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SirKicksalot
11-09-2012, 02:23 AM
It's revealed! It's called Eternity! It's an Isometric, Party-Based, Epic RPG! It's a new world, created by Obsidian! It has a tactical real-time with pause system for combat! It's being Kickstarted right now (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/obsidian/project-eternity)!!



--------------------

Teaser image from obsidian.net (http://www.obsidian.net):
http://www.abload.de/img/obsmoslg.jpg

Webpage source:
!--. X . X X . X X -->
<!-- To tenderness, fellowship. To fellowship, vigilance. So bring we all to the Night Market. I am the Spindle of Esenath. Know me by my light and stand with me in darkness. -->

Of course it could be Dungeon Siege 4, but that's too obvious. I guess we'll know tomorrow if that 4 is there to stay or if it counts down to a Friday reveal.

They have a new forum up for it: Project X Speculation & Discussion - This is a forum for Obsidian's next RPG endeavor. So secret not even its project codename is yet being revealed. Speculate here... (http://forums.obsidian.net/forum/87-project-x/)

Project X is the codename of a SquEnix game developed by an external studio (http://www.vg247.com/2011/04/05/rumour-square-enix-publishing-project-x-with-external-studio/), a codename they also used for Dungeon Siege 3. Not sure this means anything.

The logo in that pic is an ouroboros, last seen in the Elder Scrolls Online. Also part of The Wheel of Time's logo. An Obsidian WoT RPG was revealed in February 2010 and I think that's the last time we heard of it.

Today on Twitter, J.E. Sawyer is like wink wink, nudge nudge (http://www.abload.de/img/jesawyerdungeonsiege4jus05.png) (can't post the image because ERROR).

A month ago someone asked him on Formspring when is he going to kickstart The Black Hound. Check out the answer (http://www.formspring.me/JESawyer/q/358704167608404161). The Black Hound is actually Baldur's Gate III (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baldur%27s_Gate_III:_The_Black_Hound), announced in 2002 and missing in action since then. A project very dear to Sawyer, who worked on a NWN2 module based on it for a while. Beamdog already said their BG3, if made, won't be based on The Black Hound.

The game can also be Icewind Dale 3 (http://www.joystiq.com/2011/02/25/obsidian-entertainment-playing-in-other-peoples-worlds/). The D&D digital rights have reverted to WotC, so no more Atari monopoly on that front.

J.E. Sawyer was working on Defiance (http://multiplayerblog.mtv.com/2011/03/01/obsidian-working-on-an-action-rpg-for-xbla-hints-at-a-major-licensing-deal/), an RPG set in a dark fantasy world after the bad guys (think Sauron) won. This was an older concept shopped around to various publishers. From what I hear - I don't have a link - this was in development for 7 months for the next Xbox before Microsoft pulled the plug in March. I suppose this is not what's teased because they laid off the Defiance team.

It can, of course, be a LOTR game - the "fellowship" and generic fantasy names and style sure remind me of LOTR. But Warner Interactive has no idea how to handle the franchise: they released some shit games, don't have anything worthwile for The Hobbit's launch and may or may not have cancelled a LOTR game after sinking 10 million dollars and more than 20 months in it.

r3dknight
11-09-2012, 02:40 AM
Hopefully it isn't Dungeon Siege 4.
Generic fantasy name...ahahah - it actually reminded me of the lore wankery that was Amalur: Kingdom of Boring.

TillEulenspiegel
11-09-2012, 03:09 AM
Verrrrry interesting. Surely it's a bit early for Dungeon Siege 4. The number probably is a countdown.

The proper nouns bear no resemblance to anything WoT or LOTR, so forget those. Sounds like an original (generic fantasy-ish) IP.

gundato
11-09-2012, 03:19 AM
Don't Obsidian already have their plates full? Wasteland 2 and that South Park RPG? And apparently a Wheel of Time game?

Don't get me wrong, I love Obsidian, but they are barely qualified to do one game at a time. Should they really be doing 3, let alone potentially 4? Even the assembly-line style dev teams tend to draw the line at two or three with HUGE staffs (hee hee, penis).

And Project X probably means nothing. That is a very generic codename.

Anthile
11-09-2012, 03:21 AM
The text seems to be deliberately misleading because it really doesn't seem to make any sense. I'm sure the folks over at Obsidian have a good laugh right now.

TailSwallower
11-09-2012, 03:33 AM
Looks like fantasy, so I'm not that interested, but it's also Obsidian, so I'll be keeping an eye on it.

agentorange
11-09-2012, 03:45 AM
WE AT OBSIDIAN ARE PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THE FAMILY GUY RPG WITH WRITING BY SETH MCFARLANE (Coming to Xbox Live and the Ipad App Store in 2013).

r3dknight
11-09-2012, 05:49 AM
Tolkien Protocol

coldvvvave
11-09-2012, 11:05 AM
Of course it could be Dungeon Siege 4
Good, I enjoyed DS3.

Steph
11-09-2012, 11:10 AM
I never played any game of the DS franchise.
How 'bout the story in last one, was it any good?

fiddlesticks
11-09-2012, 11:15 AM
Don't Obsidian already have their plates full? Wasteland 2 and that South Park RPG? And apparently a Wheel of Time game?
The only person from Obsidian who's working on Wasteland 2 is Chris Avellone. The rest of the game is done by inXile.

As for this project, it's obviously going to be Fallout 4. Bethesda decided to hand the Fallout franchise over to Obsidian and focus solely on their Elder Scrolls games.

A man can dream.

coldvvvave
11-09-2012, 11:21 AM
I never played any game of the DS franchise.
How 'bout the story in last one, was it any good?
It was adequate and fitting for a gameplay in my opinion. As in Fallout New Vegas, the setting is just a small part of the world, the villian isn't really a clearcut bad guy and you can easily end the game peacefully( not before defeating an easy boss though). There are some small branchings on the linear story but nothing big. As usual with Obsidian, the story is good enough to turn it into a decent novel, but they make a slightly above average game instead. Game is worth buying on some Steam Sale, I think.


TAGS: what's in the booooooooox
Dammit I laughed irl.

ZIGS
11-09-2012, 12:08 PM
Good, I enjoyed DS3.

So you were the one

gundato
11-09-2012, 01:49 PM
The only person from Obsidian who's working on Wasteland 2 is Chris Avellone. The rest of the game is done by inXile.

As for this project, it's obviously going to be Fallout 4. Bethesda decided to hand the Fallout franchise over to Obsidian and focus solely on their Elder Scrolls games.

A man can dream.
Well, that's not as bad. But still, three projects with one of their creative directory people (whatever job title that god among men has :p) dedicated to a different project still seems like a lot.

Prokroustis
11-09-2012, 02:40 PM
A man can dream.

Very well said.

ceson
11-09-2012, 03:15 PM
It's clearly wishful thinking, but I'm getting the "spiritual sequal of Planescape: Torment"-vibe.

To the speculate-o-tron:
The Ouroboros is (according to wikipedia) "[...]something constantly re-creating itself, the eternal return, and other things perceived as cycles that begin anew as soon as they end[...]", i.e. a mechanic similar to that used in Torment. A dirge is a lament or song of mourning, and the quote on the countdown is referring to it as being without form; something I find fit for a character in the game that only exist as a voice (which would be very Obsidianesque imo). Also, as said on the Obsidian forums, the number 4 is pronounced similar to "death" in japanese... which says nothing...

Lost my train of thought.

Or it's just Wheel of Time.

coldvvvave
11-09-2012, 03:22 PM
I think they already said that "4" is a countdown.

pakoito
11-09-2012, 03:26 PM
I heard Cthulhu somewhere based off some hints in the code.

gundato
11-09-2012, 03:39 PM
Cthuhlu would make sense. Obsidian are buddy-buddy with Bethesda these days and I think they have the rights to make Cthuhlu games (do you even need rights for Cthuhlu?).

Flint
11-09-2012, 03:43 PM
The Cthulhu mythos (or at least the Lovecraft part of it) is public domain.

deano2099
11-09-2012, 06:01 PM
Well it's a three now.

I want Alpha Protocol: Torment, wherein Michael Thornton discovers he is immortal.

Wizardry
11-09-2012, 06:22 PM
Ah, the hype machine is already working at full power without the game having being announced. Chances are it'll be just like Obsidian's other works: Some sort of shitty real-time game with branching quests. Of course I, and all proper RPG fans, will be hoping for a decent RPG with plenty of skills, complex character building, full party creation and turn-based combat with plenty of complex mechanics to play around with and an open world to explore.

Flint
11-09-2012, 06:26 PM
Oh wow, he returns.

TailSwallower
11-09-2012, 08:06 PM
I heard Cthulhu somewhere based off some hints in the code.

I think that's just someone's wishful thinking. The writing in the page source neither reads like Lovecraft, nor mentions madness, old gods, unspeakable horrors, etc.

To me the names read more like Gaelic/Celtic folklore.

And, welcome back Wizardry.

Drinking with Skeletons
12-09-2012, 04:49 PM
I was really wondering what happened to you, Wizardry. I disagree with you in a lot of ways, yet I don't know that I've ever been able to say you are wrong (if that makes sense).

As to the news: yay! Obsidian is one of my favorite developers, and I always keep a look out for whatever they're working on. Even their crappy or mediocre games typically have something worth noting. For example, Dungeon Siege III was almost the definition of mediocrity, but the control scheme was elegant and I think there's some real potential in the idea of characters who have to switch between different modes to utilize their skills.

<rant> Still, I can't help but imagine this will be Wheel of Time-related, and I couldn't care less about that. Get back to me if Bethesda decides to pull a New Vegas and let them play around in the Elder Scrolls universe to fill the gap until Fallout 4. And then we can skip ahead to me bemoaning that New Vegas was probably a once-in-a-lifetime fluke and that quality level will never be seen again. </rant>

Nalano
12-09-2012, 04:57 PM
Ah, the hype machine is already working at full power without the game having being announced. Chances are it'll be just like Obsidian's other works: Some sort of shitty real-time game with branching quests. Of course I, and all proper RPG fans, will be hoping for a decent RPG with plenty of skills, complex character building, full party creation and turn-based combat with plenty of complex mechanics to play around with and an open world to explore.

I can't tell if this is Wizardry or just a really good bot masquerading as Wizardry.

Tikey
12-09-2012, 05:01 PM
Who says the real Wizardy isn't a bot?

He's half spreadsheet already.

byteCrunch
12-09-2012, 05:04 PM
Who says the real Wizardy isn't a bot?

His response is rather boilerplate, I suspect the bot just grabs the name of the developer and adjusts accordingly.


Ah, the hype machine is already working at full power without the game having being announced. Chances are it'll be just like <Insert Name of Developer Here> other works: Some sort of <Insert Negative Adjective Here> real-time game with branching quests. Of course I, and all proper RPG fans, will be hoping for a decent RPG with plenty of skills, complex character building, full party creation and turn-based combat with plenty of complex mechanics to play around with and an open world to explore.

Wizardry
12-09-2012, 05:11 PM
I can't tell if this is Wizardry or just a really good bot masquerading as Wizardry.
Nalano
Posts: 6,352

Definitely a spam bot.

Nalano
12-09-2012, 05:55 PM
Nalano
Posts: 6,352

Definitely a spam bot.

Yep, it's Wizardry.

And we were just getting used to having entirely new and interesting circular arguments.

Tei
12-09-2012, 06:11 PM
I hope is not Dungeon Siege 4.

Unaco
12-09-2012, 06:42 PM
Oh wow, he returns.

As it was prophesied!

The 4 is definitely a countdown, if that wasn't established. It's now a 3... and there's new Text:


"The book unread is unwritten. The reason we don't explain it is the reason we use it. Its power is in its mystery. That is the Leaden Key, in part, in whole. Is it clear?"

"Digging for truth buries the seeker."

and the hidden message:


"Two centuries ago, your divine champion told the people of Dyrwood to grovel at his feet. If you've come on pilgrimage to the blasted crater that was our reply, Godhammer Citadel is *that* way."

I don't recognise any of the stand out phrases/terms (Godhammer Citadel, the Leaden Key, Glanfath, Esenath), except for Dyrwood, which is a (not very common these days) Scottish family name, a variation of (or the original of) Durward (like this man (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Durward)). Eir Glanfath also sounds somewhat Celtic/Gaelic, and a Godhammer sounds like something Norse. Also, Eir was a Norse Goddess mentioned in the Poetic Edda.

So I don't think it's going to be an established franchise, unless it's Dungeon Siege, which I have no experience with. Or, they're things from TES that haven't been introduced before... Maybe it's 2 centuries after Skyrim, and this will be a TES equivalent of NV? Nothing stands out as Wheel of Time to me. Definitely sounds like it's Fantasy though - Divine Champions and what sounds like a giant crater caused by a God's Hammer). It might even be a Darklands style Fantasy World... based on a real place/history, but that with the folklore and fantasy elements being 'real'.

Dariune
12-09-2012, 07:43 PM
Ah, the hype machine is already working at full power without the game having being announced. Chances are it'll be just like Obsidian's other works: Some sort of shitty real-time game with branching quests. Of course I, and all proper RPG fans, will be hoping for a decent RPG with plenty of skills, complex character building, full party creation and turn-based combat with plenty of complex mechanics to play around with and an open world to explore.

This. I really agree with this, though not as strongly. I enjoy games like Fallout: NV but I do find the experience a little hollow and short lived when compared to the "proper" RPG's that Wizardry describes.

The day someone finally does this right again, I will be very happy

Casimir Effect
12-09-2012, 07:57 PM
Dungeon Siege 4 would be very appreciated. Just played DS3 nad enjoyed the hell out of it, and seeing as how there were quite a few Decisions And Things in DS3 it'd be nice to see if Obsidian were able to carry them through. Especially as, and correct me if I'm wrong here, this is the FIRST time Obsidian would get to make two games in a single series.


Of course I, and all proper RPG fans, will be hoping for a decent RPG with plenty of skills, complex character building, full party creation and turn-based combat with plenty of complex mechanics to play around with and an open world to explore.
Aww yeah, I missed you buddy!

gundato
12-09-2012, 08:00 PM
This. I really agree with this, though not as strongly. I enjoy games like Fallout: NV but I do find the experience a little hollow and short lived when compared to the "proper" RPG's that Wizardry describes.

The day someone finally does this right again, I will be very happy
Uhm...

Check out the consoles. I know Final Fantasy 5 (or 4. Whichever one had Butts and the job system) is exactly what Wizardry describes.

Skills, check (even if most of them are combat oriented)
Complex character building, check (the job system is at least as complex as early D&D)
Full party creation (essentially, since you pick everyone's class)
Turn-based combat with complex mechanics. Yup.

Its basically the same reason that Wizardry's video game namesake (which GoG totally has to get already) died in the West but is still going strong in Japan.

Drake Sigar
12-09-2012, 08:08 PM
I'd kill you all for Alpha Protocol 2.


Oh wow, he returns.

A powerful omen, but what does it mean?

TillEulenspiegel
12-09-2012, 08:09 PM
It might even be a Darklands style Fantasy World... based on a real place/history, but that with the folklore and fantasy elements being 'real'.
Needs more real history/folklore to be anything like Darklands. Tons of crap games do pseudo-Gaelic or pseudo-Norse or whatever.

"Godhammer Citadel" sounds like capital-F Fantasy, not grounded in reality.

Unaco
12-09-2012, 08:26 PM
Needs more real history/folklore to be anything like Darklands. Tons of crap games do pseudo-Gaelic or pseudo-Norse or whatever.

Of course it needs more real history/folklore to be like Darklands. But I wouldn't have expected them to provide that in the... 6 fucking lines of teaser text before the reveal.

And Godhammer Citadel sounds like something built near the crater of the impact from a God's Hammer, from the text. So where does reality come in to Gods smacking shit down?

SirKicksalot
12-09-2012, 08:49 PM
And Godhammer Citadel sounds like something built near the crater of the impact from a God's Hammer, from the text. So where does reality come in to Gods smacking shit down?

Reminds me of this. (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/04/06/witcher-too-former-cdp-leads-new-rpg-at-deck-13/)

Serenegoose
12-09-2012, 08:59 PM
The night market quote got me excited for some sort of nocturnal renaissance fantasy, set in a sprawling city.

I would like for it to be turn based but that's unlikely. I feel that games that mash turn based and realtime together (even the really famous ones like baldur's gate) always feel very chaotic and end up with the worst of both worlds.

Unaco
12-09-2012, 09:18 PM
There's a new page/quote up now:


"I recognize your pain. Your kind must learn it comes from straining against the turning of the world. It spins thus. You cannot stop it. One day, you will wake up. You will stop pulling. The pain will be gone. Until then, all your waking hours are suffering"

And the hidden message:


"In time, waves washing against the fingers of Geiran's Grasp will call them back into the sea. The difference between you and the sea is that the sea does not stop"

That first quote does sound something like the WoT, and someone just pointed out the Ouroboros to me. But, again, I don't recognise any of the names... unless it's from a different turning of the Wheel from the novels. Also, I'm kind of certain I've come across a 'bad guy' whose followers believe or they preach that we are sleeping/dreaming and being put to death will wake us up, be good for us... But I can't put my finger on it.

There's also another code being revealed, slowly. What originally started as

!--. X . X X . X X --

Has been revealing one letter a day, T and now I, with X's representing the still hidden consonants, and . the vowels. It's now:

!--. X . X X I T X --

Prokroustis
12-09-2012, 10:51 PM
It's obviously Half Life 3.

fiddlesticks
13-09-2012, 12:54 AM
Episode 3 will be released as a turned-based roleplaying game by Obsidian? Sounds amazing.

And it's nice to have you back Wizardry. This forum isn't nearly grumpy enough.

LarsWestergren
14-09-2012, 09:09 AM
What we know so far: It is not one of their earlier cancelled projects being resurrected, they've been clear on that. "It's so secret it doesn't even have a codename" So it is not the Aliens:RPG or the dark-fantasy title bankrolled by Microsoft, it is also unlikely to be Wheel of Time.

As others have said before, it is also extremely unlikely to be a sequel to a property owned by someone else (Fallout 4, Jade Empire 2, Dungeon Siege 4...), because then the publishers would be the ones doing the announcement, not the development team.

Obsidian have a Kickstarter company profile now, and they have hinted that they want to do a spiritual sequel to Planescape:Torment. Not something that uses Sigil, The Nameless One or D&D rules, but something with a complex mature storyline in an original setting.

My anticipation feels stronger. I stand ready to update my journal.

The countdown quotes:


"What do the words mean?"

"Nothing. The Dirge of EŪr Glanfath is sound without form, a lone voice crying out in mourning because it must."


"The book unread is unwritten. The reason we don't explain it is the reason we use it. Its power is in its mystery. That is the Leaden Key, in part, in whole. Is it clear?"

"Digging for truth buries the seeker."


"I recognize your pain. Your kind must learn it comes from straining against the turning of the world. It spins thus. You cannot stop it. One day, you will wake up. You will stop pulling. The pain will be gone. Until then, all your waking hours are suffering."


"This world wants to drag us down, it does. It made you a Watcher. No one asks for that. And the wight, that guilt they want to hang around my neck, you don't have to carry it one more step. You think they won't let you rest, but it's not up to them. It never was."



The hidden messages in HTML source:


To tenderness, fellowship. To fellowship, vigilance. So bring we all to the Night Market. I am the Spindle of Esenath. Know me by my light and stand with me in darkness.
Two centuries ago, your divine champion told the people of Dyrwood to grovel at his feet. If you've come on pilgrimage to the blasted crater that was our reply, Godhammer Citadel is that way.
In time, waves washing against the fingers of Geiran's Grasp will call them back into the sea. The difference between you and the sea is that the sea does not stop.
There is no sleep for the Watcher.

The ". T . X X I T X" stuff slowly being revealed could be "Eternity".

Unaco
14-09-2012, 06:19 PM
It's revealed! It's called Eternity! It's an Isometric, Party-Based, Epic RPG! It's a new world, created by Obsidian! It has a tactical real-time with pause system for combat! It's being Kickstarted right now (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/obsidian/project-eternity)!!

They say they're going for the classic parts of Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale and Planescape*. I think they're hoping to start a franchise, or a series of games (think taking a character from BG1 to ToB - they mention that with enough support/sales/money there would be future adventures). They're looking for $1.1 million, but I can't see much issues with them getting that. Very much going back to their roots, it seems. I am quite excited.

