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kressilac

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  1. One of the aspects of this that I find interesting is the play that mobile devices will have on this long time battle. Apparently, DirectX is not coming to Windows Mobile 7 and with Apple trumpeting how you can build applications for the iPad and for the iPhone using the same "API", no DirectX on a mobile device seems like a mistake. OpenGL however, is implemented in Windows Mobile 6.* and will be part of 7.* so OpenGL seems to have been given another lease on life in the world of mobile 3D games. Will they take advantage of it? If they don't Microsoft will make sure DirectX is on a mobile platform so that their games on Windows Phones can compete with the games on the iPhone.
  2. Anyone know where or whom I can get in touch with to do Anime 2D/3D/Texture work? We're closing in on a deal to create an Anime style MMORPG for a client and we need a few good artists/animators/modellers that know how to work in the Anime style. Been a while since, I've posted here but thought I would give it a shot and see. I'm looking for experienced artists/modelers due to the short timeframe of the project implementation. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Kressilac
  3. I'm one of the ones that believes a fully PVP+ MMO is possible to develop. In order for this to happen a few things need to be in place completely at the time of launch. To this end is the design we've strived towards with Ages of Athiria. (my.agesofathiria.com) Clear definitions of what is considered griefing and what is considered acceptable PVP have to be laid out in a set of simple concise rules that the player can digest. These actions are griefing-PvP and these actions are consentual-PvP; there cannot be a grey line in the system. If this is not clear then expectations cannot be set. The game needs to be able to track those rules and flag characters that are in violation of those rules. Alternately, the game should be able to prompt or warn a player when an action they are about to take could place them in violation of the rules. Players need the ability to exact PERMANENT justice on a character that is found to be violation of said rules. Without knowing that I can completely remove the ability of my assailant to play the game, a PvE minded player will not play the game. It's even better if some sort of societal justice system can be brought to bear removing the direct action I need to take to enact justice. (Think guards of my city carrying out the justice so that I do not have to train my crafting skills away just to get revenge) Tools need to be given to the players so that disputes can be resolved without running amok of the PvP rules. Consentual duels, war mechanism, guild training sessions... Ages of Athiria addresses each of these issues and the result is something that we think all types of players will want to play. The key lies deep in the idea that sociology guides player communities in MMOs more than game mechanics. Game mechanics are there to provide tools to the players to build the society that they want to build. If we get it right, you'll have a completely safe world to adventure in without the need for artificial PvP switches and the like. Hopefully this is a game that PvPers and PvEers can share in without being at oposing ends of a religious war. Kressilac
  4. The major problem with the Shadowrun license has to do with the fallout of FASA Studios. Microsoft owns some part of the license, while the lore and PnP aspects are owned by a subsidiary of WizKids. I've heard that Infogrames also has a say somewhere in how the property is used. This creates a nasty mess of a license to navigate if you want to create a computer game using the world. I've spoken with some people about using the Shadowrun license for an MMO and it has always been met with road blocks and people not sure if they could say yes to something. At anyrate, the license is in decline from a popularity standpoint so it could be had for a reasonable fee to the party that wants to take on the challenge of getting between 2 and 4 companies together to talk about the same subject for more than 2 minutes. There's nothing more that I would like to see than a Shadowrun MMO done properly. Do it complete with the Astral Plane and the matrix using an adaption of the rules in the PnP version and wow, what a game it could be. I think there are enough fans of the PnP game to make for a very stable sales proposition as well but unfortunately the licensing arrangement is nothing short of a mess to navigate through. Once you see this, you realize that the license arrangement is the only reason why games in the Shadowrun universe have not been developed lately. Kressilac
  5. All, It is with great pain that I must bring news to this community that David Loeser Jr., a.k.a. Dak Lozar is no longer with us. On thursday evening of last week, Dak took his own life. I mention this here because he has been a member here and a good friend of mine for over four years. I wish he could still be here and hope that he is in a better place. He'll always be remembered in my heart and I would ask that each of you send out a prayer for him and his family. The GameDev.net community lost a valuable member thursday though I hope he is remembered for years to come. Sincerely, Derek Licciardi President, Elysian Productions Inc. Long time friend of Dak Lozar.
  6. Obviously, YMMV with respect to what a banker tells you is important. I've learned that a relationship with a banker is pretty valuable in getting over these "obstacles". That said lets look at a typical game developer from an accounting books standpoint. They are typically heavy on expenses in the form of payroll and other costs of doing business. This is especially true in relation to assets owned and controlled by the company. Until you have a decent IP that can be valued by a third party company at some dollar value, its very likely that all you have for assets in the company are the computers that you work on to build games and perhaps a server or two. To a bank this is a very liquid environment in that if you default there is nothing they can attach to to get their money that you couldn't liquidate before they get through the court process. This is where the desire to see receivables comes from. All that's left on your books for assets are receivables and cash. Cash is just as liquid so if your receivables are 90 days out then the bank understands that they might be able to forcefully recover a default loan. Again YMMV but this is what we have seen to date. Banks could care less about how you will pay back the loan as long as they can get their hooks into you if you default. Their entire process revolves around ensuring you don't default and covering their asses if you do. Kressilac
  7. Muds are a really tough sell in this day and age. I'm a veteran of the MUD community, having worked on numerous Diku and LP MUDs as a volunteer coder/level designer. From where I stand, it might be more profitable to either hunt for MMO money assuming you can show you're capable of accomplishing this feat or build a 2D MUD using tools you can find on the web in the open source community. It's not too difficult to adopt the "room" based descriptions of a MUD to a 2D coordinate system and use a tiling engine to represent the game graphically. I can't see MUDs breaking out from the niche market that they are in today and this is because Ultima Online forever changed the way we view them. I know others were first but UO and EQ finally made the MMO mainstream within the game industry. MUDS from that point on were niche market games. Both can be profitable but I have to believ ethat MUDs are not a get-rich-quick mechanism simply because there are waaaay too many replacements a user can go to instead of paying for your game. Competing in this market is likely expensive relative to the revenue. Kressilac
  8. One other thing. In addition to the profitability quirk above, there is a like-minded quirk with respect to receivables. Banks like to see outstanding receivables due in the next 90 days. (longer indicates a problem with your receivables collection methods) Since these are listed as current assets they increase the book value of your company making loans easier to give out. Secondly if you default on the loan and you have outstanding cash flow in receivables, they can take a lien on those receivables to recoup their investment in you. Companies on the other hand hate receivables. They like all invoices paid as soon as possible. Receivables cost time and money to collect on and money in hand is always better than moneies owed to you. (almost always) This places the goal of getting cash in contrast with managing cash flow. Cash flow is THE single indicator for small business survival. Without it they die, so it takes careful planning to see that your loan application and your financials are in the right position to give you the best chance at the best loan. Getting cash is not nearly as easy as it seems, even in the small quantities you mention. Your best bet is to plan properly and build a great network so that when it comes time to pull the trigger on the application process, you're completely prepared. Kressilac
  9. A little lesson I learned along the way to building the financial health of Elysian Productions Inc. Banks and the SBA need tax documents to see that you are profitable and can repay the loan. Read that statement again and think about the directions you will leave with your CPA when he prepares your corporate taxes. The goal of profitablilty is in stark contrast with IRS tax reporting. The more profit you show, the more money you throw away on taxes. The less profit you show, the better your tax outlook and the worse your bank loan outlook. This is just a small bit of information that you can use to plan for the health of your budding new game development house. BTW, planning for this is something you will have to manage for ~3 years before it shows any results. The faster you start paying taxes, the better you look to a bank and to the SBA. They'll still want your home as collateral though so be prepared to mortgage your family... Kressilac ps That last statement is probably the most important. Many people don't start businesses because they have kids, spouses, and bills that would not tolerate the variances in pay that comes with the freedom or doing something you love. Only single people with money or strongly supported married people can create new companies. Don't underestimate the stress your significant other will place on you when you can't come up with basic money to pay bills.