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Author Topic: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games  (Read 42887 times)

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Nagetier

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #50 on: June 29, 2011, 01:26:55 pm »
0

The whole game is copyrighted.  Card text, images, rules are all copyrighted.

The images aren't used at all, no infringement here. Only the actual expression of the rules can be copyrighted, and isotropic doesn't have a copy of the rulebook, so there is no problem in this regard either. It's not possible to copyright an idea.

Also, one can't copyright individual words, thus the card titles are out of question, and it's highly unlikely that trademarks for these words would ever be granted.

Quote
especially since its obvious that the intent would be to infringe on the copyright.

If there's nothing infringing, then there's no problem with intentions in the first place. Having certain intentions is usually only important if one wants to duck away with Fair Use.

The most probable hindrance could be the card texts. This is more than just a few words. (And could get replaced easily. If necessary, by getting ideas on wording from someone who han't played the game.)
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Donald X.

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #51 on: June 29, 2011, 01:49:45 pm »
+3

Now, I know the situation is different here; no one is paying to play on isotropic, RGG isn't making any money from it, and if they weren't friendly with DougZ they could easily have it C&D'd.  I guess what I'm saying is, I'd rather pay to play on the current software than play inferior software for free.  I certainly wouldn't purchase inferior software; I'll simply go back to playing F2F more often, and reconsider buying future expansions.  RGG would be much better off waiting a couple extra months to have their program fully-functional than to risk alienating fans buy releasing an inferior product.
If you give people free pizza for a while, they start to feel like they're owed it, and then when you say "now we are selling pizza only we don't have olives yet," they want to punish you.

The lesson of course is never to give people free pizza. Make them pay from day one, and they'll gladly buy straight pepperoni, because hey, it's pizza! What were we thinking! The best move obv. would be to take isotropic down now, give people time to miss it.
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Donald X.

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #52 on: June 29, 2011, 01:53:18 pm »
+1

blah blah blah copyright
Q: What people discuss the precise degree to which I can be ripped off without being able to sue?
A: My enemies!

Seriously, cut it out. I would be sending you to RSP but this isn't BGG. Go to BGG's RSP forum okay. We are all friends here.
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chwhite

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #53 on: June 29, 2011, 02:31:04 pm »
0

Obviously, I will gladly buy and use whatever official online Dominion thing as soon as it has all the cards.  If there's a gap between when Isotropic shuts down and when the official product is fully functional, then, well, that's fine, I'll just take a break for awhile.  I've played a lot lately; probably should do that anyway.  :P

It'd be great if there was any way to sync up all the great data Councilroom's been collecting with the official product and keep it going, it'd be a shame to lose such a useful and informative resource.  But I do understand if it can't be done.

Also, apropos of nothing: RSP's a lot friendlier than people think it is.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2011, 04:36:54 pm by chwhite »
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Kirian

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #54 on: June 29, 2011, 04:37:25 pm »
0

Guided:  I'm basing my assumptions on the comments I quoted.  And I'm not angry, I'm just concerned that they will turn out true.  It would be sad.

Donald:  Your pizza analogy is interesting, but it leaves out a couple of things:

(1) If the pizza had been free but had no olives, I wouldn't have eaten it.  I didn't state that, but I stopped playing Dominion on BSW when the expansions were only partly-supported.
(2) I'd gladly buy the pizza that's currently available now for free.  If you told me RGG was buying out isotropic, and it would cost me $20 to access it, I'd pull out my credit card.

I guess a better way of phrasing things is:  Why is RGG re-inventing the wheel?

As far as the posts on copyright issues:  I don't like copyright runarounds either.  I even questioned (at BGG) whether isotropic should have the Cornucopia cards up before release... until you told me that in fact it was with RGG's blessing.  IP piracy is theft no matter which way one slices it.
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Eagle

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #55 on: June 29, 2011, 05:21:10 pm »
0

Obviously, I will gladly buy and use whatever official online Dominion thing as soon as it has all the cards.

