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Meta Fan Game involving their studio

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by Darksider, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. Darksider

    Darksider

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    Hi. I am a fan of a MMO, and I tought I could create a fan game based on that universe. I think I would make completely new characters, but with races present in original game.

    The idea is that the game is a meta one. It puts the question :
    " What if the races in that world find a way to get to our world and interact with devs ? "

    I have seen several videos of the devs presenting their studio, so I might model it as a game environment. Of course, I won't use real people names or aspect, I'll invent some.

    The game would be some sort of linear adventure, in which you try to save their studio from other characters.

    As for the main characters, I think of a team between a character of that world and a dev.

    I imaggine one of the repplies in the game ,, They created us ! We must save them ! "

    In the case of logos, if let's say the studio uses a bird logo styled in a way, could a totally different styled bird be used as environment prop ?

    Finally - what do you think ? Could this game put some problems ?
     
  2. khanstruct

    khanstruct

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    Parodies are fine, but using characters/races specific to their game will be a big no-no.
     
  3. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

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    I'm not a lawyer, first.

    I noticed that you said, you'll make new characters with existing races. I'm pretty sure those races would be protected under that studio's intellectual property. What's more, the likenesses of people (e.g. you, me, members of said MMO's dev team) I know for a fact are protected under IP law. There are ways to get around that - parody, some other ways - but honestly, I wouldn't bet on any of them.

    What I think that you really should do, is ask the creators of the MMO that you're a fan of. Outline your idea - you have a far stronger, more concrete idea than many new posters I've seen on these forums, which is a good thing - and ask their written permission, if you're serious about this. If you have written permission, you can make your fan game. Out of due diligence, I'd periodically run what you have by them and make sure they're OK with what you're going for.

    Now that we're past the best-practice/semi-legal stuff, I think the idea of creatures from an invented world teaming up with real people to be an interesting one. You see it in TV and movies a lot - often, from the 80s/90s - but it would be cool to see it in video games once in a while, too. Even if you can't get the studio that you want to base it off of to sign on, consider modifying the idea to work with your own semi-original ideas (we're all influenced by something.)
     
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  4. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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    MMO's spend years of effort, millions in development costs, and many more millions marketing their unique brand of IP. Getting approval to share that IP is extremely unlikely. And, giving away your game for free will not protect you.

    Of course, it's possible you could build your game and release it and that no one would ever notice. Maybe you'd be too small for them to do anything. And yet, it'd be awful to have years of work blown away by a single 'cease and desist letter'. The answer is 'yes, it's a problem'.

    Gigi
     
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  5. ostrich160

    ostrich160

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    Correction, MMO's CAN spend years of effort and millions in development costs. This guy made an MMO in python in 4 hours! Theres so many factors to it honestly, but I see where your coming from.

    The hard part with MMO's is it only becomes a complete game when you have at least 100 players. But how do you get them in the first place?

    http://www.enchantedage.com/pymmo
     
  6. khanstruct

    khanstruct

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    Uh, no. He made a server that you could log into in 4 hours. That's not an MMO. He even ends that article by saying, "I bet you could have a 2D MMO game up and running in a week..." and I can comfortably say that he has no idea what he's talking about.
     
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  7. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

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    For instance:

    1: How scalable is it? Can it handle 10 players without reaching a stack overflow in 15 minutes? How about 100? 1000?
    2: Security. Security is hard. How easy is it to attack this server and learn information about the players that anyone outside of the development team really should not have (e.g. IP addresses?)
    3: He has 'the basics' of the infrastructure there, but a normal MMO has hundreds of items, enemies, NPCs, and players. In addition to the 'How many players can this server scale to question', how many standard data assets can this server support without falling over?
    4: ...And many more that I don't know about, because I've never written an MMO. Further, I don't plan to; I don't think they're financially viable unless you get crazy lucky, like WoW did.
     
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  8. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    One hundred players is a MUD-sized game at best. Typical MMOs are expected to have thousands.

    World of Warcraft's success was more than simply luck. Warcraft already had an established community and lore base by the time the MMO was released. Blizzard themselves had a solid reputation.

