Design Used or not?

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by ethian, Oct 19, 2018.

  1. ethian

    ethian Member

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    Greetings...

    I have ideas for my game that haven't any relation with what i know (favourites), but i'm afraid of knowing they are already used and copyrighted by little known media when they're officially used on my game...!

    Also, i'm making my project and its parts not so similar to my favourites' parts... replacing those parts by random ones made by me...

    One of those parts that i'm afraid of knowing they are already used when used is the simple art style of my game... and small pieces of leitmofs on the music... I'm going to fix that, but... i want to know to do it or not...

    This is the art style of my game:

    [​IMG]

    Simple, black outlines, shading...

    Is the art style of my game, copyrighted? And the leitmofts and any of its pieces?
     
    Cantavanda likes this.
  2. chance

    chance predictably random Forum Staff Moderator

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    Storyline elements and gameplay mechanics generally can't be copyrighted. Likewise, art style can't be copyrighted.

    Just don't duplicate another game's entire plot, character names, place names, etc. Or copy someone's particular work of art, such as a video game character. That's wrong, and probably illegal.

    However, musical compositions are protected by copyright. And a leitmotif (musical theme or phrase) may be an essential part of that composition. So don't copy that. Write your own.

    There are dozens (probably hundreds) of websites that explain copyright and trademark laws. Most of them are easy to understand.
     
    Cantavanda likes this.
  3. YanBG

    YanBG Member

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    Even if using similar art style is not infringement, your game can still "remind" people of the original too much, especially if you base your ideas on just one game. Then depending on your popularity(e.g. if you sell the game, crowdfund it etc) and theirs(pretty famous/successful), they can bring it to court.
     
  4. ethian

    ethian Member

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    Thanks! someone said the same before, but i didn't knew exactly what i was saying...
    ...

    I need to confess

    When i make the sprites of my game, i make them on an art style i know it's used (I should stop using it?)

    The art style is from a sprite from Undertale, this game has various art styles, but i use just one that for me, it's fun to draw the sprites with...

    The art style consists on pixel art with simple coloring and shading with MS Paint's default colors

    I know that two sprites (Probably more) of this Undertale NPC sprite sheet use that style of art

    [​IMG]

    However, for avoid copyright issues, i make the used coloring "unrecognizable", by replacing the MS paint colors by Adoble Flash's default colors, using the Game Maker's sprite editor's replacing color tool, i even replace black, white and grayscale, just because i'm inspired on the style of art of something else that doesn't use grayscale on their colors.

    So, it's good idea to use other colors instead of the ones that one single commercial product are currently using? I know Adobe Flash' default colors are used in almost every flash cartoon, and it's not copyright violation... well... i know one thing is copyrighted because it's used on one single product on the world, however, when it's used by various products on the world, i know it isn't copyrighted... one example of uncopyrighted stuff are the cartoon sounds, but they're not free to use unless you pay a penny for get the license to use them, but this problem is already solved, it just aplicates on the sounds and music, right? or... what about something else?
     
  5. Yal

    Yal Member GMC Elder

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    The human-friendly explanation of what constitutes plagiarism is "if it looks so similar to the original that people might think it's the original". The most blatant way to do this is to outright state your game is part of another IP, and tons of people do that to trick people:


    So basically try to make sure your game can't be mistaken for the series you mimic and you should be fine. (Stealing ideas from more than one source is a good way of getting this done more-or-less automatically). Also be careful not to duplicate the look of HUD elements and GUI layouts and choosing a name that's too similar (e.g. a tactics RPG game called Flame Emblem probably would get itself a visit from Nintendo's lawyers even if it's green on most of the above points)
     
  6. ethian

    ethian Member

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    I was doing this when i firstly made my project, but with the time, i found fun to make my game so original.

    Also, i have more doubts:

    About music...the animated series called " Jamie's got Tentacles" has a ripoff to Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" on its OST and isn't so similar to the original because of copyright reasons... i can't do the same?

    Also... talking about this... i know i can't do any track of my OST be similar to another one, because of what happened to the early version of Alphys from Undertale, it's confirmed that the track was scrapped because it was too similar to another lab music track from another game (What game is? Mother?) right?
    As cartoon sounds are not free to use, and i'm making my own, recording and downloading free sounds... with the part of making my own sounds, i'm making my own versions of the cartoon sounds... but not all of them... should not be too similar?

    Please answer to the questions!

    Also, @Yal, the monocycle game from the beginning of the video you showed me up is hilarous!
     
  7. ethian

    ethian Member

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    I have a doubt with this... i can't write and use very simple leitmotifs as they're all used and copyrighted?
     
  8. dannyjenn

    dannyjenn Member

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    Legal and moral issues aside, I will say that using somebody else's leitmotif is a horrible idea. Because the main purpose of a leitmotif is that it's an audio cue to help the player, to make the different characters/places more easily recognizable. If used out of context, it makes no sense and is likely to confuse the player on a subliminal level. And the player is going to walk away thinking, "Why did that game have random Mario music in it?"

    Cartoon-sounding sounds are fine... there's a whole industry that does that sort of thing (it's called "foley"). What you're not allowed to do is rip a recording from somebody's cartoon. Or use somebody else's music.
     
