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Question on a possible game remake.

08-19-2009, 07:50 PM
#1
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 85
Question on a possible game remake.

I just got done teaching myself Objective-C via a book, I feel I gained a good understanding of the language... but by no means know it all yet, that will come with time and practice. I plan on moving onto an iPhone SDK book now and eventually move onto developing a game.

I have been working on an idea for a game remake, I have been doing some sketches and concept graphics. The game I plan on making a spin-off of is Rodents Revenge, those who owned Windows 98 (Maybe 95 It's been so long) will be familiar with the fun and addicting game. I will be using Cocos2d with the Chipmunk physics engine, figuring it will be a simple straight forward game that would be a good starter app.

For the game, I would by no means be making a copy of, I will be making my own graphics from the ground up. It will feature its own unique gameplay features, it's own code, and it's own unique name. And I will make no reference to the original game.

For now it's just a concept but how careful should I be with this game in regards to legality, the game Is very very old, it was free, their are versions all over the internet... Would you think issues would arise with Microsoft (or whom ever originally created it) and would it make it through the Apple Approval process?

I realize even the most unique games can be denied by Apple, but what do you guys think?
08-19-2009, 08:09 PM
#2
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Where the Grass is Green and the Girls are Pretty
Posts: 2,740
I doubt you would run into any trouble, because there are many spin-offs of games on the appstore. However you never know what could happen with the approval process...

Gamecenter: Will090

08-19-2009, 08:14 PM
#3
A copy is a copy is a copy. A derivative work is just that, a derivative.

Don't copy it and you "should" be fine. Consult a lawyer though if you want real legal advice.

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08-20-2009, 01:40 AM
#4
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1,634
- don't use the same name
- don't use the original assets (graphics, sounds etc)
- don't do graphics that are too similar
- use common sense

and you'll be fine, you cannot copyright game mechanics.
08-20-2009, 08:55 AM
#5
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anders View Post
and you'll be fine, you cannot copyright game mechanics.
Unless you are The Tetris Company .
08-20-2009, 09:02 AM
#6
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1,634
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaguard View Post
Unless you are The Tetris Company .
They have copyrights on the shapes of the pieces you drop down, not the actual dropping down of the pieces (i.e. the game mechanics).
08-20-2009, 09:25 AM
#7
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 85
Thanks guys for the posts! I'll be sure to be careful, but hopefully I can get out a successful game. It's more of a hobby (Programing), so if I make a great game IMO and it doesn't sell well, I'll still have enjoyed myself and continue working
08-20-2009, 11:43 AM
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anders View Post
They have copyrights on the shapes of the pieces you drop down, not the actual dropping down of the pieces (i.e. the game mechanics).
No they don't. Those shapes existed long before Tetris did. They have a trademark for the name Tetris, copyrights for the game assets, and a lot of money to bully people around. There are a ton of Tetris clones, even on the App Store. Apple even featured one recently called Mino.
08-20-2009, 12:11 PM
#9
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1,634
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little White Bear Studios View Post
No they don't. Those shapes existed long before Tetris did. They have a trademark for the name Tetris, copyrights for the game assets, and a lot of money to bully people around. There are a ton of Tetris clones, even on the App Store. Apple even featured one recently called Mino.
Ok, I just remembered that some game used the exact same shapes and was sued, but I probably recall incorrectly
08-20-2009, 12:26 PM
#10
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,206
Yeah, there are some things you just can't copyright. You can take out a trademark on a particular combination of shape and colour, but the validity of the trademark would depend on how unique the shape was and how likely your usage of a similar shape would cause brand confusion. You could try and trademark a red square if you wanted to, but your likelihood of defending that trademark from its use as a shape in a puzzle game is next to nil -- assuming you were able to trademark that shape to begin with.

Take the case of T-Mobile and their trademark use of the colour magenta. It sounds ridiculous, and indeed they couldn't defend anyone else's use of the colour magenta unless it was being used in a logo by another telecom company.

You can do whatever you damn well please for the most part as long as you aren't directly lifting trademarked and copyrighted assets like mascots, trademarked characters (Mario, Sonic, etc., even lookalikes), original sound effects and music, etc. If all assets are you own and they do not directly copy any unique element of the original such as to potentially cause confusion between yours and the original, and you do not use the original's name or try and make any link between your game and the original in such a way as to make it sound like there is some sort of official connection between yours and the original, then you should be good to go.

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