Public Appeal to the great Heroes III and IV modmakers

The old Heroes games developed by New World Computing. Please specify which game you are referring to in your post.

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cjlee
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Public Appeal to the great Heroes III and IV modmakers

Postby cjlee » Jan 26 2012, 18:14

Hello all!

I am posting this here because I only have membership on this forum. I hope Salamandre is reading this; maybe he can pass the message.

This is really inspired by the creation of Horn of the Abyss. Here am I, desperately looking for a Heroes game to play (I don't want to play Heroes VI), and here I find that some Russians have created a new Heroes III expansion! The world needs not just a translation from Russian; it needs you guys to be properly paid and working on a modern version of Heroes with modern graphics!

I appeal to all of you great Heroes III and IV mapmakers and modmakers. The guys who brought us Wake of Gods, Equilibris, Horn of the Abyss, Master of Puppets and more...

You guys are tried and tested programmers with serious talent, enormous creativity, astonishing enthusiasm and proven skills at making things work. You have good 'customer service skills' and are endlessly willing to furnish technical assistance to people who didn't pay you anything. You have superb communication skills, working with other fans whose faces you have never seen across a dozen (usually) European countries where languages and cultures are different.

I would like to propose that you all get together and petition Ubisoft for Heroes VII.

It is time that real fans and really committed mapmakers and programmers took back this game from people who have a proven record of stupidity, disrespect for fan opinion and incompetence (Black Hole and its associated developers).

Offer to work for a reasonable and fair salary (e.g. nothing above market rates or whatever Ubisoft is paying Black Hole and their Hungarian programmers). Considering that so many of you guys are Russians, Bulgarians and Romanians, it shouldn't be hard to pay respectable wages (by Russian standards) to you and still keep software development costs low.

Formally agree not to pirate anything or leak things like codes out. Yes, final product is Ubisoft's intellectual property and they are going to want to keep it that way.

In our modern world, Crowdsourcing, fan-made apps and Facebook have become the norm. People can get together and work across borders to produce superior products to what big, stiff and unmotivated old-style companies can produce. I have every confidence you CAN do a far superior job than Black Hole nonEntertainment!

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Salamandre
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Postby Salamandre » Jan 26 2012, 18:22

Considering that Ubisoft is still considering WoG as a cracked/pirated source code, and never bothered to check in, what makes you think they have any respect for modders? Business, creativity, two different things.

Besides this, none of the guys working on next wog or HotA are interested in next heroes sequel. For them, Heroes stops at 3.5.

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Dalai
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Postby Dalai » Jan 26 2012, 19:25

Thank you for your inspirational post. :creative:

I do believe we could create a great game. I honestly believe that people who do it now deserve a lot of harsh criticism on so many subjects that I don't even want to start. I would use completely different approach in almost every possible aspect, from architecture to PR. I would set completely different list of priorities; AI, balance and map-editor being on top, closely followed by RMG and tournament services.

BUT:

Different team of modders do not share common vision. I would be just happy to design a Heroes Game based on H4-model. But I would not feel this way if common request would be a H3-model game. These models are split for a long time, probably forever.

I think, no team would willingly accept the new Ubisoft MM:H universe. Won't go deep on this, it's a topic for many heated discussions. And Ubisoft would not accept anything but their universe, they already invested into it.

Ubisoft will never accept petition like this. They can't control quality (I know, when they can it doesn't really show :), but still), they can't realistically fine for being late, they can't enforce their decision on DRM, which means they can't put their "quality stamp" on the product. Forming a legal entity doesn't solve anything - it'll be new and have nothing to lose.

People in teams are in different places. People here can not travel as easily as in US, for example (which is still no big fun). It can be enough for modding team, but I'm not sure it's enough for a game development team. I never created games, but I know a thing or two about teams and leadership.

About salaries - good programmers here can earn almost as much as in other places. Cheap good programmers are thing of past. Cheap, fast, high quality - choose any two :) Development cost can be kept low, but not because of low salaries. Local know-how exists :) Anyway, it's a completely different story.

HOWEVER,

If a well financed team could be formed, I don't really see a Ubisoft part in next game. Renaming a game is a pity, but I could live with it. Creating a completely new world is very easy to justify - who said that there was only one world where everybody escaped after Reconing? The only thing where Ubisoft could be helpful is massive marketing. It's so massive that it can be compared to carpet bombardment. But we live in times of high precision weapon (and Facebook :D) so I'm sure that fan base would be well informed without significant investment, and Ubisoft can't work with communities anyway. On medium-to-final stages of development a publisher can be found, but on very different terms, than it would be with Ubisoft.
"Not a shred of evidence exists in favour of the idea that life is serious." Brendan Gill

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Corlagon
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Postby Corlagon » Jan 26 2012, 22:17

- The Might and Magic X project team: general PR, continuity, recruitment and people power, contacts with New World Computing
- The Eternal Essence team: AI, engine, technical work, quality control
- The Horn of the Abyss team: 3D artwork, technical work, "quantity control"
- {A currently-non-public team}: campaigns and writing, map design, music, 2D artwork
- The Equilibris team: mapmaking, game design, appropriate levels of innovation

I have contacts among all of the above. Each team has people with absolutely incredible individual strengths and talents, and I very firmly believe that if the five of them could somehow be magically convinced to drop everything they're currently doing and come together to work for free on a single effort, they would compensate for each other and the greatest Heroes game - no, greatest TBS game, the world has ever seen could be the result.

And what's more, no DRM! No bureaucracy! A simple editor! Revolutionary AI opponents! The old universe, with the old heroes, with no pussyfooting and armies conceptually and artistically derived from classical myth! An endlessly-replayable campaign! A non-self-contradictory game design! Thriving multiplayer! A compelling and well-developed storyline approved by NWC! Free and non-profit! No bugs! No seven-month wait for an expansion pack required before playing! The old "just one more turn" syndrome! If such a project could take off, it would prove so much about the power and solidarity of the Heroes of Might and Magic fanbase. Nothing would match it, nothing on Earth.

But as it is now, in an imperfect world where everyone, quite understandably, has their own lives and goals and business and agendas to deal with, I think it's probably the pipe dream to end all pipe dreams.

Alas.
Last edited by Corlagon on Jan 26 2012, 23:16, edited 1 time in total.

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GreatEmerald
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Postby GreatEmerald » Jan 26 2012, 22:29

Salamandre wrote:Besides this, none of the guys working on next wog or HotA are interested in next heroes sequel. For them, Heroes stops at 3.5.


And for the players, at 4 :D

But yea, Dalai pretty much covered everything about why that wouldn't work out. Having one big team means either restrictions enforced by the team leader, or democracy (which usually doesn't happen or is too slow a method to decide things).

Also, modding and creating are two different things altogether. Both have their ups and downs (with modding, you have a lot of obstacles to overcome, but the content is already there; with creating, you have freedom, but no content, unless you're creating a clone).

As for creating a new Heroes game to begin with - anyone is free to join the VCMI project, which aims to recreate HoMM3, but with additional features. From there you could go pretty much anywhere.


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