Fan Games and Fanfiction

So, I understand that due to legal issues you can’t publish any games written fanfiction style based on an existing franchise, free or not. But is that only with having it hosted by COG? I saw in the FAQ that you could have it embed in a personal site or something similar. Is is possible to do something like that? I’m not looking to have anything professionally hosted. I just don’t know anything about coding and would really enjoy using an easy beginner intuitive programming code to make fun stuff and maybe post it in a fanfiction community or even just show a couple friends, I dunno.

Sorry if this has already been thoroughly answered, I looked around and saw varying answers and I wasn’t quite clear on the matter.

If it is allowed, would anybody have any tips on how to properly operate a game on a different site?


Hello and welcome to the forum.

Mhnn, if you want something to make coding easier, there’s CSide.

As for fanfic stuff: yeah, those games could not get published as such. i am not entirely certain about how it is with hosting thm on dashingdon.
paging @dashingdon : what’d be the case with e.g. a fanfiction-y game based on Game of Thrones?


I was curious about this well after reading the Courting of Mrs Bennet.

I second this, CSIDE has been nothing but a blessing to use to make coding easier.

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Courting is different, Austen is public domain. Which is why you see so many works using those characters.


I believe Pride and Prejudice is in the public domain, which is why you can do something like Courting. Currently protected properties, on the other hand, you couldn’t make fan games for.


As per Fair Use laws, fanfiction is allowed on as long as you don’t attempt to profit from it and as long as it does not violate the ChoiceScript terms of service.

@AmyTabbyCat Welcome to the community :slightly_smiling_face:


That makes a lot of sense! Thanks!

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(Also always be sure that the work/franchise that you’re creating fanfiction/fan games from has not explicitly disallowed fanfiction or derivative works. Writers such as Anne Rice, G.R.R Martin, and others have explicitly requested that derivative works not be made of their material in order to protect their copyrights, etc. Especially in the US, doing your research is good to avoid injunctions or legal action!)


The purpose of copyright is to allow people in creative professions to make a living off their work. That bears remembering. If you’re not damaging a creator’s ability to make a living, you’re not violating copyright. The OTW has more information on legal matters. Dashingdon, of course, is free to set whatever terms he deems appropriate on his service.


Link to a list of professional authors who forbid fanfiction of their work, and a list of those who encourage or allow it:

Fanfic Policies


Hum, since I didn’t have anything to say or add (that was intelligent anyway) to the topic of copyright thread. Just dropping here after I saw the link from @rinari, to declare my eternal L :heart: :orange_heart: :yellow_heart: :green_heart: :blue_heart: :purple_heart: :brown_heart: :black_heart: :white_heart:VE To fanfiction!

:smile_cat: sorry, had to get it out of my chest lol . Personally, I always saw fanfictions like Mods to games. They are a 1) a form of flattery to the Tv show, games or whatever Universe the story steal the characters from . 2) They also a fun hobbie. 3) They are often a starting points for peoples, its creatives, its passionate, its amateurish (not always though), but a good beginning . 4) It can make peoples say ‘‘Oh thats a good fanfic! where is that from again? I may just go watch it now’’ . Add to the longevity of a Show just like Mods, keep peoples playing a games even though the Dev have moved on from said game.

Again just my 2 cents. Sorry if this isn’t the right place… :smile:

Ouch. While I understand the need for clarity with fan fiction, there’s a difference between “Don’t do this” and getting personal like saying people writing fics of tv shows “probably don’t have the taste and imagination to write anything original anyway”. (Really disappointed to hear that from a favorite author of mine.)


Yeah, some of the comments about it were really, really harsh: there’s one author on that list that made a comparison of fanfiction that I found really unnecessary, over the top, and frankly upsetting.

I’ve found to my surprise that even today–with fan communities and sites like Tumblr and AO3 seemingly so ubiquitous–my attempts to defend fanfiction in conversation are rarely met warmly, among casual fans, professional authors, or academics alike. I’d say 80% of the people I broach the topic with have a very unkind view of fanfiction, and similarly make comments like “it’s a result of a deficient imagination, unoriginal, lazy” and miss the point when I attempt to explain how it’s more of a love letter to the source material than any attempt to cheaply get clout from stealing from someone else.

