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Tyrant

02/27/15 - Distribution/hosting Outside Of North America For Crowfall

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It has been my experience that an east coast server accommodates our multi national guild better then a west coast server.  At minimum please consider having the servers on the east coast.  The guys from Europe will experience a much better ping on east coast servers, then if it was on west coast.

Edited by nakawe

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Wrong.

 

What we are currently pledging for is the core module and every stretch goal that might be added.

That is something everyone profits of.

 

That the service will be provided in NA just comes with it.

Or have you seen any reward tier that stated "You pledge for the core module but NOT the service in NA."?

 

Getting EU/Asian players to pledge on top of that is... selfish on your part, unlikely for anyone who has pledged until now and won't be likely enough to cover for the costs of getting it to respective region. We are talking about several million dollars as investment for each region.

 

That's also why getting used to the idea that CF will be published by a third party in other regions is the safest bet for now (and confirmed as the current m.o. they are following until things change).

 

So no, additional crowdfunding campaigns just for the purpouse of doing a regional publish and/or a proper localization will likely not succed.

What will be working is adding both - stretch goals for EU (I think Asia is REALLY unlikely to be reached without a publisher) coverage during the KS or later as an additional stretch goal during the "regular" funding campaign is much more likely to succed in comparison to a tiered approach with separate campaigns.

 

EDIT: And it goes against the idea of crowdfunding where everyone comes together to contribute a small part to the whole. You are proposing fracturing this investment power. Not so clever, sorry.

I do not see how it is selfish that people would pledge for games they will be able to play. Right now what is in the scope is that you will be able to play in NA server, if that is ok for you, go pledge. For many it is not ok as you can read in this very topic. They may still pledge but it comes with an even increased risk for them, so they might just not pledge, however in a KS specifically for their region they surely would.   A stretch goal in the current KS for regionalizing would also work, but what if it is set for 2M lets say, and it will not be achived (only 1,9M ) so all non-NA pledgers will not safely have their regional servers? Do you not think it would be quite a scandal, and I do believe ACE's etchics and morale will not want such a scandal.

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You are aware that the crowdfunding will continue after the KS, right? Therefore it's much easier to reach this goal within a much wider time frame.

 

Besides that, again:

 

The KS campaign is explicitely about funding the development of the game itself currently. That this also encompasses service in NA just comes with it. Additional areas are a nice stretch goal after the more important ones (again: for developing the game itself). 

People are pledging for what the KS is advertised for. The Game. 

The service that comes with it is something that has to be looked at in the future. 

 

Are you actually expecting that a separate funding campaign explicitely to fund a non-NA coverage would be funded as in fact anyone who wants this game to be realized AND be covered in his region of residance has to pledge twice? THAT is actually selfish simply because you deny every non-NA player the right that his money is used to it's fullest worth which means evaluating if there are enough people willing to fund the game to have it IN ADDITION covered by ACE itself in their respective region.

 

I fully expect that ACE is best adviced with proceeding as already mentioned: To handle this as if it was already decided that they HAVE to use third party arrangements to have other regions covered for until the more important funding goals are reached and they can explicitly plan for additional money to be addressed towards covering these areas themselves.

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It has been my experience that an east coast server accommodates our multi national guild better then a west coast server.  At minimum please consider having the servers on the east coast.  The guys from Europe will experience a much better ping on east coast servers, then if it was on west coast.

 

This has been my experience on other services I've run also.


Gordon Walton, ArtCraft Entertainment, Inc.  [Rules of Conduct]

Follow us on Twitter @CrowfallGame | Like us on Facebook

 

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Maybe you could look at how "HiRez Studios" is doing it.

 

They run all their customer and day to day services in US and as far as I understand, rented servers in an EU datacenter.

They do this for all their games - MMO Global Agenda, FPS Tribes and MOBA Smite.

 

So maybe that could be a solution?

 

I think I remember them starting out as a small company as well back when they where making Global Agenda, which at the time was also a bit of a niece market since MMOFPS games where rarely seen at that time.

 

Great tip, I'll reach out to them to learn more!


Gordon Walton, ArtCraft Entertainment, Inc.  [Rules of Conduct]

Follow us on Twitter @CrowfallGame | Like us on Facebook

 

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1)  >"Almost half of the kickstarting money came from Europe"  (I'd love to get a pointer to this stat, KS gives us no info on backers until the end of the campaign)

 

Hey Gordon!

Cheers for having an active presence in the forums. It can only reinforce our confidence in the future of the game.

Below's the reason why we've been claiming that European contribution should be about 50%.

Its a very rough estimate but assuming Europeans (and I'm including Russia and all the non-Europeans who frequently use European servers anyway) are as interested (50% visits to the site) for the game, and assuming they are not scared away from pledging high by something (lack of servers etc), they should have offered about half the funds.

 

PS. Have to say it yet again, glad to see how Artcraft listens to the community. (Up the irons for Tera-like combat!) 

