Sign in to follow this  
brbbit

Need resources and legal advice

Recommended Posts

Basically it's going to be a duelingnetwork[dot]com clone, but for a different TCG.

For somebody who's never had any exposure to Flash+AS3 developing online multiplayer games, what resources would you suggest in order to make this small project a possibility?

Also I've got a couple of questions regarding the legal part of the matter:

1. How duelingnetwork[dot]com isn't getting sued by the actual creators of the franchise? What should I stay clear off to not to get dragged into a lawsuit after finishing the project and puting it up on the web?

2. I don't want to register the website for the game under my or any other indivudual's name. What are my options on that?

That's about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You can use a registar that will hide your identity. I use hover, and I believe they offer this service. Many do. Then again, I don't really care about hiding my name.

As to why haven't they been sued, well frankly, they probably just haven't painted a big enough target on their back. Don't kid yourself, they are completely illegal and would be shut down in a second if Konami went after them. If you do the same thing, expect the same response.

On the other hand, if your service isn't impacting their revenue, they will probably let it slide. However, part of trademark law is, you have to actively defend your trademark in order to keep it, so in a sense they have a legal obligation to send a cease and desist letter.

By the way, if you think not using your name with the internet registry is going to protect you from lawsuits, it wont. If you are wondering if your site will be violating trademark law, it will be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Serapth' timestamp='1313164590' post='4848272']
You can use a registar that will hide your identity. I use hover, and I believe they offer this service. Many do. Then again, I don't really care about hiding my name.

As to why haven't they been sued, well frankly, they probably just haven't painted a big enough target on their back. Don't kid yourself, they are completely illegal and would be shut down in a second if Konami went after them. If you do the same thing, expect the same response.

On the other hand, if your service isn't impacting their revenue, they will probably let it slide. However, part of trademark law is, you have to actively defend your trademark in order to keep it, so in a sense they have a legal obligation to send a cease and desist letter.

By the way, if you think not using your name with the internet registry is going to protect you from lawsuits, it wont. If you are wondering if your site will be violating trademark law, it will be.
[/quote]

It's not that I want to hide from lawsuits/cease and desist by not using my name, I simply don't want to use my name. If I get in any trouble though with the franchise rightful owners then, sure, I'll shut down the website.
As for impacting the revenue, I doubt that it will happen because after all, serious people prefer having the real thing when it comes to TCG. Players who buy the cards will keep buying them for apparent reasons, and those who want to play the TCG but don't want to buy any of the cards will never attempt to play/buy the real thing so there's really no lost sales/revenue for the big guys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='brbbit' timestamp='1313165518' post='4848279']
[quote name='Serapth' timestamp='1313164590' post='4848272']
You can use a registar that will hide your identity. I use hover, and I believe they offer this service. Many do. Then again, I don't really care about hiding my name.

As to why haven't they been sued, well frankly, they probably just haven't painted a big enough target on their back. Don't kid yourself, they are completely illegal and would be shut down in a second if Konami went after them. If you do the same thing, expect the same response.

On the other hand, if your service isn't impacting their revenue, they will probably let it slide. However, part of trademark law is, you have to actively defend your trademark in order to keep it, so in a sense they have a legal obligation to send a cease and desist letter.

By the way, if you think not using your name with the internet registry is going to protect you from lawsuits, it wont. If you are wondering if your site will be violating trademark law, it will be.
[/quote]

It's not that I want to hide from lawsuits/cease and desist by not using my name, I simply don't want to use my name. If I get in any trouble though with the franchise rightful owners then, sure, I'll shut down the website.
As for impacting the revenue, I doubt that it will happen because after all, serious people prefer having the real thing when it comes to TCG. Players who buy the cards will keep buying them for apparent reasons, and those who want to play the TCG but don't want to buy any of the cards will never attempt to play/buy the real thing so there's really no lost sales/revenue for the big guys.
[/quote]

See, that can all change if they decide they want to get into the online space, or they license their IP for someone else to make an online game. The minute you see a Facebook game or similar, expect the cease and desist letters to go flying out of their lawfirms office.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='brbbit' timestamp='1313164003' post='4848269']
Basically it's going to be a duelingnetwork[dot]com clone, but for a different TCG.

