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Do I smell a Scam?

Has anyone else here ever gotten this unsolicited e-mail (it's long...)




From: hochang kwon
Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2005 10:17 PM
To: fablespinner@steelsong.com
Subject: wow, love your artwork!


Firstly let me make it plain that you will not be paid up front.
Secondly let me make it plain that we will be making a legitamite contract that will guarantee you pay at a later time and that will hold up in court. (As of now estimated at 3 months from when you get this email)
Thirdly let me explain what it is that i do, and why it is that i have contacted you. =)
My name is Hochang Kwon and i am CEO of a newly formed company called 4PL4Y, INC.
The company is located at
5308 woodnote lane, columbia, MD, 21044

I am currently working with a team of 40 programmers based in EU
I am also working with an independent company called sunsaar studios based in pakistan composed of over 150 multi media artists. On top of this i am currently using 20 freelance artists from various places all over the world. I am currently working on 3 projects.

First and most imortant is a newly developed 3d game engine that is near completion and will be done in 1 month. The engine took 5 years of programming by 40 programmers non stop. It is a very advanced engine. If you are familiar with Doom 3, then you know the top commercially available computers at this time can run 100,000 polygons per frame at a good framerate with all video settings set on high. However the doom3 engine itself can actually push 1,000,000 polygons per frame but that kind of hardware is a bit pricey for most average gamers. The average time it takes to develop a high quality 3d game based on our engine is 4 years. The reason i am telling you this is to assure you that by the time a game has finished developing, (4 years) the hardware available will just about catch up with the technology of my 3d engine. The 3d engine that has been in development for 5 years (normally it only takes half a year to a year to make a 3d engine with 6 programmers working full time) and has taken 40 programmers can push out 125,000,000 polygons per frame with a super advanced AI engine (artificial intelligence) and an even more realistic physics engine. (Currently this can only be run by graphics stations, or supercomputers) For those of you who are not familiar with technical terms, this means that if you've seen any final fantasy movie cut scenes that are pre rendered in the game, that is the kind of quality that you will see this engine pushes IN GAME IN REAL TIME. If you know what this means then i am sure you are already excited. If not then read on to see if any of my other 2 projects interest you. Now the background is set. As i've said the engine will be completed in 1 month. Now where do you come in? Well the engine itself might be done in 1 month, and i do have over 40 3d specialist artists at sunsaar studios and 20 freelance artists, but i'm trying to create 2 demos to show the POWER of the new 3d engine that will be technologically advanced for many years to come. The first demo is of a car race/chase scene in the city of San Francisco (current age) with aspects of fantasy and sci fi mixed in. The second demo is a secret one but you only need to know that it involves technologically advanced robots. Along with this email i will enclose 2 models that are rough versions. One is a race car that will be used in the demo, and another is a prototype robot that will be used in the other demo. The car is composed of 1,000,000 polygons (the background is just a fuzzy real life photo that was edited) The robot shown is currently at 70,000 polygons. Both the car and robots will be pushed to much higher polygons. There will be two versions of each demo. The first version will be lower polygon count. Not 125,000,000 but more around 5,000,000. The higher version WILL show on average 100,000,000 polygons at a time.
Now for the actual assignment. Although i have all the artists (and more than enough) that i need to make this demo, there is a time line. I need to complete the demo in less than 1 month after the completion of the engine and at the most 3 months from now. The demo will be shown at every major gaming convention, including E3, not this coming one, but the one that will be taking place 1 year and 5 weeks from now. The purpose is because this engine sells for $500,000 per license or seat. As you may or may not know, the unreal 3 engine licenses for about $375,000. This is not an exaggeration of any kind. Although the  unreal 3 engine is far inferior to our current engine in development, they offer many support services including employee training. Since our engine won't be finished until 1 month, the actual support won't be completed till a few months from now. So now you understand why i said pay will only be guaranteed after 3 months once i sell the engine once. And continuing what i said earlier, the demo that showcases the awesome power of this engine needs to be done in 2 months and 3 months at latest. The following assignments need to be completed:

Modeling of cars with no animation/rigging except the tires (These will be the parked cars or moving cars that are not significant to the demo) These cars do not have to be as advanced as 1,000,000 polygons but will actually be very low poly. At least 100,000 but no more than that.

Modeling of buildings. Since the car race/chase scene takes place in San Francisco, i would need houses and office buildings that you would find in that city. These should be higher polygon counts however i will accept lower polygon models, which i will then give to my 3d art director to assign to other artists to improve.

Modeling of animals/people. The city will be populated with people as the chase scene is during the day and i will need animals such as dogs, cats, seagulls, pigeons, etc... along with all sorts of people, but realistic. I suggest using Z brush for the faces.

Texture artists. If you're specialty is texturing i also have positions open for that as well. The textures must be 2048x2048 in quality.

Modeling of robots. This is for the 2nd demo which is more secret and i will divulge more information later.



My 2nd project consists of finding 3d artists or 2d artists to work under my 2nd company which will be formed as soon as the demo is finished. If you are interested in working for a multi media company that does TV commercial advertisements in CG and other forms of computer related media then look no further. You will be working directly under the CEO of sunsaar studios multimedia division and this work can either consist of freelance, or full time contractual work. Your choice.


