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Update 80: State of the Project - From Alpha to Beta

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1. Imagine this hypotethical scenario:
- Obsidian goes to E3, without telling anyone about it
- Shows it on the floor, only the press people knows about it
- On Thursday 19th June 2014 they will reveal screenshots from the demo, the press reviews/previews/starts to talk about it

2. Now compare it with what's actually going on:
- Obsidian goes to E3, they told us they were going to do it
- They show it on the floor, all we got for it is some tweets about it
- On Thursday 19th June 2014 they will reveal screenshots from the demo the press reviews/previews/starts to talk about it
 
See what's exactly the same here? The only reason some people seem to be disappointed and angry is because Obsidian told us. If they hadn't told us, I don't think the same people would've cared whatsoever. The "I am disappointed that the press gets to see this before me!" would've been "Wow! They went to E3 without telling us and the game looks great! Awesome update Obsidian!!!!" (if this is the case).

I believe that the "I am disappointed that the press sees this first" can be translated to basic human envy.

And I am there on the same boat, damn right I'm jealous of the press right now, but I am perfectly fine with it. Because, back to the start of this post, it wouldn't have mattered whether or not Obsidian would've told us about E3 or not, Thursday 19th June 2014 is where we get to see something.
 
It's like an upcoming Update which we know is coming (Update #81 is expected June 26th 2014, but I ain't seeing anyone whining about that).

EDIT: I forgot to mention, from this update (#80):

Update by Brandon Adler, Lead Producer

 

Hey, everyone. Due to E3 crunch we are going to push off Josh's next class update for a couple of weeks. Instead, I will give an update about the general state of affairs for each department on the project now that we are getting ready to head into our Beta period. The next update will feature Josh's final class update along with info from the Eternity E3 presentation. Let's get into it.

 

Update #79:

Update by Adam Brennecke, Lead Programmer and Executive Producer

 

At E3, the team will be showing Pillars of Eternity at the Paradox booth behind closed doors. To avoid spoiling what we will be showing, we will be saving these moments until you get to play it. Because we want to include you in the experience, we will be taking photos at the booth, and in a future update we will be sharing more screenshots from the demo. To give you a small taste, here's a sneak peek at a scene that will be shown at E3.

 

We have 0 intel that we will get VIDEO footage. Just putting this out here and I want to tell all of the fine folks over here to "brace for impact" in case we won't get video demo footage.

Edited by Osvir
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If they hadn't told us, I don't think the same people would've cared whatsoever. 

No, it would have been worse.

 

Gamers see anything - literally anything - that does not fit their view of total gratification as Evil Publisher ****.

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Ok, let's end this off-topic, cause it seems we won't understand each other, so there is no reason to escalate the angryness - all in all, we all in the same boat, so peace to all and let's get back to the main topic :)

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Outstanding update on the state of the project.  As a content backer I was particularly happy to see Josh Sawyer's subsequent posted confirmation that most of the backer contributions have already made it in.  Will be very interested to see what the PE version of my NPC, who has appeared from time to time in my weekly NWN campaign, turns out like in-game.

 

As a late adopter type I'll cheer on the beta stage, but still plan to savor the complete flavor during my virgin run-through of the final release.

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i know i go OT again but anyone here who knows the gaming days from c64 amiga and onward knows that there is a big difference to what gamers are today. We shared games in schools and never whined about anything other then how hard a game is or why this idiot doesnt shared his copy of a game. There was no internet and forums of studios where you could cry, insult or just be plain stupid so you know. I think its great that devs are open to people who buy and care about their games but this is sometimes also just so silly and childish that i wonder whats wrong with some guys pretending that they know it all way better then the veterans who work 5 or 6 days a week for 10 hours maybe a day on games and that for years after years. Many Gamers have emancipated into something that is ridiculous beyond believe with their "theoretical" knowledge of something they dont understand or appreciate. Because if you know how open some developers are today you would think twice before making statements that make yourself look stupid plain and simple!

