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Default Shadowrun Returns - Passes $1M, New Update

April 16th, 2012, 11:32
Originally Posted by Ithilien View Post
That's the way it used to be, and that is the way I want it.
Like when I bought the Baldur's Gate 2 Collectors Edition and it came with a freeÖOh, snap!

Originally Posted by jhwisner View Post
Maybe I missed the posts where people said that specifically, but it seems to be somewhat of a strawman. I thought were saying they don't and won't support this sort of bonus for whatever reason - and any message they wanted to send was directed to the devs and to that effect rather than being some political statement to the larger industry.
I hate when people call strawman - just make your point. I quote from just a couple of posts above:

For me crowd-funding is partly about showing the established gaming studios that I'm not happy with them, and that I'm looking elsewhere when spending my money.

Originally Posted by bjon045 View Post
Ummm, no they don't. There is only a handful of games that have cost over 50 million in the entire history of gamingÖ The typical funding is around 15-20 million dollars for a AAA game.

1-3 Million dollars of "no strings attached" and "in advance" funding is a HUGE deal. The other important thing to realise is that there is still room for growth. Imagine what is going to happen if something like Wasteland 2 or Shadowrun Returns turns out to be an awesome game and sell like hotcakes. Kickstarting could well become the norm and as it becomes better known the amounts being pledged could easily climb to 5 million plus. I think that is very exciting.
I'm talking from a sales potential perspective, where major publishers are looking for revenue in the hundreds of millions of dollars. I'm sure they have looked at this as a curiosity - but I'm also sure they have decided this has no relevance to their major markets. These projects - almost by definition - are hardcore, niche products that will have limited production values. Attempts to go more mainstream with Kickstarter will mostly fail, because the mainstream has little reason to engage with Kickstarter.

Wasteland 2 won't sell millions of copies (in my opinion) and EA won't care that inXile may never approach them to develop a title again.

That doesn't make it any less exciting for the enthusiast - I think we're totally in a new world for niche games, which is hugely exciting but it doesn't send a message that major publishers will care about.

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April 16th, 2012, 11:42
Oh, I think it definitely has the potential to send a message they will care about.

But it will take time - AND it will not necessarily come true.

The message will be: "You don't necessarily have to dumb down everything to make a profit - and you don't necessarily need to shower the audience with vast marketing campaigns and production values."

However, if they keep insisting on huge budgets and huge returns, then Kickstarter won't matter.

I just think there's a balance to be found, and I think that balance could work with a publisher model. From my point of view, it's perception that makes it impossible - not reality.
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April 16th, 2012, 12:39
Quite an expensive additionnal content.

Started with the $400,000, later, to be increased to $600,000 then $1,000,000. Each time with new promises.

Now, new target:$1,500,000. Increase by one half and for what? An additional quest?

They want to nearly quadruple their starting budget expectations to deliver one additional quest? Project might go off track because they will add much more than that with such an increase in budget.
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April 16th, 2012, 13:11
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
The message will be: "You don't necessarily have to dumb down everything to make a profit - and you don't necessarily need to shower the audience with vast marketing campaigns and production values."
It's not about making profit, it's about making HUUUUGE profit. And for that they will do everything (dumbing down things if necessary) no matter what. So I don't think they care at all, if only for developers leaving the big studios (that keep pumping out the games for the masses) to pursue their own ideas.
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April 16th, 2012, 13:15
Originally Posted by srabuseen View Post
It's not about making profit, it's about making HUUUUGE profit. And for that they will do everything (dumbing down things if necessary) no matter what. So I don't think they care at all, if only for developers leaving the big studios (that keep pumping out the games for the masses) to pursue their own ideas.
Oh, I know that's a common trend. I don't think it has to be that way, though.

If you can make 10 games with a decent profit, it's potentially as good (or even better) than making 2 games with a huge profit. Also, it could potentially be less risky and the outcome easier to control.

Again, I think it's perception over reality.
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April 16th, 2012, 14:06
Well I think the first part of your statement is quite true, but there's a reason most publishers don't go in that direction. Making numerous small titles is not possible (or at least, easy) for publishers like EA or Activision. Simply put, they can not afford it.
Not all small games are as prolific as wasteland 2 or Shadowrun Returns, or have a dedicated cult. Any publisher investing in a new game needs a huge advertising campaign to promote it, with enough jaw-dropping material to create a cult even before the game is released. Small games are not worth those advertising campaigns and they don't pack enough punch to attract potential buyers 'before' they become famous.
Some publishers continue to publish small games, Rayman Origins is a good example. But that's as far as it goes, because most small titles do not have the luxury of having a cult behind them.
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April 16th, 2012, 14:10
It constantly amazes me that the only alternative to a huge AAA blockbuster is "small title".

