David alias Otter - Mod fan and and occasional mod critic.
I think the two things that Valve screwed up with the paid mods was:
1. Trying to introduce it through a 5 year old game.
This is the one thing that not too many people mention, but I feel like this was also a pressing issue. Sure, Skyrim is *still* popular (no questions there) but introducing paid mods through it probably helped in causing a bigger backlash. If they would have introduced it with a brand new Elder Scrolls 6 ("Hopefully has Co-op, and is not an MMO" edition) then I could imagine the outrage would've been much smaller.
2. Lack of quality control & trial versions and payment management (the other concerns that people talked about a lot.) What happens if it doesn't work? What happens if assets were stolen? Why the actual creators receive so little, etc.
I don't have a solution for it, there are many pros and cons to consider, but I do like the idea of a "donation based" or "Pay what you want" or "Try now, pay if you want later" based system, so Valve should probably start with that idea and work it out from there, if they really want this paid mod thing to work.
That way people who still want to preserve the spirit of the hobby can have it their way and people who also want some money out of it can make it work too.
And then again, many questions will still rise up: What if an update breaks the mod; unfinished mods; mods purposefully made unplayable by author for whatever reason... so yeah. Not an easy problem.
I wouldn't hold my hopes up if I were you.
Also, Spy-maps (Closure's creator) is like a 50 year old guy, who has pretty good level designs, but lacks some overall vision and just average on other areas (gameplay - too much gunplay, storylines, etc.) but he gets a pass on me, because he does this as a hobby, and just tried to cram his maps in an "Episode 3 storyline", but at least it shows that he enjoys what he is doing.
ICE is another 2 man show, and pretty unserious as well, as far as I saw. Honestly, I don't think too much of it.
So if you think this is going to be "Like ICE, but more serious" then forget it. It's painfully average at best with "The Closure" level of storyline. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dz5Ky7WH590 ) Oh, and this is all there is to this mod as far as I can tell.
Here is what I suggest to you instead: Forget Greenlight; Finish the stuff that you started - that you wanted to publish through Greenlight - and release it as it is, here on ModDB. Gather what you have learned from this project and just move on. Just wrap this up and move on!
If you are seriously thinking about continuing your career in game development, spending even more time on this one doomed project is a ticket to nowhere. This is not your magnum opus, nor the key to the industry, nor will it ever be. What you need to do as a game dev is "Fail faster" ( Youtube.com )
I know this will probably seem needlessly harsh, but what criticism I'm giving you here is honest, and I'm not going to tip-toe around it like the other "cheerleading" commenters. Because what I see here is wasted potential, when you can be out there learning Unity or UE or whatever, learning game design, just learning overall and making other games.
In the end though, it's your call. You are free to do whatever you wish with this mod. I'm just giving you my criticism without any of the rose-tinted glasses, childish daydreams and naive attachments to franchises that may never finish.
So I wish you good luck in your future game projects.
I'll give you the rough one...
(And to anyone else, at least read all of it before you blindly downvote.)
This will likely never go through Greenlight.
Do you know why Valve lets "Adrian Shephard" based mods on Steam? Because they really don't give a sh*t about Shephard's storyline to bother canonizing it.
So what *you* are trying to do here is take their existing storyline, that's important to Valve, and try to continue it. Not remaking it like Black Mesa, but honest-to-goodness continuing it. Honestly... as a content creator, would *you* let an unofficial fanwork - pretty far from your original vision - on your platform, and *you* taking all the press for it (either negative or positive)? Don't you feel its just a little bit insulting?
I mean this was pretty ballsy I give you that, but you essentially just wasted 100$ (or whatever Greenlight cost nowadays).
Look dude, you've been working on this mod for 8-9 years now. And all that I saw so far is a 15 minute long demo map, full of core game design flaws and questionable and confusing level design and layout. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dz5Ky7WH590 )
I honestly think this mod has become your Albatross (the Albatross metaphor). Your "personal puppy" that you just can't kill off. Yes, we are all sad, and a bit ******, that Episode 3 or Half-life 3 never saw the release we've been waiting for, but you don't need to feel that it's your duty to deliver it to us. You are way over your head with a mod of this size.
