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is vastly overused, and that's why it's not been seen recently
You have a very interesting point of view here. Please name at least 9 PC rpgs using a steampunk setting. Arcanum, Septerra Core... What else?
Hell, just try to name rpgs or games or anything period recently that's been steampunk based. Fable III, Resonance of Fate, Bioshock, Damnation, Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends, Steambot Chronicles, Rain-slick Precipice of Darkness, and that's about it from the last 5 years.
And not a single RPG was mentioned. Thanks for proving my point.I also sense lots of JRPG derpity in the rest of your post.
Not sure what you mean as far as JRPG derpity, but I was in fact trying to prove your point that no CRPGs have come out in the genre, and pretty much no games period that capture the same allure as Arcanum did. So you're welcome?


Yeah, rereading what I posted now sounds very passive-aggressive. Sorry.

The part about dieselpunk - that sounds to me like **** that is routinely included in JRPGs.

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I guess many things have already been said, and you probably already have an idea about what you want to do. That said I can't really keep quiet when I hear that people that made my favourite RPG's of all time want to make a game funded by gamers. So here is what I would like to see:


I, like most people here, would like to see an old school RPG with turn based/active pause combat. It would be great if you could avoid most fights altogether with a proper character build like in Fallout or Torment, and have a chance to resolve most confrontations with dialogue. But above all, don't make a sequel. There will be too much nostalgia involved that would likely dissapoint most fans. That said I would really like to see some adult, dark and violent themes, preferably in some setting that is not used much today, like steampunk, but I'm not forcing my opinion on anyone and trust that you will make a good decision.


In short - just make a good old school RPG that older gamers know and love. If you do that, you have my blind support and I'm sure about your success.

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Definitely Planescape Torment 2 or a spiritual successor.. My other choice would be Arcanum 2.. Anyway, an old school isometric turn based/pause RPG would gladly have my support!

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Definitely Planescape Torment 2 or a spiritual successor.. My other choice would be Arcanum 2.. Anyway, an old school isometric turn based/pause RPG would gladly have my support!


100% agree. Both the originals were diamonds yet undervalued in their time. Their world is much promising and had really memorable characters that could have lesser or bigger roles in subsequent games. It is not necessary to make them full 3D, or 1st person like Fallout 3 was as compared to the 2nd. An isometric world with today's effects and gimmicks, as well as clever storywriting and gameplay could do wonders.

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Yep, I'm drunk and slightly drugged, but... I know what you should do! Yr. new project must be Planescape 2 with portal in Sigil which leads to Arcanum 2, as part of Prime... yep.

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Isometric isn't being fair to modern capabilities, I think. Sure, the focus would be on a story or plot, but there's alot to be said about games where you can look around and see the world you're in. One of my favorite moments in NWN2 was when I logged on to a Persistant World server someone had put together, and saw just how beutiful a world they'd managed to make. It was awesome.


So please, 3D for whatever game it is. Could you imagine what it'd be like if you could play Arcanum now and literally get to look up and see the nascent skyscrapers as they streatch up above castles and old wizards towers? Or Sigil with the ability to watch it as it streatches up and around, then above you're very head?


If it was just an indie studio making a game for $10 a pop with a budget of $100,000 to start with before alpha funding, and with multiple aspects to the game so that the 'ground map' is only one part of it, Isometric would be fine (Xenonauts, for example). But this is Obsidian, the developers of the most awesome RPG I've ever played, and one of the reasons I love it is it's a 3d game.

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Another one who signed up just for this thread. I used to post on the BIS forums though. I would support any game that Team Torment would have made before all the financial pressures at BIS/Interplay forced them to make action games like Icewind Dale II (and to a lesser extent IWD). IMO, Obsidian has only made two good games since BIS. MOTB and FONV. I never liked the KOTOR series or Alpha Protocol for some reason. Not because of the writing, which I'm sure was great, but because of the combat mechanics which I found unbearably dull.


I would love to see a PS:T 2 in spirit. To some extent MOTB was like that. Except the story, although excellent, was not nearly as good. In fact I'd also love to see an MOTB sequel in spirit. Of those of us who worship MCA as a god among men I think it is nearly always due to the genius that was PS:T. It wasn't merely a game. It managed to transcend game-ness into something that was more like a wonderful novel. It was the story that continuously pulled you through the game. I really wanted to solve the mysteries of the story. I think the way to repeat that is just to write a good story again which would intrigue the player and make the player want to discover whatever tantalizing secrets you've set up. Unfortunately great stories like that tend to be associated with a lack of replay value. Even FONV suffers from that. It's the inherent trade off I think you always find in CRPGs between story and strategic combat. Although I think it might be possible to write a compelling story for a game like BG2 which I still replay due to its fun combat. Bioware was never able to write, but Gaider and company definitely knew how to design a fun combat system. Then after you finished the story you could replay just for the strategic fun of the battles.


