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About DennalMan

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  1. Good points, thanks! It's looking like the best option then may be to try to license the remix (e.g. using The Rights Workshop), so I don't have to worry about carefully wording messages to the artists and such. The Rights Workshop probably deals with work-in-progress projects all the time (e.g. films in production or pre-production), so I might not have to worry as much about providing a hyper-polished demo or anything like that. Only downside may be the cost, as The Rights Workshop charges some additional fees (on roughly a per-song basis I believe).
  2. Oh, I should also mention, the game will be free. (Perhaps that will make things a bit easier for me?) Also, does anyone have any advice regarding music licensing? My current plan is to use a music licensing service called The Rights Workshop to handle the all licensing for me, assuming they serve clients in Canada (They're based in San Francisco and LA). I currently don't know of any other music licensing services that exist (that can get me the songs I've chosen)...
  3. Long story short: There's an electronic remix that I'd REALLY REALLY LOVE to include in the indie game I'm developing, but I'm not sure how to go about asking the artists for permission, so, I'm looking here for advice. The game's music consists of songs that I've found and then asked the artists permission for, which has worked fantastically well so far. So far I've included only smaller more indie artists that I've been able to contact directly. But now for this one particular song/remix, the artists are less "indie" - I can't contact the artists directly, and must instead contact their management. I've never done anything like this before, so basically I want to make sure I know exactly what I'm doing before I contact their managements, and, I figure this would be a good place to ask What should I say, and how should I say it? Do I need to provide a demo of the game? (Or, only if they ask for one?) Should I include screenshots? (In my opinion the screenshots are rather non-flattering, though if I had a way to record 60 FPS video it might look quite a bit more impressive...) Should I get more alpha testers before contacting the artists, to ensure the game's quality & balance is good enough first? (And somewhat of a side-question: Do you think it's ok for alpha testers to play a version of the game that includes the remix, before permission is given? Right now I'm erring on the side of "it's not ok", except maybe for family&friends testers...) (Edit: It appears there's now a direct contact email address for the remixer - do you think I should contact the remixer directly, or his management?) The remixer is an awesome electronic artist named Nitro Fun, whose songs are often VG-themed. Nitro Fun uses the electronic music label MonsterCat (which is also somewhat VG-themed) - however this particular remix does not appear to be a MonsterCat release (though I'm not 100% sure on that). And the original composer... is Porter Robinson. For those not familiar, Porter is ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE, and deservedly so - his album "Worlds" is amazing. The thought of actually contacting his management makes me nervous! >_< Would you say it makes sense to contact him only *after* I have permission from Nitro Fun? (Or, does anyone think that I don't actually need to contact Porter's management at all, that permission from Nitro Fun is enough?) (And on top of that, I'm not even 100% sure *how* to contact his management. I found email addresses on an old artist-bio somewhere, but I'm not even sure if they're current...) Thoughts on all this? Incidentally, I *am* serious about officially licensing (i.e. paying for) one or two songs for some later parts of the game, but, not until later - first I want to release a public demo of the first half of the game, which is nearing completion. ...Do you think I should also try to officially license this particular remix? (I have a feeling that trying to license a song may be much trickier when there is no demo of the game released yet... I'm hoping to include the remix IN the demo.) Alternatively, does anyone here know a similar song I should maybe use instead? Similar in its "feeling" or "mood" I guess, not necessarily in genre or sound. The song is: "Porter Robinson - Flicker (Nitro Fun Remix)" (Soundcloud link which auto-plays the song, which may be a bit loud: ) Thanks for reading all that, looking forward to hearing some advice!
  4. DennalMan

    What happened to Repercussions of Fowl Lamentation?

    Oooooh, does anyone have The Official Duck Hunt HD Remix Soundtrack (and its artwork/images)? It seems to have disappeared from the internet as well...
  5. DennalMan

    Good video editing and capture software?