I've seen this project from the beginning, from an "incompetent, texture reskined, map collection" to a "Decent mod for a beginner" and you certainly improved, I'll give you that. You even coded your own gameplay mechanics which is great. But what you are trying to *do with it* is pretty much impossible. If you would've tried to invent your own universe, or do it in the HL one but separate it from Gordon canon, then you would have done yourself a great favour, because I honestly think this is one of the biggest flaws of this concept (in regards to Greenlight). As far as I can tell, your core design philosophy is "See what sticks" and "Cool factor", which is no basis for this type of mod.
I'll take a guess as to what you are thinking. You are thinking that "I'll put this up on Greenlight. I finish this one map, call it Episode 1 and get released on Early Access. Then people will see it and think it's great, and many will come and help me develop the rest of it. (For free of course, on their own spare time, because there is no way you can turn a profit out of this) And then others will see me as a great game dev and hire me for their company." (I'm guessing this because I though similarly about my stuff in the past before). Forget this! Will. never. happen! This is teenager-like daydreaming, nothing else.
Also, with the exception of a few projects, Source 1 is dying and will continue to die off. And here you are boldly titling this project "Episodes" because you think there will be time for more of it. You haven't even released one(!) episode since 2009, where will you find the time to finish the rest? Your essentially a one-man-team trying to do what 300+ employees didn't delivere since 2007. You honestly think this is realistic in any way, shape, or form? Or just take a look at the fate of "Human Error" mod or "Canvas" mod for local examples, and they were bigger teams.
Even if you are just "doing this on your own free time as a hobby." Again, just take a long hard look at it, and ask yourself if "is it worth it in the long run", when you could be practising your skills in other games, and in industry-relevant game engines. (But I wouldn't buy this anyway, you wouldn't try to get this through Greenlight if you didn't think it had some chance for getting through, which it won't.)
Reminds me of this cat for some reason:
Sorry about the loss. We lost an awesome cat a few years ago as well, who - while technically belonged to our neighbors - was almost part of our family too. She disappeared one day and we never saw her again. :/
Reminds me of that other case a few year back, when a previous big download site has announced closure on the 1st of April. That was an unfortunate timing. (But it was saved by another company who bought them just in time, which site was it again?)
More =/= Better.
I like Synergy because it's clean and focused. I don't need a bunch of extra re-skined weapons (that I will never use) or an MP3 player to beat the Half-life campaign. It also has a workshop and better support for co-oping other HL2 mods.
However I like Obsidian for their unique maps and games. I played a lot of harvest and the fishing map back in the day, and had a great time with it.
OC devs seem to have real life in the way, and the Synergy devs could spend more on their project, so that's why they got on Steam, simple as that. It's not about Steam picking sides.
It's not Valve's fault that the mod broke, that's a childish way of thinking. They are not going to leave vulnerabilities in the game code just because it might break a few mods, when the mod devs can fix those.
And this constant comparison is pointless anyway, both mods have it's merits and weak points, both are free and you can play whichever you would like at any time.
Yet people are still like: "Oh, all of Team A's hard work is ****, just because I'm in Team B"
This is just artificial and pointlessly creating a divide in the community, so how about we just stop it.
I checked that video and I'm not sure why they highlight that two specific thing, but here are my thoughts on them:
They talk about AWS like it's a well known thing, I had to look it up to see how is it related to gaming.
Yes, I can see these would be useful for some bigger companies, for smaller indies it depends on the prices.
What I don't really get is the Twitch thing. How is this chat integration work exactly? Did anyone actually read twitch chat? For bigger streamers it's just a constant flow of "dank memes" and spam.
So I'm not sure if it's a good idea. What if this current Twitch popularity is just a phase? What if in 5 years people will only use it for e-sports, and a competitor showed up and most people started streaming there instead? All those games that have been developed to include some sort of twitch chat integration can seem like a waste of dev time at that point.
