Laeik

Citizen
Hi there,

I was wondering if anyone knows where I might be able to get custom maps, specifically from Darkshard.net.

I've tried contacting the site owner, and have not received any responses unfortunately. I would love to be able to design one myself, but I know it is quite the process and I don't have enough time to design my own full custom map along with all the customization in coding I've been focusing on. I'm more than willing to spend the $$$. I'm hoping someone out there can help me.

Thank you.
 

Milva

Moderator
There have been a few people trying to contact him for maps, but no one ever hears a word from him :/
 

Kiko

Citizen
The drive with all of his work is available. I know my son bought it and received it in the mail. You can request either a DVD oror Or a USB thumb drive. He made a post that he would be busy with "life" for a while. So maybe that is why he hasn't responded to contacts. I think the drive/DVD costs about $40 USD and is chock full of maps, graphics and gump art.
 

AdamD

Citizen
His maps are certainly impressive!

I'm curious though, isn't he skating a fine line by selling them, given that they (I think?) contain assets from UO?
 

Kiko

Citizen
I cannot speak to the legality of his work. The same question has been raised over UO emulators for years because they rely on a client clearly intended to be used to log in to "pay for play" servers not emulated free servers, especially emulators that attempt to duplicate exactly the functionality of the official UO servers but emulators persist. I grant your question is a valid one though I find it odd that you asked it on a forum dedicated to one of the afore mentioned emulators.

To directly answer your question, Dark Shard has been around for years. I assume OSI/EA/Broadsword are probably aware of its existence and if they felt he was infringing on their IP it would have been taken down a long time ago I personally am glad it still exists just as I am glad UO emulators still exist.
 

AdamD

Citizen
I grant your question is a valid one though I find it odd that you asked it on a forum dedicated to one of the afore mentioned emulators..

Why odd? If anything, this is the best forum to discuss such things.
I pondered the question because normally if you sell something which contains assets from a game, then gaming companies usually take action right away.
In the same way WoW server emulators who charge for access, are usually closed down quite quickly or threatened with lawsuits.
I have no problem with him selling what he does, he's obviously done a ton of work
 

Kiko

Citizen
"In the same way WoW server emulators who charge for access, are usually closed down quite quickly or threatened with lawsuits."
That is a valid point From what I understand any WoW emulator server faces legal action, not just those that charge for their players to have access As I am not a WoW enthusiast I could be wrong about that but you do bring up a good point. The difference between UO and Wow. Back when OSI ran the show they decided that they would let UO emulators exist as long as there was no charge for players. Still that does not stop people from asking the question of their legality.

Anyway as I said your question was a valid one and as I said Dark Shard still exists after all these years So either "the powers that be" are ignoring him or they don't know of his existence which is hard to believe. Usually violaters of IP are found pretty quickly
[doublepost=1524587756][/doublepost]Also I was reminded by Mahgnitton that he does not sell any art or IP from the actual client. He provides a Dragon BMP for conversion to a MUL and statics files and also a set of ready made MUL and statics files. As those do not contain any art from the game client they do not infringe on IP either
 

gametec

Rookie
Well you're wrong and you are right...

Carl, the webmaster and owner of DarkShard, is very much on the up and up. As Kiko pointed out, he has been selling his CD/USB for years. He also is careful to point out that what you are paying for is his endless hours of map work and the detail he puts into his maps. You're also paying for his high-resolution tile replacements and Dragon IMOD13. Everything else on the CD/USB is completely free and added as a complementary service; meaning he could pull all that great content simply because people are questioning his motives.

The point is, yes the maps use the art from the .mul files which Broadsword owns the rights to. However as Kiko also pointed out, Broadsword, nor Electronic Arts Inc., has ever come after anyone in the community for anything regarding emulating this ancient game. That means that the chances they care are about the same as having an airplane fall on your head while riding a roller coaster. I am a firm believer that everyone who partakes in this hobby is guilty of copyright infringement by emulating the game in the first place.

There are some who disagree, but in the end, the fact is, the game is not ours; at some point, way before me, hackers hijacked Ultima Online and then we all jumped on the bandwagon. So this argument is an historical one for sure, but it is as drawn out as listening to your parents complain over and over about the same topic; it's like an inmate crying out, "I'm innocent" in a jail full of convicts who all claim their innocent as well. So embrace yourselves and welcome to the Ultima Online underground :)
 

Kiko

Citizen
Actually the map mul and statics mul files do not contain any art from the game. They contain x, y, z coordinates, art tile and terrain numbers and hue numbers but no art I am referring to his maps but to my knowledge he has no art from the game He does have enhanced artwork but I am reasonably sure that is original Anyway as gametec said we could argue till the cows come home and the fact is Carl is still there
 

Kiko

Citizen
Here's an update to this thread:
I'm sorry I it took me so long to come back here for the update.
Carl Hamilton shut down his Dark Shard website some time ago. I contacted him when I found the site was unavailable and asked him what his plans were. He said he was not going to be selling his maps and resources any longer. I asked if he would consider donating the material contained on the DVD/Flash Drive to the POL community so that the wider UO community could make use of it. He said "Yes." and gave me permission to make it available for free to anyone who wanted to make use of his maps, custom artwork, or any other content from the Flash drive. The material is available on POL's GitHub repo. I realize anyone can clone the repo and create their own but if you do, please make it known that it originally came from the POL community.

One last thing, POL is the original home of UO Fiddler. It was created by Turley, a POL developer. Here is the official repo for UO Fiddler.
If you want to discuss UO Fiddler here is an invite to the polserver Discord server.