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Old 05-08-2006, 11:38 AM   #1
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Default Legal protection for games - how do you do it?

I am making a game. Maybe my game is rubbish. But humor me here. Pretend for a moment that my game is good, and people might pay real money for it if it is done well. I have an opportunity to sell this idea and make a career out of game development. But right now I am a poor unknown. Where do I go from here? If my idea really is good, how to I stop myself being ripped off?

I have been talking with a guy who knows a lot more than me. He's a professional in the music biz, and has some experience with intellectual property. He thinks my game idea has great potential, but seriously recommends that I spend serious money (thousands of dollars) on a GOOD lawyer.

Is there any other way? How do I protect my game ideas without spending thousands on top lawyers?

Here are some more details: the thing that excites my music biz friend is not the story, but my approach. In particular:

* a certain method of game creation
* a certain look and feel
* a certain approach to dialogue
* a certain method of providing updates
* probably a few other things

This sounds Scrooge like, I know. Most of you guys work hard to produce your adventure games then generously give them away for free. But I have an opportunity here to give up my day job and become a full time game developer, on my own terms. I don't want to miss this golden opportunity. So how do I protect myself legally?

My ideal solution is to find some small games publisher that I can really trust, and let them deal with it. But business is business. Do such publishers exist? Or is my only hope to pay a ton of money to a lawyer before I even start to look in the games industry?

Any help or advice would be gratefully received.
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Old 05-08-2006, 12:04 PM   #2
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All things being equal (as in, you actually have a good and professional-looking story-driven game), you might consider contacting Telltale Games. I believe they're into looking at small developers to allow them to distribute their games online via Telltale Now. I don't think they'd try and cheat you or anything, but you'd probably still need a lawyer anyway. I don't think they would provide funding or anything like that, but at least your copy protection and distribution would be taken care of for awhle. Talk to them and find out, I suppose.
An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life. -- Robert A. Heinlein
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Old 05-12-2006, 08:41 AM   #3
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