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How do you take a great IP and make a bad game?

ZigZagsZigZags Modesto, CAPosts: 328Member

I think its a shame that some of the greatest intellectual properties of our life time were made into MMOs that utterly failed. I remember watching movies and reading books thinking to myself, "I wish I could live or play in this world" and eventually some corporation got involved with the creators of the IP, made a game and it ended up sucking, going free to play or closing down.

 

HOW CAN THIS BE? Ironically, some of the best MMO's still in play and going strong didn't really have a big following before the game ever came out. I find that kind of funny.

Now: Skyrim
Later: ?
Played: M59, UO, EQ, Runescape, DAOC, SB, EQ2, WoW, EVE, Darkfall, AoC, FFXI, FFXIV, WAR, SWTOR
BOYCOTTING: EA/BioWare/Origin/SOE

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Comments

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common

    IP is like a paint job on top of the game - the nuts and bolts. I strongly feel that the game should come first and IP should be developed around it, not the other way round.

    For example, the Jedi sound nice in the books and movies but they translate poorly into games. As they are portrayed, they are outrageously overpowered compared to anyone else in that universe. Same for the wizards in Eddings' books, they're practically demigods.

    Authors rarely create their fiction with games in mind. Also some have no clue about developing good games: quidditch anyone?

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    Simple, you have a great ip, you know it will sell anyway, less effort goes into making a good game.

    Reminds me of older days in the game industry with all those rubbish games that tied into the latest movie. All ip based games were shite, except goldeneye, x wing / tie fighter and Jedi knight
  • ZigZagsZigZags Modesto, CAPosts: 328Member
    Originally posted by Quirhid

    IP is like a paint job on top of the game - the nuts and bolts. I strongly feel that the game should come first and IP should be developed around it, not the other way round.

    For example, the Jedi sound nice in the books and movies but they translate poorly into games. As they are portrayed, they are outrageously overpowered compared to anyone else in that universe. Same for the wizards in Eddings' books, they're practically demigods.

    Authors rarely create their fiction with games in mind. Also some have no clue about developing good games: quidditch anyone?

    I didn't play SWG enough to really get that into it but I liked the idea that only a few people could be Jedi after a MASSIVE amount of grinding. Then killing them would make them lose their status...or not logging in for a while? I believe thats what SWG did pre NGE, that was pretty slick.

    Now: Skyrim
    Later: ?
    Played: M59, UO, EQ, Runescape, DAOC, SB, EQ2, WoW, EVE, Darkfall, AoC, FFXI, FFXIV, WAR, SWTOR
    BOYCOTTING: EA/BioWare/Origin/SOE

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 17,949Member Uncommon

    It is pretty easy, most MMO devs and investors are pretty close minded.

    Just taking an IP and slapping on the same MMO mechanics we seen in almost every MMO before doesnt work at all.

    Take Elder scrolls. When Bethesda made Daggerfall they custom made the mechanics for the world and they perfected it since then. Suddenly they decide to make a MMO and instead of basing it on their mechanics or make new ones that fits the IP they slap Wows mechanics with a dash of DaoC on top of it.

    Same thing with TOR. SW really demands a very different system than a fantasy MMO and yet they use the same.

    Either you take a world and creates mechanics for it, or you take mechanics nd create a world for them. You dont slap premade stuff together.

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    Originally posted by Loke666

    It is pretty easy, most MMO devs and investors are pretty close minded.

    Just taking an IP and slapping on the same MMO mechanics we seen in almost every MMO before doesnt work at all.

    Take Elder scrolls. When Bethesda made Daggerfall they custom made the mechanics for the world and they perfected it since then. Suddenly they decide to make a MMO and instead of basing it on their mechanics or make new ones that fits the IP they slap Wows mechanics with a dash of DaoC on top of it.

    Same thing with TOR. SW really demands a very different system than a fantasy MMO and yet they use the same.

    Either you take a world and creates mechanics for it, or you take mechanics nd create a world for them. You dont slap premade stuff together.

    To be fair a lot of what Bethesda has done in their Elder Scrolls games do not work in a multiplayer environment let alone MMOs. Some of the stuff they're doing with Elder Scrolls Online is bound to be familiar because those mechanics work well in MMOs.

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • bobfishbobfish SouthamptonPosts: 1,688Member

    IPs are just a way to boost sales, very few translate well into games.

     

    Even looking at my own work, I can see some of the worlds I've created for single player games simply wouldn't work in a mutliplayer scenario like an MMO.

