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Found 24 results

  1. Questions :- To sell a C++ game library/framework/engine, does it usually have to be open-sourced? For a C++ template class (real template), it is quite hard not to be open-sourced, correct? If it is open-sourced, how to protect the copyright? How to enforce people to just use it, but not copy? ... I think it is practically very hard, because people can see the source code, and "rewrite" it. Does a shop like Unity's asset store make thing safer? If so, how? Arrogant assumption :- The game library/framework/engine is high-quality, well-documented, and it would be marvellously sell well. Besides some free libraries like Bullet and Ogre, it is developed all by myself. The library/framework/engine is not bound to any legal obligation (e.g. the most restriction is MIT). I have these questions after reading a news :- Muhagames develop a game named Thea Awakening (C#). The company use its own Honey Hex Framework (C#) as a library to develop the game. The company sell Honey Hex Framework via Unity's asset store to boost its financial position. There are also others old examples e.g. Unity itself or Unreal, which is now open-source ... How do they protect it? Actually, I don't plan to sell any library. I am just curious.
  2. I have several Unity Assets I'm planning to publish through my current employer to the Unity Asset Store. But I'm worried about legal protection. I'm not really sure how to protect myself or my company from potential law suits. Not that I'm expecting them. It seems like I need to hire a lawyer to draft a EULA, but I'm wondering if there is some standard EULA that basically says use at your own risk. Or if there is an article that talks clearly to this topic. - Thanks. The products will be 100% self developed code, and self developed models, no fan art With Source Code included
  3. I have some graphics from a graphic designer of full screen gameplay mock-ups. Unfortunately he is no longer available to work on the project but I still like his concept. Would there be any problem with myself or another graphic designer using his design mock-ups as the basis to create the actual graphics for a game? Essentially it would mean copying / recreating the individual graphical elements to use in game. My instinct is that it should be fine but I don't want to step on any legal toes.
  4. Can I copy a game?

    Hi Guys, My name is Serghei, I live in Moldova and I have a question: Can I copy a game's functionality legally? What I mean is that I want to make a game based on another game's idea/functionality. The game I am referring to is http://utopia-game.com initially my game will be 90% the same, in the future I will make changes and it will become slightly different, but initially I want to keep it simple. I don't want to copy the game's graphics or soung, just everything else Thanks for your time, have a nice day
  5. Hello, I am developing my first game which is a serious game about renewable energies. Basically, my idea is to sell the game usage rights(of a branded version) to a National Electricity Company (in a small European country aka Portugal). Then use the core mechanic to produce a paid (PC) version to sell worldwide. This version will have different graphics, different in-game goals, more depth but the same core mechanic. What do you think about this? Does this route make sense to you?
  6. Hello everyone, I'm new to this so I have some questions for the more legal savvy than me here I'm currently writing a story for an adventure game. In my mind this story takes place in a existing-real world island. This includes stores, people and locations in that place. I wouldn't want to use the actual names of businesses in that place nor the actual names of people. But as far as locations are concerned I'll definitely want to use the actual naming. Is this possible? Could my business get in trouble by this? Could I get in trouble for similarities? Same business in same place , different name? (like a parody). Are there are any papers I can have people sign that will avoid me getting sued over this? (this is a small place, people might actually agree to be part of the game) I hope I make sense! Thank you for your time.
  7. I live in central Europe, but I don't want to have anything to do with the country I live in due to its highly corrosive, socialist nature (the taxation/theft is so astronomically high that it is basically communism at this point - with predictable consequences of dilapidation and mass unemployment). If I were to publish a game on Steam, would I even need a legal entity for international release? Mainly I would just want to protect the game's name, but if establishing a legal entity is reasonably priced I might do that as well. Perhaps it might come handy if I wanted to hire someone later(for a virtual studio, everything would be done remotely). The game would be oriented towards English-speaking audience and culture anyway. Or would just this be enough, for trademarking the game. Of course, for trademarking a game company I would have to get another one. P.S. Does anyone have a filled example of this form?
