Author Topic: Was GOIO A Fluke?  (Read 25255 times)

Offline Mod Josie

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Re: Was GOIO A Fluke?
« Reply #60 on: May 05, 2015, 08:25:06 am »
I have made a change to a post containing some hate speech and modified quotes containing said post. Just a brief though probably moot reminder of our community standards. Please ensure to post under the guidelines in the future.

I would also like to echo Piemanlives' comments on the direction that this discussion has taken. Muse's decision process is based on feedback from the moment that an idea is available for testing. Presenting productive and well thought-out suggestions to the team has the power to make a big difference. As Richard mentioned previously, he has been in regular correspondence with us over the patch recently and has been incredibly helpful. Props go out to you, Richard.


As for the original question posed in this thread: I do not believe that GoIO was a fluke in the literal sense. One could suggest that any indie game that makes it big managed it because the stars were aligned correctly on the day of release. Some games are produced on massive budgets and are fated for success due to hype, marketing and a big brand-name; other games have to lead a harder life in order to gain notability.
GoIO, and FoTI before it, presented a fascinating new setting with relatively novel mechanics and a dev team who has often been put on record as being exemplary listeners who have fostered a wonderful community. As time draws on and GoIO continues to develop, it is natural that changes will need to be made and this will include difficult decisions. In order to keep growing and allow the game's continued support, the dev team find themselves in zugzwang as they continue to run Skirmish mode while fulfilling their AM kickstarter agreement and attempt a push onto PS4 release. These actions will involve preparing the production game for these necessary changes. MM is one of these changes, allowing PS4 users (when integrated) to filter into our already existing population, while also increasing the match system's efficiency and expedience in getting PC players into matches right now.

Stamina is another of these areas which we are exploring. Its initial design wasn't up to scratch which is why, based on testers' crucial feedback, we withheld it and waited to release it when it was more stable and more representative of the gameplay we were aiming for. In-game, and in our feedback inbox, Stamina appears to be being received generally well. A lot of players are pleased with the way that this has shaken up gameplay without massively affecting the core tone of our game's premise and previous mechanics. I daresay that these people, satisfied with the changes, have less motive to check the forums for dissent than those who are unhappy. That being said, even the unhappy voices don't all agree on a large number of the issues at hand. It is an impossible task to make 100% of people happy when there is more than one opinion present in a demographic.
Agreement is relatively unanimous on the UI front and we are taking quick steps to reviewing our current build for the UI. Hopefully this will come about swiftly and cheer us all up a bit.

Well, that's my lunch break dealt with. I guess I'll get back to work!
« Last Edit: May 05, 2015, 08:27:57 am by -Muse- Jacob »

Offline MagKel

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Re: Was GOIO A Fluke?
« Reply #61 on: May 05, 2015, 09:45:12 am »
I am going to post a wall of text, yay!  :D and no Tl:dr too!  :P

I like GOIO, I play GOIO and there is people here that can testify I spend way too much time explaining stuff to scrubs than checking my loadout. Heck my pyra was named Noob Academy for a reason. Still if I have to play it lately, it is only clan or friends because of time constrains and I see the amount of damage stacked ships can deal to the new players. The Underdog mechanic should be better explained with a lenghty popup, btw.

So, I spied some steam raw data and I found some interesting numbers about our precious game/community/concept/religion.

GOIO is a product, made by a game studio to bridge the first GOI to the new GOI. As a video game the objective is the entertainment of the people of today, not yesterday, not tomorrow. Today. This way it is going to sell and pay the bills of the studio. GOIO never took off, will never take off and is more of a economic resource for the development of GOI than else.

Right now the biggest problem is: how to make the game fun for sufficient time that buyer A will ask buyer B, C and D to buy it so that they can be awesome in the sky and join the other 774,634 ± 22,360 players [931,664 (± 24,514) owners]?

How long will they play it? hh:mm 09:12 (average) 03:46 (median), which is, oh the irony, one of the lowest in the industry for multiplayer only games. There are many reasons for that and most probably the main reason is that GOIO can be no fun at all. With other games you can have varying degrees of fun, in GOIO you can actually pretty quickly get into negative fun.  We all know why and the different NO-fun elements in today's GOIO account for the fact that almost a million owners of GOIO never played for more than 3 hours or played at all.

When MUSE talks about the veterans (±500) being a small niche, it is really very very small. Ridiculously small.

