I am new to the world of making games and all. Well its been a few months or so. There are many tutorials that I have been watching. On the way, I made a few games that I saw and made. I am not asking about those. In fact I don't want to publish those games in my name ever. But then there are some small games that I made which are modified version from what I learnt of those games. Like I changed the game-play style, made it simpler and ignored some features from a game. Can I publish them in play store? Or this would be any break of law or something? or Something that I should not do?

  • \$\begingroup\$ You can't copyright an idea, so as long as all the assets and code are your own, you should be fine. \$\endgroup\$ – Pleiades Mar 5 '18 at 5:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ But when following a tutorial closely then most of the code in the game will be from the tutorial (enough for the game itself to be a derivative), check the license of the tutorial \$\endgroup\$ – ratchet freak Mar 5 '18 at 9:33

I am not a lawyer. This is a layman interpretation of copyright law which might be wrong. Also keep in mind that copyright laws might be slightly different in different parts of the world.

When you create an own game based on code from a tutorial, you are creating a derivative work. That means you need the permission of the copyright holder of the tutorial. Check if the author says anything about the software license of the example code. When in doubt, contact the author and ask for a confirmation that you have permission. Most people who post tutorials on the internet actually want to help people to publish their own games. So they are likely to cooperate with you.

However, I can not deny that there might be people who try to trick people into using their code just so they can then sue them. I haven't heard of this yet in the context of programming tutorials, but it would be far from the scummiest abuse of copyright law I have ever heard of. So be careful if you can not get any implicit consent (through license conditions) or explicit consent (through personal permission).

When you are not actually using any code from the tutorial but rather just use the techniques and knowledge from the tutorial to write your own code, then you won't violate copyrights, but you might be violating software patents.

By the way, all code you find on Stack Exchange is licensed under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license. I alternatively make all my personal code contributions on the SE network available under the terms of the WTFPL 2.0 unless stated otherwise.



Is this you? I would recommend any new developer against asset flipping, the market is already saturated with this sort of thing. If you want to release the game, which is similar in style to the tutorial, i would suggest taking significant steps in making the game your own to: 1, avoid any legal repercussions. 2, make it stand out from the rest.


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