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A new development strategy.

Discussion in 'Unreal Tournament 3' started by T2A`, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. T2A`

    T2A` I'm dead.

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    Yeah, TF2 is real substandard with its 5177 US players (right now) vs. UT3's 169. Silly Valve and their crappy games. :rolleyes:
     
  2. gregori

    gregori BUF Refugee

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    Perhaps Epic could release a future version of UT3 with the option for cell shaded graphics, lower polymodels, shaderless flat textures etc etc

    All stuff that doesn't effect gameplay would be tweaked down to bare minimum so a much greater range of computers can run and play this.
    Cell shaded graphics would look as ugly as what usually happens whens graphics are turned down, they acutally look nice enough.
     
  3. DarQraven

    DarQraven New Member

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    Saying that UT3 was bound to fail is a bit negative, JaFo.
    Sure, arena shooters aren't the hip thing they were way back anymore, but the genre isn't dead. Far from it. I think if you look at most popular FPS games, there's an arena FPS at the base of them.
    Halo games are basic arena shooter material, albeit toned down for console play and with some tweaks.
    GoW is Last Team Standing mode.
    CS is Last Team Standing with RPG mod.
    CoD4 is arena shooter minus weapon pickups.
    Most games' CTF mode is exactly the same as typical arena FPS CTF.

    It's not like these games are radically different from what UT3 offers.
    It's the movement, high speed and unique playstyle that UT and Quake offer that set them apart, not the arena 'genre'.

    I can see four main reasons why UT3 is what it is.
    1) Release alongside three or more mega-hyped, more 'hip' competing titles on the same platform.
    2) Playerbase. Most players playing UT3 are veterans and will pound the everliving cr*p out of new players.
    3) Sysreq's. Face it: the consoles had a field day, PC upgrading has exploded the previous year. Most people don't even have a dual core, let alone a 7-series nVidia card or higher capable of running UT3 at a quality equal or higher than consoles
    4) Us. We just can't stop talking about all the bad things about UT3, even when most of you, at some point, have admitted that the core gameplay of UT3 is at least good, if not very good. Despite that, there are numerous threads about this or that issue with the game, and ONE, maybe two UT3-loving threads...ON A FREAKING UT3 FAN BOARD. How ridiculous is that?

    I really do believe that this game will pick up. If not, that's a damn shame and I'll have to go back to the current wave of noobified games.
    There's a point where talking about what went wrong and what could be better is pointless. I think this point was reached weeks, if not months ago.
    Aside from gameplay/patch suggestions, there is literally nothing we can do to improve the launch of UT3 by talking about it all day.

    I hate to bring up Battlefield 2 again, but I'll do it anyway.
    That game was MESSED UP when it was released. Despite screwed up punkbuster integration, horrible load times+menu, gargantuan system requirements, seriously unbalanced and one-sided gameplay and COUNTLESS bugs and glitches, people played it.
    Sure, I got pissed when I knifed a crouching sniper three times, only to have him turn around and kill me, but I played the game because it was fun.

    The game had hype, it didn't live up to it, yet it still sold and is still played actively today. A few patches were needed, a couple more were welcome, but now the game is at a stage where lots of people are still enjoying it after all these years.

    You know why that is? People gave the game a chance. Being killed by someone exploiting the LMG accuracy bug is annoying, but we learned to live with that and instead found ways to cope with it until it was patched. The incredibly overpowered jets were ridiculous, but strategies were adjusted until they were nerfed. A menu that takes 1 minute to load after spending 4 minutes in the map loading screen is absurd, yet people coped with it to play the game.

    Now, *we* here are not so lenient. We judge the game on it's out-of-the-box performance and features and don't even bother with it anymore, even though both patches have shown great potential and large steps in the right direction.
    We are willing to desert a game because it doesn't allow us to set fully custom crosshairs ... a feature that VERY few games even support at all.
    Oh my god, the sniper uses a different netcode than the shock rifle does. I just have to leave this game and go play CoD4 grenadespam noobfest now. Big deal, I say.

