Flash Duel » News » New BGG Page for Second Edition

Author: ChampChunge
Hey guys, just a reminder that Second Edition updates have moved here.

It's a little unusual, but the new Flash Duel has so much new stuff (5 new game modes, support for 1-5 players, 10 new characters) that it's really a whole new game.

Mon Nov 7, 2011 1:37 am
Author: Flightmaster
David,

I don't see Reiner's name anywhere on here, but I assume (or rather hope) this is a license of En Garde.

Christian
FFG
Sat Nov 19, 2011 8:41 pm
Author: ohbalto
Wow. Zing.
Sat Nov 19, 2011 8:44 pm
Author: dysjunct
Knizia is thanked in the rulebook as the inspiration for the game. However there are enough differences in the ruleset that even if you removed the characters, the base game is not En Garde. Some people think it is too similar, although I don't.

The different play modes in 2e have zero counterpart in EG.
Sat Nov 19, 2011 9:00 pm
Author: KenToad
Flightmaster wrote:
David,

I don't see Reiner's name anywhere on here, but I assume (or rather hope) this is a license of En Garde.

Christian
FFG


I think this kind of determination would have to be made by Dr. Knizia or his publishers. I believe Knizia has sold the core mechanics to this game several times to different publishers, with only small changes.

Now I really want to play X-Wing, so I can judge for myself how it compares to Wings of War and whether that's more incestuous than Flash Duel and En Garde.
Sat Nov 19, 2011 10:12 pm
Author: Sirlin
Christian, I don't know about the CEO of another game company posting literally immediately after the announcement of someone else's new game with what sounds like some accusation of wrongdoing. I will hope that was not your intent, but I don't know how else to interpret it. It's also off-base.

For reference, Dominion has 25 different abilities in the box. Flash Duel's 20 characters(!) have 60 different abilities. So more than double the number of effects in Dominion, or alternatively, more than Dominion plus an expansion. I only mention Dominion as a frame of reference to show just many abilities there really are. Anyway, these 20 characters with 60 abilities who have 210 different 1v1 matchups are hard to even compare to En Garde's 0 abilities, 0 characters, and 0 matchups. Flash Duel also has a cooperative dragon raid mode for 5 players, a 2v2 team battle, and a solo mode. Even if you were to set aside all those many things (and why would you?), there's still the base mechanics we could talk about. Flash Duel takes place on a different sized board with different discard rules, different timing rules, mechanics of "push" and "dashing block" not found in En Garde, a differently functioning dashing strike, and so on. After all this, one might ask what IS the same in the two games? Well, the idea that a card with a 5 on it can move a piece on a board 5 spaces or attack something 5 spaces away. So...yeah.

Luckily for us all, the idea that a card with a 5 on it can both move a piece 5 spaces and attack a distance of 5 is not something that anyone has a monopoly on. Fortunately, this simple, almost *twenty year* old mechanic is not something that only one game can ever use. Imagine if only one game could have lands tapping for mana, or if only one game could use deckbuilding mechanics.

Anyway, it's not really fair to derail a thread about a new game with such things. I think it's more interesting to talk about the substance of the design itself, so if anyone has questions or comments on that, I encourage it!

For example, there were quite some challenges in making 20 different characters all fair against each other and all express the personalities they are supposed to express, especially when they can be played in several entirely different game modes. There challenges in making the interactions more clear than they were in the earlier edition. There's also the attempt at advancing the art of cooperative games in general with the specific way the traitor mechanics of the dragon raid mode attempt to solve dominant-player-problem that almost all co-op games suffer from. Or there's the unexpected bonuses of the portable version of the game included for free, or that the game contains what were originally going to be base game + two expansions, all in one box for the same price as the previous base game. Or that there's even a way to play two simultaneous games of 1v1 with the components included, because we went the extra mile to try to include that perk. Or we could talk about whether the inclusion of video game-style achievements for the 1p mode is something people are interested in or not.

There's so much fertile ground about design, balance, and flavor that we could cover that I think that's a better direction for the thread to take.
Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:46 am
Author: CapAp
Flightmaster wrote:
David,

I don't see Reiner's name anywhere on here, but I assume (or rather hope) this is a license of En Garde.

Christian
FFG


Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:36 pm
Author: Glencannon
Flightmaster wrote:
David,

I don't see Reiner's name anywhere on here, but I assume (or rather hope) this is a license of En Garde.

Christian
FFG


lol For a CEO of a major game publishing company you are very passive aggressive and bit petty. Wow. Is the big corporate guy trying to beat up on the small upstart? Maybe there is some jealousy? Who knows.
Sat Dec 3, 2011 8:58 am
Author: ChampChunge
I appreciate that you guys want to defend Sirlin, but let's let this lie, okay? I'm going to assume that everyone in this discussion had the best of intentions. Christian saw the picture and voiced a concern, to which Sirlin has responded.
Sun Dec 4, 2011 2:46 am
Author: darksurtur
I thought board game mechanics couldn't be patented anyways, so what does it matter? There is no IP to protect or lose if the game has new art, a new rulebook, and new terminology.
Sun Dec 4, 2011 3:37 am
Author: KenToad
darksurtur wrote:
I thought board game mechanics couldn't be patented anyways, so what does it matter? There is no IP to protect or lose if the game has new art, a new rulebook, and new terminology.


Right, until it gets tested in court, it's the law of gentlefolk and not burning bridges with potential business partners.
Sun Dec 4, 2011 4:59 am
Author: Glencannon
ChampChunge wrote:
I appreciate that you guys want to defend Sirlin, but let's let this lie, okay? I'm going to assume that everyone in this discussion had the best of intentions. Christian saw the picture and voiced a concern, to which Sirlin has responded.


No worries. But when I see a snarky comment meant to disparage the individual's credibility in a public way rather than present a valid critque of his work on its own, I get a little annoyed. Especially coming from someone in a highly respected position in the gaming community.

Basically this whole question should have been handled in a private email, instead of in a public forum. Sirlin had the class to answer his critic. Peterson could have shown the same by contacting him directly.

Mr. Peterson by his actions has shown little in the way of "best intentions". His comment was a veiled attempt to call Sirlin a plagiarist. Nothing more, nothing less.
Thu Dec 8, 2011 4:33 am
Author: Flightmaster
Sirlin wrote:
Christian, I don't know about the CEO of another game company posting literally immediately after the announcement of someone else's new game with what sounds like some accusation of wrongdoing. I will hope that was not your intent, but I don't know how else to interpret it. It's also off-base.

For reference, Dominion has 25 different abilities in the box. Flash Duel's 20 characters(!) have 60 different abilities. So more than double the number of effects in Dominion, or alternatively, more than Dominion plus an expansion. I only mention Dominion as a frame of reference to show just many abilities there really are. Anyway, these 20 characters with 60 abilities who have 210 different 1v1 matchups are hard to even compare to En Garde's 0 abilities, 0 characters, and 0 matchups. Flash Duel also has a cooperative dragon raid mode for 5 players, a 2v2 team battle, and a solo mode. Even if you were to set aside all those many things (and why would you?), there's still the base mechanics we could talk about. Flash Duel takes place on a different sized board with different discard rules, different timing rules, mechanics of "push" and "dashing block" not found in En Garde, a differently functioning dashing strike, and so on. After all this, one might ask what IS the same in the two games? Well, the idea that a card with a 5 on it can move a piece on a board 5 spaces or attack something 5 spaces away. So...yeah.

Luckily for us all, the idea that a card with a 5 on it can both move a piece 5 spaces and attack a distance of 5 is not something that anyone has a monopoly on. Fortunately, this simple, almost *twenty year* old mechanic is not something that only one game can ever use. Imagine if only one game could have lands tapping for mana, or if only one game could use deckbuilding mechanics.

Anyway, it's not really fair to derail a thread about a new game with such things. I think it's more interesting to talk about the substance of the design itself, so if anyone has questions or comments on that, I encourage it!

For example, there were quite some challenges in making 20 different characters all fair against each other and all express the personalities they are supposed to express, especially when they can be played in several entirely different game modes. There challenges in making the interactions more clear than they were in the earlier edition. There's also the attempt at advancing the art of cooperative games in general with the specific way the traitor mechanics of the dragon raid mode attempt to solve dominant-player-problem that almost all co-op games suffer from. Or there's the unexpected bonuses of the portable version of the game included for free, or that the game contains what were originally going to be base game + two expansions, all in one box for the same price as the previous base game. Or that there's even a way to play two simultaneous games of 1v1 with the components included, because we went the extra mile to try to include that perk. Or we could talk about whether the inclusion of video game-style achievements for the 1p mode is something people are interested in or not.

There's so much fertile ground about design, balance, and flavor that we could cover that I think that's a better direction for the thread to take.


David,

I strongly suggest that you discuss this with Reiner, I just had an exchange with him.

cP
FFG

Thu Dec 8, 2011 2:56 pm
Author: red black
Hello kettle, meet pot... anyone else find this thread a bit ironic?
Thu Dec 8, 2011 3:18 pm
Author: downstream
Flightmaster wrote:


David,

I strongly suggest that you discuss this with Reiner, I just had an exchange with him.

cP
FFG



Wow. At first I thought this was just some drive-by snarky comment, but it seems it's a full on assault. Where were all these amazing designer contacting skills when you were licensing and making changes to Merchant of Venus without talking to Richard Hamblen? Shouldn't you clean up the mess in your own backyard before inventing this one? Why have you not been so forward in posting publicly about that legal issue? Does your team of lawyers have a muzzle on you?

Having played both Flash Duel and En Garde, I agree fully with David Sirlin's comments that Flash Duel takes no more than a mechanic from En Garde, and adds a whole ton of stuff to that mechanic. To me, Flash Duel's use of the "fighting with number cards on a 2-d plane" mechanic is no different than Acension's use of Dominion's "deckbuilding" mechanic. Same mechanic, different game. I don't believe there is any substance to your complaint about Flash Duel, but even if there is, I personally feel it is in poor taste for you to make a public stink about another publisher's legal issues until the public knows the whole story about what happened with Merchant of Venus.
Thu Dec 8, 2011 3:24 pm
Author: dysjunct
downstream wrote:
I personally feel it is in poor taste for you to make a public stink about another publisher's legal issues until the public knows the whole story about what happened with Merchant of Venus.


I don't want to see a public stink between publishers even if one or both of them has zero issues. Like any other users, they should take it PM or STFU.
Thu Dec 8, 2011 3:43 pm
Author: red black
dysjunct wrote:
downstream wrote:
I personally feel it is in poor taste for you to make a public stink about another publisher's legal issues until the public knows the whole story about what happened with Merchant of Venus.


I don't want to see a public stink between publishers even if one or both of them has zero issues. Like any other users, they should take it PM or STFU.


I wouldn't even take it to PM. Question is, why does FFG care? If they intended to produce a similar game and went through the trouble of acquiring the rights to retheme En Garde, or whatever the legal sticky point is... then why not formally contact Sirlin Games; ie a letter or phone call.
Thu Dec 8, 2011 3:51 pm
Author: The Fallen
FFG were probably getting ready to announce their own version of En Guarde set in Terinoth.
Thu Dec 8, 2011 4:04 pm
Author: GamesOnTheBrain
Flightmaster wrote:
David,

I don't see Reiner's name anywhere on here, but I assume (or rather hope) this is a license of En Garde.

Christian
FFG

Thu Dec 8, 2011 4:43 pm
Author: Flightmaster
KenToad wrote:
[q="Flightmaster"]

Now I really want to play X-Wing, so I can judge for myself how it compares to Wings of War and whether that's more incestuous than Flash Duel and En Garde.


Ken,

First, I recommend you check out Wreckage, a game that FFG published before WoW was released, and something we developed for several years in the late 90's. Further, I would very much invite you to play X-Wing when released, as I find the notion of "incest" vis-a-vis WoW to be baseless. The two games share a genre (dog-fighting miniatures), to which I hope you agree there is no proprietary claim. Similarly, we do not claim "Eclipse" is an infringement of our "Twilight Imperium" on the basis that the two share a common concept and theme (great game, Eclipse, BTW, and a great addition to the genre).

I, and FFG, hold designers and their proprietary ideas in the highest regard, and we have decades long relationships with dozens of the finest designers in the world. I think they're important, and I will speak to defend them.

On the matter of this game, I consider Reiner a friend, and I personally think there's an issue here, so I will speak out when he cannot (due to the obvious bias). I think you'll agree these are not merely two games sharing the "fencing genre".

In this case, it is my opinion that both the publisher of En Garde (Gryphon) and Reiner is injured. I think it is in interest of the gaming public to understand that, even if some may disagree with me.

If I create special powers for Monopoly tokens, I would argue that I've made an expansion (or a variant) to an existing product, not that I made a new game.

From the response here, I think it is clear a license was not taken on En Garde. I would submit that this was, and remains, the correct thing to do. There is no reason why this shouldn't be a win-win for the parties, and it is not too late.

Disclaimer: I have no stake in En Garde, Gryphon, or Reiner Knizia's financial upsides or downsides. I express this as a personal opinion.

cP
FFG


Fri Dec 9, 2011 1:55 am
Author: Bond8089
Flightmaster wrote:
KenToad wrote:
[q="Flightmaster"]

Now I really want to play X-Wing, so I can judge for myself how it compares to Wings of War and whether that's more incestuous than Flash Duel and En Garde.


Ken,

First, I recommend you check out Wreckage, a game that FFG published before WoW was released, and something we developed for several years in the late 90's. Further, I would very much invite you to play X-Wing when released, as I find the notion of "incest" vis-a-vis WoW to be baseless. The two games share a genre (dog-fighting miniatures), to which I hope you agree there is no proprietary claim. Similarly, we do not claim "Eclipse" is an infringement of our "Twilight Imperium" on the basis that the two share a common concept and theme (great game, Eclipse, BTW, and a great addition to the genre).

I, and FFG, hold designers and their proprietary ideas in the highest regard, and we have decades long relationships with dozens of the finest designers in the world. I think they're important, and I will speak to defend them.

On the matter of this game, I consider Reiner a friend, and I personally think there's an issue here, so I will speak out when he cannot (due to the obvious bias). I think you'll agree these are not merely two games sharing the "fencing genre".

In this case, it is my opinion that both the publisher of En Garde (Gryphon) and Reiner is injured. I think it is in interest of the gaming public to understand that, even if some may disagree with me.

If I create special powers for Monopoly tokens, I would argue that I've made an expansion (or a variant) to an existing product, not that I made a new game.

From the response here, I think it is clear a license was not taken on En Garde. I would submit that this was, and remains, the correct thing to do. There is no reason why this shouldn't be a win-win for the parties, and it is not too late.

Disclaimer: I have no stake in En Garde, Gryphon, or Reiner Knizia's financial upsides or downsides. I express this as a personal opinion.

cP
FFG




Well said, and BTW, i agree with you 100%
Fri Dec 9, 2011 2:01 am
Author: The Fallen
Flightmaster wrote:
KenToad wrote:
[q="Flightmaster"]

Now I really want to play X-Wing, so I can judge for myself how it compares to Wings of War and whether that's more incestuous than Flash Duel and En Garde.


Ken,

First, I recommend you check out Wreckage, a game that FFG published before WoW was released, and something we developed for several years in the late 90's. Further, I would very much invite you to play X-Wing when released, as I find the notion of "incest" vis-a-vis WoW to be baseless. The two games share a genre (dog-fighting miniatures), to which I hope you agree there is no proprietary claim. Similarly, we do not claim "Eclipse" is an infringement of our "Twilight Imperium" on the basis that the two share a common concept and theme (great game, Eclipse, BTW, and a great addition to the genre).

I, and FFG, hold designers and their proprietary ideas in the highest regard, and we have decades long relationships with dozens of the finest designers in the world. I think they're important, and I will speak to defend them.

On the matter of this game, I consider Reiner a friend, and I personally think there's an issue here, so I will speak out when he cannot (due to the obvious bias). I think you'll agree these are not merely two games sharing the "fencing genre".

In this case, it is my opinion that both the publisher of En Garde (Gryphon) and Reiner is injured. I think it is in interest of the gaming public to understand that, even if some may disagree with me.

If I create special powers for Monopoly tokens, I would argue that I've made an expansion (or a variant) to an existing product, not that I made a new game.

From the response here, I think it is clear a license was not taken on En Garde. I would submit that this was, and remains, the correct thing to do. There is no reason why this shouldn't be a win-win for the parties, and it is not too late.

Disclaimer: I have no stake in En Garde, Gryphon, or Reiner Knizia's financial upsides or downsides. I express this as a personal opinion.

cP
FFG




This is a much more reasoned response (not saying I agree though). Honestly, your first post was a bit crass.

One question though, and I mean this in an entirely serious and nonjudgmental way. Given the bold [emphasis mine] passage above, why didn't FFG contact Hamblin when you decided to remake Merchants of Venus? It seems that this would have been the prudent thing to do even if there was no reason to believe that another company was working on the same game.
Fri Dec 9, 2011 2:13 am
Author: red black
Flightmaster wrote:
In this case, it is my opinion that both the publisher of En Garde (Gryphon) and Reiner is injured. I think it is in interest of the gaming public to understand that, even if some may disagree with me.


Then why not directly address Sirlin's points:

Sirlin wrote:
Anyway, these 20 characters with 60 abilities who have 210 different 1v1 matchups are hard to even compare to En Garde's 0 abilities, 0 characters, and 0 matchups. Flash Duel also has a cooperative dragon raid mode for 5 players, a 2v2 team battle, and a solo mode. Even if you were to set aside all those many things (and why would you?), there's still the base mechanics we could talk about. Flash Duel takes place on a different sized board with different discard rules, different timing rules, mechanics of "push" and "dashing block" not found in En Garde, a differently functioning dashing strike, and so on. After all this, one might ask what IS the same in the two games? Well, the idea that a card with a 5 on it can move a piece on a board 5 spaces or attack something 5 spaces away. So...yeah.


Fri Dec 9, 2011 2:16 am
Author: franklincobb
This looks excellent, David. Another homerun in the making, in terms of game quality.
Fri Dec 9, 2011 2:17 am
Author: Bond8089
The Fallen wrote:
Flightmaster wrote:
KenToad wrote:
[q="Flightmaster"]

Now I really want to play X-Wing, so I can judge for myself how it compares to Wings of War and whether that's more incestuous than Flash Duel and En Garde.


Ken,

First, I recommend you check out Wreckage, a game that FFG published before WoW was released, and something we developed for several years in the late 90's. Further, I would very much invite you to play X-Wing when released, as I find the notion of "incest" vis-a-vis WoW to be baseless. The two games share a genre (dog-fighting miniatures), to which I hope you agree there is no proprietary claim. Similarly, we do not claim "Eclipse" is an infringement of our "Twilight Imperium" on the basis that the two share a common concept and theme (great game, Eclipse, BTW, and a great addition to the genre).

I, and FFG, hold designers and their proprietary ideas in the highest regard, and we have decades long relationships with dozens of the finest designers in the world. I think they're important, and I will speak to defend them.

On the matter of this game, I consider Reiner a friend, and I personally think there's an issue here, so I will speak out when he cannot (due to the obvious bias). I think you'll agree these are not merely two games sharing the "fencing genre".

In this case, it is my opinion that both the publisher of En Garde (Gryphon) and Reiner is injured. I think it is in interest of the gaming public to understand that, even if some may disagree with me.

If I create special powers for Monopoly tokens, I would argue that I've made an expansion (or a variant) to an existing product, not that I made a new game.

From the response here, I think it is clear a license was not taken on En Garde. I would submit that this was, and remains, the correct thing to do. There is no reason why this shouldn't be a win-win for the parties, and it is not too late.

Disclaimer: I have no stake in En Garde, Gryphon, or Reiner Knizia's financial upsides or downsides. I express this as a personal opinion.

cP
FFG




This is a much more reasoned response (not saying I agree though). Honestly, your first post was a bit crass.

One question though, and I mean this in an entirely serious and nonjudgmental way. Given the bold [emphasis mine] passage above, why didn't FFG contact Hamblin when you decided to remake Merchants of Venus? It seems that this would have been the prudent thing to do even if there was no reason to believe that another company was working on the same game.


Dude, if you contacted who you thought had the rights, and they said they did indeed have the rights, why would you contact the original designer of the game? If you want to throw out comparisons, why not throw out the Battles of Westeros game? It is NOT that much like battlelore, but they went out and licensed the mechanics, and even put the name on the box (with Richard Borgs name).
Fri Dec 9, 2011 2:20 am
Author: red black
Bond8089 wrote:
Dude, if you contacted who you thought had the rights, and they said they did indeed have the rights, why would you contact the original designer of the game? If you want to throw out comparisons, why not throw out the Battles of Westeros game? It is NOT that much like battlelore, but they went out and licensed the mechanics, and even put the name on the box (with Richard Borgs name).


If I ran a publishing company and I contacted Hasbro I'd want to see legal proof that they owned the rights.
Fri Dec 9, 2011 2:24 am
Author: The Fallen
Bond8089 wrote:
The Fallen wrote:
Flightmaster wrote:
KenToad wrote:
[q="Flightmaster"]

Now I really want to play X-Wing, so I can judge for myself how it compares to Wings of War and whether that's more incestuous than Flash Duel and En Garde.


Ken,

First, I recommend you check out Wreckage, a game that FFG published before WoW was released, and something we developed for several years in the late 90's. Further, I would very much invite you to play X-Wing when released, as I find the notion of "incest" vis-a-vis WoW to be baseless. The two games share a genre (dog-fighting miniatures), to which I hope you agree there is no proprietary claim. Similarly, we do not claim "Eclipse" is an infringement of our "Twilight Imperium" on the basis that the two share a common concept and theme (great game, Eclipse, BTW, and a great addition to the genre).

I, and FFG, hold designers and their proprietary ideas in the highest regard, and we have decades long relationships with dozens of the finest designers in the world. I think they're important, and I will speak to defend them.

On the matter of this game, I consider Reiner a friend, and I personally think there's an issue here, so I will speak out when he cannot (due to the obvious bias). I think you'll agree these are not merely two games sharing the "fencing genre".

In this case, it is my opinion that both the publisher of En Garde (Gryphon) and Reiner is injured. I think it is in interest of the gaming public to understand that, even if some may disagree with me.

If I create special powers for Monopoly tokens, I would argue that I've made an expansion (or a variant) to an existing product, not that I made a new game.

From the response here, I think it is clear a license was not taken on En Garde. I would submit that this was, and remains, the correct thing to do. There is no reason why this shouldn't be a win-win for the parties, and it is not too late.

Disclaimer: I have no stake in En Garde, Gryphon, or Reiner Knizia's financial upsides or downsides. I express this as a personal opinion.

cP
FFG




This is a much more reasoned response (not saying I agree though). Honestly, your first post was a bit crass.

One question though, and I mean this in an entirely serious and nonjudgmental way. Given the bold [emphasis mine] passage above, why didn't FFG contact Hamblin when you decided to remake Merchants of Venus? It seems that this would have been the prudent thing to do even if there was no reason to believe that another company was working on the same game.


Dude, if you contacted who you thought had the rights, and they said they did indeed have the rights, why would you contact the original designer of the game? If you want to throw out comparisons, why not throw out the Battles of Westeros game? It is NOT that much like battlelore, but they went out and licensed the mechanics, and even put the name on the box (with Richard Borgs name).



I never said he had a responsibility to contact the original designer, but given his supposed respect of game designers, it seems a bit out of place to be throwing stones at Sirlin Games for have a game that shares a similar mechanic to another game while simultaneously having zero contact with another designer who's much sought after grail game you are remaking. Bonus points for complaining about the second edition of the game.

Edit: I do not want to imply that FFG acted in bad faith when licensing the rights from Hasbro either, as I have no reason to believe that they did. This is merely a curious observation about an otherwise upstanding company that I love.
Fri Dec 9, 2011 2:25 am
Author: Bond8089
red black wrote:
Bond8089 wrote:
Dude, if you contacted who you thought had the rights, and they said they did indeed have the rights, why would you contact the original designer of the game? If you want to throw out comparisons, why not throw out the Battles of Westeros game? It is NOT that much like battlelore, but they went out and licensed the mechanics, and even put the name on the box (with Richard Borgs name).


If I ran a publishing company and I contacted Hasbro I'd want to see legal proof that they owned the rights.


They probably had it...
Fri Dec 9, 2011 2:30 am
Author: red black
Bond8089 wrote:
red black wrote:
Bond8089 wrote:
Dude, if you contacted who you thought had the rights, and they said they did indeed have the rights, why would you contact the original designer of the game? If you want to throw out comparisons, why not throw out the Battles of Westeros game? It is NOT that much like battlelore, but they went out and licensed the mechanics, and even put the name on the box (with Richard Borgs name).


If I ran a publishing company and I contacted Hasbro I'd want to see legal proof that they owned the rights.


They probably had it...


Apparently so does Hamblen. If neither party can clearly establish they own the rights then why not talk to both parties to work something out.
Fri Dec 9, 2011 2:35 am
Author: darksurtur
Flightmaster wrote:

I, and FFG, hold designers and their proprietary ideas in the highest regard, and we have decades long relationships with dozens of the finest designers in the world. I think they're important, and I will speak to defend them.

On the matter of this game, I consider Reiner a friend, and I personally think there's an issue here, so I will speak out when he cannot (due to the obvious bias). I think you'll agree these are not merely two games sharing the "fencing genre".

In this case, it is my opinion that both the publisher of En Garde (Gryphon) and Reiner is injured. I think it is in interest of the gaming public to understand that, even if some may disagree with me.

If I create special powers for Monopoly tokens, I would argue that I've made an expansion (or a variant) to an existing product, not that I made a new game.

From the response here, I think it is clear a license was not taken on En Garde. I would submit that this was, and remains, the correct thing to do. There is no reason why this shouldn't be a win-win for the parties, and it is not too late.

Disclaimer: I have no stake in En Garde, Gryphon, or Reiner Knizia's financial upsides or downsides. I express this as a personal opinion.

cP
FFG




I appreciate you articulating your concerns in more detail than above, but I am still confused on what the point of posting here was. You saw what you think is infringement. You implied you notified the possibly aggrieved parties. It is their role, and their responsibility, to act if they see a legitimate reason for doing so. The fact that they haven't yet speaks volumes. Posting here and implying you are the voice of a party that has no ability to speak (they do) is not only comes off as very passive aggressive and catty, in my opinion it is not even particularly appropriate.
Fri Dec 9, 2011 3:18 am
Author: Flightmaster
The Fallen wrote:
Flightmaster wrote:
KenToad wrote:
[q="Flightmaster"]

Now I really want to play X-Wing, so I can judge for myself how it compares to Wings of War and whether that's more incestuous than Flash Duel and En Garde.


Ken,

First, I recommend you check out Wreckage, a game that FFG published before WoW was released, and something we developed for several years in the late 90's. Further, I would very much invite you to play X-Wing when released, as I find the notion of "incest" vis-a-vis WoW to be baseless. The two games share a genre (dog-fighting miniatures), to which I hope you agree there is no proprietary claim. Similarly, we do not claim "Eclipse" is an infringement of our "Twilight Imperium" on the basis that the two share a common concept and theme (great game, Eclipse, BTW, and a great addition to the genre).

I, and FFG, hold designers and their proprietary ideas in the highest regard, and we have decades long relationships with dozens of the finest designers in the world. I think they're important, and I will speak to defend them.

On the matter of this game, I consider Reiner a friend, and I personally think there's an issue here, so I will speak out when he cannot (due to the obvious bias). I think you'll agree these are not merely two games sharing the "fencing genre".

In this case, it is my opinion that both the publisher of En Garde (Gryphon) and Reiner is injured. I think it is in interest of the gaming public to understand that, even if some may disagree with me.

If I create special powers for Monopoly tokens, I would argue that I've made an expansion (or a variant) to an existing product, not that I made a new game.

From the response here, I think it is clear a license was not taken on En Garde. I would submit that this was, and remains, the correct thing to do. There is no reason why this shouldn't be a win-win for the parties, and it is not too late.

Disclaimer: I have no stake in En Garde, Gryphon, or Reiner Knizia's financial upsides or downsides. I express this as a personal opinion.

cP
FFG




Given the bold [emphasis mine] passage above, why didn't FFG contact Hamblin when you decided to remake Merchants of Venus?


We had no reason to suspect he was not aware of our work. In hindsight, obviously we should have, but our approvals and communication was through the entity which licensed us the game and TM.

cP
FFG


Fri Dec 9, 2011 3:23 am
Author: GamesOnTheBrain
Flightmaster wrote:
If I create special powers for Monopoly tokens, I would argue that I've made an expansion (or a variant) to an existing product, not that I made a new game.

Yet surely you'd agree that at some point an idea can be expanded and transformed so much that it bears little resemblance to the original idea, such that it can rightfully be called a new game.

That determination is a subjective one, and it's rarely black and white. In this case, you clearly believe Flash Duel is little more than an expansion of En Garde, and David does not, so who's right? Without something like a patent, who knows?

And speaking of patents and proprietary rights, I'm curious... has FFG has licensed the patented tapping mechanic from WotC?
Fri Dec 9, 2011 3:26 am
Author: Flightmaster
darksurtur wrote:
Flightmaster wrote:

I, and FFG, hold designers and their proprietary ideas in the highest regard, and we have decades long relationships with dozens of the finest designers in the world. I think they're important, and I will speak to defend them.

On the matter of this game, I consider Reiner a friend, and I personally think there's an issue here, so I will speak out when he cannot (due to the obvious bias). I think you'll agree these are not merely two games sharing the "fencing genre".

In this case, it is my opinion that both the publisher of En Garde (Gryphon) and Reiner is injured. I think it is in interest of the gaming public to understand that, even if some may disagree with me.

If I create special powers for Monopoly tokens, I would argue that I've made an expansion (or a variant) to an existing product, not that I made a new game.

From the response here, I think it is clear a license was not taken on En Garde. I would submit that this was, and remains, the correct thing to do. There is no reason why this shouldn't be a win-win for the parties, and it is not too late.

Disclaimer: I have no stake in En Garde, Gryphon, or Reiner Knizia's financial upsides or downsides. I express this as a personal opinion.

cP
FFG




I appreciate you articulating your concerns in more detail than above, but I am still confused on what the point of posting here was. You saw what you think is infringement. You implied you notified the possibly aggrieved parties. It is their role, and their responsibility, to act if they see a legitimate reason for doing so. The fact that they haven't yet speaks volumes. Posting here and implying you are the voice of a party that has no ability to speak (they do) is not only comes off as very passive aggressive and catty, in my opinion it is not even particularly appropriate.


While I agree with your assessment generally, I believe this is the interest of the injured parties. Had they voiced opinion on the subject, they would have been seen as defensive and biased. If Gryphon and Knizia believe my concern to be misplaced, I would be happy to apologize to them. There are times, however, in the interest of what I value in our industry, when silence is the greater sin. I'm not thrilled to seem "catty". In this case, however, I'll take the lumps (and don't fault you for giving them).

cP
FFG


Fri Dec 9, 2011 3:32 am
Author: craniac
Fri Dec 9, 2011 3:35 am
Author: darksurtur
Flightmaster wrote:
darksurtur wrote:


I appreciate you articulating your concerns in more detail than above, but I am still confused on what the point of posting here was. You saw what you think is infringement. You implied you notified the possibly aggrieved parties. It is their role, and their responsibility, to act if they see a legitimate reason for doing so. The fact that they haven't yet speaks volumes. Posting here and implying you are the voice of a party that has no ability to speak (they do) is not only comes off as very passive aggressive and catty, in my opinion it is not even particularly appropriate.


While I agree with your assessment generally, I believe this is the interest of the injured parties. Had they voiced opinion on the subject, they would have been seen as defensive and biased. If Gryphon and Knizia believe my concern to be misplaced, I would be happy to apologize to them. There are times, however, in the interest of what I value in our industry, when silence is the greater sin. I'm not thrilled to seem "catty". In this case, however, I'll take the lumps (and don't fault you for giving them).

cP
FFG




By "voice," I don't mean here on BGG (because it seems unlikely you'll ever gain enough public support on a niche forum about a niche game to exert effective pressure on a game publisher). I mean court, which is the proper venue for handling infringement claims and defenses. Court also has real costs, and that means rights holders have to make real decisions about the strength of their case. In other words, it seems the other parties are aware of the game, but they have not filed a claim despite years of availability, which implies that they think the claim is not particularly strong. And I tend to believe them.
Fri Dec 9, 2011 3:43 am
Author: andrewgr
Flightmaster wrote:
David,

I don't see Reiner's name anywhere on here, but I assume (or rather hope) this is a license of En Garde.

Christian
FFG


Have you actually played the game?

This is a serious question. I would really like to know if you actually played the game before deciding it was so close to En Garde that it needed to licensed. I get the impression that you're basing your premise on just the picture. I suspect that's why you haven't even attempted to address Sirlin's detailed post about the differences and similarity between the games. Because personally, I can't really imagine anyone playing both games and coming to the conclusion that you have. I find it more plausible that you simply reacted to a photo.

I am quite comfortable in saying that Ascension, Thunderstone, Nightfall, Throne Worlds, and other deck building games have more in common with Dominion than Flash Duel does with En Garde. I am equally comfortable in saying that Dr. Knizia's Blue Moon owes more to Magic the Gathering than Flash Duel does to En Garde (by a wide margin). I thought crediting Dr. Knizia with inspiration for the idea was a classy gesture, and correctly indicated the extent to which Flash Duel owes anything to En Garde.
Fri Dec 9, 2011 3:43 am
Author: The Fallen
Flightmaster wrote:
The Fallen wrote:
Flightmaster wrote:
KenToad wrote:
[q="Flightmaster"]

Now I really want to play X-Wing, so I can judge for myself how it compares to Wings of War and whether that's more incestuous than Flash Duel and En Garde.


Ken,

First, I recommend you check out Wreckage, a game that FFG published before WoW was released, and something we developed for several years in the late 90's. Further, I would very much invite you to play X-Wing when released, as I find the notion of "incest" vis-a-vis WoW to be baseless. The two games share a genre (dog-fighting miniatures), to which I hope you agree there is no proprietary claim. Similarly, we do not claim "Eclipse" is an infringement of our "Twilight Imperium" on the basis that the two share a common concept and theme (great game, Eclipse, BTW, and a great addition to the genre).

I, and FFG, hold designers and their proprietary ideas in the highest regard, and we have decades long relationships with dozens of the finest designers in the world. I think they're important, and I will speak to defend them.

On the matter of this game, I consider Reiner a friend, and I personally think there's an issue here, so I will speak out when he cannot (due to the obvious bias). I think you'll agree these are not merely two games sharing the "fencing genre".

In this case, it is my opinion that both the publisher of En Garde (Gryphon) and Reiner is injured. I think it is in interest of the gaming public to understand that, even if some may disagree with me.

If I create special powers for Monopoly tokens, I would argue that I've made an expansion (or a variant) to an existing product, not that I made a new game.

From the response here, I think it is clear a license was not taken on En Garde. I would submit that this was, and remains, the correct thing to do. There is no reason why this shouldn't be a win-win for the parties, and it is not too late.

Disclaimer: I have no stake in En Garde, Gryphon, or Reiner Knizia's financial upsides or downsides. I express this as a personal opinion.

cP
FFG




Given the bold [emphasis mine] passage above, why didn't FFG contact Hamblin when you decided to remake Merchants of Venus?


We had no reason to suspect he was not aware of our work. In hindsight, obviously we should have, but our approvals and communication was through the entity which licensed us the game and TM.

cP
FFG




Thank you for the response and sorry for the derail.
Fri Dec 9, 2011 4:00 am
Author: Flightmaster
GamesOnTheBrain wrote:
Flightmaster wrote:
If I create special powers for Monopoly tokens, I would argue that I've made an expansion (or a variant) to an existing product, not that I made a new game.

Yet surely you'd agree that at some point an idea can be expanded and transformed so much that it bears little resemblance to the original idea, such that it can rightfully be called a new game.

And speaking of patents and proprietary rights, I'm curious... has FFG has licensed the patented tapping mechanic from WotC?


No. Primarily because, despite common belief, WOTC does not have a patent on tapping. They have patent for a style of play of which the "tapping" is one of a number of claims. Many years ago, FFG had discussions with WOTC on this, and we did a full exploratory (and expensive) legal analysis on this issue, including a review on the prior-art on the matter. WOTC did not contest our written observation to them on the matter, nor was our request for other details on their patent case history provided. In other words, we did our full due diligence and communicated with WOTC in good faith on this issue (in 2002 I believe).

In our reading, they have a patent for a style of play that is embodied in Magic the Gathering (as manifested in play in correlation to the series of claims on that Patent), not for the obvious (i.e. as opposed to non-obvious, an important aspect in patents) changing the direction of a card as a means to imply effect. However, we would have gladly licensed the patent should we have wished to derive the style of play protected by their patent (i.e a game product that embodied the series of claims).

FFG takes licenses from game systems from their designers or rights-holders, giving them compensation for our use of their proprietary rights. I think our record shows this clearly, and that I can speak without a double-standard on this issue to defend Reiner and Gryphon.

I take it you think this issue is related to the "tapping patent"? I don't think that anyone (certainly not I) is claiming that Knizia has a proprietary claim to "moving a pawn on a track" (a tactile equivalent to a card "tap".) In this issue, I would point to a broad and direct derivation of the copyright in the rules of En Garde, and an unjust use of En Garde's accrued goodwill in the mind of the public.

This is not an easy area, and proprietary rights of others can be inadvertently violated. This is usually amicably and fairly resolved, however, as this issue could be, if David contacts Reiner.

