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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Original Sin - Kickstarting the CRPG Genre

Default Original Sin - Kickstarting the CRPG Genre

May 20th, 2013, 11:40
Planetivy has a article about Original Sin were the writer gives his opinion on how kickstarters are reviving CRPG's.
It’s difficult nowadays for developers to stay faithful to their games and to their audiences. Like the Scarlet Pimpernel it seems they’re lured in by the first bit of frilly trim or flash of thigh they see. Except in the case of the gaming industry it’s usually a large production company offering lots of cash and game-breaking deadlines, rather than a beautiful woman sporting polkadots. That’s why Kickstarter is so bloody great – it cuts out the middle-monster (that’s you EA) and brings games back to the people. You fund what you like. If enough people fund it, it gets made and the developers are responsible to you, not a corporate entity that thinks quicktime events are an engaging gameplay mechanic

Why are we returning to games of the past? One indie dev recently suggested that it’s because the developers of today were the children of yesterday. They grew up with these games and now, given the opportunity through projects such as Kickstarter and Steam’s Greenlight, they’re able to recreate them for the next generation of gamers. It could also be that, compared to the likes of Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty, these games have small budgets, and with small budgets there often simply isn’t the option for advanced graphics. Some other part of the game has to shine brighter than a spit-shined star, and lucky for us it seems to be the gameplay. And where better to look for tips on creating great gameplay and stories than the 90s: the home of pages of unspoken dialogue, bloodthirsty forest nymphs and, well, Peter Andre’s short lived singing career. But we’ll forget about that.
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Last edited by Couchpotato; May 20th, 2013 at 12:11.
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May 20th, 2013, 11:40
"If enough people fund it, it gets made and the developers are responsible to you…". And how are they responsible to you ? As in "They screwed it so I won't buy it" ? Nope, you already bought it buddy ! There's not a slight bit of responsabilitiy, at least no more than with a traditional game and the only way to show your reprobation is not to buy an hypothetical upcoming product from the same company. How advantageous is this ?!
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May 20th, 2013, 12:05
Kickstarting: It' all about trust to the developers and the only way to avoid the men in suits - the big managers of casual game companies.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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May 20th, 2013, 15:39
HiddenX puts it into the right words.

If we don't want the "suitmen" to taker over gaming, Kickstarter et. al. is our only possible way of Refuge - or of Rebellion. Or of even both.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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May 20th, 2013, 18:25
Really getting tired of these claims that it wasn't the developers themselves that got greedy and sold out (or attempted to, since most of them fell flat on their faces) but rather some guys in suits who worked in the big city, who took advantage of some naive devs who were full of themselves and thought they deserved to be properly rewarded as the gaming gods they were, but were unfortunately cursed with a niche market space. The only reason anyone believes this narrative is that they aren't old enough to remember or choose not to remember, as they chose not to notice while it was happening. The devs got greedy FIRST, and then when they failed and found they had nothing to fall back on because they'd abandoned their core market, that's when they got bought out or otherwise fell under the control of the evil suited and moneyed ones. Because they were desperate and broke and didn't have any other options.

Kickstarter is a good alternative to the traditional venture capitalist approach for startups. It also gives industry retreads a second chance. However, Kickstarter is not going to prevent history from repeating itself.
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May 20th, 2013, 22:20
Originally Posted by CraigCWB View Post
Really getting tired of these claims that it wasn't the developers themselves that got greedy and sold out (or attempted to, since most of them fell flat on their faces) but rather some guys in suits who worked in the big city, who took advantage of some naive devs who were full of themselves and thought they deserved to be properly rewarded as the gaming gods they were, but were unfortunately cursed with a niche market space. The only reason anyone believes this narrative is that they aren't old enough to remember or choose not to remember, as they chose not to notice while it was happening. The devs got greedy FIRST, and then when they failed and found they had nothing to fall back on because they'd abandoned their core market, that's when they got bought out or otherwise fell under the control of the evil suited and moneyed ones. Because they were desperate and broke and didn't have any other options.

Kickstarter is a good alternative to the traditional venture capitalist approach for startups. It also gives industry retreads a second chance. However, Kickstarter is not going to prevent history from repeating itself.
As romantic as the notion of a starving artist is, the rich artist is much preferred. You can't really blame devs, most of which started with next to nothing, for trying to cash out. I'd do it in a heart beat and laugh at all the nerd rage on forums about it.
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May 20th, 2013, 22:38
Originally Posted by Korplem View Post
As romantic as the notion of a starving artist is, the rich artist is much preferred. You can't really blame devs, most of which started with next to nothing, for trying to cash out. I'd do it in a heart beat and laugh at all the nerd rage on forums about it.
You'd try and you'd fail, just like they all did. It turns out that it's not so easy from spoiled programmers who've been used to being treated like they're special and who've been making high-brow products for an eclectic audience to switch over to cranking out trivial rapidly developed products for the mass market, and one of the most painful parts of the learning curve for attempting this is going from 10% (for instance) percentage of profits (admittedly on low volume, relatively speaking) as your compensation, to being a salaried employee, where your salary is only slightly higher than the office manager's. And where do you go from there? You go onto the forums and nerd rage about how the men in suits ruined your career, do you not?

And then along comes kickstarter…

Arrogance is a given, but perhaps it's not so bad that devs can't learn from their own past mistakes. At least in some cases. I'm hoping that's so, at any rate. Otherwise Kickstarter is just going to be a new way for people to do the same old shit.
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May 20th, 2013, 22:59
Originally Posted by CraigCWB View Post
You'd try and you'd fail, just like they all did. It turns out that it's not so easy from spoiled programmers who've been used to being treated like they're special and who've been making high-brow products for an eclectic audience to switch over to cranking out trivial rapidly developed products for the mass market, and one of the most painful parts of the learning curve for attempting this is going from 10% (for instance) percentage of profits (admittedly on low volume, relatively speaking) as your compensation, to being a salaried employee, where your salary is only slightly higher than the office manager's. And where do you go from there? You go onto the forums and nerd rage about how the men in suits ruined your career, do you not?

And then along comes kickstarter…

Arrogance is a given, but perhaps it's not so bad that devs can't learn from their own past mistakes. At least in some cases. I'm hoping that's so, at any rate. Otherwise Kickstarter is just going to be a new way for people to do the same old shit.
Haha, ok, yeah, in that case you'd be right. However, the Bio docs seem to have done it the right way - even if that wasn't their intention or goal. They cashed out and left. That's how it's done.
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May 21st, 2013, 12:33
You can be too cynical. You have to judge each Kickstarter on it's own merits - there are always going to be some party poopers and opportunists. In general though it looks as if some of the funding is getting directed in the right direction without being leeched off by unnecessary intermediaries.
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May 21st, 2013, 23:42
Originally Posted by Roq View Post
You can be too cynical. You have to judge each Kickstarter on it's own merits - there are always going to be some party poopers and opportunists. In general though it looks as if some of the funding is getting directed in the right direction without being leeched off by unnecessary intermediaries.
Precisely. It's a lot like the independent film industry.

One of the biggest benefits of Kickstarter seems to be the ability to fund niche products. KS is unlikely to do away with the AAA title approach, but we will end up with more product variety and some creative innovation along the way. Plus KS may end up feeding the big budget projects with fresh talent who may otherwise go unrecognized.
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