The Titlepacksystem - The False Prophet

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haenry
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The Titlepacksystem - The False Prophet

Post by haenry » 24 Jun 2014, 22:02

There is currently one big problem regarding Maniaplanet: Lack of players
That's why I held a discussion with a lot of passionate TM lovers and we came to an interesting conclusion:
The titlepack system itself, which promised to open hundreths of possibilities, actually damages the community.
  • 1) The cool new features are only available in Titlepacks (e.g. block creation).
  • 2) Titlepacks spread the players. There is no central place for players to meet.
  • 3) It's an effort to download titlepacks
  • 4) Titlepacks are an effort to create.
  • 5) Motivating people to download a Titlepack is hard
  • 6) The amount of Titlepacks is limited (you need to buy more free stations for planets)
example scenarios:
- A Trackmaniaplayer of 3 months downloads a custom block from maniapark and builds a map with it. Does he know that he has to create a title? Maybe. But sure he has no idea how and will soon lose against the difficulty.
- Who wants to spend 5k Planets for three new Stations, to install a new titelpack and then just to try a new map, which has one custom block in it ?
- Downloading more Titlepacks is frustrating especially after downloading 3 huge titlepacks that are not fun. Thus nobody is motivated to download more MB of probably boring material.
- When players start the game they look for one central place to check for activity. That's why Facebook, reddit, etc. are so good. They offer one central place (frontpage, newsfeed). It's annoying to check every station for online players.


Our Suggestion:

Add a possibility for pre-play download, which just downloads all the necessary data to play the track, e.g. custom blocks, custom mode (and also MT data, which is already possibly).
Additionally add a possibility for pre-join download for servers. Let the serverhosters create a list of objects, which have to be downloaded before joining the server.
Add a small indicator in the serverlist to show the MB of the data, which has to be downloaded for joining a server.
One problem are mods, as they are huge in filesize. To address this problem, force all the necessary data to load the map as a prejoin download, while leaving texturepacks and music etc. optional. Thus the access to servers can even be granted for people with a slower connection with the shortest waiting time possible. (e.g. Minecraft servers optionally or mandatorily allow resource-pack download before joining,
Transport Tycoon allows to download sets of custom objects and modifications, and servers let you download those required for playing if any are utilized)

Additionally, add a centralized place for everyone to meet (maybe a centralized serverlist with everything in it. It worked well in United. Splitting players among canyon, valley and stadium is already a lot of splitting. The Multienv title is a good step in the right direction.

We Don't ask to ban Titlepacks per se. They are probably good for really huge projects, but I haven't seen one such big yet that it would be worth the titlepack.


Overall our suggestion makes it easier to share content with other people, while also trying to unite people to meet each other at one central place.
Remember, players are humans and humans are lazy. So nobody wants to search for stuff to download before playing something. Automatization is key.
Kuba wrote:"united" is what made united great... tm2 is the opposite of "united"
/discuss :!: :?:
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Cuba.CZ
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Re: The Titlepacksystem - The False Prophet

Post by Cuba.CZ » 24 Jun 2014, 22:19

I agree with 99% of the things said. :thumbsup:
My opinion in a nutshell:
Make titlepacks OPTIONAL but don't build the game and features on them. Mostly for the sake of unity and simplicity.
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Re: The Titlepacksystem - The False Prophet

Post by phil13hebert » 25 Jun 2014, 01:46

I totally agree with you. I also created a thread about this, but almost nobody answered it.
Here's the thread if some people are interested in.
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meuh21
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Re: The Titlepacksystem - The False Prophet

Post by meuh21 » 25 Jun 2014, 08:58

Title pack is a clever system. Title and all his features is the most important Maniaplanet part. It is just the beggining of this story and my only wish is to have even more possibilies (gameplay for ex) than today.

It is not a "effort to create" a title pack. It is a awesome experience. Nadeo give us the possibility to create by ourself a small video game :thx: . And don't worry. Creators and also motivated players are not lazy ;)

But when i read your post we can see it can take time to change the mentality. Your "suggestion" is much more complicated than the title pack system. It is also only the old way to think the game. It is not a good solution (it was for TMU) because Maniaplanet offer so many possibilities in titles (mods, script, menu, solo campaign, ladder, objetcs, etc) and it is the only way to really offer this in a easy way for the players.

About the lack of players it is not a title problem but a game problem (for ex : Round Valley servers). The universal Demo should help for this point. An for the title popularity i think it is the motivated player role to do something for a title popularity. To create servers, competitions, maps, contests, etc. A title is a small game. It need fans to promote it. The title creator can't do everything by itself. Store will help to have visibility but at this point maybe we need more communication and maybe titles can even help Trackmania to get popularity. For exemple a new Valley title with many new objects/blocks can maybe help player to re-discover the game. Or a new way to play like WTC, RPG or Stunters can also be attractive for new players.

