World of Diving: Online Multiplayer Dive Game with Oculus Rift Support
Vertigo Games started a crowdfunding campaign for their new game "World of Diving" on Indiegogo:
It's not really direct competition for The Little Blue but there might be some overlap in the audience for both games. The goal is relatively low at 75.000$ but the game doesn't look too interesting right now.
Seems like they're having trouble meeting the goal, as expected. I think one of their problems is that they're not showing some actually interesting gameplay. They flat out admit that they have yet to add interesting gameplay. It's fine if they ask for money to add those features but then they need to show people that they at least have a plan ready.
I just watched their video. I don't really see how this is any different than Endless Ocean with online and prettier graphics. It doesn't seem like much of a game, just a lot of "looking" at stuff. It doesn't matter how pretty the graphics are, if there isn't a game to go with it it just becomes pointless and boring like Shenmue. Their "procedural generation" sounds like "randomly generated". The problem with randomly generated games is that they quickly become very samey and repetitive. Generally I find it's an excuse in place of actual level design. It can work out ok in Roguelike's, but even then you need a certain tolerance for it.
It looks like their campaign has stalled. The Little Blue can learn from this.
-When things go stale, there needs to be updates, or some form of communication, to keep things going and address concerns. I think the best way to prevent it from going stale is to actively reply to peoples comments on a daily basis to show you are passionate about the project and involved. Compared to this, one of the strengths about the Big Blue's Kickstarter was all the content and comments came from Ed himself instead of fellow team members - consistency is good. I was very pleased to see an active back-and-forth conversation one afternoon with Ed talking to us in the Questions thread on these forums, he should do the same with the comments section for the Little Blue's KS. When the Little Blue goes to KS, Ed should be managing the communication because people will want to talk to him because he is in charge and they will know he has the authority to address their concerns.
-They don't sound very re-assuring. They say they will need to produce $75K themselves to make a good version of the game, but don't say if they already have that or where the money is going to come from.
-Compared to The Big Blue, they have zero press coverage (a google search brings up 5 results). Nobody knows who these people are. "Ecco creator makes new game" captured a lot more attention than this. When the Little Blue surfaces "Original Ecco team makes new game" would sound a lot better than "Ecco creator makes new game" - one of the concerns I see online is that people think it's great that Ed is making a new game, but some haven't read enough to find out that it's the original team working on the game. One of the views brought up was a person said they would not be interested in a new dolphin game if it wasn't being made by Novotrade "Original Ecco team makes new game" would address this. I think this shows that there was legitimate interest in the Big Blue because it was being made by Ed and the team. While there certainly could and should have been a lot more press coverage, in comparison to World of Diving the gaming press cared about the Big Blue. Ed and the team need to push harder for press coverage next time as well as put out content that the press will get excited to cover (updates, clarification of concerns, and interviews).
-People will need and want to know what phase in development the Little Blue is in. As Draikin said, these people admit they have not designed anything yet.
-First impressions. The quirky nature of their video and the writing on the campaign page do not instill me with confidence that these people can make a game. The footage of some guy walking around the office in scuba gear would be like if the Big Blue's KS video was Ed swimming with dolphins and casually talking about the game. People who follow Ed are familiar with his sense of humor, which I thought was one of the strengths of the KS (like the joke about the live dolphin reward), but we know that Ed is highly experienced with making games and it was kept off the front page. With the World of Diving campaign it comes off as obnoxious.
-The music. The stock vacation/beach music in their video does not tell me anything about the game. A lot of people liked the music in the Big Blue's KS video because it instantly sounds like Spencer Nilsen's work and it helps set the vibe for the game.
-Communication. If the game is largely randomly generated, then they should come out and say it is randomly generated instead of trying to disguise it. Gamers do not like that. This comes off as talking down to people. Not all gamers have technical knowledge so mechanics should also be explained, especially if it is something that is being held as one of the game's selling points.
I've been checking their project page nearly every day since this thread was created and have been reading the comments. They've effectively abandoned it. The community events they spoke of never materialized and they went into it with poor preparation expecting to get lucky and ride the indie funding wave. One of the comments brought up a valid point: the developers themselves need to personally push for press coverage and not expect the sites to cover it out of goodwill or expect their fans to beg the sites for them. Their campaign has been suffering from these problems:
-Poor communication and breakdown of communication part way through the campaign
-Compared to The Big Blue they have had zero preparation for their campaign and made no major attempts to address their campaign's problems
-Poor rewards. No one is going to give you thousands of dollars in exchange for a handful of digital trinkets.
-They are blaming the campaign's lack of success on it being on Indiegogo instead of Kickstarter.
