This story really upset me, but let’s start from the beginning for context’s sake.
I’ve been following Chris Hildenbrand’s blog 2D Game Art for Programmers since the very beginning because it’s absolutely amazing. He gives hope to talentless and desperate programmers like me, so we can go and make games that won’t make people want to pull their eyes out. Just a few intelligently placed shapes, some smart shading and you’ve got decent art. Moreover, everything is done with Inkscape, which is free and open source.
2D Game Art for Programmers has enabled me to produce art for Math Maze and Evolution among other stuff. Hey, they look pretty okay to me, don’t they? Thanks for that, Chris.
Chris’ tutorials are well thought out and beautifully crafted. They must take bloody hours to put together! In order to justify such an enormous time investment, Chris has a few premium assets and guides for which you have to pay a small amount of money. One example are his Block Buddies.
Now for the outrageous part.
Last weekend Chris contacted me about Viope, an e-learning company. They had shamelessly created a 129€ (£92/$137) tutorial directly from his free assets. I’m not talking about them using Chris’ tutorials to learn and then make a paid course of their own, which would have been legitimate. This is a 1:1 copy of the original work. Additionally, they copied other tutorials and published them as free samples of the course.
Chris gives more details on his website.
Hilariously, Viope made a promotional video which includes the character I made for Evolution. They are mad if they can attract customers with my art. Ridiculous.
Understandably, this affects Chris’ motivation to produce more awesome work for free. He was in the middle of publishing a series of articles on how to design art for a whole game from scratch. He cannot get enough kudos for that.
It’s enraging to see how easy it is for an company of doubious morale to take possession of something it’s not theirs and re-publish it for profit. Fortunately, Chris is talking to his lawyer and Viope seem to have taken the course down for the time being.
Hope it gets fixed soon mate.