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Posted: Sep 27th 2011 1:48PM Gamewench said

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Nice write up =)
I doubt the technology exist for the mmo that I would like to see/play or what have you in my lifetime =) And nope I won't share my ideas here.

Posted: Sep 27th 2011 1:54PM Doshin said

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To directly address your anecdote, You can build a house you want to live in, and you can build a plane you want to fly in, but that doesn't make you qualified to do the same thing for others. The same thing goes with game design, If you're looking for the area of game development that you were referencing with your combat article (which I did read) it's Design.

The biggest failing, and the thing that separates the people who make it in to game design, and the people who sit around talking about how they have the best idea for a game ever; is that the Game designer realizes that he's not just making the game for themselves. Most Armchair designers don't get this, they assume that because they like something that everyone does, and so anything other than their ideas is poor design.

Also, While I'm sure it's not your intent, I'm certain that more than a few community managers, game designers and writers won't find this to complimentary.


Posted: Sep 27th 2011 2:19PM cingeto said

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@Doshin

I think you'd be surprised how many games have originated by a game designer creating the game that they want to play. And the same is true for so many other creative outlets. And so what if not everyone else loves the idea or game, it's almost impossibly to create something that everybody likes, and it's also a dumb idea to try to please everyone.

If you have a good idea, go for it. The worst thing that can happen is that you will find out what works and what doesn't. And that is called experience.

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Posted: Sep 27th 2011 3:00PM epilepticemu said

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@Doshin Are you drawing some kind of duality between "professional designer = designs games for others" / "armchair designer = designs games for self"? Because unless that's what you're doing, your argument doesn't hold water. And I don't think that's what you're doing.
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Posted: Sep 27th 2011 3:22PM Doshin said

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@epilepticemu

Actually that is pretty much what I was going for. I'm at work and the post went through a few revisions, and some of my examples (all of them) were left out.

But yes, my point is that most armchair designers focus on what they want, and not what makes a good game, and that's not to say that everyone who makes the game they want to play will fail, or that everyone who makes the game everyone want's to play will succeed, but realizing that you are not the only gamer in the world is a huge skill in game design.
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Posted: Sep 27th 2011 3:51PM Doshin said

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@cingeto

I wouldn't be surprised at all, and if someone is building an XBLA game, or an indie PC/mobile game, I would tell them the same thing, but there are also tons of indie and small games that fail, because they aren't accessible.

Going for it is a great idea, and if you're looking to create a game, I agree 100%, but creating a game on your own, and designing something like combat for a AAA MMO aren't the same thing, nor can you take the same approach.

My initial post was a little disjointed, and didn't express what i needed (as stated in another post, even now I'm totally on the phone with a customer) Maybe when I get home I'll explain a bit better, but honestly, in 4 hours, I doubt anyone will care.
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Posted: Sep 27th 2011 8:20PM Skyydragonn said

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@Doshin
You make an awful lot of assumption in your statement. Your basic reasoning insinuates taht anyone with an "idea for an MMO" has no grasp of the industry, its trends, or what a target audience is and how to market/appeal to them. You might want to take a step back and rethink your statement a bit, not everyone with dreams of game design is a clueless teenager who doesn't yet grasp the fundamentals of busieness and the fact that a game has to make money for you to make a living.
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Posted: Sep 27th 2011 8:53PM Doshin said

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@Skyydragonn

Actually I didn't say any of that.

What I said, was that the majority of people on the internet who throw around design advice to huge game companies from the security of their own chair, "Armchair designers", very rarely take into account the big picture.

The person who has the great idea for a game, and posts about it, that's not who we're talking about, the person who is making their own game and want's to try something crazy with it, we're not talking about them either. Who we are talking about, is the angry, 2 page wall of text posting, entitled forum goer, who is convinced that he knows, better than the entire team of developers, who have been working on a game for years, exactly what they need to do to fix a game. That is an armchair designer, and he's usually wrong, but has enough people "/sign" his post that he thinks he's something other than someone yelling at his TV that he could throw a better pass than the quarterback.

And perhaps you're giving the unwashed masses too much credit if you think this isn't the case.
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Posted: Sep 28th 2011 12:10AM Nepentheia said

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@Doshin

*cheers*

That description you just gave for "armchair designers"? Absolutely spot on!! ;-)
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Posted: Sep 28th 2011 2:12AM mysecretid said

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@Doshin

Your clarification of what an armchair developer really is made me think of a real-life example of the gaming phenomenon you describe.

I play Star Trek Online, and to say that STO has a rabid subset to its player base would be an understatement.

There are people on the forums who are so consistently angry, it's almost unbelievable they bother to play the game.

They get /way/ out of hand, and super-self-entitled, and then justify their bad behavior by saying "I love Star Trek, and I'm merely defending what I love".

Some time ago, Cryptic put mission-authoring tools into STO, which allow players to build and submit their own missions to the game.

And I was absolutely shocked to discover that, too often, the angriest, most self-righteous armchair developers on the forums authored missions which were deeply awful and un-fun to play.

