|44 posts found|
OP 2/20/10 4:23:58 PM#1
Here I'm going to spill my heart on the subject of why I support independent developers. Feel free to call me an idiot, feel free to lose all respect for me, I don't give a damn. I know that anyone who actually cares to read this and absorb the information will respect my opinion even if they don't agree, and not flame me or any independent developers, referenced or not, for it.
Think about that.
Alright, most of you know me. I'm the guy who goes into the LFGame forum recommending games to everyone that I can possibly think of an idea for. I often even suggest something 2 or 3 times because I always end up coming up with more. I've played through so many MMOs it's not even funny. I find more fun in the development of a game than in the release of the game. At least in development, the game isn't so static.
First game I'm going to mention is LOVE, just to give more background. I would pay for LOVE until the day I die. LOVE is a game by Swedish developer, Eskil Steenberg. The game is constantly evolving and Eskil has said himself that he doesn't plan for that to change. People often wonder when it will come out of beta. The common response from Eskil is that even after release, the game will never stop growing and that it will essentially never come out of beta.
Currently, I'm not paying for LOVE. I'm giving it a break after 5 months to explore some of the more recent MMOs a bit more. However, I would pay for it over a lot of the games I have been playing recently.
So here's where the real reasoning comes from.
Let's go back about 6 years. I started playing MMOs at the age of 10 (yeah, I'm 16, you got a problem with it?). I started with Clan Lord. Everyone who played MMOs in the 90s and took the time to look past games like Ultima and Everquest should know games like Clan Lord and the Realm Online were developed by extremely small developers. Clan Lord's developer, Delta Tao, was quite the competitor...in the market for Mac games and a few of their games have reached classic status in the hearts of Mac gamers. Nonetheless, they were, and still are, a small, incredibly obscured company. Even almost 8 years after the game came out, the community was still just as strong and dedicated as it had ever been. I took notice, even at that age, and thoroughly enjoyed it for about 6 months, when World of Warcraft came out.
As an avid Starcraft player and a fan of the Warcraft series (naturally, every Mac gamer had played them at some point. There still isn't much in the ways of "real" games for Macs), when World of Warcraft's open beta came out, naturally I was psyched. I played as much as I could back then and reached around level 20 as a Tauren Hunter and afterwards bought the game. After release, I only played for about 2 months before quitting, forgetting to cancel the subscription, playing again for about 2 weeks after the release of Burning Crusade and finally cancelling my sub. Needless to say, my parents were a bit irritated, but they got over it.
After I left World of Warcraft the first time, around January 2005, my search for good games for the Mac lead me to Wolfire Games. They were in the process of developing their now cult classic, Lugaru, and I quickly joined the forums. I was on the forums for about a month before I got banned for insulting the developer himself (I was what...12 then? I didn't know any better) and ended up signing back up a few days later, completely changed after reading the response from the dev himself and his brother and understanding just how much they cared about their games and their fans. To this day, David Rosen is still one of the most dedicated developers I've ever known.
Anyways, after mucking around in Lugaru for a while, I did in fact go back to Clan Lord for a bit on a trial account and enjoyed myself despite restarting a bunch of times. I had a friend I made that also refused to pay and we had gone on a few adventures before he got bored of the game.
After that, and after playing World of Warcraft again only to get bored, I muddled around in Graal for a while, played for about 6 months and quit (had a year long sub), only to come back a few months later, realizing that this game was crazy interesting from the scope of it and the difference between each world. I only ended up playing for a month after that, after hearing they were shutting down the Graal 3D idea, because I had thoroughly enjoyed Graal 3D, despite common complaints.
Since Graal, I haven't found a home. I stayed hanging out around Wolfire and went to quite a few other indie devs over the years, all the while mucking around with all MMOs I could and realizing just how much this genre is failing.
Now, on to what this thread is really about.
