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Force of Arms  |  Data At Rest (Archives)  |  Old General Discussion  |  General Discussion  |  How to get your mech idea into game thoughts and concepts
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Author Topic: How to get your mech idea into game thoughts and concepts  (Read 7589 times)

teufelich

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How to get your mech idea into game thoughts and concepts
« on: January 12, 2010, 05:25:49 PM »
This is thought and ideas thus far for submitting a mech into FoA.
There is insight from 3 separate parties on this to try and cover plenty of ground.
Remember this IS NOT set in stone.  This is how we are looking at things to help get mechs into the game without crashing it, and not consuming tons of the devs time so to not take away from them coding, bug hunting, feature adding etc
look it over and let everyone know what you think about this

Yes this is for open discussion, thoughts and ideas, but please be practical


Licenses, Manufacturing and Sales

Outside game environment:
1)   Player does conceptual of Mech design
   This requires a technical write up either generated themselves or obtained by those approved by WD studios.

2)   Player Submits 3D model to WD Studios
   Either by generating themselves and submit for approval and modifications needed to WD studios or approved parties by WD studios.
   OR, having a WD studio approved modeler builds and submits to WD studios for them.
   A player may submit multiple Mechs per month; however, only one Mech is put into a priority queue, while the remaining ones are placed in a secondary queue.
o   The priority queue is reserved for players submitting one or his/her first Mech of the month.  This is a First Come, First Serve basis.
   This allows all participating players to be given fair time for their one/first submissions of the month.
o   The secondary queue is for all remaining Mechs made by players who already have or had a Mech in the priority queue (for the month).
   Additionally all submissions in the secondary queue are aligned based on the number of previous submissions of the player.  
   When the priority queue is empty, then Mechs in the secondary queue will be moved into the priority queue.  The amount of Mechs to move over will be determined at the given time.
   When a new month occurs, those Mechs in the head of the secondary queue will move into the priority queue.
   For example, if Player Adam submits 5 Mechs, Player Betty 4 Mechs, Player Charles 2 Mechs, and Player Dave 1 Mech, and this was the order of the submissions.  All of the players will have one of their Mechs put into the priority queue (based on First Come, First Serve or based on Player's choice of his/her entered Mechs).  Dave has no Mechs to be in the secondary queue (unless he enters another one in the month).  The secondary queue would be lined up as follows: Adam (#2), Betty (#2), Charles (#2), Adam (#3), Betty (#3), Adam (#4), Betty (#4), Adam (#5).  Should Dave enter another Mech in the month, his #2 Mech would go before Adam's #3 Mech.
   An exception may be given to those Mech designs, which form a series, that is each of the Mechs in the series is similar to the others by using the same parts.  A series can be defined as a set of Mechs that have evolved over time with technology upgrades, add-ons or reconfigurations.  An example of a series would be the UH-60 Black Hawk and of its variants.

3)   Decisions:
   Normal Request or Rush Request or Exclusive
o   Normal Request will be considered as a feature for a paid account.  Free accounts (trial) or those without paid accounts would pay WD Studios $xx to have their Mech introduced.
o   Rush Request a player pays WD studios $yy to have the Mech introduced into the game sooner than next scheduled patch.  Called a Rush Fee.
   This compiles on top of the original fee to have the Mech included in the game:: $total = $xx + $yy (Non-Paid Account) or $yy (Paid Account)
o   Exclusive Ownership is for the Mech to be owned by one player account only and of which player will pay WD studios $zz to have his/her Mech added to the game but no other player account can have.  Called an Exclusive Fee.
   This compiles on top of the orginal fee to have the Mech included into the game: $total = $xx + $zz (Non-Paid Account) or $zz (Paid Account)
o   With all features the $total = $xx + $yy +$zz , at this point


