Ask A Dev: Random Questions

askadev

#65

@Wingfrog can give you a good answer here.


#66

Any links to the ps4 decals? I never knew those existed and I must possess them.


#67

Sure thing, they’re at the bottom of this post:

That’s the problem we face, people will want to pay money to get this merch stuff but that’s a logistics headache at large scales; opening an online store, managing the website, managing inventory, managing orders and customer information and being compliant of regulations, then managing postage and packaging — unless this is all on a constant loop, or on limited edition runs, it can very quickly become a sinkhole for money; hosting for the website while nobody uses it, hosting for the databases while nobody buys anything, paying for a postage subscription while no packages are coming out, and of course paying people to manage the process when nothing is happening.

And anyway, to do this kind of stuff you need the rights to the intellectual property, and contacts in industry/hobbycraft who will actually make the products consistently.


#68

I wasn’t aware they didn’t have IP rights anymore thats a shame.
Thanks for the link!
The issues with the management and cost of merchandise has always frustrated me because it dampens the avenues available for small businesses/companies to get their brand out. I still think that there should be a way to get people to expand with their creative energy out to the public. I need everything helldivers in my life haha


#69

I think Housemarque has had a similiar situation. Players beg them to bring over some of their popular PS4 or PS3 titles to PC but they just shrug and say Sony’s the IP owner and it’s up to them.

From what I read, part of the reason they did arcade twin-stick Nex Machina for Steam/PC was to do a game where they would own the IP – though ultimately they indicated that because sales fell below expectations, they won’t do any more arcade games. While I appreciate visually what that game does with voxel graphics, I find it way too exasperating to enjoy. I would’ve rather they brought a couple of their online co-op twin sticks to Steam but it seems unlikely to happen. I’m trying to respect this is an Arrowhead forum and maybe they don’t want me babbling about another dev’s games too much. :slight_smile:

I’m just reminded that we got Helldivers on PC/Steam essentially (maybe it’s more complicated?) because Arrowhead asked Sony if they could, and they said ‘sure.’

And for whatever reason Housemarque games – in about the same category, with IP also owned by Sony – we seem unlikely to ever see them over on PC/Steam. If it did own the IP, though, who’s to say it would have the financial resources on its own as an independent publisher/dev to port it to PC. So I’m sure this is all more complicated than I, simpleton gamer, see it as. :slight_smile: I do know from what I read, that being a decent size indy dev without large publisher support (which usually means the publisher owns the IP, afik) can be challenging, even if it may sound cool for the dev to own its IP.

Although I guess the flipside is you can end up like the developer of say Hob or Marvel Heroes most recently – a big publisher can just wash its hands of you and poof a favorite developer vanishes into the ether. Complicated, as I say. :slight_smile:


#70

Based on history, the only way to get the Helldivers merch is to visit Arrowhead booth at a gaming convention (they announce these on their website, twitter, etc) or participate in their next contest (art, trivia, scavenger, q-and-a, etc). They tend to do those contests around March 3rd and October 26th.


#71

I think it all depends on how things get negotiated when developers are getting into a publishing agreement with the publisher.

In the case of Arrowhead, they knew their fan base with Magicka was on PC, and here they were committing to making Helldivers as a cross-play game for PS3, PS-Vita, and PS4. With Sony as their publisher, their costs would be covered, but would they make enough to be able to make their next game? Along with Helldivers, they also took up with Warner Bros to make a Gauntlet game. In both cases, they must have pre-negotiated that they will get funded to publish the game on Steam and Playstation. I think both games were financially significant successes on both Steam and PlayStation.

Since releasing those two games, Arrowhead have kept quiet about their next game or even who the publisher is, but I think it is clear to those of us paying attention that they are working again with Sony. This is a relationship that is clearly getting stronger.

With Housemarque, they clearly did not pre-negotiate such stuff, so when someone on PC says, hey bring your other games here, there is a cost for publishing and no pre-negotiated agreement. Plus, maybe Sony was not convinced that it would be worthwhile. Also, Housemarque has been breaking away from Sony so maybe the relationship is not as strong as it was in the days of Super Stardust, Dead Nation, and Resogun.

I think first Housemarque game to get to PC was a Ubisoft published game called Outland where they must have pre-negotiated being able to self-publish that to Steam. For Nex Machina, they opted to self-publish on both Steam and PSN. Another game released around same time (about a month later) called Matterfall was published by Sony which I doubt was as well received as Nex Machina which even though in my opinion is one of the best arcade twin-stick shooters to date but according to statements made by Housemarque didn’t do well financially on either Steam or PS4. Housemarque appears to me to be in decline especially in their relationship with Sony. If their next game fails to do well, it could be the end of them trying the self-publishing model.

As for merchandising, I am a fan of both companies. They both are great developers offering something unique to their talents. I would love to get merch for either of them. I think their best bet not wanting to take on their own web-store, is to work with a company like ThinkGeek (who also handle everything for the PlayStation Gear store). There are other alternatives to ThinkGeek that may also work.


#72

I always thought that that tweet was about releasing any game — with the direction Arrowhead is going, it sounds like they are going to go independent either on this game or the next, so for me it’s a 70 vs 30 split on publishing independently vs publishing with Sony.