This...
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Eagle

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #56 on: June 29, 2011, 05:24:54 pm »
0

Now, I know the situation is different here; no one is paying to play on isotropic, RGG isn't making any money from it, and if they weren't friendly with DougZ they could easily have it C&D'd.  I guess what I'm saying is, I'd rather pay to play on the current software than play inferior software for free.  I certainly wouldn't purchase inferior software; I'll simply go back to playing F2F more often, and reconsider buying future expansions.  RGG would be much better off waiting a couple extra months to have their program fully-functional than to risk alienating fans buy releasing an inferior product.
If you give people free pizza for a while, they start to feel like they're owed it, and then when you say "now we are selling pizza only we don't have olives yet," they want to punish you.

The lesson of course is never to give people free pizza. Make them pay from day one, and they'll gladly buy straight pepperoni, because hey, it's pizza! What were we thinking! The best move obv. would be to take isotropic down now, give people time to miss it.

In my defense, I have spent a couple hundred $$$ to get all the cards.  I might be playing online for free, but I certainly have paid for the game.  (And am happy to have done so, it's the best card game in existence IMO)
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Donald X.

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #57 on: June 29, 2011, 06:03:19 pm »
0

I guess a better way of phrasing things is:  Why is RGG re-inventing the wheel?
Well. Doug didn't want the job, and independently Jay wanted one entity to handle everything. So even if we never cared about having an iphone version or whatever, it wasn't happening. Man, would you believe, I thought of Doug first (when it turned out that there was not actually a commercial version on the way).
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Donald X.

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #58 on: June 29, 2011, 06:12:48 pm »
0

In my defense, I have spent a couple hundred $$$ to get all the cards.  I might be playing online for free, but I certainly have paid for the game.  (And am happy to have done so, it's the best card game in existence IMO)
You know, I am not complaining about anyone who's enjoying free games of Dominion on isotropic, whether they bought the cards or not. Have fun guys, there it is. This Doug guy made it, it's pretty sweet.

I am only complaining about people complaining! The world doesn't owe you isotropic.

I answered this in a PM but will tell you other guys here: if you were a programming company looking at whether or not you should take on the Dominion project for RGG, deciding, is this investment of your man-hours really going to pay the rent, would you be thinking, cool, there will also be a free version people can have instead of ours?
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Eagle

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #59 on: June 29, 2011, 06:19:06 pm »
0

In my defense, I have spent a couple hundred $$$ to get all the cards.  I might be playing online for free, but I certainly have paid for the game.  (And am happy to have done so, it's the best card game in existence IMO)
You know, I am not complaining about anyone who's enjoying free games of Dominion on isotropic, whether they bought the cards or not. Have fun guys, there it is. This Doug guy made it, it's pretty sweet.

I am only complaining about people complaining! The world doesn't owe you isotropic.

I answered this in a PM but will tell you other guys here: if you were a programming company looking at whether or not you should take on the Dominion project for RGG, deciding, is this investment of your man-hours really going to pay the rent, would you be thinking, cool, there will also be a free version people can have instead of ours?

I see your point.  And I agree, that if someone is going to try to make money off of an online dominion game, the copyright holder should have the right to request for the free version to go away.  And I think most of the players here will understand.

That being said, it would be seriously disappointing if the paid version wasn't as good and complete as the free one.  (Hopefully we're all stressing over nothing, and it will be as good or better)

I'd like to throw out a thanks for Donald for being involved and conversing with us about the topic (and the game in general) by the way.  That shows that you actually care about whether your customers are enjoying your game, and you're not only interested in selling copies.
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danshep

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #60 on: June 29, 2011, 10:29:22 pm »
0

Guys, also keep in mind that a commercial version of Dominion is almost definitely going to include an AI component.

If at launch they only had the base set, but they had a reasonable AI, that's a very impressive goal. Off the top of my head the decisions in the base set consist of:
 - which card in my hand should I play?
   - which card(s) should I chapel?
   - which card(s) should I cellar?
   - should I discard mine/opponents card from spy?
 - which card should I buy?
 - which card should I discard if I get militia'd?

There's a lot of complexity just in there (the play and buy decisions are pretty huge), every card that you add to the set increases the complexity exponentially.

Releasing a program that plays with all the expansions with even a rudimentary AI is an extremely daunting task.

Looking at the mobile market - Making money out of selling a board game without any AI for something requiring as much interaction as dominion is not a very promising commercial project. Scrabble, Chess and Carcassone work well as pure multiplayer games because there's no action to take during another player's turn, so having 30 minutes or even days between players taking actions is OK. You can't do the same thing with Settlers, so released an AI-enabled product (and it sells well enough even without online multiplayer) - Dominion would most likely need to follow a similar path (though most likely not skimping on the multiplayer aspect).

