FAQ Search
Memberlist Usergroups
Profile
  Forum Statistics Register
 Log in to check your private messages
Log in to check your private messages
Moonpod Homepage Starscape Information Mr. Robot Information Free Game Downloads Starscape Highscore Table
Oct/Nov/Dec-05: Development HEL
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Discussion Pod Forum Index -> Developer Diary View previous topic :: View next topic  
 Author
Message
Moonpod Developer Diary RSS feed -RSS Feed
Fost
Pod Team
Pod Team


Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 3734



PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fartron wrote:
since we're on the topic of shooters, I'd like to argue for QWTF and AQ2 and C:S as big examples of indie multiplayer.

I think you are mixing up indies and the modding community. Whilst people often move between the two, they are completely different things. Everything you just mentioned is free, and an extension to an existing commercial game that sold in the millions. What we are looking for, is examples of indie* developed games, which cost money to buy, and have a thriving community round the multiplayer aspect. All you are really proving with those examples, is that if you release something for free that's really good, people will like it. We are into the idea of multiplayer gaming, but for small companies like us, with limited fanbases, there are big hurdles. I think Zap, and think tanks have proved that without that saturation, there aren't enough players around to get games quickly. Remember too that garagegames is a much, much bigger site than Moonpod. That's not to say those games haven't been a success; maybe people are buying them to play on a lan?

*as mentioned before, small, sub 5 person companies.

fartron wrote:
as for making money, cliffe and gooseman were raking in ~$40,000 a month just from pageviews on the counterstrike forum

Good point - free games supported by advertising seem to be one method that has worked for some people. For me personally, it's not a market I've ever been that interested in, but perhaps that's just personal preference, and not being business-headed. I would dearly love to see all those smiley-instant messaging ads for spyware die off, and they seem to be the main source of income for ad-based revenue sites.

fartron wrote:
VGA Planets is shareware

65,000 copies sold (according to the website) at $20 (for the windows version), isn't somthing I'd argue with! It wouldn't however convince me that anything realtime which works via online matchmaking is a viable proposition as an indie. He's got round the problem of not enough players online at the same time by doing away with the need to be online at the same time.

It's quite suprising isn't it? You'd think there would be a realtime online indie game somewhere that is making money.
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website
fartron



Joined: 08 May 2005
Posts: 11



PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure exactly what you see as the difference between indie developers and modders. While, generally, the barrier to entry of modding has been lower than to other forms of independant development, the price difference between UT2k5 and the Torque Game Engine isn't that great.

The teams who made the three mods I mentioned all profitted from their production. They overcame the main hurdle you cite by glomming onto an existing userbase. Additionally, with the source releases of quake and quake2, two of those mods are now available to those who never purchased the game. People still play qwtf, and use new clients. That's longevity!

Ultimately, I see your point, that the situation is very tenuous for developers. While the mods didn't rely on a standard distribution model to profit, I think it's beneficial in the long run to find new models that can't be circumvented with a search on isohunt. Most of the ones being tried I find a bit kludgey, and I'm not sure what the right answer is, but it's bound to turn up eventually.

Warrock is in free testing, and may charge for guns once it's changed phases, and I really can't figure out how Gunz is funding itself, but it's probably because I can't read korean.
Back to top
View user's profile
imadoki



Joined: 04 Jan 2006
Posts: 24
Location: Canada



PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fost wrote:

no Wink
Seriously though, it sounds like you are looking for someone to say 'can I make a living doing this'. In which case, just look at Steve Pavlina and Thomas Warfield for a resounding 'yes'. Remember though - it took them several years, and also remember that much of our development is funded by remortaging our houses, selling our families into slavery, robbing banks and having part time jobs as drug dealers.


Yes, I was a actually trying to figure out that answer. Ok, I am jumping in to the deep end... Life's short, I rather take the plunge than wake up when I'm 60 and say stuff like coulda, woulda, shoulda.

Thanks guys and I wish you guys the best.

P.S. - Can't wait to play Mr. Robot and War Angels.
Back to top
View user's profile
Fost
Pod Team
Pod Team


Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 3734



PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fartron wrote:
I'm not sure exactly what you see as the difference between indie developers and modders.

