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f13.net General Forums => MMOG Discussion => Topic started by: Gutboy Barrelhouse on February 24, 2007, 01:56:13 PM



Title: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Gutboy Barrelhouse on February 24, 2007, 01:56:13 PM

Acclaim Games Unveils the 'Top Secret' MMOG Project

Los Angeles (February 23, 2007) - Acclaim Games and video game industry superstar David Perry have partnered to present the ground-breaking "Top Secret" project. In this project, players actually get an opportunity to participate in the entire video game development process from start to finish.

In an unprecedented move for the game industry, these players will be given a chance to have their work featured in a massively multiplayer PC game that will be published by Acclaim and directed by David Perry. Perry will choose a winner from the contributors, and Acclaim will be giving them a breath-taking prize, 'A Video Game Industry Directorship', working on a new fully-funded massively multiplayer online PC game. David Perry will be their Executive Producer to help them as needed on their game, and once they complete their project, they will even earn royalties from the game sales!

"I've always loved the idea that someone, from their bedroom, reveals their passion and talent, then suddenly can have an absolutely stunning career explosion, becoming a famous Game Director with a pre-built fan base. We're going to make it happen!" says David Perry who is a Game Director and Chief Creative Officer for Acclaim Games.

David Perry will be building the new online game from scratch and is offering members of the Acclaim player community a rare opportunity to help him develop this video game in a collaborative effort with some of the industry's best talent. "We will bring in some surprise guests along the way to inspire and mentor the contributors," says Perry.

One lucky winner who shines the most during the development process will be given the top prize. "This is the only chance I know of to jumpstart a directorship career in the video game industry," continues Perry. "Everyone wins. They get to learn how to make professional games, and if they get anything in, they get a real professional credit on their resume." Perry finishes, "But, if they win, well then they get their life changed."

Interestingly, applicants don't need any prior game development experience. In fact, Perry refuses to look at resumes. "We only care about the pure, focused, passionate talent they show up with," he says.

"Top Secret is like 'The Apprentice' meets 'American Idol' meets 'The Video Game Industry'. We're giving our players a chance to work on an online game that we will actually develop and publish. Our community really loves these games and knows what it takes to make a hit. And it will be a dream come true for one lucky star that shines the most throughout the project," says Acclaim CEO Howard Marks.

This is a first-of-its-kind project from the new Acclaim, a resurrected company with a very well known name. The new Acclaim will focus entirely on providing quality multiplayer online games for free. The games will be supported with a mix of advertising and virtual item stores. Acclaim has already partnered with IGA Worldwide to provide in-game advertising for its other online game titles.

The entry period will be limited, and so will the number of people allowed in to see the project, so sign up now to become a team member on Top Secret. To register for a free account and find out more about Top Secret, visit http://topsecret.acclaim.com/



Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Stephen Zepp on February 24, 2007, 03:33:53 PM
Lol...all I can say is, "lol".


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Yoru on February 24, 2007, 03:50:28 PM
This can only end in tears.

Delicious, sweet, hilarious tears.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: bhodi on February 24, 2007, 03:53:51 PM
This is going to end better than The Homer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oh_Brother,_Where_Art_Thou%3F).


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: schild on February 24, 2007, 04:48:45 PM
Videogame Industry Superstar. That's got to be the best thing I've ever heard.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Moorgard on February 24, 2007, 05:08:45 PM
The irony is that there's nothing unbelievable about this announcement. It's absurd, of course, but nobody should be all that surprised.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Der Helm on February 24, 2007, 06:42:51 PM
He's the guy who "did" Earthworm Jim, MDK, and Sacrifice ... no bad games in my book.

(http://www.dperry.com/archives/about_dp/about_dp/images/dp_mug_plaid_shirt_small.jpg)

According to his website (http://www.dperry.com/) he is also directing 2moons (http://2moons.acclaim.com/index.htm). I have never heard of it.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Venkman on February 24, 2007, 06:59:09 PM
2moons is one of the litany of generic Korean imports Acclaim picked up to publish in the U.S. Explains how he came into Acclaim fold. He's even got his own logo (seen in topleft of this page (http://phpbb.acclaim.com/2moons/viewtopic.php?t=1305&sid=49d10ef1f265663c17e95fb997bc8f67)). He's probably done some good stuff but it feels like Acclaim is throwing his name around because Acclaim by itself doesn't inspire much these days (maybe, or not, until they prove/re-prove themselves... been an odd path they've been on lo these last 12 months).

Otherwise, seems familiar (http://cgi.ebay.com/Video-Game-Development-Team_W0QQitemZ8278223283QQcategoryZ62053QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)  :evil:


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Merusk on February 24, 2007, 07:50:58 PM
Otherwise, seems familiar (http://cgi.ebay.com/Video-Game-Development-Team_W0QQitemZ8278223283QQcategoryZ62053QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)  :evil:

131 hits on the counter.  I sure hope that's just because it's broken.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Azazel on February 24, 2007, 08:15:36 PM
Perry is (was) one of those Videogame Rock Stars from the 90's. From the UK as memory serves. He was one of the guys behind I think Cool Spot on the Genesis/MD as well as I believe Aladdin both of which had very nice and smooth animation for the day. He left and set up his own house (Shiny Entertainment) which was when he put out EWJ (which was okay, but essentially just more of the same) and went on to create the other games listed. MDK was a bit of a stinker, didn't play the other titles you listed (though Sacrifice came free with one of my video cards several years ago, I didn't get around to installing).

My favorite part of the quoted press release was this bit, however.


Acclaim Games Unveils the 'Top Secret' MMOG Project
"Everyone wins. They get to learn how to make professional games, and if they get anything in, they get a real professional credit on their resume." Perry finishes, "But, if they win, well then they get their life changed."



Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Strazos on February 25, 2007, 01:29:04 AM
Where's HRose?


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: stray on February 25, 2007, 01:38:18 AM
Earthworm Jim rocked. Still fun, and pretty good looking to this day. And just an all around great video game character as well.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: HRose on February 25, 2007, 03:04:15 AM
Where's HRose?
If I had a big ego I'd think they wrote that announce to laugh at me.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Kail on February 25, 2007, 12:41:28 PM
He's the guy who "did" Earthworm Jim, MDK, and Sacrifice ... no bad games in my book.

You never played Enter the Matrix, hmm?

That aside, I'm not sure what this is, really.  I'd be tempted to sign up for it, just for the experience, but I'm not really sure what's entailed.  Do you just, like, send them stuff and they rate it?  Or do you have to move out to Guam or wherever their offices are located and actually, y'know, develop stuff (meetings, schedules, supervisors, etc.)?  Is this something that "someone, from their bedroom" can actually do, or is he using that phrase as some obscure euphemism for "a team of comp-sci students with no other time commitments" or what?  That site is not terribly informative.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Der Helm on February 25, 2007, 04:40:08 PM
You never played Enter the Matrix, hmm?

No I did not.

That was done by Shiny as well ?


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Margalis on February 25, 2007, 04:46:04 PM
Dave Perry is a tireless self-promoter, very annoying.

This idea is obviously horrible.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Hound on February 25, 2007, 04:54:33 PM
(http://img518.imageshack.us/img518/7153/trainwreckec9.jpg)


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Krakrok on February 25, 2007, 11:19:40 PM
Welcome to Top Secret

We recommend viewing the Top Secret site

with Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 and

above versions. You can use other

browsers but you may not receive

the full experience.

Download
Internet Explorer


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Trippy on February 25, 2007, 11:41:08 PM
Cookies are mandatory as well.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Lum on February 26, 2007, 10:18:10 AM
David Perry is the same guy who had a BRILLIANT AMAZING BRAINSTORM to give you an XP bonus to have ad banners on screen. I had a few things to say (http://www.gamespot.com/news/6157195.html) about that last year.

Reading this latest, I have much the same reaction. It sounds like Perry doesn't actually want to make games, but to make money from making games.

Which isn't bad (I'm all about the capitalism, y0), but he may want to find someone who *does* want to make games and partner with them, or else we'll continue to get brilliantly vapid ideas like this.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Lietgardis on February 26, 2007, 11:42:00 AM
Woah, David Perry has his own personal logo.

(http://www.lietcam.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/02/davidperry.thumbnail.jpg)


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Soln on February 26, 2007, 12:34:32 PM
isn't this just about getting new ideas or player PR?


