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S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Using Unlicensed Assets From Doom 3? 108

segafreak writes "ShackNews reports that S.T.A.L.K.E.R.:Shadow of Chernobyl may contain unlicensed assets from other commercial games such as Doom 3 and Half Life 2. Though this has yet to be confirmed by any of the developers involved, if true this would be somewhat worrying. 'Responding to inquiries made by Shacknews, id Software CEO Todd Hollshead stated: I've seen a post on a web forum that claims DOOM3 assets are used in another game, but we've been working hard on Enemy Territory: Quake Wars as well as our own internal project and have not had the time to fully investigate or otherwise verify that the claim is true. Only from what I've seen on the Web, it's concerning. However, it may turn out to be nothing.'"
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S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Using Unlicensed Assets From Doom 3?

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  • by dunezone ( 899268 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @01:32PM (#18678435) Journal
    I swear Ive heard that damn door opening sound from Doom in so many different places, home, work, school, etc.
  • by Ford Prefect ( 8777 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @01:53PM (#18678845) Homepage

    From the linked screenshots, the alleged borrowed assets appear to be shaders or bumpmaps and such.

    The du/dv and normal maps for Half-Life 2's water definitely aren't shaders - they're inputs for shaders, but don't themselves contain a single line of program code. As with Doom 3's light textures, they're definitely artwork - while the player indeed won't 'see' them as they appear in the games' datafiles, they're quite distinctive and do contribute to the original games' artistic directions.

    It would be quite strange to licence such textures from third-parties. They're not photographically sourced, so no big photo libraries would carry them - and in the case of the light textures, anyone halfway competent with Photoshop could make some decent facsimiles from scratch fairly quickly. It makes sense to buy sound libraries (to save shooting guns, breaking objects and releasing monsters in a clean and tidy office) and photo references (need to find some rusty old machines, tumble-down buildings etc.) - but not 128x128 pixel blobs of light.

    I suspect the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. graphics programmers were independently implementing some fairly similar engine features to Doom 3 and Source, and to test their work 'borrowed' the shader input textures from the games they were emulating. Then, through forgetfulness, miscommunication or deceit, the original placeholders got left in the game.

    I can't see it as being an attempt to save time or money during development - the screenshots I've seen contain some vastly more difficult and impressive map, character and prop texturing, so their artists are definitely more than capable of knocking together some quick light textures. Maybe a programmer did the original borrowing, and nobody on the art team realised where these new textures were actually from?

    Moral of the story, though - don't use other people's stuff as placeholders. You might forget!
  • Re:Specifically... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Cyberax ( 705495 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @02:04PM (#18679045)
    Boris Strugatskiy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arkady_and_Boris_Str ugatsky) allows copying and reproduction of his works without royalties. He's a rare example of a writer who does not write only for money.

    I've played STALKER and it's absolutely not similar to HL2 or Doom. I don't deny that they may have 'borrowed' some models (probably, it was accidental) but the game itself is absolutely NOT a rip-off from Doom/HL.
  • Re:Specifically... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Cristofori42 ( 1001206 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @02:32PM (#18679527)
    Ironical is not a word

    Looks like one to me..
    http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/ironical [m-w.com]
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ironical [reference.com]

"Well, it don't make the sun shine, but at least it don't deepen the shit." -- Straiter Empy, in _Riddley_Walker_ by Russell Hoban