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Is Dong Nguyen Trolling Gamers With "Swing Copters"? 113

Nerval's Lobster writes Given its extreme difficulty, it's tempting to think that the new Swing Copters is Dong Nguyen's attempt at a joke (You thought 'Flappy Bird' was hard? Check this out!), or maybe even a meta-comment on the emerging "masocore" gaming category. Or maybe he just wanted to make another game, and the idea of an ultra-difficult one appealed. Whatever the case, Nguyen can rely on the enduring popularity of Flappy Bird to propel Swing Copters to the top of the Google and iOS charts. But his games' popularity illuminates a rough issue for developers of popular (or even just semi-popular) apps everywhere: how do you deal with all the copycats flooding the world's app stores? Although Google and Apple boast that their respective app stores feature hundreds of thousands of apps, sometimes it seems as if most of those apps are crude imitations of other apps. The perpetual fear among app developers is that they'll score a modest hit—only to see their years of hard work undermined by someone who cobbles together a clone in a matter of weeks or days. If Apple and Google want to make things friendlier out there for developers, they might consider stricter enforcement policies for the blatant rip-offs filling their digital storefronts.
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Is Dong Nguyen Trolling Gamers With "Swing Copters"?

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  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Monday August 25, 2014 @03:57PM (#47750861)

    Gee, I dunno. Maybe ask some of the big studios that squeeze out sequel after sequel of identical games that look in no way different than the identical games offered by the studio next to it?

    It's not like that phenomenon is unique to the handheld gaming market. You get the same kind of crap on PC as well. A thousand similar FPS combat about as many RTS clones for popularity.

    And since AI is hard, you get the same shit with crappy AI from the Indie devs and call it Zombie shooter, since you're kinda expecting a zombie to be kinda mindlessly dumb, so nobody is gonna complain about an AI too dumb to dodge simple pits with mindless straight-to-the-player pathing. Actually, I'm kinda astonished that only a few big studios jumped on the latest Z-shooter fad to cut corners.

    And of course mix in the load of "Minecraft meets $genre" games we've been thrown at recently. From Minecraft-zombieshooter to Minecraft-spacerace, everything's available.

    You think the handheld market is full of copycats? Compared to the PC market they're petty amateurs.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 25, 2014 @03:57PM (#47750869)

    So when someone expends significant effort and time to develop something we want to ensure that they realize the benefit for their work. The challenge is that once the work has been done, it is easy for someone else to copy it and steal your profits (because they avoided all the development costs).

    What is being asked is for an institution, such as Google or Apple, to take steps to prevent other from copying one's work.

    Put another way, the ask is that Google/Apple create a private patent system.

    I have to laugh that when developers want to take advantage of other people's work, they condemn patents, but when they find their own work being cloned suddenly they are clamoring for someone to come in and protect their work...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 25, 2014 @04:20PM (#47751067)

    This is the reasoning for why we have patents. It took Edison (his team really) hundreds if not thousands of tries until they figured out how to create a reliable light bulb. Once they did all that hard work, it is ridiculously easy to merely see what they did and copy it. Patents exist to project people who do that upfront investment.

    Sure, they have lots of issues that need fixing, but the fundamental idea is still OK. On the one hand, there should be a way to protect original apps from copying, but on the other hand sometimes the first guy to make a game does an OK job and the followup guys do an awesome job. The big one that comes to mind are Castles & Knights vs Angry Birds. Castles & Knights is the original, but Angry birds is the one that made hundreds of millions, mainly because it's production value was so much better. Same deal with Candy Crush.

    Personally I think it's swayed too far in favor of the cloners.

  • original games? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tommeke100 ( 755660 ) on Monday August 25, 2014 @06:20PM (#47752099)
    Those original games are blatant rip-offs as well.
    Angry Birds? Flappy Birds? I had similar games on my C64 and those were probably already copies of similar games on Atari and earlier computers.
    Except for the eye-candy, these games could be programmed by anyone taking a basic programming/gaming 101 course.

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990