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dirt3joe

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Posts posted by dirt3joe


  1. .
    I believe Paul Coleman has already said that money isn't always the issue. Sometimes a license is simply unattainable due to previously established contracts.
    There's no such thing as an unbreakable contract. It happens in football all the time. The issue is more how much money you're prepared to pay to make two parties break a contract because it's in their mutual interest to do so. So money is ultimately always the issue. If you want it that badly you can always buy the company that owns the contract anyway - with money.

    Without mentioning any names there was a long standing contract in gaming to licence a particular  manufacturers cars that everyone knew about. It was supposedly "impossible" for those cars to appear in any game because of the arrangement. But some time before the arrangement finished these cars did appear in another game. Not too hard to work out what happened there.

    Words like "unattainable" and "impossible" are pretty strong. A bit like the word "need" which is very much overused IMO !

  2. As I’ve said before, the biggest problem with a wrc licence is the fact they already have wrx. But if the licence is not tied up, and the fact we’ve already seen the c3 wrc in the crew, we could always see wrc cars in the next dirt like we did with dirt rally
    I don't think so, the biggest problem is how much money they have to pay for it/whether it makes a viable business proposition.

    Codies have a pedigree in terms of producing the worlds best licenced racing games (F1). They have produced what is recognised amongst games players as the best rally game for many years. So it boils down to how much cash they are willing to offer. In terms of potential, if I was in charge of the licence I would be looking to give to a developer that has a strong esports showing as well, as this seems to be the growth area atm.

  3. Codemasters don’t usually do big announcements at places like e3. Personally I wouldn’t have thought it would be a good time to do an announcement, with so many big game news coming out, it’s easy to get lost in the stream. Especially with the likes of fallout and such being shown
    The last info available on the licence changing was end July 2013. My guess is that the current licence holder would not want any announcements before the licence period is up because that would detract from their sales/events. The fact that the current esports event appears to finish end july is interesting to say the least. Whatever happens with the licence, my guess is we will be put out of our misery by end July. Either a new holder will be announced or we can assume the licence continues with the old holder. E3 I think is a possibility, but I agree with you less likely than end july.

  4. CymroJ said:
    What do you guys think of today's CMs announcement they're listing on the stock market? It will raise a lot of money leaving them debt free, also allows them to buy certain rights? I'm sure they will have to provide some guidance to the market soon about upcoming projects too and how much they expect to make and which quarter any future games will be released. Will be worth a scan!
    Saw it, scratched my head at the numbers and learnt nothing about wrc licences :)

  5. dirt3joe said:
    That just looks like the scan of a car. Maybe for Rx in Dirt4.

    Don't think there will be any announcement today from Codies - too late now.

    Next thing to watch for - Monday 28th May.
    You guys still consider DLC for DiRT 4 a possibility? It isn't going to happen this late. I'd be incredibly surprised if it did, mostly because I don't think it would sit 100% with the community. At this point, people are expecting something new, entirely.

    My 2 cents of how things might be going: DiRT with Codemasters and V-Rally with BigBen. One will try to win over folks with better RX content and the other with better Rally content. Since I'm not that into RX, personally, the choice for me would be easy. However, this is just a thought of mine.
    No, I don't. DLC window for D4 ended a long time ago.

  6. tbtstt said:
    I too don't think there's enough audience for a WRX game. I did the numbers, a while back, and WRX doesn't pull anywhere near as many viewers as the WRC. 
    I think that is a rather restricted view of the subject, I would think any comparison would have to look at a wider interest in rallycross versus rally: both disciplines are more than just a World Championship and, globally, rally surely has the biggest following.

    That said, the percentage of rallycross viewers who regularly play games might be a very different statistic given the audience that rallycross - specifically World Rallycross - seem to be targeting. 
    If you have a larger pool of fans, it seems logical that the percentage of those who are gamers will also be larger. True, there's more to rally and rallycross than their respective world championships, but those major championships are the ones most likely to be followed, so I think it's fair to use them as a metric for how much attention the sport gathers. If you're going to analyze how many people watch open-wheel, you're not going to use Formula 3 as your basis, are you?

    dirt3joe said:
    Something definitily feels up. F1 announcement much shorter than usual, no videos etc.

