Project Eternity Made An Awful Lot Of Money

By RPS on October 17th, 2012 at 9:00 am.

Well, the sad news is that Project Eternity just couldn’t raise the funds required to see its ambitions met. The Kickstarter came to an end last night, and just fell short of its… four million dollars stretch goal.

Yes, of course, this is actually the most financially successful gaming Kickstarter of all time, the $1.1m goal smashed to pieces long ago, and finishing on an extraordinary $3,986,929.

So what does this mean for the RPG to be made in the spiritual style of Planescape: Torment? Well, most of all it means it’s clearly going ahead. But all those extra millions?

$1.4m added an extra playable race, class and companion. $1.6m saw the game guaranteed to make it to Mac and Linux, along with a larger story. $1.8m meant another new playable race, class and companion. While $2m ensured players would get… their own house. Huh. Up to $2.2m and they promised a new region, faction, and companion, plus the game translated into French, German and Spanish. $2.3m dinged a bunch of new game modes: Expert, Trial Of Iron and Path Of The Damned, and a “Godlike race”. Then at $2.4m bloody crafting and enchanting were added. Sadly there wasn’t a way to get to $2.5m without going past $2.4m, so that’s how Barbarian and Cipher classes were added. $2.6m offered an Adventurer’s Hall and “full party creation”, while $2.7m saw Paladins and Chanters arrive in the game. Once $2.8m was reached it added George Ziets, the creative lead and core writer behind the hugely popular Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask Of The Betrayer, to the development team. Then at $3m they promised a stronghold feature. I think they thought that was where they’d reach.

Then they saw $3.5m in their sights, and offered a second “Big City”. These are multiple-map-spanning areas packed with much to do, and they had been planning one in the game. Now there will be two. And alongside all this, there was the Mega Dungeon, that hit 12 levels, ensuring that you will never escape from its clammy clutches.

Then they created the $4m stretch goal, which via Kickstarter they only just fell short of. However, with around $150,000 in Paypal contributions that have also been taking place, they’ll have made it. And that rather boldly claims it means they’ll “enhance the whole game”. Live instrumentation for the music, developer in-game commentary, and they say that Chris Avellone will be forced to play Arcanum – which is, of course, the real reason any of us paid attention to this to begin with.

So that’s pretty good news for all involved. That said, Kickstarter culture in general – with its increasingly cynical hostage mentality toward the biggest, best features and resulting reluctance to actually tell people what they’re paying for upfront – some argue is becoming problematic. We reached out to Chris Avellone about that, to get his thoughts:

“From the Double Fine and Eternity standpoint, people understand what they’re getting in the Kickstarter proposal, in my opinion. I know what a Tim Schafer adventure game is based on his history and pedigree. And even if it was different, I still love Tim Schafer games because of his aesthetic approach, regardless. I believe that KS for Eternity is much the same way in terms of people’s knowledge of the Infinity Engine games and also the accumulated RPG works that Josh, Tim, Feargus, and I – not to honk my own horn – have done over the years.”

So it’s still ultimately about trust, but with the ethical strangeness of withholding specific details to encourage extra spending. Which, I suppose, didn’t present any huge problems in this particular case, but it’s tough to say how it’ll influence other Kickstarters without such a rich history working behind the scenes, however well-deserved it might be on Obsidian’s part. And it does seem well deserved.

They set the original estimated release date at April 2014, and Kickstarter rules suggest they should do their best to honour that. But with the vast amount of extra content, it seems likely it’ll take longer to make. So now the initial excitement is over, it’s obviously going to be one heck of a wait before we get our mitts on the thing. So, er, thumb-twiddling contests?

__________________

« | »

, , .

150 Comments »

  1. gschmidl says:

    I was watching their countdown stream last night, and I’m amazed they didn’t shut the project down given the gut-wrenching sexism and racism on display from the chat the entire goddamn time. Maybe drinking yourself into a stupor helps there. Jesus.

    • J_C says:

      Well they couldn’t do anything about the retards.

      • AlwaysRight says:

        Are you aware you just made comment decrying offensive behaviour on the internet by using language offensive to people with disabilities?

        I know I’m being pedantic, but it does hinder your point.

        • Mordsung says:

          I think it’s safe to say that the word retard has entered the modern vernacular in much the same was spaz is used now.

          Both, at one time, referred to legitimate mental disabilities, at this point they are not used in that context and are used to mean stupid.

          The meanings of words shift over time.

          Hysteria was, at one time, consider a mental illness suffered by women. It is no longer used in that way and no one really gets insulted if you use the word, despite it’s misogynistic origin.

          • bonjovi says:

            Isn’t stupidity a form of disability as well? Should stupid people feel as offended as retarded people can?

          • bvilleneuve says:

            Actually, calling people (particularly women) hysterical is still problematic. It can be used to refer to a legitimately irrational person, but it’s still frequently wielded to delegitimize somebody who has actual grievances.

            And no, “retard” doesn’t always refer specifically to people who actually have mental disabilities, but it is still definitionally linked with them. When people use it, they aren’t referring to a class of things that is wholly separate from people with mental disabilities, who are valued members of communities and aren’t defined by their disabilities. They’re referring to a class of things that includes those retards over there, ha-ha, isn’t it a joy to mock them.

            The point here isn’t to take words out of the lexicon because I find them offensive (I don’t) or because other people do. The point is to make people think about how easy it is to just not use language that actively subjugates certain parts of society. Ultimately, it’s about values.

          • suibhne says:

            Congratulations, Mordsung! You’ve just employed exactly the same reasoning used by cretinous mouth-breathers who utter common slurs about homosexuals, Jewish people, and people with darker skin.

          • D3xter says:

            Now, don’t get hysterical.

          • Bhazor says:

            Now now no need to get Vulvatile. Just let it wash Ovary your head.

          • dontnormally says:

            Bhazor wins two internets.