I also think fanfiction gets a bad rep because of long-standing incidents that stick with people who don’t read fanfiction, but who nevertheless hear about them due to the news:

  • most notably the Supernatural fan incident involving shippers (which people immediately pair with fanfic writers), and which has now spawned a profit-making novel sort-of obviously based on the fandom kerfuffle and the events that ensued around it;

  • the MZB problem, in which a popular author was heavily involved in her own fandom and fanfiction community, wanted to incorporate an idea a fanfic writer wrote in their story in a future book, the fanfic writer asked to be compensated for the idea more than what MZB was offering, and things became a mess, with MZB “unable” to write future books in the series due to legal issues;

  • the Larry Niven problem, in which an erotica writer wrote a story depicting Larry Niven’s characters engaging in hardcore BDSM and etc., Niven was upset by it and sent a cease-and-desist, and the writer argued it was protected as parody and has never taken it down;

  • and the My Immortal problem, in which someone wrote what is said to be the worst Harry Potter fanfiction (or the worst fanfiction, period) ever and then someone–apparently another person–attempted to make a profit from the fanfic’s notoriety by publishing a false (?) autobiography/memoir about what led them to write it, going so far as to forge identity papers to pose as the author of the My Immortal fic.

Again, I’m a general defendant of fanfiction, and I’m happy that AO3 won the Hugo last year to strengthen its credibility in the eyes of the general population… but I think people hear about these one-off incidents and not about the positivity that fanfiction can spread and then everybody thinks of fanfiction as this leechy, toxic, even spiteful thing. As with everything, the negative things make the news and the one thousand positive things never do, so I think people–especially older authors–only hear about the really bad stuff, the stuff that did affect other authors’ livelihoods or caused them emotional stress, and judge all fanfiction as harmful or worthless.


Those authors are entitled to their opinions (and fears) thought. And yeah, I just took a look at the list and BASSSSSSKED in the positiveness (Is that a word?) from all those Pro-fanfic. I noticed those who are against it, either hide behind ‘‘Copyright blahblah’’, or…are petty (which to me at least, made it sound like they didn’t know and didn’t care to know what fanfic mean to the mass of zombies writers all full of caffeine lol).

Your title say ‘Hosted Games Author’’, maybe I read your work . Don’t ask me, I’m bad remembering author names (Those guys would hate meh lol) .

But…this could be like a turning point. You write right? You pro or con fanfictions?

Whatever side of the fence you are on, well don’t let your favorite author hurting word, get to you or get you down. They are entitled to their opinions, even if you dont agree with it . Fanfic writers are like your freedom fighters lol maybe thats why they can get some hate .

I guess what I’m trying to say is, use those dissapointing words, to be the best author you can be . A better author then that…dissapointing author is.

I will forever be grateful for the pro-active and positive embrace of fandom by Eric Flint. He is the author I would try so hard to emulate in this regard. Some of the most interesting stories of his story-worlds originate from fan-written beginnings.

There is so much going on with his works, collaborations or whatever, that I can’t even keep track :slight_smile:


Pro authors can object to fanfic on merit grounds, if they please. Decades of legal precedent, however, demonstrate that they cannot “ban” it. If you want to write fanfic of an author’s work, they literally cannot stop you.

I don’t write fanfic of authors who try to ban it, not because I’m afraid of legal repercussions, but because writing fanfic takes a lot of time and energy. I’d rather direct that time and energy towards enlivening and uplifting the fandom of an author who’s capable of respecting me.

I will note as a side: because of the MZB incident that @rinari mentioned, and for other reasons, lots of veteran authors who support fanfic in principle, will make a point of avoiding reading fic of their own work – or headcanons, or soft creative endeavors of that sort. If one of the plot points you’ve been planning for a future book shows up in a fanfic you happen to be reading, people could get the wrong impression and become upset. Generally, I’d say it’s poor etiquette to comment on fanfic of your work, because some fans may find the knowledge that the author reads their work intimidating or anxiety-inducing. Fanfic is a labor of love, but it can also be highly critical of canon, at times.


