Twilight for Twilight War

Sad News for Smiling Gator Twilight War: After the Fall (thanks Frans and Dentist) announces the insolvency of Smiling Gator Productions, who were at work on Twilight War: After the Fall, a Source-engine MMORPG. Word is:
It's not a Happy New Year here at Smiling Gator Productions.

Unfortunately, the end of 2005 is also the end of SGP. Our committed funds have run dry and we were not successful in the hunt for additional investment. The websites and email will be disabled in the coming days, so this is our last announcement before we shut down for good. Thanks again to our fantastic forums community for all the support and contributions! We hope you find another project and give them the devotion and incisive comments we've enjoyed reading for the past 17 months.
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1.
 
No subject
Jan 4, 2006, 11:54
1.
No subject Jan 4, 2006, 11:54
Jan 4, 2006, 11:54
 
Personally I say good, we don’t need another damn Massive on line game. How about making a regular pc game then maybe you all would have completed it and had some funds to do another game. But I guess that would be too much to ask since you all wanted to jump into the greed bucket with all the other greed MMO mongers.

Creator of the Neverwnter Nights Eye of the Beholder Series of Mods.

http://www.moddb.com/mods/eye-of-the-beholder-ii-ledgend-of-darkmoon
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2.
 
Re: No subject
Jan 4, 2006, 12:30
2.
Re: No subject Jan 4, 2006, 12:30
Jan 4, 2006, 12:30
 
ya cuz just because someone makes a MMO that is highly profitable no one else is allowed to

3.
 
Another Source engine Developer Down
Jan 4, 2006, 13:00
3.
Another Source engine Developer Down Jan 4, 2006, 13:00
Jan 4, 2006, 13:00
 
Coincidence that Source engine developers are biting the dust faster than Sony Rootkit CDs?! "If you build it, you will fold!"

This comment was edited on Jan 4, 13:01.
4.
 
Re: Another Source engine Developer Down
Jan 4, 2006, 13:07
4.
Re: Another Source engine Developer Down Jan 4, 2006, 13:07
Jan 4, 2006, 13:07
 

Coincidence that Source engine developers are biting the dust faster than Sony Rootkit CDs?! "If you build it, you will fold!"

Uh... what other Source engine developers have gone under? Troika? They went under after they shipped Vampire. Their next game was not going to be Source.

I would have expected someone to chime in with the usual "another MMO developer bites the dust!" but you pleasantly surprise me with your dumbassery.

5.
 
Re: Another Source engine Developer Down
Jan 4, 2006, 13:27
5.
Re: Another Source engine Developer Down Jan 4, 2006, 13:27
Jan 4, 2006, 13:27
 
With World of Warcraft out there and the hype that's building for D&D Online, I'm not surprised these guys tanked, but it is always sad to see another developer go under. I play and love WoW, but I'm certain that there is an MMO idea out there that can compete with it.

Parallax Abstraction
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6.
 
Re: Another Source engine Developer Down
Jan 4, 2006, 14:23
6.
Re: Another Source engine Developer Down Jan 4, 2006, 14:23
Jan 4, 2006, 14:23
 
I've got an idea for an MMORPG: Shit Miner. You must mine shit from the vast shit mines of Shitonia. The more shit you mine, the higher your level climbs and the more your stats increase, allowing you to mine more and better shit and purchase more and better shit-based equipment. You could even fight other shit miners in DUELS TO THE (imaginary) DEATH.

If you steal my idea, I will sue you.

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7.
 
No subject
Jan 4, 2006, 14:39
7.
No subject Jan 4, 2006, 14:39
Jan 4, 2006, 14:39
 
*cough*tax-shelter*cough*

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"Both the “left” and the “right” pretend they have the answer, but they are mere flippers on the same thalidomide baby, and the truth is that neither side has a clue."

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8.
 
stuff
Jan 4, 2006, 15:42
Dev
8.
stuff Jan 4, 2006, 15:42
Jan 4, 2006, 15:42
Dev
 
For the last few years everyone has tried to jump on the MMORPG bandwagon. They see the big guys doing good like Everquest and Ultima Online and figure its a money pot. Then along came WoW, and thats dominating now. Its got 5 million subscribers. Figure $15 a month and they are raking in $75 million a month. Everyone is looking with greed on that money, and once its started, it seems like practically a garunteed income stream (unlike most games which get 99% of the money in first few months after release).

