Selling an art book for a free game with an inspired sprite style?

Discussion in 'Commercial Games Discussion' started by SixFootBlue, Jul 23, 2018.

  1. SixFootBlue

    SixFootBlue Villager Member

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    Apologies if this isn't the appropriate section to ask about this sort of thing.

    So I'm working on a game that's basically an homage to Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls. (It's not a fan game).

    The game is going to use an art style similar to that which is used in FF 1&2 for the character and battler sprites. They're still drawn from scratch, and aren't replicated or traced versions of the original sprites, but the intention was to have an identifiable classic final fantasy aesthetic to them. I also plan on indicating my source of inspiration in the game's credits.



    [​IMG]
    (Leftmost sprite is Firion from FF2, the one next to him is a deconstructed version so I know what pixel patterns to avoid. The rightmost sprite is the end result. The bottom row shows Firion, my sprite, and the two laid overtop of each other to show any similarities/differences)

    Edit: Put together some comparison shots of the animations just to be sure.
    Firion's FF2 Animations
    My Animations

    [​IMG]
    (Left and right sprites are rips. Middle sprite is mine.)


    I feel it's also worth mentioning that the game uses a variety of freely obtained royalty free music. Some of the songs are free to use in commercial projects, while others require you buy a license.

    I don't have any plans to sell the game. It's going to be free to download and play. But I started thinking of the possibility of selling a digital art book after release if people really enjoy it. The art book would just contain stuff like original concept art, full character busts (also original), and some developer commentary and anecdotes.


    Would selling an art book for this game be an acceptable thing to do, as long as none of the character/battler sprites are in the art book? Also, would I need to purchase commercial licenses for the songs that require it as well, even though the game itself is free? Edit: Got my music situation figured out.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018
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  2. Andar

    Andar Veteran Veteran

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    It depends on the exact term of service for whatever you're using.
    There are some people who consider it commercial use if you have a donation button on the same website as the download of a free game.

    But if that's the case it is usually stated as such in the terms for the parts you're using.
    Yes, that means you have to read and check the ToS and EULA of every single piece you're using, no matter if audio, picture, script or whatever. Because everything can have different ToS and your responsibility is to obey them.
     
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  3. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

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    As a content creator (scripts and music mostly), I consider it a different entity the game you're making using my resource and the IP you have. I do have some resources that are not available for commercial, that is however only applied to the media that directly affected by it. Like if it's game, then it should be free. The merch you're selling that is based on your own IP has nothing to do with my resources. So, you're free to sell that even if you're using my resources as long as the game still free.

    That is however, I'm not sure if other creators hold the same ToU. Which that goes back to Andar's statement. Check every possible ToU for the resources you're using. Although idk why they won't allow you to sell artbook if it has no copyright infringement or so.
     
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  4. SixFootBlue

    SixFootBlue Villager Member

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    Thanks for the replies, you two!

    I went through my game's music folder this morning and had another look at the terms of use from my sources, and it looks like everything's in the clear there, except for one artist I need to DM directly to ask.

    I still feel slightly uncertain about things on the spriting end, but I suppose that's just something I'll have to keep an eye out for when drawing my assets. I was taking an approach similar to what the Mother 4 project had been doing (original artwork and other assets in the same style, original story, no direct references to earthbound, free to download, etc) though they don't have any links for donations or purchasing original content made by them. I did take a look at Square Enix's usage policy, but it only details usage of their materials as opposed to using similar art styles,
     
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  5. Sharm

    Sharm Pixel Tile Artist Veteran

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    I think you're legally in the clear with the sprites. They have as similar aesthetic but they are certainly not edits. If I had come across your sprites and someone had claimed they were edits of rips I would have disagreed on my own without the extra proof you provided.
     
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  6. SixFootBlue

    SixFootBlue Villager Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. :)
    I've added a couple links to some clips of some of the animations and poses I put together this afternoon, as well as their FF2 counterparts for comparison just to be sure, and if anyone else would like to weigh in.

    Firion's FF2 Animations
    My Animations
     
    #6

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