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Old 12-21-2012, 11:10 PM   #1
Dusqune
 
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Default Computer Game GURPS

Two major questions:

1: Has there ever been a computer/video game based off of GURPS? I think I heard something about Fallout being based off of GURPS at one point, but I've never played it, so I can't say if it retained that status.

2a: I don't know copyright law, so I'm going to throw this out there: If I decided to make a free, nonprofit text-based GURPS Game program, would that infringe any copyright laws?
2b: Lets say this pet project turned into something more; what would I have to do to actually sell it? What kind of permission would I have to get and how hard would that be?

Still in the inception phase of all this, and I may wake up tomorrow* and realize it was a dumb idea or something, but I figured I would post this and see where everything stands, at least.

*Or not, if the world is supposed to end? lol
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Computer Game GURPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusqune View Post
1: Has there ever been a computer/video game based off of GURPS? I think I heard something about Fallout being based off of GURPS at one point, but I've never played it, so I can't say if it retained that status.
There have been some attempts, but nothing ever reached market. Fallout was based on GURPS during the early stages of development, but the publisher and SJ Games had some disagreements and parted ways before the game came out.

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Originally Posted by Dusqune View Post
2a: I don't know copyright law, so I'm going to throw this out there: If I decided to make a free, nonprofit text-based GURPS Game program, would that infringe any copyright laws?
Yes. The short version is that if you're using somebody's intellectual property without their permission, you're infringing on their rights and are legally liable in various way. Whether or not you make money from it can impact how you're held liable, but it's not a necessary condition to sue you.

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2b: Lets say this pet project turned into something more; what would I have to do to actually sell it? What kind of permission would I have to get and how hard would that be?
You'd have to get a license from SJ Games. Basically, you pay them some money and meet certain conditions, and they let you publish something using their rules. How much money that is and what those conditions are would be the subject of negotiation. I don't think they have a standard deal for that, and they don't make the details of any previous negotiations public. However, the impression I get is that they really, really prefer to deal with established publishers with a track record of producing good products for this sort of thing.
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:13 AM   #3
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Default Re: Computer Game GURPS

[QUOTE=Turhan's Bey Company;1495233]Yes. The short version is that if you're using somebody's intellectual property without their permission, you're infringing on their rights and are legally liable in various way. Whether or not you make money from it can impact how you're held liable, but it's not a necessary condition to sue you.[QUOTE]

I was afraid of that. =[ Ah well.
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:12 AM   #4
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Default Re: Computer Game GURPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusqune View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turhan's Bey Company View Post
Yes. The short version is that if you're using somebody's intellectual property without their permission, you're infringing on their rights and are legally liable in various way. Whether or not you make money from it can impact how you're held liable, but it's not a necessary condition to sue you.
I was afraid of that. =[ Ah well.
What do you mean by "text-based" and "game program"? If you mean something that lets you put in existing characters and maneuvers and reports on the results, that might count as a game aid program, and SJG has different rules for aid programs.
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:35 AM   #5
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Default Re: Computer Game GURPS

What is GURPS?

Is it a coherent set of game mechanics for creating, adventuring and advancing characters?

Or is it a logo and a name that fans associate with fun and goods times, the use of which will cause them to gravitate towards the OP's product?

The later is definitely very illegal.

But while I'm not a lawyer, I don't believe there's anything illegal about using other people's game mechanics wholesale (except for the "card tap" thing in collectible games), as long as you make up your own product name and don't use theirs anywhere. Doing so is still intellectually dishonest, and failing to try to make any improvements on the stolen set of game mechanics is distinctly feeble. But sadly, those kinds of crimes don't get people's rear ends in jail (or in buzzing chairs).

Note also that using other people's game mechanics, for making a computer game, without consulting with those other people, means that you have to understand the game mechanics to a great depth, in order to make an at least decent game out of it.
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:52 AM   #6
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Default Re: Computer Game GURPS

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Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
Is it a coherent set of game mechanics for creating, adventuring and advancing characters?
Come to think of it, I don't think GURPS fits for a computer game. Too much flexibility for convenient use that will get broken without a GM, and very little games. GURPS is optimised for one of the best balances of playability vs. detail level on a tabletop, which isn't such a big deal for a realtime computer-crunched game.
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:58 AM   #7
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Default Re: Computer Game GURPS

Imo, GURPS would be great for a PC game. Essentially, the programmer would be the GM.
Creating the environment and the limiting rules. And, as a game would automatically make the roll and calculations, we could get more detail than available at tabletop. I really loved Arcanum and I think a true GURPS-based game could be even greater. Maybe with some tweaks,
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:06 AM   #8
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I think a good way to approach it would be to design a content creation utility. Think elder scrolls construction set but way better.

required functions:

1. Object builder/manager
2. Script builder/manager
3. World gen/life gen/city gen
4. Rule builder/manager
5. Player builder/manager


Gm builds a world, sets the rules, adds quest waypoints if he is nice. Players join the world, play the quests (or not), and get points if the quests or gm give them. Also character sheets must be approved by the gm to join a server.
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:50 AM   #9
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1. Object builder/manager
2. Script builder/manager
3. World gen/life gen/city gen
4. Rule builder/manager
5. Player builder/manager
NPC behavior. So hard to program, and so hard to get right.
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:05 AM   #10
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Default Re: Computer Game GURPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff_wilson View Post
What do you mean by "text-based" and "game program"?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
What is GURPS?