For somebody who's never had any exposure to Flash+AS3 developing online multiplayer games, what resources would you suggest in order to make this small project a possibility?
[/quote]
Do you really understand it is not "this small project"? That website looks pretty big.

A simple Google search shows some job listings, one where they were looking for 10 staff, another looking for 5 staff, another looking for multiple artists.

They've got over 4000 concurrent users, and recently had to cap it at 4000 to work out some technical issues.

Based on those numbers alone, I'd say they have a staff of 20+ people working full time plus many active members in their community who patrol their forums and other services. They've also been live for some time, so they've already worked through a lot of technical issues.

Unless you have a lot of money to hire a similar sized staff you won't be able to turn out something at their same level.



However....

If you set realistic goals, and understand that your own hobby card game is not on the same level as a small business with multiple employees, you can do something smaller and more realistic.


If you want a simple type of card dueling system, if you knew flash you could put out a reasonably polished small project in a few months, say 8-12 weeks.

Obviously such a system would be simpler. It wouldn't have the archive of cards (assuming you developed them yourself instead of steal from another game). It wouldn't have as much fancy artwork (assuming you did it yourself rather than steal it from the web). It would not have the same level of polish (unless you pay for a large QA team or have several thousand users pound on it for months on end). If you adjust your expectations to something reasonable for your investment, there are smaller projects you can complete.


[quote]
1. How duelingnetwork[dot]com isn't getting sued by the actual creators of the franchise? What should I stay clear off to not to get dragged into a lawsuit after finishing the project and puting it up on the web?
[/quote]

Sadly, DuelingNetwork prominently declares that they are Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, art, rules, and other IP.

They apparently took a very large (and stupid) risk of using material they didn't own to start a business. IP infringement violations like theirs have caused many sites to die, simply because they don't own it. It isn't theirs. Trying to sell services and products that you don't own or have rights to is simply not legal.

There is no absolute guarantee that it will be caught immediately, or discovered while the business small. But if a startup infringes on IP and starts to grow, it will eventually be discovered by the property owners.


For another thing, based on Google searches, they ARE currently facing legal action by Konami. They had a temporary shutdown in June from a DMCA takedown, which they resolved by showing they were working with the IP owners. It appears they are trying to work through the issues with Konami to properly license or modify their materials.


[quote]
2. I don't want to register the website for the game under my or any other indivudual's name. What are my options on that?
[/quote]

You still need an actual contact, but you can form it under a business name once you have properly formed a business.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If only there was a way to ask permission to do something like this? Hmm, couldn't hurt to make the program, submit it to the people would own the label and see if they would indorse it. Never know...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I already have a team of three, plus me, and they are willing to do this just for the heck of it. There's absolutely no place for money in this project, it's purely hobby driven. I know that might not matter at all, if it's a hobby, but we're still determined to create the program atleast for our own interests. We're not even talking about the donate button, which duelingnetwork recently made available to their users. Don't ask or tell me about "Oh, but how will you pay for the hosting and that other crap?". Don't worry about that last part.

All the UI art-style is done, it looks much more cleaner and simpler compared to the duelingnetwork[dot]com.
But there's really not much to it. The only artwork that will matter(stand out) will be the cards' images themselves.
We decided to create and populate the card database ourselves. The images/pictures of the actual cards though will be grabbed from a third party online database website, that is not in any way associated with the actual franchise owners.

There was a hot debate about the players following the rules of the game themselves(what most of these types of games do) versus implementing an actual rules engine(usually standalone, commercial). It was decided that for now we would stick with the first one, but later on perhaphs make the second one an option.

As for the polishing. It will be done by ourselves plus any other people that would be happy to participate when the project would reach closed beta. There's really no way to benefit from exploiting the game anyways.

But aside from all of that, could somebody provide worthy resources that will get this project to closed beta?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Could someone atleast link to some good book(s) for a beginner?

Also, any idea what technologies were used to create duelingnetwork?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this