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2012: The Year in Review

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2012: The Year in Review

Editorial - posted by DarkUnderlord on Sun 4 August 2013, 02:08:42

Tags: Diablo III; Interplay; InXile Entertainment; Kickstarter; Loot Drop; Mass Effect 3; The Year in Review

Decline

We have a long-running meme known as "decline" here on the Codex. It's the idea that computer games have been declining in quality since about the late 90's (or earlier, depending on your choice as to the start of the decline). FPSs for example, have gone from the fast-paced, monster-filled and difficult games of Doom - to slower paced games, all played at lamentable running speeds, filled with the same iron sight weapons and BLOOM filled graphics - full of endless cut-scenes, where health has gone from a precious commodity you'd hunt for on every level, to not even being required. Just sit and wait around a bit and your health magically "re-generates" these days.

Monster-filled maze-like levels have been replaced with one single monster (usually spawned behind you to create some sort of "surprise" - or in-front of you right after a cut-scene - but over-used so often as to be predictable) in a single room that presents barely enough of a challenge to warrant even a mild air of concern. Games have been dumbed down, stream-lined, and made easy for today's "modern gamer". Who it seems, can barely handle anything more complicated than basic addition.


Total Biscuit: Modern Military Shooters in a nutshell

You can guarantee that if a game is ever too difficult, someone will cry about it until an easier version comes out.

The same problem exists with RPGs. Once massive, sprawling worlds that required a bit of planning and thought to navigate are now filled with compasses that point you right to the next part of the quest and "fast travel", so that you don't even have to bother walking there. Just click on the map and you'll pop right over. Complicated skill choices and multiple combat skills are "stream-lined", dumbed-down to single skills that are easier to level up. And you don't even have to worry about the enemies you encounter.

Where-as once upon a time, walking into a strong area too early - before your character had a chance to level up sufficiently - would result in almost guarnateed death at the hands of superior enemies, enemies now level-scale right back down to your level. You never need be afraid of encounters any more because whatever level you're at, it's been guaranteed to be beatable for you!

And even where once Characters and entire teams could be screwed over because you didn't bother with a certain skill and now find yourself facing an insurmountable challenge you didn't prepare for (usually requiring a reload or even a complete restart), you can be guaranteed that your "Jack of all Trades" can not only breeze through without a care, but that he can do everything there is to do in the game. There's not a door you can't unlock, a chest you can't open, or a monster you can't defeat.

This dumbing down is either a result of developers too hard pressed by the difficult games of their youth, so distraught by the arcades that beat them, they've decided to make games piss easy - or more likely, it's publishers ensuring their game is able to reach the "biggest market possible" (IE: every 12 year old in the world). Taking the "whatever's hot right now" and deciding to just pump more clones of that out the door to make a quick buck - stifling innovation, uniqueness and challenge in the process.

It's gotten so bad, that even a spoof article about laws forcing games to be easier deteriorates as everyone in the comments section scratches their heads, not entirely sure if it is a joke or not:

NEW LAW REQUIRES GAMES BE EASY ENOUGH FOR EVERYONE TO BEAT DUE TO CONSUMER PROTECTION LAWS

“I don’t play video games, but I know when companies are trying to rip the consumer off,” said Nader at a pro-consumer rally, “By making video games too difficult to win, they’re essentially locking away enjoyment that consumers should rightfully have once they purchase their product. Some might say that these companies have the right to make their games as difficult as they want. Since when did we allow companies to have more rights than consumers?”
[...]
Please tell me this is some sort of joke.
[...]
THIS IS COMPLETE AND UTTER BULLSHIT!
[...]
I think that this is just a joke… But if this is serious​

Whomever's to blame, games no longer present any challenge. They've been dumb-down and stream-lined. Here, we simply call it: decline.

Yet now, depending on what happens over the next year or two, 2012 will either be looked back upon as the year the computer game industry changed irrevocably for the better - the year that ended the decline and started the incline; or the year everything finally went to shit, where game companies desperate for cash, promised countless undeliverable goodies to the masses, in one last breath of anguish before their death.

