• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Oluseyi

Perma-Death and Continuity

85 posts in this topic

quote:
You need to get the masses to play your game and right now the masses are not playing PvP even though they have a choice to.

Name me one PvP oriented MMORPG.
quote:
You MUST have the player associate with their character. You are not going to get this by randomly changing the player’s character around every time they die.

There's no random changing. Players can have multiple live offspring at any time. A father can have 10 sons. When the father dies, the player can pick any of the 10 sons to continue play. Nothing random about that. Besides, even in non-permanent death settings, players constantly create new characters (also called CNCS, I think, Create New Character Syndrome).
Also, in our pre-design (I am NOT completely set on permanent death yet, because it will only be used if it can be perfected) death doesn't happen nearly as much as it happens in current MMORPGs. In Everquest I could die up to 10 times a day in early levels, and 1-3 times an hour at higher levels. Death should be avoidable. That does NOT mean that you have to play it safe 24/7, it just means that if you get into a situation where you think you might die, you have the ability to escape and avoid dying.
If players spend 2-3 hours a day playing, they should only get really close to death once a week if they play the game in a normal fashion (in other words, once every 20 hours or so). The more risks they take, the more times a week they'll risk death.

I don't think it's impossible to shift player focus from individual to family. I don't think it's bad to have players change characters once every 20 hours.
quote:
Players are individuals they associate with individuals not with groups.

Where did guilds come from then? Do they exist merely because the might of the many makes the individual a little stronger? Or do players like to feel part of something larger? I think players can associate with groups just as much as with their one individual character. Especially if they control the entire group.
quote:
Why would a player keep playing this game or even start playing this game if there is other options out there.

Really, the number one motivation to play this game would NOT be character growth.
quote:
You game resolves around one major point. An increased penalty for dying coupled with PvP which is a system designed to teach people to kill other players.

Not quite. The game focuses on giving the player complete freedom in what they want to do. Just like in Daggerfall you didn't have to do anything you didn't want to do. PvP, death, character growth... those are all just extras. Players will be able to play the game without necessarily having to focus on character growth. Imagine playing a game where you don't have to invest any time in order to enjoy it: you can get into it right from the get-go. For example, if you don't want to spend hours making your character grow, just pick a fully grown avatar. It will not be quite as powerful as an avatar that has been created from the ground up, but you'll be ready to see some action in an instant.

I personally hate having to invest time in order to increase my enjoyment of the game. I like having the OPTION of investing time in order to further increase my enjoyment of the game.
quote:
An adventure is not. "I made level 5 and decided to go out of town then I saw another player and ran back to town as fast as I could so I wouldn't get killed."

Why not? I've had just as much fun, if not more, in Everquest running from powerful enemies that would surely kill me as I've had from killing enemies that didn't stand a chance. I still vividly remember naked corpse runs where I had to avoid just about every creature in sight, especially that nasty high-level dark elf NPC that had just killed me minutes earlier.
If that scenario happens every now and then, it is part of the great adventure. It might be different from the accepted 'I want to hack monsters', but variety is good.
EDIT: Of course, you shouldn't have to run back to town EVERY time you see another player or monster. That would indeed NOT be an adventure.
quote:
An adventure is "We got down to the bottom of the dungeon and there was this huge frigging dragon down there. Half of us got killed but we got him in the end"

Depends on what the penalty of death is. If the only penalty is a little bit of ep loss, which can be made up by simply killing that same dragon 3 or 4 times, then is it really an adventure?
I used to feel good about sacrificing my character in Everquest because there WAS a penalty for dying (although not a severe one). Without a penalty upon death, there would have been no sense of glory in my sacrifice. With it, groupmates thanked me for my bravery. The ultimate sacrifice would be one where you sacrifice yourself knowing that it will mean the end of your character: permanent death.

I am a big fan of the belief that without evil there can be no good. Without risk there can be no sense of achievement. Permanent death is the ultimate risk. I'm trying to figure out if it indeed does lead to the ultimate feeling of achievement. I know that if I were to find myself at the top of the power pyramid one day, the biggest of all the snakes in the vicinity, I would certainly feel like I've achieved something. That feeling should be available to all players, hardcore gamers and casual gamers. The way they reach that achievement, the road they take, the tactics they use... it's all up to the player.

NOTE: I'm sure a lot of players have already noticed that to feel like the items they own are an achievement, it works better if those items are rare. Due to the fact that MMORPGs are created for thousands of users and because of the fact that character growth is the main motivator, these games usually end up giving each player an opportunity to gain just about any item they want. Some items are rare, but how rare is an item when you see all your classmates wearing it?
There needs to be some sort of method for making sure that the items that are intended to be rare remain rare. Item deterioration seems like the obvious choice. That way, you can still give every player the chance to obtain every item, but you will not find a large number of players wearing the same rare item. They find it, use it, then have it fall apart.

