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  1. #1
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    Nidhogg on Steam drew my attention to something interesting (Kickstarter related)

    Someone on the Steam forums was venting about the developer of Nidhogg here

    http://steamcommunity.com/app/94400/...3212444226/#p1

    They drew attention to this Kickstarter - which ended over 4 years ago and which was fully funded (just over $5000) by 29 backers - and which has, apparently, had no updates since (same developer)

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...al-arcade-game

    Further into that thread, a lot of people reveal that they don't understand how Kickstarter works - that you're not entitled to ANYTHING really etc. - but it does strike me as a slightly shitty way to 'do business' and I'd be in 2 minds about buying anything remotely related to the whole situation.

    However - I'm guessing there's more to it and that perhaps you guys were the ones to ask?

  2. #2
    Lesser Hivemind Node Gorzan's Avatar
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    Posted by a backer on the kickstarter page about an hour ago.
    "In addition, Essen is continuing work on releasing a commercial version of Flywrench, as well as commercial releases of other projects that have only seen limited release or or are otherwise unannounced."
    Wich would mean he was slow as all fuck and still didn't give backers any updates, but at least he hasn't just forgotten about making the game better.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus pakoito's Avatar
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    We're talking about that in a thread about the release of a polished prototype 4 years in the making. With bugs.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Yeah. If someone has been working on something for 2 years and it is only a prototype, you shouldn't expect speedy work.

    That being said, this DOES raise a good question: What if the product of a KS is complete poo-poo? A good example would be Elemental :War of Magic where even Wardell admits (after the fact) that the core design had a lot of serious issues and it took a brand new lead designer to make it decent.

    If a pitch for a KS project is discovered to be complete shite by the devs at maybe the 75% mark, is the dev obligated to finish up work and release the game (thus hurting their own image)? DO they release the broken beta (or even alpha)? And what if they already went over budget and are funding it out of pocket (which is increasingly common)?

    I mean, there IS a reason that so many publishers kill games, even when they are "99% done". If it is complete poo and just doesn't work, it doesn't benefit anyone to do a release.
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  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Yeah. If someone has been working on something for 2 years and it is only a prototype, you shouldn't expect speedy work.

    That being said, this DOES raise a good question: What if the product of a KS is complete poo-poo? A good example would be Elemental :War of Magic where even Wardell admits (after the fact) that the core design had a lot of serious issues and it took a brand new lead designer to make it decent.

    If a pitch for a KS project is discovered to be complete shite by the devs at maybe the 75% mark, is the dev obligated to finish up work and release the game (thus hurting their own image)? DO they release the broken beta (or even alpha)? And what if they already went over budget and are funding it out of pocket (which is increasingly common)?

    I mean, there IS a reason that so many publishers kill games, even when they are "99% done". If it is complete poo and just doesn't work, it doesn't benefit anyone to do a release.
    Personally, I'd be more disappointed to receive a shit game after years of waiting then to receive regular notice about progress and notice after a year and a half of waiting that, hey, this thing just sucks and they have X amount of money left over (potentially zero) and want to know what the backers would like them to do with it because finishing the piece of shit project is probably an awful use of it and might not even be possible.

    But I can see a lot of people less self aware than me getting caught up in the "Nah, man, finish what you started or I'll ... do the most awful thing to you I can which is probably just ranting on the Internet but you never know!" mindset and secretly hoping it'll be worth it in the end. In the first case I'd lose confidence in the developer ... but wouldn't lose respect for them and with proper explanation and evidence of a lesson learned I might at least pay attention to them in the future and maybe even trust them with my money. Maybe. There are a shit-ton of caveats, though.

    Going down with the ship may be honorable, but it's asinine. Going down with your already-doomed-to-fail creative project is typically just asinine.
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  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus pakoito's Avatar
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    Speaking of already-doomed-to-fail creative projects, one of the the Everquest guys just launched a Kickstarter for an MMO which is "unlike anything you've ever seen before".

  7. #7
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    They need Tim Schafer on their team so they can go over budget and ask for more pre release money. Early Access kills any beta privilege your KS funds got you. Most people will buy your game and complain about it. At least most of your KS backers will likely test and give feedback.


    That one game that was to teach programming ran out of money and had a barely playable alpha.

    Then there was that other one that was done in Google Code. Forget the 2 games. They were big news items for a couple days.


    I guess if the ship is sinking you could always open source it.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pakoito View Post
    Speaking of already-doomed-to-fail creative projects, one of the the Everquest guys just launched a Kickstarter for an MMO which is "unlike anything you've ever seen before".