I am of course, talking about the KickStarter phenomenon. And it's success or failure all depends on whether any of those KickStarter games turn out to be any good or not...

... but before we get into all of that, let's keep with tradition and start our look back at 2012 with the Big Bouncy List of Games that were released - at least the ones that we some-what associate with the "RPG" genre.


2012's Big Bouncy List of PC-RPGs

New Releases

DLC, Expansion Packs, Enhanced Editions and Developer's Cuts

... and a special list due to the year: 2012's KickStarted Projects

KickStarting Wasteland 2

Yes, if the above list gave you any indication, 2012 was the year of the KickStarter. It all started with Double Fine, an adventure game by Tim Schafer, who decided to beg for money from fans in order to fund development. They asked for $400,000, they ended up with $3M.

Brian Fargo, founder of Interplay Entertainment (before he bailed and sold it to that French cad Herve), saw the potential next. You see, after the failure (or huge finacial success, if you look at it from Brian's personal perspective) of Interplay, Brian established inXile Entertainment. That was in 2002. For 10 years he was stuck making remakes and cheesy iPhone games. It seems nobody in the publishing business wanted to fund those "RPG" things he so desperately wanted to make. And so, his idea for a Wasteland sequel sat on the shelf. Life in exile was hard, having bought the rights as far back as 2003, talked about it in 2007 and even threatening to get Bethesda involved in 2010.

... until 2012. The success of Double Fine saw the potential for an industry reborn. Old games (like the adventure game market Double Fine were aimed at) with their old fans and niche market couldn't get funding in the modern era. Fans clamoured for these games on forums but the true size and financial possibility of that market was not understood. Or at least, it was a lot smaller and harder to make games for than simply stuffing another Call of Duty remake out the door and cashing the profits. And perhaps the publishers themselves, being inbred dimwits, only really understood games where lots of stuff exploded.

KickStarter changed all of that. By bypassing the publishers and sourcing funds directly from the market, suddenly a whole new world of funding opened up.

And it was huge.

Or at least, bigger than expected. It turns out since the late 80's when the RPG was almost the mainstay of the PC game industry - before the first person shooter killed everything, all those old RPG fans moved out of their mum's basement, got jobs and now have very deep pockets. Wasteland 2 only asked for $900,000 - a pittance compared to the $25 million rumoured to be required to actually make an RPG. Fargo was backing it up with another $100,000 from his own personal slush fund. At $1M, we're still talking peanuts compared to modern game development for AAA titles. Still, the fans had faith and the $900,000 goal was surpassed in mere days. By the time it was over, inXile had well over $3M in total funding to play with (when combined with PayPal receipts not shown in the KickStarter total).

The Codex even jumped in, having our own fundraiser to contribute and raising an impressive $10,323 to buy in-game statues and other memes which will no doubt totally destroy your immersion in the game. Thanks to all those who contributed.

[​IMG]
lol

The difficulty for inXile now of course, is to actually make a game that justifies the hype and the promise. Since then, we've seen combat videos, had development updates and seen screenshots. So far, things don't seem too bad, at least for inXile. inXile are lucky in that Brian Fargo is probably the only guy in the RPG industry who actually knows how to run a fucking business.

While Fargo has worked tightly to budget, Double Fine - the spawners of all this madness - have gotten into trouble. Surprised by their success, it went to their heads, their game design leapt through the roof and their budget jumped out the window as a result. Their October 2012 launch was missed. "The game is too big":

"Even though we received much more money from our Kickstarter than we, or anybody, anticipated, that didn't stop me from getting excited and designing a game so big that it would need even more money," Schafer said. "I think I just have an idea in my head about how big an adventure game should be, so it's hard for me to design one that's much smaller than Grim Fandango or Full Throttle. There's just a certain amount of scope needed to create a complex puzzle space and to develop a real story." And, after examining projections, it seemed the full game wouldn't be ready until 2015.​

As the average cost of a computer game reaches $28M (probably due to incompetence, mismanagement and a desire to focus on inane details like how well bump-mapped the grass is - as opposed to spending money on actual gameplay and content), it seems the KickStarter dream may just be that - a dream. Only time will tell whether we'll actually see many of these projects ever come to light.

