Licensing the I-Novae Engine

#21

I think that the developers are really on the ball here. We each have our own projects in mind, but they need to focus like an eff’in laser to prove their technology is anything more than a tech demo. If they make a good game and show a profit stream then they’ll get a lot more return for their engine licenses than if they put it out now. They’ll also get tons of big boys knocking on their door, maybe even a buy out. Eventually, hopefully, small teams like us will get trickle down love.

On the topic, Unity does a decent profit with it’s asset store. I really love how independent artists & developers are given a chance to profit by selling their custom assets on Unity’s store. If you guys do decide to release a modder’s toolset to small teams, I think that duplicating Unity’s asset store could be a boon, allowing you to cash in while profit sharing with your community. DOTA 2 and other F2Ps do something similar, where community artists get their stuff uploaded to the engine for purchase. It’s a proven model and it allows the indie guys with limited funds the ability to focus on making games, not assets.

For example: when I found a free running motion script on Unity’s asset store for $40 I just about passed out. Think about it, if I wanted to develop that on my own I’d have to have a huge studio with motion cap, an actor, and a full time software engineer with a powerful software package. Reinventing the wheel over and over and over again is stupid as hell. Profit, asset, and engine sharing is the “new” alternative business model for gaming. In fact, Microsoft’s Project Spark (which I’m currently beta testing) is centered around the concept.

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#22

@INovaeKeith I have a question regarding the whole licensing situation, If your engine were to prove successful (as it potentially could given some of the incredible videos available over on the I:B site so far) is there a chance you might do what epic games has done and create a situation where smaller and indie developers such as myself might be able to purchase a slim version and then offer a source level license like the setup available for UDK?

I am hopeful that once your tech matures you will find some way to keep a hold on it because its fantastic from what I have seen and your interactions as well with the community give me hope that public use will be in the not too distant future.

#23

Our plan is to release a public SDK similar to the UDK and Unity after I:B ships. Specifically here is the current roadmap for our engine assuming our Kickstarter is successful:

  1. The Kickstarter will include a pledge tier for early access to mod tools.
  2. Once our Kickstarter (successfully) completes we need to build a restricted web portal where we can make early access builds and tools available. We also want to allow those with early access to file bug reports through the portal. This will probably take at least a week but once it’s done those with early access will then be able to download builds of the game and the mod tools.
  3. We’ll probably have to get some legal crap squared away before we can start uploading builds and I don’t know how long that will take :\
  4. The mod tools will actually be the full engine and editor however no documentation or anything else will be available until we’re getting ready to actually ship the mod tools. For those of you who are programmers the API for mods will likely not be defined for a while so you’ll either have to wait or you can occupy your time reverse engineering our engine and trying to create something cool that way :wink:
  5. Since there won’t be any documentation we’ll be available on the boards to answer questions. Maybe we’ll create a wiki so that we can all write the documentation as we go along.
  6. Once the game ships we will focus on polishing up and formalizing our documentation for general public consumption. If it hasn’t already been defined the modding API will be nailed down for those who are coders. Mods will likely only be allowed if they are coded in a language that compiles to the .NET runtime.
  7. After mod tools ship we will focus on shipping the public SDK. This will include native header files so that those of you who want to access the engine directly from C/C++ will be able to.
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#24

This… oh this is so much interesting. Just a reminder, support game developers, the cryengine was (is?) mostly avoided because Crytek used to ignore small companies willing to release a game with their engine (don’t know about now).
But releasing the SDK of your engine could potentially give you enough funds for the MMO.

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#25

Fully Agree - with @MuchStache - Do not go the way of crytek and ignore smaller devs. This has happened to me and it is not pleasant.

I have been waiting for a reply from crytek for about 3 weeks now and still no reply for small questions regarding their license. Their Forums are also very tight lipped about the license as well.

As for the Mod SDK Pledge level - How much are we talking in terms of a pledge? or has this not been nailed down?

#26

No worries, the public SDK is being designed specifically for small devs =). It’s too early to say exactly what the pledge amount will be however it will likely be at or slightly above the alpha and beta pledge tiers with the difference between the two determining how early you get access.

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#27

@INovaeKeith
So here goes a question about the MOD SDK / Public SDK - What will we be getting in terms of tools? Will these be pre-built .exe files?

I know that you have a material / shader editor similar to the Unreal Engine - Correct me if I am wrong.
What file formats does your engine recognize/use (.FBX, Collada, etc.)

Are there any visual logic editors? (Similar to Kismet or Cryengine Flowgraph)

What platforms will we be able to use the MOD tools / Public SDK on?

Thanks for your time,

Ben

#28

Yes, they are prebuilt. Mods will likely be required to be written in managed code and if that’s the case will not have access to a native SDK. In the beginning you’ll just get our editor and the stuff for programmers will come later.

Yes you’ll get the material/shader editor along with our mesh editor. Eventually you’ll also get a planet editor, scene editor, and particle editor.

No

Windows only.

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#29

Hey Thanks for the reply.
So Question - Will we be given access to the networking API/Solution that you guys are using in the mod tools?

Really looking forward to the kickstarter - BTW

#30

Yeah but it’s too early to say at what level we’ll give access. Glad to hear it =)

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#31

@INovaeKeith and @INovaeGene

Ok, just got a few more questions about the engine -

  1. The planets look very sparse - Do you plan to add vegetation based on location on the planet? (Northern / Southern regions and equator).
  2. How robust is your network stack? How many players can it handle?
  3. Will destruction for buildings, space stations, etc. be enabled in later engine builds? (Will you be licensing out a middleware (Havok Destruction or Nvidia APEX for example ) for this or making your own middleware from scratch?)
  4. How will animations be handled - Do you have an animation (Similar to Havok Animation) solution for the engine?

I do not expect these to be answered until after GDC so take your time.

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#32

I thought this might be relevant to this topic:
http://store.steampowered.com/app/220980/ (Cryengine at $9.9/pm)

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#33

Hello everyones, any detailed updates on this ?

#36

No updates yet I’m afraid, we’re still focused building Infinity: Battlescape.