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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:35 am 
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I bet you've been wondering what I've been working on. I can't release a ROM just yet, but here's a video.

Preview:
Image


EDIT (January 22, 2010): It has a new name.

EDIT 2 (May 12, 2012): Name digression split.


Last edited by tepples on Sat May 12, 2012 2:29 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:41 pm 
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So it appears I've turned the world against me with the last two projects into which I have poured time and effort. I'm not allowed to make a falling blocks game because the lawyers don't like it. I'm not allowed to make a card matching game, even if I remove certain emblems, because it's not complex enough. So what am I supposed to make by myself? Inventory management software for a warehouse?


Last edited by tepples on Sat May 12, 2012 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:26 pm 
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tepples wrote:
I'm not allowed to make a falling blocks game because the lawyers don't like it.

I never know what to say about legal stuff, but as far as I know you can make the game, you just can't sell it.

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I'm not allowed to make a card matching game, even if I remove certain emblems, because it's not complex enough.

IMO, the game not being complex is not a problem per se (although you could be making more interesting stuff with your knowledge), but it's also very unoriginal. Adding a controversial backstory doesn't really make it any better. You can of course spend your time making whatever game you like, but if your goal is to please a good number of players you are surely going the wrong way.

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So what am I supposed to make by myself? Inventory management software for a warehouse?

That's even more unoriginal than concentration! Seriously though, the answer to this question depends on what you seek when developing games. Are you after money? Then hear what the community wants to play and make that regardless of how much you like it. Is it for challenge? Make something complex that hasn't been done before. You want quantity? Make a series of simple games that take you 1 or 2 months. Sense of accomplishment? Make a masterpiece of a game, however unlikely it is that you'll finish it. Fun while developing? Do whatever the fuck you want no matter what anyone else thinks and says and have fun!

There's usually a combination of goals though, so you probably gotta have priorities. Whatever goal is more important, you will have to make sacrifices. For me, the easiest thing to give up is money, or else I wouldn't be coding Sonic. I never expected to make money out of my hobbies, so fun and sense of accomplishment are up high on my list.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:43 pm 
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tokumaru wrote:
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So what am I supposed to make by myself? Inventory management software for a warehouse?

That's even more unoriginal than concentration!

Thanks. I was almost expecting "go ahead"; as that is my day job. I made the software behind this site, plus a lot of software that customers don't see that runs in the back office.

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Seriously though, the answer to this question depends on what you seek when developing games. Are you after money? Then hear what the community wants to play and make that regardless of how much you like it. Is it for challenge? Make something complex that hasn't been done before. You want quantity? Make a series of simple games that take you 1 or 2 months. Sense of accomplishment? Make a masterpiece of a game, however unlikely it is that you'll finish it. Fun while developing? Do whatever the fuck you want no matter what anyone else thinks and says and have fun!

I guess I want all or most of them at some point, but I understand that working alone I can't have them all at the same time. Is there a way I can combine "quantity greater than zero" and "money" and "fun" to get at least one finished game under my belt?

I am ready to replace this game's backstory entirely if it will make it more attractive to players. Suggestions are welcome.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:58 pm 
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tepples wrote:
So it appears I've turned the world against me with the last two projects into which I have poured time and effort. I'm not allowed to make a falling blocks game because the lawyers don't like it. I'm not allowed to make a card matching game, even if I remove the swastika and the Star of David, because it's not complex enough. So what am I supposed to make by myself? Inventory management software for a warehouse?

You didn't pour time and effort into President? I thought I saw some significant planning, at least.

Did you actually receive a C&D from some lawyer, or are you just acting as if copyright law poses a significant threat in this case? Bear in mind that removal of a Youtube video is not really grounds for anything.

