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Hardcore Tactical Shooter Kickstart

A new Crowdsourced Hardcore Tactical Shooter Kickstarter Page looks to generate funding for a hardcore, close quarters battle first-person shooter for Windows PCs from Serellan LLC. This is the brainchild of Christian Allen, who has been a design lead on Ghost Recon and Halo titles before going indie. There's an interview on Ghostrecon.net talking with Christian about the project, and here's a bit on his approach:

For years, fans of tactical shooters have been crying out for someone to make a quality, hardcore, tactical shooter. But in contrast to these requests, game publishers eschew realism and tactics in exchange for ease of use and “cinematic” flavor. This campaign aims to see if my theory that real tactical shooters aren’t dead, and that enough people want one to justify the cost of development.

I’ve been in the video game industry working on best in class shooters for ten years now – designing and leading teams creating Tom Clancy games and Halo Reach. Now I’ve struck out and formed a new company for indie game development, Serellan LLC.

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47. Re: Hardcore Tactical Shooter Kickstart Mar 6, 2012, 08:25 Beamer
 
Dmitri_M wrote on Mar 5, 2012, 08:17:
Bhruic wrote on Mar 5, 2012, 08:11:
Schafer's name attached to that Kickstart

And Schafer is known for what exactly..? Monkey Island..famous adventure games.. No one can name the devs of tac shooters outside the hardcore fans. It is the appeal of the genre.. Schafer might be the Carmack of Adventure games. Tac shooters have no "Carmack".

Maybe Schafer can associate his name with a tac shooter. I'm sure the money will pour in, not.

Schafer regularly does appearances on most of the late night talk show hosts.

Outside of CliffyB he's the biggest celebrity this industry has. People may not remember his games enormously, but they remember the goofy, funny guy they see everywhere.
 
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46. Re: Hardcore Tactical Shooter Kickstart Mar 6, 2012, 01:45 Jerykk
 
Schafer's titles have broad appeal. You denied it earlier, but essentially that's why. I don't know why you're so focused on the individual.

Again, how do Schafer's titles have broad appeal? How many units did Psychonauts and Brutal Legend sell? Hell, have any of his games sold more than a million units? Adventure games do not have broad appeal. Not anymore. Shooters have broad appeal, which is why they routinely sell more than a million units and why publishers pump them out on a monthly basis. The same can't be said for adventure games.

I'm not saying that tactical shooters have broad appeal but claiming that adventure games have broad appeal is just as inaccurate. Schafer's reputation is based on the games he's developed over the years and the good will he's built up with his fanbase. Another key factor is media exposure. Schafer's Kickstarter has received tons of attention on both mainstream and niche websites. This tactical shooter Kickstarter and that other project have received little to no attention whatsoever.

I'm arguing against other's on here presuming that a recognizable name within the tac shooter dev community will make any difference to a tac shooter kickstarter. And that a career game dev isn't capable of producing a decent tac shooter because he didn't directly work on 3 or 4 titles, ignoring that simply having a long standing career in gaming is a difficult enough task.

If a guy who worked on a bunch of CoD games decided to start up an adventure game Kickstarter, do you honestly think that he'd get as much funding as Schafer? No, he wouldn't. That's because he wouldn't have any reputation or fanbase within that genre. Reputation matters and developing a bunch of classic games within the appropriate genre is what establishes that reputation. It's not enough to just work in game development. You need to have an accomplished body of work that's relevant to the project you're trying to get funded.

Tac shooters is all I care about in this context. I've never played any of Schafer's children's games to completion.

I think you just let your bias slip through. You apparently don't like adventure games or Tim Schafer, which explains your belief that his Kickstarter's success had nothing to do with his reputation.

This comment was edited on Mar 6, 2012, 01:53.
 
