Tis a sad day for mudders! Read on for some important information
about Sony's EverQuest.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of spending time in New York City,
visiting the New School University for a gaming conference, called
Re:Play. Among the guest speakers at the conference, there was Bernard
Yee, the Director of Product Development for Sony's EverQuest service.
Before the actual conference, there was a select group discussion the
night before where I and other students were able to participate in
intimate discussion with the speakers.
During Bernard Yee's presentation, he framed the entire demonstration
by saying that Sony's EverQuest was based on DikuMUD -- which I found
at first flattering (being a member of the mudding community) and then
later, perplexing. Does the Diku Group know this? Have they been
If you've ever played EverQuest, it does resemble in many ways Diku --
it has 'grouping' as well as 'shout' commands, and the actual way the
characters interact is very similar to what goes on in your standard
Diku, with a veneer of bad 3D graphics layered on top of the,
ultimately, mud-like interface.
Personally, I wouldn't mind it if Diku had been the base as long as the
Diku Group had made some money to fuel their own projects (aka Diku ]
[). However, I find it hard to believe that this has happened, and the
general demeanor of Mr. Yee was very disconcerting. He was deflecting
of comments or questions that were posed in a way that undermined his
gaming environment -- he ignored the hard questions and didn't really
seem interested in the mudding community at large. ("Oh, you know, I
don't really know that much about mudding, why don't you send me some
email? Here's my card.") So this brings two important questions to
light: first, have the Diku people been compensated fairly? Secondly,
if not, will Diku sue?
of The Isles
Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.
> During Bernard Yee's presentation, he framed the entire
> demonstration by saying that Sony's EverQuest was based on DikuMUD
The code itself, or just the concept? If it's the code itself, then
this time it might actually be worth the Diku team sueing. Against a
small-time thief like Vryce they wouldn't even get back their legal
costs, but against Everquest they would.
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The fastest and easiest way to search and participate in Usenet - Free!
> > During Bernard Yee's presentation, he framed the entire
> > demonstration by saying that Sony's EverQuest was based on DikuMUD
> The code itself, or just the concept? If it's the code itself, then
> this time it might actually be worth the Diku team sueing. Against a
> small-time thief like Vryce they wouldn't even get back their legal
> costs, but against Everquest they would.
In this case, it is unclear. Although it seems to me that some of the
features of EverQuest are strikingly similar to Diku.
PC Adventure, IF and MUDs
EQ is derivative of many concepts in Diku. It's also derivative of many
concepts in D&D. Diku, Im sure, borrows plenty from other game systems.
My point was that EQ is not a stand alone innovation, but came from a long
line of MUD development.
No, I dont play MUDs, what was your point? I wanted to hear from you, and
gave you my card. I dont believe I was dismissive.
if you had a clue about copyright law, you'll know that concepts -- like hit
points, character classes -- are not copyrighted.
No on ripped off the Diku codebase.
>Tis a sad day for mudders! Read on for some important information
>about Sony's EverQuest.
>This past weekend I had the pleasure of spending time in New York City,
>visiting the New School University for a gaming conference, called
>Re:Play. Among the guest speakers at the conference, there was Bernard
>Yee, the Director of Product Development for Sony's EverQuest service.
>Before the actual conference, there was a select group discussion the
>night before where I and other students were able to participate in
>intimate discussion with the speakers.
>During Bernard Yee's presentation, he framed the entire demonstration
Relative to Quake 3, certainly. relative to the genre of MMPOGs, pretty
It seems clear that you have some sort of bias, by which you've spun our
Maybe Westwood should sue Blizzard for the concept of units, orders, hit
points in a strategy game?
>> > During Bernard Yee's presentation, he framed the entire
>> > demonstration by saying that Sony's EverQuest was based on DikuMUD
>> The code itself, or just the concept? If it's the code itself, then
>> this time it might actually be worth the Diku team sueing. Against a
>> small-time thief like Vryce they wouldn't even get back their legal
>> costs, but against Everquest they would.
>In this case, it is unclear. Although it seems to me that some of the
>features of EverQuest are strikingly similar to Diku.
>Check gamers.com for an article on this in the next few days, and the
>discussion on mud...@kanga.nu
I think it's pretty clear that Locke misinterpreted your presentation to
mean that you copied code. No one has said that having similar ideas
necessarily means code was copied. Locke (and others) merely expressed
concern that code may have been copied because of the way that you said
that EverQuest was based on DikuMUD. Now you've cleared that up.
Although I must say that your attitude in responding to these questions has
been rather antagonistic. Don't they teach public relations to Directors
of Product Development at Sony?
>>> > During Bernard Yee's presentation, he framed the entire
>>> > demonstration by saying that Sony's EverQuest was based on DikuMUD
This is just the quote showing that either Mr. Yee was unclear or that
Locke misinterpreted what he said...
