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Notes on Paintown from Author Jon Rafkind
Jon Rafkind is the author of Paintown, one of the projects covered in this column in the August 2010 issue of LJ (www.linuxjournal.com/article/10765). He wrote us the following in regard to the controversy between himself and the Beats of Rage Project mentioned in that article:
In 2004, I searched the Internet for fighting games that would run on Linux. I didn't find much, but I did find Beats of Rage (BoR). I attempted to port BoR to Linux, but it was a hassle, and so I decided to start a project from scratch. I did not start with the code from BoR and modify it; I wrote the first file starting from an empty buffer.
I did take most of the graphics from BoR, so I could get a game up and running quickly. I noted this in the LEGAL file in the project source with the following lines:
data/bgs/**/*.png - http://www.senileteam.com/games.php#bor. data/chars/**/*.png - http://www.senileteam.com/games.php#bor. data/sprites/**/*.png - http://www.senileteam.com/games.php#bor
I felt this was enough credit to the BoR team, seeing as how that was all I used from the project. It is not surprising that the Paintown and BoR engines look similar because they use the same graphics (for now), but the level of sharing ends there. I have been trying to replace the main graphics in Paintown for a while (I even started a river of ransom clone), but so far, I still am using the BoR graphics.
The BoR people were upset that I was “ripping them off” and made various claims about me stealing parts of their game. Here is a thread on the BoR forums in which I tried to clarify their complaints: www.senileteam.com/forum_thread(84).html.
I asked them in a respectful manner what elements of their game I ripped off, but unfortunately, the BoR creator, Roel, did not want to respond to my request and instead insulted me. Eventually I added “Senile” to the credits list of Paintown, although I don't think anyone in the BoR community knows about this. I have never been confronted by anyone in the BoR community with specific examples of things I stole from them (other than graphics, which I didn't “steal”), although a few members have made vague statements that I “stole stuff”.
Paintown was rightfully pulled from PlayDeb.net because it uses copyright art. I never asked for Paintown to be hosted on PlayDeb.net, so I don't mind this decision.
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John Knight is a 26-year-old, drumming- and climbing-obsessed maniac from the world's most isolated city—Perth, Western Australia. He can usually be found either buried in an Audacity screen or thrashing a kick-drum beyond recognition.
John Knight is the New Projects columnist for Linux Journal.
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