Modders create free expansions for existing games. Whilst I take your point about some of them making money, I'm pretty sure that has been by accident than design. That does illustrate that there are alternative sources of revenue that can be exploited around giving things away for free. Although I'm not sure how reliable any of these methods are as a long term business model.

The term indie, is in itself very hard to define, and many people use it with different meanings. My own definition is simply small teams self funding and self selling games they have made themeselves.

fartron wrote:
While, generally, the barrier to entry of modding has been lower than to other forms of independant development, the price difference between UT2k5 and the Torque Game Engine isn't that great.

Again, I think you are mistaking modding and releasing that mod for free (which doesn't requite any licensing fee) with creating a game from scratch, which costs $350,000 per product for the unreal engine if I remember correctly Shocked
Engines aren't the issue here though, there are extremely competitive engine out there that are free. The issue is exposure - you need a ton of exposure to get people playing a realtime multiplayer game all the time, which you need to create a community (people need to switch the game on, and see servers up and running with players on them).
Indies just do not get anywhere near the number of customers that commercial games do (otherwise everyone would be doing this!), and so a game that focusses on realtime multiplayer is going to have a major problem having enough players online. That's just what it boils down to - remeber, this thread is sparked by having War Angels multiplayer. Now, I think that, as a game, would rock, but our problem is - how do we ensure enough people play it all the time to build up a strong community around it? I think it could be done and we have some interesting ideas regarding that, but you'd have to throw a lot of traditional ideas out of the window. I'm pretty sure a straight death match game with master server, sin't going to have a lot of people online playing.


fartron wrote:
Warrock is in free testing, and may charge for guns once it's changed phases, and I really can't figure out how Gunz is funding itself, but it's probably because I can't read korean.


Almost all Korean games attract people by being free then have an items shop where you can sell silly hats etc for players to wear in game and useful objects. MMORPGS generally are played via internet cafes, which pay a subscription to the game provider for a number of seats. WarRock appears to have the item shop, not sure about Gunz Online.

That's one area that could be interesting to see how it develops in the West as a revenue model. Note, neither of those games is being developed by what I would class as an indie developer- Warrock is being funded by Nexon, who are HUGE in Korea, and a swimming in cash. Gunz is being developed by MAIET Entertainment, who I don't know much about, but don't appear to be short on staff.
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website
Fost
Pod Team
Pod Team


Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 3734



PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

imadoki wrote:
Ok, I am jumping in to the deep end... Life's short, I rather take the plunge than wake up when I'm 60 and say stuff like coulda, woulda, shoulda.

Good luck! Come back when you have something and pimp your games on our forum Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website
Fost
Pod Team
Pod Team


Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 3734



PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Continuing the 'succesful indie realtime mutliplayer' game offshoot thread. I've thought of one example:

http://www.warworld.net/

A very traditional death match. At release there were never many servers, but you could always find a game. That's great, and proves it can be done. Sadly (well, not sad for the developers!) the game has been snapped up by a publisher, so we'll never learn how the game could have grown with an indie community around it. Still, it makes me more optimistic about multiplayer in our games.
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website
Poo Bear
Pod Team
Pod Team


Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 4121
Location: Sheffield, UK



PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fost wrote:
Almost all Korean games attract people by being free then have an items shop where you can sell silly hats etc for players to wear in game and useful objects. MMORPGS generally are played via internet cafes, which pay a subscription to the game provider for a number of seats. WarRock appears to have the item shop, not sure about Gunz Online.


Kart Rider - a korean mario kart style online game, free to play with the option to pay for certain items.

Gunbound - a korean worms style online game, free to play with the option to pay for items.

