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Holding the developer hostage? Seriously?

 

How the hell is that "holding the developer hostage"? What is "hostageous" about this situation?

 

You make good stuff -> you get more money and can make more good stuff.

 

You make bad stuff -> you don't get more money and can't keep making bad stuff.

 

It only seems fair to me, as opposed to the way most of the current gaming market operates where you can just keep making pretty much the same crap over and over - it's easier to persuade a bunch of people to buy your crap when it's done, but to persuade a bunch of people to invest in the crap you plan to make... that's darn near impossible (developers invest in crap because it sells, as I said - it's easier to persuade a bunch of people to buy your crap when it's done).

 

Because there are a lot of outside and additional costs (and upredictable ones) and kickstarters just not going to cut it. It's not fair at all. Especially to Obsidian.

 

Obsidian has a monthly burn rate of near 1 Million.

 

Also what? That's not how the gaming market works.

Edited by C2B
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Because there are a lot of outside and additional costs and kickstarters just not going to cut it. It's not fair at all.

 

I don't see why not. Just allocate the budget you get from Kickstarter appropriately.

 

Also what? That's not how the gaming market works at all.

 

Of course it is. Isn't that why everyone gets so excited at the chance of being able to invest in the development of an old-style kind of game?

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I'm not saying that's definitely going to happen one day, my point is only that it's foolish to claim that it definitely won't. It's not impossible is all I'm saying.

No, it is not foolish.

 

It's foolish to say otherwise.

 

That kind of money does not go directly to the devs in that kind of timeframe in any instance. Ever.

 

If a game doesn't get distributed by Wal-Mart or Steam, it is not recouping a $20 million budget.

 

Blizzard doesn't sell copies of DIablo 3 in Wal-Mart and Gamestop just for fun. They do it because tons of people WOULD NOT buy it if it wasn't on a shelf at Gamestop and Wal-Mart.

 

Not ONLY does it not follow that money that goes into major retail outlets can suddenly go direct

 

You're talking about people who don't realize that Call of Duty is made by two alternating developers, that Bethesda didn't make New Vegas, that Sony doesn't make Final Fantasy. That is NOT money that is even remotely close to being available through direct channels and to pretend it is would be ridiculous.

 

There is not a single game which, selling only direct through the developer, was able to make $20 million in a single month(or even two). Prove me wrong. THAT is the money that could feasibly *pretend* to be available for a Kickstarter without sounding ludicrous.

Edited by HungryHungryOuroboros
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This is an experiment..we ll have to wait and see whether the money was enough. What is certain though is that there is a huge chance that a big proportion of the backers will be dissatisfied. expectation around here got out of hand and thats always a dangerous thing. Also anyone noticed how none of the big sites exposed the project as much??yeah thats what you get with crowd funding and just 4 mills. I just hope this whole thing succeeds though i doubt it will sell as much as most people anticipate it to...It will take much more than less than a hundred thousand people to call this gamble a success

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I'm not saying that's definitely going to happen one day, my point is only that it's foolish to claim that it definitely won't. It's not impossible is all I'm saying.

No, it is not foolish.

 

It's foolish to say otherwise.

 

That kind of money does not go directly to the devs in that kind of timeframe in any instance. Ever.

 

If a game doesn't get distributed by Wal-Mart or Steam, it is not recouping a $20 million budget.

 

Blizzard doesn't sell copies of DIablo 3 in Wal-Mart and Gamestop just for fun. They do it because tons of people WOULD NOT buy it if it wasn't on a shelf at Gamestop and Wal-Mart.

 

Not ONLY does it not follow that money that goes into major retail outlets can suddenly go direct

 

You're talking about people who don't realize that Call of Duty is made by two alternating developers, that Bethesda didn't make New Vegas, that Sony doesn't make Final Fantasy. That is NOT money that is even remotely close to being available through direct channels and to pretend it is would be ridiculous.

 

There is not a single game which, selling only direct through the developer, was able to make $20 million in a single month(or even two). Prove me wrong. THAT is the money that could feasibly *pretend* to be available for a Kickstarter without sounding ludicrous.