The place is littered with MMORPG wannabees. The problem is, its FAR more expensive and manpower intensive to develope and run one of these things than most people/companies realize. AND you have to continually pay for the servers, bandwidth, AND continually develope new content and patches, and customer support. Blizzard may rake in $75 million a month, but I bet they pay out a huge majority of that in server, bandwidth, and development costs. A typical server there has something like 6,000-10,000 people ONLINE at once. Figure that the actual population per server is more like 30,000. With 5 million people thats probably 150-200 servers. And the bandwidth to keep 6,000 people per server simultaneously logged in? Since you can do it on dialup, figure 5k/sec bandwidth needed. Thats something like 4 gigabytes per second bandwidth PER SERVER. Do you know what kinda connection you have to have for that?
Thats an OC 192 connection (or few). And they need that for every 6000 people.
Those are frigging NOT cheap. $50,000 a month? $250,000 a month? I have no clue, but I know its WAY up there.

Then the server hardware itself to be able to handle 6,000 simultaneous connections. Probably has to be a dual or quad Xeon or AMD opteron. Thats fortunately only a 1 time cost but that isn't cheap either.

And none of this is counting how you have to have the MMORPG in continual development to add new content or else your base will leave you. Most games the development is up front before release (except maybe a patch or 3). Your MMORPG will fail if you only do up front developement.

And NONE of this addresses if you have something that looks interesting or unusual enough to draw people, or if its fun. Blizzard got its start because they had an IP that was familiar, and they had a reputation for quality. So tons of people tried it. They stayed because it is a high quality MMORPG thats fun.

Anyway, thats why there's so many failures littering the wayside. And with WoW's monster success (I think they are biggest now) you will see lots more attempts at MMORPGs.

This comment was edited on Jan 4, 15:47.
9.
 
No subject
Jan 4, 2006, 15:59
9.
No subject Jan 4, 2006, 15:59
Jan 4, 2006, 15:59
 
Well - we should all probably realize that in 10-20 years, all online multiplayer games will be MMO... in terms of the structure to support massive amounts of people online at the same time.

So eventually, the entire subscription based model for profit will also have to change - because most people will obviously want to play more than just one game, and the cost of keeping up numerous subscriptions would preclude that.

It will be interesting to see what happens. I got my fill of MMORPGs within the first 3 months that Everquest came out back in '98. Since then, a few of the biggest problems I had with the genre have been addressed - yet many still remain. I dont feel the need to play any more of these games until something MUCH better comes along.

I have also seen these games literally destroy a persons social life, to the extent that it becomes an addiction which is uncontrollable ("i know i should stop but i cant"). And I really feel that we havent seen any of this phenomena really come home to roost yet. There is another shoe waiting to drop on all this, and its not going to be pretty. I honestly cant explain the reason why MMORPGs are more "addiction forming" than normal video games... but in my experience of knowing people who play them - they are. My only theory is that the whole "treadmill" design is absolutely intentional and crafted with much psychological deliberation as to what "cheese" captivates people the most, and what will keep them running thru the maze to find that "cheese".

IMO such a basic model is not really fun, but moreover a disservice to gaming in general. It speaks more to profitssss than entertainment. That is a step in the wrong direction, unless of course you stand to directly profit from revenues generated by MMORPGs.

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10.
 
'the coming days'
Jan 4, 2006, 16:05
10.
'the coming days' Jan 4, 2006, 16:05
Jan 4, 2006, 16:05
 
'the coming days'seem to have already come and gone.
www.twilightwar.com is down already.
Possibly it collapsed under the strain of people only just finding out about it and wanting to see what it was to have been like (guilty!).

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11.
 
No subject
Jan 4, 2006, 16:49
11.
No subject Jan 4, 2006, 16:49
Jan 4, 2006, 16:49
 
Bottomline, since WoW's success, MMORPG games were being announced like they were "all the rave". Unforunately, somebody forgot to tell these companies that, NO, MMORPG wasn't in, WoW was in. Blizzard has a huge fanbase and with it's known quality games, of course they were gonna get tons of players off the bat. Word spreads on how good it is on top of that, and more join in. Then you get the MMORPG players from EQ, or any other smaller based ones that hop in and you got easy success. I mean, alot of companies have to be out of their minds if they believe they can just release a MMORPG out of the blue with no background on previous games and expect to have 5 million subscribers. They seriously are seeing the greed without, what goes into it.
Think about this, if EQ 1 never came out until...let's say afew months after WoW, and had the graphics engine of EQ2, I highly doubt it would be as popular as it is. Nobody would have known of Sony making games or MMORPG games period, and people wouldn't have attempted that when they already had the greatness of WoW. WoW has stolen a lot of people's thunder, though EQ is the only one that can compete with it because it was first(in success).


Face your Fears, Live your Dreams, No Fear -Manny Pacquiao
This comment was edited on Jan 4, 20:40.
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12.
 
