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Spy Vs. Spy - DaveN - Feb 15, 2006 05:18 AM

I decided to write a Spy Vs. Spy remake in Flash, I think it should be possible to do that, a standard computer should be able to handle that kind of game playing in the flash engine. So, I downloaded the rom + an sms emulator ( I think that's ok if I own the original ) 'cause I don't want to run into the living room and turn on the sms everytime and also because it's easier to rip the sprites. And there's where my question comes in:

Are there any Spy vs Spy sprites in the i-net? I just found one with the sprites from the gbc version, but I don't like them so much. I don't want to rip all of them, and one day later I will see all of them on a website. But it wouldn't be a problem if I should rip them, I've got all the things I would need Wink

And another question, which version would you prefer for a remake, the one from the nes, or the one from the sms?

[Image: spy_vs_spy-4.gif]
[Image: spy_vs_spy-5.gif]

Oh and if you've got some other important resources/tipps that would be helpful it would be very nice if you could post them Smile

I'm swiss and I'm still learning english, so if there are some huge mistakes, please tell me them Smile And also, if I wrote this post into the false forum I'm sorry and I'll please a moderator to move it.


Spy Vs. Spy - DoG - Feb 15, 2006 06:30 AM

Ripping the sprites is not legal. You may indeed use the ROM if you own the game, but ripping off artwork is not allowed. You need to create your own artwork, or get permission from the copyright holder to use it.

Spy Vs. Spy - DaveN - Feb 15, 2006 06:35 AM

Ok, thanks.. Didn't know about that, I saw these sprites all over there, what's up with them? Are they all used with the permission of the owners? Or are they too old and the law's just active for a given time? And is this law only for re-using the sprites in games, movies etc.?

I mean, I could tell you really a lot of examples of mario remakes, lemmings clones, fan movies with the sprites etc.

It would be very kind if someone would answer the questions, didn't knew something about that law before, I used original selfmade graphics till now..


Spy Vs. Spy - backslash - Feb 15, 2006 09:06 AM

It is legal to make a clone of the game using sprites which look very much like the originals as long as you do all the work (programming and painting) yourself, or use other people's work which is clearly licensed to be reused (GPL code for example) giving the required credits and so on (read the relevant licences for specific information).
Copyright does only apply for a limited time, but since the time limit is 70 years in most countries, there isn't a computer graphic in the world which is old enough to be in the public domain this way

Spy Vs. Spy - unknown - Feb 15, 2006 09:11 AM

I'd say use whatever ripped sprites you want, if anyone who has the right to complain does remove them.

Spy Vs. Spy - AnotherJake - Feb 15, 2006 09:40 AM

Huh? No. You guys, it is NOT LEGAL to rip off someone else's creation under any normal circumstances. The only time you might actually be protected by law to do so in the US is in a formal education setting, such as using it for a science project in a public elementary school. Even then, the waters are murky. Even if there is no posted copyright of the material, it is still implied by law. Do not make the mistake of thinking you can just use any of the material as long as someone doesn't complain. That does not make it legal. You might think you would be safe by using sprites or other graphics that only sort of look like the originals, but you might very well be mistaken. From time to time game companies make sweeps of the industry, serving legal notices to people who make clones. It is an error to think that `well, everyone else makes clones, so it's safe'. It is not. Make no mistake about it - If you are ripping off someone else's idea, then they can take you to court, and you will most likely lose your shirt if you fight it. Copyright law tends to favor the copyright holder. That is why copyright was brought about in the first place.

Spy Vs. Spy - MattDiamond - Feb 15, 2006 11:24 AM

And it's not just a question of ripping off or replacing the artwork. The actual characters from Spy versus Spy are themselves protected property, as is the name "Spy vs Spy".

The usual way around this is to make a clone of the game. The gameplay of the original is not protected, just the actual expression of it (i.e. the code.) Give it a new name like "Counter Espionage", have characters that are evocative of the original without being copies, etc.

Ultimately if the owner of the copyright comes after you, even if you are completely legal you are probably screwed because you probably do not have the resources to fight it. So you will either have to kill your project or take steps to make it even less like the original game. So my advice is, make that decision up front. Either shut down the project or copy nothing more than the basic gameplay. Change the setting, "Monkey versus Monkey" perhaps. If it doesn't look like the original and doesn't mention the original you are safe. Of course you won't be able to market it so easily to people who enjoyed the original game, but that's the way it goes. (Just having "versus" in the title is a nice hint though.)

Spy Vs. Spy - jamie - Feb 15, 2006 11:53 AM

would you steal or 'rip-off' a product out of a store? If the answer is no then you shouldn't steal artwork or concepts either...

just my 2 cents.

Spy Vs. Spy - DaveN - Feb 15, 2006 11:54 AM

Ok, thanks for all the tipps.

