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Is InXile a Ponzi scheme?

Metro

Arcane
Beg Auditor
Joined
Aug 27, 2009
Messages
27,792
You want me to give you money? Then give me a somewhat finished product, don't sell me a concept.
I'll still support a strong concept if it's not a rich beggar doing it, for ex Stygian.
You just do it for the forum badges.
 

Deleted Member 16721

Guest
More like a Fonzi scheme, because InXile's games are the coolest!


2015115513.jpg



:)
 

Mustawd

Guest
But now with Kickstarter, what was a common piece of the industry that was mostly just part of the background noise suddenly gets thrust right in people's faces, since now it's their money and risk at stake, not some faceless investors'.

Yes, but the point is not that cuts WILL happen. It's HOW they are handled. Especially BECAUSE we're in a new world with backers, the PR/Customer Service of kickstarted devs should adapt to this new expectation. Or risk ruining their reputation, which is much harder to fix.
 

Kem0sabe

Arcane
Joined
Mar 7, 2011
Messages
13,109
Location
Azores Islands
Remember when Brian Fargo drove his company into the ground in part by riding the early cinematic wave that helped kill old crpgs and people on this very forum were like "yeah we better give this guy thousands of dollars because his name was nebulously attached a decades old game no one cares about except for internet cred?" Remember how people on this forum were obviously scammed by garbage game wasteland 2 and decided to give this man MORE MONEY only to get scammed even worse? I remember and I laugh every time I remember.

I member.
 

Reapa

Doom Preacher
Joined
Jul 10, 2009
Messages
2,340
Location
Germany
But now with Kickstarter, what was a common piece of the industry that was mostly just part of the background noise suddenly gets thrust right in people's faces, since now it's their money and risk at stake, not some faceless investors'.

Yes, but the point is not that cuts WILL happen. It's HOW they are handled. Especially BECAUSE we're in a new world with backers, the PR/Customer Service of kickstarted devs should adapt to this new expectation. Or risk ruining their reputation, which is much harder to fix.
if there's any waste due to mistakes in programming and shit like that it is expected from an experienced company to plan the cost of the features they promise accordingly. hence, if a feature is promised as a stretch goal for 200k then it should cost 200k including mistakes. cuts should not happen. iirc kickstarter promised us devs who can do shit without fearing that the publisher will cut their shit. what we see now is that experienced game devs have no idea how long they would have to work on something and how much it would cost or they do know and lie and steal.
 

Mustawd

Guest
cuts should not happen.

How's that ivory tower of yours? What a naive concept.

what we see now is that experienced game devs have no idea how long they would have to work on something and how much it would cost

They never did before. Projects were constantly dealing with feature creep or under bid budgets. News at 11. Why did you expect this to change?
 

Reapa

Doom Preacher
Joined
Jul 10, 2009
Messages
2,340
Location
Germany
cuts should not happen.

How's that ivory tower of yours? What a naive concept.

what we see now is that experienced game devs have no idea how long they would have to work on something and how much it would cost

They never did before. Projects were constantly dealing with feature creep or under bid budgets. News at 11. Why did you expect this to change?
you are the one who is being naive. people manage to make cars with doors and roofs not just wheels and engines. cuts only happen if you are too stupid to plan or use the "cuts" to explain how the money was instead spent on crack and whores. how can anyone believe that a company can miscalculate the cost of translating something??? translators are paid depending on the amount of stuff they have to translate. if the company cut the Italian translation after they said they would do it for a certain sum of money then obviously that money was not spent on what was promised.
 

Mustawd

Guest
how can anyone believe that a company can miscalculate the cost of translating something???

Because I've spent the first part of my career seeing exactly that done over and over. Because as a senior on a project I was in charge of some aspects of project management and made wrong estimates, as have countless others before me. Because long term projects are complex and unpredictable. Because sometimes you can't foreseee everything.

What one should ask themselves is if this is an overall pattern of ineptitude. I'd argue it's close to being that. Regardless, HOW you communicate said miscalculations is just as important as WHY you miscalculated. I'm not letting inXile off the hook for making stupid stretch goals they probably shouldn't have made. However, how they communicate these mistakes goes a long way in terms of how I feel about them as a company and how they execute their business model.

I once made a huge mistake on a project that caused substantial delays. During review this was pointed out and my performance was assessed accordingly (albeit against other multiple projects where i had performed much better). However, I communicated the mistake early and mitigating procedures were made in order to correct the mistake. They were painful, but a lot more painful had I stayed quiet. In the end, it was a growing experience, but didn't define my reputation in the firm.


