Discussion in 'Civ4 - Fall from Heaven' started by Kael, Apr 17, 2010.
The pieces might be the same, but each game is different. Just like chess, but different.
Thankfully for the forseable future Firaxis is committed to being modifiable.
I wonder, after the BTS bashing, will you be jumping to Civ V immediately or wait a year as Kael has done to catch the mods. For me, having started with Civ I, I'm buying immediately.
Will Kael's FfH game be moddable? Soren pointed out the extra effort/schedule/cost(/risk) taken on when doing so. It'll be interesting to hear if this is something Kael will invest in.
I sure hope it is, since I'm already brainstorming some ideas for a mod for it. (Of course, these ideas depend on a lot of assumptions about the game that could very easily not be true, so I am jumping the gun by quite a long ways. )
Will this possible game be available in hard copies or better yet digital download?
If its digital download perhaps you could use Impulse as your launch pad.
I don't see mods as competing with expansion packs in the RPG niche/genre.
Making one's own adventure, having the community provide small new adventures freely while the developper works on an expansion that provides new art and stories is certainly something worth having for the players, and the expansion will mostly require a lot of work and storytelling that mods can rarely provide.
Why would it be an RPG?
Absolutely. In the console wars, making money on DLC is what it is ALL about. That is their model. Consoles are sold at a loss in order to perpetuate that model. Online game matching and DLC services are part of that model. Modding existing game content for free... that is NOT part of their standard model.
Today, most successful PC games I know of have some form of modifiable content in them. Even the online MMO's, already the most player-specific/player customized genre out there has extensive mod capabilities in UI and information display. That is, up to the point where such personal modifications could cause online community problems. (ie: bots, people messing with the exe, altering packets, etc..).
It's all about personalization and diversity. It's about the players playing the game they want to play. Happy players will buy a company's products, sometimes for the producer's label alone. Unhappy players will spread poop all over the intranetz. If you allow a fanbase a mod dev kit and decent tools or the ability to create their own, you have a much better chance of having a happy fanbase. Keep them well fed and they'll buy again.. and again.. and again..
As far as expansions go, you brought up graphics. You know, serious grognards would scoff at graphics, praising the unholy might of intellect and imagination as key to successful gaming and the supreme mental and tactical power necessary to envision a cardboard chit representing thousands of lives and blah, blah, blah.. But, I don't know anyone that doesn't like to see their enemy explode in a spectacle of fire, shooting sparks and unidentifiable body parts.
"Visual enhancements" are always the paying components of the bells&whistles expansions. Sure, the mechanics introduced might not be so stellar or different but.. putting in something like particle effects makes a huge visual impact. So, there is definitely something positive to be said for pure fluff, when it's live, on your screen and helping you enjoy launching exploding party favors at your enemy! NEVAR DISKOWNT TEH VALYOU OF TEH FLUFF! <boom>
Exactly! I honestly don't care if the graphics are super realistic or not... But you need decent graphics in order to hold the player's attention, keep them playing, make it an enjoyable experience so they buy more.
Like I said... This is one place the difference between a player-made Sumerian civ and a DLC Sumerian civ will always be very different. They may be essentially the same, gameplay wise... But if the DLC civ has better graphics, many people will buy it simply because they do not want to stare at vanilla units all day.
Of course, that model also necessitates that player-made mods are prevented from using DLC art... Or can require the DLC to work. To do otherwise negates the one advantage DLC possesses, and sends you back to the beginning.
All that said, I'm positive Firaxis has thought of all this.
The most moddable RPG on the planet IMO is Neverwinter Nights. (II to be exact) I actually played the first Neverwinter Nights.. on AOL. It started waaaay back in the heyday of AOL as one of the first psuedo MMO games before Ultima Online.
Anyway, flash foward a few decades and you have a heavily moddable RPG game with a huge fanbase developing modules and even player-run worlds where players login to a player-created server with its own rules, own monsters, stoylines, classes.. whatever you can imagine.
Bioware has even successfully introduced "modules" for the game as purchasable expansions. These aren't, necessarily, conventional "Expansions" for the game. They're developer produced modules with sometimes a bit of fluff or new mechanics added in. Players/modders can opt to use some of the components or not for their own modules and mods. AFAIK, these module expansions don't break anything not specifically coded to use them. Basically, Bioware has entered the player's Mod Marketplace, competing with its modbase by offering exceptionally crafted mods with, in some cases, added game mechanics to entice new players and modders.
