Set Wants to be Free

In 2003 I created an online and multiplayer version of the card game Set, so that I could practice and play with people at a distance. It was one of my more successful projects and although I didn't actively advertise it many people seemed to find and enjoy it. Last September I was threatened by Set Enterprises to cease and desist infringing their trademark and copyrights. Of course I knew I had been intentionally doing this I didn't feel like I had much of a leg to stand on and took the page down. Almost a year later, I'm still receiving emails from people who enjoyed my game, who want it back, who want my program to run their own servers.

Ben's ethical diatribe )

The question I have is, what can I do now? I'm afraid of putting the game back up or distributing the server for someone else to serve, but I want people to be able to play it. The Set Enterprises website is unbearably crappy and hasn't changed at all. I offered to give them my version for free to let them provide it under whatever terms they liked (for pay if they needed, though it should be profitable with ad support alone, I thin) and I didn't even get a reply. A simple search or the Wikipedia page will give you a list of many other sites about or containing Set. Many have playable versions as Flash or Java applets (although not many have true multiplayer capability). How is it that they can continue to operate? If anyone has a suggestion for me, I'd really like to know what people think.
Keywords:Games | Website Projects | The Law
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Follow Ups

I need to follow up on a few previous entries. A couple weeks ago I wrote about my hearing loss. Well, after a follow up appointment with a different doctor it turned out not to be as serious as previously thought. There was a bunch of wax and junk that was stuck to the front of my ear drum. She peeled it off and suddenly I could hear again. It hurt a little, and at first hearing again was weird, but now everything is normal again.

A week ago I wrote about the upcoming game competition between the ETC and USC. The competition was this past Friday. We won 4 out of the 5 events. We swept them, 2 games to 0 in Carcassonne, Literati, and Set (played after we knew we had won). There was fierce competition in the Burnout game that we won 5 races to 3 out of 9. The only event we lost, Halo 2, where they swept us, was a bit of controversy as they had changed the rules after the original challenge and we didn't get informed of that. In an unofficial game played later by the original rules, we swept them.

Oh, and the Pats won the superbowl again today. Sweet.
Keywords:ETC | Games | Injury
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Games Competition

Last week a graduate program at USC challenged the ETC to a games competition. When I saw the subject of the email, I thought it was a neat idea but I assumed it would be all video games that I don't play. When I actually read the email, I was pleased that they selected a variety of games to challenge different aspects of gaming. Other people in the ETC weren't as happy that USC had selected all the events or that they hadn't even heard of some of the games. While it is troublesome that they alone have probably selected their strengths, I'm sure we will be able to select the games for a later match. On the other hand, I am very familiar with the games that many people were not, so I am glad I will get this chance to represent the ETC. The five games were Halo 2, an FPS; Burnout 3, a driving game; Literati, a word game that is essentially scrabble; and two of my favorite games, Set and Carcassonne.

The most exciting part of all was that their rules dictated competing in Set via my website. I'm not sure if they realized what they had done, but if they had visited any other part of the website they could have easily seen that I'm a member of the ETC. On the other hand, it isn't really like they'd have a choice. I did a search and it seems that my website is the only place on the web to play Set. I've taken this opportunity to improve Set, even though I thought it was done. Things have been so busy that I've spent more than a week now on changes that I thought were only worth one evening.

Read more... )
Keywords:ETC | Games | Website Projects
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