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There's quite a bunch of pico-8 games on arcadeprehacks. they're leeched from here, and modified with "trainer" options. ads all around, no acknowledgment nor links to the original stuff. at least they could add a cracktro!

found the site searching for my "pellet muncher" on google. I lol'd at first. sad thing is, there's 1300+ "plays" there, while I painfully got a hundred "views" on itchio plus gamejolt. well, at least there are people playing my game...

P#45045 2017-10-10 07:29 ( Edited 2018-03-01 23:38)

Yeah, I found mine on there a while back. While you could say it's flattering, the fact that they make no effort to acknowledge the creators (as you say) is my biggest issue.
It does appear that they are doing it for the ad-revenue.

Sadly, I fear there's little we can do - just by the nature of PICO-8's "openness".

Oh well... :o/

P#45046 2017-10-10 07:58 ( Edited 2017-10-10 11:58)
:: ianh

The site is being served from a Cloudflare IP address. You could try using this form to get them to take it down: https://www.cloudflare.com/abuse/form

P#45047 2017-10-10 08:19 ( Edited 2017-10-10 12:19)

Yeah, one of my games is on there hacked to provide god mode and unlimited ammo. I'm not sure I'm that bothered, to be honest. I mean, the game is free anyway.

I'll have to think on whether I care about this or not.

P#45048 2017-10-10 08:32 ( Edited 2017-10-10 12:32)
:: enargy

I've hosted all of the games/tools/examples I've released for pico-8 here on lexaloffle, most of which are Creative Commons. For those things, I don't make any money off of them and don't really want to. I just want people to be able to use them to learn, etc. without worrying about ads or a paywall.

I don't think I've made anything this other site would want to host, but if your games are on that site and you don't think it's a big deal then I want to remind you:

  • They have NOT asked for your permission or consent to host your content
  • They are NOT attributing you as the author
  • Instead they ARE attributing the person who applied a 'trainer' to your game
  • They are making money on ads being displayed on a page hosting your game.
  • Without your game, there is no reason for a person to visit that page.
  • This behavior is immoral. It is rude. That's it, and that's all.

If you made a game and hosted it on a site with ads, you would be making revenue from it. Whether that was even enough to cover your hosting costs is inconsequential -- they have taken something you spent time and effort on and do not even have the courtesy to attribute you as the author, let alone ask for your consent -- even as they are benefiting from your work.

So, while it's up to you I would highly encourage anyone with content hosted there in this manner to reach out to this site's provider telling them to either attribute you / license your content or remove it from the site. Or if you just want it off of there, then to file a ticket to report it to their host.

P#45049 2017-10-10 09:04 ( Edited 2017-10-10 13:09)

Wot @enargy said! :o)

I have previously posted a comment on one of my "ripped" games, politely asking them to acknowledge authors. I just did it again on another of my games + also submitted a report (although it seemed broken).

Pretty sure it'll achieve the same as stapling jelly to the wall, but oh well. Made my case.

P#45050 2017-10-10 09:15 ( Edited 2017-10-10 13:15)
:: DR4IG

Thanks for the heads-up on this. It's really sad that people do this when there's so many legit ways to make money out there. :P

I'll freaking laugh if my WIP shooter ended up there. It wasn't even anywhere near finished yet.

P#45051 2017-10-10 09:52 ( Edited 2017-10-10 13:52)

This can be an issue for sure, especially if it just rubs you wrong...but at least they have labeled that page as a "hacked" version, so folks will know it's not the original.

I haven't checked any of my games to see if they're in similar places (probably are)...and while it's shitty that they need our work to get their click revenue, the bigger problem to me is if that version becomes the "popular" version that gets passed around and linked.

I'd rather people not do this but if they are, hope they label it as "hacked" so there's a clue - and just hope it doesn't end up the #1 result in searches. If it does, then you have a problem.

And for what it's worth, my own unscientific polling has shown that the Pico-8 client is a popular place to play Pico-8 games so there's that. It'll be worse if people start re-posting+hacking our games within Splore.

I would also expect this "problem" to get worse. As Pico-8 grows more and gets more games, I wouldn't be surprised to see a full site that is a "Pico-8 Arcade" with ad wrappers. Saw this when old Flash games were still a thing and this is just history repeating itself.

P#45054 2017-10-10 10:29 ( Edited 2017-10-10 14:29)

I'm outraged.

