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My idea is already a game!

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JamesSylvan
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Joined: 11/01/2015

Everyone has had this happen to them. You get an idea for something and when you google it you find out someone has already done it.

I had an idea for a game where players would draft a party of adventurers in a fantasy game. Players would draft heroes, items, spells, etc. to build a party.

Before the draft, players would have a few monsters dealt face up in front of them. After the draft, they would have to fight the monsters dealt to them, but they could also kill monsters in front of someone next to them to get a share of their VP. The idea is that you can fight all your own monsters and compete with your neighbours for theirs, but players will be more successful if they work together, to draft the best cards for everyone around and help each other fight.

Now, when I googled games like this to find out if one already exists, I found Lost Legends. My question is, without knowing too much of the details of my game, do you think the concept is too similar to Lost Legends, or is it different enough that it is worth making?

Looking forward to hearing what everyone thinks. I have not seen this topic discussed much.

TwentyPercent
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Joined: 12/25/2012
Same Concept, Different Game

Your game idea and Lost Legends may have the same theme and the same basic conceptual game play. However, I highly doubt if you develop a game (based on your own ideas and mechanics), that it would be close enough to another game where you would be infringing.

Think about it; board games are fairly complex. The likelihood that two people come up with an idea that are the same (or in this case, close enough that one would infringe on the other) is incredibly small.

Just based of your description, you didn't even reveal enough information about your game where an overlap would be a problem/infringement. Drafting is done in hundreds of games, building a team of heroes is done in hundreds of games, and fighting monsters is done in hundreds of games. The differences will show in the mechanics: hero powers, how combat is resolved, monster abilities, how items impact the game.

Make sense?

Twenty Percent

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
I agree BUT...

I think legally TwentyPercent is right... You will probably not infringe on the rights of the other product and there will be differences between the two (2) games.

BUT having said this, there is another SIDE to examine: how popular is the other game? Having game ideas, themes, mechanics and all that is what designers try to put together to have a UNIQUE game. People want to know what's unique. Being a copy or having similarities with a game can work against you.

There are two schools of thought on this:

A> The other games is so popular people will know right off the start that it is a copy.
B> The game is lesser know and has not to much notoriety. But doesn't this signal that if a similar game has low market penetration, your own game might have the same difficulties?

I think what I am trying to say is in most games your want them to be NOVEL. Something different, if not completely different. Although most games borrow mechanics and themes are overly done (like Fantasy, Zombies, Pirates and Medieval Merchants) - you have to come up with something that is a KEY difference between your game and the other one.

And lastly it is important to figure out where the similarities END.

If the theme and gameplay are nearly identical, well then I would tend to say you should look to make another game.

Just my 2 cents!

radioactivemouse
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The Hook.

questccg wrote:

I think what I am trying to say is in most games your want them to be NOVEL. Something different, if not completely different. Although most games borrow mechanics and themes are overly done (like Fantasy, Zombies, Pirates and Medieval Merchants) - you have to come up with something that is a KEY difference between your game and the other one.

I cannot stress this quote enough. questccg nailed it on the head!

When I teach this concept to my class, I call it the "hook". What was there that wasn't before? Why would people want to play YOUR game as opposed to others? The more unique the hook, the easier it will be to get people interested in your game.

Midnight_Carnival
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intellectual property

intellectual property entirely aside here, I don't think you should give up on an idea you had just because you found that elements you thought made your game 'unique' exist in other games.

There is a big difference between somebody trying to make a game which is "just like X" and somebody making their own game which they later find out has, let's just say 4 features in common with X.

Using the example of computer games I can ask what the actual differnce between Streets of Rage an Double Dragon games were - both of these had their fans and despite the similarities, very few think of the one series as an attempt to get away with plagerism.

Also remember this:
If ideas you come up with already feature in popular games it means that your ideas are as good as those who made popular games and that games you make could become just as, if not more, popular.

Masacroso
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Joined: 05/05/2014
You cant infringing any

You cant infringing any copyright if it not a exact copy of some game.

You can say that you take some ideas from some game, this is not infringing anything. See videogames industry, lol.

questccg
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I still think...

questccg wrote:
If the theme and gameplay are NEARLY identical, well then I would tend to say you should look to make another game.

I'll just repeat myself - and focus on the word NEARLY.

lewpuls
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Don't worry about it

If you take a broad view, virtually every game has already been made.

"Innovation" is very much in the eye of the beholder. Some people probably thought Stratego was innovative when first published (post WW II), but it is in face a knockoff a L'Attaque from 1909, a game still being sold in England when I lived there in the late 70s.

Innovation is highly overrated: https://youtu.be/oHZVsRpIWCA

While blatant cloning is not unusual in video games, it's much less common in tabletop.

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