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Default Sui Generis - Kickstarter Update #11, Items and Equipment

November 25th, 2012, 15:26
Originally Posted by zahratustra View Post
Hah, but it's a paradox isn't it? Most gamers do indeed choose what's familiar but then they bitch that it's not innovative enough. In short, they want more of the same but different!
Not exactly: the safest, quickest and most profitable approach is to give people something that will have all the obvious characteristics of something they know they like but neglecting to do the hard work of digging deeper and including all the most subtle and less obvious elements that tie everything together. That would lead people to the potentially wrong conclusion that the problem lies in the elements that are most apparent to them.

For example, you might like a first person, turn based, dungeon crawler. The obvious things that you, as a gamer will notice, are that it's first person, turn based and it takes place inside a dungeon, so you will say that these are the things you like (you might not have noticed the level design, the balance or other things that will only be visible to a true designer but crucial for the end result nonetheless). Someone who wants to make something that you will buy, while spending as little time and money himself, will put together something with exactly these characteristics. You would think that you should like it exactly as much since it offers you exactly what you wanted but you don't, because it lacks all the subtle elements that you can't notice unless you know more about design. But because you don't know what's wrong with it you might simply conclude that it's fault is not offering something new.

Therefore my argument is that people don't like what they get because it is different (or at least poorer) even though on the surface it looks the same. As such they are really against innovation even if they think they aren't.

"I am not interested in good; I am interested in new, even if this includes the possibility of it's being evil"
(LaMonte Young, 1962)
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November 25th, 2012, 15:38
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
@ Asdraguuhl: So should we support only people who have proven they can function under the publisher model?
Originally Posted by Fluent View Post
So what's the point of Kickstater if nobody wants to support the underdogs who aren't well known? Seems to me like Kickstarter is completely pointless and only the well known people will do good on it. Sad.
People who have proven themselves, people who already have an existing business structure in place (inXile, Obsidian, etc) can get away with less. Their word is good enough because nobody doubts their ability to deliver. Their games may fall short of some people's expectations but this risk is always there when a new game is announced.

People who haven't proven themselves yet are an entirely different story. They should work harder, do more, and show more. The burden of convincing people that they can deliver is on them and that's where Madoc & Co failed miserably. They've proven one thing only - that Madoc has what it takes to make a cool looking engine, but it takes a lot more to make a decent RPG.

Trust should be earned, not freely given just for showing up.
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November 25th, 2012, 16:27
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post

What I mean is: If Avellone says e.g.: "we will focus on well developed characters and deep choices and conseqeunces" you not only believe him, you als know exactly what he means by that, because you know his games, his interviews, etc. If Bare Mettle says e.g. that they want a living breathing world and events that proceed even without player input, it means… almost nothing. However to explain it all, yet briefly, is probably not so simple.
….
Exactly my point! (And kinda what VDweller is saying here above.) Bare Mettle do not have the luxury for being known for their work. Not their fault, it just means they might need to put in some extra effort to explain what they exactly mean when they come out with vague statements like that.

Their reluctance to do so, pointing everyone do their forums if they want more info, is also not the smartest move in that respect. (Except for hanging round here once and a while , I generally have better things to do then plow through the forum of every kickstarter that seems vaguely interesting.) Perhaps it is because you get somewhat immune to the generic marketing bullspeak: that 'epic immersive living breathing world with non-linear progression and story' doesn't mean much until I see some concrete examples (and by the way, that quest-that-isn't-a-quest example was not exactly overwhelming). All I see is a tech demo for a, admittedly pretty interesting, engine and fight mechanics, not a game.
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November 25th, 2012, 17:26
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
All in all there is quite a bit of info on SG if you look carefully through the (rewritten) KS main page, comments, Forums. Not denying there are still gaps either, and I understand where people are coming from that don't want to pledge for it. I have had my doubts as well.
Doing a less ambitous KS that allows them to further develop the systems for their dream game (year and a half to release for something like Sui Generis is overambitous anyway) is also what I hope they do if they don't make their target. A nice dungeoncrawler with this engine including lots of physics puzzles wouldn't be too bad, e.g..
Yes, I don't think we need to be so overly negative about this one as some people are being. They have the makings of a decent combat system, and obviously have something for a magic system in mind. A realistic action game can be quite enjoyable. But if they are going for a more in-depth game with detailed plot options and a branching plot, I agree it may take them longer.
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November 25th, 2012, 18:48
Originally Posted by VDweller View Post
People who haven't proven themselves yet are an entirely different story. They should work harder, do more, and show more. The burden of convincing people that they can deliver is on them and that's where Madoc & Co failed miserably. They've proven one thing only - that Madoc has what it takes to make a cool looking engine, but it takes a lot more to make a decent RPG.

