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Avellone asks for your kickstarter ideas


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Again, I'm not saying it's impossible, but it's def. something that is neither easy to make nor easy to market.

 

I don't think games should be that easy to make if you are trying to do something new, instead of just copying what others have done before you. Every new IP is hard to market. At least there's a clear empty void in the market for such a game, which makes the marketing somewhat easier.

 

Limited resources, enemies that are actually hard to kill and your char not being a godlike creature that can just walk it off after every encounter. Make the player afraid of what is behind that next door...

 

And yes, Dead Money is survival horror.

Edited by Flouride
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Hate the living, love the dead.

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True, some of it sounded really nice. And there really aren't any horror rpgs around.

 

To be fair, mixing the survival horror and RPG genre in ways that work sounds almost unfeasible.

 

It wouldn't be too hard to make a "survival" RPG that's focused around managing meager resources and just staying alive, I don't think; the early hours of Fallout 1 & 2 are already practically this.

 

As for the horror, that's easy enough to add in; something that plays like low-level Fallout 1/2 could easily be given horror elements.

Edited by TheTuninator
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The first hours of Fallout are really pretty damn easy, and even Fallout 2 isn't that problematic. Besides, if the whole game was like that, you wouldn't hear as many people singing their praise.

 

The first hours aren't super hard, but you absolutely are very restricted in terms of what resources you have available. Powerful weapons, ammo, and healing items are all scarce.

 

Plenty of survival horror games give the player a lot more resources by the end as well; just look at RE2 or RE3. Play smart, and you'll have quite an arsenal by the end of the game.

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True, some of it sounded really nice. And there really aren't any horror rpgs around.

 

To be fair, mixing the survival horror and RPG genre in ways that work sounds almost unfeasible.

 

It wouldn't be too hard to make a "survival" RPG that's focused around managing meager resources and just staying alive, I don't think; the early hours of Fallout 1 & 2 are already practically this.

 

As for the horror, that's easy enough to add in; something that plays like low-level Fallout 1/2 could easily be given horror elements.

Difficulty in managing limited resources is not synonymous with horror - otherwise Caesar 3 would frighten people to death.

RPGs by definition operate around transparent rules and that's where fear of the unknown goes out the window.

The best fright you can give a player is that of taking away his items or causing a permanent stat loss.

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Difficulty in managing limited resources is not synonymous with horror - otherwise Caesar 3 would frighten people to death.

RPGs by definition operate around transparent rules and that's where fear of the unknown goes out the window.

The best fright you can give a player is that of taking away his items or causing a permanent stat loss.

 

It's not synonymous with horror, but it is synonymous with survival horror; take the old RE games, for instance. The "survival" aspect derives from your need to control what limited resources the game offers you in order to complete it.

Edited by TheTuninator
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A horror RPG's not all that difficult to imagine. One could argue that at the root of the experience of horror is loss of control, and that's easy enough to simulate. Since it's fresh in the mind, think of the original Alien, specifically the sequences in which Kane / Lambert / Dallas go out to the derelict ship, or when Dallas is in the air vents, and think of placing the player in the role of Ripley in those scenes. Better yet, just think of the scenes in Aliens where Ripley is in the troop transport and the marines are advancing into the power plant. You place the player in the scene with characters but don't give full control over them, and force the player to make choices as the pressure escalates (like The Witcher but with characters actually worth caring about).

 

Think of that first scene in Indigo Prophecy / Fahrenheit, and how intense it was the first time you played it. Wouldn't it be nice to have a whole game full of those?

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Anything they do will get my money, really, since it's almost guaranteed they will take the opportunity to craft a good story, hitch up the difficulty a little bit, and apply their characteristic twist on tropes and settings. That hasn't really come to the fore in recent titles like it did in KOTOR2 and MOTB.

 

I wonder how much it would cost to do this kind of Kickstarter-funded game on Onyx. I imagine that would be very difficult, and we're looking at a more technically scaled down affair. (Unless Onyx is magical enough to accommodate that, too.)

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I'd like to conjecture a bit about the blog post...

 

Given that Chris Avellone is at least a level 12 intellect, I think the recent hits this forum has obtained are well within his expectations.

 

But also, given how much Avellone promotes and facilitates access for young hopefuls into the videogame industry, I am starting to think that the reason behind the blog post is to show, potentially at least, how an outsider could influence in a videogame production. What Kickstarter does is democratize funding, so maybe the message here is to inspire everyone to pursue their own game project...

 

I dunno, I'd like to think that more than a mere gauging of public interest, there was some trickery behind all this.

 

 

All the responses and suggestions have made me wonder something, all this interest in making RPGs... do people in this forum play PNP games? Do they have experience DMing? With so many people asking for a complex, dense, heavy roleplaying experience, I am sure we could start something less ephemeral than forum posts for all those fantastic ideas. How does the idea of a small group of people willing to play an online tabletop RPG sound? If enough people are willing, those ideas could be transformed into world reference documents.

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I wonder how much it would cost to do this kind of Kickstarter-funded game on Onyx. I imagine that would be very difficult, and we're looking at a more technically scaled down affair. (Unless Onyx is magical enough to accommodate that, too.)

That's been bothering me as well.

Wasn't it said somewhere that Obsidian burns through 1 million $ every month?

Assuming you can get away with using fifth of the studio you still need around 2 million $ for a 10 months long project.

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I wonder how much it would cost to do this kind of Kickstarter-funded game on Onyx. I imagine that would be very difficult, and we're looking at a more technically scaled down affair. (Unless Onyx is magical enough to accommodate that, too.)

That's been bothering me as well.

Wasn't it said somewhere that Obsidian burns through 1 million $ every month?

Assuming you can get away with using fifth of the studio you still need around 2 million $ for a 10 months long project.

He didn't really specify how much of that was variable expenses (salaries, contractors, commissioned work etc.) and how much was fixed expenses (rent, leases etc.). Some of it would probably be expenses regardless of them doing crunch time or sitting with their hands in their laps. I don't think they had AAA titles in mind either with this kind of financing :)

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Wasn't it said somewhere that Obsidian burns through 1 million $ every month?

Assuming you can get away with using fifth of the studio you still need around 2 million $ for a 10 months long project.

 

That's 1 million for the salaries of 120 something people and for all the fixed expenses like rent, electricity etc.

 

1 000 000 : 12 = to about 8200 dollars per staff member a month.

Let's say they have 10 people working on it for 10 months that totals to about 820 000 dollars. Naturally this math isn't exact as that 1 million figure Feargus mentioned could be lower/higher, could vary from month to month etc. And also would depend on which of the team members were working on it. But that's an example anyways based on the number Feargus gave.

Hate the living, love the dead.

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A horror RPG's not all that difficult to imagine. One could argue that at the root of the experience of horror is loss of control, and that's easy enough to simulate. Since it's fresh in the mind, think of the original Alien, specifically the sequences in which Kane / Lambert / Dallas go out to the derelict ship, or when Dallas is in the air vents, and think of placing the player in the role of Ripley in those scenes. Better yet, just think of the scenes in Aliens where Ripley is in the troop transport and the marines are advancing into the power plant. You place the player in the scene with characters but don't give full control over them, and force the player to make choices as the pressure escalates (like The Witcher but with characters actually worth caring about).

 

Think of that first scene in Indigo Prophecy / Fahrenheit, and how intense it was the first time you played it. Wouldn't it be nice to have a whole game full of those?

 

Also the sound effects and music play a big part in creating "horror". Like Pop says it does not take much imagining, I though about it for total of 15 minutes and came up with a setting in the near future of humankind that could work as a horror rpg. Naturally game mechanics and designing the game to keep up the suspense isn't that simple, but it certainly isn't very hard either for talented people who actually work on games for a living.

Hate the living, love the dead.

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Indeed. It's not as if the level shows up on every damn "scariest level" list ever in the history of internet forums. Yeaaaah...

 

That said, I don't like Ocean House because it's incredibly non-interactive but to say that it fails to scare people is... not in touch with reality.

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*cough* Ocean House Hotel *cough*

 

It's pretty good, but a whole game like that? I mean, the level rarely ends up mentioned for being a good RPG level because.. it's not. No matter the character you have there are no choices to make there. It was a great diversion and set the tone for much of the writing of Bloodlines, and I enjoyed it, don't get me wrong, but yeah.

 

I don't know, I'm personally not sure if a survival horror RPG is a good idea, that said, if that's something the team was passionate about, I'd support it, if nothing else because it's something different.

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When I think horror RPG I don't necessarily think in terms of survival horror (as presented in gaming) or necessarily scaring the player. I think the overall atmosphere is more what I'm after. Sort of like X-Com or the cancelled Cyclopean project. Or even something like Diablo 1. Perhaps Dead State will fill that function also.

 

Where it's taking place in a world that is obviously very oppressive to the characters involved, and indeed horrific, but that doesn't go out of its way to give the player heart attacks.

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I'm not sure how survival horror RPG would work. To me, survival horror is still adding raptors into Myst. An unapologetic slow paced adventure game with lots of silly puzzles and monsters. That could just be my problem. I lack perspective. Then again Parasite Eve tried it. Opinions vary on how well that worked.

 

Ocean House was cool. It was great even. But it wasn't survival and it lacked RPG elements.

 

Having something more survival oriented in general would be interesting. There are a number of Roguelikes out there with such a focus. I've not seen Obsidian tackle that space. I'd be interested in seeing it.

 

As for horror. I'm not excited by the prospect personally. I'm back to the survival horror. I'm not familiar with horror games that don't have that adventure element without turning into straighter action games. And having the adventure element seems like too much is being mixed together. If Obsidian can think of something interesting, I'd probably change my tune on that line of thinking.

 

Also, I may be hoping for isometric. I'm uncertain on how that interacts with horror.

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I mentioned the Ocean House Hotel mostly as "proof" that giving an RPG a horror atmosphere isn't hard. Mechanics can go hand in hand - heck, there's plenty of horror tabletop games, why wouldn't it work for video games?

I could mention the Cradle from Thief 3, too. While that game didn't use any kind of progression system, many RPG traits were there: focus on immersion, scarce resources, not power armor clad space marine protagonist.

 

You know why say, zombies are never scary in RPGs? Cause they're just re-skinned thugs. I remember in NwN, the best zombies could show for themselves were immunity to crits.

How about this instead: They don't feel pain, only crits can hurt them; they all use grapple attacks instead of just swiping at you lazily; one grapple knocks you down flat and they overwhelm you; the more there are, the easier it is for them to grab you. Suddenly that throng coming at you warrants more thought than "One shot all of them with Turn Undead or one shot them one by one with my mace of phallic superiority?"

Five zombies, pretending to be dead, then jump you when you walk past. Yikes, no escape!

 

Wraiths: incorporeal. Only magic weapons hurt them. Have fun running away with your fine new regular hammer. Oooohhh, is that an escape sequence I see?

 

I know I listed more or less cheap scares, but the potential to field opponents the player is scared to fight is there, everything else is mechanics and atmosphere.

You can give the player a magical full platemail that weights like a feather. Then the game won't be scary. Or you don't. And then they'll regret going into that tomb.

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