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Add fan made patches to extras

Added byKingDumpalot's avatarKingDumpalot

Loads of games hosted on GOG.COM have fan made patches that add features, unlock extra content, etc. (I'm thinking widescreen/3dfx hacks as well as things like the freespace source code project) I think GOG should include these with their games, or at least link to them officially.

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Staredown
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Either A) GoG is hosting to the patch/mod which is theft if they don't have the permission of the actual modders, which can be downright impossible to find or contact in the case of many games or B) they are linking to the patch/mod, which means they are giving their seal of approval to something they can neither fully control nor fully vet so if the hosting server gets virused or starts slipping shitware on machines with the downloads or decides 'Hey, you know what? I'm going to make you get an account so I can sell your personal information before I'm going to let you download anything' there's nothing GoG can do.

So no, I don't see this happening.

May. 10, 2014
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zerothis
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I wouldn't expect GOG to provide support for this. It is like taking replacing your GM engine with a Ford engine then expecting GM to honor the engine warranty they sold you. What they could do is provide a system where by the fan patch can be applied on a duplicate installation and a disclaimer "THIS PATCHED GAME is provided for you convenience but NOT SUPPORTED by GOG" shown when the duplicate is played.

May. 3, 2014
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OWReaper
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This would be especially good for Gothic 3 and its expansion. They are so much more fun after you apply the community patch.

Apr. 21, 2014
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patryn40
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I wish GOG would include the fixed maps for Dungeon Keeper 2 with the game, but allowing easy access to fan created fixes would also address this issue.

Feb. 18, 2014
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suitov
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I agree this should be considered. Perhaps on a case-by-case basis where these patches fix genuine problems, and addressed in order of criticality.

Two examples of very different importance: Dungeon Keeper 2 map fixes, which solve a serious issue and should definitely be included with the base game, and The Witcher 1 han/berbercane fix, which makes part of the game work as intended but is not critical, so could be added as some kind of 'recommended patches' link.

Feb. 14, 2014
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thepinoz
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if not included in the extras at least create a sort of REPOSITORY for external content

Dec. 16, 2013
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shaddim
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@DRM_free_fan: for remakes you are right, the publishers are very sensitve on IP protection, therefore many fan-made remakes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fangame ) received cease & desist letters.

But patches in contrast hardly form a complete work on their own, they don't have a recognizable character in the external reception which could be in conflict with an existing IP. I stand the point, (delta) patches are save.

Aug. 15, 2013
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DRM_free_fan
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@ shaddim: Nice thought. Unfortunately not all game publishers are happy about mods for their games. Remakes are even more unpopular.

Aug. 13, 2013
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RetroCodger426
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I haven't tried a great deal of modding. One of the reasons for this is because I'm a complete coward when it comes to clicking links. I never know which sites are decent and legit.

I think it would be nice if GOG listed some links to 'officially GOG-approved' safe and reliable (and quality) sites, so as to avoid 'Billy Smith's Honest and Virus-Free Mods.com'.

Jul. 19, 2013
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shaddim
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@hucklebarry: if you distribute your unofficial patch as a diff patch which includes nothing from the original game no one can blame the author or gog. Such patches can be always kosher and 100% law save created.

Feb. 18, 2013
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hucklebarry
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When a fan author releases content on an existing work... i.e. a mod or patch to existing game... they do not own the rights to that work. The original game rights owner owns all derivative works on IP (especially, but not limited to) mods using a released tool set. This isn't a slam on mod authors, I think most understand this when they release their mods. GOG may choose to seek permission to be kosher, but it isn't required as the author essentially gave permission by releasing a work based on IP they didn't own to begin with. That said, I like the idea of making "great" mods more accessible. Seeing some of the mods on game pages might encourage more sales. (compare thief mods to in game screens... fan mods tend to look better and provide more fun as they have more time/resources to put extra effort in). I actually bought Doom3 just for the Dark Mod ability ;)

Feb. 13, 2013
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DRM_free_fan
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BTW if you are after a site for game mods, check out: http://www.moddb.com

Feb. 4, 2013
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DRM_free_fan
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@ shaddim You are right. I have never heard of malicious code in a fan patch either. Still the possibility exists and most corporations usually err on the excess side of caution to avoid possible litigation. Which is why I suggested GOG have a box for users to contribute links to patches/mods. That way us gamers can share the links with each other and GOG could not be held responsible for any of the content linked to.

Feb. 4, 2013
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shaddim
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@DRM_free_fan: exactly that is one of the points behind this wish. GOG should check and verify the patches and add them only to the "authorized" stuff if they fullfill several qualities. Beside that, your fear of malicious code in a fan-made patch is exaggerated. Fan patches are extremly well checked by the communities, therefore I never ever heard about a malicious patch.

Feb. 2, 2013
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DRM_free_fan
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Nice idea but too dangerous. By adding mods as extras and/or linking to them, GOG could be held partly responsible if any of these contained malware or unsuitable content. I have an alternative suggestion - what if GOG set up a space for users to add links to fan made patches along with a disclaimer that GOG is not responsible for any content linked to?

Feb. 1, 2013
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pseudonarne
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pick some of the more popular ones and link to where to get more mods. keep it in extras not included in installer.

Jan. 26, 2013
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Gizmojunk
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If you [GoG] include some of these... Please keep it in the extras, and not folded into the installer; some might not want the fan patches. Personally I will not use the wide screen patch for Fallout ~for example. It's crude and screws up the UI. The Hi-res patch just makes everything smaller [not technically, but it's the practical upshot of using it].

Jan. 24, 2013
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PaladinWay
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I can see the liability for including downloads for them, but maybe a forum modification could work. Right now if I want to see about unofficial patches, some games have sticky threads in the forum, others I have to go through everything and poke around. If forum had a checkbox for "fan patch I use" for posts and an ability was added to browse the just the fan patch posts (with link back to full threads) with the number of people who said they use it, that'd be a way for GoG to facilitate finding the information without explicitly endorsing any patches. Add a public policy/procedure on what's done on reports that a patch is malicious and a disclaimer on the patch post aggregation pages and I'd think that would cover liability issues while giving users a good resource.

Jan. 2, 2013
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shaddim
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@vsr: My experience speaks against your interpretation. Many authors of reputable well knwon patches actively promoting their patches here on GOG and sometimes are discouraged that their work is not ALREADY taken as last patch version for game. Also, as these authors acting themselves in some grey domain they can't be to picky about protecting their own work. Often it is a collaborative work, so already belonging to community and most often therefore open source. From my experience, the stuff is typically open and freely available, so it could and should happen.

Dec. 29, 2012
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vsr
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Too much stuff to do for GOG (licensing). Besides, too much hassle with *possible* hidden malware in those patches (something you can't just check with antivirus) - GOG will be sued if something bad will happen. Not every author of those patches will give source code to GOG, and i doubt GOG has possibility to audit that code. So, yeah, it never will happen.

Dec. 29, 2012
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shaddim
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@BlackThorny: stickies to general fan-made stuff (mods) are nice, but this should go one step further: GOG should authorize community accepted unofficial patches too by adding it to the "offical" stuff. There are many games which have unofficial/community patches which have achived complete community acceptance and can be considered "official". Gog should accept them too.

Dec. 28, 2012
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BlackThorny
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As some said I doubt it many of the fan related material creators would mind GOG hosting it, But this might be against the license obtained from the original distributers, or may just not in the license alltogether. To get around that here is a simple solution: for every game make a Sticky in it's forum containing details to every Fan related content available during the time the game is added. Let the comunity populate those threads with links to download and opinions, and once some conent is approved by all parties GOG may add it to the bonus part hosted on the site. Until that point, I doubt holding a link there to access the sticky with interfer with any regulations.

Dec. 17, 2012
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s3rialthrill3r
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This is a good idea, but would this stop at mods?

Dec. 13, 2012
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Ric1987
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Would be nice listed under extras instead of having to look for them. Not really needed but would be nice for convenience.

