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[FRAUD] : An Asset Store publisher selling copied code off of a forum's free project

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by evilangel89, Jul 31, 2017.

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  1. evilangel89

    evilangel89

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    This thread is meant to enlighten the folks who can fall prey to frauds on the asset store and a clear indication of why you must research as much as possible before you buy an asset.

    Also a strong suggeston to not rely on assets with facebook support and no forum thread.

    I give this advice to everyone I know already, but this time I failed to practice what I preach because I was too excited about the asset.

    You could say I asked for it and I agree with you.

    The intention of this post is not to flame but to educate.

    Here's the forum thread which provides the free project from @High_Noon with his shader
    https://forum.unity3d.com/threads/guilty-gear-xrd-shader-test.448557/

    Here's the asset store link
    https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/92792

    When I downloaded the project the first thing I immediately did was to open up the shader code because I felt a certain amount of familiarity with the inspector parameter names on the shader.

    To see this is a word to word copy of the project except that the asset author had removed some of the comments the original author in the forums made. Here's a screenshot for your reference. On the right is the asset publisher's code.



    He also advertises a vertex painter on the videos on his youtube channel but has not included it on the asset. This is false advertising. Also funny was that the vertex painter he shows, is an exact copy of what is made in this tutorial.

    https://www.udemy.com/creating-a-vertex-painter-in-unity-3d/

    This lead me to actually do a bit more digging on his asset store reviews. He's got an asset store review from one person who has only bought this asset, the other I believe is a genuine buyer who fell for it. Let's say that can happen.

    So I took a look at his facebook support page in detail.

    Out of the people who have asked questions about compatibility and mentioned the package is awesome, it looks like this publisher is the only friend they have on their friends list. (Yes I had to actually become a facebook stalker). How convenient.

    When I confronted the publisher about this, all answers were vague. He first stated that the code that @High_Noon shared has come from the original Technical Artist who was part of the Guilty Gear Xrd team.

    Following excerpts are from the conversation with the user on his support page.









    @High_Noon can you confirm if the above is true or false mate ?

    I have raised a ticket with Unity ( #129748 ) for this and am waiting for an official response from them as to how I can proceed with trying to get a possible refund.

    Even if I am not getting a refund for my 30 bucks spent on this asset, which we can honestly leave for the moment, what does this mean for the asset store ? Shouldn't the assets be more thoroughly reviewed ? Shouldn't there be tighter control on how they confirm the providing of support ?

    Perhaps a firm start would be the mandatory requirement of a forum thread for an asset to be published ? Support and sharing of some progress of the asset in beta stage ? at least screenshots ?

    I am particularly new to Unity and am not a pro game developer, I am an indie for all intents and purposes coming from a very different background in programming, with a dream trying to build a game.

    What does this experience mean for people like me coming into the asset store to buy something ? Should we have to go through an asset publisher's reviewer's reviews to see if this reviewer is a fake reviewer or not ?

    How does this impact the relatively new asset store publisher who does some genuine work and tries to sell his asset ?

    [EDIT]: As of now all youtube videos on his channel are taken down. Wow. The response time was faster than how long his vague answers to my questions took.
    Regards,
    evilangel89
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
  2. Mauri

    Mauri

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    If you think Asset A is a copy (or uses parts) of Asset B, contact the Asset Store team and let them now about it. They will investigate further.

    Calling out people on this forum is not desired, so don't be surprised if this thread gets locked.
     
  3. evilangel89

    evilangel89

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    You make a valid point . I will leave the link to the asset and remove the references to the asset author. Thanks for highlighting this.

    [EDIT] : Done. Also I have already raised a ticket with Unity on this. I just want people to be aware of these things and possibly open up a discussion on how to avoid fake asset store publishers.
    There's a certain amount of bandwidth even the asset store can operate on and they can't cater to every situation, which is more than understood.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
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  4. CodeKiwi

    CodeKiwi

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    I’m surprised that anyone would try to sell this. I don’t blame Unity for this, I doubt it’s possible to check for plagiarism on every asset. It’s a shame that this was your first purchase. I think the asset store is amazing and has some great deals. I’m sure Unity will give a refund in this case.

    On the plus side it is very easy to prove that this code isn’t related to the real Guilty Gear team.
    The main point being that this shader is bad, really bad. This was my first Unity shader and anyone familiar with Unity shaders should be able to tell that straight away. I should have used a vertex / fragment shader (color breaks with more than one light source, performance). The specular and very dark areas are calculated wrong. It doesn’t support line thickness using a vertex channel. And the code style in general is poor (he could have at least cleaned up my indenting).

    One interesting thing I’ve found with this art style is that the shader itself is relatively simple. The hard part is art pipeline (modifying normals, getting the correct ambient occlusion etc).
     
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  5. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    Given that there are spammers that attempt to sell "codes" for a "roll a ball" game, it is not very surprising.

    One thing I'd recommend to do, though .... if you're releasing something, specify a license. Even if you're releasing a single shader.
     
  6. ShadowMagnus

    ShadowMagnus

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    Its funny that the guy is also selling within that package work from Keijiro Takahashi which is also free.....And yes, I also fell for this as well....
     
    evilangel89 likes this.
  7. dogzerx2

    dogzerx2

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    It did take some high tech ninja work to go after this guy. And at the rate Asset Store is receiving assets, would be impossible perform this check on every single asset.

    Asset Store is very thorough reviewing assets, trust me. And from experience they're getting stricter, which is good.

    It's so sad people would take advantage like this. Hope it's not too late to get a refund.
     
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  8. evilangel89

    evilangel89

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    I was mighty pissed about the whole affair which is why I chased all the details to be very thorough. I don't like being cheated. This is an engine that was meant for indies mostly. People come here because it's affordable and reasonable. But when people start doing this and taking advantage, man it's such an unethical act.
     
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  9. ShadowMagnus

    ShadowMagnus

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    Oh hey....his stuff is gone from the asset store......there goes the refund chances......
     
  10. evilangel89

    evilangel89

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    If anything Unity should be able to refund the amount to me in full now since I did the purchase in the morning and got him to actually wrap up his store.

    He probably got scared that unity will ban him for life if they discover his true identity or something S: who knows. Asset store doesn't pay the asset producer as soon as an asset in bought. The payout happens bi weekly or monthly or once in a couple of months if my understanding is right .
     
  11. LezTusi

    LezTusi

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    i second this, i saw him posting on indie game developers facebook group selling High_Noon's shader. i asked him why his shader's properties and even its terminologies are the same as High_Noon's. He didn't respond and continues to posts the assetstore link on different groups.
     
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