  9. ethian

    ethian Member

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    My leitmotifs are similar to what i know. But...
    The idea for solve this issue is, don't make them similar to anything what i know, same goes with the rest of the assets, right?
    I guess calling it "anything what i know" shrinks something of mine and makes it easier...

    Leitmotifs are copyrighted. But… what about the basses?
    Also, can’t make my songs have the same order of leitmotifs as other songs? My songs can’t be other songs but with leitmotifs changed?
    Also, can i use just a piece of leitmotif for each of my leitmotifs? I had seen instances of leitmotifs using pieces of other leitmotifs before.

    ...

    Can’t use original ideas? Because they’re all copyrighted? What about references?
    Also, when a product is free of references, it’s more original and better in rating, right?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2018
  10. Joe Ellis

    Joe Ellis Member

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    UGHh, everything has been done before, but everyone uses certain things to build style and mix styles, don't worry about anything to do with this! as long as your not ripping the graphics out of old games
     
  11. Steevo

    Steevo Member

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    Reminds me of the plasma shield. Although it hasn't been invented yet no one is legally allowed to do so, because Boeing has patented the 'idea'.

    So if you are a genius and can invent it, you'll be bankrupt for the rest of your life.

    Love 'murica.
     
  12. Ninety

    Ninety Member

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    do you literally not understand how to create things except to copy them
     
  13. Yal

    Yal Member GMC Elder

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    Worldwide or just in the US? I had the impression patents aren't global (but companies that protect their product usually files patents in all markets they care about). Also patents expire and become public after X years so that the technology can be used for the greater good of all humanity (or something like that), which is a reason why things like the Coca-Cola recipe aren't patented - they'd be obligated to make it un-secret eventually as part of the deal.
     
  14. ethian

    ethian Member

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    I literally understand, but...

     
  15. Steevo

    Steevo Member

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    US Patent as far as I am aware. But the US assumes the world revolves around them anyway.
     
  16. dannyjenn

    dannyjenn Member

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    Are you sure that's the whole story? Because as far as I know, the "idea" of a plasma shield is too vague / too abstract to patent. What they probably patented was a particular kind of plasma shield which they've designed or invented (even if they haven't physically built one yet). I would think that somebody else could still come along and invent a different kind of plasma shield which uses some other design or some other kind of technology.
     
  17. Steevo

    Steevo Member

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    How can you invent something if you haven't physically built it?

    http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-...50&s1=8981261.PN.&OS=PN/8981261&RS=PN/8981261

    They have been given exclusive rights to try and invent something.

    The patent itself even says it 'may' do this and it 'may' do that.

    I don't even know how a patent can be granted for something that 'might' do something.
     
  18. Bearman_18

    Bearman_18 Member

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    I've suggested this before, and I'll say it again. Everyone and anyone can benefit from reading "Steal Like an Artist."
     
    Toque likes this.
  19. ethian

    ethian Member

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    I need to say anything...

    I actually know how to do the stuff of don't avoid using assets from other games and to avoid "ripoff-ing", it's just don't have the choice of use the assets and fix the ripoff issue making the thing less similar to anything i know.

    I just started this thread just to tell i'm afraid of being arrested by using original stuff without knowing they're already used by media that i don't know or something else...
    With this, what i do?
     
  20. Toque

    Toque Member

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    He has an interesting take on it. Watched him do a lecture about it.
    Not sure the general gaming community would see it the same way. Maybe they would.
     
    Bearman_18 likes this.
  21. ethian

    ethian Member

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    Read this story made by me :

    Isab is a solo game developer that started to make a full videogame called "Malab" and one of the characters made by him and inserted to the game is called "Oveja", a dude that likes chocolate, hates farts and loves fruits.
    2 years after the start of the development of "Malab", Isab finished the game, and he published it on a popular website of indie games.
    One year later, Isab is now enjoying with watching media related to the fandom of his own game, "Malab", while he is watching a top 10 video of comic dubs of Malab, the police came kicking the door of Isab's room suddenly, then the police arrested Isab because of copyright infrigement. He copied a character from a little-known TV show called "Baladasia", a character called "Sheepy" who also likes chocolate, hates farts and loves fruits... even the physical appearance of that character is also copied.
    Isab doesn't knew Baladasia before, until the point where the police show it and the character called Sheepy...

    And that is because i don't want to publish my game.

    What do you thinka about the story?
     
  22. HeWhoShallNotBeNamed

    HeWhoShallNotBeNamed Member

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    I think you're worrying a little too much about this. The odds of copying the exact details of someone else's character by accident are fairly low. Also (disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer and don't know the laws in your area), while you can be sued for copyright infringement, I'm fairly certain you can't actually be arrested.

    But make all of your characters hate chocolate, just to be sure. :p
     
  23. ethian

    ethian Member

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    Ha ha ha! Thanks!
     
  24. ethian

    ethian Member

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    Musical instruments for the OST can't be copyrighted?

    Use sounds from other media for the game is also a bad idea?

    Also, after all, is more fun to make original stuff than using stuff from other places, right?

    When mimicking another game, i recently did this, and i had fun when trying to doing it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2018 at 1:04 AM
  25. ethian

    ethian Member

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    Animation styles can't be copyrighted?

    Worldwide.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2018 at 12:17 PM

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