Friday, April 22, 2011

Humble Indie Bundle's Source Releases

The Humble Indie Bundles (HIB) have a tradition of at least part of the bundled games releasing their source.

While four of five games released source code under FOSS licenses in HIB1, only one released the source in HIB2 under a FOSS license (according to this comment, a license similar to LWJGL's).

No assets were released under Free-Art-compatible-terms, except for demo objects in Penumbra.

In HIB: Frozenbyte, two (or three) games have source releases, but all of them are non-commercial only.

This is not a complaint/demand/whine and I discourage any whiny behavior reactions. :)

I have no mind-reading ability or technology but I do have a theory, that shy source releases are missing out:
  1. When a game has a source release, which is not FOSS-compatible (shy source), contributions will only come from people with high interest in the game. This will improve the game.
  2. When a game has a FOSS-release, in addition contributions will come from people who think that the game enriches the community. This will improve availability and usability of the game.

#2 might be perceived as a problem by a game studio if they plan another sequel, because the prequel might become a stronger competitor to it.

Frogatto: open game & editor, closed art

Another game which is commercial (on iDevices) and has FOSS code and closed art (old art has been donated to OGA!) is Frogatto.

Star-filled Sky: 100% public domain

A revolutionary breakthrough were all of Jason Rohrer's commercial games, which are 100% public domain. My feeling is that assets are less of a focus for him, which makes releasing everything less of a risk.

Nikki and the Robots: open & closed

On the middle path is Nikki and the Robots, which is foss-code and has a functional foss-art version and will have a closed/for-pay-story. For now they activated paypal donations, flattr and T-shirts.

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