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This is the Open Game Art FAQ. If you've got a question that you think should be here, head over to our Contact form and drop us a line.

Please read our content submission guidelines before posting art.

Can I upload content by someone other than me? What about anonymous, public domain art?

Yes, but only under specific circumstances. To upload content created by someone other than yourself, you must first make absolutely certain that the content has been released under one of the allowed licenses. Furthermore, you must attribute their work to them in the Author field. Failing to do so is plagiarism, and will result in the work being removed along with a possible suspension of your account. Finally, regardless of the license the art is released under, if the artist has specifically requested that their work not be distributed from other websites, Open Game Arthonors those requests and will not accept submissions of their art.

In the case of Public Domain (or CC0) art that you didn't create yourself, we appreciate if you include a link back to the source of the content.  We make an effort to verify that PD content is actually in the public domain before we approve it for the archive, and it speeds things up a lot if we know where you got it.  If you're the author of the work and you want to remain anonymous, just mention that in the description.

Finally, some licensed works may have specific attribution requirements that go above and beyond just listing the author of the work.  If so, please list those requirements in the description.

Finally, as a courtesy to the artist, we appreciate if you include a link back to their portfolio (or the page you obtained it from) even if it's not required by the license.  If this information isn't readily available and it's not required, don't worry about it.

Someone uploaded my art here without my permission. Can you take it down?

Yes, but please keep in mind that if you released your content under any Creative Commons license that allows derivative works, and the work displays shows the correct license and is attributed to you, then it is legal for that content to be here. If the attribution or license are incorrect, we would prefer to correct them rather than take the content down. However, we will remove all art at the author's request regardless of license, provided we can reasonably verify that you're the real author.

If your art is on this site and you would like it taken down, please use the Removal Request form. Be sure to include the links to any art in question.

Note that there is one case in which take-down requests will not be honored: If your art is derived from a work that was a paid commission by, we reserve the right to archive it here. Please understand that this right is a condition of the licenses (GPL 2&3, CC-BY-SA 3) that we release the exclusive commissions under.

Aren't there other sites out there like this?

Yes and no.

There are plenty of other sites out there, but they aren't necessarily conducive to finding good game art that can be used legally in open source games. To be a good source for this kind of content, a site should be:

  • Human-edited for quality
  • Clear about licensing, so that you're sure any art on the site can legally be used in a Free/Open Source game or other program
  • Have firm ground rules about what can be submitted

Some art sites serve as places where artists can post their work and get critiques. While some of these artists are willing to license their work out in a way that's compatible with free/open source software, it can be very difficult to find art that's appropriately licensed.

Other sites provide sprites for use, but they allow people to contribute sprites that have been "ripped" from games, and are therefore in violation of copyright.

Finally, it should be noted that provides a massive index of a lot of art that already exists in Free/Open Source projects and is a great place to go if you're searching for open art.

What's the purpose of this site?

If you've ever browsed Free/Open Source game sites (such as The Linux Game Tome, you'll notice that a fairly significant number of the games available suffer from what's lovingly referred to as 'programmer art'. There are, of course, some notable exceptions to this, but it's clear that, for an open source game to produce good art, it has to become large and popular enough to attract artists.

Unfortunately, many fun and well-designed games never reach this point and are thus stuck with placeholder art, which ultimately detracts from their appeal and popularity. Furthermore, it's not unheard of for open source projects to rip their placeholder art from commercial games, which is illegal and could conceivably result in a lawsuit.

The purpose of this site is to provide a solid (and hopefully ever-expanding) variety of high quality, freely licensed art, so that free/open source game developers can use it in their games.

What do the licenses mean? I'm a commercial (closed-source) game developer. Can I use this art?

It depends on the license(s) the art is released under. Technicallyall of the art on this site is legal for use in commercial projects -- however, some of the licenses require you to distribute the source code of your entire project for free, and allow others to distribute the source for free as well. Here is a quick overview of the licenses and what they mean for commercial, closed-source developers. Disclaimer: I AM NOT A LAWYER, AND THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE. THE FOLLOWING ANSWERS ARE BASED ON MY CURRENT BEST UNDERSTANDING OF THE WAY THESE LICENSES WORK. COMPLIANCE WITH LICENSING REQUIREMENTS IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY, EVEN IF THIS INFORMATION IS INCORRECT.