    I notice PCars are releasing a mobile PCars game, which seems a bit weird seeing as it is sim orientated. Still haven't heard anything from them re the fast and the furious.
    Can you tell me where you see this mobile game? I'm just curious. I've seen apps for PCARS 2, but not a game.

    Something is definitely cooking and, as a fan of things, rally related, that Codemasters does, I can't wait to find out what's in store.
    Eurogamer.

    F1 was not announced on Eurogamer either (usually is). Pretty low-key.

  7. We are into solid territory now for the announcement of .... something ?!

    i) 1 year ago almost to the day WRC7 was announced.
    ii) Big Bens Finance report I think end May.
    iii) Big Ben stand at E3.
    iv) E3 mid June.

    Problem is that if there is going to be some sort of announcement by Codies that will make them awfully busy. Got Onrush release, F1 2018 and maybe XXX to announce all within a few weeks ? Time for the pro plus or expresso from hell.

  8. dirt3joe said:
    What promises did they make that they didn't keep ? I don't recall them promising specific numbers of tiles (they never said how many tiles there were IIRC). They didn't promise more locations/dlc. They may have said that they wren't happy with the handling, but did they promise to change it ? They promised clubs and delivered - quite late though. Did they promise a new rallycross track ?
    Most of the negativity (myself included) seem to come from DiRT Rally fans. D4 seems like it was well-received by the "general" public. Now on to your question:

    YOUR STAGE
    This is the biggest disappointment of D4.

    We were promised a rally route creator with "billions" of "completely unique" stage possibilities. After the announcement that was toned down to "millions".

    Paul: "Your Stage creates such a huge variety of routes, some that we would never have thought of crafting before..."

    How can you honestly say that when all Your Stage turned out to be was a RNG with fixed tiles composed of the tiny amount of turns and straights that they themselves coded into those fixed tiles?

    While they didn't technically "lie" about what Your Stage can do it is very questionable marketing and left me, personally, quite disappointed in the final product. The grind to the platinum trophy made me never want to see another 100m of D4 Your Stage.

    LEAGUES
    Promised for day 1. Scrapped two weeks before launch.

    HANDLING
    Promised to be DiRT Rally but with refinements to car aerodynamics, weight and braking distances. What we actually got were spot-on R2 and R5 classes and the rest of the rally cars undriveable. Rallycross very good, though. The setup tweaking to make RWD cars is not valid. It makes you slower because there is something fundamentally wrong with being able to drive a RWD rally car as if it were an LMP1 on a test track, which can be done with the default setups.

    DAMAGE
    Promised an improved and more realistic damage model from DR. What we got is the same basic arcade-style damage model but with the percentage wear of parts a bit increased when hitting things.

    My sources are Road Books, official forum commentary and CM YouTube streams.

    Now, none of this is the end of the world. I'm salty because they tried to capitalize on the DR fanbase by promising something that wasn't executed in the final product. But we all should have known better. After all, it was "DiRT 4" and not "DiRT Rally 2".

    Granted, it's a very short list of "false promises", "over-hyping" or "questionable marketing tactics". Take your pick which of those three seems less offensive to you. However, given that the two most important things in a rally game are the physics and the stages, I hope you can understand why D4 is a slap in the face to me instead of just a disappointment.
    I get where your coming from. I could argue the toss on many of the issues above, but it would be pretty pointless.

    For me personally Dirt Rally is far better in handling terms than dirt 4. But I think the most relevant point is the one you make above which is that Dirt4 was not Dirt Rally 2.

  9. dirt3joe said:
    You could be right.

    But I think you are being a bit unfair re the negative tone. Businesses have to continue to produce, they can't change their schedules on a sixpence because of things that may or may not happen. Sometimes you just have to plan for both eventualities and make the best of it whatever occurs.

