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Default Kickstarter - Thorvalla Waiting for your Pledge

November 19th, 2012, 17:35
I don't know what you guys think of this pitch but I think that the video is truly awful and ineffective. After a few seconds of hearing his speech, I had the feeling of having tuned halfway into a documentary style interview where I had missed relevant information. IMO the video fails in providing a proper introduction.

After the video, I still didn't know what to expect.
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November 19th, 2012, 17:41
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Who's Guido Henkel? I see the references, but I honestly haven't seen his name mentioned related to those projects before.
The face of The Nameless One among other things (he was the producer of PST).

http://guidohenkel.com/images/PlanescapeCover.jpg
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November 19th, 2012, 17:54
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Who's Guido Henkel? I see the references, but I honestly haven't seen his name mentioned related to those projects before.
He's "the creator of Planescape: Torment", of course. Says so right in the first few seconds of the pitch video. Never mind those other guys at Black Isle; he's the one who made it. Yep.
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November 19th, 2012, 17:55
I agree that the video isn't really the optimum and I also hope it is not going for an comical/anime style.
One thing which seems extremely obvious to me is that he should have added music in the video - especially when he works with music himself.
Also some "real" Artwork to set the style would have been nice.

Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Who's Guido Henkel? I see the references, but I honestly haven't seen his name mentioned related to those projects before.
He did some scripting in Fallout.
He did music in various games including Realms of Arkania (afaik Startrail and Riva)
You can listen to that music here: here
He also was the producer of Realms of Torment. And he is actually the guy you know from the cover:

In addition he is a writer of novels.

In short - he wore many hats in the past and I guess that makes him the ideal candidate not just for the ideas, but also for estimating what is withing the limitations of the project. If he says he needed a million I guess he really needs it and uses it to it's fullest.
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November 19th, 2012, 18:29
Guido Henkel was the creative force behind the Realms of Arkania trilogy and one the founders of Attic, who published all the Wizardry and JA games in Germany at that time.
When he started developers indeed had to be very flexible. So yes, can do game design, he was a producer, he composed at least one critically acclaimed sound track, he earns his living as a writer and he has worked as an art director on at least one older game.
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November 19th, 2012, 18:40
Originally Posted by Zombra View Post
He's "the creator of Planescape: Torment", of course. Says so right in the first few seconds of the pitch video. Never mind those other guys at Black Isle; he's the one who made it. Yep.
From a certain position he is right.

He is the single person with the most influence on Planescape: Torment as a project. Torment is like it is, to a large degree, due to Henkel's decisions as a producer. Without him it would have been a different game.
In an interview a few years ago he explicitly gave full credit for the content primarily to Chris Avellone and Collin McComb, among others, while he was the producer and did some "technical design", whatever that may be.

edit: All according to a certain interview, which contained no aggression or vitriol at all. He was asked what his role was and why he is usually not mentioned. He found it understandable given the circumstances.
Last edited by Gorath; November 19th, 2012 at 19:00.
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November 19th, 2012, 18:52
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Who's Guido Henkel? I see the references, but I honestly haven't seen his name mentioned related to those projects before.
See the posts below. He is a retired developer who quit in frustration because he found himself between a rock (Interplay shortly after their IPO) and a hard place (a dev team which quite naturally didn't enjoy being pushed around by a producer who had to enforce company interests) during the Torment dev cycle. The result was a masterpiece, but Henkel didn't like the role he had to play at all. He even called it a "crap job" and remarks that it was not a position for making friends. He [paraphrased] "swore to himself after Torment never todo that [he means working as a producer] again".

He made the Northland Trilogy, and after that he had offers by SirTech to make Wizardry 8 and Interplay to make a game which turned out to become Torment. Star Trail and Torment are 2 all time classics. That's more than most devs have on their resume.

btw., Guido considers Torment his overall best game and he says it's the one he's most proud of.
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November 19th, 2012, 18:57
Automatic back up, but at 15$ only - the boxed version is too expensive IMHO.

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November 19th, 2012, 19:01
Old interview AtariLegend : Guido Henkel

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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November 19th, 2012, 19:14
Originally Posted by Asdraguuhl View Post
I don't know what you guys think of this pitch but I think that the video is truly awful and ineffective. After a few seconds of hearing his speech, I had the feeling of having tuned halfway into a documentary style interview where I had missed relevant information. IMO the video fails in providing a proper introduction.

After the video, I still didn't know what to expect.
Well, Henkel never had a reputation as an entertainer who likes to tell bullshit. He's more the type who explains what the intends to do and then overdelivers. I agree it's not a particularly impressive video.

The game will be a TB RPG with fleshed out areas connected by a world map. A lot of stuff will happen on the map (-> Realms of Arkania). The PC will be generated like in the old days, the rest of the party has to be picked up.
The target audience are experienced RPGers. No handholding, etc. The game will be challenging, you'll die often.