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0
This license requires you to release any modifications you make to the art work in question under the same license.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
This license requires you to attribute the author of the content in the way that they specify. Provided the author is properly credited, it is generally safe to use this content in a commercial work.
This license requires you to release any modifications you make to the art work under the same license.
This license requires you to release any modifications you make to the art work under the same license. Since the FSF has clarified that use of art does not trigger the GPL's linking requirement, the LGPL is effectively the same as the GPL when used for art.
This license, requires you to release any modifications you make to the art work under the same license.
This license requires you to release any modifications you make to the art work under the same license. Since the FSF has clarified that use of art does not trigger the GPL's linking requirement, the LGPL is effectively the same as the GPL when used for art.
Copyright-Only Dedication (Public Domain)
This license is equivalent to the Public Domain. There are therefore no legal concerns with using it, and it is safe to use in any project.

Just to reiterate, these notes are based on my understanding of these licenses, and should be taken with a grain of salt. If you notice anything incorrect here, please contact me.

What kind of art can I submit?

You can submit any art that could be used as game art, provided that it's your original work. The following kinds of art do not qualify:

  • Modifications of existing commercial game art
  • Art that's your work, but is clearly non-free IP (for instance, a sprite of Gordon Freeman from Half Life)
  • Art that wouldn't be useful in a game

If you wish to submit modifications of freely-licensed artwork created by someone else, you may do so, provided that you submit it with the original license and credit the original artist(s) in whatever way the license requires. If the artwork you're altering doesn't use one of the licenses that Open Game Artaccepts, then it is notokay to submit it.

How do you plan to get enough good art to keep this site interesting?

Several ways.

First, we're asking that artists contribute work that's sitting around unused on their hard drives. It doesn't require any effort, and it's a great way for your art to see the light of day when it otherwise wouldn't have.

Second, I'm setting aside a monthly budget to commission game art by talented artists. As of this writing, Open Game Artis still a one person operation with a fairly small budget, but I have the funds to offer non-insulting commissions a couple of times a month. If you can offer a good price for the kind of art that meets our current goals, go to the Contact form and drop me a line and we'll talk.

Third, I'd be thrilled if I could get the talented artists who have done work on free/open source projects to post their already openly-licensed content here.

I submitted my art and it isn't on the site yet! What happened?

There are several possible reasons for this:

  • It's quite possible that we just haven't seen the submission yet. At the time of this writing, this site is a one man operation, and as such, it may take a little while to get to it. If you haven't heard anything back, this is probably the reason.
  • Does the art that you submitted meet the requirements to be on Open Game Art? If not, we have to decline it. However, if you provided a valid email address, you'll receive a reply explaining why the art was declined.
  • The last possibility is that the art doesn't meet Open Game Art's quality standards. If this is the case, we'll reply to you (again, given a valid email address) do our best to explain what the issues are and give suggestions for improvement, however at the moment we don't have enough staff (or expertise) to actively coach people on how to improve their art. My general advice is just to keep practicing and you'll get there.

I want to help, but I'm not an artist. What can I do?

A couple of things:

  • Contact us if you want to be a site maintainer or have interesting things to blog about that relate to open source game development and art.
  • From time to time, we commission artists to create free art. If you're interested in donating money to the cause, you can donate to our PayPal account. All donations will go directly toward art commissions (as opposed to, say, hosting costs). Read more here.

Can I use this art in my Free/Open Source game?


More specifically, the licenses that can be selected on this site are meant to be GPL-compatible. Thus, if you're releasing your project under the GPL, it is safe to use any and all of the art on this site.Note that there is a common misconception with using CC-licensed media with GPLed code, which I address here.

If you are releasing your project under some other Free and/or Open Source license (or not releasing your source code at all), it's likely that there could be licensing conflicts depending on what license the art is released under. It is your responsibilityto verify the compatibility of the art license with the license you are using.

Aren't CC-BY and CC-BY-SA incompatible with the GPL?

