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Game News Dead State, DoubleBear's Zombie RPG, To Go Kickstarter

Crooked Bee

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Tags: Brian Mitsoda; Dead State; DoubleBear Productions; Kickstarter

"We're back! Head to our forums and let us know what you'd like to see in a Kickstarter project," DoubleBear's Twitter has enigmatically proclaimed. You know we here at the RPG Codex have always had great interest in Dead State, the survival zombie CRPG Dead State once promised to deliver. So to the forums I went, zombie-like, only to find Brian Mitsoda explaining the current situation and the game's prospects in the following way:

First off, apologies to everyone about the lack of updates lately. As is the case for many small projects without much in the way of funding, life and side projects/jobs get in the way of production… which is to say, not much was happening for a few months. But, in the last few weeks, the team has refocused their efforts and our build is finally seeing regular updates again. Our dedication to the project restored, it kinds of brings us to an interesting dilemma – how do we keep the project going full-speed while still being able to pay for development essentials like electricity, software licenses, and beer?

Let’s backup to an internal conversation from a few months ago. Some of us were keeping an eye on this newfangled Kickstarter service that was featuring more and more interesting projects all the time. While there were a few games on there, nothing was really pulling in the money needed for an RPG with a 10+ person team. We were pretty sold on the possibilities, but ultimately it came down to whether or not we thought we had the game in a state where we’d be comfortable asking people to fund our continued development. The reality of the situation was that it was not quite where it needed to be yet, so we put those plans on hold.

Unfortunately, this kind of led to a period where everyone had to take on second jobs/contract work, which naturally resulted in less time being put into Dead State. And one of the worst things that can happen in a creative project is losing momentum, which is what we’ve spent the last few weeks gaining back. And in that time, there’s been kind of an explosion in the realm of crowdsourcing. There is now both an awareness and excitement over the possibilities, and some pretty big projects (way higher than our budget) getting funded through Kickstarter. I’m not so sure it’s “the future” yet and I expect Kickstarter fatigue to set in as every short-on-cash dev tries their luck at the crowdsourcing game. The last thing we want to do is look like a “me too” project trying to ride the gamer goldrush (dolla dolla bill, y’all!) – but I expect that there are going to be quite a few projects that have no such hang-ups.

I still don’t think we’re quite ready for a Kickstarter launch, but we’re starting to head in that direction. I think putting a bit of distance between any possible launch and the massive projects being funded right now is probably a smart move, though I’m not a bizdev guy, so who knows. While we toil away on the latest Dead State builds and features, I would like to open up the discussion to you, the potential supporter - let’s kickstart a Kickstarter discussion. Here’s what we would like to know:

-We’re planning on showing off some of the gameplay we think represents the game. What would you like to see most to feel confident about contributing to the game? (Please don’t describe a fully complete game.)

-When would you want Dead State out by at the latest? (Keep in mind, no amount of money can make 10 people do the work of 25.)

-What kind of rewards would you like to see and for how much? (For example, higher level sponsorship might get your portrait done up as a zombie or non-ally NPC featured in the game.)

-How often would you want to see updates and what would you like us to showcase? (Again, keep in mind, doing updates takes time out of our schedule.)

We still want to bring you the zombie survival RPG experience we set out to do from day one, but in order to get it done in a reasonable time frame, it’s no longer going to be possible without a way to sustain full-time development – your feedback would help shape our plans quite a bit. Thanks for your continued support and interest - let’s see if we can make 2012 a great year for Dead State!​

Head over to the forums to let Brian know what you want in a Kickstarter project for DoubleBear's zombie apocalypse simulator. A zombie kitten army? Romanceable zombies? Zombie diplomacy? Make your preference heard.
 

likaq

Arcane
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Messages
1,198
I will be cheering on with all my heart on Brian's kickstarter.
Make it happen Brian! :bro:


But wait until end of W2 kickstarter .
 

Stabwound

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Kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter give me your jewgold kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter kickstarter.
 

