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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Obsidian Entertainment - Project Eternity - $1.4M, First Stretch Goal Unlocked

Default Obsidian Entertainment - Project Eternity - $1.4M, First Stretch Goal Unlocked

September 17th, 2012, 10:05
Project Eternity's Kickstarter has just ticked past $1.4M, meaning the first stretch goal has been unlocked:
1.4 million, New Playable Race, Class, and Companion!
Expands your options for character creation and adds a companion of the new class.
Next stop, at $1.6M, is…
1.6 million, a Mac Version of Project Eternity and The Story Grows!
We've listened and we’ll make a Mac version of the game at this tier. We're also going to add a new major storyline along with new quests, locations, NPCs, and unique loot (special histories everyone?).
While we're here, J.E. Sawyer's Formspring is normally full of questions about the types of ammo in F:NV but now there are a few useful tidbits for Project Eternity. First off, we might be hearing about party size soon:
I am writing up some basics on party size/composition that will hopefully answer some of your other questions.
On the player-house goal:
OP: To answer your question, we believe player houses serve a basic utilitarian purpose in RPGs. We like using them and would like to have them in PE. They require work to implement, but the $ of the goal is not meant to indicate $ spent on that feature.
Okay, but I hope it's obvious that the spacing of stretch goals does not map 1:1 with dollars spent for features. A house is not the equivalent of a region, faction, and companion. They are listed w/ =$ increments for fundraising pacing purposes.
In my mind, a player "house" is something like The Sink. A player stronghold would be something like Crossroad Keep, with much more in-depth strategic gameplay.
…and being early in development:
The problem inherent with this is that we're still very early in development. Designing systems takes time. I would rather be general and risk some frustration than be specific at this stage in the process.
More information.
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September 17th, 2012, 10:05
personally I wouldn't fund any stretch goals.

You've picked a date for the release right? then you add stretch goals for the same release date.

I just want it polished, not a swiss army knife
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September 17th, 2012, 10:22
I say a mac-version is important. Many old PC-gamers have taken the jump to mac and the game market for Macintosh have grown. Since the game targets computer users rather than consoles having a Mac version expands the market quite a bit and shouldn't be too hard to make either since Mac runs standardized PC hardware these days.

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September 17th, 2012, 10:34
Originally Posted by borcanu View Post
personally I wouldn't fund any stretch goals.

You've picked a date for the release right? then you add stretch goals for the same release date.

I just want it polished, not a swiss army knife
Then the funds will dry up - it's an inherent part of the Kickstarter model.

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September 17th, 2012, 13:38
Originally Posted by borcanu View Post
personally I wouldn't fund any stretch goals.

You've picked a date for the release right? then you add stretch goals for the same release date.

I just want it polished, not a swiss army knife
They already have their dungeon siege 3 engine which they said in the past they will use and that will give them time to focus on story. Regarding stretch goals, they can employ more people with the extra money to do more work and meet the release date.

I remember an interview with Chris Avellone in the past where he mentions that they need about $1m every 6 months to keep the company. So with about £2m from Kickstarter they can do the work in a year and use the rest of the time for testing/debugging (and they are normally not very good at that!).
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September 17th, 2012, 13:47
The whole problem I see on the internet is criticizing something that isn't even released yet. Noone is forced to fund/invest in the project, if you're not happy with it, okay, let us who want that game happen to back it up and you wait for the final release then buy it if you want, thank you. Also anyone who thinks it's a fraud or something can always cancel his pledge (till the deadline).
I just hope the project will get more millions that would guarantee a prequel or a sequel, wouldn't want to see another Jade Empire or Anachronox case.
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September 17th, 2012, 14:01
I rather they didn't use the dungeon siege engine; while I thought the game was better than most; it definitely was not designed for the pc nor is it really designed for open world exploration.
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September 17th, 2012, 15:11
Originally Posted by you View Post
I rather they didn't use the dungeon siege engine; while I thought the game was better than most; it definitely was not designed for the pc nor is it really designed for open world exploration.
Well, they can tweak, I certainly hope they tweak it! Especially the camera.
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September 17th, 2012, 15:14
Originally Posted by you View Post
I rather they didn't use the dungeon siege engine; while I thought the game was better than most; it definitely was not designed for the pc nor is it really designed for open world exploration.
The game engine have nothing to do with the game UI/map design. South Park: The Stick of Truth also use the Onyx Engine and it doesn't look like DS3. It's a 2D "side-scroller"…
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September 17th, 2012, 15:31
Originally Posted by borcanu View Post
personally I wouldn't fund any stretch goals.

