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Pre-Dom War V - Caution

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polycounter lvl 13
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Emil Mujanovic polycounter lvl 13
The submission date is looming ever so close and there have been some amazing entries from the talented members of the Polycount Community. A bunch of new faces came to represent for the Green and Black and massive props go out to everyone who participated in the challenge.


However, I need to bring something to the attention to all the entrants (present and future). You may have noticed this small disclaimer at the bottom of the submissions page (you must be logged in at Game-Artisans to get to the submissions form).

pdwv-disclaimer.jpg

This may be something harmless and a way to generate funds to expand the ever growing Game-Artisans Community. But bare in mind that there was no mention of selling artwork in the rules/brief before the contest started, it wasn’t added during the contests duration and it was only brought to the attention of all the forum mods/admins involved less than a week ago. So this is new to us as it is to you.


So why have we flagged this as a caution? Because we at Polycount like to protect our community and all the members within it.

Polycount has dealt with Fred and Game-Artisans since the first Dominance War and we continued the relationship to the Unearthly Challenge also. In that time, the practice and conduct of these contests have been sketchy at best with the constant delays, poor judging system, missing prizes, lack of communication and always in search of donations and sponsors.

Now we have a new addition to that list, where Game-Artisans will be selling your artwork for their own financial gain. That’s right! The artwork you’ve spent the last several weeks producing in your own spare time will be put onto the market and sold.

I personally asked Fred if the contributing artists would be compensated from the sale of their artwork. And was met with an abrupt no. Followed by this direct quote from Fred himself:
“Yup, this might make a few artists angry… but, not my problem.” – Fred Hultqvist


I have dealt with Fred and Game-Artisans personally and I'm also in direct contact with others in the same position and have experienced this kind of misconduct first hand time and time again. This latest incident has broken any trust that we at Polycount had left and we'll question any further relationship Polycount has with Game-Artisans.


Source: http://www.polycount.com/2010/12/05/pre-dom-war-v-caution/

Discuss.

Replies

  • Bigjohn
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    Bigjohn polycounter lvl 9
    Doesn't really bother me much. Would have been nice if stuff like this was advertised ahead of time though. Kindof annoying to hear about it after the fact.
  • Jason Young
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    Jason Young polycounter lvl 10
    As long as you can opt-out I don't see a problem with it. It might actually get people some extra recognition as well, which wouldn't be terrible. It seems like sort of an odd thing to sell, though. Anyone can freely download the images of a comp. already. I'd rather see the top 10 people(that agree to it) submit extra making-of materials that get sold for a small price and share some of the profits as well.

    I'm all for them making some money if it means things run more smoothly, but that's going to be an ongoing concern until there is finally a comp that doesn't get fucked up somehow. I really thought cc this year was going to do it, but we all know how that worked out.
  • Emil Mujanovic
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    Emil Mujanovic polycounter lvl 13
    Well... If me and a few other forum admins didn't raise a fuss, there wouldn't even be a checkbox option. All the artwork would have gone on sale without any consent from the original authors.
  • Bigjohn
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    Bigjohn polycounter lvl 9
    Well... If me and a few other forum admins didn't raise a fuss, there wouldn't even be a checkbox option. All the artwork would have gone on sale without any consent from the original authors.

    Yeah. Good thing that you did then.

    It's good to at least know.
  • Gav
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    Gav quad damage
    Whatever happened to a friendly competition between rival forums? Mo' money mo' problems, am I right guys?

    For some reason, this doesn't sit too well with me. I get that funds are needed to run this sort of thing (though, no one asked for it to be this Xtreme and fancy) but it seems kind of scummy to charge people money for images they could just find on their own with no extra "behind the scenes" or extra information.

    It would be nice if these funds actually made the competitions we participate in run smoothly rather than opening a studio %5 of us will ever visit...just sayin'
  • Arkadius
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    Arkadius polycounter lvl 10
    I don't know what to make of this. I think it is Fred's Attitude that Scares me. Maybe the quote was misunderstood? Just maybe? :/
  • Jason Young
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    Jason Young polycounter lvl 10
    Well... If me and a few other forum admins didn't raise a fuss, there wouldn't even be a checkbox option. All the artwork would have gone on sale without any consent from the original authors.

