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Market for web-based MMORPG/strategy game?

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Anonymous
February 21, 2005 7:48:47 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

(Sorry if this shows up twice, my Usenet service seems to be sending my
posts to the bit bucket this month so I'm retrying via Google groups.)

Hi all,

I've some ideas floating around in my head for a game I'm thinking
about writing when I've finished my current project, figured I'd
better check first whether there'd be a market for it.

The idea is basically a massively multiplayer online RPG/strategy game
combination. At the strategy level, you could move armies around the
map, conquer cities, try to build up an empire and fight other
like-minded players etc; turn based, say one turn per day.

At the individual character level, you could explore dungeons, bash
monsters etc in the time-honored fashion; also turn based, but you
wouldn't have to wait on other players (unless you were grouped in a
party).

The two levels would be linked with things like warlords hiring
adventurers to spy on their enemies, lead their armies and suchlike.
(An individual player wouldn't be required to play at both levels, you
could stick to one or the other.)

The user interface would be via a web browser - no client program to
install and mess around with device drivers, DirectX etc for, play
from any machine. Pricing would follow the typical MMORPG model, say
$10/month subscription, except that there'd be no up-front purchase
cost.

Downside would be production values - played via web browser there
wouldn't be any animated graphics, sound or anything like that, maps
would be sketch maps with "X = you are here" rather than sculpted 3D
extravaganzas.

So - would any of you play this, or would it be "ugh, no way am I
paying for production values like that", or would it be "no" for some
other reason I'm overlooking?

--
"Always look on the bright side of life."
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 8:49:36 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

CompuServe British Legend and Island of Kesmai era has long passed. I
doubt anyone in this age will still pay for ASCII character online
games.
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 11:57:47 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

To me it seems silly to charge money for a game that doesn't even have
graphics or sound. I don't know if I'd pay. What exactly are you
looking for in terms of gameplay though? What are the units and the
buildings?
Related resources
Anonymous
February 22, 2005 2:32:31 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Starblade Riven Darksquall wrote:
> To me it seems silly to charge money for a game that doesn't even
have
> graphics or sound. I don't know if I'd pay. What exactly are you
> looking for in terms of gameplay though? What are the units and the
> buildings?

I don't have a detailed design document written up - that'd have to
wait until after my current project is done; wanted to check first if
there was going to be a market for it if I did go ahead with the design
and implementation. The trend of opinion seems to be that there
wouldn't be a market for a game with low production values; probably
the best thing is to put the idea on the shelf until/unless I come up
with a way to address that end of things.

Thanks for the feedback, everyone.

--
"Always look on the bright side of life."
Anonymous
February 22, 2005 4:58:11 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Russell Wallace" <russell.wallace@gmail.com> wrote in
news:1109033327.119091.316720@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com:

> So - would any of you play this, or would it be "ugh, no way am I
> paying for production values like that", or would it be "no" for some
> other reason I'm overlooking?


Actually I know of a number of games being developed along those lines (not
a ton of them, dont be discouraged). It might be time for something like
that but at the present Im not sure if people are ready to pay for
completely virtual games. No ownership at all? There are still many active
MUDs and other games which would seem to be in the same ballpark with no
charges at all.

I would say that it could be done with enough of a market push to get it
into the minds of people who try such things without checking to see what
free ones there are. But how would you reach the browser-only crowd?
Magazines? pop-up ads at other web sites?


Gandalf Parker
Anonymous
February 22, 2005 1:51:14 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Definitely no market if it's not free.
There are several (many?) turn based online games on the web, and there
are many MUDs. I don't think mixing both will allow you to charge
$10/month (maybe $1 but I wouldn't be too sure).
Anonymous
February 22, 2005 11:55:13 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Russell Wallace wrote:

>The trend of opinion seems to be that there
>wouldn't be a market for a game with low production values;

That depends on what you mean with "market". In terms of players,
there's certainly a market for simple, browser-based games. In terms
of paying customers, I'm more sceptical.