*"the central hero, memorable companions and the epic exploration of Baldur’s Gate, add in the fun, intense combat and dungeon diving of Icewind Dale, and tie it all together with the emotional writing and mature thematic exploration of Planescape: Torment."

gundato
14-09-2012, 06:28 PM
I'm still very concerned as to whether or not they are capable of pulling this off, but for 20 bucks I'll bite. And as more details emerge, I might upgrade to the 35 mark for the soundtrack.

Wheelsner
14-09-2012, 06:29 PM
Well, there goes my disposable income for the month.

Looks like there are a few interviews popping up on line now its been revealed. Brief Q&A with Chris Avelone here (http://kotaku.com/5942307/the-people-behind-fallout-and-planescape-are-making-my-dream-rpg). EDIT ... and here (http://www.gamebanshee.com/interviews/109456-project-eternity-interview.html)

Unaco
14-09-2012, 06:34 PM
PC only!!!

Wheelsner
14-09-2012, 06:51 PM
I think this is my favourite bit of the Gamebanshee interview.

"Feargus: Our goal is to use voice over as flavor and not as something that exists for every written word in the game. We don’t want to cut down on the depth of dialogs or the number of choices that players have because we are counting voice over dollars. That means, like practically every Obsidian project to date, we are going to push the boundaries of reactivity in our dialogs. And, the more we get funded the more we can do that."

I'm slightly disappointed by the lack of concrete details regarding the setting and game design on the Kickstarter page, though I'm hopeful given their the quotes/ flavour text in the video and the presence of more info in the interviews that they have all this planned out and are just saving more details for later in the Kickstarter to maintain interest.

Flint
14-09-2012, 07:00 PM
Really not happy about real time with pause, but other than that it sounds great. Will have to keep this under watch.

ReV VAdAUL
14-09-2012, 07:10 PM
Well this is the fastest I've backed a kickstarter project. I am giddy at how cool this all looks. I've gone for the $20 option right now but I think I may be too tempted not to get the $35 one in the end.

Serenegoose
14-09-2012, 07:18 PM
Really not happy about real time with pause, but other than that it sounds great. Will have to keep this under watch.
Yeah me either but I feel I've really got to encourage this sort of project anyway. Actually legitimately excited.

ado
14-09-2012, 07:25 PM
The Infinity engine RPGs are by far my favorite bunch of RPGs I've played in my lifetime, so I have a big, fat hard-on for this project. Backed the game the second the kickstarter video was over. Can't wait!

Wizardry
14-09-2012, 08:58 PM
"Feargus: Our goal is to use voice over as flavor and not as something that exists for every written word in the game. We don’t want to cut down on the depth of dialogs or the number of choices that players have because we are counting voice over dollars. That means, like practically every Obsidian project to date, we are going to push the boundaries of reactivity in our dialogs. And, the more we get funded the more we can do that."
This just means "MORE CONDITIONAL BRANCHES!"

AlexClockwork
14-09-2012, 09:13 PM
So... They've almost reached 350,000$ already. Wow. O.o

EDIT: Reached.

Battle Programmer Spike
14-09-2012, 09:22 PM
My only complains about BG, ID and P:T were always this: "Combat uses a tactical real-time with pause system" and its clunky feeling. If they were to use a turn based a proper turn based approach, and add a hex grid on top of that I would be happier... but I'm in for the KS, nonetheless as it doesn't deter my ability to enjoy those games.

SirKicksalot
14-09-2012, 09:26 PM
NeoGAF has its sights on a 5k donation to design their own inn, NPC and items. (http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=491435) I bet the Codex guys are thinking of something, they did it for Wasteland too. Hopefully one day RPS will be ambitious enough to follow their lead!

pakoito
14-09-2012, 09:53 PM
I wish I could register in Neogaf :(

Prokroustis
14-09-2012, 11:00 PM
GameBanshee has a similar thing. (http://gamebanshee.chipin.com/project-eternity)

Drake Sigar
14-09-2012, 11:04 PM
$462,559 - Jesus. Does anyone know at what time today the project was launched?

pakoito
14-09-2012, 11:06 PM
$462,559 - Jesus. Does anyone know at what time today the project was launched?

19~ish GMT+1

ado
14-09-2012, 11:09 PM
The pause and play combat was pretty clunky in BG1, ID1 and PS:T, but they where quite tactically sound, and challenging. And I thought that BG2 and ID2 really polished it to be the best RPG combat system. Temple of Elemental Evil took it to a whole new level, and I actually hope they really cannibalize ToEE's combat system for this game.

Also the main reason why I think Dragon Age: Origins is still the best BioWare game since KotOR is precisely because it is has a streamlined and polished combat system that is very similar to the one in the old Infinity games. Yes ME might have a more alluring setting, but the combat and the RPG systems in that series are utter poop.

Now as far as I know this Eternity project is not in the infinity engine, and is not in the D&D rule-set, which means we don't know what the combat will be like until they show it off. We just know it will have a pause function.

pakoito
14-09-2012, 11:23 PM
ToEE could be ported to RTwP no problem to be honest. I did like the system A LOT, more than BG and ID, but some designers smarter tham me can pull it off no problem.

Matter of fact, best combat system would be just Dota or Dawn of War 2 with a space bar to kill twitchiness.

SirKicksalot
14-09-2012, 11:25 PM
GameBanshee has a similar thing. (http://gamebanshee.chipin.com/project-eternity)

I already pledged 20 dollars but I would throw more if RPS did such a thing. After all, our endorsement is worth a lot! (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/showthread.php?5985-How-much-is-RockPaperShotgun-endorsement-worth-About-this-much)

NathanH
14-09-2012, 11:26 PM
Also the main reason why I think Dragon Age: Origins is still the best BioWare game since KotOR is precisely because it is has a streamlined and polished combat system that is very similar to the one in the old Infinity games.

Unfortunately they spoiled all the good work they did in Origins by basing the combat around the aggro mechanic, which makes good sense for multiplayer games but is completely out of place in a single player game. Still, it's comfortably the best RTwP game since Baldur's Gate 2, so I'm not going to complain too much.

I'm on the fence about RTwP over turn based. On one hand, I tend to prefer turn based RPGs to RTwP RPGs overall. On the other hand, Baldur's Gate 2 is by far my favourite RPG.

Wizardry
14-09-2012, 11:37 PM
Now as far as I know this Eternity project is not in the infinity engine, and is not in the D&D rule-set, which means we don't know what the combat will be like until they show it off. We just know it will have a pause function.
Do you really trust these guys to deliverer a good combat system? Let's look at Tim Cain's RPGs. Fallout? Shit combat. Arcanum? Shit combat. The Temple of Elemental Evil? Taken from a tabletop game. Now let's take a look at Chris Avellone's RPGs. Planescape: Torment? Shit combat (and taken from a tabletop game). Knights of the Old Republic II? Shit combat. Alpha Protocol? Shit combat. Josh Sawyer's RPGs? Icewind Dale? Taken from a tabletop game. Neverwinter Nights 2? Taken from a tabletop game. Fallout: New Vegas? Shit combat.


ToEE could be ported to RTwP no problem to be honest. I did like the system A LOT, more than BG and ID, but some designers smarter tham me can pull it off no problem.

Matter of fact, best combat system would be just Dota or Dawn of War 2 with a space bar to kill twitchiness.
I don't know whether to laugh or cry.


Still, it's comfortably the best RTwP game since Baldur's Gate 2, so I'm not going to complain too much.
No way. Both Icewind Dale II and Neverwinter Nights 2 are heaps better than Dragon Age: Origins.

NathanH
14-09-2012, 11:43 PM
No way. Both Icewind Dale II and Neverwinter Nights 2 are heaps better than Dragon Age: Origins.

They hold up well until about level 7, when 3rd edition D&D self-destructs in video games and the designers of those games didn't do anything to remedy this.

Drinking with Skeletons
14-09-2012, 11:49 PM
Do you really trust these guys to deliverer a good combat system? Let's look at Tim Cain's RPGs. Fallout? Shit combat. Arcanum? Shit combat. The Temple of Elemental Evil? Taken from a tabletop game. Now let's take a look at Chris Avellone's RPGs. Planescape: Torment? Shit combat (and taken from a tabletop game). Knights of the Old Republic II? Shit combat. Alpha Protocol? Shit combat. Josh Sawyer's RPGs? Icewind Dale? Taken from a tabletop game. Neverwinter Nights 2? Taken from a tabletop game. Fallout: New Vegas? Shit combat.


I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

You have a point, Wizardry. New Vegas is an interesting case, because it seems as if they felt that they had to add complexity and ended up (in my view) slightly damaging the experience. The new ammo types ate one of the (already severely limited) hotkeys without being easy to keep track of and weren't really available in large enough amounts (unless you really hoarded money and/or gambled on the obtuse crafting system) to get try them out. I could never quite understand the armor system, either;wasn't there Damage Resistance and Damage Absorption? What the hell's the difference?

NWN 2 is probably their best combat (ignoring Dungeon Siege III, which I think we can assume will not be the model for this project), and that was hampered by ungainly tech and the fact that it was generally a clusterfuck at higher levels. It highlighted the problems that this kind of battle system typically has: the pyrotechnics that can liven up turn-based proceedings generally obscure the information the player needs for real-time success, while the complexity of turn-based can easily overwhelm what someone would want to handle in real-time.

We'll see how this turns out, but hopefully it will at least be ambitious. I'll take a fiasco over a failure any day of the week.

NathanH
14-09-2012, 11:52 PM
I just ignored every new mechanic that New Vegas introduced over Fallout 3, lol.

Casimir Effect
15-09-2012, 01:17 AM
Do you really trust these guys to deliverer a good combat system?
The thing is that all those Obdisian games with combat systems you call shit were beholden to someone elses one, to a certain extent.

KOTOR2 had to copy the combat of KOTOR1, it's obviously what the publisher wanted.
Alpha Protocol tried to follow the Mass Effect.
New Vegas had to go Fallout 3.
The thing these all have in common is that they were the games Obsidian made with console in mind.
NWN2, PC-based, was a good combat system. And even though it was taken from tabletop it technically shared the same ruleset as NWN1 - where the combat was lifeless and dull.

The only combat system I'm happy with calling Obsidians own is that found in Dungeon Siege 3 which, while not turn-based and so perhaps less relevant for this new project, was a hell of a lot of fun. Pretty damn hard to master and will make going back and playing things like Torhclight or Diablo very hard. So now they've got freedom to do their own thing I'd remain optimistic. Then again you love your gameplay whereas I love my story, so I'm probably more likely to be happy in this instance.

Combat like a DOTA game would be awful though, we can agree on that. Fuck everything about that genre.

gundato
15-09-2012, 01:23 AM
Cas: At best, you can argue that Obsidian is untested in that regard.

Honestly, what they described sounds like real-time Arcanum to me.

Wizardry
15-09-2012, 01:31 AM
NWN2, PC-based, was a good combat system. And even though it was taken from tabletop it technically shared the same ruleset as NWN1 - where the combat was lifeless and dull.
Well I wouldn't call Neverwinter Night 2's combat good because technically it shares the same ruleset as Temple of Elemental Evil, which has an infinitely better implementation. And this is a perfect example of my point. Then you're forgetting Fallout and Arcanum which Tim Cain designed. Arcanum has one of the worst combat systems in any CRPG ever, while Fallout was a pitiful GURPS rip off after they lost the licence, turning what would have been a nice, balanced and detailed system into one of the most broken turn-based systems around where piling on critical hit chance and aiming for the eyes is the only tactic that matters.

Okay, so these games have shit combat, but the only way to test if these developers are really incompetent is to look at the track records of other people. And this is where it really becomes obvious, because only Richard Garriott with his Ultima series can rival this long a streak of terrible combat systems.


Combat like a DOTA game would be awful though, we can agree on that. Fuck everything about that genre.
Oh for sure. *shudders at the thought of it*

pakoito
15-09-2012, 01:45 AM
Combat like a DOTA game would be awful though, we can agree on that. Fuck everything about that genre.I think the trees are stopping you from seeing the forest. Combat-wise they are the slickest, best ARPGs you can find, you just have to bend the mind instead of trying to bend the spoon.

Remember the last time you casted a vectorial skill, or simple non-pb AoE skill in a non-tiled game. Guild Wars 2. DA:O. KotC. 5 year gap. ToEE.

Battle Programmer Spike
15-09-2012, 02:36 AM
Honestly, what they described sounds like real-time Arcanum to me.

At least Arcanum had the option to enable a turn-based combat with action points and whatnot. I had to use it cuz the real time combat was a royal pain in the ass for that one, unlike BG, ID and P:T where it was still a pain and didn't offer any options in that regard, but was still more manageable, dunno why.

fiddlesticks
15-09-2012, 02:46 AM
osh Sawyer's RPGs? Icewind Dale? Taken from a tabletop game. Neverwinter Nights 2? Taken from a tabletop game. Fallout: New Vegas? Shit combat.
For what it's worth, I really liked Sawyer's tabletop version of Fallout. It fixes many of the problems the video games suffered from.

As for the Kickstarter, I'm not really all that thrilled about yet another classic fantasy game and I would have preferred turn-based combat to real time with pause, but I'll most likely still donate because I love Obsidian. Not that they seem to need it, considering they already passed the $600'000 mark.

Serenegoose
15-09-2012, 03:09 AM
I donated to the kickstarter without any expectation of enjoying the combat. It would be an RPG second* if I did, and as excited as I am for this game, I don't think that's a reasonable thing to hope for.


*I liked the combat from Shining Force 2.

JackShandy
15-09-2012, 04:10 AM
Hey wizardry, what's the best old-school RPG to get started on?

b0rsuk
15-09-2012, 07:42 AM
I'm flabbergasted they manage to gather money so fast, compared to Wasteland 2. Obsidian seems to me a second rate developer (not third rate). They make okay games, but not great ones. Alpha Protocol ? Some like it a lot, but it's certainly flawed and controversial. Icewind Dale ? A "You may also want to check" kind of game, I can't imagine anyone recommending it before Baldur's Gate or Planescape: Torment. Neverwinter Nights 2 ? A sequel that never got as popular as the first game, which had legendary modding scene. And so on. And their games have a reputation for being buggy.

I don't know, maybe they will make a very good game in absence of a controlling publisher. They deserve a chance. But I'm not going to support them, which is easy because they don't mention Linux :-).

At least Kickstarter is seducing well known game developers. Big publishers may not be scared yet, but Kickstarter is snowballing and we don't know when it stops. It literally grows exponentially year by year.

deano2099
15-09-2012, 08:01 AM
Do you really trust these guys to deliverer a good combat system?

It's a fair point, which is why it's a good job it's not turned-based, as with RtWP you can at least stick it on easy and get through it quickly if they screw it up.

NathanH
15-09-2012, 09:23 AM
Perhaps a stretch goal could be "hire some people who can make a good cRPG system". It seems like they're going to get fifteen billion dollars, after all. The dangerous possibility is they think that their previous efforts were good cRPG systems...

bonkers
15-09-2012, 11:41 AM
I'm kinda excitet about this game but as I have bound myseld to a simple Kickstarter rule: only projects which aree DRM free (not counting for multiplayer accounts) and have a native Linux client are getting backed. There are so many great projects on Kickstarter, I have to draw I line somewhere.
But I doubt this one will get on my list.

deano2099
15-09-2012, 12:20 PM
I'm flabbergasted they manage to gather money so fast, compared to Wasteland 2. Obsidian seems to me a second rate developer (not third rate). They make okay games, but not great ones.

Yeah but they make interesting games. There are plenty of great games out there, the demand for more really good games isn't that high - loads to choose from. The demand for truly interesting and innovative games though... that's something that we don't see much of out-side of very low-budget indies these days.

deano2099
15-09-2012, 01:20 PM
Impressed/amused that sometime since launch they've removed the international shipping charges from $500+ bundles. It did look a bit silly someone could send them three grand then have to pay $30 extra.

Drake Sigar
15-09-2012, 01:43 PM
New Vegas was better than Fallout 3. Neverwinter Nights 2 was better than Neverwinter Nights. KotoR 2 was better than 1. Also Alpha Protocol was better than Mass Effect. I don't know if Obsidian were hampered or helped by being forced to ape the original games, maybe it allowed them to concentrate on the narrative. Either way, I'd like to see what happens when they finally get to produce their own title with no publisher interference.

Drinking with Skeletons
15-09-2012, 02:33 PM
I'm flabbergasted they manage to gather money so fast, compared to Wasteland 2.


I'm flabbergasted they manage to gather money so fast, compared to Wasteland 2.

If you didn't play the original Wasteland when it was released, would you really feel a strong urge to contribute? How long ago was that game released? Do the original fans really have the time to play games like they used to? Will younger fans be aware of the title's influence? Will they care? Will they believe it to be derivative of Fallout? Should they perhaps have called it Wasteland: Subtitle so as to not raise the question of whether a 20 year old plot from a now-ancient game will be relevant?

Obsidian is a currently solvent, productive developer. They have, as a group, a body of work that can be evaluated and which can allow a customer to make some educated guesses about how their next project will turn out. Can the same be said for the team behind Wasteland 2? How many games have been made by that team as opposed to each individual member? I'm not trying to diminish anyone's excitement, but there is a massive difference between the two.

Care for an example? Look at Ron Gilbert. Sure, everyone is quick to praise him for his old work back at LucasArts, but the general outlook on his most recent work has been muted. Deathspank didn't exactly set the world on fire, and while RPS has been covering The Cave I wonder how many people are as excited for it as for, say, Firaxis' XCOM, despite the fact that XCOM is a remake of a beloved classic, there isn't anyone involved with Gilbert's pedigree, and Firaxis last game, Civ V, was divisive, to say the least.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that we shouldn't rest too much on the shoulders of once-influential developers returning to the spotlight, nor should we be surprised that younger teams (and those who never bowed out, like Tim Schaefer and Sid Meier) are able to muster more donations, faster.

NathanH
15-09-2012, 02:38 PM
Listen to Skeletons.

Wizardry
15-09-2012, 03:40 PM
Hey wizardry, what's the best old-school RPG to get started on?
What sort of era are we talking about here? 1975-1985? 1985-1990? 1990-1995?

ado
15-09-2012, 10:11 PM
So Project Eternity got backed within 24 hours... That went rather fast.

Prokroustis
15-09-2012, 10:18 PM
Let's hope it reaches 100k backers and $4m..

Anthile
16-09-2012, 04:09 AM
Well, 2.4m (the maximum stretch goal at the moment) seems quite realistic and I'm very excited about this. Also, is there any reason why they put ToEE on that presentation image but not Arcanum and Bloodlines?

ado
16-09-2012, 08:40 AM
Well, 2.4m (the maximum stretch goal at the moment) seems quite realistic and I'm very excited about this. Also, is there any reason why they put ToEE on that presentation image but not Arcanum and Bloodlines?

They do namedrop Arcanum in the video, no clue about Bloodlnes. And they better come up with more stretchgoalds because at this pace they will blow past that 2.4m$ mark pretty soon.

b0rsuk
16-09-2012, 10:00 AM
I'm kinda excitet about this game but as I have bound myseld to a simple Kickstarter rule: only projects which aree DRM free (not counting for multiplayer accounts) and have a native Linux client are getting backed. There are so many great projects on Kickstarter, I have to draw I line somewhere.
But I doubt this one will get on my list.

No information on DRM, but Linux version is pretty much a given now:



2.2 million, a new Region, a new Faction and another new Companion! And, dare we say it... ? LINUX!
Great news, everyone! For the Tarball Knights of Gzippia out there, we'll be adding Linux support!
Also, the world of Project Eternity grows in a major way with the inclusion of a whole new faction and the territory it holds. This adds new NPCs, quests, magic items, and hours of gameplay. And yes, you got it, another companion.

With $1.2m already and 30 days to go, it would be incredible if they didn't manage to gather $2.2m .

bonkers
16-09-2012, 11:01 AM
Thanks for the heads up :)

b0rsuk
16-09-2012, 03:55 PM
DRM Free: We are looking into it! Please check back for updates



http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/obsidian/project-eternity/posts/309364

I'm cautiously backing for $20 (limited discount tier). Fully prepared to pull my money back if they don't decide to go the DRM-free route.

Revisor
18-09-2012, 11:52 AM
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-09-18-project-eternity-interview-new-information-tentative-spring-2014-release-date

That's what I'm personally looking forward.

At the core of the rules will be souls. In the Kickstarter video, Josh Sawyer said a character's soul was tied to the magic system. Cain expanded: "No, you don't have to be evil to access any abilities. They aren't categorised like that. Instead, in this world, your soul is connected to your power. Simply put, people who have whole, unbroken souls are more powerful than those people who just have fragments of souls. The nature of these souls, and how they might break, is something we will explore in the game.

