sprites; I've gotten L1 designs for a few units done, and zookeeper's munged out some "placeholders" for the rest that many games would be happy to have as official art. I'll probably continue that as the nearest project. Past that, I've got some touchups for the wood elves I've been working on, as well as some touchups for loyalist units. Outside of those, I'm pretty happy with the vast bulk of our sprites' core designs, and from there on, it's probably about animation. Wesnoth has long needed some heavy-hitting there.
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Re: Donating to Battle for Wesnoth

Postby iceiceice » August 17th, 2016, 5:54 pm

Sorry, I didn't realize that you guys didn't write that paragraph on wikipedia and hadn't seen it yourselves.
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Re: Donating to Battle for Wesnoth

Postby iceiceice » August 17th, 2016, 6:25 pm

Jetrel wrote: I'm hugely in favor of people reusing my code+art to make their own games (and several people at this point have some little anura projects going on github lifting heavily from some of the stuff I've made). I'm not interested in someone doing a dupe-and-dump hack-job on it, but I'm very much interested in enabling people to learn from and reuse my work to actually be creative and make their own stuff.


So wait, how does that work? You mean like, they ask you directly for permission and use it within some Anura module? Or is there some sort of open source licensing for art that I didn't see / is new.
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