VIKINGNAIL

Raph Koster being awesome per usual.

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https://www.raphkoster.com/2018/01/17/the-cost-of-games/

My favorite bit:

"Strong community drives retention, and retention drives revenue. Community is probably the easiest thing that developers should aggressively pursue, and it’s not cheap and it’s not at all easy. I estimate typical studio learning curve on doing this to be around 3-5 years of culture change."

PUBG is one of the biggest hits if not the biggest hit in the last couple of years, but if you look further into the story it took many years of unintentional or intentional prep to create the circumstances for PUBG to boom.  It started with Playerunknown making BR mod for arma 2, getting the attention of some would-be giant streamers in the future.  Then moving on to mod BR for arma 3.  Gaining a small but dedicated fanbase.  Eventually John Smedley gets h1z1 rolling and picks up Playerunknown to help them design their BR mod.  With the resources of a big studio behind him and his vision he is able to create a huge hit, but h1z1 br is still not his dream version of BR, he comes from arma 3 with a lot more "realism" involved whereas h1z1 is an arcadey shooter.  But someone has taken notice in korea and sees an opportunity, gives playerunknown tons of freedom and big budget studio resources and tells him to go make his dream version of BR.  Boom you get PUBG.  Now the man has already contributed to the growth of this genre dramatically and developed a strong fanbase including some of the biggest streamers.  What happens when you give someone that has a great vision the resources they need to fulfill that vision and the marketing power and support of top streamers?  You get PUBG, over 20million copies sold pretty much players making content off of each other.  But it really all started in arma 2 with a modder that just loved games hacking away at his vision growing a fanbase and community, and leaving a real impression on real gamers that would later be his biggest advertisers to other gamers.

Edited by VIKINGNAIL

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1 hour ago, VIKINGNAIL said:

What happens when you give someone that has a great vision the resources they need to fulfill that vision

I didn't read the article, but this is the reason we're all here.

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Great stuff here. It's astounding watching PUBG grow into what it is. A lot of fun to play too, even when you're terrible. It scratches an itch that makes you just want to "try one more time..."

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Well I was over at my brother in laws house and he told me he finally got pubg. He was talking about it for a few weeks and I congratulated him on getting it. He's a console gamer, plays like everyday. Anyway he turns it on and I'm immediately turned away. I can't believe how raw and lifeless the game was. The camera was dead. Nowadays I expect a camera to give immersion/life to the game in movements and so forth but when you jump out of the plane your character just appears in front of the cam lol. Then he went on to say the game was glitchy and he was talking about the slow texture loading. All the textures in the game are lifeless and I couldn't help feel like a hooligan taking part in watching someone run from house to house staring at the floor picking up items. Reminds me of the filfth you find in RPGs like bioshock and deus ex where basically you come across a room that has 10+ lockers in it and you have to spend so much time scrounging for loot. Players these days are suckers for loot they'll spend so much of the game time doing it. I played a battle royal that went dead fast called the culling. It was pretty awesome but I eventually stopped the loot race and just hunted people with craftables.

 

Raph Koster I never thought much of because I got into MMOs late so I missed UO and SWG. But I'm generally annoyed when people from last generation try to stay current in todays environment because people get their hopes up like they're going to be able to reproduce another hit when in reality what people were playing in the beginning isn't the same thing that will be successful today. I mean when I hear UO had item insurance that signals to me right away its not even full on hardcore because it let people hug their pixels. A game called earthrise tried to do item insurance just to dupe what UO did and get everyone excited for but they should have taken the time to ask themselves if item insurance was even a worthy meta. Earthrise shutdown real fast and was a failure. Any time a game comes out saying they want to do a UO I take that as just a signal to trigger nostalgia. I mean its like an RTS company coming out saying they are going to make a warcraft 2 clone. I don't like stale gameplay. I can't play a game that isn't based on new concepts. I just played a game last year that came out in 95 and even played its sequel but that is different, it was new to me. Like I said I never played UO but I would not play a spiritual successor because a spiritual successor is just going to be a stale nostalgia trip for those interested in it. Anyone with gameplay thats strong enough to stand on its own doesn't need the catch phrase "uo clone".

