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Developer, just checking in and answering questions

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  • FrodoFraginsFrodoFragins Member RarePosts: 4,303
    Originally posted by Jatar

    One of our goals was to create a world that cannot be explored fully.  As in all areas of the game design, we looked at what frustrated us as players, or made us leave the game eventually, and looked for ways to solve these issues.  One of those areas was exploration, and how most MMO games can be fully explored in a short amount of time.   Their worlds are just too small.

    So we set out to make a world so big it can't be explored by one person.  We decided to build a world the full size of Earth.  We choose that size simply because it was easier to understand than something else.  Players can picture Earth, and think about how long it would take them, on foot or horse back, to just explore the area around where the live, let alone the whole country, or continent, or entire world.

    But most game engines weren't built to create terrain that size.  They use modeled terrain, built by artists.  We had to create technology that can procedurally generate planets.  But even that isn't enough (and in fact, other companies have been working on this as well in recent years).  We wanted the planet to be realistically generated.  This has involved a lot of work (that R&D I mentioned).  We first created a tool to let us create continent layouts, they figured out temperatures based on many things, like latitude, slope, shade, weather patterns, etc.  We soil typed the world to many different types of ground, and then wrote wind, water and gravity erosion simulations.  The water erosion washes sediments down as it creates rivers, lakes and fills oceans.  Those sediments wash according to their soil types (rock less than sand, etc.).  

    That gives us a planet with nicely and realistically eroded terrain, with millions of years of this (including weather pattern changes over time), but it has no plants.  We then wrote a plant growing system that uses seeds and distributes them based on soil type, and then grows all the plants, making every tree and bush, etc. unique.  As a side benefit, these can continue to grow over time as the game world progresses.

    But this is a fantasy game, so we also wrote a system where we can hand make terrain shapes, or hand edit the terrain that was generated.  After these shapes or edits are done, the entire erosion system is re-run to incorporate those changes into the terrain system.

    To show all this detail we also had to create new methods of rendering, and created a hybrid system that renders the world close up in polygon, with high res texture detail, and transitions through voxels and point cloud rendering the further away you get.  This was done to give the game the highest possible level of detail close up, and yet let you look out from a mountain across the world.  

    None of this was easy.  And it has taken many years to perfect.  However, we will be showing some of this off fairly soon, (within this year).   This terrain system has gone through three iterations, the last of which is part of the DX11 / 64 bit upgrade we did recently.

    With this world, and the way it is generated, there are places in the world that no one will have ever seen (not even us).  It means that a player can go exploring and not only constantly find things they have never seen, but possibly find things that no one has seen.  You will not need to take our word for this, the fact is that it exists now, though we will continue to work on adding biomes over time.  It will eventually release it for players to enjoy, with the first looks of the third version coming soon.  You can watch a version of the second iteration of the terrain right now, we did a fly over of that version and posted it on our Facebook page, but the new version is coming soon.  

    What is the value of an MMO that builds such a large world that doesn't contain castles, towns and actual points of interest to the player?  It sounds like you focused a lot of energy on building a tech demo.

  • NanfoodleNanfoodle Member EpicPosts: 7,723
    Originally posted by FrodoFragins
    Originally posted by Jatar

    One of our goals was to create a world that cannot be explored fully.  As in all areas of the game design, we looked at what frustrated us as players, or made us leave the game eventually, and looked for ways to solve these issues.  One of those areas was exploration, and how most MMO games can be fully explored in a short amount of time.   Their worlds are just too small.

    So we set out to make a world so big it can't be explored by one person.  We decided to build a world the full size of Earth.  We choose that size simply because it was easier to understand than something else.  Players can picture Earth, and think about how long it would take them, on foot or horse back, to just explore the area around where the live, let alone the whole country, or continent, or entire world.

    But most game engines weren't built to create terrain that size.  They use modeled terrain, built by artists.  We had to create technology that can procedurally generate planets.  But even that isn't enough (and in fact, other companies have been working on this as well in recent years).  We wanted the planet to be realistically generated.  This has involved a lot of work (that R&D I mentioned).  We first created a tool to let us create continent layouts, they figured out temperatures based on many things, like latitude, slope, shade, weather patterns, etc.  We soil typed the world to many different types of ground, and then wrote wind, water and gravity erosion simulations.  The water erosion washes sediments down as it creates rivers, lakes and fills oceans.  Those sediments wash according to their soil types (rock less than sand, etc.).  

    That gives us a planet with nicely and realistically eroded terrain, with millions of years of this (including weather pattern changes over time), but it has no plants.  We then wrote a plant growing system that uses seeds and distributes them based on soil type, and then grows all the plants, making every tree and bush, etc. unique.  As a side benefit, these can continue to grow over time as the game world progresses.

    But this is a fantasy game, so we also wrote a system where we can hand make terrain shapes, or hand edit the terrain that was generated.  After these shapes or edits are done, the entire erosion system is re-run to incorporate those changes into the terrain system.

    To show all this detail we also had to create new methods of rendering, and created a hybrid system that renders the world close up in polygon, with high res texture detail, and transitions through voxels and point cloud rendering the further away you get.  This was done to give the game the highest possible level of detail close up, and yet let you look out from a mountain across the world.  

    None of this was easy.  And it has taken many years to perfect.  However, we will be showing some of this off fairly soon, (within this year).   This terrain system has gone through three iterations, the last of which is part of the DX11 / 64 bit upgrade we did recently.

