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OK to 'steal' someones idea if they are doing a crap job of it?


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#1 DarkRonin   Members   -  Reputation: 604

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 06:00 PM

Is it ok to 'steal' someones idea if they are doing a crap job of it?

 

I came across this RTS game on my Daughters android device the other day.

I love the concept behind it. But, in playing it, I find that it is slow (as I traced the game to be browser based), very buggy, poorly supported, poorly documented (well, no docuementation at all in fact...), no responses at all from the creator of the game in his own forum (the forum also hard to track down), homepage has next to nothing, not even his own game.

The Alpha, turned to Beta yesterday. The olny difference that I could see is that you are now sprayed with advertisments.

This guy has gone, the absolute opposite in the whole project than I would have gone.

Loving the 'idea' but totally frustrated by the handling by the solo developer, I was thining of taking this idea and doing it the 'right' way (my perception of right anyway).

Obviously, it would have to be handled delicately as to not be obvious that the concept is very similar, to avoid any litigation, etc..

 

I am sure my end result would be absolutely different anyway as my intention would not be to make a clone (more 'inspired by'...).

 

What are your thoughts on this?



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#2 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4680

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 06:08 PM

You can make a game inspired from another game. However, you can't rip off sprites, sounds, or make a near-exact replica.
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#3 DarkRonin   Members   -  Reputation: 604

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 06:12 PM

Yep, I certainly wasn't going to rip off any media or be a replica.

 

The original is crashy and unsupported. No way I want to replicate that - LOL.



#4 radioteeth   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 916

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 06:47 PM

Most games, I figure, are just a variant of what's already out there. Consider this game to just be a source of inspiration. Music is the same way. All that matters, for myself personally, is that I am enthused about what I'm working on. So if you're excited about making this game, I'd say you've found yourself a valuable thing, because being able to make something, and having a desire to make it, is something that grows harder and harder to come by over time.



#5 MarkS   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 875

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 06:50 PM

You stated nothing but opinion in the original post. You may be correct, but you also may be criticizing a game made by a new developer or not realizing that what you see as problems are actually features. You don't like it, but that doesn't mean that I wont like it.

 

Put another way, how would you like it if I had poor opinions of a game you worked hard on, and then remade it in my image? Instead of posting subjective opinions of a nameless game on a public board, try discussing your issues with the developer. That really is the whole point of alpha/beta testing.



#6 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 17249

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 06:58 PM

It's ok to be inspired, but it's not ok to simply imitate.

 

Daniel Cook suggests that you should "evolve key innovations" rather than simply copying whole systems en mass.

 

 

So, do you feel that you've been inspired by this game and that there are key elements you could weave into a new and better experience, or would you simply be copying it with a better technical implementation?  Changing all of the graphics, storyline, etc. might make you legally safe, but doesn't necessarily make it morally ok.  You need to decide if your game is really different enough that you're morally in the clear, or alternatively if you care that you aren't.



#7 VReality   Members   -  Reputation: 434

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 08:03 PM

Ever heard of:

  • Windows (plus Word, Excel, Explorer, etc.)
  • iAnything (pod, phone, pad, mac (esp. the mouse interface), etc.)
  • Amazon
  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Id's shareware model
  • Blizzard MMOs and RTSs
  • Riot's free to play model
  • Etc.

Every single one of those were "stolen" ideas. 

 

The question isn't whether or not its ok to "steal" an idea if someone else is executing poorly.  The question is whether or not you can execute well enough to make it worth your trouble to develop it.

 



#8 DarkRonin   Members   -  Reputation: 604

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 10:17 PM

You stated nothing but opinion in the original post. You may be correct, but you also may be criticizing a game made by a new developer or not realizing that what you see as problems are actually features. You don't like it, but that doesn't mean that I wont like it.

 

Put another way, how would you like it if I had poor opinions of a game you worked hard on, and then remade it in my image? Instead of posting subjective opinions of a nameless game on a public board, try discussing your issues with the developer. That really is the whole point of alpha/beta testing.

 

Sure, if you like features that cause your device to reboot, or simply do not work like a 'name change', then you would love it (amongst heaps of other things - all bugs).

 

I have tried to discuss this on his board and am yet to recieve a single reply.

 

The only single reply the developer has ever made to anyone is a single word 'Acknowledged', in the year or two the board has been running.

 

I am probably over reacting by using the word 'steal'. Hehe.

 

My version of the idea would end up completely different (this guy's app would be just a source of initial inspiration to get me started). I have been tapping away at code for years trying to come up with an idea that would keep me entertained enough to actually bring to completion.



#9 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3209

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 01:10 AM

...snip...
 