  8. Hello, this is my first post, and originally I wasn't going to even join this community, but I thought it would be a good idea. Especially because the people at Reddit ignored my post completely. Being a Minor (I am about to be a sophomore in high school), I have about three years of coding experience. I also have been composing music, and I have many friends who do many other things that happen to coincide with game development (I will get to this next). Currently, me and two friends are wanting to start a development company. I have had a good amount of experience in Unity, and I am well versed with JavaScript, as well as learning C#. I have a friend who does a lot of art and pixel art, who also is well versed in JavaScript (no experience in anything other than Pocessing.js) and a friend who has the same if not more experience with JavaScript, as well as advanced GameMaker skills. In terms of technology, coding levels, music, art design, and pretty much everything else that actually creates the full game experience, we are set and ready to go. The problem is legal issues. My parents are not too fond of me starting a company now, because they think school is more important (I go to a special program at my school, which is similar to STEM mixed with avid, but includes all classes, which I could easily do this for projects), and legally, none of us are old enough to actually create a company (I have researched into LLC's, DUNS Numbers, Apple Developer, and a lot of the other publishing/marketing stuff we'd need for a company and actually publishing the apps). I know, if we continue, we will probably need legal advice from an actual attourny (especially because laws vary by state so a lot of information might not be correct on the internet), but I was wondering if any of you either have experience starting a company/software development company as a minor, or if any of you know anything that might help us on our endeavor legally so we can have our own business. We already have options of people who are above 18 who will help us with this and will more than likely help us with being the legal organizer of the company, but other than that, we are a little blind. If you have any information that would be helpful, that would help us so much! Illegal Seagulls LLC (Hopefully at least!)
  9. Hi guys, As the title reads, I built a game with some other people during college and I'm trying to get it published on appstore and google play. The team agreed they would give me the rights to publish the game under my own business and receive 45% profit share. I now just need to know what contracts I need to write. These are the conditions they agreed to: Game will be put up for free with ads Net Profit split: 45%(me), 15%x3(ppl), 10%x1(person) 2%x0(ppl) every 6 month if game net profit exceeds $250 for 2 years If the games Total Net profit after 2 years does not exceed $2500, all shares will go to me so I don’t have to do legal stuff anymore. If the total net profit exceeds $2500 we do the same business but for 1 year. Everyone keeps rights to their own IP, however I get rights to the IP indefinitely for the purpose of publishing the game under my business xxxxxxxxxxxxx. I'd appreciate any help because I worked hard on this game and I would really like to get it published but being in a team has made it very difficult. Cheers
  10. Rules for Studio/Dev Team Names

    I just had a small question regarding suffixes for the name of a dev team (inc., co., LLC, etc). What exactly are the rules for adding those to the name of dev team? Are there certain requirements that need to be fulfilled to legally be able to use a certain suffix? Would a person be able to name their studio X Ltd. or Y Inc. solely for aesthetic reasons or would the suffix need to be warranted in order to use it legally? Sorry for the amateurish question and I apologize if I haven't followed some of the guidelines. The FAQ linked in the, "Before You Post," thread no longer exists, so I'm kinda' going in blind. Thanks in advance!
  11. Hi. I am working on a noncomercial videogame, and I have found a cool hair that I plan to use for a character. https://www.blendswap.com/blends/view/83637 The entire model is in public domain. However, on Blendswap, the model is classified as fanart, being based on a workart. (Warning - a bit NSFW) https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/02/52/57/025257060ac1035b2ea3b61bbd7de1a2--character-concept-concept-art.jpg Now- if I download the model, then alter the hair so it would be less similar to the one in the workart, could I use it in my game without having to ask for permission ? I have tried to track the copyright owner, but he seems to have deleted his accounts, so I couldn't contact him. As you could see by comparing both, there are visible differences between the 2D workart and the model's hair. Does the copyrighted elements of an derivative work affect/infect the rest, like a GPL code or each element is treated separately ? Also, since the object modelled is a hair, can it be copyrighted in the first place or is treated like a functional thing, like casual clothing ?
  12. Hey,so i'm working on a game which i intend to one day publish and sell online.I was wondering if i would have to pay some sort of fee or something to the creators of the programs that i use for the creation of the assets for my game.For example i use GraphicsGale for the creation of my sprites,do i have to pay some fee to them because i used that program when i sell my game? The same goes for FL studio which i use for making the music.Please if someone can help me with this reply,thanks in advance!
