Hello, I haven't one the forums in awhile, I have been busy writing so just to refresh, I have been working on a space opera that I first came up with 10 years ago. I have been spending the last several months planning mainly the details and I am just about at the point where I was going to start writing. I was talking with a friend of mine a few weeks ago. This friend has been writing poems and short stories since he was young and I thought he might be able to give me some helpful suggestions or advice. I was going over my story with him, my main character and the general plot. When he finished, he looked at me and said, "Have you ever heard of Mass Effect?" I had not heard of it. It turns out; Mass Effect is an RPG video game for the PC and X-Box 360. My friend told that my story and plot sounded very, very similar to the storyline of the game. Now I have an X-Box 360 in my back room for sports games so I went out the very next day and purchased both Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2. I have now beat Mass Effect and am about half way or more through Mass Effect 2 and I have to say that I am now very frustrated. If I were to describe to you what the story line of Mass Effect was about in one sentence or even one paragraph and then do the same for my story, you would be hard pressed to find a difference. Basically both are about a futuristic earth/human society who has joined the larger intergalactic community. The main of both centers around a now extinct highly advanced civilization that was whipped out under mysterious circumstances leaving behind only ruins and sparse artifacts which are being studied by scientist to learn more about them and their technology. Then also in both stories, what ever whipped out this advanced race are now happening again and the story centers around the main character and his team trying to find out what is happening and stop it before it is too late. Besides just the plot, a lot of the details I came up with are similar. In both stories, Earth has become a more of a planet wide government with colonies spread through out the Galaxy. The name I gave to this planet wide government is very similar to the name given in Mass Effect and also the counsel (kind of link the United Nations for the galactic races) is very similar. I was trying to write an scientifically plausible space opera and from researching Mass Effect, I know that they were trying to create a scientifically plausible Space RPG. So surely if we are trying to base future technology off of what is currently known, some things are bound be similar. If it were just a few things that matched, I probably would be too concerned but it is just so close. The only real differences in my story and Mass Effect, are the main character, his back ground (although both characters are Military or former Military) and the way Earth and humans see them selves in both stories and where they got this advanced technology to allow them travel to other solar systems. In Mass Effect, Humans discovered ruins of the ancient extent civilization on the south pole of Mars which they studied and got the technology from, then discovered that Charon, Pluto's moon was not a moon but in fact a giant relay station which allowed them to quickly travel to another star system. In my story, aliens have been visiting earth for thousands of years, some friendly, some not. Humanity managed to befriend one race and set up trade and exchange with them. This Alien race shared its Technology with us and bought us into the galactic community. In Mass Effect, humans are a people on the rise. They hold great favor with the galactic counsel and a lot of other people resent them for this fact but technology wise are the equals of everyone else in the Galaxy. In my story, humans are NOT the equals of everyone. We are the new comers and are probably the least technologically advanced of the space faring civilizations. The Alien race who did share technology with use, didn't tell use everything or share ALL of their technology because of that fact, in my story, Humans are not that well respected in the Galactic community. They are also very timid , afraid they are going to tick off one of the more advanced races. The alien race who shared its technology with humans is seen as kind of our big brother, our protectors. Before my story took place, the back story is humans got rapped up in a brutal war with a very aggressive advanced race and were losing very badly. These "big brothers stepped in and beat the aggressive race back defending earth. Because of that most alien races in my story look at humans like "with out them you are nothing" kind of attitude. The other difference is the technology used to travel to other stars, my stories does not use giant relay stations. Those appear to be the only differences however. I am just really frustrated because I would have to change so much of my story to make it different from Mass Effect that if I did, it wouldn't even be the same story anymore. What do you guys think? Should I even bother at this point? Any advice or guidance would be appreciated. And I apologize for any punctuation and spelling errors, I had a lot to say and not so long to say it.