From: Secret Underground Lair
I want Matrix to make a game that will strike a proper balance between (a) being fun for me and (b) appealing to a large enough segment of the game-buyer public that they stand to actually make a profit. Yes that is correct, I most definitely _want_ Matrix to profit, and Steve and whomever else is involved in making this product. When creators of these things are rewarded, it sets in motion a positive feedback loop that benefits our hobby in a long-term sense. This is not to disparage the tremendous service which the legions of committed volunteers in our hobby give to our hobby (testers, modders, etc.). Just to say that, ultimately, these games are commercial products, and if they do not turn a reasonable profit, the makers will either shrink size, quality, diversity of product line, or just plain go out of business. If companies that punish us with stuff like the DRM go out of business, great in my opinion, but Matrix is not punishing us. Matrix is our friend.
It is always easy to stand outside another man's house/business and take on a callous perspective like 'who cares if he and his wife are in there starving, I still want him to keep his lawn mowed,' i.e., to take the view that Matrix (and the developers) making a profit off of a game is irrelevant.
But if the game does _not_ make a profit, then in the long term it is unlikely that the game will be supported, patched, improved, modded, or that additional, perhaps even better games, be made in 2, 3, 5 or 10 years hence.
Based on all of this, any discussion of "no AI?" versus "AI?" seems pretty much irrelevant. I'm not aware of any computer games sold today that do not have AI. So in effect, if my anecdotal knowledge of the market is correct, making a computer-based strategy-game-=-no matter what the original foundation on which it is built was like-=-=-that does not have an at least half-arse AI in it (but preferably a decent to moderately good one) is market suicide.
Now maybe I'm wrong, so I'll repeat my question from the post in the other thread.
I'm very hesitant to post this because this just seems to be an endless round and round in circles, but . . . I guess I cannot resist
Do you "anti-AI" guys actually believe that a game like this, _without_ an AI, would represent a potentially profitable commercial venture for Matrix?
If so, do you have some sort of market data to back up such conclusions?
I certainly don't have detailed knowledge of computer-game markets, let alone strategy wargames markets. But my anecdotal observation is that all computer-based games of which I'm aware _have_ an AI. Are there computer-games that do not have an AI that are sold? How big a segment of the overall market is that?
The issue of the game being so complex that a 'good' AI is unlikely, or the issue that 'there aren't any that are worth a durn' so far, both seem true to me. Can't argue with either of those points: most computer game AIs are a joke frankly.
But if there is no real market to sell an -without-AI- game to, and no precedent for games without an AI making a publisher like Matrix some profit, then the issues of the challenges of building one with a superlative AI are effectively moot. As far as I can tell, games with mediocre or even crappy AIs make LOTS of profit, and that is sadly just the state of affairs in this hobby/market. Isn't this new Empire Total War game like a huge profit maker despite the fact that it is basically impossible to not win against the AI?
< Message edited by Anthropoid -- 6/12/2009 7:09:46 PM >
Hoping this will not be taken as antagonistic, I just wonder if all you fellas have fully thought through the implications.