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glhf

Is it possible to protect your game design when recruiting a team?

8 posts in this topic

When hire are recruiting and interviewing potential team members they will want to see the game concept and an iteranary where you say pretty much everything about the game... all features that are worth mentioning and how it's different than competitors etc.
The only thing you don't have to show is the GDD.

But with what you show them... sure it can become a very different game but most likely it will be at least of the same genre or the player market that you want.
Means that everyone you show it to could become an unknown competitor if they decline your offer and use the concept + iteranary to make it themselves. And unknown competitors are more dangerous than known competitors.

So is there any way to protect yourself because I doubt most people would sign a contract before getting to read the concept.
Or is it just a risk you must take?

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Copyright law protects you from anyone outright copying your design.
If you want to prevent people from getting inspiration from it then you need to have people sign an agreement before you show them anything (Which means almost noone will even bother contacting you).

People who mearly get inspiration from your GDD however are not a real threat, you take a bigger risk by delaying the start of development than you do by sharing your design. Every day that passes increases the risk that someone else gets an idea for a similar game and actually implements it before you do. so my advice is:
Stop worrying and start working. (If you release first it doesn't even matter if someone copies you, your customers will consider their game a shameless ripoff)
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[quote name='SimonForsman' timestamp='1335039081' post='4933587']
If you want to prevent people from getting inspiration from it then you need to have people sign an agreement before you show them anything (Which means almost noone will even bother contacting you).
[/quote]

What kind of contract/agreement is it that stop them from doing anything similar?
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[quote name='glhf' timestamp='1335039370' post='4933592']
[quote name='SimonForsman' timestamp='1335039081' post='4933587']
If you want to prevent people from getting inspiration from it then you need to have people sign an agreement before you show them anything (Which means almost noone will even bother contacting you).
[/quote]

What kind of contract/agreement is it that stop them from doing anything similar?
[/quote]

You should probably talk to a laywer about that. employment contracts often have non compete clauses, you should be able to do add something similar to an NDA. (if its enforcable or not is another matter entierly).
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Unless you really have the money to defend it, it's really not worth it.

Ideas are a dime a dozen. Even if someone obtained your complete GDD, they'd still have to actually make the game. If they are just looking to work for someone, it's doubtful they are going to manage to make the game on their own in the first place.

Most people would rather make their games based on their own ideas anyway.

I think you're being a bit paranoid. The longer you work in game development, the more you will understand that such thinking is a bit silly. Sure, it's totally possible someone could steal your idea and make a multi-million dollar business from it. Is it probable? You have better odds of getting crushed to death under a vending machine.

The idea/concept of the game is merely a starting point. It takes talent+dedication+hard work+time+resources to actually make a successful game out of a GDD. You could post the GDD up for all to view and I can almost guarantee the game would still not get stolen and made into a successful game.
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[quote name='Konidias' timestamp='1338328764' post='4944453']
Unless you really have the money to defend it, it's really not worth it.
[/quote]

This is really the crux of any intellectual property dispute. Your IP is only secure if you can afford to defend it in court. Nothing is stopping anyone from taking your hard work and branding it as their own, if you can't afford to sue them.
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[quote name='TechnoGoth' timestamp='1338394575' post='4944715']
[quote name='Konidias' timestamp='1338328764' post='4944453']
Unless you really have the money to defend it, it's really not worth it.
[/quote]

This is really the crux of any intellectual property dispute. Your IP is only secure if you can afford to defend it in court. Nothing is stopping anyone from taking your hard work and branding it as their own, if you can't afford to sue them.
[/quote]

QFE. In fact, one could argue that Zynga's current business model relies upon this fact almost entirely.
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This conversation was ostensibly finished a month ago. I'll close this. Anyone with new questions or important thoughts on the topic is welcome to begin a new thread.
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