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Default Atari - Gone: Single-Player, Narrative-Driven

May 25th, 2008, 16:17
Originally Posted by titus View Post
gw? Guild Wars? is it only one time fee or is it paying monthly or so?(like WOW)
No monthly fee. You can buy an edition that has all the expansions. Nightfall is the best campaign of the game. Quote from nightfall review:

The campaign is actually even so good that it beats many real singleplayer games and for that reason alone is worth the purchace.

Nightall 90%
I havent reached nightfall yet so I dont know how good it is but if you are having doubts then concentrate on playing nightfall only.
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May 25th, 2008, 17:02
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
I think it's kind of a wheel in motion: One bringts out an even better AAA game - so the measure has been place much highter.

This is like what we call in German "Wettrüsten" : Everyone tries to be on top of the other one with even better things, further on, further on.

I think that's an vicious circle. At one point, EVERYTHING will break up / down from this, because no-one is able anymore to make *such* increadibly high-end games that at the same time deliver atz least *some* profits - simply because the costs have risen too high.
What you just said reminds me of what happened to E3 shows. All the companies were trying to outdo each other with their displays that it became too costly to maintain and in the end it self-destructed.

This is also the thinking in any business where all the companies are trying to make the most money possible. Every year it's "How can we do better than the last year?" But at a certain point isn't there a limit to how much money one company can make? For instance if say an exclusive CRPG publishing company was opened that catered to a niche market like ours. In the beginning if it kept its overhead down and costs for producing a game down wouldn't it be more likely to succeed if it concentrated on our market. If it also didn't get sidetracked by the "getting rich quick" idea by going to the masses (example: Fallout:BOS) and instead concentrated on what our market has responded to and that is SP, TB or RT, narrative-driven role-playing games. In this case it could realistically not fall into the trap of bankruptcy by focusing on a small market that isn't being served by the "Big guys".

Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
I wonder when the first one will make BBB titles - and voice this out clearly !
Indies I believe are the BBB titles. I mean look at Frayed Knights, Avernum, Eschalon, AOD, even Armageddon Empires (not RPG but still a quality BBB title ) All of these games are a giant leap forward in what can be done by independents . One problem all indies have right now is that they are all self-funded and all of them are done in the developers spare time (Avernum is the small exception) My hope is that a publisher will take these guys seriously and invest realistically in them. Keep the costs down and realistic but also cater to a market that currently is being abandoned by the big dogs.

Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
People will most probably become fed up with it at one point in the future.
Just like E3. Well in that case companies got fed up with it

Originally Posted by POLYGON View Post
I may be not smarter than you but I'll give it a shot
You're still relatively new, stick around you'll see that a lot of ppl here are smarter than the horde I have a ratlike mentality.

Originally Posted by POLYGON View Post
Moreover, Publishers try to compete with each other. Let's say Gothic 1 and 2 are not highly invested in projects(just guessing here), what made PB and Jowood invest a lot more in Gothic 3? The "success" Oblivion made was definately a major reason. Every publisher wants to be the Elite and make more profit.
Greed is good To quote one of my favorite movies.

Sometimes though greed is just that greed. Get too greedy and you'll get bitten. It's interesting you pointed out Gothic 1, 2 and 3. Their model is one I think works well. Make 2 games with the same engine then switch to a new engine for the third. But like you pointed out I think they tried too hard for G3 and instead of doing what they do well they tried to outdo Oblivion and in the end it wasn't Gothic or Oblivion but this bug ridden mess. Though saying that, the Gothics have always been a little buggy when first released but never that bad.

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May 25th, 2008, 20:05
Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
Greed is good To quote one of my favorite movies.

Sometimes though greed is just that greed. Get too greedy and you'll get bitten. It's interesting you pointed out Gothic 1, 2 and 3. Their model is one I think works well. Make 2 games with the same engine then switch to a new engine for the third. But like you pointed out I think they tried too hard for G3 and instead of doing what they do well they tried to outdo Oblivion and in the end it wasn't Gothic or Oblivion but this bug ridden mess. Though saying that, the Gothics have always been a little buggy when first released but never that bad.
I tried to search for the profits these games made, but if G3 made more than G1 and G2 which is highly likely, than that would answer your question. G3, although bug-ridden, being an AAA title it sold more than its previous parts which were not AAA titles. In case this is true imagine what profit it would've made if it was up to the expectations. This would mean making an AAA title brings more profit than lower budget games even if it fails to live to its hype.

