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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: MMO Development Needs Change

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126 posts found
  Dreamo84

Defender of Worlds

Joined: 5/20/04
Posts: 2808

I actually still like MMORPGs

7/12/13 11:22:40 AM#21
Every game should have a long closed beta like Firefall. Granted you paid for access to it.

  Nerblas

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/16/06
Posts: 16

7/12/13 11:26:50 AM#22

Good read, good ideas... And I know from experience that it can be done... Best of luck to you.

PS: must.... not... reply... posts....

"Vidis Fodidis Est"

  ozmono

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/12/06
Posts: 1023

7/12/13 11:27:44 AM#23
Made me want to be a better beta tester.
  Four0Six

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/18/11
Posts: 1069

7/12/13 11:32:20 AM#24
Sounds like we need go back to beta testing as testing, and not hype generation.
  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10429

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

7/12/13 11:32:59 AM#25

They could just call the player participation portion of the game development process "Late Alpha" development, then players don't have the skewed expectations that they have for Betas.

**

Also, it seems like some of what he's talking about is not going to change until the development tools add enough automation to take creature development from six weeks (!) back to one week.

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

  MindTrigger

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/19/07
Posts: 2628

7/12/13 11:42:08 AM#26

As long as 3D games have been online, gamers have wanted to be involved.  I remember back when Quake 1 first hit the market, one of the best things about it was players being able to make their own maps and share them.  Some player made maps for the Quake series (and I'm sure other shooters), went on to be mainstays and were adopted by companies like id software.  I was part of a project back then that built and released a huge and popular community map pack of 32 player Quake maps (it was a big deal at the time).

Point being that MMO devs should embrace crowdsourcing for their games.  Just look at some of the long and involved posts some of us make on this very website detailing the problems with games.  Often, many of these problems are spotted by MMO vets long before the rest of the world catches up and then the game starts bleeding players because of them.  This doesn't mean devs shouldn't control their own games, but it does mean that opening themselves up to more input and brain power by embracing more actual gamers, could be very beneficial.

How hard would it be to build a crowdsource gaming website where people who want to help can sign up and become contributors?  A method of weeding out the useless people wouldn't be all that hard to come up with.  Corporations do this every day with employee performance metrics.

-----

On an unrelated note, where's all the procedural programming we were hearing about years ago?  It seemed like a great idea to me, allowing algorithms to handle some of the more mundane and time consuming aspects of graphics development. 

BTW, Star Wars Galaxies and other games handled their vast planets by having dynamic spawns of creature and NPC lairs and bases throughout the world, and this had a great way of filling up the beautiful maps with things to fight, including rare and elite spawns.  As a Ranger (think survivalist / tracker in SWG), I spent a year of gameplay in that game just adventuring and contract hunting / tracking for other players.  The maps were also peppered with static caves, dungeons and bases that were fun to attack.  Why the hell did this ever not become somewhat standard for MMO games?  

A sure sign that you are in an old, dying paradigm/mindset, is when you are scared of new ideas and new technology. Don't feel bad. The world is moving on without you, and you are welcome to yell "Get Off My Lawn!" all you want while it happens. You cannot, however, stop an idea whose time has come.

  Tuchaka

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/14/10
Posts: 453

7/12/13 11:45:17 AM#27
Originally posted by Fendel84M
Every game should have a long closed beta like Firefall. Granted you paid for access to it.

True that buying a founders pack got you into beta but they gave out beta invites to every beta tester to invite their friends I invited at least 20 people so a huge amount that got into beta didn't pay a thing.

  Jatar

Novice Member

Joined: 9/16/07
Posts: 329

Citadel of Sorcery dev team member

7/12/13 11:55:30 AM#28

Good article.

As a developer on the MMORPG Citadel of Sorcery, I can say that much of what Mark has stated is true.  However, there are other issues to deal with in his plan for the future.  Mark said,

“Sticking to what has been successful before may minimize risk, but it is also leading to gamer fatigue in the MMO genre in general as games feel “the same” and keep us entertained for shorter periods before we get bored.”