I think also people should understand title packs content in a new way. Carpark, TM Mod, TMX, etc offered "direct content" to the players. Now it could be a little bit different. Maybe we will find new kind of creators : they will choose objects, mods, maps in Maniapark, Maniaexchange or in other places and they will create a title with their own personnality. Maybe also story title packs. Player shouldn't pick up a object to make a map but choose the title with objects he like. And i hope we will see cooperation to have talented people in the same project.

But we need a place for this. For now the forum is too huge and title is just a small part in a small section... For French people Maniacenter could be this place with a forum. Or maybe we need a new community website, i don't know.

But i know we need support from players. Don't try to break title packs system. It won't change because it is the only possible way for the future and for many many many reasons (Hylis wrote it many times). So don't critize this system but help to make it more popular, more efficient and all together, creators and players, we will have a lot of fun :)

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Re: The Titlepacksystem - The False Prophet

Post by Hylis » 25 Jun 2014, 10:11

Much better said than what I can say

I would like to add:
1. When there is a frustration, there is often solution, it's just that it's often more complicated than the suggested one.
2. When there is a solution, it can take time to do it.
3. When we do it, it's difficult to say that we are going to make it, or then we can not change of solution or timing.
4. We have some major element of the solution to be revealed at the demo release

For the question of United, it is true that it combined Original + Sunrise + Nations. But if you look at them, they were all separated for years. Maniaplanet is a way to have all environment together at any time. It's not the "whole united" thing, since not everybody have "all the environments", but at the same time, it enables us to release content over the time, while having a united environment, without having people to rebuy "united" And if the solution was to release only united, then we would have taken more than five years just to make it, and so don't make it and close the studio ^_^

In fact, I think our solution to make Maniaplanet as United as possible, including what you will see in the demo, is superb. And this is why that even if it will be a quiet release, I believe that the demo is our most important release ever, by far \o/

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Re: The Titlepacksystem - The False Prophet

Post by BastienD » 25 Jun 2014, 10:52

meuh21 wrote:Title pack is a clever system. Title and all his features is the most important Maniaplanet part. It is just the beggining of this story and my only wish is to have even more possibilies (gameplay for ex) than today.

It is not a "effort to create" a title pack. It is a awesome experience. Nadeo give us the possibility to create by ourself a small video game :thx: . And don't worry. Creators and also motivated players are not lazy ;)

But when i read your post we can see it can take time to change the mentality. Your "suggestion" is much more complicated than the title pack system. It is also only the old way to think the game. It is not a good solution (it was for TMU) because Maniaplanet offer so many possibilities in titles (mods, script, menu, solo campaign, ladder, objetcs, etc) and it is the only way to really offer this in a easy way for the players.

About the lack of players it is not a title problem but a game problem (for ex : Round Valley servers). The universal Demo should help for this point. An for the title popularity i think it is the motivated player role to do something for a title popularity. To create servers, competitions, maps, contests, etc. A title is a small game. It need fans to promote it. The title creator can't do everything by itself. Store will help to have visibility but at this point maybe we need more communication and maybe titles can even help Trackmania to get popularity. For exemple a new Valley title with many new objects/blocks can maybe help player to re-discover the game. Or a new way to play like WTC, RPG or Stunters can also be attractive for new players.

I think also people should understand title packs content in a new way. Carpark, TM Mod, TMX, etc offered "direct content" to the players. Now it could be a little bit different. Maybe we will find new kind of creators : they will choose objects, mods, maps in Maniapark, Maniaexchange or in other places and they will create a title with their own personnality. Maybe also story title packs. Player shouldn't pick up a object to make a map but choose the title with objects he like. And i hope we will see cooperation to have talented people in the same project.

But we need a place for this. For now the forum is too huge and title is just a small part in a small section... For French people Maniacenter could be this place with a forum. Or maybe we need a new community website, i don't know.

But i know we need support from players. Don't try to break title packs system. It won't change because it is the only possible way for the future and for many many many reasons (Hylis wrote it many times). So don't critize this system but help to make it more popular, more efficient and all together, creators and players, we will have a lot of fun :)
Hi, I'm Bastien, one of the french developers of Maniacenter.

I just want to highlight that ManiaCenter will be an international website with support of many languages such as English, Spanish, German, Polish, and Italian. So it could be useful for more people than french :)

[Je n'ai pas tout à fait compris ce que tu souhaites voir dans ManiaCenter, mais j'espère que tu viendras nous en parler dans le sujet du projet :thumbsup:]

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Re: The Titlepacksystem - The False Prophet

Post by novationx » 25 Jun 2014, 12:33

I agree that titles arent perfect, but its very very complicated.

What I like about it:
- The Store is a great way to get a new game/title
- Different rankings
- The game itself ( Hunger games , speedball = awesome )
- I would love to see custom blocks in other titles as well ( Elite, Joust )

What I dont like :
- Nobody is playing it. ( not the fault of the title-system. The playerbase is just too small. )
- Paying planets for empty slots ( Not necessary imo )
- Navigating/userfriendliness is not optimal

Is there a better solution?

1. Remove titles and make it as CSGO
*Imagine if you only had the STORM title and everythign was listed there.
* In games such as Counter Strike there is 1 serverbrowser to rule them all. All modes are listed and it has awesome filters. You can find whatever you want instantly. It saves your fitlers and it has favorites. Even with thousands of servers to browse through I think its easier to use the CS serverbrowser than the MP Serverbrowser with only some dozens of servers. A filterbutton with "show official or custom games" would be cool too.

*If you join a server and you dont have the gamemode(title), than the gamemode will be downloaded including all files/blocks.
*Creators can still create their gamemodes, but its not a seperate title anymore.
*Ranking per gamemode can stay, we just have to find a way so that it looks comprehensible for the players.
--> A central ranking page with again filters etc would be helpful

+ Faster Navigation
+ Play what you want, download on the fly
+ ManiaPlanet will look simpler/easier to use
+ Less work for creators
+ Dont pay planets for empty slots

- Titles wont have single player campaigns anymore
- News wont be title specific anymore. You will read about news about ALL titles. ( Now if you open elite , you only see Elite news )


2. Improve titles and expand functionality
* So much room for improvement, but I want to keep my post short.
* A ranking page per title is very welcome. I dont know why It dissapeared
* Find a better solution for the use of custom blocks
...

Remarks:
- If there are more players, more titles will be popular and suddenly everybody will like titles :D
- At the moment "I hate new titles". Every new title steals player from my favorite gamemode (Elite). I know this is a pessimistic thought, but its my truth.
- Titles should be games: Valley, Canyon , TM & SM

Its a complicated system and NADEO can choose to do it in various ways. I dont know what the best way is. I dont even think titles are bad. It just looks bad , because of the small playerbase. If the game had 2000 extra active players all of a sudden I think all titles would be active enough and nobody would really complain. ( Or at least complain less. )


PS: What's the release date of the demo? (official)
The neverending waiting game has to stop.

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Re: The Titlepacksystem - The False Prophet

Post by Pedal » 25 Jun 2014, 13:02

Obviously, MP brings a lot of Tools and oppertunities for those who want to create and these are also highlighted as the biggest and best of all of MP. No wonder the "artists" love it, they are given advanced and maybe simple Tools for a very low price where they can express themselves and create content.

So from an "artists" Point of view this is great.

But, for all those (which is the biggest majority) who justs wants to log-on and play, all this makes the game confusing, complicated and messy.

I personally, and i have been playing Stadium for almost 7 years until 6 months ago, don't even know what a titlepack is???? All i see is a lot of talk about it and a lot of space given to it in the marketing. And also, i don't care really what it is or what i can do with it, i am not interested, i just want to play a good game...

I am sure there are many like me.... Don't get me wrong, i appreciate all the work the "artists" makes, without it Stadium would not have been what it is and it is a good thing that you get new Tools to play with, but personally, i couldnt care less.

I would like to see (in addition to a working game for my part) a more scaled down, pure "player" version of Maniaplanet and another "artistic" version for those interested, containing all the Tools and possibilities of MP.

As it is is now, Nadeo basically develops and includes lot's of Tools and features that not only are uninteresting, but also confusing for the biggest part of their customers, those who only wants to play.

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bobbotheclown
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Re: The Titlepacksystem - The False Prophet

Post by bobbotheclown » 25 Jun 2014, 13:10

Look, while i want to say title packs are cool. The fact that they are required to make a track or map with custom objects, is really uncool. Infact its a hinderance to creativity and discovering new content. it definately has divided the community. Look at Trackmania-rpg for example, thats an entire seperate friggin community. Even though the pack could just as easily be used to make some really hardcore normal tracks. Or the pile of title packs for shootmania, I don't even know which is which because theres too many of them.


At the very least incorporating locators into custom blocks, or giving some optional way to bundle the objects into the track file itself would make it so much easier for advanced content makers to share what they've made. Title packs dont need to be removed, they just need to be optional.

don't get me wrong trackmania 2 is still my favorite game in the series, and ive been playing since trackmania sunrise. But I kind of agree with the talking point of OP. Structuring ManiaPlanet entirely around titlepacks wasnt a great idea. :|
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Re: The Titlepacksystem - The False Prophet

Post by Omnixor » 25 Jun 2014, 15:43

yoshistara wrote::| I don´t think stations will be free,because people bought stations with planets(for example me).
by your logic TF2 should've never gone free either. I think Nadeo could easily pay those planets back, so it's definitely the smallest problem.
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