I did like the Planescape setting, but it sounds logistically impossible to purchase a license for it. Why not simply take most of the things that were great about the setting and use those? I liked the Planescape setting because it seemed like an interesting and complete world. Things like the lady of pain and made up words like 'birk' etc. It was wonderful. But you don't need Planescape for that. All it takes is some imagination to make up your own unique setting for the game with its own gods and mythology and little sayings and way of speaking.


So the perfect game would have a suspenseful/philosophical/thoughtful story like PS:T (and to a lesser extent MOTB) and the strategic battle mechanics of something like BG2 or TOEE. Battles should be sufficiently difficult and complex that they would be pretty much impossible to play in real time. You have to pause and think and micromanage your characters to win and even then you should not always win. That obviously implies either RTwP with an autopause as in the IE games or true turn based as in the Fallouts. I don't personally have much preference between the two.


As others have said you don't need any voice acting at all. Good voice acting is wonderful but its not essential. Of course if you could find voice actors who were competent and very cheap or even free well..., but that's the kind of thing you'd want to just tack on at the end if you had the time and money to do so. You can also skip the soundtrack. A good soundtrack can definitely add to the emotional punch, like Deionarra's Theme in PS:T, but getting someone like Mark Morgan is probably too expensive for a project like this. Although it is possible to find skilled, unknown composers who will work for peanuts or even free (for the credits). The only aspect of sound that I think is essential are the sound effects. Those are critical. One game that had particularly good, even memorable, sound effects was Arx Fatalis.


As far as graphics, as others have said, I don't want that to be the focus. As long as the graphics are as good as any of the Infinity Engine games that is more than sufficient. The focus on graphics should be adequacy and cost, not supremacy. In most modern games 90% of the focus is on the graphics and 10% on everything else. I would hope for something more like 80/20 in the other direction. Iron Tower Studios has even gone so far as to use the awful Torque3D engine and yet it looks like their game is shaping up to be wonderful. I don't think it matters whether the graphics are 2D or 3D. Just do whatever is the most cost effective. Probably that will come down to what your artists are actually better at and what graphics engines you have available. I guess you don't have the license to the Infinity Engine anymore, which is too bad because it was perfectly adequate. Maybe you could figure out a way to adapt the engine from the latest action game you made. Just make sure to remove any somersaults and other console kiddie 'ooh shiny!' and silly, unrealistic, fighting moves from it. Everyone is making games for them. Including you. They don't need to fund a game like this. Publishers already love the kiddies. You'd also have to convert it to turn based or RTw(a)P.


As far as deciding on a setting. I don't think the setting should be a primary consideration. I think the great Master Chris Avellone should let his imagination do its thing and come up with a story first. The greatness of the game hinges on that. You are the only game studio that has someone like you: a good, perhaps even gifted, writer. As a studio that's your greatest strength. Any publisher who doesn't realize that is a fool. If you come up with a good story idea in a futurustic Blade Runner-esque sci-fi setting go for that. If you come up with a good high fantasy story involving dragons and wizards and magic go that way. Or maybe multi-dimensional or time travel fantasy like Time Bandits or A Wrinkle in Time or something. I think one of the great things about the story in PS:T was that it had some some tragedy mixed with philosophy that really made you think. So maybe a story with some great tragedy at its center. One story that reminds me of the tragedy at the center of PS:T was the film A Tale of Two Sisters. In that film there was a ghost who didn't realize she was a ghost and when she did realize it she discovered that she was already dead.


Another way of choosing the setting is based on what engines you have available. Obviously a Scifi setting probably isn't going to work with your Dungeon Seige engine. Or maybe it could be adapted. I don't know.


I think it would be great if you and Feargus could come up with various price points and what it would buy us. How much extra money would it take to get at least some area-focused game music? How much extra money for this kind of setting or that kind of setting? How much to finish Torn or other projects you started but didn't finish? That sort of thing. That might give us various levels to shoot for. Although ultimately each of us can only contribute what we can afford.


Also is it possible that you could find a publisher or other investor who might be willing to meet whatever you can raise with crowd-funding as an investment? If you could raise, say, $500,000 with kickstart that would give you a million to work with.

