Obsidian Want To Know What You Want Them To Make

By Alec Meer on February 10th, 2012 at 5:26 pm.

Please make Nameless One Desktop Adventures

Looks like Obsidian headbrain Chris Avellone’s earlier talk about getting ‘Kickstarter fever’ based upon Double Fine’s happy day (they’ve now passed $1.3 million in funding by the way – which, as Tim Schafer notes, is more than the budget for Day of the Tentacle and almost that of Full Throttle) wasn’t idle chatter. Obsidian have just posted a forum thread asking for community suggestions as to what they should make, were they to start a Kickstarter-funded game. Obviously this is purely theoretical right now and there are absolutely zero guarantees, but as they’re clearly feeling out the ground here, you should go and make sure that the ground they feel is green, pleasant and potentially profitable. And, ideally, old-school RPG-shaped.

Here’s the pertinent comments:

“The idea of player-supported funding is… well, it’s proof certain genres aren’t dead and sequels may have more legs than they seem. And the idea of not having to argue that with a publisher is appealing. Out of curiosity, if Obsidian did Kickstart a project, what would you want to see funded? (You can respond in comments or to @ChrisAvellone on Twitter, whichever you prefer.)”

Oh sure, some people will ask for Alpha Protocol and Neverwinter Nights 2 follow-ups, and that’s lovely for them. But they should really be asking for a new RPG with some of the values (and most especially the intelligence and strangeness) of Planescape: Torment. Not a sequel, though. Something brand new. MAKE IT SO.

Whatever they make: what I’m most excited about is the idea of Obsidian finally getting to make a game that wasn’t held to someone else’s deadline. I am certain great things will result.
(Note: Obsidian’s site seems to be under enormous, server-troubling pressure at the moment, so bide your time).

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407 Comments »

  1. Joshua Northey says:

    I think a spiritual successor to Planescape with an updated interface would be good. It was an excellent game.

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      This. Although not in the “Dragon Age is a spiritual successor to” sense.

    • El_MUERkO says:

      /\

      that, followed by an Alpha Protocol sequel!

    • Duffin says:

      I would happily front up £50 for something like this.

    • mouton says:

      Dragon Age is a pretty good successor to Baldur’s Gate. More than spiritual, actually.

    • dontnormally says:

      I imagine they’re going to want to re-use all that spiffy South Park technology they’ve been working on.
      It does sound incredibly useful for rapid development of adventure games and rpgs especially.

    • PostieDoc says:

      Dragon Age Origins was a very good game, even if the world wasn’t as interesting as the one used by Baldurs Gate and Icewind Dale (understandable as the latter two had the wonderful Forgotten Realms fiction at their mercy).
      Dragon Age 2 on the other hand was just plain rubbish. It still grates with me how so-called respectable sites like PC Gamer rate that tosh high up in their top 100 ever PC games.
      Something along the lines of Planescape? That would be amazing but how much would a modern day variant cost?

    • Sarlix says:

      “Dragon Age is a pretty good successor to Baldur’s Gate. More than spiritual, actually”

      Are you ill?

    • deke913 says:

      A thousand times …YES!

      I would like a top down rpg with planescape type story. 2d or 3d I could care less.

      And please make it have turn based combat.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      wonderful Forgotten Realms fiction

      Some people have dreadful standards.

      Another Alpha Protocol would be aces.

    • Epsz says:

      I want and Alpha Protocol that I don’t have to quit midgame because I chose to focus on stealth. Wait, I already played that last year, it was called Deus Ex: HR

    • JasonRabbit75 says:

      I want Planescape Torment but with space marines and quick-time events!

    • HadToLogin says:

      Vampire Bloodlines 2 :)

    • Kleppy says:

      “Dragon Age is a pretty good successor to Baldur’s Gate. More than spiritual, actually. ”

      Dragon Age was a good successor to Baldur’s Gate in the same way that Invisible War was good successor to Deus Ex. That is to say, no it wasn’t and you are insane.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      I want them to make me an imortal kitten that fires laser beams from it’s eyes.

      But a proper successor to Planescape would do in the interim I suppose.

    • Khemm says:

      “Dragon Age was a good successor to Baldur’s Gate in the same way that Invisible War was good successor to Deus Ex. That is to say, no it wasn’t and you are insane.”

      QFT.

    • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

      Sadly, this very thread right here is a good example of why crowd sourcing game design could be a very bad thing. Different people want vastly different things, apparently. That said, I agree with the OP completely (and the article itself, of course).

      [EDIT] And apparently every thread below this one is a good example as well. [/EDIT]

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      Yeah, I fully expect some people to give 30$ or whatever to the fund, with a free copy of the game included, and then feel entitled to have the game made exactly like they think it should. Then, when it’s not, they’ll spend the rest of their lives insulting the devs in every thread on the internet ever.

      Like minecraft “fans”, basically.

    • alinos says:

      @FataMorganaPseudonym

      Idk while people want different flavouring.

      Infinity Engine style games seems to be the main suggestion.

      Which is understandable since well there isn’t a single infinity engine game that wasn’t good IMO.

      Be even better if you could get them to make the game and have it be fully moddable.

      Personally i want to see something in the vein of Baldur/Icewind/planescape. Whatever flavor of title they want. Something they actually want to make.

      That said i think that if they have a kickstarter they are going to need to provide a game concept or the like.

      People gave schafer money willingly, I’d probably do the same for obsidian. But I think these kickstarter projects need to have a rough outline of the game concept to start with.

      As opposed to “Adventure game, me, that guy, and it will either succeed or fail horribly but you’ll at least be able to see it fail in HD video if it does”

    • BobbyKotickIsTheAntichrist says:

      GIIIIEF PLX!!!

    • Bloodloss says:

      I agree with you guys, except in a different way. He is insane, because Dragon Age is far better than Baldur’s Gate, a glorified dungeon crawler with awful quest design and no choices and consequences whatsoever. Dragon Age Origins meanwhile, was a great RPG with good quest design. Its only real problem was having far too much filler combat.

    • Wizardry says:

      @Bloodloss: Define dungeon crawler.

    • Major Seventy Six says:

      Plain and simple: I want them to make the next Fallout.

  2. Jerakal says:

    I need more Planescape in my life.

  3. megazver says:

    So that totally destroyed their site.

  4. CKScientist says:

    I want more Storm of Zehir-like games.

    I think I’m the only person who enjoyed that, but whatever. Dungeons need to be smaller!

    • Vinraith says:

      Then you’re looking for an Icewind Dale sequel. Storm of Zehir was basically an IWD game reworked for the NWN2 engine.

    • Kent says:

      That’s almost like saying that Neverwinter Nights 2 were Baldur’s Gate reworked into 3.5e, but nobody would because that would be insulting to Baldur’s Gate. xD

      I would most prefer Planescape Torment but if that weren’t on the table I would ask for a KotOR 3. Of course Obsidian doesn’t own the license, so that’s not gonna happen.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Kent

      I actually heard that said (about NWN2 and BG) more than a few times. From a structural standpoint, it’s even true, but obviously there’s a fairly dramatic quality difference!

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      Storm of Zehir was great.

      The use of skills was better than any other recent D&D game, and the overland map was quite nifty too.

    • MichaelPalin says:

      I would most prefer Planescape Torment but if that weren’t on the table I would ask for a KotOR 3. Of course Obsidian doesn’t own the license, so that’s not gonna happen.

      I’m guessing EA will not allow for anybody to even look at a Star Wars licence for the following years, less so a KOTOR one.

  5. Cerius says:

    A new game in the Planescape Setting

  6. Domothy says:

    Anything.

    So long as it’s a top-down, isometric RPG called Planescape 2.

    • Lobotomist says:

      Agreed.

      And here is my cup of tea =

      Just let it be isometric. Something like infinity engine – use the old school engine. No fancy new stuff. Just cheap engine. Something that works and not have need for much programming.

      Than let the Obsidian writers go wild –

      Make it in style of Planescape , Mask of Betrayer …

      But if we rule out a sequel (and who needs those anyway)

      I say do

      STEAMPUNK game !

      Or lets go even crazier =

      Planescape gone Steampunk !

      Now would that not be a rightly challenge for Obsidian boys :D

    • Optimaximal says:

      Half the problem there is making a 2D Isometric RPG isn’t cheap – on time or space. All the characters have to be drawn in many different poses, something that takes a lot more time that adding a skeleton to one mesh and using co-ordinates to animate it.

      Of course, updating the old engine to add polygon models and stuff (or just licensing either Magicka or Torchlight’s engine) would be good.

    • Blackcompany says:

      +1 for Steampunk.
      +1 for RPG.
      +1 for Isometric. They already have the engine to support it. DSIII was built on the tech and while it was not going to blow minds it is certainly serviceable, with perhaps a mild camera angle correction.
      .
      Seriously, an RPG. One where choices and consequences matter. That sort of thing.
      .
      And thanks to Obsidian for posting something like this.

    • MichaelPalin says:

      I prefer 3D, but I now that would never happen for a Kickstarter project, a 3D RPG would require way too much money. Besides, I assume I’m in the (very small) minority here so nobody would back up a 3D Planescape game (the fools!!).

    • Unaco says:

      Steampunk, huh? I’ll just leave this here.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Why would you leave that here. Some kind of hipster cracked.com.

      “What is it about chicks who’ve had a stroke that makes them so incredibly hot?”

      Just why, Unaco.

      Just why.

    • Unaco says:

      That wasn’t what I linked to at all. The link was relevant to the discussion, if the rest of the site wasn’t. Should we be responsible for every piece of content on a site we link to?

      And Vice has been around for 13 years longer than Cracked.

    • jrodman says:

      @Unaco: I hold you responsible for the entire internet. Don’t look so smug either!

    • Lilliput King says:

      Well I wouldn’t have visited the website if he hadn’t posted the link, so he’s responsible.

      And for that level of awful, there must be a reckoning.

  7. Vinraith says:

    Something more Baldur’s Gate than Planescape would be my preference. Planescape may have had a lovely story and characters (I wouldn’t know), but the gameplay was shit.

    • nrvsNRG says:

      agreed, i prefered bg2.

    • Bhazor says:

      After the first 4 hours or you really don’t have to worry about fights. Your character is pretty much a god compared to the Sigil thugs and most other fights can be talked out of or simply ran away from. Once you reach the Clerk Ward it becomes a completely different game to what you started playing.

      Missing out on Planescape just because of the bad combat design (no ranged attacks, just swarms of melee) is like refusing to read a great book because the movie version was bad.

      It really really is amazingly well written. I’ve only played it for the first time this year so I’m not talking from nostalgia here.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Bhazor

      No, it’s like refusing to read a good book because the writing is bad. Gameplay is the core of any game, narrative, character, and setting are secondary considerations. In Torment’s case, though, it’s not just the combat that’s offputting. The central, pre-made character, the implementation of the Planescape setting, the dull-as-dirt dialog system, nothing about it works for me. I’ve tried to play it at least half a dozen times and never made it more than a couple of hours in, it’s just not at all what I want out of an RPG.

    • Bhazor says:

      As I said the combat is dull. As I said the combat is practically forgotten about after 4 hours. It’s not an RPG its a choose your own adventure. Around the time the Clerks Ward is born it becomes a whole new game. Hence why it’s like refusing to read a book because the movie is bad.

      I have to take exception to your comment about dull dialog when you haven’t even scratched the surface.

    • Wizardry says:

      He said dull dialogue system, not dull dialogue. There’s a massive difference. Planescape: Torment has a dialogue tree system which is the worst possible system for an RPG to have from a development perspective.

    • MaximKat says:

      The problem is that the last part of the game (after Raven) is mostly combat and it sucks big time, especially in the narrow corridors, where the path-finding tries to screw you at every possible moment.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Found the gameplay in both to be shit. But the plots in them all were excellent.

  8. Wizardry says:

    A proper RPG like Realms of Arkania or something where statistics and equipment matter for everything you try to do. Communicating, travelling, dungeon crawling, fighting, resting, surviving etc. None of this shallow dialogue trees with skill checks nonsense.

    • Vinraith says:

      Is there any evidence that Obsidian would be good at, or even capable of, making a game of the sort you describe? I’d certainly love to see something like that, but I’m not sure these are the guys for the job.

    • Wizardry says:

      Of course not. Obsidian seems to be a studio full of writers, not RPG designers. New Vegas, Knights of the Old Republic 2 and Neverwinter Nights 2 took most of their mechanics from existing games. Perhaps their best bet is to license a pen and paper RPG system to use in their game.

    • Bhazor says:

      Alpha Protocol was heavily stats based just go ahead and try using a weapon you’ve put no points into.

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      Or they could make something people might actually want to play.

    • Vinraith says:

      Modern RPG devs should never make their own systems, you end up with crap like the system in Dragon Age when they do that. So yes, clearly Obsidian should license something PnP for this, but since they’re mostly writers (as you say) I think something more narrative driven than what you describe is for the best (and, really, all they’re capable of). Maybe something Spelljammer…

      On the up side, the kind of old-school, “real” RPG you describe does not require high end graphics or a big budget, so there’s no reason whatsoever that an indie dev couldn’t make such a thing. I’m perpetually surprised (and disappointed) that none really have, honestly.

    • Lukasz says:

      You don’t want RPG Wizardy. You want strategy game.

    • Brass_cankles says:

      @Vinraith: Or you end up with SPECIAL. Overall, I greatly appreciated the whole skill system in Fallout (even though it was not perfectly balanced), and it’s one of the (several) reasons why it is my favorite game of all time.

      edit: Age of Decadence is supposed to be that kind of indie game that you’re talking about. It is, however, vaporware until proven otherwise.

    • InternetBatman says:

      So you’re asking for something that they haven’t made and you don’t believe they can make, because you don’t like the games they do make? That’s kind of worse than just outright negativity, it’s sheer intransigence out of spite. It’s like me expecting Epic to make a spiritual successor to Arcanum because I didn’t like the way UT3 turned out.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Brass

      Regardless of what you think of SPECIAL (and that’s a can of worms I don’t care to open) no AAA developer would create a system like that these days. I’m not remotely suggesting that it was never a good idea to make your own system, but the design priorities of large developers in modern times invariably result in watered down, compromised, braindead systems.

    • dogsolitude_uk says:

      @ Wizardy: I’m in no way a hardcore RPG player in any way, shape or form, and used to utterly hate the damned things.

      That is until someone explained to me that the whole point was to have the in-game success of actions like lockpicking/combat etc mainly dependent on the character’s skill, rather than the player’s.

      Suddenly that made a lot more sense to me: you’re developing the character’s skills rather than your own muscle-memory.

      So yep, I’d buy a game like the one you describe.

    • Wizardry says:

      @Brass_cankles: SPECIAL was hacked together in a week when Interplay lost the ability to use GURPS, a pen and paper system. It seems quite good on the surface, with a nice combination of features that seem to fit together well enough. However, underneath it’s a complete mess, with worthless perks and skills, huge balance issues and a totally broken combat system (aim for the eyes!)

      @Vinraith: The best RPG systems devised by game developers were the ones used in the Dark Savant trilogy. Wizardry 8 specifically was a very well balanced game in a genre where balance issues were (and still are) commonplace. The systems were all class based, but with the ability to switch classes as much as you liked. Attributes, skills, races, classes, resistances, abilities and spells all tied together to create a system with almost limitless possibilities for characters. In Wizardry 8 you can literally pick any race and class combination and find something interesting about it. It has never really been topped.

      For pure combat systems, the one used in Wizard’s Crown and Eternal Dagger is extremely detailed. It was almost a complete D&D rip off but made even more complex. Positioning and the direction each character was facing actually mattered in combat, and different weapon types had varying effects on enemies. It also had a system similar to Wizardy in many ways in which you could multi-class as much as you liked.

      @dogsolitude_uk: *salute*

    • Brass_cankles says:

      I’m fully aware of the history of SPECIAL, and I’ve already noted the balance issues. I did find it to be an enjoyable system though – albeit more so on the subsequent playthroughs due to what you’re pointing out.

    • ZeroMatter says:

      @ Wizardry SPECIAL was based on GURPS?? Wow, didn’t know that that, but now that you mention it: That’s where the hit location rules were from! (But apart from that, there are quite a lot of differences, actually. PERKS??)

      “a totally broken combat system (aim for the eyes!)”

      That’s GURPS for you. That and: Aim for the vitals!

      ” However, underneath it’s a complete mess, with worthless perks and skills, huge balance issues”

      That’s pretty much every RPG out there. You know what? Balancing is hard. REALLY hard.

      Unless something is a competitive multiplayer game, like tabletop wargames or online games, most game developers just don’t bother, because it’s not worth the additional (HUGE) time investment. (And I agree. As long as it somehow works and is fun, it’s alright in my book.)

    • ffordesoon says:

      Maybe this is just me (and you can reply with “Yes, it is just you.” if it is), but seriously, screw balance. A game needs to be balanced until it’s the most fun it can be, and no more. This is something that, for all their faults as a developer (and, for that matter, their failings in this area), Bethesda have always intrinsically understood. It’s fun to exploit and break and sabotage systems, and as long as most players don’t twig to it, or ignore those who do, it’s perfectly acceptable to leave room for exploits in there. I see people complaining about their overpowered suits of enchanted armor in Skyrim, or how the quest rewards feel underpowered compared to your enchanted weapons, and I want to scream, “But you chose to do that! You put a lot of effort into it! You built up that perk tree, you spent loads of time leveling that skill, and now you’re disappointed because you got exactly what you wanted?”

      And yes, a respec option would be nice, there are balance issues that lessen the fun, yada yada yada. But still, some of my favorite gaming memories are built around exploiting systems. I don’t see why everyone’s so obsessed with balance, particularly the balance of games where you’re not competing with anyone else. Single-player game designers should focus on fun first and balance second. Because games that are fair to players are intrinsically more fun than games that are unfair to players, I agree that balance should be a concern, but balance should never come at the expense of fun. Otherwise, you get Just Cause 2. The missions, not the game as a whole.

      Then again, I’ve also never understood why some people seem to think every game should be hard. If the game’s fun, and not so easy that it’s boring, then it’s fine, as far as I’m concerned.

      @Vinraith:

      But isn’t the whole point of Kickstarter to not have to create “watered-down, braindead systems”? I don’t know if it’s the “design priorities of large developers” as much as it is the financial priorities of larger publishers. If the people who demand systems that aren’t watered-down are also your publisher (and, let’s face it, at least a large chunk of the fans who pay for this thing if it happens will be exactly that sort of grognard), and you’re accountable to them directly, surely that’s reason enough to aim for something hardcore-focused?

      Also, Obsidian’s not that large, really.

    • Hatman says:

      “Or they could make something people might actually want to play. ”

      I don’t like this thing therefore you shouldn’t either and anyone who does is irrelevant and stupid and wrong

      ps you are elitist not me

    • drewski says:

      @ ffordesoon – it’s not just you. Agree with everything you said, especially about balance in single player games. Although if people like Wizardry don’t like it, that’s fine too! But I have no idea why he would want Obsidian to make that sort of game as it clearly doesn’t play to their strengths, so I rather think Wizardry has missed the point of Avellone’s query.

    • Wizardry says:

      @ffordesoon: This spam filter keeps eating my comment to you, so I’ll completely re-write it in the hope that this goes through (though I’m going to put far less effort in this time).

      Imbalance is good because exploiting the system is fun. The problem with Fallout is that I end up making roughly the same character all the time (neglecting the same rubbish skills). This happens often in single character RPGs. I may do a low intelligence or a melee only run, but that’s about the extent of the play styles. Wizardry 6 and 7 are far more flexible. Even more broken, possibly even more unbalanced, but allows for so much exploiting.

      Fallout’s problem is that a point in a weapon skill or speech is worth 20 points in some of the worst skills.

      EDIT: YAY!

    • ffordesoon says:

      @Wizardry:

      I actually completely agree with everything you said.

      EDIT: In your last post, I mean. To be clear.

  9. Flint says:

    If they were going for an isometric RPG in vein of Torment etc, I hope we could get one which actually has a good combat system.

  10. Chris D says:

    “But they should really be asking for a new RPG with some of the values (and most especially the intelligence and strangeness) of Planescape: Torment. Not a sequel, though. Something brand new.”

    I approve this message.

  11. bit_crusherrr says:

    Sure is great getting an investment you don’t have to pay back. Doesn’t matter if the end product is bad and doesn’t sell well as no one is there going “so where’s my return?”

    • Rinox says:

      Well, it’s still not without risk. It could destroy your rep if you deliver a crappy game that’s funded like this. But it won’t be the financial end of the studio, which is already a huge difference in delivering a game in terms of creative freedom and/or time pressures.

    • bit_crusherrr says:

      I just think crowd-sourcing is bullshit. Especially when its big names doing it. The way Minecraft/Interstellar Marines/Overgrowth are doing it is the only acceptable way. Charging for pre-orders during the alpha stage.

      I wouldn’t mind if you got the money back minus a bit for your copy of the game.

    • Reapy says:

      I’m somewhat on board with you here… Is there some sort of contractual obligation they have with the money? Do people who donate even get copies of the game, or do you have to buy it too?

      I guess I don’t know the way the world works, but it seems somewhat insane to me that an established game company can’t find the $ to scrape together a low budget game release.

      All this really seems to me is people finally fed up with AAA’s pumping out crap-tacular sequel after sequel and taking a look at any way in hell they can get some of the classic genera’s revived. This isn’t a bad thing, but I think it is a dangerous precedent.

      I always felt the payed alpha was dodgy as it was, but I liked better the idea that the it is typically a smaller team doing this, who actually need the money to support themselves while working on the game, and are giving you something for your cash.

      From these kickstarters its like ‘hey, I’m going to make a game, and waste 100k recording us programming on video, oh and hey, you can post on the forums about the game, wahoo’. I just am somewhat shocked double fine couldn’t find 400k from a publisher to churn out an adventure game.

      Meh, I don’t know, I like the spirit of this, but I have a feeling in 6 months this is all going to go sour.

    • Brass_cankles says:

      At kickstarter, it is customary to give the “backers” a copy of the product that needs financing. It’s basically a “pay what you want above the minimum price” pre-order scheme.

    • Hidden_7 says:

      With Kickstarter, various payment levels get you various things. It’s all layed out and very clear before you pay money. So yeah, you’d get a copy of the game.

      You’re thinking about it the wrong way if you’re worried about people not getting a return on their investment. It’s not investing, it’s patronage. You are commissioning something to be made, and when it is made, you get a copy. This isn’t some dangerous new model for financing things; it’s been around for hundreds of years. The only difference now is that with the internet and digital products it’s more democratized and distributed. So instead of one rich lord or something commissioning a sculptor to make him a statue, we’ve got thousands of regular people chipping a few bucks in for a company to make a video game or movie or album, and then they all get it when it’s done.

    • drewski says:

      The problem with paid alphas and games like this is that there’s probably little replay value, so there isn’t the incentive there is with something like Minecraft to get in early except to save money – which essentially just costs the developer money.

      And the reason Double Fine or Obsidian don’t just fund this stuff internally is because there’s no guarantee of a return on their investment. Asking for patronage takes the risk out of producing a niche product – you know the market will pay for your product, because they already have.

      And if you’re not even bothered to learn how Kickstarter works, perhaps you should not be hasty to criticise people who are using it.

    • Lyndon says:

      I think the important thing to remember is that it’s not investment it’s patronage. People aren’t investing in Double Fine’s game, they are essentially commissioning them to create the product they want.

    • jrodman says:

      I think bit_crusherr’s criticism goes to show that kickstarter projects and kickstarter itself probably have some work to do to clarify the deal that they’re offering/requesting. I think many people get it, but I think some may misunderstand.

      What if I give double-fine 45 bucks and then the project fails. If I viewed it as an early-buy, I’m going to feel terribly betrayed and want my money back. If I viewed it as patronage, I’m going to be disappointed and want to look at further such opportunities with a more critical eye.

      I do think a certain amount of high profile failures will cause there to be a higher bar of demonstrated dilligence/competence/etc. Some people are succesful now on past reputation, but good presentation and plans may make up for it.

    • bill says:

      I said this in the double fine thread and everyone jumped on me.

      I agree that this is more of a case of people showing their anger about AAA games not catering to them. And it seems a bit unfair for big companies to start using crowdsourcing to fund their projects.
      If they are decent companies then they should be able to get funding through normal channels to make the games they want.

      Crowdsourcing works great for crazy spontaneous or small stuff that’d have no chance in “real life” (like making a ROBOCOP statue for Detroit). But, as much as I want to see these guys make great games, why can’t they either fund it themselves or convince people to INVEST in it?

      Now, I actually WOULD invest in some of these products, and I wouldn’t mind too much if i didn’t make a profit, or lost it all. But what happens if i give them $1000 and the game goes on to make millions in profits? they keep those, have no investors to pay back, and I get nothing.

      Seems worryingly close to a con.

    • InternetBatman says:

      @bill Doublefine at least probably doesn’t have that much money to invest in it’s own projects. It’s publisher dependent to the point that they didn’t release a PC ports without a publisher paying for them. Remember, they had to keep running with no money coming in at all while Activision and EA were in a suit.