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: HaemishM on February 26, 2007, 02:55:34 PM
I'd point Perry over to OpenSource.org. Because as we all know, Net-developed open source projects end so well and make such great profit for the creators.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Yegolev on February 26, 2007, 03:12:36 PM
My favorite part:

Quote
"I've always loved the idea that someone, from their bedroom, reveals their passion and talent, then suddenly can have an absolutely stunning career explosion,

I'm all excited now.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Nebu on February 26, 2007, 03:15:49 PM
"Top Secret"; where white noise meets innovation.

This could be the Flavor Flav reality show of the gaming industry.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Yegolev on February 26, 2007, 03:20:25 PM
I almost made a "Flavor of Love" joke back there, but it was cut from the final draft.  Spooky.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Gutboy Barrelhouse on February 26, 2007, 05:29:58 PM
My favorite part:

Quote
"I've always loved the idea that someone, from their bedroom, reveals their passion and talent, then suddenly can have an absolutely stunning career explosion,

I'm all excited now.

Hey that worked for Jenna Jameson  :evil:


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Lantyssa on February 27, 2007, 11:18:45 AM
I don't think that was only her bedroom.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: HRose on March 03, 2007, 11:22:35 PM
Just a thought: why not participating as a group?

It could be fun working on a small casual project.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Kail on March 03, 2007, 11:38:54 PM
Just a thought: why not participating as a group?

It could be fun working on a small casual project.

Sounds good to me, but I can't find any specific information about it.  The site linked at the top of the article is, like, two paragraphs of PR stuff, and it leaves a lot of blanks.  I tried googling it, but I kept getting the news releases about the contest, rather than the actual rules and "okay, here's what you have to do" stuff.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Dundee on March 04, 2007, 12:09:51 AM
Which isn't bad (I'm all about the capitalism, y0), but he may want to find someone who *does* want to make games and partner with them, or else we'll continue to get brilliantly vapid ideas like this.

Isn't that what he's doing?


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: HRose on March 04, 2007, 12:33:05 AM
Sounds good to me, but I can't find any specific information about it.  The site linked at the top of the article is, like, two paragraphs of PR stuff, and it leaves a lot of blanks.  I tried googling it, but I kept getting the news releases about the contest, rather than the actual rules and "okay, here's what you have to do" stuff.
There was an interview where he explained a bit the process. Nothing really looking good.

I think there's a plan for moderated forums, then ideas get discussed and voted, groups are formed and then I don't know.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: HRose on March 04, 2007, 01:15:44 AM
A short brainstorming:

1- This is supposed to be a smallish project as they said it must be completed in about a year and will be one of those "free" games. So nothing ambitious like a complex sandbox or a massive-scale game.

2- It should work on current or easy-to-make technology. So you cannot focus on something innovative or not already proven from the technology side.

3- Low production value. You cannot expect large and immersive worlds either, with impressive vistas and focus on the exploration. It's a good idea to build a thing that can work on a limited group of art assets where things can be easily reused.

Considering this I guess the best choice is for a game easily accessible, with a shallow power curve, small download, that you can get, log in and have some cheap fun within a minute. Since the "scope" cannot be a goal I guess the focus is on a core gameplay easy to get and fun. Something simple but that can be also be mixed to hook the attention for longer.

One idea I had was for a Mechwarrior/Battletech/Gundam hybrid with small RTS elements. Something like Planetside, but more RPG-paced. The fact that art assets should be reused makes a good idea to go toward PvP. It could work through a short PvE introduction, with simple missions to complete, either online with mates, or offline. Completely skippable.

Then you reach the "latter" game. A set of "maps" that may be linked by goals and purposes. PvP/conquest maps as well PvE cooperative mission maps. Either path (PvP or PvE) viable without forcing players one way or the other. You get points more or less like DAoC or WoW PvP. Then use these points to buy new mech parts.

The "core feature" of the game could be that there is a lot of freedom on how you build your mechs, so that you can put together and rig all sort of crazy, custom mechs. You build a basic infrastructure, like a "grammar", then let the player recombine mech parts for a near-limitless number of combinations. Studying a system so that the final stats and capabilities of the mech fall within a directed "balance"... Maybe you can take ispiration from Magic, the card game, where each "map" has also set "requirements", so that the mechs must meet those requirements in order to participate. Like in Gran Turismo (the racing game) you have to have the right car to access set competitions.

You can then have "practice" maps where you can go to test and fine tune your mech, without any restriction at all.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Kail on March 04, 2007, 02:23:29 AM
A short brainstorming: (snip)

Sounds good to me (As long as by "art assets should be reused" you aren't saying that we should actually use the copyrighted mecha from Mechwarrior or Gundam, that is).

Though, again, it bugs me how little info there is about this contest.  I originally got the impression that there were actually two games being made here; one game (Game A) which would be directed (presumably) by Shiny with content donated by the masses, and one game (Game B) done by Shiny but where the best "contributor" from Game A gets to write the design docs.  Re-reading that, though, it could be something as basic as them saying "you write a game, and then we'll publish the best one," which is way, way different.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: tmp on March 04, 2007, 06:01:38 PM
Always thought a tycoon game that has player in charge of developing (and then maintaining) MMOs would be a hoot... the reality show version of that sounds even better.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Etro on March 04, 2007, 09:06:44 PM
it bugs me how little info there is about this contest.

shhh..its top secret!!

Out of curiousity I signed up for this (trainwrecks are fun to watch if nothing else) + being creative with all my free time sounds better than doing fuck all (im a student, go figure). It says once logged in that I should receive an email in less than two weeks, perhaps they are holding off disclosing any more details till they get an idea of how many people are interested in it. After all, if you contribute in some way into making a game, would you not be slightly more inclined to be someone who plays it afterwards, it know i would be. Plus if its going to be free and suppored by ad's it would maybe make sense if can turn around to an advertising company and say hey we are gonna have x number of people interested in this, gee us zomglotsof money right now to spend on it and you will get zomgevenmorelotsof money later on.?

I think HRose is onto a winner with that mech game I have to say, i'd pick something like that up in a heartbeat.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Kail on March 05, 2007, 01:15:12 AM
After all, if you contribute in some way into making a game, would you not be slightly more inclined to be someone who plays it afterwards, it know i would be.

The problem is that if I tried to contribute to it and they turned me down, I'd probably be less inclined to play it.  And just putting a general call out for content from untrained, inexperienced hopefuls is going to produce a lot of rejections (or else end up an insanely patchwork-y piece of garbage).  From a marketing point of view, that looks like you'd be turning away far more people than you'd be attracting.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: taolurker on March 05, 2007, 03:16:59 PM
it bugs me how little info there is about this contest.

shhh..its top secret!!

Out of curiousity I signed up for this (trainwrecks are fun to watch if nothing else) + being creative with all my free time sounds better than doing fuck all (im a student, go figure). It says once logged in that I should receive an email in less than two weeks, perhaps they are holding off disclosing any more details till they get an idea of how many people are interested in it. After all, if you contribute in some way into making a game, would you not be slightly more inclined to be someone who plays it afterwards, it know i would be. Plus if its going to be free and suppored by ad's it would maybe make sense if can turn around to an advertising company and say hey we are gonna have x number of people interested in this, gee us zomglotsof money right now to spend on it and you will get zomgevenmorelotsof money later on.?

I think HRose is onto a winner with that mech game I have to say, i'd pick something like that up in a heartbeat.

If you did actually sign up, didn't you see the actual site also advertised the 4 (free to play) Acclain games that the Top Secret thing is attached to (and was the email I got from them registering)? One of them is a battle robots game, so although I'm in agreement about HRose's suggestion about mechs, I'd think they'd be looking for "new ground" especially since the game contest wants originality.

I wouldn't doubt that this was all a huge publicity stunt to lure people into trying those free games, and not so much a contest, but I also can see where they need some MMO people involved to make a game people will want. They probably figure, since they're already doing a slew of bad, ad-driven, quasi-MMO games, lets see if someone out there has an idea for a game that doesn't SUCK that will make us rich off of ad content -not- (and the reality TV show we produce for next years TV schedule WOOT Money HAt$$!!)!!


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Etro on March 05, 2007, 04:09:57 PM
The problem is that if I tried to contribute to it and they turned me down, I'd probably be less inclined to play it.  And just putting a general call out for content from untrained, inexperienced hopefuls is going to produce a lot of rejections (or else end up an insanely patchwork-y piece of garbage).  From a marketing point of view, that looks like you'd be turning away far more people than you'd be attracting.

Touché

If you did actually sign up, didn't you see the actual site also advertised the 4 (free to play) Acclain games that the Top Secret thing is attached to (and was the email I got from them registering)? One of them is a battle robots game, so although I'm in agreement about HRose's suggestion about mechs, I'd think they'd be looking for "new ground" especially since the game contest wants originality.

