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Company News Obsidian reportedly about to be acquired by Microsoft

Discussion in 'RPG Codex News & Content Comments' started by Infinitron, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. Mustawd Arcane

    Mustawd
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    This is the issue with appealing to nostalgia. Many people didn’t want these games to evolve. If anything they wanted continuations of what they liked before. But the KS era had always had that split crowd. The ones who want a return to old school sensibilities and those that want those games but “moved forward”

    As a developer that’s an impossible situation, and it creates this weird space where you can make a good game but it will still dissapoint a good chunk of fans regardless of the quality of the game.
     
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  2. Mustawd Arcane

    Mustawd
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    Why do that when you can get everyone’s money? Don’t forget that PoE was pitched because Obsidian was going under. I doubt they cared who donated for their game as long as the money rolled in.
     
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  3. IHaveHugeNick Arcane

    IHaveHugeNick
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    But the goals were clearly stated.

    BT4 never hid the fact that it's going to be a heavily modernized game using completely different mechanics, and that the goal is to re-imagine blobber as a modern genre with BT lore tacked on. Anybody who expected BT3 with better graphics is a moron who can't read what he is backing.

    Pillars, same shit. There's a reason they called it spiritual successor, not a successor. The goal was to capture the feel of what IE games felt to people who played them at the time, rather than recreate what they actually were. Again, nobody tried to hide it and Sawyer was pretty adamant from day one that some things are gonna change. That Sensuskis of the world bulshited themselves into thinking that kiting like a retard is best game mechanic ever , that's not on developers.

    I can't think of a single Kickstarter RPG that promised to make a bit by bit clone of the classics. They all use terms like, inspired by X , similar to Y, reimagined Z. People who deluded themselves into expecting clones of old RPGs have nobody to blame but themselves.

    The fundamental issue of all these nostalgia-driven Kickstarters, is that hardcore audience funds the game, but that just puts developer at zero money, assuming they don't go overbudget, which they all do. It still needs to move units if the company is to survive, and devs have to walk a fine line and compromise between pleasing the backers and running a sustainable business.

    And sometimes it's not clear that pleasing the backers is a good idea. Virtually everyone agrees that PoE1 would have been much better game if they ditched half of the pointless stretchgoals and made a tigher, more focused RPG. But they were hell bent on fulfilling obligation to the backers and made a much worse game as a result.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
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  4. Mustawd Arcane

    Mustawd
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    This is simply not true. Or at the very least mostly inaccurate.

    -PoE was funded after the first pitch video, which was scant on details and full of IE game clips.

    -Wasteland 2 was even more of a barebones pitch, with a slick and entertaining clip that looks like it started as a Funnyordie youtube video. Once again, the details were minimal.

    Then you have some projects that promise to be PC centric and change course midway through develipment to apppeal to consoles.

    Phoenix Point is a great example of this. Their initial pitch was always very XCOM-like, but the art direction as well as the overall theme was solid. A Microsoft/Xbox deal and millions of dollars later and the art dorection has changed towards something more generic. The UI is now being designed for both PCs and Consoles.


    EDIT: I’ll also add that it’s interesting how everyone is sliwly realizing how unique crowdfunding is compared to traditional models. Early on people were comparing Kickstarter to being a type of investor in a game. Then Fig actually tried to make you an investor (although a lot of its money still comes from non investor backers).

    The comparison is not a good one. If the dev came to me and said, “Well we’ve streamlined the original concept, tweaked the art to make it more mainstream, and decided to port to consoles. The result is that it’s going to make a ton more money”, I’d be elated as an investor. As a crowfunding backer? I’d be horrified.
     
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  5. set Cipher

    set
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    If you want the next "great CRPG made" you will have better chances by spending the next two years playing the slots, the stock market, buying real estate, whoring yourself out, and creating the next SnapChat or something -- then taking all the money earned from those endeavors to build a studio and pay people to make a game that caters to your specific whims.
     
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  6. IHaveHugeNick Arcane

    IHaveHugeNick
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    And those pitch videos were then followed by 30 days of constant updates packed full of details. If you were troubled by any of those updates, you could just cancel your pledge. So let's cut the shit, shall we? The information was out there in the open amd the devs were clear about what they're making. If you try to buy a lamp but end up buying anal dildo instead, that's your own damn fault for not reading the description.

