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First post, by MrFlibble

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I've been coming across fan games based on commercial franchises from time to time, and there seems to be more than one that are in one way or another endorsed/allowed/supported by the original franchise's owners. However there seems to centralised source on such projects, and it seems that rather often this "semi-official" status is not advertised.

I'll list what I know so far:

o Black Mesa -- likely the most well known example. I don't know the details but this is endorsed by Valve.

o Transfusion -- Blood remake on the DarkPlaces engine. The Blood wiki states that the developers got a "quitclaim license" from Infogrames (then owners of the franchise) to use art assets from Blood and recreate the levels, monsters etc.

o Giana Worlds was an unofficial sequel to The Great Giana Sisters, based on an earlier unofficial DOS port of that game. Giana Sisters author Armin Gessert gave permission to release the Giana Worlds project, as outlined here.

o OpenGGS, an open source implementation of The Great Giana Sisters, uses the original art and music with permission from the authors. Or at least, it used to say so on the developer page which is now down.

o Giana's Return, yet another unofficial sequel to The Great Giana Sisters, was made with permission from original authors.

o WinSPWW2 is effectively a remake of Steel Panthers on the Steel Panthers II engine, with the code provided by SSI (on condition that the resulting game would not be used for profit).

o Steel Panthers: World at War is another Steel Panthers remake, this time using the Steel Panthers III code provided by SSI.

o T2002 is a Turrican remake that uses original graphics and music with permission from copyright holders. Latest version downloadable here.

o Renegade-X, a remake of Command & Conquer: Renegade, is said to have received support and encouragement from Electronic Arts.

o AGD Interactive has produced a number of Sierra's Quest game remakes, which I think are with soome sort of official permission, but I can't find exact details right now.

o Chex Quest 3 finally got its official approval (and a remake).

o Street Fighter X Mega Man is a fan crossover of the two franchises that was endorsed by Capcom.

o Castlevania 2: The Lecarde Chronicles, a Castlevania fangame, was not suppressed by Konami on condition that it will not be used for profit.

o Twisted Insurrection is a Tiberian Sun mod/conversion (alternate universe sequel to Tiberian Dawn) featuring music by Frank Klepacki, which can be treated as a sign of semi-official endorsement, at least by (one of) the original developers of Command & Conquer.

o The Silver Lining was given a Fan License after community protested to copyright holders against a C&D order.

Any other examples you can name? If approval comes from original developer who is no longer the copyright owner, please specify these cases too.

Last edited by MrFlibble on 2021-08-12, 15:25. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 1 of 17, by antrad

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Serious Sam Revolution. Not really a remake, more an updated re-release. It is a merger of first two games developed by fans and approved by Croteam and is now sold on Steam.

https://antonior-software.blogspot.com

Reply 4 of 17, by MrFlibble

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1541 wrote on 2020-06-12, 10:41:

If you take open source reimplementations into consideration as well, there's quite a list:
https://osgameclones.com/

I know well about this site but it does not state whether any given remake was officially authorised or not. Theoretically, fully FOSS licensed projects should be free of copyright infringing materials, which would preclude any unauthorised use of copyrighted art or concepts. On the other hand, an extremely libre project might avoid any proprietary content at all, even if permissions to use it are provided.

I remembered two more projects which kinda-sorta fit:

o Lords of Midnight PC -- a fan PC conversion of the ZX Spectrum game that got official approval by the original author. It was later updated with enhanced graphics and currently available at GOG.com.

o a certain remake of Dungeon Master -- I vaguely remember finding it (possibly here), and the online readme had a section stating that while no official permission was obtained by the authors, the copyright holders (FTL) are aware of the remake's existence, and the lack of action on their part is taken as tacit approval, with the author ready to take down the files upon request.

Initially I thought it was Chaos Strikes Back for Windows but the pages and the supplied readme do not have this passage as I remember it.

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Reply 5 of 17, by Jorpho

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MrFlibble wrote on 2020-06-11, 15:33:

o The Silver Liming was given a Fan License after community protested to copyright holders against a C&D order.

Wow, I completely forgot about that one. There was so much fury about that back in the day! I guess at this point it's about as likely to be finished as Indiana Jones and the Fountain of Youth.

Reply 6 of 17, by MrFlibble

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I am not very knowledgeable with Alien Breed games, could anyone please tell if Alien Breed: Obliteration uses custom-drawn graphics or borrows from some of the official games? I tried to make comparisons with screenshots at MobyGames and neither the player sprite, the interface nor the tiles seem to exactly match anything in the original Team17 releases.

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Reply 7 of 17, by GigAHerZ

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https://m.majorgeeks.com/files/details/millen … ium_remake.html

Amazing remake of the amazing game Millennium. 😀

"640K ought to be enough for anybody." - And i intend to get every last bit out of it even after loading every damn driver!

Reply 8 of 17, by RetroGamer4Ever

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Renegade-X is just the multiplayer portion of C&C: Renegade and right now, it's undergoing a radical shift, as the devs have split - after a blitzkrieg digital assault that basically destroyed the entire game and development as it was - into two competing parties, due to long-term hostilities finally coming to a boil. I'm not sure what will happen next but they are fighting over assets and community submitted stuff.