So what do we get from this? We have a product that is at the level of Risk of Rain, Stanley Parable, Banished, World of Goo in terms of sales (top 100 out of 2400 indie games), yet in terms of game hours is ±750th, surrounded either by trash or single player games. How is it possible?

The current generation of teenagers that have time to devote to the game and maybe a superficial curiosity of steampunk might be attracted to GOIO, which is why it is still selling after so many years. Yet server population never takes off. Almost a million people essentially left some money at MUSE, said "be right back" and never showed up again. Good for us, thanks to these buyers we still get to play the game.

But if you were MUSE, what would you do of this thread, of the whole forum? GOIO sells through some high profile sponsors such as Angry Joe, some cool aesthetics that are unmatched, a game structure that has no competitors in the industry and the promise that it will be fun. Fun like all the other underdog indie multiplayer games that try to shoot for the stars.

 Does it sell because people want the honor of flying against a Ryder ship? Or be part of Ceresbane's AI, Cake, Ducks, Gents or any other historical clan? I'll answer for you: no, they don't. they don't care. They want to fly a ship, shoot with a gun and jump around goofing, while having fun. This is the essence of every game and it makes all of us very mad that they want to do it.

Can they really do it today? NO, THEY DON'T because the game has the flaw of letting you do what you want (it took this long to change the code and make the pilot class unavailable as a crew member, this long) even if by not thinking ahead you can't have fun. And I am not talking about clan stomping, I am talking about those matches where no one of us is present, zero experience and training, all levels 10-20 with engineers carrying kerosene and ships hitting the trade winds. i entered some of those games, I ended up flying with two gunners a flakfish with an allied carro galleon against a double flak pira and a squid in the map dawn. No-Fun-At-All. The much vaunted novice matches are an exercise of frustration. Yet MUSE as a responsible company tries to make a profit and keeps shooting for the stars, I salute the effort and I want you to succeed. Adventure Mode is the dream of MUSE, not a perfect GOIO, yet they still need this game to make a wage and keep working.

I I arrived in this community very late, I might say toward the end of the cycle. It feels like a sitcom at the end of a very long list of theater seasons where all the character arches are explored, all the things that could be done has been already done (amazing tournaments with more than 3 teams? Forget it) and yet casual viewers are still keeping the product on air. Some people changed career and went doing something else, some just log in now and then.

The problem is that the few that still log in and play as a clan can't have adequate opponents and stomp the other side, adding an unexpected element of No-Fun-At-All. MM and all the other gizmos that are being added are designed to ease the game of new players but fail  with a low online population that is absolutely not representative of the real numbers.It is only thanks to friendships and a general appreciation of the developers toward the stable, veteran community that some things are changed, but don't expect them to go in your direction: MUSE aim is not to make the game more fun for the people who know the game and played more than 1000 matches; instead is to remove the No-Fun elements that make the game one of the most owned and least played of the indies. And it is not unfair, it is not cruel, it is not derived by some hate of the developers toward the veteran's community. It is a business necessity, the strongest and most important motivation you can bring to the desk of a production manager. if game is No-Fun for some inherent mechanics, those mechanics must be changed so that the majority likes the game and plays more.

Remember, like it or not GOIO is the bridge built by MUSE for another game, it was never meant to be something as important as some people consider it here. With the failure of FotI the people there had to decide what to do with their lives, move on or keep shooting for the stars. All the assets were converted into a PvP that kept the boat floating this long but the adventure game, the coop gamemode is what MUSE wanted since day one and it is something we will all wildly enjoy since it will remove many No-Fun elements that today plague GOIO.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2015, 09:51:14 am by MagKel »

Offline Mattilald Anguisad

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Re: Was GOIO A Fluke?
« Reply #62 on: May 05, 2015, 09:54:50 am »
Regarding the Thread title: No this wasn't the first cult game mus has made -Flight of Icarus (formerly known as Guns of Icarus) was a cult game.

As for op's post: I see some people are still pining for the fjords. I'm not, I've been playing since 1.1.2 (witch I believe introduced Lumberjack) - I've played days on end (and that's not an exaggeration) in pre 1.1.4 days. Mostly competitive practice for Claiming of The Fjords tournament. That game is far better balanced now than it was back in those days. There is far less bugs, far better game engine optimization, far more viable ships and builds (no small part because of new weapons and a new ship), more tools. Spectator tools aren't crap any-more (just watch the recordings from Claiming of the Fjords - the videos had all the spectator ui possible, half of the matches you couldn't see ballistic projectiles like flak shots or the score). Matchmaking is great (least of the benefits, is that blame for 5-0 the other team is not your fault, if your team all queued), I think even stamina is great, because it makes gunners and pilots more encouraged than before. Considering how quickly it drains in comparison to how long it takes to refill, I think it's balanced, it does not replace teamwork or skill. But it does compliment it.