Given the EQ audience, we get criticisms when we dont talk about our game
design ideas, etc. And then when we do, we get slammed when we say that our
games are the latest in a line of designs that go back to collosal caves,
And I really didnt like the part where I was portrayed at someone who didnt
care to talk to Locke -- I gave him my card, and really did want to hear
about MUDs. My experience has all been pen and paper and CRPGs, not MUDs.
Darren Coffin wrote in message ...
Wow. An apology, on usenet? Weird. :)
It's understandable to be upset when that happens. The fact that you
admitted to being upset and then apologized shows a level of maturity that
isn't seen very often here. (usually the poster will just redirect their
flames at whoever dared to point out that they were being antagonistic) :)
In article <383aba99$0$2...@news.chicago1.Level3.net>, "Bernie Yee"
> My experience has all been pen and paper and CRPGs, not MUDs.
Ah, but EQ *is* a mud - one of what some people consider to be
the 'next generation' of mud (along with UO, for example). Of course
this ruffles the feathers of a number of the older mudders who prefer
the advantages a text-based game has to offer (flame wars comparing
graphical muds vs text-based muds generally occur every few months).
Another fact to take into consideration is that the mudding community
is rife with plagiarism and theft - so much so that saying something
like "this is based on Diku" is likely to result in people assuming the
worst. A better approach would be to say something like "We've
incorporated many of the concepts found within text-based muds such as
DikuMUD" or even "many of the ideas we've used came from DikuMUD".
> Given the EQ audience, we get criticisms when we dont talk about
> our game design ideas, etc. And then when we do, we get slammed when
> we say that our games are the latest in a line of designs that go
> back to collosal caves, rogue, etc.
Giving recognition for the roots of EQ can gain you a lot of
appreciation and support from the mud community (as we generally get
ignored by the outside world), but you *have* to be careful how you
phrase things. I strongly recommend that you spend some time looking
into muds - both their history and their current state of evolution.
You might be surprised just how advanced some of them have become.
I just felt a little victimized -- the orig poster emailed me (I was on road
all week) to talk about it, just emailed him back earlier (before i saw the
post) and was upset that he jumped to conclusions before talking to me...
sent him my phone to talk.
Darren Coffin wrote in message ...
>In article <383aba99$0$2...@news.chicago1.Level3.net>, "Bernie Yee"
Your point is why I distinguished MUDs (in my mind, smaller, noncommercial,
personality-driven affairs) with EQ and UO (graphical, more consumer/service
I also appreciate your advice on how to handle MUDders... I come from the
PC-CDROM side of the biz, where it's a different vibe.
Let me say this now: I'd love to figure out how to work and hear from MUD
folks more often. I have my hands full charting strategy stuff as is, but
if a few folks want to talk to me about the current state of MUDs and the
ways they've grown and evolved, I would welcome a private ongoing dialog
I know standalone games from Scott Adams Adventure on the TRS-80, but am a
neophyte to the MUD world (and its history of design, economies and social
KaVir wrote in message <004aa0e3...@usw-ex0101-006.remarq.com>...
>I've rearranged and snipped your post somewhat.
>In article <383aba99$0$2...@news.chicago1.Level3.net>, "Bernie Yee"
> It seems clear that you have some sort of bias, by which you've spun
> brief interaction.
This is definitely true; but I only took things in the context it was
given. If you hadn't said "We based EQ on Diku" and "I know nothing
about muds" in the same evening, I may not have thought twice about it.
The truth is that I have been very careful not to claim more than you
did at the Re:Play conference: I haven't been interested in slandering
EQ or its developers, just making sure that the right people are being
I will contact Bernie via email and give him the information he
requested; I am, however, aware of the situation that is developing and
I am interested to see where it leads, or, if it leads anywhere, what
the outcomes are.
Personally, I am not particularly convinced that Diku will get any
compensation for what has ultimately been an attempt to thwart
consumerism in the online gaming market. I've been working on muds for
years, as well as playing them, and have a pretty good understanding of
the dialogue that happens between them. There is a ton of theivery,
but most of the time obvious and honored credits are given to the
masters -- by liscense or by loyalty to the community.
However, if I had a mud with the same marketing department that is at
EQ's disposal, and found myself with less than 30000 users online at
any one given time, I would be surprised. I think Mr. Yee
underestimates the size of muds, which have totalled in the tens of
thousands before, and their impact on internet subcultures.
This is the second industry person I have discussed muds with, and
sadly, the second one who admitted they had no idea what they were
about. Muds are something that seem to be a replacement, in the
digital age, for pen-and-paper roleplaying, a virtualized AD&D with
many players and a computer as a Dungeon Master.
Again, I am merely a servicer of information in this arena, I have no
stand other than 'credit where credit is due'
As for right people given credit, that's ludicrous. I'm sure you see MUD or
AD&D influence in EQ. Have you actually played it? Perhaps WotC should
credit Tolkien and pay his estate? We all should give props to Tolkien,
BTW -- I am not the game designer. Brad McQuaid is. And he is an avid
But I appreciate the direction. I will look into it, but just as I doubt
you have time to understand the latest inverse kinematic alogirthms or scene
culling code, not everyone has infinite time to look into all the things
they would like; forgive me if time to play MUDs (Including EQ) is scarce.