 

I really don't understand why it's so emotionally important for you to prove that it's impossible for crowdfunding to be as successful as publisher funding. To me it seems pretty obvious that something like that cannot be proven (in other words, only time will tell) and, hence, to claim something like that is foolish.

 

You want me to prove you wrong? I don't want to, nor do I need to. If it's really that important for you to think that it is certainly definitely 100% impossible for crowdfunding to result in business as successful as publisher funding, whatever your reason to feel that way might be, I don't want to break your spirit.

Edited by Veeno

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so stretch goal maybe?

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This is an experiment..we ll have to wait and see whether the money was enough. What is certain though is that there is a huge chance that a big proportion of the backers will be dissatisfied. expectation around here got out of hand and thats always a dangerous thing. Also anyone noticed how none of the big sites exposed the project as much??yeah thats what you get with crowd funding and just 4 mills. I just hope this whole thing succeeds though i doubt it will sell as much as most people anticipate it to...It will take much more than less than a hundred thousand people to call this gamble a success

 

Ultimately it's all in Obsidian's hands now. They have the money to start creating a great game with a great IP that they own. If they succeed in making a good game, nobody will care whether it's publisher-funded or kickstarter funded. Selling PnP versions of their IP, novels based off the IP, etc etc will bring in money.

 

It's all in Obsidian's hands now. I trust them to do a good job.

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Yeah I think a good example are the transformer movies, that's considered a 'tripple-a' movie, a blockbuster, its BIG. They're also kinda poop. Some of the best games, and movies, don't have a giant amount of funding and huge funding doesn't mean it'll be a great game. It just means it has a lot of money behind it. In fact, while having at on of money can be a great thing, it can also be a detriment to the games ehh, I dunno lets call it soul. You get people who don't know much about games looking at charts trying to push things in away that ultimately dilute what could of otherwise been a great game, or cut a project's development time a bit short when it needed an extra 3 months.

 

I think for what they're doing, it'll definitely go a long way for making a modern IE-style game. A damn long way.

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The big issue with getting more people to crowdfunding is

 

well, it's crowdfunding

 

You'll only ever get a (quite possibly) small fraction of the actual market for the game. The majority won't invest in something that

 

A: Hasn't been made yet

 

B: They don't really get anything back aside from swag.

 

That's also why I believe, successful products will be profitable in most cases.

 

That's a good point, the untapped market for the game is much greater than the kickstarter support.

 

To me this model is great because allows successful game publishers to gain a hefty pool of capital. If P:E sells 300K at $40ea then that's $12million to Obsidian. My hope is that some of that would be retained and reinvested.

 

This isn't game design without a publisher, this is game design and self-publishing. And the more successful the small game studios are with it, the more capital they accrue, and the larger projects they can fund. It may be that only 25% of some future $20M game is covered by a kickstarter campaign, but that means they only have to have $15M to cover the rest, and only have to have $15M in sales to cover that investment. Selling 400K at $40ea means a profit, where without kickstarter that would be a $4M loss.

 

And then you factor in the community-building and free marketing from passionate and involved backers and it's a huge benefit for small developers who could develop more advanced and more commercially successful games if given the chance.

 

EDIT: The first project to harness this model for a large immersive MMO will be awesome. Imagine early backers creating world detail during the beta, before the game even releases. Having 50,000 crowdsourced world-builders would create a level of detail unmatched in other games. Allow beta-testers to play up to max level and then retire their beta characters into NPC-dom to locations all around the game universe, with scripted interactions based on the character as first played by the beta-tester.

 

Who wouldn't love that?

Edited by RTWAP
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One point I really don't see mentioned here is that just because a game is done without voice acting or without fancy a 3d engine doesn't mean that the game can't be AAA. To me, AAA game status is earned by games that suck you in, give you a great gaming experience and leaves you feeling satisfied. Who cares if the dialog is just written paragraphs and the camera is zoomed out and fixed?

 

To me in's kinda like movie awards. Inception was a great AAA Blockbuster that cost $160 Million to make. It even took Academy Awards for Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects. Still it was The King's Speech that same year that won the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Original Screenplay. The film also received 12 Oscar nominations, more than any other film in that year. What was the budget for The King's Speech? $15 million.

