Derek, man, I'm feeling unloved

Ok, I bought BCM:G from GameStop and I’m enjoying it, but I have a gripe about registering for the 3000AD forums. Not only do I have to provide a CD key in order to get in–reasonable enough, imho, given the history-but I have to wait to be “approved?” How long is this going to take? I’ve already been waiting for two days, and I can’t even remember the question I needed to ask now. (And don’t tell me it must not have been important. It was. And yes, I searched for the answer first, but didn’t find one.)

I’m trying real hard to be understanding about your situtation, but how many hoops should paying customers have to jump through? This isn’t intended as a flame, but I am a little perturbed at this point.

Well, I’m sure you appreciate the fact that with a new release, there would be an influx of n00bs, all wanting to post. So, there was a backlog. Sorry about that. It happens when you have a popular franchise :D :D :D

You should have been approved by now and I just checked the queue. Its huge but slowly being emptied. Some folks still don’t read what they’re signing - even though its written at the VERY TOP of the form. They go and register without their CDKEY. And when they get rejected, they start spamming the CAT email address asking why. :roll:

Posting on the board is a priviledge. Not a right. So there is no incentive to rush and approve everyone around the clock, just because they know my first name. But I made an exception for you. I have approved you myself ;) Good thing you used the same handle as you do here.

Until you are approved, if you have any game or tech questions, you might want to send email to the tech support address or use the site’s search feature. Then again, you can always ask me here.

If you have a question about the state of the multiplayer servers, you can read my updated bulletin here. And you can find the updated version control files here.

And to ease the pain of making you wait, here are some sweet shots I released about an hour ago. They’re the transports from BCG. Enjoy!

btw, you own previous BC games, right? What do you think of the amazing quality of the production work that Dreamcatcher put into the BCMG materials? I’m still astonished, as are several others.

Posting on the board is a priviledge. Not a right.

Understood. I had read that already.

So there is no incentive to rush and approve everyone around the clock, just because they know my first name.

Understood as well. I wasn’t trying to name-drop or whatever you want to call it. But I know you read the Qt3 boards and answer to the name Derek. Therefore, I addressed my post to you.

But I made an exception for you. I have approved you myself Good thing you used the same handle as you do here.

Thanks much. Now I just have to remember what the hell it was I needed to ask. Oh well, it’ll come back to me eventually. :)

btw, you own previous BC games, right? What do you think of the amazing quality of the production work that Dreamcatcher put into the BCMG materials? I’m still astonished, as are several others.

No, I don’t. I had played the demo back when I was running Win98, but I never got around to buying the game. After I heard BCM:G was going to have multiplayer I decided to wait for that. Anyway, I agree that the materials are very good. I was a bit worried going in that I’d be stuck trying to learn the game from HTML files, but that’s obviously not a concern now–well, except for the ship/weapon/etc. reference data, which is in HTML form, but I can live with that. Job well done, all around.

EDIT: Btw, the thread you’ve referenced here is part of the reason I was perturbed. When I was reading it last night, I got to the part where you link to another forum and couldn’t proceed because I was locked out of that thread :wink:

Yeah, it was Brian’s idea to put my tutorials and How To sections (from the html files) into the manual. He also wanted to put in all the appendix data you mentioned, but it would have (a) blown our budget (b) made the manual way fatter than it already is. Maybe he’ll decide to do it for BCG, dunno.

At the every least, we might add the ships, weapons and other important appendix data. Its all down to budget. We didn’t have a big budget for BCM Gold, since its basically a re-release, albeit one with more new content than most Gold games these days.

e.g. apart from me flat out deciding not to fork out $25K+ (it comes out of my pocket at the end of the day) to use GameSpy.Net for multiplayer, I went with the ASE server/cdkey SDK combo instead. Its leaner, meaner, cheaper and I don’t have to pay for what I don’t need. Same thing with mulitplayer servers, it would’ve cost us upwards of $35K+ for Homelan servers. At the last minute, I went with xgamer.net instead (and we’re almost done) because we simply could not justify the costs. Now I have five brand spanking, totally bitching fast servers and with five more to follow (for BCG).

Anyway, did you play Freelancer? What did you think of the mouse flight controls, compared to my implementation in BCMG? (see page 68-69 of the manual) which I merged in from BCG (I wanted to guage feedback, which is why I put in BCMG).

