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Zrifepsych

Inspiration guilt

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This is an idea that I've come up with an idea for my RPG game for a long time.One of the main concept of the gameplay is that the characters uses their 'materialized' subconscious to fight. Now you might think "Isn't that Persona?" but actually that is 100% inspired by Stand from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure that I read since I was like 9 and have fell in love since.I've dreamed to become comic artist for years before and every single time I ended up with a concept that is somehow a form of Stand. Now that I'm actually want to develop video games, I took the ideas from my comics and converted them to fit into video games instead.  Here's my dilemma now. I've read somewhere that Persona creators admit that they also are fan of JoJo. But now I'm thinking " Is it too late for me to do this?" since the Persona series have planted it's root in the mainstream for a long time now and I feel like people are just gonna see my game as a rip-off of Persona. Now I'm at a halt and losing motivation to continue with this idea. Should I just go with the idea or should I reconsider it?

Edited by Zrifepsych

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There is nothing wrong with inspiration from sources outside of your mind. Will people say it is just  a rip-off of persona...of course they will, and some others will say it is a rip-off from JoJo's Bizarre adventure, some might even suggest you stole from Dr Who's Face of Evil or Forbidden Planet's id monster or Jekyll and Hyde or any number of possible sources all the way back to ancient times. You will always have someone say you copied/stole/cloned etc it is inescapable reality. Ignore it.

 

Telling your own version of a story or game as inspired from a previous source is perfectly fine (unless you cross over on trademark issues etc (but this is outside the scope of what you suggest in your post)).

 

As an example of new creations based on a single inspiration I present to you a List of films and television series featuring Robin Hood

Edited by Stormynature

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Thank you for the encouragement. Yeah the 'Stand' is only a part of the game but still, the concept is really recognizable at this point that it intimidates me. 

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You will always have someone say you copied/stole/cloned etc it is inescapable reality. Ignore it.


Exactly right. It's a common saying among writers that "there are only seven stories" (go ahead, Google that). It's the details that make the difference.

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There are several other examples of using a materialized subconscious as a fighting force.  The subconscious is really not all that different from chi, ki, chakra, willpower, or other spiritual/magical power that comes from inside a person.  Multiple historical traditions of magic caution that is is possible to accidentally cast a spell by having a strong subconscious desire for something to happen, and that the subconscious use of magic is the naturally-occurring kind, which is then harnessed by conscious focus and training into more formal spellcasting.  The western tradition doesn't do a lot with condensing magical energy into objects, instead the tradition tends to be imbuing magical energy into physical objects (such as a sword which has fire magic imbued into the blade) or transforming physical objects into supernatural ones (such as shapeshifting into one's inner animal).  But there are lots of non-western examples of physical manifestations of magical energy.  The most basic is the aura or armor that appears around a warrior or athlete who is fired-up or resolved like a tree or a stone.  Then this defensive ability spawned an offensive equivalent, the ability of a punch, kick, or weapon slash to throw a ball or wave of force.  Shields, ropes, and all sorts of weaponry came next, and can be seen in many modern animes, especially martial arts ones, from Dragonball to Naruto.  So there's this whole family tree leading to concepts like "materialized subconscious".

 

Nor do your two examples stand alone.  Utena, Bleach, and Soul Eater all feature "soul weapons", with a bit of variation on the concept.  In Utena, one person in human form can draw the soul weapon out of another person if the second person loves the first (even for somewhat twisted versions of love).  In Bleach the person has to discover their own soul weapon, which takes humanized form (basically their anima or animus) as well as gaining permanent physical reality as a sworn (which can be transformed temporarily into a higher level or more specialized weapon or ability).  In Soul Eater the weapons are a race of magical beings, somewhat like shapeshifters in that they have two natural forms, one humanish and one a weapon.  They court and are courted by human weapon-wielders, with the goal of settling into a permanent partnership (rather like a dragon and rider, or a mecha and pilot).

 

So yeah.  If you know your concept's family tree you will have a wider basis from which to design your original variant.

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Thanks for the reply sunandshadow. But rather than energy waves or objects the materialized subconscious in my fiction takes the form of humanoid with details that fits with the personality/subconscious of a character. Which is similar to Stands in JoJo and Persona, their power appears like a guardian angel because I think it's the coolest power to have. Right now the major difference I have between it and Stands&Persona is how the power is obtained.

