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Thread: The Incredible Machine open source clone?

  1. #1
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    Question The Incredible Machine open source clone?

    Does anyone remember the Incredible Machine game for DOS, where the player had to build a contraption to solve a physics puzzle?

    I thought that it would be great to have an open source clone of this game, but I don't have the necessary coding skills to implement it.

    Has anyone else started a project similar to this?

    The Wikipedia article on the game is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Incredible_Machine.

    There does seem to be one problem if a clone was to be started. It appears that a patent has been secured on the game concept.

  2. #2
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    Re: The Incredible Machine open source clone?

    Hmmm...the only thinkg I can think of right off the top of my head is Phun, but I don't think it has objectives. So it's more of a simulator than a game, but I've heard that you can still make Incredible Machine esque things with Phun. And I imagine there are at least few web-based games that are similar, though probably not open source. Hopefully someone else has more info; not just for you but for me, since I've always been intrigued by that kind of game.

  3. #3
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    Re: The Incredible Machine open source clone?

    Why don't you contact the authors and see what they say? They could grant you a royalty-free license to use the concept and then you could start a new open-source project. Tell them: "It's for the children!"
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  4. #4
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    Re: The Incredible Machine open source clone?

    Would it still be considered open source if it followed a patent?

    I believe in this case, the patent (Patent text) is general enough that we could still release the product as open source.

    Now, we have to contact Jeffrey A. Tunnel and Christopher M. Cole. They were the two original patent filers, but I wonder if they transferred the patent to Dynamix. Dynamix has closed, making the current owner of the patent unknown. Perhaps Mr Tunnel or Mr Cole will know.

  5. #5
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    Re: The Incredible Machine open source clone?

    This was one good game! I hope an open source clone will be possible...

  6. #6
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    Re: The Incredible Machine open source clone?

    Just make it, "deal" with people who oppose you when and if they show up!

  7. #7
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    Re: The Incredible Machine open source clone?

    Unfortunately, I don't have the time or skills necessary to try. My coding skills suck.

  8. #8
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    Re: The Incredible Machine open source clone?

    After some more Googling, I found The Penguin Machine, which is a clone that Dave Symonds started, but found it to be too much. He released the code for what he did finish, but the project seems to have been stale since at least 2003.

    http://tpm.seul.org/ - He says to e-mail him if someone wants to take over the project.

  9. #9
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    Re: The Incredible Machine open source clone?

    I found another version of the Penguin Machine--this one from 2005, but at least appears playable:

    http://www.pygame.org/projects/21/139/

  10. #10
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    Re: The Incredible Machine open source clone?

    Sorry to bring this topic out from the dead, but Jeff tunnel recently re-acquired the rights, as stated on his new company website: http://pushbuttonlabs.com/2009/10/welcome-home-the-incredible-machine/

    Just to let you all know.

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