    Ah, I didn't realize that. Thanks for looking out, and that's pretty fucked that they were planning on selling the content without telling people.
  • dfacto
    Well... If me and a few other forum admins didn't raise a fuss, there wouldn't even be a checkbox option. All the artwork would have gone on sale without any consent from the original authors.

    Um, isn't that illegal?
  • Zipfinator
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    Zipfinator polycounter lvl 9
    dfacto wrote: »
    Um, isn't that illegal?

    I'm sure they would have put something in the agreement when you submit about it. It probably would have been that if you enter, your work is open to being sold. If you didn't want it to be sold, you just couldn't have entered. Glad people fought against it.
  • Bigjohn
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    Bigjohn polycounter lvl 9
    DKK wrote: »
    Yeah, and how about the fact that it hits every sites bandwidth, and without all the other forums there wouldn't be this grandiose contest, surely every site should be involved in fiscal gain?

    Well, to be fair, and really I do love Polycount, but who else even runs competitions like this?

    That's the main reason I spend most of my time on GA rather than PC, the comps and minicomps.

    So yeah, Domwar uses bandwidth in a way from all the other forums, but no other forum runs a competition of this magnitude.
  • crazyfingers
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    crazyfingers polycounter lvl 10
    Disturbing to say the least. I wont be checking the Yes box considering our community wont be seeing any of the money should my entry do well in the competition.

    Maybe it's time to start planning other serious art competitions without all this BS. I know a lot of artists who are itchin' for more challenges.
  • Jesse Moody
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    Jesse Moody polycounter lvl 13
    Yeah this is why I do not help in any way what so ever anymore with anything GA contest related. I got sick of the delays, broken promises, shadyness of everything, some people not getting prizes, and just how unorganized it really was and still is.

    These contests were never to better the community. It was a way for someone to line their pockets and it has worked. I mean seriously. GA - MONTREAL? Yeah why not just pour that money back into the community in other ways?

    Oh well... Like Emil said... Enter at your own risk. Glad we could warn you guys.
  • Muzzoid
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    Muzzoid polycounter lvl 10
    This is rediculous and unacceptable.
  • JasonLavoie
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    JasonLavoie polycounter lvl 12
    [ame]

    nuff said.
  • SnakeDoctor
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    SnakeDoctor keyframe
    I have never been that active in Game artisans forums. Why dosnt polycount do their own contests? Hope I am not stepping on any toes, just would like to know.
  • ZacD
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    ZacD polycounter
    ew, lack of compensation and taking advantage of artists? Not cool, I say we boycott the real dom-war and do our own character challenge...
  • Gav
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    Gav quad damage
    Might I suggest Polycount Swordfight 2011?
  • Tyler
    I smell a boycott incoming.

    I'm sorry but this is just screwed up!

    Edit: If any artists would rather do exactly as above, but make some money from THEIR work if money is made. Just join an indie team. ;)
  • Bigjohn
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    Bigjohn polycounter lvl 9
    Tyler wrote: »
    I smell a boycott incoming.

    I'm sorry but this is just screwed up!

    Edit: If any artists would rather do exactly as above, but make some money from THEIR work if money is made. Just join an indie team. ;)

    Really not the best time/place to pimp your mod team dude.
  • Anuxinamoon
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    Anuxinamoon polycounter lvl 11
    To me, this move has just proven to myself why I stopped doing any GA challenges.

    Thank you for bringing this to attention and for looking out for the community. <3
  • Bigjohn
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    Bigjohn polycounter lvl 9
    Gav wrote: »
    Might I suggest Polycount Swordfight 2011?

    lightsaber.jpg
  • Hazardous
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    Hazardous polycounter lvl 12
    Gav wrote: »
    Whatever happened to a friendly competition between rival forums? Mo' money mo' problems, am I right guys?

    For some reason, this doesn't sit too well with me. I get that funds are needed to run this sort of thing (though, no one asked for it to be this Xtreme and fancy) but it seems kind of scummy to charge people money for images they could just find on their own with no extra "behind the scenes" or extra information.

    It would be nice if these funds actually made the competitions we participate in run smoothly rather than opening a studio %5 of us will ever visit...just sayin'

    I agree with this completely.

    Withdrawn all interest in supporting GameArtisans, will not be posting and will no longer be active there any more. I also wont be participating in any of the contests from this moment onward.

    Tis extremely sad, I've enjoyed doing stuff for the comicon challenges for the past 2 years.