Twilight War
Jan 4, 2006, 17:59
12.
Twilight War Jan 4, 2006, 17:59
Jan 4, 2006, 17:59
 
I just love reading the posts of 'arm chair video game company CEOs' at least Smiling Gator gave it a shot. Sure the market is saturated, but I can't imagine all the good games that would exsist in the world if funding would come around for games that do not have some sort of movie or preexsisting game property attached to it. I tell you what I'm sure thankful for, that you can be sure that about 24 new driving games and about 19 new World War II games just got funding in its place! Whoo Hoo! Drivin' and Nazi killin' ORIGINALITY BABY!

13.
 
No subject
Jan 4, 2006, 18:07
13.
No subject Jan 4, 2006, 18:07
Jan 4, 2006, 18:07
 
Coincidence that Source engine developers are biting the dust faster than Sony Rootkit CDs?! "If you build it, you will fold!"

I think this is due to:

1. Valve's fascist STEAM protocol and micromanagement. If you mod on the Source engine, you have Valve breathing down your neck.

2. The majority of dedicated Valve fans are of the Counterstrike variety. They don't really have any intention to try other types of gameplay, and certainly not a pay MMORPG, they just want more free Counterstrike or "bonus content."

3. It's extremely time-consuming to make anything but a simple multiplayer mod. It's also difficult to make anything complex with an inexperienced team. It's not impossible, but you have to be realistic with your options and capabilities.

This comment was edited on Jan 4, 18:09.
14.
 
Re: No subject
Jan 4, 2006, 18:23
14.
Re: No subject Jan 4, 2006, 18:23
Jan 4, 2006, 18:23
 

I wouldn't be surprised if Source was related to the problem. Seriously, think of all the content in a full MMORPG if it's done correctly. God knows what the high-res art assets alone would cost to create. This is also why SOE is the only company out there with a "cutting edge" graphics MMORPG, EQ2. They can afford it.

---
BF2 Player Name: "MindTrigger"
Guild Wars Level 11 Ranger/Monk: "Oceas Saeco"
"Put a quarter in your ass 'cause you played yourself."
--
He cut the possum's face off then cut around the eye socket. In the center of the belt buckle, where the possum's eye would be, he has placed a small piece of wood from his old '52 Ford's home made railroad tie bumper. Damn, he misses that truck.
15.
 
Re: No subject
Jan 4, 2006, 18:55
15.
Re: No subject Jan 4, 2006, 18:55
Jan 4, 2006, 18:55
 

I think this is due to:

1. Valve's fascist STEAM protocol and micromanagement. If you mod on the Source engine, you have Valve breathing down your neck.

2. The majority of dedicated Valve fans are of the Counterstrike variety. They don't really have any intention to try other types of gameplay, and certainly not a pay MMORPG, they just want more free Counterstrike or "bonus content."

3. It's extremely time-consuming to make anything but a simple multiplayer mod. It's also difficult to make anything complex with an inexperienced team. It's not impossible, but you have to be realistic with your options and capabilities.

And I think that you're just fucking stupid.

1) Source Engine games don't have anything innately to do with Steam. You don't have to use Steam and many licensees won't. Furthermore, just because a game doesn't use Source doesn't mean it won't use Steam -- look at the non-Source Steam games like Red Orchestra. Also, modding a non-Steam Source game like Vampire won't have anyone breathing down your neck. It's your problem that you're too goddamn stupid to seperate Half-Life 2 from the engine it uses.

2) You don't have to be a Valve fan to enjoy a Source game. Do you have to be an Epic fan to enjoy Unreal Engine games, like Splinter Cell, Lineage 2, or Deus Ex? That's one of the most ignorant fucking conclusions ever made.

3) This wasn't a mod, smart guy.

16.
 
...
Jan 4, 2006, 18:59
16.
... Jan 4, 2006, 18:59
Jan 4, 2006, 18:59
 
Blizzard may rake in $75 million a month, but I bet they pay out a huge majority of that in server, bandwidth, and development costs.

Yeah, they're probably just breaking even. And Bill Gates is still paying off his mortgage.

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17.
 
Re: No subject
Jan 4, 2006, 19:00
17.
Re: No subject Jan 4, 2006, 19:00
Jan 4, 2006, 19:00
 
Also, there is plenty of room for MMO's other than WoW. I picked up the WoW trial, and though it sucked huge ass. A couple days later I picked up Guild Wars, and I love it. I know Guild Wars is not a true MMORPG, but it's close. New games such as LOTRO are going to use a percentage of instancing in their MMO because that is the best way to do kick ass quests. My point is, not everyone wants to play WoW. I won't bash it, but it wasn't for me. I understand it is very successful. I personally plan to play Guild Wars until LOTRO or DDO come out.

