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T O P I C
Enter the Arena.net
August 2nd 2000, 02:59 CEST by andy

Almost as if they've been reading our last thread, Triforge -- the PC games company formed in March by three ex-Blizzard developers -- has announced a change of name to Arena.net and a new publishing strategy.



The three Blizzard veterans, recently joined by a computer science professor and an ex-Microsoft developer, will publish their own games exclusively online.

In an interview on GameSpy, Arena.net's Pat Wyatt has already made two confident statements. He predicted that "because our games are server hosted, cheating will never be an issue", and that "our games will be less expensive than retail games". (No mention of how much less expensive, though...)

There's one question that should perhaps be raised at this point, especially as the new era of online-publishing is still untested and is bound to claim a few scalps along the way: If a game is multiplayer-based and can only be played on the developer's own centralised servers, what happens if the company shuts down?

The obvious answer is that people can't play the game anymore, so perhaps a better question would be: What can be done about it?

C O M M E N T S
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#1 by "Bracket"
2000-08-02 03:00:48
herbert@tsghelp.com http://www.tsghelp.com
First? ;-p<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#2 by "Bracket"
2000-08-02 03:01:02
herbert@tsghelp.com http://www.tsghelp.com
First? ;-p<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#3 by "Bracket"
2000-08-02 03:14:44
herbert@tsghelp.com http://www.tsghelp.com
(Sorry about the double post, over excited. *sighs* Thats what happens when I stop lurking and start using something like CrapSpy to <i>post</i>.)

Server-based play has all sorts of problems, and doesn't always clear up the cheating issue (depending upon how the client software works). The obvious problem is the one Andy pointed out in the subject; if the company goes away, so does the game. I seem to remember that this has happened more than once [Wish I could remember the game's name - GamaSutra did a post-mortem on it a few months ago; it involved team-based 3rd person/iso play, in which people ran around shooing one another. It hyped up live voice access]. Of course, they could release server code and let others host it.... but then they lose all of the security they gain from keeping the server-side mechanics "secret."

It will be interesting to see how well this works if they are truly serious about avoiding cheating, and want to keep <i>everything</i> server-side. Either they'll have to avoid writing games that exhibit much lag, or they'll need to rely on the emergeance of broadband.

Has anyone written a MMRPG yet that can't be readily exploited with a client-side protocol decoder?<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#4 by "George Broussard"
2000-08-02 03:16:59
georgeb@3drealms.com
<quote> what happens if the company shuts down?The obvious answer is that people can't play the game anymore, so perhaps a better question would be: What can be done about it?</quote>

Noting can or should be done about it.

You think if Blizzard folds tomorrow they should keep Battle.net going?  Maybe so, but in reality it don't happen.

If Verant folds, EQ servers go away.  That's just life.  

Since you are paying month to month, or a one time software purhase, I don't see an issue.

Yeah you can argue that you spent $50 for a game you can't play anymore, but that's all taken care of I'm sure in the End User License Agreement.  You as a user will assume that risk.

Don't look for other solutions becuase there isn't one ;)  You cannot force a company to support something after they are gone.

George Broussard, 3D Realms
#5 by "Andy"
2000-08-02 03:25:37
andy@planetcrap.com
I really could have done a lot better with this topic, so here's the patch. :-)

From the <a href="http://www.arena.net/faq.html">Arena.net FAQ</a>, heavily edited:
<quote>
<b>Why is Internet publishing better than retail publishing?</b>

More convenient - With Internet publishing, you'll always be able to try a game before you buy it. [...] Internet games will have no CD and no limitations on copying the game, so you can install the game on any number of computers and play wherever and whenever you want.

<b>Will you charge a monthly fee to play your games online?</b>

No. Once you buy a game online, it's yours, and you can play it wherever you want, whenever you want, without ever paying an additional fee.

<b>When will your first game be available?</b>

Because Arena.net will only release the highest quality games, we expect to spend a full two year development cycle creating our first game.
</quote>
I'll be interested to see how much of this they stick to. I'm not suggesting that they won't, I'm just saying that I won't be <i>surprised</i> if they don't. Some of these promises/predictions strike me as enthusiasm that may not hold up too well in reality.

