Descent: Underground Legal Complications

State of the game post on Kickstarter has word on what's going on with development of Descent: Underground, the crowdfunded successor to the Descent series of flying shooters (thanks Kxmode). Descendant Studios explains that a trademark dispute has lead to a lawsuit and a counter-suit, and point the way to these court filings if you're interested in how the sausage gets made. To further complicate matters, the license agreement with Interplay lapsed during the legal proceedings, so after the court rules on the case a new deal will need to be negotiated for the game to be released using the Descent name. Amid all this discouraging news they offer a bit of optimism with a status update trailer showing off some gameplay. Here's how they describe the worst-case scenario if they cannot re-license the Descent title:
If no agreement is reached, the game could be released as the original pre-kickstarter title "Ships that Fight Underground" or something else, as Descendent Studios owns the assets and the game IP. Our strong preference of course, is to re-engage Interplay and procure another license and release as a Descent product - that will need to be negotiated after the court has their say in the dispute listed above.
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15.
 
Re: Descent: Underground Legal Complications
Sep 17, 2020, 16:39
15.
Re: Descent: Underground Legal Complications Sep 17, 2020, 16:39
Sep 17, 2020, 16:39
 
VaranDragon wrote on Sep 17, 2020, 02:36:
jdreyer wrote on Sep 16, 2020, 17:58:
The game looks pretty good. That woman is a bit annoying though. Hopefully, that's just in the tutorial.

I have Overload and played a couple levels in VR. The levels were huge though, and I found it a bit exhausting flying through to completion in VR.

Holy crap Overload has VR? Damn....haha, ok I know what Im playing tonight Is it better with the mouse and keyboard or did you use the controllers? (Also if anyone else has similar games in VR to recommend please do so)

Hmm, don't recall if I played with M & K or controller. It was last year. I should probably try it again.
To prevent CV-19, avoid the Serious Seven: weddings, funerals, faith-based activities, bars, gyms, house gatherings and other small events.
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14.
 
Re: Descent: Underground Legal Complications
Sep 17, 2020, 14:58
14.
Re: Descent: Underground Legal Complications Sep 17, 2020, 14:58
Sep 17, 2020, 14:58
 
NKD wrote on Sep 17, 2020, 09:17:
The concept of "intellectual property" was a mistake and is just a way to keep lawyers collecting hourly rates.

Indeed. https://mises.org/library/ideas-free-and-unfree-book-commentary
13.
 
Re: Descent: Underground Legal Complications
Sep 17, 2020, 09:17
NKD
13.
Re: Descent: Underground Legal Complications Sep 17, 2020, 09:17
Sep 17, 2020, 09:17
NKD
 
The concept of "intellectual property" was a mistake and is just a way to keep lawyers collecting hourly rates.
"Sometimes, there are two sides. But more often, one side says it is a car. And one side says it is an umbrella. And only one is right. And the other one doesn’t deserve our attention." -Shepard Smith
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12.
 
Re: Descent: Underground Legal Complications
Sep 17, 2020, 06:59
12.
Re: Descent: Underground Legal Complications Sep 17, 2020, 06:59
Sep 17, 2020, 06:59
 
Descent seems to be cursed (like Warhammer 40K IP is).

Originally it was one of the hot multiplayer niche shooters of it's day. The publishers failed to capitalize on that big time, and it eventually became a historical curiosity. I believe it had various publishers, all of whom ran into financial difficulties (not because of Descent but other games or lack there of.), so it never had a chance of having some solid persistent marketing to become mainstream.

Once you learned how to circle strafe in 3 axis, shooters like Doom or Quake, seemed old fashioned and tame.

I always feel sad when the Descent series comes up now because of this tragic history.
"Meet the new Boss, same as the old Boss." - The Who.
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11.
 
Re: Descent: Underground Legal Complications
Sep 17, 2020, 02:36
11.
Re: Descent: Underground Legal Complications Sep 17, 2020, 02:36
Sep 17, 2020, 02:36
 
jdreyer wrote on Sep 16, 2020, 17:58:
The game looks pretty good. That woman is a bit annoying though. Hopefully, that's just in the tutorial.

I have Overload and played a couple levels in VR. The levels were huge though, and I found it a bit exhausting flying through to completion in VR.

Holy crap Overload has VR? Damn....haha, ok I know what Im playing tonight Is it better with the mouse and keyboard or did you use the controllers? (Also if anyone else has similar games in VR to recommend please do so)
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10.
 
