Arcanum ownership

Discussion in 'Arcanum 2 Suggestion Forum' started by The Pigeon, Nov 7, 2010.

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  1. The Pigeon

    The Pigeon New Member

    Just out of curiosity, who owns Arcanum at the moment? I know Good Old Games is selling it (and I've bought a copy from there), but I've been out of the Arcanum 'loop' for ages so I'm not sure what's what.
  2. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

    Sierra was the publisher, and presumably owns the rights to Arcanum.
  3. The Pigeon

    The Pigeon New Member

    Hm.. didn't Sierra go bust though? Companies change, disappear or merge so much I can't tell sometimes who's who.

    I'm curious about who owns it because so many people (me included) have wanted to work on an Arcanum 2 and I'm not actually sure if we're allowed to given that someone is still making money from Arcanum 1.

    I'm especially curious at the moment since I've basically finished my Computer Science/Games Programming degree and am thinking of making a super simple test game (Initially: simple UI, isometric camera, 3D character with just hitpoints + damage to run around in a tiny area).

    Gotta get a student version or 3DS max and visual studio again and relearn some stuff I haven't used in a while, but I want to make sure I'm not treading on anyone's toes before I start any programming.
  4. Frigo

    Frigo New Member

    Just rename it and no one's going to bother about it.
  5. DarkFool

    DarkFool New Member

    Check out the modules section. There's a few other people working on similar projects.
  6. RunAwayScientist

    RunAwayScientist New Member

  7. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm New Member

    You can code a game like Arcanum to run in C++? That's amazing.
  8. Charonte

    Charonte Member

    Sierra is now a division of Activision Blizzard. Troika has become defunct as of several years ago now and I would have thought they'd hold the actual intellectual property for Arcanum.

    Either way, if you want to start your own Arcanum-oriented project, do so, but don't attempt to make any money off of it and don't use any datafiles from the original (art/music etc; you're just asking for trouble IMO) and they probably wont care. There are several other community driven projects for games such as Ultima, Morrowind etc that do this with out any sort of copyright issues.

    An Arcanum 2 'module' that uses the original engine and developed using current modding tools is perfectly legal as it requires players to already own it. This is true regardless of the current legal status of Arcanum.
  9. Zanza

    Zanza Active Member

    Blizzard say they are working on a new game that has nothing to do with any of their current titles. Perhaps.... its Arcanum!
  10. Langolier

    Langolier New Member

    I'm not sure I like the idea of Blizzard touching Arcanum.

    Hell, I'd rather Bethesda get the rights.

    At least Oblivion with guns, top-hats, monocles, and auto-matons would be fun.
  11. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member


    Long time no see man.
  12. arcanumfangirl

    arcanumfangirl New Member

    I'd like to know that as well. I have recently discovered a brilliant game engine and I'd like to make a game based in Arcanum, but I don't want to get sue threats and have my whatever work I've done wasted for nothing.

    Some fans were working on a fan game called The Silver Lining which was based off of Sierra's King's Quest games. They were threatened with legal action by Sierra I believe, even though it was completely free. It turns out they went on with the game which was good but the risk is too high, what with copyright issues and all.
  13. Crypton

    Crypton New Member

    Based? So it's a completely different and standalone game, right? Then I'm not surprised that they had such problems and I recommend you to not follow their path (and mistakes), no matter if Arcanum is owned by some company or not. If you want to create some other game based on Arcanum, release it as modification for Arcanum, no matter that it's different engine and is not using any of Arcanum game files.

    So with this modification, people must own a copy of Arcanum, and you should check in your engine that they really own it, in same way as original game does -> CD Check.

    Or better, you release it as modification for Arcanum demo version. So people will be able to play it even when they do not own copy of Arcanum.

    Still you must check if they really have it installed, and you must install your game into Arcanum directory. Also, your game should not contain any content that comes from retail version of Arcanum, except if its modified somehow.

    Hope this helps.
  14. random1

    random1 New Member

    I'm just curious about this, but what would this engine allow that current modding tools don't?
    (keep in mind I know nothing about the current state of the art of Arcanum's modding tools)

    FWIW, if you want some examples of modding vs. new IP you have:
    - modding: Co8 on the ToEE
    - new IP: Piranha Bytes' Risen, where the gameplay is all similar to Gothic while not having any connections to Gothic
  15. wayne-scales

    wayne-scales New Member

    Offhand, I'd say the most notable change would be user-friendliness. Arcanum is a bitch to mod.
  16. Yuki

    Yuki New Member

    I have a physical cardboard package! :3
  17. ZippoLag

    ZippoLag New Member


    Being in the middle of my Information Systems Engineering degree and knowing Arcanum is mostly orphaned I'been thinking for a while about what can and cannot be done with it due to legal issues. As it has been my dream for a while to make a good 3D game engine (partly for learning purposes, and because I just want to) I think a small Arcanum clone, or Arcanum "inspired" game will definately be one of my firsts projects -after all, how many games do you know that combine Steampunk and Magic?-.

    On a sidenote, I'm drawing the baselines for a pen&paper RPG (meaning sitting on a table, roling actual dice, tophats optional) using the world of Arcanum, tho I'm now beginning to wonder if anyone else has already done this and can spare me the effort '^^
  18. DarkFool

    DarkFool New Member

    To get sued, Sierra would first have to find the documentation that they legally own Arcanum. That, in and of itself, is probably more time/money than they want to designate upon such an endeavor. I would say that if you want to build a clone or a game based on Arcanum, go for it.

    Please be warned, however. This community has seen a lot of projects like this come and go. Including a complete revamp of the game I had hashed out with another one of the admins of this place. There are, at present, two projects being worked on. One by RunAwayScientist. The other by... Zerobot? I think? Formerly Crypton. My point is, while many of us are avid fans of the game, few of us are modders. If you're going to dive into this, expecting lots of useful help, you're setting yourself up for a fantastic letdown. I don't say this because I want you to give up hope, I just want you to know in advance.

    My dear Swasian, please leave your sex toys out of our conversations, unless you're including pictures, mmkay? <3
  19. Charonte

    Charonte Member

    ZippoLag, building a 3D engine is a really really really bad idea (done it before), great learning experience but very little to be gained in terms of practicallity. There's so much design involved that you spend virtually no time on the game itself. Not good.

    Pen & paper could be interesting though, if you want to try it over IRC send me the rules and I'll knock up a bot fot that purpose.

    Dark Fool, I'm slightly insulted that you forgot my own Arcanum project (which is still being worked on, I swear!). I was nearly ready to share the secrets of my porn multiverse with you but now I guess you have to wait...
  20. Crypton

    Crypton New Member

    Yep, there are, but at least five ;)

    -Arcanum: Revolution -> WEBSITE, WIKI, SUBFORUM.
    -Arcanum: SoulLess (3D) -> SUBFORUM.
    -ArcReborn: RiverRise -> SUBFORUM
    -Arcanum: Dead World -> WEBSITE.
    -ArcanumAlive -> WEBSITE

    These are the only hopefully looking projects I'm aware of, and I believe that there is at least 5 more that I'm not aware of.

    Also, Charonte is working on something, but he don't have website nor name for that project yet, so his project isn't in the list.

    P.S. Maybe it would be a good idea to make a list of such projects, and make a sticky thread from it. :thumbup:

    Edit: The project Arcanum: Revolution has changed domain to

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