Lostcast is the Lost Decade Games podcast, where Geoff and Matt talk about playing games, making games, and running an indie game company.
With so many companies cloning out companies’ games, why don’t we talk this out?
(Click to enlarge the above screenshots. It’s crazy how similar these games are…)
Lostcast is our podcast about HTML5 games. In episode 8, we’re being attacked!! By clones. Seriously, have you seen all these clones popping up? I highly recommend going through the show notes and reading some of the articles if you haven’t heard about some of this stuff. It’s fascinating and it feels like pretty soon there will be some cases that define where this stuff will go legally.
Most recently, there was Tiny Tower VS Dream Heights and Triple Town VS Yeti Town. Both very different cases, but both include small indie shops getting abused by larger corporations. It’s gotten so bad that the terminology for what defines a clone has pretty much changed. As we talk about in the podcast, “clone” back in the day meant “a game in the same genre.” Think Super Mario Bros. compared to Sonic the Hedgehog.
I myself was working on a “clone” of Puzzle Quest early in my game development career. But my intention was never to copy Puzzle Quest whole-hog. What the hell fun would that be? I had so many ideas for my own flavor and twists to add. By the end, they’d be very different and separate gaming experiences. But the pattern these days seems to be to analyze the target game so closely that there are no variables left, and you’ve essentially made the entire game design your own.
So we do bring it back home to HTML5 a little, but this episode is a bit light on the HTML5 side.
Wait, that’s not a game! Sorry, but we dropped the ball here and did not pick a game this week. To solve this problem for the future, I’ve created an HTML5 Games subreddit. It’d be awesome if you’d submit any cool HTML5 games you come across. I’m not entirely sure how this will work yet, but we might just start spotlighting the game with the most upvotes that week.
If you were hoping for a game to play, try last week’s spotlight Faerie Alchemy.
Thanks for listening! We love getting questions and comments, so please email us if you have any.