    With this world, and the way it is generated, there are places in the world that no one will have ever seen (not even us).  It means that a player can go exploring and not only constantly find things they have never seen, but possibly find things that no one has seen.  You will not need to take our word for this, the fact is that it exists now, though we will continue to work on adding biomes over time.  It will eventually release it for players to enjoy, with the first looks of the third version coming soon.  You can watch a version of the second iteration of the terrain right now, we did a fly over of that version and posted it on our Facebook page, but the new version is coming soon.  

    What is the value of an MMO that builds such a large world that doesn't contain castles, towns and actual points of interest to the player?  It sounds like you focused a lot of energy on building a tech demo.

    Its kinda like a body builder in a gym working out to get bigger to be able to lift bigger weights, so he can get bigger to lift bigger weights. I respect more the guy working out so he can rock climb or live healthy. Their is a point to what he is doing. What is the point of having a world this big? What are they going to do with it that makes player have to and want to explore it? How will you deal with a play space that big so that players dont feel like that are alone when maybe 10'000 people are online?



  • JatarJatar Member UncommonPosts: 348

    What is the value of an MMO that builds such a large world that doesn't contain castles, towns and actual points of interest to the player?  It sounds like you focused a lot of energy on building a tech demo.

    I was answering the question about what R&D we were doing, not everything the game includes.   Of course the world contains castles, fortresses, Ruins, towns, villages, dungeons, forts, Towers, etc.   There are many more systems designed for just these aspects.

  • MoiraeMoirae Member RarePosts: 3,318

    That sounds great, but the longer you take to create the game, the more real life technology changes. If you take too long, you will need to upgrade your new technology again, and so on in an endless loop. You say that you are the equivalent of one year into development after ten years. This is quite stunning to me. Given that most games take 3-5 years to develop, does this mean it will take 50 years before the game is released and playable? 

     

    There is a reason why people are starting to say this is vaporware. No one (except for those that have paid $1000 or more into the development of your game) has actually seen anything real about the game in years. Don't you think it's a bad idea to never allow anyone else but those that paid a great deal of money to you to see the development of the game? 

     

    If you want us to have faith in your game, then you need to give the rest of us (say those that have only paid $55 in to development like I have) to see some of the actual development of the game, instead of releasing a so called update of a thousand words every 3 months. 

     

    Show us why we should have faith in you that you are not vaporware and just taking our money. Words aren't enough. People can say alot of things. I can say that I'm Queen of the Moon and all it's underground alien creatures, but that doesn't make it true. I can say that I'm Princess Pea with magical powers to alter the universe as I wish, but that doesn't make it true. I can say that I'm a member of the Asgardian Alliance and a god in human eyes, but that doesn't make it true. I can also say that I'm richer than Bill Gates, but that doesn't make it true. 

     

    Show us more than just your words and maybe a few graphics. We don't know if anything you say is true because we haven't actually seen any of it. Give us proof that we should do more than trust your word. 

  • JatarJatar Member UncommonPosts: 348
    Originally posted by Nanfoodle
     

    Its kinda like a body builder in a gym working out to get bigger to be able to lift bigger weights, so he can get bigger to lift bigger weights. I respect more the guy working out so he can rock climb or live healthy. Their is a point to what he is doing. What is the point of having a world this big? What are they going to do with it that makes player have to and want to explore it? How will you deal with a play space that big so that players dont feel like that are alone when maybe 10'000 people are online?

    The point of the world being this big was already stated.  One (and I stress 'one') aspect of the game is exploration, and this world gives explorers the chance to explore.  This is not the primary game play of CoS however.  Our primary game play is creating story driven quests that are not linear, but vary by choices made by the game and the player, and these stories work together to create a larger story different for each player.

    You asked what we are going to do with it to make people want to explore this large world?   That is easy, create game content that involves this world, the people in it, the places and the history of the world.   Make interesting locations to find, and challenging situations to deal with.

    As for players feeling alone, as I mentioned above, the primary game play is not exploration.  That is just there for when a player wants to explore.  Our game story deals with how and why civilization is concentrated in specific areas, and various kingdoms.  Players, going through or quests and other content, will be concentrated in territories of the world.  They can choose to leave these territories and go exploring, if that's what they want to do.  If they instead choose to be involved in more social content, then that's available as well.

    We're building in a lot of game play options that include cooperative elements, like our Incursion system, or our Warfare systems.   Incursions involve a bunch of groups working together to take and hold a string of objectives that go into enemy territory.  Warfare involves a large battle effort where groups are assigned different objectives in the same battle.  They all work together to try and win that battle.

    A full size and diverse planet just gives our world a lot of locations to use for whatever we want, whether that be concentrated social and cooperative game play, story driven quests, or exploration of interesting places.  As I also mentioned in the previous post, the terrain is not all procedural, we have designers out placing fun and exciting locations in the wilderness to be discovered.

  • JatarJatar Member UncommonPosts: 348
    With a world that big how will you address travel? You want people to see your world but when you have a world that big being able to get to friends to play with them will create problems. Make world travel easy and they dont see your world, so why bother making it. Or make travel hard and people get mad because they have a hard time hooking up with their friends. How will you address that?

    We address travel through many different methods.  

    1) Civilizations is concentrated in territories, and this is where most of the story driven content takes place.

