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Age of Mythology Heaven » Forums » Scenario Design » hey Microsoft and Ensemble, do you hear?
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Topic Subject:hey Microsoft and Ensemble, do you hear?
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Anastasoulis
Mortal
posted 27 October 2005 04:20 AM EDT (US)         
I think that the AoM game didn't receive the deserved attention from ESO, and it has been an in between project ~ in between AoE's games.
There was only one cd expansion the Atlanteans which moved the game to the Titan level. Other than that, any advances made to the game, where made notable due to the efforts of such individuals as Reyk (I'm only naming him because of the editor), and many many others whose names I don't want to list - lest I forget anyone.
I remember that the other game I liked a lot and played for 1 year, Cossacks, which wasn't such a big hit, issued also an expansion (really just a mod with some extra units), plus offered a cd collection of many many "best" scenarios made by people in the forum. Then CossacksII came out that was a big rebamp of the game and I think it was based on a mod made by some forum group of designers.

So what's the point of this "no point" thread?
There are approx. 20-30 of us guys who keep busy in this forum and working on various stuff, plus there's another 10-20 guys "passing by" at all times. The work produced by this Internet Clan, in my opinion, is very creative and good enough that it could be "circulated" for a minimum price by the company. All this could/should be done with an auto-installation as per standard upgrades.
Why should they do that?
BECAUSE THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE WHO BUY THESE GAMES, DON'T FOLLOW THE INTERNET FORUMS, DON'T DL STUFF AND DON'T KNOW HOW TO INSTALL VARIOUS OTHER THINGS.

For the sales stimulation and to keep the game going for another year or so. Proof for my point, is the AoK forum that still goes on strong.

Just some thoughts I wanted to share...

regards


the Elder
"imagination is more important than knowledge."
Albert Einstein
AuthorReplies:
Sandro The Wicke
Mortal
posted 31 October 2005 09:21 PM EDT (US)     51 / 82       
^^^
LOL

(If I keep this up, I'm going to get banned.)

SANDRO THE WICKE
/\/}{The Broken One}{\/\
A Mind Shattered Upon Time As The Fragments Of Sharpened Stone Upon Darkened Void
{|What Is Wisdom Not But What We Make It To Be|}...
TTWDD|Current Sites|PSD
Shot 1 Shot 2 Shot 3|Best Eyecandy Shots|Shot 4 Shot 5 Shot 6

[This message has been edited by Sandro The Wicke (edited 10-31-2005 @ 09:21 PM).]

ToMyBoY
Mortal
posted 31 October 2005 09:25 PM EDT (US)     52 / 82       

Quote:

Yes, yes.... fight and struggle, puppets.

KJ just volunteered to be a meatshield when we attack ES.

Kumar Shah
Mortal
posted 31 October 2005 11:48 PM EDT (US)     53 / 82       

Quote:

Okay, so ES releases a title and announces a contest, and the best scenarios are selected for an ES sanctioned fan scenario/campaign pack that's released through the normal channels in say five months after the initial release of the game. And let's assume it costs Microsoft a bit to manufacture and distribute it. Let's say in the end it sells for $25 and sells a total of 20,000 units (which it's sure to sell more). That's $500,000 gross profit. The designers could get a small royalty of $.20 per unit sold (say there is 15 of them), MS is given their cut of say $1.50 per unit to cover manufacturing, that still leaves $410,000 net profit. All for a cost of $0 to ES other than promoting and administering the contest, and overseeing production.

Let me get this straight. You want people to pay 25$ for fan scenarios? And to do all this, it would take ES/MS approxiametely 6 months, not to mention all the work that has to be put into releasing something before the idea/product is made public and even after it?

You know, economics is really not as simple as you might think it is. If something retails for 25$, 20,000 units would give a company zero profit, i.e. if someone buys fan created scenarios for 25$.


Can you do the Double Yoda?
A sexual move, where you do a double backflip, insert your penis into the orifice of choice, and scream, "Afraid are you?"
ChonKatarn
Mortal
posted 01 November 2005 01:25 AM EDT (US)     54 / 82       
Not to sound like an idiot but KS has a point...