I also should have mentioned <a href="http://www.garagegames.com/">Garage Games</a>, a start-up online publishing company. Here's the <a href="http://www.garagegames.com/press.html">press release</a>, links from Blue's as usual.
#6 by "George Broussard"
2000-08-02 03:32:40
georgeb@3drealms.com
Andy,

<quote>More convenient - With Internet publishing, you'll always be able to try a game before you buy it. [...] Internet games will have no CD and no limitations on copying the game, so you can install the game on any number of computers and play wherever and whenever you want. </quote>

All these guys are is shareware in reality.

This is the same philosophy we had with Apogee in 1990.  Make/sell games direct.  No publishers.  People can try before they buy (and we sell them the rest).

The only new thing is downloading the game.

And we even offer that on our site now.  With the future bringing in broadband so you can get a 1 gig game, it opens this stuff up.

But in reality it's simply shareware 10 years later.

Not sure why people are so amazed with it.

George Broussard, 3D Realms
#7 by "Andy"
2000-08-02 03:34:08
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#4</b>, George Broussard:
<QUOTE>
Since you are paying month to month, or a one time software purhase, I don't see an issue.

Yeah you can argue that you spent $50 for a game you can't play anymore, but that's all taken care of I'm sure in the End User License Agreement. You as a user will assume that risk.
</QUOTE>
And out of interest, do you think that is a good or bad situation?
<QUOTE>
Don't look for other solutions becuase there isn't one ;) You cannot force a company to support something after they are gone.
</QUOTE>
Strange, I saw a solution in #3. Open your mind and read it. :)

Anyway, my point, if you care, was not how you can "force a company to support something after they are gone". I'm asking, how can things be done differently, so that if a company closes down the game can continue, with or without the company having to support it?

For example:

If Id closes down tomorrow, that's the end of Q3A because the authentification server will disappear. But hang on -- there are hacked game servers that don't need authentification, so people can still play.

How can we get a similar situation with the Arena.net model?
#8 by "Matthias Worch"
2000-08-02 03:36:40
mworch@legendent.com http://www.langsuyar.com
<i>Yeah you can argue that you spent $50 for a game you can't play anymore, but that's all taken care of I'm sure in the End User License Agreement. You as a user will assume that risk.

<b>And out of interest, do you think that is a good or bad situation?</b></i>

I think the real question is: Is it a situation that can be avoided?

<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#9 by "George Broussard"
2000-08-02 03:40:45
georgeb@3drealms.com
Let me add that I think the Arena.net guys will make a kick ass game, due to their past accomplishments.  

But the rest has all been done before.  Direct Sales, try before you buy etc etc.

I don't see a big future for direct sales only simply because no matter what you want to tap the retail market and that will mean someone to put the game in a box and ship to retailers.

3DR for example holds all direct sales rights to our games.  We will direct sell DNF and move a lot of them I'm sure.  And we get 100% of the $50 pricetag instead of a publisher taking a cut.  But you also want to be in stores because most people buy that way.  Simple fact.

George Broussard, 3D Realms
#10 by "Andy"
2000-08-02 03:40:46
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#8</b>, Matthias Worch:
<QUOTE>
I think the real question is: Is it a situation that can be avoided?
</QUOTE>
But then we're going round in circles, because that was the question I asked in the first place. ;-)
#11 by "Scharmers"
2000-08-02 03:50:21
scharmers@hotmail.com http://www.dogfighter.com
Mention battlefront.com, please.  Their latest wargame -- yes, WARGAME, you know, the DEAD genre -- is selling like hotcakes.  No retail channel.  Direct over the internet.  Of course, it's still a physical package (which I prefer -- screw this 'download and then you have to play on our servers' crap.  Ick.)

And yes, they are directly serving a particular genre who is starved for decent entertainment.  However, if you believe the whole "mommy the PC is dying" crap, the PC gaming field is going genre-interest only, so...

--scharmers
#12 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-08-02 03:52:20
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<b>#3</b> "Bracket" wrote...
<QUOTE>
[Wish I could remember the game's name - GamaSutra did a post-mortem on it a few months ago; it involved team-based 3rd person/iso play, in which people ran around shooing one another. It hyped up live voice access].
</quote>
FireTeam

---
"My life is a patio of fun."<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#13 by "Bracket"
2000-08-02 03:54:38
herbert@tsghelp.com http://www.tsghelp.com
#012 Steve Bauman wrote:

<i>FireTeam</i>

Thank you! I was clawing me eyes out trying to remember that!<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#14 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-08-02 03:58:25
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<b>#4</b> "George Broussard" wrote...
<QUOTE>
Yeah you can argue that you spent $50 for a game you can't play anymore, but that's all taken care of I'm sure in the End User License Agreement. You as a user will assume that risk.
</QUOTE>
I can't figure out how a company pays for a game that requires the infrastructure of a massively multiplayer online game but doesn't charge a monthly fee. How do you pay for upkeep? Are you expecting new people to keep buying it month-after-month? What about three-months down the road when sales flatten?

