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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » 1000 people working on a game to make it most lengthy, deep with replayability and daily patches - is it possible?

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49 posts found
  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

1/18/13 10:46:52 AM#41
Originally posted by Quizzical You're never going to eliminate the perception of favoritism, even if you could eliminate the reality of it. If people can believe that the game's random number generators are biased against them even when it isn't plausible, then how are you going to convince them that GMs that have given them a warning or a temp ban in the past aren't biased against them when it's highly plausible?

 

The conspiracy theorists would have a good time with it, at least.

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  SpottyGekko

Elite Member

Joined: 9/26/04
Posts: 3169

1/18/13 10:50:12 AM#42

Afaik SWTOR actually HAD about 1000 people working on it at one stage. And the result of that epic effort (and expense) was not exactly a runaway success...


A really "deep" game will result in really complex code, because so many things will be affected by other things and events. It's a huge effort to develop complex software that has a high degree of inter-dependence between different systems. A small change in one area can have unexpected results in totally different parts of the system.


The more people you have in a development team, the more time you have to spend talking to each other about what you PLAN to do, as opposed to actually doing it. If you had 1000 programmers, most of them would be doing nothing 50% of the time, because they'll be waiting for approval to go ahead with their planned changes or new feature implementations.

EDIT: Wtf is up with formatting today ? 0.0

  LeegOfChldrn

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/11/11
Posts: 369

1/18/13 11:58:01 AM#43

THE REALITY

A lot of the bigger MMO's probably have far over 1000 people working on a game.

That of course includes customer service, tech support, outsourced employees, server maintenance, etc. The actual amount of graphic artists, writers, and game programmers are probably very few comparatively. Once a MMORPG gets released, most of the team leaves or their contract ends, leaving very few of what were once many artists and programmers- even designers.

 

THE IDEA

The idea of "1000 people working on a game to make it lengthy, deep, and replayable with daily patches" is more about a large number of people working to make this happen, and less about the actual number of 1000. With that said...

It is a fantastic idea, which IMO should be implemented, or at least attempted, as a new business model.


WoW probably has the majority of revenue produced into profits. Their costs are not going to be as large a % as other MMORPG's given their massive subscriber base. The more popular the game is, the more money you make, and you don't always need additional employees simply because you have additional customers- especially dealing with virtual goods and a MMORPG. Server costs are next to nothing- don't be fooled, MMORPG's are INCREDIBLY profitable even when they are a failure with very few subscribers. Dead games like Dark Age of Camelot still probably profit EA in the millions per year, if not at least a single million. That game is next to dead. Notice that I said profit, not revenue. This would be after the non-existent server cost of DAoC and the low cost of the few employees still working on the game. I wouldn't be surprised that given DAoC's low requirements due to a dead playerbase, EA actually runs the servers for next to free, given that they have an incredibly large server database and a good deal with their bandwidth provider.


IMAGE IF... WoW did this. Except, why would they?

Imagine if WoW used a ton of money to push out more content. With the amount of profit they make, they could easily make that content produced daily after working on it for a bit (to catch up and get ahead of the curve).

In a business sense, it wouldn't make any sense. In fact, WoW doesn't release expansions very quickly at all for the very reason of there being only ONE reason to release content (a dying playerbase) and one HUGE reason to never change a thing: WoW is already successful. Releasing ANY content has a big potential to cause players to leave, and very little potential to increase profits. It's so successful, screwing it up (UO Trammel, SWG fiasco, etc.) would be the biggest business failure in the history of gaming.

However, there is a big incentive to produce content daily and make your game better by hiring a lot of quality employees in an organized fashion. The better your game, the more content, and the fact you release patches nearly instantly compared to rarely, would make the game very high quality. A high quality game would see increase sales and a reduction in subscriber loss. The only business aspect about it is, "Is it worth it?" Are the cost of making the game better less than the profit of increased sales? Most likely it isn't, because of factors like a cap on the increase you'll see with fast content updates.  I however believe it would be beneficial in the long run and would definitely be profitable if you found a balance, such as WEEKLY updates or simply hiring more artists, writers, or coders.

 

More Employees = A Better Game
More programmers to fix bugs, add small features, and work with artists to polish the GUI or provide optional GUI choices.
More artists to make graphics better, add optional graphic models (EQ2 optional models, LoL skins), fill the world, work with coders to update the engine.
More writers and level designers to add in more content, ditch crappy content, and listen to the playerbase.
Better community managers, in-game activities, and GM events. Better/faster customer service, more security coders to get cheaters, etc.

