Author Topic: New efforts!  (Read 296608 times)

Ironwolf

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New efforts!
« on: March 06, 2014, 03:01:32 pm »
UPDATE 06/12/2014:

A price was given and deemed 'doable'. They're working on proving their viability as developers. We're not likely to hear anything before August or later. No news is good news.

(08/13/2014: no change)

Timeline of significant events:
.

The bold comments are direct communications from the team. I have edited them slightly to remove names and such.

Timeline:
March 6 - I get the information and start working on a way to possibly open source CoH.
March 12 - got letter back from Chris Chung - it showed that is WAS possible to buy the game.
March 13 - the team makes its first contact with me and says this: You are an evil, evil man. I'd given up hope after learning of the tax issue. Now here I am now grinning from ear to ear. Likely going to lead to heartbreak, but damned the torpedos. Full speed ahead.
March 21 - Honestly, we had given up hope. Now, you've given us hope, so we're discussing it.
March 28 - We have been reaching out and putting the proposal together. The concern has been the "Golden Handcuffs" option, being shackled to NCSoft again and having the sword of damocles once again hanging over our heads but this time knowing it is there.
April 5 - Made some headway. Now we know who we need to talk to, and a general idea of price. It is very doable.
April 16 - At the end we'll announce it one way or the other. For now it is just this silly business dance in order to reach [Redacted contact]
April 18 - Second studio expresses interest in the game
April 21 - investor expresses interest and is passed to the team
May 1 - third studio expresses interest in the game.
May 21 - I ask how the talks are going and if they are making the team jump through hoops:Stupid. Stupid amounts of hoops, as far as I know.
June 19 - Slow but not dead. Not a big deal, we were focusing on August anyhow.
June 24 - former paragon Dev contacts me and is forwarded to the team
July 3 - Yesterday, we were directed to the man whose signature is needed.
July 3 - after MY reading WAAAY too much into the first message - Er... we're not days away from anything. We're just now in direct contact, which means we're past another hurdle. We still have at least two months of negotiations left ahead of us, at best. This is where the monsters truly do lie.
July 7 - another investor/studio contacts me and is forwarded to the team
July 11- the fifth studio contacts me and is forwarded to the team
July 24 - Direct quote: "we're working very hard on something to show someone. things will be quiet for a bit."
August 13 - Direct quote: Things are moving along. We should have things worth showing fairly soon, made a great leap forward yesterday.
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ORIGINAL 03/06/2014:

We have some new efforts under way now and I will try and explain where we are currently with the efforts to return City of Heroes. Some folks have dropped off the stage and it is unknown if they will return. Those members are; VV and Ammon. Quinch was working on a proposal to Valve and it is unknown whether or not it was submitted.

One person was left with all of the work and Rae had some family issues arise that stalled everything further.

Now we start again and while I am do not have the stature of VV or Ammon - I am stubborn. I want this game back and I will float my idea to you folks for your input. Contrary to some things we have heard - apparently NCSoft WAS willing to sell the game. Everything was nearly complete when things went awry. The main point is they were willing to sell the IP in good faith.

Now where do we go? Rae is back in at least an advisory function and then there is myself with my wild ideas. Well guess what? I have another wild idea.

I am going to again speak to the Earth and Beyond folks and see how they managed to persuade EA to allow them to openly use the game. Then I am going to go directly to NCSoft and make our case like this:

The game while open and running had a certain value with servers running, Developers in place, accounts paying in and players in the game this value was roughly grossing $10 million a year. The net amount I would say could be in the $3-4 million a year if the game had been directly supported and updated alone with exploration into CoH2 taking only a few programmers.
However, that was then and this is now. Lets take a honest appraisal as one would for a house for sale. The game was based on a custom made engine that is very dated. The game no longer has servers running, there are no accounts in place and you have no players. IF - a large IF the game returned some players would not come back feeling it just might close again and waste their time. Others have moved on to new games or have pulled back from gaming entirely (I know a few of these). So what is the value of the game now?

I would honestly say under $1 million.

It has some positives in that a lot of people have good vibes for City of Heroes and would like to see it back even those who didnt play it. My pitch then is we ask openly for NCSoft allow the players to either openly reverse engineer the game or to allow us to host it and continue development in an open source not for profit manner much like Earth and Beyond. We can point to that game as an ideal solution to aging software. They retain all rights and IP privileges and the players get to play for a much reduced cost.

In fact I would say all ATs would be open and yet retain the cash store for items and to raise funds for servers and for developers to make updates. Do I hold out a lot of hope on this?

Honestly no, but it has worked for at least one other game.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2014, 04:49:19 pm by Aggelakis »

Omega Mark V

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2014, 04:17:05 pm »
Sounds like something, at least.

I have been sort of 'hovering' anonymously over the forums the past few months, looking for a news update in the "TF Hail mary" forums, so I thought I'd give my thoughts.

