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

2

Comments

  • ZeymereZeymere Somewhere, VAPosts: 203Member Uncommon

    Just let EA or one of its divisions have the IP, that’s how.

  • rygard49rygard49 Huntington Beach, CAPosts: 975Member

    Isn't a "bad" gamed really defined in the eye of the beholder? Some people just hate a game because they feel the IP was applied incorrectly. It's all about expectation.

    Take TOR for example. I think a lot of people would have more positive things to say about the game if it was based in it's own unique universe. The game is fun. It's a themepark similar to other themeparks, but the thing is when they took on the Star Wars IP it created expectations from the masses of SW fans. The game failed to meet those expectations, as do many Star Wars creations, cartoons and movies included.

    TESO is the next big game where expectation is likely going to surpass what's delivered. The game honestly sounds fun to me, but, like everyone else, I'll be expecting more from a world slapped with the Elder Scrolls label than I would with a unique universe created specifically for the mechanics they're employing.

  • NaowutNaowut MusselkanaalPosts: 647Member Uncommon

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

     

    I''m sure the guys over at Cryptic know.

  • LarsaLarsa NurembergPosts: 990Member

    Great and well-known IPs don't make good games, but great and well-known IPs make big initial sales.

    With existing IPs you can market the game both to the MMORPG base and to the fans of the IP.

    I maintain this List of Sandbox MMORPGs. Please post or send PM for corrections and suggestions.

  • LeoghanLeoghan Herndon, VAPosts: 607Member
    Originally posted by Naowut

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

     

    I''m sure the guys over at Cryptic know.

    While STO lacked content, the basic gameplay actually felt very Trek to me. It may not have felt Trek to those who wanted to play as Ensign no-body and clean the Jefferies tubes, but Perpetuals fall showed that there just weren't enough customers for that kind of game to even support a launch. 

    I certainly felt like STO did a better job of capturing the IP than SWTOR did. STO just didn't have content to back up the basic gameplay. 

  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    Or its more of a subconscious thing.

    E.g. they know it will sell anyway, so without really meaning to they take short cuts.

    Or because its not their baby so to speak, there's less of a drive to make it perfect. (i also see this when a new set of devs take over from an original team when making a sequel)
  • LeoghanLeoghan Herndon, VAPosts: 607Member
    Originally posted by ShakyMo
    Or its more of a subconscious thing.

    E.g. they know it will sell anyway, so without really meaning to they take short cuts.

    Or because its not their baby so to speak, there's less of a drive to make it perfect. (i also see this when a new set of devs take over from an original team when making a sequel)

    I would agree with it being a subconscious thing, but I don't think it is even about being lazy or even the wilfully incompetent that some people seem to suggest. 

    I honestly don't think the Bioware and EA people sat around thinking, "how can we milk this cow and give our customers sour milk?". I think they become so confident in the IP, in this case not only SW, but also KOTOR, that they can't listen to legitimate criticism when it comes time to do so. The same was true of SWG during beta. 

    That's a by product of the state of MMO testing these days too, beta is no longer a place to test and tweak, it is a showcase of the game and most changes are costemtic or metric, but alpha tests are simply to small to determine if mechanics really need a tweak and they are too prone to group think and collusion. 

  • VyntVynt Glendale, CAPosts: 632Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Zylaxx
    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).

     

    It is funny that you say that would never work in an MMO. EQ had it. You could kill any NPC, even bankers. You could steal from them. I remember my rogue had a really high pickpocket skill, and a fair amount of plat. If you were noticed, pretty much instant death when stealing from the really high guards or merchants. I remeber stealing items too at some point. Also the game had a 1st and regular 3rd person view.

    There are a lot of things people say would never work, but the funny thing is, a lot of those things were in the older MMOs, just most of the people playing these days never played them. A lot of the things that are claimed too difficult to implement (by devs and players) were standard. I think that is why a lot of old time vets are frustrated with the current crop of MMOs and have little hope for upcoming ones.

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,452Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Adamantine

    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.

     

    er, have you ever read a Conan book?

    I think the problem with Conan, and othe IP's for thatmatter,  is that players have their own idea of what they want these games to be. No developers is going to be able to create the special game you have in you head. At least not down to specific details.