    2) Even these territories can be large, so we have several methods of travel.

    a) Stepping Stones:  These stones are at many intersections of roads, and stepping on one will accelerate you to the receiver stone at another intersection.  This is not teleportation, you actually see the road go by at a fairly high speed, though you cannot stop.  If you see something you wish to explore, you may ride back to that location.  If not, you can step onto the next stone and zip to the next intersection.

    b) Air Corridor travel: There are flying beasts you may summon at specific locations.  While mounted they are under your control, flying at around 200 kph.   If you take one up above the summoning alter, there will be an Air Corridor entrance.  Flying into one of these is like using an in atmosphere worm hole.  You accelerate to about 30,000 kph, and are no longer in control of your mount while in the Air Corridor.  Once you exit, you are in control of your mount again, but are quite some distance away.  You can see what passes by you down below while in the Air Corridor.

    c) Mounts.  You start with a mount in CoS, day one.  Though you can obtain better mounts as you play.

    d) Portals for teleportation:  You can use the permanent portals, or create a personal portal to teleport to certain locations. 

    Generally you portal to a Region, use an Air Corridor if you want to change to a different Territory, use Stepping Stones to get to an area and then your mount for the final few kilometers of travel, or on foot if you enter a structure or dungeon.

    So, there are many ways to get around, and you can reach any part of the world fairly swiftly, yet you must travel that last few kilometers the hard way, dealing with dangers.  Getting together with friends is quite easy in our system, accessing any part or the world equally quickly.  There are just a lot of places in the world to access, so players can explore when they want to explore.

     

  • JatarJatar Member UncommonPosts: 348
    Originally posted by Moirae

    That sounds great, but the longer you take to create the game, the more real life technology changes. If you take too long, you will need to upgrade your new technology again, and so on in an endless loop. You say that you are the equivalent of one year into development after ten years. This is quite stunning to me. Given that most games take 3-5 years to develop, does this mean it will take 50 years before the game is released and playable? 

    Answer: No.  We have reached the point where we can show the risky portions of the R&D complete, with the engine and tools working, and demonstrate some of the game play options.  We will be seeking funding soon to expand the team significantly. 

     There is a reason why people are starting to say this is vaporware. No one (except for those that have paid $1000 or more into the development of your game) has actually seen anything real about the game in years. Don't you think it's a bad idea to never allow anyone else but those that paid a great deal of money to you to see the development of the game? 

    Answer: No, we don't think it's bad, (though Patrons of $50.00 donations are seeing things, not just $1000).  The reason we don't think this is bad is that we are not concentrated on showing the game yet, but in selling it to a publisher.  That is our  goal at this stage.   Showing too much now lessens the impact of what we will show to them in private.   I know, not satisfying to you players, but that time will come.  As I said, we are really about 1 year into development.  After three years of a full time team at Blizzard working on Titan, how much had you seen? 

     If you want us to have faith in your game, then you need to give the rest of us (say those that have only paid $55 in to development like I have) to see some of the actual development of the game, instead of releasing a so called update of a thousand words every 3 months. 

    Answer: We would like you to have faith, sure, and we have started releasing the Web Cast videos to Patrons of $50.00 or more (this started several months ago).   But we are still a developer, working toward a meeting with a publisher.  That's our goal, and we have stuck with that all along.   More will be released as we get further into development (in man hours).  This will step up in real time significantly once we get a publisher.

    Show us why we should have faith in you that you are not vaporware and just taking our money. Words aren't enough. People can say alot of things. I can say that I'm Queen of the Moon and all it's underground alien creatures, but that doesn't make it true. I can say that I'm Princess Pea with magical powers to alter the universe as I wish, but that doesn't make it true. I can say that I'm a member of the Asgardian Alliance and a god in human eyes, but that doesn't make it true. I can also say that I'm richer than Bill Gates, but that doesn't make it true. 

    Answer: All true facts.   We show what we can,  when we can.  If it isn't enough for you to have faith in the game, we can't change that, we can only keep developing the game and show things when we have them, and the time is right.  You want to see things, we understand that, we want to show them, and will when that is possible and prudent.   If you are not a believer now, that's OK.  When we do show things, hopefully you will change your mind.

     Show us more than just your words and maybe a few graphics. We don't know if anything you say is true because we haven't actually seen any of it. Give us proof that we should do more than trust your word. 

    Answer: But we have shown you what we have to show.  You think we are hiding things?  We're not.  Go to our site in Facebook, we show things as they come available to show.  The only thing we may be holding back is more of what we are already showing you.   There you will see things like an early grass terrain test video, or a modular dungeon run, or a terrain system (version 2) fly over, or screenshots of various things.   We have stated that we have not reached Alpha... how much do you think we can show?   You want to see combat?   We haven't finished it to any playable version yet, and have never said we had.  

    Right now we are a small team, and we spent out time working on things that Publishers consider risky elements so that they know we can build what we say.    You guys want to see combat, or other things that are not risky elements, just time consuming, but known elements.  Publishers are different.  I know that because I have sold many games to publishers in the past.  I left my Lead Designer position at a game company to concentrate on making CoS.  Before that I pitched many many games to major publishers, and sold quite a few, so I know what we need to do to interest them.  All this it may not be what players are interested in seeing, but after we get funding, we'll get to those elements next.     

     

  • AlumicardAlumicard Member UncommonPosts: 388

    Any ETA on when a website for your engine creators will be up? Talking of http://www.atlantis3d.com/

     

    Last activity has been a few months ago and I couldn't find a working website which is sad for such an innovative company that got the url in 2002. Especially because you mentioned a few times in other threads that millions went into the dev of the engine they provide if I understand it correctly.

     

    Since their HQ is the same HQ (read same appartment in the Greek Creek shopping mall) as yours I hope you can just walk over and give a quick update on that.

     

    edit: Thx in advance.

  • JatarJatar Member UncommonPosts: 348
    Originally posted by Alumicard

    Any ETA on when a website for your engine creators will be up? Talking of http://www.atlantis3d.com/

     

    Last activity has been a few months ago and I couldn't find a working website which is sad for such an innovative company that got the url in 2002. Especially because you mentioned a few times in other threads that millions went into the dev of the engine they provide if I understand it correctly.