"While there are social concepts of good and evil," he added, "the game does not track an alignment for the player. Instead we will use a reputation system to keep track of what different groups in the world think of you. Consequences of your actions will matter in Project Eternity."

Also of note

Multiplayer isn't ruled out. "Interest?" Tim Cain mulled. "Yes, but not if it risks reducing the scope or quality of the single-player game in any way. Single-player gaming is our focus."

Oh, and Project Eternity "will have guns", Cain told me, "but we are not going into their details right now".

Internet
18-09-2012, 07:04 PM
Apparently it isn't using the Onyx engine. The middleware in it costs too much. I wonder if they can take any assets from it?

Chris Avellone ‏@ChrisAvellone (http://twitter.com/ChrisAvellone)
@Ibrzu (http://twitter.com/Ibrzu) No, we will not. We like the Onyx engine, but it'll likely be too expensive considering the middleware attachments.

fiddlesticks
18-09-2012, 08:01 PM
That's a shame. Dungeon Siege 3 had some problems, but the engine wasn't one of them. I'm guessing they will go with Unity then, since they're planning to have a version for Mac and Linux.

Revisor
19-09-2012, 10:45 AM
Mr. Urquhart has been really active in the Kickstarter discussion. Here's a summary, courtesy of a kind internet soul

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/60330-kickstarter-comment-questions-answered-by-obsidian/

b0rsuk
19-09-2012, 02:19 PM
They need to save money because they're on a tight budget. Dungeon Siege III engine may look good when you pour AAA money into it, but Baldur's Gate was fine without it.

Nalano
19-09-2012, 03:56 PM
They need to save money because they're on a tight budget. Dungeon Siege III engine may look good when you pour AAA money into it, but Baldur's Gate was fine without it.

Well, a good idea, properly funded, is always a nice experience. And indeed "properly funded" isn't the same as "AAA money." But it still needs to be properly funded.

Kodeen
19-09-2012, 04:35 PM
Apparently it isn't using the Onyx engine. The middleware in it costs too much. I wonder if they can take any assets from it?

Chris Avellone ‏@ChrisAvellone (http://twitter.com/ChrisAvellone)
@Ibrzu (http://twitter.com/Ibrzu) No, we will not. We like the Onyx engine, but it'll likely be too expensive considering the middleware attachments.

Not certain what this means. By middleware, are they referring to third party plugins such as Speedtree or Havoc physics (just examples, I don't know if Onyx uses those)?

Edit: They've announced that you'll be able to choose between a Steam or GOG key, so DRM-free is on.

Bhagan
19-09-2012, 04:59 PM
From the email:

Well you all did it, you helped us get to $1.6M and we now have a Mac version and are adding more story into the world.We have also been listening and reading your feedback on Kickstarter and have some changes that are happening as soon as this update is posted. One thing, we are not updating just yet are the stretch goals, but donít worry those are going to get updated very soon. Oh, and we are putting a schedule together for updates that will include guest stars almost every day Ė Josh will be talking more about the design tomorrow (Sep 19), our unflappable CTO Chris Jones (architect of the Fallout and Arcanum engines) on Friday (Sep 20), and I think we will be able to squeeze one in from Mr. Tim Cain over the weekend.

So, what are those changes?!?
DRM Free OptionYou asked and we are delivering. In conjunction with GOG (http://www.gog.com/), we are going to offer a DRM free version of the game for our Kickstarter Backers. When the campaign ends, you will be able to choose whether you would like a key from GOG or Steam. For our Mac friends, we are still working on a DRM free option, since GOG does not currently support the Mac. Oh, and the great guys at GOG are having a special right now on all of the great Infinity Engine games (http://www.gog.com/en/promo/hasbro_stacking_promo), so check that out as well.
New Digital TiersWe are adding a $50 and an $80 digital tier. The $50 tier will get you the digital version of the game, the soundtrack, the digital version of the Collectorís Book, a collection of wallpapers made for multiple resolutions and multiple monitors, high resolution concept art, a high resolution version of the map, and ringtones. For the $80 tier, you will get all of that plus a digital copy of the strategy guide, and a second digital download of the game.
Add-OnsThis is a short list for right now, but we will be adding more as the days pass including some pretty swank Obsidian-wear.


Add a Digital Download of the Game +$25



Add Three Digital Downloads of the Game +$60

As a quick tutorial on how to add add-ons, goto the Project Eternity site on Kickstarter and then hit the Manage Your Pledge button. The reward tier you had already selected will still be selected and the amount will be in the big box at the top. All you need to do is add the dollar amount that covers the add-ons you would like to your pledge and enter the new total number. For instance, if you are at the $35 Pledge level and want to add one Digital Download, you would enter $60 as your total pledge.
New for our Collector's Edition Box Level ($140)
Lastly we want to announce that we are going to give our backers at the Collectorís Edition Box Level ($140) a little extra today and that is Beta access to the game! Thatís just a little taste of what we will be adding into tiers in the coming days and weeks through stretch goals and the occasional random act.

pakoito
19-09-2012, 05:44 PM
140$ become betatesters. Uh-oh. PR testing incoming, drama and butthurt ensured.

ReV VAdAUL
19-09-2012, 09:14 PM
Mr. Urquhart has been really active in the Kickstarter discussion. Here's a summary, courtesy of a kind internet soul

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/60330-kickstarter-comment-questions-answered-by-obsidian/

These are interesting but this one sticks for the wrong reason:


@Steven We were actually contacted by some publishers over the last few months that wanted to use us to do a Kickstarter. I said to them "So, you want us to do a Kickstarter for, using our name, we then get the Kickstarter money to make the game, you then publish the game, but we then don't get to keep the brand we make and we only get a portion of the profits" They said, "Yes".

I'm glad they said no but it is a worry someone will say yes for one reason or another.

b0rsuk
19-09-2012, 11:06 PM
It will have female dwarven rangers, with bows. And I thought Torchlight II is quirky, because it has ferrets wearing goggles...

http://s3.amazonaws.com/ksr/projects/289461/posts/310512/image-159904-full.jpg?1347923140

bonkers
20-09-2012, 09:05 AM
Now I am totally sitting between the chairs. I want Linux and DRM free. But DRM free is only possible with GoG and Linux (currently) only with Steam has I have to decide between both. Goddamnit, why do they make this so hard :/

b0rsuk
20-09-2012, 02:30 PM
DRM Free Option

You asked and we are delivering. In conjunction with GOG (http://www.gog.com/), we are going to offer a DRM free version of the game for our Kickstarter Backers. When the campaign ends, you will be able to choose whether you would like a key from GOG or Steam. For our Mac friends, we are still working on a DRM free option, since GOG does not currently support the Mac.

So there's hope, they're trying. Once Linux version is confirmed, which won't be very long, they are likely to say something about DRM-free option for Linux.

deano2099
20-09-2012, 03:59 PM
Now I am totally sitting between the chairs. I want Linux and DRM free. But DRM free is only possible with GoG and Linux (currently) only with Steam has I have to decide between both. Goddamnit, why do they make this so hard :/

Could always buy two copies. That's how we used to have to deal with multiple-platform stuff.

bonkers
20-09-2012, 04:52 PM
If you give me the money I'll even buy three ;)

Internet
20-09-2012, 08:40 PM
I posted this on the last news update, but I think it bears repeating. Obsidian will probably get 3.5-5 million on this kickstarter. What are they going to use all that money on? I wouldn't be surprised if the engine will take more now that they have to make a new one and it's going to get Mac (and probably linux in the next 5 to 8 days).

I think they should have stretch goals, since stretch goals make funding an event rather than a payment, but they've signed up for a lot already. I bet races will come first since they're the easiest thing to do (you don't even have to show a homeland or enclave), then classes since there are so many templates to chose from, then new areas since they've already signed on for a lot, and lastly on the phones/tablets (which I doubt would happen since they're building their own engine again).

On the first four days, the projects got an average of 29% of their total funding. On the last three they get about 21%. The rest get 50%. However, Wasteland 2, which is probably the best guideline we have got 42%, 14%, and 43%. So if you do it by the average, Obsidian should get about .29x=1540171. for 5.31 million. If you do it by Wasteland 2 numbers, .42x=1540171, and it gets 3.66 million.

Tuco
21-09-2012, 12:23 AM
[B]

So there's hope, they're trying. Once Linux version is confirmed, which won't be very long, they are likely to say something about DRM-free option for Linux.
On the other hand, once Linux is confirmed, Steamworks+Steamplay becomes a no-brainer for those who want to purchase all three versions at once.

Ironclad
21-09-2012, 01:36 PM
So that happened ...


We were actually contacted by some publishers over the last few months that wanted to use us to do a Kickstarter. I said to them "So, you want us to do a Kickstarter for, using our name, we then get the Kickstarter money to make the game, you then publish the game, but we then don't get to keep the brand we make and we only get a portion of the profits" They said, "Yes".
THE FUCK?

http://www.cinemablend.com/games/Publishers-Tried-Exploiting-Obsidian-Kickstarter-Keep-IP-Rights-Profits-47113.html

Who? Why? When? WHAT?

NathanH
21-09-2012, 01:42 PM
I can imagine some sort of partnership between a kickstarted project and a major publisher could be useful. Publishers might have a lot of easily-accessed expertise in all the areas not related directly to development. But I would think it would have to be a partnership, with the developer keeping the IP. It would be amusing if Obsidian agreed a deal with a publisher to access their QA and marketing expertise, but would only pay them if the game scored over 85% on metacritic...

bonkers
21-09-2012, 06:26 PM
So they are going to use Unity and Linux is (therefore) no longer a stretch goal.

gundato
21-09-2012, 06:42 PM
If you word it that way, it sounds horrible.

How does this sound

"We want to crowd-source our next project. We want you guys to develop it though. We'll handle PR and publishing, and we'll use the KS funds to pay you"

Doesn't sound too bad (is exactly the same as any KS where staff are hired as a result).

internetonsetadd
21-09-2012, 06:51 PM
Still quite terrible.

gundato
21-09-2012, 06:54 PM
Still quite terrible.
How so?

Many of the big-name KSes are "dream teams" as it were. Guess how those dream teams are getting paid? The KS funds.

internetonsetadd
21-09-2012, 07:03 PM
Just to confirm, we're talking about a publisher using a developer to start an astroturf Kickstarter project, retaining ownership of the IP, "publishing," which may be somewhat useless for a sub-$50/60 game that will see most of its sales from digital distribution, handling PR--a lot of which Kickstarter provides intrinsically--and, as you suggested, paying the dev from funds that already belong to the dev, correct?

gundato
21-09-2012, 07:16 PM
Just to confirm, we're talking about a publisher using a developer to start an astroturf Kickstarter project, retaining ownership of the IP, "publishing," which may be somewhat useless for a sub-$50/60 game that will see most of its sales from digital distribution, handling PR--a lot of which Kickstarter provides intrinsically--and, as you suggested, paying the dev from funds that already belong to the dev, correct?

No, we have

"We want to crowd-source our next project. We want you guys to develop it though. We'll handle PR and publishing, and we'll use the KS funds to pay you"

As in, party A has an idea, but don't have the resources to make it. So they approach Party B and arrange a conditional agreement of "If we get the cash, will you work for us". They use KS to raise the funds.

Lukasz
21-09-2012, 08:18 PM
We'll handle PR and publishing

why would anyone in this age need either?

PR and marketing can easily be done by obsidian or double fine or whatever. no need for publisher... which honestly don't do PR themselves either but hire agencies, people to do that.

Publishing? what for? there is no need to ensure that retail games is available in every gamestop, ebgames on the planet at the same day, there is no need to secure shelf-space.
the game goes directly to gog, steam, gamersgate or directly via their website.


Kickstarter is great because it gets rid of publishers, gets rid of people who answer to shareholders not to customers. it might not work but there is no need for publishers to be involved with projects like this.

Nalano
21-09-2012, 08:21 PM
No, we have

"We want to crowd-source our next project. We want you guys to develop it though. We'll handle PR and publishing, and we'll use the KS funds to pay you"

As in, party A has an idea, but don't have the resources to make it. So they approach Party B and arrange a conditional agreement of "If we get the cash, will you work for us". They use KS to raise the funds.

Because the gap between publisher and developer power isn't big enough, right?

Except this time, there's no longer any risk to the publisher, because the publisher isn't fronting any of their own money. If the developer's just gonna start a Kickstarter project to get funded, then why the fuck do they need the publisher? The whole fucking reason to approach a publisher is to get funded.

Revisor
21-09-2012, 08:23 PM
Chris Avellone has another interesting anecdote in today's interview (http://techland.time.com/2012/09/21/project-eternity-chris-avellone-interview/):


Franchises weíve worked with have specifically stepped in to ask us to limit portions of content that we felt was mature and treated maturely, for no reason other than fear. Because you canít trust players to appreciate subtlety or mature themes, apparently. Itís bad for business.

So what could it have been? KOTOR, Fallout or Dungeon Siege?

gundato
21-09-2012, 08:25 PM
why would anyone in this age need either?

PR and marketing can easily be done by obsidian or double fine or whatever. no need for publisher... which honestly don't do PR themselves either but hire agencies, people to do that.

Publishing? what for? there is no need to ensure that retail games is available in every gamestop, ebgames on the planet at the same day, there is no need to secure shelf-space.



Kickstarter is great because it gets rid of publishers, gets rid of people who answer to shareholders not to customers. it might not work but there is no need for publishers to be involved with projects us as this.


I agree, I like KS (to a degree) because it largely eliminates the need for publishers. But if you want to sell any retail copies, you still need a distributor. And, as you mentioned, publishers are good at finding PR firms.

And some people do well with their own PR (and by "their own PR" I generally mean "They hire someone in-house"), but that isn't always true.
Wardell (the Molestor!)
Blizzard in recent months
Relic before they started getting real PR people
Gearbox... Sweet baby Jesus, Gearbox hates women...
The Zomboid devs
I don't know WHAT "The French Monk"s real job title was at CD Projekt/GoG, but there is a reason they placed an ad for a real PR person shortly after "closing" :p

Of course, that is not to say the designated public face is always one you want to show. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAY27NU1Jog

And if the Publisher has an idea (they DO have idea people) but they aren't certain how well it will sell ( a risky game that usually only the REALLY big guys, like EA, can absorb the loss on), KS is perfect. Partially fund with KS, partially fund by themselves. But they still need to get a dev team to start with.

Nalano
21-09-2012, 08:32 PM
And if the Publisher has an idea (they DO have idea people)

Tell us more about EA's idea people.

Because it seems their biggest idea was "MILK WHAT ALREADY EXISTS"

internetonsetadd
21-09-2012, 08:45 PM
Ah, I see. Seems unlikely. I'm still not sure what a publisher brings to the Kickstarter table, where most of the copies being sold will be distributed digitally and in the $10 to $30 range, except maybe cheaper boxed copies for backers who want them.

With the obvious exception of entities that both develop and publish, publishers, as far as I'm aware, don't generally have ideas. They have properties. I suppose that if a valuable IP (owned/licensed) by party A were involved, sure, maybe. However, I think most people in the games industry will probably agree that there's no shortage of ideas.

In your scenario, a publisher that held an AD&D license could be party A and Obsidian party B, except that fantasy RPGs are so ubiquitous these days that party A doesn't really have anything Obsidian needs. Obsidian's name is the thing of value here. A publisher typically bears the brunt of the risk, and is thus traditionally indispensable for a lot of devs. However, there's no real risk with Kickstarter. A dev has the same access to the same pool of money that a publisher would. That's a lot of money (and control, and sustainability) to flush down a toilet just for an IP/idea.

I also suspect that given the relative transparency that's expected of Kickstarter project creators, this kind of arrangement would either require a precarious lie or an unpalatable truth. I'm guessing the last thing the Kickstarter community wants is to be used as a source of no-risk investment capital for publishers, especially when many publishers have been extraordinarily poor stewards of the IPs and game mechanics that have required a whole new paradigm to revive.

gundato
21-09-2012, 09:03 PM
Ah, I see. Seems unlikely. I'm still not sure what a publisher brings to the Kickstarter table, where most of the copies being sold will be distributed digitally and in the $10 to $30 range, except maybe cheaper boxed copies for backers who want them.

With the obvious exception of entities that both develop and publish, publishers, as far as I'm aware, don't generally have ideas. They have properties. I suppose that if a valuable IP (owned/licensed) by party A were involved, sure, maybe. However, I think most people in the games industry will probably agree that there's no shortage of ideas.

In your scenario, a publisher that held an AD&D license could be party A and Obsidian party B, except that fantasy RPGs are so ubiquitous these days that party A doesn't really have anything Obsidian needs. Obsidian's name is the thing of value here. A publisher typically bears the brunt of the risk, and is thus traditionally indispensable for a lot of devs. However, there's no real risk with Kickstarter. A dev has the same access to the same pool of money that a publisher would. That's a lot of money (and control, and sustainability) to flush down a toilet just for an IP/idea.

I also suspect that given the relative transparency that's expected of Kickstarter project creators, this kind of arrangement would either require a precarious lie or an unpalatable truth. I'm guessing the last thing the Kickstarter community wants is to be used as a source of no-risk investment capital for publishers, especially when many publishers have been extraordinarily poor stewards of the IPs and game mechanics that have required a whole new paradigm to revive.
Well, of course the point of getting a known developer is the name. Do you think Warner Brothers approached Ben Afleck to direct Justice League because they thought he would have an interesting take on The Flash's struggle to keep his day job of a forensic technician? No, they did it because (god help us...) Afleck is a good name to have on a movie these days. Seriously when the crap did Afleck being in a movie stop being a bad thing?

And who says Kickstarters have to all be about budget digital only games? Pretty sure the one discussed in this very thread isn't a "budget title".

And you picked a bad example. If we are going to pretend that publishers have no ideas (something I strongly disagree with), let's pick a better IP. Let's say we figure out who owns the rights to the TV Show Reboot. And the Publisher is interested in making a(nother) video game based on it. Maybe the premise (a "real (computer) world" with periodic trips into "Game worlds") isn't something radically new, but the IP definitely holds a lot of value to anyone who watched TV in the 90s. But the Publisher is concerned that nostalgia alone might not be enough (let's say they want to make it very stylish or something) and don't want to go "all in" as it were.

So they do what a few KS projects have done*. They combine KS with an alternate source of funding. So if the game gets funded to X dollars, they'll chip in an additional X (possibly more). Not only does that greatly lessen their burden (so if the game flops, their shareholders won't go crazy), it also lets them see how well the game would sell. If the KS barely passes, they probably will just make it and be done. If they raise 4X (hee hee), you can be damned certain that game is getting the AAA treatment. The Publisher is still taking a risk, but not as large of a risk. And it potentially puts the devs in a good position as far as negotiating their contracts.


*: The only name I recall off the top of my head is the PA Kickstarter where they used funds to compensate for their ad revenue while still keeping the rest. But I do recall a few others where the goal was basically "Make a prototype so that our real financial backers will give us a chance". Either way the KS backers get the prototype (and probably the real title, I forget), but the point is that the KS-backed part is just a portion of the whole funding.

internetonsetadd
21-09-2012, 10:08 PM
At some point, I don't know when, Affleck went from being a douche bag to being a pretty damn good director. I don't know how it happened, but it made me wet my pants a little. Yes, in the scenario you're suggesting here, a developer's name is tremendously valuable. But in general, no they aren't, judging by how Activision and EA do business. I'll take from that that a dev's reputation is important when a publisher is trying to court its community, but not worth much when the community is built around a franchise owned by the publisher.

Project Eternity still falls in the $10 - $30 range I mentioned. I'm not sure what it's going cost at release. It's still budget by AAA standards.

I'm full of bad examples, but I don't know that Reboot is any better. I used AD&D because, well, Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, Planescape. Clearly there's plenty of value in those names, but the devs behind those games no longer work off of licensed WotC properties, probably because doing so is a restrictive, problematic hassle with little payoff. I don't see why there would be any difference in perspective for an indie dev turning to Kickstarter.

Back to your example, show me a publisher with any interest in anything remotely analogous to Reboot, and I'll give Affleck an HJ. The dollar signs they've got in their eyes are, presumably, not over making use of Kickstarter to take and mitigate risks on nearly forgotten, niche properties that need to be acquired, but to make use of properties they already own by propping up well loved devs at the helm.

