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  1. #141
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by internetonsetadd View Post
    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.
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  2. #142
    Lesser Hivemind Node internetonsetadd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    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.

  3. #143
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by internetonsetadd View Post
    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!
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  4. #144
    Lesser Hivemind Node internetonsetadd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    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?

  5. #145
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by internetonsetadd View Post
    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.
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  6. #146
    Lesser Hivemind Node internetonsetadd's Avatar
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    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.

  7. #147
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    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.

  8. #148
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by internetonsetadd View Post
    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
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  9. #149
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    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).
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  10. #150
    Quote Originally Posted by b0rsuk View Post
    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.

  11. #151
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
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    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.
    pass

  12. #152
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b0rsuk View Post
    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
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  13. #153
    Lesser Hivemind Node internetonsetadd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    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.

  14. #154
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    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.
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  15. #155
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    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/16735...p#.UF_GSI1lR-4

    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/featur..._a_.php?page=1
    Last edited by Internet; 24-09-2012 at 04:27 AM.

  16. #156
    Lesser Hivemind Node internetonsetadd's Avatar
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    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 speculates that inXile and Obsidian will be supporting one another on their respective projects.
    Last edited by internetonsetadd; 24-09-2012 at 04:39 AM.

  17. #157
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    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/Obsi...es-E151435.htm

  18. #158
    Lesser Hivemind Node internetonsetadd's Avatar
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    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, 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.

  19. #159
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
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    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.
    pass

  20. #160
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b0rsuk View Post
    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!

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