The Ethics Of Using Assets?

I have seen mixed feelings towards using other people’s work that they create and put up on the marketplace for other people to buy and use for their games. Whether it be animations or items, I’ve seen people both in favor and not for this.

As someone who wants to make his own game but has zero clue how to build objects and therefore wants to save time, what is wrong with using assets created by other people and modding them if you need to, so long as you give them credit? After all, that was their intent.


There’s nothing wrong with it at all. What people mostly complain about is when a developer takes a few asset packs and gameplay packs and put them together and try to sell it on Steam.

Market place assets are great place holders until you decide on an art direction, or are far enough along a project to get an artist. Market place environment packs can be obvious because there isn’t a huge number of large complete packs on market places. Also some asset packs have the issue of being a bit generic or basic in order to get a more broad appeal and have them work for more types of projects.

Animation systems and development tools are huge time savers, there’s no reason to do them from scratch if there’s an existing system that has the features you need. Just replace the actual animations or defaults and keep everything else. For stuff that’s completely behind the scenes, saving time and headache is worth it.

Thank you for the reply.

As for me, I want to make a game but am totally new to game creation with no experience and have to learn everything. And to save time I’ll definitely be using marketplace items, especially for behind the scenes stuff, but as I have no idea how to build things for the game and am the only one doing this, (and definitly can’t afford to pay people for help), I’ll be relying on content from the marketplace if there is something already made that I need in the game. I think I’ll have to learn how to alter the marketplace content though, especially if it doesn’t fit the look of my game, or if something needs to be added to it.

Please check out my other post, it goes more in detail at what I am trying to do, and I’d love your feedback:

Some devs lazily bolt packs onto their game like in brute force style.
It can be real boring to look at games for the 10th time that do this.
Whereas other devs take time to reinvent the assets all over again.
But that takes craft / time / finding new ways to re-integrate packs…

The ethics of using computers?
“True artists use paper & pencil.”

By the way;
Do you want to work on a game for 1~2 years to findout if was worth it enough, a return that allows you to work on your next project… Or do you want to work on the same game for 20 years to findout exactly the same?!

Are you creating a product or are you building a temple for yourself to prove the world how awesome you are?

All creative industries have issues of this same nature, it’s up to you how to deal with your own beliefs.
People buy/share assets to preserve time investment; time is the most important asset you’ll ever have, not ethics or ego.

People have discussed this before, and in some cases it’s just fine, but in others it can be not so good. Often times if you use several sets of assets then they won’t be the same style, and if the assets are recognizable then a player might feel that you didn’t put much work into the game(even if you did)

Assets should be placeholders if you plan to sell your game or distribute. If not, you can keep the assets in and distribute as a demo.
Even if it’s paid for animations, you can still tweak them to make them stand out.

Standard type assets can be easily re-used as even real world has lot of same assets everywhere, from axe to stairs and lamps and so on. Creating same asset from scratch is complete waste of resources and time.

I typically will buy a marketplace item that is very specific (usually something code related) and heavily modify it anyway, even enviro packs. It can often give a great basis to start from and by modifying it you give it some originality and also makes it more fitting in your own project.