It is one thing to stand on the shoulders of a giant, it is another to kick him in the knee and take his lunch.

cP
FFG
Fri Dec 9, 2011 4:11 am
Author: Flightmaster
darksurtur wrote:
Flightmaster wrote:
darksurtur wrote:


I appreciate you articulating your concerns in more detail than above, but I am still confused on what the point of posting here was. You saw what you think is infringement. You implied you notified the possibly aggrieved parties. It is their role, and their responsibility, to act if they see a legitimate reason for doing so. The fact that they haven't yet speaks volumes. Posting here and implying you are the voice of a party that has no ability to speak (they do) is not only comes off as very passive aggressive and catty, in my opinion it is not even particularly appropriate.


While I agree with your assessment generally, I believe this is the interest of the injured parties. Had they voiced opinion on the subject, they would have been seen as defensive and biased. If Gryphon and Knizia believe my concern to be misplaced, I would be happy to apologize to them. There are times, however, in the interest of what I value in our industry, when silence is the greater sin. I'm not thrilled to seem "catty". In this case, however, I'll take the lumps (and don't fault you for giving them).

cP
FFG




By "voice," I don't mean here on BGG (because it seems unlikely you'll ever gain enough public support on a niche forum about a niche game to exert effective pressure on a game publisher). I mean court, which is the proper venue for handling infringement claims and defenses. Court also has real costs, and that means rights holders have to make real decisions about the strength of their case. In other words, it seems the other parties are aware of the game, but they have not filed a claim despite years of availability, which implies that they think the claim is not particularly strong. And I tend to believe them.


I understand your point, but I think you underestimate the power of niche communities and the public discourse on BGG to change publisher behavior (speaking from personal experience).

Cheers.
cP
FFG
Fri Dec 9, 2011 4:14 am
Author: red black
wrote:
In this issue, I would point to a broad and direct derivation of the copyright in the rules of En Garde, and an unjust use of En Garde's accrued goodwill in the mind of the public.


Care to elaborate? Sirlin described how the games are nothing alike.
Fri Dec 9, 2011 4:22 am
Author: garcia1000
As a consumer this looks like a non-issue. Games build on previous games, just as ideas build on previous ideas. I doubt Shadow Hunters had to license anything from Bang! guys. (Incidentally, Shadow Hunters is much more fun for me.)
Fri Dec 9, 2011 4:59 am
Author: garcia1000
Flightmaster wrote:
In this issue, I would point to a broad and direct derivation of the copyright in the rules of En Garde, and an unjust use of En Garde's accrued goodwill in the mind of the public.


I think this is quite a strong claim, because it contradicts most of the things I have read online, such as

http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl108.html

"Once a game has been made public, nothing in the copyright law prevents others from developing another game based on similar principles."

My understanding of this is that nothing in the copyright law prevents others from developing another game based on similar principles.
Fri Dec 9, 2011 5:09 am
Author: franklincobb
garcia1000 wrote:
Flightmaster wrote:
In this issue, I would point to a broad and direct derivation of the copyright in the rules of En Garde, and an unjust use of En Garde's accrued goodwill in the mind of the public.


I think this is quite a strong claim, because it contradicts most of the things I have read online, such as

http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl108.html

"Once a game has been made public, nothing in the copyright law prevents others from developing another game based on similar principles."

My understanding of this is that nothing in the copyright law prevents others from developing another game based on similar principles.



When it comes to games, the only thing you can copyright apparently are rules (exact wording of rules, actually) and artwork. You can get patents for especially unique gameplay elements, I'm sure, but usually of something physical in nature.

David gives credit to Reiner in his rules for the inspiration. I hope X-Wing has a similar blurb devoted to Andrea.

Fri Dec 9, 2011 5:53 am
Author: downstream
andrewgr wrote:
Have you actually played the game? ... Because personally, I can't really imagine anyone playing both games and coming to the conclusion that you have. I find it more plausible that you simply reacted to a photo.

Flightmaster wrote:
On the matter of this game, I consider Reiner a friend, and I personally think there's an issue here, so I will speak out when he cannot (due to the obvious bias).

I also get the impression that you haven't played the game. You claim Reiner cannot speak due to an obvious bias, but you also say that you consider him a friend, your company publishes some of his games, and you likely haven't played Flash Duel either. Doesn't that make you approximately the second most biased person to determine whether a legal violation exists here?

Flightmaster wrote:
I think you'll agree these are not merely two games sharing the "fencing genre"...If I create special powers for Monopoly tokens, I would argue that I've made an expansion (or a variant) to an existing product, not that I made a new game.

If that analogy was appropriate, your concerns would make sense, but the designer of the game, as well as others on this forum have provided details explaining how that analogy is not appropriate. A game of monopoly with tokens that had special powers would still feel like playing Monopoly as nearly all of the rules details would be exactly the same. Considering the number of differences between Flash Duel and En Garde, it seems clear me that the similarities between them constitute no more than a mechanic (using number cards to move and attack on a 2 dimensional plane), and that even this mechanic has been adjusted in significant ways. The theme is not even the same, Flash Duel is not a fencing game as you seem to imply above. Obvious design effort has been put into the asymmetrical characters and detailed theme, and these are what determine the feel of a game of Flash Duel, not the mechanic taken from En Garde. As someone who has played both games, I argue that a reasonable analogy for En Garde and Flash Duel would be Dominion and Ascension. Ascension used the exact same deckbuilding mechanic, but changed some of the details of the rules, and added some creative twists.

GamesOnTheBrain wrote:
Yet surely you'd agree that at some point an idea can be expanded and transformed so much that it bears little resemblance to the original idea, such that it can rightfully be called a new game.

That determination is a subjective one, and it's rarely black and white.

I second this, and furthermore feel that it is a determination that would be much better made by a less biased individual. (Or at least one that has played both games).
Fri Dec 9, 2011 6:21 am
Author: angiolillo
ohbalto wrote:
Wow. Zing.


Since the WoW/X-Wing case keeps on being quoted, please let me very quickly give my point of view too. I think that it's more fair if you have both, and not just Christian's, on such a delicate matter that, as Tim whisely says, "it's rarely black and white."

I too look forward to play X-Wing when released to better judge. For the moment I must say that - according to what I see and read - to my eyes Wings of War

and X-Wing

seems quite far more similar to each other than any other dog-fighting miniatures game that I can think of, so they share IMHO quite more than just "a genre". Let's see what will be in the released box.

What's more important to my eyes, FFG has been the first to think that WoW's mechanics were original and new enough to be worth licensing by them. They contacted the rights owners of WoW to buy the game mechanics to be used in X-Wing, and they even offered to write
Quote:
Game Design By Andrea Angiolino and Pier Giorgio Paglia
on all packagings and manuals. They then decided to withdraw the offer and they now feel that they don't owe anything to WoW's authors, but I find difficult to see how the existence of Wreckage (yes, please study that game well too) or of any previous game might justify this change of mind.

Thanks to everybody.
Fri Dec 9, 2011 7:01 am
Author: SirHandsome
Christian, I love FFG and by extension love you but I think your attitude displayed here is bad for the industry, and I sincerely hope that the copyright laws others have posted are right and no court would agree with you, because the morals you are implying would stifle innovation or at least limit it to companies who had the connections or the capital to "license" simple ideas

David Sirlin had a good point when he said "Luckily for us all, the idea that a card with a 5 on it can both move a piece 5 spaces and attack a distance of 5 is not something that anyone has a monopoly on."

What's the difference between Flash Duel and any other game that uses simple mechanics from other games, really? For a recent example that's already been brought up, what about pretty much every deck building game?

Flash Duel DEFINITELY used a couple mechanics from En Garde. But I think that the difference here is, and the reason you are even taking issue with that is because En Garde is a bare-bones, basic game and those couple mechanics are basically all it consists of (thats not an insult)

Basically, it looks like 100% of the game was taken and simply added to. But to realize what's going on, you have to first recognize the simplicity of En Garde... that "100%" was just a few mechanics big

Also, it's easy for you to pick on Flash Duel unfairly simply because there haven't been enough similar games released for you to consider it a "genre"... kinda like how before there was a term for "First Person Shooter" there were only "Doom Clones"
Fri Dec 9, 2011 11:38 pm
Author: red black
Rules aside; the part about "an unjust use of En Garde's accrued goodwill in the mind of the public" certainly doesn't apply to my interest in Flash Duel. How would anyone argue that issue one way or the other in court?
Fri Dec 9, 2011 11:58 pm
Author: craniac
angiolillo wrote:
ohbalto wrote:
Wow. Zing.


Since the WoW/X-Wing case keeps on being quoted, please let me very quickly give my point of view too. I think that it's more fair if you have both, and not just Christian's, on such a delicate matter that, as Tim whisely says, "it's rarely black and white."

I too look forward to play X-Wing when released to better judge. For the moment I must say that - according to what I see and read - to my eyes Wings of War

and X-Wing

seems quite far more similar to each other than any other dog-fighting miniatures game that I can think of, so they share IMHO quite more than just "a genre". Let's see what will be in the released box.

What's more important to my eyes, FFG has been the first to think that WoW's mechanics were original and new enough to be worth licensing by them. They contacted the rights owners of WoW to buy the game mechanics to be used in X-Wing, and they even offered to write
Quote:
Game Design By Andrea Angiolino and Pier Giorgio Paglia
on all packagings and manuals. They then decided to withdraw the offer and they now feel that they don't owe anything to WoW's authors, but I find difficult to see how the existence of Wreckage (yes, please study that game well too) or of any previous game might justify this change of mind.

Thanks to everybody.


Oh my. This just keeps getting messier. I miss the good old days when we just argued about who owned Age of Steam.
Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:29 am
Author: jbrodack
Wow this got a bit unpleasant. When I saw the train image I was just thinking train wreck instead of the intended derailed meaning. To me it seems the FFG ceo is acting more in bad faith than sirlin. Sirlin credited knizia for the idea in the previous game and this version even further separates itself from en garde. Seeing this makes me want to avoid any fantasy flight purchases.

Unfortunate because this looks to be the best vaule of any sirlin game yet. Yomi is $100 for the full game and the previous deluxe version of flash duel was about the same cost as this yet this has way more components. This may be my first sirlin games purchase.
Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:31 am
Author: craniac
Here is a representation of what will happen once the lawyers get involved.

Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:36 am
Author: kevinpdx
SirHandsome wrote:

David Sirlin had a good point when he said "Luckily for us all, the idea that a card with a 5 on it can both move a piece 5 spaces and attack a distance of 5 is not something that anyone has a monopoly on."


I won't argue that some of Mr. Petersen's points may have been overstated, but Mr. Sirlin certainly over-generalized here to argue his point. I am a fan -- I own Yomi and recently traded Puzzle Strike, but if this comment is representative of his outlook/respect for the work of his peers then I am disappointed.

I just reviewed the rules of Flash Duel. The "Simple Mode" rules described on page 2 (as well as the recommended ruleset to use for your first game) are the same exact rules as En Garde, with the only real exception of the "Push" move added by Flash Duel. The only other 2 3 4 minor differences I could see were

1. There appear to be 5 fewer spaces on the player mat (1 X 18 instead of
1 X 23).

2. A game of FD is best 3 out of 5, where the recommended length of
En Garde is first to 5.

edit

3. In Flash Duel, it is legal to play a bigger card than there are
available spaces to move. The pawn moves as far as it can (either
up to the opposing pawn or backwards to the last space on the
board) in this circumstance.

4. The discard pile is public knowledge in Flash Duel.
end edit.

(I missed these rules in the first post, and they should
be included here for fairness when listing differences.)

To my understanding, the other rules/attributes of the games are identical similar, including:

- a two player game simulating a duel between two pawns.
- a deck of 25 cards with the exact same distribution
- movement is done on a single axis where the pawns approach from
different directions and cannot pass each other.
- each player holds 5 cards, and on a turn plays 1 or more cards and
draws back to 5.
- Mr. Sirlin's aforementioned mechanic of a card being used to either
move or attack.
- playing combinations of matching cards to attack/defend.

I could keep going on, but I think you get the point. Everything else (not including the exceptions listed above) is the exact same nearly identical*, right down to the special victory conditions when the draw deck is depleted.

* edited again for correctness.

I'll present it from another angle. I could buy Flash Duel, set up the board and deal the movement cards for my daughter and me to play. She knows En Garde very well and would immediately begin playing Flash Duel without any instructions from me. She would, of course, be playing En Garde with the Flash Duel pieces, but she would also be 100% playing the "Simple Mode" of Flash Duel as documented in the rules. Any move she made or action she might take would be a legal Flash Duel move. There is not one mechanic or concept in En Garde that is not in Flash Duel.

I know, I know... "Flash Duel has so much more, and once you add the other elements it becomes such a different game..." That may be true, but I'll repeat myself:

There is not one mechanic or concept in En Garde that is not in Flash Duel.

Not one.

All the deck-building comparisons are not the same. I couldn't set up Thunderstone or Ascension and play with the same rules as Dominion and still be playing an officially documented version of the other game.

I certainly agree that individual mechanics should not belong to a single designer, but at what point does using the same combination of mechanics combined with the same components define a recognizable piece of work? En Garde is not the inspiration for Flash Duel, it is the foundation.

Mr. Sirlin cites all the new rules and materials added to Flash Duel that go above and beyond En Garde -- 2 v 2, 20 different characters w/ assymmetrical special abilities, co-op, solo, etc. I have to admit these enhancements sound awesome, but they are enhancements, even if he spent years balancing and developing them. They sit atop the "Simple Mode" of the game, which is 99% exactly like En Garde -- there is simply no arguing that fact away. No comments like "Have you even read the rules" can change it.

One other point I'd like to add. Most of the enhancements Mr. Sirlin argues makes his game different did not exist in the first edition of Flash Duel. That was a strictly 2 player game with the addition of 10 characters each with special abilities as the only real distinguishing feature from En Garde. The first edition rules did have a "This game was inspired by Reiner Knizia'a game En Garde." at the bottom of the first page, but I didn't see it in the new edition rules (v. 4.1 on the sirlingames website.)
My apologies if it is still there and I missed it.

Bottom line is reading the Flash Duel rules gives me the same feeling I got when I played the Dominion-ripoff iOS app. I was hoping for an iPad game with deck-building mechanics and what I got was Dominion with different card names and artwork. The card powers and rules were taken directly from Dominion. I certainly felt then (and now) that Donald X. and Rio Grande deserved a % of the money I spent.

Maybe there are no legal grounds for copyright infringement here, but put yourself in Dr. Knizia'a place. Any would-be game designer should be upset that his hard work could be so easily copied provide such detailed inspiration for a different game from which he gets no royalties.

Flash Duel sounds like a great way to bring new life to an old favorite, but I won't be buying it until it has Dr. Knizia's name on the box next to Sirlin's.

Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:53 am
Author: darksurtur
kevinpdx wrote:

One other point I'd like to add. Most of the enhancements Mr. Sirlin argues makes his game different did not exist in the first edition of Flash Duel. That was a strictly 2 player game with the addition of 10 characters each with special abilities as the only real distinguishing feature from En Garde. The first edition rules did have a "This game was inspired by Reiner Knizia'a game En Garde." at the bottom of the first page, but I didn't see it in the new edition rules (v. 4.1 on the sirlingames website.)
My apologies if it is still there and I missed it.

Bottom line is reading the Flash Duel rules gives me the same feeling I got when I played the Dominion-ripoff iOS app. I was hoping for an iPad game with deck-building mechanics and what I got was Dominion with different card names and artwork. The card powers and rules were taken directly from Dominion. I certainly felt then (and now) that Donald X. and Rio Grande deserved a % of the money I spent.

Maybe there are no legal grounds for copyright infringement here, but put yourself in Dr. Knizia'a place. Any would-be game designer should be upset that his hard work could be so easily copied provide such detailed inspiration for a different game from which he gets no royalties.

Flash Duel sounds like a great way to bring new life to an old favorite, but I won't be buying it until it has Dr. Knizia's name on the box next to Sirlin's.



If a would-be game designer, or any creative artist, really didn't want their ideas copied, they have a mechanism for doing that: not telling anyone. Most don't choose that option, because ideas that are not shared usually have little value.

Yes, if IP isn't protected, people won't have economic incentives to come up with new ideas (they'll still come up with them anyways, history tells us.) So copyright/patents/trademarks serve as kludgey mechanisms for protecting the commercial viability of new ideas for a limited amount of time. They also have limits for a reason, because they are fundamentally antithetical to all the other ways societies work.

Which is a long-winded way of saying that, in my opinion, there is no moral duty to respect copyright above and beyond the strict limits of the law. People abrogate their claims over their ideas they moment they communicate them, as I am doing in this post.

Finally, your point about the first edition is exactly why I am still puzzled this has come up now. The first edition was more like En Garde and yet no one filed an infringement claim. Why then is there a case when a less-similar second edition comes out?
Sat Dec 10, 2011 8:38 am
Author: SirHandsome
That's a good post kevinpdx, you obviously did your research. But I still think the size of the game matters. You see it as "100% of En Garde's ideas are represented in Flash Duel" and I see it as "A few ideas from En Garde are in Flash Duel." It just so happens that En Garde is only a few ideas big

After your list of things that are in both games you said "I could keep going on", but can you really? for how much longer?

kevinpdx wrote:

I'll present it from another angle. I could buy Flash Duel, set up the board and deal the movement cards for my daughter and me to play.


I see what you're saying here but again, I think the simplicity of En Garde is relevant. When the components are limited to a track, two abstract pawns, and a deck of cards with "unique" names such as 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5... well, your point just doesn't have as much impact with me as it would for another game maybe. Truth be told, I could play En Garde with sticks (for the pawns), leaves (for the track), and five varieties of round smooth rocks mixed up and shuffled in a clay pot

I guess we just "draw the line" differently. I don't really see what Flash Duel has done as "bad"

darksurtur wrote:
Finally, your point about the first edition is exactly why I am still puzzled this has come up now...Why then is there a case when a less-similar second edition comes out?


It was discussed a bit actually, but by different people. There are probably new people being exposed to the game with the second edition.
Sat Dec 10, 2011 9:03 am
Author: darksurtur
SirHandsome wrote:

darksurtur wrote:
Finally, your point about the first edition is exactly why I am still puzzled this has come up now...Why then is there a case when a less-similar second edition comes out?


It was discussed a bit actually, but by different people. There are probably new people being exposed to the game with the second edition.


My point is a bit different. I'm sure it was discussed - everything game-related is discussed here. But the rights holders did not file a claim then, when their case was stronger. If they didn't then, what has changed to make it more relevant now?
Sat Dec 10, 2011 9:10 am
Author: kevinpdx
darksurtur wrote:

Finally, your point about the first edition is exactly why I am still puzzled this has come up now. The first edition was more like En Garde and yet no one filed an infringement claim. Why then is there a case when a less-similar second edition comes out?


I am somewhat puzzled by this too. Possibly because Flash Duel was never really marketed heavily before -- it was always the minor third option after Yomi and Puzzle Strike. I saw the thread, was curious enough to do some research and wrote a (probably too long) opinion.

