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Playing other Kickstarter funded games makes me nervous


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I've backed a ton of games on KS and have enjoyed almost all of them to some degree. If you haven't tinkered around with Shadowrun Returns editor or at least played some mods, you are missing out on about 50% of the content. The editor and mods were a big part of the KS project. Hell, there are plans in place to recreate the SNES and Genesis games AND translate large parts of the pen and paper game into a super big campaign. BTW, you only gotta watch the new trailer for Dragonfall for any doubts about Shadowrun Returns to dissipate. As for PoE, I had no idea anyone had doubts. It is looking like a 75+ game at the very least... Just the multilevel mega dungeon alone is god knows how long. But what do I know ;)

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Have a look, have a laugh:

An Open Letter to My Kickstarter Backers
 

Broken Age is a much different case than Pillars of Eternity for a number of reasons. I backed both games and have been intently following both games and I LOVED Broken Age Act 1 but they did things so much differently. Let me briefly go through this.

  • Broken Age was kickstarted prior to ANY pre-production of any kind.  ...
  • Voice Acting. ...
  • Experience and comfort zones. ...
  • No major bottlenecks. ...
  • The documentary. ...

 
Before Double Fine made Broken Age, they made other videogames. Several of them. For years. Have they suddenly forgotten how to do that? How much time/money it costs to pre-produce, prototype, develop, deliver? How to budget man-hours to do all the things that are needed?
 
All these excuses you bring up boil down to one thing only: bad project management. And since they are an established company, I CANNOT accept excuses like that. Either you manage your financial and human resources well, or DIE IN A FIRE. That's capitalism, baby. Must I explain how capitalism works while sitting here, in Hungary, Eastern Europe, a post-communist country to people who lived within that in their entire life? Being innovative and cool is just a start, not an end.
 
And that comes from someone who has a degree in Computer Science, and a postgrad degree as high school teacher. I don't work in business, nowhere near - but I'm sick of hearing games developers' excuses, blaming everyone and everything else but themselves for failing.
 
In my opinion, games can fail for two basic reasons:
-- Business people failing to understand games and gamers (a certain type of creative products and their consumers).

-- Games people failing to understand business (market research, planning, budgeting, risk management, resource allocation, etc.)

 

I think everyone who watched the DFA documentary knows that Broken Age wasn't made with just the KS money, additional money was poured into it. They had to, in order to avert a public disaster. So in that sense, they failed. They just covered up their failure with money drawn from other pockets (see the last episode of the documentary for some details). And even with that additional money, they failed to finish the game, and had to cut it into two parts. Seriously...

 

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The Seven Blunders/Roots of Violence: Wealth without work. Pleasure without conscience. Knowledge without character. Commerce without morality. Science without humanity. Worship without sacrifice. Politics without principle. (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi)

 

Let's Play the Pools Saga (SSI Gold Box Classics)

Pillows of Enamored Warfare -- The Zen of Nodding

 

 

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You could also look production of Broken Age from another perspective

 

Like for example going over kickstarter budget: One could argue that it was not failure but deliberate choice. Usually in software development there is lot of features that need to be cut out from final product because there aren't enough resources to do, test and polish them. So there probably was time when Tim and co gathered together to look what designed features they would need to cut out so that their resources would suffice and in that meeting/s they decided to add resources in the project instead of cutting features, which is not necessary failure in any sense when you have those extra resources to put in the project. Although putting more resources in project always rise risks if project actually fails (meaning that it don't produce enough money to replace resources put in it) . So going over project's original budget, if you can afford it, should not be looked as failure until you see returns that project produces, as then you see if extra risk was worth of it or not.

 

I don't see that splicing game in two parts is not failure to finish the game, but instead way to serve backers product, at least part of product, bit faster than what they could do if they finish product wholly before delivering it for the backers. And splicing the game can also helps them lower risk at least somewhat from where higher budget raised it. And first half of the game also work as advertisement for the product until it is finalized.