     

    Since their HQ is the same HQ (read same appartment in the Greek Creek shopping mall) as yours I hope you can just walk over and give a quick update on that.

     

    edit: Thx in advance.

    I'm amused, where did this 'Apartment' thing come from?  MMO Magic, Inc. is a virtual company, and over the past ten years we have had people working from many locations in the world, including: New Zealand, Europe, South America and the US.  Any address you think you have found is just a physical mail drop picked up by one of our team from that area.

    Atlantis3D, Inc. is a separate company, though I am on the Board of Directors, we started A3D  before another group started MMO Magic, Inc. and CoS.   A3D is a technology development company, they don't make games.   When A3D started we began from scratch, building technology, so we would own it all.  Later MMO Magic started making CoS, and asked for specific design elements to be added to the engine.  The Board for MMO Magic, Inc. (which I  am also on) is a different set of people for the most part (just two people in common).   A3D is leasing the T3D engine to MMO Magic, Inc. and Citadel of Sorcery will be the debut game on the T3D engine.  It will also  have a two year exclusive contract on the technology.

    As for a website for A3D, since they are not selling this technology, at this time, to other companies, it has not been a priority to make a public site yet.  That may come after CoS is released, we'll have to wait and see, this is their decision, I only get a single vote. 

  • MadatanMadatan Member UncommonPosts: 182

    I had not heard anything about this game until this thread popped up and from what I'm reading this sounds like a potentially amazing game.

    Considering the size of the world and the transportation you meantioned earlier, will there also be skills and spells that will be useful for travelling? Say a Mage focusing on a skill tree that allows certain "Navigator" skills such as teleportation?

     

  • DakeruDakeru Member EpicPosts: 3,712
    Originally posted by Sovrath
    Originally posted by Azaron_Nightblade
    Originally posted by Dakeru
    Originally posted by Jatar

    Skeptics are the reason why the MMO genre is stuck in the mud.  

     

    This statment from 7 years ago is all I need to know about this "game"

    And that's why MMO companies tend to have community reps that do the talking for the devs, while keeping the latter pretty much gagged and in the background. image

    Devs tend to be too human, and stick their foot in their mouth (especially when someone insults their creation). And then wind up getting reminded of it for years into the future.

    Kudos for standing up to the angry hordes, Jatar.

    There is some truth to that.

    I often wonder why developers don't hire or retain someone to even tell them "no, don't say it that way ... say it 'this' way".

    Sometimes it's even "how" it's said not "what is being said".

    to that end OP, I am available for all of your ambassadorial needs! image

    Ok obviously I made a mistake by taking this core sentence out of context.

    This has never been about the way he words things - people were doubting him and simply said something along the lines of:

    "You have nothing to show so why should we give you money?"

    And this quote was his answer.

     

    Alternatively you can look at his posts above this one where he talks about turning people into believers.

    7 years.. after he mocked the critics.. and he still has nothing to show..

     

    I have zero pity for people putting money into this obvious scam.

    Harbinger of Fools
  • blastermasterblastermaster Member UncommonPosts: 259

    Why do I get a Dark and Light vibe from this.. ?

    Are you guys stationed on Reunion Island by any chance?!  image

     

     

     

  • AlumicardAlumicard Member UncommonPosts: 388
    Originally posted by Jatar
    Originally posted by Alumicard

    Any ETA on when a website for your engine creators will be up? Talking of http://www.atlantis3d.com/

     

    Last activity has been a few months ago and I couldn't find a working website which is sad for such an innovative company that got the url in 2002. Especially because you mentioned a few times in other threads that millions went into the dev of the engine they provide if I understand it correctly.

     

    Since their HQ is the same HQ (read same appartment in the Greek Creek shopping mall) as yours I hope you can just walk over and give a quick update on that.

     

    edit: Thx in advance.

    I'm amused, where did this 'Apartment' thing come from?  MMO Magic, Inc. is a virtual company, and over the past ten years we have had people working from many locations in the world, including: New Zealand, Europe, South America and the US.  Any address you think you have found is just a physical mail drop picked up by one of our team from that area.

    Atlantis3D, Inc. is a separate company, though I am on the Board of Directors, we started A3D  before another group started MMO Magic, Inc. and CoS.   A3D is a technology development company, they don't make games.   When A3D started we began from scratch, building technology, so we would own it all.  Later MMO Magic started making CoS, and asked for specific design elements to be added to the engine.  The Board for MMO Magic, Inc. (which I  am also on) is a different set of people for the most part (just two people in common).   A3D is leasing the T3D engine to MMO Magic, Inc. and Citadel of Sorcery will be the debut game on the T3D engine.  It will also  have a two year exclusive contract on the technology.

    As for a website for A3D, since they are not selling this technology, at this time, to other companies, it has not been a priority to make a public site yet.  That may come after CoS is released, we'll have to wait and see, this is their decision, I only get a single vote. 

    Darn, and I was hoping to find out a bit more about this engine. But I guess if no license is available thats my loss, shame.

     

    Oh and well then I got confused because apparently out of pure coincidence of course both of your.. sorry both of the companies occupy the same space. At least this is what your, theirs... both company linked in sites say. Even mentions the same appartment.

    https://www.linkedin.com/company/mmo-magic-inc-

    https://www.linkedin.com/company/atlantis3d-inc-

     

    As also stated in both business licenses of the state of california.

