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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Kickstarter - Brenda Brathwaite and Tom Hall RPG

Default Kickstarter - Brenda Brathwaite and Tom Hall RPG

October 6th, 2012, 00:38
oasis789: What happened to Bradley anyway?

He did a game with his own team called "Wizards & Warriors" which was kinda the unofficial Wizardry 8, when it became glaringly obvious that Sirtech had no intention of ever making following up on 1992s Wizardry 7. It was actually a better game in my opinion than the version of Wizardry 8 that the Jagged Alliance crew eventually came out with. Main problem with it was he was overly ambitious and and a lot of the user interface and 3D graphics were just kinda kludgy and weird. Still, might be worth a look if you're a big fan of Wizardry 7 and don't mind late 1990s tech that wasn't quite up to snuff even in the late 1990s.

JDR13: …but most of us around here actually do agree that Wizardry 8 was pretty good.

Thanks for the input, Deus Ex boy. I'll be sure to check with you again next time I need to know what a typical internet forum troll thinks is high quality entertainment.

azarhal: He actually sound bitter. It's like Brenda killed his puppy 20 years ago.

She killed my hobby, and it was nearly 20 years ago when I saw her on Compuserve pimping her silly druid adventure game and saying there was no market for games like Wizardry because they weren't "accessible" enough. And she was speaking as official spokesman of Sirtech at the time. I'll be damned if I'll let her pose as somebody who laments the passing of old-school RPGs when she as much as anyone caused the RPG drought of the mid 1990s. And watch while Deus Ex boy says something like "RPG drought in the 1990s? WTF you talking about!?". Somebody ought to slap a sign on his back that says: "Likes to talk like he's old school but Deus Ex was the first computer game he ever played", right?

Shagnak: I still supported them though, because I enjoyed Fallout:NV*, and kinda out of principal (more independently produced RPGs!).

Yeah, they've been all over the place with their results but they have developed some of my favorite games, both at Black isle and at Obsidian. And I had more fun with New Vegas than any other RPG in quite a few years.
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October 6th, 2012, 00:44
By the way, Deus Ex: That's your own subjective opinion about Wiz 8. You've made it obvious that you feel Wiz 8 is inferior to previous Wizardy titles, and you're certainly entitled to your opinion, but not everyone feels the same way.

Actually, pretty much everyone feels that way. Wizardry 7 was and is a classic. Wizardry 8 came out nearly 10 years later, made by a completely different group of people (except for Brenda who did the manual for Wizardry 7) after Sirtech had closed, and was as other mentioned just an attempt to do an updated W7. Obviously, it didn't do well, because if it had then the Jagged Alliance team would have been able to keep making games and we might have had an actual followup to JA2. Right? But instead, they too went out of business shortly after releasing Wizardry 8.
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October 6th, 2012, 01:08
I experienced "the drought".

During it, I played Ultima 7 and 8, World of Xeen, Lands of Lore, Dark Sun. Those silly Ravenloft games and that Menzoberranzan one. Elder Scrolls: Arena! Realms of Arkania.

It was hell, I tell you.
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October 6th, 2012, 01:23
darkling: During it, I played Ultima 7 and 8, World of Xeen, Lands of Lore, Dark Sun. Those silly Ravenloft games and that Menzoberranzan one. Elder Scrolls: Arena! Realms of Arkania.

Ultima 7 came out in 1992, same year (give or take a few months) as Might & Magic III, Betrayal at Krondor, Wizardry 7, Ultima Underworld, Eye of the Beholder II, Magic Candle II, and a host of other RPGs that I'm forgetting, I'm sure. The drought started in 1993, and ended in 1998/1999 with the release of Baldur's Gate, Fallout 1 & 2, Might & Magic 6….

Ultima 8…. you liked that? Arcade Avatar?

The Ravenloft games? Menzoberannerannneran? I actually did save game editers for those, but they were pretty "blah" weren't they?

Arena… and you forgot Daggerfall… yes, some people did enjoy those two games. But I didn't.

You forgot the highly forgettable Stonekeep as well, didn't you?

Realms of Arkania…. not bad… but not exactly an instant classic, was it?

Oh, and you forgot Diablo as well, any reason for that?

In 1992 alone there were more RPGs released, and they were better ones, than in the subsequent 5 years. combined. Why do I have to argue with you about this? It's history, not something I made up, and if you were a gamer back then you know it.
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October 6th, 2012, 01:41
So off topic, little psychotic too…obsessive compulsive?

