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Who can you trust? (Forums : Ideas & Concepts : Who can you trust?) Locked
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Apr 4 2013, 11:52pm Anchor

If someone has a killer idea that would make a lot of money, how do you share the idea and still keep it safe? Aren't there ways to get around NDA's like telling someone in another country? There's a lot of human trash out there looking for the next person they can screw over.

Apr 5 2013, 3:14am Anchor

Don't be afraid to share ideas. I once thought similarly to you and a mentor of mine told me this: "If you only have one idea that will get you anywhere, and feel the need to protect it at every turn, then you need more ideas."

Apr 5 2013, 3:48am Anchor
General_Hoohah wrote:If someone has a killer idea that would make a lot of money, how do you share the idea and still keep it safe? Aren't there ways to get around NDA's like telling someone in another country? There's a lot of human trash out there looking for the next person they can screw over.

I think that the "idea stealers" will basicly have the same difficulty getting it going as the "ideas guy".

Any idea can be good, but turn bad due to how it's executed.

SinKing
SinKing bumps me thread
Apr 5 2013, 6:02am Anchor

Hmm, it depends. All great ideas are stolen, as someone once said. The question is when do you start considering something an idea? If you just have one line, an original thought of some kind that's not yet an idea. That is the beginning of one. You can build on that idea and make it your own. At some point others cannot claim this idea their own, because it is uniquely yours.

To get copyright on an idea of that kind, you can register your work (for a small fee - 15$) with the Writers Guild of America. What I do (alternatively) is send myself a sealed letter with the documents inside. Make sure you write a date on your paper and the envelope stamp with the date is readable when it returns. You can send these again and again, when your project progresses. This makes it easier to talk about something with others and gives you some peace of mindabout your ideas staying your own.

Truly great ideas in games start with a spark and get developed into much more by a team. At some point you will have to start trusting people. And most creatives I met are more interested in working on something together than stealing from each other. Success is more likely when you can trust, but it's good to know you have the legal papers, too.

Edited by: SinKing

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Apr 5 2013, 6:24am Anchor
Naqser wrote:[...]Any idea can be good, but turn bad due to how it's executed.

This is everything you need to know.
It's about the execution of an idea and that's where most people/teams fail.
Look at moddb and how many mods won't ever be released.

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ambershee
ambershee Nimbusfish Rawks
Apr 5 2013, 6:40am Anchor

The reality is that there's no point stealing an idea. Why steal it and work on it yourself when it's more productive to work with the people whose ideas you like?

SinKing wrote:To get copyright on an idea of that kind, you can register your work (for a small fee - 15$) with the Writers Guild of America. What I do (alternatively) is send myself a sealed letter with the documents inside. Make sure you write a date on your paper and the envelope stamp with the date is readable when it returns. You can send these again and again, when your project progresses. This makes it easier to talk about something with others and gives you some peace of mindabout your ideas staying your own.

You can't copyright an idea.

SinKing
SinKing bumps me thread
Apr 5 2013, 10:40am Anchor
ambershee wrote:The reality is that there's no point stealing an idea. Why steal it and work on it yourself when it's more productive to work with the people whose ideas you like?

SinKing wrote:To get copyright on an idea of that kind, you can register your work (for a small fee - 15$) with the Writers Guild of America. What I do (alternatively) is send myself a sealed letter with the documents inside. Make sure you write a date on your paper and the envelope stamp with the date is readable when it returns. You can send these again and again, when your project progresses. This makes it easier to talk about something with others and gives you some peace of mindabout your ideas staying your own.

You can't copyright an idea.


That's cute, but unfortunately there is a real world, which belongs to the lawyers.

Have you read the rest of my statement? As soon as you worked your idea out in any form of document, you can copyright it. Otherwise we would not see any infringement cases and there would be no safety for any authors. I have had work taken from me by a game studio, who stole a year of my life when they removed the non-commercial license from a well known franchise we worked on. It is that easy, if you have copyright to a fleshed out idea like that. This goes so far that I may never show any work done for the project in public without risking punishment.

Flesh out your ideas, get them copyrighted and nobody can steal from you without risking severe consequences. To get there, you must learn to trust a few people. Don't bloat it out to just about everyone. There is no need to live in fear of anyone stealing your initial idea. But if you build a design around it and have a working prototype, get it copyrighted.

Edited by: SinKing

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Apr 5 2013, 6:50pm Anchor

Okay, lets say that you have a great idea (consisting of many many ideas) and you've spent some time hashing it out, outlining story ideas, mapping out things, writing down all your ideas, etc, but its still going to be a long time till anything happens and you still need to develop your skills and abilities. And now its time to find someone to team up with to continue brain storming, hashing out ideas, etc. How do you find the right person or people to work with, people who are trust worthy. How do you even find someone who's a right fit for the project without blabbing all your ideas? Keep in mind this is something that is next gen.