    --

    I'm not saying I can't be blamed. I've done my share of UT3 bashing over the past months, but unlike some, I grew over that and am now enjoying a great game instead of whimpering in the corner about how bad the menu interface is.
    SO WHAT! At least it doesn't take a minute to load.

    /endrant
    /engagesleep
     
  4. WHIPperSNAPper

    WHIPperSNAPper New Member

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    DarQraven, don't forget the slow and clunky user interface and server browser. Those two substandard features had a significant impact on the failure of UT3 to sell and on the online player counts.

    When the Demo was out, lots of UT99 players were enthusiastic about the game and figured that the user interface and server browser were just temporary, but when they discovered that the retail version was basically the demo with more maps and game types, they lost quickly lost interest. In other words, UT3 lost the interest of many people who would have helped to promote it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2008
  5. JaFO

    JaFO bugs are features too ...

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    They are 'radically different' in the perceived style those games offer.
    With the exception of CS (which given its history should be considered a league of its own) all of them are incredibly good/popular single-player games.
    They've all added multi-player as a bonus and they managed to do it in a way that didn't detract from the single-player while delivering quality.

    Like I said ... it wasn't exactly a popular genre. And when you get stuff like you just mention then things won't exactly be in its favour.

    I don't, because (2) and (4) still exist.
    I honestly believe that the best thing that Epic could do is to try and build a new IP instead of trying to breath live into a game when the fans themselves were unwilling to give it a chance even after the demo was released.

    I think that part of its success is that that the majority simply liked the game for what it was when it was released.
    They also loved the 'unbalanced'/'one-sided' gameplay or at the very least were having so much fun to even care about such things.

    I'd say the fact that no one considered playing the game in an established 'competitive' environment helped as well. Or rather EA managed to hype its own style of 'ranked matches' which allowed them to determine the direction of the game instead of the dozens of small communities with their own agendas.

    The UT-community that complained *was* the majority ... which is why the new players never got to taste how much fun the series could have been.
    I also think far too many people were into the series for 'competitive' play, which meant they look at stuff that is not even remotely interesting to new players.
     
  6. Trynant

    Trynant Manic Brawler

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    I think Epic still needs to keep improving their engine. It's good business and it makes all those wonderful games that license UE3 look next-gen.

    A major problem with UT3 is that it's in a niche genre. Really, it is. You could argue that CoD4 and Halo 3 and all those shooters out there are similar, but none of those games have energy orbs that when shot-at by rail-gun explode into a miniature vortex. Or have wall-dodging for that matter. This means that at the beginning there's not as great a customer base interested in sci-fi multiplayer shooters, and they won't get the game until it's proven itself to be above and beyond the rest.

    I don't think UT3 did that. It needed 9 out of 10 scores instead of 8 out of 10. It needed every feature of the game to be free from serious criticism. It needed the trifecta of features that Wail of Suicide stated, high quality singleplayer, cooperative play, and competitive multiplayer.

    If Epic games was to make a new strategy for making their games, I think it should be to leave nothing unpolished and never release before the game is done.

    And BS on the "we'd all be playing text adventures if we only cared about gameplay" argument. Text adventures don't have the adrenaline rush FPS action UT3 offers, or any other modern title. New gameplay advances have been made with new technology constantly being created. Things like more RAM and processing power greatly increase the potential for new gameplay elements. You couldn't have made a Nintendo Wii in 1990 and make it work.
     
  7. fuegerstef

    fuegerstef New Member

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    No, it doesn't.
     
  8. -AEnubis-

    -AEnubis- fps greater than star

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    It's not that we think Epic should be making games with yesterdays graphics. Id is about to do that, and we'll see how that works out. Valve makes games with todays graphics, and sells a but load. Epic's problem is they are selling tomorrows graphics to people with todays hardware.

    It's not that they should stop worrying about graphics at all, but a little compromise might be the difference for some people. What's the point of the fluff when most people can't run it to see it?

    Yeah there are many other factors, but I think this one is bigger than people lead on.
     
  9. howlatnight

    howlatnight Member

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    T2a what are your thoughts on Supreme commander/Supcom:FA with regards to their sucess? I dont even know the numbers on sales or people playing. But from and RTS standpoint I really like the game play and the game is very scaleable if you use certian features like the cartographic maps.