    I doubt anyone can plan on having the WRC Official Game license until the papers are signed. And as negative as I am towards D4, in CM's defence there have been games launched in a much worse state than D4. The negativity is not really because of what the game itself is rather the promises and hype that turned out to be false.
    What promises did they make that they didn't keep ? I don't recall them promising specific numbers of tiles (they never said how many tiles there were IIRC). They didn't promise more locations/dlc. They may have said that they wren't happy with the handling, but did they promise to change it ? They promised clubs and delivered - quite late though. Did they promise a new rallycross track ?


  10. If Kylotton's 8 month WRC5 taught WRC Promoter anything, it will be that rushing a game out in 8 months is a terrible idea. Especially as it was competing with DiRT Rally at the time!
    I'm going to get into some possibly wild speculation here, but if Codemasters did indeed nab the WRC license then DiRT 4 being released in practically an alpha state (IMO) is really starting to make sense. Hear me out:

    Bigben registered v-rally4.com in September 2017. So it's clear at that point that at least Kylotonn was not doing another WRC game. I assume they knew long before September 2017 that they were not continuing with the license since I am sure getting the rights to V-Rally took some time. Perhaps new licensing talks began at the beginning of 2017 and the deal was closed before DiRT 4's launch? If so, DiRT 4's shortcomings start to make a lot of sense.

    Paul Coleman admitted in a stream the week after D4's launch that they did not have enough time to tweak all the car handling the way they wanted to and covered his behind by hiding behind the default setups argument. R5s and R2s, at least to me, and most of the community (even those who harshly criticize D4) tend to agree that those two car classes overall feel very good. It's the RWDs and other classic 4WDs that feel very odd. R5 and R2 are coincidentally the only two classes in D4 that are present in the WRC games.

    So my theory is: what if Codemasters knew before D4's launch that they had the WRC license? If that is the case, all the shortcomings of D4 now make sense. They had to abandon D4 before it was even released to go head-on into WRC development. And "lending" staff to the F1 team didn't actually happen. It was an excuse to cover up the fact they had abandoned D4 and at the same time hide the fact they were working on WRC. So CM put all their last-gasp efforts into perfecting the R2 and R5 classes in D4 so they could get to work on WRC. After all, none of the other cars in the game will be needed in WRC.

    Ditto on the repetitiveness of Your Stage: maybe they did intend to have many more tiles but didn't bother to continue development because they needed to focus on WRC.

    This also makes adding clubs to D4 six months after launch make much more sense. They knew on-one was going to use them. But they needed a test bed for their new eSports platform. The functionality is fantastic and there is no way they developed that system only for a failed game (D4) and its current eSports competition.

    So my theory is that they dropped dev work early on D4 because they had to dedicate resources to WRC. They left D4 with the only tweaked car classes being those two that would be in a WRC title and they finished the eSports platform. That's why we never got any handling tweaks. That's why we never got any more tiles. That's why we never got another rallycross track.  They didn't want to waste time on cars that won't be in a WRC game. And the lending of personnel to the F1 team and being busy with the clubs patch were just excuses to cover up the fact that they were actually hard at work on WRC.

    If Codies does actually do the next WRC game I will feel good about my theory. If not, well, I just wasted a lot of time typing.
    You could be right.

    But I think you are being a bit unfair re the negative tone. Businesses have to continue to produce, they can't change their schedules on a sixpence because of things that may or may not happen. Sometimes you just have to plan for both eventualities and make the best of it whatever occurs.


  11. dirt3joe said:
    dirt3joe said:
    Maybe. That sort of opinion doesn't sell large production costs to top management though. If you go for a business model that is niche then ultimately we will pay the price in terms of quality and frequency of games.

    In the past the games have sold relatively well. See Dirt 2 and 3 for example. What is it that they had that made them sell ? What are the things that developers can put into rally games that will make loads of people buy them and us continue to get more and better games in the future ? I don't want developers to give up on rally because its not worth the effort. I like it too much.
    And that's the thing: point-to-point rally titles seem to always struggle to have a good number of stages. Maybe it's the development cost and that "sales ceiling" I mentioned. WRC 7 has fewer kilómeters that WRC 6. DiRT Rally has only 280km. SLRE has 500km. Maybe Milestone was able to get a good amount of stages in the game because they would rather have lots of content rather than good graphics. Are these the limitations devs are looking at because of a "sales ceiling"? You may be right about there only being so many things a dev can do in such a niche genre.