Independent developers care. They really care. I could list off a dozen independent developers working their asses off against all odds to release a product that the consumer is interested in. Currently, I'm hanging around in 2 independent MMOs in testing, soon to go back to LOVE, all the while still hanging around on Wolfire, waiting for their Lugaru sequel, Overgrowth, to be released and I'm soon going to introduce myself to the Natural Selection 2 crowd (everyone got a copy free for pre-ordering Overgrowth).
All of the games I'm currently with have developers that are shaping the game around what the community wants.
First, Wolfire, they have a pre-order forum for open discussion between people that pre-order Overgrowth, they listen to the suggestions, respond with what they wanted to do and their opinion, and they decide what they're going to do next based on feedback from the users and such. Currently, the game is in alpha and they release a new build every Tuesday for users to mess with and provide feedback and bug reports on. The first alpha was literally a dynamically generated terrain with the ability to place one of a few objects.
Second, Natural Selection 2 (can't remember the dev's name currently) is in alpha and doing something similar to what the Wolfire guys are doing. The current build is still an editor, I think. I can't remember.
Third, LinkRealms is in closed beta. The developers are currently listening to feedback from everyone. One of their community members came over here saying that he could name at least a dozen features and the people that inspired them to be put in the game. Not to mention, the game's polished as hell. It runs lag-free, they have an animation for near everything (when you talk, it does an animation, when you drink something, there's an animation) and the animations are some of the highest quality I've ever seen. It's being made by an independent company that's going to release it for free.
Fourth, Unistellar Industries has their game RISE. The community is really small there, too, but the game is solid, if not with a bigger learning curve than EvE. I have been contacted by e-mail by the developer, Jacob Reskin, himself, asking for feedback on certain parts of the game that he's working on, even after my sub ran out. I'm sure no less comes of other members of the community.
Fifth, City of Eternals, being developed by the all-star team, Ohai, finally set up a forum. My first topic (in the Suggestions forum) was responded to by Susan herself, telling me what their plans were and how my idea would/wouldn't fit in and maybe how we could come to an agreement in our ideas.
Sixth, there's another one I'm keeping from the community to keep them from tearing it apart in such an incomplete state as it's in, but it's in alpha. There's near nothing there yet except the base features. The two or three of us that know about the game and are active in the community and testing have direct communication with the developer and we're helping him get the game shaped up with whatever feedback we can. He's told us several times that he's dedicated to letting the community have a huge influence on how the game shapes up.
And I could probably name a ton of other games, but the point is this. I don't have to. You all should know by now that your precious "AAA" games are all hackneyed crap, despite how polished they are. I'll take my gameplay and you can have your goddamn polish. I don't care. A lot of you come running back to the LFG forum 3 months later anyways. Why do you think I hang out in there? I spend my time exposing the indies to people who could potentially enjoy them.
Now, I'm not endorsing support of people like Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment, Firesky, or even Star Vault. I'm just saying that we need to support the indies.
Now, I also know a lot of you are going to call EvE and CCP on me saying that they're not indie and they're polished, have something new and are incredibly popular by MMO standards. Well, where did EvE start? EvE started in the same place all these other unpolished MMOs started, way back in 2003. I think someone said something about...5000 subs max back then? Yeah, I think that's right. That's about 1/10th of Darkfall's audience. Look where they are now! 7 years of dedicated support and look where they got themselves.
Here are my questions:
If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, keep going, if not, get out of my thread. I don't want you responding because I know what you're going to say.
Now let me ask you this one simple question:
If you answered yes to this question, move on. If not, then feel free to tell me why.
If you answered yes to this question, you're the reason that this genre is stale. You're the reason that games never change. You want to support these games? Support them. Stop saying they're too unfinished or unpolished for your liking. Stop saying the graphics suck too much for you. Support them.
Because you know what? I can guarantee that if you don't support the indies supporting the things you want, the AAAs never will either.
If you told me 5 years ago if that little company, Wolfire Games, run by a guy just entering college after releasing Lugaru would ever get to where it is now, winning all sorts of awards and revolutionizing the meaning of "an indie game with good graphics," I would have told you you were batshit crazy. Look where they are now.
Look where EvE is now.
