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Subject: Operation: Eradicate - A 'Pandemic' clone for iOS rss

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J.A. Mora
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Just seen in the AppStore.

It looks like a re-themed clone of Pandemic, this time fighting zombie hordes.

EDIT: just downloaded and went thru the tutorial. And now I can say for sure it's a Pandemic clone.
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Re: Operation: Eradicated - A 'Pandemic' clone for iOS
thanks for posting, i just looked up some more info. launch sale price of $1.99 is half off.

http://www.skejo.com/eradicate.htm

Key Features
Board Game feel, iPad looks
Cooperative Turn Based Strategy mechanics
Game Center Turn Based Multiplayer available
Five specialized characters to command
Play a 2, 3 or 4 character game for vastly different challenges
Includes hand drawn commissioned artwork
Three different Difficulty levels
Game Center Leader boards & Achievements
Multi-step tutorial to quickly learn the game

game manual: http://www.skejo.com/eradicate/manual
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Dave Lartigue
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Re: Operation: Eradicated - A 'Pandemic' clone for iOS
oh boy, zombies.
 
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Re: Operation: Eradicated - A 'Pandemic' clone for iOS
palafox62 wrote:
I can say for sure it's a Pandemic clone.


Can we stop advertising on the behalf of the people who are trying to profit by copying the work of the game designers that keep this industry going?
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Re: Operation: Eradicated - A 'Pandemic' clone for iOS
thatmarkguy wrote:

Can we stop advertising on the behalf of the people who are trying to profit by copying the work of the game designers that keep this industry going?


It isn't always that simple. And, while I don't believe this is the same developer, the designer and associated companies aren't always completely innocent, either.
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Robert Cannon
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Re: Operation: Eradicated - A 'Pandemic' clone for iOS
Based on the fact that an excellent Pandemic iOS implementation was abandoned by the board game company, I am assuming that nothing is being developed now. So I have no problems buying this game.
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BoardGameGeek » Forums » Gaming Related » Computer Based Board Gaming
Re: Operation: Eradicated - A 'Pandemic' clone for iOS
Please note that is NOT an exact clone of Pandemic. Some elements of the mechanics differ. For example: any city can only be infected by hordes of "its" color. This makes a big difference: say an outbreak happens in a border "red" city and the infection spreads into a neighbour "black" city. The latter receives a new black horde, not a red one, as it would be the case in the board game. Also the victory conditions are a bit different. Please take a look at the manual on the developer site.
 
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Re: Operation: Eradicated - A 'Pandemic' clone for iOS
robcannonsoftware wrote:
Based on the fact that an excellent Pandemic iOS implementation was abandoned by the board game company, I am assuming that nothing is being developed now.


I think the suggestion was they will still be developing it but brought it in house and so let the contract run out (as is there legal right) with the other developer. Under the circumstances outlined in the other thread I'll be happy to buy this one too.
 
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Greg Holsclaw

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Re: Operation: Eradicated - A 'Pandemic' clone for iOS
Sorry for the cross posting, but I since this is the new thread about our game (http://boardgamegeek.com/article/8581900#8581900). I have added more details below.

My name is Greg Holsclaw, from Skejo Studios. Last summer I briefly chatted with Zev (thru email) about Pandemic. I had picked it up last summer and really liked the game. As an accomplished iOS dev I asked if the game was in the workds for iOS, and if not if we could have a shot at it. Until reading the thread today, and the one on Gamasutra, I was completely un-aware of this history.

Zev said they were just bought and that the new owners would eventually get around to it (I read this as it will happen eventually, but no timelines have been established).

So my designer, artist and I (having recently launched Skejo Studios), stopped playing Pandemic, crafted a new map, commissioned hand-drawn artwork, changed a bunch of rules (the are in the background as the computer does all the heavy lifting), changed the win-lose conditions a great deal, coded and playtested it over the last four months.

You are accurate that Operation: Eradicate was inspired by Pandemic, but we believe it is its own game.

With the Game Center Leaderboards (new scoring system), Achievements, and Turn-Based Multiplayer, we believe this work will stand on its own.
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Ryan Full
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Re: Operation: Eradicated - A 'Pandemic' clone for iOS
thatmarkguy wrote:
palafox62 wrote:
I can say for sure it's a Pandemic clone.


Can we stop advertising on the behalf of the people who are trying to profit by copying the work of the game designers that keep this industry going?


Personally, I want to know about clones of games that don't have an official version. If the original designers want me to buy their game they have to.... Actually release an iOS version. If a company is refusing to move on to new technology platforms and hope to make a profit and a little indie guy is willing to take the risk then they will get my purchase.

That being said, I prefer good official releases by a large margin and will even doubledip if the official one improves on the clone. The closest tough are good for competition and hopefully push official releases to be solid and not just rest on the laurels of the title.
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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Re: Operation: Eradicated - A 'Pandemic' clone for iOS
Its own game? Nnnnah. It's 99% Pandemic. I can think of many ways to adjust Pandemic to become something different (see Defenders of the Realm), but that's not the case here. There is no legal issue with making a clone, and I'm okay playing this until the official version comes out (which I'll gladly support at a higher price), but let's be clear, this is a clone of Pandemic.

