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TIGSource ForumsPlayerGamesblatant clone of a nifflas game on the iphone
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team_q
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« Reply #60 on: January 27, 2010, 06:58:35 PM »

He probably did say "Hey that looks cool, I'ma try to make something like that". So what? It isn't the same game, it doesn't even appear to play the same, there are a couple similar things, but that doesn't mean that it's the same game. He is even releasing it for free!

I don't think anyone is arguing that it might not be derivative, just that it doesn't really matter.
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« Reply #61 on: January 27, 2010, 07:02:01 PM »

@Matt: just wanted to say here how much respect I have for how both you and Edmund handled the Jumper/Meat Boy thing.  That situation really was about two similar games, not near-total cloning like this one.

I honestly can't see how this thread has become a debate about whether or not this is legitimate thing to do, and whether this game should be allowed to be released.

So are there really enough people here that have zero respect for IP rights?  If you create something, doubly so when it's something that you can (and have a right) to profit from, are you saying that you don't care if someone creates a near-identical copy of that?  Even though you gave no permission in any way, and may personally dislike the near-identical project?  IP rights are the reason that EA can't go and make a RunMan game, or a game that looks 99% like RunMan but has a different name.  Tom owns the rights, so EA can't just go and make that game, no matter how successful or unsuccessful it would be for them.  They need Tom's permission, plain and simple.

Yes, they can go make a game that is 75% similar, because although they took a huge amount of inspiration from it, there are still a solid amount of original elements in their game, and they aren't directly infringing on the IP.  The vast majority of games are similar to other games; we're used to that, it's normal, etc.  But when IP is infringed upon almost entirely like this, it really can't be tolerated, or larger companies might just start trying it on for size themselves.

This is what we don't ever want to see happen in the indie game scene: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timbaland_plagiarism_controversy#Background

EDIT: and IP doesn't have a lot to do with gameplay.  Although I think cloning gameplay and creating new visuals is terrible too, IP is more about the story/world/style/etc. of a game.  So even if that hypothetical EA RunMan game didn't have identical gameplay, if everything else about it was near-identical it would still infringe on IP rights.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2010, 07:06:08 PM by GregWS » Logged
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« Reply #62 on: January 27, 2010, 07:08:57 PM »

Eric, I don't see it as being a problem that it is derivative, the problem I see is that it is almost the same. I don't mind developers making derivative games, hell, the majority of games that we play are derivative to some extent or another.

The point is the fact that this would be akin to me making an underwater Metroid-vania game that employs a unique "singing" mechanic with a paper-doll type look to the graphics and then say that it isn't a rip-off of Aquaria.

It is called inspiration if I take what makes those games fun and original and then added in some new spins on those mechanics into my game.

It is a rip-off if I take that game that "inspired" me and then rip not only the gameplay, but the graphics, music and look as well.
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« Reply #63 on: January 27, 2010, 07:15:14 PM »

Thanks for saying exactly what I said, but in much fewer and less-angry words.  Wink

...I think I'm getting too angry about this, but the second I saw it I put myself in nifflas' shoes and felt absolutely terrible, which has really just made me a lot more frustrated/depressed about the whole thing.  Sad
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« Reply #64 on: January 27, 2010, 07:23:28 PM »

It happens very often that two people come up with very similar designs at the same time, generally they have been influenced by something else ( a screenshot, a scene in a movie) so it's not a totally original idea.
In this case however someone probably copied someone else, but how is it a big deal. If the other guy finishes first after copying the concept from nicalis, it will only prove that nicalis sucks/is wasting money.
anyway copying a physics based gimmicky game is not really a huge sin,it happens.
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« Reply #65 on: January 27, 2010, 07:25:38 PM »

I just don't see why this isn't a big deal to some people.

I don't mind playing games that take a good idea and expand upon it but it is ridiculous to say that there was no wrong done in this case.

To me, there isn't any difference between this and the Tumbledrop clone from awhile back. I wouldn't have a problem had the game actually been a slightly different take off of the Night Sky gameplay/mechanics, but to ape the whole look is just dirty.
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« Reply #66 on: January 27, 2010, 07:30:10 PM »

I didn't say there was no wrong, and I can understand it being a big deal for nicalis, it's just not a big deal for me.
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« Reply #67 on: January 27, 2010, 07:43:05 PM »

What worries me more is how everyone is casting judgment without asking this guy about his side of the story.

