Planescape Dev Gets ‘Kickstarter Fever’

By Craig Pearson on February 10th, 2012 at 12:49 pm.

Planescape, yesterday.
Eek. We might be about to find out if Tim Schafer’s crowd-funding of a game is one-off lightning in a bottle, or a viable alternative for developers to work outside of publishers. Chris Avellone, the lead developer of isometric RPG classic Planescape Torment and current creative director of Obsidian Entertainment, responded to Michael Antonelli’s suggestion on Twitter that “I’d kickstart $500 for an old school isometric RPG. For Planescape 2? $1000” by stating:

Hmmmm. I admit, I’ve got Kickstarter fever now. I feel like a bunch of doors suddenly appeared in game development.

I took his temperature, readers, and he was boiling hot.

He also offered “I’m down” in response to another tweet asking “Now can we get a Kickstarter campaign for an old school isometric RPG by @Obsidian_Ent @ChrisAvellone?”

Obviously there’s a world of difference between flippant Twitter-ness and a game plan, but for a publisher-agnostic company like Avellone’s Obisdian, that difference isn’t such a big obstacle. It just depends on the kind of game he’d want to make and the resources available. Supportive tweets should go here.

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205 Comments »

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  1. cafe says:

    Dungeon Keeper Remake, now!

    • mickygor says:

      My bank account will be emptied for this.

    • simoroth says:

      Sadly the rights are with EA who are licensing it for a junk Chinese MMO.

      However I have a little personal project in the works that I’m going to be making in our next down time. Hopefully it might capture a little of the spirit. ;)

    • Premium User Badge

      Malcolm says:

      This isn’t really about remakes though is it – both this and Doublefine’s concept are entirely new games albeit in “unfashionable” genres by people with proven track records.

      Dungeon Keeper was excellent though. Prison Architect is already under development, as is Paradox’s “A Game of Dwarves” either of which may scratch that itch.

    • enobayram says:

      Will you buy it if it’s called Theme Dungeon then?

    • Dogsbody says:

      THIS, x1000.

      Bring back slapping chickens into puffs of blood and feathers, too.

    • Bonegnawer says:

      You may like Legend of Grimrock devoloped by finish indie studio Almost Human. Previously on RPS.

  2. jumblesale says:

    Ohh, yes please.

  3. UnravThreads says:

    inb4 people get their hopes up for Planescape 2.

    • Zeewolf says:

      Wooo! Planescape 2!!

    • Deadly Habit says:

      PLANESCAPE 2 FUCK YEAH
      SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY

    • MrMud says:

      NEED MOAR PLANESACEP!!!

    • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

      In after someone says that retarded “inb4″ thing.

    • Porkolt says:

      You people are forgetting what WotC have discontinued the Planescape line. They’d be mad to publish anything bearing that title.

      Not to mention that Planescape’s cosmology has been warped and fractured by setting advancements made in D&D 3E and 4E.

      Honestly. The deep philosophy and cleverness that drove the original Planescape setting is no longer present in any running licensed D&D product.

    • Chandos says:

      @Porkolt: I remember a discussion on Bay12 forums on this very matter, and the counter-argument was that the magic of PS:T was more than just the game system it used (AD&D, 3rd, 4th, etc).

      Then again the effort it would take to port the PS:T experience to 4th (or 5th) edition while retaining consistency and quality might be so convoluted that it might just make more sense to make a spiritual successor.

    • Porkolt says:

      You’re right, but it’s not at all just the rules used. The actual setting is gone. The universe the game was set in doesn’t exist anymore, its owners having replaced it with a far less interesting universe.

      For WotC, dredging up an old, outdated D&D campaign setting, that is no longer published or supported by current canon, is bad marketing. They’d much rather make a game set in Ebberon or Forgotten Realms or whatever.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Fuck the rules that translate badly into a computer game.

      Use the setting. Throw out the rules, make ones that make sense in the context of a computer game.

    • Wizardry says:

      That’s a stupid thing to say. D&D CRPGs tend to have the best rules around.

    • Timmytoby says:

      That’s a stupid thing to say. D&D CRPGs tend to have the best rules around.

      I disagree. D&D rules are already bad for P&P games, but at least there you can throw half of them out and replace them with house rules.

      D&D rules on the computer where always clumsy, awkward, slow and all around bad.
      Planescape: Torment, BG and the rest where not good because of the D&D rules, they were good despite the horrible rules.

    • Wizardry says:

      @Timmytoby: You obviously haven’t played the Gold Box games as they were only good because of the D&D rules.

    • NathanH says:

      The main reason I think that D&D cRPGs tend to be good is because most non-D&D cRPGs seem to be scared to actually tell me what the rules are. Apparently allowing me to understand what any of my choices actually mean is seen to be a bad thing. It should be considered mandatory that cRPGs explain their rules properly somewhere.

      Generally nobody seems to want to tell me the rules of their games, but for RPGs it is most noticeable.

  4. CMaster says:

    Am I the only one who is somewhat abivilant about handing over my own money to fund an already proftitable business produce a new profitable product?

    Now, turn my “crowdfunding” contribution into something I can get an RoI on and I might be interested.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lars Westergren says:

      I’m sure you are not the only one, but I’m happy to do it since it may enable the making of a game of a sort which is rarely made these days. And never on a big budget.

      >Now, turn my “crowdfunding” contribution into something I can get an RoI on and I might be interested.

      That would be the next level, and something I could also get behind. I don’t mind earning money at the same time I’m funding great stuff. I think a site that offers that could quickly get into really sticky situations with regards to international taxes and laws though.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      I think that is not so crazy an idea

    • Juan Carlo says:

      I agree, actually.

      I’d be more into this if there was some sort of scheme where if you donate at least 50 dollars you get the game free on release. But it does seem a bit strange to fund a project so you can ultimately pay to buy that project.

    • simoroth says:

      Problem is legally crowd funding is just a preorder. If you add ROI its an investment, so you need licensed brokers involved, and lawyers, and then suddenly the costs escalate and everyone is worse off.

    • razgon says:

      @Juan Carlo – You don’t fund the game and then have to pay for it – at least not in Doublefine’s case. You pay 30 bucks, you get the game.

    • The Hammer says:

      Uh yeah, by pointing down money for the game – $15 in Double Fine’s case – you get the finished game, automatically.

      So not only do you help make it, but you also get a copy of it at the end of the day! Mint!

    • Deadly Habit says:

      most crowdfunding has a level that you get the game at, like the double fine of $15 gets you a copy on steam

    • iteyoidar says:

      I would rather pay for video-games this way than tossing money at Electronic Arts or Ubisoft

    • alinos says:

      I don’t see the issue if you are guaranteed a copy of the final game.

      Like if they say right we need X amount of money to make planescape 2. We would sell it for X dollars. Any backing of that price or more get’s a copy of the game.

      If they don’t hit their target you get your money back.

      Though the thing is that doing something like this you would want to make sure you deliver because otherwise everyone who kicks in only to have the project go belly up half way through development will forever taint anyone that is associated with it.

      Schafer might get away with it based on the fact he is filming it and it’s the first time someone does this. But the next group might not be so lucky.

      But then when something get’s overfunded to the extent that Schafer has been it would be inexcusable to fail i would think(unless there was a fundamental flaw with the original game design) Since based on what he said he could make 3 games and film all of them at the moment.

      Personally i think the issue here is not to fund successful publisher’s. But to see games which might only see a 10% return on investment get made. Primarily because for us the game is enough of a return on investment. While a publisher might decide that anything less than 30% estimated return on investment doesn’t warrant the time/money

    • circadianwolf says:

      Microshares of the kind you’re talking about are unfortunately illegal in the US. Lots of people have wanted to do that on Kickstarter (and elsewhere). You can imagine your own reasons why there’s laws against it.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Eh, at certain amounts it’s just like a preorder and a deluxe edition.

    • enobayram says:

      It’s a slightly safer model than the alpha funding, common these days. You know that you’re not one of 2 guys who paid 30 dollars for a game that won’t be made due to insufficient resources. Though I don’t think that has happened with alpha funded games yet. Another aspect of it is that you don’t need an alpha version.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      Already profitable business? Don’t game development studios get a salary for doing games but hand over all rights to the funding publisher when it’s over?

      In any case, Obsidian or Double Fine making profit would be a good thing, because knowing them they’d reinvest it in making better games i.e. they’d need less crowdfunding next time. So you get an RoI in the form of good games being made.

      Lastly, sorry but shareholders (at least when taken as a group) are greedy and short-sighted, and the plague of innovation, ethics and many other things that make a game studio good. Some of the most interesting tech compagnies are either private (Valve) or have put forward rather strict guidelines regarding what shareholders can impose on them (Google). At least with the kickstarter model they won’t have idiots barking after them every quarter because their dividends aren’t high enough.

  5. Tiax says:

    Yes please.

    PLEASE

    For Planescape Torment, I’d be ready to give up to 200 $ if it looks like it’s gonna be PC-exclusive and a worthy successor to the first one.

    • trjp says:

      Why would PC exclusive matter to you?? Why would limiting it’s audience improve it??

    • MrMud says:

      Because it wouldnt be designed to the limitations of the consoles?

    • Premium User Badge

      Joshua says:

      @MrMud

      Since when do consoles limit story or world building, the reasons why many people liked Planescape in the first place?

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      Yes, PC exclusivity is so important for this kind of game. I would lose interest based on what it implies if the game is to be on consoles.

    • Brun says:

      Since when do consoles limit story or world building, the reasons why many people liked Planescape in the first place?

      The console audience limits those.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Someone give us an average age of both formats. That’s what worries me. Planescape is slow, and about reading dialogue.

      But I may be completely wrong, possibly the average age of a console gamer is much older than I think it is. But judging by the biggest selling titles on them I do doubt that.

    • Premium User Badge

      Aninhumer says:

      @Brun

      It’s not like they’d be forced to cater for the majority audience of the platform just because they’re porting to it. Choosing to “dumb down” a game to appeal to a wider audience is an entirely separate decision from choosing to produce a console port.

    • Jerykk says:

      When games are developed for multiple platforms, it’s the PC version that ends up being a port 99% of the time. If the game is a PC-exclusive, this isn’t an issue. Publishers and developers will almost always cater to the lowest common denominator, which is consoles in the case of multiplatform games, so it’s perfectly reasonable for someone to want a PC-exclusive.

  6. Prokroustis says:

    Planescape: Subtitle
    Make it happen.

  7. Juan Carlo says:

    A sequel would be awesome, but for starters why not just raise enough to do an HD remake of the original. Some might scream “Blasphemy!” but I’m not suggesting turning it 3D or anything, just giving the 2D artwork a high rez upgrade and maybe giving the interface a bit of update.

    • linea says:

      There’s no real need for an HD remake. There are plenty of Infinity Engine mods which allow the games to run at higher resolutions and the artwork still looks great. With the mods you can simply see more of it at one time.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Yeah, linea’s right. The artwork still looks surprisingly amazing. It took them ten years to get back to that quality in 3d.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Art work is still fantastic I agree. But a remake of some kind would be great as the interface is pretty horrific, as is the combat and many irritating niggles around the edges.

  8. Lukasz says:

    This crowdfunding will work as long as someone doesn’t pockets the money and says that they failed and game won’t happen but they already spend all the money. We had a great track record so far I believe but it will happen eventually.
    The F— is happening with that zombie game btw? are they still working on it/back on track after the theft>?

    • InternetBatman says:

      There are legal ramifications for that. Kickstarter very clearly states in the info page that you open yourself up for a suit.

  9. caddyB says:

    I’m willing to pay the price to see another proper isometric rpg made.

    • Duffin says:

      And my axe.

    • Sarlix says:

      I would give ALL my gold.

    • apocraphyn says:

      Whereas I think it’s great for Doublefine and people who are a fan of Schafer’s work/Adventure games in general, I’m not too fussed by their whole Kickstarter deal and the success it has attracted.

      This, however…

      TAKE MY MONEY!!! TAKE ALL MY MONEY!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Premium User Badge

    Lambchops says:

    I’d be more likely to put down money for a new IP rather than a Planescape sequel (though that said the Planescape universe is so vast that a sequel could easily feel like a new IP).

    Still this was certainly one of the combinations of developer and game I had in mind as something I would support.

    • Premium User Badge

      c-Row says:

      Unfortunately the Planescape IP isn’t theirs to do whatever they want with it, so unless a Kickstarter fund would also include licensing it, a Planescape sequel is pretty much out of the question.

    • MichaelPalin says:

      I’m getting confused here, are we talking about “a Torment sequel” or “a new game in the Planescape universe”? I guess you still need licensing for both, but it’s not the same thing. I guess obtaining a license for the universe should be easier, since you don’t have to ask for it to another video game company that may see your future game as competition.

    • Memphis-Ahn says:

      Torment is over. It ended. Don’t touch it.
      The Planescape universe on the other hand, allows for unlimited possibilities, especially now that WotC has dropped it. The WotC guys are Jews (Hasbro) so getting the license would be incredibly expensive, but since WotC no longer support it, it might be easier? Who knows.

    • mouton says:

      Unless Hasbro/Wizards changed their policy, they will not allow games made on their old franchise. So no Planescape ever, or at least until Hasbro dies.

      I would have no problem with Avellone making a new game on whatever IP, though.

    • Wooly Wugga Wugga says:

      Hey Memphis-Ahn,

      How about a little less racism in your post.

    • Unaco says:

      @Memphis-Ahn…

      “The WotC guys are Jews (Hasbro) so getting the license would be incredibly expensive”

      Just what, exactly, is this sentence supposed to mean?

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      The jew comment is a bit appropriate in a convoluted way. I mean Obsidian are making South Park after all.

    • Unaco says:

      No. It is not appropriate, no matter how convoluted the rationalisation for your anti-semitism is. I’m kind of disgusted that it’s still here to be honest.

    • jalf says:

      Hey Memphis-Ahn,

      How about a little less racism in your post.

      That’d be cool.

      The jew comment is a bit appropriate in a convoluted way. I mean Obsidian are making South Park after all.

      mmmmmmno.

  11. Seboss says:

    As long as they don’t pull another Dungeon Siege III or any other so called Urquhart’s Slam Dunk(tm) title #rpgcodex.

    • MSJ says:

      RPG Codex? Hargh, ptooey! Sorry, just a little ritual I do when someone invoke the “TVTropes of the gaming community”, as they are known sometimes.

      I mean, I know I once called them the video game site’s version of Stormfront (with certain categories of games being their equivalent of Africans, Hispanics and such) but I never realised they actually let neo-Nazis run free in their forums. I guess when you have a certain mindset towards games, you can easily transfer those same feelings towards other human beings.

    • Tei says:

      I sould visit that website today, make a account and post “what is the definition of rpg, anyway?”

    • mouton says:

      I haven’t explored RPGcodex too deeply, but solely following their news posts’ comments made me realize that cRPGs are a much better experience when not shared with other people.

    • Tyrone Slothrop. says:

      They’re probably one of the worst communities on the internet with regard to gaming. Sure, somewhere like GameFAQs has a lot of young children yelling poorly informed things at one another but RPGcodex comprises grown men doing the same thing except with more hate, pretension and ignorance.

    • Brass_cankles says:

      While the Codex is full of assholes and dickwads, they do in fact have have great taste.

      Here are their top 5 rpgs of all time: http://www.rpgcodex.net/forums/index.php?threads/the-nature-of-the-codex-2010-top-5-results.46288/

    • Premium User Badge

      Lars Westergren says:

      Chris Avellone made a perfect illustration of RPGCodex.
      http://fallout3.files.wordpress.com/2008/01/rpgcodex8ot.jpg

    • mouton says:

      An asshole with great taste is still an asshole and he will do his best to make you hate what he likes. I know I would hate Fallout etc., if I hadn’t played it before visiting rpgcodex.

    • Wizardry says:

      Chris Avellone reads the Codex often. That picture is anything but an insult.

    • Brass_cankles says:

      Yep. To a layman, it might seem as if that picture is about whining fanatics. Truth is, that it is a humorous take on expressed passion. It can also be interpreted as a satirical take on how fans of classic cRPGs are being marginalized by console kids and publishers.

      For those that are interested: Brother None at NMA wrote up an excellent piece on the sense of betrayal among Fallout fans just before the release of Fallout 3 (it’s fairly long, so a cup of coffee and reading glasses are recommended): http://www.nma-fallout.com/article.php?id=34542

  12. NathanH says:

    I think Planescape is pretty rubbish, but apparently I am the only one.

    Still, if they could get the Infinity Engine and some of the people who made BG2 that have escaped Bioware to join up with them then that would probably be quite an awesome game.

    • MuscleHorse says:

      The combat mechanics and graphics are pretty naff, yes, but the writing is really in a league of it’s own.

    • NathanH says:

      I thought that the dialogue trees were well constructed and the English (not the content) was good, but the content was only good when it was funny weird stuff. Too often it was bogged down with turgid point-making and too many things of the sort you sit with your friends in a pub and say “haha, wouldn’t this trope be funny to invert”. It turns out that it is funny for a second and then annoying. And *don’t* get me started on that annoying *follower* with his *tiresome* stresses at random parts of sentences.

      I would be strongly in favor of a “Morte and Annah dicking around in Sigil” game though.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      When a mind does not *know* itself, it is flawed. When a mind is flawed, the man is flawed. When a man is flawed, that which he touches is flawed. It is said that what a flawed man sees, his hands make broken.

      tl;dr: Fuck off, Dak’kon is awesome.

    • NathanH says:

      Haha, yes, that’s exactly the sort of nonsense I will happily live without.

      Actually, i just had the strange thought the Dakkon’s script could probably be turned into the lyrics of a good symphonic power metal album. It’s exactly the sort of “looks meaningful, but actually is twaddle” that works brilliantly for camp Swedish metal bands.

    • Archonsod says:

      The combat was largely moot though, since you could get smacked down repeatedly and just get back up.

    • ledaeth says:

      *Know* that this is exactly the sort of nonsense, that is no nonsense at all.

    • Wooly Wugga Wugga says:

      I also battled through the first half of the game but once it opened up I was sold.

