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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Should the Indies just give up already?

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62 posts found
  Loktofeit

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 11358

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ESO, and Combat Arms

11/24/13 6:17:00 PM#41
Originally posted by waynejr2
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Newfr
Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard

Indie developers can do good products... they must just stop trying to do stuff they just can't do with the required quality and polish, and stick to stuff which is in their reach.

While i agree with this statement i can't get why small niche MMO is a bad thing. You see, a lot of people here demand exactly that, because mainstream MMORPGs... well... i couldn't call em a quality product.

A lot of people are asking for niche gameplay features which a lot of indies just can't do with the polish and quality required for those asking for it.

I'm not suggesting that indies should stop trying, only pointing out that no one is saying small niche MMO is bad. However, just because a feature set is of interest to a small audience and  indie devs can making things for small audiences, that doesn't mean they necessarily have the ability or resources to create the niche MMO the players here want.

IMO there is one thing that could change that would be better for the community.  Players stopped being obsessed with graphics.  If we would choose to enjoy games with much less graphic requirements we would give indies a chance to put gameplay as the emphasis.  Higher levels of details or sparkly effects don't impress me.

Agreed. Unfortunately, that usually means a far more talented graphics team to pull it off, as they would need to come up with their own look or style and not just be low quality. Salem, Minecraft, and Mabinogi are examples of different degrees of that.

  DamonVile

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 3645

11/24/13 6:36:03 PM#42
Originally posted by waynejr2
 

IMO there is one thing that could change that would be better for the community.  Players stopped being obsessed with graphics.  If we would choose to enjoy games with much less graphic requirements we would give indies a chance to put gameplay as the emphasis.  Higher levels of details or sparkly effects don't impress me.

But look what happens when a company tries to go with a less graphics intensive game...EQN. That style tries to hide the "less intense" behind a sort of cartoon look and large numbers of people hate it. If EQN tried to go with a realistic but easy on the system style of graphic they'd be laughed at.

High quality, graphics do look good, but what I've noticed about any game is once you've seen those great graphics for a few weeks it just sort of stops being all that great. Games that have graphics that are nothing special ( like wow ) never have that effect over time because they were never really something you focused on anyway.

Style imo becomes much more important than quality after a certain point.

People are like cats. When they die, you get a new one.

  FinalFikus

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/01/13
Posts: 910

"We're up all night to get lucky"

11/24/13 6:37:40 PM#43
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by waynejr2
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Newfr
Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard

Indie developers can do good products... they must just stop trying to do stuff they just can't do with the required quality and polish, and stick to stuff which is in their reach.

While i agree with this statement i can't get why small niche MMO is a bad thing. You see, a lot of people here demand exactly that, because mainstream MMORPGs... well... i couldn't call em a quality product.

A lot of people are asking for niche gameplay features which a lot of indies just can't do with the polish and quality required for those asking for it.

I'm not suggesting that indies should stop trying, only pointing out that no one is saying small niche MMO is bad. However, just because a feature set is of interest to a small audience and  indie devs can making things for small audiences, that doesn't mean they necessarily have the ability or resources to create the niche MMO the players here want.

IMO there is one thing that could change that would be better for the community.  Players stopped being obsessed with graphics.  If we would choose to enjoy games with much less graphic requirements we would give indies a chance to put gameplay as the emphasis.  Higher levels of details or sparkly effects don't impress me.

Agreed. Unfortunately, that usually means a far more talented graphics team to pull it off, as they would need to come up with their own look or style and not just be low quality. Salem, Minecraft, and Mabinogi are examples of different degrees of that.

The community would probably do high end graphics for free if it were possible. Is something like that a possibility with a mmo?

"If the Damned gave you a roadmap, then you'd know just where to go"

  Loktofeit

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 11358

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ESO, and Combat Arms

11/24/13 6:51:40 PM#44
Originally posted by FinalFikus
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by waynejr2
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Newfr
Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard

Indie developers can do good products... they must just stop trying to do stuff they just can't do with the required quality and polish, and stick to stuff which is in their reach.

