Browsing the blog archives for August, 2007

“Concept Stolen!”


I came across this thread the other day on Guild Wars Guru, which is so ridiculous that I just felt the need to comment on it.

A while ago, in mid 2006, I did a drawing for someone and it featured a sword that many people liked (along with the armor). Fast forward to Nightfall and there is a sword at the end which many are now familiar with, the Forgotten Sword. These two swords look incredibly similar as shown below. This has happened once before with another game. So what’s going on? Are they stealing my ideas, or is it just pure coincidence? I know that I’m not going to put anything on the web I don’t want the possibility of being filched from now on.



I am just in awe at the egotism of this character in thinking that, just because he may have produced a drawing of a similar looking object a year before, that the artists of Guild Wars “stole” his concept. Anyone whose seen some of the concept art for Guild Wars, or simply played the game for that matter, realizes that Guild Wars’ artists don’t need to rip off some kid’s art.

Of course, even getting into that point is fruitless — Anyone with any sense realizes that the object in Guild Wars is completely different entity than the sketch this guy made. One is a 3D model, texture, with supporting code that allows it to actually function in the game. The other is graphite on paper.

I’m not a copyright lawyer, of course, but the idea that you can copyright an “idea,” in this case, the idea of a sword that has such and such characteristics, is pretty asinine. Good luck proving that, in thousands of years of history where men have been making swords, no one has made a sword like yours before. Good luck proving that simple derivations of existing swords couldn’t independently come up with the same design without needing to reference your work at all. The arrogance of this thinking just boggles my mind.

I think the thing that bugs me the most is that even a cursory glance can tell that these weapons aren’t identical — The drawing has a straight-edge on the top of the blade and a triangular protrusion on the cutting edge near the hilt. The forgotten weapon lacks the triangular protrusion on the cutting edge, but has an additional flourish on the top of the blade. These aren’t terribly major changes, but when it comes to changes which differentiate one similar weapon from another, that pretty much invalidates the whole claim of “theft” right there.

Regulating Blog Output

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Shamus writes about the fundamental Blogging Paradox — When you’re doing things that you want to write about, often you don’t have time to write about them. When you’re not, you have nothing to write about. From there he asks if anyone else has trouble “regulating blog output.”

I really like that phrase, and I think that’s pretty apt for me. I most definitely have trouble regulating blog output. Two months ago I was so busy that I simply didn’t have time for more than the occasional post, and now that I have more time I’m throwing it into catching up on all the things I didn’t have time to do while in crunch mode.

Another factor in posting is topicality and variety. I generally try to keep this blog with some sort of vague focus on technology, games, and things of that nature, and so a lot of the things I could blog on I might not. Then there’s variety — I could probably easily fill up this blog with posts about my thoughts on what I might want to do with D&D or any number of other hobbies. But I feel like I’d rather not have so many posts in a row on the same subject matter, especially given that usually means my thoughts won’t be completely hashed out on the matter. I get the impression lately that I tend to be moving towards longer posts, rather than short and snappy, which is both good and bad — Hopefully I can find some happy medium for both, as writing a really long post isn’t something I can do on a day-to-day or every-other-day basis.