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Lynck

Harry Potter RPG

11 posts in this topic

Hi, I am starting to develop a Harry Potter RPG. It is based on the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Basically, you create a character, and then you go to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It will be an online game. I am hoping for it to be a 3D game made with C/C++ and it will be made in DirectX. I just want some ideas, suggestions, and comments about this game. Thank You.
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Sounds cool (especially if can pick a new wand or something).

It would also be cool if you could pick sides, like in Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight, where you could either be a Dark Jedi or a good Jedi.

And when you''re done, can you e-mail me? "lazercool@mail.com". It sounds like a cool game and I''d like to play it.
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Just to let you know, if you are using copyrighted material (names, places, stories that are in a combined fiction piece), you are opening yourself up to lawsuits.

You may want to change the names around.

-Geoff
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You will be able to get different wands. And, you can choose between the good and dark arts. I am going to send J.K. Rowling a letter asking if I may use the names that are in the books. Obviously some money will be sucked out of the profits for Rowling. If she declines, I will have to change the names around. I will let you know about the game as it progresses. I am not done the document yet. If any of you could help with the game after the document is done, please post a reply. Thank You.
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It can''t even be in the likeness of it. Having not read the books, I could be wrong but the wands comment sounds like something that is directly in the series. This can not make it into your game in anyway resembling the way wands are used in the books. This is especially true because you have posted here with your intentions. If she says no to your request to use her materials, then the game must be indistinguishable in every way from her product or she can claim royalty and probably win with a good lawyer.(Believe me she and her publisher have the money to run you out of business)

I sincerely hope you get the usage rights, but based on your tone above, I think you will be suprised to see what it takes to use successfull copyrighted material. Do not forget that her books held the 1, 2 AND 3 spots on the New York Times best seller list all at the same time and for weeks not days. This is no small franchise your asking for and you are going to pay for it big time.

Kressilac
ps Ask BioWare what they paid for the DnD license. If they tell you, you''ll probably be amazed. The next thing you will realize is you will need to treat her, her publisher, and her investors like a VC. Get a business plan together and be prepared to show her how you will not hurt the name recognition she has worked hard to build. Show her how giving you the rights to make your game with her characters, will enhance her books saleability. If you do less she will say no.
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Actually, thats not true.

Just the names are copyright. You can straight rip off all the items, and the scenarios and the character interactions and the plot and no one can touch you. You cant copyright or trademark and idea, and patents only work for technology/mechanics.

According to popular knowledge there are only between 20 and 40 plots in ALL fiction novels. Everything else is a derivative or combination of those.

You can have a game with wands, schools, whatever those books have, and there is nothing ANYONE can do about it (look at Pokemon, and all the Digimon, Monster Trainer spin offs).

The point of copyright is so that no one can steal your exact work, because the work is what counts, not the idea/concept behind it. Two people can have the same idea, concept, characters, plot everything, and one of them churns out a best seller, and the other makes something that reads like cliche dreck. Only implementation is protectable.

-Geoff
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You DO realise of course that the majority of programmers who visit this site make games for hobby.

I highly doubt that the person who is making it is going to sell it.
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I stand corrected on the wand issue. My inference from his statement was that he was planning on asking. Since that price will no doubt not come cheap, I figured he must be looking to sell the game to recoup the costs. If I am wrong, please forgive the assumptions.

Kressilac
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Thank you all for helping me with this copyright thing. Since this all sounds so complicated ( since i am only 11 )
i think i will just make the game for personal use. I will probably just change the names, but have the wands, schools, etc.. If anyone could help me, please post a reply. Thank You and keep postin''
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For personal use, anything goes. You can use everything right out of the books if you like. Funny thing is that if you get it done for personal use then you have a better case to present to the author for use as a sale item.

Kressilac
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So, I could get a game development team on Gamedev, make the game, and play it without having any lawsuits? Now, is there a way I could play with my friends over the internet after the game is all made and not be illegal?
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Yes, I suppose that if JK Rowling agrees, and you change a few names, it won''t be illegal.

Also, I might be able to help with some of the stuff (though I still have my own game projects to worry about). And you may get responses from others, especially if you post what the game will be like (tile-based, characters, etc.)
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