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Old 22-03-2013, 02:07 PM   #1
mckenziehaut
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Default PC to IOS Gaming - Replaying the Games of Our Youth

Hello All. My name is Mckenzie, and I am a huge fan of the 80s, early 90s Dos and abandoned games of yesterdecade. Like many avid gamers I grew up, started a family, developed a career and generally forgot about the amazing stories I played through in my youth. Im currently in a time in my life where Im successful enough to branch off and invest in other fields of business. Being so, Ive given serious thought about considering launching a small gaming company that would start to develop IOS games from old forgotten relics of the past. The problem is, I have absolutely no experience within this field but an abundance of passion. If you have any experience or advice or pointers whatsoever to the following questions please do not hesitate to reply. Thanks All!

1. Apart from the US Copyright Office, where can I research and find exactly who owns the copyrights to some of these older games? Please list links or names of companies if you know them.

2. What games would you PAY for if they were revitalized with new graphic art and gameplay on a modern IOS or Android gaming platform? Which old games do you feel would have the greatest fan base for that were not created and owned by one of the largest game companies still in existence?

3. What game companies do you know of that have brought an old Dos or windows game back to life on the IOS platform?

4. What software out there is made directly for this type of project? Are there development kits or open source code available for creating this type of project? Basically anything apart from having a coder write the IOS compatibility from total scratch?

5. What communities or websites out there connect game programmers, designers and artists with each other in order to give new Indie Companies the ability to start off on the right foot?

6. What type of websites or information is out there fully detailing the cost associated with creating an Indie IOS game or bringing an old one to the platform? As well as resources for distribution?

I fully appreciate any help this community can offer, if you also have pointers about which blogs or forums I could post this topic on to get more questions answered please list that as well. You obviously don't have to answer all the questions, just one would be a blessing.

Last edited by mckenziehaut; 22-03-2013 at 02:09 PM. Reason: Mispelling
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Old 22-03-2013, 05:06 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mckenziehaut View Post
1. Apart from the US Copyright Office, where can I research and find exactly who owns the copyrights to some of these older games?
It's never quite precise, I'm afraid. We tend to collect information from Wikipedia and Mobygames and try to link it together into something comprehensive (see this), but it's never a 100%.
USPTO's trademark registry can provide some information on past and current ownership of associated trademarks, assuming that the owners have registered them and keep renewing them http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?...003:leeoum.1.1
Also, don't forget two caveats:
1. Copyrights and publication rights are two different things. You may find that the publication rights reside with an entirely different company than the copyrights to the game itself.
2. Anything licensed from a pre-existing IP will ALSO require a new license from the IP owners to be ported or remade.

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3. What game companies do you know of that have brought an old Dos or windows game back to life on the IOS platform?
The Logic Factory has done that with Ascendancy. Mobygames shows a larger list of titles: https://www.google.com/search?num=10...om/game/&pws=0

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4. What software out there is made directly for this type of project? Are there development kits or open source code available for creating this type of project? Basically anything apart from having a coder write the IOS compatibility from total scratch?
You're asking about two very different things here.
1. Remaking the games for iOS
2. Running the existing code on iOS

Remaking the games means effectively recreating them from scratch as iOS native applications. Even if you had access to the original source (assuming it survived all those years in the first place), you would still have to port it to the platform in question. The upside is that you would be able to enhance the game content or make changes to it (including adding new features).
Obviously, at that point the question presents itself whether licensing the original is worth anything at all, or would it be easier to make your game a spiritual successor modelled after the original's gameplay but with your own IP, name and content.

Running the existing binaries on iOS is not directly possible. There are ways around that - emulators could be used as basis for "wrappers" around the original programs - DOSPad and iphone-DOSBox for iOS, aDOSBox and ax86 for Android (I'm familiar with ax86 author's previous product, and it seems the emulation code can be licensed from him). Obviously, you will have to license the emulator code, and such ports cannot be enhanced - you're stuck with the way the original game looked and sounded, low-res sprites and all.

Ports that rely on some of the original game's content are somewhere in between the above two.

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5. What communities or websites out there connect game programmers, designers and artists with each other in order to give new Indie Companies the ability to start off on the right foot?
Two I can think of is http://forums.tigsource.com and http://www.gamedev.net
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Old 22-03-2013, 07:32 PM   #3
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When it comes to which games would be most demanded on a mobile platform, it's also about which games can be made work and be fun with the limited (touch) interface of these devices.
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Old 23-03-2013, 02:02 PM   #4
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For what it's worth, I think point and click adventure games translate wonderfully to touch screens The Monkey Island remake for the ipad is a good example.

Prince of Persia is an example of it going wrong.
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Old 24-03-2013, 05:38 AM   #5
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2. What games would you PAY for if they were revitalized with new graphic art and gameplay on a modern IOS or Android gaming platform? Which old games do you feel would have the greatest fan base for that were not created and owned by one of the largest game companies still in existence?
That been done a lot already and it always been an incredibly huge flop in all case.

A game is an entity in itself. If you take something out and replace it with something new then there is absolutely no guarantee that it will be just as good. A lot of people lack common sense in this area.
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