Jump to content
TheHumanHydra

Unsolicited Advice

Recommended Posts

In a recent topic, @Marinealver said the following:

On July 21, 2017 at 8:50 PM, Marinealver said:

This belongs in CCL, and thanks to a legal precedent called unsolicited advice FFG now has no legal way of releasing your proposed expansion.

This has me worrying. I know that Mark Rosewater of Magic: The Gathering has to close emails containing dream cards so he doesn't get ideas from them. Suggestions, proposed fixes, and dream cards are everywhere on the X-Wing forums. Does this mean that

a) the designers can't read the X-Wing forums, which would leave them out of touch with their player base, or

b) the designers can't use anything they see on the X-Wing forums -- so there will never be a Heroes of Scarif expansion or an Imperial Gunboat (do not derail the thread), the StarViper fix wasn't white S-loops because they saw that here*, and they'll never remove the Range 3 ordnance rule because Stay on the Leader just suggested that? How does this apply to things like errata?

If the second, I think we need to reevaluate what kind of content we post on these forums so we can actually have nice things. If the former, where does the X-Wing team get feedback from?

 

* Actually, I think the timing of those posts was off for that to have been a factor; it's just a hypothetical example.

Edited by TheHumanHydra

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if that was a thing, they wouldnt be able to get feedback from the player base PERIOD

Usually companies go the other way around. Anything you say or do using their content is their property now (this is why there was such a conflict between Blizzard and Valve for Dota2, since technically blizzard owns dota even though they didnt make it)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, FTS Gecko said:

....no.

This. 

14 minutes ago, TheHumanHydra said:

I know that Mark Rosewater of Magic: The Gathering has to close emails containing dream cards so he doesn't get ideas from them. Suggestions, proposed fixes, and dream cards are everywhere on the X-Wing forums. Does this mean that

Is he doing this for legal reasons, WotC policy, or personal want to not be influenced? ... 'Cause wtf this isn't attorney-client privilege where just talking about something to a developer can "conflict" them 
This seems a bit dire and far-fetched to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Rinzler in a Tie said:

This. 

Is he doing this for legal reasons, WotC policy, or personal want to not be influenced? ... 'Cause wtf this isn't attorney-client privilege where just talking about something to a developer can "conflict" them 
This seems a bit dire and far-fetched to me.

I looked it up again -- it looks like it's WotC company policy. @nigeltastic, would you be able to elaborate on the avoiding of unsolicited ideas because of copyright?

Sorry if I sounded alarmist, I was alarmed. All the better if my fears were unfounded.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*sigh*... OK, I'll elaborate.

20 minutes ago, TheHumanHydra said:

In a recent topic, @Marinealver said the following:

...that was your first mistake, right there.

22 minutes ago, TheHumanHydra said:

This has me worrying.

...no need to worry.

23 minutes ago, TheHumanHydra said:

 Does this mean that the designers can't read the X-Wing forums, which would leave them out of touch with their player base

No.  The designers can read the forums.  Whether they choose to or not is a different matter.  And whether they choose not to, they are still no doubt 100% aware of what is being discussed and debated here.  It is feedback on their products which is being discussed, after all.  Consumer feedback is important.

26 minutes ago, TheHumanHydra said:

Does this mean that the designers can't use anything they see on the X-Wing forums - so there will never be a Heroes of Scarif expansion or an Imperial Gunboat...

No.  Do you really think someone saying "FFG should release First Order TIE Interceptor called the Silencer with Kylo Ren as a pilot and the same PS and ability he has in the Upsilon" will stop FFG doing just that if Disney approves it?  There have been over a million posts in this forum, and thousands of suggestions for ships, upgrades, pilots, abilities.  A lot of them have already happened.  A third faction called Scum and Villanny was touted on these forums a long time before it actually became an official thing.  Imperial (and Scum) Huge ships were suggested for years as well, and still happened.  At the end of the day, Disney owns the relevant trademarks and copyrights for all of this material, and whether FFG is allowed to use it is down to them, and nothing anyone says or does in this forum is going to prevent that.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, TheHumanHydra said:

I looked it up again -- it looks like it's WotC company policy. @nigeltastic, would you be able to elaborate on the avoiding of unsolicited ideas because of copyright?

Sorry if I sounded alarmist, I was alarmed. All the better if my fears were unfounded.