      Obsidian is probably doing much better (they have two or three teams and NV was probably a financial success for them), but they probably don’t have a couple million to throw down without seriously risking the company. Few companies want to work with publishers, they mostly have to.

      I think it’s fine for the larger companies to do this once or twice, but kickstarter shouldn’t be a continual source of funding. If your game sales don’t support the development of the next game you’re in big trouble.

  12. razgon says:

    I’d want a new Icewind dale game of course!

    • Khemm says:

      Only if the combat was turn-based. Temple of Elemental Evil had the best combat EVER in party-based RPGs, IW’s real time with pause was shit.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Why do otherwise sensible people, and Khemm, keep saying TOEE had good aspects – it was dreadful, dreadful nonsense.

      Aaargh, I’m having a flashback – scouting ahead with a rogue character, fall into combat rounds, have to move every other bloody party member across half the bloody temple in bloody combat rounds.

      Just awful.

    • Wizardry says:

      @FunkyBadger3: Name me a CRPG with a better combat system.

    • Psychopomp says:

      Fallout

      Anything by Spiderweb :V

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Wizardry: I’m loath to say “better” – but I enjoyed, say, Champions of Krynn far more than TOEE.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Other CRPGs I’ve enjoyed more:
      Fallout 1&2
      Pools of Darkness
      Eye of the Beholder 1 & 2
      Baldur’s Gate 1 & 2
      Icewind Dale 1 & 2
      PS:T
      Avadon
      Geneforge 1-3
      etc.
      (not sure if Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey counts, but if so, then that as well)

      Games I have enjoyed less:
      Ruins of Myth Drannor *shudder*

    • Khemm says:

      @Funky
      Wizardry didn’t ask you which RPGs you liked more, but to name an RPG with a better combat system than ToEE.
      Answer: ToEE has the best party-based combat ever. Whoever claims otherwise is WRONG.

    • Wizardry says:

      Guys, I said combat system not game. Blimey!

      Fallout, Eye of the Beholder and Planescape: Torment can’t be serious suggestions, surely! They have terrible combat systems!

      The only ones that come close are Jagged Alliance 2, Knights of the Chalice and Wizard’s Crown/Eternal Dagger, all for different reasons. Perhaps the Gold Box games (like Pools of Darkness and Champions of Krynn) for their simplicity of rules and grid-based layout (and their much better encounter design, but again that’s not part of the combat system).

    • Tuco says:

      @FunkyBadger3: We are sorry to inform you that your opinion sucks.

    • ffordesoon says:

      @Wizardry:

      I kind of love Fallout’s combat, but I’m unfortunately completely with you on Torment. One of my favorite games, but the combat’s just dull.

      I’m sure you won’t agree with me on this for one reason or another, but I always thought Chrono Trigger’s combat system was rather brilliant. Tactics Ogre PSP, likewise.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Tuco: cut to the bone I am.

      Still a bit hazy on how you classify combat systems as better or worse – other than using large fonts – so I tried sticking with personal enjoyment. The only metric I’m 100% on.

      Still any scale that has TOEE at the top is clearly and obviously mad though.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Actually, if its just tactical combat systems we’re talking about:
      Final Fantasy Tactics
      SMT: Strange Journey
      Advance Wars
      Ghost Recon DS
      Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume

      But none of these really count as RPGs… yet all are more fun than TOEE…

    • Bhazor says:

      Grandia 2 gets my vote. Best use of timing and risk/reward mechanics I’ve ever seen in a turn based RPG.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Does Disgaea count as an RPG? Possibly according to Wizardry’s first definition – in which case that has hands down the best combat system.

    • Wizardry says:

      A lot of these Japanese RPG suggestions are truly awful. It’s funny how most people making these suggestions seem to have played far more JRPGs than WRPGs. 3.5E D&D is so much better than games like Disgaea that it’s not even funny. And if you want to open up the discussion to combat systems like the one in Grandia 2, Wizardry 8 destroys it.

    • Chris D says:

      Oh come on, I’ve played Wizardry 8. It’s a fine game for its time but it’s hardly the apex of RPG combat. It’s basically Dungeon Master where you’re outside some of the time.

    • Wizardry says:

      What are you on about? I was comparing it to shitty Japanese blobbers like Grandia 2. There’s a reason I didn’t mention it before. I’d like you to tell me a better blob RPG. Final Fantasy? Pff.

      EDIT: “For its time”? It came out after Grandia 2. Why don’t you point out that all these JRPGs had good combat “for their time”? It’s funny how people tend to be nostalgic over JRPGs but not WRPGs. I never understood why.

    • ffordesoon says:

      Because JRPGs have warm, inviting, cute art, because they’re incredibly accessible, because they’re polished as hell, because their stories have fairly universal appeal, because they have linear stories that don’t paralyze you with choice, and because a lot of people played them when they were kids and regarded PC RPGs as these weird, scary, confusing things with boring art?

      I mean, I’m discovering my love of WRPGs now, but as a kid, I was attracted to the ideas behind them more than the games themselves, and the dull Western take on medieval fantasy confused and bored me. That, at least, is still true. Japanese RPGs always had these weird, imaginative worlds full of hope and humor and romance (in the classical sense of the word, although there was certainly some of the other there) and cute little sidekick animals. Western RPGs were these dull, depressing things with hyperreal graphics and such. I’m sorry to make such a reductive statement, as I still do love JRPGs, but the reason why everyone feels nostalgic for JRPGs is because they felt like they were for kids. They were about going on an adventure and meeting all these amazing characters that we didn’t realize were archetypes until later in life. Western RPGs always felt somehow like they were about eating your vegetables and doing tax returns and math and stuff. They felt like school, and JRPGs felt like things you could have fun with. I hate to make it sound so cut-and-dry, because it really isn’t, but that was how I felt at the time.

      I think that’s why I connected with Planescape so strongly upon release. Here was a game as weird and characterful as any JRPG, but with the darkness and maturity and intelligence of Western RPGs. It wasn’t content to be about equipping things or combat or whatever. It was scary, but the good kind of scary. It was colorful. It had themes. It was about something. It was trying to be interesting and funny and philosphical. If Baldur’s Gate felt like eating your vegetables, Planescape felt like this infinitely cool babysitter that made eating your vegetables fun and knew way more than you and tried not to talk down to you. And that game was the bridge that helped me understand the appeal of the other WRPGs that didn’t seem as cool to me.

      You may not like story in your RPGs, and that’s fine, but it’s story that makes these games appealing to orders of magnitude more people than would otherwise find these games in any way interesting. Nostalgia is just a story you tell yourself so much that it begins to seem like a memory. People aren’t nostalgic for a vast assemblage of math problems when they wax rhapsodic about the RPGs of yore; they’re nostalgic for the stories generated by the math, or that they generated together with the math, or that they were delivered by the math.

      I’m not trying to denigrate your taste or anything; you like what you like, and maybe you do have fond memories of equipping this or that axe and, I dunno, killing some goblins. But even those are stories. It’s not the stats you remember; it’s the stories that came of the stats.

      Anyway, that’s why.

    • Chris D says:

      Wizardry

      If by “Blobbers” you mean games where all the characters are gathered together at a single point then Grandia 2 isn’t one of them. If you didn’t mean that then |I have no idea what you did mean but Grandia 2 makes positioning matter. It’s been a while and I don’t remember all the details but it’s fun, fast paced and has at least as much depth as Wizardry 8 and then surpasses it by adding extra tactical possibilites.

      Narratively I’d say Wizardry 8 is the better game but that’s not what we’re talking about.

      The reason why no one objects to nostalgia for JRPG’s is that because for the most part JRPG fans don’t suggest that the genre reached it’s peak sometime in the 80′s and no further progress is possible

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      3.5E D&D is so much better than games like Disgaea that it’s not even funny.

      Care to give any reasons to backs this up? Disgaea’s combat is a wonderfully intricate combination of systems – character type, party make-up, position & movement tactics, damage types, facing and flanking considerations, terrain based puzzling etc. all blended together in an intoxicating melange…

      3.5E D&D – it’s a decent but no where near as involved, there just isn’t the same tactical depth.

      Would expect better reasoning from you to be honest, I thought you were the expert on this stuff.

    • Wizardry says:

      Woah, hold on there. You’re the one that made the statement saying that Temple of Elemental Evil has crap combat, not me. And your reasoning so far has been that it’s boring. And now you expect me to explain to you why Temple of Elemental Evil is actually better than an SRPG? The burden of proof is on you.

