I have a history, well known to my friends, of coming up with original ideas, starting work on it, then seeing an announcement weeks, months, sometimes only days later, where a product featuring that same idea is loudly announced.
The shortest turnaround was a day. Back at the Guildhall, I sketched out the rules for a two-player competitive card game about game development, designed not only to be fun but educational. The next day, a university in the Netherlands announced the release of... a card game designed to teach students about game development.
Now, scant weeks before the private demo of Chess Heroes is ready, Ludeme Games and David Sirlin announce Chess 2: The Sequel and get a fairly glowing reception on Kotaku, titled "Well, Thank God, Someone's Finally Making the Sequel to Chess."
I know this happens to other people. I know this is not my own personal pain cave. (and actually, I find it funny more than anything) But really? Really? Wow.
My own comments on Chess 2 are:
- Holy moly, those chess pieces look incredible.
- The rules are very deep, and possibly over-complicated.
At the end of the day, there's no overlap in presentation or rules. Their stated intention -- "relies much less on memorized openings and more on positional play"-- is true of Chess Heroes as well, but that seems to be where the similarities end.
And David Sirlin is an excellent designer. I trust this will do very well.
I just have to figure out how to make sure Chess Heroes is not perceived as "inspired by" Chess 2.0.
PS> Now I remember hearing about the rules from Jaime Fristrom, the developer behind Energy Hook, at the indie game conference in Seattle. But I think the video game announcement is actually new.