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I don't expect AAA games out of Kickstarters, especially when they are made by like 3-4 guys. Well, except from Star Citizen but that game is at 37+ millions now.

 

People talking about managing expectation are right. People shouldn't be expecting the moons just because a known dev is making something with a few millions. A large part of a game success is because the project had good manager and a clear vision of what they wanted to do.

Azarhal, Chanter and Keeper of Truth of the Obsidian Order of Eternity.


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I gotta say I sort of enjoyed Shadowrun Returns although it didn't offer me more than one playthrough. What my biggest concern regarding this game is, is the use of the Unity Engine. I meet David from Unity3d back in 2003 when his company was a very small business in Copenhagen and while I wish him all the best I never really liked the engine he and his co-workers developed. I haven't played any game based on that engine that hasn't disappointed me. Shadowrun Returns included. I haven't gotten any info on the Wasteland 2 game and how it performs but seeing how the new Might & Magic X is basically performing like crap I'm finding it hard to get my hopes up. 

 

Another thing I've noticed with the Unity Engine games is how it stresses your videocard temps. Can't conclude wheter it's the optimization of the games using the engine or the engine itself but it has made me nervous. 

 

I'm pretty confident that this game will turn out nice with the well-established crew working on it. But I wouldn't have minded if they had choosen another engine to run the game. I'm really missing the days of the stable Infinity engine and just crossing my fingers that a game paying homage to that engine ( Pillars of Eternity = made on the pillars of Infinity?!?) will be a nice and stable performing experience like the games from the IE period.

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I gotta say I sort of enjoyed Shadowrun Returns although it didn't offer me more than one playthrough. What my biggest concern regarding this game is, is the use of the Unity Engine. I meet David from Unity3d back in 2003 when his company was a very small business in Copenhagen and while I wish him all the best I never really liked the engine he and his co-workers developed. I haven't played any game based on that engine that hasn't disappointed me. Shadowrun Returns included. I haven't gotten any info on the Wasteland 2 game and how it performs but seeing how the new Might & Magic X is basically performing like crap I'm finding it hard to get my hopes up.

Actually I am playing Might and Magic Legacy and it performs just fine.  Too many people bought it when it was in open beta and reviewed based on the beta.  I never played more than an hour or two until the final version was out.  Other than a strange audio bug I ran into last night where sound effects stopped and some funktastic textures on a couple book shelves I have had no issues.

 

As for double fine....  There is a reason I didn't back their game and it isn't due to it being an adventure game.  They can't budget for crap, their games are historically niche/highly average, and they prioritize being internet cool, hipster, and trendy over things like.... good gameplay.  I am sorry, they suck.  The reason they had to go to kickstarter is because the business people/publishers have long since realized Tim Schafer has great ideas but no clue how to make a game under budget or manage a project.  Giving him money is literally asking for a profit loss.

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I'm calling it now, star citizen is going to be an expensive failure.

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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Actually I am playing Might and Magic Legacy and it performs just fine.  Too many people bought it when it was in open beta and reviewed based on the beta.  I never played more than an hour or two until the final version was out.  Other than a strange audio bug I ran into last night where sound effects stopped and some funktastic textures on a couple book shelves I have had no issues.

 

 

 

Glad to hear your MMX is behaving allright. My friend who bought the game has huge FPS drops, missing sounds and other ackward performance problems. This is a common problem as a quick look through the games forum on Steam can assure you of. So it wasn't pointing at the beta but the actual finished release and a thing I recall from the Shadowrun Returns was a bit of the same with crappy audio stuttering, severe loading times and so on. That's what makes me think that there is indeed problems within the Unity Engine and as I said I have still to see a game that performs good or at least stable on that engine. The problems in Shadowrun Returns aren't that big but considering the limited ressources that's required to run a game like that (eg. small areas, static graphics, limited audio needed) it's a bit frustrating that it doesn't at least run smoothly. 