      But what I’m willing to say is that D&D CRPGs have the most tactical array of spells I’ve seen in any CRPG. For 1981 Wizardry had the best spell selection out there, but D&D games, especially later ones like Baldur’s Gate 2 and Temple of Elemental Evil have such a wide range of spells that interact with each other in such a well designed way. There’s almost a counter spell for every single spell, and we are talking hundreds. Sure, D&D CRPGs have a load of useless spells (such as know alignment), but so does every game out there. But what no other CRPG tends to get right is spellcaster versus spellcaster combat. That’s really the highlight of the D&D combat system, especially pre 3rd edition.

      Of course Temple of Elemental Evil, unlike Baldur’s Gate and the other Infinity Engine games, has tactical non-magic combat too. Like the Gold Box games there are attacks of opportunity (which is an entire system in itself with a load of rules governing when the attacks apply), a somewhat decent injury and recovery system (something the Infinity Engine games lack) and properly done initiative, factoring in many modifiers to make sure combat is resolved correctly. These add a huge amount of the tactical nature of the game. It may not be a Dragon Age: Origin style ability spamming fest, but having thousands of different types of attacks surprisingly doesn’t add much to a combat system if they don’t tie in well with the systems that govern the zones of control, turn ordering, character positioning and magic.

      And then you’ve got items that you can make use of in combat. Potions, scrolls, wands and other charge based items improve the combat system by a huge amount. Many CRPGs have potions and scrolls, but most lack the variety and impact of D&D ones. A single scroll or potion can completely change the course of a battle.

      Also, another reason (and probably the ultimate reason) why Temple of Elemental Evil beats nearly all CRPGs is that it uses a rule system that is completely transparent to the player. This reason alone elevates it above others tactically, as every option you can make can be weighed up, and as a result the game isn’t balanced for mere guessing games. All CRPGs should have a transparent rule set. The fact that so little of them do is a shame.

    • bill says:

      D&D spells might be wonderful, but you are sure right that many D&D games don’t make the system transparent to the player. Obscure names and descriptions don’t help… you need to keep the manual on your desk at all times to look up exactly what “colorful hands” or whatever it is actually does, and who it affects, and is it ranged or not? and who is immune? etc.. Which doesn’t work with digital downloads where the manual is a PDF.

      The main reason i stopped playing BG2 was that it starts you with a load of high level characters, each with 6 levels of spells and priest spells, and then throws you into combat expecting you to know which to choose and how these will all interact. So i decided to go back and start with BG1 mainly to learn the spells… but even there the names and references are hardly clear, and it’s mostly blind luck or repeating the same spells.

      (well, actually, I’ve mostly given up on spells and it’s just hitting things while pincushioning them with arrows… even the lots of potions don’t seem particularly clear or useful, so i only really use the health ones. But then again, I’m only fighting hobgoblins at this point. )

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      @Wizardry: thanks for the response.

      TOEE is the only version of D&D rules I’ve seen that properly implements attacks of opportunity, which are vital in that system for battlefield control – and it does that because its tied to grid (Dragon Age uses aggro to try to do this, a mechanic |I really don’t get on with).

      All the rest of your points though, they’re generic. Every game has potions and wands and one-shot items, surely?

      Disgaea certainly has all the features you mention as existing in TOEE plus the terrain interaction sub-game.

      And is also fun to play. I cannot state enough how tedious and soul-destroying TOEE is to actually play – and its fairly crushing to talk about. Still the only D&D game I haven’t completed other than Myth Drannor. Oh, and Neverwinter Nights 2 – that was really, really awful as well.

    • Wizardry says:

      @bill: Well you’re playing the game completely wrong then. The spell descriptions in Baldur’s Gate II can be seen by just right clicking on the spells in your spellbook. They make it clear what each one does, what their saving throws are, what happens when they are saved against, what characters are affected by the spell and how long the spell lasts for. It’s all pretty clear in the Infinity Engine games. It’s only the old DOS CRPGs where you have to look things up in the manual all the time. But that was more due to disk space than anything else, just as you had to look up text entries that detail the plot in a companion journal that came in the box (Gold Box, Wasteland etc.)

      @FunkyBadger3: The Gold Box games implemented attacks of opportunity. It’s just that, as far as I remember, the rules for them were a little simpler back then. It still made a huge contribution to the tactics involved in those games.

      And on the topic of potions and scrolls, I know almost every RPG has them. It’s just that barely any of them made them as effective and tactical in their usage than D&D CRPGs. Dragon Age: Origins had potions – ones for healing and ones for various resistances. The resistance ones were useless other than against dragons. I ended up selling them all in the shop. D&D has all sorts. The various strength enhancing potions massively improve your melee attacks, potentially doubling your damage for a duration of time (none of this +5% crap). Then you’ve got stuff like potions of freedom and potions of mirror eyes that literally turn a loss into a victory with a single gulp. They tie in perfectly with the spell system, as freedom frees you from an entire category of snare spells while mirrored eyes protects against every form of petrification attack. These are all game changers, and valuable or rare potions have to be used in only the most vital situations. You don’t have an inventory containing 1000 of the same potion like you do in The Elder Scrolls games.

  13. Surlywombat says:

    Obsidian are the sort of company that may really benefit from this sort of funding. They been tied to sequels for so long which have always felt like they needed just that bit of extra time to get polished but have been rushed out.

    I’d hope that without publisher pressure something very interesting could arrive from them. Course I could be wrong and we end up with a buggy, rushed, heap of game!

    • Shuck says:

      Actually, a company like Obsidian is least likely to benefit from something like this. Kickstarter is great if you want to generate enough funds for five people to work on an adventure game for six months (which is apparently what Tim Shafer et al. were after, but support a full AAA dev team? Forget it. I’m not sure Kickstarter could raise the funds to cover a 2D RPG like Planescape: Torment. There were well over 100 developers credited on that game. The tools to make a game like that are a lot cheaper now, so a lot more could be done with fewer people in less time, but still…

    • drewski says:

      Anything that comes out of this won’t be anything like AAA. More a Torchlight budget than a Diablo 3 one.

    • Bhazor says:

      @ Shuck

      Vogel would have something to say about that.

  14. derella says:

    Part of what made Planescape so great for me was the setting. It was weird, and fantastic, and something you never really saw before. So yeah… I’d like to see a fantasy RPG that wasn’t set in medieval Europe :)

    • Buttless Boy says:

      I was thinking the same thing. I’d love an old-school CRPG (or any CRPG really) set in an interesting, underused setting. I made a list, because I’m that kinda person.

      -Hunter S. Thompson-style drug-addled journalist trip gone awry
      -Grim and gritty post-modern ’80s style superhero world.
      -Anything bizarro.
      -1920s style mountain-climbing melodrama.

    • Lowbrow says:

      So long as “not medieval Europe” doesn’t mean Chinese/Japanese, that sounds good.

      How about a Bronze-ageish setting that’s not Greece/Early Rome? Scythian/Assyrian/Persian settings are underdone. A Byzantine setting would be a nice change, and court intrigue/racing factions would make for some great scenes. The Nika Riots would be an awesome set-piece:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nika_riots

      How about a game set during an equivalent of the Mongol/Mamluk showdown?

      Plea from an archaeology nerd: Set it during the shift from hunting/gathering to settled agriculture. Or Chatal Huyuk. Great opportunities are out there.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      Fullmetal Murph -

      Somehow I have my doubts that Acti would relinquish the rights to Arcanum. Especially as Acti seems to be one of the few developers to not have published an Obsidian project. I have no idea which party prefers not to deal with the other.

    • ffordesoon says:

      “Not Chinese/Japanese”? Surely you jest. Have there been any serious attempts at all from Western devs to do a Chinese/Japanese-focused single-player RPG besides Jade Empire? Because if there are some that exist, and they’ve been hiding from me all this time, I’ll be very sad.

      As to the topic: basically anything about characters who aren’t smarmy white dudes in a smarmy-white-dude-type setting would be grand. There’s so much mythology and world history that remains entirely untapped in games, and particularly in Western RPGs; it’s genuinely bizarre to me that even Norse mythology has remained relatively underutilized in games until recently. Shit, even Celtic myths are rarely used! Pagan myths are rarely given any serious consideration, except that there are witches and warlocks sometimes. I mean, most of these games don’t even get into what’s interesting about Judeo-Christian mythology, Arthurian mythology, or… hell, mythology! Fantasy-wise, it’s almost always the same brown pseudo-European porridge Grandpa Tolkien cooked up, made and served to order by Daddy Gygax. Which is fine, but it’s time for a change.

      Africa?