     

    So what you are saying is that the headquarters( both official and  unofficial as I understand it) are just this?

     


    https://localcontent.zenfs.com/af59/af5980b46e7d1727f6521282231c73a3.jpg

    https://local.yahoo.com/info-20735616-mail-station-west-covina?csz=West+Covina,+CA&stx=Mail+Services

     

    For a long time I thought you guys rented space on that lot maybe above the mail service but now you say you don't?

     

    No offence or anything but to me this does seem a bit odd for a according to some info on previous posts, multi million dollar company. And them not having a website to show off their accomplishments for 13 years might not be the best decision imho but hey.. Im just a stupid poster so what do I know about business

     

    edit: " MMO Magic, Inc. is a virtual company, and over the past ten years we have had people working from many locations in the world"

     

    MMO Magic was founded in 2008 from what I understand. How can the company operate for ten years when it exists for only 7?

  • JatarJatar Member UncommonPosts: 348
    Originally posted by Mendel
    I've not followed this game, nor heard of it before.  I see a lot of things that are concerning to me about the game design and development, and am curious about how a small development team handles these issues.
    • First off, in the post above, it appears that this game is planning on an act-and-react type combat system.  How are you developing this aspect, and how are you attempting to make this tolerant of network delays?  More importantly, how is this aspect being tested?  (Nobody likes to play with lag).
    • In several replies (not quoted), I got the impression that development is far behind what was originally anticipated.  Does the team work to deadlines, or does the development take a "when it's done, it's done" approach?  I've seen numerous non-gaming projects fall subject to this phenomena.
    • (General question).  What was in place before this project started?  Business plan?  Development plan?  Game design?  Budget?  Game design?  Marketing plans?
    • (General question).  What would you say your most innovative feature?  What game is it most like?
    Thanks for your responses.

     

    1) Yes, we are planning a act and react system in combat.  Before I go further, please note that this system is still in early development, so there is still a lot to solve.   As for network delays, we can't fix those, but we can incorporate a system into the game that hides those delays as best as possible.  When someone casts an Ability in combat, there is a preamble that varies in length, the more powerful the Ability, the longer the preamble takes and the more likely you might want to parry that attack (or dodge, etc).    This preamble helps hide the lag time, and give the player the time it takes to make a decision on what they want to do about it (if anything).  As for how it is being tested, we're still developing it, but we have ways of increasing and decreasing lag, so we can simulate good or bad connections for testing.   As this system is still in development, we will adjust or change it as needed until we feel the experience is good, and then  we'll let players test it in real world situations (even at Alpha, where there is still time to make changes).

    2) Development is behind.  As I noted in another answer, this is what you get when you try to do new things, estimates are often wrong.  The team has deadlines, milestones, etc.  This is not our first rodeo.  Some of my team have made over thirty shipped games (meaning with publishers), I have thirteen under my belt.  However, there are no publisher deadlines right now, since we haven't signed with a publisher, and the team is funding this game almost entirely from their own pockets (a very minimal amount through crowd funding, less then .3 percent).  This is to be expected at the early stages, the game design is too innovative to make believers of people while just on paper.  We knew that going in, and decided to make it out of our own pocket.  Crowd funding could have sped things up considerably, but we didn't expect any when we started, so in that sense were right on track (with self funding).  However, that being said, we feel we have reached a point where we can see publishers within this year, and hope to start that in a few weeks.

    3) Your next question goes beyond what a company is generally willing to share with players, but in brief, yes, we had a Business plan, Development plan, and a massive Design Guide (about 1,000 pages).  There are breakdowns for exactly what it costs to make every aspect of the finished game.  As I said, I have been the Project Lead, Producer and/or Lead Designer of many shipped titles for major publishers (Microsoft, Mattel, Eidos, Crystal Dynamics, MGM, Panasonic, Disney and more)  I know what it takes to make a game.  As for Marketing plan, no.  We never expected to Market the game, we are not a publisher, we are a game developer.

    4) Most innovative feature?  Let's leave out technology, since that is all A3D, and talk from MMO Magic's standpoint.  I think the most innovative feature is how our quests involve a story that adapts to the player's past, and changes based on both game and player choices, creating a unique experience for each player.  These stories are tied together rather than episodic, so that there are common elements, characters, factions, groups, running through that are different for each player.  We designed the game so that player should not feel they are repeating what other players have done, or in the same order or with the same locations or details.  This is all processed by our TrueQuesting module, designed by our team, made to create better game play content for each player.  There are lots of other things as well, but you asked for what was the 'most' innovative.

  • JatarJatar Member UncommonPosts: 348
    Originally posted by Alumicard
    Originally posted by Jatar
    Originally posted by Alumicard

    Any ETA on when a website for your engine creators will be up? Talking of http://www.atlantis3d.com/

     

    Last activity has been a few months ago and I couldn't find a working website which is sad for such an innovative company that got the url in 2002. Especially because you mentioned a few times in other threads that millions went into the dev of the engine they provide if I understand it correctly.

     

    Since their HQ is the same HQ (read same appartment in the Greek Creek shopping mall) as yours I hope you can just walk over and give a quick update on that.

     

    edit: Thx in advance.

    I'm amused, where did this 'Apartment' thing come from?  MMO Magic, Inc. is a virtual company, and over the past ten years we have had people working from many locations in the world, including: New Zealand, Europe, South America and the US.  Any address you think you have found is just a physical mail drop picked up by one of our team from that area.

