Magnus Andersson
Sweden
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Hello folks,
I have found a new way to waste my spare time; by creating online versions of my favorite board games. Yes, I know that many games can be played on yucata.de and brettspielwelt.de and similar sites. But I want to make my own versions for mainly three reasons:

1) I can practice some graphics and client-server programming.
2) I can make fast hi-res versions with never-seen-before animations. Yay!
3) I want to add bot players with some decent intelligence so I can play 3-6 player games with my girlfriend when there is no other in our house.

The games will be played in a client application that the player runs on his computer. It will hopefully make them faster and prettier than the web based alternatives.

Now to my problem: I need hi-res images of all tiles, cards and boards in the games. Rio Grande Games have pdf rules for all their games and I could copy the images from them, but they are generally too low-res for my taste. I don't own a scanner but I guess I could take photos with a digital camera, but I'm afraid the colors, light and angles will be different and it will probably take ages to fix that in Photoshop.

So, if you have a complete collection of images of all stuff in any of my favorite games, have attached it a mail but don't know where to send it yet; send it to me.

By the way, can I run into some legal issues if I play these online games with my friends who don't own a copy of the real board game?
 
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Daniel Danzer
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First of all: Ask the publishers before using their copyrighted material.
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Wim van Gruisen
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Yeah, the best way is to contact the publishers. Since you have to contact them anyway to ask for their permission to put their game on-line and to use high-res art, you might as well ask them for the high-res art files themselves.
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Walt
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Publishers seem to be usually open to this kind of thing. If they agree, then they might give you their art files, but you could also (with permission) scan them.

You might want to look at:
SoftBoard Games: Free, Commercial, and Abandoned Computer Version of Board, Card and Role-Playing Games with Computer AI (Artificial Intelligence) Opponents with Screen Shots

Maybe someone can point to a similar list for online games.
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Mayfield
United States
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if this is for your personal use or for sharing with friends don't bother contacting the publisher/designer - just do it. or if you contact them and they so no then do it anyway. technically it would be illegal but unless you are making it widely available they're not going care or will ever find out about it any way.

if you need a scanner you could pick up one used or from a thrift shop. for some reason thrift shops seem to have lots of scanners.
 
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Walt
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mayfield703 wrote:
if this is for your personal use or for sharing with friends don't bother contacting the publisher/designer - just do it. or if you contact them and they so no then do it anyway. technically it would be illegal but unless you are making it widely available they're not going care or will ever find out about it any way.

The danger is, if one person posts it somewhere, it can get all over the internet.

mayfield703 wrote:
if you need a scanner you could pick up one used or from a thrift shop. for some reason thrift shops seem to have lots of scanners.

Replaced by printer-copiers with built in scanners.
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Magnus Andersson
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I have contacted two publishers (Rio Grande Games and Fantasy Flight Games) and asked for their permissions and if they have the art available.

I agree with you Art - it's just for personal use among my friends and no publisher will ever find our online games. I contacted them mainly for the naive hope that they would give me hi-res versions of their art. I don't think they will, but hope is the last thing that dies in man.

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B C Z
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mayfield703 wrote:
if you contact them and they so no then do it anyway.


How much do you charge for your legal advice and if the OP is sued, are you paying his court costs?
 
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Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
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mayfield703 wrote:
if this is for your personal use or for sharing with friends don't bother contacting the publisher/designer - just do it. or if you contact them and they so no then do it anyway. technically it would be illegal but unless you are making it widely available they're not going care or will ever find out about it any way.

if you need a scanner you could pick up one used or from a thrift shop. for some reason thrift shops seem to have lots of scanners.


[Meatwad voice:] Yeah, man! Just do it! Go ahead, man, DO IT! No one's gonna care. Do it! What's holdin' you back, dude? Why you waitin'? You scared? C'mon man! JUST DO IT!

"Shooot, man! What you go an do THAT for? I didn't tell YOU to do THAT! You crazy! "Meatwad said DO IT!" I didn't tell you to do JACK!
 
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McDog
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byronczimmer wrote:
mayfield703 wrote:
if you contact them and they so no then do it anyway.


How much do you charge for your legal advice and if the OP is sued, are you paying his court costs?




If they never get a whiff of it how exactly would he have any court costs? Well?

 
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Northern Rommel
Canada
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Magnus perhaps you would be better to find one of the many online game developers that has a boardgame they want to computerize, and hammer out an agreement with them. That way it would be legal, good on your resume, and might even give you some added income if you become established at it.

Just put a up a different thread on the other groups advertising your services and intent.

There are many on here that have not a notion where to begin with the computer side of things, and some even consider HTML to be "programming" :-) Doing a game that can be run on computer and played out of hand is a selling point some others would pursue.

That would still allow you to learn as well as set yourself up with a portfolio for future career choices.

my 2 cents.
 
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Magnus Andersson
Sweden
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A short follow-up to this thread: I have started working on a computer version of Stone Age. I know that this game already is available on yucata.de and brettspielwelt.info, but this version will (hopefully) have AI as well.

This is an early version of the interface:


As you notice the civilization cards are missing from the screenshot. The reason is that I don't own a scanner. I have tried to take photos of them with my digital camera, but have not been satisfied with the results. I have asked Rio Grande Games if they can send me images of the cards, but I haven't got any reply yet.

I found scans of the board and the building tiles among the images here at boardgamegeek.com. Thanks to the uploaders!

I have modeled the meeples in 3D Studio Max. The game is written in Qt, which a great library for graphics applications, and will work on both Windows, Mac and Linux.

If the game turns out to be a good as I hope it will be, I will try to make it publicly available (and start working on the next game )
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McDog
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Looks really nice. I sure hope they can help you out with the graphics and approve of your project. I'd love to get a copy when it is finished. It's a game I own and really enjoy playing.
 
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