          • Vandelay says:

            Err… “spaz” is now an acceptable term? Think I missed the memo there. Even the charity is now known as Scope, due to the derogatory connotations the longer form now has.

            “Retard” is in fairly common usage (far more than “spaz”, for anyone that isn’t a teenager, so not sure what you are talking about,) but that doesn’t make it acceptable.

          • Unruly says:

            It’s something called the euphemism treadmill and semantic change.

            The words idiot, imbecile, moron, and dumb were all, at one point, used in a professional capacity to describe the people that we would now call mentally disabled in much the same way that, until in the last 20 years or so retard was used as well. But I’d bet that you call people idiots, morons, or imbeciles without a second thought as to what connotations that word might actually have. And it’s because the meanings of words can change over time and just because the word idiot used to mean someone who we would now call mentally disabled doesn’t mean that it still means that.

            Lame is another word like that, and it refers to people who are physically handicapped. But again, I’d bet you’ve used the word lame to describe things in the past without ever thinking that you may be offending someone who can’t walk.

            But hey, don’t let the facts and the nature of language get in the way of your white-knighting everything. Also, and I’m just going to say it because it seems to aggravate so many white-knighters because they don’t understand the word, niggardly. If you’re about to jump down my throat for being a racist or being offensive for using that word, I suggest that you go and look it up first. And then feel dumb for needing so badly to be offended that you invented an offense against you or another person.

          • RandomGameR says:

            What facts? The fact of the matter is that the word “retard” offends people because of its current connotations. Maybe in the distant future that will no longer be the case. People like J_C use the word despite it being offensive because they just don’t care. It’s just like the people who use gay as a derogatory statement all the time.

          • iucounu says:

            Yes, semantic drift is a thing. When you speak in a public forum, to strangers, you therefore invoke every connotation your words currently carry. They can’t be automatically expected to share your lexicion.

            Reasonable people can disagree about politeness, but the argument “It doesn’t mean that to me,” isn’t really valid if you’re aware that your words could cause distress or offence.

          • Bloodloss says:

            @suibhne why are you being so offensive towards those with disorders that cause them to breathe out of their mouth? This is also a stereotype associated with various mental illnesses. Could you please apologise at once? Thanks.

        • tumbleworld says:

          I’m not trying to speak for your personal situation, but having grown up in NW Hampshire in the 80s, ‘retard’ was never used in the original sense. As Mordung says, it was similar to ‘spaz’ — although, in fact, spaz was edgier, because we did at least know what spastic actually meant. Retard has no charge for me, other than as a slightly stronger version of ‘stupid’.

          • Bhazor says:

            There’s also the fact that retard/retarded are both still widely used medical terms for delayed or slow development. Which includes mental retardation.

            BUT if someone finds a word offensive then it is offensive. You do not get to decide what words are offensive.

            I for example really don’t like people who use retard as a synonym for dumb.

          • Felix says:

            @Bhazor

            And just because someone or some group has decided something is offensive doesn’t give them the right to censor or limit another’s free speech. I do not begrudge you the right to complain, but a complaint is ineffectual and pointless in a public space. Someone who is offended certainly has the right to be, but does not have the right to control another person. A person who takes offense takes full responsibility for that offense.

            I take offense at several things but I do not let that control my actions or attempt to control another’s unless there are specific rules concerning it. Eliminating taking offense at something is a matter of increasing one’s willpower.

          • ffordesoon says:

            @felix:

            That’s not willpower. That’s cowardice.

          • codename_bloodfist says:

            I hope you also take issue with people who use the world “idiot” then, because technically idiocy is a (perhaps somewhat antiquated) term for extreme retardation. If I may offer a constructive suggestion, perhaps you should also throw critical glances at people who say the worlds like “stupid” or “silly”, because they’re discriminating against people who were unfortunate enough to be born with a below average IQ and are thus ableists.

            It’s hard not to quote Karl Marx at this stage, who aptly pointed out that “history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.”

          • Sheng-ji says:

            I really don’t want to get involved in this, all this has done for me is given me a few more people to block!

            But, Felix:

            “And just because someone or some group has decided something is offensive doesn’t give them the right to censor or limit another’s free speech”

            Actually, in the UK, (and every other civilised country in the world), hate crimes i.e. crimes committed against someone due to their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or presumed disability are indeed illegal and yes you can commit a hate crime just using words or typing in a forum. So your “free speech” only exists while you are saying things that are not criminally offensive to one of those groups.

            Not that that is what has happened here, I’m just pointing out that your statement is factually wrong and in the right circumstances, calling someone a retard will breach the law. It is not acceptable to use the word as slang for stupid because it is a medical term and as such should not be gazzumped by the mindless and the ignorant.

        • J_C says:

          Sue me.

          You see, when I say “retard”, I think of stupid people, idiots. But you associate the word retard with people with disabilities. So you are the one who does the wrong thing.

          And for fuck’s sake, I hate this world where I can’t say gay or retard, because some white knight jumps out from nowhere and says to me that I shouldn’t use these words because I hurt somebody’s feeling.

          • AlwaysRight says:

            You’re right, its political correctness gone mad! You can’t even say something offensive nowadays without someone getting offended.

            But this misses the point. It’s not about hurting peoples feelings, its about losing credibility in your argument by being hypocritical.

            After this comment I’m not sure you really care that much about credibility.

          • J_C says:

            Cry me a river.

          • AlwaysRight says:

            :’(

        • Goodtwist says:

          Fun fact:
          Some people over at PC Gamer find it normal to call others “dumb” because they call their dogs dumb, too. Therefore, it’s legit and not offensive in their view.
          Call me old fashioned but that them youngens deserve some bitchslapping.

        • Zyrusticae says:

          I apologize (insincerely, I might add) if I cannot muster up the will to be sensitive with regards to people with mental disabilities.

