View Poll Results: Do you like our basic game concept?

Voters
20. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes I like space games and I like your game idea.

    15 75.00%
  • No I like space games but I don't like your game idea.

    4 20.00%
  • Meh I don't like space games.

    1 5.00%
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 30
  1. #1

    Your opinion on our game idea? (Altru Ego Games)

    Altru Ego Games is a tiny three-man games development team in Melbourne-Australia. We are made up of two certified games programmers and one certified games artist who have all worked together and proven our abilities in the past on non-commercial works.
    We are finally going to get started on a real game, but first we need to know whether or not anyone even likes our game concept. There's no point making a game if no one likes it and I'm sick of eating two-minute noodles so without further delay...
    The simplest way to explain our game idea would be: Battlefield with SPACESHIPS! You can picture it as being something like the combat scenes from 'Battlestar Galactica' (awesome little fighter ships pulling crazy maneuvers with streams of bullets flying overhead). Add a load-out and progression system similar to Battlefield or 'Call of Duty', and a few massive spaceships to keep things interesting.
    The game is a purely multiplayer game (with the exception of tutorial levels) but very little else is set in stone. There may be a class system (currently intended), or there may not be. There may be a dock-able 'tank' style vehicle, or there may not. None of this has been decided 100% and your input can help to shape this.
    So thoughts? Would you be interested in our game? Do you have any feedback on our concept, such as things you would love or hate to see included in the games design?
    LOVE AND KISSES,
    Altru Ego Games (three poor indie devs).

  2. #2
    Lesser Hivemind Node Bhazor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    734
    Sounds pretty ambitious. Scratch that. Crazy ambitious. Those tend not to pan out so well from new indie teams.

    I'd say keep it small and get a prototype out then build it up from there. Get just a couple ships flying around and then test and reiterate and test and reiterate and test and reiterate and test and reiterate. Apart from anything else open beta tests make for great publicity as I'm sure Notch will agree.

    It's hard to guage audience interest when there is literally nothing to judge it on and with an online game it's the feel that matters. In online games its the small things that matter and they're usually the part that gets forgotten on big semi pro projects.
    Last edited by Bhazor; 25-02-2012 at 04:59 PM.

  3. #3
    It certainly is an ambitious project and I wouldn't expect you to have confidence in its success as you have to reason to. All I can say is that we know our skills, limitations etc. We have worked together and pulled off the 'Crazy ambitious' before. It IS risky, we all know that. More than it needs to be, but don't think that we're just unexperienced hopefuls.

    At this point, all we want to know is whether or not people like the idea. Simple concept validation.

    :)

  4. #4
    Network Hub Megagun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    254
    Eh, there's not a lot to base an opinion on, is there? "Space combat game with multiplayer persistent progression". This could go so many different ways, just like "first person shooter game with multiplayer persistent progression" describes both Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, and Tribes: Ascend.

  5. #5
    Lesser Hivemind Node
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    868
    Freelancer comes to mind, is that the type of gameplay you're aiming for.

  6. #6
    Not very much. For example, the current intention is to have semi-newtonian phyiscs. That is, you don't stop because your not holding forwards, but you don't have massive turn arcs either. But so far you can cut engines, flip around and shoot at someone on your six while still traveling away from them. There may also be a 'silent running' mode that would tie in with the physics system.

  7. #7
    I like it but it's too complex for such a small team.
    Make a simpler game, possibly a single player game so you don't have to deal with client/server replication stuff, and whatever else needs to be done for multiplayer games.
    But if you have 2-3 years to spare making a game, go ahead :D
    "So dark le con of man"

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Voon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Sultanate of Johore
    Posts
    1,910
    I do love me some space games but the Battlefield/CoD unlock progression seems like a deal-breaker to me. It's quite annoying to grind countless hours just to get better weapons.

