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Would you support amateurs if their target audience wasn't mainstream?

BearKnightBearKnight Augusta, GAPosts: 461Member

In other words, if someone like you or me with a decent amount of programming experience started up an MMO project based on inspirations such as DAOC, EQ, Shadowbane, SWG, and UO all rolled into one, would you support them?

 

One of the largest hurdles I see from fellow developers is that they REALLY want to make a game that targets the more in-depth audience that doesn't like being hand-held around a game (aka: not mainstream), but they just don't know if the market is willing to embrace Amateur MMO developers anymore. 

Indie gaming for the PC has taken a backseat to the more open market of the mobile platform. Small teams of 5 or so can come together, regardless of experience, and make a game to sell on the mobile platform without much hassle. 

 

However, the MMO market is so much harder. This is because you really don't have an open and diverse community of developers for MMOs like you do the mobile platform. This makes it even harder when you realize that the MMO genre has such high expectations now. As technology progresses people are more demanding on graphics, mechanics, world design, animations, etc. 

 

What do you guys think? Is Indie developement for MMOs (essentially Amateurs learning their way, coming together to write a game) no longer an acceptable source for MMOs? EvE online started as an Indie product, and has slowly become a huge juggernaut in the Sandbox market (essentially the ONLY good Sandbox MMO on the market).  Yet, they're not something you can easily draw comparisons to for a normal situation.

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Comments

  • Jean-Luc_PicardJean-Luc_Picard La BarrePosts: 3,540Member Uncommon

    "Amateurs" made stuff like Darkfall or Mortal Online. Want to support them? It's quite easy... play those games.

    The personal answer is that I don't support mediocre products just because they are made by amateurs. Crap is crap, no matter who produced it, it always smells bad and is unpleasant to look at. I'm no charity organisation, I'm a customer. If amateurs manage to create a quality product, I will definitely support them by buying it, but let's get real... those products are for the vast majority crap because those amateurs are trying to do things they don't have the talents and funds to create, and/or are simply incompetent and deeply stuck in their "niche" thinking. MMOs are simply too complex for an amateur to do anything worth playing.

    Playing now: WoW, Landmark, GW2, The Crew, SotA

    Top 3 MMORPGs played: UO, AC1 and WoW

    Honorable mentions: AO, LotRO, SW:TOR and GW2.

    ----------------

    "The ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent" - Qui-gon Jinn. After many years of reading Internet forums, there's no doubt that neither does the ability to write.
    So if you notice that I'm no longer answering your nonsense, stop trying... because you just joined my block list.

  • stayBlindstayBlind Suwannee, GAPosts: 527Member

    This is such a subjective question. My answer would have to be:

    I would support game developers of any skill level if I found the product that they were making fun to play.

    Little forum boys with their polished cyber toys: whine whine, boo-hoo, talk talk.

  • apocolusterapocoluster newport news, VAPosts: 1,321Member Uncommon
    I would have to say no. Since I am the mainstream. 

    No matter how cynical you become, its never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

  • stayBlindstayBlind Suwannee, GAPosts: 527Member
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
    "Amateurs" made stuff like Darkfall or Mortal Online. Want to support them? It's quite easy... play those games.

    "Professionals" made stuff like Warhammer: Age of Reckoning, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, Age of Conan, and Dark & Light.

    Little forum boys with their polished cyber toys: whine whine, boo-hoo, talk talk.

  • RusqueRusque Las Vegas, NVPosts: 2,228Member Uncommon

    OP, I think you misunderstand the whiners.

    They want the old and/or niche games, but they ALSO want them to have the smooth engine of WoW, the graphics of Crysis, and P2P.

    Indie games that are actually decent get little love because these people want and expect everything to be delivered on a shoe-string budget.

  • kragekrage Miami, FLPosts: 419Member

    Not likely, most professional studios with massive budgets can barely release a truly enjoyable and bug free MMO so the odds against amateur devs in my eyes are nearly insurmountable.

    In the end though IF they do an amazing playable demo of the game prior to seeking money I would be more inclined to take a risk.

    image
  • Jean-Luc_PicardJean-Luc_Picard La BarrePosts: 3,540Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by stayBlind
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
    "Amateurs" made stuff like Darkfall or Mortal Online. Want to support them? It's quite easy... play those games.