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May 26th, 2008, 01:07
Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
What you just said reminds me of what happened to E3 shows. All the companies were trying to outdo each other with their displays that it became too costly to maintain and in the end it self-destructed.
I think this is a recurring theme : It goes this way WORLDWIDE with every business …

Think of cars, for example. Now, they have so much electronics inside that they might fail because of that, not because of the driver's ability to drive.

And steets are more and more filled - overfed with traffic.

And fishing … Even now, we are going to face overfishing. Here, in north Europe, this is definitively going to be a factor in the near future.

Everywhere …

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May 26th, 2008, 01:10
Originally Posted by titus View Post
yep it is going already for a while and it will continue: more attention for mmo. I tried several but they are allmost all the same: grind and level. No story, or as good as none. Never liked it.
Sp games are still the best
I fear that this might lead to a generation of game designers who/which unlearn the Art of Storytelling.

Or don't even begin to learn it.

Because in an MMO, the player is responsible for the "content", not the developers anymore.
They just provide and develop the outline.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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May 28th, 2008, 15:07
It bugs me when a publisher says they *make* games. They don't. They choose a project, they pay for it, they handle marketing, distribution, whatever : without them there's no game, ok, but they don't make it.
Developers make games.
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May 28th, 2008, 19:30
Originally Posted by lanael View Post
It bugs me when a publisher says they *make* games. They don't. They choose a project, they pay for it, they handle marketing, distribution, whatever : without them there's no game, ok, but they don't make it.
Developers make games.
Actually we're talking about Atari, aka Infogrames, here - and they do make games through their development studios such as Eden Games.
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May 28th, 2008, 19:53
Indeed.
But I still think the same : Money is the fuel, creators are the engine.
All in all it's only a word problem…
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May 28th, 2008, 20:01
Originally Posted by lanael View Post
Indeed.
But I still think the same : Money is the fuel, creators are the engine.
All in all it's only a word problem…
In that case I'm not sure what you're saying. Atari both fund and create their own games (such as Alone in the Dark). They also publish some other games (such as The Witcher) and further, distribute others (such as Ace Combat).

I also think it's worth considering Phil H's explaination of his comment too:
I think the single-player, disconnected console game is probably in its dotage. Now, that doesn’t mean that those games aren’t relevant going forwards, but they will be enhanced by community features being embedded in them, or downloadable content becoming an inherent part of the experience, or some kind of user-generated content will be part of the experience. All of the things we see in other games, the things that we can point to in compelling games.
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May 28th, 2008, 21:40
Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
In that case I'm not sure what you're saying. Atari both fund and create their own games (such as Alone in the Dark).
If you consider that Eden is owned by Atari thus you may say that Atari can "create" game, yes.
But for me, creating means developing and the developers are at Eden, not at Atari.
I guess we're both agree in a way

The thing that turns me up is that publishers are often confused with developers by some players.

Anyway, to be back on the subject, I think this guy at Atari is wrong.
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May 28th, 2008, 23:06
The market has been heading towards the MMO space with quite a pace of late, but I personally don't see that as a bad thing.

The problem arises when developers think that MMOs can't be narrative-driven, which is a mistake. It's only a matter of time before we see an MMO that understand how to integrate a rich and "single-player" style story. LOTRO proved that it's possible to a degree, and Age of Conan has a similarly narrative-driven introduction.

As human beings, we will always be drawn to the story - and it's the natural progression to combine the advantages of the community driven gameplay, with a strong storyline.

I think it's inevitable, actually.
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May 29th, 2008, 10:32
I'd argue a lot of the MORPGs seen powered by the NWN engine show that you can easily have story driven online games. I don't see why scaling that up to MMO wouldn't also be possible with a bit of thought.

But anyway I think the second quote is more relevant - all he's saying is that single player games will have to involve the community more and add value with things like DLC.
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May 29th, 2008, 10:44
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
The market has been heading towards the MMO space with quite a pace of late, but I personally don't see that as a bad thing.

The problem arises when developers think that MMOs can't be narrative-driven, which is a mistake. It's only a matter of time before we see an MMO that understand how to integrate a rich and "single-player" style story. LOTRO proved that it's possible to a degree, and Age of Conan has a similarly narrative-driven introduction.

As human beings, we will always be drawn to the story - and it's the natural progression to combine the advantages of the community driven gameplay, with a strong storyline.

I think it's inevitable, actually.
Eventually true. But for now it seems most mmo players are still happy to play mmos where most of the action consists of nothing but (more or less) mindless killing of mobs with friends (just like me 10 years ago). They dont demand narrative from the game.

