Wed Sep 03 2008 21:22:11 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar@uncnsrd
Not a gamer, so I really couldn't say. Sounds like an awful lot of really hard work, and a risky business venture to boot.
It will indeeed be a lot of work which is why anybody involved would need an incentive to work on the project and to keep startup costs down I'd be looking for people to take shares in the company as payment. Once the game is up and making money they would receive dividend payments.
Risky it may be too. At the moment I'm the only person looking at putting money into this, in the form of servers etc, I'll have a fail safe situation in the form of my refrigeration company if the game company fails. For others the risk would be the time they apend on the project and wether or not the shares would be worth anything.
Time scale would be 12-18 months from start to making money. After that I'd be skint and need to start getting payed again so I'd have to abandon the project.
Of course this all depends on wether or not Terry Brooks et al are willing to sell me the rights at a reasonable price.
Thu Sep 04 2008 07:07:17 EDT from fleeb@uncnsrd
Also, I've played several sorts of graphical massive-multiplayer online games (like WoW, as you mentioned, but others, too, such as Guild Wars, City Of Heroes/Villians, some homegrown stuff done with Neverwinter Nights, and others), so I have a good feel for what gamers expect out of these things, and where you might have your problems. I've mored than played these kinds of games... I've read up on some of the trends going on in these games, and tried to get a good idea what game programmers are trying to do towards innovation in the genre.
I just knew you'd have some usefull input.
I'm a coder, manager / leader and I love the Shannara series and those style of books. My problem is I'm definately no artists and I never seem to have enough time to play the games and when I do get time to play they always seem to lack something in action.
Your idea to try and build a game based on this series could be brilliant, if challanging to get right.
I've seen a lot of gamers say that they're tired of the whole Medieval Adventure thing, and want something different. They're tired of Orcs, Elves, knights in shining armor, and all of that kind of thing. The amazing thing about the Shannara series is that you can combine technology and magic very smoothly, and you could perhaps change timelines to vary the degree to which the game feels medieval.
In this way, you could still have your elves and some of that sort of stuff, but you could also have creatures that have not been well explored in games.
Absolutely and the Knight of the Word series, set in the not too distant future is currently being connected to the Shannara series by the latest books allowing even more scope to merge the two genres.
If you *really* want to go all the way with this, there's one other idea that people want to see in online games, but just haven't been able to accomplish yet... some form of permanence in the world you build. When you save that princess, she stays saved... it doesn't reset. Yet, somehow, new challanges are brought to bear. Again, the Shannara series might lend itself well to that, if you allow players to play different sides, and if the different sides might shift alliances occasionally. You could even have a number of unique evils that threaten to destroy the entire world (although if that happened, I guess you'd probably want to have a way of 'resetting' the world to some state where it's playable again). And perhaps some unique goods could be available as well, to help stave off the completely destruction of the world.
Having the "princess" stay saved could be a bit of a problem if she were essential to some "quest" or problem that needs to be resolved forother players to progress. I want to do the NPC's differently to games that I have seen. For now I'm keeping the details secret as they may well prove to be one of the greatest selling points of the game. If the game doesn't get off the ground I'll make an NPC for some other game.
I have no intention of requiring a player to be on the side of "good" as it were. I'd rather have the game play out a bit like command and conquer with opposing sides and people in between and innocent people and stuff a bit more like things would be if the player were really in the game world.
I'd like the balance of power within the world to move between good and evil though I think it would probably be difficult to get people to play for the evil side.
Thanks for the input fleeb, I'll keep you posted as to what is happening.
WoW and City of Villians provides proof that people will play the evil side easily enough.
Although, I've noticed that most people will play on the side of good, such that you always seem to have fewer players on the evil side. That's something one might want to take into account.
wanted to be chaotic/evil.
In some ways, it's more fun to play evil characters (goodness knows, I love playing them myself).
Evil characters have more pizazz. You can do things with them that you can't do with good characters.
I've also noticed, oddly, that most of the people playing evil characters online seem to be nicer to each other.
For me, it's a great way to let out some of my best humor.
For example, in City of Villians, I play an evil Abe Lincoln, who summons zombies and such to do his bidding. It's thoroughly, and completely, wrong... my evil, zombie-like Abe Lincoln running around with Benedict Arnold, Grant and Lee, and other notable characters, laying waste to those who would oppose him. But it's damned funny.
One of my friends got a good look at him, and got to thinking about what I had done. Here, I'd taken someone recognized for his emancipation of slavery, and twisted his nature so he enslaves the dead for his pleasure. Damned twisted irony... which is what I like!
On WoW, my favorite character was an undead warlock. I loved the various twisted jokes I'd make around the idea... kind of analogous to the stuff you see with Richard on Looking For Group .
And so on. Sometimes, too, it's just plain fun to roleplay evil characters. They're so much more colorful.
Yes it seems to me that most people prefer or rather default to playing on the side of good.
I think its due to social conditioning, people want to be known as good.
Then as they progress through the game they often do nasty things to their co-players, all in the name of advancing further. Seems competetiveness overcomes them and they have no qualms about stepping on the little guy.
I think with Shannara we could have everyone start off neutral and just see where they take themselves having an option on the NPC's to automatically attack a player that is not on their side and effectively drive the player to the correct side of the playing field as it were.
For instance it would be reasonable to assume that the people of a "good" area would make life so miserable for an "evil" player in their area that the player would move home into the evil area.
So generally everybody's going to be nice, that's human nature, the majority of the bad guys got darwined out many millenia ago.
I've been told that 1000 times on various forums.
Human nature, like any animal, is selfish, I think.
The selfishness takes on multiple forms, though. So it's hard to say if humans are generally good or generally bad. I mean, what *is* good or bad?
They have guns and cars and cell phones, but none of that would exist if it wasn't invented in other countries. Left to its own, africa would fall back to a rather primal farming continent.
It'd be interesting to see some country in Africa provide technical support.
It would also be interesting if some company in Africa created a video game.
It's coming, fleeb.
Hell yeah, I'd give that game a look-see.
Unless in the game you get to steal children and train them to kill and rape, that would be somewhat realistic...
You can learn much about a culture by understanding its past.
Mind you, most people pose an idealized form of that past in a game, but it gives you a flavor for the culture, none-the-less. Look at all the idealized Medieval stuff out there. In reality, most people has a shitty life in Medieval times, in Europe.