Project "Sample FOSS data for VCMI"

After last big post “Artists, don’t disperse your forces” 3 years have passed, but nothing has changed =(
Project Legends - is the only chance, but I would like to have fully FOSS old-style HOMM3 with game data to build it on Linux for ARM (armhf), FreeBSD/OpenBSD/*BSD, Haiku …

So I’ll try to start my project with goal - “Create fully FOSS sample game data for VCMI”.
I’m not artist, not so good on C++ coding, but I like to google. So, most data will be very simple or from other FOSS projects.
Git repo of sample data for VCMI Project will be here:
Git repo of source files used in sample data will be here:


  1. Getting VCMI working with files from official free - h3demo.exe.
    DONE. Here list result Data:
    config and Mods - original from VCMI git repo, Maps - 1 simple map,
    Sprites/* - copied from H3sprite.lod/AH00*
    Data (H3bitmap.lod, H3sprite.lod, Heroes3.snd, video.vid) - original from h3demo.
    (Installation WOG required)
  2. Unpack all h3demo and remove all files that is possible without breaking sample map gaming.
    DONE. Here list of files Data/Sprites to:
  3. Load main menu:
    1.1. Data part - DONE.
    1.2. Sprites pait - DONE.
  4. Run map h3min.h3m
    2.1. Data part - TODO…
    2.2. Sprites pait - TODO…
  5. Win map h3min.h3m

After replacing all stuff from “3. Win map h3min.h3m” I hope to record video.

So this project is about working demo of h3 on vcmi?.. or something more/else ?

Main goal - “Create fully FOSS sample game data for VCMI”. I hope to get it working some day.
Current task - is what I am doing rigth now to get closer to the main goal.

PS I added 2 git repos to 1st post. Just few files nothing more. I want to start from scratch.

So you want to replace h3 art with free equivalent while keeping the game mechanics and towns the same as original ? Will it be same art style ?

… or creating a base (adventure map and objects + interface) and run free vcmi towns on it like forge or cove ?

I was asking for specific , because there are many roads to take here :slight_smile:

Yes. Same 8 towns (+1 elementals), same mechanics, same resources, but FOSS.

I would like to keep same art style, but:

  1. I want to have 1st release ASAP.
  2. I’m not an artist at all.
    So, art for the 1st release I’ll take from and some other FOSS projects.

1st release and a most other releases will require to install WoG, but will not require any other mod or towns.

Yes, I know, 1st post don’t have full description. I was hoping to take some interfaces from your project whem you will release it. But i’ll definitely keep resources same. Eggs, mana, oil - is not for me, sorry(

That would make it non FOSS though. I’m not an legal\law expert but Ubisoft copyright is not just for code and art of HoMM3. Hero names, hero biographies, world (Erathia) this is all Ubisoft property. In theory you could strip the campaigns and change hero names and biographies … but that’s not all, game mechanics is also something that is copyrighted if you think about it. So you cannot make exactly the same castles as in h3 (stat/units/build tree).

So what you can make is a game that is alike h3 but not exactly the same.

I wanted to make OpenHeroes (or FreeHeroes) like 5-6 years ago. With 3 towns from hota (planned back then) + bastion you would have a game with 4 towns. IMHO enough for a start, and to reach one day 6 towns. However no one was interested back then. So I changed my views and while “Legends” is less h3 like then OpenHeroes would be it is what was possible with art that I found on the net. So it was obvious that I will have to do it alone. Doing a steampunk version of h3 seemed like a good idea and it solved the main balance issue in all HoMM so far that Might was always better then Magic :slight_smile: and it was impossible to balance it out. With different spells/abiltties for Magic/Technician heroes such balance is possible.

…but anyway I was thinking recently about changing the concept. Doing my (5 so far) towns with all the buildings and anims is at least one year of work… more likely two years. With Cove, Forge and possibly Oasis there are right now 3 quality towns that could be used in open heroes. That’s not much, but if I added to that my Necromancer town you would have 4 towns and a good start for OpenHeroes.

The problem here is though that my art is 32bit, while Forge, Cove (and Oasis probably too) will be 256 colors, The style is also a bit different. It might be hard to make it work.

Well I’m still thinking and I guess right now, recent town releases made me think about OpenHeroes once more. Such quality works as Forge, Oasis and Cove deserve their own game :slight_smile:

Hero biographies, plot - yes, it will be changed. Same goes for campains - they must be rewritten.
Stats/units/build trees cannot be copyrighted, i think. Units are from DND setting, by the way, it’s not Ubisoft’s property.

There is no material currently to allow same graphical style for all openfoss towns/units.
VCMI still allows to have not 8 towns, but lesser amount. 2 towns will be already fine with foss VCMI. Forge, Oasis, Cove - that’s enough for first time. And Bastion, if townscreen author will not be against it going FOSS.

