Question about copyright

So, I’m thinking about working on a game for here, but in wondering if the premise needs to be completely original, or if I could make a game based on, say, attack on titan?

The game must not infringe on another author’s intellectual property.

There’s a difference between having a completely original premise, and not infringing on anyone’s intellectual property.

StarWars may “own” terms like “lightsabre”, “Jedi”, “Sith” and “X-wing” (maybe), but they don’t own the idea of a “laser-sword”, space-knights with mystic powers, or spaceships that act like WWII fighters, space empires, etc…

Lots of legitimate fiction has similar premises.


This is true.
I shall adjust my post accordingly.

Actually, it’s not okay to create a game based on pre-existing material, that’s under copyright, unless you have express permission from the copyright owner.

However, you can certainly be inspired by it and create your own original works.

This is true.
I shall adjust my post accordingly.

Copyright law, including the fine points of fair use, aren’t really something that can be summed up in a thread post. More importantly, regardless of an author’s view of the legality of his/her “fan fiction” or “parody,” a company like CoG gets to decide what it is comfortable publishing.

When you say, “I’m thinking of working on a game here,” you are really asking two different questions: 1) can I write a story about someone else’s copyrighted material, and 2) will CoG publish it?

  1. You’d need a lawyer and even she would only be able to give you an educated guess
  2. @Packet cited CoG’s policy
1 Like

This is true.
I shall adjust my post accordingly.

@Packet Your quote was fine. It did answer some of the question. You didn’t need to remove it.

Oh… Well, then.

… Oh, crud! I forgot what I had typed in! :frowning:

1 Like

So I have been inspired by many choice books and games and I kind of want to write my own. Recently, I read
Jim Dattilo’s Zombie Exodus Safe Haven. If I write my own story, is it considered copyright if I also implement the idea of having actions take time throughout the day as well as the use of stats (strength, agility, intelligence, etc.)? I’m asking this since Zombie Exodus Safe Haven uses this style.

As far as I can tell, any use of code is not under copyright: only the actual writing is.

1 Like

There are actually a lot of games that use these stats and where actions take time, it’s not really Zombie Exodus who invented these concepts.


RPG system is commonly known to have an open license (not copyrighted) on them.

Besides, how many CoG/HG stories that use the same stat-checking system?

1 Like

The previous comments have pretty much explained the rationale of why it’s not a problem so I’ll end it on a last note

Legally speaking, at least in the US, you can’t copyright codes unless the copy is completely identical to the original down to every character. So unless you somehow uses the exact codes used in ZE, it’s definitely legal

It is impossible to copyright mechanics. Otherwise video games wouldn’t have genres, there would never be trends etc.

Even in board gaming you can’t copyright the mechanics. There has even been a case where a company sued another for using identical mechanics to their card game and the court pretty much said “Yeah you can’t copyright mechanics”.

You can copyright descriptions, unique names, art et cetera. But not mechanics.

I’m also fairly certain the ideas that Zombie Exodus uses have been around longer than I have even been alive. Board gaming has been around from Ancient Egypt and no doubt before that so it’s safe to assume a lot of this has been done before, and done a lot.

1 Like

Go ahead, have at it :grinning:


If I am going to write my own choice book, I would set it up like Zombie Exodus too. That is one of my favorite series alongside The Lost Heir and Choice of Rebel. Ever dollar spent is worth it.


Wait till you read the of infinity series, best thing on CoG by far.

1 Like

Hi. First post.

I’m a historian by training and a high school teacher in the US. I’ve enjoyed some Choice games and think I might like to write one, for fun.

My heroes were always from 19th century novels, and I’d like to turn a few into multiple-choice adventures - who wouldn’t want to be the Count of Monte Cristo, methodically plotting revenge, or Jane Eyre (she made the wrong choice)? Are games incorporating non-copyright material acceptable? Adapting these novels sounds like lots of fun, and the coding seems within my technical means. All these old novels have been adapted and altered, often in delightful ways. I’d like to try my hand at incorporating original text of classic novels into these kinds of games. Is this acceptable?