 

Just because we are in these days with anonymous i-net doesnt mean everyone can talk sh** about things and it doesnt matter. Sometimes i realy wish back the times were gamers loved the game and thats it. IT was just relaxed in the early days and people had fun! They knew that they just play and dont know anything else then how to play a game! And there is nothing like a "zeitgeist" that just makes plop and everyone can justify his childish aggresion just because of that...

Edited by NWN_babaYaga
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i know i go OT again but anyone here who knows the gaming days from c64 amiga and onward knows that there is a big difference to what gamers are today. We shared games in schools and never whined about anything other then how hard a game is or why this idiot doesnt shared his copy of a game. There was no internet and forums of studios where you could cry, insult or just be plain stupid so you know. I think its great that devs are open to people who buy and care about their games but this is sometimes also just so silly and childish that i wonder whats wrong with some guys pretending that they know it all way better then the veterans who work 5 or 6 days a week for 10 hours maybe a day on games and that for years after years. Many Gamers have emancipated into something that is ridiculous beyond believe with their "theoretical" knowledge of something they dont understand or appreciate. Because if you know how open some developers are today you would think twice before making statements that make yourself look stupid plain and simple!

 

Just because we are in these days with anonymous i-net doesnt mean everyone can talk sh** about things and it doesnt matter. Sometimes i realy wish back the times were gamers loved the game and thats it. IT was just relaxed in the early days and people had fun! They knew that they just play and dont know anything else then how to play a game! And there is nothing like a "zeitgeist" that just makes plop and everyone can justify his childish aggresion just because of that...

WE also live in a world in there press people hyping up games on twitter, podcasts, livestreams and so on they can not even talk about.  Making people not only excited but also left out and jealous. Media has changed and developer need to adapt to these things. Luckily developer actually getting this more and more. Especially indy developer and normally also kickstarter project are way more transparent then Obsidian is.  And that is my gripe. I will never think it is a conspiracy but rather a lack of understanding on today's media, its reception and communication between fans and developer. 

 

Also I say this again. I really really doubt that Obsidian will even allow twitch streams or YouTube Videos of the actual Beta to begin with.  With is a real shame that they would not take advantage of this free marketing method. If you are confident in your game or product show it to the people who deserve and even made this whole thing possible in the first place.  That is one of the reason Indy games get a huge exposure. For example Gaming on YouTube is the most watched thing there. Twitch has monthly 2-3 million+   different people watching the streams.  All this is absolutely free marketing Obsidian did not even take advantage once of so far. 

 

You can not act and think  "everything was fine back in the days so it is fine to do the same now." This is one of the reasons Nintendo is struggling so much right now. But they did really really well at this Years E3 regarding their coverage.  And fans actually for the first time in a long time are excited about Nintendo. 

Edited by Darji

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Why wouldn't they? They can't force any of us not to stream it or anything. I was even thinking of doing a Let's Play.

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thats it, lets all just boycott the game. !!


Obsidian wrote:
 

​"those scummy backers, we're going to screw them over by giving them their game on the release date. That'll show those bastards!" 

 

 

 Now we know what's going on...

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I backed the Kickstarter campaign because I've loved Obsidian's previous games, and I want them to do well and keep making as many games as possible in the future (especially games that are closer in style to the Infinity Engine RPGs). I didn't back the Kickstarter because I expected some sort of VIP treatment as a result.

 

It is important to the future of Obsidian, and especially the future of Pillars of Eternity as a franchise, that the game sell well. By the time PoE comes out, they'll have spent all the Kickstarter money (and then some, probably). For them to make any money, money that will be key to self-funding future games and maintaining Obsidian's status as an independent studio, they need to reach people who might be interested in the game, but didn't back the Kickstarter.

 

The best way to do that is through the gaming press.

