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My fwiw kickstarter economic analysis regarding the rift between the traditionalists and evolutionists


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There are obviously two factions here. I'm not sure what to call them, but I'll try the Traditionalists (or Conservatives or Codexians) and the New-Is-Better (or Biowarians). Whatever you call them I was thinking that the economics of pledges are different between the two groups.

 

I think the Codexians are a much smaller group. There is a reason why publishers insist so strongly on the newer style game mechanics. They sell more games that way. It is a far more popular style. So I think it's clear that those of us who don't wan't the formula of the IE games to be significantly altered are going to be in the minority. As a minority, the Codexians/Traditionalists have long suffered, waiting and waiting for the kinds of games that we like to be developed by anyone. Before these kickstarter projects I had basically accepted that if I wanted a BG3 so badly I was going to have to make it myself. As a programmer I have seriously considered the idea in fact. So I think it is fair to say that we are far 'hungrier' than the Biowarians who have perhaps only recently been disappointed with the release of DA2, although that is by no means true in every case. In some cases they are quite happy with games like DA2 and Skyrim and even MMOs. In any case they don't yet seem to be at the level where they feel the need to make their own games.

 

Pehaps sex would be a useful analogy. One person has a beautiful girlfriend and is having sex nearly every night. The other person hasn't had sex for a decade. I think it would be fair to say that their attitudes toward the experience are going to be considerably different. If either person were going to pay for sex, assuming equal incomes, I think it is fair to say that the constantly shagging guy is not going to be willing to pay as high a percentage of his income as the other guy. The guy with the hot girlfriend might appreciate a beautiful prostitute just as much as the sex-starved guy but he isn't going to pay for that difference.

 

So I think if you assume equal income the Codexian faction are more likely to consider higher tiers than the Biowarian faction who might see this as just another opportunity for them to get the kind of game that they like but whom have lots of games they like already. This is just one more. For instance imagine the typical Biowarian reaction if every tier under $250 were dumped tomorrow. Most of them aren't going to pay $250 for a game when they have lots of other games that they like already. A population of starving people might be willing to pay almost any amount for a single bag of crisps. $10. $20. Even $100. A fat person with a full pantry will not pay you more than market value. Maybe a few dollars at the most.

 

Another difference seems to be that the old school faction may be less flexible about how much compromise we are willing to accept. Something that may seem like only a small difference to the Biowarian could be a deal breaker for the Codexian. If the formula for P:E departs too much from BG2/PS:T/IWD this project will not be worth a whole lot to the Codexian faction. And an isometric perspective won't be enough to keep us interested. Diablo has an isometric perspective too and you wouldn't catch me playing that. Or contributing $500 toward its development.

 

The mathematics is actually kind of interesting. Let's say that there are 4 times as many Biowarians as Codexians. I doubt there could be much more than that or the forum polls would not be so even or in our favor so often. So that is probably generous. Although it's possible that the younger players, who are obviously far more likely to support a more Biowarian vision, are more active in the kickstarter comments which more resembles a chat room. So if you include the youngest gamers who may not like the forum format it might be more than 4x. But for the moment let's make that assumption. Let's also suppose that the Codexians are potentially prepared to spend, say, 2-4 times more as a percentage of their income on a pledge for their ideal or at least semi-ideal game, which again, for a Codexian, is a true rarity.

 

Let's also suppose that a backer who spends $1000+ is far more likely to be a Codexian. Why would a Biowarian really have that level of passion toward the project? I think the only thing that justifies it is someone who thinks that this is the most amazing development ever and really places a strong emphasis on the difference between modern games and BG2/IWD/PS:T.

 

It seems that the closer Obsidian stays to the old formula of slower, more strategic combat which simply does not exist anymore the more high level backers they are going to get. Albeit at the expense of some of the Biowarians who are really hoping for some kind of cross between BG2 and DA:O. Or even in some cases something vey close to DA:O itself. Don't forget that that game was also promised as a spirtual successor to BG2. There are a much greater number of Biowarians but their pledges are likely to be lower because they are not as hungry. I do think Biowarians will be harder to shake with anything short of committing to a turn based ToEE kind of system, but OTOH there are so many more of them that any effect of dissapointing them may be more keenly felt in terms of drops in pledge amounts, however slight.

 

I was just thinking about this rather interesting situation because I was just eyeing the pledge tiers and thinking how much I'd love to pledge at the $500 tier, more than half my monthly income. I just can't even consider it because I still don't know what direction Obsidian even wants to take the combat. A more next-gen, "evolved", modern sort of system with modern combat dynamics, or something quite close to BG2/IWD/PS:T.