It's a hypothetical scenario, but it can happen.
So it would have been probably better if they talk more about the strengths of the engine, compatibility, etc. instead of gimmicky things like this, because otherwise it looks quite nice and useful, and probably a nice alternative to Unity for smaller teams.
Yes I get it, Twitch (and AWS) is Amazon's "playthings" now, but still... "We can't imagine what developers going to do with this" Oh please. Fad games and meme games that will lose there popularity quickly. I see no other serious company use this other than "Allow Twitch streaming" like in the case of Minecraft.
I was surprised first but after that I honestly don't mind. They probably know how passionate the community is and won't dare to change things drastically. The same team is behind the development, so I actually expect more optimization and hopefully the Modding API to come in the near future. (They really should implement Optifine to vanilla) Maybe even a new engine...
Also Microsoft owning Minecraft can mean a lot of weird things. Like a free copy shipped with Windows 9 for example (which according to the trend: XP - Good, Vista - Bad, Win 7 - Good, Win 8 - Bad, will probably be a good operating system.) Yeah, pretty unlikely, but who knows?
I also totally understand (and empathize with) Notch and when he says he didn't do it for the money, I know he really means it. The ones who call "sell out" can shush.
All in all, I'm not paranoid or worried about the future of Minecraft. If - for some weird and unlikely reason - it really goes bad then I had my fun with it and my money was well spent (I basically thought the same when TF2 went F2P, but that's still a good game.)
So don't bury Minecraft or Mojang just yet, they will still live for a long time...
*cheesy line incoming* especially in our hearts.
I just noticed that this game is made in Multimedia Fusion.
[Continuation from the first part]
But enough of that. I still really enjoyed it. Thank you for making it in the end and thank you for the experience. It really shows your passion for this little game and your tenacity to make it better every time.
And this game also reminded me to finish my own 13 year old project, which is a "graphic novel", that I swore to myself that I finish last year or stop working on it altogether, yet it's still unfinished and I'm still working on it, so I also thank you for the reminder ;)
Good luck to you with your future projects.
And for everyone else: Try this game out! It's really difficult, like almost "Edmund McMillen" level difficult twitch gaming combined with (sometimes out-of-the-box) puzzle solving, but for old-school gamers - especially for those who prefer platformers - and K&P/GF/MM veterans it will be a satisfying experience.
So I finally finished it, took me long enough (mainly due to frustration) but I did finish it.
So here is my critique:
This game - in it's own merit - was fantastic. As an experienced Klik & Play and Games Factory user I'm amazed what you could bring out of the engine. I used to think Antonio Barra's games (The Elk:SE, Bomberballs) were the cream of the crop back then (meaning: 10-14 years ago), but you outdid him by miles!
The puzzles were cleaver, some of the boss fights were nicely tough and making progress was satisfying. I sometimes felt like back in the day when I tried those cool Clickgames someone else made and I thank you for that feeling.
Now for the bad stuff, not really a criticism for you at this point :) Mainly as a note for others that want to try this game.
You mostly summed it up in your making-of video already: The pacing is sometimes bad; the difficulty curve has enormous ups and downs (I'm so glad for that Puzzle solver); the story is really nothing new; almost impossible to dodge boss attacks; too much stages for one boss (but still awesomely satisfying when you finally kill them); and the ending is a bit - for the lack of a better word - shallow and rushed.
So did he die in the end? That is why the king was there? Unknowingly sacrificed his life?
Also the controls. Yes, they are a bit tough to master. I got more used to it, since I'm an experienced Clickgame player, but I could see others having a hard time getting comfortable with it.
Lol at the entitlement. "Why do other people's work cost me money?!"
I noticed that in the past days this article gathered around 300 views. I know most of these are probably just clicks on my page, but even if only 2% actually read it then how come no one leaves a comment?
