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PE: cRPG gamechanger? Or no? Random musings...


Game Changer or No?  

147 members have voted

  1. 1. Will PE change how future cRPG products are developed?

    • Yes
      32
    • No
      15
    • Too early to tell
      100


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So far, PE is offering some interesting and exciting changes to accepted rpg mechanics. Here are two I find interesting.

 

1. Hitpoints are now a two tiered system: stamina and health. This attempts to offer the benefits of regenerating health in stemming rest based save scumming while attempting to maintain a system that allows for attrition. Curative spells are largely gone as well.

 

2. Spells are now based on a mix of regenerating spell point system with higher level spells requiring rest to regain. In other words, all wizards are sorcerors who regen spell points on the mid and low level spells while still having to rest for the "big guns." Spell "sets" can be swapped at a cooldown cost.

 

What I see here is an attempt to take the benefits of more modern systems and marry them to the virtues of older implementations of said systems. Frankly, I love this. Sure, how rest is handled in this game is very important to the viability of all this. Still, this is exciting stuff.

 

When Avellone was interviewed by RPS, the interviewer seemed overly negative. To RPS, PE seemed to be simply a return to simpler times and nothing but a child of nostalgia.

 

When I look at changes like those above, however, I see something different. PE has the potential to move the genre forward in some significant ways. It can maintain deep, strategic gameplay while also minimizing tedium and annoyance. Can a rpg maintain the importance of rest and attrition while avoiding abuse of the rest or save/load? Can one keep the strategic planning of 2e dnd while avoiding the constance hassle of constantly memming/resting for a series of spells to take down necessary spell protections/etc? Few mainstream games ask these questions because the answers do not matter to their bottom line.

 

I was once told its not what you do but why you do it. I think there is truth in this. The PE team is not trying to hit a metacritic score. They are not trying to hit an ESRB rating. They are not trying to ensure they land on Walmart shelves. They are trying to make a great rpg for US. I think that vision will be evident in the final product.

 

I also think they may well impact the industry as a whole. How awesome would that be?

 

Maybe that is why I (we?) donated to this thing. What do you guys think? Will PE change how other cRPGs are made in the future? Or is this the last hoorah for real party based cRPGs?

Edited by Shevek
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I can only hope so. I am tired of being hand held through my playthrough of a game. What the industry really needs is a kick in the collective rear, and to bring out some new innovation. They have moved away from the old roots and gone to a more simplified system (not every game). I hope PE creates a big enough wave in the gaming community that developers perk up and take notice.

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It's not really changes. It's different mechanics that have been used by other games before, thrown into one pot.

 

At the moment I'm a bit ... worried by the amount of changes to the IE formula, it's very ambitious to say the least. If not done correctly it could alienate many people who backed this project hoping for a game that harkens back to the specific games they campaigned on.

 

That said I payed more for this game than any other game I've bought before hoping to make it great. Fingers crossed.

 

I think I'm at a danger of becoming too invested to the point where I will just be disappointed.

Edited by Sensuki
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I believe that it has the ability, not to alter the AAA RPG genre, but to act as a catalyst for future production of similar title by setting a precedent that communicates to publishers and to the rest gaming industry that there is market for these titles.

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Two things:

 

1. The game has to sell somewhat well ... certainly not in the multiple millions of copies expected of today's AAA titles, but probably around 500K or so to be a considered a real commercial success.

 

2. The game needs to be good -- and not just PE, but Wasteland 2, Double Fine, Shadowrun etc. There's a ton of pressure on these high budget (for crowd funding) projects to not only be completed in a timely fashion, but they need to be critical successes.

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Two things:

 

1. The game has to sell somewhat well ... certainly not in the multiple millions of copies expected of today's AAA titles, but probably around 500K or so to be a considered a real commercial success.

 

2. The game needs to be good -- and not just PE, but Wasteland 2, Double Fine, Shadowrun etc. There's a ton of pressure on these high budget (for crowd funding) projects to not only be completed in a timely fashion, but they need to be critical successes.

