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Getting Over It creator on getting over clone games

Bennett Foddy says entire medium "founded on borrowing and remixing design elements," better to not act like successful games are 100% novel

Last month saw the release of Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy, an intentionally frustrating PC game about a man stuck in a jar climbing a mountain with only a sledgehammer to help him. It has found some early success, and suddenly hammer-wielding jar men have become very popular on mobile, where Foddy has yet to release his game.

No longer will the hammer-wielding jar man audience be under-served.

Despite the rush of fast followers, Foddy seems to be taking the game's imitators in stride, as he explained in a thread on Twitter.

"Thanks to everyone telling me about the Android game Hammerman," Foddy said. "You can't copyright ideas (thankfully), and they didn't copy my code, art or title. I appreciate you all caring about originality in games, and it's lame that they copied the pot, but it's not that big of a deal.

"The whole creative medium of videogames was founded on borrowing and remixing design elements from the very beginning-most of the great important classics, including Doom, Minecraft, Space Invaders and Pong, are in some sense clones, and Getting Over It is certainly not exempt. Pong borrows wholesale from Odyssey ping pong. Space Invaders borrows heavily from Namco's Periscope. Doom borrows heavily from 2D game Into The Eagle's Nest. Minecraft borrows heavily from Infiniminer. You can go too far, of course, but remixing has been the engine of progress.

"The best thing we can do is to keep the history of ideas alive and not act as though the successful games are made of 100% brand new ideas-they never, ever are. Learn about lesser-known but influential games like Infiniminer and Periscope, and about the games that inspired them."

Getting Over It was itself inspired by the freeware game Sexy Hiking, as Foddy explained to in a recent interview.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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