    • Apples says:

      PS:T might have been a bit pretentious, but at least it felt as if the writers and developers were trying to SAY something. You might not like or agree with what it was trying to say, but it was often philosophical and self-aware and almost didactic. Most games don’t try to say or mean anything at all, so even if PS:T wasn’t Shakespearean high art in comparison to the best films or literature, it’s still worlds away from ‘mainstream’ games, and was typical of that late 90s/early 2000s period where games were rather contemplative and drew a lot from philosophical/religious/mythical/folkloric backgrounds (Deus Ex, Morrowind…). Maybe it has “turgid point-making” (though again I’d take this over the completely point-less games that are usually made now) but it could have grown into something more insightful if that time hadn’t been, for whatever reason, kind of the last hurrah for those types of games.

      I do wish that they hadn’t given an answer to the central question of the game; the answer given was really only relevant within the ingame universe anyway. That did stray into point-making for me even though the speech itself was one of the most memorable parts of the game.

      I’ve read critical essays and theses that were much, much more pretentious and waffly than PS:T, incidentally.

    • Cerius says:

      I never thought Planescape was pretentious at all. It had humor and self awarness in spades and made fun of itself a lot too.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      All this pretentious pedantic pattering is what made me love Planescape: Torment. Dak’kon is probably my favorite video game character ever. When most games try to appeal to the intellect of a teenager something that is overly wordy and philosophical, as pretentious as it may be, is a lovely breath of fresh air.

    • NathanH says:

      My main problem is that it isn’t philosophical, rather that it is usually empty. My favorite example is the quest to become a wizard from that silly old woman. You have to do some tedious running around so that a banal point can be made that pretends to be meaningful but it actually just a bit silly. Then to be more irksome, you are given a dialogue in which you get the most reward by agreeing that the writer is just so profound and correct and right and clever. I didn’t like that very much.

      I endured some Dakkon dirges before I realized there wasn’t actually anything substantial in what he was saying, and *it* was quite painful *to* read as well, so I ditched him from my party. The central question is exactly the sort of empty question that I have no time for. If someone came to me and asked me the question, I wouldn’t get all uptight that I couldn’t answer it, I’d tell the person asking the question that they need to make a few definitions before the question even makes sense.I’ll give it points for effort, but trying something and failing is not, to me, particularly praiseworthy.

      I think a lot of this stuff is back-patting head-nodding nonsense that good for a bit of smug superiority (a bit like paying more than $15 on the kickstarter deal actually) but not really much else. I get my smug superiority from plenty of other sources, so I don’t need a supply from video games. Down with that sort of thing.

      The game is good when you’re wondering what weird shit from the Little Shop of Weird Shit you can use to solve a random problem, or reading all the cool stories in the Sensate headquarters, or watching Morte and Annah acting like people instead of point-making talking heads. Also, it is pretty much the only “I woke up and remembered nothing” stories that is actually good, which is impressive. Actually the main storyline is mostly rather good, apart from the core question. The dialogue just gets sidetracked into sillyfaceland too often, and when there’s nothing else of value in the game that’s not a great thing.

      Edit: also, if you focus your starting abilities on combat (not a completely terrible idea, given that you start as a Fighter) then the game is unrelentingly shit. This may have colored my opinions a little bit.

    • mouton says:

      To each their own. I always strive not to think that people who dislike what I love are subhuman. Sometimes, I even succeed.

    • Apples says:

      Did you get to the end of Dak’kon’s quest? The joke – or point – there is entirely the fact that his philosophy/religion he’s always jabbering about is fabricated and hollow and designed to manipulate him. And despite that, he manages to extract something that is in some way meaningful and effective for him (and for some players). It’s a pretty interesting comment on religion that also manages to avoid being insulting or derogatory towards genuine believers.

      As for the central question, I think you’re being overly pedantic and missing the point of asking it at all. Yes, in an open debate, semantics and meanings would have to be clarified before anyone could reasonably discuss the question. The game was not an open debate. The question was supposed to begin an internal debate and start an introspective look at your own thoughts and feelings on the matter that might continue beyond the game – and perhaps try to make you modify those thoughts/feelings to place them in the context of the ingame universe and then think about whether that changes your decision. I also think it’s a meaningless question as-is, but you can provide your own meanings and use it as a starting point for other questions rather than rigidly stay within its boundaries. The point is self-exploration, not somehow ‘winning’ by answering/not answering the question. Your implication that people were somehow supposed to get ‘uptight’ by not being able to answer it is completely weird and wrong.

      If you “don’t have time” for thinking about open-ended philosophical questions then uhhh that might explain why you didn’t like the game and why you thought it was a bunch of masturbatory wordgames and yet you liked the more solid rigidly defined gameplay sections like solving puzzles? It’s not that the game was objectively rubbish, it’s just that it wasn’t designed or made to cater to the reasons that you personally like games/media.

    • NathanH says:

      I didn’t get to the end of talking to Dakkon, no, it was too painful to continue. If it ends well then that is some points redeemed, although not too many—putting up with a lot of annoyance to get somewhere good is better than putting up with a lot of annoyance to get somewhere annoying, but not by that much. Realistically, if someone jabbered nonsense at me for hours, I’d tell them to shut up. Which is what I did.

      I might have totally forgotten the story but wasn’t the idea that someone got asked the “what can change the nature of man” and got really pissed off because they couldn’t answer it? That’s what I was meaning. I might have misremembered though.

      Yeah, I guess I am the sort of person who, when confronted with a question like that, just replies “silly question, more specifics or I’m not playing”. I suppose it is an interesting question to think about, but I don’t think it needs a video game (indeed it is harder to connect to inside a fantasy game, which inherently works on different rules to my world, so the answer is obviously going to be different in the game) and so I’m not giving credit to a game for asking it.

      Normally whenever I say I don’t like Planescape people just sneer and call me stupid, so it is nice to have a better conversation about it.

  13. MuscleHorse says:

    At the mere possibility of a Planescape 2 my honest stream of conciousness response is ‘fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck’

  14. Premium User Badge

    Skystrider says:

    I’d hit it. Too.

  15. Dominus says:

    I would donate an obscene amount of money for this!

    • caddyB says:

      what savings account my dear, we’ve funded a COMPUTER GAME

  16. coldvvvave says:

    This ‘fever’ will die down when kickstarted projects turn out to be mediocre games.

  17. Wachepti says:

    Nothing gets my heart beating faster than the thought of a sequel to my favorite game of all time, Planescape: Torment

  18. Paul says:

    I gave double fine 15 bucks today despite me hating point and click games..

    For an RPG though, I would give 30. Loooove RPGs, especially those by Avellone.

  19. NegativeZero says:

    I’d donate to that.

    But I’d donate twice as much toward a TIE Fighter resurrection.

    • Fierce says:

      I would Kickstart the shit out of FreeSpace 3. You have no idea.

      Literally, THOUSANDS of dollars. I would shove people out of the way on my way to the “Backer” button and everything. With viruses.

      And if there were a Kickstart for Firefly… I… I can’t… (*Disconnected*)

    • Deadly Habit says:

      Freelancer 2

    • PopeJamal says:

      I wouldn’t donate a rancid roadkill rodent to anything associated with Lucas.

  20. Blackcompany says:

    Would I help fund a PC-exclusive/built-for-PC-first top-down RPG? Sure.
    .
    Would I help fund another built-for-console-and-ported dungeon seige III? No.
    .
    If you’re going multiplatform you are going to make a mint. So buckle down and make the game, and release it. Nuff said.
    .
    If you want primarily PC gamers to fund projects up front, fine. But those projects, for me at least, need to be about the PC, for the PC. Not funding console titles. Sorry. Now, if you want to port them from PC to elsewhere once they are released, have at – the more players the merrier. But build them for the crowd funding you first. All I ask.
    .
    That said I would love a real RPG for the PC. Currently, other than perhaps Witcher II, we do not have one and a real RPG, with choices, consequences and factions that matter would be a plus.

    • Fierce says:

      How exactly are you so confident that they’ll be funded by “primarily PC gamers”?

      Console players have money too. They just have to ask their moms first. (Ba-dum-tsh!)

      But seriously, it isn’t development via committee, divided by percentages of the registered and identified internet contributors. That would be a disaster. I’m pretty sure the point is to support the ambitions of developers who actually give a damn about their passion for franchises that get thumbs down by the publisher accounting department, and are reaching out to say “Want to see this? We want to make it! Will you help?”

      You’re supporting the cultivation of an idea, just like you would sponsor an artist or Olympic hopeful. It isn’t about being miffed over who shares in the creation, just in the appreciation that it was brought to light.

    • PopeJamal says:

      It is “development by committee” to the extent that if they don’t (plan to) do what I want, I’m not going to give them any money.

      I guess in a strange way, I get to “refuse to buy your POS title!11!!one!” before they even start on it.

      Or another way to look at it is the old “It’s better to ask for Forgiveness than Permission!” joke. With the traditional model, they would be in a position to ask for forgiveness for a bad title. With this pre-development funding model, they are, in essence, asking us for permission to make a certain game with our money.

      Strange stuff, but anything that gives me options besides throwing money at EA, Activision, and Ubisoft is a good thing.

  21. qrter says:

    Damn you, Craig Pearson..

    When you say “I took his temperature, readers, and he was boiling hot” before the jump, I thought that implied you’d actually spoken to Avellone about this..

  22. Premium User Badge

    TheApologist says:

    Tweet Whoo-hoo is presumably the next Sims 3 add-on

    thanguverrymush

  23. derella says:

    I’d likely back Obsidian Entertainment on Kickstarter, but not as blindly as I did with Double Fine.

    Obsidian has shakey track record for me… Sure, they have some great talent from the BIS days, but KotOR 2 was the only game they’ve released that I loved, and it sort of fell apart near the final act. Everything else they’ve released has either been a mess(NWN2, Alpha Protocol), or something that doesn’t appeal to me(Fallout: NV).

    So yeah, I’d need hard details about their project, and even then I’d be wary.

    • Cerius says:

      KOTOR2 was a mess too?

      I don’t think their output has been worse compared to the Black Isle Games at all.

      Planescape = KOTOR2/MOTB
      IWD1/2=NWN2/SOZ
      Fallout2=Fallout: New Vegas

      It mostly had other failings that came with 3D, new engines/new Gameplay systems and some such. A classic turn-based RPG by them sounds perfect.

    • derella says:

      KotOR2 was indeed a mess, but I was able to enjoy it thoroughly despite that.

    • NathanH says:

      I like KOTOR2 but I am still waiting for the ending.

    • Velvetmeds says:

      NWN2 was not a mess. It was a fantastic RPG and much, much better than NWN1. I’d even say it’s still one of the best RPGs of these last few years.

    • qrter says:

      NWN2 was technically a mess, a huge blimp of an engine that was totally unnecessary for what the game actually wanted to achieve.

      I enjoyed my time with NWN2, but NWN1 will always win because it runs on everything and therefore has a huge back catalogue of user-created content.

    • The white guar says:

      KOTOR2 and NWN2 felt like they were enormous projects that the developpers had to conclude and ship sometime before they coud be considered really finished. They are very enjoyable games anyway.
      MOTB is a masterpiece of the RPG genre (even if the plot has some heavy Soul Reaver influences).
      Dungeon Siege III killed its own franchise.

      Judging from their curriculum (except maybe for the last one) I think we could expect somethig excellent from Obsidian. I doubt, though, that the money from a kickstarter funding would be enough to finance the production of an RPG worthy of bearing the name of “Planescape2″.

    • Velvetmeds says:

      Seems you have to try it again. I only played it after the platinum edition was out, with all the patches and expansions, and experienced no technical problems. So, as it stands, NWN2 IS better than NWN1. And who cares about user created content when NWN2’s original content beats anything any user has ever created in modding history

    • UnravThreads says:

      Oddly enough, I think Obsidian have been constantly faced with shit situations and it’s not entirely their fault in most cases.

