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Game News Project Eternity Kickstarter Update #28: Logistics Update

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Crooked Bee, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA 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 Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
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    Tags: J.E. Sawyer; Obsidian Entertainment; Pillars of Eternity

    Obsidian's Josh Sawyer has released the first post-funding update to Project Eternity, having to do with the logistics of having such a huge game planned out in pre-production:



    Thanks to you, we're funded. Now the work begins. At this stage of the project, we are still in pre-production, so at Wednesday morning's team meeting we started talking about the passion-stirring topic of logistics. Before we start scripting quests and writing dialogues, we need to understand the full scope of what we're setting out to do. In some ways, the basics stay the same for us as they did a decade ago. But we have new problems to solve and we need to have them all worked out before we enter production.

    The key elements we have been focusing on are:
    • The size and structure of the world - This game will be... large. And it will have two big cities, exploration areas, and a 15-level mega-dungeon. Ensuring that the world is planned properly requires examination of what has worked for us in the past and what hasn't. The original Baldur's Gate had a number of wilderness areas, but low density of content in many of those areas. Baldur's Gate II had much greater content density, but fewer wilderness/pure exploration areas. We'd like to make sure we have pure exploration areas while still maintaining good content density.
    • Dynamic environment integration - Animated objects, interactive objects, ambient visual effects, water, dynamic lights and shadows -- all of these elements can be featured even within a "2D" world. Our goal is to strike a good balance between visual fidelity, performance (including memory on disk), and the amount of time environment artists have to spend setting up their areas. We prefer dynamic solutions that are relatively easy to author, as we want our environment artists to maximize their efficiency.
    • Lore and story - What we've developed so far has been the result of a small number of impromptu discussions and high-level efforts. Last week, we (including George -- thanks!) had our first meeting to increase development of the setting and story. We discussed major themes we'd like to explore, the order in which we'd each like to develop aspects of the lore and characters, and what elements we each were having trouble wrapping our heads around. Our immediate focus is on the central conflict of the story and the various factions that have a stake in it.
    As the song goes, we've only just begun, but the team is excited and determined to make a game that lives up to your, and our, expectations. You've put a huge amount of trust in us, and we want to repay you with the best RPG we can.

    Next week, we'll be talking about system design and how we're approaching mechanics like class design, advancement, and the role of equipment. We're also working on fulfillment of some of the Kickstarter pledges and we'll have more info on that in the next few weeks. Finally, if you missed our D&D session from last week, we have it up on the YouTubes for your enjoyment!​

    George Ziets working with Obsidian again. Pretty awesome.

    Original update here.
     
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  2. Jarpie Arcane Patron

    Jarpie
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    :bravo:

    They really seems to be aiming pretty damn high...I hope they are right about the development time.
     
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  3. DalekFlay Arcane Patron

    DalekFlay
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    Next week's update: our usual lunch order.
     
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  4. Mrowak Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Mrowak
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    So, does anyone still have doubts that they were not making up all those promises as they went, and now, after cold shower, they have to somehow glue all of that stuff together?
     
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  5. darkpatriot Arcane

    darkpatriot
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    They only presented their concept for what they wanted to do. They can't have things specifically planned out before they have their budget. They only get their budget after the kickstarter is over. They also wanted to be able to be somewhat flexible in being able to respond to what backers want to see in the game. I do think some things promised in the campaign might wind up hindering them some, specifically the 15 level mega dungeon. It's not going to sink the project though. We are probably just going to lose out on some other areas that would have been in the game if they didn't have to do a 15 level mega dungeon.

    Were you under the impression they had a detailed production schedule for this game before the kickstarter went up?
     
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  6. Jarpie Arcane Patron

    Jarpie
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    Mrowak gonna Mrowak, what a surprise.
     
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  7. Mrowak Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Mrowak
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    No, though I demanded to be showed that during Kickstarter campaign, while others claimed that "they have a plan, but that they won't show it". I don't buy into whole "they couldn't put together a schedule because they did not know their budget". They actually knew the minimal amount from the start - $1.1 million. How about starting from there and building it up, explaining e.g. how exactly they are going to make those two cities for $3.5 million or why employing Ziets costs $2.8 million (beyond marketing considerations)? No?


    You mean, not be a tool who drools over insubstantial marketing, but a consumer who wants guarantee of quality? You're sure as hell right!