There are loads of free games of this type out. They survive on ads,
donations, selling various benefits and "Gold" accounts", and in most
cases on the fact that the developer has a day job as well. Some
struggle to pay bandwith costs, others give enough income to allow the
developer to quit said day job. (www.kingdomofloathing.com, for
example, comes in the last category.)

If I were you I wouldn't mortgage my house on the future income of
this game. But if you are confident that the game will be good and you
can survive a loss, you might give it a try.

--
Riktig sitering gjør meldingene dine lettere å lese:
< url: http://home.online.no/~vidaandr/news/OBSquoting.html >
Anonymous
February 23, 2005 2:06:09 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Russell Wallace" <russell.wallace@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1109033327.119091.316720@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> (Sorry if this shows up twice, my Usenet service seems to be sending my
> posts to the bit bucket this month so I'm retrying via Google groups.)
>
> Hi all,
>
> I've some ideas floating around in my head for a game I'm thinking
> about writing when I've finished my current project, figured I'd
> better check first whether there'd be a market for it.
>
> The idea is basically a massively multiplayer online RPG/strategy game
> combination. At the strategy level, you could move armies around the
> map, conquer cities, try to build up an empire and fight other
> like-minded players etc; turn based, say one turn per day.
>
> At the individual character level, you could explore dungeons, bash
> monsters etc in the time-honored fashion; also turn based, but you
> wouldn't have to wait on other players (unless you were grouped in a
> party).
>
> The two levels would be linked with things like warlords hiring
> adventurers to spy on their enemies, lead their armies and suchlike.
> (An individual player wouldn't be required to play at both levels, you
> could stick to one or the other.)
>
> The user interface would be via a web browser - no client program to
> install and mess around with device drivers, DirectX etc for, play
> from any machine. Pricing would follow the typical MMORPG model, say
> $10/month subscription, except that there'd be no up-front purchase
> cost.
>
> Downside would be production values - played via web browser there
> wouldn't be any animated graphics, sound or anything like that, maps
> would be sketch maps with "X = you are here" rather than sculpted 3D
> extravaganzas.
>
> So - would any of you play this, or would it be "ugh, no way am I
> paying for production values like that", or would it be "no" for some
> other reason I'm overlooking?

It might have flown 15 years ago, but today this idea is just not enough of
anything.

Other games have experimented with the dual layer approach, and still use a
client for the personal level. I wouldn't play anything that uses a web
browser for playing.
Anonymous
February 23, 2005 3:16:41 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Russell Wallace" <russell.wallace@gmail.com> wrote in
news:1109033327.119091.316720@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com:
<snip>
> The user interface would be via a web browser - no client program to
> install and mess around with device drivers, DirectX etc for, play
> from any machine. Pricing would follow the typical MMORPG model, say
> $10/month subscription, except that there'd be no up-front purchase
> cost.
>
> Downside would be production values - played via web browser there
> wouldn't be any animated graphics, sound or anything like that, maps
> would be sketch maps with "X = you are here" rather than sculpted 3D
> extravaganzas.
>
> So - would any of you play this, or would it be "ugh, no way am I
> paying for production values like that", or would it be "no" for some
> other reason I'm overlooking?

Your idea sounds pretty good, but I'm sure many had the same idea before.
So the key is in the implementation. Let us say you've managed to create
great deep game with a lot of fun. Now, how do you intend to attract people
to try your game long enough to realize how great it is?

It also looks that you will be targeting quite sophisticated crowd, who
probably don't have much troubles with installing client, drivers etc. The
simple graphic UI (no cutting-edge 3D stuff, just nice and clean
2D/isometric graphics based on some basic OpenGL, so that it would work on
pretty much any card with any driver) would help attracting people a lot.
You'd still have to resolve the problem of where to get the artwork.

So, IMO prospects on PC are quite bleak. However, if you're able to support
not only PC, but mobile devices (phones) too, that can definitely help with
finding a market. Graphics standards on the mobile devices are much lower
than on PC, so your production values may be more adequate there. And
convenience of being able to play your turns on the road would be a big
plus for your game (considering that few other games provide it)

Alex.
!