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KickStarter Grim Dawn

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by JudasIscariot, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. JudasIscariot Arcane Patron

    JudasIscariot
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    Serpent in the Staglands Codex USB, 2014
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  2. Nattvardsvin Learned

    Nattvardsvin
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    When will this shit end.
     
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  3. JudasIscariot Arcane Patron

    JudasIscariot
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    When all the high-profile kickstarter projects are done :D.
     
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  4. ArcturusXIV Cipher

    ArcturusXIV
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    Before I put any Jewgold into a Kickstarter project, please let me remind you there are probably a bazillion more Kickstarter projects to come! Choose your gold wisely.
     
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  5. Just not really feeling it with TL2 and D3 coming so soon.

    Now, if it was a turn-based action RPG on the other hand...
     
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  6. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

    Self-Ejected
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    Let me be the first to say this since we all know itz coming:

    "Moar liek grim dong, amirite?"
     
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  7. JudasIscariot Arcane Patron

    JudasIscariot
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    At least this guy has something to show. Plenty of gameplay footage from what I saw in the video. Granted, it's one more Diablo-clone but I have yet to see one set in steampunk.
     
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  8. Brayko Self-Ejected

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    Wasteland 2?
     
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  9. ArcturusXIV Cipher

    ArcturusXIV
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    Basically, I can see where this Kickstarter business is going. Anybody with an 1dea, amirite!?
     
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  10. Vicissitudes Scholar

    Vicissitudes
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    Yeah... last ARPG I played was Revenant.
    And I'm gonna keep it that way.
    [​IMG]
    Art!
     
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  11. JudasIscariot Arcane Patron

    JudasIscariot
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    Quit violating the Imageshack frog!
     
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  12. Haraldur Augur

    Haraldur
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    C&C, 8/10 from Codex.:troll:
     
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  13. evdk comrade troglodyte :M Patron

    evdk
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    Codex 2012 Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
    That game had a nice fuck you! ending.
     
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  14. Wyrmlord Arcane

    Wyrmlord
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    I'll just leave this butthurt rant by Titan Quest's developer. He wrote this after his studio shut down, blaming everyone from publishers to customers for unfairly causing his demise.

    So, ILE shut down. This is tangentially related to that, not why they shut down, but part of why it was such a difficult freaking slog trying not to. It's a rough, rough world out there for independent studios who want to make big games, even worse if you're single-team and don't have a successful franchise to ride or a wealthy benefactor. Trying to make it on PC product is even tougher, and here's why.

    Piracy. Yeah, that's right, I said it. No, I don't want to re-hash the endless "piracy spreads awareness", "I only pirate because there's no demo", "people who pirate wouldn't buy the game anyway" round-robin. Been there, done that. I do want to point to a couple of things, though.

    One, there are other costs to piracy than just lost sales. For example, with TQ, the game was pirated and released on the nets before it hit stores. It was a fairly quick-and-dirty crack job, and in fact, it missed a lot of the copy-protection that was in the game. One of the copy-protection routines was keyed off the quest system, for example. You could start the game just fine, but when the quest triggered, it would do a security check, and dump you out if you had a pirated copy. There was another one in the streaming routine. So, it's a couple of days before release, and I start seeing people on the forums complaining about how buggy the game is, how it crashes all the time. A lot of people are talking about how it crashes right when you come out of the first cave. Yeah, that's right. There was a security check there.

    So, before the game even comes out, we've got people bad-mouthing it because their pirated copies crash, even though a legitimate copy won't. We took a lot of shit on this, completely undeserved mind you. How many people decided to pick up the pirated version because it had this reputation and they didn't want to risk buying something that didn't work? Talk about your self-fulfilling prophecy.

    One guy went so far as to say he'd bought the retail game and it was having the exact same crashes, so it must be the game itself. This was one of the most vocal detractors, and we got into it a little bit. He swore up and down that he'd done everything above-board, installed it on a clean machine, updated everything, still getting the same crashes. It was our fault, we were stupid, our programmers didn't know how to make games - some other guy asked "do they code with their feet?". About a week later, he realized that he'd forgotten to re-install his BIOS update after he wiped the machine. He fixed that, all his crashes went away. At least he was man enough to admit it.