    Atlantis3D, Inc. is a separate company, though I am on the Board of Directors, we started A3D  before another group started MMO Magic, Inc. and CoS.   A3D is a technology development company, they don't make games.   When A3D started we began from scratch, building technology, so we would own it all.  Later MMO Magic started making CoS, and asked for specific design elements to be added to the engine.  The Board for MMO Magic, Inc. (which I  am also on) is a different set of people for the most part (just two people in common).   A3D is leasing the T3D engine to MMO Magic, Inc. and Citadel of Sorcery will be the debut game on the T3D engine.  It will also  have a two year exclusive contract on the technology.

    As for a website for A3D, since they are not selling this technology, at this time, to other companies, it has not been a priority to make a public site yet.  That may come after CoS is released, we'll have to wait and see, this is their decision, I only get a single vote. 

    Darn, and I was hoping to find out a bit more about this engine. But I guess if no license is available thats my loss, shame.

     

    Oh and well then I got confused because apparently out of pure coincidence of course both of your.. sorry both of the companies occupy the same space. At least this is what your, theirs... both company linked in sites say. Even mentions the same appartment.

    https://www.linkedin.com/company/mmo-magic-inc-

    https://www.linkedin.com/company/atlantis3d-inc-

     

    As also stated in both business licenses of the state of california.

     

    So what you are saying is that the headquarters( both official and  unofficial as I understand it) are just this?

     


    https://localcontent.zenfs.com/af59/af5980b46e7d1727f6521282231c73a3.jpg

    https://local.yahoo.com/info-20735616-mail-station-west-covina?csz=West+Covina,+CA&stx=Mail+Services

     

    For a long time I thought you guys rented space on that lot maybe above the mail service but now you say you don't?

     

    No offence or anything but to me this does seem a bit odd for a according to some info on previous posts, multi million dollar company.

    Muti-million dollar company.  Hmm, are you referring to what we have spent on the game so far?  That is indeed in multi-millions.  This is money put in by various team members at various times.   As for tracking down our location, as I mentioned we are a virtual company.  Both companies are California Corporations, both use a physical mail box at the same location (nothing to do with me, one of the other board members lives in that area and handles the rare physical mail).  However, just because we started the corporations in CA does not mean that the workers all live in CA.  

    Not sure what your confusion is at this point, or why you think this matters?  

    Oh, and quick add on edit...

    I do not own a majority of shares in either company, so they are not technically 'mine.'  The other board members might have something to say about my claiming their company.

  • AlumicardAlumicard Member UncommonPosts: 388
    Originally posted by Jatar
    Originally posted by Alumicard

    Darn, and I was hoping to find out a bit more about this engine. But I guess if no license is available thats my loss, shame.

     

    Oh and well then I got confused because apparently out of pure coincidence of course both of your.. sorry both of the companies occupy the same space. At least this is what your, theirs... both company linked in sites say. Even mentions the same appartment.

    https://www.linkedin.com/company/mmo-magic-inc-

    https://www.linkedin.com/company/atlantis3d-inc-

     

    As also stated in both business licenses of the state of california.

     

    So what you are saying is that the headquarters( both official and  unofficial as I understand it) are just this?

     


    https://localcontent.zenfs.com/af59/af5980b46e7d1727f6521282231c73a3.jpg

    https://local.yahoo.com/info-20735616-mail-station-west-covina?csz=West+Covina,+CA&stx=Mail+Services

     

    For a long time I thought you guys rented space on that lot maybe above the mail service but now you say you don't?

     

    No offence or anything but to me this does seem a bit odd for a according to some info on previous posts, multi million dollar company.

    Muti-million dollar company.  Hmm, are you referring to what we have spent on the game so far?  That is indeed in multi-millions.  This is money put in by various team members at various times.   As for tracking down our location, as I mentioned we are a virtual company.  Both companies are California Corporations, both use a physical mail box at the same location (nothing to do with me, one of the other board members lives in that area and handles the rare physical mail).  However, just because we started the corporations in CA does not mean that the workers all live in CA.  

    Not sure what your confusion is at this point, or why you think this matters?  

    Well those millions went into 3D didnt they? Like I said, stupid poster. No clue about business practice.

     

    My confusion is why you use drop box instead of a real address which to me as a stupid person seems a bit odd. Especially because the offical locations for that business is a mail box. Hey I get if you are indie and use a personal home for your dev or some small backroom closet but that as I understand it is just a mail drop. I guess I was hoping that a company that earned those millions could afford more than that. Seems I was wrong and even backroom space in CA is expensive.

     

    Btw. if you say that one of the other board members lives in the area you mean a board member of  Atlantis3D, MMO Magic or both? Because if it is both than that makes 2 people in both companies which one might think means 2 votes on the board. Given both companies employ 11-50 ppl and not all are board members seems ( at least to me) a huge amount of votes.

    edit: quote shortened

     

    Adding, sure "one of the board members" lives in the area. Namely the  owner of MMO Magic but as I understand it Atlantis3D is owned by a different person so does he pick up the mail at the HQ aka mail station for both of the companies?

    As I mentioned before. Just seems a bit odd if you deal with that amount of money form an outside point of view. I hope I can learn something on how to run a business. So I'm sorry if those questions are inappropriate.

  • waynejr2waynejr2 Member EpicPosts: 7,768
    Originally posted by Jatar
    Originally posted by waynejr2
    Originally posted by Jatar

    And yet, in the face of that, here I am, asking if players have questions, and willing to answer them.  

    If anyone would like to ask any questions, I would love to answer.

    Will you make your bug database open to the public?

    I see no reason not to, we will certainly have a public reporting system, and why not keep players informed?  

