News: A game about US Presidential candidate Ron Paul has raised $10,000 on Kickstarter, but it’s been accused of stealing art assets and using a step-by-step tutorial on how to code a game in HTML5.
More Kickstarter! What a lovely service it is, allowing talented developers to raise funds so that they may work on wonderful games, and hire others to help them do so. There’s currently a suitably political Ron Paul-related game, in which you guide the US Presidential candidate around 50 states, winning gold and support along the way. It’s called Ron Paul: The Road to Revolution, and spectacularly it’s almost doubled its $5,000 goal already.
Says the developer: “The game is full of original artwork and gameplay mechanics. Indie Game Development at its finest, the game is designed, programmed, conceived, and produced by me, D.S. Williams.”
Mr. Williams also says the game’s coded entirely in HTML 5, and he hopes to port the game to iOS and Android in the future. But there appears to be something of a problem with the whole thing, as uncovered by Something Awful today.
They reckon he’s not being entirely truthful about the project.
Something Awful claim to have found some files in the Ron Paul game’s web directory, including the source code itself, which point to stolen assets and a code based on a step-by-step tutorial of how to code a platform game.
The game’s code leaves in a comment which reads: “A SMALL STEP-BY-STEP TUTORIAL FOR GAME CREATION.” Later in the code exists the following:
Step by step game creation tutorial
There’s nothing wrong with following tutorials, of course, but it comes across as a little disingenuous when the developer’s claiming to have programmed it all himself. And when he’s taking $10,000 to make it happen. The tutorial in question is beginner-level stuff, too, making you question why Mr. Williams has jumped headfirst into such a large project, investing so much of his players’ money.
It gets a bit worse, though. SA also noticed that an enemy in one of the screenshots looks suspiciously like George Bush’s face mapped onto a Monstar from Braid. Okay, you might be thinking – it’s a parody, or an homage. But then you look at Ron Paul’s character, and do a bit of digging, and you realise it’s his face drawn onto an exact sprite sheet that a fan’s drawn of Waluigi. A sheet that specifically asks anyone who uses it to provide credit.
I’m sure D.S. Williams is a lovely man who just wants to have a bit of fun, but he’s taken $10,000 of other people’s money on the claim that he’s doing something original and all on his own… and it simply isn’t true. Oopsy-daisy. We’ve contacted D.S. Williams to see what he has to say.