Why are none of my games being pirated?!?

P#45057 2017-10-10 11:25 ( Edited 2017-10-10 15:25)
:: enargy

lol @apLundell you even did the 'hacker' work for this guy by including a debug flag and cheat menu.

P#45059 2017-10-10 12:10 ( Edited 2017-10-10 16:10)

I tweeted about one of mine getting put on one of these sites recently. I honestly don’t k ow what to thing since I never wanted money for it but it seems ring that other peoples hard work is lining their pockets.

P#45061 2017-10-10 14:14 ( Edited 2017-10-10 18:14)

Guys, im going to make a small token anti pirate function that can be copy and pasted so people can't pirate

(Cant be done right now, im at school)

P#45065 2017-10-10 14:28 ( Edited 2017-10-10 18:28)
:: bekey

I feel like PixelBytes just trolled us and is never coming back.

P#45066 2017-10-10 15:16 ( Edited 2017-10-10 19:16)

Bekey

I hear you talking shit about me!

Im on the bus so I can finish in less than an hour

P#45067 2017-10-10 15:29 ( Edited 2017-10-10 19:33)

I hear there's a secret Poke command that stops anybody from pirating your game.

P#45068 2017-10-10 15:45 ( Edited 2017-10-10 19:45)
:: rez

holy f**k shit! mine is there too!
http://www.arcadeprehacks.com/game/31713/zepton.html

btw, perhaps the best move to be sure to be credited is to add proper credits INSIDE the game :3

P#45074 2017-10-10 16:46 ( Edited 2017-10-10 20:46)
:: Felice

Annoying, but I think we all know the internet is for P-words:

  • Porn
  • Procrastination
  • Piracy

As it was, ever shall it be.

As @rez said, build your credits into the code so at least people know it's your work.

P#45075 2017-10-10 17:05 ( Edited 2017-10-10 21:05)

yes, a proper splash screen or scrolltext. hell, I'm gonna do my own cracktro + trainer from now on. "cracked by ultrabrite" :P

P#45080 2017-10-10 17:30 ( Edited 2017-10-10 21:30)
:: enargy

Whoa good point @ultrabrite

  • submit low effort 'hacked' versions of your own games to this site before that other guy can
  • make that sweet ad rev dosh
  • include a trippy sin wave rainbow text exclaiming that you are l33t35t and other guy is a renob
  • ????
  • Eat some nachos
P#45088 2017-10-10 20:41 ( Edited 2017-10-11 00:42)
:: guimm

wtf,I just checked and my game [Arrow Run] is there too:
http://www.arcadeprehacks.com/game/32122/arrow-run.html

The hacks are kind of creative, but the play count still hurts when compared with the original.

I did put credits inside the game, but I am still mad!
Thank you for the heads up.

P#45095 2017-10-11 00:26 ( Edited 2017-10-11 04:26)
:: Felice

Don't assume the play counts are accurate. They could easily be multiplying by 17 or 137 or something just to make their site look like it's busy and booming for advertisers. These aren't exactly honest people.

P#45096 2017-10-11 00:41 ( Edited 2017-10-11 04:42)

I find it very hard to believe my game has been played 5503 times so I'm assuming the play counts are made up :)

P#45098 2017-10-11 05:49 ( Edited 2017-10-11 09:49)

@Felice: that's what I was thinking, but it seems consistent. +1 when I launch the game, "only" +20 since yesterday. if they're cheating, they're doing it smartly. I can see the appeal of their site, they might have their faithful users (right now "There are 1008 users online - 10 Members, 998 Guests"(*)). I also think they wouldn't translate to a legit site even if there was a proper link.

so, yeah, I'm trying to make a dime with some of my games (and succeeding in the "dime" part: featured on gamejolt, 2k+ views => less than a buck). no doubt they're despicable leechers, but I'm not sure what they're actually stealing from me.

@arashi256: I'm seeing dawn of nuke @ 5098(?)

(*) kongregate says 35423 online right now...

P#45099 2017-10-11 05:50 ( Edited 2017-10-11 12:25)

Reminds me of Flash and all their piracy issues.

If we want to combat this, we'd need more web-based tools to detect stuff like their later flash games.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65crLKNQR0E

P#45101 2017-10-11 07:24 ( Edited 2017-10-11 11:24)

@myogaman: they have access to the full source code, I don't think there's a way to prevent this.