On the bright side, I mentioned in our 2011 review that:

Small handful of developers + not much money at all = unique and interesting game with novel features that takes the world by storm.

- vs -

Large team of developers + big bags of money = shitty, unoriginal and cliched game that bores everyone to death.​

Will 2012 be looked back on as the year the "good old days" of game development returned? Where big budgets and large teams were eschewed for small budgets and tight-knit teams focussing on making good games. Where developers, free of publishers, were finally able to return to their roots and pursue the vision they had? At the least, inXile haven't stopped development of their KickStarter project because of the voices in their heads:

Ever since about December, I've been harassed by a voice that is claiming to be the sun, and its been attacking me and harassing me almost every hour of the day.

This is the best way I can explain what I am going through... if anyone has any advice or can offer help with this problem, it was not really what I was hoping for and it was very much NOT what I was told making this game was going to be like last year when I started working on it:

Voice says: "The sun doesn't want you to publish Katalyka, because it wants to be almost exactly LIKE Katalyka, but it keep it all a secret. If you publish your game, it is going to let people in on too many secrets." (paraphrasing)​

(I told you last year, the kids these days, they're all fucking nuts). What percentage of these KickStarter projects will ever be completed, and to what level of completion and satisfaction to their backers, only time will tell. Mind you, these stories are typical of the game development industry - I mean, who really knows why Torn was cancelled?

As for the rest of 2012, let's get rid of the rest of the KickStarter shit first.


Waiting an Eternity for Dead State

inXile's best friends at Obsidian Entertainment were the next to jump on the KickStarter bandwagon. After the success of Wasteland 2, how could they resist? Broke, and desperate for money, Obsidian decided to ask for $1.1M for their Project: Eternity. They got $4M, despite promising "real-time with pause" fantasy crap.

Once again, the Codex gathered money towards its own contribution, raising just under $10k this time with a total of $9,420 (after fees). So far, the game has some nice waterfalls and a really awesome Codex meme we're totally getting Obsidian to stuff in that one too. Trust us, it's so good it'll ruin your gaming experience forever.

And also jumping on the KickStarter bandwagon were our friends at DoubleBear Productions, with their zombie RPG vapourware project "Dead State". Their much less ambitious target of $150,000 was reached, despite some concern - ended with a total of just over $300k. Our own campaign was targeted at $5k but with much less enthusiasm only managed $1,353.75.

No doubt we'll have more to say on both games when they actually come out (if that ever happens).


Dropping the Loot

I like failure. The Codex seems to have a certain affinity with it. We endlessly discuss the long list of failed RPGs, design goals that went nowhere and companies with promise that just died. If you like failure too, then ho-boy, this KickStarter thing is a gold-mine.

The manual on how NOT to run a KickStarter project was written by Tom Hall (of "he made some levels this one time for Doom" fame) and Brenda Brathwaite (of "she married a guy who did a bit of work on Doom" fame - or more accurately, the only person John Romero ever actually made into his bitch). Shaker started out as an unnamed, unknown project titled "Old School RPG" with absolutely no details other than "hi, we're famous, we have famous friends, fund our game plox". The only problem being of course, that neither of them are actually famous (No really, did you really know who they were when they announced this? Oh that's right, Tom did Anachronox (2001) and Brenda worked on Wizardy 8 a bit (2001). But then, so did Cleveland Mark Blakemore).

As time went on, more bits of info were dribbled out. We got a map, some Sci-Fi classes, and some nice concept art.

The project was cancelled two weeks into its fund-raising drive. While raising an impressive $244,932 - it was nowhere near the $1M they aimed for. And so Loot Drop went back to making Facebook games, but a month didn't even go by before they were cancelling one of those and laying off staff. Tom himself had another stab at a KickStarter, this time a spiritual successor to Commander Keen, before going back to iPhone games.