    "Professionals" made stuff like Warhammer: Age of Reckoning, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, Age of Conan, and Dark & Light.

    WAR is still up and running, with a decent amount of fans enjoying the way it did PvP, even if I'm not part of them at all. SW:TOR is doing better than ever since it moved to F2P. Conan is doing well too, not the blasting success that the IP could have provided, but still.

    Vanguard is also still up, barely alive, but it was at the origin an 'amateur' project until it was saved by SoE's funding. And Dark and Light... are you SERIOUSLY suggesting that Dark and Light has every been anything else than an amateur project by newbie developers?

    Also, all those games you listed (except D&L, obviously) still have way more total players than those "amateur" MMOs I've listed.

     

    Mind you, the biggest problem for amateurs is not inventing new/great game mechanics. I have like a hundred of pages on my harddisk about MMO theory myself, among which some things which are amusingly close to the upcoming Everquest Next. The problem is MONEY, and huge amount of money required to provide quality. Quality in art, animation, world design, music, network code, graphic engine, etc... A MMORPG is the most demanding of all video game types when it comes to development, since it requires all expertises of the industry to work.

    Playing now: WoW, Landmark, GW2, The Crew, SotA

    Top 3 MMORPGs played: UO, AC1 and WoW

    Honorable mentions: AO, LotRO, SW:TOR and GW2.

    ----------------

    "The ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent" - Qui-gon Jinn. After many years of reading Internet forums, there's no doubt that neither does the ability to write.
    So if you notice that I'm no longer answering your nonsense, stop trying... because you just joined my block list.

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,451Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by BearKnight

     

    What do you guys think? Is Indie developement for MMOs (essentially Amateurs learning their way, coming together to write a game) no longer an acceptable source for MMOs? EvE online started as an Indie product, and has slowly become a huge juggernaut in the Sandbox market (essentially the ONLY good Sandbox MMO on the market).  Yet, they're not something you can easily draw comparisons to for a normal situation.

    I would think that most "indie" mmo developers would have to actually plan better and approach the project as a business as opposed to "hey, we know what a good game is and we can do this no sweat" and then release a buggy game that limps along for years as a "hobby".

    I think niche mmo players are very forgiving but there are just some things that it's difficult to get around.

    Indie developers should figure out their audience, plan conservatively, and see how much money they can realistically bring in with their project and then cater the project to their income. It might be modest but I think making a good game, even if it's just a simple online dungeon crawler, would be a good start.

  • DrakynnDrakynn The Pas, MBPosts: 2,030Member
    You don't support an indie developer just because they are indie you support them because you like their work or their ideas appeal to you,If the former is the case personally then the answer is yes i would support a non mainstream product because I'm the niche they are going for,otherwise no.
  • DistopiaDistopia Baltimore, MDPosts: 16,899Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sovrath
    Originally posted by BearKnight

     

    What do you guys think? Is Indie developement for MMOs (essentially Amateurs learning their way, coming together to write a game) no longer an acceptable source for MMOs? EvE online started as an Indie product, and has slowly become a huge juggernaut in the Sandbox market (essentially the ONLY good Sandbox MMO on the market).  Yet, they're not something you can easily draw comparisons to for a normal situation.

    I would think that most "indie" mmo developers would have to actually plan better and approach the project as a business as opposed to "hey, we know what a good game is and we can do this no sweat" and then release a buggy game that limps along for years as a "hobby".

    I think niche mmo players are very forgiving but there are just some things that it's difficult to get around.

    Indie developers should figure out their audience, plan conservatively, and see how much money they can realistically bring in with their project and then cater the project to their income. It might be modest but I think making a good game, even if it's just a simple online dungeon crawler, would be a good start.

    Basically this, Indie devs suffer from idea-bloat.

    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson

    It is a sign of a defeated man, to attack at ones character in the face of logic and reason- Me

  • Tsar_BombaTsar_Bomba Moonbase Alpha, TXPosts: 11Member

    Your question is not well defined.

    Would I support a developer that made something that wasn't mainstream? That depends on the something they made. Does it appeal to me? Is it well crafted? Is it an interesting example of type? Does it add new features previously unseen in the MMO industry?

    As you can see, without further definition you question is far too ambiguous.

