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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Thorvalla - Cancelled

Default Thorvalla - Cancelled

December 4th, 2012, 14:35
While we were away Guido Henkel pulled the plug on the Thorvalla Kickstarter.
When we started the Kickstarter campaign for Thorvalla, we did so with the best of intentions, to build an exciting role-playing game, putting to use our countless years of experience in the industry and knowledge how to build solid RPGs. It took a lot of work to prepare this campaign and it took the team two months to prepare the initial pitch and the materials to go with it, so it was not something we took lightly.
At this point, however, it has become evident that there is not enough interest in and public support for such a game, and that we will not able to raise the funds necessary to make Thorvalla.
We are therefore canceling this campaign.
But not all is lost. The project may not have found the backing we needed to make it a reality, but if nothing else, it showed us that many of you do care. The 1,300+ backers, the countless messages and posts are testimony to that, not to mention the generous financial support many of you pledged. Many of you wanted to see this game made very badly, and we know how disappointed you must feel at this time.
Believe me, when I say that we feel with you and we feel for you. You are the real fans and you will always have a special place in our hearts as those who believed in us and our vision!
Even though it didn’t succeed, we are very proud of Thorvalla, and we are glad that we tried, rather than never having tried at all.
Thank you all so much for your support.
The Thorvalla Team
More information.

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December 4th, 2012, 14:35
It took them 2 months to prep that campaign? Really? It wasn't a bad concept at all, I think there is plenty of latent interest in the subject matter. The problem in my opinion was the complete lack of organization, content and detail. Generally you have to show some pre-existing assets… or at least say its the spritual successor to Baldur's Gate (apparently ).

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December 4th, 2012, 14:39
And indeed, nothing on possibly starting it again, as they had noted before. Such a shame, there were some real ideas in there, but the pitch was flawed (though the updates did a good job) and the media coverage nihil. Too bad.
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December 4th, 2012, 15:09
Not surprising, but still disappointing.
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December 4th, 2012, 15:09
I consider this a shame. The later updates were actually pretty good, and made it seem like quite an interesting game. I honestly believe they would've done a lot better if they had started out with more of a bang.
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December 4th, 2012, 15:24
I take it as proven there's no commercially viable target group for a really old-school RPG with TB combat and a simplified overland travel map (they really had guts to suggest that!). Not anywhere near enough to get you to 1m anyway.
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December 4th, 2012, 15:42
Nah, I think he just didn't doa good job of laying out what it was at the beginning, so he missed out on a lot of that buzz.

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December 4th, 2012, 16:24
It's pretty clear that people are becoming more demanding with regards to what is considered an interesting pitch. But there were a lot of things going against this one: trying to make it "famous dev" campaign with a relatively unknown name (Guido who?), claiming some authorship on "Torment" when PE had just done the same. People being busted from several large KS RPG campaigns this year, approaching holiday season… Press fatigue with KS. Failure to build enough community and awareness prior to the launch…
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December 4th, 2012, 16:32
Please try it again in Spring.

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December 4th, 2012, 16:55
Originally Posted by Guido Henkel
Many of you wanted to see this game made very badly…
perhaps therein lay the problem.

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December 4th, 2012, 17:21
A really interesting thing is happening lately in Kickstarter: people are getting fed up with the whole thing, and I believe this is because they realized that:
- even with a successful Kickstarter, the game still needs about 1-1.5 years to make,
- certain high-profile, successful KS-projects lost the vibe, because the devs are busy making the game instead of answering ridiculous fan pleas over the forums

Sooo… I guess the majority of people just simply realized by now that funding a KS-campaign is NOT the same as storming to the store and buying the game.
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December 4th, 2012, 17:27
Originally Posted by ToddMcF2002 View Post
The problem in my opinion was the complete lack of organization, content and detail.
^ This.

Originally Posted by duerer View Post
people are getting fed up with the whole thing…
I don't know that I'd say people are getting 'fed up' with kickstarter because the entire concept can rush in a new era of diverse (publisher-free, lowest-common-denomenator-free) PC gaming and I think a lot of people are excited by that.

But if I'm a reflection of any group of people out there, right about now I'm feeling 'kickstarter burnout' because there has been just too many project announcments at around the same time. Nobody is to blame for this, it just is what it is.

