Let's wind the clocks back to Tuesday when news hit that Zynga was relentlessly ripping off NimbleBit's Tiny Tower [Free] with their Canadian pre-release "beta" of Dream Heights [Free]. Dream Heights is basically identical to Tiny Tower in every way, except for the lack of the Bitbook and a different art style. News of this spread like wildfire, and it wasn't long before even the mainstream media was reporting on it. (These are crazy times we live in, I tell you.) Well, Zynga has been silent on the matter as far as we can tell, which you'd think would result in a dead story.

Not so fast though, as Glu also seem to be anxious to hop on the relentlessly ripping off Tiny Tower bandwagon with a similar Canadian release of Small Street [Free]. Small Street is arguably an even bigger knockoff than Dream Heights with the only changes being the tower laid vertically into a street and the elevator car replaced with a taxi.

Fans of Tiny Tower will find these screenshots curiously similar:

I guess when it rains it pours in regards to cloning NimbleBit games. The only question left, is which company is going to release their own Tiny Tower knockoff next?

  • http://twitter.com/bigcow200 cow

    Maybe gameloft would clone it

  • Briker Ed

    If it's any comfort to Nimblebit, at least this means they did the right thing when they decided to make Tiny Tower. .  .

    • http://twitter.com/AhiruDuck Ahiru Nakamura

      yup, they got the "game of the year" award (or at least the title), and it's time for them to move on.. 

      I'm sure their next "big" project will come up to be pretty good, whatever that may be.

      • http://www.vitaltitles.com/ Nick

        They made one post about it. How is it their fault that everyone else is reporting and expanding on the situation?

        The whole point of imitation in a positive way is to power forward the medium. Adding something new to create a unique experience is what is needed. Like comparing the UK Office to the US version. There is enough of a difference to warrant them both existing (ignoring whether you do or don't dislike the quality).

        Nimblebit has the right to point it out, and I'd be remiss if they didn't at least take a stance on an exact xerox of their game, done by 3 people versus a massive company like Zynga.

        What I would find incredibly funny is if Zynga tried to take action against Glu for copying them, it might win an award for most ironic thing, 2012.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CLLXFT32FZNJFCUBVZ4AKCHSZY Poor

        The Office isn't a great analogy, as NBC had to pay for the rights to make the US version, and if Gervais and Merchant said "no" then the US version wouldn't exist. Gervais and Merchant also profited quite well from the US version's success.

        Video games are really the only medium where you can completely copy someone else's work, profit from it and there's not a damn thing they can do about it. I don't think that's completely a horrible thing for various reasons, but I don't think it's as positive as you make it to be either.

  • http://twitter.com/bigcow200 cow

    Nimblebit cloned a few games
    http://i.imgur.com/T6vOR.jpg

    • http://twitter.com/MichaelisMikos Michael Evans

      Except Nimblebit didn't make those clones.  That company, XGen was merely commiserating. 

    • Manuel Jacobs

      Do you even read what you post? Those aren't Nimblebit games. I Dig It is from InMotion and Stick Wars is from John E. Hartzog, two completely different developers. Xgen is sympathizing with Nimblebit since the same thing happened to them.

      And as someone who probably put years into Sim Tower, TT and ST are NOTHING alike. Their similarities begin and end with the word "Tower". There's no simulating in TT at all. You restock shops and ferry/move in bitizens to make money to make more floors which let you repeat the process over and over. It's a neat time waster not unlike Pocket Frogs or Scoops. It's a "game" I pull up once or twice a day and feel some slight progress was achieved so I keep going back to it.

      Sim Tower on the other hand is a sim. Your tower has multiple spaces per floor. It has basements, sky lobbies, multiple elevators which you each need to individually manage and time in order to keep the proper flow of costumers, residents, and stores happy. There's bomb threats and other incidents which require security. The towers wildly vary in design and there's no "one" way to win the game.

      Seriously, comparing the two is simply insulting to Maxis because Sim Tower was amazing and undeserved to Nimblebit because "copying" ST wasn't the point of their game AT ALL. If you've played either for more than 5 minutes you'd know this.

    • http://www.vitaltitles.com/ Nick

      Oh, Cow. For shame.

  • Anonymous

    Capcom will be next. They'll call it Maxplosion Tower.

