Driving home last night I heard Stephen McGill (who’s in charge of all things Xbox in the UK) on the PM programme (it’s about 40 minutes in if you want to use the “Listen again feature). He was talking about Gears of War winning the Golden Joystick awards. According to the BBC Xbox and Wii had a good night and Playstation had a miserable one. Halo 3 came out too late to be in the vote. I guess PGR4 and Bioshock were in the same boat, and I guess the timing spoils their chances for next year.
I have gears of War (thanks to a deal when I bought the Xbox-360), but I’ve not really immersed myself in it. Halo 3 is going to take up more of my time than I thought, the films feature is just fantastic. I wonder what people are going to do with the images (I’ve just discovered Bungie.net will give me an RSS feed to get to the images I upload, as well as one to give me all my game stats. Yikes, anyone can watch my stats and see what how badly I suck at multiplayer). The images are fascinating for the detail you find, not just in the lighting but the objects themselves. Just over 2 minutes into Cinema paradiso video (different sizes from here) one of the Bungie people says “I did not know that the Warthog actually had internal dash lights … and then I flying round and it’s like ‘What ? theres’ actually, like, lights in here ?” Did you know that it had rubber mats in the foot wells, or the makers VIN sticker ? Look to the left … This whole stop the action and view it from anywhere is … well to quote that Bungie guy again “The complexity of that system is SO insane”. OK it doesn’t make it any harder for the machine to render if you change the view point, and logging what objects are in the system and how they move, so you can render them again is a pretty simple idea. But
I’m a bit cross that the bungie guy says “The next thing you know they’re going to take the forge, and take saved films of that and add voice overs and do Macbeth” – I’m so cross he said Macbeth, because that’s the one play I’d pick; “Waiting for Goddot” performed by Spartans might have problems on a number of levels. I’m tempted to put together a Warthog brochure or a even a Warthog drivers club calendar. But… I’m concerned about copyright. Keep in mind that this only applies to the UK and I’m not qualified to give you an interpretation of the law, even If I do know my way round The Copyright designs and Patents act 1988. (I recently had to refer someone to Section 30 (1) which says “Fair dealing with a work for the purpose of criticism or review, of that or another work or of a performance of a work, does not infringe any copyright in the work provided that it is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement”). and I thought I knew what it said about computer generated art. These seem to be the key bits
Section, 4 Artistic works (1) In this Part “artistic work” means— (a) a graphic work, photograph, sculpture or collage, irrespective of artistic quality
Section 9 Authorship of work (1) In this Part “author”, in relation to a work, means the person who creates it. (3) In the case of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work which is computer-generated, the author shall be taken to be the person by whom the arrangements necessary for the creation of the work are undertaken.
Section 11 First ownership of copyright (1) The author of a work is the first owner of any copyright in it, subject to the following provisions. (2) Where a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work is made by an employee in the course of his employment, his employer is the first owner of any copyright in the work subject to any agreement to the contrary.
Obviously you should get someone qualified to interpret what “the arrangement necessary for the creation” of a snapshot from a halo game are and if there are other bits of the act you need to note. I’m going to try to find out what our stance is on other rights we have (e.g. the image rights of the Master chief). Sound like I need to get my own interview with Mr McGill. In the meantime here is a nice Warthog image to be going on with.