    So, for a game that doesn't have a Madden-sized advertising budget, word of mouth is your biggest hope, and here we are, before the game even releases, getting bashed to hell and gone by people who can't even be bothered to actually pay for the game. What was the ultimate impact of that? Hard to measure, but it did get mentioned in several reviews. Think about that the next time you read "we didn't have any problems running the game, but there are reports on the internet that people are having crashes."

    Two, the numbers on piracy are really astonishing. The research I've seen pegs the piracy rate at between 70-85% on PC in the US, 90%+ in Europe, off the charts in Asia. I didn't believe it at first. It seemed way too high. Then I saw that Bioshock was selling 5 to 1 on console vs. PC. And Call of Duty 4 was selling 10 to 1. These are hardcore games, shooters, classic PC audience stuff. Given the difference in install base, I can't believe that there's that big of a difference in who played these games, but I guess there can be in who actually payed for them.

    Let's dig a little deeper there. So, if 90% of your audience is stealing your game, even if you got a little bit more, say 10% of that audience to change their ways and pony up, what's the difference in income? Just about double. That's right, double. That's easily the difference between commercial failure and success. That's definitely the difference between doing okay and founding a lasting franchise. Even if you cut that down to 1% - 1 out of every hundred people who are pirating the game - who would actually buy the game, that's still a 10% increase in revenue. Again, that's big enough to make the difference between breaking even and making a profit.

    Titan Quest did okay. We didn't lose money on it. But if even a tiny fraction of the people who pirated the game had actually spent some god-damn money for their 40+ hours of entertainment, things could have been very different today. You can bitch all you want about how piracy is your god-given right, and none of it matters anyway because you can't change how people behave... whatever. Some really good people made a seriously good game, and they might still be in business if piracy weren't so rampant on the PC. That's a fact.


    Enough about piracy. Let's talk about hardware vendors. Trying to make a game for PC is a freaking nightmare, and these guys make it harder all the time. Integrated video chips; integrated audio. These were two of our biggest headaches. Not only does this crap make people think - and wrongly - that they have a gaming-capable PC when they don't, the drive to get the cheapest components inevitably means you've got hardware out there with little or no driver support, marginal adherence to standards, and sometimes bizarre conflicts with other hardware.

    And it just keeps getting worse. CD/DVD drives with bad firmware, video cards that look like they should be a step-up from a previous generation, but actually aren't, drivers that need to be constantly updated, separate rendering paths for optimizing on different chips, oh my god. Put together consumers who want the cheapest equipment possible with the best performance, manufacturers who don't give a shit what happens to their equipment once they ship it, and assemblers who need to work their margins everywhere possible, and you get a lot of shitty hardware out there, in innumerable configurations that you can't possibly test against. But, it's always the game's fault when something doesn't work.

    Even if you get over the hump on hardware compatibility - and god knows, the hardware vendors are constantly making it worse - if you can, you still need to deal with software conflicts. There are a lot of apps running on people's machines that they're not even aware of, or have become such a part of the computer they don't even think of them as being apps anymore. IM that's always on; peer-to-peer clients running in the background; not to mention the various adware and malware crap that people pick up doing things they really shouldn't. Trying to run a CPU and memory heavy app in that environment is a nightmare. But, again, it's always the game's fault if it doesn't work.


    Which brings me to the audience. There's a lot of stupid people out there. Now, don't get me wrong, there's a lot of very savvy people out there, too, and there were some great folks in the TQ community who helped us out a lot. But, there's a lot of stupid people. Basic, basic stuff, like updating your drivers, or de-fragging your hard drive, or having antivirus so your machine isn't a teetering pile of rogue programs. PC folks want to have the freedom to do whatever the hell they want with their machines, and god help them they will do it; more power to them, really. But god forbid something that they've done - or failed to do - creates a problem with your game. There are few better examples of the "it can't possibly be my fault" culture in the west than gaming forums.

