Videogames are protected under First Amendement, rules U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court has today issued a final ruling that videogames qualify for First Amendment protection under the U.S. Constitution. Although the Supreme Court ruling seems to me to be a completely obvious and common-sense decision, this is being reported as a landmark ruling and apparently sets a major precedent — one that may also affect machinima in future.

APIStudios releases selected art assets, as Creative Commons Attribution

APIStudios has kindly just released some of their concept art and game tile assets for their online game Gods and Idols on OpenGameArt, under a generous Creative Commons Attribution licence. So you can use these backgrounds commercially if you want. You must include a Web link back to in your attribution / crediting of this content if you use it in your animation, graphic novel, webcomic, etc, or if you use one as a base layer for your overlaid digital matte painting. I’m afraid I’ve been unable to find the name of the original matte artist. Possibly it’s the game’s Swedish developer himself?

They’re all supplied as square 512px tiles, but I’ve gone through and cropped and converted to character-free and FX-free backgrounds at a background size of 1280px x 720px widescreen. Some filtering and blurring and cloning has gone on to hide most of the jaggies that sometimes resulted from the Photoshop upscaling. The 36 background mattes that survived the selection process generally stand up fairly well. If you’re planning to scale down your 1280px x 720px widescreen machinima movie by 50% for online viewing, most of the artifacts will probably be erased by the downscaling and the video compression.

Download here