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I'm thinking of ways to publicise my WIP game; should I worry about my aesthetic being 'stolen'?

First let me say that my self-deprecating tendencies demand that I point out that I think my game is terrible and I can’t imagine why anyone would want to steal it anyway. But I have come up with an art style that I think is quite appealing and that I haven’t really seen in a game before. It would also be incredibly easy to imitate. So I am somewhat concerned that if I show it off as a work in progress there’s a chance someone with much more talent and motivation than me could make something similar, but much better.

Is this something I should actually be concerned about? Or on the other hand is it possible that it would be better for me to put it out there, and build up my association with it, so if someone does imitate I’ll still be identified as the originator? For example, I’m thinking of Fez, which got a lot of reputation well before its release based on its unique aesthetic and 2D/3D gimmick, and as far as I know didn’t suffer from plagiarism.

And yes, I do feel ridiculous for even daring to compare my crappy game to Fez, but hey, I’m trying to take this whole game dev nonsense seriously.

Any advice?

EDIT: Changed title to clarify I’m more concerned about the aesthetic/art style.

The answer is no.

Ideas in themselves have almost no value; a concept has almost no value until it is demonstrated that it does - and if you’ve demonstrated it, your game is already somewhat out there.

Thanks for the advice. The thing is, though, I’m not really talking about a concept or idea, but rather an aesthetic style the value of which is essentially demonstrated as soon as it’s put on display. And like I say, it’s incredibly easy to imitate - someone could look at a single screenshot of what I’ve done, decide they like it and adopt all the key elements. This is particularly important to me because I’m a pretty crappy game designer, and at this point all I have going for me is the somewhat intriguing art style I’ve come up with.

Actually, thinking again of Fez, wouldn’t you say the value of the concept was also demonstrated more or less immediately with that first little teaser where the apparently 2D environment rotated around in 3D? I used it as an example because it seemed to me that it, too, was something that could be very easily imitated. I could certainly imagine an unscrupulous developer seeing that, and then getting the jump on Fez by releasing a rushed imitation that would have stolen its thunder to some extent. It doubtless would have been an inferior product, and Fez has value beyond its uniqueness. But it didn’t happen, as far as I know, and I’d be interested to know if Phil Fish did anything to ensure it didn’t.

But anyway, yeah, thanks again :slight_smile: And again I have to stress that I’m sure I’m coming across as a misguided moron by worrying that someone’s going to steal my crappy work, but… that’s probably unavoidable :stuck_out_tongue:

Everyone can go and look at a picture and copy the style, and they call it inspiration, the execution of it is the value. When people start copying your style, take it as an acknowledgement of your work. You might go in history.

Your biggest problem right now overall is: ‘Discovery’.
Team up with a game designer, make a great game!
Then team up with an influential Publisher & Marketer…

Learn business, my friend, everyone has looked at others work and make there own, as someone else says its called inspiration…when you go to college you are taught this in the gaming industry…Many companies research other games, when designing…AAA, indie, etc…So no offense, if you are worried about someone making something like your game…DO NOT SELL IT and keep it to your self…Welcome to Game development and Film…That is how art is and gaming, and Film is…my friend.

Just to make it clear, I am not a fan of stealing others work just direct copy/paste, unless you got permission. Though if you go and watch paintings in a museum, there might be an theme or the paintings have similar inspiration for a specific time period, where lots of artists thought the same way due to culture etc. . The experts might say oh this style is inspired by this fellow etc…

Good artists copy. Great artists steal.

EvilC that is evil, I strongly disagree.

Buffoon, consider selling your designs in the marketplace, then others can build games form it.

OP: People tend to have a strong bias toward their own work/ideas and end up thinking they are better than they may actually be. This is a pretty hard pill to swallow for most, but chances are, you’re aesthetic isn’t original and has been done before. With how saturated the various entertainment/art markets are, almost every single thing you’ll ever come up with will be a derivative or something else. Art style, character design, story, etc. The key is in making it your own.

It’s only evil if you take it literally. The real underlying meaning is basically what @IronicParadox said.

ok, dont know you, but then I might be with you :slight_smile: