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Old 03-05-2014, 03:09 AM
NAFNA GAMES NAFNA GAMES is offline
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Default an ORIGINAL CLONE (!·$%&?)

One of the reasons that made me want to be a game developer is the constant dealing with the issue of CREATIVITY and its origins. i think this is an issue game developers must openly debate!

if we are truly born with empty minds, any thing we produce in life, must come from an observation we have earlier made … so what are the limitations of Originality?

a quote from management thinker Laurence Johnston Peter: “Originality is the fine art of remembering what you hear but forgetting where you heard it.”

FLAPPY BIRD has 1001 "clones" or are they actually FLAPPY BIRD inspired games?
and what about this video we made (using the fantastic Little Inferno) is it copy? is it tribute?


Youtube link | Pop Up


what is Original? what is a Clone? Copy? influence? tribute? reference?

and what about these items we use in the background of coming title Asslay Gore? (TA forum thread)





does it matter that we recognize the fact that they are "copy"? does that make them less of a "copy"?

and you? do you copy? do you recognize influence? are you original? can anyone be original?

this debate may have no influence what so ever on the app charts, but it may enrich, only if just a bit, the people that participate in it, please share your thoughts with us.

thank you, all the best,

nadav

(p.s. on a side note: i am encouraged to post this thread after an earlier thread on a design dilemma we had, resulted in excellent support and feedback by the TA community!)
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  #2  
Old 03-05-2014, 09:14 AM
Justinq21 Justinq21 is offline
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According to Pocketgamer, a new Flappy Clone is added to the App Store every 24 minutes. There is nothing respectable about that and there is nothing original or creative about these clones. It's the same game with a different skin.

When it comes to creativity there are 3 types of games:

1. Original Games: Minecraft, Angry birds, Cut the Rope, Infinity Blade, The Walking Dead. These are all games that brought new ideas and gameplay that hasn't been done before. They may have small hints of inspiration from other games but the core game is original. In my opinion, very respectable.

2. Games Inspired by Other Games: Oceanhorn, Dead Trigger, Real Racing, Plants vs Zombies. These are games that don't really bring anything new gameplay wise, but they are original in their own way. Both Dead Trigger and Nova were obviously inspired by other FPS's (Halo, Doom, CoD) but they both have interesting stories, gameplay, and level design that make them both worth playing. Oceanhorn was obviously inspired by Zelda Wind Waker but it has plenty of original elements. If you look around, most games are inspired by others while adding new elements on top. The fantastic Dishonored took inspiration from the original Thief series but it added its own elements to make it unique. I willingly admit that I looked at other games for inspiration in the process of making my own game, but the core game is 100% my idea. In my opinion, these games are still very respectable.

3: Copy Cats: Flappy Fish, Flappy Duck, Flappy Chick. If you played one you played them all. For every original, unique game that hits the App Store, you have a flood of copy cat games. Unlike inspired games, copy games don't require any creativity or originality. It's a matter of looking through the top downloaded apps, picking one you like and creating the exact same game with a slightly different skin. Copy cat games are one of the main reasons for the freemium trend. How can a premium game compete with a free game that looks and plays exactly the same? I put most of the blame right back on Apple. The app review process should really require some degree of originality. It sucks that there have been plenty of fantastic original games that have been drowned and forgotten in the wake of flappy bird clones. Being an indie developer is already hard, these games are not making it any easier. In my opinion, these games are not respectable at all.

In order for the mobile game market to be taken seriously, the cloning has got to stop.
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:15 AM
NAFNA GAMES NAFNA GAMES is offline
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Justinq21,

wow what an answer! thank you ... i don't know about angry birds, but from what you said i will take in mind a very good tool: ill ask myself and friends have you:"If you played one you played them all" ... to determine some level or none of originality. i hope our coming title, im actually sure, falls in a good space between category 1 and 2!

be good, no more flappy 4m.

Last edited by NAFNA GAMES; 03-05-2014 at 10:16 AM.. Reason: spelling mistake
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Old 03-05-2014, 12:49 PM
dancj dancj is offline
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I can't agree with your categorisations. The Walking Dead is simply a well done piece of interactive fiction they've been around for years and Angry Birds is a copy of a game (Crush the Castle IIRC) albeit a better copy.

PVZ on the other hand seems quite original to me. Sure it takes some elements from Tower Defense games, but it is very different from the ones that preceded it. I'd certainly consider it more original than Angry Birds or The Walking Dead.
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:56 AM
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expleo expleo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dancj View Post

PVZ on the other hand seems quite original to me. Sure it takes some elements from Tower Defense games, but it is very different from the ones that preceded it..
I'm willing to bet a lot of money that PVZ creators have read this blog:

http://www.squidi.net/three/entry.php?id=17

Idea posted in 2007
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Old 03-07-2014, 02:12 PM
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MindJuice MindJuice is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justinq21 View Post
1. Original Games: Minecraft, Angry birds, Cut the Rope, Infinity Blade, The Walking Dead.
Minecraft is heavily "inspired by" Infiniminer. Notch admits this: http://notch.tumblr.com/post/2279220...s-of-minecraft

Angry Birds is not original as others mentioned (Crush the Castle). What's interesting is that you perceive it as original since you may not have known about the previous games. This is very common.

It's hard to believe, but there are people who think that Flappy Bird was original!

Infinity Blade could be described as a rail shooter with Fruit Ninja swiping.

