The Titanic Mod brings people at one of the most detailed and accurate free 3D recreations of the Titanic ever made. It puts the player in a whole new storyline for the game Mafia.

Report RSS Poll Request: Standalone Titanic Game?

After much thought, and a lot of recent requests, I want to know what people think about turning the mod into an independent PC game.

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After much thought, and a lot of requests recently, I want to know what people think about turning the mod into an independent PC game.

A couple years back I was fixated on the idea that this mod would be a Mafia exclusive project only. However, times are changing and during my fulltime week I've received lots of requests from people to turn this mod into a standalone game.

Doing so, with or without the Mafia mod next to it is a big decision to make. Therefore I want to ask everyone who's following this project what they think about the idea.

I've opened a poll where everyone can vote. I'd like to have as many people to vote as possible, but I also want to know what some of your thoughts are. Should I make it my sole project, or should I keep it as a sideproject next to the Mafia mod? If I were to make a game of it, what price range do you prefer and what kind of subject should be the focus?

There have been quite a few Titanic games recently. Though only a few such as Honor and Glory managed to maintain a proper quality level. I liked to keep this mod separate from all of those games, but having seen how underdog this project has become, I hoped this mod would have been a bit more known. The fact that the creators of Mafia 2 & 3 aren't even aware of this project is a testament of how isolated the community around this project is. As I highly doubt this project will ever gain further attention from the rest of the world being a Mafia mod only, making it into a standalone game doesn't seem like a bad idea.

Besides, on the technical aspect there's a huge advantage as well as I can use a next generation game engine which does not only do a lot more justice for the 3D models in terms of rendering quality, but also offers a much more sophisticated and stable platform to build this project in. The sinking can be dynamically animated, and everyone who doesn't own Mafia can install the game without any compatibility issues.

That all, of course, only matters if people are interested in such a thing.

So, please let me know what your thoughts are on this subject. Should I develop a standalone Titanic game? Click on the poll below or share your thoughts in the comments.

VISIT THE POLL

Comments
Marek33
Marek33

The creators of the Mafia 2 & 3 unfortunately care much more about money than your mod which is much more interesting and is better than any of their DLCs.

The price is a very difficult subject since some people wouldn't mind to pay for it 30 dollars, but some wouldn't want to pay event ten dollars. I don't really know, since that depends on a person, but even when it would cost sixty dollars there are steam sales so in the sale it could cost 20 or maybe even 10 so its not that a big problem. However, big price can keep people away so probably the thirty is the best. But once again that depends on amount of content, replayability, gameplay, story, features, sounds and many other things.

I think that's probably the best would be to finish it as a Mafia mod and later port it to some newer engines.

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bonniethebunnyrb
bonniethebunnyrb

when your countries has a lot o taxes and a different currency,its a bit hard,like brazil

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ubilada
ubilada

As a big fan of the Mafia game, I think you should start making it as a standalone game.

You already listed the advantages of being a game, but did you consider about copyright issues? I mean, If you're going to use Mafia game's assets, characters, maybe even for the engine etc. (you know better than I do), you will probably need to pay some price to game's copyright owners to be able to sell your game.

If you guys decide to make money out of it, you might want to consider starting an Indiegogo or Kickstarter project, and get some money for copyright issues and your expenditures during your development. I'll definitely support you as a big fan of your mod.

These are my personal honest opinions. Either way, I'll be more than grateful unless this project ceases development.

The choice is up to you actually. We're here to support you no matter what you decide to do.

Thank you for sharing your ideas with us regarding the future of the project, and making us happy to make such quality mod/game in Mafia universe.

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The_Hussar
The_Hussar

Making a standalone game makes sense in terms of longevity but how long will it take? You are making this mod for 10 years now? Honestly I never heard someone making a mod for so long, a company could make 2 AAA games for that time and we got Mafia 2 and 3.

I know you are doing this in your spare time and probably you started over several times and so on but I would advise you to first finish the mod to a playable state, just a demo where you can walk around, play a mission or 2 and then start some sort of kickstarter, show what you have done so far. It would be a shame to toss all your work in the cold ocean...

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Maggy_

Not going to wait for another ten years tbh. Release the mod then standalone game. But hey it is your choice after all, not mine

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MrRobville Author
MrRobville

I truly appreciate the feedback!
Fortunately, I'm neither in the mood to spend another ten years on it.
The good thing about a modern game engine is that I can import 3D models straight out of Cinema 4D without the use of any dated 3rd party tool in between. The latest release of UE4 pretty much imports these assets natively.

Though of course, importing models is only the start. I guess I could do a test on how much work it is to import the ship's exterior in it in a polished state.

In theory, if I were to make a game next to the mod, and it turns out well, it might actually help the development speed. That is, again, if it turns out well. The reason Honor and Glory progresses so fast is because their whole team is able to work 24/7 on it, so to speak. A friend of mine who has created a Roblox Titanic earns nearly double of what I'm earning with my employed job, and that is with Roblox even. Say if that were to happen in my case, in the best case scenario a game could sustain me a couple months, which could be just enough time to finish the whole thing. Still though, that's in theory. I need to come up with quite a good plan to compete with other Titanic games out there, and to actually contribute something to that market. Everyone and their mother has already seen an "escape the sinking titanic" game. Although I cannot ignore the sinking, it's a bandwagon I'm not keen on jumping on to use as a sole feature.

As a standalone game, I would keep the subject separate from the Mafia theme for reasons Ubilada mentioned. It's not only too much hassle to license any names or models, I again would force myself to use outdated tools to convert these original assets into Unreal, thus again putting a huge workload on another project.

Regarding the mod itself, I've already gone too far into production to end that, so I won't.

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Thanoshld
Thanoshld

I did not even know about H&G until you mentioned it. As a matter of facts, I never knew any other game involving the Titanic, except yours. Seems you have some competition to deal with.

That said, releasing MTM as a Mafia mod will certainly make this project unique. We haven't seen many mods for glorious Mafia 1, and this one certainly stands out. But, I believe that making a mod AND a game, will be too much of a workload. Not to mention that you'd may find to have a lack of motivation to do that, after you successfully released the mod, after so many years (and not gaining any monetary benefits from it). So, you'd definitely have to chose one of the two, in my opinion.

If you decide to take the UE4 path (engine which I suggest over Unity as well), you'll have another choice to make: what kind of game it will be. First person? Third person? Action oriented? An adventure/puzzle game? (It can even be the original game you have thought, of course, minus the Mafia named characters/story). After you've decided that, you can think of a storyline. You can even consider alternative timelines, like, for example, the ship never sunk or it was infested by a plague, from which you are tasked to escape. Also, one more drastic change could be for you to modify Titanic into Britannic, and give the players a WWI adventure, about a ship and a story no gaming company has ever given us so far.

As for the price tag, like Marek33 stated, it lays solely up to you and it depends of how much you think your work is fairly priced against how much you believe you must price it, in order for (many) players to buy it, thus boosting its popularity. My opinion is no less than 15/20$ and no more than 40$.

Whatever you'll choose, we'll be here to support you, as ubilada has already said. We deeply appreciate the work and love you have put into this, for all of us to enjoy, and for the fact that you are kind and communicative with your community, thus helping us being a part of the developing progress, with hearing our thoughts and opinions.

Keep up the truly beautiful and spectacular work.

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SPY-maps
SPY-maps

I think that the problem with outdated tools to convert is your smallest problem when you start a stand alone game. Because the models are only a very small part of a game as you know. What to think about what you have to make yourself then, scripting, coding, AI, etc. All those things you know use of Mafia. So, making a stand alone game is something that really is very hard, to do well that is. In the poll i therefore said No to it. Because making a game from the ground up is easely said but sooooo hard to do (well).
I am also not sure what you mean with that the developers of Mafia 2+3 are not even aware of your mod. Please don't get me wrong, but why should they? First of all, they didn't make Mafia, and Mafia is very old which in most cases means that the developer of the game itself doesn't follow the games community anymore. See Valve and Half Life, for years they have stopped following it.
And i have to be honest, how succelfull this mod is has to do with how much time and effort you put in to adverticing it. I say this because i am a modder to and have released many mods. Modding is so different from adverticing.
Last reason why Mafia mods are not that popular anymore is becasue Mafia itself is so old. The older a game gets the smaller its community gets.

So, all in all i suggest you just keep on developing. Ones the mod is realeased you always could think about stand alone.
But, i do get were you are coming from. It is just that making it stand alone will mean years of extra work.

