Wanted to keep this under wraps until it was close to done, but since I posted a question in the script help subforum, I figured I may as well jump into the water.
So, like the title says, I’ve been working on and off on revamping the Blackguard series for several years now, be it fixing spelling and grammar (and there was a LOT of that to fix), creating new wardrobes for almost every character, all manner of quality of life improvements (such as adding a waypoint at the gate of the Broken Femur camp so you don’t have to walk the whole way in and out every time), adjusting the mods for the advent of visible cloaks, and admittedly allowing myself some creative license with lines that I felt were a tad cringy (Valshera referring to the player character as “my sexy boy/girl” comes to mind). I’ve always really enjoyed this series, for all its flaws, and I guess I figured that if I could just dust it off a little - it would shine.
I guess my main question is: is publishing this revamped Blackguard series on the Steam Workshop (and also uploading it to the NWVault) when it’s ready - a legit thing to do, morally and legally? I mean, the creator is Steve B, and I certainly intend to give him full credit for the originals, but I don’t know of any way to contact him in order to get his blessing (couldn’t find any contact info on his profile on the site). And regardless, this is something of a passion project of mine, and I’d really like to share it with the community. I just want to make sure I’m not doing anything wrong here.
Thanks in advance, everyone!
We had a discussion way back about Required Items on Steam.
I did my best to edit the first post into something approaching a consensus view. Although your case is different (reposting a rework of someone else’s mod) the principles might well be the same.
The Vault site guidelines might also be helpful.
Opinions vary on “control” of publicly released material on the Vault. I’d say the site guidelines (linked above) are quite reasonable in terms of their treatment of original creator wishes. IMO, if you’ve made a good faith effort to track the author down - beyond just looking at the old Vault profile and shrugging your shoulders - and clearly mark a revamped version as different, with a link to the original version, that would be acceptable as long as the author has no stated objections.
In a similar vein, on the Vault you can find DMFI (DM-Friendly Initiative) versions of some NWN and NWN2 mods that have DM tools and additional documentation added, along with some typo cleanup of dialog and such. I did a conversion of Enoa4’s B2: Keep on the Borderlands for NWN2, Arawen did others (Saltmarsh, Elegia Eternum) relatively early on in NWN’s history. In each case the author at minimum had no objection.
Thanks for the replies, folks.
I read the guidelines and the discussion, and I think I should be good, but I want to make sure again, regardless.
So let’s see. I tried to look up Steve B any way I could think of, but I can’t find any email address, accounts on different sites, etc., let alone something like his full name (which might enable finding him on social media). Maybe he made comments giving contact info on the old NWVault, but it doesn’t exist anymore, so I can’t find anything. And I basically got similar results when looking up 999Darklord999 (noted in the readme files for the Blackguard mods as an alternative nickname of his). Only thing I found was a twitch account by that nickname, with no followers, information, or archived videos/streams.
Seeing as the original mods have not been claimed by Steve B (i.e, they are still listed as being uploaded by Migrant Wizard), and they were last modified on 2015-12-05, I think it’s fairly safe to assume that Steve B isn’t currently active in the community.
That said, I fully intend to credit Steve B for the originals, as well as link to them.
So overall, it’s okay for me to move ahead with this project, right?
P.S. Also, assuming it’s okay to do so on Steam, is it also okay to upload it on the NWVault?
Thanks in advance!
Personal opinion - go ahead, but be prepared to take it down in the very unlikely event that the author turns up and objects.
Everyone has views on this, but the author is the only one who matters.
What @Proleric said with the addition to definitely upload it here IMO.
I had Steve’s e-mail in the past but didn’t transfer my contacts with computer changes. I discussed the Blackguard series with Steve and playtested/sent him bug reports. If you could look at the old nwvault it may have his e-mail listed. Personally I don’t think Steve would mind. I know English is not his first language and he had help fixing the grammar and spelling after his first release. He was very receptive to help.