    However, this doesnt stop me from say....... reading about the rules of the competition elsewhere.... making the art that I WOULD make for the competition, but then not entering the comp, and instead posting up all the high res images in as many places as possible outside of GA for people to download for free! :)

    Still, its a dick move.
  • ae.
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    ae. polycounter lvl 9
    After the cluster fuck of Unearthly Challenge i sworn off entering any other competitions that GA hosts, I understand it takes alot of time to get everything sorted out but if its too big for you dont do them.

    I would gladly enter a contest polycount hosts! the TF2 contest was a huge success and instead of taking any money for themselves polycount was able to give several members of this forums alot of money!

    Cheers,

    Arman
  • ErichWK
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    ErichWK polycounter lvl 10
    I really dont get why Fred's answer to you, Emil was so..cold. Is it that hard to give 50% compensation? I mean, yea they need bandwidth, but it's OUR work that bring the people to THEIR site. Meaning without the little guys they wouldn't be getting the traffic.
  • blaaargh
    ErichWK wrote: »
    I really dont get why Fred's answer to you, Emil was so..cold. Is it that hard to give 50% compensation? I mean, yea they need bandwidth, but it's OUR work that bring the people to THEIR site. Meaning without the little guys they wouldn't be getting the traffic.

    so, the reason for people like you to participate in GA contests is to generate exclusive content for Fred, and you want your cut of the profit?

    do you actually mean that? seriously, wtf?
  • Emil Mujanovic
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    Emil Mujanovic polycounter lvl 13
    blaaargh wrote: »
    so, the reason for people like you to participate in GA contests is to generate exclusive content for Fred, and you want your cut of the profit?

    do you actually mean that? seriously, wtf?
    Since when is the Dominance War/Unearthly Challenge/Comicon Challenge about generating exclusive content for Fred? Those words should be never phrased in that order ever again!

    These contests are to generate content for artist folios, to demonstrate the level of quality other artists can produce, to learn from one another. Not to fuck each other over for a quick buck.
  • Steve Schulze
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    Steve Schulze polycounter lvl 15
    I don't feel like enough facts are known clearly enough to form any hard and fast opinions about what's going on here. Certainly there are some very concerning aspects, but I'm not about to grab my pitchfork until I feel like I've seen the whole picture.

    There's a thread on Game Artisans here:
    http://www.gameartisans.org/forums/showthread.php?t=18042&page=2
    It'd be advisable to keep an eye on it. Fred has said that he's going to tell his side of the story.

    Until then I suggest people simmer down and desist from any stupid inter-forum flamewars.
  • Rico
    So was it first "If you don't let me sell your work, your entry won't be accepted?"

    http://forums.cgsociety.org/showpost.php?p=6786595&postcount=2

    With a little guilt trip at the end?

    So now with the help of the mods it is now optional?

    If this is so, why thank you kind sirs! You guys are the ones that care about the artists!
  • murph
    just to play devil's advocate......

    we have the option to not allow the usage of our art, correct? It seems a little weird to not compensate the artists, but I wasn't getting paid for it anyways, so at the very least it would be a good way to get your work out there for people to see... right?
  • Emil Mujanovic
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    Emil Mujanovic polycounter lvl 13
    Jackablade wrote: »
    I don't feel like enough facts are known clearly enough to form any hard and fast opinions about what's going on here. Certainly there are some very concerning aspects, but I'm not about to grab my pitchfork until I feel like I've seen the whole picture.

    There's a thread on Game Artisans here:
    http://www.gameartisans.org/forums/showthread.php?t=18042&page=2
    It'd be advisable to keep an eye on it. Fred has said that he's going to tell his side of the story.

    Until then I suggest people simmer down and desist from any stupid inter-forum flamewars.


    What facts are you after exactly?

    My post was regarding the late addition of this new information regarding the sale of artwork submitted by the entrants. If you go to the submissions page (linked in my first post), log in to Game-Artisans and do a fake submission. You'll see it there for yourself.

    I don't understand why people are so up in arms about me notifying the community about this. CGHUB and CGSociety both did the same (as I mentioned over in the GA Thread).