These guys have the ideas. They have what we want. So why don't we support them? Why don't we show the AAAs that this is what we want and not some hackneyed World of Warcraft/Everquest/Lineage clone?
You tell me.
OP 2/20/10 4:52:21 PM#2
For those of you that don't want to read the wall of text, anything before the largest text in the middle is totally irrelevant unless you want to know where my devotion for indies comes from.
For anyone that doesn't want to read a whole lot, it's pretty clear where the important stuff is.
2/20/10 4:57:30 PM#3
What you fail to take note of is the fact that the majority of both indie and corporate MMOs lack polish AND interesting gameplay.
OP 2/20/10 4:58:58 PM#4
Originally posted by loirnoir
What you fail to take note of is how many indies you don't know about. Plenty of them simply lack polish. Most of the time they lack polish because they lack support.
I can't say much about AAA MMOs other than most recently have been pretty polished, just that they lack anything that's truly interesting.
2/20/10 5:05:06 PM#5
Originally posted by johnmatthais
What you fail to take note of is how many indies you don't know about. Plenty of them simply lack polish. Most of the time they lack polish because they lack support. Polish and gameplay go hand in hand. An unpolished game is difficult to enjoy, seeing as the "Epic" nature of the gameplay is easily destroyed by a few bugs.
I can't say much about AAA MMOs other than most recently have been pretty polished, just that they lack anything that's truly interesting.
There is no midway point.
There is polished (Which means there are so few bugs they are not inherently noticable) and then there is unpolished where bugs are commonly noticed.
Perhaps tomorrow will be better.
2/20/10 5:08:52 PM#6
I already did my part supporting Fallen Earth.I usually do a ton of homework before i play a game or i should say purchase it.Fallen earth was different,i did read their website and i did see a couple videos and ,pretty much thought their staff acted professional,so i went out and bought the game and tried to play it for at least one month.
Well i only lasted 7 days and it was painful to login each day.I don't regret supporting them, i still feel they conduct a sound business and i had zero problems canceling,no complaints.
The problem is that i am pretty much sold on the fact that indie developers cannot in today's environment produce a top quality game.
Look at Epic games ,still to this day a VERY small operation 75 employees,but with one of the most respected game engines on the market and a great game series Unreal Tournament to boot.Look at John Carmack considered one of the smartest guys out there,His Quake series is legendary.One of my faves Naughty Dog productions,started by a couple teenagers back in 1986,these guys are millionaires now.Does anyone honestly think a couple teenagers could afford to start a great MMORPG in today's market?I don't.Look at that guy who made LOVE,that game isn't very good at all,he basically just wanted to prove he COULD do it,but imo his efforts were in his tools no game development,and he definitely is not going to be making any money selling subscriptions to that game.
The difference is these guys started a long time ago early to mid 90's,the cost of operating a business has skyrocketed since then.In comparison an Indie developer now would be spending 20x more for a simpleton project when compared to legendary projects of the 90's.Sure the giants can handle it,but even SOE is struggling ,EA is laying off,many others are laying off or closing their doors,so for an Indie developer to hang with the big boys is near impossible.They have to cut corners somewhere,be it graphics or content or animations,anything that takes time to produce a great result will be done in less time.
OP 2/20/10 5:09:45 PM#7
Originally posted by loirnoir
Wait...I'm sorry I failed to realize that I had posted a thread about the difference between polish and gameplay.
Hard Core Member
The only luck I had today was to have you as my opponent.
2/20/10 5:14:02 PM#8
Sanitarium...not a multiplayer but a great game imo. can only be found on ebay.
C&C Renegade...played it religiously for years. most hardcore gaming i ever did was in that game. Got world 4th rank twice. The game was such a big dissapointment when launched that it actually killed Westwood :)
*side note: who remembers westwood ? *
anyway. this 'failed game' to me was a blast. I'd play sometimes close to 21 hours/day. I loved it.