~Dedicated Leader of~
Kalos Designs Studio
"A new epoch in Age of Mythology Design"

"He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has."

Anastasoulis
Mortal
posted 01 November 2005 02:04 AM EDT (US)     55 / 82       
Hi guys,
Kumar is right, ES wouldn't do anything of the sort proposed, cause it wouldn't make money out of it.
You see, the objective of the company -any company- is to make money, the most it can milk out of every product, correct? So they got from AoM all they ever would ~or so they believe.

I disagree on two fields:
1) like I said, I believe that people~consumers would buy additional stuff pertaining to the AoM product, and I'm reffering to new scenarios/campaigns and civilizations, adding also new units-buildings-GPs
and
2) the most successful companies/products, are the ones that follow closely people's preferences.

I know that someone speaking in defense of the company (even though I'm not attacking, merely arguing) would mention product life cycles, economics and all that, still ~like I've already written~ it's a matter of perspective.
I remember from my university days, a prof in marketing had written that the client/consumer is like a sheep. You can skin the sheep only once and then it'll be dead and that's all. But if you don't skin it and instead keep feeding it, you can sheer it (is that the correct word in English for cutting off it's hair?) every season.
The same with these Age of Empire type games -or any games for that matter. The policy followed is standard and simple, you take the game engine, make a "new game", you release, then you fix based on info gathered from the forums and consumer responses, then you release another module/campaign/civilization/whatever, then you release the gold edition-just a gathering of whatever was made into one edition, and then you move on to a new game.
Am I not correct that this is their business policy ?

You're talking about economics Kumar, and very correctly you say there's a lot to it. I aggree, also I say that if the company produced a potpouri of the best scenarios/campaigns/mods and sold it for 25$, it wouldn't sell. The thing we should discuss then would be,
1) how much does the company want to make per product released?
2) how much should each product cost [I paid for AoM about 90 euros (1 euro=approx. 1.2 $US)], for the basis game and for the modules/additions?]

I think that most of the consumers would pay around 10 euros for each major addition to AoM if one came out every year, and that's all. Pls note that the consumers number some milions, OK?
Now if they want to cooperate with people from the forums who've proven their worth or not, that's their problem. But I'll say it again, the company's scenarios/campaigns are kind'a childish when compared to some of the scenarios available around here.

regards

George

Just another sheep with an opinion...


the Elder
"imagination is more important than knowledge."
Albert Einstein
ToMyBoY
Mortal
posted 01 November 2005 05:50 AM EDT (US)     56 / 82       
I'll explain it another way.

Fans make scenarios or a campaign and give a copy of the files to ES. MS manufactures and distributes it, rakes in the loot, takes their cut, gives ES the rest. ES then pays the royalties to the middle wear people and the designers. ES has little cost since all they're doing is executive producing (and insuring quality control), they're not producing any game material. And of course the math is simplified, what do you expect for a forum post, but it gives a general sense of the economics.

You could either sell it for $10 and sell "millions of copies", or sell it for a higher price and sell less. Same difference. The point is revenue exceeds costs = profit.

If ES announced a project like this, as a designer, I would eagerly participate in the design contest, and as a fan of the game, I would buy a campaign pack if it was released within 6 months of the title or its x-pack. And an x-pack doesn't necessarily have to be new civilizations just because that's how ES did it before.

You guys are saying, "Gee we wish ES would release more than two consecutive titles". Well they won't. I'm saying you have two groups whose interests can benefit each other, if one party started to see their fans as partners instead of just consumers.

Nodgene
Mortal
posted 01 November 2005 07:16 AM EDT (US)     57 / 82       
I wouldn't buy scenarios, would you?

Quote:

If it was 20-30 thousand, it becomes feasible to support it. ES is in the end a business, its job is to also make a profit.


That's no excuse for not having heart, I've seen and mentioned other companies that have put in effort to have a great working-relationship with their mapping fans and modding fans.