    And while I'm at it, I don't want to spare the reviewers either. We had one reviewer - I won't name names, you can find it if you look hard enough - who missed the fact that you can teleport from wherever you are in TQ back to any of the major towns you've visited. So, this guy was hand-carting all of his stuff back to town every time his inventory was full. Through the entire game. Now, not only was this in the manual, and in the roll-over tooltips for the UI, but it was also in the tutorial, the very first time you walk past one of these giant pads that lights up like a beacon to the heavens. Nonetheless, he missed it, and he commented in his review how tedious this was and how much he missed being able to portal back to town. When we - and lots of our fans - pointed out that this was the reviewer's fault, not the game's, they amended the review. But, they didn't change the score. Do you honestly think that not having to run back to town all the time to sell your stuff wouldn't have made the game a better experience?

    We had another reviewer who got crashes on both the original and the expansion pack. We worked with him to figure out what was going on; the first time, it was an obscure peripheral that was causing the crash, a classic hardware conflict for a type of hardware that very, very few people have. The second time, it was in a pre-release build that we had told him was pre-release. After identifying the problem, getting him around it, and verifying that the bug was a known issue and had been fixed in the interim, he still ran the story with a prominent mention of this bug. With friends like that...


    Alright, I'm done. Making PC products is not all fun and games. It's an uphill slog, definitely. I'm a lifelong PC gamer, and hope to continue to work on PC games in the future, but man, they sure don't make it easy.

    Best,
    Michael.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Nattvardsvin Learned

    Nattvardsvin
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    Maybe they should have made a good game.
     
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  16. abnaxus Arcane

    abnaxus
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  17. Ed123 Arcane Patron

    Ed123
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    Serpent in the Staglands Wasteland 2
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. RK47 will not happy agian Patron

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    :lol: I feel his pain.
     
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  19. JudasIscariot Arcane Patron

    JudasIscariot
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    All I hear when I read that post:

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

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    And the lesson you should take away from this is -- if you do some retarded hidden security check that'll result in the game booting you, make sure people know it's because they're pirates or people will assume your game is buggy shit and not bother buying it.

    [edit]

    Ok, read the entire wall of text.

    TD;DR version:

    Even if his banalshitboring kickstarter did not fill me with ennui, reading that little rant of his would've made sure they didn't see any of my jewgold.
     
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  21. Jarpie Arcane Patron

    Jarpie
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    Codex 2012 MCA
    Wasn't it different guy who found Crate Entertainment than who wrote that long whiny post?
     
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  22. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

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    Maybe, maybe not. I didn't pay that much attention tbh. It wouldn't make any difference since the kickstarter fills me with ennui anyway.
     
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  23. Ed123 Arcane Patron

    Ed123
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    I had ennui for lunch last week.
     
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  24. Shannow Waster of Time

    Shannow
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    Yes, but never forget, never forgive :salute:

    The Grim Dawn KS on the other hand mentions GD being DRM-free and Bruno goes out of his way to suck up to his fans/the GD community.

    GD certainly looks and sounds like it could turn out to be the best game of its genre. The problems, as I see them, are that the genre is far from under-staturated, while I play them once in a while, I don't really care for Diablo-likes and GD asks for more than W2 at its lowest tier and that's a psychological barrier for me.

    Still, I hope they succeed, and with the low sum, that they're asking for, they probably will.
     
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  25. Metro Arcane Beg Auditor

    Metro
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    Yeah... no. They've already been working on this for two+ years and want another year and a half after they get another $300k to finish it up? Titan Quest was probably the most soulless hack and slash ARPG I've played and couldn't go on after only four or five hours. While it seems like they're going to address that in Grim Dawn, adding a bit more story and making the world more interactive and interesting I'm not interested enough to front it two years in advance. As MHC said, in the meantime I can play TL2 or Path of Exile or even Diablo 3 if I get desperate.
     
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