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Pillars of Eternity Slowed by Cash

Pillars of Eternity is not going to come out in the first half of this year, in spite of previous indications from developer Obsidian that their throwback RPG kickstarted under the working title Project Eternity would come out this spring. This turns out to be another case of a game's development being overburdened by cash after the project took in four times its one million dollar goal. "It's not going to be in spring," project lead Josh Sawyer tells Eurogamer, confirming "it's going to come later" when asked if it would be out in the first half of 2014. He explains that Kickstarter does not allow projects to change their projected release dates once they are underway, so their hands were tied once all that cash started rolling in. "When we started with a million-dollar budget and a relatively modest game with five classes [there are now 11], that was assuming if we get $1m we can make this game and we'll probably get it done by April," he explains. "We got almost four-times as much money and that's a much bigger game, and that doesn't mean that immediately we just dump four-times as many people on it and it also gets done in April. There's a lot more stuff to do." "We knew that at that time," he said. "But until we get really close to releasing the game we don't want a specific release window, because we're not a publisher, we don't have to! Virtually nothing good comes from us releasing a date before we're very confident in it. It's not going to be in spring; we're going to be working into spring to get alpha done because it's a big game." Thanks nin via Joystiq.

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53. Re: Pillars of Eternity Slowed by Cash Feb 10, 2014, 06:14 CJ_Parker
 
Nope, they haven't and CIG -just like Obsidian- will not be getting any more money from me since they also utterly fail at communicating the bad news properly.
Oh, and God forbid you question the original end of 2014 release date on the official forums. You will immediately be attacked by a mob of Church of Roberts cultists, white knights and apologists.

The funny thing is that many people are seriously convinced that the game will now be released sooner rather than later because CIG will be working with their own net code from the beginning of the DFM instead of having to replace the originally planned CryEngine net code later.
I'm fairly sure those people will have a rude awakening.

On the other hand, Erin Roberts has revealed in a forum post that Squadron 42 is now going to be an episodic release so, who knows, if they only release three missions at first then they might make a 2014 date. They never said full game by the end of 2014.

As for CIG doing a terrible job at communicating the bad news: The DFM was originally supposed to be out by the end of 2013. After a long period of silence where everyone was hoping the DFM would be the Xmas gift, Chris Roberts informed the community at the very last minute on December 20 that there would not be a DFM for a couple of months.
Next, around Xmas or New Year's he talked to MMORPG.com and revealed in that video interview that the DFM is now scheduled for "March, late March, early April". He also said that when they'd get back to work in January they would do another assessment and communicate the results of that assessment to the community. That never happened. There hasn't been a single beep on the DFM since the MMORPG.com interview. Great communication. Not.

 
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52. Re: Pillars of Eternity Slowed by Cash Feb 10, 2014, 03:54 Jerykk
 
Has CIC announced that Star Citizen won't be meeting it's original November 2014 release date? Because there's no way it's going to release this year after all the feature creep that's happened (and continues to happen). The dog fighting module hasn't even been released yet.  
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51. Re: Pillars of Eternity Slowed by Cash Feb 10, 2014, 03:12 CJ_Parker
 
Cram wrote on Feb 9, 2014, 20:02:
btw, no company keeps their audience in the loop as well as Obsidian has with Eternity. Not even close.

That is not quite true. Cloud Imperium Games rules all with Star Citizen. Now of course they got 10x the budget but it is still amazing what CIG has pumped out in the last 15 months.
The (almost) weekly Wingman's Hangar web show (every episode runs for 30 - 45 minutes) is now up to 55 episodes as per last week and they now have a second weekly web show called "The Next Great Starship" so that's currently more than a full hour of video per week(!).

Add to that a plethora of fiction and lore updates. Seriously, they must have cranked out a couple novels by now.
Then live streams, other assorted videos, the hangar module as a playable demo of the player's home base, "10 for the Chairman" where Chris Roberts answers subscriber's questions, "Ask a Dev" forums where devs answer to all fans' questions, concept art, polls, you name it.

