Is This Legal To Sell?

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by VooDooVal, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. VooDooVal

    VooDooVal Member

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    Hello All!

    I'm Val, a new community member as of today! I'm hoping to get some clarification from you GMC regulars on an issue I've been thinking about!

    I'm following along with some great tutorials from Friendly Cosmonaut (The Farming RPG Tutorial) and I am wondering if there are any restrictions on what I can incorporate into a game that I will eventually sell. If I'm using the Tutorials that Game Maker Studio 2 provides to me via their website, can anything I build that way become part of my game or are identical snippets of code considered plagiarism of some kind?

    Thank you all for your help!
     
  2. True Valhalla

    True Valhalla Full-Time Developer GMC Elder

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    Hi Val, welcome to the GameMaker community forum!

    This particular tutorial series is produced by a third party developer, not YoYo Games themselves. You may want to enquire directly with the creator to find out which restrictions apply.
     
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  3. VooDooVal

    VooDooVal Member

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    Thanks for the reply! I did also leave a comment on the youtube channel. Hopefully I get a reply from her!

    P.S.
    Thank you for the warm welcome!
     
    True Valhalla likes this.
  4. CameronScottMusic

    CameronScottMusic Member

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    @VooDooVal
    I really wouldn't worry about that. Friendly Cosmonaut learned it from somewhere too. Once you learn something and create something new with it it's all good. It would only be theft if you were blatantly stealing entire code from a game and making a carbon copy of that game.
    I'm sure friendly cosmonaut wants you to be able to create your own games and that's why they are doing the tutorials.
    In fact, GMS code can't even be copyrighted here in the States, believe me, I've tried with a game I produced. But that's getting away from the point.
    What is more dangerous is copying art assets, music, and even more blatant is using mascots and game names. Like say using a character named Mario would be a big no go. There are degrees of what is dangerous but code is pretty safe. As long as you are learning and then using what you've learned, you are all good :) Most code is kind of handed down from generation to generation so to speak and most code is just logic, which isn't really copyrightable anyhow.
    I'm not sure but I think just about any tutorial code is legit up for grabs and public domain at that point. They are broadcasting it to the world as free information for crying out loud :D
    Welcome to the forums Val :)
     
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  5. 11clock

    11clock Member

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    I wouldn't recommend selling anything with unoriginal assets, especially from tutorials.
     
  6. Marcus12321

    Marcus12321 Member

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    The assets used in that tutorial are from the LPC open source. They are free to use, I believe.

    As for the code in those tutorials, there is nothing there that you should have any worry about using in your own game. Some really basic stuff. It really only provides a very small amount of direction, much more needs to be done to make a final product.
     
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  7. Yal

    Yal Member GMC Elder

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    Great, even more people everybody is gonna mix up with me all the time... :p

    Most people that plays your game won't even see the source code in the first place, so even if you do use similar code (or even identical code) to existing stuff, they won't notice. They'll just see the game itself. The code is just the glue that makes it all come together. Doesn't hurt to dig up the license text of the stuff you're using, though... that should explicitly tell you what you can and can't do. (If there is none, it's usually safer to err on the side of caution, but stuff released as tutorials usually were released with the intent of being used by people).
    TLDR: don't use them if you're not sure if you're allowed, everything should come with a license text that details how you can and can't use them. (If it doesn't, it's doing something wrong)

    If you wanna be really safe, you might wanna follow video tutorials that force you to type out the code yourself (maybe even just get the basic concepts explained and then force you to improvise), it means you've made all the code yourself and you're definitely in the green legally. Not all GM tutorial channels are that great, but Shaun Spalding's stuff is educational and a good starting point:



    Do note that audio, music, sprites and graphics all have similar copyright considerations, though. The same TLDR applies: don't use them if you're not sure if you're allowed, everything should come with a license text that details how you can and can't use them.
     
  8. Pfap

    Pfap Member

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    Software licenses and intellectual property protection can be quite complex. I've only recently become interested in this sort of thing and as such do not have a ton of knowledge, but Microsoft had an interesting take at one point.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embrace,_extend,_and_extinguish

    Anyways, if you make a ton of money and are super successful someone may try to sue you regardless of how well you make sure everything is 100% your own. While this may come off as pessimistic, I like to think of it as what is the worst that can happen? Also, the main value that is derived from games is the art assets and overall product and not the code.

    But strictly speaking if you do not have the proper license to use said software then technically the original author could try to enforce their terms of use, but they probably have better things to do with their time.
     
  9. Marcus12321

    Marcus12321 Member

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    I think that the worst thing that could happen is the social ramifications of somebody calling you out.

    If you do include some artwork and do not have or cannot find the licensing data and aren't sure if it is free to use, then you will just have to decide if you want to use it or not. If it is a game you are going to sell, and you feel that you ARE going to make money, then why not hire somebody to replace them with something you WILL own.

    If you are going to release it to the community for free or think you won't make hardly any money, then you can always deal with the ramifications of it afterwards. If someone says, hey that;s mine, then at that point you can give them credit or pay them or remove it. Maybe even ask for help identifying the artwork and see if somebody recognizes it and can point you in the right direction for finding the license information.
     
  10. VooDooVal

    VooDooVal Member

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    Hello! As far as assets like the game art, I am actually illustrating everything myself. I was mostly concerned about the code. Fortunately I have spoken personally with the creator of the videos I was watching and she has confirmed that I can sell a game created with anything I learned from her videos!

    Hello! Yes the videos I followed do have the option to download the code but I actually typed it all out myself to better understand. And I now have confirmation that I can use it all! Yay! I have seen the vids you linked, btw. An Excellent resource, thank you!

    Hello! Thank you for the comment! I appreciate the resource you shared. As I said in the replies i just left, I did end up speaking with the creator of the tutorials and have confirmation that I can use anything i learn from her in a game that I sell later one. Also, I am writing the code out manually and changing things where I see fit. PLUS I am paying a Patreon subscription to this person now for the training! Hopefully that also adds to the legitimacy of the work and effort I am putting in. As for other things like art assets and the like, I am a digital painter by trade and fully intend to create my own visual assets. I'm only using free assets as place holders for now. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts on my post!

    Hello! Thank you for your thoughts! I am using free visual assets as placeholders for now. I will be illustrating my own original assets before sale or testing :)


    MOD EDIT: Posts merged. Please do NOT make multiple consecutive posts, as this breaks our bumping rules. You can quote multiple people in a single post, and you can edit a previous post to include further quotes or information.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2018 at 6:08 AM

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