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State of the Game: Intermittent Power Outages

StateofTheGameHeader

Well this week has been quite the roller coaster. I have been dealing with multiple, long term, power outages that have really effected my productivity.

Now, normally this would be discouraging, as I run pretty tight schedules with my deliveries, but I am trying to be positive about the situation. I got some really nice sleep and some amazing family time in!

Overall, I am continuing to make progress on the content for the November update. I am carefully reviewing balance changes and playing lots of test matches. Skynet will be nice and pre-populated with my silly builds when the update releases!

Also looking on the bright side, my power outages are nothing compared to all the negative PR that EA is getting for the choices they made with Battlefront 2. It’s not often that I talk about other games in the State of the Game, but this one hits close to home. These are the exact same issues that drove me to leave the AAA industry and start making MAV. The frustrating progression is what drove me to find a better solution and implement the Research System instead of the role type XP unlocks.

My stance on loot boxes is unchanged. I feel they are predatory, addictive, and close enough to gambling that they have no play in a product developed for minors. I know not everyone agrees with this stance and I can respect that. This is my stance and the products I make will be influenced by it.

Now, I am ALL for limited edition cosmetic parts. I have even sold limited edition camo packages. I think a key difference is that you know, exactly, what you are getting and the cost for that item. I am also very strict with limited edition items, ensuring they will always be an exclusive reward for players. Contest reward parts are account locked, specifically to prevent secondary market repercussions. The rocket parts are designed as a collectible and the only requirement to earning them has always been just playing the game as you already are.

If I EVER step over the line with these rewards, I know I have a community that will inform me immediately. I have set out to create a business that can entertain people, first and for most. The last thing I would want is to ruin the fun.

I would love to hear your thoughts on loot boxes and paid cosmetic items in the comments!

Comments 14

  1. Loot boxes are a bastard new trend in video gaming. The fact that the player had to spend perhaps hours to roll the dice and get a random, and often shitty reward despite their efforts is crushing.

    A decal editor, such as the one in Chromehounds, would be perfect for the extra level of customisation, even if its way later down the line.

    Limited edition cosmetic parts are fine, perhaps these could be also unlocked if you earn certain achievements/win in persistent war. This way players could feel rewarded, even if they didn’t get 200 referrals.

    1. Bombdog Studios Post
      Author

      A decal editor is something I want to add for sure, but as you said, it will be down the line.

      I agree to achievement parts / rewards. I gave out a special camo pattern to the first player to reach level 100 in all role types and I have given special camos to players that report critical bugs.

  2. As long as unlocking cosmetic items is used to stir up community involvement/action again, then it’s fine with me.

    The referral rewards are fine too.

  3. But, one thing I do not want happening is cosmetic items taking up development time over some more substantial updates. I’m sure you know this and everyone else so it’s pretty much a given but that’s the first level warning sign.

    I’m not speaking for everyone here.

    p.s

    Is Nicollo technically part of your (one man) “team”? He’s done so much work, I’d think he appears to be in that position.

    1. Bombdog Studios Post
      Author

      I agree, the cosmetic items are not really a massive time cost for me and are always planned around other content updates.

      Nicollo is not full time yet but we have been using him for lots of art related content since our launch into Beta. He even created the achievement icons in-game!

  4. I agree completely with this sentiment!

    The more I am involved in discussions about the current trend of mainstream games, the more we’re seeing everything turn into a service based product, even if it’s a stand alone title!

    Want the game? Pay $60. Want that really sweet skin? You could play until you lose your wife, friends, and job or pay $120 to have enough changes to get it. Oh, you want the newest content? Another $30 please.

    Now, I know some games, like WoW, FF XIV, and EVE have subscription costs as well as purchase costs for major expansions. But you expect a level of continuous development that most traditional games haven’t had. As it is now, MAV is already leagues ahead of the competition, ethically, than the majority of AAA games out today.

    For that sir, I salute you.

    1. Bombdog Studios Post
      Author
  5. Cosmetic Items for in-game purchases are fine with me. HOWEVER, they must also fit the style and aesthetic of the game in question.

    When Hawken was going down they decided to introduce horrible out of place skins that clashed with the overall game. It would make your mech stand out like a sore thumb. Like, Transparent and Gold body parts? Ugh! That isn’t even beginning to go into the Emoji taunts, someone on the team thought it would be a good idea to put the POOP EMOJI of all things into Hawken. Like.. why?!

    1. Bombdog Studios Post
      Author

      There is a gold camo, as well as silver camo, but these were done as early rewards for people that took a rick in buying the game at a very early state. They are a bit jarring, but I do feel they still fit with the theme of the game.

      Also for other parts fitting the style, they will always be variations of a piece generally available in the game, so they will have a large ‘grounding’ element to keep them on theme.

  6. Lootboxes with game advantages/pay to win elements is BS, end of story.
    Lootboxes with cosmetic only is ok, I won’t even think about boycotting over it.

    My ideals:
    +Non-hosted game, ie company doesn’t need to continue paying out to keep it functional. Give me everything, no loot boxes, maybe make some stuff unlockable through legitimate, reasonable achievements in-game. Honest, non-day 1 DLC is also perfectly fine if the core game was full featured and not just an empty husk waiting to be filled by DLC.
    +Hosted game that keeps spending money keeping the game going(servers etc). Cosmetic is fine and I like a mix of paid items and free loot boxes, which is to say if I see some skin I just HAVE to have, I buy it, up front, no muss, no fuss. If I’m poor or not that invested, I do things that occasionally generate loot boxes and maybe something I want is inside no trading though, you can’t buy the boxes, and everything you would get from a box is buyable up front, the boxes are just a hand out to keep poor or less invested people a little more interested. Depending on the game type, storage/capacity quality of life enhancements of various types are also ok, so long as the base capacities fit 80%+ of the userbase’s normal use and the upgrade is just there for the outliers. Just no pay to win stuff, the guy who pays should have to fuss with his inventory less often than me, not be guarenteed a win because his weapon has more gem slots or something.

    1. Bombdog Studios Post
      Author

      That’s great to hear! I will never do pay to win, all cosmetics have an equivalent ‘normal’ version that is identical stat wise.

      Getting an advantage through payment really kills the ‘game’ part of the video game, I feel.

  7. My recommendation to decrease downtime is to maybe update to microsoft 3.0 cloud servers just for the online support and continue to run updates from current server. This way you can split the work 30/70 from cloud server redundancy to routine updates without needing to worry about down time.

    1. The downtime wasn’t the game servers, it was his house with his dev machine. With no power, you can’t write the game.

    2. Bombdog Studios Post
      Author

      This would’t have helped me that much as I wouldn’t have a machine to connect to the cloud desktop with. The idea of a remote desktop is very cool though!

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