Build 0.4 Release
And it's here!
Build 0.4 adds approximately 35,000 words of content to Minotaur Hotel — most of it contained in what we call Chapter 13.
Now, before you proceed I want to explain why this build is "short." 35,000 words isn't exactly short, it's almost a whole novel's worth of content, but it's been almost six months since we last posted an update — in this sense it is short compared to the time it took. Why's that?
Well, originally we wanted to make Build 0.4 a very big update like Build 0.3. The content here makes up a very important moment in the story, so we wanted it all to come together to make for the best possible experience. But, you know, it's taking a while to get everything done, times are tough, we wanted to give you guys something good.
So we took Chapter 13, which should definitely work as a stand-alone update, and decided to publish it now. It originally had around 30,000 words — a little less after we removed comments and notes — but we wanted to give you guys as much content as possible so we went ahead and put two more pieces of content in there — another Hades segment and the first part of a special chapter we've been working on for a while. Overall it comes to around 35,000 words.
Without further ado, here's the changelog.
- Adds Chapter 13, another Hades segment and a special chapter.
- Changes the cover art — courtesy of Systemic Gaze.
- New music tracks in some of the older chapters.
- Small UI changes
- Added a return button to the ledger screen.
- The ranking screen has an indication of the build's highest possible ranking.
As you can see most of the work went into the new content. We put out 3.1 (and a 3.2 hotfix) with QoL improvements recently because we didn't know when 0.4 would come out, so if you're returning from 0.3, check that changelog out, a lot of work went into improving the user experience.
Why are we changing the music?
One of the reason why we are changing the songs is, of course, because we think this part of the game can be improved. When we started Minotaur Hotel we wanted to have a wide selection of tracks played with a lyre, which were very difficult to find at all, let alone licensed under Creative Commons.
This became even more difficult when Free Music Archive was acquired by Tribe of Noise. In the transition many of their most essential features were broken for months, which severely crippled our ability to find appropriate tracks.
We eventually did find a place with songs we liked, and that's iLicenseMusic. While finding lyre tracks is still a big challenge we have found a good selection of tracks with similar traditional instruments — namely, the Africa kora. So, because of this whole mix of factors, we bit the bullet and are making the transition from our initial assortment of Creative Commons songs to licensed ones.
But that is only half of the reason why we are changing the songs. There's another one of legal nature, and this one is a bit tougher. Long story short, Minotaur Hotel is under a Creative Commons 4.0 Attribution license, which means we can use a wide assortment of songs that have a "ShareAlike" clause. I won't go into the legalese of it but what matters is that more than half of the songs we have in the game could only be used at all because we put Mino Hotel under the Attribution license.
But a while ago we learned about an issue — it turns out Creative Commons isn't completely valid for software and video games in particular. It can be made to apply to specific parts of a software — the graphical assets, for example — but the package as a whole can't be put under it.
This put us in a very uncomfortable position. Make no mistake; we aren't in legal trouble and, realistically, it is unlikely that anyone would ever raise issue with us using these ShareAlike songs. But I don't like this situation as a whole. I don't appreciate that, technically, Minotaur Hotel being under CC Attribution 4.0 puts it in a legal grey zone so unlike what we originally envisioned when we picked the license. I don't appreciate the fact that we can only use the ShareAlike songs by a technicality.
On one hand I think this cheapens and disrespects the meaning and purpose of the Creative Commons licenses, and it perpetuates a problematic misconception that these licenses can be applied to games.
On the other hand it leaves us without recourse. I put a lot of research time into this matter, going as far as talking with people engaged in the CC community, and after all of this I have seen how little interest there is into covering video games in future CC versions. And even if there was interest it'd still take a long while before such a solution was available.
(Legal footnote: We had another alternative. We could switch from CC BY 4.0 to GNU GPLv3, a free software license, which is compatible with CC BY SA 4.0 through an obscure and convoluted legal mechanism, but it would have a very bad side effect. Right now we leave the Mino Hotel files open so people can check, learn from the code and reuse it if they want to (this was the original reason why we picked the CC 4.0 BY license). But the GNU GPLv3 license requires modified works to also be under the same license — and we have no interest in that. We want others to be able to learn from our code freely without any consequences for their projects. If they had to put their VNs under GNU GPLv3 that would significantly impact their capacity to monetise, which would either lead to people harming their projects or forgoing any benefits they would get from checking our code.)
So, overall, this is a big headache and it bothers me to no end. Staying on CC BY 4.0 is unsafe, transitioning to GNU GPLv3 is against what we want. And as many of you have seen I took a great deal of care to make the game's credits have perfect attributions for each and every CC-licensed asset we used. This is a point of pride for me. Going forward I want to keep that high standard — which means that we will have to stop using the songs we, technically, can only use because of a technicality.
