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Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update

The Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Page has a new update expressing enthusiasm for inXile entertainment's upcoming Wasteland sequel. There's also a Wasteland 2 Interview on GameBanshee talking with Brian Fargo about the project and its grassroots support. Here's a bit on that community element from the new Kickstarter update:

One friend of mine who worked with me there said recently he felt that in the beginning of the industry all the nerds were in charge, but then as the industry grew it changed, and now the guys that picked on the nerds got back on top. I think there was some great truth to that. We all hope this movement is bigger than just Tim Schafer or Brian Fargo as we want to get power back into the developers hands again. And the unbelievable Indie scene shows that there is momentum in that direction. The development community continues to pull itself together to ensure their success. They share tools, they share statistics, they share ideas, and the biggest donators in Kickstarter are always developers. All of this reminds me of the freshness the industry had in the late 80′s through mid 90′s in which creativity was being directed only by the gamers. The gamers will always rule at the end of the day.

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47. Re: Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update Mar 20, 2012, 02:23 Sepharo
 
Chromius wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 11:00:
Okinawa, Japan. The year is 1988, I sit fervently in front of my Apple IIe with its 4 color cga monitor. (state of the art) The guys in the open barracks are all heading out to BC street and then some to the red light district for a night of drinking maybe fighting then some whoring. They cannot believe I am going to spend the entire weekend doing nothing but playing Wasteland........

Hahaha that's great. Guy I work with was in the military for some years as some enlisted technology position during Bosnia. Said he gamed all throughout the war and lanned with his team.
 
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46. Re: Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update Mar 19, 2012, 13:51 Dev
 
Bhruic wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 11:52:
This is pretty much the only way we're going to get to see certain kinds of games again

I'm still really on the fence on this system. On the one hand, I appreciate the ability to directly influence the production of games and genres that I like. So that's a definite plus. But on the other hand, I don't like paying for products that I can't see. I mean, sure, Wasteland 2 may turn out to be a great game that I enjoy, but it might turn out to be a clusterfuck too. From that perspective, I don't want to pay for something until I know it's going to be good.

I think I'm going to wait and see how these "big" projects turn out.
That's perfectly fine, especially since its passed the funding goal

It will be put up for sale (probably minus some of the exclusive kickstarter rewards) after its done, and you can read reviews (both ppl on blues who backed it, and other mainstream reviews) and make sure its something thats worth it to you personally to buy after its released. I'm sure digital copies will be available from multiple places since they have said kickstarters will get a DRM free copy.

For me, $15 is low enough I feel I can risk it. It's not a pre-order of a $60 game. And as I've discussed in detail in this thread, its extremely unlikely for project creators (especially fargo and also he's willing to put up $100k of his own money if needed) to blow their decades long dream.
 
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45. Re: Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update Mar 19, 2012, 11:52 Bhruic
 
This is pretty much the only way we're going to get to see certain kinds of games again

I'm still really on the fence on this system. On the one hand, I appreciate the ability to directly influence the production of games and genres that I like. So that's a definite plus. But on the other hand, I don't like paying for products that I can't see. I mean, sure, Wasteland 2 may turn out to be a great game that I enjoy, but it might turn out to be a clusterfuck too. From that perspective, I don't want to pay for something until I know it's going to be good.

I think I'm going to wait and see how these "big" projects turn out.
 
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44. Re: Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update Mar 19, 2012, 11:00 Chromius
 
Okinawa, Japan. The year is 1988, I sit fervently in front of my Apple IIe with its 4 color cga monitor. (state of the art) The guys in the open barracks are all heading out to BC street and then some to the red light district for a night of drinking maybe fighting then some whoring. They cannot believe I am going to spend the entire weekend doing nothing but playing Wasteland........

I upgraded from an Apple II+ to the IIe just for Wasteland, lol.

Dam I'm old. I backed it.

I would also like people to check out Graviteams new

Steel Armor: Blaze of War

3D tank simulator in modern setting

http://graviteam-games.goodluckwith.us/eng/projects-2/steel-armor-blaze-of-war/

Its a small niche as the simulations have a smaller following its on Gamersgate for 29.99 recently released.
 
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43. Re: Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update Mar 19, 2012, 09:14 Verno
 
PHJF wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 01:32:
You raise very good point, Dev. I wasn't really so much thinking of Fargo saying "ah fuck it, I don't feel like doing it anymore." I was more thinking that if he gets 2 million in funding, and by the time he burns through 2 million, his game is 60% done. What does he do then? Where does he get the money to finish from?