Trust should be earned, not freely given just for showing up.
I don't think the part time development option, (or working without income like good old Gareth) is feasible for too many people, though I admire the tenacity with which people like youself and your team or the Rampant Coyote have pursued your passion for making games for so long. I am happy to help give people a chance to give it a real go if the present an interesting vision and show some capacity to get there with my $15 pledge. Whether that is the case or not in each individual case is for the public to decide, that's ultimately the great thing about Kickstarter. Looking at Antharion recently, it's also clear that showing a working game is no ticket to funding even at the lowest level.
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November 25th, 2012, 19:48
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
I don't think the part time development option, (or working without income like good old Gareth) is feasible for too many people…
Well, it should be feasible if one's asking for a quarter mil, but that's not what I'm talking about here. To be fair, Madoc didn't just come with some ideas. He brought a great looking engine to the table, an engine that clearly stands out from the rest and impressed a lot of sites and people.

Sadly, everything else was missing. He should have spent another month or two (which isn't unreasonable) to develop the basic design, story, setting, etc and present them in a clear and coherent manner, ready to explain - patiently, 100 times if he had to - how everything works and fits together (edit: thus demonstrating his own knowledge, understanding, and design approach).

Showing what seems like the most generic story in the history of generic stories and when attacked, claiming that it's all part of the plan and there are secret twists that can't be revealed, didn't help at all. Neither did claiming that it's a groundbreaking RPG that will change the way and then presenting what seems like a procedural action RPG.

I am happy to help give people a chance to give it a real go if the present an interesting vision and show some capacity to get there with my $15 pledge.
Certainly, his efforts were worth a $15 pledge, but look at the big picture - was his presentation worth a quarter million dollars? While it's a lot less than an average budget, it's still a lot of money and the effort shown didn't correspond to the amount.

Looking at Antharion recently, it's also clear that showing a working game is no ticket to funding even at the lowest level.
Naturally, but at least a working game makes it crystal clear what to expect. It's a more honest way of "doing business".
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November 26th, 2012, 04:14
Let's say Vince has a kickstarter so that he can finish up his game and give all his volunteers a nice Christmas check. Vince has a game and a demo and tons of data already from previous efforts. If he came out tomorrow and just said hey look I need a push to get me over the hump and asked for $50,000-60,000, I think he gets it. Why? Because he's already established himself with videos, alphas, betas, blogs, etc. That's where Maddog needs to go next, after this fails. Show and tell more and then try again. He could just throw away all his work up to this point too, or just sell his nice little engine to a Developer. If he's wanting the cash, the final option makes sense. If he's passionate about developing a game instead of an engine, then he'll eat his humble pie and try again with more done on the design side next time.
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November 26th, 2012, 09:31
Yeah and Maddoc got a $150.000 so as mentioned earlier, it's not like they did bad at all. I absolutely agree of course, if they go for a next try, they should flesh out the presentation of the gameplay and gameworld, show a bit more of a vertical slice of the game. And actually go into the detail of how they want to achieve certain things, not just present a list of envisioned features.
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November 26th, 2012, 11:27
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
To me this is a spiritual successor of Daggerfall, which wasn't really about the content (as in story / characters).
Yes, GhanBuriGhan! This is how I see Sui Generis too. And I really, really want it. Ever since Daggerfall, I have been hoping for some devleoper to at least try going in this direction.

So, could everybody please stop complaining, and pledge already! (Who am I kidding. Bare Mettle obviously won't reach their Kickstarter goal this time around.)

As for story, in context of their overall presentation, I'm pretty much content with the initial pitch:

"Non Linear Story. Write your own story. Create your own character and then interact with the world and events as you see fit. Who knows what might happen? It's not written, it's up to you."

Other developers have made vaguely similar promises before (Peter Molyneux, anybody?) But as far as I know, nobody has showed any serious commitment to this lofty goal. Sandbox gameplay that allows you to run around doing silly things and generally wreak havoc is not the same as creating your own story.

