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Subject: Aborted Pandemic iOS project rss

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Drew Dallas
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Doesn't hurt to ask does it? At the very least you could ask if he would be OK with you rethemeing and releasing even if he wants nothing from it. If he was then i don't see what the problem would be.
 
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Richard Keiser

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Ah, the debate between artistic integrity and practicality enters the digital age,

I hope you do what you feel is right, but if you can't finance your development for another day, then you won't be developing. Also, remember that as you grow older, your fire gets smaller and there is less fuel. If you are young, full of energy and ideas, it is best to get them out now.

If the heart of your artistic pursuits are in the clone, can it really be that bad to release it? Good luck and hire a lawyer to get their advice on the practical side of running against your original contract with Zman... perhaps there is practical wiggle room for you to avoid the cannons of the new owner, if they would waste any resources on the fight. Remember, their business is print publishing, so they may not pursue legal action.
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Henry Truong
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Darksbane wrote:
Doesn't hurt to ask does it? At the very least you could ask if he would be OK with you rethemeing and releasing even if he wants nothing from it. If he was then i don't see what the problem would be.


I did talk with Matt about a bunch of things after this all went down before making my ultimate decisions.
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David Boeren
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I don't know the contract details, but is it possible to create a new contract with the game author (not Z-Man)?

Barring that, I would talk with the original author and if he's supportive of a re-skinning of the game then I'd go forward with it. So far at least it seems like the community wouldn't view this as an immoral act so if he doesn't either then you're good to go - especially if you can include some sort of "inspired by and published with the permission of XXXX" sort of screen.

The app itself looks great, nicely polished and what looks like a good UI, it would be a shame to simply throw it away. IMHO, the new owner's stubbornness and refusal to talk to you about it is what is immoral about this.

Also, good idea to put the video out there, you should have no trouble getting additional projects with this on your resume. If you like doing co-ops, go talk to the Flash Point guy
 
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J.A. Mora
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Some time ago, it was published an app called "Scotland Yard", developed by Deepak Demiwal. Clearly it was a conversion of the homonymous title published by Ravensburger. Someone got annoyed by this and the app was quickly removed from the Apple store.

Some months later, the same app was again on the store, now with the name changed to "Detectives's Chase". Apart from the name and some minor enhancements, nothing was changed. It's still available. It must be said that the developer offered the original buyers a promotional code to get the new app for free.

So again, get your stuff, change its name, modify slightly the artwork and get it published.
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Henry Truong
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dboeren wrote:
I don't know the contract details, but is it possible to create a new contract with the game author (not Z-Man)?


Unfortunately not, since Z-Man owns the electronic rights to the game.
 
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Rob Ryan
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I think the take-home lesson here is to hire a good contract lawyer before you start doing any development work for anybody in the future.

Your work looks great, and Filosofia is not thinking clearly in regards to working out a deal with you (unless your terms were not realistic). For the boardgames with a large fan base someone always seems to make a digital version. Look how various versions of digital Catan came out before an official version came out. Lost opportunities for revenue all around. Not impressed with Filosofia; as far as I can tell they don't even have a website in English.

I would give them one more opportunity to work out a fair deal and if they say no, then re-skin, re-theme as needed to publish your work. Look how popular "words with friends" turned out. Maybe they will pay you a small fee not to publish it...
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David Boeren
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Just as a note, I went to look for this Detective's Chase and couldn't find it. Turns out it exists, but is iPad only.
 
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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HungryTenor wrote:
dboeren wrote:
I don't know the contract details, but is it possible to create a new contract with the game author (not Z-Man)?


Unfortunately not, since Z-Man owns the electronic rights to the game.


?? So what's the issue then? I thought Z-Man was behind this. Or is it a question of Filosofia writing the check (or not)?
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Henry Truong
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Grudunza wrote:
HungryTenor wrote:
dboeren wrote:
I don't know the contract details, but is it possible to create a new contract with the game author (not Z-Man)?


Unfortunately not, since Z-Man owns the electronic rights to the game.


?? So what's the issue then? I thought Z-Man was behind this. Or is it a question of Filosofia writing the check (or not)?


Filosofia owns Z-Man now, and they're not interested in a new agreement.
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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According to Zev from the F:AT forums: "You will see it (a Pandemic app). It is being worked on in-house."

Not sure how I feel about that. It would be quite the standard to equal Henry's version, and it sucks that they left him in a lurch and went on developing an app, anyway. Of course, we're not privy to all of the details, like how much Henry was charging and how much it'll cost them now.

I have several ideas for retheming/changing Pandemic, if you ever reconsider that option.
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Henry Truong
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Grudunza wrote:
According to Zev from the F:AT forums: "You will see it (a Pandemic app). It is being worked on in-house."


