Monday, November 29, 2010

Ryan Dancy on the Open Game License

Ryan Dancey was the main advocate of the Open Game License and D20 SRD at Wizards in 1999-2000. On this forum post at the Paizo Messageboard he reflects on it's legacy. The release of the d20 SRD under the OGL is a seminal event in the history of Dungeon & Dragon and I thank Mr. Dancey for it. It is also the foundation of countless games including the various retro-clones we now happily play.

One of the things that makes the OGL well suited for what we do is that works can have Product Identity. Product Identity are elements of a work that are unique to the publisher and allows each of use to protect what is uniquely ours but still keeps the common rules elements free for anybody to use.


Dyson Logos said...

Thanks god for the OGL and thus for Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro along with TSR.

They gave us D&D and made it so we can keep it forever.

LoneIslander said...

Got to love the OGL

Stefan Poag said...

I like that the OGL gave people license to produce Labyrinth Lord, OSRIC, etc., but jeeeeesus I have it when people make all sorts of "writing stuff for a game is like designing software" analogies. One of the things I like about games like D&D is the idea that 'anything can happen' in a session. I don't think that's considered a positive feature in most software design.
And when you get right down to it, one of the things I don't like about the d20 era of games from WOTC is that there was a rule for everything and everything was designed to be 'balanced.'

Stefan Poag said...

If my last post caused any confusion: All the 'good rpg design is like software' talk was on the Paizo site (follow Bat in the Attic's link, above).

x said...

I wouldn't be involved in gaming right now if it wasn't for the OGL. TSR / Hasbro / WotC have screwed up many times, but this time I think it was in reverse. They built the beast that might bring them down but save the hobby.

All I hear is how the 'industry' is slipping and tabletop play will soon disappear. That's not what I'm seeing and if the 'industry' disappears then we will continue to create and game and publish. The 'hobby' scene absolutely rocks right now. I mean has anyone looked at things like Land of Nod? Nod #1 is free and one of the best d/ls I have made (and the author is a great guy :).

Whatever their original intent I am glad we have a good solid stone foundation to build our dreams on, a place where anyone can come and play and, if they are lucky, become a legend.