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Regarding a proper way to get permission to make a "fan-game"

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You see, I had this idea a while ago that involved me trying to get permission via email to make a legal "fan-game" of Anima: Beyond Fantasy, though for whatever reason, I never got a response back about it, which aggravates me to no end.

If anyone could help me determine what I did wrong, here's the exact email in question, only without my real name at the end (due to privacy policies I'd like to keep over the net):

[quote][font=arial, sans-serif][size=3]Hello Mr. Carlos B. Garcia Aparicio,[/size][/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3]I suppose I should cut to the chase when it comes to the subject matter. I was hoping to legally develop an Anima video game, but there's a bunch of problems that I need to address first off with myself in this regard.

First off, I'm a guy that's learning how to develop and program video games with what I can gather from different resources, though I had been focusing on learning Visual Basic and Visual C# 2010 for a while with the books that I bought that are for beginner level people. I don't want to screw this project up, supposing that I get allowed to do it, so that's why I plan on doing this in 2D for now (given that I do not know how to do 3D programming at the moment).

Second off, I'm a guy that has experience writing fan fiction, but not enough original works. I plan on fixing that tidbit of information by writing an original novel, so for a while of my time, I plan on also working on an original novel (though I don't want it to distract me from my already planned works, and I definitely don't want it to distract me from the video game that I'm hoping to work on, should it pan out). However, I was thinking that you would at least understand that I'm trying my hardest with originality, given the circumstances that I have.[/size][/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3]Third, I don't have a whole team to back me in the creation of any game that I might decide to work on, I'm in this on my own at the moment. If I ever get help, it might not be a long-term help, so that would affect on how long it takes me to complete it. This means no complex technologies, no nothing of the sort, and only some moderately good resources for a 2D project. I only have some computer-based tech that is more for creating RPGs specifically (and anything else with a bit of work).

That's all that I can think of for problems at the current time, so let me go into a bit of depth about what I'm going to use for making the game, if only as a case of "not in it for the money".

The tool in question that I'm using is RPG Maker, with which I'll be making the maps and doing the database stuff to create characters and the different features, such as a unique battle system for this particular game that matches what Anima does for different characters that get created, as well as a unique menu system to deal with everything that goes on in the game, to name some things.[/size][/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3]So, in all honesty, I don't know if I'll be allowed to make this game, but a guy can hope, right? I had some ideas down last year, but it took a long while to find out the needed email address to contact you, so that's why I am only now coming to you to ask for permission to make this.[/size][/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3]Also, on another note, what is the policy of writing fiction for the setting? I'm sure you have the answer to that one, but as I said earlier, I'm naturally a fan author when I shouldn't be.[/size][/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3]Anyway, *ahem* sorry about that, guess that should be for another email.[/size][/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3]At any rate, hope to speak with you soon, Mister Carlos B. Garcia Aparicio.[/size][/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3]Sincerely,[/size][/font]
[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3]"Xamusel"[/size][/font][/quote]

...Yeah, that was a bad email, wasn't it?

Could someone please help me get the right steps down to ensure I don't have a repeat of the last time?

Note that my username was used as a stand-in for my actual name. I don't feel comfortable sharing my real name here unless needed.

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Yes, it's a bad email. You're asking a businessman a business question, and you're not doing it in a businesslike way.
But even more importantly, you should not do this by email at all -- unless it is impossible (after about a month of trying) to find the phone number. You should really do this by telephone.

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Well, there's one problem that I have in regards to getting the phone number, and it's that I live in Washington State and the company in question is in Spain. I don't know when they'd be open during the time I'd normally be awake, so I opted for email, and you can guess that I sucked at that one.

Do you think I should stick with the email? Or is it better to try finding a time to call the company in question?

Also, considering I know no Spanish whatsoever, I need a medium that would be less impossible to talk to them with. Hence why I opted with email (other than what I already mentioned).

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It's easy to figure out time zone differences. They probably know enough English there -- English is the Lingua Franca of Europe, doncha know (for some amusing irony, look up the phrase "Lingua Franca").
You need to establish contact by phone.

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Okay, I get the idea, I'll [b]attempt[/b] to make contact via the phone.

That is to say, I'll try, but I need to at least figure out what the number is.

Anyway, I had only known about that particular email to use, for whatever reason it never occurred to me to check the phone numbers.

Should I not know where the phone number is, do you think you could show me how to rewrite the email, or do you want me to look everywhere on the company site for the phone number?

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[quote name='Xamusel' timestamp='1336355973' post='4937931']
Should I not know where the phone number is, do you think you could show me how to rewrite the email, or do you want me to look everywhere on the company site for the phone number?
[/quote]

I already answered this question.

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Okay, I was just trying to cover my bases with that, but I guess it wasn't needed.

Alright, I'm honestly confused about the direction to go to finding the phone number, if anything. I tried Google (so far) and what I did find was unable to give me the contact info that I need.

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Hey, a guy can get busy at times, what did you expect?

It took a while for me to notice this, due to being busy with other things, and that's something I don't think you'd be inclined to hear about.