So, what made you buy BCMG? And what do you think of it so far? I know you said you were having a good time, but what grabs you the most?

ps: The multiplayer servers (and the server patch) should be up by Monday once some minor HW issues are resolved.

Hey, I understand. I didn’t figure the reference data got left out for no reason. In the real world, there’s always that little money thing–not to mention Murphy–that gets in the way of the best laid plans…

At the every least, we might add the ships, weapons and other important appendix data. Its all down to budget. We didn’t have a big budget for BCM Gold, since its basically a re-release, albeit one with more new content than most Gold games these days.

Yes, I have to say it’s pretty unusual to see a Gold edition of a game with as much added content as there is in BCM:G. In some ways, even though it’s obviously not, it almost qualifies as a separate game in the series. I’m perfectly satisfied with my purchase.

Now I have five brand spanking, totally bitching fast servers and with five more to follow (for BCG).

That is so cool. I can’t wait to get up to speed enough to try them out. The multiplayer is a big draw for me (and I’m not normally a multiplayer type of guy by any means).

Anyway, did you play Freelancer? What did you think of the mouse flight controls, compared to my implementation in BCMG? (see page 68-69 of the manual) which I merged in from BCG (I wanted to guage feedback, which is why I put in BCMG).

No, something about Freelancer didn’t really appeal to me, so I haven’t seen its mouse control firsthand. I have used yours, though, and I like it fine. The only thing is the necessity of hitting the Alt key to enable/disable it: being used to joystick control, that’s kind of annoying until you get used to it, but there’s really no obvious way I can see around it and you do eventually learn to do it without having to think about it.

So, what made you buy BCMG? And what do you think of it so far? I know you said you were having a good time, but what grabs you the most?

I’m one of these big “immersion” guys. That’s the Holy Grail for me when it comes to games. So the idea of a complex, immersive space sim holds a lot of appeal for me. But when I say I’m having fun right now, it’s mostly in learning, bit by bit, everything the game can do. I’m pretty much a newb, so the joy of discovery hasn’t worn off yet. :)

As an aside, I’ve been playing EVE the last few weeks and I’m completely impressed with it. However, it does have its downside, and that for me is the fact that it’s a third-person, point-and-click-navigation game. I mean, that has its place and all, but it’s just not as inherently fun as being able to pilot your ships from the inside. So right now I’ve got this thing going on in my head: wouldn’t it be great to have the realistic, complex economic game of EVE, combined with the first-person command and control immersiveness of BC? That would be very nearly my own personal ideal for a space sim.

ps: The multiplayer servers (and the server patch) should be up by Monday once some minor HW issues are resolved.

Sweet. I can’t wait to wander onto them, if only to get my ass handed to me. I suspect I’m really going to love the multiplayer. :D

Yeah. And you getting the GameStop version gives you an additional campaign scenario.

The thing is that I didnt’ want BCMG to just be multiplayer - which is the biggest draw in the game - it being the first BC game in the series to support mp. So I decided to put in a lot of content so that the single player folks don’t get left out.

[quote]Now I have five brand spanking, totally bitching fast servers and with five more to follow (for BCG).

That is so cool. I can’t wait to get up to speed enough to try them out. The multiplayer is a big draw for me (and I’m not normally a multiplayer type of guy by any means).[/quote]

Yeah, mp is the most critical and thats what scares me the most. Doing mp for such a large and complex game has not been easy. And in doing it for both game (BCMG/BCG) I find myself asking my AE how far I should go with the BCMG variant without encroaching on my BCG schedule and feature set. The result is that mp in BCMG is perfect enough for that game, but will be even more advanced in BCG - especially in terms of vehicles (since we have a new physics system), trading and wealth of other options. I had to disable a bunch of things in BCMG mp because the game is so huge and complex that anyone can exploit the most simple feature to the extreme (e.g. the use of OTS weapons - which would end an mp game pretty darn quick for the folks on a planet).

And flipping the ON switch on the servers in a few days is probably going to be the single most traumatic experience of my life. And its scaring the live bejesus out of me, just thinking about it. I have wanted to do an mp version of my all encompassing electronic battlerealm for some time and now that its a reality, it scares me even more. Especially since this is my first foray in mp.

