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

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My 2 cents:
Why the press first? - It needs press coverage. The press generates New-s. Any information already disclosed to the backers is Old-s and the press doesn't care about it.
Why a demo? - Shortens presentation time and allows the press to get just enough impression to provide coverage.

Why don't we get to see it? -  It may or may not look its best, it may or may not contain plot elements, stuff in it may or may not make it into the final game. Again, it's for introductory purposes. After 80 updates, backers don't need introduction, we need in-depth information and actual game footage.

Why do we get less game footage from Obsidian than from Larian? - Larian didn't kickstart Original Sin to build it from scratch, rather to improve it. Therefore it is understandable they want to show off as many improvements as they can. Obsidian are building PoE from scratch and they are doing it on a schedule and through a pipeline, not by taking one area from 0 to 100% and then moving to the next. Thus, unless Obsidian puts special effort in a certain area in order to show it off, areas will be done when the game is done. And despite any claims to the contrary, everyone wants to see the good stuff - even if it's a 3 seconds fireball animation - it's got to be good. Nobody really wants a presentation of bugs, visual glitches, characters walking on air, morbid pathfinding and all that. Besides, even if we do get to see it in its current state, I know it's alpha, you know it's alpha, X screams that the game game is a piece of crap and demands a refund. 

That said, I do want to sink my teeth into some game footage just as much as you guys. Winter 2014 could not come soon enough.

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Reading Gorbag's post, I wanted to throw another bone at this as an addition:

 

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

http://www.gamespot....i/2300-6419766/

source

 

And as I said in that post as well, this isn't representative of all of the press, but it gives us some minor insight on what goes on in their heads as well, apart from the obvious "Journalists are interested in first-hand coverage". When Thursday hits we're going to be like vultures on the internet finding information and news ourselves just for us to be "I found it!". Much like Sensuki has been posting tweets, Something Awful posts etc. etc. or how the RPGCodex is posting up all the updates on their news page as well as different Codexers posting the Update in the giant Pillars of Eternity thread (it hasn't always been Infinitron), or how some were chasing down Obsidian developer posts before "Devtracker" (don't know if Devtracker always existed, but in my perspective it suddenly appeared out of nowhere).

People like to be "first", and the whole non-informative "I WAS FIRST DERP!!!" phenomena on popular YouTube videos, articles and whatever is also part of this. Being "first" is always better in this regard. And the first journalist that gets his/her article out there will forever in history have been the "first". It might not be the best article, but it will be first.

The point: We're not going to be very different from the press when the news hit.

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Reading Gorbag's post, I wanted to throw another bone at this as an addition:

 

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

http://www.gamespot....i/2300-6419766/

source

 

And as I said in that post as well, this isn't representative of all of the press, but it gives us some minor insight on what goes on in their heads as well, apart from the obvious "Journalists are interested in first-hand coverage". When Thursday hits we're going to be like vultures on the internet finding information and news ourselves just for us to be "I found it!". Much like Sensuki has been posting tweets, Something Awful posts etc. etc. or how the RPGCodex is posting up all the updates on their news page as well as different Codexers posting the Update in the giant Pillars of Eternity thread (it hasn't always been Infinitron), or how some were chasing down Obsidian developer posts before "Devtracker" (don't know if Devtracker always existed, but in my perspective it suddenly appeared out of nowhere).

 

People like to be "first", and the whole non-informative "I WAS FIRST DERP!!!" phenomena on popular YouTube videos, articles and whatever is also part of this. Being "first" is always better in this regard. And the first journalist that gets his/her article out there will forever in history have been the "first". It might not be the best article, but it will be first.

 

The point: We're not going to be very different from the press when the news hit.

So the Gamespot press is whining because they will not get some small hits? Oh how sad the world for these people is.....

 

It is not about being first if you are in this because you want to be first than you should rethink the whole Kickstarter thing. It is about inclusion. Seeing how a game progresses, how it evolves beyond  the stuff we normally see.  That is the most exciting thing. To see a constant and  maybe monthly progression. The things that have changed, why they have changed All this is really exciting.  Hell maybe even do small video updates with the game running of screen in the background or while showing the new aspects etc. All of this would be more exciting than written press previews.

 

Another great example is Brain Fargo and Wasteland 2 which was build from the scratch but up until now had several video updates and you could see how the game evolved and got better and better.  And with a release of an alpha or beta and weekly or monthly updates you do not even need to cover it ass much because fans will play this over and over again. Explain the differences and how they experience it on YouTube Twitch etc. That is what Kickstarter is about for most people. If they just want to play the game they rather could back it and done or buy it when it comes out. There is a reason why Star Citizen still gets so much money founded. Because they show things, they let people even play very very early alpha stuff like their modules which was a mess when it was released. And the dog-fighting module still is but it is exciting to see such a level of progression which is sadly not common with the normal games industry. 

 

A Audi Visual media needs Audi Visual content as soon as possible. That is at least my stance on the whole issue. 

Edited by Darji

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Reading Gorbag's post, I wanted to throw another bone at this as an addition:

 

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

http://www.gamespot....i/2300-6419766/

source

 

And as I said in that post as well, this isn't representative of all of the press, but it gives us some minor insight on what goes on in their heads as well,

The point: We're not going to be very different from the press when the news hit.

 

What that shows me is how incompetent and out of touch the gaming press is today. Don't know how to write up a story about a Kickstarter game? Kickstarter games are difficult? They need to get with the times.

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The first Wasteland 2 video had a lot of fake stuff in it - fake hexes, all sounds and audio was fake, among other things. The UI (which looked ok IMO) was completely redone, as was the game's camera angle to a frustrating to control top down look.

 

The second Wasteland 2 video was _crap_ in comparison, and that's when people started giving the game **** on the Codex.

 

The majority of Larian Studios is working on D:OS they have a larger team size than PE and probably have someone dedicated to do the update videos and stuff.

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"That is what Kickstarter is about for most people."

 

Kickstarter is about funding products that you want to see come into existence. That's it. Everything else is just icing on the cake.

I don't know why some people have such a hard time understanding this basic concept and assume that their 20$ give them the right to make demands of any kind.

 

Star Citizen is a completely different type of game, by the way. It's an MMO that relies on balanced and fun gameplay and interactivity on a large scale, they basically need to show people what's happening and check out their feedback. It also doesn't rely on story at all, while lots of content from Pillars of Eternity would be a spoiler. It doesn't make sense to show footage that basically spoils the game to people who already said "I'm definitely going to buy this, in fact, I already paid for it".

 

Most games don't start their big advertising campaign until a few months before release. It's a much better strategy than constantly sharing new videos because it reminds people that this will come out soon and gets them hyped right before the game comes out, which is better than hyping someone a year before (especially for smaller games that don't get as much press anyway).

 

Concerning Wasteland 2 as well as Divinity: Original Sin (and also Star Citizen actually): I haven't read anything about these games in the last few weeks other than "coming out soon" or "still looking good". How is that good strategy? Divinity is coming out, what, in a couple of days? They haven't made a new trailer in months, not that I know of in any case.

You call that good advertising? I think it's pretty bad and doesn't work. Yeah, you get the Kickstarter backers hyped up, but they were hyped to begin with.

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Reading Gorbag's post, I wanted to throw another bone at this as an addition:

 

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

http://www.gamespot....i/2300-6419766/

source

 

And as I said in that post as well, this isn't representative of all of the press, but it gives us some minor insight on what goes on in their heads as well,

The point: We're not going to be very different from the press when the news hit.

 

What that shows me is how incompetent and out of touch the gaming press is today. Don't know how to write up a story about a Kickstarter game? Kickstarter games are difficult? They need to get with the times.

 

 

I think he means that it is difficult write such article that gets enough hits that it's worth to write for their publication. Writing article that covers same things what game's most recent kickstarter/forum/blog/etc. update covered is easy job, but it don't bring any readers and if you haven't followed updates by yourself then interviews with developers in events like E3 can easily produce ton of information that developers told in their blog over year ago (of course there is similar risk with games that come from typical pipelines). And this difficulty to do meaningful coverage about KS games is also major part why Obsidian showed PoE behind closed doors for press and why there is press embargo considering that showing.

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I think he means that it is difficult write such article that gets enough hits that it's worth to write for their publication. Writing article that covers same things what game's most recent kickstarter/forum/blog/etc. update covered is easy job, but it don't bring any readers and if you haven't followed updates by yourself then interviews with developers in events like E3 can easily produce ton of information that developers told in their blog over year ago (of course there is similar risk with games that come from typical pipelines). And this difficulty to do meaningful coverage about KS games is also major part why Obsidian showed PoE behind closed doors for press and why there is press embargo considering that showing.