As someone else has mentioned, Oblivion has done well in the mod market place. So well, in fact, that Bethesda also sells "plug ins" for the game. These are developer produced add-ons and flavor enhancements. Need a new stronghold? Want a storyline to go with it? Well, you can download "Fred's uber cool cave!!1!111ELVENTYONE!11!!" or "Fighter's Stronghold by Bethesda." Which do you think is a quality product that will work seamlessly in your own Oblivion campaign? Here, Bethesda is successfully competing with their mod community. And, what's more, they also crossover to the platform market.(Mostly XBox, from what I can see.) So, those platform geeks have a shot at new content as well.
Someone out there, and I forget who atm, has managed to allow players/modders to actually "sell" their game modifications in a sort of "Second Life" way. But, I can't recall who it is. But, if someone is big enough and has the chutzpah enough to figure out how to allow modders to benefit from selling their work without breaching their intellectual property rights, they could stand to make a pretty nice profit and secure a dedicated mod community if their timing and product is right. For a game like Civ, it wouldn't necessarily work. But, it could be something to think about down the road. After all, a game is a system and mod tools are basically an SDK... It's all already done but the licensing..
Imagine the developer thinking about an expansion pack and looking over the modbase.. They see all the inventive things that people have done and say to themselves "Oh, woe is us, who hath so diligently produced a masterpiece, only to have it thrown to the masses so they may hast their way with it! Whatever shall we do? !!"
So, they cry, close down shop, kick all the modders out and program operating systems for coke machines for the rest of their lives.
The examine what the player base is doing. They have a bajillion registered players communicating and swapping mods back and forth. It's a truly captive audience and test-market for whatever the heck they want to do. They can spend five minutes reading the forums for an expansion and, instead of resigning themselves to writing "Please Deposit .25 cents" for the rest of their lives, they can remark:
"Ah. I see Fred's mod could really use a component that would let him redraw the map or even introduce randomized instances! That would be cool! I'll write that down on the project board. Oh, here's another one. Jane wants to be able to have neat dialogue to pop up above her unit's head when it interacts with a terrain feature, player command or combat. That'd be cool too...."
They run down the forums in a day, gather all the ideas that others have put forth, send out a few PMs to the creators of the most notable projects and, wallah!, they have the content and new mechanics that everyone has been waiting for. All they have to do is build it and put it in a box. Moreover, no surveys, no focus-groups, no headscratching is needed. They know what the players want because the players spend all their time yapping about their favorite mods and what they really wish they could do.
Mods keep the players active with the game's community. Players will login just to see what new mods are out even if they don't currently have the game installed! I have several moddable games on my shelf that are not installed. If I felt like playing an RPG, I would install NWN and go out and download some new content. I'd probably hop right on board, buying Bethesda's content because I know it would be quality work. The same goes with Oblivion if I wanted to play a FPS/Fantasy game. Mod communities keep the players tied to the developer and that is worth a lot of cash to them.
I played and finished about 30-40 games of Civ. If you sit down for a while and look at the synergies traits+UU+UB + normal buildings + victory types have to offer the differences don't seem that small. I tried FFH in a very early stage, but didn't like it. The tech tree was too confusing and the gameplay was too clumsy. Then after BtS had Rhys' and Fall which improved the normal gameplay a lot I looked again for mods and tried FFH again (I think it was 0.3x) and it seemed to be polished and was a lot of fun. After that I didn't play BtS again.
heh, interesting underhanded compliment.
Personally I hope that FFH fire is re-released for the PSP (lol jk)
but yea, a cameo re-release of fire at some point (for either BTS or the new FFH) would be rather cool.
I'm hoping it will be an FPS where a grizzled, muscular guy in Amurite or Luchuirp Powered armor fighting demons in brown and dirty Hell Terrain, but that's just me.
Fall From Heaven 3 - The Age of Leporidae
where did you find that strange pic?
It's the killer rabbit from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."
You lose 1 nerd credit for not recognizing that picture.
My money is on FFH (new) being an RPG. I only hope it is at least as fun as Mount and Blade: Warbands. (if they go free-form)
At least as fun as Dragon Age (if they go Storyline).
Preferably an FPS-RPG. But then, I have a game idea of my own for that genre that I will hopefully be able to make one day.
That's not fair. I didn't know I had any nerd credits to begin with.
Separate names with a comma.