 

The press however, is not interested in writing articles based on Kickstarter updates (of the eighty backer updates, how many have resulted in articles in the gaming press?). The press thrives on exclusives, or at least embargoed information so that they're not publishing second, because that's what drives hits. Holding back information and demos for the press is what Obsidian needs to do to get them to write about PoE, and media coverage is what they need for the game to sell. The better the game sells, the more money that have to fund the next game (and stay in business, for that matter). That's what it comes down to. If you care about seeing more Obsidian games in the future, you need to understand that this is part of what they need to do to make that happen.

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I saw this earlier, and with your post Jon, I felt this resonated well with the press-talk.

 

They talk a bit about their feelings on coverage of Kickstarter games around 2:30 to 4:30:

http://www.gamespot.com/videos/e3-2014-day-3-wrap-show-evolve-elite-dangerous-ali/2300-6419766/

One guy says "I wouldn't want to cover Kickstarter titles" and another says "I think it's exciting and I'm looking forward to cover it!" pretty much. But watch it for more insight I guess. This is obviously not a full-on representation of the entire mainstream press.

 

EDIT: Shaun Mcinnis
- He says he thinks he covered 3 Kickstarted titles, but he only mentions 2 of them *shakes fist* (Elite and Hex) so frustrating
- He pretty much calls Star Citizen Space Citizen *shakes head*

Still, he acknowledges Kickstarter and the challenge of covering it and seems to have a sharp head *thumbs up*

Edited by Osvir

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Why wouldn't they? They can't force any of us not to stream it or anything. I was even thinking of doing a Let's Play.

If they want to they can. They can close streams, and delete Youtube videos. Because of so said NDA for example. Will they do it? I don't know believe they will do it? Sadly yes.

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Why wouldn't they? They can't force any of us not to stream it or anything. I was even thinking of doing a Let's Play.

If they want to they can. They can close streams, and delete Youtube videos. Because of so said NDA for example. Will they do it? I don't know believe they will do it? Sadly yes.

 

 

I seriously doubt Obsidian has the time, resources, or desire to attempt shutting down beta gameplay streams. There will be a lot of beta copies going out, and there are a lot of ways to get video on the Internet. Trying to keep a lid on them all would be futile.

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Why wouldn't they? They can't force any of us not to stream it or anything. I was even thinking of doing a Let's Play.

If they want to they can. They can close streams, and delete Youtube videos. Because of so said NDA for example. Will they do it? I don't know believe they will do it? Sadly yes.

 

 

I seriously doubt Obsidian has the time, resources, or desire to attempt shutting down beta gameplay streams. There will be a lot of beta copies going out, and there are a lot of ways to get video on the Internet. Trying to keep a lid on them all would be futile.

 

I think you do not understand how this works. It is all automated. They just need to send a letter to Twitch. Done.  YouTube has content ID check which is also automated. Obsidian does not need to do anything to force this on YouTube and Twitch. 

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Unless they have automated detection measures that automatically send a letter to Twitch, I'd say it's only partially automated. Wouldn't you agree? :)


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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They won't do that Darji lol, ur so disillusioned hey.

I can upload them to uTorrent failing anything else ;)

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Why wouldn't they? They can't force any of us not to stream it or anything. I was even thinking of doing a Let's Play.

If they want to they can. They can close streams, and delete Youtube videos. Because of so said NDA for example. Will they do it? I don't know believe they will do it? Sadly yes.

 

 

I seriously doubt Obsidian has the time, resources, or desire to attempt shutting down beta gameplay streams. There will be a lot of beta copies going out, and there are a lot of ways to get video on the Internet. Trying to keep a lid on them all would be futile.

 

I think you do not understand how this works. It is all automated. They just need to send a letter to Twitch. Done.  YouTube has content ID check which is also automated. Obsidian does not need to do anything to force this on YouTube and Twitch. 

 

 

You're missing the point. YouTube and Twitch are far from the only ways to get video out.

 

Trying to prevent leaks from all the beta users would be near impossible. Even if it were possible, I can't imagine Obsidian imposing a strict NDA on beta keys. Ultimately, happy beta players are the best advocates for the game. You want them to get the word out.

 

You are making WAY WAY too much of how Obsidian chose to show the game at E3, and your attempt to paint them as some kind of evil corporate goons is rather bizarre.

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Unless they have automated detection measures that automatically send a letter to Twitch, I'd say it's only partially automated. Wouldn't you agree? :)

No if you are a developer  and do not want to let people stream your game beta or Alpha you send a letter to twitch and they take care of it and close every steam and ban even accounts.  And yes there are other ways to get video out there. But I was talking about lets plays, live streams and so on. You know the stuff people watch^^

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The beta is confirmed to have no story content, no? Which means that there will be no NDA, no breach of anything to stream and upload video content. In fact, I'm pretty sure they'll encourage it. You know, when they feel the game is ready for that. 

 

I mean, what would you rather show: a video with placeholder animations, no VFX, only half the SFX, and unfinished monsters, or a video that actually looks like the game is going to look, only not as polished in terms of bugs, balance, and content?

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The beta is confirmed to have no story content, no? Which means that there will be no NDA, no breach of anything to stream and upload video content. In fact, I'm pretty sure they'll encourage it. You know, when they feel the game is ready for that. 

 

I mean, what would you rather show: a video with placeholder animations, no VFX, only half the SFX, and unfinished monsters, or a video that actually looks like the game is going to look, only not as polished in terms of bugs, balance, and content?

Personally I would love to see the progress of the game through these videos.  Again like Larian Studios it did with Divinity was perfect for my taste and in my opinion. I do not except them to be perfect in this regard but showing nothing is really a wasted and sad experience., 

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Just because we are in these days with anonymous i-net doesnt mean everyone can talk sh** about things and it doesnt matter. 

This.

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No if you are a developer  and do not want to let people stream your game beta or Alpha you send a letter to twitch and they take care of it and close every steam and ban even accounts.  And yes there are other ways to get video out there. But I was talking about lets plays, live streams and so on. You know the stuff people watch^^

Yeah, that's not as flawless as you think. Plenty of stuff, even if it does get removed, remains up for several days, if not a week. It's not instant. There's no global purge of selected video content.

 

Also, they still have to manually send them a correspondence, telling them what they want taken down, etc. Then, the sites have to actually screen for that. They can't just take down ALL videos that are in any way affiliated with PoE. They've got to only take down the labeled footage. Then, what if people post videos entitled "My dog Flurfles!" that's really PoE content? And edit in some random dog footage every 10 seconds?

 

You act like it's somehow absolute. Like it's all just one big simple thing. Like the internet magically prevents stuff people don't want to be leaked from being leaked. 8P


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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Darji, you still fail to grasp the concept of a Non-Disclosure Agreement. 

 

It's a legal measure to protect a product from competitors. There is nothing nefarious about it. It is a common practice for any business. 

 

The press embargo is up next week (same day as the Steam Sale - coincidence? I THINK NOT). So your indignation is incredibly transparent.

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The beta is confirmed to have no story content, no? Which means that there will be no NDA, no breach of anything to stream and upload video content. In fact, I'm pretty sure they'll encourage it. You know, when they feel the game is ready for that. 

 

I mean, what would you rather show: a video with placeholder animations, no VFX, only half the SFX, and unfinished monsters, or a video that actually looks like the game is going to look, only not as polished in terms of bugs, balance, and content?

Personally I would love to see the progress of the game through these videos.  Again like Larian Studios it did with Divinity was perfect for my taste and in my opinion. I do not except them to be perfect in this regard but showing nothing is really a wasted and sad experience., 

 

 

...

 

You do know that Larian were at about the stage that Obsidian is now when they even got the Kickstarter going in the first place, right?

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Yeah, comparing a game that was in alpha at the Kickstarter versus one that is just in Alpha now is all sorts of ridiculous.

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