  • BearKnightBearKnight Augusta, GAPosts: 461Member

    I'm liking the diverse set of answers here :). I'll link this around for some reason by some of my friends, and hopefully some other Indie developers get some positive feedback from this :o!

     

    Thanks :)

  • MattatronMattatron Dunlap, ILPosts: 226Member
    I agree people should support games because they enjoy them, whether they're from an indie developer OR a studio with massive corporate backing.  Lately I've been disappointed with a number of triple A titles, mmos and otherwise, but I can also be just as disappointed with indie developments, and even more so if have they the pretentious understanding I should somehow give them extra credit on the pure basis they are indie.
  • stayBlindstayBlind Suwannee, GAPosts: 527Member
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
    Originally posted by stayBlind
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
    "Amateurs" made stuff like Darkfall or Mortal Online. Want to support them? It's quite easy... play those games.

    "Professionals" made stuff like Warhammer: Age of Reckoning, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, Age of Conan, and Dark & Light.

    WAR is still up and running, with a decent amount of fans enjoying the way it did PvP, even if I'm not part of them at all. SW:TOR is doing better than ever since it moved to F2P. Conan is doing well too, not the blasting success that the IP could have provided, but still.

    Vanguard is also still up, barely alive, but it was at the origin an 'amateur' project until it was saved by SoE's funding. And Dark and Light... are you SERIOUSLY suggesting that Dark and Light has every been anything else than an amateur project by newbie developers?

    Also, all those games you listed (except D&L, obviously) still have way more total players than those "amateur" MMOs I've listed.

     

    Mind you, the biggest problem for amateurs is not inventing new/great game mechanics. I have like a hundred of pages on my harddisk about MMO theory myself, among which some things which are amusingly close to the upcoming Everquest Next. The problem is MONEY, and huge amount of money required to provide quality. Quality in art, animation, world design, music, network code, graphic engine, etc... A MMORPG is the most demanding of all video game types when it comes to development, since it requires all expertises of the industry to work.

    They do not make as much money as World of Warcraft: therefore they are failures.

    Little forum boys with their polished cyber toys: whine whine, boo-hoo, talk talk.

  • BearKnightBearKnight Augusta, GAPosts: 461Member
    Originally posted by Tsar_Bomba

    Your question is not well defined.

    Would I support a developer that made something that wasn't mainstream? That depends on the something they made. Does it appeal to me? Is it well crafted? Is it an interesting example of type? Does it add new features previously unseen in the MMO industry?

    As you can see, without further definition you question is far too ambiguous.

    That's the point of the thread. To not define it properly means you have more room to interpret an answer the way you want, which you did quite well :)!

  • BearKnightBearKnight Augusta, GAPosts: 461Member
    Originally posted by Mattatron
    I agree people should support games because they enjoy them, whether they're from an indie developer OR a studio with massive corporate backing.  Lately I've been disappointed with a number of triple A titles, mmos and otherwise, but I can also be just as disappointed with indie developments, and even more so if have they the pretentious understanding I should somehow give them extra credit on the pure basis they are indie.

    It has to do more with the fact that AAA studios are setting the bar higher and higher for production values to be expected from a newly released MMO regardless of studio or Indie development. Animations, sound, textures, and model design are all being pushed higher and higher.

  • DrakynnDrakynn The Pas, MBPosts: 2,030Member
    Originally posted by stayBlind
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
    Originally posted by stayBlind
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
    "Amateurs" made stuff like Darkfall or Mortal Online. Want to support them? It's quite easy... play those games.

    "Professionals" made stuff like Warhammer: Age of Reckoning, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, Age of Conan, and Dark & Light.

    WAR is still up and running, with a decent amount of fans enjoying the way it did PvP, even if I'm not part of them at all. SW:TOR is doing better than ever since it moved to F2P. Conan is doing well too, not the blasting success that the IP could have provided, but still.

    Vanguard is also still up, barely alive, but it was at the origin an 'amateur' project until it was saved by SoE's funding. And Dark and Light... are you SERIOUSLY suggesting that Dark and Light has every been anything else than an amateur project by newbie developers?

    Also, all those games you listed (except D&L, obviously) still have way more total players than those "amateur" MMOs I've listed.

