One Hour One Life Forums

a multiplayer game of parenting and civilization building

You are not logged in.

#1 Re: Main Forum » Methods of reducing variance » 2019-05-08 23:39:58

Being the one who demonstrated the variance control of multi tiered probability in the first place, I feel that I should point out that you can achieve reduced variance with the two systems you already have in place:

1. Instead of always delivering 5 buckets of water per cycle, deliver 5 on average, using a probability of 5/6 to yield water and 1/6 to run dry. Assuming several cycles, the variance of the total will be small (like the total of several dice rolls).

2. The use count “variable” is now free to use for the number of cycles instead of number of buckets. Since use chance has variance control built in, you can now control the variance of the total output by controlling the variance of the number of cycles.

The key is to control the outer loop. The inner loop can use simple probability.

#2 Re: Main Forum » Open Letter From the Mobile Developers » 2019-03-24 11:29:09

The name is changed for both, you are probably just seeing a cached version.

One weird thing was that GooglePlay refused to let us mention “based on One Hour One Life” in the description after the name change. I had to rewrite the description and just mention “based on a PC game by Jason Rohrer” on Google Play.

I don’t know if this had to do with the previous takedown request or not. The staff refused to give any specific information, just said it violates the meta data policy.

Apple had no issues with mentioning the name of the game.

#3 Re: Main Forum » Please clarify no_copyright.txt » 2019-03-08 19:37:46

Jason, just trying to save you some time and irritation here (again, so that we might move on)

jasonrohrer wrote:

No, what's going on here is that the Chinese publisher has misrepresented the work as being entirely copyrighted by them

They demand proof of "genuine" status from publishers.  False proof was provided.

No, what they have said is
1. The code of the apk is from us
2. The other assets in the apk are within our rights to use

We have a speech filter component in there, among other components. We bought a license for it, so we are within our rights to use it. That doesn't mean that the author of that component can't sell it in China, or that someone else (you, in your example) is prohibited from using the same component in your own apk, provided you get a license too.

I think that you have already agreed that at the time this was done in China, we were authorised to use your assets, so their claim was true.
When you say "entirely copyrighted", you are misunderstanding what the copyright is. There is nothing entire about it.

jasonrohrer wrote:

forbidden from using my own game's name in China

Your game's name is "One Hour One Life" and no-one has trade-marked that except you, and you are free to use it in China too. But regarding the trademark issue of the Chinese title, I can repeat again what I have already told you: The publisher has submitted documentation to withdraw their claim to the trademark. Since we are switching names anyway, there will be neither an unregistered trademark in use (within a week or two), nor any registered trademark lying lurking somewhere, when you make your hypothetical release in China.

In conclusion: You can absolutely release your game on mobile in China, under the name you wish. Nothing in the current situation is stopping you now or in the future.

Further, you declared that you had withdrawn your take-down requests, and we responded with an action plan which you accepted (and pushed quite a bit further, which we accepted). But in your thread about TapTap, you now mention that your take-down request discussion is still being pressed forward with employees at TapTap!

If you do agree on the plan, then please drop your takedown discussion with TapTap at this point. You can't have both an agreement with us and continue campaigning against us at the same time.

#4 Re: Main Forum » Open Letter From the Mobile Developers » 2019-03-08 18:26:49

Responding to Jason's post #29:

We will use option A then, both for listings and in-app info.

I understand that you think it would be weird with two games with different names essentially looking the same. So we agree to the longterm plan too, to actively work for differentiation instead of similarity. If this leaves a void for people who want to have "almost-pixel-identical" OHOL on mobile, I guess that can't be helped in the situation that has been created.

We will start with "mascot" character and new app icon in addition to the new name. Then we will follow the plan you lay out with backgrounds, etc.
The hard fork you request also seems reasonable given the new situation.

Are you satisfied now? Can we assume that you will cease action to harm our reputation and business further? Can we get some peace and time to get things done?

#6 Re: Main Forum » Open Letter From the Mobile Developers » 2019-03-07 15:06:52

I have now updated the post #2 about the steps we are taking.

And quickly before I leave for a while: Regarding the use of the word copycat, I checked on Wikipedia, and didn't see the definition I was expecting there. So I guess I picked the wrong word.

What I meant was what I had written a bit earlier. "Any other developers could make their own version of OHOL as an app without consulting Jason. They would become the “authorized” version in people’s minds."
There are companies that make it a business model of watching what is currently popular, then make a quick and dirty knock-off of bad quality, cash in some money and then leave users hanging without bug fixes, support, etc. No-one who has played our adaptation could mistake us for such a company.

That's what I think of when I hear "copycat", but I guess that's not exactly what it means.

#7 Re: Main Forum » Open Letter to the Mobile Developers » 2019-03-06 18:10:29

We are still working on laying out our improvements, but in the mean time, I am telling my side of the story here: … 614#p48614

This is not to tear at the wound, but to give my side of the story. I feel that's fair at this point.

#8 Re: Main Forum » Open Letter From the Mobile Developers » 2019-03-06 18:04:33

Part 2: Actions which we have now set in motion

1. The name of the app.

Using the same name was clearly a mistake from the beginning, though neither of us realized it at the time. Many of you have already pointed this out as the main source of the problem, and you are correct.

