Need Opinions on game in development

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by luconis, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. luconis

    luconis Member

    Sep 5, 2014
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    Hi All,

    I would like to take this chance to gather lots of feedback about the first game my company is developing.

    Abit of background of my company. I started my gaming studio in end 2012 and have started planning and designing my first game. My gaming studio is named "Evolution Realms".

    The game is being developed in Unity and I will be target all major platforms. As for now, it is being developed for demo and is bootstrapped by myself.

    I have been writing and designing game ideas since 6 years back and have a Degree in Games Development and Multimedia and I also have a professional cert in Maya.

    Well .. enough about myself and the company ...

    The game the company is developing is called " Shattered Rift" and the image of the game title is as follows.

    It is a 3D RPG/Strategy Fantasy Sci-Fi game and a snippet of the lore is as follows

    "The races of Vilantia have existed in harmony for generations. Their long, tumultuous history has taught them to live together despite their differences. A Halfling wants to till the soil beneath the bright sun and a Witch prefers to practice magic in the murky shade of the swamp, but there's no reason they can't survive side by side.

    When the ship appeared in the sky, however, those ancient brotherhoods would amount to nothing.

    Dark clouds covered the land, turning day into night in the blink of an eye. Bright shards of light cut through the air and opened a gap in the floating mist. A ship the size of a mountain suddenly materialized, its great metal hull decorated with technology completely unfamiliar to the Vilantian people. They stared upwards and marveled at the strange sight. Where did this vessel come from? What was its purpose? They would never receive answers to those questions.

    Moments after it appeared, the ship erupted with violent explosions. Its plated armor was ripped to shreds and thrown from the clouds, raining fire and metal to the ground. The people of Vilantia scurried into their homes to avoid the inferno. At this moment they didn't care why the ship was here, they just wanted to stay alive. The Day of Reckoning had begun.

    The ship's debris was scattered all across Vilantia, littering the plains with shards of metal and filling the lakes and rivers with smoldering machine fragments. The most dangerous thing, however, was the technology that survived the explosion. Circuit boards, computer chips, advanced plastics, vehicle engines and weapons that could singlehandedly destroy an entire army were discovered by farmers and soldiers across Vilantia. Most of what they found was merely a curiosity to their primitive eyes. They had no idea they were holding the violent future of all of Vilantia in their hands.
    "

    Below are the features of the game,

    - Fantasy Based storyline mix with technology
    - “Human-like” AI decision and behavioral patterns
    - Awesome battle animation and effects on a full blown 3D battlefield
    - 3 different sets to choose from and all of them work differently
    ~ Armour Sets
    ~ Vehicle Sets
    ~ Mount Sets
    - Explore and collect materials and blueprints to craft armour sets, build vehicle sets or clone mount sets
    - Huge dynamic map to explore in which players actions affects the jobs available and terrains
    - Story-Driven world boss event (this might change the encounters within the world map also)
    - Lots of customization for amour sets, vehicle sets and mount sets
    - Social like aspect that drives competition play (PvP with leaderboards and prizes) or even cooperation (world boss events)
    - Beautiful crafted 3D units/vehicles/mounts with realistic mechanics and operation
    - Manage and organize your party with a BGS (Battle Grid System) and let the AI take over during battle
    - Chat up with units in the tavern to improve their inherent behavior
    - Form clans and take on clan jobs which gives better rewards and bonus during battle

    As the GUI and screens are still WIP. I have attached a few concept art for one of the armour sets and its evolution.

    Sorry for the super long post and thanks so much for reading this post

    I really appreciate any feedback or comments about the game features etc.

    Also the game itself will be online as there will be a world chat for players to communicate with each other

    Cheers

    Desmond
    Evolution Realms
    Founder & Designer
     

    Attached Files:

  2. OnlyJoe

    OnlyJoe Well-Known Member

    Sep 29, 2013
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    This sounds likes the dreaming that everyone does on their first game. When not really understanding how hard it is to make a good game, and just how much competition there is out there today. Lets be honest it sounds like you are trying to make Dragon Age: Inquisition by yourself for an iphone. These kind of games take hundreds of people, and hundreds of millions of dollars to make.

    The real problem is that in reality there is just so much competition. So your game has to really separate itself out from the others. What you have said above just sounds like yet another same old same old game, which big studios already have covered. Just changing the plot in a game, doesn't make a new game.

