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News & Features Discussion  » General: Why Not an Indie MMO?

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39 posts found
  ZombieKen

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/30/10
Posts: 4410

Zombie - Dead but still moving.

7/20/12 4:08:57 PM#21

The way I see it, quality is a combination of design and execution.

 

Indie devs are more likely to take risk with design as a way to set themselves apart from the competition.  This can be good or bad depending on how well the design is received by the playerbase.

 

Execution for an Indie is tough.  Working with lower budgets, small teams, and sometimes inferior tools means they have to work harder and smarter to produce a quality release.

 

One common problem I see in Indie devs is setting the feature list so high that it distracts from what should be a priority, namely solid coding.  All the features in the world don't matter if the base framework is buggy.

MSOTSG with PPE : Massively Single-player Online Task-driven Storyline Game with Purchasable Performance Enhancements *grin*

  troublmaker

Novice Member

Joined: 5/10/11
Posts: 340

7/20/12 6:39:56 PM#22

I think what is missing is a clear definition of exactly what is an indie game, or what is an independent studio.  In normal games we call indie games those that are not tied down by the constraints of a major publishers.  In the case of MMOs most of the developers self publish.  So in a sense, most MMOs are actually indie games.  The ones that aren't are those from Blizzard, Bioware, and ArenaNet.  Maybe there are a few others I'm not mentioning but for the most part the MMO industry is pretty independent.

Website: http://www.thegameguru.me / YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/users/thetroublmaker

  lokana

Novice Member

Joined: 1/24/12
Posts: 5

7/20/12 6:51:13 PM#23
It always comes down to money.  Indie Devs start with very little money and burn through it fast.  To survive, they have to release their unfinished / buggy game to bring in some cash.  The hope is that players like it, and stick with the developer long enough for them to be able to polish the game more.  That model doesn't work as well as it used to since there's so much competition now.  Players are more likely to keep hunting for that perfect game.
 
I’m an Indie Developer, and we’re trying to make an MMO with absolutely no money.  There’s a lot of advantages to that.  We’re never going to run out of money.  We can also take chances on people that we think are talented even if they don’t fit a conventional mold.
 
There’s about 25 of us on the team right now, though that number slowly increases.  We’re all students or recent graduates from game programming or art related colleges in Sacramento, CA.  Aside from working on a few other indie MMO projects as a designer, I’m really the only one on the team with game industry experience, and it’s not that impressive, but if, like some of you guys are saying, we can execute our ideas right, I think this game will end up pretty cool.
 
We’re about 7 months into production.  We have our first buildings and characters modeled(we spent a really long time getting our concepts down before we started building anything).  We’re using the HeroEngine so we already have a system where you can log in, create a character and fight stuff.  We still have a whole lot of work to go.  If anyone wants to follow our progress, you can google Dawnshine Online.
  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

7/20/12 9:52:13 PM#24

What about getting some bright people to put together a basic API standard that would let different minigames talk to each other without knowing anything about the physics of the world they are in?  Then, rather than creating an entire MMO, indie developers could focus on creating one piece of a collection of games that would sum up to being an MMO.

  kb056

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/23/06
Posts: 441

7/20/12 10:36:13 PM#25

SWG-Pre CU is the only "Indie" style game that could survive and thrive. Won't ever be a WoW killer but it will last alot longer then all other "indie" games combined.

  Astrina

Novice Member

Joined: 3/06/04
Posts: 45

Don't tell me to "get a life," I am a gamer, I have lots of lives!

7/21/12 1:29:52 AM#26

To me, ATITD (A Tale in the Desert) is an indie MMO (probably one of the first made). It's got a low population (around 2k players at it's peak) and it's done just fine with it's unique replayability. You see, they end the world and start over again (takes about 2 years to play then it's restarted). The dev team has certainly slacked in recent years but in the beginning the dev was constantly making changes and updating as we played (no down time).

 

 It's unique and different, no mobs to fight at all. It's about crafting, building, competition and a whole lot of politics.  Are the graphics top of the line? Nope. Are the crafting puzzles and politics unique and fun? You bet. Sadly, many hard-core players (they come back tale after tale) are now starting to leave. The dev just does not show as much interest anymore and the players can feel it. 

 

But as an indie syle MMO, I would say this is a great example of a new and unique approach (no rinse and repeat here). This game and others like it would do just fine. No, they probably won't have 5 million players, but with a good game...players do stay and it's very possible to make a living doing it. If more developers would take a look at that game, we might see some fresh new ideas implemented  in new ways.

 
  User Deleted
7/21/12 1:46:48 AM#27

I'd like to see 4 or 5 of the BIG game compainies form a joint venture, each put up $20m and see if the creation of a AAA sandbox MMO is profitiable.

