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Too similar to Dragon's Gold?

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harmon89
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Joined: 01/13/2016

I’ve been working on a prototype for a negotiation/exploration/treasure hunting board game. Then I came across a game called “Dragon’s Gold” that seems to be somewhat similar to my game in theme. Also in both games you collect treasure and special objects. Both games also have negotiation. However I think the two games would play fairly differently.

My question is how similar can two games be before they are too similar?

You can read a more detailed overview of my game below.

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Each turn one player is the leader of an expedition to search for treasures. You can choose to go on the expedition alone, but it is much safer to convince others to join you on your quest, because if the enemies defeat you on your quest you will receive no reward for that turn. Each player on the expedition adds +2 dice when fighting an enemy and each weapon will add dice based on the strength of that weapon. Since creatures often have a total strength of 15-25 you will likely need many participants if you want the quest to be a success.

The board contains about 20 locations each with a number of hidden tiles ranging 6-12 tiles per location. Each tile will either contain gold, weapons, special items, or wild creatures. Gold are worth points at the end of the game, weapons add strength when fighting creatures, and special items give players abilities that can be used in the game.

At the start of a turn a player may look at half the tiles in 2 different locations and then choose to go on an expedition to one of those two locations.

Odds are there will be wild creatures at a location (especially if the location has 12 tiles). Since it is almost impossible to defeat one of these beasts alone you will need other players to join you on your quest. You can persuade them by negotiation. Trading gold, weapons and special items can all be part of the negotiation process. You can also, and often will, offer them part of the spoil if the expedition is successful.

Gold is obviously important because that is what wins you the game, but weapons are also critical because a player with a lot of weapons is more likely to be taken on an expedition since they will contribute more strength and the leader will not have to recruit as many people and likely not have to share as much of the reward.

Special Items give abilities like, “add +5 strength every time you play a weapon”, or, “Each gold found on the expedition is worth +1”. (Gold often ranges from a value of 1-3.) Taking players on an expedition with a lot of special items can be a huge asset. And of course you want to be get on quests because that is how you win the game.

Players take turns being the leader. As the game progresses more locations become available that will contain more valuable tiles as well as more formidable creatures. Once all the locations have been explored the game ends and the player with the most gold wins.

JayOfTrades
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Joined: 03/20/2017
Just looking at the game

Just looking at the game alone, it looks like an interesting idea. As far as how much you borrow from other games, there is no definite answer. I believe if you are distinctive enough from Dragon's Gold I think you'll be fine. As more and more games are made, more and more games will feel similar to that of other games.

If I were in your shoes, I would keep developing the game in my vision in its purity. Then, before I start getting ready for playtesting, I'd watch a video or two about Dragon's Gold to make sure my game has enough differences to make it distinct.

harmon89
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Thanks!

Glad you found the idea interesting. I'm in fairly early stages with the design, but I didn't want to spend all my energy on something that had already been done.

I think you're advice is good. Try to know as little about other games out there that could be similar and most likely there will only be superficial differences in the end. There is often so many different aspects to a game that it would be difficult to accidentally copy a game in its entirety. Once I'm happy with my design I can look into other games and tweak my game if need be.

Andrew

AbErRational
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Joined: 12/02/2016
The idea sounds nice but

The idea sounds nice but maybe you can invent something more distinct using some of the core parts in your design.

My standard practice is that soon after making the first edition of rules or before doing an extensive research about a chosen theme, I try to find out that there isn't too similar games - at least not popular ones. I usually also avoid lending as much as possible. It is most important for me that the idea came from inside, not outside if you know what I mean. Of course most of things we 'invent' are products of input from outside, stirred in our conscious and subconscious mind like dreams when we sleep. The thing that makes our creations stand out of the mass is the input capability we have over our 'own' ideas. Most ideas are already done by someone else, so why bother if not because it'd be just another unnecessary product wasting the resources of the planet. So depending from the point of view, continue with it or discard it.

I accidentally set my mind to a loose mode, sorry;-D

EDIT: Moreover, if the similar published one has been out of stock for a long time, you may even benefit from it. After considering all the relevant points, if you're still unsure and start with it, it might very well end up being an another unfinished prototype.

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