TOGA Projects have made a very interesting post over on their facebook, which I highly recommend you read. In the post, they address accusations made by another developer accusing TOGA Projects of stealing their work and presenting it as their own…
We would like to inform you about what is happening behind the scene these last few days.
Posting this was a very difficult decision as this is not in our habits to post such thing, but this is a thoughtful decision and we think it’s necessary to share this.
We would like to tell you that we don’t want to hurt anybody’s reputation and the aim of this post is not to discredit any other developer, but we feel it is needed to bring everyone up to date about this as well as to protect our own work and image to your eyes.
As far as a polemic may be created by another developer sooner or later, we feel that we must cut this short and prove everyone that we are absolutely in our own rights and have nothing to hide to the community.
The 25th of June 2017 we have been contacted by another developer about the freeware PTAbsolute Standalone, which according to him contained some other software copyrighted content.
As we didn’t develop PTAbsolute standalone ourselves but a kind guy from the community did it for all of us for free (the same guy who helped creating the famous URP for P3Dv4), we were not in possession of any proof against that statement, even if we had a high doubt it could be true as PTAbsolute Standlone was developped before the release of the allegedly copied product, and as such he couldn’t have copied anything from this software.
We were ready to remove PTAbsolute if necessary to prevent any trouble for both of us, but in the benefit of the doubts the other developer agreed to let us distribute URP and PTAbsolute Standalone waiting for the community Software preset website to be completed (which it is not as of now).
Before this, by the beginning of June 2017 we had already started to manually working on shaders by ourselves to provide something new in the future and we thought a more complete alternative to PTAbsolute Standalone but also an easier one than the other already existing product would be a great news for the community. We will talk about this again later in this post.
As you may already understood this new product we are talking about is Envshade that will soon tweak your Prepar3D shaders.
Unfortunately some wrong and serious accusations were made behind the scene:
Last thursday, the 18th of October 2017 we have received some threats from the same other developer who pretended that we would be sued for stealing his work. More than that: he even claimed that Envtex was containing some other developer’s work, which of course is completely false.
As you can guess, the developer we are talking about doesn’t have any access to Envshade files or the User Interface as it is not released to the public yet, however some pretended proof were supposely already in their possession.
The same developer also pretended that just even releasing a product with the same purpose is in itself illegal, especially if it uses the same logic. First of all, Envshade doesn’t use the same logic as the related software, but moreover we hardly understand this statement as this is the exact definition of competition.
There are a lot of similar products existing on every market and this is how things are moving forward.
You will understand that it is not possible to accuse someone from stealing your work before you take a look at it, thus we took these accusations very seriously and informed SimMarket who kindly and professionally tried to help in solving the issue between both of us before the release.
In this case, shaders tweaks can manually be done by absolutely everyone for any shaders-based game with a bit of knowledge, Microsoft Notepad and a lot of free time. This started first in flight simulation with FSX and Jesus Altuve, also known as “Bojote”, who first tweaked the FSX shaders. Prepar3D also firstly had some freeware shaders tweaks thanks to “Realism Shaders Pack” known as “RSP”. The wonderful “Prepar3D Tweak assistant” by Knossos then came out and allowed to automatically install “RSP” tweaks plus a few other tweaks, it kept evoluting until the end of its development was announced. Then the rights for the PTA tool were bought by another developer which adapted it for the brand new 64bits simulator.
“PTA” which is a great tool, allows you to easily put shaders tweaks in your P3D files, however this doesn’t mean this tool invented shaders tweaks, nor gives the developer exclusive rights to create shaders tweaks tool.
When the end of the development of the free “PTA” was announced the 30th of May 2017, we almost immediatly started to study shaders tweaks. By that time “PTA” came back to the market the 7th of June as a payware but after thinking about it, we felt anyways that a more user-friendly alternative would be a great thing for the community, and that’s how Envshade was decided.
Another main reason is that, despite our commitment to work on this with the other developer, several PTA presets were not compatible with Envtex auroras preventing users to see them and creating a huge amount of support requests. This is very time consuming for us and we had to provide something fully compatible with Envtex.
While “PTA” is mainly aimed for all the users who like to customize everything by themselves, “Envshade” is more focused on the ease of use, meaning that both products will have their own place in the market as they both deserve.
Of course 2 + 2 always makes 4 and a little similarity with the current well-known software is inevitable, as the software has by itself the same purpose. That said, similarity doesn’t mean copy, there are several ways to achieve one result. This also applies to shaders tweaking, but we couldn’t provide you pink skies just for the purpose to provide something different from other developers !
We wanted to tell you a bit of how shaders are working to clear everything up: it’s just “playing” with existing simulator values, multiplying them, additioning them. It’s really time consumming but everyone with a bit of knowledge, a lot of work and research can succeed like the first “tweakers” did, and you would much likely come to something very similar to “Envshade” or “PTA” in the end.
Now, the other developer changed his mind when he faced our partner because of the lack of any proof as he said not having the time to provide them. Nonetheless we were told that we were supposed to receive all the proofs very shortly by a supposed legal team.
All of this is obviously bluff, abusive accusations and a good try to prevent us from bringing our product to the market. Of course the developer persists and signs and promised to sue us if Envshade contained any similarity with “PTA”.
While we don’t worry at all about the pursuits threats, considering the current behavior of this developer, we however highly suspect him to play on words and with users lack of knowledge on shaders files in order to discredit us as soon as Envshade is released.
The he also threathened to reveal all of our private conversations, we’d like to say that he’s absolutely free to do this, it will just bother you as we already said everything in this post.
Also, this developer keeps putting some subtexting here and there on social networks and forums, then our name appeared on one of his subtexting and we felt it was definitely time to inform you before this escalates.
We hardly believe the best way to convince users to buy our product is not to slate competitors themselves or their products nor to prevent them from distributing their work by claiming false accusations. Instead of this, we think the good way is simply to do our best to provide the best product.
Finally, while we would completely prefer to forget this story, it is important to remind that claiming false accusations can be responsible of damaging our company, this is called “Denigration” and this is liable to legal pursuits. We are not willing not accept any this and any attack against us would meticulously be kept.
We feel very sorry with posting such things, this is not in our habits as you probably already knows.
Please don’t slate the other developer we are talking about, again the aim was ton inform you but not to discredit the other developer who probably just wanted to protect his work from competition but he did not use the good way.
This is the one and only message about this subject which will not be addressed anymore in any other of our future posts because we don’t wish to raise the stakes about this web of lies nor to pollute your news feed.
Please be sure Envshade is confirmed and will be released very soon !
Thanks you very much for reading us,
The TOGA projects team