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Do crowdfunded games yield sloppy programming due to the fact that money had changed hands before any game has materialized? What incentive is there for developers to provide a quality product when they have been paid in advance? I often wonder if this has negatively affected this game, as I've been finding an exceedingly high amount of bugs with this game during my first time playing.

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Having played Obsidian games before the Pillars series, I'm quite confident that the financing model is not the source of the bugs.

What could have changed? Or do you mean to say it has always been like this? I've only played NWN2 before this series.

Edited by DiabloStorm
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You make it sound as if buggy games didn't exist before crowdfunding came along. They sure did. And I'm pretty sure that developers still want a successful game. The crowdfunding only covers the minimum development costs.

 

Anyway, some crowdfunding projects do crash and burn, but on the bright side, they also "kick start" some long awaited projects. I guess it's a mix of good and evil.

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You make it sound as if buggy games didn't exist before crowdfunding came along. They sure did. And I'm pretty sure that developers still want a successful game. The crowdfunding only covers the minimum development costs.

 

Anyway, some crowdfunding projects do crash and burn, but on the bright side, they also "kick start" some long awaited projects. I guess it's a mix of good and evil.

This doesn't look like minimum to me.

aqpXqci.png

Obviously bugs exist anywhere. The question is whether or not crowdfunding lends itself to laziness/sloppiness or exacerbates it.

 

Also, you being from Japan, I have high respect for products that come from there, mainly due to their quality, or if there's ever a lack thereof, the profuse public apologies that ensue. If this game came out of your country in this state would it be acceptable? 400% of what is actually their minimum, I obviously don't know what they spent that money on, how large or small their team is, but 4.4m is not a small chunk of change to receive in advance.

Edited by DiabloStorm
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You make it sound as if buggy games didn't exist before crowdfunding came along. They sure did. And I'm pretty sure that developers still want a successful game. The crowdfunding only covers the minimum development costs.

 

Anyway, some crowdfunding projects do crash and burn, but on the bright side, they also "kick start" some long awaited projects. I guess it's a mix of good and evil.

This doesn't look like minimum to me.

aqpXqci.png

Obviously bugs exist anywhere. The question is whether or not crowdfunding lends itself to laziness/sloppiness or exacerbates it.

 

 

The game is estimated to have cost around $25 million. In all honesty I haven't noticed any more or less bugs in this game than in several other non-crowdfunded games, and it definitely runs better for me than many previous Obsidian games, either now or in its release state. But I guess it's expected that people will hyperbolize about such things on the net.

Edited by algroth

My Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/alephg

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You make it sound as if buggy games didn't exist before crowdfunding came along. They sure did. And I'm pretty sure that developers still want a successful game. The crowdfunding only covers the minimum development costs.

 

Anyway, some crowdfunding projects do crash and burn, but on the bright side, they also "kick start" some long awaited projects. I guess it's a mix of good and evil.

This doesn't look like minimum to me.

aqpXqci.png

Obviously bugs exist anywhere. The question is whether or not crowdfunding lends itself to laziness/sloppiness or exacerbates it.

 

 

The game is estimated to have cost around $25 million. In all honesty I haven't noticed any more or less bugs in this game than in several other non-crowdfunded games. But I guess it's expected that people will hyperbolize about such things on the net.

 

You could see it that way, except for all of the bugs I've been reporting. Or perhaps I'm just that good at finding bugs? I'm not looking for them particularly hard. It just baffles me how I'm finding all of these almost a year after the game released when they seem so obvious and stand out. It's not like I've even played this game multiple times. This is the first time.

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You make it sound as if buggy games didn't exist before crowdfunding came along. They sure did. And I'm pretty sure that developers still want a successful game. The crowdfunding only covers the minimum development costs.

 

Anyway, some crowdfunding projects do crash and burn, but on the bright side, they also "kick start" some long awaited projects. I guess it's a mix of good and evil.

