SEMC's Community Art Contest

I’m sorry this is a bad take. As an artist this is an issue, but it’s clear this is not what’s happening here. Have you seen how excited people have been to contribute to this? is this not the entire point of community edition? SEMC could make a logo in 20m and throw it on there, or just keep the current one, but this is a great way to keep the community engaged and let us leave a mark on the game.

Why does everything have to be taken negatively. This is the path they need to take with the rest of CE: communicate as well as they have been (which is really well), and hand as much to the community as possible. Hopefully this is only the first project they are letting us in on.


Two different ways to view it, to be sure. But my cynicism is based on SEMC’s track record of taking advantage of the community’s enthusiasm to get stuff for free that they’d otherwise have to pay for. (Trust me, I saw it firsthand when I was part of the 3rd party API dev community.) And artists get taken advantage of much more than most communities. (Don’t believe me? Visit ANY art forum or Discord server or Twitter feed and read the discussions/comments.)

It doesn’t, and you’re right, they seem to have changed their tone recently: much less arrogant and much more communicative – more like the SEMC of the early days. Only time will tell if that approach will continue – I agree that it’s the only way the CE version of VG will have a chance.


As much as I hate to say this, but I agree with hazeleyes, artists are taking advantage of. If this is truly community edition, community should be able to create anything they want and should be benefit from it. SEMC let community change some appearance stuff and community believes that they are in charge of the game. VG will be hosted by community while it’s assets and property rights still belong to SEMC, I don’t know how community can be benefited from this except from hosting and playing the game which does not belong to them. Without any new heroes or items being added, the CE may still be fun for while with new artworks and stuff, but the core gameplay is still the same for so many years. Chances of SEMC improving vg is highly low, we don’t even known when Project Spellfire will get released.


If you want someone to give you their intellectual property, you pay them. It’s as simple as that. It doesn’t matter if your product is a “community-edition” product or crowd-sourced or anything like that. If your project isn’t a grassroots effort, you pay people for their work.


This is one of the main things that worries me about the CE. The game will certainly be as enjoyable as ever bc of the solid foundation it has, but theoretically speaking, should servers ever achieve “perfect” balance, the game will eventually get kinda stale due to a lack of meta shakeups caused by new heroes and items.


SEMC cannot open the game up like that without giving access to the evil engine, they cannot just make it open source, and even if they could an IOS app still has to be published. My hope is they continue to host community content in this manner, as that would be the best thing for community edition. For example they could have a community hero design or item design contest. That would be amazing.

Once they hand server hosting to organizations, servers will more than likely collect donations to keep things running similar to how this forum does. Servers will be in charge of balancing at that point, so they can keep the game fresh.

SEMC is not profiting in any way from their work. They are currently funding servers with zero gain and from what I’ve heard working off hours to make this happen, this entire thing is a community effort being done because we love the game, including the devs. I’ve done art for commission before, I know how this stuff works. To say you should not be able to do fun community content like this without paying people is silly. What about taking balancing suggestions? should you pay people for that? What about when gamemodes like ARAM were taken from the community in a game like LoL? Was anyone somehow compensated? I would agree if they were directly profiting in any way from this, but they are only losing money and time doing this for us.

Hopefully they continue to host community content in this way if we want community edition aliv

1 Like

I worry about this too, perhaps more than about the other obvious issues (matchmaking, network latency). Who’s going to make new content for the game? Without new content, what interest there is will fade quickly.


Way to completely miss the entire point of my post from the onset. It doesn’t matter if you’re not making money. If you solicit materials from individuals, you pay them. End of story. Everything you are talking about is irrelevant, because none of it was solicited.

1 Like

That’s just not how the world works, and morally is not a good standard for society. If people choose to contribute to something with no expectations of reimbursement that’s on them. I’ve collaborated on lots of artistic projects. Some were mutual passion projects, some were paid commissions. You’re telling me whenever I willingly provided work without reimbursement the other party was being immoral?

In that case we better step up and start donating to SEMC for providing code for the CE client. The community solicited it from them with our collective will, if we weren’t here to want the game they would not have done it.

I don’t want to keep arguing so this is my final say. When a person is cashless, it doesn’t justify that person to steal other’s money. SEMC is not profiting from this work doesn’t justify SEMC taking advantage of artists. The artists are doing this because of their passion and love for the game. If you look at it, SEMC is not even cashless, they abandonded VG because they got millions for a new project. And now their attempt to keep it going makes SEMC looks like the hero. If they didn’t abandon VG, this whole thing would not happen.
For opening the source code and adding new characters, items, etc, there are many way to look at it. You are right when you said they cannot open their EVIL engine. Howevers, than how can community keep this game fresh with just balance notes? If you say they can, then that’s your opinion. It is not a coincidence that decline of player base happen at that same time with SEMC shutting down API, tournaments, few new characters, items, etc.


Don’t expect a reply, you’ve said your piece and I don’t want to debate all day, but the way we could keep the game fresh is if SEMC continues to allow us to provide content that they then publish on the app store client. How great would it be if SEMC made a hero design content then implemented that hero in game? But wait… that’s exactly what they are doing here and you are all against it.

Just personally I think if SEMC was truly open to a ‘community edition’ they would be adding mod support. Currently, the only way that they’ve announced is the ability to change the numbers (and even that’s a hard maybe) so from that many people have come to see this as SEMC cleaning their hands of the game but still clinging onto the IP/Engine. It’s pretty clear that SEMC doesn’t plan on coming back and developing CE further, which leaves everyone in a baffling limbo where the game can’t grow.

