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You need more far reaching and visionary stretch goals!


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Origin stories of that type are cool in general, but I think they're too restrictive for this. IMO, one of Bioware's biggest problems recently is that they're moving more and more towards having you play their characters rather than making your own - and while that's fun too sometimes, it's not really the sort of RPG I'm looking for here. Hence why I would take money away from my pledge if it helped stop a voiced PC. Anything that feels like I'm discovering something about my character rather than determining it, anything that leaves me feeling like I'm just watching a story play out and occasionally taking the driver's seat for a brief period... no thanks.

I understand your point but an origin would determined only some of the background of the character (for example where he lived, in which conditions, etc.), things that are usually given anyway in many rpgs that won't let you choose an origin. And you would still be able to play the character how you want, or if you find that particular origin not fitting your pc choose another one that is more according to what you have in mind.

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I understand your point but an origin would determined only some of the background of the character (for example where he lived, in which conditions, etc.), things that are usually given anyway in many rpgs that won't let you choose an origin. And you would still be able to play the character how you want, or if you find that particular origin not fitting your pc choose another one that is more according to what you have in mind.

 

Sure, but what if none of them are what I have in mind? What if in DAO I wanted to play a human fighter who wasn't a noble? Or what if something is broadly what I have in mind, but there's just that one fixed detail that I really can't get past? Like... yeah I want to play a city elf, yeah I'm ok with this one-parent background and I guess with these friends you chose for me, yeah of course we live in poverty and are oppressed by the rich nobles, yeah ok it's my wedding day, but why in the world do I appear to be marrying a guy? There's always going to be something that has the potential to really ruin your immersion right from the start, and the more you make predetermined with an origin story, the more chance that'll happen.

 

I just don't want the game telling my that my character's chosen to do something before I appeared on the scene. If it can be done by only fixing details that are out of their control anyway, like family members, I could live with that, but it generally makes me wary.

 

 

Also, I just think there would be way too many they'd have to make, with all the class and race possibilities being discussed.

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Like... yeah I want to play a city elf, yeah I'm ok with this one-parent background and I guess with these friends you chose for me, yeah of course we live in poverty and are oppressed by the rich nobles, yeah ok it's my wedding day, but why in the world do I appear to be marrying a guy?

Because elves know about genetic drift and force their limited population to marry people not closely related to them at all. They don't give a damn that your character may be homosexual. You will help perpetuate the elven race.

"You know, there's more to being an evil despot than getting cake whenever you want it"

 

"If that's what you think, you're DOING IT WRONG."

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I think all those "more game content!" stretch goals may not be the best idea.

 

For one thing they don't really inspire people that much - we don't even know how big the game will end up as it is, and what role different things like factions/companions/cities will play exactly, so how can we know how much additional value 'an extra race' or 'an extra companion' or 'an extra city' would actually be?

 

Secondly, I wouldn't want Obsidian to get into a situation where they'll feel obligated to make a different game than they themselves would want to make, due to premature stretch goal promises that have been made. E.g. if due to unforeseen circumstances it turns out that they will be able to make either 5 really well-rounded and enjoyable companions, or 10 crappy companions, I sure hope that they won't have already promised to do 10.

 

I think the best stretch goals are the ones which do not change the game in major ways, and are also much cheaper than the stretch goal target associated with them, but which can really inspire people.

Don't make your fans go "Hm, ok, let me weigh the pro's and con's for a moment and figure out how much game time/flexibility/etc. this reward will objectively add to the game".

Instead, make them go "Wow, cool! *turns off brain* *lets imagination/nostalgia take over* *fuzzy feeling inside* *reaches for credit card*".

 

Now, the difficulty is of course in coming up with such stretch goals. My creativity is limited, so the best I can do is list some ideas based on some "inspirational" stretch goals of this sort that have been successfully used by other kickstarter projects, although I think Obsidian can probably come up with even better ones:

  • Bring in a "celebrity" artist, e.g...
    • a popular graphics artist, to design some of the character portraits
    • a popular story writer, to design one of the the optional side-quest
    • ...

  • Commission live orchestral recording of the background music

  • Let heroes from popular RPGs of the past have a small cameo appearance
    (like Drizzt from BG1 appeared in BG2)

And of course, they should be set at least $500,000 apart, even if it costs much less to fullfil each of them. This way, most of the money can go towards plain 'ol development of the game itself in the way that Obsidian envisions it.