 

 

As I write this, less than 24 hours remains on the countdown timer at crowfall.com
 
We want to thank all of you, both here on the forums and elsewhere, for playing the game of “rampant speculation” with us.   We hope you enjoyed the process as much as we did.
 
The last two months has been enormously helpful -- more than we even expected!  You helped us refine our vision, taught us more about what you want, and came together as a community.  Crowfall is more than just a game; it is a statement of purpose.  A common belief that we could do something different in the MMO genre. 
 
We knew from the beginning that this game would not be for everyone.  In that light, we want to thank all of you: those who stuck with us, and those who did not.  We are looking for players who want a more intense, visceral experience... and our bet was that there would be enough of you out there to support this game.  
 
Tomorrow, we will start to see if we were correct. 
 
How did it go?
 
We launched the Play2Crush teaser site on December 22.  In the two months since, we attracted: 
 
                500,000+ web sessions
                180,000+ unique web visitors
                  42,000+ unique visitors last week
                         only 53% of visitors are from US/Canada/UK (which means we have a huge overseas following)
                  50,000+ web sign-ups
                  17,000+ forum members
                  62,000+ posts
 
(....)
 
Gordon Walton

 

Edited by satyros

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Well, here's my take on the localisation matter, I'm trying to keep this somewhat organised and in bullets :

- regional servers
YES, please !
I'm located at the Irish west coast and don't have issues with U.S. based infrastructure, however, Cork pings 8 and Dublin 17 milliseconds
In addition to that, it seems that the good people at Apple have a couple of plans for European based datacenters in Ireland (CO Galway) and Denmark, in addition to that, they have some 130 jobs on the web down in Cork.
Companies like EA and Zenimax/Bethesda have at least their customer care centers in Ireland, no info on where the actual game serveers are.
In short, there are games companies present in Ireland already and there's significant growth to be expected in the country within the coming 2 years.
Experience with working from UK and Ireland for a U.S. based company on global operatiosn with their main server infrastructure in the U.S. caused a daily groan between 15:00-16:00 when EST based offices came online in full force, the impact was tangible.

Regional servers also enable players to chose a setup that matches their prime-time, which is grand for sieges and other "mass-events", or they deliberately decide to go somewhere off-region and do less intense stuff like mining/crafting - the benefit of having a dedicated, regional "night shift" int he guild are numerous.

- Localised game versions
Unfortunately, you'd better get some in place for German and French. Being German myself, I noticed that german people tend to gather in German speaking guilds and speak a lot of German, rather than English and it seems to be a similar thing with French.
Evidently, there will be the usual misunderstandings when I quote an English name for a location (I prefer my games in the original, English language, unless they're originally German - there was a comment on this somewhere on page 2 already) and my German mate cannot match that to his German translation, similar for item names that might be linked into a chat.

- Distributors
I might just cause a riot here when I mention Trion, especially after the rather "unfortunate" rollout of Archeage, however . .
Trion support staff is multilingual, they offer chat support in English and certainly German already and appear to have quite some experience with MMO games.
It is my impression that numerous issues around "that other title" were caused by the fact that Trion is 2only" the distributor and that whatever needs verification or code-changes had to go back to XL Games and their developers, which is a massive frustration for everyone who ever has been in a situation where they would support a product that they have clearly no ownership of.

To be perfectly clear on the distribution part - I do *NOT* like the idea of "two or three different Crowfall Universes, split and divided by region with different rulesets" and would rather see ACE run the show themselves (on regionally located servers)

 

Edited by warsteyn

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The main thing that will determine if Europeans or Asian can play on American servers is if the gameplay allows it. TERA is pretty much impossible despite its client side hit detection whereas Guild Wars 2 is much more palatable even though it has server side hit detection. Both use tricks to try to make it more ping friendly like invul frames, but only GW2 was able to really pull it off.  Not saying I want a clone of GW2 because I don't, but they made some choices that ultimately made it a better experience for high latency.

Edited by frozenshadow

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Is it possible to have the Main server, the one that houses the EK's,  in the USA and the Campaign servers located in various places all over the world?  This way, If I chose to play a campaign on the European server with some guild mates, I could.   Then maybe on the next campaign we may all decide to play a campaign based off a USA server.

 

I am not asking if this will be done this way, I am just asking if it is possible to do it this way...

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Gordon, I play ArcheAge (a game developed in Korea by XL Games) on Trion servers in Dallas and Amsterdam. I'm quite pleased with their Hosting and GM support. You might reach out to Scott Hartsman about them hosting CF in their Amsterdam site. 

Edited by BigMac

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Gordon, I play ArcheAge (a game developed in Korea by XL Games) on Trion servers in Dallas and Amsterdam. I'm quite pleased with their Hosting and GM support. You might reach out to Scot Hartsman about them hosting CF in their Amsterdam site. 

 

I'll see Scott this week.  We're old friends and colleagues.  Thanks!


Gordon Walton, ArtCraft Entertainment, Inc.  [Rules of Conduct]

Follow us on Twitter @CrowfallGame | Like us on Facebook

 

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Hey Gordon!

