Is it a big plus to have a browser version of a RTS game ?

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by ManuTOO, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. ManuTOO

    Original Member

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    Hello,

    I'm thinking about creating some kinda of casual 3D RTS.
    My target platforms are : Windows & Mac OSX.

    Before to start, I have to decide if I go with my own incomplete framework, or if I pick Unity3D . All in all, the main feature that I miss with my current framework & that would not be possible to do in a decent time frame is the support of play from within the browser.

    My guess is that it would be quite a nice plus to have that (and even possibly to support the purchase & play of the full version through the browser).
    So Unity would be the required way to go.

    Anyone has any idea about that..?

    On the other hand, Unity misses an awful amount of little stuff that I'd need to port from my current framework, and it'd require some time to learn everything needed to handle Unity.
    Another downside is that it's hard to allow users to create their own Mods.

    One last big plus for Unity: having an almost up-to-date 3D Engine with shadow support & other eye candies.
     
    #1 ManuTOO, Jul 13, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
  2. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    By casual RTS you mean something like build a lot / be a king right?
    Otherwise if is a combat-RTS I would avoid the "casual" segment at all :)
    Not sure about play in browser but is a nice bonus to have anyway.
     
  3. Merx

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    As a regular listener to flash of steel, a good stratergy game podcast, it sounds like there are loads of turn based stratergy games free to play online.

    I think your looking at this from the wrong perspective...

    The question should be...

    What experience are you going to give the players?

    Then answer the technology question...
     
  4. ManuTOO

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    Jack Norton,
    actually, I want to do a casual hardcore RTS... :D
    "casual" like in "not too much time to play games anymore", and "hardcore" like in "but used to play a lot before" ; ie: my main target is myself..! :p
    I don't really expect to get on casual portals, but I'll try to make the game as accessible as possible, so I'd give a try with portals anyway.

    Merx,
    I'm not sure what you mean, but I guess I didn't explain clearly in the OP.
    The game is very clear in my head, my target as well. I'm just wondering if it'll broaden my target reach ratio to have a web based demo in addition of the download version.

    For myself, I might try a lot more easily a game that doesn't require any download, as long as someone tells me it's a good one. And if I like it, then I'll download the demo.

    And I'd like to know if other people feel like me, either from personal point of view, or even better, by experience... :)
     
  5. richtaur

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    That doesn't make sense; it says to me that you don't know who your market is.

    Yes! Focus on the gaming experience first.
     
  6. Nutter2000

    Original Member Indie Author

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    It makes perfect sense to me.
    I don't think he means the term "casual" to mean shallow 3 minute coffee break games but "casual" as in easy to get into initially, and easy pick up again when you have time.

    I.e. I think he means he wants to make an rts game that doesn't require 50 game-hours before you even get off the tutorial mission.
    [/RANT]
     
  7. zoombapup

    Moderator Original Member

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    Manu, definitely go with Unity. Seriously, its definitely powerful enough to handle an RTS as long as you dont require supreme commander number of units.

    The ease of publishing is just phenomenal too.

    I'd be using it myself if it could handle large crowd scenes and some of the AI stuff I want to do. As it is, the next version is going to have some really useful stuff in to increase the visual quality (stuff like umbra, beast) and I'm sure some usability stuff too.

    Only thing I really would add to the unity whishlist is access to C++ code (I mean real access to it) and a Webkit based UI!
     
  8. Yshaana

    Yshaana Guest

    I agree with Nutter, I honestly believe that there is a market for Casual Hardcore, or as I think he means it "ex-hardcores without too much time on their hands". I think of World of Warcraft for instance, I loved that game but it was way too time consuming and I never would take part in such a time sucking game again. However if someone came up with a similar game that doesn't necessitate to be a no life, I would happily play.

    A lot of people I know who are in their 30's used to be HC gamers in their mid-20's, but don't have the time to play 20+ hour games anymore and don't want to play boring casual games (no offense for people who do casual games), and there isn't much on the market that offers quick HC experience. A product specifically tailored for them could work really well, if it is marketed correctly (and that will probably be the biggest issue, letting these ex hardcores know that your game exists).

    Furthermore, Unity is a great idea for web games, especially with the new Unity 3 features, that can, if used properly, really offer more bangs than any other 3D webplayer out there.
     