   Patents/Rights/Licenses
o   Patent of a Mech directly goes to the player for having come up with the design.  This gives him/her share if the Mech is to be sold on the open market.  
   This is received upon introduction of the Mech into the game.
   This Patent only pertains to within the Force of Arms Virtual World and is not valid as a US, other Foreign Country or International Patents or protected by such Patent Laws.
o   Rights <Manufacturing rights> is for the person that does the 3D model work, unless modeler gives permission for the requesting player to hold the Manufacturing Rights.  This gives share of sales of Mech to holder.
   This goes to modeler, or person of modelers choice <limited to the original requester>
   Rights is not the same as Copyrighting, nor treated by such national or international laws.
o   Licenses is for the Sales, of which the seller gets a portion of the sales for the Mech.  This can be held by appointed Organization/NPC per WD Studios, or even the player of request.
   This the player can purchase from WD studios for $uu, else wise this goes to NPC/sales corp that WD studio so chooses and can be purchased in game for credits.
?   Overall total can = $xx + $yy +$zz + $uu
   Real World Copyright and Ownership
o   This set of rules pertains to real world (national and international) laws dealing with copyright and ownership.  The original owner of the model still retains ownership of the model and thus Copyright as well.  The owner grants permission to Wardog Studios, nonexclusive rights of the model for use within the virtual world and of other media (printed, videos, etc).  The original owner can still use the model for other projects and of other interests, including sales.  
   Wardog Studios is not allowed to sale the model.  
   Wardog Studios is granted permission to redistribute the model for only game purposes (via asset repository to client machines for game use).
   Wardog Studios is also not allowed to modify the model for purposes of duplication to compete with the original model or resale.
   Wardog Studios is granted permission to make modifications to the model for purposes of making the model work properly within the game environment and combat system (example: Run time errors, shader problems, adding in battle damage).
   Wardog Studios will not provide any form of royalties or other financial compensation for use of models of which it has nonexclusive rights over.
   Should Wardog Studios seek to purchase the model for exclusive rights or ownership, an offer will be made.  The original owner has the right to refuse the offer and not be subjected to game environment malicious activities by Wardog Studios.  Should a deal be made, exclusive rights and/or ownership of the model will then transfer to Wardog Studios.  Should the original owner have sold the model for other nonexclusive rights to other entities, those nonexclusive rights are still valid.  How or what comprises of the deal will be determined at that time (ie: negotiated).
   The original owner will not hold Wardog Studios responsible for misuse or misrepresentation of the model unless specified here.  Wardog Studios is also not held responsible should other entities obtain the model via the downloading of the game assets.
   If these sets of rules are not acceptable, please provide feedback to determine if something can be agreed upon (and thus changing of the rules) or simply do not submit a design.
o   Models owned by Wardog Studios may be available for nonexclusive rights for players to use for their designs to be submitted and for personal use.  The models available for use will be displayed and available for download.  


Inside Game Environment
1)   License/Patents/Rights and Money Sink Percentages
   Overall these are worth 100% of the sales of each Mech in game (defined by game credits and not of real world currency).  If the Mech is exclusive then this does not matter.
o   40% off bat is money sink.  This is in game credits directly deposited to the devs account for putting the Mech in game.  This can be claimed as resources, tax etc.
o   20% goes to the patent holder, the player that came up with the idea.
o   20% goes to rights holder, be it the modeler is/or the player
o   20% goes to sales license holder, be it NPC, appointed holder, or player.
   Thus sales = 100% = dev% + Patent% + Rights% + License%

2)   Licenses/Patents/Rights Costs
   Patent obvious 0 in game cost.  This is specifically for the player how conceived the Mech and is part of purchase for implementation into the game.
o   In the event that said player retires from game 2 options could be available:
   First, Patent goes to NPC/designated corp and the in game money becomes absorbed by the game
   Second, is that the patent MIGHT now become available for purchase from NPC/Designated corp for <example> 100 times the price of the Mech
?   To be discussed further if option to become available.
   Manufacturing rights are a tradable commodity.  Thus owner can auction/sell/trade at their leisure.
o   Auction/Sale/Trade in game only, and must be of value equal to <example> 100 times the sale price of the Mech
o   If  Rights holder retires from game, same applies as from patent description of player retirement.
   Sale Licenses are a tradable commodity.  Thus owner can auction/sell/trade at their leisure.
o   Follows same rules as manufacturing rights.  Tradable, expensive, controlled.

3)   Account change of ownership
   Pending account change of ownership constructs, the following might have some light.
o   If a Player is to retire from the game
   The Player can then <if holding> assign who he/she wants the license and/or manufacturing rights to go to, be it WD Studios, Organization or another player.
   Patent will default to WD studios.  This is a privilege given to the designer and designer only, there for if the designer is no longer in game, then the patent goes to the game.

o   If the accounted is transferred <manner of which pending WD Studios information>
   Patents default to WD Studios
   License and Rights go to WD Studios or appointed and then become holders there of and can decide to put on market or to withhold.