If we can show that people are willing to play the game again on a non-profit basis, I would not see why NCSoft wouldn't re-host the game again, or allow the players to have the source code to host it themselves. If it's all non profit, there usually is no harm done.

Getting CoH back, for me personally, would be the icing on the cake with all of the new indie super hero MMO's that got their start from our game's closure.

Thanks for bringing initiative back to the table, Ironwolf. ;)
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alphajaybo

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2014, 04:46:30 pm »
I think going with the most honest and genuine attitude is probably our best bet. I have simply given up hope of a company picking up CoH, If we are going to do anything it should be to try and deal with ncsoft directly. Going behind their backs is probably going to make them even more hell bent on not giving CoH up!
I used to play wow, then i found CoH and Daoc

Ironwolf

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2014, 06:04:58 pm »
I was considering a "Not for Profit" model. That means you can make minimal money as you use the money to pay for hosting servers and for Development work once the game is up and going.

This is not just "my game" it is OUR game. Personally I think it is time for such an attempt. It has been a year and the game is long gone and for most gamers completely off their radar. I am coming to the community and asking should we try this? I could in no way do this alone and I would not want to. I want others from the community to share in trying yet again to shrug off despair and dare to hope.

Let us once more try to be heroes - it's what we do.

Sinistro

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2014, 06:35:04 pm »
I'm really curious if NCsoft is open for these kind of discussions / offers and if you are able to get in contact with them at all.  Are they still waiting for an offer that they would be okay with? Do they have secret plans for the game themselves? Do they want to keep it off the market permanently? I wonder what they would really want in return for City of Heroes....

alphajaybo

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2014, 06:49:20 pm »
Im all up for talking With Ncsoft directly, We just need to get some of the people that. Hate them to try and get on board and help out, we need to show them that all in all we have stopped hating them and that we are still willing to negotiate!
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 07:04:52 pm by alphajaybo »
I used to play wow, then i found CoH and Daoc

Ironwolf

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2014, 07:03:27 pm »
I will give you the facts as I get them,  filtered to protect sources.

A company did offer to buy the IP and NCSoft was willing to sell it for very little. However they wanted to keep the game engine rights. The company decided the IP without the engine wasn't what they wanted.

So to my point, if we offer to run the game with minimal costs, letting them retain all rights it would be worth more to a potential buyer. Why buy a dead game if you could buy a working one?

alphajaybo

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2014, 07:06:54 pm »
I will give you the facts as I get them,  filtered to protect sources.

A company did offer to buy the IP and NCSoft was willing to sell it for very little. However they wanted to keep the game engine rights. The company decided the IP without the engine wasn't what they wanted.

So to my point, if we offer to run the game with minimal costs, letting them retain all rights it would be worth more to a potential buyer. Why buy a dead game if you could buy a working one?

In that case we just need to try and get the game Im alright with letting them lease the engine, they deserve at least some part of the game
I used to play wow, then i found CoH and Daoc

OzonePrime

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2014, 07:27:53 pm »
Worth a try! This hero will support any effort to bring our game back! :)

alphajaybo

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2014, 07:56:49 pm »
Ok so we kinda have a base of what we need to do, i think the hardest part is going to be getting Ncsoft's attention/Contacting them
I used to play wow, then i found CoH and Daoc

JaguarX

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2014, 08:09:11 pm »
I will give you the facts as I get them,  filtered to protect sources.

A company did offer to buy the IP and NCSoft was willing to sell it for very little. However they wanted to keep the game engine rights. The company decided the IP without the engine wasn't what they wanted.

So to my point, if we offer to run the game with minimal costs, letting them retain all rights it would be worth more to a potential buyer. Why buy a dead game if you could buy a working one?

Good stuff here and in the first post.

Now with the non-profit, make sure the costs to run the server and other stuff is figured out and make clear on how deep development can go, whether little things, or major changes or unlimited. With unlimited I supposes any extra funds are easy to transfer into development as then bigger money bigger development. But if say as rights holder they do not want major changes done, then have to make sure the money that is taken in is not sitting around and can be misconstrued as profit making especially if it end up proving more popular than intended and the right holder decides "hey, we want that cash now for ourselves. Lets hit them with breach of contract for making profits."


But I think the approach you propose is very good. It's not threatening, it's not going in there like entitlement. And it's along the lines of what I said long time ago, simply just ask them. No telling what they may say. They may say nay, they may say yeah.

alphajaybo

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2014, 08:35:00 pm »
Good stuff here and in the first post.

Now with the non-profit, make sure the costs to run the server and other stuff is figured out and make clear on how deep development can go, whether little things, or major changes or unlimited. With unlimited I supposes any extra funds are easy to transfer into development as then bigger money bigger development. But if say as rights holder they do not want major changes done, then have to make sure the money that is taken in is not sitting around and can be misconstrued as profit making especially if it end up proving more popular than intended and the right holder decides "hey, we want that cash now for ourselves. Lets hit them with breach of contract for making profits."