Sure. As an example let's assume Apple doesn't have any policy at all relating to unsolicited ideas (they do but pretend). If I email them my killer idea for the next iPhone commercial and they use it they open themselves up to me sueing them for using my idea without my permission (even though I sent it to them myself). Basically, avoiding user suggested ideas or having strict and public policies about user generated content protects companies from annoying or damaging lawsuits. You can sue anyone for anything and copyright law is somewhat confusing and weird so it's just safest for companies to have strict policies to avoid litigation. Even if they win the case outright it's annoying to tie up their legal team.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, nigeltastic said:

Sure. As an example let's assume Apple doesn't have any policy at all relating to unsolicited ideas (they do but pretend). If I email them my killer idea for the next iPhone commercial and they use it they open themselves up to me sueing them for using my idea without my permission (even though I sent it to them myself). Basically, avoiding user suggested ideas or having strict and public policies about user generated content protects companies from annoying or damaging lawsuits. You can sue anyone for anything and copyright law is somewhat confusing and weird so it's just safest for companies to have strict policies to avoid litigation. Even if they win the case outright it's annoying to tie up their legal team.

Thanks. That helps, and is largely what I assumed, although I guess I'm still a little confused about how this would affect specific mechanical ideas offered on the forums.

 

11 minutes ago, FTS Gecko said:

No.  Do you really think someone saying "FFG should release First Order TIE Interceptor called the Silencer with Kylo Ren as a pilot and the same PS and ability he has in the Upsilon" will stop FFG doing just that if Disney approves it?

No, of course not, but ...

9 minutes ago, nigeltastic said:

copyright law is somewhat confusing and weird

 

Edited by TheHumanHydra

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, TheHumanHydra said:

Thanks. That helps, and is largely what I assumed, although I guess I'm still a little confused about how this would affect specific mechanical ideas offered on the forums.

I don't think it would. Typically "unsolicited ideas" pertain to private suggestions rather than public, at least from what I can tell. We're on ffg's forums so everything here they own automatically. It's also public information at this point so I don't think it's particularly easy to claim litigious ownership. I'm certainly not an expert on this subject but from the reading I've done the only time these policies should be necessary would be for private or confidential communication.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

See the FFG forum use Terms of Service, particularly this bit (emphasis mine):

Quote
  • Any communications and/or content, including but not limited to public posts and private messages (hereafter “CCs”) submitted through or on the FFG Website is owned by you. By submitting CCs on or through the FFG Website, you are acknowledging that ownership, that you have the right to it, and that you also give FFG and all of its FFG Website users the right to use the CCs in any manner they see fit anywhere, for free, and forever (a world-wide, non-exclusive, perpetual, sublicenseable, transferable, royalty free license). If you think someone does not have the right to the subject matter in a CC or CCs, please see the Copyright section for more information. Please also see the Privacy Policy regarding the confidentiality of CCs.

 

Edited by evanger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@nigeltastic, the counterpoint I'd offer is this:

Game designers don't even LIKE the appearance of influence - avoiding the potential of impropriety was how a CGL designer termed it when we had a discussion, but more on that in a moment.

Yes, they solicit beta testing and suggestions from that; however, the notion that a fan creates an idea, thus locking the game company out of producing that idea for fear of any kind of lawsuit, has reality.

Example. Battletech is a game of the 1980s - it plays HORRIBLY, is super-clunky, and has a ton of... well, cruft in its rules. So, the current owners, Catalyst Games Labs, created a cut-down version of the game they called Alpha Strike. To give you an idea, it turned an 8.5x11 record sheet into something that fits on a playing card, that's how simplified it is, yet it still feels like Battletech while playing it, you can just play it with 36 models on a side instead of 4.

HOWEVER, the first points system they used for Alpha Strike was directly taken from Battletech, and it was a bad fit. It was comparing apples and Ferraris, that's how bad it was, but they weren't even TALKING about making a new points system publicly, much to the frustration of, well, EVERYONE.

So I took it upon myself to design my own points system. It was just simple addition and multiplication of the model's stats, and it worked really well. Everyone liked it. Took maybe 30 seconds to calculate. It was the ONLY points system for around 8 months or so. I told CGL publicly and in multiple places that they were free to use mine, I just wanted a credit and no payment whatsoever, it was fine yo, just USE IT BECAUSE IT'S WHAT THE GAME NEEDS.

THEN CGL announced their own points system, which was a really complicated set of multiple formulae and fractional multiplication and different lookups and took about 3-5 minutes to look up... and matched my results to 1-2 points with 90% of cases  out of a field with 2500+ entries. That's a FEAT, dude, that in 2 weeks I came up with something which equalled the best work of a group of game designers working over months.

A year and a half later, I was talking with a game dev in a private chat and he told me that what was released was their SECOND system. They'd come up with an addition/multiplication based formula that looked WAY too close to mine, and were forced to abandon it due to legal concerns. It... frankly, it ruined me for a couple of days. Had I unintentionally sabotaged their efforts? Done something bad?

