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f13.net  |  f13.net General Forums  |  The Gaming Graveyard  |  MMOG Discussion  |  Topic: Be your own boss, make that MMO! 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
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Author Topic: Be your own boss, make that MMO!  (Read 35079 times)
Etro
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Reply #35 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.
Kail
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Reply #36 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.
taolurker
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Reply #37 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$$!!)!!


I used to write for extinct gaming sites
details available here (unused blog about page)
Etro
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Reply #38 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.
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Reply #39 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).

-HRose / Abalieno
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Kail
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Reply #40 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.
pxib
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Reply #41 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.

if at last you do succeed, never try again
KallDrexx
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Reply #42 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.
tmp
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Reply #43 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 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.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2007, 11:51:21 PM by tmp »
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Reply #44 on: March 16, 2007, 12:42:26 AM

If only someone had tried a racing MMO before, so that they might have a clue as to possible pitfalls!
HRose
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Reply #45 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.

-HRose / Abalieno
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HRose
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Reply #46 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.

-HRose / Abalieno
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Reply #47 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.


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Reply #48 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.

-HRose / Abalieno
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Reply #49 on: March 16, 2007, 08:14:38 AM

Of course it does exist: See it for yourself

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.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2007, 08:17:11 AM by Falconeer »

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Reply #50 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. Indie project from MCO widows trying to recreate the legend and take us back online.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2007, 08:29:27 AM by Falconeer »

Soln
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Reply #51 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?
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Reply #52 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.

tmp
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Reply #53 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.
tmp
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Reply #54 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".
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Reply #55 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.
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Reply #56 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.

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
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Reply #57 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.


 
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Reply #58 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.

if at last you do succeed, never try again
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Reply #59 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.....
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Reply #60 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.

-HRose / Abalieno
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Reply #61 on: March 16, 2007, 07:37:02 PM

...sounds very much like Pangya ...

Thanks!
After Audition Dance Battle, 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!

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Reply #62 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, internet racing game that focuses on simulation of racing cars and nothing but.
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Reply #63 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.

-HRose / Abalieno
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Reply #64 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.
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Reply #65 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.

-HRose / Abalieno
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Reply #66 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).

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Reply #67 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.
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Reply #68 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. ).
« Last Edit: March 17, 2007, 10:56:38 AM by Falconeer »

Venkman
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Reply #69 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.
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