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Mephistopheles: Not All Linux Games Sell Well

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  • #46
    Originally posted by motorsep View Post
    Thank you for your "kind" response.

    I am failing to see how ToM's visuals worse than Skyrim's o_O Yes, Skyrim has a ton of art assets. Skyrim had hundreds of millions in the budget and 200+ people working on it for 6 years.

    In any case, you guys represent Linux community. And now I clearly see the mentality here. No wonder any sane publisher / developer will not support Linux unless they have successful alpha funding or the game has been released elsewhere and made enough profit.

    That being said, thank you for your support, you just made our life easier and now we see that supporting Linux platform in the future is the priority #last.

    NOTE: Gamers who disagree with many negative opinions expressed here and who would rather not see Kot-in-Action dropping Linux support in the future, should combat trolls in their community.
    So... you're talking about giving Linux 3rd class support because of a few people saying they're not yet impressed (and a few idiots talking smack in an area they don't know much about)? Well, that's a shame. However it is, ultimately, your decision.

    But I ask you to consider this: What if it's a matter of people not seeing your vision for the title? You've done more work than I could in a similar amount of time, but I can't yet envision how this game is supposed to flow. Surely it can't be nothing but square rooms and skeleton-bashing, but that's all we've seen - It's in Alpha. And to be honest, the gameplay, what little there is of it at the moment, is cookie-cutter bland. But IT'S IN ALPHA. I'm impressed that you even have animation at this point.

    With that said, allow me to offer two humble suggestions:

    First, don't take an axe to the Linux community because you've allowed your feelings to be hurt. There were 40-ish posts when I wrote this, and yes, several of them were mindlessly harsh. But if you're considering this to be even a representative sample of your audience, I believe you're making a mistake. And - god forbid - if these 40 people are your ENTIRE Linux market, then just quit making games now and rethink your life. You'd make more money recycling aluminum cans.

    Secondly, it is entirely possible that you just might be making a bad game. I don't have reason to believe this at the moment (it's in Alpha, remember?), but to ignore the possibility is to set yourself up for massive failure. Bruised feelings notwithstanding, how much worse would it be to complete a bad title, complete with a massive financial investment, only to have it broadly ignored by gamers? And further, why would you believe the Windows and Mac markets to be more receptive? I want to see ToM turn into something awesome, but if you deal with criticism poorly from the people you're trying to market to, you are ensuring the game will arrive stillborn.

    In short, I ask that you reconsider. I've purchased your titles before, and I very much enjoyed them. I hope ToM makes it, and I hope it comes to Linux as a first-class title. But you're going to have to make that happen. Please understand that (and I mean this in the benificent way), we are your potential customers. You are not doing us a favor by making a title for which you are then going to charge us regular price; you are offering us a product. Help us help you. Get yourself a nice, thick hide to wear, and try to dig out the useful nuggets from the steaming piles of crap offered in the comments (hard to do, but I'm also developing a game, and I've found it to be a necessary skill.)

    Honestly, if you think the reaction here on Phoronix was mean, you should really go hang out on the World of Warcraft forums and listen to how members there rip long strips of hide of of Blizzard's developers. It comes with the territory I think, and I don't see how their devs keep from resorting to violence at times. I feel your pain. Just stick with it, and don't be afraid to shelve the game if it's not going to be fun. We'll understand. Just make sure that whatever you do, you do it for the right reasons.

    Respectfully,
    Larian

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    • #47
      Originally posted by motorsep View Post
      Thank you for your "kind" response.

      I am failing to see how ToM's visuals worse than Skyrim's o_O Yes, Skyrim has a ton of art assets. Skyrim had hundreds of millions in the budget and 200+ people working on it for 6 years.

      In any case, you guys represent Linux community. And now I clearly see the mentality here. No wonder any sane publisher / developer will not support Linux unless they have successful alpha funding or the game has been released elsewhere and made enough profit.

      That being said, thank you for your support, you just made our life easier and now we see that supporting Linux platform in the future is the priority #last.

      NOTE: Gamers who disagree with many negative opinions expressed here and who would rather not see Kot-in-Action dropping Linux support in the future, should combat trolls in their community.
      i'm sorry you have to hear all this bad news from people, but prioritizing linux last is not going to fix the problem. note that linux users should be the LAST people to complain about games, since we don't get many to begin with. that being said, if linux users are giving you this much negative attention, it means there's something wrong. unfortunately, most people don't know how to give constructive criticism. as i said in my previous post (in one of the earlier pages), this game could turn out excellent, but as of right now it is not worth paying for and should be a free demo. i can guarantee you that if you had this article on a mac forum or a windows forum, you would not recieve any better reception.

