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Ryann Adder

What goes into a successful combat sim?

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I notice there are a lot of fantasy and RP combat sims, but not a lot of support for gun based combat sims.

Would I be wasting my time if I were to make a sim based around that? Maybe the SL community just doesn't have that much interest in it.

WW2 themed shooting grounds and such seem to go unused, although plane based sims seem to be decently active.

 

My goal was to make it a replica of a historical battlefield, with equipment available for purchase.

However, I was concerned about the cost associated with a large sim. I can't put down $300 every month, I'd need ways to offset that. Any tips on the best ways to do that besides selling gear and asking for donations?

The fact that there doesn't seem to be a large demand for these kinds of playfields in SL would also suggest that I'd have trouble making rent.

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If you are walking into the idea of setting up a roleplay/combat region that pays for itself and is able to sustain running for more than 1 month.... don't. It'll never happen, unless you have a remarkable and very unique idea that people would be happy to pay for. In the last 4 years, I've seen regions start up, last one month, then say goodbye due to overheads.

Do a secure plan. Get resources. Imagine for the first 6 months, you won't be making any profit.

Roleplay and combat places don't make money. The weapons makers, costume creators, gadget geeks... they make money. 

So why are there RP and combat regions? Here's why.... cos we as world builders do it for the love, not for the dollar sign.

You tend to find that, like myself, we roleplay universe owners make these places for the love of the topic. Either because of paragraph RP, engaging storylines, exciting combat, etc. It's not about the money return, it's about the satisfaction of being able to create something and enjoy the results of seeing it come to life. It's a different mindset to a business-person.

I respect your choice if you do continue, but remember, to pay that $300... you'll need a huge number of visitors who constantly purchase from you. Something that is very hard in any business.

Good luck and Happy RPin ^V^

 

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I have no shortage of love for the topic, but do have a shortage of cash.

I guess my only avenue then is to make gear and use it in existing places.

 

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A part of the problem is SL is no good for combat. Any combat sim is going to be nowhere near as good as an generic FPS game. There are some great sims for it, tho. Saw one in the Destination Guide, can't remember the name but it was based in Antarctica.

If you ever do buy a sim I recommend encouraging smaller avatars and adjustments to the camera to make it more like an FPS game. Combat players will spend most of their time in mouselook anyways, and with some simple tweaks to SL's camera you can build much smaller, saving you loads of room and prims, letting you stretch both further to create a larger, more detailed environment (and maybe keep prims free for vehicles at the same time).

 For some reason people, especially combat people, like to make their avatars huge. 8' tall or taller. This not only necessitates smaller, less detailed sims, but it also makes you a bigger target, easier to hit!

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Having everyone use small avatars is a nice idea. Could get a much bigger battlefield out of it.

Although I think I can make something unique that people will put down money for and want to come to, I don't know if the gun battle community of SL is large enough to begin with.

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Hang around the existing combat sims and try to get a feel for the community. Like I said, there's definitely sims for it out there. There's also a lot of "SL militaries" that love invading each other's sims. Find one and I'm sure they can point you at others.

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Penny Patton wrote:

A part of the problem is SL is no good for combat. Any combat sim is going to be nowhere near as good as an generic FPS game.

I don't really agree with this. Oh sure, any standard FPS game is going to have many aspects that we can not recreate in SL, but there are actually many more things that we can do that many other games can not do. These things would include a seemless First person to 3rd person type of game play, which has been the goal of many, many games for many, many years in the realm of MMO/FPS. Animations and interaction can be as good or even much better than most games.

The FPS experience in SL is not much different than a standard FPS game and plays almost exactly the same way, or can.  Where the FPS experience in SL lacks, is all the products and interactive objects that 1 would use in an FPS game. I just don't see the same kinds of support items. Guns, yeah, there are tons of them, but no other items like, non player characters, ammo pack that rerez in combat areas, and so on. Oh, and anything with a scope does kind of suck in SL.

3rd person fighting and interaction is something unique in what we can do and how it all works together. Creating a system that supports all these secondary interactive items takes time to create and are not as exciting as making guns or weapons. When I created MODs for Far Cry, they had tons of interactive items. You could shoot anything. The fish, the birds, bottles that broke, oxygen tanks that blow up when shot. In SL, we can make everything interactive, but this takes time and a decent size team to create all the items.

I know some people are going to scream LAG! The lag problem does not really have alot to do with the platform tho. The lag issues are mainly based on the environment, and what the avatars wear in the environment. Almost all guns and weapons in SL are lag monsters, just because of how many prims they are and all the textures used. Mesh will make attached weapons extremely more efficient than comparable prim weapons, or sculpty weapons. The same goes for avatars and other attachments. Prims and sculpties are both ridiculously inefficient methods for creating the complex avatars and clothing that people want to look like. It is amazing what creators have made with these prims and sculpties, but mesh avatars and attachments, if made right, will be a fraction of the data.

Funding a sim is always going to be a challenge, and few systems are set up to really generate income for the sim owners. Players pay alot of money for a weapon or a hud, and then don't really have alot to spend on other things, or they are drained by having to buy ammo or blood. As a creator tho, I see a balance here for every1. With my system, any1 can play for free, get free fruit from trees, kill animals for free meat, or pay for a better hud, pay for process foods to increase your health, pay for better guns, pay for your own animals to hunt, and pay for your own fruit trees. Plus, the RPGs can make a commission on purchases from their affiliate vendor. Our system is only a month old now, but I encourage any1 to come check it out and see if it can fit your RPG.

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I'm not saying you can't have fun with a combat sim, but realistically speaking any combat in SL will fall short of any given FPS game in any number of ways. 

SL has its perks, first and third person views (though first person is extremely limited) and complete control over avatar appearance. The ability to create your own "home base" is a great feature, too.

On the other hand the graphics fall way short, animations cannot be set up correctly without either a universal avatar size (with correct proportions) or by creating everyone's animations unique. No ragdoll physics, no gibbing. Scopes don't work. Conflicting animations. Lack of interactivity with the environment. Poor framerates. Server lag, network lag AND scripts failing due to half the people playing using up all of the script's resources.No bots or NPCs, poor HUD interface for FPS style combat, the list goes on.

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Dont forget that some guns look good but the scripts are to heavy.. i own 7 breach weapons yeah they look good but horrible when it comes to lag i was even told at the resident evil Hive that they don't recommend breach weapons because of the lag they cause but i agree with everything you said :D

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