I don't disagree that they would probably be looking for new ground, I just thought i'd compliment HRose on a nice idea. It sure as hell beats my own idea of mario kart meets need for speed underground meets destruction derby meets tony hawk skateboarding.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: HRose on March 15, 2007, 05:29:20 PM
I got the first e-mail from the project. So a few more details.

Apparently some of the game design is already done as he says that the game will be played with "6 person groups" with 3k per server. Standard for current mmorpgs but it's already defining what he wants. Why not 5? Why not 8? He says: "We'll be making a very relevant massively multiplayer title." We'll see.

Then the juicy bits. Don't paint me surprised:
Quote
Acclaim (the publisher) has made us an offer to make a game that's easy-to-get-into, it must be appealing to a large audience, it must be fun (of course), it will make revenue by in-game advertising, and by selling items. Oh, and the game must break new ground by introducing new ideas.
That would be already enough for me to not waste another minute with it, but anyway... In-game advertising is even more unforgivable from my point of view.

More:
Quote
How long will it take? I'm guessing if we get in the groove, we should be playing a finished title by Dec-Feb, less than 12 months.

Remember, I have a fully-funded development team waiting for instructions.
Sure. Bwahahaha.
And even more (*chuckle*):
Quote
To give you all some homework… The Genre I've chosen is RACING.

So your homework is to play some racing games.
Huh?

On what would it be based? And the six players group what is? A race in itself? So why the hell is this a MMO? How?
Quote
But free your mind at the same time... We could be in cars (of course), or we could be in some new kind of vehicle; we could race on animals, we could be running with some kind of aid, we could be bringing something that helps, etc.
Huh?
Quote
1.  SKILL
2.  STRATEGY
3.  RISK

When you are thinking of the gameplay I want ALL three of those to be
present at all times.
So I finally got it: the real challenge is to make a passable game when your producer is a Royal Idiot. That's the talent you should have here.

Imho, with those terrible conditions, the only passable idea sort of makes itself:

-  Have you seen Cars? That CG movie? The fact it's a game made around cars may excuse in-game advertising, you could also use the links with the real world so that ads don't stab your eyes and fit in the game. Of course I really doubt that you'll get sponsorship from the real car industry so you could simply use a fictional setting without bringing in the game real car brands.

The idea could be to match the race (the 6 person group thing) with a sandbox world (the server and MMO component). You are your car, you can drive freely around the game world, moving from race to race. This two-sided approach is already used in many race games. Think for example Need For Speed, where you drive around in "free mode", avoid police while moving between locations of interest.

The game could work like a GTA that pivots on racing. To participate in a race you need  a competitive car, your car is then evaluated and categorized in a "tier" that defines what races you can join (like my mech game idea). Every race requires a small entry fee if you want to participate.

Here's your average MMO grind: you start from basic "fetch" missions, where you are given a rusted car that you use for "taxi" and rack up some basic money or you can try some entry-level races, for example starting not directly in PvP, but just single-player against 5 NPCs or other cooperative missions (like NFS: Carbon "crew racing").

The game is already all here: a sandbox where you drive around (a seamless big city like the NFS games), and a numbers of "POI"s that go from garages and shops to the races themselves.

Since you cannot make the sandbox part playable with thousands of players driving around, I'd make that directly single player, or shared at the guild-level. So the MMO part is that when you join a race you can be matchmaked with all the players queued for it, like it happens with WoW's battlegrounds. With the difference that here there aren't two distinct factions (it could be an idea), and all players in the game are always racing.

Then of course you'd need the "spice". For example you could let the players build guilds/factions/gangs. And then port again the territorial control of the NFS games. So that not only you race for yourself and to improve your car, but also to compete on this meta-level of territorial control. With a bit of Guild Wars thrown in the mix.

Then ladders, badges and cups to win.

But what about the gameplay? I don't see much space for original ideas here. The good racing games I played have high responsiveness and a good physics system. As I wrote in my mech idea a twitch game MUST have an excellent execution. For this MMO I'd actually mix cars with a RPG avatar where you have to pick some basic skills. It could give you a sense of progress, letting you improve even when switching cars (so that your performance is the result of the mix of driver+car stats).

That's pretty much it. I guess the fun is more in the fun bits you can add here and there. The only way I see to make a successful game based on racing is to make it as classic as possible, focusing on car customization and variety of races.

For example you could make an airship racing game with a full-inertia flight model. That would be real "skill". But how many players would find that appealing?

Or maybe you could do all the above but using skateboarding as the theme (would help the variety of gameplay).


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Kail on March 15, 2007, 06:08:44 PM
That's pretty much it. I guess the fun is more in the fun bits you can add here and there. The only way I see to make a successful game based on racing is to make it as classic as possible, focusing on car customization and variety of races.

For example you could make an airship racing game with a full-inertia flight model. That would be real "skill". But how many players would find that appealing?

Or maybe you could do all the above but using skateboarding as the theme (would help the variety of gameplay).

If this ends up being a game about racing cars, I'm not even going to make it past the conceptual phase.  The art is going to be dead boring to do (yay, I get to trace a photograph), the gameplay is going to be highly constrained (I really don't see how anyone can make an "original" realistic racing game without leaning heavily on either existing racing games or GTA), and I really can't see anything that's going to keep people coming back when it's in direct competition with top-end games out there for every console in existance.  Racing, okay, fine.  There's some F-Zeros to look at, some Mario Karts, some Chocobo Racing, maybe some kind of spaceship racing game, whatever.  Racing in actual cars, ack, no thanks.

I'm curious about the "3k players in groups of 6" aspect.  Does he mean this in the World of Warcraft way (where you're in groups of five, but still sharing a world with a couple thousand other players most of the time), or something more like Phantasy Star Online / Guild Wars (where your group of five basically has their own private world and no other players are allowed in, outside of a general lobby where there's a few thousand others but you can't really do anything)?

I would be interested to see some more objective based PvP in a racing game, and less of the "YOU GETTED 1ST PLACE FOR DRIVING THE MOST FASTEST".  Something like in Mad Max, or something, where you've got one team trying to protect a convoy and another team trying to hijack it, or something.  Stuff that requires similar mechanics to racing, but where you've got an actual goal other than just being the fastest.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: pxib on March 15, 2007, 09:00:57 PM
W. T. F.

Quote
Three other key goals.
1.  Being able to (at a glance) judge where you are in relation to the competitors, and in relation to winning, every instant.
2.  Making the gamer blame themselves 100% of the time when they fail, not the game or the design.
3.  Think of multiplayer game modes. (Teams etc.)
1. Mini-map, check.
2. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
2a. Okay no seriously. I laughed out loud. Then I just gaped at the screen for a while. This man has never played a MMOG. This man has no experience with customer-service. This is going to crash and then it is going to burn... then it is going to set children and puppy dogs on fire.
3.  No he's not talking about road warrior. He's thinking tracks and laps. I hear he loves racing games...
Quote
I love racing games, and I think the  vast majority of people that have signed up have played at least one and have opinions on the subject.
They're, boring, repetative, and I suck at them. They depend upon reflexes and quick decision-making, things which online play tends to discourage. Acclaim is just going to watch you toss money at the burning kids and puppies?
Quote
So rule #1 in the development structure we're setting up is that we don't really want to hear opinions, we want to hear solutions.
Welll fuck. Okay... I've got one: Don't do a racing game.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: KallDrexx on March 15, 2007, 10:29:21 PM
lol, can someone post or pm me the whole email?  I would so love to read it in its whole glory.  I am now wishing I signed up just to get those emails.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: tmp on March 15, 2007, 11:47:47 PM
I'm curious about the "3k players in groups of 6" aspect.  Does he mean this in the World of Warcraft way (where you're in groups of five, but still sharing a world with a couple thousand other players most of the time), or something more like Phantasy Star Online / Guild Wars (where your group of five basically has their own private world and no other players are allowed in, outside of a general lobby where there's a few thousand others but you can't really do anything)?
Probably the latter. In fact, the basic setup for this game sounds very much like Pangya (http://www.albatross18.com/season2/) or similar sport multiplayer online games. You have players who compete on smaller scale per-match and also (through ladder system and statistics) server-wide. There's lot of gear/item available for purchase to improve the odds, for both in-game currency and the real money, with the latter allowing some faster/slightly stronger advantage.