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Actually I am playing Might and Magic Legacy and it performs just fine.  Too many people bought it when it was in open beta and reviewed based on the beta.  I never played more than an hour or two until the final version was out.  Other than a strange audio bug I ran into last night where sound effects stopped and some funktastic textures on a couple book shelves I have had no issues.

 

 

 

Glad to hear your MMX is behaving allright. My friend who bought the game has huge FPS drops, missing sounds and other ackward performance problems. This is a common problem as a quick look through the games forum on Steam can assure you of. So it wasn't pointing at the beta but the actual finished release and a thing I recall from the Shadowrun Returns was a bit of the same with crappy audio stuttering, severe loading times and so on. That's what makes me think that there is indeed problems within the Unity Engine and as I said I have still to see a game that performs good or at least stable on that engine. The problems in Shadowrun Returns aren't that big but considering the limited ressources that's required to run a game like that (eg. small areas, static graphics, limited audio needed) it's a bit frustrating that it doesn't at least run smoothly. 

 

The load times in the game are very dissapointing in 2014. I guess I'm too spoiled in expecting every game now to be optimized at release.

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It's the nature of crowd funding projects that a big chunk will either flounder or collapse. Personally I was assured that Obsidian had their head in the game as soon as I saw the first footage of that idyllic river crossing and splish splashing footsteps. Can't say no to 20 quid for a spiritual BG sequel either, really.

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The only Kickstarter-funded game I've ever played that didn't disappoint is FTL - probably because of it's simplicity and initial design around a shoestring budget (the Kickstarter funds were just used for polish, apparently). Shadowrun Returns, however, disappointed me for reasons that have been already stated in this topic. Wasteland 2 looks a bit better, but after SRR, I plan on going into it not expecting much - and have in fact deliberately avoided hearing about people's experiences with it's $60 beta. (Speaking of which, what's up with that?)

 

I still can't help but get really excited for Pillars of Eternity - as unlike those games, it's by an experienced development team which has previously created games I adore. My only real worry is that Obsidian might have put a bit much on their plate with the entire additional city and other extra features they came up with on the spot during the Kickstarter.

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It's the nature of crowd funding projects that a big chunk will either flounder or collapse. Personally I was assured that Obsidian had their head in the game as soon as I saw the first footage of that idyllic river crossing and splish splashing footsteps. Can't say no to 20 quid for a spiritual BG sequel either, really.

fixed.

 

Most investments fail, this is true no matter where you look. it's the few that succeed which should cover the expense for the poor investments.

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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I wasn't ever expecting mega-epic in breadth or length to begin with, although I was/am hoping for a game that would take me (a slow-poke) 20-25 hours first-playthru at least. So I suppose for many others that might mean only 12-18.

 

A game in the tradition of the olden cRPGs should aim for at least 40h.

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I played Shadowrun Returns and FTL and liked them both. Granted, Shadowrun wasn't exactly perfect, but I still felt like I got my money's worth. I'm also playing the alpha of Hex: Shards of Fate, a kickstarted digital trading card game, and loving the hell out of it. And I keep hearing good things about The Banner Saga. So yeah, I'm not really concerned, Obsidian know what they're doing. I hope :)

 

BTW, I'm a first-time poster, long-time lurker. So, um, hi, everyone! :)

Edited by ArtB
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I wasn't ever expecting mega-epic in breadth or length to begin with, although I was/am hoping for a game that would take me (a slow-poke) 20-25 hours first-playthru at least. So I suppose for many others that might mean only 12-18.

 

A game in the tradition of the olden cRPGs should aim for at least 40h.

 

There's no way to accurately say how long it's going to be until you playtest it. While I'm sure Obsidian has some sort of time length in mind, it's impossible to say "35 hours" and have that be the actual, accurate time.

 

Consider how fast you can speedrun some games vs. if you take your time.

Edited by Bryy
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Well it looks like I gotta take back those words I said earlier about the Unity Engine. I just seen Blackguards being played and it looks pretty smooth running on Unity. I could argue that it's turnbased and so on but it looks as though Unity functions pretty well if games are programmed properly. Seeing Blackguards made me get my hopes back up for PoE. 

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InXile and Obsidian both have me very excited for their games. The other Kickstarters, they're just really one off projects. Double Fine is clearly going to make all kinds of games. Unless it's really good lying I truly believe that Brian Fargo, Josh Sawyer, Chris Avellone, and all the other guys want to make killer CRPGs again, and will make them as long as its finanically feasible. Feargus was interviewed and talked about how he'd love Pillars of Eternity to spin off into more games just like how Baldur's Gate went to Icewind Dale and Planescape Torment.

 

To make a franchise these first games need to be great, they need to at the very least be worth the inital Kickstarter Pledge price of $25. I think Obsidian is more than capable of doing that.

 

Also we only know what the Kickstarter Money is going towards, who knows if Obsidian has put in its own money or found other investors. Either way I think they're going to use the funds more wisely than other studios.

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Actually I am playing Might and Magic Legacy and it performs just fine.  Too many people bought it when it was in open beta and reviewed based on the beta.  I never played more than an hour or two until the final version was out.  Other than a strange audio bug I ran into last night where sound effects stopped and some funktastic textures on a couple book shelves I have had no issues.

 

 

 

Glad to hear your MMX is behaving allright. My friend who bought the game has huge FPS drops, missing sounds and other ackward performance problems. This is a common problem as a quick look through the games forum on Steam can assure you of. 

 

 

Yeah, MMX is an optimized piece of garbage. I'm on a SSD, high-end processor/gpu with plenty of memory -- load times are playstation 1 levels and the game stutters like crazy in certain places like the forest. Despite all of that I put in like 8 hours and enjoyed it ok despite the awful, senseless skill balance. Going to wait for modders to fix/balance the game before picking it back up

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Lets see; I've invested in Wasteland 2, Torment, Mandate and of course PoE.

 

I own FTL, Shadowrun Returns, Banner Saga and Expeditions: Conquistador.

 

Of these I adore FTL (which is apparently about to receive a free expansion, yay!).

 

Shadowrun R. was a too linear, there were no real choices, aside from whether to do side quests. Combat in places was clunky too (drones). 

 

Banner Saga ... is a good game with a decent story, however I really would prefer having a save system rather than save points. This is because with all of the choices I would like to try them out one by one and see the differences (I admit it, I'm a save scummer). 

 

Ex. Conquistador is a decent strategy game. Perhaps I was a little quick to judge but the story bored me. I find myself unable to recall much beyond the opening few quests.

 

The four I have invested in have me salivating as I wait for their official release dates to be announced (I do not bother with betas). I can only hope for the best; whether what I receive is as good or better than my imaginings is entirely up to the development teams. Frankly I am excited about their potential. However I have been burned many times by preordering. Weirdly the one thing in the world I am optimistic about is games.

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the only crowdfunded project I've invested in that I'm worried might not deliver is Xing: the land beyond. I'm still very confident for The Mandate, Obduction, The Longest Journey Chapters, Roam, PoE, Torment:ToN (tier with Wasteland 2) and the drug rape prevention glasses that they'll deliver.

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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This is a direct response to Bryy, it's spoiler free but I'm putting a spoiler tag anyways~

Okay, so I played Broken Age.

 

Entirely predictable (dat ending), and waaaaaaaaaaay too retro for my taste. By retro I mean feature wise and mechanic wise. In 2014, there is no reason why you should not be able to use WASD to move. 

 

Curiosity: Did you find it predictable after playing it for a while or did you predict it before even starting? I watched a Let's Play of it (The only adventure game I have played and finished was the first Monkey Island game), and I started to suspect it about 2/3rds through. I think it was a great ending and presentation of it, imho.

 

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