Jason has pointed out is that this is a new situation in gaming, which hasn’t happened before. The natural thing for someone to think is that the PC game and the mobile app with a similar name, must be connected (because that’s the way it always has been). I will add to his assessment that the natural thing to think is that if they are somehow not connected, then that’s because the mobile game is an illicit copy.

And as he also pointed out, part of the thing being sold is the server service. His servers are the “official” servers for “One Hour One Life”. But when someone buys the app from us, they clearly are entitled to “official” services and support from the ones they buy their app from. It’s impossible to explain that the app purchase comes with official support and servers from Dual Decade, but that they are not official in the sense of “One Hour One Life”. And calling the app “Unofficial One Hour One Life” and still claim that they should turn to us for official support, is becoming absurd.
Add to this that in China, it seems that the method of choice for distinguishing and app from other similar ones, is to add “official” to the name or description. We are getting into real headache territory here…

The goal of Jason’s is that every player and reviewer knows and understands the actual situation. With a name change, the natural thing will be to not confuse the games or believe that they are from the same source. So people who don’t read, will not make false assumptions. And for the people who do read, we will have new and improved messaging to let them know more precisely what’s going on.

A lot of the work we have done is to build the community (well, insofar as you can build it, rather than just hope that it builds itself). We have been lucky to see a lot of Youtube content uploaded, which has helped the community grow. We will loose most of that now, along with more invisible things like ASO, search engine history, etc. The hashtags on Twitter will not make sense anymore, etc.

But so be it: we have initialized the process of changing the name.

2. In the app

We have initiated work on the following:
- An info screen at the first start of the app after install, and after each subsequent major and minor update (we have had about one every 14 days). To close it, you have to click an “I understand” button. The same info will also be accessible from the settings menu in the main screen.
- A way to report bugs from inside the app. Today the forum can be reached with one button click in the app, but you have to register in order to submit issues. We will add a way to send reports directly to us without forum registration, and without having to know the support email address.

3. Outside of the app

Messaging in the store listings will be updated to reflect the new situation. The name change will make sure no-one just buys it believing it to be directly from Jason, and the new messaging will make sure that those who care to read will know that it is based on the PC game (so they have an option to check that out and see if they would actually rather buy that) but is not specifically approved by him. And the info about running on different servers etc (which is there in the old messaging already) will remain clear. Exactly how to phrase this depends on a choice I am getting to now:

Regarding messaging, three things seem important to Jason: That it’s not associated with him, that it’s not built by us from scratch, and (lately) that he is attributed as the original author. The first and third are a bit of opposites to each other. If one of them were much more important than the other, maybe the less important one should be sacrificed so that the important message would get through? If they are equally important, maybe one is most important before purchase, and the other most important in the app?

We could (and these are shortened examples):
A - mention that it’s based on the PC game One Hour One Life by Jason Rohrer, which would give Jason the best credit, but also establish the strongest connection between the app and him, for people who don’t read that carefully.
B - mention only that it’s based on the PC game One Hour One Life, which would direct people to the right game, but also establish some connection between the app and the original game.
C - mention only that it’s based on a PC game without naming it, which would create almost no connection to Jason, but still say we are not the original creators.

Usually the first option would seem the reasonable choice, but Jason has emphasized the need to keep him out very strongly. We would of course add that he is not involved, but again: people don’t read.

We have no wish to pick the wrong option here, so if Jason were to pick one for the store listings and one for the in-game info, that would be best. If he doesn't prefer one over the others, we will implement option B for both store listings and in-game (that's our current best guess for what Jason would want).

The reason for these changes are to achieve the priorities Jason has said are important for his legacy. They are not the exact changes he demanded, because we judged that those would also give people a clearly wrong understanding of things. This way, the right message should get across to the most people.

These changes are now on their way, but they won’t happen without work. I will take a break from “battling it out” with both Jason and fans, and focus completely on making things happen instead. I will also not go to GDC. Less words and more action, as it were.

Though Jason didn’t want any involvement in our launch in China, we still missed an opportunity to do something nice for him with the debacle that happened. Instead something really bad came out of it. I am truly sorry about both the missed good that didn’t happen and the bad that did. My hope and expectation is that we have not seen our last chance of making a positive difference in China, for a game which we love dearly, and also for the original creator of that game.

Bye for a while.

// Christoffer

#9 Main Forum » Open Letter From the Mobile Developers » 2019-03-06 18:03:31

Replies: 51

This is an answer to Jason’s open letter to us.

Jason has taken us on a ride through hell these past days, reaching out to media to smear us, and app stores to take down our app (now retracted, thank God!). The campaign against us has included stretching the truth into being unrecognizable and blackmailing us to get what he wants.
And all for no good reason. We do wish to do right by him. Setting feelings aside, we are now putting our efforts into achieving the results Jason wants (as best we can understand them while he refuses to talk to us), using better solutions than the ones he has been demanding. And if Jason cares about his real legacy, he should stop misinforming media and the public into becoming tools for a smear campaign based on what is quite simply and objectively "Not the Truth".