 

So I guess my point is that just because your budget is small it doesn't mean you can't make an amazing product. This may sound kinda childish but it brings to mind the saying "It's doesn't matter what you have, it's all in how you use it.".

 

-P

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One point I really don't see mentioned here is that just because a game is done without voice acting or without fancy a 3d engine doesn't mean that the game can't be AAA. To me, AAA game status is earned by games that suck you in, give you a great gaming experience and leaves you feeling satisfied. Who cares if the dialog is just written paragraphs and the camera is zoomed out and fixed?

 

We all probably agree with you, but publishers (the current rulers of the market) don't, for one simple reason - it benefits the strongest (richest) publishers for voice acting, fancy graphics and physics and other whatnots to be what determines the AAA status of a game, because the biggest and richest publishers will be capable of producing games with higher quality voice acting, graphics, physics etc. than smaller publishers, thus ensuring that it is their games that keep getting the AAA status.

 

You remember how Skyrim was nominated for Game of the Year award like half a year before it was even released?

 

Yeah.

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Note that other KS cRPGs have been making progress with less than what PE received:

 

* Shadowrun Returns is looking nice at $1.9 million.

* Wasteland 2 developers have their basic look down and are working on building scenarios with $2.9 million.

 

Both seem to be taking similar graphical approaches as PE.

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The "Triple A" titles with massive budgets probably have most of it going toward marketing and what not. And besides, how many of those titles are even good? Call of Duty isn't, neither was TOR.

 

Money doesn't necessarily mean quality. All I want is a quality game and I think Obsidian can deliver it.

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The "Triple A" titles with massive budgets probably have most of it going toward marketing and what not. And besides, how many of those titles are even good? Call of Duty isn't, neither was TOR.

 

Money doesn't necessarily mean quality. All I want is a quality game and I think Obsidian can deliver it.

 

As is the case in nearly the entire market (not just software), most people just assume that "more expensive" = "better". Likewise, for video games most people assume that "more money poured into it" = "a better game". The market has been conditioning people to think that way for a long time because it's much easier to just pour more and more money into a video game than it is to make better and better video games. Hopefully in the future people will start realising that size of budget doesn't equal quality of a video game, and maybe Kickstarter is exactly what will help make that happen.

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and this is crazy,

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so stretch goal maybe?

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I'm really surprised by the conservative approach that most people have when it comes to the growth of crowd funding. How many internet users know of kickstarter? 5%, 15%, 30%? What ever the number is there are probably millions of people that have not even heard about such a way of financing games. Also, how many people are out there that like the idea in theory, but are still skeptical about putting their money into something that has little or no proof of working (I'm talking about games exclusively here).

 

Right now, while there is still not a single game released (as far as I know) with a budget of even a few hundred thousand dollars, project eternity received a backing of around 4 millions. Unless crowd funded games gain some serious negative rep (which is unfortunately not so unlikely IMO), I'm optimistic about its future growth.

 

Even if we exclude future backers that are currently unfamiliar with this, just the positive reputation that games such as PE will gain for being awesome will likely influence many that are still wary to participate in future projects they like. Obviously, currently funded games need to be released and successful for this to happen.

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Right now, while there is still not a single game released (as far as I know) with a budget of even a few hundred thousand dollars,

 

 

http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/faster_than_light

 

Unless crowd funded games gain some serious negative rep (which is unfortunately not so unlikely IMO)

 

What makes you think it's not unlikely?

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If your definition of "triple A" is cutting edge graphics, huge multiplayer focus, tons of licensed music, and a boat load of voice acting then... no 4 million isn't anywhere near enough for a "triple A" experience. If your idea of "triple A" is a great game people love to play and still talk about today years after it came out like Fallout 1-2 well I think Fallout 2 only cost around 3.5 million or so.

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By the way, people talking about AAA games with multiplayer, fancy engines, physics and graphics? Check this baby out.

Edited by Veeno

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Right now, while there is still not a single game released (as far as I know) with a budget of even a few hundred thousand dollars,

 

http://www.kickstart...ster-than-light

 

http://www.gog.com/e...ster_than_light

I forgot about FTL. Still that's only one game with only 10 thousand backers. Not exactly the type of game I was talking about.

