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So, recently, ElDewrito was given notice from Microsoft, and as of yet there is no official statement from the ElDewrito team regarding the matter. But I suspect that the events that transpired could lead to some potential concern for the future or Project: Infinity and any other fan-made Halo content - made by us or by other teams. Currently, there have been statements made on Halo Waypoint, as well as some words from Frank O'Connor regarding the ordeal, links to which will be posted at the bottom of this topic. From Halo Waypoint Some of this content has been omitted to reduce post length. Please view the full announcement here so that you know all the details. Today we want to let our community know that Microsoft has initiated actions to protect its Halo intellectual property in the wake of the recent “ElDewrito” PC release. Community created content has long been a key pillar in the Halo franchise and something we have continuously sought to support – from the early beginnings of Red vs. Blue to Forge-made maps & modes to the “Halo Custom Edition” to original recent fan creations like “Installation 01.” These projects, and others like them, have one key factor in common – they fit within Microsoft’s established content usage guidelines. ... As this project reverberated across the community, our team took a step back to assess the materials and explore possible avenues, while Microsoft, like any company, has a responsibility to protect its IP, code and trademarks. It’s not optional in other words. ... As Microsoft’s need to protect its IP spun up, we reached out to members of the ElDewrito team to have an open discussion about the project and the admittedly difficult situation we all find ourselves in. The ElDewrito team is understandably upset at this outcome given the time they’ve each invested in this project, but they understand the legal implications and the need to press pause on this work. ... From Frank O'Connor on ResetEra Some of this content has been omitted to reduce post length. Please view the full announcement here so that you know all the details. BTW, we’re not “shutting down the mod” or going after the Eldewrito crew - we’re enacting action to remove the Halo Online code and packages from places it’s being hosted. The distinction may seem like semantics to a lot of folks, and I don’t blame them for assuming that, but to be clear, this is a legally necessary step to protect code, product, IP, trademarks and copyrights, and is not optional. We’re a publicly traded company, and we have a fiduciary and legal responsibility to our shareholders, and further, if we don’t take steps to protect it, then we actually run the legal risk of losing it - and there’s code and content in there that is still very much in use. The general sentiment that can be drawn is that the issue isn't with ElDewrito itself, its servers, or anything of the sort - but rather to the ms23 component used in it - Halo Online. For those unfamiliar with the inner workings of Halo Online, ms23 is the version of the game that the mod runs on. For those also unaware potentially, ElDewrito is, in reality, a mod - a mod for Halo Online. The issue is that on the Reddit page for Halo Online/ElDewrito, full installers - ms23 included - are being distributed. It's entirely possible that the Dewrito team and their ability to continue modding Halo Online will face very minimal pushback from Microsoft - especially as 343 Industries currently has actually liked the work of the ElDewrito team. Granted, none of this is certain. Microsoft may choose to shut down the team's future work and their master server - we will know a lot more when an official statement is made, and we will reply to this post (or, if need be, a separate announcement entirely) when there is one from the Dewrito team. But what does this mean for us? In short, virtually nothing. Fan-projects have continuously been given the green light from 343 and/or ignored entirely. There is no issue with these. They operate on their own engines, use no Microsoft, 343, or Bungie code/assets, and don't charge for access. They all follow the Game Content Usage Rules set by Microsoft. Project: Infinity and even Blamite do not break these rules. Blamite, while it operates similarly to how Halo's engine operates, does not use ANY Microsoft code (with exceptions being DirectX and other such libraries of course). It also isn't inherently a "Halo" game in itself, merely a set of tools used to build them. Project: Infinity, like other fan projects, doesn't use Halo assets and doesn't make profit for Elaztek. It doesn't use any code from the official Halo titles, and follows the Microsoft Game Content Usage Rules. Fear not for the future of us or Project: Infinity, we are safe. For those interested in ElDewrito and it's current situation, you can find all the relevant links below. Keep an eye on them as well as here at Elaztek for any updates on the situation. 343i Announcement: https://www.halowaypoint.com/en-us/news/eldewrito-community-content ElDewrito Subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/HaloOnline/ ElDewrito Download Page/Changelog: https://www.reddit.com/r/HaloOnline/wiki/index/download Comments by Frankie: https://www.resetera.com/threads/microsoft-initiaties-action-to-protect-halo-ip-in-the-wake-of-eldewrito-halo-online-mod.38406/page-3#post-7164086 Direct Download for ElDewrito: http://www.mediafire.com/file/rtmgvh67oy4yzgp/ElDewrito_0.6.exe ElDewrito Website: https://eldewrito.com/
Hey, everyone! We have a new project to announce! This one being far more ambitious than any other project we've ever done. That project is the Blamite Game Engine. Now, I know what you guys must be thinking. Over the years we've been announcing project after project, with so far none of them being public. It seems like a joke, like we aren't taking any of it seriously. But this one is different - not because "oh, we're actually working on this one" or anything of the sort. Raven Runner and Project: Infinity have both been worked on since their inception. The thing with Blamite is that it will be the engine for Project: Infinity, as well as all of our games going forward (with the exception of anything that is released before its completion of course). So, why the change? What happened to Unreal Engine? Good question. This decision was made after going back and forth between a custom engine or Unreal. And while, yes, going the Unreal or Unity or any other "ready-to-go" engine would have been a much quicker route, and would at least be something to help us offset the fact that, compared to other