Let’s first establish the truth as facts instead of interpretations:
1. Jason approved our use of his work without any restrictions. First by putting it in the public domain, and then by confirming that nothing stopped us from using it to make our app
2. The same goes for the name of the app.
3. Jason clearly stated that crediting him anywhere was completely optional. We did credit him everywhere but in one place, by mistake by a third party. Once we were made aware, this was immediately corrected.
4. When Jason asked for some more clarifying messages in the app and store listings, we worked out a solution together which he approved at the time.
5. We have offered Jason a cut of the revenues for being the official port. He declined for his own reasons.
6. We have tried to give Jason a gift for his contributions to the public domain. He declined again.
7. Before Jason sent his first Open Letter and started the process, we had tried to find solutions for him, but he refused phone calls and meeting requests.

Despite these facts, Jason decided to make demands of us that completely contradicts everything he had promised and what we had agreed on. No negotiations allowed. Jasons demands are that we call our app “Unofficial One Hour One Life”, and that we paste the permanent message “Unofficial Adaptation. Not approved by original author Jason Rohrer” across our main screen in the app. We claim that anyone reading this will come to false conclusions, something which will seriously hurt our reputation. People would believe that we were never authorized and that we “stole” his work. Any other developers could make their own version of OHOL as an app without consulting Jason. They would become the “authorized” version in people’s minds. Note that Jason would not accept changing the name to something completely different, while his game is still in there.

This letter will now be in two parts:
1) a highlighting of the damage Jason has been, and still is, inflicting on us in his pursuit of his highly personal view of "the Truth".
2) constructive actions which we will now take to address Jasons underlying wishes. Not because he forces us, but because we know his desire for them, now that he has made it known.

Part one: The campaign against us
This is my story, to act as a counterweight to Jason’s summation. I don’t demand that you agree with it, but it needs to be told.

There is a difference between what you want, and what you are prepared to do to get it.
No-one is disputing Jason’s wish to have his “legacy” intact, and created by himself rather than others. But what he wanted said was not the truth, even though that is what he is claiming. In setting this wish above all else, and unnecessarily making it depend on seriously harming the work we at Dual Decade have achieved (using his foundation), he lost his way.

And it has been hell. While this has been going on, I have done my utmost to maintain a civil conversation, to offer solutions, to show our willingness to collaborate for the common best. To remind him of what we have actually said to each other over time. There have been no efforts of collaboration or to avoid additional damage on the other side.

And other people have been made into tools for this campaign. Like the person who wrote the review for the app on TouchArchade. Apparently Jason contacted him and served him some tidbits of truth, but not all of it. And he wrote this message back, which Jason shared with you:

jasonrohrer wrote:

Just heard from the author of this Touch Arcade review: … fe-review/

I really want to apologize, it was pitched 100% that it was sanctioned by you. I swear I even saw a mobile thread on your forum prior to doing the review but I could be mistaken. I never would've went forward with a review.

In other words, I was right:  this reviewer had no idea that this was an unofficial adaptation.

Imagine the horror of this journalist. He has just been told that he was duped by unsavory software thieves into writing a positive review which has damaged the original creator. Probably someone this journalist has a great impression of (I mean, we all had that) and no wish to hurt. His apology is sincere, and he tells Jason how he understood the situation wrongly. Except he didn’t, did he? Here’s two emails Jason sent to me on August 22nd:

Jason wrote:

A substantial bump in sales today.  Not sure why.  Japan is the #4 country for the past 2 days, but only 7 units sold there, so who knows?

I see some reviews posted in various venues, so I'm sure that's helping.

Jason wrote:

Saw some reviews!  Good stuff.

Saw a bump in sales today... couldn't figure out why...

Then realized that a y-combinator COMMENT was to blame (man that sight gets a lot of traffic):

And here is his way of explaining to himself, and you, the type of reasoning he does to himself to make what he told that journalist true now, six months after the fact (actually said about the take-down letters, but I think they apply here too):

Note that all of this is talking about the current moment, in the current situation.  Because they won't meet my clarification requirements, they are no longer authorized by me to have these apps available in the store.
The were authorized in the past.

I doubt that Jason wrote back and told him that he had understood it correctly back then. And what was the gain of making use of this person? To be able to quote his apology in the forum and say Jason was right: the reviewer didn’t know it was an unofficial adaptation? Was it worth that? That journalist probably experienced a little fraction of the accusations Jason has directed against me, and believe me that those hurt.

There are now news articles of this sordid event out there. Here is one example: … rized-port
This journalist refrains from leveraging any accusations himself, but he does let Jason speak an awful lot. I don’t see many quotes from me. Because Jason is Goliath in this whole affair. With power comes responsibility!

Speaking of using other people as tools, here is an example from twitter:

His game concept, assets and design were stolen by another developer who is now profiting from them.

I see no message back from Jason, saying “No, they didn’t steal it. I gave it to them. I just want to decide for them 12 months later what they can do with it now”. That would have been the Truth, wouldn’t it?

When Jason posted that he had sent takedown requests, I was of course horrified. The thought I had was:
Jason really believes that he is right here, after all that happened. Maybe he thinks that if he tells the story as it has transpired, then the app stores will agree with him? If he had acted that way, I was sure that his requests would be denied.

But what if he decided to be “smarter” than that, and tells an adjusted story instead? Then we might loose everything we have worked for.

And when Jason posted his takedown letters, which implied that we had never been authorized and not a single mention of the public domain, I could only sit and stare at it in horror, realizing that this was really happening. He had really taken it that far. Those of you who are game developers, you can imagine the depths I saw opening under our feet.

