[MUD-Dev] LTM article

Sellers Sellers
Tue Sep 25 11:08:53 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

Travis Nixon wrote:

> I've been seeing quite a bit of this "I thought of it first, you
> stole that idea from me" fever going around lately (check
> fatbabies for another incarnation regarding Max Payne's
> bullet-time), and frankly, it rather sickens me, especially in the
> gaming industry, where practically every game you could name is a
> derivative of some other game.

Just to put this to bed, maybe this is another Law.

To keep this within the game industry (and to avoid going all the
way back to, oh, Thucydides), call it the Bartle-Farmer-Meier-Wright
(BFMW) Rule: "They thought of it first."

Even if it isn't strictly true, like many descriptive laws it's a
useful approximation.  And anyway humility is good for the soul, and
for our industry (Richard, Randy, Sid, and Will will have to find
their own sources for humility :) ).  Even if you manage to come up
with something that seems really innovative, it's rare that you'll
*REALLY* have been the first to think of it.

> ... Innovation comes in when you figure out how to mimic in a
> convincing manner, and you actually DO it.  Innovation is not
> coming up with new ideas, it's implementing old ideas.  You may be
> the first person to DO it (although even that is unlikely
> depending entirely on definitions), but you're certainly not the
> first to think of it, nor will you be the last.
> Your ideas, while very good, are not original.  Somebody else
> somewhere else sometime else had practically the same idea you
> did. Somebody probably even had the very same idea years, if not
> decades or even centuries or more, before you did.  Get over it.
> Get over your ego-ridden self and implement that idea, which will
> put you leaps and bounds beyond the last person that thought of it
> and didn't implement it, probably because they didn't think it
> could be done with the resources available to them, if it could be
> done at all.

Nice rant.  That should be part of the first day of any "Game Design
101" curriculum, IMO.

Mike Sellers
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