ID:2257870
 
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Index
Lesson #1
01 - Introduction
02 - Fangames & You
03 - Don't F*^@&ing Steal
04 - Can I Take Donations For A Fangame?
05 - But It's Not Like--
06 - The Rest of the Rules
07 - But Wait... How Do I Actually Get Listed?
08 - Soapbox

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01 - Introduction
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Hey! It's been awhile. I know. I'm sorry. I missed you too. My life's a little hectic right now, but I promise I'll find ways for us to spend more time together.

Anyway, what I wanted to go over next was going to be... you know, programming. Aesthetic tweaks, procedures no one really... explicitly tells you how to use. Stuff that you kind of have to pay attention to change logs and the F1 reference for. The bleeding edge of BYOND technology. But... I'm not.

Today, I'm going to talk about something we see pop up on the forums every now and again: we're going to talk about your fangame and why BYOND doesn't want it, even if you change the humans to Hoo-mangs and the Saiyans to Naiyans. I'll also touch on a few other topics relating to the overall submission process for games and hubs. As usual (or as usual as a trait can be after one prior article), I'm going to let the smart people do my wording for me. To start off with, here is a heckin' good breakdown from Stephen001 (RIP):

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02 - Fangames & You
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Stephen001 wrote:
Submission Guidelines

Before you check the box making this hub visible to BYOND Moderators, run through this checklist to ensure your game is ready for review:

1) Games utilizing released or leaked source code, artwork/graphics or music/sound are subject to rejection. Having many games visible on the site that are very similar to one another is not ideal.

2) Games using free resources such as sprites, artwork or music/sound should have a footnote on the game's hub citing the free resources used. This expedites the process on our end and will see the game listed sooner.

3) Games utilizing the intellectual properties of FUNimation (i.e. Dragonball, Dragonball Z, Dragonball GT, Fairy Tail, etc.) or Square Enix (Such as Final Fantasy) will not be listed due to a cease and desist order given by their property owners.

4) Games should be playable upon submission for review. If a game is deemed to be incomplete, it will be given the status as incomplete.

5) Upon submitting a game for review, there should either be a server available for the Moderator to play-test the game or a download available on the hub. If a way to test the game isn't made available, the game will be marked as incomplete until the game is testable.

6) The game's hub must have a meaningful short description, describing the game in a sentence or two.

7) Vulgar language is not accepted.

8) If the game has a download link, it must be working.

9) Fangames are not permitted to make a profit of any kind. You cannot sell subscriptions, take donations or sell in-game benefits at all.

Whew! That's a mouthful, huh? Let's break it down a little bit. First of all, the more astute of you may have noticed that nowhere here does it say that fangames are explicitly forbidden. The BYOND ToS seems to agree with this interpretation:

4. COPYRIGHT

BYOND stands for "Build Your Own Net Dream" and we believe that to best enjoy the experience you should "own" your "dream"; that is strive to create original games. However, we understand that almost every creative work out there is at least influenced by some other source; hence the issue of copyright infringment. While we do not actively investigate or monitor the games listed here, we must, by law, enforce copyrights as requested by their owner.

If you are a game developer, you should avoid using third-party content without the permission of the original owner. This includes, but is not limited to, trademarks and the usage of images and other media not in the public domain. Violating these terms may result in a takedown of your listing, or the termination of your account for repeated offenses.

If you are a copyright holder, and are concerned with the usage of your work on this site, contact us and we will take care of the problem. You should provide contact information, a description of the copyrighted work, the location(s) on our site where the infringment is listed, and an affidavit attesting that you are the rightful owner, or can speak on behalf of them.

The takeaway here, however, should not be that releasing a fangame is fine and dandy. It's still illegal and it could still get you in very serious trouble. Aside from that, though, BYOND doesn't actively police the content of your game itself, just your hub -- but BYOND does take swift action involving any DMC takedown requests or any other legal matters involving copyright infringement.

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03 - Don't F*^@&ing Steal
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Come on, guys. This one should be self explanatory. I'm going to go over it because maybe some of you don't see the moral dilemma here. Maybe you just aren't thinking about it from the right prospective. So let's try an example.

Let's say you paint a picture. You work on it for months and months and finally, when you think it's done, you decide to show everybody you know. You let your friend see it and he snaps a picture with his cell phone. Later on that night, he prints it out and writes his name in the corner and starts telling everybody he drew it. That's his picture. He did that. He doesn't tell you about it and, since he shows it off in places you're not likely to frequent, you never find out about it. Maybe he even sells copies of the painting while you don't bother to monetize it.

That's wrong. Legally and morally, there is no other side here. Theft of intellectual property is just as damaging as real theft. There are plenty of free, legal resources for you to make a game -- utilize them. Hopefully that should be all that needs to be said.

