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 Post subject: Gargoyle Medieval Pack
PostPosted: August 1st, 2008, 4:39 pm 
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Feel free to rate and discuss this game.

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PostPosted: August 2nd, 2008, 7:44 am 
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From the screenshot alone it appears to derive its graphics from both Heretic and Lemmings, which makes it iffy to redistribute (especially by disc) Though that didn't stop TerraFire on the site though (containing oodles of ROTT, Duke3D, Tyrian and Raptor graphics)

Dunno what your policies on games that plagiarize assets of other games though.

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PostPosted: August 2nd, 2008, 1:56 pm 
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I didn't see anything obvious when I was playing the games. You're no doubt talking about the elves who are spinning the chain attached to the crossbow platform, which looks a bit like the lemmings who roll out the credits in Lemmings. The elves have green outfits and brown hair (instead of blue outfits and green hair) and have distinguishable facial features, unlike the lemmings who are pixellated due to their small size. It's hard to tell on such a small screenshot, but the elves are much larger and more detailed than lemmings, being composed of several times as many pixels. These guys have more pixels in their faces than a lemming has in his whole body. I'm not sure about the Heretic reference. Do the gargoyles bear a resemblance to bad guys in Heretic?

They may be bear a resemblance to characters in other games, but I don't think that any of the graphics were ripped. I spoke to Gary Dominguez, the man who drew the graphics, on the phone the other day, and I can ask him if those games inspired the characters. If there is copyright infringing material in the Gargoyle games, it isn't obvious to me. Please give the games a try and see if you still think there is any plagiarism.

I hadn't noticed anything obvious in TerraFire either. I'd appreciate a list of which graphics in TerraFire were ripped from other games.

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PostPosted: August 2nd, 2008, 11:09 pm 
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DOSGuy wrote:
Do the gargoyles bear a resemblance to bad guys in Heretic?

Oh yes. For reference:
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DOSGuy wrote:
I hadn't noticed anything obvious in TerraFire either. I'd appreciate a list of which graphics in TerraFire were ripped from other games.


There's numerous rips, and i haven't played 100% through the game yet, but the first levels triggered a lot of familiarisms. I'll do a big post about this later. An obvious example in it is ROTT's floor flame jet which is used as a basis for TerraFire's flamejet. Also the explosions.)

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PostPosted: August 2nd, 2008, 11:19 pm 
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Yes, that does look a lot like the title screen.

leilei wrote:
DOSGuy wrote:
I hadn't noticed anything obvious in TerraFire either. I'd appreciate a list of which graphics in TerraFire were ripped from other games.


There's numerous rips, and i haven't played 100% through the game yet, but the first levels triggered a lot of familiarisms. I'll do a big post about this later. An obvious example in it is ROTT's floor flame jet which is used as a basis for TerraFire's flamejet. Also the explosions.)


I look forward to that. Please post in the TerraFire thread when it's ready.

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PostPosted: August 2nd, 2008, 11:37 pm 
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DOSGuy wrote:
Please give the games a try and see if you still think there is any plagiarism.

Just did, and my position still hasn't changed. It's very, very obvious. These just have their horns and claws whitened and skin darkened.

Also lol one game plays just like the classic Bouncing Babies.

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PostPosted: August 2nd, 2008, 11:48 pm 
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That would be Gargoyle Revenge. The concept isn't original, but that's nothing new. The gargoyles definitely look a lot like the picture you posted from Heretic, but it's not a direct rip. The gaming industry is known for games ripping each other off (or spoofing each other), and most of the time it's legal. Same with television. I don't watch Family Guy that often, but in the episodes I've seen, they've had Optimus Prime, Soundwave, Kool-Aid Man, the Thunder Cats... well, it goes on and on. Then there are those awful movies like Meet the Spartans that are nothing but references to other movies. I don't condone piracy at all, but it seems like copyright law allows you to steal almost any concept, storyline or likeness, as long as there's something original about it. I've played lots of games and said to myself, "This is just a shameless rip off of Space Invaders/Pac-man/Super Mario Bros./etc., and I won't reward the author by putting their game on my website." I don't feel that way when I play this game. I'm not an expert, but it all looks legal to me. It's at least somewhat original, and it's fun, and I like it.

Incidentally, I'm amazed that courts found that K.C. Munchkin infringed Pac-man. There have been thousands of games over the years that have exactly duplicated famous games (goodbye Scrabulous), or blatantly stolen graphics, or used the very source code of a copyrighted game to create a bootleg game with new graphics to pass it off as an original game, this case is the only one I'm aware of where an original game was deemed to violate the copyright of another original game for using a similar concept. While the concept is indeed similar -- a guy moves around in a maze eating dots and avoiding bad guys, unless he eats a power pill that lets him eat the bad guys -- if you actually play the game, they're totally different. Besides the different graphics and different mazes (some had invisible walls!), the dots move around the maze! The fewer are left, the faster they move, and soon you're chasing the dots at the same time as avoiding the "ghosts". Sadly, video games were new at the time, and the courts were largely ignorant of the video game industry. No court would rule against K.C. Munchkin today. Yes, it has a similar concept to Pac-man, but every game has a similar concept to some other game. If every game had to be completely original... well, they probably would have stopped making games in 1982.

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PostPosted: August 3rd, 2008, 12:07 am 
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I think you'll be interested into reading up on the story of the recent game Limbo of the Lost. Parody isn't plagiarism. This isn't parody. Parody laws also don't fall well in other countries, for example France.

In this case, this (Gargoyle pack) is a shareware game that requires registration for the full game, which is pretty much unauthorized use of assets for profit, especially since it pretty much comprises of the game data it depends on.