    For video editing, I like Sony Vegas and similar programs... many have free trails so you can see if they suit your needs or not before purchasing. A while ago I bought Vegas for pretty cheap (around $50 I think). Looks like free trails and stuff are available here: I also liked Adobe Premier when I tried its free trail back in the day - both Adobe's and Sony's are similar and are streets ahead of Windows Movie Maker in my opinion. I think I tried Pinnacle something at some point too, I don't particularly remember how it was for me, but I'm pretty sure I liked Vegas and Premier better. You don't need video editing software for live streaming, do you? I don't know anything about that unfortunately. Not sure about screen capture software either, I'll likely monitor this thread for suggestions too =p For each program I've tried, I can't get a decent frame-rate on my laptop. If I end up needing to record ~30 FPS video of a game at some point, I may need to do a hardware upgrade somewhere *shrug*. For me the capture programs also slow down the game's performance, lowering the framerate so there's a bit of lag and it's harder to play :/ And if for some crazy reason you ever need to record audio or voice *without* recording video, Audacity is nice (and free).
  6. DennalMan

    Alpha/Beta testers needed for upcoming indie game

    Hahaha! Only "ok"? Mmmm, must've been a different game.
  7. DennalMan

    OCR Twitch Streamers

    If I may spam this thread: I'm looking for testers for a soon-to-be-released indie game, particularly testers who can record video - It occurred to me that this thread might be a great place to find someone! Finding testers who can record video has been surprisingly difficult. I need video recordings in order to improve the difficulty/balance, to ensure each part is neither too hard nor too easy. I can't test the easier difficulty levels myself because I've had WAAAAAY too much practice. As Extra Credits said: "*You* are the worst tester of your game." Umm, "you" as in "me", not you. *You* are the perfect tester ;p But, although this is a streaming thread - I must ask testers to *NOT* stream or publicly release the gameplay videos. I'd much much *much* rather people PLAY the game first before watching, and so, I don't feel comfortable having video of the game available while the game is not yet available to play. (Watching a video before playing it would be like reading all the spoilers for a movie/book/show before watching it - It would ruin all the surprises!) ...And on top of that, you'll be playing an alpha build that may need some improvement on the difficulty side of things. But if anyone records a video and *really really* wants to release it, I'll consider letting you release it *after* I've released the public beta The timing of the public beta release will depend solely on the testing - these tests are the final piece of the puzzle I need in order to release the game. Anyway, here's my thread, where you'll find a brief description of the game, and some screenshots:
  8. DennalMan

    Alpha/Beta testers needed for upcoming indie game

    Still looking for testers! Here are some more screenshots:
  9. DennalMan

    Alpha/Beta testers needed for upcoming indie game

    Huzzah, some screenshots! I was thinking of posting a few more that I took, but actually, at this point I'd like to avoid spoiling too much! I might post the rest when it goes into public beta. Also, is there anyone interested in trying the game but *not* willing to record video? There may have been enough non-video testers already, but... might not hurt to have a few more I guess if anyone really wants to try it but can't record video =) Anyway I just realized/discovered that r/gamedev on reddit exists - someone there might know how to find more testers, I think I might ask there! Or maybe someone there will want to try it =) Also got 1 OCR tester so far, yay!
  10. Hey guys! I'm developing a free indie game, and I'm looking for a few people who'd like to try it. Specifically, I need people who can record video of their gameplay, and then send me the video(s) so I can improve the game's difficulty/balance. Basically, a public beta is almost ready, but first I need a few guinea pigs to help me fine-tune the difficulty and such before the public beta release. About the game: It doesn't quite fit in exactly one genre, but it's most like a vertical/horizontal space shmup/shooter - currently I'm calling it an "intense action strategy shooter". The game is difficult and more geared towards hardcore retro gamers, but there are literally 8 difficulty levels right now, so I'm hoping less-skilled players will enjoy it too. And it features (in my opinion) kick-ass music from some really really cool artists who were kind enough to let me use their songs. The title of the game is "Please Be An Space Fighter Pilot", and its style is rather retro and weird and silly. (You won't find any information about it online yet, but I may later post some screenshots to this thread!) The game is single-player, made for desktop/PC, and requires a keyboard (although technically you can use a controller/joystick via JoyToKey for example). It's an HTML5 game, programmed in javascript, and can be played in any browser (although Internet Explorer is not recommended for this particular game... or ever). Also, I've yet to test Safari because I don't have a Mac to test on, so if anyone wants to try it in Safari, that would be awesome! (Might be good to play it in another browser first though, to first see what it's *supposed* to look & sound like, in case safari has bugs!) So far it's been tested in Firefox, Chrome and Opera. I'm planning to release the eventual public beta on indie games website, but I may release later versions on other sites as well, such as and Newgrounds. The game will be completely free in all forms (and no purchasable DLC or anything like that either). If anyone's interested in trying the game, I can send you a private link to download the game in the form of a .zip file (basically the .zip contains an .html file, along with the javascript, music and sprites, and you can run the .html file in whatever browser you choose). (Or if you have a email address, I can send the .zip via Google Drive if you prefer.) I'd like to ask that you don't distribute the game to anyone else though, and that you don't distribute or stream any videos you record - if I felt the game was 100% ready to show to the world, I would be releasing the public beta today Also, feel free to record voice commentary on your video if you like, but it definitely isn't required. And of course I'll be listening intently to any suggestions and written feedback you send, both praise and criticism will be extremely helpful! (Side-note: If anyone knows of any other websites where I should maybe look for testers, please let me know, because I have no idea where to look! Hopefully I can get enough testers from OCR, but if not, I'm thinking of posting to forums, since that's where I'll be hosting the game, and devs have asked for testers there in the past.)
  11. DennalMan

