What are the groundrules for combine Icehouse and Piecepack with Stonehenge?


Paizo Games


Hello. Can someone at Paizo comment on this?

I was curious what the groundrules are for this. For example, if someone came up with a game that used Icehouse pieces or stuff from Piecepack, would they be able to put these rules in the Stonehenge Library here? Same would be going with adding Go pieces or chess or checker pieces.

Thanks....

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

DocReason wrote:

Hello. Can someone at Paizo comment on this?

I was curious what the groundrules are for this. For example, if someone came up with a game that used Icehouse pieces or stuff from Piecepack, would they be able to put these rules in the Stonehenge Library here? Same would be going with adding Go pieces or chess or checker pieces.

That answer is part of the terms you have to agree to when you upload a game, so you've seen it more than anyone!

Anthology Board Game™ Library Agreement wrote:


1. Definition of "rule set"
A rule set is a set of instructions for playing a game using pieces from one of Paizo's Anthology Board Games. It may use any pieces included in any one Anthology Board Game and its expansions. It may use other game pieces as long as such pieces are generic and common and not owned by a third party. It may not include any newly created pieces.

So, no to Icehouse; yes to go, chess, and checkers. Piecepack, which I hadn't heard of before, looks like it falls into a grey area in our terms, because it appears to meet the "not owned by a third party" part of the rule, but the "generic" and "common" parts are questionable.


I asked about Icehouse, because I know Andrew Looney is working on a game for Stonehenge, and wasn't sure he minded. As far as Piecepack goes, it is an open source, public domain game system I believe.

Maybe Andrew can chime in. If he gives his thumbs up, then would Icehouse be appropriate for rules in the library?

Secondarily, does the definition of the library include ALL games made for Stonehenge, or just the ones uploaded here?


Vic Wertz wrote:


So, no to Icehouse; yes to go, chess, and checkers. Piecepack, which I hadn't heard of before, looks like it falls into a grey area in our terms, because it appears to meet the "not owned by a third party" part of the rule, but the "generic" and "common" parts are questionable.

I contacted the person responsible for the Piecepack project, who runs piecepack.org. He sent me the following reply:

From: "Piecepack Admin"
To: "Richard Hutnik"
Sent: Sunday, August 05, 2007 3:54 PM
Subject: Re: Are there any problems with Piecepack being combined with Stonehenge by Paizo?

It is ok as far as I am concerned, meaning that Piecepack is in the public
domain and you are allowed to do anything you want with it.

I think the question boils down to if they will allow it or not, and that is
not my call.

It's not owned by a third party. I think you could make a case for generic,
but not so much for common (though the audience does grow every year).

So ultimately it's their call, but there is nothing in terms of ownership
that would prevent it.
-----------------------------

So Vic, does this sound like a go for using Piecepack with Stonehenge?
Piecepack was released as a public domain product. The person who came up with it, doesn't even produce the equipment and allows anyone to manufacture the equipment for profit. I believe even Paizo could do a run on it.

Lone Shark Games

DocReason wrote:

I asked about Icehouse, because I know Andrew Looney is working on a game for Stonehenge, and wasn't sure he minded. As far as Piecepack goes, it is an open source, public domain game system I believe. Maybe Andrew can chime in. If he gives his thumbs up, then would Icehouse be appropriate for rules in the library?

Secondarily, does the definition of the library include ALL games made for Stonehenge, or just the ones uploaded here?

The rules on the Library include the words "common" and "generic," and neither of those systems fit that description.

Chess pawns and Go pieces are okay, as they're definitely generic. Piecepack is generic, but I don't think it qualifies as common. Andy hasn't released the Icehouse system into open-source. That's his system, to do with what he wants. I'm a huge Icehouse fan, but the only way I can do a game for Icehouse pieces is if Andy asks me to.

All games made for Stonehenge come from two sources: those uploaded to the Library, and those published by Paizo and its partners. So the Library rules apply to any Stonehenge game we don't publish, as they must be first published here.

Hope that helps.

Mike


Mike Selinker wrote:
DocReason wrote:

I asked about Icehouse, because I know Andrew Looney is working on a game for Stonehenge, and wasn't sure he minded. As far as Piecepack goes, it is an open source, public domain game system I believe. Maybe Andrew can chime in. If he gives his thumbs up, then would Icehouse be appropriate for rules in the library?