[quote]Anyway, did you play Freelancer? What did you think of the mouse flight controls,

No, something about Freelancer didn’t really appeal to me, so I haven’t seen its mouse control firsthand. I have used yours, though, and I like it fine. The only thing is the necessity of hitting the Alt key to enable/disable it: being used to joystick control, that’s kind of annoying until you get used to it, but there’s really no obvious way I can see around it and you do eventually learn to do it without having to think about it. [/quote]

Yeah, you have to be able to toggle the mouse between selection and flight mode, and this was the only way to do it.

As an aside, I’ve been playing EVE the last few weeks and I’m completely impressed with it. However, it does have its downside, and that for me is the fact that it’s a third-person, point-and-click-navigation game. I mean, that has its place and all, but it’s just not as inherently fun as being able to pilot your ships from the inside. So right now I’ve got this thing going on in my head: wouldn’t it be great to have the realistic, complex economic game of EVE, combined with the first-person command and control immersiveness of BC? That would be very nearly my own personal ideal for a space sim.

Yeah, I’ve played it a bit too and its really quite impressive (it just puts EnB in the shade in all aspects) though I don’t see it having lasting appeal for a number of reasons, one of which you just cited. In my MMOG game (BCO, which is based on BCG), I’m leaving the entire premise as is, while introducing whatever elements are required of an MMOG (sans the treadmill of course). As soon as I burn through my BCG and GCE skus, I’m going to disappear completely into BCO, possibly until I retire (somewhere around 55). Unless of course something else fun (like another XBox game idea of something) comes along.

[quote]ps: The multiplayer servers (and the server patch) should be up by Monday once some minor HW issues are resolved.

Sweet. I can’t wait to wander onto them, if only to get my ass handed to me. I suspect I’m really going to love the multiplayer. :D[/quote]

I won’t worry about that if I were you. The way the game is designed, you can remain in your home base and play defense (space or planet) and just let the experienced vets do all the offensive and sometimes intense defensive stuff. I don’t see n00bs in BC mp having any disadvantage against vets - unless of course they’re foolish enough to engage them.

Its gonna be fun

Obviously, it’s hard for me to judge, since I’m just a newb, but I’d say just get the servers running and then turn your attention to BCG. If BCG is going to be out in six months or so, I think people will put up with a slightly hobbled BCMG experience. Especially if you explain what the tradeoff is: more BCMG equals less BCG.

The result is that mp in BCMG is perfect enough for that game, but will be even more advanced in BCG - especially in terms of vehicles (since we have a new physics system), trading and wealth of other options. I had to disable a bunch of things in BCMG mp because the game is so huge and complex that anyone can exploit the most simple feature to the extreme (e.g. the use of OTS weapons - which would end an mp game pretty darn quick for the folks on a planet).

Again, I’m no judge yet, but most of that stuff doesn’t sound like a deal-breaker to me. The one thing I would love to see, though, is FPS players dragged into space and killed by tractor beams. I can’t believe you’re outlawing that. That would be just too fugging funny. (Not fair, but funny.)

And flipping the ON switch on the servers in a few days is probably going to be the single most traumatic experience of my life. And its scaring the live bejesus out of me, just thinking about it. I have wanted to do an mp version of my all encompassing electronic battlerealm for some time and now that its a reality, it scares me even more. Especially since this is my first foray in mp.

Derek Smart traumatized? Nah. I don’t think so. It’ll be fine. Besides, if you’re going to have troubles, this is the game to have them with. You definitely don’t want them with BCG. (Jesus, man, pleeeeease don’t have them with BCG. The last thing anybody wants, I think–friend or foe–is to give your Usenet fanclub something new to yap about.) But you’re not going to have problems. It’s going to go fine.

So say I, who don’t know jack-shit about anything… :)

I don’t know about Eve Derek, I’ve never felt so disconnected from my alter ego in a space game. Its a massive improvement over E & B but something is not quite right about it. Perhaps its expecting drama after playing so many space operas.

A traditional space sim on a galatic scale is much more enticing, your foray or what the egosoft crew has talked about.