Edited by: General_Hoohah

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SinKing
SinKing bumps me thread
Apr 6 2013, 4:42am Anchor
General_Hoohah wrote:Okay, lets say that you have a great idea (consisting of many many ideas) and you've spent some time hashing it out, outlining story ideas, mapping out things, writing down all your ideas, etc, but its still going to be a long time till anything happens and you still need to develop your skills and abilities. And now its time to find someone to team up with to continue brain storming, hashing out ideas, etc. How do you find the right person or people to work with, people who are trust worthy. How do you even find someone who's a right fit for the project without blabbing all your ideas? Keep in mind this is something that is next gen.

Browse the profiles of people here and on artist sites, make a generalist thread about what your game will do or what direction you want to develop and start with only a few good people, who believe in the idea you shared with them. You will have to work more than anyone else, but as long as you are the driving force of the project, nobody will steal an idea from you. Most people have their own and a lot of people are looking to join a team for the same reason as you: because they know only together can they be successful.

Your fear is largely unfounded, unless you expect other people to work for you, because you are the guy with the great idea. As I said, you will have to lead by example and at some point need to register your project or your company's project to make sure you will keep all rights to it. Just don't be afraid to ask people for help on Moddb or elsewhere. In the ten years I've been on this site nobody has stolen an idea.

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Apr 7 2013, 1:57am Anchor

Okay, thanks for the wisdom guys.

I basically have a huge load of ideas for a next generation game that I don't even think would work on today's computers. I don't even know if it would be possible without quantum technology. It would take a long time to make, would most likely need an original engine, but would be worth the hard work. It would set new standards, and that's the point. I remember back in the late 90's, when games like System Shock 2, Battlezone, and DeusEx came out. The originality and the standards they set. I want to try and bring that kind of sentiment back and set new standards, raise the bar. I'm not talking about just relying on graphics or gimmicks, or a single thing in the game that separates it from others. Not even two or three things. The entire game.

I've always been a very passionate, I have a good GPA, a high IQ, blah blah... but my social skills are bad (mostly because of how much most people in my past have wronged me, which as made me very reclusive) and my learning disability (which I think is probably ADD) has made it harder for me to keep up in school and college. Its been really hard for me to find the motivation to find something to put my passion into, after all the blows I've experienced in life. But the more I think about all the technological advances that are being made, the gaming industry excites me the most. I want to build a game that can integrate into the direction society is heading, not just to make it more playable or make money. My main focus is to make the game more interactive using the new tech we have these days and whats to come. I have lots of ideas on how to do that, but for a major aspect of the game I think I might need to seek the services of someone who specializes in certain areas of psychology. It's going to be a long time till this ever could happen, and in the mean time I think I'd like to work on some other projects and develop my skills. :)

_______________________________

I just realized that sounded really messed up LOL! I need to find a psychologist to learn some things about human interaction for the game. I need to figure out how to make something work in the game it self between players. Perhaps maybe one with military experience or one who works for the military, or trains soldiers.

Edited by: General_Hoohah

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Jul 20 2013, 11:21pm Anchor

Ideas are cheap, good execution of ideas isn't.

Cryrid
Cryrid 3D Artist
Jul 20 2013, 11:44pm Anchor

Quote:to get copyright on an idea of that kind, you can register your work (for a small fee - 15$) with the Writers Guild of America. What I do (alternatively) is send myself a sealed letter with the documents inside. Make sure you write a date on your paper and the envelope stamp with the date is readable when it returns. You can send these again and again, when your project progresses. This makes it easier to talk about something with others and gives you some peace of mindabout your ideas staying your own.

That actually doesn't hold up in any court as you can just mail yourself an unsealed envelope and put anything you want in it later.

And as Ambershee said, ideas can not be copyrighted. The expression of them can be copyrighted, but not the actual idea. If you write a novel about a caped crime fighter then that work itself is protected by copyright and you can go on to trademark names and symbols that might be tied to it (like the bat symbol), but legally its not going to prevent other people from being able to create their own caped crime fighter books.

Jul 25 2013, 4:12pm Anchor

Cryrid is right.
There are specific rules what you can register and its complicated.
NDA documents have slightly different purpose than protecting ideas...

Also, find us few examples where we seen ideas being stolen. Really...

"If someone has a killer idea that would make a lot of money, how do you share the idea and still keep it safe? "
Few questions:
How do you know its killer idea? Or do YOU think it is killed idea?
How do you know it woul make lot of money?

Business Plans make money, not ideas. They can start with ideas. Business plans are protected, ideas are not neccessary.

