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So I have been working on my game for a while now. And I now I have other people contributing to the project. I fear that someone will tell their friends and/or family then my 'great' idea is lost.

So my question is should I wait and get a NDA ( Non Disclosure Agreement) or some other form of legal document that tells everyone one the project or who has ever worked on the project to be quite until its release?

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Idea's are worth squat – Brendan Aug 2 '12 at 18:33
A NDA is more to A) protect the exact design rather then the ideas themselves or B) to have control about what informations are made public early and which not. – API-Beast Aug 3 '12 at 22:59
See The Worth(lessness) of NDAs. TO sum: 1) NDA is worthless if you're not $$$$willing to enforce it (thousands of dollars in legal fees). The time is better spent actually finishing the game instead. 2) Execution: who cares who's talking about something that doesn't exist yet. – bobobobo Apr 23 '13 at 4:48

An idea itself rarely worths anything, unless you have at least a design plan that covers most aspects of the game. Your idea will leak anyways - and as long as only family and friends hear about it, you have nothing to fear. I mean, how many game development team leaders do you have in your family?

What you should have though, is some license to protect your source code and other assets. Look up GPL, and the various open source licenses, see how they work, how they're written. You can copy and modify these licenses, just make sure to consult a lawyer if you want a customized license.

As for an NDA, I think you can write (copy) your own from an job contract, or similar example which can be found online. Just make sure it covers everything you want to protect, and that two witnesses also sign it.

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Ideas are easy to come by, execution is another thing. – DogDog Aug 2 '12 at 13:41
-1 for "write your own NDA". Might as well tell lawyers to program their own word processor if you want to cross highly complex skillets between unrelated professions. :) – Sean Middleditch Aug 2 '12 at 16:49
I have signed an NDA at the company where I'm working now. It was about 5 quite general sentences, probably taken from some kind of "template". You don't have to be a lawyer (or pay 200$ to a lawyer) to copy those 5 sentences, replacing the company's name and the company's product's name. Anyways, I'll edit the post to make it more clear. – Marton Aug 2 '12 at 18:00
@dereke Successful, proved ideas are precious and worth stealing (copying). But as long as he doesn't have anything built around an idea, it's just that... an idea, one of the billions born every day. – Marton Aug 3 '12 at 6:26
Nobody steals ideas, they steal implementation details that makes the idea a success. – Oskar Duveborn Aug 4 '12 at 23:16

The harsh truth is that ideas are worthless. I am not trying to be condescending, as I myself was once protective of my ideas. If they were worth something, there would be a market for them. Have you ever heard of someone purchasing an idea before?* No matter how great you think your idea is, the human race is very large and very creative, and your idea has probably already been thought up 10 times, and if it is any good there are probably implementations of it in the works that you don't even know about yet. The best thing you can do is spread your idea as far as possible - this will test for traction, give you valuable feedback, and potentially gain you some support. Its very unlikely that anyone will try to steal your idea, because every person is more interested in their own "great" ideas.

*(Note, intellectual property is an entirely different thing. IP is worth something because it has a mindshare, and previous implementations that have built up this mindshare).

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