The Banner Saga - Stoic's Repsonse on the Factions Feedback
Stoic's Alex Thomas is responding to the negative feedback they received on launching Factions in a blog on Gamasutra and in the process provides an inside look on how things went after the very successful Kicstarter campaign.
One of the things he mentions is that the multiplayer part was already in their Kickstarter campaign, so they are actually delivering what they've promised. The other thing is about the delay with respect to the original estimate, which was matching a $100K game. They received more than 7 times that and implementing all the stretch goals coming with that number simply takes time.
When we put together our campaign pitch we wanted people to be excited about getting playable content. The video states "we'll be rolling out a free multiplayer version of the game this summer on PC and Mac". The description on the campaign page included "Play online: Though the single-player campaign is our focus, The Banner Saga provides a deep multiplayer game; build a unique party of characters and battle friends and enemies in multiplayer combat." The game would be available on Steam. We plastered it on our website nearly a week before the Kickstarter campaign went live.
Some backers were incensed that production was taking longer than our original estimate, back when we hoped to make $100,000. Some were furious that the combat would be free, or that non-backers would get to play it. Some insisted that we had wasted their money by making multiplayer content, despite the assets, code and interface all being produced for the single player game. Many were fuming that the game must be "pay to win", despite the fact that you only get matched against opponents with equal teams, regardless of how you earned them. Within the game itself, the term "pay to lose" had started to appear, since paying money would only serve to get you matched against players with vastly more play time under their belts.
We also had a lot of backers supporting us, asking the detractors one particular question: "Where have you guys been this whole time?" What we soon learned is that many of our backers never read any of the updates. They had never read the original campaign. According to Kickstarter metrics that went up after our campaign ended, only 30% of backers even watched our campaign video, and they felt very betrayed about all of this, to which we personally felt a resounding "What?".
In addition Craig Stern has also written a piece on the matter and to the defense of Stoic on IndieRPGs.
Information aboutThe Banner Saga
SP/MP: Single + MP