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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Denmark
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    2,882

    Copying concepts

    Hey guys
    Have a quick question that perhaps you can help answer
    What are the rules about making a clone game from some known game. Example making a game veeeery similar to quake without actually using anything FROM quake.

    Reason i ask is that for a personal educational project me and a friend have decided to make a clone of 'Munchkin'. We just want to make something similar but with our own content and of course propably some alterations to the gameplay along the way.

    but we wanted to know as much as possible in advane if there could be problems in open sourcing this kind of game code. We dont want to get into any trouble doing it, and would have no trouble keeping the code private to ourselves.. but would rather actually ahve the opportunity to release it for the greater good

    So thoughts, ideas and facts about strongly inspired code like that ?
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    129
    This thread might give you some answers:

    link

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    3,774
    While a lot of what was said is true, as long as you dont use copyrighted names, source (and claim its yours, you can declare it as a requirement to compile or run, such as directx, etc), artwork, etc, and carefully read any rules to items you include in your source - such as other "open" source which then has limitations on it as to what you can use it for etc..

    The things that that link says which arent entirely true are the things like, the bit saying, dont worry they wont come after you because you cant afford it - thats not their concern. After all if the court slapped a 10000 fine on you for something, and you couldnt afford it, all that happens is they would either stick you in jail (may not depending on the reason for the court case), or make you pay it off as fast as you can..

    While I dont know the game you referr to, Id go with as simple as:

    As long as you research what you can and cant use by reading all the agreements of the game, and there is enough of your own material and deviances from the original story, any clone is likely original enough to pass, especially as you didnt do it for profit.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    2,882
    Well there is NO code copying. Everything will be coded from scratch as the origianl game is a phsycical card game.
    We will furthermore have some changes in gameplay because the rules require some human skill arguing someimes, and we will fit our framework.

    So the content will be our own original inspired work, and the gameplay will be strongly inspired but not completely the same.

    It will be free and open source of course

    Similar example would be if you choose to make a XNA game based upon say a chess game or perhaps Monopoly. You decided to call it 'less' or 'moneygame' and change some of the rules, use your own artwork and own story if such is in existence. It would in essense be the origianal game but with different names and graphics but deviates enough to be safe hopefully

    One can only hope
    Swoop - Buzzed Pirate!
    " If nobodys talking to me, im talking to me" - Swoop

    Reflection Design || Swoops Blog

    2D Tutorials Compilation

    The Speed Painting Thread || ((post your Concept Art thread))


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    743
    Have to say I concur with Liz here.

    So long as nothing is blatantly ripped and the aim isn't profit, you should have nothing to worry about.

    A recent example of this that springs to mind is the Guitar Hero clone, Frets On Fire

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    4,521
    Yep. From the US Copyright Office Website (your country may have different rules)

    The idea for a game is not protected by copyright. The same is true of the name or title given to the game and of the method or methods for playing it.

    Copyright protects only the particular manner of an author’s expression in literary, artistic, or musical form. Copyright protection does not extend to any idea, system, method, device, or trademark material involved in the development, merchandising, or playing of a game. Once a game has been made public, nothing in the copyright law prevents others from developing another game based on similar principles.

    Some material prepared in connection with a game may be subject to copyright if it contains a sufficient amount of literary or pictorial expression. For example, the text matter describing the rules of the game, or the pictorial matter appearing on the gameboard or container, may be registrable.
    http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl108.html

    You can't actually copyright the gameplay. As long as you aren't using any artwork, logos, names (trademarks), etc, you are not doing anything wrong.

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