Recommend
12 
 Thumb up
 Hide
53 Posts
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Board Game Design » Design Queries and Problems

Subject: I feel like I just got punched in the gut. rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Liberty Kifer
United States
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've been developing our game for the last few months, starting with an idea I came up with our kids and then expanding and refining it with lots of new ideas from play tests.

I was feeling really good about our game until about 20 minutes ago, when I discovered this game on Kickstarter:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1353307241/burger-battl...

And here is my WIP, Feed The Humans:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2031879/wip-feed-humans-car...

Some of the similarities are striking to say the least.

1) building recipes to complete an order
2) attacks/sabotages, two of which are basically the same mechanic as two of the attacks in our game
3) forcefields. I mean really? I could cry.
4) 2-6 players for both games

Here are the differences that I see:

1) with their game, you're trying to make a specific delicious burger, with ours you can make your basic dishes out of anything that fits the categories, so almost every dish you make will be disgusting, which is a big part of the fun when you actually play.

2) in theirs, it looks like you're just drawing, where in ours you have to buy Attack cards with ingredients and upgrade cards from a bank with spare parts, so... more choice, less chance. We also have a whole dead battery / battery charger dynamic that is unique to the robot theme.

3) ours has robot player cards with special abilities

4) some of our dishes require implement upgrades like a blender or a fryer.

5) ours has a retro-futuristic theme


So the way I see it, as I sit here absolutely sick to my stomach, is that we have the following options:

1) forget the game and all the work we've put into it so far; save a deck to play with friends but otherwise give up on trying to kickstarter it

2) rework the game for a different theme somehow

3) change the elements that are directly similar (like rename the forcefield, etc) but move forward on the assumption that the games are different enough

4) add more complexity to the game so that it's vastly more complex than this other game

5) get in touch with the creator of this other game, explain my situation, and see if he'd back me up if I was accused of copying his game in APril when I launch. Or talk to him about how much I'd need to change our game for him to feel comfortable.

What would you do? I don't want to let my kids and husband down after all the work we've already put in on this, and I'd feel just...stupid...if I wasted everyone's time with this idea that I thought was, if not wholly original, at least original enough.

The worst part is, our game really is fun. It's good. I don't want to give it up. This guy just got there first.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rich Keiser
United States
Waunakee
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
TableForFive wrote:
I've been developing our game for the last few months, starting with an idea I came up with our kids and then expanding and refining it with lots of new ideas from play tests.

I was feeling really good about our game until about 20 minutes ago, when I discovered this game on Kickstarter:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1353307241/burger-battl...

And here is my WIP, Feed The Humans:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2031879/wip-feed-humans-car...

Some of the similarities are striking to say the least.

1) building recipes to complete an order
2) attacks/sabotages, two of which are basically the same mechanic as two of the attacks in our game
3) forcefields. I mean really? I could cry.
4) 2-6 players for both games

Here are the differences that I see:

1) with their game, you're trying to make a specific delicious burger, with ours you can make your basic dishes out of anything that fits the categories, so almost every dish you make will be disgusting, which is a big part of the fun when you actually play.

2) in theirs, it looks like you're just drawing, where in ours you have to buy Attack cards with ingredients and upgrade cards from a bank with spare parts, so... more choice, less chance. We also have a whole dead battery / battery charger dynamic that is unique to the robot theme.

3) ours has robot player cards with special abilities

4) some of our dishes require implement upgrades like a blender or a fryer.

5) ours has a retro-futuristic theme


So the way I see it, as I sit here absolutely sick to my stomach, is that we have the following options:

1) forget the game and all the work we've put into it so far; save a deck to play with friends but otherwise give up on trying to kickstarter it

2) rework the game for a different theme somehow

3) change the elements that are directly similar (like rename the forcefield, etc) but move forward on the assumption that the games are different enough

4) add more complexity to the game so that it's vastly more complex than this other game

5) get in touch with the creator of this other game, explain my situation, and see if he'd back me up if I was accused of copying his game in APril when I launch. Or talk to him about how much I'd need to change our game for him to feel comfortable.

What would you do? I don't want to let my kids and husband down after all the work we've already put in on this, and I'd feel just...stupid...if I wasted everyone's time with this idea that I thought was, if not wholly original, at least original enough.

The worst part is, our game really is fun. It's good. I don't want to give it up. This guy just got there first.

You put all this time into it. Continue.

You don't give up until it really is over.

35 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Patrick Zoch
United States
Kansas
flag msg tools
designer
Daily Dad Jokes!
badge
My wife just accused me of having zero empathy. I don’t understand how she can feel that way.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think yours is different enough to go forward. It is not uncommon to have multiple games with similar themes released at the same time. Yours plays differently and looks different. (and it looks more appealing to me). Stick with it.

In the end, the better game will win.
13 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
C.J. Calton
United States
St. Paul
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Wow, that really sucks, I'm sorry.

I honestly think the thing you should do is consult a lawyer. Any advice you get on here, unless it happens to be from a copyright lawyer, is going to be speculative.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Arias
United States
Sanford
FLORIDA
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In case it helps, "Concurrent creativity" seems to happen a lot with board game designs. I was working on a sci-fi dudes on a map concept, and learned many of the "new" ideas I had actually showed up in a different game from 30 years ago! I choose to interpret that as being on the right track

I've also read several other threads here on BGG where designer A gets discouraged because now the same game or a "better" version of it just showed up on KS from designer B. In pretty much all of them, upon deeper comparison there's enough delta for there to be room for both. For example, how many dungeon crawlers and LCGs do we have now, with how much thematic overlap, with how many similar if not identical mechanics used?

I won't comment on the legal dimension ... you can find tons of threads here covering the topic of "is my game too much like this game" to draw your own conclusions.

I'd stay with your idea.
13 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Port Saint Lucie
Florida
flag msg tools
This space for rent!
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This reminds me of when the game The Networks came out. Gil Hova explained that he was designing this game he had a name ready and when he went to kickstart it he originally wanted a different name but discovered the game Prime Time was going to beat him to the punch. Same theme and idea.

Which is the better game? The Networks is coming out with another expansion real soon. Prime Time has sadly gone quiet (and before anyone may accuse me of bias I kickstarted and still own both.)

Now if my point isn't clear, its the same as everyone else. Don't stop making your game. People come out with games with identical ideas. Yes it sucks when people come up with the same exact idea and mechanics, but you never know what you can still do differently, maybe even improve on, or see what you're doing differently that they aren't.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
The Chaz
United States
Arkansas
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmb
degemination wrote:

I honestly think the thing you should do is consult a lawyer. Any advice you get on here, unless it happens to be from a copyright lawyer, is going to be speculative.
Uh, no?!

If you're a designer, then the thing you should do is design. Either keep working on the game as-is, make a thematic overhaul, or start on a new game.

Many of us have been in your shoes. Between the Lemmings game and Diamonds, I've felt everything from blindsided to gut punched to the rug pulled out from under me. It sucks, and it can be very discouraging.

Two months ago, similar circumstances happened! I saw a prototype for a game that was VERY similar in theme and mechanics to one that I've been spending a lot of time on. But instead of a negative response, I rejoiced in the thought of being able to retire my (objectively inferior) project! And I've reached out to the designer and publisher. Looks like I'll be a playtester at least, possibly a developer.

Don't hire a lawyer. It's not that kind of industry (at least for those of us posting in the BGG design forums).
14 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Benjamin Guiracocha Bloomer
United States
Chicago
Illinois
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The Chaz wrote:
degemination wrote:

I honestly think the thing you should do is consult a lawyer. Any advice you get on here, unless it happens to be from a copyright lawyer, is going to be speculative.
Uh, no?!

. . .

Don't hire a lawyer. It's not that kind of industry (at least for those of us posting in the BGG design forums).

Full disclosure: I'm a lawyer.

I believe that The Chaz was suggesting he get a lawyer prior to publishing to make sure that his product is safe to publish, as a way to protect OP. Unless I'm mistaken, I don't think The Chaz was suggesting that OP get a lawyer to sue the other guy. For what it's worth, consulting a lawyer to protect yourself is rarely a bad idea, if only for the fact that if you get sued you can show that you asked an attorney. But I fully respect your comment about the BGG design community, and I would totally agree with you if The Chaz meant OP should get an attorney to sue the other guy
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sky Zero
United States
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Keep designing the game. If it’s better and you take it to kickstarter, it will get funded. There are literally hundreds of worker placement games out there, but it shouldn’t stop anyone from trying to push the design and mechanics forward.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jamie Goodyear
Australia
flag msg tools
Wow, I came on here to vent about almost exactly the same thing happening to me and found this thread. I fear I am suffering from the same pain. I got the gut punch a few days ago when I just happened to see on my facebook feed an advert for a new game that hasn't even entered play testing yet and it had the all of my worst case scenarios in it.

It's by Rob Daviau the guy that coined "Legacy" games as a term. Mine too has aspects of legacy as it happens over 9 games (I don't destroy cards though https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2019768/wip-our-little-epoc...

It is on a circular board which is not unheard of but not as common as say a square or rectangular board. Mine too uses a circular board. Monsters to fight of course, that's the same for both. His is based off an old game, dark tower https://boardgamegeek.com/image/276530/dark-tower
which of course I had never heard of until I saw this. It used an electronic system which was pretty advanced back then for boardgame and they announced that this new iteration was going to do some interesting advanced stuff. I too had dreams of integrating Tablets into my design so people could have a choice of the physical number generator or a digital one.

I'm not going to stop working on mine and neither should you give up on yours. Adapt and change and aim to be even better. In my case even if all the mechanics are the same and even if they both have narratives and persistent/"legacy" play, the stories, characters and art styles can be vastly different. I'll never get it made first but I can always look at what they do and learn from it like we do with any other game that comes out. I swear though, if it's set in an airship I will bloody ROAR! LOL
Thank you for tolerating my rant.
Cheers
Jay
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Morris
Canada
Kelowna
British Columbia
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I feel ya! A few years ago, I was looking through the BGG database and realized there were no dinosaur theme park worker placement games on the market. I thought I had hit upon something and started working on quite a few ideas.

I spent a long time trying to come up with a solid unique twist and then all of a sudden, Dinogenics launched on Kickstarter. "Oh well", I thought, "There's room for 2". Then, Dinosaur Island launched and I tossed my ideas out.

I'm happy to say that I'm now working on another game that I think is really solid and should be a better fit in the market. Never give up! I think there's room enough for your game as well but if another game shows up soon, then walk away. Good luck with everything!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan Ridge
United States
Martinez
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Not to steer the thread into different waters but I find the idea of "concurrent creativity" absolutely fascinating. Why does that happen so often, more often than I would consider completely random, and so regularly?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Morris
Canada
Kelowna
British Columbia
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dice roll wrote:
Not to steer the thread into different waters but I find the idea of "concurrent creativity" absolutely fascinating. Why does that happen so often, more often than I would consider completely random, and so regularly?

Well, its not too hard for me to imagine that if I had a good idea for something, someone else has probably also thought of it. Probably happens more often than we imagine.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pelle Nilsson
Sweden
Linköping
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dice roll wrote:
Not to steer the thread into different waters but I find the idea of "concurrent creativity" absolutely fascinating. Why does that happen so often, more often than I would consider completely random, and so regularly?

Is it more common than just chance? Or is it more because of bias caused by no one ever starting a thread about this not happening to them?

I would not be surprised if it is somewhat common though, since everyone share a lot of common influences, even if subconsciously.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Freelance Police
United States
Palo Alto
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hey, maybe you should make a generic fantasy miniatures wargame with overproduced miniatures and uninspiring gameplay videos. Now *there's* something you never see on KS.

I mean, have you done any production work for your KS? If not, by the time you do it, everyone except 200 backers will have forgotten about this KS by now. Your game is also a kid's game. What else are kids gonna assemble out of parts besides burgers? Boeing 747's? What else do kids expect to make things besides robots? Underpaid part-time students?

Oh, and make sure you have worker placement and dice-based skill checks. Nobody does *that* anymore, either. shake
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Confusing Manifestation
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
pelni wrote:
dice roll wrote:
Not to steer the thread into different waters but I find the idea of "concurrent creativity" absolutely fascinating. Why does that happen so often, more often than I would consider completely random, and so regularly?

Is it more common than just chance? Or is it more because of bias caused by no one ever starting a thread about this not happening to them?

I would not be surprised if it is somewhat common though, since everyone share a lot of common influences, even if subconsciously.
It's probably a combination of a couple of things, including:

A conducive environment. Inspiration can strike multiple people at once, if the conditions are right for that inspiration. The birth of Legacy games means that lots of people are now experimenting with ideas for Legacy games. A news article about global warming could make multiple screenwriters think up scripts about extreme weather events. And so forth.

The laws of probability, combined with overenthusiastic pattern recognition. Like I said, lots of people are probably trying to design Legacy games now. Some of those ideas may be completely unlike any others (Flash Point Legacy with cigarette lighter in box to burn cards don't steal my idea). Some might be kind of similar, but not enough to care about. And some might be similar enough to make people go "Hey, that's a coincidence". But our simian brains will see the ones in that last category, without thinking about the thousands of ones that don't.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Liberty Kifer
United States
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
pdzoch wrote:
I think yours is different enough to go forward. It is not uncommon to have multiple games with similar themes released at the same time. Yours plays differently and looks different. (and it looks more appealing to me). Stick with it.

In the end, the better game will win.

I'm responding to this especially, but really to all of you that took the time to respond:

I went over to our in-laws place for the evening, tried to forget for the evening, and trusted that when I came home I'd be able to pick myself back up, read everyone's advice, and move forward.

I didn't expect this much support, and frankly I'm almost in tears all over again but in a good way.

I've got a bunch of new notes and ideas I can continue to explore. I know I can make this game stand out and be something special. Thank you all, your encouragement means more than you know!

Onward and upward and forward.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Liberty Kifer
United States
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Greatyear wrote:
Wow, I came on here to vent about almost exactly the same thing happening to me and found this thread. I fear I am suffering from the same pain...

I'm not going to stop working on mine and neither should you give up on yours. Adapt and change and aim to be even better. In my case even if all the mechanics are the same and even if they both have narratives and persistent/"legacy" play, the stories, characters and art styles can be vastly different. I'll never get it made first but I can always look at what they do and learn from it like we do with any other game that comes out. I swear though, if it's set in an airship I will bloody ROAR! LOL
Thank you for tolerating my rant.
Cheers
Jay

I'm so glad I'm not the only one to have this happen, and I'm so glad you're not giving up either!! That inspires me to want to do the same! I'm sorry you've had to go through the same gut punch, but hey, hopefully both of us will make even better games because of it. You have my support and solidarity!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Graham Robinson
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
designer
badge
In memory of Tara, my beloved Wolfhound-Deerhound cross. Flew away Feb 2016, still missed.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Both games sound a bit like Lord of the Fries, but not enough to be an obvious rip off.

Keep working on your game. Don't worry about a somewhat similar game already existing...
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Greg Aleknevicus
Canada
Victoria
BC
flag msg tools
Avatar
Tom Jolly wrote the following article for The Games Journal oh so many years ago:

http://www.thegamesjournal.com/articles/StolenGame.shtml
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
C.J. Calton
United States
St. Paul
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Shiloticus wrote:
The Chaz wrote:
degemination wrote:

I honestly think the thing you should do is consult a lawyer. Any advice you get on here, unless it happens to be from a copyright lawyer, is going to be speculative.
Uh, no?!

. . .

Don't hire a lawyer. It's not that kind of industry (at least for those of us posting in the BGG design forums).

Full disclosure: I'm a lawyer.

I believe that The Chaz was suggesting he get a lawyer prior to publishing to make sure that his product is safe to publish, as a way to protect OP. Unless I'm mistaken, I don't think The Chaz was suggesting that OP get a lawyer to sue the other guy. For what it's worth, consulting a lawyer to protect yourself is rarely a bad idea, if only for the fact that if you get sued you can show that you asked an attorney. But I fully respect your comment about the BGG design community, and I would totally agree with you if The Chaz meant OP should get an attorney to sue the other guy

Hi! I assume you mean me , not The Chaz, when you say that's what was meant by the original lawyer comment, as I'm the one that made it and The Chaz is the one critiquing it.

And, thank you. Yes, I meant to protect themselves, not to sue the other person.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken Lewis
United States
Cumming
Georgia
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmb
I had something similar happen about 15 years ago, and the other party actually accused me, and my publisher at the time, of stealing their idea.

It is hard enough finding out that someone is publishing a game similar to yours, but even harder when that someone accuses you of stealing their idea, repeatedly in public forums, when you have spent years developing your design.

It was depressing, but it didn't stop me or my publisher from releasing the game.

Don't give up on your game. Take it as far as you can.

4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Patrik Söderberg
Finland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
So how many people from this thread have already started sketching on a game about concurrent creativity?

PS. Best of luck to the OP!
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Pooley
United Kingdom
Epsom
Surrey
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Having looked at both, yes there are similarities but they are distinct enough to legitimately be games in their own right (I prefer the artwork on yours, your game is about 'orders' rather than just burgers, you play as distinct characters in your game, etc.). What's happened is annoying but it shouldn't derail what you're trying to achieve. Keep going!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matthew Proper-Lee
United States
Levittown
NY
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dice roll wrote:
Not to steer the thread into different waters but I find the idea of "concurrent creativity" absolutely fascinating. Why does that happen so often, more often than I would consider completely random, and so regularly?

From what I've seen, this happens a lot due to a specific inspirational trigger that happens at the same time to the people involved. Creativity happens all the time, and you get something that interests and inspires you to work on something, so if it's a well known or widespread event trigger, multiple people will launch a creative endeavor at the same time.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   |