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Author Topic: Raph Gone Wild  (Read 44211 times)
Margalis
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Reply #35 on: September 11, 2006, 05:55:58 PM

God this thread is full of useless analogies.

The only reason I want the cheerleader at my table is so I can stare at her tits. That's it.

The problem with these examples games is that they are all very simple, mostly suck, and are mostly aimed at 13-year-olds. That's not what I look for in games. At least SL has a relatively mature audience supposedly.

"Inviting everyone to the table" is another way of saying "aim for the lowest common denominator." That doesn't appeal to me at all. I don't want every game to be Tetris and Habbo Hotel and Nintendogs.

---

As far as designing a world up front, both of you are basically right. You at least need to have the core considerations in place. Maybe you don't have to code them all but you have to get a certain amount in and leave room for the rest. Player housing is actually a pretty easy one to add later if you instance it, but things like basic economy you can't just throw in later. It just depends on the feature and the scope. You couldn't go into WoW and change the monster spawning to work the way it did in UO for example, or add in player housing that took up real space.

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
Raph
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Reply #36 on: September 11, 2006, 06:23:33 PM

God this thread is full of useless analogies.

The only reason I want the cheerleader at my table is so I can stare at her tits. That's it.

The problem with these examples games is that they are all very simple, mostly suck, and are mostly aimed at 13-year-olds. That's not what I look for in games. At least SL has a relatively mature audience supposedly.

"Inviting everyone to the table" is another way of saying "aim for the lowest common denominator." That doesn't appeal to me at all. I don't want every game to be Tetris and Habbo Hotel and Nintendogs.

Nobody is saying that every game has to be Tetris. But the converse is NO games being Tetris. You don't think EA would ever greenlight Tetris, do you?

You also seem to be saying that Tetris sucks. Do you really think that?
Krakrok
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Reply #37 on: September 11, 2006, 06:24:04 PM

Edit: Most game devs want to work on something they can be proud of, something they might play themselves. If people are geniunely inspired to work on MySpace with apartment graphics then more power to them I guess, most most game devs (or programmers in general for that matter) aren't interested. And I don't see why they would be.

I disagree.

You're saying building a server platform that handles 70 million people isn't inspiring and certainly wouldn't be inspiring to game developers or any developer? Somehow because 'game' programmers have a Z variable and use random() to roll fake dice they are somehow super inspired to program on games only?

Use Shockwave 3D (which handles 3k people per server), take 'The Sims 2' + Second Life (house design + 3D crap whatever), allow a Myspace user to embed that on or through their existing 2D page. People that visit the page 'enter' the house/building with their avatard. Connect the housing grid via a Grand Theft Auto 3esq system (which would be more of a physics playground and NOT a travel mechanism). No grinds, no levels, no bullshit, no pvp. Impliment their music angle into it. Tack on the IMVU content creation/selling system. And somehow that wouldn't be inspiring to a game developer? I'm not buying it.

Myspace is mainstream, GTA is mainstream, The Sims is mainstream, Need for Speed (racing) is mainstream, Madden 2523 is mainstream. I don't use or play any of that shit but there are plenty of people using/playing/building it because for big companies mainstream is where the money is at.

WindupAtheist
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Reply #38 on: September 11, 2006, 07:57:26 PM

I'm just really disappointed you've chosen to go this way, Raph.  I still play UO to this day.  And SWG... well... at least it tried to be something besides yet another Diku, and kind of succeeded for a few years.  Now that you're a free agent, I was hoping you'd end up concocting a sort of final summary of your previous designs, a big grandiose sandboxy RPG.  Minus the naive mistakes of UO and the SOE/LA fuckups of SWG.  I was hoping you'd take whatever it was you were trying to do with your first two games and finally get it right.

Instead you're extolling the virtues of a bunch of faggoty advertising-driven shit, sold by cartoon and cereal and soda vendors, and played by children.  Good luck with that, I won't be paying attention.  Nor will I weep when Pardo throws a half-empty Slurpee at you from the window of his solid-gold Lamborghini and screams "Habbo Hotel my ass, Holocron!  Bwahaha!"

