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Subject: Wait, That was MY game! rss

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Ridley Bojangles
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Who has had this experience? I just did...

Two or three years ago I designed and prototyped a game, played it a couple of times with my girlfriend, then shelved it.

Today I found an announcement about an upcoming game with the EXACT (highly unusual) name, and identical (very uncommon) theme. cry My girlfriend was mad and thought they stole it, but I'm pretty sure it's just bad luck/coincidence combined with he-who-snoozes-loses.

I'm gonna use it as lesson to make sure I complete my next design and share it with the world.
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Gil Hova
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Happens all the time, and it's almost always simultaneous development.

My girlfriend can tell you how insane with worry I became when I found out that a game with exactly my theme was launching on Kickstarter two weeks before mine.

Thankfully, it turned out well for both of us, and when I met the other designer at Essen, we had a good laugh; turns out we'd both been working independently on our respective games for over five years!

Our games could not be more different mechanically, so that was a help. When the mechanisms are a match, that's when it's tougher to get distinguished.

But yes, the design space is busier these days, so getting to market first definitely helps.
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James Wahl
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When that happens to me, I take it as encouragement: it means I'm on the right track, or at least in touch with the hivemind.
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Andrew Rowse
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Yep - Paperback really threw a spanner in the development timeline for Dexikon. You may be able to revisit your game after a year or so...
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Mike
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I believe no idea is original to one person. Anyone who has an idea for any purpose even a melody of a song, I bet you a dozen other people somewhere have the exact same one.

I'm pretty sure it has to do with that quantum mechanics theory that the conscious thoughts of living self aware beings is what creates reality and affects things that happen in the world.
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Jeremy Lennert
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Mike B Canada wrote:
I'm pretty sure it has to do with that quantum mechanics theory that the conscious thoughts of living self aware beings is what creates reality and affects things that happen in the world.
I'm pretty sure that's not a theory of quantum mechanics. (But I also can't tell whether you're joking or not, so maybe you know that.)
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Grace McDermott
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Names can be changed, and there are lot of games with the same theme - how's the execution/style of play though? Are they the same/similar?
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Russ Williams
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Antistone wrote:
Mike B Canada wrote:
I'm pretty sure it has to do with that quantum mechanics theory that the conscious thoughts of living self aware beings is what creates reality and affects things that happen in the world.
I'm pretty sure that's not a theory of quantum mechanics. (But I also can't tell whether you're joking or not, so maybe you know that.)
It's all part of the cosmic unconsciousness!
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Nat Levan
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Antistone wrote:
Mike B Canada wrote:
I'm pretty sure it has to do with that quantum mechanics theory that the conscious thoughts of living self aware beings is what creates reality and affects things that happen in the world.
I'm pretty sure that's not a theory of quantum mechanics. (But I also can't tell whether you're joking or not, so maybe you know that.)
Well, he is and he isn't
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Daniel Newman
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Sivilized wrote:
Antistone wrote:
Mike B Canada wrote:
I'm pretty sure it has to do with that quantum mechanics theory that the conscious thoughts of living self aware beings is what creates reality and affects things that happen in the world.
I'm pretty sure that's not a theory of quantum mechanics. (But I also can't tell whether you're joking or not, so maybe you know that.)
Well, he is and he isn't
I see what you did there
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Nat Levan
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So what game is it?
The worst that can happen is someone puts out a game with the same name and mechanics, which has already happened.

Edit:
I've definitely had this happen. My first public test of New Bedford was 2 days before Moby Dick, or, The Card Game was released.
Recently, I've been trying to design a game around the fairly rare theme of surfing, and a surfing game just hit Kickstarter. This sort of thing happens all the time.
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Rob Harper
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Sivilized wrote:
This sort of thing happens all the time.
Tell me about it. My pirate, zombie and Cthulhu games were all beaten to publication by some other genius. Ah well, great minds think alike, eh? At least I have another plan: it's for a trading game set around the Mediterranean sea during the Renaissance...
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Koen Hendrix
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I'd wager that for at least half of all game announcements a similarly-themed game came out in the previous year. There are hundreds of board games coming out every year and they largely scrape the same collective culture for theme ideas, so situations like this are bound to occur frequently.

More importantly, it also doesn't make your past decision to shelve your idea a bad one.

The identical name thing is less common, just bad luck I guess, but maybe it show that we aren't as unique and original as we think we are.
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John "Omega" Williams
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The reason you sometimes see identical themes is because you and the other person saw something around the same time. Whatever it was. For you both it triggered an idea. The idea might be totally unrelated to the theme of the trigger item. But for you and the other designer it somehow lead thoughts down the same path.

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Ridley Bojangles
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Ryinth wrote:
Names can be changed, and there are lot of games with the same theme - how's the execution/style of play though? Are they the same/similar?
The game is not released yet, so I don't know how similar it is to my prototype. All I've seen are teasers but the goal and tone is identical.

Edit: I know people might be curious but I fee weird actually specifying the game because I feel like it's not really the point.

I do think it was the best idea to shelve the game. I had just gotten back into board gaming after a long absence and, frankly, my understanding of modern mechanics was still rudimentary. It used some pretty old-school ideas. That's not to say it wouldn't have been fun (it was a light game).
 
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Freddy Dekker
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khendrix wrote:
I'd wager that for at least half of all game announcements a similarly-themed game came out in the previous year. There are hundreds of board games coming out every year and they largely scrape the same collective culture for theme ideas, so situations like this are bound to occur frequently.

More importantly, it also doesn't make your past decision to shelve your idea a bad one.

The identical name thing is less common, just bad luck I guess, but maybe it show that we aren't as unique and original as we think we are.
Or maybe it shows we should be suspicious of girlfriends who show an interest..
 
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Gary Tanner
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Yep, happens all the time. I'm usually about halfway through designing a game when it happens. The closest I got was years ago, when I was doing creative content, with a programmer and a graphics designer and another programmer/creative assistant, with a computer game. We had been working on it for a long time, worked out the kinks, and were shopping a particular type of server or memory system (I didn't handle that end) to launch it.

And then out came EverQuest. So much of it was close enough one of the programmers joked that our houses must have been bugged. While we were trying to decide if there was room for 2 games so close to each other, our graphics designer found out she had cancer and hung herself, the rest of us were so upset by it we just decided to let the whole thing die with her.

I've since learned, keep at it, if necessary, tweak a few things, hold onto it for a year and launch then, whatever you need to do.
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Grace McDermott
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blakflag wrote:
Ryinth wrote:
Names can be changed, and there are lot of games with the same theme - how's the execution/style of play though? Are they the same/similar?
The game is not released yet, so I don't know how similar it is to my prototype. All I've seen are teasers but the goal and tone is identical.
Sorry, didn't know if there were any play through videos/review/etc that you'd seen.
 
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