Nov. 28, 2012
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capn_tucker
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Yeah, including unofficial patches for all the games that have them would be great. It would save a lot of internet searching. Most of these unofficial patches are free anyway, so I don't think the creators would care. As for the ones that have disappeared and cannot be contacted, just post the patches. If they object to having their patches on GOG, then they could just be taken down. But I seriously doubt any of these vanished creators would care, especially if they were credited in the patch notes..

Nov. 27, 2012
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Shaolin_sKunk
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This is something I can really get behind. Keep it in the extras so that some folks, for whatever reason, can still play the official release. The great thing about this is that the very nature of fan-made patches means that negotiating with the creators shouldn't be that much of a problem. Sure some of the creators would probably want a slice of the pie in exchange for it, but it's not as if that'd be totally undeserved and I'm sure a good majority of them wouldn't mind just letting GOG release them without receiving money as they're usually free anyway. The hard part would be tracking down those creators that have largely disappeared from their respective communities to get their permission. Another thing to consider is whether or not current license agreements permit such a thing. I have a feeling it'd be the publishers who would provide the greatest obstacle. For now it seems we'll have to check out the forums to see if any patches or mods are listed there, the community is generally pretty good about that sort of thing.

Nov. 21, 2012
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TheGannet
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especially where some of the old fansites that host such things are slowly disappearing and taking easy access to such things with them

Nov. 12, 2012
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TheGannet
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yeah

Nov. 12, 2012
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BlueMooner
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Temple of Elemental Evil is basically crap without patches and mods from the fansite CIrcle of Eight. Even if there's an issue with certain patches/mods, such as whether ALL gamers would want it, maybe GOG could just include links to websites where most of the good stuff is and let gamers decide for themselves what to get. Players, especially of older games, simply might not know that there's a fanpatch that improves a game's sound issues, or a mod that balances the combat system, or whatever.

Oct. 15, 2012
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MrPopinjay
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This would be really useful for games like Arcanum where the unofficial patches make a *huge* difference to the playability of the game. The tons of bug fixes and the high resolution mod should be bundled with the game ideally.

Oct. 12, 2012
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shaddim
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@tavisjd1: I think you meant wesp's patch. You can select the usage of additional content yourself by using the basic or the plus variant of wesp's patch, as far as I know. Also, should a vampire game not be creepy? ;)

Oct. 1, 2012
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tavisjd1
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You'd have to prune some of them. The fan patch for Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines has some creepy and unnecessary skins in there.

Sep. 26, 2012
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Rinu
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Yes, please. I miss this feature a lot. For example, there is an graphic issue with Baldur's gate 1 with a fan-made fix and a required library. But the library isn't available anymore on Internet.

Sep. 24, 2012
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Teba
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I agree with shaddim. Fixing technical limitations would be great, like widescreen support and other mods, so customer doesn´t have to "hunt" them through different sites, etc. Mods could be included in the installer or as a package with a short description of the mod (what it does and how recommended it is!) It would be a great time saving!

Sep. 16, 2012
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pbaggers
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They already did this with Tomb Raider. Including a repackaged version of the "multi-patcher" as a separately downloadable patch. Including the separate fan-patches to add high-res support for Planescape Torment, and restore missing content from Fallout 2 would be sweet as well.

Aug. 29, 2012
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shaddim
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I agree, fixing technical limitations (wide-screen support etc. ) is a service a expect by a (good) publisher like GOG which sells games as "adapted to newer OS/platforms". And I would even go one step further, I would request from GOG some review and officializing of some community made patches. (e.g. Killaps fallout II patch or timeslip great resolution fix for DKII (http://www.gog.com/en/forum/dungeon_keeper_series/hardware_acceleration_doesnt_seem_to_be_quite_working) )! I think GOG should package sometimes "final" (officialized) patches for well know broken games. When the game community already created fixes and patches and these just need to be "reviewed and authorised" by a official hand. (Creating new patches would be even greater, e.g. by paying well know reverse engineering specialists like timeslip. ;) ) Who should do it beside GOG? They care for old games and got a official licenses for old and dead franchises, so they have the authority (and responsibility) in creating final, offcial patches if possible. ;)

Jul. 21, 2012
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