    The other issue is that each player wants to have their favorite IP cater to their specific game type. Some Lord of the Rings players wanted playable evil races and the ability to overrun Middle Earth if they could. You want to up the role play parts of Conan but don't seem thrilled with the sex and violence of a 1930's pulp IP with such wonderful lines as:

     

    "Bloodshed and violence and savagery were the natural elements of the life Conan knew; he could not, and would never understand the little things that are so dear to the souls of civilized men and women."

    "Bring me Tarascus’s head and I’ll make you a baron!” In the stress of his anguish Conan’s veneer of civilization had fallen from him. His eyes flamed, he ground his teeth in fury and blood-lust, as barbaric as any tribesmen in the Cimmerian hills."

    "She who had been the spoiled and petted daughter of the Duke of Kordava, learned what is was to be a buccaneer's plaything, and because she was supple enough to bend without breaking, she lived where other women had died, and because she was young and vibrant with life, she came to find pleasure in the existence."

     

    Granted, even I am not thrilled with LOTRO but if I take a step back I can recognize that it's a perfectly good LOTRO "mmo" in the standard mmo format.

     

  • SaunZSaunZ Las Vegas, NVPosts: 159Member

    oh God... PLEASE don't let them make a crappy mmo out of Firefly; the best sci-fi EVER!!

     

    i will go to church on sunday if you don't let them ruin Firefly!

     

    <3

    sz

  • grimalgrimal Stamford, CTPosts: 2,873Member Uncommon

    Actually, I think it's most likely harder to make a great game from an existing IP.

    Not only do you have the game to worry about, but you have to stay true and fit everything into an already established story/world.  You have limited power to bend things to your will.  Additionally, there is a rabid fanbase behind that IP almost daring you to make any mistakes.

    Given the choice, I'd rather create a game from my own IP than use an already established one.

  • VyntVynt Glendale, CAPosts: 632Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by SaunZ

    oh God... PLEASE don't let them make a crappy mmo out of Firefly; the best sci-fi EVER!!

     

    i will go to church on sunday if you don't let them ruin Firefly!

     

    <3

    sz

    There would be no reason to make a Firefly MMO. It is kind of a generic scifi theme. Don't get me wrong, I loved the series too, but an MMO could be made without having to pay for the IP.

    A vast empire that does what it wants, spanning multiple worlds, many forgotten or uncard for. People making what lives they can. A beaten down rebellion, a thing of the past.

    What made Firefly interesting were the characters, not really the universe.

    You can probably pick up a thousand different scifi books and have something similar and even better. I can't remember them now, but when I first saw Firefly, I thought it was very similar to a couple scifi novels I read. Different worlds had differing levels of advancement, some different ancestry, kind of like the chinese and western flair you get in firefly. Hmm, I think even some of the polity (minus the ai) novels reminded me of it. Could be confusing my series (I've read a lot).

     

  • SaunZSaunZ Las Vegas, NVPosts: 159Member
    Originally posted by Vynt
    Originally posted by SaunZ

    oh God... PLEASE don't let them make a crappy mmo out of Firefly; the best sci-fi EVER!!

     

    i will go to church on sunday if you don't let them ruin Firefly!

     

    <3

    sz

    There would be no reason to make a Firefly MMO. It is kind of a generic scifi theme. Don't get me wrong, I loved the series too, but an MMO could be made without having to pay for the IP.

    A vast empire that does what it wants, spanning multiple worlds, many forgotten or uncard for. People making what lives they can. A beaten down rebellion, a thing of the past.

    What made Firefly interesting were the characters, not really the universe.

    You can probably pick up a thousand different scifi books and have something similar and even better. I can't remember them now, but when I first saw Firefly, I thought it was very similar to a couple scifi novels I read. Different worlds had differing levels of advancement, some different ancestry, kind of like the chinese and western flair you get in firefly. Hmm, I think even some of the polity (minus the ai) novels reminded me of it. Could be confusing my series (I've read a lot).

     

    and yet!  you REMEMBER  Firefly

     

    sz

  • RefMinorRefMinor MyTownPosts: 3,452Member
    Originally posted by gaeanprayer
    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.

    And this is why SWG was far and above SWTOR, one lets you watch their story and the other lets you live through your imaginanation and fantasies.

  • DavisFlightDavisFlight Talahasee, FLPosts: 2,556Member

    Pretty easily. The only two IPs I can think of that became great MMOs were Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies.

