Skip to Content

general knowledge questions

9 replies [Last post]
Anonymous

Hi,

I'm very very new to the game design world, and i'm also very green.

I have several ideas rolling around my brain at the moment. One includes a back-stabbing general knowledge game.

I used to run a Pub-Quiz here in the UK for a number of years, and built up a catalogue questions. Most of these questions were taken from Quiz books i've owned. This thing is, would I be entitled to use them in my own game? Who owns the rights to questions? If I phrased the questions differently, would I be ok?

Obviously, I'm not gonna just copy great chunks of questions out of the books. I basically have hundreds of sheets of quiz questions that are jumbled up from several sources.

So where do I stand?

FastLearner
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
general knowledge questions

That's a bit of a sticky question. Before you move very far with it I strongly suggest you speak with a lawyer/solicitor who specializes in copyright law.

I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice.

That said, here's my understanding: the questions from the books are absolutely copyrighted, no question. The knowledge behind the questions, however, is probably not, as copyright protects the presentation of an idea, not the idea itself. Just as you can't copyright the idea of a painting of an apple, you absolutely can copyright your particular painting of an apple. As such if you wrote your own questions and answers that were based on the same facts then you would probably be just fine.

Brykovian
Brykovian's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/21/2008
general knowledge questions

FL's advice seems quite sound ... so I'd just like to put in a (non-legal) word ...

Basing the "research" behind the facts used in a quiz upon another game or book of quiz questions might be a bit shakey -- not just in a legal/copyright way, but in a answer-validation way too. It might be better to be able to base it upon a solid (non-game) source of information, like an encyclopedia series, well-known news archive, etc. Of course, those books/notes of questions might not be a bad source to spur on the research within those "solid sources". ;)

-Bryk

FastLearner
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
general knowledge questions

That's an excellent point. It would not only be bad to have incorrect answers in your game, but it would be really bad if that's a known wrong answer from some quiz book.

Anonymous
general knowledge questions

cheers for the advice.

to be honest, most of the questions have been checked out, and a lot of them were re-phrased for my old Pub quizzes. I think, if I re-phrased them again I'd be ok.

but if I'm gonna be serious about all this, then I'll seek legal advice beforehand.

thanks again.

FastLearner
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
general knowledge questions

Best of luck! Let us know how it goes, if you don't mind.

Anonymous
general knowledge questions

Well, I've just finished preparing a prototype of the game. Its a general knowledge quiz come backstabbing card game hybrid.

I'm not an avid board gamer by any means. Neither are my friends. Basically we played Dragon Quest a couple of weeks ago (as a retro/geek night), and loved it! Since then I've bought HeroQuest (played and enjoyed), and Dragon Strike (looking forward to playing) from Ebay. I've also planned out a new mission for Dragon Quest based on the Dungeons & Dragon's cartoon series.

Hopefully though, my quiz/backstabbing game prototype will debut sometime this weekend. For the time being, we're gonna use some Trivial Pursuit question cards to fill in.

Anonymous
general knowledge questions

well, we played the prototype game the other night, and it was fun!

trust me, its by no means the most complicated game in the world. we've located a few areas where the rules could do with a tweaking (we actually did some tweaking mid-game too, which helped).

and so begins the process. hehe.

on an aside, this game worked well by using other peoples questions. and doing so avoids any sticky legal issues. but using this method of semi-self-supply, it reminded me lots of the Cheapass Games. Do you think they'd be interested in such an idea, or are companies in general not open to ideas from freelancers?

cheers in advance

Anonymous
general knowledge questions

further to my cheapsss type idea;

if the players brought their own questions to the game (via Trivial pursuit, or a book, or whatever), it would then be tailored to their own needs, as it were.

Ie, anyone can play it, regardless of any level of intelligence.

The beauty of it is, without giving too much away, that you don't have to be good at the questions to win. That was almost the case in our test game. One guy had answered very few questions correctly, and had bad luck in other areas of the game. However, he almost won. As luck had it, he was cruelly struck down by another player minutes before she won outright. Much laughter ensued.

Anonymous
general knowledge questions

As a general rule of thumb, companies such as Cheapass, who only produce games, probably have more ideas for games than they have money to support, so your chances with someone like that are slim (but it can't hurt to try). You'd probably be better off with a larger company that has the money to risk on someone else's idea. Also, their companies are often split up between different industries, so I would guess that a lot of their games come from freelancers. However, these larger companies will more than likely give you a much smaller piece o' the pie, as they can offer broader distribution and their company name on the box to sell it.

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut