The Perfect Sim Game? Please post your wish list.

What feature(s) would you want in your ideal, perfect, amazingly awesome sim game (that isn’t FF :wink:)?

I’ve been brainstorming a lot recently about how to make (a) sim game(s) profitable, or at least pay for themselves. Thanks to some very generous members (:D), Final Furlong has basically been self-sustaining this year, as I received enough donations to cover this year’s server costs. However, that doesn’t even begin to touch on the amount of time I have spent working on the game (which is fine, as it’s a labor of love :slight_smile:). Because of that, though, I’ve been trying to come up with ideas for a game that can charge a membership fee (which I hope to never have to do for Final Furlong, don’t worry!) and ideally even (dare I say) become a profitable venture for me.

Anyway, what I’m thinking is basically The Ultimate Horse Ownership Sim. (Title pending :wink:) I’d like it to include Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse, Arabian, AND Standardbred racing, as well as showing, too (for ex-racers or non-racers). I’m not sure how easily I’ll be able to set it up so that it’s attractive to all sorts of people/breed fans/discipline fans/etc without being obnoxiously huge, but that’s the basic concept, anyway. :slight_smile:

(Final Furlong will, of course, stay small, personal, and free, with luck.)

So…if you weren’t playing FF (or even though you do 8-)), would you be interested in playing such a game, and possibly paying for membership? (There’d be a basic/free level of membership, which would be very limited, and then varying levels of paid membership.)

What suggestions do you have for features in this ultimate geme?

Well I’d only be interested in playing a thoroughbred game so FF kinda fits the books PERFECTLY! :slight_smile: So yeah, I doubt I would pay to join a game where I would be basically only interested in what FF already had to offer. I also am doubtful that there is enough interest in the other horse disciplines to have a huge following. But I might be wrong of course… :slight_smile:

Otherwise, I’d love to see some sort of animation of my horses running their races. That’d be the only cool thing I’d like to see in a game. Kinda like the StableKing game [which totally sucks] where you download a graphics program and then download a results file and presto, combine the two and you have animation! :slight_smile:

Other than that I think you’ve done a great job with FF and it is by far the best sim game I have found on the net. :smiley:

I especially like the idea of having showing and racing in the same sim, but handled in a non-12yo manner :wink:. It’d be nice to be like “well, this horse isn’t doing so great at racing, I’ll retire him and sell him off the track” and then be able to follow his career in the showing world. (Or even show him there myself, though I imagine/hope people would sort of be drawn mostly to one or the other half of the game).

As far as features… well, I guess basically all the stuff FF includes now including automated races at various locations, hopefully animation, genetical determination of foal quality. Breeding, etc.

Then add on a comparable quality horseshow oriented component. So horses would be able to show halter/hunters/jumpers/western pleasure/gymkhana at various levels (breed, regional, A) and again, have that automated and breedable. One feature that’d be nice for the showing side is being able to “host” shows and have there be some sort of good feedback (if the game is that big then your reward might be more of a more publicity for your farm than in entry fees since I don’t recall most horse shows making money). Training for each of the various disciplines would be great, as would some sort of method to design courses for the jumping disciplines (hey, you said wish list :wink:). There’d also be pre-made courses you could pick and various horses would respond to the various courses the way horses respond to tracks now (so turning, acceleration, pissyness) would all be a factor based on the combinations, etc that are set up.

I can keep going if you want but I’ll stop now so people don’t just go “what she said” :wink:

Animation is in the works, as I’ve said multiple times.

For TUHOS (The Ultimate Horse Ownership Sim), I’m not sure how feasible animation would be…for races, it’s fine, but how does one animate a hunter hack class? Or a halter class? (Snooze… :wink:)

Yeah, i don’t think you’d need to automate that so much. I think more of just showing the course for hunters/jumpers and maybe showing a score report like you get in dressage. And maybe giving a sort of play-by-play of how the show went for hunters/jumpers/halter (ie “Chipped at third jump” for hunters or “Went wide on turn to jump 3” for jumpers… no idea how halter horses mess up, maybe stuff like “Not enough attitude” or something? indicating a need to work on look-at-me-ness for the next one.)