I think permanent death can do for characters what item deterioration can do for items. I have to admit that I have no clue about how to correctly implement it, because there are simply no good examples out there yet for the MMO genre (if you think there are, let me know!).



[edited by - Silvermyst on September 2, 2002 4:48:43 PM]
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Trying to summarize my own thoughts (I''m sure it''ll be a poor attempt):

Current MMORPGS:
Main motivation -> character growth
Method of character growth -> kill monsters
Risk -> death means loss of some experience
Death occurance -> several times a day
Outcome -> playerbase eventually is mainly high-level
Casual gamers -> will not reach high-level
Hardcore gamers -> will all reach high-level

Our MMO:
Main motivation -> gameplay
Secondary motivation -> character growth
Method of character growth -> kill PCs and/or kill monsters + other
Risk -> death means loss of character
Death occurance -> once or twice a week*
Outcome -> playerbase will remain average-level
Casual gamers -> can reach high-level
Hardcore gamers -> can reach high-level quicker

* Death occurance is higher if player takes more chances and sees more combat. Death occurance is even lower if player takes less chances and sees little to no combat.

One last thing to mention:
players can achieve character growth without ever seeing combat
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ok trying to close this long drawn battle out here I'll try to keep this short and avoid referencing other posts. I'd really like to and I got a whole bag of rebuttals to your points here but it doesn't seem to really be getting us anywhere.

Who knows I could be way off base here too. You could make this game and have it sell a million copies and you could have a good laugh at that guy on the message board who didn't know what he was talking about when he said you couldn't create a game like this. After all it’s not like I have not been wrong before.

That said I think you guys should do a little bit of research into three key areas. First off check out the psychology of game play. This will give you a good idea of why people play games. Secondly check out motivational factor. This should help you understand why people do certain things in games. And finally check out how individuals analyze risks and make decisions based on those risks.

If you look at those areas with an open mind the points I was trying to make should be much clearer. If you read it all and think you still got a winner on your hands then I say go for it.

PS. If you want to continue the discussion we can continue it via email as I think this thread has become more of a personal discussion then anything else.


[edited by - MorganE on September 2, 2002 5:00:35 PM]
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why do people want permadeath cause they want dying to be more of a penalty then it is now however there are numerous middle roads that can be taken without the frustration of permanelty having lost a char.

It is annoying for casual gamers when hardcore players have much faster development and thus gain a advantage. However hardcore games deserve a reward for their time. When you just let the power curve of time be regressive the problem is solved. casual games have quite gast a powerfull char and hardcore gamers have more powerfull chars but can be beaten bij casual players.

Hardcore gamers won''t mind it cause they are really into the game and still strife for more minor achievements as they like to look more and more in the details when the game progresses to create their ultimate char.





Economics is a subject that does not greatly respect one''s wishes.
-Nikita S. Khrushchev
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
All this talk about "PvP", "PvE" and "PKing" flat out bores me. I don''t play RPGs because I feel like I have little actual influence on my characters growth and development, generally only on his appearance and "level" (now there''s an abstract concept for you!)

There is only one thing that I find myself qualified to respond to:
quote:
Original post by MorganE
In the increasingly competitive field of MMOG the winner(s) will be the game that attracts the most players.

You''re thinking in a box. You''re allowing the "big players" to define the field for you, so you fail to see alternative potential.

For one thing, it is possible that companies publish non-subscription MMO titles, at which point all the assumptions about numbers and restrictions are voided because it costs the gamer nothing beyond the initial outlay for purchase to enjoy the game long-term. For another, reasonably small companies might only be interested in small numbers of participants. Overcongestion in this particular game would be terribly detrimental to the overall experience, because the sensation of vast vistas and broad expanses is integral to its entertainment value.

And finally, some compnay might find alternative fiscal structures that license out ability to host "official" servers at a nominal "registration fee", or some other such scheme. The domain of subscription software - both for entertainment and productivity - is one that is only just being charted.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
About the asheron''s call example, the PVP servers are so empty not because it''s not implemented well, not because all players hate pvp, but because it''s not a selling point to the game. The game box doesn''t say, "Amzingly well thought out, balanced, pvp system that provides fun and excitement for players who enjoy permanent death!"

I don''t play mmorpgs, because in my opinion, they are all the same, and aren''t fun to me. But I would seriously consider a strong pvp oriented game, for one thing because its new, and for another; because it could be more challenging and exciting. No, I''m not going to buy Asheron''s call, just so I can play on the one pvp server they have out of 8, I can see where they put their focus.