Is it a coherent set of game mechanics for creating, adventuring and advancing characters?

Or is it a logo and a name that fans associate with fun and goods times, the use of which will cause them to gravitate towards the OP's product?

The later is definitely very illegal.

But while I'm not a lawyer, I don't believe there's anything illegal about using other people's game mechanics wholesale (except for the "card tap" thing in collectible games), as long as you make up your own product name and don't use theirs anywhere. Doing so is still intellectually dishonest, and failing to try to make any improvements on the stolen set of game mechanics is distinctly feeble. But sadly, those kinds of crimes don't get people's rear ends in jail (or in buzzing chairs).

Note also that using other people's game mechanics, for making a computer game, without consulting with those other people, means that you have to understand the game mechanics to a great depth, in order to make an at least decent game out of it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Come to think of it, I don't think GURPS fits for a computer game. Too much flexibility for convenient use that will get broken without a GM, and very little games. GURPS is optimised for one of the best balances of playability vs. detail level on a tabletop, which isn't such a big deal for a realtime computer-crunched game.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BaHalus View Post
Imo, GURPS would be great for a PC game. Essentially, the programmer would be the GM.
Creating the environment and the limiting rules. And, as a game would automatically make the roll and calculations, we could get more detail than available at tabletop. I really loved Arcanum and I think a true GURPS-based game could be even greater. Maybe with some tweaks,
Have any of you played KotoR? It was a Star Wars game based off of D&D (i.e., it used d20 mechanics and the classes were strikingly similar to the ones presented in the WotC RPG Star Wars book I own). But it was good and fun and all that, allowed for roleplaying within the game, and let you min/max to a degree.

Basically, what I was thinking of was a game with no graphics (cuz I can't do that) but only text. Descriptions of the actions and places and everything would be printed on the screen as text. Most actions would be limited down to options. (e.g., have menus that say: press 1 to go to the inn, 2 to go to the tavern, 3 to go to the blacksmith, etc.)

Yes, this would heavily reduce how much you can do with the game (combat movement comes to mind--I can't see a way to keep track of that without getting extremely complicated), but I was surprised at how many things I could do with just text.

Frex, Disadvantages. How do you reliably 'get points' for roleplaying if there's no GM? Well, when you are given conversation options, the game would check to see what disadvantages you have, and then add notes to each option depending on what you have. If you work against your disadvantages, you might have to make a self-control check to even use that option. Or, you could get 'exp' for voluntarily choosing the option fitted to your disadvantages. (enough exp would earn you a character point)

FREX:
(NPC has just insulted PC)
(PC has Bad Temper with a self-control roll of 9)
Options:
1) "Let's calm down and move on to the issue at hand..." (Self-Control <=7)
2) "Ha ha, very funny. Now..." (Self-Control <=9)
3) "Shut up! You don't know anything about me!" (Bad Temper+)
4) [IQ] "Yes, well if this is how you dress on a day-to-day basis, I don't see why any man would want to spend time around you either." (Bad Temper+)
5) [Bad Temper] <Punch her in the face.> (Bad Temper ++)

In this situation, the PC would have to make a Self-Control roll to act against their bad temper disadvantage (at a penalty for trying the most peaceful option). So if they chose 1 or 2, it would say [Success] and continue the conversation, or [Failure] and force you to choose from 3, 4, and 5 (but without the (Bad Temper+/++) notes). If they instead chose 3 or 4, they get some exp for aligning with their disadvantage, and if they chose 5 they would get a little more (but none from any of them if they chose 1 or 2 first, then failed). Option 4's [IQ] would designate that this conversation option is available because the character succeeded at an IQ check (to come up with a comeback in this case) and likewise option 5 would not be available if the character did not have bad temper in the first place. On the other hand, if they had other disadvantages (e.g., bloodlust, chummy, callous, sense of duty) then other options might open up. Or, if the character still had bad temper, but also had Pacifism: Total Nonviolence, then option 5 would not be available.

The game would be fairly linear in story--like any computer RPG. Even something as open-ended as Elder Scrolls has a linear progression of the main plot. The advantage would be that I can do stuff like above. The disadvantage: that I would have to program every single conversation in the game with every possible outcome (much like KotoR).

I would probably use GURPS mechanics, but if I probably wouldn't advertise it as GURPS. With KotoR, I have no idea if they got WotC's permission to use the d20 mechanics--they definitely never mention D&D or d20 in the game, and then Pathfinder is almost an exact copy of D&D, and I'm surprised they haven't had to quit that... etc....

Point is, I don't know what would be legal or not, but I hope I clarified what I'm thinking about doing. This would obviously be a massive project for one person, but...

I'm at least liking the whole disadvantages idea enough that I might nab that and use it or something similar if nothing else. How does that fit into copyright law? There comes a point where everything you do has been done before.
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