    I agree with you completley. I even upgraded my computer to one that can handle UT3 well and playing the demo really just didnt impress me as far as gameplay went. While the game looked nice on my computer it (the demo) still ran just above 30-40 fps and had terrible game play that was just not very fun to play.
     
  10. FuLLBLeeD

    FuLLBLeeD fart

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    For the record, NPD numbers are extremely inaccurate. Crysis went platinum shortly after its release.
     
  11. wowzers

    wowzers New Member

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    Sins of a Solar Empire (SoSE) sold over 100,000 copies in its first two weeks, and last week was the top selling PC game. I don't think SoSE had much marketing, but apparently word-of-mouth regarding its gameplay is driving sales.

    On the other hand, word-of-mouth about the UT3 Beta made UT3 dead-on-arrival...and it is more or less uncontested that the UT3 beta was crap.

    The thing about graphics is that alot of people will buy a game based on the eyecandy. But a gold-lined turd is still a turd. In other words, if the game plays like crap, it will never be considered a good game by the masses, and will soon be in the bargain bin of retail stores everywhere. And the only way these companies are able to get away with this fraud is because it is difficult, if not impossible, to return opened games to any store.

    On the other hand, a game that isn't graphically impressive can still sell well based on word of mouth --if it actually has great gameplay. There are many examples of games with sub-standard graphics that have sold extremely well due to excellent gameplay.

    UT3 has a bad rep on alot of PC game sites, for various reasons, almost none of which having to do with its graphics. Personally I don't care for UT3 graphics at all, and prefer TF2's graphics which are far less detailed.
     
  12. WHIPperSNAPper

    WHIPperSNAPper New Member

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    The reason for UT3's lack of success on the PC is that the game was consolized. The game play itself is good but everything else around it was awful at release and most of it is still awful:

    The server browser was horrendous.

    The user interface is clunky and slow, and it offered few settings tweaking options. You shouldn't have to wait while the main menu loads and youshouldn't have to leave a server to check the server browser, etc.

    The organization of the game's folders and files was also bad and not very transparent, making it difficult for players to manage custom maps and mods.

    If Epic had given us a real UT99-2 with the same gameplay as UT99 but with same game types as UT3 (with the addition of Invasion, Assault, and UT99 Domination) and the UT 2004 user interface, server browser, and file structure, then UT3 could have been a hit.
     
  13. FuLLBLeeD

    FuLLBLeeD fart

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    UT3 doesn't have that many players, but you and I both know its more than 169.

    And for those of you that think PC gaming is dead, not true, quite the opposite, take a look at this http://pc.ign.com/articles/857/857455p1.html. As you can see, PC gaming is much bigger than consoles.

    The Witcher sold well. Crysis sold well(the US NPD numbers are BS, it went platinum shortly after release.) Call of Duty 4 sold well (on PC). Orange Box sold over 2.5 million. WoW has over 10 million players. Bioshock sold well (on PC). Trust me, PC gaming isn't going anywhere. Piracy is the only issue, and the PC gaming alliance will hopefully fix that.

    Basically, Epic failed miserably and is trying to blame consoles.
     
  14. fuegerstef

    fuegerstef New Member

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    Well. He was comparing the players that were online at the time of his post in the US (for UT3 and TF2). And that seemed reasonable (according to game-monitor). Currently there are 110 players in the US (bad time, I admit).

    And gamespy reports 546 for the whole planet (game-monitor reports 649 for all).
     
  15. Crotale

    Crotale _________________________ _______________

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    Honestly speaking, even if UT3 reaches the playerbase that UT had in its day, it still won't even begin to hold a candle against most of the other FPSers released at or about the same time frame, such as COD4 and Halo3. The UT series games have always been niche games. Most gamers I know personally have never even heard of UT; if they have heard of it, most of them have never played it. But they know game series such as Quake and HL.

    Heck, it's hard to defend UT when half of the comments from non-players actually ring true on some level. Comments such as:

    1. UT is nothing more than a point-and-click-fest than requires no brain power.
    2. If you aren't already one of the top point-and-clickers, the game will suck for you. So, what is the point in playing?
    3. Experienced players who have tweaked their systems and inis will always reign over the new players. Hence, there is no reason for a new player to attempt playing the game, since he will get owned...always.
     
