There is something familar about all this

Yeah, this could command quite nice prices on ebay pretty soon. Maybe that’s the developer’s strategy, hoard them and trickle them out later for profit.

Actually, I suspect mental illness of some kind is involved. Healthy people don’t do things like this. Maybe someone snapped because the development had been dragging on for too long.

Or it’s Art, like you already suggested. Post-post-postmodern and all that.

From the same review:

“All of the chapters though feel as though they have been created by different people.”

Another trailer I saw on YouTube also clearly had the haunts from Thief saying “JOIN US JOIN US NOW!”

That’s what I wonder. Maybe publisher pressure, along the lines of “15 years of development is enough!”


Ah, so it’s Dissociative Identity Disorder.

No, of course they do. Even if it’s a single guy, he could have been several different people over the prolonged development time just due to how people change over time.

I thought about that too. However, the amount of legal trouble this guy is going to be in would far outstrip any potential profits he’d make off ebay.

If they let him off the hook, which they most likely will, the internet will be watching this guy like a hawk, and the internet would find out if he was selling them.

And then the 30+ developers and publishers he ripped off would let loose the dogs of law on him.

Wait, “let him off the hook”? Is that really an option right now? Isn’t it pretty much a given that Bethesda will be suing? It’s a completed product, published and released, and it seems pretty cut-and-dried that assets were stolen. I can’t imagine Bethesda would just walk away from something this commercial and this blatant. Besides, it’s not like Tri-Synergy is just some guy operating out of his house. They’re a sizable publisher and I’d imagine they have some legal accountability here.


You think they’ll sue the publisher? I’m almost positive the publisher had no idea what this game contained. Legally, that’s absolutely no excuse, but they’re a small publisher, and I could see Bethesda and the at least 10 other publishers and developers seeing this for what it is:

An insane guy stole everything he could get his hands on to make his delusional dream game. Why pound the shit out of a tiny publisher just to eke out a negligable sum? There’s the argument that it would set an example for anyone else trying it… but at the same time, you’re going to be spending a lot of money beating up on some little publisher.

It could go either way, but there have been examples of this happening in the past- big publishers publishing big developer’s projects that contained other publisher’s assets. It turned out to be a bad artist or designer on the staff who was promptly fired, and no one got sued. Although the scale of this much intellectual theft is unprecedented.

You have a point. I’d be curious to hear some of our resident lawyers weigh in. If I was the Qt3 anchor, this is the part where I’d go, “And now we turn to Qt3 legal expert Rywill”, or “And new we turn to our Qt3 legal expert Desslock”, and then we’d chat about it in the studio behind a desk, or via a satellite feed.


They’ll go after the publisher. Lawyers know that you sue the party with the money, and I’m guessing the developer has none of that.

They’ll go after the Trisynergy because they have money and assets.

Next week on the Qt3 podcast?

Well that’s obvious.

With the amount of intellectual theft that is involved in this one product, it will utterly decimate this small publisher, forcing it to shutter it’s doors and costing the owners dearly. They were idiots, and more than likely didn’t know what they were publishing. This kind of theft is pretty much unheard of in the industry to this point as well. The publisher definitely should have checked the product more competently, but who in their right mind would bring a product like this to be published in the first place. I’m sure the publisher hardly brought in any money from this horrible game anyhow.

Will Bethesda, Blizzard, Epic, etc do this to them? They will win, and they will completely destroy this tiny publisher.

It boils down to a moral question.

Unless there’s an aspect of needing to vigorously defend their rights, I think that it would be easy for the publisher to pull the game and offer a token settlement to the companies he ripped off to make the lawsuits go away. I don’t think anyone will be going after them for mega-bucks.

Yes, they could pay a settlement in pasted-together shreds of counterfeit currency from different nations.

The publisher is responsible for anything in a game it publishes, period. It’s usually a chain of blame, starting from the top and working its way down to the development house or even individual employees. Basically employees are forbidden from using material they don’t own (textures being the most common issue), and up the chain every party signs contracts saying it owns everything in the product it’s selling.

Even things licensed to the developer rather than the publisher, like Havok, can be an issue. In the past, we’ve had to not use a licensed product we had on hand, even though we’ve used it before and the game won’t be shown publicly for months, until the publisher has secured a new license specific to the new game we’re developing.

It’s one of the big reasons companies rarely officially publish user work. Modders assume it’s to avoid having to pay the mod-makers or to protect the IP of the game… but it’s also because it’s really difficult to vouch for the provenance of every texture, font, model, sound effect and other element in a product that comes from a source you have not monitored every step of the way.

Larger companies won’t even have internal trailers, proxy art or prototypes made with assets they don’t own–especially assets from other games–on the off chance something they don’t own will accidentally be viewed or released outside the company.

So this is a big deal, and if Bethesda or any of the other companies that had art used in this game wants to play hard ball, they might be able to effectively shut down that publisher. Once word gets out that larger companies are suing over this, retailers will be reluctant to carry any of their products.

That’s kind of what I thought, Laralyn. Which sucks for Tri-Synergy.

In a way, I’m reminded of what happened with Computer Games Magazine. One dude spams MySpace, violating an anti-spam law. But they couldn’t simply throw the guy to the wolves and hope to escape liability. Instead, the ensuing lawsuit against was instrumental in shutting down the magazine. :(


So if I pirate this game, will I be stealing several times over?

I want to make a comment along those cool board-user lines like “full of epic and win” or something but I can’t think of any nice clever ways to do it.

The sad thing is that while this is a huge deal in the games realm, in the realm of music, yanking someone else’s samples is just another day in the park. (Anybody remember The Verve?)

This actually bit Penny Arcade on the ass recently as well. Gabe’s apology seemed sincere, but he made a mock-up for the development team that happened to use something lifted from another artist. He said he was having particular difficulty with one area of the piece (I believe it was some rocks) and he figured since it was just an in-house mock up, it wouldn’t be a big deal. Somewhere down the line that mock-up became the teaser poster and someone noticed it.

Are you implying that infringement is treated lightly in the music industry?

And they had received the okay to use the sample.

EDIT: I realized after posting you were probably being sarcastic, so um… move along, nothing to see here.