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Converting a desktop game into mobile game- Illegal?

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Hi,

I recently started my journey into game development (I only produce the games and provide the idea). I have lot of ideas in my brain, but most of them require a hefty budget because of the graphics involved in them.

 

So off late, I have seen several games with simple graphics (using colored dots). For example, color switch. While going through this game, i found out that there is a desktop version of this game on POKI games. And there is a mobile version which became a super hit. I can see who developed the mobile version (Fortafy Games). But I couldn't find the developer for the desktop version.

 

Now my question is, can I take any game which is available on a desktop gaming sites like miniclip.com, addictinggames.com, poki etc. and convert it into a mobile game?

 

Is this legal?

 

Thanks for all the replies...

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Sure. Games are not patented. Hardly anything is original.

But what is your added value? You just say to the developers, this is a good game to copy...

If you can live with that, go right ahead.

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Your bigger issue isn't patents its copyrights. If you want to re-use any of their work you'll need permission. If you don't have their permission you need to create original art, sound, and code. About the only thing you can typically copy is core gameplay aka make knockoff.

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Now my question is, can I take any game which is available on a desktop gaming sites like miniclip.com, addictinggames.com, poki etc. and convert it into a mobile game?

 
 

 

 
That depends what you mean by "take" and "convert."
 
If, for example, you're going to use any of the intellectual property of that source game, then no, it's not (generally) legal to do so without permission of author of the IP. So you cannot use their artwork, sounds, binaries, source code, et cetera. You may not use names, logos or other trademarks. 
 
You can create a game that uses similar mechanics; you can create your own version of a connect-four or match-three game. You can't take and port somebody else's stuff without asking them though.

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can I take any game which is available on a desktop gaming sites ... and convert it into a mobile game?
Is this legal?


Sure, as long as you get permission from the IP owner. Moving this to the Business/Law forum,
where similar questions have been asked and answered many times.

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I think it also depends on what you want to do afterwards, if it's just practice and not selling, there's no issue at all

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Basically, you can make similar types of games, but you can't copy the artwork, name, code, audio, levels, or even the same sequence and nature of upgrades and unlocks.
 
Ideas aren't copyrightable, but implementations of ideas are. You can use the same ideas, but not the implementations (numbers, patterns, visuals, text, etc...). The closer you get to copying someone else's implementation, the more likely you are infringing.
 

I think it also depends on what you want to do afterwards, if it's just practice and not selling, there's no issue at all

 
It's not an issue of selling or not, it's an issue of making it public.
 
If you do it for practice and never release it publicly, that's fine (as long as you aren't violating the DMCA), but if you release it - even for free - you are violating copyright law.

Edited by Servant of the Lord

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The closer you get to copying someone else's implementation, the more likely you are infringing.

Yep, and if you just happen to be ridiculously similiar to some asset, that is far from "this was exactly it", you will have to badly prove you did not missuse the product (decompile it/ extract asset/ etc., whatever big EULA says). If you prove you just got inspired, you are well set ok.

 

But be first honest with yourself.

 

Circles and their radius or color would not be of question though :)

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