September 26, 2009

Fallen Earth: Niche of a Niche

I didn't want to post about Fallen Earth, but Julie Whitefeather has gone and quoted me:
Do I believe in the post apocalyptic genre? You bet. Despite the fact that Heartless Gamer left me a comment calling it a “niche of a niche” that is still ONE HELL OF A BIG NICHE.
Some clarification is needed. It all begins here with my comments:
FE is just garbage and is a niche of a niche. It will hopefully stick around, because the MMO market needs variety, but it shouldn’t be held up as high as it is currently.
And when I say a niche of a niche, I mean its a sandbox MMO (niche) set in a post apocalyptic setting (niche).
I disagree with Julie that it is a "big" niche, but agree we can that its a niche in any case. The root question is whether a niche game can make it in today's market. Personally, I think it can and I think niche games HAVE to succeed or the market will fall apart.

I didn't want to post about Fallen Earth, because I played it for an hour (maybe) and hated it. The introduction to the game throws the player on rails in a single player instance and then dumps the player into the sandbox. It FUCKING SUCKED and told me NOTHING about the game. Then, being dumped into a sandbox, I was so CONFUSED on what to think that I just quit and uninstalled the game. So, I'm trying to avoid a Eurogamer Darkfall review moment.

Long rant short, I hope Fallen Earth succeeds, because the MMOG genre needs it to, but damn does their intro to the game suck.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I felt the same way when I left the tutorial, wtf do I do now?!

On a side note, what are your thoughts on DDO?

Bhagpuss said...

How would you do a tutorial to a sandbox MMO?

I've always disliked tutorials. I like to start in the actual game world, with a few helpful NPCs around to give me little quests for starter armor, a bag, like that. I've never seen why I need a tutorial to tell me how to use the game controls.

Surely 99% of everyone able to download and install a PC game and/or enter a credit card payment to do so MUST be familiar withthe basics of movement, getting quests, opening inventory etc? If your game has controls that are so far from the norm that you really do need to explain them by example then maybe you should rethink those controls.

Several MMOs that had no tutorials when they started added one later - EQ and Vanguard come to mind. In both cases the intention was more to get everyone to start in the same place and get to know each other in games that had sparse populations in their multiple starting areas, though. That can hardly apply to a single-player instance tutorial.

(Of course, EQ did originally come with a tutorial that was, gloriously, offline. I've played it a few times since, too).

adingworld said...

Some confusions and frustration perhaps yes, but overall I did not think it was too hard to pick up things in Fallen Earth.

I cannot say that I like the combat, but the whole explore/scavenge/craft part in this setting is interesting.

heartlessgamer said...

@adingworld

I don't think it was hard to pick up either, but then again I've played MMOs for almost a decade now, so I know WASD, hotbars, stats, etc.

@bhagpuss

I would do a tutorial, especially for a niche game, as an optional choice.

Even then, the actual tuturial would be IN THE GAME WORLD and would encourage player interaction.