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Reader Comments (5)

Posted: May 11th 2009 12:53PM Lethality said

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Well, after sitting thru a session last September at the Austin GDC with Bill Dalton who is the tech director at Bioware, he was very clear in stating that using licensed software such as this may not save any time whatsoever, because especially in their case they are modifying it so heavily. He said they have a full source code license and in some cases have fixed part of Siumltronics code and handed it back over to them.

As long as something like this isn't cost prohibitive for a small studio, then I can see it being helpful there. Not sure what the licesing fees are for something like this.

Posted: May 11th 2009 1:53PM Daegalus said

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Well, 6 digit license fees according to the interview, and no indie license so I guess this puts a plug on the smaller studios and solo developers.

I've been working on my own mmo solo, similar to what Love's author is trying to accomplish, but more traditional mmo style. HeroEngine would cut my time to make this in half. Ive started this a year ago, and tis probably gonna take me 6 more years if not more to write this entirely. Ill probably get help along the way,but a very huge chunk of it will be solo.

So while I understand they need to focus on the big names and such, some of the greatest games come out of smaller studios and indie developers. So excluding them is, in my opinion, a bad choice. Hopefully HeroEngine Lite is really in their plans. Some good examples were Blizzard and Mythic. Both started out small, but with great ideas, now they are often talked about names, be it good or bad. Maybe I'll just use Love's Verse game building tools that he released. Then again, I plan to make my mmo truely cross platform, including full Linux support. So I might just have to write my own HeroEngine.

Here's to hopefully seeing my MMO on here someday :P.

Posted: May 11th 2009 3:15PM MrGutts said

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I don't know man, after a year or two on the market I think the smaller dev companies will have a shot at it. A ton of products when they first come out are expensive as hell and then the price starts to decline over time.

The engine itself on paper sounds great, but I wanna see how it holds up to 3 to 5 thousands players running around does to it.. I think ToR is the only company going to be able to put that to the test as a first for the engine.
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Posted: Jun 13th 2009 12:28AM (Unverified) said

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Yulian, I hear what you are saying about Simutronics. They must surmise that I am an Indi as they have not gotten back to me except for the first inititial automatic email. To pass by the Indi's or solos out there I think is a big mistake. There are just too many small guys out there that have great ideas. I like to think I'm one of them and I've been doing everything I can to get funding. Even if they don't want crap being made with their engine they should at least have some kind of standards system in place so that Indi's and solos CAN use it. Honestly, I wouldn't want crap to be made with my engine if I were them and I truly can understand that. However, when they don't even bother to reply to me with one sentence saying 'no, we don't think you'll be a good fit' then they don't deserve having the Indi's business. Let the little guy make his millions with some other company or engine.
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Posted: May 11th 2009 3:44PM J Brad Hicks said

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I have no idea if he can actually deliver what he promises. Give him credit: he admits, himself, he doesn't know yet if he can deliver what he promises, that we won't know whether or not HeroEngine can do for developers everything he thinks it can do, not until someone actually finishes a game with it.

But he's working on the right problem. Budgets and development cycles for MMOs have been completely out of control, the last couple of years. I was just talking with someone about this the other day, and the point came up that EVE Online is considered wildly successful with less revenue coming in than Age of Conan or Warhammer Online, both of which have been written off as failures. Why is that? Because EVE Online is *profitable.* They didn't spend anywhere near what Funcom or EA/Mythic spent. If Tabula Rasa had cost 1/10th what it cost to develop, it'd still be with us. If Auto Assault had cost 1/2 of what it cost to develop, it'd still be with us.

It may not be Simultronics that solves this problem, although as a fellow St. Louis native, I'm rooting for them. Whenever I hear them talk about the kinds of games they can develop, I'm hearing an awful lot of antique design philosophy about D&D style character classes and stats and levels, DikuMUD style open game worlds with regions gated by the fixed levels of the mobs, few or no instances ... exactly what you'd want if what you wanted was to build something just like World of Warcraft only with a few tiny changes. If a game was just like World of Warcraft but set in a different game world and with some minor improvements like branching quests, and it cost 1/10th of what WoW cost to develop, would it attract 1/10th of WoW's insanely high revenues? Or would it be more like 1/100th, or 1/1000th? I'm not getting any clear indication, from what we know so far, that you can do anything actually innovative with the *game play* in a Hero Engine game. If not, then they're probably doomed.

But I'm delighted that somebody is thinking about this, talking about this, experimenting with this, and investing in this in a big way. Because the MMO industry just flatly can not afford to go on doing what it's been doing the last couple of years; the money just isn't going to be there for it.

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