That depends on what you mean by "compatible". They are incompatible in the sense that you can't take someone else's CC-BY or CC-BY-SA content and slap the GPL on them, and you can't write code licensed under one of those licenses and mingle it with GPLed code. However, for the intent of creating and distributing games, the Free Software Foundation has clarified that the game code and game media are separate entities and do not need to be released under the same license, provided those licenses allow you to copy and redistribute the work for both commercial and non-commercial purposes. Here's what the FSF has to say about this:

Non-functional Data

Data that has an aesthetic purpose, rather than a functional one, may be included in a free system distribution as long as its license gives you permission to copy and redistribute, both for commercial and non-commercial purposes. For example, there are some game engines that have been released under the GNU GPL, and have accompanying game information—a world map, game graphics, and so on—released under such a verbatim distribution license. This kind of data can be part of a free system distribution.


What this means for you as a developer is that the game data should be clearly marked as such, along with the licensing information for that data.

It is also worth noting that CC-BY-SA 3.0 is Debian approved.

I have some content under the WTFPL. Can I submit it?


The WTFPL (warning: strong language) is a highly permissive license, in that it allows you to do whatever you want with content, including re-licensing it. Simply remove the WTFPL text file from the distribution and upload it as CC0. You may do the same thing with content released as "Public Domain", provided you are doing so in a jurisdiction that recognizes a public domain.

Can I use the art downloaded here in the Apple App Store or other similar stores?

Not necessarily.

Apple's App Store in particular has been found to have usage terms that conflict with the terms of the GNU GPL, the GNU LGPL, CC-BY-SA, and CC-BY. However, many artists releasing works under these licences are fine with their works being used in the app store if you get their permission.

Note that cannot grant you this permission, you must ask the artist directly. If the art you want to use is a derivative work of another piece of art, or is by multiple authors, you must get permission from all of the authors.

How is it decided which art requests are done first, and what can I do to help?

It varies, although we'll take the following things into account:

  • Whether we have the resources (staff or money) to do it
  • How big the request is (easier ones will probably be addressed first)
  • How useful the request would be to the community at large

Here's what you can do to help:

  • Work on some of the requests yourself
  • Vote on requests
  • Spread the word about
  • Donate

Can I still sell art that I've contributed to

Short answer: yes.

The long answer is that, even if OGA explicitly paid you money to create art, we do not (nor will we ever) take possession of the copyright to that art.  This means that you can still license your artwork however you want, to whomever you want.

Let's say, for example, that you create a set of game graphics and release them here on OGA under the CC-BY-SA license.  If someone would like to use and alter your art without sharing it, they are free to contact you and obtain a license to do so.  You are free to charge them for this license.

Now, there are a couple of catches.  While we will take down any artwork of yours that you request we take down (provided you can provide reasonable proof that you're the author of that work, and that we didn't conpensate you for it), that work is already perpetually licensed CC-BY-SA, and anyone who has already downloaded it has the right to continue using and distributing it under that same license.  They do not, however, have the right to license your work to third parties under different terms.

Furthermore, if you have plans to sell your contributed art to third parties, it is highly recommended that you select either CC-BY-SA, the GPL, or some combination of the two, as there is little motivation for a commercial interest to pay you for the privilege of using your art if you've already granted that privelege without requiring them to share.

I'm a commercial artist. Can I use to advertise my paid work?

Absolutely, in fact several artists are already doing precisely that.  All you need to do is pick a work of yours that you think people would be interested in, and submit it to OGA under any of the license choices that we offer.  When you submit your art, be sure to include a link back to your web page or portfolio in the submission.  You may also want to mention in the description that you work on commission.  If you release your art under CC-BY or CC-BY-SA, you can mention in the description that people should link back to your website when they attribute you for your work.

Does the GPL have an attribution requirement? How should I attribute GPLed works here on OGA?

Attribution is an optional part of the GPL, however you should assume that all work contained on OpenGameArt requires it unless otherwise specified by the author of the work.  Attribution requirements are specifically allowed under section 7, part B of the GPL.

b) Requiring preservation of specified reasonable legal notices or author attributions in that material or in the Appropriate Legal Notices displayed by works containing it

The full text of the GPL can be found here:

Please note that this doesn't allow the author to place additional restrictions on a GPLed work, unless they are specifically listed in section 7.