    Art Games vs. Games as Art

    lol. So let's see... If you're in an art gallery, and some of the artworks are interactive, then those particular works are not art? Performances that invite audience participation from everyone are not art? Absolutely nothing on a VR headset can be considered art? Sounds like Ebert is just making stuff up, I don't think anyone else defines art as strictly non-interactive. (Geez that culinary art sounds pretty interactive to me too, the participants literally destroy the work.) On the topic of "what are games" and "what are not games", I can think of many kinds of "games" which may or may not be games, depending on how you define "game". I don't think there are any hard rules that define definitively whether or not something is a game. But here are several "maybe a game" examples: Almost definitely a game: - Games where you can lose, but it's so easy to avoid losing that you never actually do, or the penalty for losing is so small, that you can remove "losing" from the game and the game remains almost identical. (At some point this actually started to describe most of the then-next-gen games I would buy/play, and the retro-gamer in me would say "these are not games!") Sometimes it can go to the extreme, where there is basically *no* penalty for dying at all, and you can die as much as you want and still beat the game as quickly (or quicker!) than if you were surviving. Like a vertical shooter with infinite lives - you can't not win. Probably a game... maybe a "toy": - Sim games or creation/building games (which may or may not include losing and winning, but that's usually not important). Sim-city, Sim-ant, the Sims. Probably Minecraft (I haven't actually played it!) Games where you set you own goal, or maybe your goal is to have fun or do something funny, or to relax or feel a certain way, or to build a cool thing. (I know I've played games with absolutely no "challenge" or risk of loss - I like how the game makes me feel. I think everyone can agree that it's "playing". But does that make it a "game"?) Maybe not a game, definitely an "interactive experience" or "art game": - A developer can call their work a "game" even if it has no winning or losing, no goals, or no meaningful player interaction which changes the outcome... sometime it's best to present your work as a game even when it's sort of not one, even if it's a very minimally interactive movie. Conversely, a developer can insist that their work is *not* a game, even when it contains losing, winning, meaningful/consequential player choices, and even challenge. And maybe each player will make up his or her own mind whether or not a work is a game, and insist that the developer is wrong. I don't know whether something's a game or not. Perhaps it's wise for a work's developer to *present* their work as either "a game" or "not a game", in order to shape the players' expectations so they are not surprised (...or so that they ARE surprised! It could be interesting to think you're not playing a game, and then suddenly it's a game, no? Or vice versa? I know I've played "games" like that.) Sorry, now I'm just rambling again >_< (Also note that many "non-games" may be sold/distributed on game websites and game stores, or packaged in a game box to be played on game consoles, so there Graphic novels that aren't comical are still called "comics", movies recorded digitally are still called "films", playlists not recorded to tape at all are still called mixtapes, and CCing someone on an email does not actually create a carbon copy. To me, "This game is not a game" is a valid sentence ^__^ ) (I take it you're playing devil's advocate, right? )
  12. DennalMan

