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Open Source Games

Afraid Someone Will Steal Your Game Design Idea? 140

Posted by timothy
from the board-game-designer-sounds-like-a-fun-job dept.
Lemeowski writes "Game studios go to great lengths to protect their IP. But board game designer Daniel Solis doesn't subscribe to that philosophy. He has spent the past ten years blogging his game design process, posting all of his concepts and prototypes on his blog. Daniel shares four things he's learned after designing games in public, saying paranoia about your ideas being stolen "is just an excuse not to do the work." His article provides a solid gut check for game designers and other creatives who may let pride give them weird expectations."
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Afraid Someone Will Steal Your Game Design Idea?

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Didn't we have several articles before this one discussing how abused the NDA is in software development? Games are no different.

    • Games are different (Score:5, Informative)

      by tepples (727027) <<tepples> <at> <gmail.com>> on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @11:40AM (#44687497) Homepage Journal

      Games are no different.

      U.S. judges have tended to draw the line between idea and expression in different places for games compared to other kinds of software. On the one hand, you have Lotus v. Borland and Oracle v. Google that weaken copyright in interfaces between a program and a user or between a program and other programs. On the other hand, you have Tetris v. Xio that strengthens copyright in the basic rules of a game.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by davester666 (731373)

        All of which are worthless, because you can't afford to sue [or rather, afford to win the lawsuit].

      • Games are no different.

        U.S. judges have tended to draw the line between idea and expression in different places for games compared to other kinds of software. On the one hand, you have Lotus v. Borland and Oracle v. Google that weaken copyright in interfaces between a program and a user or between a program and other programs. On the other hand, you have Tetris v. Xio that strengthens copyright in the basic rules of a game.

        I thought Oracle lost all of its claims except for the rangecheck funtion thing in Oracle v. Google. How did that weaken copyright in interfaces?

        • by Somebody Is Using My (985418) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @01:06PM (#44688625) Homepage

          He's saying that the Judge smacked down Oracle's claim that they can copyright an API. Copyright weakened.

          Meanwhile, another judge ruled that Xio, although using none of Tetris's code, still violates copyright [ipwatchdog.com] because it infringes on the core concept or rules of the games. Copyright strengthened.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            He's saying that the Judge smacked down Oracle's claim that they can copyright an API. Copyright weakened.

            You have very strange ideas.

            Most every programmer with 2 brain-cells to rub together already thought that APIs could not be copyrighted at all. There were decades of precedent in software design based on that assumption; Oracle claiming that they could copyright APIs came out of left field. You can't weaken something that was believed to not be allowed and was then proven to not be allowed in a court. You don't weaken your position by running in place.

            • by delt0r (999393)
              Lawyers are not programmers. Judges are not programmers. They don't care what programmers think, even the ones with just 2 brain cells.
          • by shentino (1139071)

            Unfortunately it's the federal government's prerogative, by its judges, to regulate copyright as it sees fit. It's a reserved matter in the constitution delegated to the feds.

            And that includes the legal system's battle of the budgets getting to decide who the judges even hear.

          • Meanwhile, another judge ruled that Xio, although using none of Tetris's code, still violates copyright [ipwatchdog.com] because it infringes on the core concept or rules of the games. Copyright strengthened.

            That's not what the judge ruled at all. It wasn't the "core concept" or "rules", since those are not covered by copyright; rather, the judge ruled that Xio infringed because of the creative, aesthetic and design features. From your link:

            Judge Wolfson took a detailed look at both the Tetris and Mino games in an effort to identify those items that were protected under the law, and there were a number of things that stood out in the Judge’s view. First of all, when placed side by side, various screenshots of the two games were just about impossible to differentiate. The Court stated (and I love this quote, by the way) that “if one has to squint to find distinctions only at a granular level, then the works are likely to be substantially similar.” Moreover, Judge Wolfson spoke to the many elements of both games that were hard to distinguish, some of which included the look, color and shape of the game bricks; the movement/rotation of the pieces; the way the game pieces could be put together to form a complete line; the exact size of the playing area; and other specific design decisions that Xio had copied.

            (emphasis added)
            It's also on page 15 of the opinion:

            The game mechanics and the rules are not entitled to protection, but courts have found expressive elements copyrightable, including game labels, design of game boards, playing cards and graphical works.

            Copyright is strengthened by the decision, only in that decades-old precedent continues to be upheld.

