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General: IMGDC: Introduction and Keynote

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

This past weekend, Managing Editor Jon Wood attended the Indie MMO Game Developers Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In this article, Jon takes a look at the opening keynote speech from Garage Games' CEO Josh Williams, as well as the role of indie games in the MMORPG world.

This past weekend, I flew to Minneapolis, Minnesota to take in the first annual Indie MMO Game Developers Conference (IMGDC). This having been the first event of its kind, I had no idea what I should expect from such a specific conference.

What I found was a small conference, but a very enthusiastic group of both organizers and attendees who gathered together to discuss their passion; making MMORPGs. Independent developers face challenges that are different from those faced by larger companies. Often, Indie developers are working in small teams of as few as one or two people. Compare this to the much larger-sized teams at companies like EA Mythic, Turbine or Sony Online Entertainment.

"You can't buy Indie passion."

Read the whole article here.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

Comments

  • Hamilton-NEOHamilton-NEO San Dog, CAPosts: 75Member

    Quite true.

    With MMO platforms becoming available for Indies, the ability for Indies to make an MMO is possible.  MMO’s offer a number of advantages, the main one by being connected to the Internet, there is now global reach (thus by-passing the publisher and retail distributor).  Additionally, MMO’s are living game systems that can continue to be improved upon after launch.

    Start small, but think big and then grow.

    Never Give Up!

    Sign off,
    Hamilton

  • damian7damian7 middle-of-notsosmartPosts: 4,449Member

    is there a website where we could see all these various independant mmos?  or possibly will mmorpg.com be putting up links/forums for them?

     

    the current batch of games out has me so non-plussed, that i'm nauseous every time i see another eq-clone.

     

    and every class will NEVER be "balanced" against every other single class.  for starters, all players do not have equal skills.  secondly, why would you have a reason to play any class if it's completely balanced against every other class?   this whole 1v1 balancing is so absurd, it goes down with eq's raiding as being among the most idiotic things introduced to the mmo genre to-date.

     

    anywho, in a world where having a "different" choice pretty much gets you Eve and it's cheating devs; we REALLY need some alternative choices.

     

    a nice game

    a fun game

    not a part time job

    not a full time job.

     

    amen.

    could we please get correspondent writers and moderators, on the eve forum at mmorpg.com, who are well-versed on eve-online and aren't just passersby pushing buttons? pretty please?

  • Lunar_KnightLunar_Knight Portland, ORPosts: 292Member

    I'd like a list of the Devs in attendance there as well as the games they are developing. Just to see if there are any in my area.

    I've always wanted to start a table top game with a group of friends and from there delegate roles such as coding and artwork to each and start on a Indie online game based off of the table top. I can't seem to find anyone where I live willing to do this though.

    .....................................

    ...but time flows like a river...

    ...and history repeats...

    -Leader of "The Fighting Irish" in DAoC on Hib/Kay-

  • BountyGregBountyGreg AlsdorfPosts: 37Member
    Working myself on one, I can't say it enough. It's all about passion and dedication.

    I have spent all my money in the project and I even am changing job right now to earn more so I can put even more money in the game.

    We have problems with many aspects of MMO, because you have to be multi-talented when you're in a small team. you don't have 1 guy doing only 1 thing, everyone helps on everything if possible.

    It goes from "simple" coding to organic modeling and animation. You need maths, logical thinking, overall game/MMO knowledge, artistic feeling, organizational talent and a strong WILL.
  • AbhinandaAbhinanda Posts: 56Member
    I can't see how a indie MMO could ever compete with a financially backed up one. You CAN create them, but they will likely never have the same production values of a proper MMO. Then its a good idea too launch a indie MMO and build the fundamentals and then get financial backing after the direction of development is already set, i think this is how Pirates of the Burning Sea for example started.

    But a part-time developed game by 5 ppl will never compete.
  • BountyGregBountyGreg AlsdorfPosts: 37Member
    Originally posted by Abhinanda

    I can't see how a indie MMO could ever compete with a financially backed up one. You CAN create them, but they will likely never have the same production values of a proper MMO. Then its a good idea too launch a indie MMO and build the fundamentals and then get financial backing after the direction of development is already set, i think this is how Pirates of the Burning Sea for example started.

    But a part-time developed game by 5 ppl will never compete.
    You apparently don't get what this is about. We never said we wanted to compete with AAA titles.

    As indie you try to create a niche game, gameplay you'd like to see in big titles but don't. Something fitting what you like as a player, without having the pressure from publishers telling you how to do things.

    We don't expect to become rich or have 8 million players, we just want to realize a dream. It's not about competing, it's about being creative, about doing what you like to do without having to change it because someone with more money said so.
  • AbhinandaAbhinanda Posts: 56Member
    Originally posted by BountyGreg

    Originally posted by Abhinanda

    I can't see how a indie MMO could ever compete with a financially backed up one. You CAN create them, but they will likely never have the same production values of a proper MMO. Then its a good idea too launch a indie MMO and build the fundamentals and then get financial backing after the direction of development is already set, i think this is how Pirates of the Burning Sea for example started.

    But a part-time developed game by 5 ppl will never compete.
    You apparently don't get what this is about. We never said we wanted to compete with AAA titles.

    As indie you try to create a niche game, gameplay you'd like to see in big titles but don't. Something fitting what you like as a player, without having the pressure from publishers telling you how to do things.

    We don't expect to become rich or have 8 million players, we just want to realize a dream. It's not about competing, it's about being creative, about doing what you like to do without having to change it because someone with more money said so. I absolutely get it, and if i had more time id be right there with you.

    I just wanted to make a statement to people who thinks indie games = WoW with awesome ideas.

    However personaly, if i was to get creative id rather do something like a modification that doesnt need as much content and hard work as a MMO do, however dont get me wrong i think indie MMO's are great.
  • VinadilVinadil cola, SCPosts: 42Member
    I second the request for actual information on these Devs and their games.  It is often hard for people to find these Indie games... and that seems like something MMORPG could help with.
  • StraddenStradden Managing Editor Halifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member
    Although people are asking for it, I can't provide a list of people who attended the conference. First, I don't actually have one.  Still, there's no conspiracy theory attached to this where we're trying to keep you away from them either. Have a look at our Games List, those of them who wanted to be there, are now there.



    Look at games like A Tale in the Deesert III, Meridian 59, Valhyre, Force of Arms, Minions of Mirth. There are more, and all you have to do is search out our Game List and find them. Above is nowhere near a complete list, but it's a start.



    If you want muy opinion, supporting game slike these is providing support for the growth of the MMO industry. But, that's just my opinion.

    Cheers,
    Jon Wood
    Managing Editor
    MMORPG.com

  • Hamilton-NEOHamilton-NEO San Dog, CAPosts: 75Member

    Originally posted by Abhinanda

    I can't see how a indie MMO could ever compete with a financially backed up one.

    But a part-time developed game by 5 ppl will never compete.

    I beg to differ, Runescape is an example that it can be done, with a small team and a budget that requires creativity.

    Sign off,
    Hamilton

  • PonziniPonzini Hollister, CAPosts: 227Member
    Every independant MMO ive seen is usually Korean and need 500 hours of gameplay. I see plenty of independant wow clones just with more bugs and worse graphics. Give me a skill based MMO with little to no grinding mobs. 

    image

  • TheClausTheClaus Manteca, CAPosts: 1Member
    I went to IMGDC as an attendee and it was a great place to network and meet people that have passion to create something that has only been thought of being done by well known AAA game companies.  The company I work for is working on an MMO right now looking to have a beta within the next couple of months.



    Here is the website if you guys want to look.

    http://www.wraiththegame.com



    I would like to point out that from day one of this project our goal was not to compete with Blizzard, SOE, Funcom, etc... but rather provide people a fun game with unique features that haven't been seen in today's MMOs.



