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Default Wasteland 2 - Kickstarter Passes $270k

March 13th, 2012, 22:41
As per yesterday's post, InXile's Kickstarter campaign for Wasteland 2 is up and running and after a few hours is currently a little over $270,000 of the required $900,000 - it looks like this will be a runaway success with a over a month of pledges yet to come. Chris Avellone and Notch are among the supporters.
Here's a snip from the Kickstarter page and head over to view the video introduction and, of course, pledge:
This is your chance to influence the kind of game you want to see. With fan funding, you drive the direction of game design and development. If it is important to you, it is important to us.
This is probably the last chance for a Wasteland sequel. We have tried to pitch this game multiple times to game publishers, but they’ve balked. They don’t think there’s any interest in a solid, old school type of game. This is our shot at proving them wrong. And more importantly this could help bring back an entire genre of RPGs. The power of the Indie scene continues and we see this as all part of a bigger trend of bringing control back to the developers. […]
We’re going back to the original and building from there. No first person shooter, we’re going top down so you get a tactical feel for the situation. And we’re not ditching the party play to turn it into some hack-and-slash bloodfest. It’s turn based, tactical, with a storyline that will be deeper and broader.
We’re determined to keep the gritty, grim and satirical writing. We’re going to pitch those moral dilemmas at you. You’re going to be faced with the consequences of your actions.
We’re planning on an initial 6 months of pre-production. We’ll nail down every important element that you, our creative partners, want. Once we have all that figured out, we buckle down for 12 month development cycle. During that time, players can get a sneak peek on a private closed beta through Steam. In addition, we will be giving you constant updates and showing you our progress along the way. […]
But we’re looking ahead to what we can do if you all back this project in force. At $1.25 million, the money will go primarily into making the world bigger, adding more maps, more divergent stories and even more music.

At $1.5 million, the world gets even bigger. You’ll have more adventures to play, more challenges to deal with, and a greater level of complexity to the entire storyline. We’ll add more environments, story elements, and characters to make the rich world come alive even more. We will even be able to bring Wasteland 2 to OS X for Mac lovers. And after $1.5 million the sky is the limit.
More information.
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March 13th, 2012, 22:41
You know, there's one negative aspect of the kickstarter phenomenon that hasn't really been discussed yet, but it's starting to bother me a bit: Kickstarter projects are only feasible for fairly big-name developers, and it takes away opportunities from the indie developers. With all of the attention and funding that established developers like DoubleFine and InXile get out of kickstarter, I fear that this will once again create a massive disadvantage for indie developers attempting to create similar experiences, and it may create a situation where only established "brands" have a chance of success in the "old-school, turn-based style" genre, assuming that other established names jump in as well.

Let's see, potentially 1.5 million dollars or more of publisher-free funding for developers who are already well-established versus a small group of passionate people trying to make a similar experience with little to no budget. I suppose there's nothing "unfair" about this type of thing from a free market standpoint, but it doesn't necessarily feel right that one of the few decent markets for an indie start-up team is being taken over by mainstream developers.
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March 13th, 2012, 22:57
That is a close debate to Steam pricing. There's the obvious downside (lower prices with Steam becoming the norm, established developers getting a big slice of the crowdfunding pie) but in both cases there's the upside: rekindling interest and awareness in these kind of games. Will the ups beat the downs? Only time will tell.

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Last edited by Charles-cgr; March 13th, 2012 at 23:11.
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March 13th, 2012, 23:01
Afraid I don't agree one bit with that assessment Nerevarine. Not only are there barely any indies making RPG's - 99% of them are into making casual and "quirky" games of the type you see doing well at IGF.

But what Kickstarter is enabling us to do here is bringing decent funding levels to niche genres - not competing with indies but actually bringing back the types of games that used to get publisher funding when gaming wasn't as prevalent in the mainstream, but no longer do since publishers demand higher RoI these days.

It might be a good thing for indies that some genres are dead but it sure as hell isn't good for the fans of these genres.

Unless developers can put a decent budget behind these games we'd keep saying "We'll never see a game like [insert acclaimed RPG] again!" forever, no matter how many indie RPG's are released..
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March 13th, 2012, 23:07
There are opportunities there for indies as well. You can buy Kenshi from Gamersgate, and it gets a lot of exposure there…

I don't really know what to expect from Wasteland 2, but I do like the Kickstarter idea so I think I'll support quite a few initiatives (three so far).
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March 13th, 2012, 23:35
Originally Posted by Nerevarine View Post
You know, there's one negative aspect of the kickstarter phenomenon that hasn't really been discussed yet, but it's starting to bother me a bit: Kickstarter projects are only feasible for fairly big-name developers, and it takes away opportunities from the indie developers. With all of the attention and funding that established developers like DoubleFine and InXile get out of kickstarter, I fear that this will once again create a massive disadvantage for indie developers attempting to create similar experiences, and it may create a situation where only established "brands" have a chance of success in the "old-school, turn-based style" genre, assuming that other established names jump in as well.