P#45106 2017-10-11 08:28 ( Edited 2017-10-11 12:28)

Spending effort fighting piracy is pointless.

Even if you have some small measure of success, what have you gained?

Unless you're the Walt Disney Corporation and pirates represent your only remaining untapped customer base, your time is far better spent trying to find more legit players. ... Or just creating more games.

P#45109 2017-10-11 09:59 ( Edited 2017-10-11 13:59)
:: enargy

@apLundell It is an inevitability. But tbh I don't think most people care about any 'piracy' so much as that the work isn't being attributed to them.

With traditional piracy, the name/brand/product is still getting recognition. And an illegal copy is often being sought out because of its creator and reputation. Here, someone else is taking credit for the work. That they make $ off of it doesn't help, but it's just the dirt icing on the poop cupcake.

I mean, I guess it could be more egregious and they could also remove the in-game credits, but apparently that would take too much effort lol

P#45120 2017-10-11 13:17 ( Edited 2017-10-11 17:21)

@ultrabrite - Eh, 5098, 5503....more than the 20 or so plays I've got on itch.io anyway.

P#45124 2017-10-11 15:44 ( Edited 2017-10-11 19:44)

@arashi256 I was just wondering if the numbers might be random after all.
I don't get much plays on itch either. I think it's populated with starving indies staring at each other. same thing on gamejolt. actual players don't go there. I've just put my games on kongregate, got more plays in 2 days in "judgement limbo" than in weeks back there...

P#45125 2017-10-11 16:49 ( Edited 2017-10-11 20:52)

Anyone had better luck in Kongregate over Itch.io? Or vice versa?

I've only ever put my stuff up on Itch.io simply because I like the web site better...it's cleaner and is easier for visitors to use when I link them.

No reason I can't/shouldn't put it both places outside of it's a pain to manage 2 spots...and that's really the reason, I'm lazy :)

P#45128 2017-10-11 20:42 ( Edited 2017-10-12 00:42)

so, I've tried these sites:

itch.io:
really well done and all, but it looks like most visitors are other gamedevs. maybe a more upfront webgame section could help bring in actual players? got 3 games there, 500 views in 3 months (none featured though).

gamejolt:
well done too, feels a lot like itch.io actually. but their front page is weird. only 6 games featured with really huge icons. "pits of doh" was featured there for a week and now stalls around 0-2 views per day (2000 views total). my two others games amount to a hundred views.

kongregate:
I put my 3 games there a few days ago. it seems they've been downvoted a lot, without much feedback. after a few days they're out of "judgement", but ended up far down in the lists. ~270 views total right now.

newgrounds:
MUCH more welcoming! more people "judging" and giving actual feedback. you're out of judgement in a day at most.
ratings 3+/5, 5500+ views in 2 days. people seem to like old school pixelated games there.

tl;dr:
itchio and gamejolt are great if you can bring people there yourself (twitter,facebook etc.).
pico-8 games seem quite welcome on newgrounds, not so much on kongregate.
but, of course, your mileage may vary.

also keep in mind that thousands of views only amount to a few cents in ads. there's no real money to make there.

P#45229 2017-10-15 09:40 ( Edited 2017-10-15 15:37)

I've just received the following e-mail from an Admin at said site (after contacting them directly with a polite - but firm - request to include creator acknowledgement to their "hacked" PICO-8 games to, at the very minimum, link back to where they ripped them from).

(I also went into more detail about the fact that there are likely to be other copyright/licensing issues with their actions - but small steps!)

The response I just received was as follows:

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the email. Its a fair suggestion. I'll look at getting acknowledgment implemented for all pico8 games. Not sure how long it will take but we will get it done.

Honestly there was no ill intent here. The fact is there is a certain part of the game playing population that like to cheat when they play games. All we do is add cheats to cater for this segment of the game playing community. We don't feel like we take game plays away from the normal version of the game. We just make your game playable for the ‘cheat’ community. Which means more people get to play and enjoy your game.

We respect game developers, and are only looking for a win/win situation. We go to extra effort to make sure we don't cause any trouble for developers. For example, in our flash hacks, we always disable score posting, never remove ads, and never hack anything that would effect micro-transactions. We obviously also never hack multiplayer games or unlock demo versions.

Anyway, thanks for your suggestion, I'll keep you updated to our progress.