I am not aware of what games Cut the Rope might be inspired by, but I bet there are some. There were certainly physics games before it.

I haven't seen or played Walking Dead, so I can't speak to that.

I think 99.9% of games can be described as "It's like game X, but with Y." or "It's like game X combined with game Y."

Sure, each one adds various sort of original bits, but they are all remixes of concepts that have been done many times before.
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Old 03-07-2014, 06:00 PM
Justinq21 Justinq21 is offline
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You guys make some good points. It seems that there are many games that appear original but were actually inspired by other games. Either way, I still find those games respectable.The games that are downright clones is what I have a problem with.

If video games are a form of art then the flappy clones and other copy cats would be the equivalent of tracing.
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:53 AM
OnlyJoe OnlyJoe is offline
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It is not a new problem the cloning issue. Go back to flash games and there was exactly the same thing happening. You can't just stop cloning, it is more the setup of how the app store works. I don't believe that Apple should act as some kind of authority over what is a good game or not. Thats not really their place.
What they can do is setup the app store in a smarter way that it allows the community to govern what is good or not. Much like something like newgrounds, or even steam now with their green light system.
The app store in its current state gives little space for creativity. Basically at the moment if you don't get featured you just get lost, and I am pretty sure that being featured is based highly on how many downloads you get. Thus if you create a really good game it can still easily get lost. This creates a very high risk for developers making games. So put in the situation of spending a few months to make an amazing game that might just get lost, or spend a day to make a flappy bird clone which has already been shown to be very liked, it doesn't take a genius to decide which to make.
If the App store was done in such a way that the community had a greater say over the success of a game, things like flappy bird clones would just get voted down. And actual good games get rated up. Even rating games on the app store is hard to do, and there is no real reward gained for doing so. You can't even order games by rating in the app store. So it really doesn't support a community.

So I think apple needs a smarter way to deal with this kind of problem, not just banning clones.
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Old 03-09-2014, 03:41 PM
Destined Destined is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OnlyJoe View Post
It is not a new problem the cloning issue. Go back to flash games and there was exactly the same thing happening. You can't just stop cloning, it is more the setup of how the app store works. I don't believe that Apple should act as some kind of authority over what is a good game or not. Thats not really their place.
What they can do is setup the app store in a smarter way that it allows the community to govern what is good or not. Much like something like newgrounds, or even steam now with their green light system.
The app store in its current state gives little space for creativity. Basically at the moment if you don't get featured you just get lost, and I am pretty sure that being featured is based highly on how many downloads you get. Thus if you create a really good game it can still easily get lost. This creates a very high risk for developers making games. So put in the situation of spending a few months to make an amazing game that might just get lost, or spend a day to make a flappy bird clone which has already been shown to be very liked, it doesn't take a genius to decide which to make.
If the App store was done in such a way that the community had a greater say over the success of a game, things like flappy bird clones would just get voted down. And actual good games get rated up. Even rating games on the app store is hard to do, and there is no real reward gained for doing so. You can't even order games by rating in the app store. So it really doesn't support a community.

So I think apple needs a smarter way to deal with this kind of problem, not just banning clones.
The community has a say. By purchasing/downloading as well as a rating system. The community is the consumers.

I see this suggested a lot I think by developers that believe(maybe rightly so) that if people saw their game it would be more popular. The fact is this system is already in place and number of downloads will always be the major factor because app stores want to show you apps which people download a lot because you might download it too.

If this is a problem for you there is nothing to stop people making a site which reorders them based on their small sub community.
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Old 03-09-2014, 04:37 PM
BlindAlbino BlindAlbino is offline
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Hello friends!

I love this topic, and I'm pleased to see it whenever it springs up here in these dev communities. It's true that consumers have their say, but do consumers always guide what is best for their own marketplaces? I don't think it's a simple answer, for they are relying upon guiding forces to show them the way, and if their own aimless evolution is the guide they are relying upon, might they just wander in endless circles?

Regarding the issues of cloning, homage, creativity, etc, as an artist I view this topic as a conversation taking place in the communal zeitgeist. If you are adding something, or commenting on something referenced in your project, whatever that may be, you are not copying or cloning, you are contributing to that larger conversation. Someone makes a point, you respond in that conversation by building upon what was just said. If you are simply restating someone else's commentary, you are not really creating anything, you are (to be a bit dramatic about it,) plagiarizing. So again, no real simple answer to address this issue. But these conversations are very important to have, since they do make their way into the efforts of the creators, maybe (as in this context) evoking rapid change throughout the dev communities, maybe only slowly instigating subtle change over time, etc. We as devs/creators do have a responsibility for what we put forth into the pool, whether we respect that responsibility or abuse it to chase rewards.

The only "truth" I ever come up with for myself when pondering this topic (whether with my fine art, or here in the game dev genre,) is this:

Whatever is going on in this conversation, I can't control what other are saying, but I can try my best to contribute something of substance to the dialogue, something I can be proud of, and hopefully I will earn the respect of my peers in time.

In my humble experience, some reward can come quickly through tricks and gimmicks, but the true, lasting rewards come from earning a respected place among the supportive communities that you yourself regard as worthy. And from that noble perch you will be supported/rewarded much further than you would have been had you gone for the quick buck initially.

You have all made such great points here, and I thank you all for having this conversation! Don't be surprised if you see me shooting out random "friend requests" over the coming days...
:-)
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