If you don't stand behind your troops, feel free to stand in front.
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October 6th, 2012, 02:29
So we have John "im gonna make you my bitch" Romero who for good reason has been irrelevant since 1996 and Brenda Brathwaite who was one of the first and most eager to abandon serious game development in favor of the then imaginary casuals market suddenly wanting money for an "oldschool rpg".
Yea think ill be skipping this one.
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October 6th, 2012, 02:30
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
So off topic, little psychotic too…obsessive compulsive?
So says the guy whose entire contribution to this thread has been unprovoked insults

The more it changes the more it stays the same, eh, Thrasher? Y'all go on and on about Cleve but it almost seems like nobody remembers this history, doesn't it? Or are you not the guy who was on usenet during the 1990s?
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October 6th, 2012, 02:47
Well, we could all go off on random unprovoked attacks on someone trying to make a game, or…like normal people we could look at it and decide if we want to support it or not. I don't think anyone wanted a sermon by you on the state of RPG's like you are the only guy who played games before the 90's. You are entitled to your opinion, but I think it's crazy. Which is my opinion. I really don't hold much in your opinions because I just don't share them. Sorry. Your over the top hate for this woman is frankly a little scarey.

This is about a kickstarter game, which has nothing to do with your skewed history of rpg's can we go back to talking about that and you make another thread of rpg doom and gloom?

I supported the game after a bit more info came out, and I think it could be interesting.

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October 6th, 2012, 03:18
Originally Posted by CraigCWB View Post
Or are you not the guy who was on usenet during the 1990s?
Was that directed at me? I don't remember being on the Usenet during the glory days. But based on history, this Kickstarter does seem like stretch. I'll hold out for more solid info.
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October 6th, 2012, 04:05
Off-Topic

I don't remember Thrasher as a big Usenet guy either. I do think you had some posts there though, Thrasher. Hmmm, who here was on Usenet alot? Corwin, myself, Cleve the Crazy , those are the ones I personally remember along with Desslock, of course. That was my baptism into the writing style of Stefan Janicki (sp?). I've been reading his stuff for a long time. Anybody remember Lord Marcus Dracon? That guy makes Cleve seem like a completely normal dude

On Topic, neither Brenda nor Tom have anywhere near the cred of Obsidian, but I still think it's worth a few bucks to give them a shot. If it fails, I'm not going to go bankrupt over it.
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October 6th, 2012, 04:16
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
No one claimed she was *the* lead designer. It was being questioned whether she even had any significant degree of involvement with Wiz 8. Being credited with all the things you mention only shows how wrong that was.
Yes she had many roles in the creation of Wizardry 8, some of the most demanding of which she was the sole person credited. For the design role though she shared credits with 7 others so, given that and her other more singular responsibilities, it does not serve as a very clear example of she can produce as the lead designer, a lead designer, or even necessarily much of her personal design skills at all. Pinning the collective work of 8 total designers as an example of her capacity in that role is unfair and unhelpful compared to available examples where she actually did serve as a lead or the lead designer and did not have sole responsibility over other portions of production.

Why is it unfair to overemphasize Wizardry 8 as an example of her work as a game-designer? Sure, some of the good aspects of the game design may have had something to do with her; it could very well have been one of the seven other designers working on the project. Perhaps more seriously though the same would be true what might be perceived as flaws introduced in the newer design compared to past wizardry games. If someone didn't like the hour long overland battles with swarms of the same generic mobs converging on the party, the easier puzzles, auto-scaling enemies (depending on whether or not it seemed unbalanced), or other new aspects then it would likewise be unfair to pin the blame on her.

Given her other duties and the large number of staff cited as designers, it is unclear verging on unlikely that any individual design decision could be illustrative of her performance - for good or ill. I'm sure she made some decisions as she did receive a design credit, but as things are it is impossible to determine which if any were due to her influence. That is why I have said it is a comparatively poor choice as an example of her work as a designer - not because she did not have a significant role in creating the game but because her contribution in that specific role is far from undiluted and attention to it hardly undivided.

It does, along with some of the Jagged Alliance games, serve as a demonstration of her writing work with respect to crafting overall plot as well as specific scene and dialog writing. The games which show her work in crafting plots and writing are critically very successful - though I suspect opinions differ on whether that element was a strong point or not. By comparison, the works which feature her less diluted and less divided work as designer are mostly not games one would mention in trying to excite people about this kickstarter.

So, if we go by the resumes they have been given the opportunity to build so far, there is evidence by which to judge her writing abilities. At the same time there is little evidence that is both illustrative and positive by which to judge her design skills. Her design role in Wizardry 8 was not especially illustrative of her design work while most of the games she worked on following that would either be not illustrative or not positive examples depending on whether one had faith that she was underutilized in that capacity. Given her resume, I would suspect that this may well be the case but would have to hold off on more details before I put my money on it. It is also why I would find blaming her for Sirtech's failures as someone else in this thread had to be similarly unfair.

I absolutely hated some of the design choices made in Wizardry 8 and found her attempts to work within the existing narrative passed to her from the previous titles to be rather good considering what she had to work with. So by not overemphasizing her design role in Wizardry 8 while recognizing her writing ability - in particular the challenge of continuing an existing narrative in the same tone and voice with all its cheese and strangeness - I am able to be optimistic that as more details come out about this game I could find it very appealing.
Last edited by jhwisner; October 6th, 2012 at 04:39.
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October 6th, 2012, 05:39
Lot of ranting about Brenda in this thread. I don't care about any of that - my wallet can afford $15 to see what Tom Hall can come up with. I still fondly remember big chunks of Anachronox (including the ending twist), so I'm willing to gamble on him.
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October 6th, 2012, 05:53
What do people think of the couple paragraphs of narrative that have been posted?
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October 6th, 2012, 11:01
I remember the RPG draught, I vaguely remember some designer bad mouthing the RPG genre in favor of something, but I also remember liking Wiz 8 a lot inspite of it non traditional epic battles.

But for me and apparently many others, their Kickstarter pitch just aint working for us. I've learned about Kickstarter when Wasteland came out. I have back 8 projects thus far, But I just got a bad vibe from their (Brenda & Tom) initial presentation. I might contribute later on but I just I haven't even starred the project yet.
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October 7th, 2012, 02:37
Some bucks for an old school crpg … made by people involved in the Wizardry series, Anachronox and Deus Ex … good thing …

… this thread -> unworthy of RPGWatch!

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October 7th, 2012, 05:53
Roughly $25 000 a day for the past 4 days or so - it can make it with the usual final surge which they'll get if they get their act together with announcements, which they probably will, or maybe already have, because they read forums like everyone else.

The fact they haven't produced anything in recent years isn't relevant from what I gather from other projects (Wasteland 2, Leisure suit Larry…) People don't care about that. but they do want a decent idea what it is they're getting into.

And apparently they have Notch on board. Don't forget what that guy can do with a single tweet. He single-handedly launched Legend of Grimrock. By lifting his little finger and yawning. The Chuck Norris of game marketing.

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October 8th, 2012, 00:21
Sigh. This talk about what kills what. It reminds me of the common talk how adventure games killed IF games and Myst killed adventure games. So many murders in the game industry.

My point is (and I did play Wizardry from Wizardry I to 8, I also played Anachronox and more than once) that I have almost nothing to lose.

Scenario 1, not enough money in KS campaign == I lose nothing.

Scenario 2, KS works, game is awesome or at least good == WIN! This is what I hope for.

Scenario 3, KS works, game is crap == oh well, I've spent way more money on worse things. At least I gave them possibility to try, time to let my nostalgia die in peace which will anyhow hurt more than those few bucks.

Scenario 4, KS works, game is never done. See 3.

Out of those all options, I can only lose a few bucks while there is a possibility to get a game I didn't even thought it can be possible to do.
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October 8th, 2012, 02:16
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
Some bucks for an old school crpg … made by people involved in the Wizardry series, Anachronox and Deus Ex … good thing …

… this thread -> unworthy of RPGWatch!
'Nuff said. This is not the Codex.
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October 8th, 2012, 09:17
I find it odd that some people believe that a kickstarter project has only upsides, no downsides. As if you put in your money, and if it succeeds that's great, if it fails no harm done, you're just out a couple bucks. But that isn't true. You don't see the productive uses that money could have gone to by having saved it and spent it elsewhere, perhaps on a kickstarter with little more credibility and a little more polish. There are tradeoffs.
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October 8th, 2012, 10:02
Originally Posted by oasis789 View Post
I find it odd that some people believe that a kickstarter project has only upsides, no downsides. As if you put in your money, and if it succeeds that's great, if it fails no harm done, you're just out a couple bucks. But that isn't true. You don't see the productive uses that money could have gone to by having saved it and spent it elsewhere, perhaps on a kickstarter with little more credibility and a little more polish. There are tradeoffs.
The productive uses that money could have gone to? Like lunch? We're talking about as little as $15 here. As far as credibility and polish are concerned, there's no way of being sure about any kickstarter until the final outcome.
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