I guess Henkel used the word "traditional" because he intends to add some innovation on top of the old school stuff. Which is quite natural. Why would he return to game development to do the same old thing again?! He wants to push a couple of things forward with some fresh ideas. That's quite risky though. Did you notice how both Obsidian and the Wasteland 2 guys carefully avoided even the slightest hint at innovation? They probably had every reason to do so.
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November 19th, 2012, 19:30
There are far too many kickstarters to keep track of and fund. This is definitely a case where the supply exceeds my demand.
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November 19th, 2012, 19:39
If all this is true, then what he needs is some public backing from guys like Chris Avellone and Feargus Urquhart. That alone would give him tons of PR, maybe even enough to really get this project going.

I just can't see this project making $1M without someone creating a lot of PR.

Also, the ideas need to be a bit more solid. So far, it doesn't seem very tangible. Hopefully, that'll come in time, and if so, I might back it.
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November 19th, 2012, 19:41
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Well, Henkel never had a reputation as an entertainer who likes to tell bullshit. He's more the type who explains what the intends to do and then overdelivers.
Nevertheless, that is no excuse and he should have known better, especially when he is asking for 1M$. It isn't about speaking bullshit but about knowing how to present the contents.

Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
The game will be a TB RPG with fleshed out areas connected by a world map. A lot of stuff will happen on the map (-> Realms of Arkania). The PC will be generated like in the old days, the rest of the party has to be picked up.
The target audience are experienced RPGers. No handholding, etc. The game will be challenging, you'll die often.
Those are just some basics without real substance. However, I do expect more info to be revealed over time.

Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
He wants to push a couple of things forward with some fresh ideas. That's quite risky though. Did you notice how both Obsidian and the Wasteland 2 guys carefully avoided even the slightest hint at innovation? They probably had every reason to do so.
It is not the innovatoin itself that is risky but those few hardcore fanatics who will become easily outraged potentially damaging the campaign .
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November 19th, 2012, 19:54
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
If all this is true, then what he needs is some public backing from guys like Chris Avellone and Feargus Urquhart. That alone would give him tons of PR, maybe even enough to really get this project going.
Yes. But it's not known whether they are on speaking terms. Maybe yes, maybe no.
I just can't see this project making $1M without someone creating a lot of PR.
No chance. If he doesn't pull a couple of rabids out of his hat, they won't even make 500k.

Also, the ideas need to be a bit more solid. So far, it doesn't seem very tangible. Hopefully, that'll come in time, and if so, I might back it.
That's critical. Committing to something splits the audience. The most successfull campaigns tried to be unspecific.
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November 19th, 2012, 20:43
He has an impressive resume so I'll be keeping an eye on this but details are a bit hazy so far. Also the tone of their art direction is unclear. At first I thought it would be in a serious style based on the logo, viking ship and dragon images, but some of the sketches have more of a cartoony / Torchlighty vibe. Hmm…
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November 19th, 2012, 21:06
You guys do realize that once this first wave of crowdfunded RPGs go by, it's back to the ol' publisher model again, right?

So far W2, PE, Shadowrun and Dead State are all we have to show for it. OK I might be missing a couple, but you get my point…

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November 19th, 2012, 21:16
You all are a bunch of nervous Nellies.

That's a hell of a resume. I'm in at $25.
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November 19th, 2012, 21:23
Originally Posted by Charles-cgr View Post
You guys do realize that once this first wave of crowdfunded RPGs go by, it's back to the ol' publisher model again, right?
No.
Publishers want to make more diabloclones. Y'know, those games you buy just because there is nothing else because publishers don't give you a choice.
Means - I'll have money for more RPG kickstarters.
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November 19th, 2012, 21:43
I really enjoyed the realms of Arkania series of games as well as PS:T, based on that, as well as one of the developers from Betrayal at Krondor(one of my favorite crpgs) being on the dev team, I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt and throw some support into to Thorvalla.
I just wish they had chosen a different month to end their kickstarter. I think having a kickstarter end near Christmas is a bad idea, because too many people will be low on funds due to buying Christmas gifts(not even taking into account people who've emptied their bank accounts into previous kickstarters). Perhaps if they fail to reach their goal, they'll wait a few months, present more detailed info for backers, then try again.
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November 19th, 2012, 22:12
Originally Posted by Charles-cgr View Post
You guys do realize that once this first wave of crowdfunded RPGs go by, it's back to the ol' publisher model again, right?

So far W2, PE, Shadowrun and Dead State are all we have to show for it. OK I might be missing a couple, but you get my pointů
That's not too shabby, you know? I think even on KS competition is ultimately good. And let's not forget how new this still is - project developers are still struggling to find out what works and what doesn't. What does make me a bit sad is how hard of a time the small indies have. Antharion, Beasts and Blades, Aaimie - projects just asking for a few thousands not getting funded - I guess we are spoiled by new games after all.
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