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A Question for Paradox on physical reward quality

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Many of us pledged higher than normal amounts of money for Pillars of Eternity due to the prospect of getting in on the nice physical goods that were available in the Eternity Kickstarter.

The Project Eternity Kickstarter probably had the best value for money reward tiers out of all of the premiere PC Game Kickstarters as it came out before the realization that production of physical goods and shipping (in particular) was very expensive and takes a large chunk of money from the Kickstarter funds. Physical goods then became limited and less were offered in following Kickstarters.

The quality of physical goods from other Kickstarters (such as Shadowrun Returns) have been reportedly pretty underwhelming. This is not surprising as the developers would have done everything as cheaply as possible to retain as much of their development budget as they can.

With the Eternity physical good fulfillment being handed over to Paradox, is what kind of quality can we expect for the physical rewards?

Smart business sense would be to do everything as cheaply as possible and keep the costs down because none of these goods are being sold, they have already been pre-purchased and putting any smidge of effort or quality into the items would just reduce the profit margins of the business.

I think that Obsidian and the Eternity backers who are Paradox employees probably care at least a little bit that the quality of the physical good is acceptable by today's standards, but I'm not as sure if there is any chance of us getting anything of the quality from the IE days. The Baldur's Gate 2 Box and the original BG2 cloth map are of excellent quality as far as video game physical goods go, and my cloth map barely shows any sign of wear at all.

Perhaps this is somehow related to the profit margins that Paradox will be getting from the Steam (or perhaps all digital distribution sales).

Take this imaginary discussion for instance

Paradox: "Okay so if you want high quality physical goods, we want 30% of the profit margins"
Feargus: "Hmm, too much, what can we do for 25% ?"
Paradox: "We can keep the collector's box size, but we'll have to go with a lower quality cardboard, and go for a cheaper hardcover art book and cloth map."

(Completely made-up, figures unrealistic).

Here is my wishlist for the quality of the physical goods:

Collector's Edition Box

A gatefold big box like the Baldur's Gate 2 game box, with the outer cardboard being strong and thick and no inner cardboard sleeve. Newer collector's editions often have a thin layer of carboard on the exterior, with an inner el-cheapo cardboard inlet to keep the box shape.

Cloth Map

A thick cloth map like the Baldur's Gate 2 map, with the map of the world printed onto the cloth, rather than the tacky combination used by EA with the Dragon Age Collector's Box (anyone want my copy btw?)

Collector's Art Book

Book production these days is all done in China and/or there are many online services that provide it. I am mainly concerned that the quality of the hardcover exterior and the page paper quality is good. My primary concern is that the book look and feel nice to read and that it will last. I don't mind if the page count has to be reduced because of that.

Project Eternity t-shirt

T-shirt companies are usually pretty hit or miss. The shirts I have had that have lasted the longest have been JB's followed by Gildan Ultra Cotton (don't use Heavy or Softstyle, they are bad) and PORT and Company (Pre-shrunk 100% cotton, tagless). B&C European style and Fruit of the Loom Heavy (or above) cotton isn't bad but they fade faster than the others.

AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE anything done in Bangladesh, India, Kazahkstan or anywhere in that part of the world, the Carribean and Mexican sweat shops seem to do a better job overall.

Mouse Pad

I would prefer if the mousepad was done by someone who does 'gaming quality' mousepads, as office mouse pads are small and crap, but that's probably not going to happen.

If any of the Paradox employees read this thread, would you be so kind as to answer, what are our chances of getting some decent quality physical goods, rather than the made to break stuff that is manufactured today.

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Pops on some Barry White.

 

Oh yeah baby, physically fulfill me.

 

Feels so good.

 

You know it can't be bad when it feels so right.

 

Uh-hu, just like that.

 

Sorry it's what I keep thinking of when I read physical fulfillment.

  • Like 6

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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I'll be happy just to get a non-defective disk and a well-bound instruction book. If the box is large I'll end up dumping it to save shelf space. The DVD will go in my media book and the rules book in the game drawer.


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

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There's a case to be made for making the Kickstarter stuff non-exclusive. The better they make them, the better they'll be able to sell them.

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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Project Eternity t-shirt

 

T-shirt companies are usually pretty hit or miss. The shirts I have had that have lasted the longest have been JB's followed by Gildan Ultra Cotton (don't use Heavy or Softstyle, they are bad) and PORT and Company (Pre-shrunk 100% cotton, tagless). B&C European style and Fruit of the Loom Heavy (or above) cotton isn't bad but they fade faster than the others.

 

AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE anything done in Bangladesh, India, Kazahkstan or anywhere in that part of the world, the Carribean and Mexican sweat shops seem to do a better job overall.

 

Something about this section feels lawful evil, or at least chaotic neutral.

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Something about this section feels lawful evil, or at least chaotic neutral.

 

 

Pretty much all production outsourcing nowadays is either Lawful Evil or Lawful Expensive.

