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Advice I think the path I chose is wrong.... | Should I be worried about similarity between my game's feature and other corporated ones? | Is my idea on the game okay?

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This will be my third thread here, and I'll celebrate for being....engage in a forum community for this much by....er....ah yes, thanking everyone that has helped me in my previous two thread, esp to Kylotan for nuking my mistakenly submitted thread, also for the friendliness and patience of everyone toward me, a complete n00b. :confetti:

As I've mentioned before in my previous threads and in the above paragraph, I know nothing. So I thought to myself: At least don't just sit there waiting for Jesus to come down and bless you with programming skills and do something! Thinking that, I wrote /have been writing out my ideas for my game while looking for pirated udemy courses (I'm broke btw fyi). The game is a big one, and it being my first game ever, lead me to thinking: "Maybe I'm taking more than what I can chew" after reading tips that can be generalized into "Making small game frequently first, then tackle big ones". But I plan to work on this game for quite a long time in a part-time manner

Then it hit me. Most of the features I planned to include in the game is already there in, if not, have high similarity to, other games that I played and am playing. The thing is, most of those games are backed by companies like KOG Games, and other company that can...hit me with a copyright report. Why.....

TL;DR: I think I picked the wrong to start my game making path, my game may get hit with copyright reports

Again, I need advices, on these questions:
- Am I taking the wrong path? I think I am taking the wrong path....
- Should I be too worried on copyrights? If yes, how should I deal with it, tweaking the game or play "Dodge the Bullet"?

Also, here is my game idea, at:

Is this okay? Is there anything I can add in to spice things up or cross out? Also, I have an under-average skill in English so, if there are any clutter in my writing, let me know so I can clarify it to you.

 

Again, thank you you guys so much! >~<)/

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I'm on my phone, so this is a short response.

Game features are not copyrightable. You can take other people's features for your game.

You can't take names, slogans, art, sounds, music, or anything specific like that. And you can't copy a distinctive branded look of another game, or deliberately make people confuse your game for someone else's.

But features and mechanics are free to be shared and remixed.

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Note that there are two things at play here: copyright, and trademarks. These two are not the same. Copyright is about incentivizing creation by giving authors monopolies on copying specific works which have been "fixed in a tangible medium" (e.g. books, movies, images, songs, games). Trademarks are about designating how brands (e.g. names and logos) should be used for the purpose of protecting consumers from confusion (e.g. masquerading as competitors). Most people who aren't making fangames have the trademark aspect down (lots of fangamers commit rampant trademark violations left and right, ironically because they think it's "giving credit", which is exactly the sort of thing trademarks are supposed to prevent), so in reality, it's just copyright you're dealing with.

Gameplay mechanics (or "features", as you call them) are not works. Therefore, gameplay mechanics are not copyrightable. Copyrighting a gameplay mechanic would be like copyrighting paragraph structures or colors or musical notes. These aren't works; they're fundamental components of works.

Now, if you were to reverse-engineer Space Invaders and make a pixel-perfect wholesale copy of it, that would be copyright infringement. But that's because you would be copying the game wholesale, not because it has the feature of aliens moving left or right and then down, or the feature of shields that you and the aliens can destroy, or the feature of you and the aliens shooting at each other. If you instead took the general idea of aliens coming down at a ship and the basic features, that would be fine, and what you would end up with is something like Galaxian.

Note: I am not a lawyer and of course, none of this is legal advice.

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Just as with literature, something truly new that has never been done before is almost unheard of.  Almost all games are derivative of earlier games.

Do you think Tropico is original?  Nope.  It was inspired by an old board game called "Junta".

Research trees were a new thing in Civilization?  Nope.  Avalon Hill's tech blocks.

Just like with storytelling, it's pretty much all been done before.  Your game is no different than anyone else's, it is filled with things you like from other games you have played.  That's how everybody's games are.  Something truly new is a very rare thing.

 

EDIT: And, just to correct a bit of history that has always been wrong... Even in cases where everyone is certain they know what the first was, nope.  Wolfenstein was not even the first 3D first person shooter.  The first true FPS game was called "Magic Maze".  It was never released commercially, it was the star attraction of the "Computer Room" at board game conventions.  6-8 players sitting around a circular table playing over a LAN connection before "online games" existed.  "Have a nice day!" smiley faces in a rat's maze shooting spit balls at each other.

 

 

Edited by Kavik Kang

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Game features are not copyrightable, but they are patentable which is like putting a copyright on it. A patent on a game feature says that only the holder of the patent can reproduce this feature. Big companies hire their own lawyers to take care of patent problems. Indie devs don't really have to worry because patent holders won't come after you unless you make a lot of money. Just be aware that they exist if you want to get started in the indie business.

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Those would be software patents. Regarding those:

http://patentabsurdity.com/

Just to be perfectly clear, software patents are a problem for all programmers. The sanest response, ironically, is to shut your eyes and NEVER. EVER. look up or read any information about any software patent. EVER. Because:

1. There's no way you're going to look through them all.
2. There's probably no way you're going to be able to avoid them. Someone was able to patent calculating spreadsheet cells correctly (look up "natural order recalculation"; it's a long expired patent, so this one is safe).
3. For your efforts, you get additional liability, triple damages.

Note: I am not a lawyer. Don't take this as legal advice. This is just my personal policy, as a software developer.

One more thing of note: the way big companies depend against patent suits is to build up their own arsenals of software patents themselves, then cross-license with anyone who threatens them. Sort of like nuclear weapon stockpiling for mutually assured destruction, really.

Edited by JulieMaru-chan

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