You've picked a date for the release right? then you add stretch goals for the same release date.

I just want it polished, not a swiss army knife
I guess with more money they'll put more people on the project (I highly doubt all of Obisidian will work on Project Eternity). And with the added man-hours they can create more stuff and still keep the deadline. So while I'm not particularly thrilled with the mentioned stretch goals, they also don't bother me.
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September 17th, 2012, 15:35
People are going crazy over this. Look at the $5k pledges! Obsidian better turn out something utterly fabulous or their rep will be toast.

(I got caught up in the euphoria and pledged $140. Gah! What was I thinking!!)
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September 17th, 2012, 17:05
Originally Posted by abharsair View Post
I guess with more money they'll put more people on the project …
Well, with "extra" $$ to work with (and no heavy-handed corporate suits to bully them into releasing too soon), we should have a technically clean game, free of major bugs and platform issues, right?…. RIGHT?!

I hope so… <gulp>
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September 17th, 2012, 17:07
You can change your pledge anytime before it gets funded, Bill. I haven't pledged yet, but I was thinking $140 or $250. Can't make up my mind….I've not backed a KS yet, so I don't mind a bigger plunge. I really like the openess of Obsidian. Josh and Chris and the gang are very approachable.

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September 17th, 2012, 17:31
Apparently DS3 was quite bug free. It is their most recent game…

With Project Eternity, nothing stop them from delaying the game release if it needs more QA. They have all the control over that part of the schedule.
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September 17th, 2012, 17:42
I like the idea behind the whole 'kickstarter' idea. The notion that someone or a group of people can propose an idea for a game and then get funded directly by their customers while utterly sidestepping publishers seems like a really good idea. Especially these days when publishers push the idea of ‘accessibility’ on every mainstream RPG.

For so long now, many of us have been craving our own particular brand of 'RPG' that can only be satisfied by 'indie' developers or even mainstream developers (as is the case with Project Eternity) as long as the developers are truly free to make the game they imagine.

But I do have some reservations - and these reservations may be due to my own ignorance because honestly I have not read or even tried to educate myself on the finer details of the 'kickstarter' business model.

My first and biggest reservation is that the kickstarter model, on a purely money basis, seems to too heavily favor the developer. The money comes in, not as a loan, but as a ‘payment’ or perhaps ‘gift?’ When developers have to deal with money provided by a publisher, it comes as a loan and will have to be paid back plus any percentages agreed upon from sales. This structure puts a pretty big fire under the developer to perform if they want to see any return for themselves. That isn't to say that this is the only pressure (because pride and a sense of obligation can do the same) that could spur a developer to perform but it is a big one.

Next I would have to say that once anyone funds a kickstarter in excess of $250 USD, what they materially get in return really won't match the money they paid out. Since this is purely a voluntary process that's a choice people can make. But I would imagine that if you take a large amount of money from someone (let's put it at $1,000 USD or higher but you can use whatever number you think is best) that their interest in the project would be more than the perks typically outlined in the kickstarter model. I know that if I ever gave $1k or more, I'd want to know how my investment is performing, much like any other investment - with quarterly financial reports - to make sure that everything is on the up and up. This would be of particular importance to me because the materiel return would never match the cash outlay and I would like to feel as certain as possible that the game will actually see the light of day and not simply be told one day that the money dried up and the project died.

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September 17th, 2012, 17:57
Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
I like the idea behind the whole 'kickstarter' idea. The notion that someone or a group of people can propose an idea for a game and then get funded directly by their customers while utterly sidestepping publishers seems like a really good idea. Especially these days when publishers push the idea of ‘accessibility’ on every mainstream RPG.

For so long now, many of us have been craving our own particular brand of 'RPG' that can only be satisfied by 'indie' developers or even mainstream developers (as is the case with Project Eternity) as long as the developers are truly free to make the game they imagine.

But I do have some reservations - and these reservations may be due to my own ignorance because honestly I have not read or even tried to educate myself on the finer details of the 'kickstarter' business model.