     

    Mind you, the biggest problem for amateurs is not inventing new/great game mechanics. I have like a hundred of pages on my harddisk about MMO theory myself, among which some things which are amusingly close to the upcoming Everquest Next. The problem is MONEY, and huge amount of money required to provide quality. Quality in art, animation, world design, music, network code, graphic engine, etc... A MMORPG is the most demanding of all video game types when it comes to development, since it requires all expertises of the industry to work.

    They do not make as much money as World of Warcraft: therefore they are failures.

    Yes and Pepsi doesn't make as much money as Coca Cola.They are failures and shoudl just shut down.Same with any fast food franchise nto MacDonald's.

  • MattatronMattatron Dunlap, ILPosts: 226Member
    Originally posted by BearKnight
    Originally posted by Mattatron
    I agree people should support games because they enjoy them, whether they're from an indie developer OR a studio with massive corporate backing.  Lately I've been disappointed with a number of triple A titles, mmos and otherwise, but I can also be just as disappointed with indie developments, and even more so if have they the pretentious understanding I should somehow give them extra credit on the pure basis they are indie.

    It has to do more with the fact that AAA studios are setting the bar higher and higher for production values to be expected from a newly released MMO regardless of studio or Indie development. Animations, sound, textures, and model design are all being pushed higher and higher.

    I don't know that developers with AAA backing truly are raising bars lately. Sorry, I don't necessarily agree.

  • stayBlindstayBlind Suwannee, GAPosts: 527Member
    Originally posted by Drakynn
    Originally posted by stayBlind
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
    Originally posted by stayBlind
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
    "Amateurs" made stuff like Darkfall or Mortal Online. Want to support them? It's quite easy... play those games.

    "Professionals" made stuff like Warhammer: Age of Reckoning, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, Age of Conan, and Dark & Light.

    WAR is still up and running, with a decent amount of fans enjoying the way it did PvP, even if I'm not part of them at all. SW:TOR is doing better than ever since it moved to F2P. Conan is doing well too, not the blasting success that the IP could have provided, but still.

    Vanguard is also still up, barely alive, but it was at the origin an 'amateur' project until it was saved by SoE's funding. And Dark and Light... are you SERIOUSLY suggesting that Dark and Light has every been anything else than an amateur project by newbie developers?

    Also, all those games you listed (except D&L, obviously) still have way more total players than those "amateur" MMOs I've listed.

     

    Mind you, the biggest problem for amateurs is not inventing new/great game mechanics. I have like a hundred of pages on my harddisk about MMO theory myself, among which some things which are amusingly close to the upcoming Everquest Next. The problem is MONEY, and huge amount of money required to provide quality. Quality in art, animation, world design, music, network code, graphic engine, etc... A MMORPG is the most demanding of all video game types when it comes to development, since it requires all expertises of the industry to work.

    They do not make as much money as World of Warcraft: therefore they are failures.

    Yes and Pepsi doesn't make as much money as Coca Cola.They are failures and shoudl just shut down.Same with any fast food franchise nto MacDonald's.

    Yes, if Pepsi can not get their act together and be more professional then they SHOULD shut down.

    I only drink AAA.

    Little forum boys with their polished cyber toys: whine whine, boo-hoo, talk talk.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member

    Of course not.

    I don't play games to support anything. I play games for entertainment.

    If a game is fun (to me), i will play whether it is made by the profs (like Marvel Heroes) or indie/amateur (like the Shadowrun Return game).

     

  • DihoruDihoru ConstantaPosts: 2,731Member
    Gonna be donating money to Gloria Victis next month, does that constitute a answer?

    image
  • crasset15crasset15 TallinnPosts: 183Member

    There's plenty of amateur projects already released, sandboxes included. Take your pick.

    Personally if I was a millionaire, I would support Wurm Online, since it has almost everything I want in a sandbox. Severely outdated graphics and lackluster animations is a whole different topic.

  • BearKnightBearKnight Augusta, GAPosts: 461Member
    Originally posted by Mattatron
    Originally posted by BearKnight
    Originally posted by Mattatron
    I agree people should support games because they enjoy them, whether they're from an indie developer OR a studio with massive corporate backing.  Lately I've been disappointed with a number of triple A titles, mmos and otherwise, but I can also be just as disappointed with indie developments, and even more so if have they the pretentious understanding I should somehow give them extra credit on the pure basis they are indie.

