Crossover Fangame Jam

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matharoo

Udemy Instructor
Hey people of the GMC city!

I'm hosting a jam on itch.io called the Crossover Fangame Jam. Read the description:

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Crossover Fangame Jam



Welcome to the Crossover Fangame Jam! In this jam you must make a fangame of a popular franchise. Sounds fun, doesn't it? But the fun doesn't end here - the game also needs to be a crossover!

So you can make Sonic smash Goombas, make Mario collect rings instead of coins, make Undertale meet FNAF, or make Pikachu fight alongside the Dragonborn - the possibilities are endless, and it's all up to you!

The jam will start on Friday, 3rd November and will last for 3 days. The voting session will last for a week after the jam is over.​
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I like making fangames, though I haven't made many. For me it would be a fun idea to make crossover fangames, so this jam gives me the opportunity to make one in 3 days, and also be able to see what you amazing people make!

Thanks! If you think there's anything I could improve, suggestions are welcome. This is the first jam I'm hosting so there's bound to be mistakes! :p

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Spread the fun! Put this image in your signature with a link to the jam to let people know about it! :D
 
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chance

predictably random
Forum Staff
Moderator
Looks fun. I'm already thinking of some ideas.

But this part of your rules is a big mistake:

3. You are allowed to use any assets (graphics/sounds/etc.) from the original games.
I would remove this immediately. You aren't in a position to give permission for someone to take copyrighted assets from other people's game. This looks like you're actually encouraging illegal copyright violations.

So I would remove this. And add a disclaimer in your Jam announcement saying you don't condone or encourage copyright violations (something to that effect). Like software manufacturers say in their EULA: "don't use our software for anything illegal, etc."

Fangames are fun. Reproducing your favorite gameplay mechanics is a great way to learn. It's all perfectly legal... unless you use copyrighted resources like graphics and music. And even if the original manufacturer doesn't take action, certain forums (like GMC) may remove game topics with egregious copyright violation.
 

matharoo

Udemy Instructor
I would remove this immediately. You aren't in a position to give permission for someone to take copyrighted assets from other people's game. This looks like you're actually encouraging illegal copyright violations.

So I would remove this. And add a disclaimer in your Jam announcement saying you don't condone or encourage copyright violations (something to that effect). Like software manufactures say in their EULA: "don't use our software for anything illegal, etc."

Fangames are fun. Reproducing your favorite gameplay mechanics is a great way to learn. It's all perfectly legal... unless you use copyrighted resources like graphics and music. And even if the original manufacturer doesn't take action, certain forums (like GMC) may remove game topics with egregious copyright violation.
Thanks! :p Done.
 
Even using another game's art and characters to advertise anything might be questionable.

I have enough games where I could make a fan game crossover of my own games.
 

cdgamedev

Member
I'm really glad I mentioned something about another community hosted jam now... I can't wait! But knowing my luck, I won't be able to join because I will be in work or something :(
 

matharoo

Udemy Instructor
You're asking people to put themselves in a very risky position legally.
There's a difference between a full-fledged fangame someone is actively developing and is being played by many people, vs. a small fangame made in 3 days that will be forgotten afterwards.

The same page you linked said:
No company owes you a cease and desist, and many are more than willing to destroy you in order to stop a competing game, as is their right.
Do you think anyone's making a competing game here?

I have always wanted to do a fangame jam, and I don't know how there's a "safe" way to do it.
 
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chance

predictably random
Forum Staff
Moderator
I suppose it's hard to avoid legal discussions. The problem is the term "fangame" isn't well defined. To some people, it means a game that looks and sounds like the original -- i.e., same graphics, same music, etc. That's clearly illegal copyright violation.

But to others, a fangame just uses similar game elements, such as mechanics and processes. Those elements are NOT copyright protected, so it's perfectly legal.

It's not complicated, really.

In the meantime, I see you (@matharoo) changed your guidelines, so that's good. I think if your jam emphasizes unprotected game elements as I mentioned above, you'll be fine. And your participants will be fine.

I'm thinking of trying to merge some ideas from classic arcade games like breakout and space shoot games. Maybe even something with pachinko-type gameplay. Not sure.
 

chance

predictably random
Forum Staff
Moderator
There is not a safe way. It's inherently dangerous. You're right, it's a small game made in three days. But the risk still exists.
Copyright violation has nothing to do with game size. Or quality level. Or the game's popularity. Those factors may affect whether copyright holders take legal action. But that shouldn't be the issue.

