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Subject: "Open source" boardgames? rss

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Steve S
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So a few weeks ago I discovered Sovereign: An open source board game project, and I find the concept really interesting.

The game is released under a Creative Commons license which allows the game to be freely distributed and/or altered as long as credit is given to the original creator and the resulting game is also left with an "open" license.

I was curious to see what else was out there with a similar setup, but I'm not finding much.

I found a blog entry from someone claiming to have "the first open source board game": http://andrewdubber.com/2005/01/the-first-open-source-board-... which seems to be little more than a sort of Go variation. (update: I have found this game was later dubbed Dugi)

Another was a single mention of Lakeedah, another rather simple looking abstract that apparently you still had to pay for even though it was "open source," and didn't seem to live long as I can't find much information on it.

And... that's pretty much it. I was originally thinking Open Rails might fall into that category just based on the name, but then noticed lots of "all rights reserved" stamped on stuff so I guess not.

Is anybody else aware of any open source (or free to distribute/alter per CC license) games other than these?
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Steve S
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I also by chance ran across This GeekList, though it doesn't look like it's been updated in quite a while...
 
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If game systems count, Piecepack and Decktet.
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Y'know, every once in awhile I read from a wannabe game designer (or artist, or writer, or...) about protecting their IP so nobody steals it. Well, I think CCL games are an excellent example why you don't have to worry about someone stealing your boardgame (or art piece or novel) idea. I'm pretty sure there are so few CCL games because everyone already has their own game idea, which, of course, they think is so good that they don't have time to steal yours.

Also, to some extent, you can't protect game mechanics, so game designers refine / borrow / steal / whatever game mechanic designs from others left and right. How many fantasy RPGs are out there? How many worker placement games? How many miniatures combat games? How about CCGs?

One definite exception, though not Open Source, is the OGL ("Open Gaming License") system for Dungeons and Dragons. Basically, one edition ago, Wizards of the Coast, the publishers of Dungeons and Dragons, let anyone publish supplements for 3rd edition Dungeons and Dragons within license restrictions. The idea was that these supplements would drive sales of core books, which WotC still retained rights to publish.

It did *very* well, almost to the point of a "d20 glut" of third-party products. However, it obviously did well because it was a *popular* game system. Perhaps tautologically (sp?), nobody cares about a CCL game system unless it's popular. And no publisher's going to make a popular game CCL for various reasons (eg. maintain the quality of the game, or just keep all the profits).
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Steve S
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dawn_cherri wrote:
Why do they use hex shaped tokens?

Not simple squares that most anybody that is willing can mass produce quickly instead you want people to cut out each individual hex token??


I had asked about it over on the game's blog, and the designer explained that you don't *have* to use hex pieces at all, in fact most of the early playtesting was done with glass beads. Basically he just thought the hexes would look better and his dad was a woodworker so he knew somebody with the tools to be able to make the hexes for him, and even with that it sounds like it was a bit of a pain.

I'm the one digging for ideas about easier ways to make the hexes, but it's quite possible it may come down to just using circles instead.
 
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Steve S
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Shadoglare wrote:
I was originally thinking Open Rails might fall into that category just based on the name, but then noticed lots of "all rights reserved" stamped on stuff so I guess not.


Got some clarification on this one - apparently it actually *was* the designer's intent to open-source the game, but he wanted to make sure he held on to any potential commercial or publishing rights so he stamped everything with "all rights reserved."

After I described CC licensing that would show that more expressly it sounds like he may switch over to that if/when another update comes out.
 
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