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45. Re: Hardcore Tactical Shooter Kickstart Mar 5, 2012, 08:41 Dmitri_M
 
Bhruic wrote on Mar 5, 2012, 08:37:
And Schafer is known for what exactly..? Monkey Island..famous adventure games.. No one can name the devs of tac shooters outside the hardcore fans. It is the appeal of the genre.. Schafer might be the Carmack of Adventure games. Tac shooters have no "Carmack".

Are you arguing my point for me? Schafer is known for adventure games, yes. And that's why people are putting in the money. It's not for an adventure game, it's for a Schafer adventure game. It's the name that is bringing in the money, not the project.

I'm arguing against other's on here presuming that a recognizable name within the tac shooter dev community will make any difference to a tac shooter kickstarter. And that a career game dev isn't capable of producing a decent tac shooter because he didn't directly work on 3 or 4 titles, ignoring that simply having a long standing career in gaming is a difficult enough task.

Tac shooters is all I care about in this context. I've never played any of Schafer's children's games to completion.
 
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44. Re: Hardcore Tactical Shooter Kickstart Mar 5, 2012, 08:37 Bhruic
 
And Schafer is known for what exactly..? Monkey Island..famous adventure games.. No one can name the devs of tac shooters outside the hardcore fans. It is the appeal of the genre.. Schafer might be the Carmack of Adventure games. Tac shooters have no "Carmack".

Are you arguing my point for me? Schafer is known for adventure games, yes. And that's why people are putting in the money. It's not for an adventure game, it's for a Schafer adventure game. It's the name that is bringing in the money, not the project.
 
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43. Re: Hardcore Tactical Shooter Kickstart Mar 5, 2012, 08:17 Dmitri_M
 
Bhruic wrote on Mar 5, 2012, 08:11:
Schafer's name attached to that Kickstart

And Schafer is known for what exactly..? Monkey Island..famous adventure games.. No one can name the devs of tac shooters outside the hardcore fans. It is the appeal of the genre.. Schafer might be the Carmack of Adventure games. Tac shooters have no "Carmack".

Maybe Schafer can associate his name with a tac shooter. I'm sure the money will pour in, not.

This comment was edited on Mar 5, 2012, 08:27.
 
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42. Re: Hardcore Tactical Shooter Kickstart Mar 5, 2012, 08:11 Bhruic
 
Schafer's titles have broad appeal. You denied it earlier, but essentially that's why. I don't know why you're so focused on the individual.

It's impossible to prove, but I definitely believe that without Schafer's name attached to that Kickstart, it wouldn't have seen 1/100th of the money it's got.

Gaming these days is all about name recognition - either of the game (ala CoD), or the "designer".
 
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41. Re: Hardcore Tactical Shooter Kickstart Mar 5, 2012, 07:43 Dmitri_M
 
Jerykk wrote on Mar 5, 2012, 05:06:
I named someone further down in the comments that fits that bill. His title has floundered. You can argue it's all about this particular guy not being able to sell this kickstarter all you like, in the end it comes down tac shooters being dead.

The biggest issue with that guy is nobody knows his project exists. I'm not going to argue that the tactical shooter genre is thriving but as with any indie project, creating consumer awareness is essential. That's one of the reasons why Schafer's Kickstarter was so successful. All the major sites posted news about it. Conversely, I don't think I've read a single headline (aside from on this site) pertaining to this tac shooter Kickstarter or that project from the other guy.

Schafer's titles have broad appeal. You denied it earlier, but essentially that's why. I don't know why you're so focused on the individual.

Tactical shooters are a niche within a genre that's already completely flooded with titles. The average gamer cannot differentiate tactical shooters from CS, the hordes of F2P MP only shooters popping up or COD. No one individual is going to generate the sort of buzz that's required to fund a tac shooter through crowdsourcing. Monkey Island was like the Doom of Adventure games. Broad appeal. Day of the Tentacle is fondly remembered by a lot of people who played PC games as kids but likely only play games on their iphones now that they have their own kids.

I had some real idiot hipsters at my work post Schafer's kickstarter into their office skype taglines. There's something about adventure games that's wishy washy enough for anyone to jump onboard the bandwagon. Hardcore tactical shooters..good luck finding that broad appeal today. It pains me to say that because it's far and away my favourite PC gaming genre.