Leon

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MrRobville Author
MrRobville

Thanks again for the feedback! It's really good to read the other side as well.
The programming part is indeed a mayor thing to look into before even attempting to make something like this. If I were to choose an engine I'd probably go for UE4 since it features the visual blueprint scripting tool, which I was able to pick up rather well.
Mafia, despite the annoyances of the tools, does indeed have everything included already. AI, characters, health systems, you name it. Though I suppose I wouldn't require the same complex systems.
For a game focus I wouldn't go for an action oriented game, not even anything revolving around survival, since all of that has already been done before.
But aside of programming, there is more to it that requires attention. As already mentioned marketing, but also the whole money aspect that needs a lot of looking into. For example, the models that Kyle made, or even the music that Ronnie has composed has to be licensed as soon as this becomes a monetized effort.

The devs of Mafia 2 & 3 have no obligation to know about my project of course, but I wanted to illustrate that if even they don't know about it, chances are no one else in this world except for the already existing, and ever decreasing community will. And it sucks to see that even a quick game like Fall of Titanic received more recognition in a few months than this mod has ever had in all those years.
A while back the Titanic Quarters in Belfast shared my Ship of Cards video after my visit, which was truly amazing. However, guess what the only thing was people had to say about it; that there was a better project out there called Honor and Glory. It was extremely demotivating to say the least. Because that video was not an isolated issue. Pretty much anywhere my mod gets mentioned, it gets thrown off by a more impressive looking Titanic game. And after having put more than a decade of work into it, I can't help but feeling some sort of depression when it's so globally ignored.

I guess I'm sounding a bit entitled, knowing how amazing the community is that is currently following me, and the support they've given me through the years such as now, to which I am eternally grateful.
It's just so hard that everytime I have built the motivation to continue after reading these supportive comments, a middlefingered sledgehammer shatters it immediately after when I inevitably get confronted by the success of so many other Titanic projects. It feels like I'm stuck in limbo, seeing how those projects have visibly grown. I've even set up a filter on Facebook to hide everything related to Honor and Glory, just to prevent the constant reminder of how "insignificant" this mod is, so to speak. The fact that Kyle, who is their main exterior modeller, used to work on this mod before that, makes it even harder. And don't get me wrong, they deserve all the credit they've got, and it's impressive to see Kyle's work evolve from a virtual sailor model to something that is shown worldwide. But the more they grow, the more I'm aware that I'm stuck. And considering that the development of this mod will take another few years, I fear that it might get worse. We are not competitors, but it feels like we are.

Hell, I'm not even that interested in the money aspect to be honest, and would probably price the game to around $10 to $15,-. It's that feeling when you see people are discussing your project on some forum or news site, which is one of the best feelings in the world.

What difference would a standalone game make? Not only do better graphics simply attract more people- how silly as that may sound, it would be a lot easier to advertise it considering it is not Mafia related. Because I found that a lot of people, especially in the Titanic community, are somewhat offended with the use of Mafia and Titanic in one sentence, and don't want to know anything about it. Also, as a standalone game, I could more easily release an early access version of it, meaning that once people get to play something, it also contributes to its advertising when youtube videos are made off it.

Just to make clear, I'm just writing my thoughts and concerns. I'm far from a decision as I have no clue yet on how feasible it is. Perhaps I could try to make some prototype at home, and if it works I could announce it, and if it doesn't I'll stick with just the mod.

Quite a wall of text. @_@, my apologies.

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Thanoshld
Thanoshld

I understand your concerns, and they are fully justified. In order for you to stand out you must firstly invest a lot in advertising (something that is not so easy) and secondly, make something truly unique. You said about action/survival games being overdone, but is there really an action game out there that takes place on-board the Titanic? And even so, that doesn't mean you won't do better. To be honest, I believe having it as a Mafia mod will be make this project unique, but will largely go under the radar. That's why I voted "Yes". But, as others said, it won't be easy to make a game from scratch. Level design is not the only thing that's needed here.

As for H&G, or any other Titanic game out there, don't let their popularity affect you. They are doing their thing, you are doing yours. They have their fans, you have yours. You are both making something beautiful, but it's up to us to compare and choose. And as you can see, 439 people have already made that choice ;) . This number can only grow, and that depends on the quality of your work and the choices you will make for the future of MTM. And the quality already speaks for itself.

*Edit: Wait, I also just noticed that you are developing "Amnesia: Titanic's Descent" as well. What are your plans about that one?

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MrRobville Author
MrRobville

I'm a little on the fence with that mod. Though, for the intention I had, I wasn't planning anymore on converting all interior to that mod, but lay out a more linear path and in a decayed state, much inspired by the Tomb Raider 2 levels of Maria Doria. However, that mod was started when I was a bit more, perhaps too optimistic about the production time of this one, as I had planned to release it years ago.