I’m kinda disappointed in EVE. I was really looking forward, but at the beginning it takes FOREVER to achieve anything and one hardly feels like one is making a progress. Mining is incredibly tedious, fetch quests aren’t exciting either as you’re basically running from one jump gate to the next. (Some automization wouldn’t hurt here.) Maybe the fun comes when the corporation-part kicks really in, but what I’ve seen so far was rather underwhelming.

EDIT: snipped double post.

You’re right. There is no fun in EVE outside of corporations, at least initially. That’s what the game is all about, and unless you’re going to be a pirate or an impoverished masochist, you’re really trying to swim upstream by going it alone. Find a good corporation and join it, or start one yourself. You will make much more progress communally.

But the key is to find a good corporation–one run by people who understand business and who understand the underlying economic model of the game. A 733t d00d corporation isn’t going to get you anywhere. EVE is intended to be a serious economic simulation that relies on players’ savvy and their own interactions with each other for the drama, so unless you approach it in that spirit and with that understanding, you’ll just be spinning your wheels.

I speak from experience. I played solo for the first few days and didn’t think much of the game–more or less the way you feel now. Then I got picked up by a good corporation and my eyes were opened (it helped, no doubt, that I was made second in command). Now I seriously love EVE. I don’t know how long it will last, because in the end the motivation to keep playing is still just to get more and better stuff, but the dynamic is different enough that it’s holding my interest for the time being. I like the battle for corporate dominance and all the politics and intrigue that goes along with that. (Cue smartass comment about how “you should join the game industry then…” :)

hehe, I know it would be funny and thats why I disabled it. In fact, I clean forgot about it until Peter did it. And I’m like …ok, that one’s gonner :D

Fact is, there is NO defense against most of these things and thats the problem.

e.g. I had completely disabled towing - but it is such an important feature that I had to find workarounds for it. Which is why I re-enabled it but with restrictions (and a new feature : the ability to manually toggle your SOS state, which you couldn’t do in any previous BC game) - which I’m sure someone is going to find a way to circumvent at some point. The ability to call your friend to tow you to a base/station so that you can repair/rearm/relaunch is very important to people who don’t want to lose their asset (since there is no asset switching in BCMG). In fact, that alone spawned something else that I have to consider putting into BCMG at some point because it will be one thing that people bitch about. And this is when you lose your asset (vehicle or craft), if you are not in it when it gets destroyed or grounded due to damage, you can still continue playing on the server, but you can’t get another one! Especially if you are too far from a base/station and can’t dock to do repairs before it goes boom. So, I have to - at some point - consider finding a way to have a player’s destroyed asset be re-created at his home base or something, since I can’t merge in BCG’s asset switching capabilities (it can’t be done in BCMG due to the code structure in BCG).

The game is so huge and with so many, many features that just finding, disabling and/or restricting them for mp has been an ongoing ordeal. Especially since I have to make those changes in two games (BCMG/BCG) that were in development.

As soon as I think of one thing and find a solution, I find myself staring either at several other holes or several excitement stopping restrictions.

Fact is, I already knew this going in and thats one of the reasons I didn’t end up doing mp in BCM. The BCMG mp architecture is an entirely different ballgame, hence the separate executable - since its basically the mp architecture from BCG (which is a single executable for both single and multi play) literally shoehorned into the aging BCM kernel to make it work.

I didn’t even end up using Nick’s (a friend of mine at MIT) mp SDK (though he is still listed in the game credits because we forgot to remove him from the list), but instead licensed a third-party one from Sweden for the UDP based networking transport layer. After taking one look at DirectPlay, I bolted. :D :D And it didn’t get any better in DX8 or 9 for that matter.

[quote]And flipping the ON switch on the servers in a few days is probably going to be the single most traumatic experience of my life. And its scaring the live bejesus out of me, just thinking about it. I have wanted to do an mp version of my all encompassing electronic battlerealm for some time and now that its a reality, it scares me even more. Especially since this is my first foray in mp.

Derek Smart traumatized? Nah. I don’t think so. It’ll be fine. Besides, if you’re going to have troubles, this is the game to have them with. You definitely don’t want them with BCG. (Jesus, man, pleeeeease don’t have them with BCG. The last thing anybody wants, I think–friend or foe–is to give your Usenet fanclub something new to yap about.) But you’re not going to have problems. It’s going to go fine. [/quote]

hehe, I know what you mean and this is what I keep reminding myself of each day. Apart from Brian hammering into my skull that BCG is where all our eggs are, so we have six months to sort out all these mp kinks.