Thanks,
Chris

So, I'm (personally) rather glad to have at least received pretty reasonable response (I fully expected to be told where to shove it!).

Hopefully, Chris actually means what he says here (and I'll be replying to him saying as much) and that we can start making steps to make this a "fair" relationship for everyone involved... Hopefully! :o/

P#45263 2017-10-16 06:32 ( Edited 2017-10-16 10:34)
:: DR4IG

It SHOULD read:


"We respect game developers but don't bother to contact them even once when hacking away at their codebase because Daddy needs ad revenue for a new house."

P#45265 2017-10-16 09:00 ( Edited 2017-10-16 13:02)
:: elneil
-- todo
-- credits string somehow difficult to spot in code
P#45552 2017-10-28 15:20 ( Edited 2017-10-28 19:20)

@Liquidream it seems like they've implemented the acknowledgement feature.

I found my asteroids clone on there and it has me properly attributed as the developer of the game, which is cool. But it's still uncool that they are getting money from it without permission.

P#45554 2017-10-28 16:08 ( Edited 2017-10-28 20:08)

Yup, I just got an update from their Admin:

"We have finished adding acknowledgment feature to our site. In short time, all pico8 games on our site will acknowledge the developer and link to the original cart. We will continue doing this will any new pico8 games we add."

I (personally) think this has been a very positive step in the right direction, and appreciate that it probably took some time to "play catch-up" with all the acknowledgements.

He also said that they do/will remove games at the creator's request. So, if you (or anyone else) would still prefer they did not host your game, best send them an e-mail to: [email protected]

:o)

P#45563 2017-10-28 19:05 ( Edited 2017-10-28 23:05)

Awesome! Thanks @Liquidream to the rescue!

P#45574 2017-10-28 22:04 ( Edited 2017-10-29 02:04)
:: Scathe

I was hoping to see PlayPico come up in this thread since it's somewhat similar (either in a positive or negative light since I haven't had a ton of feedback on it), but didn't see anything. I'm very curious if everyone who's against this other site feels the same way about it.

By the way, for those of you who know my name is Chris, I am NOT the same Chris that runs this other site, nor am I affiliated in any way with arcadeprehacks. I figured some might wonder since the sites are somewhat similar ideas.

P#45734 2017-10-31 21:08 ( Edited 2017-11-01 01:08)

@Scathe: Good point. I can only speak for myself, but for me, I never felt any "red flags" go up when I saw your PlayPico site, for a few reasons:

  • You always included a link back to the source (e.g. BBS) and state our username/handle.

    • This was, personally, my biggest issue with their site.
    • As game creators, people could be enjoying our games, but players would have NO IDEA whom it was that spent (potentially many) hours making it.
  • You do not (AFAIK) modify our game content (other than export to HTML for the site)

    • This is kinda related to the above point, but annoyed me (personally) because, unlike your site - their site only included the name of the "hacker".
    • It's a shame, because I (again, IMHO) actually think it's pretty fun to see someone create "Cheats" and "God Modes" in my games (saves me doing it!)... but not without getting original credit for the game.
  • Your site never seemed to attempt to make money from Ad revenue (e.g. from ppl playing our games)

    • The fact that you include an About page which states your strong position on this - even at your own cost! (servers/time/etc) - is cool in my books and I thank you for doing it.
    • UPDATE: I now see you mention that you include a single banner Ad, but I can't see that (even with ad-block disabled).
    • I'd have to reserve judgement until I could see how it's placed and what types of Ads are shown - but at the end of the day, I'm not against someone attempting to cover some Server costs... so long as they respect the game authors.
    • Minor note: I personally don't see your site as something like "a deliberate Ad for your web development company" (nor have I heard anyone suggest it). Again, goes back to my point above that, I honestly believe that you maintain this site as a PICO-8 fan first - and I appreciate that.

Finally, I may have missed it, but I didn't see any mention of the ability to request to have your game removed (should an author specifically wish to). But, as I mentioned to the "other" site, so long as you respect such requests - as is the content author's prerogative, then I (again, personally) don't see a problem.

P.S. - I've clearly not been to your site for a while, looks like it's had some nice upgrades! ;o)

DISCLAIMER:
Again, these are just my views - and I'm probably contradicting myself all over the place, but I try to be fair and at the end of the day, I try to live by Dalton's rule (in the 1989 film Road House) of..."Be Nice" :D

P#45760 2017-11-01 03:13 ( Edited 2017-11-01 07:13)

I requested politely that my game be removed from arcadeprehacks.com and the admin took it down immediately. So if anyone is unhappy that this guy is making a buck from your code just email him and he'll take it down pronto.