Just have to wait for the taste to evolve for general mmo population. But the faster the mmo population grows, the longer we have to wait. If all the big companies need to make money is simple mmos then thats what they will do. Small devs dont really have the resources to make mmos - atleast good ones.
Last edited by zakhal; May 29th, 2008 at 10:51.
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May 29th, 2008, 12:24
If you want a community to chat/interact with where you can also "do some stuff" then the MMO space is for you. If you want to "hang out" with your buddies and socialize then the MMO space is for you. If you want to compete against other people on equal/unequal terms then the multiplayer/MMO space is for you.

If you want to have a story driven experience where all actors stay in character then it is simply utterly impossible in the multiplayer/MMO space UNLESS you can control who you play with (LAN or closed sessions like the NWN shindigs Corwin has spoken of frequently here on the Watch). I'm sorry to sound like a party crasher, but human nature, when anonymous, is to behave like an idiot towards strangers (at least for teenagers).

I've yet to play one multiplayer game where I stopped playing it because I got bored with the actual game instead of becoming so utterly frustrated by all the idiots populating the servers that I had to quit it before I would blow up or have a heart attack.

I deal with enough idiots in real life for me to want to deal with even more when I'm gaming, so count me out. No singleplayer, no purchase.

To quote Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon: "I'm getting too old for this sh*t"

"Chess in particular had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him; if only the pawns united, maybe talked the rooks around, the whole board could've been a republic in a dozen moves." - Commander Vimes in Thud! by Terry Pratchett
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May 29th, 2008, 14:20
Originally Posted by fatBastard() View Post
If you want to have a story driven experience where all actors stay in character then it is simply utterly impossible in the multiplayer/MMO space UNLESS you can control who you play with (LAN or closed sessions like the NWN shindigs Corwin has spoken of frequently here on the Watch). I'm sorry to sound like a party crasher, but human nature, when anonymous, is to behave like an idiot towards strangers (at least for teenagers).
They don't need to be closed sessions there are a number of RP focused NWN PWs. You do need some sort of policing mechanism though and I'm not sure how you'd manage it on a commercial level as it would be resource intensive.
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May 29th, 2008, 14:25
Originally Posted by fatBastard() View Post
If you want to have a story driven experience where all actors stay in character then it is simply utterly impossible in the multiplayer/MMO space UNLESS you can control who you play with (LAN or closed sessions like the NWN shindigs Corwin has spoken of frequently here on the Watch). I'm sorry to sound like a party crasher, but human nature, when anonymous, is to behave like an idiot towards strangers (at least for teenagers).
Thats why I like guild wars. You can totally ignore rest of the players and use npcs instead of them in the party if you wish so. Helps keep the immersion alive.
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May 29th, 2008, 14:42
Originally Posted by V7 View Post
They don't need to be closed sessions there are a number of RP focused NWN PWs. You do need some sort of policing mechanism though and I'm not sure how you'd manage it on a commercial level as it would be resource intensive.
In theory that is true … and I'm sure that many here have had sessions where everyone was behaving properly, but unless the policing mechanism you mention is more strict, flexible and permanent than what I've come across so far, it is only a matter of finding the loopholes for the rules to become meaningless.

Take a team based shooter, for instance:

1) An idiot starts shooting his own team.
Consequence: A kick voting system is implemented

2) Sore losers or just plain old idiots starts to call votes to kick good players on the opposing team (or just players with a better score than they do).
Consequence: Kick voting is replaced by a complaint system where you can file a complaint against a team kill. With enough complaints accumulated you get kicked off the server.

3) Idiots start to provoke you to kill them, run into your line of fire on purpose, jump on top of your thrown grenades, etc, etc, and then they file a complaint.

4) the list goes on and on and on …

I'm sure that with certain niche genres you can actually successfully manage to pull off a proper session that is still basically open for all, but as soon as you're getting closer to the mainstream genres/ widely popular games, even policing servers only mean that you have some kind of means to get rid of the morons when they screw up your game, not to keep them from ruining your experience in the first place. Only full control over who gets to join can guarantee that (i.e. LAN or closed sessions).

"Chess in particular had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him; if only the pawns united, maybe talked the rooks around, the whole board could've been a republic in a dozen moves." - Commander Vimes in Thud! by Terry Pratchett
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May 29th, 2008, 19:32
The policing system for open NWN PWs seems to work fine. That's usually based on creating a good atmosphere in the first place, having a couple of DMs in game if possible, and logging things/having a petition system so that things can be dealt with after the fact.

I guess the main difference is you can kick someone from your PW, and ban them if necessary, with no legal come back because they've not paid for your service. Maybe you could get around that with strong license conditions (ala WoW) or fund the game through means other than player subscriptions.
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