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I think they should keep it to the upper tiers. Those people are less likely to go nuts when they find some feature they don't like and start trashing the game all over the internet. The people who donated that much are going to give better quality feedback like already mentioned.

 

Not to mention it's a huge incentive to people to donate more, which is a good thing.

Edited by NoxNoctum
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If the beta is all about money then maybe Obsidian should put some cash into the pot. I said before , we as backers are taking the risk and putting our faith in them to create a good game. They are having a beta no matter what and the cost of putting it out can't be that much. If they want to raise more money then the 50 dollar level is much better. there are about 35000 people in thise tiers and that could mean an extra 750k. That is some good money and at this poing it would hit all goals at this point.

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I'm okay with beta access being higher tier.

 

Both as it limits how many can get in (for the sake of the beta meaning anything - this isn't an MMO, after all)

 

AND

 

as incentive to get people who really want that access to donate higher.

 

This is how other games on Kickstarter did it. I think it is right. I even think they maybe set it too low.

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Well, i can only see advantages on this, for gamers and for the Obsidian team.

 

Even though I would wish to participate in the Beta test, I don't have that much more money to pledge. But I would say no, because:

 

1. More money from backers for the participation in the Beta, the better and the bigger the game for all of us.

2. You need large amount of resources, to gather all the feedback.

3. It wouldn't feel like an accomplishment for those who donate more and it would not work as a motivation to donate more.

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since we guys are the publishers here

No, just no.

We're not the publishers. We're not even investors. We're donators (or "crowd funders" in today's seeming terms), currently with no actual legal rights over the product outside of them delivering a game that at least basically approximates what's in their pitch (fantasy rpg video game), versus, say, taking the money and running or sending us all a chiapet instead of a video game.

 

yes, we are not publishers, i used the wrong word

but i very much think we are investors, only that we don't receive a monetary reward, but a game + all the reward stuff (i strongly reject the term "donation" here - you donate something to an organisation that feeds the poor, not to a video game - we are paying for something here!)

 

this is my line of thinking: we are giving them money on a basis of pure trust, with as you said, no legal right

and especially since all this is based on trust, the very least we ALL deserve, is to be given as much insight on the product as they can (all the more since obsidian has not the best of reputations when it comes to finishing stuff - not saying it has been their fault in the past, as i simply don't know this, but it might be the case)

i knew a responses like this would come, this is why i wrote this might be a too democratic view for some people ;)

 

just to make one thing very clear: i am very grateful towards the people who invested a lot of money into this. thank you for making this piece of art possible, but it will NOT hurt you if we who spent less also get beta access (for all who know a bit of philosophy: Pareto efficiency has to be achieved ;) )

Edited by lolaldanee
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No

1) As already said a main point of the beta testing offer is to increase pledges.

2) Beta testing is done near the release of the game. It is a test not a chance to pre-play the game. The game mechanics are set and no major changes will be made. The point is to find bugs. Is the game actually ready for release?

3) It does take man power which equals cost to check the reports. Is this a true bug or something the player did wrong? What caused the glitch? Game mechanics or a conflicting software problem?

4) related to #3 a bug report is only as good as the knowledge and ability of the person making the report. Allowing everyone to beta test would mean allowing many people who know nothing about beta testing to participate. At least limit the number of amateur testers.

 

I think that the expense and time Obsidian would need to spend on allowing everyone who wishes to beta test would be prohibitive. This is actually a low budget project. Obsidian is not going to have money to spend on inaccurate, questionable reports and even with a limited number of people involved there will be those.

 

I am sorry for those who cannot afford who would be good at it. I could opt for it if I wished but doubt that I will. 1) I like the idea of playing the finished game. 2) I am not sure I would be that good at beta testing. It takes time and dedication an the ability to understand and explain what happened and if possible why it happened.

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 I have but one enemy: myself  - Drow saying


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since we guys are the publishers here

No, just no.

We're not the publishers. We're not even investors. We're donators (or "crowd funders" in today's seeming terms), currently with no actual legal rights over the product outside of them delivering a game that at least basically approximates what's in their pitch (fantasy rpg video game), versus, say, taking the money and running or sending us all a chiapet instead of a video game.