    Art Games vs. Games as Art

    Haha, Neblix just kind of posted some of the things I typed in this post.... Well I'm postin' it anyway!! I think games are absolutely an art form. It sounds like we all agree that games can generate experiences and emotions as powerful as (or more powerful than) any other art form. Perhaps the debate in this thread thus far is simply about the definition of the word "art"? I'm currently making an indie game, and I naturally think about the game as art, and myself as an artist - I'm creating an experience. But for the rest of this post I'll try to avoid using the word "art", and instead just talk about facts. There's something very apparent about some of my favourite games and also the game I'm currently making: the whole is much more powerful than the sum of its parts. Take System Shock 2, a brilliant survival horror FPS action-RPG from 1999, often praised for its immersive sound design and story. It was one of my favourite and most unique gaming experiences, conjuring a type of fear that I haven't really felt in a game since, a fear that meshes perfectly with both the story and gameplay. But if you look at each element of the game individually, not one element on its own really generates any fear at all. Sure it has great writing, music, voice acting and sound effects, but nobody's going to get very scared by just reading the script, or by listening to the soundtrack on its own, or listening to the voice clips or sound effects by themselves. The visuals are not fear-inducing on their own either, it just looks like the interior of a ship (and an extremely pixelated and low-poly one at that). Ah and of course the gameplay. As Angel might point out: take away the sounds, the music, the visuals, the writing and the story, and what are you left with? An unremarkable Quake clone with RPG elements and a bunch of backtracking. You can even save or load at any place at any time, and the penalty for dying isn't even that severe, should you choose to not load a saved-state. So, how did they combine all these not-very-scary things to create such an intense experience? Sorry for using *that word* again, but if that's not "artistry", I don't know what is. Think of all the modern games that try to be as scary as SS2, with scarier visuals, scarier music (much of SS2's soundtrack is upbeat electronic loops), scarier penalty for losing - needless to say, many horror games don't result in an experience as scary and emotional and immersive as System Shock 2. SS2's environment/architecture isn't remarkable because it's a beautiful piece of art on its own, it's remarkable because it serves the function of the game perfectly - it looks like a believable, lived-in vessel - it's there to immerse the player in the world and the story of the game, and it does a fantastic job. Super Metroid is another of my favourites, but actually each of its individual pieces (graphics, music, sounds, gameplay) completely kicks ass. And much like System Shock 2, it combines these elements to create its often-praised atmosphere, which happens to fit very nicely with the gameplay (exploration, danger, mystery, being lost, finding secrets, etc.) But I want to talk about a different game: Metroid Zero Mission. In "Zero Mission", The atmosphere and aesthetics are cartoonish, almost light-hearted - it has almost none of the dark, creepy, scary qualities of Super Metroid, the original NES Metroid and Gameboy's Metroid II. But Zero Mission is one of my favourite games, *solely* because of the gameplay. This game was designed specifically for speedruns, low-item runs, 100% item speedruns - and they did a damn good job. All the other "art forms" in the game are lacking - music, sounds, graphics - indeed they don't always mesh with the gameplay that well IMO. But damn the gameplay is just so good, and the emotions caused solely by the gameplay are more than just "fun" and "victory" and "defeat". Sure, my first playthrough maybe wasn't that amazing, but I found that game fun as hell to master, not unlike Super Metroid. As if that wasn't enough rambling, the game I'm working on, like Super Metroid, has 2 separate aspects that will (hopefully) make it stand out: An intense emotional experience on the first playthrough, and gameplay that's fun and exciting to master on the bajillionth playthrough. I want to talk about the first playthrough, and the experience and emotion it'll (hopefully) create, and again how the individual parts I'm combining are much more powerful in combination. If I look at each part of the game individually... (graphics and sound-effects don't contribute to the emotion in this case, so I'm just going to talk about Music and Gameplay....) The gameplay itself might generate the emotion "fun", and the music itself might generate the emotion "this song kicks ass!". But combined..... the game creates an emotion very very different than the emotion of the song alone, or of the gameplay alone, and hopefully it is a much stronger emotion. I dunno, it's tough for me to