    • ffordesoon says:

      Ooh, a fantasy version of Russia! So many fascinating myths and political realities to play with! Or Russian SF! “We claim Mars in the name of glorious Mother Russia!”

    • Wildcard says:

      @ ffordesoon

      Well, there was Throne of Darkness

    • InternetBatman says:

      @fford There’s also Guild Wars Asia or whatever it was called. Weirdly enough, Guildwars is mostly singleplayer. You can choose to make it multiplayer, but all the levels are instanced and they have a ton of NPC party members for you to use.

    • ffordesoon says:

      What about a game that uses religion as more than a bit of flavor text?

      @Wildcard:

      Hmm, I remember reading about that. Not really what I had in mind, but it looks fun. I can’t imagine there’s a deep narrative behind it, though.

      @InternetBatman:

      Single-player. There are plenty of MMOs that take advantage of Asian mythology, the vast majority of which – shock of shocks – come from Asia. What puzzles me is the almost complete lack of single-player Western-style RPGs based on Asian mythology and culture. It’s this rich vein of culture that’s been mined for decades in every medium by people of all cultures and races with great success, and yet Bioware’s the only company to have ever done anything resembling a real narrative WRPG in a setting somewhat inspired by it?

      BTW, I’m only using “Western RPG” as shorthand for stuff like Fallout and Baldur’s Gate and such. I’m not attempting to imply that only white dudes can make this sort of game or something. Just so we’re clear.

    • bill says:

      Something like the Elric novels (and other alternate characters/realms) would seem good source material for someone like Oblivion.

      Or something like Albion/Avatar.

  15. Hoaxfish says:

    I think this is a bit weird… Double-Fine has some form of idea of what they want, and have asked for blind-faith for their supporters.

    I’m not sure how well it’s going to go if the initial impetus doesn’t even have that basic “seed” for the project.

  16. Anthile says:

    Arcanum 2.

    • Rinox says:

      I’ll second a second Arcanum. More of that lovely string music, too.

    • Bhazor says:

      That was Troika dear.

    • Tatourmi says:

      Damn it, can’t we just fund Troika then? *Checks wildly name on google* Oh…

    • Fullmetal Murf says:

      Tim Cain should still be at Obsidian. I am sure he could at least get the consent for an Arcanum 2 from the rest of the defunct Troika crew. My vote definitely goes for it or Planescape. I think either would be a blast.

    • Ironclad says:

      wikipedia search gives us this:

      Troika Games: Key people Tim Cain, Leonard Boyarsky & Jason Anderson

      Timothy Cain: (October 2011 – Today) Tim Cain joined Obsidian Entertainment as senior programmer.[8]
      Leonard Boyarsky: Boyarsky is currently working as lead world designer on Diablo III at Blizzard Entertainment.[3]
      Jason Anderson: In January 2011, he left inXile to join Turtle Rock Studios.

      Hey, one out of 3 ain’t bad..

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      Fullmetal Murph -

      I have my doubts that Acti would relinquish the rights to Arcanum. Especially as Acti has not published an Obsidian developed game. I have no idea which party prefers not to deal with the other, or if this is a mutual decision.

    • GiantRaven says:

      If only sodding Activision didn’t hold the rights to the IP (at least I presume they do seeing as they are listed as publisher on GOG.com). Any more continuation of the Arcanum world make my year.

      *sigh*

    • Khemm says:

      Troika = best RPG devs ever who share the throne with the creators of Ultimas, Darklands and Wizardry.
      Fallout was their baby when they were still at Black Isle, then came Arcanum, Bloodlines and my beloved Temple of Elemental Evil.

      Love you, Troika. ALWAYS WILL. We need you back to save the RPG genre from retardation plaguing it these days.

    • Wizardry says:

      @Khemm: You missed out Interplay, SSI, Attic and New World Computing.

    • derella says:

      Maybe we should start a Kickstarter campaign to buy the Arcanum rights.

  17. Fiwer says:

    If they could make Planescape but not a shitty game that would be fine, but preferably something that is nothing like Planescape. I’ve actually read books outside of the fantasy genre before, so playing a shitty game for a story that’s slightly better than the stuff RA Salvatore shits out didn’t really appeal to me.

  18. NorfTehBarbarian says:

    Just make a game that isn’t big buggy mess. That’d be great. Or use that money to fix up the bugs in Fallout: New Vegas.

    • InternetBatman says:

      If Bethesda couldn’t fix the engine by the fourth major game that they’ve made on it, what makes you think Obsidian stands a chance?

    • Bhazor says:

      With the exception of Alpha Protocol none of Obsidian’s games have been unnusually buggy. I honestly found more glitches in Mass Effect than I did in Kotor 2 and compared to Dragon Age: Origins Neverwinter Nights 2 and Dungeon Siege 3 were practically bug free. Seriously, there were thousands like me whose game was broke for months when Bioware released a dodgy patch DA:O.

  19. csuzw says:

    Alpha Protocol 2. It doesn’t need to be the same setting but it needs to keep the dialogue system and choices that actually change things and make a difference because it’s the only game I’ve played that actually did this properly and it’s the reason AP is my favourite game ever. Every other game I’ve played the choices essentially mean nothing to the overall story, either they’re really localised choices that make next to no difference down the line or they’re that horrible non-choice where you can decide to accept or ignore a quest and the only result if you ignore it is that you miss out on content. In AP if you ignored something, you didn’t miss out, stuff just worked out differently.

    • Brass_cankles says:

      Alpha Protocol is a SEGA-owned IP, and therefore not an option.

    • csuzw says:

      If you’d actually read my post fully you would have noticed I don’t care about the setting, just significant game design elements which I’m pretty sure Sega don’t have the rights too.

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      I’d be happy with an Alpha Protocol 2 (or similar, which doesn’t need permission from SEGA).

      I luckily never had any problems with bugs, and really enjoyed it. Played with a 360 controller it worked really well (glad I didn’t try to use M&K).

    • ffordesoon says:

      Beta Contingency.

      There, no trouble from Sega.

  20. InternetBatman says:

    I’d actually prefer a completely new setting. Not Planescape because licenses cost a lot of money. Arcanum was a great example of a completely different setting that hasn’t really been replicated. Maybe a game that takes place mostly underwater in the sunken ruins of a society that your character helped destroy? (I love underwater games/ levels.) Maybe an Arabian Nights kind of vibe? Maybe a game where a side that’s like the North in the American civil war is fighting a bunch disparate fantasy monsters? Maybe a time travel game where your character is fighting another time traveler and both of them keep on repeatedly messing up the same town and the timeline? Maybe a fatalistic world that’s trapped in a black hole’s gravity well and they’ve lost a lot of the tech that got them there? Whatever they chose, it’s important that they get the idea straight before asking me for money.

    Oh, and this is a 2D isometric RPG of course. Nothing else should enter the discussion. I’d prefer ATB, but to each there’s no reason ATB can’t coexist with turnbased.

  21. equatorian says:

    New IP in a world entirely out of their heads. That way they can keep milking it forever and I will buy every single one of the milked products.

    The caveats are : isometric, old-schooled, meaningful choices, and preferably with a bit of metaphysics and more text than anyone knows what to do with. (I always skip through voice acting, what?)

    • nrvsNRG says:

      these days i always skip voice bits…just read the subs and skip.Apart from the voice acting in mass effect (say what you want about the game, but the voice acting was actually tolerable), every other game is like torture.
      They should just save all the money they spend on voice production costs and spend it on making everything else better.
      so yeah…isometric,text based,and a brand new IP.

    • equatorian says:

      Oh, I like Mass Effect fine, apart from the shooty bits and the morality hammer. I’ve just been skipping voice ever since they started introducing voice in games, that’s all. The only things I make exception for are some Japanese imports, and that’s mostly because my Japanese reading speed is slow enough that skipping won’t make things much faster.

      But yes, isometric and text-based. Brofist?

    • nrvsNRG says:

      TEXTBROFIST

    • Bhazor says:

      The problem with videogame dialog is that it’s all punched. Recorded one line at a time so that the two characters in a conversation were never in the room together. This is why you never get characters talking over each other or reacting off each other. I swear sometimes you can hear a clunk as the next line loads.

    • InternetBatman says:

      @Bhazor, That and there’s not significant room for revision. Revision is a huge part of writing, even when people are reading your lines. It leads to a ton of stuff that works in theory but doesn’t play out. Oh, that and they keep on hiring people who make crappy novelizations of games. Half the stuff you read or hear in games sounds like shitty fanfic for a reason now. Blizzard is the worst for this.

      I too skip the voice acting and think it’s bad for games in high amounts.