  9. ManuTOO

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    yup, Nutter2000 & Yshaana got it right.
    I'm not sure what is the best term to describe this target, but it exists and it's true that it'll be hard to reach it, but hopefully, I'll find a way... :)

    And I think I'll go with Unity. I kinda answered my own question in my previous post : looking around for stuff about Unity, I ended trying a few webplayer based apps, while I'd have never took the time to download, install & then uninstall them. Once you installed the plugin, it's very easy & fast to launch such kind of app.

    And it's quite important to decide this before doing any development, as optimizing the assets loading to minimize the end user waiting is a priority and it's better to create the code with that in mind from the start.
     
  10. princec

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    We've been targeting this mythical market since we started.

    Suffice it to say that we have not been successful. You may draw your own conclusions and YMMV but that's the long and the short of it.

    Cas :)
     
  11. Jack Norton

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    I think depends on definition. And also (I know you hate me to say this) on the art-style.
    Look at plant vs zombies. Definitely not the typical casual game, that's what I would call casual RTS.
    I know seems totally stupid but is enough a change on art-style to completely change the target market (I noticed that very well with my latest game!).
     
  12. Yshaana

    Yshaana Guest

    I'd say way the excellent previews of Revenge of the Titans and the pretty good start with your pre-orders that you are almost there Cas! I also believe in this mythical market and hope that one of us finds a way to tame it!
     
  13. zoombapup

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    I noticed that a lot of my AAA building buddies also got into Peggle a lot. I think its far more about exposure than style specifically.

    One great example of an indie capturing this kind of market whilst broadening appeal I think is Joe Danger. I heard the other day they already made back the cost of development on it.

    The kind of demographic youre talking about is my target also. Although I'm on the "experimental" end of that range and so I have a chance of either losing that niche, or expanding out into another audience.
     
  14. jpoag

    jpoag New Member

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    Have you played Tribal Trouble 2?

    The original Tribal Trouble made it onto BFG, but with the multiplayer feature disabled.

    Tribal Trouble 2 is entirely browser based.
     
  15. princec

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    Well, my conclusions are... that this mythical market may exist - in fact I'm certain it does, because nearly all of us actually are that market - but that we're not the sort of people who pay for gaming freely. What I'm saying is... it's a crap niche if you want to make money. We're shifting to the 20-somethings - no more retro from us. We want people with both disposable income and disposable time.

    Cas :)
     
  16. tolik

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    7/14/2010

    FROM: RTS game lover
    Central Division of Game Development
    Somewhere out of France
    Random Phone Number

    TO: ManuTOO
    Address: forums.indiegamer.com

    Dear Sir:

    I have been requested by the Central Division of Game Development to contact you for assistance in resolving a matter. The Major Game Development Company has recently concluded a large number of contracts for browser RTS exploration in the .com region. The contracts have immediately produced moneys equaling US$0,000,000. The Major Game Development Company is desirous of RTS exploration in other first level domains of the world, however, because of certain regulations of the Government, it is unable to move these potential funds from these domains.

    You assistance is requested as .fr member to assist The Major Game Development Company, and also the Central Division of Game Development, in earning funds out of non-.com domains. However, you must abandon all hope to earn anything on having a browser version of your RTS game, unless it is developed in Flash and is a tower defense game or is a browser-based MMO as cool as Heroes of Gaia.

    If it will be possible for you to assist us, we would be most grateful. We suggest that you meet with us in this forum again, and that during your visit I introduce you to the representatives of the The Game Development Company, and princec, who consults you on matters of this bad idea.

    Please answer this message me at your earliest convenience at forums.indiegamer.com. Time is of the essence in this matter; very quickly the Unity3D will realize that RTS game is essential for their portfolio which will end up with a huge financial disaster.

    Yours truly, etc.

    RTS game lover
     
  17. zoombapup

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    tolik: you do realize your sig says NO MORE SARCASM dont you?
     
  18. zoombapup

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    interesting, so what exactly does a 20-something do for gaming?
     
  19. Nutter2000

    Original Member Indie Author

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    AND it also says this is sparta! which I'm also beginning to doubt :p
     
  20. princec

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    Everything. My theory is this: they've got time, and unexpectedly, lots of money. They don't know what to do with either, and without anything else getting in the way like jobs, girlfriends, or children, they spend it on gaming. Lots of it. I mean both time and money. Critical to have both. Money on its own no good. Time on its own no good. 20-30 have both, in larger proportions than most other demos. I think. Don't quote me, but you know that, because I am famously always wrong.

    Cas :)
     

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