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uncutno

Copying game design???

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Hello! Im almost ready to begin my first big game.. (basecode/engine is almost finished) Now this is my problem: I have played a game, and i like it alot! I think its almost perfect, and i have had it in my mind for maybe 3 years, so i now know how every bit of the game works. I want to create my own version! I want to upgrade from 2D to 3D, change smal bits here and there, but the gameplay/gamelogics would be 80% identical to the original... The thing is that i also want to sell it!(smal scale) what do you think about copying gameplay? is it wrong? is it right? can you get problems from it? are there examples of games where gameplay have been copied (i know about quake/doom/unreal/(a realy long list of FPSes and RTSes)), and people did not like it, because of that? what do you think?

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Two big questions arise in my mind when I consider cloning a game: Will I get sued? and Why should people get my version rather than the original?

If you pick the wrong game to clone and get sued for it, it may not matter whether you''re legally in the clear or not - you probably wouldn''t have the resources to win. You need to at least avoid copying anything too distinctive - if you plan to make money out of your project, unless you''re confident you can remove the original game''s "fingerprints" from your game, it''s probably worth investigating the possibility of getting official permission to use elements of their design. Anyway, IANAL so you might want to get proper legal advice.

The second question is probably even more important - at least if you want to actually sell your game... on the other hand it sounds like you''ve already come up with some basic improvements on the original (2D to 3D)

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quote:
Original post by rmsgrey
Two big questions arise in my mind when I consider cloning a game: Will I get sued? and Why should people get my version rather than the original?

If you pick the wrong game to clone and get sued for it, it may not matter whether you're legally in the clear or not - you probably wouldn't have the resources to win.

Unless you're in the UK like you and I are, in which case it shouldn't be too bad. The CAB will be able to refer you to someone who has a good idea about whether you're likely to win or not, and if you're likely to win, you won't have trouble finding a lawyer as their costs will be paid by the person wrongly suing you. Note that this is somewhat different to the way it works in the US, and I can't comment on the Norwegian system (which would apply to the original poster). However, I expect it is closer to the UK model than the US model in that attempting to burden people with legal costs by issuing frivolous lawsuits doesn't generally work.

quote:
it's probably worth investigating the possibility of getting official permission to use elements of their design.

Rules and systems are unprotectable, and can be freely copied and adapted. Certain systems might class as inventions and therefore be patented, but this won't apply to the general feel of a computer game. However, any assets such as graphics, sound, or text will be copyrighted, and distinctive names will be trademarked.

This is probably better answered in the Business forum.

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[edited by - Kylotan on April 23, 2003 9:19:33 AM]

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Its a shareware(witch you must pay for :-) ) by a smal company i want to copy. The story will be totaly different, the look and feel will be totaly different... the copying will be that this game is made by one person, witch made him reduse the game from a comersial level... he did this so perfectly, that this game is almost as good as the AAA versions off the genre...

laws will not be a problem, im just asking if its good or bad, to improve another game, instead of make you own totaly new design... (the game i want to "inspire" my game is also a copy off an old classic... (not talking packman of tetris :-) ) )

i just ask, is this a bad maner??? even if all big companies does it?

(there is no "right" answer to this question)

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I''m against copying game design. There are too many clones. The entertainment industry has suffered with movie and games sequels and songs which have minimal of lyrics and tune and are repetitive. Forget ripping off the company, you''re ripping off the gamers.
Though I don''t think you''d be in trouble if you sold it small scale, you''d probably be considered too small to be of interest, no offense.

Artificial entertainment- Define reality...
Contact: kyser3152@yahoo.com.au

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Well can you add something to it? I mean, sure, we are flooded with tons of clones all over the place, but the trend is that each successful clone builds on the last.

In other words, the industry builds itself not by reinventing the wheel, but by adding improvements to it.

Look at Half-Life: in essence a cookie-cutter fps, but one that provided enough spark (through moddability) that it became one of the most successful FPSs ever.

In other words, clone the game, sure, but take it above and beyond what''s already been done.

Moo.

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Yeah, if you''re going to make a direct clone of the game, just because you loved the original game so much you can''t help it, forget it. Your game will be overlooked as a clone, and odds are it''ll never be as good as the original.

Now, if that game you liked so much inspired you in doing a new game, using some of the ideas it introducted, I see nothing worng with it. If NOBODY did that, FPS''es would have been extinct before Wolfstein 3D was even made, because someone would say "hey! making a game in first person is MY idea! Do not copy it! Go do something else!".

That''s the basics behind "genres". A genre is a general set of ideas shared by many games, and so are sub-genres.

Just because they used "bullet time" effects in Max Paine, it doesn''t mean it should be the last game to use such effect. People should get inspirated by it, and improve it further, finding creative ways of using it, until it further develops into something else. That''s how it works.

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quote:
Original post by uncutno
laws will not be a problem, im just asking if its good or bad, to improve another game, instead of make you own totaly new design...

The question is to ask yourself, "why would anyone play this game?" Is it because it plays better, looks better, costs less, runs on more/different platforms, is more configurable, etc etc... if you have a reason, go for it. If not, then ask yourself "if no-one will play this game, why write it?" and repeat the procedure



[ MSVC Fixes | STL Docs | SDL | Game AI | Sockets | C++ Faq Lite | Boost
Asking Questions | Organising code files | My stuff | Tiny XML | STLPort]

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