This doesn't look like minimum to me.

aqpXqci.png

Obviously bugs exist anywhere. The question is whether or not crowdfunding lends itself to laziness/sloppiness or exacerbates it.

 

 

The game is estimated to have cost around $25 million. In all honesty I haven't noticed any more or less bugs in this game than in several other non-crowdfunded games. But I guess it's expected that people will hyperbolize about such things on the net.

 

You could see it that way, except for all of the bugs I've been reporting. Or perhaps I'm just that good at finding bugs? I'm not looking for them particularly hard. It just baffles me how I'm finding all of these almost a year after the game released when they seem so obvious and stand out. It's not like I've even played this game multiple times. This is the first time.

 

From reading your several threads on these 'problems' you seem like a pretty anal individual, which I guess makes you perfect for the job. :) All those "bugs" (they aren't always, as has been pointed out a few times) are frankly quite negligible to the overall experience, and again, not necessarily more than most other games of this complexity tend to have - yes, it'd be better if they weren't there, but they do not warrant a thread like this.

Edited by algroth
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Let me put a different spin on this interesting question.

 

Are single player games more buggy than online games that depend on a constant stream of revenue?  Without any data, let me give my impression from a strictly logical perspective.  I think that it's arguable that single player games would be more buggy than online games for this reason.  At release, they might be equally buggy, but here's the difference.  With single player games, you pay for the game up front, and the developing company may see no massive reason to continue investing in the game (i.e. squashing bugs) when they've made a good chunk of money and perhaps profit.  OTOH, with online games, the economic model for the company depends on a constant and ongoing stream of revenue.  And if the game is buggy, players may/will migrate away from it to other games if they see no commitment from the developer to fix those bugs.  So, the developer has a vested interest in continually fixing bugs.

 

Now, I don't know if the real life data backs this up, but my case seems logical enough.  Thoughts?

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Let me put a different spin on this interesting question.

 

Are single player games more buggy than online games that depend on a constant stream of revenue?  Without any data, let me give my impression from a strictly logical perspective.  I think that it's arguable that single player games would be more buggy than online games for this reason.  At release, they might be equally buggy, but here's the difference.  With single player games, you pay for the game up front, and the developing company may see no massive reason to continue investing in the game (i.e. squashing bugs) when they've made a good chunk of money and perhaps profit.  OTOH, with online games, the economic model for the company depends on a constant and ongoing stream of revenue.  And if the game is buggy, players may/will migrate away from it to other games if they see no commitment from the developer to fix those bugs.  So, the developer has a vested interest in continually fixing bugs.

 

Now, I don't know if the real life data backs this up, but my case seems logical enough.  Thoughts?

 

I think the incentives matter less than you think. Making stable, reliable software is mostly about processes that aren't necessarily more expensive than the alternatives (and are almost always cheaper than trying to reduce the bug count post launch); some companies are good at putting these in place and some aren't. Obsidian, as much as I wish it were otherwise, seems from the outside to be in the "aren't" category.

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Obsidian games have always been like this, some much worse. In this case, the game was released before it was ready and due to low sales the post-release support was limited. This doesn't have anything to do with crowdfunding.

 

Yeah, I don't see any logical reason why it should matter if the game is crowd funded or not, with one possible exception.

 

For starters, all games are going to require an infusion of cash up front or a very wealthy game company that has the cash on hand to finance the development right from the start.  Otherwise, they'll need to get the money from an outside source.  For example, crowd funding or perhaps a bank loan.  Now, with a bank loan, they have an incentive to make the best game they can with the loaned money because they have to pay back that loan.  And with the self-financing option, the company may not have a loan to pay off, but I'm sure that they want to make that money back and at least break even.   

 

With the crowdfunding option, there are some details that I freely admit I don't understand.  For example, is there any legal requirement that the game company actually release a game or have to return the money to the investors? (with or without interest...)  Or, if a game is released, what if the game is garbage that doesn't sell worth a damn?  Where do the investors stand in that regard?    In short, what are the legal responsibilities involved in a crowd funding set up?