    • http://twitter.com/drelbs drelbs

      You mean "One Piece Tower"?

    • Anonymous

      And then they'll charge $12.95 because unlike a tiny, indy start up, they are Capcom. They can charge anything knowing their loyal fan base will pay for it, even if the indy game is better (as it usually is).

  • Lloyd

    ..... and they are all rip offs of Sim tower (yoot tower), but with less elevator management and a pay to play scheme.

    • http://www.vitaltitles.com/ Nick

      No. It's not. Look up 2 squares and read Manuel Jacobs post.

      Saying that TT is a copy of ST is like saying Forza is a copy of Need for Speed.

      Think before you post, sheesh.

      • Lloyd

        I disagree and think its quite similar... like a very watered down version of sim tower that frustrates you into buying virtual money to spend in the game. It is less of a game than sim tower is, but they do borrow alot to put into Tiny Tower. They took the tower and left the fun behind.

        thanks for the reply... sheesh.

      • http://www.vitaltitles.com/ Nick

        The only similarity is the fact that it's in a tower. There are no other equivalent gameplay mechanics.

        You obviously don't like TT, which is fine. But it's a completely different game. I've played both and there is literally nothing linking the two other than the fact that they both have towers. I sincerely don't get how you aren't able to see that, but you can't so any further discussion is like arguing with a wall.

        But I'll give you another comparison, just for the heck of it.

        You saying that TT is a watered down version of ST would be like saying ANY basic racing game is a watered down version of a more complex racing game. The only similarity is that they both involve cars and racing.

      • Lloyd

        More comparisons, sim tower has elevators, restaurants, offices and condos. So does Tiny Tower. The things that are missing are stairs and garbage disposal.
        Racing games are constantly ripping each other off... they are either Mario Kart knock offs or outrun clones. same thing.

      • Anonymous

        Towers have elevators, stores and condos? Stop the press.

      • http://profiles.google.com/sokolov22 Derek Chin

        The key is to look at the game mechanics and the player choices.  All you are looking at are cosmetic stuff - and as we see with Small Street here, those are exactly the type of things that are interchangeable.

        So while the goal and theme are certainly similar (build a successful tower) between Tiny Tower and Sim Tower, the way the player approaches that goal is fundamentally different - and the choices the player makes, and the constraints the player has are different.  Now, for you, that means they "took the fun out."  What that should tell you is that they are DIFFERENT games.  Consider Black Jack vs Poker - both games use chips, cards (in fact, the exact same deck of cards), hole cards, bidding, randomness, comparing hands to see who wins, etc. but the way a player plays each of those games are quite different in spite of the similarity.

      • Anonymous

        I understand that Simt Tower and Tiny Tower are different. What I don't understand is everyone coming to the defense of Tiny Tower when it's not that great. It's certainly a fun little game for a while. But then it just becomes a game where you just repetitively restock stores and after a long time build another floor. Not sure what the draw is to come back to the game.

      • Anonymous

        But that's a taste issue. Surely you see how blatant these copies are. It seems like trolling now that your point is just that the game, to you, is indefensible. So is the Cheesecake Factory, but I wouldn't stop you from going.

      • Anonymous

        But that's a taste issue. Surely you see how blatant these copies are. It seems like trolling now that your point is just that the game, to you, is indefensible. So is the Cheesecake Factory, but I wouldn't stop you from going.

      • Anonymous

        But that's a taste issue. Surely you see how blatant these copies are. It seems like trolling now that your point is just that the game, to you, is indefensible. So is the Cheesecake Factory, but I wouldn't stop you from going.

      • http://profiles.google.com/sokolov22 Derek Chin

        We aren't saying whether we like the game or not.  But we simply don't like people claiming things that are not true.

      • https://twitter.com/#!/NissaCam Nissa Campbell

        Perhaps the reason you dislike it so much is because you keep trying to convince yourself that it's meant to be anything like SimTower?

      • http://www.vitaltitles.com/ Nick

        Wait, Lloyd liked your reply?

        Did we just enter into Bizzaro world or did he admit to.... Being wrong?

  • http://twitter.com/AhiruDuck Ahiru Nakamura

    @cow wow how dumb can one be...?? did you even read what XGen wrote? guess not... 