As long as the racing game is actually fun and innovative enough I wouldn't write that one entirely off.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Lum on March 16, 2007, 12:42:26 AM
If only someone had tried a racing MMO before (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_City_Online), so that they might have a clue as to possible pitfalls!


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: HRose on March 16, 2007, 01:28:06 AM
As long as the racing game is actually fun and innovative enough I wouldn't write that one entirely off.
Uhm, how?

Imho racing games *shouldn't* be innovative. It's the same with the theme. You could build a sillier arcade-ish racing game like Mario Karts, but I believe that the more you move away from "classic" the less appeal the game will have.

Racing is racing. The fun is in the control of the car, realism, physics, sideslips, crashes. Being "innovative" means breaking the basic idea. Breaking the "myth" and perception that people share about a racing game.

In sports game you cannot be really innovative, at least if you don't consider innovation an attempt to more realism. You have to aim to something visceral that is faithful to the idea.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: HRose on March 16, 2007, 01:46:52 AM
Btw, looking at Motor City it seems that the main problems where UI, lack of players, lag, controls and so on.

That confirms exactly what I said before: when you make a twitch game it's not anymore about game design, it's about execution.

The real point here is: this game would work ONLY if the basic racing game is excellent. Which means that it has to hold well compared to the other non-MMO racing games such as NFS. Firstly you make a good and solid racing game. THEN you think about tacking onto it a MMO part.

Because the point is not about making a MMO. It's about making a racing game and add a MMO flavor just because being MMO is cool nowadays.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Falconeer on March 16, 2007, 05:46:18 AM
I played Motor City Online to death (literally) and it was a great game. Its flaws were nothing more than the usual MMO bugs and stuff (and it was 2001) but yes, lag and the 4 players max races were killers.

That game got released too soon, when the idea of paying a monthly fee was not so popular outside the fantasy mmorpg/mud players,   and was niche from the start because of the whole idea of just using old cars (they tried putting in recent models when it was already too late, actually pissing off the old timers. And they were nazis: I asked about Ford Capri once and they aggroed me with screwdrivers cause Capris were only released in Europe, so not strictly MCO material which was all about US cars. What a fool I was! sheesh..). Anyway because of this kids couldn't get into it, and the pool of muscle cars enthusiasts wasn't so big and willing to pay a monthly fee for a laggy although unique game. Not to mention that it needed real motor knowledge to build a competitive car. Basically, its biggest flaws were poor netcode, its elitism AND Electronic Arts.
That said, it's still a masterpiece and something I'd miss forever.

Now enter Test Drive Unlimited.
It adds al the stuff that was missing in MCO (due to technical limits) and takes out all the stuff that scared the nooblets:

Things done better:
- You have an avatar to dress up and customize (in MCO you were just a static avatar)
- You can roam freely in the world and just meet friends in an open world. Shared open space vs. Lobby/instanced space. (in MCO there were only text lobbies/chat until the race). Worldly feeling!
- The limits of player per race has been increased from 4 to 8. Netcode seems solid. Maybe it's just that in 2001-2003 33/56k modem just weren't suited for such a job. Again, MCO died because of its earliness.
- You have limitless number of tracks, as anytime you set up a challenge you can design any kind of track by putting checkpoints on the immense map as you like.
- The world is awesome, impressive, grand. Breathtaking. And you can drive everywhere, offroad too.
- There are motorcycles.

 Things done worst:
- Car customization is very limited. MCO had billions of authentic, including rare/ultra rare, car parts and was mechanic/tinkerer dream. Every part had an actual impact on performances up to crazy details. It implied a bit of grind sometimes (there were levels, and levels restricted races) but still it gave a sense of achievement. Here, not so much.
- You can get cars in offline mode (and cheating too) and after 2 weeks you go online with all the unlocked cars and face other players with the exact same cars. Not so fun, given the said lack of car customization.
- Physics are not as good as they were in MCO. It's more arcade-y.
- There's no economy whatsoever for all I know.


Basically, Motor City Online was a wonderful, great game plagued by its launch date. It wasn't supported enough to overcome its flaws and for all I know it wasn't released at all in Europe (I had to cheat to get a copy from Amazon). Still it stands as a cult game and will be forever missed.
Test Drive Unlimited is a great game too with lots of strong points, and most important of all IT'S FUN to play! Sadly, by following to mainstream road they chose to strip off anything that could have added any kind of deepness. As it is now it stands as a very fun casual/arcade racing game, with some very cool and original new features, a wonderful world but without the longevity or the "meat" of a MMO. It's no surprise that there's no monthly fee to pay.

A good MMO racing game must definitely take from both games, as they are/were both great games. Too bad there's no way (and I mean NO way) you'll ever be able to play MCO at all if you missed it. We are fighting for an emulator or license since 2003.



Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: HRose on March 16, 2007, 07:33:40 AM
The last thing I wrote on my blog was that my mech idea wasn't a really good one because it cuts in half the potential market: female gamers.

This racing theme may be the only one theme WORSE than mine on this front. Good work!

Anyway, while reading I thought that the Test Drive Unlimited was your own idea for a game. It does exist instead?

The seamless world/map was the same thing I was imagining. Excluding the MMO part from it because I don't think it's reasonable to have hundreds of players driving cars around. My idea was just a personal space where you can eventually invite friends. Or join a "guild" and then always share that space.

I also got the same idea about custom races. You could have a simple system where you quickly set the course of a track, blocking roads and so on. Something automatic and simple to use.

The part I don't like is the one of the avatar. I'd put in the game an avatar, but only for the gameplay perspective, developing some driving skills and specializing it/balancing to boost some qualities at the expense of others. I'd use the avatar to give the game a sense of progress and achievement beside the cars themselves.

But actually creating a 3D avatar and lobbies? No thanks. It's a stupid idea as it is stupid in Eve. The fact that players like their avatar to be humanized isn't a good enough excuse. Supporting all that means building 3D models, clothes, animating them, males and females, emotes and so on. It's a tremendous amount of work for fluff that could be used instead to improve the actual game instead of wasting resources for a glorified chat room. And even if you go down that path then it makes more sense to develop a game that moves toward GTA, than just racing. I mean, once you have all that stuff you can as well use it to broaden the scope of the game.

Encouraging the socialization can happen directly through game mechanics. Letting players form teams and give them skills that work in team-based races.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Falconeer on March 16, 2007, 08:14:38 AM
Of course it does exist: See it for yourself (http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/932277.asp?q=test%20drive%20unlimited)

PC and PS2 versions just came out but XboX version came out 4 months ago.
Not sure if it's cross-platform but I don't think PC players can race against XboX players.

It's a very good game, and to a certain degree a fresh one. Looks to me like it's a bit underrated.

On the avatar part, I'd say that it's the Atari way to get even more money over in-game ads, as clothing and accessories for your avatar are bought in actual brands' stores (so you are not earning money to get "a Pink Shirt" for your avatar but to finally wear a "Ecko® Hot Flava Pink Shirt"). Maybe their way to try to lure female gamers in too, as if you pick a female avatar you can pick up some fun missions like driving your girl friend to a timed shopping spree around Hawaii, or just pick up handsome male hitch hickers that seem to fancy a girl who can drive.
As I said, it's a very fun game and the weird missions, which break the eventual racing monotony, are hilarious, especially the cutscenes and the voiced comments you get when you drive poorly.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Falconeer on March 16, 2007, 08:27:44 AM
My idea was just a personal space where you can eventually invite friends. Or join a "guild" and then always share that space.

I know it's not what you were referring to, but I just remembered that in MCO the tracks were up for grab and conquerable! Basically guilds (called clubs) raced weekly over the various tracks to own them and make them their "home turf". It was huge, so totally American Graffiti. And it was SO PvP. You couldn't believe how good was to "club fight" (arranging a venue against another club and racing over a given number of tracks or car category), or to race for money or even betting the car! (although losing cars in a race due to disconnects or crash client is one of the reasons who led to MCO death).
The community was great, there was lot of material for an incredible game. And basically that material is still there.
TDU just scratched the surface.

Go on HRose, make me dream!


P.S: Motor World Online (http://www.motorworldonline.net/). Indie project from MCO widows trying to recreate the legend and take us back online.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Soln on March 16, 2007, 09:39:27 AM
isn't Kart Rider and CT Racer already MMO's in Korea, with like, a million subs?  or something?


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Falconeer on March 16, 2007, 09:45:31 AM
Yes, in Korea. They even have a MMO about you there(the one about me is in pre-alpha state), Soln.
But as far as I know the racer ones are not translated yet.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: tmp on March 16, 2007, 12:59:15 PM
Imho racing games *shouldn't* be innovative. It's the same with the theme. You could build a sillier arcade-ish racing game like Mario Karts, but I believe that the more you move away from "classic" the less appeal the game will have.