No one had a similar story? Or no one liked this blog entry? Was it to wordy? Or too vague?
I was trying to start some conversations. Can you give a guy a short feedback if you have a few spare seconds? :)
Oh hey, an 18 year old spoiler.
Also nicely hacked soldier stats.
I was afraid of a sh*tstorm in the comments to be honest, but this is a great idea. :) I already thought the pay-what-you-want feature was missing from Steam, so maybe Valve see this now and more small team indie games can follow this. I will definitely support the project when I have the means.
Well the last good games I played where you are a zombie is Infectonator and Sonny 1-2, both are pretty funny and enjoyable and both are flash games that came out years ago, so it's understandable if people have some concerns.
Haha, I tried a bit more sarcastic approach in the past ( Moddb.com ) when I was more active around here. Feels like throwing peas against the wall. :P
The last time he did see Kleiner was when he spoke about going to the Borealis to blow the ship and everything inside up
What? The person who wanted to destroy whatever is in the Borealis was Eli, that's why he sent Gordon and Alyx there. And even if Kleiner went rogue, how would we catch up to him when there is only one helicopter in White Forest the one Gordon was about to take to the Borealis.
Hah, Probably the only case I want to hear that sentence :)
I like how it looks so far.
Yeah, I seen the video and it already looks better in the small details. One more thing I would like is a bit more subtlety on the forth-wall breaking jokes. Mainly on the "it's in the script\" ones, but the pizza-cake joke should be heard once only too. But they can be really fun with the right pacing.
I played the demo. Really fun so far, I enjoyed that the mini-game mechanics were actually playable and just the right amount of length, not frustrating, hard or really slow like I seen elsewhere. :P
The only few problems I found were small graphical tearing on some background objects, but that's probably due to the engine. And one bug I found was when the blacksmith opens the door he goes ahead, but further down there in the dark in front of those boxes I could talk to him despite him being invisible since he wasn't suppose to be there probably and got the key from him early.
But other than that great job so far. Not sure how much it will cost when it's finished, but I will buy it.
Also I have a scene idea/suggestion: You know how in some Rpgs like Skyrim you get a sudden power and the people around you know you are the Dragonborn. How about a scene where our (not the) hero gets some kind of magical power no one seen before and everyone thinks she is the chosen one of legends!...But then it turns out she isn't, and it's a pretty common power, just the villagers are so disconnected from the rest of the Empire they have no clue about it.
I think it would fit well in the game's theme. :)
Well competition isn't always a bad thing. We, the customer, can choose from the better product in the end.
The thing that bothers me is if this is supposed to take place in a whole galaxy:
- Then why is their a stone castle with wooden stairs the most emphasised thing in the screenshots? Isn't this supposed to be futuristic? Or is it supposed to be like Spore with an advancing system? (like the Thaumcraft mod for Minecraft, but with science)
- What will prevent people to group up and build like a Deathstar, going around either blowing solar system to bits or just rapid mine the whole thing?
- Where will they get the powerhouse computers and server capacity to run this whole operation?
Oh, that's his back. I first thought he had a weird yellow head (and related to Gondar Dota2.gamepedia.com) before I checked the other pictures :D
Well this looks pretty fun and funny. Glad I checked it. I hope you throw in and twist every cliché from the usual "RPG maker" games :D
"Put your door on the north side" Ohhhh, I can already see this will be a good one.
Quite ironic isn't it. The brave heroes who save the world are always petty thieves as well.
That's a nice set for Drow Ranger.
(sorry, couldn't pass this up)
"Zweistein". Lol. Looks like I'm not the only one who thought of this joke :) (Although it's a pretty obvious one)
They are using Vista and IE 6. Nothing can be done.
I was never a fan of Sonic and probably never played any of the games, but even I have to admire the dedication put into even such a little thing, especially with that promo video explaining everything clearly with a calm voice and logic even a non-player like me can understand, and with custom animation and all.
Other small mod/addon developers, take notes!
(No, not you nude mod creators, go back to you holes and shush.)