That's precisely why I think this whole kickstart hooplah is bound to end poorly. Nobody is mentioning that "kickstart" implies "generate sufficient revenue to begin development", not "generate sufficient revenue to complete project." Factor in the age-old problem of the best laid plans of mice and men...

I think I'll stick with putting my money on actual products, not whatever fevered dreams every which developer is hoping to make real x months/years into the future. If there's one thing I've learned from video game developers (or any other maker or vendor of goods) it's that what they sell me is often very different than what I end up having bought.

I don't know, you can put forward as little or as much as you want to so I don't really see the harm. Developers have every incentive to put forth their best effort, this isn't the traditional support system as you pointed out. Failure to deliver on one kickstart could mean no more support in the future and it's pretty much every developers dream to be independently funded.

This is pretty much the only way we're going to get to see certain kinds of games again. If I get burned on one of these I figure it's for a good cause if nothing else. I'd rather take a chance and potentially get some of my old favorites again as opposed to the latest corridor shoot em up made for the average unimaginative console player.
 
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Playing: Dragon Age Inquisition, Far Cry 4, This War of Mine
Watching: The Walking Dead, The Fall, As Above So Below
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42. Re: Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update Mar 19, 2012, 08:56 Kajetan
 
Beamer wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 00:38:
Most of the games you see ads for do well. Homefront had an enormous amount of ads. Sold like crazy.
I would not call 2 Mio. units sold, worldwide, across all plattforms (http://www.vgchartz.com/game/34846/homefront) a "crazy success". A moderate success, if you will. Which is one of the reasons THQ closed the studio behind "Homefront". Too costly, not profitable enough.
 
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41. Re: Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update Mar 19, 2012, 07:27 Dev
 
Agrajag wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 07:07:
Dmitri_M wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 06:20:
If an average game developer is paid 30k to 60k per year, what does $1mil really buy?

Um, about 20 man-years of development? Seems like a fairly decent amount to me...
Salary of 50k means company is probably out closer to 100k (taxes benefits etc). Plus operating expenses etc.

More like 7 man years.
 
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40. Re: Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update Mar 19, 2012, 07:07 Agrajag
 
Dmitri_M wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 06:20:
If an average game developer is paid 30k to 60k per year, what does $1mil really buy?

Um, about 20 man-years of development? Seems like a fairly decent amount to me...
 
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39. Re: Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update Mar 19, 2012, 06:20 Dmitri_M
 
If an average game developer is paid 30k to 60k per year, what does $1mil really buy?  
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38. Re: Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update Mar 19, 2012, 01:57 jacobvandy
 
That's the whole point of coming up with your Kickstarter goal... You're supposed to do enough planning that you can say "Okay, we need X amount to do this how we want to," which in this case was $1 million ($900k goal plus $100k Fargo's own money). Then as soon as you start talking about the extra stuff you could do if you got even more than that, you'd better be damned sure that you'd at least be able to deliver the project 100% done as you envisioned it. It'd be career suicide not to, for Fargo and the rest of inXile. That's where trust and reputation comes into play, though; personally, I would not be giving any more than $5-10 to anybody on Kickstarter that did not have the name value of Tim Schafer or Brian Fargo, let alone the $50 I pitched in on this one.  
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37. Re: Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update Mar 19, 2012, 01:32 PHJF
 
You raise very good point, Dev. I wasn't really so much thinking of Fargo saying "ah fuck it, I don't feel like doing it anymore." I was more thinking that if he gets 2 million in funding, and by the time he burns through 2 million, his game is 60% done. What does he do then? Where does he get the money to finish from?

That's precisely why I think this whole kickstart hooplah is bound to end poorly. Nobody is mentioning that "kickstart" implies "generate sufficient revenue to begin development", not "generate sufficient revenue to complete project." Factor in the age-old problem of the best laid plans of mice and men...

I think I'll stick with putting my money on actual products, not whatever fevered dreams every which developer is hoping to make real x months/years into the future. If there's one thing I've learned from video game developers (or any other maker or vendor of goods) it's that what they sell me is often very different than what I end up having bought.
 
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36. Re: Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update Mar 19, 2012, 01:05 Dev
 
Creston wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 00:18:
Dev wrote on Mar 18, 2012, 15:01:
I've addressed this in past kickstarter threads.

MEGA SNIP...