 

Spliting the costs / rewards would make it less risky for each company, while still having the funding for a AAA quality game.

  teakbois

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/06/06
Posts: 2190

7/21/12 2:03:50 AM#28

The answer is simple:  money

 

The amount of money required to make a playable MMORPG is going to be 8 figures.  EvE got away with 5 millionish 8 years ago, but those days are gone and EvE was kind of a perfect storm in that it didnt need to have graphics and animation work as much as most MMORPGs

 

The best hope is the Trion route, start up company with smart business people securing a big investment, but with all the high profile failures in the industry (Trion themselves might be in danger of becoming one if Storm Legion doesnt bring back a significant amount of people) getting those funds secure will be difficult.  

 

Kickstarter is 100% useless as a primary investment tool (and only a fool would invest in such an endeavor,if the company isnt good enough to secure loans they have no business thinking they can make a game), it potentially has marginal use in a game that needs just a little bit more to do what it wants to do (Repopulation) but even that is risky because you always need more money than you think you do, so its likely that extra boost might not cover it.

 

The industry kind of needs GW2 to be a hit to get things looking up again.

  jdilling00

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/19/06
Posts: 25

7/22/12 2:04:26 PM#29

kick starter is no way to fund an mmo right now, but while kickstarter has had some sucess it is not yet main stream. What is ineresting is that single player games are being funded. It is likely some will fail, but if you have a company or two have a minecraft level of sucess then we will start to see people develop followings for certain design groups. These designers then have the chance to build larger studios. Eventualy they might have the resources and artistic control to make something new. What I want to see is a website that is covering croud funded projects single player or multi. Anyone know of a good website for that?

  Hodo

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/05/08
Posts: 559

7/23/12 8:39:35 AM#30

I love the idea of the indie developer.  The problem is they are like buying that off brand car that looks good, but is actually a turd.   I have seen in the past 15 years, probably 100 indie games come out and 90 of them are dead with in 2 years.   And of that 70 of them die in beta.   Lets look at the past few years, Star Vault with Mortal Online, great concept huge promise, lofty goals, and it fell flat on its ass.   Then you have Dark Fall Online, which was only marginally better than MO in its execution.   Some of the more active and successful indie games out there, Face of Mankind and Eve.   Face of Mankind, died and was resurected and then bought out by another company.   Eve had a REAL rocky start, but recovered quickly due to great leadership by the development team and the fact they had a deep game that offered something that wasnt out there.  

 

TLDR; Indie games are fine, they are like gambling you will lose more than you win.

So much crap, so little quality.

  Hurvart

Novice Member

Joined: 11/02/10
Posts: 566

7/23/12 8:46:38 AM#31
Originally posted by Hodo

I love the idea of the indie developer.  The problem is they are like buying that off brand car that looks good, but is actually a turd.   I have seen in the past 15 years, probably 100 indie games come out and 90 of them are dead with in 2 years.   And of that 70 of them die in beta.   Lets look at the past few years, Star Vault with Mortal Online, great concept huge promise, lofty goals, and it fell flat on its ass.   Then you have Dark Fall Online, which was only marginally better than MO in its execution.   Some of the more active and successful indie games out there, Face of Mankind and Eve.   Face of Mankind, died and was resurected and then bought out by another company.   Eve had a REAL rocky start, but recovered quickly due to great leadership by the development team and the fact they had a deep game that offered something that wasnt out there.  

 

TLDR; Indie games are fine, they are like gambling you will lose more than you win.

Thats why its better to play older indie games. Let others buy and play when they are released. If it is one of the good ones start playing when you know it is...

  User Deleted
7/23/12 12:32:43 PM#32

One of the largest obstacles any developer, not just the Indie ones, must face is the gaming community as a whole.

We are so damn picky and hard to please it is a wonder that moderate success can even be found.

A decade ago we played these games and despite the flaws generaly accepted what was presented to us because the competition was low and there were few good playable MMOs to even compare to.

Now we have thousands if one counts all the variations of the genre and our standards are very high. At the first sign of a flaw or bug many players are ready to unsub and demand their money back. How on earth do we expect Indie developers to survive in such a hostile enviornment? We won't let the big names get away with anything and despite the occasional free pass from an old school player, the Indie guys are still tossed under the bus when the reviews come around. I am not talking professional reviews either. Look around this site, half this commnunity views themselves as qualifiied to pass judgement on any and all games.

Woe to the Indie developers indeed. The irony is that the most demanding gamers want the Indie guys to show the others how to make a good game but the gamers are the ones that drop the Indie game like a hot snot when a few imperfections appear.

Enjoy your customized and self created hell damn fickle gamers with too much money and free time on your hands.

  Sweede

Novice Member

Joined: 5/01/04
Posts: 182

7/24/12 6:01:46 AM#33

The mmo market is just flooded, to many games fighting over the people willing to play/pay

bkmvl Xfire Miniprofile
  User Deleted
7/25/12 8:02:10 AM#34

forge a new indie mmopvp game is coming .i have high hopes for it :)

  Bonez005

Novice Member

Joined: 2/23/04
Posts: 36

7/25/12 2:02:05 PM#35
Originally posted by chefdiablo

One of the largest obstacles any developer, not just the Indie ones, must face is the gaming community as a whole.