Edited by Zrifepsych

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Just to add one more thing: I only recently have this dilemma because I never played any Persona games before. But now that I finally play my first Persona game which is Persona 4 Golden, the idea of someone already use this concept in a major RPG franchise causes me to think about this.

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I will apologise in advance as my words may seem a bit harsh but they are intended in good faith.

 

Stop wasting your time worrying about this. It is a non-issue. The only thing that is stopping you from progressing onwards is your own fear. To quote Dune "Fear is the mind killer".

 

 

If someone at some later date says "OMG you ripped off persona", then just link this thread and you will have more than enough via date and time to show that you became aware of it, had concerns, asked advice and moreover gave your own genesis:  "that [it] is 100% inspired by Stand from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure that I read since I was like 9 and have fell in love since.I've dreamed to become comic artist for years before and every single time I ended up with a concept that is somehow a form of Stand. Now that I'm actually want to develop video games, I took the ideas from my comics and converted them to fit into video games instead." The fact that the creators of Persona were also inspired by the same book means absolutely nothing, excepting that obviously they also found themselves inspired to create THEIR OWN VERSION WHICH IS NOT YOUR VERSION.

Edited by Stormynature

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Thanks for the reply sunandshadow. But rather than energy waves or objects the materialized subconscious in my fiction takes the form of humanoid with details that fits with the personality/subconscious of a character. Which is similar to Stands in JoJo and Persona, their power appears like a guardian angel because I think it's coolest power to have. Right now the major difference I have between it and Stands&Persona is how the power is obtained.

Bleach does have the subconscious materialize as a humanoid, though they don't appear very often in that series, they aren't one of the major features.  This is what I was saying about animus and anima - if you aren't familiar with those terms, they are from the work of Carl Jung, a psychiatrist (among other things) who was a student of Freud, then branched off into his own theories.  Animus and anima are masculine and feminine versions of the same term.  They refer to an inner opposite person, who has traits that you admire in others but don't want to develop in yourself.  This oppositeness is why the default assumption is that this animus or anima is the opposite gender of the person whose mind is generating it.  In some ways an animus/anima is like a muse or a dream girl/dream guy.  But it can also be an imaginary best friend who acts as a perfect partner (for work, combat, whatever) due to having complementary skills.  Again, like dragon riders and their dragons, or a warrior/mage pair, etc.  Personally I don't think it's a big stretch from projecting your "soul partner" into the real world (where they tend to become their own person) to drawing your "soul partner" to you with magic or special technology, establishing some kind of bond, and having the two act in such close synchrony that they sort of merge into one person.  IMO these are fundamentally the same concept, just approached two different ways.

 

Anyway, the point remains the same - if you go read or watch other similar concepts you will be able to relax about Persona.  In addition to Bleach you might want to check out Loveless (the one with cat eared virgins, not the one mentioned in the Final Fantasy games).  Loveless has pairs of a fighter and a support person who strengthens the fighter, and there's some kind of soul bond between the two.

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I wouldn't stop development due to having a similar idea. Being inspired and ripping someone off are two totally different things.

 

If your game design is a clone of someone else's work, and you knowingly make it so that everything is the same, then I would certainly suggest you abort this operation (this qualifies as ripping someone off). If this is not the case, the fact is that no game was created without inspiration from something or someone. A lot of RPGs have the exact same gamplay and concepts (turn-based, magic/mana, save the world...). How many platformers remind you of Mario, for example? An indie game called Braid caught a lot of heat for being a bit too similar to Mario. It's okay to draw inspiration, but try to do so without duplicating someone else's work verbatim.

 

For sure, it's possible to observe a concept and create something you can call your own. How many people have taken the concept of humans having supernatural abilities and run with it? There are probably hundreds of different possibilities and variations now. Whole genres were formed because so many people took inspiration from a concept and made something of it (romance, horror, mystery, same general ideas in nearly every work in those genres). Add a twist. Create new rules. Change things up.

 

Once you've done this, adding original elements from your own imagination to your work, few people will even think of Persona when they see your game--because it'll be a different experience. When I think of Naruto, I don't instantly think of One Piece, Bleach, and Pokemon--all of which involve superpowers, many themed after the same four natural elements (earth, fire, water, wind). If I do think of them, it's because they're all anime.

 

Best wishes to you!

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