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to kill titans in Despise.  I finally hit 7xGM for the first time ever.  I usually swap out skills and tinker around before reaching this point.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2006, 09:45:23 PM by WindupAtheist »

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Engels
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Reply #39 on: September 11, 2006, 08:25:53 PM

I'm a bit dissapointed too. I had this image of Raph as Fox Mulder, constantly dogged by corporate moguls who tried make his sandboxy vision more marketable, his attempts to reach his gaming nirvana thwarted. Turns out that perhaps he simply was the Smoking Man all along.

I should get back to nature, too.  You know, like going to a shop for groceries instead of the computer.  Maybe a condo in the woods that doesn't even have a health club or restaurant attached.  Buy a car with only two cup holders or something.

-Signe

I LIKE being bounced around by Tonkors. - Lantyssa

"let go of my dick you mother fucker!"  - Jimbo
Margalis
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Reply #40 on: September 11, 2006, 09:17:50 PM

Nobody is saying that every game has to be Tetris. But the converse is NO games being Tetris. You don't think EA would ever greenlight Tetris, do you?

You also seem to be saying that Tetris sucks. Do you really think that?

But we have Tetris. The system worked. We have The Sims, we have Nintendogs.

As far as Tetris sucking, I would never pay a dime for it. Is that a valid answer? Its great in the same way windows solitaire is great.

Quote from: Krakrok
You're saying building a server platform that handles 70 million people isn't inspiring and certainly wouldn't be inspiring to game developers or any developer? Somehow because 'game' programmers have a Z variable and use random() to roll fake dice they are somehow super inspired to program on games only?

Your Sims 2 + SL sounds kind of cool. I'm pointing out that most devs want to make games that would appeal to themselves. That's the same reason video game women have big boobs. Most devs aren't interested in playing games that appeal to 11-year-olds. Some are. If that game has a lot of cool technology sure, I can see that. If the game appeals to people older than 11 then again, I can see that.

Habbo Hotel? That's not the game you are describing.

Personally I would work on something because the subject matter interested me, or the technology interested me. Habbo has neither. Tetris for that matter has neither. MySpace? Neither.

SL seems somewhat interesting to me, it appeals to my inner nerd. Making your own content, that's cool. It's creative. I'm not sure if SL is a great game but it might be fun to work on. Habbo? Never. CokeMusic? Give me a fucking break. Just the name makes me want to vomit.

Why don't devs pay more attention to Habbo Hotel and RuneScape? Because most devs don't play them and don't want to. It really is that simple.

Quote from: WUA
Instead you're extolling the virtues of a bunch of faggoty advertising-driven shit, sold by cartoon and cereal and soda vendors, and played by children.

What's wrong WUA, you don't want to play "Adventures of Flakey the Frosted Flake guest starring Tony the Tiger"? It's a free web-based game with revenue based on Olsen Twin clothing ads.

Divine.

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
Slyfeind
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Reply #41 on: September 11, 2006, 11:32:35 PM

If I was a developer, I'd want to design a cross between Gametap and MySpace. THAT would be the penultimate in gaming. Not WoW, not UO, not even SL or Habbo or whatever. You know how people on YouTube get their own profile where they host videos? Give those people game development tools. Holy crap, I get giddy every time I think of the madness.

UO is great fun, even at ten years old. I still play ATITD and WoW alike. Played 'em both today, in fact. The market is still there. People want worldy-games and gamey-games. But geez, preferences vary widely among players and devs alike. Not everyone has the same tastes.

"Role playing in an MMO is more like an open orchestra with no conductor, anyone of any skill level can walk in at any time, and everyone brings their own instrument and plays whatever song they want.  Then toss PvP into the mix and things REALLY get ugly!" -Count Nerfedalot
Krakrok
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Reply #42 on: September 12, 2006, 12:10:33 AM


Game devs build wackafoozles because that's what they know how to do. Internet people build web browsery community shit because that's what they know how to do. And brand marketing people make shit like CokeMusic.