    If you have any questions about the game feel free to stop by the forums and either myself or the other devs of the project will answer the questions as best we can.
  • dalevi1dalevi1 Toledo, OHPosts: 829Member
    Originally posted by Abhinanda

    I can't see how a indie MMO could ever compete with a financially backed up one. You CAN create them, but they will likely never have the same production values of a proper MMO. Then its a good idea too launch a indie MMO and build the fundamentals and then get financial backing after the direction of development is already set, i think this is how Pirates of the Burning Sea for example started.

    But a part-time developed game by 5 ppl will never compete.
    TR Stratics, huh? Congrats...but....



    TR has one of the longest and perhaps, most annoying, development cycles I have ever seen. Without the name they have at the top, the project would most likely have been cancelled outright, and rightly so. Indie studios don't have this kind of leeway (sp). I personally can see a good idea being a great success, even if the subscription rate doesn't equal mainstream studio expectations. Two I can think of off the top of my head are SL and Eve. Both launched to very small groups of interest, yet both are now what I would consider major indie successes. So much so, that no one would ever call them indie anymore. There is still a market out there for a well considered game. You will always have your failures, like Seed, but the successes are so damn good, that they tattoo the entire lot.



    IMHO.

    Played (more than a month): SWG, Second Life, Tabula Rasa, Lineage 2, Everquest 2, EvE, MxO, Ryzom.

    Tried: WoW, Shadowbane, Anarchy Online, Everquest, WWII Online, Planetside

    Beta: Lotro, Tabula Rasa, WAR.

  • dalevi1dalevi1 Toledo, OHPosts: 829Member
    Originally posted by BountyGreg

    Working myself on one, I can't say it enough. It's all about passion and dedication.

    I have spent all my money in the project and I even am changing job right now to earn more so I can put even more money in the game.

    We have problems with many aspects of MMO, because you have to be multi-talented when you're in a small team. you don't have 1 guy doing only 1 thing, everyone helps on everything if possible.

    It goes from "simple" coding to organic modeling and animation. You need maths, logical thinking, overall game/MMO knowledge, artistic feeling, organizational talent and a strong WILL.
    Got a website for your project m8? I am always looking for a good plan to read!

    Played (more than a month): SWG, Second Life, Tabula Rasa, Lineage 2, Everquest 2, EvE, MxO, Ryzom.

    Tried: WoW, Shadowbane, Anarchy Online, Everquest, WWII Online, Planetside

    Beta: Lotro, Tabula Rasa, WAR.

  • BountyGregBountyGreg AlsdorfPosts: 37Member
    sure.

    Visit us at Followers of Armageddon

    It's a post-apocalyptic online game. The special thing about it is that the world changes. Players have direct influence on what happens. We're still in early development but expect to see way more very soon.
  • doc2552doc2552 bristolPosts: 40Member

    well then untill about an hour ago i never knew there was such things as indie MMO's. I'v been playing MMO's since before i can remember started on rune then planetside, Eq.....the list goes on (i deleted it made me feel bad how much time i must of spent in game) and at that point i realised what indie games is all about.

    Yes someone like me love smashing apart orcs with a large axe or summon great magics to set fire to whole troops but the dev's of the games must get so much more joy than i will ever have from seeing people playing the games they have made, i am aware i have not much of a point to this post but isnt that what forums and the internet, hell MMO's themselfs are all about being who you are and lettin the people know it.

    As my job as a chef is in some way the same as a dev's (i make something and hope people like and enjoy it) i can understand the inportants of indie games i did always wounder where the new ideas came from my youngest chef comes up with some crazy ideas but they do work and some have been adding to my menu, isnt that just the same thing.

    well if any indie game makers need a die hard MMO player to try there beta count me in and keep up to good work as long as i can see my screen i'll be wantin new MMO's to explore.

    Cheers Doc

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