VO Chronciles - The history of insideVO
Karla who? Na Karla Kolumna, the rabid reporter. It still does not ring? Then maybe help a little "TÖRÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖ?
Karla Kolumna is the raging reporter from the radio drama series "Benjamin Blümchen". And in 2001, the GNC also got its own column. Not by Karla Kolumna, but by Phil Söhnlein.
Phil, then admin and head of the VO / GNC homepage, had the idea to write an irregular column about "NASCAR Racing" and "online gaming" in general. The drivers saw this similar, as a (actually still available) survey result shows:
Columns - yes or no? Clearly yes!
The survey was done quickly, but it took almost three months before the first column appeared. The column should also serve as a stumbling block for a small discussion in the forum, there was a subforum specifically for the columns.
Phil wrote two more columns in the next two months ("Future and personality cult in the online racing area" and "Community"). Likewise, Tom Bleicher has set times as a guest writer and nachgehakt: "A league takes stock, or the first weekend."
Unfortunately, only the first column could be completely extracted from the Internet archives. If you want, you can read it below. If you have ten minutes, I can recommend the column to you. It is sometimes interesting to read it now, almost 20 years later, because now you know how it has evolved.
N1, N2, N3, N4 ... where is this going to lead?
Hello people (I do not deny the "hello target group" now),
I'll try this day finally as the author of the column of VO (Virtual Oval). I know, I promised you the column for the Easter holidays and actually for the start of the new season. Well, but since it is not quite ready with the new season (we're almost there, I think * g *), I thought to myself, I pull the column a little "before".
The first topic that I would like to pick out today is one of my favorite topics that I have already "referred to" in various GPL, Elite Force and other forums. I'd like to talk a little bit about what it's like now, with the successors of PC games (especially, of course, NASCAR 4) and if it's really that good to release a sequel.
Well ... what exactly is a successor to a PC game? Well, you would have said earlier, a successor is a game in which the developer of the first part picks up on the theme of the predecessor again and possibly "extended" the predecessor (in the form of new graphics engine, new sounds, etc.).
Today this is a little different: only the topic is usually (not always) taken over from the predecessor. BUT: It is no longer common, for example, that the developer company is the same! Example complacent? Late last year, the first-person shooter "Star Trek Voyager - Elite Force" (EF) came out. Developer was the software company "Raven" ("Rainbow Six", "Heretic"). There is no official statement yet, but if a successor to EF should come out, it will NOT be "Raven" anymore. Well, that's how it works ...
Good, next. It is usually not developed in a successor, a new graphics engine. Mostly only the old one is drilled out or another, already existing graphics engine "bought". Be it the "Unreal Tournament", "Q **** 3 A ****" (indexed game) or the "Grand Prix Legends" (GPL) engine. They were all developed once and used for other games. Sure, the GPL engine left "the product" in the house, but it was taken for another game.
Theme sounds: The sounds are, fortunately, almost all, also made new for game followers. A negative example, which I now happen to think of, is (unfortunately) our beloved NASCAR 4! Although hardly any sounds were taken DIRECTLY from the predecessor (N3), a lot of sounds were taken directly from GPL without any changes. I've been upset about that in my N4 review, I'll let that go.
Well, what do we think of that? The definition of a successor title has unfortunately, in my eyes, developed something negative.
Well, let's move on to the next question: why does a company make any successor to a PC game? Is money the reason? Because we fans demand it? Well, I would say that it is both (unfortunately). It goes, as so often, for dear money (usually, I mean at least): It can certainly achieve much higher sales figures, if the predecessor is known and he was also perhaps quite good, right?
Which of us did not crash blindly on N4? If the US and EU release had been simultaneous, we would all have bought it without reading a single review, right? After all, everything should be better with a successor ... the graphics, the AI and so on.
Is that always the case? Nope. But well, successors must already be today. Belong already to the good sound. I read more often in forums or PC mags such as "I'm looking forward to the successor" or "cool, I'm going through after 2 days, I want to be a successor". Well, from a successor one expects that he is better ... like many things today: better, higher, faster, further, etc., no matter.
