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Board game version of M.U.L.E.?

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Anonymous

I've been working on a board game version of M.U.L.E., mainly for myself as an exercise in game design. I want to share it for free with people on the Internet. Can I do that? I'd love to see it improved through the creativity here on BGDF.

I was about to add it to the free games area of my site when I hesitated. Because of the computer clone Space HoRSE and some other info I read, I had convinced myself that only the name M.U.L.E. was protected. I promptly called it Q.U.L.E.

In creating my own games, I copyright the rules and was told by a Intellectual Property lawyer that was as far as it goes. In my case, no patents could be applied for because the components were done many times before. And that name use was based on first use in a state. (I am going by memory on that last bit, but I remembered some urgency about wanting to sell one copy in each state.)

It is all very confusing. There is some excellent work on http://www.s3dconnector.net/ where people are creating a fantastic computer version of Settlers of Catan, a far more recent game than MULE. Are they risking lawsuits? I know they've gone to pains to create their own artwork.

Am I pushing it to use the original artwork of the resource icons? How about the little pixelated mechanical MULE image that itself looks ripped from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back?

Thank you for your thoughts.

Doug Borresen
Wilcot Group
www.wilcotgroup.com

sedjtroll
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Board game version of M.U.L.E.?

Oracle and I were working on making a board game based on M.U.L.E., you can probably find some threads about it on these boards. We altered it a bit and geared it toward Piecepack for a piecepack design competition, unfortunately we didn't get it tested enough (read: at all) and therefore didn't do too well in the contest. Here's a link to the rules for the contest entry "Gold Rush".

- Seth

Anonymous
Board game version of M.U.L.E.?

That is great! A lot of neat ideas there and I like that it uses PiecePack.

So maybe implied in your answer is that you don't see any problem with making a board game version out of M.U.L.E. Perhaps when someone makes money out of it, then you would get some grief but that is not likely anyway in this wonderful hobby of ours.

Thank you for your post and sharing your game creation. I will read a few more opinions if others post them here and then probably post my early version on my site.

Doug

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Board game version of M.U.L.E.?

Yeah, I wouldn't worry about it. The worst case scenario is you actually create a board game version of MULE, and you get someone to want to buy it, and you run into copyright or licensing trouble- so you re-theme it. I doubt that would happen though, personally.

- Seth

Anonymous
Board game version of M.U.L.E.?

I have put an early version of Q.U.L.E. on my site at www.wilcotgroup.com/free for those that are interested.

Anonymous
Board game version of M.U.L.E.?

@wilcotgroup

i have been trying to design my very own MULE boardgame rendition. what really intrigued me in your design is your production and pricing table. since MULE has a lot of things that must be tracked, i laid out a simplified table (not even half as complicated as yours) to mark price changes. since there are a lot of random things that happen in the MULE pc game, i tried to minimize them in my design. i am still at the very early stages of design and i am just making an arbitary price table to reflect the pc game.

good luck on your design!!

Anonymous
Board game version of M.U.L.E.?

nqbus,

Yes, in trying to keep as much of the original there as I could, I did end up with a complex set of market rules. That was one thing I just couldn't figure out from the original computer game. I even played games and tracked the inventory levels and player production each round to see if I could reverse the rules out of the behavior, but I could not get it.

I would be interested to see what you come up with.

Thank you for your post!

Anonymous
Board game version of M.U.L.E.?

MULE was a great game. Sign me up for your game when you're ready to publish!

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