Hello Gamasutra, my name is Curtis Turner, some may know me by IceIYIaN. I'm a total n00b and pretty much limit myself to mods, aka modifications. aka no money, period. (It's better today than back then)
Skip the bs, this is why Elements of War: 1337 Board should be commercial:
I created Elements of War in 2002 on the Half-Life engine, moving quickly to Unreal Tournament 2003, 2004, Source/Gold Source. The idea then was to create a cool game, maybe get some money eventually. Later it became a beast of a story and I realized I could milk Elements of War for the rest of my life, if I put enough work into it. Make the game, then get others to make toys, movies. I even started a book.
Something major happened while using Source and a mini mod was formed, Elements of War: 1337 Board. 1337 Board is not like other mods, it's designed for Quake engine's Config.cfg
Config simply holds your hotkeys and variables(Screen size, sound options, are you left handed or right, mouse settings).
It also uses kb_act from Gold Source/Source(aka your in game hotkeys menu, but like Config.cfg you can manually look at it outside of the game and it's just a simple text file).
Now, anyone who knows a thing or two about engines realizes Config.cfg is in a crap ton of video games. Quake1-4, moving then to Half-Life and all Valve titles, Quake 3 created Call of Duty, CoD is at CoD:BO, and keep going and going. Games even copy Config.cfg, such as World of WarCraft is a near clone of Quake's Config.cfg with just simple name changes.
wtf does that mean? Millions of millions of gamers use Config.cfg and hotkey menus every day. The list of games and mods grows every year. We're talking an insane userbase.
Now, it's 2010, a full eight years since creating and releasing Elements of War. EoW: 1337 Board is on version seven and I've been slightly working on version eight, which is a total game changer. Thousands of downloads later and nobody from any company desires to use 1337 Board for commercial use. Valve has the biggest gain from 1337 Board, as most of what I designed is great for Source and Gold Source. All future Valve titles will use the same system, along with most of these other company's engines.
Is 1337 Board derivative? I believe heavily so. It's the most advanced CFG Folder with perhaps the most powerful hotkeys menu known to any video game and it's beyond simple to edit games into my system. For example most of these games come with a third person camera system, but change the command every single time. 1337 Board clumps this into configs for an easy workaround.
So, what's the problem? It's so derivative, correct? A, I don't have a company. B, I don't have any digital power(Steam, D2D, whatever). C, it's based on all these other video games(Mainly id's Quake/Valve's Source). D, I don't have a lawyer. E, while so powerful and advanced, it's not worth much money. $.25 to $5, MAX. Meaning there won't be a great deal of cash to be made(Theory).
Finally, after upgrading for so long I was hoping Valve would step up and say hey, this is kind of cool. Instead, they've tried very, very hard to crush 1337 Board. Eventually I figure they'd just try and give it away as a freebie. Which is fine, that's kind of what I wanted. But it's 2010 and I'm a fully grown man who eats. A vegetarian at that, making it difficult to find a vegetarianish job.
Valve Corp is gonna be getting an E-MaiL from me every week spamming the crap out of every Valve E-MaiL I can get ahold of. id is next, since they pretty much created the whole system to begin with and they might pose the biggest threat in court.
After a few months, I'm going to any buyer. Let my success and the law come crashing down and see who comes out victorious. At the very least, they'll then be forced to look at my work.