A letter from AxK
- We want to respond to a post by our friend and collaborator Arjun Prakash addressing his concern that we used his work on Sonic Movie Maker without credit and denied him access to working on the project. His original text can be found here: http://pastebin.com/875rMdeL
- First, we want to say that we’re sorry we hurt Archie and made him feel excluded from the project. We and the members of Glitch City posted Archie’s letter to pastebin to share his story. We learned from reading the letter that Archie experiences systemic racism on a daily basis in our community. What seemed like a simple miscommunication to us wasn’t just a simple one time mess up to him. We’re doing what it takes to learn from this and do right by Archie.
- Sonic Movie Maker began as a simpler game. Archie collaborated with one of the Arcane Kids to make the original version for the Sonic Is My Boyfriend Valentine’s day party at Glitch City. In the original game, ragdoll versions of Sonic characters rolled around in a bed, hit bumpers, and players would control them. This version didn’t contain the camcorder or any filming.
- After the party we agreed to combine our 3 games into the Sonic Dreams Collection (Make My Sonic, My Roommate Sonic, and the proto-Sonic Movie Maker). Around the same time, Archie prototyped the use of a camcorder to allow players to film in the game. He and the original collaborator combined their projects to begin Sonic Movie Maker, their combined repo can be found here: https://github.com/mcteapot/SMovieMaker (As posted in Archie’s original letter)
- We worked over the next 3 months to improve the games. Sonic Movie Maker didn’t have much content, so more members started contributing to it. We continued to work on the game with Archie at our weekly open work sessions at Glitch City, but failed to check in with him about the direction of the project. We failed to create a space where Archie could feel comfortable communicating his feelings.
- As the Arcane Kids, we’ve always worked as a loosely organized collective making joke games, but we do plan on creating commercial work in the future- We’re learning and growing, and we hope to be making games together for a long time. The next step in this growing process is improving our communication & transparency with our friends, collaborators, and community at large.
- We apologize to Archie for not having an open conversation about how he would be credited in the game. He’s credited in the readme of all versions of the game, but it was our responsibility to check in with him about it before releasing. We fucked up here.
- To try and improve things, we removed @arcanekids from the default movie maker tweet, since it doesn’t properly address credit. We credited and added links to his work on the Hedgehog Exposed site. We added Archie’s logo to the main menu of the proper release version of the game to make it clear he collaborated with us on it.
- We take Archie’s statement seriously - his feelings are valid. We’re listening. We will do whatever we can to fix things. Our channels are open.