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Obsidian Considering a Kickstart

On a note related to the story above, a tweet from Friday by Obsidian's Chris Avellone asks about interest in a Kickstarter project, pointing to their blog as where to register interest. Apparently this was quite high, as a follow-up tweet says they needed to reconfigure their blog to handle 1000 hits per second following the query (thanks Develop). Word is:

All of Double Fineís success from Kickstarter has been inspiring.

I GUESS PEOPLE LOVE THOSE CLASSIC ADVENTURE GAMES AFTER ALL.*

The idea of player-supported funding is... well, itís proof certain genres arenít dead and sequels may have more legs than they seem. And the idea of not having to argue that with a publisher is appealing.

Out of curiosity, if Obsidian did Kickstart a project, what would you want to see funded? (You can respond in comments or to @ChrisAvellone on Twitter, whichever you prefer.)

* I only use all caps for sarcasm and shouting. And for the Think Tank in Old World Blues for comedy value.

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30. Re: Obsidian Considering a Kickstart Feb 14, 2012, 01:31 Jerykk
 
Orogogus wrote on Feb 14, 2012, 00:43:
Jerykk wrote on Feb 14, 2012, 00:09:
I'd love to believe that the kickstarter fund would end up reaping a return to the 'investors' in terms of quality and adherence to some of the principles that made the classics of yesteryear, but I think mobs like Obsidian will still try to go for mass appeal etc rather than making a solid game.

I don't think they would. For one, customers would expect some details before investing their money. Things like the type of game being made and the estimated length of development, for example. I highly doubt Obsidian would just take all that money and use it to fund a prototype they can just show off to publishers.

Given the realistic funding that a Kickstart would provide (~$1 million), Obsidian would have no choice but to make a 2D, old-school, text-driven CRPG (like Planescape Torment). I sincerely believe that old-school developers like Avellone would love to do such a thing but the realities of business have made it unfeasible.

I kind of suspect it would be a very short CRPG, or more old school than initially supposed. Tim Schafer says DOTT cost almost half a million in today's dollars to make without including voices. So he can do better than that with his $1.7M+, but something like the Infinity Engine seems an order of magnitude or two more complex. Torment looks like something that took a lot of people a lot of time to put together. Grim Fandango comes out to $4.2M in today's money, and Tim Schafer implies that nearly all of that goes to developer salaries rather than something optional like voice actors.

Just as a back of the envelope calculation, if a group can get their game done in a year, and say the average salary is $50K, then 20 people is $1M. A game that takes 2 years would hit that with just 10 people. And if you go to Mobygames and click on a credits page, there are about 35 people even stopping at just the programmers, designers, scripting and artists. So I suspect that for $1M, old school might be less Infinity Engine and approaching more Ultima 6 or gussied-up Gold Box.

Oh, no doubt any RPG they'd make on Kickstarter funds would be smaller in scope than PST. It would probably only be 20-30 hours long and take place in one primary location. That said, there are a lot of interesting things you can do under such constraints. You just have to be creative (and no, DA2 wasn't creative). If you're going for larger scope, you could go the Fallout route of tile-based graphics and an overworld map for exploration.
 
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  1. Feb 13, 20:31 Re: Obsidian Considering a Kickstart wtf_man
  2. Feb 13, 20:44  Re: Obsidian Considering a Kickstart nin
  6. Feb 13, 21:01  Re: Obsidian Considering a Kickstart MysterD
  7. Feb 13, 21:16   Re: Obsidian Considering a Kickstart Prez
  8. Feb 13, 21:37    Re: Obsidian Considering a Kickstart Mad Max RW
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  41. Feb 14, 08:16     Re: Obsidian Considering a Kickstart Beamer
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  4. Feb 13, 20:49  Re: Obsidian Considering a Kickstart nin
  5. Feb 13, 20:55   Re: Obsidian Considering a Kickstart The Half Elf
  16. Feb 13, 22:55   Re: Obsidian Considering a Kickstart Mashiki Amiketo
  23. Feb 13, 23:25  Re: Obsidian Considering a Kickstart Pineapple Ferguson
  10. Feb 13, 21:56 Re: Obsidian Considering a Kickstart ELITE
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  12. Feb 13, 22:10  Re: Obsidian Considering a Kickstart Creston
  13. Feb 13, 22:23   Re: Obsidian Considering a Kickstart Asmo
  24. Feb 13, 23:38    Re: Obsidian Considering a Kickstart Jerykk
  25. Feb 13, 23:57     Re: Obsidian Considering a Kickstart Asmo
  26. Feb 14, 00:09      Re: Obsidian Considering a Kickstart Jerykk
  27. Feb 14, 00:43       Re: Obsidian Considering a Kickstart Orogogus
>> 30. Feb 14, 01:31        Re: Obsidian Considering a Kickstart Jerykk
  14. Feb 13, 22:29   Re: Obsidian Considering a Kickstart Sepharo
  36. Feb 14, 06:44    Re: Obsidian Considering a Kickstart Dev
  20. Feb 13, 23:18   Re: Obsidian Considering a Kickstart wtf_man
  15. Feb 13, 22:35 Re: Obsidian Considering a Kickstart commonperson
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  28. Feb 14, 01:08   Re: Obsidian Considering a Kickstart commonperson
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  51. Feb 14, 20:45      Re: Obsidian Considering a Kickstart Acleacius
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  18. Feb 13, 23:07  Re: Obsidian Considering a Kickstart Orogogus
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