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Developer n-Space Closes

MMORPG.com has word that developer n-Space has closed, following a post on the topic posted in an image on Twitter by artist Ben Leary thanking the company for the classy way the company handled this with their staff (thanks Dahkoht). They have a follow-up from publisher Digital Extremes indicating they plan to continue supporting Sword Coast Legends, the Dungeons & Dragons Lost Realm RPG developed by n-Space. Here's word from Digital Extremes:

"We are deeply saddened by the closing of n-Space. Staying alive as a mid-sized independent developer in the games industry is no small feat. Their passion for creating games never faltered and their dedicated team has ended on the high note of completing the console version of Sword Coast Legends. We are working hard with them to realize as much as we can for their team during this difficult time and encourage players to keep an eye on the official website for more details on the launch of Sword Coast Legends on Xbox One and PlayStation 4."

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33. Re: Developer n-Space Closes Mar 30, 2016, 19:57 Tachikoma
 
No sympathy for these hacks - or any others who try to milk that license.

True DnD lives on here: http://ua.reonis.com/ and in projects like Knights of Chalice.
 
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32. Re: Developer n-Space Closes Mar 30, 2016, 19:42 HorrorScope
 
Cutter wrote on Mar 30, 2016, 15:00:
Still, all we want is a new NWN, it's not rocket surgery. How fucking hard is it to make a good CRPG editor? It boggles the mind how badly n-Space fucked this up.

Well anyone else can try their hand at it.... and their not. And you'll have fickle fans using a microscope to comb over every square inch and go ape shit if that special something doesn't match their vision. It's over-rated overall, for those that love it great, but it isn't some universal iron clad opinion. I thought it was very clunky, original quests blah. The modding scene was good in time and after several patches by Bioware itself. The games legend imo is greater than it's true self. But I wouldn't want to deal with the fans that will be unforgiving over such a product. That said WOTC needs to have something to mimick their table top game, its like DnD can't handle technology.

This comment was edited on Mar 30, 2016, 19:48.
 
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31. Re: Developer n-Space Closes Mar 30, 2016, 19:32 HorrorScope
 
BurntSoul wrote on Mar 30, 2016, 11:58:
You know, I think the reason why Sword Coast Legends devs closed their doors was not because they had a shit game. I believe it was closed due to reviews made by a part of the community that felt/thought they were told one thing about the game and it didn't meet their expectations. Then you have the, 'yeah, me too' crowd that pig pile on top of those initial reviews causing a tipping point where no one will buy the game - merely because the Steam or Metacritic review score was bad. I can understand where they are coming from, but the issue itself became what the game was about to those who don't care to read. In short, a small group of Rabid, very loud fans of D&D (and what they think a D&D game should be) destroyed the chance of the game getting better. The devs in turn made less money than what could sustain themselves and the game in the future. Boom.

If it were advertised without D&D attached to it, the game would have had a much better survival rate and the devs would have probably continued working on it. When you attach D&D to your game, you'd better make it just like the tools in NWN, I guess...maybe they should have developed for another year?

It's too bad, really. The game itself never had any game stopping bugs, the story was good, it has an interesting multiplayer game mechanic that looks like something not seen in many RPGs (an easily accessible, live action dungeon master role using on-the-fly randomized dungeons + tilesets).

Agreed. Having a license like DnD, having a game named NWN that is mythic now imo, fanatics and promises. Well when it doesn't live up it is slaughter city. Steam has what a 53% mixed review score, a lot of that is expectation based. So when someone looks to buy a mixed score is a big pass sign without digging any deeper. I wouldn't touch this license just to not have to deal with the people and expectations. The one's that wanted the most for it where the one's that verbally destroyed it in the end, they ate their own.

If you pre-ordered perhaps you got burnt. If you didn't there was plenty of info quickly what it could and couldn't do no matter what the pre-hype/promises were.
 
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30. Re: Developer n-Space Closes Mar 30, 2016, 18:12 Julio
 
BurntSoul wrote on Mar 30, 2016, 16:48:
I wished I had bought the game 4 weeks later, as that's the price point that would have made more sense for it from the beginning.

I bought this at a pretty discounted price, and it still didn't make it a worthwhile purchase sadly. This game was worth about three bucks given it was sort of an ARPG with a mediocre story. The Neverwinter F2P MMO was a superior gaming experience and I never paid anything for it.

WOTC is really to blame, as they have a great property in D&D, which they're licensing to companies who can't do anything capable with it.
 