          Please excuse me if I must use words like “retard”, “idiot”, “moron”, and the like to describe people who may or may not actually be mentally disabled but show behavior that I would regard as ‘simplistic’ in some manner.

          Please forgive me if I simply do not think highly of people who are actually retarded, and thus consequently use the term to refer to other people I do not think highly of.

          Also, please forgive me if I feel that using such a term is hugely fundamentally different from using racial or sexist slurs due to the factor of actual mental competence being in the picture.

          • RandomGameR says:

            This is not how apologies work. As such, your comment calls into question your mental faculties.

    • Cinek says:

      I think you just want to make me happy that I missed it…..

    • Prime-Mover says:

      Maybe I’m a bit over accustomed with this whole internet thing, but I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary in this regard. Besides this, the logic of closing something completely down due to a minority of offensive statements is somewhat lost on me.

    • D3xter says:

      Don’t worry you can see it here: http://www.twitch.tv/obsidian/b/335806140
      Luckily they were mostly normal people being normal, Avellone got effing drunk near the end :P

      The only one uptight about that stuff was Sawyer, and even he smiled at times xD

      Also, they did get over 4 Million, since:

      Quick #ProjectEternity PayPal update: $140,099

      Would have been cooler to reach it on KickStarter too though.

    • ch4os1337 says:

      I’ve been watching streams since the original Justin.tv was about Justins life, the whole time I was watching I was thinking “Wow, why haven’t the chat pointed out the black guy?”, It took them forever to do it.

      I don’t know about you but it was one of the most tamest chats I’ve ever seen, with a grand total of 1 message being deleted by a Twitch admin. The “sexism” was the chat saying the girls in the different coloured shirts were hot, slightly ‘creepy’ but not really, they were doing it to the guys too, it was actually worse for the guys where they were saying things like “have my babys” and “take of your shirt Chris”, they never once said that to the girls. But hey it’s only joking when it’s about guys right?

      The racism was the chat calling Alan (?) Levar Burton which they laughed about and was obviously a joke, and they also called one of the red headed guys Adam from myth busters. It’s only racism against black people right?

      It was hardly “gut-wrenching” and it for sure wasn’t for the entire time. What I will say is though they were giving the kids some flak for being kids, that was the only painful thing the chat did because it was purely insensitive rather then joking around.

      • D3xter says:

        That misandry: http://www.abload.de/img/beard6sao6.png

        Shut everything down, call the thought police and arrest everyone!

        • bvilleneuve says:

          It never ceases to entertain me that people, even jokingly, consider attempts at a more formally inclusive language and discourse to be tantamount to an Orwellian nightmare.

        • meatshit says:

          I guess you missed the guy who kept going on about how he wanted to “shoot a load on that beard”.

    • HexagonalBolts says:

      It’s an un-policed open chat room on the internet, what were you expecting? They can’t perform miracles!

      Most of the people writing rubbish were probably thirteen years old and don’t know any better. I went on for a few minutes and it seemed jolly enough if a bit silly.

      • Emeraude says:

        This really.

        But I can understand finding the whole thing rather unpleasant.

        • PoulWrist says:

          Yes, someone not used to seeing people interact might find such a thing terrible.

          • ffordesoon says:

            Wait, what?

            Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m fairly certain human interaction is not principally based on a large group of people screaming slurs against various groups at the top of their lungs. Where do you normally watch people interact?

            I’m not arguing that the people who were saying gross stuff in the chat are bad people, or even that they actually believe what they were saying. I found some of the stuff said in chat pretty gross, but I understand that it’s easy to get caught up in the moment, and that different people deal with that in different ways. I don’t think it’s cool, but I get it. I’m just saying that it’s dumb to expect nobody to be offended or creeped out when some putz called DinoBot12 types “RAPE DAT BITCH” eighteen times for absolutely no reason. Surely there is no context in which that’s not poor behavior?

            (That’s a made-up example, BTW, so don’t go over the transcript to find it or anything.)

    • Lande says:

      Sorry that someone said something on the Internet that offended you. Next time let people know you find what they say offensive so they can stop joking around and conform to your morality. Humor shouldn’t be allowed if it’s in the least bit hurtful to anyone.

      • bvilleneuve says:

        I’ve said this elsewhere, but it never ceases to entertain me that people consider attempts at a more formally inclusive language and discourse to be tantamount to an Orwellian nightmare.

        I can’t even tell you to get off your high horse, because your horse isn’t high. Your horse is built entirely around not caring that certain parts of society are systematically subjugated, even by language itself. Your horse is embedded deep in the earth’s mantle, and it’s made out of shit.

        • suibhne says:

          My new favorite post.

        • Jenks says:

          Weird, after reading both posts, I would assume you were the one being forced to smell shit 24/7.

        • codename_bloodfist says:

          Oh, get over it already. Nobody is systematically marginalising anyone (if you want to use the feminist rhetoric, at least get the terms right), despite how long you and your subreddit/forum buddies keep convincing yourself of the oppose. More to the point, the vastest majority of people you claim to be victims couldn’t give a rat’s ass about any of this. Well, except our good friends like Anita, who make a very nice living off your ilk.

          • DXN says:

            Nope, most of us who are affected by such terms don’t like it but get exhausted by constantly trying to tell people that in a way that doesn’t get jumped on as Thought Police PC Gone Mad blah blah fuck off. How about just, you know, being nice? Watch your language when you’re in mixed company? Act like a halfway decent person?

        • MD says:

          *clicks imaginary ‘like’ button*

          Also, can’t help but chuckling that the freedom-of-joke crusaders above are being so humourlessly dull about it.

    • InternetBatman says:

      The comments section of that page were an absolute sewer. I tried to watch it twice, and both times I quit after the third “is he your token black guy?” (eventually he gave up responding that their rudeness didn’t make sense; there were two of them in front of the camera) or “that girl in ____ is cute, what’s her name?” (followed by the girl looking uncomfortable and covering up). Also people won’t shut up about romances (even though Obsidian’s romances almost always have sinister or tragic aspects to them). If you want romances that much just read a freaking VN.

