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How closely can a game resemble another game without legal problems

I want make a game similar to Pocket Tanks but for Android and then sell it. Since I am not directly copying anything from Pocket Tanks, but simply using it to give me ideas, I should be allowed to make it. I don't want to finish making my game and then get into some legal trouble, so I wanted to ask here if its allowed. If this is the wrong place to ask, can you tell me where I could ask this question?

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marked as duplicate by Joe Wreschnig, Tetrad Jan 14 '11 at 18:15

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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You should ask a lawyer. If you desperately want bad legal advice, you can try gamedev.stackexchange.com/questions/1653/…. –  user744 Jan 14 '11 at 18:12
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you search around a bit, you can find a bunch of games that are also much like Pocket Tanks. For instance, just Google "Scorched Earth game".

Find these other games, then determine how they differ from Pocket Tanks. Then, make sure that your game is at least that different.

There's no way to know what kind of legal issues may arise. The best you can do is as much as possible to make your software different.

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Thanks for that... Since Pocket Tanks hasn't been updated in three years, then I guess there shouldn't be much problems. The only thing I wanted to copy was the general idea for the game(tanks shooting at eachother, etc.). –  Neb Jan 14 '11 at 18:19
    
Then I say go for it, and best of luck. –  Nick Vaccaro Jan 14 '11 at 20:10
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