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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Thorvalla - Kickstarter Update #1

Default Thorvalla - Kickstarter Update #1

November 20th, 2012, 18:59
Here is the first update of Thorvalla on Kickstarter, talking about the first day and about the game engine and looks of the game.
The first day of our campaign is over and we’ve heard a lot of voices making their support for the project known. Naturally, there have also been a number of questions, of course. All of you want to see more of the game, and that is completely understandable. You are excited about the project, as are we. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t giddy to the bone.
However, at such an early stage of the project, it is not easy to create material that lends itself to being shown off. Much of it would be simply confusing or misleading. Currently, there is a lot of experimentation going on, as we try to lock down the look and feel of the game, and the first sketches we put up along with this campaign are a perfect example, how quickly wrong impressions can be created. Therefore, let me just assure everyone that we are not going for a cartoony look. These first sketches were just random ideas that artist Juan Garcia jotted down based on story ideas we floated around the team. Juan has a strong comic book background and as a result some of his images also turned out a bit comic book-like. Visually, this is not the style we are aiming for. What we do aim for is the kind of kinetic energy you can see in his drawings. There are some incredible dynamics at work in his pictures, creating very striking poses. That part, we definitely strive for; characters that instantly fascinate and rev up your imagination.
The actual look of the game will be much more realistic, offering beautifully painted characters and 3D-modeled representations of them. We may be a bit experimental in parts of the game, but I give you my promise that the look will not be part of it. I am simply too much in love with traditional fantasy paintings.
There is also some confusion already about the core technology we will be using, so let me try to cut through the muddle a bit. In various statements I pointed out that we have not yet decided whether we will use an isometric view, a perspectively corrected 2.5D or a full 3D approach.
Understand that this is merely a matter of aesthetics, nothing else. The viewpoint will always be the same. Regardless of the underlying graphics technology to draw it, the game will always have a top down view. The technology changes nothing in that. The only difference it makes for us as developers is how we implement it, and how we will have to prepare the graphic assets. That is a perfectly normal process, however, and is how games are developed. Unless you start out determined to use a specific technology, you run tests to determine feasibility before you commit to something that will have consequences for the entire length of the project, and this pre-production phase is exactly the time to do these sorts of evaluations.
Making games is a highly iterative process and we will provide a lot more materials and information as time goes by. I am sure it will be a very thrilling look behind the scenes into the making of games for many of you, a process that for most of you has traditionally been hidden behind closed doors. With our project, we’ll give you an insider’s view of the process.
We will start putting out materials and more details as soon as we think they are suitable to be seen by a wider audience, and that they truly reflect ideas we are seriously considering. I feel strongly that especially at this, the funding stage, it is crucial not to send the wrong signals. Naturally, it is also important to satisfy the hunger for information, so we will try to balance it all nicely to keep everyone happy. If all else fails, you can always bank on our extensive experience and the knowledge that we are dedicated to creating a high quality and polished product, and that we have the track record to prove that we can do it.
More information.
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November 20th, 2012, 18:59
So no comic graphics.

Still a bad start for this Kickstarter. I have no idea where they want to find $1M.
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November 20th, 2012, 19:34
However, at such an early stage of the project, it is not easy to create material that lends itself to being shown off.
Right. Sounds like it's too early for a Kickstarter then. I guess he didn't see what happened when 'Old School RPG' tried to fund a project based on nothing but name-dropping.

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November 20th, 2012, 20:07
Granted this is not off to an impressive start…..

However, I think we are starting to see the challenge and difficulty of kickstarter. It takes time and development to create things that can be shown…people wanting working demo's is just silly. To create a working demo you almost have to create the whole game which takes lots of time. Time being money its hard to create any you can show before doing any development work which costs money.

I think the best bet is clearly defined gameplay and background story info with maybe some mockup art showing how the game will look. Someone needs to find that sweatspot that tells potential buyers what the game is about without a huge money commitment from the revs.

I didn't think the project eternity launch was good at first either but they got by mostly on reputation.
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November 20th, 2012, 21:17
Personally I could easily see myself supporting this but unfortunately I've come to a point were I've backed 12 projects. One of them will probably not be funded which leaves 11 projects. Of these 11 projects only one of them has been delivered. The others will come in due time but I feel I've put enough money into KS for the time being.
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November 20th, 2012, 21:17
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
Right. Sounds like it's too early for a Kickstarter then. I guess he didn't see what happened when 'Old School RPG' tried to fund a project based on nothing but name-dropping.
This really. Name recognition only gets you so far, and if your name is tied to small cult hits, in a niche category, that name gets you fierce loyalty, but limited quantity. "I want to make this, and it'll will be awesome" doesn't work as well as it first did on kickstarter now that people are getting exhausted by it.

Developers need to start treating Kickstarter like pitching to a publisher, to investors, or an episode of Shark Tank.

Would you walk into a board room with no design document, no prototype, and no vision statement and just sit down and go "I want to make a RPG. It will be awesome, innovative, and do new things. No I'm not going to tell you how it will do those. Just trust me. Now give me your money"? These days complaining about "I want to make a great game, but the MAN won't let me" just doesn't work like it did when Fargo and Tim Schafear did it.
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November 20th, 2012, 21:22
Originally Posted by jwmeep View Post
This really. Name recognition only gets you so far, and if your name is tied to small cult hits, in a niche category, that name gets you fierce loyalty, but limited quantity. "I want to make this, and it'll will be awesome" doesn't work as well as it first did on kickstarter now that people are getting exhausted by it.

