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Heroes Community > Other Side of the Monitor > Thread: Once Upon a Time
Thread: Once Upon a Time
markkur
markkur


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Once upon a time
posted March 30, 2016 09:18 PM
Edited by markkur at 21:19, 30 Mar 2016.

Once Upon a Time

I just finished reading a Developer Diary and noticed something about it that recalled to my mind some related thoughts I have had within the last year about the direction that new games have gone.

What I mean is the manner in which a game is produced today and the way the company that makes the game communicates to the general public and the folks they want to buy the game.

Years ago. a game was made and released to the public with only a small amount of advertising. It seems Gaming-Companies back then were completely focused on making the game they envisioned. The first time they came in contact with the greater public was “after release” in the way of trouble-shooting, OS-problems, Bugs etc.

My experience with game-producers was very limited because of few problems and little need to talk about the game, except with other fans of the game. Generally, if I decided to buy the game I was ether happy or content with the product. Heroes II & III, Age of Kings I & II, Diablo I, and the Civ-series are good examples of purchased games with good satisfaction that I told others about. Imagine for a moment, all this without talking to said companies or hanging on their every typed word or video-update.

What was in the DD that bugged me? It was no update about the awaited game but instead a disclaimer about “how hard it is to please two different types of players.” After this post, all kinds of folks came out of the woodwork and made countless posts ranging from the usual, “What!” to “Huh” to “Oh you guys are soooo great just take your time” or finally “Oh I sooo can’t wait!; you guys rock!.”

Today, because people seem to understand nothing about a Company’s responsibility to them to work at making a good game FIRST and then mix-it-up with the public AFTERWARDS, instead they line up in front of these true FACELESS and grovel about something that is still <gag> in development!

If it only stopped there but of course not. Many gamers now regularly  sign-on-the-dotted line before a game is even produced!…with no more than a bunch a rhetoric to go by…scratch that….go BUY.

Imagine when HoMM3 or 5 came out and we were offered DLCs that would give us a second faction to play with and then we had to buy a DLC for the next 6. Imagine if we had only been given one endless song and if we wanted more, we could buy the music-tracks for “Swamp” “Dirt” “Water” etc. one at a time. Oh, and you want Sandro? or the Admiral’s Hat?…you have to buy those too. But don’t worry, every day you’ll get an ad when you are on-line for all these features.

The worst thing to me is that there could be many here that cannot understand what I am ranting about.
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"Do your own research"

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Gryphs
Gryphs


Supreme Hero
The Clever Title
posted March 30, 2016 09:31 PM
Edited by Gryphs at 21:31, 30 Mar 2016.

Do not worry Markkur I can confidently say that most of us here know exactly how you feel. It really is sad that there was once a time when games actually came out worthy of buying, and that I am referring to it in past tense.
____________
"Don't resist the force. Redirect it. Water over rock."-blizzardboy

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fred79
fred79


Disgraceful
Undefeatable Hero
posted March 30, 2016 09:56 PM

i obviously agree. this is just one of the many things that touches on the "if you give them an inch, they'll take a mile". it gets worse and worse, because the consumers ALLOW it to get worse and worse; and in fact, DIRECTLY CONTRIBUTE to what is making it worse and worse.

i have NEVER paid up front for anything whatsoever, that wasn't immediately in my hands. unless, of course, you count a firearm. but then, it was already made. i just had to wait on paperwork.

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EnergyZ
EnergyZ


Legendary Hero
President of MM Wiki
posted March 30, 2016 10:18 PM

What would you suggest, then? Hire a lawyer to say "this game sucks"?

It doesn't work that way. Because things got complicated - different demands, different marketing and different rules these days. After all, you have got Ubisoft right over there - no matter how much you give them your feedback, as grave as it can get, they still do not mind and go on with their (shady) business. I guess same can be said for Electronic Arts as well.

I do wish that people get their priorities straight and make great games, like it was before. But there is no clear law nor rule that they have to follow to make such games. Nor are we forced to buy them.

The only reasonable thing one could do is just go with the flow today - review games that are to your liking and just play them, rather than bashing your head as to what it was years ago and only get more depressed and frustrated.

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Stevie
Stevie


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted March 31, 2016 01:34 AM
Edited by Stevie at 01:36, 31 Mar 2016.

That's just the tip of the iceberg. Nowadays the real deal is when the community or fanbase gets so involved that they're led to believe they're having a say and that they're active contributors to the content of the game. Ever heard of open-dev or co-dev? Or VIP fans on the inside? I'm telling you, it's the next level business model of mass delusion. But at the end of the day it's still the player who holds the power to buy a product, so as long as self interest for a good gaming experience is at stake, then good games will sell and live and bad games will not and die. Don't think worrying beyond that has too much point.
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Guide to a Great Heroes Game
The Young Traveler

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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
posted March 31, 2016 02:14 PM
Edited by JollyJoker at 15:16, 31 Mar 2016.

Guys, you know, I just think the times are a-changing.

I'm a PC gamer, Starflight being the first computer game I really got hooked on.

However, things were not all that great in the past. Computer games were god-awfully expensive, things reaching a peak over 20 years ago, when MicroProse games would have a selling price of DM 139,- DM (today € 70,-). Over 20 years ago. End of 80s tp mid-90s was the time when software empires came - and went.