      KotOR2 was crippled by LucasArts
      NWN2 was on a modified BioWare engine (probably not a good idea) and was under Atari
      Alpha Protocol was sort of their fault (I believe they took the blame for it, anyway), but it was with SEGA so perhaps not entirely their fault
      New Vegas was on the shambling zombie that Bethesda made, which once was the Gamebryo engine
      DS3 I’ve not played, but judging by Square Enix’ Western-developed games, I’ll put it down as their fault

      So yeah, I’d say generally – with licensed properties – Obsidian have been massively dicked over. I’d be interested in seeing what they can do when left to their own devices a bit more with a freedom and a better publisher.

    • csuzw says:

      I’m not sure I’d call Alpha Protocol a mess. It was unfinished for sure, and there were some odd design decisions (that may just have been down to it not being finished) but it’s still my favourite game ever (yes really!). If they announced a kickstarter project for AP2 I’d put silly money down for it.

      I’m wary about this Planescape thing though as I think it would be impossible for them to make it as good as the original (which I don’t actually think was that special). It’s not just a case of using the same setting, they need an amazing story and characters and no one seems to have made a game since that has been compared favourably in this respect to it.

    • Jenks says:

      @NathanH

      You didn’t see the ending? It was truly satisfying. Avert your eyes if you haven’t beat it yet!

      /begin spoilers

      Your ship flies off into space

      /end spoilers

    • InternetBatman says:

      I don’t buy Obsidian’s games at release, so I have an entirely different experience. Kotor 2 was rare among their games because it remains a mess, huge swathes of content are missing that never got finished and the end doesn’t make a ton of sense. NWN 2 now is prettier, has a better story, and more interesting (4-5 character vs 2-3 character) combat. Also, they have Dark Waters which is one of the finest pieces of user created content I have ever seen. Subtlety of Thay is pretty good to.

      Also, you should try New Vegas. It’s a really, really solid game. Best I’ve played since Dragon Age, and maybe a little better than that.

    • Wizardry says:

      They have a shaky record for me too. Knights of the Old Republic 2 had all the problems that the first one had. Neverwinter Nights 2 and its expansions were mediocre as they were real-time and had inferior combat to the real-time Infinity Engine games. They also ran on a slow and buggy engine. Alpha Protocol was one of the worst games ever made. It was basically Mass Effect with timed dialogue. New Vegas was only marginally better than Fallout 3, but still a terrible FPS with RPG elements. And Dungeon Siege 3 I didn’t even bother with because Dungeon Siege is a terrible franchise.

  24. Cerius says:

    Already posted it but,…

    I want either

    A: New RPG set in the Planescape Universe

    B: New IP

    with the following team

    Project Director: Tim Cain
    Lead Designer: Josh Sawyer/Chris Avellone
    Creative Lead: Chris Avellone

    + George Ziets, Eric Fenstermaker on the writing team

    Aside from that other names like Scott Everts.
    Justin Cherry directing the Art.

    • Dominus says:

      and Justin Sweet for character portraits and concepts (he did the art for Icewind Dale)

    • Cerius says:

      While this would be great I don’t think he is working at Obsidian.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I’d go for a new IP over Planescape… just because they have a good history of new and interesting IPs, and it’d give them just a bit more freedom to tell the story they want

    • Premium User Badge

      Moorkh says:

      Wasn’t it Jason Manley who did that art? I had always assumed so…

    • Brass_cankles says:

      Finally! I’ve been scouring the comments to find a post screaming “NEW IP!!”, and I just wanted to say that I agree completely.

      Forget about licencing fees, and for once let them have some creative freedom. The only thing I demand before making a contribution is an RPG that plays out in an isometric perspective, and that has turn-based combat. Mmmm… Turn-based combat.. *drool*

    • mouton says:

      Where is the facebook “like” batten?

  25. HisMastersVoice says:

    The thought of Obsidian working on Planescape makes me uneasy. They did some good stuff, but recently they don’t seem to be able to get those clever designs to work as intended. Or at all, in some cases.

    I’m still miffed about Dungeon Siege 3 and Alpha Protocol.

    • Fierce says:

      Alpha Protocol wasn’t that bad…

      It was… serviceable…

      In fact, I’ve always believed that their Dialogue System, with a few contextual tweaks and rational balancing, would fit right in with a Mass Effect or a Skyrim. My buddies and I still reference it in our “things we’d like to see again in video games that no one seems to want to do anymore” conversations.

    • Velvetmeds says:

      DS3 also wasn’t that bad.

    • csuzw says:

      Alpha Protocol was unfinished but amazing (except for the boss battles). Vastly underrated because people seemed to assume it was modern day Mass Effect with spies when it actually plays completely differently (or possibly underrated for other reasons but this seems to be the main 1 I came across when originally playing).

    • Khemm says:

      AP wasn’t THAT bad, but it could have been so much better. For an espionage RPG, it was seriously lacking in that espionage part. It played more like Mass Effect or other action game, it certainly didn’t do the idea/setting justice.

      Dungeon Siege 3 was a consolized abomination, how can anyone defend this game?

    • mouton says:

      Alpha Protocol was clunky at places, yes, but it wasn’t more unfinished than a lot of games that come out. Also, it was great.

    • HisMastersVoice says:

      I liked Alpha Protocol. I think the game had loads of great ideas, it’s just that most of them were buried under lousy writing, bad voice acting, poor implementation and lack of balance (pistols=God Mode). Same thing with Dungeon Siege 3.

      I guess my discontent with Obsidian comes from all the missed shots at greatness.

    • InternetBatman says:

      AP had serious systematic flaws. Most notably they were the way you interacted with the environment, the boss fights, the checkpointing, and the terribly unbalanced difficulty for the stealth build. It was a game that was rotten at the core with a a fantastic NPC relationship system on top.

      I forgot that the dialog system itself was pretty ass, what with the timer and not being able to see what you were actually going to say.

    • Wizardry says:

      How to improve Alpha Protocol:

      – Make it top down/isometric.
      – Make it phase-based.
      – Make it multi-character.
      – Remove the timed dialogue.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Wizardry, if they asked you how to improve Half Life or Carmageddon, you would’ve said “Turn it isometric and turn-based.”

  26. coffeetable says:

    Never mind PS2, how about a Freespace 3?

  27. Premium User Badge

    corinoco says:

    XWing / Tie fighter HD please.