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DStu

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #61 on: June 30, 2011, 01:35:08 am »
0

blah blah blah copyright
Q: What people discuss the precise degree to which I can be ripped off without being able to sue?
A: My enemies!

I'm not a lawyer and don't know what precisely would be allowed to do without Donald's or RGG's permission and what is not, my feeling is that isotropic clearly crosses the line (and if it doesn't it should, even if I'm usually not so convicent (in the other direction) of some of our current IP laws), but even if it doesn't:

Realisticly, there is nothing you can do without people being able to sue you, because they can always sue you. The question is if they want to and if they will win. And even if the chances are high that you will win, when it's company vs. private non-profit project, I think nobody can ask dougz to fight an unsecure battle with probably high finance risk and time investment just to let us play for free.
And also nobody can ask dougz to make himself an enemy of everybody behind Dominion by just modifying isotropic so much that it is compliant with the law but clearly provokes them. Just to let us play for free.
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Geronimoo

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #62 on: June 30, 2011, 04:23:03 am »
0

If it has an AI it will probably be very very rudimentary, but they'll compensate by hard coding a bunch of strong strategies that don't involve complex decisions like Smithy/Money, Gardens/Workshop, Council Room/Goons,...
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theory

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #63 on: June 30, 2011, 05:40:07 am »
+1

I think the real problem is just that we're all happy to pay whatever we would have for the commercial version, but for Isotropic instead.  Not Isotropic with bells and whistles necessarily, but Isotropic itself.  RGG is already standing on top of an unbelievably rich gold mine, and wants to scrap it and replace it with something that is almost certainly not as good? (No offense to the commercial developers.  But software projects that take this long rarely end up doing well.)

Phrased in terms of pizza, it is a pizza company that offers the world's best pizza, and for free.  But the pizza has a network effect, it's only good if everyone else is there eating it too.  Doesn't matter, it's so good, everyone eats it.  But then one day, it kills it, introducing instead a greatly inferior pizza and charging $X, when in reality most people would have paid $X or more just to keep eating the former pizza.  Since it's inferior, people start leaving, which ends up spoiling the experience for everyone else.  And now you no longer have this great community experience, but just a lonely pizza bar with hardly anyone in it.

I understand that RGG wants iPhone versions and such of Dominion, but developing those in parallel to (rather than replacing) a paid version of Isotropic seems much better for everyone.  Unless, of course, RGG has certain requirements for its computer version that Isotropic cannot possibly accommodate, and has calculated that these requirements are sufficiently important that they are worth the probable decrease in quality (and potential subsequent negative network effect feedback loop) between Isotropic and commercial Dominion.
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Nihnoz

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #64 on: June 30, 2011, 06:10:41 am »
0

Right now Isotropic's super good for playing dominion with people I know online. A paid version would kinda ruin that whole aspect.
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Thisisnotasmile

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #65 on: June 30, 2011, 06:13:43 am »
+1

Right now Isotropic's super good for playing dominion with people I know online. A paid version would kinda ruin that whole aspect.

Right now Isotropic's super bad for RGG making money out of a product that they own. A paid version would kinda fix that whole aspect.
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Nihnoz

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #66 on: June 30, 2011, 06:17:26 am »
0

Right now Isotropic's super good for playing dominion with people I know online. A paid version would kinda ruin that whole aspect.

Right now Isotropic's super bad for RGG making money out of a product that they own. A paid version would kinda fix that whole aspect.
A paid version with absolutely nobody playing on it.
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Thisisnotasmile

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #67 on: June 30, 2011, 06:18:16 am »
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I'd be playing on it. The only reason I'm not at the moment is because it doesn't exist yet.
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Nihnoz

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #68 on: June 30, 2011, 06:35:36 am »
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I'd be fine with the whole idea if you could invite people who might not necessarily be willing to pay for it to play with you.
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guided

