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Member Since 31 Dec 2011
Offline Last Active Jan 04 2013 11:40 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Need advice for going open source

24 October 2012 - 04:09 PM

The model for your license is almost identical to one that I needed for a project of mine. The only solution that made me happy was writing my own license. Looking at BSD, MIT, and other commercial licenses should give you a good idea on what you need to include. Just make sure that it's very clear that you hold zero liability for its use, and that it may only be used under the conditions you specify. Lastly, make sure the license contains your name, the date, and some contact info so the rightful owner of the project and license (you) is correctly identified.

In Topic: Starting a Game Company

25 September 2012 - 01:24 AM

Postal Boxes?
Definitely smaller rent than an actual floor.
You can probably reroute all content to your address from there, but I can't say if dodging the bullet is legal.

Do NOT do this! I did a lot of research on this topic because I was interested in starting a company outside of the state that I currently reside in. After a few weeks of searching, I found examples were people were arrested and/or fined for doing this. It isn't illegal everywhere, and many of the laws regarding this are vague, but it just isn't worth it.

I would give the same advice regarding virtual offices. It's so hard to know if you are breaking a law in the country you actually reside in, or the country your business is supposed to be located in. The right way to do this is to hire a lawyer (specifically one that has knowledge of international business law concerning the two countries in question).

In Topic: [Survey] The Price of Freedom

21 July 2012 - 05:08 PM

I think it would be a good idea to keep this thread on the topic of tying game design to business model, so I'm not going to talk about the differences in financing each (as I'm assuming you already understand them thoroughly). Here are my thoughts on how each model affects my actions:

I took your survey and rated them at this:
Subscription to try: 5
30-day trial: 7
Unlimited-time trial: 6
Free-to-Play: 6

Personally, I'm not that put off by a required subscription to try it out. If it looks really good and I hear great things about it, I have no qualms in paying the price of a dinner to try it out for a month. However, a 30-day trial is superior as I don't have to fork over my credit card information so early. And if I like the game enough, I get to keep the progress I made in the trial, so the transition is quite painless.

Both of these types of games tell me that it must be high quality (or at least, that was the intention. we know this doesn't always work out that way). Unlimited-time trials and free-to-play, on the other hand, give me pause. Even though I'm somewhat likely to try the game out, I'm more likely to consider myself trying out the game for much longer than its non-free cousins (an hence, I feel less inclined to keep playing). The reason for this is to see how the community evolves. With free games, the community is more likely to change, sometimes rapidly. If I feel that I'm just bumbling around in a virtual world where I never see a familiar face, I might as well be playing well-scripted single player games. Additionally, the developers may have less incentive to keep the game interesting and running smoothly. Content updates and customer support would be expected in subscription-based models, whereas there is a much less of an expectation for free games.

After writing this, I noticed something interesting: this is more of a psychological barrier than anything. My perception of how a particular game will play out is somewhat based on similar games that I played in the past. As you can probably figure out, my experiences with free-to-play games hasn't been all great, but if you are around my age, then we both know that the first free-to-play games either didn't last too long or couldn't keep up with the quality of other games. Runescape might be an counter example to this point, as it has lasted for over a decade, with frequent updates. This was likely due to their dual-business model: An area restricted to free-to-play, and additional content available for subscribers. This enabled them to make a significant amount of money and pull in lots of players at the same time.

So, if a game can break the perception that it is lower quality, less kept-up, or has quickly-to-dissolve communities, then it deserves a shot. But really, the entire industry needs to change. This is already beginning to happen with non-MMOs. League of Legends has been immensely popular and very well supported financially. Now we have to wait for the leap to MMOs, but considering that the finances required to build these sorts of projects are so extreme, it could be a while.

All in all, I will pay good money to play a quality game, and that is what drives the business. This generally applies to all types of products: Pay more money, get a better product. If I'm not paying anything, I can only expect so much.

In Topic: Ways of forcing players to play together without risk of getting griefed?

15 July 2012 - 07:04 PM

What you're describing is classic griefing gameplay, you are suppose to work as a team to accomplish a goal. You are dropping the rest of the team under the assumption that you're "higher skill" (chosen tactic to win) is more important then the experience of the players your suppose to be playing with.

But that is not true, as we clearly defined in this topic that griefers don't play to win. We had a winning strategy, just not one that everyone was competent at. Until you consider a wider array of possible ways to play your game (and not to mention, agree on a definition of griefing), designing a way to prevent griefing will either be impossible, counter-productive, and/or impact your target audience.

In Topic: Embarking on the big one.

14 July 2012 - 01:32 PM

Design is actually the easy part of game development. And I think deep down you know that. If the programming and art were easier than design, you would already be doing it.

Care to explain how you came to this conclusion? Not only is it terribly false, but no matter how good your programmers and artists, a crappy game design will land your game in the waste bin. A classic example of good game design is Starcraft. It's been around for over a decade, yet so many games have utterly failed to emulate it. You think designing that was easy? Just make the classic 3-race structure, give them some unique units, make it flashy and you're good to go? Even after the game's release, it took them 2-3 years to flesh out the balance of the game. Their job was not easy. There is a reason Blizzard is famous for its games.

OP: My advice to you is to play Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP. It's a very simple, yet enjoyable game that shows you how far game design can go. The programming for that sort of thing is absolute cake, and finding an artist willing to boost his resume (aka: willing to work for cheap or free) should not be difficult. Obviously, the game didn't make the creators into millionaires, but it did get played by over 400,000 people. I'd call that a success.