    I always find it strange that when someone tells me about an idea for a game they have, they always start with some story about the characters in the game, and the world it is set in. But this is just crap, story and characters can easily be created, and its very low on the importance in game design, especially iPhone games.
    What I really want to know is what is the game mechanics? iPhone games that succeed seem to contain only one main game mechanic in them, and then they build a game around that. For example, look at that recent game from Rovio called "RETRY" about flying that airplane. They have built a whole game around just one touch to boost your airplane. And it works really well. Almost all the top games take this approach, just one simple mechanic. And it doesn't even have to be complex, look at "Cookie Clickers" that game you just tap a cookie.

    So basically I would suggest that you either rethink the above game totally. Or make it for PC and try and get some investor who is willing to risk millions of dollars on you so you can build a team of dedicated developers to make it, or try Kick starting it. But when you present this to people, talk about the story last, and present the core game mechanics first.
     
  3. Destined

    Destined Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2013
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    I agree with the above comments.

    Unless you have a history of game development with some solid releases behind you this shouldn't be attempted. Make something smaller first. Not only will this give you a better idea of game development, it will make any attempt to make this sort of game better.

    This sort of game often has server costs which mean you need a good budget to release.

    Your back story feels very cliche but that is okay. In general you aren't going to sell a game on your story.
     
  4. Columbo

    Columbo Well-Known Member

    Sep 1, 2014
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    Sorry, but I agree. When I read that, I just thought it was totally overambitious, and will never get finished, and probably isn't a good fit for the mobile market (I know you want to target PC too, but you are posting here). It sounds to me like 1000s of man months of work. Remember even a game as simple as the first infinity blade cost $2 million to develop. Your game sounds vastly more complicated.

    Is the idea to get it to a demoable state and then try to find funding from publishers? I suspect that even with a great demo, you'll struggle to find a publisher willing to take a risk on a developer without a pedigree.

    I would change direction. Use the concept art and the assets you've made so far to go for something much simpler and more achievable.
     
  5. luconis

    luconis Member

    Sep 5, 2014
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    Hi All ...

    Thanks for all the constructive remarks and advice. I will bear that in mind.

    @OnlyJoe Yes i fully agree with you that there is just so much competition out there. I also did not start with a story and characters etc. .. It all started with a feature idea and everything comes wrap around it. The story came in much later.

    @Destined Yes the server cost will definitely cost plenty depending on player-base count

    @Columbo You know your stuff for sure !! Well since Unity is portable to almost any platform I may target PC but mainly only within the mobile for now.

    let me take a few seconds to explain how I came up with this game and what is the core game mechanics first.

    The main core game mechanics of the game itself is 2 Cs and AI Planning

    The 2 Cs are Collection and Customization. Collecting and Customizing Sets to be used in battle.

    The AI Planning is where you setup your team within the Battle Grid System.

    The other features like world boss, clans and dynamic maps came on much later

    For now the demo is 40% completed and I have a strong development team running along side me. My team consist of 1 Lore Writer, 1 Concept Artist, 1 Sound Engineer, 1 Full team of 3D artist and Animators and 1 Full team of Unity Developers.

    I definitely agree that making/developing something smaller will be so much better in my case now but frankly speaking I just cant design up a good puzzle game by itself. I am too much an RPG/Strategy freak and thats what my game's genre is also in that sense. Thou there is also simple RPG which I can do.

    My plan for now is to complete the demo by next year feb and then prepare for it to be up in CrowdSource to build up a community of players and also to gather the funds needed to bring it to the market.

    With all honestly and excitement, this is the game that I would love to play for long and thats why this is the game I would want to develop.

    With a long term plan of even bringing this into a FPSMMO, thats why I had an extensive lore written but of course I am doing thing step by step.

    For now I would want to achieve demo completion and see how it works from there but it may be hard to say, I may just make it small instead.

    Cheers
    Desmond
     
  6. OnlyJoe

    OnlyJoe Well-Known Member

    Sep 29, 2013
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    @luconis, there are some very small companies that have succeeded at making ambitious games in the past. Take Grinding Gear Games (http://www.grindinggear.com/) with Path Of Exile. So it can be done, but it requires very clear goals, and very well defined boundaries.

    You will at some point need to present the game to others, to get them to work for it, or to invest in it etc. And basically you need to address the two main problems that an investor or publisher is thinking about. They are 1. The game will never get finished. And 2. The game will never sell.