Interplay & Friends

It's always a good year when it starts off with Herve Caen (CEO of the once glorious - now mostly defunct - Interplay) getting screwed by Bethesda. Yes, Bethesda. So desperate for cash in order to keep the lights on at Interplay, Herve sold the rights for Fallout to Bethesda some years ago. Except there were all sorts of clauses included that came back to bite Herve hard in the ass:

Under the terms of the settlement, the license granted to Interplay to develop the Fallout MMO is null and void, and all rights granted to Interplay to develop a Fallout MMO revert back to Bethesda, effective immediately. Interplay has no ongoing right to use the Fallout brand or any Fallout intellectual property for any game development.
[...]
The lawsuit against Interplay arose after Bethesda Softworks acquired all Fallout intellectual property rights from Interplay in April 2007, and conditionally licensed back to Interplay certain trademark rights to make a Fallout MMO, provided Interplay secured $30 million in financing for the MMO and commenced full scale development of the game by April 2009. Bethesda alleged in its complaint that Interplay failed to meet either condition of the license back agreement but refused to relinquish its license and insisted it would develop a Fallout MMO. Bethesda filed suit to declare the license void.​

It turns out that signing an agreement based on raising money, actually requires you to raise the money. So what did Herve do? In perhaps one of the bizzarest non-Kickstarter KickStarters to arise out of all of this, Herve turned to crowd-sourced funding to raise money for:

Project V13 (PV13) is the first planned Black Isle Studios release in years, a post-apocalyptic strategy RPG. You will create a character to represent yourself within the game world. Your character will be a hardy adventurer from a variety of backgrounds; one of the last remaining humans, a new breed mutant, or a technologically advanced cyborg. The choice is yours.​

In exchange for your money do you get:
a) A copy of the game?
b) Bonus T-shirt?
c) Special game poster?

The answer of course, is d) Nothing. Instead of something useful for your money, you're promised "access to news, special updates, and content from the new Black Isle Studios - PV13 forums. At $20 and over, you will achieve special insider status and you will be able to participate in a restricted area of the forum to interact directly with the BIS game designers - make suggestions, discuss our progress, ask us what we had for lunch..."

Yep, the right to post in an internet forum. It's no wonder they've only raised $7,000 so far (before they pulled the total off their site).


Mad hax in ur auction house? Fuck those losers.

Moving on now to games that were actually released, Blizzard gave us "The 2nd-Hand Trouser collection simulator that's not worth finishing", Diablo 3. The game had two major features, the first was that you had to be online all the time in order to play it. This of course lead to issues when the servers crashed on day one. In fact the servers were so laggy that reports of lag-deaths were common (and still are). Hit with a lag-spike? You die. Server times out? You die.

What great fun!

What was even more fun was when people started having all their stuff stolen. Apparently exploits were being used en masse by hackers to pinch your stuff and sell it. Why? Well, not just to sell on Ebay. You see, Diablo 3's other great feature was: A Real Money Auction House. An auction house were you could sell your in-game items for real cash. Not only that, you could (or at least, the idea was to) exchange your Diablo 3 gold into real world money and back again.

Hello goldmine.

Blizzard originally denied that any mad hax had been done on their server and that these exploits were all lies... before coming out and saying that mad hax had been done on their server:

Even when you are in the business of fun, not every week ends up being fun. This week, our security team found an unauthorized and illegal access into our internal network here at Blizzard. We quickly took steps to close off this access and began working with law enforcement and security experts to investigate what happened.

Some data was illegally accessed, including a list of email addresses for global Battle.net users, outside of China. For players on North American servers (which generally includes players from North America, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia) the answer to the personal security question, and information relating to Mobile and Dial-In Authenticators were also accessed. Based on what we currently know, this information alone is NOT enough for anyone to gain access to Battle.net accounts.

We also know that cryptographically scrambled versions of Battle.net passwords (not actual passwords) for players on North American servers were taken.​

Oops. But while the "end game failed"; with Diablo 3 scoring a down-right miserable 3.8 user vote on Metacritic (compared to its predecessor, Diablo 2's 8.7) and PvP Mode was scrapped - by far the most fun came from Diablo 3 developer Jay Wilson.

