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*rant warning* In any given new ideas thread, you find...

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Midnight_Carnival's picture
Joined: 06/17/2015

In any given new ideas thread you post you find the following problems frequently enough to see it as a trend in my opinion.

You post your idea and ask if anybody can think of clever mechanics, a clever twist, etc...

1) Many people believe "if you thought of it, it is out there somewhere" so although it is far removed, about 5 people will post "that's just like X" - and in some cases it is, but in many it is not.

2) Given the above, many see fit to bring copyright and intellectual property into the equation, ie: "if you make that game which is 'exactly like X', you'll be sued". Even if it's not.

3) Because you don't care about how it sells or about intellectual property, and because you are so clever, you include in your post that the game is intended not to be the next Monopoly, but rather as something you want to make for the pleasure of making it and plan to release as public domain on completion.

4) a prevailing attitude seems to be that if you're not making it to get rich, you're not taking it seriously and so nobody should take you seriously at any point.

5) more than just ignoring you, there are people who post many vehement rebuttals of the idea of things being released into public domain in the first place, they have an ethical objection to other people making things which won't be copyrighted in their names, it seems.

6) introducing a new idea on the "New Ideas" forum leads to the following composition of replies: 25% "hey, that's just like X", 50% discussions on the various Xs mentioned, 5% "that won't sell" or "the whole public domain thing is wrong", 20% discussions or debates around that and if you're lucky, some feedback amongst the remaining 25% people nitpicking technicalities, criticising the genre of games you are trying to make or a theme in the game and correcting your spelling and grammar - whether it will be helpful feedback or not depends, but if 5% of the replies you get deal with your idea you will be very lucky.

You know, on other forums, in other communities, you get these "stillborn threads" where somebody posted something they thought would be interesting and relevant and nobody replied because they disagreed with what constitutes "interesting and relevant" - now, although it would be discouraging for a new member to post their million dollar idea and have nobody even look at it, it is also a little irksome to have someone write about something and have people hijack the thread to talk about other things.
Just for me personally, for future reference, if you are not interested in what I have to say, if you find my ideas boring and uninspiring or if you have a personal dislike of me, my style of posting or opinions I express, you are very welcome not to reply to things I say in the New Ideas forum, thank you all, peace and blessings

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011
In Defense of BGDF

Full Disclosure: I'm not a staff member or admin at BGDF. I'm a typical member/user just like you.

It's unfortunate you don't find this specific corner of the Internet to your liking. I empathize with you being frustrated with ideas being shot down left and right. I know what it's like to not have someone patting me on the shoulder when I show my latest and greatest to the rest of the world.

You can't expect everyone out there to have great social skills, to know how to communicate effectively, or to care about what you have to say. The good news is that it's relatively easy to not take comments personally here (or at other discussion boards).

No one here knows me personally, and I think it's likely you can say the same. Take heart in that much, at least. They may dislike your ideas, but it's incredibly doubtful they dislike you.

Good luck to you and your projects. :)

Joined: 01/27/2017
Unwanted feedback vs. conflict

As someone who has dabbled in game design for quite a while but still very new to it as an industry, I find it useful to start with the assumption that anything short of an ad-hominem attack is making a genuine attempt to be helpful.

It can be frustrating if you make an off-hand reference to red and then the next few posts are arguing the difference between scarlet and vermilion. They might be trying to point out that a minor-seeming difference can have a huge impact on manufacturability/marketability of a product. Or you stumbled upon someone's pet peeve.

It can be hard to tell the difference at times, but the great thing about an Internet forum is that you aren't forced to try out everyone's ideas. "Thanks for the feedback, but I was trying to go in direction X" is perfectly valid and unlikely to ignite an argument. If it does, that's pretty strong evidence you're dealing with the pet-peeve end of the spectrum. Don't take it personally, even if the poster ends up yelling at the walls until they're moderated.

This sounds easy in theory, but in practice it can be hard to put "your baby" out there for everyone to see and then watch as people misunderstand your meaning or get hung up on some inconsequential detail. Think of it as practice in dealing with the realities of business.

Even when the product you offer is free, you'll still end up getting entitled consumers who complain to no end (for examples, check out just about any modding community). They have no more and no less power over your actions than posters at BGDF.

Best of luck!

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
My oppinion

If any one dissagrees with whatever I post. They should just say so.
It is often that you can't feel that you are of use/no use. Even after years of practising replying.

A voting system might help????

"hey, someone voted something useful for me!" "I'll give him an upvote"

(((There is something that I dislike as well. I see often that someone is responding to a topic that is months old. A topic like that should only be revived by the one who started it. Or at least a bump if it isn't finished yet.

Also, responding to the first post of that topic happens more often then I like. Not just my topics (which I ignore, really) but also topics of other people. While they are making progress through the topic.)))