But I bucked up as I looked back over the amount of community involvement that my Alpha Value had. I may have strengthened Alpha Strike by getting people involved, making them see there was a problem, and even if CGL put out a different points system, mine was close enough that the players were familiar with the costs.

 

The balancing point is this: I don't think FFG gives two ***** about where this game is in 5 years. I think they're not expecting their license to be renewed, and are churn-and-burning as much as they can for profit before the system is yanked from underneath them. So of course they have no reason to release an RPG mode like HoAtC or Kessel Kup or revising 100/6 to make it better, because who cares if the game is BETTER when it won't be THEIRS any more?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, evanger said:

See the FFG forum use Terms of Service, particularly this bit (emphasis mine):

Ah, excellent. I should have thought to look there. Thanks.

45 minutes ago, nigeltastic said:

I don't think it would. Typically "unsolicited ideas" pertain to private suggestions rather than public, at least from what I can tell. We're on ffg's forums so everything here they own automatically. It's also public information at this point so I don't think it's particularly easy to claim litigious ownership. I'm certainly not an expert on this subject but from the reading I've done the only time these policies should be necessary would be for private or confidential communication.

Thanks. That seems to match what I'm reading online -- companies are advised to clarify that communications they receive are not considered confidential.

Edited by TheHumanHydra

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, iamfanboy said:

The balancing point is this: I don't think FFG gives two ***** about where this game is in 5 years. I think they're not expecting their license to be renewed, and are churn-and-burning as much as they can for profit before the system is yanked from underneath them. So of course they have no reason to release an RPG mode like HoAtC or Kessel Kup or revising 100/6 to make it better, because who cares if the game is BETTER when it won't be THEIRS any more?

I'm curious why you think this will be the case? From what I'm remembering isn't x-wing the current king of miniature games displacing even 40k?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, nigeltastic said:

Sure. As an example let's assume Apple doesn't have any policy at all relating to unsolicited ideas (they do but pretend). If I email them my killer idea for the next iPhone commercial and they use it they open themselves up to me sueing them for using my idea without my permission (even though I sent it to them myself). Basically, avoiding user suggested ideas or having strict and public policies about user generated content protects companies from annoying or damaging lawsuits. You can sue anyone for anything and copyright law is somewhat confusing and weird so it's just safest for companies to have strict policies to avoid litigation. Even if they win the case outright it's anwnoying to tie up their legal team.

I commented on this awhile back. While I was farmed out to another company they stuck me in Advanced Engineering. Each engineer would detail their ideas, concepts etc. In special binders. Each binder was numbered and each page numbered. These weren't loose leaf binders. Each page was dated as the engineer commented, made notes etc.. 

I asked about this and was told it was to protect the company from lawsuits. They could show a detailed timeline of each idea. This actually worked against Ford years ago when a non-Ford engineer submitted to Ford his idea for an Intermittent Windshield Wiper. He had maintained meticulous notes which was used to beat Ford's lawyer's in court.

I'm certain that FFG's game developers use a similar system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

8th edition 40k might have returned it to the top but its iffy to say that. Very few players in my area that went from 40k to xwing went back to 40k, the majority of the 40k people that suddenly popped up were always JUST 40k players, just not playing because the game was dull at the time.
I think we have like 3 people (myself included) that started playing 40k again after getting into xwing. Only one flatout stopped playing xwing in the process.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, evanger said:
  • Any communications and/or content, including but not limited to public posts and private messages (hereafter “CCs”) submitted through or on the FFG Website is owned by you. By submitting CCs on or through the FFG Website, you are acknowledging that ownership, that you have the right to it, and that you also give FFG and all of its FFG Website users the right to use the CCs in any manner they see fit anywhere, for free, and forever (a world-wide, non-exclusive, perpetual, sublicenseable, transferable, royalty free license). If you think someone does not have the right to the subject matter in a CC or CCs, please see the Copyright section for more information. Please also see the Privacy Policy regarding the confidentiality of CCs.

 

I see "...you are acknowledging that ownership, that you have the right to it..." But also "...you also give FFG and all of its FFG Website users the right to use the CCs in any manner they see fit anywhere, for free, and forever (a world-wide, non-exclusive, perpetual, sublicenseable, transferable, royalty free license)..." Meaning it technically belongs to you but it is shared with all other FFG community members and the developers, play testers, secretaries, managers and employees, and even the custodians.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Copying someone's creative work for profit is always a legal concern.  Something like releasing an Assault Gunboat wouldn't be an issue, because the Assault Gunboat wasn't created by someone on the forum.  The ideas put into the cards in that thread though, it is highly likely FFG would purposely avoid reusing them.  The same with many of the card ideas here. That's one reason I face palm at all the various card suggestion threads. 

Edited by Joe Censored

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...