GGPO should go commercial


#1

GGPO (or some other similar netcode) should develop into a professional gaming network, like Steam or Battle.net.

Business plan:

  • Avoid the legal grey area of emulation for now. (see below)

  • Develop complete online platform for arcade games. Rollback netcode, spectators, replays, ladders, chatrooms, friend list, game purchasing, DLC etc.
    Built in controller button mapping, and other offline features like replay saving for offline matches would be nice too.
    Cross platform where possible. PC and PS3 should be doable. (xbox live seems to disallow cross platform for some reason.)

  • Offer a documented and professional SDK and API for game developers to easily write games for this platform.

  • First get one or two friendly game devs on board. I suggest Skullgirls would be an excellent first title, since the developers are already sympathetic to GGPO and the hardcore community.
    So Skullgirls would be purchasable on this network and uses the network for its online play.
    Possibly also some japanese indie devs can be pursuaded, so something like Vanguard Princess etc. I guess there’s nothing stopping western indie games either (scrolling shootem ups and so forth.)

  • As the brand is established, start negotiating with larger companies to bring their older titles onto the platform via emulation. You “buy” a game to add the ability to play it on the network. (so piracy is not an issue because it’s all about the online account). Port the emulation platform to consoles as well, so both PC and console gamers can play against each other.

  • Similar to steam/appstores/etc, the network takes a small cut of all purchases/subscriptions (like 30%) and the rest goes to the developers / publishers / game owners.

  • Use revenue to further develop and promote the platform (and run the servers, of course.) Add esport and community features, voice chat and so forth.

  • Continue to secure rights to older games since they can be added to the emulation section at very little development cost. New games can also come to the platform as developers use the SDK/API to integrate the system from the start.

—Profit and win :wink:

I’m tired of netcode and online features being different and bad across different titles. Technically it makes no sense for every company to reinvent the wheel. All the pieces exist - someone just needs to put it all together, make it good, and we will solve the problem once and for all, for every game, forever.

ps. if its too hard to go it alone, then working together with Good Old Games might be an option, since they are already established in the purchasing/licensing aspect.**
**


#2

GGPO it’s just a netcode method that is integrated into a game. a system like steam would be just that- a system like steam. nothing that actually relates to the GGPO part. or maybe you want ponder to spend time making a stream like system, and make GGPO exclusively to games that would give a shit about that system?

How about you let him continue focusing on just pushing the netcode into games no matter where and how you play on them?


#3

No, because then I’d probably have to pay for it.

THAT REQUIRES MONEY. >_<


#4

This. GGPO is NOT a content delivery and matchmaking service (which is what Steam and BN are).

For all intents and purposes, the whole client side of GGPO that we play games on is simply a proof of concept so that companies will pick it up - and they are, Capcom has already started limited deployment for their re-releases of older games (Final Fight, 3rd Strike) and Namco’s starting to test it for new releases in the arcade (DBZ).


#5

Very thoughtful. I’m sure the developers are clueless as to how to monetize it and really needed this.


#6

I’m pretty sure ponder already is making money off of this by selling the licensing rights to capcom and doesn’t need this. I feel this would further hinder GGPO ponder just needs to keep focusing on improving it and getting it put into games the more games that use it the better for the community this DLC idea is total garbage not to be offense but you really went off on a tangent of nonsense. It’s never from my understanding what GGPO has been about if you want ponder to make money you can pay for GGPO as is, go to GGPO.net and donate. That’s how you can do your part.

Skullgirls already has GGPO. (http://iplaywinner.com/news/2011/4/5/skullgirls-makes-ggpo-extra-official.html)
So does 3SO that I’m aware. (http://shoryuken.com/2011/06/06/street-fighter-iii-3rd-strike-online-1st-trailer-and-screens/)
So does Final Fight on XBL.(http://www.capcom-unity.com/s-kill/blog/2009/11/30/final_fight__magic_sword__final_fight_double_impact_)

So I have no idea where you got this rant from but you need to do a little more research first before actually posting it. Steam like engine for ggpo would be ridiculous and stupid. If ponder ever made a decision like that I would just stop using GGPO and move onto supercade. I own my roms(boards) and refuse to rebuy them so ponder can have money in his pocket. I will donate if it helps keep the service going but Ill never pay for it.

If i remember correctly you can already download the source here.
http://ggpo.net/download/


#7

Wow, I see a serious lack of imagination here.

GGPO is a netcode, sure. But just having ggpo netcode isnt enough to have good online. There are many other features that come together for a good online experience - replays, community features, esport/competitive features like ladders and matchmaking and so forth.

When you think about it, the requirements for these features are exactly the same across all games - KOF doesnt need different styles of chatroom or matchmaking than SF, etc.

So why does every company have to reinvent the wheel, and do it badly?