    DiRT 2/3 are not real rally titles in my book, they are multi-discipline and thus have a broader appeal. A 100% point-to-point rally game will by its very nature have a more limited potential audience.

    I'll bet that the target audience is pretty set. You have a certain number of gamers that love rally and are willing to buy a rally game. But the rest of the userbase is probably impossible to reach because they just don't care about rally. Only a DiRT 1/2/3 style game will have a broader audience.

    So the WRC license is realistically and practically quite limited. There is only so much a dev could hope to make from each title. And perhaps that is what conditions the investment levels in each title. No dev is going to model 150 stages for a game that sells 500,000 copies.
    I had a gut feeling that in Seb Loeb they did something like your stage, but only released selected stages. A bit like an in house your stage, but something they could simplify because the generation was in house, and they could tinker with the final outputs to make them feel a bit more unique.

    A lot of the stages in Seb Loeb feel very "samey", if not quite as repeatable as in your stage.

    I think the dev cost for the stages is significant. I think your stage was a good try. Maybe codies can make use of it in the future by having some your stage bits linked with some customised sections.
    SLRE stages are all real based on GPS data. They feel "samey" because they didn't bother to spend time/money in trackside artwork or graphics optimization.

    I agree that modeling stages is probably the biggest challenge devs face in a rally game. And with such limited return in the form of profit it is just not feasible to model 1000 or 2000 km of unique stages.

    It's time to make a game engine that can auto-model stages based on satellite data. Then the artist team cleans it up, pace notes are added and viola, a new stage. 
    Not sure whether satellite would work because of stuff like trees getting in the way of the road surface. Maybe something like street view combined with GPS satttelite might do the job though. Certainly if you can't up sales you could decrease production costs. No clue how far that would get you in terms of cash. I do think your stage can get a lot better if they get the opportunity to take it further. It wasn't far off. Just a bit too repetitive.

  12. dirt3joe said:
    Maybe. That sort of opinion doesn't sell large production costs to top management though. If you go for a business model that is niche then ultimately we will pay the price in terms of quality and frequency of games.

    In the past the games have sold relatively well. See Dirt 2 and 3 for example. What is it that they had that made them sell ? What are the things that developers can put into rally games that will make loads of people buy them and us continue to get more and better games in the future ? I don't want developers to give up on rally because its not worth the effort. I like it too much.
    And that's the thing: point-to-point rally titles seem to always struggle to have a good number of stages. Maybe it's the development cost and that "sales ceiling" I mentioned. WRC 7 has fewer kilómeters that WRC 6. DiRT Rally has only 280km. SLRE has 500km. Maybe Milestone was able to get a good amount of stages in the game because they would rather have lots of content rather than good graphics. Are these the limitations devs are looking at because of a "sales ceiling"? You may be right about there only being so many things a dev can do in such a niche genre.

    DiRT 2/3 are not real rally titles in my book, they are multi-discipline and thus have a broader appeal. A 100% point-to-point rally game will by its very nature have a more limited potential audience.

    I'll bet that the target audience is pretty set. You have a certain number of gamers that love rally and are willing to buy a rally game. But the rest of the userbase is probably impossible to reach because they just don't care about rally. Only a DiRT 1/2/3 style game will have a broader audience.

    So the WRC license is realistically and practically quite limited. There is only so much a dev could hope to make from each title. And perhaps that is what conditions the investment levels in each title. No dev is going to model 150 stages for a game that sells 500,000 copies.
    I had a gut feeling that in Seb Loeb they did something like your stage, but only released selected stages. A bit like an in house your stage, but something they could simplify because the generation was in house, and they could tinker with the final outputs to make them feel a bit more unique.

    A lot of the stages in Seb Loeb feel very "samey", if not quite as repeatable as in your stage.

    I think the dev cost for the stages is significant. I think your stage was a good try. Maybe codies can make use of it in the future by having some your stage bits linked with some customised sections.

  13. A rally game will never be a big seller, hardcore or not. Only games like GTS and FM have mass appeal and even then only 10% of the installed user base buys them. I am sure there is an expected sales ceiling for rally games that the devs are aware of. Something like one million is a resounding success, half a million is we did well and a quarter million or less means "oh ****".

    What I'm saying is that by dumbing down a rally game I don't think you are necessarily widening your potential audience due to the very nature of the sport itself. 
    Maybe. That sort of opinion doesn't sell large production costs to top management though. If you go for a business model that is niche then ultimately we will pay the price in terms of quality and frequency of games.

    In the past the games have sold relatively well. See Dirt 2 and 3 for example. What is it that they had that made them sell ? What are the things that developers can put into rally games that will make loads of people buy them and us continue to get more and better games in the future ? I don't want developers to give up on rally because its not worth the effort. I like it too much.

  14. No, we don't know anything compared to codies. Most of the stuff you put forward comes from your own personal bias rather than a cold assessment of the marketplace.

    "I'd say more hardcore than approachable. Even though WRC 7 wasn't a full-on sim, a lot of people loved the narrow, authentic, challenging stages. People seem to enjoy challenge in their rally games."

    So how do you explain the sales figures on VGChartz then if people loved it ? What you really mean is, you loved it and people who frequent the sites you go on loved it. Gamers in general don't appear to love it. Which is where you want to be if you want to make money and carry on making games.



  15. dirt3joe said:
    KevM said:
    dirt3joe said:
    KevM said:
    So if Codies are doing the next WRC, should it feel DiRT 4 or DiRT Rally?

    Should a WRC branded title be approachable or hardcore?
    Most on here will say hardcore because they are hardcore. But this place represents probably less than 0.1% of the userbase so its not really a good test of what gamers in general want.

    I would say both :)
    So Ludwig’s solution would be a good one?

    Proper Sim handling and great stages, with a suite of optional assists or a gamer mode like D4, to make the game more accessible to all?

    It seems to be the best way to cover all bases?
    Yes and no. Yes in the respect it's a start. No in the respect that if you want to make big money the focus has to be on capturing a larger non hardcore userbase. What that needs to be in terms of features is more difficult to define. What I do know is that spending a ton of time messing around with the physics model because 0.1% of the userbase think it's not quite right isn't going to turn a game from being hardcore only focussed into a big seller.
    Well, rally is inherently a difficult sport. On top of car control you need to focus and concentrate on your notes. So while you are physically and mentally dealing with the current corner, at the same time your mind is receiving info and digesting what will be coming on the next two or three corners. That's hardcore from whatever angle you look at it. Why would anyone want a dumbed-down accessible version of the most extreme of motorsports? That's why we have stuff like Gravel, The Crew, Forza Horizon, DiRT...

    The bottom line is that point-to-point rally titles just don't sell well because it's a very niche market. Car games in general are struggling. Not even the critically-acclaimed DiRT Rally was a huge success at the box office <-- correct me if I'm wrong. I haven't looked at the sales numbers.
    All sport at the top level is difficult and requires hard work and absolute dedication. That's not what games are for though, they are to give people some experience/taste of the sport without having to have the skills of Seb Loeb. It should be an enjoyable experience that encourages them to learn more, not throw the game away in frustration.

    Rally is niche. You can look on that as a drawback, or an opportunity. There's plenty of opportunity for growth if the formula is right. That's good for everyone.

    Going down the sim only route just leads to a barren wasteland of hardly any games and the ones that are released are not very good because no one can afford the development costs based on poor sales. I'd rather have games that are slightly dumbed down than no games at all.

  16. KevM said:
    dirt3joe said:
    KevM said:
    So if Codies are doing the next WRC, should it feel DiRT 4 or DiRT Rally?

    Should a WRC branded title be approachable or hardcore?
    Most on here will say hardcore because they are hardcore. But this place represents probably less than 0.1% of the userbase so its not really a good test of what gamers in general want.

    I would say both :)
    So Ludwig’s solution would be a good one?

    Proper Sim handling and great stages, with a suite of optional assists or a gamer mode like D4, to make the game more accessible to all?

    It seems to be the best way to cover all bases?
    Yes and no. Yes in the respect it's a start. No in the respect that if you want to make big money the focus has to be on capturing a larger non hardcore userbase. What that needs to be in terms of features is more difficult to define. What I do know is that spending a ton of time messing around with the physics model because 0.1% of the userbase think it's not quite right isn't going to turn a game from being hardcore only focussed into a big seller.

  17. KevM said:
    So if Codies are doing the next WRC, should it feel DiRT 4 or DiRT Rally?

    Should a WRC branded title be approachable or hardcore?
    What we can take away from the evolution of the Kylotonn games is that WRC Promoter has finally warmed up to a more challenging, hardcore experience. After a dozen accessible titles with a couple exceptions WRC 7 has shown that an official title does not have to be dumbed-down for mass appeal. After all, this is rally, the most extreme motorsport in the world. Following WRC 5 and 6 fans were screaming/begging for a more hardcore experience, and Kylotonn delivered. Whether you like, hate or are indifferent to WRC 7 the fact remains that it is the most hardcore and challenging official WRC title ever. Sure it has flaws, especially in the physics, but the stage design coupled with the improved physics engine has managed to deliver an immersive and challenging seat-of-your pants kife-edge rally experience, similar to what we all love about DiRT Rally.

    So to sum up all my drivel in one sentence: WRC games no longer need to be accessible.

    In fact, I think a more hardcore experience will sell more than any half-assed attempt and pleasing everybody.

    Of course, since we have all been second-guessing each other and ourselves with the license talk, I guess you could also see it this way: Bigben/Kylotonn was kicked off the project because WRC 7 was too hardcore for WRC Promoter's tastes. Who knows?

    The fact of the matter is that WRC 7 was by far the most well-received and critically-acclaimed by the userbase of the three Kylotonn WRC titles.
    I think what you're saying there is that the hardcore who bought 5/6 (because it didn't sell that well so only the hardcore bought it) screamed to have it more hardcore, which made 7 more hardcore, which as far as I can tell hasn't sold either ! So making stuff hardcore is fine provided you don't want to sell many games.

    I agree it's easily to modify something difficult into something easy than the other way round.

  18. KevM said:
    So if Codies are doing the next WRC, should it feel DiRT 4 or DiRT Rally?

    Should a WRC branded title be approachable or hardcore?
    Most on here will say hardcore because they are hardcore. But this place represents probably less than 0.1% of the userbase so its not really a good test of what gamers in general want.

    I would say both :)

  19. Doesn't really matter what steam sales say. 5 times nothing is still nothing.

    Number of people playing doesn't equal profit. Sims prevail more than more general games because the userbase is more hardcore. That doesn't mean they sell more though. WRC7 sales look awful vs. D4 and the majority seem to think that was a good sim.

    Review ratings aren't necessarily related to whether people buy the game either.  Mainly because most reviews of these games are awful. Most peopel just get lost in a sea of information these days.

    What makes games sell is good games, not good sims. A good game can be a good sim, but sims don't sell. Plenty of evidence for that.

    I think if we have to be real about something it's that any information we have is only partially complete. Codies with their sales numbers, focus groups and market research know far more than we do about what is likely to sell and what doesn'tt. They have access to information we don't that allows them to make more informed choices. We know nothing by comparison. Nothing we say will help them make that choice, and no information we have allows us to declare whether Dirt Rally was a "clear win" over Dirt 4 because we don't have access to either precise sales numbers or production costs.

    One thing that I do know is that games that sell the most will be ones that appeal to a broad userbase and are fun for everyone. I don't know what that translates to exactly in terms of rally games but I know that it isn't Dirt Rally, even though I love the game a lot.


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