            • The game mechanics and the rules are not entitled to protection

              If the dimensions of a basketball court (94 by 50 feet, rim 10 feet up, size of free throw lane, etc.) and the official size, weight, and bounce ratio (2/3 of initial height) of a ball are considered rules of the game of basketball, then "the matrix shall be 10 cells wide" and "the pieces shall be the seven one-sided tetrominoes" and "pieces shall move by translation and 90 degree rotation" and "a row filled with squares disappears to make room for more pieces" sure sound like mechanics and rules to me. I g

  • Your game won't be copied until it is successful, than there will be a dogpile of imitators.

  • by Gman2725 (2947573) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @11:14AM (#44687105)
    He's creating a public record of his ideas and innovations by blogging in this way. It seems like it would encourage people to steal them, but could also be used in court to prove he had the ideas first. It may or may not hold up in court in the end, but at least it gives him the opportunity to get the credit he deserves publicly for his innovations.
    • You sound like an amazing lawyer.

      I hope you'll share more of your legal wisdom with us.

    • by rolfwind (528248)

      Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.

      We have this collective modern notion that someone gets a great idea and then makes millions off of it. That's simply not how it works in most cases, it never really did and that's what makes patent trolls and the system that rewards them so egregious - they do the 1% at most (and more than likely not buy it or simply take a preexisting idea) and leech off those that do the other 99%.

      • by N0Man74 (1620447)

        Well said, though I personally find patent trolls to be even more despicable than even you describe.

    • by Stumbles (602007)
      I think what he is doing amounts to creating the digital equivalent of "prior art". IANAL but prior art has been used in past cases to nullify at patents. Since everyone nowadays seems drunk on the notion of patenting every and any thing I think he might be on to something. Copyright can figure into his publicly documenting his ideas.
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @11:16AM (#44687145)

    Ideas are a dime a dozen ... what matters is execution. That's not just for games but pretty much everything in life.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Ideas are a dime a dozen ... what matters is execution.

      Some of the lecturers in my department are ULTRA paranoid about people stealing their research ideas. They also tend to be the people who work on things which nobody else understands (because it's impossible to have a casual conversation with them about their work and they deliberately hold things back in papers) or who get quietly labelled as crackpots.

      On the other hand, people who are quite open about their work tend to get a lot more interest, more input from people with different specialities and more

      • Some of the lecturers in my department are ULTRA paranoid about people stealing their research ideas. They also tend to be the people who work on things which nobody else understands (because it's impossible to have a casual conversation with them about their work and they deliberately hold things back in papers) or who get quietly labelled as crackpots.

        On the other hand, people who are quite open about their work tend to get a lot more interest, more input from people with different specialities and more offers of collaboration.

        Ideas are indeed a dime a dozen, and execution can be greatly helped by people with different expertise or viewpoints on the matter. People who will outright steal your work are few and far between, and their reputation generally precedes them.

        I see this too, but the specifics really depend on the field. In my field it's very competitive and densely packed and most people have become protective and secretive as a result. They don't work on stuff that's weird or unusual, either. When the whole field behaves this way, being secretive doesn't diminish interest in one's work but it does increase the tension between research groups. Knowing who is likely to steal your work doesn't help. Once the field becomes secretive, people are unwilling to even p

        • In my field it's very competitive and densely packed and most people have become protective and secretive as a result.

          I think that's a sign of a research field in need of something new and big. Immediately after a major discovery, there's plenty of good, interesting work on its implications, and people tend to want to talk about their work with each other. Once the low-hanging fruit has been picked, the paranoia sets in as people start trying to (stretching the metaphor a bit) shake the tree to dislodge others from the higher branches. "Paradigm shift" is a grandiose and over-used term, but something along those lines i

          • I think that's a sign of a research field in need of something new and big. ... Whatever your field is, I hope it opens up again soon.

            Without getting into details, it's biology with a popular genetic model organism. I think you're right: the problem is to some degree the lack of a big new thing that opens many doors simultaneously. The other problem is that only a restricted range of things are being studied but there is constant development of new tools (which is, of course, a good thing). The result is that the next experiment is always fairly obvious. So lots of low-hanging fruit and you want to be the first to pick. What's really anno

            • Without getting into details, it's biology with a popular genetic model organism.

              Yes, I could see how that would be a problem. My dissertation depended heavily on data from model organisms (D. melanogaster and S. cerevisiae) but that was a matter of using them as well-vetted data sources as test cases for algorithm development, not really trying to learn new things about the biology of the organisms themselves. Now, when I apply my methods to human data, I can make a case for credibility by saying, "Well, we know it works in flies and yeast ..."

