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In-game level editing and some legalese mess

Hi. I am reading a part of the legalese documents. In the release checklist page, it is stated the following:

"Doesn’t contain the Unreal Engine editor or tools or an editor or tools based on the Unreal Engine editor or tools if shipped to the general public (rather than just other engine licensees)."

There is some very, vary nasty OR chanining. I am interpreting this sentence like this:

Doesn’t contain the Unreal Engine editor or tools (1) or an editor or tools based on the Unreal Engine editor or tools (2) if shipped to the general public (rather than just other engine licensees).

And I am interpreting it like this: Does not contain the Unreal Editor and Unreal Tools or any derivative works based on the Unreal Editor and Unreal Tools if shipped to the general public (rather than just other engine licensees)

Now let us suppose that I want to support Steam Workshop for... In-game maps and basic images/sounds stored directly on the game's file system. Maps are made IN-game, like, in Minecraft, with an embedded in-game level editor. (and as part of the gameplay)

In this case, no Unreal Editor or Tools, or derivative works on these will be shipped to the end user. The game itself will contain a level/map editor with in-game custom tools, and/or gameplay that modifies the levels even over multiplayer.

Is this OK? According to my interpretation of the or-chained legalese, it should be perfectly okay. I can always use libPNG/libJPEG to load images from the HDD, and I can always implement my custom voxel storage for storing the user-generated content and sending them around, and I really need and want to implement my own easy to use way of users to mod and rapidly generate content for my game.

Also, it will be better to amend this section with better wording of this case and especially mentioning custom in-game editors or custom out-of-game non-epic-made editors, e.g. a modified Tiled editor for tilesets, or completely custom software for world definitions, customly loaded into the game.

Product Version: UE Github Master branch
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asked Feb 24 '17 at 01:01 AM in Legal & Licensing

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PeterSvP
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It looks like you have the right idea. The official legal agreement is the EULA rather than the release checklist, and here's what it has to say:

Distribution of a Product to general end users cannot contain Engine Tools. The official definition of Engine Tools is as follows:

“Engine Tools” means (a) editors and other tools included in the Engine Code; (b) any code and modules in either the Developer or Editor folders, including in object code format, whether statically or dynamically linked; and (c) other software that may be used to develop standalone products based on the Licensed Technology.

It sounds like the in-game tools you have in mind don't qualify as an Engine Tool, but I don't know, for example, whether it contains any code from the Developer or Editor folders.

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answered Feb 24 '17 at 01:52 AM

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atypic STAFF
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avatar image PeterSvP Feb 24 '17 at 02:03 AM

Thanks for clarifying.

In fact I am not even planning to compile UE4 from source, since I can write C++ components without building it from source and instantiating actors from blueprint graphs is like a toy as well. Everyone that decides to make a voxel game will actually make such form of editor.

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