I am a backer of PoE, Star Citizen, Divinity Original Sin, Shroud of the Avatar, Elite Dangerous and Torment Tides of Numenera and out of those Star Citizen is running circles around the other ones. It's not even a contest.
 
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50. Re: Pillars of Eternity Slowed by Cash Feb 9, 2014, 20:02 Cram
 
@CJ_Parker

fwiw, you've made me come around to the issue that Sawyer and Obsidian should have sent us an Eternity delay update via email before going to some website and us having to hear about it there. It's somewhat confusing too, it's not like they haven't been sending out updates. There have been 71 of them so far. Afaik, btw, no company keeps their audience in the loop as well as Obsidian has with Eternity. Not even close. So, an oversight yes, and it would have been more professional had they told supporters first.

I do not think this is surprising however. I can't imagine how much this team has on their plate right now. Sawyer could have been doing some rare interview with what free time he has and said what he said without considering his audience. He's a game developer, not a marketing / PR manager.

This lack of foresight is no reason, IMO, to ban supporting future games through kickstarter or panning Obsidian. As far as mistakes go in the gaming industry, this is a minor speck of dust.
 
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49. Re: Pillars of Eternity Slowed by Cash Feb 9, 2014, 19:46 Prez
 
Sometimes I think you are just arguing over this for the sake of argument.

Sometimes?
 
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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48. Re: Pillars of Eternity Slowed by Cash Feb 9, 2014, 19:24 Jerykk
 
If that is so then why are they not open and honest about it? Why not add a description to each stretch goal like... "The mega dungeon will now have at least 15 levels (+ 3 months development)".
It would be as simple as that.

Except it obviously isn't that simple, otherwise games wouldn't be delayed all the time. Game development is not a science. You cannot accurately predict exactly how long it will take to finish a game, let alone individual components of said game. Things don't always go as planned and sometimes you have to go back and redo things you once thought complete. Sometimes things take much longer than expected. Sometimes things just don't work out. Trying to provide an accurate release date before you've even finished preproduction is a waste of time.

The issue is not the release dates. The issue is not the delays. The issue is the complete lack of up front and honest adult-to-adult communication.

Given the fact that they've released 71 project updates so far detailing the development process, I'd say there's been plenty of upfront communication.
 
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47. Off-topic Feb 9, 2014, 19:17 Quinn
 
Ppl should stop with EA as an abbreviation for Early Access. I mean come on, I can't be the first who's reading Electronic Arts at first! Tis how them brains work! xD Call it Erlax or something or I'm gonna provoke EA into starting a patent lawsuit...  
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"Moo," she said.
And I trembled.
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46. Re: Pillars of Eternity Slowed by Cash Feb 9, 2014, 16:37 Squirmer
 
Jerykk wrote on Feb 9, 2014, 06:10:
9 out of 10 games are delayed, indie or otherwise.
And we don't even hear about most delays because companies don't announce release dates until they're fairly sure about it (and even then delays are the norm). With Kickstarter, devs are required to specify a release date maybe before they've even started production. Even an experienced company like Obsidian is going to struggle with that, let alone less experienced indie developers.

Bottom line is, delays of Kickstarted games need to be expected. Anyone whining about it is just being petulant.
 
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45. Re: Pillars of Eternity Slowed by Cash Feb 9, 2014, 11:46 harlock
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Feb 9, 2014, 06:26:
Crying Crying Crying Crying

there, there

it will be ok

go put on your big boy pants
 
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44. Re: Pillars of Eternity Slowed by Cash Feb 9, 2014, 10:37 HorrorScope
 
What's fun about kickstarter and E.A. is we get to watch it play out and see how it goes. Some will be good, some will be bad, but overall this will be shaping how games are made and how we think about them. The one thing we cannot really argue is that games that would never be made again, not of our own asking are at least being attempted. That really is pretty damn big. We'll also get to learn if it was more Dev issues or Publisher issues with getting game completed and released.