Also it's a bit of a leap to say that I have no respect for IPs. I probably have more respect than a lot of people. I don't see what the IP being infringed upon here is, though. A rolling ball in a silhouette game? No offense meant, but that sounds like something I'd doodle on a math exam. It's not exactly the most original idea ever. It's like saying that any game involving a ball and a paddle is infringing upon Pong.
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skaldicpoet9
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« Reply #68 on: January 27, 2010, 07:48:14 PM »

Blatant copying of anything annoys me though. I just don't understand why completely rip something like this when if all you wanted to do was make something similar there are much more tasteful (and equally as easy) routes that one could go.

Hell, at the very least he could have utilized the same gameplay and such but completely changed the music and graphics. Why use a little black ball in a silhouetted world? Why not a tropical fruit in a warm, vibrant tropical setting? How about a futuristic bleak, metallic land scape and you navigate a round, saucer type craft?

There is a variety of ways he could have tackled the prospect of taking someone's idea for his own. It just screams laziness that he would utilize the same graphics and music style for the game rather than try to add some flair of originality.

I don't see what the IP being infringed upon here is, though. A rolling ball in a silhouette game?

We aren't talking about the mechanics themselves, rather the look and feel of the game. You can't seriously say the same thing if someone took Mario Brothers and then utilized the same exact color palette and level scheme. Would you just say, "Meh, a plumber that can grow and shrink, bursts blocks and steps on turtle-like creatures heads? Not the most original idea ever."?

It's like saying that any game involving a ball and a paddle is infringing upon Pong.

What if that game employed uncannily similar graphics and music though? Sure the mechanics are the same but as I said before the mechanics are hardly the biggest offense, quite the opposite actually.
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« Reply #69 on: January 27, 2010, 08:00:54 PM »

Would you just say, "Meh, a plumber that can grow and shrink, bursts blocks and steps on turtle-like creatures heads? Not the most original idea ever."?

How high are you? That's a really dumb-sounding idea and I'm surprised a good game came out of it. Hats off to Miyamoto for succeeding with a really weird idea.

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What if that game employed uncannily similar graphics and music though? Sure the mechanics are the same but as I said before the mechanics are hardly the biggest offense, quite the opposite actually.

Come on guys, let's go beat down Mr Podunkian's door.
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« Reply #70 on: January 27, 2010, 08:04:04 PM »

Come on guys, let's go beat down Mr Podunkian's door.

Sure, if Mr. Podunkian had made the protagonist a amnesiac robot fighting through a series of cave complexes looking for small, rabbit-like creatures, then maybe your sarcasm would have a point.
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« Reply #71 on: January 27, 2010, 08:04:58 PM »

But guys, everything else about the game is the same! We can't let this injustice continue!
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« Reply #72 on: January 27, 2010, 08:16:36 PM »

If a person decides to try a clone first and finds the game to be of poor quality, then the original may be brushed with the same 'junk game' brush as the clone.  This is especially true if the two are so similar in appearance that they are often mistaken one for the other.  If an emulated game appears to be so similar to the original then consumers may have to ask themselves "Why would I want to pay for the original, when there is essentially a free version of it available?"  Obviously a similar games can effect sales and image of each other, just look at Grid Wars and Geometry Wars (both Ive heard are good games), and how seriously corporations (i.e. Nintendo) takes re-makes and fan-sequels of their games.

Also, the defense that 'Well they are on different platforms' doesn't really work well in this day and age.  Perhaps the publishers of NightSky would like to port it to other Platforms depending on it's success of it's official release.  As we have seen in the industry, this is not an uncommon practice.

Scientific research builds on itself and makes HEAVY use of peer review.  This is VERY important in the scientific community.  However the commercial applications of this knowledge is very often patentable and therefore profitable.  If you develop something unique, and somebody makes a cheap/free rip off after examining your work and claims it as their own, this is often known as stealing and/or plagiarism (see Robert Kearns).  I do not believe that plagiarizing will benefit developers or the community in the long run.

It is expected that games will inspire development of other games.  Zelda's 'Save Feature', Wolfenstein's 'First Person View', Mario 64 '3D Platformer', Super Mario Bros' 'Platformer', Tetris 'Falling Puzzle Blocks', Golden Eye's 'Multi-Player' etc have inspired many games.  However there is a big difference between inspiring and emulating/coping.

