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Thoughts on Herocloud?


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#1 Butabee   Members   -  Reputation: 211

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 11:56 AM

If you haven't seen it already, take a look.

Herocloud

The same engine being used for Star Wars: The Old Republic is going indie.

Even though they have yet to have a game launched with the engine, it looks pretty solid.

I would think many indie developers would be dropping bricks right about now.

What are your thoughts on this?

Sponsor:

#2 Antheus   Members   -  Reputation: 2389

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 12:35 PM

Quote:
Original post by Butabee

I would think many indie developers would be dropping bricks right about now.


Indie and other small teams grow organically. They focus on the niche specialties each individual has, and maximize those. The cost of learning a complete vendor locked vertical stack is often detrimental in this setting, since it polarizes the available talent (similar to Java vs. .Net shops and Ruby vs. Python, ...). And this type of fashion statements matter a lot when on shoestring budget.

An indie team also do not have the capacity to produce AAA-grade product such engine implies, and anything less will result in sub-par result.

Teams that secure funding that can afford to not only hire arbitrary talent, but also afford to purchase any cost beneficial technology along with needed oversight and management.

In this regard, this release has no impact. It's probably more of a response to Unreal, which definitely does not have the "they have yet to have a game launched" problem.

#3 Butabee   Members   -  Reputation: 211

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 12:47 PM

Has no impact? With all the posts I see about people wanting to make an MMO, I would think this would have a considerably large impact.

I think we'll have to wait a bit though and see how those who jump the gun do with the engine.

Also, unreal is a whole other animal, a FPS engine isn't exactly a MMO engine.

#4 ExcessNeo   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 396

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 01:04 PM

Quote:
Original post by Butabee
Has no impact? With all the posts I see about people wanting to make an MMO, I would think this would have a considerably large impact.

I think we'll have to wait a bit though and see how those who jump the gun do with the engine.

Also, unreal is a whole other animal, a FPS engine isn't exactly a MMO engine.


Most people wanting to make an MMO don't have $5000 to license a game engine. Or an extra $2000 a year after the first year to maintain hosting and updates. Or an extra $1000 for a week training course per person that might need it, or an extra $95 an hour for technical support.

It looks good for start up companies who have funding not so much for Joe the high school student who wants to blow the world away with his "better than world of warcraft" MMO.

#5 Butabee   Members   -  Reputation: 211

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 01:20 PM

Quote:
Original post by ExcessNeo
Quote:
Original post by Butabee
Has no impact? With all the posts I see about people wanting to make an MMO, I would think this would have a considerably large impact.

I think we'll have to wait a bit though and see how those who jump the gun do with the engine.

Also, unreal is a whole other animal, a FPS engine isn't exactly a MMO engine.


Most people wanting to make an MMO don't have $5000 to license a game engine. Or an extra $2000 a year after the first year to maintain hosting and updates. Or an extra $1000 for a week training course per person that might need it, or an extra $95 an hour for technical support.

It looks good for start up companies who have funding not so much for Joe the high school student who wants to blow the world away with his "better than world of warcraft" MMO.


Of coarse it's not viable for the lone hobbyist/micro indie, but if one of those guys wanted to they could find a team who all wanted to chip in to make a game. The 5000 fee becomes 200 per person of the 25 available seats, and the 2000 becomes 80.



#6 Antheus   Members   -  Reputation: 2389

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 01:29 PM

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Also, unreal is a whole other animal, a FPS engine isn't exactly a MMO engine.


Mortal Online, Vanguard: SOH, DC Universe Online, Blade and Soul, Lineage 2, Ragnarok Online and many more.

#7 Butabee   Members   -  Reputation: 211

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 01:50 PM

Quote:
Original post by Antheus
Quote:
Also, unreal is a whole other animal, a FPS engine isn't exactly a MMO engine.


Mortal Online, Vanguard: SOH, DC Universe Online, Blade and Soul, Lineage 2, Ragnarok Online and many more.


Regardless, Unreal is not a native MMO engine. It requires heavy modification to use it as such.

You also don't get the source code with the indie version so it's very unlikely anyone could make a MMO with the indie license.

#8 Antheus   Members   -  Reputation: 2389

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 02:13 PM

Quote:
Original post by Butabee

Regardless, Unreal is not a native MMO engine. It requires heavy modification to use it as such.


And PHP is a crappy language that can only be used to build trivial web sites. It's what HTML+JS offers to user that matters, not how it's generated.

Quote:
You also don't get the source code with the indie version so it's very unlikely anyone could make a MMO with the indie license.


It's impossible to build a 3D AAA-grade MMO as an indie. The upfront cost is simply too high given the competition, and tools like UE or other similar ones cannot grow organically. When working with this type of engine, one cannot start with stick figures, then progress to simply polygons and use metrics to iterate into what works. It's either full-feature from day one or bust. Even big studios fell into this trap, trying to launch with content for 20 levels out of 50, and hoping to catch up.

Meanwhile, Farmville, Habbo and similar started small, saw what floats and what doesn't, killed fast and iterated furiously. Same for other kinds of start ups.

UE and similar are Big Iron. They work since they are standardized, so one can quickly scale to 10*X new hires if needed, since those have been trained externally and can jump in instantly into existing scaffolding and management structures.

Unfortunately, same goes for big names, who do exactly the same, but with $1 billion budget and much more efficiently.

#9 Butabee   Members   -  Reputation: 211

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 02:26 PM

Quote:
Original post by Antheus
Quote:
Original post by Butabee

Regardless, Unreal is not a native MMO engine. It requires heavy modification to use it as such.