Also, if there is not a zoom function added, or some kind of different UI function, then I'll be requesting a refund, as it's essentially unplayable on iPhone/iPod Touch as it is, unless you happen to have very pointy fingertips.
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Mark McEvoy
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Re: Operation: Eradicated - A 'Pandemic' clone for iOS
miyu wrote:
Personally, I want to know about clones of games that don't have an official version.


So it's OK to pay the copymakers as long as they're quicker to dump their crap on the market sooner than the rightsholder who would rather take the time to get their title to market more polished? And because you'd buy the legit one as well as the copy (or so you say), that makes it OK and the rightholdesrss shouldn't be concerned at all about the multitude of people who would just stick with the cutrate first-to-market knockoff and not pay again to get the game as its creators intended?
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Re: Operation: Eradicated - A 'Pandemic' clone for iOS
The problem I have with clones is when they hurt the original game designer. For example, if a clone is already on the market, a designer may not be able to sell rights to an authorized computer version because publishers/development houses consider the cost of competing with the clone too high.

I would like the see game designers:

*get credit for their work
*get paid for their work
*have control over the quality of the implementation of their work

I don't consider adding standard social game or video game features such as leaderboards and achievements to be sufficient innovation to say a game is new; I realize that the industry is on the fence on this issue (it's an argument Zynga makes, and Zynga has made a lot of money).



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Re: Operation: Eradicated - A 'Pandemic' clone for iOS
Ding!

That'll be the popcorn.
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Greg Holsclaw

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Re: Operation: Eradicated - A 'Pandemic' clone for iOS
@Grudunza, we are working on a tweaking the move/fight controls. On the iPhone there there is tension between covering up the map w/ big buttons, and hard to touch small icons.

We did have a zoom in the game, but felt it didn't add much. Maybe we will revisit it for the iPhone/iPod.

@thatmarkguy, it might be too soon to consider out game a crapper, or cut-rate, dump on the app store. Time will tell, but we went though multiple playtesting betas, and revised our UI and action flow numerous times. We commissioned hand-drawn artwork purchased good bg music tracks, and spend a month or more in the polishing phase of development.

I just want to comment, that a game designer doesn't 'own a market', that they can make wait until 'whenever' to serve that market. Game designers own a product, and that product they present to the market to digest or not.

In our case, we really liked Pandemic, sought to produce it officially. They said it would come eventually (which I took as 8-18 months). So we served the market (which nobody owns) with a fully redesigned game (there are plenty of key differences between the games, that do change the game noticeably). Our product is inspired by Pandemic, but it is its own game, own graphics, own sequencing, own user interface, and own scoring. It was a non-trivial undertaking, with a mountain of design decisions. We hope many enjoy the game, and race up the leader boards.
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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Re: Operation: Eradicated - A 'Pandemic' clone for iOS
Sorry, Greg, but I've played Pandemic 100's of times, and this app does not have "key differences" that "change the game noticeably." Seriously, anybody who has ever played Pandemic once can look at your manual, and the descriptions of the gameplay and character abilities and special card abilities, and know without question that it's Pandemic, not merely "inspired by Pandemic." I don't think you're going to gain points from anyone by suggesting that it's not a clone, when it is, at least to a 99% degree.

And how could you remove the zoom? It is unplayable (or at best, extremely annoying to try to play) as it is on iPhone/iPod without being able to accurately press where you need to for various functions.
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Re: Operation: Eradicated - A 'Pandemic' clone for iOS
Grudunza wrote:
Sorry, Greg, but I've played Pandemic 100's of times, and this app does not have "key differences" that "change the game noticeably." Seriously, anybody who has ever played Pandemic once can look at your manual, and the descriptions of the gameplay and character abilities and special card abilities, and know without question that it's Pandemic, not merely "inspired by Pandemic." I don't think you're going to gain points from anyone by suggesting that it's not a clone, when it is, at least to a 99% degree.


good , cause i prefer a pandemic clone personally
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Re: Operation: Eradicated - A 'Pandemic' clone for iOS
I would say a game designer absolutely owns the market of people who want to play the game the designer designed. Thats the whole point behind intellectual property law.

And I would judge a game on its front end functionality delivering the game the designer designed; the programming behind the experience in my judgement does not count as sufficient innovation to transform an existing game into a new work. Nor is artwork, sound, or a new name.

The original game designer determined the interaction of game mechanics, the balance of play elements, tested the pacing and sequence of play, designed the world map, number of characters, the character attributes, the balance between them. While design decisions are made in the process of implementing a board game to computing platforms, such decisions are not a sufficient justification for ignoring the contribution of the original game designer.
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Eddie the Cranky Gamer
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Re: Operation: Eradicated - A 'Pandemic' clone for iOS
CaptainCosmic wrote:
thatmarkguy wrote:
So it's OK to pay the copymakers as long as they're quicker to dump their crap on the market sooner than the rightsholder who would rather take the time to get their title to market more polished? And because you'd buy the legit one as well as the copy (or so you say), that makes it OK and the rightholdesrss shouldn't be concerned at all about the multitude of people who would just stick with the cutrate first-to-market knockoff and not pay again to get the game as its creators intended?