Offline Mattilald Anguisad

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Re: Was GOIO A Fluke?
« Reply #63 on: May 05, 2015, 10:06:53 am »
Wait what?
.... With the failure of FotI the people there had to decide what to do with their lives, move on or keep shooting for the stars. All the assets were converted into a PvP that kept the boat floating this long but the adventure game ...

Original Guns of Icarus now known as Flight of Icarus looks, or plays nothing like Guns of Icarus Online.

I mean I agree about Muse wanting to make a full Adventure mode, and money from the Skirmish mode being necessary to found that dream, that will alleviate, if not completely nullify the issues with GoI, but I don't remember any asset in GoI same as FoI.

Offline Mod Josie

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Re: Was GOIO A Fluke?
« Reply #64 on: May 05, 2015, 10:25:32 am »
Wait what?
.... With the failure of FotI the people there had to decide what to do with their lives, move on or keep shooting for the stars. All the assets were converted into a PvP that kept the boat floating this long but the adventure game ...

Original Guns of Icarus now known as Flight of Icarus looks, or plays nothing like Guns of Icarus Online.

I mean I agree about Muse wanting to make a full Adventure mode, and money from the Skirmish mode being necessary to found that dream, that will alleviate, if not completely nullify the issues with GoI, but I don't remember any asset in GoI same as FoI.

FoTI was a basepoint for the essential mechanics that would one day make up GoIO. In almost every other respect it is an evolved form which has little in common with its predecessor.

Also, Mag, your commentary is very well thought out and is an excellent general representation of the plight we endure over here. Thank you for taking the time to step back and analyse our neverending struggle. :P
« Last Edit: May 05, 2015, 10:27:34 am by -Muse- Jacob »

Offline Mattilald Anguisad

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Re: Was GOIO A Fluke?
« Reply #65 on: May 05, 2015, 10:43:10 am »
Mechanics are indeed the base point, but I was confused about all the assets part. Assets generally mean, textures, models, maps, sounds, etc.
I don't hava a habbit of commenting on the parts I have nothing meaning to add to and don't disagree with.

Offline Dev Bubbles

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Re: Was GOIO A Fluke?
« Reply #66 on: May 05, 2015, 12:17:42 pm »
Well, there are quite a few conjectures and assumptions made about our intent and motivations to do anything at all.  It's hard for me to try to answer every point, or defend or clarify anything here.  I might have to write a 5 page essay.  So, if anyone has any concerns about our intent or motivation behind anything, please feel free to reach out to me directly.  And I can try my best to answer them, preferably in a more conversational format.  It's just more efficient for me. 

For the hate stuff.  I don't mind hate directed towards us, we're pretty used to it.  Does it bother us sometimes?  Of course.  We are people.  But it's the nature of being a game developer and the nature of service.  It's not a big deal.  But seeing the hate by people directed at each other is sad for me.  People have divergent view points, and are willing to share them on the forum.  Forum is a very public space, and disagreement can become heated.  But just because people disagree, I don't think it needs to or should devolve into hate.  Let's do better. 

And there are some comments about us wondering in the woods aimlessly for the last 2 years, and that actually gets me fascinated.  Give me a bit, and let me pull up our release history, and I'll go over that with everyone. 

@Magkel, just in case you're using steamspy, let me give you a quick stat correction for your reference.  The avg play time is actually 13hr 4min.  Not sure why Steamspy displays that incorrectly, but just fyi.  I have the data from Steam's dev analytics, so that should be accurate.  Also please keep in mind that that owners number include all beta and alpha key activations, so that number largely duplicates. 

Thanks everyone, Howard

Offline Dev Bubbles

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Re: Was GOIO A Fluke?
« Reply #67 on: May 05, 2015, 12:32:53 pm »
@Magkel, also not refuting your post whatsoever.  It'll take me a while to even draft a proper reply, but just saw the stats and wanted to chime in real quick. 