Then Jason added his blackmail message:

jasonrohrer wrote:

Christoffer, the solution and end of hearbreak is well within your reach.  Just add this text to each app store to show me a good faith effort to correct the confusion:

Unofficial Adaptation
Not approved by original author Jason Rohrer

And change the Google title to included the word "Unofficial".

My finger is on the SEND key, ready to cancel these take-down requests as soon as I see some action on your part.

So far, there has been no action at all.  Just words.

Yes, I felt the instinct to succumb and do what he demanded. Did I think he was bluffing? Not for a second. But I forced myself to think, and I saw two scenarios:

1. A cursory inspection of Jason’s claims, followed by shutdown of our app. This would result in the loss of our livelihood. If we survived for long enough, we could litigate to get our rights restored and the app back on the market places. But it might be too late at that time. The community which we had built might have moved on.

2. A detailed inspection, where our evidence would also be reviewed. This would result in denial of Jason’s requests, and possibly some slap on the wrist for frivolous claim or fraudulent statement.

Myself, I believed that #1 was much more likely to happen, though I held out some hope for #2, but not a lot. What made me decide to instead “die on that hill, and take his whole project with him” as Jason put it in another thread, was when I examined the option of giving in:

We could do as Jason asked and live with the consequences (an app that would have given us a bad reputation, and open the playing field for copycats to take the name). What would that mean for the future? That Jason would forever wield a weapon over us, to use at his will. And don’t kid yourself, Jason’s requests would not have achieved what he is really wishing for:
“All that I really care about is messaging so that EVERY PLAYER and EVERY REVIEWER knows, with no doubt or wiggle room, that this adaptation is UNOFFICIAL and NOT APPROVED BY JASON ROHRER.  It should be flashing in red, or permanently on the menu screen, or whatever it takes.”

He puts the responsibility of making this happen on us, and no-one could succeed with this task. So, there would surely come a time in the future when Jason realized that his goals were not achieved, and the app would need more adjustments, making it even worse, and our reputation further damaged.

I considered giving in a worse outcome than shut-down. Let me highlight this for those among you who believe that Jason stands up for his ideals and “DD are thieves and scumbags who only care about money”: We are standing up for the ideal that our app should be the best that it can be, and that Jason did authorize it. Our reputation hinges on this.

Many of you have gotten the impression that this is a fight between moral right and legal right, but that's not so. The moral right Jason has, is to be heard when he has a problem with how things are turning out. The moral obligation we have is to listen, and try to help. (That is hard to do when the other party refuses to speak to you, but we certainly tried)

But what Jason tried to do here was to assert his will over ours, and make us bend or break. There is nothing morally right with that.

We tried to understand what would make things more right instead of more wrong. If we had given in, Jason would now be “the guy who gave his permission and then sabotaged the work and reputation of other indie developers”. He is not that guy now.

Jason’s own conscience stopped him at the end. When he had opened the abyss underneath us, his conscience stopped him and he took one crucial step back. This is why Jason is not a Sith Lord today, but can still be the Jedi game creator, albeit one who lost himself a bit. There are ways back from that.

Your legacy is what you do to others. Not what anyone else does to you.

(End of part one)

#10 Re: Main Forum » Open Letter to the Mobile Developers » 2019-03-05 13:51:42

I'm glad that Jason has withdrawn his takedown requests. I have had the most awful days and I'm sure they have been tough on him too.
I will get back with more info soon, but not today. But, yes, there will be actions taken on our side.

#11 Re: Main Forum » Open Letter to the Mobile Developers » 2019-03-04 23:26:11

This is breaking my heart.

I have given one year of my life to this game, without vacations, holidays or much sleep. Heart, mind and soul. So have others.

There is a unique beauty in this game, and we wanted to bring it out from a fairly small community, to as many as possible.

Jason and we have an agreement since about a year, which he is now breaking. Yes, Jason has spent four years and is the original creator. He is also the one who told me that it was available for us to work with and bring to mobile, with absolutely no restrictions or requirements, he had placed it in the public domain. No requirements then nor in the future, was the promise. This was an empty promise, it now seems, and it may cost us dearly that we believed it. I don’t think anyone will trust Jason’s opinion on public domain again.

Jason’s interpretation of that video is questionable at best. There are elements that are true and the rest is his feelings. The fraud he is claiming has not happened. There was no claim of full authorship. We have always given full credit to Jason, except in this one instance, when it was handled by a third party. Thus, he is not speaking truth about us now, and I trust that he has also not done so in the takedown requests he has issued. How else could they be approved?

I have apologised for the hurt Jason felt over being left out in that one-minute video, and more importantly, acted to immediately rectify it. I accept the blame for that, but I also maintain that it does not invalidate our agreement. It also doesn’t change the concept of the public domain. Jason has no moral or legal right to blackmail us into submitting to his requirements.

This is Jason's forum. It is naturally inclined in his favour. Yet, many have stepped forward and implored him to work with us to find more reasonable solutions to his complaints. Perhaps because you care a lot about him. Credit to you for your integrity.

We will see where this ends. I want to maintain some hope of reconciliation, but right now I can only feel emptiness.

#12 Re: Main Forum » Open Letter to the Mobile Developers » 2019-03-04 15:03:38

Chard wrote:
Christoffer wrote:
Chard wrote:

I interpreted him to be referring to the commercial release of One Hour One Life for Mobile in China. Beyond the free demo version.