"That's your excuse for everything... Someone's either pregnant or a communist."
Protecting the public from the Christian Taliban since forever.
Oscar
Mortal
posted 01 November 2005 10:24 AM EDT (US)     58 / 82       

Quote:

would it not be in the company's best interests to give Oscar 1.000 euros (dollars for you Americans) so that he can buy a new computer

YESSSS!! Finally I can buy a new mountain bike!!!!!!!!!!!!
:P

Quote:

It would benefit Oscar more. Is he obiliged to make scenarios for them every month? Every 3 months? What should be a measure for the quality of the scenario? Does it entitle a contract between Oscar and ES when this happens? Why Oscar? Can another good designer claim he has a bad computer and get a great one for free or in return for making 4-5 good scenarios?

Kumar is right. If on one hand I'm a little sad because I probably will get a new comp only in 2,5-3 years while other designers have already started working with AoE 3 editor on the other I'm "happy" because finally I have a good reason to give up designing and to devote effort and time to my classes and my exams. The editor in fact really steals me too much time and apart some testings, little modifications and "not costly" collaborations, I'm not going to start other projects.

edit:

Quote:

I wouldn't buy scenarios, would you?

I don't know if my following words concern only my country.
People generally prefer to download a FREE pirated copy of the game instead to get the original one... I really don't think they would BUY scenarios...

[This message has been edited by Oscar (edited 11-01-2005 @ 10:32 AM).]

Kumar Shah
Mortal
posted 01 November 2005 11:48 AM EDT (US)     59 / 82       
Oscar, lets not go there...

Can you do the Double Yoda?
A sexual move, where you do a double backflip, insert your penis into the orifice of choice, and scream, "Afraid are you?"
ToMyBoY
Mortal
posted 01 November 2005 05:16 PM EDT (US)     60 / 82       
Well then seems our revolution is still born and our voices will continue to be cries in a wilderness. I saw somewhere that 80% of the Age game purchasers are categorized as casual gamers who only play the campaign. I think it's safe to say at least a few people are interested in the campaigns. I go back to being a puppet now, or better still, on to the AOE3H site to agitate the editor issue.
Anastasoulis
Mortal
posted 02 November 2005 03:37 AM EDT (US)     61 / 82       

Quote:

YESSSS!! Finally I can buy a new mountain bike


OSCAR, behave...
OK, I'll change my proposal and say that they send you a computer instead, just to make sure that you don't buy other stuff, including going on holidays with your girlfriend to the Greek islands in the Aegean, or some other nice exotic place !!!

ToMyBoY, there's no revolution going on, just a proposal for cooperation in order to make things better.
As for the fact that 80% of the Age game purchasers are categorized as casual gamers who only play the campaign, I think it's wrong cause I'm pretty sure that they also play Random Maps, but after a while they get bored if something new doesn't come up.

regards


the Elder
"imagination is more important than knowledge."
Albert Einstein
ToMyBoY
Mortal
posted 02 November 2005 04:40 AM EDT (US)     62 / 82       
History's greatests battles were fought by the blade of the sword and paid for by the blood of the adversary. We can't take 'em lying around being all consiliatory.
Auron_
Mortal
(id: auron 2)
posted 02 November 2005 10:11 PM EDT (US)     63 / 82       
Hey everyone! here are my thoughts!


it is for sure that scenario designers dont get much support, but i think for ES's point of view is that any over-hypped features to satisfy a designer would be unnesessary. I mean, why work extra hours for something that wouldnt make much of a difference...and that is on profit.

REgardless of whether AoM didnt get much attention as AoE did, i think it has been a real good PC game. and yes, it sucks that the original game comes with certain limited boundaries for designers to modify, like a crappy editor, or no tutorials on how to modify certain files....but at least they do have some good tutorials on designing, modding and scripting.

and hey, not supporting designing is a good thing. it gives people interest is knowing whether certain modifications can be achieved. I mean, if ES would have had a really freaking amaizing editor where you can do some Oscar style super eyecandy, then what would be the challenge? if it was this way, all the little tricks and finds that have been discovered by these designers wouldnt had been so great because it would had been common to do these tricks with the super editor...

and also, if they did support designers, then all the interesting findings, and tutorials wouldnt had been released....

and yes, the community has made alot of good stuff, and i'm talking about tutorials, anim editors, AI editors, mapgen, and useful tools to improve scenario designing in general. if these designers would be recognized for their amaizing tools and stuff, then ES would make the excuse of the copyright, and that all things made or related to AoM are automatically property of ES and microsoft. they would advertice these products, but they would change the main person who did all the work to ES, and then they would put the designer...

anywayz i dont even know what i'm talking about....i'm tired.....4 hours of taekwondo...gotta go to sleep, so cya!