Edited by: tigerija

SinKing
SinKing bumps me thread
Jul 25 2013, 4:34pm Anchor

Trademarks can be copyrighted as far as I know. But it costs (European/Worldwide) and it is only for a name. That's one reason why you have car games with real car names and games with fake names. The fake ones didn'T get the license to use the manufacturer's name. Also, big companies will take their case to court, which is why we don't see a lot of games based on existing titles (like HaloGen).

But you are right. It gave me quite a headache, too. You cannot copyright ideas. You can copyright scripts/screenplays however and later use your date of submission to prove if somone is leeching from your source. That's why I mentioned the writer's guild. However, nothing is really safe. If you have a great idea, just be sure to turn it into a great game. An example that comes to mind is DayZ and Infestation (?) - former WarZ. WarZ is nothing but a cheap clone earning the disrespect of the player base. However, it made quite a few quick bucks and rode the tide. If you want to make money, release something. If you want to prevent anyone from "stealing" an idea, be like Gollum and keep your precious to yourself.

Though this is really annoying to me too, I see no other way than to make a project public at some point and hope you are original enough and far enough into development to discourage anyone from trying to make a straight copy of it.

Edited by: SinKing

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Jul 26 2013, 2:37pm Anchor

How to protect your idea?
Simple answer, Get it down on paper, post date on it, scan it, E-mail it to yourself
Why? To prove you have this idea at this day if someone would steal it you have proof when you came up with it

and once my instructor said: If you are afraid that someone else will make your idea, then your not the best person making the idea ;)
Don't be afraid sharing your idea, even share them as .pdf and put copyright on it, tells readers that you know what you are doing and you are aware of the rules =)

I had classes in copyright, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask =)

SinKing
SinKing bumps me thread
Jul 27 2013, 7:38am Anchor
HeroBiX wrote:How to protect your idea?
Simple answer, Get it down on paper, post date on it, scan it, E-mail it to yourself
Why? To prove you have this idea at this day if someone would steal it you have proof when you came up with it

and once my instructor said: If you are afraid that someone else will make your idea, then your not the best person making the idea ;)
Don't be afraid sharing your idea, even share them as .pdf and put copyright on it, tells readers that you know what you are doing and you are aware of the rules =)

I had classes in copyright, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask =)


1) like someone stated, you can send yourself an open envelope and put the documents in later. It's not a safe argument at courts.

2) putting a copyright on anything doesn't mean it is copyrighted, since this symbol is basically out of date. There was some Act, which ultimately the USA joined/signed too, so copyright is now a universal thing. That may mean you own an idea and can be the first to work on it, but it gives no safety whatsoever, from someone richer and with better lawyers to steal that idea.

If you know a foolproof way to make an idea watertight without spending money to a) trademark it, or b) patent it I'd still be interested in knowing. NDA and Confidentiality Agreement work for people on your team, but why should anyone else care?

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Jul 27 2013, 9:46am Anchor

It's impossible to stop someone from stealing your idea, especially hard in communities that encourage stealing. Modding community is one of those where stealing is "ok" as long as "I'm not making any money off it". It's "ok" to steal from "evil" companies. It's "ok" to steal to "learn" something because you "help" a company later in life by buying their stuff/spreading their name. How many mods based on someone else idea are there just on this site?

Huge corporations can't stop someone from ripping off their software/hardware/patents/trademarks/copyrights, you're nothing compared to them, you won't be able to do a thing. How many Angry Birds clones are out there, perfectly legal? id made the idea of having a floating gun kill bad guys and made a small fortune off of selling other people the software to duplicate their idea.

So, the object isn't to make a "fort knox" to hide your ideas away (which aren't unique anyway, many other have thought of them and, odds are, already did something with them), the object is to implement them BETTER then everyone else. Copyright/trademark when you've got something you've got something that will be exploited. If you're using someone else's stuff (an IP, for example), be aware that it's THEIR stuff, not yours.

Trademark is registering a name.
Copyright is registering a design.
Patenting is registering a process.

(those are summed up) None of them offer direct protection, just legal registration to say "Those are mine", so WHEN someone steals them then you have the piece of paper saying "I came up with it first." Trademark and copyright don't need any legal registration but it's harder to prove a case and get damages w/o it. You can't patent something that's been in the "public use" for X amount of years, then it's considered public knowledge. I forget the exact amount.

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Cryrid
Cryrid 3D Artist
Jul 27 2013, 12:02pm Anchor
TheHappyFriar wrote:How many Angry Birds clones are out there, perfectly legal?

Which some would say is itself a clone of Crush the Castle / Castle Clout.
But that's the nature of the industry, even if you were to go back and look at the first 2+ games.