OP 2/20/10 5:15:59 PM#9
Originally posted by Wizardry
OP 2/20/10 5:17:16 PM#10
Originally posted by Robokapp
I remember Westwood. Who could forget? =]
Hard Core Member
MMORPGs are no longer about the mass multi-user anymore *sadly*
2/20/10 5:32:49 PM#11
Originally posted by johnmatthais
I have to agree there with you. After 3 years of Lineage II (which I enjoyed a lot), I got bored of the game and went on. I hopped from LotR to AoC, to WAR, to God knows what more (a lot of F2P for sure), and found out that all lacked something. Including my beloved LotR (inactive right now, but I have life-time sub, so I guess I'll be in Middle Earth one day again).
I also tried EVE in 2008 and didn't get into the game back then. I picked it up late January again, and plunged myself into it and now I'm enjoying it. But having too much time, I want to play something else as well, so I yelled in LFG as well. You gave some interesting suggestions there, but I already went to the other indy that was recommended before you hopped in - Fallen Earth. I love the game! Graphics are good enough, but more importantly, the gameplay is awesome. Never though I could fall for a game after the 1st day of trial again ;)
Oh... You're 16..? I wouldn't have guessed that. Your post sounds way too mature for you to be "only" 16 :D
Demigoth's RPG adventures ~ My blog
OP 2/20/10 5:36:02 PM#12
Originally posted by Reizla
Glad you found some games you can enjoy! =D
Much of the reason I support indies is that breath of fresh air, mostly in part to really getting to know their fans/consumers.
Also, yeah, I'm only 16. It's shocking to some people, but I take it as a compliment. No reason to think it's a bad thing. ^^
Revenge is a dish best served with mayonnaise and those little cheesy things on sticks.
2/20/10 5:43:48 PM#13
Just an example... If I had played EVE when it launched, I wouldn't have paid for it.
I'm paying for EVE now. I don't care if CCP is indie or not, they have created a polished, fun product. If it weren't for those people who supported EVE in the beginning, it wouldn't be where it is today. So I see your point.
But I don't think like you do. Companies provide me with entertainment, and if they succeed in doing that, I will pay them. If they don't, I won't. Indie or not. Frankly, I don't mind where the genre is. I'm not some burned out vet, and I can enjoy both sandboxes and themeparks without crusading against the latter. I shouldn't have replied, should I?
OP 2/20/10 5:48:10 PM#14
Originally posted by Comnitus
2/20/10 5:51:07 PM#15
I beta tested and purchase FE plus an annual sub. I will be continuing with the annual sub when its due. FE is one of the best games I have played in a long time. I bought MO but have decided to not support it past the 56 dollars I paid for it. If Icarus can produce a solid game as a indie company then I have zero tolerance at this point for anything less. I will be trying Earthrise when it hits as well. EVE is a great game as well but after a few years I am burnt on it but will go back when the next xpac goes live.
Cynical? Me? Never.
2/20/10 6:01:26 PM#16
Great. Another one of these.
Why in the world would I support a developer just because they are independent?
Conversely, why would I not support a developer just because they were from a big publisher?
There are very few happy endings for indies. Mythic(sell-outs and I think its obvious DAoC was a fluke), CCP, and I don't know who else. Turbine? I consider the rest of the indies that have come and gone thieves. They promised the world, and gave us scams.
Why would Blizzard or Bioware not have my support? They were small too at one point. They built a name for themselves, and are still making quality games.
I will not blindly follow indies, unlike so many fanbois.
2/20/10 6:03:53 PM#17
MMOs are in a state of content build-out right now, most aren't really pushing technology, most are just adding more and hopefully better content to compete. At some point some independent developer will push the current technology to another level, which won't necessarily require a huge amount of content to see a move forward. I don't think it will necessarily take a large developer to move things to the next level, but it's definitely hard to imagine what that next leap will be at this point. At least that's my prediction.
OP 2/20/10 6:08:53 PM#18
Originally posted by brostyn
Great another one of these.
Why in the world would I support a developer just because they give me something exactly the same thing that I just left the last game I played over, despite the fact that I did, in fact, enjoy it before it got mind-numbingly boring?