You see, after the shit hit the fan, David Brevik (a developer behind Diablo 1 and 2) criticised Diablo 3's design team:

I have very mixed emotions about it (laughs). On one hand I am sad that people haven’t enjoyed Diablo because it’s a love, a passion, and its obvious people still have a giant love and passion for Diablo and they are speaking out about it because they have such love for it. That makes me feel great.

I am sad because people are outraged and, you know, some of the decision they have made are not the decisions I would make and there have been changes in philosophy and that hasn’t gone over very well. I think in that way I am a little sad.​

Jay Wilson's response? "Fuck that loser", posted on Facebook. He apologised, then announced he was "leaving the Diablo 3 team" to work on "other projects" at Blizzard. No word yet as to what that project is.

If you want to know what we think about the actual game though, check our review.


Mass Effect 3: The Ending that Wasn't

How do you end a trilogy built on "choice and consequence"? On the idea that the decisions you make in one game will affect your options in the sequel? Well, first of all you throw all of that shit out the window because it's too hard:

Sadly, it isn't all that good, and the 'Bioware choices' which lead to at-best-cosmetically-different outcomes are out in force. If a party member died in previous installments, their role will be replaced by a functionally (and often word-perfect) equivalent stunt double: Mordin gets replaced with a scientist Salarian, Grunt with another Krogan Leader, Jack with a leader of biotic students, Tali with another Quarian Geth expert, etc. Supposedly important plot decisions count for little: destroy the Collector base and Cerberus still 'recovers' the human reaper and hangs it up in their headquarters, kill the Rachni queen and you still meet another Rachni queen 'created' by the Reapers, get Anderson to be councillor and Udina takes over the role anyway. And so on. It got to the point that whenever I saw an interesting little wrinkle in the game it made me wonder 'how would things have turned out differently?' I reminded myself that, in all likelihood, the difference would have been cosmetic. There are only so many times you can offer illusory choice before you prejudice the audience against you.​

... and then you scale that up for the ending. Yes, the game that was to end, close, finish and complete the Mass Effect trilogy - doesn't actually end anything:

Though many players enjoy 95% of the title, there is a great deal of frustration with the end of the game. So much so, almost all fan forums devoted to Mass Effect are talking about what a letdown it was as players begin to finish the 30 hour epic.

Without giving too much away, the issue is that after 100 hours of story driven gameplay across three games, the end is split into three rather nonsensical choices, and picking each of them results in largely the same ending which is light on resolution and not what most fans were looking for from their beloved series. One fan aptly described it as if Star Wars was wrapped up with the final moments of 2001: A Space Odyssey.​

Not only that, but for those who don't know, BioWare was bought by EA - those foul monsters of the gaming world intent on destroying all in their path. The EAfiction of Mass Effect came in the form of some Day One DLC (Downloadable Content). Now, the idea behind DLC is that it's extra stuff. Bonus things that the developers work on after everything else is finished. Ideally to make a bit of extra profit from all those mugs who bought the game in the first place - but also a chance to add in some cool new features or items for the brain-dead devoted fans.

Except this DLC is already on the disc. If you're willing to jump through a few hoops, you can enable it without buying the DLC at all:

1. Open Coalesced.bin with this http://wenchy.net/me3-coalesced-utility

2. Search for this:
MemberValidCID=22, MemberAvailablePlotLabel=IsSelectableProthean,

3. Replace with this:
MemberValidCID=, MemberAvailablePlotLabel=,

That's it. Javik the Prothean is now unlocked. "From Ashes" not required.​

BiowEAr spent the rest of the year releasing more DLC, even releasing an Extended Cut in an attempt to fix the ending. Depending on who you talk to, it sort-of worked.

No doubt you can expect EA to use this model for all future games. Hell, why even provide an ending at all when you can charge the mugs extra for it later? We're still waiting to see how they fuck up Dragon Age 3 (and fuck it up they will). Tid-bits have already been leaked.


And other bits...

