Back Off George Lucas, not those clones
More than likely this isn’t an argument you hear all that often, but maybe it should be. Most people hear the word clone in the audio gaming world and automatically shy away from it. We’ve all seen the drama when it comes to cloning, and the resulting dumpster-fire conversations. Bear with me as I try to explain why we actually need more cloning in the audio game community, and why it would be great for the players.
Overwhelmingly in the audio game world everyone thinks cloning is solely when one person copies another person’s source code. There is another type of cloning that goes on In the mainstream gaming world which isn’t talked about however. This is when one developer copies the idea of another, not the source code, but the idea of the game. Some might have an argument we have plenty of this happening in the audio game world as well, but it is contained within our community. This is to be expected, nearly all the audio game developers are blind and only play other audio games, but what if they didn’t, or what if they were interested in main-stream games as well? I’ve been thinking about this topic for a long time, and I really think this could open up the doors for new and proven audio games that would be enjoyable for everyone.
Some back story and examples
What is the largest mainstream game franchise in recent history?
Call Of Duty.
How many mainstream clones are there of Call Of Duty?
This number isn’t solid, but it ranges from 50 to over 100 depending on what list you are looking at.
How many audio game clones are there of Call Of Duty?
What is the current most popular mainstream game?
How many Fortnite/Battle Royale clones are there already?
Impossible to tell, they keep coming out.
What is the most popular game which is also a clone?
Fortnite and their battle royale mode, it was ripped off from Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, or PUBG as allot of people know it as.
Is this new in the mainstream world?
Of course not, just look up Pac-Man, pong, or space invaders clones.
You said this doesn’t happen, but there are audio game clones of old arcade games.
Yes there are, games that are 30 years old and someone made a clone. I’m looking at the bigger picture here. Modern game clones and the lack of them in the audio gaming world.
How can you make an argument for cloning?
When I have this discussion with people usually they get hung up on the word clone. It is true it can mean using another’s source code, I’m not saying that is good. Instead using the idea of a mainstream game and just making it audio based. There are multiple reasons this would work and why it would be good.
- Game is already tested, millions of people like and play it.
- The game is balanced, if not people wouldn’t play it.
- Developers who say they aren’t creative enough to make a game, it is already laid out.
- All the hard work in creating the idea is done, you just have to implement it.
- These games were created and thought out by giant teams of people, not a solo developer.
No I’m not a developer, nor do I ever plan on being one. I do talk to people who develop games, and those who play both audio and mainstream. Developers seem to run into a lot of the same issues with all their projects, and allot of audio gamers have the same issues with available games. Creating a audio version of a popular mainstream game would fix allot of those problems for both developers and players.
Don’t we already have this some?
We have glimmers of it already, and these below games are or were popular, but there is no true example of it where a developer just turned a mainstream game into an audio game.
- RTR: Very similar to a Call Of Duty free for all aka deathmatch, but missing aspects.
- Swamp: Has missions of capture the flag, and last man standing similar to mainstream games, but again different in ways to make it fit the Swamp storyline and game mechanics.
- Undead Assault: Similar to COD zombie mode. I haven’t played it myself, but I know there are main differences between the two game modes. I do believe this was the first game that openly said it was attempting a COD zombie mode clone.
- Manamon: Clear clone of Pokemon, good game as well. Did the job and was popular.
- RedSpot: Mixture of aspects of multiple games, overall not enough of one to call it a clone of anything.
- Castaways: Sorta a partial copy of the old Sims.
I’m sure you can gather from my list above I’m only talking about online multi player games. Plenty of audio game developers have copied single player arcade games with modest success. These are much easier to clone for two reasons. They have been part of pop culture for decades and everyone knows what they are, and they are much easier to code. I understand the second reason, it is just easier to write a clone of Space Invaders or Pac-Man, way more difficult to write a clone of Call Of Duty or PUBG/Fortnite. That being said, I still think it is a complete lack of audio game developers knowing these modern mainstream games. I should also insert a third possibility, they want to be creative and make something that is their own, not based on a already published game. With all the copying that happens within the community, I’m not really entertaining this, but it could be a possibility for some.
Why should these games be cloned anyway, shouldn’t developers just be creative?
I’m just basing this on my own logical reasoning. If you have something that is popular it is going to be for a reason. If millions of people are playing a game clearly it strikes a cord across many different boundaries that normally keep people separated. In the audio game world we play games because it is all we have to play, it isn’t like our options are limitless. In the mainstream world the options are nearly limitless, and still they choose to play these few specific games in massive numbers. Why on Earth wouldn’t blind people have the same reaction if there was an audio version of these games? We can all agree that in real life nearly anything can be adapted for blind folks, so why not games?