    So you have to prove to people that you can complete the game. Which means you have to show that there is very clearly set out goals, and boundaries to the game. And that you are beyond the stage of thinking of features. This is not normally natural for creative people, as they like to keep thinking of new ideas all the time. So the game will keep growing with new features added everyday, and everything constantly being changed. And so the game will never get finished. If you present something vague in terms of what the game is, and keep saying we might try and add this etc, then a publisher will immediately think you are not going to get this finished.
    Then you also need to show that you have the resources to match the size and scope of the game, and that you can keep them for the duration needed to make it. I.e. do you have the people, management and money to get it finished. Or at least know how the money will be spent, if you are asking for money. The reality of game making is like starting any other business, 10% fun, 90% hard work.

    Then, will the game sell and be popular, that is covered in my last post. Its about showing how your game offers something fun that people have not experienced before (game mechanics). But it also covers, how well does it fit with the market you are aiming at. Like making a 3D RPG game for an iPhone, I personally would expect something like that to do better on the PC. Plus, loyalty towards games on iPhone is pretty much non-existent, whereas it is possible to build a community around PC games, allowing for early alpha releases, crowd funding, player feedback etc. I think PC games are viewed as much more of a commitment for the player, iOS games are just throw away games. Like a candy bar vs a restaurant.
     
  7. luconis

    luconis Member

    Sep 5, 2014
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    @OnlyJoe Yes I have avoided Feature Creep and have already defined the features which completes the game itself. I have also determined the first release will have how much content etc.

    I also fully agreed that having the game for the PC will be much better considering loyalty unless it is some big time games like Brave Frontier or Clash of Clans ....

    I think the only thing that I see for aiming for PC release instead is to match the PC specs that average people will own to be able to play the game at its best and it is very hard to do that.

    Take Star Citizen for example (I am a backer myself), there is just so much tweaking needed to be done for all spectrum of PC requirements. Of course with that being said, since I am doing it in Unity. It could and might be easier.

    But nevertheless I really appreciate all the well thought out advises and directions for me and my company.

    Cheers
     
  8. Destined

    Destined Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2013
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    plus you can charge way more on PC!

    for this sort of idea to really work on mobile, needs to be free to play and strong desires for IAP.
     
  9. luconis

    luconis Member

    Sep 5, 2014
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    Hahaha .... yeah my game is going freemium with IAP but it is not Pay to Win.

    In PC meaning I can place it in steam ?
     
  10. Destined

    Destined Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2013
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    So you mean pay for time, which in some ways is worse than pay to win. You intentionally design your game to be less fun to play.

    Well my only advice is this forum is totally the wrong place for advice for that sort of game. People here aren't your target audience. You need to go to your target audience to see if they can bare your mechanics or not.
     
  11. luconis

    luconis Member

    Sep 5, 2014
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    haha ... it is not pay for time ... just cosmetic items and boosts ....

    Well it is good to know the spectrum of target audience ... if I never post and ask I would never know. That is call feedback.

    Thanks for the feedback also ... appreciate it.
     
  12. Destined

    Destined Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2013
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    Well boosts are pay to win :p

    But I am actually serious this isn't your audience for freemium games. This forum isn't a typical cross section of casual gamers. This is the audience that would normally prefer to pay a single cost and not have to worry.

    Your game will never be that appealing to people here because of the freemium nature of your game to people here. That doesn't mean it won't work or be profitable (in fact you have a greater chance of being profitable!).
     
  13. luconis

    luconis Member

    Sep 5, 2014
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    Ohh ... i didnt realise boost are pay to win as i SUPER hate pay to win games !!

    I rather have more people enjoy my game than it being profitable ...

    But really thanks so much for the information !!

    Cheers
     
  14. maggiesgames

    maggiesgames Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2014
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    #14 maggiesgames, Nov 10, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
    I say go for it. If it fails it fails. Then at least you learned something.

    I personally have started a bunch of very ambitious projects that totally failed because they were way too big. I learned. Tried something smaller. Still too big. Tried something even smaller, and now I am on to something.:)

    I think thats en extremely common thing for tons of developers. But some also succeed on their big projects. Either way, when you strongly believe in a project, it wont matter that 100 people say its too big, you'll still gonna try until you either succeed or realize they were right.

    I think your artwork looks better than the majority of similar projects. So you got that going for you. I think your story is interesting as well. Obviously the tech will transform cause the races to become power hungry and greedy, and try to use it to destroy each other etc.:) Not exactly "new", but still a nice little twist I think with the space ship. It's no worse than for example the Skyrim main story... actually I think this sounds more interesting. Skyrim worked "quite well" though despite the pretty lame story and boring characters. Their thing was the huge living world though. What's your "thing"?

    If I would suggest something it would be to find that thing. What makes your game stand out? Artwork looks good, the story sounds perfectly fine, but is the one thing that makes your game stand out?

    Thats what I would try to figure out!

