Weekly Challenge: Public Domain (due April 23)

Weekly Challenge: Public Domain (due April 23)

dannorder's picture

Not exactly a weekly challenge right now as much as art created in one week, really... but our next theme is:

"PD Quick" 

In other words, your interpretation of something that's in the public domain.

While there is some legal argument, items on this site or elsewhere that are marked as CC0 aren't technically in the public domain. Many legal jurisdictions automatically grant creators copyrights over their works. The CC0 tag is meant to signify that the owner wants to relinquish control over his or her art and make it usable as close as legally possible to public domain.

Things actually in the public domain don't need to be licensed in order to be freely usable by anyone. Legal copyrights just don't apply anymore. Most commonly it's due to how old they are. In the United States, for example, anything published before 1923 would automatically be public domain. There are other cases too, like works that were released at a time that required proper legal notice and didn't have it (no longer needed for newer creations), like the original Night of the Living Dead film. To be safe as possible I would choose something older than 1923 or that's positively identified as public domain by very reliable sources.

The challenge this time is to make game art based upon something that's public domain. Not just generic enough for use because the idea can't be copyright, but something that is identifiable in some way that could be under copyright, other than having definite proof that it isn't. Make sure the item that you are basing it on is an old or otherwise free version and not something identifiable as a more modern interpretation. For example, Bram Stoker's Dracula from the 1897 novel? Splendid. Gary Oldman's 1992 film version of the same vampire? As if! Original mythological Thor? Divine. Marvel's Thor? Nay, foul villain!

Example also include Sherlock Holmes, Snow White and Rose Red; Zeus, Hera, Heracles, King Midas and all the figures from Greek mythology; King Arthur with Excalibur, Merlin, the Knights of the Round Table, etc.; the fox and the sour grapes of yore; Gilgamesh and Enkidu; all of Edgar Allan Poe's work; Sinbad the sailor; Tom Tit Tot, Rumpelstiltskin and many fairy creatures; Frankenstein and his monster; Zorro; Catskin, Cinderlad, Cinderella and the like; H.G. Wells' oeuvre; Melusine; characters in Dante's Inferno; the Golem and Lilith and other Jewish characters; the Grim Reaper; Mother Earth; Cupid and Psyche; Faust and Mephistopheles... and on and on.

For a more items in the public domain, check an Internet resource, like last year's public domain game jam.

Pick what you want to work with, and then the challenge runs from Monday, April 17, to Sunday, April 23. So think about it up to Easter and then hop to it.

Since your new interpretation is your work, art you submit can carry a license other than CC0 if you desire, by the way. Just pick a license that works with this site. That's why I'm calling the challenge by a different name... because I'd hate to confuse people into thinking the resulting submissions are public domain,

Please post submissions to the regular art page but tag them Challenge and PD Quick. (Tags can be multiple words as long as the phrase is before a comma.) Other tags based upon your submission are also encouraged, naturally. And we don't need hashtags in front because we're not Twitter. Please link to your submission in this thread as well if you would so we can be alerted to it.

Love to see what we come up with...