No, I''m not going to buy everquest, to play on their permanent death server, because that''s not what the game was intended for. If anything, the fact that there are pvp servers at all show that there are people who want those kinds of games. If NO ONE played on those servers, then the developers wouldn''t pay to keep the servers running.


The thing is, what is being proposed is a mmorpg that isn''t entirely aimed at the current market. It is aimed at a new market. You don''t think a game that''s different will get players from star wars, sims online, or AC2 to switch over? You''re probably right. But is there a possibility that it will create a NEW market? Very likely.

See, I know a lot of people who don''t play mmorpgs. Maybe this proposition isn''t what all those people who dont play them will want to play, but if we keep doing things the same way, then we will keep getting the exact same market. We will be fighting for players from other bigger companies from other much bigger games. By doing things differently, you have a chance of not getting anybody, but you also have a chance to get people who didn''t have a desire to play these games before.

One last thing: Deus Ex had a very interesting multiplayer mode, where you had skills that you could raise each time you got a kill. But when you die, you start from the begining again. It worked amazingly well, and isn''t all that different from a VERY short pvp permanent death online rpg.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Permadeath in a MMOG with PvP is the very issue that I have been trying to balance conceptually for several months. It has been a long line of delemas, but I have come up with some good ideas, some of which have been hit upon in this thread.

One is having a house for your character''s family. If a character dies, an heir can be created. The new character gets the house, all the goods and money that were stored in it, and some perks that take the edge of starting a character fresh. A variation that I am looking into is that if the new character is the same class as the dead one, he may start at a slightly higher level. Any serious accomplishments that the dead character may have completed can be related to the heir. (If the former had earned membership to a society, the latter could retain these freedoms by association.) Basically, the goal here is to allow players to maintain certain permanant achievements beyond the death of the character.

The other HUGE issue is making permanent death fair. This one is very tricky. It typically involves throwing in some unrealistic rules that restrict PvP interactions. EQ uses level caps to restrict uneven combat. This could be done through "zoning" of PvP combat areas. The system that I have adopted is (I hope) more even-handed than these rules. It is basically a safety mechanism that allows permanant death when the combat is fair, but when it is unfair, the loser goes into shock and loses consciousness instead. The means by which I set this up is under experimentation to find out where possible exploits lie, as there are ALWAYS exploits in these types of games.

For this safety mechanism to work, unconscious players cannot be attacked. This in itself may seem urealistic, however, it is fair in that it does take the player out of combat, and the player could be looted. Death or unconsciousness both have consequences. This is also team-based PvP to allow players to have safe areas, and improve trust among players.

CDV
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And here I thought this conversation was dead.

As the conversation has shifted away from whether players are looking for a MMOG with permanent death to whether PvP is any good I''ll try to focus on the PvP aspect to keep things simple.

The main theme I seem to be seeing is that people don’t play in the PvP areas because it is just implemented so poorly and if someone could come up with the perfect PvP system then there would just be droves of people clamoring to sign up and get into this brave new world.

Feel free to correct me if I''m wrong on this point because the whole rest of this post is going to be about it.

Lets look at everybody’s miracle of a game that shouldn''t have been successful but it was, Deer Hunter. It could be argued that the same type of audience may be out there waiting for a game which is based around PvP.

Now let’s think about a few things in terms of MMOG. The first of these being that they are expensive. I have DSL connection that I can''t play MMOG on if my roommate is downloading a file off the web. So if you want to host something that hundreds or thousands of people are going to connect to at the same time your not going to be doing this on your home cable/DSL connection. The last time I check leasing a T1/T3 line wasn''t too cheap and it will probably take a few of these to support the vast number of people signing on. But let’s not worry about that quite yet as you still need the Hardware to run the software on, customer support people and a hosting location.

Of course this really isn''t a problem as these people are coming out of the woodwork by the thousands to play this game. Or are they? If you create a game based on PvP combat they you are then creating a position where the more powerful your character is the better. In a dog eat dog world you don’t get big by thinking small. So you need players who are going to spend a fair amount of time in the game. Now let’s add to that the fact that your going to be charging people to play this game. Last time I check there were not too many casual gamers looking for a game where they had to invest large quantities of time and money to play. (Keep in mind that the deer hunter games retail for between 10-20 bucks where a regular PC game goes for anywhere between 40-60) So what you need is hardcore players to play this game not people who have never picked up a PC game before.

And then as a final point to consider let look at what the other non PvP options which are going to be coming up in the near future. Lets see, Star War Galaxies, Worlds of WarCraft, Sims Online, Asheron''s Call 2 just to name the biggest players.