  13.  Say I hire an artist or a composer to do some work for me. I write up some contracts for them, stating that I own the license to the thing they're producing for me, etc.. Every contract I've seen has been between an individual and a company. Instead of having a contract read: "This agreement is made by and between [companyLegal] and [Person's Name]" having read:   "This agreement is made by and between [myName] and [Person's Name]"   You might be wondering: "Why not just register a business or LLC first?". The answer is, I'm planning on doing that, but I'm applying to a self-employment measure offered by the gov't of Quebec. It's for people on EI who want to start a business. I may not be able to qualify for it if I already have a business registered, and I could get my EI payments stopped if I register a business.   I could wait until I have a company registered, but I'd like my artist and composer to start sooner, rather than later.   edit: Bolded [myname]
  14. Hi all, hope this is okay to post here. There seems to be a myriad of open source licenses these days and then multiple versions of each one so it begins to become confusing as to which you should use and when. My scenario is I have been working for some time on a rogueish engine that I've always intended to open source when the base engine is finished and release to whomever is interested in it. People would be welcome to use it to make their own (non-commercial) games out of it as per the norm. The engine is very modable before you even get to the source so its flexible for multiple types of project. To that end, in the back of my head I'm thinking one day I could REALLY polish it up and make something commercial with it as the base engine. But do I lose my right to do that if I've given away the source as "open" for other peoples non-commercial ventures? Would I be obliged to share my changes, if any, to the base engine? It seems obvious that if someone else submitted code to the open source public repository that i COULDNT use that without permission and thats fine. But what if someone contact me and said hey I really like the work, could I license this to do something commercial? I'm guessing I could license *my* version of the source as long as it had no one elses contributions included? This project is not in the wild yet for what its worth, I'm just trying to get a more solid understanding of what actually happens to your rights as author after you've declared "open source".    Thanks for your time! :) 
  15. Hi. I wanted to make a fan game, and I requested permission via email to use a character. The copyright owner allowed me to use his character, as long as my game is not commercial. Now, I have seen that he is considering selling his rights to a publisher or a bigger studio. If he sells his rights and I release my game, could it be taken down by the publisher, altough I got permission from the previous copyright owner ?
  16. Can somebody explain why some fan-made games (Pokemon, Yugioh,Dragon Ball) get taken down while others don't? I just don't get the logic of it? Does favoritism play a role in the decision of ip owner taking legal action? Is there a bar fan-made games must not pass? I would like to know because I am contemplating on making a fan-made card game based on an anime. I've already read the legal portion of sloperama document and am aware of the legal actions that can be taken and why i original is the best way. I just want to know why some popular fan-made games make it and other don't? I've have seen many Pokemon fan-made games using copyrighted material and never get shutdown. And they have been up for 5-10 years. 
  17. I don't know what i should put into the title of this topic.   There is always one thing that i always wondered: How do people release their (first) indie game without falling into a potential spiral of cost and or (high) taxes?   Before i go further into details, let me explain my situation.   I'm a 24 year old student studying/living in Austria (not Australia  :P ) but my nationality is polish. I'm just making finishing touches on my hobby game project which i planned to release commercially on steam (i already passed the Steam Greenlight process successfully.)   Now, in Austria i need to register as a Sole-Proprietorship in order to be able to distribute the game through steam. - no problem here. AFAIK taxes only need to be payed if you have a revenue of over 11.000 euros in a year. (very simplified.)   The bigger issue here is the cost of the (mandatory) Social insurance. Now, you don't need to pay social insurance if you have a yearly income of max 5.000€ and a max turnover of 30.000€.   If you go above that restriction once in a year, you have to pay the yearly social insurance for (at least) the next 5 years (without exceptions). The cost of social insurance starts at 2.500€ (yearly) and can go even higher, depending on your income from the last 3 years. (Which is mind-bogling). As an example, if you have 6000€ income (already taxed) in a year, you will have to pay nearly 41% from your income for social insurance alone. (You aren't even able to live from that in this country.)   And to be honest, this seems to be very restricting. Basically if i start selling a game on steam, my income from the sales can't go above 5.000€ (unless i start to create costs in order to write them off from my income. Which i might have to do in the end...)   Now, given that i never released anything commercially (means that i have no idea how much i can expect to make in the first year) and because i'm studying and doing this mostly in my spare time (means that i don't know how long it would take to release another game... the current project took nearly 4 years to make) i'm a bit paranoid. I don't see how running a company as a Sole-Proprietorship is/would be financially viable once i would hit the given yearly limit of 5000€ (income). (Because after that i would need to pay a minimum of 2500€ yearly for social insurance, even if i don't have any income at all.)     (Obviously games sell at release date in the first month (or months) the most which means that the revenue in the first year might be high and then fall off to nearly 0 in the following years (Austrian law is/was made for self-employed people and companys which have a steady income over the months.) )       What i'm interested in is (if you live in another country) how the law (in your given country) handles Sole-Proprietorships/Self-employment. Do you have (mandatory) insurance? How much can your income be without paying taxes (or insurance?) Are there any kind of other "hidden costs"  which you have to keep in mind?     After gathering the information (reading austrian law, calling the local Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, etc... ) i'm really scared with the attempt to register as a Sole-Proprietorship. (And thus even considering releasing that game for free.)   Because let's face it: I'm in no way able to have a steady and high enough income to pay the insurance. (Not as an hobby-indie dev who released only one game and sure as hell not with a game which no one has ever heard about.) Of course, all that stuff wouldn't affect me if the game sales very poorly on steam (which very well might be the case. Who knows. I just want to make sure to not fall into a financial trap.) And logically, as a student who wants to release a game (primarely as a hobby) and might not release another one for the next 2-4 years (if at all), i shouldn't care about social insurance at this point in time. (and pay for that yearly.)   How are other devs handling this? (Releasing games commercially as a hobby.)   Again, i might be overthinking all that stuff and i could be making assumptions which are completely off. I just wanted to ask here if someone can give some insight in how that stuff works in other countries. (It they also have those seemingly high/costly barriers.)     NOTE: I don't want any kind of legal advice for this specific problem (that's what local lawyers are for.) I'm just interested if your local law for self-employment is similar/comparable to what i explained above.