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Average people talk about things.
Small people talk about other people."
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Also it's a bit of a leap to say that I have no respect for IPs. I probably have more respect than a lot of people. I don't see what the IP being infringed upon here is, though. A rolling ball in a silhouette game? No offense meant, but that sounds like something I'd doodle on a math exam. It's not exactly the most original idea ever. It's like saying that any game involving a ball and a paddle is infringing upon Pong.
But any game with two paddles on opposite sides of a field with the same scoring rules, same game mechanics, similar controls, ball motion, each paddle controlled by a different player, similar SFX, same user Interface, same 1-bit low-fi art style is pong.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2010, 08:22:54 PM by BigLon » Logged

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« Reply #73 on: January 27, 2010, 08:26:25 PM »

Shade, stop being so sarcastic and just argue your damn point straight like a man.

Come on guys, let's go beat down Mr Podunkian's door.

And stop bringing up The Underside like it proves something.  Even Arthur doesn't like getting ripped off:

http://www.indiegames.com/blog/2008/01/freeware_game_pick_evereternal_winterworld_.html

What does that tell you?  It tells you that no one on God's Green Earth likes getting ripped off.  It feels terrible.

I didn't say there was no wrong, and I can understand it being a big deal for nicalis, it's just not a big deal for me.

moi is the only one defending Grundle who's worthy enough to admit the true nature of his feelings. Hand ClapLips Sealed
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« Reply #74 on: January 27, 2010, 08:51:32 PM »

But any game with two paddles on opposite sides of a field with the same scoring rules, same game mechanics, similar controls, ball motion, each paddle controlled by a different player, similar SFX, same user Interface, same 1-bit low-fi art style is pong.

Shade, stop being so sarcastic and just argue your damn point straight like a man.

Hey now, let's not get sexist.

So let's go through the list for Trundle and Night Sky:

Game mechanics? Somewhat. There is a ball and it rolls. Unknown how death is handled in Night Sky, therefor that part seems to be fairly unique.

Controls? No. Night Sky uses some wii control, I assume. Trundle uses touch controls.

Ball motion? Aside from the fact that it rolls, no. Jumping does not seem possible in Night Sky and it does not appear grabbing is possible in Trundle.

Sound effects? No. Trundle's ball does not have the same hard sound as Night Sky's, and Trundle has birds cawing in the background while Night Sky has wind whistling.

Music? No. Night Sky's music is more up-beat while Trundle's is somewhat foreboding. Trundle uses piano and synthesized instruments, Night Sky uses acoustic guitar.

Graphics? Mostly. Both use a silhouette style. Rolling ball with a blue glow in it. Similar design in grass and plants. Background has a gradient. Differences include: Animal movement in background, higher saturation, blue pattern under ball on some platforms. Trundle has higher mountain ranges in background; takes up about 40% of the screen, as opposed to the 20% seen in one part of Night Sky. Windmills and levers look very different between the two.

So it uses a similar visual style, and is about a ball that rolls. That's about it.

So where's Mr Podunkian? We need to go castrate him for his game about a running guy with a gun who shoots stuff in a visual style similar to Cave Story.

And stop bringing up The Underside like it proves something.  Even Arthur doesn't like getting ripped off:

http://www.indiegames.com/blog/2008/01/freeware_game_pick_evereternal_winterworld_.html

What does that tell you?  It tells you that no one on God's Green Earth likes getting ripped off.  It feels terrible.

Well, that game looks only a little like The Underside from what you linked there. I mean, there are tiles and parallaxed scrolling, which is hardly original. The character style does look identical, I'll grant. Apparently there's some fries or something in there?

Yeah, of course nobody likes getting ripped off. I'm not arguing that. I'm not saying that an apology may not be in order, if nifflas actually is being bothered by this. I'm saying that it's not right to go all pitchforks & torches on this guy because of what may be a bad coincidence. Once again, has anyone asked this guy to come in? I don't want to bother him because I don't see a problem, but anyone taking issue should confront him instead of plotting his downfall from behind his back. We want to be a friendly community to indies, but how can we be if we instantly jump to the defence of our favourites without giving a second thought to the struggling newcomers who may have simply made a mistake.

I think the biggest moral dilemma here is how we decide who is guilty: Do we do it from evidence and digging up the truth, or by picking who we like best?

