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Do you still think GalCiv 1 is fun even with GalCiv II out?
758 votes
1- Yes
2- No

re poll: Would you pre-order on-line a Master of Magic 2?
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#125  by Citizen PherdnutChiken - 7/16/2004 3:03:06 PM

So where's that FrogBoy at? I'm wondering if we're just blowing steam here or not.

StarDock, will you help us find our MOM? Some of us haven't seen her in a decade.

#126  by Citizen vomitus - 7/19/2004 10:27:54 AM

After reading the reviews for Master of Magic here, I downloaded an abandonware copy and played it. I absolutely loved it. I originally answered the Stardock poll saying I wouldn't preorder a Master of Magic 2 game. I change my vote here saying "Absolutely".

#127  by Citizen kylevp - 7/19/2004 12:17:50 PM

I can think of 10+ people that would pre order if it ment the game would be made. (myself included, and I would buy 2 copies.)

#128  by Citizen PherdnutChiken - 7/19/2004 1:37:48 PM

Alright, tell you guys what. You decide to make this game, I will do PR for you pro bono. I've had a lot of indirect experience with the profession having written for Game Informer for four years and very quickly learned the difference between a good PR Rep and a bad one. And yes, I know that "review" is kind of sloppy and disorganized but I sat down and spewed it out in a couple hours. Didn't even spell check it.

#129  by Citizen ghost668 - 7/19/2004 2:21:54 PM

i think you all should do a good messenge

fram eddy

 Posted via Stardock Central
#130  by Citizen Tarvok - 7/20/2004 9:57:49 PM

You know, I'm not sure I would, now. I downloaded and played the Galciv demo, and it looks... dark. Things are kind of hard to see. I know it's a space game, and space games seem to be supposed to look that way, but MOO2 didn't look that way. I certainly hope MOM2 doesn't look that way if done by stardock. It's as if graphic artists, having billions of shades of colors to choose from, have forgotten the primaries completely.

Now, I enjoyed the humor in the game. If the visuals are the result of a lack of funding and/or personell (and that's what Stardock is referring to when they say a MOM2 would be more expensive), then perhaps they can do it. But the light level was simply too dark.

Basically, I want space to be illuminated like a Federation Star Ship, not a Klingon or Cardasian star ship. I want a fantasy world that looks like a Thomas Kinkade painting. *Maybe* you can mix the styles so you can have a better rendition of orc towns, or a Cathedral of Rjak, but look to the cartoons of the 1980's for inspiration. One who is "too cool" for either of the things I've mentioned is not worthy of doing a Master of Magic sequal.

#131  by Citizen nichog - 7/21/2004 3:46:25 PM

I would pre-order either, if stardock was the developer. Loved both MOM1 and SC2, 3 sucked, they tried to put too much content and the game play just got to involved to keep up with.

#132  by Citizen Norlion - 7/21/2004 6:01:20 PM Link

There is the MoM2 petition with 603 signatures at the time of this message. I bet most all of those with still valid Email address would pre-order MoM2 from you.

#133  by Citizen PherdnutChiken - 7/23/2004 7:41:48 PM

Yes.. yes... very true.

>cough< BUMP

#134  by Citizen EnPeaSea - 7/29/2004 2:03:06 PM

Here is another idea to throw around. If the license for Master of Magic proves overly expensive, then you might consider just doing an original fantasy strategy game.

#135  by Citizen Alstein - 7/29/2004 2:46:54 PM

Actually I'd prefer an original to a MoM clone.

Gameplay style- maybe an Ogre Battle style would work best. Disciples is too basic, and AoW has too much BS in it. (AoW 2 series has been a big disappointment)

#136  by Citizen Doomclown - 7/30/2004 7:38:59 PM

For Yall's Information: Steve Barcia's last software development project (afaik) was Metroid Prime (GCN), at Retro Studios.

#137  by Avatar Frogboy - 7/31/2004 10:59:08 AM

Well the main issue is purely one of cost. How much is the MOM name worth. $50k? $100k? $150k? $250k? $500k? $1M? 

Game development is a strategy game too.

The big unknown variable is sales and revenue.

Let me give you an example.  In The Political Machine, the developer's royalty is about $2.50 per box.  On a AAA game like MOM, that royalty might go up to $8 per unit. 

Now imagine the game development budget of say $1 Million.

Let's say, for simplicity's sake that we worked with MegaPublisher and our per unit royalty was $7 per unit.  We would have to sell 150,000 units just to break even. And that's with no license cost to use the name.

Let's say your license fee on Game X (not talking MOM just generically now) is $140,000 (for easy math).  You would have to sell 20,000 more copies JUST to break even on the name.

But it's really not that simple eithe because most licensing deals involve mostly up front payments.  So the $140,000 example I just gave would come before the game's in the stores.  That's enough money to pay for a developer and 2 artists.

GalCiv was developed by 2 developers and 3 artists. The Political Machine was done with 3 developers and 2 artists.

Imagine what we could do on a fantasy game if we had nearly twice the art resources?

Or more to the point, which would generate more sales? The licensed name or the additional features/content that would come with having a larger development staff?

Hence, we put up this poll on and in about a month and a half, in which every MOM site has linked to it, we have about 1000 people who answered to it, 500 of them said they'd pre-order it.  So to the person who thinks it's a no brainer that the MOM name would generate 20k in additional sales, don't be so sure. 

So ultimately, it boils down to trying to figure out the demand for a fantasy turn based strategy game in 2006 on the PC.  Game development studios don't usually have a long life (Simtex, for instance, is long gone).  These kinds of decisions have to be made carefully.

#138  by Citizen PherdnutChiken - 7/31/2004 7:29:57 PM

I'm curious. How many copies of Gal Civ have been sold? It would help put things perspective as far as seeing just how many people out there are still willing to play turn-based strategy. You've got a lot of MOO fans on your side, no doubt. I would expect a lot of those to also be MOM fans, but it's hard to say.

#139  by Citizen TigerStar - 7/31/2004 11:24:33 PM

I think it would probably put things more into perspective if we knew how many MOM copies were sold.
I might be faux pas in saying so, but I believe that the MOM license is necessary to attain the sales needed to support the game. Despite the poll results, I believe that many fans out there are simply saying, "Oh, another company that says they're going to do it." Honestly, MOM fans have been let down so often, that they have just forgotten about it. I think that it would be reasonable to assume that if people liked MOM, they'd give the sequel a try. Depending on pre-orders before making a decision, though, is probably not going to get the result that any of us want. Like I said before, there are so many fans out there that are thinking, "They won't do it. And if they do, they'll ruin it." Someone has to prove to them that there is still hope.
I also think that it is not reasonable to assume so if the game had any other name.
Atari has held on to this license for a while, and I think that if Stardock did come out with a "near-copy," Atari would sue. With GalCiv, the original release came out for, what, OS/2? Atari had no real basis to sue because the whole premise of GalCiv was to be an independent game. If there were a close replica of MOM, though, the legal fees might even outweigh the licensing fees!
Now, there are enough fantasy strategy games out there. Too many, in fact, and just making one more is not going to get anyone's attention. MOM, though, has a memory in the minds of both reviewers and us aged gamers.
I don't think a straight remake will work, either, for three reasons. First, there are already more than six projects out there that aim to reproduce the game. No one works together, no one collaborates, and much work is duplicated. Assuming that even one of them finishes, there's already a free clone (or more than one) out there and no point in Stardock spending any money. Secondly, there are many, many bugs in that game that someone has to decide whether they are bugs or features. Cause Fear, for example, is supposed to use the attacker's resistance in deciding whether to "scare" an opponent. Bug or feature? Units that join a stack of more than one unit that have no further movement will lose their movement as well. Bug or feature? Chaos Channels (wings) doesn't allow a unit to attack a flying opponent. Bug or feature? There are too many to list, but these are a few. Reason number three is just from a "here and now" standpoint. People expect different nowadays from gameplay than MOM delivered. Simply cloning it encourages those who want the game for free to grab DOSbox and get the old version.
How much is it worth? No, I can't answer that question, I guess. No one can, really. This is a huge risk, but I think it will be at least as rewarding, both from a creative perspective, and a monetary one, and I for one will pre-order it, if for no other reason than the faintest hope that the franchise actively continues.
(Douses self in flame retardant)
You may fire when ready.

#140  by Citizen nazrix - 8/1/2004 10:47:42 AM

Quite a few people haven't managed to figure out how to vote on the poll yet. Hope you take that into account

#141  by Citizen PherdnutChiken - 8/1/2004 5:22:01 PM

Well, I'm not too excited about any of those MoM clones. For every pro bono game that gets completed, hundreds fall by the wayside and no offense to the people working on them, but most of them are graphically lamer than the original. Why clone the game when you've got DOSBox? Also, there have been X-Com clones going on for years now and none of them have been finished.

As for a bug free, graphically updated, essentially identical MOM but with some new spells and a couple new races? Hell yeah, I'll buy that. You can count on Stardock to attend to bugs quickly. They've shown that with Gal Civ.

The one thing I have never heard about MOM is that it failed to please. In my experience, not even the lowliest forum troll or hack reviewer has ever said a bad thing about the game beyond the fact that it was really buggy when it was first released. Sure there were plenty of bugs remaining after they made a few fixes, but I've never heard it said that they made the game not worth playing.

If it's a good MOM game and I trust Stardock to do that, every MOM fan that's aware of it will put the money down for it. The people who buy the most games nowadays are 29 yrs. old. If they were TBS fans, they've at least heard of MOM. I don't know what those exact numbers are, but I think Stardock can count on them to ante up when the time comes.

I don't know what kind of numbers they would need beyond Gal Civ, but I think they could count on a MOM game being equally if not more successful. TBS isn't a big genre anymore but the side benefit of this is that Stardock has very little comepetition. And if Firaxis has an X-Com sequel coming out in 2006, you better believe I'll pay for both.

At this point, I think the best thing to do is some market research. How many people bought MOM? How many people are still big TBS fans? How many Gal Civ fans will check out anything from Stardock if it's another 4X game? That's what it comes down to.