We are in complete agreement, and this is one reason we are being as innovative and different as possible.  We are designing our game to be more fun to play, with less grinds.  However, a while ago, when we put it up on Kickstarter and showed what we CLEARLY explained was Pre-Alpha, players threw a fit about the graphics, and we are still dealing with that negative response.  If we let players in to play at Alpha can you imagine the complaints about placeholder graphics we would then get?  The vast majority of players play lip service to better game play, but then blast developers on the graphics, even if they are told they are placeholder or pre-alpha.

Having said that, and experienced this reaction first hand, we are STILL planning on letting players in at starting at Alpha for the very reasons that Mark has stated.  We want the game to be great, new, and innovative, and because of that there are a lot of new things that need play testing and feedback.  Only time will tell if this strategy will hurt or help us I the long run.  It may help us make better and innovative game play, and yet hurt the perception of the quality of the game when an Alpha is judged as if it was finished art.

  nquaglia

Novice Member

Joined: 12/20/07
Posts: 4

7/12/13 11:59:42 AM#29

What you are advocating for is something that is working elsewhere in the software industry. However, it sounds like it is not happening in game development. 

I work as a UX Designer and our whole process is about rapid iteration and learning from our users on day 1 of a project. The trite but true phrase is 'fail early, fail often'. We get ideas in front of customers as sketches that illustrate the concepts we are toying with. It's not just the UX people present either, it's Lead Developers and Product Managers that are along for the process.  

We explore a multitude of directions to see what is going to resonate with our customers and hear their feedback. Importantly we can do this with sketches on paper. Users don't have to have the software in their hands using it to understand and talk intelligently about ideas.  Of course, the challenge is to hear peoples' feedback but then be able to translate that into what people actually need. 

The point is, getting things in front of customers early and being able to iterate and improve over time is part of the culture of a lot of software companies. I don't see why this wouldn't be successful in game development. You spend a little more cost and time upfront, but  you save that by avoiding rework down the road when it is more costly. Sometimes, though, it is difficult to convince people that you need to take the long view. 

  biboct123

Novice Member

Joined: 8/04/11
Posts: 8

7/12/13 12:00:57 PM#30
Strongly agree with Mark Kern, if you want to be successed in this industry you must to move steps forward the crowd!
  Reklaw

Elite Member

Joined: 1/07/06
Posts: 6107

The adult I am takes care of most things real life. However my inner-child is a GAMER!!

7/12/13 12:15:04 PM#31

Not sure about this thread. I mean there is Alpha, closed beta. These do work, the problem isn't the developers, it's the actuall players granted to get into Alpha or Beta. I have no idea how company's could select people. Perhpas they need to make it manditory for players in Alpha/CB to make a full report each week, not doing so would expel you from beta and acces stops.

When open beta hits we all know that most just enter to get a taste of the game, not really testing just complaining because they encounter issue's which are not spoken of in a constructive manner.

It's a shame to see a developer like OP to not speak about the reall issue instead he's talking the talk just like most forum posters do.

  BelegStrongbow

Novice Member

Joined: 11/10/08
Posts: 282

7/12/13 12:15:30 PM#32

In addition to Marks comments,  Developers in general these days are "not"capturing customer data and working off that data.  One thing Red5 Does often is put out Email surveys and create a lot of forum discussion.  But more importantly they use the data and players actually see the game change based on their comments.

 

Then you have developers like AV and Darkfall who completely ignore their playerbase,  which is why the game is failing. 

 
 
  MindTrigger

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/19/07
Posts: 2628

7/12/13 12:20:17 PM#33
Originally posted by BelegStrongbow

In addition to Kens comments,  Developers in general these days are capturing customer data and working off that data.  One thing Red5 Does often is put out Email surveys and create a lot of forum discussion.  But more importantly they use the data and players actually see the game change based on their comments.

