The art of giving proper credits

Parallax Panda

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As I was sorting my list of plugins and such, I started thinking about how I would (and should) give credits to those whos stuff I am using. I have never done this before since I never released anything online so it's all new to me. You might think this is so self explanatory that there is no need to discuss it, but please bear with me. I want to do it right and I want it to look professional so lets talk about it anyway. Let's be professionals!

Well then, I have a few questions that I would like you to to answer, and if you want, please tell us more in detail how you do it in your games or better yet - show us with a print screen! ;)


On to the questions!

1) When it comes to the pre-packed "RTP" should I credit Enterbrain or Kadokawa? Do I need to credit any specific employee's from these companies as well? Is it Kadokawa for MV and Enterbrain for everything before MV? Are they the same?

For example, how would I give (proper) credits if I use some BGM/graphics from XP in MV together with the new engines "RTP" stuff? Do I need to give credit for the engine as well, and if so, how should that part be written?

2) When giving credits to content creators, how detailed should it be as a general rule. Most people just write something like "Credits: Yanfly". Is it enough to just list these names without further details to what they have done? If I need to give details, would it be enough to have Yanfly's name appear underneath a specific section in the credits with a generic heading such as "coding", "plugins" etc? ...Or,  should I have a section for "coding/plugins" and then a section for Yanfly underneath it and then list the exact name and versions of all Yanfly's plugins that I am using? Should I even go so far as to add hyperlinks to peoples webpages etc?

I actually think many people might think the last option is the best solution just because it's more information. More is always better right? Well, the risk is that the credits will be so long, booring and jumbled with information that the player might press [ESC] before they see everyones name. Or, maybe they look it though but can't remember most of it anyway because it's too much?

By the way I am not asking specifically about Yanfly, I just used his name as an example, kay? ;)

3) Unless specified by the content creator. Can I put the credits wherever I want? Some examples would be in a .txt file placed in the game folder, a "credits" option in the titlescreen or a rolling credit you can't see unless you finish the game? What would you prefer?

Many games and especially movies tend to do the last option, a rolling credits at the end. That fact in itself might make your games credits look more professional than a .txt file in the game folder (not many AAA games does that). But then people wouldn't officially be given credit until the player finishes the game (and they might never actually do that). Opinions on this?

I personally like a rolling credits at the end but I can understand why content creators might not like it as much as the other options.
 
 

Matseb2611

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I'd say having them both in-game and in an external document is the best bet. I tend to always go with that. In-game because it looks more professional this way, and in an external document so to make it easier for people to find them without having to launch the game and all that.

As for how to credit, it will depend if the resource creator specifies anything. I think most people are happy enough to simply have their name mentioned under the right section (art, music, scripting, etc) and that's it, but some might want more info to be given.
 

KockaAdmiralac

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1)Enterbrain is child company of Kadokawa

So I think you should give credits to Kadokawa/Yoji Ojima for engine because that's what it's written in "About" for MV AND credits to Enterbrain for resources if that's what it's written in "About" for XP.

2) Well, I think it doesn't really matter, but if you want to truly respect them add what exactly have they done, list all resources by them used in your game and add links to their website/blog/thread.

3) I hate rolling credits at the end.

I mean, if your game isn't that good I'll just close it.

If it is, I'll be very happy and triumph while looking at the credits, but I won't really try to remember anything in the credits...

I prefer in-game before-end credits. You can have them as pre-title or you can have them as side section.

Text file is OK, but if you want to put your game in Program Files(x86) if on Windows, that means if you want to actually INSTALL it, then nobody will care to look at some random .txt file hidden deep in their computer.

Seriously, how would they see the text file if you deployed the game for Android? Open the .apk with file manager?
 

Kes

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You could list everything that everyone has done - if you're not using much in the way of outside resources, but in my last game, I have over 70 names, and many of them have more than one resource, so I think it would get totally out of hand, completely impractical.

If you are using Store Resource Packs, or Member+ resources, those have to be specifically noted, as per the credits notification that you get with each one.  That is best done, imo, in a separate readme file.

A readme file with the credits in addition to in-game is probably the best.

I personally hate pre-title Credits, and on a thread some time ago, a lot of people said that they want to get to the game and find out what it is like, not sit through loads of credits first.
 

Schlangan

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I chose to do it in a less formal way; When you visit the library in the main military base of the game, one of the books actually lists the credits and the version of the game. I think that I have actually more chances of people reading that book than reading patiently a credit roll at the end.
 

Kes

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@Schlangan

Good point.
 

