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Hello, I was wondering if there was some way to share your ideas with people without your idea for a game getting stolen? I was driving home and all of a sudden this awsome idea hits me in the head like a ton of bricks and then I knew I had to turn it into a game. So I need some advice and tips please. thanks

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Well, if you think your idea is so original that somebody is going to steal and make a game out of it, you''d better keep it to yourself until you can make it on your own. There isn''t really a good way to go about it otherwise. Besides, nobody is going to pay you or anything just for your idea, unless you can offer proof (i.e. demo) of it. So either get started, or just don''t worry about it.

tj963

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The act of making your ideas public in one form or another with some legal protection attached is called ... "publishing" ...

If there is a strong storyline, maybe writing a novel or a short about it first and publish it. You don't have to go for the Pullitzer here; it's about finding a way to make it public and have copyrights attached using another form than a game as a first step. Preferably using a timestampable medium like an amateur novellist magazine or a local newspaper (a web page is not indicated here) from which you can get formal reprints. Then you can either make the game from it yourself or have someone else pay you royaltees to make it.

But the best way, as others indicated, it to keep them secret.

-cb

PS: If you can't make it in print and would like to look into online publishing instead, take a look at http://www.distantworlds.net.

[edited by - cbenoi1 on October 22, 2003 11:04:57 AM]

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quote:
Original post by cbenoi1
The act of making your ideas public in one form or another with some legal protection attached is called ... "publishing" ...

Sorry but this is wrong. Publishing something in book (or any other) form does not protect the idea . The only thing protected is the actual book itself, the words, in the order writen in the book. The original poster was seeking to protect his game idea. Publishing that in book form would be the same as posting it here. Anyone could take the idea and make a game out of it.



Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions
Game Development & Design consultant

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> Publishing something in book (or any other) form
> does not protect the idea.

My point was about a storyline, characters and such; something that can be considered ''intellectual property''. An idea about user-game interaction, special algorithm or rendering effects could be patentable. But obviously, my political ideas aren''t copyrightable nor patentable since that can''t be considered intellectual property.

> The original poster was seeking to protect his game idea.

If his game idea can be considered intellectual property in the legal sense, I think it''s an interesting avenue besides total secrecy. But then it depends on the nature of the poster''s idea, which we have no idea about... |8-}

> The only thing protected is the actual book itself,
> the words, in the order writen in the book.

I doulbt I could easily make a game based on Tom Clancy''s, Disney''s or JK Rowling''s works without expressed permission.

-cb

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Guest Anonymous Poster
"Don''t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you''ll have to ram them down people''s throats."
--Howard Aiken

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quote:
Original post by cbenoi1 My point was about a storyline, characters and such; something that can be considered 'intellectual property'.

Yes and my point was that doing so only protects those things and not the actual idea. Warcraft was based on Dune II. It doesn't use the story or character but it uses the same idea. If you write a book then someone could take that idea and do a game and they might actually get to market before you do.

quote:
> The original poster was seeking to protect his game idea.

If his game idea can be considered intellectual property in the legal sense, I think it's an interesting avenue besides total secrecy.

I thought we had already clearly covered this point. Ideas can not be considered intellectual property under the current IP laws.

quote:
> The only thing protected is the actual book itself,
> the words, in the order writen in the book.


I doulbt I could easily make a game based on Tom Clancy's, Disney's or JK Rowling's works without expressed permission.

But we aren't talking about based on, we are talking about inspired by. Warcraft isn't based on Dune II but it is certainly inspired by it. Had Interplay known earlier what Westwood's idea was they might have got their game to market first.

Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions
Game Development & Design consultant

[edited by - obscure on October 23, 2003 9:48:34 AM]

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While the gameplay of Warcraft was based on Dune, the content was strongly based on Game Workshop''s Warhammer. Also, Starcraft borrows heavily from Warhammer 40K. But Game Workshop can''t complain too loudly as their material is derived from a number of sources, including Toiken, Alien, Terminator, etc.

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quote:
Original post by Korvan
Also, Starcraft borrows heavily from Warhammer 40K. But Game Workshop can''t complain too loudly as their material is derived from a number of sources, including Toiken, Alien, Terminator, etc.

Don''t forget that Game Workshop returned the favor to Blizzard by assimilating the Zerg into the Tyrannid!

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quote:
Original post by cowsarenotevil
Obscure, once again, you can have idealogical property in the U.S.


What on earth is that supposed to mean? There is no such word as "idealogical". If you are attempting (and failing) to claim that ideas can be protected please post a link to the web site of the government agency that administers such protection and quote page, and paragraph number.

Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions
Game Development & Design consultant

[edited by - obscure on October 28, 2003 6:59:07 PM]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
From the COPYRIGHT office: http://www.copyright.gov
WHAT IS COPYRIGHT?
Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U.S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works.

From the TRADEMARK office: http://www.uspto.gov/main/trademarks.htm
A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.

Paraphrased from the PATENT office: http://www.upto.gov/
A patent gives you sole right to use a certain process or design for a set amount of years.


So no, you can not protect an IDEA.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
If you want to "share your ideas without them being stolen" have the person sign an NDA saying they won''t tell any one about, or use those ideas. Specify in the NDA that if they break that NDA they will owe you a million dollars.

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What i am doing for a project i am managing is give the least amount off ppl the least amount of info. Just make sure you give them enough to get their job done. A programmer doesnt need to know the ftp address and passwork for a website..only the lead webmaster does. All the other webmasters can send their files for upload. It works both ways..only the programmers, artists, and sound pruducers need to have the engine. only the artists and the modelers need to know what the exact models are supposed to look like. You limit their knowledge so that noone can run off with the game or even worse, sell the engine and get you fined millions of dollars for copywrite infringement. and if something like that does happen than you know who that one person or 2 ppl that had access to it.

[edited by - halomarinecorps on October 30, 2003 1:24:31 AM]

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Wow, i would never like to work for you. You seem to want to limit communication/team members interactions, while IMO any successful project needs the opposite. You mean that, if i''ve coded the complete graphics engine, i''ll never be able to see it running "in action" with live models until the game is complete ? Wow again, i''d retire immediately. But i wish you good luck anyhow.

Y.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I''ve worked at companies like that... and they''re all bankrupt now. You need to share as much information as possible.

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Halo -

Highly inefficient and ineffective. Maybe if you were working on a top-secret government project that involved national security, that sort of methodology would be appropriate. But that level of paranoia is extremely expensive and slow.

For a game, I think the cost of maintaining your security will quickly outweigh the value of what MIGHT be stolen. If you can''t trust your team even that far, maybe it''s time to get a new team. There may be some much simpler precautions you can take to protect your collective work in development.

Ultimately, though, you are going to have to accept some level of theft. Even the big boys have to deal with leaked beta copies that get sold by pirates online before the final version hits the store shelves.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Also, please keep in mind that your idea may not be the unique, beautiful snowflake that you think it is. Ideas are the easiest part of game development, and everyone thinks they have a million seller or twelve in their heads, so it''s unlikely that some big ol'' giant gamedev studio is going to read your idea, drop whatever they''re currently working on, and devote a few million to stealing it and making all the billions that you so richly deserve.

It''s just an idea, man. It''s not that special.

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