    Ok, post a link to the bug database in this thread.  Thanks.

    http://www.youhaventlived.com/qblog/2010/QBlog190810A.html  

    Epic Music:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAigCvelkhQ&list=PLo9FRw1AkDuQLEz7Gvvaz3ideB2NpFtT1

    https://archive.org/details/softwarelibrary_msdos?&sort=-downloads&page=1

    Kyleran:  "Now there's the real trick, learning to accept and enjoy a game for what it offers rather than pass on what might be a great playing experience because it lacks a few features you prefer."

    John Henry Newman: "A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault."

    FreddyNoNose:  "A good game needs no defense; a bad game has no defense." "Easily digested content is just as easily forgotten."

    LacedOpium: "So the question that begs to be asked is, if you are not interested in the game mechanics that define the MMORPG genre, then why are you playing an MMORPG?"




  • JatarJatar Member UncommonPosts: 348
    Originally posted by Alumicard

    My confusion is why you use drop box instead of a real address which to me as a stupid person seems a bit odd. Especially because the offical locations for that business is a mail box. Hey I get if you are indie and use a personal home for your dev or some small backroom closet but that as I understand it is just a mail drop. I guess I was hoping that a company that earned those millions could afford more than that. Seems I was wrong and even backroom space in CA is expensive.

     

    Btw. if you say that one of the other board members lives in the area you mean a board member of  Atlantis3D, MMO Magic or both? Because if it is both than that makes 2 people in both companies which one might think means 2 votes on the board. Given both companies employ 11-50 ppl and not all are board members seems ( at least to me) a huge amount of votes.

    edit: quote shortened

    There is no real address, the company is virtual.  Therefore, if we want to receive physical mail we have to have a place to get it, hence the mail box.  We don't  use 'a' home, we use many homes, nearly everyone who works on this game is in a different place in the world.  Company meetings are held in the game world, or via Skype or other software.  

    Not sure what you mean by a company that has 'earned' millions, we have spent millions, and earned nothing to this point except the satisfaction of creating what we set out to make.  The team is fully behind the making of this title, and has put in the money and time to prove it.

    As for backroom space in CA, what would we do with it?  The majority of team members are in other States and Countries, so they can't go there, so it would be pretty empty.

    Now, as I mentioned, there are two other board members in common for A3D and MMO Magic.   They each vote their stock at each company.  Again, not sure why this matters.  They don't get double votes at the same company.  Do they have an impact at both companies?  Sure!  Why shouldn't they?  They put out the money to buy those shares, they should be able to vote them!

  • AlumicardAlumicard Member UncommonPosts: 388
    Originally posted by Jatar
    Originally posted by Alumicard

    My confusion is why you use drop box instead of a real address which to me as a stupid person seems a bit odd. Especially because the offical locations for that business is a mail box. Hey I get if you are indie and use a personal home for your dev or some small backroom closet but that as I understand it is just a mail drop. I guess I was hoping that a company that earned those millions could afford more than that. Seems I was wrong and even backroom space in CA is expensive.

     

    Btw. if you say that one of the other board members lives in the area you mean a board member of  Atlantis3D, MMO Magic or both? Because if it is both than that makes 2 people in both companies which one might think means 2 votes on the board. Given both companies employ 11-50 ppl and not all are board members seems ( at least to me) a huge amount of votes.

    edit: quote shortened

    There is no real address, the company is virtual.  Therefore, if we want to receive physical mail we have to have a place to get it, hence the mail box.  We don't  use 'a' home, we use many homes, nearly everyone who works on this game is in a different place in the world.  Company meetings are held in the game world, or via Skype or other software.  

    Not sure what you mean by a company that has 'earned' millions, we have spent millions, and earned nothing to this point except the satisfaction of creating what we set out to make.  The team is fully behind the making of this title, and has put in the money and time to prove it.

    As for backroom space in CA, what would we do with it?  The majority of team members are in other States and Countries, so they can't go there, so it would be pretty empty.

    Now, as I mentioned, there are two other board members in common for A3D and MMO Magic.   They each vote their stock at each company.  Again, not sure why this matters.  They don't get double votes at the same company.  Do they have an impact at both companies?  Sure!  Why shouldn't they?  They put out the money to buy those shares, they should be able to vote them!

     

    Ah ok then please accept my appoligy. I thought that if you spend millions the money went to Atlantis 3D for creating the engine. I missunderstood and feel sorry for embarassing me like that.

     

    The money then went into other things like assets and other things I imagine.

     

    Again I hope you can realise the game with the apparently awesome engine and good luck for your virtual company to produce a virtual world. And maybe one day you can move your headquarters out of  the Mail Station. Again, best of luck guys

  • JatarJatar Member UncommonPosts: 348

    Ah ok then please accept my appoligy. I thought that if you spend millions the money went to Atlantis 3D for creating the engine. I missunderstood and feel sorry for embarassing me like that.

     

    The money then went into other things like assets and other things I imagine.

     

    Again I hope you can realise the game with the apparently awesome engine and good luck for your virtual company to produce a virtual world.

    No apologies necessary, virtual companies were a strange concept, though one that is getting more accepted as time goes on.  We appreciate your kind words, and hope to see you in the game world in the near future.  

  • JatarJatar Member UncommonPosts: 348
    Originally posted by waynejr2
    Originally posted by Jatar
    Originally posted by waynejr2
    Originally posted by Jatar

    And yet, in the face of that, here I am, asking if players have questions, and willing to answer them.  

    If anyone would like to ask any questions, I would love to answer.

    Will you make your bug database open to the public?

    I see no reason not to, we will certainly have a public reporting system, and why not keep players informed?  

    Ok, post a link to the bug database in this thread.  Thanks.

