Friday, October 5, 2012

Uh dude... Can I have your gear?

If you've played MMOs then you probably heard this. Someone from out of the woodwork, maybe someone you had never even met heard you were leaving and they ask for your stuff. You're not going to use it, right? Its happened to me and my friends back when I played Guild Wars and LotRO. It drove me nuts.

That said its a different story when your buddy comes to you and gives you the news that he is leaving... and asks if you want his "gear". This is what happened to me just over a week ago. I won't get into why Jerry (SMMDigital) is leaving, you can look that up on his site. I am unhappy that he is going, he has been a mentor to me with 3D modeling in RailWorks, but I understand and respect his decision. I am also grateful he came to me and gave me the greater majority of his work which is what I want to talk about.

I have in my possession both of Jerry's tutorials. These will be hosted here on my blog with his permission. I am doing this so I can better maintain them if they get out of date. Say if a new shader comes out or a new version of 3DC has a better way to accomplish a task, or RSC changes the blueprint editor completely. I will begin posting them in parts early next week.

I already posted about the GP40-2. The first variant of this model will be what he wanted which was the NS yard dog. Given time I will come out with other variants, and it will be up to the community to handle any repaints.

Then, I have his signals, crossing gates, models, road slug, C39, and route. I will be releasing these after reviewing them to see if they should be repacked into more logical units. With regards to the NSAND there are some areas that are broken and need repair. I also want to stay true to Jerry's original intent which was that he wanted this route to be a freeware add-on to the core game. Since there is no longer a "core" with TS2013 this fouls things up. There is one option but its a big one. Given time and help from the community the old Kuju US/UK assets could be replaced with freeware version. I am reluctant to do this because I have my own route that is desperate for my attention and I already know which of the two I will be spending time on (ie look at my slogan in the banner).

Finally there is the matter of the new RSC EULA section 9.2 which in turn touches all of the assets I just spoke of.
"We have an irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual, payment free right to take any actions we consider appropriate in respect of the UGC (including without limitation to copy, reproduce, market, advertise, modify, adapt, merge, translate, reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble or create derivative works based on the whole or any part of the UGC), and all consents (if any) required under intellectual property, data protection and privacy laws worldwide, for that use;"
I know I am not the only person who is worried about how this section is spelled out, and we are still waiting for RSC to come back with some sort of official response as appose to their support saying "we are looking into it". Based on a few conversations I have had (none from RSC) my current opinion is that RSC will do right by the community and change the wording to something more favorable to content creators and even (lets reach for the stars!) perhaps protect our own work. If in the dire event that they really mean "we can take your work when we want" then I have no choice but to stop my endeavors with RailWorks. I won't wait around for the EU courts to decide if it's legal. The faith between myself and RSC would be hard to repair at that point. It also means that I will not be releasing the remainder of my unpublished work or Jerry's to the community. And if you are getting any ideas... don't ask. I'll tell you right now. You can't have my gear.


  1. I LOVE the SMM Grade Crossing signals! I, unfortunately, did not have them backed up when my previous computer crashed :( , so I no longer have access to them. This has bummed me out immensely, in regard to my own route building endeavors... There are definitely a few potential improvements that could be made to them that I can think of, however. Awesome blog, man! Greetings from Omaha! :)

    1. Fear not Tom! They will be released again in an upcoming (meaning perhaps after version 2) of RCAP.