Both games have millions of members, the size of the companies behind them implies a LOT of people are buying items. It seems strange to me in the west that they accept such a model as normal. Western mmorpgs like WoW and EQ2 make me feel inadequate because I know a lot of the other players are online 10x longer than me and therefore have a huge advantage over me, but we all pay the same price. Looking at these korean mmorpgs it seems like I have the same potential time disadvantage and also someone else could just pay a lot more money for items and make things even worse. Unless the items people are buying are purely decorative, but surely they wouldn't buy them in such large amounts if that was true.
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website
The Dark Bunny



Joined: 07 Dec 2005
Posts: 24
Location: Abilene, TX



PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a (former) Gunbound player, I can explain that one. The servers are split by level, meaning the powergamers can only pick on the new people for so long before they get bumped up to the higher-level servers. THe servers for that level are also split between item and non-item servers. In item servers, the items you're wearing apply their default bonuses. In non-item servers, the items are purely decorative, and the game is entirely skill.
Back to top
View user's profile AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
01d55



Joined: 12 Mar 2004
Posts: 79



PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Poo Bear wrote:
Both games have millions of members, the size of the companies behind them implies a LOT of people are buying items. It seems strange to me in the west that they accept such a model as normal. Western mmorpgs like WoW and EQ2 make me feel inadequate because I know a lot of the other players are online 10x longer than me and therefore have a huge advantage over me, but we all pay the same price. Looking at these korean mmorpgs it seems like I have the same potential time disadvantage and also someone else could just pay a lot more money for items and make things even worse. Unless the items people are buying are purely decorative, but surely they wouldn't buy them in such large amounts if that was true.


Over here, there's a substantial third party industry based around selling game items the way Korean games do, which thrives despite prohibitions in EULAs and efforts to quash them by the game devs.
Back to top
View user's profile
Poo Bear
Pod Team
Pod Team


Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 4121
Location: Sheffield, UK



PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh you mean the players themselves selling things to each over ebay? That reminds me, Sony introduced an official item marketplace for players on their station site and started making millions from taking a cut of each sale (better them than ebay). So I guess it isn't that unusual in the west either. I wonder why more mmorpgs don't create official item sales channels, at least when it is official you have the guarantee of getting the items in question.
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website
Hamish
Pod Developer
Pod Developer


Joined: 15 Mar 2005
Posts: 570
Location: Auckland, NZ



PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I buy gold for World of Warcraft through some shifty website. I do it because it's very cheap compared to the hours I'd have to put in to get it and it makes the game more fun for me. I like to be able to spend less hours playing the game to progress, I like being able to afford all the best stuff, I like being able to help my guildmates out by getting them expensive ingame items which only cost 10 real cents. But Blizzard don't like you doing this, and apparently you can even get your account removed for it.
Back to top
View user's profile MSN Messenger
Magnulus



Joined: 08 Nov 2005
Posts: 556
Location: Bergen, Norway



PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me, it would ruin the experience of the game as I like the progression, however slow it may be. This is the same reason why I never use cheats first time I play a game and I usually try as hard as I can not to play in Easy mode. If I get some kind of epic item, that is - for me - a signification of a Job Well Done. It's a virtual pat on the back. If you find it enhances the game experience to buy the items and Gold for real money, then that's all nice and neat for you. but for me... It ruins the fun. And if one of my friends got tons of epic gear from buying Gold on some site or on Ebay, I'd be pretty annoyed. I'd feel like we were playing monopoly and (s)he had taken money from the bank as I was fixing coffee.*

* An unlikely occurance as I don't drink coffee. Make it Rooibos tea or Gunpowder.
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
01d55



Joined: 12 Mar 2004
Posts: 79



PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blizzard essentially agrees with Magnulus. Sony used to take this stance, but they gave up on winning that fight and decided that they may as well make money off it.
Back to top
View user's profile
Fost
Pod Team
Pod Team


Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 3734



PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MMORPGS by their nature, need to spread out any interesting gameplay like quests, because their simply isn't enough man power to make an MMORPG that can entertain people who want to play with all their free time throughout a week. Of course, not everyone has the time or inclination to put that work in unlocking all the interesting stuff, and some are willing to pay more for the privelege.

The developers are in a catch-22 situation - it's very difficult to support the casual players and the hardcore players at the same time.

I personally think, if anyone should be making money by running an item exchange system, it should be the developers, as that means they have more money to plough back into devlopment, and you are less prone to scams.
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website
Magnulus



Joined: 08 Nov 2005
Posts: 556
Location: Bergen, Norway



PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A good point, Fost. If there exists sale of in-game items and things, the developers should see that money. I hear there's a game that's actually BASED around buying in-game things in real life.
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Discussion Pod Forum Index -> Developer Diary All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Page 5 of 6

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group