So in closing. What you are suggesting is to make a type of game which requires large amounts of capital (a MMOG), which therefore requires a large player base. This player base needs to come from players who will to devote a lot of time to the game and shell out money for the game every month (these are what we refer to as hardcore players). And you want to compete with powerhouse companies which don’t have the perfect PvP system but will have hundreds of thousands of players. Can the perfect PvP game be made? Sure it can. Can you put it into a MMOG? Sure you can. Can this game be successful? No.

Now I''m sure your just itching to get your response up but try to put some though into what you are basing your assumptions off of. People didn''t just get the idea that people might play MMOG. The initial games were based of successful MUD''s and the desire to bring the collective adventure from D&D online. So go ahead and say that if you make the perfect PvP system then people will come but back it up with some real life examples where real people have done this before.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You hit it MorganE with your last statement: "So go ahead and say that if you make the perfect PvP system then people will come but back it up with some real life examples where real people have done this before."

As far as I know of, nobody really HAS done this before. Good pvp systems have been tried in muds, but they don''t have the kind of market saturation we''re talking about. We DONT know that a pvp game will sell a ton, but what the thread was originally trying to do was hack up an in-the-works design which has PVP and permanent death in it. The plan may be to eventually sell it, I don''t know, but Oluseyi didn''t mention anything about the marketing of it, merely the design. This IS the design forum, not the marketing forum.

You seem to be absolutely sure beyond any persuasion that a pvp permanent death game, no matter how good the game or how well thought out the system, will utterly fail. This assumption may or may not be true, but since none of us have seen a succesful OR unsuccsesful game of this nature, it''s hard to tell. You did point out the rather empty asheron''s call pvp server, but this doesn''t prove very much as the game is not MARKETED to pvp players. Many games, movies, books, music, whatever have not done well due to bad marketing, while good marketing can make shit sell. Such as very good tv shows that get cancelled by being shoved around, not marketed well, and not given much of a chance. (Now and again, once and again, dark angel are a recent few)

I have seen this discussion before many many times. Somebody has a design that includes permanent death, they broadcast their ideas on a forum somewhere, and everyone says its a horrible idea. But these ideas continue to pop up over and over again. I think it''s worth a try, ANYTHING to make MMO''s less boring. I like the idea of the mmorpg, but none of the games I''ve played are really any good. At least these ideas, while not COMPLETELY original, are different from what is currently offered.

Now to the design:

The lizards sound like a cool idea, almost similar to a game I was working on about a year ago with dinosaurs, but Im not sure what should change between the parent and its offspring. It obviously needs to be at a slightly lower level, low enough that it should take at least a few hours to get back to your previous level. One thing you have to remember about pvp permadeath is that the higher death penalties WILL lessen the amount of playerkillers. Especially if you can''t TELL how much stronger your opponent is than you. Obviously you need to know the dangers of attacking monsters in the world so as not to take necesary risks, but between players? The weakest player should look strong enough to scare off most potential attackers. And with a good evade function you dont have to worry too much about being attacked.

If you have an energy bar for how fast you move, but you only make it go down when you attack someone, then the attacker will always be slower than the victim. Maybe the energy can go down at a slower rate when your running away than when your attacking. If there are a lot of foreground obstacles to hide behind, you should be able to lose them. So fights should only last to the point where the loser runs away. Those who fight and run away will live to fight another day! This can ring true in the pvp environment.

Unconsiousness is another thing to think about. If you go unconcious before death, and they get to steal your eq, then why would they keep attacking you until you die? It''s to no benefit to them, except a black mark on their consious. Sure it might happen, but with unconsiousness at least there is a chance there. And if there is no difference graphically between a dead character and an unconcious character, then they may think you''re dead anyway.

One more thing: if there are enough roaming mobs that attack in most places in the world, then not only is the pker trying to fight you, but they have to watch out for the monsters as well. Once they have your stuff off of your unconcious body, they want to get out of there to a safe spot as fast as they can, not wait around for a lengthy finishing move to be completed. And bad mobs shouldn''t attack an unconcious body either, cause they think your dead


In conclusion: there are a lot of ways to make this work, and there are enough proposals for this that it must be worth trying to work out. Dismissing it as something that will never sell is, well, I don''t want to call it silly, but it''s somewhat baseless as this is something that''s never been done before. Trying to cater for both the hardcore players and the casual players is difficult, and most games nowadays tend to just ignore the casual players. I think, even though you may think it''s weird, this system would benefit the casual players as it keeps everyone more or less on the same level. You die, you start over again. The further you get, and the more risks you take, the closer you are to dying. Casual players don''t venture off into the dark unknowns of the world or take big risks, and they run when they see someone trying to kill them for their newbie dagger, so they will last longer than hardcore players, although still won''t get as powerful. And finally you provide a world where feats can actually be admired, and being someone at a really high level will demonstrate the players skill a lot more than the levels of today''s games. You can really respect that level 50 warrior, because you know he didn''t just sit at his computer for 14 hours a day for a few weeks to get there, but actually EARNED those 50 levels.