Re: Descent: Underground Legal Complications
Sep 16, 2020, 23:28
10.
Re: Descent: Underground Legal Complications Sep 16, 2020, 23:28
Sep 16, 2020, 23:28
 
Rigs wrote on Sep 16, 2020, 18:09:
jdreyer wrote on Sep 16, 2020, 17:58:
The game looks pretty good. That woman is a bit annoying though. Hopefully, that's just in the tutorial.

I have Overload and played a couple levels in VR. The levels were huge though, and I found it a bit exhausting flying through to completion in VR.

You flew Overload...in VR? And you didn't end up passed out from the motion sickness in a pile of your previous meal? Um...how? I never >ever< get motion sickness in the 'real' world but for some reason putting a VR headset on and moving freely around is a recipe for disaster for me. Even Minecraft made me sick! I could not even comprehend how one would do it in Overload. I played a small demo on the RIFT one night where you had to walk outside the ISS and repair damage and that had me in a fetal position sweating profusely within seconds. That was one of the major turning points that lead me to sell my RIFT.

If you can do it in Overload, sir, you have my respect! Salute

=-Rigs-=

That sucks Some of my favorite VR games are ones that you can just sit down and play like a simulator: Thumper, House of the Dying Sun, Everspace, etc. Haven't played too much of Overload in VR, it seemed slightly better suited to flat gaming because of how quick the combat can be.
9.
 
Re: Descent: Underground Legal Complications
Sep 16, 2020, 20:20
9.
Re: Descent: Underground Legal Complications Sep 16, 2020, 20:20
Sep 16, 2020, 20:20
 
Rigs wrote on Sep 16, 2020, 18:09:
jdreyer wrote on Sep 16, 2020, 17:58:
The game looks pretty good. That woman is a bit annoying though. Hopefully, that's just in the tutorial.

I have Overload and played a couple levels in VR. The levels were huge though, and I found it a bit exhausting flying through to completion in VR.

You flew Overload...in VR? And you didn't end up passed out from the motion sickness in a pile of your previous meal? Um...how? I never >ever< get motion sickness in the 'real' world but for some reason putting a VR headset on and moving freely around is a recipe for disaster for me. Even Minecraft made me sick! I could not even comprehend how one would do it in Overload. I played a small demo on the RIFT one night where you had to walk outside the ISS and repair damage and that had me in a fetal position sweating profusely within seconds. That was one of the major turning points that lead me to sell my RIFT.

If you can do it in Overload, sir, you have my respect! Salute

=-Rigs-=
Yeah, I didn't get nauseous, well maybe a little at the end. But it did make me pretty tired. And I've spent hours playing stuff like E:D in VR. I think it's just the constant vigilance looking out for enemies and mental energy expended navigating the sometimes maze-like 3D environments.

I got GRiP from Darks during his giveaway, and played that in VR the other day. I rarely get nauseous during play, but started to playing GRiP after about 20 minutes made me so. It was really the speed and the upside down racing that did it to me, I think. After that I just play it in pancake mode.
To prevent CV-19, avoid the Serious Seven: weddings, funerals, faith-based activities, bars, gyms, house gatherings and other small events.
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8.
 
Re: Descent: Underground Legal Complications
Sep 16, 2020, 18:09
Rigs
 
8.
Re: Descent: Underground Legal Complications Sep 16, 2020, 18:09
Sep 16, 2020, 18:09
 Rigs
 
jdreyer wrote on Sep 16, 2020, 17:58:
The game looks pretty good. That woman is a bit annoying though. Hopefully, that's just in the tutorial.

I have Overload and played a couple levels in VR. The levels were huge though, and I found it a bit exhausting flying through to completion in VR.

You flew Overload...in VR? And you didn't end up passed out from the motion sickness in a pile of your previous meal? Um...how? I never >ever< get motion sickness in the 'real' world but for some reason putting a VR headset on and moving freely around is a recipe for disaster for me. Even Minecraft made me sick! I could not even comprehend how one would do it in Overload. I played a small demo on the RIFT one night where you had to walk outside the ISS and repair damage and that had me in a fetal position sweating profusely within seconds. That was one of the major turning points that lead me to sell my RIFT.

If you can do it in Overload, sir, you have my respect! Salute

=-Rigs-=
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7.
 