Let's see, potentially 1.5 million dollars or more of publisher-free funding for developers who are already well-established versus a small group of passionate people trying to make a similar experience with little to no budget. I suppose there's nothing "unfair" about this type of thing from a free market standpoint, but it doesn't necessarily feel right that one of the few decent markets for an indie start-up team is being taken over by mainstream developers.
If well established developers are willing to make the same kind of niche games the "indies" are, only better, why care about the "indies"?
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March 13th, 2012, 23:38
Originally Posted by Nerevarine View Post
You know, there's one negative aspect of the kickstarter phenomenon that hasn't really been discussed yet, but it's starting to bother me a bit: Kickstarter projects are only feasible for fairly big-name developers, and it takes away opportunities from the indie developers. With all of the attention and funding that established developers like DoubleFine and InXile get out of kickstarter, I fear that this will once again create a massive disadvantage for indie developers attempting to create similar experiences, and it may create a situation where only established "brands" have a chance of success in the "old-school, turn-based style" genre, assuming that other established names jump in as well.

Let's see, potentially 1.5 million dollars or more of publisher-free funding for developers who are already well-established versus a small group of passionate people trying to make a similar experience with little to no budget. I suppose there's nothing "unfair" about this type of thing from a free market standpoint, but it doesn't necessarily feel right that one of the few decent markets for an indie start-up team is being taken over by mainstream developers.
It's as 'unfair' as the old model. which isn't unfair at all.

Each product needs to service a market and indies who know their market will continue do just fine if they are doing fine now.

These Big Kickstarter Games are additional developments that don't take anything away from indies. To me it's exactly these kinds of projects which need to be made possible because it's these games which used to be 'big budget games' in better times but don't have the market (anymore) which are too big for indies and to low profit for big publishers.

/// in other words what TheSisko said so much better than me ///

Also, Indie must be the most useless term in the games industry.
Last edited by JuliusMagnus; March 13th, 2012 at 23:40. Reason: credit where credit's due
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March 13th, 2012, 23:43
This has been often discussed, Nerevarine. Yes, established "personalities" have a huge advantage…is it ever any different? Are you personally more likely to invest in something made by someone you admire/follow/know with a track record or an unknown indie?

That said, good indie projects that prepare well can do very well. For example, I pledged to FTL, a space-y game that reached >800% of their target.

It's harder, no doubt, but that's natural.

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March 14th, 2012, 00:00
He really is saying all the right things… Over the next couple days I'm going to try and get my brother and a few other friends that might be interested to pledge either $50 or $100.

-EDIT-

Is it just me, or does it sound a little dirty(in a good way) towards the end?
But we’re looking ahead to what we can do if you all back this project in force. At $1.25 million…

At $1.5 million…
All I can think is - what happens at 2, 3 or 4 million?!?
Last edited by MasterKromm; March 14th, 2012 at 00:13.
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March 14th, 2012, 00:22
I have pledged 30 $ to the project. I would want to give more, but alas my wallet can't allow it for the moment. I'm going to support every RPG developer which will use crowd funding method. I think (and hope) crowd funding will be the ultimate salvation of the classic RPGs we miss so much.

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March 14th, 2012, 00:43
They've passed 375k now. It looks like they might end up getting 1/2 Million on the first day.

Anyone who doubted this is looking pretty foolish now.
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March 14th, 2012, 00:46
Well, I backed them…I think this kickstarter thing is pretty cool.

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March 14th, 2012, 00:48
I doubt but I really don't care. If the end product is good then they might get my money.

Nobody's getting my money without showing me the end product. So many things can go wrong or change during development.

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March 14th, 2012, 01:28
I love that they are doing so well. I love the idea of fans being able to contribute to a games development. I think this opens up so many possibilities. I think its a great alternative to those big gaming studios that just want to make the same cookie cutter games. I'll throw in a few bucks for this.
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March 14th, 2012, 01:50
I fully agree - and already mentioned - that there is absolutely nothing "unfair" about the way kickstarter works, and I also fully agree about some of the positive elements. As an example, I would much rather see a company like Obsidian reduce the scale of their games and use their strengths rather than futility attempt to compete with other large budgeted RPGs by producing mediocre games such as Dungeon Siege 3. Obsidian just doesn't have the talent from a technical or mechanical standpoint - unless they are using someone else's technology, such as their work on Kotor 2 and Fallout: New Vegas. Simply put, with the exception of New Vegas, Obsidian's recent game mechanics never feel up to par for a AAA developer, or even from a mid-range standpoint such as Piranha Bytes. As much as I love Alpha Protocol, my enjoyment of that game comes more from the idea of the game rather than the actual execution, where several core aspects were poorly put together, incomplete, or just poorly designed. But a simpler, lower budget game that focuses on their actual strengths? As in: writing, branching dialogue, characters, and atmosphere? Yeah, that would be a good thing, and kickstarter might be a great way for them to do just that.