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29. Re: Developer n-Space Closes Mar 30, 2016, 18:02 Darks
 
BurntSoul wrote on Mar 30, 2016, 14:35:
ldonyo wrote on Mar 30, 2016, 13:44:
I know of at least one game-stopping bug. My wife found it while fighting the humongous spider right before you go into Underdark. As far as I know this has not yet been fixed.

You fight the gigantic spider, then kill off the waves of little spiders. This happens three times, then the large spider is supposed to drop down for the final fight. It drops down, but then goes right back up, never to be seen again. Meanwhile, you're stuck in combat mode until you exit the game. You can re-fight this over and over, you can choose to reset as far back as the game allows, but it always ends the same way once you get this bug. The only option is to start a new game and hope it doesn't happen again.

Arrgh, sucks. Hopefully some kind of community patch will come out that can fix it plus tweaks on difficulty or something. Who knows if that's even a possibility.

I'm pretty certain this was fixed, we went though the game recently and had no issues with this.
 
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28. Re: Developer n-Space Closes Mar 30, 2016, 17:05 Primalchrome
 
I could have forgiven the sad tile toolset....but honestly playing the game online with other players felt like a sad ARPG. Buggy, laggy, unfulfilling combat and loot....... Shrug. I bought the big multi license pack so that we could play together. Only one of them seemed to enjoy the single player campaign.

For the record, the NWN toolset was fantastic. It was pretty complex, but not overly so. You could knock out a pretty neat module in about 40-80 hours. A massive campaign was going to take a lot more than that. There were a LOT of the player made campaigns/modules that we sunk hundreds of hours into after the fact.
 
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27. Re: Developer n-Space Closes Mar 30, 2016, 16:48 BurntSoul
 
MT Silver wrote on Mar 30, 2016, 16:33:

I think the game got dragged in the mud because they tried to be like NWN, not for being a D&D game. Specifically, much of the hype was about the freedom you would have to make your own adventures. But SCL is nowhere near as free as NWN was. I played some incredible modules made with the NWN editor. There's nothing like that in SCL. Icewind mentioned a few of the limitations in SCL above.

I guess what I'm saying is that N-Space should have either lived up to their inspiration source or not cite it at all.

Though maybe if they did that we wouldn't be talking about it at all.

I agree to all of this.

Reading the NWN forums back in the day would bring me down a bit as there was a lot of griping, but I was always looking for that perfect module remake.

We know publishers have a heavy hand at leaning hard on the hype machine as no one in their right mind would sell their product as, 'yeah, it's almost like NWN, but not quite the experience you remembered'. I wished I had bought the game 4 weeks later, as that's the price point that would have made more sense for it from the beginning. But the hype machine stirs shit up big time, and when weakened I can get suckered in to motorboating me some big titties getting waved at me like that...
 
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26. Re: Developer n-Space Closes Mar 30, 2016, 16:33 MT Silver
 
BurntSoul wrote on Mar 30, 2016, 16:05:
No, I get what he's saying. What I'm thinking about is, could the game have been viewed with any less criticism without the marketing hoopla that comes with the D&D albatross attached to any game? So if you market your game with the D&D license, you are tasked with raising the bar or failing before getting out of the gate. No D&D license? Bar is not set as high for a new dev company, less of a direct comparison to previous D&D licensed games, more of a chance for people to see that the devs actually working on improving the game month by month (they were trying their best if you followed them).

and so my question was, did Icewind think the game could stand on its own as a D&D game and eventually flourish even though certain very D&D-ish items were not used (and explained in marketing as such) so as not to clash with the fanatic fan base while also providing and adding to the story (canon)? Or should they go the way of no D&D story entirely? Did he think that could bypass the online vitriol?

My opinion is that the story and game could survive as a D&D title while not also having to be strictly bound to the D&D ruleset. Or even not be part of the D&D world at all.

I have my own opinion about how things went down. It's not ridiculous to think of a different possible line of reasoning. It's conjecture to open a forum of thoughtful conversation.

I think the game got dragged in the mud because they tried to be like NWN, not for being a D&D game. Specifically, much of the hype was about the freedom you would have to make your own adventures. But SCL is nowhere near as free as NWN was. I played some incredible modules made with the NWN editor. There's nothing like that in SCL. Icewind mentioned a few of the limitations in SCL above.

I guess what I'm saying is that N-Space should have either lived up to their inspiration source or not cite it at all.

Though maybe if they did that we wouldn't be talking about it at all.
 