I'm not marketing or biz guy, but it seems like you'll need to spend a fortune in acquisition costs to get people to come to your site to download your games in the hopes they'll buy them. The monthly fee gives you some safety net.

Diablo II is a success in large part because of offline play. Tribes? They sell X copies at retail to make back development costs, then they incur all sorts of maintenance costs to keep it going, all at a loss if it doesn't continue to sell MORE than the development costs out of the gate...

I dunno, seems awfully risky to me.

I'd think the smart way to do it is to offer a subscription service that acts like cable. Buy package deals; offer 4-5 games, $4.95/month each, or $14.95 for all five (or something like that).

And I still think more people will pay monthly fees for online games if you merge the costs into their ISP bill a la cable. How much do we all pay for HBO? Do we know? Probably not, because we just cut a check for cable. Hell, my ISP IS my cable company nowadays... I'd barely even notice another $10.

---
"My life is a patio of fun."<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#15 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-08-02 03:59:38
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<b>#13</b> "Bracket" wrote...
<QUOTE>
Thank you! I was clawing me eyes out trying to remember that!</QUOTE>
Wow, glad I saved you from that.

They had a lot of plans for that game. They were hoping to license it to movie studies to create quickie online games around their properties; maybe you'd have a battle scenario to match up with the latest Hollywood blockbuster.

---
"My life is a patio of fun."<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#16 by "George Broussard"
2000-08-02 04:05:32
georgeb@3drealms.com
Steve,

<quote>I can't figure out how a company pays for a game that requires the infrastructure of a massively multiplayer online game but doesn't charge a monthly fee. How do you pay for upkeep? </quote>

Depends.  Battle.net isn't that expensive to maintain.  It's basically a chat server that acts as a matchmaker.  A couple T1's (to serve the chat lobby) and they are fine.  Sure they have various Battle.net servers around the world, but that's just the Battle.Net server hosted at some ISP's (and Blizzard probably gets them near free for advertising the ISPs).

EverQuest/Asheron's Call (where they serve the data) is a different beast...and we haven't seen many of those games yet.  They are hideously expensive to maintain and service.

Games like Quake 3, UT, Diablo, Starcraft etc...the games are the servers so it's really not an issue at all.  Hence also...all the cheating.

So to answer your question...it really hasn't happened yet...and you're right it won't.  A game like EverQuest probably has a couple million invested in infrastructure and HUGE monthly bills for the server access to keep the games going.

George Broussard, 3D Realms
#17 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-08-02 04:09:56
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<b>#16</b> "George Broussard" wrote...
<QUOTE>
Depends. Battle.net isn't that expensive to maintain. It's basically a chat server that acts as a matchmaker. A couple T1's (to serve the chat lobby) and they are fine. Sure they have various Battle.net servers around the world, but that's just the Battle.Net server hosted at some ISP's (and Blizzard probably gets them near free for advertising the ISPs).
</quote>
Of course battle.net now has the Realm servers with persistant data for Diablo II, so it's suddenly a wee-bit more expensive...

---
"My life is a patio of fun."<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#18 by "Sgt.Seb"
2000-08-02 05:57:27
Yep.  I don't think Blizzard would have done all the Realm/persistent character data stuff if they  weren't doing so well.  You've got Diablo, Starcraft, War2:BNE, and now Diablo2 which have all sold extremely well.  The amount of capital they have from those games is probably more then enough to fund the Diablo2 servers, and if it ever gets low all they have to do is release another hit game (War3?) and no worries...
#19 by "Phillip"
2000-08-02 06:36:09
http://www2.netdoor.com/~pms/
<quote>If Id closes down tomorrow, that's the end of Q3A because the authentification server will disappear.</quote>

Graeme Devine of id Software said in his .plan update on 6/9/00:

