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This game has 75,000 backers.  Nothing even close to a representative number of those people post on these fora, and I'm very willing to bet that nothing even close to a representative number of those people read these fora either.

 

Sounds like most of those backers don't care. Even if you sent out a poll to the backers, most won't reply as shown in Update 69 and the new Stretch goals. Less than 2000 replied to it, which means over 73,000 couldn't be bothered. I don't see the point in making a case for the majority when the majority don't seem to make an effort. This is nothing new, a similar thing happened with inXile and their polls, especially with the Turnbased vs RtwP poll. Most people don't care.

Edited by Hiro Protagonist II
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Argumentum ad populum is never the best choice, but is particularly ineffective when it's meant to discredit a creative decision in a game none of us have played.

 

As a rule, I find it's better at this stage to say you don't like something, explain why, and see what the response is. Acting as if you speak for others is bad news all around, especially when you elected yourself spokesman in the first place.

 

Not directed at anyone. Just saying.

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Sounds like most of those backers don't care. Even if you sent out a poll to the backers, most won't reply as shown in Update 69 and the new Stretch goals. Less than 2000 replied to it, which means over 73,000 couldn't be bothered. I don't see the point in making a case for the majority when the majority don't seem to make an effort. This is nothing new, a similar thing happened with inXile and their polls, especially with the Turnbased vs RtwP poll. Most people don't care.

I don't think it means no one cares about how the game is designed. It clearly means they don't care about making sure their cares are known. That's not the same thing. With this project, for example, those 73,000 other backers could not make a peep until the game actually releases, then all go "HEY! WHERE'D ITEM DEGRADATION GO?!" Thus, they'd actually care about whether or not it's in the game. However, they wouldn't have anyone to blame but themselves for not voicing there opinion. That's very true, and I think that's what you're getting at with "they don't care."

 

But, that doesn't change the fact that it's pointless to assume they're happy with a loud minority, just because they don't say anything one way or another about it. That's kind of like saying "If I stole a classic car that's always parked in the shed behind your house, and you didn't bother to lock it, and you don't really ever go check on it, then you must like the fact that I stole it." Which, obviously isn't true. It just means it's your fault I was able to steal it so easily, and that you didn't know about it sooner 'cause you didn't check on that car very often at all.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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That's what I said. They can't be bothered to make the effort.

It sure is. And then "that doesn't mean they're actually happy with whatever design the game gets" is what I said. Thus supplementing what you said, and in no way arguing against it.

 

Woohoo! Text teamwork! 8D

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I don't think it's fair to say that those who didn't vote over stretchgoals simply don't care.  You don't need to follow the development of a game to prove that you care about it, and occasionally we even see forum memebers who pop back in after a haitus imposed to not spoil themselves of PoE.  I'm not saying that it's wrong per se, just that it's unfair given that we are 100% ignorant of the circumstances of others.

 

On my own account, I did not vote in the stretchgoals poll.  (Hold on, put the stones down a moment)  Not because I "didn't care," but because I was and am ambivalent on the matter.  I am on a tight budget, and have given as much as I can reasonably justify to back PoE.  So when the devs ask if I would be interested in relinquishing more towards stretchgoals, I can't just answer "yes, more stretchgoals!" without the will / cash to back the stance.  And on the other hand, I don't want to give the message that I don't want more stretchgoals - if others want to back further developments on their own (and my ;)) behalves, I'm all for it; but I can't then tell the devs - looking for public demand - "yes, I want more stretchgoals" if I'm unwilling to put money towards them myself.  (Alright, you may throw stones now)

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I didn't vote in the poll either, since there's no plan or details on these proposed stretch goals. I'd probably be happy for new companions but I worry about more wilderness areas if they're already having to outsource to get the ones they'd originally planned done.

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^ Under what circumstances would outsourcing simply be an intelligent use of available resources, rather than something they're "having" to do because of some inadequacy? In other words, if they just hired more people, would that be fine, in lieu of outsourcing to people who Obsidian has intelligently determined is fully capable of meeting their needs with specified bits of work?

 

I understand simply not wishing for any further extension to the game's development time, but this sentiment of "they're obviously struggling just to keep up with stuff as it is, and would, for some reason, fall behind even more if they used a new, set amount of funds from a stretch goal to add in a couple of things" is strange to me.

 

It seems like simply a subjective judgement of their aptitude as a development studio, rather than any kind of objective assessment of actual factors.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Whether Obsidian does task A or Outsource Inc. does it, then assuming they're both competant, it's still going to take a similar amount of time to do. However Outsource Inc. doesn't get to sell the end product so they're going to want compensation for it and make a profit on their time, so it's more expensive to get Outsource Inc to do it than to do it in-house since you're paying them not just for the time and resources task A required but for their profit on top of it. Why on earth would they go for a more expensive option unless there was a compelling reason to do so such as trying to keep within a certain time-frame?