Well, so a successor should be better. Let me remind you of the example "Command & Conquer 3 - Tiberian Sun" (C & C): The game itself was horrendous. Ok, let's say it was not nearly as good as its two predecessors. Westwood (developer of the C & C series) had promised so much that they did not keep ... hops. I just noticed something: Was not it the same for N3?
I can still remember screenshots (I even have them on record, if anyone wants to!), Which should be a not yet finished version of N3. On the screenshots cars were to be seen, which could overturn (so there was a height axis)! Was that the case in the final product? - no. We conclude what? Successors are not always the better predecessors or in other words: Do not blindly trust a successor title if you liked the previous part!
It was said in advance that N3 and N4 would be so different that it would be almost impossible to drive them really seriously next to each other. Well, I've already heard opinions (from people who know N3 and N4, drive, etc.), about N4, which did not sound very enthusiastic: There are really people (that should not be an indictment now), the N3 on everyone Case N4 would not be so "N4 convinced" the rest of the world!
Yes, it's true, N4 has the nicer graphics, the more realistic control and also the greater hardware hunger * side cut *. But: is N4 from the atmosphere, really n3? Is it really THE GAME online? Sure, for the "hardcore" sure, but I mean, who does not have the time, who would rather stay with N3, right?
So now we have to find something against which many (in other areas), including us, always protest: The mainstream has broken out with us! If N3 and N4 were based on the same graphics engine and the differences were not so big, would not the "fan folk" share? Would not opinions differ further?
I know it's not like that, but somehow N3 seems to me like ... like ... oh, I compare with music: N4 is the "chartbreaker", so to speak (but no fluke). N3, however, more so the "outdated style of music" (comparison with jazz, soul & funk, etc.). Is jazz really worse than pop? Is he out of action? The latter certainly yes, the former, however, not quite.
What I mean by that is this: We should not judge people who prefer N3 N4. And: We should not (if we could!) All change brusquely to N4, because in my view it is simply a mainstream that is done without thinking.
And that, EXACTLY THAT, can happen when you develop a successor, and that's exactly the danger that you have to consider when making a statement (as above). I sometimes think of successful and old ranks of certain PC games that now carry version numbers in the almost double digits ("Final Fantasy 8" for example): Somehow, having a title with such a high number on the back is NOT a thing for me, with which the company can boast. It shows me somehow that something in the predecessors did not work as it should, right?
I would like to introduce three examples of games (a well-known, a less well-known and a known special attack) that have no successor title so far (so far) and I would like to show what it can do to not develop one:
Example 1: Unreal Tournament (UT)
"Unreal Tournament" is (strictly speaking) a successor of "Unreal". However, "Unreal" and UT have a difference: Unreal is a game with solo and multiplayer modes. UT is a pure multiplayer game. And that's exactly what makes up a lot and also that's what makes UT, for me, a game that would need no predecessor and no successor: UT "lives" for 2-3 years and is by clans and mods (= modifications) on receive life.
The community around UT would remain for some years, would come (yes, who would have thought) NO successor ... but now there are plans (and screenshots already) to a UT2. We will see what the fan base will make of it, it remains exciting to watch.
Example 2: Star Trek Voyager - Elite Force (EF)
EF is (like UT) also a first-person shooter, but not as popular or well-known. The fans are expecting the official add-on for the game next week, as well as plans (as mentioned above) for a successor. That is, I think, a great pity. Because: The EF community was initially very strong (many people). Then came a low, caused by the fact that many people turned away from the game, as they expected too much. This low was also caused because the expected MODs failed.
And why did they stay out? Some were already looking forward to EF2 (my prediction: it will be the end of 2001 at the earliest), other projects stifled because there were not enough people for it. There were many good ideas for EF-MODs. However, I even fear that in the end only a handful of it will be left, because with the current number of people it is not so fast to create a few MODs.
I'm also worried that the add-on and successor discussions have led many developer groups to abandon their MOD because they would not have completed their project until the release date of either the add-on or the successor.