Zed

Codex Staff
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Codex USB, 2014
Kickstarter and all these projects are triggering my intuitive skepticism. Soon I must actually make an effort to actually judge games on a game-per-game basis so I don't react like Stabwound ;)

I am skeptical though. Game was pretty much abandonware afaik and suddenly it's resurrected. No communication at all during the dead time.

I wonder if they'll go above 50k pledge goal. Banner saga was 50k, but is profiled more as an artsy game and probably has lots of artfags pledging. This game is all about game mechanics. That's hard to pitch.

They should wait at least a month before starting the kickstarter though. Too soon, too soon.
EDIT: OH I should probably practice reading.
I still don’t think we’re quite ready for a Kickstarter launch, but we’re starting to head in that direction. I think putting a bit of distance between any possible launch and the massive projects being funded right now is probably a smart move, though I’m not a bizdev guy, so who knows. While we toil away on the latest Dead State builds and features, I would like to open up the discussion to you, the potential supporter - let’s kickstart a Kickstarter discussion. Here’s what we would like to know:
 

Brother None

inXile Entertainment
Developer
Joined
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Messages
5,673
Yeah, can't stack em up too quick.

Very curious to see what they'd ask. It's a very different situation from Wasteland 2, which has a very low budget for an RPG but a very high one for an indie.

Would 50K be enough? 50K should be a cinch to raise.
 

Stabwound

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Messages
3,240
Kickstarter and all these projects are triggering my intuitive skepticism. Soon I must actually make an effort to actually judge games on a game-per-game basis so I don't react like Stabwound ;)

I am skeptical though. Game was pretty much abandonware afaik and suddenly it's resurrected. No communication at all during the dead time.

I wonder if they'll go above 50k pledge goal. Banner saga was 50k, but is profiled more as an artsy game and probably has lots of artfags pledging. This game is all about game mechanics. That's hard to pitch.

They should wait at least a month before starting the kickstarter though. Too soon, too soon.
EDIT: OH I should probably practice reading.


Like you said, the game was basically vaporware. Oh, but then Tim Schafer and Brian Fargo raise $5 million + and suddenly the game is back alive and looking for YOU to donate your money. So you donate your precious golds, and then the game is still vaporware.

I think Kickstarter is great, but it's going to get stained if people keep jumping on the bandwagon like this, trying to take advantage of it. It's such a "hot" thing right now and all it will take is one kickstarter campaign to royally rip people off to spoil it for everyone. Donating to a kickstarter doesn't guarantee you're going to get anything, no. But what if a game like this gets people to donate thousands of dollars and it doesn't ever result in an actual end product? Who is going to donate to kickstarter again after something like that happens?

And it will definitely happen at this rate.
 

felipepepe

Codex's Heretic
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Terra da Garoa
They should wait at least a month before starting the kickstarter though. Too soon, too soon.
This. Way too soon.
The issue is, if this keeps up, every month is gonna have at least one or two games that the Codex would approve being kickstarted; Dead State may never have a month were only they kickstart something cool.

While this may look like "OMG its heaven!", most people are not gonna spend 100 bucks on kickstart every month, they don't even spend $60 on a finished boxed game per month. So we will see mostly donations of only $10-15, or even no donation at all. Instead of having one game reaching 2 millions every few months, we will have a bunch of projects just barely, or even not reaching at all, their goals...had Brian Fargo only kickstarted Wasteland 2 next month, he probably woudn't have 1,380,000 moniez at this point...
 

Infinitron

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Codex Year of the Donut Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
Kickstarter and all these projects are triggering my intuitive skepticism. Soon I must actually make an effort to actually judge games on a game-per-game basis so I don't react like Stabwound ;)

I am skeptical though. Game was pretty much abandonware afaik and suddenly it's resurrected. No communication at all during the dead time.

I wonder if they'll go above 50k pledge goal. Banner saga was 50k, but is profiled more as an artsy game and probably has lots of artfags pledging. This game is all about game mechanics. That's hard to pitch.

They should wait at least a month before starting the kickstarter though. Too soon, too soon.
EDIT: OH I should probably practice reading.


