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Lestat3D

REVOLUTIONARY IDEA

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I''m working on a game and I want to know if it is profitable, well here I go: The basic idea is an RPG game in 3rd person view, with the difference that each character has its own magic scrolls and artifacts,in order to plan how to win each fight. Its rarity consists in the fact that I will sell diskettes with magic scrolls and artifacts for characters that you can use and loose on fight-time. When you update your character with these disks the game will erase its contents. It''s similar to a "computing Magic cards game". Do you think it''s a good idea? Thnx.

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Thats a good idea, except you would have to have an individual id for each disk or people will buy one expensive one, copy it repeatively then sell it and THEY will be making the money instead of you. But then you run into the problem people making there own as they go along... And btw they could just write protect their disk and the program wouldn''t be able to erase it, basically infinite items. Its a good idea but it would be hard to implement a safe way to do it...

PaladinGLT

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Virii? I mean, since you need to be able to delete the data anyone could theoretically intercept one of your deliveries and corrupt the data. Add this to the suggestions above that people will look for a way to defeat this and you have a recipe for disaster.

The concept of episodic content is an interesting one, though. EA''s Majestic implements exactly this, trying to sell installmental entertainment; perhaps you could take some pointers from them. Rather than use diskettes, you might want to investigate internet downloads (of course, you''ll have to deal with bandwidth and security issues, but if you''re charging those should be easier to deal with.)



I wanna work for Microsoft!

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Well, I''ll protect the disks from piracy making my own FAT, I mean, the game could read and write from my own diskette format.
This disk format wil be different than FAT32 and NTFS file systems, and these could be accessed by a special program I will create for it, and the only way to copy these disks is to use this program, that I will not sell to customers at all.
I will not protect the disks, since the O.S. (Windows, etc) cannot read the disk in native way. The incopatibility of windows to read my own disk format protect the disks for me.
The game will check for DiskId to know wether it''s a piracy disk or not, just by the way. So it''s copletely factible.

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quote:
Original post by Lestat3D
Well, I''ll protect the disks from piracy making my own FAT, I mean, the game could read and write from my own diskette format.
This disk format wil be different than FAT32 and NTFS file systems, and these could be accessed by a special program I will create for it, and the only way to copy these disks is to use this program, that I will not sell to customers at all.



You can still do an ISO copy fo the disk, even with no file system at all.

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How will the game know if the disk ID is valid? Are you going to have a server with disc IDs that the game connects to and verifies the ID? Are you going to store the disk ID on each disc and compare it with the actual disc ID?

The disc ID verification would be hacked and cracked in no-time and so would your file system. And even if no one could figure out your FS it would be a pain to create one disc for each customer.

I also think the game woudl have to be really good for someone to buy a disc, load it and then never be able to use it again. Personally, even if I was a kid playing with those magic cards, I would never buy it. I would stick with the cards.

One last note, why do I have to know what''s on the disc to copy it? I can copy the disc byte by byte to an image file and then put it on a million discs if I feel like it.

-Benny-

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Sorry to disappoint you, but this won''t work.
I don''t think anybody would want to pay for a game and then have to pay again when they need newer/better weapons/spells etc.
No matter how good your game is, people will buy an alternative product or at least copy your disks or maybe even generate their own to sell.
Someday your file format will be hacked and pirates will sell their really fat homegrown item-disks and the game won''t be much fun anymore.
And I don''t think it will be hard to simulate a disk drive in software with a fat item generator pretending to be the diskdrive. Hooking interrupts is still possible in Windows, you know!
So practically as well as ethically it will not be a good idea.

---
Allow me to clear my head for once...
Stop polluting the air!

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Similar to what Oluseyi said above, internet downloads would probably be the only viable way to pull a stunt like that off. You could have an ID attached to each download and require people to be connected when they install the file, which checks the ID off on the server so that no one else can use the file again. Then use some prime number encryption and hope that it sells. Or you could store everyone''s spells, artifacts, etc server-side and circumvent all the problems of copying and cracking.

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The only way to do this and have safe profits is as follows:
- you can buy items disks or download it from internet, obviously, the items you buy are more interesting than the others you can download.
- the disk id are protected and recognized by the game using an algorithm that consists on various mathematic operations, such as a "product serial code" recognition algorithm mixed with "registering online". That is, it's needed to rgister the program to download items and to play online. When user registers, he enters a serial number and a password that is stored in the server DB, if any user introduces a serial key that is alredy in the server DB he must enter the password to let the system knows that it's is the same user reinstalling the game.
- Each item (Magic scrolls, artifacts, weapons) is unic on the face of the world (the real world).
- I'll have a server with a data base that tells you who owns each item (the DB only tells you the Nick name that is all that the DB knows about the players), then you can call him to fight for the objects that he owns (or yours, it depends on who loses the fight).
- These interchange of items happens when playing against other people (online playing -direct play-).
- You can use the items you win on line to play offline within history mode.

WHEN ONLINE:
- Each user has a Nick that is unic on the face of the world.
- Each Nick is inserted in the DB in the server, such as his history through the game on-line. That will able the server program to create "legends" within the game (that secondary characters tells you).
- To lose a fight doesn't mean to die, only means to be robed or to kneel at your enemy feet (so the legends within the game changes).

Edited by - Lestat3D on November 13, 2001 9:55:52 AM

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I think the origianal poster pretty much missed the point about what makes collectible trading card games popular; although I admire his/her creativity. The fun of magic the gathering is in the thrill in opening a card pack to see what cards you get and then trading with your friends and roaming collectible stores looking for the rare ones. I don''t see the fun in buying a 3.5 in floppy to use in your computer alone OR paying an online charge to basically play a mmorpg no matter how unique and creative. Now if you built elements like this into the game where the player could find and buy stuff like your talking about (scrolls, swords etc...) GEE! this sounds like your basic rpg doesn''t it!

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by Lestat3D
Well, I''ll protect the disks from piracy making my own FAT, I mean, the game could read and write from my own diskette format.
This disk format wil be different than FAT32 and NTFS file systems, and these could be accessed by a special program I will create for it, and the only way to copy these disks is to use this program, that I will not sell to customers at all.
I will not protect the disks, since the O.S. (Windows, etc) cannot read the disk in native way. The incopatibility of windows to read my own disk format protect the disks for me.
The game will check for DiskId to know wether it''s a piracy disk or not, just by the way. So it''s copletely factible.


I assume you meant "file system". FAT is just a file system for DOS (and win32 if you include FAT32).

*boot OS (in this case a *nix)*
dd if=/dev/floppy of=/home/username/copyofthedisk
*insert blank floppy*
dd if=/home/username/copyofthedisk of=/dev/floppy

And voila, free copy, no matter the file system as this is a raw read/write. It works for DOS/Windows etc too, just get rawrite.exe.

Sorry, this is by no mean a flame, but it''s not possible to copy protect by making your own file system. If you want "protection", you''ll have to use very tricky stuff like unformated tracks, false bad sectors, etc. And even then it won''t be long before someone figures out what to do. Even then, old tools for copying such thing do exist.

IMO, connecting to a server to download the data is safer, but even that is easily broken, unless you encrypt the data (and then you''ll have to encrypt the decryption key or pirates will find it). I really think it''s not worth it.

And that''s not mentionning the fact than I''d hate to have to pay additionnal fees for a game I already bought. It sounds a bit like rip-off to me.

Anyway, good luck.

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1) I''m guessing this would be an indie game, not trying to dis you or anything but I find it very hard to imagine an indie RPG SO good that many people would be willing to shell out money over and over again to keep upgrading it, in which case it would not be profitable because so few people would be willing to risk losing money on it.

2) People who play MTG are going to be more attracted to MTG cards then upgrading a game with money that could be spent on more cards. The cards are worth more and will be worth more then the satisfaction of having bought every spell, magic scroll, etc ever made.

3) I personally would not want to spend money on one disk and then lose all that time and money (not to mention the disk I just bought) on a new one which I know I''ll end up throwing away because another is coming out next month. The whole point of CCGs is that you can buy new cards (love opening a brand new pack) and your old ones are still good. You can mix and match and except in rare cases your old cards are never out of style.

Sorry to rain on your parade...

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by TechnoHydra
Sorry to rain on your parade...

no you''re not raining on my parade, my parade is higher than clouds.
1 - The disks are not patches, it''s all like the Magic cards, and if you spend money it will be to have a better "stack" of disks to win games, they''ll be rare disks, easy disks, and so on, just like Magic game.

2 - It''is such a virtual or computing Magic game, the only differences are that you play it as it were Magic mixed with Role Games, so you can tock to characters and view the action on a field, not face to face as Magic.

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"1) I''m guessing this would be an indie game, not trying to dis you or anything but I find it very hard to imagine an indie RPG SO good that many people would be willing to shell out money over and over again to keep upgrading it, in which case it would not be profitable because so few people would be willing to risk losing money on it."

Ever heard of Ultima Online? Peopl paid GOOD money for homes and weapons in that game.

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Also, you are going to have to either give away or sell the main game extremely cheaply if you expect people t oshell over more money for additional stuff. Another cool idea, although hard to implament would be if two people play each other over the interent, the loser forfits a weapon or spell to the winner. This would make it so that you didnt neccisarily HAVE to buy the additional spells, but that was the only way you could get good enough to win more weapons and spells. This would also involve strategy on the players part, because they have to think: Should I spend 5$ on the Firestorm spell, or 5$ on the lightning storm one... Firestorm is more powerful, but more people have weakneses towards lightning storm. And, the guy who has the ''Deathbringer'' Axe has a weakness to Lightning Storm, and I really want that weapon!

Hope I helped,

Masticore2000

Leading the Industry in Mental Piracy...

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Since disks are unsafe why don''t you create your own type of data storage device. Kinda a like a new type of disk drive but it wouldn''t need to store much at all. And you could sell packages of these card-esque disks, with randomly inserted items. I personally like this idea, but it would require a multitude of money/resources.

PaladinGLT

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1. It is totally possible to have the player update by connecting to a server and have it check to see if the disk is valid. A:Once the one number is used it is deleted off from the server as a possible upgrade, B:Don''t have a random check generator and you will be fine, C:When people try to upgrade and it fails they get a flag, too many flags and they are banned/deleted. Cost = Personal time from people
2. Bill Gates joins your game and become the most powerful person in your game universe. Cost = positive 1 billion dollar cash flow.
3. You wake up and notice you dreamed all of this, because I stake my life on this game never taking off, even daring to say that if it was free it wouldn''t be as big. Cost = Priceless

There are some things you can''t buy with money, those things you must buy in your dreams. P.S. I didn''t read all the posts.

"Practice means good, Perfect Practice means Perfect"

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You could give away the game core as a free download/shareware, with a few items included. This would be great for advertising, then players would be more likely to pay for new items. If you wanted to sell it in shops, you could include the core with a random selection of extra items or a set package.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
If the game is basically online only, why not just have the characters saved server-side and have the players buy stuff "virtually." Nobody wants to order discs and have them come through the mail, and you would have a very hard time getting them in stores.

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Lestat3D I think youre still missing some of what makes MTG fun. The randomness of the decks. If you send random decks/upgrades and they get duplicates theyll be mad. If they get stuff thats always new they dont get that same excitment. Yes it may still be exciting but it wont be the same as CCGs. Its still an interesting idea, and if it was good enough it would definately be fun and popular. But it has to be VERY good, and very well thought out and organized, and thats the point I''m trying to make. If you can do it go for it but keep in mind that its more risky since its dependant on people buying upgrades.

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There was a game that I saw at Origins gaming convention out in Ohio which was basically MtG on a CD. It was made by Sony I believe and was playable online with other people and with ways to trade cards and what not. I think it had an X in the title. I''ll have to go home and find out the name. It had a concept similar to yours but you could buy "subscriptions" to card packs instead of individual cards. It was an interesting concept but I don''t think it went anywhere... *shrug* My two bits...

"Sight Does Not Mean Vision"

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