SickBrick is an action-oriented Sci-Fi FPS with vivid graphics and old school gameplay. Destroy hundreds of hostile robots with a wide variety of weapons on a strange alien planet. Jump in a hover-tank and wreak havoc on giant boss enemies. Unravel the story through log files of previous test subjects.

Post news Report RSS My fellow developer stole SickBrick from me and is now earning money on Steam off of it

This is the story of how my co-developer stripped me of access to my own game and revenue generated from it and is now making money off of it on Steam.

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Hello, I'm Mladen Bošnjak. I created SickBrick and made all of its models, textures, story, animation and maps. Ron "Maxwolf" McDowell did the programming.
We published SickBrick on Steam in January 2015. Maxwolf signed the agreements with Valve and the money goes through him first since he is in Canada and I'm in Croatia and it's a lot easier for him to set up payments, taxes and so on.

In December 2016 Maxwolf removed my access from SickBrick on Steamworks, so I can't see the revenue, generate keys or do anything related to SickBrick. He also stopped sending me my cut of the money earned from SickBrick and is not replying to any emails.
Valve says they have no way to verify I'm the developer of the game, as seen here:

so I'm asking you, the lovely people of IndieDB, for help.
If you can help me in any way, please send me an email to mladensickbrick@gmail.com

In an attempt to get Maxwolf talking and to convince Valve I'm the principal developer of SickBrick, I wrote an open letter in which I explain the events that transpired leading to me being stripped of my game and the revenue earned for it on Steam and other places.
You can read that letter here.

Comments
vader333
vader333

That is really sad, for a Canadian to rip of a Croatian. If you have his address and contact details, you could sue him in the Canadian court. Contact the Public Prosecutor's office for help on the legal procedures.

If you didn't get his contact details, well, guess it pays to be a little cautious.

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InvalidSpacebar
InvalidSpacebar

After looking at your fellow developers other games on Steam, there seems to be a trend of him stealing other peoples content. While I'm not too familiar with the copyright laws of either Croatia or Canada, Steam is a United States based company, therefor they must oblige by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

I'm very sure though that Steam and its representatives are aware of this, as any United States media company should be, but if you would like to read up about it, and if it would have anything protecting content posted from other countries, here it is: En.wikipedia.org

Maybe take it to the Steam discussion pages to have support from there as well. That is until your fellow developer blocks you if he has not already, since you need to access Steamworks.

In Steam's response they did say that they have no way to verify who you are, maybe keep in contact with Steam to attempt and verify who you are.

Best of luck to you my dude.

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SPY-maps
SPY-maps

WOW, simply WOW!!!
Let me start with that you were so friendly to give me a early beta version of your game to test back when you were still developing it. We did sent each other a few mails about my testing results and i loved your game and thought it was really well made.

To now hear about this all really does disturb me! Although on the other hand, from time to time we see this kind of news coming around. You are not the first one and for sure not the last one who has to deal with such people. I have read all your text about and links to other pages and i am afraid that your situation is not strong simply because he is the one who controls the whole steam thing. I am really, really very sorry to say this but i have to be honest and tell you that you did make a few mistakes along the way. You say for instance that in the beginning he already didn't pay you for your help on his game Incognito, you did this slide but went on doing bisseness with him and, even wors, trusting him. This should already have been a big red flag for you. But, i get it i guess. It looks to me that you are a honest guy who likes to think the best of people, i really was ones also like that. Just don't want to make trouble, even when you are in your rights. To read in Invalidsspacebars comment above "that here seems to be a trend of him stealing other peoples content." makes me even more sure that this guy Ron "Maxwolf" McDowell is just a sad excuse for a human man, who thinks he can steal his way through game land on his way to the bank. And, he will earn some or even a lot of money this way at first. But i am also quit sure that this will only work for so long. In the end he will have a bad name, one he can't delete anymore, or he has to change his real name. Don't get me wrong, i am not a lawyer so i really don't know anything about the law terms here and how much rights you have. But, even when you have rights, what does that mean. Starting a lawsuit is most of the times very expensive and that is why people who have rights still don't get them simply because they don't have the money to pursey someone. This guy thinks probably the same, 'sew me'. The second big mistake for you was to trust him all the way, specially making him set it all up with steam was a big mistake. I understand that it was more coviniut at the time because he lived in Australia, or was it Canada. But, when it comes to bussenes trust is not something you can work with. It has to be IN WRITING, ALL OF IT.

I am very afraid that you can't do much about it, and this will be a very expensive leason for you, to not trust people anymore in the future when it comes to rights, payments, etc. Even with your biggest friends you need a solid contract, you know that now. What you should do for sure is invest time and effort in keeping this alive. I mean, you already placed this info on a lot of sites, keep doing so. Make this info known to the public as best as you can. As you know, this IS internet, and this info will keep avaleble for everyone in the future. For sure it will bite him in the long run.

I have to stop writing now, i feel so sad for you, i had a very small simular experience with a mod of mine so i know a bit how it feels. All i can say is try to not let it get to you, even when that seems to be impossible. See it as a expensive leason that you now have learned, and, now you know that there are people like him in this world. There are even quit a lot of them out there, sorry to say so.

Much strenght whished to you, and please keep your head high and don't be to hard on yourself, all you did wrong was being to trustworthy, which isn't something to be ashamed of.

Leon

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