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PE is scheduled for release in Winter 2014 (which is mid-November onwards). The team entered post-production somewhere between the start of April and the beginning of May.

 

The Production spreadsheet has two alpha phases and a beta phase planned. Beta is when the backers get their first access.

 

This is also the stage at which other Kickstarter games, notably Wasteland 2 and Divinity: Original Sin among others made use of "Steam Early Access". A phenomenon which has really taken off over the last couple of years.

 

If reports from the Wasteland 2 producers can be believed, Steam Early Access provided the Wasteland 2 team with enough money for a few more months worth of development.

 

Nowadays, 90% of games are available on Steam Early Access in an unfinished state to milk the enthusiastic gamers and steam library hoarders of all they are worth. This is simple economics, and it simply allows developers (and publishers) to capitalize on the top percentile of demand at which a customer will pay a higher price.

 

With Kickstarter games, you are obliged to offer early access for at least the same amount as backers paid during the Kickstarter. In Pillars of Eternity's case, this was the $110 tier.

 

However currently on the Pillars of Eternity website, the cheapest amount you can purchase the beta for is $60 (Digital copy of the game for $35, plus an additional $25 for a beta key).

 

I think the Wasteland 2 early access was around the same price (if not exactly the same price).

 

With a good gameplay video available on launch, Pillars of Eternity has the potential to capitalize on at least around the same amount of money that Wasteland 2 brought in from it's own steam early access.

 

The PE team themselves are probably not ready to answer questions about this, but if PE is able to bring in enough money during the early access for another development month, would that money be used on the vanilla game, or put in the piggy bank for the expansion ?

 

There's between 5-6 months of development time left, of which there are three post production milestones - Alpha 1, Alpha 2 and Beta. Beta might get 2-3 months tops out of that. Steam Early Access is not guaranteed money, so planning for it in a schedule is probably too big of a risk to take. But I wouldn't be surprised if the devs use the extra $ for a longer beta period, and a possible Q1 2015 release.

 

Steam Early Access is essentially free money and publicity.

Edited by Sensuki
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Sounds more than reasonable to me, and perhaps allows a little more time and budget for the expansion as well, a win - win scenario. However i'm a rather laid back individual and others may disagree and want to get the product as soon as possible, and Obsidian may wish to announce another Kickstarter before we penurise ourselves in the usual consumerist gluttony celebrating Father Christmas' death and ressurection.

 

Economically and pr wise however early access simply makes sense as you say, i'm thinking of all the free publicity from Youtube channels alone, Fearghus has no doubt been pondering the matter at some length.

 

Edit: And a far more polished product obviously appeals, though personally I found both South Park and Dungeon Siege were head and shoulders above the competition in terms of stability. That said just as no battle plan survives contact with the enemy, so no software is tested until it is widely disseminated.

Edited by Nonek
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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.

 

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Steam Early Access is also a near scam and very abusive of the gaming public.  You could throw up any old near unplayable piece of crap on Steam Early Access and charge 60 bucks for it.  It can also result in a large amount of negative press for your game, like the initial Steam Early access did for Wasteland 2.  All I heard about that game for months after the early access started was some variation on "it is bad".  To the point where I wish I hadn't backed it.

 

Obsidian if you want to ride the money/trend train and do Steam Early access.... at least wait until actual Beta is ready.  Don't release a 2-3 hour buggy chip of game and charge people 60 dollars for it, it will just bite you in the ass.  Even if long term the game is great people don't see Steam Early Access as "alpha" they see it as a game release and expect it to be good RIGHT NOW.  While releasing Early Access may get you money today, it may also lose you a customer tomorrow.

Edited by Karkarov
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no.

 

just no.

 

a man is only worth his word. it might be publicity and money in this game. but it's a deathblow to their already-wavering credibility in my eyes.

 

they go steam early access and i won't be pledging to the next kickstarter. i'll wait for the next early access or even wait till they go 70% off steam sale. i probably won't be the only one.

 

they said winter 2014, they should deliver winter 2014.

 

comparing this game with wasteland 2 is a bad idea.