Racing is racing. The fun is in the control of the car, realism, physics, sideslips, crashes. Being "innovative" means breaking the basic idea. Breaking the "myth" and perception that people share about a racing game.

In sports game you cannot be really innovative, at least if you don't consider innovation an attempt to more realism. You have to aim to something visceral that is faithful to the idea.
Well, to tackle your belief that less realism = less appeal, is Mario Karts less popular than "classic" racing games? I don't have any numbers at hand so this is genuine question. Personally was under impression the "fun" racing games aren't really doing any worse as far as player numbers go, than the hardcode simulations.

As far as innovations and sport goes, this is imo bogus. Sport is competition in setting determined by handful of artificial rules to begin with. There's nothing that made the original polo players say "but oh no, we cannot have a football match that's played riding horses rather than on foot". Even more to the point there's nothing that made the original car racers say "but oh no, we cannot race in cars, it's something that's been done on foot for centuries, that would no longer be sport". In similar manner there's nothing that says "no you cannot mount guns on the racing cars". Etc and so on.

For that matter, the Pangya game I linked is a nice sample how original rules of game (golf) can be adjusted to make it an entertaining casual game with a bit more twist to it than the basic "pick the club, set the angle and time the swing" deal.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: tmp on March 16, 2007, 01:15:07 PM
The fact that players like their avatar to be humanized isn't a good enough excuse.

How about "considerable amount of players won't play your game if it doesn't offer them what they like, affecting our bottom line", would that be good enough? Given you weight it against expenses that need to be made in order to include this sort of functionality.

The stance you take here sounds pretty close to "stupid people, they don't know what's good for them, game developers know better". Something that risks ending as turd that sinks few months after release because lot of developers don't actually know better, but merely project their own personal preferences into "this is what's going to make the game good".


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Kail on March 16, 2007, 04:32:29 PM
Imho racing games *shouldn't* be innovative. It's the same with the theme. You could build a sillier arcade-ish racing game like Mario Karts, but I believe that the more you move away from "classic" the less appeal the game will have.
Well, to tackle your belief that less realism = less appeal, is Mario Karts less popular than "classic" racing games? I don't have any numbers at hand so this is genuine question. Personally was under impression the "fun" racing games aren't really doing any worse as far as player numbers go, than the hardcode simulations.

As far as innovations and sport goes, this is imo bogus. Sport is competition in setting determined by handful of artificial rules to begin with. There's nothing that made the original polo players say "but oh no, we cannot have a football match that's played riding horses rather than on foot". Even more to the point there's nothing that made the original car racers say "but oh no, we cannot race in cars, it's something that's been done on foot for centuries, that would no longer be sport". In similar manner there's nothing that says "no you cannot mount guns on the racing cars". Etc and so on.

For that matter, the Pangya game I linked is a nice sample how original rules of game (golf) can be adjusted to make it an entertaining casual game with a bit more twist to it than the basic "pick the club, set the angle and time the swing" deal.

I agree.  There's nothing wrong with starting from where racing games are now and building from there, rather than trying to crank out Generic Racing Game number two thousand.  What kind of support do you have for the idea that a more unorthodox racing game would be unappealing?  In one post, it sounds like you're claiming that the only way this game will succeed is if it plays like a generic racing game, so that it will appeal to people who are already fans of racing games.  In the next post, you're complaining that the audience for generic racing games is too narrow.  I'm having trouble seeing how these two arguments would mesh.

For my own preference, I'd MUCH rather have some wierd, quirky, fun game, where I'm having swordfights on the back of my racing Chocobo or whatever, than the ten millionth iteration of Project Gotham.  There are already a lot of multiplayer car racing games to compete with, I'd think it would be a good idea to try and distance oneself as much as possible from the crowd.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Margalis on March 16, 2007, 05:26:37 PM
They think they are going to make the entire game in 9 months. Who cares? It's going to totally suck.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: DataGod on March 16, 2007, 06:02:06 PM
"2.  Making the gamer blame themselves 100% of the time when they fail, not the game or the design."

Here is the reasoning behind that: its a driving game, with in game advertising, its an MMOG, so you can expect the advertising to be served up dynamically in game, now what impression of the product will the skilless driver get about the game, the design, or the large flashy Coke billboard he rams into when his car flies out of control.....

Man this game sucks, and its designed badly, and Coke supports sucky badly designed games.....

No no the impression you want is:

Man Im a sucky driver, but I really like my car, and this game, Im a bit bummed I rammed into that Coke sign, the chick on that billboard is HAWT!

This is a marketing and advertising play. No more, no less.


 


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: pxib on March 16, 2007, 06:22:08 PM
Except that it's impossible.

Gamers never blame themselves 100% when they fail. Either they the game becaise it's awkward and unbalanced, or they blame the designers for making it too hard. Free games encourage people to stick with a losing proposition for longer than they might if they were charged monthly... hoping that their skill will improve, hoping that the designers change the awkward and unbalanced play scheme, hoping that things change. It's a rare player who, on leaving a game says "Wow, that was totally awesome... I wish I didn't suck and lose all the time."

If you want happy players to blame themselves make a COOPERATIVE game, not a COMPETATIVE one (a racing game, for example). In any competition somebody has to lose... in a cooperative game everyone can win. Make sure that something positive occurs even when a team does poorly, but offer more impressive rewards for improved scores. Players will continue to play because they continue to see character progression, and as their skills improve (both real and virtual) they have the opportunity to progress even faster and more efficiently. Plus bells and whistles.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: DataGod on March 16, 2007, 06:29:43 PM
oh dont get me wrong I totally agree with you, I was just providing a reference to what these people were thinking when they designed this.....


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: HRose on March 16, 2007, 07:10:13 PM
The stance you take here sounds pretty close to "stupid people, they don't know what's good for them, game developers know better". Something that risks ending as turd that sinks few months after release because lot of developers don't actually know better, but merely project their own personal preferences into "this is what's going to make the game good".
I haven't said anything remotely close to that.

I think it's better for a game to focus on its core gameplay than waste resources to add useless fluff. It's not fluff because it goes outside my preference, it is fluff because if you make a racing game then the racing is the core. And it's on the racing where I'd put all the resources to make that part as good as complete as possible.

If I HAVE TO add human avatars to a racing game so that more players can swallow it, then it was a bad idea to make a racing game in the first place. Because people aren't there for that racing game.

"Man, this racing game sucks!"
"Yeah, why can't I go out of the car and walk around?"

Do people complain because in Gran Turismo you cannot get out of the car and have a walk? And would it have sold better if you could?

I doubt it, because when people buy a racing game they want to race.

Moreover on a game supposed to be completed in 12 months or less you don't even remotely think about wasting time on that kind of fluff.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Falconeer on March 16, 2007, 07:37:02 PM
...sounds very much like Pangya (http://www.albatross18.com/season2/) ...

Thanks!
After Audition Dance Battle (http://www.auditionsea.com), another cheap, quick and FUN game from Korea. There are lots like these but the goods one are actually few. This golf game just monopolized my day. Pangya!


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: tmp on March 16, 2007, 09:14:15 PM
I think it's better for a game to focus on its core gameplay than waste resources to add useless fluff. It's not fluff because it goes outside my preference, it is fluff because if you make a racing game then the racing is the core. And it's on the racing where I'd put all the resources to make that part as good as complete as possible.

Well, but then maybe it's "fluff" only because you are taking very narrow look at what goes and what "should" go into the racing? For example even recent version of GTA you mentioned earlier utiliizes some very simple 'skill level' of player's character to determine how well each type of vehicle can be handled. And quite a few sport games use the mechanics where the player character attributes affect the performance together with the gear *and* player's own skills. Something (along with character skill improvement) pretty common in MMOs, for that matter.

It can be fluff but it can also be core part of the game. It's not predefined but it depends on how you assign your priorities.


Quote
If I HAVE TO add human avatars to a racing game so that more players can swallow it, then it was a bad idea to make a racing game in the first place. Because people aren't there for that racing game.

"Man, this racing game sucks!"
"Yeah, why can't I go out of the car and walk around?"

Alternatively, the players may simply want to have customized avatar that's actually shown in the victory sequence after race, in the ladder rating, player's profile etc _for the other players on the server to see_. They may want to spend time developing that character of car driver that's supposed to be 'them', because people are in the racing game and in any other game for two things -- to have fun while competing, and to be able to show others, "look at me for I'm the best". Note, "me" not "my car".