Wow, long conclusion

Sorry I rambled so much everyone!
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Last time I check there were not too many casual gamers looking for a game where they had to invest large quantities of time and money to play.

The whole idea behind the game is that it does NOT require the investment of large quantities of time. That is merely an option. As gameplay comes before character growth, you can always choose to play just a 15 minute session. You just have the option of spending more time and developing your character if you so desire.
quote:
And then as a final point to consider let look at what the other non PvP options which are going to be coming up in the near future.

Exactly: non PvP. Each and every current MMORPG, each and every future MMORPG, they all do pretty much the same thing. THEY suffer from the problem of sharing the same playerbase, but a different genre MMO would not really be affected by that quite as much.

Sure, when creating a game you need to think about things like playerbase etc, but at this point I think it's better just to create the game as the game should be created and think about such things later on. If you let yourself be influenced too much by 'customer satisfaction' (other than that playing the game should be fun) you're just going to get a game that is less than it could have been.
quote:
Can this game be successful? No.

Personally, I think that's a little too narrow-minded. (but then again, I might be a little too open-minded) Plus, succesful is not one of the things I'm concerned about. I just want to create the product that I think it could be. I'm almost at the point now where I'm about to change 'think' to 'know' because the more time and effort we put into this project, the more I realize that it in fact is feasible.

SALUK

I think you pretty much said it all.


[edited by - Silvermyst on September 4, 2002 10:25:10 AM]
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by Oluseyi
Okay, seriously. A colleague and I are working on a design for an MMO game in which the player controls non-human avatars (I''m intentionally obfuscating the details because they''re irrelevant). Our creatures age, deteriorate in health (from injury/disease as well as age) and eventually die, but we''re exploring options for continuity that would be acceptable and interesting/challenging to players. Our current model is to have the creatures progignere either via direct birth or laying eggs, which encodes the creatures "DNA" with suitable mutation/adaptation/evolution such that the offspring is not identical to the parent.

Comments, please.


How about a game where your character has sex with as many female NPC''s as possible, and when he dies he can continue playing with one of his children ? I would be interested in an RPG that would include that ...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
How about a game where your character has sex with as many female NPC''s as possible, and when he dies he can continue playing with one of his children ? I would be interested in an RPG that would include that ...

Fat chance We''re keeping this tasteful. Personally, I couldn''t care less about all the sexual elements I''ve seen in games. I''m not a prude, but I don''t think a good game needs sex to sell.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by Oluseyi
Is this a reasonable model? Would it be interesting and fascinating or frustrating to you?

------------

All this talk about "PvP", "PvE" and "PKing" flat out bores me. I don''t play RPGs because I feel like I have little actual influence on my characters growth and development, generally only on his appearance and "level" (now there''s an abstract concept for you!)

Any concept, if designed well could be fun. Your idea has more than enough potential but I don''t think most people would accept it... initially! I haven''t played an RPG in about 10 years and I don''t take part in MMO games cause of all those stink-people-things ya gotta deal with. So, I really don''t consider you or I good judges of what RPG or MMO should be. Then again, how many people like us are actually out there that want a change. From what I''ve seen what people say in these forums, there is probably a huge vein that hasn''t been tapped yet.

Your concept can make for a good "save game" feature. When you create off-spring, you are in a sense, saving your game. This makes the save more objective and realistic rather than an abstract punch of the F2 key. The DNA concept is a nice twist. What is more important is how the rest of the game design fits around this whole concept.

One thing to keep in mind: add lots and lots of record charts! =) I used to play a lot of BBS door games. In all of those games, death was death. You restarted at 0. You''d fight your way to the top only to get demolished by another players quick strategy. You''d be frustrated but then you had the enjoyment of rebuilding your character for revenge. Even though you may have been killed, your name was on one or two top ten records for all to see. So, you may have died, but you were immortalized. Just a thought.

- Jay

"I have head-explody!!!" - NNY

Get Tranced!
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by MorganE
Now I''m sure your just itching to get your response up but try to put some though into what you are basing your assumptions off of. People didn''t just get the idea that people might play MMOG. The initial games were based of successful MUDs and the desire to bring the collective adventure from D&D online.

But the first MUD ever was essentially a PvP and permadeath game. So without PvP and permadeath, there might not be any MMORPGs as we know them. And most D&D games are permadeath. The paradigm is not without merit, it just needs a careful implementation.