I say I was shocked because, given the amount of time, energy, and typing that these armchair developers put into raging at the official developers, I expected that they would want to "prove their point" by authoring missions which would show to the devs what a good mission should look like.

Instead, we got a /lot/ of unintelligible, un-fun, pretentious crap. They didn't even apply the standards they shouted at the devs to their own work.

I remember one guy who was always raging that the dev-made missions didn't allow for as much player-choice as he thought they should. His mission was one big railroad ... his way or the highway.

And so it went. The best, most memorable player-made missions were never from the self-appointed armchair developers.

They really didn't know as much as they thought they did.
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Posted: Sep 27th 2011 1:58PM heerobya said

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If only there was a "Make a MMO" in a box product that featured tutorials and online support.. that was free...

And didn't require a lick of programming knowledge.

The "Microsoft Front Page" of MMO design to get ideas and systems out of one's head and into a game world, even if no one else would ever see it.

Then through the beauty of the Interwebz such a brilliant one-mind project could be noticed and their innovative ideas recognized and then said person scooped up, ideas and all, into a major development project...

Posted: Sep 27th 2011 2:02PM heerobya said

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@heerobya

Or even a 50-60$ box price.

I've played with the Hero engine tools a bit but it's fairly daunting to just try to hack at it without any tutorials or instruction.

It's also ridiculously expensive to license, so not much of an option for the MMO-designer wannabe.

I mean, in this day and age, a one-man shop with a simple, brilliant idea can start something huge - look at Minecraft.
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Posted: Sep 27th 2011 2:16PM Halldorr said

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@heerobya What about Unity? There are some little packages out there if you can handle SNES type level of graphics.
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Posted: Sep 27th 2011 2:17PM Stanimir said

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@heerobya

Great...you found one example. Congrats. I could have 50 examples of failed indie games if I had the patience to type it.
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Posted: Sep 27th 2011 2:17PM BigAndShiny said

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@heerobya
Dude, you know that if you make a game, you can get Hero engine to run it, run subs/microtransactions, servers AND support and they take 30%.

So if you're prepared to give up 30% all you have to do is make the game.


Also, I hate the kind of critiscism that 'idea people' seem to get. Being a creative lead is a very fun but challeging job. without them you wouldnt have the sci-fi world of Mass Effect, the bright continents of Azeroth or the dark fantasy of Dragon Age. It's almost as if they're critiscised because they actually have a job other people would like to do, and thus it's apparently 'easy' and 'pointless', because 'everyone has ideas'.

Yes, dear, but not good ones.
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Posted: Sep 27th 2011 2:24PM BigAndShiny said

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@BigAndShiny
And for the record Im not a creative person. However I know that when I have in my head a fully formed idea for a sandpark action MMO set in a steampunk-fantasy wild west/new world setting, it probably wouldn't do so well in real life.
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Posted: Sep 27th 2011 2:31PM heerobya said

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@Stanimir

But if there is a product that let's 100 more people create games, even if 98 fail and only 2 succeed like Minecraft, we still have 2 great new games for millions of people and only 98 people who just wasted their time.

Sounds like a good deal to me.
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Posted: Sep 27th 2011 8:27PM Skyydragonn said

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@Stanimir
define "failed" I'm pretty sure your definition of failed is that "you and some others disliked it and quit playing" whereas the definition of "failure" in a business sense would mean that the game made no profit, thus the project failed in its overall goal of making money through player purchase of the final product.
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Posted: Sep 27th 2011 2:16PM Stanimir said

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I agree in principle. An example of this is how little terds thank gaming companies for the smallest of things. As in LOTRO having huge connection issues with Isengard you get these toadies saying "oh at least they released it early and are trying to work it out." Trying? Whats the alternative? Not trying? Then they'd be broke. It seems MMO fans are just willing to bend over for their game of choice and cannot see when something is wrong with it. And those who do think something is wrong just end up trolling the forums."Why dont you try doing it, then?" you may ask. Well, frankly, give me millions of dollars and hundreds of employees and I will.

Posted: Sep 27th 2011 3:25PM Knuxson said

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@Stanimir There was a "thank you" thread started on the LotRO forums yesterday and many people in there flamed the OP for saying thank you for releasing the expansion a day early and for the expansion in general. The flaming revolved around topics such as "they don't deserve thanks because of the connection issues" and "they are doing their jobs and getting paid so why thank them?". I get that as customers we support them and they need us more than we need them, but there is nothing wrong with someone saying "thank you" even if another person does not agree that it is deserved.

I don't see people bending over backwards and worshiping the ground developers walk on when they say "thank you." It seems like they just like the product and are excited about it and some people understand that technical problems arise sometimes even with the best companies and choose to not get so bent out of shape about it or take it so personally. Honestly, one day of problems does not mar the experience that much. Saying "thank you" to a game dev is no different than saying it to the mail man or a waitress. They are providing a service and if someone feels the service is good it is okay if they say "thank you." You may not feel it is warranted but that doesn't mean they are "little terds."
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