My first and biggest reservation is that the kickstarter model, on a purely money basis, seems to too heavily favor the developer. The money comes in, not as a loan, but as a ‘payment’ or perhaps ‘gift?’ When developers have to deal with money provided by a publisher, it comes as a loan and will have to be paid back plus any percentages agreed upon from sales. This structure puts a pretty big fire under the developer to perform if they want to see any return for themselves. That isn't to say that this is the only pressure (because pride and a sense of obligation can do the same) that could spur a developer to perform but it is a big one.

Next I would have to say that once anyone funds a kickstarter in excess of $250 USD, what they materially get in return really won't match the money they paid out. Since this is purely a voluntary process that's a choice people can make. But I would imagine that if you take a large amount of money from someone (let's put it at $1,000 USD or higher but you can use whatever number you think is best) that their interest in the project would be more than the perks typically outlined in the kickstarter model. I know that if I ever gave $1k or more, I'd want to know how my investment is performing, much like any other investment - with quarterly financial reports - to make sure that everything is on the up and up. This would be of particular importance to me because the materiel return would never match the cash outlay and I would like to feel as certain as possible that the game will actually see the light of day and not simply be told one day that the money dried up and the project died.
I had a brief discussion with one of the devs on their forum about this very thing. I believe the next evolution of Kickstarter (or some similar group) will be an actual return on your investment— if only the money you initially invested/gifted. Instead of investing in a company via the usual channels, you invest in the specific game.

Their answer was that a project like PE will be so closely budgeted (income vs cost to produce plus Amazon's 5%) that expecting much profit at all isn't realistic. I get that. But at some point someone's going to have a game idea, get it funded by the public, and the game will hit big commercially. That game company will make a mint and now have a successful intellectual property that was funded entirely from donations. In that case, it would be nice to get a percentage of your initial gift/investment returned.

Ultimately, it could make for a great partnership between game company and gamer community. The developer can then take more risks (which they can't do with masters like EA looking over their shoulder) and the gaming community can get the niche games they want. If the game makes money in the process, perhaps those who contributed can see some of their money returned. If not, they still have their game. It's win-win.
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September 17th, 2012, 18:21
Originally Posted by ChaosTheory View Post
I had a brief discussion with one of the devs on their forum about this very thing.
I would love to read that thread if you have a link?

Originally Posted by ChaosTheory View Post
But at some point someone's going to have a game idea, get it funded by the public, and the game will hit big commercially. That game company will make a mint and now have a successful intellectual property that was funded entirely from donations.
Given the growing popularity of 'kickstarter' this is a very likely and inevitable outcome. It will be interesting to see how large-sum contributors react when it happens and how it might change the kickstarter business model.

Originally Posted by ChaosTheory View Post
Ultimately, it could make for a great partnership between game company and gamer community. The developer can then take more risks (which they can't do with masters like EA looking over their shoulder) and the gaming community can get the niche games they want.
I agree. The last 12 years in particular have been exhausting with the 'mainstreaming' of every single AAA RPG game. I crave a complicated and sometimes even counterintuitive RPG where there is a strong liklihood I could fail the main campaign by not having a competent appreciation for the game rules. I also like a sense of mystery and discovery where not every game mechanic is mentioned in the manual (when there is a manual that is).

What excites me most about the whole kickstarter idea is that going forward there is now an avenue for AAA RPGs that are NOT 'mainstreamed' to death.

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September 17th, 2012, 18:38
I thought some of the early kickstart projects actually did this in their top tier; they had something like all the above plus x% of the profits but maybe I am mistaken.
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September 17th, 2012, 18:45
Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
I would love to read that thread if you have a link?
http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/600…0#entry1188212

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September 17th, 2012, 18:53
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
The whole problem I see on the internet is criticizing something that isn't even released yet. Noone is forced to fund/invest in the project, if you're not happy with it, okay, let us who want that game happen to back it up and you wait for the final release then buy it if you want, thank you. Also anyone who thinks it's a fraud or something can always cancel his pledge (till the deadline).
I just hope the project will get more millions that would guarantee a prequel or a sequel, wouldn't want to see another Jade Empire or Anachronox case.
Yes, listening to too much user feedback has the potential drawback of gravely restricting the design. Plus the loudest voices also seem to want the most unconventional features.

I think these guys know what they're doing, so hopefully they'll strike the right balance. My hope is that we'll end up with a fun game with high replay value and enjoyable sequels.
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