Why are almost all open source games copycats?

Re: Why are almost all open source games copycats?

Postby charlie » 02 Nov 2017, 20:10

Duion {l Wrote}:
dulsi {l Wrote}:Even if many open source games start as clones, they generally grow to have new features and don't try to perfectly clone everything.

Most if not all of them do not even make it to the same quality level as the original, which is quite pathetic in many cases considering the original is like 10-20 years old and technology has progressed vastly in that time.

We've been through this one. I advise you to drop it. To expect a volunteer spare-time programmer (often self-taught or learning) to match commercially made projects (even if made 10+ years ago) is a nonsense, as is not acknowledging the goals of many of these contributors (often not to out-pretty the original but to add, extend or modify certain features).
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Re: Why are almost all open source games copycats?

Postby Duion » 03 Nov 2017, 02:22

It is possible even as an amateur to match commercially made projects that were made some years ago, technology is developing fast, so you work on a big advantage nowadays.
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Re: Why are almost all open source games copycats?

Postby WindowsDylan » 05 Feb 2018, 22:46

Probably because all the ideas are taken
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Re: Why are almost all open source games copycats?

Postby darkhog » 12 Feb 2018, 09:03

I think the OP point is that many Open Source games are just clones of big titles, just with Tux slapped on it. SuperTux = Super Mario Bros with Tux, SuperTuxKart = Super Mario Kart with Tux and other open source mascots. Frozen Bubble = Puzzle Bobble but with penguins instead of dragons, you get my point.

I admit I have a similar issue, although it doesn't detract from my enjoyment of these games. In fact, if someone would make Super Tux Maker (I know there's level editor in SuperTux, but it's more like SMBX, Maker games have completely different style of both editing and the way you play them) I'd be more than happy to play it even though it'd be a clone. Not that anyone would, but only because of server cost for storage and bandwidth for such game, not because of any technical issues (most of the code could be probably reused from SuperTux).

For the original FLOSS games, I can really count them with a single hand. FreeDroidRPG - nice CRPG with Tux where story and mechanics are completely original AFAIK, Tuxracer (nice game, really like it) and The Mana World/Planeshift - two great open-source MMOs that are actually free, no microtransactions (unsure about Planeshift since I haven't played it in a long time, but the last time I did it didn't have microtransactions and sustained entirely on donations like TMW does). And that's about it. Really wish that devs of open-source games would put more thought into making a good game design
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Re: Why are almost all open source games copycats?

Postby dulsi » 13 Feb 2018, 23:28

What is original? I would say Rogue is an original FLOSS game. I would also consider Moria original despite clearly building on Rogue's design. Is Battle for Wesnorth original despite being similar to other games? I haven't played either Battle for Wesnorth nor many titles in that genre. What about Flare or Valyria Tear? Again I haven't played enough to render judgement. The Butterfly Effect is a game like the Incredible Machine but it has it's own levels. Does that make it original or is it still a clone? Clones are everywhere even in commercial games. Minecraft started based on ideas from Infiniminer. I'm sure there are more original open source games than you think. You just haven't found them, haven't noticed what makes them unique, or they are bad games.
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Re: Why are almost all open source games copycats?

Postby themightyglider » 14 Feb 2018, 05:07

Rogue never was FOSS, sadly. Because of this its source code is lost forever today. :(
If you play Rogue on a mordern system it is a clone (called lRogue if I remember correctly). One of the original autors once said it was a big mistake to keep its source secret.
Later roguelikes like moria or hack have been free and really shaped the genre. Even today ~50% of the most popular roguelikes are FOSS.

Battle for Wesnoth is a good example for an original FOSS game. It has its own mechanics, its own art, its own lore and a healty community. I have played quite a few TBS-games but know nothing else like Wesnoth.

Valyria Tear is a JRPG. This genre dosen't leave much space for inovation but iside the genres restrictions it seems to be original to me too.

It's a fact that some of the most popular FOSS games are clones but there are as many original ideas. The problem is that most people can't see the whole landscape of FOSS gaming because there is no central habour for a community. Most successful games have their own communities but they don't seem to be connected very well. So people maybe enjoy one (or a few) free game(s) and don't know how many others are out there. On the other hand many devs seem to stop working on projects because they get no attention and loose their interest.
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Re: Why are almost all open source games copycats?

Postby darkhog » 15 Feb 2018, 17:09

If only there was a site which can catalogue all FLOSS games...

//edit: What I mean is that FGDPlanet could be such catalogue and FGDForums could be that community hub, if its maintainers would proactively look for games that are open-source and not only if the creators of FLOSS games asked for their game to be added. Even possibly coding a downloader/client similar to GOG Galaxy/itchio app/steam and so on that would allow for downloading all of open games. I still remember Tiggit which was basically a steam-like client for free games (though without community features and it included "free as in free beer" games as well) - dunno what happened to it.
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Re: Why are almost all open source games copycats?

Postby Julius » 16 Feb 2018, 14:10

@darkhog:
We recently discussed such ideas here: https://forum.freegamedev.net/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=7660

I think what you describe is only a good idea in theory and previous similar attempts all turned out to be more or less unmaintained.

Hosting downloads (especially with an auto-update client) also quickly becomes a major undertaking that isn't really a hobby anymore, and for now there isn't a viable business in it either. But did you check itch.io? It is reasonably close (even a open-source client), but not limited to FOSS. Edit: Lutris is another client you might want to look into.
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete” - Buckminster Fuller
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