Looking at it from a different angle, however, I love the idea of “fresh faces” in the RPG scene. The classic games of the past were the result of new ideas, not rehashes of what has already been done. Games like Wasteland and Planescape: Torment – two hot topics for kickstarter – were great because they dared to be different, and they were created by people who, at the time, were inspired to innovate and had a deep passion for the genre and what they were creating. Not every game has to be “innovative” to be great, but I want to see new ideas once in a while. Indie startups have not reached their peak yet, and games like Dead State, Frayed Knights, and Age of Decadence are the type of game in this “old school, turn-based” genre that I want to see. These aren’t just rehashes of previous games, developed by “has-beens” clinging to past glories looking for a cash-in based on their prior reputation; they provide a fresh take on classic RPG design and combine tried and true mechanics with new innovations and a healthy amount of creativity.

That’s why I feel a bit uneasy having this genre invaded by mainstream guys like Brian Fargo, who has lost his touch and hasn’t done anything of note in ages. This can’t be blamed purely on publishers, either; this is a far too convenient cop-out used to excuse outright bad game design and poor creative decisions. Besides, wasn’t it InXile who said just last year that turn-based games “always wanted to be action games” and that older games weren’t created as such purely because of technical limitations? Gee, they sure changed their tone when a cash-in opportunity came about… Many of the names being tossed around for kickstarter have me uneasy because they have been involved in the business side for far too long. I just have a cynical feeling that guys like Fargo don’t see anything more than a business opportunity, one that allows them to make a tidy profit off of a game funded by the players, rather than seeing an opportunity to make a game inspired by passion, creativity, and a love of RPGs. These guys are experts at catering to the crowd, and they have said all the right things regarding Wasteland 2 – just as they said all the right things when trying to sell Hunted: The Demon’s Forge. The possibility exists that they are merely exploiting a very loyal and passionate fan-base, rather than making something that is heartfelt, and that’s why part of me would rather see this niche served by people who legitimately care about the genre.

With all that being said, those are just my concerns about this whole kisckstarter thing, but I don’t have an entirely negative view on the idea – far from it, in fact. In addition to my worries, I also see a lot of great potential that can come out of projects like this as well. Who knows – the increased visibility of this sub-genre may end up helping indie startups in the long run. For now, I’ll take a wait and see approach and hope for the best.
Last edited by Nerevarine; March 14th, 2012 at 02:02.
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March 14th, 2012, 02:19
Originally Posted by Nerevarine View Post
Besides, wasn’t it InXile who said just last year that turn-based games “always wanted to be action games” and that older games weren’t created as such purely because of technical limitations? Gee, they sure changed their tone when a cash-in opportunity came about…
Uhh, do some more reading mate. You'll find that it was one particular individual who made this statement and it hardly seems fair to colour an entire company on the basis of one person's opinion. Contrarily, if you read other interviews of the past, you'll also see that Brian has generally speaking pined for the old-school RPG styles of yesteryear.
Originally Posted by Nerevarine View Post
Obsidian just doesn't have the talent from a technical or mechanical standpoint - unless they are using someone else's technology, such as their work on Kotor 2 and Fallout: New Vegas.
I'm not sure how you can make blanket statements like this one as I certainly don't see anyone here being in a position to make such a judgment or take accurate measurements of "talent". To use the word you used at start of your post…it seems a little "unfair".

We're up to 411 K as I write this on the Wasteland 2 Kickstarter, almost half way to the required 900. Must say, I am really amazed and impressed at how fast it's going. Perhaps there will be a trickle effect in the coming weeks, but at this stage it's showing no sign of stopping. I must admit, I was very skeptical to begin with on this kickstarter concept and with InXile's will to see this through, but the hope seems to be slightly contagious. It's a definitely fascinating phase for game development and the models for doing business.

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March 14th, 2012, 03:29
You also have to remember that while 1 million bucks isn't exactly indie territory, its not even close to AAA territory.
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March 14th, 2012, 03:35
Originally Posted by CrazyIrish View Post
You also have to remember that while 1 million bucks isn't exactly indie territory, its not even close to AAA territory.
Out of curiosity, how much did games like Baldur's Gate, Fallout 1/2, etc cost to make, does anyone know?
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March 14th, 2012, 03:55
Hmmm, no…I have no idea how much they cost to make, but it's not really a fair comparison any more since time have changed since then. 1 million will be enough to get good artwork and sound easily. I think they will surpass that amount at the moment though.

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March 14th, 2012, 04:04
Originally Posted by bagelobo View Post
Out of curiosity, how much did games like Baldur's Gate, Fallout 1/2, etc cost to make, does anyone know?
While it's not the same genre, it was from the same era or so- Wing Commander IV cost roughly 12 million to make.
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