  9. #9
    Activated Node MrN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    52
    I'm all for dogfight-y stuff in space with load outs and the like. Would it be like DogFighter or SkyDrift's competitve air combat DLC in execution? (I know you said BF / CoD, but I'm trying to think how the actual flying around shooting at each other part will work) I'd be more inclined to play something like this if it had more of an arcade approach to controls, but I'm sure there a bunch of other people out there that swear by a more simulation-based experience as well. In any case, it ay be something interesting to see how it pans out if nothing else.

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Terra Australis Incognita
    Posts
    4,220
    I'm going to be a realist here and point out a few things:

    1) A three-man indie team is unlikely to complete and finish a game of that magnitude. There's a reason most indie games are inherently simple or "cut corners" (e.g. having lower graphics fidelity) to get a game finished. You're not only trying to make a multiplayer game (and by the sounds of it a large one at that) but intend to provide the infrastructure for a persistent stats system. I can't see "three poor indie devs" pulling that off. I'd like to know what sort of "crazy and ambitious" projects you've pulled off before this one.

    2) The multiplayer sector is incredibly competitive. The chances of your game having a week or so of intense play and then seeing nothing is not only possible but probable. People stick to the larger MP games for whatever reason, or form fractured communities which isn't going to be very profitable for you, and certainly not enough to keep up a stats-tracking system.

    3) Given that you don't want an SP component, the lifespan of the game is inherently tied to the lifespan of the MP component, which probably won't hold up compared to other games. Minecraft still had its SP game to fall back on when the broken SMP component was still in (heavy) development.

    4) There's not enough information here to even begin to comment on how the game will actually play out. "Battlefield in space" doesn't really tell me much. Is it just a bunch of people dogfighting, or are there capital ships which act as bases? What are the objectives you're proposing? Are the players pilots with a pilot entity, or are they just picking ships? How many players per side? How large is the field? I can't see anything of substance here.

  11. #11
    Cheers for the feedback guys!

    @MrN - Controls are still being experimented with but they're not like the games you mentioned or like the more standard controls of freelancer etc. :)

  12. #12
    Lesser Hivemind Node TailSwallower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Cold Toast, Straya
    Posts
    735
    Quote Originally Posted by Altru Ego View Post
    There's no point making a game if no one likes it and I'm sick of eating two-minute noodles so without further delay...
    Being a writer who may very well never be published and never make a cent from anything I've written, I totally get where you're coming from, but I think this is the wrong attitude to have. Do you want to make a game, or do you want to make money? Because for every Minecraft or Super Meat Boy there are a million indie games that haven't made anything. Watch this video with Edmund McMillen - whether you like his games or not I think the way he talks about making indie games is extremely fresh, honest and helpful.

    I'm going to make comparisons to Hawken because it is also an MP-only game in a fairly niche genre that is being developed by an indie team - the main difference here is that their team is 10 or so I think.

    1. Look at Hawken - it's getting attention because Mech warfare was an under-served market (but since they've announced it MWO has also been announced, so who knows how it will work out in the long-run for Hawken, especially 'cause MWO will be out first, has a bigger budget and a more experienced team), and because it looks gorgeous. So how are you going to capture the same amount of attention? The space dog-fighting market might also be under-served, but I think that's because it's tiny. Not only that but traditionally those games have all been SP, so what percentage of people who would consider themselves a fan of the genre would even want to play an MP-only game (not to mention the game population issues that Soldant mentioned above).

    2. What engine are you going to use? Hawken is using UE3, which I assume will mean most of the necessary netcode was in place for them already. But can you afford to license UE3 (you can use a truncated version of the engine for free, but as soon as you want to take it to market I'm pretty sure you need to get a proper license), and can UE3 even be used for this sort of game which will invariably have no landscape (apart from asteroids and space stations) and will need huge open spaces, which some engines can't handle very well.
    There are plenty of other options of course - like Unity and Torque - but if you're hoping to build a big MP game that lots of people are going to play then the engine has to have it where it counts.

    3. Are you going to charge for the game or are you going to go F2P? This will make a huge difference to how you need to build, market and support the game, so it's probably something you need to think about now.