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On ‎18‎.‎01‎.‎2018 at 3:17 PM, VIKINGNAIL said:

"Strong community drives retention, and retention drives revenue. Community is probably the easiest thing that developers should aggressively pursue, and it’s not cheap and it’s not at all easy.[...]

 

I absolutely agree. Unfortunately not everybody understands that -- even in the most developed gaming nations. And the gaming communities of different countries live in very different development stages, which makes it even less likely to be understood in general. It's really sad to watch people and companies, who could have great potential, not recognizing nor appreciating nor supporting their communities and thinking it would only about them alone. But it isn't. 

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26 minutes ago, Kraahk said:

I absolutely agree. Unfortunately not everybody understands that -- even in the most developed gaming nations. And the gaming communities of different countries live in very different development stages, which makes it even less likely to be understood in general. It's really sad to watch people and companies, who could have great potential, not recognizing nor appreciating nor supporting their communities and thinking it would only about them alone. But it isn't. 

I disagree on the basic logic here. First of all, the devs part in the community can only do so much and in the end the community is only as strong as the game's ability to attract players. This means the community is a whole and any interaction by the devs can only move it so much. The stronger community driver is if the game is actually any good to begin with and I'm not talking about attracting numbers I'm talking about attracting people that will generate your ideal community. Telling the concept of driving community is only going to get game developers to kiddy up their community efforts because any dev with a decent game doesn't need to give the community candy. The focus should be on the game. The community is not the focus, it is the byproduct. Better game = better community. People asking for more community input by the devs are the same people that need their hand carried. They are the ones crying and they are the ones that the devs hate.By all means contact your devs if there is a problem but crying and stomping feet is the community killer, not the lack of devs hand holding. Sure a dev needs to pay attention to their community but no developer needs to be told that. That's why I didn't like "theory of fun".

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16 hours ago, touchmybow said:

I mean when I hear UO had item insurance that signals to me right away its not even full on hardcore because it let people hug their pixels.

16 hours ago, touchmybow said:

Like I said I never played UO...

When people speak about the greatness of UO it is all Pre-UO:R. That means no Trammel, no insurance, Full PvP everywhere (with consequences), stealing items from other players packs, no classes, hard skill caps, no instances, finite play housing, essential crafting system, etc. 

 

A 2.0 version would be to take these principals and elevate it with new MMO techniques that came out over the last 15 years.

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1 hour ago, Keaggan said:

When people speak about the greatness of UO it is all Pre-UO:R. That means no Trammel, no insurance, Full PvP everywhere (with consequences), stealing items from other players packs, no classes, hard skill caps, no instances, finite play housing, essential crafting system, etc.

ahh I wasn't aware insurance was trammel.

1 hour ago, Keaggan said:

A 2.0 version would be to take these principals and elevate it with new MMO techniques that came out over the last 15 years.

What do you mean by a 2.0 version? I can't imagine a UO successor going anywhere. The reason is because UO was too RP to begin with. I'm talking about the fact that PvP was penalized and "PKers" were outcasts. That's punishing players for PvP in a game about killing things. Pickpocketing is the same story. No one wants to get robbed by a thief because that's just annoying to deal with. Same goes with bounty hunting. Incredibly exploitable and simply serves the RP crowd. People in UO were RPers and it should come to no surprise that the game turned trammel because the RP crowd is soft.

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1 hour ago, touchmybow said:

I disagree on the basic logic here. First of all, the devs part in the community can only do so much and in the end the community is only as strong as the game's ability to attract players. This means the community is a whole and any interaction by the devs can only move it so much. The stronger community driver is if the game is actually any good to begin with and I'm not talking about attracting numbers I'm talking about attracting people that will generate your ideal community. Telling the concept of driving community is only going to get game developers to kiddy up their community efforts because any dev with a decent game doesn't need to give the community candy. The focus should be on the game. The community is not the focus, it is the byproduct. Better game = better community. People asking for more community input by the devs are the same people that need their hand carried. They are the ones crying and they are the ones that the devs hate.By all means contact your devs if there is a problem but crying and stomping feet is the community killer, not the lack of devs hand holding. Sure a dev needs to pay attention to their community but no developer needs to be told that. That's why I didn't like "theory of fun".

 
Hey, we have something in common. I disagree, too. Ain't that great? xD
 
Human social dynamics are a complicated and very complex thing. And a lot (pretty much everything) seriously depends on it. A lot of people don't understand about the influence of the fine ramifications within it.

