This page is incomplete and not yet being enforced. As such, the policies outlined below are not yet in effect.
In the interest of ensuring that users that enjoy our games can keep doing so tomorrow, next year, and decades from now, the following policy has been put in place and is effective for the duration of the lifetime of Elaztek Studios.
Last modified: 1/20/2021
The TL;DR (for your everyday joe):
Any official downloads should always be available. Users should always be able to choose what version of our games they play. They should always be able to tinker with them, create content for them, and modify them to their heart's content.
If we decide that we want to move forward and leave a previous project behind, we must honor that project's legacy and history. Any downloads made for it must remain available, users must be able to keep submitting new content, and if the game requires online servers to function, those servers should be placed into the hands of the community to keep them going in our place.
In the event that we are no longer able to do business (and we can't just revert to being a hobbyist group), everything we've ever made should be released to the public. If we cannot continue operation, we must take all steps possible to ensure that our work and legacy don't die with us - to ensure that the community can, if desired, carry the torch forward.
Preserving the past is a key part of what we do, it's been a key part of the operation of Chaotic United for many years, and too many other studios neglect to maintain their legacy projects - eventually resulting in them fading away to time. We aren't about that.
If you're just a member of the community scrolling by - hey there. Make sure you hold us accountable if we ever steer too far from these guidelines.
If you're part of the company, the full detailed policy can be found below.
The Nitty-Gritty (required reading for team members and applicants):
Dedicated Multiplayer Servers
- Whenever possible, any games which contain a multiplayer component should include (either with the game content or as a free download on the website) user-operated dedicated server software. This software should be able to be used by any user to host a 24/7 private server.
- Whenever possible, any games which contain a multiplayer component should include a Server Browser, which allows the user to browse through these self-hosted servers.
- User-hosted servers shall not be blacklisted or removed from the server list, excluding only cases where the server host is in direct violation with any of our policies or any licenses that are part of the game (ie, the game's EULA).
- The user should be able to, at any time, download outdated server versions for use with outdated game clients.
Post-Launch Updates and Patches
- Post launch updates should be offered through the game client and/or launcher, as well as a separate download on the website if possible.
- The user should be able to, at any time, choose to remove these patches or install an outdated game version.
- Outdated game versions should be blocked from public matchmaking, but should be allowed to connect to community-hosted servers of the equivalent version.
- Updates should, whenever possible, be minimal in filesize and be able to be applied as a patch on top of the previous game version.
User Generated Content
- User submitted content must remain available, even if their account becomes suspended. Only user content which itself violates policy can be removed. Removed content should remain accessible to company and site administrators for potential future review and restoration if desired.
- In the event of user content removal, the user must be allowed to submit an appeal and have the appeal heard and considered.
- All game or engine downloads must remain available for download. This includes the Blamite Editing Kit, patch/version history, server software, and any other software needed to play and create content for the game.
- All existing game or engine licenses should be honored indefinitely, or all downloads must become free to all registered users on the Elaztek Studios website.
- Any user content submitted that depends on a specific game or engine version must remain available for download, and new content must be able to be submitted.
In the event of a version of Blamite reaching end-of-life:
- All engine documentation must remain available. At minimum, a download archive of the documentation must be available. Alternatively, a download can be omitted if Elaztek-hosted documentation remains online. In the event that Elaztek-hosted documentation becomes broken, unusable, or goes offline, a complete offline download must be made available.
- Games which cannot operate without a connection to an online server should be avoided whenever possible. The following guidelines exist in the event that a creative vision requires the presence of an online-only component.
- No game content should be retroactively locked after its release. In the event that a game's content demands become too great, all possible efforts should be first made to remedy these technical burdens without removing content. In the event that content must be removed, it should be removed in such a way that allows for the user to re-download it separately in order to continue playing the content.
- Major content expansions should not be removed from any download or purchase mechanism.
The following procedures should be followed towards the end of the game's life-cycle:
- Online servers should remain online as long as possible.
- If the need to terminate online servers becomes required, the server software must be released to the public. Additionally, a final update/patch must be released to allow the game to easily connect to 3rd-party servers.
- All game content must remain purchasable and/or downloadable.
- Content creation tools should be released to the community. In games developed with Blamite, the full Blamite Editing Kit should be released, with no restrictions on functionality and no crucial tools omitted.
The following is a fallback plan to try and execute as effectively as is feasible in the event that Elaztek Studios were to ever be unable to continue business operation. Unlike other parts of the policy, it does not need to be followed to the letter - because there is the likelihood that, should the company reach this stage, it may simply be impossible to meet the requirements. However, if possible, as much of the following should be completed as possible. An incomplete execution of the following plan is better than having all of our hard work turn to dust and fade away.
- Should the company fall on hard times and be unable to continue business operations, efforts should first be made into downscaling into a volunteer operation, similar to how it started. This means that the CEO(s) or upper management at the time take it upon themselves to continue hosting services out-of-pocket, funding them through means such as an alternative job elsewhere.
- Every effort to preserve the company should be taken and pursued, except in cases which would compromise the company's integrity or core values. The ultimate determination on how to proceed in such a circumstance falls on the company Founder, or the highest ranking CEO at the time in the event the Founder is no longer overseeing the company. Feedback should be considered from all existing employees.
In the event that the company is determined to be unable to continue operating in any capacity, business or otherwise, and the company is decided to be permanently shutting down:
- All possible efforts must be made to ensure that all intellectual property, software source code, software binaries (including outdated versions), documentation, and game content are released to the public under the most permissive licenses possible.
- All possible efforts must be made to ensure that any and all FREE community-created content is released to the public. In the case of PAID content, the decision on how this content is to be released should fall to the content author. In the event that the author cannot be contacted, their paid content should be treated as free content under the assumption that the author has stopped maintaining their content.
- A webpage providing access to all of the above should remain online for 1 year at minimum, with at least 90 days notice before permanent shutdown. Every effort should be made to instruct users on where to locate the content after that date.
- If a community operation arises with the goal of continuing to offer Elaztek software downloads and/or support, every effort should be made to ensure that they follow the guidelines specified within this document, and that they are in possession in all released materials before permanent shutdown.
All existing forum and website content should be preserved using a read-only website for as long as possible. In the event that hosting existing web content can no longer be performed, existing topics, users, and polls must be preserved through one of the following two methods:
A Specific Community Preservation Group
- In the event that you wish to exchange the data with a single, trusted, and respected member of the Elaztek community for the purposes of preserving forum content, the content may remain unaltered, including hidden and staff-only content, except as desired. All public content must remain unaltered and intact.
The General Public
In the event that data cannot be handed off to a specific group, the following content and SQL tables should be released to the public:
- Forum Topics
- Forum Posts
- Forums and Forum Categories
- Downloads Categories
- Downloads Files
- Downloads Reviews and Comments
- Website Themes
- Pages Databases
- Pages Records
- Any other tables or data that is part of a public-facing webpage or content
Before releasing the data to the public, care should be taken to ensure the following are REMOVED:
- IP addresses
- Email Addresses
- Payment and Billing Information (if applicable)
- Street Addresses (if applicable)
- Other personal information (if applicable)
- Hidden and Staff-only Content
- In the event that data cannot be handed off to a specific group, the following content and SQL tables should be released to the public:
- A Specific Community Preservation Group
Failure to abide by this policy may result in termination from the company. Each and every policy listed does not have any limitation. Every policy listed should be considered as effective from the date of introduction for the duration of the company's lifespan.