I can only personally afford to back a few games at a time. So after I've backed a few games, even if another kickstarter gets announced that I like, I can't really back it anymore because I'll break my budget.

If I'm right but there is no wife around to acknowledge it, am I still right?
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December 4th, 2012, 17:48
The number of games funded through KS is already large. Will keep increasing.

The only fatigue to be seen is when people focus on the failures and forget about the successes.

Just take a look at the KS screen on video games tag, many other games are funded before the end of the campaign.
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December 4th, 2012, 18:04
Originally Posted by duerer View Post
A really interesting thing is happening lately in Kickstarter: people are getting fed up with the whole thing…
Uh, no they're not. Games at all levels of financing are getting funded constantly.

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December 4th, 2012, 18:35
Case Number Two:
Another high-profile KS seems to be in the same shoes: David Braben (game legend!) announced that the Elite (a game legend!) sequel (yaaay, wetting my pants!) is underway (yeeeeehhhaaaaa!) - IF the KS pledge is successful.
The pitch is god-awful, but who cares?????? It's the sequel of a friggin' legend, best game evar, etc!!!!!

Okay, enthusiasm mode turned off, back to reality:
Elite: Dangerous's KS campaign is a troubled one.

So, the promise is absolutely there, what happened?
Why the fund not hit the roof by 400%?

I have two theories:
1. You have to be a really old f*rt to actually know what Elite is (or who David Braben is). The current generation of gamers are clearly left cold by the pitch.
2. An ambitious project like this needs time, and we, gamers, want to play the thing NOW! Mr Braben is definitely no Peter Molyneux (you may hate the guy for Fable, but he is a truly gifted media manipulator, hats off), and the info he hints indicates that the project will be a very long development (ambition hits the roof).

Unfortunately, both cases are valid for Thorvalla.

So, to sum it up: sparkling up a few cool ideas and relying on nostalgia alone is not enough. You have to hire a good PR guy or agency, you must have a credible track record, PLUS you have to show something already in the works to convince Average Joe Jr. to click on the Pledge button.

Well, it ain't easy, and most importantly, ain't cheap.
Hence the big publisher houses risk nothing and try to make surefire products: because the preparation alone takes immense risks - and this is what many indie developers cannot afford.

Okay, enough rant. Back to play Realms of Arkania
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December 4th, 2012, 18:37
Many of you wanted to see this game made very badly…
The thing is, if I want to see a game made very badly I just have to swing by Gamestop. There's no shortage… :-)
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December 4th, 2012, 18:53
Not a surprise really. To be honest, I was a little put off by the pretentiousness of the descriptions. I have no idea who legendary designer Guido Henkel is, so the name recognition factor didn't work. Then the game illustrations were just crude sketches and the map was pretty vanilla. With Project Eternity, I at least had some past examples of similar games for comparison: IE; plus I recognized some of the names and I found the map appealing. For this game there was nothing to go on, so I had no idea whether it would be the type of game I like to play. Hence it was difficult to find much enthusiasm for this pitch, and the complete lack of momentum pretty much killed it.

Note that I've not lost any interest or enthusiasm in KS; quite the contrary. But I'm still going to be a selective consumer.
Last edited by rjshae; December 4th, 2012 at 19:03.
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December 4th, 2012, 19:01
Originally Posted by duerer View Post
A really interesting thing is happening lately in Kickstarter: people are getting fed up with the whole thing, and I believe this is because they realized that:
- even with a successful Kickstarter, the game still needs about 1-1.5 years to make,
- certain high-profile, successful KS-projects lost the vibe, because the devs are busy making the game instead of answering ridiculous fan pleas over the forums

Sooo… I guess the majority of people just simply realized by now that funding a KS-campaign is NOT the same as storming to the store and buying the game.
I think you're going to see some KS fatigue over the next year, but then if a big game, such as Project Eternity completes and is well done, the excitement will come back.

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December 4th, 2012, 19:07
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
The only fatigue to be seen is when people focus on the failures and forget about the successes.
Well maybe I'm all alone in this. But I've got 'wallet fatigue.'

If I'm right but there is no wife around to acknowledge it, am I still right?
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December 4th, 2012, 19:15
Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
Well maybe I'm all alone in this. But I've got 'wallet fatigue.'
Checking my wallet… No, you're not alone.
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