The Open Bundle

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There are so many game bundles on the internet (thank you, Humble Bundle, for making this a trend) that The Open Bundle is easy to overlook. Its name is simple but not descriptive, and to be honest it doesn’t actually include any games. Instead, it has art, music, and code for making games. What really makes it special, though, is that it’s a grand experiment in leveraging crowdfunding to make releasing things under Creative Commons licensing viable for artists.

The way the Open Bundle works is simple. Anyone who pays at least $10 gets to use all the assets offered by 6 artists for free under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license — they can modify it, use it as-is, or whatever they want (commercial or non) as long as they give credit to the original artist(s) somewhere in the work. In addition to this, however, if the funding campaign reaches its goal within the time allotted, the artists will release all of this material under a CC-BY license forĀ anyone to use, whether they paid for it or not.

It’s a situation where potentially everyone can win and no one loses. The artists have already gotten quite a bit of money from those of us who have contributed to the project; we who have put money into the project (yes, I chipped in) now have access to some really great stuff to use; if another $1500 or so is raised in the next three days, these works enter the CC domain; and if it doesn’t get funded completely… well, those who weren’t interested in paying for this haven’t lost anything.

I think this is a fantastic idea and would like to see it succeed so that more people will be inclined to do stuff like this in the future. If you have $10 to spare and any interest in making games or even just supporting a neat experiment in open stuff on the internet, why not at least give The Open Bundle a look?

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