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Iron_Cross

Why license things?

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As the topic says, I'm wondering why you would license things. Say for example I wanted to make a Dragon Ball Z game, I've heard you need to license the characters and such. I've found out where to license stuff like that, but my questions are these: 1. Are the characters the only thing you'd need to license? 2. Is licensing mandatory or just a good thing to do? 3. If I did get a license, would I have to draw all of my own images for the game, or would I be able to use screen shots and stuff? I'm not much of an artist :P haha I'm wondering because I'm just a teenage developer, and while I don't plan on selling my first or so game, if I can gather a team (which I've been doing) and develope a small but solid game I would like to sell it. Perhaps just to my local area, for a small fee, nothing like publishing and stuff. If anyone knows the answer to these questions that woudl be awesome! Thanks for any help you may offer. Iron_

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Quote:
Original post by Iron_Cross
1. Are the characters the only thing you'd need to license?
2. Is licensing mandatory or just a good thing to do?


you need a license on the whole shebang, but that'd be part of the contract with the company anyway.

YES!!! it's mandatory. failure to license the stuff and then selling the game will result in them sueing you for lots and lots of money. they'll sue you for lost revinue, which covers anything you've made on the game and any money they think their brand lost because your game didn't meet their standards. so basically you'll have no money left. don't mess with lawyers.

-me

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That's cool. At very least I'd like to be able to use this game on a resume, not for profit. But only if it turns out that way, of course if I can sell it I'd like to.

Also, if I were to base my game off the idea of DBZ, but not use the same characters or names, yet they looked very similar and were based on the same ideas, would that violate these laws? Because I don't really have tons of money to blow on a license, especially when I don't expect to make a profit off this game, any money I would make would be put directly into production/upkeep costs.

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If you want legal advice, you need to ask a lawyer licensed to give you such advice by the bar in your state. You ain't gonna find it on gamedev.net.

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I'll never understand why some people are so gung-ho about basing game ideas off of established franchises (and Dragonball Z in particular). Do y'all really not have any original ideas you'd rather see made a reality?

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Because when you base it off something, much of the work is done, and already popular. The chances of me creating a totally new game, then trying to get people to hear of it are near 0.
Or take for example pokemon, magic:TG, or yugioh. In those games, there are hundreds, if not, thousands of individual monsters pre-drawn and thoughtup. For someone like me, who couldn't possibly create each of those thousand monsters and such it's easier to use what's already made. Why re-invent the wheel, when the wheel works great and is popular as hell?!

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Personally, I would love making the game on my own, the part that worries me and makes me think I can't do it, is the fact that I can't draw :P If I could draw decently, I'd be making something on my own in a heartbeat.

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It doesn't matter if you are selling it or not. The company that created the property invested their time/money/hardwork/creativity into producing it. Because of that they get ownership rights over the property and if you want to use it (because you don't want/can't invest the time/hardwork/creativity then you need to negotiate with them for the rights to use it.

Of course if you really are just going to use it on your CV then you might be able to get away with it as they wont see it. However there is another important issue apart from the legal one. Employers in the game industry are looking for creative staff. I would never hire someone whose art portfolio was full of copies of other pictures. Same goes for programmers. Originality is a prized asset.

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im currently developing a full stand alone game based on Star Gate SG-1.

as far as i know licenses are not required as long as:

you do not profit in anyway from the idea you are using.

you do not claim to be affiliated with the company the piece of property came from.

and you give the appropriate copyright information of the company on any ad, website, packaging, etc.

another project i am working on however will require a great deal of licensing. cars, music, etc. but this is a commercial game, which means i have to do this. but if you never sell the game, do not use any material(read: artwork, sound, etc.) from the company who owns the thing you are copying, and dont claim it to be your intelectual property, you should be fine.

BTW, here is the lsit of music you will see in my game, all of which will be licensed, at a great expense:

Walkin On The Sun----Smashmouth
Kryptonite----3 Doors Down
Independent----Kelly Clarkson
Harder To Breath----Maroon 5
Blurry----Puddle of Mudd
Come Down----Bush
Around the World (la la la)----ATC
Get This Party Started----Pink
Family Affair----Mary J. Blige
Highway To The Danger Zone----Kenny Loggins
Headstrong----TRAPT
All Star----Smashmouth

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