For the most part I do agree with your comments below, and as someone
who has played several mainstream games over the years I know where
you are coming from. However, as a software developer with several
years of programming and experience under my belt I have to say your
expectations are unrealisticly high. Not saying your ideas and
opinions are bad here, but just a bit unrealistic considering the
challenges involved in adding voice chat, online pvp play, etc.
First of all, the majority of those writing accessible games are not
professional programmers. Many have not had any professional training
of any kind and are self-taught through books, online tutorials,
whatever. Not saying that is bad, but their skills may or may not be
up to the challenge of creating something that complex. Like
everything else in life if you don't have the necessary
training/skills you can't do it.
Let me use an example here. PCS Games has created some pretty decent
games like Pac-Man Talks and Sarah using the GMA Engine. However, Phil
is not a professional programmer, and the extent of his programming
per say is limited to scripting the GMA Engine. He can create decent
games using that engine, but doesn't have the skills to do what you
are talking about on his own.
Second of all, there is the issue of time. Since programming games
isn't my full time job I don't exactly have all day to spend on
writing accessible games. I usually get two or three hours a day tops
to work on a game and that is why it is taking me forever to work on a
game as relatively simple as Mysteries of the Ancients. The more
complex the game the longer it will take. To be blunt about it saying,
"take ten years if I have to in order to write a really good game,"
is easy to say when you aren't the person doing all the work, and have
to look at it day in and day out.
I'll be honest with you. Not counting my failed attempt at Montezuma's
Revenge I've been working on Mysteries of the Ancients for two solid
years. At this point I am completely burned out on the game, and down
right sick of it. I doubt I can stand to work on it another full year
let alone spend something like 10 years on a single project. It simply
wouldn't be worth it to me personally.
Third, there is the issue of money. When we talk mainstream developers
we are talking a team of guys who are getting paid at least $60,000 or
more to work on games like that. Not only do they have an entire team
to work on the project, thus drastically reducing the time to add
features like that, they are getting paid to do it. As for myself
there is very little financial income from accessible games as it is
let alone working my butt off for practically nothing. Over a 10 year
period I could release five or more games for the same length of time
It took me to create your so-called 10 year project. That is
financially speaking more practical and realistic for me.
However, all that said I don't think it would take 10 years to do what
you ask. It would take at least a couple of years developing an engine
that had the features like voice chat, online pvp play, etc. Once
those features were designed into the engine it would be possible to
create games like you are talking about. Although, it could get
expensive creating such an engine.
I don't know if you realised this or not but Philip Bennefall has out
sourced certain components of the BGT engine to third-party
professional developers. Not only does he get high quality work done,
it saves him time, but it also is costing him quite a lot of money in
the initial investment. I think that was a great idea, but I know I
couldn't do it. I don't have a couple thousand or so to pay up front
to another developer to help me develope my software.
As far as joining with other accessible game developers again that is
problematic. Right now the accessible game developers are all over the
map as far as programming languages goes. Blind Adrenaline uses C# and
Visual Basic .NET, Jim Kitchen uses Visual Basic 6, 7-128 uses Java,
Philip Bennefall is developing his BGT Engine in C++, and I'm skilled
in several different programming languages. I'm flexable in terms of
programming languages, but I'd personally insist that the project be
done in C++ which would immediately eliminate Java, Visual Basic, and
the AutoIt developers. That basically leaves me with someone like Josh
from Draconis and Philip from Blastbay, and I happen to know they have
their own projects right now. So between our own projects and likely
different schedules I doubt a colaberation between Blastbay, Draconis,
and USA Games would be possible.
The one thing I think I could do as a developer, though, is continue
to maintain games, adding new levels, adding expantions, etc.
For example, when Draconis released the ESP Pinball Party pack for
Pinball Extreme that was a great idea in my opinion. They made money
on an existing game, and it gave users something new to play even
though basically it was the same game with slightly different tables.
Other games, GMA Tank Commander, could be similarly expanded. Okay you
get the six missions with the original game but if you get the
expantion pack you get six extra missions. Now, that would be cool and
be worth an extra $10 to $15 to me as a gamer, and I know it wouldn't
be hard to create since GMA already has a working game engine.
So, yeah, that is something I could do as a developer. As for things
like voice chat, online play, we will see. I have to finish my current
projects before I even consider adding something like that to my
engine, and I'm not sure I really want to. I'm not exactly a big fan
of player verses player type game play, I am a loner, so it isn't a
feature I would necessarily get much use out of personally. If I add
such features like that it will strictly be for the money and not for
any personal motivation.
On 5/27/10, Yohandy <yohand...@gmail.com> wrote:
> when it comes to audio games, something I find quite annoying is the fact
> that many games aren't supported after initial release. even if they are,
> it's usually a small update a few days after game comes out just to keep up
> the hype and keep people buying, then after that the game never
> gets any sort of expansion. I think this is hurting the audiogames market,
> and developers are losing potential customers. what you guys aren't
> realizing is that people are even willing to pay for these expansions.
> mainstream titles do it all the time. let's say a new mainstream FPS game
> comes out and new levels are added after the initial game release, the
> developer could charge $5 for those additional levels and those interested
> will purchase it. or offer the downloadable content free and sell even more
> copies of that particular game. people get bored of the same old stuff,
> especially if the game doesn't have much replay value. we need DLC, and I
> don't understand why this hasn't been done yet. and that's not even the only
> problem. I think it's about time developers start adding an online component
> to their titles to make games a more social experience. no offense to any
> developer on this list, but I'd much rather go online and play a few rounds
> of super street fighter IV or some rock band than play most accessible
> games. why? because I'm interacting with people, not playing the exact same
> offline mode over and over. even if street fighter didn't have online
> features it would have been much more replayable than any accessible game
> out there mostly due to the trial mode the game contains, which can keep you
> busy for months. in fact there are people who've yet to complete trial mode
> on street Fighter IV and the game's been out for over a year! can you guys
> make such claims about audio games? back to online features. even the few
> audiogames that have online playability, we actually have to communicate
> through text, when most mainstream games are using voice chat, and even
> video chat! Is it all that difficult to add voice chat to games? I'm no
> developer so I'm asking because I like to be informed on these things. This
> is why when people ask me if we'll ever catch up to the mainstream market, I
> tell them that it'll never happen. devs need to really start concentrating
> on what the gamers want. and please I don't want to hear the "oh but audio
> games are only a 1 man operation" excuse. Take 10 years to develop your game
> if it takes that long, or Find developers who use the same programming
> language you do, and get together and form a programming team. but give us
> something good. something that we can be proud of 15 years from now and say
> wow! this game completely revolutionized the audio game market! as it stands
> now, most of the audio games I've purchased I just beat once in about an
> hour or so and never play it again, and this is probably true for many
> people on here. something needs to change, and it's up to all of us,
> developers and gamers alike to make it happen!
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