Space Trucker: AKA "TekWar Assets: The Videogame" !

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Space Trucker: AKA "TekWar Assets: The Videogame" !

Postby Urizen » Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:26 am

[Direct link to post containing screenshots with comparison images identifying original sources]

So, I happened upon this little gem while browsing the Steam Store this morning;



ss_be6364d4cf3bdbc7f302e609d437800b5e828e0a.1920x1080.jpg

ss_2678f86d38f7edf059b071362e98b018ad8ec849.1920x1080.jpg

ss_2aaccdd248c692cd495899dc88f051ad6f026c84.1920x1080.jpg

http://store.steampowered.com/app/533320/

I mean, I realize Capstone Software aren't suddenly going to rise from the grave, and strike this guy down with a mighty copyright infringement thunderbolt - but holy moly.

£13.49!? Reduced from £14.99(!) That is brazen.

There looks to be piles of community-created content jammed in there, too.
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Last edited by Urizen on Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:47 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Space Trucker: AKA "TekWar Assets: The Videogame" !

Postby Oberron » Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:51 am

I'm afraid that they shouldn't be sued.
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Re: Space Trucker: AKA "TekWar Assets: The Videogame" !

Postby 4thcharacter » Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:06 am

Wait, the shotgun on that screenshot.. wasn't that the Auto Justice from PB's Trailblazer?
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Re: Space Trucker: AKA "TekWar Assets: The Videogame" !

Postby Urizen » Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:16 am

Just spotted the ubiquitous burning death sprites from Blood during the trailer. Love it.

I know there's a long history of plagiarised material cropping up on Steam, and that - in the vast majority of cases - it slips under the radar. This is definitely one of the more memorable examples I've encountered recently; those digitized actors from TekWar are just so hilariously incongruous.

:lol:
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Re: Space Trucker: AKA "TekWar Assets: The Videogame" !

Postby Oberron » Wed Nov 23, 2016 9:24 am

Urizen wrote:Just spotted the ubiquitous burning death sprites from Blood during the trailer. Love it.

Thievery! Monolith did the sprites!
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Re: Space Trucker: AKA "TekWar Assets: The Videogame" !

Postby Rachael » Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:19 am

If you suspect asset thievery, don't you think it would be a good idea to report them?
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Re: Space Trucker: AKA "TekWar Assets: The Videogame" !

Postby Reactor » Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:24 am

4thcharacter wrote:Wait, the shotgun on that screenshot.. wasn't that the Auto Justice from PB's Trailblazer?


Well, it certainly looks an awful lot like it. Guess it is its twin brother...or something.
And 13 bucks are just too much for this game.
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Re: Space Trucker: AKA "TekWar Assets: The Videogame" !

Postby Urizen » Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:54 am

Oberron wrote:Thievery! Monolith did the sprites!


...Who were acquired by Warner Bros - a subsidiary of Time Warner - in 2004.

Hang on, let me get my pal Jeff on the phone... :P

I must admit, it would give me more than a teensy glimmer of schadenfreude to see a million-dollar lawsuit land on this poor schmuck's head over a few frames of animation.


http://store.steampowered.com/news/?appids=533320

Here's an excerpt from one of their development blog posts;

Since the late 90's it has been standard to use 3D models in video games to represent characters and geometry. The advantages are pretty clear with being able to rotate in any direction. With the advent of skeletal animation the superiority of animating characters this way becomes the standard. Both of these technologies took a long time to get right and have made games better.

Older computers in the early 90's and late 80's would not have the processing power to render characters as 3D models with any sort of speed required for real-time rendering that a real video game needed. At the time it was impressive to just render your environments using models, this was before the creation of modern lighting and shadow casting systems also.

Space Trucker wanted to revive some of these aspects for aesthetic reasons since it's storyline takes place in the 90's with an alternate Cold War theme. It fit the tone of the levels we were generating and made the pacing feel overall more complete. This is not an attempt at being retro as much as it is a practical way to have more than 10 enemies on the screen at 4k resolutions without major performance degradation while maintaining a constant 60FPS.

The way older rendering methods would work is to use a texture atlas which contained various poses the character would be in at all stages. So facing you directly, you have walking, this is 3 frames of moving one leg in front of the other played in sequence in the game engine. You would have all of these animations for every bit of rotation in 8 different degrees such as front, front-left, side, back-left, back (same for other side) such as walking, running, shooting, standing idle, dying, and corpses.

The technical term is a directional sprite, which changes displayed material offsets based on the viewing angle of the camera that is looking at it. All of this together makes for a pseudo 3D effect which is known collectively as a 2.5D sprite. An example of what this systems looks like using numbers to display the faces as the camera rotates around it in the resource editor.