As I said in my first post, I have no idea whether it is legal or not and I won't argue it either way. I do think that by including the "Simple Mode" rules, Flash Duel is being marketed as a superset of En Garde. Sirlin wants his game to be recognized as a stand-alone entity yet he keeps it directly tied to a known, recognizable, highly-regarded previous work.

I never agreed with the negative Dominion/Puzzle Strike comparisons when that game was released. Many mechanics were shared, but the games did not play at all alike. A major reason for this was the win conditions were so different. This is not really true with any 2 player variant of Flash Duel when compared with En Garde. (And no, I am not arguing that just because two games share the same goals and win conditions means one ripped off the other. My problem is the near-perfect match of En Garde's rules to the basic version of Flash Duel.)

I still regard Mr. Sirlin as a brilliant designer, but in this case he should have either shared more of the credit, or altered his rules to further differentiate his game from En Garde.
Sat Dec 10, 2011 9:23 am
Author: CWheezy
I won't argue that some of Mr. Petersen's points may have been overstated, but Mr. Sirlin certainly over-generalized here to argue his point. I am a fan -- I own Yomi and recently traded Puzzle Strike, but if this comment is representative of his outlook/respect for the work of his peers then I am disappointed.

I just reviewed the rules of Blazblue. The "Simple Mode" rules described on page 2 (as well as the recommended ruleset to use for your first game) are the same exact rules as street fighter 2, with the only real exception of the burst move added by blazblue. The only other 2 minor differences I could see were

1. There appear to be 1 fewer buttons used

2. a game of BB is best 3 out of 5, while sf2 is first to 2

All the other rules/attributes of the games are identical, including:

- a two player game simulating a battle between two characters
- a character with attacks, throws, and special moves
- movement is done on a 2d plane
- each player has all their attacks available, and does them on their turn
- Mr. Sirlin's aforementioned mechanic of a move being used to either
defend or attack.
- using different attacks in combinations.

I could keep going on, but I think you get the point. Everything else is the exact same, right down to the special victory conditions when the timer hits zero.

I'll present it from another angle. I could buy Blazblue, set up the game and give my daughter a joystick to play. She knows street fighter 2 very well and would immediately begin playing blazblue without any instructions from me. She would, of course, be playing street fighter 2 with the blazblue pieces, but she would also be 100% playing the "Simple Mode" of Blazblue as documented in the rules. Any move she made or action she might take would be a legal Blazblue move. There is not one mechanic or concept in street fighter 2 that is not in blazblue.

I know, I know... "Blazblue has so much more, and once you add the other elements it becomes such a different game..." That may be true, but I'll repeat myself:

There is not one mechanic or concept in street fighter 2 that is not in blazblue.

Not one.

All the special move comparisons are not the same. I couldn't set up Tekken or Melty Blood and play with the same rules as street fighter 4 and still be playing an officially documented version of the other game.

I certainly agree that individual mechanics should not belong to a single designer, but at what point does using the same combination of mechanics combined with the same components define a recognizable piece of work? Street fighter 2 is not the inspiration forblazblue, it is the foundation.

Mr. Sirlin cites all the new rules and materials added to Blazblue that go above and beyond Street fighter 2 -- Air Combos, 20 different characters w/ assymmetrical special abilities, training mode, single player, etc. I have to admit these enhancements sound awesome, but they are enhancements, even if he spent years balancing and developing them. They sit atop the "Simple Mode" of the game, which is 99% exactly like street fighter 2 -- there is simply no arguing that fact away. No comments like "Have you even read the rules" can change it.

One other point I'd like to add. Most of the enhancements Mr. Sirlin argues makes his game different did not exist in the first edition of blazblue. That was a strictly 2 player game with the addition of 12 characters each with special abilities as the only real distinguishing feature from street fighter 2. The first edition rules did have a "This game was inspired by Capcom's game Street Fighter 2." at the bottom of the first page, but I didn't see it in the new edition rules (v. 4.1 on the sirlingames website.)
My apologies if it is still there and I missed it.

Bottom line is reading the Blazblue rules gives me the same feeling I got when I played the World Heroes Perfect-ripoff iOS app. I was hoping for an iPad game with Fighting mechanics and what I got was World Heroes Perfect with different attack names names and artwork. The character powers and rules were taken directly from World Heroes Perfect. I certainly felt then (and now) that Kenji Sawatari and ADK deserved a % of the money I spent.

Maybe there are no legal grounds for copyright infringement here, but put yourself in Capcom's place. Any would-be game designer should be upset that his hard work could be so easily copied provide such detailed inspiration for a different game from which he gets no royalties.

Blazblue sounds like a great way to bring new life to an old favorite, but I won't be buying it until it has Capcoms's name on the box next to Sirlin's.
Sat Dec 10, 2011 9:43 am
Author: kevinpdx
SirHandsome wrote:
... But I still think the size of the game matters. You see it as "100% of En Garde's ideas are represented in Flash Duel" and I see it as "A few ideas from En Garde are in Flash Duel." It just so happens that En Garde is only a few ideas big

After your list of things that are in both games you said "I could keep going on", but can you really? for how much longer?

kevinpdx wrote:

I'll present it from another angle. I could buy Flash Duel, set up the board and deal the movement cards for my daughter and me to play.


I see what you're saying here but again, I think the simplicity of En Garde is relevant. When the components are limited to a track, two abstract pawns, and a deck of cards with "unique" names such as 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5... well, your point just doesn't have as much impact with me as it would for another game maybe. Truth be told, I could play En Garde with sticks (for the pawns), leaves (for the track), and five varieties of round smooth rocks mixed up and shuffled in a clay pot


I certainly won't argue the small size of the En Garde ruleset, but it does manage to define an entertaining and thematic game with the few rules it has.

My point on the hypothetical game of Flash Duel with my daughter was not so much a statement on the similarity of components as much as to illustrate that Flash Duel presents a version of its game that exactly matches another game still actively marketed by a different author. It is not just that the components match, it is that the rules and experience match as well. Again, I am not saying the expanded rules of Flash Duel wouldn't make it a different experience -- my problem is only with the inclusion of the basic rules.

I can't think of another set of games where this same situation is true. The Steam/Age of Steam pair comes close, but I don't think one includes the exact ruleset for the other as an official variant. (I could be wrong.)
Sat Dec 10, 2011 9:54 am
Author: SirHandsome
kevinpdx wrote:
My point on the hypothetical game of Flash Duel with my daughter was not so much a statement on the similarity of components as much as to illustrate that Flash Duel presents a version of its game that exactly matches another game still actively marketed by a different author. It is not just that the components match, it is that the rules and experience match as well. Again, I am not saying the expanded rules of Flash Duel wouldn't make it a different experience -- my problem is only with the inclusion of the basic rules.


Well... I questioned posting this at first because I thought it would be "nitpicky" (and I hate nitpicks when I'm on the receiving end...)

But what the hell, for the sake of accuracy, let's just get down to brass tacks. There actually are some differences between the simple modes of the two games.

For one, we all already know that Flash Duel has the "push" move. I know you know this because you mentioned it -- I didn't overlook that. But what I want to point out is that this isn't just some frivolous addition -- it actually changes the way the game can be played.

And then there's the shorter track, which you also acknowledged. This gives an entirely different feel to the game. It's much more "close quarters"... especially when you have characters who with their abilities can use their advantages to corner you and then punish you for being in the corner. But I digress, we're talking about simple mode here.

Here's one rules difference that I think you may have missed -- in En Garde, playing a card that would move you past your opponents pawn (or onto it) or past the edge of the board is an illegal move. In Flash Duel, you simply land at the edge. Or in your opponents face.

How much could this possibly change? Well, kinda a lot, to be honest.

Why do I think these points are more than nitpicky? Well, because as we've acknowledged, these are simple games. If you change a simple game even a bit, it can make for a truly different experience. Flash Duel does seem to have its own unique feel as far as the positioning aspect goes. And I'm not even talking about the characters yet.

When you add the characters in, THAT becomes what Flash Duel is about -- figuring out how all of the unique and interesting characters interact with each other. That is its stand-out feature, and it is unique to Flash Duel, and its a big deal
Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:07 am
Author: Jelyman
i am honestly pretty baffled by this whole thing. ok, so these 2 games share some similarities.....and???? There is a game i loved playing as a young child. LIfe the greatest game ever made, lol. but what is it beyond roll dice read what happened. How many games do that? I seriously doubt its the first. Sure the boards may send you in a circle, square, or whatever but the games are basically the same right? No. does every worker placement game give credit and pay licensing rights to whatever the first worker placement game was? i mean because if you simplify them down enough, basically you take your generic figure and take turns placing it on a designated space and something happens. It apparently does not matter what is different as long as when you simplify it down that its the same thing.

ok so where the similarities exist.... Simple Mode. Sirlin states to use this mode if it is your first time playing. So its is quite clear that its a learning tool that has stripped down the actual game to the furthest extent. Like if i said lets play monopoly but we dont have to pay one another when we land on properties and dont worry about the houses/hotels etc. Did you play monopoly? not really. Also still in simple mode there are still some differences. Push does not exist in En Garde (this is an important piece of strategy in flash Duel) and also the penalty for when you recover which does not exist in En Garde.

Even still the game is so different. PLay the actual game and you play so very differently than En Garde. When do you want to turtle and hope for the deck to run out? Not in En Garde but you may depending your Character in Flash Duel. Not only does the character you select cause you to play differently but who you are playing against. you may want to avoid light or dark spaces depending on who you are playing. The list goes on and on even before we get to the new deluxe version. IN En Garde you approach EVERY SINGLE MATCH THE SAME. Never will you look ove and say, "oh! he is using that swordsman/pawn. (should we say pawn or develope a new term as to not step upon chess?)

I usually try to understand where someone is coming from on any given issue, but i honestly cant wrap my head around this one. Like if someone says why is Yomi sooooo stinking expensive. I can understand because $100 is not pocket change. but here. I dont get it at all. So the smartest game designer of all time would have been one who developed a game in which you rolled a numbered object (happens to have 6 sides) and you move your piece in to the appropriate space on the gam board. iIt could have been a race or if you land on once you land on all the colored spaces you have one. then every single game that has you roll a die and move a piece owes you a piece of their profit, right. i mean strip them down to a very simplistic form and you are both rolling dice, both have pieces, a game board, and in the second case both have space with different values. so what you add money, property names, hotels, penalties. it plays completely different, or anything. it only matters if they share some of the basest of qualities when they are stripped to almost nothing of what they are.

I didn't believe this was real at first. Lets assume that there was some reasonable argument for there being an issue, which there is absolutely not, The party that is wronged is the one responsible to approach those who have wronged them. It sounds great and all stepping in for your friend and you are willing to take your lumps, what? He is an adult who if he feels legitimately wronged should take it to Sirlin personally. OH, and please do not treat those here on bgg as if we are ignorant to reality. You claim to respect the industry and DESIGNERS? Is David Sirlin a game designer? What ounce of respect did you demonstrate to him? This thread was about something he has poured a countless amount of time into as welll as many others i am sure. Did you respect any of that. Did you attempt with all of your effort and repeatedly to contact him personally. Did the "hurt " party? NO you ignorantly and with obvious ill intent came to do nothing but disrespect the very thing you supposedly value. If this is truly how you operate then i am sure none of this will matter or get through.

Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:13 am
Author: kevinpdx
SirHandsome wrote:
There actually are some differences between the simple modes of the two games.

For one, we all already know that Flash Duel has the "push" move. I know you know this because you mentioned it -- I didn't overlook that. But what I want to point out is that this isn't just some frivolous addition -- it actually changes the way the game can be played.

And then there's the shorter track, which you also acknowledged. This gives an entirely different feel to the game. It's much more "close quarters"... especially when you have characters who with their abilities can use their advantages to corner you and then punish you for being in the corner. But I digress, we're talking about simple mode here.

Here's one rules difference that I think you may have missed -- in En Garde, playing a card that would move you past your opponents pawn (or onto it) or past the edge of the board is an illegal move. In Flash Duel, you simply land at the edge. Or in your opponents face.

How much could this possibly change? Well, kinda a lot, to be honest.


I did miss the ability to play a bigger card for movement! It wouldn't change my example though -- my daughter (only knowing the rules of En Garde) would never attempt to play a movement card that exceeded the number of available spaces. But not utilizing that unknown option (or the unknown Push option) would in no way change the fact that she played an entire game of Flash Duel 100% correctly without ever looking at the rulebook.

SirHandsome wrote:
When you add the characters in, THAT becomes what Flash Duel is about -- figuring out how all of the unique and interesting characters interact with each other. That is its stand-out feature, and it is unique to Flash Duel, and its a big deal


I am hearing what you are saying. I recognize that Flash Duel adds much more to the basic En Garde experience. Believe me, some of the new features sound great. You don't have to sell me on them. My point was/is Flash Duel utilizes 100% of a previous game without officially recognizing it, and this bothers me enough to pass on purchasing it.

Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:32 am
Author: kevinpdx
Jelyman wrote:

I didn't believe this was real at first. Lets assume that there was some reasonable argument for there being an issue, which there is absolutely not, The party that is wronged is the one responsible to approach those who have wronged them. It sounds great and all stepping in for your friend and you are willing to take your lumps, what? He is an adult who if he feels legitimately wronged should take it to Sirlin personally. OH, and please do not treat those here on bgg as if we are ignorant to reality. You claim to respect the industry and DESIGNERS? Is David Sirlin a game designer? What ounce of respect did you demonstrate to him? This thread was about something he has poured a countless amount of time into as welll as many others i am sure. Did you respect any of that. Did you attempt with all of your effort and repeatedly to contact him personally. Did the "hurt " party? NO you ignorantly and with obvious ill intent came to do nothing but disrespect the very thing you supposedly value. If this is truly how you operate then i am sure none of this will matter or get through.


I really should let this go, but I won't. I guess it is the way I truly operate.

I have given respect to Mr. Sirlin, actually. I complemented both Yomi and Puzzle Strike, and recognized that the full Flash Duel is probably a great game. It just won't be for me. It doesn't have to be black and white. If I am not pro-Sirlin 100% it doesn't mean I hate the guy. I didn't call him out on this issue -- the thread already existed. I do think he made a mistake here, and I chose to share the research I did when coming to that conclusion.

Anyway, I'm sure Mr. Sirlin appreciates you stepping in to defend his honor every bit as much as Dr. Knizia needs my help. I just stumbled on to the original post, read some rules and posted. What you call "ignorantly and with obvious ill intent came to do nothing but disrespect the very thing you supposedly value." I call "stating an opinion with the arguments I used to formulate it".

It's only my opinion. Respect it or don't. Good night.
Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:01 am
Author: SirHandsome
yeah its cool Kevin, can't fault you for making a stand for what you believe in. I hope I didn't seem like I'm trying to force my opinion on you -- I'm just genuinely excited about this game right now. And I have trouble letting things go as well

It's cool that you can objectively recognize the neat things about the game like the character matchups even if you're against it for other reasons. They truly are what make the game tick.

So far I've enjoyed Argagarg Garg, the "peaceful shaman"... he's actually pictured in my avatar right now. He's a character who can win the game by emptying the deck, and it can feel like an intense and interesting puzzle to figure out how to survive until time-out while your opponent desperately tries to kill you. And then every now and then you can get tricky... your opponent can get so used to playing cat-and-mouse with you that they forget that Argagarg Garg can still fight the "normal way" devil

One of my opponents found a really scary character that makes all of that harder though... he has a move that actually summons a "helper pawn" behind his opponent, which can block their retreat. Sort of makes it harder to run away...

P.S. One more rule I appreciate in Flash Duel is that the discard pile is public information. I sort of hate when board and card games highly reward card counting (as Flash Duel does) but then don't let you see what's already been discarded. Just seems like its more fun to be able be engrossed in the actual game, and not repeating numbers in your head.
Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:13 am
Author: Jelyman
kevinpdx wrote:
Jelyman wrote:

I didn't believe this was real at first. Lets assume that there was some reasonable argument for there being an issue, which there is absolutely not, The party that is wronged is the one responsible to approach those who have wronged them. It sounds great and all stepping in for your friend and you are willing to take your lumps, what? He is an adult who if he feels legitimately wronged should take it to Sirlin personally. OH, and please do not treat those here on bgg as if we are ignorant to reality. You claim to respect the industry and DESIGNERS? Is David Sirlin a game designer? What ounce of respect did you demonstrate to him? This thread was about something he has poured a countless amount of time into as welll as many others i am sure. Did you respect any of that. Did you attempt with all of your effort and repeatedly to contact him personally. Did the "hurt " party? NO you ignorantly and with obvious ill intent came to do nothing but disrespect the very thing you supposedly value. If this is truly how you operate then i am sure none of this will matter or get through.


I really should let this go, but I won't. I guess it is the way I truly operate.

I have given respect to Mr. Sirlin, actually. I complemented both Yomi and Puzzle Strike, and recognized that the full Flash Duel is probably a great game. It just won't be for me. It doesn't have to be black and white. If I am not pro-Sirlin 100% it doesn't mean I hate the guy. I didn't call him out on this issue -- the thread already existed. I do think he made a mistake here, and I chose to share the research I did when coming to that conclusion.

Anyway, I'm sure Mr. Sirlin appreciates you stepping in to defend his honor every bit as much as Dr. Knizia needs my help. I just stumbled on to the original post, read some rules and posted. What you call "ignorantly and with obvious ill intent came to do nothing but disrespect the very thing you supposedly value." I call "stating an opinion with the arguments I used to formulate it".

It's only my opinion. Respect it or don't. Good night.


Oh, sorry. Honestly. That paragraph was not directed at you at all but towards Christian who needlessly started this mess.

I do disagree with your opinion obviously. Especially when others and myself have noted differences. Even in simple mode. These differences change how you play from En Garde. If you do not purchase it because of this reasoning I'm am surprised. If you follow the same logic you would have to avoid a ridiculous amount of games. Your opinion is fine, it just neglected some pretty clear facts.

Anyway, I hope that clears things up a bit. Thanks.
Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:30 am
Author: kevinpdx
Too funny! Sorry I misunderstood your post. I'm totally fine with agreeing to disagree. This time I really am calling it a night.
Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:35 am
Author: DarkKami
Mr. Petersen.

Heh, and I remember when you were hurting financially...now I wish I didn't buy all of those Disk Wars products. No TI3 means no FFG.

Since you are reading this, I wish you to know, I will no longer be purchasing fantasy flight products, nor will my family and friends, or my store.

I just don't understand this. Honestly I don't care if the idea was borrowed. David gave credit. You make more money than any gaming company by being "the lead publisher in games"...

So why would you stoop so low? Give the man a chance. Not everyone can be the "Microsoft of Gaming". You are hurting your image and costing you company sales. Perhaps your pockets don't care, but what of those who work for you? For this reason I really respect Corey and wish he didn't work for you.

Oh yeah and how about fixing your own company before correcting others. Start with your editing staff, no offense, they stink.