Ok, so the fan was dead wrong. Thanks for restoring my world view, Chard. Jeez.

As further corroboration. Jason has never been interested in translating the game himself although did provide support for fan translations. His reasoning if I recall was because he wanted a community that could talk to him about the game, that he could relate to. Something along those lines anyway, I'm not certain and I wouldn't want to put words in his mouth.

Yes, I remember that well. It seemed against everything I had heard before. It's just that Jason has been so dead set against listening to the advice all over this thread. Fans as well as friends from the game dev world. Whenever someone has pointed out a flaw in his reasoning, he has come back with other reasons to demand the exact same ting. When flaws are pointed out again, bam, another set of reasons for the same outcome. The outcome seems much more important than the reasons behind it.

#13 Re: Main Forum » Open Letter to the Mobile Developers » 2019-03-04 14:08:05

Chard wrote:
Christoffer wrote:

Ok, I just read a post on our own forum for a second time, and felt a chill down my spine:

jorji wrote:

By registering the trademark, your Chinese publisher seized the name for themselves, and I didn’t see how could that benefit to Jason when he already mentioned his “ commercial Chinese release on the horizon ”.

That post is here: … 001#p48001.

I interpreted him to be referring to the commercial release of One Hour One Life for Mobile in China. Beyond the free demo version.

Ok, so the fan was dead wrong. Thanks for restoring my world view, Chard. Jeez.

#14 Re: Main Forum » Open Letter to the Mobile Developers » 2019-03-04 13:09:33

Ok, I just read a post on our own forum for a second time, and felt a chill down my spine:

jorji wrote:

By registering the trademark, your Chinese publisher seized the name for themselves, and I didn’t see how could that benefit to Jason when he already mentioned his “ commercial Chinese release on the horizon ”.

Jason, is this what it's been about all along? Do you have a release coming up in China, and are trying to undermine your perceived competition?

If that is the case, then I am at loss for what to say. We would gladly have helped you in any way!

I'm not going to take the word of one of your fans over yours, but I really need you to answer this one with complete honesty.

Edit: No, I don't believe it. I think your fan had misunderstood something. Still, please deny it so I can remain 100% confident that that's not who you are. And please let the fan know that this is not about competition.

#15 Re: Main Forum » Open Letter to the Mobile Developers » 2019-03-04 12:56:56

One thread which is recurring here is that the understanding in the community for which is what, needs to be improved. The amount of ideas contributed in this forum thread has been a good inspiration and we have begun taking steps to implement some of them. This could have happened sooner, if I had just been notified by Jason that he wasn't happy about the situation. Better sooner than later though. The "actual" Android launch in China hasn't happened yet and we have some time to put more info in place before it does. We will try our best to
- put bug reporting inside the game
- Info screen that you have to actually say "I understand" to the first time, and which can be found again through an info button later.
- Further improve wording in App Store listings and in various more seldom seen places.
- In China (the only place where the app name is not in English) there name was too closely translated from OHOL, so we will make sure to use a different name than the one Chinese people use for the PC version.

Some of this will happen sooner and some will take more time, but we should at least hit Jason's three-week target.

This may not include "punitive damages" (as it shouldn't, brrr), but the actual improvements will happen. If there was a growing problem, I'd have hoped for a more cooperative spirit and a striving on both sides for win-win solutions a long time ago instead, but these changes are the decent thing to do and will be good for everyone, players as well as game developers.

#16 Re: Main Forum » Open Letter to the Mobile Developers » 2019-03-04 01:22:30

What about something like (WiP):
A fan-made unofficial adaptation and extension of the PC game (which is in the public domain).
Not affiliated with the original creator, and running on separate servers.

jord1990 wrote:

A splash screen seems nice but the previous one I've seen is was in my opinion not clear enough to read in 2 sec. Maybe you could fix this by making the players have to manually close the first time they launch the app.

Agreed. This also came up in a team discussion today.

jord1990 wrote:

But maybe a little info button could be added there or in the menus so that people who go looking for info to report a bug press it and get a little pop up explaining everything.

This too. Both info-button and the in-app bug-report thingy.

jord1990 wrote:

You both seem to agree that there is allot of confusion and Chris the ball is mostly in your court when it comes to fixing it.

True. There are a few things that Jason should do too, but not a lot. When people try to find out about his body of work, they won't come to us to read about it. Therefore, he should also explain the situation somewhere in connection with PC-OHOL. (Preferably without the non-approval lingo). This is not in our hands, but most of the rest seems to be.

#17 Re: Main Forum » Open Letter to the Mobile Developers » 2019-03-04 00:10:19

Quite right, fragilityh14!

Jason, I'll attempt to answer your post #72 now:

This is a great site and I use it all the time. I'm glad it doesn't cause any emails to you, but I get both emails, forum posts and tweets about how "it's buggy" (because of misunderstandings - not actual bugs), "it's only correct for PC", "why is there no support for my language", etc. The latest such post is in the very thread you linked to in our forum.
I also get requests about the PC version. Confusion happens in the reality we are dealing with here. We can take more steps to limit it, but we can never get rid of it entirely. It's good to keep that in mind when looking for solutions.

It's possible that we never should have picked the name we did. It has added to confusion, but it has also added benefits to both of us. Maybe the benefits have outweighed the downsides, maybe not. We can't know for sure.