And PHP is a crappy language that can only be used to build trivial web sites. It's what HTML+JS offers to user that matters, not how it's generated.

Quote:
You also don't get the source code with the indie version so it's very unlikely anyone could make a MMO with the indie license.


It's impossible to build a 3D AAA-grade MMO as an indie. The upfront cost is simply too high given the competition, and tools like UE or other similar ones cannot grow organically. When working with this type of engine, one cannot start with stick figures, then progress to simply polygons and use metrics to iterate into what works. It's either full-feature from day one or bust. Even big studios fell into this trap, trying to launch with content for 20 levels out of 50, and hoping to catch up.

Meanwhile, Farmville, Habbo and similar started small, saw what floats and what doesn't, killed fast and iterated furiously. Same for other kinds of start ups.

UE and similar are Big Iron. They work since they are standardized, so one can quickly scale to 10*X new hires if needed, since those have been trained externally and can jump in instantly into existing scaffolding and management structures.

Unfortunately, same goes for big names, who do exactly the same, but with $1 billion budget and much more efficiently.


Who said anything about making AAA MMOs? Being able to produce any MMO at all for an indie is an amazing feat, granted with the Hero Engine most of the work is already done for you, that's what makes it a great thing. And just why is it necessary to grow organically. If you want to grow organically you might as well start out coding without graphics APIs and write an entire engine from scratch. Tools are made for a reason, and that's to make things easier, and that's what these engines are.

If you want to build something, you want the best tool for the job. Choosing the UDK for a MMO is like choosing a screwdriver to hammer in a nail. While you might get the nail in after awhile, it would have been much easier using a hammer. And using no tool at all is just a bad move.

#10 EmpireProductions   Members   -  Reputation: 242

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 06:21 PM

UDK can be used for MMOs pretty easily if you have the budget for Atlas which is the MMO Framework for UDK. In order to get Atlas however you need the money for the Commercial license for UDK plus the money for the Commercial license for Atlas. However Atlas like BigWorld or Hero offers the full Server, Client, and Modified version of the UDK tools thats built for large scale worlds like those found in MMOs.

#11 hplus0603   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4886

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 05:22 AM

Quote:
With all the posts I see about people wanting to make an MMO


In this forum, specifically, most of those posts are from people who like thinking about computers talking to computers, and want to implement those parts themselves. The reward, there, is the implementation of something that works, not the delivery of an end-user experience. In many cases, this is intended for learning, not for shipping.

When it comes to MMO engines, PlaneShift has been open source for a long time, as has Nevrax (used for a shipping, commercial MMO: Saga of Ryzom). As others have said, there are a variety of open source technologies you can use if you want to ship an end-user experience, rather than grow yourself by attempting challenging technical projects.

The main problem blocking almost all indie MMO projects is the fact that, to support a "massive" player base, you need a "massive" amount of content, which means a "massive" investment in art production, rather than code.

#12 NightMarez   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 09:15 AM

Well, i like HeroCloud, but the initial cost for indie is too high (5000$ is alot of cost for a initial project that "might" crash and burn).

UDK has no initial costs (and it CAN be used for MMO, using DLL link and UC among other things), and it also comes with Scaleform (not with HeroCloud), SpeedTree (extra cost for HeroCloud) and more.

And later on, rumor has it that CryEngine 3 is going to do a UDK look alike project.

So while some may find HeroCloud to be a okay engine, i find it sadly to be way outside a budget for indie market game creation, where, sadly alot of projects fail during developement or gets canceled.

I'd rather have it be 99$ pr seat (pr year even maybe), after release its okay if its $995 +15% royalty for updates and hosting ect, since it does come with hosting and so forth, but atleast give people a chance to try and fail before putting out the big bucks (a chance other engines provide).

About support, it should just have a user forum (if it does not), where you can share experience for free, like most engine's have.

But thats just me :)

#13 EmpireProductions   Members   -  Reputation: 242

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 12:24 PM

Herocloud only comes with hosting during development once your ready to go commercial then you are responsible for hosting your self.

BigWorld's Indie license is much better for indies IMO.

#14 ExcessNeo   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 396

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 01:20 PM

Quote:
Original post by EmpireProductions
Herocloud only comes with hosting during development once your ready to go commercial then you are responsible for hosting your self.


Nope, lifted from the FAQ:

Quote:
What is the difference between HeroCloud and HeroEngine?
HeroCloud is a service that includes HeroEngine, hosting, and billing. It is designed primarily for independent developers as well as educators, corporate and government simulation builders, and other projects. By licensing HeroCloud your team accesses a full implementation of HeroEngine running somewhere in the Internet “cloud” so your team can access it anywhere and so you don’t need to worry about hosting, configuration management, or other annoying distractions from developing your game.

...

How do I collect my millions once the game ships?
You will give us your information at that time, such as a PayPal account or some other ways to get money to you. As players pay we will collect their money – or actually a trusted third party payment system will collect it – and then we will send your cash to you. We’ll deduct hosting and bandwidth costs and our royalty. You will get ongoing reports so you can see how you are doing, both on the revenue side and on the cost side. With HeroCloud you get tools to make sure your game runs efficiently so you can actually make money.

...
From the Independent Developers page:

Commercial Operations

Once your game is ready for the public you may choose to continue to operate in the cloud or you can move the game to your own servers. Our HeroCloud Commercial license program includes hosting, bandwidth, and billing services as well as systems designed to allow you to optimize performance of your game.


So you have the option to keep your game on their servers or to host it yourself.





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