    4. What else do you have to offer gamers apart from space dogfights and an system of progression and unlocks? Progression, unlocks and all of that other compulsive-behaviour-inducing bullshit is cheap, and as more and more MP games do it people are going to realise how cheap it is. Every F2P game and every big MP game uses it and apparently it works on most people, but know what you're doing and why you're doing it. Don't let it be a crutch and don't rely on it as some magical money making formula because your game will play and feel lazy and soulless.

    And you didn't ask for all that, so I'll answer the question you did want answered: No, I don't think much of the idea. For all the reasons mentioned above and because personally I enjoy SP or co-op far more than MP.

    But man, fuck what I think. If you're passionate about it, do it.
    weekendwarrio.rs - We've got more games than time...

  13. #13
    Network Hub
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    496
    First, what I think of the game idea as a player? Team-based spaceship warfare with pseudo-physics - yup, let me dig out my joystick and my Paypal. Call of Duty -style "progression", xp and unlocks in a skill-based multiplayer game? Forget it, that's bullshit.
    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    1) A three-man indie team is unlikely to complete and finish a game of that magnitude. There's a reason most indie games are inherently simple or "cut corners" (e.g. having lower graphics fidelity) to get a game finished. You're not only trying to make a multiplayer game (and by the sounds of it a large one at that) but intend to provide the infrastructure for a persistent stats system. I can't see "three poor indie devs" pulling that off. I'd like to know what sort of "crazy and ambitious" projects you've pulled off before this one.
    Maintaining a stats system is the least of their problems. It's just simple database stuff. I have had friends coding simple stats, picture gallery etc servers for their IRC communities over the weekend for the lulz.

    Space, ships etc are a perfect theme to get away with simple assets and low performance. Multiplayer only eliminates most of the work of level building.

    The real initial challenges here are compelling game design, multiplayer balance, stable and lag-free net code. Then profit model and publicity. Then if the game becomes successful, cheat prevention (and yes you have to plan it from the start - it's just that it doesn't matter until everything else clicks in place).
    2) The multiplayer sector is incredibly competitive. The chances of your game having a week or so of intense play and then seeing nothing is not only possible but probable. People stick to the larger MP games for whatever reason, or form fractured communities which isn't going to be very profitable for you, and certainly not enough to keep up a stats-tracking system.

    3) Given that you don't want an SP component, the lifespan of the game is inherently tied to the lifespan of the MP component, which probably won't hold up compared to other games. Minecraft still had its SP game to fall back on when the broken SMP component was still in (heavy) development.
    It doesn't sound like any other game is trying to do what this one does, so if it's executed well, there's no reason it could not build and retain a player base. I'm pretty sure it needs to be free-to-play to ensure critical mass of players. Could work like the dotaclones - let the player choose some ships for free (out of all existing ships - not some subset of shitty ships) and let them buy other ship unlocks. You can also sell cosmetic enhancements like the TF2 hats and WoW show-off mounts.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by TailSwallower View Post
    snip
    Don't take the noodles part too seriously, it was a joke more than anything. We all got into the industry knowing the aweful state it's in (in Australia) because we love what we do either way.

    1. Good points, we are going to take another look at the SP side of things. The reason we're doing these surveys is for exactly this reason (to see if we are overlooking something etc).

    2. We have enough savings to purchase the necissary licenses for our chosen engine and so on. Naturally the engine will cut out a stupid amount of work for us (compared to say Gamebryo - which we have all used).

    3. This is up in the air atm but it is indeed a big focuss of discussion and I agree with you that we'll have to design for our monitisation method from the start~.

    4. This is also up in the air. We have alot of ideas but no set specifics as of yet. We simply want to see if the basic, broad concept was appealing. Naturally we will want to stand out in some way or another. The progression system is for two reasons. First, it lets us ease players into things somewhat and two, it offers a reason (however small) to keep playing or as a goal for playing or as a reward for playing. Naturally the game must be fun in it's own right first.

    Thanks for the feedback :)

    Quote Originally Posted by victory View Post
    snip
    Interesting read, thanks.
    Last edited by Altru Ego; 26-02-2012 at 02:41 PM.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by victory View Post
    Space, ships etc are a perfect theme to get away with simple assets and low performance. Multiplayer only eliminates most of the work of level building.
    You made it sound like level design doesn't matter because it's a multiplayer-only game, while I know a few people that would disagree. Even simple things as debris placement would matter a lot.
    Space battles let you get away with much of level construction, but a bunch of levels in "open space" with no real difference between them would make a very boring game.

    Quote Originally Posted by TailSwallower View Post
    2. What engine are you going to use? Hawken is using UE3, which I assume will mean most of the necessary netcode was in place for them already. But can you afford to license UE3 (you can use a truncated version of the engine for free, but as soon as you want to take it to market I'm pretty sure you need to get a proper license), and can UE3 even be used for this sort of game which will invariably have no landscape (apart from asteroids and space stations) and will need huge open spaces, which some engines can't handle very well.
    There are plenty of other options of course - like Unity and Torque - but if you're hoping to build a big MP game that lots of people are going to play then the engine has to have it where it counts.
    Hawken is being developed with UDK, which is Epic's "free" version of UE3. Being a user of UDK for over a year, and I'm currently using it for Enola, so I don't see where the "truncated version of the engine" thing comes from, unless you're one of those guys that think "you must have access to the source code to do something useful with UDK" which is not the case.
    UDK commercial license costs you just 99 bucks and allows you to make games for the PC, Mac and iOS. The main differences between UDK and the UE3:Source engine is that you can make games for consoles (if you're an authorized console developer, obviously), you get the full source code (wich many of the thousand of UDK users so far haven't needed), and access to licensees-only UDN pages, as well as source code samples from other Epic's games (like GOW).


    BTW, speaking of 'this,' I don't know what engine you guys plan to use, but if you use UDK please don't make a game that game that "raises the bar in gaming" by taking the sepia color palette to a whole new level...
    "So dark le con of man"

  16. #16
    Lesser Hivemind Node TailSwallower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Cold Toast, Straya
    Posts
    735
    Quote Originally Posted by magnolia_fan View Post
    Hawken is being developed with UDK, which is Epic's "free" version of UE3. Being a user of UDK for over a year, and I'm currently using it for Enola, so I don't see where the "truncated version of the engine" thing comes from, unless you're one of those guys that think "you must have access to the source code to do something useful with UDK" which is not the case.
    I remember reading on RPS about InMomentum - they were initially using UDK but soon before release they swapped to a more robust* version of the engine, allowing them to do some more with the textures and lighting (from memory, I can't find the exact article right now). That's what I meant. Not being a programmer myself I don't know of the specific differences, but the InMomentum devs seemed excited about the possibilities of using the "more robust" version of the engine.

    *My term, not theirs, I don't remember exactly how they worded it.
    weekendwarrio.rs - We've got more games than time...

  17. #17
    Network Hub
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    496
    Quote Originally Posted by magnolia_fan View Post
    You made it sound like level design doesn't matter because it's a multiplayer-only game, while I know a few people that would disagree. Even simple things as debris placement would matter a lot.
    I said there isn't as much work in building MP levels. That is totally different from "level design doesn't matter". In MP games where the level has an actual effect on the game, the difficulty of building a good level is mainly in having to be very aware of the game's balance. The designer of the game already has that part down.
    Space battles let you get away with much of level construction, but a bunch of levels in "open space" with no real difference between them would make a very boring game.
    Only if the rest of the content is boring. Most fighting games are just fine with levels which are empty and functionally identical.

  18. #18
    Network Hub
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    155
    I think the framework you're describing sounds interesting and fun enough to have a go at once there's something to try and I would be interested in seeing the progress your team makes as progress is made.

