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      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.


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  1. Tom I'm just trying to give information so I can get advice on a topic I'm not experienced in, that's all. I've seen so many differing answers from so many places. Thanks for your input.
  2. [quote name='TechnoGoth' timestamp='1347534130' post='4979665'] The tricky part of OP problem comes down to what the relationships are. If his friend is employed at a game company and paid the OP to do some of there work for them then the OP would be independent contractor and would in theory own the right to the derived work. The problem being of course that unless their friend got permission from the company to subcontract out to the OP then they didn't have any right to transfer the company's intellectual property to a third party and the OP's work would be illegal as they didn't have permissions from the original owner to make to use of the original code. So while the company can't use the OP work the OP can't either. They have of course opened themselves and their friend up to potential litigation by the company. If the friend has a company that was hired to do work for the game company then it could be argued that the OP was an employee in which case the friends company would own the work. [/quote] This is where it gets a little trickier. The instructions were handed down by the company that my friend has, while my pay came directly from the client, and I didn't use the tools of either to author my code.
  3. [quote name='bschmidt1962' timestamp='1347383827' post='4978963'] [quote]But now as I understand it I have the derivative work, but does that mean that, for example, I can choose to not allow my work to be used, and force a reversion to the original work?[/quote] It's not quite that simple. What happened is that you and whomever paid you [b]did [/b]have a contract. It may not have been written down,but clearly since someone started writing you checks and you started writing code, there was some sort of agreement. You knew what to write, they knew how much to pay you. Since it was not a [b][i]written [/i][/b]agreement, it gets very hard. If there is a dispute (which reading between the lines, it sounds like there is), then the way disputes are settled in such cases in in the courts. Either you sue them because they're using "your" code, or they sue you for their money back if you're not handing over the code you wrote, etc. What will then happen is that a Judge will have to create a contract for you, after the fact, based on what you say, what they say and whatever evidence (email thread, logs, notes, etc). And they will decide who owns the code. Although I would advice contacting a lawyer versed in copyright and contracts law, I have to believe that if someone gave you some instructions on what code to write, wrote checks for you to write it and then you wrote that code, it would be difficult to believe the agreement between you was anything but a "Work for Hire" agreement. A judge would look at all of the facts and then judge what would be a reasonable contract. Although I suggest you contact an attorney (there-I've said it 4 times:)), if they paid you a reasonable rate (in the normal range for "work for hire" programming) and you accepted their money, I think you'd have an uphill case saying it wasn't a work for hire. But to answer your question with a much more simple answer: If you write code and get paid for it, but don't have a written contract, that does NOT mean that you automatically own what you've written. Edit for clarification. What I [b][i]should [/i][/b]have written was: If you write code and get paid for it and don't have a written contract it does not mean that you would automatically win if you were sued (for example, if you then sold/licensed it to someone else). It was a certainly huge error on the part of the person who is paying you to not ensure that you had a contract. Brian Schmidt Register for [url="http://www.gamesoundcon.com"]GameSoundCon[/url]2012 San Francisco Oct 24-25 [/quote] Thanks for that, pretty clear and concise. I'm sorry if I'm coming off pretty clueless about this, it's just that it is a situation I didn't expect to find myself in, and really need all the advice I can get to make informed decisions. Just to give a couple more details: I'm not using the company's tools, and to make matters even more complex, I'm actually being paid by a third party, not the people who give me instructions on code to write. Also what happens if the pay is far less than the standard work-for-hire rate? To clarify though, this isn't about money as such, I'm just wondering how it affects the issue. [quote name='samoth' timestamp='1347385087' post='4978978'] [quote name='fs86' timestamp='1347325271' post='4978747']as it has become pretty important recently, for details I can't and won't go into.[/quote]To me, this reads a bit like "I now have an offer from a direct competitor and since I wrote that stuff and there's no written contract, I'd reuse what I have, and sell to them". Don't correct me if I'm wrong, and don't tell me if I'm right -- just saying what this looks like. If it is anything like that, stay away from that idea, for your own good. Don't even talk about it. Seriously. [/quote] I know you said don't correct you, but when you posted that I realised that's how it is coming across, and that's REALLY not the case. I've not been approached by anyone, nor do I want to sell the code to another party. Sorry I can't go into details, but let's just keep it vague with it has everything to do with working practices and conditions, and decisions being made about the code.
  4. Thanks for the advice. So it IS as complicated as I thought. But now as I understand it I have the derivative work, but does that mean that, for example, I can choose to not allow my work to be used, and force a reversion to the original work? Also, to complicate matters further, it is only one element of the code that I didn't write from scratch, so does that make the rest of the work isn't derivative?
  5. Hi everyone, Just a freshly-minted member here, but I've got a question about my code, here's the scenario: Recently, a friend of mine got me a job building a web-based multiplayer game. Part of the game was outsourced, but I had to rewrite a lot of that, and the rest was left to me to write the code for. So basically, I've written both the client and most of the server-side code. Here comes the fun part: While I have been getting paid to do this work, there is no written contract (basically no documentation at all to confirm that I have been commisioned to write this game). Does that mean I own the code, or the company does? Ideally, I'm looking for some legal info on this, as it has become pretty important recently, for details I can't and won't go into. I've read online that the ownership resides with the author, unless the author is an employee of the company, or a contract explicitly states who the owner is. As there IS no contract, therefore no employee record, etc. I'm worried that the waters are somewhat muddied and need some confirmation. Thanks