Numieth

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This might just be my personal bias because I just finished a game like that yesterday, but I like ending credits where it's not just the credits itself, but also some additional scenes or images that relate to the game, e.g. what the characters might be doing now that their adventure is over or whatever. Things like that actually keep my attention on the credits, rather than just getting bored with it if it's a particularly long list.

But of course as with everything, that might not be everyone's cup of tea.
 

Matseb2611

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Text file is OK, but if you want to put your game in Program Files(x86) if on Windows, that means if you want to actually INSTALL it, then nobody will care to look at some random .txt file hidden deep in their computer.
Seriously, how would they see the text file if you deployed the game for Android? Open the .apk with file manager?
If you're using some sort of installer creator software, you can include your text files or digital manuals in the game folder too, so when someone installs the game and it automatically creates shortcuts in their start menu, they get a shortcut for the manual/text file too.

Seconded in regard to pre-title credits getting on the way.

Also seconded on a scene of some sort happening during the end credits.
 

KockaAdmiralac

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@Schlangan

Wow, never thought about doing something like that... Great idea!

@Matseb2611

Yeah, but MV allows deploying for many other platforms, such as Android or iOS, and on such devices nobody will actually see what is in Credits.txt hidden deep in their system which can't even be found if you installed the game through Google Play Store or you are using iOS.

And on the web there is a small chance somebody will add "/Credits.txt" at the end of link to your game.

Pre-titles have many varieties, some are skippable, some are unskippable, some are configurable.

I don't like unskippable pre-titles, but you can add an unskippable pre-title that shows just on first boot and never again...
 

Parallax Panda

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I'd say having them both in-game and in an external document is the best bet. I tend to always go with that. In-game because it looks more professional this way, and in an external document so to make it easier for people to find them without having to launch the game and all that.
As for how to credit, it will depend if the resource creator specifies anything. I think most people are happy enough to simply have their name mentioned under the right section (art, music, scripting, etc) and that's it, but some might want more info to be given.
This is what I am considering myself and since I am not planning to export to mobile phones anytime soon an external document won't be a problem. In game I will probably put it inside the title screen menu or at the end, depends on the game but I will probably not do all three.

1)Enterbrain is child company of KadokawaSo I think you should give credits to Kadokawa/Yoji Ojima for engine because that's what it's written in "About" for MV AND credits to Enterbrain for resources if that's what it's written in "About" for XP.

2) Well, I think it doesn't really matter, but if you want to truly respect them add what exactly have they done, list all resources by them used in your game and add links to their website/blog/thread.

3) I hate rolling credits at the end.

I mean, if your game isn't that good I'll just close it.

If it is, I'll be very happy and triumph while looking at the credits, but I won't really try to remember anything in the credits...

I prefer in-game before-end credits. You can have them as pre-title or you can have them as side section.

Text file is OK, but if you want to put your game in Program Files(x86) if on Windows, that means if you want to actually INSTALL it, then nobody will care to look at some random .txt file hidden deep in their computer.

Seriously, how would they see the text file if you deployed the game for Android? Open the .apk with file manager?
This Yoji Ojima person, who is that? The president of the company? Woudn't it be enough to give credits to Kadokawa and do this at the same time as you give credits to the engine used "Made in RPG maker MV © Kadokawa" or something along those lines? :distrust:

And as for content creators, I do truly respect them but I am not sure writing everything in details will actually benefit them. As you say yourself, if my game is not really good the player probably won't spend much time looking at the credits anyway. But if I make the information more compact there is a bigger chance people will read/remember the names that are written there. If you are just using one or two plugins and nothing more I could agree that there would be more room to give some details. But then again, like you said in the begining. Maybe most content creators aren't that anal about the details as long as they get their name in there, and those who are tend to say so in their guidelines?

About rolling credits. I don't think it's so much worse than anything else. I never look at the credits unless there is something I want to know and I think most people are like me. The exception would be if there is a rolling credits at the end that have a really good song and/or show what happened to the game characters after the game etc. This is something that some games do and I think it's a smart way to keep the player focused for a little longer. I will probably try my hand at that myself in the future.

You could list everything that everyone has done - if you're not using much in the way of outside resources, but in my last game, I have over 70 names, and many of them have more than one resource, so I think it would get totally out of hand, completely impractical.
If you are using Store Resource Packs, or Member+ resources, those have to be specifically noted, as per the credits notification that you get with each one.  That is best done, imo, in a separate readme file.

A readme file with the credits in addition to in-game is probably the best.

