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When will developers see the money in the niche game?
The Pub at MMORPG.COM « General Discussion
1/15/09 1:57:12 AM
A good sandbox game could probably be made for the niche crowd that enjoyed SWG Pre-whatever.
Problem being those folks feel they were entitled to the Star Wars IP to place their niche game in. Some still refuse to accept that Koster trying 5 bazillion things to make a world sim...instead of placing fun into the game is why most folks couldnt stand that game.
Unlike the majority of gamers, they enjoyed the tradeskill based economy/alpha classes/whatever...which is fine if kept to small scale as this OP suggests.
Even till this day you can hear claims that they are "owed" a Star War based sand box...while it has been proven that gamestyle doesnt appeal to the mass crowd.
Something like Starship Troopers or some B material theme would be more appropriate to build a sandbox out of.
I dont know about a sandbox style as they dont appeal to me, but I would like to see the theme of Firefly/Serenity used for a game. Although it would probably be more of a niche appeal game as well.
WIth the WOW dollars flying though, I dont feel we will get many/any of these smaller scale games in the future. At least until companies start sticking to things like a generic engine to run all their games. Companies could cut down on costs if they re-utilized art assets/routines etc...which would make MMORPGs seem even more of a cookie cutter industry. Which is one thing that really needs to be avoided presently.
Thus a company would be required to own a lot of generic material for several games patterened on the same basic design. That would be the only way to keep it from feeling totally like a"clone"
I think in the coming years it might be possible...as things get more advanced as time passes.
But until such point that the industry stops making graphical leaps yearly, I just dont see it being practical. They will continue to make new material/engines for each game or 2 produced...thus adding to production costs. IIRC this front end is about the biggest cost of making a game.
WHich is a shame...because graphics/collision detection/etc has so little to do with if a game is good or not.
Give me great gameplay, and I will be less apt to want more out of the graphics...although WOWs art is an exception to the rule AFAIAC. Had they gone with anything other than the cartoon look, I would probably be one of the 25 bajillion subscribed as it has great gameplay from what many folks indicate.