You raise very good point, Dev. I wasn't really so much thinking of Fargo saying "ah fuck it, I don't feel like doing it anymore." I was more thinking that if he gets 2 million in funding, and by the time he burns through 2 million, his game is 60% done. What does he do then? Where does he get the money to finish from?
I'm going to talk in general about kickstarter creators and in specific about Fargo (since you mention him specifically)

Well, we basically have to trust he knows WTF he's talking about and that he planned this properly to know how much money this project needs since he's done games before. Same thing with any kickstarter really. If they haven't done any planning, then its probably going to be evident in how the kickstarter is laid out, such as the funding goal and the description. That link example I gave earlier, thats a good example of something that looks like it got basically no planning.

Keep in mind that Fargo said he was ready to kick in $100k of his OWN money if it only got funded to the extent of $900k total, so he's not without the resources to continue to work on the game longer past funding exhaustion if he has to. My feeling is that Fargo would keep working on it even without getting paid if he had to to finish this off. And the more the project is funded past the goal of what he said he needed to finish it, the less likely it is that he won't be able to finish it. If he was upfront about it, and willing to commit to finishing it, I'm pretty sure that backers would be willing to give him extra time to finish it off too.

Now talking generally (because Fargo would be highly unlikely to do this to his many year dream project), my guess is that if push came to shove, a kickstart creator for a digital project such as a game would be better off releasing a 60% done game rather than just saying screw it and screw the world. That way the creator would at least deliver something, and would be much less likely to get sued or have kickstart company demanding he refund his backers. Plus if the creator did it right, he could stop adding content, finish off the game, leave it open for an expansion, and release it. Then he can use the new income from additional sales of the newly released title to make an expansion or DLC and sell that too (or give it at no charge to the kickstarter backers if he's a nice guy). If the creator isn't totally transparent about the design process and has no documentary team (like tim with DF), the backers might never be the wiser. The creator could even say that the open ending was planned that way all along so he could add a sequel/expansion etc. It does kinda screw the backers, but are the backers better off getting nothing or a 60% done game that might be able to be finished down the road?

There are some movies and some games that one gets the feeling thats what happened, they ran out of funding or hit a deadline and had to finish up what they had and rush it out. Usually they are far better off delivering something than nothing.

This comment was edited on Mar 19, 2012, 01:16.
 
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35. Re: Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update Mar 19, 2012, 00:44 jacobvandy
 
Beamer wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 00:34:
Can we stop calling this "crowd-sourcing?"

Crowd-funding? Fine. But not crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing would imply this was built by the public. That Tactical Shooter had crowdsourcing elements and sounded like shit for it.

I have no doubt we'll see people try crowdsourced games. They'll either never get released or totally suck. It isn't a valid model. Some may feel this is semantics and hair-splitting, but we'll appreciate the difference when the true crowdsourced games start showing up.

People do tend to use the terms interchangeably, but it IS crowd-sourced funding. (It's funding, but what's the source? The crowd.) What you're talking about is crowd-sourced development, though technically Schafer, Fargo, and other popular Kickstarter projects are already dabbling in that, whether considering ideas from everyone or actually accepting little bits of work from people that pay enough (treating it like a privilege).
 
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34. Re: Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update Mar 19, 2012, 00:42 Bhruic
 
Publishers understand one thing: the bottom line.

You're being overly critical of publishers. I know why you're doing it, but it's still not really accurate. Most publishers both know about the business their in, and have a decent understanding of game design. They are focused on selling games, which requires knowledge of both of those things. Although that doesn't make them the best people when it comes to making games, they aren't the worst problem. The problem isn't with the publishers, the problem is with owners.

Take EA. If EA is publishing a Bioware game, that's fine. But when EA buys out Bioware, that's bad. What we need to do is stop the trend of gaming companies selling out to owners. Keep the publishers as publishers, don't let them own you. Once they do that, they get a lot more power and control than they had as publishers. And that's when things start going very wrong.
 
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33. Re: Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update Mar 19, 2012, 00:38 Beamer
 
Creston wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 00:23:

EA's typical budget for an "AAA" game is 25% creation and 75% marketing. I'm sure most other big publishers are somewhere around that.

So that 40 million dollar game probably only cost 10 million to make. The rest got spent on marketoids' salaries and idiotic advertising campaigns on Spike.

Creston


For one, the "marketoids" at EA get paid very little. Like most entertainment jobs, they're getting pennies compared to what they'd get in any other industry.
For another, this isn't different than any other industry.
Lastly, hell, there's pretty clear evidence that people buy based upon marketing more than quality. The entire CPG industry is based upon this. What laundry detergent do most people use. Tide. Is Tide really that much better that over 50% of the market uses it? Nope. Word of mouth is an awesome thing, but it still doesn't work most of the time. It's improving thanks to the internet, but most people still buy what TV tells them to.