 

Then you have developers like AV and Darkfall who completely ignore their playerbase,  which is why the game is failing. 

There may be a few companies doing this, but I've been involved in a ton of MMO betas over the last several years, and I can't think of one that sent me a meaningful survey or otherwise collected much information from me on my gameplay impressions and opinions.  Especially one with enough granular detail involved to be useful. 

A sure sign that you are in an old, dying paradigm/mindset, is when you are scared of new ideas and new technology. Don't feel bad. The world is moving on without you, and you are welcome to yell "Get Off My Lawn!" all you want while it happens. You cannot, however, stop an idea whose time has come.

  BelegStrongbow

Novice Member

Joined: 11/10/08
Posts: 282

7/12/13 12:32:47 PM#34

Edited,  Meant to say they are not doing those things and they need to start.  Red 5 does a good job at it though.

  Elikal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/09/06
Posts: 8067

“No path is darker then when your eyes are shut.” -Flemeth

7/12/13 12:33:34 PM#35
What I REALLY want to know: How is this cost explosion possible? I mean, don't those companies all hire homeless Taiwanese children to program for 20 cents a day? I mean, seriously, they outsorced almost everything. So how comes they cost such a gazillion`?
 
 
We all became risk averse. It's a major trend in our culture.
 
500 years ago people "discovered" America because they were risk takers. I am sure thousands of humans died miserably alone for the making of a complete world map. Without these we would still think the world consists of Europe and North Afrika. I am not saying we should go back to that, but with every new century the Western humanity evolved more into careful, risk-averse people who only step outside their homes now with GPS navigation and all-time cellphone connection. We are mentally unable to take risks, as a culture.

A forum is a place where people can discuss about different opinions. So what I don't get is, how people react offended when they come to a forum and then find... well different opinions. If a different opinion offends you, what are you even doing here?

  Elikal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/09/06
Posts: 8067

“No path is darker then when your eyes are shut.” -Flemeth

7/12/13 12:37:44 PM#36

We all became risk averse. It's a major trend in our culture.

 

500 years ago people "discovered" America because they were risk takers. I am sure thousands of humans died miserably alone for the making of a complete world map. Without these we would still think the world consists of Europe and North Afrika. I am not saying we should go back to that, but with every new century the Western humanity evolved more into careful, risk-averse people who only step outside their homes now with GPS navigation and all-time cellphone connection. We are mentally unable to take risks, as a culture.

A forum is a place where people can discuss about different opinions. So what I don't get is, how people react offended when they come to a forum and then find... well different opinions. If a different opinion offends you, what are you even doing here?

  gatheris

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/09/06
Posts: 978

7/12/13 12:41:03 PM#37

so an open beta where you are taking money from players using your "release" business model is not a released game?

Seems like a lot of paragraphs making excuses just for that

Keep it closed then so only the special flowers are paying in not the weeds of the field

 

 

 

 

  Siphaed

Elite Member

Joined: 1/17/08
Posts: 750

7/12/13 12:50:02 PM#38

Screw working together with players.  Basically you're asking advice of people who have no idea what it takes to make a video game, on how to make a video game.  Stupid idea.

 

Instead the developers should focus on things that THEY want to play and enjoy.  By making a game that they'd enjoy, it also becomes a game that others enjoy too.  CCP does it that way,  A.Net does it that way, and a few others do it that way too.  The rest...well, they're going F2P because their initial economic set up was failed.

  Razeekster

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 7/09/11
Posts: 1884

May the game be ever in your favor.

7/12/13 12:50:59 PM#39
No offense but I don't see how a developer whose own game is awash with problems can talk critically about other MMOs. FireFall was in beta for how many years? The game was practically empty when I tried it due to all the problems people have had with it...

Smile

  thegreatestagain

Novice Member

Joined: 7/11/13
Posts: 37

7/12/13 12:57:35 PM#40
I do NOT want gamers to have a voice in game development, educated, trained, experienced, intelligent professionals Only
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