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Suggestions for a beginner game develop (myself)

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Hello. My name is Aaron, and I'm developing an indie game with original gameplay aspects and an original storyline. I need help with the design process. I'm just going to come out and say it: my game is a 2D Metroidvania game. How extensive do you think the design document should be? What's a good basic template to work from? Should I make a separate technical document, documenting the different technologies I'll be using? I know I should start small, which my friend and I are doing. We're going to make a prototype version of the main game (the one with the original storyline) and not really having any backstory. I can't list the story or anything essential as my friend is afraid that someone will steal them. Just know that they're all really good ideas! :) By the way, we may be looking for a programmer eventually, so I may post the storyline then. We're going to wait 2 weeks before that, though... ... also, what are some ways to trademark some of our ideas (e.g. characters, title, etc.)? Thank you very much! :) Aaron.

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Hi Aaron, you wrote:
>what are some ways to trademark some of our ideas (e.g. characters, title, etc.)?

Trademark doesn't apply until your game is being sold (i.e. in "trade"). If there's some unique process in the game, then patent might be applicable. You can copyright your game design and your images without first being in "trade."

What I'm saying is that there are 3 forms of intellectual property law that apply to games: patent, trademark, and copyright. Make sure you know which is which, and which is applicable to your needs. If you want to get a copyright, and you're in the United States, go to http://copyright.gov/
If you want to look up how to get a trademark or patent, try http://uspto.gov/

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Is content (e.g. game scenarios, characters, images, sounds, etc.) not automatically copyrighted when I create and/or share them?

This would be a VERY useful reply. :)

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Everything you release on the Internet is copyrighted to you unless you explicitly state otherwise, IIRC. The issue is that enforcing your copyright is a much more difficult affair.

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binchawpz is correct, when you release content that you own you have a copyright on the content. However, a registered copyright is typically what you see from most companies and this is what you would want if you want to defend your content in court. This is granted through the http://www.copyright.gov/ website as mentioned before (for U.S. Copyrights).

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Quote:
Original post by TOmcAT23
binchawpz is correct, when you release content that you own you have a copyright on the content. However, a registered copyright is typically what you see from most companies and this is what you would want if you want to defend your content in court. This is granted through the http://www.copyright.gov/ website as mentioned before (for U.S. Copyrights).

Oh ho! Thanks a lot! I'll be sure to get a registered copyright on my story, artwork, and music! Thanks again!

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