Other games released in 2012 include Risen 2: Dark Waters:

Risen 2 picks up a year or so after the events of its predecessor. Once again you’ll take control of the nameless dude and proceed on a mission of glorious titan smashing. There are, however, a few problems that stand in your way. First is the fact that after joining up with the Inquisition, the protagonist has become a total bum, seeking refuge at the bottom of the bottle, which has made him pretty much forget all the skills he’s learned before, as well as making him a total wimp. Second problem is that, apparently, the whole civilised world is on fire because Ursegor, the lovely chap whose gear you needed to defeat the fire titan in Risen 1, has gone berserk. That’s why the last human remnants decided they need to evacuate as soon as possible to the “new world”. This is where the third problem arises – all long-ranged sea travel is completely impossible, since the sea titan, Mara, has been awoken, and she’s not much happy about it, that’s why she keeps sinking all human ships that want to go anywhere. This is where you come in – a rumour has it that four pirate captains managed to obtain powerful artifacts that can control, or even destroy Mara. The player character is thus sent as a secret agent by the Inquisition to find the captains and get the artifacts from them, or even persuade them to join the fight against the titan.​

Yes, pirates. It only gets worse from there "The combat is horrid, the exploration tedious, the quest design atrocious. The 25 hours it takes to finish the game is better spent hitting your head against the wall."

In the list of games that didn't suck in 2012 though, we have Dark Souls. We even managed to score a review copy (for reals):

Dark Souls intentionally leaves only bits and pieces for the player to piece together from the little that NPCs you meet may tell you and the information you find from various historical artifacts. This may have been a lost art of storytelling in games, but expect no plot dispenser NPCs who will sit with you while you make your way through a 10-layer deep dialog tree of interrogation. Don't expect your all-knowing journal to track and summarize every plot detail you have found to hand you a cohesive narrative on a platter. Certainly expect no villains to appear and detail their dastardly plan while twirling their mustache and insulting the impudence of daring to face them. Arguably there isn't even a real antagonist in the game beyond the world itself. Only a large cast of characters big and small, most of them struggling to maintain their grip on life and sanity. Some of them are failing, and some you will cause to fail.

Along with not feeding you the plot on a platter, Dark Souls is equally mysterious about the choices you have to make. Because in the end, Dark Souls is a game about actions, not dialog choices. It expects you to figure out what your choices are and make one for yourself. Where some games may permit inaction, in Dark Souls that's the quick route to getting multiple NPCs that provide essential services killed. It's also entirely possible that the majority of players won't even realize the existence of a decision between alternate endings, so subtle and natural a thing it is.​

So it turns out that if you don't treat players like 12 year olds and hold their hands all the way through - and actually, God forbid, make your game challenging - you can have a very successful game. It's just they kind of fucked up the PC port.

Along a similar vein in the challenging department was Legend of Grimrock from a Finnish indie studio:

As mentioned before, Grimrock is a "grid-based dungeon crawler". Now the dungeon crawler part is self-explanatory - you're dumped in a dungeon and have to crawl around - but it's the grid-based movement that sets the game apart. Unlike most modern RPGs where you might point and click with the mouse or simply walk around using WASD and use the mouse to direct just where you go, Grimrock uses a 2D grid for movement.

In a sense you use WASD as "normal" but tap W and you will walk forward from your current tile, into the tile ahead of you. If you wish to move sideways, you first have to press Q or E to face that way first. You'll turn ninety degrees the corresponding way, at which point you can tap W to walk forward again. You can side-step with A and D - which comes in handy when fighting monsters - but most of the time you'll want to see where you're going, lest you fall into a trap of some sort.

This odd (or should I say, classic) movement system will trip you up from time to time, especially during combat (more on that later), but it grows on you and it won't be too long before you find it wholly appropriate for the game. In fact it has a nice way of slowing you down and making you not only appreciate the level, but think more about what you're doing... and thinking is going to come in really handy, because the dungeons of Grimrock are full of puzzles, traps and other assorted challenges which will have you racking your brain for the answer.​

Once again, it seems 2012 started a hark back to the old days of RPG development, where games were hard and publishers less involved in their development.

Of course, where would the industry be without taking out a few developers along the way? 2012 was the year Big Huge Games found out that RPGs kill you. After releasing Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, they died when it failed to hit 3 million sales.