While i agree with this statement i can't get why small niche MMO is a bad thing. You see, a lot of people here demand exactly that, because mainstream MMORPGs... well... i couldn't call em a quality product.

A lot of people are asking for niche gameplay features which a lot of indies just can't do with the polish and quality required for those asking for it.

I'm not suggesting that indies should stop trying, only pointing out that no one is saying small niche MMO is bad. However, just because a feature set is of interest to a small audience and  indie devs can making things for small audiences, that doesn't mean they necessarily have the ability or resources to create the niche MMO the players here want.

IMO there is one thing that could change that would be better for the community.  Players stopped being obsessed with graphics.  If we would choose to enjoy games with much less graphic requirements we would give indies a chance to put gameplay as the emphasis.  Higher levels of details or sparkly effects don't impress me.

Agreed. Unfortunately, that usually means a far more talented graphics team to pull it off, as they would need to come up with their own look or style and not just be low quality. Salem, Minecraft, and Mabinogi are examples of different degrees of that.

The community would probably do high end graphics for free if it were possible. Is something like that a possibility with a mmo?

I think it's possible, but the concern would be continuity in appearance. Then again, some of these MMO communities seem capable of some really amazing stuff, so I'd really like to see a group have a go at something like that. 

  iridescence

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/12/12
Posts: 943

11/24/13 7:04:29 PM#45
Originally posted by DamonVile
Originally posted by waynejr2
 

IMO there is one thing that could change that would be better for the community.  Players stopped being obsessed with graphics.  If we would choose to enjoy games with much less graphic requirements we would give indies a chance to put gameplay as the emphasis.  Higher levels of details or sparkly effects don't impress me.

But look what happens when a company tries to go with a less graphics intensive game...EQN. That style tries to hide the "less intense" behind a sort of cartoon look and large numbers of people hate it. If EQN tried to go with a realistic but easy on the system style of graphic they'd be laughed at.

Personally it's the hiding beyond a cartoon look that turns me off. I'd be perfectly happy with realistic graphics that weren't great. Just something about the cartoon thing puts me off. One of the reasons I've never been able to get into WoW.

I know it's a subjective thing. If you love cartoon artstyle more power to you.

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 9953

I've become dependent upon spell check. My apologies for stupid grammatical errors.

11/24/13 7:10:39 PM#46

Developers should make the games they want to make, for whatever reason they want to make them. Making the game they want to make is the drive they need to actually complete a game, rather than live in perpetual alpha or beta.

Failure though, that's part of the process. Not everything works and not everyone should be a developer. Some developers have to fail. The only way for there to not be any developers that fail is for there not to be any developers.

I don't think the indie scene is as doomed as the OP's post would suggest. I'm seeing more indie games release than I've ever seen before. I'm seeing more avenues for indie developers to get their stuff out to the world than ever before. I think the indie scene is pretty healthy.

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 12769

11/24/13 9:16:29 PM#47
Originally posted by FinalFikus
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by waynejr2
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Newfr
Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard

Indie developers can do good products... they must just stop trying to do stuff they just can't do with the required quality and polish, and stick to stuff which is in their reach.

While i agree with this statement i can't get why small niche MMO is a bad thing. You see, a lot of people here demand exactly that, because mainstream MMORPGs... well... i couldn't call em a quality product.

A lot of people are asking for niche gameplay features which a lot of indies just can't do with the polish and quality required for those asking for it.

I'm not suggesting that indies should stop trying, only pointing out that no one is saying small niche MMO is bad. However, just because a feature set is of interest to a small audience and  indie devs can making things for small audiences, that doesn't mean they necessarily have the ability or resources to create the niche MMO the players here want.

IMO there is one thing that could change that would be better for the community.  Players stopped being obsessed with graphics.  If we would choose to enjoy games with much less graphic requirements we would give indies a chance to put gameplay as the emphasis.  Higher levels of details or sparkly effects don't impress me.

Agreed. Unfortunately, that usually means a far more talented graphics team to pull it off, as they would need to come up with their own look or style and not just be low quality. Salem, Minecraft, and Mabinogi are examples of different degrees of that.