Offline Richard LeMoon

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Re: Was GOIO A Fluke?
« Reply #68 on: May 05, 2015, 12:48:53 pm »
I agree with a lot of what MagKel said, and have actually told the high level clans that they don't really matter to the game (along with saying I don't matter to the game either). It is just a simple fact. You build for the future customers, the ones incoming and just getting started, the ones with friends still left to invite, not the old fogies like us.

I don't lament the loss of anything. For every change, I try to see it from a new player's perspective, adapt, and move on. That is part of the reason I was so against stamina from the beginning. I knew I would have fun with it (the first days of testing were insane), but was, and still am concerned about new players and those they might invite after having the best time ever. If, of course, we can get to that point.

With the introduction of Co-op mechanics (mainly AI ships), I feel we can vastly improve (actually replace) the tutorial to get new players past that first bump. Getting dumped into your first match can be awesome. I know it was for me. But I took to the game like a natural, testing builds in practice before using them. I also had friends on teamspeak (I would love to get them back in the game, as soon as the things they hated are fixed).

It can also be a horrible horrible experience. Not everyone (likely most people) try builds in practice. Bad builds. Bad crew. Not understanding arcs, damages, tools. Stomps. MM waits. Lobby waits. Etc. It all adds up to a really bad time, which is something that need to be avoided at all costs for new players. I feel we need to shift the entire start game mechanics to cater to new players. Not dumbed down, but simplified and introduced a bit at a time. But that is another topic I am working on. :)

(posting during my lunch time, by the way. I am only actually around after 5:30 Eastern. Well, back to work)

Offline Dev Bubbles

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Re: Was GOIO A Fluke?
« Reply #69 on: May 05, 2015, 01:03:03 pm »
@Richard, I think you guys matter if that makes any difference. 
But on the issue of tutorial.  Oh yeah.  I'm not sure I need to say more, except to say that I agree.  I'm not sure how familiar you or some of the very experienced teachers are with product development, and can digest stuff at the spec level, but that might be interesting. 
Thanks a lot, Howard

Offline Dev Bubbles

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Re: Was GOIO A Fluke?
« Reply #70 on: May 05, 2015, 01:10:35 pm »
And about whatever sources said whatever about our turnover, come on guys.  Can we not insinuate?  I'm right here.  Ok, I don't tend to like posting on the forums, but you guys all have my email.  Most of you guys have me on Steam.  You guys all have Matt on email and Steam and maybe Skype.  Just ask us.  If you guys want to know something, just ask us.  Or just ask me.  I really don't mind.  With some of us, we known each other a long time.  I don't really see the point making these types of conjectures.  You guys can really just ask.  Thanks guys. 

Offline HamsterIV

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Re: Was GOIO A Fluke?
« Reply #71 on: May 05, 2015, 01:30:07 pm »
I fondly remember the first Guns of Icarus (now Flight of the Icarus). I only managed to play 8 multilayer sessions (2 of them were with friends I coerced into playing) before the servers dried up. The game scratched a gaming itch that I didn't know I had. I was a little sad when I realized the online component for Flight of the Icarus was essentially a ghost town.

@Bubbles
If you are revealing game stats would you mind giving us the Median Average play time. I suspect the Mean Average is skewed by players like me.

Offline Byron Cavendish

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Re: Was GOIO A Fluke?
« Reply #72 on: May 05, 2015, 01:39:10 pm »
By turnovers I mean the original creative director, UI/UX guy for the project and 1/3 co-founder, and the lead game designer, client developer, project director, and creative director that quit on launch day.

What baffles me is that you guys say you're listening to feedback. Sometimes that's true...if we scream it loud enough. But we also gave a lot of feedback on this terrible new ui while it was in dev app, and it was ignored. UI/UX is one of the most important elements of the game, and it's ludicrous to me that you would do a complete re-work without listening to the proper feedback. Sure now you're listening and had to hire a new UI guy....AFTER release. What on Earth lead you guys to think you should remake a UI without having a professional do it?

Offline HamsterIV

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Re: Was GOIO A Fluke?
« Reply #73 on: May 05, 2015, 01:51:25 pm »
Listen does not mean follow. An author can listen to how much fans want two characters should get romantically involved. It doesn't stop the author from killing that one of those characters or getting them to marry someone else for the purpose of dramatic tension.

Not that I ever suggested to Muse that the tar barrel and the mine launcher should get married in order to produce some unholy abomination of impact damage and component clogging horror.

Offline Carn

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Re: Was GOIO A Fluke?
« Reply #74 on: May 05, 2015, 02:05:29 pm »
........Tar mines sound beautiful