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Developers Corner 

MMORPG Game Concepts  » The market is there, why not make it?

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122 posts found
  Holophonist

Hard Core Member

Joined: 2/15/09
Posts: 2014

10/11/13 1:05:34 PM#81
Originally posted by Antiquated
Originally posted by Holophonist
Originally posted by Antiquated
Originally posted by Holophonist

I get his point, it's just irrelevant.

If you actually did get it, it would be relevant.

When the players demand, over and over again, a model of exclusion... they're asking for their ideal; not what's in the company's best interest.

"Why can't we make a game just for us?" ("just for us", of course, is the same as "not for them")

No, this is still off topic.

I think a review of post #1 in this thread is in order.

 

No, it isn't. You were responding to somebody's post. That's why you QUOTED him. That's why your sarcastic comments were directed towards him. Yet they were irrelevant. Accept it and move on.
  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10564

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

10/11/13 1:56:26 PM#82


Originally posted by Mr.Kujo

Originally posted by Zakk1011 So, instead of telling me why you don't think this will work...why don't we come up with a way to MAKE it work?  There's a lot of us here who want it. What do we need to do? The purpose of my original post was to start to develop a path towards accomplishing the goal of seeing a game like this being developed and, ultimately, successful.  Games did it back them.  They can do it now. What are your ideas?
You can do a kickstarter. Promote your idea and wait for the "LARGE" group to donate for your cause. I hope you are prepared for disappointment, because lots of projects named "oldschool mmorpg" failed big time, and never even got close to the requested sum. It shows how "LARGE" the crowd really is. It is not that no one is trying, it just fails. Proof is already there, what more do you need? As such a crazy oldschool fan you should be fully aware of all the failed indie projects. If not, maybe you should be more dedicated, and do some research.

The reason why you do not know how to push your game to development is the same reason why you still think that this type of game would be possible to pull off - lack of knowledge about the industry.

So far in the last two years I have seen few threads like this, with few people having the same opinion like yours. I don't know how can you base on those few people, that there is a large group somewere that would support your idea, show this group. Do a legitimate survey, start kickstarter, support kickstarter projects that are already there, read more about the industry, I just mentioned few things to do, that will get you closer to your goal than writing on forums.




Or join the industry itself in some manner, rise up the ranks of game development companies and get some projects out the door. Then hit Kickstarter. Having that industry experience seems to give Kickstarter projects a big boost in both the amount that can be requested and the how quickly the Kickstarter reaches its goal.

The next best alternative would involve actually pulling a team of people together with real experience in the industry, but you'd have to have money of your own to put up as collateral to lure those people in. However, you could use their names as an indicator that you're serious about the game.

A lot of money is a necessary thing. You won't build an MMORPG in your basement, by yourself. You could start with less than millions of dollars, but you'd only really be able to build a tech demo. You could use that tech demo to possibly get real investors interested, especially if you have people on your team who have released games in the past. Then from there start the game in earnest.

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

  Xthos

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/18/10
Posts: 2641

10/11/13 3:10:18 PM#83
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Xthos
Originally posted by Antiquated
Originally posted by Holophonist

I get his point, it's just irrelevant.

If you actually did get it, it would be relevant.

When the players demand, over and over again, a model of exclusion... they're asking for their ideal; not what's in the company's best interest.

"Why can't we make a game just for us?" ("just for us", of course, is the same as "not for them")

I NEVER demanded, asked, or wondered why, you just felt the need to go off topic....

The interesting mistake in your past two replies is you have falsely assumed that either you or your posts were the topic in either of the exchanges you just replied to.

 I am not replying to you just now either, kind of odd.

  Xthos

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/18/10
Posts: 2641

10/11/13 3:26:35 PM#84
Originally posted by Nadia
Originally posted by Zakk1011

WHY hasn't a publisher done this??  It seems SO LOW budget to me (relative to other titles) and people would EAT IT UP.

How successful do you think a graphically updated EQ1, with some minor gameplay tweaks/additions, would be right now?

how is that lowbudget?

 

players will be expecting POLISH and Good Graphics  -- both expensive

and content !

 

to create a low budget mmo

if a dev used HTML5 to create a browser game, like Runes of Magic,

but it had all the features of EQ1 / AC

 

would you play it?   