The community would probably do high end graphics for free if it were possible. Is something like that a possibility with a mmo?

You would have to have some very specialized tools.  Continuity of appearance as Loktofeit brings up is one issue, but not the only one.

You can make graphics look much nicer if you don't have to worry about the performance hit:  more vertices, more textures, higher resolution textures, no shared assets, etc.  Get a bunch of people racing to make very high quality graphics in their own little section and you can easily overwhelm a system and make the game unplayable.  You'd like to have some components of artwork shared between a lot of different things, but that's harder to do if the different things are made by different people who don't communicate with each other at all, ever.

Depending on what sort of artwork you want players to make, you can get a lot of other issues, too.  Every game engine wants its art assets formatted a particular way, so you have to get not just generic art assets, but things that fit exactly what your game wants to do.  Animation and collision detection are tricky, and again, depend greatly on exactly how your engine wants things formatted.

There's also the issue of actually distributing artwork to other players.  Conventional game artwork takes a lot of space, and that means a lot of bandwidth.

You can think of the character creator in many games as being a mild case of community-made artwork in a game.  But even with very, very restrictive design rules, some players in some games still manage to cause trouble.

  PerfArt

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/16/13
Posts: 863

11/24/13 9:25:20 PM#48
Originally posted by iridescence

 

You didn't get the memo? Everything is a WoW clone because WoW invented mmorpgs. Got quests? WoW clone. Got gear? WoW clone. Classes? Dubya-oh-Dubya doppleganger, at your service! If it's not a perma-death sci-fi shooter built with Voxels and zero pve, it's  a WoW clone. Truthfact.

Bit of a strawman argument here. Can we agree that a WoW clone is a game with quest hub based leveling, "holy trinity" based classes, a defined level cap, instanced dungeons and PVP that is at least partly  instanced and has no impact on the wider world. A very simplistic economy and crafting system and a series of instanced dungeons and raids to keep players busy once they reach level cap?

 

WoW didn't invent all those mechanics but it combined them all into a financially successful formula and other than Guild Wars 2, it's hard to argue that the other games on the list don't share most or all of those characteristics. (and even GW2 is not as different from WoW as it first might appear).

 

Agreed, it was a strawman, but the prevalence of the term "WoW clone" has reached ridiculous levels at this point and I admittedly get a little knee-jerky. And yes, WoW did refine and combine all those elements in one game, but it is quite possible for a game to include all of those elements and play far differently than said game. It's all in the implementation. I feel that many people read a list of features and jump to conclusions a bit much. Thanks for the logistical cold water, though. These forums... ;)

http://www.mmorpg.com/blogs/PerfArt

  immodium

Elite Member

Joined: 11/03/07
Posts: 1184

11/24/13 9:26:41 PM#49

Not at all.

Players passionate about gaming have kickstarter to fund ideas they are interested in.

The thing is some gamers blame the "suits" for only caring about money. Some of these same gamers then don't risk a small amount of their own money to fund an idea they are interested in. Strange.

Money does talk, but leaving it in your wallet isn't helping.

  Loktofeit

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 11358

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ESO, and Combat Arms

11/24/13 9:28:31 PM#50
Originally posted by immodium

Not at all.

Players passionate about gaming have kickstarter to fund ideas they are interested in.

The thing is some gamers blame the "suits" for only caring about money. Some of these same gamers then don't risk a small amount of their own money to fund an idea they are interested in. Strange.

Money does talk, but leaving it in your wallet isn't helping.

To be fair, depending on what we are calling "indie", there isn't that great a track record for delivering.

  NaughtyP

Novice Member

Joined: 12/02/11
Posts: 795

11/24/13 11:16:01 PM#51

One thing indie titles do is push forward innovation. Even if the game fails, some ideas are really really really good. The developers are usually a little more free to take risks in indie titles whereas a larger company will just follow the trends of what is currently popular. If you take out indie titles, innovation would probably slow down quite a bit in the genre. That's how I feel anyways.

