Home Forums General Game Design Protecting your game Reply To: Protecting your game


My non-legal, uneducated, poorly informed perspective on this is that “protecting” something you write or a design you make falls into two categories:

1. Legal

2. Practical

The legal consideration is what legal protections you can take but law is reactionary, first someone breaks it, then you respond. Thus, the only thing that prevents someone from breaking it is the threat of your response. If you are not prepared to respond then there is no consequence and it matters little what protections you have sought out.

The practical consideration is that people can take / copy / steal what you create. They can. The largest companies in the world still have their designs and products counterfeited so there isn’t anything that one can do to stop that possibility. That is the reality of the photocopier, the scanner, PDFs, digital photography, etc… It has really always been possible, it has gotten easier and even in the age of “DRM-this” and “DRM-that” those are just inconveniences, all locks can be broken. You can minimize this by pricing your product fairly or aggressively and by sponsoring general goodwill. In general, you can minimize theft by trying to make people want to buy your product.

Will someone else copy and paste parts of a game you designed, pay for a print run and start selling it? They can. But you’ve gotta ask yourself how likely it is. We aren’t designing iPhones so the ecosystem is relatively a niche.

Sorry if any of that sounded preachy, I guess my perspective is that worrying about it may be justified but if it is not something that you can exert much control over, it may be good to temper the worrying and accept the gamble.

Regarding the Facebook page, I’d actually advocate promoting his idea, but there is a difference between promoting it and making it available. If you go to The Wargaming Company website you’ll see a lot of information describing how ESR works and what it does. But you couldn’t produce a copy of ESR from that and sell it.


The Bandit