projects like Installation 01 or Project: Contingency (two other fan made Halo games, you should go check them out and support them too), it isn't the route we are planning to go. From what has been seen with these teams, they don't seem to have much planning on what comes next for these people. Some of them will probably stick together, but the Installation 01 team themselves have said that they will more or less disperse after that project's time ends. Project: Contingency has not made such statements as far as I'm aware, but it's safe to say that these guys aren't really going in for the long haul necessarily. This isn't necessarily a bad thing really, as some of them will probably get a fair amount of attention by other industry giants and I suspect they won't have much difficulty getting jobs after the fact. Here at Elaztek, we aren't here for a one-hit-wonder. We are here for the long haul. We aren't here to push out one or two games and fade away, we are here to last. This engine isn't going to just be used in one or two games, it's going to be the foundation for all of our games going forward. On top of that, there are real technical reasons as well. First off, by using a custom engine, we have a lot more control over everything. We can choose how we want to store game data, we can choose how to distribute tools, we can change anything we want - it's our engine, and we can do literally anything we wish with it. If we find a bug, we can fix it. If we want a new feature, we can add it. If we want to support DirectX 11, OpenGL, and Vulkan, we can do it. Beyond that, we also have a strong passion for modders. We love when community members create content and expand upon their favorite games, taking them further than ever thought possible. Our marketplace will allow mods of any sort - as long as they aren't cheats, viruses, or anything else malicious of course. We support creativity, not ruining people's fun. If you develop a mod that uses crazy file patching of the actual executable and you need to provide 6 paragraphs of tutorials, you're welcome to distribute it. Got a cool tool that introduces some new features? Awesome! Just note that as a user: we aren't liable for any damages to your game data, account, or anything else as a result of using mods. We can't screen every single one for perfect integrity. If you do find something malicious, do report it to us immediately. But I seem to be getting off topic. The point is, Blamite is being built to enable modding. Not every single game will support it, of course. But we (for the most part) won't take steps to stop you from playing with a game you either obtained free of charge from us, or one you paid for. What exactly is this engine going to do? Our engine is being designed to operate similarly to Halo's Engine (unofficially known as Blam), and use many of the same basic ideas of operation - with some of our own blood mixed in, of course. Our goal is to make it where those used to creating maps for Halo Custom Edition or Halo 2 will find themselves in a fairly familiar environment, as well as make modders feel at home when doing some simple tag editing within a map. Now, I know what you're thinking. This has got to be illegal as hell. We believe that Blamite is legal for the same reason ReactOS, ElDewrito, and other projects are legal. Halo's engine is not sold on its own, only games made with it are sold. On top of that, we have a strict policy against using any reverse engineering to decompile official game executables. We don't use any official code - decompiled or leaked somehow - from the official games. Period. If you happen to be a Microsoft or 343 Industries employee reading this, and you determine that our work is ultimately not within legal bounds, we are more than willing to cooperate and reach an agreement on how to proceed. You can reach us by using our contact form or via emailing us at [email protected] But the real question is: why? Why start this project that has a chance (albeit an incredibly tiny chance based on our understanding) of getting shut down or massively hindered by "The Man"? Passion. We are developing this for the same reason we are developing Project: Infinity. Out of passion. The Blam engine is an incredibly fun engine to play with, and with our first project being Project: Infinity - a fan made Halo game, it's a match made in heaven. Beyond that, we plan to continue to develop and update the engine from here on moving forward. How can I help this project? Want to help? Great! We have a huge amount of open positions at the time of this topic, since the project is still in very early stages. If you want to help out, you can click here to go to the signup page. Keep in mind that, like Project: Infinity, you will not be paid for work on this. This is being handled the same as Project: Infinity, partially because of the fact that this is being made for Infinity initially. We are mostly looking for those with experience in modding official Blam games (any game, preferably within Halo 3 to Reach, however any is really accepted) or those with experience in creating Halo Custom Edition content and working with the editing tools (Sapien, Guerrilla, Tool, etc). If you happen to just be a programmer with a love for Halo, that's cool too. If you're just a programmer looking for something to do, just understand what this engine is. Regardless of your status as a Halo modder, content creator, or just a fan, you will have relatively strict guidelines on how to develop the engine. As in, you will for the most part be making things work and operate in the same way the official Halo games load content. If you don't know how this works to begin with, be prepared to be educated (by someone, nobody in particular is in that role yet) about the ins and outs of the engine. Modders and creators will be at a strong advantage as they will already understand more or less how the engine operates. Relevant Links We have added some new sections to the website to help account for our new project, and all relevant links can be found below: Blamite Game Engine - Official Site Blamite Update Notes Blamite Development Blog Blamite Subforum Blamite Team Signup Page So, what's the plan? As the engine matures and grows, major updates and improvements will get their own announcement, with smaller, less significant updates being posted more frequently to the development blog. Changelogs for versions can be found in Blamite's update notes blog. What are your thoughts? Are you excited for the future of Elaztek and Blamite, and the future of all our upcoming projects? Do you think this is the dumbest thing ever? Let us know!