I shouldn't have errors in my $90 products.
Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:25 pm
Author: DarkKami
Sirlin wrote:
Christian, I don't know about the CEO of another game company posting literally immediately after the announcement of someone else's new game with what sounds like some accusation of wrongdoing. I will hope that was not your intent, but I don't know how else to interpret it. It's also off-base.

For reference, Dominion has 25 different abilities in the box. Flash Duel's 20 characters(!) have 60 different abilities. So more than double the number of effects in Dominion, or alternatively, more than Dominion plus an expansion. I only mention Dominion as a frame of reference to show just many abilities there really are. Anyway, these 20 characters with 60 abilities who have 210 different 1v1 matchups are hard to even compare to En Garde's 0 abilities, 0 characters, and 0 matchups. Flash Duel also has a cooperative dragon raid mode for 5 players, a 2v2 team battle, and a solo mode. Even if you were to set aside all those many things (and why would you?), there's still the base mechanics we could talk about. Flash Duel takes place on a different sized board with different discard rules, different timing rules, mechanics of "push" and "dashing block" not found in En Garde, a differently functioning dashing strike, and so on. After all this, one might ask what IS the same in the two games? Well, the idea that a card with a 5 on it can move a piece on a board 5 spaces or attack something 5 spaces away. So...yeah.

Luckily for us all, the idea that a card with a 5 on it can both move a piece 5 spaces and attack a distance of 5 is not something that anyone has a monopoly on. Fortunately, this simple, almost *twenty year* old mechanic is not something that only one game can ever use. Imagine if only one game could have lands tapping for mana, or if only one game could use deckbuilding mechanics.

Anyway, it's not really fair to derail a thread about a new game with such things. I think it's more interesting to talk about the substance of the design itself, so if anyone has questions or comments on that, I encourage it!

For example, there were quite some challenges in making 20 different characters all fair against each other and all express the personalities they are supposed to express, especially when they can be played in several entirely different game modes. There challenges in making the interactions more clear than they were in the earlier edition. There's also the attempt at advancing the art of cooperative games in general with the specific way the traitor mechanics of the dragon raid mode attempt to solve dominant-player-problem that almost all co-op games suffer from. Or there's the unexpected bonuses of the portable version of the game included for free, or that the game contains what were originally going to be base game + two expansions, all in one box for the same price as the previous base game. Or that there's even a way to play two simultaneous games of 1v1 with the components included, because we went the extra mile to try to include that perk. Or we could talk about whether the inclusion of video game-style achievements for the 1p mode is something people are interested in or not.

There's so much fertile ground about design, balance, and flavor that we could cover that I think that's a better direction for the thread to take.


I wish this could be true, but Christian already created the flame war. You are best creating a new Topic at this point and asking BGG to remove this one.

Christian has seriously made a huge blunder as a professional when he publicly called you out.
Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:00 pm
Author: apotheos
Lots of things in here - some I agree with, some I do not. Three points I would like to see more clearly emphasized as I feel they are the most important (other opinions are available)

First, the library of "yet another thinly veiled math exercise presented my Dr Knizia" are especially poorly suited to claims of this nature. En Garde is competitive counting. Allowing him the ability to broadly claim ownership of those concepts would be destructive and foolish.

Second, this whole argument may have been worth having with the first edition, but with the second edition it is almost entirely baseless. It would be like Hasbro claiming ownership of the roll and move mechanic. Well, it would be like Klaus Teuber posting online broadly suggesting a roll and move game designer get in touch with Hasbro. You get my point. If you don't get my point, my point is that this claim is dumb.

Thirdly, is was simply a classless move on behalf of Petersen. Even if he was RIGHT this was a petty, childish, way to express his view in a forum poorly suited for the discussion. Being who he is, his posts carry more weight than an ordinary user. And while i dont think anyone in games really has the power to crush smaller companies they disagree with, this still has that flair of BIG WHALE VS LITTLE FISH that is alarming and diagusting Seeing him embarrass himself so badly was kind of hard to watch, especially the bit where he backed up his audacity with name dropping. Dude. Really. Just don't do that. It may or may not be wrong, it definitely was petty and classless.

In conclusion, I can only do what I can do - and this I have done by removing FFG games from my orders for Christmas and ordering multiple copies of Flash Duel instead.
Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:04 pm
Author: red black
apotheos wrote:

Thirdly, is was simply a classless move on behalf of Petersen. Even if he was RIGHT this was a petty, childish, way to express his view in a forum poorly suited for the discussion.


Agreed. He couldn't be bothered to explain why it was 'in the interest of the gaming public' to have this debate, or how the copyright of the rules was infringed, or how Sirlin Games benefited from 'En Garde's accrued good will in the minds of the public.'

He was however able to elaborate on the MtG's tapping mechanism...
Sat Dec 10, 2011 3:37 pm
Author: garcia1000
kevinpdx wrote:
It's only my opinion. Respect it or don't. Good night.


Hi Kevin,

You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

For example:
Quote:
Everything else is the exact same, right down to the special victory conditions when the draw deck is depleted.


It looks like this statement was based on an incomplete reading of the Flash Duel rules. I only disagree because this is factually incorrect and it could lead to a new person thinking that the games are anything similar. I have no problems with the rest of your posts or your opinion, because it is good to have a range of opinions. Good night.
Sat Dec 10, 2011 3:48 pm
Author: GamesOnTheBrain
kevinpdx wrote:
My point was/is Flash Duel utilizes 100% of a previous game without officially recognizing it, and this bothers me enough to pass on purchasing it.


Wait a second... I thought he *did* officially recognize Knizia by crediting him as inspiration for the game. I thought the question was whether this acknowledgment is enough or whether the property needs to be licensed.
Sat Dec 10, 2011 3:58 pm
Author: kevinpdx
garcia1000 wrote:
You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

For example:
Quote:
Everything else is the exact same, right down to the special victory conditions when the draw deck is depleted.


It looks like this statement was based on an incomplete reading of the Flash Duel rules. I only disagree because this is factually incorrect and it could lead to a new person thinking that the games are anything similar. I have no problems with the rest of your posts or your opinion, because it is good to have a range of opinions. Good night.


You pulled that statement out of context. I was comparing the "Simple Mode" rules provided in Flash Duel to the rules of En Garde. I haven't (and won't) deny there is an enormous amount of new material in the second edition version of Flash Duel developed by Mr. Sirlin.

Here is the full quote:

Quote:
I just reviewed the rules of Flash Duel. The "Simple Mode" rules described on page 2 (as well as the recommended ruleset to use for your first game) are the same exact rules as En Garde, with the only real exception of the "Push" move added by Flash Duel. The only other 2 3 minor differences I could see were

1. There appear to be 5 fewer spaces on the player mat (1 X 18 instead of
1 X 23).

2. A game of FD is best 3 out of 5, where the recommended length of
En Garde is first to 5.

edit

3. In Flash Duel, it is legal to play a bigger card than there are
available spaces to move. The pawn moves as far as it can (either
up to the opposing pawn or backwards to the last space on the
board) in this circumstance.

end edit. (I missed this rule in the first post, and thought it should
be included here for fairness when listing differences.)

All the other rules/attributes of the games are identical, including:

- a two player game simulating a duel between two pawns.
- a deck of 25 cards with the exact same distribution
- movement is done on a single axis where the pawns approach from
different directions and cannot pass each other.
- each player holds 5 cards, and on a turn plays 1 or more cards and
draws back to 5.
- Mr. Sirlin's aforementioned mechanic of a card being used to either
move or attack.
- playing combinations of matching cards to attack/defend.

I could keep going on, but I think you get the point. Everything else is the exact same, right down to the special victory conditions when the draw deck is depleted.


I am open to correction, though. SirHandsome pointed out one rule I missed, and I clearly edited my post citing that I missed it. If you find another please list it. The differences found so far show that "Simple Mode" Flash Duel added a few more rules, but did not change any of En Garde's. My point was not the two games were 100% identical, but that Flash Duel provides an official mode of play that incorporates all of the elements of another game. It didn't remove a single rule or mechanic.

I am still trying to find another example of one modern board game providing an official variant that incorporates all of the rules, mechanics and win conditions of a competing game. According to all the posts about copyright it is legal, but it certainly doesn't appear to be common practice.

Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:48 pm
Author: Gyges
kevinpdx wrote:
It didn't remove a single rule or mechanic.


So?
Changing the board and altering the movement rules can easily be construed as "taking things out" (i.e., removing a movement restriction) if one were so inclined. I just fail to see the point in quibbling over whether stuff was added, taken out, or both.


Play both games. I have played lots of En Garde, and a little of Flash Duel. They play extremely differently, even in simple mode, thanks to the changed movement rules and push mechanic. Board position changes, tempo of early/mid/late changes, relative card values change, etc. etc.
Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:52 pm
Author: kevinpdx
Gyges wrote:
kevinpdx wrote:
It didn't remove a single rule or mechanic.


So?
Changing the board and altering the movement rules can easily be construed as "taking things out" (i.e., removing a movement restriction) if one were so inclined. I just fail to see the point in quibbling over whether stuff was added, taken out, or both.


Play both games. I have played lots of En Garde, and a little of Flash Duel. They play extremely differently, even in simple mode, thanks to the changed movement rules and push mechanic. Board position changes, tempo of early/mid/late changes, relative card values change, etc. etc.


Mark,

It obviously bothers me more than other people. Where you say "So?" I say "give credit where credit is due." fully recognizing that there may be no legal requirement to do so. For whatever reason, it irked me enough to spend waaaaay too many hours writing it down and defending it.

If I owned Flash Duel, I'm sure I would jump right into the full game where the rules are more divergent. My argument would certainly be a lot weaker if the game didn't include the "Simple Mode" rules.

I'm done for a while. I've said my peace and it is time to enjoy the weekend. I will try to play a few rounds of En Garde with the Flash Duel modifications to get see how they change the game's feel.
Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:28 pm
Author: Gyges
kevinpdx wrote:
I say "give credit where credit is due." fully recognizing that there may be no legal requirement to do so.


Oh, indeed. I agree, just as I did when Chris Farrell said that Thunderstone's rulebook ought to have given a shout-out to Dominion's design team.
Good thing David Sirlin has given credit to Reiner Knizia, then.
Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:45 pm
Author: Aphotix
kevinpdx wrote:
Gyges wrote:
kevinpdx wrote:
It didn't remove a single rule or mechanic.


So?
Changing the board and altering the movement rules can easily be construed as "taking things out" (i.e., removing a movement restriction) if one were so inclined. I just fail to see the point in quibbling over whether stuff was added, taken out, or both.


Play both games. I have played lots of En Garde, and a little of Flash Duel. They play extremely differently, even in simple mode, thanks to the changed movement rules and push mechanic. Board position changes, tempo of early/mid/late changes, relative card values change, etc. etc.


Mark,

It obviously bothers me more than other people. Where you say "So?" I say "give credit where credit is due." fully recognizing that there may be no legal requirement to do so. For whatever reason, it irked me enough to spend waaaaay too many hours writing it down and defending it.

If I owned Flash Duel, I'm sure I would jump right into the full game where the rules are more divergent. My argument would certainly be a lot weaker if the game didn't include the "Simple Mode" rules.

I'm done for a while. I've said my peace and it is time to enjoy the weekend. I will try to play a few rounds of En Garde with the Flash Duel modifications to get see how they change the game's feel.


Because a game has a tutorial, it is bad? To me, it sounds like you are inadvertently giving a compliment to flash duel. If the tutorial to your game is comparable to a complete game which other people enjoy, then surely you are on the track to success.
Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:58 pm
Author: jbrodack
I'm sure there are many instances of very similar games. One that comes to mind is Cards Against Humanity and Apples to Apples.

I respect the opinions of users that respectfully think the games are too similar though I have no respect for Christian T. Petersen's position here of "defending a friend" and "respecting designers" while publicly calling someone out like this. Its not like Sirlin was trying to sneak an obvious infringing clone of another game past everyone.

I would agree that Knizia should still be listed as the inspiration for this game as was done for the previous edition.
Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:35 pm
Author: CapAp
kevinpdx wrote:

I could keep going on, but I think you get the point. Everything else is the exact same, right down to the special victory conditions when the draw deck is depleted.


By way of analogy, let me show you some music. This is a song I really love; "Happy Up Here" by Royksopp (the first 20 seconds should give you the idea):



"Happy Up Here" contains a sample from "Do That Stuff" by Parliament. Here's that song for comparison (again, 20 seconds should do it):



Now, that Parliament sample is ENTIRELY recreated in Happy Up Here. It is exactly reproduced; and then other pieces of music are layered on top of it to make a new creation.

Now I don't think anyone could reasonably argue that "Happy Up Here" is the same song as "Do That Stuff". Certainly the former couldn't exist without the latter, and certainly something is "owed" to the person who created the hook, (whether that be a verbal thank-you, public acknowledgement, money, or something else is a different discussion). But to me, it's crazy to try to claim that the two pieces of music are 'the same'. One incorporates the other and then builds on it.

Boardgaming is going to have to deal with this 'sampling' issue sooner or later. I think there's just a large segment of people who find the idea of FFG's CEO throwing the first stone to be... I don't know. Ironic?
Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:20 pm
Author: scifiantihero
Didn't bowie or queen or whoever did 'under pressure' go to court against Vanilla Ice?
Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:11 pm
Author: CapAp
Nope, they never filed a lawsuit. The rumor is that he agreed to pay them a settlement because it's weird that they wouldn't try to collect on that.

My favorite plagiarism suit was always Huey Lewis suing over the Ghostbusters song. :/
Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:51 am
Author: kevinpdx
It seems I am the minority voice here, and I appreciate that most of the posts have been civil and present great points. After reviewing all of them, I'd like to offer a few final counter-arguments and one more observation.

The song sample argument was interesting, although the Vanilla Ice reference brought back some memories I have done my best to forget.

The "Happy Up Here" song definitely has the identical hook from the "Do That Stuff" song, but it is only a hook. I claim no knowledge about the legality of sampling in the music industry, but in my mind this is more akin to reusing a mechanic from another game. The entire Parliament song (or at least 99% of it) is not used in "Happy Up Here", as is my assertion about these two games.

My counter-comparison for you would be DNA's remix of "Tom's Diner" by Suzanne Vega. The remix incorporates the majority of the original piece (vocals and all), but transforms it from something melancholy and acoustic to a happier, danceable piece of music. Again, I have no idea if any licensing fees were paid for this.

I asked for other board game examples where one game contained a set of rules that would allow an experience identical to a competing game where every move/turn would be legal under both rulesets. The only specific citation was "Apples to Apples" and "Cards Against Humanity". Although a party game was not what I had in mind, I checked out the rules to both, having never played "Cards Against Humanity".

Although extremely similar in mechanics, the games are VERY different in components (I don't think anyone reading the questions would mistake the two games), and the rules themselves have some differences as well:

- The amount of cards in each player's hands to choose from are doubled (5 in one, 10 in the other.)

- Some question cards in "Cards Against Humanity" are "fill in the blank", where to my knowledge no Apples to Apples cards are.

- Some question cards in the new game have "Pick 2" printed on them, requiring players to submit two answers each instead of the normal one.

My argument has always been that the inclusion of the "Simple Mode" rules is the major cause for contention in this discussion because it allows for the play of an identical game. "Cards Against Humanity" does not have an official variant that does this.

Since no other games were cited, I did some more research on my own. The best case I found was Outpost and two following games Sceptor of Zavendor and Phoenicia

Scepter sounds like it was very close to the original game, changing the theme and only adding new features. Still, there are tons of credit given to the original game, including a thanks to Outpost's designer for permission to copy the rules.

There is also a recent news entry by Tom Lehmann that discusses these games further. The link is here Co-Developer Diary: Outpost and I'll cite one passage of it below.

Quote:
Outpost's Influence

Outpost was heavily influenced by Civilization and, in turn, has influenced other games. Andreas Seyfarth credited Outpost as one of the primary sources for Puerto Rico.

A more direct descendant is The Scepter of Zavandor, which transported Outpost to a fantasy setting and added new technologies that primarily affect its end game. Its designer, Jens Drögemüller, approached me at Essen one year and I put him in touch with the TimJim partners to arrange permission to publish it.

Finally, I designed Phoenicia which considerably streamlines the production side of Outpost and adds more upgrade choices, to produce a shorter, much "tighter", but quite demanding game.


I do not know if licensing money was payed, but it sounds like there was a greater degree of respect between the designers in these cases.

My last observation is many posters argued that the games were similar enough for SirlinGames to give credit to En Garde for its inspiration, but they are not similar enough to require licensing. Further, Flash Duel cited this inspiration in the rulebook, so no harm no foul.

I read, printed and re-read the Flash Duel Second Edition rulebook (v 4.1) and do not see any such credit. I did find it in the original rules, but it appears to be gone now.

Also, the original BGG entry for both games also had circular references (The En Garde page has a "Re-imagined by Flash Duel" link in its description and the Flash Duel page had a blurb crediting En Garde.

The new game entry, which was the original topic for this post, contains a link back to the first edition, but zero credits to En Garde.

It certainly appears that SirlinGames is distancing itself from recognizing the work of Dr. Knizia with the new release.
Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:51 pm
Author: kevinpdx
I found another example of a new game building on an older one, this one illustrating the positive kind of behavior I was hoping for for Flash Duel.

It is especially interesting since two of the parties involved have posted in this thread.

The game is Isla Dorada, written by Bruno Faidutti and published by Fantasy Flight Games.

If you look at the cover box art (and the designer list on the BGG webpage) you will see 3 other authors listed, including Andrea Angiolino.

There is a great blog entry on www.faidutti.com that explains why the other authors are listed, even though Faidutti himself spent over 10 years developing the game. You can read it yourself by following this link:

Link to Isla Dorada's web page

and then clicking the "History of the game" link on the left.

The short version is "Isla Dorada" was inspired by the board of Elfenroads and the movement mechanics of Ulysses. Even though the final game was different than either earlier work, Faidutti shared the credit.

What is preventing that from happening here?
Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:43 pm
Author: darksurtur
kevinpdx wrote:
I found another example of a new game building on an older one, this one illustrating the positive kind of behavior I was hoping for for Flash Duel.

It is especially interesting since two of the parties involved have posted in this thread.

The game is Isla Dorada, written by Bruno Faidutti and published by Fantasy Flight Games.

If you look at the cover box art (and the designer list on the BGG webpage) you will see 3 other authors listed, including Andrea Angiolino.

There is a great blog entry on www.faidutti.com that explains why the other authors are listed, even though Faidutti himself spent over 10 years developing the game. You can read it yourself by following this link:

Link to Isla Dorada's web page

and then clicking the "History of the game" link on the left.

The short version is "Isla Dorada" was inspired by the board of Elfenroads and the movement mechanics of Ulysses. Even though the final game was different than either earlier work, Faidutti shared the credit.

What is preventing that from happening here?


Sometimes people don't want to share when they are not legally required to. Which is their right (assuming they are ok with the reputation loss that might occur).
Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:46 pm
Author: kevinpdx
darksurtur wrote:
Sometimes people don't want to share when they are not legally required to. Which is their right (assuming they are ok with the reputation loss that might occur).