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« Reply #75 on: January 27, 2010, 09:10:41 PM »

So maybe he did rip it off. There's still no problem. He's in an entirely different market, there's some very obvious differences, the pricing is different, the levels are different... seems like there's a lot of differences. I don't see why, even if they are similar, they can't coexist.

Just because it's being released on a different platform, that doesn't mean that it isn't going to hurt Night Sky's sales. What if Nicalis wanted to port Night Sky over to iPhone once it had been released on the Wii for a while? The clone would already be entrenched in that market, siphoning off would-be purchasers. There's also probably some market overlap (i.e. some people who own a Wii also own an iPhone), which means the games could be competing indirectly with one another.

As for why the two games can't coexist: well, they can if Nicalis chooses not to take any action. But it's their right to protect their work against unauthorized copying.
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« Reply #76 on: January 27, 2010, 09:22:05 PM »

Game mechanics? Somewhat. There is a ball and it rolls. Unknown how death is handled in Night Sky, therefor that part seems to be fairly unique.

Controls? No. Night Sky uses some wii control, I assume. Trundle uses touch controls.

Ball motion? Aside from the fact that it rolls, no. Jumping does not seem possible in Night Sky and it does not appear grabbing is possible in Trundle.

Sound effects? No. Trundle's ball does not have the same hard sound as Night Sky's, and Trundle has birds cawing in the background while Night Sky has wind whistling.

Music? No. Night Sky's music is more up-beat while Trundle's is somewhat foreboding. Trundle uses piano and synthesized instruments, Night Sky uses acoustic guitar.

Graphics? Mostly. Both use a silhouette style. Rolling ball with a blue glow in it. Similar design in grass and plants. Background has a gradient. Differences include: Animal movement in background, higher saturation, blue pattern under ball on some platforms. Trundle has higher mountain ranges in background; takes up about 40% of the screen, as opposed to the 20% seen in one part of Night Sky. Windmills and levers look very different between the two.

I like how Night Sky isn't even out yet but you are making detailed comparisons using it. Just because the respective trailers don't show jumping in one game or grabbing in the other doesn't mean both mechanics aren't present somewhere in the full game. Same with the sound effect and music comparisons.

There are more similarities than there are differences, and people have been successfully sued over more differences than there are between Night Sky and Trundle.
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« Reply #77 on: January 27, 2010, 09:36:53 PM »

Well what are you working off of? Some secret development version of Night Sky and an actual copy of Trundle? Jesus, I'm just working with what you gave me. I'm not on the Night Sky dev team nor have I heard of the game before this issue, and I don't have an iPhone/Pod/whatever. Besides, if these are the only details available, then that just cements my point because Trundle could only have copied from what I've listed. That just means that Night Sky will be even more different in the final version. And as I've pointed out, there aren't even a lot of similarities based on what you've (collectively) shown me. (In terms of amount, not percentage-wise. See the next paragraph.)

Now, of course there's more similarities than differences, percentage-wise. We're dealing with (from what I've seen) an immensely simple game concept. Without there being a ton more content like an in-depth storyline, it's hard to make the concept stand out as being different. If you look at the parts which aren't part of the main concept (ball rolls around) the differences and similarities are maybe 50-50. So that looks suspiciously like a coincidence to me.

And yeah, nifflas may have legal ground. I'd dare to say that some sort of penalty should be awarded for the graphics, maybe forcing a change or face penalties. But I wouldn't all-out sue the guy immediately. If the two talk to eachother maybe they can work something out. I don't know. I'm not nifflas and I'm not this other guy. I'm just saying that for the differences there are, it seems wrong to destroy this creation. Alter it? Sure. Remove it if it turns out there was explicit and intended stealing of IP? Sure, I guess, nifflas has the right in that case and I wouldn't blame him. Class-action lawsuit because we don't like the cut of his jib? Hell no.
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« Reply #78 on: January 27, 2010, 09:43:21 PM »

Incidentally Nifflas doesn't control the decision of whether or not to sue since Nicalis owns Night Sky.
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« Reply #79 on: January 27, 2010, 10:22:00 PM »

I must admit that I find the idea of someone ripping off Nifflas and getting away with it unsettling...



But not NEARLY as unsettling as the idea of some guy playing WaDF and seeing the teaser for Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, getting inspired, and getting ruined by the entire tigforums for having the sheer gall to actually make an independent game based on that inspiration. Why, that's downright fucking disturbing.
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