Re: Descent: Underground Legal Complications
Sep 16, 2020, 17:58
7.
Re: Descent: Underground Legal Complications Sep 16, 2020, 17:58
Sep 16, 2020, 17:58
 
The game looks pretty good. That woman is a bit annoying though. Hopefully, that's just in the tutorial.

I have Overload and played a couple levels in VR. The levels were huge though, and I found it a bit exhausting flying through to completion in VR.
To prevent CV-19, avoid the Serious Seven: weddings, funerals, faith-based activities, bars, gyms, house gatherings and other small events.
Avatar 22024
6.
 
Re: Descent: Underground Legal Complications
Sep 16, 2020, 16:31
6.
Re: Descent: Underground Legal Complications Sep 16, 2020, 16:31
Sep 16, 2020, 16:31
 
I don't think Descendant Studios were very good in negotiating dates.
I haven't read all the court documents, but it sounds like like they entered into a contract with Little Orbit LLC that they would release Decent in 2019.
When it became apparent that Decent was not going to be released in 2019 Little Orbit LLC put pressure on them to get it done. This lead to to member of Descendant Studios to, according to Little Orbit LLC, make disparaging remarks about Little Orbit LLC. Thus the defamation part of the lawsuit.
Descendant Studios claims that Little Orbit LLC signed the contract late, delaying their ability to get it completed on time.
In the court filings, Little Orbit LLC was late in filing some required paperwork, which has held up the case.
Part of Descendant Studio's defense is that the CEO did not know the some of the terms in the agreement with Little Orbit LLC.

I don't know the validity of these claims, but from partial quick reading of the court filings, it sounds like both companies lack proper organization. If you are going to launch a lawsuit, you think you'd have everything in order first. If you are going to sign an agreement for help from another company, your CEO should know what is in that contract.
5.
 
Re: Descent: Underground Legal Complications
Sep 16, 2020, 16:30
5.
Re: Descent: Underground Legal Complications Sep 16, 2020, 16:30
Sep 16, 2020, 16:30
 
Last time I tried it Overload was better anyway and has some of the original Decent creators too.
4.
 
Re: Descent: Underground Legal Complications
Sep 16, 2020, 14:48
Dev
 
4.
Re: Descent: Underground Legal Complications Sep 16, 2020, 14:48
Sep 16, 2020, 14:48
 Dev
 
MrDevinoch wrote on Sep 16, 2020, 14:47:
Dev wrote on Sep 16, 2020, 13:49:
That's a poor choice for license terms to sign the contract with a hard deadline.
Should have negotiated for what interplay and bethesda did with fallout (if we are developing the game significantly we can keep using the license). It would have worked out way better for these guys than it did for interplay lol

You have to understand, if there's a way to do literally everything wrong... that's what Interplay's going to do. It's in their DNA.
Oh for sure, and they are really a ghost.
But I meant that the KS people should have negotiated the hard deadline out of the contract and turned it into a soft one.
3.
 
Re: Descent: Underground Legal Complications
Sep 16, 2020, 14:47
3.
Re: Descent: Underground Legal Complications Sep 16, 2020, 14:47
Sep 16, 2020, 14:47
 
Dev wrote on Sep 16, 2020, 13:49:
That's a poor choice for license terms to sign the contract with a hard deadline.
Should have negotiated for what interplay and bethesda did with fallout (if we are developing the game significantly we can keep using the license). It would have worked out way better for these guys than it did for interplay lol

You have to understand, if there's a way to do literally everything wrong... that's what Interplay's going to do. It's in their DNA.
2.
 
Re: Descent: Underground Legal Complications
Sep 16, 2020, 13:49
Dev
 
2.
Re: Descent: Underground Legal Complications Sep 16, 2020, 13:49
Sep 16, 2020, 13:49
 Dev
 
That's a poor choice for license terms to sign the contract with a hard deadline.
Should have negotiated for what interplay and bethesda did with fallout (if we are developing the game significantly we can keep using the license). It would have worked out way better for these guys than it did for interplay lol
1.
 
Re: Descent: Underground Legal Complications
Sep 16, 2020, 12:35
Cutter
 
1.
Re: Descent: Underground Legal Complications Sep 16, 2020, 12:35
Sep 16, 2020, 12:35
 Cutter
 
Ships that Fight Underground

Hah! That's actually a much better title anyway.


"I didn't know you had it in you. Sorry, poor choice of words." - David
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