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 Nexuiz Community Statement: IllFonic's Nexuiz

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PostSubject: Nexuiz Community Statement: IllFonic's Nexuiz   Sun Apr 04, 2010 11:09 pm

Hi NKs...
halogen wrote on alientrap:

On behalf of the Nexuiz community,

To whom it may concern,

We, the Free, Open Source Nexuiz community, are writing this letter to all the people out there, who actually care. On the 1st of March 2010, we were all struck by very unexpected and sad news: Lee Vermeulen, the founder of our beloved open-source game "Nexuiz" had given away the domain "nexuiz.com" and licensed the title "Nexuiz" to the Colorado-based video game developer "IllFonic". IllFonic is currently working on a first person shooter to be published under the name "Nexuiz" for consoles.


Background

The founder of Nexuiz, Lee Vermeulen stopped contributing regularly to the project four years ago. The Nexuiz project evolved through contributions of countless developers, artists, musicians and player feedback into a game that is perceived as one of the most successful open source projects of its genre, making its way into the Phoronix benchmark suite.

In February, the community was told that there was something "great" about to happen to the main domain "nexuiz.com". It was more than a shock for most people in the community to discover what happened on the 1st of March 2010: a group of software developers named "IllFonic" revealed that they are planning a console mockup of the game the Nexuiz community created with love and passion over the years. Besides making use of community-developed code that was licensed under the GPL, giving rise to debates about license violations, IllFonic also intends to publish its console game with exactly the same title, while claiming it would be a good thing for the Nexuiz community as a whole.

It turned out that Lee Vermeulen had licensed the name Nexuiz to IllFonic for this purpose. It also turned out that some of the main developers had been asked if they would object to parts of their code being commercially re-used, and they gave their permission to such re-usage. However, none of the developers said that they were informed that the commercial re-usage of the code would involve the commercial usage of the name "Nexuiz".

On March 3rd in 2010 Kedhrin Gonzalez - "Lead Designer and Co-Founder of IllFonic, LLC" posted on the official Alientrap Nexuiz boards: "I know this will come as a shock to some of you. I apologize for us having to keep this in the dark from you guys for so long. Some of you felt offended by this project being kept in the dark. Let me personally say this was not our intent. If anything, we want you guys to feel great about the things we are doing. We had to keep things in the dark until we locked in the rights from Dark Places and Alien Trap." (viewtopic.php?f=0&t=6043&p=76039#p76039)


Communicating with the people involved

After the immediate uproar, the community brought forward measures that could enable a peaceful, if not mutual profitable coexistence. To avoid confusion it was suggested that IllFonic uses any kind of derivative name or a suffix in connection with the title "Nexuiz". Any approaches on part of the Nexuiz community to reach a compromise on the name were rejected. At the same time, Kedhrin Gonzalez continuously emphasized that he wants the Nexuiz community to be happy and that he is respecting the community.

IllFonic initially also made clear that there is no intention of supporting Nexuiz - which Kedhrin Gonzalez began referring to as 'GPL Nexuiz', - in any way. The only benefits for Nexuiz as a result of this deal will ostensibly be game engine updates by Forest "Lord Havoc" Hale, the developer of the Darkplaces engine.

When the thread started to get a high Google rank for the term "IllFonic Nexuiz", it was locked by Forest "Lord Havoc" Hale, who still is a moderator of the Alientrap forums. This happened on request of Kedhrin Gonzalez. This is a short quote from the official Alientrap developer IRC channel, to show what the situation is about:

Code:
locked that topic at Kedhrin's request
-.-
Seriously?
yes
he said it's the top result on google and looks like it will never end
Meh I think i'm --- Meh.
he doesn't mind people making other topics for it, just that one is becoming too much of a headache for him
Tell him to come to this channel, clearly you're talking to him from somewhere.
so now he gets to moderate gpl nexuiz forrum?


All this happened while Kedhrin Gonzalez was still claiming to respect the community. As a free software project, Nexuiz has always been a place of open-minded and respectful people and a place where rational discussion and free speech was held important. Abusing its connections to Alientrap forum moderators to limit or stop the ongoing discussion about the IllFonic project in this way is perceived by the Nexuiz community as an affront and open gesture of disrespect.

In the meantime, the thread got unlocked again by Forest "Lord Havoc" Hale, who stated that he felt "annoyed" by the development of the thread and that this was the main reason for locking the thread.

This leads to the question, how are we, the Nexuiz community, supposed to feel great about all this? Why did neither IllFonic nor Lee Vermeulen discuss its plans with the Nexuiz community in advance, with the people that made Nexuiz what it is today both through playing and creating? The people that have shown how great things can be achieved through open discussion? Without all the volunteer work and free time invested in this project it would have never become what it is today. Yet, despite all reaffirmations of IllFonic's goodwill, there was no room for a single compromise on any issues that were raised constructively from the Nexuiz community.


What does the Nexuiz community object to?

That being said, it is not surprising that the Nexuiz community is shocked and offended by the recent developments. The name "Nexuiz" has a value, which has been built up by community members like divVerent, esteel, Samual, [-z-], Morphed, FruitieX, MrBougo, tZork, mand1nga, Merlijn, Tenshihan, C.Brutail and many more. Not to mention the collaborative brainpower of the community that went into this project in the form of feedback, suggestions and discussions about gameplay and game content. These things are of course lacking a 'papertrail' of commit logs in svn and such, yet they contribute to the value of the name Nexuiz.