I recall three or four projects that were raising money for an investment prototype, but they were still developers, not publishers. I don't see a publisher-started project ending well at all, which is probably why Obsidian was propositioned to astroturf. If EA or whoever wants to reboot a property using Kickstarter, I'm sure they'd have no trouble assigning a dev to it. We'd exhaust the world's supply of popcorn, but the entertainment value would be immense.

gundato
21-09-2012, 10:57 PM
At some point, I don't know when, Affleck went from being a douche bag to being a pretty damn good director. I don't know how it happened, but it made me wet my pants a little. Yes, in the scenario you're suggesting here, a developer's name is tremendously valuable. But in general, no they aren't, judging by how Activision and EA do business. I'll take from that that a dev's reputation is important when a publisher is trying to court its community, but not worth much when the community is built around a franchise owned by the publisher.

Project Eternity still falls in the $10 - $30 range I mentioned. I'm not sure what it's going cost at release. It's still budget by AAA standards.

I'm full of bad examples, but I don't know that Reboot is any better. I used AD&D because, well, Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, Planescape. Clearly there's plenty of value in those names, but the devs behind those games no longer work off of licensed WotC properties, probably because doing so is a restrictive, problematic hassle with little payoff. I don't see why there would be any difference in perspective for an indie dev turning to Kickstarter.

Back to your example, show me a publisher with any interest in anything remotely analogous to Reboot, and I'll give Affleck an HJ. The dollar signs they've got in their eyes are, presumably, not over making use of Kickstarter to take and mitigate risks on nearly forgotten, niche properties that need to be acquired, but to make use of properties they already own by propping up well loved devs at the helm.

I recall three or four projects that were raising money for an investment prototype, but they were still developers, not publishers. I don't see a publisher-started project ending well at all, which is probably why Obsidian was propositioned to astroturf. If EA or whoever wants to reboot a property using Kickstarter, I'm sure they'd have no trouble assigning a dev to it. We'd exhaust the world's supply of popcorn, but the entertainment value would be immense.

Yeah, Afleck being a positive thing is definitely one of the seven seals...

As for developer names being powerful: Bioware, Maxis, Infinity Ward, ... Hell, everyone EA bought over the years :p. And as much as they cock-up almost everything, Obsidian are definitely a big name (if only because their cock-ups are disappointing, but worth playing).

And I am not referring to "AAA games" as the standard. The very point of that term is that those are the games that have budgets WAY higher than anything ever should be.

And considering all the remakes/reboots lately (the FPS x-com game that apparently wasn't complete garbage, then disappeared off the face of the earth after a REAL XCOM was announced. Blood. Probably some more I already blocked out of my mind), a major publisher (Or even a minor publisher) wanting to cash in on an IP they own is not something radical. And Publishers aren't stupid: They understand that there is potentially a pretty big market for a faithful remake. It is just that said market may not be big enough to justify the risk.

And Publishers DO make risky moves. Remember when The Sims sounded like the stupidest idea in the world? Well 12 years before that EA actually made it :P. Why? Sure Will Wright's name is powerful, but you still need a pretty solid base to take a risk on something like that. EA, at the time, could absorb the potential losses. They did the same thing with Spore a few years later (and didn't do anywhere near as well...). Why? Because someone convinced them (in this case, one of the gods of game design) that it was a good idea, but from a financial perspective it was probably a stupid move. Look at the economy: Taking ANY risk is stupid these days (if you are a huge publisher, or even a moderately sized developer).

So really, I see no meaningful difference between
"We are Publisher X and we want to bring you the continued adventures of Frisket and Enzo (big or little, I'm cool with either). But we aren't sure if that is what you want, so what say we make a deal? You express your interest in terms of dollar signs by buying the game now, and we'll match that in Euros (because we are Publishers and don't realize Euros aren't Dollars)! As an added bonus, we got Developer B to agree to do the development if we give them the moneys. And if you didn't like Reboot, your mom is a dirty whore and I hope you die of AIDS"
versus
"Hi, I am famous dude Y. Me and my development studio want to make a game about the continuing romance between AndrAIa and Matrix. But we need money for it, so get going"

In both cases, it is an established entity in the industry raising money to make a game they want to make, but that they might otherwise not be able to get funding for. Because for a big publisher to really pump cash into something means they are probably gonna make a safe genre like racing or manshoots.

And in the first case, it will probably lead to Steam and the like having non-stupid pricing :p

Casimir Effect
21-09-2012, 11:08 PM
Chris Avellone has another interesting anecdote in today's interview (http://techland.time.com/2012/09/21/project-eternity-chris-avellone-interview/):



So what could it have been? KOTOR, Fallout or Dungeon Siege?
Definitely KOTOR2. They made Star Wars dark, but still could have gone far further especially when it came to the companions. I'm sure the Darth Nihilus/Visas Marr relationship was meant to be a lot deeper and more explicit, as there are many hints of things there.

I also think Alpha Protocol would have had more mature moments if they had their way.

internetonsetadd
22-09-2012, 04:56 AM
I don't want to seem like I believe I can read EA, et al.'s mind, but it's a lot less interesting to me to toss money into a pot to finance what is likely to be, for an entity like that, purely a financial endeavor. The EAs of the world haven't really demonstrated an interest in publishing the kinds of games that Kickstarter is, beginning with titles like FTL, on the cusp of churning out, certainly not (even in part) for the sake of making something that a small community of gamers wants to play.

Obsidian started taking pledges before anyone knew much of anything about Project Eternity. We've all got a pretty good sense of what they're capable of, where their interest lies, and what we're going to get if we hand them several million dollars. Would the community be willing to give EA the same blank check? Let's pretend Syndicate 2012 never happened. Suppose that EA found a suitable dev and brought a Syndicate reboot to Kickstarter. Would we end up with something its fan base wanted, or would we end up with something closer to the Syndicate we got? I shudder to think, honestly. I'm guessing EA would have to significantly retool to even comprehend what the "alt" segment of the gaming community wants.

Aside from that, I can't imagine that the risk we're talking about for these sorts of games is the limiting factor for an EA or Activision. There's probably a fair number of devs on Kickstarter who don't know what it takes to make a profit, even if some might make one in spite of themselves, but a lot of them clearly have the experience and wherewithal to know. However, are non-mega hit profits like this even on EA's radar? After hearing about the 90-day, no-commission deal Origin offered successful Kickstarter projects, I got the sense that EA sees this potent mix of money and goodwill flying around in the funding scene and doesn't want to be left behind in the event there's a massive hit. I see them stroking a fuzzy little chick, pondering how big and juicy it could get before they slit its neck and rotisserie the ever living shit out of it, but I don't see them chasing little chicks all over the yard, doing the poultry farmer's job of bringing each chick to fruition.

I'm not sure if EA learned anything from Syndicate, which they've said was something "we took a risk on. It didn't pay off - it didn't work." At the time Syndicate had sold somewhere around 150,000 copies, roughly $9 mil in sales, perhaps closer to a bust than not. Given the opportunity to do things differently, would they set a dev to work on a sequel more in line with the previous two games, or would they try to turn a dusty IP into a modern hit again? I can't answer that, but my guess is that EA would rather sit on a property until it sees a chance to turn it into a mountain of gold than take a foothill of silver for a more classic, indie-style release.

I'm using EA here as an example because they're sitting on such a huge cache of great legacy IPs. If nothing else, I think Syndicate demonstrated that they don't have the instincts to know what to do with them. When I pledge to a project on Kickstarter, I'm betting that a dev's love for and dedication to their own concept will go a long way toward producing something I want to play. I don't really know what EA-sized publishers are passionate about. However, I don't think it's games as gamers play them, but IPs as masses consume them. Syndicate's relative failure was addressed as a failure to sell, but never as a failure to live up to what the franchise's fans wanted to play. I'm not sure publishers like this are prepared to look members of a community in the eye and have a frank discussion about the merits of their properties, ideas and actions. Kickstarter just seems a terrible fit for how they prefer to do business.

b0rsuk
22-09-2012, 10:04 AM
Linux support has been officially confirmed, and the $2.2m goal replaced with more content. Project Eternity will use the... Unity engine.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/obsidian/project-eternity/posts/313192

ReV VAdAUL
22-09-2012, 11:51 AM
I would imagine EA et al's plan will be to find a relatively popular developer to front a project that they intend to publish so as to have gamers take some of the risk and then a while after the KS is over the dev "decides" that they're best off being bought out by EA et al which was the plan all along. EA wont announce their involvement in the project until after the KS has closed and the money has been taken. Those who have pledged to the KS have absolutely no recourse because the money given is essentially a donation and it is a win win for EA et al: If the game sells in spite of selling out/being a deception then EA gets an even bigger profit, if the game doesn't sell and people are really angry it means people wont trust KS as much and EA et al get to weaken a potential rival to their publishing model.

b0rsuk
22-09-2012, 12:20 PM
In such case the developer will take a reputation hit, because he makes players angry by signing a pact with EA. And Kickstarter is adding a "Risks&Challenges" section as well as a place to comment on a project before backing it. So it will be easier to warn people about scams.

ReV VAdAUL
22-09-2012, 02:14 PM
Oh indeed, EA et al would have to have to give a lot of compensation aka a big bribe, to any developer they wanted to do this because they would be a lightning rod for negativity from that point on. To be clear I mean like a big name individual developer, usually how these deals go is that only the person at the top of an organisation gets the payoff and all the other employees get to go hang.

EA et al wont care about the Dev's reputation hit of course so the only factor is finding a developer with some popularity who is willing to sell out completely which given how human beings in general are seems pretty likely.

I don't think this is certain to happen or if it does it'll be the end of kickstarter or anything but I do think it is pretty likely to be what the big publishers will be trying to do.

gundato
22-09-2012, 05:10 PM
I'm using EA here as an example because they're sitting on such a huge cache of great legacy IPs. If nothing else, I think Syndicate demonstrated that they don't have the instincts to know what to do with them. When I pledge to a project on Kickstarter, I'm betting that a dev's love for and dedication to their own concept will go a long way toward producing something I want to play. I don't really know what EA-sized publishers are passionate about. However, I don't think it's games as gamers play them, but IPs as masses consume them. Syndicate's relative failure was addressed as a failure to sell, but never as a failure to live up to what the franchise's fans wanted to play. I'm not sure publishers like this are prepared to look members of a community in the eye and have a frank discussion about the merits of their properties, ideas and actions. Kickstarter just seems a terrible fit for how they prefer to do business.
Well, no. You're picking EA because they are an easy target :p Imagine if it were someone like Zenimax/Bethesda or another "small" publisher.

And who says the devs wouldn't be dedicated? I know that if I had a dev team and I got approached to do a Reboot game, I would need to buy a new pair of pants almost instantly. And even if not: Do you honestly think most of the staff at Obsidian give a rats ass about Project Eternity beyond "We get to make something interesting and make some moneys"? It isn't THEIR baby. It is their boss's baby.

b0rsuk
22-09-2012, 06:47 PM
No, you have it backwards. EA won't "bribe a developer to make a kickstarter". Too much risk, too much effort. Better to message a kickstarter that turned out to be successful and try to sway them, luring with a promise of a bigger budget.

EA doesn't care about the developer's reputation, but the developer should and potential backers definitely will. A developer that sings a pact with EA after a successful pact will burn (kickstarter) bridges behind it.

internetonsetadd
22-09-2012, 10:59 PM
Well, no. You're picking EA because they are an easy target :p Imagine if it were someone like Zenimax/Bethesda or another "small" publisher.

And who says the devs wouldn't be dedicated? I know that if I had a dev team and I got approached to do a Reboot game, I would need to buy a new pair of pants almost instantly. And even if not: Do you honestly think most of the staff at Obsidian give a rats ass about Project Eternity beyond "We get to make something interesting and make some moneys"? It isn't THEIR baby. It is their boss's baby.

EA is an easy target, no doubt, but they also just plain make a good representative of the segment of the industry that, as far as I'm concerned, would be oil and water with Kickstarter. Bethesda have proven themselves to be reasonably good stewards of beloved IPs (IMO, more for letting Obsidian take a whack at FO:NV than FO3 itself, but still, it was hardly an abortion). Regardless, and this could be a failure of imagination on my part, I can't think of a reason why a publisher/developer like Zen/Beth would want to turn to Kickstarter for anything.

As to dedication, I've no doubt that Obsidian (+Troika) was wholly dedicated to all the brilliant-ish games they were rushed to release in partially unfinished states. I've read some of their ruminations on these shortcomings, and they accept a lot of the blame. Still, publishers were a factor. With all that history, would you really want the same old paradigm in your Kickstarter cereal flakes? One of the selling points for me is, essentially, "Look Ma, no publisher." Of the 16 or so projects I've backed, I expect some to be delivered late. That's immeasurably preferable to me than a rush job.

I also don't trust big publishers with money up front for something not clearly defined, and even then, not really. (See this (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/showthread.php?21-PC-Bargains&p=184469) -- yeah, I just referred to myself as a source, deal wid it.) An independent developer might be willing deliver a sound finished product for a slim profit margin simply as an investment in its own reputation and future. Throw a publisher into that mix and I think it's more likely the dev would be sacrificed for the sake of extracting as much as possible out of the project.

For a lot of devs using Kickstarter, it's probably make or break, and their incentive to survive and/or flourish is my added security. I doubt it would be the same for a sizable publisher, many of whom routinely slash and burn projects they don't expect to live up to their financial standards. While I wouldn't expect a full-on torpedoed project, I wouldn't be surprised to get a game with a great first half and a latter half sculpted out of poo. This is all fine and well for their interests, but I'm not touching that with a one-dollar bill, especially given their apparent aversion to candor. If someone's going to take a dump in my lap, I at least want them to look me in the eyes afterward. Number 10 in this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtuJAs7hSaA&feature=player_detailpage#t=258s) video sort of sums it up for me.

Edit: this the second time RPS has saved one of my long, pointless posts from a power-outage loss. +1 for the universe today.

gundato
22-09-2012, 11:20 PM
Oy. I am not going to argue against the "All publishers are evil stupid poopy heads who are the only reasons any games ever fail". You seem to refuse to let go of that, and that really has nothing to do with this.

Pick your FAVORITE publisher. Hell, pick your favorite "visionary developer with a crapton of cash" if it makes you feel better.

Imagine if they approached another development team and said something along the lines of "Hey, I got this great idea but I would rather not fund the entire thing out of pocket for some reason or another. So I am going to crowd-source it. But I don't have the resources to make it all myself, you want in on this?"

THAT is what I am talking about. It doesn't matter who the first party is. And many of the already accepted KSes ARE basically that.

internetonsetadd
22-09-2012, 11:54 PM
Even as you restated it once again, I still think it's a terrible idea. I don't see the utility you seem to, and I don't see how it would be of benefit to anyone to enter into an agreement with either a) a party that is not in full control of the business side of the project or b) a party that is not ultimately in control of the product itself.

And you keep stretching your hypothetical. A rich developer with a great idea crowd-sourcing funds for a project it doesn't have the resources to complete so it hires another developer? What? Yeah, developers using Kickstarter have been known to hire people with the funds they've raised (and I've seen at least one collaboration), but we're getting a long way from what you initially suggested.


Oy. I am not going to argue against the "All publishers are evil stupid poopy heads who are the only reasons any games ever fail". You seem to refuse to let go of that, and that really has nothing to do with this.

You should know better than to insert words into my mouth with a paraphrase like that. That's not what I said at all. In fact, in my first paragraph I mentioned that I believe Bethesda to have been good stewards of the Fallout franchise. If that's the discussion you think we're having, then it's probably not a discussion worth continuing.

Nalano
23-09-2012, 12:07 AM
You should know better than to insert words into my mouth with a paraphrase like that.

Know better? He preaches good manners on this forum!

Following them, on the other hand...

gundato
23-09-2012, 12:12 AM
Even as you restated it once again, I still think it's a terrible idea. I don't see the utility you seem to, and I don't see how it would be of benefit to anyone to enter into an agreement with either a) a party that is not in full control of the business side of the project or b) a party that is not ultimately in control of the product itself.

And you keep stretching your hypothetical. A rich developer with a great idea crowd-sourcing funds for a project it doesn't have the resources to complete so it hires another developer? What? Yeah, developers using Kickstarter have been known to hire people with the funds they've raised (and I've seen at least one collaboration), but we're getting a long way from what you initially suggested.


Okay, you know how those fast food chains and supermarkets often have things like "We'll donate a portion of the proceeds of all purchases to feeding hungry puppies in Ethiopian shelters"? Kind of like that. They have the money, they would just rather get some more PR AND not put as huge a burden on themselves.

And no, we really aren't "getting a long way" from what I suggested. That IS what I suggested. Party A needs help to develop something and doesn't want to sink all their own cash into a project, so they negotiate with Party B prior to starting up a KS (this way they don't have a goal of "Find someone to make this"). It shouldn't matter who Party A is. They are using the KS funds to develop it, plain and simple. You are the one who started going off on how much EA sucks and would only ever use this for milking an IP or something or another.

internetonsetadd
23-09-2012, 12:47 AM
Know better? He preaches good manners on this forum!

Following them, on the other hand...

Burp/fart. Who gives half a turd sandwich about manners on the Internet? My only expectation was of a casual discussion without casual fallacies.

Nalano
23-09-2012, 12:54 AM
Burp/fart. Who gives half a turd sandwich about manners on the Internet? My only expectation was of a casual discussion without casual fallacies.

That's what makes it so brilliant. It's the whole hypocrisy angle that's like a delectable turd sandwich with asbestos shavings on top!

internetonsetadd
23-09-2012, 01:03 AM
That's what makes it so brilliant. It's the whole hypocrisy angle that's like a delectable turd sandwich with asbestos shavings on top!

So which is it? My manners or my fallaciousness? Would you care to illuminate me or would you prefer to limit yourself to being preciously clever?

Nalano
23-09-2012, 01:09 AM
So which is it? My manners or my fallaciousness? Would you care to illuminate me or would you prefer to limit yourself to being preciously clever?

Oh no. Not yours. Apologies for any confusion.

internetonsetadd
23-09-2012, 01:26 AM
Welp, burps all around then.

gundato, it's been real, mostly a pleasure, but if you're going to reduce my part in this discussion to some soapbox EA-hater, I genuinely and unmaliciously think it's time to wrap up. We managed to keep things friendly most of the way through; that's good enough for me.

deano2099
23-09-2012, 01:59 AM
Publishers have the money to fund games if they want. If EA came along and said "we're giving Obsidian 5 million to make whatever they want" people would still be interested in it. But the only reason a publisher would take the KS approach right now is because of the buzz around it. That'll fade in time (in some ways, it already has).

Wasteland 2 could be an EA project. They could have just given that team the money to make the game. If they leave them alone, then at the end of the process I'm sure it'd make as much money as the KS did. But they wouldn't leave them alone because they think (and probably can) make more money out of it by insisting on a broader appeal.

But not all publishers are big, evil companies like EA. I'm sure some of these KS games will get deals with publishers once they're done. That's the other way to do it. Publisher picks up game at or near completion to help with marketing and distribution. Hell, everyone wants the games on Steam when they're done, they're effectively acting as a publisher.

gundato
23-09-2012, 02:02 AM
Welp, burps all around then.

gundato, it's been real, mostly a pleasure, but if you're going to reduce my part in this discussion to some soapbox EA-hater, I genuinely and unmaliciously think it's time to wrap up. We managed to keep things friendly most of the way through; that's good enough for me.
Apologies if you were offended, but you can understand that it did seem a bit suspicious that most of your arguments (and comments) were focused on EA and then, when questioned on an alternative publisher your argument became "They wouldn't do it anyway".

[QUOTE=deano2099;193471
But not all publishers are big, evil companies like EA. I'm sure some of these KS games will get deals with publishers once they're done. That's the other way to do it. Publisher picks up game at or near completion to help with marketing and distribution. Hell, everyone wants the games on Steam when they're done, they're effectively acting as a publisher.[/QUOTE]
Steam is acting as the distributor in that case. And even then, they are a crappy one since they only target a single store. It just so happens to be the bestest store on the internet :P

gundato
23-09-2012, 02:15 AM
Oh, one example of financially backed crowd-sourcing is Interstellar Marines. That was before the KS craze, but essentially they have a financial backer (unclear what exactly said backer is) but they also rely on crowd-sourcing.

Probably not the best example since a mixture of a crappy economy and questionable progress means they are going to need to do a Kickstarter soon, but that is basically what a publisher backed crowd-sourced game would be. The publisher/financial backer kicks in a not insubstantial amount of cash and acts as a safety net while crowd-sourcing contributes another not insubstantial amount of cash. End result: More funding to support development than would otherwise have been obtained (and if the backer is a publisher, good lines of contact for the purpose of distribution and marketing).

ReV VAdAUL
23-09-2012, 06:07 PM
No, you have it backwards. EA won't "bribe a developer to make a kickstarter". Too much risk, too much effort. Better to message a kickstarter that turned out to be successful and try to sway them, luring with a promise of a bigger budget.

EA doesn't care about the developer's reputation, but the developer should and potential backers definitely will. A developer that sings a pact with EA after a successful pact will burn (kickstarter) bridges behind it.

Your second sentence seems to contradict your first. EA wont use their large financial resources to bribe a developer, instead they will use their large financial resources to bribe a developer???

Your point about bad feeling against the developer applies regardless of when they sell out to a big publisher and indeed whether the project lead was bribed to be a stalking horse for the publisher or took the bribe after the KS the point fans would find out about the sellout is essentially going to be the same.

The difference would be that while there may be low hanging fruit for devs that requested less money than it turned out they needed they will nonetheless have been empowered by the independence crowdsourcing brings. With the progress they've made using their KS money they'll likely have the capability to show a lot of progress and thus make a second stopgap round of crowdsourcing possible. If they've squandered the money they raised from KS big publishers wont have any interest in them anyway.

On the other hand if they have a project rigged to raise cash then come into the fold you have a much clearer idea of the risk reward of that project and you're in a much stronger bargaining position because the devs aren't empowered by having had people like and donate money to their project already.

b0rsuk
23-09-2012, 07:22 PM
What I'm saying is that taking a developer with good reputation and telling him "go and launch a kickstarter" is a risk. Publishers are bad at predicting what will be successful, in fact they're scared shitless by the idea of spending a lot of money on something that may fail. That's why there's a sea of (very similar) FPS games. I don't think they will back a game developer before the project shows financial promise(a lot of money on kickstarter).

Some people even argued that developers should act this way - use Kickstarter as a gateway to big publishers, a way to get a lot of funding.

gundato
23-09-2012, 08:14 PM
What I'm saying is that taking a developer with good reputation and telling him "go and launch a kickstarter" is a risk. Publishers are bad at predicting what will be successful, in fact they're scared shitless by the idea of spending a lot of money on something that may fail. That's why there's a sea of (very similar) FPS games. I don't think they will back a game developer before the project shows financial promise(a lot of money on kickstarter).

Some people even argued that developers should act this way - use Kickstarter as a gateway to big publishers, a way to get a lot of funding.
I partially agree and disagree with that. Yeah, they are terrified of failing ("too big to fail" comes to mind) but here is the thing: They are making those manshoots BECAUSE they know they will be successful.

Valve is a good example. Everyone says that Valve are wonderful and are great at giving us what we want. They are. But only because they use the same tactics every publisher does :p
Ignoring the original Half-Life (which is arguable) and Steam (which was inevitable), what has Valve really innovated?

Half-Life 2 is really "just another corridor shooter"
TF2 and CS and DoD and AS all started as successful mods
Portal is arguable (maybe) but is a case of them taking something that had promise (Narbacular Drop) and re-releasing it
L4D was just cashing in on the co-op craze
DOTA 2: Can't imagine where they got that idea from :p

Is that to say they are bad? No. They polish the crap out of those to the point that you can see them shine from the upper atmosphere. But they are really just doing what any good publisher does: Taking something they know will succeed by virtue of someone already doing it, and releasing their own spin on it

internetonsetadd
24-09-2012, 03:41 AM
Oh, one example of financially backed crowd-sourcing is Interstellar Marines. That was before the KS craze, but essentially they have a financial backer (unclear what exactly said backer is) but they also rely on crowd-sourcing.

Probably not the best example since a mixture of a crappy economy and questionable progress means they are going to need to do a Kickstarter soon, but that is basically what a publisher backed crowd-sourced game would be. The publisher/financial backer kicks in a not insubstantial amount of cash and acts as a safety net while crowd-sourcing contributes another not insubstantial amount of cash. End result: More funding to support development than would otherwise have been obtained (and if the backer is a publisher, good lines of contact for the purpose of distribution and marketing).

Offended isn't the right way to put it. It's more a question of productiveness.

Burp/anyway. I see what you're saying; Interstellar Marines is a good example. Miner Wars 2081/MMO is another, financed by both investors and alpha/beta funding. If either of them came to Kickstarter, would I cry foul? No I would not. Hell, I'd be happy to see them come out of relative obscurity, and for IM especially to finally get somewhere in its slow crawl toward a release date. I'm also kind of nonplussed regarding a few things about Miner Wars 2081, and there's every possibility that more money and a wider community could have improved upon them. Utility: appreciated.

Plus, if the Kickstarter community encountered an instance of this that it found objectionable, things would no doubt sort themselves out organically. The community has been known to say, "Hey, it looks like you have money and/or a nearly finished product; why are you coming to us?" I suspect that there's probably a distinct line between the kind of publisher or investing entity that the community would find acceptable and one that it would reject out of hand, but who's to say? And who's to say how things could evolve? Not me.

I consider just about everything I said earlier to have been made in the service of furthering my overarching points, which, as far as I see them, are distinct from anything related specifically to EA, but I harped on EA too long. Considering the number of publisher-abandoned franchise and genre/mechanics reboots that have come to Kickstarter, I thought Syndicate illustrated nicely the contrast between what the Kickstarter community is looking for and what big publishers think they can sell to a wide audience, which goes along nicely with dean2099's point that there isn't really anything stopping big publishers with ideas/IPs from making these games right now. As I said before, I don't see how the pittance of what it takes to make these games could constitute the limiting factor. If they wanted into the market, they could blow the doors down.

I suppose that's why I had such a hard time with your premise. As I said, Kickstarter has helped breathe life into genres/mechanics/ways of doing things that a lot of publishers abandoned--not because of some evil master plan, but just because the mainstream evolved, grew, and moved on. It's hard for me to imagine why they'd want back into a market so far off the scale of what they're used to dealing in unless it happens to get much bigger (with the exception of Origin's wisely looking to distribute for it). That of course may be a stupid assumption, since we don't know which publishers approached Obsidian. In any case, I brought EA into it because of a specific example, not because I wanted to spend a couple pages of a thread bashing them. However, it was in fact a failure of imagination/inability to carry on a productive discussion on my part to limit the definition of "publisher" to just big publishers. Paradox seems to have adopted a strategy of publishing exactly the sort of games one finds on Kickstarter, including the Syndicate-like Cartel.

Anyway, consider me not offended and willing to revise my opinion now--so you don't get to say I told you so later if (when?) this sort of thing becomes the norm.

gundato
24-09-2012, 03:57 AM
EA has demonstrated itself, in the past, to be willing to try radically new genres. Not so much these days, but they are nowhere near the power-house they once were.

A crowd-assisted "niche" game would be a perfect choice in this economy. You get "focus groups" in the sense that you can see "Is this something people want?" and you greatly lower the financial investment. If a AAA game flops, your studio runs a good chance of going down the crapper. If a "budget" title flops, you aren't out much. And if you can get the former for the investment of the latter, why not?

But yeah, publishers aren't stupid. We all bitched and moaned about the FPS x-com game (even if it apparently wasn't too bad, at least according to the RPS previews). But the publisher/dev (2k?) were smart to do that, believe it or not.
Most of the fans would never accept a remake anyway (see JA:BIA) and the genre is one that hasn't done too well on PC for the past decade or so. So take something with name-brand recognition, make it enough of a spiritual successor that some of the old fans would give it a shot, and then market it to the whole batch of new fans.
Maybe a quality remake along the lines of the good XCOM (the one from firaxis?) would do well, but said publisher would have to be careful they aren't going to get labeled as "trying to cash in on an old IP with a piece of budget garbage".

So they consider KS. That lets them make MUCH higher production values for a fraction of the cost while also gauging interest. And it is good for PR if they spin the "truth" right.

Is it something that would handle Call of Modern Warfare 5? No, not at all. That is still a "safe bet". But it could allow for a new Spore or even another dungeon-crawly Might and Magic.

Internet
24-09-2012, 04:18 AM
So, more very simple / simplistic math on the Kickstarter. They're about at $1,900,000. If they pay the industry average of 80k, they can get 23.75 man-years on it right now. Baldur's Gate II took about 90 man years and had 200 hours.

It might seem like they could make a game a 1/4 of the size of BG II right now (50 hours?), but the IE engine was already built and had a ton of assets. Obsidian probably has better tools, but they're going to be wrestling with making a new engine / linux porting and we (I) don't know how many assets they can use again, and how much asset creation time has increased for modern graphics. It seems like all these things go on in parallel for a while, but I don't think reducing it by another 1/4 (wild guessing) is unrealistic, so that's a 37.5 hour game right now (based on a lot of guesswork).

So, based on my earlier guess that they'll make 3.5m to 5m, that's 43.75 to 62.5 man-years. So that's initially about 50% to 70% of BGII. Take away a quarter (it should probably be more) and you get, 36% to 47% of BG II (72 - 94 hours). That's not bad for a kickstarted game. If they pay lower than the industry, around 60k on average, it goes up 105 to 150 hours.

So that's my speculation about the whole thing. I think it's important to note that the real benefit of the kickstarter is that they have an IP and engine entirely under their control, and that it could pay far more dividends in the future like the Infinity Engine.

http://gamasutra.com/view/news/167355/Game_Developer_reveals_2011_Game_Industry_Salary_S urvey_results.php#.UF_GSI1lR-4

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/131493/baldurs_gate_ii_the_anatomy_of_a_.php?page=1

internetonsetadd
24-09-2012, 04:35 AM
It was announced that they're using Unity. Still, interesting man-year/game hours math. I was sort of assuming that they'd be assigning a small team that wasn't otherwise occupied as South Park gets closer to completion.

Edit: this article (http://www.examiner.com/article/obsidian-s-project-eternity-will-be-built-with-unity) speculates that inXile and Obsidian will be supporting one another on their respective projects.

Internet
24-09-2012, 06:40 AM
Teamsize doesn't really matter with man-years. One person can put ten man years into a game over ten years or ten people can put one year into a game. If their completion target is about a year and a half I would imagine they go down to a team of 30 (what math says (30*120,000 = 3.6m) and 44 man - years / 1.5 = 29.3), although that seems low since InXile has at least 51 people.

I'm glad that they're finding Unity easy to use. I had hoped they could just use the Onyx engine because it was stable and would take less time (I think the PS3 uses OGL which would have helped with the Linux porting). It's certainly believable that the two would be supporting each other, but it's equally possible that the work referred to some kind of incredibly early prototype/agile thing. One of the interviews with Feargus Urqhart (I believe) said something about a new way of rendering, but who knows if that's still true.

http://www.linkedin.com/company/inxile-entertainment
http://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/Obsidian-Entertainment-Salaries-E151435.htm

internetonsetadd
24-09-2012, 07:39 AM
No, I get that. Man-years = man-years. What I'm saying (and just guessing at) is that Obsidian already has a staff, including a lot of big names that I imagine they wouldn't lay off even if they were in a period of downtime, even if the company itself is not immune to layoffs. (They canceled a project earlier this year and laid people off.)

It sounds like there's some overlap as far as what projects people are assigned to, and from what I've read Project Eternity was born out of a current lack of publisher interest in the kinds of games Obsidian are known for ("pigeon-holed," as one Glassdoor reviewer puts it), i.e., they needed something to work on for the staff they're already paying, like a stopgap between one traditional project (the kind that support a developer of that size) and another. From one of the reviews on Glassdoor: "Obsidian's reliance on publisher funding dampens the potential of all their talented employees, and makes it feels like they are one cancelled project away from utter collapse."

I worked at an in-house, for-profit subsidiary of a non-profit organization where employees from one side or the other were routinely "borrowed" depending on which had more work, as in, "We're already paying these people, let's maximize their utility."

Cain mentioned a team size of between 20 and 30 people here (http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-09-18-project-eternity-interview-new-information-tentative-spring-2014-release-date), so I think you're spot on.

If both inXile and Obsidian are looking to utilize Unity for the same basic type of game, some kind of shared effort might make sense. We already know that Avellone will be contributing to Wasteland 2, and the details of a potential working relationship between the two companies is explored here (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/04/07/interview-obsidians-chris-avellone-on-wasteland-2/).

b0rsuk
24-09-2012, 09:53 AM
gundato, you partially agree with everyone just because it gives you an excuse to make your posts longer.

Yes, Valve uses the same tactics for most part, but
1) they polish their games
2) they are good at identifying fun mods. Most publishers can't even do that.

At least when Valve releases a game, it's often a new game. I think other publishers won't touch something unless they are able to release it year by year. That would explain why no one tried to make a big budget Minecraft. It could sell, but wouldn't be sustainable and you'd have to develop a new engine just for 1 game.

Jesus_Phish
24-09-2012, 10:30 AM
gundato, you partially agree with everyone just because it gives you an excuse to make your posts longer.

Yes, Valve uses the same tactics for most part, but
1) they polish their games
2) they are good at identifying fun mods. Most publishers can't even do that.

At least when Valve releases a game, it's often a new game. I think other publishers won't touch something unless they are able to release it year by year. That would explain why no one tried to make a big budget Minecraft. It could sell, but wouldn't be sustainable and you'd have to develop a new engine just for 1 game.

A lot of Valve games have "2" in their title. Sure, they don't do it year on year, but they don't exactly churn out new games at anything beyond a glacial rate either. But I agree on your other points.

As for this publishers and kickstarter thing, it reads to me like this. "Hey guys, you do all the ground work, drum up the cash, drum up your fan base, drum up loads of interest and make the game. Then we'll put it in boxes and ship it around the world. Then we'll keep most of the profits, oh and we'll also keep the IP. You'll get some of the profits and maybe if it sells enough we'll let you do a sequel or some dlc and we might, might just fund that ourselves. P.S: If we think the IP will sell better as a FPS/MMO/Social Experience, we wont hesitate to force you to incorporate this into your game, as stated in the contract"

So I propose to anyone who want's to put in all the leg work for some project, that after it's done, I'll go around posting about it on message boards and it'll only cost you the original idea which will become mine and the majority of profits. Sounds good? Excellent!

NathanH
24-09-2012, 11:04 AM
Presumably they won't have to just limit themselves to the kickstarter money, they're a big enough name with a decent record and should be able to pick up some loans or private investment to boost their coffers if they think they need it. I mean, they only have 45,000 backers right now. I imagine they're hoping for significantly higher sales than that, so there will be money in the future to pay people back.

Of course if they can make a top quality game using only the kickstarter money that's great, and they'll make loads of money.

Jesus_Phish
24-09-2012, 11:10 AM
I'm interested to see what comes of all these KS games once the game is out. I can't wait to see how many copies they sell that aren't backer copies. This might have 45,000 backers, most of which are getting at least 1 copy if not 2 or more. Wasteland 2 had some tiers that were giving away copies in the double digits.

But I wonder, and hope, that the reason the devs are doing this is because they wan't to tell a story/make a game and not have to answer to anyone higher up whose fronting the project with his money. KS games could really be the start of "games are art" were the sole purpose is for these guys to make the game they want and if they make a little money off it they'll be happy for it, but their main goal is already achieved.

deano2099
24-09-2012, 01:12 PM
As for this publishers and kickstarter thing, it reads to me like this. "Hey guys, you do all the ground work, drum up the cash, drum up your fan base, drum up loads of interest and make the game. Then we'll put it in boxes and ship it around the world. Then we'll keep most of the profits, oh and we'll also keep the IP. You'll get some of the profits and maybe if it sells enough we'll let you do a sequel or some dlc and we might, might just fund that ourselves. P.S: If we think the IP will sell better as a FPS/MMO/Social Experience, we wont hesitate to force you to incorporate this into your game, as stated in the contract"


Sure, no-one would agree to that though.

On the other hand, if a publisher approaches a developer and says "We like the Kickstarter, we like the idea, we'd like to match the funding on Kickstarter to allow you develop more content and we'll put the game on shop shelves and market it for you. We'd also like to buy the IP for X amount. But we do want you to include features X Y and Z in the game. Obviously these can't contradict anything you've already promised in the KS."

Publishers don't have to be evil. Check out what Wadjet Eye did with Resonance. That game was in development hell for years, Wadjet came in and said: "we'll publish the game for you, distribute, sort out voice acting and give you a full-time programmer for 9 months to get the game finished, and we'll split the profits".

That worked out pretty well. The irony? Resonance had a very small-scale but successful Kickstarter many years ago before it became a 'thing'.

gundato
24-09-2012, 01:29 PM
gundato, you partially agree with everyone just because it gives you an excuse to make your posts longer.

Yes, Valve uses the same tactics for most part, but
1) they polish their games
2) they are good at identifying fun mods. Most publishers can't even do that.

At least when Valve releases a game, it's often a new game. I think other publishers won't touch something unless they are able to release it year by year. That would explain why no one tried to make a big budget Minecraft. It could sell, but wouldn't be sustainable and you'd have to develop a new engine just for 1 game.
Apologies. Next time I'll pretend I think the entire post is garbage.

YOUR POST IS YUCKY YUCKY GARBAGE!!! :p

Seriously though. Valve definitely polishes the crap out of their games, but that is just the difference between assigning a "good" dev and assigning a "cheap" dev.

As for identifying fun mods: There haven't really been any for a while. CS really was just a more actiony take on the tactical shooter genre (which is dead) and DoD was replicated by just about every WWII shooter.

TF(2) they got lucky on, no doubt there.

And as for identifying DOTA 2 as a "Fun mod". Just about everyone has done that over the past few years.

The fact of the matter is, mods (at least, to the degree we are talking about here) are mostly dead. And before they died, you basically just got "Let's recreate game X in game Y" or "Star Wars". The Ball, Air Buccaneers, and Alien Swarm (and maybe Red Orchestra) were probably some of the last "unique" mods. The first two have their own games nobody but the die-hard fans care about and Alien Swarm was a valve funded title (and RO became the beautiful RO, followed by the beautifuler RO2).

b0rsuk
24-09-2012, 01:46 PM
It's not modding that's dead. The idea of releasing modding tools is dead. Blizzard dropped the ball on Starcraft 2. Give people a moddable game - Minecraft, Source - and your jaw will drop. I expect to see amazing things coming out of Torchlight 2, Overgrowth, even Grimrock level editor.

If your premise is that your player base is stupid, you probably don't want to release modding tools. Yes, I'm talking about mainstream games. 2D games were often a lot more modular, because they were simpler (DooM) or designed to be modular by virtue of being tile-based. Tile-based games are wonderful for easy level creation. Plus, they see modding tools as a threat to DLC.

Valve does make a lot of FPS games, but they're far from each other mechanically. Half Life(2) is a traditional single player FPS not far from Quake; a corridor shooter. TF2 is team and class oriented and wacky, because of its Quake 1 heritage. L4D(2) is the first decent game in recent history designed around cooperative multiplayer. Portal is puzzle/action in first person.

Compare all these Valve games to Battlefield/Modern Warfare/Crysis/Far Cry and other rather indistinguishable gunporn games.

I agree that Valve seems to be running out of ideas, Portal 2 is a cash-in and L4D2 was unnecessary, and DOTA2 is uninspired. But their past history is good.

gundato
24-09-2012, 01:53 PM
It's not modding that's dead. The idea of releasing modding tools is dead. Blizzard dropped the ball on Starcraft 2. Give people a moddable game - Minecraft, Source - and your jaw will drop. I expect to see amazing things coming out of Torchlight 2, Overgrowth, even Grimrock level editor.

If your premise is that your player base is stupid, you probably don't want to release modding tools. Yes, I'm talking about mainstream games. 2D games were often a lot more modular, because they were simpler (DooM) or designed to be modular by virtue of being tile-based. Tile-based games are wonderful for easy level creation. Plus, they see modding tools as a threat to DLC.

Valve does make a lot of FPS games, but they're far from each other mechanically. Half Life(2) is a traditional single player FPS not far from Quake; a corridor shooter. TF2 is team and class oriented and wacky, because of its Quake 1 heritage. L4D(2) is the first decent game in recent history designed around cooperative multiplayer. Portal is puzzle/action in first person.

Compare all these Valve games to Battlefield/Modern Warfare/Crysis/Far Cry and other rather indistinguishable gunporn games.

I agree that Valve seems to be running out of ideas, Portal 2 is a cash-in and L4D2 was unnecessary, and DOTA2 is uninspired. But their past history is good.

Minecraft just led to a lot of people making fancy buildings. And I recall reading that most of them ended up "cheating" anyway by using a save game editor.
Did ANYTHING of particular "innovative worth" really come out of the Source engine? Minerva was awesome, and I guess Black Mesa counts (although, that might be more damning in that it took so long), but that is really it. And even those have had no real impact on gaming and are just really good map packs.

Its been discussed a few times before, but modding was "dying" LONG before developers stopped providing the tools (especially considering that they really haven't stopped...). UT2k4 had comparatively few mods, UT3 had almost none. Far Cry and both Crysis games (does Crysis 2 have an editor?) are pretty anemic as well. Skyrim is sort of doing okay, but mostly you just have companion and "item mods" (where the meshes are stolen from another game...). Nobody really noticed that DA:O or The Witcher 1 had editors.

You are right, mods are in competition with DLC. But I would argue that "most" people would prefer (reasonably priced) DLC over mods, at least these days. I know I do, at least as far as Skyrim (just a shame the actual DLC seems to suck...). I can do a lot of research to hopefully find some equipment that fits the same visual style and maybe, if I am lucky, find a quest mod worth grabbing. Or I can spend a few bucks and get a bunch of content that I know fits the visual style and quality of the original title. Not a hard decision. And both serve the purpose of helping to keep the game "fresh" for a longer period of time.

b0rsuk
24-09-2012, 02:10 PM
How about Garry's Mod ? Is that innovative ?

UT3 had almost no mods, but the same is true for Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. The thing these games had in common is modest popularity they enjoyed. Best targets for mods are popular games. Crysis doesn't strike me as a popular multiplayer game (multiplayer=community), the same for Far Cry. Both UT3 and UT2004 were descendants of Quake, and for whatever reason this kind of gameplay came out of fashion. Too nerdy, I guess.

Popularity of the game is a factor. There are other factors I haven't yet determined, "originality" can be one of them. I mean, look at Day Z. It would be impossible in any other FPS. ARMA2 is, in a way, original because its engine offers unique features.

I think it has to do with today's gamer population. Games of the past were games for nerds, problem solvers, tinkerers. That's why they enjoyed more modding. Mainstream gamers are consumers, not creators or tinkerers. That may explain lack of mods for Witcher or DA:O. I mean, look at them. They try as hard as possible to be cinematic, to look like a movie. This leaves less room for imagination and appeals to different demographic. Most people don't like Fantasy or SF, and this helps to explain why COD is so popular.

People still play pen&paper tabletop RPG games, and their tastes are a bit different too, for example they read a lot of books. Nerds are still there, but they form a much smaller fraction of gamers today. But I expect Wasteland 2 and Eternity to have a very active modding scene.

gundato
24-09-2012, 02:13 PM
How about Garry's Mod ? Is that innovative ?

UT3 had almost no mods, but the same is true for Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. The thing these games had in common is modest popularity they enjoyed. Best targets for mods are popular games. Crysis doesn't strike me as a popular multiplayer game (multiplayer=community), the same for Far Cry. Both UT3 and UT2004 were descendants of Quake, and for whatever reason this kind of gameplay came out of fashion. Too nerdy, I guess.

Popularity of the game is a factor. There are other factors I haven't yet determined, "originality" can be one of them. I mean, look at Day Z. It would be impossible in any other FPS. ARMA2 is, in a way, original because its engine offers unique features.

I think it has to do with today's gamer population. Games of the past were games for nerds, problem solvers, tinkerers. That's why they enjoyed more modding. Mainstream gamers are consumers, not creators or tinkerers. That may explain lack of mods for Witcher or DA:O. I mean, look at them. They try as hard as possible to be cinematic, to look like a movie. This leaves less room for imagination and appeals to different demographic. Most people don't like Fantasy or SF, and this helps to explain why COD is so popular.

People still play pen&paper tabletop RPG games, and their tastes are a bit different too, for example they read a lot of books. Nerds are still there, but they form a much smaller fraction of gamers today. But I expect Wasteland 2 and Eternity to have a very active modding scene.
However you want to spin it, it is hard to deny: Modding is basically dead.

Field of Dreams said "If you build it, they will come". Well, the industry kept building it, and nobody came (except for Gabe Newell, but that is because he realized how much cash he had and spent some on hookers and blow). Which is why I find it hilarious when people bitch that a game has no modding tools: Its not like they were going to use them in the first place :p

Also, I wouldn't call GMod a gameplay mod. It is more like a machinima tool (just like minecraft is basically a sculpting tool).

But good stuff has come from this. Rather than everyone making "CS for UT, CS for Quake, CS for Half-Life, CS for CS!", the people who would be modders are now "indie developers" and we are getting some REALLY nice stuff.

Jesus_Phish
24-09-2012, 02:25 PM
Ah to be fair to the Skyrim scene, it has a fair amount of good mods, ones that the game sorely needed and shipped without and ones that are now being used as DLC (yes, chicken/egg, gamejam/mods). There are a tonne of cosmetic ones of course, but plenty of stand up ones too.

DA1 I had high hopes for, but after the first two weeks going onto the official mod forum, most of the mods were totally uninspired and never going anywhere. No, I don't want you to try remake BG2 in Dragon Age. The best one they had was the respec mod and even that was eventually superseded in game.

And although Minecraft might just be about building structures, it had an absolute tonne of mods, most of which ended up in game. NPCs, Villages, Pistons, Mechanics, even the creative mode, where all mods before they made it to beta/alpha/release. So it's modding community was actually being very active.

However, all this is very far from the KS in question. We should probably get back on topic.

2 mil is approaching. How will you decorate YOUR home? I'm thinking pink walls and hunting trophies everywhere.

Serenegoose
24-09-2012, 02:34 PM
However, all this is very far from the KS in question. We should probably get back on topic.

2 mil is approaching. How will you decorate YOUR home? I'm thinking pink walls and hunting trophies everywhere.

Statues of myself, so the party members I'm not taking can never forget whose behest they wait upon.

pakoito
24-09-2012, 02:50 PM
and DOTA2 is uninspired. How so? They are doing great with it both in playerbase and development. Like or not Dota it's one of the or the most played game in the world.

Also, at Gundato. What the modding community did with old games now they do in free engines. Why mod an engine created for one game to make another different one when you can just create that game using UDK, Unity or any other technology. "New game mods" made sense when development tools and middleware was not accessible to everyone.

gundato
24-09-2012, 02:56 PM
How so? They are doing great with it both in playerbase and development. Like or not Dota it's one of the or the most played game in the world.

Also, at Gundato. What the modding community did with old games now they do in free engines. Why mod an engine created for one game to make another different one when you can just create that game using UDK, Unity or any other technology. "New game mods" made sense when development tools and middleware was not accessible to everyone.
But DoTA 2 itself is uninspired as crap. Modern Warfare is one of the most played games in the world...

And yeah, I already mentioned that modding is dead, but "indie games" are on the rise. And I call that a win, personally.

pakoito
24-09-2012, 03:02 PM
*shrug* ok, whatever. I'll wait for the LPG hatred to stop being the cool thing to say, same way the "I don't like multiplayer games" buzz died off a couple of years ago.

Internet
24-09-2012, 03:54 PM
I would like it if they made a player stronghold rather than just a home. Strongholds are cool, and they provide a nice way of showing your player's progress out of the combat system. I love building up a region and it makes me feel like my character accomplished more than just beating the story. Don't know if it's coming though. JE Sawyer said he really liked them, but they were a lot of work (which is fair).

What I'm curious to see is how much they'll make in sales after the release. The closest I can tell is that FTL is number 8 out of the top ten sellers on Steam, and there was a small game called Providence: Rising Rebellion, which was Kickstarted and had 50-100 installs on the app store, but only thirty backers and no multiple codes per backer tiers. I don't think either of these are similar enough to draw comparisons.

I'd like Obsidian to be able to stay away from both Kickstarter (it's kickstarter not kick-continually-fund-games-through-crowdsourcing-and-leave-companies-one-failed-crowdsourcing-attempt-away-from-disaster) and publishers, but to keep games at the same size/quality they'd need somewhere between 86k ($2m) to 150k($3.5m) sales at $30. That's a lot of sales, even if the overall number is lowered by the reuse of technology and art, but it could happen given that sales of the first nwn were in the millions.



However, all this is very far from the KS in question. We should probably get back on topic.

2 mil is approaching. How will you decorate YOUR home? I'm thinking pink walls and hunting trophies everywhere.

Jesus_Phish
24-09-2012, 04:11 PM
A stronghold would be very nice actually. I really enjoyed the one in NWN2. Much better than just getting a manor or something in a town or city. Hopefully they're thinking along the same lines

Internet
24-09-2012, 05:47 PM
A stronghold would be very nice actually. I really enjoyed the one in NWN2. Much better than just getting a manor or something in a town or city. Hopefully they're thinking along the same lines

I loved the Stronghold in NWN2. I thought the Baldur's Gate 2 Strongholds were slightly better, because they matched your character more, but the NWN 2 was way better than the hotel room in New Vegas.

Here's what JE Sawyer said: We have discussed that as a possibility. I think full strongholds can really add a lot of great gameplay, but man, they require a bunch of work.

Jesus_Phish
24-09-2012, 05:52 PM
I loved the Stronghold in NWN2. I thought the Baldur's Gate 2 Strongholds were slightly better, because they matched your character more, but the NWN 2 was way better than the hotel room in New Vegas.

Here's what JE Sawyer said: We have discussed that as a possibility. I think full strongholds can really add a lot of great gameplay, but man, they require a bunch of work.




Excellent, so it's not out of the realm of possibility for them to do it! Even if it didn't add much to the story, the one in NWN2 had it's moment in the story, I'd still love to have a strong hold where I issue constructions and command my guard.

deano2099
24-09-2012, 07:52 PM
Would be shocked if a stronghold isn't a stretch goal.

Wizardry
24-09-2012, 09:07 PM
Why would anyone want strongholds? This isn't The Sims. Surely your character can just take over any building to use as their home instead of a designated one tied to the story.

Nalano
24-09-2012, 09:21 PM
Why would anyone want strongholds? This isn't The Sims. Surely your character can just take over any building to use as their home instead of a designated one tied to the story.

From a mechanical standpoint, there's no difference between bogarting some hovel and having a castle with your name on it in neon lights.

From a roleplaying standpoint, having some notable effect on the world makes, well, a world​ of difference.

Internet
24-09-2012, 09:27 PM
Why would anyone want strongholds? This isn't The Sims. Surely your character can just take over any building to use as their home instead of a designated one tied to the story.

The difference between a stronghold and a house is immense, and I think strongholds offer greater verisimilitude. Stronghold are a physical representation of a character's increasing power beyond the system itself.

They also make sense in a feudal context. The best medieval fighters didn't just steal some guy's house, they stole some guy's castle. This game looks to be Renaissance era, so think about the Sforzas. They went from mercenaries to rulers of Milan. If RPGs are going for a feudal world, then I think carving out territory is a great way to improve verisimilitude.

Fighters of that caliber should also draw servants to them. It's a dangerous world, and the party can offer some limited protection. You can't keep all those people in just some random house. You need cave hideouts for your highwaymen, towers for your mages, theaters for your bards, circles for your druids, temples for your clerics, castles for your fighters, and dens for your thieves.

I think it's unrealistic to not have that kind of element, but it takes a lot of work, so that's a compromise people make. It doesn't have to be tied to the story, but it makes a lot more sense than epic wizards and legendary paladins hanging-out in some schmuck's house or some random tavern.

Jesus_Phish
24-09-2012, 09:36 PM
Why would anyone want strongholds? This isn't The Sims. Surely your character can just take over any building to use as their home instead of a designated one tied to the story.

Because like in something like NWN2 it could be used as part of the story progression or have some cool mechanics and quests surrounding it. For example, there's a group terrible adventurers who'll visit your keep as you're the local lord and ask you for a quest befitting of their epicness. Then as mentioned before, later on your keep is put under siege and the defence's you've built up to that point determine the sieges effect.

As Nalano said, it's all about the RP.

Wizardry
24-09-2012, 09:40 PM
Why a house? Take over a castle and use that as a home. Take over a thieves guild and use that as a home. Take over a mage's tower and use that as a home. Being able to recruit non-party members to do tasks for you can be integrated into the game in a loose way. You could hire a band or mercenaries to invade locations, or a bunch of guards to protect a certain area (your home). You could even exert influence on different territories in game, as well as take influence away from other factions by capturing their own headquarters. Creating specially designated places for you to call home is the wrong way to go, because not only does it take a lot of effort creating them all, it's also not particularly flexible from the player's perspective.

Serenegoose
24-09-2012, 09:46 PM
Definitely agreeing with wizardry here. I'd appreciate a loose integration and the ability to take my own place than have a stone and battlement fortress thrust upon my dastardly rogue because the plot demands.

Nalano
24-09-2012, 09:52 PM
Why a house? Take over a castle and use that as a home. Take over a thieves guild and use that as a home. Take over a mage's tower and use that as a home. Being able to recruit non-party members to do tasks for you can be integrated into the game in a loose way. You could hire a band or mercenaries to invade locations, or a bunch of guards to protect a certain area (your home). You could even exert influence on different territories in game, as well as take influence away from other factions by capturing their own headquarters. Creating specially designated places for you to call home is the wrong way to go, because not only does it take a lot of effort creating them all, it's also not particularly flexible from the player's perspective.

You want a bucket.

Your options are a highball and a saucer.

Jesus_Phish
24-09-2012, 09:52 PM
Why a house? Take over a castle and use that as a home. Take over a thieves guild and use that as a home. Take over a mage's tower and use that as a home. Being able to recruit non-party members to do tasks for you can be integrated into the game in a loose way. You could hire a band or mercenaries to invade locations, or a bunch of guards to protect a certain area (your home). You could even exert influence on different territories in game, as well as take influence away from other factions by capturing their own headquarters. Creating specially designated places for you to call home is the wrong way to go, because not only does it take a lot of effort creating them all, it's also not particularly flexible from the player's perspective.

That does sound cool I'll admit. However, having one singular place for all players t have their stronghold and giving them limited options within it would be much less work than allowing you to take over any house/inn/basement/guild house. In NWN2 you could hire guards to protect your strong hold. You also had to decide how many to hire, would they patrol the road, would they protect the farms, would they search for bandit encampments.

Additionally, if we're talking about scale of work then taking over other factions headquarters? That would require much more work than anything else mentioned as you'd have to equalize it by putting in a layer of AI for the other factions to attempt to do the very same to you.

Wizardry
24-09-2012, 09:57 PM
Definitely agreeing with wizardry here. I'd appreciate a loose integration and the ability to take my own place than have a stone and battlement fortress thrust upon my dastardly rogue because the plot demands.
Well it's not that. A rogue could be given some suitable hideout by the developers. The problem is that all that work gives you the same hideout every single time you play a rogue. Even if they create a couple of choices for each class it's still limited. Why not allow the player to settle down anywhere they want? Even in the middle of a field if they want to (though things like weather can affect morale, health and other such things). That way the player can make a stronghold anywhere in the game, which shifts the decision from the developer to the player. It becomes a strategic decision, and one that can be easily changed. Focus on making interesting game mechanics that support this and not if-then-else statements.

Wizardry
24-09-2012, 10:00 PM
Additionally, if we're talking about scale of work then taking over other factions headquarters? That would require much more work than anything else mentioned as you'd have to equalize it by putting in a layer of AI for the other factions to attempt to do the very same to you.
Correct. But this leads to actual interesting and emergent gameplay instead of a cool stronghold that a bunch of other players have. Surely this is the kind of thing RPG developers should be concentrating on. "Give us money to add macro game mechanics including territory control, factions and locational reputation" instead of "Give us money to add a stronghold or two".

deano2099
24-09-2012, 11:53 PM
Why would anyone want strongholds? This isn't The Sims. Surely your character can just take over any building to use as their home instead of a designated one tied to the story.

But it's an Obsidian game. So it'll be narrative focused. So tying everything to the story is a good thing. Your system would be as out of place in a game like this as a stronghold system would be in Age Of Decadence.

Having tons of flexibility would mean you couldn't tie it in to the story at all, which would be crazy for a narrative-led RPG. It'd just be a sub-game that had nothing to do with the actual game itself.

I mean, I like boobs. But that doesn't mean I want them in every single game I play.

pakoito
25-09-2012, 12:26 AM
I mean, I like boobs. But that doesn't mean I want them in every single game I play.Madness!!!

internetonsetadd
25-09-2012, 12:28 AM
I mean, I like boobs. But that doesn't mean I want them in every single game I play.

That's what boobs check boxes are for.

Internet
25-09-2012, 12:42 AM
Why a house? Take over a castle and use that as a home. Take over a thieves guild and use that as a home. Take over a mage's tower and use that as a home. Being able to recruit non-party members to do tasks for you can be integrated into the game in a loose way. You could hire a band or mercenaries to invade locations, or a bunch of guards to protect a certain area (your home). You could even exert influence on different territories in game, as well as take influence away from other factions by capturing their own headquarters. Creating specially designated places for you to call home is the wrong way to go, because not only does it take a lot of effort creating them all, it's also not particularly flexible from the player's perspective.

I don't think that's a bad idea per se, but making the plot and the world intelligently interact to these decisions would be a vast increase in complexity, far beyond the modest requirements of just a stronghold. The games I've played that've offered this kind of flexibility, like Mount & Blade, make up for the effort of implementing this by having identikit NPCs and use a token reputation system instead of a narrative. This is not a bad thing; the games can be good, and there are always tradeoffs when creating content. I don't think it meshes with the type of game that Obsidian is selling, nor are skilled at creating:

You will engage in dialogues that are deep, and offer many choices to determine the fate of you and your party. …and you'll experience a story that explores mature themes and presents you with complex, difficult choices to shape how your story plays out.

Storm of Zehir had somewhat similar functionality, but it lacked the content depth of vanilla NWN 2.

Jesus_Phish
25-09-2012, 09:36 AM
Primarily I want Obsidian to present me with a story for my hero. I don't care if we all get the same story, because when we buy books we all get the same story. When we buy those adventure books we get the same story, but we play it differently and it might have some different chapters depending on your play style, but the main story is the game.

What I really don't want to see would be Obsidian messing about with their story for the sake of making the game more open ended. I have TES series for that. And the story of TES has been getting weaker as time goes on. The side missions/non-main quests and the adventures you make yourself are what makes TES open world work.

BG/NWN/IWD et al would be terrible like that. Its why every single companion in one of those titles are several magnitudes better than anyone I can have follow me around in an Elder Scrolls game.

Nalano
25-09-2012, 01:11 PM
BG/NWN/IWD et al would be terrible like that. Its why every single companion in one of those titles are several magnitudes better than anyone I can have follow me around in an Elder Scrolls game.

Quoted for so much truth.

Wizardry
25-09-2012, 01:36 PM
What I really don't want to see would be Obsidian messing about with their story for the sake of making the game more open ended. I have TES series for that. And the story of TES has been getting weaker as time goes on. The side missions/non-main quests and the adventures you make yourself are what makes TES open world work.
Yes, because Skyrim is that bit on the side that provides everything one would want from proper old-school RPGs...


BG/NWN/IWD et al would be terrible like that. Its why every single companion in one of those titles are several magnitudes better than anyone I can have follow me around in an Elder Scrolls game.
There are no companions in Icewind Dale. And surely the statistics of companions has absolutely nothing to do with how open ended the game is.

Jesus_Phish
25-09-2012, 01:49 PM
I'm possibly making my point badly or you are missing it.

What you are suggesting is a dramatic departure from the formula that is an old school isometric fantasy story driven RPG and adding in extra elements. Strongholds have been used in the past as an important part of the story. You're suggesting some new system be brought in where

1) Any building can be set up as your gang hideout.
2) You can take over other gang hideouts/rival faction H.Q's, like some kind of turf war.

Now tell us how this will fit into the story of the game? How will they shoe horn all the possible options into making sense for the story they are telling us? Other games don't even try it. Lets take TES again, you can be the champion of every single faction and it makes no difference on the main quest line.

I don't care if they don't give us a stronghold. I said it was cool if they did, that it could fit very nicely into the story of their game, because again, these types of RPGs are about the story first and foremost that they are trying to tell. And they tell them in such better ways than any other RPGs.

And my point about the companions is this. In BG et al, the companions help craft the story. They have lush backgrounds, their own agendas, their own beliefs and goals. Every one of them. In Skyrim, they're lucky to have even a modest background and they never have attainable goals. That's because in BG they spend their time and money on making everything matter in some sense to the story, where as in TES they spend their time and money on making the game as versatile so that everyone can play the game entirely in their own way.

Gray Guardian
25-09-2012, 01:54 PM
What I really don't want to see would be Obsidian messing about with their story for the sake of making the game more open ended. I have TES series for that. And the story of TES has been getting weaker as time goes on. The side missions/non-main quests and the adventures you make yourself are what makes TES open world work.

BG/NWN/IWD et al would be terrible like that.

Sorry but the way I see it they are very much like that. The story of IWD is literally 'evil things are happening in the land, sort them out, adventurers!'. The same mostly can be said about BG, it only sort of gets more complicated near the end. The big difference I see between TES games and those Inifinity engine titles is that the latter have a hub-based world, while the former have this huge 3d landmass to explore.

The whole 'companions with personalities' thing was I think only fleshed out in late Bioware games (Jade Empire, Mass Effect, Dragon Age origins).

Lukasz
25-09-2012, 02:07 PM
The most anticipated thing in BG2 right now for me is getting my own stronghold and i hope they will be in this new game. each different for your class/race/what choices you made.


what wizardy is suggesting is pretty awesome. having the ability to take over guilds, towers, castles for your own benefit. not sure how it is different from being awarded with your own place as a dedicated quest tough.

Well it's not that. A rogue could be given some suitable hideout by the developers. The problem is that all that work gives you the same hideout every single time you play a rogue. Even if they create a couple of choices for each class it's still limited. Why not allow the player to settle down anywhere they want? Even in the middle of a field if they want to (though things like weather can affect morale, health and other such things). That way the player can make a stronghold anywhere in the game, which shifts the decision from the developer to the player. It becomes a strategic decision, and one that can be easily changed. Focus on making interesting game mechanics that support this and not if-then-else statements.
you say that but you also said that it is not the sims. what you suggest here is the sims... so you are very confusing.


but i do like that. i do agree it would be awesome if you could purchase land and build your own stronghold pretty much anywhere in the game world.

coldvvvave
25-09-2012, 02:21 PM
I mean, I like boobs. But that doesn't mean I want them in every single game I play.
My thoughts while playing Bayonetta.

Wizardry
25-09-2012, 02:29 PM
I'm possibly making my point badly or you are missing it.

What you are suggesting is a dramatic departure from the formula that is an old school isometric fantasy story driven RPG and adding in extra elements. Strongholds have been used in the past as an important part of the story. You're suggesting some new system be brought in where

1) Any building can be set up as your gang hideout.
2) You can take over other gang hideouts/rival faction H.Q's, like some kind of turf war.

Now tell us how this will fit into the story of the game? How will they shoe horn all the possible options into making sense for the story they are telling us? Other games don't even try it. Lets take TES again, you can be the champion of every single faction and it makes no difference on the main quest line.
You've misunderstood. I didn't say the game should be about these things, nor did I say there should be systems specifically for them. What I said was that the player should have to freedom to have their stronghold anywhere they desire, whether it's in a recently cleared out dungeon, in a cave by the sea or in the town sewers. You can even have quests for them still. In fact, what would work really well would be to have quests for each class that basically needs the player to form some sort of base. Choosing where to put the base would change the way the quests are completed. Then, instead of gaining a stronghold and receiving quests for it, you'd be gaining quests that push you towards setting up your own stronghold. A stronghold will be a strategic option for the player and not just a piece of content in which 99% of the players actually bother with (because gamers tend to be completionists).


I don't care if they don't give us a stronghold. I said it was cool if they did, that it could fit very nicely into the story of their game, because again, these types of RPGs are about the story first and foremost that they are trying to tell. And they tell them in such better ways than any other RPGs.
No RPG is "about the story first and foremost". Not even a BioWare game.


And my point about the companions is this. In BG et al, the companions help craft the story. They have lush backgrounds, their own agendas, their own beliefs and goals. Every one of them. In Skyrim, they're lucky to have even a modest background and they never have attainable goals. That's because in BG they spend their time and money on making everything matter in some sense to the story, where as in TES they spend their time and money on making the game as versatile so that everyone can play the game entirely in their own way.
No companions are important to the story in Baldur's Gate or either Icewind Dale (they don't have any). Only one companion is important to the story of Baldur's Gate II, and she happens to drive the plot for most of the game. And if you haven't realised, hardly anything these characters say to you is actually dependent on your location or point in the plot. Most of the dialogue with them comes at random points when you aren't in combat, something that could translate to an open world game without any problems at all. But even more "context sensitive" dialogue works fine in open world games. Just see something like Ultima VI or VII for numerous examples. As long as you aren't procedurally generating the game world, quests or characters then you can do things just like Baldur's Gate II if you want to.

b0rsuk
25-09-2012, 04:52 PM
Don't be so close-minded. "How will this fit into the story of the game ?" Pffffftttt.

There are two kinds of games.
A) The game tells you a story
B) You tell a story to your buddies after finishing the game.

Examples of the "B" type games are Dominions 3 and FTL. Given a sufficiently flexible and interesting game, it's no longer necessary to imitate a book.

Jesus_Phish
25-09-2012, 05:01 PM
Don't be so close-minded. "How will this fit into the story of the game ?" Pffffftttt.

There are two kinds of games.
A) The game tells you a story
B) You tell a story to your buddies after finishing the game.

Examples of the "B" type games are Dominions 3 and FTL. Given a sufficiently flexible and interesting game, it's no longer necessary to imitate a book.

We have plenty of examples of type B's going around at the moment. More and more games are opening up to being about what you as the player do within the confines of the game, as opposed to the actions of the games story.

I hope Obsidians will be more like option A as I'm yearning for another good game like this. I'm hardly being closed minded, I'd just rather they make the game they're suggesting they will rather than try make ANOTHER open world game with a million and one things to do. If they can find a way to make a pickable stronghold location work and still tell me a great story then fantastic, if not, I'd rather just a great story again.

Internet
25-09-2012, 05:14 PM
Don't be so close-minded. "How will this fit into the story of the game ?" Pffffftttt.
There are two kinds of games.
A) The game tells you a story
B) You tell a story to your buddies after finishing the game.
Examples of the "B" type games are Dominions 3 and FTL. Given a sufficiently flexible and interesting game, it's no longer necessary to imitate a book.

But that's not the game Obsidian is selling. Nothing from their kickstarter has mentioned emergent gameplay, and they aren't particularly known for it in any of their games. This is obviously a game with somewhat strong (probably not new Bioware strong) authorial control. This isn't more or less valid than other types of games, just different.

The story should be important, because they mention it in their kickstarter pitch.

Nalano
25-09-2012, 05:26 PM
But that's not the game Obsidian is selling.

Nor it is any game Obsidian has ever sold. Their games are "tell me a story" games.

Jesus_Phish
25-09-2012, 05:33 PM
Nor it is any game Obsidian has ever sold. Their games are "tell me a story" games.

And they're pretty good ones too!

Internet
25-09-2012, 05:47 PM
You've misunderstood. I didn't say the game should be about these things, nor did I say there should be systems specifically for them. What I said was that the player should have to freedom to have their stronghold anywhere they desire, whether it's in a recently cleared out dungeon, in a cave by the sea or in the town sewers. You can even have quests for them still. In fact, what would work really well would be to have quests for each class that basically needs the player to form some sort of base. Choosing where to put the base would change the way the quests are completed. Then, instead of gaining a stronghold and receiving quests for it, you'd be gaining quests that push you towards setting up your own stronghold. A stronghold will be a strategic option for the player and not just a piece of content in which 99% of the players actually bother with (because gamers tend to be completionists).

That's a good idea, but unless locations are fairly similar, it would require a pretty huge amount of work to get working properly. The ability to put a stronghold anywhere would introduce a huge number of edge cases, which in turn means a huge number of bugs. It's questionable whether the cost of trade-offs, especially to Obsidian's reputation, would be worth it.

Obsidian may not be accountable to their publisher, but their reputation and with it the ability to get future funding is on trial here. Introducing new levels of complexity with it's increasing bugs is probably not the best thing for them to do right now.

For reference, this game is being produced on a small budget where Origin had 270 (210 producing) employees in 1997 (four years after U7:part 2, but it's the best I could find). 210 employees would take $17m to pay for a year, well beyond the realm of this kickstarter. Even if you divide the number into even teams by game by year, you get about 70 people per dev team, which is still $5.6m per year. Neither of those amounts seem feasible for this kickstarter.

http://web.archive.org/web/19970330131511/http://www.origin.ea.com/english/about/index.html

pakoito
25-09-2012, 05:52 PM
We have plenty of examples of type B's going around at the moment. After more than 10 years of few to none, I'd say still not enough.

Jesus_Phish
25-09-2012, 05:56 PM
After more than 10 years of few to none, I'd say still not enough.

But we're almost certainly not going to get one from Obsidian. And we've been getting more than we have of old school tell me a story rpgs, hence the immense popularity of recent kickstarters involving the idea. In short, we've too many man shooters/mmos and not nearly enough of anything else.


That's a good idea, but unless locations are fairly similar, it would require a pretty huge amount of work to get working properly. The ability to put a stronghold anywhere would introduce a huge number of edge cases, which in turn means a huge number of bugs. It's questionable whether the cost of trade-offs, especially to Obsidian's reputation, would be worth it.


Seconded on this.

Wizardry
25-09-2012, 05:57 PM
We have plenty of examples of type B's going around at the moment. More and more games are opening up to being about what you as the player do within the confines of the game, as opposed to the actions of the games story.
Have you ever played a JRPG? They are all "type A" and there are probably as many of them in any single year than there have been CRPGs ever. "Type B", as b0rsuk calls it, is exceedingly rare in the one genre outside of perhaps strategy games that demands it.


But that's not the game Obsidian is selling. Nothing from their kickstarter has mentioned emergent gameplay, and they aren't particularly known for it in any of their games. This is obviously a game with somewhat strong (probably not new Bioware strong) authorial control. This isn't more or less valid than other types of games, just different.
Ah, but emergent gameplay is effectively the one thing that differentiates an RPG from a (non-linear) adventure game. Tactical combat systems themselves are emergent within themselves, but emergent gameplay that encompasses exploration, NPC interaction and all other aspects of gameplay is a rare thing, especially these days.

Jesus_Phish
25-09-2012, 06:01 PM
Have you ever played a JRPG? They are all "type A" and there are probably as many of them in any single year than there have been CRPGs ever. "Type B", as b0rsuk calls it, is exceedingly rare in the one genre outside of perhaps strategy games that demands it.


Ah, but emergent gameplay is effectively the one thing that differentiates an RPG from a (non-linear) adventure game. Tactical combat systems themselves are emergent within themselves, but emergent gameplay that encompasses exploration, NPC interaction and all other aspects of gameplay is a rare thing, especially these days.

I have played JRPGs, so perhaps I should be more specific. We haven't had many games in the vein of what Obsidian are proposing in the last ten years, that is an old style isometric role playing game with pauseable real time combat, a rich world and a strong supporting cast. We've barely even gotten anything like in the vein of this.

Do I need to be more specific than this?

Wizardry
25-09-2012, 06:05 PM
But we're almost certainly not going to get one from Obsidian. And we've been getting more than we have of old school tell me a story rpgs, hence the immense popularity of recent kickstarters involving the idea.
Why do you say that? How many "old-school tell me a story" RPGs have their been recently compared to "old-school let me do what I want" RPGs? The fact of the matter is that the only games with freedom these days seem to be action games with some light RPG elements. When was the last game in which you had to create a party that gave you a world to explore how you liked? Compare that to a game in which you form a party and follow a storyline from beginning to end in a rather linear fashion.

Internet
25-09-2012, 06:44 PM
Ah, but emergent gameplay is effectively the one thing that differentiates an RPG from a (non-linear) adventure game. Tactical combat systems themselves are emergent within themselves, but emergent gameplay that encompasses exploration, NPC interaction and all other aspects of gameplay is a rare thing, especially these days.

Regardless of the definition of RPG, the strongest claim of the kickstarter is that they will emulate the Infinity engine games, and the Infinity engine didn't have a ton of emergent gameplay outside the tactics (especially pathing), and the occasional quest optimization. Since this is what they claim to be able to deliver, this is what they need to work towards.

The use of an emergent stronghold system, while fascinating, would be a misallocation of resources because it would require a great deal of work and attention, that other systems could use.

Wizardry
25-09-2012, 06:47 PM
The use of an emergent stronghold system, while fascinating, would be a misallocation of resources because it would require a great deal of work and attention, that other systems could use.
It's not an "emergent stronghold system"! There is no system! Just the ability to make use of space in the game world in a more in-depth way.

Internet
25-09-2012, 08:18 PM
It's not an "emergent stronghold system"! There is no system! Just the ability to make use of space in the game world in a more in-depth way.

Then that ability would increase edge-cases, bug count, and churn through resources to achieve something that's only partially aligned at best with the Kickstarter goals. Having strongholds in a fixed location is a compromise to limited resources, and they're not sure if they can make that compromise at all.

TillEulenspiegel
25-09-2012, 08:33 PM
Then that ability would increase edge-cases
That doesn't make the slightest bit of sense. Increasing the amount of stuff to test doesn't somehow increase the number of "edge cases". I'm not even sure what you're imagining would be an edge case in a scenario like this.

Wizardry
25-09-2012, 08:50 PM
Then that ability would increase edge-cases, bug count, and churn through resources to achieve something that's only partially aligned at best with the Kickstarter goals. Having strongholds in a fixed location is a compromise to limited resources, and they're not sure if they can make that compromise at all.
Aren't conditionals the most likely source of logical errors? This is probably the reason why Troika and Obsidian games are so buggy. Having to lock/unlock content based on race and class is a big burden on RPG developers. Simply allowing characters to lock doors, perhaps even seal them more permanently, push objects around, put items in containers and split from one another, with perhaps more pressing resource management issues such as time, health, money and energy would be far easier to implement in a relatively bug free way. Independent systems all coming together. That's your stronghold right there, and the bonus is that it doesn't get in the way of plot. Result!

deano2099
25-09-2012, 09:16 PM
No companions are important to the story in Baldur's Gate or either Icewind Dale (they don't have any). Only one companion is important to the story of Baldur's Gate II, and she happens to drive the plot for most of the game.

There's more to story than plot. It's world-building. They have backgrounds and sometimes sub-plots that tie into the main thrust of the story. And there's at least two NPCs crucial to the plot in BG2.


Don't be so close-minded. "How will this fit into the story of the game ?" Pffffftttt.

There are two kinds of games.
A) The game tells you a story
B) You tell a story to your buddies after finishing the game.

Examples of the "B" type games are Dominions 3 and FTL. Given a sufficiently flexible and interesting game, it's no longer necessary to imitate a book.

Obsidian make type A games. It's the bit they are good at. There's a reason Michael Bay never does quiet introspective dramas. You want a completely different type of game, which is fine, but I can't think of anyone worse outside of Telltale than bloody Obsidian to make that sort of game. It'd be like getting Katy Price for a swimsuit modelling shoot and only photographing her from behind or the waist down.

Wizardry
25-09-2012, 09:51 PM
Obsidian make type A games. It's the bit they are good at. There's a reason Michael Bay never does quiet introspective dramas. You want a completely different type of game, which is fine, but I can't think of anyone worse outside of Telltale than bloody Obsidian to make that sort of game. It'd be like getting Katy Price for a swimsuit modelling shoot and only photographing her from behind or the waist down.
Except "type A" is in vogue right now, what with BioWare, Obsidian, CD Projekt and others making this sort of game. So what's the big deal with Obsidian doing a Kickstarter anyway when they've been making the kind of games they want to make since their inception? Surely the whole point of this is that they can make something different that publishers just won't back in this day and age. A story heavy real-time with pause game with companions to recruit? They are a dime a dozen these days.

deano2099
25-09-2012, 09:54 PM
So what's the big deal with Obsidian doing a Kickstarter anyway when they've been making the kind of games they want to make since their inception?

So that they can make the game they want to make, rather than just the kind of game they want to make.

Internet
25-09-2012, 10:05 PM
That doesn't make the slightest bit of sense. Increasing the amount of stuff to test doesn't somehow increase the number of "edge cases". I'm not even sure what you're imagining would be an edge case in a scenario like this.

Unless every house, cave, and whatever was the same, there would constantly be issues with pathing, issues with clipping, and issues with decorations not working right, etc. We tend to overlook these flaws in open games because they provide us the ability to tell our own story, but they exist in far greater quantities than linear games or games with a lot of authorial control. Obsidian would keep its reputation for making buggy games if it attempted a bunch of emergent systems.

But the worse part is that to keep the world reactive they would need even more if-then tags for people and the narrative to react appropriately. Instead of if-player has a stronghold then say this, it would need if player has a stronghold here x4 then say this, this, this, or this.

It's increasing mechanical complexity at the cost of resources or written complexity. They did this for Storm of Zehir, which was the inferior expansion of NWN 2.

Jesus_Phish
25-09-2012, 10:08 PM
Because there's very few of these games around.

Because the majority of the games they've made have been licensed to them from Bioware.

Because the members guys who work there now have collectively created or worked on almost every major RPG of this type since their inception including Baulders Gate, Arcanum, Fallout (all it's incantations), Neverwinter Nights, Icewind Dale, Planescape, Kotor. This is essentially the RPG gaming equivalent of the dead members of The Beatles rising from their grave to play another tour.

Because people who love those games are likely gagging for another game like those mentioned.

List to me the games that you are claiming are a dime a dozen please? The latest I can think of is Inquisitor, hardly pushed out by a publish or any renown.

Wizardry
25-09-2012, 10:17 PM
Unless every house, cave, and whatever was the same, there would constantly be issues with pathing, issues with clipping, and issues with decorations not working right, etc.
What? I don't think anyone is proposing a "build your own house" style mini-game. Like I said earlier, this is an RPG and not The Sims.


Obsidian would keep its reputation for making buggy games if it attempted a bunch of emergent systems.
As if their reputation is more important than the quality of their games. I think most gamers would prefer a good game to come out of them (for once) at the expense of their reputation.


But the worse part is that to keep the world reactive they would need even more if-then tags for people and the narrative to react appropriately. Instead of if-player has a stronghold then say this, it would need if player has a stronghold here x4 then say this, this, this, or this.
What? Absolutely not. Why would you need if-then-else statements for? The whole point of the design is to reduce the number of if-then-else statements. An NPC doesn't need to know you've got a stronghold because there is no such in-game concept as a stronghold. There's just world space to use. If you want an NPC to visit your "stronghold" then you can direct an NPC to the location of the space you call a stronghold.


It's increasing mechanical complexity at the cost of resources or written complexity. They did this for Storm of Zehir, which was the inferior expansion of NWN 2.
Sure. I much prefer mechanical complexity to written complexity, because this is a game after all. Storm of Zehir sucks because it sucks. They've also produced rubbish games that are all about written complexity, like Alpha Protocol. It's largely meaningless.


Because people who love those games are likely gagging for another game like those mentioned.
Why? Didn't they enjoy Dragon Age 2?

Jesus_Phish
25-09-2012, 10:30 PM
Why? Didn't they enjoy Dragon Age 2?

Oh well that's alright then. We got two very watery rpgs, the second which was so rushed out the door it contained so much copy pasta, (which I'll add now to save you the trouble that I did enjoyed both games to a degree), so we shouldn't want any more, I understand. It's wrong of me to want more of what I like.

Could you please list the rest of the dime a dozen games that have come out recently for me please? I've missed them and would love to play them.

Wizardry
25-09-2012, 10:55 PM
Oh well that's alright then. We got two very watery rpgs, the second which was so rushed out the door it contained so much copy pasta, (which I'll add now to save you the trouble that I did enjoyed both games to a degree), so we shouldn't want any more, I understand. It's wrong of me to want more of what I like.

Could you please list the rest of the dime a dozen games that have come out recently for me please? I've missed them and would love to play them.
Sure, though it depends on your definition of "recent".

Dragon Age: Origins (and expansion)
Dragon Age 2
Game of Thrones
Neverwinter Nights 2 (and expansion)
Drakensang: The Dark Eye
Drakensang: The River of Time (and expansion)

Internet
25-09-2012, 11:27 PM
[QUOTE=Wizardry;194607]What? I don't think anyone is proposing a "build your own house" style mini-game. Like I said earlier, this is an RPG and not The Sims.

As if their reputation is more important than the quality of their games. I think most gamers would prefer a good game to come out of them (for once) at the expense of their reputation.

What? Absolutely not. Why would you need if-then-else statements for? The whole point of the design is to reduce the number of if-then-else statements. An NPC doesn't need to know you've got a stronghold because there is no such in-game concept as a stronghold. There's just world space to use. If you want an NPC to visit your "stronghold" then you can direct an NPC to the location of the space you call a stronghold./QUOTE]

So a stronghold would have no visual reactivity at all? Your character would take it over, leave a band of men there and it would stay the same? You would expect people to at least leave a campfire or somesuch, and as soon as you decide that a campfire needs to be placed, you run into problems of where to place, how does it not end in a wall, what happens if it doesn't appear at all?

For the most part quality of a game is reputation, and reputation is the ability to get funding to make more games. A game can be good with very few features. To make this a good game, they have to deliver the features as advertised. And they've made plenty of good games. If you don't think they've made any good games, why are you repeatedly posting on a thread about their kickstarter?

A villager NPC wouldn't notice if you kicked old widow Johansen out of her house and now a shady group of men stay there? Or that you took over evil baron Vilius' castle, and now you're their feudal overlord? A king wouldn't react to you claiming one of his baronies? All of these things require if then statements. The simple systems that create emergent gameplay come at the cost of reactivity, characterization, or quality of writing. Those things may or may not be important to different players, but they've made an implicit promise to deliver them which grants them the utmost primacy in this case.

Wizardry
25-09-2012, 11:48 PM
So a stronghold would have no visual reactivity at all? Your character would take it over, leave a band of men there and it would stay the same? You would expect people to at least leave a campfire or somesuch, and as soon as you decide that a campfire needs to be placed, you run into problems of where to place, how does it not end in a wall, what happens if it doesn't appear at all?
So like placing a trap then... or dropping an item on the floor...


For the most part quality of a game is reputation, and reputation is the ability to get funding to make more games. A game can be good with very few features. To make this a good game, they have to deliver the features as advertised. And they've made plenty of good games. If you don't think they've made any good games, why are you repeatedly posting on a thread about their kickstarter?
Because this Kickstarter is their best chance to create something good. It's not like a publisher will fund a good RPG. I liked Fallout and Fallout 2, and I liked The Temple of Elemental Evil and some aspects of Arcanum. I also didn't mind Icewind Dale (decent combat with the ability to make your own party). These games were worked on by some of the people working on this Kickstarter project!


The simple systems that create emergent gameplay come at the cost of reactivity...
What am I reading? Reactivity is exactly what emergent gameplay gives you.


A villager NPC wouldn't notice if you kicked old widow Johansen out of her house and now a shady group of men stay there? Or that you took over evil baron Vilius' castle, and now you're their feudal overlord? A king wouldn't react to you claiming one of his baronies? All of these things require if then statements.
Yes. That all requires if statements. In fact, Crusader Kings 2 is a game made up entirely of if statements. An infinite amount of them in fact. That's why the game is infinitely large and comes on infinite DVDs. It also took infinitely long to code.

deano2099
26-09-2012, 01:20 AM
Sure, though it depends on your definition of "recent".

Dragon Age: Origins (and expansion)
Dragon Age 2
Game of Thrones
Neverwinter Nights 2 (and expansion)
Drakensang: The Dark Eye
Drakensang: The River of Time (and expansion)

Versus:
Oblivion (and expansions)
Fallout 3 (and expansions)
New Vegas (and expansions)
Divinity: The Dragon Knight Saga
Risen
Risen 2
Skyrim
Two Worlds 2

Wizardry
26-09-2012, 03:26 AM
Versus:
Oblivion (and expansions)
Fallout 3 (and expansions)
New Vegas (and expansions)
Divinity: The Dragon Knight Saga
Risen
Risen 2
Skyrim
Two Worlds 2
And notice how all of those games are:
1) Action games.
2) Single character.

That's like me including games like The Witcher and the Mass Effects (which I didn't on purpose), even though they don't have a fully controllable party and all have action combat. Opening up the world of an Infinite Engine style game doesn't result in Oblivion.

Now name me some games that would actually be similar to Project Eternity but with open world/sandbox gameplay. They don't even exist any more. Wasteland 2 is on the horizon, however.

Internet
26-09-2012, 04:11 AM
So like placing a trap then... or dropping an item on the floor...


Because this Kickstarter is their best chance to create something good. It's not like a publisher will fund a good RPG. I liked Fallout and Fallout 2, and I liked The Temple of Elemental Evil and some aspects of Arcanum. I also didn't mind Icewind Dale (decent combat with the ability to make your own party). These games were worked on by some of the people working on this Kickstarter project!

What am I reading? Reactivity is exactly what emergent gameplay gives you.

Yes. That all requires if statements. In fact, Crusader Kings 2 is a game made up entirely of if statements. An infinite amount of them in fact. That's why the game is infinitely large and comes on infinite DVDs. It also took infinitely long to code.

The difference is that the game is automatically placing the items on the floor unless you want to play a sim style house game, and automatic placement frequently results in errors.

They've already made good games in a few different genres. I think you're conflating genres you don't like with bad games.

I meant to say narrative reactivity, and then removed that because narrative isn't quite right. You lose npcs in the world responding to your actions while maintaining quality writing. That's why everyone makes their own stories in emergent games, because it's very difficult to supply them.

I never got Crusader Kings 2, so I can't really speak to it, but if I had to guess I'd bet that you don't walk around talking to NPCs. I'd guess that there's little writing at all, and certainly not the "deep conversations" Obsidian promised to deliver. Having an npc respond in character requires something like an if then statement.

icupnimpn2
26-09-2012, 05:56 AM
To digress

How do you have a game that's mostly unplanned and then say, at $800K we'll add another area. At $1MM we'll add another character. These statements make little sense if the number of areas for the game is not yet set or announced and the character roster is not completely baked. Are they adding 1 area to 7 or 1 area to 3... I don't even know. Might as well add N to X. Weak, weak stretch goals for these reasons.

Sorry if anyone else has brought this up and it has been discussed to death. Couldn't bring myself to read the whole thread.

Lukasz
26-09-2012, 06:26 AM
To digress

How do you have a game that's mostly unplanned and then say, at $800K we'll add another area. At $1MM we'll add another character. These statements make little sense if the number of areas for the game is not yet set or announced and the character roster is not completely baked. Are they adding 1 area to 7 or 1 area to 3... I don't even know. Might as well add N to X. Weak, weak stretch goals for these reasons.

Sorry if anyone else has brought this up and it has been discussed to death. Couldn't bring myself to read the whole thread.
they are obsidian not newbs. they know what awaits them, they know the costs, complexity of the project. Those goals are also not direct representation of the costs involved in implementing the feature but mere target to work as incentive for people to donate money.

Furthermore, they clearly have a plan for this game. It is not something they came up a day before asking kickstarter whether they can start a project. They might not have done any programing before it started (although concept most likely existed before) but what the game will contain was known for quite some time

When it comes to creating characters, worlds and things like that Obsidian knows how to do it and what costs that will involve.

ado
26-09-2012, 06:37 AM
I'm pretty sure they had a rough concept and a design outline for the game well before they even started the kickstarter. Pen and paper are very cheap and that's where every game starts.

Internet
26-09-2012, 07:45 AM
To digress

How do you have a game that's mostly unplanned and then say, at $800K we'll add another area. At $1MM we'll add another character. These statements make little sense if the number of areas for the game is not yet set or announced and the character roster is not completely baked. Are they adding 1 area to 7 or 1 area to 3... I don't even know. Might as well add N to X. Weak, weak stretch goals for these reasons.

Sorry if anyone else has brought this up and it has been discussed to death. Couldn't bring myself to read the whole thread.

They've done NWN 2 and its two expansions which are very similar to this game, plus New Vegas and Kotor 2, which probably had similar writing processes. There's rumors (earlier in the thread) that they're already working on Unity tech with InXile. It's not a great stretch of imagination to believe that they have a fairly accurate picture of the amount of time required to create content. The fact that they took a day or two to announce stretch goals leads me to believe that they ran some numbers before handing out stretch goals.

They said in the kickstarter that the base game includes three races, five classes, and five companions. That's now expanded to five races, seven classes, and seven companions. The one thing they don't define is how many factions there are, which makes it less effective, but factions are normally pretty significant.

This quote from an interview with their CEO should also be illuminating:
But there's a certain point at which there are just too many and they're not impactful anymore. So we're not going to continue to just add another race every X hundred thousand [dollars]. There's not going to be 17 races in the game; we're going to think of other cool things to add in that expand not only what the game is, but potentially what our high level backers are getting. (I find that last part a little worrisome.)

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2012-09-24-kickstarter-changes-the-discussion-between-pubs-and-devs

Revisor
26-09-2012, 02:20 PM
Aaaand... 2 million.

Wizardry
26-09-2012, 02:47 PM
The difference is that the game is automatically placing the items on the floor unless you want to play a sim style house game, and automatic placement frequently results in errors.
Automatically what? When you place a trap you choose where to place it. Same with dropping items (usually). What's the difference between that and placing things like camp fires that are merely objects anyway?


I meant to say narrative reactivity, and then removed that because narrative isn't quite right. You lose npcs in the world responding to your actions while maintaining quality writing. That's why everyone makes their own stories in emergent games, because it's very difficult to supply them.
Oh yes, can't let interesting gameplay get in the way of the beautiful dialogue can we? After all, RPGs are games in which you explore the personalities of pre-written characters.


How do you have a game that's mostly unplanned and then say, at $800K we'll add another area. At $1MM we'll add another character. These statements make little sense if the number of areas for the game is not yet set or announced and the character roster is not completely baked. Are they adding 1 area to 7 or 1 area to 3... I don't even know. Might as well add N to X. Weak, weak stretch goals for these reasons.
I agree, though Obsidian didn't start this trend. I've seen this on lots of Kickstarters. How much more is an extra area if we don't know how many were planned in the first place? It obfuscates how much extra they are going to put into the game.

Internet
26-09-2012, 03:47 PM
Automatically what? When you place a trap you choose where to place it. Same with dropping items (usually). What's the difference between that and placing things like camp fires that are merely objects anyway?


Oh yes, can't let interesting gameplay get in the way of the beautiful dialogue can we? After all, RPGs are games in which you explore the personalities of pre-written characters.


What's the difference between placing a campfire or decorations, and playing a game of the sims, which you said you were against earlier? Even if you do manage to place some things, it'd be hard to reach the same level of change that the stronghold in NWN2 did (fixing cracks, putting new rugs and candles in, rearming guards, building new buildings) and it would take much more time. Also you're putting in a system where everything in the game can be picked up and put down, which is a lot of work for not that much payoff. Jeff Vogel does it, and I can't say that it makes his games noticeably better for it.

Regardless of whether or not you agree with it, that is what they promised to deliver in the pitch:
You will engage in dialogues that are deep...
Whether or not it was a right decision (and I think it was because writing is by far their greatest strength), this is now what they have a responsibility to deliver.

Wizardry
26-09-2012, 04:16 PM
What's the difference between placing a campfire or decorations, and playing a game of the sims, which you said you were against earlier?
No. What you mean is "What's the difference between placing traps or dropping items and playing The Sims, which you said you were against earlier?" And if you can't answer that then you've got an extremely limited view of RPGs.


Even if you do manage to place some things, it'd be hard to reach the same level of change that the stronghold in NWN2 did (fixing cracks, putting new rugs and candles in, rearming guards, building new buildings) and it would take much more time.
It's things like building new buildings, fixing cracks and putting in new rugs that is similar to The Sims. Not having the ability to move objects around the game world (perhaps based on your strength).


Also you're putting in a system where everything in the game can be picked up and put down, which is a lot of work for not that much payoff. Jeff Vogel does it, and I can't say that it makes his games noticeably better for it.
If certain items can be picked up anyway it's hardly a massive change. In fact, it's probably just a boolean flag with a few extra data items (inventory icon, weight). You could pick up cutlery, paintings, glasses of milk and other such "pointless" things back in 1990 with Ultima VI, but as you could pick up and put down weapons, armour and other such "important" things in exactly the same way, it wasn't any extra coding.

deano2099
26-09-2012, 04:27 PM
Oh yes, can't let interesting gameplay get in the way of the beautiful dialogue can we? After all, RPGs are games in which you explore the personalities of pre-written characters.


Not if that's what they're good at. Were you anyone else I might mockingly say "you may as well complain that there are no RPG elements in Call of Duty" but you probably already have done :)

But seriously, if Obsidian made an open-word, reactive RPG it probably wouldn't be very good. And even when they kind of try (New Vegas) they don't really do that. You mentioned the original Fallout games and TOEE, but they didn't really have any of those features you like either.

Wizardry
26-09-2012, 04:46 PM
But seriously, if Obsidian made an open-word, reactive RPG it probably wouldn't be very good. And even when they kind of try (New Vegas) they don't really do that. You mentioned the original Fallout games and TOEE, but they didn't really have any of those features you like either.
Of course they didn't. But the difference is that ToEE was all about combat, and because of that it was turn-based and it let you create your whole party. Fallout was incredibly flawed, with shit combat and little control over party members, but at least it had an interesting character system (even though most of the skills were used in the wrong way), was turn-based, and let you go anywhere you wanted whenever you wanted.

I'd probably have far less complaints if this game wasn't going to have shit combat, because I can at least appreciate games for getting certain things right.

Nalano
26-09-2012, 05:00 PM
Why do I feel like I've seen this debate before?

deano2099
26-09-2012, 05:01 PM
That's kinda my point though. The game might have shit combat, Obsidian's track record isn't great (except for, y'know, TOEE). And it might be buggy. And it might look kinda naff. Pretty much the only think it's bound to do well is an intricate, smart, adaptive story with strong writing. So suggesting doing stuff that's actually at odds with that seems pointless.

I get that you're not interested in that but surely it's better that they focus on what they're good at and leave the other stuff to people best placed to do a good job of it? Were this a discussion about potentially having a stronghold in Wasteland 2, I'd be entirely agreeing with you.

Nalano
26-09-2012, 05:12 PM
That's kinda my point though. The game might have shit combat, Obsidian's track record isn't great (except for, y'know, TOEE). And it might be buggy. And it might look kinda naff. Pretty much the only think it's bound to do well is an intricate, smart, adaptive story with strong writing. So suggesting doing stuff that's actually at odds with that seems pointless.

I get that you're not interested in that but surely it's better that they focus on what they're good at and leave the other stuff to people best placed to do a good job of it? Were this a discussion about potentially having a stronghold in Wasteland 2, I'd be entirely agreeing with you.

This. It's going to end in a circular argument anyway, but this.

Wizardry
26-09-2012, 05:21 PM
That's kinda my point though. The game might have shit combat, Obsidian's track record isn't great (except for, y'know, TOEE).
Obsidian didn't make ToEE. And even then that game had D&D's combat system, which is guaranteed to be better than anything they come up with themselves.


I get that you're not interested in that but surely it's better that they focus on what they're good at and leave the other stuff to people best placed to do a good job of it? Were this a discussion about potentially having a stronghold in Wasteland 2, I'd be entirely agreeing with you.
But that's it. A lot of these developers talk to talk. They like old CRPGs a lot, and you kind of start thinking that the reason they've been making shitty games is because of the publishers. I remember reading Josh Sawyer's Darklands retrospective, claiming it to be one of his favourite games. That's one of the most sandbox RPGs out there, not to mention one where you create a party of four. Tim Cain designed ToEE, which is a hardcore turn-based tactical D&D game. Even Chris Avellone says the right things from time to time. Yes, they did promise good writing and interesting characters and other stuff, but perhaps that was a way to appeal to the fans of their previous games, the ones with tight publisher control. You start to think that they may go on and do things with this game that they couldn't have attempted with previous efforts, but it doesn't look like this will be the case sadly. Single player-created character, like their previous games, real-time with pause, like some of their previous games, dialogue and story focused, like their previous games. In fact, the only thing that stands out is "isometric 2D graphics", but that has nothing to do with the gameplay.

Jesus_Phish
26-09-2012, 05:26 PM
Obsidian didn't make ToEE. And even then that game had D&D's combat system, which is guaranteed to be better than anything they come up with themselves.


But that's it. A lot of these developers talk to talk. They like old CRPGs a lot, and you kind of start thinking that the reason they've been making shitty games is because of the publishers. I remember reading Josh Sawyer's Darklands retrospective, claiming it to be one of his favourite games. That's one of the most sandbox RPGs out there, not to mention one where you create a party of four. Tim Cain designed ToEE, which is a hardcore turn-based tactical D&D game. Even Chris Avellone says the right things from time to time. Yes, they did promise good writing and interesting characters and other stuff, but perhaps that was a way to appeal to the fans of their previous games, the ones with tight publisher control. You start to think that they may go on and do things with this game that they couldn't have attempted with previous efforts, but it doesn't look like this will be the case sadly. Single player-created character, like their previous games, real-time with pause, like some of their previous games, dialogue and story focused, like their previous games. In fact, the only thing that stands out is "isometric 2D graphics", but that has nothing to do with the gameplay.

So in other words, they're sticking to what they're good at and what the people who have given them 2 million are looking for from them. If you don't like it, don't back it, don't buy it, simples.

There's a reason when I go to Subway I order a meatball on hearty italian. Because subway make a very good meatball with hearty italian and it's probably been a long time since I got one from them since I rarely go in.

Tikey
26-09-2012, 06:10 PM
This. It's going to end in a circular argument anyway, but this.

As I've been watching Battlestar Galactica lately the phrase "all of this has happened before and it will happen again" comes to mind.

Wizardry
26-09-2012, 06:12 PM
So in other words, they're sticking to what they're good at and what the people who have given them 2 million are looking for from them. If you don't like it, don't back it, don't buy it, simples.

There's a reason when I go to Subway I order a meatball on hearty italian. Because subway make a very good meatball with hearty italian and it's probably been a long time since I got one from them since I rarely go in.
So what's so special about doing a Kickstarter when they are making exactly the same kind of game they did before? You haven't answered this. Just look what inXile are doing with Wasteland 2. That company has been churning out the shittest games imaginable for years now, and all of a sudden they are liberated and can produce a game in a radically different style. Even Double Fine's Kickstarter game is in a completely different style to their other games, being a traditional point and click adventure (last time I checked). Hoping for a company with many games under their belt to do something different with a Kickstarter project seems pretty reasonable from where I'm standing.

Jesus_Phish
26-09-2012, 07:02 PM
So what's so special about doing a Kickstarter when they are making exactly the same kind of game they did before? You haven't answered this. Just look what inXile are doing with Wasteland 2. That company has been churning out the shittest games imaginable for years now, and all of a sudden they are liberated and can produce a game in a radically different style. Even Double Fine's Kickstarter game is in a completely different style to their other games, being a traditional point and click adventure (last time I checked). Hoping for a company with many games under their belt to do something different with a Kickstarter project seems pretty reasonable from where I'm standing.

Because

"We have wanted to go back to our roots and create an epic PC role-playing game adventure for years. But, it's been almost impossible to get funding through traditional methods for a game like this. The great thing about Kickstarter is that we can go directly to the people who love to play RPGs as much as we love to make them."

Taken from their kickstarter page. Is that clear enough for you? inExile and Double Fine bought said the very same thing, publishers aren't interested in backing such projects.

And I'm sorry, but do you know who works at Double Fine? The guys there practically invented Point and Click.

deano2099
26-09-2012, 07:18 PM
So what's so special about doing a Kickstarter when they are making exactly the same kind of game they did before? You haven't answered this.

Like I said, it's the difference between making the kind of game you want to make, and making the game you want to make.

Wizardry
26-09-2012, 07:20 PM
Because

"We have wanted to go back to our roots and create an epic PC role-playing game adventure for years. But, it's been almost impossible to get funding through traditional methods for a game like this. The great thing about Kickstarter is that we can go directly to the people who love to play RPGs as much as we love to make them."

Taken from their kickstarter page. Is that clear enough for you? inExile and Double Fine bought said the very same thing, publishers aren't interested in backing such projects.
How is that clear enough? Dragon Age: Origins is in exactly the same style and that sold millions of copies and turned a tidy profit. Both Knights of the Old Republic 2 and Neverwinter Nights 2 were in the same style too.


And I'm sorry, but do you know who works at Double Fine? The guys there practically invented Point and Click.
Yes, of course I do, but that didn't stop Double Fine from making actiony adventury puzzly things for years, just as it didn't stop inXile from producing turd after turd for years. Do you know who works for inXile?


Like I said, it's the difference between making the kind of game you want to make, and making the game you want to make.
What does this even mean?

b0rsuk
26-09-2012, 08:18 PM
But that's not the game Obsidian is selling.

Since when is this thread about the Obsidian's game ?! It's about off-topic for as long as I can remember.