The AGDI games were all sanctioned by Vivendi, under the agreement that they not be sold for profit, because they already sell the originals in compilation packs on GOG/STEAM.

Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force has had it's multi-player portion released freely to the community, while the single-player portion languishes in abandonware. It's a shame, because EF is one of the finest Trek games ever, but I suspect that the existence of Star Trek: Online is what has hindered the release of the older TNG/VOY/DS9 games, despite strong demand.

AVP2 (Monolith Entertainment) has become abandonware after the Disney buyout of Fox and the closure of Fox Interactive. The devs unofficially support the game's rabid fanbase and community, while the game itself is freely available with it's add-on and community patches/mods.

Reply 9 of 17, by MrFlibble

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GigAHerZ wrote on 2021-08-12, 17:28:

https://m.majorgeeks.com/files/details/millen … ium_remake.html

Amazing remake of the amazing game Millennium. 😀

Nice, but where does it say that the remake was authorised by the creators of the original game?

RetroGamer4Ever wrote on 2021-08-13, 01:37:

Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force has had it's multi-player portion released freely to the community

I did not know about that. Found the original announcement. Apparently it uses a source port/recreation based on released Quake III/idTech3 code, so it can be called a remake I guess.

RetroGamer4Ever wrote on 2021-08-13, 01:37:

The devs unofficially support the game's rabid fanbase and community

Would be nice to know more about that, but anyway, it's not about a remake, right?

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Reply 10 of 17, by leileilol

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There's alleged 'written permission from CBS' about the data distribution. The port's not quite a recreation (Elite Force used idtech3 with bink/mp3 additions), but just a patch that implements the holomatch binary's functions and traps to get the multi game working (with huge accuracy issues in other areas). Nothing about it is a fan remake and doesn't belong on the list.

Last edited by leileilol on 2021-08-24, 20:17. Edited 2 times in total.

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Reply 12 of 17, by MrFlibble

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leileilol wrote on 2021-08-24, 20:06:

There's alleged 'written permission from CBS' about the data distribution. The port's not quite a recreation (Elite Force used idtech3 with bink/mp3 additions), but just a patch that implements the holomatch binary's functions and traps to get the multi game working (with huge accuracy issues in other areas). Nothing about it is a fan remake and doesn't belong on the list.

Thanks for the clarification!

schlomoe99 wrote on 2021-08-24, 20:13:

I'd add PGForever, a fan remake of Panzer General 1 for modern operating systems.

I remember that one. Didn't the author go on to create an inspired modern game called Panzer Corps? But I don't remember PGForever being officially sanctioned by SSI (or whoever owns the 5-Star General franchise now) in any way - unlike the Steel Panthers community games for which the original source code had been provided to the developers.

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Reply 13 of 17, by schlomoe99

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MrFlibble wrote on 2021-08-25, 11:51:
schlomoe99 wrote on 2021-08-24, 20:13:

I'd add PGForever, a fan remake of Panzer General 1 for modern operating systems.

I remember that one. Didn't the author go on to create an inspired modern game called Panzer Corps? But I don't remember PGForever being officially sanctioned by SSI (or whoever owns the 5-Star General franchise now) in any way - unlike the Steel Panthers community games for which the original source code had been provided to the developers.

Yep, I'm a big fan of Panzer Corps! I haven't had time to get into Panzer Corps 2 yet, but I put a lot of hours into that game back in 2020!

Reply 14 of 17, by schlomoe99

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MrFlibble wrote on 2020-06-11, 15:33:

I've been coming across fan games based on commercial franchises from time to time, and there seems to be more than one that are in one way or another endorsed/allowed/supported by the original franchise's owners. However there seems to centralised source on such projects, and it seems that rather often this "semi-official" status is not advertised.

I'll list what I know so far:

Any other examples you can name? If approval comes from original developer who is no longer the copyright owner, please specify these cases too.

What about the Close Combat series? GOG/Matrix games took those over from Microsoft:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Close_Combat_(series)

EDIT: Ignore, that was a commercial remake with permission, not a fan remake with permission.

Last edited by schlomoe99 on 2021-08-25, 13:27. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 16 of 17, by schlomoe99

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MrFlibble wrote on 2021-08-25, 13:15:
schlomoe99 wrote on 2021-08-25, 12:26:

What about the Close Combat series?

You know of an authorised fan remake?

You're right, they weren't fan remakes but commercial ones by a different developer, Matrix games.

Reply 17 of 17, by MrFlibble

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Digger Remastered is an authorised remake of the original Digger by Windmill Software. This is explained in the FAQ:

Q: Is this legal?
A: Yes! Recently the original author of Digger, Rob Sleath, contacted me. He no longer owns the copyright to Digger (or the other games) but he did retain the right to use the code for development of other products. He considers Digger Remastered to be another product, and has granted me copyright to Digger Remastered, which I have chosen to license under the GNU GPL.

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