All things not final
   This whole document is a draft conceptual for the building block of discussed parts and pieces compiled into an overview.
   NO, the numbers are not concrete, set in stone or permanent; these are for reference and thought.
   YES, lots need to be discussed taken into consideration and maybe some refocusing on certain aspects.
   This is from a modelers perspective, a sales perspective and most importantly WD Studios perspective

Things pending
   An approval process for Mech submission before going to the devs.   Dev?s time is valuable, and even more valuable to a player as these things can take away from much more important needs.
o   Appointed review personnel.
   These not need be WD studio staff, but even players that have had experience in dealing with uploading and working with WD so that key points are covered.
   Write up details submission will be needed and verified to make sure they fallow the game guidelines and Mechanics presented to the players so that ?UBER? Mechs are not gods in game.
o   Appointed Model Inspection personnel.
   To make sure the model is within right tri counts, welds and seems etc are inspected so that devs do not have to spend time fixing a model or having to hunt for issues.
   To verify were movement points are to be set and properly documented so that submission to dev?s can speed up animation process
   To insure quality of Mechs prior to sending to dev?s thus overall requiring less of the dev?s time and effort on the model and more time for implementing it.
o   Purposed approval process for Mechs into game
   Review Personnel consisting of 3 <ideal> appointed people to go over the numbers and information including write up of Mech.
?   May want to include ?Faction Experts?, for further opinion if it fits a given Faction's style.  Basing on Faction styles is not a hard-line decision process, but more of a guideline.  Some designs may very well be radical or push the envelope of styling.
   Model Personnel Consisting of 3 <ideal> appointed people to evaluate the quality, consistency and finished build of the Mech.
   One WD appointed reviewer to look at both aspects and decide if full complete package is ready to be delivered to WD Studios for final processes to incorporate the Mech into the game.
   Skill Structure if any needed for market or manufacturing
o   Marketing is in every game coming out, however a tedious nuisance the obvious reasons are surpassed by the Mechanics complexity.
   Certain games are using tax deduction, negotiations, bartering etc etc a mile long list of crap needs to be done to be able to sell stuff on the open market to players.  
   Which way is WD going to go for this if any at all?
   What Skills will be expected for FOA?
o   Mining and manufacturing?
   Skills no skills?
   What Skills?
   Again just nitpicky player information that needs to be looked at.


So overall this is to be reviewed, then looked at and then discussed and then posted for forum for player review, comments and discussion.
Being this is a Hefty topic and encompassing a LOT of aspects I thought all those that thought on this that I know of put in their 2 cents and be ready for player comments before just randomly throwing this on the forums.

Sturm Kintaro

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Re: How to get your mech idea into game thoughts and concepts
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2010, 07:24:32 PM »
There is a lot to cover here, but a few points to keep in mind when you're looking at these discussion points:

(Full Disclosure - I was one of the contributors to this framework idea)

1) Time.  The main point that we're trying to get across is time is one of the most valuable commodities any of us have, and for a game developer it's even more valuable, because they have so much they need to cram into so little to get their product off the ground.  Wardog does not have the time to go through hundreds of proposals (good, bad and ridiculous) themselves,  then go on to model, animate and bring into production those models.  That kind of work would take a fully staffed studio months, if not years to complete.  We're hoping through discussion and examination we can find a model that's fair to everyone, doesn't dump a ton of work on people who may not have the time to do it justice, and keep the community involved.

2) Balance/Fair Play.  We're trying to also create a development process that prevents someone from flooding the market with a ton of 'Mechs and essentially gains a stranglehold on the development side of the process; everyone should have a chance to put a model into the game, if it's done properly and they are willing to put in the effort to come up with a viable product.  That being said, the time that you as the creator or the modeler puts into a project is time that you are investing in the game.  That time should be worth some reward if your project does get introduced into the game.

3) Compensation.  We are trying to create a system where a player can be rewarded in game for their model(s), however they are not going to get an "I Win" button by doing so.  As such, the profit margins that are being proposed are a fair split to ensure that every person who worked on the model gets a piece of the pie, and with some skill in game will be able to benefit from it, but understand that in no circumstance will a player get 100% of the profit on a 'Mech, short of going through the process to make a 'Mech an exclusive model that is not available to other players.  That will not be the status quo.  And before anyone argues the point, in every project there are unforseen costs, delays, etc, which always add to the price of the product.