 

No. Watch the video. The reporters don't know how to write articles, they don't know what to do, they're too difficult and one of them said he's glad he didn't have to do any for the whole E3. They also give lame excuses because now they're being 'challenged'. This is all new to them. They've been in their bubble doing the same thing year after year and Kickstarter isn't something new that's popped up in the last 6 months. If anything, they've been avoiding a part of the game industry being Kickstarter, especially the one on the end who said he's glad he didn't have to cover any. He comes across as a person who is actively avoiding Kickstarter games and that's just plain bad journalism. As I said, game journalists need to change with the times and those three just showed they have no idea what to do, hence their incompetence.

Edited by Hiro Protagonist II

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The first Wasteland 2 video had a lot of fake stuff in it - fake hexes, all sounds and audio was fake, among other things. The UI (which looked ok IMO) was completely redone, as was the game's camera angle to a frustrating to control top down look.

 

The second Wasteland 2 video was _crap_ in comparison, and that's when people started giving the game **** on the Codex.

 

The majority of Larian Studios is working on D:OS they have a larger team size than PE and probably have someone dedicated to do the update videos and stuff.

It is called work in Progress and they are always clear about this.   That is why it is called work in progress..... Nothing of it was fake.

Edited by Darji

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I'm starting to believe you're one of those consumers who is the cause to why businessmen prosper on stressed half-finished products.

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It is called work in Progress and they are always clear about this.   That is why it is called work in progress..... Nothing of it was fake.

ROFL? Are you joking? inXile fanboy much?

 

The hexes were fake and the music and sound was fake. They even said that themselves.

 

Also this screenshot was released for Wasteland 2

 

tumblr_n6coxmt9SE1sqkv5zo1_1280.jpg

 

Due to speculation about this not being an in-game screenshot they posted this on their tumblr

 

Please note: this is not an in-game screenshot. This scene was staged in-engine with dramatic back-lighting for effect. The Scorpitron and his attack effect are manually placed.

Most of the games at E3 had heaps of fake ****, Mass Effect had literally NOTHING and the others had lots of CGI and **** that isn't even part of the game at all.

 

Feel free to believe whatever you like, I don't care. But you're simply white knighting inXile and Wasteland 2.

Edited by Sensuki

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I know this screen And they explained it and apologized for not naming it right right away because people were upset. Again controll your media. be honest and the most honest you can be is during actual progress videos. You can not fake these videos if you you want to try.  And I was talking about the videos not the screens or especially this screen. 

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The only reason they clarified this screenshot is because people could see through the lies. They wouldn't have posted anything if they weren't found out for it.

 

Go back and read the initial update with the video in it. The sound and music was not in-game, it was dubbed over the video and the hex system was just something they whipped up for it as well.

 

This was all done to make the video look cool, but it was not representational of the actual game. This is something Obsidian wants to avoid doing.

 

Wasteland 2's development history, while not as bad as Double Fine's is not exactly a good example of Project Management, and because of that their level design and system design is a bit of a shamble.

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I think he means that it is difficult write such article that gets enough hits that it's worth to write for their publication. Writing article that covers same things what game's most recent kickstarter/forum/blog/etc. update covered is easy job, but it don't bring any readers and if you haven't followed updates by yourself then interviews with developers in events like E3 can easily produce ton of information that developers told in their blog over year ago (of course there is similar risk with games that come from typical pipelines). And this difficulty to do meaningful coverage about KS games is also major part why Obsidian showed PoE behind closed doors for press and why there is press embargo considering that showing.

 

No. Watch the video. The reporters don't know how to write articles, they don't know what to do, they're too difficult and one of them said he's glad he didn't have to do any for the whole E3. They also give lame excuses because now they're being 'challenged'. This is all new to them. They've been in their bubble doing the same thing year after year and Kickstarter isn't something new that's popped up in the last 6 months. If anything, they've been avoiding a part of the game industry being Kickstarter, especially the one on the end who said he's glad he didn't have to cover any. He comes across as a person who is actively avoiding Kickstarter games and that's just plain bad journalism. As I said, game journalists need to change with the times and those three just showed they have no idea what to do, hence their incompetence.