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25. Re: Developer n-Space Closes Mar 30, 2016, 16:23 ldonyo
 
Had SCL not been a D&D-based game, but had a similar story in a similar setting, I think it would be in the same shape it is in now both financially and in the opinions of it. As I understand things, you aren't going to get a license for a game based in the Sword Coast without having to make it using the D&D rules.

What sets SCL apart from NWN is the DM Mode, in which one player hosts a game session for up to four other players and can do so using content he creates or someone else creates. The Host (DM) has the ability to make some tweaks during the game in real-time. Unfortunately, the Host cannot make the same level or number of tweaks in SCL that he would be able to in a table top D&D session. Had that been possible, SCL and n-Space would be in much better shape.
 
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24. Re: Developer n-Space Closes Mar 30, 2016, 16:05 BurntSoul
 
MT Silver wrote on Mar 30, 2016, 15:27:
You're missing the point. Icewind is saying that the game being licensed as a D&D product didn't improve it in any way. They wasted the story and setting aspect and they didn't use the mechanics of 5th edition. It may as well not be based in the Sword Coast at all.

No, I get what he's saying. What I'm thinking about is, could the game have been viewed with any less criticism without the marketing hoopla that comes with the D&D albatross attached to any game? So if you market your game with the D&D license, you are tasked with raising the bar or failing before getting out of the gate. No D&D license? Bar is not set as high for a new dev company, less of a direct comparison to previous D&D licensed games, more of a chance for people to see that the devs actually working on improving the game month by month (they were trying their best if you followed them).

and so my question was, did Icewind think the game could stand on its own as a D&D game and eventually flourish even though certain very D&D-ish items were not used (and explained in marketing as such) so as not to clash with the fanatic fan base while also providing and adding to the story (canon)? Or should they go the way of no D&D story entirely? Did he think that could bypass the online vitriol?

My opinion is that the story and game could survive as a D&D title while not also having to be strictly bound to the D&D ruleset. Or even not be part of the D&D world at all.

I have my own opinion about how things went down. It's not ridiculous to think of a different possible line of reasoning. It's conjecture to open a forum of thoughtful conversation.
 
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23. Re: Developer n-Space Closes Mar 30, 2016, 15:27 MT Silver
 
BurntSoul wrote on Mar 30, 2016, 15:00:

No I'm not Dan Tudge.

Okay, so you say that removing the D&D license is ridiculous. How about removing the ruleset but staying on with the same World? If you knew for a fact that the ruleset in the backround wasn't official 5th edition, could you handle playing the game, or would it annoy the hell out of you?

The question is: Does a D&D game have to have the official ruleset attached to be enjoyed? or just not make the game at all if you cannot do it that way? Personally, I'm all for it if the story fits and adds more to the World they have attached the game to. It's a computer game, I'm not necessarily going to need to see dice rolls if the game feels good.

or do you think it needs to be so tightly bound in the rules that it's an exact simulation?

I think we are almost skirting around the realm of talking about Dragon Age - that actually did alright as I recall, with it's own ruleset and no D&D license...

Just curious see how you would have done it.
You're missing the point. Icewind is saying that the game being licensed as a D&D product didn't improve it in any way. They wasted the story and setting aspect and they didn't use the mechanics of 5th edition. It may as well not be based in the Sword Coast at all.
 
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22. Re: Developer n-Space Closes Mar 30, 2016, 15:00 BurntSoul
 
Icewind wrote on Mar 30, 2016, 13:18:

Are you Dan Tudge, by any chance?

Seriously though, the game had a lot of faults, and saying you can "remove" the D&D license and it would be fine is ridiculous. Yeah, they could have, but then it would just be another bland CRPG amongst a sea of bland Steam CRPGs that already exist. Go play Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms if you want an example of that.

SCL barely used 5th edition. It used it in much the same way Pool of Radiance 2 used the 3rd edition rules...which is to say *barely*. The system they implemented was extremely watered down and bared little resemblance to 5th edition. Not the way ToEE/BG/IWD or any other D&D license game used their own rule edition at the time.

the mediocre reviews it received were deserved. The game's combat was abysmally bland, the story was bland, and the character creation? Yup. Everything about the game was middle-of-the-road average. Not bad per se, but just "bland". We live in an age where a hundred RPGs get shoved out onto steam every year, so if you want to make money you better make something with some real heart behind it, or risk going out of business.

No I'm not Dan Tudge.

Okay, so you say that removing the D&D license is ridiculous. How about removing the ruleset but staying on with the same World? If you knew for a fact that the ruleset in the backround wasn't official 5th edition, could you handle playing the game, or would it annoy the hell out of you?