I forgot to mention. This basis for the forum has a format, that doesn't allow voting.
Just ask for other advice, then mentioned, when someone falls in on or many of the named categories ;)

Corsaire's picture
Joined: 06/27/2013
A few thoughts

I've come on and off the boards over the last x years for a similar reason. Basically, a person or two's heavy handed POV can spoil a dialog. But that could be any forum on any topic. It's another do the positives out-weigh the negatives life situation.

I like to toy with pieces of games I'm working on or just get into the designer head-space in a way here I can't sitting around my house or talking to friends who don't think in design. This is definitely the best environment for that goal.

One thought on posting: if you want a dialog, start with the smallest least ambiguous opener you can. If the conversation asks for (and deserves) more details bring them out.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
BGDF as a community

let-off studios wrote:
Full Disclosure: I'm not a staff member or admin at BGDF. I'm a typical member/user just like you...

As an Admin, BGDF policy is to remain courteous to all parties at all times.

Our goal is to stimulate more conversations, threads, discussion groups because that's what we are: a "forum". So we are opposed to people who say things like: "Don't post on such and such a thread ..." for whatever reason.

We also don't like people following a person from another forum to ours just so that they can continue "negative" comments or discussions. This has happened a couple of times in the past.

Currently we don't have any members that are too opinionated. At this time everyone just seems to want to help each other out. There are no users that need monitoring at the present time. But it has happened that some users in the past needed to be check upon - because they might spark "negative" debates (or too opinionated threads).

From a personal note, it very well seems to me that the designers on this forum are "satisfied" with what this forums brings to them. I have not seen anyone say they are somehow disappointed in this community.

However you SEEM like a person who is "dissatisfied".

Perhaps the level of involvement in your threads is too weak or as you have been explaining you see a "pattern" to the threads.

Unfortunately if a pattern exists, it's maybe because that "pattern" you are talking about "resolves" the thread (or questions of the Original Poster).

If as you say someone posts: "Hey I have this great new idea 'Z'..." And designers respond with: "Check out game 'X' and 'Y'!" And then the idea is NOT new ... or there are similarities in other games... Well YOU got your answer: it's not new or there are games with similar ideas and/or mechanics.

So, and don't take this personally, maybe the ideas you have seen being posted are being "resolved" with other similar existing games ... means that those ideas are not really "innovative". You (or whomever) are not sufficiently versed in the repertoire of games that are "out-there".

If you say: "I want to design an Open and Free card game" and the response is: "Check out Dvorak card game." Just means that there is someone who has already had that same thought AND you should take a look.

Nobody is telling you to STOP "designing".

Same goes if someone "critiques" the idea of being "FREE". Sure it's a tough business with very small margins, and generally difficult making any money as a "designer". Many "FREE" ideas are disregarded as someone who is doing "game design" as a hobby. Something less serious.

Most people (and I mean Game Designers) would LOVE to make enough money off their games - so that they can continue and develop new ones!

You do with the comments and feedback as you like. You can ignore the things that you don't like and focus on the feedback YOU feel is valuable.

Cheers and don't take anything personally. Nobody on the board is here to "shoot your ideas down"...


Aka QuestCCG
"Indie" Game Designer
BGDF Moderator - Publisher List

Midnight_Carnival's picture
Joined: 06/17/2015
when did I say that?

Hello let-off studios.
I'm curios, at what point did I say I did not like this forum? could you please quote it to me?
At what point did I complain that my ideas were being "shot down"?
When did I express the sentiment that I was unhappy that people didn't pat me on the back and say "what a jolly good game idea you've come up with old sport!"?

Now, as for taking it personally, no - I think you'll find that when genuine criticism has been given I have normally taken it very well, this is what I am here for after all. I would love to read "this is a bad idea, this is not going to work, this has been done to death... I don't get that. My complaint was not that nobody loves me and I should go into the garden to eat worms, my complaint was that - it is not just me here, I have observed this on many other people's threads - people don't respond, they try to change the subject. This is obnoxious, if it doesn't interest you, don't say anything about it, that's all I'm saying.

You are defending that which is not under attack. I am not attacking BGDF, I am not trying to destroy it, I am commenting on a distressing trend I have noticed in the way people respond to many threads on the New Ideas Forum, only some of which have been my own.
I would call you taking up your sword and going forth to slay the dragon in a thread where there are no dragons "taking things personally" or more likely you didn't read anything beyond the title.

questcg - I have read what you say and I am critically evaluating it, I will take what is useful and try to adapt other things into something which is more useful. I would also just like to know when I gave the impression that I thought people wanted me to stop posting? Finally, what I was complaining about with people posting comparisons with other games was not something which happened on the thread I opened, it was something I saw on a few threads which others opened and I followed the links and the games shown had only a superficial resemblance to what was being described - it is not "hey, check this out" which I have any objection to, it is "that is exactly the same as X" in so many words. While the one is offering insights/resources which game designers may find helpful, the other is telling someone that their idea is unoriginal and that they should stop working on it - this I find particularly irksome when someone posted an idea which was nothing like the X which it was claimed their game was "exactly like".

