Seen some light discussion of this in stimslack, but hadn’t seen a thread here yet - what do people think?
Very risky move. Videogame development is a very expensive business, and starting a new studio from scratch, as a subsidiary of a company with a very different culture, and a management culture totally different to the videogame industry’s, is setting themselves up for failure - an expensive failure that could hurt their whole business. Would have been much more sensible to talk to some esteblished, experienced studios and license stuff like Android to them.
The way Petersen is scoffing at “translate board games into digital games” makes me think they’re overconfident and biting off more than they can chew. In fact, translating their games into digital form, or making companion apps for their games (how much easier would the Terminal Directive campaign have been if it had a companion app instead of forcing us to mess around with putting stickers on the dumb PAD!) should have been exactly the right starting point for an in-house development team, until they grew enough experience to tackle natively digital videogames. But noooo, it sounds like they think that a company used to finalising their products SEVERAL MONTHS before they’re released and waiting for a container ship to bring them back from China has exactly the right kind of project management and business processes in place to shift to a field where development crunch is the last six months before release and people work overnight the day before a game hits Steam to deliver zero day patches.
I’m wondering how much Petersen is actually going to be involved, though. They’ve brought in someone with experience as a video game studio CEO to head up the new company, and they put the headquarters a good distance from Roseville.
And the bit about not “just” translating board games could mean they’re too ambitious, or it could mean that they have a probably-sensible desire to avoid things like making a clear UI for a Netrunner adapatation that implements and enforces all the details of the timing structures.
Yeah I agree it wouldn’t be a good idea for them to do that. I’m just saying, if you want to start your own videogame studio from scratch, something like that would be a good starting project for them to find their feet. And I honestly think Gerritsen is a great designer and could build a great studio, but whether it’ll be able to make any good games entirely depends on how independent it’s going to be. Everything we’ve heard from former FFG employees suggests a management culture of indifference, indecision, and unresponsiveness, and the glacial pace at which they seem to work seems like it would be disastrous for a videogame studio. Let’s hope FFG’s execs aren’t allowed anywhere near that studio, and maybe things will work out.
Though frankly, I personally would have much preferred to see a Telltale point and click adventure set in the Android universe!
I’d prefer them to just pay they guys who make jenteki for the site and make it an official product.
I’m all for new games set in the universe but what I mostly want is a product like jinteki. You could even use it to drive your card business. Imagine if every pack had a unique code so that buying them online allowed you to have them in game as well. Translating their best games to an easily managed game online already exists and is wildly popular.
This is a nice idea, but I’m pretty sure there’s no way it will ever happen.
I’d much rather pay $5/month for the online version than mess around with codes.
I was thinking a bit recently about what might work for a pricing model for an online version of Netrunner, and I think the best model might be for there to be a free option where you can only play preconstructed decks provided by FFG, and then a subscription option that lets you play any (legal) deck. That way the free option would give people lots of opportunity to try the platform, and it might be good enough for new players that they wouldn’t feel obligated to cough up for the subscription while they’re still spending money catching up on physical cards, but the paid option would provide major clear advantages to more experienced players.
Hmm, I had no idea that this wasn’t “announced” yet. They’ve had FFG Interactive jobs open on their website for a long time, and I assumed this was the division that made the Mansions of Madness and XCOM apps. I guess they’re doing an announcement because they plan on launching some more ambitious projects?
Sorry for getting off topic, but I’m wondering why this company branch is called “Fantasy Flight Interactive”. I mean digital games can never be as interactive as board and card games, right?
"Interactive’ is a common term for the digital games branch of a company, ie Disney’s mobile games division is called Disney Interactive.
Cause they won’t be making Vanadis videogames.
I guess it might come down to what the priority on the games are.
If they want to make the megabucks, I could see them actually doing a digital version of Star Wars: Destiny. Get in on that whole digital CCG craze… plus probably easier than actually printing the physical dice. Heck, I’d probably go in on that since I hate having to leave the house. Might depend on what their license with Disney entails, though.
A digital version of Arkham Horror LCG could actually be super cool. Especially if they work out scenarios and campaigns that play off the digital format.
Digital Netrunner could definitely be sweet, but would probably be a big project to make it actually a commercial project. Also might depend on what their license with WOTC looks like, too. Could be interesting since it could actually make a draft-like format easier for people to play.
On the more traditional games side, I could see a digital version of Twilight Imperium, although that’s a large project and probably not what they’d be up to right out of the gate.
Bear in mind that their license for Star Wars almost certainly doesn’t allow them to make videogames. Those rights are licensed to other companies.
Whatever they make will almost certainly be based on their own IP, like Android (not Netrunner, just the setting).
I would be totally fine with a 4X Twilight Imperium civ game or an Android cyber noir point and click adventure game (or, say, like the Shadowrun games by Harebrained Schemes).
There actually was an Android RPG in development, but it disappeared after its development announcement: http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/10/21/android-netrunner-to-be-adapted-into-an-action-rpg-on-mobile .