Back on topic: @matharoo: I joined that community so I could sign up for your Jam. Now... all I need are good ideas! o_O
 

11clock

Member
Please don't encourage people being unoriginal instead of making games with their own ideas. Taking inspiration from your favorite games is fine and should be encouraged, but directly ripping the IPs themselves is an entirely different matter.
 

matharoo

Udemy Instructor
Please don't encourage people being unoriginal instead of making games with their own ideas. Taking inspiration from your favorite games is fine and should be encouraged, but directly ripping the IPs themselves is an entirely different matter.
You're talking like you don't know what fangames are.
 

Yokcos

Member
Jeez guys it's a jam, they're not putting anything to market. It's just a bit of fun. Chill
A good few notable C&Ds were targeted at fangames that weren't in any kind of market. One I recall was a guy who simply made a Mario 64 level in Unity. And if the lawyer fellow I quoted is to be believed a C&D is the least potential threat.
 
G

Guest User

Guest
i'm not going to participate, but i love it.
one of my favorite things ever is trying to take games i love and replicate their mechanics and gameplay in 2D space within GMS. it's really rewarding picking apart your favorite games and a great learning experience. hope i'll remember to check out the entries and see what people have done haha

GL everyone
 

chance

predictably random
Forum Staff
Moderator
One I recall was a guy who simply made a Mario 64 level in Unity.
Maybe you don't understand what happened in that case. Nintendo's Cease and Desist order against Roystan Ross was motivated by copyright theft -- not because it was a fangame. Mr. Ross admitted he ripped the graphics for Mario, Goomba and Power Star from Super Mario Galaxy. And a large portion of the sounds were from existing Mario games. That's why Nintendo asked him to remove the game from the web.

If Mr. Ross had made a Mario-like game with different character graphics and sounds, just to demonstrate his 3D/HD technology, he'd be fine. That wouldn't infringe on anyone's IP rights. As I said above, this isn't a complicated idea. Just requires a little thought.

I think this Jam has the potential for some innovative and creative ideas. And combining familiar gamplay mechanics in unexpected ways could be lots of fun.

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EDIT: @matharoo: maybe that's the approach you should take here. Just omit any reference to "fangames".

Instead, ask contestants to create games by combining familiar gameplay mechanics to create something new and innovative. Or just bizarre. Or just funny or fun.
 
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Jeez guys it's a jam, they're not putting anything to market. It's just a bit of fun. Chill
Free or not it doesn't matter. Be lucky to get a cease and desist, others just get lawsuits filed against them. Win or lose it can ruin lives (and families) and they're not allowed to talk about it even to warn others as part of the lawsuit. :)

Anyway, sorry to be such a wet blanket. I look forward to it. I always enjoy fan games even if its 99% Mario. Crossovers should be good to diversify things.
 

Ninety

Member
I was actually mostly addressing 11clock. Believe me I am very familiar with the legal risk of fan games, but the OP removed the clause allowing asset rips and none of these games will likely be distributed or publicised in any big way. Most fan games never see a C&D in their life, in fact the big companies aren't going to be aware of your game unless it's one of the "big" fan games like Mother 4 or something.

I'm not saying this is legally A-okay. What I am saying is that we need to calm down and stop pretending a jam is going to make you "lose your house".
 

chance

predictably random
Forum Staff
Moderator
I suppose "fangame" is a pretty loaded word. Seems like people are (over)reacting to it, even after @matharoo made it clear that no copyrighted assets should be used improperly.
 

matharoo

Udemy Instructor
I suppose "fangame" is a pretty loaded word. Seems like people are (over)reacting to it, even after @matharoo made it clear that no copyrighted assets should be used improperly.
I will be changing the jam name and theme in some time. It will still be about crossovers though, and you can still make fangames, but the jam will not be about it. Making the change.

Done. Made a ****ty image that can just barely do it. Don't feel like even making a better one. Maybe I'll make it later. Idk.
 
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chance

predictably random
Forum Staff
Moderator
Sounds like a good plan. But rather than change the first post, I'll close this topic so you can make a new one. I think that will be less confusing.
 
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