  • Anonymous

    Eli

    All this developer x is copying Nimblebits is getting tedious. No-one is actually directly ripping them with an actual pixel rip off, so let it go already.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      Ok!

      • Manuel Jacobs

        I hear Nimblebit is ripping off Nimblebit for their next game. Confirm/deny?

      • http://twitter.com/drelbs drelbs

        They already did this - see Fishtropolis... ;)

    • http://www.vitaltitles.com/ Nick

      Ah, so it has to be an exact copy to actually be a copy. Copying and pasting everything down to the most basic gameplay mechanic isn't enough.

      Man, I wish I had the smarts to realize that.

      I'm going to go off and eat some more uranium now, it tastes like purple.

      • Adams Immersive

        I like to know about ANY kind of blatant rip off as extreme as these. Art, gameplay, whatever, it matters to me: so I can play/buy the original and not accidentally stumble across a clone. I hope such stories continue at TA. They’re easily skipped over by those not interested.

      • http://www.vitaltitles.com/ Nick

        I agree, and I have no problem with that, I do presume that this wasn't directed to my comment?

      • Adams Immersive

        It was in response to your comment—in a positive way :) I Liked your comment then explained more.

      • http://www.vitaltitles.com/ Nick

        Thaks much then, it's hard to tell these days!!

        But I am in total agreement. I like to give the people that put thought and energy into something the proper credit for it, and support them.

        And although I shelved TT months ago, I still respect it greatly, it provided me with many hours of enjoyment.... But equal amounts of pain from taptaptaptapping ;)

  • whil mccutchan

    Tiny Tower was fun, but it wasn't THAT great.  Not sure how much cash the developers threw at apple to get best game status, but it for sure wasn't the best game.  Copy cats are wasting their time anyway, tiny tower has crested.  Without anything new soon it will be forgotten.

  • Anonymous

    Companies currently working on a Tiny Tower "copy" shouldn't feel too bad. It's about two versions away from becoming a sub-genre at this rate.

  • http://twitter.com/rocketcatgames Rocketcat Games

    Hey, just to help out people that don't like Tiny Tower and want to complain, but also DON'T want to sound completely stupid:

    Tiny Tower (if you've never played it) is a life/god simulator.  It's mostly about managing your tower people, dressing them up in bee costumes, matching them to their preferred jobs, etc.  Actually messing with the building itself is minimal, rooms are placed automatically and one on top of another.

    Sim Tower (if you've never played it) is a construction simulator where you manage a building.  You place different room types in the most efficient way you can, then you set up services to maintain those rooms.  Housekeepers, traffic flow with elevators, etc etc.  You don't really interact with the tenants at all, other than seeing them complain.

    Corporation Inc. (if you've never played it, and it's a FREE FLASH GAME) is like Sim Tower in that you build room by room, but there's also more focus on the humorous workers.  I'd also say it's more upgrade focused.  Think of it as a middle ground between Sim and Tiny Tower if you want, but pretty distinct from either.

    I hope this clears up any confusion to people that are posting that stupid CORPORATION INC picture without thinking for themselves, or bothering to play any of the three games.

    Oh, and since I said I'd help you guys that wanted to complain about Tiny Tower: It's more similar (at least passingly) to the game Little Computer People, which is also a life/god simulator.  But it doesn't look similar to it in screenshots, so you'll never have this accusation take off on reddit :( :( :(

    • Anonymous

      Lol. Little Computer People.

      Rocketcat got it right.  Can we please stop comparing Tiny Tower to Sim Tower ?  Hell, I loved em both.

      What really gets me is the 'genre' argument.  Like this would all be ok if either Zynga or Glu did something to progress or better the 'genre'.  Are we sure that 'tower sims' are a genre and they're not just sim/god/building/life/(add your favourite genre here) sims ?  Christ, we could go on like this forever.

      Let's just drop this one.  Personally, I played Tiny Tower quite a bit and won't be picking up Zynga's or Glu's offering as it doesn't seem to offer anything more.  If you, on the other hand, think that you might get something new from these games, go ahead.

    • http://profiles.google.com/sokolov22 Derek Chin

      Yep, similarities between Tiny Tower and Sim Tower are cosmetic at best.

  • http://twitter.com/RobotsVsWizards James

    Everything borrows. BUT...,,

    Tiny tower was fresh even it did do some borrowing.

    Zyngaloft or whatever is ripping off nimblebits success not where they got their inspiration. The suits at zyngalodge probably don't even play games.

  • http://twitter.com/jaquelina_eu Jaquelina

    Just tested Small Street and yeah ... it's a direct copy, without any new ideas except from not actually being in a tower. Even the construction sound when building a new shop sounds very similar. Now Tiny Tower wasn't a great game by any means (it's a typical Freemium stunt that seems rather forgiving in the use of premium currency, but drags on horribly), but this is just shameful. Also, Glu really succeeded in demonstrating why freemium time management games suck: they just inflated the already long timers of Tiny Tower so you are more or less forced to buy currency if you actually want to "play".

  • Anonymous

    For shame, Glu; I hope you'll get back to creativity, as I used to enjoy and admire some of your games.

    And the title: rubbing it in a little.
    Tiny --> Small
    Tower --> Street

    • http://profiles.google.com/sokolov22 Derek Chin

      It's not really rubbing it in, it's just how iOS freemium games are named for the most part.

  • Jenny

    There seems to be a bunch of these cropping. Lil Dungeon (Also by Glu) is a Medieval fantasy game, you have all the same mechanics, but, you are going downwards not upwards. Its a dungeon not a tower. But its the same thing.

  • http://twitter.com/VULTR3 Mike

    Hold up, this one looks different.

    Besides, If we're gonna go this route and complain about games that are in the same genre, should we go back and compare Streets of Rage to Final Fight?

    This is how the game industry works, the best games get emulated, some closer than others. Just play what you want, the consumer decides the debate with money.

    • http://www.vitaltitles.com/ Nick

      You obviously ignored the slew of posts above. The only difference in this one is the method of travel and the orientation of the buildings.

      EVERYTHING else is the exact same mechanic.

      • http://twitter.com/jaquelina_eu Jaquelina

        Actually, this one has a "new" mechanic I overlooked earlier: you can put a "roof" on each house, providing either an upgrade in residential space (useful) or a temporary business bonus that needs to be activated using premium currency (not so useful). Make of that what you will.

  • http://twitter.com/AhiruDuck Ahiru Nakamura

    to make something similar is one thing, 
    to rip-off something and clone is another.
    that being said, I'm hungry and I'm all for pizza tonight!!!

  • Anonymous

    Gameloft: Challenge accepted.

  • Anonymous

    I enjoy reading some of these comments. If I didn't know any better I'd think that Dream Heights/Small Street burned down their village, killed their father, and raped their mother. I think some of you might be over reacting about this. It's not like this is anything new in the game industry.

  • Anonymous

    And they won't be the last to rip them off.  But at least they have their white knight, TA, to let everyone know when it happens.

    You're doing God's work.

  • http://twitter.com/BenEhlers Ben Ehlers

    A ripoff of a crappy game is still crappy. 

    • Anonymous

      The vocal minority is still the minority. Come to think of it, you guys aren't even that vocal, the minority must be almost non-existent in this case. I think you're on your own, buddy.

  • Erik Wilgenhof

    Funny how the Apple police immediately responds when a large player like Atari complains about games made by smaller developers that are similar to theirs but keep silent if a large company like Glu rips of a smaller one.

  • Anonymous

    I like people like you.

    ...that sounded strangely sarcastic, but it wasn't supposed to.

  • R Skse

    Yeah its another definite rip off of TT.. argue about play styles and all that, but look how closely they lifted the menu styles and other small details..

  • http://profiles.google.com/sokolov22 Derek Chin

    Those things are all true, but the reality is that their revenue dropped off pretty quick after a great launch (which included being featured by Apple, which is HUGE for any app).   It wasn't until Apple featured them AGAIN as "Game of the Year" that they returned to the top grossing charts.  So while they have a ton of users, it doesn't bring it nearly as much on a per user level as the other freemium titles like Dragonvale have been bringing in.  So competitors cloning Tiny Tower have to be careful, since it's unlikely Apple will give them the same marketing.

    • Anonymous

      And yet why is staying in the Top Grossing such an important metric? Tiny Tower did not represent an enormous outlay of man hours or resources. It really is a  tiny game. In terms of ROI, it probably is among the record holders on the app store.

      • http://profiles.google.com/sokolov22 Derek Chin

        It's important from the perspective of whether it's a good idea to copy, because you can bet the money Zynga put into Dream Heights is significantly more than what Nimblebit put in.

  • Anonymous

    How come no one complained when kariosoft made mega mall story? Isn't that the same idea? How do u know what's to close and what's not. Cut the rope and angry birds have been copied 50 times... How come no one brings up that? Nobody should feel sorry for nimblebit and they're freemium junk. Oh wait tiny tower is Ok it's just all the other freemium games we hate...

    • http://profiles.google.com/sokolov22 Derek Chin

      All of Kairosoft's games on iOS are ports or remakes of games they made on PC or for the Japanese mobile market years ago.
      Mega Mall Story is also dramatically different in execution than Tiny Tower.

  • Anonymous

    I avoid Glu Mobile like herpes.

  • Jaime Coston

    Kairosoft games are old games that are ported. As for Cut the Rope and Angry Birds, both games are made from free game engines that literally anybody can download and make their version of a similar game from, the only difference being that they tweaked the controls and produced catchy enoughy art direction and puzzles that made them stand out.

    In any case I don't believe that the flack this is receiving is wholly about just the point that the game is being copied but rather that the game is being copied and ushered under the Freemium model with no seeming attempt whatsoever to distinguish and advance the core of it. The changes in these clones seem cosmetic at best which stink of sour smell no matter how you defend it. Let's face it, people have become tired of the Freemium game model, and it doesn't help the case when two companies (who have already become infamous in the gaming circles for their unoriginal approach to design, questionable unethical business practices and so forth) ape a model with little discernible differences or additions. It's like" how many versions of Gun Bros type games do you want that do nothing different to stand out?".

    People would be less remiss if their wasn't such a blatant stagnant air of "phone in to cash in" smeared all over these.

  • Anonymous

    Well, at least this proves that Tiny Tower has gotten popular enough to get it's own slew of clones, huh? Soon enough, it'll stands in the hall of fame of cloned games, aside the likes of Angry Birds and Cut the Rope.

  • Anonymous

    Why all the fuss about this title? There are countless titles on the app store that are similar to one another, Gamelofts entire library is more or less a rip off off another game. That hasn't stopped people enjoying both the rip off title nor the original, and if I look back I'm sure there are countless times where this site has praised titles that drew more than just a little inspiration from an existing game.

  • Anonymous

    Remember when Glu used to put out original good games? Like Glyder and it's sequel? And transformers G1 was good even if it was a java port.

    Then they decided it wasn't profitable to update their games for the new iOS and started churning out these freemium rip offs.

    For shame Glu, for shame.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/42YS2N67LP6IDUKBZUUCMSZW7M Pray For Death

    It's pretty mind-boggling to see how popular this un-game formula actually is. I tried tiny tower for a bit after reading the 5-star review on TA, but then I quickly uninstalled it when I couldn't find any actual gameplay content in the game (or un-game, rather.)

    • http://twitter.com/MichaelMatzat Michael Matzat

      I agree, it´s just another free to play "no game".

      • Anonymous

        It would be nice if people who just want to insult, implicitly or not, other people for enjoying a game they don't could keep their mouths shut. Free, premium, or barter has nothing to do with it. It IS a very minimalist design, and there is relatively little in the way of traditional video game design, but half a million people with Game Center played it today alone, which is probably more people than played whatever your favorite "real" game was at its peak of popularity.

        It might be popular to rag on FarmVille and other freemium builder games, but 25 million daily FarmVille players 2.5 years after it launched blows away anything Blizzard ever did for popularity. These lightweight games might not be your idea of fun, but clearly a lot more people like this type of gameplay than ever bothered to try any so-called real game.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/RY772KUU4E7T6KG6GPXJWKLQAI h l

        TIny Tower is a no game.

      • Anonymous

        /facepalm

  • Anonymous

    You guys ever see the message Drumcowski sent NimbleBit in response to their message? It brings up a fairly valid point- Tiny Tower itself isn't an entirely original idea. As a matter of fact, it's very similar to Corporation Inc. Surprised it hasn't been posted here yet.

    • http://twitter.com/rocketcatgames Rocketcat Games

      Did you play Corporation Inc.?  At all?  I mean, it's a free flash game.  Easy to see for yourself.  I guess it's ok if you didn't, because that Drumcowski guy sure as hell didn't, either.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah. Played it like once or twice. Haven't played Tiny Tower yet- though I have seen friends playing it. Just brought it up because most other sites that ran this story included Drumcowski's message.

        Btw, what does it matter that it's a flash game?

      • http://twitter.com/rocketcatgames Rocketcat Games

        Because it's a free flash game, and Tiny Tower is a free iOS game, it should be rather easy to see how similar they are to each other.  Presuming you have an iPhone or other device, of course.

  • daniel so

    there's really no such thing as originality these days -- you could argue facebook copied myspace which copied friendster etc etc -- but the prevalent theme is that ideas dont matter; execution trumps all. So nimblebit should be flattered they're getting copied but at the same time sharpen their focus on how well their game executes their desired objectives in the face of increased competition. That's about the only moral there is to this story. 

    i'm sure nimblebit knows this just as well as anyone else. In the end this little flare-up of "indignation" will serve mostly as a marketing ploy to the benefit of their brand, but that's about it. 

    • http://twitter.com/rocketcatgames Rocketcat Games

      Completely glossing over that the "execution of their ideas" was also specifically copied.  Straight down to the same arbitrary numbers they used for stuff like categories of job types, how many things each job stocks, etc etc.

      Repeat this to yourself a thousand times: CLONERS COPY THE EXECUTION OF AN IDEA.  A game isn't just an IDEA, otherwise you wouldn't be able to play it.  A game is a very complex EXECUTION OF MANY IDEAS, the result of months of prototyping and fine tuning.  A game that is JUST AN IDEA literally can't exist by definition.

      I need to stop reading this thread.  I swear to God, I'm going to stop reading this thread.

      • daniel so

        even if they copied the execution of certain ideas, are you seriously arguing they copied every single point of execution? You do realize that graphics, music and other presentation points are also part of execution? Are you saying that Zynga copied Tiny tower's graphics as well? 

        Let's say someone went and copied Mage Gauntlet, but used slightly different characters, a completely overhauled graphics engine and different music. They copied your game's "unique" magic concept, etc. But they presented it differently. That still counts as a different presentation of an idea and thus doesn't make it an exact copy. ( See: the amount of lawsuits being thrown around these days on visual DESIGN patents). 

        And since anyone's who read up even a little bit on positioning as a marketing concept knows that the incumbent always has an inherent advantage, nimblebit shouldn't be too worried as long as customers are properly made aware that these games are copies. Which is exactly what they're doing (spreading the word).

      • http://twitter.com/rocketcatgames Rocketcat Games

        I'm saying they copied almost every single point of execution, except for the stuff that's the easiest to change without messing with the complexities of the actual game design.  Cloners change art/music because it's the easiest part to change, and because those two things are covered by copyright law. Did you truly need clarification on that one, or was that first paragraph a joke?

        A game isn't really a singular idea, you keep talking about them like they are.  I'm not sure what you meant by "different presentation of an idea"... what's the idea here, exactly?

        I will concede that a 99% similar game isn't an exact copy.  However, I'm pretty sure people would be pissed at us if Mage Gauntlet 2 was just Mage Gauntlet, but with different art and music, nothing else changed.  "THIS IS JUST THE SAME GAME BUT WITH DIFFERENT GRAPHICS", they'd say, and I'd be all "NO, IT STILL COUNTS AS A DIFFERENT PRESENTATION OF AN IDEA".

        I may as well admit I can't stop reading this.

      • daniel so

        Think of games like Sword & Sworcery and how huge of a role the music plays to the experience of that game. Or a game like infinity blade, where visuals make up a significant portion of the game's "wow" factor. Even if zynga or glu games copied tiny tower's mechanics 100 percent, if they created a different experience visually or audio-wise, then it's not a 1 percent difference like you're asserting. It's hard to put exact percentage points as to how important the visuals/sound of a game is, but what you're doing right now is glossing over how important these aspects are to a game experience. What i'm saying is differentiating through packaging, visuals, sound, or a cohesive "feel" is a legit point of differentiation. 

        Now, i don't think you understand my point as to why nimblebit doesn't need to worry. Simply put it's this: If you're first with an idea you carry a significant advantage of being the incumbent. If other people try to copy you, and the customer is made aware that they are buying copycats, then they're instinctively gonna be drawn towards the original. The key is communication and to make sure your game is legitimately as good if not better than the copycats. That is why i'm saying nimblebit doesn't need to worry, since they were first with their idea, their game is good and they are the incumbents. And, like mentioned before, they are doing a good job of communicating that they've been copied. So, even though i don't agree that Dream Heights or this Glu Game are copies, even if they were, nimblebit doesn't need to stress. . 

        as for the whole "GAMES ARENT A SINGLE IDEA" -- ok mr. obvious. i'm simplifying for the sake of brevity, not to take dump on the game industry -- why should i, when i work for one myself, from a country you took particular joy in badmoufing on a TA podcast? 

      • http://twitter.com/rocketcatgames Rocketcat Games

        You're comparing the importance of visuals in visual-showcase games to games where the visuals/sound aren't really the selling point.  Besides, Glu/Zynga are copying the mechanics down to the exact numbers, not the visuals.  I don't want to be too obvious here, but art and sound are the easiest things to replace in a game, because they don't require further prototyping or massive overhauls to game mechanics.  That's why lazy game companies like to clone things mechanically, as inventing and testing new systems takes lots of time, but change the graphics.  That and because they have to due to copyright law, though I think I said that already...

        I ignored your "incumbent" point because it's poorly applied here.  A majority of Glu's or especially Zynga's customer base won't know or care who they rip off.  You should know this by now, as its based on how they attain customers and their past history.  I hope I'm not being too obvious.

        You didn't answer my "what did you mean by presentation of idea" question, by the way.  If a game is mechanics-focused, a quick art change doesn't change any of the underlying mechanics.  Sorry if I'm being too obvious, here.

        Hahaha... wow.  I always about the state of your country's game industry.  Is it a cultural thing over there, where game mechanics don't matter at all and slight graphical changes are oddly important?  That would explain some questions I've had.
        If you need further clarification I can provide it in the form of weird parables/metaphors involving your dad.

      • daniel so

        whether or not you feel the visuals/sound is not important to this game is your subjective opinion. We will probably have differences of opinion here so no point in discussing this more.

        the incumbent point isnt a poor example here because nimblebit is employing the appropriate communication measures to make sure customers are informed that these other games are, in their opinion, copies. 
        i actually explained the presentation of an idea over and over again but i guess i'm either doing a poor job of explaining myself. Simply put, dream heights is not a "quick art change" from tiny towers. Zynga is a company that takes pride in a .00001 percent increase in sales from a change in color of a certain UI feature. 

        nice flamebait =)

      • http://twitter.com/rocketcatgames Rocketcat Games

        No, I'm sincerely interested.  I always thought the state of your game industry was bizarre.

        The incumbent point is a poor example because a vast majority of Zygna's customers won't get the chance to be informed.  A vast, vast majority of people are going to hear about Dream Heights due to Zynga's own marketing and existing base of customers.  The only people that will hear about the controversy are people that read tech and touchgaming review sites fervently, which is actually a small percentage of people that play iOS games.  Much like most of the people that played Farmville never heard of Farm Town.  Do you understand now?

        "Presentation of an idea"... is that marketing speak you've picked up somewhere?  Presentation... of "an idea".  What's the "idea" in this case?

        Art/music changes are easier than mechanics changes, because they're superficial, especially in a game driven by its mechanics.  Unless a game is a visual showcase/AAA game with a huge team of artists, changing the mechanics of a game is much more of an undertaking than changing the art.  That's why Glu ripped off the mechanics, because it's such a time saver. You're a game designer, right?  You have to know how long it takes to prototype new mechanics.  Unless you've never done this, which would explain a ton.

        It's late so NEXT TIME I reply I'll do the bizarre parable like I promised you.

  • http://clickplow.com/ John

    No worries, i'm sure gameloft is on it and will have their version out this week as well. It seems innovation is a thing of the past, just copy and paste, rinse and repeat.

  • Noah

    All these games get super tedious after you build your 100th floor. What's the point? Trying to send people up your super fast elevator to the 88th floor every few minutes is ridiculous. 

  • Anonymous