Print 14 comment(s) - last by inperfectdarkn.. on Mar 25 at 6:46 AM

  (Source: Farjay Studios)
I used to boldly explore about the fields on all furry fours, but then I took an arrow in the knee

For those who enjoy dressing up as furry animals on the weekends and/or for those who just can't quite quench their thirst for Bethesda's best-selling role playing game "The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim," something new and exciting is headed your way.
Portland, Oregon-based indie game development house Farjay Studios describes "Bear Simulator", a fanmade Skyrim mod, writing:
You play in FPB (First Person Bear) and do bear things which include exploring, eating fish and plants, striking down anything that dare stand before your might, increasing your stats, sleeping and discovering mysteries of your forest home.
The developer has launched a Kickstarter, which so far has already scored 1,380 backers and made $38,248 USD (at the time of writing this article) -- well north of the $25,000 USD target.

Bear Simulator tall

Bear simulator

The player's character has seven stats as well, which make up the "RPG" aspect of the game.  Perhaps most important is intelligence, which helps keeps you parasite free.

Bear Simulator
No one (or no bear?) wants to get parasites.
Backers who donated $5 USD get their names on a thank you webpage, but the real bounty starts at $15 USD and up; tiers at which everyone gets a key to the game and an in-game key that will give one lucky player a surprise in a mysterious shed (er... do we want to know?).
Other perks give you unique in-game items:

Bear Simulator

Bear simulator

And many of the higher backer perks also come with the ability to design objects on "Kickstarter Island" or the "Spooky Woods" two of seven new worlds that form Bear Simulator's world.  
If you pay enough you even get bear apparel.
For those interested, there's 24 days left in the Kickstarter.  And stay tuned; the Farjay Studios says there might be a stretch goal of some sort, although they "aren't planned (yet)".  And if you're on the fence, here's a quick video of the gameplay:

And before we forget, remember there is that Oculus Rift Skyrim mod, so in theory you could now literally live your fantasies of being a living breathing bear in a digital world.  We're not sure if that's a healthy thing, but who are we to judge?

Source: Kickstarter

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By Hakuryu on 3/24/2014 12:20:41 PM , Rating: 4
You can run a kickstarter for a game mod?

I would have thought the terms and conditions for every piece of software would include something along the lines of 'you cant make money off our game'.

RE: Eh?
By Argon18 on 3/24/2014 5:39:17 PM , Rating: 4
"You can run a kickstarter for a game mod?"

You can run a kickstarter for anything you want. Do you want to sing a song about your favorite game? Kickstarter it.

"I would have thought the terms and conditions for every piece of software would include something along the lines of 'you cant make money off our game'. "
Huh? You can't restrict someone from selling a game mod, any more than you can restrict a review web site from reviewing a new game. Or a book author from writing a strategy guide about a new game.

By your definition, the aftermarket Windows 8 start buttons are all "making money off of Microsoft's OS" and should therefore be against the EULA. See how preposterous that sounds?

RE: Eh?
By TSS on 3/24/2014 6:02:24 PM , Rating: 2
Uhm, there's something called "copyright" yknow.

Reviews fall under freedom of the press, 1st amendment (or your local equivalent) as well as fair use. Strategy guides as well as i think they're not considered derivative works - meaning they do not take or alter anything from the original subject, they merely add to it. It's like writing an extra verse with a new beat then call it the same as your favorite rap song - it's your copyright because you neither took nor altered anything from the original, you made something new then called it the same (and song titles aren't trademarks).

Mods for games do infringe on copyright, as it's a derivative work of the original piece. In other words, you cannot make a mod unless you utilize the original engine code and assets - protected under copyright. As well as IP if you make a mod based upon another game such as Renegade X (not the case here).

The fact that most mods are free is the result of the uneasy truce between copyright holders and the gaming community. Which basically comes down to "as long as nobody profits, we'll let it slide". But the copyright holders - the studios - still have the right to pull the plug on any mods if they so desire. Notable companies who did this in the past would be Blizzard (any mod revolving around starcraft) and Funimation (any Dragonball Z mods). Both companies used to pull the plug right when mods hit beta or even release candidates just to discourage others from making their own.

It would be very suprising if this doesn't get them sued. Best case scenario Bethesda will let it slide simply because the amount of money involved is a pittance while the amount of extra PR(and thus sales) Skyrim will get will make up for it. Or else they'll take the majority of the profits, but still release the game. I don't know if they have a deal going on or not. Worst case they'll go right into a copyright infringement lawsuit and send a cease and desist order, meaning all the people who kickstarted lose their money without getting a game in return.

As always be very carefull of what you support on kickstarter. You're right - Anything can get kickstarted. That's by no means any guarrantee it's going to come out or even if it's legal.

RE: Eh?
By someguy123 on 3/24/2014 6:54:29 PM , Rating: 2
It is not illegal to sell modifications of something. You're not selling the base game. For a game like skyrim modding is as simple as adding a compressed file into the mod/dlc folder. You're "paying" for the custom files that can be using on your "legally obtained" copy of skyrim. End user determines how the modified files are used.

It's like getting a paintjob on your car. Obviously you need the car in the first place and the technology in it that allows it to propel itself, but that doesn't mean some body shop has to pay out to toyota HQ just to paint the top.

RE: Eh?
By Milliamp on 3/25/2014 2:23:35 AM , Rating: 2
If Bethesda wanted to block it they might be able to but that is part of what makes Bethesda cool. They encourage stuff like this.

An active mod community makes for good advertising and helps keep their games relevant beyond the initial publish date. It's a win win situation.

They could get a few sales and some press out of it. What is sad is more companies don't see it this way.

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