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 Doom -inspired roguelike goes open-source in a bid to outrun Zenimax lawyers

Doom-inspired roguelike goes open-source in a bid to outrun Zenimax lawyers

December 7, 2016 | By Alex Wawro

Last week news broke that Zenimax is threatening legal action against the developer of DoomRL, a free Doom-inspired roguelike. Now, DoomRL's creator is open-sourcing it in an attempt to put it beyond the reach of Zenimax's legal team.

Many devs will probably appreciate the symbolic resonance of this move, given that id Software open-sourced the original Doom code almost twenty years ago.

In fact, the studio has a decent track record of releasing open-sourcing code for its games (including Doom 3); DoomRL maker Kornel Kisielewicz has made it clear that it's Zenimax, not id, which is making a legal fuss about his game. Moreover, he recently noted on Reddit that Zenimax's C&D was targeted at the DoomRL website, not the game itself, so he felt free to open-source the game as-is. 

"I realized that if I push it OS now, I can still push it in it's original state," he wrote. "Even if I have to change it later as a result of a game-targeted C&D, the original source, and hence the original game will still be out there somewhere. You can't stop the signal."

Kisielewicz claims he had already been planning to make DoomRL (which he's been tinkering with for roughly 14 years) open-source after the Kickstarter for his game project Jupiter Hell wrapped up next week; Zenimax's letter just inspired him to move a bit faster.

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