    None of those games had some massive change of direction in the middle of production that could have caught backers by surprise. They make what they promise. It's the quality, implementation and design of those promises that's is often an issue. But I can't think of a Kickstarter RPG where the backers could legitimately say, wait, this isn't what I paid for.

    And the funny thing about everybody praising Disco Elysium's innovation - it is precisely because they are not attached to any nostalgic golden era classic, that they can innovate.
     
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  7. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    Yeah, it was fucking obvious what the game was after 30 days, and if you really thought this was going to be a AD&D campaign set in the Sword Coast you were the moron

    You can of course criticise Pillars for trying new things and failing, but it's pretty idiotic to whine that you were promised a carbon copy of Baldur's Gate and didn't get it.

    (E.g. at a quick look, they tell you about noncombat skills, some way to circumvent kill XP, godlikes, challenge modes, megadungeon, race-based reactivity, ciphers, chanters, fighters that can be built around active abilities, grimoires, a loredump of history-inspired races and factions...)

    Again, it's a question of whether the features they developed were good, and it's a question of other decisions they made during development that helped/harmed the game just like every video game ever developed. It's not a question of pinning a giant list of 8000 things that define Baldur's Gate and crying traitor when they don't tick one.

    The irony is that Codexers hate it when they think devs are designing things to pander to audiences or to copy past games. That's because they realise that good games are made from a certain artistic vision. So I know that if I fund a complete tick-the-boxes clone on Kickstarter, I'll probably get a pretty shitty clone anyway. The whole point was to fund spiritual successors that do their own thing or entirely new projects, and then hope that at least some of them turn out pretty good.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
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  8. Fenix Cipher Vatnik

    Fenix
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    But they weren't funded after 30 days...
     
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  9. Prime Junta Arcane Patron

    Prime Junta
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    Apply for a lead position at a studio that does exist.
     
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  10. Prime Junta Arcane Patron

    Prime Junta
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    Fucking shitlibs, everything for you boils down to consumer choice. To the point you can’t even parse somebody critiquing something from some other point of view.
     
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  11. Kyl Von Kull The Night Tripper Patron

    Kyl Von Kull
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    He has sick family to take care of. I would love if Mr. Majestik did this, but I can’t blame him for taking it easy. In the long run he’ll do better work if he doesn’t feel coerced.

    Also, seriously, play Kingmaker. It is not at all experimental or revolutionary, it’s just fantastically well executed (bugs in the second half aside). It restored my faith in Kickstarter overnight. You may want to wait until it’s fully patched. Don’t do that. I am not a spiritual man, but I can say with confidence that it is a panacea for the soul of the jaded RPG enthusiast.
     
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  12. The Bishop Arbiter

    The Bishop
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    Personally, even though I wasn't one complaining about PoE not being this or that, it's pretty easy to see why many would have problem with it. Yes, Obsidian's campaign didn't explicitly state that they're making a carbon copy, but the few details they gave really didn't constrict the idea of what they're doing either, and they sure as hell namedropped IE games as much as they could. You can very easily imagine a game that fits given description and is very IE like, and you can also imagine a moderately different game, and a completely different thing altogether. The campaign essentially was selling a dream, not anything particularly specific. And if you let people fill in the blanks, they will quite naturally end up finding different ways of doing so. It really should come at no surprise that many people will feel their expectations betrayed, however rational that might be. And again, Obsidian wasn't appealing to rationality when presenting their campaign.

    In short, if you go to people and tell them "hi guys, we're going to make your dream game!", you shouldn't be surprised at hearing "fuck you this is not my dream game!" when you ship it. Because for many people it really isn't going to be.
     
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  13. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    For people who say, "I wanted a game that understands & channels the quality & style of the IE games, and I don't think PoE succeeded at all", that's a fair criticism to make. That's the expectation that Obsidian gave to them, after all.

    But people who say, "They changed things and tried to design their own game, they should have just copied IE/D&D, they lied to us!!!", that's pretty unrealistic and flies in the face of known information by the end of the KS period. There was often criticism that went along the lines of "Sawyer knows better than everyone" or "why can't they just give me autoattack fighters like in AD&D", which is like saying "don't try to design a new game."

    I have a bit more sympathy for casuals who loved BG and have zero idea of how game development or creative work in general works. But for the average Codexer, they already knew that's not how it works.

    The point is, Obsidian gave you a very early pitch of a game. If you know anything about making games, you know that things change, and have to change, quite a bit during development. During the KS period, you also learnt enough details to know that this was not going to be a carbon copy. At that point, if you decided to give them money believing you'd get a carbon copy, that's just dumb. If you decided to give them money to do their own thing, and you think what they came up is a pile of shit, that's a fair criticism to make.
     
