Another Day, Another Cloning Controversy, as ‘Taichi Panda’ Publisher Sues ‘Legend of the Flower’ Publisher

Cloning issues are always iffy, particularly when you have the issue of indie vs. indie or indie vs. large corporation. But when you have two big Chinese corproations, each likely with significant financial backing, going at it over game cloning? Get the popcorn ready. Taichi Panda [Free] publisher Snail Games is suing Skymoons and IQIYI over their game The Journey of Flower, which is based off of a hit Chinese TV show, alleging that it rips off Taichi Panda‘s gameplay and user interface, while also making sure that you can’t use the words “Taichi Panda” in the game’s chat. For example, Snail Games sent over this image among others for comparison:

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Of course, the sort of unspoken thing with all this is that all these free-to-play games are using very similar mechanics, monetization systems, and the like, and it all kind of winds up being like this Penny Arcade strip:

There might just be an invisible line that you can’t cross with these games, that you can be similar but not too similar. And while in the American court system, you can’t copyright game mechanics, Chinese court might work differently. Sadly, Snail Games …read more


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‘.Decluster Zero: Bullet Nocturne’ is a Remix Version of Well-Regarded Bullet Hell Shmup ‘.Decluster: Into the Bullet Hell’

Independent Japanese game developer Masayuki Ito released .Decluster: Into the Bullet Hell [$2.99 / Free] earlier this year, and it wound up being a fantastic example of the bullet hell shmup genre on iOS, earning a 5-star review from us. Now, the game is getting what Masayuki Ito is calling a “remix version” of the original, and he’s calling it .Decluster Zero: Bullet Nocturne. Here’s the trailer for the game, expected to release in August for iOS:

The new release will feature redesigned levels, modified mechanics, a remixed soundtrack, and more changes. We’ll have to see just what exactly these all add up to, especially if you’ve played the original game, but a fresh take on this well-regarded experience sounds interesting to me, and might just hook in old players looking for more, and new players who missed the original game at launch. Keep an eye out for this – and all those bullets – sometime in August.

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Fallout 4 Wins Best of E3 2015 by Game Critics Awards

The Game Critics Awards results for E3 2015 have been revealed, and Fallout 4 has taken home the title of Best of Show.

Meanwhile, Star Wars Battlefront, which not only received nominations across a number of different categories but was also awarded IGN’s Game of the Show, snatched up two awards: one for Best Action Game and another for Best Online Multiplayer.

You can check out the full list of Game Critics Awards winners, of which IGN’s own Steve Butts was a judge, below:

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Portal Creator Kim Swift to Give Keynote Speech at PAX Prime 2015

PAX Prime’s featured “Storytime” Keynote speaker is one of the creative minds behind Portal.

Kim Swift currently works as Senior Game Designer at Amazon Game Studios and has previously worked on games such as Left 4 Dead, Quantum Conundrum, and Soul Fjord.

She’ll be sharing stories and insight about her career at this year’s PAX Prime convention in Seattle, WA. The event is scheduled to run from August 28-31.

In addition to Swift, several musical artists will perform during PAX Prime, including the Protomen, Returners, Bit Brigade, 7bit Hero, FreezePop, and MC Frontalot.

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Zero Escape 3 ‘More Philosophical Than Past Volumes’

When Aksys and Zero Escape series creator Kotaro Uchikoshi announced Zero Escape Volume 3 last week, they didn’t say much about the plot. Speaking to IGN, Uchikoshi has revealed a little more on what to expect from Zeroes Escape Volume 3.

Moral elements “will be the main theme” of Zero Escape Volume 3. “Your way of thinking, values, virtues will be intensely

during this game,” Uchikoshi said. “This game is even more philosophical than the past volumes. Of course it’ll be entertaining too!”

Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward ended on a cliffhanger, but Uchikoshi assures that remaining questions from Virtue’s Last Reward will be resolved. Also, “as a story

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How Will ‘Subterfuge’ Monetize? Let Designer Ron Carmel Explain How it Keeps Changing

Monetizing a free-to-play game is very, very difficult. That’s doubly so if you’re an indie team without access to all sorts of monetization experts and consultants. Ron Carmel, designer of the upcoming multiplayer game of strategy and diplomacy, Subterfuge, is sharing some insight into the process of how the team is trying to make the game both fun and to get people to pay money. He’s posted a new update on the game’s monetization model, and why they’re going to go with this. Before, they used a system that would allow people to pay for game passes, and to pay for unlimited-use passes, but a concern about scaring away users and limiting the player base was raised. Now, they think they’ve sorted it out by allowing all players to join one game at a time with one scheduled order in game. Paid users get unlimited games, unlimited orders, private games, and matches restricted to their “security clearance.”

Compare this to the model before, which used several tiers of options:

It’s possible this business model will be tweaked and modified once again, but it’s interesting to see just how a game like this is being …read more


NVC: Fire Emblem, Zelda, and the Next Nintendo IP Crossover

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The NVC crew battles for the next retailer exclusive amiibo.

Host Jose Otero, Brian Altano, and Peer Schneider kick off the show with import impressions of Fire Emblem If, and a brief conversation about one of the games from Nintendo Game Seminar 2014. Then, the crew jumps into news to talk about Nintendo’s criticism of Metroid Federation Force’s negative reception, our interview with Zelda: Tri Force Heroes director Hiromasa Shikata, the great Miiverse redesign, and the problem with amiibo retail exclusives.

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