    It's funny how Kickstarter warped everyone's objectives. I think this model warrants a serious psychological research. In normal campaign the goal of the developer/publisher is to market the shit in order to get money, whereas the goal of the consumer is to get the assurance the the product is going to be of top-quality, which causes friction on the line and a failsafe mechanism when the product fails to meet expectations. Not to mention the fact that in usual case the publisher/dev has at least some gameplay footage to show.

    Here, however, the top-quality was associated with the higher amount of money the developer gets (i.e. the more money they gather, the better the product will be), so the consumer is willing to spend more and more just to be promised that they product will meet his expectations (as we could see in the final hours of the campaign)... and all of those promises are based on nothing, as proved by the video above. What's worse, you can be certain that due to emotional attachement to the product even if PE turns out to be an unredeemable shit with awful combat, brainless AI and clunky controls (aka. NWN3), people will jump into its defense just to protect their ego.

    Yeah, that sure is bound to end well.
     
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  8. Spectacle Arcane

    Spectacle
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    This is exactly why they were right not to have too detailed a plan when going into the kickstarter, as it would be obsolete as soon as they hit the first stretch goal. Did they make up some things as they went along? Probably yes, but that's hardly a negative, it would be extremely surprising if running such a campaign and getting feedback from thousands of fans didn't stimulate their creativity.
     
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  9. HanoverF Arcane Patron

    HanoverF
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    MCA Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Divinity: Original Sin 2
    You cracked the case there, Columbo. Especially considering they said they made up the first several stretch goals over a 4 hour brainstorming session when the Kickstarter got fully funded before the first weekend was over.
     
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  10. darkpatriot Arcane

    darkpatriot
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    Because budgets don't work that way. It's not just a matter of this costs 500K, this cost 150K, and if we get 300k more we can add this. At 1.1 million they might handle certain aspects one way. At 2 million they might have the resources to handle them in an entirely different way. As a result the way the two budgets are structured would be different. It isn't a matter of the 2 million budget just being the 1.1 million budget plus 900k worth of additional stuff. It definitely isn't the matter of the 4.1 million budget being the 1.1 million budget plus 3 million worth of additional stuff. Any time, and as a result money, they spend figuring out an in depth production schedule for a game with a budget for 1.1 million is mostly wasted time when it comes down to figuring out an in depth production schedule for a game with a 4.1 million dollar budget. Figuring out in depth production schedules for each conceivable mile stone, i.e., 1.1 million, 1.6 million, 2.1 million... is definitely a lot of wasted time and effort.

    Edit: Of course marketing considerations affected their stretch goals. That's what they were trying to do. Market their kickstarter to raise more money. Were they not supposed to do that?
     
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  11. ironyuri Guest

    ironyuri
    Mrowak is potato, I see him more as:

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Haba Harbinger of Decline Patron

    Haba
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    Because others don't have the same objectives as you do, they are warped and inherently wrong and misguided, right?

    You are not buying a product. There is no product. There is an idea of a product that could be. That is what the pitch says, that is what you get.

    When I commission a painting from a painter, I do not demand and expect nor do I shout my consumer rights. It is a calculated risk based on the artist's previous works. Whenever there is a creative process involved, that is the risk you have to accept.

    If you are risk aversive and in love with the magical "consumer's rights", then you do not commission art. You do not go to an expensive restaurant and order an experimental piece from the menu. You go to the supermarket and you buy a poster and you grab a burger from McDonalds on your way to home.

    Why is it so very hard to accept that something isn't for you and walk away?
     
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  13. ironyuri Guest

    ironyuri
    Sorry, but you faggots need to stop comparing this to art patronage.

    Patrons had a massive amount of control over the outcome, whether they were patronising Michelangelo or a no-name portrait artist. If the patron was the church they could have elements painted out, over, in, whatever the fuck they wanted. If your patron was a de Medici, they could demand to be painted into religious scenes because they were the benefactors.

    Stop fucking comparing this to art patronage as if the Popes or Sforzas or Monarchies of Europe were somehow gracious patrons freely giving away their money for fine art. They were not. They placed huge demands upon the artists as well as huge restrictions.
     
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  14. commie The Last Marxist Patron

    commie
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    Nah, Mrowak is more like:
    [​IMG]

    Which is more in keeping with his sleuthing skills. (Only Potato People will understand the reference)
     
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  15. ghostdog Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    ghostdog
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    Mrowak

    If some fucktard thought that obsidian had everything planned before starting the kickstarter , I don't give a fuck, and no one in his right mind should give a fuck.

    Now for everybody else (and that's about everyone) it was obvious that Obsidian didn't have a detailed plan about the game. They never said they have a detailed plan and in fact they said that they were coming up with stretch goals along the way.

    So everyone that backed the project knew that. And they backed the project because of the developers behind it (Cain, MCA, Sawyer) and the promise that the game will be in the vein and style of the IE games of the past.

    I know you wanted detailed vision statement, I would too, but why the fuck are you still bitching about this ? It was never promised by Obsidian, they've been clear about it from the start.

    Oh and the "how are they gonna glue this together ?" argument is weak. It's 2 cities, wilderness, megadungeon and lore/story about souls/whatever. It's pretty basic shit dammit, they glue themselves together by default.

    :rpgcodex:
     
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  16. FeelTheRads Arcane Patron

    FeelTheRads
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    Myeah, comparing it to art patronage is fucking retarded.
    Haba's gonna haba.
    Although it's true that you don't have "consumer rights" in this case, I don't see what's wrong with pointing out very possible problems that could arise. Fucking Bethesdarians going all: :hearnoevil:

    Why don't you understand that Fallout 3 isn't just for you and walk away?

    Greek is potato too?
     
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  17. Haba Harbinger of Decline Patron

    Haba
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    Well duh? There are many sorts of patronage, sometimes you have more control sometimes less. This has absolutely nothing to do with historical art patronage.

    Even in business, some angel investors invest without any ownership equity or convertible debt from the start-up.

    Besides, you prove the analogy works perfectly well with KS projects - only the restrictions and demands are set by the artist and not by the patron.
     
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  18. ironyuri Guest

    ironyuri
    Greeks pretending to be Potato count, too. Potato and Souvlaki, marriage made in heaven.
     
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  19. Haba Harbinger of Decline Patron

    Haba
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    You see a problem with making up problems that didn't exist in the first place? The money is in the bank. You've lost your chance to influence it now. HEY GUYS YOU SHOULD'VE NOT GIVEN MONEY FOR THIS, IT IS STUPID! HERE IS A 5,000 WORD ESSAY ON WHY IT WILL FAIL! HEEEEEEY?

    Maybe it fails, maybe it won't. Most of us took the risk with full awareness of this fact. The fact that one guy is feeling massive buyers remorse doesn't change that.

    Maybe if I complain loud enough, they'll give the money they made back and burn all the copies of the game that were made, right? Is that the logic?
     
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  20. FeelTheRads Arcane Patron

    FeelTheRads
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    No, the logic is to not just sit take it up the ass. It may have no effect, but keeping your mouth shut will certainly have no effect. I thought the Codex was against taking it up the ass, unless it's literal.

    You sound butthurt that some people actually care more about their money than you do.
     
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  21. Rhalle Augur

    Rhalle
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    Sawyer's computer brings back memories. He's had that case a while. The first computer I built 100% from scratch about 10 years ago used that exact case. It's an old midrange-budget Antec and it's built like a tank, with an automotive-quality paint job of the kind you don't see anymore on cases in any price range.

    I wish I still had it.
     
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  22. Kingston Arcane

    Kingston
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    No it won't. It'll have one city, or two half-finished cities, exploration areas (specific term, that) and one 12-level mega-dungeon (with half of the levels copy-pasted). Obsidian could barely provide something finished when a publisher was breathing down their necks, what are the odds now that there's no one checking to make sure they actually get something done.
     
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  23. catfood AGAIN

    catfood
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    [​IMG]
    :hmmm:

    So you don't trust Obsidian.

    But gave money to them anyway.

    Okay.
     
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  24. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator Patron

    Jaesun
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    The KS was a pitch, just like what they do when they approach Publishers.
     
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  25. TeknoBM Dark Souls Fan

    TeknoBM
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    "The size and structure of the world - This game will be... large. And it will have two big cities, exploration areas, and a 15-level mega-dungeon"

    Ofcourse the development time for that second large city omg liek in all earths periods there was only 1 city !! and that 15 levels 2x2 dungeon would be used anyway for other content/quality assurance that we will now name "expansium inclinus" and sell it to you for mucho denarios.
    That will mean that there will 1-300 more bugs in the original version but you already expected that, didnt you ?:troll: ...
    people never learn
     
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