<quote>Of course, things //may// not
go smoothly, in which case, the master server will be down. If the auth server goes
down, all servers automatically authenticate, so the worst case scenario is that the
in game browser will report no response from the master.</quote>
#20 by "Andy"
2000-08-02 06:46:33
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#19</b>, Phillip:
<QUOTE>
<quote>If Id closes down tomorrow, that's the end of Q3A because the authentification server will disappear.</quote>
Graeme Devine of id Software said in his .plan update on 6/9/00:
<quote>
Of course, things //may// not
go smoothly, in which case, the master server will be down. If the auth server goes
down, all servers automatically authenticate, so the worst case scenario is that the
in game browser will report no response from the master.
</quote></QUOTE>
Yay, so there we have it -- an in-built, hopefully fail-safe system. If Id goes out of business, their customers get to carry on playing the game. Nice one!
#21 by "Andy"
2000-08-02 07:06:04
andy@planetcrap.com
If anyone using CrapSpy noticed anything weird in the last few minutes, don't worry, I've just been testing something on the site and as usual when I get inquisitive it all went horribly wrong. Everything should be working okay now.
#22 by "|33+ sUxx0r"
2000-08-02 07:42:21
<i>The Internet sucks</i>
#23 by "Rambar"
2000-08-02 09:58:52
rambar@coldsprings.reno.nv.us
<b>#9</b> "George Broussard" wrote...
<QUOTE>
But you also want to be in stores because most people buy that way. Simple fact.
</QUOTE>

Amen, I don't own a credit card and I'm hoping I die before I'm forced to own one.
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#24 by "Lurks"
2000-08-02 11:09:20
lurks@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
<b>#22</b> "|33+ sUxx0r" wrote...
<QUOTE>

<I>The Internet sucks</I> </QUOTE>

Shush peon
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#25 by "godZero"
2000-08-02 13:13:46
godzero@gmx.de
<b>#23</b> "Rambar" wrote...
<QUOTE>Amen, I don't own a credit card and I'm hoping I die before I'm forced to own
one.
</QUOTE>

<b>?????</b>
#26 by "dave__lister"
2000-08-02 13:47:13
dave__lister@hotmail.com
#19, Phillip

what happens if valve folds? does my $50 go down the toilet or am i to be satisfied with single player and lan games?

#9 George,

<quote>We will direct sell DNF</quote>

prove it.

btw, shareware beats vaporware, any day, hands down. it may not be new but it _is_ tangible.

#23, Rambar

you don't have or need a credit card? you must be very young _or_ live somewhere other than the usa (see, some of us _do_ realize that the usa is not the entire world... it's just the good part ;).
#27 by "G-Man"
2000-08-02 13:58:01
jonmars@shiftlock.org http://www.shiftlock.org
<b>#26</b> "dave__lister" wrote...
<QUOTE>you don't have or need a credit card? you must be very young _or_ live somewhere other than the usa (see, some of us _do_ realize that the usa is not the entire world... it's just the good part ;). </QUOTE>
Rambar is...
coldsprings.reno.nv.us

I used to have a similar hatred and mistrust for the US Postal System, vowing never to send a single package through them (and certainly never buy any stamps!). Sadly I was forced to cave when I needed to send out college applications lo those many years ago, but these days you could probably get away with never sending a single article of snail mail. Credit however will most certainly only proliferate as the density of our networks increase. However I don't think we will have the physical card for <i>too</i> much longer. I would recommend a debit card.

 - [g.man]<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#28 by "Jafd"
2000-08-02 14:27:28
jafd@zombieworld.com http://jafd.isfuckingbrilliant.com/
#25: Credit cards are evil. You didn't get the memo?<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#29 by "El Asso Wipo!"
2000-08-02 16:18:20
stupadasso@hotmail.com http://www.whitehouse.com
<b>#6</b> "George Broussard" wrote...
<QUOTE>Not sure why people are so amazed with it. </QUOTE>

The Generul puplik is easy to fools, yu shood knnow, you seld them meeliions of copies of Dick Nakum!<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#30 by "Derek Smart"
2000-08-02 16:40:33
dsmart@3000ad.com http://www.3000ad.com
<b>#9</b> "George Broussard" wrote...
<QUOTE>I don't see a big future for direct sales only simply because no matter what you want to tap the retail market and that will mean someone to put the game in a
box and ship to retailers. </quote>

Exactly the point I was making in another thread. Even if you could sell 10K units direct, at $30 a pop, you still want the exposure of selling additional 15K units at $20 a pop.

<quote>3DR for example holds all direct sales rights to our games. </quote>

I don't even have to ask how you pulled that off. When you have a hit, you can afford to call shots like that. I've been trying to get this in my current negotiations for over 2 months. Its been like pulling teeth - but I ain't giving up and I ain't signing shit until I get this.