[ MSVC Fixes | STL | SDL | Game AI | Sockets | C++ Faq Lite | Boost | Asking Questions | Organising code files | My stuff ]
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think there is a couple of things people are failing to consider but I'll make another attempt here.

"Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it."

Everybody is saying , oh you can't look at those games from the past they weren't done right thats why no body played them. Everything, and I do mean everything has some basis for thinking the outcome will be successful. I've presented several resons why it wont be successful. Yet the only reason I not seen a single reason on which people are basing their assumptions for the success of such a design. Christoper Columbus sailed across the ocean because he could see the horizon was curved when looking across the ocean.
Everquest has 400,000 players but it is by no means a perfect system. Why did they invest so much into creating that game? Ultima Online had 200,000 players, that why. Why did Origin think people would play UO? Because millions of people already played D&D and computer roleplaying games and UO was a merger of the two.
So I ask you. What are you basing your assumptions off of?

For the next point I'm going to use a particurally long quote of which the full text can be found here:

A lot of people don't understand the fundamentals of the games development business. They don't understand technology limitations, development times, financial concerns or any of the other headaches of developing a new product. Their idea proposals say things like, "You would recreate New York City to scale and have 4 million unique looking and sounding individuals that you can interact with and you can have 500,000 of them on the screen at the same time when you join them in Times Square for the New Year's Eve ball drop. That's when the aliens attack and severely damage the city, so all of the buildings have to be half-destroyed as the city is plunged into chaos and eternal night. Then you and your band of 10,000 resistance fighters lead the charge with 50 different weapons and squad based tactics and the game would toggle between first person, third person, top down and map views" and on and on and on and on and on... You see what I mean? A vast majority of game idea submissions suffer from this problem. I call it "Newbie Ambition." Game Development is mostly about figuring out "what cool stuff you can do in a limited time period with limited cash."

And now I'm going to translate this into what I am seeing here.

We want to know if we can create a game where we want thousands of people to play. We will have the perfect PvP system where when people die they lose the investment they have put into their character this is ok however because people will have no association with their character. Were going to make a system based on a competitive PvP system and enourage people to fight each other which will therefore encourages people to play long hours to have powerful characters but people are not going to have to play long hours to enjoy the game. The people that cant play long hours can just stay in town and play safe in our game based around a PVP/premantent death system. And were going to make this a MMOG which costs tremendious amounts of money to create and run but we dont care if only a few people come and play it.



[edited by - MorganE on September 4, 2002 3:54:06 PM]
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Everquest has 400,000 players but it is by no means a perfect system. Why did they invest so much into creating that game? Ultima Online had 200,000 players, that why.

And this is how capitalism does not necessarily lead to good products. If you let your design be purely influenced by money, then yes, the best thing to do is look at what is already succesful, add a little to it, and publish the game.

Remember Sergey Bubka (Oekraine)? He was pretty much the best pole vaulter by far (is he still? You don't get to see a lot of non-Americans performing sports on American television...). Whenever he would set a new record, he would get money. Some quick thinking made him realize that he should just level the bar as slowly as possible, because that would gain him the most amount of money.

quote:
I call it "Newbie Ambition."

I suffered from Newbie Ambition, but I think I've surpassed that stage by now. In fact, at one point my co-conspirator had to actually tell me to expand my mind a little and not limit myself to too basic a concept. There's simply too big a difference between 'millions of people, thousands of builings, hundreds of weapons' and 'PvP instead of PvE and permanent death instead of quasi death' to make the comparison you're making.

Still, the first line of your 'translation' pretty much sums it all up.
quote:
We want to know if we can create a game where we want thousands of people to play.

That's all. We want to know. We want to find out. Personally, we think it's possible. As this is not our dayjob (yet?), we're not risking anything in our attempt to find out if others agree.

[edited by - Silvermyst on September 4, 2002 3:53:59 PM]
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Man I just love how this message board works. I sometimes wonder if people read the entire post or not.

The point I was trying to make with the EQ/UO/D&D example is that everything has something before it no matter how big or small it is. Instead of pulling the example apart answer the question that the example is illustrating. Where is the indication that people will play this game when there is so many signs which they wont?

Newbie Ambition is when you say, "We can do anything!" Real design is when you look at the limits that are currently in place and expand on them. People seem to be saying "We can design the perfect PvP/Permanent death system." Even though millions of dollars and tons of effort has gone into this with negligible results.

Finally. People seem to really love the first line of my post, which I like to call the hypothesis. However most people seem to have no problem ignoring the rest of the post where the hypothesis is tested and found to be either true or false.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
The point I was trying to make with the EQ/UO/D&D example is that everything has something before it no matter how big or small it is. Instead of pulling the example apart answer the question that the example is illustrating. Where is the indication that people will play this game when there is so many signs which they wont?

