Stadium eSport Development

Discuss everything related to Trackmania 2.

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iceman23
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Re: Stadium eSport Development

Post by iceman23 » 10 Apr 2013, 22:30

zarexz wrote: Sentiment? I call it realizm.

There's nothing SOLID (YET) to offer. The game isn't released yet either. As far as I know Nadeo want's a couple of things very very solid before they really get on.

If you see how many people gone angry because of the Stadium beta. How they will tell their friends NOT to buy the game bacause whatever dumb reason they find in the buggy BETA version.

How will this translate to people who have no knowledge of the game at all. I think they all run away and blame Nadeo for a waste of their 10 or 20 euros.
I guess this "realizm" you've created chooses to selectively ignore the justification I included in my post.

Once again, since you apparently didn't read the first time, you don't have to have a released product to advertise a game. The purpose of a beta is to find these flaws; you aren't marketing a beta but instead the final product you expect to release. I don't know if there's something you're misunderstanding but this seems like a very simple concept to me.

Romain42
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Re: Stadium eSport Development

Post by Romain42 » 10 Apr 2013, 23:36

No offense, Iceman. ;)

I believe too, that the calling of TM is to be a worldwide game, which needs of course worldwide advertising. But i don't really understand how it's possible to advertise a game without highlighting the beta. If you inform players you'll release a new game soon, players will think "is there a beta?". If the beta is not secret, it will lead many guys to try it. They'll try the beta rather than the old versions. Whether or not it's intended, it will make the beta widely benchmarked by the players. What would be your strategy to promote the game that early without facing the risk to have its youth imperfections already assessed? I don't say such a strategy would be good or bad, i think it is tricky but sometimes you have to take risks to succeed...

It is possible that TMUF isn't widely advertised in USA because the marketing rights belong to another society (i think it is still Focus in France, i don't know in USA). But i could be pretty wrong...
Also I think it's more beneficial to look at active players rather than total accounts, especially in a game that was active for so long (in fact I think 42 teams is quite exceptional considering the current state of the game).
You made a very relevant point here. But if you launch the game, you can still realize the number of servers playing league maps and/or rounds mode is very small regarding the total. This shows we can't attract that much players to eSports, what we did better in the earlier communities.
it makes little sense to me from the perspective of a business model to purchase a company such as Nadeo and then fail to utilize the resources available to such a large company in expanding sales (or downloads in F2P model)
Except if they consider Nadeo as an experiment. Something like: "Let's make them free and see what happens, we'll export the successes to our own games, and just forget everything else". The lack of support being the flipside of the freedom coin. And considering the size of Ubisoft, i believe they can afford such kind of "experiments". :mrgreen:

Romain42
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Re: Stadium eSport Development

Post by Romain42 » 11 Apr 2013, 00:02

w1lla wrote:I think so... There is 2 versions... One for Dev team and one for the main stream players like us.

Currently the livemenu script has it disabled i guess for some tests before wednesday but it also can be moved out of it and into maniahome.
I downloaded the update and the competitions menu is still disabled, i didn't find it in Maniahome too.

Can we get some "official" information?

iceman23
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Re: Stadium eSport Development

Post by iceman23 » 11 Apr 2013, 03:50

Romain42 wrote:No offense, Iceman. ;)

I believe too, that the calling of TM is to be a worldwide game, which needs of course worldwide advertising. But i don't really understand how it's possible to advertise a game without highlighting the beta. If you inform players you'll release a new game soon, players will think "is there a beta?". If the beta is not secret, it will lead many guys to try it. They'll try the beta rather than the old versions. Whether or not it's intended, it will make the beta widely benchmarked by the players. What would be your strategy to promote the game that early without facing the risk to have its youth imperfections already assessed? I don't say such a strategy would be good or bad, i think it is tricky but sometimes you have to take risks to succeed...


Well, to start, I think if a consumer is interested enough in an advertisement to seek out a beta they will hopefully be coming with a positive mindset. If we fear that the beta is in such bad shape that such a person would have their mindset completely shifted I think it's a bad sign; an open beta should be released discover bugs on a large scale that the Quality Assurance team doesn't have the resources to test, and to test the operation of the servers/ladders. Now I'm not saying the game is bad by any means, but I certainly don't think this new iteration will win many fence sitters over who have played previous versions. There simply hasn't been enough new content added. Time will tell if it is enough to win the first-time player over.

In regards to a marketing strategy that doesn't highlight a beta, I think we can look at many other examples to see how this is accomplished. Let's take the Call of Duty for inspection. There are few extensive content and gameplay changes between versions of the game, yet clearly they have been able to maintain hype for each new version. A lot of this is simply accomplished by alerting gamers that a new game will be released, when it will be released. In addition, some type of accompanying media is used to highlight what changes were made or something interesting that might entice a new player (regardless of its novelty). While I think it is too early to start this sort of campaign, once the release date is known and Nadeo is confident in their product, I think even simple online advertisements highlighting the new graphics through pictures or video with the release date made known to the viewer would go a long way in reaching out to players who have never heard of the game. I don't know if the money is there to support television, magazine and other forms of advertisement, but that would be the next step.
Except if they consider Nadeo as an experiment. Something like: "Let's make them free and see what happens, we'll export the successes to our own games, and just forget everything else". The lack of support being the flipside of the freedom coin. And considering the size of Ubisoft, i believe they can afford such kind of "experiments". :mrgreen:
Sadly, this is actually a very real possibility and the nature of big business. Even worse is the case that Nadeo was purchased simply to maintain a competitive advantage in this genre. In that case, it really doesn't matter if the game makes them any money, but rather that other companies cannot garner part of the market share with a new game. This happens all the time in the software industry (not specifically games).

Pedal
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Re: Stadium eSport Development

Post by Pedal » 11 Apr 2013, 09:24

With regard to advertising/news/Word of mouth etc i Think it is important to remember that as long as a game is in "Beta" it will hardly ever see any strong marketing or comments/tests by journalists/game reviewers simply because it is not the final Product.

A "beta"-game accordingly is also very seldom included/made available in tournaments etc.

Many players also refuse to be "free developers" for a gamedeveloper and stays away from beta's.

I Think it will be exciting to see what impact shootmania can make to ManiaplanetTrackmania and e-sport now that there is a final version after one year in Beta.

With saying that, i also consider it a risk that a game stays too long in beta.....

zarexz

Re: Stadium eSport Development

Post by zarexz » 11 Apr 2013, 11:05

iceman23 wrote:I guess this "realizm" you've created chooses to selectively ignore the justification I included in my post.
Yes indeed.
iceman23 wrote:Once again, since you apparently didn't read the first time, you don't have to have a released product to advertise a game.
I did read, I just have a different opinnion.

Romain42
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Re: Stadium eSport Development

Post by Romain42 » 11 Apr 2013, 13:37

iceman23 wrote:Well, to start, I think if a consumer is interested enough in an advertisement to seek out a beta they will hopefully be coming with a positive mindset.
It's not that clear. You have whithin the community of nowadays a large variety of players. It comes from the fanboys without any citicism ability to disappointed players that are have still a hope to see the game come back to something they would like more. Between both, there are all those who play TM a lot and are naturally curious and interested in any new version, but they don't allways know what to expect and they might have (favorable) prejudices or not. And some can be really harsch when they don't support the decisions of Nadeo, even though they like the game. See here.
iceman23 wrote:Now I'm not saying the game is bad by any means, but I certainly don't think this new iteration will win many fence sitters over who have played previous versions.
The game itself isn't bad, but i think we have troubles to understand Nadeo's strategy with the whole Maniaplanet. Although we can't expect them to explain it, since it's probably the most private thing they have to protect. The overall feeling is they often explain us that lots of awesome features will come in the future and the relevance of the Maniaplanet concept will become evident in the future. Players can't really understand it because they are waiting since a long time. They got the loadscreen advertisement for SM and QM in 2008 (i think?) and since then the projects evolved a lot. They got TM2 before SM and QM and the new policy of environments sold separately will show its results in several years. So we are in a kind of "blind zone" that makes the players wonder about what will happen. This global idea of having doubts over the future of the whole game(s) is, in my opinion, more crucial than the small bugs you can find here and there, and that will be fixed anyway.

Note: we're slightly sliding off-topic. :mrgreen:

fade3
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Re: Stadium eSport Development

Post by fade3 » 03 Aug 2014, 17:16

iceman23 wrote:I think most of this discussion fails to target the real issue at hand and instead is focused on the unavoidable bias that comes from being a competitive player or a developer. Without a growing general population playing the game, Trackmania will never grow as an eSport. From the developers perspective, after thousands of hours on minute details and features, it may be hard to recognize faults on a greater scale. Likewise, from a player perspective we have the same problem - after putting in thousands of hours into one game it is very hard to separate oneself from the attachment that has grown over that time. In the end, the biggest problem facing Trackmania (whatever the environment may be) is that NO ONE knows about the game.

Regardless of the direction you take Nadeo, please realize that you MUST advertise the game, you MUST make it known to large online communities and you MUST make the game easily accessible to the newcomer who finally realizes the game exists. I feel all of these aspects are sorely lacking in favor of the addition of many small features that the casual player will never use or care about. Honestly, I can count on one hand the amount of people I've met outside of the Trackmania community who have actually heard of the game - even hardcore gamers who have played FAR FAR more titles than myself. An eSport community that supports itself is not sustainable - we are seeing this with the dwindling Nations scene and the Canyon scene which has contained the same extremely small group of players from the start. Note I am not speaking of support in the manner of tournaments and prize-money: these things do NOT create a successful eSport. Take DOTA 2 for example; the very first tournament offered a gigantic cash prize, yet it still fails to attain anywhere close the eSport success of LoL. Why? LoL has millions more players and because of this, many more will be attracted to the already existing competitive scene simply by nature of exposure, regardless of the "competitive quality" of the game itself (which is in fact far less than others in the genre like Heroes of Newerth or Dota 2). If you really want Stadium to be a successful and growing eSport on release, start by doing everything you can to GET PEOPLE PLAYING THE GAME IN THE FIRST PLACE.
After a long ride through this topic, this is the post that I find the most legit. Alongside with miraculix and frostbeule (and a few others), these are the users who tried to contributed to a healthy discussions here. It's strange, because the CEO of Nadeo has posted countless of times, but what have I gotten out of this thread? Let's have a look.

- Hylis clearly has a weak spot for criticism and reflections around their development and game design/marketing. If you don't include smileys and positive feedback in your post, then you better get out of this forum. Instead of meeting the community with clear answers and solutions, his way of dealing with these topics is usually to close it off, with a final word that basically gives nothing. Example here and here. Neglecting healthy discussions/reflections and failing to realize your own mistakes is one of the most destructible forces within a company.

- Frostbeule has made many vital points about Nadeo's chaotic marketing strategies (if any) and has pointed out several logical explanations to why eSport is failing to grow within trackmania. What response does he get? Almost personal attacks and gibberish sentences by the very own CEO. I've never witnessed anything like this before. One starts to wonder why he reacts like this?

- Hylis/Nadeo have failed to follow up on their successor in stadium which has been their definite strongest product. Their move to maniaplanet destroyed a lot of what they built up in Stadium and it's user base. With the introduction of maniaplanet, they've taken too much over their heads and it's resulting in a greedy concept with slow development and unfinished products. The fact that they initially weren't going to introduce stadium in maniaplanet and haven't utilized more of stadium is mind blowing.

- We've heard about this built in competition system and it has been mentioned in this topic. Where is it? Who uses it? It seems that most of these aspects have been finished for shootmania, but not for trackmania? Where is their loyalty to the die hard stadium fans? Where is the innovation for their most successful title of all time?

To many of the others: I feel pity on your naive minds, not being able to reflect the situation but rather just going with the flow and accepting whatever comes out of Nadeo. You won't come far in life with that mindset.
Hylis wrote:Players who complain all days are lowering the passion of others and the ability to see an strong international community establish itself, while our history is based on constructive players that are making what other players are finding awesome. ...but it's still players creativity, intelligence and building spirit that makes the place awesome.
A classic last quote from the man himself that is often used in situations where negative feedback is posted. He is clearly confused about complaints and constructive feedback and has a strong tendency of taking it personal.

I wanted to make this post as brutal as possible to see what the responses will be like. Let's see if people can grasp the meaning instead of just being offended. Remember, after all it's just a combination of 8-bit unicode posted on a forum.

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Alter-Fox
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Re: Stadium eSport Development

Post by Alter-Fox » 04 Aug 2014, 14:06

[Sad to say I was wrong about you... and it looks like you were wrong about you too.]
Last edited by Alter-Fox on 05 Aug 2014, 15:21, edited 3 times in total.
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edk
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Re: Stadium eSport Development

Post by edk » 05 Aug 2014, 09:20

Name 5 companies that offer better support and more meaningful updates. Excluding games with 100,000+ players, i.e. VALVe, Blizzard, Riot. Seriously name 5 if you can, or even 3. I've played all manner of games, from open world pvp based MMOs, competetive StarCraft, competetive Quake, fighting games (which I'm awful at), just about everything. I have rarely seen the type of community interaction, updates, and support that Nadeo has. Not to mention they don't do the hyper-PR crap which bigger corporations like Blizzard are renowned for, which is refreshing.

Your typical developer is something like Hi-Res with Tribes: Ascend. Marketed as a potential esport game, but generally has a smaller but dedicated community, much like TrackMania. It recieves a few meaningful updates for 6 months, then backtracks on a few core principals (introduction of pay2win elements), and then completely drops support around 1 year after release. Then it's forgetten.

If TrackMania was run by CAPCOM then MP 3.0 would have been a $14.95 DLC. If TrackMania was run by EA then the master servers would be shutdown at the end of the year and any ladder/leaderboard in United would have been shutdown 5+ years ago.

I think some people in this thread have played too much. Perhaps taking a step away from the game, taking a look around at the entire game industry, and gaining some perspective would do them some good. Because you guys are out to lunch if you think Nadeo hasn't done any and everything that could potentially be asked of them.

Nadeo does not deserve the blame for how well their games do in regards to Esports. The best they can do is make their games as bug free as possible, offer some support and updates, and hope for the best. Esports games don't become popular unless players are interested, no matter how many time buys are done. Despite the cynical view of advertising running the popularity show, it really comes down to it being a subjective entertainment industry. You could make the best game ever, write the best book ever, direct the best movie ever, and it won't sell 10 copies. Sometimes absolute garbage, money grabs are super popular, just look at Call of Duty, still running on an outdated iteration of the Quake 3 engine of all things.

I scratch my head at some of the negative comments in here. In all practical terms Nadeo deserves all the respect that any of the best developers do.

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