 

1. 500K copies... Man, that would be a healthy chunk of change for OE. I am not sure even that much is really necessary though for PE to be a success. 200K copies would mean $4.9 million coming in (assuming a unit cost of $35 and like 30% of revenue going to distributors - just a guesstimate). I mean, if OE gets $4.9 million in straight up profit (before taxes) after all costs have been paid for, isn't that a resounding success for a company of OE's size? How much would they get in a publisher deal, I wonder? If they do get 500K copies sold (which they should after all the buzz us early adopters will generate), thats over 12 million in profit. Crazy.

 

2. I do NOT believe critics matter in this equation. I have to disagree very sharply on that point. The gaming press mattered during the KS campaign to help generate buzz. Now that is done and the emphasis will shift to how we, the early adopters, react to their product.

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Way too early to tell, also the things you are touting as new and innovative have been done in games before. Admittedly maybe not in a classic isometric view computer RPG, but still the point stands. Speculating over the games sales at this point is also pretty pointless.

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Gamechanger, I don't know.. maybe. Influence the gaming industry? I think it will.

Since Obsidian personally owns this IP they can communicate about the production however they want and to whomever they want.

That is an amazing freedom I think for the company. From how personal they were with the backers about various things in the game,I can only imagine them to continue to keep us informed on as much as they feel is necessary without spoiling the game.

Edited by Technatorium
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Unlikely. First, PE is a game for a niche audience. As Feargus or Avellone said, publishers may change their approach to these kind of RPGs but only IF Eternity will be very successful. Second, as Sensuki said, PE didn't introduced anything that is really new.

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I think Obsidian has made a splash by breaking the record at Kickstarter. Besides sending a message to publishers, I think the more significant impact will be felt by people who have ambitions to go into making games, people who are thinking of going indie but are on the fence about taking the plunge. Obsidian has with its success this time and with its support of the Kick It Forward initiative, tipped the scales slightly more in favor of the indie developer. I believe we will see more quality games made with a smaller budget. This kickstarter has I believe convinced many skeptics to reconsider their previous beliefs that the crowd will only buy from big name publishers.

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Two things:

 

1. The game has to sell somewhat well ... certainly not in the multiple millions of copies expected of today's AAA titles, but probably around 500K or so to be a considered a real commercial success.

 

2. The game needs to be good -- and not just PE, but Wasteland 2, Double Fine, Shadowrun etc. There's a ton of pressure on these high budget (for crowd funding) projects to not only be completed in a timely fashion, but they need to be critical successes.

 

1. 500K copies... Man, that would be a healthy chunk of change for OE. I am not sure even that much is really necessary though for PE to be a success. 200K copies would mean $4.9 million coming in (assuming a unit cost of $35 and like 30% of revenue going to distributors - just a guesstimate). I mean, if OE gets $4.9 million in straight up profit (before taxes) after all costs have been paid for, isn't that a resounding success for a company of OE's size? How much would they get in a publisher deal, I wonder? If they do get 500K copies sold (which they should after all the buzz us early adopters will generate), thats over 12 million in profit. Crazy.

 

2. I do NOT believe critics matter in this equation. I have to disagree very sharply on that point. The gaming press mattered during the KS campaign to help generate buzz. Now that is done and the emphasis will shift to how we, the early adopters, react to their product.

 

200K copies sold might be a commercial success ... sort of? But your original question seemed to be asking if PE will change the landscape of the industry when it comes to these kinds of games. In order for there to be a sea change then there has to be a pretty clear show of consumer demand for PC-only games; that they are viable financially and other developers, without Obsidian's built in credibility, will be able to take a risk.

 

My second point about critical success, kind of feeds into the first point. Games with low scores on metacritic don't sell as well, and if the quality of DFA, W2, and PE are perceived to be sub-standard then it's going to be hard to convince Kickstarter backers to lay out more cash in the future.

