Jump to content

Playing other Kickstarter funded games makes me nervous


Recommended Posts

They wanted more money for more areas didn't they? I think that after the next fundraising period everything will be OK...

troll.gifseatroll.gificetroll.giftroll.gif

An ex-biophysicist but currently Studying Schwarzschild singularities' black holes' Hawking radiation using LAZORS and hypersonic sound wave models.

 

My main objective is to use my results to take over the world!

Link to post
Share on other sites

When they put up that poll with "more monies for more stretch goals!", I definitely got a Broken Age-vibe from it, if you know what I mean. :disguise:

I have a confession to make: when I saw all the extra levels and stretch goals that were being tacked on, my response was partially excitement, but also a big helping of apprehension. I trust Obsidian is smart enough to know what a realistic goal is with the money they have, but when I see (for example) all those dungeon levels they've promised there's a big part of me that wonders whether they'll be forced to sacrifice quality for quantity to make all those levels.

Edited by Death Machine Miyagi
Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought shadowrun returns was great myself.  I was looking for a game in the vein of the original snes shadowrun and I got that game.  Was there some things it needed but didn't get?  Yes.  But they were up front about what they failed to deliver, they didn't make excuses, and the game they did release was fun, well written, played nicely, and bug free.  That's a lot better than what most people put out on pc these days, kickstarter or otherwise. 

 

Wasteland 2 I expect disappointment.  I don't think they have properly managed their money, the updates never really "impress" me, and the fact that they had to release a buy in beta says they are off on their budget.  Also I don't really hear anything "good" about that beta. 

 

I am conversely not concerned about Eternity.  The devs are mostly upfront about what is going on, the updates and pretty steady and normally interesting and fun to read/see.  They checked peoples feelings on raising additional funds instead of just going "we are getting close on budget, lets go out and panhandle for more money", and they listen to the community and communicate with us on a variety of forums and through numerous events.  Also Obsidian isn't a kickstarter business like most of these (inExile) or famous for going over budget and over promising (double fine), they have some publisher backed games too and have a proven track record of making great games recently, not 10-15-20 years ago.

 

Manage your expectations and you will be fine.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I neither backed nor bought the Shadowrun game so I cannot comment there on what went on, but Broken Age I think was clearly going to have problems from the start, but not because of mismanagement of money or bad design or anything, but simply because it was caught in a really bad place: Double Fine had started the Kickstarter asking for only $40,000, they were not planning on making such a big game and they did not even have a basic premise to the game, with the idea being that it was more about the documentary than the actual game. 

 

No one at the time expected them to make that much money on KS, it wasn't until Broken Age did it that people had the realisation that it was possible at all, they were the first and being first put them in one hell of a predicament.  They had backers who had backed a game that had not been defined beyond being an adventure game and so they had quite a diverse backer group who would never all agree on what the game should be about and were already on the back foot because they had not even designed the game yet.  They had not planned for this and promptly shat their pants when it happened.

 

We are all in unknown waters when it comes to Kickstarter, developers included.  They may act like they know what they are doing, but really no one does, and they are all learning on how best to manage it.

Edited by FlintlockJazz
  • Like 2

"That rabbit's dynamite!" - King Arthur, Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail

"Space is big, really big." - Douglas Adams

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Pillars of Eternity has a much higher chance of success than any of the other Kickstarted projects, and the steady stream of informative updates only confirms that. Sawyer, Cain and Avellone have been the leads of over half a dozen 2d isometric RPG's. Obsidian is also a sizable company with plenty of know-how and expertise, in contrast to the other Kickstarter devs, who are either indies that are just starting out or companies that develop games for iPhones (Harebrained Schemes, InXile, etc.).

Edited by Quetzalcoatl
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Obsidian has a history of production problems they have been carefully trying to avoid on P:E. They've learned from their mistakes, have a strict production schedule, so far have been on, or ahead of schedule. I think unlike the other studious with kick-started projects, Obsidian is planning their time carefully and efficiently.

that's my impression as well

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to admit I have very high hopes for this game, perhaps unreasonably so, i never backed Shadowruns as i got the feeling it may have came out a bit linear.

 

Wasteland 2 however appears to be shaping up very nicely, as is Divinity:Original Sin (though that was almost in alpha when the KS started), I'm also not worried about Torment as Inexile seem to know what they're doing if Wasteland is anything to go by.

 

The only punt I've really taken imo was with "The Mandate" but even that looks to be on target.

 

Edit: also never back Massive Chalice despite the wonderful concept due to the developers track history, I hope it works out for them tho.

Edited by Jobby
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to admit I have very high hopes for this game, perhaps unreasonably so, i never backed Shadowruns as i got the feeling it may have came out a bit linear.

