Ludomotion Launches New Game SUMICO at Gamescom

Ludomotion Launches New Game SUMICO at Gamescom

Aug 19, 2014

With help from Vlambeer’s Rami Ismail, Ludomotion recently launched its new puzzler SUMICO right on the floor at Gamescom.

Excerpts from the informational email:

Vlambeer’s Rami Ismail just minutes ago pushed the button to officially launch Ludomotion’s new number puzzler SUMICO for Android.

SUMICO is an addictive numbers game for mobile, developed by a journalist and a game developer. It is released for Android, the iOS release will follow in September.

Ismail was among the first developers to play the original prototype and provided the SUMICO creators with loads of valuable feedback.

Ismail: “I’m super honoured to have a developer ask me to launch their game. Helps that I’ve been playing the game for a few weeks already.”

SUMICO is available for free (with optional in-app purchases) on the Play Store; the launch trailer is below.

Vlambeer Announces Ridiculous Fishing Coming to Android

Vlambeer Announces Ridiculous Fishing Coming to Android

Nov 17, 2013

Vlambeer’s hit iOS game Ridiculous Fishing, the long-in-development sequel to their hit Flash game Radical Fishing that they collaborated on with Spelltower‘s Zack Gage and Hundreds and Solipskier‘s Greg Wohlwend, is surfacing on Android soon. Vlambeer has released this teaser image confirming the game’s upcoming Android release. While no release date is confirmed quite yet, the game should be on Android devices sooner than later. We’ll have more on the game as it comes out.

The Hills Are Greener: Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Villainy?

The Hills Are Greener: Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Villainy?

Aug 29, 2011

Cloning has been a hot-button issue in mobile gaming as of late; games that lift their art and game concepts wholesale from either popular games or games on other platforms. This is especially an issue on Android, where the less restrictive policies of the Android Market make it easier for apps of dubious legality, though even Apple’s stringent review process has led to several games that are blatant rip-offs of other games.

In many of these cases, the best solution for the infringed has been to just jump on to the platform where the infringement is occuring, in order to capitalize on the interest there. There were numerous illegitimate clones of Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, and Fruit Ninja on Android before their official launches. Flash developer Halfbot made their own version of The Blocks Cometh after EdisonGame ripped them off by releasing their own identically-titled game on the iOS App Store which also used a character sprite from another Flash game, League of Evil. Vlambeer, developers of Radical Fishing, are releasing a sequel for iOS after the game Ninja Fishing lifted the core gameplay almost wholesale from Radical Fishing. As well, they’re working with Halfbot to bring their other Flash game Super Crate Box to the iOS App Store.

I’ve had discussions with developers on the ‘cloned’ side of the cloning discussion, and while there is both disappointment and outrage over the violations, there’s also a despair over the fact that not much could be done about it. Either the games are just dissimilar enough to make legal claims non-pursuable, or the legal battle would likely be costlier than the possible money that could be made from a case. Many of these developers are trapped, because their games are ripe for the picking to be repurposed on mobile platforms by developers looking for an easy buck.

While the morality of cloning has come into question, especially when no specific art assets are re-used, it has led to an interesting discussion. What is it about game concepts that makes them more disposable and ripe for lifting than when art is stolen from these games? One could make a case that a game like Angry Birds isn’t really all that different from the Ninja Fishing debacle on iOS, because Angry Birds shares many similar mechanics with other physics puzzlers. What makes Ninja Fishing so bad in comparision? Game concepts are so intangible, and the language so indefinite that it is difficult to even discuss properly.

But these are things that must be discussed, because they are very important. Mobile gaming is becoming big business, and when independent developers are ripped off, it only hurts the reputation of mobile platforms. While the gatekeepers need to do a better job at preventing these apps of dubious copyright status to appear, is there anything that can be done about cloning? Or is there any way to properly define cloning at all? If not, then is there any good way to say that it’s wrong?