    • equatorian says:

      All the more reason to have none of it, then! Or as little as possible. My imagination provides a most wonderful voice-acting service, anyway.

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      Surely the best solution for voice acting is what they did for the IE games like Baldur’s Gate?

      Have the opening line/paragraph voiced, and everything else just text. That way, you get an idea of what the person sounds like, then you get to read the rest of the dialogue without having poor voice acting all in your ears.

    • Khemm says:

      @Andy
      Yep. Or only voice very important characters, like in Fallout.
      Full voice overs brought only harm to the RPG genre.

    • ffordesoon says:

      FINALLY, MY OPINION IS SHARED!

      If your voice acting isn’t at least as good as Uncharted (hey, whatever you think of the game, it’s got great voice work) or Portal 2′s in EVERY SINGLE LINE, you need to take your voice acting budget, throw it in the trash, reach into the trash when you realize you’ve been an idiot and thrown away money, and then use that money to pay for more of literally anything else.

      @Bhazor:

      Word. When I heard that was how Bioware did it, all the crummily passive line readings in their games suddenly made sense. I mean, the people who play Shepard are told that they can’t show too much emotion because each performance has to be the same as the other! I suppose they think that helps with player identification. Yes, because it’s not like an actor’s job is to convey emotion sufficiently that the audience can empathize/sympathize with them.

      Fuck voice acting. It’s almost always uniformly terrible. The bigger the game, the worse it is. Worse, it slows the game down. That’s only excusable if the acting is Oscar-caliber, and even then…

      The ONLY reason I’ve ever heard that made sense as to why voice acting in RPGs was necessary was to cater to blind and developmentally disabled people. Everyone else, though? Ehhh.

    • The Tupper says:

      Speaking of dreadful voice work, who is that English guy in Skyrim? He’s bloody awful.

    • ffordesoon says:

      Oh, you mean Mincing Pedophile Attempting To Sound Cultured Guy? The one who asks if you “get to the Cloud District very often”?

      Yeah, he’s… yeah.

    • The Tupper says:

      You’re not gonna believe this, but “Mincing Pedophile Attempting To Sound Cultured Guy” was exactly the phrase I was looking for!

      Americans seem to have a problem when it comes to English guys: they can’t tell the difference between merely-posho and camp-as-knickers-weirdo, exemplified by that guy who played the security chief in Star Trek Enterprise.

    • nrvsNRG says:

      @ffordesoon
      you have to admit Mordin was pretty awesome in ME2.Also there seemed to be more direction given which made a difference.

    • ffordesoon says:

      @nrvsNRG

      To be clear, I am a MASSIVE Bioware fan, and ME2 is one of my favorite games ever, with some of the best voice work yet seen in a game of that scale. Mordin is amazing.

      The problem, to the extent that there is one, is with Bioware’s method, not the acting itself. They have great voice actors. It’s just that every line feels disconnected from every other; you don’t get the sense that these are two characters in a room talking. Watch one of their cringeworthy romantic scenes, then watch a similar scene in a live-action movie. It’s not just the uncanny valley character models or the creepy animations. It’s the lack of background noise and the way each character takes a turn to speak. It’s the way the actors all sound as if they were just prompted to say a line. Most of all, it’s the lack of actual intimacy you get from saying a bunch of lines into a microphone without knowing what the hell you’re talking about.

    • Bhazor says:

      For me the worst part is they never overlap so theres no urgency. It’s like everyone is too polite to just butt in so you have these hilarious moments where two characters (recorded days apart) are talking and then they both just stop for two seconds and then character 3 butts in. It’s like an am dram production where the stage hand has to wave to the actor to make them say the next line. This is at its worst when the wheel comes up and you just have dead air whilst the characters just stare into each others eyes.

      Another bug bear I have with Bioware is that the conversations are just so lazily shot. In Mass Effect I was seriously having Phantom Menace flashbacks as every dialog was done in shot-reverse shot.

      For me the only RPG to get spoken dialog right is probably Alpha Protocol. Alpha Protocol got it right by going fully cinematic by essentially doing it as a movie. Characters had extensive stage directions, were sometimes recorded together (though not always) and perhaps more importantly the timed conversations meant there was no dead air whilst your characted made their choices. Have a more structured pace meant they could also play with the camera more with panning shots, shaky cam/weak man footage and even some spaghetti western super close ups. If there is one more thing Bioware desperately need to steal (as they’ve already stolen character influence and arguably NW2 inspired DA:O) from Obsidian its this .

    • NathanH says:

      I pretty much always skip voice acting, whether it’s good or bad, because I can read faster than people talk, and so why would I hang around listening to something I’ve already read?

  22. caddyB says:

    Freespace 3, Turn based Squadron tactical space combat sim/rpg

  23. BloatedGuppy says:

    They should start a kickstarter fund to hire a QA team.

  24. ZX k1cka55 48K says:

    Well I would spend 100€ without hesitation on a Planescape: Torment remake…
    About funding… i don’t know, i didn’t see anything exceptional from Avellone post Black Isle times yet.

  25. Wizardry says:

    I am wondering, without starting up a big argument over the definition of an RPG, why people consider Planescape: Torment old-school. Planescape: Torment is definitely one of the originators of the “new-school” of RPG design – one that shifted focus from deep, intertwined systems to branching trees and story-heaviness. Planescape: Torment’s design lives on in both Obsidian and BioWare.

    On the other hand, old-school RPGs like Wizardry and Might and Magic have almost nothing in common with Planescape: Torment and newer games. Surely if these games are old-school then Planescape: Torment is “new-school”.

    Let’s keep this friendly, guys.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Because it’s on the Infinity Engine and over a decade old. A third of videogame history has passed by since then. A poor third. And even their version of 2D isometric RPGs are getting increasingly rare these days. You have Jeff Vogel or a bunch of startups like Age of Decadence.

      Also, I’d argue that the style owes far more to Baldur’s Gate than to Planescape. Planescape was way more text heavy than anything since for one.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      I imagine it has a lot to do with the age of the person calling PS:T ‘old school’.

    • equatorian says:

      In my case, it’s because they still remained games that didn’t hand you everything on a silver platter. Planescape was easy on combat, but if you want to get the most out of it, you still have to explore and experiment quite a bit more than is asked for by, say, ME. Narrative and choice, too, was something that started with Ultima, so it’s older than you’re saying it to be—and newer games simplified the depth of the narrative down quite a bit from those days, I’d say.

      And yes, I did play Might & Magic in my youth. Perhaps it’s my fault for starting with Clouds of Xeen, but I honestly didn’t see anything too stat-based in it, either. Now, Realms of Arkania, now that’s a delicious stat-based game—-though it’s not what I would associate with the word ‘old-schooled’ as far as CRPGs are concerned. They’re kind of anomalous to me.

      EDIT : Let me reword my reply – I consider old-schooled to be ‘immersive without being cinematic’. Perhaps that’s a restrictive definition, but oh god can we ever get rid of cinematics, I am so done there. /unpopular opinion

    • Juan Carlo says:

      Kind of a pointless and futile discussion as what is or is not “old school” is all relative.

      I do think Planescape is old enough and different enough, though, that it can safely be called “old school” compared to most RPGs today. Although, again it’s all relative. I recognize there are some crotchety sorts who will scoff at the notion that it is “old school.”

      Son las cosas de la vida, I guess.

    • Alec Meer says:

      they’re just, like, some words’n'stuff.

    • Chris D says:

      I think terms like old-school and new-school are largely dependent on what you grew up with. (Doesn’t everyone remember loading games on cassette? Then there were these new-school 5&1/4 inch floppies. What? You remember punch cards? How old are you, Grandad?) Planescape is far enough back so that it’s aitomatically old school as far as many gamers are concerned.

      On your main point though, I don’t think branching narrative and deep systems have to be exclusive and I suspect it’s more a case of two independent trends growing in popularity at the same time rather than one inevitably leading to the other.

    • Brass_cankles says:

      @Wizardry: Never thought of it that way. That’s a damn good observation. I don’t think it does make PS:T a bad game by any means, but it does explain why I don’t crave a sequel to that as much as I crave a new Fallout.

      edit: I interpret the original post as pragmatic more than anything. It is not a really a request for a definition. It’s more like: “What are people actually asking for when they say they want an “old-school” RPG?”

    • TheWhippetLord says:

      From my point of view as a grumpy old man.
      “Old-School” = games I enjoyed in the past.
      The infinity engine games were the first ‘RPGs’ (defined as ‘games which have RPG written on the box’, for lets-not-argue’s sake :) ) I played. Torment was the game I enjoyed the most of the bunch, so I am a bit nostalgic about it. As to whether I’d dig it as much now I’m no longer a mopey teeneger, I don’t know.

