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This textbook was authored for the CIS 580 - Fundamentals of Game Programming course at Kansas State University. This front matter is specific to that course. If you are not enrolled in the course, please disregard this section.

Assets are all the resources - art, sound, music - that go into a game. While you can create entirely original assets for your games, this is not required. However, if you choose to use assets created by other people, you must follow copyright law. Specifically, you must have the right to use the asset in your project.

This right can be expressed in several ways:

  • If the asset is in the public domain. This is less common with art, but old music scores (i.e. classical music, folk music) are typically in the open domain. Be aware that just because the score (the written form) is in the public domain, a recording of a performance may not be.

  • Assets released under Creative Commons licenses. These licenses can have different restrictions (i.e. only used for non-profit, the creator must be credited). These must be followed for the use to be legal.

  • Assets you have written permission from the creator to use.

Crediting Asset Creators

If you use an asset that you did not create, it is a good practice to credit the creator. This holds true even when you aren’t required to. A common strategy for games is to have a credits screen that lists all the contributors to the game and what their contributions were. You may also include a text file in your repository with the assets and creator identities.

Academic Honesty and Games

Because your games are also an academic work, you also need to follow the guidelines for avoiding plagiarism. Essentially, this is claiming credit for work you did not do. Assets can definitely fall into this category. The guidelines here are similar to copyright - you should credit every asset creator you use.

In addition you should provide in your repository a list of all assets you did not create clearly labeling:

  1. The asset file name
  2. The creator (if known)
  3. The terms of use (i.e. public domain, license name, or other reference)