So if you want to sell something you want some time on TV. Not sure if it's Spike, I never watch it, but I certainly see plenty of ads during Archer and Venture Brothers. Most of the games you see ads for do well. Homefront had an enormous amount of ads. Sold like crazy.
 
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32. Re: Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update Mar 19, 2012, 00:34 Beamer
 
Can we stop calling this "crowd-sourcing?"

Crowd-funding? Fine. But not crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing would imply this was built by the public. That Tactical Shooter had crowdsourcing elements and sounded like shit for it.

I have no doubt we'll see people try crowdsourced games. They'll either never get released or totally suck. It isn't a valid model. Some may feel this is semantics and hair-splitting, but we'll appreciate the difference when the true crowdsourced games start showing up.
 
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http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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31. Re: Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update Mar 19, 2012, 00:23 Creston
 
eunichron wrote on Mar 18, 2012, 20:13:
So, how much of that goes into marketing and nothing else? Crowdsourcing has the benefit of cutting out marketing, moving on name recognition and word of mouth alone, which I'm sure would shave millions off that $18-28 million figure.

EA's typical budget for an "AAA" game is 25% creation and 75% marketing. I'm sure most other big publishers are somewhere around that.

So that 40 million dollar game probably only cost 10 million to make. The rest got spent on marketoids' salaries and idiotic advertising campaigns on Spike.

Creston
 
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30. Re: Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update Mar 19, 2012, 00:21 Creston
 
jdreyer wrote on Mar 18, 2012, 15:50:
Creston wrote on Mar 18, 2012, 14:25:
I'd love to see the industry go back to where the guys who actually love making games are the ones in charge of WHAT GETS MADE.

I agree with this sentiment for the most part, but every good writer is made better by by a good editor. That's the function a publisher should serve. The problem right now is that publishers are controlling the entire process to the degree that we derivative crap, only with better graphics.

I agree about the editor, but an editor is someone who understands the art of writing. He/she understand what makes a novel a page-turner, and what makes it a plodding, miserable piece of shit. (for example, see the last George RR Martin novel. THAT needed an editor more than any book has ever fucking needed one.)

Publishers understand one thing: the bottom line. They don't understand shit about making games, and all they care about is that the game has features they can put on the back of a fucking box, and that it "looks and plays like Call of Duty!"

Developer: I'm making a sims game. You want it to be like Call of Duty?

Publisher: Yes! And part Championship Football Manager, because that sold well too!

Creston
 
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29. Re: Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update Mar 19, 2012, 00:18 Creston
 
Dev wrote on Mar 18, 2012, 15:01:
I've addressed this in past kickstarter threads.

MEGA SNIP...

You raise very good point, Dev. I wasn't really so much thinking of Fargo saying "ah fuck it, I don't feel like doing it anymore." I was more thinking that if he gets 2 million in funding, and by the time he burns through 2 million, his game is 60% done. What does he do then? Where does he get the money to finish from?

And you're right, I could've just kickstarted for 15, but eh. I loved Wasteland, and the thought of another old school isometric turn-based RPG shivers my timbers.

Creston
 
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28. Re: Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update Mar 18, 2012, 23:56 Dev
 
Drezden wrote on Mar 18, 2012, 23:16:
I don't understand why, if there are so many people like Fargo and the guys at Double Fine who all agree that big name Publishers need to be out of the picture. Why don't they all just ditch the Publishers entirely and make a Development studio together, all the best minds in classic gaming under one roof together (Sort of like GOD Games was back in the day for a short time) Make a good game or two using funding from Kickstarter projects and just give companies like EA and Activision the boot entirely. Yes I know it would take a lot of hard work to do this but in the long run it'd be much more pleasant to have guys like this who give a shit about PC gaming doing what they love for the gamers instead of being pushed around by corporate shills.

Money.

Remember, EA (a publisher) is a multi BILLION dollar business. Just like in music, while they may bypass the studios, there's no artists starting a studio thats a big competitor to the main ones.

Plus, if some publishing company was started by gamers, it would eventually go down the same path and end up like the rest of them, as it got more and more interested in making money.

A bunch of dev companies joining together as one is basically a publisher.

I think the closest to that ideal right now is probably Valve. Their main problem is that the lack of management means there's no push to get projects done.
 
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