This comment was edited on Mar 5, 2012, 08:05.
 
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40. Re: Hardcore Tactical Shooter Kickstart Mar 5, 2012, 07:05 Beamer
 
Jerykk wrote on Mar 5, 2012, 05:06:
I named someone further down in the comments that fits that bill. His title has floundered. You can argue it's all about this particular guy not being able to sell this kickstarter all you like, in the end it comes down tac shooters being dead.

The biggest issue with that guy is nobody knows his project exists. I'm not going to argue that the tactical shooter genre is thriving but as with any indie project, creating consumer awareness is essential. That's one of the reasons why Schafer's Kickstarter was so successful. All the major sites posted news about it. Conversely, I don't think I've read a single headline (aside from on this site) pertaining to this tac shooter Kickstarter or that project from the other guy.

Schafer's was carried everywhere. Outside of that game and the game that teaches you to program I haven't seen any game kickstarter mentioned anywhere but here, and here I think waited until Schafer's before really mentioning them.

But that's because Schafer's wast noteworthy - you had a big names doing it. So anyone that played DOTT discussed it. Then you had such a huge response that EVERYONE covered it, even non-gaming non-tech sites.
This? This is some guy that once did a GBA R6 standing in front of a green screen telling you how if you pay $1000 he'll include any garbage map you make in the final game.
 
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39. Re: Hardcore Tactical Shooter Kickstart Mar 5, 2012, 05:06 Jerykk
 
I named someone further down in the comments that fits that bill. His title has floundered. You can argue it's all about this particular guy not being able to sell this kickstarter all you like, in the end it comes down tac shooters being dead.

The biggest issue with that guy is nobody knows his project exists. I'm not going to argue that the tactical shooter genre is thriving but as with any indie project, creating consumer awareness is essential. That's one of the reasons why Schafer's Kickstarter was so successful. All the major sites posted news about it. Conversely, I don't think I've read a single headline (aside from on this site) pertaining to this tac shooter Kickstarter or that project from the other guy.
 
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38. Re: Hardcore Tactical Shooter Kickstart Mar 5, 2012, 04:46 Dmitri_M
 
Teddy wrote on Mar 4, 2012, 21:02:

Who knows, maybe BIS will make Arma3 something special right out of the gate

They won't. If you're not prepared to invest time into the franchise don't even approach it. A partial reason for the lack of technical innovation in ArmA is that they're trying to keep mods from the previous titles compatible. Laughing off ArmA because it requires modding is missing the point. The ArmA you get out of the box is just a framework for mods. Most players don't even load the single player campaign at all, going straight to the mission editor and playing out of it. It's a true niche product that requires a different approach.

This comment was edited on Mar 5, 2012, 04:54.
 
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37. Re: Hardcore Tactical Shooter Kickstart Mar 5, 2012, 04:41 Dmitri_M
 
Jerykk wrote on Mar 5, 2012, 01:13:
Name someone you believe will attract huge amounts of public donations to a tactical shooter?

Someone who worked as a designer on more than 3 well-regarded tactical shooters. It doesn't have to be someone famous. It just needs to be someone with sufficient professional experience in the genre.

I named someone further down in the comments that fits that bill. His title has floundered. You can argue it's all about this particular guy not being able to sell this kickstarter all you like, in the end it comes down tac shooters being dead.
 
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36. Re: Hardcore Tactical Shooter Kickstart Mar 5, 2012, 02:21 Bhruic
 

Exactly my point. Smart is clearly a fan of space sims. He's been making them for almost 20 years. However, being a fan of specific genre doesn't make you a good designer.

Ok, but your point is irrelevant. Derek Smart is a bad designer in general. So him being a fan is irrelevant. My point was that someone who is a good designer, but hasn't worked in a specific genre, can still be a good designer for that genre, if they've done the research (ie, played the games).

