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"amazing game idea"

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I'm sure a lot of people come here and say this, but what if someone really did have some kind of super game idea, and so many people would buy the game that it would have a big effect on how many wii's or 360's or ps3's were sold? Like it's an idea that you just read it and slap your head and say, wow! I wish I had thought of that! That really is a unit-mover! And it would be, because it would basically do it's own marketing and people would talk about it on TV and stuff and and not like (Jeez! games are violent!). I'm not saying I have that idea, but I have some good ideas, just as good as everyone else's ideas. BUt then if somebody had an idea like that, and he wrote about it, would that mean it was anyone's idea to take? If someone added something on that would change it to his post would that mean that he would have some asset in the game? If you posted it and somebody made it like you said and it was a giant hit game could you make them pay you?

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Let's assume for one moment that you post an idea here, and that (though extremely unlikely) someone sees it and decides to implement it. There are two possibilities.

If your idea is very simple, the game developer will have to fill in the actual details of gameplay (because all games need details). By doing so, the vast majority of the ideas in the game will be either the game developer's or be commonplace ideas found in games of the same genre. In this situation, arguing that the developer used your idea in a way that heavily impacts their game is difficult, because your idea is only a facet of the entire game—and that game shares more concepts with existing games than it does with your forum post.

If your idea is very detailed, the game developer will probably discover during implementation or testing that some of the details are either impossible or boring, and will change them. The more details you provide, the more changes will be made. In this situation, arguing that the developer used your idea is difficult, because the game only uses a subset of the idea, and does a lot of other things differently—your idea shares as much with that game as it does with other, pre-existing games.

This, of course, leaves open the matter of proving that the developers read your idea, instead of having it themselves independently. In short, I doubt you would have any leverage for getting paid for an idea you had if it were implemented.

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Original post by ToohrVyk
Let's assume for one moment that you post an idea here, and that (though extremely unlikely) someone sees it and decides to implement it. There are two possibilities.

If your idea is very simple, the game developer will have to fill in the actual details of gameplay (because all games need details). By doing so, the vast majority of the ideas in the game will be either the game developer's or be commonplace ideas found in games of the same genre. In this situation, arguing that the developer used your idea in a way that heavily impacts their game is difficult, because your idea is only a facet of the entire game—and that game shares more concepts with existing games than it does with your forum post.

If your idea is very detailed, the game developer will probably discover during implementation or testing that some of the details are either impossible or boring, and will change them. The more details you provide, the more changes will be made. In this situation, arguing that the developer used your idea is difficult, because the game only uses a subset of the idea, and does a lot of other things differently—your idea shares as much with that game as it does with other, pre-existing games.

This, of course, leaves open the matter of proving that the developers read your idea, instead of having it themselves independently. In short, I doubt you would have any leverage for getting paid for an idea you had if it were implemented.


Well Ok, let me put it this way:

Say I've got an idea for a really cool FPS. But it isn't just an FPS. When you clear a stage, a pizza appears in your living room.

Now it isn't that it's a really cool FPS that makes it a head-slappingly awesome idea. its that pizzas are appearing in your living room. Ive only thought a few dozen hours about how to make the FPS part cool (and how that interacts with the pizza part), but the reason I think the idea is good is the pizza.

basically, pizzas exist, FPS's exist, and consoles exist, and I can combine them all like a magic spell. So if I talked about it and then someone made a game that made pizzas appear in living rooms, then where would I be?

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Your hypothetical is a little on the bizarre, but I'll run with it [grin].

Ideas can be protected in two ways, patents or non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). With a patent, you'll need to pay and submit your idea to the patent office to be granted the exclusive right to your piece of technology for a period of time. You'll be able to then talk about it however you wish. Note that you can't just patent the concept of making pizzas appearing in a living room; you'd need to supply the method behind your new piece of pizza-appearing technology for it apply. You'd also only have a fixed amount of time for your patent (some years, depends on your jurisdiction). Also, if you post the details to the public, like in a forum, before you apply for the patent then your idea cannot be patented: this is an issue for research scientists publishing papers in journals.

If your idea can't be protected by patent, or you don't want to have reveal your secrets to the public domain, you'd have to keep your pizza-appearing technology a trade secret. This means you'd have to make sure that everyone you share it with signs a non-disclosure agreement to ensure they don't share it with the world or steal your idea. It also means you can't post the details of how it works here.