talk about it because nobody here has played the game, but in playing my own game I've felt the emotion that I'm trying to create, and it's very intense, and I hope that other people will feel it too, and I'm excited to share this piece of art. But I didn't make the game's music - in fact the music was not made for the game at all. (To be honest, parts of the gameplay were inspired by the music, which is partially why the music and gameplay work so well together to create something powerful and new.) But the gameplay is definitely an essential part to the emotion - I highly doubt that watching someone play will ever generate the emotional response; only the player will feel it. And it's not just because there *is* gameplay.... it's also due to the nature of the gameplay, and how challenging (or not challenging) it is, and how fair or unfair. Introducing unfairness on purpose to enhance the emotion..... I dunno, I just thought all that stuff was very very relevant to the conversation in this thread. But I think I've rambled on long enough for now Oh yeah, one more thing. You know what else can generate experiences and emotions as powerful as any other art form? Sports. Sports are "games". Are they art? Is someone who designs a sport an artist? What about esports? Neblix, you use the term "Game Theory", do you mean like "Film Theory", but for games? I think Wikipedia calls it "Game studies". Game Theory is a branch of mathematics
  13. Hmm, interesting, thanks! I think what I might do is find a lawyer to talk to before releasing anything online, so I can make any necessary changes to the game before it's public. For example, I borrowed a few sprites from the game and modified them... but did I modify them enough? Sounds like I should err on the side of caution regarding money. So if I want to avoid making money from this game, but at the same time make some money from *other* games, perhaps I should make two separate accounts. Or else people might play my parody game (which will have no "support" button for donation), and then decide to donate to me via the "support" button for one of my other games. I guess if one account uses my real name, then the other account has to use an alias, or else people could figure out that the same person made both games and I might accidentally make money incidentally from the parody game. Gahh, or is that just playing it TOO safe? I will have to ask a law talking guy. And since GameJolt makes ad revenue from page visits, maybe I shouldn't host there after all... unless maybe there is an option to turn off ads for a specific game. Perhaps later I'll ask GameJolt about this. I guess I should also find out which countries are in, and find out if their copyright laws differ significantly from the US or Canada. Huh and as if this wasn't already tricky enough - for the game's music I also want to include a few VGM covers/remixes A couple of them even include voice samples from the videogames, oh gosh...! I'm pretty sure that's technically fair use... but still... What are my goals though? Mostly I'm making art, and I'm going to do what I want, as long as it's pretty clearly fair use. It sounds like whether a project gets taken down or not depends mostly on luck, no matter how fair its use of IP is. But I also want people to play the game, so obviously I don't want it to get taken down - and I know there are a lot of precautions I can take without compromising the art very much. I'm also trying to be extra careful because I want to release the first quarter of the game as a demo before I finish the rest, and it would be a shame if the demo is taken down before the full game is completed. Some of the best parts are near the end!! You might be wondering why am I making a parody game in the first place? I guess I'm very excited about this particular game, and I know it's going to be really good, and have already put a bunch of time and love into it. That, and I don't have any other game ideas right now that I'm very excited about.
  14. Hi! I'm developing a free-to-play html5 game, and I'm looking for advice regarding parody and copyright infringement. My game is, among other things, a parody of a very famous classic 1970s arcade game. If my understanding is correct, the way I'm parodying the game definitely qualifies as "fair use" under U.S. copyright law - I'm reasonably confident about this. However, even if your use of copyrighted material is completely "fair use", that cannot actually stop anyone from suing you. "Fair use" can be used as a defence in court... but I think once you're in court against a company that can vastly outspend you, you're already in sadface town. I understand that whether or not one gets sued depends mostly on whether or not the copyright holder feels like it. For example some developers have been known to accept and encourage fan games, and then one day the developer changes ownership and they give everyone C&D notices. I'm a bit of a dummy on this topic, so I have a lot of questions: - Should I even be making this