Conversely, why would I not support a developer with something new in mind that I thought was an absolutely amazing idea?
There are very few happy endings for big-names. SOE (god, who knows how they keep going?), NCSoft, and I don't know, who else. Blizzard? I consider the rest that have come and gone thieves. They promised us fresh content and have left us with a bad taste in our mouths (I'm looking at you, Cryptic!).
Why would Icarus and CCP not have my support? They're fighting against all odds to make something of themselves, and are still making quality games.
I will not blindly follow the big-names, just because they're big, unlike so many on the bandwagon.
I can do it too. Who knew?
The adult I am takes care of most things real life. However my inner-child is a GAMER!!
2/20/10 6:11:26 PM#19
Supporting Fallen Earth, it has been many years since a MMORPG grabbed me as Fallen Earth has done.
The graphics for a indie company stand right next to A-Tittle games, that is if your system is up to it, tho my system isn't high end by today's standards, I still am able to play it on very high settings with everything else marked or 100%, animation could get some work in fact they are working on them but the graphics to me look great. Now not singleplayer great but MMORPG great. As some people for some reason need to compare singleplayer game graphics with MMORPG graphics, ignoring how big a MMORPG actually is compared to a singelplayer game or that it needs to account for more then just one player ingame
Except it's not bright with rainbow colours but has a more natural look to it due to it's setting which is reall earth Post Apocalyptic. And the gameworld is big, takes several hours, thought about 5/6 to cross 3 sectors and this is all done seamlessly, no loading apart from when you die or have done the intro toturial, once you set foot in the world you free to go where ever you want, obviously the higher you get the more danger you will face
The missions are actually very well written when people would actually take the itme to read them, unfortunaly many don't and get bored as they fast click to just the page what needs to be done and follow the X to complete it and do the same to the next mission, these people turn out bored in the end, there is allot and I do mean allot of humor in many missions, the content is HUGH and I mean hugh as in hugh, from crafting to missions, from exploring with meaning to discovering with meaning,the game keeps growing for the better, it's NOT a game for the unpatient that want to max lvl asap as often the racers will again be bored quick they often chose to simply be selfefficient and pure craft what they need, for me the game provides so much crafting sometimes it makes my head spin in what to make next, should it be a new weapon, some science gear, shall I work on my horse or make horses for friends or just well there is just so much to craft, it's also about the journey, the community, there needs some work to make the economy work commercially as many lack the patience to make it work so for those we need the devs to work on that. Many people don't want to get involded to much with all the craft the game offers and plenty enjoy it that way, but me as a craft addict I keep having things to look forward to making. Love the experimental, the improved and enhanced recipes making. Aswell getting my hands on some reward recipes that can not be bought nor crafted but are gain with several missions around FE's world.
So far apart from Star Wars Galaxies the crafting is really fun in many way's from supporting newbies to selfsupport and very good auction sales, that is if you know how to play the auction, for those who can't it feels not quite right as many are pretty spoiled wit today's MMO's. And it keeps getting better, the community is very helpfull, the devs actually communicate directly, GM 24/7 support,
, playing the game since release and no A-Title MMO the last couple of years have made me do that other then a few weeks till perhaps a month with those easy to play A-title MMO's.
Fallen Earth IS a game that let's you read to understand, which with current generation is often far to much to ask for. The game has really grown from how it was in beta, very different in many way, from it's looks to it's feel of the game.
So yeah I support Indie, but just because FE is such a quality MMORPG that has been missing for several years in this genre, which is my own opinion and doesn't have to be the same to everyone else.
OP 2/20/10 6:12:09 PM#20
Originally posted by Erythrocyte
Well, I've already seen indies outside of the MMO genre pushing things forward (the soft texturing techniques that Wolfire are using for fur in Overgrowth are simply astounding!), so I can only imagine it would be so long before the MMO indies catch up.
The biggest thing in the MMO genre I've seen is that graphics only need stay adequate and content and features need push forward. This is another reason I put so much faith in indies. They're the ones without a corporate moron directing the game the exact way they want it to be.