 

I feel like I need some kind of promise in that regard before I can pledge. Certainly at any of the higher tiers that are more an investment than a preorder. Clearly Obsidian has not yet decided on what they consider the ideal combat mechanics to be, at least for this title, but I think it might be worthwhile for everyone, even the Biowarians, if some firm decision on the sort of combat the game is really targeting is reached and announced before October 16th. Without this I might pledge, but I would stay in the $25 - $65 preorder range. The point however is not about my own particular dillemma, but that I am probably not the only Traditionalist who feels this way. Ironically the more traditional this project is the more radical. And the more radical it is the more I am willing to support it in its outrageous stand against what is popular.

 

So when looked at from a factional pov, what might be a good strategy is to give the Traditionalists the combat they know that we want as the core combat mechanic and maybe add-on a more nextgen combat style as an option, all the while making sure that it does not alter the core mode of gameplay even a little. To whatever extent it is possible at least. I don't think the core combat is as make-or-break in terms of pledges for the Biowarians as it is for us. After all, they are here based on the story and setting and whatever else from the IE games. Not the combat. If they really liked those games that much they will like the new game just as well. They just won't like it more, which I don't see as some kind of major tragedy.

 

At the same time I don't think many Codexians/Traditionalists are really going to signficantly drop their pledge amounts if you announce what the Biowarians want more than anything: Romances. Yup. Sorry to use the R word, but as far as I'm concerned they can have their silly romances if it's so important to them. As long as they are 100% optional of course. You could possibly even just have a setting in an .ini file that just shuts them all down or at least tones them down to lower emotional and sexual levels. I know that some Traditionalists may be so enraged that they will drop their pledges entirely, but I think that will only be a very small minority and weighed against the possibly larger pledges from the Bioware camp may be more than worth it monetarily. Of course the cost of this has to be weighed carefully. Even a few quick wham-bam-thank-you-maam encounters may be enough to satisfy them in this regard and that might be worth the extra pledge money. Of course I would never do this if I were Obsidian. It's just pandering for dollars, but dollars is the point of this post.

 

tl;dr version: Biowarians bad. Codexians good. Please don't strain yourself trying to read any more than that.

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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 don't think the dev team is crunching those numbers that way. I genuinely think they just want to make a good game and not necessarily play to any of the crowds out here. If they wanted to 100% play up to the codexians, this thing would be TB and have Vancian magic. If they wanted to play up to the Biowarians, they would have left the boobplate and they wouldnt have included custom party creation.

 

*and, yes, I do not believe most folks fall under those extremes.

Edited by Shevek
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Ha ha ha

 

So when looked at from a factional pov, what might be a good strategy is to give the Traditionalists the combat they know that we want as the core combat mechanic and maybe add-on a more nextgen combat style as an option, all the while making sure that it does not alter the core mode of gameplay even a little. To whatever extent it is possible at least. I don't think the core combat is as make-or-break in terms of pledges for the Biowarians as it is for us. After all, they are here based on the story and setting and whatever else from the IE games. Not the combat. If they really liked those games that much they will like the new game just as well. They just won't like it more, which I don't see as some kind of major tragedy.

 

Turn-based, right? You're the guy who tells others they must despise the IE games if they don't agree with your analysis, yet you want a mechanic that wasn't actually in the IE games. You must despise the IE games. QED.

 

Why not kidnap one of the Dev team member's cats and hold it hostage? Y'know, send ransom notes along the lines of "tUrn-BaSEd Or KitTy GEts It!!!"

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bro, I don't know anything about this or that faction...all i can say is that i've been playing 'puter games since i learned to walk back in the 20th with the old text based rpg's.

 

From what i know combat is gonna be pause, issue commands and play, very much like in the IE games and that's good enough for me.

 

If I had the testicular fortitude for a criminal's lifestyle I'd join a stick up gang, rob a bank and pledge all my cut to fund this bitch!

 

oh and I liked Dragon Age: Origins, even if most of you didn't... **** DA2 though

 

if that makes me a BioWarian rather than a codexian then so be it, so long as this game gets made.

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Where did I say turn-based? I do think turn-based is superior, but that is clearly not what this project is about. I'd love to see a ToEE sequel-in-spirit in another kickstarter though. All I want is the sort of combat that was present in BG2 (or IWD or PS:T). I don't think that's asking so much considering that is pretty much what Obsidian promised on the kickstarter page. Let me just ask you: Would you withdraw (or not make) your pledge if Obsidian just completely catered to my faction in terms of combat? If they aded in Romances would that appease you? How do you fall in terms of this economic analysis? Would you consider pledging $500 for this game and if not, why not?

Edited by metiman

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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On a certain level it is silly. Obviously 90% of the people supporting the game do not fall nicely into one of those two categories. However, those two categories DO seem to fairly accurately represent the two extremes of the spectrum on this site and most do seem to at least partially lean one way or the other.

 

What is instructive about this topic is, monetarily speaking the op has hit on some interesting points (however much he may misrepresent the community). Firstly I do think that the more traditionalist the backer, the more likely they will be to donate the larger tiers, for many of the reasons above, but also and more importantly:

 

Traditionalists are far more likely to be older than the posters somewhat insultingly named "biowareians" and thus have much larger fixed incomes and the ability to invest more money into the endeavor. However, obviously modern games do have far more backers (thus why a game like this is so hard to get publisher funding) and there are more likely to be more of them backing this game overall.

 

That creates an interesting dichotomy between a select few high paying backers who have a very specific game in mind and a larger set of low paying backers who are kinda just in for the ride. But, again as people say we should only take this idea so far because the people supporting this game are far more diverse than simply "codexians" and "biowarians" and most of us, both high end backers and low end probably fit somewhere in the middle.

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However, the point remains Obsidian set out to make a game where they did not have to compromise for the publishers. However, monetarily speaking the backers of this game have them between a rock and a hard place. The game is going to sell a hell of a lot more copies (and allow them to make a self financed sequel) if it is atleast somewhat "modern," however a large percentage of the startup cash is coming from people who want the exact opposite of this.

 

I am not saying any of this will matter in the end, but it is an interesting point that there are several forces at work here in the community all trying to draw obsidian in a different direction and all presenting different financial benefits and pit falls. I just hope obsidian is able to ignore all of them and make the game they envisioned themselves making from the beginning.

Edited by dukeofyork
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Where did I say turn-based? I do think turn-based is superior, but that is clearly not what this project is about. I'd love to see a ToEE sequel-in-spirit in another kickstarter though. All I want is the sort of combat that was present in BG2 (or IWD or PS:T). I don't think that's asking so much considering that is pretty much what Obsidian promised on the kickstarter page. Let me just ask you: Would you withdraw (or not make) your pledge if Obsidian just completely catered to my faction in terms of combat? If they aded in Romances would that appease you? How do fall in terms of this economic analysis? Would you consider pledging $500 for this game and if not, why not?

 

Jesus H Christ. I hate romances. I loather Bioware games. I'm old-skool, just not a head-banging, fundamentalist like you.

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bro, I don't know anything about this or that faction...all i can say is that i've been playing 'puter games since i learned to walk back in the 20th with the old text based rpg's.

 

From what i know combat is gonna be pause, issue commands and play, very much like in the IE games and that's good enough for me.

 

If I had the testicular fortitude for a criminal's lifestyle I'd join a stick up gang, rob a bank and pledge all my cut to fund this bitch!

 

oh and I liked Dragon Age: Origins, even if most of you didn't... **** DA2 though

 

if that makes me a BioWarian rather than a codexian then so be it, so long as this game gets made.

 

Yes it does place you squarely in the Biowarian faction. Your "good enough for me" attitude is another thing that sets you apart from my harder to please faction. What are you planning to pledge and why? Robbing a bank is not a realistic option for any of us. So that's a bit of a red herring. What percentage of your monthly income would you be willing to donate to see this game get made in the way that you want?

Edited by metiman

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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Harder to please? You mean impossible to please. You're as bad as "The Biowarian" romance fundies. If you get one concession, you want another.

 

And how dare you call people out on how much they pledged? The fact is people have different economic situations.

 

I think the Codex needs to do a Kickstarter if you are all so desperately passionate and make your own game.

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If the codex itself was so powerful I would have thought they could have raised $5,000 by now. As I said previously I think the article brings up some valuable points. Unfortunately they are made in an inflammatory and insulting way that alienates almost everyone on this forum, including those of us that lean towards the traditional.

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Yes it does place you squarely in the Biowarian faction. Your "good enough for me" attitude is another thing that sets you apart from my harder to please faction. What are you planning to pledge and why? Robbing a bank is not a realistic option for any of us. So that's a bit of a red herring. What percentage of your monthly income would you be willing to donate to see this game get made in the way that you want?

I think you misunderstood my "good enough for me"...I loved that real time with pause mechanic in the IE games because, as I recall, right there in the options menu it gave you the choice to have the game pause after EVERY CHARACTER ROUND, meaning if you wanted you could have the best of both worlds: a system very close to turn based or just pause whenever you need to strategies for those of us with no need to plan an attack against a horde of rats (I don't need to waste an hour doing this each time)

 

as for what I will pledge? i'm currently raising as much funds as can since i heard about the project...but if i had to do it last minute i'd pledge anything that wouldn't leave me homeless or starving.

Edited by NerdBoner
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I think a lot of the codex members have already put up a good sum of money. Their drive for a codex adventure group is about 50% of the way to its goal and I think it just might happen. Codexians are also a very bipolar lot who strangle each other one second then dry hump the next.

 

I think I might make that last line my new sig

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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Where did I say turn-based? I do think turn-based is superior, but that is clearly not what this project is about. I'd love to see a ToEE sequel-in-spirit in another kickstarter though. All I want is the sort of combat that was present in BG2 (or IWD or PS:T). I don't think that's asking so much considering that is pretty much what Obsidian promised on the kickstarter page. Let me just ask you: Would you withdraw (or not make) your pledge if Obsidian just completely catered to my faction in terms of combat? If they aded in Romances would that appease you? How do fall in terms of this economic analysis? Would you consider pledging $500 for this game and if not, why not?

 

Jesus H Christ. I hate romances. I loather Bioware games. I'm old-skool, just not a head-banging, fundamentalist like you.

 

Well I'm not sure where you fit in. You may just be in between the two factions. Or there may even be a third faction that I haven't been able to describe yet. Haters of DnD, but also of modern games. A faction that is looking for something very original like a fatigue-based magic system (something that I am not strongly against and might not mind). I'd probably have to read your older posts to see where you stand on the important issues. I know there are at least a few people in this category but I don't quite know how to represent it as a faction. They are definitely more on the side of the Traditionalists though. Just because the important thing is not just old combat mechanics vs new combat mechanics, but old combat mechanics vs new-and-horribly-bad combat mechanics.

 

The real importance of the factional disagreement is cooldowns and twitch / popamole or MMO combat styles in general. Some people absolutely love these and would be very disappointed if they are not present in the game. I would definitely categorize such people as the Biowarians or Non-traditionalists. Although I don't think the particular labels are important. Anyway that's where the real rift is. The one that actually matters. The relatively minor disagreement between whether certain people prefer a Mana-based or Fatigue-based or Vancian-based magic system just doesn't seem core to me. I mean, yeah we can argue about it, but is it really make-or-break even for Codexians? I think as long as the combat avoids the newer mechanics like cooldowns and aggro and other such nonsense that's not a huge issue. Insta-Reset between encounters is still being very seriously considered by the devs and this makes me very nervous indeed as it would be an encounter-to-encounter style game without much in the way of attrition mechanics.

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 want Project Eternity to stay very true to the IE formula without any of the awful trends that plague modern RPGs (streamlining, hand-holding, excessive emphasis on action/player skill, cinematics, voiced dialogue, graphics over content, etc etc.) But at the same time, I welcome some change if it genuinely improves upon some of the flaws and shortcomings of the IE games.

 

Basically, I want it to feel very much like an IE game... but at the same time, I want it to be better than the IE games.

 

And as far as pledge amounts go, if I had the money, I would gladly pledge $1k+ for this project.

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Harder to please? You mean impossible to please. You're as bad as "The Biowarian" romance fundies. If you get one concession, you want another.

 

And how dare you call people out on how much they pledged? The fact is people have different economic situations.

 

I think the Codex needs to do a Kickstarter if you are all so desperately passionate and make your own game.

 

I took into account the varying economic situations in my post. Donations as a percentage of monthly income are more relevant I think than absolute amounts.

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 am probably directly halfway between both extremes and I pledged all I could.... barely anything, but it is the thought that counts. :)

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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"If I had the money" is not particularly helpful in terms of economic analysis. It's like "if I had a milion dollars..." Well, yeah. But you don't. The real question is about how important a game with traditional IE BG2 style combat is to you? If you only make $100/month and you donate $20 that would impress the hell out of me. I'd be trying to decide between about 25% to 65% of my monthly income if I thought Obsidian were squarely in my corner as far as staying true to IE combat. That is because games like these are not just rare, but virtually non-existent and I want to vote for more of them to be made with whatever amount I can manage to come up with. If Obsidian isn't really planning to make such a game then there's no point in doing that. I'd be voting for the wrong thing.

Edited by metiman

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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Well the tl;dr part at the bottom was intended for you. You should have just skipped to it.

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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From what I've seen, pretty much nobody is "Biowarian" and everyone is "Conservative." One of the main reasons why this Kickstarter was so popular was because many people are dissatisfied with roleplaying games nowadays and would like to experience the crpgs from the 90's again. Bioware, if anything, is a symbol of this dissatisfaction.

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