  16. JaFO

    JaFO bugs are features too ...

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    please define 'consolized' ... because to me the best thing that a pc-game could achieve is to become more like the console-experience : a game that works ...

    Since I play off-line that never bothered me although I have to admit that some of the problems mentioned do make it look like something from the Quake1-era of gaming.

    Lack of settings was and still is an advantage IMHO.
    The supposed 'wait' for the main menu was negligible at best and I've seen worse.

    I beg to differ. The organization of this game was transparent as it complied to official Windows-standard.

    I doubt it.
    It was released when other 'big' names were released.
    The publics' taste in fps-games has changed dramatically (to the point that UT's style is considered 'old skool').
    IMHO the fact that the majority just plain don't like the game itself made it easy for a very vocal minority to focus on minor issues (like the colour of the GUI) and blow them out of proportion.

    In other words : the supposed hardcore fans did not even want to like this game and they took every opportunity to claim it sucked. It started the moment Epic said there'd be vehicles in CTF and it ended with generic comments like "consolized" being used to describe why they didn't like it.
     
  17. T2A`

    T2A` I'm dead.

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    And that's good in what way? None. The standard Windows method doesn't even allow you to keep your game installs on separate partitions/drives. To even make the folder tree navigable I had to create two shortcuts on my own which just adds to the clutter.

    I have one to "C:\Games\UT3\UTGame\CookedPC\Environments" for mapping since UnrealEd never remembers the proper folder you were using, I have another to "C:\Documents and Settings\Gibson\My Documents\My Games\Unreal Tournament 3\UTGame\Published\CookedPC\CustomMaps". I could easily create more, but the CustomMaps shortcut suffices, as it puts me down near ExportedScripts, Screenshots, Demos, and Config.

    Not only that, but I've had to hide all *.ini and *.upk files in the CustomMaps folder so I can actually see the maps I've installed. How is any of this good, exactly? How is requiring extra shortcuts for usability a good thing?

    That is and always will be a silly myth that has no backing. Anyone who plays UT for more than two hours will easily understand why. The problem is it's different, and currently this difference is not popular. How, pray tell, is COD4 less point-and-clicky than UT? Tactical shock combos and rocket spirals vs. yet another game filled with three-round, instant-hit bursts? If the gaming community cared to understand this, UT wouldn't be niche.

    Unfortunately, your second point is solid. The third not so much. I have a completely stock INI for highest details and I could own any new UTer with ease. For whatever reason, though, gamers don't really want a challenge anymore. Somehow the notion got out there that being good at COD4 and CS was some sort of achievement even if that's not really true. If being good at instant-hit, random pew-pew is considered cool by the masses, something like UT is bound to fail.

    To whoever mentions WoW, take that game out of the running and see how PC gaming compares. It's a huge factor, yet it doesn't help ANY of the other PC genres flourish. People who play WoW don't play FPS games, they don't play RTS games, they don't help the community at all.
     
  18. esJ

    esJ Environment Artist

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    CS is just as hard as UT is, you could even argue that it's harder. Same with COD4 although it isn't anywhere near as wisdespread established yet.
     
  19. T2A`

    T2A` I'm dead.

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    This is exactly what I'm talking about. COD4 < CS < UT in terms of skill. The same twitch pew-pew that dominates the first two is still present in UT, as well as a host of other necessary skills that aren't present in the first two. CS is more about team play than anything, and I'm not discounting that, but the individual skill set necessary to succeed is minuscule in comparison.

    Popularity does not dictate required talent for success. In fact, given normalized curves, it probably means the opposite. Hence, WoW's popularity.
     
  20. esJ

    esJ Environment Artist

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    Firstly, all 3 of those games I would say are just as 'hard' as each other, no one is noticeably harder than the others. Secondly, whilst UT might necessitate skills which CS and COD4 don't .... CS and COD4 also necessitate skills that UT doesn't.
    The games require different skillsets, they aren't directly comparable.
     

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