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Carlos Blás García Aparicio

[url="http://www.animagamestudio.com/Quienes%20lo%20hacemosEng.html"]http://www.animagame...hacemosEng.html[/url]



Contact details including number

[url="http://arkofsinners.wordpress.com/contact/"]http://arkofsinners....ss.com/contact/[/url]


Press release regarding the studio's anima game "Ark of Sinners"

[url="http://www.gamasutra.com/view/pressreleases/74340/MORE_CLASSIC_GAMES_ARRIVE_ON_NINTENDO_eSHOP.php"]http://www.gamasutra...TENDO_eSHOP.php[/url]


I am not sure why you were having difficulties tracking down the information. This took only a few minutes of cross-referencing links. Without intending insult you might wish to consider looking into something like the following:

[url="http://www.visualsteps.com/downloads/How_to_Search_more_effectively_with_Google.pdf"]http://www.visualste...with_Google.pdf[/url]

Either way I wish you luck in your quest to make a fan game.



[quote name='Xamusel' timestamp='1336441343' post='4938255']
It took a while for me to notice this, due to being busy with other things, and that's something I don't think you'd be inclined to hear about.
[/quote]

You will notice in the top right of the thread page is a button [Follow this topic], by clicking on it you can ensure yourself email notification of a change in the thread. Edited by Stormynature

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[quote name='Stormynature' timestamp='1336458355' post='4938305']
Carlos Blás García Aparicio

[url="http://www.animagamestudio.com/Quienes%20lo%20hacemosEng.html"]http://www.animagame...hacemosEng.html[/url]



Contact details including number

[url="http://arkofsinners.wordpress.com/contact/"]http://arkofsinners....ss.com/contact/[/url]


Press release regarding the studio's anima game "Ark of Sinners"

[url="http://www.gamasutra.com/view/pressreleases/74340/MORE_CLASSIC_GAMES_ARRIVE_ON_NINTENDO_eSHOP.php"]http://www.gamasutra...TENDO_eSHOP.php[/url]


I am not sure why you were having difficulties tracking down the information. This took only a few minutes of cross-referencing links. Without intending insult you might wish to consider looking into something like the following:

[url="http://www.visualsteps.com/downloads/How_to_Search_more_effectively_with_Google.pdf"]http://www.visualste...with_Google.pdf[/url]

Either way I wish you luck in your quest to make a fan game.



[quote name='Xamusel' timestamp='1336441343' post='4938255']
It took a while for me to notice this, due to being busy with other things, and that's something I don't think you'd be inclined to hear about.
[/quote]

You will notice in the top right of the thread page is a button [Follow this topic], by clicking on it you can ensure yourself email notification of a change in the thread.
[/quote]

Okay, maybe I wasn't looking hard enough, but at least I should've seen that coming. Either way, thank you for helping me out, Stormynature.

Also, I had forgotten to click on the [Follow this topic] button, so forgive me about that. It's something I honestly should do in the future.

No, you weren't insulting in what you said about trying to find things on Google better, I can understand what you were trying to do.

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Lots of great advice (Tom always does that) [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]

Commenting on the substance of your email..

Your email does pretty much the opposite of what it's supposed to do [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/rolleyes.gif[/img]. You emphasize that you're 1) just learning and 2) don't actually a team or any experience. Yet you want to take his property--his baby--his creation, and make it into a game.
I'm not suggesting you be deceitful, but listing your shortcomings is not the way to get him interested.
Rather, impress him, wow him and flatter him with your incredible enthusiasm for his property. Talk about how great it would fit a vision you have of your game. Make references to characters, plot, etc (but don't go on and on... people HATE overly lengthy emails).

Because, frankly, your youthful enthusiasm is your only selling point to him (since you by admission are inexperienced and have no team).

Also don't mention things like Visual C#, RPG tools etc. He has no idea what those are, and doesn't care. And don't say things like "I had some ideas a year ago, but am only not getting around to....". All that does is make you look unorganized-- do you rabidly and passionately want to make a great game from his property? Or is this something that you'll stick on the backburner again for another year.

Finally-- and I am not necessarily advocating this approach... Sometimes people/fans just go ahead and make their game. Yes, it is clearly in violation of copyright. But it also gives you something to show the property holder.

There are a couple interesting examples: The original "star wars lightsabre" app was done without permission of Lucas. Yet they made it (in clear violation of copyright) and put it on the app store. Of course Lucas found out about it-- in the end they came to a license agreement.

Apologies if my critique of your letter comes off as harsh-- The intent was to help you see your writing through your recipients eyes, rather than your own, so that next time you craft a better letter!

Good Luck
Brian Schmidt
Executive Director, GameSoundCon
[url="http://www.GameSoundCon.com"]www.GameSoundCon.com[/url]
GameSoundCon 2012: Oct 24/25 San Francisco, CA Edited by bschmidt1962

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Thank you, Brian. I understand where you're coming from, if it helps matters.

Yeah, something I should mention about my phone plan, I don't have International Phone Calls on it. Therefore, I'll stick with email as my option, for now at least.

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You're still very early in learning to program at all, it appears, let alone games. My advice is to set this idea of making a fan-game, or indeed any game, aside for awhile. It's good to have it as a goal--something tangible and finite to work towards--but jumping in too early as you have is only distracting you from what you should be doing in the here and now: learning to program.

You're doing more than putting the cart ahead of the horse, you're putting an entire train of carts in front of the horse. Just take things one step (or cart) at a time. Edited by Ravyne

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[quote name='Xamusel' timestamp='1336599551' post='4938789']
about my phone plan, I don't have International Phone Calls on it. Therefore, I'll stick with email as my option, for now at least.
[/quote]

If you can't afford to make a phone call, you can't afford to make a fan game. Because another piece of advice we're sure to give you (upon your asking something else later on this project) is to hire a lawyer. So I'm with Ravyne on this - make something else instead.

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