I don't think he has sufficient experience with designing tactical shooters.

Yes, I understand that. And yet, it's still not really relevant. There are plenty of good designers that worked on games in genres they didn't have experience with who made great games. That's because they were good in general.

The more experience you have, the better you'll be able to predict and handle potential obstacles.

Having experience in the genre would help with the first, but any experience would help with the second. And while he might not be able to predict all the obstacles, that doesn't mean he can't overcome them when they pop up.

Again, refer to Derek Smart. Smart has lots of experience designing games and he has lots of experience with space sims, but that hasn't stopped him from making lousy space sims.

I'm confused, are you arguing my point now? You're basically saying that having experience in a specific genre doesn't mean you're going to make good games in that genre. Exactly. Which means that having experience in that genre is a secondary concern after whether you're actually good in general.

Another good example is Bioware. When they started working on Mass Effect, they didn't really have any experience working on shooters. I have no doubt that many members of the team loved shooters but that alone wasn't enough to get good results. Predictably, ME wasn't a very good shooter but the RPG and story elements helped carry the game to success.

Actually, that's a really poor example, because there's no indication that making ME1 a shooter was a priority. The focus of ME1 was clearly on the RPG elements (and it was marketed as an RPG). It wasn't until ME2 came along that they switched focus, and made the shooter elements primary.

That has no correlation with anything that's going to be going on with this project.
 
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35. Re: Hardcore Tactical Shooter Kickstart Mar 5, 2012, 01:13 Jerykk
 
Name someone you believe will attract huge amounts of public donations to a tactical shooter?

Someone who worked as a designer on more than 3 well-regarded tactical shooters. It doesn't have to be someone famous. It just needs to be someone with sufficient professional experience in the genre.

That's not really the issue. How about putting it differently, is Derek Smart a good designer of any game?

Exactly my point. Smart is clearly a fan of space sims. He's been making them for almost 20 years. However, being a fan of specific genre doesn't make you a good designer.

That's not to say this guy is going to make all the right decisions (where "right" is subjective to begin with), but if he's got sufficient experience designing games, and sufficient experience with tactical shooters, then those two combined would give me a decent degree of confidence that he would know what to do to make a good tactical shooter.

That's the problem. I don't think he has sufficient experience with designing tactical shooters. The more experience you have, the better you'll be able to predict and handle potential obstacles. Anyone can come up with ideas for a dream game but actually turning these ideas into a cohesive and polished experience that appeals to more people than just yourself... that's another matter entirely. Again, refer to Derek Smart. Smart has lots of experience designing games and he has lots of experience with space sims, but that hasn't stopped him from making lousy space sims.

Another good example is Bioware. When they started working on Mass Effect, they didn't really have any experience working on shooters. I have no doubt that many members of the team loved shooters but that alone wasn't enough to get good results. Predictably, ME wasn't a very good shooter but the RPG and story elements helped carry the game to success. With ME3, the shooting gameplay has improved quite a bit. This is because Bioware has had more experience designing shooters and not just playing them.

This comment was edited on Mar 5, 2012, 01:24.
 
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34. Re: Hardcore Tactical Shooter Kickstart Mar 4, 2012, 21:49 Bhruic
 
It's not quite that simple. There's a big difference between playing a game and making a game. When you make a game, you have to make decisions about things that you never really think about while playing games. When you make a game, you lose perspective on the decisions you've made and how they affect the game as a whole. Ideas that sound great in theory may end up being not so great in practice, but if you're heavily invested in those ideas, you won't realize that there's a problem until someone tells you.

Think of it like this: if being a fan of a particular genre was enough to become a great designer within that genre, then wouldn't Derek Smart be one of the best space sim designers ever?

That's not really the issue. How about putting it differently, is Derek Smart a good designer of any game?