When we did pick the name, you made one thing clear to me:
Don't lie to other people by claiming that it was entirely made by ourselves, since that could deceive someone into buying the wrong thing.

Regarding this, you specifically made it clear that it was not about attribution to you. In fact, attribution was entirely voluntary:

Jason wrote:

You don't HAVE to say that it is based on my work, by the way (there is no attribution license in place here), but if you're claiming authorship yourselves, you'd better mention this so as not to commit fraud.

So this rule only had to do about a strongly held principle that you shouldn't lie to people, and particularly not when your work was involved.

This made quite an impression on me, and I have carried it with me since. I thought you a unique person and I remembered what your priorities were, because of this. We still put your name in there though, why wouldn't we?

In October, we sent quite some emails to each other. You felt a need for clarification. In addition to 1, you were now also concerned about one more thing:

Jason wrote:

As I've thought about this more and more, I think that my main concern here is lingering confusion in the mind of game players.  I have created a body of work during my life, and I want everyone to know which things are really part of that body of work.

For us the ball had just started rolling after a struggle with bad numbers in September. I am sure I was reluctant to rock the boat, but nevertheless we made an agreement to put the word unofficial in descriptions and splash screens. I now remembered your two priorities:
1. Don't lie to other people by claiming that it was entirely made by yourself, since that could deceive someone into buying the wrong thing.
2. Don't claim that Jason made this app, since that could mess with his legacy.

So to the TapTap debacle:
You already know how the text came to be missing in both the description and the splash screen. Miscommunication in the first and misunderstanding in the second.
It seems that the video was the really infuriating thing to you though, so lets talk about that now.

jasonrohrer wrote:

And the "meet the devs" video, specifically, was beyond the pale in terms of sliminess.  You made this video, intentionally, and approved it.  There is no way that video was posted without you seeing it first.  It was no accident.

The publisher wanted to do a movie about the purpose of the game (it is the unique factor with the game, so this makes sense). They asked me to shoot myself explaining what I thought was special about it. They also asked for shots of the team members. We used an iPhone and about 10 minutes for this, because we simply had no time. After working with this project since March, it didn't seem strange to me that I should talk about the game, nor that the team involved should say hi.
We sent the clips, and they made a movie clip out of it. We saw it once it had been uploaded to taptap. We had no time to be involved, but of course I looked at it. I agree with you now, that from your point of view it can look like "meet the team behind OHOL" rather than "meet the team behind OHOL for Mobile". At the time my only thought was: "Ok, the sound quality is bad and it's apparent that I didn't rehearse it, but they have their video." Funny how they renamed Pontus into Otis". In fact we renamed Pontus to Otis in our team chat. That's how much effort we put into making this video, we didn't even bother correcting his name.

By telling you this, I am not saying the video wasn't a big deal. I understand that it was. But there was no malice in it. The intent you believe was there, simply wasn't. Only stressed out people with too much work on their plate to stop and really think about how it would seem to you.

Also, I feel I have to make something clear here: There is a game called "One Hour One Life for Mobile" and there is a team which is making it. It is a game first and an "unofficial adaptation" second. It's not an unofficial game, and it is made by us, based on your game. And currently, this game is officially the only game on the AppStore with OHOL gameplay in it. You need to stop thinking of it as one PC game plus an appendix. We have also spent man-years on our game. OHOL belongs to you, and OHOL for Mobile belongs to us. That was always our agreement.

Now to your damage claim:

jasonrohrer wrote:

With that much damage done, and that much lack of concern demonstrated, what can I do?  I can't put the cat back in the bag.  I can't have 600K Chinese players un-see what they saw during that 40-day window.
The normal recourse in this situation would be to sue for punitive damages, or reach a monetary settlement, outside of court.  The money awarded would bring justice to an otherwise unjust situation.

Let's compare this to the two rules you have set up for us, and on which our agreement is built:
1. Don't lie to people about the origin.
Here you claim that by omission, we have let people think that the game they see was entirely made by us, potentially tricking them into downloading it, thinking that they couldn't get it anywhere else.
I agree that the mistakes we had made created such a potential situation, but where is the damage to these people? This was a free trial download and no money changed hands. Clearly no fraud happened.
Again, your words:

Jason wrote:

You don't HAVE to say that it is based on my work, by the way (there is no attribution license in place here), but if you're claiming authorship yourselves, you'd better mention this so as not to commit fraud.

So there is also no damage to you, in this regard. If an unknown number of people who could have learnt that OHOL was from you, didn't, this does not violate our agreement. You can't claim damage for the lack of attribution, because you have made it very clear that you don't require that attribution. To me personally, and in your statement of "no copyright".

2. Don't claim that Jason made this app, since that could mess with his legacy.
Well, our entire error in this instance was that we didn't let people know that there was a PC game which we had built ours on. Clearly, we did not claim you had anything to do with our app. Also no violation of our agreement, and no damage to you.

I think that you got mad about China (which is understandable) and used it for leverage against an agreement that doesn't suit you anymore. But the damage you claim as justifiable reason to make your demands punitively "harsh", is inconsistent with your promises to and requirements of us. There is no reason to be harsh. Let's be fair instead. We could still amend the agreement.