We are so damn picky and hard to please it is a wonder that moderate success can even be found.

A decade ago we played these games and despite the flaws generaly accepted what was presented to us because the competition was low and there were few good playable MMOs to even compare to.

Now we have thousands if one counts all the variations of the genre and our standards are very high. At the first sign of a flaw or bug many players are ready to unsub and demand their money back. How on earth do we expect Indie developers to survive in such a hostile enviornment? We won't let the big names get away with anything and despite the occasional free pass from an old school player, the Indie guys are still tossed under the bus when the reviews come around. I am not talking professional reviews either. Look around this site, half this commnunity views themselves as qualifiied to pass judgement on any and all games.

Woe to the Indie developers indeed. The irony is that the most demanding gamers want the Indie guys to show the others how to make a good game but the gamers are the ones that drop the Indie game like a hot snot when a few imperfections appear.

Enjoy your customized and self created hell damn fickle gamers with too much money and free time on your hands.

I agree with you for the most part, but to blame the players is rediculous... Like any industry, the ones who pioneered it got rich and then it gets flooded because everyone wants a piece of the pie. Now there are so many people trying to get rich like the pioneers did but there just isn't enough players in the world to make them all rich. The player base is watered down and money is thin, but developement teams and associates still think they require a large amount of money to do what they do.. why should a game cost 10 million+dollars to make when there are so many of them being made that they can't fill their servers??

 

So you took classes to do what you do so you deserve a bit more than the guy working at Mcdonalds, but guess what... you have chosen a profession that everyone else has chosen so now there are a plethora or people out there with your skill set so you need to lower your standards in order to compete... you wanted a piece of the pie, now your a programmer who doesn't make enough money so you hop from one team to another hoping to fall into the team that makes the next MMO of the month for your short lived glory ride.

 

You say the players did this?? Why... because we have more options now? Why would I want to waste my time playing a buggy, crude MMO that charges $9 bucks a month when I can play GW2 for free? I tell ya what... if your moral compass is haywire because of my choice in which game I want to waste my time with, maybe you need to reassess the situation and point the finger at the right people who ruined your world. Just sayin.

 

 
  worldalpha

Novice Member

Joined: 11/03/11
Posts: 401

Working hard on WorldAlpha

9/04/12 10:59:14 AM#36
Well, I'm developing an MMORTS that will make it out by November.  Whether it will be a success or not, remains to be seen.  Check WorldAlpha http://www.worldalpha.com when you get a chance!

Thanks,
Mike
Working on Social Strategy MMORTS (now Launched!) http://www.worldalpha.com

  ShakyMo

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/11
Posts: 7246

9/04/12 11:01:27 AM#37
EVE is an indie mmo
  Theocritus

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/15/08
Posts: 3616

9/04/12 12:18:15 PM#38
     I try to judge each game based on its own merits, regardless of the developer......I dont care if its SOE, Funcom, Bioware, or Fred down the street....If its a good game I'll play it, if its a bad game I wont.
  jagd241

Novice Member

Joined: 10/06/12
Posts: 54

10/06/12 1:47:26 AM#39
Originally posted by teakbois

 

 

Kickstarter is 100% useless as a primary investment tool (and only a fool would invest in such an endeavor,if the company isnt good enough to secure loans they have no business thinking they can make a game), it potentially has marginal use in a game that needs just a little bit more to do what it wants to do (Repopulation) but even that is risky because you always need more money than you think you do, so its likely that extra boost might not cover it.

 

The industry kind of needs GW2 to be a hit to get things looking up again.

 

There are two MMO projects on kickstarter right now both of which look plausible:

1. Project Gorgon - Asheron's Call 1 meets EverQuest 1  Devblog at www.eldergame.com

Kickstarter at take a guess.

2. World of Midgard - EQ2 + WoW for iOS/Android/iPad  at www.worldofmidguard.com

Kickstart also take a guess.

 

The first game is a classic Indie - for example Players can get a lycanthrope curse that results in 3 real-time days stuck as a wolf (during full moon) with no possibility to chat until you level up your Beast Talk skill - not ever going to happen in a Big Game.   Don't know much about the second but it looks nice for what it is.

I think both have a good chance of seeing the light of day.  Gorgon is in alpha now with actual server code, combat and iniital areas  and WoM has a basic release for iOS.

I think kickstarter is the future for indie MMOs.   Gorgon is a perfect example - no one is going to fund an AC1+EQ1 MMO business venture using old-school graphics and shared dungeons.   However former players  of those games looking to play something similiar are certainly willing to pony up money for a new game.

 

Edit:  And two MMORTS - including the pretty neat looking Recyx (little robots).

 

Cheers

 

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