As for the whole "losing perspective" angle, that's entirely possible with any game, and any genre with any developer. The amount of experience you have designing games in a specific genre isn't a major factor in "losing perspective". It's the calibre and quality of the designer themselves, which isn't tied to any one genre. That's not to say this guy is going to make all the right decisions (where "right" is subjective to begin with), but if he's got sufficient experience designing games, and sufficient experience with tactical shooters, then those two combined would give me a decent degree of confidence that he would know what to do to make a good tactical shooter.
 
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33. Re: Hardcore Tactical Shooter Kickstart Mar 4, 2012, 21:02 Teddy
 
Dmitri_M wrote on Mar 4, 2012, 06:14:
ArmA's failing is it requires a VAST amount of modding to get it to a point where it becomes something truly special and unique with features not available in any other tactical shooter to date.. The built in campaigns, maps and features are terrible and BIS themselves have made little effort to take the game into a meaningful creative direction.

If you view R6 as a CQB shooter, Ghost Recon as a mid range shooter, then ArmA is the long range\size over detail shooter.

Of those three titles it is the least accessible though. Requires a lot of patience and the right level of mods to really enjoy. You can tailor it to be any sort of shooter you like. Most gamers can't invest the time in it.

On a base level though you'd still have to cope with the non-ID engine inherited control school with the characters head acting as a camera, rather than the player's view being tied directly to the weapon as it is in ID engines\conventional tac shooters. Personally it's never bothered me, but then I'm not a little bitch like many gamers. Even back when tactical shooters ruled the market, we'd have many hardcore PC guys LAN with us and complain about dying too easily in Swat, or the movement being too slow in R6 (compared to Quake) or the controls being clunky in OFP\Arma. Today's shitty consolised versions of R6 and Ghost Recon. That's what gamers really want. Enjoy guys.

I agree on most points. The problem is, you can't release a game today that isn't something special on it's own. If it requires a "VAST amount of modding" just to enjoy the game, then that's a complete failure of game design.

I'm sure my take on it isn't much different from many people who tried it. I heard the hype, said 'alright, I'll give it a shot.' Bought the base game, loaded it up, tried to like it. Deleted it a week later. Everything about the way the game handled screamed amateur, as though these people had never been introduced to the concept of a user-friendly interface/control scheme. They seriously need to hire someone competent in that field. Anyways, story continues, when I comment on my response to the game I'm told, "Oh, you need to have this expansion pack and these mods for the game to be 'really good'." I laugh my ass off and say fuck that, I already wasted enough money on that PoS, I'm not shelling out double the cash, much less spending the time needed to track down the mods and keep them updated just in the hopes that these people are right.

The way I see it, they made a shoddy ass product, filled with bugs and unnecessarily awkward game-play and then the gamers fixed it for them. That's not something I intend to reward a company for, even though I do applaud them for allowing their game to be modded in the first place.

Who knows, maybe BIS will make Arma3 something special right out of the gate, but I'm not holding any real hope for that after having been sorely disappointed by ARMA 1 and 2.
 
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32. Re: Hardcore Tactical Shooter Kickstart Mar 4, 2012, 20:20 Dmitri_M
 
The guy has earned a salary working on mainstream shooters. He was capable of producing work that kept him employed in a highly competitive field. That's about all the qualifications he needs. Being a fan will see him through on the details.

People on the outside of creative industries cannot grasp that you rarely get to work on exactly what you want to all of the time that you're employed.

Name someone you believe will attract huge amounts of public donations to a tactical shooter?

This comment was edited on Mar 4, 2012, 20:28.
 
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31. Re: Hardcore Tactical Shooter Kickstart Mar 4, 2012, 19:49 Jerykk
 
You don't really need experience working on tactical shooters to make a tactical shooter. It's not like there are technological challenges that are unique to that genre. If he's played tactical shooters, knows what makes a game a tactical shooter, and is aiming to make such a game, that will be sufficient.

It's not quite that simple. There's a big difference between playing a game and making a game. When you make a game, you have to make decisions about things that you never really think about while playing games. When you make a game, you lose perspective on the decisions you've made and how they affect the game as a whole. Ideas that sound great in theory may end up being not so great in practice, but if you're heavily invested in those ideas, you won't realize that there's a problem until someone tells you.