    With that said, you don't need to approach WoW's level of success in order to have a financially viable MMO. A budget in the millions of dollars can help tremendously, but you don't really need that either.

    Sherwood Dungeon, for example, is a one-man MMO with one million unique players a month. It had taken him six years, at the time of the article's release, to reach that point though.

    http://www.sherwooddungeon.com/news_TenTonHammer.html
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
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  9. khanstruct

    khanstruct

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    A few years ago, an MMO needed 200k players within the first year in order to be called a "success". That number may be a little different now, but it's still pretty close.
     
  10. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Are we referring to the number of players online at any given time? Or overall player base size? I was referring to the former when I made my statement of "thousands". I'm pretty certain he was too.
     
  11. khanstruct

    khanstruct

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    Overall playerbase. I think, in it's prime, WoW set the record for having 200k concurrent users (and that's practically unheard of).
     
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  12. Darksider

    Darksider

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  13. evan140

    evan140

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    Getting back to the topic at hand. Regardless of the type of game being made, you could just make the content of the game be close but not EXACTLY the content from the original.

    So if you were to extend World Of Warcraft: You could use minotaurs instead of Tauren. The Tauren are generally just native-american inspired minotaurs.

    Gnomes, halflings, elves, humans, aren't really owned by anyone. But, for example, you probably will run into a problem if you call your halflings "hobbits" because of Lord Of The Rings.

    As for the employees of the dev team, from what you're saying I think just having characters be titles would make sense. "Lead Artist, Owner, Investor, Beta Tester, Programmer, Design Lead, Studio Pet, Coffee Fetcher, etc"

    As for visual style, nobody seems to care that everyone steals everyone else's visual concepts. Warcraft's style where everything looks like carved stone has already been copied a bunch of times.
     
  14. ostrich160

    ostrich160

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    I can comfortably say the same about you

    Honestly, if I wasnt already flooded with projects, I'd take that up as a challenge.
    But I can get far too much done in a week to waste it on proving myself
     
  15. ostrich160

    ostrich160

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    Expected is the key word here. Really, all an MMO needs to be classed as an MMO is the ability to hold more players than a traditional multiplayer game. If I made a game that could hold 200 players, and only I played it, it'd technically still be an MMO. Just not a successful one.
     
  16. khanstruct

    khanstruct

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    I was once funded by and worked with Idea Fabrik (owners of Hero Engine), many of whom are former members of Simutronics (the original creators of Hero Engine). I spent a great deal of that time and money developing an MMO. So yes, I know exactly what I'm talking about.
     
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  17. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Most likely a defunct one too. :p
     
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  18. ostrich160

    ostrich160

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    I do wish I could spare a day just to prove you wrong, but eh, not worth it
     
  19. khanstruct

    khanstruct

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    I think we're just having a technical misunderstanding. There is a very big difference between "multiplayer" and "massive multiplayer". You can't use the same structure for both. It won't work. There's a good reason games like Call of Duty don't allow any ol' number of players into a multiplayer match. It would crash the game.

    Can you write a basic server in a few hours? Sure. Can you not restrict the number of connections? Of course. Would it hold up in an MMO? Not even a little.

    And we're just talking technical stuff. This isn't even considering the sheer amount of content required for even the most basic MMO.

    EDIT: Let me give a very basic example. A webpage. A relatively simple beast. Teams of people have spent decades developing reliable, stable webservers to maintain the interwebs. And yet, when a celebrity says "hey, go check out this website", and thousands of people flock to it, it invariably crashes. A simple, stable webpage.

    Why? Because the server isn't designed to handle that kind of traffic. Now imagine if it had to do something slightly more complex, like updating each user's position in 3d space every few seconds. :eek:
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2015
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  20. ostrich160

    ostrich160

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    So what do you think makes multiplayer massive multiplayer?
     
  21. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

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    He's saying the scale introduces technical hurdles and other problems that you can't overcome using the techniques often used to develop small-scale multiplayer. As a result, massive multiplayer has to be implemented completely differently than 'traditional' multiplayer. They are so different, in fact, as to be almost completely different things.
     
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  22. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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    Magic? Or, maybe ... lots of people. And please don't be fooled by the 'code it in a day' crap, good networking is hard.
    Gigi
     
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