My point is that mistakes and miscalculations like these should not be made, but if they are it is inherently better to communicate them as early as possible. The mistake is still a mistake and should be judged as such. But you just make it worse by sitting on your hands and hoping no one notices.
 

Commissar Draco

Codexia Comrade Colonel Commissar
Patron
Joined
Mar 6, 2011
Messages
20,856
Location
Привислинский край
Insert Title Here Strap Yourselves In Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Divinity: Original Sin 2
But now with Kickstarter, what was a common piece of the industry that was mostly just part of the background noise suddenly gets thrust right in people's faces, since now it's their money and risk at stake, not some faceless investors'.

Yes, but the point is not that cuts WILL happen. It's HOW they are handled. Especially BECAUSE we're in a new world with backers, the PR/Customer Service of kickstarted devs should adapt to this new expectation. Or risk ruining their reputation, which is much harder to fix.
if there's any waste due to mistakes in programming and shit like that it is expected from an experienced company to plan the cost of the features they promise accordingly. hence, if a feature is promised as a stretch goal for 200k then it should cost 200k including mistakes. cuts should not happen. iirc kickstarter promised us devs who can do shit without fearing that the publisher will cut their shit. what we see now is that experienced game devs have no idea how long they would have to work on something and how much it would cost or they do know and lie and steal.

True but Comrade VD has said Devs ask for 1/3 money they need anyway; so you should always take those stretch goals not for list of promised features but for the estimated base game budget. In-Exile still basically scammed us PC crowd making W2 for Consoles and two new games when product they already took dollars for was unfinished. At this point I no longer care of they did this cause of greed or cause they are so incompetent they can't stick to their release. The Damage has been done; its not like they have monopoly for CRPGs or sell some essentials. Shamefur displar from Brian and his team.

:killit:
 

Comte

Guest
They should have had a 10 million dollar stretch goal to hire Arnold Hendrick.
 

Reapa

Doom Preacher
Joined
Jul 10, 2009
Messages
2,340
Location
Germany
But now with Kickstarter, what was a common piece of the industry that was mostly just part of the background noise suddenly gets thrust right in people's faces, since now it's their money and risk at stake, not some faceless investors'.

Yes, but the point is not that cuts WILL happen. It's HOW they are handled. Especially BECAUSE we're in a new world with backers, the PR/Customer Service of kickstarted devs should adapt to this new expectation. Or risk ruining their reputation, which is much harder to fix.
if there's any waste due to mistakes in programming and shit like that it is expected from an experienced company to plan the cost of the features they promise accordingly. hence, if a feature is promised as a stretch goal for 200k then it should cost 200k including mistakes. cuts should not happen. iirc kickstarter promised us devs who can do shit without fearing that the publisher will cut their shit. what we see now is that experienced game devs have no idea how long they would have to work on something and how much it would cost or they do know and lie and steal.

True but Comrade VD has said Devs ask for 1/3 money they need anyway; so you should always take those stretch goals not for list of promised features but for the estimated base game budget. In-Exile still basically scammed us PC crowd making W2 for Consoles and two new games when product they already took dollars for was unfinished. At this point I no longer care of they did this cause of greed or cause they are so incompetent they can't stick to their release. The Damage has been done; its not like they have monopoly for CRPGs or sell some essentials. Shamefur displar from Brian and his team.

:killit:
it's hard to believe they can estimate that well how much they would get so that they can ask for that much instead of too much. if you're gonna say you'll make a game just fucking ask for whatever you need instead of asking for a third and making promises you won't keep. i can't follow VDs logic for asking 1/3 of the real cost when you can just ask for the full cost. the way i see this, people will not find 12 million more intimidating than 4 million when they are contributing 100$ each anyway. and say they get 4 million instead of 12 million at start, instead of promising stretch goals, they could explain cuts of the initial game plan and be in the right to do it since they didn't get what they asked for. the way it's now, they got what they asked for and then some and still say it's not enough. FFS
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
28,038
i can't follow VDs logic for asking 1/3 of the real cost when you can just ask for the full cost. the way i see this, people will not find 12 million more intimidating than 4 million when they are contributing 100$ each anyway.
First, it's a perception factor. People are more likely to rally around what they perceive as a realistic goal. 1 mil sounds a lot more doable than 4 or 8 or 12. Sure, each person contributes only $100 avg but it's kind of like voting - you have to believe that your vote matters and will make a small difference. Second, it's a marketing thing. "Funded within a day, holy shit!" has been a popular marketing gimmick from day one, which ensures that your "success" will be reported by the media and makes people more likely to rally around the winner. Third, asking for what you actually need is very risky. If you come short, not only you get nothing at all but you also create an impression that people aren't interested in your project.

Basically there is a YUGE difference between "we got 86% of our 5 mil goal" (i.e. 4.3 mil) and "we got 430%!!!!!! of our 1 mil goal!!!! This is unbelievable!!!". Plus collecting 70-80% of what you actually need will allow you to make it to early access, for example, or seek additional funding from a publisher, etc.
 
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Telengard

Arcane
Joined
Nov 27, 2011
Messages
1,621
Location
The end of every place
But now with Kickstarter, what was a common piece of the industry that was mostly just part of the background noise suddenly gets thrust right in people's faces, since now it's their money and risk at stake, not some faceless investors'.

Yes, but the point is not that cuts WILL happen. It's HOW they are handled. Especially BECAUSE we're in a new world with backers, the PR/Customer Service of kickstarted devs should adapt to this new expectation. Or risk ruining their reputation, which is much harder to fix.
You are wholeheartedly correct.

Unfortunately, the mechanisms driving Kickstarter are a poor tool for fixing this issue, and for a number of reasons.
  • Games companies are made up of artists and maybe a couple of business-minded people, neither of which tend to be good at PR. Pre-KS, PR and finance were handled by the publishers - which KS is specifically bypassing. So, these dev companies either have to spend money out of their own pocket to hire a competent PR person, have one of the artists handle PR - no!, or ask backers to pay for PR (hah hah hah, yeah right!).
  • Dreamer backers lack the tools to evaluate whether or not a pitch is financially sound or not. Thus they judge wholly based on how "cool" the concept sounds and whether or not they like the person making the pitch. Which is an absolutely horrible incentive structure. Thus under KS, the cooler the feature list and the greater the name recognition involved in the project, the greater the likelihood of a successful pitch. While at the same time, the cooler the feature list and the greater (and thus more expensive) the names involved, the more financially unsound the project becomes. Then add in the fact that dreamer backers have no idea what a concept feature is likely to look like in game at that game's particular finance level and with those particular devs making it, they only have the idea of their dream concept in their heads. And marry all of it with the fact that dreamers have absolutely no idea what a game really costs to make. The result is a mess. Translation - the dreamers are the financial equivalent of idiot investors (the people actual investors make money off of). Which was always KS's Achilles heel.
  • While the autists of Codexia demand that a feature list be followed to the letter, since they must actively check off each item from their list of expected features in order to determine if a game is good or not, step outside Codexia into the normal world, and the average gamer, he don't care. He's there for the experience, for the immersion. As long as you don't touch the high number and the quality of hair styles, he's not going to check the feature list. Because he bought an idea, not a feature list, and as long nothing about the resulting game upsets that idea, he will be happy. Thus, as long as you only cut gameplay-related features, only the Codex will care, and nobody likes Codexers or cares what they have to say.
So, in a perfect world, backers would be evaluating a pitch not just on the excitement of the concept but on its likely viability; indie games companies would all hire a competent PR person; and hiding missing features by burying the news until its too late or by stretching the feature to the breaking point (the Open World feature, anyone?) wouldn't work so amazingly well 85% of the time. But we don't live in a perfect world. We live in a world where artists are running the PR show (hee hee, public meltdown city), the investors are know-nothings, average gamers have low standards, and the autists of Codexia have their ginormous feature-list checkbooks, where they carefully track each feature to be satisfyingly checked off, but care nothing about such things as whether or not said features will ever mesh well together, since their clerical checkbooks are what they care about, not the actual game.

From out of this swirl of poo, it turns out that none of what Inxile is doing will much matter in the short term, unless they: 1) cut anything sacrosanct (like number of hair styles), 2) have a public meltdown, 3) don't successfully contain any negative press.
 
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Maculo

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Jul 30, 2013
Messages
2,548
Strap Yourselves In Pathfinder: Wrath
i can't follow VDs logic for asking 1/3 of the real cost when you can just ask for the full cost. the way i see this, people will not find 12 million more intimidating than 4 million when they are contributing 100$ each anyway.
First, it's a perception factor. People are more likely to rally around what they perceive as a realistic goal. 1 mil sounds a lot more doable than 4 or 8 or 12. Sure, each person contributes only $100 avg but it's kind of like voting - you have to believe that your vote matters and will make a small difference. Second, it's a marketing thing. "Funded within a day, holy shit!" has been a popular marketing gimmick from day one, which ensures that your "success" will be reported by the media and makes people more likely to rally around the winner. Third, asking for what you actually need is very risky. If you come short, not only you get nothing at all but you also create an impression that people aren't interested in your project.