Speaking of that other game brought up here. I'm not a big guild person, but if there were to be a guild I'd like to start or be a part of it would be one who's sole mission is to go after those with spaceships costing $100's and more. I just really want to take those guys out all day and night long. They are the one's that make Free 2 Play BS even possible. They more than anyone other than Publishers, are threatening how I like to play. Who's with me? I can't think of a better reason to have a faction, then something actually real and not made up in lore.

 
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43. Re: Pillars of Eternity Slowed by Cash Feb 9, 2014, 09:35 LgFriess
 
My #1 most anticipated game. Take your sweet time Obsidian, it hurts but I can wait.  
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42. Re: Pillars of Eternity Slowed by Cash Feb 9, 2014, 08:49 eRe4s3r
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Feb 9, 2014, 06:26:
The issue is not the delays. The issue is the complete lack of up front and honest adult-to-adult communication.


Sometimes I think you are just arguing over this for the sake of argument. While you are right that there is no email talking about delays there is in fact a giant news post about it everywhere, and everyone who cares about this project even a tiny bit knew that April 2014 was completely unrealistic. Sawyer even SAID that the day after the KS finished where they noticed that they couldn't change the date on the KS anymore. Nobody thought about that during the crazy funding period.

It's likely the next email will talk about this delay. By the way, April is still 2 months away.
 
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41. Re: Pillars of Eternity Slowed by Cash Feb 9, 2014, 08:16 finga
 
Do not rush Obsidian.

Anyone who has ever played an Obsidian game and knows how the business works should know this.
 
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40. Re: Pillars of Eternity Slowed by Cash Feb 9, 2014, 06:44 saluk
 
Take your time and finish this right. This time, theres no fallback to "the publisher made us release too soon" if it comes in over ambitious and under par.

Half of all this is kickstarter is a new model - it's halfway between the indie model and the publisher model. Indie generally involves working on something in relative obscurity until it's good, and then people actually hear about it. There is no hype train until the product is ready - and who knows how long that product actually took. The publisher model works well, it's what the industry is based on, but it doesn't allow for very much in the way of risk.

Now we have the equivalent of the basement indie developers dream project being thrust into the limelight before it's really been cooked.

The other half is that there is a law that any time you scope a project, it will take roughly 3.14 times as long as you scoped. And this is AFTER all the wiggle room you throw in Then you get stretch goals and the scope wildly changing...

I expect future projects to discuss scope a bit more and be more flexible with release dates. (At least it's something I'll look out for). "We scoped this for 1M so the release estimate may vary" I'd also like to see projects have caps.

We're still in the wild west here. It's very early days.
 
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39. Re: Pillars of Eternity Slowed by Cash Feb 9, 2014, 06:26 CJ_Parker
 
Jerykk wrote on Feb 9, 2014, 06:10:
Are people seriously complaining about not being immediately notified of delays?

Yes.

How long have you been playing games?

Oh. Couple decades or so. You?

9 out of 10 games are delayed, indie or otherwise.

Which speaks volumes about the lack of professionalism in this industry. Your point?

When a Kickstarter asks for $1 million and gets $4 million as a result of stretch goals, are you really surprised when the expanded scope results in delays?

If that is so then why are they not open and honest about it? Why not add a description to each stretch goal like... "The mega dungeon will now have at least 15 levels (+ 3 months development)".
It would be as simple as that.

And why do you even care so much about the release date? Do you plan your schedule around it? If the game is delayed, is your life significantly impacted?

Oh come on. You can do better than that, no?
As I have stated and I believe I speak for many KS backers: We are used to asshole publishers covering their tracks, feeding us bullshit and keeping us in the dark.
It is a pity to experience that many developers are just the same. In spite of the absence of a publisher there is no open and honest communication. There is the same shady tactics motivated by greed like "Let the stupid fucks believe in a 4/2014 date as long as the money keeps rolling in".
The issue is not the release dates. The issue is not the delays. The issue is the complete lack of up front and honest adult-to-adult communication.