Enter a whole new realm of challenge and adventure.

  thestorytell

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/02/08
Posts: 18

11/24/13 11:41:47 PM#52

The MMO market is not really the turf for indies to do their first game. Especially because the MMO player wants eye candy which is expensive to provide and at the same time boring for creative minds.

There is easier money to earn with mobile games and that is exactly what sucessful indie devs are producing.

 

  WereLlama

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/13/12
Posts: 178

11/26/13 9:45:20 AM#53

No.

 

  Hatefull

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/09/04
Posts: 715

Your tears make my gun work better.

11/26/13 9:55:20 AM#54


Originally posted by Lerxst
I don't mean this in a derogative way, but so many independent developers are coming out of the woodwork to create the next game that will "rock the genre" only to fail miserably and give a bad name to Indie games everywhere, that it feels their efforts are counterproductive.  As a "for instance" go through the games on this site and see how many fall into the category of "Indie" (not released by a major publisher/studio) and have been a success (generated constant player/customer base and maintained a quality product)... not many.

I have no issues with the smaller devs releasing their games as free trials, demos or paid alpha and beta tests.  Back in the 80-90's those were called "shareware".  There's really no expectation of a finished, polished game when you get involved in a game like that.  If it does end up well, then great; you got front row seats to a great game!  Most of them don't end up being Minecraft or Mount & Blade though.

What baffles me in the MMO genre, is those same types of developers even bothering to make a game anymore.  Really, you have two options - 1. Base it off of something that's already been done to near-perfection and add a lot of polish and playability to it (alleviating the need to actually brainstorm brand new ideas and find new ways to reinvent the same wheel as before) or 2. Create a mod for an already popular game.  (an IE for each - Minecraft was influenced by Wurm, but made a lot more user-friendly and DayZ which started its life as an ARMAII mod before going into development as a stand-alone) Anything else is doomed to failure right from the start.

The MMO genre is a field that's dominated by big, multi-million/billion dollar businesses.  A couple friends working out of their basement aren't even going to make a dent in it in this day and age.  The idea of starting a business that's nearly identical to an existing, larger one is entrepreneurial suicide.  It would be the same as a person going to WalMart, getting upset at the lack of wheelbarrow choices and opening up their own personal wheelbarrow store in the same strip mall... but only carrying 10 in stock... and then charging a premium for those 10.

So much talent being wasted...

I'd rather see smaller developers/studios creating games like "Papers, Please" and "Braid" than wasting time trying to make a dent in the MMO industry in this day and age.


We need the indies. Also, not sure where you get your information from, but at one point, CCP was an indie developer. DayZ became Survivor stories and is doing fine last I checked (couple weeks ago). I am sure there are more but I don't buy into this doom and gloom stuff enough to bother looking.

If you want a new idea, go read an old book.

  WereLlama

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/13/12
Posts: 178

11/26/13 10:09:27 AM#55
Originally posted by thestorytell

The MMO market is not really the turf for indies to do their first game. Especially because the MMO player wants eye candy which is expensive to provide and at the same time boring for creative minds.

There is easier money to earn with mobile games and that is exactly what sucessful indie devs are producing.

 

This I agree with completely.   MMORPGs are big dev projects, plain and simple.  Also, Mobile is the ideal platform for indie.

If you are not familiar with low level network programming and more importantly working with other team members asynchronously, you will have a harder path.

That being said, it is a fun hobby.  I'm on my 2nd indie mmorpg and loving it.

Besides, maybe, just maybe, it becomes a hit and I can quit my day job.

-WL

  GoldFire33

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/13/13
Posts: 9

11/26/13 11:35:36 AM#56
If you are an indie that hasn't made a large-scale game before then I agree that you shouldn't make the mistake of diving into an MMO. However, saying, that no indies should make them is a massive mistake. Indies are the ones that can take the chances and take the risks to make something new and exciting. The big corporations are the ones that can't afford to take the risks with something new, so we get the same old games over and over.
  GrumpyMel2

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1789

11/26/13 3:54:41 PM#57

Heck no. Indies can and should continue to push forward. Indies produce alot of great stuff,  much of it better then what you see from the big publishers. It just tends not to be MMO's in the traditional sense.....though alot of it is becoming more and more "MMO like" ....and frankly there is a blurring of the lines.