Like you said, the game was basically vaporware. Oh, but then Tim Schafer and Brian Fargo raise $5 million + and suddenly the game is back alive and looking for YOU to donate your money. So you donate your precious golds, and then the game is still vaporware.

I think Kickstarter is great, but it's going to get stained if people keep jumping on the bandwagon like this, trying to take advantage of it. It's such a "hot" thing right now and all it will take is one kickstarter campaign to royally rip people off to spoil it for everyone. Donating to a kickstarter doesn't guarantee you're going to get anything, no. But what if a game like this gets people to donate thousands of dollars and it doesn't ever result in an actual end product? Who is going to donate to kickstarter again after something like that happens?

And it will definitely happen at this rate.

It dawns on me that Kickstarter themselves will increasingly have an interest in policing the quality of their pledge funds, so as not to spoil their 'brand'.
 

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
You know, I'm not a skeptical person generally. But I am highly skeptical about this one, to the point where I would probably only go for the minimum pledge. Dead State has always looked vapourware-ish to me, and the total lack of gameplay things to demonstrate I felt was always disturbing. Can they really pull off a game of this scale, even if they manage to collect $50-100k through Kickstarter? I don't even need the resulting game to be great, I just want it to exist -- that's why I donated to Tim Schafer (has a few recent, and more or less decent, games under his belt, can keep deadlines), Brian Fargo (has assembled a great team, has published some games recently meaning he can release one, at least, plus his entire career depends on it!), Faster Than Light (has a great playable demo already so there's no way it turns out to be vapourware), and even The Banner Saga (small in scope, a trailer exists, nothing too ambitious about it to pull off a playable game, at least).

Naturally, I'm willing to reconsider if they have some kind of extensive gameplay footage, world design and some other stuff to show off at the launch of their Kickstarter campaign. Fingers crossed.
 

likaq

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One more thing, possible DS KS will most probably bring loads of attention to AoD. And boost sales of AoD.
Double :incline:

:yeah:
 

Morkar Left

Guest
Jumping on the bandwagon, eh? Why not. But I think it's too early, too. Depends on how much they need.

Fargo has with inXile an ongoing company and they already proved that they can deliver a software product on a technical level. I think Doublebear should continue development on a part-time scale till they have a working demo ready with the basic gamemechanics included. Then they have something to show and can exactly explain why somebody should fund their product. Without it's just a zombie-game.

For me: playable demo (presentation only would be enough for me) = I throw my money in if drm-free. How much I would have to see but as a rule of thumb; a full rpg with box and manual = fullprice.
 

Brother None

inXile Entertainment
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Naturally, I'm willing to reconsider if they have some kind of extensive gameplay footage, world design and some other stuff to show off at the launch of their Kickstarter campaign. Fingers crossed.

For those with (legitimate) concerns, I think this is where we're going in the near future with this recent trend. There have always been a ton of failed Kickstarter projects asking for money while not really showing anything done. The nature is you got to have a good pitch, something to show. DoubleFine got away with showing nothing because it's DoubleFine. InXile got away with it because of the Wasteland name, developers involved and a rather desperate, starved niche. But the more this progresses, the more people will inevitably want more to be shown. The less of an established name you have, even if it's only established as "our company has released products so we know what we're doing", the more people will demand to see work has been done and a solid plan is in place *before* contributing.

And that's a good thing.
 

Azalin

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[
Like you said, the game was basically vaporware. Oh, but then Tim Schafer and Brian Fargo raise $5 million + and suddenly the game is back alive and looking for YOU to donate your money. So you donate your precious golds, and then the game is still vaporware.

I think Kickstarter is great, but it's going to get stained if people keep jumping on the bandwagon like this, trying to take advantage of it. It's such a "hot" thing right now and all it will take is one kickstarter campaign to royally rip people off to spoil it for everyone. Donating to a kickstarter doesn't guarantee you're going to get anything, no. But what if a game like this gets people to donate thousands of dollars and it doesn't ever result in an actual end product? Who is going to donate to kickstarter again after something like that happens?