              FWIW, bioinformatics can always use more

        • by Jmc23 (2353706)
          You got to love what capitalism has done to science!
      • ... On the other hand, people who are quite open about their work tend to get a lot more interest, more input from people with different specialities and more offers of collaboration.

        The paranoia sounds almost exactly like the results of the stack ranking they perform at MicroSoft.

    • by Nicros (531081)
      This. I have a friend who had a great (he thought) idea and went to a bunch of different venture capitalists to try to raise funding. The first few he walked in with an NDA and asked them to sign- they told him to GTFO with your little NDA, nobody here cares. The only question they were interested in answering was whether he was the kind of individual who could execute on his idea.
    • by zlives (2009072)

      Elon would like to disagree, and present his new idea of a space elevator

      • by pipatron (966506)

        New way to develop products - merely pretend you're building some cool thing, hope that another company will steal the idea and do it first.

        That way you don't actually have to get bored with the messy details, but can go out and buy the finished product later.

      • Hyperloop was not an "idea", but an Engineering Design.

        There is one hell of a difference.

        Oh yeah, and it is free for anyone to "steal".

        • by geekoid (135745)

          A bad engineering design.
          oh, and one that was in OMNI magazine decades ago.

          • A bad engineering design.

            Somehow I trust the guy who launches spaceships more on this one.

            oh, and one that was in OMNI magazine decades ago.

            I'd be really curious to look at that one.

    • by LetterRip (30937)

      Ideas are only a dime a dozen if you have obvious ideas.

      • Ideas are only a dime a dozen if you have obvious ideas.

        Every artist, every scientist, everyone who does anything that requires any creativity at all has more ideas per day--per hour, per minute--than they can possibly bring to fruition. Most of them are silly, but some of them are very good. And there's really only one way to find out which is which (hint: suing someone else for "stealing" them isn't it).

    • by blahplusplus (757119) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @12:00PM (#44687815)

      "Ideas are a dime a dozen ... "

      People SAY this but they don't know what it means. MEDIOCRE ideas are a dime a dozen, GOOD IDEAS are hard to come by. There are tonnes of small things game developers could do when they are endlessly rehashing some first person/third person shooter and they NEVER do it. One can only conclude: They've never had the idea. Because many fantastic and quality ideas are cheap and easy to implement. I look over a game like Rage and I can only shake my head at the level of idiocy and lack of scope control on that project. They put way too much emphasis on graphics so most of their budget was sucked up by stuff that really didn't matter. Knowing what ideas/aspects of the game to put emphasis on is absolutely CRITICAL and that requires knowing WHAT IDEAS HAVE VALUE. Idea's are the schematic for a game, so saying 'ideas are a dime a dozen' sounds wise in principle but HAVING THE WRONG ideas (schematic) for a game means you'll be developing it in the wrong direction. So ideas are in fact critical at every point else you can't make decisions concerning quality.

      Someone out there has some killer ideas that no one can understand the value of, because if you're good at game design and coming up with ideas for gameplay. You need someone at your skill level or higher to understand their value.

      The real issue is dunning krueger.

      "The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than average. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their mistakes."

      "Actual competence may weaken self-confidence, as competent individuals may falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding."

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect [wikipedia.org]

      • Someone out there has some killer ideas that no one can understand the value of, because if you're good at game design and coming up with ideas for gameplay. You need someone at your skill level or higher to understand their value.

        Luckily, if you are one of those exceptional people who can have a terrific game design modelled in your head, building a proof-of-concept implementation yourself should be quite easy for you. If you can't convince others that your idea is great, let them play and see for themselves. In other words, put up or shut up.

    • Definitely true in science. Some scientists act as if telling someone their preliminary results will cause someone else to steal the data and publish first. More likely, sharing results before they're published will result in better networking and valuable collaborations. At a minimum, if someone else IS working on the exact same thing, you can coordinate and publish at the same time so neither lab gets the scoop on the other, and the papers make a bigger splash together.

      I'm no senior enough to say AL
    • I've heard this way too many times: "We've got a world class idea! Now we need to go round up some propeller-heads, ahem, I mean developers, to make it happen." Ideas in your head are worth squat. Ideas on paper are worth marginally little more unless you put some effort into figuring out answers for the mandatory engineering design questions. Ideas in code are worth quite a bit, but only if the code actually works or is very, very close to working.
    • by greg1104 (461138)

      If you're paying a dime for a dozen ideas, you're being ripped off. Most ideas don't actually work out when you try them, so their average value is less than zero.