 

 

I watched video and there was one journalist said that he don't know what information he should write about KS games, as they developers tell all that information about their games directly to people that are interested about them than what press typically would cover. He also mentioned that he is glad that it isn't his job to write about KS games, which means that he isn't very familiar with covering KS games. Second one that spoke about KS games, actually said that he has covered them in E3, was much more interested about them, but also mentioned it is difficult to find what to cover about them as most of people that read/watch/listen your coverage have followed development of those games from beginning and therefore it can be challenging to find something that interest them but also cover game to those that haven't heard from it before. Two other panelist in video didn't tell their opinion about KS games at all.

 

Most of game publication gave some kind coverage for most of those KS games that were in E3, but I haven't seen any of them getting in top/most read articles of day lists of said publications.

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The only reason they clarified this screenshot is because people could see through the lies. They wouldn't have posted anything if they weren't found out for it.

 

Go back and read the initial update with the video in it. The sound and music was not in-game, it was dubbed over the video and the hex system was just something they whipped up for it as well.

 

This was all done to make the video look cool, but it was not representational of the actual game. This is something Obsidian wants to avoid doing.

 

Wasteland 2's development history, while not as bad as Double Fine's is not exactly a good example of Project Management, and because of that their level design and system design is a bit of a shamble.

 

 

Here easy solution. Do not lie. Show honesty show real stuff.  Look I will not defend the thing they did I will just say that their actual and long gameplay videos were excellent and showed a steady progress and change which every game goes through.  Yes this was a stupid move and no one wants Obsidian to do it like that. 

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I know this screen And they explained it and apologized for not naming it right right away because people were upset. Again controll your media. be honest and the most honest you can be is during actual progress videos. You can not fake these videos if you you want to try.  And I was talking about the videos not the screens or especially this screen. 

Wait wait wait WAIT! Why are we having this discussion now again...? Obsidian are controlling their media! And they are honest about it as well! You could even translate what they are saying directly to "We are controlling our media, and this is what we want to do with it".

 

And then telling them "No, you're not honest enough!"... I.. don't know how to end this post :p

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And here is the thing that Brandon Adler has been saying. In order to do a video like that it takes a lot of people off working on the actual production schedule.

 

They want to show some off the crit path areas, and they aren't scheduled to work on those until their internal beta. It would save more time doing the video when they start doing that, because the polish required coincides with the development goals of that milestone. It's also close to the backer beta, so they only have to make one video to go along with it.

 

"Here's our video, check it out, Pillars of Eternity beta coming soon! link with purchase details"

 

We have to wait longer for a video, but it all works out pretty well together in the end.

Edited by Sensuki
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I know this screen And they explained it and apologized for not naming it right right away because people were upset. Again controll your media. be honest and the most honest you can be is during actual progress videos. You can not fake these videos if you you want to try.  And I was talking about the videos not the screens or especially this screen. 

Wait wait wait WAIT! Why are we having this discussion now again...? Obsidian are controlling their media! And they are honest about it as well! You could even translate what they are saying directly to "We are controlling our media, and this is what we want to do with it".

 

And then telling them "No, you're not honest enough!"... I.. don't know how to end this post :p

 

Control you media does not mean release nothing but release it in your own terms. Be honest about it and make people understand that everything will change through the way.

 

 Because if you do not and people are actually interested in a game  something can leak out. Just like the newest Bloodborne leak trailer. All the people got was a CG trailer. The press got  a 30 minute demo and then someone released a 1+ year old trailer on the internet  which  not only looked way worse than the E3 demo but also showed a lot of monsters, weapons, moves and so on.  

 

@Sensuki 

No you do not. Just seek out a place with no spoilers and capture 5 minutes and do commentary over it  about what is work in progress what is not done yet and done.  This is a pretty lame reason to be honest. 

Edited by Darji

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The only reason they clarified this screenshot is because people could see through the lies. They wouldn't have posted anything if they weren't found out for it.

 

Are saying that they didn't think that people that have beta access don't notice that game don't at least yet look like that (but it isn't that far away from it either)? I think that you exaggerate bit too much their desire to lie for their backers.

 

I can say that inXile has been quite transparent with their production with Wasteland 2, even though I would in some cases hoped more information from them and more regular updates.

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I know this screen And they explained it and apologized for not naming it right right away because people were upset. Again controll your media. be honest and the most honest you can be is during actual progress videos. You can not fake these videos if you you want to try.  And I was talking about the videos not the screens or especially this screen. 

Wait wait wait WAIT! Why are we having this discussion now again...? Obsidian are controlling their media! And they are honest about it as well! You could even translate what they are saying directly to "We are controlling our media, and this is what we want to do with it".