As for the Usenet junkies, you know better than that. Since when did they need an excuse?

don’t know about Eve Derek, I’ve never felt so disconnected from my alter ego in a space game. Its a massive improvement over E & B but something is not quite right about it. Perhaps its expecting drama after playing so many space operas.

A traditional space sim on a galatic scale is much more enticing, your foray or what the egosoft crew has talked about.

I think its a change of pace. But sadly, they’re headed in the same direction as EnB and making the same mistakes. And its going to be as boring as Jumpgate (in some aspects) if they’re not careful.

The problem is that in order to have a balance, you need experience. NONE of the devs on that project have ANY experience whatsoever in either this type of game nor in anything remotely associated with games, let alone MMOGs for that matter. Thats a very big problem. Then you go and compound it by doing an MMOG based on a fledgling genre. Its like an uphill battle that they’re not going to win I don’t think. Even EA, with all their treasures, can’t make it happen with EnB. To the extent that I read the other day on Fatbabies that they’re going to pull the plug in July. But then again, who didn’t see that coming?

Whats funny is that I pitched BCM/BCG/BCO to S&S back in 2001 and they (specifically Jeff Siegal) pissed around with me for several months and never gave me an answer either way (I just hate it when those bastards at publishers do that!). Until I read in April 2002 that they signed Eve instead. Of course by that time, I had gone with the EB exclusive on BCM and proceeded to work on BCG/BCO on my own. I guess it was cheaper to go to Iceland. Looking at the S&S game portfolio, one can only hope that this doesn’t get botched.

Eve may have a compelling economy but who wants to fly around and play a spreadsheet? You can do that in X just fine and even more so in X2 and their upcoming X Online. You need a lot more than that in a space based MMOG. Traditionally, these type of games have been about fast, non-stop action. And most have diverged into other areas (e.g. Darkspace, Jumpgate, X, Freelancer) in order to corner a specific type of space sim gamer. But the fact is, those types of gamers are few and far between.

There is a damn good reason why, after four titles in the BC series (yes, I consider BCMG to be a hybrid worthy of standing on its own) I have resisted every urge and gamer bollocking, to put in a full fledged economic system beyond what I already have and which, while not as advanced as the one in, say, X or Eve, fits quite well into the game without detracting or affecting the other aspects of the game. After all, the BC games are all about fast action combat. If you want to be a sissy trader trolling the galactic pathways, be my guest. You’d be bored to tears before long - especially since you will spend most of your time staving off raiders and the like. But there is some amount of fun in that. One time, I played a trader career with an armed transport for several days before I finally retired the profile. It was just fun zipping around the galaxy and running at the first sign of trouble. Or luring hapless raiders into a cluster of police or military units and watching them getting creamed. But you can only do that for so long in single play. In multi play, most of the fun will be in, well, pretty much the same thing, but I think it will be more fun just hauling spare parts and arms to the highest bidder (you can do this in BCMG too, btw. Just deploy the cargo pod) on the server.

Finding a balance in a game - any game - is not an exact science and it takes some experience to find the perfect balance and synergy. I don’t think Eve has that at all. And thats where it is failing I think. Pretty graphics do not make a game good and we’ve all learned that. For what it is, it is a change, but as soon as X online gets off the ground, its going to get killed- if not before. Unless and until they cater to a wider audience of space simmers, I see Eve as another AO type deal where they have a small number of gamers that barely pay for the servers.

Freelancer, were it an MMOG, would have been perfect (and would have more appeal than Eve) if it had (a) a real dynamic universe, instead of the pseudo one (b) mission variety (c) a proper and dynamic economy. It did so many things right, but the evidence of a rushed release are evident in these three areas and its quite blatant in fact.

There is damn good reason why in BCO, I’m building the facets of an MMOG on top of a proven kernel and feature base that is BCG, while not creating a virtual spreadsheet or a treadmill. You don’t have to play in any one fashion. You can play in this massive online world, do what the heck you like and in BCO change avatars at will (for those who want to give up commanding a captial ship, for the fast paced and suicidal life of a planetary combat marine) and based on your gaming whims.