 

Wasteland 2 however appears to be shaping up very nicely, as is Divinity:Original Sin (though that was almost in alpha when the KS started), I'm also not worried about Torment as Inexile seem to know what they're doing if Wasteland is anything to go by.

 

The only punt I've really taken imo was with "The Mandate" but even that looks to be on target.

 

Edit: also never back Massive Chalice despite the wonderful concept due to the developers track history, I hope it works out for them tho.

Yes, I was trying to make this point earlier. Developers like Obsidian, InXile and Larian are solid guys, I can back them with absolute confidence that amazing things will happen and never have a trace of doubt. You can't compare their Kicksarter campaigns to other successful campaigns....you have to look at who is making the game.

1zq6793.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, you just made your point in a more brutal manner than I :) but I do agree with you, to **** up 800% funding really is unforgivable.

 

On top of that I image the Broken Age travesty discouraged people who'd been burnt from pledging to future projects which really hurts the Kickstarter model, which well implemented could give devs like Obsidian, Larian and Inexile a form of financial security in the meager AAA title times we live in.

 

I reckon that the bad PR to come out of it could also discourage people who hadn't used Kickstarter yet, which again tars responsible developers with the same brush. 

 

Don't get me wrong I do have a bit of sympathy but at the end of the day the Kickstarter game development model isn't all that different to many walks of life, e.g. If I was to dramatically undercost a project in my job the work would have to be completed (for a loss) but I would be sacked, simple as.

 

Release dates is another matter entirely, fortunately one that i couldn't give a **** about, as long as the game is good I'm happy.

 

Edit: Regarding The Mandate I consider it a punt due to the devs lack of "formal" experience but the artwork, constant updates and lore they created was enough to give me the confidence to put my money down.

Edited by Jobby
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I also only have played Expeditions:Conquistidors. That game barely made funding and is just awesome. It seems to me they knew what they're doing and used there money wisely.  I am actually rather optimistic about Kickstarters. Most of what has been made so far has been considered decent-good by the press. I think its very hard to match player expectations, though, especially for nostalgic games. When I see all the issues for this game and Might and Magic X (which I bought as Early Access) that players get worked over about, and which I consider relatively petty, I wonder if they aren't missing the point about what makes games fun.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't get me wrong I do have a bit of sympathy but at the end of the day the Kickstarter game development model isn't all that different to many walks of life, e.g. If I was to dramatically undercost a project in my job the work would have to be completed (for a loss) but I would be sacked, simple as.

 

Well, Kickstarted money probably cant be called "costs", since a large chunk of it (what isn't spent on rewards) is free money with some vague strings attached. And, since developers can get money from other sources, this sort of deal is amazing for them. Before crowdfunding, only socially beneficial (and also military and scientific, I guess) projects would get this level of support from anyone.

 

I guess my point is that the scenario in which this becomes "normal", at least within certain game genres, is terrifying to me. Even now studios ask for more money after already going through what they got for free. And then we get stuff like Broken Age with it's questionable gameplay and 4 hour length of it's first half.

 

Ideally, of course, when a studio gets their revenues from a successful kickstarted project, they'd finance themselves from that point on, but even now studios, including Obsidian, Double Fine and inXile, either have multiple crowdfunded projects or are currently planning to announce them. While not even being close to releasing a previous one, no less.

 

Small teams are better at using crowdfunding, I think. The Banner Saga turned out good, and they got relatively little money from KS in the first place.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wasteland 2 is very close to being finished what are you talking about? While I too would like Inxile and Obsidian to become self-sufficient, I'm not sure one game will do that. Hopefully after PoE is released and is successful Obsidian can move more towards that model.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Don't get me wrong I do have a bit of sympathy but at the end of the day the Kickstarter game development model isn't all that different to many walks of life, e.g. If I was to dramatically undercost a project in my job the work would have to be completed (for a loss) but I would be sacked, simple as.

 

Well, Kickstarted money probably cant be called "costs", since a large chunk of it (what isn't spent on rewards) is free money with some vague strings attached. And, since developers can get money from other sources, this sort of deal is amazing for them. Before crowdfunding, only socially beneficial (and also military and scientific, I guess) projects would get this level of support from anyone.

 

I guess my point is that the scenario in which this becomes "normal", at least within certain game genres, is terrifying to me. Even now studios ask for more money after already going through what they got for free. And then we get stuff like Broken Age with it's questionable gameplay and 4 hour length of it's first half.

 

Ideally, of course, when a studio gets their revenues from a successful kickstarted project, they'd finance themselves from that point on, but even now studios, including Obsidian, Double Fine and inXile, either have multiple crowdfunded projects or are currently planning to announce them. While not even being close to releasing a previous one, no less.

 

Small teams are better at using crowdfunding, I think. The Banner Saga turned out good, and they got relatively little money from KS in the first place.

 

I don't have a problem backing Obsidian or InXile for their next project before the first is out if solid progress is shown and InXile has more than satisfied I think. It's ok to help them get going on a few games at once if it prevents devs from getting fired while they get their first ball rolling. From there, once their games are out and solid gold I very much hope to see them succeed and continue working fully independent. Nonetheless for as long as the games are good I'll back if needed.

  • Like 3

1zq6793.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Well, Kickstarted money probably cant be called "costs", since a large chunk of it (what isn't spent on rewards) is free money with some vague strings attached. And, since developers can get money from other sources, this sort of deal is amazing for them. Before crowdfunding, only socially beneficial (and also military and scientific, I guess) projects would get this level of support from anyone.

 

I guess my point is that the scenario in which this becomes "normal", at least within certain game genres, is terrifying to me. Even now studios ask for more money after already going through what they got for free. And then we get stuff like Broken Age with it's questionable gameplay and 4 hour length of it's first half.

 

Ideally, of course, when a studio gets their revenues from a successful kickstarted project, they'd finance themselves from that point on, but even now studios, including Obsidian, Double Fine and inXile, either have multiple crowdfunded projects or are currently planning to announce them. While not even being close to releasing a previous one, no less.

 

Small teams are better at using crowdfunding, I think. The Banner Saga turned out good, and they got relatively little money from KS in the first place.

 

 

I agree with you to a point, you're right in that additional money can be sought post-kickstarter and from a legal point of view the "vague strings attached" is very true.

However at the end of the day people will lose confidence in the devs who produce sub-standard games for the money they receive, a few of us on this very topic have already voiced our concerns over Double Fine, this does have a knock on effect and unless they pull the metaphorical rabbit out the hat with Massive Chalice I think they'll struggle to kickstart another big project.

 

On the other hand, in my line of work there is no such thing as being "overfunded" were such a thing to occur we could perhaps add bells and whistles with prettier outputs but it wouldn't result in a complete re-working of our proposal. I reckon this is where DF struggled with Broken Age and that is what I sympathise with, had they only slightly exceeded their target they would probably be in a better position right now, still there are no excuses for poor time/cost management in this day and age.

 

You are probably right that smaller companies achieve greater success in that they have less expectations and probably less overheads and if the idea is good enough to reach a funding goal for 25k+ chances are it has been fairly well thought out by a small group of people. 

 

I wouldn't bash Inexile though, they're going through an extended alpha process in order to create more reactivity within their game-world by genuinely listening to testers comments on the forums. This is crowdfunding at its very best, with the fans contributing non-essential suggestions that are being implemented in realtime to add more flavor to the world.

 

I would love to see Inexile and Obsidian (and Larian for that matter), create more kickstarters and gradually refine the fan input process, I genuinely enjoy posting my overly opinionated comments on these boards and occasionally getting a slap down from Sawyer :)

Edited by Jobby
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm happy with all Kickstarter games I have played. I have only completed Expeditions: Conquistador once, but there seemed to be replay value. Shadowrun Returns is linear but could be fun on another run. Everything else that was kickstarted and backed by me was never described as non-linear.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

They checked peoples feelings on raising additional funds instead of just going "we are getting close on budget, lets go out and panhandle for more money",

 

I hope you're not under the illusion that Obsidian won't put their beta on Steam Early Access within days of its release to backers, regardless of what people think. They're going to need every bit of that money.

Edited by Infinitron
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well the vote was a bit redundant as most backers aren't going to refuse additional stuff in a game they've already paid for, I can't define your opinion on Steam early access beta as your tone seems fairly neutral but surely more money towards the games development is a good thing? As long as it doesn't come from out of the box DLC or partitioned episodic ****ing content. 

And yes the swearing was needed. Episodic content is more often than not a cash cow, the walking dead may be an exception but even then...

Edited by Jobby
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not concerned for this project for a number of reasons.

 

Strengths

-The experience of the people involved in making precisely these type of games.

-The harsh lessons of game development that have been learnt (I hope) over the last 10 years of Obsidian's existence. i.e. get the game play experience down pat before designing other systems ~ looking at you Alpha Protocol.

-They know how to budget and keep a studio together during tough times.

-Relating to the point above they know how to make fun isometric RTWP combat if Icewind Dale is anything to go by.

-Writing and story development are always good to great.

-Obsidian produces excellent isometric art. Just look at Icewind Dale.

-The frequent communication from the project lead who seems to have a clear vision for the project.

-This is their baby. They want to make it excellent as there reputation is on the line. Not to mention the prospects of making additional games of this type.

 

Weaknesses

-Reputation for buggy games; this has not been a problem for me since nwn2 although I'm sure others have experienced a range of issues given rep.

-Story tends to take precedence over gameplay far too often.

-The characters they make are sometimes too serious and thought-provoking to the point of melancholy. Sometimes it's good to have a few characters you can relate too that aren't narrative exposition vehicles and can lighten the mood. I guess they try to do that but largely fail in my opinion. Prove me wrong Obsidian.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been very pleased with tell tails episodic adventure games there not perfect but no game is I like being able to finish an episode in a couple hours and that anticipation for the next one it's casual and fun I need casual games to add variety otherwise ill just constantly play dota 2 pwning noobs and my fairy dust and drinking problems get outta line because my pvpnis is strongest like that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I've played:

 

Shadowrun Retuns - I had some fun, yet it felt too short. I did not mind the linear aspect of it that much, although I'd rather have a bit more closure there. The save/load system though, that should have been improved.

 

Banner Saga - Had fun, but again it feels too short. I realized that it's part 1 of 3 planned, so lets see. Again, Save/Load system should be improved. I am not sure if I will be able to port 2 playthroughs or just the 2nd one...

 

Wasteland 2 beta - feels right, and is still improving.

 

Xenonauts beta - it is what it's advertised as. Basically a clone of old X-COM with some added options.

 

Divinity: Original Sin beta - feels right and fun.

 

Not really a KS project, but Early Access - Age of Decadence - a decent game, unforgiving and thus requiring a lot of save scumming or simply metagaming stat allocations. it would be much better if it was party based, even if the party would be like main character and 1/2 hired bodygruads (depending on your social skills), so you could pass some encounters even if you did not allocate your non-combat stats perfectly.

 

I'm waiting for 3 more projects now:

 

Torment

 

Pillars of Eternity (CAN'T WAIT!!!)

 

Jagged Alliance - Flashback

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm very confident on kickstarter. I don't play too much like ten years ago, but in 2013 almost all games I've played are kickstarter games:

 

- Expeditions Conquistador: A masterpiece in my opinion.

- Banner Saga Factions (the multiplayer combat game): I enjoyed a lot to play combats against people on the net. I haven't played yet the singleplayer history.

- Faeria: Nice card game (like Magic) to play on the net.

- FTL: The reference of rogue-like games

 

For the future (I backed all those and more):

- Pillars of Eternity is the Queen

- Tides of Numenera. If i had knew that it was turnbased, I wouldn't have bought it.

- Stoneheart

- The Last Door

- Legends of Eisenwald

- RimWorld

- Sunless Sea

- Confederate Express

- RiverCity Ramson: Underground

 

LONG LIFE TO KICKSTARTER!!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

So, started playing Broken Age...

 

It's not bad. Not at all. It's got some good humor in there and the basic story is interesting. But it doesn't feel like a game that should have taken long or much effort to produce. Most of the puzzles are fairly straightforward, like you said, and it feels like this act is going to be fairly short (I think I completed Vella's part already, but maybe it will continue after I catch up on the boy's part?). I don't see a lengthy game forming here, but I might be judging too quickly (maybe I am not complete with Vella's part yet, like I think I am).

 

Btw, don't answer that question. :)

 

I honestly think that PE and WL2 and T:ToN will be in a different league from any other Kickstarter game, in terms of depth, length, and overall quality. Maybe my expectations are too high, but there you go.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm very confident on kickstarter. I don't play too much like ten years ago, but in 2013 almost all games I've played are kickstarter games:

 

- Expeditions Conquistador: A masterpiece in my opinion.

- Banner Saga Factions (the multiplayer combat game): I enjoyed a lot to play combats against people on the net. I haven't played yet the singleplayer history.

- Faeria: Nice card game (like Magic) to play on the net.

- FTL: The reference of rogue-like games

 

For the future (I backed all those and more):

- Pillars of Eternity is the Queen

- Tides of Numenera. If i had knew that it was turnbased, I wouldn't have bought it.

- Stoneheart

- The Last Door

- Legends of Eisenwald

- RimWorld

- Sunless Sea

- Confederate Express

- RiverCity Ramson: Underground

 

LONG LIFE TO KICKSTARTER!!!

 

You backed the next torment for the combat lol that seems silly. Even the people who love torment say the combat sucks.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So my fears were true. I hope Act 2 for Broken Age is a bit more worthwhile. Act 1 is good, and I do not regret backing it at all, but I was hoping for more. Maybe Act 2 will be amazing and much lengthier with better puzzles. We'll see! I'm definitely interested in what happens next, storywise.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...