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Player Submitted Art (Discussion)


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Question for anyone with feedback on the topic of user submitted artwork. How do you handle user submitted art content? 
Don't have to answer all these, I'm just throwing some questions out there to get the thinking juices flowing!

1. How do you prevent or deal with art theft or copyright infringement, such as players uploading an obscure anime character, OC, or logo and then staff not noticing until it's been on the site?

2. What's the ideal interface for the process? What's the best way (you think) a site could go about allowing user submitted art? What kind of templates, information, or file submission system would you want in a feature like this?

3. What rules/copyright terms are important to include in this? Copyright stuff for the images themselves, plus game rules for how the players can expect to use the art (preventing community issues that could be caused by the feature).

4. What are the best practical application? Players being able to upload a full pet image, or just markings? Any markings, or specific markings? Items? Any other ideas that stand out to you? And how are they used?

5. Exclussitivity. What uploaded stuff (if any) should be exclussive to the player, or be available to all players? 

6. What kind of rewards/payment are good for this?

7. If a site has breeding, would you allow it with the user content or not? If yes, how?

8. Is it better to A) have a syustem that pays players (similar to staff) to create more content that matches the site, or B ) a system where players pay to have their own personalized uploads. Or both?

Edited by Hare
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So for Venturepets (we aren’t up yet) my plan is to have a few weekly contests regarding user submitted items, pet colors etc. I love the art community and there are players with great talent to not only help the site grow but also showcase their art to many. 


Im doing an increasing trophy count for items, a creative trophy and avatars and access to certain events before everyone based on certain criteria.


We are building a backend for submissions and really I’d just double check images via google reverse search or stuff is Blantant theft from something I’d just reject. 


I def want to reward players for participating in any art event 


pay wose i am I am commission some artists for various things as I can. Right now my focus is mainly coding the basics.

Edited by Jinjojin
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I’ve been working on and think about this issue for a bit too. So far what I’ve got is:

To help prevent copyright infringement/ help protect yourself in case it inevitably happens you can require the user to check off an acknowledgement saying something like  “By clicking this acknowledgement  I verify that I own the image I am uploading or have written consent and to upload it to this site”. Additionally, it should be written in your terms of service that you don’t own user uploaded images and users should not upload images to the site that they do not own or have permission to use. Also to help staff notice infringing images quicker make sure you provide a clear way for users of the site to report the images of others.

Another option, if you’d like to monitor the uploaded images even closer, is to have all user uploaded images have to be accepted by a staff member before they show up on the site.

Edited by Kintori
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  • 5 weeks later...

You'll most likely want some sort of moderation tool that allows your staff to reject images that defy the rules you place.

User submitted art is something that is best explored in the realm of such sites as Wolfhome, Wolfing and Worlize. TL;DR: Wolfhome's system forces their staff to review the user submitted work before it can be seen on the website. This allows for human intervention before a rule can be broken. Wolfing used a system that alerted staff to a new upload for review, but the user could use their artwork immediately after upload. I am unfamiliar with Worlize though I know they had a lot of trouble with art theft; they may have a good word or two on how to prevent art theft in a worst case scenario situation, lol.

Both the Wolfhome and Wolfing systems break down this way:

Wolfhome: User submits artwork and it is put into a "watch-tower" moderation tool. This application allows for a designated, trained staff member (ART or art review team) to review the image before it is submitted into the website. While a secure method to moderate any art traffic, the process can be daunting. I feel this system has a lot more cons than necessary, so unless you are well staffed or not trusting of your userbase, I don't recommend this method. A user can wait days before their submission is reviewed, and in the instance that it is rejected, they must repair the damages and then wait longer. Meanwhile, staff will feel pressured to work unnecessarily harder with a more difficult workload, which results in burnout for most. The long run of this system is that you develop a toxic working condition for both your staff and userbase; reviewing submissions becomes a methodology of power practiced by the staff (can be easily abused and will be), and in return it becomes one of the most complained aspect of their management organization. No one gets what they truly deserve of this system and it is complicated.

Wolfing: Wolfing improves on the reviewer system by allowing users to immediately use their submitted image while it waits in the moderation tool. The moderator is then alerted to the upload and reviews the image; if the submitted image adheres to the aforementioned rules, the user doesn't notice a difference as it is accepted and out of the reviewer. If the submission is rejected, it is taken from public view and can be modified in a user-specified panel. This secondary review forces the once rejected submission to abide to a similar review system as Wolfhome's, securing that the rejected submission is properly edited. While this still requires human interaction with the submitted work, it decreases the stress and anxiety that the Wolfhome reviewer can induce in user populations. If that is limited then the staff output is better, burn out is less likely to occur, etc.


Both of these systems require a user panel that allows for the upload and modification of those uploads and a moderation tool that reviews said submissions. It also requires for moderators to be able to push artwork back into the reviewer system to fix unwanted submissions that may have passed review. So, to make this fluent I feel like you would have to be able to search user submissions and other common, but modified, tools.

For these methods to work, staff need to be properly trained and rules be set in place that protect the website and its userbase. You can increase your chances of better behavior by alerting to what art theft is frequently as a lot of art theft comes from a place of misunderstanding and not malice.

I can always elaborate more but for now I think this post is pretty heavy ^^


Edited by banshee
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