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I have read several articles that were written lately about the crowd funding success of PE, and in a few of them they have interviewed an industry "expert", "insider", or "analyst". The message that these people seem to convey is that while the funding campaigns were exciting and successful, "true" Triple A titles often have budgets of $20M+ and they don't really see this new form of funding as a significant paradigm change in Video game production.

 

Of course I found that my first response was to get irritated at the comments, and start wondering if the industry "expert", still believed the world was flat and that the sun revolved around the earth as well. Still after the irritation past, I did try to think about it objectively and the thought did creep in.....is $4M really enough to deliver a Triple A gaming experience? I also realize that a highly enthusiastic, passionate fan community waiting 18 to 24 months for their dream game can really inflate their expectations to an unreasonable level.

 

None the less, for my part, I am pretty confident that a small but talented group of developers like Obsidian, excited to be working on an IP that they OWN, with ambition and efficiency should be able to squeeze every last ounce of value out of that $4M to deliver a fantastic game. However, I believe I still have to be mindful that $4M may be considered a "limited" budget and actively manage my expectations. What do you think?

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No, it isn't.

 

Depending on your definition of *triple A*

 

This game won't have a big marketing budget, complete voice overs, cinematic cutscenes or state-of-the-art graphics.

 

I will however have lots of quality content.

Edited by C2B
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For those Triple-A titles that have $20+ million budgets, how much of that budget goes toward fully voiced dialogue? How much goes toward top-end graphics? How much goes toward advertising spots on prime time television?

 

Those are things that, for the most part, Obsidian won't have to spend the $4 million budget on. So I don't think it's easily comparable situations.

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"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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I have read several articles that were written lately about the crowd funding success of PE, and in a few of them they have interviewed an industry "expert", "insider", or "analyst". The message that these people seem to convey is that while the funding campaigns were exciting and successful, "true" Triple A titles often have budgets of $20M+ and they don't really see this new form of funding as a significant paradigm change in Video game production.

 

Of course they're going to say that to try to dissuade other developers from going the Kickstarter route. Doesn't rustle my jimmies in the slightest.

 

You have to compare this sort of game production with game production under a publisher not only by the size of the budget, but by the freedom of the developer as well. Once again,

.

 

Second, while crowd sourcing may not be able to provide those amounts of money at this point, as time goes on and people become more and more aware of crowdsourcing and Internet in general develops, the amount of money which will be possible to gather through Kickstarter and other online crowdsourcing methods will only get bigger and bigger.

 

DFE Kickstarter campaign raised 3.3 million dollars. About half a year later, PE Kickstarter campaign raised 4 million dollars. You extrapolate.

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runner.jpg

Hey, I just backed you,

and this is crazy,

but here's my money,

so stretch goal maybe?

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I'm going to assume Obsidian is putting some money into the pot as well. I'm sure it wouldn't add up to 20 million though. The kickstarter was originally asking for 1.1 million so that's why I think we funded a lot of the content but not all of the game design costs.

Edited by Malkaven

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Unless they do something stupid like use the 4 million to finance a triple A title, this is not going to be a triple A title. Period.

 

But I don't think that will negatively influence the game much. There will be no full orchestra or big name Voice Actors or anything like that though. Which is fine with me, plenty of other games to get that sort of thing from.

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Eternity is not triple A, not that even half of current triple A titles ever deserve the name.

 

Eternity will not be overly expensive to make, they are not relying on cutting edge technology or full voice acting with massive marketing campaign. They have a dedicated and experienced team, so the process should be streamlined and they are not having to spend a lot of money of middlewear as the engine they have chosen is inexpensive and flexible.

 

Is four million a lot of money for current big budget games? No.

 

Is it enough to make Eternity a great game? Yes, definitely.

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If I wanted one of those 20 million games that are considered top-notch today, I wouldn't have backed a game that brings back the wonderful gaming experience of the Infinity Engine RPGs from the 2000s. ;)

I think much of the technical ressources necessary to make the game great are affordably available, today.

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Well, I don't really know how much such game costs, but if Obsidian says that they can do all of that for 4 milions $ in good quality, I believe they can. In addition, you must remember:

 

1) Obsidian has own money

2) they will use Unity not something brand new

3) game will be released in 2014 and they got so big advertise at the very beginning

4) they received 4 millions and don't have to share them with anyone

5) If they still need more money, it will be to get them much easier after kickstarter than before

 

Well I didn't played any games since Planescape Torment (quite a lot of time isn't it?) But when I heard about Project Eternity I decided to invest money trough paypal and I bought/donate 65 (+15$ dollars for shipping) option. Yes, I really expect a good game. For me it's an experiment.

 

 

English isn't my native language, I'm sorry for any mistakes

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No one here wants Project Eternity to be AAA game, as in fully voice acted, few hours long quasi-movie.

 

I don't agree with the voice acting part. As long as the protogonist is not VO'd, and they are both done, and directed well-I'm all for it-In Theory.

 

But I am a realist somewhat. I know to afford the massive budget it would take to pull that off that A: They would have to cut down on planned dialogue. Or B: They would have to...mainstream and streamline the product and do a multiplatform release just to break even on the cash it would take to pull it off. Or some combination of the two.