      The worst part is that I thought at least computer gamers were better than that crap.

      • Dark Nexus says:

        “The worst part is that I thought at least computer gamers were better than that crap.”

        Yeah, not sure why you’d think that. The only difference is computer gamers split it between voice and text chat, instead of just voice chat, and have been doing it online (relatively) far longer than console gamers.

      • Tyrone Slothrop. says:

        The worst part is that I thought at least computer gamers were better than that crap.

        That’s some amazingly powerful externalisation there and you should be rightfully humbled for having thought that, it’s either stupendously ignorant, obnoxiously arrogant or implicitly insulting (well anyone who chooses to game on something other than a non-fixed platform must be more prone to being a juvenile ignoramus who tends towards generalisation). I don’t mean to be harsh or even sound abrasive to yourself, it’s just the elitist conception that I can not stand for a fractional moment.

        • DXN says:

          What, because he suggested that being rude, creepy, and an all-round jerk is a bad thing? Woo, look out, wouldn’t want to be elitist by suggesting that maybe people could act a bit better than a standard of total shitheapery.

      • ffordesoon says:

        In re the romance bit:

        Admittedly, I am bored and slightly creeped out by the number of people who seem to want fan-fiction-y romances in their games – and I say this as a writer of fan fiction, so that’s saying something. Also, the Bioware way of doing it that some people like does often strike me as really shallow and creepy, particularly when you get to the “sex” scenes.

        Nevertheless, I feel I have to stand up for, at the least, the idea of RPGs portraying romantic relationships in addition to all the other things they portray. My issue is with the clothed mannequin sex and gross Dragon-Age-y systems that gamify and render painfully artificial even the most well-written romances, not the idea of the PC having a romantic relationship with an NPC. That, I would argue, can be done well. The trick is not to make it overly systematic or a Sure Thing. As in other forms of media, it should feel like a natural and organic progression of the relationship between the PC and the NPC, not a reward for the player who plays to the end of the game. Also, the soap opera/melodrama crap should be kept to a minimum, and the romance shouldn’t take over the story.

        I realize it’s popular among RPG fans to bash romances, and I certainly can’t argue the validity of a lot of the criticisms. In fact, I’ve thought for years about making a Mass Effect parody game that satirizes the creepily artificial nature of so many of BioWare’s alleged romances. But to argue against any one concept being used in a game because it’s hard to do well, particularly something so fundamental to human life as love, is to limit the limitless potential of a medium. So it seems to me, anyway.

    • stiffkittin says:

      I simply can’t bear to watch anything with a live chat feed anymore. Too many people get whipped up into a frenzy by the excitement or something and lose their ability to behave considerately. Either the next countdown feed abandons live chat or they include some kind of filter that targets the words ‘boobies’, ‘boobs’, ‘titties’, ‘sexy’, ‘sex’, ‘hot’, ‘$500 if the green-shirt girl & the blue-shirt girl wrestle, lol’- Nope, frack it. It’s useless. No more live feeds.

    • Bhazor says:

      I kinda wish I’d missed the stream.

      No one should see their childhood hero drunk on Bud Light dancing to LMFAO. Josh Sawyer and Urqhart were pretty cool though, just maintaining a zen like fuckless state as the interns all acted drunk for the camera.

      Also Chris Avellone has the most annoying child in the world.

      • ffordesoon says:

        Admitedly, I missed the part with his kid, but I think that’s pretty unfair to him and his kid Give the best kid in the world a microphone and an audience, and they’re going to try to get some attention, and that’s going to come off as annoying to a lot of people. That doesn’t mean the kid’s annoying in general.

        I feel you on the drunkenness, though. But then, that was pretty much what I expected from a stream of an office party.

      • J_C says:

        I don’t think Chris has a child. It was Feargus’ child.

        • xsikal says:

          Yeah, that was Feargus’ son. I’m not sure whose daughter the young girl was.

    • daraujo says:

      Progressive minds are so easily offended.

      • chargen says:

        No shit.

        “Anonymous, unaccountable internet assholes said mean things in a little chat box and it ruined everything for me because I just. couldn’t. stop. reading it!”

    • Acksiom says:

      I’d like to check whether I’m parsing your message correctly.

      You had an emotional reaction to things other people posted, and

      You’re describing that reaction to the rest of us, because

      You want us to share it, and as a result of feeling that, change our own behavior to better suit your subjective personal preferences, including increased criticism on our parts of other people who behave the same way in the future.

      Is that about right? That’s pretty much what you had in mind, yes?

      Because if it is, I’m sorry but I’m first going to need from you some actual metrics of actual harms done to actual people as an actual result that are actually significant enough to merit changing my own standards for such things.

      Without that — without tangible proof that the consequences of such comments are more important than the consequences of social issues that are basedon such metrics — just the mere awareness of your subject, personal feelings alone about what other people said simply isn’t important enough to me to

      No offense intended, but I’m just not offended enough on your behalf by the offense you’re taking. I simply know of far too many far worse things that people say to each other, let alone actually do, to take this sort of behavior, in this sort of context, as seriously as you appear to do. I am referring to things like innocent children being brutalized into becoming cannon fodder in Africa, and the increase of Golden Dawn fascism in Greece, and the militarization of police in western democracies, among other issues.

    • codename_bloodfist says:

      Jesus Christ, when did the whole internet suddenly become such a bunch of pansies? (Oh, I’m very sorry, that must have been homophobic.) Someone should organise a support group. There’s money to be made here

      • Wixard says:

        I thought I was alone in that.

      • Yosharian says:

        That pretty much sums up my thoughts on this whole thread. Seriously. Get a fucking grip people.