 

Now I'm not saying they're a shoddy developper, if I believed that I would never have bothered backing them in the first place, just that even the best laid plans don't survive first contact with the enemy so to speak.

Edited by John Forseti
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Whether Obsidian does task A or Outsource Inc. does it, then assuming they're both competant, it's still going to take a similar amount of time to do. However Outsource Inc. doesn't get to sell the end product so they're going to want compensation for it and make a profit on their time, so it's more expensive to get Outsource Inc to do it than to do it in-house since you're paying them not just for the time and resources task A required but for their profit on top of it. Why on earth would they go for a more expensive option unless there was a compelling reason to do so such as trying to keep within a certain time-frame?

Well, considering the alternative is "hire some extra artists and stuff JUST to do a certain amount of work, then fire them," I'd say it's probably a pretty efficient decision. I can make cupcakes in my kitchen, but if I decided I was going to make 500 cupcakes for a party a week from now, I'd probably just hire a caterer. Especially if I already had the money to afford the caterer because I got like 400% funding via a Kickstarter project to fund the party's catering.

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Outsourcing is usually a business decision to select a specialized vendor who can do a particular task more cost effectively. It can save a company money to do so, but there can be other factors that need to be considered.

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

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Well, considering the alternative is "hire some extra artists and stuff JUST to do a certain amount of work, then fire them," I'd say it's probably a pretty efficient decision. I can make cupcakes in my kitchen, but if I decided I was going to make 500 cupcakes for a party a week from now, I'd probably just hire a caterer. Especially if I already had the money to afford the caterer because I got like 400% funding via a Kickstarter project to fund the party's catering.

 

 

I don't see what you're getting so defensive about, I've not actually criticised the decision nor have I suggested they should have hired temps or something, I just see it as a indication that a rather very understandable problem occured*, that they've bitten off a bit more than they can chew and worry that they might compound that problem by taking yet more bites.

 

*And as I said in the bit you decided not to quote, things just don't always go to plan and it's not a slight on the company when that sometimes happens.

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I'm simply asking a question, which you seem to be perceiving as having some sort of a defensive tone. I merely don't see your reasoning, and was asking about it, rather than assuming you had none.

 

You seem to be assuming that outsourcing some work, rather than doing it yourself, can only be a sign of some degree of desperation or failure (the key words being "some degree" here). Thus, I'm just pointing out other possibilities that you may not have considered, is all. There's nothing for me to even get defensive about. We're just carrying on a discussion about what Obsidian's use of outsourcing could mean.

 

Just because I point things out doesn't mean they're automatically accompanied by accusations that you've specifically declared the direct opposite of those ideas/points. No worries.

 

*And as I said in the bit you decided not to quote, things just don't always go to plan and it's not a slight on the company when that sometimes happens.

Okay, I'm quoting it this time, if that helps. And in direct response, I'll just point out that, while true, this does not change the simple fact that outsourcing work isn't just some last resort/an option to go with only when things aren't going according to plan. It can very much be a perfectly effective intentional part of a plan.

 

So, I just don't see a reason to react to the fact that they've outsourced some environment art and such with "Obviously something has gone awry and/or outsourcing was their only option." That's all.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I find it very unlikely that theres enough demand for large scale high resolution infinity engine maps that someone managed to set up a shop for it and take in enough orders to be able to manage it more cost-effectively than Obsidian themselves. After all atleast part of the point of using kick starter and crowd-funding is because publishers consider such a game too niche and risky to invest in.

 

Also if there was such an outfit, why wasn't it used from the start? Why did they give us so many interesting updates guiding us through how they created the lovely maps and why do the majority themselves if it would be cheaper and just as good to have had someone else do it?

Edited by John Forseti
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Also if there was such an outfit, why wasn't it used from the start? Why did they give us so many interesting updates guiding us through how they created the lovely maps and why do the majority themselves if it would be cheaper and just as good to have had someone else do it?

They haven't outsourced the entire game. Just little subsets of "grunt work," to put it simply. It wouldn't be cheaper for them to have their whole experienced team of developers just sit around and do nothing, and have some other group do everything.

 

Don't ask me for the specifics. Ask Obsidian. I don't know who they've outsourced to, but I'm betting it wasn't just some people out on the street somewhere, so, clearly there's some feasible setup for a group of people to accept smaller workloads like that as a subset of a larger project.

