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Game making and keeping it confidential?

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Anonymous

8O
Ok i been working on a game for a little over a year and a half. I keep changing things as i play with friends and all, all the people that i have played with love the game, including those that hate to play board games, they like the fact that the game last max 1 hour but at the same time you keep your guy to come back and do another battle another time. I been wanting to post the name of the game and some of its tactics, but i am new at this and do not know if its a good idea since i do not have it patented or registered? An another thing is should i invest my own money in trying to make copies to sell or sell it to some gaming company, i have read some here but cant understand the process....sugestions would be apreciated.

Anonymous
Game making and keeping it confidential?

A good idea would be to post the game here to get some feedback. Nobody here has stolen any ideas or anything (at least, not to my knowledge).

Anonymous
I guess ill learn

Ok dragon i am gona trust your judgement...All interested ill post basic tactis on my game journal.

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
Game making and keeping it confidential?

A few observations on this subject:

First, as DragonKid observes, I don't think it's likely that many people will steal your ideas. We're all designing games on our own, and we none of us need each other's ideas, as we have plenty of our own to work on. Personally, I like hearing about others' games because it tells me what to avoid; I don't want to create games that others have already made.

It's been interesting to me to look at others' journals, workshop entries, etc, and see just how similar some of our ideas are. Many of us have said "wow, I'm working on a game that's very similar to that!" So I think disclosure can be helpful, because once you get to that point, you have someone else with whom you could possibly collaborate/discuss/compare notes/etc, and that can really be useful to propel your design forward. Also, giving out some info can get people interested in talking about your game, which can also push your design efforts forward.

That said, a few words of caution are in order. There are a small number of people who post a lot on this board who I can say with pretty good confidence are unlikely to steal your ideas. But, there is a "silent majority" of hundreds of members who don't actually post messages, and there are others who can view the site publicly but also don't post, and we really don't know anything about them. We have no idea whether they're stealing our design ideas, whether they're the kind of people who steal our design ideas, etc. We just don't know. We hope they're not. But they could be. That said, if someone steals your idea, I guess the advantage of posting here on the site is that it's a record that you had an idea by such and such a date, and they probably won't be able to prove something similar if they've stolen your idea.

Also, saying less rather than more can be helpful in a few ways. One, it can help you be certain that others aren't stealing from you. For example, a few weeks back I read a post from Seth in which he described a mechanic that I had also come up with. Now, I know that Seth wouldn't steal ideas anyway, but in this case I was particularly sure he had come up with it independently from me because I never said anything about that mechanic on this board.

Also, there may be a situation where you have an idea for a new theme or new mechanic that no one else is thinking about, and keeping quiet will let you continue to have the market "cornered", whereas while no one might steal your ideas, they might begin designing similar games if you give them info. For example, maybe you came up with an idea to make a game about "truck driving", and others say "hey, you know, a game about truck driving could be cool". and then they start making truck games as well. If this would bother you, better to say less about truck driving.

With respect to your game, I think fighting games are fairly common, so I don't think you really need to worry about people stealing your idea or your mechanics. Patents are probably a big waste of money, unless you've got a sure-fire big seller on your hands, and copyright doesn't protect as much as you want it to, though it does protect some things. I think hyper-secrecy is unnecessary, but being selective about what you reveal and what you don't is probably also a wise course.

Good luck!

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