To put these legal matters in perspective, I would recommend reading this document (beginning at page 543). It illustrates why we cannot hope to remain guiltless in the face of copyright law, and why many of us keep telling you to just relax. :)

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To illustrate the unwitting infringement that has become quotidian for the average American, take an ordinary day in the life of a hypothetical law professor named John. For the purposes of this Gedankenexperiment, we assume the worst-case scenario of full enforcement of rights by copyright holders and an uncharitable, though perfectly plausible, reading of existing case law and the fair use doctrine. Fair use is, after all, notoriously fickle and the defense offers little ex ante refuge to users of copyrighted works.

In the morning, John checks his email, and, in so doing, begins to tally up the liability. Following common practice, he has set his mail browser to automatically reproduce the text to which he is responding in any email he drafts. Each unauthorized reproduction of someone else’s copyrighted text—their email—represents a separate act of brazen infringement, as does each instance of email forwarding.

Within an hour, the twenty reply and forward emails sent by John have exposed him to $3 million in statutory damages.


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By the end of the day, John has infringed the copyrights of twenty emails, three legal articles, an architectural rendering, a poem, five photographs, an animated character, a musical composition, a painting, and fifty notes and drawings. All told, he has committed at least eighty-three acts of infringement and faces liability in the amount of $12.45 million (to say nothing of potential criminal charges).

There is nothing particularly extraordinary about John’s activities. Yet if copyright holders were inclined to enforce their rights to the maximum extent allowed by law, barring last minute salvation from the notoriously ambiguous fair use defense, he would be liable for a mind-boggling $4.544 billion in potential damages each year. And, surprisingly, he has not even committed a single act of infringement through P2P file-sharing. Such an outcome flies in the face of our basic sense of justice. Indeed, one must either irrationally conclude that John is a criminal infringer—a veritable grand larcenist—or blithely surmise that copyright law must not mean what it appears to say. Something is clearly amiss. Moreover, the troublesome gap between copyright law and norms has grown only wider in recent years.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:08 pm 
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I can't believe it. I was looking up info online about the Tetris company's past aggressions and found this article...which linked me to an article written by you back in 2000. Small world, I suppose.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:15 pm 
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Does a card-matching game need a backstory? The approach taken with Munchie Attack and Hot Seat Harry was to put a backstory in the manual and purposely make it have nothing to do with the actual gameplay. Hell, you can put anything you want in there, who really reads the manuals? If anyone has been offended by those 2 bizarre and somewhat controversial backstories, I haven't heard anything about it.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:16 pm 
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tepples wrote:
I was almost expecting "go ahead"; as that is my day job.

It was mine too for many years, and there is still a chance it will be again, although I really hope not.

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Is there a way I can combine "quantity greater than zero" and "money" and "fun" to get at least one finished game under my belt?

Yes, work on President. It seems you have already put a lot of work on it, and many players in the retro gaming scene want to play a good scrolling platformer, and there are no copyright problems. Don't start talking about graphics again... "simple graphics" is not the same as "bad graphics", and from what I've seen of your sprites your style kinda looks like what the first gen NES games used, and that's cool since you're making NES games, it's a valid style. I'm sure people will buy your game even if it doesn't look like a SNES game.

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I am ready to replace this game's backstory entirely if it will make it more attractive to players. Suggestions are welcome.

Can't help you there, I don't give a damn about the storyline of most games, I usually just START my way through the screens as quickly as I can until gameplay starts. If it takes too long and I didn't pay for the game or haven't heard good things about it I can even give up before gameplay starts. It happens a lot when I'm just browsing through ROM packs.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:23 pm 
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tokumaru wrote:
Don't start talking about graphics again... "simple graphics" is not the same as "bad graphics", and from what I've seen of your sprites your style kinda looks like what the first gen NES games used, and that's cool since you're making NES games, it's a valid style. I'm sure people will buy your game even if it doesn't look like a SNES game.

It's true, it's quite effective in evoking nostalgia, and feeling more like an homage than what is meant to be some monumental achievement. It looks fine.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:24 pm 
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UncleSporky wrote:
tepples wrote:
So it appears I've turned the world against me with the last two projects into which I have poured time and effort. I'm not allowed to make a falling blocks game because the lawyers don't like it. I'm not allowed to make a card matching game, even if I remove the swastika and the Star of David, because it's not complex enough. So what am I supposed to make by myself? Inventory management software for a warehouse?

You didn't pour time and effort into President? I thought I saw some significant planning, at least.

True, but plans tend to change once my other responsibilities change.

As for the rest: You make a point that LJ65 might not be flagged as quickly. Legally, I think I might be in the right given the different graphical styles and the 'scenes a faire' doctrine, but practically, he who has the gold makes the rules. It isn't just the YouTube video; it was also an actual lawsuit The Tetris Company LLC v. Biosocia Inc., filed in an actual New York court. The impression I got from Tetris in 2009 was "We're coming to get someone (Tetris v. Biosocia), and the next someone could be you (video takedown)." But perhaps the fact that the LJ65-specific video didn't get taken down instead might indicate that Arika was going after Heboris or Texmaster, games that directly clone features that Arika added to its own Tetris games.

Not to mention a few persistent trolls on Slashdot who call me a plagiarist for having made Luminesweeper and Lockjaw, and then their posts get moderated up. I don't even have any non-falling-block games to put on the front page of my web site. Now it should be easier to see where my drive for quantity comes from.

Shiru on IRC suggested a plot based on an accident at a chemical plant, where accidental creation and release of a neurotoxin forces the player to keep the concentration down by keeping his concentration up while in quarantine.


Last edited by tepples on Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:32 pm 
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tepples wrote:
Shiru on IRC suggested a plot based on an accident at a chemical plant, where accidental creation and release of a neurotoxin forces the player to keep the concentration down by keeping his concentration up while in quarantine.

This is really awesome. Now, is there any chance of neurotoxin-related icons such as biohazard symbols and international warning signs?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:50 pm 
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tepples wrote:
So what am I supposed to make by myself? Inventory management software for a warehouse?


Then a boxy boy clone is the way to go then!... Just joking ;)

You should put back effort on your President game engine, this would be a good thing. Do like me and take some actual sprites from another game to build the engine and once you're ready, just make your own original game. This is one of my goal. Just remake one level of some game to make your engine work then after that it should be easier to make your own original one.

As for the suggested story with toxin and things like that, I think it really a better choice and you should go for that one. Some topic are more sensible than other ones and the current one used for your game was not a good choice.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:10 am 
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I have to agree with everybody suggesting that you keep working on President. It looked like it was going to be pretty cool, and I would definitely be excited to see progress on it. And I actually am still interested in playing this card game you made, even as-is. I don't hate puzzle games; I actually enjoy them from time-to-time. I just believe that they are more like mini-games than stand-alone games. After a while, it just gets repetitive. But for a while it can be loads of fun. And hey, maybe it'll be one of those addictive games like Helicopter (that flash one you play with the mouse where you move the helicopter up and down, trying to not hit solid objects. And each time you play the level is different) that you'll keep trying even if it gets repetitive. So I'd like to give it a shot.

And even if not many people are jumping up and down to play a puzzle game, I still think you should know your efforts on this project are not worthless. If nothing else it is a big learning experience, whether or not you think so. Even making something like "The Game" has taught me a lot, despite the fact that there's barely any substance behind the game. But I know that if you work on President, you'll make a lot of people happy here, and people will be even happier when they see the finished product.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:19 am 
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Even "President" might be offensive. Its name comes from a pun on the name of a variant of the card game Daihinmin, where it's a tongue-in-cheek acronym for something completely different. (Compare INTERCAL.) But people might think I'm trying to call Barack Obama an asshole. But seriously, President is something I work on during warmer months when I have at least one artist in the family to bounce ideas off. But right now, this artist is in school.

I liked Helicopter when it was called Balloon Trip.

Anyway, Concentration Camp is dead; long live Concentration Room. I rewrote the story this morning. As for "loads of fun", at least my six-year-old cousin likes to play it.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:31 am 
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Hilarious story for Concentration Room. :)

And nobody is going to be offended by the title PRESIDENT.

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