      due to the fact that you're requesting money for a blatantly incomplete game, people are going to get picky. think of it like this - someone gives you a piece of gum and its hard and brittle, but it was free and tastes good so you don't bother to complain. but then lets say you go to a convenience store and you buy a different brand of minty gum. the texture is fine and it has that nice "cool" taste that mint gives, but the gum is generally unflavorful. Even though the gum is comparably as bad as the free gum, you decide to complain because you spent money on something dissatisfactory. so my point is you'd receive a lot less harsh and unproductive criticism if you made the game free temporarily. give people a taste (no pun intended) of what the game is like first-hand and let them decide if it's good enough. you clearly know how to make games well because your previous ones were nice.

      as i've said in my previous post, a game like minecraft got away with the paid alpha stage because it was an extremely unique game. ToM (as of right now) is your run-of-the-mill dungeon adventure game - there's plenty of alternatives that are more complete and are free. i look forward to future releases of this game.

      i do think the people complaining about the graphics were uncalled for, btw. the graphics are nice - the areas are just bland.

      Comment


      • #48
        @motorsep

        I don't really think your post accomplished much except further alienating your audience. With that being said I can understand why you did it. Your are no doubt passionate about your work and it not fun being criticized. Take a good hard look at Larians post I think it is spot on. I don't believe the majority of the people here wants to see you fail. We'd all love more Linux games that goes beyond the wave of casual games that seems to be about the only thing getting out these days. For many years you would see people mindlessly buying Linux games just for supporting the effort but I don't think it is reasonable to just assume this will continue forever. You would especially need to add something new and original if you want to put out yet another FPS clone. People have been playing these for twenty years, even on a game starving OS like Linux.

        Comment


        • #49
          Originally posted by ChrisXY View Post
          Graphics wise you have to compete against stuff like Xonotic and Red Eclipse which are Open Source (!).
          I know people behind Xonotic personally. They told many times to me that they wish they had graphics in Xonotic at ToM's level. So with all fairness, I won't see much competition on Linux in the same category of indie games (I am not counting Quake 4, Prey, etc. as these are in the different "weight" category). Grimlock looks better than ToM, but I am not sure it will be released on Linux or not (plus you don't get to run around in Grimlock, it's more of a turn-base dungeon crawler).

          Comment


          • #50
            @all: Did you read my NOTE ? The reason I replied that way because I am sick and tired of gamers treating developers, especially small indies, like dirt. And I wanted for good people to come out and acknowledge that trolls dominate Linux forums. This is not the first time we get trolled at. This is as simple as that. Ban trolls, delete their posts, etc. Combat them.

            It would be balanced if troll were conter posted by good users. But that's not the case and that's why I refuse not to say something to wake everyone up.

            We have 2 games in the development. Both use engine that runs natively on Linux. 2 big games. That's a long cycle. So we are going to be on Linux for at least 6 - 8 years. What happens after is unknown. We all can die. So, please, think rationally before you start throwing stuff like "meh, we won't buy your games because you won't support linux in 10 years."

            Peace \o/

            Comment


            • #51
              Originally posted by motorsep View Post
              @all: Did you read my NOTE ? The reason I replied that way because I am sick and tired of gamers treating developers, especially small indies, like dirt. And I wanted for good people to come out and acknowledge that trolls dominate Linux forums. This is not the first time we get trolled at. This is as simple as that. Ban trolls, delete their posts, etc. Combat them.

              It would be balanced if troll were conter posted by good users. But that's not the case and that's why I refuse not to say something to wake everyone up.

              We have 2 games in the development. Both use engine that runs natively on Linux. 2 big games. That's a long cycle. So we are going to be on Linux for at least 6 - 8 years. What happens after is unknown. We all can die. So, please, think rationally before you start throwing stuff like "meh, we won't buy your games because you won't support linux in 10 years."

              Peace \o/
              I do not believe that censorship will solve your problem - however it will definitely hide it. Worse, it will allow problems you otherwise would have seen to go unnoticed when, not if, someone mistakes constructive criticism for trolling. It's hard to have your work derided, but the head-in-the-sand response to feedback is probably not the way to go. But as always, this is your decision.

              I saw your note, yes. But I believe the reasoning behind it to be flawed. Personally I can't stand to be surrounded by yes-men and people who tell me that my product is great. I want people who are going to tell me that feature X is crap and Y needs to be changed because it sucks. It's nice to get some recognition for my work, sure. But without taking the bad along with the good, the good becomes worthless. I think it's easy to forget that, and I need to be reminded of it from time to time as well. If you allow trolls to run riot and don't USE THE MOTHERFUCKERS AND MAKE THEM WORK FOR YOU, then you're just adding to the bottom line of the local liquor stores. Trust me, trolls are stupid ... not a lot of intellectual wattage there. You beat the trolls by making them eat their hat, not using SOPA tactics to shut them up - because in the end this just hurts your product.