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  14. IHaveHugeNick Arcane

    IHaveHugeNick
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    If people can't parse your point of view, it's usually because your point of view makes no sense.
     
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  15. The Bishop Arbiter

    The Bishop
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    Tigranes
    I get your point, and I don't even think I'm directly contradicting it. What I'm referring to is not whether people have rational reason to complain, but rather that a campaign structured like PoE's will inevitably make many people unhappy. It's inherent to the chosen process. People aren't very rational creatures to begin with, and will be doubly irrational when dealing with imaginary things, but these type of unhappy responses should very well be expected.
     
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  16. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    Sure, I see what you're saying. I would concur that it's not particular reasonable & that it is an expected line of complaint.

    In the big picture, the way I figure, Kickstarter gave existing players like Obsidian and Larian an opportunity to try and create new old-school CRPGs, however un/successful, and it also gave new players like inXile (as an RPG maker), Owlcat and many others a shot, again with varying degrees of success. I say that the fact that even some of these were pretty good beats the odds. If they had to sell some nostalgia and make some stupid overpromises to get there, well hindsight is 20/20 but it's not the worst that could have happened.

    Some morons like to celebrate when an RPG company goes down, but I remember the mid-00's when it seemed like the future was just full of Bioware sex simulators and Oblivions, and then Obsidian came along. Their post-NV travails make me sad, as does inXile's inability to push on from WL2. As much as people like VD and Styg have outdone Sawyer or Fargo, I would prefer to have all of them around, not one or two.
     
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  17. Fenix Cipher Vatnik

    Fenix
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    All these "after 30 days" do not stand up to any criticism because people gave money long before that.
    In fact this is what con man do - h don't lie to you directly, just using as vague wording as possible so you can fool yourself.
    They were not the first, and not the last. But backlash is always exist - PoE2 selling numbers is direct evidence to that.
    Case is closed.
     
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  18. IHaveHugeNick Arcane

    IHaveHugeNick
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    People didn't give any money and Obsidian didn't receive any money until the campaign was over. Pledges aren't locked until campaign finalizes. That's why it's called a pledge in a first place. You hoped for a bit-by-bit BG2 clone, during campaign it turns out that's not what they're making, you can pull out. If you didn't, tough shit.
     
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  19. mondblut Arcane

    mondblut
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    How is that a problem? That's the sole reason justifying their existence in the first place. Or would be, if most of them didn't fuck up appealing to nostalgia properly.

    Oh, fuck you. We've had "springboards to greater things" for 40 years. Can they now kindly blow their brains out and field another Wizardry 7 for me instead? Thank you.
     
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  20. Fenix Cipher Vatnik

    Fenix
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    Most people not read further the first pitch.
    It's the same catch as with text in small print on contracts.
     
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  21. Volrath Arcane Patron

    Volrath
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    But was it really? Am I really remembering it that badly? I could have sworn Sawyer started his autistic ramblings on somethingawful only after the game was funded.
     
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  22. FeelTheRads Arcane Patron

    FeelTheRads
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    Well, I asked for a refund as soon as he started yapping. So it definitely was after.

    I'd say going from "successor to the games you loved!" to "the games you loved are shit and I hate them!" is quite deceitful.
     
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  23. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite

    Roguey
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    There was an entire megathread full of Roguey trolling during the Kickstarter campaign. I was without a doubt the #1 source of "What Josh Sawyer really thinks" at the time.
     
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  24. Fairfax Arcane

    Fairfax
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    Sawyer constantly talked shit about the games PoE was meant to emulate, but none of that was part of the campaign itself. Perhaps he genuinely thought he could make the ultimate IE game in his own way, but it was still dishonest. If people knew Project Eternity's director never liked the IE games that much and hated the ruleset, they wouldn't have been as excited about it. Sawyer obviously knew that.

    Yes, but the more controversial stuff is from after the campaign, and most of it was posted on a paywalled forum.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2018
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  25. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite

    Roguey
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    Imagine if they knew that they only pitched it because "if we don't, someone else will" and not out of any particular passion.

    For posterity, here are most of the Roguey trolls from Project Eternity

    Show Spoiler



    Something that's largely been forgotten is how there was a huge thing about cooldowns in the middle of the campaign. In the end, he went back to Vancian.
     
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