Yes, Count Dracula is public domain, but a character like Simon
Belmont is not. The Belmont family is strictly tied to the Castlevania
storyline and is copyrighted. So assuming I did a Castlevania clone
there would still be elements I'd have to change. Although, that's not
really the issue here.
It has more to do with trying to branch out and create something
equally enjoyable, but that is my own creation. I'm beginning to
realise that although cloning a favorite game can be rewarding and fun
its also something of a pain too for a number of reasons.
First, there is the almighty copyright problem. As I intend to sell my
games to cover the expense of buying sounds, purchasing music,
licensing voices, etc needed I have to be careful about how much
copyrighted content I can legally use without it coming back to haunt
me. Since that is the case I can't just pick a game I like such as
Castlevania and clone it down to the smallest detail. So whatever I
make won't be the same game as the original anyway.
Second, is the purest vs casual player view. I remember when I was
trying to make a fairly close clone of Montezuma's Revenge there were
plenty of people who didn't like this, didn't like that, wanted this
or that changed, and I was constantly put in the position of deciding
to be a purest or not. I didn't like being put in that position
because there are strong pros and cons from both sides of the
A purest like myself wants a game to be as close to the original as
possible. Anything else isn't the same game, and perhaps loses some
special quality the original had. That's why I was considering making
Montezuma's Revenge as close to the original as possible.
A contemperary player has no issues with changing elements in said
game because perhaps they never played the original. Therefore they
may compare the game to newer games they played, feel it lacks some
feature game x has, and will ask for different features than the
original game had. There's certainly nothing wrong with updating a
game to a certain point, but the question is, "where should we draw
the line between necessary updates and maintaining origionality?"
Finally, there is the matter of creativity. A lot of writers fall back
on existing universes Star Trek, Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc because
it saves them a lot of work creating a unique storyline, characters,
etc on their own. I call this the sandbox approach to creative
writing, because they are basing their work on someone else's ideas
and building up from their. The fan fiction websites are filled with
writers, some good and some bad, who like to play in someone else's
back yard so to speak. That's not necessarily bad, but its not
engaging their own ability to create something new and original.
Well, that's the difference here. Sure I could make a career of
cloning and copying game ideas like Tomb Raider, Castlevania, Megaman,
etc all my life, but that's still like playing in theirback yard. I'm
beginning to think more in terms of perhaps trying something new, and
put my mind to work to creating something that's totally my own
creation for a change from start to finish. I can certainly do it as
I'm capable of doing some original creative writing on my own.
What a lot of people probably don't know about me is that from roughly
age 14 on I use to spend many many hours writing short stories. Some
were certainly based on existing universes like Star Trek, Star Wars,
etc, but I also did a fair amount of my own creative writing. I'm not
saying it was very good at that age, but I did get some creative
writing awards in high school so I guess you could say I have some
creative writing skill. So now instead of writing 50 to 100 page short
stories I can apply that creative monster to games. Which is kind of
better as its more interactive than reading something I wrote.
Although, I've certainly thought about getting back into the creative
writing thing as well.
On 8/8/11, dark <d...@xgam.org> wrote:
> Hi Tom.
> I could be wrong, but I thought Dracula is pretty much public domain now so
> if you wanted him as an enemy you could have him, though i freely admit I
> may be wrong here.
> Then again, no need to redo things and you could have lots of fun with an
> evil wizard instead, especially in terms of story sequences and maybe your
> hero gaining some magic powers, maybe even with extra characters thrown into
> the mix, eg, maybe the wizard has a right hand man who's out for power, or
> has disolutioned someone else into helping him.
> There is also the possibility of using a real world historical figure as a
> basis, rather the way that Dracula was based on Vlad dracule the hungarian
> For instance, have paraselsus, or elifus levi, and say that they really did!
> discover the elexia of life, but that it involved undeath instead.
> Beware the grue!
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