Secondarily, does the definition of the library include ALL games made for Stonehenge, or just the ones uploaded here?

The rules on the Library include the words "common" and "generic," and neither of those systems fit that description.

Chess pawns and Go pieces are okay, as they're definitely generic. Piecepack is generic, but I don't think it qualifies as common. Andy hasn't released the Icehouse system into open-source. That's his system, to do with what he wants. I'm a huge Icehouse fan, but the only way I can do a game for Icehouse pieces is if Andy asks me to.

All games made for Stonehenge come from two sources: those uploaded to the Library, and those published by Paizo and its partners. So the Library rules apply to any Stonehenge game we don't publish, as they must be first published here.

Hope that helps.

Mike

I got email from the creator of piecepack and he put it in the public domain, where people can create their own pieces if they like and use what is there. I had an interest in this happening because if mixing was allowed, Stonehenge would have a greater appeal to designers out there, and reach a broader development audience.

I can understand possible issues with Icehouse, but still unsure about piecepack.

I am also curious about the extent of "common" and "generic" because another game I am kicking around is doing a word game for Stonehenge, which would would likely use tiles, which need to be added to the game. Where would these come from? Not allowed to gut a Scrabble game for it, right? And if I make my own, those wouldn't qualify as common, would it?

Last point, can you please let me know what Stonehenge Rocks qualifies under? It isn't here and was done for Knucklebones magazine. Would Knucklebones be considered a partner?

Lone Shark Games

DocReason wrote:

I got email from the creator of piecepack and he put it in the public domain, where people can create their own pieces if they like and use what is there. I had an interest in this happening because if mixing was allowed, Stonehenge would have a greater appeal to designers out there, and reach a broader development audience.

I can understand possible issues with Icehouse, but still unsure about piecepack.

I am also curious about the extent of "common" and "generic" because another game I am kicking around is doing a word game for Stonehenge, which would would likely use tiles, which need to be added to the game. Where would these come from? Not allowed to gut a Scrabble game for it, right? And if I make my own, those wouldn't qualify as common, would it?

Last point, can you please let me know what Stonehenge Rocks qualifies under? It isn't here and was done for Knucklebones magazine. Would Knucklebones be considered a partner?

All right, I'm changing my tune. We don't want Stonehenge games to use things other people can't get easily, or have to pay money for. Piecepack doesn't fit either of those concerns, so go ahead and use it. Just make sure you never use anything that people need to buy, other than official products for Stonehenge.

Similarly, you can't require people to use Scrabble tiles. You can have them write 100 letters on scraps of paper (that's common), or include a template elsewhere (that's generic), but you can't use the Scrabble distribution (which is bizarre anyway). If, after they play, they want to use something more substantial, they can borrow from wherever they want. But your game can't say it uses pieces from a copyrighted source.

Knucklebones is our partner for Stonehenge Rocks. Anytime you see a game in a magazine, it'll be with one of our partners. Again, if a Stonehenge game is not published here, it's by us and our partners. The open-source rules only apply to the Library.

Mike

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Mike Selinker wrote:
Knucklebones is our partner for Stonehenge Rocks.

We've also given them exclusive rights for Stonehenge Rocks! for a limited time; once that time passes, we'll be making Stonehenge Rocks! available on the Stonehenge Library.


Mike Selinker wrote:


All right, I'm changing my tune. We don't want Stonehenge games to use things other people can't get easily, or have to pay money for. Piecepack doesn't fit either of those concerns, so go ahead and use it. Just make sure you never use anything that people need to buy, other than official products for Stonehenge.

Similarly, you can't require people to use Scrabble tiles. You can have them write 100 letters on scraps of paper (that's common), or include a template elsewhere (that's generic), but you can't use the Scrabble distribution (which is bizarre anyway). If, after they play, they want to use something more substantial, they can borrow from wherever they want. But your game can't say it uses pieces from a copyrighted source.

Knucklebones is our partner for Stonehenge Rocks. Anytime you see a game in a magazine, it'll be with one of our partners. Again, if a Stonehenge game is not published here, it's by us and our partners. The open-source rules only apply to the Library.

Mike

Thanks. This should get piecepack designers interested in Stonehenge more.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Rich,

I'd just like to be clear that, with respect to the inclusion of other game parts, we crafted the agreement to do two things:

1: We want to ensure that we won't have any legal problems.

2: We want to ensure that people are designing games that will be useful to the majority of the people who are interested in Stonehenge. As Mike said above, "We don't want Stonehenge games to use things other people can't get easily, or have to pay money for."

It's clear that we won't have any legal problems with respect to either Piecepack or Icehouse, so we don't need to discuss that further.

Since it appears that you can make your own Piecepack parts, Mike has given the go-ahead to use Piecepack. Personally, I'm of the opinion that rule sets requiring Piecepack will have a limited audience, as you're appealing to the intersection of two sets.

As far as I know, there's no free equivalent of Icehouse pyramids. If Looney Labs had a place where you could download templates to cut out your own colored stackable pyramids, that would be one thing, but as it is, we're talking about a game that requires an additional purchase of a third-party product, and that's just not going to be useful to a large group of people.


Ok, thanks for the clarification regarding Icehouse. A reason why I was thinking Icehouse here is that people who want to do designs for Icehouse, would want to figure out a way to integrate them into Stonehenge. So, a major target audience early on is people who have Icehouse. I know people do piecepack pyramids, so that is a possible way.

In other words, people who have an interest in Stonehenge, likely also have Icehouse pieces.

Maybe there can be a Stonehenge partner agreement so third party people who make stuff, can be considered official partners and allowed to have their games used with Stonehenge. Maybe the library can be divided between games that need extra equipment and are complete. The extra equipment could be from chess sets or whatever, or stuff like Icehouse.

Just an idea here. I do understand the concerns. I do hope this works out for the best here. Having all three together would make people happy.

Another possibility would to allow people to make reference to Stonehenge pieces when they work on a game for Icehouse, with Stonehenge viewed as an add-on to games, rather than other games being brought into Stonehenge. Would this be a possible way out? In the rules, people would make mention they needed to use Stonehenge figure, disks, bars, the board or the dice. In other words, a game would be an Icehouse game first, with Stonehenge equipment used.

Would this last possibility be a work around?

Lone Shark Games

DocReason wrote:
Would this last possibility be a work around?

It's an intriguing possibility, but I want more time to think about it and discuss it with Andy at Gen Con next week. I'm glad you guys are bringing this up, because it's something that I wish I'd thought about before we set up the license. But the license is the way it is for some very good reasons (some of which Vic described), and I don't want to be cavalier about granting exceptions to it. So, some patience on this, please.

Mike


Mike Selinker wrote:
DocReason wrote:
Would this last possibility be a work around?

It's an intriguing possibility, but I want more time to think about it and discuss it with Andy at Gen Con next week. I'm glad you guys are bringing this up, because it's something that I wish I'd thought about before we set up the license. But the license is the way it is for some very good reasons (some of which Vic described), and I don't want to be cavalier about granting exceptions to it. So, some patience on this, please.

Mike

Gotcha. I am patient. I am working just with Stonehenge now and not adding anything else. I am just rooting for Stonehenge's success and hoping nothing gets in the way.

Lone Shark Games

I've given this some thought, and have asked a number of people whether they feel that granting an exception to the Stonehenge license for Icehouse makes sense. After listening to everyone, I've come to the conclusion that for this one game, I'm inclined to grant an exception to the license. Icehouse has been placed in the public sphere for some time, and I think it's a sister game to Stonehenge in some ways. So go ahead and combine the two if you like. For the purposes of this agreement, Icehouse pieces are deemed "generic and common," even though they most assuredly aren't in any other way.

This is not meant to suggest that I want there to be other exceptions to the license. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, and I hope it helps.

Mike


Mike Selinker wrote:

I've given this some thought, and have asked a number of people whether they feel that granting an exception to the Stonehenge license for Icehouse makes sense. After listening to everyone, I've come to the conclusion that for this one game, I'm inclined to grant an exception to the license. Icehouse has been placed in the public sphere for some time, and I think it's a sister game to Stonehenge in some ways. So go ahead and combine the two if you like. For the purposes of this agreement, Icehouse pieces are deemed "generic and common," even though they most assuredly aren't in any other way.

This is not meant to suggest that I want there to be other exceptions to the license. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, and I hope it helps.

Mike

Thanks for the update. I am sure Andy will be happy to hear this.

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