  • ScotScot UKPosts: 5,754Member Uncommon
    A great IP book does not always produce a great IP film, or MMO. And as has been said they are shoe horning the IP into a WoW version of a MMO. These days into a streamlined (smaller) zone, instanced, no raid version of WoW. The ezMMO game design is deciding whats in the IP, not the vision of the IP itself.
  • ZigZagsZigZags Modesto, CAPosts: 328Member
    Originally posted by Loke666

    Take Elder scrolls. When Bethesda made Daggerfall they custom made the mechanics for the world and they perfected it since then. Suddenly they decide to make a MMO and instead of basing it on their mechanics or make new ones that fits the IP they slap Wows mechanics with a dash of DaoC on top of it.

    We dont know that yet....Im still leaning more on your side on this one....but Im holding my breathe still hopign for the best, but not getting my hopes up too high as to be saddened by the probable dissappointment.

    Now: Skyrim
    Later: ?
    Played: M59, UO, EQ, Runescape, DAOC, SB, EQ2, WoW, EVE, Darkfall, AoC, FFXI, FFXIV, WAR, SWTOR
    BOYCOTTING: EA/BioWare/Origin/SOE

  • DibdabsDibdabs FelvershamPosts: 2,604Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ZigZags

    HOW CAN THIS BE?

    Ask the SWtOR guys - they have taking a great IP and making a bad game down to a fine art!  Take a rip-roaring, exciting, dynamic franchise, then squeeze all the juicy goodness out of it and serve up the bland, chore-to-play that is SWtOR.

  • fenistilfenistil GliwicePosts: 3,005Member

    First of all there is no way to transalte some IP's good into a game, unless you totally butcher IP's world but then it is based on some weird variation of IP and not on original IP anymore right?

     

    Secondly - mmorpg's nowadays are treated like everyother game (and not experimental new concept like it was) and IP's will be slaughtered and ridiculed to make a certain type of game.    Mmorpg's will be treated same way like any other IP's games are.     Just google Guardians of Middle Earth.   Basically what's left of IP are characters names and appearance - everything else there is just raping IP's world.

     

    Anyway most IP's does not translate well to mmorpg's and games in general. With some small exceptions.  Besides IP itself won't save a game in eyes of anyone but biggest IP fanboys.

  • AdamantineAdamantine NowherePosts: 3,514Member

    Well ... what "great" IP is left out there, anyway ?

    For example, I would love to have a Conan MMO which was made for roleplayers. Tons of races, tons of places, tons of classes and possibilities, lots of roleplaying and adventures. But what is Age of Conan ? Well, whatever it is - its certainly not a game made for roleplayers. More like a ego perspective shooter with nudity and gore (mind, neither nudity nor gore is the problem here, the problem was the game getting advertised as just that), only three races, a race limited (and in general very limited) class system, and little to no point to it. I really view Conan as a heroic world of adventures, not as an weakly balanced PvP battleground.

    Or Forgotten Realms. Well, that one was kind of okay-ish, I guess. Never actually tried it but at least it was for roleplayers. Kind of wanted to try it but it fell of my radar. Oh well. Of course a FR game suffers from the basic problem that theres just so much content, how can you possibly ever implement all that.

    Planescape. Okay, thats FR power two. Or three. Or four. The endless perfect game, basically.

    Vampire: The Masquerade. Its actually coming ! We'll see how good that will be.

    Star Wars. Actually I never was that excited about this IP. Jedi are kind of boring after a while. But yeah, make a good game for it, and it could be a great game, anyway.

    Either way, I think a great game does NOT need a great IP. If a game is great, the IP of it will turn popular, too. And why would anyone oppose a good new IP ?

     

  • XasapisXasapis VolosPosts: 5,561Member Uncommon

    Why do you think that's strange?

    How many successful films you know that translated into good games?

  • ZylaxxZylaxx Erlanger, KYPosts: 2,574Member
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Originally posted by Loke666

    It is pretty easy, most MMO devs and investors are pretty close minded.

    Just taking an IP and slapping on the same MMO mechanics we seen in almost every MMO before doesnt work at all.

    Take Elder scrolls. When Bethesda made Daggerfall they custom made the mechanics for the world and they perfected it since then. Suddenly they decide to make a MMO and instead of basing it on their mechanics or make new ones that fits the IP they slap Wows mechanics with a dash of DaoC on top of it.

    Same thing with TOR. SW really demands a very different system than a fantasy MMO and yet they use the same.

    Either you take a world and creates mechanics for it, or you take mechanics nd create a world for them. You dont slap premade stuff together.

    To be fair a lot of what Bethesda has done in their Elder Scrolls games do not work in a multiplayer environment let alone MMOs. Some of the stuff they're doing with Elder Scrolls Online is bound to be familiar because those mechanics work well in MMOs.

    Exactly.  Some of the best ideas from ESO games would never work in an MMO like : Killing any NPC, Robbing NPC's, griefing and exploiting, 3rd person combat (personal preference but I hate 1st person view or topdown views).

