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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, juanval said:

On twitter Sawyer said the game reached the break even point. That's not bad news. And the game slowly continues increasing the sales.

https://twitter.com/jesawyer/status/1263677679527620609

According to that Fig Investor "leak" in late 2018, the game would have needed to sell close to 600k copies for the Investors to make profits.  E.g. the break even for Fig Investors was 580,000 copies sold at 50$. Not sure if both are the same shing, but that really is a lot considering how the Infinity Engine games sold on average (and still managed to turn out a profit each).

Sure, hindsight bias. Still there were decisions made by the management which also should be questioned.

Edited by Sven_
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Budget too high. Expectations too high. The game is fine but has many flaws and has a lot of design by committee thinking in it. 

nowt

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3 hours ago, Sven_ said:

According to that Fig Investor "leak" in late 2018, the game would have needed to sell close to 600k copies for the Investors to make profits.  E.g. the break even for Fig Investors was 580,000 copies sold at 50$. Not sure if both are the same shing, but that really is a lot considering how the Infinity Engine games sold on average (and still managed to turn out a profit each).

Sure, hindsight bias. Still there were decisions made by the management which also should be questioned.

Valve is likely getting 30% from each sale on Steam.  Then take out the publshers' cut, which could be another 30% or more. So the reall break even number on 600k sales is likely 12 - 15 mm us dollars.

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Keep in mind that Deadfire is also out on consoles - so Steam etc. may not play a role there. Selling 600k copies on several platforms is still not a lot. But great if it starts to make profits now. 

Without Full VO this point could have been reached a lot sooner...

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17 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

Keep in mind that Deadfire is also out on consoles - so Steam etc. may not play a role there. Selling 600k copies on several platforms is still not a lot. But great if it starts to make profits now. 

Without Full VO this point could have been reached a lot sooner...

without vo the game will be always more inaccessable

vo are necessary

deadfire should have fully voiced narration too

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Not a lot bought the game anyways. If Full VO would draw a lot of customers then we wouldn't have those sales numbers. I think it's a big stretch to say that Full VO sells a lot more copies. It's just convenient for some but not mandatory for many - would be my take. Not many would refuse to buy a game just because it has not Full VO I believe. 

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3 minutes ago, uuuhhii said:

without vo the game will be always more inaccessable

vo are necessary

I'm sure there's some research that can back up that claim. Just not in this universe... ;)

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

 Selling 600k copies on several platforms is still not a lot. 

Selling 600k copies of a game which main audience is bound to be PC based. As argued, outside of Baldur's Gate (plus ist Sequel), none of the Infinity engine games got anywhere near to selling 1M during their entire lifetime (nor any of the original Fallouts). They were still seen as being profitable, so was Black Isle as a division. 

Not sure what inXile's Goal for Wasteland 3 is likewise -- it seems higher than for 2 -- they're likely eyeing the X-Com/Original sin crowd too. However, back when Kickstarter was still a hype, IIRC Fargo would argue they'd be happy to ship ~200k additional copies of their games (that plus the backer copies, naturally). I could be wrong of course, but Wasteland 3 seems another project that sets itself up to "fail".

Full VO expectations may be "real", but it seems you're not going to convince anybody outside the core audience of these game's to suddenly pick them up in masses just because that stuff is all voiced. Pathfinder didn't have it, and won't have it for Righteous either. If the aim is truly to expand this core audience, then you've got to change the games, but given that the entire premise was proving the audience is still there, what's the point?

Edited by Sven_
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35 minutes ago, SchroedsCat said:

Most customers expect it though, nowadays. Will nobody think of the Twitch Streamers?? XD

I am not sure at all whether you can back up this claim. P:K did not have full VO and it did quite well, thank you very much. So what, exactly, would your evidence be? Also, you should keep in mind that this question is genre-specific, and when I'm questioning your claim, I am explicitly questioning it within the genre of cRPGs. Full VO is NOT necessary.

Anecdotally speaking, I can say that I have never known, met or heard of anyone who thinks that full VO is necessary. I have only seen that claim made on the forums, and even on the forums by just one single person, whose comment you can see above.

