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lonewolff

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

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lonewolff    1182

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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deftware    1778

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.

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MarkS    3502

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.

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jbadams    25676

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.

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vreality    436

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.

 

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lonewolff    1182

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.

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slicer4ever    6760

...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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Buster2000    4310

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.

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mdwh    1108

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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latch    949

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.

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Orymus3    18821

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!

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skytiger    294

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

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leeor_net    343

'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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conq    735

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. 

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Tom Sloper    16040



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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lonewolff    1182

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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TheChubu    9452

Its perfectly fine. Why do you think there are so many Minecraft clones around?

 

/sarcasm

 

Though I agree, its like "I might be stealing Wolfenstein 3D's ideas, my game will have weapons and it will be played in first person!"

 

I'm against clones in the sense of those games that only strive to get to the sample place exactly the same way as another game. That's a rip off. But honestly, who never thought "Hey, I like this game and I know how to make it better!" ?. I'd say that most game ideas (or ideas in general) begin with that instead of coming up with a game idea out of the void.

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Tom Sloper    16040


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.

 

Yes, because you asked a question about the law, so this is where it needed to be asked and answered.

 


What is an INTP?

 

http://personalityjunkie.com/08/intj-vs-intp-type-differences/

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LorenzoGatti    4442
 

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!

 
Keep the essence, at the game mechanics level, but ensure you strip away all the distinctive elements that someone could sue about: names, plot, user interface layout, etc.
Don't let your game be recognizable as a clone of their game, because shoddy workmanship is sadly correlated with a tendency to compensate for lack of success with litigation attempts; don't tempt people you should presume to be dangerous and unreasonable.

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