Example 3: Grand Prix Legends (GPL)
We all should know it. GPL was launched at the end of 1998, which is a long time ago (considering IT development). So far there was no successor. And here I could observe some very (!) Interesting.
The GPL community evolved! She grew up! There was an "evolution", so to speak! A good example is the OLC (now EOLC) - the German-speaking GPL Online League par excellence: It all started with a happy get-together of 6 riders (two of them were absolute rookies.) The name of <one of these rookies coincidentally started with "Ph" to * g *).
This race (and a few more, without the said rookie with "ph" * g *) were the first races that led to the founding of the OLC. It came a homepage, a good race management, a set of rules, etc. And already grew the whole. At that time still with ISDN hosts drove (only 6 participants per race, more did not go).
Grids quickly developed (A, B, C with 6 drivers each). It was not long before a host was found, with which one could drive from then on "Full Grid Race". But that was not enough. Meanwhile there are three full grids (A to C) and some "minor leagues" (like the "US-Traxx series"). And the (E) OLC is / was not an isolated case. The whole GPL community has been growing all the time, and it still does today, though the simulation in the store is hard to come by.
The whole thing has also developed so far, because the fans GPL extended: Many new tracks followed, new cars, car designs, sounds, just everything. Ok, I admit, I fell for it, but there was a discussion recently in the Dirk Wagner forum about a "GPL Superpatch", which does not really exist, but if it were real, then he would probably be the best example for the development of GPL.
There was no surround sound at that time (when GPL came out), rain was not brought into the simulation, an animated pit crew was not integrated with GPL 1.0 (and 1.2). The Superpatch has promised it and I even dared to trust the GPLers ... why? Because they've been doing that a lot (not so extreme, I know), it would have been a true fanfare that would have taken 2.5 years to "mature" to the point that would never have arisen if already a GPL 2 would exist.
Well, it's a fake, but I believed it! And now to something interesting, I have stated: diehard GPLer even GPL unfaithful. The reason is called N4! N4 is more or less the unofficial successor of GPL (fortunately not the official one). You can already begin to see what would happen if there were a GPL 2: The GPL community is split! GPL2 will not (as N4 to N3) cause 100% approval with the GPLers, that will not work!
The result would be a split of the fans (depending on your interest). This could already be seen starting with GPL and N4: some do not want to drive GPL anymore, some GPL only by the way. The whole beautiful community that had developed - zack - a little shaken. It's clear: N4 and GPL are unlikely to do both (very time-consuming simulations). So you have to decide more or less for one thing.
So, to come to the end, here once
CONCLUSION: In my opinion, successors are not always the yellow of the egg. The community will always suffer from multiplayer games. There will never be 100% approval from the fans for the successor and both online leagues, as well as fans have to change with each new edition, be it simulation or game.
This can break some online clans or leagues, but also create new ones. In short: one is constantly busy with "conversions". There are hardly any constants. In contrast, if it takes a few years for a successor to come, develop a fan base, get to know each other (the people) and you could sometimes do other things (specials) as "only" constantly "normal" race to drive, as in our case.
You could do a lot more than some think. The various MODs for UT (or even Half Life, is also a good example, but I have let you out for that but * g *) or the tracks and fan patches for GPL show what is possible in the course of a certain successorless time!
To briefly compare with relationships (marriage, friendships, love relationships are in the case no matter): So you really notice what you have, if it lasts a long time and a marriage (for example) can still after many years be interesting (I hope that will remain so in the future, but on the point of view "marriage today" I probably do not need to write here * g *). So much for the social area of this column article. *G*
I would like to end the article in the words of Wolfgang Wöger, who wrote: "Driving GPL is a way of life". Why should not a game (whether UT, HL, EF, N4 or GPL) become, as Dirk Wagner said, "a passion"? And a passion or hobby usually lasts longer than about a year and you get really good after a long period of time (but that's also the case with athletes).
Therefore I call to the conclusion: Please consider it twice if a successor is really soooooo necessary and considering what you can do after a long successionless time. I hope the game companies consider something in the future and then bring out the better (bugfreiere) successor.
Thank you for reading (next time I will be shorter, if desired, promised).