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6waves Lolapps defends alleged  Triple Town  clone
6waves Lolapps defends alleged Triple Town clone
January 25, 2012 | By Tom Curtis

January 25, 2012 | By Tom Curtis
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While Zynga is currently taking heat for allegedly copying NimbleBit's Tiny Tower, it isn't the only major developer to be criticized in recent weeks for borrowing from other games. Social developer and publisher 6waves Lolapps ran into similar trouble last month, though the company says this sort of criticism is just part of a "natural process."

The accusations against 6waves Lolapps began in late December, when it made its mobile debut with Yeti Town (developed by the newly-acquired Escalation Studios). Once players got their hands on the game, some online communities decried 6waves Lolapps for stealing core gameplay mechanics from Spry Fox's Triple Town.

In a recent interview with Gamasutra, 6waves Lolapps chief product officer Arjun Sethi and Escalation's Marc Tardif took a moment to defend their title from such harsh accusations.

"There are a lot of other match-three games out there that are similar, and I think that being criticized like that is just part of a natural process," explained Sethi.

Reflecting on Yeti Town's inception, Tardif explained that the game was not planned as a commercial release at all, but rather began as an internal side project that took place between Escalation's regular development cycles.

As the game took shape, however, 6waves Lolapps and Escalation chose to turn the budding project into a full-scale game.

"The game turned out to be really fun, and we had an opportunity to test some of the stuff that 6waves Lolapps wanted to do, and given that there wasn't anything like it on the platform, we decided to release it," Tardif said.

In the weeks following Yeti Town's release, however, Spry Fox debuted its iOS version of Triple Town, pitting 6wave Lolapps' title directly against the game it was allegedly borrowing from.

Though regardless of what its competitors are up to, 6waves Lolapps said it plans to continue development on Yeti Town to both add new content, and further distinguish it from similar games on the market.

"Even if you look at something like Minecraft and Infiniminer they started off in similar places, but Minecraft has evolved so much in the last year or so into something completely different, and we want Yeti Town to take the same approach," explained Tardif.


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Comments


Ian Bogost
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Ok, Gamasutra. Did you just ask them to comment on whether or not they copied Triple Town? Or is the "natural process" line the answer?

Vin St John
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I can't imagine why you'd think an article about how they were accused for copying another game would contain a quote about whether or not they copied another game.



I also can't imagine why they wouldn't have changed some of Triple Town's more arbitrary decisions, like where to place the "swap" space on the screen, or even the fact that the game is "Town"-themed at all. Is that a requirement of match-3 games now?

Michael Henretty
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It's not just the "match three" mechanic that makes Yeti Town similar to Triple Town. Every playable piece in Yeti Town has a specific Triple Town counterpart. It is a blatant rip off. Still, Yeti Town is indeed fun to play, looks nice, and the theme works well. It will be interesting to see if this game does better than Triple Town, and if innovators like Spry Fox lose out because they were unable to make it to mobile first.

K Gadd
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How convenient that their chief product officer claims that there are 'lots of similar games out there', but fails to cite any examples, and his game is an almost complete element-for-element clone of the design of a highly original game and goes so far as to even knock off the name. If there's nothing shady at all about the game and its origins, why go so far to explain that it 'wasn't intended to be a commercial release', and so on?



I wonder which natural process he refers to? Perhaps the natural process of charlatans and unethical thieves being outed to the public?

Ian Nancarrow
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Well I think his defense was as mature as he could make it. Honestly, would his explanation sound any better if he name-dropped at least 3 other games available on iOS or Android, or would it make him out to be a snake he's being seen as?



I feel competition is good in games. If 6waves Lolapps improves upon Yeti Town like they say they will, it will push Triple Town to be better, and the customer wins in the long run. This is an opportunity; whereas (since the popular articles today are Tiny Tower and Triple Town) Zynga's Tiny Tower clone has no promises for improvements and will push players to pay to gain more features. NimbleBit has done so much with their Tiny Tower without any provocation whatsoever, I remember when there were just floors and elevators to build! Now it's costumes, naming conventions, tower sharing... It's incredible what 3 people can do!



Edit: And then I found out about how 6waves had access to Tripple Town before they released Yeti Town...

Mihai Cozma
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I will only say this:



DotA -> DotA 2, Blizzard's Dota, Heroes of Newerth, League of Legends



Diablo -> I think I could feel in a full page here :)



And the list could go on. Nothing wrong in taking something that works, improve on the idea and make it better, and that is what they are trying to do for the future as they stated in the article.

Albert T
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6waves did not improve Triple town to make it better. It was just an art swap. Gameplay is identical, the shop concept is identical, even the shop price is the same. This is not Puzzle Quest copying Bejeweled, or Torchlight copying Diablo. It's a straight shameless carbon copy of Triple Town.



The source code might even be questionably identical as Spry Fox and 6waves had come up with an agreement to port Triple Town to iOS, and somehow that deal got broken, then this game got released.

Dan MacDonald
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Creating firm distinction between what makes a clone or an incrementally innovative game is a really hard line in the sand to draw. However, just because the distinction is fuzzy doesn't mean you can't call a clone a clone when you see one.

Matt Hackett
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Just own up to it, for fuck's sake. Yes, game designers must learn from other games or else the industry will never move forward. But this is clearly a copy-paste game and lying about that is extra shady. Being honest about the practice of cloning is the first step in making it less painful for everyone involved.

Eric McQuiggan
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Spry Fox to sue 6wave over this



http://www.lostgarden.com/2012/01/sometimes-you-need-to-stand-up-
for.html


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