From my personal perspective, if anyone wants to make anything based on my CoG work that’s awesome, and CoG have stated it’s officially allowed as long as it’s not commercial and isn’t written in ChoiceScript. If anyone’s written fanfic I haven’t seen it, but the fanart and headcanons I’ve seen are thoroughly wonderful and I tend to reblog or retweet them when I see them.

I wouldn’t comment on fan commentary that was critical, though, unless they directly addressed me (and it’s likely I’d just say “thank you for the comments”, I have no interest in arguing and I thoroughly believe that authors arguing with fans isn’t a good idea!).

I absolutely respect fan creators. Fan creation skills are valuable and worthwhile in their own right and are also incredibly transferrable to professional contexts, especially in the game development world where we’re often working on existing IPs or on something partially created by someone else. Although fandom has quirks or foibles like any subculture, it’s frankly closed-minded, as well as rude, for authors to be nasty about fanworks whether or not they’re in a position to engage with them themselves.


Never heard of this MZB incident before, and upon reading about it I have to side with the author here. The sad irony is that she got in trouble for trying to do the right thing; had she just tweaked the fanfic writer’s idea enough that it was similar but not the same, the writer likely would have simply been excited to seem so in sync with Bradley. Instead, a fanfic writer got an inflated view of themselves and killed the goose that lays the golden metaphors.

That being said, as a writer I think any outpouring of fan affection through creative works is wonderful. Who doesn’t want to know something they made had such an impact on someone that it inspired them to create in turn? After all, for pretty much 100% of writers, that’s how we ended up doing what we do, being inspired by others. So it’s just the circle of creative life, and it moves us all, yo.



You can embrace it and help elevate it — which has been done extremely well by author Eric Flint. He now publishes bi-monthly anthologies of fanfic, something he started doing over 16 years ago. Not only this, but he and his publisher support fanfic to the point where they even host creations, such as maps and art.

Here is a link, that describes in his own words how this grew into something successfull (and profitable):

If I ever am privileged enough to get a fanfic following, I plan on following Eric Flint’s footsteps.


Oh yeah of course I agree. I just find the snide comments from some authors about their fan fic disappointing and completely unnecessary (as well as untrue).

I get why some authors don’t like fan fic believing it can “dilute their brand”, copyright issues with their publishers, or due to it resulting in stories that they have no control over which could potentially even “hurt” the audience audience they’re trying to cultivate (e.g. I get why people writing stories aimed at children, might request people don’t write X rated or graphically violent fics). I also get why some authors might decline to comment on/read their fan fiction so as to not potentially get dragged into IP disputes if an idea they use ends up being similar to something in a fan work.

I have never written a lot of what would be classed as fan fic for some reason (unless you count the Saga of Oedipus Rex which is a bit of a giant fan work in a way and would make me pretty hypocritical to say I don’t approve of the idea of fan fics :wink: ) but I have made my fair share of fan art over the years.

Fan work is usually done by people who love what you’re creating, so as long as it’s appropriately credited, respects any author wishes (like the x-rated example above), makes an effort to be original (ie isn’t just copying entire sections of the book with little to no changes) and isn’t being used to make money, I honestly can’t see why writers would be against it. I mean people are making it because they love your work and want more. That’s usually a good thing right? I would have thought most authors would be flattered. I think some authors do eventually change their minds. A good example is Anne McCaffery who used to be against fan fic/art creators, but now seems to be pretty cool with it.

I hadn’t heard about the MZB incident either. Sounds like probably fault on both sides, but I’m still quite surprised it happened. I mean if I wrote a fan fic of one of my favourite authors and they contacted me and asked to use my idea as the basis to write their own story and then credit me for it in the book I’d likely be pretty stoked about it.