    • Ideas are a dime a dozen ... what matters is execution. That's not just for games but pretty much everything in life.

      It's the same in the publishing biz. n00bs are worried about other people stealing plots or characters.
      Published authors worry more about finishing the book. Ideas aren't much of anything until you attempt to implement them.

  • The Cult of the NDA [frozennorth.org]:

    To all those entrepreneurs with innovative, unique business ideas who want to capitalize on them before someone else does, I have one piece of advice: Get over it.

    Written 10 years ago; still just a relevant today.

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @11:20AM (#44687179)

    >> Game studios go to great lengths to protect their IP. But board game designer Daniel Solis doesn't subscribe to that philosophy.

    I think you're confusing IP with "ideas." IP is often the successful and repeatable implementation of an idea (e.g., a patent). Furthermore, when game studios license IP, it's often to latch onto an established entertainment brand, like "Batman." The actual games themselves are usually formulaic at best, and their "plot" will be exposed on the Internet anyway as soon as the first public Beta comes around.

    • by adisakp (705706)

      >> Game studios go to great lengths to protect their IP. But board game designer Daniel Solis doesn't subscribe to that philosophy.

      I think you're confusing IP with "ideas." IP is often the successful and repeatable implementation of an idea (e.g., a patent). Furthermore, when game studios license IP, it's often to latch onto an established entertainment brand, like "Batman." The actual games themselves are usually formulaic at best, and their "plot" will be exposed on the Internet anyway as soon as the first public Beta comes around.

      I'd disagree that "IP" is the successful and repeatable implementation of an idea. Many new "IP's" are developed which are not repeating previous ideas and hardly all "IP's" are successful -- in fact many new game IP's are financial failures.

      However, IP or any content posted on a blog isn't necessarily unprotected. Published writing to blogs is already typically Copyright of the owner (as long as the hosting service doesn't make some outrageous claims on it). Blog entries may include Trademarked names

  • We got this guy. He goes around and shoots his enemies.
    Or wait, we got this guy, he will jump around and avoid his enemies.
    Oh Oh wait, how about a car racing game!!!

    • by vux984 (928602)

      A car racing game with guns so he can shoot his enemies -- doh that goes back to DeathTrack and Car Wars.

      How about... a car racing game with guns but the car turns into a boat and motorcycle... hmm... Spyhunter

      How about a car racing game where you destroy your enemies by jumping on them. Oh wait... that's SpeedRacer. Dammit. This is hard.

      I have it, you race transforming insect robots with weapons, jumping, drifting, dart throwing, and the ability to grab a tree and smash another racer with it, ... ExciteBot

  • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @11:22AM (#44687219) Homepage Journal

    Which is pretty much the point of TFA (and in the case F really does stand for fine) but it's worth repeating, over and over, until people get it through their heads that "stealing ideas" is a meaningless concept. Good for this guy for having the guts to say it.

    • "The player moves and turns pieces made of four squares as they descend into a rectangular playfield one at a time. Any row of the playfield filled with squares disappears, freeing space for more pieces." Lawsuits have been won over the "theft" of the idea that I just described.
      • "The player moves and turns pieces made of four squares as they descend into a rectangular playfield one at a time. Any row of the playfield filled with squares disappears, freeing space for more pieces." Lawsuits have been won over the "theft" of the idea that I just described.

        Yep. Which is absurd.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        nope. They where one becasue it looked to similar not becasue it played the same.

        • by tepples (727027)
          I get the impression from reading the opinion that using the same set of pieces (all seven one-sided tetrominoes) is sufficient to "look too similar". Is there a case that The Tetris Company lost?
    • Ideas are easy. Successful ideas are not. I can come up with a hundred game ideas that no one would play. That's why people are concerned about their designs. If I come up with something unique and one of the infamous App Store copy cats decides to throw a ton of resources into replicating it, you could find yourself overwhelmed regardless of how first and best you may have been.

      Look at some of the other App Store apps that have been ripped off by power players that turned the original developer's app i

      • The thing is, the only way to find out if your idea is good or not is to implement it. Some ideas that sound good turn out to be bad, and vice versa--and if someone else does something good with an idea similar to one you had, that doesn't mean you could have done the same. In the App Store example, it seems to me this is more a matter of developers copying each other's implementations, which is a very different matter.

