Gamestar Mechanic: How to Add a Citation when You Use Another User’s Content

In Gamestar Mechanic, if you use unique content created by someone else, whether or not you add your own modifications to it, you should provide a citation to it — don’t explicitly try to pass it off as your own design. A citation acknowledges the owner of the content you’re using, with a name or URL for the owner.

For example, if you use a custom background, you can use the Level Intro message to say Background courtesy of, followed by the creator’s name or username, and then include a link if applicable. You need to point out that the background you’re using was created by, and is claimed by, another person.

You can add citations to your game by using one or more of these features:

  • Message sprite: Any sprite that displays a message can be used to display your citation. Just make sure that the sprite can be easily found and reached. You can place a message sprite in each level where you use borrowed content, or cite all of your sources at once in a separate level.

  • Level Intro message: The Level Intro message is a great place to cite content such as custom backgrounds. It is one of the most popular ways to cite individual sources, so you may find it useful if your citation is short enough to fit in the message area, and if you aren’t using the Intro Message for a different purpose.

  • Game Intro message: You can use the Game Intro message to handle all your citations at one time, especially if all your custom backgrounds are from the same artist.

Avoid placing citations at the end of the level with your custom background. If you place them there, players have to complete the level in order to confirm that the background is cited. Especially for difficult games, this action isn’t effective.