"Ah, yes - sprite-based assets were obviously the most practical choice for optimising performance. Don't worry, we're all completely convinced." *wink wink, nudge nudge*

Image

Eruanna wrote:If you suspect asset thievery, don't you think it would be a good idea to report them?

As I understand it, a DMCA can only be filed by the original copyright holder.

Untitled-1.jpg
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Re: Space Trucker: AKA "TekWar Assets: The Videogame" !

Postby wildweasel » Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:00 am

Well, if nothing else, I did click that Report button, for whatever good that does.
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Re: Space Trucker: AKA "TekWar Assets: The Videogame" !

Postby Rachael » Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:08 am

Urizen wrote:As I understand it, a DMCA can only be filed by the original copyright holder.

You don't do a DMCA report. You just do a "this content violates the laws in my country" report.

The copyright holder does the DMCA - but we don't hold the copyrights, but we can still report it by other means.

What I did was I said that there is suspected copyright infringement and then I linked this thread for a discussion about it. So if you have any proof of where the assets came from, posting it here would be a very good idea.
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Re: Space Trucker: AKA "TekWar Assets: The Videogame" !

Postby Urizen » Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:04 pm

The purpose of this post is to compare resources distributed with the game "Space Trucker" with their original commercial sources.

Note: This list is by no means exhaustive, and only records a small fraction of the assets in question.

* * *

[Comparison A]

"Space Trucker" graphical asset [ExplosionSetOneAlpha.png]
Location: Data/Types/Sprites/Explosion/


Image


Duke Nukem 3D (1996) [3D Realms/Gearbox Software.]
Explosion graphical asset

Image


[Comparison B]

"Space Trucker" graphical asset [BurningFourAnimated.png]
Location: Data/Types/Units/Death/BurningFour/

Image
Blood (1997) [Monolith Productions/Warner Bros.]
Burning death graphical asset

Image


[Comparison C]

"Space Trucker" graphical assets
Location: Data/Types/Units/Death/BurningThree/

Image

Strife (1996) [Rogue Entertainment]
Burning death graphical asset

Image

[Comparison D]

Screenshot from Space Trucker Steam Store page (click spoiler to show image)

Spoiler:


[Capstone Software] William Shatner's TekWar asset: Janus (complete sprite sheet)

Image

[Comparison E]

Screen capture from Space Trucker trailer (click spoiler to show image)

Spoiler:


[Capstone Software] William Shatner's TekWar asset: Miles Conner (complete sprite sheet)

Image

[Comparison F]

Screen capture from Space Trucker trailer (click spoiler to show image)

Spoiler:


[Capstone Software] William Shatner's TekWar asset: Female Thug (complete sprite sheet)

Image

[Comparison G]

Screen capture from Space Trucker trailer (click spoiler to show image)

Spoiler:


[Capstone Software] William Shatner's TekWar asset: Conrad Lowell (complete sprite sheet)

Image
Last edited by Urizen on Sat Nov 26, 2016 7:21 am, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: Space Trucker: AKA "TekWar Assets: The Videogame" !

Postby Caligari87 » Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:07 pm

:shock: What the hell is wrong with Female Thug's legs?

8-)
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Re: Space Trucker: AKA "TekWar Assets: The Videogame" !

Postby kodi » Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:37 pm

Caligari87 wrote::shock: What the hell is wrong with Female Thug's legs?

8-)

the "Voluptize" layer effect with the strength turned a tad high :lol:
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Re: Space Trucker: AKA "TekWar Assets: The Videogame" !

Postby Urizen » Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:39 pm

Urizen wrote:Frustratingly, I didn't manage to acquire a clean screen capture of the re-used Blood assets. The most ideal scenario, of course, would be to have direct access to the game's data files. I'm almost tempted to take the plunge and actually buy the game to conduct a more thorough examination, but somehow I doubt such a process will be facilitated by a handy "infringement.wad" which can be readily viewed in Slade(!)

All being well, there's enough here to at least warrant a closer look by Valve - I'm fairly confident they'll have the means at their disposal to scour the game's resources.

Quick update on this issue; I was browsing the screenshots gallery on the game's Steam Community Hub earlier, and in a delightful twist of irony, one of the game's own play-testers posted a screenshot containing what is unmistakably the first frame of Blood's burning death sprite sequence in all it's glory.

I've added "Exhibit A" to the main post.
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Re: Space Trucker: AKA "TekWar Assets: The Videogame" !

Postby Zanieon » Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:42 pm

Caligari87 wrote::shock: What the hell is wrong with Female Thug's legs?

8-)


Just another person who skipped leg day.
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