              Regarding bad treatment at the hands of the vocal minority, how much worse is the treatment of the silent majority who doesn't buy your game and costs you money because they couldn't connect with your product? People aren't saying "we won't buy your game because you won't support Linux in 10 years", they're saying the game does not yet look enticing.

              Let's be honest for a moment - you're looking for investors in your company. And if you want people to invest, you have to pitch something to them that makes them want to invest. Thus far, people are walking away with their money not because they're evil trolls who live to break the hearts of young game developers everywhere, but because they're not connecting with your product. I imagine it would be insanely difficult to show an alpha build of anything to amateur venture capitalists (which is in effect what you want your audience to be), and get a positive response. I don't envy your position.

              Conversely, I'm kind of excited about Steel Storm 2. Comparatively there has been a dearth of screenshots and information about that game, but if you asked me right now which of your upcoming games I'd buy if I had to choose just one, I'd say SS2 all the way. Why? Well, SS2 is teased. I'm getting tiny nuggets of information and filling in the rest in my head. I haven't seen it move, and have only a fuzzy outline of how the game will play. But I was able to connect with it. That's what makes the difference.

              I've gone on at length, and you're probably sick of reading what I've got to say, so I'll close for now. Just stick with it and allow us to help you. Don't shut down when you see negative feedback, because that's the most (and possibly only), useful kind.

              Warm Regards,
              Larian

              Comment


              • #52
                I do accept constructive criticism. I haven't seen any here. I agree that ToM doesn't show too much of excitement yet to some people, yet other people have seen the fun aspect in it. I suppose it depends on genre preference. Maybe video reveals too much and screenshots would do better marketing than video. I don't know, I am not a marketing / PR guru

                I am excited about SS2 as well I have total control over the game, so that particular aspect makes it very interesting to develop. Plus it will be modding friendly.

                Thanks for the advice on trolls.

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by motorsep View Post
                  I do accept constructive criticism. I haven't seen any here. I agree that ToM doesn't show too much of excitement yet to some people, yet other people have seen the fun aspect in it. I suppose it depends on genre preference. Maybe video reveals too much and screenshots would do better marketing than video. I don't know, I am not a marketing / PR guru

                  I am excited about SS2 as well I have total control over the game, so that particular aspect makes it very interesting to develop. Plus it will be modding friendly.

                  Thanks for the advice on trolls.
                  there has been some constructive criticism here. i admit my posts may have been a bit blunt (but not intentionally mean) but i intend you to do well and i want to see progress. as for those who are blatantly trolls, yes, they're insulting and you don't want to take their opinions too seriously, but there can often be some truth behind them (albiet, very exaggerated). so basically, listen to people like the trolls but only take them half as seriously as you would/should to people who go out of their way to tell you how to be successful and confident.

                  i would have to agree 110% with everything larian has said. disregarding anything he said would be arrogant or idiotic.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by motorsep View Post
                    I know people behind Xonotic personally. They told many times to me that they wish they had graphics in Xonotic at ToM's level. So with all fairness, I won't see much competition on Linux in the same category of indie games (I am not counting Quake 4, Prey, etc. as these are in the different "weight" category). Grimlock looks better than ToM, but I am not sure it will be released on Linux or not (plus you don't get to run around in Grimlock, it's more of a turn-base dungeon crawler).
                    I have watched the video again and I have to say that my perception of the video mislead me: The graphics itself look rather good. However my impression is that of old, crappy graphics.

                    I have two theories:
                    1. You try to recreate the style of that old games too hard.
                    2. I personally associate the style of the game with old crappy graphics and that overrides an objective rating of the graphics quality.
                    Perhaps it's the level design that is too "empty"... It's basically a big flat plane.. Of course it's very early, but that's just what goes through my head when watching the video.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by motorsep View Post
                      I haven't seen any here.
                      i do make suggestions in the past... for example a throwing sword,

                      i make a picture for you to imagine it:

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Qaridarium View Post
                        i do make suggestions in the past... for example a throwing sword,
                        Would that work similar to Hammerfight, where you have to swirl your mouse around all the time?

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Here is some information on modding and scripting in Tomes of Mephistopheles for anyone interested: http://www.kot-in-action.com/content/?p=350

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by AnonymousCoward View Post
                            Would that work similar to Hammerfight, where you have to swirl your mouse around all the time?
                            first of all you can use middle-click or left+right click in the same time.

                            but yes you also can ad an ultimate 360grad all side around attack by swirl your mouse around.

                            the sword need to be much cooler

                            i also vote for magic colorfull bottle Liquids for your sword with the Liquid on your sword it becomes magic effects

                            also we really need a suicide mode an magic powder to make suicide and reborn in an ultimate light worrier force an enemy to be the new host of your soul.

                            suicide should be very cool in this game.

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                            • #59
                              I find it very sad that honest feedback is dismissed as trolling.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by curaga View Post
                                I find it very sad that honest feedback is dismissed as trolling.
                                trolling = freedback you don't like...

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