Developers need to start treating Kickstarter like pitching to a publisher, to investors, or an episode of Shark Tank.

Would you walk into a board room with no design document, no prototype, and no vision statement and just sit down and go "I want to make a RPG. It will be awesome, innovative, and do new things. No I'm not going to tell you how it will do those. Just trust me. Now give me your money"? These days complaining about "I want to make a great game, but the MAN won't let me" just doesn't work like it did when Fargo and Tim Schafear did it.
Completely agree with you there.
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November 20th, 2012, 21:23
I'll bet 100 dollars that they won't make their fundraising goal.

You need more than this.
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November 20th, 2012, 21:32
Originally Posted by jwmeep View Post
These days complaining about "I want to make a great game, but the MAN won't let me" just doesn't work like it did when Fargo and Tim Schafear did it.
It's a shame though. A proven team wanting to make a game with solid, traditional foundations is only going to come by so often. And although it may be tiring to hear, it doesn't make it less true.

This is year one for kickstarting games, so there are a lot of projects with varied scopes but in time it will become rare again.

Anyway, the gaming press seems tired of relaying it. For now. Maybe that'll change before the end of their KS.

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November 20th, 2012, 21:36
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
Right. Sounds like it's too early for a Kickstarter then. I guess he didn't see what happened when 'Old School RPG' tried to fund a project based on nothing but name-dropping.
I agree he shows too little. Although I would say it is at least far more regarding the world and story than we saw from either Shaker or Project Eternity on the initial pitch. So I think maybe people are partly giving him a hard time more for what has gone on before than what he actually did.
On the other hand, the way I see people bitch about every pitch video now, I think peoples expectations are also growing exponentially. We should take some care that Kickstarter doesn't end up dominated by slick PR pitches that are as bad as publisher trailers or ends up as a preorder service for nearly finished AA games.
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November 20th, 2012, 21:50
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
I think peoples expectations are also growing exponentially. We should take some care that Kickstarter doesn't end up dominated by slick PR pitches that are as bad as publisher trailers or ends up as a preorder service for nearly finished AA games.
^That +++

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November 20th, 2012, 22:17
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
Right. Sounds like it's too early for a Kickstarter then. I guess he didn't see what happened when 'Old School RPG' tried to fund a project based on nothing but name-dropping.
^This. I've backed quite a few Kickstarters so far, but only when I had the feeling that I knew what to expect. With Thorvalla I just don't have that yet. And while there's a wall of text talking about things like "… takes role-playing into new gameplay territory" or "…expands the experience and reinvents the way certain game mechanics are being handled", it remains pretty silent on how they actually want to achieve that.

Also, starting a new IP, asking for a million bucks, and having only some vague concept art to show for probably doesn't help either.
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November 20th, 2012, 22:33
Originally Posted by abharsair View Post
Also, starting a new IP, asking for a million bucks, and having only some vague concept art to show for probably doesn't help either.
To be honest, I was ready to support Guido on Day 1 with a nice "donation," but I'm just not sure right now. I need to see more. I've supported several kickstarters already and need to think upon which projects I provide funds to support. And that disappoints me, as "Star Trail" and "Riva" are two of my favorite games of all time. I want to help out, but need more solid information on the game.
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November 20th, 2012, 23:23
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
On the other hand, the way I see people bitch about every pitch video now, I think peoples expectations are also growing exponentially. We should take some care that Kickstarter doesn't end up dominated by slick PR pitches that are as bad as publisher trailers or ends up as a preorder service for nearly finished AA games.
Hear, hear.
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November 20th, 2012, 23:29
Imagine that, publishers needed for Kickstarter pitches. Ohhh the irony.

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November 20th, 2012, 23:31
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
On the other hand, the way I see people bitch about every pitch video now, I think peoples expectations are also growing exponentially. We should take some care that Kickstarter doesn't end up dominated by slick PR pitches that are as bad as publisher trailers or ends up as a preorder service for nearly finished AA games.
Fully agree.
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November 20th, 2012, 23:31
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
We should take some care that Kickstarter doesn't end up dominated by slick PR pitches that are as bad as publisher trailers or ends up as a preorder service for nearly finished AA games.
This will happen at least once rather sooner than later. An unannounced mid budget game near beta will be professionally hyped through KS, etc.
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November 20th, 2012, 23:39
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
This will happen at least once rather sooner than later. An unannounced mid budget game near beta will be professionally hyped through KS, etc.
Star Citizen kind of qualifies, no? I mean i saw the video but still, this much production prior to funding is uncanny. I may be unaware of certain widely known details though.

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November 21st, 2012, 00:32
Originally Posted by Charles-cgr View Post
Star Citizen kind of qualifies, no? I mean i saw the video but still, this much production prior to funding is uncanny. I may be unaware of certain widely known details though.
Star Citizen is not near beta or alpha.
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November 21st, 2012, 02:03
I don't need a demo or even screenshots, but I definitely need samples of how the game will look and work, even if it's a scan from pencil and paper.
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