<quote>We will direct sell DNF and move a lot of them I'm sure. And we
get 100% of the $50 pricetag instead of a publisher taking a cut. But you also
want to be in stores because most people buy that way. Simple fact.
</QUOTE>

Absolutely

<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#31 by "Gabe"
2000-08-02 16:49:32
gakruger@hotmail.com
I have always wondered why shareware has declined just when potential distribution picked up drastically.

It does seem that game sizes have been growing faster than bandwidth to homes, so that may explain some of it. Also, the shareware model has morphed into the demo/full version model. I guess it is about the same, except for direct sales.

Many software companies have wanted to become service providers, not just providing raw software on a disk. They receive a constant revenue stream out of their products. It seems that Arena.net is going to try this direction, much like the online MMORPG's have.

If in exchange, the software company provides upgrades for free since the users are basically subscribing, I think the end user might be happy. I was always upset that the add-ons to UO and EQ were additional purchases.

BTW-SubSpace is another online game that the company stopped supporting. Fortunately, the commercial version included server software. When Virgin shutdown their servers, the main thing the user lost was access to the default master server. Others have created their own master server and you can access it.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#32 by "Apache"
2000-08-02 17:20:29
apache@voodooextreme.com http://www.voodooextreme.com
Does anyone know if these guys are using that Realnetworks affiliation to sell its games?
#33 by "Dethstryk"
2000-08-02 17:26:38
dethstryk@damagegaming.com http://www.damagegaming.com/
<b>Apache wrote in post #32:</b>
<quote>Does anyone know if these guys are using that Realnetworks affiliation to sell its games? </quote>
Not sure about that, but is there a reason why we keep seeing game demos, etc. coming out on Real.com? That's about the most frustrating thing.


--
Dethstryk
Damage Gaming
#34 by "Mark Asher"
2000-08-02 17:28:38
marka@cdmnet.com
Hey, this crappy place is cool! One of the Derek bashers pointed to it on Usenet, so I checked it out.

<QUOTE>Mention battlefront.com, please. Their latest wargame -- yes, WARGAME, you know, the DEAD genre -- is selling like hotcakes. No retail channel. Direct over the internet. Of course, it's still a physical package (which I prefer -- screw this 'download and then you have to play on our servers' crap. Ick.)</QUOTE>

I'd love to know how many copies it's selling. The difference between what battlefront considers to be a lot of sales and what a company like Sierra or Interplay considers to be good numbers.

Part of what helps Combat Mission is that wargame fans don't have high expectations for things like graphics. Just try to put out a flight sim with graphics like Combat Mission has and hear the howls from the fans. What kind of development budget do you need to sell a flight sim these days? You'd have to sell a LOT of copies direct to make your money back.

The only shareware author that I know of who's making good money is Jeff Vogel with his RPG series. He's able to sell to hardcore RPG fans who don't mind subpar graphics. I think I read an interview with him where he claimed he was making six figures from the shareware market. He's pretty much a one-man shop, too.
#35 by "PiRaMidA"
2000-08-02 17:31:04
piramida@agsm.net http://www.agsm.net/
If you are doing proprietary closed server-side part of your game you are fucking you customers up in one way or another, no exceptions; if you are also releasing your server side to public you are pleasing your customers but loosing money, and have to deal with extensive cheating. Either way, you can't win. I like the second approach more (as a gamer) simply because it still gives you the way to play the game even if the company moves to South Pole or shuts down or their servers die or whatnot; you always have a server to play on. I would never play games which are restricted to closed corporate server, too much expense, lag and trouble overall. Much cooler to play online on a server which has sub-100 ping than on some server with over 1000 ping which is down for maintainance 12h/day.

Oh yes, as there are many web-based Java applet games which don't work the other way, I should say that I was talking about purely client-server online games. In their case, centralized servers suck, there's no excuse for companies which restrict their games to some Crap.Net service, unless that Crap.Net would become so widespread that it would be present near the place where I live (which I doubt would ever happen).<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#36 by "Dethstryk"
2000-08-02 17:31:58
dethstryk@damagegaming.com http://www.damagegaming.com/
<b>Mark Asher wrote in post #34:</b>
<quote>The only shareware author that I know of who's making good money is Jeff Vogel with his RPG series. He's able to sell to hardcore RPG fans who don't mind subpar graphics. I think I read an interview with him where he claimed he was making six figures from the shareware market. He's pretty much a one-man shop, too. </quote>
Hey, have a link for any of this stuff? I'd love to check out his work, because I love supporting anybody who writes good software and sells it themselves.