To re-clarify: I was expressing my grievances with the a trend I had observed on a particular part of the forum, I was NOT demanding anything of anyone, I was NOT attacking the forum in general (seriously, I'd just leave) or any individuals on the forum.
I have never had any overwhelmingly negative criticism of one of the ideas I posted, I don't know where a lot of what I'm reading is coming from.

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011
You're Right

I could have read a bit closer. My bad.

Midnight_Carnival's picture
Joined: 06/17/2015
my bad too

... and I could have written a bit less in a less confrontational manner which would have encouraged people to read a bit more closely.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
More relevancy...

I think, firstly, nobody can say: "Your idea is EXACTLY like game 'X' or 'Y'"... That's not possible. It's the same stupid question I was asked a while back ago but reversed: "What is unique about your game?"

All games are "different" or unique. I seriously doubt that each idea is "identical" to some other game. I would find that preposterous.

But it's up to the OP (Original Poster) to look into those links (for game 'X' or 'Y') and for them to subsequently comment about the accuracy of those games... There may be some similarities... but I doubt they are EXACTLY the same.

The cult of the NEW:

I think in some way the "Cult of the NEW" is responsible. Nowadays people are looking for the NEXT "new" idea... Take for example "Halfsie Dice" by John Wrott. He was originally criticized that his dice were copies of other popular dice manufacturers. But then he explained: "Yes some dice have two colors... But none of them are exactly divided into two halves. Ergo 'Halfsie dice'".

So people are very critical about "NEW" ideas. It's much easier to dismiss the idea than actually regard it as being a valid idea.

Take for example "TradeWorlds' Tactical Core". I had submitted 6 months ago the IDEA for a "Game Board" to be used as an optional play style for my game. This was the FIRST "Game Board" that is optionally used with my "Deck-Building" (Engine) game. And the important part to remember is "optionally".

Because we got some heat saying game 'X' has a board and is a Deck-Builder or game 'Y' also uses a board... But neither allow for the board to be an optional asset. SO to make a long story short: TradeWorlds is the first Deck-Builder to feature an Optional Tactical Game Board!

So basically nobody's IDEAS are 100% identical to game 'X' or 'Y'. They are just similarities because I'm sure if you had to compare each and every aspect of the game, you'd land up with a 42% similarity (for example). Or some dumb number like that - because the games are NOT similar... They just have SIMILARITIES...


joebergmann's picture
Joined: 12/29/2016
Thank you!

Thank you for this post Midnight_Carnival!

I think this is a valid list. There have been many times that I have felt this way as well, which is a bummer, but there it is.

I will say, very gratefully, that this site has NOT felt this way to me! Yay!

It does seem to be a distressing trend though. It feels like many people are now getting into board game design to make money, maybe to hit it big on the public funding websites, or because it seems so easy to do. They have read the "How to make a game..." books and blogs and just know how it is done now.

The good news is, I think, that there are still people who do want to design games because it's a passion, and don't care if they aren't doing things "the right way". I am one of them, and I very much look forward to hearing what you, and the rest of this group, have to offer! Every Forum post I read is a chance to learn something new for me, so keep it coming!

Thank you.

Midnight_Carnival's picture
Joined: 06/17/2015
intellectual property laws

I agree with almost all of what questccg says here.
I have had a problem with the commodification of "the new" for as long as I've been old enough to recognise it for what it was.
I blame Henry Ford, seriously.
"you can have any colour as long as it's black" - it seems to me that in modern western and western-based cultures, the idea exists that "the new" is an impossible ideal to which you need to devote your life towards attaining and you'll never get close to an original idea, but the closer you get the more money you make.

I call BS on this, I have 800000 original ideas every day before breakfast, I'm pretty certain nobody has thought of them - of course that doesn't mean that they're good original ideas or that I could make money out of them!

Reading "sorry mate. it's been done!" can be very disheartening, especially to a new game designer. Where as "Hey, check this out, it´s got some cool stuff" is normally fun.

Actually, to tell you the truth, some of the project I collaborated with people on which we had fun designing and if they are finished, I know people will have buckets of fun playing - well, in terms of "originality" I'd put them in the 0-5% bracket!

Just because it's new doesn't mean it's good and just because someone else did it, doesn't mean it can't be new. New ideas happen, it's how you implement them and more importantly, how far you are prepared to take them, how much work you are prepared to put into them.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
And another thing

Good points, Midnight, especially if readers parse the hyperbole and get at the guts. I particularly like your last statement:

Just because it's new doesn't mean it's good and just because someone else did it, doesn't mean it can't be new. New ideas happen, it's how you implement them and more importantly, how far you are prepared to take them, how much work you are prepared to put into them.

Adding to the first sentence: "Just because it's new doesn't mean it's good, and just because someone else did it, doesn't mean it can't be new. DO IT ANYWAY."

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