 

One thing does seem certain.  With crowdfunding, the game company is really laying their reputation on the line with their investors, i.e. their fans and supporters.  And if they really screwed their investors big time, the game company's reputation might be forever ruined.  Now, that doesn't speak to the buginess of the final product, but it does seem like their reputation is on the line with a crowd funded game, so arguably, the company has a fair degree of incentive to try to do their damnedest to keep their investor-fans happy, so that they keep their reputation intact and perhaps keep those fans willing to invest the next time the company may attempt a crowd funded game.

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This doesn't look like minimum to me.

aqpXqci.png

Obviously bugs exist anywhere. The question is whether or not crowdfunding lends itself to laziness/sloppiness or exacerbates it.

 

Also, you being from Japan, I have high respect for products that come from there, mainly due to their quality, or if there's ever a lack thereof, the profuse public apologies that ensue. If this game came out of your country in this state would it be acceptable? 400% of what is actually their minimum, I obviously don't know what they spent that money on, how large or small their team is, but 4.4m is not a small chunk of change to receive in advance.

 

If this came from Japan, I'll tell you what would happen:

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-47328512

Someone would apologize.

 

Alternatively,

https://kotaku.com/nintendo-boss-is-taking-a-huge-pay-cut-because-of-the-1511382834

Someone would take a pay cut.

 

But, well, different strokes for different countries.

Edited by Heijoushin
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The only differences between games that are developed with a publisher and crowdfunded games (in regard to the opening post) is that there's no publisher with crowdfunded games. :)

 

In both cases the developer will get money to start the product.

 

While a game financed by a publisher will usually have a deadline a crowdfunded game usually doesn't have that. Publishers tend to push releases and this can lead to crunch and more bugs.

Crowdfunded games can run out of funds more easily if you didn't estimate well.

Publishers can help a lot with marketing and logistics and so on - crowdfunded games don't have to give a large amount of money to a publisher. And so on and so forth.

 

From my own experience (I had projects where I was paid less but in advance, had some where I was paid along the line of development and some where I was paid afterwards) I can say that the way of payment doesn't have any impact on bugs.

 

What does have impact: high fluctuation of programmers, not well established routines and guides, new tools (like switching the language or framework), pressure (mostly time), insufficient testing (of all sorts).

The meanest bug producer is time stress I would say.

 

Looking at Obsidian over the years: they build up a reputation ("Bugsidian") way before PoE/Deadfire. Don't forget that RPGs are often way more complex than other games like shooters for example. Since Obsidian does lots of RPGs...

 

If I compare stuff like a short platformer with a short RPG it's ridiculous how much more complex the RPG is. Nobody makes RPGs during game jam if they are not gluttons for punishment. ;)

 

Kickstarted games don't have to be released by the way. You could take the money and produce nothing.

 

Fig is different once the investment option is offered.

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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It's difficult as a business model since you can't rely on it. But it cuts out the middleman which means more freedom. This has advantages and disadvantages. If you have an awesome Publiusher behind you that's great. But if you struggle with Publishers because they don't believe in your vision and try to mess with your product all the time crowdfunding can be a great alternative. Also if your game is successful you might not need another crowdfunding campagin because you can "kickstart" your next game with the money you got from the first.

 

And then some developers don't have another choice. Look at PoE: nobody was willing to fund an isometric RPG at that scale. Publishers want to make money. So they are picky. Exactly like with the movies. You know why we get a sequel if part one was successful. Save bet. :)

 

I think crowdfunding is awesome. Not for everyone and everything - but it's awesome that this option exists.

 

I'm developing a small game at the moment without any assignment or partner - just to see where it's going. If you want a comparison look at DeathTrash - same situation I would presume (But DeathTrash will be way more awesome ;)).

 

If I hadn't earned a sufficient amount of money before (so that I don't have to work all the time in order to make a living) I'd also have to use crowdfunding. Because which publisher or bank would give me - an unexperienced developer - money so that I can develop a smallish game and not starve in the process? I mean unexperienced when it comes to game development. Not developentment per se. I'm a software engineer so the technical part is not the problem...

 

But: the worst part about working with publishers or crowdfunding is that you waste so much time to create pitches/campaigns. You don't need to do that if you are your own publisher. What a relief... Actually I think creating a crowdfunding campaign is even more annoying that doing a pitch for a publisher.    

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Since I like building characters and powergaming so much the idea is basically a 2D kind-of-roguelike, turn based RPG with complex but consistent/coherent mechanics and charcter creation (classless system - you can save your builds) that works a bit like Faster than Light (in the sense that you have stages and move through a graph to beat an endboss). I plan a highscore list but don't know yet how the score will come together. I also wanted a 1:1 PvP arena (bit like playing chess online ;)), but I guess I can't pull that off (infrastructure like servers needed and whatnot).

 

But I just started. The only things that are done are the core rules (implemented) and some pixel art for items. Ah - and a module that loads JSON files as data sources for races, dialogue, items, abilites, talents etc. So it should be plenty modable without any programming knowledge.

I also have a ruleset that determines how to implement new abilites and such - so in theory I could build an editor for that or allow "invention" of new abilites/spells ingame. But I guess that's way too much stuff for me to handle - if I ever want to be finished with this.

 

However - since today I can color my tiny pixel-char's skin, eyes, hair and beard. ;)

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And then some developers don't have another choice. Look at PoE: nobody was willing to fund an isometric RPG at that scale. Publishers want to make money. So they are picky. Exactly like with the movies. You know why we get a sequel if part one was successful. Save bet. :)

 

Yep. This is the heart of the problem, and this is why Hollywood, for instance, has been creatively dead for, what, like, twenty years at least? Nothing has been created, in terms of innovation. (And of course now, with the global market, the main audience of mainstream American movies is no longer even in America, it's in China. Way more profitable.)

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Hollywood produces a ton of sequels - but I wouldn't say it's creatively dead. Isn't stuff like "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" from Hollywood? Also movies like "Inception" may have whatever flaws, but I wouldn't say they suffer from lack of creativity.

 

It's understandable that publishers/producers etc. want to put their money on the right horse. One wrong step and you might go bankrupt. So better to spread the risk and don't try anything experimental - especially if absurd amounts of money are involved.

 

So - crowdfunding is a nice alternative as long as if doesn't get abused too much (like: collecting money and then produce nothing - or collecting money from backers, then make an exclusive deal with the Epic Store and tell your pissed backers they can get a refund - I mean seriously...).

Edited by Boeroer

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I'm a little stumped on when people think Hollywood was "creative" when they talk about sequels and adaptions.  They've been doing sequels (first generally believed in 1916) and remakes (1918) from the earliest days.  Not to mention adaptions from other media (novels, short stories, folk tales, radio shows, etc) of already successful stories.

 

RE: Crowdfunding - I like crowdfunding simply to support things I'd want to exist.  But a long term model for anything but the smallest of companies or individuals it really isn't.

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You make it sound as if you don't need creativity to transform a novel, short story, folk tale or a radio show into a movie. By the way afaik both of my examples are neither adaptations nor sequels.

 

Hollywood can be creative. Is creativity its long suit? Maybe not.

 

Anyway: would like to see a crowdfunded movie. Never did actually.

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Sorry I wasn't clear - I think remakes, adaptions, and sequels can be creative.  And yes "Spotless" and "Inception" aren't adaptions or sequels. 

 

My point is that there are people who think that adaptions aren't creative.  There are people who think remakes aren't creative. There are people who think sequels aren't creative.

 

And that's fine.

 

But when a person complains that any of those things are a sign of the creative bankruptcy of today's Hollywood, all I have to say is 1916 - 1918 would like to have a word with that person.

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