Wow, I can’t believe you’d be willing to tackle another game :shock: :wink: But, it sounds like a good idea. I’d be willing to pay a membership fee if the game is a good one. And I have a feeling you could become profitable as you produce a great product. Some features I’d suggest would be a farrier and vet. Would be nice to get a report on health issues. Maybe an option for producing silks. Just some thoughts. :slight_smile: Anyway, I think it’s a great idea and would definitly give it a shot.

Wow, gosh. It’s sort of hard to imagine The Perfect Sim Game, since I already like FF so much, but here goes…

In my dream equine ownership sim, I’d be able to enjoy:
~ a variety of breeds/colorations to choose from
~ breeding – to be honest, that’s a big part of what draws me to this game…being able to breed horses and potentially create some wonderful memorable dynasty bloodline. :wink:
~ as far as activities go, my personal favorites are: racing (flat, SC, harness), show jumping, endurance riding, 3-day-eventing
~ if there’s showing, a way for players to be able to influence ther horse’s presentation in, say, a show – I’ve never owned or shown horses, but there have to be little nuances besides just having a well-bred horse with awesome conformation to be a winner, that a player could control.
~ if I’m going to be paying to play the sim, then I would want lots of pretty graphics to look at. While personally I’m totally fine with the mostly non-graphical look of FF, it would feel like I was getting more for my cash if I had lots of neat pictures to distract me. :wink:
~ some way for players to be able to replay races/competitions featuring their horses, or perhaps compile a ‘highlight tape’ of their most wonderful accomplishments – good for ego-boosting, and also gives one something to do when there is not currently a competiion or racemeet going on.
~ an online paper. :wink: I know that would require editors, but that would be so cool – to have people writing with analysis of major races, for example, or profiles of in-game horses, etc. That would be cool. :wink:

As far as Final Furlong goes, though, I love it precisely because it is small, personal, and realistic. (Well, the free part is nice, too.) :wink: As far as the Ultimate Sim goes, of course I would play it, and probably set aside money to pay for it as well, just because of the cool experiences I’ve had playing FF. :wink:

I would pay to play TUHOS if it was done correctly. I don’t honestly know what is in your “power” to create, so it’s kinda hard to imagine it. So, lets say you could make anything! (I’m going to reveil my geeky side haha). I am a fan of online RP games i.e. World of Warcraft… I’ve been a Blizzard fan since I was 15 haha… :astonished:ops: If you could create an interactive game such as that (wow thats a tall order)… I would totally pay a monthly fee and gladly… as for sim games, I’m a sucker for The Sims (1 & 2)… So things I would want in a horse sim game…

  1. Customizable horses… so in breeding mode I can pick out what my foal is going to look like, what markings he will have, how tall he will be (in reference to his parents, of course), and maybe even what his personality will be like.

  2. First person perspective (here comes those RP games into play). It would nice to actually BE the person in your game, so its more personable.

  3. Actually “control” your horses in whatever event they might be doing… so that i guild my horse around the track (or jumping ring) and whatever might befall him is in my hands or my fault.

well thats all I can think of right now, like I said thats kinda a tall order. If its doable, great! I know we all complain about xbox and ps2 games, wishing they were more realistic… we could also suggest what we “dont like” from those games too for more guidelines.

This is the one thing I can guarantee I won’t do…part of the “fun” of breeding is not knowing what you’ll get, and having to actually strategize with what horses you breed. What I will probably do is have lots of different equipment/tack/etc to choose from that you can customize.

It would be nice to have tack shop kinda deal you have to pay to rent a barn and board and grain hay etc… pay the jockey. that would be neat. But yet I would be more than willing to pay for a membership to FF than to another game.

Halter horses mess up by not standing square, being pushy with their owners, failing to execute snappy turnarounds etc. :wink: they are a snooze though.
I would certainly play TUHOS, even if I did have to pay a small fee. The small fee for everyone would keep it from being super huge (not naming any names but… horseland…)
I agree with what was said about the smaller things. Grooming could be a cool factor that helps a horse win in shows, especialy halter, though I cant see it meaning anything for a racehorse.
I also like the idea of a dressage score sheet, with comments and etc for that and other classes. I love the idea of having a horse go from race track to show ring.
Besides, I love to have lots of horse games to play. It keeps me amused, especialy since I wont have a horse of my own for a while. :cry:

I think that would be awesome Shanthi! I agree with trying to keep it small(ish) because really, games aren’t any fun if they’re too big. I think what I’d really like is having good comments for the races and all of the showing classes. And I also love the idea of the racers becoming something else afterwards, I think that would be really cool!

First of all let me say that I’ve beta tested and played several mmorpgs’s. I belong to a clan that has been in existence about 13 years and spans multiple games now. WOW having most of us right now. I’ve played several horse racing games on the net.

To begin with, and I’m sorry Sarah, small does not make money. However that being said you don’t have to lose a sense of community in a large game. The game I most liked, next to this one, was extremely large. You could be lost and by yourself. However they had groups in the game called residencies. The one I joined was one of the largest and most active. It had 75 members. A great close-knit group of people that helped each other and helped us newbies learn the ropes.

Animation, I know your working on it Shanthi, not a side-to-side scroller, but around the track 3-D. Also the ability to have our silks on the jockey?s in the race. That was done in the 3-D animated race program I showed you Shanthi. You had to down load silks updates every so often, and race files every week but you could go back and watch old races.

More people more stables more horses means a need for more races.

The weekly racing news is a good idea except biweekly or monthly is more likely to be successful. It’s less time consuming for the contributors and editor(s).

Stable silks are nice (some of us have them as avatars on the forum). However a set of blank silks that someone can down load is all that’s needed. The person can design their own silks, and you can bet in a game like this with more than 10 people there will be more than one wiling to design silks for other members.

Breeding is the big thing. People want to breed their own horses to their own horses. In the game I came from you could only do that in a very limited way. That’s why I left. On the other hand if your going to pay money your not going to want to wait 2 or 3 years to get your foals on the track.

True to life forget. It is too complicated for the general gamer. Close to life is good. Scheduling vets, grooming etc. is a pain, but a general fee monthly or yearly gives the feeling with being tedious.

General training ie. Gate training, speed, stamina is good. Maybe an automated trainer telling you where your horse needs the most or least work. But trying to figure out the number of hours a day and what days he needs to work on what is a pain. Or maybe just general training pick a date(race) to train the horse to. depending on the starting condition of the horse and the amout of time to train he could be raceable but not at his peak, at his peak, worn out etc.

I do not want to sit on a horse and guide him around the track. If I wanted to do that I could get on one of the game systems in the house and do that for hours. I’ve done it. I’m tired of it.

In my opinion racing with be the largest draw to the game.

So I’ve given you opinion’s and not much else. Here’s what I’d pay for.

Breeding my own horses. No more than 1 year to get the foals racing.

excellant graphics(the star on the forehead and the little dots always give me a chuckle)

good animation of races 3-D(It’s a thrill watching your horse and your silks rounding the turn comming out of the back stretch making her move passing the leader comming to the wire. If you aren’t yelling at the monitor you aren’t alive)

A life like, but not true to life game. I’m looking to relax from real life.

Well, I’d contribute one idea.

A pay to play game would have to be truly awesome, because I honestly have other more important things to spend my money on.

I hate games which ‘trick you in’ by having a free membership…that turns out to be ‘OH, hey, lookat all the cool features! But /you/ can’t have them! Gimmegimegimme!’ HorseLand comes immediately to mind…either the free version needs to be playable (not frustrating), or maybe a time-limited demo instead. Or something…just not this ‘Hehe, you’re hooked, but if you want to have any fun at all, you gotta give me money :-P’.

(Btw, personally, I’m looking for a free /stats-based/ /non-racing/ game…I like racing, but I’d like to play a showing/hunter game as well, but not one where results are pulled out of a hat!)

Yeah, I’m actually more interested in the post-racing version of this imaginary game at the moment :slight_smile: I mean, I might have some racers too, but I’d love to be able to simulate a more ‘real’ horse owning experience by competing in events I could actually do IRL if I had time/money :wink: $5/month is much cheaper than board for a real horse :slight_smile:

Breeding would be tricky… I like real time, but that’d be impractical/impossible to do to a large extent for non-racers. But otherwise you end up with screwy foal records for mares (which also annoys me). If, however, you had a steady stream of horses coming off the track you’d be able to just buy horses there, but then you wouldn’t have the breeding aspect and you’ll probably want to breed in a totally different direction if you’re breeding for a hunter/jumper/dressage prospect (even post-racing) than solely for racing or whatever. :slight_smile: So… enh?