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Posted (edited)

I also cannot see how Full VO makes a game more accessible. Maybe for people who can't read, but those will have a hard time using something like a PC anyways. 

To the contrary I think that Full VO is a hinderance as soon as it comes to players who don't speak/understand English. Hearing Full VO in English while trying to read the stuff in Korean or something might be a jarring experience. 

It can be nice to hear all those different voices (when done properly), no doubt. But it's superexpensive (even if you use the same voice actors over and over again for different roles like in Deadfire) and adds a lot of stress to the development process. And I'm still not convinced that it adds to a RPG substancially.

If somebody could present a survey or something else which shows that the buyer decision process of RPG players is influenced by Full VO then I would reconsider. Until then I'll insist that it's doing more harm than good. 

Edited by Boeroer
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2 hours ago, xzar_monty said:

I am not sure at all whether you can back up this claim. 

Try Sawyer's postmortem. He talks about this at length. Hell, I still see posts about PoE how the non-full VO is considered unprofessional for some. 

2 hours ago, xzar_monty said:

I have only seen that claim made on the forums, and even on the forums by just one single person, whose comment you can see above.

Excuse me? I'm not the only one saying this on here. Try this exact thread here for a start. 

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Posted (edited)

It doesn't really matter if the potential player likes it better with Full VO or not.

What matters is: does Full VO lead to more sales which compensate for the higher developement cost? I don't think so (at all) - but if somebody has some metrics on that I will reconsider. 

I just don't think that there are many players of isometric RPGs out there who would give a CRPG a pass just because it has no Full VO. 

Edited by Boeroer
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10 minutes ago, SchroedsCat said:

Try Sawyer's postmortem. He talks about this at length. Hell, I still see posts about PoE how the non-full VO is considered unprofessional for some.

Your original claim was "Most customers expect it though", which is not something that can be claimed upon the basis of Sawyer's post-mortem, unless he is referring to an exhaustive survey done on this topic. I have watched parts of that post-mortem (not all of it, mind you), and I'm fairly sure that bit at least contained no such reference to any surveys.

So, you see individual posts, according to which non-full VO is "unprofessional for some". I have no problem with that, apparently it is. But this "some" can be a very small percentage, and we certainly cannot claim, on that basis, that "Most customers expect it". This is just not how logic or rational thinking works.

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2 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

I just don't think that there are many players of isometric RPGs out there who would give a CRPG a pass just because it has no Full VO. 

Judging by this thread, @uuuhhii might. So apparently there could be one. But yes, I believe your claim is correct.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but afaik the first party-based CRPG with Full VO was D:OS2 - which had it as a stretch goal.

According to Larian themselves they were not even sure if that's even feasible (given the amount of text the game was supposed to have) but they offered it anyway - and it was reached.

And after that this nonsense with "D:OS2 had it - so we must have it as well" happened. 

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Also, related to this topic: immediately after Deadfire came out, plenty of customers on this very forum were very unhappy about the fact that they couldn't make the narrator shut up.

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1 hour ago, Boeroer said:

I also cannot see how Full VO makes a game more accessible. Maybe for people who can't read, but those will have a hard time using something like a PC anyways. 

To the contrary I think that Full VO is a hinderance as soon as it comes to players who don't speak/understand English. Hearing Full VO in English while trying to read the stuff in Korean or something might be a jarring experience. 

It can be nice to hear all those different voices (when done properly), no doubt. But it's superexpensive (even if you use the same voice actors over and over again for different roles like in Deadfire) and adds a lot of stress to the development process. And I'm still not convinced that it adds to a RPG substancially.

If somebody could present a survey or something else which shows that the buyer decision process of RPG players is influenced by Full VO then I would reconsider. Until then I'll insist that it's doing more harm than good. 

it doesn't matter the voice are expensive or good or not

even the audio book style full voice by one reader are still better then no voice

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2 hours ago, Boeroer said:

I also cannot see how Full VO makes a game more accessible. Maybe for people who can't read, but those will have a hard time using something like a PC anyways. 

To the contrary I think that Full VO is a hinderance as soon as it comes to players who don't speak/understand English. Hearing Full VO in English while trying to read the stuff in Korean or something might be a jarring experience. 

It can be nice to hear all those different voices (when done properly), no doubt. But it's superexpensive (even if you use the same voice actors over and over again for different roles like in Deadfire) and adds a lot of stress to the development process. And I'm still not convinced that it adds to a RPG substancially.

If somebody could present a survey or something else which shows that the buyer decision process of RPG players is influenced by Full VO then I would reconsider. Until then I'll insist that it's doing more harm than good. 

it doesn't matter the voice are expensive or good or not

even the audio book style full voice by one reader are still better then no voice

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, uuuhhii said:

it doesn't matter the voice are expensive or good or not

even the audio book style full voice by one reader are still better then no voice

Of course it matters. It's an extremely significant question for anyone who tries to make these kind of games. If it's a choice between an investment of $0 or $200 000, you can rest assured that it matters.

It's a bit funny that you never even try to back up your opinions in any way whatsoever, while many people contributing to these discussions try to take the larger picture into consideration, too.

Edited by xzar_monty
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9 minutes ago, uuuhhii said:

it doesn't matter the voice are expensive or good or not

even the audio book style full voice by one reader are still better then no voice

It doesn't matter to you you mean.

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1 hour ago, xzar_monty said:

"Most customers expect it". This is just not how logic or rational thinking works.

Yes, you totally can't say VO is expected because it's not like games have been becoming more and more fully voice acted since the mid 2000s... 🙄 Party based RPGs included. Hello there, D:OS EE! 

And don't give me "but Pathfinder did it". This was the first game by a tiny studio with a tiny budget. Games in the A-AAA range are a different caliber.

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23 minutes ago, xzar_monty said:

Of course it matters. It's an extremely significant question for anyone who tries to make these kind of games. If it's a choice between an investment of $0 or $200 000, you can rest assured that it matters.

It's a bit funny that you never even try to back up your opinions in any way whatsoever, while many people contributing to these discussions try to take the larger picture into consideration, too.

most game doesn't have more text than 10 novel

never know how much budget make audio book exactly cost

but compare to even moderate budget for major game release it couldn't have been much

kickstarter for pathfinder kingmaker are 900k

the game include 5 hours of camping companion dialogue most player never get to trigger more than 10%

and they couldn't afford a audio book for all the other text

it is confusing why anyone couldn't see the necessity

after hours of staring at a screen reading novel even a young reader with good eyesight will suffer

but for aging rpg players that also have to deal with awful sometimes half translucent tiny font and unreasonably bad ui it is torture

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, SchroedsCat said:

Yes, you totally can't say VO is expected because it's not like games have been becoming more and more fully voice acted since the mid 2000s... 🙄 Party based RPGs included. Hello there, D:OS EE! 

And don't give me "but Pathfinder did it". This was the first game by a tiny studio with a tiny budget. Games in the A-AAA range are a different caliber.

But hey, if D:OS2 was the first one to really do it, how many cRPGs actually have full VO? Seriously. Two? How many?

Look at these facts: Deadfire had full VO, and it bombed big time. Pathfinder did not, and it sold very well. Its sequel also quickly got over $2M in backer money even if full VO is not forthcoming. So I still don't think you have an argument within the world of cRPGs, at all. Right on this very forum, people were complaining because they couldn't get Deadfire's narrator to shut up.

Edited by xzar_monty
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Boeroer said:

It doesn't really matter if the potential player likes it better with Full VO or not.

 

IIRC VO Questions were part of the Survey Obsidian did back in 2015ish, around the time of PoE's release. This discussion shouldn't be side-tracked by the merits of voice overs specifically. It would be interesting for instance what the actual VO budget was en detail, but we'll never know exactly. It obviously was a time consuming thing, as also outlined by the Shacknews article linked to earlier. The cast was also pretty big.

As for my own experience, I liked the VO in Deadfire (I'm reading/playing in German, actually). Good Job. It's not a make or break feature to me though. Some lines of VO are pretty nice, as it manages to convey a character better if decent casting is involved (IE style). However, at the end of the day, as with anything -- budgeting. And about how much text there's going to be, that's up to the writing department.

I'd rather play a decent game on a budget than no game at all. 

Edited by Sven_
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