I'll readily admit I wouldn't - I'm not a fan of browser mmos

 I always thought the same thing, but things are progressing, I would think you could make a UO type game that would function as a browser game now, with the newer technology...I could be wrong though.  I have been willing to go back to UO in 6-12 month clips not too long ago, so I cannot rule it out now.  The problem probably would be that it would not work, sure you may get it to render, but if you had a good amount of stuff going on, it probably would not perform well.  I mentioned UO more for graphics, not features (for those that will read into it has to have ffa pvp or something). 

The next thing is that these typically are made like slot machines, so now that I said I may play it on design if it worked (which it probably wouldn't that well), I wouldn't want to use a lot of the standard f2p models that these use. 

  Jorendo

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/02/08
Posts: 213

10/12/13 4:57:21 AM#85

The reason is simple why publishers don't make such a old school MMORPG:

 

1. Its not for the mainstream gamer. Not sure if you watched the game scene but every genre has turned to the mainstream gamer. Sure now and then a bit of a harder game comes out. But most games focus on the mainstream gamer. The sadly goes for MMO's. A mainstream gamer would get lost if its not clear where to go by atleast 10 markers to show how to get there. There for its not gonna be made.

 

2. Publishers look at how much they can earn in the first few months rather then looking at the long term. Cause thats how it works with other genre's too. Only a MMO often tends to be profitable on the long term if you play it right (and many haven't). So lets say those who want old school MMO's, they are with lets say 1 million people (i don't know the numbers just using it as example). However making it a mainstrea themepark game will have a audiance of 3 million people. Then they will make it for the 3 million people and not the 1 million people. That after the first 2 months the second game only has 1 million players or less left where the first probably would still have that 1 million people and perhaps more doesn't matter. They made their profit in the first 2 months and then simply don't care anymore for the game (or do you think EA gives a F about SWToR? Cause they don't).

Yes i really do believe a game like this would have a much more loyal fanbase that would go on for years. Cause we already have dozens of look a like MMORPG's out there. People hop between them but often return to WoW anyway. Most MMORPG's fail hard cause they keep trying to please the mainstream gamer, but the mainstream gamer isn't a core gamer. They don't attach themselves to a game like core gamers. You see that with WoW. Those who started in vanilla sticked around, but after TBC when WoW became more and more easy you saw the mainstream gamer come and go. And they do that with other MMO's too. I never found a community again like i did in (i quit a few years ago) WoW. Mostly people have great idea's and then after a month most have left.

 

@those who say "what are you complaining about, there are plenty of old game like tht still running"....really is that all you can say? That is a rather weak thing to say. So its perfectly fine we get like 3 WoW clones a year but o boy o boy o boy when people want a game with today's graphics with old school mechanics they have to hush cause there are still old school games out there. Really? Typical mainstream gamer behavior, just because you don't like it it shouldn't be there. Yeah call me a elite bastard as that is also a thing your kind of gamers love to shout. But facts are facts, to often on forums your kind of gamer just says the most redicoulase things. "Player housing should not be in a MMORPG cause i don't like it, there for it should not be in there" and "There are plenty of old games go play those", say nothign if you got nothing constructive to say. Remember, we played games before it was the cool thing to do, and while you where still figuring out you could use those legs to walk with. The game scene isn't just for mainstream gamers. You have your games, do allow others to get the games they want. Cheer for it, aren't we all gamers? Shouldn't we like our fellow gamers to enjoy a game too? You don't have to play such a game you know.

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12118

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Wildstar, and Combat Arms

10/12/13 7:40:55 AM#86
Originally posted by Jorendo

@those who say "what are you complaining about, there are plenty of old game like tht still running"....really is that all you can say? That is a rather weak thing to say. So its perfectly fine we get like 3 WoW clones a year but o boy o boy o boy when people want a game with today's graphics with old school mechanics they have to hush cause there are still old school games out there. Really? Typical mainstream gamer behavior, just because you don't like it it shouldn't be there. Yeah call me a elite bastard as that is also a thing your kind of gamers love to shout. But facts are facts, to often on forums your kind of gamer just says the most redicoulase things. "Player housing should not be in a MMORPG cause i don't like it, there for it should not be in there" and "There are plenty of old games go play those", say nothign if you got nothing constructive to say. Remember, we played games before it was the cool thing to do, and while you where still figuring out you could use those legs to walk with. The game scene isn't just for mainstream gamers. You have your games, do allow others to get the games they want. Cheer for it, aren't we all gamers? Shouldn't we like our fellow gamers to enjoy a game too? You don't have to play such a game you know.

No one is saying you shouldn't have a game that you want. They are just presenting the reality that it is highly unlikely any developer will spend that kind of money for little or no return.

