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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Making a Game from a MMO

12 posts found
  sapphen

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/06/07
Posts: 920

 
OP  1/15/14 10:52:31 PM#1

Benefits from making a separate game from a MMO.  (A standalone game with a different revenue model that also spreads the franchise).

  1. They already have a workable engine; combat, movement, abilities, classes
  2. Bosses, Noteworthy NPCs, or even Beasts could be playable characters.
  3. Place for free-to-players with cosmetic shop.  Revenue for more programmers working with the engine.
  4. Variety of map objectives; ctf, plots, a mixture of PvP and PvE, and a version of DoTA's original lane game.
  5. Skills could somewhat translate between the genres. 
 
Successful routes;
  1. Balanced gameplay for free and paying players.
  2. Sell customization (use armor already in game!)
  3. Earn points in-game to purchase new playable characters
 
 
Basically Modding the Game
 
If it's not beneficial for developers to make the modifications needed, the gaming community could do this if they were allowed.  Warhammer tried something like this with Wraith of Heroes, which started off very well but a EA cash shop ruined the fun.
 
 
More Jobs
 
This may even allow the studio to hire more developers.  Working with the engine would familiarize more programmers with the original MMO, and even if the MOBA is horrible they could make a small profit.   I would love to see someone like Anet try this with GW2 - with a perfected version of their target aim mod - plus GW2 is such a small jump to MOBA.  Even older games like LOTR or DnD could explore these options. 
 
 
Open Road
 
It doesn't even have to be a MOBA.  As open as most MMOs are, you could basically make an endless amount of standalone games.  I do understand some developers don't own the engine and would have to buy another license.  There could be other problems preventing this from happening but I think there is great potential in reusing code and funding a larger team.

Thoughts, critique?

  sapphen

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/06/07
Posts: 920

 
OP  1/17/14 7:49:08 AM#2

Short Question:  Could developers make other standalone games from MMO code?

I suggested a MOBA but MMOs have a lot of options.  While keeping everyone in the same game is very important, the next best thing is to keep them in the same universe.  These standalone games could have different revenue models, genres, outsourced to another studio or new employees, train new programmers to work on main project down the road, and they have a lower risk than creating a new game from scratch.

This may even help MMOs from going to f2p by; having a game that could be tried out by f2p players, keeping a game shop separate from the MMO, and hitting multiple markets besides just MMO players.

  sapphen

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/06/07
Posts: 920

 
OP  1/17/14 8:39:59 AM#3
Warhammer Online into Wraith of Heroes
 
Warhammer Online already tried something similar with Wraith of Heroes.  It was a really fun game but the p2w cash shop and ill-advised design direction doomed the game before it got out of beta.  Warhammer was most likely losing money at the time yet the studio was able to make a pretty decent game.  If a more popular studio tried this then I believe it would have the ability to grab more players.
 
 
Community Mods

The possibilities would be endless even if the company just let community mod the games.  There has been whole genres sprouted from player made mods.  Most of the design work is already done!  Abilities, settings, scenery, characters, balance - much of this will need to be tweaked but it would be far less work and much more meaningful than if the game was made from scratch.
 
 
A Part of Blizzard's Success

Blizzard utilized this method in creating World of Warcraft.  Much of the inspiration was from the original Warcraft series.  They use their preexisting works to make new titles such as Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm.  Could you imagine an action MOBA made using  WoW's engine.  There is enough source material there to create 5 different mage characters, times that by each class, and add in all the named NPCs.
 
 
Other Applications
 
Guild Wars 2 could have some nice options as well.  They would have the MMO for MMO fans but then could create a f2p lobby game.  Game modes in which 20 versus 20 could battle for a keep: 20 minute to take it, objectives to complete to defend or attack, more direct action than AvA because it's controlled - plus it wouldn't affect the original MMO at all!  It's hitting 2 markets with 1 1/2 rocks (Anet will still need to do a whole lot of tweaking but you get the idea).
 
Star Wars: The Old Republic could benefit from this.  The warzones alone would be awesome to make into a separate lobby game.  Bioware could even throw in a twist of Battlefront by having a simplified PC everyone could pick (meaning you wouldn't be playing a fully customized PC like in the MMO but rather a simplified archtype; Engineer, Commando, Jedi Warrior, etc).  Throw in some NPCs, plots, and we could have a new Battlefront!
 
