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  1. #1

    Post A question about legal stuff.

    Alright, so I'm learning to make games, which, so far, is appearing to be pretty smooth.
    I'm learning how to use zbrush, 3ds max, C++ and unrealscript, UDK.... etc.
    Its been a long bit of a process, but 3 months in and im starting to get the concepts needed to become an indie developer.

    Aside from all of my practice and scrap learning projects, I would like to make a basic futuristic FPS in UDK. //Commercial purposes

    However, from my understanding, Epic likes to take 25% royalties after your first $50,000. //Bare with me here, I'm just thinking ahead
    I'm totally okay with that, on the other hand, I would eventually like to remake this game in my own engine when I am more experienced in the foundation 3D game development.

    My question is, will Epic allow of this?
    May I make a game in UDK, and take it off my website before it hits the $50,000 mark and replace it with the built-from-scratch one?
    Is it legal?
    Similarly, may I make the game in another development kit and do the same as above?
    Mind you, I will make it so that only ONE copy of the game is available for sale at a time.
    I.E. I will take down the former version and replace it with the latter.

    I just don't want to sell the game in UDK then have Epic be all like "OH, you want to sell this game without us? Well to bad, because we own it. Have a good day!"
    I don't want my ideas to be 'owned' by other companies, if this means that I have to hit the books on engine architecture, then so be it.
    I'm sure this is probably explained somewhere in the licensing terms somewhere... I just wanted to know if anyone here has had to deal with this before, or had any insight on how these things are handled.

    I also want to make sure that my knowledge in UDK won't be wasted. //Not that it really would be.


    Any reply is appreciated, thanks in advance.
    -Dak
    Last edited by Dakattack; 04-28-2012 at 09:15 PM.

  2. #2
    MSgt. Shooter Person
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    If your planning on doing something like that I would recommend to just go ahead and use the other engine or whatever. It would save you a lot of time and work.

  3. #3

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    What other engine? You mean one from scratch or an alternative development kit that doesn't take royalties?
    As far as making an engine from scratch, it would mean the exact opposite, more time and more work. That is why I started UDK in the first place.

  4. #4
    Palace Guard

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    You could try that; but it's probably way more problematic to do it this way. Building an engine on the same level as Unreal Engine 3 ... is pretty much insane; especially if you haven't made an engine before hand.

  5. #5
    MSgt. Shooter Person
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    Well I could be mistaken but I'm pretty sure the 25% royalty is for using their engine, not for your own IP. If I'm wrong I'd love to be corrected, but I'm pretty sure from what I read in the FAQ months ago that it's indeed for the engine usage. Could you pull it down at sub-$50k sales and replace it with a different version with a different engine? I'm pretty sure you could, after all, it's your game. Would it be a cheap move and wasted effort? Yeah, I'd expect so. As Solid Snake said, attempting to build your own engine to match UE3's capabilities, even in the UDK flavor, is rather tough/generally unobtainable. My recommendation is to stick with UDK completely; trying to skimp on royalties will only hurt you in the long run, trust me. In order to continue appeal in whatever game you build if you release a solid game built on UDK and then get back to work trying to recreate it all over again just to replace the version out as some form of a carbon copy, you're going to regret it, potentially fail, have obvious differences in versions that your target audience may catch, and generally spend more time rebuilding than is financially worth compared to just paying out the royalties. One way or another, my advice is to stick to whatever engine you decide on and follow through. If you want to use a certain engine, use it. If you want to compile your own, better get started; it'll take a long time to get it to what you want. But as for your game? It's yours, bro, if you're an indie with an original idea.
    Last edited by ADF86; 04-28-2012 at 11:39 PM.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dakattack View Post
    My question is, will Epic allow of this?
    May I make a game in UDK, and take it off my website before it hits the $50,000 mark and replace it with the built-from-scratch one?
    Is it legal?
    While I can't talk on their behalf, there's techically nothing they can do about it should you choose to do so, though it's not very nice (You're basically abusing the license) and they may not let you earn money using UDK in the future if you give them a reason.

    The IP belongs to you. The license you buy and pay royalties for is for use of and earning money on the engine, it's not specific to a title or IP. If you make a new game that's not using UDK, then money earned on that game has no connection to Epic.
    However, if you use the same name and the UDK build to advertise for your game, then UDK is indirectly giving you income, and you will still need to pay royalties.

    I think you are massively underestimating the work involved in making an engine though.
    Last edited by Graylord; 04-29-2012 at 12:09 PM.
    I'm making a game!

    http://www.desura.com/games/modulated
    Click the link above to read more!

  7. #7
    Boomshot
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    I don't work here, but I'm confident the IP belongs to you and the royalty only applies to a product delivered on the UDK platform. If you switch to a new technology platform then it would not apply to those sales. But, be mindful that none of Epic's assets are re-used.

    Be very cautious when basing your future plans on personal engine development, because it's a trap.

    This is especially true if your incentive is to avoid third-party licensing, since the time-sink will vastly outweigh any financial offset, and the distraction can impact the quality of your final game.

    Engine dev can be fun and I do encourage you to experiment, because your skills will grow exponentially. But it's folly to have expectations of using your own tools commercially. UE3 and its peers contain decades of iteration, wisdom and insider knowledge. They come with a suite of development tools, and have platform stability from field-testing.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Graylord View Post
    The IP belongs to you. The license you buy and pay royalties for is for use of and earning money on the engine, it's not specific to a title or IP. If you make a new game that's not using UDK, then money earned on that game has no connection to Epic.
    This is what I wanted to know. Lets say that i make a game called "Spaceman" in UDK for example. I wanted to know if i could remake the game somewhere else without using any Unreal assets and not have people knocking on my door. I wanted to know if (by signing the license) Epic 'owned' the title "Spaceman". Maybe I should have been more clear in my OP.


    I have lots of experience on 2d gaming engines, I know my stuff.
    I have worked on making a simple 3d engine before, they are quite complicated but they are nothing that can't be achieved with a little brain work.
    I understand that my efforts wont match Epic's engine at all, they wont even be close as a matter of fact. However it could be a great opportinity to better myself as a developer, and get a better understanding of 3d game engines.

    Thanks for all of your replies. (well, some of you haha)
    I appreciate the help.
    -Dak

  9. #9

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    "You own the title, copyright, and other intellectual property rights in the applications You develop using the UDK and any derivative works thereof, but ownership of the UDK and derivative works of the UDK, and any portion(s) of the UDK and derivative works of the UDK remains with Epic."
    Its still pretty dodgey. You would be better off not selling the UDK version commerically before you switched to another engine or making the "new game" just that, a different game, a sequel or whatever but not market it as the same exact game or you may have to pay royalties because like graylord pointed out "UDK is indirectly giving you income". I dont think you can just cut off at a certain point because obviously there is going to be images,media and reviews based on the UDK build still indirectly giving you income (sales) and this would include your website even after the switch.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmr303 View Post
    "You own the title, copyright, and other intellectual property rights in the applications You develop using the UDK and any derivative works thereof, but ownership of the UDK and derivative works of the UDK, and any portion(s) of the UDK and derivative works of the UDK remains with Epic."
    Its still pretty dodgey. You would be better off not selling the UDK version commerically before you switched to another engine or making the "new game" just that, a different game, a sequel or whatever but not market it as the same exact game or you may have to pay royalties because like graylord pointed out "UDK is indirectly giving you income". I dont think you can just cut off at a certain point because obviously there is going to be images,media and reviews based on the UDK build still indirectly giving you income (sales) and this would include your website even after the switch.
    That clears some things up. *sigh* On the bright side, this can be a great learning experience.

    Again, thanks for all the replies.
    Time to hit the books!
    -Dak

  11. #11
    Technical Writer - UDN
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    Please contact udklicensing@epicgames.com with questions over licensing. They can best help you get the information you need.

  12. #12

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    You could use something like 3DRad ... or Blender without worrying about royalties. In fact, for what your suggesting, 3DRad would be perfect. You have to drop back to using old-school DirectX (.x) format models, but you could use your skills to build up to date shaders for it !! .. Their engine is real easy to use, and fairly similar to this one.


 

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