When you don’t have very many choices, you lead gamers into perpetual boredom. And thats what the bane of space sims have always been. And then you go and ask them to fork out a monthly fee to play. Thats just asking for trouble to say the least.

And as we have seen with the comments on Planetside (regarding who wants to pay to play a game like that when there are so many free ones of the same genre floating around), when you have similar games for free, you’re going to be hard pressed to get someone to pay for it. As such, come 2004-05 period, during which I don’t expect the space sim landscape to have changed by much, there won’t be many of these games to play, apart from ones like Jumpgate, Darkspace, BCO and hopefully X Online, which have low costs, low overhead and a large enough install base to keep them running. If you can’t wait 2-3 years for a new space sim and want a quick run around at $10/mnth, sign up for one, play until you’re tired, cancel your sub. If nothing else comes along, you can always go back in. And since the very nature of MMOGs entails ongoing advancements (as am I known for), over the years BCO will, like Jumpgate, Darkspace (possibly X Online and Eve) be the only space sims around to play.

Yeah, I see what you’re saying if you’re looking at EVE strictly as a space sim. It’s pretty lame when viewed from that angle. But I don’t really look at it that way. I see it more as a business sim that just happens to take place in space. Most of the fun I’ve gotten out of it had to do with interpersonal and intercorporate situations arising out of the basically mundane actions of mining, trading, building, etc.

I’ll admit to being a little embarrassed by that, because I’ve always hated the Sims for being a simulator of the mundane and now here I am liking basically the same thing in another context :) But as you say, my interest almost certainly won’t be held forever (especially now that I’ve got BCMG to play with).

Don’t look at me :D Look at the devs, they set it in space - and called it a space sim.

But I don’t really look at it that way. I see it more as a business sim that just happens to take place in space.

heh, thats exactly what it is. You’re playing a spreadsheet :D

I’ll admit to being a little embarrassed by that, because I’ve always hated the Sims for being a simulator of the mundane and now here I am liking basically the same thing in another context :) But as you say, my interest almost certainly won’t be held forever (especially now that I’ve got BCMG to play with).

heh, I don’t think Eve can be called mundane. It certainly has its appeal areas but the question is about longevity. And the fact that its pay-for-play is going to be a problem in the long run.

For those of you who give a toss, in the next few days, the very first game of its kind, to offer multiplayer in practically every environment you can think of (except naval of course, thats coming in BCG), will go online.

It is my very first attempt at multiplayer and is the first game of its kind. So go easy on me if you find any kinks. I can’t take much more abuse at this age. :D

Get your BCM Gold copies ready.

And if you’re in the media and didn’t yet get one from the DC folks and you’re in my contact list, yes, a copy is enroute to your bat cave.

ps: I will be hosting an exclusive password protected 32 player server for QT3 folks who have a copy of the game. More details soon.

EnB could of been so much more. They had it set up and sitting right there in front of them if they went PvP. The three factions were there to copy DAoC’s Realm vs. Realm, with an expansion they could of added in plantised combat with the player avatar’s using items, instead of just being a social means of representation.

EnB just posted their Update Plans for Next Year, so I’m awaiting to see what will come first, the fatbabies rumor or EnB making it another year.

I still haven’t logged into Eve to give it any thought. I’d like to see BCO someday. Derek you have a firm grasp of what it takes to make a decent game, while other’s just refuce to listen. Maybe you will be our deliverer of the MMO Holy Grail that so many of us have sought that understands role-play, pvp and community assests?

Div

Oh, man. I’m feeling the love now. Definitely feeling the love. :D

For all you guys who don’t have BCMG and who won’t be getting it free, scrape up the thirty measly bucks and go grab it, will ya? Let’s have some fun. Even if D screws the pooch on the multi for awhile (and I’m betting he won’t) there’s a ton of single-player content in it to keep you busy. BCMG’s really a no-lose proposition at this point.

Yeah, thats pretty much the general consensus. I am quite sure that this is passed around by the devs, but when you have someone at the top of the foodchain, being breathed on, any small change - which could be blamed on the person taking the risk - is not necessarily some poor guy pulling a paycheck is going to want to risk.

