Making a Successful Game Venture: Maps, Mods and Games

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Making a Successful Game Venture: Maps, Mods and Games

Post  [sAc]-MrFantastic on Sun May 10, 2009 11:01 am

SUCCESS COMES IN MANY FORMS



Will that Game, Mod, Map, Mutator be Successful?

About the building blocks of a successful venture....

Realism is a wonderful asset for any FPS or derivative based upon WW2. In fact without realism, any game related venture would lose all credibility and appear as a total work of fiction. Mind you now, a fiction based game venture of any type is also a good offering as long as it remains fiction. A third type of high quality WW2 based FPS game or derivative is a combination of realism, history and creator embellishment.

Perhaps, in reality, the majority of readers would expect that the most successful game ventures would be a composition of "all of the above". They would be totally correct.

A Game Venture is any Game, Mod, Map, Mutator undertaken to be offered as entertainment.

Now, to reach into what this short essay is all about. Far too many times throughout our lives, we have been witness to destroyed banquets, ruined projects and failed efforts in general due to excesses in one way or another. Take the person who is busy striving to show everyone just how smart he or she is... we see them all the time in the ZEALOT FILLED category of Historical Accuracy in FPS WW2 Games. The truth is, we would all simply observe and recognize their ability and really not need constant reminders of the depth and breadth of their vast historical knowledge through their constant badgering of "how things should be".

These types have been forcing their will upon the gaming community for far too long. Please understand, I am all for realism but not to the extent that the Historical Accuracy Evangelists want to force all games and their derivatives to adhere to. They are a tragic formula for disaster. If every WW2 FPS game and its derivatives were kept fanatically accurate, historically speaking, there would be NO POINT in producing a WW2 FPS GAME.

Produce instead, a WW2 FPS "Living Historical Account" and sell it to the History Channel.. it will go nowhere else fast. You see, if all the WW2 games were historically accurate they'd fail fast. Why play? Especially since we all KNOW the outcome. Thus, it proves that an excessive infusion of "Historical Accuracy" would ruin the entertainment factor of any game venture.

The history zealots are a prime example of how excesses in any area, are an integral part of a disaster in the making.

Excesses, manifested by either individuals or a collective group, involved in any type of effort and/or production will, in most instances, result in the ultimate failure of the product and desired outcome of the effort. Undoubtedly, included is the group(s) or individual(s) involved in a failure and will always be remembered for such under-achievements.

A Case Study

As an example, we will use something that's near and dear to all of us. FPS WW2 games and their derivatives. All of us have seen the highly successful ones, the moderately successful ones and the dismal failures.

Here are the basic reasons why we see the three major categories of success or failure..

(1) Dismal Failures are usually due to; poor planning, inadequate programming and incompetent leadership.

Any worthwhile project absolutely requires planning. From start to finish, a plan must be laid out and work. Have you ever hear the expression "Plan your work, then work your plan"? In so few words, so much time honored wisdom is offered. Without a plan, any project is doomed. Of course, all plans are usually modified throughout the life of a project, this can be both a necessity and good thing.

All programming inadequacies can ultimately be overcome so, I'll not dwell on that facet.

The true problem with all endeavors is decidedly inadequate or inexperienced leadership. Choosing a leader or leader(s) in any project is a very serious matter and must be done with great care. Remember, this is not a popularity contest. It in itself, is a very serious project to be undertaken with great care if the overall project is to be a success. Some of the well hidden pitfalls are;

* Are the potential leader(s) true leaders and show no tendencies of being on ego trips?

* Do the potential leader(s) exhibit high levels of common sense and an understanding of people?

* Are the potential leader(s) willing to accept advice and criticism as graciously as they accept praise?

* Are the potential leader(s) capable of making changes in their concepts thus changing the direction of the project?

If any of the above questions are answered with a "NO", you have the wrong leader(s) in mind or in place. Keep looking. You are headed for a train-wreck.

(2) Moderately Successful ventures, projects and endeavors are OK but they will never achieve "blockbuster status". They do however, pave the way for future "blockbuster" successful projects if lessons are learned from experience. Experience itself and especially the wisdom to use the experience to empower future efforts for greater success is often the most elusive ability any individual or group will encounter.

For the individual, it requires diligence and being truthful to one's self before anything can be learned and utilized from experience. In other words, don't BS yourself into believing what you know is not accurate and true.

For the group, true teamwork is required, not certain members of the group offering blind loyalty to a leader (a brown nose for example) and of course, politics of any kind, have no place within a group seeking to enhance its performance by learning from past experiences. In other words, the group must be a group... all for one goal, working together to achieve that goal without internal strife and distraction.

(3) Highly Successful ventures, projects and endeavors are achieved through the full use of experience, ability and expertise. Obviously, with experience, when properly utilized, comes continued success as long as the group and its leadership remain open minded.

A good example that's relatively fresh in most everyone's mind is Call of Duty, the Original Release and its highly successful expansion sequel United Offensive. With the original release, its creators maintained certain levels of realism but at the same time, offered a generous but guarded sprinkling of playability and imagination to stir high levels of excitement throughout the gaming community.

Then with equal levels of experience and wisdom, United Offensive was produced and released. It too is a prime example of the Group and its leader(s) paying attention to experience, wisdom and especially listening to the wants and desires of their consumers. Again, like its predecessor, Call of Duty, United Offensive proved to be a resounding success.

Obviously, there are pitfalls. By that I mean individuals and groups as a whole, must be willing to continue to learn from their own mistakes and other's experiences, input and wisdom. The group and its leaders must never become aloof, self-centered buffoons who believe they now "know it all" and have no need to listen to and/or pay attention to their colleagues and consumers.

(Infinity Ward comes to mind. There is a sad unfortunate story that needs not to be told again. I only hope they've learned from their mistakes with COD2)

(4) With success comes wealth and opportunity. We see that time and time again in many industries.

In the Entertainment Industry, those who grow and prosper with their success will enjoy that success for many years. Those who let it all "go to their heads" are usually found dead shortly after having achieved a modicum of success.

In the Manufacturing & Service Industries we find those Top Industry Executive Leaders who grow and prosper with their successes and then continue to enjoy fantastic careers and fabulous wealth. Whereas those who for some strange reason, think they can outsmart the world, while feeding their enormous egos, usually wind up in jail for one reason or another resulting from "white collar crime".

I've named a few areas as examples.. the real puzzle is, will today's leaders and groups in all walks of life's endeavors learn from any of this or will they too, feel they have "more smarts" than anyone else? Thus, it becomes heartbreaking to observe them predestining themselves to a life grief and ultimate failure.

Surely, with today's levels of education and social sophistication, today's leaders and groups will offer a better example for tomorrow's up and coming leaders and groups to learn, grow and prosper from.

I doubt it. Seems today's... crop never learned a thing from the past mistakes of others. Evidently, they knew it all before they had time to learn a thing.

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[sAc]-MrFantastic
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