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1038114 Posts in 41949 Topics- by 33561 Members - Latest Member: pixelone

September 01, 2014, 03:34:36 PM
TIGSource ForumsCommunityTownhall[WARNING] MildMania Studio and the true story of "Darklings"
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Author Topic: [WARNING] MildMania Studio and the true story of "Darklings"  (Read 2775 times)
undream
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« on: September 15, 2013, 05:43:08 AM »


~
UPDATE: https://medium.com/murat-pak/a820c916a9a9
~


Hello TIG!

Today is not my best day ever. I am going to write the story of a huge theft that is happening right now. But first things first, let me introduce myself.

I am Murat Pak, a multi-disciplinary designer with many awards including two times finalist of Vimeo awards. Please feel free to google me (https://www.google.com/search?q=Murat+Pak). I can categorise myself as an established designer known and respected in most of the existing Motion Design communities worldwide.

I do freelance with the name Undream. Feel free have a look at what I do and who I worked with so far (http://undream.net). Most of the stuff you see on the website are single person projects.

Those being said, I've started having huge interest on Game Design for the last few years and worked on a game called "Monomons" for around one and a half year under the name of "Buggum". We've made an agreement with Chillingo to release it, everything was going decent.

I had the role to create all of the designs, art direction, direction, technical direction (including algorithms); however besides all those I found myself coding shaders and connecting nodes since my team mates were the wrong choice for me. Slow, without passion and self-responsibility.. I felt like I had to carry two more people in the hard path to success; asking myself why I was doing this to myself every single day. In the end, I had a burnout and lost my trust to them. Had to split up Buggum.

Here is a picdump includes various screengrabs from the game and from the design process before we split up: http://imgur.com/a/OflgJ. The main reason I am posting this is to support what I am going to say next:

As a result, we had to make a deal about "Monomons", since the game was pretty unique. I told them I could find better developers to start over the programming; therefore they took their code and left everything that belonged to me, to me. And I started over to the whole game.

However; that's not what really happened. They continued working on the existing copy of the repository, made an agreement with a designer, modified the visuals a little bit (barely enough to avoid legal issues); viola! They have a new(!) game.

I warned them face to face about the ethics and legal issues. They don't really seem to understand or care.. I honestly don't think they had the guts and creativity start over to a barely new game instead of stealing my work. But this, this is too much.

Now, you can see these people as MildMania studio with their new game "Darklings", stealing what I created and using that against me (http://www.mildmania.com/darklings). They even have a page about "how it all started" in their dishonest blog (http://www.mildmania.com/blog/2013/9/9/how-it-all-started ) - trying to prove their lies to everyone else. Why would anyone need to explain "how it started"? Please have a look at everything and judge this situation yourself. Compare the imgur picture dump I posted to the existing game they seem to "create" (http://imgur.com/a/OflgJ).

The reason I'm writing all of this to TIG is because I think this is completely unfair. I know that the indie gaming communities are not forgiving to the people who steal.

I also don't know their potential or if they have agreed with any publishers. This is exactly why I don't want to over-talk about this. I have a decent reach in design communities but cautious to talk about all of this all over the place since I also don't want to advertise my thieves' game.

I did all I could do to reach most of the publishers I could reach to notify them about a possible "copycat" (more than a copycat at this case) of what I'm creating at Undream, but that's obviously all I can do at this point.

I think most of the indie game blogs should be reading TIG; and crossing fingers to make them see this post before it's too late. If everything's too late, I'll make what I have opensource for anyone to release/modify/use freely.

Waiting for your opinions,


Update: You can read more about the story here http://indiestatik.com/2013/09/16/monomons-is-a-game-at-the-heart-of-an-indie-studio-divorce-gone-wrong/
« Last Edit: March 20, 2014, 04:29:19 AM by undream » Logged
Whiteclaws
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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2013, 06:32:59 AM »

You could get the indie blogs to warn people , but sincerely , who other than the indie devs read those blogs , if they get the game on the appstore and it gets popular , you won't be able to do anything , because most of the casual crowd doesn't read those blogs , On a sidenote , I don't know much about the legal side ... I'll let the more experienced people talk about that .

Oh and also , the post below ...
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undream
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« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2013, 06:54:12 AM »

I could only contact a few indie blogs so far. As far as I am informed, they will not publicly speak about what has happened of course, but they will also not talk about the copycat when it's released. That, to me, is a good thing.

