As of right now I am in a process of intensive character creation. I tend to tap my friends first for inspiration, but I am constantly delving into new grounds to inspire an array of characters to lend a richness to my world. If you are interested, by all means comment here or send an e-mail to me. Below is the contract that I have written for use by my own character models. Review it to get an idea of what I am expecting.
I, Jasper Hudgins-Bradley (hereto also known as creator, artist), have the permission of the owner of the models’ signature, to use a relative likeness (relative likeness being a graphical representation, also referred to as “your character” in the course of this document) of the person in my work.
- You may, at any time, retract permission of your images’ use. Depending on time, resources, and stages of development, the character may still be based on you in regards to physical appearance. Depending upon the artists’ attachment to the developed character, another model may be called upon who may or may not still result in a passing likeness to the original.
- You will be entiled to portions of merchandising based upon your characters’ likeness. Action figures, posters, and publicsized graphic likenesses come to mind. If “precision measurement costumes” are sold as well (as they would use your then current measurements as the baseline) you would be entitled to some of the proceeds from those as well. Be mindful, these are only items in which the character modeled off of you can be seen. If you retract permission of likeness usage, any and all proceeds are forfeit from date of signage thereof, or from a reasonable time after verbal redaction is heard by me. (approximately twelve days)
- Unable to know beforehand just how things shift and change, the artist will allow you to change your mind twice. Essentially, you may choose to retract your permission, then again agree to your likeness being used again. Any change after that (like retracting your permission a second time) will be a permanent decision. At the artists’ discretion, your likeness may be applied to another character. As above, any change will be considered confirmed from date of signage, or from a reasonable time after verbal confirmation is heard by me. (approximately twelve days)
- As the creator writes and completes new facets to your character, you will have first wave access to his completed work for your evalution. If you cannot bear how your likeness is being portrayed as you fear it being reflected ill upon you, it is your right and responsiblity to say so.
- In the event a more current version of this document is drawn up you will be allowed to re-evaluate your standing and opinion of your likenesses’ usage to no detriment.
Please note: This character is NOT you, they merely look like you. Often times as I imagine a character I plug in my friends for added tangibility. To explain part of my creative process, I often write scenarios. In a given scenario I make up new characters to serve a purpose. If my brain goes “Hey… doesn’t this sound like something ‘XXXXX’ would do?” then I will tend to use this person in my mind until I sit down and craft their appearance more directly. Often times there is one specific element that resonates between myself and the characters I create. What that one element is is what determines who I tend to pick. As I continue my developmental process characters grow, change, and literally morph in some cases. For characters that are just passed on the street, they may be set completely on one trait. For those that have some backstory, they may be more completely who I base them off of, their backstory mimicing my friends’ life experiences as adapted to my world. As for those that are my characters that I spend A LOT of time with, they will slowly but almost certainly cease to resemble their source in all but original appearance.
This said, as they look like you I do have a responsibility to you as far as protection is concerned. I have little to no control over what I will put under the umbrella term of “fan fiction” or “fanfic” for short. So that I may say that it was not stated plainly, fan fiction is any work made by consumers, typically for private use between consumers, of a particular art outside of the continuity of canon authorization. “Canon authorization” being works published by those holding legal rights to a work. That… wasn’t really “plain”. Fan fiction is anything that is made by someone who enjoys the game and then makes up their own media with the skills they have without my permission. It is pervasive. There are many sites devoted STRICTLY to fanfic out there on just about every aspect from every popular title.
I myself am responsible for fan fiction. If you have read the works on Seraph, it is a chain of fanfic revolving around Final Fantasy XI from the perspective of the character I control in the world. I am rather respectful of the source material. What can be said? I’m detail oriented and take my Final Fantasy rather seriously. While I do not generate this upcoming kind, there are plenty of less than tasteful works out there connected to the Final Fantasy franchise alone. From speculation and conjecture in forums that have lasted decades, to story shorts and images, to even the more detailed and time intensive 3D videos, a wide array of third party media exists just a search and click away.
I do not know how prideful or boastful you would be about having a video game character modeled off your likeness. I do not know the plans of your future, and how tightly you want your likeness controlled. It is my hope that the game does well, gains a lot of positive attention, and perhaps even evokes thought. Admittedly, getting paid to do what I enjoy would be nice to. However, as both a leader and a friend I feel it my responsibility to consider beforehand and make you aware of the potential bad along with the potential good.
Once a game is produced and out there I am hard pressed to make any changes. How it is received by the players of games is out of my control. What they imagine and how they choose to express it is outside of my control as well. I will make myself aware of any defamation laws that seem pertainent. If a variety of fan fiction, positive or negative, encroaches upon and hampers your life, I can only apologize and do what is within my power to cause it to cease. If it is the fan fiction is already been made public I will try to reduce its saturation. If you feel I must, I will adjust the character based on you in later works. Leading up to that I just have to be mindful of my presentation. If you feel a more one on one discussion is needed with me regarding this, let us speak before you agree to or sign anything.