OpenGameArt.org the cure for 'Programmer Art'
- Posted: Dec 18, 2013 at 6:00AM
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No code! Yep, no code in today's post. Instead I'm going to highlight a very handy resource, one that anyone building a game will find handy...
This is the Open Game Art FAQ. If you've got a question that you think should be here, head over to our Contact form and drop us a line.
Please read our content submission guidelines before posting art.
- Can I upload content by someone other than me? What about anonymous, public domain art?
- Someone uploaded my art here without my permission. Can you take it down?
- Aren't there other sites out there like this?
- What's the purpose of this site?
- I'm a commercial (closed-source) game developer. Can I use this art?
- What kind of art can I submit?
- How do you plan to get enough good art to keep this site interesting?
- I submitted my art and it isn't on the site yet! What happened?
- I want to help, but I'm not an artist. What can I do?
- Can I use this art in my Free/Open Source game?
- Aren't CC-BY and CC-BY-SA incompatible with the GPL?
- I have some content under the WTFPL. Can I submit it?
- Explanation of the licenses allowed on OpenGameArt.org
- How is it decided which art requests are done first? What can I do to help?
- Can I still sell art that I've contributed to OpenGameArt.org?
- I'm a commercial artist. Can I use OpenGameArt.org to advertise my paid work?
- Does the GPL have an attribution requirement? How should I attribute GPLed works here on OGA?
- Some artists have multiple licenses listed. Does that mean you need apply the rules of all licenses or can we pick the one license we prefer?
- Can an artist edit and change their license requirements? If so, what impact would that have on me and my project that already uses that asset?
- I made a 3D model (or song) but I'm not sure where I got my textures (or samples). Can I submit it?
- IRC / Web Chat rules
- How can I put a Flattr icon on my art pages?
- Forum Rules
Yes and no.
There are plenty of other sites out there, but they aren't necessarily conducive to finding good game art that can be used legally in open source games. To be a good source for this kind of content, a site should be:
- Human-edited for quality
- Clear about licensing, so that you're sure any art on the site can legally be used in a Free/Open Source game or other program
- Have firm ground rules about what can be submitted
Some art sites serve as places where artists can post their work and get critiques. While some of these artists are willing to license their work out in a way that's compatible with free/open source software, it can be very difficult to find art that's appropriately licensed.
Other sites provide sprites for use, but they allow people to contribute sprites that have been "ripped" from games, and are therefore in violation of copyright.
Finally, it should be noted that Free Art Search provides a massive index of a lot of art that already exists in Free/Open Source projects and is a great place to go if you're searching for open art.
If you've ever browsed Free/Open Source game sites (such as The Linux Game Tome, you'll notice that a fairly significant number of the games available suffer from what's lovingly referred to as 'programmer art'. There are, of course, some notable exceptions to this, but it's clear that, for an open source game to produce good art, it has to become large and popular enough to attract artists.
Unfortunately, many fun and well-designed games never reach this point and are thus stuck with placeholder art, which ultimately detracts from their appeal and popularity. Furthermore, it's not unheard of for open source projects to rip their placeholder art from commercial games, which is illegal and could conceivably result in a lawsuit.
The purpose of this site is to provide a solid (and hopefully ever-expanding) variety of high quality, freely licensed art, so that free/open source game developers can use it in their games.
It depends on the license(s) the art is released under. Technically all of the art on this site is legal for use in commercial projects -- however, some of the licenses require you to distribute the source code of your entire project for free, and allow others to distribute the source for free as well. Here is a quick overview of the licenses and what they mean for commercial, closed-source developers. Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice. Read the licenses carefully and consult your legal department before including any of this art in non-open-source or commercial software.
Art, music, sound, 2d, 3d, it's all here and it's all available for you, right now!