Some artists have multiple licenses listed. Does that mean you need apply the rules of all licenses or can we pick the one license we prefer?

You must follow only one of the licenses. However, when you re-distribute/edit, you are encouraged to include/use all of the licenses, so the license spectrum (and thus sum of people/projects who can use the art) doesn't shrink.

Can an artist edit and change their license requirements? If so, what impact would that have on me and my project that already uses that asset?

These questions go together but are best answered separately:

Can an artist edit and change their license requirements?

Yes, an artist may change their license requirements, at any time, however...

If so, what impact would that have on me and my project that already uses that asset?

We encourage you to respect the wishes of the artist if they decide to change the license on their work, however you are under absolutely no obligation to do so, because the license you obtained it under is irrevocable.  In practice, very few (if any) artists on OGA ever remove licensing options, although occasionally some add more.

I made a 3D model (or song), but I'm not sure where I got my textures (or samples). Can I submit it?

Short answer: no.

Unfortunately, a lot of texture and sample websites have "not for commercial use" or other odd restrctions that made their content completely incompatible with the licenses we have here.

Please note that we would still love for you to submit your 3D model or song.  Please remove the textures or samples that you can't track down, and, if possible, replace them with something that you can verify is under a free license.  If you know where to find the person who made the textures or samples, try contacting them first, as many people are open to changing the license on their work.

Worst case scenario, if you can't find any replacement textures, just submit the model with no texture.  In the case of music, replace the sample with a placeholder and upload a midi file along with it so that people can fill it in later.

There are some popular sites that we cannot accept material from:

  • (which uses the CC Sampling Plus license, which is not compatible with Debian's license guidelines).  If the author of the sound agrees to a different license, you can still post it here, so ask them first.
  • (which uses a custom license that's not compatible with Debian's license guidelines)

You should consider instead looking at these archives:

IRC / Web Chat rules

Just a quick summary of rules for IRC and Web Chat:

  • If you're not already aware, our IRC channel is #opengameart
  • This should go without saying, but hateful comments of any sort will get you immediately kicked and banned.  No exceptions.
  • Try to keep foul language to a minimum.
  • No religion or politics.  If you want to discuss those and aren't offended by opposing viewpoints, we have an offtopic, anything-goes channel called #opengameart-blah for that sort of thing.  The only rule in #opengameart-blah is that you treat other people with respect.
  • Politics directly related to games, art, and copyright are an exception to the above rule, and are frequently discussed.

If you're looking for Bart (the site founder), he can often be found as BartK.  Sometimes he goes by Legendor Lendrick, depending on what computer he's on.

If there's a problem with the site, generally it's sufficient just to mention it in the channel.  However, you can also message Bart (using the above nicks), or any of these other people:


  • ceninan
  • qubodup
  • Clint Bellanger
  • Brandon Morris
  • kurt


  • remaxim
  • verbalshadow
  • p0ss

How can I put a Flattr icon on my art pages?

Edit your account by clicking on "My Account" above and then selecting the "Edit" tab.  Scroll down and enter your Flattr UserID.

That's all there is to it!


Forum Rules

The basics:

  • No discussion of religion.
  • No discussion of politics, except relating directly to copyright, the Creative Commons, and/or FOSS.
  • Don't be racist, homophobic, or otherwise hateful.


On some forums, it is okay to be snide.  That isn't acceptable here.  As a FOSS gaming community, we are ambassadors of FOSS in general, and as such it is not acceptable to be rude to people who are interested enough in what we do to take the time to ask questions.  Specifically, it is not okay to do the following:

  • Say something along the lines of "READ TEH FAQ U IDIOT"
  • Reply to a question with a link to a google search
  • Talk down to anyone because of their choice of software or operating system

On the other hand, it's quite possible that we'll get certain questions over and over, which is the reason FAQs exist in the first place.  It isacceptable to reply with a link to a relevant FAQ question provided you read their post carefully and make sure that it actually applies.  Just try to understand that when someone asks a question in a forum, they're looking for a personalized answer, and it's better to provide one and encourage discussion than just send them off to a FAQ link.