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I recently decided to invent a card game based very loosly after Magic the Gathering (i say loosely because it plays completely different with nothing taken from mtg, but if you play magic, you can pick this up fast).
I already have all of my painting assignments in front of me for card art.. 300 cards each with a unique piece needed. I have the game 90% designed and just need to finish and articulate my notes into something more coherent.
Well, Once done I plan to goto someplace like office max or something and get every card printed on a thick backing so I will have an actual deck in my hands.
By this time I actually was considering turning this into something profitable. Maybe even help me fund my partying. But I need to know everything I can on how to protect my art, my project and creation as a whole. God forbid i hire some programmer and he steals my game! I would die.
I don't know really where to look for this technical info on copyright protection. Tomorrow I will go down to the business department in school and see if i can find some insight, but anything you guys can send my way would rock my socks.
I mean i still have 300 cards to paint, so I am not in a major hurry, but with winter break coming up, i want to do at least 5 paintings a day for it. I will be posting a lot of it here on CA of course, its gotta look awesome if I want to sell a damned thing.
edit: well ok, maybe that's not too helpful, but I'd say that is your best bet if you don't want to be screwed. Aside from that I'd just keep a tight lid on everything until you are ready to expand, make anyone you work with sign an NDA, Hire a few hitmen as backup, and I wouldn't know about the rest since the higher business aspects are outside my scope.
The U.S. Copyright Office, a division within The Library of Congress is where you want to go. There are PDF forms with instructions attached. If you read the instructions carefully you should be able to fill out the form yourself but there is an 800 help-line number if you really get stuck. Us copyright law states that once they receive your application your work is protected. You may want to mail your application with "delivery confirmation" so you will know when they received it. After 6 to 8 months you will receive an official certificate which would prove in a court of law that you are the sole author of the work.Originally Posted by Lord BlueI don't know really where to look for this technical info on copyright protection. Tomorrow I will go down to the business department in school and see if i can find some insight, but anything you guys can send my way would rock my socks.
Because this body of work constitutes a "product" that you intend to market, you may eventually need a "trademark" to protect the concept and name of your product. Trademarks are more expensive than copyrights (about $300.00 I believe) but the copyright should be sufficient for now.
Art Direction & Design
I volunteer to be one of your hitmen. I can hit pretty hard, for an old guy.
if you're very serious about fully protecting and marketing your work, seek the services of an attorney specializing in intellectual property. you might even be able to find someone who'll give a first consultation for free, so at least you'll have an idea of what to expect in terms of copyright, trademark and possibly even patent costs and requirements. legal help like this is one of the up-front costs of developing a product of this sort, and is worth it in the long run.
if you're developing the entire game, including original gameplay concepts, methods, etc., then copyright is only the first step -- it will protect your graphics and written material, the tangible representations of concepts for your game, but you'll probably need more to protect the intangibles like gameplay characteristics. you cannot copyright an idea or concept. it's details like that that make an attorney's services valuable.
Looks like i have my bedtime reading material set up for me, thanks figure2.
And yea, once finished I guess an attorney would be the best way to proceed. Money is definitely an object though, so the least expensive method is not only prefered, its probably the only tangible one.
yeah also be reasonable your not going to do 5 GOOD paintings a day.
Remember you want to sell this and for people to buy it. IF their gonna buy it their gonna want to buy it.
One important caveat about this. The U.S. Copyright Office makes a distinction between "published" & "unpublished" works. Unpublished works are much easier to copyright. If you were to post an image of one of the paintings while it was in development, you would be essentially publishing the piece and creating several potential headaches for yourself: 1. you would be trying to copyright a piece you had already published which, as mentioned above, might cause complications. 2. If you are trying to prevent theft of your ideas, posting them on the web would be a tempting invitation to the very thieves you are nervous about.Originally Posted by Lord BlueI will be posting a lot of it here on CA of course, its gotta look awesome if I want to sell a damned thing.
I would recommend you set up a PM focus group of a few select members whom you trust and would be willing to sign a non-disclosure form who would give you feedback on your progress. A mix of artists, designers and art directors would probably be a good group to get feedback from. Since you are studying business now, I would even include people involved in the marketing departments of game companies. They would probably be the best people to evaluate whether your core idea has merit and would sell.
Art Direction & Design
Good call Figure2. Approaching this the right way is not as simple as it seems.
Figure2's got the right thing here.
Basically, don't screw yourself. We know how proud you are of what you're doing, and you wanna show it around for feedback, but that is definitely a dangerous route to go. Stick to a small group, and make sure none of them are backslappers. You don't need your ego stroked at this point on a project like this, you need a smack across the head when you do something stupid or amateurish.
Check through the Copyright Office link already posted and at the patent/trademark site...
Get EVERYTHING you can...trademark shit, copyright shit, registration shit, any info they have on foreign rights and problems, patents (I seem to remember that certain DESIGNS can be patented, so you may qualify). If nothing else, you'll need the Trademark shit from this site.
As far as legal advice is concerned, check your phonebook. There should be a legal-aid type of thing that will give you an hour's time of advice for a minimal fee, maybe $35-50 bucks. It might be a city or a county affiliation. Do this when you're further along so you can present as much up front info as possible to the attorney.
And you will need a lawyer when you go hunting for a company to produce/sell your work. It doesn't help one bit if you have all the rights (and payed hndrets/thousands of dollars) but then fuck up the licensing part.