 

Just so we're clear, I'm not predicting failure for Obsidian. My cautiously optimistic hope is that the game is an instant classic, sells something like 1.5 million units and makes Obsidian flush enough with cash that they can self-publish like Blizzard does from here on out. Wishful thinking perhaps, but maybe not completely bonkers?

Edited by nikolokolus
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I believe devs said somewhere that publishers won't take notice unless the game sells one million copies. Sorry, I can't find where they said that, I checked the Kickstarter comments, maybe it was an interview. Anyway what they do get is their own IP and that makes negotiations with publishers and others in the future a lot easier.

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I think both PE and Wasteland 2 will be very interesting once it's available for sales. Given the pent-up demand, the amount of sales achieved should give a pretty objective indicator as to the size of the market available for old school style of cRPGs.

 

Given that DAO sold about 400k units (http://www.vgchartz.com/game/33504/dragon-age-origins/), I guess it's possible that PE might have sales of around 300k?

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Project Eternity can end up being one of two things:

 

1- A great revival of Infinity Engine based RPGs that will make die-hard fans happy.

2- A step forward for RPGs in general.

 

Only in the second case PE will be a game able to influence the next RPG generation. To achieve this goal Obsidian has to implement brand new features and to steer away (at least in part) from the inifinity engine style of gameplay and storytelling. This could mean alienating part of the community and could be very risky, because in this case the community financed the project. It's a big risk, but it could be the only way to make PE a fertile franchise, appealing even to those that never lived the Inifinity Engine era.

 

I think that Project Eternity needs to take the second road because if it doesn't it will never make enough profit to let obsidian finance a second chapter. Ok using kickstarter for one game, but if you find yourself in the need to ask money to the community for the second chapter, the third and so on then something is going wrong.

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Basically from what i'm guessing is they've had this idea for a long time, this dream so to speak.. a dream to invent the best rpg ever created by taking elements from all the previous rpgs and combining them in a way that makes for a spectacular display. But, no publisher would back this dream, nobody cared about it and we were never given a voice because we didn't amount to being considered 'enough' of the gaming population.

 

They see kick starter, suddenly that dream re-awakens, energy soars with excitement. Now the problem is will it work? Because, right now it's just ideas some on paper, most in their heads. It's just visualizations of what could be. They don't know and we won't know if it can work and if it will work well until they get the game developed to a point where we can test it. So really we took a huge gamble here, placing our bets all in on a 50/50 chance. I'm glad with the decision I made and I hope everyone else is as well. Obsidian will try to do their best to make not only their dreams come true but ours as well, the need for an rpg that sparks our excitement once more, reminds us why we love rpgs so much. Yeah it was a gamble, and we'll have to play the waiting game for some time to come, and nobody can make any promises or state with any certainty. All we can do is put our trust in the folks at Obsidian, hope that their dream and our dream of the ideal rpg will come to fruition.

Edited by Loranc

Obsidian ‏@Obsidian Current PayPal status: $140,000. 2,200 backers

 

"Hmm so last Paypal information was 140,000 putting us at 4,126,929. We did well over and beyond 4 million, and still have an old backer number from Paypal. 76,186 backers. It's very possible that we have over 75,000 backers if I had new Paypal information. Which means we may have 15 Mega dungeon levels, and we already are going to have an amazing game + cats (I swear I will go stir crazy if Adam doesn't own up to the cats thing :p)."

 

Switching to Paypal means that more of your money will go towards Project Eternity. (The more you know.)

Paypal charges .30 cents per transaction and 2.2% for anything over 100,000 per month for U.S currency. Other currency is different, ranging from anywhere between 2.2-4.9%.

Kick Starter is a fixed 5% charge at the end.

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Basically from what i'm guessing is they've had this idea for a long time, this dream so to speak.. a dream to invent the best rpg ever created by taking elements from all the previous rpgs and combining them in a way that makes for a spectacular display. But, no publisher would back this dream, nobody cared about it and we were never given a voice because we didn't amount to being considered 'enough' of the gaming population.