     

    TESO might not be identical to Skyrim but it is bringing in some heavily added elements and making what doesnt work into an MMO feature such as: Open World, free exploration, open dungeons, actiony combat with active block, and open ended weapon system (even though there is classes).  Most of those elements are something I wish GW2 would of done and even though GW2 is an amazing game and will be playing for a long time I am greatly looking forward to TESO, mainly because of the classes are free to choose what ever weapon they wish and excel at it.  I absolutely love any freedom of class and not the rigid class structure of GW2.

    Everything you need to know about Elder Scrolls Online

    Playing: GW2
    Waiting on: TESO
    Next Flop: Planetside 2
    Best MMO of all time: Asheron's Call - The first company to recreate AC will be the next greatest MMO.

    image

  • DisdenaDisdena Troy, NYPosts: 1,093Member

    "I have an idea for a game."

    ^ This right here represents about 0.001% of what goes into making a game. It's why no one will hire you just because you have good ideas for games. Almost nothing about what makes a game great comes from the idea that spawned the game, and almost everything about what makes a game great comes from how that idea is implemented.

    IP is one more step removed from "I have an idea for a game." It's "I have a world or story about which one could come up with an idea for a game." No matter how good the IP is, it has nothing whatsoever to do with the quality of the game.

    image
  • gaeanprayergaeanprayer Somewhere Out There, PAPosts: 2,320Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ZigZags

    I think its a shame that some of the greatest intellectual properties of our life time were made into MMOs that utterly failed. I remember watching movies and reading books thinking to myself, "I wish I could live or play in this world" and eventually some corporation got involved with the creators of the IP, made a game and it ended up sucking, going free to play or closing down.

     

    HOW CAN THIS BE? Ironically, some of the best MMO's still in play and going strong didn't really have a big following before the game ever came out. I find that kind of funny.

    You answered your own question. MMOs based on popular IPs do badly for the same reason that movies based on video games do badly; people already live in this world through their initial introduction to it, and no derivitive work that comes after will ever measure up. The expectations are always higher than can be met, because your imagination and fantasies will ALWAYS tell a better story than any writer.

    "Forums aren't for intelligent discussion; they're for blow-hards with unwavering opinions."

  • akiira69akiira69 San Diego, CAPosts: 590Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ZigZags

    I think its a shame that some of the greatest intellectual properties of our life time were made into MMOs that utterly failed. I remember watching movies and reading books thinking to myself, "I wish I could live or play in this world" and eventually some corporation got involved with the creators of the IP, made a game and it ended up sucking, going free to play or closing down.

     

    HOW CAN THIS BE? Ironically, some of the best MMO's still in play and going strong didn't really have a big following before the game ever came out. I find that kind of funny.

    I dont know maybe you could get an answer from Sony Online Entertainment, they had 2 well known IP's(Star Wars Galaxies, The Matrix Online) and killed both of them. Though in all fairness to SOE Matrix Online was already dying before they bought it. SWG on the other hand had a decent fan following untill the release of the NGE Patch and at that point the game lost 80% of its player base.

    "Possibly we humans can exist without actually having to fight. But many of us have chosen to fight. For what reason? To protect something? Protect what? Ourselves? The future? If we kill people to protect ourselves and this future, then what sort of future is it, and what will we have become? There is no future for those who have died. And what of those who did the killing? Is happiness to be found in a future that is grasped with blood stained hands? Is that the truth?"

  • BanquettoBanquetto CityPosts: 1,037Member Uncommon

    Major IP licenses are, imho, a poor fit for an MMORPG. They mostly aren't conducive to a game where there are hundreds of thousands or millions of players, all wanting to make their mark on the world.


    If you want to go down that road, you're probably better off going for an IP that is more focused on a world and an aesthetic than on a storyline. In this sense, Warhammer was an excellent choice for an IP license. Didn't save a bad game, but it was a good choice of IP.

  • Agnostic42Agnostic42 That place, Overthere, WAPosts: 375Member

    Its the same answer to all great things that have been destroyed in the 20th and now 21st century. Publishers/producers gain the mindset that they have the best formula and just know it's what sells the best, they know it. If you take a pinch of "Insert system" and a dash of "insert theme" and combine it all with a splash of "everything else already made". They are always in search of finding that perfect formula. That's all they care about, money, and they are approaching video games the same way they approached the music industry, find the formula and win for the next 10-15 years or until a new sound comes out and then find that formula.

     

    If you are a dev team you can't argue with a producer or a publisher, when the devs are concerned they are your god. Each one of them either wants the highest dollar from the perfect formula or they are forever searching for "that next big thing". Some find it, most don't. And if you fail to make the producers happy, they pull your funding and you are shit out of luck and dead in the water. So developers bend over because they have no choice.