We have an agreement, and we made an error. In all agreements, the standard is that if an error occurs, there is a time frame to rectify the error once it has become known. If the appropriate action is taken, then the agreement stands. We did act with all possible speed to rectify the error once it became known to us. Thus the agreement stands.

However, the reason for the agreement remains. We love your game and we love our game, which wouldn't exist in its current form without you. We want to do right by you. We want your legacy to be the way you want it.

Here is where conversation comes to play. I understand that you now feel that our original agreement didn't go far enough, once our user numbers skyrocketed. So yes, let's talk about how we can reduce confusion between games and increase the understanding for what works do and don't belong in your body of work. I am at your disposal in this.

If you had stated at the beginning that our game should be called "unofficial" and have strange texts in the UI implying that it shouldn't exist, we would not have spent a year of our team's time and resources on this. Thousands of people who have played OHOLm would be the poorer for it. No matter if we still are able to sell the game, we don't want to work on "Unofficial OHOL". We have said that we are willing to work on "OHOL Mobile Mod" and that we also will clarify other wording. Most people on this forum will tell you that this is a great offer. (If someone else had the strength to read all the way here, feel free to agree or disagree).

The reason there is no confusion from 2HOL is the lack of user base. What we now know, is that when a derivative work of a public domain game reaches users in the 6-digit range, the number of confused people also increases. I believe this is inevitable, but that we can do more than we have done to limit it. You haven't exactly posted on your page that OHOLm exists and how it differs from OHOL, have you? Maybe you should at this time, to improve the understanding of your legacy? We also have places where we haven't thought to make the distinction as clear as possible. We are willing to improve on this.

If I pushed back too much the last time we agreed, you have certainly pushed forward this time. Now take your win and be gracious about it! I ask you to work with us on your own goals. To our mutual benefit, and that of many many players, now and in the future. Let's get back to work?

#18 Re: Main Forum » Open Letter to the Mobile Developers » 2019-03-03 19:34:15

So, I logged on to let you know let everyone know that we are making some progress. Jason, I saw your recent post (#72). I will have to take time to think it through before I answer, so consider this not an answer to that, ok?

So, what we have come up with is in the lines of "unofficial" but a little more palatable.

We are willing to do a name change to "One Hour One Life Mobile Mod". It's a mouthful, but it clearly says that it's a derivative work and not the original.

Almost all mods are unofficial, so that's implied and can be further expanded upon in the description. My bet is that people will look closer at the description than they usually do, before buying.

If you're good with this for now, it should be possible to roll it out on Google Play within hours. AppStore will require a new release, though, which could possibly happen next week. Regarding the various market places in China, you already know that a name change is in the works.

I'm not saying this would be the only change. It's just the fastest change that can be made.

Let me know if you agree to this first step. Thanks.

#19 Re: Main Forum » Open Letter to the Mobile Developers » 2019-03-02 20:56:00

I still think that a phone call or live meeting would use much less time and yield better results than writing on your forum. Can't you please consider it?

#20 Re: Main Forum » Open Letter to the Mobile Developers » 2019-03-02 20:54:59

jasonrohrer wrote:

Anyone who sees the stamp inside the game will have already bought the game.

This is not true by a long shot, Jason. The main way this app is made known to people is through Youtube, so virtually anyone who might have been inclined to get the game because of the gameplay, would see this message (which I still maintain is misleading) before they buy it. Unless of course Youtubers stop posting about it. They may hesitate to post videos of them playing a game which displays that it's "Not approved by the original author Jason Rohrer", thus removing our chances to be seen.

But I had an idea here:

What if we turn it around a bit? Maybe we could by default show a message saying something like "This game was not made by the creator of the original PC game, Jason Rohrer, but here is a message from him." When you tap it, it leads to a text page where you explain your ideas about public domain and how you allow and encourage people to build on top of your games, but also that in your view, the only Jason Rohrer game is the PC version which is 100% JR and nothing else. We could include a link to your site as well, so people can read more, or even order your game.

There would also be a check box or button on the message page saying "Remove the text from the main screen", so only people who have seen your message could remove the text on the top. Youtubers would likely remove it, but only after being made aware the difference between the versions. Your goal of no confusion would be achieved. Your message would also be reachable through our settings after the top text has been removed.

I think this would go a long way to make you and your game better known and understood. China could be a huge potential.

#21 Re: Main Forum » Open Letter to the Mobile Developers » 2019-03-02 13:23:10

Berry Good wrote:

Hi Jason. Sorry to hear that people are profiting off of your work without your permission sad

Jason, this is perfect proof that the wording you demand is misleading.
"Not approved by Jason Rohrer" is equivalent to "Not permitted by Jason Rohrer" or "Against the wishes of Jason Rohrer". Since you don't mean any of that, the statement is misleading the reader into believing a falsehood. Couldn't you ask for a wording that is not misleading? Thanks for your consideration.

#22 Re: Main Forum » Open Letter to the Mobile Developers » 2019-03-02 13:14:50

One more piece of data, for those on the forum who may still think this is about money and greed, either for us or Jason:

jasonrohrer wrote:

Well, they did offer me a cut of the money.  They always have.  They still are offering me a cut.  They want to be the official mobile port.

I just don't want the money.

Not in exchange for "officially approving" of something that I had no hand in making.

There won't be an "official" mobile port of the game.

