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Subject: Real dilemma. Need help! rss

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Justin Heimburger
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OK, so the other day, my boss's boss walks into my cube and asks if I like board games. I answered in the affirmative, with enthusiasm. He asked me if I'd be willing to play test a game he designed. Sure. Sounds fun.

Today, he bought it in to the office, and left it with me in my cube. I looked over the rules, looked at the board and other components. Then, I started looking around here, because something about the game struck me as familiar. Sure enough, it's a game that already exists, and is even well known.

This is my problem. I can't take it home, play it (or not), and then bring it back and praise it, as if it's an original idea. At the same time, because he's my grandboss, as it were, I need to be really careful about how I bring this little detail to his attention. That's what I need help with. I have a couple of ideas, but would like to hear input from others.

Help, please!
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Perhaps you could take it home,play it and search for any minor differences from the already published game. Then bring it back, and mention that it shares some features with another game, but you did like how he changed X and Y.
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Matt Riddle
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ha! what do you do?

Is it a game you like? Just mention that while his game is fun, it is REALLY similar to X.
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Kaiwen Zhang
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well what is it? if it's a deckbuilding game, it doesn't really matter because there have been so many ripoffs of Dominion already. if it's something less popular then it may be difficult to get out of it.
 
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CHAPEL
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Justin Heimburger
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I'd rather not say what it is, but you could probably buy it at your local big box retailer. But, there aren't any differences between his game and the one I looked at here. the board layout is identical, the number of players is identical, the rules are identical, as far as I can tell, the components list is also identical. It's not close, it's EXACTLY the same.
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Lacombe
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My answer / advice would depend very much on what style of game it was / what the game that "already exists" is.

If it's something like Hex, which was allegedly co-designed by two independent authors [like calculus], cool.

If it's something like Antike, I might tell him "You know, I'm pretty sure I've already played this game. Do you own it?"

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Andy Andersen
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juheimbu wrote:
I'd rather not say what it is, but you could probably buy it at your local big box retailer. But, there aren't any differences between his game and the one I looked at here. the board layout is identical, the number of players is identical, the rules are identical, as far as I can tell, the components list is also identical. It's not close, it's EXACTLY the same.


Tell him the truth. Honesty is always the bestpolicygulp
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George Leach
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Don't be accusatory, simply try it, say you did or didn't enjoy it and that it's very similar to this other game so it probably wouldn't be publishable.
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Justin Heimburger
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Orangemoose wrote:

Tell him the truth. Honesty is always the bestpolicygulp


That's my aim, but I'm not certain as to the approach I should take. I'm leaning toward asking if he's spent any time looking around for games that already exist to see if he's too close to any of them. That would give him a chance to come take the game back, should he happen to come across this game (and I would point him to BGG). If he fails, I'd send him the link to the game here. I'd only go show it to him (thus calling him a liar), if he missed the big hint the first two times.

What do you all think?
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Markus Hagenauer jr.
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Tell him: "The game is good, but it reminds me verry much of ... . If you plan to marked, better look if you might get into copyright trouble.
If you just want to play it with family and friends, don´t care about this an simply enjoy playing it."

Maybe you can alos make some suggestions how he can change the game to have at least some difference to the original game.
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Sweetgotham
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Was he providing the prototype so because he is interested in trying to get in published? If yes, be honest. Doesn’t matter if he is your boss and retaliation against you would be most likely be illegal according to labor law (since any punishment would have nothing to do with your actually work performance.

If he was showing it to you just to get your opinion, politely point out what you like about and that it reminds you of game x. It’s not like he is going to be so foolish to act like it’s not. If he really pushes you for an opinion say something like it’s really not the kind of game that you personally like to play but that aspects a and b would be things that his (wife/ children/ gran children whatever) would like.