My very point is that I think there's a balance - which is somewhere between huge and small.

Kickstarter has the potential to position itself there, but it would lean towards the smaller title.

I think there's a middle-market ripe for the taking, and for that I think the publisher model is still required.
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April 16th, 2012, 14:24
I really don't care about all this chit-chat about the reward levels and unique content and DLC, and the new funding paradigm or whatever. Who the fuck cares? THERE IS A SHADOWRUN CRPG BEING MADE!
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April 16th, 2012, 15:06
I wish someone would kickstart ultima underworld or betrayal at krondor. Now thats a project I might put few euros.

ďI've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.Ē - Maya Angelou
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April 16th, 2012, 15:51
I learned in marriage counseling that telling someone their feelings are incorrect or invalid is wrong and just leads to arguing and anger instead of happiness and fulfillment.

If people think the reward scheme is wrong and want to stop the trend what is a better way to get their point across besides pulling funding? Why would anyone advocate people spending money on something they dislike and disprove of?

I funded this game because I want t play it. If tomorrow they said the combat would be RTwP I would cancel my preorder in a second. I have not funded Wasteland 2 because they fail to state that the combat will be TB, which means combat will be RTwP. I will bet money on it. Iíll burn in the fiery depths of hell before I fund a RTwP product. And I will also burn in hell before giving money to misleading developers who skate around the issue instead of addressing it.

Most people would say, ďNo big deal. The combat will be tactical, yackityy smackityy. Etc.Ē Iíve played almost every cprg and Iíve never played a game with RTwP that didnít have an overabundance of dramatically easy combat that was, for the most part, extremely hands-off and shitty. As an old-school TB fan I would rather have twitch combat far, far more than RTwP. RTwP means combat will be more about fighting poor pathing and quirky mechanics and waiting for boring shit, and watching combat instead of engaging in combat. TB and twitch means participate in combat. I donít want to watch games; I want to play them.

I guarantee if WL2 developers had the balls to announce they were going RTwP before the end of the funding time and people cancelled, the same dickheads would say that was invalid and the people pulling their backing were wrong to do so. Yet, if I am going to spend most of my game time in combat, why would I want it to suck and be for fucking idiots? If Iím not a barely functioning retard why would I want combat directed at barley functioning retards? RTwP ruins games. It makes what could have been good games absolute shit. And the last thing I need is barely functioning retards telling me Iím the idiot for not spending my money on things I donít like. That makes me want to shove my genitals in peopleís orifices in a non-sexual but emotional scaring and humiliating manner.

If people donít want to spend their money on funding a game because of the reward scheme maybe a little understanding will go a long way. Just like when my wife tells me I am not emotionally supportive I shouldnít get defensive and start name calling. I should explore the reasons for her feelings and try to understand where she is coming from to break our cycle of arguing and depravity.
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April 16th, 2012, 16:43
Originally Posted by Unrestigered View Post
I have not funded Wasteland 2 because they fail to state that the combat will be TB, which means combat will be RTwP. I will bet money on it. Iíll burn in the fiery depths of hell before I fund a RTwP product. And I will also burn in hell before giving money to misleading developers who skate around the issue instead of addressing it.
I haven't followed this so closely, but this surprised me. The W2 Kickstarter page clearly states:
"Itís turn based, tactical, with a storyline that will be deeper and broader."
I considered that to be a clear commitment to TB. Is it not?

(Sorry wrong thread for this discussion, but I'd be curious anyway.)
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April 16th, 2012, 17:03
Originally Posted by bjon045 View Post
Kickstarting could well become the norm and as it becomes better known the amounts being pledged could easily climb to 5 million plus. I think that is very exciting.
By the end of the month we will likely see at least one Kickstarter project climb to 5 million and, by the end of its funding window, possibly well beyond that. It's not a game, but the "Pebble" has reached over 3 million with 32 days left of funding. It has also been very widely and enthusiastically covered by the press - and has been covered by more non-gaming press than the previous kickstarter campaigns we've noted.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/…ne-and-android

In terms of a new form of entrepreneurship, Kickstarting seems incredibly viable. Small teams of designers and engineers can, if they have a desirable enough product in mind, completely bypass the large firms which traditionally act as gatekeepers to the wider market. With this sort of money available to back projects like these, it does not seem that this is likely to be a simple fad as long as the first big products to come out of this are not highly visible flops. Obviously if the output of such endeavors is shit then the potential and promise of Kickstarter will pale in comparison to the disappointment and feelings of betrayal backers will have.