Also legal issues will require a lot of $$$ for a case like this as far as I could research. As an indie dev, I would prefer to spend that to a new creation instead of neverending legal battles.
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Whiteclaws
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« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2013, 07:31:09 AM »

Yeah , I suggest starting something new and better ... even if they get a lot of $$$ out of this , they won't be able to make something as good as what they published , as they don't have "you" in their team ... Also , it's not all dark , you leant a lot of this experience and I'm sure you'll be able to make something even better and maybe the next angry bird Smiley

And if you do , start a devlog here , we are a big community here and the feedback you'll get will be considerable , and most of the projects around get a popularity kickstart , like Anodyne that sold a lot of steam !

Finally , is your name here ?
Quote
In the beginning, the universe was filled with stars.. Umm, no no.., in the beginning, our staff was consisted of only 3 people. Namely, Emre, Burkay and our designer Juan.. We think that instead of showing you the meaningless development staff ( blowing cubes, unmaterialized spheres ) it's better to show you first drawings of the Darklings..

Edit :

Hmmmm... yeah , if they really had nothing to loose , they would credit you , that seems like a solid proof that they want to erase you from they history
« Last Edit: September 15, 2013, 08:28:54 AM by Whiteclaws » Logged

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mildmania
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« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2013, 07:57:50 AM »

Actually, we tried everything we can,

http://www.mildmania.com/response-to-false-and-unfair-accusation-about-mildmania-studio-true-story-of-darklings/

And again We're open to answer everything about this accusation.
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undream
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« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2013, 08:13:18 AM »

Do you really believe in what you write in that post of yours? Oh boy. Where should I start correcting all that mess.

To start with: As far as I can show, I have plenty of work in my portfolio (http://undream.net). I've worked with big brands so far, got plenty of reputation in my area. I'm not telling this to state how good I am, but I am giving all this information to support one simple thing: Why would I risk all this for a company with members who has nothing to lose?. I can understand this shot of yours, mildmania, and hope for the best for this one shot to succeed.

Every weird shit on the blog to one side, I really loved this one the most, which makes me laugh out loud:

Quote
To tell the truth, We decided almost everything on this game together, while he was working with us, so he didn't make any of the so called Technical Direction or anything else. He made a one shader that is one simple line of code and he now says that he was in the development all time. Which is funny.

I'm speechless. Where should I start correcting all that dev-porn.

After all that blog post you made, you are telling pretty-pink stories that needs to be corrected line by line, word by word by in the end you still leave the audience with one single thing: You game is a copycat. It IS obvious. You're stating that you changed the designs like you state everything; but.. where is it?

Just look at the picture dump, and do the comparison yourself for the "changed designs" (first post).

Tards.

Release your game. Good luck with that.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2013, 02:18:19 PM by undream » Logged
orihaus
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« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2013, 08:21:13 AM »

Quote
Finally , is your name here ?
Nope, and that's exactly the point. Why credit someone you are trying to erase from your history?

http://www.mildmania.com/response-to-false-and-unfair-accusation-about-mildmania-studio-true-story-of-darklings/


So now they're acknowledging Undream worked with them and also that they aren't compensating him for his work, and somehow it's them that's being unfair? I'd have more sympathy with them if instead of making out that his contributions were insubstantial as they did for about 50% of the post, they talked about how they were going to settle. Notice they only said what he /didn't/ do as opposed to what he did do. That said, I think both parties need to be more forthcoming as to how to finish this dispute, it's clear that Undream deserves at least something from the game. Simply fighting over who did what isn't going to get far, as the objective truth is going to be buried, even with screenshots from both sides (Though I notice only Undream has been forthcoming with these).
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offal
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« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2013, 08:38:29 AM »

I think the defensive, entitled, and accusatory tone of MildMania's post on the subject says more than you could.

As Orihaus mentioned, it obviously matters very little 'who-did-what-when', and any public argument to that end will be fruitless. The simple fact is that Murat worked on the game: his very distinct, singular visual style makes that clear; and that MildMania are trying to justify using his (collaborative, uncompensated) work against his wishes.

Glad you had the guts to go public with these details before the game is published/released, at which point recouping rights to your work (nevermind profits they make) will become hellish.

Hopefully MildMania responds appropriately to avoid not only wronging you, but permanently souring their own reputation.
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undream
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« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2013, 05:58:52 AM »

Update: You can read more about the story here http://indiestatik.com/2013/09/16/monomons-is-a-game-at-the-heart-of-an-indie-studio-divorce-gone-wrong/
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