      • Emeraude says:

        I don’t really see how being disappointed in seeing people acting like petulant, oblivious children is being “a pansy”. There are contexts in which you can say some things, and others you shouldn’t.
        Some of the humor (or attempts therein) displayed during that chat would be fit with a friend, someone you know well enough. I can understand how someone would find it disrespectful when addressed to a complete stranger though.

      • jrodman says:

        “No one else should be offended by people being awful”. Blocked.

      • DXN says:

        People in the chat were saying shitty things that make people uncomfortable. I’m sure it’s easy enough to dismiss that when it isn’t something you’re subjected to all the goddamned time, but the fact that there are decent, non-bigoted-jerk-filled places for normal people to hang out without constantly being badmouthed is only because people step up and call out the bullshit when it happens. People running a high-profile chat like this should have had a mod around to squash the shitty words. It’s simple enough.

  2. brat-sampson says:

    Can’t wait. Got the $50 tier + expansion + guide.

    • unangbangkay says:

      I originally went for the $35 tier (preorder + soundtrack etc.) but after they announced the add-ons, I eventually put up for the Almanac, Beta Key, Guide, Novella and etc., bringing the total to about $107. I didn’t mind, it was payday that week anyway.

    • Ntk says:

      Same here.

    • equatorian says:

      Can’t wait either. I originally got the same tier, but somehow one thing leads to another and I’m now paying $288. Happiest $288 I’ve ever spent, mind you, even though that means I’ve blown my games budget for the next several months into smithereens. *insert longing look at Dishonored and XCOM here*

      Even if they end up delivering below my expectations, the joy alone would be worth it. And I’d still have MCA and Tim Cain’s signatures.

    • Bhazor says:

      I ponied up $50 from the start which I considered as money I owed the team for not buying Planescape and Kotor 2 when they first came out. The game itself is almost just a bonus for resetting my karma level.

      That said the amount of stuff they added to the pledge levels since the start was very welcome. Since I first pledged I now have a set of ringtone, an ingame pet (no gameplay effect), a making of documentary, a novella by Chris and a D&D inspired recipe book all for no extra cost.

      I then added an additional $10 so I could get the Guide book because I’m a sucker for screenshot maps/guides.

      • obie191970 says:

        Now I don’t feel so bad. My original day 1 contribution of $50 ended up being $190. I missed the Wasteland 2 kickstarter and couldn’t turn down the addition of that and the expansion pack for the $165 digital tier. Plus I bought a t-shirt. Cause I’m a sucker.

    • xsikal says:

      Really looking forward to it, myself. I am at the $65 tier (for a boxed copy for myself and a digital copy for my wife), but also shelled out $20 for the expansion.

  3. J_C says:

    They are over 4 million if you count the paypal donations, which is about 200K. Congratulations to Obsidian, it was a wild ride!

    • Belsameth says:

      This. I *really* hope they count the paypal donations as well, in the final tally.

      • Ntk says:

        They do. I can’t wait to see Avellone playing Arcanum.

        • Jason Moyer says:

          I think if Chris has to play Arcanum, Tim should have to play Descent To Undermountain. This is supposed to be punishment right?

      • xsikal says:

        Obsidian’s twitter account said they had reached the goal including Paypal, so you’re in luck. :)

        I’ll be interested to see what the final KS #s are, once processing is done (assuming OEI ever announces such). I understand there’s often anywhere from a 1-10% drop-off due to failed charges.

  4. Cinek says:

    In an industry 4M isn’t “An Awful Lot Of Money” – it’s just “barely good enough” to make a decent game.

    • unangbangkay says:

      That’s actually an interesting point. 4 mill with say 75-80k backers, most of which paid for the “this is basically a pre-order” reward tier.

      Given all they’ve promised, the actual content level seems roughly equivalent to a BG1 or Icewind Dale, both $50 PC games. Divided among all the backers (ignoring the specific breakdown of who paid how much), that’s either 80k sales at $50 each or 160k at $25 each (the cheaper pre-order price).

      Compared to how much I imagine NWN2, KotOR2, Alpha Protocol, or New Vegas cost, $4M a drop in the bucket to most pubs, but the high end of 80k sales skirts the barest edge of acceptable numbers for a $50 game these days.

      • mr.lutze says:

        They won’t be able to use all that money on game anyway… Kickstarter and Amazon will take their share, some payments won’t come through, lots of money goes to manufacturing and sending physical rewards. If I remember correctly DFA was left with $2.2 million for the game budget after all those costs. Some of the money went of course to documentary production (Obsidian will use their own resources for that), but it’s still quite a difference.

      • DigitalSignalX says:

        Quite likely there are are other much deeper pockets at play here, and the funds raised by kick starter represent a superb metric for interest they can easily take to investors to secure even more moolah.

        • xsikal says:

          I don’t think they have any intention to now solicit funding from publishers. As another poster mentioned, the fact that they’ve cut out a lot of the frills that now seem necessary for a AAA game (full VO, full 3D, multi-player, etc.) goes a long way towards making their budget more manageable. In numerous interviews, those factors were cited as to why they felt they could release something at their 1.1M goal.

          Obviously, they’ve added a lot of content due to stretch goals (which is partly why they were wary about having the 4.0M goal involve more content), but they’ve also added a lot of money through which they can expand the team to tackle that extra content.

      • MentatYP says:

        But you’re comparing a $50 game released through a publisher vs. what’s likely a $30-or-so game released directly by a studio. They will make much, much more per sale at $30 selling direct than they would at $50 through a publisher.

        See this post about Torchlight 2′s amazing $20 price and how it’s still as profitable as a $60 release through a publisher.

    • Subject 706 says:

      If you’re making a “AAA” game, then 4 mil isn’t much. On the other hand, if you skip full 3D, full VO, publisher overhead, PR-budget, making your own engine, etc, etc. Then 4 million is probably enough to make more than a decent game.