     

    Face it, ALL development teams have a dream or a vision, trying to cross that with the top dollar demanded by those who allow you to make the game in the first place is really hit or miss. Can this amazing idea create a top grossing product? Most likely it would have, if the damned formula guru's stayed the fuck out of it.

     

    If you want to blame anyone for the way MMO's have turned out, blame the damned production companies.

     

  • lowendahllowendahl bergenPosts: 102Member

    How?

    Easy... Just look at the forums here. The vast majority of people don't have the imagination to conceive of anything different from the standard fantasy-MMO. Any mechanics that don't fit into WoW are simply dismissed with 'can never work in multiplayer' and similarly simpleminded excuses. And thus we are left with the usual game in a new skin and minor tweaks, usually referred to as WoW-clones.

     

    How could it possibly go differently when gamedevs have WoW/EQ as the starting point and try to fit in [insert IP here] in that mold rather than looking at what is appealing about an IP and imagining a massively multiplayer game starting from that...

     

  • freeplay13freeplay13 shanghaiPosts: 13Member
    Because free to play MMO games often end up with a pay to win business.
  • PyukPyuk Eugene, ORPosts: 690Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Loke666

    It is pretty easy, most MMO devs and investors are pretty close minded.

    Just taking an IP and slapping on the same MMO mechanics we seen in almost every MMO before doesnt work at all.

    Take Elder scrolls. When Bethesda made Daggerfall they custom made the mechanics for the world and they perfected it since then. Suddenly they decide to make a MMO and instead of basing it on their mechanics or make new ones that fits the IP they slap Wows mechanics with a dash of DaoC on top of it.

    Same thing with TOR. SW really demands a very different system than a fantasy MMO and yet they use the same.

    Either you take a world and creates mechanics for it, or you take mechanics nd create a world for them. You dont slap premade stuff together.

    QFT - Couldn't agree more.

    I make spreadsheets at work - I don't want to make them for the games I play.

  • NadiaNadia Canonsburg, PAPosts: 11,866Member Common

    speaking of great ips

    Game of Thrones -- coming to a browser near you!

    http://www.gameofthronesmmo.com/

  • kaiser3282kaiser3282 Phoenix, AZPosts: 2,690Member Uncommon

    The same way they manage to completely butcher great books when turning them into TV shows and movies. Sword of Truth (book) vs Legend of the Seeker (TV series) is a fine example. The show was absolutely horrid and got cancelled IIRC prt way through the 2nd season, even though the book series is 11 strong and spanning 13 years.

    When the creators of an IP sell off the rights to their product to these idiot suits who just see "Hey this is popular, we can make tons of money off of it" even though they have absolutely no knowledge of the IP and what makes it so great tot he fans on top of generally being clueless how to put together a decent product regardless of IP or not.... you wind up with utter crap.

    Im so glad that George RR Martin had involvement with the Game of ThronesTV series and theyve turned it into an overall pretty damn good adaptation that sticks quite well to the original story (minus some of the in depth detail of course). In the case of The Sword of Truth, Terry goodkind just sold the rights, had no say or involvement whatsoever in the making of the TV series and we wound up with a show that aside from the pilot episode didnt even resemble anything close to what was in the books. People places, timelines, events. EVERYTHING was different. I mean FFS they completely left out anything having to do with the Mud People, while in the books they were a very major part of the story especilly in the first 4 or 5 books.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,638Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quirhid

    IP is like a paint job on top of the game - the nuts and bolts. I strongly feel that the game should come first and IP should be developed around it, not the other way round.

    For example, the Jedi sound nice in the books and movies but they translate poorly into games. As they are portrayed, they are outrageously overpowered compared to anyone else in that universe. Same for the wizards in Eddings' books, they're practically demigods.

    Authors rarely create their fiction with games in mind. Also some have no clue about developing good games: quidditch anyone?

    The Jedi is a perfect example. Do you let everyone be a Jedi, diluting what a Jedi is, or let no one be a Jedi? The answer devs  are most likely to get from players is that it should be hard work and only those that put in the effort can be a Jedi. Which works fine and dandy in forum blustering but proves a radically different story when 'everyone' is a Jedi except them, a scenario rarely considered as the illusion is that whatever the path to Jedi will be, it will most certainly be one they can achieve through their pereferred means.

    LOTRO took a unique approach by allowing the players to travel parallel to the main characters, thus avoiding the negatives of having everyone trying to play the main characters, the absence of the main characters or the lack of characters thus the disappearance of the core tale.

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    A better question would be "how do to turn a great ip into a good game?"

    There aren't that many.

    Goldeneye
    Tiefighter / xwing
    Various sports games

    Arguably
    Wow
    Dawn of war series
    Jedi knight series

    Where as rubbish cash ins and reboots of classic games gone wrong seem to appear monthly.
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