That said, the most important part of your post is "facts are fact" because that's something that gets lost in all the rosey-lensed nostalgia around here. Every one of these rallies for an old school MMO is based on the belief that a large audience exists, not on facts that it exists. Actually, the belief is in direct opposition to all history and data of the genre that shows the exact opposite, which is pretty much the definition of Delusion.

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fovoroth

  ste2000

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/28/04
Posts: 4729

10/12/13 7:53:18 AM#87
Originally posted by c0exist
sign me up, ill go as high as $35/month. 

Agree

At the moment I am not spending any money on a MMORPG.

I bought some pledge packages for Star Citizen and SOTA (waiting for a new campaign for Pathfinder), but there is no released game at the moment who deserve my $50 monthly gaming budget

  sacredfool

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/04/07
Posts: 705

10/12/13 8:14:59 AM#88
Originally posted by Nobles

Long time reader first time poster. I created an account just so I can reply  back as this struck a chord with me.

I agree with everything the OP stated except on being able to build the game with some programmers and artists; it's going to take a lot more then that.

In any case I share similar feelings. I have been meaning to share my thoughts on this topic so i'll just let it all out :), grab a coffee

I have and still am jumping from MMO to MMO, usually each game lasting about 1-2 months. This seems to be a common time frame for many; leaving about 2 months in. I am longing for the day were i find an MMO that is exciting and holds my attention even if it's just for a year. I used to play old school single player RPG's and strategy games on NES, Genesis, SNES, PS1 and PC. To mix that experience into an online world is awesome or at least used to be. 

 

I truly believe that there is more then enough player base and desire to sustain a game the OP is referirng to. Here is my reasoning:

1. Look at Star Citizen. It has raised 21 Million dollars on kickstarter and their website. This is a huge slap in the face to PC publishers and market analysts. There have been countless articles on why PC gaming is dying and why Consoles are better Also publishers have stayed away from space games in general because of "lack of demand". They are wrong, and let's be realistic they have been wrong many many times.

2. Everquest Next halted production to revamp their game after realizing the game they were making wasn't too different from the current games and their lack of success. How the game will turn out remains to be seen but the fact is there is validity to their actions, they wouldn't have done what they did if there weren't enough players voicing their opinions about the current state of MMORPG

3. There are a ton of old school RPG's and strategy games announced on kickstarter that have blown through their target goals. This alone tells you that there are many gamers longing for so called "old school gaming". Almost all of their campaigns talk about the idea of being tired of current washed down games and want to develop greater substance and meaningful gameplay.

4. EVE Online. Thais is a hardcore game and on top of that it's in space an even less popular genre. A decade later it's still going strong, it even gained in it's playerbase over the last few years. You cannot say that there are not enough players who wish for mechanics an gameplay type that mimics the "old days of gaming"

5. Sandbox - GTA. Do a quick search on the success of this franchise, especially at what GTA V achieved. Yes it's on console and yes it's not on MMORPG but the fact is it is a Sandbox type game and this is one if not the main reasons why the game is so successful. One of the gameplay features that many so called "hardcore or old school gamers" want is a sandbox type environment, we don't want hand holding yet the industry sees MMORPG in a completely different light.

6. Star wars Galaxies Crafting, anyone who has played SWG will almost always without hesitation say the same thing. SWG had the best crafting system to date (2013). Poll after Poll, posts after posts. It's not an idea of some fanboy, it was in the game and it worked and it can be copied yet to this day no game has come close to it. I really believe it's because it's considering to be old school crafting / not mainstream enough. This leads into number 5

7a. WOW Part 1 (The Industry) - I really didn't want to bring WOW into this but it does play a huge role. This is not about knocking the game but simple truth. The game has done a lot of great things and my hats go off to Blizzard. However that aside it has had negative impact to MMO gaming. Because of it's huge success it was, kind of still is the baseline or the blueprint to MMO Development. The issue is that the market analysts and the big boys in leather chairs smoking cigars calling the shots didn't really understand the reason why WOW was successful. Since then there have been clones after clones followed by failure after failure. There are exceptions of course. It was not the core gameplay and mechanics that made the game successful.