So this goes back to the licensing service I mentioned — iLicenseMusic, which is a spin-off of Magnatune. We've been eyeing it for a while, ever since we became aware of these issues with Creative Commons. The quality of their library is high — if you played Jonathan Blow's Braid, its soundtrack was entirely licensed from Magnatune and that earned a lot of praise back then. Its licensing contract is also robust and their fees are very affordable.
Right now Minotaur Hotel has 9 tracks from iLicenseMusic. That number will most likely increase in the near-ish future — we might release an update in late to mid-December to expand the selection, to try and complete the transition from the original roster to this new, more robust one. That said we will try to keep a few songs, which however will depend on how our attempts to license them from the artists go.
This whole thing, however, has one and only one catch, and it's...
The issue with YouTube and copyright
So, the issue is... We, as in the Minotaur Hotel developers, acquired the rights to use these songs in the game. We have a license, a contract, that gives us this permission to add it to the game and sets what we can and can't do with it.
This, however, does not grant others the right to reuse these songs in derivative works... By this I mean that, for example, if you make a Let's Play or stream on Youtube or Twitch of Minotaur Hotel you might get some issues because our permission to use the songs in the game doesn't cover your use of it in your video. It may get demonetised because Youtube's ContentID system might catch the song and flag it as copyright infringement.
If you want to stream or record a Let's Play of Minotaur Hotel my suggestion is that you turn the music off. I know it reduces the quality of the experience, but unfortunately we had to make this call. As we explained above we had issues with the Creative Commons songs and this was the best solution we could find (short of hiring a composer with extensive experience with traditional instruments, which would be beyond our budget.)
Now, full disclosure, it is possible that the artists don't mind people posting their work on Youtube. Maybe there's no issue at all — but we can't know that for sure. We can't guarantee anything. So, in summary, if you are posting a Let's Play/stream I recommend you turn the sound off. I know it's bad, and we are sorry for it, but this came out as the only viable solution after a long chain of issues.
But wait, have you guys thought of asking for help with the music?
Good question! Yes, we have thought about it. A few people have volunteered to make tracks for us, and we are very grateful for these gestures. We did accept the help occasionally — two of the game's tracks were composed by Zander, developer of Santa Lucia. But this was back when we had just started the game and, since then, we agreed that if we were to accept this kind of help we'd like to do it in a more organized fashion.
By this I mean... If we do use tracks made by volunteers, first we need to fully figure out how this will happen, each step of the process. We'd need to prepare some kind of document with pointers and directing notes so people can know what kinds of songs we need — what instruments, what genres, everything so the game can come together as a whole.
We'll also have to settle on the very specific details of how attribution would be made for people who volunteered — an artist has the right to have his work attributed to himself, and if you want to know how seriously we take this just take a look at the About page inside the game.
Last but not least, we'll also have to do some legal homework and firmly establish the framework that assures artists we will respect their attribution rights and that we won't have to struggle with them requesting us to remove the songs at a later date.
These are not gargantuan tasks. It's just that we haven't gotten to them yet. So, if you are a musician and you'd like to volunteer to make songs for us... Yes, thank you, your offer is welcome. It's just that we haven't done all the housecleaning we'd like. We'd like to have everything tidied up. In the future we'll probably post a DevLog about this — just wait a little longer.
That's it for now.
Wew! That was a long one. I don't know how many of you read this whole thing but, well, I hope you enjoy the game! See you later.
Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.
Okay so i've downloaded the 0.4 bit when I finish the (the part of the peacock call)it tells me that I would get a different ending at the end of 0.3 outcome woch will come soon, but it's the 0.4, maybe I'm not getting something, id tartas the thing, please somebody tell me cause I'm loving the game.
You probably got the bad ending for 0.3. The game will branch from there starting with the next build.
Try making different choices to get to the 0.4 content. I'd suggest not sending Asterion out on exploration for example.
oh thanks, I was suspecting a bit of it but wasn't surge, thanks. UwU
It's amazing to hear that the 0.4 update is here! Cannot wait to play it! And looking forward to the 0.5 release! In one of the images Asterion looks at a tablet? Technology has come a long way even in places where it barely started to apper and become popular! This world is moving at a fast pace and not everyone seems to be able to be keeping up with the changes that are constantly being made! Love the new update!♥️
Although I didn't get to hear it this build, Pythian Chant really soothes me. In fact, it's now my alarm ringtone for me to get to bed.
I want to find ways into we can have sex with the minotaur or anyone else in the hotel!!
Given the relative positions of the master and Asterion it’s gonna be really hard to do that in some way that’s not implicitly nonconsensual.
Oh ok. Thank
for some reason i made my name Anon and nothing is happening
The real novel was the devlog written along the way.