Thus if you were to publish the details of such technology in this forum without a provisional patent, then anyone would be free to go ahead and use it. However the value isn't in the concept of "wouldn't it be cool for pizzas to appear in your living room", it's in the specifics of how you can make that happen. If you did have a fantastical magic method for pizza auto-appearances in living rooms, then it's probably better to go approach someone like a venture capitalist to get funding to apply for a patent than to post here.

Now where's my pizza?

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WHAT? Sorry I was just sitting around browsing and read your post to my girlfriend and we couldn't stop laughing. Well seeing you would have to learn magic or create a device that would magically make your pizzas appear. You would have to patent your pizza developing device as well as the link between the console system and the living room creation device.

On a real note, probably everyone here has what they believe to be that one great game, the if I could do any game it would be this one. You could copywrite maybe a story, or if you had code you could protect that, but a vague idea even a GREAT one, good luck.

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I'm not a lawyer, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but... you'd be nowhere. The protection of intellectual property falls under things like copyright or patent law (under US law). To have copyright protection, you have to prove you came up with the idea first, which is rather difficult if you don't register the copyright with the US Copyright Office (not cheap). To have patent protection, you have to register the patent on the idea (expensive), otherwise you're out of luck.

I'm pretty sure an idea as detailed as pizzas appearing in a living room in an FPS is not either copyrightable or patentable. Maybe if the idea were fleshed out, it could be patented, but if you didn't pony up the cash to patent it and someone used it, you'd be out of luck.

Well, that's my understanding of it. If you have serious questions about this stuff you should consult a lawyer, not people on the internet.

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Original post by Trapper Zoid
Note that you can't just patent the concept of making pizzas appearing in a living room; you'd need to supply the method behind your new piece of pizza-appearing technology for it apply.


Quoted for emphasis. The general rule is that an idea is patentable if its description is sufficient for someone "skilled in the craft" to implement.

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Original post by kanato
I'm not a lawyer, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but... you'd be nowhere. The protection of intellectual property falls under things like copyright or patent law (under US law). To have copyright protection, you have to prove you came up with the idea first, which is rather difficult if you don't register the copyright with the US Copyright Office (not cheap). To have patent protection, you have to register the patent on the idea (expensive), otherwise you're out of luck.

Just to clarify on your post; copyright isn't really useful in protecting ideas. Copyright protects a particular expression of your idea, and you gain copyright protection automatically once that idea is put down in tangible form, even if you were to post it to this forum. However it only protects that particular expression of your idea; while I couldn't copy and paste your expressed idea verbatim (except for fair use, such as quotation), I'm free to read, learn and apply the idea without violating copyright.

I know I'm being a bit nitpicky, but intellectual property is an confusing blanket label that encompasses copyright, trademarks, patents and trade secrets, even though they are protected very differently. You can and do, in fact, get copyright protection for posts to a forum, but copyright isn't very useful for protecting ideas.

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Original post by TheKrust
You should also note that an "amazing idea" is completley relevant and no one will play it out in their head the same way.


Maybe, but the recipes for making pizzas are already proven and my alchemy is almost definitely going to produce pizza. like if i told you it youd have so many neurons snapping into alignment you might have a seizure. What i don't know is if it will make just slices of pizza or huge, family style pizzas.

id be mad if an anvil dropped on my head tomorrow and no one ever found out my magic spell, so i guess i'll just continue putting it on paper in my firdge so if the house burns down it will be cold and won't burn.

and then put the idea in the back of the oven, so to speak. Thanks for the help, everyone!

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Original post by generationZ
Maybe, but the recipes for making pizzas are already proven and my alchemy is almost definitely going to produce pizza. like if i told you it youd have so many neurons snapping into alignment you might have a seizure. What i don't know is if it will make just slices of pizza or huge, family style pizzas.

id be mad if an anvil dropped on my head tomorrow and no one ever found out my magic spell, so i guess i'll just continue putting it on paper in my firdge so if the house burns down it will be cold and won't burn.

and then put the idea in the back of the oven, so to speak. Thanks for the help, everyone!


I did not understand a word of that...

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