Perhaps somewhat related, Pirates of the Burning Sea was to be originally released with no player avatars, but just ships. That they actually delayed launch and decided to put customizable player avatars in from the get-go can be seen as some sort of indication just how much value players put in these "fluff" things.


Quote
Moreover on a game supposed to be completed in 12 months or less you don't even remotely think about wasting time on that kind of fluff.

Again, what's fluff and what isn't is decided by the design of the game, not the other way around. And while I don't believe they're going to pull that off in 12 months anyway, I also don't believe cutting the game down to some extremely limited functionality "because we can't afford to spend time on fluff so everything but barebones must go" would result in something any more interesting.

You can see for yourself: Live for Speed (http://www.liveforspeed.net/), internet racing game that focuses on simulation of racing cars and nothing but.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: HRose on March 16, 2007, 09:23:50 PM
One good thing I'm seeing about this Pangya is that it uses the kind of server travel I'm advocating. You can jump from server to server, but you never lose your character and progress. That's something I'd like to see in ALL mmorpgs.

Well, but then maybe it's "fluff" only because you are taking very narrow look at what goes and what "should" go into the racing? For example even recent version of GTA you mentioned earlier utiliizes some very simple 'skill level' of player's character to determine how well each type of vehicle can be handled. And quite a few sport games use the mechanics where the player character attributes affect the performance together with the gear *and* player's own skills. Something (along with character skill improvement) pretty common in MMOs, for that matter.

It can be fluff but it can also be core part of the game. It's not predefined but it depends on how you assign your priorities.
Nope, you didn't understand.

If you look above to what I wrote you'd see that I suggested myself to use an "avatar" with its own skills and character progress because I believe it's an important part. That's not fluff.

What I defined fluff is not the avatar himself as the player's identity, but a 3D engine supporting the avatar as a model that walks around, with clothes, emotes, environments and everything else. THAT's fluff that requires way too much work to be justified in a racing game. It's a sidetrack.

And in the case you have enough resources to afford to do all that, then it would make sense to broaden the scope of the game to be MORE than a racing game.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: tmp on March 16, 2007, 09:58:12 PM
What I defined fluff is not the avatar himself as the player's identity, but a 3D engine supporting the avatar as a model that walks around, with clothes, emotes, environments and everything else. THAT's fluff that requires way too much work to be justified in a racing game. It's a sidetrack.

Ahh okay then it's indeed misunderstanding on my part. I'd argue about the clothes thing since it can be seen as relatively easy to introduce part of character customization and micropayment source (and like pointed by others, one possible way to deal with the product placement) Environments though and stuff more intricate than AV being there to sit in the vehicle and drive plus optionally show in the profile window and such, I'd agree that goes well beyond scope unless the game takes really lot of liberty with the basic theme for some reason.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: HRose on March 17, 2007, 08:53:36 AM
Hey, that golf game is actually quite good :)

Let's talk something serious, how the hell it works exactly? I cannot understand what experience/ranks is used for. I also cannot understand the special shoots.

From what I see I can earn about 500 gold in about two hours. Is there any way to improve that? When you pass ranks you progressively earn more or what?

And to have your record sheet filling up are you forced into a 18 holes match?

The game is really quite good. Really fun, involving and accessible. Great graphic also, it's well done. The only problem is that there's not much to buy through the in-game money as 95% of what's available can only be purchased through RMT, and what isn't RMT can only be purchased with something like 100 hours /played (if I don't figure out ways to speed that up).

Without many actual "baits" I wonder about the longevity.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Falconeer on March 17, 2007, 10:12:23 AM
Yes it's pretty good.
To my understanding leveling is mainly meant for matchmaking purposes, as leagues and tournaments are level based. Of course there are items that require a certain level to be equipped/used and I read somewhere that by leveling you can actually increase your char stats. Not to mention that the XP awarding at the end of each match is done right. Good psychological carrot on a stick anyway.
I agree that the market needs more items. Audition Dance Battle does that right, it has more clothes I'll be ever able to wear and I spent an hour drooling on the high level dresses and outfits. It's especially strange that being this the "2nd season" of Pangya! the game still lacks a good amount of items, but of course that will be improved eventually.

On the money side, I guess winning tournament is a good way to make money (pangs) but yes the game relies on RMT so pangs (the money you can win just by playing) aren't so valuable as cookies (the money you can get by paying in real $$). More, I noticed lots of people use some kind of exploit to earn pangs, setting up matches for "hole in one". By setting and combining some items on certain holes and by filling the power gauge through forced mistakes they somehow manage to score a hole in one that pays about 500 pang for a 5 minutes job. Finally, if you log into the battle server, you can play betting pangs on every hole. Way to PvP!

Getting back to the avatar topic, I don't feel any need to move my avatar around "golf clubs" and dance with other players, so I could agree with you that it's an aspect that could be overlooked, especially in a tight budget game. Still, it's vital to have customizable avatars. You can skip the part where they stroll around, but you can't skip the part where you buy clothes and make it "you".
Test Drive Unlimited does this almost right, although there are not enough "screens" (like loading screens or lobbies in Pangya) to show yourself off. Motor City Online on the other hand showed your char around a lot, but didn't let you customize it at all after creation (where you could just choose one of the 10 or so premade characters and tint its clothes, so it was basically cloneworld).

Bottom line, in your racing game you have to at least go the Korean way. No need to stroll around, but let people spend money, time and drool over character items and looks (and yes you need a few animations for that, NO unibody and NO unianim).


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Venkman on March 17, 2007, 10:25:01 AM
You guys are, of course, familiar with Krazykart Racers right? That itself will be coming to the U.S. through MTV (when they picked up Audition and Maplestory as well). Your minds may be going towards PGR3, but I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't go that way at all, going more for the truly customizable kart-model that's been perfect for microtransactions so far. It's about light fun casual racing that casts as wide a net possible.

A game like that for this coming December is entirely feasible, depending on the amount of legwork already done. It's possible the tech and system have already been built, since they already know such things as server concurrency and group size. At this point, the "designer" role could simply be about content and minor features. I doubt anyone ever really thought this was going to be about some off-the-street armchair designer getting a shot at Creative Lead.

And to Hrose' point, there's not need for 3D Avatars walking around a 3D virtual space. If they have them at all, they could be a bit more like the Wii/Mii or Eve avatars, present as customizable self-identifiers, but relegated to dialog screens and whatnot. I'd certainly not waste time pulling an Auto Assault on any type of racing game, PGR or Mario Kart.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Falconeer on March 17, 2007, 10:42:48 AM
I know about Crazy Racing Kart Rider Darniaq and I can't wait to play it, but as far as I know it isn't available in English yet, right? (I tend to not play games I can't fully understand - EDIT: save for Yogurting. ).


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Venkman on March 17, 2007, 11:48:02 AM
Yea, as far as I know, MTV plans to deploy it State-side, localized, sometime towards the summer. Not sure if they're going to do it concurrent with whatever they rename Audition too, and with Maplestory, though. The experience itself is fairly straightfoward though. Western markets and MMOs microtrans haven't really been proven to mix much yet, but I think the approach has always been wrong.

You don't talk to us about anything we'd interpret as RMT, because we're trained by the idea of Effort = Time. You talk to the average mobile phone user who's been microtrans'd to death over the last few years, trained to pay extra for what they want. Then you offer them a game where stuff is so cheap it's almost stupid to spend the copious time it takes to get stuff the "legit" (to Western since-UO players), ignoring the cries of shock from the I've-been-here-since-Vision crowd which even with WoW is still, in the West, merely double of the niche it was prior.

That's where I see the parallels between this sort of game and Krazykart. It's sort of a Wii approach- Ignore the core either to let others fight over it or because there's a much bigger market out there waiting to be tapped. And, like the Wii, the potential would remain to be seen for some time.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: tmp on March 17, 2007, 01:51:01 PM
Hey, that golf game is actually quite good :)

Let's talk something serious, how the hell it works exactly? I cannot understand what experience/ranks is used for. I also cannot understand the special shoots.

It was quite a few months since I played it, but if I remember right your character has level indicated by rank. Depending how well you perform in matches, you earn experience points and advance in the rank. When it happens, you receive attributes points which you can spend to improve force of your swing, how much you can curve shots, accuracy and how effective your special shots are.

Because characters with higher rank have these attributes higher and thus are able to finish courses in less strokes, people typically indicate when they look for others to play with that they want to play with people of certain rank or above/below. The other way to measure performance is character sheet, as it stores your 'records' -- i.e. least amount of strokes you used to complete given course. So often there's request for say, players that used at least X shots to finish the course etc.

