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Unity What are the legal issues if I base my engine off of another?

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In short, is it legal for my in house engine to be heavily influenced by Unity in terms of class hierarchy and members, based on the fact that the game it was made for was prototyped in Unity? I'm planning to use the indie version of Unity to prototype my game. That is, I plan on using Unity to make sure that gameplay and graphics assets are more or less final. What are the legal issues involved if I decide to make my final game using an in house game engine used to implement the final project? On one hand, my in house system will inevitably be similar to Unity (in terms of say, the class hierarchy and properties), since by then I will have planned gameplay code around Unity's system, and I'm not sure if the similarities will be enough to call infringement. On the other, one can argue that I am simply copying concepts, not code, and that those concepts are pretty much uniform across all game engines anyway (for example almost every game engine with a light class has some property for color, attenuation, and projected texture, and all lights are descended from a common class). Thanks in advance.

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Talk to your lawyer and whatever people are in charge. They will need to work out the cost benefit of saving development costs by using a third-party engine vs. potential cost in damages if infringement is found.

Legality in this case has next to nothing with what is right or what is wrong. If you make money off it, and someone can lay claim to it, and the cost of proceedings is lower than potential income, then it makes sense to earn extra income through lawsuit.

It's just business cost on either side.

Quote:
(for example almost every game engine with a light class has some property for color, attenuation, and projected texture, and all lights are descended from a common class


SCO made its fame through lawsuits regarding linked list. As said - it's about business, not technology.

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Why would you prototype in Unity and then spend all of that time writing your own engine that is "like" Unity? The Pro version of Unity is only $1,499 which is about a week's wage for a single skilled programmer.

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+1 for Codeka.

Furthermore, why would you base your own game engine on Unity. Sure Unity is a great little engine but the majority of its power comes from the editor. As such the whole class hierarchy is designed to be used with the editor, unless you intend to reproduce the editor functionality as well you might find you're better off basing your own engine on something different. I'd suggest an open-source engine with a permissive license if you're worried about legalities.

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