How to Protect Your Game?

Member
Posts: 60
Joined: 2013.03
Post: #1
Hello. I have been studying Objective-C and plan to eventually make games for Mac and iOS as a hobby and eventually a career. I was thinking about starting a blog to document my progress and put up videos and things about the development of my game(s) and programming adventures. But, my question is, how do you protect your game/game idea if you put it online? I suppose you could simply not post about it online and keep a personal journal/etc to document your progress, but what if someone wants to make a blog? How can they protect their ideas and game in general?

Thanks.

PS: Sorry if there is already another thread asking the same/similar questions... if there is just please direct me to it.
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Sage
Posts: 1,482
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #2
You can't, but honestly you almost certainly don't need to worry about it. 99.9% of people out there have their own ideas for a game and would rather work on that than take your idea.

Something like Ridiculous fishing is a bit of an outlier. Honestly though, I'm sure that the controversy around somebody "stealing" their idea only helped them. There's no such thing as bad publicity after all. Wink

Scott Lembcke - Howling Moon Software
Author of Chipmunk Physics - A fast and simple rigid body physics library in C.
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Post: #3
(Apr 1, 2013 02:39 PM)Skorche Wrote:  You can't, but honestly you almost certainly don't need to worry about it. 99.9% of people out there have their own ideas for a game and would rather work on that than take your idea.

Something like Ridiculous fishing is a bit of an outlier. Honestly though, I'm sure that the controversy around somebody "stealing" their idea only helped them. There's no such thing as bad publicity after all. Wink

Thanks.

If I were to finish a game, what kind of copyright/trademark/license is there for games? I mean, something like that must be needed to make a profit, right?
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Sage
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Post: #4
Well copyright is basically automatic when you create something unless you put it in the public domain. A trademark is a claim to a name (like iPhone or Star Wars). I think you need to apply for those, but most don't. Licenses are only relevant when you want to let somebody else use something you made. INAL, and wikipedia is your friend.

You don't need any of that to make money.

Scott Lembcke - Howling Moon Software
Author of Chipmunk Physics - A fast and simple rigid body physics library in C.
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Post: #5
(Apr 1, 2013 03:39 PM)Skorche Wrote:  Well copyright is basically automatic when you create something unless you put it in the public domain. A trademark is a claim to a name (like iPhone or Star Wars). I think you need to apply for those, but most don't. Licenses are only relevant when you want to let somebody else use something you made. INAL, and wikipedia is your friend.

You don't need any of that to make money.

Thanks!

So basically, make a blog, post about what you are doing in programming your game, release your game, figure out how to get it out there, and not worry about protecting it from clones/etc? Sounds scary... But ok Rasp
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Member
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Post: #6
Ideas are worth nothing.

Only implementations are.

5 teams could make the same idea and only one would turn out to be a good game.

Anyone with the skills to make a game has plenty of their own ideas.

The cloning you read about it mostly about established companies trying to clone already hit game implementations and thus ride their coat tails to profit.

No ones gonna come along and clone non proven idea.

Anyhow if you have a hit game and people want to clone it...
well I personally would love to have that problem Wink

- Mac Lead ZeniMax Online Studios
- Owner Plaid World Studios
- Resume: http://www.chrisdillman.com
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Member
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Post: #7
Quote:So basically, make a blog, post about what you are doing in programming your game, release your game, figure out how to get it out there, and not worry about protecting it from clones/etc? Sounds scary... But ok

Pretty much. No game is ever fully protected anyway. Just make what you want to make, and if your ideas are original, they will always be followed by more original ideas.

IMO, getting cloned is one of the best things that can happen to you.

Yes, it's an emotionally crushing violation of your artistic expression for the benefit of some jerkoff out to make a quick buck, but it martyrs you and your game. AND it's confirmation to the world that your game is SO GOOD that someone else was convinced to rip it off verbatim. And that sells.

The Ninja Fishing debacle turned Ridiculous Fishing from a solid good iOS game into the Second Coming of Christ.

But you CAN make it less likely that your game gets cloned. Here are some tips:

  1. Port your game to iOS FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. Pretty much all of the high-profile clonejobs out there happen because an indie darling makes an amazing game on PC/Mac and refuses/neglects to make an iOS version, after which a developer of dubious moral fiber (of which iOS has no shortage) simply fills what they believe is a hole in the market.
  2. Make your game mechanics more complex. Minimalism is big in indie game design right now. While yes, simple is beautiful, it also means some knob can rip off your work in no time. Seriously, see how long it takes you to make Tetris. A day? A few hours? Ok. Now clone Street Fighter IV.
  3. Get your name and your game out there as much as you can. Public awareness is the best defense against clones. The Ridiculous Fishing clonejob worked out great because everyone knew its predecessor Radical Fishing and how fun it was. And they also knew it came before Ninja Fishing. Case closed. Meanwhile, there are two Super Mega Death Worm games on iOS. Which one is the clone? Yeah, I don't remember either.
  4. Make your game about game feel, as opposed to something easy to rip off like mechanics or art style. Game feel is something that is intensely personal to each developer, and is incredibly hard to fake. If you want to see how much game feel can affect a final product, go play Nintendo's version of Tetris, then EA's version of Tetris.

Justin Ficarrotta
http://www.justinfic.com
"It is better to be The Man than to work for The Man." - Alexander Seropian
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