(and really, all of the artwork and programming in those old Zeta and NBotLS sourcecodes are awful anyway so what's the point?)

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04 - Can I Take Donations For A Fangame?
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No.
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05 - But It's Not Like--
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Sigh. Okay. Let's start from the top here.

Fangames. Are. Illegal.

Yes, you will likely get away with it. No, your game does not constitute a parody (although I'm sure Funimation's lawyers would love to test that arguement in court for you). No, nothing about what you're doing is fair use. No, it's not legal if you're not making a profit. No, you can not take "donations" to help run the server.

deep breath

You know what is going to get your game shut down very quickly? Money changing hands. This is not rocket science. Don't be dumb.

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06 - The Rest of the Rules
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I... really don't think most of the rest of that stuff applies anymore. I see people swear on the forum all the time. Obviously you should be citing where your free resources are coming from if that's a required part of their fair use, but I think for the most part the moderators will still list an early version of your game if you don't in good faith that you will update it (or include those details in your game) down the line. According to Kaiochao (a BYOND mod) on the Discord:

a) download, b) live server, c) active development
unwritten rule: not ILLEGAL
rule is unnecessary

Those are the only real criteria for getting listed anymore. So... have at it.

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07 - But Wait... How Do I Actually Get Listed?
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Kaiochao on the Discord:
it's the first paragraph under "visibility" etc
all you have to do is select the option to make the game visible, and one of the mods will eventually make it visible
...if the hub fits certain criteria
I'm not sure if the criteria are written anywhere though

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08 - Soapbox
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Either way, none of this should matter. BYOND is just a web portal, one of many you should be utilizing to promote your game. With BYONDEXE and the webclient, there is no excuse in 2017 for you to be hinging the popularity of your game on the miniscule population of players that lurk around here. Take a look around the forum you're reading right now -- most of us are developers. Everyone that is a "player" is likely here to play one specific game or one specific genre and there are only so many of those "flex" BYOND users to share.

For example, itch.io lets you host a "hub" for free where you can show off your game to a wide audience of gamers. IndieDB does the same. Z-Tactics, a game you may have heard of from BYOND, is rank #6,767 out of 42,963 on IndieDB. BYONDEXE can really do a lot to make a BYOND game look polished -- here's an example of a great launcher made with BYONDEXE, courtesy of NEStalgia:



Doesn't that look so much nicer than a typical "BYOND game?" BYOND is an engine and a suite of programs -- although it has a community, this is not where you should be looking for players. Moving on...

When you host with the webclient enabled in DreamDaemon, you'll get a message containing text that looks something like this:

<iframe src="http://www.byond.com/play/embed/your.IP:yourport" width=640 height=480></iframe>


All you have to do is put that code into a blank Notepad document, then instead of saving as a txt file save it with the extension .html. From there, you should be able to compress that file into .rar or .zip and upload it to web portals such as Newgrounds and Kongregate (note: I don't think these websites allow external advertisements, so rev-share would need to be discussed with Lummox in order to get the ads removed).

You should also have your own website where you post updates about the game. You could also add a Download link (since we're taking advantage of BYONDEXE, remember?) or even let them play your game right in their browser on the website using the web client! You could add contact forms for people to give you suggestions, you could host screenshots... pretty much anything is better than just using a BYOND hub. And don't forget social media!

Anyway, I hope this was helpful to some of you. If it wasn't... sorry. Til next time!
Should be noted that if a published entry gets enough reports of being something we shouldn't have published we WILL take a deeper look and unpublish it if we find infringing material.

This is a rare step, and one not usually taken unless it becomes abundantly obvious that something is amiss with a specific entry.

Also, the IndieDB note is a great one, Battlegrounds has been holding between rank 30 and rank 2,000 or so since I put it up there, so they keep the rankings updated often and it promotes activity.
Should also be noted that just because people are telling you that making a fangame is a bad idea doesn't mean that there's fangame bias.

I tinker with fangames/ports all the time:





I just don't monetize them, or give them out to other people to monetize. They are for my own edification only.

So yeah, the whole "fangame bias" thing doesn't really exist here. If you are on the receiving end of what you feel to be prejudice in this community, odds are that your feelings are just wrong.
Even I tinker with fangame stuff, but I never do much with it. Sometimes it's fun to mess with those things and see how well you can pull it off.

I actually used Ter's Dragon Warrior tilesets to do almost exactly the same thing he did with them because I wanted to see how well it could be done (and it can be done really well, that's why NEStalgia works so well)
lol I don't think fangames are trash. I'm especially prone to games of series' I am personally a fan of. If you read this and see fangame prosecution, then I think you missed the point of the article. :)
In response to Kozuma3
Dead.
what

but i just finished my year long naruto project