The Nexuiz community objects to this value being sold without giving anything back to the community in return. IllFonic clearly stated there will be no contribution art-wise to the open-source Nexuiz. All the community can hope is that improvements to the Darkplaces engine, made by LordHavoc while porting it to the consoles under contract with IllFonic, will be useful on the PC platform. Not a big reward for the harm the whole action has done to the "free software Nexuiz" community.

The Nexuiz community also objects to the name being taken from its project. Having two games published under the same name is simply confusing. In case IllFonic refuses to change the name of its project in even the slightest way, the Nexuiz community will be forced to use a different name for the Open Source Nexuiz project for no comprehensible reason.

Last, but not least, the Nexuiz community objects to all this happening without even being involved nor consulted, even though it was the Nexuiz community that has built up the value of the name "Nexuiz".


What does the Nexuiz community not object to?

We do NOT object to IllFonic making a commercial console version of the game Nexuiz.

We do NOT object to IllFonic using code developed by the community for its commercial game, provided, it is properly licensed.

We do NOT object to IllFonic using the title "Nexuiz" as part of their game title, as long as the full game title is distinctive from the title of the original free and open source game "Nexuiz".

We do NOT object to Lee Vermeulen, Forest "Lord Havoc" Hale and other participating developers making profit out of Nexuiz. They have done great work for the community in the past and still today - Nexuiz would not be what it is without their achievements and contributions. We would like to express our respect and gratitude about their fantastic work.


What are the Nexuiz community's suggestions?

We suggest that both games don't share exactly the same title. This would only lead to confusion and would definitely not only harm the community, but also the "commercial Nexuiz" (or FeeNex™, as it is now referred to by some community members), since the marketability of products suffers from such ambiguity. Confusion could be easily avoided by adding any kind suffix or subtitle to the title "Nexuiz".

Also, we suggest to establish a portal site on http://www.nexuiz.com where both games are represented in an equitable way. It only has to be a single page giving visitors a choice to visit either the commercial console port or the original 'Free, Open Source Nexuiz'. This way, confusion would be easily avoided and the connection between the two projects would become more transparent for the customer. In addition, IllFonic's Nexuiz for consoles would profit from the publicity and the image of the name Nexuiz all the same.


Final statement

The Nexuiz community is disappointed and sad about the way things were handled. On one side, the Nexuiz developers emphasize the community and the Free Software roots they are all coming from, and speculate about respect for all the members, fans and freaks around the Nexuiz scene, and in the end little to no respect is shown to what was established over the years. The name and with it the identity of the Nexuiz community have been taken for commercial purposes, without a single word, until it was all set. Yet, neither IllFonic nor Alientrap were able to provide a reasonable explanation for the necessity to publish IllFonic's console game under exactly the same name as the original open source PC version.

Please NKs,who wants to sign the deed? name: signed
Thanks,rado
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PostSubject: Re: Nexuiz Community Statement: IllFonic's Nexuiz   Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:19 pm

signed 7.4.2010

-maniac|Su-, -z-, [RBI]Karl Ranseier, [ToX]BennyDacks, alien_I_, Aleator, AnArKiSt, Antares, Arikel, Atheros, Axioum, Banshee, Black-Dragon131, Blackmushroom, Bommel, C.Brutail, charlie bravo, chooksta, Cortez, Cuinnton, d3drocks, Droggelbecher, Duelist (Shawn K. Quinn), Ed, eh !, eL_Bart0, EricJ2190, Essiance, evilspacehamster, Fisume, Fjant, Flying Steel, Frogg/kuniu, FruitieX, Growl, Habu, Halogene, HeddiZ, Hew, Hypnosekroete, ilaith, J3r3my (Jeremy G), jngdwe, Komier, Lamoot, Lecithin, Lee_Stricklin, lopho, lost(prophets), MaidenBeast, Mathias, MC SE7EN, michaelb, Mirio, mr3xcellent, narvik86, Oblivion, Od@r, paperclips, parasti, PCLizard, pimpampum, PinkRobot, Pir*, Psychcf, rabs, Rad Ished, Rage Against The Washing Machine, Ravow, Roanoke, RoKenn, Ronan, Ronnie, Samual, sandqst, sassy, Sepelio, sev, Shaggy, Silica Gel: Do Not Eat, SkyBon, SoulKeeper_p, soze, Stealth, subsonik, Taiyo.uk, The mysterious Mr. 4m/Amoebios, thedevnull, The player with the unnecessarily long name (ThePWTULN), tZork, vociferous, Vordreller, Zico, cook!e

--SloggerKhan--, [uc]Antares, [uc]jhonny, 337, AckeFIN, Agamalama, Andy, AnnKittyKat, Apo, Apophis, Artemon, aurix, Blacktail, bones_was_here, BOnZa, BrechtvanBommel, Bulletproof, CanadianLinux, Cannibal, Chuck_Norris, CommanderSick, Cribozai, DeadWalker, Dhraakellian, DiaboliK, Die Happy, Edi, Estelle, Evil_mercenary, Fish, God, Grasshopper, Hillis, jayvee, JulianaStein, Khorre, Kolum_Amabo, Lord, lowtek, M@X, Master, McGyver, MrIceblock, Nameless, narayan, Nosferatu, O.I.B., Oxyd, Paul, Peacemaker, player, Player1 Germany, Predator, PSs 777, quadratic, Sardine, Shadowstrike, Slup/Haku, Smithy, Sorasd, standard, stingray300k, Sven, Wytry, XaDoR, Zenyatta, zombie

please put your signature to this section,thx
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