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I would love to see them try. Read the Kickstarter small print, even a class action full of legal lemmings would bounce right off it.


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I would love to see them try. Read the Kickstarter small print, even a class action full of legal lemmings would bounce right off it.

 

Just because its stupid and pointless doesn't mean people won't try...

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To me it comes down to good will vs. ill will generated. I just remember how reactive and sensitive people got during the Kickstarter when stretch goals were released and people would kvetch and complain that "100K for 1 companion and 1 new class" was unreasonable. This implies to me that there are already a horde of self-appointed, amateur game designers ready to pounce and light them up if they were to actually release granular details about allocations.

 

It just doesn't seem worth it.

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I'd say no to any detailed spreadsheet like info. They're running a business with investors and what not, and I don't care about the details as long as they make good games... I mean we tell investors to get off game dev's backs time to time, due to creative freedom issues. It's not right to do something similar just because a project was funded through kickstarter.

 

A pie chart or something with rough percentage might be interesting to look at though.

Are OE owned by investors, at least partially? I know a lot of game developers are, but I'm sure some are not.

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I'm still waiting for the Double Fine lawsuit. They gave a pie chart.

 

How about the lawsuit that came about when Star Command showed its budget and it was largely eaten up by reward cost and legal fees?

 

Hell, how about the lawsuit for Haunts, which has now used all the money and is on indefinite hiatus, with the prevailing response being "Huh. Okay."?

 

Kickstarter provides an opportunity to think of your fans as something more than an adversary that must be corralled and locked into place. It's baffling to me that members of this same group consider their fellow fans with such disdain. Being open and sharing information is a freedom that is afforded by this model, it's part of what makes this model superior for projects like this over a publisher one.

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To me it comes down to good will vs. ill will generated. I just remember how reactive and sensitive people got during the Kickstarter when stretch goals were released and people would kvetch and complain that "100K for 1 companion and 1 new class" was unreasonable. This implies to me that there are already a horde of self-appointed, amateur game designers ready to pounce and light them up if they were to actually release granular details about allocations.

 

It just doesn't seem worth it.

 

While I understand your concern, I think the primary reason why people were overreacting in this manner was more due to a lack of information about what developing a game is about. Let us know what are the costs and magnitudes when developing a game, insead of fantasizing on individuals number thrown around without context, this would rather diminish this kind of overreactions.

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I love the idea of a pie chart or even a few pie charts. I don't see any problem with giving basic assumed costs with pie charts, no breach of privacy, just transparency. Also, a break down of funds might be useful in giving the forum members something to do besides harangue over the same few ideas they have access to. New information makes the brain come up with new ideas and though it might seem unlikely, it could attract one or two smart suggestions. Also, it could make an extra update in addition to those normally given, which should get our blood up.


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I’m not looking for a pure breakdown of funds, I would be interested in the final game budget though.

Although I will hope it is more I’d think it would be around the 3m-3.5m mark

 

I would also be interested in this - As others have mentioned, Double Fine put up a pie chart in their backers forum showing how their funds got used. It was interesting to note the final amount they were left with after rewards, the Kickstarter/Amazon percentage, the people who did not honour their pledges, etc.

 

4 million sounds like a lot, but in terms of making games it is really not as much as you might think.

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I'm still waiting for the Double Fine lawsuit. They gave a pie chart.

 

Lawsuits just aren't possible with pie.

 

Kickstarter provides an opportunity to think of your fans as something more than an adversary that must be corralled and locked into place. It's baffling to me that members of this same group consider their fellow fans with such disdain. Being open and sharing information is a freedom that is afforded by this model, it's part of what makes this model superior for projects like this over a publisher one.

 

I'm not sure I'm holding fellow fans with disdain. However people being argumentative, people taking the same information and reading positive / negative connotations, people being upset over trivialities...that's my experience with people - myself included despite my efforts not to microfocus on things.

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Both Star Command's and Haunts' failures had to do with poor planning before the kickstarter even got going. In Haunts they basically set an unrealistic budget. They gave themselves zero wiggle room in terms of developing costs and when things took longer than expected because they only had one programmer trying to keep up with problems they ran out of money.

 

Star Command was even more ridiculous in that they offered rewards without considering how much they would cost. When you're giving out T-shirts at relatively low backer levels, you're not going to get to keep a lot of that money.

 

OE and Double Fine are much less likely to make such novice and irresponsible mistakes.

 

I wouldn't mind seeing cost break-downs just for personal edification, but I don't feel entitled to it as I feel OE is deserving of my trust in this case.

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Double Fine did not give a budget breakdown.

 

Double Fine gave a single pie chart explaining how much of the Kickstarter cash is taken up by commissions, failed pledges, physical rewards, documentary, etc. The budget of the game itself was not broken down.

 

As others have said,

1/ A breakdown would not actually show things like "40k per character" or "200k for stronghold". Budgets don't work that way for most of the 'features'.

2/ Transparency, despite what half the internet would have you believe, is not always in all circumstances a 'good thing'. Obsidian need to be savvy about releasing information (or do you want them to tell us everything? That's transparent, too, if they tell us about every fight they have, etc).

 

In that spirit, I think a rough breakdown, like what Double Fine gave, or something of that level, would be welcome. Anything more, I'm not sure it won't just lead to even more uninformed debate. (Revealing the budget doesn't mean everyone's going to understand how game budgets work.) Cue the wailing and gnashing of teeth by the Seventy Thousand.