My version of the idea would end up completely different (this guy's app would be just a source of initial inspiration to get me started). I have been tapping away at code for years trying to come up with an idea that would keep me entertained enough to actually bring to completion.

 

personally, i'd say your in the morally clear then.


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#10 Buster2000   Members   -  Reputation: 1419

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 01:24 AM

It does sound like you are not actually stealing anything.  You have seen an okayish RTS and you want to make a better RTS.  If that was stealing then every RTS since (Dune ?) would have been stolen.



#11 mdwh   Members   -  Reputation: 822

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 07:27 AM

Sure, if you like features that cause your device to reboot, or simply do not work like a 'name change', then you would love it (amongst heaps of other things - all bugs).

 

I have tried to discuss this on his board and am yet to recieve a single reply.

 

The only single reply the developer has ever made to anyone is a single word 'Acknowledged', in the year or two the board has been running.

 

I am probably over reacting by using the word 'steal'. Hehe.

 

My version of the idea would end up completely different (this guy's app would be just a source of initial inspiration to get me started). I have been tapping away at code for years trying to come up with an idea that would keep me entertained enough to actually bring to completion.

 

 

I think it's fine to see something, and decide you can do better.

Though for the original buggy game - remember that what seem like disastrous bugs to a user may be things that a developer has not seen or cannot reproduce, and especially for an individual developer, they may not have access to many devices to test on. A reboot sounds particularly bad, but that also suggests a bug in the OS to allow that to happen. One can't really expect much support at all for free, though I suppose if he's plastered it with ads, it's no longer completely free. But yes, nothing wrong with trying to do better.


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#12 latch   Members   -  Reputation: 632

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 09:11 AM

Must be an INTP. Maybe you would like to reveal the game in question?

 

Perhaps in a PM?

 

I have found a couple RTS's that rock on Android and the rest aggravate me.



#13 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6333

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 12:55 PM

If you couldn't rip off other games, there wouldn't be genres :)

Dune2 started the modern RTS. Everybody swapped the actual units and lore out, but the basic gameplay components have become largely unchanged.

 

My advice: strip the game down to its essence (why you think its good on paper).

Then build a new game from the ground up based around this concept.

Ship it, and make it grow.

Watch and profit!



#14 skytiger   Members   -  Reputation: 258

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 01:57 PM

Pac-Man on XBLA forces you to use your left hand to play, alienating 85% of their potential customers!

 

It would be fun to create an exact copy which forced you to use your right hand ... and win in court!

 

At least Demos mean I don't have to financially support muppets



#15 leeor_net   Members   -  Reputation: 306

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 07:10 PM

'Stealing' an idea is almost meaningless in this context. Everything is a copy of everything else on some level.

 

It's called competition. If one person makes a game/app/whatever, and does a poor job of it (regardless of the reason, be it inexperience, lack of motivation, whatever), and someone else takes the idea and provides a much better implementation, why is that such an issue?

I know I wouldn't like it if someone took my idea like that but I would just have to deal with it. Someone else did a better job than I did, that's my problem, not theirs.

Just my humble opinion.


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#16 conq   Members   -  Reputation: 336

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 10:42 AM

If you couldn't rip off other games, there wouldn't be genres smile.png

Dune2 started the modern RTS. Everybody swapped the actual units and lore out, but the basic gameplay components have become largely unchanged.

 

My advice: strip the game down to its essence (why you think its good on paper).

Then build a new game from the ground up based around this concept.

Ship it, and make it grow.

Watch and profit!

This means war!

 

Did it first. Probably dozens of other homebrew games before it. 



#17 DarkRonin   Members   -  Reputation: 604

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 12:21 AM

Started coding the server side today ;)

 

The challenge is on smile.png


Edited by lonewolff, 08 July 2013 - 12:22 AM.


#18 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8669

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 09:29 AM



My version of the idea would end up completely different (this guy's app would be just a source of initial inspiration to get me started). I have been tapping away at code for years trying to come up with an idea that would keep me entertained enough to actually bring to completion.

 


Started coding the server side today ;)

The challenge is on smile.png

The Business forum is not the right place to post progress reports on your clone or not-exactly-a-clone of the crap guy's idea.  Please post progress reports in Your Announcements.


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Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#19 DarkRonin   Members   -  Reputation: 604

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 04:30 PM

Hi Tom,

 

This wasn't posted in the 'Business Forum', it was posted in 'GDnet Lounge'. If it is now in the business forum, then a moderator put it there.



#20 DarkRonin   Members   -  Reputation: 604

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 04:35 PM

Must be an INTP. Maybe you would like to reveal the game in question?

 

Perhaps in a PM?

 

I have found a couple RTS's that rock on Android and the rest aggravate me.

 

What is an INTP?






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