    Planescape … Using Skyrims engine? That would be pretty….

  28. Tretiak says:

    Do it do it do it.

  29. KillerRabbit says:

    Shut up and take my money!

  30. mihor_fego says:

    This is not funny. Don’t play with our hopes.

    I still have my full AD&D Planescape collection on my bookshelves, and it feels like a day hasn’t gone buy since the day I picked up the first boxed set. TSR and WotC might be responsible for a lot of crap being released, but Planescape is really the ultimate campaign setting ever made.

    I can settle with Obsidian making their own isometric PC RPG in their own setting and mechanics though. Especially if by being self-published they can have the freedom of putting there 1000000 lines of dialogue and text without being restrained by a publisher demanding full voiced dialogue that has been killing the genre for years.

    • MOKKA says:

      Unfortunately Wizards of the coast killed the original Planescape Setting with their 4th Edition of D&D so I don’t think that’s it’s very likely for a new game set in the original setting.
      From what I’ve read there’s some kind of Planescape-like Setting in the Pathfinder System, so maybe this could be an option to at least make a game whithin a similar atmosphere then Planescape: Torment.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lars Westergren says:

      >Unfortunately Wizards of the coast killed the original Planescape Setting

      Is there something preventing you from using the setting with the new rules? Or even the old rules? It’s role playing, use your imagination!

    • InternetBatman says:

      They might have hurt the setting a lot, but at least the kept Sigil in.

      @Lars Yes, it’s Thaco.

    • MOKKA says:

      There’s nothing preventing me from hosting a D&D Campaign in the old Planescape setting. In fact it’s quite easy, because there’s a nice community which converted most of it into 3.5, which is sufficient for me. However, I don’t think that Wizards of the coast would allow people to make a commercial Video Game within a setting which isn’t officially supported.
      Furthermore, it’s not possible to use the old Planescape setting within the 4th Edition ruleset, because Wotc made some big changes in the alignment system which completely changed the way the planes looked like. You could make a game in the “new” Planes, but it would be very different from the original Planescape.

      I’m not that much into D&D, but from what I can tell, killing the original Planescape setting probably was one of the most dumbest things they could do.

  31. Drake Sigar says:

    Mwhaha, screw you publishers, if you won’t make the games we want then we’ll cut you out and fund the developers ourselves!

  32. Tom OBedlam says:

    They listen to us! I’d gladly throw quite a large amount of my meagre savings towards this, Obsidian without publisher pressure must have a least one last great game in them.

  33. Premium User Badge

    AndrewC says:

    The point is to break that percieved need for safe bets like sequels and brand recognition. With the money there and not dependent on publisher and accountant green-lights developers can do whatever they want.

    The desire for sequels is the result of the internalisation of market forces into creative decisions.

    Think big, think new universes.

    • Gary W says:

      OK: a game set on a cotton wool asteroid. There’s plenty of zany Schaferesque dialogue and Planescapian plot developments, but bugger-all gameplay mechanics. Now give me my million quid.

    • Premium User Badge

      AndrewC says:

      I would have loved to have seen the original ‘wooden planet’ concept in Alien 3, for example, but it got focused-grouped into another dreary prison type place.

      We just need someone who’s good at coming up with this stuff, and the means to make him financially independant enough to do it. Like Chris Avellone and Kickstarter, for example.

  34. Dominus says:

    What can change the nature of a man?

    Kickstarter? :B

  35. fuggles says:

    “Hmmmm. I admit, I’ve got Kickstarter fever now. I feel like a bunch of doors suddenly appeared in game development… only the doors could look like anything, be anywhere and use anything as a key”.

  36. AMonkey says:

    I would have to pay a lot of money if this became a real possibly. Obsidian is one of a couple of RPG developers that can actually write an RPG. I would be very excited to see them making a isometric RPG (especially since it means less chance of them screwing up the gameplay with bugs).

    • Fierce says:

      I would be very excited to see them hire a QC team.

    • Wizardry says:

      You don’t write an RPG, you design an RPG. This is why Neverwinter Nights 2 is their best game, because other people designed the game.

    • NathanH says:

      Silly Wizardry, it’s not about mechanics, it’s about Choice’n’Consequence. Stop living in the past! All those old games were not RPGs.

    • InternetBatman says:

      You do both. A good story with bad design is equally as mediocre as a bad story with good design. And NWN 2 and New Vegas both featured JE Sawyer, who’s a very talented designer, in prominent positions. AP and DS3 did not. It’s not that they don’t have the design talent, it’s just that he was squandered on the Aliens project for a fair bit of time.

      @ Lilliput They were great. People just whine on them for the sake of whining. Some because they’re not exactly like Fallout 2, some because the games reused assets from the previous game, and some legitimately because they bought the game day one and had to fight a ton of bugs. The games themselves are quite fun and stand up to virtually any competitor in the last ten years.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Not following. Weren’t nwn2 and new vegas totally rancid gameplay wise?

    • Wizardry says:

      But all the greats had pretty bad stories with great design. Wizardry 8, for example, has a worse story than Planescape: Torment but is 10x the RPG. This is the biggest problem with RPGs today. They neglect RPG mechanics and focus too heavily on the story. That’s why we end up with Dragon Age II.

    • Lilliput King says:

      …and planescape.

    • Doesn'tmeananything says:

      @InternetBatman

      A mediocre game with good design is simply an oxymoron. A game is basically design, that is a designed system of rules, goals and mechanics, and story is nothing but a window dressing. If the core of the game is solid, then there’s nothing that would ever make it a bad game.

      Planescape: Torment is an exception here, though, not only because it’s a very well written story, but also by virtue of having story incorporated into game design, which therefore becomes a game mechanic. Since then not a single game have managed to pull anything like that as skilfully. And I think that’s what AMonkey was getting at.

      But please by all means have at least a good combat system coupled with that.

