On BYOND, we have this issue of fangames popping up. This has consequences, good and bad. The issues aren't with fangames as much as they are with people ripping games. So, what I am going to try to do here is try to get into the mind of the ripper. Hopefully, I can reach some sort of undersatnding and perhaps extend some towards you. In the end, I make these posts because I am an attention whore who likes to babble. I also think that I'm pretty funny! The reason that I feel that I am one of the many allowed to make this post, is because I, perhaps like many readers, almost became a ripper.
Disclaimer: The point of this post is not to put fangames in a negative light (But it might happen anyway). If you have come looking for rage on fangames, you have come to the wrong place. (But I know that Danbriggs will probably be able to amuse you)
Warning: Backstory Alert!
I joined BYOND to play "Naruto Avengers," (A game now pulled down because it is a rip). I would play for hours and I was very good friends of the staff. Eventually, the game was no longer hosted, and I had to find a new game. So I randomly picked another game. Oh happy day! This game is so similar to the last one I played! I already know how everything works! But that one closed too. So I'd have to find another one, and what eventaully happened is that I'd run into issues.
The first issue was that each game was exactly like the one before it. This only fools me for a little while; soon I got suspicious.
The second issue was that each game would have a very short "lifetime." (Hooray for never knowing where to put the period!) Each game would only run for a month or so. I still wanted my Naruto fix, but I didn't want to continually restart. So how do I assure this? I host the game myself.
At this point I had figured out how to click the download button on the hub. I also knew how to press the host button in the lower right. So I found a Naruto game that I could host, (namely Naruto Birth of the Legendary Shinobi) and I went to town. This is where my backstory ends and the ripping article begins.
Making a Game
After playing BYOND all of this time, and talking to the "staff" of several games; I figure, "What the hey! I could make a game! But what game? What should I make?" And this is where we run into (what I feel) is a major factor in the spawning of fangames and rips. The main reason?
We've all BS'd papers. If you say that you haven't you're clearly spewing BS right now. BS is the result of being too lazy to create quality content to fill the gap between what you have, and what is expected. (You fill the void with another void, so to speak)
Creating a fangame out of laziness is really when you're too lazy to plan a quality game yourself. You decide to take what is already a well-established idea and work off that. Fangame of a fangame? You're letting someone else plan your game itself for you.
The rest of these are just add-ons, because every fangame is a result of laziness. (Not that it's a bad thing! I am not discouraging fangames! I am discouraging rips!)
I Can Make it Great
You have your intellectual property property of choice, and you feel that you can show BYOND how great it is through an in-depth game. So you set everything up and get to work. You're still lazy in that you're letting someone else creat characters and backstory, but you are making a genuine effort to improve games on BYOND. I've always said that there is nothing wrong with fangames. There is everything wrong with poorly made fangames.
I Can Make it Better
Second Degree laziness. This is when you play a game, and you feel that it did an OK job, but you can do it better. So you plan your game around their model, adding your special elements to make the game great.
These aren't the worst things in the world. Man has faults, you cna't get away from that. The problem is when these faults propogate into your games. We are going to take a closer look at this "I can make it better" deal.
Coding is Hard to Understand
You're still religiously watching DBZ. You're probably 13-14 years old. Your mind is probably not as mature as it could be. So you look at Dream Maker and you're like, "How in Santa's name do I do this?" So you look up tutorials. "Woah... lots of reading... I have to study this!" So you study it. You're not quite sure how all of this becomes a game, but you're working it out.
What happens? That instant gratification mindset you have doesn't like all of the work that you have to do. "I've been at this for a week! Where are my super special awesome spells and stuff? And why is everything so buggy?" So you have to figure out how to get someone to show you how it's done.
Obtaining a Source
If you google BYOND source list, you get a few pages that will leak sources to you. (Whether or not they are legit; who knows?) A source of a game is what makes the game work. You know this. So looking at a source should show you how things are done properly right? Right. So you look up the list, and lo' 'n behold! Your favourite game has already been packaged into a nice little source for you! So you obtain and a source, try to learn from it, copy their methods here and there, all is good, right?
Wrong. For some reason your game is still super buggy, and you can't quite get why. You're frustrated, and you feel that you HAVE to get a game out by week's end. So what do you do? Give up, or in the form of a verb used to describe your end result...
(This is why I never became a ripper. When I got to the learn from a source step, I noticed that everything was so inefficient and redundant. Like, I purposely add one redundancy to my code just to be safe, but dang. These rips have thousands of lines of redundant code. Common Sense +1!)
You know that the source you have works. The GMs on it (because every well made game has to have GMs!!) are not who you want, but that's what the find/replace is for! You change your "staff," you add the Naruto Frog icon, you have a game. Thing is, you didn't really make a game, you just re-uploaded an old game.
(I note that because each of these games is the same, the only distinguishing factor is how they are run. Thus, a possible cause for the "we have great staff" argument?)
BYOND -> OYOND
I take the OYOND from a quote that I read about a week ago, and the person made a pretty good point.
Edit: Found the original quote! EmpirezTeam
"On BYOND, we're split up into two categories: those of us who want to actually create games, and those who simply want to own games. The problem with the latter crowd is that most people who just want to OYOND ( Own Your Own Net Dream ) go about it the wrong way. Instead of obtaining a source code and claiming it as your own, they should, like Nerfarious or Fantasie Productions, gather enough funds to pay for a team to create a game for them from scratch. That way, the game will be higher quality and you can "own it" and legally profit at the same time."(Honourable Productions Blog)
Build Your Own Net Dream has become Own Your Own Net Dream. These rip makers don't want to make games. They want to lord over games. And this filthy attitude seems to be a key feature that has become attached to rips (and fangames in general). These rips have given fangames a bad name, and they used to be so much more common. They used to make up most of the anime games on BYOND. (I don't know current status because I don't play anime games anymore.
As some of you may be aware, recently, there was a ton of drama about LSX and PSE. Robertbanks2 has pretty much spelled out exactly how I feel about the subject here The gist of it is, this ripping thing is a problem.
So here's my message to you fangame makers. Clean up the act. Fangames have a terrible rep right now. I'd like to see that changes. Also, don't rip. Sorta ties into cleaning up the act.
I'm not going to tell you to not make fangames. Many people (including myself) are probably working on one now, and that's okay. Just bear in mind that you have to keep it original.
(Also, the rename gig is LSX really is a joke. Don't pull that stunt.)
Basically, it all comes back to this. There's nothing wrong with fangames. There's everything wrong with poorly made fangames. Also, don't rip.
Note: Do not post comments about LSX or PSE in here. One. That issue has been resolved. Two. If it's that important that you want to rage about it, just pop me an email. I'll listen to whatever rant you have about it. I'm not going to debate an already settled issue, especially when it will have no effect.