#73

I saw that it was only available from a drawing on that earlier link, is pay oodles of green backs for helldivers swag


#74

I came across this a few months back, had to do some digging to find the link again


#75

crearían tipos de clases si sacaran helldivers 2 , como una clase de tanque otra asalto, tecnología, medico y cosas así el juego de por si me parece muy bueno pero como juego mmorpg pues por pregunto :smiley: SIGAN ASÍ BUEN JUEGO


#76

I’m going to return to just asking basic dev questions. :slight_smile:

How about – how does the enemy AI work in Helldivers, especially during online co-op sessions? I mean if it sees 4 of us approaching a large enemy or an Enemy Master from different directions, does it know to respond to us as individuals? Or is the AI just “spray and pray” across the screen and doesn’t really care how we’re equipped or how many of us there are? Or is it more “proximity-based,” i.e., whichever player is closer to me Mr. AI, I’ll go after that one.

I guess my other question – perhaps too early to answer, with the Secret Project under wraps – is if the Arrowhead dev team learned anything from how the more expert players (as opposed to mediocre ones like myself) find even the highest difficulty levels of Helldivers too easy? That is, maybe things the devs might want to do differently in a future game to address that “too easy” aspect (but that maybe aren’t fiscally reasonable to try to “fix” in Helldivers)? I don’t know what those are, because I’m not quite that fanatic a player. :slight_smile:

I don’t think I ever bothered or thought to ask about the general enemy AI aspect of Helldivers, and maybe it can be a little fodder for conversation.


#77

@patrik.lasota can give this a go? Feel free to tag anyone else you think can help out.


#78

The AI in Helldivers uses a fuzzy value formula to decide it’s target. It looks at a lot of different conditions, weights them according to the formula and then decides on a target, always taking up to 4 players into account. The formula is unique for most enemy types, giving them different behaviors. You might have noticed for example that the Bug Scouts are more inclined to attack downed players, and that is because the state of being downed is weighted heavily in their target selection. In the same way, Warriors are less interested in downed players, giving the enemies a sense of synergy and a better experience for the player.

We always looked at other games and said “The devs didn’t make the highest difficulty hard enough. We need to make it so hard we can’t finish a mission.” and so we did, and it still wasn’t enough. :stuck_out_tongue: I have learned a lot from watching people play Helldivers and the community have found features that are entirely incidental (like melee dodging for example) and learnt to play with them. I have some ideas for how to make the game harder for the top tier but we’ll see if we ever get the opportunity to go back and do such a big feature for Helldivers. :slight_smile:


#79

How do you feel about remakes / reboots of classic games for new generations of gamers?
I like them, I feel that the most important thing to do when developing one is that it is about the memory of these classic games are for the player, over doing a by the numbers remake. Just a few games out there live up to our childhood memories of those games, so our task as developers is to try and tap into that memory of what it was like playing this game. I think a lot of that was achieved with Gauntlet, without things like throwing weapons, collision on pickups and classic level layouts.

Which classic game from your past do you wish someone would remake / reboot?
Mass Effect :stuck_out_tongue: No, for real, to not answer this question in the same way I will answer the next question, I will say Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance, I really loved that short run of Hack and Slash RPG:s, like that one, specifically built for a console audience.

If you could get the license and funding to develop it, what classic game / franchise from the past would you like to remake / reboot yourselves?
Castlevania! Castlevania! Castlevania! That would be my absolute dream, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and the following run of handheld games are just the best! I want to do a Castlevania game set in 1972.


#82

I really dug Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance on PlayStation 2 and then especially it’s followup title Champions of Norrath. I think at the time trying to pull console gamers over to Diablo style hack’n’slash wasn’t quite there yet. I thought Norrath would be a blockbuster and we’d get more games like that on PS2, but it ended up being its last hurrah. Trivia for me is I think Champions of Norrath is one of only a couple games I ever played online on PS2. But it was over a crude “Net Extender” TV router contraption and connection was very poor.

Even my PS Vita experience playing Helldivers online was leaps and bounds over that 2004 experience with Norrath online. :grin:


#83

Just chiming in, Champions: Return to Arms was a masterpiece


#84

How excited should Helldivers fans be for March 3rd, 2018?


#85

I’ll add here what I wrote in another thread;

We don’t have plans for any new releases this 3 year anniversary for PlayStation.

We have to focus on the new things we’re working on and unfortunately can’t continue to highlight every anniversary. If we have the chance to celebrate, we think it’s better and more fun to focus on Liberty Day. It’s a holiday that’s universal with Helldivers players, since PlayStation and Steam don’t share the same release anniversary day.

Since it’s a Saturday though, I hope many of you have a free day and the chance to run a few missions. I might try to come on myself a little if possible :slight_smile:


#86

If you have to choose, it does make more sense to focus on Liberty Day.

As for celebrating anniversary, it doesn’t have to be with new content for the game. If you look at how Horizon Zero Dawn is celebrating its 1st year anniversary, there was a PlayStation Blog entry about it, it highlighted new sales including at the PlayStation Gear store. They providing new PlayStation Avatars and a Theme. In addition they got more active than normal on Twitter etc.

I don’t mean copy them. I just mean it’s not all about new game content and there can be other ways to make the day special while basically taking a moment to acknowledge the Helldivers communities lasting enthusiasm for the game.

For Super Earth