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jagguy2

copyright

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jagguy2    100
Hi, I was thinking of making a game similar but not the same as the old mission impossible from C64 years ago. I will be using different graphics of course and different game play 'as I forget the MI game play anyway'. I wanted a platform game where you sneak around a building and get clues and flick switches on computers, open doors and avoid robots. Is this breaking copyright ? Could someone say hey a platform game in this environment (mu;ti-room) and avoiding robots and getting clues too similar to the old MI from C64 On this point this article seemed to be a little unsure http://www.sloperama.com/advice/faq61.htm

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VanillaSnake21    175
Thats articles is more about using actual characters, graphics, or names from previous games. If you use a similar environment (such as a building w/robots) or a similar theme, it won't violate the CR laws. As always, common sense should be used, if the environment or story strongly tie into another game there might be a problem.

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signal_    366
I read about this game called the The Great Giana Sisters. This game was apparently court ordered to remove the game from being for sale due to its striking similarities to Super Mario Brothers. The game had its own graphics, but some of the monsters and level layouts were similar enough (or almost exact copies) that a court ruled against them so tread carefully here.

I think if you used your own graphics and level layouts you would be okay. It would be even better if you simply did not clone the game mechanics as well; that could lead to problems.

People are going to tell you to seek legal counsel. Since lawyers are expensive this may not be an option. So unless you just want to freeze up and be paranoid you'll have to rely on common sense.

Make your game different enough so that you do not open yourself up to these potential headaches would be my advice. For example, you do not want to spend twelve months or longer on a game that you're proud of only to have someone send you a cease and desist letter that threatens you with "long sentences, many modifying clauses, complex vocabulary, high abstraction, and insensitivity to the layman's need to understand the document's gist."

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jagguy2    100
well i cant copy the storyline as I dont remember it.
I will make my own levels, own graphics and make own storyline of solving a puzzle and collecting bits from each room.

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jbadams    25674
Moving you to the Business & Law forum.

The short version: In the majority of cases you'll be fine to make a game with similar gameplay, as long as you write your own story, produce your own graphics, level designs, characters, etc.


The longer version:
The important laws to look at in this case are copyright and trademark law:
Quote:
from Copyright - Wikipedia >> Works subject to copyright

Copyright law is typically designed to protect the fixed expression or manifestation of an idea rather than the fundamental idea itself. Copyright does not protect ideas, only their expression
Quote:
from Trademark - Wikipedia >> Terminology

Terms such as "mark", "brand" and "logo" are sometimes used interchangeably with "trademark". "Trademark", however, also includes any device, brand, label, name, signature, word, letter, numerical, shape of goods, packaging, colour or combination of colours, smell, sound, movement or any combination thereof which is capable of distinguishing goods and services of one business from those of others. It must be capable of graphical representation and must be applied to goods or services for which it is registered.
So in the case of a videogame copyright applies to things like the storyline, dialogue, etc., whilst trademark covers things such as the title, distinctive characters, etc. Gameplay is not usually covered by either of these, and is only in rare cases covered by a patent.

It's also worth keeping in mind that even if you're in the right you can still be taken to court, and that this could end up being quite expensive. The closer your project is to an existing game the bigger risk you take of facing legal action.

All that being said, it sounds like there shouldn't be any problem in your specific case.

I'm am not a lawyer, and my post does not constitute legal advice; if you really want to be sure you should consult a lawyer.

Hope that helps! [smile]

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