    LINKS:
    http://cghub.com/forum/showpost.php?p=55328&postcount=11
    http://forums.cgsociety.org/showpost.php?p=6786595&postcount=2
  • Emil Mujanovic
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    Emil Mujanovic polycounter lvl 13
    Rico wrote: »
    So was it first "If you don't let me sell your work, your entry won't be accepted?"
    I wouldn't phrase it quite like that. It was more along the lines of, if you submit, then you're artwork will be compiled in one location then sold. If you don't agree, then don't submit.

    But yes, a select few of us questioned Fred regarding this, and because of this the option was then later added.
  • ErichWK
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    ErichWK polycounter lvl 10
    blaaargh wrote: »
    so, the reason for people like you to participate in GA contests is to generate exclusive content for Fred, and you want your cut of the profit?

    do you actually mean that? seriously, wtf?


    Wait what? No no..I didn't mean that at all. I just meant it seems like a bummer that they get a cut of a profit for something we do for free, and when its our work that gets them the web traffic. Ya know? If I had my way, everything be free!
  • blaaargh
    DKK wrote: »
    Just out of curiosity has any Dom War winner ever gotten their "Prizes"?

    yes, and more than just a physical prizes - many people got jobs, portfolio pieces, practice and training.

    now, when after successfully running DW four times, Fred wants to make it somewhat profitable, this stuff pops up. I think it's just unfair and unthankful.

    I apologize for being rude to Emil, really there's not enough information right now to judge this situation. Let's hear what Fred has to say.
  • pior
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    pior veteran polycounter
    Blargh : I totally disagree. Yes, prizes were given, but the fact that artists landed jobs is totally thanks to ... the artists themselves. I can assure you that without DW, the same artists would have gotten jobs just as well, only through different means or portfolio pieces. Emil didnt do anything bad, he just posted a screenshot of a quote from the DW public submission form that was unknown to many. The art package thing is nowhere mentioned on the DW main pages - only in the submission form that one accesses after login on GA (or maybe I missed it ?). Everybody can now make their own informed judgement.
  • blaaargh
    ErichWK wrote: »
    Wait what? No no..I didn't mean that at all. I just meant it seems like a bummer that they get a cut of a profit for something we do for free, and when its our work that gets them the web traffic. Ya know? If I had my way, everything be free!

    Huge thing like DW can't be run on pure enthusiasm, there's always money involved.

    On the other hand - yes we do it for free, literally, but there's almost always positive outcome to this for each artist, I mentioned above. It always been like that, I see no reason to ruin it now.
  • blaaargh
    pior wrote: »
    Blargh : I totally disagree. Yes, prizes were given, but the artists landing jobs is totally thanks to ... the artists themselves. I can assure you that without DW, the same artists would have gotten jobs just as well, only through different means or portfolio pieces.

    You're wrong, you can apply the same logic to every major website hosting artist's portfolios, take DA or CGhub for example. Without those galleries and forums many people would end up doing some shitty work they're not supposed to.

    I know quite a few talented people who got themselves into community through DW and similar contests, you just can't deny the fact that DW is a huge help for many people out there.
  • kwakkie
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    kwakkie polycounter lvl 12
    This could be just for something minor like those posters they made and sold last time?
  • Emil Mujanovic
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    Emil Mujanovic polycounter lvl 13
    blaaarg, money involved?
    We ran a Team Fortress 2 Contest not too long ago, maybe you saw it, maybe you didn't. We has so much traffic that it took Polycount down and made it run slow for weeks (we had no banner ads at the time either - so no revenue from that).

    The contest started as scheduled, it ended as scheduled, the winners were announced as scheduled. The winner got their items put into the game, these items were later sold by Valve and what do you know... The original artists were actually paid as well. Substantially! An average of US$40,000 for the first few weeks of sales.

    So your jab back at GA.
    blaaargh wrote: »
    I say, If you have a secret knowledge of how to do it better - make your own damn contest, you had enough time to pull that off, instead of ranting like a douche.
    Well... We did have our own contest and yes... We ran it far better and was significantly successful too. The only people that made money, were the winners of our contest.
  • pior
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    pior veteran polycounter
    Blargh, i dont think its true still. Contests are great for motivation, thats for sure - but they dont have to cost much at all - no prizes are necessary, I dont think anyone enters them for the prizes anyways!

