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qah661

Safest Way to Publish

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Hello everyone! This is my first GD.net post. I am working on an XNA game and I want to be able to sell it when I am done. To be honest, I am kinda scared to publish any game. I am always hearing about companies suing one another and big lawsuits resulting from patent and copyright infringements. What are the risks out there for indie game developers such as myself in this aspect? Which is the safest route to go when publishing a game? Thanks

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If you are using art or music or characters or story from another game then obviously you are infringing and should never publish your games.

Otherwise there is not much risk as long as you're not blatently ripping someone off. Game genres don't seem to be a problem: look at how many god of war clones or prince of persia clones there are these days. How many FPS games, how many RTS games, etc. If your art, story, sound and other content are wholly original or at least derived far enough away from their inspiration it's probably cool.

The only correct safe answer for you, however, is "consult a lawyer". You'll probably want to talk to one anyway since if you're publishing for dollars you'll almost certainly want to set up a proper company for tax reasons.

-me

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Quote:
Original post by qah661
I am working on an XNA game and I want to be able to sell it when I am done.

are you talking about a PC game or XBLIG (xbox360 console)?

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Some friends and I are currently working on a game, right now in the design stage still but I can offer a little feedback here because it is an issue we have picked up on ourselves. We will also be working in C# on XNA for this first game or few. So good luck, but back on topic...


Common sense is a good start, but consult with a lawyer is always the best bet to cover your arse. Though, the rule of thumb is if you're going to use someone else's resources make sure you have the rights to do so in the way you will be using them. This is especially true for fonts. Yes, I just said fonts. They are possibly one of the most easily overlooked copyright issues in Indie game development. I am glad that our team found out about it early on ;)

To redistribute fonts without obtaining the rights to do so, even the ones that come with Windows is in violation of licensing law, including in the bitmap font form. The documentation with XNA gives you something like 6 to 8 fonts you can legally use in your games as Microsoft has passed along the redistribution rights for you. In addition you can also go to places like http://www.dafont.com where you can download free fonts. Though, be careful and read all the licensing documents that come with the font file within the zip folder. Some give you permission to use them free and commercially, but have restrictions on redistributing them. If you're unsure, either contact the maker of the font for clarification and permission or don't use it.

That's the big one that comes to mind at the moment, hopefully some other people will be able to suggest some other things that might be easily overlooked and taken for granted, as we're interested in seeing if anything else comes up that might have slipped under our radar of research.

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