There wen't millions of MMO players complaining about Everquest, ashron's call and others that they were too difficult, too hardcore. They didn't jump to WOW after seeing it was easy or the mechanics were better. WOW was *mostly* successful because of the Blizzard polish and low system requirements. The combat animations feel fluid with the combat being smooth, the worlds are beautiful, everything about it is was polished. It was/is fun to play. It's no different then watching a movie for it's simplicity and eye candy. The industry looked at WOW and said "look at how many people are playing the game, Copy it! Generally the gaming industry including the big giants didn't know what MMORPG was, so really the genre was defined by a game that at it's core was not a success due to it's mechanics and how RPG elements were implemented but rather for the polish. So you have developers and big publishers using the same formula in respect to mechanics because they are under the impression that this is what sells and what gamers want.

7b. WOW Part 2 (The Gamer) - WOW brought a lot of new players to the genre. I don't know the percentage but I wouldn't be surprised if at minimum 60% of MMO players is a result of WOW. This is great however the issue is that these players got introduced with a very nice polished looking game and they represent the majority voice. Putting the art style aside to this day the game still holds it's own simply due to the fact that it's smooth and polished. The game has a certain addictive feel (chemical) to it. Be honest, how many people left WOW to try a game and then came back, how many people continued or still continue to play WOW and complain about the game but at the same time can't let go and play other MMO's.

How many times did you get your friend to try a game or even yourself and the first 2 minutes of combat you uninstalled the game. I use combat as an example because I have seen it so many time as a big reason, but there are many others. So you have a huge majority of players that experienced their first MMO with WOW, have not played or understand other mechanics / gameplay, they don't exactly know what they want, yet they are the voice of MMO Gaming. God knows how many times I reinstalled Diablo II over the course of a decade because there was no better Action RPG available. It's a very similar story with WOW. 

To close this off while yes it's true that the higher percentage of MMORPG players may still prefer the WOW formula and shy away from the so called "old school" mechanics; there are plenty of players left that would easily sustain the type of game the OP is refering to. I really feel and hope that we will experience a Diablo 3 / Path of exile scenario. Diablo 3 came out with incredible polish and just a generally fun game (for short period) but it's mechanics, the auction house completely ruined it and along came a much smaller lower budget game (Path of Exile) with far superior game play and perhaps shifted the Action RPG culture / expectations. 

If you truly look around the gaming world you can see that there is a fairly large appetite and movement toward focusing on going back to the roots of gaming, being innovative and focusing on strong gameplay. The MMORPG genre will experience this soon and the smart developer and publisher sharp enough to see this will capitalize on this. I do really hope that Everquest Next is the game that will usher this in because I truly believe there is a lot of us out there that want at least something along the lines of what the OP mentioned. I would list the things I would love to see and experience in an MMO but I think i will do that in another post. This is long enough :) 

Going to quote the whole thing simply because it's such a great post. I am one of the people not introduced to MMOs by WoW and it's why I am here rather then playing it. I played my first MMO - Anarchy Online - for it's world, despite the fact the game was a mess, and didn't need another.


Originally posted by nethaniah

Seriously Farmville? Yeah I think it's great. In a World where half our population is dying of hunger the more fortunate half is spending their time harvesting food that doesn't exist.


  Zakk1011

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/09/13
Posts: 14

 
OP  10/12/13 4:57:27 PM#89

Reading the above posts, I came to a realization.  This ENTIRE argument has also based on the assumption that the only way to make a successful MMORPG is to follow the guidelines and structure that recent developers have paved.

You say that "old school" MMOs have been developed by Indie publishers and have failed and that the only games to make money are the ones who have become a line-produced "themepark/WoW-rip off".  Well, this is true if you take ONLY what has been developed so far.

What if what I'm suggesting is the NEXT thing that becomes the "successful" way an MMORPG should be made?

Kind of like trends in fashion:  Converse all-stars were super popular back in the day, and then they disappeared from the face of the planet for about 10 years.  Now they're super popular again.  Kind of like, "what's old is new" kind of thing.

Maybe a bad analogy with the shoes, but you get what I'm saying.

WoW was in the right place at the right time, with the right combination of different factors pertaining to gameplay and market.  What if all the games that were supposed to be "old school" just didn't have the right combination?  Does that mean it's automatically a non-viable business model?  No...it just means someone hasn't done it correctly.

All I'm suggesting when I talk about "large market" is that, if done correctly, a game with certain mechanics (call it "old school" or whatever label you want to put on it) and the correct variables could be a success.

EQ1 was not a success because of it's timing into the market.  It was a success because it was a good, fun, well-designed game.  We need another one of those.  We need a game that is thought-out, challenging, and community-based and driven.

I, personally, find it easier to achieve THOSE characteristics with a lot of elements from older MMORPGs is all.  Do you guys all disagree?  Would this game not be successful?

I think everyone wants to say "No" because they want to sound like they know what they're talking about, really.  But, honestly, nobody here "knows".  It's not possible to say "This is the only way you can make a AAA game successful: follow this formula."  There's GOT to be a way...we just don't know it yet.  Or, rather, the "industry" doesn't know it yet.

As arrogant as it may seem, however, I originally posted here because I think I know how to get a game that achieves this.

But...of course...so did all of those other Indie devs who's games failed...

  Mendel

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/22/11
Posts: 625

10/12/13 7:03:12 PM#90
Originally posted by Zakk1011

I think everyone wants to say "No" because they want to sound like they know what they're talking about, really.  But, honestly, nobody here "knows".  It's not possible to say "This is the only way you can make a AAA game successful: follow this formula."  There's GOT to be a way...we just don't know it yet.  Or, rather, the "industry" doesn't know it yet.

That is very true.  There is no one way to do anything.

But, that doesn't mean someone is willing to invest the time and money looking for some ideal way to build an MMORPG just to capture what is now another niche market (old-school, hardcore MMORPG players).

I tried to set myself up as a game developer, with the usual ideas and dreams.  Unlike others, I actually spent two years developing a business plan, investigating costs, estimating how much original coding work I would need (quite a bit more than I imagined at first), talked to some industry people I knew, etc..  I planned out the budgets, manpower charts and all the things I'd need to make my game a reality.  In 2002, when I was finished with the preliminary planning, my game was going to cost in excess of $2.5 million dollars.   That's when I threw in the towel; there was no way I could have gotten that level of financing at that time.  ($2.5 million would easily have bought all the homes in my neighborhood in 2002, and, sadly, in 2013, too).

These days, I'd be very uncomfortable with my original budget.  Prices have risen so drastically that I would consider $5 million US a pretty bare-bones project these days, with probably double that if I wanted a top-of-the-line game.  There are considerably more tools specifically designed to build MMORPGs  (there was one or 2 toolsets that I looked into), so maybe a considerable bit of my original estimates was developing custom networking frameworks and custom client code and could be trimmed.  Then again, using off-the-shelf means adhering to off-the-shelf solutions, which may not accomplish what I wanted to do.  I did not want to make a clone of another game then and that remains true.

Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10564

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

10/12/13 7:22:09 PM#91


Originally posted by Zakk1011
Reading the above posts, I came to a realization.  This ENTIRE argument has also based on the assumption that the only way to make a successful MMORPG is to follow the guidelines and structure that recent developers have paved.

You say that "old school" MMOs have been developed by Indie publishers and have failed and that the only games to make money are the ones who have become a line-produced "themepark/WoW-rip off".  Well, this is true if you take ONLY what has been developed so far.

What if what I'm suggesting is the NEXT thing that becomes the "successful" way an MMORPG should be made?

Kind of like trends in fashion:  Converse all-stars were super popular back in the day, and then they disappeared from the face of the planet for about 10 years.  Now they're super popular again.  Kind of like, "what's old is new" kind of thing.

Maybe a bad analogy with the shoes, but you get what I'm saying.

WoW was in the right place at the right time, with the right combination of different factors pertaining to gameplay and market.  What if all the games that were supposed to be "old school" just didn't have the right combination?  Does that mean it's automatically a non-viable business model?  No...it just means someone hasn't done it correctly.

All I'm suggesting when I talk about "large market" is that, if done correctly, a game with certain mechanics (call it "old school" or whatever label you want to put on it) and the correct variables could be a success.

EQ1 was not a success because of it's timing into the market.  It was a success because it was a good, fun, well-designed game.  We need another one of those.  We need a game that is thought-out, challenging, and community-based and driven.

I, personally, find it easier to achieve THOSE characteristics with a lot of elements from older MMORPGs is all.  Do you guys all disagree?  Would this game not be successful?

I think everyone wants to say "No" because they want to sound like they know what they're talking about, really.  But, honestly, nobody here "knows".  It's not possible to say "This is the only way you can make a AAA game successful: follow this formula."  There's GOT to be a way...we just don't know it yet.  Or, rather, the "industry" doesn't know it yet.

As arrogant as it may seem, however, I originally posted here because I think I know how to get a game that achieves this.

But...of course...so did all of those other Indie devs who's games failed...




It's not arrogant, but it's misinformed. Ideas by themselves are pretty worthless. I'm not trying to be mean, but it's just true. Existing game developers have boxes full of ideas. The difference between existing game developers and us is that they have actually taken an idea and turned it into a game. Even if that game failed, they still know more than you, me and most everyone else on these forums put together.

If all those developers aren't making a such-and-such type of game, then there's a reason. Their experience is telling them something. It cannot be that all those developers do not like a such-and-such type of game. For some reason they do not believe a such-and-such type of game will be successful. It would be one thing if only some developers believed this, but when the entire industry seems to believe it, which includes new developers who are entering the industry every year, then it probably means they know something that we don't, or aren't willing to admit.

In any event, if you believe that much in your idea, then people in this thread have laid out how to do it.

* Raise money. Lots and lots of money. If you're not a successful developer right now, you will not get any from investors, or venture capitalist type people, so you'll have to raise it some other way. Kickstarter is a possibility, but even there people seem to gravitate towards projects that have experienced developers and have built tech demos.

* Build a development team. You'll need this before you raise the money, and you'll need a good bit of money to get a commitment from a team of people. Probably enough to pay their salary for a few years. If you have the team, you can build the demo, and head to Kickstarter, or shop the demo around to some investors.

* Cancel any other plans you have for the next five to ten years.

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

  Zakk1011

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/09/13
Posts: 14

 
OP  10/13/13 4:36:53 PM#92

How's this for a plan:

  1. Finish writing out the game on paper.  Like I said, I have 70 pages worth of mechanics and concepts...I need to focus on lore, world design/layout (details), and do some more scenario run-thrus on paper (although I have a bunch on paper...never too many, I suppose).  I hope to be fully done by the end of the year.
  2. I've decided to approach a local game publisher here in Las Vegas - Petroglyph Games - with the concept and a business plan.  I chose Petroglyph because a) they're local and b) their team has experience making some MMORPGs (the guys from Westwood who are still there did Earth & Beyond and some other solid MMOs) and c) they've expressed interest in their forums about taking a foray into building an MMORPG.
  3. I want to approach Petroglyph with my concept and the offer of $2,000,000 in initial investment for partial ownership in the game (negotiable).  Basically, I want to go to them and say "Here's my idea and $2mil, let me work with you to create this and we can share the profit."
  4. I'll also suggest that we use the HeroEngine to at least make the prototype (or final if it's working smoothly), as it will keep production cost lower and speed production time.
I know it's a long shot...
 
Should I consider anything else if I approach them?  I'll just look for another company and keep trying if this doesn't pan out, but I'm wondering if I'm missing an obvious step here?
 
Thanks for the feedback so far on this thread...y'all have definitely got my gears turning.
  Mendel

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/22/11
Posts: 625

10/13/13 5:16:32 PM#93
Originally posted by Zakk1011

How's this for a plan:

  1. Finish writing out the game on paper.  Like I said, I have 70 pages worth of mechanics and concepts...I need to focus on lore, world design/layout (details), and do some more scenario run-thrus on paper (although I have a bunch on paper...never too many, I suppose).  I hope to be fully done by the end of the year.
  2. I've decided to approach a local game publisher here in Las Vegas - Petroglyph Games - with the concept and a business plan.  I chose Petroglyph because a) they're local and b) their team has experience making some MMORPGs (the guys from Westwood who are still there did Earth & Beyond and some other solid MMOs) and c) they've expressed interest in their forums about taking a foray into building an MMORPG.
  3. I want to approach Petroglyph with my concept and the offer of $2,000,000 in initial investment for partial ownership in the game (negotiable).  Basically, I want to go to them and say "Here's my idea and $2mil, let me work with you to create this and we can share the profit."
  4. I'll also suggest that we use the HeroEngine to at least make the prototype (or final if it's working smoothly), as it will keep production cost lower and speed production time.
I know it's a long shot...
 
Should I consider anything else if I approach them?  I'll just look for another company and keep trying if this doesn't pan out, but I'm wondering if I'm missing an obvious step here?
 
Thanks for the feedback so far on this thread...y'all have definitely got my gears turning.

That sounds like a reasonable approach, Zakk.   Let me suggest one additional thing.  I would focus less on your MMORPG idea, concepts, lore and the like, and instead try to build a detailed development project plan with some ballpark dates and costs.  That should help you sell this as a joint business venture.

I'd also suggest treating your ideas (lore, content, etc) as a unique, unpublished IP.  Know what media rights you have on this property, and understand what you are prepared to negotiate as part of this deal.  Who is going to own the music, images, town names, rights to create other works based on this IP, or even possible movie rites?  Are there buyout clauses?  Make sure you get everything down in writing to make yourself look as professional and as serious as possible.  It wouldn't hurt to run your questions and proposal past a lawyer who routinely handles multimedia properties (books, movies, etc.) before you present it to potential partners.  At worst, the lawyer should be able to help you protect your intellectual property rites.

Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13309

10/13/13 5:23:22 PM#94
Originally posted by Zakk1011

I think everyone wants to say "No" because they want to sound like they know what they're talking about, really.  But, honestly, nobody here "knows".  It's not possible to say "This is the only way you can make a AAA game successful: follow this formula."  There's GOT to be a way...we just don't know it yet.  Or, rather, the "industry" doesn't know it yet.

As arrogant as it may seem, however, I originally posted here because I think I know how to get a game that achieves this.

But...of course...so did all of those other Indie devs who's games failed...

Why does it have to be an AAA MMORPG?  An MMORPG has a much greater chance of becoming a reality if you scale it back to what you can make on $2 million than if it's going to cost $100 million to make your game.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13309

10/13/13 6:06:42 PM#95
Originally posted by Zakk1011

How's this for a plan:

  1. Finish writing out the game on paper.  Like I said, I have 70 pages worth of mechanics and concepts...I need to focus on lore, world design/layout (details), and do some more scenario run-thrus on paper (although I have a bunch on paper...never too many, I suppose).  I hope to be fully done by the end of the year.
  2. I've decided to approach a local game publisher here in Las Vegas - Petroglyph Games - with the concept and a business plan.  I chose Petroglyph because a) they're local and b) their team has experience making some MMORPGs (the guys from Westwood who are still there did Earth & Beyond and some other solid MMOs) and c) they've expressed interest in their forums about taking a foray into building an MMORPG.
  3. I want to approach Petroglyph with my concept and the offer of $2,000,000 in initial investment for partial ownership in the game (negotiable).  Basically, I want to go to them and say "Here's my idea and $2mil, let me work with you to create this and we can share the profit."
  4. I'll also suggest that we use the HeroEngine to at least make the prototype (or final if it's working smoothly), as it will keep production cost lower and speed production time.
I know it's a long shot...
 
Should I consider anything else if I approach them?  I'll just look for another company and keep trying if this doesn't pan out, but I'm wondering if I'm missing an obvious step here?
 
Thanks for the feedback so far on this thread...y'all have definitely got my gears turning.

How do you get the $2 million?  Do you happen to already have it?

And why the Hero Engine?  A game engine is a means, not an end, and unless you're a programmer yourself, I'd be very hesitant to say that the programming ought to be done in this or that particular way.

Also, if you do meet with them, don't start by talking about lore.  Talk about game mechanics well before you talk about lore.  Having some ideas for lore isn't a bad thing, but the lore needs to fit around the game mechanics, not the other way /around.

  Zakk1011

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/09/13
Posts: 14

 
OP  10/13/13 6:24:26 PM#96

Originally posted by Mendel

That sounds like a reasonable approach, Zakk.   Let me suggest one additional thing.  I would focus less on your MMORPG idea, concepts, lore and the like, and instead try to build a detailed development project plan with some ballpark dates and costs.  That should help you sell this as a joint business venture.

I don't have much experience with that, so I'll have to do some research.  Thanks for that insight - it makes a lot of sense!

Originally posted by Quizzical

Why does it have to be an AAA MMORPG?  An MMORPG has a much greater chance of becoming a reality if you scale it back to what you can make on $2 million than if it's going to cost $100 million to make your game.

It doesn't HAVE to be a AAA...it probably won't be.  I think a lot of people here just assume that's what I'm going for.  If it ends up that way, then fine...if not...that's cool too.  My goal is to make a good game.

Originally posted by Quizzical

How do you get the $2 million?  Do you happen to already have it?

And why the Hero Engine?  A game engine is a means, not an end, and unless you're a programmer yourself, I'd be very hesitant to say that the programming ought to be done in this or that particular way.

Also, if you do meet with them, don't start by talking about lore.  Talk about game mechanics well before you talk about lore.  Having some ideas for lore isn't a bad thing, but the lore needs to fit around the game mechanics, not the other way /around.

While I have no experience in THIS industry, I am a successful business owner.  I already have that start up capital if they are willing to hear me out.

I chose the Hero Engine for the simple reason that I'm unsure if a) they already have an engine they'd prefer to work with or b) would make the deal more appealing by reducing some costs to market it and develop it.  I've done some research on HE and have messed around with it myself (with my LIMITED experience) and have some confidence that it can facilitate what I'd like to see from the game.