Take Origin Systems, for example, responsible for Ultima (and Ultima Online which started a lot) and of course Wing Commander.

There was no internet to speak of, except via CompuServe, which I bought into early - and of course because of computer gaming.
The reason was, you won't actually believe it - basically all computer games had problems.
That was because DOS was at its limits with Epanded memory, windows giving Extended memory (or vice versa), virtually every combination of computer hardware had its own setup (and pitfalls) and Windows 95 promised plug 'n' play and no more hassle with configurations - which was of course just a big lie at that time.

I remember a friend buying Wing Commander either III or IV cheaper on some fair, waiting for his new high-end PC, and since I already had one able to run it I borrowed it from him. 6 CDs, and when I swapped 1st vs. 2nd CD - game over, game-breaking bug, no play.
Now, up to not long before that, you could actually PHONE (or write to) game companies, when they had a patch for their games, and then they would send you a disk with the patch (IMAGINE THAT!). I did that for example with The Lost Adimral (they did send the disc from the US to Germany).

But anyway, since that would take time, and time was short, I was into CompuServe, and the game developers were as well; you could actually download patches (with 14.400 BYTE modems, mind you); you could also be part of forums (for example with NWC and Heroes of Might & Magic).

Now, to go on with the story - so I went to Origin System's CompuServe address, and they had an awesomely long list of "KNOWN ISSUES"; this was simply something like: for motherboard XY and a CD-Rom AB combo there is this and that, addressed in patch 1.MN and so on.
For my combination, the game-breaking bug was listed, and I will never forget the note, saying, "sorry, but we don't know what the problem is; if you have that combo we cannot help you".
Which actually means, had I bought the game, I'd have spent 55 € on something I wouldn't have been able to play, except buying a new CD-RoM Drive (which were quite costly at the time).

Origin Systems was then bought by Electronic Arts - which is more or less the same than saying, it was bought by Ubisoft - resulting in Origin's rapid demise (because EA told Origin what to do and of course they screwed up).

However, what did Chris Roberts do - responsible for Wing Commander?

You can read that here and after founding Cloud Imperium Games in 2011 he just went ahead raising over 110 Million Dollars for his planned game Star Citizen.

Quote from wiki:
Quote:
Star Citizen will consist of two main components: first-person space combat, mining, exploration and trading with first-person shooter elements in a massively multiplayer persistent universe and customizable private servers, and a branching single-player and drop-in co-operative multiplayer campaign titled Squadron 42. The game is built on a modified CryEngine and will feature Oculus Rift support.


You may also find these two links interesting:

Highest funded crowdfunding projects

Most expensive to develop video games (and note marketing costs, where listed).

So things are changing. The platform isn't PC or consoles anymore - it's the internet. Like, streaming, instead of watching TV.

Soon, things will become undistinguishable; you may pay a monthly fee to something like Steam or GoG with the rights to play the games on their servers, and "their servers" will also host massibe multiplayer games. And even that will only be a quick stop on the way to CYBERWORLD.

But can't we have at least WORKING games, without bugs and stuff?

Well, we never had, actually. It's one thing to write a bug-free code that fits on a 360K disc, but quite another to cobble together a couple of Gigabites worth of game and graphics stuff, running on multiple operation systems and of course and endless variety of configurations, servers, protocols and whatnot.

The problem is that games are supposed to run on smartphones, that they have to offer webbased MP-play - and that they should have something original and newish as well, which is an awful lot to ask for.

It's not about following a brand anymore - it's about finding the games you are interested in, when they start to take shape, and become part of it.

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fred79
fred79


Disgraceful
Undefeatable Hero
posted March 31, 2016 03:50 PM

damn, you're old. i'm also jealous of your memory.

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markkur
markkur


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Once upon a time
posted March 31, 2016 07:22 PM

Well, here in the states I pay more for games today than I did way back when but you know your own experience JJ.

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blob2
blob2


Undefeatable Hero
Blob-Ohmos the Second
posted March 31, 2016 08:38 PM

I'm bothered by a different thing...

Some time ago I've read and article about how big gaming companies have a tendency (or you can call it a buisness-model) to release half-made games, of course accompanied by a whole dose of marketing (or bait if you like), only to somewhat "explore the market". Basically they give players an unfinished or a trimmed-down version of a game to test it. If it brings them money, then and only then they add additional content, and expand the game. If sales are bad, or players simply didn't "dig" the game, they cease it's development. Reason? They spare time and resources and can move onto something that will bring them more money.

And that my friends is the reason why we're getting unfinished or hastenly released games...

PS: This kinda brings Heroes 7 to mind, don't you think? To tell you the truth I would be surprised if they actually made an expasnion pack for it...

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Stevie
Stevie


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted April 01, 2016 01:37 AM

Not sure what to think of that, but anyway I don't believe it applies to Heroes 7. The game was for all intents and purposes meant to be a finished product. They didn't sign a 2-3 year contract including post-release support just to test the waters.
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Guide to a Great Heroes Game
The Young Traveler

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markkur
markkur


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Once upon a time
posted April 01, 2016 09:39 PM

@blob2

Yeah, that's just some more of the BS today. I agree with JJ about one thing he said; that the gaming-world is changing and that's the way it is. m/l

Today gaming is about "control", just like the crappy www. Gamers are being controlled more and more and eventually, as he said, you'll have to tap-dance into a site and bow to everything...because there will be nothing else.

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