Basically there is a YUGE difference between "we got 86% of our 5 mil goal" (i.e. 4.3 mil) and "we got 430%!!!!!! of our 1 mil goal!!!! This is unbelievable!!!". Plus collecting 70-80% of what you actually need will allow you to make it to early access, for example, or seek additional funding from a publisher, etc.
Interesting, it reminds me of a strategy of certain charitable or school fundraisers. You do not publicly announce the fundraiser until you have about 50% already secured. That way, people believe they are contributing to a already successful campaign.
 

sser

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Mar 10, 2011
Messages
1,866,716
2016 Wasteland 3 is kickstarted.

Figstarted. I mean if you go to their site you'll see it right there on the big video promo-- wait a minute. What is that?

MYo6Wob.jpg


^ Something is glinting strangely. Maybe just a broken pixel on my monitor? Enhance please.




rJD3gmv.jpg


^ What IS that? Look at Feargus's forehead. ENHANCE - FLIP THE IMAGE. ZOOM.




2DJ4PVd.jpg


^ LOOK. Justin's computer screen is reflecting off of Feargus's forehead. ENHANCE.



JlS36gW.jpg



^ OH MY GOD IT'S THEIR FINANCIALS.
 
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Eggs is eggs

Learned
Joined
Mar 12, 2015
Messages
256
Don't people understand that how dumb all the stretch goals are? If a company hits their minimum pledge amount for a project, they always just make shit up for stretch goals so that people will keep donating money. I don't think they actually plan "Well we'll need an extra $100k for this feature so we'll put that as a stretch goal and another $200k after that will give us another feature." It's all very haphazard and just a tactic to get as much as they can during the donation period.
 

Reapa

Doom Preacher
Joined
Jul 10, 2009
Messages
2,340
Location
Germany
i can't follow VDs logic for asking 1/3 of the real cost when you can just ask for the full cost. the way i see this, people will not find 12 million more intimidating than 4 million when they are contributing 100$ each anyway.
First, it's a deception factor. People are sheep. they only back if they think others will back too. Second, it's a marketing thing. you obviously need more money no matter the outcome. Third, asking for what you actually need is very risky. If you come short, not only will you not be able to make another console crap with bad pc porting for your backers but you also create an impression that people aren't interested in your project have to live with the truth about how many people are interested in people not lying to them and getting the game that they backed.

Basically there is a YUGE difference between "the truth" and "the shill". Plus collecting 70-80% of what you actually need (by lying to everyone) will allow you to make it to early access make console versions, for example, or seek additional funding from a publisher (to make the whole kickstarter campaign just a marketing scam and still go to publishers instead of getting your independence and using your independence), etc.
fixed that for clarity.
my response is :retarded:
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
28,038
i can't follow VDs logic for asking 1/3 of the real cost when you can just ask for the full cost. the way i see this, people will not find 12 million more intimidating than 4 million when they are contributing 100$ each anyway.
First, it's a deception factor. People are sheep. they only back if they think others will back too. Second, it's a marketing thing. you obviously need more money no matter the outcome. Third, asking for what you actually need is very risky. If you come short, not only will you not be able to make another console crap with bad pc porting for your backers but you also create an impression that people aren't interested in your project have to live with the truth about how many people are interested in people not lying to them and getting the game that they backed.

Basically there is a YUGE difference between "the truth" and "the shill". Plus collecting 70-80% of what you actually need (by lying to everyone) will allow you to make it to early access make console versions, for example, or seek additional funding from a publisher (to make the whole kickstarter campaign just a marketing scam and still go to publishers instead of getting your independence and using your independence), etc.
fixed that for clarity.
my response is :retarded:

:retarded:it might be but it's the only reason KS works.

Welcome to Earth.
 

KK1001

Arbiter
Joined
Mar 30, 2015
Messages
621
I'm convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt despite having no real concrete evidence that a sizable chunk of Torment's money went either directly to Fargo's or was used to fund multiple pitch campaigns.

I'm glad the Kickstarter meme is almost dead. Now we just need a few major AAA flops to de-oligopolize the industry might be headed somewhere.
 

Sceptic

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Messages
10,874
Divinity: Original Sin
Speaking of Ponzi schemes and Kickstarter and seeing Tim up there... whatever happened to Massive Chalice?
 

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