But I also wrote an EMail to the developers, maybe they're as open as Capcom is ( ) and I can use the original sprites..

If I can't I'm going to do it with some other characters. "Monkey Versus Monkey" would be a good alternative Wink

mfg Dave

Edit: @Jamie:
It isn't about "stealing" the artwork or the concepts. That's why I asked about it's possible to use them. And I really enjoy playing this game, and I'd like to get some more people know it and I thought a remake would be a good alternative. And I also can play that with some friends on their computers, or just on the computer and I can leave my Sega in the box..

Spy Vs. Spy - AnotherJake - Feb 15, 2006 02:56 PM

DaveN Wrote:And I really enjoy playing this game, and I'd like to get some more people know it and I thought a remake would be a good alternative. And I also can play that with some friends on their computers, or just on the computer and I can leave my Sega in the box..
I used to really love playing Spy vs. Spy on the NES back in the day. They do have a new version of Spy vs. Spy for the Xbox that you can pick up down at Best Buy for $10 here in the US. It's not the same thing since it's all in 3D, but it's one of my favorite games in my collection believe it or not. It is not really a AAA title, and it is definitely more for kids, but there's something addictive to it that I find irresistible. If you haven't seen it yet, you should definitely check it out.

Spy Vs. Spy - NCarter - Feb 15, 2006 04:25 PM

DaveN Wrote:But I also wrote an EMail to the developers, maybe they're as open as Capcom is ( ) and I can use the original sprites..
It doesn't really come down to what the developers think, in this case. Spy vs Spy is a long running, well known cartoon from MAD magazine (see this Wikipedia page). I'd say that using their characters and name without permission would be a very bad idea. Expect expensive lawyers to start chasing you. Wink

That aside, I'd like to see the game dynamics of Spy vs Spy revisited. That's worth a try, I'd say, and it's pretty safe to do that providing you don't pull in copyright material directly. I'd be inclined to build upon the theme to give it more originality, too.

Spy Vs. Spy - EvolPenguin - Feb 15, 2006 05:20 PM

How about mission based and you can choose a side?
I may be dropping off a few ideas every once in a while over here.


Spy Vs. Spy - DaveN - Feb 16, 2006 08:13 AM

I just got the answer on the mail I sent to First Star Software. Here are some little quotes out of the ( very friendly written ) mail:

Quote:The Spy vs. Spy name and characters are owned by MAD Magazine, not First Star
and we are not allowed to give permission to someone else, such as yourself, to
use the Spy vs. Spy name or the black and white spy characters. I am VERY sorry.
So you were right, I would have to ask the MAD Magazine..

Quote:I would like to say yes...but we legally can not. Also, the gameplay is something that we
need to protect legally. My only suggestion is that if you wanted to, you could send a version of the
game to us to review when you have it in a playable condition...withOUT the Spy vs. Spy sprites...
use something else (like regular people) instead. If it is good enough...maybe we can try to work
out something for it on a commercial=for pay basis.
I hope you can understand and forgive us,
So it IS possible to protect also the gameplay of a game? But that would be really really crappy..

Thanks for the tipp, but 'cause I don't own a Xbox or a PS2 I can't have a look on it.. But if ( in the future.. ) I'm going to buy one, I would search for the game..

And thanks at the others for helping with this and for the tipps for some gameplay things..

mfg Dave

Spy Vs. Spy - NCarter - Feb 16, 2006 09:14 AM

DaveN Wrote:So you were right, I would have to ask the MAD Magazine..
...and there is no way they will let you use the characters without a considerable licensing fee. Sad

Quote:So it IS possible to protect also the gameplay of a game? But that would be really really crappy..
I think what they're saying in that letter is that they must routinely deny permission to everyone who asks, because they need to protect their intellectual property no matter what. That's fair enough, they can't just give permission to every person who asks nicely. Wink

There have been plenty of near-identical clones made of various games in the past (just look at Pac Man, for example), so in practice, you could probably get away with it if you avoided the original graphics. However, I'd say it's inadvisable to copy the game too closely since the developers will probably take offence if you ignore what they say in this letter.

I reckon the correct thing to do is to think a bit about how to alter the original gameplay in ways which make it different (and better!) than the original, and make a game around the ideas you come up with. I don't believe they can claim ownership of the gameplay concept of setting traps for your opponent, so if you take this fundamental feature and expand it in new directions they most likely won't bother to pursue you over it.

Spy Vs. Spy - GryphonClaw - Mar 7, 2006 03:34 AM

Oh not fair =) I'm working on learning some 3D stuff for a Spy vs. Spy type game, in uDevGames 2004 I actually started with a Spy Vs Spy game, then switched to Gokuban (sokoban) due to multi-player issues etc... anyway, I'd like to see it too, just don't be surprised if I come up with something better Wink