SinKing
SinKing bumps me thread
Jul 27 2013, 4:15pm Anchor

On the other hand - I find this thread encouraging now, because it says:

Come out with your idea and do it!

As opposed to: try to keep things supersecret and work in a vault were nobody sees you or knows what you are doing. Games, most of all, are collaborative efforts. So even if you have a good concept, it doesn't yet guarantee a good game. You need to work on it with passionate people, who know their stuff. Who aren't afraid to critcize and think beyond the obvious. That is something many game developers simply lack, even if they think they have it.

Es are in essence, an ecclectic society. Good artists borrow, great artist steal. Isn't that even a popular saying? I think there is some truth to that, even though it seems very wrong, from an ethic standpoint. The point is nobody tells anyone what is good or great. You need taste and understanding to figure it out. So a mediocre designer will not understand it when he sees a great idea, and he will not jump the boat when he gets a chance to "steal" it. I think we are free to develop our own games in whatever fashion we chose to. I have a game called "Bigguns" in development, and I have been very afraid of getting the idea ripped off, but we have been working on it with a small team for some months now and find out what a hassle it is to get it all working and looking decent enough. If you have an original idea it may be like this: it's pretty hard for anyone to copy it right off the bat, so they might try and give up. Whereas the originator of the idea has something these copycats don't have: faith in his concept!

Edited by: SinKing

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Jul 28 2013, 8:58am Anchor

A healthy portion of distrust is ok, but some people react truly paranoid.

I'm a 3D artist and I was about to apply for some work at a newly founded indy company. They had a showcase consisting of about 2 concept drawings, 3 models and a wirframe plus a preview of the game's storyline, which was 3 lines in full. Payment on sales basis.

My request to get some further insight, so I can see if this is a project at all, on which I want to spend the next 2-5 years or so was instantly denied, claiming they have to protect their intellectual property from theft. For me the case became closed at that point.

Edited by: BogOfEternalStench

SinKing
SinKing bumps me thread
Jul 28 2013, 9:04am Anchor
BogOfEternalStench wrote:A healthy portion of distrust is ok, but some people react truly paranoid.

I'm a 3D artist and I was about to apply for some work at a newly founded indy company. They had a showcase consisting of about 2 concept drawings, 3 models and a wirframe plus a preview of the game's storyline, which was 3 lines in full. Payment on sales basis.

My request to get some further insight, so I can see if this is a project at all, on which I want to spend the next 2-5 years or so was instantly denied, claiming they have to protect their intellectual property from theft. For me the case became closed at that point.


That is also really unprofessional on their end. They could have just let you sign an NDA and the case is closed. This may be a bit difficult, if you aren't in the same room, but if you are actually there, it is easy to sign a document.

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Jul 28 2013, 9:17am Anchor
SinKing wrote:
That is also really unprofessional on their end. They could have just let you sign an NDA and the case is closed. This may be a bit difficult, if you aren't in the same room, but if you are actually there, it is easy to sign a document.


Exactly. Problem with most indy companies is, they require their applicants to have a professional skill set and attitude, but they themselves act like newbies.

Edited by: BogOfEternalStench

Jul 28 2013, 9:47am Anchor

In most cases an Idea is nothing worth. It is just the initial boost which persuades you to work and finish something awesome. App Store was a bad idea for Jobs, sweet system Fonts where genious for him. Now both things are groundbreaking, but also nothing which wouldn't be invented by anyone else. He just established it, that's the difference.
I even told an idea to a "competing" developer to ask for collaboration and regarding the answere I belive I did profit more then he did.

Cryrid
Cryrid 3D Artist
Jul 28 2013, 12:12pm Anchor
Quote:That is also really unprofessional on their end. They could have just let you sign an NDA and the case is closed. This may be a bit difficult, if you aren't in the same room, but if you are actually there, it is easy to sign a document.

Quote:Exactly. Problem with most indy companies is, they require their applicants to have a professional skill set and attitude, but they themselves act like newbies.

I don't think withholding information about their current project is unprofessional at all, its highly professional. NDAs come with the payment contract after you're hired, they're not handed off to anyone and everyone who applies. If I think about professional companies (especially large and well established ones) I can't think of a single one that would give me an ounce of inside information on their current projects just because I sent in a resume and asked nicely for an NDA.

Because payment is based on royalties in this case and nothing else (which is perhaps the most unprofessional aspect of it all, though even that can be debatable), it's true that only people who are really interested in the project would commit to it (and so the more detail they can give, the better their chances of finding people would be). But ultimately its their project and its not unprofessional for them to say no.

Edited by: Cryrid

Jul 28 2013, 12:41pm Anchor

With well established companies you already know what you get, there is no need for further insight.

Following the same logic as that company in my example, I could say that I cannot turn in a portfolio, cause I fear they steal my work and concepts.

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