what a night. i took a hard road and decided to look into the copyright and trademark infringements i might run into. for one, i learned that trademarks are every bit as important as copyrights. i googled and found the US Patent and Trademark Office, and they have a trademark search (here) that yeilded two results on "Dragon Warrior":
[Serial Number] [Reg. Number] [Word] [Mark] [Check Status] [Live/Dead]
1 74271226 1844355 "DRAGON WARRIOR" TARR LIVE
2 73815978 1585893 "DRAGON WARRIOR" TARR LIVE
of course, i was expecting that, but if i need to run trademark queries, i know where to go. anyways, even more important, i got to talking with kSquared on #gamedev about intellectual rights and fair use. he pointed me at this.
in my mind, the most important part was rule 2, to me. as far as i'm concerned, the only thing that square-enix's lawyers care about is: does my work in any way hinder the sale of their game? in a word, probably. i mean, if there's this great game with the same story and setting as their boring old game, who the hell's gonna bother? that's a bummer. but, where does that leave me?
i sure don't intend to sell it. but i would like to share it. thats most definitely going to cause a problem for square-enix. i'm positive that i can change the maps, graphics, and names enough that i can get away with "almost" the same story and setting - but is that enough? once i'm done it, i'm sure i'll be able to twist the data enough to make it half-way unique, and shouldn't i do that? but at the same time, if i'm devving the game under the premise that i'll "change it later" - i'm still going to be sharing the data until that happens.. is that going to cause problems too?
oh the conundrum of the fan-based derivative! its just not different enough the way i'm going about it so far. i'm not sure what to do now. of course i'm going to keep ploughing at it as i was before, but i've gained a bit more knowledge on the subject.
hmm! here's an interesting well of info, the business of making games. didn't see that before. did a search on "fair use" ^_^ still, not much new here.