That's an even *worse* choice of words! In the mudding community, a
derivative mud is one which originally started out as a different mud.
For example Smaug is a derivative of Merc, because it started out as a
Merc mud and the authors changed it. Merc in turn is a derivative of
Diku, because the authors started out with a Diku mud and changed it.
> I used to be a journalist, and a lawyer.
Derivative also has the same meaning in legal terms. For example
Section 103 (b) of the United States Copyright Act of 1976 states, in
part: "The copyright in a compilation or derivative work extends only
to the material contributed by the author of such work, as
distinguished from the preexisting material employed in the work, and
does not imply any exclusive right in the preexisting material. The
copyright in such work is independent of, and does not affect or
enlarge the scope, duration, ownership, or subsistence of, any
copyright protection in the preexisting material".
Thus if EQ *was* a derivative work, it *would* indeed be bound by the
And id should sue every "3d first person shooter" publisher? :)
Brian Moore | Of course vi is God's editor.
Sysadmin, C/Perl Hacker | If He used Emacs, He'd still be waiting
Usenet Vandal | for it to load on the seventh day.
Netscum, Bane of Elves.
> Let me say this now: I'd love to figure out how to work and hear from MUD
> folks more often. I have my hands full charting strategy stuff as is, but
> if a few folks want to talk to me about the current state of MUDs and the
> ways they've grown and evolved, I would welcome a private ongoing dialog
> with him/her.
I doubt I'm the first to say this, but what you are asking for above
is MUD-Dev. You can find subscription instructions at:
Signal is high. Noise is low. Browse the archvies and see.
John's been a pretty big advocate of no-patents and support of open code
stuff like Linux; he even public domained Doom source code right?
Maybe we should ask him to public domain Quake now <G> -- or Q2!
brian moore <b...@news.cmc.net> wrote in message
Derivative in copyright law means "added on to" such that the original work
is still the original copyright holder's work; the "derivative" work is the
ownership of the derivative creator's. Famous case was a Puccini opera
derived from a prose work. To what extent the original is copyrightable is
also a tricky issue; elves, wizards and a big bad Foozle usually isn't
copyrightable; a quest about a halfling destroying a magic ring probably is.
I mean Derivative in the way AD&D is derivative of LotR. Didnt understand
the MUD use for the work. Apologies.
Wow, I'm learning a lot hanging around these parts. Hope I can stand the
KaVir <Richard.Wool...@RSUK.rsd.de.invalid> wrote in message
> Derivative in copyright law means "added on to" such that the original work
> is still the original copyright holder's work; the "derivative" work is the
> ownership of the derivative creator's. Famous case was a Puccini opera
> derived from a prose work. To what extent the original is copyrightable is
> also a tricky issue; elves, wizards and a big bad Foozle usually isn't
> copyrightable; a quest about a halfling destroying a magic ring probably is.
It is worthwhile getting genned in on what copyright really is, and
what the limits really are. Many aspects are non-obvious. There
are a variety of relevant links in the Kanga.Nu LIbrary under:
The "10 Big Myths about copyright explained" and "Copyright FAQ" are
probably the best starters:
Tarthulhu <tart...@aol.com> wrote in message
I might point out that once you say ``this is based on Diku'' you can't be
accused of plagiarism anymore (presuming it is actually based on Diku).
It is this issue of copyright and licencing where you get to asking about
the implementation rather than the ``look and feel''. A lot of people take
a statement like ``based on Diku'' to mean containing Diku code (that's how
I use the language anyhow), while ``looks like Diku'' or ``plays like Diku''
suggests alternative implementation. Anyow, have the Diku authors EVER enforced
> Signal is high. Noise is low. Browse the archvies and see.
I've got this great piece of code, its going to revolutionise the whole
gaming world, due for release real soon now -- it does everything you,
wouldn't believe it.
PS: mud-dev is a good place to rummage for ideas though...
I don't recall saying that you could.
> Anyow, have the Diku authors EVER enforced their licence?
Let me answer your question with another question: Have the Diku
authors ever found anyone breaching their copyright who - if taken to
court - would result in them getting enough money to even cover their
You misused the term from a legal standpoint as well. You claim to be a
lawyer, so you should know that the term "derivative" carries a very specific
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Didnt we go thru this already?
Aristotle wrote in message
Yes, but this is rgmd, where things are routinely not only beaten into
the ground, but pounded six feet under.
Welcome to rgmd.
brian moore wrote in message ...
Just wait a while and Vryce will return with the "Medtheivia isn't a
diku it just happens to have a whole stack of Diku code in it including
in the comments" story... then go back the last 5 years or so on
dejanews^H^H^H^H.com and see what I mean about pounding things into the
rgmd, like camelot, is a very silly place.