fake pony dating sim RPG. The catch: Pukey didn't know it was a scam. Pukey, who has been silent on the issue since she pulled her involvement with the project entirely, finally took the time to answer a few questions and talk about her art--and how she was completely unaware of the project's shitty intent. Read the full interview below.
Updated with more questions!
Horse News: How did you get involved in the project?
PukeyPony: I was contacted by Sam Hyde through Tumblr and then DA. At first I was a bit suspicious, as I would be to any big project that I'm asked to do. However, when he preemptively sent me the first payment of $200, I thought that it seemed more reasonable that this was a real game being developed. Admittedly, I was very naive. I think that it was both the prospect of being able to get involved with something I've always wanted to do (concept art for a video game) and getting paid more money than I ever had for an art piece that clouded my otherwise pretty reasonable judgment.
What did they describe to you about the project?
I was told pretty much the same thing as what was on the kickstarter-- That it is a pg 13 Brony dating sim that will possible have more rpg elements added if it was well received. I was also told that my art would be used mostly as concept art and that in the final project, it would be rendered with 3d graphics by another artist. I was sent brief descriptions of the characters and the roles they were to play in the game. I know a lot of people find the characters cheesy, and I don't disagree with this, but I thought that the characters cheesiness was charming and I enjoyed creating images for them. I was also given a description for a world map accompanied with sketches that I work on for some time, but was later ditched for an impending deadline. In fact. through the whole process I was encourage to work quickly and often giving incentives to do so.
Did they make you sign a contract or NDA?
No official contract, but there were a few agreements made through email exchange. I was told to wait until the kickstarter went up to post artwork or talk about the game and we also had an agreement that the artwork in my gallery that was used for commissions and contest prizes were to have the cutie marks removed and be recolored for the promotional images only, unfortunately, they only followed about half of that.
When did you start having suspicions?
When time came for the kickerstarter to go up, I had a suspicions. In particular, I was told that Sam's identity was with held because he was a teacher and didn't know how his students will feel about him being a brony. I wasn't told about this until a couple of days before the kickstarter and it seemed to dawn on me that I was being lied to. A couple of days after the kickstarter began, I started to receive messages through DA that the rest of the caste was entirely comprised of people linked to MDE.
What were your reactions to the allegations of Dark Skyes being a scam?
When I confronted Sam about the accusations, he told me that it was SomethingAwful picking on him for being a brony. My stomach sank. The evidence started to become overwhelming that there is good reason to be suspicious of Dark Skyes. I feel both stupid and disappointed.
What are your thoughts now?
I think I can say that it is unlikely Dark Skyes will be funded the $7,500 they're asking for. I would say to anyone considering sending money to Million Dollar Extreme, at least wait until they release a demo or a good video showing us that a game actually exists.
Are you considering reporting the project to kickstarter as a violation of your copyright?
Currently, I have not made plans on how to approach the kickstarter.
Tell us a little bit about your art! A lot of folks have been asking about it because of your interesting style.
I met a friend at a party that showed me how to draw ponies, since then I started to draw an OC, Toxic Hazard, and the main cast of MLP. After awhile, it started to catch on and I have went from recieving commissions mostly for chibis to almost exclusively ponies. Previous to that, I was taking commissions at anime conventions for drawings anime style characters and I think this shows in how I approach ponies. If anyone is interested in my art, I love to draw original characters.
And any final words of wisdom now that you've gone through this?
I know with a lot of people, we are raised to give people the benefit of the doubt, but sometimes it's better to trust your doubts.
You can follow Pukeypony on her Deviantart and tumblr.