Even games like ESO or Wildstar could explore these options if subscriptions don't meet the requirements.  Instead of converting the games to f2p, they could make a standalone f2p lobby game selling customization all the while generating interest in their MMO.
  Helleri

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/26/08
Posts: 806

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”- Henry Ford

1/17/14 6:03:14 PM#4

It sounds pretty good on paper. I mean MMORPG's came from RPG's >MUD's>MORPG's etc. There is nothing that say you can't take a path in reverse.

 

One good question would be:

Do you step it all the way back down to an RPG; Or do you make a much smaller scale MMORPG (MORPG), then after that drop down to what are essentially MORPG but more in a sense of each player just being able to share their world (Something like Fable II Multiplayer).  And, then go full RPG?

 

Or to put it in broader terms:

Do you make a big leap; Or follow the bread crumb trail back as it happened?

 

My only concern is when I think about things like disney land. Might seem like an out of place thing to mention at first. But, look at the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. First, they they made movies based off the ride (you even see a lot of the stuff that could be seen in the ride appear in the movies). Then they went back and rebuilt the ride to look like the movies. Now the ride sucks (imo).

 

This idea doesn't sound like a bad one really (It may be quite good)...Just maybe it should be approached cautiously. Like at first don't sink a lot of money into it. Use something like RPG Toolkit to make a simple stand alone RPG, that is based off an MMORPG you like (largely in theme, appearance scaled down, and familiar items and places). A good cheap way to test the waters and see if it actually works well. Then if that goes well do something like, upgrading the mesh and textures, porting it over to unity, and flesh it out a little more.

  plat0nic

Novice Member

Joined: 11/20/03
Posts: 303

1/18/14 7:27:25 PM#5
I guess a lot of it depends on the revenue they are bringing in from their main game.  Let's say they do 10,000,000 in profits, will investing that 10 mil back into the main game net them more than taking a risk on a new product from the same IP?  Probably or else more studios would do it.


Main Game: Eldevin (Plat0nic)
2nd Game: Path of Exile (Platonic Hate)

  sapphen

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/06/07
Posts: 920

 
OP  1/18/14 10:20:44 PM#6
Originally posted by unconnected
I guess a lot of it depends on the revenue they are bringing in from their main game.  Let's say they do 10,000,000 in profits, will investing that 10 mil back into the main game net them more than taking a risk on a new product from the same IP?  Probably or else more studios would do it.

What if they outsourced their engine to an independent ? (basically leasing their engine ~ if it is their engine.... they may have to pay for another license which could be costly).  They could charge $50 dollars and turn a profit - considering the indie company stays within range of IP and pays a percent earned.

The projects could range from simple conversions to complete overhauls.  Warhammer Online was working with a small crew (before they went down) and created Wraith of Heroes.  Community designers and programmers can do wonders if they were slightly more accessible.  Skyrim mods would be out of control if it came with multiplayer.  DotA was a community made mod, which branched off into the MOBA genre.

Lets say the MMO isn't making buck - despite everything they are trying the people just aren't staying - should it just slowly sink or pile some code into a lifeboat?  RaiderZ is a really neat game; the controls are great, the classes are neat, awesome customization, and solid mechanics- but I just didn't like it as a MMO.  It would make a great flipping action game (similar to Smite, which is growing in population everyday)

  sapphen

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/06/07
Posts: 920

 
OP  1/19/14 1:57:56 AM#7
Originally posted by Helleri

It sounds pretty good on paper. I mean MMORPG's came from RPG's >MUD's>MORPG's etc. There is nothing that say you can't take a path in reverse.

One good question would be:

Do you step it all the way back down to an RPG; Or do you make a much smaller scale MMORPG (MORPG), then after that drop down to what are essentially MORPG but more in a sense of each player just being able to share their world (Something like Fable II Multiplayer).  And, then go full RPG?

Or to put it in broader terms:

Do you make a big leap; Or follow the bread crumb trail back as it happened?

My only concern is when I think about things like disney land. Might seem like an out of place thing to mention at first. But, look at the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. First, they they made movies based off the ride (you even see a lot of the stuff that could be seen in the ride appear in the movies). Then they went back and rebuilt the ride to look like the movies. Now the ride sucks (imo).

