There’s no fine line between inspiration and theft when it comes to ideas; there’s a large gradient. Blizzard could probably be suing the pants off of nearly every MMORPG developer out there today if every similarity to another intellectual property was a violation of copyright – not to mention the companies that could probably sue Blizzard. So we should be very careful when considering something a “clone”.
That said, FishyC is the most blatant clone I have ever seen. It’s Angry Birds with fish instead of birds, and treasure chests instead of pigs. They even state on their Kickstarter page that it is “similar to Angry Birds.” No, guys, it is Angry Birds.
You may not recall Rovio doing a Kickstarter for Angry Birds, because they didn’t. It’s a very simple game, and didn’t take years to develop. But as it became more successful, it expanded, and a greater variety of games has come out since using that basic formula. This is the natural progression of games. LoonieGames.com wants to skip that beginning part, and start where Rovio is now by stealing everything they’ve done thus far, coming up with a few half-baked ideas to add to it, and asking you to foot the bill for the labor.
So who is doing this labor, and why do they deserve $45,000? Some dude named Shawn Kennedy, and they don’t. Apparently, though, this is not a solo effort. Shawn.. um, owns? works for? is enslaved by? LoonieGames.com, an indie mobile games studio in Ontario. They’re missing a word from their title, of course: developer. LoonieGames.com (yes, the .com is actually a part of their name, how unbearable) is not a development company, but a management company for mobile developers. This includes services such as creating a web presence for your game. As you may be able to tell by their site, you do not want to hire this company for that service.
As you also may be able to tell by their site, they are not real people. They are either cyborgs, or that picture is not of them at all, and is just as stock as the rest of the site. The hover text on their team image even says “Example 1”. This is what their company page says:
“More information coming within the next few days
Please come back in the next few days.”
If you guessed that it has said that for more than a few days, you’re right! Their mantra is apparently “Coolaborate to innovate”. That’s right, this company wants to manage your mobile development, and they can’t spell collaborate. They feature “Great News” on their site that says they have “partnered with a company that has created over 200+ mobile apps”. First of all, “over 200+”? They didn’t just create over 200 apps, but over more than 200! Secondly, if they already created so many apps, they obviously don’t need your fucking incompetent assistance.
The site just doesn’t make any god-damned sense. Their future vision is two blob people placing a red block while another blob person walks up progressively taller blocks toward it. Their project solutions include glasses lying on a laptop, a calculator on top of some graph paper with number written on it, and a man in a suit holding an old-school alarm clock. The founder’s message reads: “New technologies/Embrace change/Manage all platforms”. Their partnership expectations are honesty, integrity, and innovative. It makes so little sense that it’s difficult to comment on. But that’s enough of LoonieGames.com, let’s get back to this Kickstarter nonsense.
This is their assessment of the commercial potential for their game:
“When you consider the fact that nearly 30 million people play Angry Birds on a daily basis, you can see that there are already existing customers for our game.”
You’re not at a board meeting, you stupid fucks – these are the people who play Angry Birds. You’re not supposed to be pitching a game for crowdfunding on its commercial potential, because nobody cares. They want something that they will enjoy, regardless of how many millions of other people will enjoy it. These aren’t investors; they’re donors who are probably going to get your game for free anyway. They don’t give a shit how well you do beyond that. Perhaps more importantly, people who play a game like the one you’re making are not your automatic install base. This is like pitching a restaurant idea saying “statistics have shown that everyone in the world eats food, so there is obviously a market for our restaurant”. How many MMOs need to fail before people stop thinking this way, and making a game like World of Warcraft thinking that people are going to stop playing it to play a game just like it?
“Well, according to most analysts, 53% of Facebook members play social games – with 19% considering themselves “addicted” to that form of entertainment. Currently, there are 900 million active Facebook users. You do the math.”
Oh, I’ve done it. And I calculate that precisely 0 people will play your game. Because you have no money, and no one wants to give you any.
And then, the whimper of a dying Kickstarter:
LoonieGames.com, you asked for $45,000 to make your game. You had only $35 pledged to you, and therefore received $0. You do the math. Nevermind, you’re incompetent; I’ll do it: You failed. So hard. Most people have to try to fail as hard as you.
Put that in your management experience.