game? Should I just stop? From what I gather, that depends on how much of a risk I am personally willing to take. What do I need to know to make an informed choice about this? - So let's say I get a C&D or a DMCA takedown notice, and I can no longer share the game online. That's not so terrible - the only thing I lose is the time I spent making the game - the entire endeavour of making the game results in essentially nothing gained nothing lost (except for lost time, but hey it was fun and totally worth it). But is that the worst that can happen? Or can I still get sued for damages or something crazy like that and lose vast amounts of money, or get caught in some weird legal hell? - My current strategy is "If the copyright holder doesn't know that I'm parodying their game, then they can't sue me." This is in conflict with my goal of "I want as many people as possible to play my game." Am I an idiot? A bit more info about my game: - It will be free-to-play, and currently I plan to NOT make revenue from it. (I understand that with fair use, making revenue and selling your game is completely ok and legal... but that some copyright holders will be more likely to sue you if you're making money from your project.) - Current plan is to host the game on websites such as and GameJolt. (On GameJolt, when a developer's game is viewed, GameJolt shares a portion of the ad revenue with the developer, but I believe the developer gets to choose what portion goes to GameJolt.) - Playing my game is not at all like playing the game I'm parodying - the gameplay is very different. (Does that matter?) - If I had to change the game to make it completely original and not a parody at all, I would have to change pretty much everything about it, even the gameplay. There would be no point; I would rather start from scratch and make an entirely new game. - I want to avoid using any IP I don't own to promote the game. The title, title screen, etc. will be all original - the player won't find out it's about [certain arcade game] until *after* they start playing. (...Does that matter? Some game websites have screenshots of the game before you play... the screenshots might give away that it's a parody.) - So far I've been talking about parodying one particular game, but..... I would love to parody or pay homage to a few other arcade games as well in a few of the levels. Games do this ALL THE TIME, but I've also heard of people getting sued over the most tiny insignificant detail that's in a game for like 3 seconds. What about parodying movies? Other pop-culture references? Am I just asking for trouble? (Or paranoid?) Should I simply research into each game's developer and see if they have a history of suing people? - This is mostly related to the one question above: To qualify as "fair use", does a Parody have to "criticize" or "make fun of" the source material, or can it simply reference it or pay homage? Or does "criticising" a game make it even WORSE (angering copyright holders?), even though "fair use" definitely allows for it? - Do game companies ever protect their IP with a penalty that's LESS harsh than a C&D or complete takedown? Like, "You can keep your game online, just remove the two levels that parody our game", or, "You can parody our game, just remove the copyrighted sprites and sound effects and make new ones instead". I'm considering sampling maybe 1 of the original sound effects (I want the original for comedic reasons) and using one of the original sprites (but I've added more detail to this sprite). - I live in Canada, where instead of the U.S. copyright law exception "fair use", there is a similar Canadian analogue "fair dealing" wherein Parody is also a valid defence against copyright infringement. So which countries' laws do I have to worry about? Does it depend on which websites I host the game on or something? - I've so far been talking about copyright, but ultimately I also have to care about trademarks, patents... what else do I need to worry about? - At what point should I see/pay a lawyer for legal advice? - What about contacting the copyright owners and asking them if I may parody their games? - I'm the only person making the game, but the game's music will include songs made by different artists (with their permission). If I get into some kind of legal trouble, that's not going to negatively affect any of the artists who contributed music is it? I'm worried about that. Should I be worried? A part of me hopes that friendly lawyers read the OCR boards and will happily give me expert advice for free, but also I imagine there are probably non-lawyer forum goers here who read about this subject often, or who have dealt with this kind of thing first-hand, or who have developed a videogame or fan/parody project and are well-learned about such matters. I'm also asking on OCR because I used to be a member here (2000+ posts!) and I seem to recall that the community here kicked ass. Anyway I may have more questions later, but if this post was any longer it wouldn't work as nicely.