-They've been deleting Youtube comments on their gameplay trailer video. This will be viewed with suspicion and raised eyebrows by potential backers. The first assumption will be that they've been deleting negative feedback. Some comments with valid criticisms have also received a heavy number of down votes.
-They do not come off as wholly confident when talking about the subject matter of the game. At least when Ed talks about marine biology he knows what he's talking about!
Personally I think the main reason why they're not getting funded is because it's an MMO. A lot of people are rightfully skeptical at the idea of funding the creation of an MMO, because MMO's are a one-way street to raise money for the developer through subscriptions.
Well, that isn't totally true Ed! There are a few popular ones, though they are somewhat declining these days but not loathed surely.
I do feel like this World of Diving will not be accurate or scientific. I mean, Trilobites, Orthocones, Sponges and Dunkleosteus in the same sea was not accurate but we can't include that as a reason :)
MMO's are still popular, just not as much as they used to be. People have really given up on seeing an MMO that reinvents the genre that's still being dominated by WoW. Outside of Eve Online, just about every other MMO went F2P. They're just riding the bandwagon and people have gotten tired of it. Also, there's a lot of MMO's on the market now and only so many people to play them. Another reason they went F2P, because there aren't enough people pay for the subscriptions.
That said you can still use Kickstarter to fund MMO's. But then you need to have a very clear goal and show people why your MMO is worth funding. You need to address the common problems with MMO's and show how you intend to solve them. And most importantly, your potential backers have to actually be looking for an MMO.
World of Diving basically said "we're making an MMO where you can dive and do...something. We haven't quite gotten that far.". Guaranteed failure. And all the other points Icedolphin noted definitely contributed to the failure.
@Draikin: I agree with your points about their KS. Their lack of preparation is shocking. They've actually told people there's not even a demo or prototype to try out to get a feeling for the game. BB's was barely functional but at least it was something.
@Ed: This is why I don't like MMO's.
Money - MMO's are effectively an ongoing, large macrotransaction. Say a game charges $10 a month. Over two to three years that's between $240 and $360, that's as much as a console or a whole bunch of games. Take WoW for example, you have to go to the store, buy the game, bring it home, install it, then on top of what you already paid for the disc you have to pay subscription fees. Sure they say it's to pay for server fees, but no game is worth that much money by itself. MMOs are simply a glorified rental and a cash grab, you have no ownership or control of anything.
People online are unpleasant - MMO's by nature, unfortunately attract the worst parts of online play from both ends of the spectrum: a troll culture on one end, and an elitist group of jerks on the other. When people play a game, they don't want to be greeted by 14 year-olds screaming into a microphone calling you a homosexual, the n-word, making yo mama jokes or blasting loud music into the mic.
Zero control - MMO players are entirely at the mercy of the company. Like an older version of the game? Well that's too bad you have to play the new version NOW.
Find an easy way to make money? Sorry, that's "cheating" and we're going to ban you for it or call it a bug and take all your money away. It can be argued that even offline games have "in-game economies" and they don't have ridiculous restrictions like MMOs do.
-You have to play the game by a set or arbitrary rules never mind that YOU are PAYING for a "game" that's supposed to be FUN.
-You can not play the game where you want and need an internet connection
-There are no guarantees of game preservation with MMOs. It's impossible and dependant upon the company's survival
-Once a game becomes unpopular they rip the rug out and close the game down
-Offline games will not stop working if you forget a password
-You can not get banned and your toys taken away with offline games.
I realize I'm probably coming off like some sort of fossil, but I believe in paying for actual products that I will own, not rentals. I want to play games on my TV by myself. I never use online features in any game, ever.
I don't want to play games online with other people. I don't want to pay an ever building fee to rent a game. I don't want to play "games" with an arbitrary set of over lording rules and a petty denunciation system.
Even the format of MMO games do not interest me. It's nothing but a grinding contest with no objective and showing off your online ego. I hate everything about MMOs, but that's just me. If I wanted to do digital chores I'd play Animal Crossing.
So their campaign failed, as expected. They've moved the campaign to a different site, this time with a flex funding campaign, meaning they get to keep the money even if they don't reach their goal. They don't seem to understand why the first one failed. They've effectively regurgitated the same pitch word-for-word on the new page with no new content and are somehow expecting to get funded this time around. On top of all that they don't even have their promised community features set up.
Well, if the game would have an offline mode, the game would become intresting. Aswell read about it before.
Question is, if the toys would be in the game, it it would be made. Doesn't look very good for it for now, because of the failed campaign.
The intresting stetch goals would be the "Thanks for all the fish". Not only its a very well known phrase, but you get a the harpoon (at least something to shoot on sharks) and the speed cruiser as some acceptable boat. But the price is way to high. I think 42$ would be better for this tier. :D