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DragonRuby Game Toolkit

An intuitive 2D game engine. Fast, cross-platform, tiny, hot loaded. · By DragonRuby

This engine lacks a stated license.

A topic by Colin EUMP created Jul 20, 2020 Views: 1,180 Replies: 5
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Yes, I know the main page mentions that it's an unrestricted free license, but that's not actually saying what the license is. There's a price tag on the engine, so it's clearly not copyleft. But the only thing I can find anywhere in the files is the license information for the dependencies. There's even a message at the top of that file discouraging people from actually reading it.

How can you call this a "professional grade" engine and not tell people what they're allowed to do with it? Admittedly, I would only be interested in a making a game with it and perhaps selling the game, but that's only because I'm not sure the engine is easy enough to use. Just last week I came to the understanding that it was fine, according to the license, to hand a copy of Pico-8 to a relative that lives with me so she could dabble in it a bit. I can't tell, even after scouring all the files, whether that'd be legal for me to do with this engine.


It's just two dudes working on it, what do you think they're going to do, sue you? Licensing intricacies are (rightly) not their main concern right now.


Two dudes are still capable of finding a lawyer, especially if any lawyers in their area have pro-bono work they're being encouraged to do. Plus, they refer to this engine on the game page as professional-grade while touting how easily it can export to closed consoles. Regardless of whether you or I care about licensing intricacies, the people who control those consoles definitely would.

Developer (2 edits) (+6)

We’re indies just like y’all. You’ve purchased the engine and can use it for commercial purposes with 0% royalties. The standard version is a one time purchase and the Pro version is a yearly subscription. Regardless of which you choose, you have to write to use the version of the engine you’ve purchased (the subscription is for receiving updates/newer versions).

We’ll put that in a EULA.txt file.

But the bottom line: we’re not trying to screw you over and want you to succeed as an indie.

You should only use the engine if you believe the statement above.

@Colin EUMP
CopyLeft does NOT mean NO Royalties. If a developer uses the GPLv2, GPLv3, or AGPL, they can still make you pay for it before handing you the source code. It does NOT have to be free to access, just that the source code is handed out.

This is drifting off topic, but I feel this is rather important to point out : that's not what "royalty" means. A royalty is a payment for continuous use of something. It is not payment for initial access or initial modification of the thing. That's why they tend to be percentages of the profit of a larger commercial work. GPL allows charges for modification and distribution but it definitely doesn't allow charging for the actual use of it.

Also to clarify since I'm replying anyway, I meant that implication in context. It is completely pointless to require payment to digitally access a GPL work, since the person then can just release the work for free themselves. The reasons one would want to require payment for access are either because a physical copy always costs money somehow to create or as a symbolic way to charge for the service to the community at large, neither of which apply here.

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