And it will definitely happen at this rate.

100% this.Everyone jumping on the bandwagon can easily turn into a shitstorm when one project screws everyone that pledged money.I understand many indie or larger developers seeing this as an easy way to get some cash for their project but it might end not have such a happy ending
 

Infinitron

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Codex Year of the Donut Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
Naturally, I'm willing to reconsider if they have some kind of extensive gameplay footage, world design and some other stuff to show off at the launch of their Kickstarter campaign. Fingers crossed.

For those with (legitimate) concerns, I think this is where we're going in the near future with this recent trend. There have always been a ton of failed Kickstarter projects asking for money while not really showing anything done. The nature is you got to have a good pitch, something to show. DoubleFine got away with showing nothing because it's DoubleFine. InXile got away with it because of the Wasteland name, developers involved and a rather desperate, starved niche. But the more this progresses, the more people will inevitably want more to be shown. The less of an established name you have, even if it's only established as "our company has released products so we know what we're doing", the more people will demand to see work has been done and a solid plan is in place *before* downloading.

And that's a good thing.

Problem is, gameplay footage is easy to doctor. Like that famous 2001 Duke Nukem Forever trailer.
 

Trash

Pointing and laughing.
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Highly sceptical about this one. Why? Simple, they were dead in the water and kept quiet for a considerable amount of time. Now they see other devs finding the goose with the golden egg and they're suddenly back again.

Still, I love the concept, the devs have a solid record and if they only slowed down because of finances this might just be what they need. Still, sceptical and hoping they'll wait for a bit. Everyone and their mother jumping on the crowdfunding hype will kill it quick. Then again, I'm all for customer responsibility and kickstarter is all about that. Don't like what you see or don't want to take the risk? Don't pledge.
 

VonVentrue

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Divinity: Original Sin Wasteland 2
Yeah, can't stack em up too quick.

Very curious to see what they'd ask. It's a very different situation from Wasteland 2, which has a very low budget for an RPG but a very high one for an indie.

Would 50K be enough? 50K should be a cinch to raise.

100k, relatively small amount though it may be, should be enough to cover all the expenses and bring the project to a successful completion.
I can understand why many perceive Dead State as an overly ambitious project considering the size of the team, but calling it "vaporware" is a bit of a stretch...
 

Lexx

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325
It's an rpg about zombies. Have a hard time to imagine DS not being able to raise a big fund of money.
 

Kz3r0

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I wonder if they'll go above 50k pledge goal. Banner saga was 50k, but is profiled more as an artsy game and probably has lots of artfags pledging. This game is all about game mechanics. That's hard to pitch.
Last time I checked they got a single donation of 5.000$ out of the 10.000$ they have raised.


About Dead State, I made a poll not long ago in GRPGD, it didn't end well.
 

Kraszu

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I wonder if they'll go above 50k pledge goal. Banner saga was 50k, but is profiled more as an artsy game and probably has lots of artfags pledging. This game is all about game mechanics. That's hard to pitch.
Last time I checked they got a single donation of 5.000$ out of the 10.000$ they have raised.


About Dead State, I made a poll not long ago in GRPGD, it didn't end well.

What? Banner Saga is 100k, and it is:
1,099
Backers

$39,374
pledged of $100,000 goal

Making average pledge ~36$.
 

Trash

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It's an rpg about zombies. Have a hard time to imagine DS not being able to raise a big fund of money.

Too much in too short a time? I must admit I blew most of my money already on the Wasteland 2 run and only had some chump change left for Banner Saga. Otoh, apart from Double Fine all the other funded stuff is rather niche* and still reached their goals quite adequately. Fact is however that most of the funded ones like FTL and Code Hero were so far already in development that they could offer demos and betas for people to try out and make up their mind. Apparantly people liked what was offered. Again, people will have to make up their own mind on what projects to support. I suspect promises of greatness alone won't cut it for very long however.

*Yeah, in todays age even an adventure by Schafer could be considered niche as it's not another mainstream fps or sports game. Goddamn.
 

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