You have made 5 towns already, they can be converted to 16-bit graphics.
Townscreens and interface already can be made in 32-bit, so there is no problem to resize townscreens to 800x374, i think.

There was a talk about it on acidcave recently and it is not only my opinion. Just think about it if it was ok game studios would make copies of their competitors games with the same mechanics and sold it cheaper. I also do not know of any FOSS game that recreates exactly an comercial game.

If that doesn’t convince you look at other life examples . is it ok to make exactly the same car as your competitor and just name it differently? (Well maybe in china it is ok :slight_smile: )

Really ? I could not remove any of original towns while I played with vcmi json configs. Such tries ended up with Vcmi not starting :stuck_out_tongue:

I think Bastion authors were quite not ok with releasing it. They want the project to be dead. We should honor their wishies and will. Anyway having 2 out of 4 towns in desert theme is somewhat really not fun.

Nope what I have are unfinished screens. They all need polishing as I’m not happy with current quality.

Yes, heroes will have another names and biographies. It’s too early to say anything about campains, but there will be no original campaings.

Yes, I think they just can’t copyright “Red color” or some basic hero stats.

Is there any License file or just post, where were written about “not against from using in FOSS projects”?

Star Control 2 (The Ur-Quan Masters), OpenTTD?

Of cause, foss version will not have exactly creatures lineup due to lack of content. Stats can be changed slightly.

For FOSS game quality is good already. It can be polished later or by other project members if there any.
Hey, we have Wesnoth. It’s a foss game with big community and constantly added assets. Community not stops even there are very poor graphics assets, most of units have only 1-2 frames of animation, and lineups are not very original for races.

On people are discussed about using Wesnoth graphics for VCMI :sunglasses:

No, but as a whole units stats, abilities and whole game mechanics is a “rule set” and as a whole it falls under copyright. Game mechanics (like fe. creature stats or hero specials) would have to be changed here and there to make it legal.

Cove an Forge are tagged as CC-BY-SA license in vcmi_launcher. After installing you can check mod.json file and the line is there. I however have doubts whether Hota team agreed to that. CC-BY-SA tag might have been added by Vcmi devs, but it might be only for json files not the actual art.

Since Oasis is done by the same team that did Forge I suppose it will also be cc-by-sa… but that is just my guess.

You should also check this topic
It’s in polish so probably google translate will be your firend :slight_smile:

Thank you for usefull links and your attention. First post updated.

Does this demo includes SoD? Not sure how well VCMI can handle lack of expansions data. Besides - using WOG is not the best option for you since it contains assets from various commertial games.

True. However take a look on Dota2. It is based on Warcraft 3 map that used W3 models, W3 names, W3 mechanics. And yet Valve have managed to remove anything W3 based without significantly altering the game. Same should work for H3/vcmi.

No. I personally asked Hota Crew about this and they agreed. Same goes for creatures by Axolotl. Cant say for forge though.

Demo does not include SoD, but WoG + demo files are enough to win on test minimal map.

Yes, but as I said, I want to have 1st minimal playable release ASAP. If I can reach this goal, then I can move next: add missing sprites/units/towns, removing WoG requirement, etc…

So, I can use HotA and Axolotl art with CC-BY-SA license? Or I should ask them again?

Yes. I received permission from hippocamus to use Hota content under CC-BY-SA license. You may contact them to make sure that this applies to current release but I dont expect any problems here.

As for Axolotl - if I remember correctly soon after our discussion he published all his units under cc by sa himself. You may want to check his thread on to recheck this and to see if he has released something new.

“Attal: Lords of Doom” is an old abandoned FLOSS (GPL 2) project that achieves very similar gameplay to HoMM and Warlords. It has many assets that can be used in this project.

Graphics is not that good, but there are 9 (not counting Sorcerer) townscreens with buildings (buildings count is lower than in HMM3, but enough for free town screens for first time).
It looks like HMM3 clone, there few icons from HMM3 already :sunglasses:
There are plenty of map buildings also in scale of HMM3

Seems I found townscreens to convert to VCMI for near times. :mrgreen:

Thanks a LOT.

UPG Posted town screen here (9 towns with buildings, 1 town with only 1 building)

I think, that weekly post of current state will be enough (if there will be any news), so here it is:
No screenshots yet. I think, that video will be better, but a bit later. In a week or two.
Current state:

  • copy folders “Data”, “Maps” and “Sprites” from vcmi sample data repo
  • copy folders “config” and “Mods” from vcmi repo
  • install WoG mod from vcmilauncher
  • and you will be able to start main screen without any original data (only WoG required) =)