I can't argue against that, although I don't see how having Reiner Knizia's name on the box under David Sirlin's would do anything except help sales of Flash Duel...
Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:06 pm
Author: angiolillo
kevinpdx wrote:
The game is Isla Dorada, written by Bruno Faidutti and published by Fantasy Flight Games.

If you look at the cover box art (and the designer list on the BGG webpage) you will see 3 other authors listed, including Andrea Angiolino.


Thanks a lot for quoting this.

A little note: the original publisher of Isla Dorada is the French company FunForge, who bought the rights from the authors and developed the prototype into the actual released game. FFG then licensed it from FunForge for foreign distribution.

Bruno Faidutti has been a real gentleman. When he had the idea of "Ulysses in Elfenland" (that later on became "Caravan Merchant", and then "Isla Dorada") he asked Alan Moon and Pier Giorgio and me if he could use our ideas and make us co-authors. Piergorgio and me accepted but asking to be "minority authors", not on the same level as him. After that, he has been the main developer of the game - I somehow contributed to it by email and I even went to France to playtest the game with him, but he has been by far the most motivated and involved designer of the team. I just helped with a few little details, in the end.

kevinpdx wrote:
Although extremely similar in mechanics, the games are VERY different in components (I don't think anyone reading the questions would mistake the two games), and the rules themselves have some differences as well


I have a theory about this, in my conferences and essays about game design - alas published in Italian only. To make it short, a game is mainly made of three components: mechanics, materials, setting (that can be scaled from abstract to simulation). You can change part of them and still get the same game under a different form, especially if you keep the same mechanics. Change the materials of chess from a chessboard and wooden piecs into a computer program: you will get computer chess, but they are still chess even if the game materials are completely changed. The same if you turn Battleship from a paper & pencil game into a boardgame, or again a computer program. Change the setting of Monopoly into Star Wars without changing the game mechanics, or just altering them sightly, you get a Star Wars Monopoly - but it's still Monopoly.

Probably you are correct, it is the "gaming experience" that matters.

But this is only a personal point of view as a game designer and a game historian. It has nothing to do with legal matters and with what somebody has to do when developing a game inspired by others. This is a matter left to the good taste and fairness of each person. In worst cases it is a matter to lawyers and judges, and I am neither of them.
Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:40 pm
Author: jbrodack
To me cards against humanity seems closer to being a copy of a game just with questions and answers substituted for nouns and adjectives that are in apples to apples. Nothing against cards against humanity just an observation.

I'm also not sure why en garde wasn't credited in this version while it was in the previous version. I'm guessing Sirlin thought the changes were so significant it barely resembled the original game. Still, its hard to argue en garde was used as the base of the game and some sort of credit should be given. If we get to the point were there are tons of games with this mechanic then credit wouldn't be needed but since its just this and en garde, as far as I know, still giving credit would at least be good courtesy.
Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:26 pm
Author: DDPage
I've played both En Garde and Flash Duel many times and can tell one from another. There are 3 minor changes in FD basic rules (small changes in a simple games make a difference) which have a huge meaning for a gameplay and for me make FD a better game than En Garde (I'm still talking about basic rules Flash duel vs En Garde):
- used cards are visible (this is change in a rules, not new one!)
- you can push (new move)
- you can move forward and backward using bigger number then there are free spaces (another change in a rules!)

So we have 2 changes in rules and 1 new one.

For inexperienced players maybe it doesn't make a difference but if I played anybody using FD rules vs En Garde rules I'd squash them. Why? Let me give you some examples on how those 3 minor changes, change En Garde from being mediocre to a good game - FD.

3 simple examples:
1) Near the end of a game. I'm next to my opponent and we are near the middle of a board, there is only 1 card left in a draw deck. I have no 1s.
- En Garde: I have to play some card to move backward, the best option is to move x spaces away and have a card(s) x+1 in hand (ex. move 3 away and have 4s). If I don't I lost because my opponent is closer to the middle.
- Flash Duel: I can do the action above BUT I can also push my opponent away. All used cards are visible so I only don't know 6 cards in game (1 in a draw deck and 5 in opponent's hand). If I have 5, I can push him to make 6 spaces away (safe distance) and win by being closer to the middle!

2) Near the end of a game. I'm 3 spaces away from my opponent, we are on my side of a board. I have no 3s (can't attack) and can't do a dashing strike but have 1s and 5s.
- En Garde: I have to move backward and probably lost because I had no options.
- Flash Duel: I can use 5 card to move 2 space forward (next to my opponent). Round ends and I won having more 1s (I knew I'd win because I had two 1s in my hand and two 1s were discarded and I could see that).

3) I'm 2 spaces away from the last space. You attack me with dashing strike and I can't block.
- En Garde: I can flee if I have 1 or 2
- Flash Duel: I can flee using any card.

You would probably say: hey, the only difference I can see is during a final card played. YES but if you played this game many times (and know how to play it) you know that 9/10 times this game ends after final card is played so this changes are crucial. En Garde gives you no or less options during decisive moments (is more random) while Flash Duel gives you more options.
Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:57 am
Author: DarkKami
For me the issue isn't whether the idea or game was stolen. I couldn't careless. My ideas and creations are stolen all the time and I still don't care (used to but not anymore).

Life is to short and not worth fighting over personal creations. I am happy just with knowing I inspired innovation or improvement. That to me is what should matter.

There are 2 reasons I am so angered.

1) What is the CEO of a giant publisher like FFG doing calling out a person publicly? Why wasn't it handled using PMs and such? Is FFG making En Guarde (FFG edition)?

2) If Dr. Knizia cares so much then why isn't he fighting this battle publicly? Does he get a source of income from each sale for a product with his name on it?

The questions with go unanswered for the involved parties obviously, but I am still curious enough to see the responses from the community.
Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:43 am
Author: kevinpdx
DDPage wrote:
I've played both En Garde and Flash Duel many times and can tell one from another. There are 3 minor changes in FD basic rules (small changes in a simple games make a difference) which have a huge meaning for a gameplay and for me make FD a better game than En Garde (I'm still talking about basic rules Flash duel vs En Garde):
- used cards are visible (this is change in a rules, not new one!)
- you can push (new move)
- you can move forward and backward using bigger number then there are free spaces (another change in a rules!)

So we have 2 changes in rules and 1 new one.

For inexperienced players maybe it doesn't make a difference but if I played anybody using FD rules vs En Garde rules I'd squash them. Why? Let me give you some examples on how those 3 minor changes, change En Garde from being mediocre to a good game - FD.

3 simple examples:
1) Near the end of a game. I'm next to my opponent and we are near the middle of a board, there is only 1 card left in a draw deck. I have no 1s.
- En Garde: I have to play some card to move backward, the best option is to move x spaces away and have a card(s) x+1 in hand (ex. move 3 away and have 4s). If I don't I lost because my opponent is closer to the middle.
- Flash Duel: I can do the action above BUT I can also push my opponent away. All used cards are visible so I only don't know 6 cards in game (1 in a draw deck and 5 in opponent's hand). If I have 5, I can push him to make 6 spaces away (safe distance) and win by being closer to the middle!

2) Near the end of a game. I'm 3 spaces away from my opponent, we are on my side of a board. I have no 3s (can't attack) and can't do a dashing strike but have 1s and 5s.
- En Garde: I have to move backward and probably lost because I had no options.
- Flash Duel: I can use 5 card to move 2 space forward (next to my opponent). Round ends and I won having more 1s (I knew I'd win because I had two 1s in my hand and two 1s were discarded and I could see that).

3) I'm 2 spaces away from the last space. You attack me with dashing strike and I can't block.
- En Garde: I can flee if I have 1 or 2
- Flash Duel: I can flee using any card.

You would probably say: hey, the only difference I can see is during a final card played. YES but if you played this game many times (and know how to play it) you know that 9/10 times this game ends after final card is played so this changes are crucial. En Garde gives you no or less options during decisive moments (is more random) while Flash Duel gives you more options.


I agree that I missed another rule, and have edited my original post (again) to reflect my mistake. I also attempted to tone done the assertions because they were easy to take out of intended context.

Just as I felt stating

Quote:
The idea that a card with a 5 on it can move a piece on a board 5 spaces or attack something 5 spaces away


was an unfair and misleading statement about what the two games had in common, my restricting the comparison to the "simple mode" rules of Flash Duel was equally unfair, even if the point was to demonstrate how much of the entire idea that defines the game of En Garde (rules, pieces, goals, etc.) were in the core of Flash Duel. It was not the taking of a single mechanic and making a new game out of it.

Knowing that, and knowing there is obviously some contention between the designers changed my decision on purchasing Flash Duel. If I had never seen the initial post, I'd be playing Flash Duel this Christmas, no question. How much it bothers you will be an individual thing. I pass no judgements on where you draw the line -- these posts were an attempt to explain/rationalize the arguments I used on myself when forming my conclusion.

Still, as we have all agreed, there is nothing Sirlin Games has done that is illegal. I would defend his right to sell Flash Duel in its current form without hesitation. Again, I'm just disappointed that the parties involved couldn't come together more amicably, and I hope this type of situation never becomes the normal way new games are developed.

Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:54 pm
Author: PePe QuiCoSE
DarkKami wrote:
2) If Dr. Knizia cares so much then why isn't he fighting this battle publicly? Does he get a source of income from each sale for a product with his name on it?
I think I can give a hint on why this could be. AFAIK legally the best course of action is to do nothing if you are not committed to the issue so when you there is not history on your side. Sometimes this is done until the issue is worth enough money that the lawyers cost. At least this is the behaviour i have seen in other cases.
Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:58 pm
Author: Nidale
En garde looks boring.

Flash duel on the other hand looks very cool. I preordered a copy.

That CEO is just jelly.
Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:39 pm
Author: Kirenx
So FFG is now a developer of completely unique games and ideas? Every time a new FFG game comes out it seems I hear, “It’s just like _____ but with nicer bits.” I can get past that FFG has devolved into the Gamesworkshop mentality of production quality in respect to appearance over actual refined game play, I just don’t buy FFG games anymore. But come on, they are the last company that should be calling someone out on this issue.
Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:42 pm
Author: dream spawn
HauRuck wrote:
angiolillo wrote:
kevinpdx wrote:
The game is Isla Dorada, written by Bruno Faidutti and published by Fantasy Flight Games.

If you look at the cover box art (and the designer list on the BGG webpage) you will see 3 other authors listed, including Andrea Angiolino.


Thanks a lot for quoting this.

A little note: the original publisher of Isla Dorada is the French company FunForge, who bought the rights from the authors and developed the prototype into the actual released game. FFG then licensed it from FunForge for foreign distribution.

Bruno Faidutti has been a real gentleman. When he had the idea of "Ulysses in Elfenland" (that later on became "Caravan Merchant", and then "Isla Dorada") he asked Alan Moon and Pier Giorgio and me if he could use our ideas and make us co-authors. Piergorgio and me accepted but asking to be "minority authors", not on the same level as him. After that, he has been the main developer of the game - I somehow contributed to it by email and I even went to France to playtest the game with him, but he has been by far the most motivated and involved designer of the team. I just helped with a few little details, in the end.



I don't think its unreasonable to desire things to work as above, even if there are seldom legal reasons to do so.

I do acknowledge that the whole X-Wing thing could make for a wicked case of irony here but as I've neither read the rules nor played the game as of yet I'll have to fully reserve judgement there for a later date.


In regards to the X-Wing thing, from session reports and reviews form those that tried it at Gen Con, there seems to be at least a few opinions that it is just Wings of War with some alterations and with spaceships.

Pot...Kettle...
Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:34 pm
Author: joepinion
Dominion is a complex game with a lot going on, and its copiers are complex as well. The Apples to Apples analogies are much more appropriate in this case. Have the Apples to Apples creators sued the makers of Say Anything and the other myriad of party games where everybody submits one answer and one person picks whatever they feel like?

En Garde's complexity is one step above Apples to Apples and one step below Uno. I'm all for protecting designers and not copying their work without compensation, but not in the case of games that can be replicated with a deck of regular playing cards and a couple pebbles.

Obviously, Sirlin played En Garde, liked it, and built on it. So what? The game is, like, three rules long, and the components and details are completely nondescript. Any game that you could program on a computer in less than 10 minutes probably doesn't require a license to be copied. It was nice of Sirlin to mention Knizia as the inspiration for the game. Beyond that, there's just not enough to the game to worry about it.

If I write rules for the same game using a standard deck of cards and two coins, and post it on BGG with a couple modified rules, are people really gonna get mad? This isn't like stealing a song someone else wrote. It's more like copying a 5-chord chord progression... just not enough there to protect.

(Edit: spelling errors)
Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:44 pm
Author: apotheos
joepinion wrote:
(En Garde) is, like, three rules long, and the components and details are completely nondescript.


Lime for truth.

I realize everyone wants to have their moment on this, but I think the insult being implied to Dave Sirlin is being drastically overlooked here.
Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:00 am
Author: joepinion
kevinpdx wrote:
darksurtur wrote:
Sometimes people don't want to share when they are not legally required to. Which is their right (assuming they are ok with the reputation loss that might occur).


I can't argue against that, although I don't see how having Reiner Knizia's name on the box under David Sirlin's would do anything except help sales of Flash Duel...


Indeed. And for that reason I'd assume that Knizia requires a fee any time you want to put his name on the front of a game box.
Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:48 pm
Author: joshaubry
While I agree more with Kevin and Andrea on this issue .... I think it is time for us all to take a step back and view a perfectly legal derivative form...

Thu Dec 15, 2011 8:41 pm
Author: craniac
These sort of unintentional borrowings happen all the time. Look at the iphone version of the game "Fits" for example (I'm not sure who the author is):



Now look at this shoddy ripoff, "Tetris" :



Obviously, Tetris has been influenced by Fits. But does the author of Fits pitch a fit or whisper to their friends to make a stink about it online? No, because that would be ridiculous. Instead, they obviously realize that art begets more art, and that overreacting to the slight similarities eventually kills the creative process, leaving us all relatively impoverished.

Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:43 am
Author: darksurtur
craniac wrote:
These sort of unintentional borrowings happen all the time. Look at the iphone version of the game "Fits" for example (I'm not sure who the author is):

...

Obviously, Tetris has been influenced by Fits. But does the author of Fits pitch a fit or whisper to their friends to make a stink about it online? No, because that would be ridiculous. Instead, they obviously realize that art begets more art, and that overreacting to the slight similarities eventually kills the creative process, leaving us all relatively impoverished.



That's just because "in Soviet Russia, copyright owns you."

No, seriously, look it up. Russia took all the royalties from the creation of Tetris.
Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:32 am
Author: dysjunct
craniac wrote:
Obviously, Tetris has been influenced by Fits. But does the author of Fits pitch a fit or whisper to their friends to make a stink about it online? No, because that would be ridiculous. Instead, they obviously realize that art begets more art, and that overreacting to the slight similarities eventually kills the creative process, leaving us all relatively impoverished.


The important thing here is whether or not Alexey Pajitnov credited the designer of FITS. I hear someone at FFG might have written a post giving Pajitnov a well-deserved scolding, so probably not.
Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:49 am
Author: Alex Brown
I always thought Sirlin was a bit of a jerk, but after this I'm not even playing an FFG game again.

Disgraceful.

Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:11 am
Author: craniac
I will play games by Sirlin, by FFG and even train games, because I care a lot more about having fun playing games than I do about delightful personalities. What percentage of game players or even BGG users are wonderfully charming? 20 percent? I'm not willing to play those odds.



Disclaimer: I would put myself in the category of "total doorknob, 80 percent of the time."

Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:26 pm
Author: DarkKami
Most of my customers follow a code and when a company steps out of line, for one reason or another, they get replaced.

At my store Games Workshop was replaced by Privateer Press who then was replaced by Wyrd (though they have come back to Warmachine), DND for the most part was replaced by Pathfinder, and now FFG is being replace by Dominion, Sirlin's games, and Days of Wonder products such as Small World.

I asked my customers why they do this and they told me because if they can find similar fun through a cheaper product then they don't need expensive FFG and Wizard of the Coast games.

I think it is just because they have grown up and don't have the time to setup an epic sprawl like Runewars or Chaos in the Old World. They don't have college loans to pay for Magic. They don't have mom and dad buying them expensive figures. Life gets pretty rough for most gamers after college when they are force to get a part time job while college friends go their own separate ways.

My point being that Mr. Petersen really doesn't have room to be making these mistakes. Bottom line is that he PUBLICLY called out another developer and my customers and Sirlin's fans didn't like this.Although I know this is only Mr. Petersen's personal view, FFG and co. just happens to be the unfortunate collateral damage.

I am sure there are many Sirlin fans that are also FFG customers who do not know about this debacle. If Sirlin wanted...he could have put a serious dent on FFG by making a blog about this on his site and a topic in the Fantasy Strike forums. I am glad to see he stayed quiet and tried to get the topic back on track. Sirlin is after all "the peoples champ" for aspiring small developers, with almost 2,000 supporters on his personal site or the 16k+ on Fantasy Strike.
Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:45 am
Author: apotheos
Sat Dec 17, 2011 10:12 am
Author: Macabee
GamesOnTheBrain wrote:
kevinpdx wrote:
My point was/is Flash Duel utilizes 100% of a previous game without officially recognizing it, and this bothers me enough to pass on purchasing it.


Wait a second... I thought he *did* officially recognize Knizia by crediting him as inspiration for the game. I thought the question was whether this acknowledgment is enough or whether the property needs to be licensed.


Recognizing someone with a "thank you" and no money or a design credit is not the same as actually paying him to license the mechanics exactly duplicated in the base game.
Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:55 pm
Author: apotheos
Macabee wrote:

Recognizing someone with a "thank you" and no money or a design credit is not the same as actually paying him to license the mechanics exactly duplicated in the base game.


Well thank god he didn't need to do that, neither by gentlemens agreement, common decency, or law. If he had violated that we'd have a real thread on our hands here.
Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:51 pm
Author: Redgar
So, having read the thread (so far), I take away a few things:

1. It was decent of Mr. Petersen to follow up multiple times on the initial laconic post. I think the first post made the point he was trying to make, but the engagement with other commentors who questioned the first posting is good to see.

2. I find it very telling that the good Dr. Knizia has not commented publicly. (Yes, he may be 'biased'... but it's not as though Mr. Petersen, Sirlin, or even yours truly are models of impartiality.) Dr. Knizia would seem to have an interest in not criticizing Sirlin publicly at this time, otherwise he could have done so in any number of fora.

3. Speaking only for myself, if my work was possibly being infringed, I wouldn't necessarily move immediately to limit sales of the infringing property: greater success would seem to indicate greater damage to me... and an infringing person who profited handsomely by her infringement of my work would then have assets to pay for the judgement I would then attempt to obtain against her (or, more likely, the settlement my lawyers would negotiate on my behalf).