  • The fact is that a lot of my ideas require a team and a lot of years to accomplish since they're expanding games that might already exist. I figured I'll give my ideas out for free a few months ago, and maybe it will inspire other people to make better games. I'm so tired of MMORPGS where you gain lots of power during the game and it is pretty fun, then BAM, you're at level max with all the best gear, and there is simply nothing else to do but quit. A lot of my blog revolves around how to make end game [crystalfighter.com]
    • by fliptout (9217)

      How about an in game bot in the form of a bikini model who will take your pizza order :P

    • imagine porting this to Minecraft with scripted bots.

      You mean like 0x10c, which got shelved [slashdot.org]?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      TR:DR The reason I give out ideas now is that I'm not just a greedy guy. I actually like playing fun video games, and there just isn't enough innovation lately.

      Actually, it's because you're either 1) lazy, or 2) know your ideas are terrible and aren't worth implementing. You're compelled to feel like a very important "game designer" but don't want to do any of the hard work it requires. You put it out there in the hopes that later on someone implements it (although, they're equally likely to independently come up with the same ideas) so you can claim the credit for it later.

    • ...In Cholo everything is a waldo(manually piloted bot), but imagine porting this to Minecraft with scripted bots....AI for the bots could be stuff you start with, stuff you wrote, or code found in game in vaults. The bots would...::snip long list of stuff::

      This actually sounds much like what Computercraft [computercraft.info] does with Turtles [computercraft.info]. Turtles can be run manually, or can be scripted with Lua to (depending on the type of turtle) mine ores, fight mobs, harvest crops, build structures, transfer liquids, and even wirelessly network with a "master computer".

      I'd highly recommend that you look into some of the modpacks out there that combine mods like Computercraft with industrial type manufacturing and processing. If you want one with very little setup required, take a loo

    • by Blakey Rat (99501)

      CrazyJim1? You're BACK!

      HEY EVERYBODY! It's CrazyJim1! This guy is a hoot.

      Tell us about your game idea where the samurai carries two katanas and the katanas have rockets in the hilt and he can use them to fly around!

    • One of my favorite ideas lately is expanding upon minecraft to allow for bots.

      I've thought for awhile that Minecraft would be a great sandbox for writing AI routines. I agree - there's lots of potential for supporting bots in minecraft.

  • Soon gives way to the ugly realities of the business: sleepless nights, rushing to meet deadlines that still whoosh by, browbeating managers, piracy, glutted markets, capricious consumers, sleazy publishers. Goddam, what's not to love?

    I wish I was wrong. Somebody tell me I'm wrong.

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @11:30AM (#44687353)

    As Todd Howard pointed out during a keynote "Your ideas are not as important as your execution." The games that are loved and that endure are not the ones that had some amazing idea that nobody could have every thought of before. Heck, they often draw heavily on literature, film, myth, and popular culture. Rather they are the ones that execute their vision well, that are fun to play, that are a good ride.

    I can't think of a single game that I've seen succeed just because the idea was so good and so unique. Always, always, always, it was accompanied with good execution. In fact many of my all time favourites are not particularly original ideas.

    Good example? Civ 4. One of the all time greats in my opinion. I still play it from time to time. However an amazing original idea it is not. As the number implies, it is the 4th game in the series, they've done the same thing 3 times before. Also it wasn't an original concept to begin with, Civilization was a board game before it was a computer game. That aside, the idea of "a game where you conquer the world" is not that original of an idea.

    The reason it is a great game (and its successor not quite as good in my opinion) is the execution. It is well put together, fun to play, well tested, well balanced, has good visuals and music, it is stable, and so on and so forth.

    If you think the only thing that will make your game succeed is that its amazing idea be protected until it is released, well then it will fail. Good games are ones that would be good, even if someone had done something like them before, and does something like them after. They stand on their own.

  • Just look no further than WASD. It's everywhere. It's a good idea, and it stuck. Personally, if I had an idea, put it in the wild, and saw it used later by someone else, I'd like to think I'd be charitable enough to say "Wow - I thought of that and people like it enough to use it." Developing a card game myself now, and a mite paranoid that someone like White Wolf or Steve Jackson might give me a slapdown due to some mechanics minutia. Reading this, I figure, heck with it. Make it, turn it into a PDF,
  • In terms of video games:

    Every single project started by a person "with a great idea", and who won't tell anyone else, that I've ever seen, came to nothing. Hell, I was dragged into a few being a "programmer" when I was younger and it usually revolved around some crap idea that hadn't been tested or even defined to the point you could start implementing it.

    Every single project that was successful was successful LONG before it got to the point that other people thought about stealing its code. It got those

    • Agreed. I wish I had a nickle for every "idea person" who applied to my indie video game company. Then I could actually afford more coders and get more work done...

  • Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats. -- Howard Aiken

  • by ZouPrime (460611) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @12:10PM (#44687971)

    It's true for almost anything.

    The world isn't divided between thinkers and doers. People who believe that generally see themselves on the thinker side, and they don't want to do, so it's a narrative that fits them well.

    In practice, I've met very few good thinkers who weren't also doers in one way or another, simply because it's very hard to actually have good ideas if you never got down to implementing them. An idea can feel good and sounds great, but if you don't have the experience in knowing what works and what doesn't, how to see and deal with edge cases and exceptions, it's probably not that great - or, put another way, you are probably not a good judge of its greatness.

    And that's the biggest problem with the "lets reinvent the world" crowd - if you don't know how the world works, why it works, and if you never actually managed to reinvent anything in your house, in your community, in your business, it's quite doubtful your great idea to save the planet is actually interesting. And it's also why so many of the world's doers seem to do so often the same things, and take the same decisions in front of the same situations - not because they are stupid and ignorant, but because more often than not, they already figured out what works and what doesn't, and the difference between what they can dream and what they can accomplish.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    As a former IT Manager and head of security for a AAA game studio I can tell you it depends on the content and what is up for grabs. If you have mounds of concept art and CG that will not be stolen. If you have accessible and unique IK and motion capture that will tend to be stolen. If you have UnrealScript and generic level design components no one will care. If you have tried and tested AI and NPC logic that will be stolen. So it tends to reason that ideas along the lines of "I have a streamlined process

  • by Anonymous Coward

    How unplugged in do you have to be to not know Zynga copies games?

  • Get real. (Score:1, Troll)

    by VortexCortex (1117377)

    Zacktronics Infiniminer [zachtronic...stries.com] Oh it's a minecraft ripoff... that minecraft rippedoff. [youtube.com]

    Tiny Tower [techcrunch.com]

    Look, I can post a crap load more, but I'm not your personal fucking google.

    Shit's been going on since the first videogames. It's like you fools don't know who Nolan Bushnell is. So, here's the thing. They will steal your shit if it's possible. If you do the crazy hard work of cranking out a shit ton of games & prototypes and testing them to find what's fun, and get some popularity (read: do market resea

  • I've done business in China for years. As you all know, copying is rampant. However, the rule I've learned is nobody will bother to copy something that's not successful. Worry about succeeding first, then worry about being ripped off. Don't put the cart before the horse.
  • This was a really good point. Lots of people have lots of ideas that never go anywhere. Just last night I was musing about the old Chaum Digicash protocol and how it could be adapted to voting. I couldn't remember a few pieces, and did some searching and digging in boxes....

    Then after a bit I moved on to see if there was already any software (GPG support) for blind signatures....I didn't really find much, except, when i looked for GPG support....

    I found someone else, just days ago had posted on a crypto mai

  • This article hits the nail right on the head. In addition to the content in the article, I believe that strong laws regarding Intellectual Property have indoctrinated the public at large to believe that ideas are worth more than they are. These people focus on the idea itself while minimizing all of the effort that went into the research, design, and testing phases that took years of refinement before leading to the final product. It is the public's overvalue of abstract ideas that have allowed for the v
  • "Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats. -- Howard Aiken

    My favorite example is Raymond Scott. He had some interesting ideas about automated musical composition, (ala Joseph Schillinger I suspect), that as it ended up, he was so protective of that he took them to his grave. Now no one will ever know what insights he may have figured out...
  • Can ideas even be stolen in the first place?

    Is someone who reverse engineers your product stealing your ideas?

  • by shentino (1139071)

    If a big company wants your ideas, you're screwed anyway.

    Publishing them in public is probably the best thing you can do about it, because it prevents them from taking it away.

  • I've seen many a "secret" MMO thread on work requests forums by kids with yahoo and AOL accounts. I've yet to see one "secret game idea" release.

Work without a vision is slavery, Vision without work is a pipe dream, But vision with work is the hope of the world.

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