 

I don't know about anybody else here, but F-yeah, I would LOVE a game like project eternity that also had a AAA production and post production budget (minus the silly marketing campaings), but I also realize that it is probably not viable to do so-sadly.

 

Anyway-looking foward to Eternity. Might even go play IWD I and II. I have them, just never sat down and played them.

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http://www.develop-o...-as-high-as-28m

This article is tagged as a 'study'. As it is only a hand full of paragraphs I would be interrested to see more information on an actual break down on the costs that drive development so high. This article is a couple years old as well.

 

I think the 4 million will be plenty to get the game out as Oblivion envisions it. They have committed to not fully voice acting the game, assuming there will be no MW3 style media blitz with Jonah hill lobbing grenades at n00bs, and they are not having to build an engine from scratch. From what I understand it's the publishing company that is responsible for marketing the game anyhow. I expect that they are not going to have to completely create all the art from scratch as well considering all of the other games they have produced in the past. Regardless, kickstarter is just that, a kickstart. It got the project started.

Edited by Rezin

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Usually marketing isn't factored into those budgets.

 

This, too. The man knows whereof he speaks.

 

Couple that with what I said earlier about the developers having absolute freedom over their own work, not having to adjust to publisher-set schedules and deadlines, being in the complete posession of their own IP and not having to share the profits from the sales with a publisher and practically being left with crumbs of the crumbs of what people actually pay for the game, and I think it is not overshooting it to say that 4 million $ via Kickstarter is worth much, much more than 40 million $ via a publisher.


runner.jpg

Hey, I just backed you,

and this is crazy,

but here's my money,

so stretch goal maybe?

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Usually marketing isn't factored into those budgets.

 

Something I've been wondering is:

 

How much did BGII or IWD cost to make? I understand times are different, as is the economy, as is technology, but I am curious how comparable the budget for those games and P:E are.

Edited by intothedreaming
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Making a game like BG2 would probably cost around 1-2 million. That is probably why this is where the initial goal for the kick starter was set.

 

Now when you talk about the costs of modern triple A game, as other have already said, you need to take into account the costs of the graphics and voice overs and advertising. All of these things cause prices to sky rocket. It's been said by Square that one of the reasons they haven't remade Final Fantasy 7 is that the costs to remake it with todays graphic standards would be absurdly high. All those areas you explored were fairly large so to render them all out in full would take enormous amounts of money. This is why so many modern video games adopt the narrow hallways instead of open worlds.

 

However Obsidian knows what they're doing. They know how to keep a game on buget which is why they're doing the painted backgrounds and not anything fully rendered. It's why they don't have plan on having extensive voice acting.

 

So the game will get made and still be able to have high quality. Just don't be expecting a game that's fully rendered and would need a new video card to play at full specs.

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K is for Kid, a guy or gal just like you. Don't be in such a hurry to grow up, since there's nothin' a kid can't do.

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It's not meant to be a triple a game, that's the whole point. However, I do worry with how much will be taken out in kickstarter and amazon fees as well as failed transactions and physical merchandise.

 

The point those analysts are making, I think is that you can't really fund a triple a game this way, but it can work for games that are not aiming to be that.

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Something I've been wondering is:

 

How much did BGII or IWD cost to make? I understand times are different, as is the economy, as is technology, but I am curious how comparable the budget for those games and P:E are.

 

I'm curious about this too. It would give a general idea of how much PE could potentially cost to make, and could alleviate any fears about how far the $4 million raised from Kickstarter can be stretched.


"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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By way of comparison to the movie industry, this feels a lot more like an indie film than a big budget production. But indie films can make for great theater and big budget movies can be an absolute disaster. I'm looking forward to that niche market feel of a BG release.


"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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That $20M+ number is oversimplified and really is not a realistic budget for this category of game. It doesn’t take into account anything other than the overall average on current AAA video games designed for the current tier of Consoles. AAA is the top tier of games from a sales perspective, think Call of Duty, Gears of War, Halo 3, and other huge releases. Almost all titles with this sort of budget are 1st person shooters or 3rd person over the shoulder perspective video games with a lot of cinematic and voice work, and are also released on at least 3 different platforms (xbox 360, PS3, and PC).

 

Video game budgets have increased at an incredible rate over the past decade:

 

· 1-4 mil 2000

· 5 mil in 2006

· 20m in 2010

 

This is primarily due to the increased expectation in the level of detail complexity in 3d graphics and in-game physics, using full voice overs instead of text, and simultaneous multi-platform release across consoles and PCs.

 

Project Eternity has almost none of the attributes that require a 20 million dollar budget. It doesn’t require complex 3d environments with advanced in game physics, full voice overs, and release on consoles.

 

I think the 4 million dollar budget will be more then enough to release this type of game with the specs that have been promised, especially when you consider the tools available today are a lot better then they were 10 years ago.

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Brian Fargo has said multiple times that fallout took about 3 million dollars. BGII probably took a lot more to make. One thing people have to remember is that a game like BGII was pretty state of the art at the time. Now it isn't. Many of the techniques they are using will be cheaper now than they used to be, etc.

Edited by Metabot

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