In some cases however the products actually already exist or are nearly complete and the funding has only been required to finalize the project and secure publishing/production resources. In one case I know of, FTL, the backers have already had the opportunity to play a limited open beta on one-live before actually chosing to back the game at all. Other mostly finished or more substantially demonstrated products include the following, either well past or just about to their equivalent "beta" statuses:

D-Day Dice Board Game
Zpocalypse Zombie Survival Board Game
FTL - Space Combat Rouguelike

Products like these (and the Pebble) will be out far sooner than the more speculative projects such as the games we have been discussing as of late. Their success - in the case of the three listed above at least - seems pretty much assured as the products have been demonstrated/played at expos and in small groups for quite some time and are not vaporware.

The success (or failure) of the Pebble is probably going to be the single most important factor in determining how serious Kickstarter is viewed by potential backers and entrepreneurs as a way to do business; it is likely to be one of the most visible large projects releasing their product in the relatively near future (4th quarter of this year.) If the quality, reliability, and app selection are solid then it will be a huge boost to the perception of the Kickstarter model; if it is a disaster though then it will be the first story many tech-savvy potential backers are going to remember when they think about kickstarter.
Last edited by jhwisner; April 16th, 2012 at 17:21.
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April 16th, 2012, 18:59
Originally Posted by Unrestigered View Post
I learned in marriage counseling that telling someone their feelings are incorrect or invalid is wrong and just leads to arguing and anger instead of happiness and fulfillment.

Just as I said in my earlier post, I find the backlash to the backlash amusing and frankly surprising. It's like some folks hear are saying we don't have the right to be upset. And I just find that bewildering.
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April 16th, 2012, 19:31
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
I hate when people call strawman - just make your point. I quote from just a couple of posts above:

For me crowd-funding is partly about showing the established gaming studios that I'm not happy with them, and that I'm looking elsewhere when spending my money.
After looking through 10 pages of comments on the kickstarter page I found none which claimed they were motivated by a desire to send a message to EA (though a few suggested they wanted to state they were against this practice in general - something very different), none that called the practice evil and none that urged others to pull out. After 10 pages of comments, characterizing the complaints about the reward item as such seemed to be a very disingenuous straw-man and in those pages the only time the arguments were cast thusly was by those decrying them. This is why I asked for people to point out those arguments.

Since then I have managed to find a few arguments that approach those sentiments (one or two conveniently in this thread), so yes I was wrong to see it as a straw-man argument. It's just a disproportional response to a small number of disproportional responses. Only a few of those who actually have a personal dislike for the reward took this hyperbolic bent, but vehement and angry disagreement to this tiny fraction of the response seems to be consuming most of the posts in support of the content and hilariously most of the responses calling it a bad idea as well - including mine. Rather than some disingenuous rhetorical cliche it might have seemed to you - to "call strawman"-, this was just an honest oversight. It was the perception I had after reading through a large number of posts, which admittedly were still far too few and gave me an incomplete picture of the discussion.
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April 16th, 2012, 20:11
it would seem many live in either a "dog eat dog" world or a "fed with a silver spoon" one. kickstarter is a FUNDRAISING model first most, not a business model, and any comment or opinion that doesn't take that into account is trying to swim in the sky.

this also reflects that while the internet is full of possiblities it is also shows that many are even less "helpful" than they are towards others in the real world.

internet=selfish 2.0.

roqua your post is interesting and certainly valid from your perspective. it also a keen insight into why you like nothing but turn based. your thoughts/posts are very structured and to the point and i imagine that you are the type of person who hate being interupted before "your turn" is up.

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April 16th, 2012, 20:32
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
It constantly amazes me that the only alternative to a huge AAA blockbuster is "small title".

My very point is that I think there's a balance - which is somewhere between huge and small.

Kickstarter has the potential to position itself there, but it would lean towards the smaller title.