 

And then telling them "No, you're not honest enough!"... I.. don't know how to end this post :p

 

Control you media does not mean release nothing but release it in your own terms. Be honest about it and make people understand that everything will change through the way.

 

 Because if you do not and people are actually interested in a game  something can leak out. Just like the newest Bloodborne leak trailer. All the people got was a CG trailer. The press got  a 30 minute demo and then someone released a 1+ year old trailer on the internet  which  not only looked way worse than the E3 demo but also showed a lot of monsters, weapons, moves and so on.  

 

@Sensuki 

No you do not. Just seek out a place with no spoilers and capture 5 minutes and do commentary over it  about what is work in progress what is not done yet and done.  This is a pretty lame reason to be honest. 

Again with the hypocrisy!

 

Obsidian are:

A) Controlling their media

B) Releasing it on their terms

C) Honest about it

 

But you:

A) Want control

B) Released footage on your terms

C) And you're kind of honest about it :p

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The only reason they clarified this screenshot is because people could see through the lies. They wouldn't have posted anything if they weren't found out for it.

 

Are saying that they didn't think that people that have beta access don't notice that game don't at least yet look like that (but it isn't that far away from it either)? I think that you exaggerate bit too much their desire to lie for their backers.

 

I can say that inXile has been quite transparent with their production with Wasteland 2, even though I would in some cases hoped more information from them and more regular updates.

 

Yeah I totally agree. It was not perfect by far but it was much better than what Obsidian does.  Perfect example how you should do it is Larian and without even hearing about their next game I will pitch because they were so transparent and so honest about this game and progress that it was a joy to watch all these 60+ videos. 

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I know this screen And they explained it and apologized for not naming it right right away because people were upset. Again controll your media. be honest and the most honest you can be is during actual progress videos. You can not fake these videos if you you want to try.  And I was talking about the videos not the screens or especially this screen. 

Wait wait wait WAIT! Why are we having this discussion now again...? Obsidian are controlling their media! And they are honest about it as well! You could even translate what they are saying directly to "We are controlling our media, and this is what we want to do with it".

 

And then telling them "No, you're not honest enough!"... I.. don't know how to end this post :p

 

Control you media does not mean release nothing but release it in your own terms. Be honest about it and make people understand that everything will change through the way.

 

 Because if you do not and people are actually interested in a game  something can leak out. Just like the newest Bloodborne leak trailer. All the people got was a CG trailer. The press got  a 30 minute demo and then someone released a 1+ year old trailer on the internet  which  not only looked way worse than the E3 demo but also showed a lot of monsters, weapons, moves and so on.  

 

@Sensuki 

No you do not. Just seek out a place with no spoilers and capture 5 minutes and do commentary over it  about what is work in progress what is not done yet and done.  This is a pretty lame reason to be honest. 

Again with the hypocrisy!

 

Obsidian are:

A) Controlling their media

B) Releasing it on their terms

C) Honest about it

 

But you:

A) Want control

B) Released footage on your terms

C) And you're kind of honest about it :p

 

 

No I want progression. Not on my terms but just show me something.  I made an example  what they could have done. If I were in charge I would do following:

 

Capture actual footage of someone doing a quest line. Mostly Sidequest  Explain the system and put some battle encounter it it. During these mostly  cut footage because of length I would explain the state of the development the state of Mechanics, UI  maybe skills. Tactical opportunities How much is already in how much still needs to be done.  This would make a like 10-15 minute video max. Which is still 15 minutes less than the press demo.

 

And to make it fair. Show this 10-15 minute video  the press first. Release it a few days later to backers or everyone . Everyone would be best of course.  The rest of the 15 minutes for the press event just show slides do your pitching stuff or whatever you do in those things.  There is no need to show us that. 

Edited by Darji

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Okay, we got it. Darji, you want gameplay videos, and you don't want them in a month or so, you want them now.

Noted. The developers think that would be a bad idea, some people here agree with that. You have your arguments why you think it's a good idea to show videos now, we consider these arguments invalid due to a number of reasons (personally I'm just not interested in half-finished gameplay, I'm much more interested in a polished and awesome trailer).

 

Same goes for exclusive press material. You think it's unfair that we don't get to see it first, and we think it makes sense for Obsidian to do it this way (even if we are just as envious of those pesky journalists as you are).

 

With this conclusion in mind, maybe we can stop the back-and-forth now, since it won't actually change a thing. :)

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