Auron: || Aurons Site || Aurons AoM:TT Creations || MY POETRY WEBSITE ||
Anastasoulis
Mortal
posted 03 November 2005 02:15 AM EDT (US)     64 / 82       
hey Auron, you do tae kwon do? why don't you try Sho To Kan, which is more applicable to "real situations"?

Anyways, I kind'a disagree with this perspective ~i.e. ES gave out the "raw product", just to motivate designers to improve it, if I understand correctly.
But the fact that there are some functions in the Editor that don't work ~i.e. there's one that would be used to modify the way units "look" by changing body, arms, head, weapons,etc (correct?)~ means that ES didn't do so good planning since they were going to give more than just a "raw" game.
Of course the designers found a whole bunch of stuff, created tools/utilities, and made many tricks, but I'm sure that the same and more would've happened if ES had provided us with a super editor.
Par example, imagine if the designers could modify the looks of units and buildings from the editor, instead of tampering with the proto X ! Also, imagine if the designers could have available stackable buildings (i.e. placing one atop of the other, without using elevation spikes) !
I perused the AoEIII site and saw the same thing happening again, and allow me to explain:
+ moding: Rider of Eternity and Centurion
+ scripting: RF_Gandalf, M0nTy PyTh0n and Pascal
+ various people who are looking around trying to find out stuff.
So, if all these guys didn't get involved -and I'm not saying that they do it for money- how would AoEIII procced?
How would they find the flaws and fix them? How are they going to make the extension in about a year or so and sell it to the people?
Therefore it's my point, that without the cooperation from the people from the forums, no company can advance it's product line and improve itself marketing wise.

errr... that's all folks

regards


the Elder
"imagination is more important than knowledge."
Albert Einstein
Oscar
Mortal
posted 03 November 2005 04:49 PM EDT (US)     65 / 82       

Quote:

Oscar, lets not go there...

I want just to say I wasn't speaking about me, a pirated copy of the game in fact doesn't allow a player to play online but actually I've played several times multiplayer games, sometimes with the people of this forum.


back on topic.

Some years ago in Italy there was a lottery with a huge prize (about 90 bilions of Italian = 45 milions of euros/USA $) and everyone dreamed to win it.
In that period there was a little tale that circulated among the people.
This little story was about a man that was so obsessed by this lottery that everynight he prayed God so he could get the coveted prize. Many years passed but the obsessed man never won despite he kept praying God. At the end God, tired of the prayers, revealed himself and said to the man: "At least take the trouble to buy a coupon!"

So, what I want to say?
Let's give up trying to imagine what will be the ES reaction.
Let's instead test ES reaction contacting them

[This message has been edited by Oscar (edited 11-03-2005 @ 05:18 PM).]

SgtSlaughter
Mortal
posted 04 November 2005 01:32 AM EDT (US)     66 / 82       
I believe the real quesiton is "Will they even listen and/or care?"

I know that people have knocked off some hours of their life for this game. Its great actually. Now my thoughts are so jumbled I'd better just shutup.


¯¨´*·~-.¸ SgtSlaughter ¸,.-~*´¨¯
Anastasoulis
Mortal
posted 04 November 2005 02:00 AM EDT (US)     67 / 82       
SgtSlaughter, no, don't shut up ~ voice your opinion, it is your right to do so and more over since you found the actual question.

Oscar, I totally aggree with you, question is: whom should we appoint from the forum to represent us in contacting ESO? Perhaps one of the "ancient ones" here, one of the mods, or someone else...


regards

George

EDIT: just to prove my point on how important it is for ESO and all these companies in this market to cooperate with forumers, I give you this from the AoEIII site.

Quote:

ES_Bigdog, in response to one of our forumers, cleared us up on any rumors that the editor would not be fixed. Quote...