 

Unless crowd funded games gain some serious negative rep (which is unfortunately not so unlikely IMO)

 

What makes you think it's not unlikely?

Maybe I'm a pessimist, but while I'm hopeful that every single bigger project will do fine, if even one fails to get made, for example, the bad press kickstarter would get, combined with increased sentiment of cynicism from potential backers, could do a lot of damage.

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Maybe I'm a pessimist, but while I'm hopeful that every single bigger project will do fine, if even one fails to get made, for example, the bad press kickstarter would get, combined with increased sentiment of cynicism from potential backers, could do a lot of damage.

 

Eventually there will have to be a crowdfunded video game project which fails. Let's just hope it happens as late as possible and that the current "big three" - Double Fine Adventure, Wasteland 2 and Project Eternity - will do great and garner a nice reputation for Kickstarter and crowdfunding in general.

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I think the best comparison is the movie industry. Not every successful movie has to be a big budget blockbuster to succeed. In fact the movies that fit that description seem to be the most formulaic drivel that Hollywood pushes year in year out. It's also the same reason you see a bunch of sequels and remakes in both industries...because they're too afraid to take chances on new IPs.

 

With Kickstarter devs can take chances on new IPs without the risk of losing money (its already paid for). Their reputations of course will still be held accountable of course.

 

Some of the most artistic thought provoking movies have been made on low budgets. Donnie Darko, Shaun of the Dead, Napolean Dynamite, Moon, American Psycho all made under 10 million.

 

The producers can cry all they want but I think this type of game funding is here to stay. There is a niche for it.

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What a sordid discussion this has turned into.

 

I think, personally, that the comparison to a "Traditional, Big Budget" game for PE is not realistic, nor fair.

 

There are many many many reasons, most of which have been enumerated in this thread, why 4m$ from KS is actually quite a bit more in relation to a big budget title.

 

Mainly, stripping away things like Voice acting, etc.

 

Some huge huge huge costs come into play with most engines. Even if the company themselves owns the engine, massive development and effort is typically thrown into the subsequent iterations of that engine, which requires a lot of time, and huge amounts of money. Add in the crazy levels that multiplatform development can reach and those prices alone can skyrocket quickly.

 

Think about the amount of people that a "TBB" game usually has working on it, how many 'best in class' tools they use, and all of the licensing this costs.

 

Compare this to a game that is aiming for what it is, an isometric cRPG that does not remotely need bleeding edge, is using a comparatively ridiculously inexpensive, but robust engine, and a relatively small development team.

 

Would 4$m make a dent in a "TBB" game? Not even close. Is it a huge amount of money for this kind of project? Yes.

 

 

As for the debate regarding crowdfunding and the depths and levels that this could reach... well.

 

I think the argument on both sides has had merits, but it comes down to exposure, and SMART targeting.

 

For the sake of argument, lets pretend that there are 350 thousand cRPG players in existence (I find this a silly low value, but theres various factors so I think its relatively safe).

 

Clearly not even close to 100% of them would be willing to donate to produce a game in the future. Going with this KS and ~80k total backers thats just under a third of that number of Total in existence. If that is your entire market the funding amount is excellent, and most importantly you are avoiding these items:

 

1, No IP licensing

2, No publisher cut, which is a huge cost

3, No other licensing fees (engine, technology, etc unless you use one that this is required - clearly)

4, Immediate near 100% profit

5, You spent 0$ to start the project (obviously this does not count intial campaigning, so to be fair say -100k$ for a month of funding), got ALL of the funding at once, and on sale get immediate profit, this ties into 4

 

Imagine of that 350K people, now ~80k are knocked out, and lets say only Half of those people buy the game

 

Say you sell it for 30$

 

You just made 4million dollars, nearly all profit, not 4 million but 65% was removed for fees, publishers, etc. you get all 100%.

 

 

Now imagine a company like (For the sake of argument, clearly NO) Blizzard decides, hey lets try this KS thing out!

 

Through their games, and campaigns, and media presence, they can reach 9 million people (clearly it is WAY more)

 

Of that 9 million lets assume only 10% of those want to crowdfund.

 

Lets further assume an average donation of 10$ (this, current trending, is VERY low).

 

You just raised 9m$ (And this is absurdly conservative).