 

yes, we are not publishers, i used the wrong word

but i very much think we are investors, only that we don't receive a monetary reward, but a game + all the reward stuff (i strongly reject the term "donation" here - you donate something to an organisation that feeds the poor, not to a video game - we are paying for something here!)

 

this is my line of thinking: we are giving them money on a basis of pure trust, with as you said, no legal right

and especially since all this is based on trust, the very least we ALL deserve, is to be given as much insight on the product as they can (all the more since obsidian has not the best of reputations when it comes to finishing stuff - not saying it has been their fault in the past, as i simply don't know this, but it might be the case)

i knew a responses like this would come, this is why i wrote this might be a too democratic view for some people ;)

 

just to make one thing very clear: i am very grateful towards the people who invested a lot of money into this. thank you for making this piece of art possible, but it will NOT hurt you if we who spent less also get beta access (for all who know a bit of philosophy: Pareto efficiency has to be achieved ;) )

 

Exactly my opinion.

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(i strongly reject the term "donation" here - you donate something to an organisation that feeds the poor, not to a video game - we are paying for something here!)

The word "donate" does not always = non-profit charity. It's often used thought of that way because of organization association but you can donate to anything that you think is a worthwhile cause/endeavor.

 

I started writing this longish post about the topic of Kickstarter vs. actual investment, but realized I didn't want to get caught up in that kind of debate/totally derail the thread. So I'll just say that:

 

the very least we ALL deserve, is to be given as much insight on the product as they can

Yes, consumers do deserve this, but this is true even when a product is not a crowd-funded project.

 

...and...

just to make one thing very clear: i am very grateful towards the people who invested a lot of money into this. thank you for making this piece of art possible

I don't think anyone's going to disagree with that sentiment. :)

“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts
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I think it would be a good idea to give people the opportunity to take part in the beta when they pledged a minimum of 80$. It would be quite an incentive for backers to raise their pledge to a minimum of 80$ (for digital-only users) or 100$ (for box-version users). 140$ is too much to be an incentive for many users I fear.

 

It's not like it really needs to be more than that 2k potential beta-testers that area already qualifying as I write... It's more than enough... The game will probably not have an overwhelmingly complex multiplayer client if any, so really those kind of numbers of betatesters.... I would say they are not very common.

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Personally, I don't care about beta access--I don't like betas of something I'm planning to play and enjoy. The only time I'm interested in beta is when I'm debating on whether a game is something I'll like and I want to check it out prior to purchasing.

 

That does not pertain here. No beta for me, thanks.

Grand Rhetorist of the Obsidian Order

If you appeal to "realism" about a video game feature, you are wrong. Go back and try again.

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this is my line of thinking: we are giving them money on a basis of pure trust, with as you said, no legal right

and especially since all this is based on trust, the very least we ALL deserve, is to be given as much insight on the product as they can (all the more since obsidian has not the best of reputations when it comes to finishing stuff - not saying it has been their fault in the past, as i simply don't know this, but it might be the case)

i knew a responses like this would come, this is why i wrote this might be a too democratic view for some people ;)

 

Oh god. I am SO tired of the word "democracy" being thrown around to justify selfishness as though you not only deserve what you're demanding, you also have the moral high ground. $20 dollars does NOT entitle you to have your ass kissed. For you it's a choice and an investment where you're deciding that you're getting a deal by paying 20 dollars for a game now that would likely cost you 60 dollars later. Congrats, you got the game at a 66% discount. You don't need more than that. The reason $140 is a decent cutoff is because that is the level of money where people's rewards start getting a little bit disproportionate to their investment. Those people are clearly not just doing it for selfish reasons, they're also wanting to help the company. Honestly I'm looking at the reward tiers right now and anything $65 or below is a pretty damn good return for that money. I'm sure lots, in fact the majority of those people also wanted to help the company out, but let's face it, they are being AMPLY compensated.

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There are more than enough people to beta test already in the higher tiers. If you want to beta test you'll just have to pony up the cash. It's for a good cause. And yes, the whole point is surely to encourage people to up their donations to be a part of the beta. Personally I don't want to beta test. I have high hopes for the game and I'd be afraid it would spoil it for me. I'd rather wait to play until the bugs are fixed.

JoshSawyer: Listening to feedback from the fans has helped us realize that people can be pretty polarized on what they want, even among a group of people ostensibly united by a love of the same games. For us, that means prioritizing options is important. If people don’t like a certain aspect of how skill checks are presented or how combat works, we should give them the ability to turn that off, resources permitting.

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I would rather not beta test. I tried that once and it was not much fun. The process felt too much like work, and I guess it was supposed to. :p

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Grandiose statements, cryptic warnings, blind fanboyisim and an opinion that leaves no room for argument and will never be dissuaded. Welcome to the forums, you'll go far in this place my boy, you'll go far!

 

The people who are a part of the "Fallout Community" have been refined and distilled over time into glittering gems of hatred.
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You trusted them with your $ and of course you are entitled to something. So, where does it stop? Are you entitled to merely a discounted price on the game (which you have)? Are you entitled to additional communication from devs and gestures of appreciation (which you have)? Are you entitled to the beta for everyone? Are you perhaps entitled to more things, too? Should the community get to vote on everything? Where do you stop?

 

It's a dangerous path to try and monetise that as well, to say how much do you pay to deserve what. Kickstarter rewards are rewards for appreciation, not a shop where you buy things.

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since we guys are the publishers here (and all of us are, the majority of the funding comes from the 35$ or smaller ones, don't forget this ;) ) i think we all deserve to see the product in it's current status every once in a while

but thats just my very democratic view of it i guess

 

This is part of what makes games suck nowadays too -- too many cooks in the kitchen. Publishers and marketing hacks think they know what's best and try to take over the development of a game and it ends up diluting gameplay and complexity and the result is a lot of action RPG crap or FPS crap with crap multi-player. I highly suggest you watch Tim Cain's Fallout postmortem at the GDC this year and it will give you a good idea about why it's sometimes best to just let developers do their thing and get out of the way (3D Realms and Duke Nukem aside).

Edited by nikolokolus
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IMO, beta access should be reserved for those who donated toward the higher tier stretch goals. Whether that be $65+ or $100+, that's up to Obsidian to come up with. But I don't think just anyone who donated even $5 should be in the beta. It should be one of those bonuses for those who not only donated, but donated a sizable amount.

"Console exclusive is such a harsh word." - Darque

"Console exclusive is two words Darque." - Nartwak (in response to Darque's observation)

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This is part of what makes games suck nowadays too -- too many cooks in the kitchen. Publishers and marketing hacks think they know what's best and try to take over the development of a game and it ends up diluting gameplay and complexity and the result is a lot of action RPG crap or FPS crap with crap multi-player. I highly suggest you watch Tim Cain's Fallout postmortem at the GDC this year and it will give you a good idea about why it's sometimes best to just let developers do their thing and get out of the way (3D Realms and Duke Nukem aside).

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xa5IzHhAdi4

 

 

I'd love to, care to give me some time spots that I should focus on or do you want us to watch the entire hour in order to support your post?

Edited by KenThomas
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It's a great talk ... you'll walk away with a new appreciation for how a game that is a real work of art can be created ... mostly it seems to be about letting creative people create and getting out of their way as much as possible (so long as the artist is talented).

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I don't get why people want to beta so bad. Why would you want to ruin the story for yourself on playthrough thats bound to be frustrating because of all the bugs and issues? But I guess different strokes for different folks an all.

 

Anyways as someone else said more beta testers doesn't = less bugs in game. Past a certain point additional beta testers just means additional work and funds.

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I would rather not beta test. I tried that once and it was not much fun. The process felt too much like work, and I guess it was supposed to. :p

 

Beta testing is overrated. Getting stuck playing incomplete games can lead to burnout, for that particular game at least. Happened to me with TOR, where I played the crap out of it in alpha-beta but then just ran out of steam once it went retail.

 

Anyways as someone else said more beta testers doesn't = less bugs in game. Past a certain point additional beta testers just means additional work and funds.

 

Most people that take part in betas like this don't even actually provide feedback, which is another bummer. Best bet typically is to hope you have a ton of useful telemetry and stuff gets reported that way.

Edited by alanschu
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I really don't think that everyone should be invited to the beta-test. If Obsidian decides to - great, but otherwise...

 

Really guys, beta-testing is not all milk and honey. Plus, you most likely won't get to play the chars in the final version (the same that you played on in the beta-test). Sure, some people would genuinely like to polish the game, but statistically speaking looking at the numbers of people who will receive beta-test invites, it's more than enough for a single player game.

 

Just my opinion.

 

movie related: DAMN! Finally someone who's appreciating A Canticle for Leibowitz!

Edited by cealicu_ca

"Against stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in vain."

- Isaak Yudovich Ozimov

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It's a great talk ... you'll walk away with a new appreciation for how a game that is a real work of art can be created ... mostly it seems to be about letting creative people create and getting out of their way as much as possible (so long as the artist is talented).

 

I was too tired last night after watching it to comment at the time (stayed up a bit past my bedtime haha), but yeah the fact that one of the iconic games of that decade started off as Tim Cain having to buy a pizza and sit around the interplay offices after hours for volunteers to work on it really tells a story. He was talking about how Fallout came to be, but in talking about the whole process, it really did highlight some of the extreme challenges that can be put in dev's way by publishers.

 

Here's some highlights that i remember from that video:

 

-Fallout initially started off as an unpaid project of volunteers comprised of people who just happened to work at interplay. There was no official support or monetary compensation for their time until later on.

-The administration did not understand what they were trying to do, they didn't think it was going to be a good game or that anyone would want to play it.

-Not only were they disinterested in the project, at one point they wanted to kill it just to get the guys working on it's focus off of that game and onto other ones.

-Because the administration's jobs were to run the business and generate income, they were too far removed from the process to understand it could be something special and treated it as more of a nuisance than anything, at least at the beginning

-When Diablo came out, the publisher went "hey, there's something that's selling copies, change your game from turn based to realtime and make it multiplayer!", wasting tons of development time as they tried to shoehorn Fallout into that niche. Thankfully they weren't realistically able to, because that would've been a horrible move. It would've been written off as a Diablo clone, sold very few copies and then the publisher probably would've said afterwards: "see? Nobody liked it. Good thing we made you put in multiplayer and realtime or it would've been a COMPLETE write-off!" 28:00

-It was still never given full support, even near the end of the project. Playtesters were volunteering to come in passing up time and a half pay on the weekends if they did other projects to playtest Fallout instead. He talks about that at 17:23 of that video.

-Given 2 weeks to completely redesign and recode the combat system when they ran into liscencing difficulties or they were going to be cancelled by the publisher 37.00

 

There are a few things but I want to get on to saying; this was in the 90's. Publishers these days are even more bureaucratic and removed from the games being made. Quite a bit actually as far as I know. Decisions are still going to be made based on metrics and projections and whats come before. The thing that publishers don't seem to get is that duplicating what's out there simply never sells as well as something new. They'd rather go with the safe dollars though that people will be willing to "try" and then get bored of rather than taking a risk on a game that's different and seeing it completely bomb. That's why games over the last 15 years or so are so homogenized. Nothing that doesn't fit a well known market doesn't get the green light.

 

Unfortunately, it has been the culture for long enough by this point that you can tell game developers have had the attitude of "well, its just the way things are". I'd imagine that pre-kickstarter anyone who complained about what a raw deal they were getting by having a game cancelled or being resource starved was just given a sympathetic nod and a shrug. It becomes clear pretty quickly why developers would want to start using a system that's completely fan funded and fan accountable. At least that way the people funding them are the ones who are actually interested in the game and who will be more likely to evaluate the game based on its ideas. Don't get me wrong, there WILL still be lots of know it alls who will write or link to articles saying why one idea or another of the upcoming game is going to be "the worst thing ever" and in that sense it's not all that different from publishers pointing at metrics of why they should be making Diabdutyrimeffect. They should however be at least moderately balanced out by the people who can see the potential and at least it'll be debate rather than expensive suits nodding in unison.

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