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I really don't know what to think about the chitag competition but...

5 replies [Last post]
Joined: 05/19/2010

In the FAQS of their comptetiton they have a NDA or copyrights question where they clearly says this:

"5. Should I bring an NDA to make sure nobody steals my designs?

Whether or not you get someone to sign one at your local event, we can say for certain that Jay will not sign an NDA. Most game manufacturers will not, as an NDA creates legal complications for them if they publish another game with similarities. The same goes for copyrights and patents; if you've gotten them issued on your designs, expect to be refused. There are numerous discussions on this topic, but it is pretty much accepted practice in the industry."

This is the part I don't like:

"an NDA creates legal complications for them if they publish another game with similarities. The same goes for copyrights and patents"

So let me guess, they will publish your game but in the end you loose and they win? they will get the plus advantages of your own creation for their benefits while you get probably half of what you should get or maybe a bit of fame in the beginning and it get's old fast and then... next.

What do you people think?

truekid games
truekid games's picture
Joined: 10/29/2008
that's standard for the

that's standard for the industry, so it doesn't bother me. approaching a publisher with an NDA in hand is a good way to get turned away- sometimes even when the designers never saw each other's games (independently developed), since it's the same publisher, people will get litigious over small similarities. it's not worth the hassle.

Joined: 08/03/2008
I think that you're being way

I think that you're being way too paranoid. This is a reputable publisher, one of the most successful in the hobby industry, and there has never been even a rumor of their operating in anything other than a completely ethical and aboveboard way.

The reason they don't want an NDA is not to grease the wheels for them to steal your design. It really is just what they say -- that if they sign your NDA, or look at your patented game, then reject it, then get another submission further down the road with some similarities to yours, and publish it, you could make the claim that they stole your idea and have violated the NDA or are infringing on your patent or whatever, and could bring legal action against them. This is costly and they'd rather dismiss your game entirely than run the risk of facing a frivolous law suit.

If a company wants to publish your game, they will pay you a fair and industry-standard royalty for it. It's not a lot of money. The publisher definitely will make more money off the game than you will -- if the game sells well. This is by no means a given. But such is the way these arrangements go, and it's reasonable given that the company assumes all the financial risk of publishing your game.

The most successful publishers and designers in this industry do not use patents , copyrights, and NDAs. If you're uncomfortable with the possibility that your game could be stolen, or are unsatisfied with the idea that a publisher will make a profit from your creation, you can of course choose not to submit your game to a publisher.

Joined: 05/19/2010
Hmm maybe I'm being to

Hmm maybe I'm being to paranoid who knows...

But then why would Tim Walsh replay me saying that I should get my game secure before doing any kind of publication?

Yes I mailed him about my game and he got interested, he even attached 2 of his agents and he told me to contact any of them but only after I had my patent number.

Willi B
Joined: 07/28/2008
Walsh and Tummelson

Are in two different markets.

Walsh is probably shooting for Wal-mart on every possible shot.

Jay is more likely to be shooting for the SDJ.

You have to be realistic about your game. Is it a Euro game or a mass market game?

If it is a game that Walsh is interested in, that probably shouldn't be presented to Jay Tummelson at Rio Grande because it isn't something he would publish. You have to place the games you create with the publishers of that type of game. Sometimes publishers are trying to get into new markets, but Rio Grande has been firmly in the Euro style games market since it started as a business.

I have spoken with Jay on several occasions at conventions and read up on the guy a bit. Jay doesn't design games. He has developers, but they are hard at work on Dominion usually.

Patents cost $$$. That's entirely your call. I would pass until I had sales to justify a patent. I'm guessing if you polled most patent holders 20 years later they would probably say it was a waste of money... unless they are still deluded. This industry is about reputations as everyone knows everyone.

Jay's reputation is pretty stellar.... haven't met anyone that would say different.

truekid games
truekid games's picture
Joined: 10/29/2008
a patent doesn't actually

a patent doesn't actually "secure" anything, so i'm not sure why he would advise that.

even a patent only HELPS your case IF you decide to bring a case to court. patents are not automatically enforced, so not only will you be paying for the patent, but if YOU are the patent holder rather than the company, then YOU are the one who would have to both identify possible offenders AND bring up charges against them (and pay for the lawyer). and even then, there's a very reasonable chance your patent will get thrown out based on prior use.

but like willi said, that guy is probably looking for mass market- which operates differently (essentially treating games as a sub-category of toys... something designed for the function of being marketed, rather than for the function of engendering interaction or interesting decisions). so he may be used to people approaching him with more static/patentable products.

if you've got money to spend patenting something that must go through at least 2 more levels (probably more) of possible rejections, by all means, do what you feel is right for you and your game- i'm only conveying my perspective, and i encourage people to figure out their own path.

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