If you are looking for exactly what the AAA publishers produce then you should probably stick with them. However alot of us AREN'T looking for that and are more then happy to sacrifice fancy graphics and presentation features to get the type of gameplay we enjoy. As long as the indies are realistic about what they can deliver, realistic about what expectations they set for thier customers and realistic about thier budgets they can do perfectly well.

Frankly it's the AAA Big Bidget MMO Titles that have had the greatest difficulty lately. That's because even though the market has grown hugely, it hasn't grown enough to keep pace with all the competition for the gamers dollars. There is a TON of competition for gaming dollars....not just from MMO's but from all sorts of different games.... no matter how big the market is, there is only room for just so many AAA big budget titles.....and with the market saturated with offerings, it's natural that many of them are going to struggle for enough market share to justify the expense that went into building them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Loktofeit

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 11358

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ESO, and Combat Arms

11/26/13 4:23:30 PM#58
Originally posted by GoldFire33
If you are an indie that hasn't made a large-scale game before then I agree that you shouldn't make the mistake of diving into an MMO. However, saying, that no indies should make them is a massive mistake. Indies are the ones that can take the chances and take the risks to make something new and exciting. The big corporations are the ones that can't afford to take the risks with something new, so we get the same old games over and over.

Agreed. The hurdle is that every clown with a 3D engine and scribbles of elves calls themselves an 'indie' developer which is not only pretty darn arrogant but rather irresponsible, as people put faith and, more importantly, money behind these guys based on their claim to have some level of expertise. It also does a disservice to legitimate professionals in indie circles because it gives them a bad name. 

  Sinaku

Novice Member

Joined: 1/06/07
Posts: 410

11/26/13 4:25:51 PM#59


Originally posted by Alders
They should refocus on getting the basics right before trying to implement 101 awesome sandbox features.

If the game feels terrible, unresponsive, and clunky then the rest doesn't matter.


This is the perfect response. Also, every company initially started as an indie company for the most part. Some companies are doing alright but the above comment is definitely something that these devs need to refocus.

  Lerxst

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/26/04
Posts: 395

 
OP  11/30/13 4:59:35 PM#60

This thread took off before I could really reply to the posts.  I didn't mean that the Indie devs shouldn't even try to make games.  I'm saying, that the MMO market is so full of failed attempts, that they shouldn't try to compete with the titles already out there unless they have a very new, solid idea with a sound business model that can capture a niche market - Minecraft, did it, Mount & Blade did it (albeit it's more of a MMOFPS), DayZ also did it, and so did World of Tanks, Hell, even King Arthur's Gold did it.

 

I think I was just about able to name every smaller developer that ever released a successful game in the past 8 years though, in that one line.  I could take the next 5 pages to list the ones that have failed miserably, or just remained static.

 

In the long run, from the finicky consumer and business perspective though, the smaller devs that release titles like Darkfall, Xsyon and Mortal Online, do a disservice to the genre.  Their games appeal hugely to a small portion of people who drool over them and fork over money for an early access, but the companies don't have the resources to sustain a massive, long-term game.  When to game does poorly or just "average" the would-be up and coming AAA developers see the genre as a failure and opt to release the next WoW clone instead of taking a chance in that smaller market.

 

My personal opinion is to drop the AAA titles entirely and support nothing but the indie titles that "do it right".  Not the ones looking to crush WoW or take over EVE crowds, but the ones releasing a simple concept they can execute to near perfection without the hassle of overhead, headaches and delays.

 

Sadly, most of those seem to be in the single-player market lately, with some good smaller games/concepts like Spelunky, BeamNG, Project Zomboid, Hotline Miami, etc.  I'd still rather contribute to those developers who know how much they can handle and don't bite off more than they can chew, than remain part of the ongoing problem with independent MMO failures like we've been plagued with for the past decade.

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