PopCap attacks "copycat" designs

Discussion in 'Feedback Requests' started by Teeth, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. Teeth

    Original Member

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    I said wow.
     
  2. Jack Norton

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    Hah is to easy to say "clone". They need to define what it is, and is too hard.
    Take latest retro64 game published by themselves. In practice is a shooting game like zuma, but has several more innovations. I don't think now everyone is just cloning. It was happening last year, but recently I think (and hope) that people really try new things... or I am wrong?
     
  3. Dan MacDonald

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I think the reason they are interested in publishing Venice is the fact that it isn't a clone. It's actually an original game designed from the ground up. It may borrow elements from other games, but it's not just a clone of whats currently selling in the casual top 10.
     
  4. svero

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    Devs know when they're copying something from another game vs. trying to decide on some element of a new mechanic. It's not ambiguous and one is a lot tougher to do than the other. Sure there's some grey area where you can say.. ok I added x,y,z to such and such a game genre, and exactly how new does that make it? where each change can have little or far reaching effects on the overall gameplay. But I think if people used a little intellectual integrity it wouldn't be hard to say we've been seeing a lot of 85-98% ers in the exactly the same as the other game category.
     
  5. Chicknstu

    Chicknstu New Member

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    Whilst I fully agree (EVERY indie site is trying to sell you a bejewelled clone for $19.99), it's a major case of the pot callign the kettle black.
     
  6. Musenik

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    My indie site gives our bejeweled clone away for free!

    I needed to make a little game while upgrading my GUI library. :)
     
  7. Pyabo

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    Dear Pot,

    You are so black!

    Love,
    Kettle
     
  8. Bad Sector

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  9. Allen Varney

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    Every time someone makes the observation that rampant copying is hurting the casual space, there's always a rush to smear the speaker. Like, by slamming the speaker as something less than a spotless embodiment of perfection, you have therefore proven that this pervasive plagiarism represents no danger to the casual space. This is an unhelpful and short-sighted rhetorical tactic.
     
  10. wazoo

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    *looking around*

    Hey Teeth, you mind re-attaching the screenshot to the post? I can't get it working properly...

    must be my browser. :(
     
  11. Dan MacDonald

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Logical fallacies abound!
     
  12. Bad Sector

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    ...or just a spot on the irony :)
     
  13. RinkuHero

    RinkuHero New Member

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    I think that many of the big portals, by restricting the types of games that they publish and sell to extremely easy to learn games with simple game mechanics that all look and play alike, are implicitly encouraging this copying. When PopCap publishes something like Hard Time, then they can say things like this.

    That said, it's possible this is an honest mistake. Perhaps that chief creative officer didn't work there at the time Zuma was made, or had never heard of the game it was cloned from.
     
  14. cliffski

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    Actually we really aren't. I know people here know this, but I feel compelled to point it out anyway.
     
  15. Dan MacDonald

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I just think it's odd that this thread is making popcap out to be the posterchild for cloning games as opposed making their own. Zuma's no more of a clone then DXBall and if you look at popcaps games are actually origional. You don't see them with a follow-the-leader-we-need-an-MCF-game in their portfolio. In fact what you see is actually the latter, popcap has been releasing more and more innovative titles.

    Recent releases come to mind...

    Heavy Weapon,
    Peggle,
    Bookworm Adventures,
    Venice,

    None of which are any indication that popcap is sitting around cloning it's way to fame and fortune. They really do have the game design and production capacity to make original games.. and they are. Not that Jason needs me to defend him, he can go comfort himself by blowing his nose on $100 bill or something. Popcap is pretty much the casual equivalent of Blizzard, if you don't like them it's not likely that anyone measures up to your standards. Chances are the same people criticizing popcap probably say Blizzard is just a rip off company that cloned Dune II and Everquest to achieve it's success. Which in all probability means I'm just talking into the wind for the sake of hearing myself speak.... but so be it, we all have our vices.
     
  16. mash

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    Bejeweled is a "clone", Zuma is a "clone", Chuzzle is a "clone", Peggle is a "clone", etc.
    I think they do the same as other companies but a little bit better. :)
     
  17. RinkuHero

    RinkuHero New Member

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    I think there's a difference between the level of cloning in Warcraft and Zuma. Warcraft doesn't look like Dune 2 -- different setting, similar gameplay but very different in many ways (shorter range units, slower pace, chopping wood and mining gold with many units instead of mining spice with a single unit, two slightly different races) -- whereas Zuma looks and plays almost exactly like the game it cloned. There's an area for dispute, but I think there's a difference between making a game in the same *genre* and making *the same game*, even down to the level configurations:

    http://osx.iusethis.com/screenshot/zuma.png
    http://www.ncsx.com/2006/081406/Wednesday/pdc_006.jpg

    But yes, there's no question that not all of PopCap's games are clones and that they have made original games too. That isn't really the point though. Making a game in the same genre as another game (I myself made a tower defense game) is one thing, but copying it exactly and publishing the same mechanics with slightly different graphics and music is another.
     
  18. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I am not anti-clone per se... I think it's good and even necessary to allow for tweaking of established genres. Popcap has mentioned jewel quest as an example of a good progression from bejeweled before and I agree. The coloring of the squares mechanic really changed up the game in a fundamental way. So we'd lose something in an environment where people were avoiding any kind of copying at all for fear of legal repisals etc... I'm not sure why it's so hard for people to see the difference between that sort of thing and merely taking an established game and adding a color-bomb powerup and making it fairies instead of egypt and calling it a day, but... Isn't it really besides the point?

    There's such a thing as arguing or discussing based on the merits of what's being said vs. who's saying it. If a fat adult onset diabetic with heart trouble tells me I should really eat right and get more exercise, it may seem a bit ironic, but is it wrong? Whatever you may think about Popcap and how original or not their games are, what serious developers should be asking themselves is not how cloney zuma or some past popcap game is, but rather... does his argument make sense? The rest comes off as a bit childish. I guess a lot of kids want to make games.
     
  19. Dan MacDonald

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I think that's just the nature of casual games, because the mechanics are so simple there's really only so much you can change. There's endless variations of RISK type war games, but there's only so many ways you can match three (and I think the casual games industry has found them all!)

    I think also there's a big difference in taking a forgotten game from yesteryear, putting a lot of time and energy into refining it, polishing it, and representing it to a new generation of game players then all the hundreds zuma clones that came AFTER zuma (Apparently it's A-OK to clone Zuma but it's not ok to rediscover puzzloop). Only a select handful of disgruntled game developers even know what puzzloop is, and even fewer have actually played it. Most of them just link to screen shots on the web and feel informed. There's a reason "Zuma" is practically a household name and "Puzzloop" is virtually unknown and this has a lot more to do with Popcap then it does with Puzzloop.
     
  20. RinkuHero

    RinkuHero New Member

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    One correction -- Puzz Loop is a Nintendo DS game still being sold (in the US is name is Magnetica), it's not a forgotten game from yesteryear, it's quite popular in Japan both on the DS and in the arcades. I'd say it's at least as popular in Japan as Zuma is in the US.

    I also have to think that if this occurred to a game by any of the people saying cloning is no big deal, I find it hard to believe that person would be as okay with it.
     
    #20 RinkuHero, Jun 27, 2007
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2007

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