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Interactive legal tip

  • NTC3
  • 03/19/2017 12:36 PM
  • 133 views
This here is an old microgame, and the kind of a project that clearly lives up to its title. It aims to clear up the potentially confusing distinction between these two intellectual property protection terms, in order to fulfil the assignment criteria for the creator, and to potentially help other developers on here, and that is exactly what it does.

Aesthetics (art, design and sound)

All VX RTP, so it weighs less than a megabyte. The mapping obviously didn’t get much attention for this project, so while it’s thankfully free of the basic bugs/errors, you certainly shouldn’t expect well-furnished indoors or anything like that.

Storyline



According to the premise, you are the one half of a two-man development team who’s nearly completed a game together, but is now deciding on how to best protect their soon-to-be born brainchild. To that end, you get a bunch of documents in your house, explaining to you that “Copyrights are created upon making your product, you don’t need to buy them or visit the patents’ office. Copyrights protect the program itself, but not its area of competence.” while “Patents cover ideas, rather than products, and so the actual product does not have to be finished. Patents are also bought, and require proof of the idea’s originality at the patent’s office.” There’s also a small essay covering the developer’s middle-ground position. Once you are done with this, you can choose to go with either a copyright or a patent for the game as you walk out of the door to inform your partner of the decision.

However, whichever one you choose, he’s bound to go for the opposite. Thus, if you go with Copyright, he’ll choose a patent, and rush to the patent’s office, while you’ll go to the computer in your studio and finish the code to make the game eligible for your copyright. If you choose the patent, it’ll be the opposite, and so he’ll be the one heroically crunching the game to completion while you coolly stroll into the patent’s office, go to the only available teller, (the other three are all busy dealing with identical RTP pirates all trying to patent their costume before the others manage to, in a fun reference to patent trolling), answer a “proof of originality” question, and stump up the minimal $5000 fee to get it done. Either way, though, the next destination for both of you is the local court.

Gameplay



In said court, you’ll settle the difference through a turn-based battle (bringing to mind the last year’s Space Attorney), with first your now-Rival’s lawyer, and then with him in person after he decides to represent himself. There’s a nice touch in that you have three skills, and they’ll be entirely different depending on whether you chose to be a “Copyright User” or a “Patent User”: only the latter has a healing skill, for instance. Your Rival gets to employ skills from both sets, somehow, regardless of whether he went with a Copyright or a Patent. Of course, both battles are beaten pretty easily, so it doesn’t really matter.

Conclusion

In all, this project was created as a way to address the potential knowledge gap about its titular issue, and is quite decent at that. Of course, my review had by now conveyed nearly the same information it does, and you probably don’t need to play it now, even if it's kinda entertaining regardless.