 

They see kick starter, suddenly that dream re-awakens, energy soars with excitement. Now the problem is will it work? Because, right now it's just ideas some on paper, most in their heads. It's just visualizations of what could be. They don't know and we won't know if it can work and if it will work well until they get the game developed to a point where we can test it. So really we took a huge gamble here, placing our bets all in on a 50/50 chance. I'm glad with the decision I made and I hope everyone else is as well. Obsidian will try to do their best to make not only their dreams come true but ours as well, the need for an rpg that sparks our excitement once more, reminds us why we love rpgs so much. Yeah it was a gamble, and we'll have to play the waiting game for some time to come, and nobody can make any promises or state with any certainty. All we can do is put our trust in the folks at Obsidian, hope that their dream and our dream of the ideal rpg will come to fruition.

 

You're right. This project will be the flagship product for the type of RPGs that we all love. Not only is Obsidian staking their entire hard-earned reputation on this, but it's the final life line for deeper in-depth non-streamlined RPGs in general. If it's not a reasonable success, then it is probably the death-knell for the old-school RPGs. I really hope Obsidian makes PE a resounding success so that we can see a revival of these RPGs...

 

The only other high-profile project along these lines is the new upcoming Divinity: Original Sin by Larian studios.

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My fear is that Kickstarter is a disaster waiting to happen. But for now I'm enjoying the process.

 

The disaster will happen if one of the flagships (say top10) Kickstarter fails. What would be the recourse for the donors? Does Kickstarter have any safeguards for this?

 

A lot of donation in Kickstarter is based on faith and trust. Once this is violated, yeah... things might turn ugly real fast :closed:

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1- A great revival of Infinity Engine based RPGs that will make die-hard fans happy.

 

This IS a step forward in my opinion.

 

I didn't pledge for an RPG that's trying to be innovative. I want that old feeling back.

Edited by Sensuki
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I think both PE and Wasteland 2 will be very interesting once it's available for sales. Given the pent-up demand, the amount of sales achieved should give a pretty objective indicator as to the size of the market available for old school style of cRPGs.

 

Given that DAO sold about 400k units (http://www.vgchartz....on-age-origins/), I guess it's possible that PE might have sales of around 300k?

 

http://en.wikipedia...._PC_video_games

 

It looks like the most successful RPGs on the computer (not including MMOs and Diablo), are:

  1. The Witcher, 2.1 Million
     
  2. Baldur's Gate, 2 Million
     
  3. Baldur's Gate 2, 2 Million
     
  4. Neverwinter Nights, 2 Million
     
  5. The Witcher 2, 1.1 Million

Those figures should give us an idea of what the upper cap is on the success of the game.

 

I believe Planescape Torment sold around 400,000 copies so it wasn't considered to be hugely successful based off of sales figures, though it was critically acclaimed.

Edited by Regenshire
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It won't. I'm sure developers in the industry are taking notice, but unless this game sells really, really well, it won't change anything, and developers will be at the mercy of the publisher in figuring out how to get the most money out of their product. A game like PE isn't something that will draw large numbers. It never will, it just doesn't have broad enough appeal. Well, this KS might say otherwise, but I just don't see publishers demanding games like this get made, which is where the real change comes in the industry.

 

But in other ways, I think things have already changed, right here, as seen in the PE KS and many others that have found success. It's shown there is still a substantial, though niche, demand for these games, and it's totally possible.

 

I mean, the impossible dream is now a reality! Who cares what the rest of the industry is doing anyway.

Edited by Ignatius
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Don't forget that the game already has sold just shy of 75k copies, 18 months before it's even due to come out. That's a huge success right there, in my books. And for my part at least, I can tell you that if my boxed copy hadn't had a digital download included, there would've been another copy purchased by my buddy, meaning actual demand at this early stage is higher than even the backer numbers imply.

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