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View Full Version : Future of Heroes of Might and Magic games



Dacamster
10-29-2017, 08:34 AM
Hi Everyone :)

I just wanted to make a post about the possible future of the franchise. I feel like all the games have had something about them to draw in players however I myself have found the most recent games were not my cup of tea and still prefer HoMM 2,3 and 4.


Future games:

I would like Ubisoft to consider past games when going into a new game, I understand that each game has been trying new things to see if the franchise could be revived and that is perfectly fine, now is it possible to use the knowledge from these games to try and make a new game that appeals to fans of the original games and still feels like a modern game? I believe it is.

A new game should ask itself several questions:



[1] Are there any features in previous games that were massively popular and created an element of fun in the game?
[2] There are many fans of HoMM both new and old that have a wealth of knowledge on the games and opinions on why they have their favourite, how can we use this knowledge? how can we get the fans to give us their knowledge and preferences so that we can make a game that addresses this as well as we possibly can?

- Surveys. Take to twitter, facebook, youtube, forums, messages in all the Homm Game main menus informing of a survey requesting opinions on which HoMM game is the best and the fans favourite features in each game.
- Fans. There are many people in the community who can contribute to the making of a game, finding fans who have played the games for years and have that understanding of what makes the games great can be the key. Involving these dedicated fans in the creation process can help put the game on track from the early stages, this does not necessarily mean the designers of the game being huge fans, it could mean getting into direct contact with members of the community to ask their opinions on ideas and concepts for the next game.
- Making executive decisions. This one I have a specific example for, the creators clearly had many factions they wished to create and they let the community vote. We didn't even get the inferno faction, all these elves and humans both good and bad kinda got stale. In this particular case the community got to pick factions in the core game which no doubt impacted the final product as the campaign would be based on this. In future I believe it best to choose the core factions and leave the community suggestions for factions to expansions.

[3] Focus. Focus. Focus. I cannot emphasise this enough. Decide what is important and focus on it, ask yourselves, what do we REALLY want to nail in this game to bring that satisfaction to the gamers?
- If you want a strong singleplayer, make sure it is well written, design those maps to be easy to understand and yet fun (I myself didn't finish the mage missions in HoMM7, the first map bored me with all the locked areas).
- If you want replayability, build a library of good maps to play on from 2v2, 4v4, free for all, ect. A spin off of this, ask the community to assist making maps in game during the beta, all approved maps that are popular can be implemeted in the game. Of course the random map generator would be incorporated in this, it is key for replayability. Unfortunately I never liked the map generators, I always preferred the pre built maps with a little blurb here or there for the scenario however I am aware that the community is massively on board for the map generators.
- If you want multiplayer focus then FOCUS on it. Build the core game mechanics and then do your multiplayer balancing within the team or during a beta to really iron out the kinks. Trust me, the community will appreciate a working multiplayer.

[4] Do not announce a release date until the game is well and truly done, leave the lead up to the release for testing within the team or for a beta to minimise the bugs on launch. I do not think anyone wants to see a "Release 2018" and then "Delayed until 2019" or "This just in, new HoMM is a buggy mess", neither of these are good for publicity. Get the game built, THEN accounce it and test it so you can work on the feedback for the few months leading to the game.



Recommendations:

At this point I have no doubt the team knows how to make the games, how to balance the economy, the factions, ect. What you need is a strong CORE gameplay and then make additions on top. The simplest comparison I have for this is Sid Meier's rule for new games:
33% Old
33% Improvements of old
33% New stuff

Ok so what was successful in old games? take that core gameplay and keep it, why fix what isn't broken? Truthfully I feel like making HoMM 3 with the city screen of HoMM5 and larger maps like HoMm 7 would have been fun. Pick your successes and use them to your advantage.
What can you improve? Features that people thought were ok but just weren't implemented that well, these can be polished for the next game, maybe scrap them and build a better replacement.
Every game has something new, if nothing is new then why would people buy it? here is where you can try our new things to see what works knowing that you have that 66% of old and improved gameplay to REALLY hold that core audience.


Suggestions/Considerations:

Ok so this one is a long shot however there is no doubt in my mind that it would breath new life into the franchise as it would provide old gameplay with a hint of something new and refreshing. For 7 games now we have dabbled in the same thing, new heroes, new factions, same concept, cross the map and stabby stabby the enemy.

Why not add in new gamemodes? some games have had these but it was never a core focus. A few ideas are:
1) King of the Hill - Players race to capture a town and hold it for 1/2/3 weeks (whatever the objective is). The idea being that there is a town in the centre of the map in a ringed area and everyone spaced around the map and fights to the middle then holds it. Possibly give players an option to put everyone's starting point behind a 1 way portal to prevent players knocking eachother out or have everyone open to attacking eachother as well as the central point for more chaos. Or just have the town sealed off in a corner of the map and every player has a 1 way portal to that town, everyone fights in the main part of the map and uses the portals near their start to try take the 'Hill'
2) Deathmatch - Why not add a gamemode where players start off with loads of resources and maybe even faster troop growth to really encourage larger battles earlier.
3) New options that can be selected before a game is started. These could be wild monsters spawning reguarly and stronger to block paths or take over resource producers, random events such as barbarian armies spawning and attacking cities (basically a challenge mode), a option for troops to grow daily or weekly (this would be for all players), maybe some diplomacy options for team games so allies can betray? (this could be a bit complex and unnecessary for the franchise).

I personally see the benefit of a cross collaboration with another established franchise, try to bring together two crowds. The best example of this I have is Total War and Warhammer. Two different franchises, two different gameplays, combined into the Total War style which allows a brought scene for fighting. I consider HoMM to be similar to Total War in many ways, a collaboration with an established brand could draw new crowds and revitalise the series with new factions. Imagine Lord of the RIngs in HoMM. Or a cross over with the Halo Universe, having the races of the Covenant, humanity, the flood, this could bring some new and interesting gameplay plus the lore of another franchise.

My last suggestion is to think long and hard about the factions, choose them well, it is key. Core factions should be selected, so let's say two good and two bad, humans (knights/angels, like HoMM3) with elves or nature (like HoMM 3 rampart), then inferno (so devils basically) and then dark elves (maybe not a dark elf only faction but all the twisted creatures from the darkness). Possibly also use the undead and mages to bring that to 3 good, 3 bad. Then you have room to experiment, there have been many factions through the games that could be considered or matched and merged. Hell you could add npc factions for barbarians on land and pirates at sea. Not all factions need to be changed every single game, once again the 33/33/33. Keep some, improve some, add some new ones.

I hope this long read was entertaining for some of you and helpful for anyone with influence over the HoMM series development :)

Regards,
Cameron