The key here to your response is what his intent is.
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Billy the Hut
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Don't get too invested in this. As others have suggested, if you like the game say so and point out it's very much like an already published game. Then drop the issue there. No need to prove your point by sending him links. Let him do that leg work. It's just a better idea to minimize your association with the bad news.
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Rich Shipley
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I haven't had that happen before. The usual from a non-professional designer is a mishmash of the handful of games they have played, but bigger and longer. I tell them to focus the design and cut various things out and then I don't usually hear back again.

In order to maintain your own credibility, I think you have to tell him that it is very similar to game x. Don't hint that he did anything unethical, just go with the assumption of parallel development (more likely a distant memory that felt like inspiration to him).
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Dave Coscio
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If it's exactly like game X in every way as you seem to imply, then maybe it's a test! He's trying to see if you suck up to him or if you're an honest person! Unfortunately, it's hard to say which one will score you points...
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Andy Andersen
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You could call in sick for a week and then go on vacation for a couple more. That will buy you some time.
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Jonathan Warren
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Billythehut wrote:
No need to prove your point by sending him links. Let him do that leg work.

He doesn't need to do any legwork as I suspect that he already knows that the game is already out there. If the board is the same and the rules are the same, then chances are likely that he has just carbon copied it - perhaps it's a test...
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Justin Heimburger
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davex wrote:
If it's exactly like game X in every way as you seem to imply, then maybe it's a test! He's trying to see if you suck up to him or if you're an honest person! Unfortunately, it's hard to say which one will score you points...


That could be the case, but he doesn't strike me as that type of manager. Regardless, he's going to learn that I'm honest, and that I'd prefer the uncomfortable results of my honesty (if such there are) to the possible quite comfortable results of ass-kissery.
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Justin Heimburger
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Orangemoose wrote:
You could call in sick for a week and then go on vacation for a couple more. That will buy you some time.


Sadly, I don't have that much vacation time left this year.
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Justin Heimburger
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JoffW wrote:
Billythehut wrote:
No need to prove your point by sending him links. Let him do that leg work.

He doesn't need to do any legwork as I suspect that he already knows that the game is already out there. If the board is the same and the rules are the same, then chances are likely that he has just carbon copied it - perhaps it's a test...


Correct. My purpose would be to provide him with a way to gracefully exit, without me having to tell him that his game is SO similar to this other as to be identical.
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Liam
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Go with the most respectable option.
Tell the truth; it's a fun game but is very similar to X.

He'll appreciate that you told him the truth and may well be pleased to know that he can come up with designs as good as X.

An opportunity not a dilemma.
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Daniel Kearns
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Give him feedback on Friday.

"We find it's always better to fire people on a Friday. Studies have statistically shown that there's less chance of an incident if you do it at the end of the week. " -Office Space.
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Rick
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First off, "Just Relax"

I've never had an issue with my bosses' boss before, so maybe it's just me, but I'd tell him the truth, but only after playing the game.

I've play tested game "B" that was essentially game "A" (heck it was from the same designer), but there were a few minor rule changes that made it a completely different game.

1 - Play the game.
2a - If it is the same, tell him what you thought of the game, but that it is exactly like game X.
2b - If it is just very similar to game X, tell him what you thought of the game, but that it is just a variant of game X.

You want to win brownie points? Just buy him a copy of game X. He'll have a great looking copy of his game.
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Caleb
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juheimbu wrote:
I'd rather not say what it is, but you could probably buy it at your local big box retailer. But, there aren't any differences between his game and the one I looked at here. the board layout is identical, the number of players is identical, the rules are identical, as far as I can tell, the components list is also identical. It's not close, it's EXACTLY the same.



Then it is quite likely a test of your honesty. If you pass, maybe a promotion is in your future.
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Rick
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tscook wrote:
WHAT GAME!?!?!?!??!!?

Yeah, I don't see how it matters if you tell us the game or not.

Also, is your boss's boss on BoardGameGeek? If not suggest he jumps on there for some research into game design and games that are out there.
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