Lets talk about Call Of Duty specifically
The main reason for the crazy popularity of COD is the quick matches you can play and then be done. You don’t have some long never ending map everyone is on playing at the same time. Instead they come up with creative matches for people to play solo or on teams against one another on different maps. These are both old matches like deathmatch and CTF, but also really nice twists and variations on matches no one has seen in an audio game. I wouldn’t be able to do this justice, but luckily there is a complete list of every COD game mode and match ever made in any COD release. If you are interested in this then you should really give this a read. If you are like me and want good well developed audio games this will make you drool.
Game Modes | Call of Duty Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia
We have aspects of this in audio games yes, but nothing that even comes close to the matches and long term playability of COD.
Lets talk about Battle Royale games
Here is a description of Fortnite’s Battle Royale game mode from | Metabomb By John Bedford.
Although it’s entirely free to play, you can also choose to purchase premium editions of the game which grant you exclusive cosmetic items, EXP boosters
and the like.
Battle Royale 100 players into a single map, and the challenge is to survive long enough to emerge as the last-man-standing.
You can play solo, duo or in a squad with up to 3 other friends.
Players begin with nothing, and everyone starts off in a flying bus that travels across a map. You choose when to parachute out, and once you’ve landed
your immediate objective is to start looting materials, weapons, ammunition and shields in the game world. (Eliminating enemy players and pinching their
stuff having done so is another great way of gearing up!)
There is a crafting component, which allows players to use their gathered resources in order to build defensive structures, or stairs to traverse steep
surfaces. Certain materials are stronger, however, and so provide better protection than others.
To prevent players from simply hiding away somewhere nice and obscure and dodging combat altogether, a mechanic called The Storm Eye shrinks the circular
playable area over time. Players who do not move into the new playable zone will take damage and quickly die. The idea is that, over time, the remaining
player base gets pushed into an increasingly claustrophobic play space.
I know with an audio game 100 players is not reasonable for a match, but the number could clearly be shrunk. The key to Fortnite’s success is the squadding that so many people enjoy.
I know some people will say that sounds similar to Redspot, but notice a few things there, first 100 players and max teams of 3 people, completely different ratio and that changes everything. Map does not last, it is a match mode, not a world. Also I don’t need to say it, but it is balanced with proper weapons not random stuff that is a bit crazy. Sorry Sam but you added a bunch of stuff in that game that was not necessary at all.
This is what I’m talking about here, we have aspects of mainstream games in the audio game world, but the parts that differ make the games so completely different that the end result is nothing like a mainstream game.
If those two examples above don’t sound interesting to you, then I guess you are not the target audience for this post. All I know is Fortnight has 45 million registered users, and I’m sure COD has similar or higher numbers. I couldn’t find specifics, only online counts which add up to around 20m at any one point in time.
As a game player I can tell it’s broke, I’d like to see it fixed. We have lots of games with good premises, but they either don’t get finished, or they get over developed and turn into a hot mess. I don’t see enough conversations talking about copying or cloning mainstream games into audio games, but it has always been something I’ve thought about. Maybe with this post more people will start thinking about this as well. There are lots of games out there we aren’t able to play, and no some blindy playing a mainstream game half ass doesn’t count as playing it, at least not for me. The two examples I brought up in this post, COD and Fortnite are just ones I think are the easiest to implement based on audio games that already exist. There are plenty of other games out there which this post would apply to as well. If you agree or disagree let me know in the comments. I’m honestly curious to know what you think, and if you would like to see other games turned into audio games drop a line or two down there as well. I focused on match making games in this post. That was mainly because allot of the audio online games tend to focus on a persistent world, and that isn’t always the most popular.
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One Reply to “We Need More Cloning In The Audio Game Community”
Unfortunately, in this day and age, audio game developers would be sued into nonexistence if they attempted cloning of mainstream games. We are, after all, living in the same day and age in which the pop group Men At work were sued over an eight second flute passage in their song downunder. If this were the 2000s or the early 2010s rather than 2023, I could see it happening, but definitely not now that the Internet Archive itself is being sued over supposedly copyrighted content. Cloning a mainstream game for the audio market would touch off a legal battle that’d spell an absolute end to any developer who tried it. Yes, clones of mainstream games for the audio market sounds like a good idea on paper, but you’re not taking into account the absolute legal circus that’d start as a result if it was ever done.