If there are flat-out bugs with the editor, just report them and we'll put them in the hopper to be fixed. That doesn't guarantee a specific timetable for a fix, obviously, but we will look at it.

For example, I'm not sure what the camera pitch bug is (didn't know there was one) and I'm not sure what triggers are missings (since we ported over every Titans triggers and added a bunch). Let us know what you guys want fixed and we'll look at it fixing it.

I don't recall who made the infamous "Don't expect a patch for the editor" statement, but I'm pretty sure they were referring to it being unlikely that we would be adding hordes of new features to the editor, etc. But, if there are bugs that are killing it for you guys, we want to fix those

I think that says it all


the Elder
"imagination is more important than knowledge."
Albert Einstein

[This message has been edited by Anastasoulis (edited 11-04-2005 @ 02:42 AM).]

Nodgene
Mortal
posted 04 November 2005 05:34 AM EDT (US)     68 / 82       
happy days.

"That's your excuse for everything... Someone's either pregnant or a communist."
Protecting the public from the Christian Taliban since forever.
Oscar
Mortal
posted 06 November 2005 05:00 PM EDT (US)     69 / 82       

Quote:

whom should we appoint from the forum to represent us in contacting ESO? Perhaps one of the "ancient ones" here, one of the mods, or someone else...

In my opinion he/she should:

-have a good English to write a clear message (and so I'm already excluded )

-be well representative of this commmunity.

Sandro The Wicke
Mortal
posted 06 November 2005 06:48 PM EDT (US)     70 / 82       
I'd be good with English; horrible with attitude though

SANDRO THE WICKE
/\/}{The Broken One}{\/\
A Mind Shattered Upon Time As The Fragments Of Sharpened Stone Upon Darkened Void
{|What Is Wisdom Not But What We Make It To Be|}...
TTWDD|Current Sites|PSD
Shot 1 Shot 2 Shot 3|Best Eyecandy Shots|Shot 4 Shot 5 Shot 6
Skycat
Mortal
posted 07 November 2005 12:21 PM EDT (US)     71 / 82       

Quote:

Perhaps one of the "ancient ones" here, one of the mods, or someone else...

Would I classify as ancient or an oldie?


-=Skycat=-
Kumar Shah
Mortal
posted 07 November 2005 12:31 PM EDT (US)     72 / 82       
Represent AoM Community? Ha...lol

Can you do the Double Yoda?
A sexual move, where you do a double backflip, insert your penis into the orifice of choice, and scream, "Afraid are you?"
EaZy
Mortal
(id: EazY_Ben)
posted 07 November 2005 12:36 PM EDT (US)     73 / 82       
I was talking Cheezy a while ago on msn and showed him this thread (I don't know if he's posted in it but whatever) and he said that things like this have been brought to ES before and they haven't listened. And I suppose, as much as we 'fight' they're not goig to listen: the design community is very small, and they are trying to appeal to a wide audience; the gamers at large. Its all about making a profit, so they won't be using up valuable time and money improving the game for a minority of people.

But even with that in mind we can at least try. I vote AoMPlayer to represent us :P

Ok, maybe not: http://aoe3.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/forums/display.cgi?action=ct&f=7,36691,,10

[This message has been edited by EaZy (edited 11-07-2005 @ 12:57 PM).]

Gerbs
Mortal
(id: gerbil30)
posted 07 November 2005 03:36 PM EDT (US)     74 / 82       
http://aoe3.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/forums/display.cgi?action=ct&f=1,26349,0,10

i will only complicate you - trust in me and fall as well
Sandro The Wicke
Mortal
posted 07 November 2005 05:15 PM EDT (US)     75 / 82       
Mayhaps they'll be a way to show them this and impress them while at it to get their attention.

SANDRO THE WICKE
/\/}{The Broken One}{\/\
A Mind Shattered Upon Time As The Fragments Of Sharpened Stone Upon Darkened Void
{|What Is Wisdom Not But What We Make It To Be|}...
TTWDD|Current Sites|PSD
Shot 1 Shot 2 Shot 3|Best Eyecandy Shots|Shot 4 Shot 5 Shot 6
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