But I think the approach you propose is very good. It's not threatening, it's not going in there like entitlement. And it's along the lines of what I said long time ago, simply just ask them. No telling what they may say. They may say nay, they may say yeah.

If they go down the road of releasing the source code on the condition no real profit/Big money is made, then we could split the money into 2 categories

1 Server up time/maintenance. People running the servers will need some form of income to keep the server up and running, For instance donations. Like many wow private server they get income from having donator points, which gives donator's access to a wide variety of Donator only dungeons.

2 Development, im sure for a certain amount of time people wont be too bothered with no updates. However eventually it will need some form of updates, Like new Missions/areas

This is just one idea, however it could be effective to keep servers up and running. Provided we even get that far
I used to play wow, then i found CoH and Daoc

Ironwolf

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2014, 08:55:54 pm »
There would need to be a very clear and very detailed description of what is allowed.

I would for instance insist on language similar to this (obviously transferred into legalize):

Any and all hosting costs are covered after the initial startup by money generated by the market. The development costs after initial startup can be no more than 25% of the profits earned by the game. The remaining money is transferred quarterly to NCSoft directly.

Now let's say it is possible to do this, we then will need to find out the exact costs of servers and hosting and have a Kickstarter or some other crowd sourced way to fund the initial cost. Then after 1 quarter IF we have profits we can continue development. I have thoughts on that as well - we contact a local College. I live in Michigan and we have Michigan, Michigan State and Western Michigan in very close range from me. Also other Universities could be contacted and we could perhaps pay for a Dev to oversee the work of STUDENTS.

Now we have a unique and perhaps awesome project. We have a real game training programmers and developers and in time marketers and other game based skills. I know this is a long ways off but every journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.


healix

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2014, 09:47:49 pm »
I am all for getting our game back, and I pulling for every effort you make, Ironwolf. It is my belief that the only failure would be in giving up, and surely there has to be a way to fly the skies of Paragon once more.
Listen to the 'mustn'ts'. Listen to the 'don'ts'. Listen to the 'shouldn'ts', the 'impossibles', the 'won'ts'. Listen to the 'you'll never haves', then listen close to me... Anything can happen . Anything can be.

TDGeorge

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2014, 09:48:18 pm »
Ironwolf, I, for one, am all for this. Provided we get the game back, has any thought been given to the subscription process, and, will we get the game at I23, I24?  I do realize that, we probably won't get our toons (and I am perfectly OK with starting over on toons) but how many servers/toons per server? My, and probably others, biggest, concern is "Will NCSoft pull the plug again?".

I don't how else to support you guys, I'm just a CoHV player that misses his game. :gonk:

Best of luck with this effort!
If it ain't broke, don't fix it!  Infinity Server...

Ironwolf

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2014, 09:57:11 pm »
Well once this is going the deal will be that we "lease" the game from them.

They could pull the plug but with zero staff, zero outlay and zero work they will get a check every 90 days. They also get the chance to see new workers without cost to them. In my head anyways, I can't see where they lose anything?

The plan is to offer them an alternative to kill games off. If a group is willing to take the game over and run it in plae of killing it, NCSoft wins. The main selling point is at all times the property belongs to them. The costs are finite and set. X dollars for hosting and servers and x dollars to develop/repair the game.

Looking at moving to a new Issue is far outside of the scope of the startup. That would take a minimum of 3-6 months to raise funds for development. It was nearly done but had some bugs. A lead developer would have to be hired to maintain the game at the very least.

Codewalker

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2014, 10:01:34 pm »
In my head anyways, I can't see where they lose anything?

In their minds, negative publicity and making them look bad if the people running it do a poor job of things.

Kaos Arcanna

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2014, 10:05:59 pm »
I will give you the facts as I get them,  filtered to protect sources.

A company did offer to buy the IP and NCSoft was willing to sell it for very little. However they wanted to keep the game engine rights. The company decided the IP without the engine wasn't what they wanted.

So to my point, if we offer to run the game with minimal costs, letting them retain all rights it would be worth more to a potential buyer. Why buy a dead game if you could buy a working one?

Hm. I wonder how hard it'd be to recreate the game and powersets using a different engine...

Artillerie

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2014, 12:37:11 am »
I'll support any serious effort to get our game back. Doesn't matter if it's dated or if it's not under development. I play a few games at the moment that are much more modern than CoH but i'd give them up in an instant if someone could guarantee that i  could play my favourite again.

Good luck in your efforts Ironwolf. I will follow this with great interest.

tomborocks1

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2014, 01:06:37 am »
I'm always lurking and watching and waiting. Just my two cents, but I'm for just about anything to get our game back. I would love for my daughter to come home from school one day and I get to tell her to log on ...

I will keep coming back for updates and instructions.

Thank you for this.