 
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38. Re: Pillars of Eternity Slowed by Cash Feb 9, 2014, 06:10 Jerykk
 
Are people seriously complaining about not being immediately notified of delays? How long have you been playing games? 9 out of 10 games are delayed, indie or otherwise. When a Kickstarter asks for $1 million and gets $4 million as a result of stretch goals, are you really surprised when the expanded scope results in delays? At this point, you should expect games to be delayed by default.

And why do you even care so much about the release date? Do you plan your schedule around it? If the game is delayed, is your life significantly impacted? If not, why does it even matter?
 
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37. Re: Pillars of Eternity Slowed by Cash Feb 9, 2014, 05:51 EricFate
 
That is exactly what I want to hear a company in their position to say. The entire reason I donate to this kind of endeavor is because I am sick to death of stuff being shipped before it was ready at the whim of a marketing team.

I want the game in my hands when it is done and not a moment before.
 
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36. Re: Pillars of Eternity Slowed by Cash Feb 9, 2014, 05:39 Denthor
 
Kosumo wrote on Feb 8, 2014, 19:42:
Totally with CJ_Parker on this, if they can't estimate the time need to hit there targets at the start of a project, then I must ask if they would be better with the proffestional help that a publisher offers.

Thanks for that, needed a good laugh. *mumbles* professional help that a publisher offers ... what a hoot.

For both SC and Eternity they've roughly doubled (sc more) the content they're adding into the game, if you're not expecting a delay of some sort for release (or milestones) you are ignorant at best, an idiot at worst.
 
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35. Re: Pillars of Eternity Slowed by Cash Feb 9, 2014, 00:03 CJ_Parker
 
Cram wrote on Feb 8, 2014, 19:17:
The date, April 2014 if I recall correctly as a release. You can't change the release date after you start a kickstarter, you can not edit it. It is entirely feasible that they would have reached the release date of April 2014 if the scope of the project remained at the million dollar range. But what happened?

Dude, I think we all know what happened but thanks for the historical recap anyway. I have absolutely no problem with all that.
However, while you might not be able to edit the date on a KS once the campaign is running, you know what you can do?
You can send out project updates which are even sent to people's e-mail addresses so you can be sure it reaches people.
They have sent out 71 of these project updates as far as I can tell. The last one dating from 1/28/2014.

Where the fuck is the one updating us on the release date? Where is the one reading: "Dear loyal backers, thanks to your overwhelming support, the scope of the project has increased considerably. It is therefore with some joy and regret that we feel the need to inform you of a change in the estimated release date. Until we get really close to releasing the game we don't want a specific release window, because we're not a publisher, we don't have to! Virtually nothing good comes from us releasing a date before we're very confident in it. Thank you for your understanding and stay tuned".

See how easy that was? Where's my mail? Why do I need to find out via a third party website that the project I have backed has been delayed considerably due to its scope (a scope that has been known since the day the KS ended by the way)?

This is not open and honest communication with your loyal backers. This is plain unprofessional and condescending. Sawyers' wording is the icing on the shit cake "We knew that at that time". Awesome. Why didn't you share what you knew back then? Why do I need to find out on Blue's News via a Eurogamer interview what you have known for almost a year and a half?

No, Sir. I will be extremely hesitant in the future to back any Kickstarters since I will have to assume that they will once again try to bait us with unrealistic goals. I'm done with that. If I ever again back a game at all then it will be at WAY lower tiers than what I have pledged so far (I'm one of those crazy muppets who dropped $165 on PoE).
 
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34. Re: Pillars of Eternity Slowed by Cash Feb 8, 2014, 20:10 harlock
 
Jivaro wrote on Feb 8, 2014, 13:59:
ItBurn wrote on Feb 8, 2014, 13:53:
Why are you guys being so nice? Take the article, switch "Pillars of Eternity" to "Star Citizen" and watch the flames.

OH. NO. YOU. DIDN'T.


Bored
 
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