Braid Lookalikes Appear on Microsoft's Windows Store

Braid Lookalikes Appear on Microsoft's Windows Store

Breid

Breid, Brady's Adventure, and Braidy Jump all clearly draw from platformer Braid by Jonathan Blow.

Three games resembling platformer Braid have made their way to Microsoft's Windows store, even taking names similar to the original. Last night Braid creator Jonathan Blow tweeted links to the three free games that use assets from his game.

The three games are called Breid, Brady's Adventure, and Braidy Jump. The three have a playable character unabashedly resembling Braid's protagonist, Tim. They also have similar backgrounds, enemies, and platforming mechanics. However, it's unknown if these apps use Braid's time manipulation mechanic.

Both Brady's Adventure and Braidy Jump are published by Gameshark, not to be confused with the GameShark cheat cartridges. Breid, in which the player controls Tim lookalike "Taem" to climb as high as possible to the top of a tree, was published by Hakan Akdemir, who interned at Microsoft's Middle East and Africa Headquarters, according to his blog.

Braid artist David Hellman released some graphics for fans to use, and when asked about their use for "other independent (but potentially commercial) games," he responded that the materials could be used "however you want." Hellman is encouraging of those who want to make comics and papercraft work using his work on Braid.

Because Hellman has provided no restrictions on use of the art, developers (and people in general) are allowed to use it. For example, the screenshot from Breid on how to play uses two of the transparent PNG files Hellman made available. Given that the three apps are free to download and Hellman made no restrictions to use of the art he released, Breid, Brady's Adventure, and Braidy Jump probably don't infringe on copyright -- even if it's disappointing to see clones available. Hellman could rescind the license and ask Microsoft to remove the apps from its store if he wanted.

Source: Twitter (1), Twitter (2) via Polygon

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This is why we can't have nice things, people.

Every time we get nice things, we use them for stuff like this.

It would be nice if Hellman left the license as is, but I really wouldn't blame him if he didn't.

I guess they've never heard of the word "Placeholder"? Sure, the license allows for almost any kind of use, but if you want to be taken seriously, you've got to come up with an original idea and design. It doesn't have to be completely original, it can take cues from other games, but outright using unique assets from other games without some in-game explanation behind it doesn't make you look that professional.

I saw an Attack on Titan (Attack of the Titans) Knock off on there that was clearly using the sprites from another ripoff game.

Yeah, there are clones of popular games made by people so pathetic they can't come up with anything else. Look at all the Terraria, Mario, and the vast cavern's worth of Minecraft clones that exist out there. Jimmy cracked corn and nobody cared.

"Popular game clones!" isn't news. This is business as usual.

Someone copying a popular indie game? Say it ain't so! Next there will be Minecraft clones popping up everywhere...oh wait.

Since the guy who made the art said it's ok for other people to use it and the clones aren't being sold I guess we can't rage too hard. But it is pretty pathetic to just rip off another game, they could at least have attempted to call it something different but it's like they were deliberately trying to trick people into thinking their game is the original.

Thankfully, this is a few too many years after the fact to really make a difference, scummy as it is.

Why are people getting so upset? They're free to play, who cares. It's a good way for newbies to the industry to get some experience creating and distributing games. Peter Jackson used to film home movie versions of his favourite films like King Kong, and you can bet that those films would have been posted onto YouTube if it existed back then, so how is this any different? We all have to start somewhere.

The thing I am really curious about now, is if any of these copycat games tries to be "deep" and "subversive" in the same way Braid was.

Your mileage may vary on how well Braid succeed at being "deep", but if there is one thing there is guaranteed to be hilariously bad, it is when someone who's creative skills only extends as far as being able to blatantly aping others tries to be "deep".

So it would have been copyright infringement if the copyright holder gave a damn, which he doesn't. Plus, the games are free, so it's not like they're profiting from his work.

I was going to say this is a shameless case of people with no creative skill trying to piggyback off of the success of others, but this looks more like novice programmers simply using the art packs of a game they're fond of to have a crack at their own, both at programming and entering the industry. Which is fine by me.

lacktheknack:
This is why we can't have nice things, people.

Every time we get nice things, we use them for stuff like this.

It would be nice if Hellman left the license as is, but I really wouldn't blame him if he didn't.

Why we can't have nice things is because most of the time, people are terrified that someone, somewhere won't buy their product. If Hellman doesn't feel that way, good on him.

People are going to infringe and knock off one way or another. There's thousands of Mario clones out there using Mario artwork, and unlike these games some have been for profit. It was always going to happen (and TBH, I'd be surprised if there were no clones before this (though Google is kind of polluted by the news).

This probably would have been a non-issue except John Blow's being all passive-aggressive about this, regardless of Hellman's intent or licensing.

Part of an open artistic culture is the knowledge that people are going to use your works. But then, people were going to use them anyway, in all probability. Content creators can go around spending money tracking down their IPs or they can live and let live. His response to a query about potentially commercial use was evidently that it was kosher, so I don't see why free games are that big a deal. Except maybe because Blow's a fairly toxic guy and might make a bigger issue out of this.

Infernal Lawyer:
So it would have been copyright infringement if the copyright holder gave a damn, which he doesn't.

Well, no. When you say someone can use your work, it's not copyright infringement for them to use it. This is the opposite of not giving a damn: he gave permission for people to do it. According to the article, he was even kosher with commercial works.

Rossco64:
Why are people getting so upset? They're free to play, who cares. It's a good way for newbies to the industry to get some experience creating and distributing games. Peter Jackson used to film home movie versions of his favourite films like King Kong, and you can bet that those films would have been posted onto YouTube if it existed back then, so how is this any different? We all have to start somewhere.

People care because this is a different era. Fair Use has been gutted, laws on technology lag behind or are woefully ignorant of the technology, and corporations have the right to file DMCA claims against you for material they released to be used in the types of videos you're making (reviews, for example). If Peter Jackson were making those fan films today, he'd run the risk of them being flagged or removed, as many fan films have been.

People have grown used to this idea that any use of something is stealing, even a not-for-profit game that had the non-specific blessings of the artist they "stole" from.

Zachary Amaranth:

Infernal Lawyer:
So it would have been copyright infringement if the copyright holder gave a damn, which he doesn't.

Well, no. When you say someone can use your work, it's not copyright infringement for them to use it. This is the opposite of not giving a damn: he gave permission for people to do it. According to the article, he was even kosher with commercial works.

You're not wrong, but I was really only trying to say that since he gave the A-OK for the works, noone really has the right to get mad over this, as clearly some people in the thread already have.

I mean, I dunno, you can talk about the integrity of taking someone's work and using it in your own, even for free, but it's not a discussion I really want to get into, since the developer is, as you said, clearly okay with people even charging cash for using his images (or w/e).

 

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