Recently, a lot has been said about gamification and its penetration into almost all spheres of life. Oddly enough, but it is gradually becoming a catalyst for positive changes in society: thanks to computer games, tens of thousands of jobs are created in the world every year, and significant amounts of taxes come to national budgets. According to some estimates, the industry’s profits will reach $ 89 billion by 2018. Such a rapidly unity game development company sphere needs adequate legal regulation and protection, some aspects of which we will consider in this material.
A computer game is a complex object of intellectual property (it has a code, graphics, sound effects, etc.), so it is advisable to consider it as a set of IP objects, the rights to each of which can be registered individually.
On the pros of copyright
Computer programs are protected as literary works. This is due to the fact that a computer code is a set of characters that can be displayed on a medium and read, and in this it is similar to alphabetic text. Also, the graphic concept of the game and other visual materials (copyright photos, illustrations) can be protected by copyright.
Copyright for the creator of a computer game has undeniable advantages:
- it does not arise from the moment of registration, but from the moment the object is created;
- the right of authorship arising in one country automatically receives international protection;
- when registering rights, the copyright object is deposited, and third parties will not have access to the code, except in cases of forensic examinations and expert reviews.
Fortunately, there are a number of tools out there today that make it easier to create games and game design process.
With the help of the StageCast tool (www.stagecast.com), specially designed for children, the creator defines the rules that associate existing graphic situations with new ones. For example, a StageCast user can create a rule that states that if there is a free space to the right of the game character, then the character can move there. ClickTeam (www.clickteam.com) is moving in roughly the same direction, offering several tools like Click, Play or Games Factory to create games. More complex games can be created with these tools, but they have limited programming options.
More complex concepts
Once users become familiar with basic game creation techniques, their interest usually turns to new areas such as behavior, artificial intelligence, or multiplayer game creation. Some people tend to create games with more complex graphics, such as an isometric perspective of the playing field. Others may be interested in simulating real physical phenomena, such as the movement of a car.
This desire plunges the novice user even deeper into the computer world. Let’s turn to, say, the question of artificial intelligence. Objects in the game must have certain behaviors. Even the ghosts in the Ras-Man game have some relatively complex behavior. Hostile ghosts try to catch the character representing the player, and when he eats the magic pill, the ghosts scatter in different directions in feigned terror. It’s a challenges for game designers. Moreover, ghosts behave in different ways. Some of them attack the player, while others guard certain areas of the playing field.
Implementing this behavior requires some degree of intuitive understanding of how state machines and rule-based systems work. Ghosts, for example, can be in various states. The behavior of the ghost depends on its state and on information about the location of the walls and the player. When a certain event occurs, the ghost changes its state, for example, dies, or turns from a hunter into a game, which leads to a change in behavior model. Game Maker can easily illustrate concepts like this.