Yeah, geez, if only the Pandemic guys could have figured out a way to get the official version into the App Store months ago.

Oh, wait ...


I think this is the best line of thinking in this thread.

I've not played this app yet, if its a pandemic clone I'm absolutely interested in buying it.

The way you prevent this isn't by whining at the developer of the clone to respect some sort of honor code: the owners of the Pandemic name combat this correctly by bringing their product to market faster, or better, or both.

This is the way it should be with all things - suggesting laws should protect the slow or the weak or the uninspired from the fast or the strong or the inspired undermines our collective worth.
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Re: Operation: Eradicated - A 'Pandemic' clone for iOS
The conflict here is between the inspired and the fast. The inspired are often disadvantaged by not being the strong (well-funded). The inspired take the first risks in investing time and effort to develop their inspirations.

Intellectual property law exists to protect the inspired and to encourage more acts of inspiration for the benefit of the community as a whole. Intellectual property law is not a moral code enforced by whining; many unauthorized implementations of games have been pulled from the apps markets and developers who make such implementations, however strong and swift, are taking a risk. For example, look at the Fantasy Flight Games vs Puffin case.
 
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Re: Operation: Eradicated - A 'Pandemic' clone for iOS
i won't attempt to play a lawyer on the internet so i'm sure if there is any legal violation, that the app will be removed from the app store before very long. apple just removed a good size batch of apps in violation last week.
 
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Drew Dallas
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Re: Operation: Eradicated - A 'Pandemic' clone for iOS
Except this game doesn't appear to be violating any IP. Their own art, rulebook, music, etc. It might copy the mechanics of Pandemic but mechanics aren't what IP protects.
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Re: Operation: Eradicated - A 'Pandemic' clone for iOS
Copyright law can cover the unique assemblage of mechanics that make up a game and/or "look and feel" of interface design. Game developers should consult ip attorneys to find out the boundaries. Look up the cases involving Zynga as both plaintiff and defendant.

I'm not a lawyer either, but I have talked with a few and there is a range of opinions on this subject. It isn't as simple as just getting new artwork, renaming the game, getting new music, and rewriting the text elements-all of which are independently copyrighted.
 
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Bruno D
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Grudunza wrote:
Its own game? Nnnnah. It's 99% Pandemic. I can think of many ways to adjust Pandemic to become something different (see Defenders of the Realm), but that's not the case here. There is no legal issue with making a clone, and I'm okay playing this until the official version comes out (which I'll gladly support at a higher price), but let's be clear, this is a clone of Pandemic.

Also, if there is not a zoom function added, or some kind of different UI function, then I'll be requesting a refund, as it's essentially unplayable on iPhone/iPod Touch as it is, unless you happen to have very pointy fingertips.


The irony here is that I would have no problems buying a game inspired in Pandemic, but certainly not a clone (despite what transpired in the other thread)

So, if it is really 99% Pandemic, then I'll have to wait.
 
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thatmarkguy wrote:

So it's OK to pay the copymakers as long as they're quicker to dump their crap on the market sooner than the rightsholder who would rather take the time to get their title to market more polished? And because you'd buy the legit one as well as the copy (or so you say), that makes it OK and the rightholdesrss shouldn't be concerned at all about the multitude of people who would just stick with the cutrate first-to-market knockoff and not pay again to get the game as its creators intended?


Yes.

I think the key here is the loaded word "crap." If their software is crap then no - I won't buy it. If it is a clone of the game (and here I am assuming they copied mechanics and not art) that is done well then yes I will buy it. Simple as that. If an official version using original art comes out after the fact there is a high probability I will buy it if it does something better (iap for expansions, better GUI, better AI, better multiplayer, etc.) - but if it doesn't... then it is the crap software and they shouldn't be rewarded with success for simply buying the license and then implementing the game poorly.

Where I think it gets a little stickier is the recent Dominion game. It copied all the art and was also released for free. I downloaded it, and enjoy it, but honestly - I do feel a little yicky about that situation. I just really hope it is a motivating factor to get out an official version that improves on the clone version.

Which I will buy.


edit: I totally forgot to address one part.
thatmarkguy wrote:

and the rightholdesrss shouldn't be concerned at all about the multitude of people who would just stick with the cutrate first-to-market knockoff and not pay again to get the game as its creators intended?


No, they should absolutely be concerned. So they need to darn well make sure their implementation is the best. You can be first to the market or best on the market but you can rarely be first and best. The actual rights holders have access to the original art - which provides them a big advantage. They also have access to some market data the clone maker didn't have. That is the data on how much buzz and sales the clone is making. If a clone is lighting up the charts and getting all kinds of buzz then the makers of the official version need to get their asses in gear do a couple things.

1. Kick it in gear to get theirs out.
2. Media blitz folks with images, diaries, and all kinds of marketing hype about what their sweet version will have that makes it better than the clone.
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