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m Vlad
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I know there is an app for through the ages in development which I will certainly buy but, I came to find the exact same game as through the ages as an app and I was like.."Did they just release this game? Why is there no hype on BGG's forums".

I waited a long time for an app that would provide the feel of TTA so, I payed for it thinking it was the app I was waiting for (updated by Vlaada and all) but it wasn't so then, I started considering myself to be buying stuff off a black market and not the store that sells apps for my device.How could something like this happen?

Is this legal? Considering how much work and effort have been put in such a game by CGE and Vlaada, this makes no sense. The developers should at least mention this but, they don't.Aren't there any laws protecting one's design?

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Alison Mandible
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What app are you talking about?
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Clyde W
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In short, no, there are no laws that protect rules of a game.
 
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grasa_total wrote:
What app are you talking about?


CGE and Vlaada have stated in the past that, after Galaxy Trucker, they may do other apps and that one such app may be Through the Ages. As far as I know, there's no solid confirmation.

clydeiii wrote:
In short, no, there are no laws that protect rules of a game.


I'd be careful here. There have been recent court decisions that do not follow this general rule. In fact, there was a recent federal district court case where the publishers of Bang! sued a copycat game that had changed all the artwork but otherwise retained all the mechancis of Bang! (including even the available player powers). The publisher of Bang! was not prohibited from suing even though all that was copied were mechanics - not artwork or names.

You can also look at cases in the video game world such as Triple Town/Yeti Town where infringement was held.
 
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m Vlad
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I'm pretty sure I watched a video from essen with Petr Murmak demoing it (a wip version of TtA).

I will not say the app's name because that would mean more buyers for a company that sells a stolen design.(Everybody wants TtA in their pocket)
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Alison Mandible
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mvl4d wrote:
I'm pretty sure I watched a video from essen with Petr Murmak demoing it (a wip version of TtA).

I will not say the app's name because that would mean more buyers for a company that sells a stolen design.(Everybody wants TtA in their pocket)


Yeah, they are very definitely working on it and have shown screenshots in various places. But I think the official position is "we are not promising this will ever come out". Given how fussy people get about delays, that seems prudent.

If the app isn't named "Through The Ages", how did you even find it and how did it look official?

Not asking for a pointer, I'm just curious how this came about.
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Duke Of Lizards
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I demoed the TtA app at the CGE booth at last BGG.con, so yes, I'm pretty sure it is coming.
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Nicola Bocchetta
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Are you talking about the "Roll through the ages" app?
 
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Duncan Idaho
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MyParadox wrote:
In fact, there was a recent federal district court case where the publishers of Bang! sued a copycat game that had changed all the artwork but otherwise retained all the mechancis of Bang! (including even the available player powers). The publisher of Bang! was not prohibited from suing even though all that was copied were mechanics - not artwork or names.


That was just a ruling against a 12(b)6 motion, which should be denied if there's any chance the court would end up ruling in Bang!'s favor, not any likelihood of it. In fact, in the same decision, I believe the court denied a preliminary injunction, which suggests the court thinks there's a good chance infringement won't be found.

That's also a special case, where the court decided that the "attributes and traits" element (in short, a combination of interesting attributes and traits can make a character copyrightable when it would otherwise be a stock character; think wizened old mentor vs. Ben Kenobi) might apply because the rethemed game copied, wholesale, the attributes and traits of the character cards. That's a limited extension of current law.

IANAL.
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Tilou
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MyParadox wrote:
grasa_total wrote:
What app are you talking about?


CGE and Vlaada have stated in the past that, after Galaxy Trucker, they may do other apps and that one such app may be Through the Ages. As far as I know, there's no solid confirmation.


I remembered reading that app had been confirmed:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/31442/app-news-galaxy-...

Edit: after reading more carefully...

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Bryan Thunkd
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tilouboy wrote:
As far as I know, there's no solid confirmation.
Vlaada Chvatil talks about Czech Games
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Thunkd wrote:
tilouboy wrote:
As far as I know, there's no solid confirmation.
Vlaada Chvatil talks about Czech Games


Wrong quote but thanks for the link.
 
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Vlaada Chvatil
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Hello all. I have just noticed this game was released. Personally, I feel it is rather sad. I do not know the people behind this project, and as long as I know, they never tried to contact me.

So, on one hand, there are people like Nicolas from Boardgaming online, or the Board Game Arena team, who approached me, and asked for the permission to make the game available to online players. And I agreed - because thats why I am doing games, to be played. I highly value these people, as they invest lots of time and effort to a non-commercial project and still respect the game design as an IP.

On the other hand, there are those people, who just came to a conclusion there is a weakness in the law that is worth to abuse, and spent months to do that. I suppose they are not in too much love with board games, and did it only for profit, and honestly, in that case, I think they have not picked a good title to abuse. TtA is very complex, far beyond a usual mobile game player is willing to accept, and moreover, from what I have seen, they failed at presenting it well. The tutorial must be really heavy and confusing for someone who never played the game. The board game does well in the rankings, which I am very grateful for, but that's worth nothing for them, as they had to change the title.

That leaves them only the TtA players... and honestly, I can't imagine the players would abandon boardgamingonline or board game arena, just to play a pirate copy, even if it is done well. Which is not. Their interface is hiding most of the information, you do not have good overall view of the game, you have to tap back and forth for everything. You can do stuff, but you do not see well what is behind. And I have noticed no undo. Playing this online must be really a pain.

I hope I am not wrong here, and those people will learn a lesson. How much fun they could have if they would try to develop their own civilization-like game, with mechanics better suitable for a mobile game?
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Ali Cali
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Thank you, Vlaada, for chiming in. I do not support those who use others' ideas without permission. I eagerly await the Through the Ages version with proper permissions (and hopefully Mage Knight not too far behind).
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Daniel Näslund
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As long as we that support Vlada doesnt pay for the mobile rip off and spread the word we´re doing what we can for now. Hopefuly some easy to point at law fixes this sneaky leeching.
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rafjerrk tytus
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Hey Vlaada

I love your Cyvilization and this app in my opinion is designed only for hard core gamers ( there is no way new gamer will be able to play only using tutorial ) . For me it is really good stuff cause board game is so long ( 2-3 hours ) that I rarely able to convince anybody to play with me. This app enable me to play game only 30 minutes ( with m my 7 years old son ) . Of course thera are flaws in it( AL is not so good so I always beat him, and you do not always see what other player do etc ) but all in all i pretty decent app. I do not think this developer will make big money out of it ( unless this app will be as perfect as SMALL WORLD 2 ). So this is very useful app for players who are crazy about your board game ( as I am Surely he should have asked You for permission but in the end this app will make Your game even better. I am eager to play Your version of app on android.
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Throknor
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rafjerk wrote:
Hey Vlaada

I love your Cyvilization and this app in my opinion is designed only for hard core gamers ( there is no way new gamer will be able to play only using tutorial ) . For me it is really good stuff cause board game is so long ( 2-3 hours ) that I rarely able to convince anybody to play with me. This app enable me to play game only 30 minutes ( with m my 7 years old son ) . Of course thera are flaws in it( AL is not so good so I always beat him, and you do not always see what other player do etc ) but all in all i pretty decent app. I do not think this developer will make big money out of it ( unless this app will be as perfect as SMALL WORLD 2 ). So this is very useful app for players who are crazy about your board game ( as I am Surely he should have asked You for permission but in the end this app will make Your game even better. I am eager to play Your version of app on android.

You're missing the problem: potential new players will think this is representative of the game and will not try the board game or any future official version costing the legitimate developers and Vlaada money and, worse, reputation.
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Andrew Dabrowski
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Let me preface this by saying that I think VC is the best game designer working in the world today, and if I were thinking about doing an app of TtA I would definitely ask him for his support.

But I've bought the app and I kind of like it. It's fairly well produced (crashes though), the art is good, the interface is fine considering it's probably intended to work on phones as well as tablets (there's no way you could fit all the info a player needs on one screen), the tutorial was adequately comprehensive and lucid (English errors aside), and it's inexpensive: I payed $10 for Sentinels of the Multiverse, this was a much better deal.

Most importantly, after being curious about the game for years I've finally been able to play it. Board game publishers are still stuck in the 20th century, cardboard boxes are no longer the way to go. I'm not interested in paying $80 for a game that takes an hour to set up and break down and for which I almost never have enough people around to play anyway; I'm only interested in AI or online play. This game has been a hit since 2006 but CGE has dragged their heals on the app.

I do deduct points from Krinsen for going ahead without informing VC. But there are thousands of people on Wall St who make a living violating the letter of the law on a regular basis; can we really ask a struggling app developer to be a saint by foregoing something that's actually legal?
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Y P
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unhandyandy wrote:
Most importantly, after being curious about the game for years I've finally been able to play it. Board game publishers are still stuck in the 20th century, cardboard boxes are no longer the way to go. I'm not interested in paying $80 for a game that takes an hour to set up and break down and for which I almost never have enough people around to play anyway; I'm only interested in AI or online play. This game has been a hit since 2006 but CGE has dragged their heals on the app.


They can take as long as they like on the app--they created the game. We can complain and might even be justified in doing so at times, but that complaint shouldn't manifest as giving money to a developer who underhandedly develops an app based on their game without permission. Besides, an app is apparently in the works with a working prototype already created.

Quote:
I do deduct points from Krinsen for going ahead without informing VC. But there are thousands of people on Wall St who make a living violating the letter of the law on a regular basis; can we really ask a struggling app developer to be a saint by foregoing something that's actually legal?


"Those guys over there are doing something really awful, so let's excuse this guy over here who isn't as evil." Sorry, that argument doesn't fly. I'm a developer and I wouldn't steal somebody else's hard work to make a buck, legal or not. You're also assuming that this is somehow a struggling app developer, which in any case doesn't excuse the behavior but also isn't a known factor in the first place.
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David desJardins
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MentatYP wrote:
I'm a developer and I wouldn't steal somebody else's hard work to make a buck, legal or not.


You're begging the question.
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unhandyandy wrote:
Most importantly, after being curious about the game for years I've finally been able to play it.

I call shenanigans on this. It took me three seconds to type 'through the ages board game online' in the search bar on this browser and find where it can be played online for free and I'm not even trying.
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J Ry
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MentatYP wrote:
unhandyandy wrote:
Most importantly, after being curious about the game for years I've finally been able to play it. Board game publishers are still stuck in the 20th century, cardboard boxes are no longer the way to go. I'm not interested in paying $80 for a game that takes an hour to set up and break down and for which I almost never have enough people around to play anyway; I'm only interested in AI or online play. This game has been a hit since 2006 but CGE has dragged their heals on the app.


They can take as long as they like on the app--they created the game. We can complain and might even be justified in doing so at times, but that complaint shouldn't manifest as giving money to a developer who underhandedly develops an app based on their game without permission. Besides, an app is apparently in the works with a working prototype already created.

Quote:
I do deduct points from Krinsen for going ahead without informing VC. But there are thousands of people on Wall St who make a living violating the letter of the law on a regular basis; can we really ask a struggling app developer to be a saint by foregoing something that's actually legal?


"Those guys over there are doing something really awful, so let's excuse this guy over here who isn't as evil." Sorry, that argument doesn't fly. I'm a developer and I wouldn't steal somebody else's hard work to make a buck, legal or not. You're also assuming that this is somehow a struggling app developer, which in any case doesn't excuse the behavior but also isn't a known factor in the first place.


Agreed on all counts.
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Andy Leber
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What the heck, I'll throw my hat in the ring with what's undoubtedly an unpopular opinion.

Not only do I believe that as long as you change up all of the traditionally copyright-able material, not only is it perfectly legal, but that it should be, too.

Not that I'm not sympathetic to the impact it can have on the original author, and that I don't even agree it's a shame sometimes... but it's just how it has to be, to me.

Look at how similar so many games are out there. I don't think we should be throwing away the patent/copyright/trademark system entirely, but if it was too strict in the other direction we could potentially lose a LOT of great games out there as well.

I know, I know, being similar, and being a much more direct "rip off" aren't necessarily the same thing. But that's just it. It is essentially a matter of degree. How similar can it be? Can you change just the art? Add ONE single mechanism that's slightly different? Is it okay if it's out of print? For how long?

To try and protect an "idea" (which a large portion of a game is) it gets very tricky and grey. So, again, While I'm sympathetic to the original creator of something when "clones" sometimes eat into the profits or reputation of a product, and I wouldn't be happy if it happened to me either, I don't think stricter copyright enforcement is the solution I'd personally be in favor for.

That's my stance on board games anyways. As I said, I don't think it should be complete anarchy in the area of copyright/patents, so all I can do is make a judgement call on a case by case basis.

I personally don't think you should be able to have ownership of a game concept/mechanism, and as sad as it may be, this doesn't really change, even when grouping a bunch of mechanisms together (into a complete game).

I'm glad that there are a million extremely similar LCG's out there, for example. I think in the end, it's more of a net positive for the hobby in general.
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Andrew Dabrowski
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Quote:
I call shenanigans on this. It took me three seconds to type 'through the ages board game online' in the search bar on this browser and find where it can be played online for free and I'm not even trying.


I knew about BGA's implementation, but I had never played here because of the lack of AI, and I didn't want to inflict my incompetence on other players. Playing against AI is the ideal way for me to learn the mechanics of a game.
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Clyde W
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Throknor wrote:
rafjerk wrote:
Hey Vlaada

I love your Cyvilization and this app in my opinion is designed only for hard core gamers ( there is no way new gamer will be able to play only using tutorial ) . For me it is really good stuff cause board game is so long ( 2-3 hours ) that I rarely able to convince anybody to play with me. This app enable me to play game only 30 minutes ( with m my 7 years old son ) . Of course thera are flaws in it( AL is not so good so I always beat him, and you do not always see what other player do etc ) but all in all i pretty decent app. I do not think this developer will make big money out of it ( unless this app will be as perfect as SMALL WORLD 2 ). So this is very useful app for players who are crazy about your board game ( as I am Surely he should have asked You for permission but in the end this app will make Your game even better. I am eager to play Your version of app on android.

You're missing the problem: potential new players will think this is representative of the game and will not try the board game or any future official version costing the legitimate developers and Vlaada money and, worse, reputation.
I can assure you that most casual players can't even find this game, since the fans themselves can't find it. Searching for "Through the Ages" on the app store doesn't find it, and no one has the balls to post a URL here.
 
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