I think there's a middle-market ripe for the taking, and for that I think the publisher model is still required.
I am not sure if you are talking about the scope (or development cycle) of the game or the budget and marketing strategies. Just wanted to check to be sure, because I was talking about advertising/marketing.
If by huge, small and average, you are referring to the amount of effort put into the development of a game, or size of a game, or size of the development team, then I must say 'average game' is not something new. Those average games exits today and there are numerous examples to support this claim.

But when we are talking about AAA titles, it's obvious it's not about size and effort, but the budget. Most alleged AAA titles are short, disappointing and lackluster games. The most important difference between an AAA and a small title is budget, and because of obvious reasons, you can't aim for something between. Let's say while game size is subject to a linear growth, required budget will increase exponentially. Add a minor new feature to a 'small' title, and it will turn into an AAA title.
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April 16th, 2012, 20:39
Originally Posted by blackcanopus View Post
I am not sure if you are talking about the scope (or development cycle) of the game or the budget and marketing strategies. Just wanted to check to be sure, because I was talking about advertising/marketing.
If by huge, small and average, you are referring to the amount of effort put into the development of a game, or size of a game, or size of the development team, then I must say 'average game' is not something new. Those average games exits today and there are numerous examples to support this claim.

But when we are talking about AAA titles, it's obvious it's not about size and effort, but budget. Most alleged AAA titles are short, disappointing and lackluster games. The most important difference between an AAA and a small title is budget, and because of obvious reason, you can't aim for something between. Let's say while game size is subject to linear growth, required budget will increase exponentially.
I'm not saying it's new. I'm saying publishers who usually fund AAA-level games could potentially profit similarly from this middle-market.

So, I'm talking about the budget and how it's being spent. My claim is that if you take a typical AAA budget and divide it into 3-5 smaller budgets - and you focused on content/gameplay rather than marketing and production values, there's a largely untapped market there.

Games like Risen 2 and Divinity 2 are examples of games with the kind of budget and focus I'm talking about, and it puzzles me why companies like Zenimax and EA aren't backing games of this type.
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April 16th, 2012, 20:39
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Such a shame that gamers have overreacted to what was intended to be a positive offering. There is absolutely no relationship between a reward for backers before development even starts and the sort of DLC people want to protest. Communication is the way to go.

By the way, there is no message to EA in the Kickstarter process. Major publishers operate in the hundreds of millions. The petty 1M raised by this project is irrelevant. Further, injuring the project in protest of a well-meaning gesture to send a message to EA is just bizarre.
Well said.
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April 16th, 2012, 20:59
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I'm not saying it's new. I'm saying publishers who usually fund AAA-level games could potentially profit similarly from this middle-market.

So, I'm talking about the budget and how it's being spent. My claim is that if you take a typical AAA budget and divide it into 3-5 smaller budgets - and you focused on content/gameplay rather than marketing and production values, there's a largely untapped market there.

Games like Risen 2 and Divinity 2 are examples of games with the kind of budget and focus I'm talking about, and it puzzles me why companies like Zenimax and EA aren't backing games of this type.
It's untapped, but also a niche market to be sure. The profit/budget ratio of Risen is not as desirable as Skyrim. Moreover, AAA titles rely on sequels, because the development cost/advertising budget of an AAA title pays off with sequels. It's wiser to have a huge game, with a million sequels and spin-offs, rather than 10 average, innovative, interesting but forgettable titles.
I think AAA is overrated, it's just an average game with a huge budget and a gazillion sequels, the kind of game that fans pick up blindly, without asking questions.
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April 16th, 2012, 21:05
A lot of people just assume that the devs only have the best intentions, yet they haven't even bothered to answer a set of interview questions from RPGcodex. Do they care about what the RPG community wants, do they have a true passion or do they just want to make a quick buck? As for injuring a project by withdrawing a pledge, I don't see it.

And obviously I don't think that Shadowrun alone will send a message to EA (I don't even have much belief in the project). Having said that, for the price of one copy of Kingdoms of Amelur you can fund five Kickstarter projects, and who's to say that within a year or two we won't see Kickstarter projects amassing $10 million or so? And that is just the crowd funding - there is nothing that says the devs can't put something into the project themself (like the people behind Grim Dawn have), and then you have the money from sales after the release….

For me the dream project would be to unearth a game or two such as Mount & Blade. Or perhaps a new Gothic?
Last edited by Ithilien; April 16th, 2012 at 21:16.
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