If I were to ever make a game, I would hope to stick to my vision that profits aren't everything: making a high quality game is more important than profit.

  ZombieKen

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/30/10
Posts: 4410

Zombie - Dead but still moving.

1/18/13 12:03:59 PM#44
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by TsaboHavoc
Originally posted by ObiClownobi
Depends, are they EA employees?

 

lol if so, water and bread are not expensive, nor the dark dungeons to shelter them.

 

You guys are cruel. :)

 

LOL, they do have their moments.

 

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

  BigAndShiny

Novice Member

Joined: 6/06/11
Posts: 177

1/18/13 12:04:08 PM#45

Blizzard currently has ~160 devs on WoW.  They could easily have 1600 and still make a huge profit.  

They could release an expansion for World of Warcraft every two and a half months, release a zone, three raids, five instances every month if they wanted to, and still be making hundreds of millions of dollars a year.  

 

But they don't.   TOR wanted to do this.  They had 500 devs at launch.  But unlike Blizzard, they had the opposite problem.  they couldn't afford to keep the devs, so they had to fire them. 

  LeegOfChldrn

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/11/11
Posts: 369

1/18/13 12:07:23 PM#46

Loktofelt listed,

- Perceived favoritism

- Covering prime hours for all regions

- Negatively impacting players that are not involved (collateral damage)

 

LOL, these aren't real problems. You will not see a loss in sales for a business adding in a great feature like GM events. People do not complain so much that they hate it when a business gives out "Free Icecream from 5pm to 7pm" every Tuesday.

People do not say, "You know that company that gives out 1000 free hamburgers every Tuesday at 3pm? I can't ever make that. I refuse to buy their hamburgers."

People do not say, "I am a Hulu subscriber, and I am unsubscribing because Hulu is allowing us to watch newly released movies every Monday at 5pm, and I can never make it in time to watch the full episode."

 

Loktofelt must be out of touch with reality to think that these are flaws in the idea of a GM event system. I literally have to refrain from insults, because I cannot believe this was even suggested as a flaw...lmao...

  Disdena

Novice Member

Joined: 3/05/10
Posts: 1098

1/18/13 12:37:32 PM#47

As someone who ran GM/Guide events in EQ, I can vouch for what Loktofeit was saying. It is incredibly difficult to get such an event to run smoothly in the first place—no technical mishaps, no griefers or spammers trying to sabotage it—and even when you do, very few people get the experience that you were shooting for, and the majority walk away confused and/or disappointed. It is not a stretch to say that a good number of player have a more negative than positive experience with those kind of events.

On the topic of putting 1000 devs on a game in order to constantly update it, I will say only this. Despite what you might think, a rather small minority of players experience endgame content. Even in WoW, which has been out since the 1960s or so, only a small fraction of the players currently playing have consumed all the content that the game has to offer. If you factor in all the people who have ever played the game since its release, the number of people who finished everything are the figurative drop in a 50-gallon bucket.

Hiring hundreds of content creators to churn out new items, dungeons, and abilities would only serve the interests of these people who surge to the very front of the pack to take on every last challenge that the game has to offer. To the rest of us, what good is an expansion's worth of content every week if we only put in 10-20 hours in a week? The overwhelming majority of players don't suffer from a lack of content, so everything that those 1000 people crank out would go to waste.

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 6095

1/18/13 12:41:13 PM#48
Originally posted by sagil

I'd just like to know if it's possible this can be done now or in the future. With money cost, organizing, etc..

To be more clear maybe... is it like having builders working on a wonder building?

 

I'd imagine this might work for mmos... but single player games are just a once a day or week marathon. Mmos however can last 10 years or more, which WoW proves.

You should read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mythical_Man-Month if you're really interested in the topic.  And the answer is no, adding more people doesn't make it go faster.  There is a bell like curve based on several complex factors that should be considered when assembling a team.

Curse you AquaScum!

  MMOExposed

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/17/10
Posts: 6214

1/18/13 9:07:40 PM#49
Originally posted by Eir_S
After SWTOR, what company would risk this kind of venture?

most of that went to Voice Overs from what I hear. That was a huge novice MMO developer mistake on Bioware part to make a MMO based on Story being the most important part even over gameplay.

I believe other developers shouldnt get that same kind of argument, because of what Bioware did. They believed that MMO gamers really were similar to Singleplayer RPG gamers. Two different mindsets. They may not have known that...

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