There has been an idea i’ve been thinking about lately but just haven’t been able to put it into words. Basically a feature that I feel would make a sim more lifelike (and could possibly be used in FF, if not impractical to code) would be daily/weekly stable “problems/emergencies/benifits”, and would get better/worse on how active the player is.
For example a pretty regular player who logs on 2-3 times a week might get a message when they log on such as “Gentleman’s Right pulled a shoe.” Or a member who hasn’t logged on in 2-3 weeks might get a message stating, “Gentleman’t Right coliced.”
So basically just random things that could really happen at a barn based on activity and could be taken care of by the stable owner.
Lol…really hard to put in words, but kinda get what i’m saying? :slight_smile:

One other thing if your looking to make money we maybe the wrong group to base a game from. We are rather a specialized bunch. I’ll bet all of us were looking for a free game to start with. The vast majority are horse people with different gaming wants than non horse “nuts”(I mean nuts in a good way) :wink: I believe the idea is to have the game pay for itself and make some type of compensation for the time you’d have to put in to manage it.

How many people at $5 a month would it take to reach your goals? How much time would it take to do the programming to meet the expectations of the people that would pay? The questions come to who are the people willing to pay, and what will they pay for.

I would challenge everyone that donates now to make a comment here. Because you are the type of people that will make a pay to play game successful.

Me I’m a gamer the challenge is the thing. I bred and raced pigeons as a kid. So breeding and racing horses ina game is a natural move. It provides a continually new challenge.

I believe that Shanthi and Andrea deserve more than thanks for running this game labor of love or not.

Hey, you try to make super awesome graphics…:stuck_out_tongue:

That’s what we pay :shock: oops this is free :wink: :lol: :lol:

OK, so…to recap a bit.

Things that I plan/would like to do:

  • Have any/all breeds be in the game
  • Have all sorts of disciplines be in the game
  • Animate races
  • Many grades/levels of racing/showing competition
  • Allow stables to sponsor races/shows/classes
  • Training for horses (regardless of discipline)
  • Results for races/shows based on horse stats
  • Breed/discipline registries
  • Online newspaper/magazine/whatever run by members

Things that I would like to do, but have no idea how :wink:

  • Animate shows
  • Custom outfits/tack/equipment/jockey silks
  • Archive races/shows to replaying at later date(s)

Other things I’m considering

  • Board…new members would be required to board at another member’s stable until they can afford to buy/build a stable of their own)
  • Health/training reports on horses
  • Backbreeding for mares…mares bred for racing would be able to backbreed a weanling/yearling/2yo, mares bred for showing would be able to backbreed a weanling/yearling/2yo/3yo/4yo
  • Stuff that could affect your horse’s performance (i.e. you groom/bathe your horse the day before the show, and they do better 'cause they’re prettyful)
  • Disasters/surprise events - the main issue is how to make these realistic/“fun” rather than a major pain in the butt…it would be nice to have your horse possibly unable to show due to a lost shoe or something

Things that I don’t plan to do

  • Farrier, vet, feed, etc - I might consider this on some scale (i.e. a stable has to buy feed once a month), but for the most part, it sounds like an annoying “feature” :wink:
  • Customize your horses’ stats for breeding
  • “speed-breeding” - foals will be born after 11 months, and will take the normal time to age
  • First-person animation - you will not ride your horse/be a jockey for your racer…that’s what other games are for (and really, this would be impossible in a race with 10 different members…you’d need them all on at the same time to do this, and not only would that not be likely, coding this would be a nightmare)

Membership Fees/Features (Proposed)

  • Trial member: 1 or 2 months of the full game/graphics for free (up to 10 horses, up to 3 breeds, up to 2 disciplines)
  • Non-paying member: Text-based only/no fancy graphics (up to 10 horses, up to 3 breeds, up to 2 disciplines)
  • Basic member: $5/month (up to 30 horses, up to 10 breeds, up to 5 disciplines)
  • Premium member: $10/month (up to 100 horses, unlimited breeds, unlimited disciplines)
  • Extra horses: $10 = 50 more horses (one-time fee)