As a final note on games for 2012, CD Projekt RED kept up form by releasing an Enhanced Edition of Witcher 2... with problems. Baldur's Gate got an Enhanced Edition (before being pulled this year) and Fallout Vegas got an Ultimate Edition, which was just the game with all the expansions.

Oh and Age of Decadence released a demo. You may and / or may not not like it.


RPG Codex Entertainment

And now onto the Codex itself. As the Administrator of a website full of mentally insane morons, surviving long enough to celebrate 11 years of whining about shit is a pretty grand effort. But there comes a point when it's time to change. So we started the year off by dying - we replaced our entire site with this message:

Dear RPG Codex users,

We have recently had to give serious thought as to whether we could really keep RPGCodex.net going the way it was. We've debated on it for quite some time and, unfortunately, we've decided that the RPG Codex simply could not remain in its popamole state.

We're very grateful for all support we've received from all of you over the past eight ten years. We've come a long way since being founded in 2002. Working on RPGCodex.net was a great adventure for all of us and an unforgettable journey to the past, through the long and wonderful history of PC RPG's.

In the end, we simply didn't have enough internets to keep going the way we were. We needed over 13,811 moar internets and they weren't coming in fast enough.


This doesn't mean the idea behind RPGCodex.net is gone forever because truthfully, ideas never die. An idea is something you know and when you don't even know what it is you don't know, you can't really lose the things i don't even what is this; as Cleve would say. So we're closing down these forums and website and putting this era behind us as new challenges await.

On a technical note, this week we'll put in place a solution to allow everyone to re-visit their old forum posts. Stay tuned to this page and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates - or sexually harass the people at RPGWatch.

All the best,
GOG.com The bros from rpgcodex.net (not .com, that's a different set of bros)​

The more astute realised that this was the same message GOG.com posted when they announced their upgrade (you'd be surprised how many missed that). Still, killing the site for three days while we converted our phpBB forum software over to XenForo was pretty fun. Despite a few issues, the forum upgrade has mostly worked out (just see how many fags brofist this, despite how they whinged).

And you'll notice the links to Twitter and Facebook above aren't actually ours... so we declined ourselves even further in 2012 by opening a real twitter account and then moving into Facebook with an official page. Special thanks to Crooked Bee and Grunker for running our web 2.0 social media presence. It's what the hip kids are doing these days.

Since being reborn, XenForo managed the load nicely - but we eventually got to the point where we needed more grunt on our server. So we decided to jump on the raising money bandwagon too and did our own fundraiser, raising $4,405 for our own server slush fund. What's the point of having fans if you can't milk them?

We didn't end 2012 on an entirely good note though. One of our ad providers thought it would be fun to put some Malware in an ad - thus triggering a malware warning in Chrome and giving everyone who visited a nice "THIS SITE HAS MALWARE" message when they visited, and forcing them to click their mouse three times to get through. We got over it, eventually.

Now have a list of the top #25 posted about news topics on the Codex in 2012:
  1. Kickstarter (93)
  2. Obsidian Entertainment (91)
  3. Wasteland 2 (75)
  4. Project Eternity (64)
  5. InXile Entertainment (44)
  6. Chris Avellone (43)
  7. Brian Fargo (43)
  8. BioWare (37)
  9. J.E. Sawyer (24)
  10. Age of Decadence (24)
  11. Iron Tower (24)
  12. Larian Studios (23)
  13. Diablo III (19)
  14. Dead State (19)
  15. Mass Effect 3 (18)
  16. DoubleBear Productions (17)
  17. Bethesda Softworks (16)
  18. Blizzard Entertainment (15)
  19. Shadowrun Returns (13)
  20. Eric Schwarz (13)
  21. Fallout (13)
  22. Legend of Grimrock (13)
  23. Interplay (13)
  24. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (13)
  25. Wasteland (13)
But perhaps the biggest surprise of the year was learning how cashed up a bunch of moronic RPG nerds are, considering that in 2012 we raised (including PayPal fees which were ultimately taken off the totals):
So we started the year dead, ended it with malware warnings and raised $26,632.98 USD in the process. Not bad really.

Here's to 2013.

There are 85 comments on 2012: The Year in Review

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