    It has to do more with the fact that AAA studios are setting the bar higher and higher for production values to be expected from a newly released MMO regardless of studio or Indie development. Animations, sound, textures, and model design are all being pushed higher and higher.

    I don't know that developers with AAA backing truly are raising bars lately. Sorry, I don't necessarily agree.

    As far as animations and graphics go I'd disagree with your disagreement. As far as textures and model quality go, i'll give you this one. 

    Only once though :P

  • BearKnightBearKnight Augusta, GAPosts: 461Member
    Originally posted by Dihoru
    Gonna be donating money to Gloria Victis next month, does that constitute a answer?

    Googled Gloria Victis.

     

    Thumbs up :)

  • ApraxisApraxis RegensburgPosts: 1,515Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by BearKnight

    In other words, if someone like you or me with a decent amount of programming experience started up an MMO project based on inspirations such as DAOC, EQ, Shadowbane, SWG, and UO all rolled into one, would you support them?

     

    One of the largest hurdles I see from fellow developers is that they REALLY want to make a game that targets the more in-depth audience that doesn't like being hand-held around a game (aka: not mainstream), but they just don't know if the market is willing to embrace Amateur MMO developers anymore. 

    Indie gaming for the PC has taken a backseat to the more open market of the mobile platform. Small teams of 5 or so can come together, regardless of experience, and make a game to sell on the mobile platform without much hassle. 

     

    However, the MMO market is so much harder. This is because you really don't have an open and diverse community of developers for MMOs like you do the mobile platform. This makes it even harder when you realize that the MMO genre has such high expectations now. As technology progresses people are more demanding on graphics, mechanics, world design, animations, etc. 

     

    What do you guys think? Is Indie developement for MMOs (essentially Amateurs learning their way, coming together to write a game) no longer an acceptable source for MMOs? EvE online started as an Indie product, and has slowly become a huge juggernaut in the Sandbox market (essentially the ONLY good Sandbox MMO on the market).  Yet, they're not something you can easily draw comparisons to for a normal situation.

    Ok.. first of all in my humble opinion you have to differ:

    - small size budget for niche audience (mostly Indy), like Camelot Unchained, Star Cizizen, Pathfinder Online, Shroud of the Avatar, but with a experienced team(or most part of the team), which want to try their thing, and not focus on the mainstream as the big studios.

    - amateur, with small size budget for niche audience, like Mortal Online, like Repopulation, like Greed Monger and so on

    For the first category, mostly smaller studios (20-30 ppl), which focus on a one or two audience and craft a game for it. This is most probably successful and i guess we will see a lot more of it.

    To the second categories, the real amateurs, first time game developer.. as you see there are a lot of them, but most of them will fail one way or the other. More often than not they do have a even small team (a lot below 20), and they do have no experience, which means there will be a lot try and error during the development, a lot waste of time and withit development costs. Just very few of them will succeed, a few more will get some experience and will get either another project or will get picked up from a studio... 

    The amateurs should really better stick to a smaller scale project, just because it doesn't take that much time, doesn't have so many problems. It can be a MMO of some sorts, or maybe a MO, with smaller servers, maybe private server options, and it may be an advantage to work with available and small engines, tools.. or even start from Modding.. examples would be games like Minecraft, DayZ, Mount&Blade or CubeWorld. You will have a lot more chance of success with a small scale project, made errors(and every amateur will make a lot) don't cost that much and are easier fixable.

    Edit:

    And i don't see a reason that smaller MMOs would not be a success. I talk about servers with just 100-500 ppl maybe, and maybe even with the options for private servers. Community is a lot more tight-knit, you don't have a lot of server costs, it is a lot more customaizeable(different rulesets), better moddable(better community<->dev interaction), and you can do everything as with a full MMO.

    Edit2:

    Kickstarter or other similar Indy Platforms are the way to support them.. and i do my fair share of kickstarters to support projects i want to see. Also a similar way of monetization like Mound&Blade, Minecraft, CubeWorld is a way to go, start to sold your game in early beta stadium for a lower price and increase it over time. You get money early on, and maybe even more important you get feedback and community interaction early on. It worked very well for Mount&Blade and Minecraft.

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