EnB just posted their Update Plans for Next Year, so I’m awaiting to see what will come first, the fatbabies rumor or EnB making it another year.

Its not a rumor. If my sources are correct, its a gonna. Looks like EA is really taking a beating in the new directions they keep trying. Maybe they should have just stuck with the 3D version of Ultima.

But then again, you really can’t fault them for trying. They tried with Motor City Online, The Sims and now EnB, all different directions from their original Ultima Online offering. Without risk, innovation is stiffled. So, I don’t look at the failure of these offerings as anything other than research.

They just need to put the right people in the right place and just take a hands off approach. Its really that simple. But they’re not gonna do it. I mean, who wants to fork out $5m+ on a title and give the devs and designers free reign?

Right now, for BCO, I have a $1m offer on the table (I’m asking $2m and not a dime less - but this particular set of suits think I’m bluffing. heh) and as with all my deals, I get free reign to do what is in the best interest of my design and my franchise mythos. Do I want to bank $2m so some suit can tell me how to design my game and then shut me down if it flops? Nope. Not this git. If I don’t get the funding I need for it, I can bloody well raise it myself. But there is no way in hell I’m doing an MMOG game that is not based on the tried and proven formulae for previous games - you know, the sort of thing that keeps them around. These are the sacrifices that even an external indie dev is faced with. Just imagine how much aggravation an internal dev studio has to deal with - office politics and ego stroking not withstanding.

I still haven’t logged into Eve to give it any thought.

The graphics are sweet and like mudpuppy said, to enjoy the game you have to join a corp and be ready to enjoy while not thinking that you’re really in a business sim. Somewhere along the line, someone forgot that we play games to get away from the mundane work life (well, apart from us game dev types who love our work to the limits of insanity and obsession) and decide to model a full blown player driven economy. That will only appeal to some gamers but my bet is its going to be the #1 thing that kills the game for the other side of the fence. And like EnB, its basically point and click.

If Eve were like Freelancer (sans the awful dialog), it would do quite well I think. The universe is like Freelancer and its not fully dynamic, but its believable. And the economic system - once they actually put in a game (which its not yet, as far as I can tell), it should do OK.

I’d like to see BCO someday.

Yeah, me too. Right now I just want to get BCG and the XBox title out of the way, so that I can focus all my attention on it. I fully plan on going into retirement with that game. :D

Derek you have a firm grasp of what it takes to make a decent game, while other’s just refuce to listen. Maybe you will be our deliverer of the MMO Holy Grail that so many of us have sought that understands role-play, pvp and community assests?

I dunno man, while my designs work for me and a bunch of other people, most folks tend to judge a game’s success by the number of sales etc. I’m not sure I’m going to be able to fit the bill for a lot space simmers because they all want different things. And thats why I primarily cater to an existing audience and if n00bs hop on, its all good. If not, I can still get by with the vets I have.

MMOGs are primarily judged by the number of subscribers - regardless of how many of them are actually having fun. While EA would consider 30K per month subs as a failure, I’d be jumping up and down on a daily basis if I had those numbers at a sustained rate. I’m not even looking at anything more than maybe 100K subscribers and that would only happen if the game is more appealing to the mass market and easier to get into. Some of this I plan on addressing in BCG (with the valuable input of my publishers) and the rest I will do on my own for BCO.

Gamers are a finnicky bunch and you never really know what the want, without actually either (a) force feeding it to them or (b) blindsiding them with it, like a surprise. In fact, take a look at the discussion of mouse flight control in BCMG and see for yourself.

heh, I have ulterior motives of my own. Just wait until that server goes up. :D

For all you guys who don’t have BCMG and who won’t be getting it free, scrape up the thirty measly bucks and go grab it, will ya? Let’s have some fun. Even if D screws the pooch on the multi for awhile (and I’m betting he won’t) there’s a ton of single-player content in it to keep you busy. BCMG’s really a no-lose proposition at this point.

heh thanks man

ps: the check is in the mail :D

I ordered my copy from Gamestop last weekend. It should arrive tomorrow.

Yeah, I bet… While everybody else is flipping through the manual trying to figure out how to launch fighters or something, you’ll be kicking their asses singlehandedly. I know if I was a game dev that’s what I would want to do! :D