 

You release it, and say only 3 million people buy it, even at 30$ you just made a sickening amount of money.

 

The point is, crowdfunding CAN easily be explosive. Exposure is what counts.

 

Not trust, like we have with Obsidian, but Exposure, and brand recognition. If a Blizz/EA/whatever you want huge company decided to do one, you would have the unwashed masses show up and slap down there 10$ for a fluffy moogle in wow, or a neat helmet patch in Madden, or some cool avatar on XBL.

 

Thinking that crowdfunding could never remotely reach a large amount of money is short sighted. Big picture.

 

When that time comes, it will be wonderful, and sick. All at the same time.

 

-There are a lot of assumptions, this was a logic walkthrough and not literal, the logic is easy to see, the numbers are not important, the concept is.

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The only big game that I'd fear imploding is Shadow Run Returns, but that's mainly because I don't know anything about the developer Harebrained Schemes (I liked the pitch, I like Shadowrun, the concept art, and one of the characters in the art looked like CliffyB, totally worth $15). If Tim Schafer, Ron Gilbert, Brian Fargo, Tim Cain, Feargus Urquhart, Chris Avellone, and Josh Sawyer don't know how to deliver games in their prospective genres I don't know who does. Other projects I've backed: Dead State, Grim Dawn, Broken Sword the SCA, and Project Giana I think brought enough to their campaign to say "yeah, this is already a strong project". Defense Grid 2 and SHAKER I wasn't so sure about, looks like I won't have to worry about them now. Just pledged to Star Citizen, this is probably poor judgement on my part.

 

Oh, there's some projects I won't name that I thought "NOPE" straight away, and some of them to my surprise have been funded, but I don't think any were asking for more than $500K.

Edited by AwesomeOcelot
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With Kickstarter devs can take chances on new IPs without the risk of losing money (its already paid for). Their reputations of course will still be held accountable of course.

 

That is exactly my point. It's not "holding a developer hostage", it actually is simply direct quality control by the players themselves. Investing in the development of a video game yourself makes you... well... much more invested in the success or failure of the video game. Developers who make bad games will be punished by losing reputation and trust and developers who make good games will be rewarded by gaining reputation and trust and, hence, being able to gather more funds upon their further crowdfunding campaigns. It wouldn't cause "survival of the fittest", it would cause "culling of the most unfit", where "fitness" actually is the quality of the games the developer makes.

 

You remember how BioWare made that god-awful ending in ME3 that made absolutely no sense and how a lot of gamers were outraged by that and how there were a lot of blog/news articles talking about how that's just "gamers feeling entitled when they don't have the right to be"? In this crowdfunding system, players actually would not only have the right to be outraged at something like that, but the developer who made that game would most probably never be able to successfully crowd-fund the development of another video game again, while here is BioWare, merrily chugging along like nothing happened.

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Triple A means -

 

Top end graphics

Hours of cinematics

Physics engine

every word voice acted

3 different versions for xbox, ps3, and PC

 

^ don't need any of that ****.

 

 

Maybe I'm a pessimist, but while I'm hopeful that every single bigger project will do fine, if even one fails to get made, for example, the bad press kickstarter would get, combined with increased sentiment of cynicism from potential backers, could do a lot of damage.

 

Eventually there will have to be a crowdfunded video game project which fails. Let's just hope it happens as late as possible and that the current "big three" - Double Fine Adventure, Wasteland 2 and Project Eternity - will do great and garner a nice reputation for Kickstarter and crowdfunding in general.

 

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/10/19/money-troubles-what-happens-when-kickstarters-fail/

Edited by Droogle
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Do you have any idea what distinguishes a "AAA" game from a non "AAA" game? Or for that matter do you know why you never hear the terms "AA" or just a plain single A game?

 

The difference is budget....it has nothing to do with how good the game is or is not, nor does it have anything to do with how many copies it sold. The average "AAA" game costs more than 25 million so rest assured Project Eternity is not and was never intended to be a "AAA" game.

 

That said given the technology they are using Project Eternity is sure to be an amazing game....if you like the concept of the old-school party based cRPGs. Either way it's going to be a lot better and provide a lot more entertainment than most "AAA" games out on the market today.

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