4. I wonder, then, whether Mr. Petersen's initial post expresses a personal opinion (possibly connected to feeling of concern regarding potential similarities to the prior work of apparent friend Dr. Knizia), is animated by some form of business concern (a company that sometimes goes to lengths to license precursor games [and may have gone to the trouble in respect of En Garde and an as-yet-in-development game] upset that a rival appears not to have gone to that time and expense), and/or just exhibits some quirk of personality?

5. While we are all on the topic of copyright law and not being an attorney myelf, I am left wondering how the courts would treat this thread in the context of defamation law?

Anyhow, just my 2 ep worth.
Sun Dec 18, 2011 9:54 pm
Author: apotheos
I think you neglected to notice that Fantasy Flight Games, the company, has no interest here. So its not a big company vs small company problem at all.

My line of reasoning certainly has nothing to do with it. It has to do with the claim being baseless, incorrect, and simply wrong.
Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:48 am
Author: wolvendancer
petercox1001 wrote:
Frankly, as a writer...


"As a writer", you must know that it isn't the idea, or the plot, or the characters, or any other element, but what you do with it. "As a writer,". you must often be confronted with people willing to 'sell you their idea' for 50% of a book's profits, as if the Idea is the soul of a novel. "As a writer", you of course know that it's all in the work you do with the idea.

"As a writer", you must acknowledge that paying attention to what other writers are doing with an eye towards 'who has stolen what' is idiotic and counterproductive. And "as a writer", you must realize the folly of applying arbitrary marketplace morality to this stuff, because this ain't writing, and the law is quite clear - game mechanics are fair game.

"As a writer", you must realize that nearly all successful writers acknowledge that influence is an undeniable fact of Art, and that writers often riff directly off one another, as Jonathan Lethem eloquently points out here:

http://www.harpers.org/archive/2007/02/0081387

"As a writer," of course, you know that concerns about originality thrive amongst people who aren't really writers.

As writers, you and I are better off worrying about how much, and how well, we've written today. And Mr. Peterson is better off worrying about dumping the cheap marketing pastiches his company has been passing off as boardgames during the past year, confronting the reality that videogame/movie/fiction "properties" don't matter if the game is underdeveloped and overproduced, and he'd be well-served getting back to actually producing games that excite people again.
Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:25 am
Author: apotheos
wolvendancer wrote:

As writers, you and I are better off worrying about how much, and how well, we've written today. And Mr. Peterson is better off worrying about dumping the cheap marketing pastiches his company has been passing off as boardgames during the past year, confronting the reality that videogame/movie/fiction "properties" don't matter if the game is underdeveloped and overproduced, and he'd be well-served getting back to actually producing games that excite people again.


Surely you must realize that, in terms of sales, these underdeveloped and overproduced games do just fine. So while I appreciate your message and panache, your conclusion is ultimately off the mark.
Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:02 am
Author: DanKD
In my opinion, Mr. Peterson clearly didn't show the best judgement in his replies, especially as the president of FFG. But he is human, and he, like everyone else, makes mistakes. He obviously has a close friendship with Dr. Knizia. I know I have overreacted before when felt like someone I cared about was being wronged. Nothing in this thread has impacted my willingness to support FFG or Sirlin games.
Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:08 am
Author: Kirenx
Games, like writing or visual media, evolve over time influenced by works of the previous generation. It is unrealistic to expect a list of everything that may have had mechanics utilized in the new products development. Descent is influenced by Heroquest, Runewars was influenced by Warrior Knights, and every FFG LCG is influenced by MTG. They take a mechanic that exists and change or add to it to produce a new game. If the new product is so similar to the old that it is difficult to tell what has been added or changed, then that is a copyright issue and should left for the courts to decide on.
Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:50 am
Author: darksurtur
petercox1001 wrote:
Art Damage, that is a good post, but I don't see what you are saying as contradicting my point.

If I write a script or a novel, and someone adapts it, then I'd expect some credit for the work I've done. Say someone makes a film out of my book. Or uses the characters in a sequel. Well, I'd get something for it - bare minimum some acknowledgement.

That doesn't mean I don't understand the concept of artistic influence.

At the end of the day, it basically it comes down to what is the degree of similarity is. I find both games to be astoundingly similar, to the point where it is an adaptation or a expansion rather than a new game. Hey, others might disagree. Some even say they are nothing alike, though for the life of me, I can't complrehend how they would have come to that conclusion if you look honestly at how both games function.

Yeah, a court has decided you can't copyright those mechanics. That's nothing to do with morals or ethics though. Those are a little more arbitrary. It is my subjective opinion that the copying of Knizia's mechanics without proper acknowledgement is inethical. Does that mean I think there should be some law banning the game, or allowing Knezia to sue. No necessarily, because I understand the value of allowing creativity to flourish. Although obviously there must be a balance.

That doesn't mean I don't think someone is a douche if they wholesale copy something and then refuse to acknowledge it.

So hey, it's subjective to an extent and I accept that. But don't patronise me with some stawman argument about 'artistic influence' please.

EDITS: politeness added.


And I really don't find anything unethical in using ideas that someone else has CHOSEN to share with the world (if IP law doesn't prevent it). If you don't want anyone else to use your ideas, don't share them with anyone. Trying to have it both ways seems to be the immoral stance.
Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:03 am
Author: CWheezy
petercox1001 wrote:
EXACTLY the same.


Quote:

Damn addressing the actual facts.


The cool thing about your post is that you don't do what you say you do
Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:12 am
Author: garcia1000
Dear Mr. Peter Cox,

I think it is sort of a misunderstanding here. You are saying that Flash Duel and En Garde are "remarkably similar in mechanics. In fact, shamelessly so."

This is actually contrary to almost every other post in this thread, which have done a great job explaining the many differences. I think Dr Sirlin would be sad that his improvements were ignored.

You are entitled to your opinion, though. Everyone has a different level for what constitutes shameless similar mechanics.
Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:15 am
Author: Kirenx
Sirlin actually did admit that specific mechanics have been used before, he does acknowledge that. I'm not sure if some people expect more, such as a listing of every game that had an influence over the new product. I would point out though, by that logic every new game/song/movie/book should have a listing of hundreds of sources that aided to the development of that mediums modern form.
Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:20 am
Author: Kirenx
petercox1001 wrote:

Well again, it's the 'degree' to which you see the similarity in the scale of being a minor influence complete plagiarism. Obviously it would be ridiculous to list every minor influence. But you might expect a film to acknowledge it was adapted from a book, for example.


I completely agree Peter. Taking your analogy of a book adaptation, it would take the whole story or at least a significant portion to be an adaptation. A move about a killer clown for instance may be influenced by 'It' but I would question if that would be enough to warrent a need for official aknowledgement. A lot of games on BGG, and many by FFG, use a mechanic here and there from other games. In many cases entire game categories have developed based on a single game, for example almost all new deck builders have very similar mechanics to Dominion. As far as I have seen reading the rule of FD and EG, keeping in mind I have not played either, a mechanic from EG was used but that is where it ends. FD adds a whole whack of new mechanics, gamemodes, theme, etc. Enough in my opinion anyways, that it is different enough not to require any further acknowledgement.
Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:35 am
Author: simem
It is interesting that Sirlin comes from a background of computer games, and as was pointed out in a post a page or two back, similar statements regarding the similarity between En Garde and Flash Duel could be leveled at many of the 2D fighting games that exist. Those games exist without expectation of acknowledgment of the initial designer as far as I can tell. So I think it is perfectly understandable that whilst the decorum in board games might be to credit the designer one is inspired by, someone originating from an industy where that isn't the status quo may not.

This is of course independant of the appropriateness of having this conversation in public, which is poor form of course, but can be easily explained away as an emotional, human error. I am not sure the inappropriateness has been acknowledged by the original poster and an apology given. I am just glad that Sirlin has had the tact to avoid the discussion, hopefully with the intent of resolving it diplomatically.

Sirlin appears to be creating a universe. His design sensibility is assymetric, balanced, competitive games set in the Fantasy Strike universe. His major work in this is Yomi which I thought was a highly original. The two accompanying games further expand this universe of characters, and as always attempt to achieve an assymetric balance. To my mind this isn't a designer that is seeking out designs to copy and profit from in a malicious way. He is instead an incredibly talented designer, applying unique bent to board games. Puzzle Strike and Flash Duel both have their seed in existing games but the execution is all Sirlin.

For some reason this makes it OK with me. If I thought he was shamelessly rebadging things to scum a profit I'd understand the discontent at the lack of licensing. Instead I think he has been inspired by a concept and thought, then completely fashioned those basic ideas into a unique and interesting work. Again, his flag ship product shows he is a far more capable designer than one that purely steals ideas. Perhaps it is a short cut to have borrowed so much inspiration for Flash Duel. Certainly Puzzle Strike wouldn't have existed as quickly or at all without there first having been Dominion. To me the final product is different enough each time to stand on its own. If courtesy demands more in the board gaming community then that is something Sirlin will have to address/learn, and he may well be addressing in private as we speculate.

I will not be boycotting anyone as a result of this thread. Fantasy Flight make stunning looking games that excite plenty of people. Sirlin is a breath of fresh air and I am loving his appearance in the board gaming community. Knizia made Ra and I love Ra. Hopefully everyone ends up happy and similar issues get handle better in the future.
Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:40 am
Author: FinalPhalanx
inb4 Jay Tummelson submits a post defending Donald X.'s design.




Sorry, I couldn't resist.
Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:59 am
Author: simem
petercox1001 wrote:
Well said! Okay, it's not gonna get better than that so I'll respectfully desist posting.


No need to desist. The conversation has been fascinating, some really thoughtful posts. This wouldn't be as interesting if it wasn't a grey area.

I should also mention I have never created any work of note so I am less likely to be incensed by someone pinching my genius.
Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:05 am
Author: DanKD
petercox1001 wrote:
Well said! Okay, it's not gonna get better than that so I'll respectfully desist posting.


I can beat that, watch...

Bacon!
Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:24 am
Author: garcia1000
simem wrote:
His major work in this is Yomi which I thought was a highly original.


Highly original? Some would say it fails to credit the inventor of Rock Paper Scissors, a game with which it shares large similarities.
Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:33 am
Author: simem
garcia1000 wrote:
simem wrote:
His major work in this is Yomi which I thought was a highly original.


Highly original? Some would say it fails to credit the inventor of Rock Paper Scissors, a game with which it shares large similarities.


I suspected that would come up but my I couldn't find which designer would take umbrage to the theft. In reality the points made regarding Flash Duels similarities are more interesting than Puzzle Strike/Dominion and Yomi/Paper-Scissors-Rock.
Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:37 am
Author: jeffinberlin
This is an important issue for game designers and publishers, and it seems it is one that can only be won or lost in the court of public opinion, as the other courts are too expensive for us (it's not as if Dr. Knizia is reading this from his villa in Monaco, neither is Mr. Peterson). Furthermore, the laws simply do no offer much protection, and therefore it is--if not legal--at least, admirable to contact the original designer, when one is knowingly basing his or her own work on that designer's previous work.

For the sake of argument on this particular instance, I would propose the following scenario:
Gryphon Games announces a new Dr. Knizia game based on his previous hit, "En Garde." The new version offers many new twists, including the possibility for team play and characters with special powers.

And many people wonder why Dr. Knizia produces so many spin-off's and variations of his own games. He's simply trying to get them out there before other designers do spin-off's and variations of his games.
Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:44 am
Author: apotheos
petercox1001 wrote:


(though I guess I shouldn't under-estimate an individual's capacity for self-delusion)




Well said.
Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:53 am
Author: DarkKami
simem wrote:
It is interesting that Sirlin comes from a background of computer games, and as was pointed out in a post a page or two back, similar statements regarding the similarity between En Garde and Flash Duel could be leveled at many of the 2D fighting games that exist. Those games exist without expectation of acknowledgment of the initial designer as far as I can tell. So I think it is perfectly understandable that whilst the decorum in board games might be to credit the designer one is inspired by, someone originating from an industy where that isn't the status quo may not.

This is of course independant of the appropriateness of having this conversation in public, which is poor form of course, but can be easily explained away as an emotional, human error. I am not sure the inappropriateness has been acknowledged by the original poster and an apology given. I am just glad that Sirlin has had the tact to avoid the discussion, hopefully with the intent of resolving it diplomatically.

Sirlin appears to be creating a universe. His design sensibility is assymetric, balanced, competitive games set in the Fantasy Strike universe. His major work in this is Yomi which I thought was a highly original. The two accompanying games further expand this universe of characters, and as always attempt to achieve an assymetric balance. To my mind this isn't a designer that is seeking out designs to copy and profit from in a malicious way. He is instead an incredibly talented designer, applying unique bent to board games. Puzzle Strike and Flash Duel both have their seed in existing games but the execution is all Sirlin.

For some reason this makes it OK with me. If I thought he was shamelessly rebadging things to scum a profit I'd understand the discontent at the lack of licensing. Instead I think he has been inspired by a concept and thought, then completely fashioned those basic ideas into a unique and interesting work. Again, his flag ship product shows he is a far more capable designer than one that purely steals ideas. Perhaps it is a short cut to have borrowed so much inspiration for Flash Duel. Certainly Puzzle Strike wouldn't have existed as quickly or at all without there first having been Dominion. To me the final product is different enough each time to stand on its own. If courtesy demands more in the board gaming community then that is something Sirlin will have to address/learn, and he may well be addressing in private as we speculate.

I will not be boycotting anyone as a result of this thread. Fantasy Flight make stunning looking games that excite plenty of people. Sirlin is a breath of fresh air and I am loving his appearance in the board gaming community. Knizia made Ra and I love Ra. Hopefully everyone ends up happy and similar issues get handle better in the future.



You brought up a very good point about David's background. I have never seen Tekken credit Street Fighter, or Battlefield credit Call of Duty, or any JRPG credit Square. In fact, when I start to think about it, video game designers actually rarely discourage the sharing of ideas. They leech off of each other's innovations. Directors of movies rarely credit other directors for their movies. Car manufacturers don't credit each other for new designs. It seems like Mr. Petersen wants this to be an exception.

The same still seams to apply to the majority of the board game industry also.

Did Yugioh or Pokemon TCG or WoW TCG credit Magic? Has White Wolf ever credited TSR? Did Privateer Press credit Games Workshop? Did Milton Bradly ever ask for credit when games started to advance pass Candy Land and The Game of Life?

To be clear when I say credit I am asking if the parties involved ever paid for a license or royalties to invent their product.

We all no the answer. So no need to actually reply.

Bottom line for me is that if Mr. Petersen is so afraid of Sirlin as competition then maybe he should up his game. I am surprised he isn't calling out Soda Pop minis for Super Dungeon Explore copying Descent.

As I have said before, I personally think FFG was making a game very similar to En Guarde/Flash Duel. FFG got the doctor's permission and now they are mad that they can't even compete with Flash Duel or corner that side of the market.

It's okay though because now they understand how Richard Hamblen and Andrea Angiolino might feel. whistle

Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:40 am
Author: scifiantihero
DarkKami wrote:
simem wrote:
It is interesting that Sirlin comes from a background of computer games, and as was pointed out in a post a page or two back, similar statements regarding the similarity between En Garde and Flash Duel could be leveled at many of the 2D fighting games that exist. Those games exist without expectation of acknowledgment of the initial designer as far as I can tell. So I think it is perfectly understandable that whilst the decorum in board games might be to credit the designer one is inspired by, someone originating from an industy where that isn't the status quo may not.

This is of course independant of the appropriateness of having this conversation in public, which is poor form of course, but can be easily explained away as an emotional, human error. I am not sure the inappropriateness has been acknowledged by the original poster and an apology given. I am just glad that Sirlin has had the tact to avoid the discussion, hopefully with the intent of resolving it diplomatically.

Sirlin appears to be creating a universe. His design sensibility is assymetric, balanced, competitive games set in the Fantasy Strike universe. His major work in this is Yomi which I thought was a highly original. The two accompanying games further expand this universe of characters, and as always attempt to achieve an assymetric balance. To my mind this isn't a designer that is seeking out designs to copy and profit from in a malicious way. He is instead an incredibly talented designer, applying unique bent to board games. Puzzle Strike and Flash Duel both have their seed in existing games but the execution is all Sirlin.

For some reason this makes it OK with me. If I thought he was shamelessly rebadging things to scum a profit I'd understand the discontent at the lack of licensing. Instead I think he has been inspired by a concept and thought, then completely fashioned those basic ideas into a unique and interesting work. Again, his flag ship product shows he is a far more capable designer than one that purely steals ideas. Perhaps it is a short cut to have borrowed so much inspiration for Flash Duel. Certainly Puzzle Strike wouldn't have existed as quickly or at all without there first having been Dominion. To me the final product is different enough each time to stand on its own. If courtesy demands more in the board gaming community then that is something Sirlin will have to address/learn, and he may well be addressing in private as we speculate.

I will not be boycotting anyone as a result of this thread. Fantasy Flight make stunning looking games that excite plenty of people. Sirlin is a breath of fresh air and I am loving his appearance in the board gaming community. Knizia made Ra and I love Ra. Hopefully everyone ends up happy and similar issues get handle better in the future.



You brought up a very good point about David's background. I have never seen Tekken credit Street Fighter, or Battlefield credit Call of Duty, or any JRPG credit Square. In fact, when I start to think about it, video game designers actually rarely discourage the sharing of ideas. They leech off of each other's innovations. Directors of movies rarely credit other directors for their movies. Car manufacturers don't credit each other for new designs. It seems like Mr. Petersen wants this to be an exception.

The same still seams to apply to the majority of the board game industry also.

Did Yugioh or Pokemon TCG or WoW TCG credit Magic? Has White Wolf ever credited TSR? Did Privateer Press credit Games Workshop? Did Milton Bradly ever ask for credit when games started to advance passed Candy Land and The Game of Life?

To be clear when I say credit I am asking if the parties involved ever paid for a license or royalties to invent their product.

We all no the answer. So no need to actually reply.

Bottom line for me is that if Mr. Petersen is so afraid of Sirlin as competition then maybe he should up his game. I am surprised he isn't calling out Soda Pop minis for Super Dungeon Explore copying Descent.

As I have said before, I personally think FFG was making a game very similar to En Guarde/Flash Duel. FFG got the doctor's permission and now they are mad that they can't even compete with Flash Duel or corner that side of the market.

It's okay though because now they understand how Richard Hamblen and Andrea Angiolino might feel. whistle



Someone said that some ccg companies have had to pay fees to wotc for their patent. Don't know if it's true, but clearly we all don't know the answer. Feel free to research it!

And please quit confusing various forms of IP. There's a lot of informative posts around here that will explain how they work.
Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:46 am
Author: DarkKami
jeffinberlin wrote:


And many people wonder why Dr. Knizia produces so many spin-off's and variations of his own games. He's simply trying to get them out there before other designers do spin-off's and variations of his games.


Heh, and I just saw that as laziness. Is this why Capcom and Activision makes over 3 variations of one game. Same could be said about Settlers and Ticket to Ride.
Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:48 am
Author: darksurtur
DarkKami wrote:
jeffinberlin wrote:


And many people wonder why Dr. Knizia produces so many spin-off's and variations of his own games. He's simply trying to get them out there before other designers do spin-off's and variations of his games.