I wouldn't talk about lore right off the bat...unless that's what they wanted to discuss (unlikely).  It's just one of the areas that I haven't fully concentrated on and I figured I could give more attention to it.  I actually think the LORE is pretty intrinsic to the game mechanics...the factions, the quests, the class progressions and advancement...very much bound to the lore.  It's one of the reasons I think this game will do well ;-)

.....

Again, thanks for the feedback everyone!  These past few pages of posts have been extremely helpful and if you have anything else to add, please do.

You may see this project up on Kickstarter soon ;-) and I hope you might support the development!

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13309

10/13/13 6:47:24 PM#97
Originally posted by Zakk1011

Originally posted by Quizzical

How do you get the $2 million?  Do you happen to already have it?

While I have no experience in THIS industry, I am a successful business owner.  I already have that start up capital if they are willing to hear me out.

In that case, you've got a chance.  Maybe not a great chance, but a real chance.  Far too many people want to contribute just some ideas and not really contribute anything that is hard to get.  But $2 million?  That's something.

On a personal note, don't invest money that you can't afford to lose.  Even if you do reach a deal with Petroglyph or someone else to create your game, there's a very real possibility that at some point down the road, the money is gone, the game is nowhere near complete, the project gets canceled, and you have nothing to show for your $2 million except a cautionary tale for others.  See, for example, how Curt Schilling lost his baseball fortune.

MMORPGs are a very volatile industry.  A game might get revenue of 10 times what it cost to make.  It might get revenue of 1/3 of what it cost to make.  Or it might collapse, have the project canceled, and get nothing at all.

  mysticaluna

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/11/11
Posts: 250

10/14/13 6:54:44 AM#98

Vanguard Saga of Heroes was supposed to be like Everquest 1... then it failed on launch... 

We'd all love a new game, but unfortunately trying to have enough money for the in depth customization and the high tech graphics and gameplay is pretty hard for most companies, and even those with Blizzard choose the boring grindy carrot on a stick mentally... 

Why doesn't blizzard update more often? Didn't they have the most subscribers and the most money? Why is everything limited? Never enough content, yet Everquest 1 with half a million subscriptions at its prime had plenty of content and is now up to its 19th or 20th expansion... 

Despite not having the lore ip storyline appeal of Everquest, Vanguard could and should have been awesome, and yet, theme parks rule the genre, and it just didn't work out due to bugs and glitches. 

I wish we could have a sandboxy hybrid theme park that has quests, and yet, also has the in depth customization options of a true rpg... With true challenge, and a storyline ip that is fun like star trek or star wars or everquest... now, EQN just looks like it won't be anywhere near the same, which actually does make sense, because no one wants to compete with their own games. 

 

 

  mysticaluna

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/11/11
Posts: 250

10/14/13 7:00:39 AM#99

Everquest 1 and World of Warcraft and Everquest 2 all had more challenge before they were all dumbed down. 

Everquest 2 could have been more like Eq1 , but they took out the spirit shards and the exp debt, and sped up leveling by like 200 hrs or so. They made it far to easy to level, as if it wasn't bad Everquest 1 had people level 85 within 2 days of playtime, but they had to go and take out all of the challenge in Everquest 2 as well. 

Then they go and make itemization statistics so boring, that raidgear is only slightly higher stats and didn't even have any fancy procs or clickies like Everquest 1 or anything... 

On top of that, they made most of the equipment ugly in past expansions, yeesh!! 

Rift was a total disappointment, I loved the idea of some real in depth complexity, and there all the souls were redundant with the same quick strikes and execution moves and all. Not being able to rez until high level or cure until you had spent like 20 or 22 pts or something in that tree? Not being able to do basic healer functions, it was all so odd. 

Even if they come out with Star Citizen or other awesome Sandboxes, I won't play them if they don't have a good IP , a story that I care about... Star Wars is awesome despite being a theme park, precisely because the ip is worth it... 

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13309

10/14/13 7:18:39 AM#100
Originally posted by mysticaluna

Everquest 1 and World of Warcraft and Everquest 2 all had more challenge before they were all dumbed down. 

I don't know what era of WoW you're talking about, but combat in vanilla WoW was mostly a matter of, if you're high enough level with good enough gear, you win, and if not, you lose, with only a thin range where what you actually do in combat matters much.  And players were mostly encouraged to avoid the range where mistakes could easily get them killed.

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