multi-player mayhem

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Brian has been working a ton of hours getting the networking portion of our game far along enough to have our first Zero Gear play test, which we hosted at a LAN party this weekend. It seemed to be a great success and everyone seemed to have a great time driving around their characters even if we didn't have any real race rules in place yet. I was able to grab a lot of footage and I pieced together a little video, click the image below:

Here are a few action photos of the Zero Gear party in progress, thanks to everyone who came and played!


Wes said...

Looks great Dave. Timmeh gave me your web address and I linked your vid in. Give me a buzz some day.

Wes "FD" Shull

Chris Tufnell said...

Awesome Zap :) When can we do a little internet play test :D

Gokz said...

Hey guys, I caught your game on gamedev and just wanted to say that it looks awesome!

Are you planning to release this game for free or will we have to buy the final release?

Regardless, keep up the great work and I cant wait to play this game my self.

David Marsh said...

I'm sure we will do playtests online as soon as we get around to putting in some actual gameplay and a better way of packaging up the game (I'm looking at you steamworks!)

gokz, we aren't sure yet whether the game is going to be a flat price or if there is some way to make it free to play. But we do hope to make money off it somehow in order to support us making additional content for the game as well as new games.

Gorion said...

Even with the "hit eachother" gameplay it looks pretty fun to play :D. Goodjob you 2!

Allready looking forward to the next video :)

Brian Cronin said...

The "hit each other" gameplay had more to do with the fact that when people are given a game without any rules they tend to hit things.

We are in the process of planning the next video now. It should be pretty cool.

corey wylie said...

This game keeps looking cooler every time i check the site, which is like every few hours, lol. It looks like you do have a lot of the core mechanics done and now its time to add the bells and whistles. I highly suggest making a paypal donation button or something on your site. This game is definitely going to catch some eyes as it progresses and a few donations from people can help a lot. after all i mean 10 people donating 10 bucks is 100 bucks, you know? little amounts add up. I'd love to see this free to play somehow. The customization that you guys have already implemented could play a big part in making money off this. There is an almost insane desire in almost every gamer to just customize the hell out of everything about a character and alot of korean made free to play games take advantage of it. Pay "micro-transactions" of real currency for points to spend on accessories etc. I personally think doing that would attract a big enough playerbase that you would have a steady income for as long as that game is available for download, rather than the hype of a release and then people say congrats and move on, which sadly happens with every game it seems.

anyways nice progress!

Brian Cronin said...

We have some of the core mechanics done. We still need to spend some time on things like audio and core gameplay.

We will think about donations. I would like to offer something with a donation, like a unique item when the game is released.

We are still trying to figure out how we want to release it. We are open to pretty much every option at this point. I personally like the free-to-play with an optional subscription to access additional content. No content should give a paying player an advantage over a non-paying one however.

For the most part we don't have time to think about that kind of stuff in depth. We are simply trying to make a fun game!

Gorion said...

Which should be the top priority anyway, a fun game to play :)

Any idea's what to use for the audio engine?

Brian Cronin said...

Right now I have OpenAL ( integrated. It seems pretty solid and a lot of other games use it but we haven't settled on it for good yet.

Gorion said...

Aah yes, i have used that for my own "game", made in java(fail..), it is a good sound engine, you can do allot of stuff with it, and its still pretty light.

Currently i am making my own game, in the XNA framework, Its allot different than working with OGRE, thats for sure :P

Gokz said...

If you don't mind me adding my two cents, I definetely think you guys should go with the free to play + special items unlocked when you register. Maybe new cars, players, or even the option to play in special tracks with other "paid" players.
Personally, I don't think any indie game will reach its maximum potentially in-terms of popularity and recognition if its not free in some way; especially online centered games like yours. Also, I definetely think that you may end up making more money by making the initial experience free to play rather then selling the game as one package.

On a totally different note, do you guys think it will be possible to allow multiple players from 1 PC (maybe 2) to play other across the internet? I've always thought that it would be a great addition to many online games since the game can easily morph from a single player experience to a party game that you play with friends over.

David Marsh said...

gokz, I think you hit the nail on the head when you talk about how much larger the audience can be when you have both free to play and registered options, thats something that is really attractive. We want to have the largest audience possible since that benefits the the amount of players able to play together as well as the quality of the community built around the game.

We haven't ever considered the thought of multiple players from one PC online, to be honest it's probably not very high on our list of priorities. We want to be sure our peer to peer online play is solid as a rock!

Anonymous said...

Hey guys,it's Max Spain ;-) I was very pleased to see some of my great work shown off in the vid. It was a lot of fun to do. Keep up the good work.

Brian Cronin said...

Thanks for helping out Max! Your crash-into-everyone strategy of following directions lead to some great moments in the video, lol

Andrew said...

I would like to comment on the free-to-play model.. with a subscription fee for new content. I personally think this model is set to fail in the end. Reason being is it sets an expectation on the game developer to provide not just content but high quality content that is worth the fee and if you look at the games that use this model, many of them do not last long on it.

if your going to charge someone money make them pay a small fee for the original game and a larger fee for the content. I do not think people are going to back away from paying 5 bucks to play this game... if they get sucked in they think its worth more money to buy more content in large sums. instead of paying a small fee for sub-par content.

Fees remove the choice from the users and place the choice in the developer and I think that is the wrong way to do.

Gorion said...

I too feel much more for a one time fee. I find games that are free to play, but with payed stuff a bit unfair, offcourse its fair because they bought those extra things, but still.

I think a one time fee is much better, look @ audio surf..

David Marsh said...

One thing I had imagined was a free-to-play game, with a one time fee to register and enable customization / character data saving of stats and outfits etc.

Basically, a pretty standard model but the demo users can play with the registered users, and nobody has a tactical advantage, just as aesthetic on along with other bonus features.

Gorion said...

Actually that's a nice idea, but still the problem persists, that the "free" user will get less attention, and be treated "unfair".

This is just speculation, as i cannot look into the future :P but yeah, i like that way. everyone the same game, but if you pay for it, you get customization, stat saving, outfit saving.

btw, did you guys thought about taunts, and the player characters could make hand gestures and what else, that would be awesome + you could make some special ones for paid players only.

David Marsh said...

well, I think the idea is to balance a system for people who cannot or will not pay for the game, where they can participate and still contribute to the overall fun of the game, but there will always have to be incentives for people to buy the game, so I don't think the two will ever feel equal.

Yea, we will probably do taunts and that kind of stuff, we already have some funny ideas on that kind of stuff.