The special shots are used to pull off some more tricky maneuvers. For example, if you normally hit water, your ball will sink there. But if you manage to give the ball forward spin, when it hits the water it will skip across the surface a couple times. Sometimes it allows to cross distances that would otherwise require an extra shot. Another use are the strong curved shots which allow to clear 90+ degrees curves and such. Things like 'tomahawk' shot allow to place ball in a spot on tilted surface rather than have it roll down the slope. Or a more advanced application, you can combine tomahawk shot with spin back or spin forth to say, plant the ball on the green and then have it roll into the hole all in one stroke. There should be some examples in the movie section of their website, hopefully.


Quote
From what I see I can earn about 500 gold in about two hours. Is there any way to improve that? When you pass ranks you progressively earn more or what?

You earn the money depending on performance in the match. For example if you are lucky to hit the hole from large distance --using the special shots like mentioned above or simply through skill-- it can earn you 1000+ coins for that shot alone but this is rather rare. Then there's extra money for finishing course under par, having the ball roll farther on first shot than it would normally be possible, having the ball bounce off objects etc. There's also things like bonus for 'perfect' stroke i.e. hitting the ball right when the indicator passes the white mark (you get the 'pangya!' sound when it happens) ... generally you are paid more if you play in "impressive" way, landing the ball in hole with trick shots, managing to hit the hole with normal club rather than putter and sinking it straight rather than roll into it... stuff like that.

There's also special mode of play (battle?) which has up to 4 players compete and at the end of match the person who manages to finish in least strokes and hit closest to the final hole gets all the money while the others pay out of their pocket. But overall the money earning rate is rather steady, you are able to earn more as you advance through ranks simply because you are able to perform better on the courses with your improved attributes, gear and skill.


Quote
And to have your record sheet filling up are you forced into a 18 holes match?

Some of the fields in the record sheet indicate your performance in full matches so if you want to have these fields filled, then yes. But you can clear such match in 25-30 minutes once you become rather familiar with them, so it's not that much of a bother.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: HRose on March 17, 2007, 04:27:33 PM
The point is: why I'd care about Pangya money if the only thing I'm interested in (unlocking another char or another caddie) is deep buried after 100+ gaming hours I'll NEVER spend on a golf game?

These carrots are just not well spaced and granular. The only stuff I can buy are cheat items, and those cheat items are one-use, meaning that I could finish to spend for a match more than I earn.

It's like contradictory game design.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: tmp on March 17, 2007, 05:07:43 PM
The point is: why I'd care about Pangya money if the only thing I'm interested in (unlocking another char or another caddie) is deep buried after 100+ gaming hours I'll NEVER spend on a golf game?

These carrots are just not well spaced and granular. The only stuff I can buy are cheat items, and those cheat items are one-use, meaning that I could finish to spend for a match more than I earn.

It's like contradictory game design.
The 'cheat items' are priced low enough to make it very viable to use at least 4-6 of them per full match, sometimes more... simply because they allow you to pull off shots that gain you far more game money than skipping them. E.g. one of the courses is defined as 'par 5'. With a bit of skill it can be finished in 3 strokes. But using the power shot (presuming you had enough tactical sense to build up needed energy for last few courses) combined with the tomahawk shot and presumably one of the items that slow the swing indicator down to allow you pull off such maneuver... you can finish this course in two strokes or if you are good in single one. Something that earns you much more game money than cost of single powerup item.

There's a bit of risk factor to these items (they won't work 100% of time) but generally they aren't really contradictory, it's just matter of playing the game a few times and getting familiar with its abilities.

Also, there's a number of items which you can buy considerably faster than another character/caddy and that will grant enhancement to your character's attributes. Now I can't guess why you wouldn't be interested in these, but it's not exactly the carrots are as widely spaced as you make it sound -- you just choose to ignore some of them..?


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Falconeer on March 17, 2007, 07:30:33 PM
More on that. Characters are only buyable with pangs and you can only bet pangs (not cookies) on the battle server.
Rule of the thumb:

- Characters are unlocked with pangs
- All the other items are a mix of the two, same for caddies.

There's lots of stuff you can't actually buy with real $$ and have to sweat on the green to get.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: tmp on March 17, 2007, 07:53:29 PM
More on that. Characters are only buyable with pangs
I think you can actually use cookie points to buy character together with clothes/gear as single "set" item, while pangs are used to buy character alone without the gear/outfits. Maybe that changed since the time I played, though.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Falconeer on March 17, 2007, 09:22:06 PM
You are right, TMP.

EDIT: deleted useless stuff. It's late here and I am having visions.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: HRose on March 17, 2007, 09:36:49 PM
That's the real problem of RMT: the business model goes *against* the overall quality of the game.

Aside ethics that's the fact. RMT exist at the expense of gameplay while other business model aren't as counterproductive.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Azazel on March 17, 2007, 09:52:32 PM
This is going to be a fun game.

To watch.

From a safe distance.

(http://jeffwrightband.com//images/Train%20Wreck.jpg)


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: HRose on March 18, 2007, 01:34:36 AM
Uhm, someone can explain me the difference between this (http://www.albatross18.com/season2/) and this (http://www.pangyasea.com/)?


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Trippy on March 18, 2007, 01:51:00 AM
Uhm, someone can explain me the difference between this (http://www.albatross18.com/season2/) and this (http://www.pangyasea.com/)?
Same game, different name. Albatross18 is the US-named/version of PangYa.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Venkman on March 18, 2007, 08:45:19 AM
That's the real problem of RMT: the business model goes *against* the overall quality of the game.

Aside ethics that's the fact. RMT exist at the expense of gameplay while other business model aren't as counterproductive.
Legit-RMT is a legitimate business model. You can make a lot more money from a lot less players with microtrans, and that's important if you don't think your game is going to push EQ1 numbers, much less GW or WoW.

For example, nowhere near every Maplestory player actually buys all of their advancement in the game (it calculates out to be something like 2% of them), yet there's a lot of folks who like the game anyway. So the question isn't whether microtrans replaces flat-fee games. It's more about getting as many people in as possible through a free game and then collecting what cash you can from the relatively few that want to spend the money on it.

If they can pull that off, EVERYONE benefits. If not, they'll push like heck for microtrans because there's just more money to be made. But there'll always be the old school holdouts to fall back on, so it's all good.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Trippy on March 18, 2007, 09:04:06 AM
That's the real problem of RMT: the business model goes *against* the overall quality of the game.

Aside ethics that's the fact. RMT exist at the expense of gameplay while other business model aren't as counterproductive.
Legit-RMT is a legitimate business model. You can make a lot more money from a lot less players with microtrans, and that's important if you don't think your game is going to push EQ1 numbers, much less GW or WoW.
No, you can't, or at least they haven't figure out how to do that yet. I know you think Maple Story and RMT games are the greatest things since sliced bread but really, the economic model is still being developed. Let's take Maple Story as an example. It had over 50 million players world-wide in 2006, that's over 7x the size of WoW in 2006. It's monthly revenue back then was around US$16 million which is pretty nice but pales in comparison to the US$50 million or so a month WoW was making last year. To have made the same amount of money WoW was making Maple Story would've needed around 150 million players world-wide or more than 20x the number of players WoW had.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Venkman on March 18, 2007, 10:14:49 AM
Actually, to clarify, I don't particularly care for nor against RMT/microtransactions. I like flat-fee games because I don't like being nickled-and-dimed for things a good game would let me achieve. It's just a business model to consider objectively against the other forms out there (advergaming, ingame-ad supported, flat-fee, etc). Doesn't mean I like it or support it, but my opinion doesn't impact companies considering it either.

When discussing this sort of thing we need to consider more than just the number of subscribers, itself not a good direct comparison.

  • Maplestory did not cost anywhere near $75mil to create. You only need to download the client to see that :) This is one part of the cumulative set of reasons they can offer the client for free and have no monthly fee.
  • It does not cost anywhere near $14.99 per account to keep running. Nor does WoW of course, but WoW as a game of content delivered in that form is way more expensive to support and continue to expand than Maplestory.
  • 50mil vs 8.5mil doesn't matter. The former is at best eyeballs to show off for ad-space sales. The latter is immediately split between money directed to VUG per account and a royalty they collect from The9. Both are fairly similar game play experiences, though visually they couldn't be more different (well, ok, if MS was dos-based, maybe). And yet, both games are hugely successful in their own rights.

