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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperBusinessCloning
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LtJax
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« on: February 21, 2009, 08:31:24 AM »

Hello,

Me and a friend are currently toying with the idea of starting our own little indie game business. Of course we have a concept for our first big game, but we felt that it might take a little long to get that one out.
So I had the idea of basically cloning a Tetris-style game with XNA and getting that out first for a relatively low price tag, just to get the cash-flow going or at least have a released title on our list. On one hand I feel like selling out even by thinking of that, on the other hand, it is a game that is very dear to me - in fact I might have been addicted to it at one time. The plan is not to just rip-off the idea for money, but produce a faithful high quality implementation of it. I also have some ideas on how to extend on the game mechanics, mostly by adding cool multiplayer stuff.
My understanding is that I must not copy titles or any "content" but that I'm free to mimic the game mechanics. Now I'm unsure about this, because for a tetris-style game, the gameplay mechanics are really all there is to it...
Do you guys think it is ethically and legally good to make a clone/remake/reimagining/what-ever-you-want-to-call-it of such a game for mostly related business reasons?
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jeb
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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2009, 10:08:40 AM »

I'd suggest you clone something else than Tetris, since the Tetris Holdings LCC's only purpose these days is to hunt and shut down clones. Maybe a Zuma (yeah I know it's not *the* original, but I can't remember the name of the real one) or a match-3 clone is a better idea?
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ஒழுக்கின்மை (Paul Eres)
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2009, 10:18:48 AM »

Puzz Loop
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jeb
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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2009, 12:59:38 PM »

Puzz Loop

Thanks  Grin
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LtJax
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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2009, 01:34:05 PM »

Well, it's only really Tetris-style in the way that Half-Life is Quake-style. Anyways, I just found out there is actually already a clone of this for the 360 that I didn't find at first. Oh well, I'm about one year late it seems.
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Alec
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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2009, 01:39:01 PM »

How about World of Warcraft?
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Snakey
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« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2009, 01:47:45 PM »

My first game that I started developing was actually a match three game clone, and the only real comments I have on that is that I didn't particularly enjoy developing it. Clones I suppose are one way to try to develop a game and get it out there to the people who already enjoy those sorts of games. However in my case, I never played these sorts of games before, so I had no real idea on how to design a fun and interesting match three.

So I suppose, you'll have to ask yourself if it is actually a good idea to do something which you may have no interest in (I don't really have an interest in match three's at all). Development may 'seem' easy for these titles, but it really is quite a lot of work still.

Developing a clone for the pure sake of money isn't a viable business model in my opinion, but then again it has worked for some companies.
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moi
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« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2009, 02:20:46 PM »

Whatever you clone, it will not have a soul
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ShawnF
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« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2009, 10:28:26 AM »

If you're just doing it for the practice and/or to make money... sure, why not?  I just wouldn't expect it to be very satisfying.

And if you don't need the money, why not make a very small project that's original?  Then you get more job satisfaction AND potentially start building a reputation for yourself.

(Oh, and did anyone else find this post amusing after this thread: http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=4695.0  ? Tongue)

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tylerjhutchison
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« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2009, 12:21:49 PM »

If you have never made a finished game before making a clone is an excellent idea.  Making a clone can be fun, adding different features to a "boring" clone and make it into something new and exciting can be very satisfying.  The first full game my friends an I made is basically a match 3 game... but we wanted to make it fun for us to play.  So we added physics, and have tons of balls falling on top of each other, and lightning bolts and exploding balls, stuff we thought was cool.

It is also nice as a starter project because you will most likely have lots of reference material that you can look at... how many tutorials are available on how to make a Defender clone or a galaga clone or breakout clone?(An off the cuff estimate points to somewhere over 9000)

Sure it is not as romantic and exctiting as making the next best FPS/dating sim... but it is nice to work on something and actually know where you are going with it from the get go.

One thing you should not plan for... is making money, especially on a clone.  Even if you make an awesome game... do not plan on making money, unless you plan on putting a ton of work into marketing.  At least that is a lesson I am currently learning.
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