    And I do not think its wrong to target mobile platforms either. I never play games on PC anymore, I only use my iPad for games now, and more and more "big" games are getting released on mobile platforms, and the tablet hardware is not getting any slower either.

    Good luck though. Dont listen too al the negativity here! You'll know when and/if too quit and make something smaller. Or you'll succeed.
     
  15. Destined

    Destined Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2013
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    Boosts are the key pay to win mechanic and I imagine would make the majority of sales in pay to win.

    When you go with pay to win or pay for time models you are always going to have to sacrifice gameplay to make it profitable. If the game is enjoyable without a need to pay then the IAP mechanics don't work.

    This https://twitter.com/JamesDestined/status/530570978342891520 accurately sums up the issues you face as a developer with freemium models. In addition you generally need a pretty big advertising budget to start with.
     
  16. OnlyJoe

    OnlyJoe Well-Known Member

    Sep 29, 2013
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    @Destined, That south park episode was so accurate. Free to play games come from the devil.

    Where do you think the "pay for experience", model fits. Its probably more of a pay for time, in that it speeds up how fast your character levels, but its doesn't mean you can't get their for free as well. There has to be some better models out there, I hate this concept of deliberately crippling a game so you can sell a fix.
     
  17. luconis

    luconis Member

    Sep 5, 2014
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    Thanks so much for the positive feedback ... I really do not deserve it at all ... but I really appreciate it

    I would not even dream of fighting head on with Skyrim with its big publisher and name and stuff etc but I am glad you like the artwork and story ...

    There is much more to the story as that snippet and that is just the tip of the ice berg as my reason for writing such a good story is that I know of gamers who loves games with good lore as I like warhammer lore also ... and this lore that I have crafted will transit into the MMO world in the future ..

    I would say my "thing" would be the open world dynamic map which promotes searching for blueprints and materials to craft, build or clone all the sets you want.

    And the best part is that players will not require energy or stamina to explore or grind for materials ... they can do that all day long ... as long as their batteries can last !!! The only thing that require "energy" is for PvP arena and worldboss events .... but i put it so that is also plenty but still in a way balance the game out ... in a certain sense. ..

    I think I am lucky that I use Unity to develop the game so I do not have to worry which platform to target as I can quite easily port to either ... the only limitation I face is with the performance and graphics in which Unity handles it but Unity have evolved very nicely and I would say those guys developing Unity have it going ....

    All in all ... I am still in the midst of developing the demo and will never give up as this is the passion I love and games is my life ...

    Cheers
     
  18. luconis

    luconis Member

    Sep 5, 2014
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    Yes I do agree that is always a thin line of balance for these models ... but yet I myself is a gamer and I also want a game to be fun but yet I will still need to make sure the IAP is just there not for a need but for conveniences


    Hahahah ... yes I agree some freemium games comes from the devil ... and there are lots of ways of implementing this mode ... but it really depends on how much it impacts the gameplay and fun factor ... if players are required to cough up a sum of money before the game become fun then there is no point in playing .... i personally hate this also ...
     
  19. maggiesgames

    maggiesgames Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2014
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    I dont think story in games should be underrated. I personally love a good story in a game. And I like your story setup. The hi-tech / fantasy mix sounds interesting. And if you like a good story, and I too do it, there's probably plenty more who do as well.

    And I didnt mean to compare you to Skyrim, obviously that's not really fair. But I just meant their main story isn't that good, nor is the game mechanics, but they hit a home run with the huge world and the very nice "mood" in the game, which makes it interesting.

    And just so you know, I am not the kind of person who throw praise at everything, I am generally very skeptical, but I truly liked your story idea and artwork. Really!
     
  20. Destined

    Destined Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2013
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    "Pay for experience" fits more into the pay for time model. However the pay for time model often warps into pay to win because the time is so excessive you have to pay to keep up with the jones.

    Basically with IAP with consumables they pretty much make the game worse or fail to make any money (because it doesn't benefit you enough to buy). The way OP has suggested is a clear pay to win mechanic by paying for more pVp. It is ironic he is developing the exact game he hates :p I guess that is one of the dark choices you have to make as a developer.

    The only times I have really seen it not have a negative effect on game experience is league of legends which is an enjoyable game. I am surprised it has done so well.

    I quite liked world of warcraft with the steeds. I one off IAP which provides a significant benefit to me seems the best way. The fact is one off and not consumable makes me feel so much more comfortable with it.

    Can't really think of successful ones which don't really use that model in some way. It was one of the rare times they didn't need to exaggerate in South Park!
     

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