I'm not keen on canceling it at this moment, as I want to review the opportunity again when this one is in a far more developed state, as I fear that if I were to cancel it now, it may send a lot of doubt towards everyone here about the fate of this mod.

If I were to work on a standalone game, I think its inevitable that the Amnesia mod would get cancelled, so that's also a heavy weight in my decision. Because another potential problem is that it could have a negative impact on my credibility.
I haven't touched Amnesia for quite a while and I'm not sure how popular that modding scene still is. Though, at some point I would love to turn a few interiors into a decayed state, if time allows it.

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Executor-64-
Executor-64-

Will be brief, said it before and will say it again:

As much as i love mafia 1 i would hate to see all your hard work stuck in a game not everyone knows/has an interest for.

That said, i realize it is an additional effort to push it out as standalone game, but at it's bare minimum of an interactive 3d gallery for example (or an offer of co-creating a game from a 3rd party) it gets to be on it's own.

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Argoon
Argoon

A stand alone game would be awesome, because Mafia for example doesn't work has well has it used on my new windows 10 machine, but even so i agree with SPY-maps, making a full game out of it, is a big responsibility, even harder than making a mod to a existent game (that is also hard in it self), you need to think this very well.

First what story will you make for your game? Will you use the same one you devised for Mafia? what kind of gameplay will it be? FPS? Third person? Are you sure you will be able to model, animate and code all the necessary characters and situations for it your self? If not, are you willing to pay others to help you?
What would be faster, finish the Mafia mod or make the stand alone game?,etc...

These are some of the questions you need to ponder on, but no matter what you decide i know you know that will not be a easy task.

Btw you could decide for a kind of walking simulator with voice over ala Dear Esther but with more interaction tho, read papers, use keys, open doors, etc, that would be definitely easier and use your skills in modeling and level Design to its fullest but even that seemingly simple game needed a team of 3 or 4 people to be made, and you need to realize the market is now full with this kind of games.

Btw sorry if this sounds stupid but imo if you are worried about your work not being known, you could make a free (or very inexpensive) interactive camera walkthrough on UE4 about the Titanic story and architecture and use that has a publicity stunt, it will also help you gain experience on the engine and tools then if that calls the necessary attention think of a full game for it.

About how much would i pay for a Titanic game, depending on the quality/type of game i would pay from 15€ to 30€.

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bonniethebunnyrb
bonniethebunnyrb

well,i live in brazil and taxes here is very High,anyways the Price is your choice

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Maggol
Maggol

Hello

Sometimes idealism must be put aside and start thinking realistic. I personally, vote for standalone game, because mafia is an old game and as far i know not have digital release, both in steam and GOG. This is a bad problem, because beside this is and old game, it's hard to get in legal way, mostly. Sorry to say this sir, but comparing the amount of work you have done to this mod, it's not worth it, if you limiting the scope of your project into a modification of a classic (calling it old, is disgraceful, ^_^) game. You can have more freedom in developing your game, not bounded by limitation of classic tools and old game logic, especially after i read that mafia didn't release a SDK.

But, in developing a stand alone game. Still, there is their own problem, like licensing issues, advertising and fan reaction that will be negative or positive. In the end, it will be worth it, your stand alone game will have more recognition, that will bring more players, and maybe if the stand alone game have something that make it different it will have it's own loyal base.

Developing mod is good and can be very good lesson for aspiring game developer. Beside making the game that you love more have replay value, mod also have tendency to make groundbreaking innovation. But, if the mod development taking too long, the feature to ambitious and big, and most importantly if the base game is too hard to get (meaning no digital release), there will be problems.

First, your mod will be have limited fan that will lead to small number of download. The mod will attract gamer that still playing mafia until now, but their number will be small and maybe if those people not liking the setting, the number goes smaller.

Second, because there is no digital release, the only way to get mafia the lost haven, is through piracy. Maybe the mod will boost mafia popularity, but for short term, most people will playing MTM through pirated mafia. For long term, 2K will be noticing the mod and mafia boost of popularity, they will, a) release mafia the lost haven in digital version or b)in the next mafia game, modding will be supported because the cause of this mod (if it succeed).

For conclusion, make the stand alone game. Modding is great to test your idea, but if it's too ambitious, make your idea as stand alone game. Don't worry about the licensing, as long both side is have clear agreement, it will move smooth. As long you keep releasing update, and good relation with MTM fan base, it will have helping the advertising, especially if the game have something special that will attract and inspiring dedicated people like you, your game will have it's own fan base, maybe it's own modding scene.

Have a nice day, sir

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