Think of it like this: if being a fan of a particular genre was enough to become a great designer within that genre, then wouldn't Derek Smart be one of the best space sim designers ever?

Schafer get's a boatload of cash because the games he makes have very broad appeal.

That's not really accurate. Shooters are far more popular than adventure games and Schafer's last high-profile games (Brutal Legend and Psychonauts) sold poorly. The reason why his Kickstarter was a success was because of his reputation. He's been involved with many cult classics; Day of the Tentacle, Monkey Island, Full Throttle, Grim Fandango and Psychonauts. These games all had small but devout fanbases and their faith in Schafer is what made his Kickstarter successful. The same can't be said for the guy who made this tactical shooter Kickstarter. What reputation does he have? He worked on the console version of an expansion pack for one tactical shooter. That's it. Just because he's a fan of the genre doesn't mean he can make a good game in that genre. I have no reason whatsoever to have any faith in his ability until he actually proves it and his credentials certainly don't prove it.

This comment was edited on Mar 4, 2012, 20:00.
 
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30. Re: Hardcore Tactical Shooter Kickstart Mar 4, 2012, 17:04 Dmitri_M
 
Prez wrote on Mar 4, 2012, 16:25:
The tac shooter community is a passionate one but it was never larger than UT or Quake during the 1999 to 2004 glory days of tac shooters,...

but I believe the number of people who miss the hardcore tactical shooter of the "glory days" you mention isn't at all insignificant. I am thinking it's the relative lack of confidence people are being instilled with by the nature of this particular project is what is keeping it from taking off thus far. Just speculating here of course; suppose it could be that there just aren't enough of us anymore.

Groundbranch was meant to fill the tactical shooter niche and that never got much attention over the course of 4 years. I know about it because I still play tactical shooters. The guy behind it was involved in all the classic tac shooters. It never get's a word anywhere, perhaps a fault of the devs not marketing it to anyone other than tac shooter fans (not many left to market to..) The genre is dead, and the dribble of money into this new's items kickstarter is confirmation of that.

I don't believe a developers for-money-credits carry any weight in this particular instance. I worked for a time on a certain well known shooter, and sad to say the devs there believed their fans were all idiots, and most of them were just pulling a salary with no interest in the sort of shooter they were making. Colour me jaded.

Schafer get's a boatload of cash because the games he makes have very broad appeal. I can also see why most gamers would ignore tac shooters since "it's just a shooter". The subtle differences between dying easily and having to play carefully escape many. Back in the day there were a lot of players who could hardly differentiate between CS and R6 except that R6 was "too hard".

This comment was edited on Mar 4, 2012, 17:26.
 
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29. Re: Hardcore Tactical Shooter Kickstart Mar 4, 2012, 16:25 Prez
 
The tac shooter community is a passionate one but it was never larger than UT or Quake during the 1999 to 2004 glory days of tac shooters,...

Relative to the demand for more Call of Duty-alikes, yeah the demand is small, but I believe the number of people who miss the hardcore tactical shooter of the "glory days" you mention isn't at all insignificant. I am thinking it's the relative lack of confidence people are being instilled with by the nature of this particular project is what is keeping it from taking off thus far. Just speculating here of course; suppose it could be that there just aren't enough of us anymore.
 
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28. Re: Hardcore Tactical Shooter Kickstart Mar 4, 2012, 13:40 Dmitri_M
 
Prez wrote on Mar 4, 2012, 10:54:
It's also possible there isn't as big of a demand for hardcore tactical shooters but I doubt that's it

There isn't a demand. To most gamers tactical equals slow play. The tac shooter community is a passionate one but it was never larger than UT or Quake during the 1999 to 2004 glory days of tac shooters, and today the dumbed down GR and R6 franchises and the COD\BF3 MP communities vastly outweigh the 100 or so people playing ArmA\R6\OGR online.
 
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