The point isn't how much money Nexon is making vs how much money Blizzard makes. It's how much profit both make versus the effort to get that. This is the sort of thing a lot of companies are looking at. The way to look at this would be other things like Habbo, Club Penguin, Webkinz, Miuchiz Monsterz, and so on. You know as well as I every MMO is not going to be for the Lum-diaspora crowd, and therefore shouldn't be viewed in that same light.

WoW raised the bar beyond the height many companies could reach, so they've got no choice but to look for different ways of making their own money grabs. Blizzard/VUG spent a great deal more than most companies would have the stomach to spend "taking a chance" on what was otherwise considered an extremely niche market. But they also had many advantages others didn't nor still have.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Trippy on March 18, 2007, 10:33:43 AM
Once again you are dodging the issue that you brought up when somebody refutes it. What a surprise.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: tmp on March 18, 2007, 10:44:49 AM
Uhm, someone can explain me the difference between this (http://www.albatross18.com/season2/) and this (http://www.pangyasea.com/)?
"SEA" in the name stands for South Eastern Asia. It's like WoW Europe and WoW US, just for different world regions. The SEA version may be a few iterations ahead of the Western version (Albatross 18) and different versions sometimes introduce different, region-specific content... but they use the same code overall.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Venkman on March 18, 2007, 10:56:44 AM
Once again you are dodging the issue that you brought up when somebody refutes it. What a surprise.

Here we go again. You want me to say you're right? Fine:

Quote from: Trippy
To have made the same amount of money WoW was making Maple Story would've needed around 150 million players world-wide or more than 20x the number of players WoW had.
You're right.

But what's the point of that comparison? It's irrelevant. Maplestory is not up against WoW and vice versa. Would Nexon like$150mil a month? Sure! Do they need it?

The games cost nowhere near the same to create nor run. They collect money a completely different way. Both have grown. Both continue to exist. Both are not going anywhere anytime soon which means both are extremely profitable. Will MS work in the West as well as WoW did? There's no clean way of comparing. "Number of accounts" doesn't tell us shit. It's about the profit and the needs to achieve them and the willingness and capabilities of the companies behind them to leverage the advantages they have. That's not dodging. That's fact descriptive of why "MMO" is more than "they're trying to be like EQ1 or UO". Those days are dead and buried.

Now, if that doesn't cover it, what am I dodging?


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Secundo on March 18, 2007, 06:44:56 PM
I was just thinking that maybe this isnt about developing a game at all.. Maybe it's just a twist or spinoff off the crappy tv shows that seems to be popular these days, like hell's kitchen, american idol etc.. Ie the content is of secondary concern as long as it brings in a lot of innocent young viewers.

It does seem a bit weird to choose mmo development for this, since I would think that is still very niche, but after the success of WoW, who knows what the marketing people are thinking?



Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Kail on March 18, 2007, 07:19:03 PM
I was just thinking that maybe this isnt about developing a game at all.. Maybe it's just a twist or spinoff off the crappy tv shows that seems to be popular these days, like hell's kitchen, american idol etc.. Ie the content is of secondary concern as long as it brings in a lot of innocent young viewers.

The one minor flaw with this scheme is that none of this is being filmed.  And if I was trying to attract innocent, young veiwers, I wouldn't do it with, y'know, this "document your source code, TO THE XTREME" kind of thing.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: KallDrexx on March 18, 2007, 07:28:35 PM
I was just thinking that maybe this isnt about developing a game at all.. Maybe it's just a twist or spinoff off the crappy tv shows that seems to be popular these days, like hell's kitchen, american idol etc.. Ie the content is of secondary concern as long as it brings in a lot of innocent young viewers.

It does seem a bit weird to choose mmo development for this, since I would think that is still very niche, but after the success of WoW, who knows what the marketing people are thinking?

It's an interesting notion except for one problem.  Money is being pumped to make this game but there has to be a solid product at the end to make any money off of it. 


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Secundo on March 18, 2007, 08:36:31 PM
Yeah I know, I don't really believe in my(crappy) idea either but after seeing what is out there on tv at this very monent I can't just leave it.. There is far worse ideas being realised as we type this hehe..  The interest of this show wouldnt be the coding or any of the technical stuff of course... It would focus on the drama between the lead designer, his team and the rabid fanboys!.

Now.. Don't tell me that some semi-talented holllywoodite couldnt make a show out of this?


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: HRose on March 22, 2007, 01:07:09 AM
Bwahahaha. This is going to be fun to watch. Latest news on the project is that the game won't have any testers nor QA.

How? The players will do that work for free, of course:
Quote
“Normally, you pay 20 or 30 people to test a game for six months. You give them office space. You buy computers for them. It’s a huge cost. Instead, we decided to include the community every single chance we get, so all the testing is done by consumers. They test everything 100%.”
And bots!
Quote
“With advanced self testing, the games play themselves. With automated testing the bot will try to go in every possible direction and in every room, every day, in every part of your game, trying to get up through the ceilings and everything.”
*chuckle*


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Trippy on March 22, 2007, 02:32:36 AM
Quote
“With advanced self testing, the games play themselves. With automated testing the bot will try to go in every possible direction and in every room, every day, in every part of your game, trying to get up through the ceilings and everything.”
*chuckle*
Actually that's useful. There's a similar technique used for testing code where something generates semi-random "garbage" inputs to check how resilient your program is to bad data.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Falconeer on March 22, 2007, 03:55:01 AM
Wondering if you'll be able to RMT-purchase one of those bots once (?) the thing will go live.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Kail on March 27, 2007, 10:01:50 PM
Project forums are live, allegedly:

http://phpbb.acclaim.com/topsecret/index.php (http://phpbb.acclaim.com/topsecret/index.php)

Quote
WOW!

We emailed our TOP SECRET development team to tell them our forums are now officially open.

The response has been so amazing the servers are struggling to handle the pressure! What a great problem to have! Don't worry we have plenty more hardware to bring on line, so please check back soon.

- The Acclaim Team.

Yay, the server is crashing!  It's like some magical, happy dream, or something (?).

Also:

Quote
I'm going to personally hire someone full-time right out of the forums, in
the first week!   I've posted details of how to be spotted.

Uh, okay, so, the forums are going to be working before the end of the week, then....?  Maybe? 


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Venkman on March 28, 2007, 09:15:45 AM
Oh come on guys, can how can 23,000 budding developers all be wrong (http://mmorpg.qj.net/Not-so-secret-anymore-Top-Secret-is-a-racing-MMO-game/pg/49/aid/87401)...  :roll:

(as an aside, is Qj.net the most annoying news aggregator going, or is it just me?)


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: HRose on March 29, 2007, 05:10:33 AM
I gave a quick glance at the forum and while there are plenty of crazy ideas there are sometimes glimpses of something nice.

For example what about a game where you start with an "egg".

This is already a winning concept: what is inside the egg? A surprise! This is game design, people like surprises.

So say you start the game with this egg. Maybe you can choose the "color" of the egg, like a general preference. As you start the game you would have already something unique. Your creature will have generated stats that will likely differs from the stats of other creatures that other players have. And then you can pull a "Harvest Moon" and breed things, mix genes and things like that.

This concept of "surprise" after all is the ESSENCE of Diablo's success, as Shild would admit. The loot is a prize and the loot is a surprise (generated stats). The monster or the race you win is the box to open. Viva pinata :)

After all concepts like this one sell games.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Falconeer on March 29, 2007, 12:09:48 PM
An egg with a surprise in it? Without the need to be blasphemous and invoke Easter, I'd say it has been analogically (as opposed to digitally) done already:

(http://www.cinaoggi.com/ovetto-web/001.jpg)

Are you sure that "this is game design"?


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: pxib on September 11, 2007, 01:38:49 PM
NECROOOO POOOOOST

They've got a design document (http://www.videogameteam.com/wiki/index.php?title=Design_Doc_Sept_2007).

It's going to be a beast breeding/training/racing game. Now they want the modding community to do some work for them (http://www.videogameteam.com/modcenter/). They're offering prizes... and they'll license any engine the winner wants them to.


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: tmp on September 15, 2007, 11:12:32 AM
It's going to be a beast breeding/training/racing game. Now they want the modding community to do some work for them (http://www.videogameteam.com/modcenter/).
Quote
The Visual Style:
Some form of Anime… We’re looking for originality.
Good one  :-D


Title: Re: Be your own boss, make that MMO!
Post by: Yegolev on September 17, 2007, 11:00:49 AM
Without thinking about it too hard, they should probably use TADS.