In the end, to me at least, it all just seems like a strange attempt at damage control; they develop the game to where the community can deal with the business side of keeping the game alive, but they can’t funnel their energy into creative endeavours like new heroes or items. That’s why a lot of people are taking it as a slap in the face when SEMC is saying that they’ll put fanart onto the homepage; it’s a hint of the community creativity that a ‘community edition’ should have without any risks or real commitment from SEMC. Getting paid in the mythical metaphorical ‘exposure’ for giving the illusion of community interactivity doesn’t help either.

They’ve (and Rogue) put themselves in a bad spot, honestly.


I didn’t really want to argue this but your trying to support that semc essentially say ‘do our work for us so we can put it in game while we don’t pay you.’ Right now vg is just running for the community and costing semc money but that doesn’t mean you don’t pay people for work you’ve asked of them. If they went ‘hey fans make a 3D model for a hero and we’ll take the winning one and implement it’, I’d expect money in return or another one ‘hey fans write some lore for this hero and we’ll make the best one offical and put it in game’, again I’d expect money.

Art contests are horrible cuz usually winner(s) get paid not much money if at all, they get that ‘exposure benefit’ people like to use instead of paying, other participants despite not being the winner can have their work still be used elsewhere by the company without their knowledge and credit and no pay. These contests drive a lot of work with nothing but maybe exposure in exchange, it’s free labour.

I get it, you being a fan of vg and being hopeful for this vg:ce you’d want to help out, just like other fans hopeful and participating in it cuz they want vg to still run and be great and playable but that doesn’t make it right. You pay for work.


Ok, let’s assume SEMC made the game open source and let us develop it (impossible but whatever). And a community member makes a hero then publishes a version of the game with that hero. You believe that person should be paid? There is no meaningful distinction between SEMC hosting community content, and us hosting community content ourselves as long as the SEMC aren’t making money from the game (or in this case losing money).

You could argue that it’s somehow protecting their IPs value, but this isn’t particularly meaningful regardless. If anything allowing community content muddies the VG universe.

Semc is literally asking people to make art for them, not going ‘here’s the engine and codes mod as you please’. When semc themselves ask people to do what they paid others to do before, payment should be there for these people they’re asking. The examples I said were of semc asking for people to do work for them, not them giving us the ability to put anything and everything from the community into the game. If that were the case were anyone could put anything they wanted in the game without further help of semc then that’s a different story, but this is them asking for work and then they get to pick winners with no payment in return. You pay for work you ask for.


Why is that impossible?

It is extremely unclear what point you’re trying to make here.

Again, it’s difficult to understand what you’re attempting to say here.

Regardless, I think it’s hard to argue that someone who creates something of value (e.g., art that’s used in a game) should not be paid for the use of their work, but that seems to be the argument you’re making.


Because the EVIl engine is proprietary, and Vainglory is on IOS. It would suicidal move of SEMC to give out free access to the EVIL engine, arguably their only valuable property at the moment. Second, community mods have never been done on IOS. For anyone to make a “mod” you would have to publish a separate app, unless SEMC completely re-designed the game to have a in game MOD download feature.

I feel this is fairly clear. If you take your position to its logical conclusion you would not even be ok with community mod collaborations working for free together to make something. Unless one party profiting from the result, this is a collaboration with the community. We are not giving work the SEMC for free, because SEMC is not benefiting from our work, it’s collaboration with the community because we both care about the game. The moment SEMC takes one cent of monetary gain from this project I am not ok with this at all.

Addressing the idea that SEMC is benefiting at all from the community work. As both parties are doing work with no monetary compensation, or indirect compensation (ie the idea this helps SEMCs IP), there is nothing problematic here.

As for the link, those are irrelevant. If you are ok with two parties collaborating you are ok with what is happening here. Again, I’m an artist who works for commission often, this is unrelated to the pay with exposure choosing beggar BS we have to deal with all the time.

VG is not only on iOS, actually – it’s on PC and Android as well. If you recall, SEMC frequently made “server side hotfixes” throughout VG’s lifespan, which were modifications to the server-side code and which changed in-game features fairly significantly at times. There’s no technical reason that the same thing couldn’t happen using community-controlled servers, since many in-game features depend on the server for implementation.

Lol, you might, but it’s not as clear as you think. :wink:

“SEMC is not benefiting from our work” is quite patently false. How is getting something of value (art) for free that they can then use to promote their game “not benefiting”?

They’re not irrelevant at all. And this is hardly a collaboration: it’s a company with significant resources (Kristian alone is worth millions, fyi) using a “contest” get artists like yourself to do for free what they should rightfully be paid for. Good gravy, open your eyes.

Have you read the roadmap? once the community can host servers (stage 4A I believe) they will let people do this. This does not let you bring new assets into the game though.

Because SEMC is not benefiting from it. They own VG, but VG doing well does nothing for them. They benefit just as much as any community member. Again, by your logic you are against any non for profit collaborations. I merely believe in consistent logic, how large SEMC does not matter, we are both working together for something, not doing a service for the other party for free. Why are you ok with devs spending their free time working on VG, which they have said they have done this?

Let me pose you a scenario then: a man who owns a park that’s free to visit asks one artists to make art for him, he pays them. He then weeks later gathers a group of random artists that like his park and then asks them to make art for him but he’ll only choose one and won’t pay anything for it. This art he is asking in both cases is art to be displayed out in his park that everyone involved likes and visits, he’s not making money off it just displaying it. Is that group case ok, the winner getting no pay?

Just want a yes or no, that’s all