Where was the indication that Tetris would do well? The Sims? Doom? Sure, they all had a small start somewhere (that''s how ideas usually are born). But just the same way, PvP, permanent death, [insert any idea you can come up with] has been done before, and has been done so succesfully.
Remember a little game called Rogue? There you go. That takes care of permanent death then, right? Or does it specifically have to be an MMO game with permanent death? But then, if you can''t find any, could it possibly be that a game that combines MMO and permanent death can become the first in a long line of similar games? Is it at all possible to think up something creative these days, or can we just use been-there-done-that ideas?
quote:
Newbie Ambition is when you say, "We can do anything!" Real design is when you look at the limits that are currently in place and expand on them.

I guess you mean technical limits? Of course technical limits are taken into consideration. But any designer worth his money (don''t include me... I''m worth zip )knows that if the average development of a game is several years, you HAVE to let your mind wander outside the technical limits, because otherwise, on the day the game is released, it will already be outdated by several years. Especially since graphics are such a huge selling point of current games, you simply HAVE to think out of the box... But not too much
Or did you mean psychological limits? As in ''look at what is succesful and expand on that''...
quote:
People seem to be saying "We can design the perfect PvP/Permanent death system." Even though millions of dollars and tons of effort has gone into this with negligible results.

Millions of dollars and tons of effort have gone into designing a permanent death based PvP system? With negligible results? I''ve seen a share of games under development halted, but were those all permanent death PvP games, or could it be that ANY genre is susceptible to getting back nothing for their effort and money?
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
what if, man-lizard and woman-lizard have an egg together. Sometime later, man-lizard dies and inhabits the child. What happens when woman-lizard dies if she hasn''t made another egg yet? Will she permanently die for not having a kid?
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tetris was based on puzzles
The Sims was based on the long line of micromanaging games with the word Sim in front of it (simcity, simtower, sim...)
Doom was based on wolfenstien


Rogue is defiantly old school. But you seem to be able to over look an awful big flaw. Rogue was started by a group of people at Universities on UNIX. Now if this is the typical player you are looking for then you may want to look into what percentage of the population these type of people make up. I never said you couldn''t get players. What I said was you will only get hardcore players and you can not make a game with such high financial requirements which will be supported by a fraction of the potential MMOG players. If you want to be successful you look at other games and see why they were successful and things that were failures and see why they were failures. You do not just think up an idea and go implement it and hope for the best. If you were making a single player game that was going to be distributed as shareware then you could do this (well perhaps not the PvP part). But a MMOG cost money and lots of it. So you cant ignore the current winners and losers.

Saying we are going to create the perfect PVP/Permanent Death system is our spare time is Newbie Ambition.

The original question on this post was "Is this a reasonable model?" And despite all the information I have provied to show it isn''t coupled with the lack of any thing beyond wishful thinking that it is. You can not conclude that this is indeed a reasonable model.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by Silvermyst
we''re not risking anything in our attempt to find out



Actually you’re risking a lot of time and effort that could have been put towards something achievable. In the end when things don''t come together as you thought they could or should have all you will be left with is bits and pieces of a project destined to become another "Help Wanted" forum project. Not only is it depressing and demoralizing to work you’re hardest on something only to have it fall apart, it''s also a big waste of your time.

Now imagine if you attempted something that was clearly achievable and you successfully produced a finished game. Now you know just how hard it is to finish a project, even a small one, but you have renewed energy and confidence in starting your next project because. You also know your limits and, chances are, you will be able to accurately gauge what features you can realistically implement in your next project and achieve it too.

Now you have two finished games and maybe you’re selling them as shareware and generating enough revenue to quit and take this full time.

When you look at what you can stand to achieve as a good team with reasonable expectations vs. a good team with unrealistic expectations you start to see just how much you are risking.

Though all of us may have gotten past "Newbie Ambition" we are all still newbies when it comes to the process of developing a game and seeing it through to completion. We''ve all done parts of games, started lots of games but very few if any were ever finished games in fact very few of the parts were ever fully completed either.

Thus, until we have experience completing a simple game we should not be attempting to reinvent the MMORPG genera and solve the PvP problem as our first attempt at a complete game.

quote:
Original post by Silvermyst
As this is not our dayjob (yet?)



Sounds like you might want to develop games full time? My advice is to do something clearly achievable. Make a platformer and try out some RPG elements, but keep it simple. I think you''ll be amazed at the time, energy, and resources required to complete something that something that''s described completely in a 20-page design and appears trivial to implement.