Think about what Steam brought to the table, apart from just the distribution. The friends system, and steamworks API, means that all games that run steam can share the same chat/friends/online matching system, without much effort on the game developer’s side.

Secondly, remember GGPO (the website/gaming service) is currently in a legal grey zone (although closer to black than grey…) the reason it survives is because it’s too insignificant for owners to bother targeting. There’s no chance or desire for it to grow in the market - that would just get it shut down. Ponder started it not as a real service to gamers, but just as a proof of concept for his netcode.

To really bring this to the mainstream, it HAS to be legal, and it HAS to be monetised.
SNK, Capcom, and all the rest arent going to just donate their old titles.

Also remember - if netcode is integrated into the game, (and is purely peer-to-peer), then you can just pirate the game. But if the netcode is part of the platform, and you buy / subscribe to the platform itself, then its irrelevant if people pirate the game (you can even just let them download it for free) - there’s an incentive for them to purchase if they want to play online. This is the same advantage that Steam offers - cracking a steam game is often not worth the effort, especially when Steam regularly discounts games to just a few dollars.

So if you want mainstream acceptance of niche and old arcade games online, with GOOD netcode, then this is only possible with a solid platform with a good payment system.

Ultimately, we want all fighting games to have good rollback netcode, right?

Think about the incentives for the games devs. Currently, if a game dev is deciding whether to use GGPO or something similar, its a unfamiliar technology that has to be integrated at a significant cost in time and effort. All for an arguable benefit in additional sales. (what percentage of all purchasers of a fighting game actually go online? What percentage of those people actually care and notice the quality of the netcode?)

Whereas if a solid distribution/networking/social networking platform existed that had its own existing fanbase of subscribers already - then the motive for the game developer is, “We need to join this network, because that is where our customers hang out.” And the costs of implementing the netcode/network features will be much lower, because most of the work is done in the API, and the process is well documented.

Of course, most people here have been cheerfully playing offline or on the current GGPO. They probably dont care too much about growing the genre or attracting new players. In fact, I’m sure theres an undercurrent of hostility towards new players, and some people here probably enjoy being part of an niche and exclusive club.


#8

Steam is reinventing the wheel. WAN Did it first. They did it more poorly then WAN.


#9

Yeah, but the steam wheel was only reinvented like less than 10 times. (GFWL, Steam, EA’s new store, Gamespy, etc.)

Think about all the games ON Steam (or any of those services), each of them were saved from reinventing the wheel individually. Its not about Steam, its about having a shared set of code when it makes sense to do so. (what software people call “middleware”.)

I guess some people here might not be programmers so they wouldnt know what an API or SDK is, and why it might be good.

But trust me, just like having 3D engines and 3D cards made it a lot easier for game developers to make 3D games rather than writing their own software renderer from scratch, having an online system where developers just need to package up their gamestate in a defined structure and make a function call with it, and automatically get rollback netcode without needing to implement or even fully understand it, is a very good thing.

Also, having a platform that makes its own money, means there will be an incentive and money purely to keep improving the platform.

Whereas for Capcom, SNK, ASW etc, improving their online functionality has to be balanced amongst other priorities like adding content or balance changes or even other games - and we see that generally online is left behind and ignored.

The difference is:
GGPO as a product - Developers have to choose to implement it, as well as pay license fees and so forth, as an added cost.

GGPO as a platform - Make a platform that developers WANT to join to access an established fanbase, and to do so, they need to integrate

Hey, it’s not all roses. I can think of many potential problems and challenges with this. If someone mentions them, then it would show that they actually gave the idea some thought.


#10

It’s a dumb idea, I’m sorry I know you’re trying to be creative but it is what it is it’s not a good idea. They are already integrating GGPO into games without all the nonsense you posted.


#11

If you want to do something productive, instead of opening “what if” threads like this, start nagging atlus to consider GGPO in KOFXIII.
It’s not a big game (XII was only a few hundred MBs on the disc) so it’s more capable to a later addition of GGPO than your average capcom 3d flashy game.


#12

Great idea . Too bad it will never happen .


#13

I already did that at DreamCancel in the atlus feedback thread. I presented detailed reasoning with business motives for them.

Like, actual reasons and reasoning instead of "This is dumb! " or “I want this so bad!”, you know?

But really, I’m getting tired of begging for GGPO to every FG developer for every game individually. So I deciding to beg any potential entrepreneurs out there for a permanent solution instead :wink:


#14

I know it’s annoying but hey, it’s starting to work after so many years…
You could also, you know, support the ones who do listen and buy those titles.


#15

Shrug, I’ll be getting 13 anyways probably, although I dont have much hope it will have good online. (in my most optimistic dreams it has online on par with BB) I dont play much 3S, but if it 3SOE has a good “complete package” of online features, I’ll definitely get that too.