    As mentioned above, there is a lot of detailed information that could change the opinion any single person has about your game, but I think there's enough there to give your team something to work on. Personally, the most fun I had while playing Star Wars: Galaxies was in the Jump to Lightspeed expansion that allowed for space combat. It was really quite a lot of fun, but I felt that things like being able to "
    cut engines, flip around and shoot at someone on your six while still traveling away from them," a la Babylon 5. That's still one of my favorite sci-fi shows even after all these years (the CGI is now somewhat cringe-worthy, but still holds up pretty well for the budget the show had) and the space combat in the show was one of the reasons for that. It is much more realistic in terms of the laws of physics and how things move in space, with all the problems and opportunities that that entails, and it sounds like your concept follows that logic which is great.

    As far as small indie teams, I'm not familiar with many, but I know of one in a similar situation as what you're describing. As nearly anyone who's seen my posts in the PC Gaming Discussion board knows, my favorite game right now is a post-apocalyptic MMO being made by a group of four indie developers in Russia. The game has huge goals and after five years in open beta, it's finally getting close to being a "finished" product. As an MMO, it's in what the devs all "live development" and they have plenty more planned so, like many MMOs, it won't be "finished" until the servers go dark, but I think you get my meaning. It's a F2P skills-based game (no classes or skill limitations) with no achievement system other than skill levels, but it's also an RCE. In case you're unfamiliar with that acronym, it's short for "real cash economy," which means that you can buy in-game money with real-world money at a rate of ten-to-one (ten game dollars per US dollar), but you can (when the feature is enabled) also sell in-game money for real-world money too. This adds a huge incentive for cheaters/scammers/exploiters and the like, especially because there's not going to be a beta wipe when the "live" patch is pushed out. So they've had to work very hard to keep track of what's going on in the game to prevent any single person from destroying the game before it really gets started. That means time not spent on developing the game, so I'm sure that has been a big factor in extending the beta phase so long.

    They decided on the Torque Game Engine Advanced due to its low licensing cost from the start and for a few other reasons and the live update upgrades to the Torque 3D engine. There's apparently lots of existing assets for it, but they've decided to custom-code a very large portion of the game (for reasons they haven't fully described) and I'm sure that this has also been a big reason for the long beta. The fact that they've had to re-write 80% of their custom code for T3D (which has also not been described very much) along with everything else makes it easy to see why it's taken them so long. Many of the players have become unhappy with the length of time and have left for the time being, but many others like the game enough to have stuck around through it all because of the game play and the game's potential.

    Long story slightly longer, a huge game with lots of features and great playability can be done, but expect a very long development stage to even get the thing off the ground. If if you get the basics right at the start, you'll have die-hard fans that will stick with you, but be sure to communicate with your community. That's the biggest problem with the devs making AfterWorld, they rarely make any public statements about what's going on with the game and it makes people feel like nothing is happening.
    Quote Originally Posted by vecordae
    While I am as ignorant and irrational as the next man, I am also arrogant enough to assume I possess these qualities in greater abundance than is strictly normal and foolish enough to think that that's worth bragging about.
    Simply a brilliant signature, so I'm stealing it like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Yoink!

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by TailSwallower View Post
    I remember reading on RPS about InMomentum - they were initially using UDK but soon before release they swapped to a more robust* version of the engine, allowing them to do some more with the textures and lighting (from memory, I can't find the exact article right now). That's what I meant. Not being a programmer myself I don't know of the specific differences, but the InMomentum devs seemed excited about the possibilities of using the "more robust" version of the engine.

    *My term, not theirs, I don't remember exactly how they worded it.
    I ran a search to see if I could find that article. http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011...real-3-engine/
    It makes me wonder why exactly he called the UE3:source more robust since they are supposedly the same ever since last GDC (somewhere in march) because that's when Epic (supposedly) decided to implement the exact same features on both versions (save for the full source code thing I mentioned before). Besides, I look at the screenshot but I've seen a lot of things done in UDK that blow the shown screenshot out of the water ( http://www.udk.com/showcase look for Honda's bathroom thing, looks sooooooooo amazing).

    Too bad we'll never know for sure why he said that because they are unlikely to share the whole story :P
    "So dark le con of man"

  20. #20
    the current intention is to have semi-newtonian phyiscs


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •