Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Interview Paradox admit Tyranny sold below expectations, DLC still in the works

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, May 16, 2017.

  1. Severian Silkgender: ⚧ Guest

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    What if Larian seriously fuck up D:OS2 somehow?
     
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  2. Make America Great Again Infinitrongender: ⚧ I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    They could have said "if you liked Pillars of Eternity, play Tyranny" but they barely even did that. There was exactly one Pillars of Eternity Kickstarter update about Tyranny (here) and it wasn't when the game was released. There are more Kickstarter updates about PoE2.

    A cynic might theorize that Obsidian may have been happy not to cannibalize the PoE audience too much with Tyranny sales, since they wanted those people to save their money for the PoE2 Fig campaign which came a few months later. :M
     
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  3. Iznaliugender: ⚧ Arbiter

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    D:OS2 is available as an alpha beta right now. You can see for yourself. (personally, I found it to be somewhat unrewarding and hard, but I think the balance has been tuned in subsequent patches since I played it, and I missed a whole chunk of content, so it's probably at least decent now; this was also before they added most of the game's headline features)
     
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  4. Make America Great Again CyberWhalegender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Playing it certainly felt like torment to me, tho.
     
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  5. Morality Gamesgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

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    PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Then it will fail.

    But the game has sold well in early access, and will probably have compelling multiplayer features in addition to being a good single player game, so...
     
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  6. Prime Juntagender: ⚧ Arcane

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    There might be something to this. I've been scratching my head over their decision to use the (by then) robust Pillars engine, but replace the (by then) robust game mechanics with some really poorly thought-out ones.

    It would've made way more sense to openly make Tyranny a Pillars spin-off, with the same base mechanics but a different setting and different narrative style. They would've saved effort, ended up with much better gameplay, and been able to market it with that "if you liked Eternity" spiel. I find it puzzling that they flubbed something that obvious.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
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  7. Morality Gamesgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

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    Well, Tyranny was designed for a AA sized casual audience that turned out not to exist.

    It isn't really flubbing to not make Tyranny like Pillars because Paradox gets most of the money for Tyranny and Obsidian didn't want to Gold Box their best shot at financial independence to make money for a different company.
     
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  8. BBMortigender: ⚧ Prophet

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    I am sure Paradox will salvage the situation with a well placed portrait DLC or something.
     
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  9. Kev Inklinegender: ⚧ Arcane

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    A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire

    What shilling is this? Wasteland 2 was released half a year before PoE.
     
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  10. Prime Juntagender: ⚧ Arcane

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    1. Yes
    2. How so? From where I'm at the marketing -- what little there was of it -- represented the game fairly well.
    3. Mmmm... no. It had a ton of points in common with Pillars and the rest of the crop of top-down isometric party-based RPGs. I really don't think the setting is too out there to be an immediate turn-off for lots of people.
    4. Maybe.
    5. Yes.
    IMO this is a twofer -- the marketing failed to drum up enough hype for a solid launch, and the game just wasn't good enough -- especially in moment-to-moment gameplay -- for word of mouth to fill the gap.
     
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  11. Ulfhednargender: ⚧ Educated

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    Most popular companion from BG2... Minsc. Think about that for a minute...
     
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  12. aweighgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    i dunno i think Tyranny didn't do the business they wanted simply because it's a bad game with bad gameplay and bad writing.

    the PoE audience who would've bought it heard bad things about it and didn't buy it.

    it's not that complicated.
     
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  13. Fairfaxgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    I know, though whether that was one of the reasons he left or not is speculation. He actually mentioned elsewhere that Obsidian tried to remove his name from the credits, but the contract prevented it.

    It also says a lot about PCGamesN that they changed the quote (no doubt at Paradox's request) without saying anything. It's customary for actual journalists to include a footnote whenever an interview has been "edited and condensed", or when any misquote is corrected after the article is posted.
     
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  14. aweighgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    LOL @ expecting a gaming website to have journalistic standards when real journalists no longer have them in the real world
     
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  15. Iznaliugender: ⚧ Arbiter

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    Journalistic standards are an ideal that have never really been followed, much like the American Dream.
     
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  16. Lacrymasgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    How is Tranny more casual than PoE and how would casuals know that? It was just a very mediocre game, bordering on mostly negative, failing to even rustle my jimmies like PoE did. People are maybe underestimating the impact of word-of-mouth or a lot of people ...borrow games to see if they are worth buying. Tyranny is too expensive for what it offers, so I'm not surprised by low sales. I don't know what to say to Paradox though, they are obviously on the wrong track. They think isometric RPGs are irrelevant fossils of a bygone age, failing to realize that most that came out recently are ridiculously shit boring and bad. It's as if quality is no longer a factor in the gaming industry, especially for "niche" titles, so nobody thinks to blame some loss of sales on that.
     
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  17. MRYgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

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    A couple thoughts:

    - I think it is fair to say that Tyranny looks on its face more casual than PoE, both in terms of its visuals (which are more Torchlight than Baldur's Gate) and its apparent systems. I haven't played either game, but as a casual observer, that's how it looked.

    - Some guesses as to why Tyranny would underperform PoE would include: (1) Forgotten Realms-style fantasy has generally sold best for this kind of RPG (as distinguished from jRPGs or Diablo-likes); (2) PoE leveraged BG nostalgia, Tyranny didn't, and for isometric fantasy RPGs, BG is probably still the strongest brand; (3) PoE had Chris Avellone as its hood ornament, and Tyranny didn't; (4) PoE got a lot of attention via Kickstarter that translated into product awareness that Tyranny lacked.

    The main worry I have is that I feel like no one except for Harebrained Schemes has been developing a model of RPG-making that reduces development costs. If, in fact, the market for this kind of game is receding again, one way companies could continue to operate in it would be to reduce costs. There are some savings from the fact that PoE's engine can be recycled, to be sure, but I was struck by how much retooling of that engine was done on TTON. I guess PoE2 might be a bright spot in this regard -- it is recyling the engine, the assets, etc. But it still seems like finding a way to have a more NWN2-type pipeline would allow companies to bang out one of these games a year at a low cost. MOTB is rightly near the top of the Codex's GOAT list, but it surely cost a tiny fraction of Tyranny to make.

    [EDIT: Put otherwise, if the market reality is that this kind of game can only make $X dollars (based on whatever the most efficient clearing point price is), I would much rather developers frame the question as, "How can we make it worthwhile to develop this kind of game if the revenues will be $X?" rather than "Is it worth developing this kind of game if the revenues will be $X?" The "this kind of game" is a fairly fluid category, and I have to think there is a way for it to be profitable for developers to make some of kind narrative, isometric RPG if $X is $3 million.]
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
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  18. Make America Great Again Infinitrongender: ⚧ I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Not really, they've massively upgraded the visuals there as well.
     
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  19. Starwarsgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Personally I don't think Tyranny is a very good fit for the whole "IE isometric like". One thing about the IE games, and Pillars, was that the perspective and art really seemed to encourage exploration, uncovering the world. But Tyranny isn't built like that, it's an Alpha Protocol type thing where the meat is much more that you go from area to area and move forward constantly. And what little "exploration" (using that term lightly) stuff was in Tyranny, like unlocking the towers, was quite poor.

    Also, coming from Pillars, one would expect Tyranny to be a more beautiful game or more impressive visually. But nope, Pillars is so much more easy on the eyes and varied. There are like two areas in Tyranny where I thought "well, that's nice" and that's the statue right at the start of the game and Archon in the desert. Pillars blew my mind in some areas with how beautiful it was. Tyranny... no.

    And it's the same thing with the whole party business... I mean, the whole Fatebinder thing. Just seems like it would be a much better fit for something like Fallout. Having a whole party that you drag around and get buddy-buddy with just seems... off

    I dunno, it's a game that feels confused to me. I don't think it benefitted from the Pillars engine at all, it seems like it should've been a different type of game.
     
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  20. aweighgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    also i can't understate how horrible tyranny's UI is. sure i already mentioned that i think it has bad gameplay (which would include UI design normally??) but i feel the need to point it out once more simply because due to their very nature isometric-style games are very dependent on having a good UI/GUI/etc; basically they need to be able to be played well.

    this doesn't necessarily mean they should all have 1 specific style of GUI, and it can be menu-based or point-and-click, both styles can excel or be horrible.

    it just so happens Tyranny shipped with a nigh unplayable GUI which combined with its stripped down elements borrowed from PoE (i.e. eveyrthing taken from PoE design was dumbed down for Tyranny) + the mediocre writing (which is worse than bad writing) + the bad encounter design (probably the biggest offender, and this dovetails perfectly with the bad GUI) + the almost laughably amateurish itemization (another huge, huge step down from PoE) = game no one has much interest in.
     
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  21. Fenixgender: ⚧ Liturgist

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    From first look Tranny looked like me-di-ocre game in its concept - evil won? Muahaha, this goal si really hard to accomplish even in movies, not talking about books.

    And what have you expected from movie industry?
     
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  22. Zanzokengender: ⚧ Savant

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    Make good games.

    No really I'm serious. How many games do we have that really deliver tight, engaging experiences from beginning to end?

    Probably none. Most are shit and even the ones we consider good/great have significant flaws.

    Simply taking fundamentals like combat, story, art, worldbuilding, etc and executing them all in a satisfying way would be among the best RPGs ever.

    And I think that would translate into sales.
     
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  23. Klariongender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Niggas in Paradox be like "Imma put in 1/3 chips that I put in PoE in this new Tyranny shit, gonna bring me dough like PoE, sweeeeeet.... here homie, I just made another PoE, gimme dem dolla bills" thinkin niggas be all over it like it's sum ho on crack or sumfin...

    No my nigga, you ain't foolin nobody with that cheap ass sheeeet.
     
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  24. Frygender: ⚧ Magister

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    I suspect the real problem with the Paradox-Obsidian relationship now is that Obsidian is trying to figure out how to get into publishing. Feargus is smart enough to see that the crowd funding gravy train is grinding to a halt, and the only way they're going to achieve the independence they want is remove everyone else from the revenue loop.
     
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  25. Lurker Kinggender: ⚧ Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    It would hurt the sales even more.
     
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