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PostPosted: August 3rd, 2008, 1:52 am 
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Well, let me just be sure that the only part of this game that we're talking about is the design of the gargoyle. While I often see characters that are clearly designed to resemble other famous characters, there are limits to how closely a character can resemble the trademarked likeness of another character. For instance, I could get in big trouble if I created a character that looked too much like Mickey Mouse. I could probably get away with creating an image of a dragon that closely resembled some other dragon, or troll or ogre or minotaur, because those are creatures that have been portrayed since antiquity, described, drawn and depicted by thousands of people over the years. The demonic likeness of the creature in Heretic probably can't be trademarked because no one has the right to own the image or likeness of mythological creatures that far predate the existence of copyright law. Gargoyles and demons belong in the public domain.

Source code and graphics can be copyrighted, so there is a legal issue when one game steals graphics from another, but that didn't happen here. This game features a similar creature to one that appears in Heretic. That would be a problem if the creature was an original character like Donald Duck or Mickey Mouse, but in this case it's a demon or gargoyle or something. I don't have the right to steal your drawing of a dragon, but I can put a similar dragon in my book/game/movie/television show because dragons belong to the public domain. Your drawing of a dragon is similar to someone else's depiction of a dragon, which is similar to a depiction of a dragon that appeared in The Hobbit, which was inspired by an image of a dragon from a bestiary that was published in 1842, which was based on a depiction of a dragon from a needlepoint from 1608, which was based on a description from Beowulf, which was adapted from an oral tradition carried across the ocean from Scandinavia, which was inspired by a song from Germany, and so and so forth to before recorded history. The concept here is that every depiction of a mythological creature rips off one or more earlier depictions of that creature, which leaves no one any recourse under the law if someone else decides to base their depiction off of yours, so long as they don't copy it exactly.

Anyway, I'm not dismissing what you're saying. My belief, based on my present understanding of the law, is that the gargoyles in this game are legal because they are not exact duplicates of the creatures that appear in Heretic, and, while similar, they do not infringe Raven Software's rights to that likeness because the creature was not an original character in the first place, but was itself very similar to thousands of other depictions of demonic or mythological creatures which belong to the public domain.

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PostPosted: August 3rd, 2008, 2:28 am 
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Similar? no, it IS derived straight from it! Do I have to repeat that or show exactly where the pixels went?

Oh forget it, its pointless arguing this. Go ahead and add AirLift Rescue too which it takes the Doom THE END sprite OH NO WAIT!! It only looks similar!!! OH add Master Won Liu 3D which has some Doom fists in NO NO NO ITS ORIGINAL but looks similar, this one's blockier and has less colors!!!
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And this game requires registration! for MONEYS!
By featuring such games on this site, you're practically supporting thieves.

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PostPosted: August 3rd, 2008, 2:35 am 
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I misread you. Where you had written that the gargoyles had their horns and claws whitened, I somehow understood that horns had been added where none had previously existed, even though I can clearly see them in your screenshot. I apologize. It's past my bedtime.

So, it's a direct rip then? That is a bit troubling. I'll ask Gary Dominguez about it.

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PostPosted: August 8th, 2008, 12:26 pm 
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I would look at the online or downloaded version. There are distict differences in the gargoyles aside from color. The horns aren't even the same direction(evident in the screenshot). The legs are wrong, and the chest and torso sections are different (the pack gargoyles have a six pack, and the heretic ones have a segmented section more like a lizard). If its a rip, it has been modified heavily.


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PostPosted: August 8th, 2008, 3:37 pm 
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PJPsyco wrote:
If its a rip, it has been modified heavily.

it's the fact it's clearly derived from commercial material to create a commercial game with, that bothers me

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PostPosted: August 8th, 2008, 5:10 pm 
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Well this goes back to my long-winded speech about mythological creatures. If it's a direct rip, that would be wrong. If it strongly resembles an easily recognizable trademarked character like Mickey Mouse, Disney might have a case against them. If it strongly resembles a mythological creature that can't be copyrighted, I don't think the courts are interested in that. I don't think Raven Software would have a case, even if they were inclined to pursue action.

But my feelings about this go beyond simply shrugging my shoulders and saying "it's legal, even though it's immoral". I talked to the artist, Gary Dominguez, on the phone and told him that someone from the forum had pointed out that the gargoyles looked a lot like creatures from Heretic. He asked me for some help remembering what Heretic was, and I said that it was a first person shooter. He didn't seem to know much about the game and said, "there are only so many ways you can draw a gargoyle".

I agree with him. Gary might have seen the demon from Heretic and used it as a basis for the gargoyles, or he might have developed their appearance independently, perhaps based on concept sketches or early graphic samples from programmer Jeff Souders. Like he said, there are only so many ways to draw a gargoyle, which is what I was saying about dragons before. If I put a unicorn in my game, it's guaranteed to look like the unicorns in a dozen other games/books/movies, because every unicorn is a white horse with a horn on its forehead. Every dragon, every troll, every minotaur is going to be basically the same because the image of what those creatures should look like has become well defined in the public consciousness after being depicted for centuries.

I invited Gary to post in the forum so that he could tell his side of things, and perhaps he still will. At any rate, I'm not convinced that he has ever even played Heretic, and even if he did base the gargoyles on the demons from Heretic, I don't think it's a blatant case of copyright infringement.

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PostPosted: August 8th, 2008, 7:04 pm 
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more likely he probably saw some gifs on the internet, and assuming them as public domain, similar to the Descent explosion and Hexen metal wall creeping their way into so many amateur 90s and 00s games.

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