0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
what if, man-lizard and woman-lizard have an egg together. Sometime later, man-lizard dies and inhabits the child. What happens when woman-lizard dies if she hasn''t made another egg yet? Will she permanently die for not having a kid?

Two eggs per batch (one for male, one for female) is a possible solution. Also remember, you don''t have to wait until death to inhabit the child. You can play parent and child whenever you want.
I do think that something can be done with the gender, making females more important in the process of mating (because they will be the ones laying the actual egg). Female snakes might become a high commodity that way. In that situation, female snakes can be given slightly lower properties to reflect their realistically lower physical abilities (though I''m not sure about the biology of snakes yet. For all I know male and female might be equally strong).
Imagine current MMORPG you play. Is there ANY statistical difference between male and female characters? Probably not. Why not? Because if there was, less players would play the weaker sex. If there is actually some benefit in playing the weaker sex (desirability), then more players will choose to play that physically weaker sex.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
The original question on this post was "Is this a reasonable model?" And despite all the information I have provied to show it isn''t coupled with the lack of any thing beyond wishful thinking that it is. You can not conclude that this is indeed a reasonable model.

The problem is that you translate ''reasonable'' into ''succesful''.
It doesn''t ask ''will this game sell a lot of copies?'' It doesn''t even ask ''will a lot of players play this game?''
All it asks is ''Would it be interesting and fascinating or frustrating for you?''
quote:
Rogue was started by a group of people at Universities on UNIX. Now if this is the typical player you are looking for then you may want to look into what percentage of the population these type of people make up.

What does it matter who started the game? I never knew who started it when I was playing it. If our design would require several incarnations (as I think you refer to with the Rogue quote above), then so be it. Whatever it takes for our vision to come to life.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What the questions asks is - Is it reasonable to assume that we could make a MMOG with permanent death in it.

This was added onto in later posts by saying the game would be based around PvP and that this was an independent studio project.

So we have the question - Is it reasonable to assume that and independent studio could make a MMOG based on PvP with permanent death.

So I tried to pull each part of this question out and look at it individually.

What does it take to make a game these days?
The typical game costs millions and dollars and years of people working 40+ hours a week for it to ever see the light of day.
Can an independent studio make a game?
You bet, but if you take away the millions of dollars and the 40+ hours a day then you are increasing the time to create the game from two years to a whole lot of years.

So if we compose the question with just this we get this - Can an independent studio make a game?
To which the answer is yes. It’s going to take a long time and the more complex you make it tougher it will be.

What does a MMOG involve?
A whole lot of money, and a whole lot of complexity
Where do you get a whole lot of money?
From a whole lot of players

So if we compose the question with just this we get - Is it reasonable to assume that an independent studio could make a MMOG?
To which the answer is yes, but you need a whole lot of players to support it and your going to need to keep it simple if you ever want to get it out the door.

Next point can we design a game with PvP in it?
Yes, you can design a game where pigs fly around in space and eat carrots if you like.
Will a whole lot of people play a PvP game?
If you look at what people are playing now then the indication is that people prefer non PvP systems.

So if we compose the question with just this we get - Is it reasonable to assume that an independent studio could make a MMOG with PvP elements in it?
To which the answer is well maybe, but there is not a lot of people playing PvP right now and your adding complexity to the system. These are in direct opposition to what we learned from the first two questions.

Final point, can we design a game with permanent death in it?
Yes you can but a good permanent death system is adding a fair amount of complexity to the system.
Will a whole lot of people play a permanent death game?
If you look at what people are playing now then the indication is that people prefer non PvP systems.... I mean permanent death games.

So if we compose the question with this we get - Is it reasonable to assume that and independent studio could make a MMOG based on PvP with permanent death. (If this looks familiar its the same question from the top of the post)
To which the answer is no, it is unreasonable to assume that an independent studio which needs without tremendous amounts of funding can develop a complex MMOG which also requires a whole bunch of money and have it be based around a model for which people are unwilling to play.

I really feel like I''m restating my self over and over here but if it helps people understand then its not unreasonable to do this I guess :-)
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
So we have the question - Is it reasonable to assume that and independent studio could make a MMOG based on PvP with permanent death.

NO!! That''s the question YOU make out of it. The original question doesn''t even really mention PvP and only hints at permanent death.

Let''s rephrase the question a little bit, using some imagination...

I am Bill Gates. I have hired a group of talented designers.
They will design an MMO where avatars live on through their offspring. Would it be interesting and fascinating or frustrating to you?

Don''t answer ''can''t be done'' or ''you''re not Bill Gates''. Just answer what you would like or dislike about living on through offspring instead of using the same individual avatar throughout the game.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites