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copywritten characters

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simply put, i'm trying to make a game, purely for learning, and i've asked someone else to draw the art for me. the artwork is basically redraws of exisitng characters from another game. the game i'm making isn't the same type as the what the characters are from (e.g. Sonic in a golfing game) and i wanted to know if my project could get scrapped if i let people play it for testing purposes while i developed it? thanks!

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Read these:
http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=384942
http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=385103
http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=384121

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1. Fair use allows for the use of copyright materials for academic purposes BUT that almost certainly means as part of an accredited educational course. Doing it yourself would constitute a hobby and probably wouldn't count.

2. As soon as you start to distribute it (to testers) that would be a breach of copyright.

3. There is no need for you to use copyright characters in your game. You can learn just as much by using original characters so there is no need to be using someone else's hard work without there permission.

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my intent isn't to use others hard work, it's just that it's for a decent sized rpg and i need quite a few number of characters, and i'd rather have an artist draw the ones already made, and know ahead of time how the moves are gonna be assigned to the characters without having to develop it all first, b/c i really just wanna focus on getting the mechanics down. true, i suppose i could play with colored rectangles, but somehow that doesn't sound as much fun, ya know? incidentally, to understand the depth, it's turning pokemon into a real-time battle game, there's 13 types associated with over 380 pokemon, and an insanely large movepool. i plan on using just 15-20 different pokes and their respective evolutions so i can encompass all the types and have support for about 60 moves. i'm fine with the implementation involved with figuring out an efficient way to handle that many sprites, and developing ways to implement moves that are based off a turn based system into a real-time one, but the headache of waiting for an artist to creat their own monsters, deciding myself what kinds of moves they can learn, assigning types to them based off the artist's renderings and naming them internally (i planned on letting the user name them as their caught), plus figuring out how their individual stats should be done... it's a project i'd like to avoid... of course a thought comes to me, you think i'd get away with it if i have the artist alter them slightly? (a recolor of pickachu?)

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Quote:
Original post by zappernapper
my intent isn't to use others hard work, it's just that it's for a decent sized rpg and i need quite a few number of characters, and i'd rather have an artist draw the ones already made, and know ahead of time how the moves are gonna be assigned to the characters without having to develop it all first, b/c i really just wanna focus on getting the mechanics down. true, i suppose i could play with colored rectangles, but somehow that doesn't sound as much fun, ya know?
Yes I know... you don't want to do the work yourself and its always more fun to use something that someone else has already made successful than it is to make your own. Those characters are "more fun" because someone invested time, money and effort into making them fun.

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I can understand the frustration.... You want to see results quickly :(

If you don't distribute anything…?

I'm not a lawyer, so this is not legal advice just my opinion >

Well, you probably wouldn't be breaching fair use if you used one object strictly for your own education on your own computer, but that would probably be stretching the intent of the law and the exception. However, there are laws about reverse engineering programs and you may also be violating other less well-known laws. I would contact a lawyer and ask. Ask Tom gamelaw@gamedev.net :) <

Mostly though you would be handicapping your education and your game by not doing the work yourself.

Patience is more than a virtue; it is an axiom for good programmers!

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Just invent your own multicolored animals. Heck, change the name around a bit or something.

Or if you don't want to make money off of it or anything, submit it as a fan game with those copywrite labels in there somewhere.

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