      • StranaMente says:

        I agree with this.
        They said (as other like inExile with wasteland 2 and shadowrun) that this was the minimum budget for a game of that sort, and that only iteration of content production and a good pipeline can help them keep the costs this low. Even Tim Schafer said that, adjusting for inflation, that amount of money wouldn’t be enough to finance neither Full Throttle or Grim Fandango.
        There won’t be much bells and whistles, but if this means that the focus will be on the story, instead of the number of graphics, and I’m perfectly fine with that.

        • Bhazor says:

          I was really surprised when I heard Tim say that. It makes me wonder what exactly he thinks people want in a Grim Fandango game that it would cost tens of millions of dollars to make. Given what indies are making right now on a shoe string (Dream Machine is the obvious example) I can’t begin to imagine what he wants to do with Grim Fandango 2.

    • Lemming says:

      That’s not technically true. Inflated costs by big-name publishers are never the same as for an independent studio. They haven’t got high-up management types blowing it all on lunches, weekend trips and fat bonuses.

      Even those supposed ‘triple A’ games (which is a term that makes me wretch, quite frankly), would probably cost a lot less if the culture was different.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Baldur’s Gate II took 90-man-years ($7.2m now?) to make, so that means that PE could be half the size of BG II, or about a 100 hour game.

      But development technology at the time was vastly inferior (it took them days to render an image used in a map). Obsidian’s already ported over a lot of their tools (which they didn’t have back then) into the Unity engine. So it wouldn’t be surprising if they got even more content in than that.

      • mouton says:

        Also, quality > quantity. I have fond memories of BG2, but it was – in its core – a very competent RPG. It wasn’t brilliant like, say, Torment was.

    • Bhazor says:

      In the videogame industry $4million is more than what you need to make a decent game. It’s advertising and publisher bullshit that sees budgets rocket past $20million.

      Look at Modern Warfare, a $200million advertising budget for a game that cost <$40million to make. That was from a publisher who just hurls money at their cash cows for pointless and ludicrously expensive extravagances. Licensed music? All star cast (of terrible performances)? Terrible but inexplicably priced screenwriters? Sure! How much do you want for your company holiday? Royalties…..? Erm I’ll get back to you on that.
      http://articles.latimes.com/2009/nov/18/business/fi-ct-duty18

      For an Infinity Engine style game made with modern tools (including a very flexible and free to use engine) $4million is a fortune. Not to mention the fact the team will probably be considerably smaller than what any Infinity Engine game had.

  5. wu wei says:

    $1.6m saw the game guaranteed to make it to Mac and Linux

    Ac tually, it was the decision to go with Unity that made this possible. I believe they even removed them from the stretch goals and added new ones.

  6. Lars Westergren says:

    > We reached out to Chris Avellone about that, to get his thoughts:

    “Owwww…. goddamn what a hangover. Who are you evil people and why are you calling me!?”

  7. lizzardborn says:

    The only real train wreck kickstarter was the hidden path one. In a game there are fixed costs and variable costs. Twice the handcrafted content costs twice as much. What they offered as stretch goals was mostly horizontal scaling of the game – just more of the game. They didn’t held hostage any good parts. The only exception is the contribution from the writer of mask of the betrayer. The way I see it for 4 million $ we get roughly 4-8 times the initial game offered so it is ok ( to a point additional mechanics/classed and content act as a multiplicator, but then hit very steep diminishing returns curve).

    • InternetBatman says:

      Absolutely. They weren’t locking away content to get more donations, they said “this is how much we can get done with this amount of money.” When they had more money they added more content in a way that seemed relatively sensible and restrained.

      The best counterpoint to this was removing linux as a stretch goal once they found it would be so easy to implement.

      Strongholds were mentioned at the start of the kickstarter on JE Sawyer’s formspring, and he said “I would love to, but they take a lot of work,” pretty clearly meaning they didn’t have the money / something else would suffer if they made them. When they had the extra budget, strongholds were put in. There were some crass things in the kickstarter, but I don’t believe the way they doled out the content was one of them.

  8. Tom De Roeck says:

    People that put up kickstarter projects do not have to sign any kind of contract with anyone. Take that into consideration.

  9. Alexandros says:

    Now the pressure is on the developers to deliver. If this first wave of Kickstarted games prove to be high-quality and commercially successful, it won’t be long before crowdfunding can finance much bigger games.

  10. Aidan Ovidiu says:

    This is wonderful news! I missed playing a good, classic RPG, so I will buy this when it comes out. Now, back to NWN :)

  11. Chalk says:

    Looking at stretch goals as ‘locked’ really doesn’t seem the right way to see things. (Even though a lot of Kickstarter project use that term).

    If something costs $2 million to fully make, but you can make a simpler version for $1 million, then it makes sense to set the goal at $1 million. That doesn’t mean people are being held to ransom for addition features.

    If something costs more money to make, then it costs more money to make. Pretty simple.

    I also don’t believe these extra features will add much to the development time. The extra money means they can create a larger development team.

    • Emeraude says:

      The thing, is it normally works in reverse: the project creator has obligation to spend all the money s/he receives from the Kickstarter into the originally defined project. Given s/he can’t refuse money even when past the funding point, that person has to find and propose new way to use the gathered money.

      Which has then been weirdly inverted in a way to generate funding for bigger projects. At least that’s how I understand how things came to be.

      • Chalk says:

        Aren’t they doing precisely that though? Finding ways to spend the money on the original project by expanding the quality and content.

        • Emeraude says:

          This is not a critic on my part, I just find it interesting how the whole thing came to be.

          I mean, as long as the money gathered is used to make the project better, I’m not complaining really.

      • mr.lutze says:

        That would mean they should make completely bare-bones games with $1.1 mil budget and keep the rest for themselves. Stretch goals should be, and in that case are the response to increasing amount of pledged money, not the other way around.