Most of you don't seem to appreciate what Bare Mettle have set out to accomplish here. If they would be even mildly successful in creating something approaching the dynamic world they are aiming for, I would be happy to overlook lots of bad writing and cliché lore. (Not that I expect their writing to be particularly bad or cliché.) Most games feature pretty bad writing and extremely cliche lore anyway.
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November 26th, 2012, 12:40
Originally Posted by holeraw View Post
Who really believes that gamers like innovation?
Most people will always choose the familiar - that's proven by the endless sequels and remakes.
The project is familiar to anyone who has watched the evolution (and the devolution) of the attempt to bring RPG genre to computers.

When thinking of it, players probably reject what they see in this game, prefering to play other games whose project is as familiar.
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November 26th, 2012, 12:42
Originally Posted by Mr Smiley View Post
As for story, in context of their overall presentation, I'm pretty much content with the initial pitch:

"Non Linear Story. Write your own story. Create your own character and then interact with the world and events as you see fit. Who knows what might happen? It's not written, it's up to you."

Other developers have made vaguely similar promises before (Peter Molyneux, anybody?) But as far as I know, nobody has showed any serious commitment to this lofty goal. Sandbox gameplay that allows you to run around doing silly things and generally wreak havoc is not the same as creating your own story.

Most of you don't seem to appreciate what Bare Mettle have set out to accomplish here. If they would be even mildly successful in creating something approaching the dynamic world they are aiming for, I would be happy to overlook lots of bad writing and cliché lore. (Not that I expect their writing to be particularly bad or cliché.) Most games feature pretty bad writing and extremely cliche lore anyway.
Is it the initial pitch? Under pressure, they reworked their presentation. In the end, as they are going to drift away from the original project as potential backers will keep asking for the same, many things are going to disappear.
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November 26th, 2012, 12:56
Originally Posted by VDweller View Post

Certainly, his efforts were worth a $15 pledge, but look at the big picture - was his presentation worth a quarter million dollars? While it's a lot less than an average budget, it's still a lot of money and the effort shown didn't correspond to the amount.
That does not add up. Backers are to see their pledges, not the global amount of the pledges. There is no big picture to the backer. They only pledge the amount of their pledge. A million backers or ten backers do not change that.

Each backer see their $15, not the $225k and the rest of the backers. The game did not find 15,000 backers who thought the effort was worth the $15 pledge.


Sadly, everything else was missing. He should have spent another month or two (which isn't unreasonable) to develop the basic design, story, setting, etc and present them in a clear and coherent manner, ready to explain - patiently, 100 times if he had to - how everything works and fits together (edit: thus demonstrating his own knowledge, understanding, and design approach).
How could this work? This studio wanted to explore game design space that is dropped off. They do not know what they can achieve. That is experimentation.
Wishing for pieces of gameplay to be displayed is somehow putting the cart before the horses since this studio needed that money to find out what they could do and what space they could explore.

Experimentation fails. It does not always return with positive results and often tells you more what you cant do than what you can do.

In the end, this project will be brought down to normalcy as potential backers keep demanding that this game does include what they want to find in every other games. As this game project was about originality, that will be destroyed by backers demanding that their money is allocated to the same old.
Showing what seems like the most generic story in the history of generic stories and when attacked, claiming that it's all part of the plan and there are secret twists that can't be revealed, didn't help at all. Neither did claiming that it's a groundbreaking RPG that will change the way and then presenting what seems like a procedural action RPG.
The game was not about story. They did not even have a dedicated writer at start. They hired one under popular pressure. It was about generating a game world that could evolve on its own, with the player finding her position into that world.
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November 26th, 2012, 13:54
Originally Posted by Mr Smiley View Post
Most of you don't seem to appreciate what Bare Mettle have set out to accomplish here. If they would be even mildly successful in creating something approaching the dynamic world they are aiming for…
I'd say that most people would like to play such a game, like you said, "other developers have made vaguely similar promises before" and it would take more than good intentions to be convinced that BM can deliver and be even "mildly" successful.
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November 26th, 2012, 14:13
Originally Posted by Fluent View Post
So what's the point of Kickstater if nobody wants to support the underdogs who aren't well known? Seems to me like Kickstarter is completely pointless and only the well known people will do good on it. Sad.
It is not pointless. It is about the return on a dollar.