That's just my .02 credits - I'm really looking forward to seeing the discussion on this topic.
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Fritzgryphon

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Re: How to get your mech idea into game thoughts and concepts
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2010, 12:56:18 PM »
Seems complicated.  If you're going to take unsolicited submissions (which is strange in itself)  why not just buy the models outright?  Anything that goes in your game you should own completely, just for simplicity sake.

Then if you make add-ons, or sequels, or you sell the project to another group, or you sell the assets to another group, there is no confusion.

Sturm Kintaro

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Re: How to get your mech idea into game thoughts and concepts
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2010, 07:05:47 PM »
Problem is when you start dealing with "ownership" of 'Mechs/content, it gets sticky. 

This really isn't all that complicated.

If you design the 'Mech, and you want it used in game, fine.  You still own the rights to it, you're just giving Wardog Studios permission to use your model in their game...  In return you get the privledge of selling the 'Mech in game and getting some in-game financial reward for doing so.  Now if you want to use the model somewhere else, that's also fine... you still have the rights to it.  If that OTHER company/project/etc wanted to buy it or wanted exclusive rights to it... that's a much more involved discussion that I wouldn't comment on due to the potential for legal issues.
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Fritzgryphon

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Re: How to get your mech idea into game thoughts and concepts
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2010, 12:06:14 PM »
The ownership, I mean, is complicated.  By offering a (token) payment for all accepted models, you could own them all.

Do you think many skilled modelers will be enticed by in-game perks?  This is a serious question; I haven't heard of this being done before.

Hamilton

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Re: How to get your mech idea into game thoughts and concepts
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2010, 02:25:48 PM »
I'll pip in for a bit.
The way of dealing with ownership is based from some research with Second Life.  Originally Second Life had the policy in which Linden (the company) would own the rights of the models.  What this did in turn though was cause a low amount of model to become part of the world.
Why would I spend all that time and effort on content if the company gets to own it and I get jack $***?
So the policy was changed in which the original owners would retain the rights of ownership.  This then allowed more content to be populated into the game.
Sign off,
Hamilton
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Sturm Kintaro

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Re: How to get your mech idea into game thoughts and concepts
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2010, 02:32:51 PM »
Well, it worked pretty darn well for Second Life.  No reason why it can't work here.

And as to paying $$ for models out of game - it's an added cost to the game developers that can be avoided, so why bother?

If someone wants $200.00 per model, and you have.... 10-20 submissions per month, that's $2500-5000 a month just for models.  Keep in mind that those funds could be used to develop the game and add other features instead of paying for 'Mechs.  Indie studios do not have the financial resources of the major game studios, who would never let this idea fly in the first place.  When you aren't being funded by Venture Capital (which is practically impossible in this day and age due to the economy), you need to start thinking outside the box.  This is certainly one way to 1) add assets to the game without having to use company resources, b) provide a source of income to players/modelers, and c) give people more of a reason to stay/get involved in the game.  If you have something keeping you attached to the game, you'll want to stay and see what the game can do for you.
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teufelich

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Re: How to get your mech idea into game thoughts and concepts
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2010, 09:31:38 AM »
sorry all have been offline sick lately but am back now.

am going to add 2 cents to this, though am a bit foggy headed atm from meds :D weeeheee

For fritz (coming from a modeler perspective),

As having seen mech games and played most, also been to SL and several several others, I enjoy doing 3D.  Tis a hobby of mine, not so much a job.  Being commissioned to bring someones dream to life is always fun.  Course legal rights etc all aside the main thing for me is to see my models in full use.  Also even if rights of ownership goes to my "customer" this method gives them options that most don't get to.

Having played very little battletech pnp version but knowing it, and lots of others well, it is nice to see an effective implementation of player designed content being implemented into the game, but not being a waste.

there are several games that are upcoming that have opened there doors to player submitted content, but if you submit something you get nothing in return but seeing that content in game.  thus make you a "moder" for the game with no reward but your name on the end title screen that no one reads.

Here you have better incentive, as in you can submit something, and in game it can be released to the player market and you get rewarded for adding content that the people like.  Along with that you get to have a dev look it over and make sure it works right in game.  Unlike second life where you have to do everything yourself and if it sucks no one buys it, here with the dev overlooking your content will not suck, and you will get benefits from that.

as per legal obligations, the content remains the players for freedom to do with as you wish.  WS has their models, they have the game, they have effects etc, but they will not take your content from you and tell you you can not take it anywhere else.  By all means, its yours, and you are basically asking WS to add it into a game you enjoy :)

Fritzgryphon

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Re: How to get your mech idea into game thoughts and concepts
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2010, 02:22:19 PM »
Is Second Life really comparable, though?  It's not so much a game as a 3d chat app, so the addition of content is more or less inconsequential to the play experience.  Also, anything goes (including porn), so not much work is required on the part of LL to screen content.