I personally hate pre-title Credits, and on a thread some time ago, a lot of people said that they want to get to the game and find out what it is like, not sit through loads of credits first.
Like you I'll probably end up thanking at least 50+ people when it's all said and done. Unless you do everything yourself that is the way it's going to be for most people who make a game that is fairly complex and takes at least a couple of hours to complete. I actually try to stay away from Member+ resources, resource packs and anyone who have complex or very strict terms of use/credit so that's not a problem for me. I do this just because, I want to keep it simple and know that I can use my stuff in any kind of future project without problems as long as I give (normal) credits.

But adding the additional details that might be required in the external credit document might be a good solution (if the content creator is ok with that). Keeps the in game credits neat and organized and the information is still there for those who choose to look for it.

For the record I also don't like pre-tile credits. I guess I can live with one (maybe two) splash screens but if I were to put something like that before the title screen, that would be my own. I'm the main contributor to my own game after all. :guffaw:

I chose to do it in a less formal way; When you visit the library in the main military base of the game, one of the books actually lists the credits and the version of the game. I think that I have actually more chances of people reading that book than reading patiently a credit roll at the end.
I was thinking about this as well, but I imagine that some content creators might actually want their name featured in a more traditional way. It could be a good addition to give special thanks to major contributors etc though.

EDIT: Um.. I though my quotes would be hidden so my post wouldn't be this long. What did I do wrong? I'm kind of new to this forum after all.

EDIT2: Thanks. Problem solved!
 
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KockaAdmiralac

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@Parallax Panda

Very strange thing is that Yoji Ojima isn't in Meet the Team...

I think he is the main programmer of RMXP, RMVX, RMVXA and RMMV but I'm not sure...

I think rolling credits are bad because I saw games that roll credits for 45 minutes.

Yeah, I sometimes want to see whose scripts/music is used, but... 45 minutes is just tooooooo long.

And if you want to hide something, you can set it between [ spoiler ] and  [ /spoiler ] tags, but without leading and following spaces spaces. Like

this
 
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Kes

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I agree that 45 minutes for rolling credits is ridiculous, but that doesn't logically justify condemning all rolling credits.

Functionally it is the same as saying "I played a game with badly balanced battles, so I'm not doing battles in my game."  Obviously you wouldn't say that.  In the same way, having one dreadful example of how not to do rolling credits does not mean that they should not be done at all.
 

KockaAdmiralac

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@ksjp17

You're right, I also played games with very, very short rolling credits...

But I think the best for rolling credits is just not to overuse them, and allow skipping, and if not skipping then just speeding up.

They are not bad in general, I was wrong, but I saw that much boring rolling credits in my life they give me traumas now...
 
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Parallax Panda

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@Parallax PandaVery strange thing is that Yoji Ojima isn't in Meet the Team...

I think he is the main programmer of RMXP, RMVX, RMVXA and RMMV but I'm not sure...

I think rolling credits are bad because I saw games that roll credits for 45 minutes.

Yeah, I sometimes want to see whose scripts/music is used, but... 45 minutes is just tooooooo long.

And if you want to hide something, you can set it between [ spoiler ] and  [ /spoiler ] tags, but without leading and following spaces spaces. Like

this

Yeah that's strange. That mysterious man have made some of the release plugins for MV but I have no idea what terms of use those are so I'm not using them. I also don't really want to credit someone just because I think they might do something. He obviously does something, but I don't know what it is so I think it's better to just give credit to the engine and Kadokawa. That should be enough.
 

Milena

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Does that mean Yoji Ojima isn't properly credited by the producers themselves if he isn't there?
 

Archeia

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Yoji Ojima's name is in the Splash Screen AND Help file. He's just not part of Degica as he's a Freelancer/KDKW Based. The one in Meet the Team are directly in Degica and are in the English Community.
 
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Parallax Panda

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@Archeia

Good to know. Do you also know the terms of use for his plugins? Commercial games ok or not?

And another question regarding giving credits to the engine itself. I've seen a quite famous RM game that wrote "RMXP"in their credits under "engine". Do you know if that is ok or not? More specifically I'd like to write:

Engine
RMMV©Kadokawa


It looks professional and informative to me but I'd like some kind of confirmation on this. I do understand if I have to write "RPGmaker MV" instead and maybe it's not enough to only give credits to Kadokawa either?

I also understand if you don't have all the answer but I kind of hope you do. ;)
 
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Archeia

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Everything in our plugin release is available for Commercial use.


You don't necessarily have to credit the engine RPG Maker and that's your own discretion on how to write it :)
 
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Parallax Panda

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@Archeia

Thank you for straightening out those questionmarks for me. I'll most likely end up credit the engine anyway (in the way it's written above), but it's good to know that you don't have to. That was news to me.
 
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