Why should publishers put $50 M on a 25 $2M projects when putting that sum on one single project will get them more money in the end?

Kickstarter is not about innovation, it is about funding projects that are profitable
but less profitable than the big things.

Sui generis adds more information to the pot: it is so far hand written, very little formatting in code. It is a project that could exist without the addition of big companies as it licenses few to none technologies.

Other projects that are funded through kickstarter are feeding at the bosom of big publishers as they license technology developped by those publishers. They are going to thrive under the umbrella of the big corporations. Without those big corporations, they could not acquire by themselves the technology they need to carry out their projects.

Not only KS is not about innovation but it is about supporting studios that get some externalities from big corporations.

Big corporations, in gaming, is where innovation is to be found. Usually, corporations amortize their technology by recycling it. They start developping a technology in one game, get players to pay for a half finished version and re-use it a following game, bettering it a bit and reselling it to players.
That is a very important side here as a certain number of kickstarted studios rely and will keep relying on technology advancement made by corporations so they can include that technology in their own games. By themselves and contrary to the Sui Generis studio, they can not provide the required technology.
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November 26th, 2012, 14:25
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
That does not add up. Backers are to see their pledges, not the global amount of the pledges. There is no big picture to the backer.
I'm not saying that they should. I'm merely evaluating the pitch and saying that there are two sides there - the backer's willingness to give them 15 bucks and the studio's effort to secure a quarter million funding. The effort is lacking.

Each backer see their $15, not the $225k and the rest of the backers. The game did not find 15,000 backers who thought the effort was worth the $15 pledge.
Because the pitch failed to convince enough people that there is a game there (not just a tech demo).

How could this work? This studio wanted to explore game design space that is dropped off. They do not know what they can achieve. That is experimentation.

Wishing for pieces of gameplay to be displayed is somehow putting the cart before the horses since this studio needed that money to find out what they could do and what space they could explore.
They didn't say "we have this tech demo and if you back us up, we'll explore new design ideas and see what happens." They made very specific promises, which is what got some people excited and hopeful.

When someone sets out to make an RPG they have some ideas in mind. These ideas need to be elaborated and presented clearly to the potential audience.

You can't just say:

"It is about exploring a world and being involved in major events there. What exactly you do and how you do it is entirely up to you. The world is carefully designed to be believable and have a life of its own. It is not there to wait for you to go on quests, trigger events or make decisions. Events will take their course and may take a turn for the worse if you don't get involved."

… and leave it at that, without explaining the underlying design and convincing backers that the designer has a clear vision and know how to get there and deliver on those promises.

In the end, this project will be brought down to normalcy as potential backers keep demanding that this game does include what they want to find in every other games. As this game project was about originality, that will be destroyed by backers demanding that their money is allocated to the same old.
Always blame the fans? How very Bioware.

The game was not about story.
Well, see, I didn't know that because the pitch says:

"It encompasses a vast and rich history spanning aeons and galaxies, not as vague mythology but actual chains of events leading to the current situation. In Sui Generis you will get a sense that everything is connected and exists for a reason. … It is about exploring a world and being involved in major events there."

That sounds suspiciously like a story to me. Not to mention that the very first update was about the story. Not about dynamic quests or procedural design or the GTA meets Morrowind approach, but the story.
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November 26th, 2012, 14:43
I have stated the same sentiment several times in comments and their forum. I think Madoc realizes that it was a problem - although probably too late. From a forum post of today:
Originally Posted by Madoc
The lack of story or "lore" in our presentation has been the biggest criticism we've received so far along with not demonstrating what an actual game experience might be like so this was partly to appease those critics. Probably though the biggest problem is that our pitch video talks about tech and says very little about the game.
He goes on with this:
These are also not isolated episodes or "quests" the idea is that by getting involved in something you might stumble into something else and that events can escalate far beyond what the initial premise suggests. We want every little story to potentially evolve into something complex. Take even the second story, why are there demons at the farmhouse? Where do they come from? What's the blue glow? And as you reveal more you also potentially discover many more questions you might want to try to answer.
I like the underlying sentiment, but unfortunately is still remains vague how they want to achieve that.
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November 26th, 2012, 15:54
The underlying sentiment sounds great indeed. But the more I see them try to explain it, the more I feel they have no idea themselves what exactly to do, let alone how.
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November 27th, 2012, 09:37
Originally Posted by VDweller View Post
I'm not saying that they should. I'm merely evaluating the pitch and saying that there are two sides there - the backer's willingness to give them 15 bucks and the studio's effort to secure a quarter million funding. The effort is lacking.