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Pretty much would like to echo the "Make a new IP which you would never get a chance to do in the traditional game industry model." Go ****ing wild please. I would like you to try to surpass a defy RPG genre conventions and tropes in the way Torment has done; **** it, try to even out do that. Kill the Buddha.


Turn based would not hurt at all either. Don't see much of those these days.

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i also signed up just to post here. i cant believe that you are even asking this question as most of the time when you have an idea and try to suggest it to someone in the entertainment industry they tell you: "we cannot accept your idea because we dont want you to come back and sue us when we do..."


I would like to see a new space adventure game where the ship you fly follows real physics. if there was one game that i could use as an example it would be freespace. another would be the aborted bablyon 5 space sim. combine this with an RPG element and i would think you could have a super hit.


if i were designing the game one thing i would make important is the ability for the play to customize the ship they fly. i really liked the ability in Star Wars Galaxies: Jump to Lightspeed, to change out the weapons, sheilds and other parts and make the ship fly differently. i liked the mining mini game and i liked the ability to have a ship like the Millenium Falcon and have one person pilot and others man the guns.


if i were designing a space game i would keep it as realistic as possible and give the player the ability to get the job done without too much of a learning curve, but allow players to get in to the guts and micromanage when they want to.


i dont know if any of that makes any sense...


it is so unfair that there are no good space simulations out there anymore... make one.

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definitely story-heavy, dialog-heavy, strangeness-heavy, freaky-heavy, bizzare-heavy, queer-heavy, super-ultra-long game from he old Planescape setting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! get the rights from those dumbs Wizards of the Coast and i will give you some money :)

definitely NOT a Torment 2, but something brand new, but as fantastic as Torment with a LOT of Planes to visit.


and also Icewind Dale III, this is a must, i love IwD games!

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What I would personally like to see is a sequel to Alpha Protocol.. There were a lot of things wrong with that game, but the premise was amazing, and I could see a lot of potential with the series. If you guys do it right, it would be EPIC.

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Guest RytGansta


If licensing wasn't such a female dog, I was a-thinking it would be nice to see either Baldur's Gate: The Black Hound or Fallout Van Buren pull a phoenix and resurrect from their ashes. Just picture this: the very same game, only 100% completed, with some tiny tiney polish. I'm sure you all know the five words the Lonely Island would say.

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While Obsidian has made an inordinate number of my favorite games ever, I will also be referencing things below from Bethesda and others. And I will be mentioning both good and bad things, from everybody. This is, of course, only my own opinion.

  • Use your own IP or make up some. I'd rather the money go to you guys and the game than to a license holder. Steampunk sounds interesting, as does cyberpunk or space. But the main thing is do whatever gets your own creative juices flowing, because (for example) I'd rather have an amazing work of love set in "ye same olde high fantasy setting" than a mediocre work because you felt you had to fit it into a setting that you weren't really feeling.
  • Turn-based or active-pause or VATS style combat. I like the KotOR style, and I'm currently enjoying Fallout 3. Main thing to me is smooth controls (GUI doesn't break me out of my immersion) and that I don't have to be a twitch freak.
  • Isometric or first or third person doesn't really matter to me. The main thing is that I don't want to have to fight with the interface to do what I'm doing. If fixed isometric, don't hide doors/items behind the scenery where I have to sweep the mouse in a pixel hunt style. If dynamic isometric or third person, when I pan the camera around, fade out things that get between the camera and the character -- don't jump the camera in and out, and don't block my view. I can't think of any similar irritations in first person, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.
  • I like helpful features, but I know that they really annoy some players. Largely this is because I just don't have the time to spend obsessively poring over scenes looking for loot, or wandering the wilderness for days because the directions were a bit vague. So, I like "key to highlight interactable objects" and "quest compass marker" and "major NPC markers" and "auto pause on enemy sighting" and that kind of thing, but please make an obvious way in the options to turn them off for people who hate them.
  • Mod-ability! Even if you want to sell the editor as a separate product so that you can get a feel for how many people actually want to create vs just play. But I love to see what people come up with, and I love having the ability, if I really wanted it, to go in and tweak something that wasn't quite the way I wanted it.
  • A refinement of the mod-ability comment. I prefer Elder Scrolls style "you can modify the main world" mods over Arcanum or NWN style "you can load your characters into totally separate scenarios". I prefer to add flavors to my banquet feast rather than drive to another restaurant ;)
  • This one doesn't affect me now that I'm separated, but for everybody out there in a position like I used to be: Adult/violent/gory/cursing/no-good-guys-here kinds of stuff are interesting, but if they can't be turned off, there will be some people who can't play your game either because of their own preferences or because of their spouse or children or whatever. I've only been able to start playing Fallout 3 since my separation, because my wife couldn't take the use of the F-bomb and Bethesda wouldn't allow turning it off. Likewise for the considerable gore in that game. I'm not saying that you need a lot of knobs and switches, and I don't want to kill you with game re-balancing issues. But there are known obvious things that take you from PG-13 to TV-MA, and a big button to turn them off would be useful.
  • If, on the other hand, you feel like challenging yourself with a lot of configuration knobs ;) I REALLY like how System Shock 1 let you adjust the difficulty of all the different parts of the game, so that you could play it as anything from a twitch shooter to a casual puzzle adventure. I have nightmares thinking about balancing that throughout a game, but I do really, really wish it could be done again.
  • I think we've gotten away from the old "pick a verb, then a target" style of gameplay, but just to be clear: There are only three useful verbs for 99% of all situations -- look/pickup/use -- and the game can automatically tell which one is appropriate: If I can pick it up, I pick it up (I can "use" it from my inventory). If I can use it, I use it. If nothing else, I look at it. The only exception I can see is that I might want to look at objects before I use them or pick them up, and that can be handled with a CTRL key or something. Just please don't make me cycle through a selection of verbs, or have to pick out which skill I want to use while using something. I want to use all my skills when I use something. If it is partially mechanical and partially computer, then do some kind of mixing of those skills and roll against that.
  • Please give me sortable inventory. Something like Oblivion has, where I can sort my stuff by type, weight, value, condition, damage/resistance, charges, etc. Think the "Details" view of Windows Explorer ;)
  • I like the idea of being able to get through a game without fighting anybody, even though I've never been able to do that myself. But I like that the game is designed that flexibly, and that I could do it through replay. I like replay.

Thank you. I am very excited to hear what you decide on, and to see the results.

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I think what makes an rpg fun is the merging of two separate elements: strategic fighting, a sort of battle-chess, and a strong story (interactive fiction) to provide a backbone and motivation for the strategic fighting. It's kind of a hybrid game that seamlessly merges these two elements. Any game that supplies those two elements is fine with me.


I think the fantasy setting would be the easiest to do well. You guys have done it many times before, and it's just easier to set up the strategy aspect of the game. All of the strategic roles are pretty much all set up in our minds: offensive fighter, stealth assassin, defensive fighter, offensive magic user, defensive magic user, nature magic user etc. I guess it's really the existence of magic that adds these additional strategic chess pieces. OTOH, coming up with a good story seems harder, but maybe that's because I've never liked fantasy fiction per se and find it difficult to imagine good stories in a world of monsters and dragons and magic. I think those worlds are interesting. I just can't come up with any story ideas more complex than save the princess or escape the dungeon kinds of cliches. Not that interesting stories cannot be made with those simplistic sorts of ideas. It's all in the details. But if you managed to come up with the Torment story I'm sure you can come up with more. The MOTB story was pretty good too.


The Scifi setting doesn't have any sort of preset strategic roles, but it does have some strategic possibilities if done right and coming up with interesting stories seems easier. There are also films and novles to steal ideas from. Have you seen the pilot from the Battlestar Galactica remake? They took ideas from both Blade Runner and The Terminator and made it work. There are some rich philosophical issues there involving humanity and its failings etc.


And then there are alien invasion scenarios as in The Forge of God or Footfall or even Anathem. The problem with those is making the fighting strategic. Obviously the aliens would always have an advantage over the humans. You might be able to give the aliens different kinds of powers besides just their advanced weaponry or give their technology advanced powers, but humans would just be humans with human weapons. If you set it in a distant future I suppose we could also have tech devices which gave us some advanced powers to make combat a bit more interesting. Although Fallout proved you don't really need magic for battles to be interesting, it does remove some strategic complexity. And then there are alternate history, time travel, and alien abduction scenarios.


One problem in this setting is making the fighting strategic and fun. It can easily just become a FPS with a good story and then you have to be sure that the fighting really is enjoyable. In Alpha Protocol that was the problem for me. I didn't enjoy the fighting at all and never had a chance to explore the story because of that. I'm pretty picky about shooters. I liked the shooting mechanics in Crysis and GTA4, but not much else. I think good shooting dynamics are deceptively difficult to make. Although the shooting in FONV was fun. Not as fun as the shooting in Crysis or GTA4, but still fun. In fact I enjoyed the real time shooting more than the turn based version of it, although I think maybe the turn based version was somewhat crippled. I'm not sure what happened with Alpha Protocol, but it makes me cautious about asking for something with shooting in it. Maybe if only the enemies had guns and the main character had stealth and melee powers (except for the stealth, sort of like Alien I suppose).

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I'd love to play kotor 3 (i hate Star Wars the old republic from the first second of announcement) (I prefer kotor 2, not kotor 1)

Or Neverwinter Nights 3

or a fully own creation.

Your games always was fantastic, but it seems the publisher never gived you time for finishing.

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Fallout. I want another Obsidian Fallout (preferably on that new Creation Engine).


If not, then an original IP RPG with tons of choice and consequences.

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Yep, I'm drunk and slightly drugged, but... I know what you should do! Yr. new project must be Planescape 2 with portal in Sigil which leads to Arcanum 2, as part of Prime... yep.


Laughed my heart out man!Best suggestion in the entire thread!!!

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I would like to see another entry into the Planescape series, or at the very least a new IP. I must admit that I am much younger than most of the members here, but playing Torment has entranced me with its weirdness and clever writing. I want to play an rpg that will surprise me as much as Torment. While I would like a new Planescape game, I'm pretty much asking for something different from the usual parade of Tolkienesque fantasy.


Personally, graphics are never a problem, so I don't care if its made in the Infinity Engine or worse as long as it has a unique art style, a strong story, and clever writing.

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I believe most of what I would wish from potential Kickstart funded game made by you has already been said among all these posts, but since this is a vote of sorts I'll add my opinion among the others to weigh it just slightly bit more towards what I'd like.


While getting a sequel, or a prequel for that matter, to any RPG made by Black Isle Studios or Troika Games would be fantastic, I'm still not going to ask for your hands to be tied by the earlier history of some people on your team.

Yet getting something in the spirit of those games is what I would wish to see, since good role-playing games are a rare breed nowadays.


Having you to use your budget for licensing something is not something I'd want you to have to do, unless you can get a real bargain with no strings attached and you think it's worth it, so I'm completely fine with original IP of your own.


Having all the dialogue in the game voice acted? Well, while I have nothing against good voice acting it's again a money sink and I'd rather have three times as much equally good dialogue in written form. Of course having key characters in the game voice acted adds to their depth and feeling of importance and if it is doable at reasonable cost then why not.


Apart from the aforementioned points I have no further wishes for the potential project. I know from experience that you can make really captivating games with interesting story, memorable characters and great dialogue and all this despite someone breathing down your neck, so no matter what direction you decide to take this project I will be backing it in anycase just to give you a chance to work freely for a change.


Thank you, and best of luck with all the demands us fans make!

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A lot of people have said a lot of things I agree with.

  • A story-driven RPG
  • A party of 4-6 characters (six being, of course, the perfect number!)
  • Original IP
  • A distinctive setting
  • Turn-based or active-pause combat
  • Isometric or third-person graphics
  • Limited voice acting (some voice acting would be very much appreciated, but there's no requirement for every line to be voiced)

Some things just aren't likely to happen in any reasonable budget or timeframe. No console release. No sequels to licensed properties. No fully-voiced 3D spectacular.


But that's just fine with me. Dragon Age 2 was a console-release licensed sequel fully voiced 3D spectacular, and it was about as inviting as mouldy porridge.


As for settings, people have mentioned the works of Jack Vance, Gene Wolfe, Charlie Stross's Laundry books, and Phil Foglio's Girl Genius. Any of those would be awesome if you could swing it. A game that has you hopping between worlds, trying to fit your existing skills to new environments each time - that would be sweet, but might be beyond the initial scope.


Personally, I'd like to see a game where there are two, three, four possible lead characters, and you indirectly pick one and your party forms around you, and the game plays out differently depending on that. Somewhere between Planescape: Torment and Icewind Dale in that respect.


Chris and team: If you think you can put out a solid party-based, story-driven RPG, I'll join in funding it. If you think you can put out two, I'll kick in for two. If you can do one a year for the next twenty years, I'm there.


Put together whatever ideas you have, come up with a Kickstarter drive, and TAKE MY MONEY!!!


Oh, and if you think you can do a NWN-style system with a server module and persistent worlds, take my money twice!

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I'm not strictly opposed to voice acting. Hell, I was even saddened that there were not enough voiced lines in Torment (there can never be enough Morte), but I suppose a happy medium can be reached.

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