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To me it comes down to good will vs. ill will generated. I just remember how reactive and sensitive people got during the Kickstarter when stretch goals were released and people would kvetch and complain that "100K for 1 companion and 1 new class" was unreasonable. This implies to me that there are already a horde of self-appointed, amateur game designers ready to pounce and light them up if they were to actually release granular details about allocations.

 

It just doesn't seem worth it.

 

While I understand your concern, I think the primary reason why people were overreacting in this manner was more due to a lack of information about what developing a game is about. Let us know what are the costs and magnitudes when developing a game, insead of fantasizing on individuals number thrown around without context, this would rather diminish this kind of overreactions.

 

Giving people figures to look at won't get them any closer to understanding how a game is developed. Until somebody has worked in a software production environment you won't know.

 

You're being somewhat naive, if you think people will suddenly be enlightened and have a better understanding of what it takes to make a game just by looking at their internal accounting. More likely, people will be just as uninformed, but armed with some numbers ... that won't end well. Obsidian would get bogged down for weeks in the forums trying to stamp out fires and explain themselves instead of doing what they do best - develop games.

Edited by nikolokolus

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Double Fine did not give a budget breakdown.

 

Double Fine gave a single pie chart explaining how much of the Kickstarter cash is taken up by commissions, failed pledges, physical rewards, documentary, etc. The budget of the game itself was not broken down.

 

As others have said,

1/ A breakdown would not actually show things like "40k per character" or "200k for stronghold". Budgets don't work that way for most of the 'features'.

2/ Transparency, despite what half the internet would have you believe, is not always in all circumstances a 'good thing'. Obsidian need to be savvy about releasing information (or do you want them to tell us everything? That's transparent, too, if they tell us about every fight they have, etc).

 

In that spirit, I think a rough breakdown, like what Double Fine gave, or something of that level, would be welcome. Anything more, I'm not sure it won't just lead to even more uninformed debate. (Revealing the budget doesn't mean everyone's going to understand how game budgets work.) Cue the wailing and gnashing of teeth by the Seventy Thousand.

 

I think most people agree that this kind of thing is fine, but some people definitely seem to think they're entitled to look at the nuts and bolts of the game, not just how Obsidian made out after the overhead gets taken out of the budget.

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Who has said they were entitled? I am pretty sure anyone that is for it that has posted on this thread has stated that they don't feel that they are entitled but it would be nice to see. At least that is the gist i have gotten from reading every post on this thread.

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In that spirit, I think a rough breakdown, like what Double Fine gave, or something of that level, would be welcome. Anything more, I'm not sure it won't just lead to even more uninformed debate. (Revealing the budget doesn't mean everyone's going to understand how game budgets work.) Cue the wailing and gnashing of teeth by the Seventy Thousand.

 

This would go a long way toward preventing blow-back from people wondering why Obsidian can't use the entire $4 million on the game.

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Obsidian need to be savvy about releasing information (or do you want them to tell us everything? That's transparent, too, if they tell us about every fight they have, etc).

 

I think they've kept a good balance so far.


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In that spirit, I think a rough breakdown, like what Double Fine gave, or something of that level, would be welcome. Anything more, I'm not sure it won't just lead to even more uninformed debate. (Revealing the budget doesn't mean everyone's going to understand how game budgets work.) Cue the wailing and gnashing of teeth by the Seventy Thousand.

 

This would go a long way toward preventing blow-back from people wondering why Obsidian can't use the entire $4 million on the game.

 

Because it's so obvious why they can't that it's not worth nurturing their ignorance, perhaps?

 

What "blow-back" do they have in the first place?


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It is funny to see how some people are anxious that releasing financial information about the project will result in the forum being invaded by an angry crowd recriminating against OE use of funds...

 

As for the claim that people over the internet are too dumb to understand a budget, well they would be surprised how much somebody can read from financial statements (which are a financial informationmedium way more complicated than a simple budget breakdown). Besides, I have seen that some posters on this forum have quite good insights about game economics, so I am confident that disclosing these data would result in interesting discussions.

 

Regarding people that would react badly, well those people have not waited for the release of such information to behave like douchebags. These data would not make things worse.

 

Finally, doing so would set a standard for future kickstarter projects, which would result in more transparency in crowdsourcing platforms (something they direly need)

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It is funny to see how some people are anxious that releasing financial information about the project will result in the forum being invaded by an angry crowd recriminating against OE use of funds...

 

As for the claim that people over the internet are too dumb to understand a budget, well they would be surprised how much somebody can read from financial statements (which are a financial informationmedium way more complicated than a simple budget breakdown). Besides, I have seen that some posters on this forum have quite good insights about game economics, so I am confident that disclosing these data would result in interesting discussions.

 

Regarding people that would react badly, well those people have not waited for the release of such information to behave like douchebags. These data would not make things worse.

 

Finally, doing so would set a standard for future kickstarter projects, which would result in more transparency in crowdsourcing platforms (something they direly need)

 

I have no issue with people who can read AND understand what the figures in FS might represent given the specifications of a business model, but I am sure that vast majority has little to no understanding of such things and that alone might drive misconceptions and misunderstanding. The more global level of simple things, like cash acquired vs cash pledged and then providing the estimation of "rewards and shipment" that Kickstarter tiers included would be a good idea, only if to verify our assumptions on the total fund available for the project.

 

Breaking down a figure of around 3,2-3,4mln USD into more details is pointless though. The benefit vs potential questions, that would in large be unanswered, is just marginal. We really do not need to start seeing threads, why money goes for that, or this, etc.

 

If you are really interested in the financial background, you probably would do best via PMing Adam or whomever else is responsible for the OE Finance.

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