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I very recently started going through game development tutorials and I was thinking of trying to mimic a game I know as closely as possibly just to see if I can do it as a first project.

I wouldn't at all be wanting to sell this game but would I be able to show this in some kind of online portfolio so long as I mention that none of the assets are mine and give credits to the relevant companies/people?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Please notice, that if someone answers to you, It might not be lawyer nor anykind of law practicer. From what I understand, art of the games are copyrighted and you cannot use them unless you have granted permission to do so. Someone has paid money to get certain assets to their game and might not be pleased, if someone is using them on their own. \$\endgroup\$ – Katu Feb 13 '16 at 13:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why copy copyrighted art assets when there are sites like opengameart.org which provide free resources under a multitude of freeware compatible licenses? Most just require you to put the artists name in the credits. \$\endgroup\$ – Exilyth Feb 19 '16 at 14:52
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It depends on the license under which the assets have been released. Most of the time you just put "xxx asset is being used under YYY License" and refer to the source. Typically when you download assets from an online source there will be LICENSE.txt attached. If there is no such file, next thing would be to contact the person who did the tutorials. If all of the above fails, considering these assets have been used in the tutorial to be followed and recreated, your approach should be fine. (Please note that this answer is not legal advice)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the answer. If what I was copying wasn't a tutorial and was an actual purchasable game (such as games on steam) would this approach still be fine (with possibly asking the owner for permission?) \$\endgroup\$ – Blinx Feb 13 '16 at 12:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you dont have permission to use, either by license ( that specifically permits the usage ) or written permission from author, then you don't have the permission to use. Copyright is automatic, when it comes to pictures, images, art etc and just stating that it belongs to someone, is not enought. \$\endgroup\$ – Katu Feb 13 '16 at 13:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ Then the answer is no. When a game is released and it is not open source (including assets), the assets become part of game's intellectual property. So unless you have a written document where the owner specifically states that the assets can be used in your particular game, you cannot use the assets. Another case is when the game has been made open source and the assets have been released into public domain. If that is the case everyone is allowed to use the assets, but again in accordance with the license under which the assets have been released \$\endgroup\$ – AlmasB Feb 13 '16 at 13:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for all the answers. Just to clarify another quick point. Is it necessarily a good thing to show that I've tried to recreate a game just from observing it (using different assets). I understand if this is a bit off topic \$\endgroup\$ – Blinx Feb 13 '16 at 15:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Blinx Myself, when evaluating someone's portfolio, I prefer to see original creations. Replicating something that exists is a technical challenge, but it doesn't tell me anything about the person's ability to solve new problems or find their own way. Very rarely in games are we just working to the letter of a spec or duplicating a target 1:1, so knowing the person can create something cool & fun from their own head tells me a lot more about how they'll contribute to a development team. \$\endgroup\$ – DMGregory Feb 13 '16 at 17:18

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