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Legal aspects of creating a game and publishing

butterbeanbutterbean Posts: 4,315Member, PRO
edited 9:02PM in Working with GS (Mac)
I know this is not a fun topic, but I wanted to see what people have to say about this.

Are there any legal issues that people should be aware of, or does anyone know someone that made a game on apple, and had legal issues of any sort?

For example, I wouldn't think it would be possible for someone to sue saying their idea was stolen since there are so many copy cat games out there ie: GTA (grand theft auto) is like the new game, Saints Row, is like the game, Crackdown, I mean so many copycats, it's hard for some people to come out with original intellectual properties.

The only problem I see someone copying graphics or artistic ideas.

Just wondering cuz it's always better to be prepared!


  • JGary321JGary321 Posts: 1,246Member
    All video games are rip offs of each other. Just don't use graphics/sounds from game & you'll be fine.

    EDIT: And of course don't blatantly copy every aspect of a game & just throw new graphics on it. As long as it has differences, even if similar then you will be fine.
  • butterbeanbutterbean Posts: 4,315Member, PRO
    I agree, all video games are ripoffs of each other. And agreed on the graphics part, and just slapping it on a very similar game.

    Just wondering if there are any other issues anyone can think of that could come about, just wanna' be prepared.
  • JGary321JGary321 Posts: 1,246Member
    This is probably obvious, but don't use copyrighted names. If your making the next great street fighter wanna-be, don't call if Street Fiter IV! (mis-spelling was on purpose)
  • SDMGSDMG Posts: 280Member
    i have read in another gameengine forum that the creation of fangames are illegal.
    quote: 'Fangames are illegal because they violate the copyright of the original owner...

    A "fangame" is a videogame created to emulate or re-create another commercially available videogame by using its gameplay, characters, art, sounds, and/or story...

    In a legal definition, a fangame is considered a "derivative work" of the original game. United States law (Title 19, Section 106) gives exclusive rights for authorizing derivative works to the copyright holder, which makes any type of unauthorized derivative work illegal...'

    They say that when you create a game that only feels like for example mariobrothers ... than its already a fangame!

    I have read this yesterday and i am little confused... Reading this i would assume that warhammer online is a fangame of world of warcraft?

    Does someone have a clue how to interpret this right...?

  • SDMGSDMG Posts: 280Member
    Maybee you have heard about the blizzards april fool about the atari 2600 Molten Core:

    Let us assume someone would have created this game with gamesalad (before blizzards announcement)
    calling it pixeldungeon instead of molten core and release it for the iphone...

    Would this be a fangame just because of the story?

    Is this illegal?

    I am very interested in this topic and would love hear your opinions

    All the best

  • butterbeanbutterbean Posts: 4,315Member, PRO
    Good point SDMG

    I would think that it is illegal to reproduce a game like a "fangame", especially if there are many elements, ie: sound, music, characters look alike that are all similar or resemble a previous installment.

    For example, Braid for the Xbox 360 was inspired by mario brothers, and you can see the platformer resemblance, but for the most part, the game is a very unique intellectual property with the art style, sound, graphics and all. The only thing that is really similar, if you want to call it that, is the platforming aspect.

    So I think it would have to be more than a few elements combined in a game that resemble a previous installment for it to be considered "illegal" or copyright infringement.

    Where they would draw the line between what is legal versus illegal beats me, I think it would be an individual or unique situation.

    Just my two cents :)
  • JGary321JGary321 Posts: 1,246Member
    1. Don't reuse any artwork from another game.

    2. Don't make look-a-likes of all the artwork in a game. For example: If my main character resemble's Master Chief in some way, don't go around making things that look like a warthog. It's ok to take inspirations from another game, & to have similarities, but the main thing is to have enough differences between the 2.

    3. Don't take a game concept & do it exactly like another game did. Don't recreate a
    Mario-like plat former, but still have a frog suit in it. It would be ok to have a Mario-like plat former, but completely different graphics, sound, & power-ups (game play is different). You can still make your character fly. I probably wouldn't make it so he has to run to fill up a fly bar, but hey to each his own. Even if there are similarities, you have enough differences.

    4. Don't use sounds from other games. Have someone create your own music. Or download some free tunes from websites that gives royalty-free music.

    5. As far as the Warcraft video, that would still be fine to make. Obviously, you need to use different sounds. Some of the sounds were from Wow.

    6. Don't steal game names. Make the name of your game unique. I'm not gonna make "Nario Planet" & then make it strongly resemble Mario World.

    Again keep in mind that every game is a rip-off of another game. They just put in enough differences, put on shiny new graphics, & loaded up some different soundtracks, & put a new name on it. If you follow those 6 rules, you're basically gonna be fine. If anyone has any other "RULES" they would like to add we can add some more. But I believe these 6 pretty much cover most aspects.
  • ktfrightktfright Posts: 964Member
  • quantumsheepquantumsheep Posts: 8,188Member
    Oh, you just *had* to bring maths into it! Cheers for that! Tsssk!


    Dr. Sam Beckett never returned home...

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