John Smedley talks PlanetSide Next - PlanetSide Universe
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John Smedley talks PlanetSide Next Bookmark and Share

In an entry on his blog John notes the reasons PlanetSide is important to him and what he envisions for PlanetSide Next.

Planetside had a lot of really great things about it, but it also had some frustrating things. The whole Sanctuary concept is something that slowed things down too much. We also didn't get people back into the action quickly enough.

But the core of Planetside - massive battles with vehicles and infantry was something we nailed really well.

To me, Planetside Next means we get a chance to take the essence of everything that was fun in Planetside and make it a lot better. Massive battles on a scale no other FPS will touch. None of this 64 player stuff. REALLY MASSIVE. With much better organization, and a tight focus on making sure the action is always going on, with awesome graphics.

Damn I love Planetside. I really do.

He also had something very interesting to say in relation to Core Combat in the comments:

With respect to Core Combat, I completely agree. It was the wrong direction. At that time we were dealing with a new game and we thought we had the direction right. In hindsight, we didn't at all.

BFR's are another story and I think more debateable. They were in our heads for a long time. Friggin Giant Robots :)

The 20/20 vision that comes with hindsight is often the best prism to plan for the next thing. Hopefully we get it more right this time, but I'm still pretty happy overall.

A great blog entry that gives us some insight into what SOE may be thinking. You can read the entire blog entry here.

37 comments
2009-10-11 10:26 AM
Source: John Smedley
Latest Comments
2009-10-12 07:38 AM
Navaron
Re: John Smedley talks PlanetSide

Smed - take all of the FPS gameplay of CoD:MW, add vehicles like those in BF1942(3), and make it massive and you'll sell as many copies as you did with EQ.

SciFi doesn't sell as well to the public as Near Realism.
2009-10-12 08:25 AM
Dorest0rm
Re: John Smedley talks PlanetSide

What i wander is why you didn't say this earlier Smed, (the posts here and the blog), like the last year when half of the userbase decided to unsubscribe.
2009-10-12 08:46 AM
Hamma
Re: John Smedley talks PlanetSide

Smed thank you for coming by and taking some time to speak with all of us Guys make sure you keep things civil try not to burn things into the ground to much.

I will echo what these guys have said, the marketing overall really seemed to lack. Promotions like reserves PSU really took a front seat in getting keys out there and getting new people into PS. We enjoyed doing that but it seemed like more of an afterthought promotion than a solid thing.

I will say that what turned the game off to me is when my friends all stopped playing. I still play now and then but the game at its prime was when you were shoulder to shoulder with teammates you knew had your back and teamwork was key to victory. They all left for their various reasons (BFRs, Balance, Price Hikes etc etc)

Keep teamwork and balance primary to the game and make sure to market the poop out of it. Also, keep the price closer to the 9 dollar or less mark and you will have a killer.
2009-10-12 10:41 AM
Marsman
Re: John Smedley talks PlanetSide

Yes ditto Hamma - Really appreciate you taking the time to post to a bunch of passionate PS folks. To be fair, yes I do remember the advertising for PS - it was there but for whatever reason it seemed to be swallowed by the times. Even then "What side?" was the running joke as few people really knew what the game was about.

Sadly it became a sleeper... passionately loved by those who knew it but largely unappreciated by the majority. Despite that, it has been reviewed and re-reviewed several times - and all with a mostly positive result. Not too shabby for "sleeper" now six years old.

I think we all know what makes planetside unique and what drew or draws us to play it. If PS Next can capitalize on those points, market and produce "that" game - I think you'll have a real competitor in today's MMO market.

Again, Smed - thanks so much for sharing your thoughts over here. We at PSU and the community truly appreciate it.
2009-10-12 11:25 AM
Miir
Re: John Smedley talks PlanetSide

I thought I did all the marketing for Planetside
2009-10-12 12:45 PM
Firefly
Re: John Smedley talks PlanetSide

Originally Posted by Miir View Post
I thought I did all the marketing for Planetside
You and Grassroots Marketing did more marketing for Planetside than SOE. And I'll not apologise for saying so - I can only recall two marketing ads, and I may vaguely recall a third or fourth. Beyond that, I don't believe there has been more.

It grinds my gears when I talk to FPS junkies and I ask "So who did you play in Planetside?" and they look at me like I've got a third fist coming out of my chin. I don't count in-game ads in Everquest or Vanguard or any other game. That's unacceptable to me. But since Smed already mentioned it, there's no need to beat a dead horse.
2009-10-12 01:52 PM
Sentrosi
Re: John Smedley talks PlanetSide

Planetside was, for me, a real gateway game. My first MMO. I met some great people playing that game, so it became more than just a game. It was something that was tangible to me. No other game out there brings to the virtual battlefield what Planetside did, or any other MMO yet to follow in its footsteps. In no other game that I've played has a person, who just bought, installed and patched the game, able to tip the balance of the game. Almost all the other MMOs you have to start to level before being an effective TEAM member. This game anyone can pick up a supressor and be an effective unit on the battlefield. Please, keep that element in mind when making PSN.
2009-10-12 02:49 PM
Marsman
Re: John Smedley talks PlanetSide