      I think it’s a good point about Torment (or maybe the IE games generally) marking the turning point from mechanics-heavy to story-heavy RPGs. Whether that’s good, bad or neither depends which way you swing I guess. There are plenty of other changes over the years, though: loss of isometric perspective, reduced party size etc. I’d guess that where you put the line between the old, good stuff and the new, bad stuff depends on what annoys you the most. One might even theoretically enjoy modern games more, but let’s not get silly. :P

    • Khemm says:

      I definitely agree that the branch of RPG with emphasis on dungeon-crawling where pure mechanics mean more than dialogue trees is worth resurrecting.

      But I doubt Obsidian would be capable of creating a juggernaut like Wizardry 8.

    • Wizardry says:

      @Khemm: I don’t think it’s fair to call them “dungeon crawlers”. You do just as much, if not more dungeon crawling in games like Baldur’s Gate II and Dragon Age: Origins than in games like Realms of Arkania and the Gold Box games. You don’t need to be limited to dungeons to have an emphasis on the mechanics. Look at Darklands for example. And even Wasteland!

    • drewski says:

      I don’t know why anyone would *want* Obsidian to do a Wizardry 8 style RPG. I can see why you would want it to exist, but I don’t know why you would want Obsidian to do it…

      I crave Jagged Alliance 3, but I wouldn’t suggest it if People Can Fly were asking what they should develop next.

    • Wizardry says:

      Why not? They are supposed to be an RPG development studio. You’d think they could handle a Wizardry 8 type game.

    • Turkey says:

      I’ve never really thought about it like that, but you’re right, It’s got a lot more in common with the newer choose your own adventure style RPGs than with the other Infinity engine games.

  26. cookieheadjenkins says:

    Planescape sequel or a proper ending to KOTOR The Sith Lords

  27. deadly.by.design says:

    Half-Life 3?

    Somebody’s got to do it…

  28. Brass_cankles says:

    New IP, isometric, turn-based, amount of voice acting same as Fallout 2 (as voice acting is time consuming, expensive and would compromise other areas of the game).

    New IP also because they might actually see some money from that. They should have gotten filthy rich after Fallout: NV, yet they didn’t. The ultimate goal must be to go Larian on the publishers.

    I am a bit concerned about Obsidians management, though, after all the drama surrounding Alpha Protocol.

  29. KilgoreTrout_XL says:

    Baldur’s Gate 3 or Icewind Dale 3 with a modern-day infinity engine or its equivalent (read: for holy fucks sake do NOT make it first or third person).

    I like Double Fine, but I am much, much more excited about this fundraiser.

  30. Bluerps says:

    Torment 2: Die Harder

    Seriously – a new RPG in the spirit of Planescape Torment would be great. It would not even need Planescape to be the setting. Any setting that is comparably unconventional would be sufficient.

  31. Wooly Wugga Wugga says:

    I would say another expansion to NWN2 which is of as high a quality at Mask Of The Betrayer.

  32. Moraven says:

    Curious how the pay to start development of a game compares to start making a game (Kickstarters) and continue funding with pre-orders (Project Zomboid, Natural Selection 2, Grim Dawn) compare.

    In a way its like investing into a start up, but instead of owning a piece of the company, we are getting the finished product plus other goodies. It is giving an avenue for to fund games they want.

    Other route is the small developers already put in their initial start up costs, but hope to bring in more money early from pre orders so that they can put back into the game to make it better.

    In the end this can be a good way for the developers to make money to fund future projects. Ideally they are basically breaking even with their funds and deliver to their backers. Any copies sold after that are profit they can use to fund future titles.

  33. MythArcana says:

    We’ll be on standby for a cartoon shaded, toilet humor riddled s73@/\/\ game with RPG/Tower Defense/RTS elements…like the other 732 games they already sell there.

  34. RyuRanX says:

    A turn-based D&D 3.0 RPG in the veins of Temple of Elemental Evil.

  35. Beelzebud says:

    Wasteland – Done in the style of Fallout, but with a modern engine.

  36. Samuel Hill says:

    A game that captures a bit of the Torment level of storytelling would be my first choice. Turn based, real time etc etc wouldn’t really matter as long as the writing and general feel of the game came close.

    That being said another another Planescape based title would probably tempt me to part with money, especially if Obsidian were working on it.

  37. Khemm says:

    The only correct answer: isometric party-based dungeon crawler in the vein of Temple of Elemental Evil or Icewind Dale, with turn-based combat (real time with pause sucks), plenty of dialogue options, meaningful choices and consequences etc.

    Of course, something even grander in scope like Arcanum, another Planescape game or Baldur’s Gate would awesome, but such games would probably be waaay too big for Obsidian.
    I’d ask them for proper Fallout 3, but yeah…

  38. RuySan says:

    Preferably a new IP with turn-based combat and loads of stats. Or Bloodlines 2.

    Better yet, buy the IP from Ubisoft and make Albion 2.

  39. Jimbo says:

    Basically a party-based RPG, but which plays more like Men of War.

  40. It's not me it's you says:

    As long as Avellone is the lead writer and the story is personal and not yet another rah-rah hero-who-must-save-the-world-and-everyone-in-it, I’ll pay pretty big for it.

    I also would like it not to be a sequel to anything and not be saddled with shitty mechanics just because the licensed property they’re using requires them. Make a nuanced, personal story that can only be told in a game and then build the systems around that. I don’t care about setting, genre, or anything else.

  41. pkt-zer0 says:

    I thought Mask of the Betrayer was supposed to be that Planescape: Torment spiritual sequel.

    Anyway, yeah. More of that. And proper turn-based combat.

  42. Stevostin says:

    A new Fallout obviously. I am sorry about not asking something original, but seriously, there is never enough Fallout. That something I can’t say about any other license they worked on, with the possible exception of Vampire Bloodlines. But PLEASE, dont listen to the fake hardcore crowd asking for anything else than first person view : the real old school is Dungeon Master / Ultima Underworld. The only reason why first RPGs werent FPV was technical limitation. There is absolutely no point, when offering a trip to a new world, to shoot yourself in the foot and deny immersion for whatever reason.

  43. Stardog says:

    I haven’t liked an Obsidian game apart from New Vegas. Neverwinter Nights 2 was particularly bad, and Alpha Protocol was B-rate.

    I suggest they stick with Fallout 3′s RPG formula and just make a new version in their own world/setting. Creating the tech for that wouldn’t be too difficult.

    Also, please, no Cthulu horror, zombies or generic fantasy, plz.

    • Khemm says:

      Fallout 3 is a piece of crap that only made the series CoD crowd-oriented. Away with that devilry.

    • Brass_cankles says:

      @Khemm: Amen to that.

      @Stardog: Those that liked Fallout 3 will get more of that stuff in the years to come, don’t worry. Besides, it’ll take a lot more moneyz than a “kickstart” to get such a “AAA” game financed. Kickstarter, in regard to games, is all about niche products. An isometric, turn-based cRPGs like e.g. the original Fallouts have become such a product (with a seemingly large niche from the amount of uproar it’s causing :)).

    • Ysellian says:

      Mask of the betrayer was amazing >_<

  44. apt says:

    Aliens RPG, please. Maybe success with Kickstarter would send a message to Sega or whoever decides these things.

  45. Nameless1 says:

    Oh Jesus, am I dreaming?
    Are we actually talking about a developer asking the players what game they would like to be developed?
    There must be a trick somewhere.

  46. Sardonic says:

    Either a new fallout game set in Europe or something, or getting the ME license from Bioware and making a game set in the first contact war. There is no way in hell both of those wouldn’t sell like hotcakes.

  47. Jason Moyer says:

    I want Chris Avellone and JE Sawyer to make my babies. Seriously, they could say they’re doing anything and I’m pretty sure I’d throw a pile of cash into the pile without thinking about it.

  48. Drake Sigar says:

    Sorry, I still want another Alpha Protocol. Best game I’ve played in the last five years.

    • GiantRaven says:

      Since I’m assuming Obsidian don’t own the IP themselves, the best thing to do with an Alpha Protocol ‘sequel’ would be to just take all the best mechanics of the game (dialogue/choice/reputation systems) and put them into a similar game set in the same kind of world.

  49. Lobotomist says:

    Actually.

    I think that Obsidian does fantastic RPGs with no need of player funding. Shame that Alien RPG got cancelled though

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