    When we open public bug testing, we will then open public bug reporting.  Since we are not doing testing currently by players, there is no player bug database to link.  This is a case of trying to put the cart before the horse.

  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 26,752

    With this world, and the way it is generated, there are places in the world that no one will have ever seen (not even us).  It means that a player can go exploring and not only constantly find things they have never seen,

    So maybe I missed this but besides dirt, trees and rocks and natural terrain what is there to "see and do"?

    For instance, a huge draw of the elder scrolls games is that one can explore but also find "places" to explore with many of these places having their own stories, inhabitants, etc. Dungeons, caves, mines, ruins, etc.

     

    Will this be generated as well? because there is only so many rocks and trees I can stand seeing before I want to come to some sort of "high point" while exploring.




  • JatarJatar Member UncommonPosts: 348
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    With this world, and the way it is generated, there are places in the world that no one will have ever seen (not even us).  It means that a player can go exploring and not only constantly find things they have never seen,

    So maybe I missed this but besides dirt, trees and rocks and natural terrain what is there to "see and do"?

    For instance, a huge draw of the elder scrolls games is that one can explore but also find "places" to explore with many of these places having their own stories, inhabitants, etc. Dungeons, caves, mines, ruins, etc.

     

    Will this be generated as well? because there is only so many rocks and trees I can stand seeing before I want to come to some sort of "high point" while exploring.

    Yes, there were a couple of responses about this in other replies above.  When I was talking about the world generation I was just answering a question about what R&D we were doing, not explaining all that was to do or see in the game.  But I'll go over a little here, so you don't have to go searching.

    The world will have many places to explore, with castles, dungeons, caves, mines, fortresses, towers, etc.  As for stories involving these locations, that is what we are all about.  This is the primary game play of CoS, not exploring the world (that's just for those that want to go outside all of the developed story areas).  Not that the Wild won't have many things to discover.  The game features a rich back story that continues on in an evolving world.  

    As for generating that content, yes, 10,000s of locations will be generated through special systems we have been developing to build such places.  Our system for building unique towers will have around 10,000 pieces in the set.  Each is fairly small, but with that many pieces it can generate countless variations.  Our Enact Tool Set lets the pieces have our A.I. Net built in, so that not only will it generate the location, but have the decorations and AI. Net to handle the lives of the NPCs that live and work there.  It also generates unique NPCs for these locations.  We had to design systems like this in order to build a world this big.

    But... having said that, we feel that auto generation can only take you so far.  So though we auto generate the world and locations and people in it, we send in our Level Designers, writers, and Artists to go in and add the human touch, territory by territory.  This means adding unique art, modifying auto-generated locations as necessary to get more unique elements, and adding story driven content at every location.   A large percentage will be auto-generated, but we will also rework a portion of that as well, but this way we can spend our time making the unique content, rather than every wall, object, and NPC by hand.  We spend the human time on the stories and other unique elements.

    And as for the exploration outside of these territories, we are putting many special places to locate out there, with their own charm and story, beyond what the game builds by procedural elements.

  • waynejr2waynejr2 Member EpicPosts: 7,768
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    With this world, and the way it is generated, there are places in the world that no one will have ever seen (not even us).  It means that a player can go exploring and not only constantly find things they have never seen,

    So maybe I missed this but besides dirt, trees and rocks and natural terrain what is there to "see and do"?

    For instance, a huge draw of the elder scrolls games is that one can explore but also find "places" to explore with many of these places having their own stories, inhabitants, etc. Dungeons, caves, mines, ruins, etc.

     

    Will this be generated as well? because there is only so many rocks and trees I can stand seeing before I want to come to some sort of "high point" while exploring.

    I see what you did there.  You changed "find things" into "see and do".     Exploration isn't always about the do.   It is going there because it is there not another thing off the achievement list.

    http://www.youhaventlived.com/qblog/2010/QBlog190810A.html  

    Epic Music:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAigCvelkhQ&list=PLo9FRw1AkDuQLEz7Gvvaz3ideB2NpFtT1

    https://archive.org/details/softwarelibrary_msdos?&sort=-downloads&page=1

    Kyleran:  "Now there's the real trick, learning to accept and enjoy a game for what it offers rather than pass on what might be a great playing experience because it lacks a few features you prefer."

    John Henry Newman: "A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault."

    FreddyNoNose:  "A good game needs no defense; a bad game has no defense." "Easily digested content is just as easily forgotten."

    LacedOpium: "So the question that begs to be asked is, if you are not interested in the game mechanics that define the MMORPG genre, then why are you playing an MMORPG?"




  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 26,752
    Originally posted by waynejr2
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    With this world, and the way it is generated, there are places in the world that no one will have ever seen (not even us).  It means that a player can go exploring and not only constantly find things they have never seen,

    So maybe I missed this but besides dirt, trees and rocks and natural terrain what is there to "see and do"?

    For instance, a huge draw of the elder scrolls games is that one can explore but also find "places" to explore with many of these places having their own stories, inhabitants, etc. Dungeons, caves, mines, ruins, etc.

     

    Will this be generated as well? because there is only so many rocks and trees I can stand seeing before I want to come to some sort of "high point" while exploring.

    I see what you did there.  You changed "find things" into "see and do".     Exploration isn't always about the do.   It is going there because it is there not another thing off the achievement list.

    No one ever said it was always about the do. 

    However, since I like doing things my question was about the do.

    No one said anything about "achievement list" as one can do things without an achievement badge.

    I gave an example of elder scrolls games and finding places to explore and things to do in those places. It was a valid question.




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