My 3rd project will be a video game based on the 3d engine. Obviously we wouldn't make a 3d engine solely for selling. We are developing a video game to use this AWESOME engine in. This is more secretive and for more information you will be required to sign a generic NDA, Non Disclosure Agreement.

Lastly i want to thank you for reading all the way to the bottom and if you believe this is a scam of some sort then i aplogize for wasting your time. However please do not respond with negative comments, as i will only read the first few lines and not finish the rest.

P.S. I am currently seperating the artists into 3 categories. Those that work for free, those that work for lower than average pay, and those that work for normal pay. These artists must also be seperated into categories of skill level, talent, and experience. The categorizing period is estimated to take 1 week from today which is when i'll be done figuring out which assignments which artists want, as i can't just assign all artists the same assignment.
One last note, when the demo hits the world, it will be THE MOST INCREDIBLE demo that the world has seen due to the fact that pixar quality 3d gaming will be available along the horizon and many game developers, computer graphics movie development companies will be drooling to get their hands on this engine. Why i say this is because each artist that is involved will be listed in the ending credits and on the webpage (which hasn't been completed) along with actual pictures of the work that they put into the demo. I say this because if i can i will assign all the free artists work first as the position to work on this demo is certainly an honor that will be seen all across the world. I apologize for the informal way you have been contacted and hope that we can work something out for one of these projects. =)

I personally saw your work through deviantart.com but as i contact many artists a day, i will not exactly remember your work. If you are interested in any of the above mentioned projects, please also reply with a link to more of your work, including your deviant art link. I hope that by me being completely upfront and honest, that it saves both you and i time. =)

---------------------
end message

Right.... Um I don't draw cars or Robots dude. How about your COMPANY WEBSITE LINK or SOMETHING? I might be more prone to believe you and the last P.S. bit is the most unprofessional thing I've ever read. I'm sure this will fool 18 year olds. Honey I WORK IN THE CORPORATE WORLD and I'd shoot you if I were your secretary if you sent that out.

Goodness....

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
chancellor_wu
Apr. 6th, 2005 04:08 pm (UTC)
It does seem unprofessional! It's such a LONG email! and like you said, no company website, etc.

Very weird.
fablespinner
Apr. 8th, 2005 02:01 am (UTC)
Very FAKE .. what an idiot
(Deleted comment)
fablespinner
Apr. 7th, 2005 02:47 am (UTC)
My response:
Before I commit to anything, there are some distinct clarifications in this unsolicited correspondence I'd like to address. Because the lack of a company name in your e-mail return address (and considering the claims of such a technologically advanced company I'd expect a domain name at the very least in your return e-mail address instead of a free yahoo account e-mail, quite disconcerting and unprofessional.) Not to mention a lack of anything directional that would allow me confirm the validity of your rather lengthy presentation, naturally this leaves me more than a little skeptical.



A company of such magnitude (as you present) to have the financial backing it would require to have such massive technology at their disposal must surely be able to provide me with these following items.



I too work in a fortune 500 corporate world and I will not and cannot commit until I can substantiate and have validity to your claims.



If you wish to do business with me please provide me with the following:



a) A business website and prospectus,

b) A contact name and number (preferably toll free) for someone in your HR/Personnel department, and

c) A copy of their standard contract to review with my lawyer.





You did solicit ME after all, I would hope before I put blind faith in you and provide you hundreds of man hours worth of work you can at the bare minimum provide me the above mentioned items.



With Respect,



D. Sanders
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
The Fablespinner
My Personal Website
http://fablespinner.com
Sakuranbo Studios
http://www.sakuranbostudios.com
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
fablespinner
Apr. 8th, 2005 02:02 am (UTC)
I did hear but you saw and passed on -- you rock!
*loves on you!*

BTW I have our room at Y-con already reserved. I'll be in WEDNESDAY - MONDAY (We check out Tuesday Morning.)

xoxoxo
cirquedumiyavi
Apr. 6th, 2005 07:57 pm (UTC)
LOL.

Okay, first off, there's no listing for 4PL4Y (or even 4Play) anywhere that I can see, and in particular no listing in the Yellow Pages for Columbia, MD.
Second, The development of such a game engine, particularly development taking that long, would require serious financial backing, to the extent that only large companies such as Microsoft or Square-Enix could afford it, and any company with such finances would most certainly have a website and would NOT need to troll the web and such to find qualified artists, nor would they be appealing to artists to work without pay.
He's apparently been at this scam for a while, since he's gotten booted off discussion boards at gamedev.net. I vote for telling him where to stick it.
fablespinner
Apr. 8th, 2005 02:03 am (UTC)
It's all one big scam, he's such an idiot
suzu
Apr. 6th, 2005 08:54 pm (UTC)
O.o

That entire email is one giant WTF. I would consider reporting him to someone who looks into this sort of thing. Better Business Bureau?
fablespinner
Apr. 8th, 2005 02:03 am (UTC)
It's probably some kid wanking in his basement wanting ROBOT PORN or something.

I pity morons, really
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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