Thanks for the info, I suspected that was what they were going to do, in order to have a product they would own and control. (Our old agreement was that Z-Man would get a cut of revenue. I offered to sell them our work instead, but they didn't respond.)
 
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Dan Reigner
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If you need more beta testers (wink wink) I'm sure there are enough people here who would love to "test it".
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Dicky P
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riggy469 wrote:
If you need more beta testers (wink wink) I'm sure there are enough people here who would love to "test it".


LOL. This has put you in the running for "The Understatement of the Year" award.

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Paul Doherty
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jfitzpatrick wrote:
As others have said... seriously: clone it. Make it about zombie epidemics or a mind-bending virus or *anything*. It's a beautiful app. Even if you didn't want to set the price point at $10 or such, I'd donate $20 just to see it released in some form. I mean you even included multiple device support! I love apps with multiple device support. Release it!


A good idea - he could KickStart the thing himself...
 
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Henry Truong
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pdoherty wrote:
A good idea - he could KickStart the thing himself...


Alas, Canadian.
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Tim Jordan
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While the original source game may already have been near perfect in your eyes, now that you've lost the official license, besides merely re-theming the project you now might make slight changes to gameplay you wouldn't have been free to do when trying to make an accurate port of the board game. The shackles have been removed so now you can add in some aspects that would make sense for a video game board game but would never work in a real life board game. :D
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J.A. Mora
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dboeren wrote:
Just as a note, I went to look for this Detective's Chase and couldn't find it. Turns out it exists, but is iPad only.


Believe me: it's a direct, straightforward conversion of the board game into an electronic format: same theme, artwork, names in the game and rules.

The only change they made was the name of the app. Maybe the guys in Ravensburger are unusually forgiving...
 
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Edward
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HungryTenor wrote:
theory wrote:
I'm confused. Just because a corporation changes "ownership" doesn't discharge it from all its contractual obligations.

I understand if you can't give more precise details about the nature of your contract, but as written it sounds like you have a textbook action for breach of contract to recover your reliance damages.


Chalk this up to naivete on my part, but when the agreement was made it was with the old Z-Man, so it was very much an arrangement in an indie spirit, and as such was not as ironclad as it should have been to protect us. But technically what happened is that the agreement was transferred, but despite my insistence to have discussions before the agreement term expired, they didn't open a dialogue until after it had lapsed.

I still don't understand. Presumably what should have happened was this:

Z-Man agrees with Henry that:

Henry will have license to make an electronic Pandemic game
Henry will share in the revenue with Z-Man
etc.

Why does any of that change when Z-Man is bought? Z-Man the entity continues to survive independent of who's owning it. That's the point of corporations.

I guess what I don't understand is what you meant by "agreement term". Unless your original contract specified that it expired on transfer, or that it somehow just disappeared after a couple years, or you hadn't actually finalized the contract yet (in which case you have vague quasi-contract claims to bring).

I don't want to get too much into specifics, since Internet lawyer and all that, but if your situation sounds like what it sounds like, I would seriously consider consulting an attorney.
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Henry Truong
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theory wrote:
I guess what I don't understand is what you meant by "agreement term". Unless your original contract specified that it expired on transfer, or that it somehow just disappeared after a couple years, or you hadn't actually finalized the contract yet (in which case you have vague quasi-contract claims to bring).


The agreement was set to expire if a product was not released by a certain date, and I needed approval to release. I was ready to release, but I wasn't able to get a hold of anybody. Later I found out that they stopped talking to me because of the change in ownership going down. By the time someone actually wanted to talk to me, the expiration date had passed.
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Kevin
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HungryTenor wrote:
The agreement was set to expire if a product was not released by a certain date, and I needed approval to release. I was ready to release, but I wasn't able to get a hold of anybody. Later I found out that they stopped talking to me because of the change in ownership going down. By the time someone actually wanted to talk to me, the expiration date had passed.


I would consider getting a lawyer to look at this to seek some kind of compensation.

It seems like you are a nice person but I would suggest it's time to stand up and let yourself be heard!
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Henry Truong
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soofaloofa wrote:
I would consider getting a lawyer to look at this to seek some kind of compensation.


I had many conversations with people after all this went down. Prognosis was not good. :\
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J Fitzpatrick
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HungryTenor wrote:
soofaloofa wrote:
I would consider getting a lawyer to look at this to seek some kind of compensation.


I had many conversations with people after all this went down. Prognosis was not good. :\


Well if you've talked to the new owners and they don't want to either 1) restart the project or 2) buy the project outright from you... then you essentially did all the work for free. Forget that... reskin the game and release it.
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Dave Howe
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I released an EveryGame module for Infection Express this past week, if anyone is interested.

http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/75602/everygame-module-for...

This works in the original EveryGame app, and the Redux version. Google to find out how to use in both!

More EveryGame modules are listed here:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/56816/item/2007648#ite...
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Dan Massek
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I would love a defenders of the realm game!
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