This idea doesn't sound like a bad one really (It may be quite good)...Just maybe it should be approached cautiously. Like at first don't sink a lot of money into it. Use something like RPG Toolkit to make a simple stand alone RPG, that is based off an MMORPG you like (largely in theme, appearance scaled down, and familiar items and places). A good cheap way to test the waters and see if it actually works well. Then if that goes well do something like, upgrading the mesh and textures, porting it over to unity, and flesh it out a little more.

You made some good points.  Any project would have to be designed; what type of game will it be, what would most compliment the IP, how creative could you get - by reusing graphics and code they could get into alpha fairly quickly (compared to starting from scratch) but there would be a good amount of programming.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20226

1/19/14 11:18:54 AM#8

Isn't it already done to some extent?

In WoW, arena, BG, raids, and 5-man dungeons are essentially different games. The only commonality is that you can take your toons to all of these games.

I suppose it is a good idea to just create new assets and scripts so that you can use the same code/network for games in different settings.

 

  sapphen

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/06/07
Posts: 920

 
OP  1/19/14 12:26:57 PM#9
Originally posted by nariusseldon

Isn't it already done to some extent?

Exactly!  I don't want to oversimplify it but it would be like releasing WoW's battlegrounds as a f2p lobby game.  Instead of characters you level up and personalize, you would play a set character - it could be just a basic "Ice Mage" or it could be Jaina Proudmoore.  The games would have to be flat progression, meaning new players would be on the same level as veteran players stats-wise.

They could take this in many directions; players could choose and customize abilities (similar to WoH) or they could play with standardized abilities (similar to LoL or Smite).  They could fight in battlegrounds, dungeons, or any other creative instance. 

The great thing is it's separate from the MMO!  The abilities, movement, and combat systems could be tweaked independently.  You can give f2players the instant action and cosmetic shop that suits them AND still cater to the sub-loving MMORPG players.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20226

1/19/14 1:27:51 PM#10
Originally posted by sapphen
Originally posted by nariusseldon

Isn't it already done to some extent?

Exactly!  I don't want to oversimplify it but it would be like releasing WoW's battlegrounds as a f2p lobby game.  Instead of characters you level up and personalize, you would play a set character - it could be just a basic "Ice Mage" or it could be Jaina Proudmoore.  The games would have to be flat progression, meaning new players would be on the same level as veteran players stats-wise.

They could take this in many directions; players could choose and customize abilities (similar to WoH) or they could play with standardized abilities (similar to LoL or Smite).  They could fight in battlegrounds, dungeons, or any other creative instance. 

The great thing is it's separate from the MMO!  The abilities, movement, and combat systems could be tweaked independently.  You can give f2players the instant action and cosmetic shop that suits them AND still cater to the sub-loving MMORPG players.

I agree. I think Blizz actually tried that once in some kind of open competition where you get a max level character and can choose ANY available gear.

There can be many variations. More companies should do this.

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5628

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

1/19/14 3:23:04 PM#11
I would much rather see standalone games made on engines which were made for the purpose. MMORPG engines were not meant for regular games so the gameplay would unavoidably suffer without major modification.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  sapphen

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/06/07
Posts: 920

 
OP  1/19/14 6:51:37 PM#12
Originally posted by nariusseldon

I agree. I think Blizz actually tried that once in some kind of open competition where you get a max level character and can choose ANY available gear.

There can be many variations. More companies should do this.

Yes they did back when Arena first started getting popular.  You payed 20 bucks and you would get a max level character, all classes, top gear, and could fight it out in Arena.   I remember doing that for one month and it was pretty fun but they needed more stuff to do (although the dueling was epic).

The variations could be bountiful! 

 

Originally posted by Quirhid
I would much rather see standalone games made on engines which were made for the purpose. MMORPG engines were not meant for regular games so the gameplay would unavoidably suffer without major modification.

...but that's where you're mistaken.  MMO engines are made for a variety of purposes and everything I have stated are within the purpose of those engines.  MMOs can tell stories, have cut scenes, have a wide variety of customization, the ability to adjust stats, combat, multiple players - these standalone games should embrace the abilities of the MMO engines and most MMO engines are actually overkill for some of the projects I've suggested.

Again it would be nice to have a personally made engine but even developers buy licenses to pre-made engines (and then modify them to fit their purposes).  It's extremely expensive to build a game from scratch and they shouldn't have to if they already have an engine, character/abilities designs, that they could already use.