--
Dethstryk
Damage Gaming
#37 by "yo|vanilla"
2000-08-02 18:28:32
paw2000@yahoo.com
[30]

<i>don't even have to ask how you pulled that off. When you have a hit, you can afford to call shots like that. I've been trying to get this in my current negotiations for over 2 months. Its been like pulling teeth - but I ain't giving up and I ain't signing shit until I get this. </i>

make a game that sells well like George and maybe you will have that pulling power


maybe BC3000 patch 5!
#38 by "Mark Asher"
2000-08-02 18:53:00
marka@cdmnet.com
The link to Jeff Vogel's website is, I believe,

www.spidweb.com

Note that it's spid and spider. His company is Spiderweb software, but the URL was taken.

Jeff also writes a column for CGO (www.cdmag.com), as does developer Phil Steinmeyer. Phil's is in the print mag, too.

If you're interested in small shops doing shareware-type distribution, also check out

http://www.irondragon.org/

That's Eden Studios and they are readying a port of their boardgame Iron Dragon. It's a railroad game set in a fantasy world of elves, orcs, etc. They have a demo you can download.

Also check out Catchumen, a Christian FPS set in ancient Rome. You're a persecuted Christian and you shoot the Roman guards and convert them, or something like that. Apparently when hit they get down on their knees and pray, heh heh. Here's the URL:

http://www.catechumen.com/

There's also an episodic RPG in the works that is going to go direct downloads only. It's called Seige of Avalon, but a search turns up nothing for it. The idea is that it's a 6 chapter game, and you download each chapter for $5-10. Each chapter is a self-contained game, I take it, and the first one's free. The first chapter is available for download now.

Speaking of different distribution methods, did any of you try Fantasy War? It's a Sony Station game that you pay $3 per game to play. It's a bit like Risk, but with more complexity and set in a fantasy world.

Finally, there are some java games like VASL (a port of Advanced Squad Leader) and Cosmic Encounters. That's all I can think of off the top of my head.
#39 by "Gabe"
2000-08-02 19:00:00
gakruger@hotmail.com
Siege of Avalon is at http://www.siege-of-avalon.com.

Spiderweb Software is also at http://www.spiderwebsoftware.com.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#40 by "EvilAsh"
2000-08-02 19:33:20
evilash@eviladam.com http://www.eviladam.com
Oh no.. its the infamous Mark Asher of Usenet fame now come to spread his opinions on PLanetcrap..

The Apocalypse is now upon us.
;)
#41 by "Mark Asher"
2000-08-02 19:39:46
marka@cdmnet.com
<QUOTE> Oh no.. its the infamous Mark Asher of Usenet fame now come to spread his opinions on PLanetcrap..</QUOTE>

Hey, thanks for the compliment! Most people refer to them as slander rather than opinions!

<QUOTE> The Apocalypse is now upon us.
;) </QUOTE>

Indeed. Your first mistake was in allowing a Derek Smart thread to propagate. There are those of us who are the Usenet equivalent of people who follow firetrucks. Now if only we could get a Cleve Blakemore thread going....
#42 by "Warren Marshall"
2000-08-02 19:43:57
warren@epicgames.com http://www.epicgames.com
Totally off topic ... but did anyone read the FAKK2 review on Stomped?

<a href="http://www.stomped.com/articles/fakk2/"></a>

The guy gives it a 96% and then says at the end ...

<b>"After going through the first few levels I have to say that overall the game is a ton of fun."</b>

I'm sure the game is cool, and I'm going to pick it up sometime this week ... but it's sort of annoying to see someone give a game 96% (damn near perfect) after only playing a few levels.

--

Warren Marshall - Professional Nuisance<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#43 by "Warren Marshall"
2000-08-02 19:46:31
warren@epicgames.com http://www.epicgames.com
Hmm, there was supposed to be a link in that post ... I'll try again ...

<a href="http://www.stomped.com/articles/fakk2/">http://www.stomped.com/articles/fakk2/
</a>

--

Warren Marshall - Professional Nuisance<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#44 by "Andy"
2000-08-02 19:50:07
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#42</b>, Warren Marshall:
<QUOTE>
The guy gives it a 96% and then says at the end ...