If the case of a game, it has a visual and gameplay style set by the developer (all of the original content and game world will have to be made by the developer).  As said in the OP, it would be time consuming to critique large amounts of (likely crudely made) work submitted work for quality, completeness, and adherence to style.  Even longer to actual do the necessary programming to put in.  

10-20 submissions per month, that's $2500-5000 a month just for models.

Wouldn't it be extremely difficult to implement that much content on a monthly basis, and would it even be desireable (imagine Counterstrike, with 10 new guns to use each month)?  Why not, of a large number of submissions, just take the best one or two?  Even make a contest of it.  Remember, the majority of submissions will be unsuitable or incomplete in some way.  

The theory of user submitted objects for an MMO is kind of neat, but it doens't seem all too practical when most submissions would come from noobs with free softwar, and no education in the field.  In the case of a player submitted mech we're talking:  an attractive design, a clean model, proper unwrap and an attractive texture, fits the existing style of the game, full set of animations and possibly some additional work like damage or node placement.  And it's expected that there will be such an enormous number, hundreds, of these sumbissions, to find 10-20 suitable objects a month.  And the programmers will work ceaselessly to critique these submissions, implement and test the winners, and correct errors that (inevitably) are found in each object.

I also want to point out that a huge level of submissions assumes an almost ludicrous level of success of a released game.  Like, huge, even if you assume that 1 person in 100 has any interest in modeling at all, and 1 out of 10 of those can make commercial work, and 1 of 10 of those will do it for ingame rewards.  We're talking tens, or hundreds of thousands of customers to fill a 20 model a month quota with any reasonable amount of quality.

If it worked it would be the best business plan ever :)  But no offense, guys, this website's been up three years and you've got a buggy multiverse demo with no playable mechs at all.  I really don't want to be a downer, and it is fun to speculate about all the cool stuff that could be done, but honestly, doesn't it seem like wishful thinking?

I've worked on a sort of 'fan supported game' once, in my case, IL-2.  The developer would accept planes or tanks or ships, so long as they were done to their specifications (predictably, most didn't, including my own at first).  In about a decade, 3rd part content maybe amounted to 100 objects, and thats with paying a very fair price for each object.  And that's from a base of over a million(or millions of) copies sold. Despite the popularity, 99% of the content was still made in-house.  For the fan-submitted content, 80% of the work was still done in-house.

In recent history, the developer lost all interest in accepting unsolicited work. It actually took them more time and money to create objects that way, the objects were generally not what they wanted, and the quality was poor overall.  I post this textblok as a friendly warning to you.




« Last Edit: February 05, 2010, 02:24:27 PM by Fritzgryphon »

Hamilton

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Re: How to get your mech idea into game thoughts and concepts
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2010, 01:53:42 PM »
The warning is understood and well received.
I do understand that a large sum of models will not be done right or look right.  However by providing some building materials (texture files and rigs).  For the look or the proper look, there is not one as long as it is not of the offending side.  A robot looking like a trashcan with legs would be accepted... example: The Urbanmech from BattleTech (and I think the majority of the first generation ones look terrible).


Quote
But no offense, guys, this website's been up three years and you've got a buggy multiverse demo with no playable mechs at all.  I really don't want to be a downer, and it is fun to speculate about all the cool stuff that could be done, but honestly, doesn't it seem like wishful thinking?
Yeah... no hiding that. I think in one of the Dev Chats I did go over the downside of things.  Some things didn't work out and I would like to blame it all on the economy, but that is not true. 
However, got a plan laid out for this year and see how it turns out.  Getting an investor is difficult but possible.  The main trouble having to get one, is to have some solid numbers and a working prototype.  The prototype... its there, but there is no action.  So got to get the combat system going.
Getting numbers, that is where the Facebook App(s) come in and from the look of things, should work out.  If they provide significant revenue, even better.

Should the Multiverse Platform not be ready this year... which is what I am guessing at, have already begun looking at another.  The problem is, got to have an investor for it (and does not require multi-millions).


A lot of IF's and Should's, that I know.
Fortunately I still have contacts with investors, so it is not a complete situation of getting things together and then hunting for investors.
Sign off,
Hamilton
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