Because the pitch failed to convince enough people that there is a game there (not just a tech demo).
Already answered.

They didn't say "we have this tech demo and if you back us up, we'll explore new design ideas and see what happens." They made very specific promises, which is what got some people excited and hopeful.
Promises in video gaming? They made a declaration of intent. Nothing more. Once again, it does not add up. A new studio wishing to get back to the point where major studios dropped the flag? That is experimentation for anyone willing to listen. They put up an engine and wish to see to what goes out.
When someone sets out to make an RPG they have some ideas in mind. These ideas need to be elaborated and presented clearly to the potential audience.
Not in this case. The game is set in a historical continuity and is very familiar to anyone who follows the attempt to bring the RPG genre on computers.

You can't just say:

"It is about exploring a world and being involved in major events there. What exactly you do and how you do it is entirely up to you. The world is carefully designed to be believable and have a life of its own. It is not there to wait for you to go on quests, trigger events or make decisions. Events will take their course and may take a turn for the worse if you don't get involved."

… and leave it at that, without explaining the underlying design and convincing backers that the designer has a clear vision and know how to get there and deliver on those promises.
That is experimentation. Once again. The base of experimentation is that people do not have a clear idea on how things are going to fit in. The only way to have a clear vision of a process is to have already been there.

So back to a previous point: backers want for this project guarantees that could only be delivered if the game was already developped. A paradox since they need funding to figure how if they are able to deliver.
Always blame the fans? How very Bioware.
What fans? Fans would blindly back the project without asking for any kind of guarantee, including guarantees that could only delivered at release of the game.
There are no fans involved here. This kind of initiative shows a double standard treatment of projects.
Well, see, I didn't know that because the pitch says:

"It encompasses a vast and rich history spanning aeons and galaxies, not as vague mythology but actual chains of events leading to the current situation. In Sui Generis you will get a sense that everything is connected and exists for a reason. … It is about exploring a world and being involved in major events there."

That sounds suspiciously like a story to me. Not to mention that the very first update was about the story. Not about dynamic quests or procedural design or the GTA meets Morrowind approach, but the story.
And the original release of the project was about a game world that evolves on its own. The lead did not speak about the story. He replaced the project in historical context (resuming where the evolution was dropped off)

The first sentence speaks about history. Wich is different from a story. A self generating game world with history. That is what self generating game universes create: history.

The developpers went taken by surprise: they thought that the central concept ( Sui generis) and the exhibition of a solid ground to expand on the concept would be enough to sell the projects to a communauty of players that expected such initiative.

They were totally wrong about that and all their updates and following were attempts to try and catch up with the potential backers'wishes.

Coming with a project as theirs, about creating a living game world and facing potential backers speaking their first concern about story is very destabilizing.
By essence, a self generating world only provides opportunities to weave a narrative, not a story.

It showed that the developpment team was totally off target: getting a self generating universe is not a primary want of the communauty. The communauty wants all of the same old, they want stories, poorly told.

With this team coming up with an original project, they discovered there was no expectation for it, that players will demand to assess the project by the same old criteria, including story.

Reading the comments shows that: very little investigation about the core of the project (the self generating universe) and so many concerns about the story etc…
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November 27th, 2012, 11:04
While I share some of your sentiments, Chien Aboyeur, I think you are way overinterpreting their original pitch if you say they meant to create a self-generating game world (at least how I would understand the term). They promised a free form sandbox RPG, with a number of simulation elements (physics, AI, timed instead of player triggered event progression). That does not mean a self-generating game world, not even a fully developed fnatasy world simulation. And story was mentioned from the beginning - only they shot themselves in the foot by wanting to keep it under wraps and then, trying to give something without giving away anything, offering the most generic exposition ever…
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November 27th, 2012, 12:28
Whatever it was, it just got close to 18K in pledges in one day. If that keeps up for the remaining time they are going to make it

Computer n. A machine which flawlessly performs the instructions it is given, no matter how flawed those instructions may be.
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