Heh, and I just saw that as laziness. Is this why Capcom and Activision makes over 3 variations of one game. Same could be said about Settlers and Ticket to Ride.


It's not laziness, it just makes good business sense. 1) New IP development takes a lot of time, so expansions that don't require as much development provide economies of scale. 2) Expansions have a built-in audience that helps with product placement, advertising, and promotion. 3) Expansions provide much less risk than a product using new IP.
Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:53 am
Author: DarkKami
scifiantihero wrote:
DarkKami wrote:
simem wrote:
It is interesting that Sirlin comes from a background of computer games, and as was pointed out in a post a page or two back, similar statements regarding the similarity between En Garde and Flash Duel could be leveled at many of the 2D fighting games that exist. Those games exist without expectation of acknowledgment of the initial designer as far as I can tell. So I think it is perfectly understandable that whilst the decorum in board games might be to credit the designer one is inspired by, someone originating from an industy where that isn't the status quo may not.

This is of course independant of the appropriateness of having this conversation in public, which is poor form of course, but can be easily explained away as an emotional, human error. I am not sure the inappropriateness has been acknowledged by the original poster and an apology given. I am just glad that Sirlin has had the tact to avoid the discussion, hopefully with the intent of resolving it diplomatically.

Sirlin appears to be creating a universe. His design sensibility is assymetric, balanced, competitive games set in the Fantasy Strike universe. His major work in this is Yomi which I thought was a highly original. The two accompanying games further expand this universe of characters, and as always attempt to achieve an assymetric balance. To my mind this isn't a designer that is seeking out designs to copy and profit from in a malicious way. He is instead an incredibly talented designer, applying unique bent to board games. Puzzle Strike and Flash Duel both have their seed in existing games but the execution is all Sirlin.

For some reason this makes it OK with me. If I thought he was shamelessly rebadging things to scum a profit I'd understand the discontent at the lack of licensing. Instead I think he has been inspired by a concept and thought, then completely fashioned those basic ideas into a unique and interesting work. Again, his flag ship product shows he is a far more capable designer than one that purely steals ideas. Perhaps it is a short cut to have borrowed so much inspiration for Flash Duel. Certainly Puzzle Strike wouldn't have existed as quickly or at all without there first having been Dominion. To me the final product is different enough each time to stand on its own. If courtesy demands more in the board gaming community then that is something Sirlin will have to address/learn, and he may well be addressing in private as we speculate.

I will not be boycotting anyone as a result of this thread. Fantasy Flight make stunning looking games that excite plenty of people. Sirlin is a breath of fresh air and I am loving his appearance in the board gaming community. Knizia made Ra and I love Ra. Hopefully everyone ends up happy and similar issues get handle better in the future.



You brought up a very good point about David's background. I have never seen Tekken credit Street Fighter, or Battlefield credit Call of Duty, or any JRPG credit Square. In fact, when I start to think about it, video game designers actually rarely discourage the sharing of ideas. They leech off of each other's innovations. Directors of movies rarely credit other directors for their movies. Car manufacturers don't credit each other for new designs. It seems like Mr. Petersen wants this to be an exception.

The same still seams to apply to the majority of the board game industry also.

Did Yugioh or Pokemon TCG or WoW TCG credit Magic? Has White Wolf ever credited TSR? Did Privateer Press credit Games Workshop? Did Milton Bradly ever ask for credit when games started to advance passed Candy Land and The Game of Life?

To be clear when I say credit I am asking if the parties involved ever paid for a license or royalties to invent their product.

We all no the answer. So no need to actually reply.

Bottom line for me is that if Mr. Petersen is so afraid of Sirlin as competition then maybe he should up his game. I am surprised he isn't calling out Soda Pop minis for Super Dungeon Explore copying Descent.

As I have said before, I personally think FFG was making a game very similar to En Guarde/Flash Duel. FFG got the doctor's permission and now they are mad that they can't even compete with Flash Duel or corner that side of the market.

It's okay though because now they understand how Richard Hamblen and Andrea Angiolino might feel. whistle



Someone said that some ccg companies have had to pay fees to wotc for their patent. Don't know if it's true, but clearly we all don't know the answer. Feel free to research it!

And please quit confusing various forms of IP. There's a lot of informative posts around here that will explain how they work.


I requested this topic to be removed...
now I am just playing "village idiot and devil's advocate" until it does.

I hate trolls as much as the next guy but I am having fun with this one. You see sad thing is some people will read what I say as fact.

If you must know my personal opinion. I don't care about other people stealing my ideas. In one sick way or another it makes me happy to know someone required my existence to succeed. I actually hand out free material and ideas, just to see what others can use it for. One thing I don't have a lot of is free time. I spend what little I have on trying to help my customers or students. Life is too trivial and short to fight or care about copyrights and profits.

I remember when students were calling out Avatar for copying various movies. I would just shrug and say "your point?".

Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:02 am
Author: scifiantihero
Ugh. I called out avatar for being terrible! At least people care enough about this game . . .
Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:16 am
Author: DarkKami
darksurtur wrote:
DarkKami wrote:
jeffinberlin wrote:


And many people wonder why Dr. Knizia produces so many spin-off's and variations of his own games. He's simply trying to get them out there before other designers do spin-off's and variations of his games.


Heh, and I just saw that as laziness. Is this why Capcom and Activision makes over 3 variations of one game. Same could be said about Settlers and Ticket to Ride.


It's not laziness, it just makes good business sense. 1) New IP development takes a lot of time, so expansions that don't require as much development provide economies of scale. 2) Expansions have a built-in audience that helps with product placement, advertising, and promotion. 3) Expansions provide much less risk than a product using new IP.


True. For sake of debate, so what you are saying is that he plays it safe? Where as Mr. Sirlin takes risks? So risk taking is not good for business?

Mr. Sirlin made three separate games in the same Fantasy Strike universe instead of just re-imaging YOMI.

1) He kept the same IP for all of his games.
2) The universe rather than the individual game mechanics created fans of his games.
3) All three of Sirlin's games share the same support and fans.

What intrigues me most about Mr. Sirlin is how his background as a video game developer really sets him apart from board game developers. From his ideas to his business model.

I am going to drop the flaming and trolling because it is actually starting to upset me that I allowed myself to drop so low.
Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:44 am
Author: russ
DarkKami wrote:
darksurtur wrote:
It's not laziness, it just makes good business sense. 1) New IP development takes a lot of time, so expansions that don't require as much development provide economies of scale. 2) Expansions have a built-in audience that helps with product placement, advertising, and promotion. 3) Expansions provide much less risk than a product using new IP.


True. For sake of debate, so what you are saying is that he plays it safe? Where as Mr. Sirlin takes risks? So risk taking is not good for business?

Mr. Sirlin made three separate games in the same Fantasy Strike universe instead of just re-imaging YOMI.

Still, isn't the new Flash Duel: Second Edition a reimplementation of Flash Duel? So it's not as if he doesn't also "play it safe" occasionally.

Quote:
What intrigues me most about Mr. Sirlin is how his background as a video game developer really sets him apart from board game developers. From his ideas to his business model.

Indeed, his atypical background definitely seems to lead him in a different direction than many boardgame designers, and that seems a good thing for sparking experimentation and progress in different directions. (I would suppose his boardgame experience might similarly carry back to computer game design ideas for him.)
Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:02 am
Author: joepinion
apotheos wrote:
[The] library of "yet another thinly veiled math exercise presented my Dr Knizia" are especially poorly suited to claims of this nature. En Garde is competitive counting. Allowing him the ability to broadly claim ownership of those concepts would be destructive and foolish.

Had to bring apotheos' point back because the last few pages are ignoring it...

I certainly find it disturbing when one company appears to be ripping off someone else's game. However, there needs to be more to a game for me to get angry about it. En Garde is so freaking simple and generic, how can you complain? When Knizia designed it, he could've wrote up rules that use a deck of cards and two coins and just shared it as a homebrew/print and play. Only because he's Reiner Knizia was this game ever published.

That's not a rip on En Garde. It's very good, but it's outrageously simple. It's really not fair to compare this to songs or books. Even a short song or poem demands details from its author: notes, words, punctuation, etc. En Garde is basically a skeleton. There's nothing wrong with that; unlike a poem or a song, a skeleton can make a great game and Knizia is the master of that. But surely Knizia himself can see the difference between someone copying En Garde and someone copying Tigris & Euphrates or Palazzo or whatnot.

I'm in the minority here because I'm not emphasizing the games' differences; Sirlin's source is obvious. But I'll say it again: Making a game that can be played with a half dozen rules and a deck of regular playing cards does not constitute Intellectual Property, legal or gentlemanly or otherwise.

Think of it this way. Let's say Knizia, all those years ago, had taken En Garde to the publisher and the publisher came back and said,, "It's really great, but there's just not enough there. Can you add some variants or some flavor?" Knizia goes home, thinks about it, and comes up with a bunch of new rules, like a complex set of advantages the loser chooses from for the next round, and a mode where three players play a free-for-all, and for each space on the board he adds a special move that the players can do only when they're on that space.

Now, imagine, twenty years later, that Sirlin comes along and creates Flash Duel exactly as it exists today. Does anyone really care? Of course not; that would be EXACTLY like all of Dominion's clones, where the CORE is exactly the same (Action, Buy, Cleanup) but the DETAILS are different. I suppose Dominion's creators should have first published the ultra-simple version of Dominion that only has coin and victory point cards, and maybe a +1 action and a +1 buy card. That way, they would have had the defense of the community when all the imitators appeared. That would be silly of course, but that's exactly what's happening here. So it's the DETAILS that cause a game to deserve protection from copying, not the CORE of the game, even if that's all there is to the game.
Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:59 am
Author: jeffinberlin
DarkKami wrote:
darksurtur wrote:
DarkKami wrote:
jeffinberlin wrote:


And many people wonder why Dr. Knizia produces so many spin-off's and variations of his own games. He's simply trying to get them out there before other designers do spin-off's and variations of his games.


Heh, and I just saw that as laziness. Is this why Capcom and Activision makes over 3 variations of one game. Same could be said about Settlers and Ticket to Ride.


It's not laziness, it just makes good business sense. 1) New IP development takes a lot of time, so expansions that don't require as much development provide economies of scale. 2) Expansions have a built-in audience that helps with product placement, advertising, and promotion. 3) Expansions provide much less risk than a product using new IP.


True. For sake of debate, so what you are saying is that he plays it safe? Where as Mr. Sirlin takes risks? So risk taking is not good for business?

Mr. Sirlin made three separate games in the same Fantasy Strike universe instead of just re-imaging YOMI.

1) He kept the same IP for all of his games.
2) The universe rather than the individual game mechanics created fans of his games.
3) All three of Sirlin's games share the same support and fans.

What intrigues me most about Mr. Sirlin is how his background as a video game developer really sets him apart from board game developers. From his ideas to his business model.

I am going to drop the flaming and trolling because it is actually starting to upset me that I allowed myself to drop so low.


Um, I said "spin-offs and variations"--NOT expansions. That's a whole 'nother ball game. I am talking about stand-alone games, here. For example: Lost Cities, Keltis, Keltis: The Way of the Stones, Lost Cities Board Game, and Keltis: The Card Game. These are all stand-alone games that are variations on the same core mechanism but different than the original.

I don't think it's laziness or "playing it safe." If you've got a good core, wouldn't you want to explore it further if you could? If you are a full-time game designer, you probably have the time to try new mechanisms and media AND work on variations of previously-released games. If you are a full-time game designer, in fact, you probably need to do that just to make a decent living.
Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:15 pm
Author: DarkKami
jeffinberlin wrote:
DarkKami wrote:
darksurtur wrote:
DarkKami wrote:
jeffinberlin wrote:


And many people wonder why Dr. Knizia produces so many spin-off's and variations of his own games. He's simply trying to get them out there before other designers do spin-off's and variations of his games.


Heh, and I just saw that as laziness. Is this why Capcom and Activision makes over 3 variations of one game. Same could be said about Settlers and Ticket to Ride.


It's not laziness, it just makes good business sense. 1) New IP development takes a lot of time, so expansions that don't require as much development provide economies of scale. 2) Expansions have a built-in audience that helps with product placement, advertising, and promotion. 3) Expansions provide much less risk than a product using new IP.


True. For sake of debate, so what you are saying is that he plays it safe? Where as Mr. Sirlin takes risks? So risk taking is not good for business?

Mr. Sirlin made three separate games in the same Fantasy Strike universe instead of just re-imaging YOMI.

1) He kept the same IP for all of his games.
2) The universe rather than the individual game mechanics created fans of his games.
3) All three of Sirlin's games share the same support and fans.

What intrigues me most about Mr. Sirlin is how his background as a video game developer really sets him apart from board game developers. From his ideas to his business model.

I am going to drop the flaming and trolling because it is actually starting to upset me that I allowed myself to drop so low.


Um, I said "spin-offs and variations"--NOT expansions. That's a whole 'nother ball game. I am talking about stand-alone games, here. For example: Lost Cities, Keltis, Keltis: The Way of the Stones, Lost Cities Board Game, and Keltis: The Card Game. These are all stand-alone games that are variations on the same core mechanism but different than the original.

I don't think it's laziness or "playing it safe." If you've got a good core, wouldn't you want to explore it further if you could? If you are a full-time game designer, you probably have the time to try new mechanisms and media AND work on variations of previously-released games. If you are a full-time game designer, in fact, you probably need to do that just to make a decent living.


I just want to point out that I used Call of Duty (products of Activision) and Street Fighter and Dark Stalkers and Marvel vs Capcom (products of Capcom) and also Ticket to Ride as examples, because all they are is a variation of a previous game, especially Ticket to Ride.

I think you are missing my point. I understand exactly what you are saying, but it seems like I am not being clear on my end.

I will use RISK.
Risk is a core game, but you also have Lord of the Rings RISK, Future RISK, and other variations of RISK.

To me that is called "follow the leader" or "playing it safe", to an extent. You make a working product and "milk it" for all that it is worth. This is exactly what Mr. Sirlin is against and why he has called out Wizards of the Coast's TCGs and Fantasy Flight Games' LCGs.

Mr. Sirlin didn't play "follow the leader". Instead, he, acted as the leader for all three of his games. He didn't make YOMI and then purchase the IP and create Street Fighter YOMI. Instead he hit the drawing boards and made 10 more characters for all of his games(some are still in public testing). On top of this he has announced that he is making ANOTHER card based game too, though I can't recall if it takes place in the Fansty Strike universe. Supposedly it will change the way we play TCGs and won't require booster packs.

Someone above pointed out the Flash Duel got an expansion. Yeah so what. Compare what comes in this "expansion" to FFG expansions. You get the original game remastered with clear rules and edited card text. You have completely new artwork. Then you have the addition of new characters, tag team rules, solo rules, and the raid's rules. FFG's Runewars didn't even come with replacement Order cards and still had printing and artwork errors. Another example of why I am displeased with Mr. Petersen.

I don't understand why people on the geek dislike Mr. Sirlin. He provides his games for free play on the Fantasy Strike site, he calls out greedy publishers, and he spends time with his community. Maybe it is just jealousy or just because he is "different", I don't know, but this has got to stop.

When I look upon Sirlin and all that he is attempting, he reminds me of Arenanet and what they are attempting to do with Guild Wars 2 to change the MMO market or what Nintendo did with the Wii to change the way we perceive video games.

FFG and Mr. Knizia and others like them just remind me of Blizzard and Activision or EA. In the early stages these designers put emotion into their creations, because, let's be honest, that emotional attachment is all that you have keeping to driven toward your goal in the early stages (along with the fear of failure). That passion and desire to make it into the industry shows in most designer's early works, but tends to dissipate once they get going and the fear of failure is less severe.

Blizzard's SNES products were fun and original, like The Lost Vikings for example. After Warcraft they just made a variation of it in space and called it Starcraft. Now they milk both franchises. And other early game designers just clone or leech off of the success.

FFG spends a majority of it's time, as a rather large publisher, reprinting variations of old products, such as Talisman, Dungeon Quest, Arkham Horror. People have been begging them to create a Twilight Imperium RPG, but I guess Mr. Petersen doesn't really have a universe dreamed up for it despite how much fluff is in TI3.

Compare those business practices to Mr. Sirlin's business. Mr. Sirlin manages his own company, personally responds to all emails, corrects any errors on his part, and spends time in the Fantasy Strike forums with his fans. Yet, despite all that time he dedicates, he still finds time to craft a universe for his games to expand upon by creating and balancing new characters to be implemented into the all of them. For any free time left over he uses it to continue to work on other unique games.

Now you might understand why I was angered when he was called out for being unoriginal, and even implied as a thief, the one time Mr. Sirlin tries to expand on another game's concept (one that he credited in the first edition).

You should visit Fantasy Strikes forums. They are crafting a fighting game. They being the community of his fans. Animators are submitting attack animations for public critique, OCremixers are taking time to make theme songs, artist are submitting backgrounds for the stages. This list goes on. The most extraordinary thing is how Mr. Sirlin is actively involved in these topics.

Go over to FFG and you can pick any game's forum randomly and see the plethora of topics complaining about how poorly edited and untested the rules were.

The only forum on FFG that comes close to Fantasy Strike's is Arkham Horror's forum. Then again that game isn't exactly and FFG original, so its support dates back to Games Workshop's version.

Please excuse me on my temper and bias fandom towards Mr. Sirlin. I just thought people that haven't ventured outside of BGG should know just how HARD he works and is appreciated as a "full time game designer".
Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:39 am
Author: fnord23
Fanboys are *always* amusing.
Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:20 am
Author: Kirenx
fnord23 wrote:
Fanboys are *always* amusing.


I'm far from being a fanboy and still found a lot of what was said makes sense. Maybe you should read it before attempting to put people down.
Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:41 am
Author: fnord23
Oh, I read the entire thread.

And my point remains; fanboys, *particularly* Sirlin's, are *always* amusing.

Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:58 am
Author: joshaubry
Let's go back to the mid-90s and the release of the Settlers of Catan before any expansions. If I played that game and like it but thought it could really use some extra stuff built on top of it, maybe replace the development cards with some other cards with more interesting options, allow the building of city walls, etc and created a game that was basically catan plus the contents of cities and knights (assuming cities & knights isnt published or announced at this point) .... as long as I dont call it some form of catan and dont use the same artwork, is it legally ok for me to sell it without permission? morally?
Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:06 am
Author: FinalPhalanx
If this issue against Sirlin is legit, then whoever created Chess owes whoever created Checkers some cash money.
Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:47 am
Author: joshaubry
FinalPhalanx wrote:
If this issue against Sirlin is legit, then whoever created Chess owes whoever created Checkers some cash money.


Chess is not Checkers + more

Chess is not a superset of checkers

Checkers is not a subset of chess

etc
Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:59 am
Author: Octavian
This thread seems to have run out of things to say at this point and has strayed far from the original point of the thread.

Locked
Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:06 am