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Yet another 'how much I can copy?' question


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#1 Unduli   Members   -  Reputation: 1057

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 02:10 AM

Hello there,

I know you are both fed up with and used to questions asking that they can copy to what extent. I have basic idea but just wanted to confirm. Apologies in advance if this is too inconvenient.

I wonder if I can use some elements from well known Desert Strike of EA

you can see gameplay @



if needed

Ok, I know that I can't create 'Dessert Strike' with Dapaches flying around. But would there be any problem if I include elements like helicopter (cpt obvious) , carrying soldiers, hooking ammo, rockets or fuel?

Thanks again in advance.

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#2 Ashaman73   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 7991

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 02:43 AM

But would there be any problem

Nobody can answer that for you for sure. Cloning gameplay seems quite safe for now, but there're efforts to fight this (here's a blog discussing this topic). The question is, how unique is the gameplay you want to clone ? Think about shooters, you know, running around with guns and shooting enemies, this game play has been copied 1000 times.

Edited by Ashaman73, 01 October 2012 - 03:04 AM.


#3 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10157

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 08:04 AM

I know you are both fed up with and used to questions asking that they can copy to what extent. I have basic idea but just wanted to confirm. Apologies in advance if this is too inconvenient.
I wonder if I can use some elements from well known Desert Strike of EA
Ok, I know that I can't create 'Dessert Strike' with Dapaches flying around. But would there be any problem if I include elements like helicopter (cpt obvious) , carrying soldiers, hooking ammo, rockets or fuel?


What does your lawyer say?
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#4 bschmidt1962   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1879

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 09:27 AM

A lawyer will be able to tell you broad strokes, like "gameplay itself is not covered by copyright, though specific expressions are."
I doubt a lawyer would give you advice one way or the other specifically about helicopters and ladders, unless you paid them significant sums of money to to a 'thorough' search for prior IP. By "significant' I mean dozens of hours of research time at hundreds of dollars per hour.

If you want to make yourself feel more comfortable, do some searching yourself. You can look to see if specific gameplay systems/processes are patented through places like Google Patent or freepatentsonline.com. And/or you can look to other helicopter games to see if they have similar mechanics.

IMHO ("O" of course stands for Opinion) Unless you're doing a blatant ripoff (literally duplicating gameplay, terrain layout, scoring, story, etc) you should just make your game, bringing your own unique elements, even if both your game and Desert Strike share helicopters picking up people and things (which is what helicopters do, afterall).

Btw, thanks for the flashback-- I worked on Desert Strike (SNES and Genesis).

Brian Schmidt
GameSoundCon

Edited by bschmidt1962, 01 October 2012 - 10:19 AM.

Brian Schmidt

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GameSoundCon 2014:October 7-8, Los Angeles, CA

 

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#5 Unduli   Members   -  Reputation: 1057

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 01:19 PM


But would there be any problem

Nobody can answer that for you for sure. Cloning gameplay seems quite safe for now, but there're efforts to fight this (here's a blog discussing this topic). The question is, how unique is the gameplay you want to clone ? Think about shooters, you know, running around with guns and shooting enemies, this game play has been copied 1000 times.


Actually I am quite sure theoretically there is no problem unless you copied exactly. But it doesn't prevent you from being sued ie unnecessary headache at the same time. I exactly agree with you about shooters but just wondered your opinion. Thanks.

What does your lawyer say?


Well, that sounds quite Sloperama :) I know this is something I could adress at lawyer to get a reliable answer, but as stated I ask your personal opinion before asking for legal counsel. This is to prevent unnecessary effort at the zero point. Thanks though.

A lawyer will be able to tell you broad strokes, like "gameplay itself is not covered by copyright, though specific expressions are."
I doubt a lawyer would give you advice one way or the other specifically about helicopters and ladders, unless you paid them significant sums of money to to a 'thorough' search for prior IP. By "significant' I mean dozens of hours of research time at hundreds of dollars per hour.

If you want to make yourself feel more comfortable, do some searching yourself. You can look to see if specific gameplay systems/processes are patented through places like Google Patent or freepatentsonline.com. And/or you can look to other helicopter games to see if they have similar mechanics.

IMHO ("O" of course stands for Opinion) Unless you're doing a blatant ripoff (literally duplicating gameplay, terrain layout, scoring, story, etc) you should just make your game, bringing your own unique elements, even if both your game and Desert Strike share helicopters picking up people and things (which is what helicopters do, afterall).

Btw, thanks for the flashback-- I worked on Desert Strike (SNES and Genesis).

Brian Schmidt
GameSoundCon


First pleased to meet someone from DS team. Pity , I heard of it quite late (few months ago) ,even though my gaming history starts with C64, during my search in isometric gaming.

And thanks for response, I too do tend to believe it is safe unless ripped off. Actually helicopters will just be small part of game where some people will use them instead of being infantry on an isometric map.




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