Edited by anek
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i think the current stretch goals are fine. Additional content and larger and more polished game is what it is about.

 

The problem is, I think Obsidian do not want to add additional content to the game. Most of the stretch goals have been about adding companions and improving gameplay. If they're willing to add more content e.g. an expansion sized type of content, they MAY have to delay the game slightly to improve the size of the game. They might have a tightly woven narrative planned out and trying to add more content may add too much fluff to the game.

 

Unfortunately, without adding more content the amount of funding may remain more or less stagnant.

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They also seem pretty keen on trying to keep as much of the big roles in-house as possible (I don't think we'll see a freelancing composer or portrait artist etc). May not necessarily be a bad thing.

Edited by Sensuki
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They also seem pretty keen on trying to keep as much of the big roles in-house as possible (I don't think we'll see a freelancing composer or portrait artist etc). May not necessarily be a bad thing.

 

I don't think it needs to me mutually exclusive. Having an in-house artist do the base portrait set (i.e., at least one per gender per race per class per alignment), doesn't preclude having a 'famous' artist come and do 5 or 6 bonus portraits for whatever gender/race/class/alignment combinations he feels inspired to do.

(I never played a cRPG where I felt that there were too many portraits to choose from, but quite a few where I felt that none of the shipped portraits really fit my character. So in this case more is always better...)

 

And having an in-house composer, doesn't preclude having the composed music recorded by a live symphony orchestra.

Edited by anek
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*If we reach so and so the game will include more dialog than PlanescapeTorment

I perked up instantly. Buuuut I shouldn't pledge more money, honest... :sweat:

 

Origin stories of that type are cool in general, but I think they're too restrictive for this. IMO, one of Bioware's biggest problems recently is that they're moving more and more towards having you play their characters rather than making your own - and while that's fun too sometimes, it's not really the sort of RPG I'm looking for here. Hence why I would take money away from my pledge if it helped stop a voiced PC. Anything that feels like I'm discovering something about my character rather than determining it, anything that leaves me feeling like I'm just watching a story play out and occasionally taking the driver's seat for a brief period... no thanks.

I understand your point but an origin would determined only some of the background of the character (for example where he lived, in which conditions, etc.), things that are usually given anyway in many rpgs that won't let you choose an origin. And you would still be able to play the character how you want, or if you find that particular origin not fitting your pc choose another one that is more according to what you have in mind.

 

I ended up despising the DA:O 'origins' as precisely being too restrictive, railroady and long (not conducive to replay value at all)--granted, the entire game was railroady, so... I definitely would not be on board with a DA:O execution. Something much simpler could be implemented for flavor--for example, your chosen race starts out in a small training area on the border of your racial land with only a few optional class training quests and one quest that sends you out into the world (e.g. a much smaller Candlekeep -> leave Candlekeep) to experience the "horrific" thing Obsidian mentioned. That way, you can easily skip the entire thing if you wanted to, or you can stay briefly to try out the mechanics in an immersive setting. Uh, I guess that counts as an optional little tutorial thing, now that I think about it.

 

One reason why the stretch goals seem mundane as they are is probably because Obsidian can't release too much specific information or spoil. I'm trying to imagine what PS:T would have been like on KS. One more party NPC! (Vhailor) One more region with quests and stuff! (Curst) I for one want as little information about the storyline specifics as possible, and none on the characters besides maybe their portraits that indicate race and sex (yeah, this forum is kind of a landmine :p). Of course, the other side is that Obsidian may not know either, but I highly doubt that.

 

Edit: To be clear, I don't mind the mundane-sounding stretch goals, but for marketing purposes I can see how they'd be problematic. Mod tools would be great, but Obsidian explained why that was sketchy in U12, so I understand the different pressures on either side for that. MP is a no-go. Romances? Umm..... $8m, sure, but Avellone has to make them all unrequited or tragic, and stipulate an additional year on the release date. LOL ;)

Edited by Ieo

The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Write your own romance mods because there won't be any in PE.

"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy?" -(Digger)

"Most o' you wanderers are but a quarter moon away from lunacy at the best o' times." -Alvanhendar (Baldur's Gate 1)

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I think all those "more game content!" stretch goals may not be the best idea.

 

For one thing they don't really inspire people that much - we don't even know how big the game will end up as it is, and what role different things like factions/companions/cities will play exactly, so how can we know how much additional value 'an extra race' or 'an extra companion' or 'an extra city' would actually be?

 

Secondly, I wouldn't want Obsidian to get into a situation where they'll feel obligated to make a different game than they themselves would want to make, due to premature stretch goal promises that have been made. E.g. if due to unforeseen circumstances it turns out that they will be able to make either 5 really well-rounded and enjoyable companions, or 10 crappy companions, I sure hope that they won't have already promised to do 10.

 

I think the best stretch goals are the ones which do not change the game in major ways, and are also much cheaper than the stretch goal target associated with them, but which can really inspire people.

Don't make your fans go "Hm, ok, let me weigh the pro's and con's for a moment and figure out how much game time/flexibility/etc. this reward will objectively add to the game".

Instead, make them go "Wow, cool! *turns off brain* *lets imagination/nostalgia take over* *fuzzy feeling inside* *reaches for credit card*".

 

Now, the difficulty is of course in coming up with such stretch goals. My creativity is limited, so the best I can do is list some ideas based on some "inspirational" stretch goals of this sort that have been successfully used by other kickstarter projects, although I think Obsidian can probably come up with even better ones:

  • Bring in a "celebrity" artist, e.g...
    • a popular graphics artist, to design some of the character portraits
    • a popular story writer, to design one of the the optional side-quest
    • ...

  • Commission live orchestral recording of the background music

  • Let heroes from popular RPGs of the past have a small cameo appearance
    (like Drizzt from BG1 appeared in BG2)

And of course, they should be set at least $500,000 apart, even if it costs much less to fullfil each of them. This way, most of the money can go towards plain 'ol development of the game itself in the way that Obsidian envisions it.

 

Cameos really? That's frankly stupid. Your other ideas are not as interesting even as additional content, companions, classes, and factions. A new region is certainly exciting to me, moreso than a celebrity artist or some fan servicing cameo crap.

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There's a difference between origin and starting point; compare Baldur's Gate and Fallout: New Vegas. Origin is "this is who you are, where you came from, this is what most likely motivates you and whom you care for, these are the choices you've already made", and they're only ever gonna be able to make so many of those. Starting point doesn't necessarily have to dictate anything personal about your character. So Candlekeep, Gorion, Imoen, all of that was origin, and yeah, it was restrictive in a lot of ways. Waking up in New Vegas after having been shot in the head was where you started, but who you actually were beyond someone who took at least one job as a courier was up to you.

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moreso than a celebrity artist or some fan servicing cameo crap.

 

Fan servicing is what successful stretch goals are all about.

The trick is to do it in a way that will place the least amounts of limits on the developers during the course of creating the game, so they are still free to create it however they want.

A human ranger NPC named "Minsc" with a hamster in his pocket and 10 lines of dialogue, will be much easier to accommodate *somewhere* in the game (just stick him in some tavern or whatever), then accommodating a seventh faction after the devs get an ingenious inspired idea for how the world could be designed around exactly 6 factions that are related to each other in some special way.

Edited by anek
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How are origin stories restrictive? Isn't having one origin more restrictive?

 

The devs have already stated in the kickstarter updates that they do not want to restrict the origin of the PC at all, and instead let the players decide for themselves who they want to be in the game. The only "special" thing about the your character will be that at the beginning of the story you witness a supernatural event that affects both you and the world and shapes the events to come. But where you came from, what kind of person you are, and how you deal with these events is up to you.

 

So since the devs have already made up their minds about this, it doesn't really make sense to request a stretch goal that does the opposite.

Edited by anek
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How are origin stories restrictive? Isn't having one origin more restrictive?

 

The devs have already stated in the kickstarter updates that they do not want to restrict the origin of the PC at all, and instead let the players decide for themselves who they want to be in the game. The only "special" thing about the your character will be that at the beginning of the story you witness a supernatural event that affects both you and the world and shapes the events to come. But where you came from, what kind of person you are, and how you deal with these events is up to you.

 

So since the devs have already made up their minds about this, it doesn't really make sense to request a stretch goal that does the opposite.

 

I wasn't talking about having origin stories in this game.

 

Also, having anorigin story doesn't nean your character is special and there will be one origin story in eternity.

Edited by Metabot
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While I'm sure there will be new stretch goals coming up tomorrow or later in the week, I'm kinda glad that the goals so far have been fairly... well, modest (if that's the right word).

 

There will be a time when the kickstarter companies will have to live up to everything they've promised (not just in terms of putting in the content but also having that content be... good). I would much prefer it if Obsidian stay conservative starting out, and then add on more things along the development *if* they feel comfortable in that they can pull it off decently.

 

Just pouring the additional money into the core game (albeit with more companions and such of course) is in my opinion the best way to handle things, and not having too lofty goals of providing a game "bigger than BG2" or whatever. Promising something like that doesn't actually mean anything at all in regards to quality.

 

So yes, try to entice more people to pledge is all well and good. But make sure that the core game is what's of importance here, and not a million different additions just to rake in more pledge money.

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Yes! For gods sake, i know the interest came as a shock to Obsidian but they have had more than enough time to recuperate by now. Bring on some damned stretch goals already or youre not gonna get a new surge of money at the end!

Something im afraid of is that they in not trusting the community (like they obviously didn't do before day one) will sell the vision of the game short, which may be a fundamental flaw in the whole campaign.

I just hope they have adjusted their vision from a 1,1 million game to a 2,2+ million game if you get my drift.

Edited by Gyges
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I don't know guys, I think they are being conservative about their stretch goals because they don't want to take a bite they can't chew or rather promise more than they can offer. A lot can happen in a year and a half and from a company stand point they still have to make money in terms of the work put into it.

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I don't know guys, I think they are being conservative about their stretch goals because they don't want to take a bite they can't chew or rather promise more than they can offer. A lot can happen in a year and a half and from a company stand point they still have to make money in terms of the work put into it.

 

Yep, I'm pretty sure Obsidian is thinking along the same lines. That's why if they put a large stretch goal, say USD4mil, they might want to delay the target release date. A large stretch goal being something along the lines of a large expansion to the game.

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Something im afraid of is that they in not trusting the community (like they obviously didn't do before day one) will sell the vision of the game short, which may be a fundamental flaw in the whole campaign.

I think they have shown repeatedly that they trust the fans and rely on their support.

 

For me, previous stretch goals were absolutely fine and I'm sure they'll come up with some new ones in a couple of days.

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While I'm sure there will be new stretch goals coming up tomorrow or later in the week, I'm kinda glad that the goals so far have been fairly... well, modest (if that's the right word).

 

There will be a time when the kickstarter companies will have to live up to everything they've promised (not just in terms of putting in the content but also having that content be... good). I would much prefer it if Obsidian stay conservative starting out, and then add on more things along the development *if* they feel comfortable in that they can pull it off decently.

 

Just pouring the additional money into the core game (albeit with more companions and such of course) is in my opinion the best way to handle things, and not having too lofty goals of providing a game "bigger than BG2" or whatever. Promising something like that doesn't actually mean anything at all in regards to quality.

 

So yes, try to entice more people to pledge is all well and good. But make sure that the core game is what's of importance here, and not a million different additions just to rake in more pledge money.

 

And that's a valid point; but they can definitely improve on what they've offered so far - the first set of the stretch goals was, as Adam Brennecke himself conceded, very much thrown together; they simply didn't expect such a warm reception.

 

But I definitely agree that they goals shouldn't be made just with intention of making more money - any additional funding should be, foremost, spent on improving the game.

 

That said, they can achieve both, it all depends on how they do it. Since we're approaching another threshold, we'll find out soon enough.

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I think they have shown repeatedly that they trust the fans and rely on their support.

 

For me, previous stretch goals were absolutely fine and I'm sure they'll come up with some new ones in a couple of days.

 

I'm of the same feeling. Obsidian has been very accessible so far, lots of interviews, Q&A, dev presence on the forums and comments in KS, etc. There will always be that line of accountability versus vision, but it's not unmanageable or anything.

 

I mean, keeping the stretch goals mundane is one way for Obsidian to "keep it real"---look at how ridiculously high expectations are already.

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The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Write your own romance mods because there won't be any in PE.

"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy?" -(Digger)

"Most o' you wanderers are but a quarter moon away from lunacy at the best o' times." -Alvanhendar (Baldur's Gate 1)

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