I don't just slap my name on stuff in exchange for money.  That's not how I operate.

This is true, and part of the reason for the confusion. Most people simply assume that no-one thinks this way.
In my mind, this reflects well on Jason and shows that he puts integrity over money.

There is more to add though, so you also understand more about us on the other side. We also had an exchange on October 23rd:

Christoffer wrote:

Hi Jason,

Your Steam release seems to be coming along well. Hopefully it will change the downward trend of late for "One Hour One Life" and make it really famous. The difficulty of actually being seen on the Steam platform is severe though, as we understand it.

I don't know if you have planned any marketing activities around the release? You make really good "cutscene" videos, maybe you have thought of making some facebook or youtube ads using these skills?

We have not made a gazillion dollars, but we have made some. Rather than waiting for huge amounts, we decided that we want to make a gift/donation of some of the money we have made so far. If you choose to, you can use it for marketing of your game launch. It's free money, so it might feel less horrible to spend it on such activities than it would with saved-up money.

Provided you wish to accept this gift, there is the question of transferring funds. We have previously used the service provided by [redacted] to move funds to individuals in the US. It's a service with much lower fees than banks or PayPal (0.35%, which we will cover). Would it be ok with you if I initiated a transfer to you using this service? You would be getting an email from them with instructions on how to get the funds deposited in the bank account of your choosing.

This gift of ten thousand US dollars is in recognition of your contributions to the public domain. You set a good example and by making this donation, Dual Decade hopes to likewise set a good example to others.

All the best,

// Christoffer and Jincheng

Jason wrote:

I've given this some thought, and I think it would be better at this point to keep things completely separate.

I know that I said originally, "If you really make 'too much money,' feel free to send me a large cash gift at some point if it makes you feel better."

But I don't think you're at that point yet, and the implications of you sending me a cut of modest profits are many.

If you were at that point, where the mobile version took over the world and I was lost and forgotten, buried in pauper's grave, well.... we'd have to cross that bridge when the time comes.

Christoffer wrote:

Fair enough, Jason. Let’s hope that day never comes (the pauper’s grave I mean - taking over the world is ok by me wink

Let’s settle for us sending you our very strong wishes for a great Steam release instead.

And speaking of taking over the world, we just overtook Minecraft on the top paid app list in Japan today!


// Christoffer

Note that at this time, we had dropped any hope of getting our app made "official". There were no strings attached. We simply wanted to give something back to Jason for putting his work in the public domain. Note also that by this date, the total amount of money we had received from sales was around $30,000. Nowhere near enough to recoup the expenses we had had for the making of the app and the services around it. It also wasn't intended to "buy him off". We expected to receive more money from sales in the future and expected to have occasions for more such gifts.

#23 Re: Main Forum » Open Letter to the Mobile Developers » 2019-03-01 20:09:36

jasonrohrer wrote:

A reasonable Chinese person is now likely to believe that you are the originator of One Hour One Life.

I don't believe that's true. Even if 100,000 Chinese actually have that impression (which I seriously doubt), I offer this by way of balance: shortly after out China debut, one individual caught the buzz and went looking for the PC original. He then posted a video of playing the game here:
This video has more than 2.5 million views by now, so that's a lot more than 100,000 people seeing the original game. So, I think some good has been done to the PC community as a side effect.
You were definitely owed a sincere apology, and some quick actions. But we did some good too, can't you agree with that?

jasonrohrer wrote:

In the "meet the devs" video on TapTap, you describe yourself thus:  "...mostly, I work with the game's design..."

Actually, I'm saying "the games design", as a noun.

You told me you wanted a boiler plate added to that video, and it was added immediately. If you had told me to remove it instead, it would have been removed. If you weren't ok with the change you asked for, why ask for it?

jasonrohrer wrote:

72 hours is plenty of time to put these changes into motion.

Set in motion perhaps. That's all one can reasonably hope for by Sunday.

If we can't make everything the way you want it by the time you want it, what is the next step? Ask us to stop using your assets and code? Make the game not public domain anymore? Start defaming us? None of that sounds like you.

If we make everything look according to your specification, then you will have become one of the designers of our app. As a games designer, would you put your name on the re-design you want there? Do you want that as part of your legacy? Sabotaging us after leading us on? It's not how you have come across before and I hope that it's mostly anger speaking now. That said, I am acting on your words at face value. Consider things set in motion, then. I hope we will arrive at something you can feel comfortable with, as soon as possible. And if you have more ideas in the meanwhile, I am listening.

#24 Re: Main Forum » Open Letter to the Mobile Developers » 2019-03-01 18:20:22

Christoffer wrote:
breezeknight wrote:

quite salty all that
you should have opened a negotiation with Jason to licence the mobile version allowing him the saying

Well, we did (and I wrote so above). Jason told us to go ahead with China on our own. He even sent contact information for another publisher who had been in direct contact with him.

Thus proving, I should add, that Jason thinks and acts differently than most of us. Yes, of course we feel an obligation towards him for that.

#25 Re: Main Forum » Open Letter to the Mobile Developers » 2019-03-01 18:15:20

breezeknight wrote:

quite salty all that
you should have opened a negotiation with Jason to licence the mobile version allowing him the saying

Well, we did (and I wrote so above). Jason told us to go ahead with China on our own. He even sent contact information for another publisher who had been in direct contact with him.

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB