Interview with World Of Padman Project Lead.-

PlanetQuake has a great interview with the team lead of World Of Padman,  the interview covers a lot of ground about the history of WoP and the Padmaps themselves as well as some of the stuggles the team has dealt with over the years.

A very good interview worth the read.   Here is an excerpt:

The Happy Friar:This is an original idea that’s very high quality, how come you never went commercial?

Kai-Li:I can tell you, we had possibilities to go commercial in the past. Actually after the 1.2 release in 2007 when the team was working on version 2.0 which is not released until now, we had three publishers asking us to sign contracts to make commercial release. But there were some restrictions we had to take care of. First the quake 3 source code we build on is released under the GPL. This means that we have to keep our modifications of the code free available for everyone who is interested. But this is not a real issue because it’s OK to distribute a game commercially which is based on a GPL source code but bundled with proprietary game content like textures, maps, player models, sounds and so on.

Second and a real issue is that you maybe start earning some money. And when money comes into the game things are getting complicated. In more than one decade of WoP game development round about two dozens of developers left their traces behind. You need to ask every person who has provided content to the game for permission to sell it or you need to replace it. On the one hand it is not easy to contact everyone because some of them
Airplane’s cockpit

simply disappeared. On the other hand how would you decide to distribute the income fairly if no documentation of everyone’s work exists. You could go after the provided content but how much to pay for a texture or a character model?

Third, the project started as open source. Even if the game content is proprietary the team agreed that the mod and the standalone game is free available for everyone. Some team members didn’t like the idea of selling their stuff when the idea of a commercial release came up. So this reached out in big discussions within the team and nearly ripped it apart. This was also one reason why we had no release for such a long time after version 1.2, round about three years. Thank god that we overcame and decided to release WoP 1.5 by the end of 2010.

Fourth, think of the community. The topic also splits the community because some of them like to have WoP as a free available game even though others would have no problem at all to buy a commercial released copy of the game.

I think there are many lessons learned but one of them definitely is: if you want to release a game commercially start developing like it is a commercial project.

Read The full interview here:

http://planetquake.gamespy.com/View.php?view=Articles.Detail&id=906 

About Shafe

Brian Shaffer is a veteran programmer, programming professionally since 1991. His first gaming computer was a Commodore Vic-20 in the 80s. Shafe founded The Beer Garden on October 23, 2004 and continues to run and maintain it along with several members of the gaming community.