<B>"After going through the first few levels I have to say that overall the game is a ton of fun."</B>

I'm sure the game is cool, and I'm going to pick it up sometime this week ... but it's sort of annoying to see someone give a game 96% (damn near perfect) after only playing a few levels.
</QUOTE>
/me points at the phrase "first few levels" and the word "overall". WTF?
#45 by "Dethstryk"
2000-08-02 20:05:40
dethstryk@damagegaming.com http://www.damagegaming.com/
<b>Mark Asher wrote in post #38:</b>
<quote>Also check out Catchumen, a Christian FPS set in ancient Rome. You're a persecuted Christian and you shoot the Roman guards and convert them, or something </quote>
Thanks for all the links, but as for this one.. after I saw mention of it on Something Awful (in the forums I think) I'm staying away from it. ;)


--
Dethstryk
Damage Gaming
#46 by "Dethstryk"
2000-08-02 20:06:44
dethstryk@damagegaming.com http://www.damagegaming.com/
<b>Andy wrote in post #44:</b>
<quote>/me points at the phrase "first few levels" and the word "overall". WTF?</quote>
It's a Stomped "rush to be first" kind of thing. You get used to it after a while, but it's still bullshit.


--
Dethstryk
Damage Gaming
#47 by "EvilAsh"
2000-08-02 20:09:08
evilash@eviladam.com http://www.eviladam.com
Um, Warren when was the last time you got your eyes checked?

Seriously Did you actually READ THE FULL ARTICLE?

OR rush through it like the fool you are?

Redwood Played through the entire game..

The LAST PORTION is a separate opinion from

"

Heavy Metal - F.A.K.K.2 Review



Conclusion

Without a doubt, Heavy Metal - F.A.K.K. 2 is the best third person game I have ever played. It most certainly puts the top selling Tomb Raider to shame in every category. Despite the game's lack of multiplayer, I can see it being replayable as well due to its very mod friendly system. One other thing to note is level load times are relatively quick and saves/loads are so fast that I am spoiled. Now I will expect all future games to load save games that quickly. I believe this game will be fun for a wide variety of gamers. I definitely hope first person shooters fans do not dismiss it because it is third person. That would be a mistake costing many fun hours at the computer. This is the game I will be telling everybody I know to rush out and buy right away, so I recommend everybody else does the same.


  
Final Rating: 96%





John "JCal" Callaham's First Impressions

I just wanted to add my personal thoughts about Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K. 2 (This is being written without reading what Redwood will post, BTW). After going through the first few levels I have to say that overall the game is a ton of fun. The art design, one of Ritual Entertainment's strong points, is excellent here, with great level design, textures, and character art and animation. The combat system is explained through a training exercise that is well done and is helpful even for the experienced gamers. The interaction between the player character Julie and the other characters in the game is terrific and it really makes you care about the various NPCs Yes, there is real character development going on here."


And as it says.. ITs called FIRST IMPRESSIONs..
Just Like Gone Gold often has first impressions.

LOL Man Take your time and read everything next time.
#48 by "Gestalt"
2000-08-02 20:09:38
john@eurogamer.net http://www.eurogamer.net
Andy - "/me points at the phrase "first few levels" and the word "overall". WTF?"

All hail the almighty hit. :) No doubt they are getting a shitload (tm) of hits for posting the world's first review of the game, and don't feel too uncomfortable with the fact that they have given it 96% despite not playing 96% of the game. ;)

Sadly people do this kind of thing all the time, although they're usually not quite so brazen about it...
#49 by "Andy"
2000-08-02 20:13:51
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#46</b>, Dethstryk:
<QUOTE>
You get used to it after a while, but it's still bullshit.
</QUOTE>
Damn, I want <i>that</i> on a t-shirt!
#50 by "Warren Marshall"
2000-08-02 20:22:51
warren@epicgames.com http://www.epicgames.com
<b>EvilAsh</b> (#47):
<QUOTE>Um, Warren when was the last time you got your eyes checked?

Seriously
Did you actually READ THE FULL ARTICLE?

OR rush through it like the fool
you are? </QUOTE>

Shit ... OK, I missed that part (I usually skim headers because they generally contain nothing of interest ... and that JCal thing looks like a header).  My apologies.  :-/

You know it IS possible to just point out my mistake to me without the stupid insults.

--

Warren Marshall - Professional Nuisance<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
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