Author Topic: A salute to Arcen games  (Read 1376 times)

Offline RobbySpry

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A salute to Arcen games
« on: January 18, 2010, 01:54:52 AM »
I came across this interesting-sounding strategy-game called A.I. War, so i headed over to the official website for the game to read more about it. From the very first minute onto the last sentence i read, it became clearer and clearer to me that there is something special about this company.

The game itself clearly is a worthy masterpiece of it own, though i haven't actually even played it yet. So a deep bow to all your amazing efforts to turn this game into the best it can be during these financially grim times. Even though this by itself is an inspiring feat, it's not the point here.

The first fact that you've chosen to release version 2.0 of the game as a free upgrade, with which you had hired a certain artist to help you improve the visuals of the game and which thereby logically should have made this version wear a price-tag, is the first thing that got my attention.

The second thing i noticed was that you openly recognize your customers as the ones who make your company even possible. The vast majority of companies today, in fact every single one that i can think of right now, have such a stuck up and smug policy of how to treat the people who makes their pay-checks possible. It's like they put on a blind-fold to their own customers' feedback and love for the game because the only reason they're even getting up in the morning is to try and go and make as much money as possible with as little effort as possible before they die. This makes me sick and it makes me very averted to purchasing their stuff even if i know it's the best there is.

The third thing was that you are plain amazing at giving your fans the change-log information that they so sorely want for version-changes. You even provided images of all new ships for version 2.0! This is something that most companies take for granted, and i sincerely hope that you never change this about yourselves because when you've made something that made people become the fans of that something, you've got a responsibility to let those fans know exactly what it is that you change about this something that they love.

The fourth was that you reveal so much information about your upcoming patches, DLCs and projects. I think it's amazing that you do this for your fans. Nuff said!

The fifth that you obviously work very hard with trying to make your games run on less-than-stellar computer hardware. This is another thing that most developers probably dont even reconize anymore.

The sixth and last fact (for now) is this:

"If you like our games, please buy them so that we can make more, but we're not about to start treating our real customers like thieves just to thwart the inevitable pirates. "

This is what totally sealed the deal for me. Do you guys even realize how unique that is? I can't believe that this company, apart from all the already great things, actually also happen to understand that DRM doesn't make than perhaps a few tiny percentage of difference. You focus on everything that is important to the customer, rather than to yourselves. You are the best!

Arcen games, you guys are the idols i didn't know i had. You guys are a very nice find for a guy sore from today's greed. You are in my eyes pioneers and champions in customer relations and that is the number one most inmportant thing to me. EVen more important than the quality of the game itself.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 04:47:58 AM by RobbySpry »

Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: A salute to Arcen games
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2010, 08:14:47 AM »
Yes well, Piracy is certainly a 2 sided thing.. on the one side its freeloading (although numbers will be low given that most pirates don't care for such games ,p), on the other free-advertising. No site AI War was ever mentioned on had the kind of visitor numbers as the ones its mentioned now. And it couldn't have been a better timing (a long slouch, no game releases,scene is in coma).

Anyhow ;) I am glad you bought the game (I ain't the developer (thats x4000) but my name somehow is in the Credits ,p)

So yeah have fun re-learning what it means to play against an AI ,p
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Offline x4000

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Re: A salute to Arcen games
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2010, 12:59:51 PM »
Many thanks for your support!  I'm glad that we've struck such a chord with you, and I hope that the game does as well. :)
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Echo35

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Re: A salute to Arcen games
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2010, 05:04:20 PM »
The first fact that you've chosen to release version 2.0 of the game as a free upgrade, with which you had hired a certain artist to help you improve the visuals of the game and which thereby logically should have made this version wear a price-tag, is the first thing that got my attention.

I love companies that patch their games, I hate companies that charge for it. X made a very good decision there ;D

Quote
The second thing i noticed was that you openly recognize your customers as the ones who make your company even possible. The vast majority of companies today, in fact every single one that i can think of right now, have such a stuck up and smug policy of how to treat the people who makes their pay-checks possible. It's like they put on a blind-fold to their own customers' feedback and love for the game because the only reason they're even getting up in the morning is to try and go and make as much money as possible with as little effort as possible before they die. This makes me sick and it makes me very averted to purchasing their stuff even if i know it's the best there is.

To a big company, video games are money makers and they are made/marketed that way. To an Indie developer, games are a passion and a hobby, and in such stellar products as AI War, World of Goo, Torchlight, etc. it really shows. These games are made by people who love games, not by people who love money.

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The fifth that you obviously work very hard with trying to make your games run on less-than-stellar computer hardware. This is another thing that most developers probably dont even reconize anymore.

Most indie developers simply don't have the budget to make anything overtly powerful and high end, but the big companies do, and they sell their games on it. How many recent games have you played had anything more to them than looking pretty? This is why I play older games and indie games. Not because I can't play modern games, but because I don't want to drop $50 and a few hours of my time playing a game that solely exists to look pretty. When I'm playing a game, I want to play a GAME, not some 3D CG demo.

Quote
"If you like our games, please buy them so that we can make more, but we're not about to start treating our real customers like thieves just to thwart the inevitable pirates. "

This is what totally sealed the deal for me. Do you guys even realize how unique that is? I can't believe that this company, apart from all the already great things, actually also happen to understand that DRM doesn't make than perhaps a few tiny percentage of difference. You focus on everything that is important to the customer, rather than to yourselves. You are the best!

The thing that pisses me off the MOST about gaming these days is the DRM. Name me a DRM system that actually works.

...

I'm waiting...

Exactly. Other than subscription based stuff (Like MMO's) there's almost nothing that actually prevents piracy. So why the big gaming companies waste so much time and money putting more and more restrictive DRM measures on their software that only succeeds in lowering the quality of the product to the legit users is beyond me. In fact, don't tell anyone, but all the software and games I own I pirate. No, I'm not saying I steal everything, because I do pay for my games, but I pirate them after I do. Why? No DRM. Pirates can provide a much cleaner, easier experience to the end user, and the companies need to realize that. It's stupid, but it's true.

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Edit: By the way, feel free to use any of this as oh what it's called again.. you know, when you show off what customers say about your products?

Testimonials?

Offline Echo35

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Re: A salute to Arcen games
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2010, 05:05:46 PM »
Yes well, Piracy is certainly a 2 sided thing.. on the one side its freeloading (although numbers will be low given that most pirates don't care for such games ,p), on the other free-advertising. No site AI War was ever mentioned on had the kind of visitor numbers as the ones its mentioned now. And it couldn't have been a better timing (a long slouch, no game releases,scene is in coma).

There was an indie company (Don't remember the name) that recently released a new game, and instead of advertising it, they seeded it to torrent and piracy sites. The online leader board scores are nearly 100% of the sales, so oddly enough, piracy is actually quite low for that game.

Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: A salute to Arcen games
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2010, 05:48:43 PM »
That piracy is low and you can't remember its name are probably related ;p The thing is, if you are a good dev , maintain forum presence and patches, listen to the community and even be nice to them. Thats what makes a indy game a success imo (apart from the game itself, of course).

The worst example is imo Armada 2526 - The game was released in a state that i would call "alpha 0.5" I mean sure, when Ai War was 1.0 that statement would have fit to it as well simply because so many things lacked polish (like the minimap/gui and the back then allmighty blobs (although that was a nice game exploit) ,p) but the core gameplay was already there and hardened. If a game has problems with its core gameplay, then it should NEVER be released to the public (for money ;p). (And in case you never played it, the combat part (which is like 95% of the game) is completely and entirely broken.

The thing is, there aren't too many good Indy Games, and i myself only bought 1 before it was final, that was Mount & Blade (another great Indy developer with just 2 people doing the work)
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