    Its a product of the time, back then dev teams were smaller, more independent, and interested in making unique social virtual world MMORPGs.

    Look at the Lord of the Rings Online. In 2004, LotRO was called Middle Earth Online. They made it as far as beta, and many played MEO in the Turbine offices. It was a sandbox game with the tag line "live in Middle Earth". But as soon as WoW started attracting big publishers to the business, publishers weren't interested in well thought out virtual worlds. They wanted super casual mostly solo online games like WoW.

    And so at the last minute MEO was rebranded LotRO and it became a very bland themepark game that got 95% of its features from WoW. SWG was retooled to be more like a themepark (and that didn't end well). It's all about the publishers, not knowing what makes a good MMO. Here we have two games underoing an "NGE" and losing the bulk of its playerbase. When the biggest IP in the entire world barely manages to stay afloat and has to go FTP, and the other shuts down... man.

    And then they try to make the exact same kind of themepark with SWTOR, and fail again.

  • akiira69akiira69 San Diego, CAPosts: 590Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by RefMinor
    Originally posted by gaeanprayer
    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.

    And this is why SWG was far and above SWTOR, one lets you watch their story and the other lets you live through your imaginanation and fantasies.

    SWG Pre-CU was better than SWTOR but Post-CU and Post-NGE SWTOR is better than SWG. Pre-CU it was an honor to get to unlock the Jedi Class. When the Combat Upgrade came out it became easier to get a jedi cause there was a walk through on the official forums. By the time the NGE(New Game Enhancements) came out being a Jedi was a joke, not to mention that after the NGE came out everyone could create a Jedi from the start. The reason why BioWare chose the Old Republic time line so that everyone could create a jedi without breaking lore like SOE did in SWG.

    "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?"

  • RobsolfRobsolf Grand Rapids, MIPosts: 4,246Member 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?

    This right here.  While there are probably other reasons IP games are often substandard, a pre-established IP ties the hands of a game developer in many respects.

    Take LotRO, for example.  Imagine if Turbine put Griffon rides in there... or even worse; a Great Eagle taxi system...

    What if they wanted to create an Asuran type race?  Or some steampunk type technology?  What if they wanted to have a whole zone based on something like "Expedition to the Barrier Peaks"?

    Turbine would be "shoot on sight" for LotR fans.  Meanwhile, games like Rift, WoW, and many others could do it without a problem.

  • LeoghanLeoghan Herndon, VAPosts: 607Member
    Originally posted by Robsolf
    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?

    This right here.  While there are probably other reasons IP games are often substandard, a pre-established IP ties the hands of a game developer in many respects.

    Take LotRO, for example.  Imagine if Turbine put Griffon rides in there... or even worse; a Great Eagle taxi system...

    What if they wanted to create an Asuran type race?  Or some steampunk type technology?  What if they wanted to have a whole zone based on something like "Expedition to the Barrier Peaks"?

    Turbine would be "shoot on sight" for LotR fans.  Meanwhile, games like Rift, WoW, and many others could do it without a problem.

    WoW certainly did have more leaway than other titles like the SW MMO's or LoTRO, but it wasn't devoid of prior IP. My only interest in the game was from my experiences as a Warcraft player. In fact, the new panda people come from Warcraft III. 

  • TalonsWingTalonsWing Elizabeth, NJPosts: 33Member

    It really is astonishing isn't it.  I've now gone through TWO Star Wars licensed MMOs (who would EVER have thought there would be more than one shot at this) and both failed.  Why?   We could go on forever discussing it but at the end of the day, in deep irony, they ultimately ended up trying to placate Lucas Arts or the minority of the playerbase.  The problems with SWTOR truly are inconceivable given the lessons they should have learned from SWG.

    1.  Players want to actually BE something in the SW universe.  Not one of 10,000 Sith Lords flying around a space station.

    2.  Players want an advancement system at end game, not a grinding system.

    3.  Players want full PvE AND PvP options.

    4.  Players want to influence their universe.  

     

    Easy easy easy concepts.  What did we get?  Wargames and shlock.  But in fairness, the best single player experience I have had since the TOR games themselves.

     

    Oh well, as they say.  I dont think there will be a third one.