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Something about this section feels lawful evil, or at least chaotic neutral.

 

 

Pretty much all production outsourcing nowadays is either Lawful Evil or Lawful Expensive.

 

Or Chaotic Evil, but falsely represented as Lawful Neutral. You don't actually have to have a safe factory, sane hours, or a wage that lets the employee afford to eat, you just have to intimidate them into tricking the inspectors into believing that you do these things. 

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I would be happy enough if Paradox would ship the physical stuff from inside Europe. I got the Collector's Edition and while I don't mind paying shipping, I'm sure customs tax will add an extra 30% on top... Would be really great if stuff could ship from from inside Europe and as such avoid tax.

 

Not too concerned about the quality of the goods. I doubt Obsidian would have the means to go for premium manufacturing either. We will probably get what we would have ended up getting anyway.

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Many of us pledged higher than normal amounts of money for Pillars of Eternity due to the prospect of getting in on the nice physical goods that were available in the Eternity Kickstarter.

 

The Project Eternity Kickstarter probably had the best value for money reward tiers out of all of the premiere PC Game Kickstarters as it came out before the realization that production of physical goods and shipping (in particular) was very expensive and takes a large chunk of money from the Kickstarter funds. Physical goods then became limited and less were offered in following Kickstarters.

 

Where has Obsidian ever said they underestimated the cost of physical goods?

 

Smart business sense would be to do everything as cheaply as possible and keep the costs down because none of these goods are being sold, they have already been pre-purchased and putting any smidge of effort or quality into the items would just reduce the profit margins of the business.

 

I think that Obsidian and the Eternity backers who are Paradox employees probably care at least a little bit that the quality of the physical good is acceptable by today's standards, but I'm not as sure if there is any chance of us getting anything of the quality from the IE days. The Baldur's Gate 2 Box and the original BG2 cloth map are of excellent quality as far as video game physical goods go, and my cloth map barely shows any sign of wear at all.

 

Giving your core supporters less than what they expect is definitely not smart business sense. There is much more to a successful business than numbers, especially when that business deals directly with the public. If my physical goods are not of good quality I will definitely be less likely to buy from Obsidian again, and most certainly likely would not back any future kickstarter they launched, and I'm sure I would not be close to alone in this.

 

That said, I do have some faith that Obsidian will make sure Paradox delivers quality as was promised in the kickstarter.

Edited by Valsuelm

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So for the uninitiated, is there anybody here who has purchased a boxed copy of a Paradox game? My only other experience with Swedish quality in physical goods is Ikea and Volvo - Functional, and cleanly designed, but "meh."

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So for the uninitiated, is there anybody here who has purchased a boxed copy of a Paradox game? My only other experience with Swedish quality in physical goods is Ikea and Volvo - Functional, and cleanly designed, but "meh."

 

Well if it ships with meatballs or that crazy Dime Bar cake then I'll be fairly happy.

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sonsofgygax.JPG

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So for the uninitiated, is there anybody here who has purchased a boxed copy of a Paradox game? My only other experience with Swedish quality in physical goods is Ikea and Volvo - Functional, and cleanly designed, but "meh."

 

Yep, I have bought a lot of their games, the first as early as 2000 - hm, although that can't have been the first they published themselves. They were the most conservative publisher I know of when it came to having big, neat physical manuals in your games (nowadays I don't buy that many games and not necessarily physical copies). The HoI2 Anthology and EU3 boxes both came with excellent packaging considering the year of their release, with the former even shipping with a nice medal inside ( :huh:) and the latter with a big manual which did not fit into a DVD box. I don't know how much money Paradox have to spend on this, but I can tell for sure that they have a culture in their company up to CEO level which appreciates the typical "old school" nerdy stuff many of us here are longing for, not like certain other publishers which are more like a caricature of the greedy businessman. I honestly can't think of a publisher which would be a better match for Obsidian.

Edited by Rostere

"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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So for the uninitiated, is there anybody here who has purchased a boxed copy of a Paradox game? My only other experience with Swedish quality in physical goods is Ikea and Volvo - Functional, and cleanly designed, but "meh."

 

I'm one of the rare breed who ordered a physical (redeemable on Steam) copy of Crusader Kings 2 despite living in North America.  The overall quality was par for the course as far as PC games are concerned: standard DVD box with advertising on the reverse of the cover art and glossy manual.  Shipped pretty quickly for an international parcel.

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I have to admit I'm a little concerned about this.

I'll be a little disappointed if I paid $280 for a game (Signed collectors +cd and cards) to get something cheaply made that wont stand the test of time.

 

Overall as long as the game is as good as I hope I wont feel entirely let down..just a little miffed that I spent so much extra money for as you mentioned, cheap cardboard.

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They're actually just going to take bland squares of cardboard, write "Pillars of Eternity" on them (with magic markers!), then forcibly fold the square of cardboard into a box-like form around the physical goods, taping it together with masking tape.

 

Worry not. It's gonna be MAGICAL! 8D

 

How can it not stand the test of time? It's called "Pillars of Eternity"!

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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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I have to admit I'm a little concerned about this.

I'll be a little disappointed if I paid $280 for a game (Signed collectors +cd and cards) to get something cheaply made that wont stand the test of time.

 

Overall as long as the game is as good as I hope I wont feel entirely let down..just a little miffed that I spent so much extra money for as you mentioned, cheap cardboard.

As always with kickstarter it pays to remember that you did not pay $280 for a game. You backed the production of a game to the tune of $280. As an inducement the makers of the game offered several rewards but the quality of those rewards and the game itself are not assured in the same way they might be if you'd actually bought something.

Edited by MasterPrudent

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The quality is assured if I bought something? I dunno, I've bought a lot of things over the years that turned out to be poop once the box was opened (hence why I have so little faith in the game industry overall these days).

 

I think anyone backing the game that opted for physical goods can and should expect high quality physical goods, at the very least to the level of quality we found with the games that inspired PoE. That's what we told we were going to get, and that's what I expect to get. I'm pretty sure Obsidian will deliver, they will lose many of their most ardent supporters if they don't, and really... I think they truly want to deliver quality. I will genuinely be surprised if they don't.

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I have to admit I'm a little concerned about this.

I'll be a little disappointed if I paid $280 for a game (Signed collectors +cd and cards) to get something cheaply made that wont stand the test of time.

 

Overall as long as the game is as good as I hope I wont feel entirely let down..just a little miffed that I spent so much extra money for as you mentioned, cheap cardboard.

As always with kickstarter it pays to remember that you did not pay $280 for a game. You backed the production of a game to the tune of $280. As an inducement the makers of the game offered several rewards but the quality of those rewards and the game itself are not assured in the same way they might be if you'd actually bought something.

 

 

I know it doesn't entirely change things, but I'm not a kickstarter backer. I only just found about PoE last week (for some reason).

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I don't know if it helps, but I own a ton of Paradox games and am a huge fan of theirs.  They are a trustworthy studio/publisher.  Having said that, they do need to make some money.  However, I wouldn't put it past them to make less money to ensure their brand quality.

They are good guys, and are alwas on their forums talking to fans.  You need to register a game on the forums for anyone to take you seriously though, which is their form of anti-piracy.  A little picture shows up if you have a registered copy of any game with them on your forum posts.  I have spoke with the developers on a few occasions.

I was discouraged at first by the union of Paradox as publisher.  Not that I hate paradox, just because, historically, this type of union is bad for a game, not good.  However, Paradox publishes a lot of games that are not developed in house.  They do give a lot of freedom to the developers.  In fact I'm not sure if they pressure them at all given how some of the devs take their sweet time lol.

So I'm sure the physical goods will be of satisfaction to the majority.  However, this will be a subjective opinion, so some people will not find it to satisfaction.  We can only hope that these people are a minority, because if not we then have the problem you mention.  Until Paradox crews up, I think it is safe to give them the benefit of the doubt.  They have a good track record.

Also, I'm not a paid fanboy or anything, but I am a fnboy of Paradox.  My username on their forums is Gaugeforever.  Feel free to verify, I'm just fan of their work.

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I'd like to see to see the physical manual (or atleast the Collector''s Edition version) to be spiral bound with heavy weight paper.

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"Things are funny...are comedic, because they mix the real with the absurd." - Buzz Aldrin.

"P-O-T-A-T-O-E" - Dan Quayle

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I just want my cloth map and soundtrack.  I am easy to please :p.

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I just want my cloth map and soundtrack.  I am easy to please :p.

Well then, let's just hope Paradox fulfills their Obsidian's promises adequately.

 

I did like the quality of my Julius Caesar bust when I got Paradox's Rome game years ago. Though the map was made of glossy paper.


"Things are funny...are comedic, because they mix the real with the absurd." - Buzz Aldrin.

"P-O-T-A-T-O-E" - Dan Quayle

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The worst is when you get a "quality map of the world," and it's made of crease-able paper and ships folded about 16 times to fit in the box. 8P

 

They could at least roll those things up and put 'em in a little cardboard tube or something, ya know? Or just... make 'em out of cloth, and charge the extra 3 bucks.


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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we were gonna make some kinda snarky comment about preoccupation with material crap that don't in anyway improve the game, but about a week ago we spent $2900 (we ended up saving some dough... they wanted to charge us $3400) to get an alternator replaced on our bmw x5 4.4l.  were in the shop so we had to drive our "other" car...

 

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/59764-cars/?p=1178738

 

is funny 'cause buick is releasing a new grand national gnx, so am gonna probably buy one. have actual seen a commercial where they describe as darth vader's car. 

 

so, any comments we could possibly make 'bout stupid materialism is clearly nothing more than hypocritical blather. 

 

HA! Good Fun!

Edited by Gromnir
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"Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."--Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

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