A word about Guild Wars instancing (OT):

Ok, so I've mentioned many times on Blue's that I've never been a huge RPG player. Never played pen & paper and my first RPG was SWG. I bailed on SWG a long time ago for several reasons, but one big reasons were that the quests sucked arse, and all the good mobs were relentlessly camped by dorks who play these games 12 hours a day. When Guild Wars came out, I wasn't interested in it at all. I don't even like Fantasy games to being with, and I didn't like the fact that it wasn't a "true mmorpg". My plan was to hang back, play BF2 and wait for a good sci-fi MMORPG.

I started to get an itch recently to do some adventuring like I used to in SWG, so I tried WoW and passed on it. I picked up Guild Wars fully expecting it to suck. The game turned out to be simply awesome, IMO. Yes, compared to other MMORPG's, it's simpler, and there is something to be said about having the whole world be persistent instead of instancing everything outside of the main hubs, but it really does work much better than I ever thought. The game, in my opinion, looks simply beautiful too, and makes WoW look like a cornturd.

Last night I went on my first couple large quests, and I was blown away by how fun they were. I was in a group with 5 other players that formed at one of the hubs, and we all stepped into our instanced quest. I now see the whole point behind instancing. Before I didn't really get it, except in concept, but now it all makes sense. There were no campers, no little punk kids to ruin your quest, ganking your loot. They are able to put in cut-scenes (which can be skipped) and have other real-time scripted events happen that simply couldn't in a regular MMO. My description here isn't doing the game any justice, I know, but I can say that this was the best questing experience I have seen. It really can be cinematic that way, and when compared to the crappy search and destroy missions from most games like SWG, Guild Wars seems unmatched.

Now, I will say that I did like the fully persistent world of SWG sometimes. I liked bumping into cool people while out hunting or adventuring, and I liked running into the occasional prick for a good argument. This is why I’m looking forward to seeing what LOTRO has to offer where most of the game is persistent, but will have some instanced elements such as certain quests. I’m not sure if DDO will have instancing, but if it doesn’t they are screwing up, IMO. I’ve heard WoW has some instancing of dungeons, but I don’t think they are doing gigantic instanced quests like Guild Wars does. Any of you WoW sheeple know?

Anyway, I’ve been dying for an MMORPG article to come up so I can say how much fun instancing can be. I’m really a big fan of it now, especially considering upcoming games that will have a good balance of persistent and instanced content.


---
BF2 Player Name: "MindTrigger"
Guild Wars Level 11 Ranger/Monk: "Oceas Saeco"
"Put a quarter in your ass 'cause you played yourself."
--
He cut the possum's face off then cut around the eye socket. In the center of the belt buckle, where the possum's eye would be, he has placed a small piece of wood from his old '52 Ford's home made railroad tie bumper. Damn, he misses that truck.
18.
 
No subject
Jan 4, 2006, 19:36
Dev
18.
No subject Jan 4, 2006, 19:36
Jan 4, 2006, 19:36
Dev
 
I dont think market is nessasarily saturated, just that its nowhere near as easy to succeed or as cheap as lots of the companies--that are greedy and wanting some of the subscription dollars-- like to wish/hope it is.

And no, I dont think blizzard is breaking even. But I also dont think they are making 50% profit either. Go find out what an OC-192 line costs per month and tell me how much 1 million simultaneously connected people might cost you in BW a month.

19.
 
No subject
Jan 4, 2006, 20:42
19.
No subject Jan 4, 2006, 20:42
Jan 4, 2006, 20:42
 
First off, don't mention Guild Wars as a MMORPG, that game is such a POS, I can't stand it being released and ever compared to one or WoW. 2nd, Mr. angry, random.period, you should reread some of that guy's sentences abit clearer cause a lot of what he said wasn't how you angrily answered back.

Face your Fears, Live your Dreams, No Fear -Manny Pacquiao
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20.
 
Re: No subject
Jan 4, 2006, 21:04
20.
Re: No subject Jan 4, 2006, 21:04
Jan 4, 2006, 21:04
 
You should take a look at your math, Dev.

6000 subscribers/server at $15 a pop isn't going to fetch you $250k, it's only $90k.

Besides, I looked this issue up for you and found this:

"Prices for bandwidth are also dropping dramatically because many companies are now offering rates through 20-year Indefeasible Right of Use (IRU) leases," according to Bandwidth Market President Howard Holme. "This ‘money-up-front’ method gives buyers extreme bargain prices. OC-192 is the fastest commercial bandwidth connection available--9.95 Gigabytes per second, and monthly rates normally fetch $250-500,000. However, Bandwidth Market's customers who purchase a 20-year IRU OC-192 can achieve some averaged prices of $4-8,000 per month."

http://www.bandwidthmarket.com/news/pressrelease01_08_30.html

That article is from 2001, I'm sure the prices have dropped even more.

In other words, Blizzard is making money hand over fist.

This comment was edited on Jan 4, 21:04.
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