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Some more sad news today folks, Trent from Nooskewl has made a blog post detailing why the currently open source game Monster RPG 2 is to become non-free again.
QuoteLast year, on November 6th 2012, our Indiegogo campaign to free Monster RPG 2 ended and Monster RPG 2 became free and open source. Since then Monster RPG 2 has been downloaded a quarter of a million times for free, and the source code has been freely available under the most liberal license possible.

Unfortunately, while this campaign was great for gamers and for us to see such a great interest in the game, business-wise it has really hurt. Our estimate was that it would cost us about $1000-$1500 to operate the business for two years, but that was far off.

If you take only the expenses mentioned on the campaign page (which is fair, but inaccurate), we've paid $75/month for our server and $99x2 for iOS and Mac developer program certificates. On top of that, the perks cost us a lot at $740 when adding in $50 for each Code Monkey perk (which would amount to a $1/hour wage or less for many of them.) Add that up and you get $1838, about $300 more than we made from the campaign in just a year. If you're wondering about the server, we had to upgrade it due to the high demand, mostly from Monster RPG 2 traffic and downloads, from the $40 we initially set for it. This included upgrading to a 100Mbit connection which was and still is certainly needed.

I do regret that I was so far off in estimates, but I think everyone has got their dues from this campaign. Certainly 250,000 free downloads amounts to something as well. So with bills piling up again and no income to pay them (and no money left from the campaign,) I have decided to put Monster RPG 2 back on sale on the anniversary of the end of the campaign last year, November 6th 2013. The game will still be, and will hopefully always remain open source, but we need those sales to keep afloat while we make our new game (which by the way already has me about $10K in the hole in bank loans as well.)

I'm really sorry it has to come to this, I wish it didn't. Even though I'm sorry I don't feel like I've done anyone any wrong other than simple human error which we're all capable of. So if you contributed to the campaign, make sure you go download every version of the game so you'll always have free copies! I can't thank you all enough for your contributions and the joy it has been seeing so many people happily playing this game for free, but I'll try: Thank you all! I hope you understand.


Now I understand the risks with crowdfunding and can certainly appreciate it when things turn out more expensive when they seem, but I can see a few people being upset by this.

Some people after all did pledge in the hundreds (I pledged a few dollars myself) towards making it open source for it to now become non-free again.

The problem with this is that this could heavily backfire on Trent, if you look at his Open Source page he does specifically note that the game is currently under a "Give it Your Own License, License" which is quoted below:
QuoteThis software is distributed under the terms of the Give it Your Own License,
License, which gives you the right to re-license this software under any
terms, or any existing license, you desire. Your new license terms shall not
affect the license terms of any future licensee of the software, as distributed
by the original author, nor shall your new license terms act retroactively on
any prior licensee.
 
THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR "AS IS". ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED
WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF
MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. THE
AUTHOR SHALL NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR DAMAGE CAUSED
BY THE USE OF THE SOFTWARE LICENSED HEREIN.


I am interested in seeing how this plays out since I have a copy of the source in my downloads folder which legally I could do anything I wanted with, so could you and so can he.

Trailer - For those unsure what it even is.
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What are your thoughts on this, do you think it's acceptable or are you feeling it's a bit unfair? Let us know.

Update: Trent has changed the title to now better reflect the changes on this "Monster RPG 2 Will Be Paid/Open Source On November 6th" so the title is less misleading.

According to Cheeseness who spoke to him Trent will charge for the game which will give you source code access, even though the git repo will remain open so you can still get it for free.
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14 comments
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manny 24 October 2013 at 1:17 pm UTC
I don't see a big deal with this.

the game is still free to download and people can do what they want.

However he should had used torrents or hosting on foss sites.

He should probably make a new campaign to help fund his next game.

If he doesn't lose the trust of the community, then they will keep helping / fund him.
titi 24 October 2013 at 2:16 pm UTC
He said the game will still be OpenSource, he will just sell copies!
I see absolutely no problem with this, or did I miss the point?
liamdawe 24 October 2013 at 2:18 pm UTC
The point is the original title completely mislead what was happening, he has now corrected that.

It's also a very long winded way of saying "we didn't think it through properly, it will still be 100% open source but we accept donations".

Essentially he has renamed donations so you can "buy" a copy of the open source game.

So there isn't an issue now but before the title suggested it wasn't going to be open source.

It also points out how some projects can pan-out in the end.
DrMcCoy 24 October 2013 at 3:21 pm UTC
Yeah, you're conflating free as in free beer and free as in speech (aka "libre") here.

The game code will still remain FLOSS (free/libre open source software). Whether or not you pay for the game data is something else entirely. In either case, kudos to them for opening the game; too few do that, IMHO.

That said, this is the first time I've heard of the "Give it Your Own License, License". Very weird license, and very weird to choose such a license. I'd have chosen either GPL, BSD or CC0, depending on the level of permissiveness I thought necessary (for a whole game thing, probably GPL), but that's maybe just me.
mongrol 24 October 2013 at 10:11 pm UTC
I commend him on doing this and in mind it's how all games should be distributed. Open the source, sell the binaries and/or assets.
Hamish 24 October 2013 at 10:45 pm UTC
So was the data actually Copyleft before? If not, only the freeware community has lost by this.

But I echo DrMcCoy here in that his choice of licenses is odd and potentially harmful as he would need to hold up the terms of that license himself and could not enlist the the help of the Free Software Foundation.
-_- 25 October 2013 at 9:40 am UTC
maybe he can put the game on Steam
Warhol 25 October 2013 at 12:53 pm UTC
Complain about server hosting instead of just offering a torrent. 
Myself 25 October 2013 at 5:40 pm UTC
On the torrent idea, if he did that stopping the download even by official means would be near impossible, too many seeds. Now if it is torrented it will be deemed pirating. He was probably thinking to the future in a worst case scenario, like this one. Easy to shutdown 1 server and a server made it possible to track how many downloads.
manny 25 October 2013 at 6:00 pm UTC
Quote from MyselfOn the torrent idea, if he did that stopping the download even by official means would be near impossible, too many seeds. Now if it is torrented it will be deemed pirating. He was probably thinking to the future in a worst case scenario, like this one. Easy to shutdown 1 server and a server made it possible to track how many downloads.

Almost anything that is freely downloadable is being offered at a torrent somewhere already.

He just didn't take advantage of this free resource and gave most of the funds people gave him for open sourcing the game to a server company...

Anyway most people will go to the official site, so you can track clicks to the download link / torrent file anyway.
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