  18. I came across this great post this morning for indie game devs, especially those who are newer to the industry. I would hate to have to learn some of this stuff the hard way, so I thought it was a good intro post of things to keep in mind when you're starting out. Definitely always weigh the pros and cons of iffy situations before you go too far in any one direction :)   https://www.reddit.com/r/gamedev/comments/5pxldd/ultimate_as_promised_guide_to_legal_needs_and/
  19. Legal Does NDA really work?

    Apart from glancing over the first page, I haven't search much so I don't know (and apologies) if something similar has been asked recently,   Anyways ....   NDA is suppose to allow you to discuss confidential details of your ideas, products or business with outsiders with the knowledge that the signatories would be deterred from being sued if they 'copy' or 'use' what is being discussed.   But what if the signatories pass it (or sell it) on to 3rd parties who, though covertly linked to the signatories, has no links that can be proven in a court of law. And of course these 3rd parties would also claim their ideas, though similar, was developed independently.    There may even be other ways of circumventing NDA, like modifying or tweaking the idea, with some core remaining the same, and passing on to 3rd parties.    To me NDA doesn't seem to worth as much as people make it to be , what do you think? 
  20. Anyone who was thinking of "honoring" Nintendo IP with a fan game, do something else instead. http://twinfinite.net/2016/09/nintendo-dmca-500-fan-games/ http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/09/nintendos-dmca-backed-quest-against-online-fangames/ http://bgr.com/2016/09/02/nintendo-dmca-fan-games-game-jolt/
  21. To understand where I'm coming from, let me explain my situation. I have a project in the early works. One of my main features is allowing a player to create his own game world to play in, all the way to atmosphere control (lighting, fog, ambient noise, etc). Iwant to give preset values for these that create "common" atmospheres. For example, "Clear morning," or "evening mist" etc. Being color blind, I don't feel I'm the right person to say "yep, those are the appropriate mixtures of color for that!" God forbid my gray fog actually be pink:-) So,knowing that, I have a few people I've shared my project with that are excited for it, and would be willing to test out the settings to find good preset values... how could I legally accept this sort of volunteer help without being bit in the rear should I be fortunate enough to later profit from the game? I have no problem offering compensation to those who donate substantial help, but this is comparatively minor, and I feel giving them a free copy of the completed product would be sufficient. Is there any standard way to formalize an agreement that either: 1) this work is strictly voluntary and I'm not obligated to pay, or 2) the fact I'm going to give you a free copy of the game on completion IS fulfilling that obligation?
  22. I have a game developing business that is a sole proprietorship and am considering if it should be a sole proprietorship, limited liability corporation, or corporation as I grow nearer to releasing the game.   A corporation is treated as an entity and protects you from some personal law suits.  It is also costly or time consuming to report the taxes.  And it costs money to set up the corporation.   I am concerned mainly about law suits and I do not have a lot of money.  Such as my software causing costly problems on people's computers.     Secondly,  Is getting additional insurance for protection against law suits possible and how is it done?   Thank you,   Josheir    
  23. Hi I am UK based and I'm recently forming a team to develop a game. I'm the lead developer and will be bringing on ~5 other artists to create content such as models, textures and music.   For the moment, I have not formed an official company, to avoid the time sink of all the paperwork, contract writing and so on. But without agreements/contracts/licences in place as I understand it, an artist on my team could pull out at any moment and reserve the right to take all their content with them.   To prevent this, I would like to have them upload their content to my website when they are done with it, and to include a licence in that directory that says something along the lines of   "By uploading your content files to this directory, you agree to transfer ownership of your files to the lead developer Alex Lynch, in exchange for payment from the revenue of the game".   I hope this would be enough, until I form a real company and get signed contracts from them.
  24. Game attorneys

    http://www.obscure.co.uk/directory/directory-legal/ http://charnelaw.com/ http://www.ielawgroup.net http://thegameattorney.com/ http://www.kevinreillylaw.com/ http://www.martindale.com/Louise-Nemschoff/law-firm-67382.htm http://www.sheppardmullin.com http://glwllp.com/ thordsenlawoffices.com 714-662-4990 sthordsen@lendinglaw.com