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On Cloning Game Designs

I was a guest poster on Penny Arcade today. Tycho asked me about the subject of games that "clone" other games, and you can see my response there. Enjoy. ;)

Reader Comments (8)

This is a good followup to that infamous thread. While checking out the new Flash Duel, I discovered the thread and was appalled at the accusations.

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDustin

I was on the fence about buying Flash Duel, but after reading that's a no brainier. I'm putting my order in tonight.

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Cather

I read most of that thread. Can't say I saw a reason for it. EVEN IF Flash Duel only contained the elements necessary for the simple mode, (with the just a 3 or 4 distinctions to En Guard), I'm not sure there would have been grounds for that, let alone a legal dispute.

Pop in a First Person Shooter. Now pop in another one. Chances are, aside from some aesthetics and *maybe* a couple mechanics changes, they are really similar.

Play some Tower Defense. Play a different Tower Defense. They are really damn similar.

Go to Wal-Mart. Then go to K-mart.

Sit on a couch. Then go sit on another couch.

The notion that Flash Duel isn't 'unique' enough to deserve being created is not a matter of opinion, is really just false. Should Sirlin have credited the creator of En Guard? If he wanted to. Seems like an alright thing to do; completely understandable if he chose not to.

Cloning is pretty rampant among all walks of life, you can only hope the cream rises to the top. That said, if rip off someone else and make an inferior product or an indistinguishable product, you deserve to be mocked and ridiculed.

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChoke Artist

I read this yesterday and wasn't sure at first if this was you or Tycho and then after reading it again i realized it was you. Great article though. It's not like I've never seen a movie where a down on his luck guy gets wealth/power, goes on a high, has some sort of problem, works his way out, and lives happily ever after (or ends up dead). Or some person who is not supposed to be a "hero" ends up saving the day.

I already bought the travel play flash duel before you came out with the new one with all the extra characters and modes. I've been eyeing puzzle strike with the update but I gotta save up a little more. Being an adult sucks.

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertodzilla

Sirlin, have you seen the Board to Death review of Flash Duel?

I feel you will enjoy it a lot.

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThiago

Regarding the cloning matter, also relevant is Kirby Ferguson's project Everything is a remix ( ), check that out, it was recently completed with episode 4 and it's a pleasure to watch...

February 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCiabs

I was one of FFGs biggest fans, even had the chance to write articles for them. I was purchasing all of their games on day 1 release. Then this incident happened and I never looked at their products again.

After the Forbidden Alchemy errors, the Wings of War stealing, and the ugly Merchant of Venus controversy I have made sure to let Mr. Petersen know the error of his ways by publicly calling him out in front of his customers.

This has led to the removal of posting comments on front page articles for their site, but that isn't just for me. Now no one can post comments on articles, some of which contain rule errors for their own products. Sigh... I can't believe I wanted to work for them.

Ironically FFG acquired the Penny Arcade card game title too.

February 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

Speaking of PA, any comment on this article? Haven't watched the source on it, myself. Should I know the name Aris?

February 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLoser4Now
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