  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    That's not true though, xwing and tiefighter are 2 of the best regarded star wars games, and you just play Mr regular pilot in those.
  • Sevenstar61Sevenstar61 Centreville, VAPosts: 1,690Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by RefMinor
    Originally posted by gaeanprayer
    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.

    And this is why SWG was far and above SWTOR, one lets you watch their story and the other lets you live through your imaginanation and fantasies.

    There are plenty of fan fiction in SWTOR. And some of it is awesome. If players can create such jewels based on stories in game, that means that there is something more to this game then eye can see:)

    http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=514775

     

    image
    Sith Warrior - Story of Hate and Love http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxKrlwXt7Ao
    Imperial Agent - Rise of Cipher Nine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBBj3eJWBvU&feature=youtu.be
    Imperial Agent - Hunt for the Eagle Part 1http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQqjYYU128E

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,767Member Uncommon

    It's pretty easy to make a bad game, actually.  And as you seem to have belatedly noticed, a nifty IP can't save an otherwise bad game.

    I think the more interesting question is how to make a good game.

  • LeoghanLeoghan Herndon, VAPosts: 607Member
    Originally posted by Sevenstar61
    Originally posted by RefMinor
    Originally posted by gaeanprayer
    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.

    And this is why SWG was far and above SWTOR, one lets you watch their story and the other lets you live through your imaginanation and fantasies.

    There are plenty of fan fiction in SWTOR. And some of it is awesome. If players can create such jewels based on stories in game, that means that there is something more to this game then eye can see:)

    http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=514775

     

    I don't think you understand his point, sure people can write great fan fics and all, but there are few if any tools in game to "live" these stories. They don't even offer bios for players and the chances for RP are minimal compared to nearly every other game. SWTOR has some decent stories in game, but they are on rails with switchs for good or evil decisions and that is it. 

  • Sevenstar61Sevenstar61 Centreville, VAPosts: 1,690Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Leoghan
    Originally posted by Sevenstar61
    Originally posted by RefMinor
    Originally posted by gaeanprayer
    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.

    And this is why SWG was far and above SWTOR, one lets you watch their story and the other lets you live through your imaginanation and fantasies.

    There are plenty of fan fiction in SWTOR. And some of it is awesome. If players can create such jewels based on stories in game, that means that there is something more to this game then eye can see:)

    http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=514775

     

    I don't think you understand his point, sure people can write great fan fics and all, but there are few if any tools in game to "live" these stories. They don't even offer bios for players and the chances for RP are minimal compared to nearly every other game. SWTOR has some decent stories in game, but they are on rails with switchs for good or evil decisions and that is it. 

    I agree that they could add many of mentionned things, sure it would make it better. I hope that it will happen sooner or later. But unless you want to make a niche game for the few who have unlimited time to make their own stories etc. it's just unrealistic.

    image
    Sith Warrior - Story of Hate and Love http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxKrlwXt7Ao
    Imperial Agent - Rise of Cipher Nine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBBj3eJWBvU&feature=youtu.be
    Imperial Agent - Hunt for the Eagle Part 1http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQqjYYU128E

  • DavisFlightDavisFlight Talahasee, FLPosts: 2,556Member
    Originally posted by Sevenstar61
    Originally posted by Leoghan
    Originally posted by Sevenstar61
    Originally posted by RefMinor
    Originally posted by gaeanprayer
    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.

    And this is why SWG was far and above SWTOR, one lets you watch their story and the other lets you live through your imaginanation and fantasies.

    There are plenty of fan fiction in SWTOR. And some of it is awesome. If players can create such jewels based on stories in game, that means that there is something more to this game then eye can see:)

    http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=514775

     

    I don't think you understand his point, sure people can write great fan fics and all, but there are few if any tools in game to "live" these stories. They don't even offer bios for players and the chances for RP are minimal compared to nearly every other game. SWTOR has some decent stories in game, but they are on rails with switchs for good or evil decisions and that is it. 

    I agree that they could add many of mentionned things, sure it would make it better. I hope that it will happen sooner or later. But unless you want to make a niche game for the few who have unlimited time to make their own stories etc. it's just unrealistic.

    Haha that "niche" is a lot bigger than the current population playing SWTOR. It is FAR more realistic to make a game for that niche than go for the WoW audience who will play for a month and then leave. History has shown that SWTOR style games always fail.

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