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In the process of creating a CCG

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Titansfan
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Joined: 02/11/2011

I apologize if this is an inappropriate discussion, I am designing a CCG not a board game, but I have seen other posts about CCG's on this site and the discussions seemed to be better than those on any other site that I could find. I am currently a freshman in college and for the past seven years, I have been working on my CCG on and off (with a small amount of help from two friends). For the past year or so though, I've been doing some particularly intense work on it and it will finally be finished in June at which point I plan to release it to friends and family, I guess you could call this playtesting (Currently I have made about 400 cards and I plan to make more before the June release.) I feel like the game would be well liked. A lot of the card games are rather nonsensical and there is really no main theme, however it is very strategic. It uses some aspects of the Yu-Gi-Oh game but is far more intellectual. My biggest questions are:

A) How can I ensure that I am not breaking patents and copyrights of other games since some aspects are similar to other CCG's. (though many themes, or lackthereof, and rules make the game vastly different)
B) What can I inexpensively do to protect certain parts of my game so that nobody completely steals it.

-Thanks, I may be willing to share some of the details at some point but not right now.

GitfaceryGames
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Joined: 02/10/2011
You can get a trademark for

You can get a trademark for somewhere between $200-$300 on the game name depending on the sort of trademark you purchase. Check the government website yourself - law chickenscratch tends to get confusing to me when they just thrust it at you like that. Furthermore, copyrighting your game as a whole is a good way to protect it. This is also relatively inexpensive.

Titansfan
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Joined: 02/11/2011
Is the title all that I can

Is the title all that I can get protected? My bigger worry is that someone will steal the rules of the game completely. As I said, the basics of the game are somewhat similar to Yu-Gi-Oh, regarding battles between cards that are essentially the equivelent of Yu-Gi-Oh's monster cards and the existence of what is the equivelent to trap cards so I don't know if that already infringes on too much, however about 5 or 6 major rule changes make the strategy of the game almost completely different (and in a way that makes skill more beneficial than just having the best cards.)

GitfaceryGames
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Joined: 02/10/2011
The annoying beauty of such

The annoying beauty of such protection laws is that a few small changes will allow you to subvert it. This is allowing you to rip off of Yu-Gi-Oh, but could also allow others to do the same to you. Still, without a copyright, somebody else can take your game, submit it for copyright, sue you for selling it, and win. So do it.

metzgerism
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Joined: 06/19/2009
I have a feeling that

I have a feeling that Gitfacery is misleading you. You don't need to copyright anything at any point, and it would be foolish for you to do so as it is a waste of money and time.

Especially something so derivative as ANOTHER CCG with a mechanical basis on a game that wasn't particularly innovative in the first place.

GitfaceryGames
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Joined: 02/10/2011
It happened to my family.

It happened to my family. Don't screw the poor lad over.

Titansfan
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Joined: 02/11/2011
So what components will a

So what components will a trademark protect and how long does it take to receive a trademark after submitting it?

hulken
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Joined: 04/18/2009
I totaly agree with metzer...

I totaly agree with metzer... There is no need for ither trade mark or copywright. Basicly they are useless. If Matel wants to steal youre game they will do it anyway. (tehre is an example of a boardgame that have bin stolen by a big company I can not remember wich one ot was tho). And if you sue them witch you can even without copywright or trade mark. You will probobly just end up spending a lot of money in cort and geting noting exept bills, bills and bills. Also the CCG market is not realy considers vibrent at the moment, so it is very low risk in some one stealing a ccg and publising it them self.

By just writing the rules on youre computer they are copywrited and protected. And the idea is also protected if it is your, the onley problems is proving this if you go to cort. So thats where teh dates on teh files and such thing come in handy.

And also if I understand you correctly most of youre game is just a re wamping of Yu-Gi-Oh. So it might be hard protecting somthing that you have bin inspired to create from so one else "invention".

But this is just my thought on nthe subject.

Willi B
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Joined: 07/28/2008
patents

Patents protect game mechanics.

Rules can be protected, but only the rulebook would be protected as the written word unless patented mechanics are involved.

Regardless, you should ask yourself a much more serious question that many of us have already asked ourselves and answered.

Why not make it non-collectible?

Name a non-licensed CCG that has come out in the last 5 years and succeeded? NONE.

Name 5 licensed CCG's that came out in the last 5 years that still exist. CERTAINLY NOT 5.

Unless you are on a different business model than the 100 others that have gone before, do not waste your time.

There is a reason that people are not releasing CCG's - too much cost in promotion and tournament support, individual artwork cost, estimates of $50k+ minimum start money, etc.. Plenty to research if you spend the time.

Good luck.

Titansfan
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Joined: 02/11/2011
Thanks everybody! Unless I

Thanks everybody!

Unless I think I've decided that unless find some new information I don't think I'm going to spend any money on copyrights etc. I think I read on another thread that if you go somewhere to get your game printed, you can ask them to document the printing or something like that. I think I'm going to do that just so that there is dated proof of it. I might get the rulebook printed there too if that is the case. I also think releasing it to the online community as a print and play might not be a bad idea. The initial goal of this game was just a way to pass the time while creating it and for it to be a fun game to play and to organize small tournanments with friends so if a small number of people play it and it just remains a cult classic of sorts for them then I'd consider my endeavor successful. I'm going over a lot of things before I release the game in the summer to make sure that everything is perfected but there are 830 different cards.

And again, thanks for the advice!!! If anyone thinks they can contribute more info to help me OR if they are interested in seeing more about the game after it is complete, feel free to contact me.

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Quote:You don't need to

Quote:
You don't need to copyright anything at any point, and it would be foolish for you to do so as it is a waste of money and time.

Another way to say this is you do not need to pay anything to copyright something. If you write the rules and write "copyright your name" it is automatically protected by the copyright law.

Copyright protect text and images, but it does not protect ideas.

Titansfan
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Joined: 02/11/2011
So basically if somebody

So basically if somebody wanted to copy my game they would have to rename and rewrite every card and the rulebook?

Willi B
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Yes

The words would change but the game could be exactly the same and they would still be within the law... so there isn't much you can do.

If you are only concerned with making a game for friends, as you posted before, why event worry about the protection?

Titansfan
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Joined: 02/11/2011
Okay, but the copyright is

Okay, but the copyright is completely automatic?

Yamahako
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Joined: 12/01/2010
Yes copyrights are automatic.

Yes copyrights are automatic. You can pay a VERY small amount of money (its about 35$) to register your copyright with the government. There are a lot of people who say this is pointless - and it usually is - but it is an additional amount of protection - and at least some official date certification if - (in the unlikely event) - someone tried to sue you over it.

It won't help you in a law suit against someone else (someone stealing your idea) unless they are copying your text or pictures word for word (and you shouldn't need that in this case anyway) - but it could in some small way help protect you from a law suit if someone is saying you stole their idea. And its a really small amount of money.

The only things that CAN be copyrighted though are text and pictures in this way. So your rules and art. Yes they ARE copyrighted anyway, but this would give you a nice paper and a government seal which might hold up in court a bit better than some extra words on a paper you wrote yourself.

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