        • Emeraude says:

          I can’t help but think there’s some kind of misunderstanding here. I can’t relate your comment to my post.
          Care to clarify ?

    • xsikal says:

      I agree. This is honestly the first time I’ve seen someone look at stretch goals as a bad thing or as the developer trying to squeeze more money out of people.

      I felt OEI went about this very rationally. They figured out the minimum they would need for an Infinity-styled game. To meet that minimum without over-promising, they obviously had a relatively small scope. If they had only ever reached the initial fundraising goal, they were still satisfied they’d have a good game to deliver.

      However, as money flooded in, they realized that scope could widen. It wasn’t ‘haha, we won’t give you cyphers unless you give us X $’ it was ‘adding in two new classes (and all the potential conversation hooks, testing, and content for those classes) would probably add X hours in development/testing to our budget, so we’d need Y dollars to hire staff to accommodate the addition.’

      I do think they scrambled a bit for stretch goals, as they had not anticipated this level of success (and I’m a little worried that the scope got away from them by the end), but I very much approve of the approach – ‘start with what the team feels is the minimum to make a good game and only increase that scope if funds exceed the amount.’

      • KillahMate says:

        I was very pleased when they did the sensible thing and specifically earmarked everything over $3.5 million for “improving the game”. They knew that the scope got away from them with all those stretch goals, and all those features would need significantly more than 3.5mil to properly implement. And so they got significantly more than 3.5mil :-)

  12. Tackgnol says:

    They mentioned Arcanum… Arcanum is a Troika game did Obsidian hire the people after the studio collapsed?
    If they did then… How much for Arcanum 2 Obsidian? I’m listening… ;)

    • drewski says:

      They hired a few Troika guys over the years, but I think Tim Cain’s about the only one left.

    • TommeH says:

      They mentioned that the rights are held by Activision Blizzard.
      I don`t think that they will bother to buy them.

      • Tackgnol says:

        So sadly it’s dead activision will never give money for it :( (btw. Chrome Spellchecker wants to change Activision into vivisection how accurate…).

    • Lobotomist says:

      They re-hired all of Troika guys (I mean ones that mater…not QA guy buy the water cooler). So basically Obsidian = Troika

      • drewski says:

        Unless they’ve hired them all since the Kickstarter started, almost all of the “names” are scattered around the industry – Carbine, Turtle Rock, Blizzard and Mythic; plus of course Mitsoda has his own studio now.

      • J_C says:

        I don’t know where did you get thet from, but it is certainly not true.

    • xsikal says:

      As others have mentioned, Tim Cain is one of the senior people at OEI now. For some reason Chris A. had never played Arcanum (despite saying he wanted to), so the idea to have him play through it at 4M was a bit of an inside joke.

      The Arcanum license is with Blizzard, who will never do anything with it. The actual cost of said license is likely too prohibitive for OEI to ever consider buying it.

  13. Emeraude says:

    I can’t but feel the now called Shaker is going to prove a interesting counterpoint in this discussion. Though I do believe it also suffered from being in competition with P:E.

    • Chalk says:

      I feel that Shaker suffered from a poor pitch. When watching the video I couldn’t help feeling the whole thing was forced. And if you watch Brenda’s body language, it is very uncomfortable, people pick up on that stuff – even if only subconsciously. That will have a huge impact on the pledges.

      Not to mention that initially there were no details about the game in the pitch. There could have been huge momentum in the first day or two, but it was wasted due to them relying purely on their names alone rather than showing what they intended to make.

      • Emeraude says:

        Oh, totally agreed. Which is why I think it will prove interesting in the debate at hands about trust and fuzziness of information.

      • MrMud says:

        I agree with this but keep in mind that very little was known about PE during its first days on kickstarter. Personally I have much greater faith in Obisdian than I have in Jonh Romero so I backed PE right away but have not touched Shaker.

        • Lobotomist says:

          We are comparing a company that had made great RPGs up to today. Including some of best RPGs of all times. Also Obsidian is the company that never feared to innovate (Alpha Protocol) or to tackle impossible tasks (NWN2). And that know what means to produce game in today enviroment.

          To few blast from the past names , that have some vague idea for a game…

        • InternetBatman says:

          PE at least had a map and a name that meant something related to the game, Shaker didn’t even have that at the start. PE also had more frequent and substantive updates.

      • Laythe_AD says:

        Agreed on Shaker being a poor pitch. I know so little about what they wanted to do. They just kept saying “Old School RPG” over and over like that was going to be enough. Project Eternity was vague, but it had more. And they just knew what to say. They had me at the point where they were promising crazy stupid amounts of dialogue. If there’s one thing I dislike about RPG’s now, it’s what voice acting has done to writing and dialogue. A return to really well done descriptive, non-voice acted dialogue suits me fine.

    • drewski says:

      I think there’s a huuuuuge difference in track record between the two groups. Obsidian have an impeccable track record ambition wise, if not on quality, and they’ve been making stuff people like right up to New Vegas.

      Tom Hall hasn’t done anything since Anachronox, a game that is little more than an obscure cult fave (and don’t get me wrong, I’ve finished it and enjoyed it, but most people won’t have), whilst I’d never even heard of Braithwaite and haven’t played any of the games she’s worked on.

      I hope they get their funding, but theirs is a MUCH bigger ask IMO.

    • brat-sampson says:

      I gave Shaker $15 while i gave PE $77. The base game is cheaper and in the higher tiers there’s just nothing there to tempt more money out of me. The next level worthy of considering is $60 already and I’m not interested in the pen/paper thing so the extra $45 nets me an adventurers guide and some music/wallpapers…

      Essentially I think they should’ve charged more for the base game and less for the add-ons. Hell, I paid $20 for an *expansion* to PE.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I don’t think Shaker did suffer from comparison to Project Eternity. PE was half-baked at the start and brought a lot of attention to kickstarter (even if I don’t think their fanbases overlap too much). Shaker was/is currently quarter baked at best.

      • Emeraude says:

        I don’t think it suffered so much from comparison as from competition. As I said when the “An Old School RPG” was announced , I believe they would be doing much better if they had postponed their Kickstarter for at least two weeks. P:E was already seizing the whole momentum for that kind of projects.

  14. Freud says:

    I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of neckbeards suddenly cried out in joy.

  15. rapier17 says:

    Well they just got an extra $25 – can still donate via their site. Was sitting on the fence with this one but what the hell, eh?

  16. StickyNavels says:

    They also added mod support, which is super awesome.

  17. ReV_VAdAUL says:

    I am very excited about this project. I know possibly I threw my money away on this (not saying it is likely but it is something you must bear in mind when backing a Kickstarter, you should never spend a penny you are not totally ok with losing completely) but Obsidian with less restrictions and pressures has me very excited.

    Hell if it turns out they can do no better than they did with publishers that means we’ll be getting a great game.

  18. Jason Moyer says:

    When they announced the $3.5 million goal, I didn’t think there would be any way they’d get near it, even with the normal last day push. It totally blows my mind that they managed to clear $4 million. It gives me some faith in PC gaming to know I’m not the only person who thinks Obsidian are great.

    • equatorian says:

      I didn’t think they thought they’d get it either! Allegedly, they weren’t even sure they’d make the original goal. Hindsight is 20/20, eh? Who knew that they are so loved? It’s like you go on any gaming forum on the internet, and there’d always be more Obsidian haters than fans.

      Seeing the final number makes me so happy. It’s like the Tim Schafer days all over again.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Same here. Originally I thought they would get over $3.5m, but their middle slump was particularly severe so I didn’t think they would make it that far. The rendered image seems to have drawn extra funding from people that might have been more reserved.

  19. daphne says:

    During the stream I asked in chat whether they were realistically expecting to ship the game by April 2014. One of the fellows at the Obsidian office, couldn’t see his face, was gracious enough to reread my question and answer with a confident “Absolutely.” Now I don’t know if that attitude reflects the whole of Obsidian or anything, but clearly at least someone seemed sure that they would in fact ship — and they weren’t even drinking during that time!

    • Prokroustis says:

      Lies! They were drinking since the stream started. Tim Cain and MCA thumb wrestling was a high point. Also, the whole MCA hammered thing. (pun intended).

      • daphne says:

        Sorry — what I meant was that the drinking had not necessarily escalated to rowdier levels yet :)

        • Prokroustis says:

          True enough, I actually remember someone reading that question aloud at some point.

  20. Dreadcall says:

    So now dis un iz over everyun can go pour all ther spare moneyz in dat old skool rpg?

  21. Jenks says:

    Hopefully they weed all the bugs out of this one before I buy it for < $5 during a Steam sale.

  22. kwyjibo says:

    I finally caved in over the last final hours and dropped $20 for it. Managed to sneak into the early bird offer as someone must have either pulled out or upgraded their tier.

    $20 was pretty much a bargain though. Even the standard $25 would have been cheaper than retail. And now that money is going towards a game with a $4M budget instead of a $1, or $2M one.

  23. pupsikaso says:

    Wait, THIS project is the remake of Planescape Torment? I thought there was some other project on Kickstarter that promised that?

    • USER47 says:

      1) This isn’t remake of Planescape: Torment.
      2) There wasn’t any project on kickstarter that promised remaking PS:T.

    • stjuuv says:

      Although MCA talked about the possibility of a future Kickstarter for a PS:T sequel (which probably wouldn’t take place in a Planescape setting, which was unsuitable from the story perspective in the first place), when Wasteland 2 got easily funded, there were never any actual plans for it. I suppose he (and others at Obsidian) decided to go for a more ambitious plan and create new IP from the ground up, rather than take up an existing world with its limitations.
      Given their commitment to P:E, and saying that they would concentrate solely on this game without taking up any other major projects, I wouldn’t expect any further announcements on the nostalgia front from them before 2014.

      • Werthead says:

        No. A PLANESCAPE remake/sequel was never going to happen via this Kickstarter because Obsidian do not own the rights to it. Hasbro/Wizards of the Coast own the PLANESCAPE brand name, which is now defunct (it was retired when D&D moved from 2nd to 3rd Edition), and would never allow a computer game to be made relying on an older version of the D&D rules and an older version of their cosmology (the PLANESCAPE setting has been retconned out of existence – twice over – in the 3rd and 4th Editions of D&D).

        At one stage Avellone mooted a Kickstarter for a ‘spiritual successor’ to PS:T, but I believe he even said that this would not be the Obsidian Kickstarter (clearly they were discussing this then).

  24. LintMan says:

    I totally agree about the “withholding of details” on these kickstarters. I’m not terribly worried about it in this particular case, but it seems like there’s a fair amount of room for abuse there:

    When a stretch goal for some game says “add 10 more spells” or “add 2 new ship designs” or “3 new locations x, y, z”, but no where is there an indication of how many “spells” or “ship designs” or “locations” they’re starting with, then it really isn’t promising you much – they could provide just 11 “spells” or 3 “ships” or 4 “locations” total and still say they delivered on their promise. If you don’t know the starting amounts, the “extras” provided by the stretch goals could be meaningless.

  25. Jimbo says:

    We all predicted $4m! Go us!

  26. Syros says:

    Really enjoyed the livestream. Had no idea Chris Avellone is such an entertaining person!

  27. Narzhul says:

    And that rather boldly claims it means they’ll “enhance the whole game”.

    It’s not really being bold. The 4m stretchgoal was done out of the numerous requests through every channel you can think of (fb, kickstarter comments etc) that asked them to use all additional money to polish and perfecting the game instead of making some arbitrary stretch goal that might never be fulfilled. I guess they listened to their fans.