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The age old question of Clip Art

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sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008

Many have asked about using clip art in protos and to submit to publishers, and the consensus seems to be that it's fine to do so, but the art would need to be original when the game is produced.

As I mentioned in another thread, I put together a mock-up of Antike, a new game by Eggert-Speil, because I can't buy it yet but I want to play it. I fully intend to purchase the game at the first opportunity. I played tha game a couple times at BGG.con and it's my new favorite game. As I understand it, the copy that I played was the final production copy, not a prototype.

There has been mention aboutt he components of the game, which consist of boats from Seafarers of Catan, Meeple from Hunters and Gatherers, wooden discs like those in Vinci, etc. The art looks pretty much like clip art as well. Basically, with the exception of the board, the game looks like a prototype. Now this doesn't bother me, I like the boats and meeples.

However, in putting together my proto of Antike, I looked for some clip art to adorn the cards, and in the Microsoft Clip Art gallery I found the exact same art as is on the cards in the actual game!

This brings up the question again about using clip art. If indeed this was the final production version, will there be legal quabbles over the use of Microsoft clip art in the game? Will people who buy the game be upset that they are getting cheap clip art for their dollar?

Personally, I don't mind the clip art on the cards. Most of it looks fine. As I said, some of the art could be a lot better, but I'll play the game anyway because it's terrific. What do you guys think?

seo's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
The age old question of Clip Art

I would prefer a non clipart version of any game, and would probably be a bit reluctant if I go to a store and se a game designed using clipart, but if I know that the game is good, the clipart won't stop me from buying or playing it.

But there are lots of good and even great clipart images out there, so a game based on clipart isn't necessarily an amateur-looking or prototype-looking game.

IIRC, MS's clipart licence doesn't forbid you to use their images in a commercial project, but you have to pay them for royalties.


Joined: 12/31/1969
The age old question of Clip Art

FYI - you can also get good clipart from for a modest subscription fee. Their license allows you to use it for any purpose. If you need a lot of art it may be well worth the cost.

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