 

Maybe (just as an example) to do it themselves, they'd have to buy more computers/workstations/software licences, so they opted to cut out the costs of those things by outsourcing the tasks to another group who already had these things, and therefore are only charging for the labor? *shrug*. I couldn't tell you. But, I'm also not the one assuming that it's definitively some awesome, efficient, good-idea set up. I'm simply pointing out that it could be, and that, I'd rather find out and know, than assume and make even further decisions based on that assumption (such as whether or not I'm for or against additional stretch goals). But that's just me.

 

I mean, we could just as easily say assume "Well, they're wanting to add new stretch goals, so they clearly ran out of money and need the funds from these stretch goals to finish the game, and they've simply labeled the last few environments/companions they had already planned on making as 'extra' stuff, just to justify the request for additional funds, u_u."

 

We know that to be true just as much as we know that they only outsourced some unspecific amount of their workload to fully competent people simply because they were incapable of getting that workload done any other way (and that it was an inferior choice to doing it themselves, all things considered) to be true. Which is to say they're both just guesses, really.

 

I don't really have anything else to say on the matter. I've pointed out that your assumption isn't necessarily right. You can consider that, or ignore it. It's really fine either way. I just thought it might be something you felt was worth consideration. That's all. I'm not trying to win anything here. (And, for the record, that doesn't mean that you are. It was simply a clarification regarding my intentions here, with other people's intentions being completely separate and unaffected.)

Edited by Lephys

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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You're putting me in some positions i haven't taken there, and putting a lot of words in my mouth. I agree I might be wrong, but based on what I 'know' and what i've seen I think the more likely case is I'm not wrong, it could be such and such of course, heck it could be that every single decision Obsidian makes is determined by a random lottery and one week it picked out "do some outsourcing". And if a developper pops up and says "Yeah we didn't do it because of that, we did it for these reasons" then fine, I don't think I'm important enough for them to bother making up a lie for, of course I could be wrong. :)

 

Also I havent made any 'further decisions', the very first thing i said on this topic was that I didn't vote in the poll and wanted more information.

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I imagine that outsourcing of some of the exterior maps also had to do with the render times. I recall reading somewhere that they slightly underestimated the amount of computational power required to render the backgrounds into 2D. Their "outsourcing" could be as simple as using a server farm to crunch bits, then maybe pay some promising intern to polish them up a touch.

Edited by Mr. Magniloquent
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If it's of interest, Josh Sawyer in his GDC talk mentions they've already been outsourcing some art for the wilderness areas.  They're easier to outsource b/c they require relatively little specification to go smoothly, in contrast to city and dungeon locations, which are more expensive to create and have tighter constraints on their content.

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I find it very unlikely that theres enough demand for large scale high resolution infinity engine maps that someone managed to set up a shop for it and take in enough orders to be able to manage it more cost-effectively than Obsidian themselves. After all atleast part of the point of using kick starter and crowd-funding is because publishers consider such a game too niche and risky to invest in.

 

Try opening your perspective a little. You wouldn't need to specialize in creating Infinity Engine maps; you might just need to be focused on digital graphical design, but without necessarily requiring skills such as creature skinning and rigging.

 

Relax. Obsidian has the business experience to know what skills they need and who can supply it. That's part of the reason they got the support they did.

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

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On my own account, I did not vote in the stretchgoals poll.  (Hold on, put the stones down a moment)  Not because I "didn't care," but because I was and am ambivalent on the matter.  I am on a tight budget, and have given as much as I can reasonably justify to back PoE.  So when the devs ask if I would be interested in relinquishing more towards stretchgoals, I can't just answer "yes, more stretchgoals!" without the will / cash to back the stance.  And on the other hand, I don't want to give the message that I don't want more stretchgoals - if others want to back further developments on their own (and my ;)) behalves, I'm all for it; but I can't then tell the devs - looking for public demand - "yes, I want more stretchgoals" if I'm unwilling to put money towards them myself.  (Alright, you may throw stones now)

 

If you vote yes for more stretch goals, there's no obligation for you to put more money into the game.

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Well there's no external force obligating me, certainly; but I have the impression that the poll exists to gauge public demand - and dispostion to pay - for more stretchgoals.  And if such is the case, I cannot answer positively to this.  I might just be foolish, but it would feel like skewing an earnest research poll with lies.

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Well there's no external force obligating me, certainly; but I have the impression that the poll exists to gauge public demand - and dispostion to pay - for more stretchgoals.  And if such is the case, I cannot answer positively to this.  I might just be foolish, but it would feel like skewing an earnest research poll with lies.

 

Let me get this straight. You think that by answering yes for more stretch goals for the game, that you have to put in more money?  Or the only people who can contribute in a monetary sense are the only ones who should be voting Yes? That's really gone over my head. :wacko:

Edited by Hiro Protagonist II
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