#142  by Veteran Publius of NV - 8/1/2004 9:06:05 PM

Never having played MoM before seeing the forum items here about it, I downloaded the game and have been playing it under dosbox for the last couple of weeks. I have to say that despite the crappy dos graphics it's a fun game. I'd definitely buy a Startdock remake.

I understand Brad's business analysis of the costs of the license and the effects on the econonomics of developing the game. But on the other hand, could one not point out to the owners of the license that they aren't making any money on it now, and that something is better than nothing? Brad's done that with, so why can't he do it again? Seems to me that any sensible person would realize that holding out for too high a license fee, killing the project and resulting in zero revenues, is worse than agreeing to a lower license fee and actually making some money. Seems to me that smart business men (and I consider Brad to be one) could negotiate a deal that would satisfy both parties, perhaps by adjusting the license fee based on copies sold.

                         Posted via Stardock Central
#143  by Citizen Anglophile - 8/2/2004 9:01:45 AM

Back in the days when 3.5" floppies were cutting edge, 40 Megs was a big hard drive and 16 MHz was a fast computer, Microprose delivered three TBS games (directly or through contracted developers): Civ, MOO & MoM. I am pretty sure that no one is debating whether the Civ brand name has value. Before MOO3, the MOO name had significant market value. The MoM franchise however has been dormant for over a decade and it is very reasonable for Stardock to wonder whether it still has value (I believe it does - but then I have a P1, 90 MHz, dos 7/QEMM ram manager computer just for MoM and a couple of other classics from my youth (OK, computer youth, real early middle age)) - and, if it does have value, what is a fair price to license that name?

None of the other fantasy TBS games, IMO, have come all that close to MoM because MoM was deep tacticallty and strategically and fun. AoW2 comes closest but lacks the strategy elements and isn't nearly as much fun. MoM was Civ in Middle Earth with a great tactical combat engine - and I would sell my second born (or the other son as he calls himself) for a MoM2 that was Civ3 (lite), editor optional but highly desirable, in Middle Earth with a great tactical combat engine. I need nodes and ruins. I need mithril. I need Adamantium. And I definitely need it to matter where I put my cities and how I develop them. I also need a better AI, but not that much better (like most people I whinge about AI, unless I lose, then I whinge about cheatin' AIs).

While nearly on the topic of Civ3 editors, a better place to gauge the interest in fantasy TBS games might be Civ Fanatics, creation and modification forum where there are a bunch of very popular fantasy mods in various degrees of completion dominating mod creation. All those people are playing MoM with the incredibly inappropriate/sucky Civ combat module. There is a ready made market for MoM2.

The interesting point that I reached from the discussion on game economics is that Stardock has set an essentially meaningless target (unless they have a meaningful multiplier - and if their market research is that good, they don't need a target at all) since 500, or 5000 or even 50,000 copies presold will not guarantee financial success. It is very easy for we fans to say go for it, we are not betting our jobs and/or companies on it. I do agree with 142 that an idle license is a worthless license so I don't think the licensing fee should be exorbitant. Of course, I have no idea what would be reasonable. So if you need to reduce the risk/exposure, sell some shares in the game. I'd be prepared to vote with my wallet on this one both because I want the game made and because I believe that it would succeed financially.
[Message Edited]

#144  by Citizen Lord KiRon - 8/2/2004 12:28:14 PM

I would PREORDER MOM2 only if StarDoc promise to make it MoM2 , not different like GalCiv and Master of Orion , actually as we all know GalCiv is a great game too , but if it's different I would "probably order" but if it's WinXP remake with new movies sounds, races and tech but everything else is the same then I would PREORDER.

           Posted via Stardock Central
#145  by Citizen Hegetaga - 8/2/2004 2:25:44 PM

No idea, i guess i could fin the first one to know more about it but i probobly would

#146  by Citizen nazrix - 8/4/2004 1:57:37 AM

Make sure u guys dont forget to vote on the poll!

#147  by Citizen Eyhn - 8/4/2004 8:17:09 AM

I consider myself as big as fan of MOM as anyone, yet I didn't discover stardocks intererst in MOM until yesterday. I doubt I'm alone, so your poll will not say much.
I likely wouldn't preorder it. I have never preordered a game in my life. Before I buy a game I want to know if it's good or not.
I waited breathlessly on MOO3 only to have it slaughtered by critics and friends, so I bought GalCiv instead. Still I'm waiting for the true MOO because I love the MOO universe.

The same is even more so with MOM. The sequel would need to be appealingly bad for me not to buy it.
Actually I can't understand why MOM2 hasn't been made yet. considering the numbers useless remakes of games with much less notoriety.

If you decide to make your own magic strategy game I'll will take a look and judge it on it's own merits and perhaps buy it. Still I'll would always wait for MOM2.

#148  by Avatar Frogboy - 8/5/2004 10:28:18 AM

I think we're going to do it.

#149  by Citizen TigerStar - 8/5/2004 12:15:43 PM


3 cheers for Stardock!

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