Cheers for having an active presence in the forums. It can only reinforce our confidence in the future of the game.

Below's the reason why we've been claiming that European contribution should be about 50%.

Its a very rough estimate but assuming Europeans (and I'm including Russia and all the non-Europeans who frequently use European servers anyway) are as interested (50% visits to the site) for the game, and assuming they are not scared away from pledging high by something (lack of servers etc), they should have offered about half the funds.

 

PS. Have to say it yet again, glad to see how Artcraft listens to the community. (Up the irons for Tera-like combat!) 

 

I can see the confusion, but my understanding is that the majority of people in Europe can't use Kickstarter and if you look at Kickstarters' data, the backers from Europe are a super small minority.  The European portion of our web traffic is ~30% of the total.  But we have no reason to believe that that our web traffic percentage maps to Kickstarter backers, and many reasons to doubt it.

 

It will be interesting after the Kickstarter to get the real numbers in European backers and $.  Please remind me to put that out in April, if I haven't already done it before then.


Gordon Walton, ArtCraft Entertainment, Inc.  [Rules of Conduct]

Follow us on Twitter @CrowfallGame | Like us on Facebook

 

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This link might be of interest to this topic.

http://tech.eu/features/3543/kickstarter-europe-stats-2014/

 

More interesting is the average amount pledged by backers than the numbers of backers though. While US and UK have the most people, their average is lower than other countries. :-)


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THE most active European Crowfall community. Join us now!

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More interesting is the average amount pledged by backers than the numbers of backers though. While US and UK have the most people, their average is lower than other countries. :-)

Just curious how that's more interesting.   :)

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Just curious how that's more interesting.   :)

 

Well, a smaller country like the Netherlands can never compete with the US and the UK. But, the average amount per citizen pledged seems to be higher in the Netherlands. That is interesting imo. 


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THE most active European Crowfall community. Join us now!

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Interesting is different than "more" interesting.  I think it's interesting, sure...  but I fail to see how it's more interesting.

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my understanding is that the majority of people in Europe can't use Kickstarter

How would it even be possible that people can't use Kickstarter? Do European ISPs block the site or something?

 

Also, just pitching in by saying that as an European in a non-English speaking country, I'd really love for some English (only) EU servers. Obviously you can't force people to speak English, but servers that promote usage of multiple languages create divides between players who don't speak the same language, even if they know how to.

In fact, many people I know have actually refused to use a server that was meant for their area, because they didn't like people speaking other languages. It does not create an enjoyable atmosphere, kinda like being in a country that's language you don't understand.

For those reasons, I wouldn't even want a localized server for my country for example. Heck I'd love to play on the American servers for all games, but games tend to be fast-paced and I am an incredibly competitive player, therefore I choose latency over a favorable community, sad as that may be. I'd really love to have both though. Makes a world of difference.

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I wrote a comment here on this thread that you can read: http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/3283-european-publisherrelease/?p=84171

 

Basically, no matter which publisher you choose, there will be problems. Our patches will always come late. Our costumer support will often be less flexible because our support team will not be directly linked to the ACE team. Things will generally be slower and less efficient.

 

Also a big problem is that the German and French communities slow down the European launches far too often. Because game devs wants to translate the game into respective language before their launch, it often takes up to 6 months to a year before the game is released in Europe after full launch elsewhere. THAT is really discouraging.

 

Why don't you do it a little bit different this time? Release the game in English first, let the supposed big enough EU player base form (10k+ ppl) and eventually translate the game along the way if you notice it will be needed. Time is money, the more you wait the more money you lose.

 

I've seen other companies do it that way. Release the game first only in English, translate it later.

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First:

Gordon, I'd be carefull with claims about potential EU-backers being unable to use KS. The times that CCs were unusual around here are since gone.

That said, the EU market is not as mecurial as the NA market and it's harder here to get people to back. Please consider adding a stretch goal for EU coverage in order to incentivize us into backing (I already did pledge, others are holding back, tho. Not because of KS but because of not knowing if they will have the same service as NA backers).

 

Second: I highly doubt that Crowfall is featuring such an amount of texts and voice overs that the translation efforts would take a substantial amount of time on top. We are likely talking about weeks, maybe a couple of months, aren't we? I'm aware that you also need to support multilingual strings for that but that's a decision you have to make early on nontheless.

The thing is more about having proper distributional channels, support and hosting for any additional region that is going to require substantial investments. Things that can partiallly alleviated like ditching physical boxes (sending us backers the goodies as merchandise would still be working out as a one time investment), having a multilingual support somewhere in NA (like HiRez does) and being smart with the selection of where and how to host the servers for the respective region (that is a MUST!).

 

I'd also say that you don't need to support language diversity in the game (as long as your chat system supports the regional prevalent encoding schemes, so that kyrillic and korean etc. are still possible to be used). That way, the regional communities can organize themselves while the use of english as lingua franca is at least wildly accepted. It worked in EvE that way and it worked really good.

Edited by Angier

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