I wanted to start on making a basic game loosely based on avatar but i know i cant 100% because of the rights they have to the show. but am i able to use terms like fire,earth and water bender? also how would i start to create a water bending animation for attacking, i got the motion animations but cant think of how to get the water. fire and earth are done but the water is tricky, like " water whip" for instance for those who know of the show.
I would say probably not
I’d go with something more generic like Earth magic, Earth elementalist, Earth monk, Earth spirits, Earth sage, etc.
Legally, if someone else used the term before Avatar, it’s pretty safe to use their terms as well. But you also don’t want Avatar fans thinking you’re ripping the show off.
“bending” elements as an idea seems too specific to avatar. Just do your best to stay legally distinct.
You can use any word that does not have a registered trademark, and even if it has one and was already used before you can win the case. Look at the trial of space marine from games workshops.
I would guess you will definitely want to consult a lawyer as no one on this forum is probably a lawyer and neither am I. My personal understanding is that if it is truly loosely based on Avatar, then you might be good. If the game is too similar and not creatively different then you will likely come across legal issues from my understanding of what I have read in the past.
NOTE: even if its only lossly based on Avatar, you could still find yourself in a legal battle if if they have no chance of winning. they have an obligation to protect their rights if something sounds similar was my understanding of things. Otherwise they could possible forfeit that right in the future. Of course using any of our information is at your own peril