It doesn't matter though if we do or not - we are all part of it and play our roles, wether we want to or not. It's unevitable. Even this small insignificant thread, your post, my post, other posts, create small waves that add to the ocean. And those waves can be channeled to support a specific general movement.
 
In my opinion and experience it is one of the worst possible things to forget (or, hell, even to deny) the possible influence of those details. And the opportunity to influence them basically. 
 
It is easy to just say that a good product would be enough to create a good community. But it's not true on the real market. You can have a product that is extraordinary, revolutionary, mind-blowing. A lot of inventors can sing a long and sad song about it. In the end it all won't matter if you are not able to make people following your lead, believing in you, building a strong base and as this having your back. There is, of course, a possibility that you may succeed anyways -- if you are at the right place in the right moment of time. But those occasions are very rare. Most times they only touch things (or touch them more by far) far more extraordinary than a simple game. Life-altering things, like eletricity or the internet.
 
As a small fish in the pond (like most companies are), you would do good to not forget about the importance of your customers. While customers is just a name for people who might like what you provide. Today they are often called followers. And the most intense ones might be called influencers.
 
It is not about holding hands. It is about doing things that feels right and about making people believe in you BECAUSE you do things the way they might want to believe in.
 
I don't know in detail how it works in the US. That's one of my points i tried to emphasize in my former posting. But i know a lot about the market in europe. Every country has it's own an very specific history ... also touching the history of gaming. So there are differences. Important differences. It simply is wrong to believe that what is true in one country also applies to the social dynamics of others. For it is not.
 
So a company that tries to be successful in various countries would do good to try to understand the individual dynamics and act accordingly. This is not about holding hands of crying people. This is about understanding the market. It is about trying to understand the demands of people and how to make people join your site who understand how to influence other people who might be important to serve the cause.
 
Community is not the by-product. It is the reason. And it is the goal. The goal that leads to revenue. And it is the base to get there. So you should better start there. Just ask the 20 people who invented the light bulb before edison did...

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31 minutes ago, Kraahk said:
 
Hey, we have something in common. I disagree, too. Ain't that great? xD
 
Human social dynamics are a complicated and very complex thing. And a lot (pretty much everything) seriously depends on it. A lot of people don't understand about the influence of the fine ramifications within it.

It doesn't matter though if we do or not - we are all part of it and play our roles, wether we want to or not. It's unevitable. Even this small insignificant thread, your post, my post, other posts, create small waves that add to the ocean. And those waves can be channeled to support a specific general movement.
 
In my opinion and experience it is one of the worst possible things to forget (or, hell, even to deny) the possible influence of those details. And the opportunity to influence them basically. 
 
It is easy to just say that a good product would be enough to create a good community. But it's not true on the real market. You can have a product that is extraordinary, revolutionary, mind-blowing. A lot of inventors can sing a long and sad song about it. In the end it all won't matter if you are not able to make people following your lead, believing in you, building a strong base and as this having your back. There is, of course, a possibility that you may succeed anyways -- if you are at the right place in the right moment of time. But those occasions are very rare. Most times they only touch things (or touch them more by far) far more extraordinary than a simple game. Life-altering things, like eletricity or the internet.
 
As a small fish in the pond (like most companies are), you would do good to not forget about the importance of your customers. While customers is just a name for people who might like what you provide. Today they are often called followers. And the most intense ones might be called influencers.
 
It is not about holding hands. It is about doing things that feels right and about making people believe in you BECAUSE you do things the way they might want to believe in.
 
I don't know in detail how it works in the US. That's one of my points i tried to emphasize in my former posting. But i know a lot about the market in europe. Every country has it's own an very specific history ... also touching the history of gaming. So there are differences. Important differences. It simply is wrong to believe that what is true in one country also applies to the social dynamics of others. For it is not.
 
So a company that tries to be successful in various countries would do good to try to understand the individual dynamics and act accordingly. This is not about holding hands of crying people. This is about understanding the market. It is about trying to understand the demands of people and how to make people join your site who understand how to influence other people who might be important to serve the cause.
 