Edited by Hormalakh
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It can also result in a large amount of negative press for your game, like the initial Steam Early access did for Wasteland 2.  All I heard about that game for months after the early access started was some variation on "it is bad".  To the point where I wish I hadn't backed it.

I agree, I think inXile released the "beta" too early, but they also may have done it for that extra money. Mind you I was a Kickstarter backer, and I updgraded my pledge through their backer website to get beta access, about a year before the beta came out.

 

After playing that, I probably won't be playing the game again. That is not because of how unpolished it was though, it is mostly because the design of a lot of things sucks and stuff they campaigned on, such as reactivity and C&C was almost absent. They also have absolutely no clue about some stuff - such as UI design.

 

Divinity: Original Sin however, despite being in an even less polished state than Wasteland 2, looked very good.

 

Obsidian if you want to ride the money/trend train and do Steam Early access.... at least wait until actual Beta is ready.  Don't release a 2-3 hour buggy chip of game and charge people 60 dollars for it, it will just bite you in the ass.

They won't. The PE team has very good project managers and the development is well scheduled.

Edited by Sensuki
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I hate the limited edit time on this forum.

I forgot to mention that
 

The PE beta will not be the full game, it will be more like a demo and contain a small, discrete portion of the game. The devs have have (at least when last asked about it) not yet figured out how they're going to do the beta, or what content it will have, but it will be limited to avoid main story spoilers.

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Post contains opinions and speculation.

 

I wouldn't personally be upset if they launch Pillars of Eternity on Early Access this year and then release the full game when they are done. It will probably give them more money for development.

 

If I look at it from the perspective of someone that has doubts about Obsidian or Pillars of Eternity, an Early Access release might not be what I would want. It gives sort of a bad vibe. That's what I have felt from other Kickstarter projects I have backed.

 

I also wonder how it would affect their future Kickstarter project. Less people would probably be willing to support it if Obsidian has a bit of a hard time to deliver Pillars of Eternity this year. What is available in the Early Access would have to be freaking amazing.

 

There are a few things that Obsidian has to consider when they decide what to do. Release on Early Access to gain some money but risk support for the future Kickstarter. (Early Access release doesn't have to mean less support for future Kickstarter, it's just what I think.) Or they release the full game, and from there people can decide if the game is good enough for them to warrant another backing of an Obsidian crowd funding project.

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Well, I don't mind if Obsidian puts Eternity out on early access. What people do with their money doesn't concern me, so if they feel a demo is worth $60, fine.

Though for selfish reasons I'd hate to see Eternity delayed again.

Divinity and Wasteland2 will keep me over until Q4, but after that I'll be sure to be craving something new soon.

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I hate the limited edit time on this forum.

 

I forgot to mention that

 

The PE beta will not be the full game, it will be more like a demo and contain a small, discrete portion of the game. The devs have have (at least when last asked about it) not yet figured out how they're going to do the beta, or what content it will have, but it will be limited to avoid main story spoilers.

 

So people should pay 60$ for a demo? That's even worse.

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a man is only worth his word. it might be publicity and money in this game. but it's a deathblow to their already-wavering credibility in my eyes.

Did I miss something? Why is their credibility wavering in your eyes?

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a man is only worth his word. it might be publicity and money in this game. but it's a deathblow to their already-wavering credibility in my eyes.

Did I miss something? Why is their credibility wavering in your eyes?

I'm going to take a wild guess here and say he's talking about: a) the partnership with Paradox; b) Obsidian's bad reputation for buggy games (as opposed to Bethesda's good reputation for buggy games); or c) the fact that the Devs have said aspect X wouldn't be exactly like it was in BG2, and is there fore worse. :p

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a man is only worth his word. it might be publicity and money in this game. but it's a deathblow to their already-wavering credibility in my eyes.

Did I miss something? Why is their credibility wavering in your eyes?

 

i didn't say their credibility is destroyed; how they do on this game when all the chips are in their favor is how i'll judge them moving forward. no excuses accepted. not one to be a fanboy.

 

if they pull off what they set out to do when they promised it in the kickstarter, then i'll continue to support them in future kickstarters. if they fail, they join the multitude others who already have done so.

Edited by Hormalakh

My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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There were several reports that the first Alpha milestone is very close. More Alpha polish, Early Access Beta, this is all very much doable until Winter '14.

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Not sure where you get 'mid-November'. If they were speaking astronomically, December 21 is the start of winter, which leaves only 10 days in the year. PoE should essentially be a 2015 release anyway.

All Stop. On Screen.

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Not sure where you get 'mid-November'. If they were speaking astronomically, December 21 is the start of winter, which leaves only 10 days in the year. PoE should essentially be a 2015 release anyway.

 

Whoops I meant December

 

There were several reports that the first Alpha milestone is very close. More Alpha polish, Early Access Beta, this is all very much doable until Winter '14.

I have heard nothing about the first alpha milestone being very close. They are in Alpha 1 now. Brandon Adler and Josh Sawyer have talked about it on forums, and that's it I think. But if you have a quote, please provide it.

Edited by Sensuki
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a man is only worth his word. it might be publicity and money in this game. but it's a deathblow to their already-wavering credibility in my eyes.

Did I miss something? Why is their credibility wavering in your eyes?

 

i didn't say their credibility is destroyed; how they do on this game when all the chips are in their favor is how i'll judge them moving forward. no excuses accepted. not one to be a fanboy.

 

if they pull off what they set out to do when they promised it in the kickstarter, then i'll continue to support them in future kickstarters. if they fail, they join the multitude others who already have done so.

 

They're still working with a (relatively) small budget for a large-scale RPG, so 'all the chips' are certainly not in their favor.

 

Also, you didn't answer the question about why you think their credibility is wavering.

Edited by Quetzalcoatl
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@Sarex : You mentioned that it will cost $60 for a demo. But, it's actually $25 for a beta key, so you're wrong about that.

 

I really wouldn't like the game to be delayed...  From the updates it sounds like everything is now on the right track?

 

(*Ehrrm* ...  I think someone from Obsidian said that the sales from POE is going to finance the expansion, correct me please if I'm wrong...)

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The one element I dislike about early access is that it can result in too much 'leakage' of information before the game is shipped fully ready to play. Otherwise I can live with other people paying to enhance the game.

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I'm all right with Obsidian taking as much time as they need to make Pillars of Eternity really shine rather than fall short of its otherwise amazing premises.

 

I have been longing for a game like this ever since I beat BGII for the first time, so I don't mind waiting longer if that means getting a better game—and if that means going Steam Early Access, that suits me fine.

 

First priority: Pillars of Eternity is developed to its full potential. Second priority: Play the game.

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I suppose my impression was that they expected to receive a lot less backing than they did. And that anything above the target was essentially an opportunity to engage the core developers over a longer time than planned. Or that the more funding they received, the longer they could pay for development, beyond what the initial design required. In other words, one qualified guess would be that they're probably not struggling with getting the game done. More than that the relatively large amount of backing allows them to continue the development for a longer time than they strictly speaking needed to. So if that's the case, at least I am very relaxed about betas and release dates. :)

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You'd also to have to read an RPG Codex thread to think that the Wasteland 2 beta was poorly received.

^This, especially now. I dunno if anyone's fired it up lately, but Wasteland 2's gotten really damn good, largely thanks to beta and Early Access feedback. And outside of the Codex forums, the beta wasn't recieved badly to begin with. Coverage on the pro blogs has been remarkably positive, and posts on the official forums have gone from an overall "meh" reaction to broadly positive over time. Posts I've seen elsewhere have been more or less positive. There have been outliers, of course, but I think the picture Sensuki paints is far bleaker than the reality.

 

It's also worth noting that inXile is a far smaller company than Obsidian, with a looser structure and less resources. So there's that.

 

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I hate the limited edit time on this forum.

 

I forgot to mention that

 

The PE beta will not be the full game, it will be more like a demo and contain a small, discrete portion of the game. The devs have have (at least when last asked about it) not yet figured out how they're going to do the beta, or what content it will have, but it will be limited to avoid main story spoilers.

 

So people should pay 60$ for a demo? That's even worse.

 

No one forces them to pay for beta testing the game. If they want to do it, it's their money, not yours. The whole gaming Industry is based on milking idiots, i don't see Early Access as something worse.

Edited by Malekith
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