For a game development studio, protecting intellectual property rights can mean the difference between success and failure. This is more than just a legal issue, but a financial and artistic issue also: we work in a product-driven creative medium where originality is often seen as a unique selling point, and where clones and rip-offs of new titles may not only affect sales, but lead to stagnation in the pursuit of new innovations and genre types.
Neither, however, is cross-pollination and inspiration between titles something to be feared. Throughout the millennia, art and literature have thrived on the basis of inspiration, allusion and borrowing, with each new author and artist influenced by those who preceded them. For better and worse, with the evolution and transformation of intellectual property law across the globe in the 20th and 21st centuries, matters of influence and inspiration are no longer the innocent issues they may have been for many before.
In this talk, Greg Buchanan (writer of No Man's Sky: Atlas Rises) will discuss how to navigate issues of originality and inspiration in game development. His perspective is that of a contractor with 3 years and over 20 titles under his belt, on both sides of the AAA/indie divide. He will discuss, with historical context, methods for ensuring the creation of the best titles possible by embracing the work of those who came before, whilst guarding and promoting your own innovations.