P#45761 2017-11-01 05:44 ( Edited 2017-11-01 09:44)

Scathe: I also really like your site. I don't tend to actually play pico8 games online, but do find it very useful for 'finding' games. Thanks!

P#45768 2017-11-01 10:26 ( Edited 2017-11-01 14:26)
:: Scathe

@Liquidream - Actually I don't include any ads on the site, I think the mention of it was more along the lines of the idea that I may consider adding one in the future to help cover hosting costs, but it would never become inundated with them and would be limited to a single one if I did it in the future.

As of right now though, there are no ads and I don't have any current plans of adding any, as I was never really decisive about how I was going to implement it (Ad service? Sell rotating ad space to people directly? Create my own small banner saying how users could just donate to help with hosting costs?) And, most importantly, I wasn't sure how the community would feel about it, so I just kind of put the whole idea on the back burner.

On the point of removing games from the site, if an author wishes to have their game(s) removed, they can use the contact form there on the site. I think there's also a clause in the FAQs about it. Do you think I should make a more clear/direct way of doing it?

P#45770 2017-11-01 11:16 ( Edited 2017-11-01 15:16)

@Scathe: Ok, good to know (about Ads) - I was just going on what you listed in your About page. ;o)

No, I don't think so - my point was more that, if you receive a genuine request from an author to have their game remove, I'd expect most sites (including yours) to honour that. I figured you wouldn't have a problem with this - which you've just confirmed. Alas, other - shall we say - "less scrupulous" sites may not be as respectful to developers. ;o)

So, in short - I have no complaints with your site at all, and wish you all the best with it!
(But fair play to you for voluntarily bringing yourself into this discussion)
;o)

P#45772 2017-11-01 13:20 ( Edited 2017-11-01 17:20)

Found two other sites doing this:

http://www.the2game.com/

and

http://www.gamezhero.com/

GamezHero is not even doing hacks, they put the exported game (sometimes it doesn't even fit the page properly) and they add a long ad before they let you play the game. I mostly disregard these sites as something inevitable (as many of you do), but when it gets to actually affecting user experience negatively it does induce a fair bit of rage.

P#46839 2017-11-29 17:05 ( Edited 2017-11-29 22:05)

it seems the2game is a full clone/redirection of arcadeprehacks. on gamezhero my pacman is directly pulled from itch.io, so there's a link to my stuff in there at least... I've noticed ~10 other sites (*) with versions from newgrounds. I think I've ticked an "affiliate" authorization at some point, not sure it was actually on newgrounds though.

(*) funkypotato, arcadespot, kghgames, minigamers, creetor, macrojuegos, gameshaha, microjeux, frivjogosonline...

there's quite a lot of pico-8 games out there, at least they have good taste ;)

P#46842 2017-11-29 18:19 ( Edited 2017-11-29 23:44)

Oh, kghgames, they're my favourite! They actually sent me the following comment on Reddit under one of the Dank Tomb posts:

"This was ripped off from kbhgames.com http://kbhgames.com/dank-tomb/
Please change the link."

Made my day :)

EDIT: No, wait, it was actually a private message directly to me! Even better! :)

P#46844 2017-11-29 19:04 ( Edited 2017-11-30 00:04)

In today's world nothing is sacred or private unless you have money and/or authority.

P#46849 2017-11-29 22:01 ( Edited 2017-11-30 03:01)

These are probably some of the "competition" that Chris at arcadeprehacks was referring to. Well, I'm not going through all this again with ALL those sites.

Alas, looks like there's simply too many people in the world that have little or no consideration for the creators of work that they copy, just so they can have a "cool" website/make a quick buck. *sigh*

P#46860 2017-11-30 04:22 ( Edited 2017-11-30 09:22)

OH NO!
http://www.arcadespot.com/game/the-lost-strawberry/

They cut out my logo, did not leave any links, what to DO???!

P#47195 2017-12-08 02:29 ( Edited 2017-12-08 07:29)

http://www.arcadeprehacks.com/game/32666/the-lost-strawberry.html

One from a lot of others, but now it has godmode :(

P#47642 2017-12-23 03:10 ( Edited 2017-12-23 08:10)
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