Community is not the by-product. It is the reason. And it is the goal. The goal that leads to revenue. And it is the base to get there. So you should better start there. Just ask the 20 people who invented the light bulb before edison did...

Not everyone's aim is to be influential. In fact people that only care about influence are themselves puffed up. The key is spreading ideas and if the public doesn't want your ideas then they aren't ready for them. If a public wants only an influential person to spread said ideas, they are sheep and they only want to be led by not ideas but by a man they like. Influence is candy and your mind should be focusing not on who but what. You have to learn to listen and think for yourself, not just follow a familiar sound.

As for community being the reason. That is false, again, and is focusing on being influential. Influence is just a sheeplord term because people who are inspired or changed by a voice are listening to the content of the voice, not the man's ability to hand hold and make the journey soft and comforting. So when I hear about people trying to buff a community it just sounds to me like they want to spread hand holding.

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9 minutes ago, touchmybow said:

Influence is just a sheeplord term because people who are inspired or changed by a voice are listening to the content of the voice, not the man's ability to hand hold and make the journey soft and comforting. So when I hear about people trying to buff a community it just sounds to me like they want to spread hand holding.

 

53 minutes ago, Kraahk said:
It simply is wrong to believe that what is true in one country also applies to the social dynamics of others. For it is not.

Only in my opinion of course.

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4 hours ago, touchmybow said:

What do you mean by a 2.0 version? I can't imagine a UO successor going anywhere. The reason is because UO was too RP to begin with. I'm talking about the fact that PvP was penalized and "PKers" were outcasts. That's punishing players for PvP in a game about killing things. Pickpocketing is the same story. No one wants to get robbed by a thief because that's just annoying to deal with. Same goes with bounty hunting. Incredibly exploitable and simply serves the RP crowd. People in UO were RPers and it should come to no surprise that the game turned trammel because the RP crowd is soft.

LOL That's a funny statement. Yes UO isn't a war game but an MMORPG. I don't think anyone ever would say it was anything but an MMORPG. However this isn't to say that there wasn't PvP. For example there were PvP factions (Order & Chaos) that could PvP anywhere any time or your guild could "declare war" on another guild and PvP anywhere without repercussions. PKers had fictional consequences because someone murdered a member of the King's people. Having murderers and thieves in the game were all part of the wild west feel of the game. It wasn't a completely lawless game and so PKers couldn't come into town without being killed. 

Some of this was expanded in SWG with a better PvP tag system. But since WoW no iterations on the foundation UO laid haven't been made. 

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13 minutes ago, Keaggan said:

LOL That's a funny statement. Yes UO isn't a war game but an MMORPG. I don't think anyone ever would say it was anything but an MMORPG. However this isn't to say that there wasn't PvP. For example there were PvP factions (Order & Chaos) that could PvP anywhere any time or your guild could "declare war" on another guild and PvP anywhere without repercussions. PKers had fictional consequences because someone murdered a member of the King's people. Having murderers and thieves in the game were all part of the wild west feel of the game. It wasn't a completely lawless game and so PKers couldn't come into town without being killed. 

Some of this was expanded in SWG with a better PvP tag system. But since WoW no iterations on the foundation UO laid haven't been made. 

In darkfall you could war dec another clan to kill them without repercussions. This was a griefy thing as people used war decs just to kill a crafter who thinks he's safe in a npc city and then they loot all the crafting mats off his corpse usually netting huge gains. Alignment was mostly a joke since it could be exploited this way, and removing negative alignment meant farming the enemy races. I liked to keep my alignment blue since it meant I could go into npc towns for trading which was really helpful because there were a lot of traders living out of npc towns. But most people went red which just meant they couldn't use the newby towns and I guess if they were ever caught in the newby racial area they could get jumped if people really took it personally.

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I don't think bashing Raph Koster for his opinion on a game is fair. Raph usually gets down to the core of game development without really judging the gameplay like the rest of us do. It's always interesting to read his opinions, because he looks beyond the gameplay and to things at a deeper level. He doesn't review games. He has his niche and he's great at it.

Community involvement can be strangled as well. I'm not touching on this game, but I've seen communities completely sterilize their forums to where no one bothers to participate on them. I generally avoid those forums because you're not going to get any input from the playerbase as they become more of a colored name playground than a community.

And Eve had insurance. We all know how hardcore that game is.

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