There is limited crossover between 'gamedev' and 'internet people' old boy's clubs. And marketing people whore out their flash dev to anyone that will take their money.

Quote
If I was a developer, I'd want to design a cross between Gametap and MySpace. THAT would be the penultimate in gaming. Not WoW, not UO, not even SL or Habbo or whatever. You know how people on YouTube get their own profile where they host videos? Give those people game development tools. Holy crap, I get giddy every time I think of the madness.

Wasn't that what the the Xbox game studio thing was suppost to be? Instead it was some libraries for an IDE. What a joke.

Tale
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Reply #43 on: September 12, 2006, 04:28:52 AM

Yoru (with money hat)

He gets the Hunter S Thompson award for the "press hat" look.

"The more we talk about less important things, the less we talk about more important things."
Tahz
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Reply #44 on: September 12, 2006, 05:34:54 AM

Tetris does suck.  I'm okay with no games being Tetris.

WindupAthiest, Margalis, and Engels said everything I've been thinking and said it better.  I used to read every word written by Raph that I could find because of his design work on UO, the greatest game of all time.  Now he just makes me sad.

I guess what bothers me about this is the trend toward larger aggregation of companies, budgets and dev talent, and that a few houses are going to scoop up more or less all of the biggest talent.  If my only two choices are another iteration of [Warcraft- Everquest-Counterstrike and the like] or some goofy Myspace-portal-esque shit, I'll take the former, thanks.
theliel
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Reply #45 on: September 12, 2006, 08:14:24 AM

Wow. Flashbacks Ahoi captian.

It's just like the late nineties/oaughts in table top.

the thing is either all the differnt pepole that arn't playing now will find a game/genre where everyone enhances the experince (optimum goal) OR will grow the market sufficently that you niche guys can be supported in luxuroy. because if there's a huge market developers and people looking for funding can say "well, we're just going to be niche. but 1% of a 20 billion dollar a year industry is still 200m a year..."

It's like the guys who wailed and gnashed teeth about white wolf. or magic. or any of the other new 'not really games'. Because the hard core guys were being margilinalized and niche-ified. which sucks, but is ok if the market can grow enough, because then you're niche, but your niche is bigger than it was back when you were main stream....
Raph
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Reply #46 on: September 12, 2006, 08:52:13 AM

Interesting. There seem to be all these assumptions that I am going off to make ChatSpace3. I'm not. Whatver I make, there's going to be a game -- even one you'd call "a real game" -- involved. This talk was about predicting business trends -- and it wasn't about whether I liked them, it was about observing.

I happen to think that there's room for all sorts of games in that climate. Habbo and puzzle games are mammals in this view, but so are Eve and Runescape.
Llava
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Reply #47 on: September 12, 2006, 08:56:42 AM

Yoru (with money hat)

He gets the Hunter S Thompson award for the "press hat" look.

We got hold of some oversized sunglasses later on, took some pictures with them.  Though I don't have them, someone does.

That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell. -Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
Engels
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Reply #48 on: September 12, 2006, 09:35:40 AM

This talk was about predicting business trends -- and it wasn't about whether I liked them, it was about observing.

With your acumen, the more you point out retarded business trends, the more you involuntarily perpetuate them. I can only draw the conclusion that you've somehow lost the will to fight for the game. Not to say I can blame ya, I too would be disheartened after the LA/SOE disaster.

That said, I think you might have too much time on your hands if you're coming up with market strategies for bloodless business men instead of putting your actual creative talents to good use. Will you be hired on right away as the lead dev by some top end company? Probably not, but I think you'd be happier even as second fiddle in a dev team than trying on this new cloak as internet gaming business consultant.

 

I should get back to nature, too.  You know, like going to a shop for groceries instead of the computer.  Maybe a condo in the woods that doesn't even have a health club or restaurant attached.  Buy a car with only two cup holders or something.

-Signe

I LIKE being bounced around by Tonkors. - Lantyssa

"let go of my dick you mother fucker!"  - Jimbo
Margalis
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Reply #49 on: September 12, 2006, 09:45:12 AM

Raph needs to hook up with a competent project manager and make something awesome. Seriously - Raph + competent project management = gold.

As far as predicting trends goes, I agree that at some point predicting actually becomes encouraging. I've heard Raph mention Habbo Hotel more than everyone else in the world combined. I'd never even heard of CokeMusic before. Now I know about them and so do a bunch of moronic money-grubbers.

To me asking "what can we learn from Runescape and Habbo Hotel?" is like asking "what can we learn from Pokemon the Movie 4?" when you are Stanley Kubrick.
---

I enjoy this unholy alliance I've forged with WUA. We seem to agree on a lot of things. Twins separated at birth?

Which one is the evil one?

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
Raph
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Reply #50 on: September 12, 2006, 11:01:00 AM

This talk was about predicting business trends -- and it wasn't about whether I liked them, it was about observing.

With your acumen, the more you point out retarded business trends, the more you involuntarily perpetuate them. I can only draw the conclusion that you've somehow lost the will to fight for the game. Not to say I can blame ya, I too would be disheartened after the LA/SOE disaster.

That said, I think you might have too much time on your hands if you're coming up with market strategies for bloodless business men instead of putting your actual creative talents to good use. Will you be hired on right away as the lead dev by some top end company? Probably not, but I think you'd be happier even as second fiddle in a dev team than trying on this new cloak as internet gaming business consultant.

Heh, I am not doing consulting. The talk is the outgrowth of watching trends for the last few years at SOE, where I was in a position high enough to see all the business stuff flying about.

You should be hearing about what I am doing very soon.
Signe
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Reply #51 on: September 12, 2006, 11:23:13 AM

What ever you do, don't get a job.  You've been looking so happy lately!  Being a lay-about seems to suit you.

My Sig Image: hath rid itself of this mortal coil.
Slyfeind
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Reply #52 on: September 12, 2006, 02:28:28 PM

Tetris does suck.  I'm okay with no games being Tetris.

Nintendo, however, would NOT be okay with that.

Quote
I guess what bothers me about this is the trend toward larger aggregation of companies, budgets and dev talent, and that a few houses are going to scoop up more or less all of the biggest talent.  If my only two choices are another iteration of [Warcraft- Everquest-Counterstrike and the like] or some goofy Myspace-portal-esque shit, I'll take the former, thanks.

I think that's the big thing here. We've been given fun toys to play with, with UO and EQ and whatnot. Now all of our providers-of-fun seem to be looking at Gaia Online with yen-symbols in their eyes. We see Raph Koster playing Second Life. We hear Garriott say the biggest mistake of UO was the low monthly fee. (Yeah, I love the guy, but he's never gonna live that down.)

We look at this seemingly bleak future of gaming and wonder, "What about UO2?"

And they give us Runescape.

"Role playing in an MMO is more like an open orchestra with no conductor, anyone of any skill level can walk in at any time, and everyone brings their own instrument and plays whatever song they want.  Then toss PvP into the mix and things REALLY get ugly!" -Count Nerfedalot
Prospero
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Reply #53 on: September 12, 2006, 05:51:24 PM

Why all the hate for simple things in this thread? Are people too cool for Tetris? Too mature for MySpace? I'm not saying either is digital jesus, but it seems naive to dismiss them out of hand. I wouldn't necessarily want to play 'MySpace the Game', but it doesn't mean designers shouldn't look for interesting design ideas that could be pulled into games. From what I've seen, while it may be the game that draws people into MMOs, it is the community that makes them stay. There certainly seem to be strong parallels between MMOs and MySpace when it comes to building community.


I take it back Tetris DS is digital jesus. I Heart  push Tetris.
Bunk
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Reply #54 on: September 13, 2006, 12:09:09 AM

I really don't see any reason to bemoan Raph admiring Second Life. It has aspects that are pretty damn impressive, unfortunately it's a little too technical for the average person. If you took the flexibility of someting like Second Life an applied it to a game with well defined rules and goals, well you  might get a Sims Onine that doesn't suck.

It has issues - it's pure sandbox, player designed content is the only content, and that just won't appeal to the masses. The average masses want a game to tell them what they are supposed to do.

On the other hand, it has a working economy, because anything you want to put in to the game costs you a micropayment. You make those micro payments back buy selling to or charging other players. And of course it's real attraction is the built in ability to add content, but not just add - to also program it. It isn't quite the Tower of Babel in Snowcrash yet, but its the closest thing out there currently.

If you want to build a giant 3d tetris theme park in game you can (if you have enough real estate). Or, you can run around with a penis for a head, if thats really your thing. Thing is though, the game is niche enough that it doesn't attract the penis head crowd much.

That's the tricky part to me - at what point does your inovative game become too accessable? At what point do the Dread Lords and azzrapers show up? Or even worse, at what point do the azzrapers run in to Grandma looking to play hearts with people?

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Simond
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Reply #55 on: September 13, 2006, 03:25:42 AM

Why the sudden rush towards the mainstream anyway?

The video games market is more profitable than movie-making - why throw all that away to make badly-rended internet versions of chat lines with game&watch-level subgames bolted on the side?

Why not just innovate within what's making people money-hats at the moment?

"You're really a good person, aren't you? So, there's no path for you to take here. Go home. This isn't a place for someone like you."
Tahz
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Reply #56 on: September 13, 2006, 06:48:47 AM

Why the sudden rush towards the mainstream anyway?

The video games market is more profitable than movie-making - why throw all that away to make badly-rended internet versions of chat lines with game&watch-level subgames bolted on the side?

Why not just innovate within what's making people money-hats at the moment?

I'm with you.  I notice that now when players talk about game features, they always throw around terms like 'return on investment' and 'profitability' and 'appealing to a wider audience'.  That makes sense if you're a marketer or investor, but like WindupAtheist said, I'm a consumer, not an investor.  As an ordinary player, these things mean fuck-all to me.  People use 'niche' like it's a dirty word and condemn an idea because it wouldn't appeal to six million people simultaneously or make the company a gazillion dollars.  Just because an idea is profitable in the short run doesn't mean it isn't lame.

I really could give a shit if six million other people like the game I'm playing.  If a game has 100,000 players, that's a shitload of people to me, a single player.  I'll never meet all 100,000 people, so that's more than enough of a community for me.  Now at this point, here comes the refrain of "A big dev house such as EA would consider that a failure, and it would cost more than it would return."  Maybe they shouldn't exist any more, then, and somebody smaller who can make that work should give it a try.  'Inviting more people to the table' is a hideous concept because it implies that we're going to change the nature of what we play to please these newcomers, who may or may not even be attracted to the half-ass concoction that is created to try to please everybody.  If I sit at the table to play the board game Risk, I'm there to play Risk, not Checkers or Hearts or Poker.  If I only have 2 other people and myself to play Risk, and I'd really like a 5-player game, then two other people are more than welcome to join our group at any time - to play RISK.  I would not welcome them to sit down, and tell us other people "You know what, let's play Poker instead."  I am here to play Risk, first and foremost, and the people with whom I play it are incidental and secondary, brought together by our common desire to play Risk. 
Soln
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Reply #57 on: September 13, 2006, 06:59:23 AM

are these casual/web-MMO's really sustainable?  from Raph's talk all games are becoming consummable, which makes sense.  So wouldn't this crop of Web 2.0-like games be the first that are dismissed?  It's just hard to see something like Runescape as nothing more than a fad.  But then I see MySpace as a fad, since in about 4 years its members will either be graduating college or high school or middle school and may be on to the next thing.

I just wonder how many of these games are played at home.  Or in other words, how many of these games are sustained, private place play vs. at the library, in the cube, on the bus, whatever?  I can see people devoting hours to Tetris or Runescape or Minesweeper-- you can get immersed in anything.  But it feels like a lot of these games are just like DiceWars -- people are goofing off at places like work or school where they shouldn't be and filling it with a game instead of web browsing or IM.  And that doesn't allow for long-term subscriptions, but may allow for micro-payments or pay-and-play.  But it also doesn't easily allow for that game to be sustainable long-term.

The thing about MMO's as designers have said elswhere and Ubiq and Gordon Wallton both said independently at the AGC is that they "reward devotion (and not skill)".  People pay subscriptions partly as a way of rewarding themselves or putting a little more faith in a title or provider.  I just don't get how designers are going to balance that need for gamers' desire for dedication with designs that may be disposable but yet somehow still sustaining prolonged play.


« Last Edit: September 13, 2006, 07:03:13 AM by Soln »
HaemishM
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Reply #58 on: September 13, 2006, 08:16:16 AM

Why the sudden rush towards the mainstream anyway?

The video games market is more profitable than movie-making - why throw all that away to make badly-rended internet versions of chat lines with game&watch-level subgames bolted on the side?

Why not just innovate within what's making people money-hats at the moment?

No, it's not. Really. The videogames market isn't more PROFITABLE, it just makes more revenue than first-run Hollywood movies. The movies are probably making more profit, because they have about 5 or 6 different channels for revenue after the movie has been removed from first-run theater status. They can sell DVD's, pay-per-view, rental DVD's, broadcast rights to both pay channels like HBO as well as network and syndication broadcast rights, and that's not even counting merchandising like posters, t-shirts and other useless shit. Video games? Most get the first run shelf in retail, and that's it. The better selling ones get either expansions or reissue versions, if they sell really well they get sequels, and if really popular they might get collected editions and merchandising. But unfortunately, the DEVELOPERS get very little of all that money. The publisher and the retailer are the one cleaning up, while the creator of the game if lucky gets enough to make another game.

MMOG's can certainly up that profit potential, but at a huge risk of financial loss.

Until this upside down world of economics gets fixed by things like digital distritbution, the video game industry is fucked for all but the big fish publishers.

Slyfeind
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Reply #59 on: September 13, 2006, 12:14:15 PM

If I sit at the table to play the board game Risk, I'm there to play Risk, not Checkers or Hearts or Poker.  If I only have 2 other people and myself to play Risk, and I'd really like a 5-player game, then two other people are more than welcome to join our group at any time - to play RISK.  I would not welcome them to sit down, and tell us other people "You know what, let's play Poker instead."  I am here to play Risk, first and foremost, and the people with whom I play it are incidental and secondary, brought together by our common desire to play Risk.

That pretty much describes my gaming nights growing up. "Hey guys I got Oriental Adventures, let's make a bunch of dragon-slaying NINJAS!" "No wait, the new Talisman expansion came out." "SHUT UP WE'RE PLAYING STAR WARS!"

(everybody gets their Star Wars characters, some people roll up new ones, then half an hour later)

"Holy crap I'm drunk! Let's go bash mailboxes!"

I had more fun with who I was playing with, rather than the game I was playing. Gaming to me was what I did with my friends. Sometimes we did other stuff, but usually we gamed. We were always expanding our gang of wild-n-crazy D&D nerds, but...I wouldn't want to play a game with people I didn't know, no matter how much I liked the game.

"Role playing in an MMO is more like an open orchestra with no conductor, anyone of any skill level can walk in at any time, and everyone brings their own instrument and plays whatever song they want.  Then toss PvP into the mix and things REALLY get ugly!" -Count Nerfedalot
Signe
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Reply #60 on: September 13, 2006, 12:33:12 PM

"Holy crap I'm drunk! Let's go bash mailboxes!"

I'm up for it!  Let's meet at the Tastee Freeze!!

My Sig Image: hath rid itself of this mortal coil.
Morfiend
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Reply #61 on: September 13, 2006, 03:35:03 PM

To me asking "what can we learn from Runescape and Habbo Hotel?" is like asking "what can we learn from Pokemon the Movie 4?" when you are Stanley Kubrick.


I totally agree with Raph on this one. It seems to me a lot of people in this thread are saying "Give me the game I want" but what Raph is saying is, "MONEY HATS... THIS SHIT IS MONEY HATS IF SOME ONE GETS IT RIGHT". We dont have to like it, but there is it, and thats what producers and publishers want.
Did you know the two guys who invented myspace sold it for 56 million. Think how mucu money could be made if you could get all the people on myspace to pay $5 a month.
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Reply #62 on: September 13, 2006, 03:59:07 PM

Lest we forget, in the "Age of the Dinosaurs" talk Raph also talked about the viability of niche titles.  One way to make a money hat is to make one big something that appeals to the lowest common denominator; another way is to get lots of little specialized somethings and gather them all together so that there's something there for everyone.  He brought up the example of Netflix aggregating a bunch of "niche" DVDs that only get rented once a month each, but when summed together make more money than you'd get by just stocking blockbusters.

Those cool innovative games that game developers want to make and that we want to play?  Those are the little somethings, like the Netflix DVDs that nobody else wants to rent.  There's plenty of room for them too.

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Reply #63 on: September 13, 2006, 04:06:34 PM

Im not saying there is no room for them, or that they shouldnt be made. Im just pointing out to the people yelling at Raph that there is a HUGE amount of money to be made for the person who gets the social network/game done right.
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Reply #64 on: September 13, 2006, 05:18:26 PM

I was aiming that more at the folks who are concerned that Raph wants to dilute our pure gaming experience with Myspace features.  His recommendation to pursue lots of niche-driven targets is in fact the exact opposite of that.  Diversification is different from dilution.  Having the SOE Station Pass is not the same as putting wookie hairdressers in Planetside.

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Reply #65 on: September 13, 2006, 08:39:36 PM

The problem with the NetFlix analogy is without the major hits NetFlix would suck. The fact that NetFlix has lots of other stuff is a nice differentatior. But if you pit NetFlix without blockbusters against other similar services it would lose badly.

NetFlix has basically everything Blockbuster has plus more. It's not a collection of niche stuff. It's a collection of hit along with a collection of niche stuff.

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Reply #66 on: September 13, 2006, 09:05:36 PM

The more diversity a service like Netflix has, the better it does, so naturally having blockbusters AND niche titles is better than just having niche titles.  Just like it's better than having just blockbusters.  Or having just one blockbuster. 

A WoW subscription is a little bit like a version of Netflix that only has one movie to pick from at any given time.  One REALLY POPULAR movie.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2006, 09:08:48 PM by Samwise »

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Reply #67 on: September 14, 2006, 12:14:21 AM

If we're going to play this analogy, Netflix is like one of those games where you only get a certain number of action points to spend in a given period.

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Reply #68 on: September 15, 2006, 09:49:43 AM

The problem with the NetFlix analogy is without the major hits NetFlix would suck. The fact that NetFlix has lots of other stuff is a nice differentatior. But if you pit NetFlix without blockbusters against other similar services it would lose badly.

NetFlix has basically everything Blockbuster has plus more. It's not a collection of niche stuff. It's a collection of hit along with a collection of niche stuff.

And even then everyone's missing the main attractions of Netflix in this Analogy - that you don't have to remember to return the movies and it's cheaper than Blockbuster/ Hollywood Video/ Local Store even if you only get one movie a week.  It's the same way they're missing the point of MySpace - to get laid and attention whore.

Yeah, millions and millions of people use the interweb. Yeah there's money to be made there.  I don't think it's in games, though, so why are games designers busting a nut about it?  They learned ow to make games, not social spaces.. they're running a restaurant and trying to figure out why everyone's over buying pop at the gas station.  And holy shit, have you seen the cash that gas station pulls in!!?

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Reply #69 on: September 15, 2006, 10:35:51 AM

I think people are missing the whole chicken and egg thing: Games become social spaces not because they were designed to be social spaces, but because the game's popularity makes the game a social space. The same thing can be said of MySpace; its a popular social space because of its design components, some of which facilitate social networking, but on the whole are popular because of ease of use and simple design.

That said, game designers that forget the social interface of their creations are morons of the highest order. A game with a poor social interface, say, a poorly designed chat-box, will naturally hamper the game's ability to become a social space.

I should get back to nature, too.  You know, like going to a shop for groceries instead of the computer.  Maybe a condo in the woods that doesn't even have a health club or restaurant attached.  Buy a car with only two cup holders or something.

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