Originally Posted by Sentrosi View Post
... In no other game that I've played has a person, who just bought, installed and patched the game, able to tip the balance of the game. Almost all the other MMOs you have to start to level before being an effective TEAM member. This game anyone can pick up a supressor and be an effective unit on the battlefield. Please, keep that element in mind when making PSN.
Excellent point Sentrosi! That was one of the things that made PS unique. I know of no other game that incorporated that either. With a team game especially that was critical. So many other games I have played have this level gap - where if you aren't up to a particular level, you are either ineffective with you fellow clan-mates, or it's not even possible to be in the same area as you'd be crushed by the level difference. PS was wonderful in that regard as you could hit the ground running and be with your friends in the same place and still be effective with what you could do. I agree - this is a must have for PS Next!
2009-10-12 03:53 PM
Derfud
Re: John Smedley talks PlanetSide

Eventually SOE will make a successful game, let's hope that this is it.
2009-10-12 06:43 PM
Firefly
Re: John Smedley talks PlanetSide

Originally Posted by Derfud View Post
Eventually SOE will make a successful game, let's hope that this is it.
Planetside *was* a success, but it's difficult to tell how SOE determines value.

For example, my outfit was formed specifically for Planetside when we first heard the news about this revolutionary game. We were a loyal, active, competitive outfit for about four years non-stop, and to this day we are still actively seeing players log into the outfit. Many of the people in my outfit became personal/real-life friends. I have formed bonds with phantom gamers that I've only previously experienced inside my military service. Our "outfit" is now a multi-game "guild" (bloody hell I hate that stupid word) that has been in existence for almost seven years. We have annual get-togethers and many of us still fondly remember the days of Planetside. We even had a long-running thread called "So There I Was" where we would tell our favorite stories from Planetside. I don't see myself wanting to go to any other "guild" without my battle buddies from BWC. I don't recall having ever had this type of experience in any computer game past or present, MMO or e-sports shooter. I'd consider that a success.

SOE may be making Planetside 2, but how faithful to the concept of Planetside will it be? More to the point - I am a jaded, bitter, cynical man who is extremely stingy with his MMO money especially in THIS economy. If SOE wants my dollar and wants me to devote time to this game, it has some seriously difficult work ahead of it. I've been burned before, and I'm adult enough to remember instead of hopping on with the next big thing and hoping for sunshiney days.
2009-10-13 06:29 AM
Fishsticks
Re: John Smedley talks PlanetSide

Smed, thank you very much for comming on PSU to chat with us all. I am so happy that you are really into this next project. It is not often that someone of your status is willing to come on here and address some of the concerns players are having. Thanks again!

Regards,
Fishsticks
Planetside Forum Moderator

Edit: Not kissing butt, just happy to see your support
2009-10-13 12:38 PM
Espion
Re: John Smedley talks PlanetSide

Originally Posted by Smed View Post
I think we learned a lot from Planetside and I think you'll like the next one even better and we'll be able to make a believer out of you.

Can you give us any indication of how far along PlanetSide Next is in the development process, and what they're doing to improve upon the mistakes that are still present in PlanetSide?

Speaking of the mistakes still present in PlanetSide, nothing has been mentioned about its future development other than your initial statement to PSU. Could you perhaps pass it down the chain to keep us informed? If you're intent is to improve this planetside before the next game comes out, I think now would be a good time to involve the players more in decision making. We certainly haven't been listened to over the past 6 years, and look where the game is now.
2009-10-14 08:02 AM
Navaron
Re: John Smedley talks PlanetSide

Originally Posted by Espion View Post
If you're intent is to improve this planetside before the next game comes out, I think now would be a good time to involve the players more in decision making.
I sincerely hope SOE is not expending any resources on PS1.
2009-10-16 10:57 AM
JimJamJamie
Re: John Smedley talks PlanetSide

Hello one and all - I'm a new member to PSU but I've had a long relationship with PlanetSide.

First of all, I am very happy to see that Smed is personally addressing the issues of PlanetSide members (even the less civilised ones..) - this step is definitely in the right direction, in my opinion - getting involved in the community, which is what I'd like to focus on.

Get involved - Don't create a barrier between the developer and the community, the forum is a gold mine of feedback and opinions - the combined gameplay experience of the forum regulars would probably make a QA team jealous!

Also, we are a creative bunch when it comes to things we care about - a Suggestions thread is definitely a good idea during and after development.

Advertising - the community can make alot of noise if they want to - fansite kits and promotional material that the fans and players can use such as forum avatars and signatures, adverts they can put on their own websites/blogs in conjuction with official support can really make the difference. We would be happy to help.

Don't forget about the popular video game websites for exposure - Gamershell, GameTrailers, IGN and the like have huge userbases. Don't forget YouTube either.

I really can't stress enough how much more appealing a game is when the players are able to make a difference to the game and get involved. From a business point of view I'm sure you can see the benefits - as long as we get paid in patches and love we're happy!

I'd be interested in opinions on this post, don't hesistate to PM me or reply here.

P.S: You better read this Smed, or it'll be going to your email (and I know your inbox gives you nightmares)!
2009-10-17 10:57 AM
Hamma
Re: John Smedley talks PlanetSide

Hey Man welcome aboard
Reply


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