    For instance the DW mini comp from last year was a success because there was a cool Bobo basemesh to sculpt from, and something like that could be run off a Blogger page (well maybe not for bandwith reasons, but you get the gist). Anyways - i think its cool that, again, every can now make their own judgement.
  • blaaargh
    DKK wrote: »
    I though I remembered Rawkstar saying he had yet to get his stuff from the first one.

    What I don't understand is if it's too much for him to handle financially, then why does he increase the scope of it each year?

    because people expect this thing to grow along with community, otherwise they would lose the interest quickly. It's natural

    again, so far it was good, four successful contests, each new one better than previous. Yes it's very hard to handle for a small team of enthusiasts, no doubt about that,

    but it doesn't mean Fred should give up and quit, instead he looks for opportunities to make some money out of it, to make it run. Is it so hard to realise guys?
  • blaaargh
    kwakkie wrote: »
    This could be just for something minor like those posters they made and sold last time?

    To be honest, I can hardly believe this whole thing with selling art packs for 2 euros will bring shitload of money to GA. Not to mention possible profit sharing.
  • crazyfingers
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    crazyfingers polycounter lvl 10
    Blaaargh, this really isn't the place for Kissing Fred's ass, and as stated, profit sharing was shut down cold in the correspondence between forums.
  • Jesse Moody
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    Jesse Moody polycounter lvl 13
    blaaargh wrote: »
    To be honest, I can hardly believe this whole thing with selling art packs for 2 euros will bring shitload of money to GA. Not to mention possible profit sharing.

    It's not about the cost about it. It is more about the principle of the whole thing.

    Say I run another FPS challenge over here and have everyone upload their guns and materials when done and I then sell those on turbosquid or some other site, without giving anything back to the original artists.

    Sure they didn't have to join and I spent my free time working on the write ups, reviews, etc but in the end the work belongs to the artist and not me so why should I get paid?

    Do you not see how that is pretty jacked up?
  • blaaargh
    blaaarg, money involved?
    We ran a Team Fortress 2 Contest not too long ago, maybe you saw it, maybe you didn't. We has so much traffic that it took Polycount down and made it run slow for weeks (we had no banner ads at the time either - so no revenue from that).

    The contest started as scheduled, it ended as scheduled, the winners were announced as scheduled. The winner got their items put into the game, these items were later sold by Valve and what do you know... The original artists were actually paid as well. Substantially! An average of US$40,000 for the first few weeks of sales.

    So your jab back at GA.

    Well... We did have our own contest and yes... We ran it far better and was significantly successful too. The only people that made money, were the winners of our contest.

    Sorry, that's not really correct comparison

    For TF2 you used already established Valve marketplace, something that wasn't made by you, and something that cost ALOT more to build and support, agree?

    While I respect the fact you guys pulled that off, considering traffic and managing the contest - it's not the same thing.

    DW was built from scratch by handful of people, and wasn't profitable at all, for all I know. It takes little effort to ruin it.
  • pior
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    pior veteran polycounter
    I dont think the issue is about the amount of money to be potentially generated by that (who would pay for such a thing anyways ? It would be uploaded for free or recompiled from wip threads images within minutes!) its more about the little footnote being so hidden from the main announcement.
  • blaaargh
    Blaaargh, this really isn't the place for Kissing Fred's ass, and as stated, profit sharing was shut down cold in the correspondence between forums.

    what is this place then? for bashing Fred for all he did?
  • Tom Ellis
    My thoughts have already been outlined plenty of times by various PC members but Blaaaargh, know your place, know who youre talking to.

    Now take your toys, and go home to bed little boy.
  • crazyfingers
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    crazyfingers polycounter lvl 10
    The Team fortress 2 contest proved there is indeed a markets for art generated by communities like ours.

    The contests run by GA could easily be slightly modified to be used to export art from contestents into future games. In fact there are probably a handful of titles that could use the rigs and characters generated from this competition as is with no bending of how the contest is run. I made a post prior to this fiasco in the polycount collaboration forum suggesting we could take all the art from these contests, put 'em together and make something tangible, it's not a stretch.

    So the big issue here is do we want contests hosted by a site that requires chunks of potential profit in order to maintain these competitions? Do we want contests that bring art into games at all? since this could literally change how game art is created for games if the contests are found to be far more profitable than employing actual artists.

    Maybe i'm thinking too much into all this, but maybe GA has too.
  • blaaargh
    okay that changes everything
  • killingpeople
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