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  #1    
Old April 8th, 2013, 04:51 PM
Icyene's Avatar
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I am playing around with the Java LWJGL OpenGL binding, and decided I would give a go at creating a Generation 5-style game in Java. However, I was stumped at something that did not involve programming, but ethics. Every project needs a proper name, and yet I haven't been able to find a nice-sounding name. Given how the general simplicity of starting a game with RMXP, almost every name is taken (even a most obscure "Pokemon Hyacinth Version"). Alas, most of these games never made it past the ideas or games in progress board. Many have been abandoned. Loads haven't been updated (no downloads, either) since before 2007.

My question is this, and its multi-part:

Is it alright to take the name of a game which has:

A) Not been active for a long time, or
B) Has been abandoned by the developer

What about games which didn't take off from the ideas forum section? Is it alright to use the name of an abandoned/unstarted game? I reckon the latter would be a most sure "Yes", while for the former I'm not so sure. I mean, what if the developer decides to work on the game again, and finds that you've taken up the name? That could get messy.

What do you think?
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  #2    
Old April 9th, 2013, 05:22 AM
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Well, personally I wouldn't mind if you used the name of an abandoned project. Heck I wouldn't even mind if you have the same name as an existing project, as long as the name "fits" your game.
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  #3    
Old April 9th, 2013, 05:57 AM
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There are no set boundaries but I'd go for something like;
1 year without a update/1 year without the creator being active then, it's open season for the name. The only downside to this if the creator comes back. If he or she returns and wants to continue their old game, you should change the name of yours. I think a rule like this is needed. I don't think in anyway you should use the name of a game that's already in production though.
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  #4    
Old April 9th, 2013, 06:04 AM
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Well, it's not like you can copyright the name of a Pokemon fangame, nor can you reasonably keep track of all the obscure unfinished ideas that've been thrown out by the fandom over the years. The only problem I can see happening is if it really looks like you ripped of someone else's idea, and that'd only happen if the same was something really unique, which probably won't happen with the usual "Pokemon Blablabla Version" title unless it's a really clever "Blablabla". My own game's title is a bit generic, but "Orange" fits the game in more ways than one, so I don't intend to change it anytime soon, even though it's a title that's been used before and will be used afterwards for other fangames.
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Old April 9th, 2013, 06:43 AM
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There are no rules about game names, nor should there be. This post is just my opinion, and shouldn't be taken as anything other than that.

Personally, I'd say it's okay to use a name which is also used by a ROM hack, or if it's also used by a game which is clearly dead (either a 6 month+ inactive thread or the creator has announced that it's over), or if it's also used by a game which is only in the initial "idea" stage and is clearly never going to go further. You don't need to have a disclaimer or anything. You don't need to change it later for any reason (unless you want to).

Of course, there's nothing to stop you from using any name you want, but don't be surprised if people denounce your game because you "happened" to call it the same thing as another popular game.

The most important part of choosing a name for your game is making sure it suits your game. All other concerns are secondary.
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  #6    
Old April 9th, 2013, 01:35 PM
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You could name your game anything you want, even if that name is already used by a current project. I won't recommend it, because it can (and probably will) lead to some confusion. Unless somebody trademarked their game, which they can't do because it probably contains the already trademarked word Pokémon, everybody is free to use their name.
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  #7    
Old April 9th, 2013, 02:05 PM
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Basically, nothing stopping you but it's a dick move to do it to an exisiting project.
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  #8    
Old April 9th, 2013, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben. View Post
Basically, nothing stopping you but it's a dick move to do it to an exisiting project.
Only if it's for the purpose of causing confusion or leeching the popularity from another game. If it's genuinely a good name for your game, then it's just confusing (but no one will see it that way, of course).
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  #9    
Old April 9th, 2013, 03:26 PM
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Only for very specific names I think that isn't a good idea to copy, but I don't mind about common names like "Water Blue", "Gray", "Magma Ruby", "Aqua Sapphire", etc...

I also believe that avoid confusion is good.

But 80% of times the name have a very low relation (or even none) with the game, like Maruno said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maruno View Post
The most important part of choosing a name for your game is making sure it suits your game. All other concerns are secondary.
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  #10    
Old April 10th, 2013, 02:05 PM
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Not to mention, it could also damage your game's chances of fame. If someone decided to use Pokemon Raptor version as the title for their game (stealing a completed game's name), then you would probably have some problems getting those google searches for your game, as most would probably go to the real one. If the project is really old, and their is no sign that it is being developed, it might be ok. But it would probably be better if you just had some originality. Do a google search, or even search the forums to see if your idea for a title has already been used to avoid the confusion altogether.
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  #11    
Old April 11th, 2013, 01:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkmn.master View Post
Not to mention, it could also damage your game's chances of fame.
Fame is a stupid reason to start hobbies in the first place. A hobby should be about your passion. If you're just making a fan-game to get attention, that defeats the whole purpose of making one in the first place (my opinion).

Ultimately, the only problem you'd have with using an already existing name is: the fan-community will keep on whining and constantly pester you to change it. I'd be inclined to stay away from the names of official games (unless you're making a remake, prequel, sequel - which would make sense). Like Maruno said, your main concern should be: "Does the title properly fit your game"
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  #12    
Old April 11th, 2013, 08:29 AM
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tImE
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I'm just gonna go ahead and agree with a lot of the people, earlier in the thread:
As long as the name fits the game, I see no reason to stay away from names, simply because they are already in use.

On the other hand, though, if I was gonna name a game, which was about a blue metal, I would (my opinion), of course try to be a little more clever than to name it Blue Chrome, since I know of Luka SJ's game. I'd rather name it Cobalt Steel instead, simply to rid the world of unneccesary confusion.

So, I think the only thing you should consider, when naming your game is common sense. Don't use the name of another project, which is already fairly well-known under that name, unless the name is really hard to "copyright" like "Pokémon Orange" or "Pokemon Grey", and it really fits your game, as it may lead to confusion.

If you want others to find, like and play your game, an original name, that won't be mixed up or confused with others, which also fits your game is the most important factors to consider.
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  #13    
Old April 13th, 2013, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luka S.J. View Post
Fame is a stupid reason to start hobbies in the first place. A hobby should be about your passion. If you're just making a fan-game to get attention, that defeats the whole purpose of making one in the first place (my opinion).
"
By fame, I am referring to the general overall popularity of the game. If you are making the game as a hobby, then you obviously going to want it to get some kind of attention (kind of gives reason to naming the game to start with), so the attention factor is kind of like a reward for expressing your passion. Attention is good here, since we are all amateur game developers and want to know exactly what others think. Criticism is important to many of our hobbies. So, in a way, it far from defeats the purpose. Nobody here makes a game for attention only, but when we post it online, we obviously want someone to tell us what we think. That is why sharing previously used titles would pose a problem.
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