    • Apples says:

      “A game is basically design, that is a designed system of rules, goals and mechanics, and story is nothing but a window dressing.” This is stupid and reductive and the kind of attitude that is holding games back from being anything BUT a board-game-like set of rules. A huge number of games that end up in best-game-ever lists – Silent Hill 2, Morrowind, Deus Ex, PS:T, Grim Fandango – had kind of crap gameplay but a setting and story (that you reduce to ‘window dressing’) that made them brilliant and memorable. If you stripped out that ‘window dressing’ you’d be left with tiresome button-clicking for no reason – which incidentally are precisely what mechanics-based games appear to be to me. Without context for RPG mechanics or any pure gameplay stuff you have nothing. You are clicking for no reason except to be able to click more. The only thing that can happen is that you get better at clicking the right things at the right time which is also a meaningless achievement unless you’re in competitive gaming.

      If you take some pure gameplay game that is well-regarded like Tetris and put a ‘window dressing’ of, say, an extremely offensive pedophilic narrative (with slightly gameplay tweaks that make that narrative intertwine inextricably with the gameplay, since that’s why you excuse PS:T), would you still be as happy to call it a brilliant game? Like any other piece of media you have to take it as a whole and evaluate it as such, not mentally truncate it into the one thing that you as an individual find important and enjoyable.

      It’s fucking ludicrous to go around saying “NOPE ONLY GAMEPLAY MATTERS” because it discounts a huge number of people – people who are willing to pay over a million dollars collectively! People who write on this website about games like To The Moon! – who love narrative-based games over mechanics-based games. Because YOU, personally, don’t like them. I find mechanics-based games to be pointless masturbatory timewasters that will never have any more cultural significance than Trivial Pursuit does, but I’m not going to go around trying to tell people that they’re ‘not real games’ or that a game with a good story is objectively always a good game. christ.

  37. Quistnix says:

    Hell, if I get the chance I’ll help fund an Alpha Protocol 2.

  38. Lobotomist says:

    Planescape 2 Kickstarter donation, sure !

    Count me in !

  39. caddyB says:

    So any word from Age of Decadence? HAHAHHAHAHA

    edit: just checked myself, they’re still working on it. amazing I guess. hope it’s released soon.

  40. Vinraith says:

    I’d probably kickstart some cash for an old school isometric RPG, but nothing for Planescape 2 or anything like it. Now Baldur’s Gate 3 by the original devs, that would be worth something to me.

  41. trjp says:

    I’ll tell you one thing for free – you won’t be making Planescape 2 for $400,000…

    That was a really lowball number for a game IMO – of course they’ve gotten more than three times that (at time of writing) and so they can throw the boat-out – but a game like Planescape will need WAY WAY more people and time to make.

    You’d really be looking for $800,000 + (if you stick with isometric – WAY more if you go full 3D) and I think it’s a bit less likely you’d get it – shame really.

    Maybe they should have a chat with Spiderweb Studios – Avellone to Mr Avadon :)

    • InternetBatman says:

      To be fair, now that they have their own engine it’s probably cheaper and faster to make a game. Not old school adventure cheap, but they could probably do it for a couple million. Maybe less if they did a small 15-20 hour one.

    • trjp says:

      I read somewhere today that Psychonauts cost around $14m to make (has to be a mistake – surely??)

      That’s a lotof moolah for a slightly dodgy platform game with some lovely, lovely visuals – how many copies did it have to sell to recoup that!!

      Here we’re going to create an entire D&D world and fill it with NPCs and quests and dialog and stuff – that’s artists and designers and writers and licenses and an RPG engine and…

      I think that would cost a few bob…

  42. Cerius says:

    I don’t get all the DSIII hate.

    It’s far from their worst title (NWN2 OC). It improved in all the areas Obsidian usually sucks at (like encounter design/difficulty) and it had a nice (though if a bit “light”) story to it which is probably Obsidians “greyest” story to date.

    Also no it didn’t kill its franchise. In fact we have no idea how the future of the franchise looks. DSIII was probably only made by SE to see if the brand could still be successfull.

    The game did actually make money too, sold well and was cheap to produce.

    (Also Blizzard hired its Lead Designer so they were probably positive on it too)

    • D3xter says:

      I disagree, it sucked… not as bad as Dragon Age 2 but it was on the way there.
      NWN2 on the other hand I kind of liked, and MOTB is still one of the best things they made…

    • Cerius says:

      what sucked?

  43. Sarlix says:

    I think the real question is how much money/spice/human sacrifices would it take to resurrect Westwood Studios?

    • Ankheg says:

      Som we are now speaking about ressurection of old studios by means of kickstarter?

  44. Sparkasaurusmex says:

    I will get a second job to help fund this.
    Not sure what’s up with the Planescape IP, I think it’s basically dead and the planes are now included in Eberon, but I don’t need that setting.
    I want classic isometric RPG in the vein of Planescape: Torment or BG! I think perhaps I’m still asleep and dreaming about this article…
    Signed up at RPS just to show my support for this endeavor.

  45. Bloodloss says:

    Oh my God, this would be my dream come true.

  46. Khemm says:

    OK.
    Let’s kickstart:
    – proper Fallout sequel – turn based isometric SPECIAL-based RPG
    – resurrection of Troika so we can get another Arcanum, Temple of Elemental Evil and Bloodlines

    THE POSSIBILITES!

    I’ll totally play another REAL RPG from Obsidian/Avellone.

    • InternetBatman says:

      They’d have to buy all the Troika stuff from Activision.

    • Wizardry says:

      Why SPECIAL? Why can’t they try and get GURPS again this time around?

    • Khemm says:

      @Wizardry
      Didn’t they basically rip off GURPS and create SPECIAL, because they couldn’t use the former?

    • Wizardry says:

      Yes. That is what happened. And we ended up with a completely broken system where aiming for the eyes and hoping for the best was the best tactic from the half-way point onwards.

  47. InternetBatman says:

    I think Obsidian is perfect for this kind of move. They have a small but popular genre that the only other capable developer seems to have left entirely. They have celebrity talent. They have their own engine which could be easily used for it.

    I would like to see a new IP though rather than a recreation of things made in the past. Other developers need to see that the genre has quite the set of inherent strengths and that people buy the games because they are good, not nostalgia inducing.

  48. Alien Rope Burn says:

    Bobbing that many clueless for a Planescape sequel seems about as likely as the Lady of Pain ending up in the dead-book, but I’d drop some jink on it.