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #69 on: June 30, 2011, 06:54:13 am »
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I think the real problem is just that we're all happy to pay whatever we would have for the commercial version, but for Isotropic instead. [...]
theory, I'd be on board with your argument, except that I think a polished commercial product is going to be substantially more popular and profitable in the long run than just buying out isotropic and slapping on the real card art. There are those here (maybe even me!) who will pine for the snappy and highly usable, minimalist interface of isotropic. But there's a much bigger market out there that would prefer to play on a fancier interface. Doubtlessly the commercial version will have more features as well (AI? skill-based matching for any number of players?), even if it doesn't precisely duplicate the same features. And let's face it, isotropic is hardly enterprise software running on an enterprise server platform. A broad userbase is going to be much less tolerant of (nor as able to work around) server-client issues.
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theory

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #70 on: June 30, 2011, 07:05:47 am »
0

How much more polish does Isotropic really need to attract more players?  Is it impossible to do on this server?  Is the gap between (Isotropic buffed up) and (RGG's product) really so huge as to dramatically increase the # of players? 

I agree that Isotropic can do much better, but I do not think that it cannot do better than RGG's product, however polished it may be.  We already have a polished-yet-inferior online source of Dominion at BSW, and I don't really think that community is a model of what RGG should be aspiring to.
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DStu

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #71 on: June 30, 2011, 07:09:11 am »
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Quote
skill-based matching for any number of players
Think that would be easy on isotropic also, trueskill is working, so if it wasn't a lame duck...

Anyway, I think all this concerns come from not knowing what will happen. There are some nice features of isotropic that are likely not to enter a commercial version, starting from the logs (impling all of the councilroom analytics), possibly the leaderboard, and worst of all at least temporarily not all cards.

And as long as there is no communications from the developers with the community, it will discuss its fears. Does one even know who developes the game?
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Nagetier

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #72 on: June 30, 2011, 07:34:28 am »
0

The whole idea of shutting down isotropic (a single one of likely several alternative implementations) to help a commercial game seems flawed -- from the view of the supplying party. This is not obvious.

RGG implementation is good (main case to consider) -> keep isotropic as free advertizing, people will use both or migrate.
RGG implementation sucks for some reason -> keep isotropic or annoy/destroy/fracture a serious portion of the current community, for little financial gain in return.

Yes, using the images from the physical game will entice the masses. Even sleek graphics in general would already do, and trying to beat all the gratis alternatives in sheer usability will, too. As will marketing the product as the original thing or something alike.

All of this is another example of how the argument "there's a gratis alternative, so a commercial product will not pull in revenue" is moot. If it were sound, nearly any piece of proprietary software would be obsolete and pointless to make. Yet the software forges thrive and people still pay. Especially for casual games, and polished appearance is a major reason.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2011, 07:36:49 am by Nagetier »
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guided

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #73 on: June 30, 2011, 11:48:23 am »
0

We already have a polished-yet-inferior online source of Dominion at BSW, and I don't really think that community is a model of what RGG should be aspiring to.
BSW's main problem is that it's lacking a lot of cards. Obviously this can be fixed. The interface isn't spectacular, but a purpose-designed platform for this specific game won't have a hard time improving significantly on the interface. If you think the isotropic model is better than the BSW model for a commercial release that's trying to make money off a large userbase, well, I don't know what to tell you. RGG's #1 business concern is not to make us hardcore Dominion players as happy as possible.

Another thing to consider: Presumably if Doug had agreed to develop the software for RGG it would have borrowed heavily from isotropic's codebase. But since he declined to be involved, there are myriad reasons why the RGG version wouldn't use isotropic's code.

If you folks think you can convince RGG their business will do better if they allow isotropic to live alongside the commercial release, you're welcome to try and convince them. I really don't think you're right, though.
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guided

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #74 on: June 30, 2011, 12:52:06 pm »
0

Also, I dunno whether it will be a popular position, but I think isotropic's lobby interface is complete rubbish. Scrap it and start over and good riddance :P

The analogy to proprietary software in general is not very good. RGG owns Dominion, and it's their exclusive right to sanction or prohibit free alternatives for playing their game. Adobe, on the other hand, has to spend enormous software development effort to make sure CS provides enough value over and above free alternatives that people will pay hundreds of dollars for it.

I'm not thrilled about isotropic going away either. If the official version is good, I'll be happy to pay for it. If it's grossly inferior (not that I have any reason to suspect it would be), I'll be very sad that isotropic isn't around as a better alternative. But here's where the free pizza argument comes in: I was never entitled to a better free alternative to begin with. In any case, let's find out how good the damn thing is before going after RGG with pitchforks and torches.
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