    Oh the poor bastard. If it succeeds, he might have to actually have to try to produce a crowd funded MMO that isn't leveraging an existing fanbase and thus extend the torture over years and years.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardust’s Music Sounds Better With You. There’s lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context that’s cheating -bull0

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pakoito View Post
    Speaking of already-doomed-to-fail creative projects, one of the the Everquest guys just launched a Kickstarter for an MMO which is "unlike anything you've ever seen before".
    I literally yawned while reading that

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    Going down with the ship may be honorable, but it's asinine. Going down with your already-doomed-to-fail creative project is typically just asinine.
    That's the risk you take when taking any kind of pre-release funding though. Be it through Kickstarter or the traditional funding model. You have to deliver the product, even if you lose faith in it or realise it sucks. Will that be bad for your image and kill your chances of getting funded in the future? Yes, probably. But if you want to avoid that risk then you fund it out of your own pocket instead.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moraven View Post
    They need Tim Schafer on their team so they can go over budget and ask for more pre release money. Early Access kills any beta privilege your KS funds got you. Most people will buy your game and complain about it. At least most of your KS backers will likely test and give feedback.
    Good job Double Fine are not doing that any more then.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    That being said, this DOES raise a good question: What if the product of a KS is complete poo-poo? A good example would be Elemental :War of Magic where even Wardell admits (after the fact) that the core design had a lot of serious issues and it took a brand new lead designer to make it decent.
    I think it's unreasonable for a kickstarter backer to demand that something they've backed is actually good, as long as it basically meets the pitch specifications, which will usually be something like "it's a game, it actually runs most of the time, and it's in genre x".

    If you realize your game is probably shit then you still ought to finish it, because some of your backers will probably like it. There aren't very many games that actually worked but literally nobody liked.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    I think it's unreasonable for a kickstarter backer to demand that something they've backed is actually good, as long as it basically meets the pitch specifications, which will usually be something like "it's a game, it actually runs most of the time, and it's in genre x".

    If you realize your game is probably shit then you still ought to finish it, because some of your backers will probably like it. There aren't very many games that actually worked but literally nobody liked.
    Absolutely this. The pitch is a legal document (or at least US courts say so) and promises on the pitch can be judged as a contract. Except for delivery date, which is explicitly an estimation. However, quality is subjective. Legally, it's better for the devs to release a shitty game than nothing at all. Similarly, it's probably better PR to release a game that some people will like rather than giving the appearance of theft. If you hate the way a game turned out, offer rebates / free passes to games you've made that you're proud of / discounts on new games to help repair your image (like Stardock did). Also, avoid sexual harassment (like Stardock's CEO didn't).
    Last edited by Internet; 14-01-2014 at 11:32 AM.

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Vexing Vision's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pakoito View Post
    Speaking of already-doomed-to-fail creative projects, one of the the Everquest guys just launched a Kickstarter for an MMO which is "unlike anything you've ever seen before".
    I just love how they do all the known buzzwords like challenging and memorable team play, unique and deep combat and then proceed to show a single mage doing canned attack animations of hurling magical missiles at a cookie cutter kobold which responds with the same canned jump attack animation over and over again.


    Nidhogg has been in the works for the past three years, and while I personally find the animation, the balancing and even the level graphics superb, I think the guy isn't the fastest coder on earth.
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  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    That's the risk you take when taking any kind of pre-release funding though. Be it through Kickstarter or the traditional funding model. You have to deliver the product, even if you lose faith in it or realise it sucks. Will that be bad for your image and kill your chances of getting funded in the future? Yes, probably. But if you want to avoid that risk then you fund it out of your own pocket instead..
    Bullshit. Lots of dev studios with publishers cancel their game/get their game cancelled before release.

    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    I think it's unreasonable for a kickstarter backer to demand that something they've backed is actually good, as long as it basically meets the pitch specifications, which will usually be something like "it's a game, it actually runs most of the time, and it's in genre x".

    If you realize your game is probably shit then you still ought to finish it, because some of your backers will probably like it. There aren't very many games that actually worked but literally nobody liked.
    Even if you are already over budget and the odds are that the only significant sales you would have gotten are your KS backers?

    Also: Bullshit. Mass Effect 3 was an AMAZING game that people disliked the last five mnutes of and now Bioware are "struggling to regain their image" and all that fun stuff.
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  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Also: Bullshit. Mass Effect 3 was an AMAZING game that people disliked the last five mnutes of and now Bioware are "struggling to regain their image" and all that fun stuff.
    But those five minutes ruined the entire 80+ hours I'd enjoyed the my time with all those games and characters!!1!*


    *Note I actually didn't mind the ending.
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  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    But those five minutes ruined the entire 80+ hours I'd enjoyed the my time with all those games and characters!!1!*


    *Note I actually didn't mind the ending.
    Same, but it says something about the audience when one of the most consistently great dev teams/companies in gaming history has ONE bad game (DA2) and one slightly underwhelming ending and they suddenly lose almost all the goodwill they had generated over the previous decade and a half (probably close to two).

    So it is completely understandable for a new dev team to not want to release complete shit
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Bullshit. Lots of dev studios with publishers cancel their game/get their game cancelled before release.
    If they cancel it themselves, they're generally financially liable to pay back any up-front money from the publisher. If someone cancels the project and then refunds backers then obviously that's completely fine.

    If the publisher cancels the game, well that generally means the publisher has played the game at some level of completion, decided it's unfit for release, and decided it's not worth investing the extra money to finish it. Additionally if the studio is over-budget and haven't finished the game, they are again likely in legal issues with the publisher. Either way, the publisher (the backer in this analogy) gets to see what they have of the game (and often keep the rights to source code, assets, etc). Note I'm only saying you're on the hook to release the game to backers. If it really does suck you're not going to want to sell it elsewhere, in which case, you're not really releasing the game. To me that's the equivalent of a publisher canning a game mid-way through.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Same, but it says something about the audience when one of the most consistently great dev teams/companies in gaming history has ONE bad game (DA2) and one slightly underwhelming ending and they suddenly lose almost all the goodwill they had generated over the previous decade and a half (probably close to two).
    I don't think they have though. They'd apparently lost all that goodwill with DA2 and yet ME3 still sold tons. A few loud people on the internet aren't that representative.

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    If they cancel it themselves, they're generally financially liable to pay back any up-front money from the publisher. If someone cancels the project and then refunds backers then obviously that's completely fine.

    If the publisher cancels the game, well that generally means the publisher has played the game at some level of completion, decided it's unfit for release, and decided it's not worth investing the extra money to finish it. Additionally if the studio is over-budget and haven't finished the game, they are again likely in legal issues with the publisher. Either way, the publisher (the backer in this analogy) gets to see what they have of the game (and often keep the rights to source code, assets, etc). Note I'm only saying you're on the hook to release the game to backers. If it really does suck you're not going to want to sell it elsewhere, in which case, you're not really releasing the game. To me that's the equivalent of a publisher canning a game mid-way through.
    If I am Joe Dev and I realize our game is shit, I talk to the publisher and explain it to them and they also kill it. Or they push it for a shitty release everyone hates

    And KS backers are funding the game, not the physics used to make Generic Lady #5's nipples get pokey when you cast a frost spell. If there is no game, there is really nothing to give them. And giving your engine and assets to a shit ton of people on the internet likely violates a LOT more laws than the general KS "We might never have anything, it might never be good, blah blah blah" deal.

    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    I don't think they have though. They'd apparently lost all that goodwill with DA2 and yet ME3 still sold tons. A few loud people on the internet aren't that representative.
    The fact that they were willing to go out of their way to change the ending with a patch says it matters.

    And the thing is: The loud asshats on the internet are one thing. When the news media starts reporting on those loud asshats, your brand is in serious danger.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    But those five minutes ruined the entire 80+ hours I'd enjoyed the my time with all those games and characters!!1!
    I find it rather underestimates the influence of video games, or any other hobby, on your life if you just reduce them to the time you spend actually playing them, as if once played they disappear from your life forever. We talk about, think about, reminisce about all the things we enjoy day after day after day for the rest of our lives. I like video games that I not only enjoy playing at the time but enjoy having played for years after playing them. Screwing up the ending of a game obviously limits how much I can do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by gundato
    Even if you are already over budget and the odds are that the only significant sales you would have gotten are your KS backers?
    I'm not sure what I'd do if I had run out of money to finish the game and also knew it was going to be rubbish. No answer seems particularly good in that situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by gundato
    Mass Effect 3 was an AMAZING game that people disliked the last five mnutes of and now Bioware are "struggling to regain their image" and all that fun stuff.
    They'll do pretty well with their next game I imagine. It's quite hard to tell what people really think about Bioware because there are a lot of forum warriors who like to hate on them anyway, from well before ME3. My guess would be that the people who were genuinely really angry by the end of ME3 are big Bioware fans who will, when it comes down to it, be happy to give them a few more chances. I thought DA2 was weak and the end of ME3 was awful, and am not afraid to point this out at every opportunity, but by-and-large they make games I like so I'll follow what they do.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

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