The question is: Does a D&D game have to have the official ruleset attached to be enjoyed? or just not make the game at all if you cannot do it that way? Personally, I'm all for it if the story fits and adds more to the World they have attached the game to. It's a computer game, I'm not necessarily going to need to see dice rolls if the game feels good.

or do you think it needs to be so tightly bound in the rules that it's an exact simulation?

I think we are almost skirting around the realm of talking about Dragon Age - that actually did alright as I recall, with it's own ruleset and no D&D license...

Just curious see how you would have done it.
 
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21. Re: Developer n-Space Closes Mar 30, 2016, 15:00 Cutter
 
BurntSoul wrote on Mar 30, 2016, 14:46:
So double whammy. Yeah nowadays with alot of games, it's like the publishers are practically waving tits in your face and hoping you motorboat. You motorboated, damn it! Hehe

They had the D&D license behind them which means to a lot of people that an comparison would be made point-by-point to the previous Bioware games. They had to know that (right? a no brainer) there would be a reaction from D&D fans (to make a direct comparison) upon release. They took the chance and it didn't work out.

So how many years do you think will go by until some other devs try it again?

The problem is WOTC. They just don't give a damn so long as it makes them money. Even as a guilty pleasure the D&D novels used to be passably decent - and some even really good - e.g. The Legend of Huma. Now they're just bad fanfic written by actual fans. I still curse TSR for selling out!

Still, all we want is a new NWN, it's not rocket surgery. How fucking hard is it to make a good CRPG editor? It boggles the mind how badly n-Space fucked this up. Who on earth would choose pregenerated dungeons you can't alter vs. a tile based editor to create the fucking dungeon you want to begin with? Which RPG player worth his salt wants an editor where you can't edit NPC stats and loot? Where the fucking dialogue can't be branched? etc. etc. etc. They really strike me as a company that had no real (C)RPG experience at all and were simply trying to approximate NWN based on memories from the single time they played it.

Enh, whatever. I'd dearly love to see Paizo do this instead now. Why they wasted time and money on an MMO they knew they'd never have the money for is also one of those mind-boggling decisions. For 2 years and a couple of mil they could get a good bare-bones NWN type game out the door and then make money on official expansion packs of NPCs and assets. Again, why they don't actively pursue something rational like this boggles the mind. I'm almost tempted to crowd-fund something like this myself. If done right it'd make a fortune.

 
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20. Re: Developer n-Space Closes Mar 30, 2016, 14:46 BurntSoul
 
Cutter wrote on Mar 30, 2016, 13:29:
I still say there was some sort of payola scam going on here because all the press previews don't come remotely close to jibing with the actual game they released. And n-SpaceDE's marketing was really scummy to boot, implying that this was the next NWN when it clearly wasn't. This is one of the few games I feel I actually got scammed on by a company's marketing - classic bait n' switch. And because I bought it through GMG there's no chance of a refund. Sigh.

So double whammy. Yeah nowadays with alot of games, it's like the publishers are practically waving tits in your face and hoping you motorboat. You motorboated, damn it! Hehe

They had the D&D license behind them which means to a lot of people that an comparison would be made point-by-point to the previous Bioware games. They had to know that (right? a no brainer) there would be a reaction from D&D fans (to make a direct comparison) upon release. They took the chance and it didn't work out.

So how many years do you think will go by until some other devs try it again?
 
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19. Re: Developer n-Space Closes Mar 30, 2016, 14:35 BurntSoul
 
ldonyo wrote on Mar 30, 2016, 13:44:
I know of at least one game-stopping bug. My wife found it while fighting the humongous spider right before you go into Underdark. As far as I know this has not yet been fixed.

You fight the gigantic spider, then kill off the waves of little spiders. This happens three times, then the large spider is supposed to drop down for the final fight. It drops down, but then goes right back up, never to be seen again. Meanwhile, you're stuck in combat mode until you exit the game. You can re-fight this over and over, you can choose to reset as far back as the game allows, but it always ends the same way once you get this bug. The only option is to start a new game and hope it doesn't happen again.

Arrgh, sucks. Hopefully some kind of community patch will come out that can fix it plus tweaks on difficulty or something. Who knows if that's even a possibility.
 
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18. Re: Developer n-Space Closes Mar 30, 2016, 14:03 Jamil20
 
ldonyo wrote on Mar 30, 2016, 13:44:
I know of at least one game-stopping bug. My wife found it while fighting the humongous spider right before you go into Underdark. As far as I know this has not yet been fixed.

Spiders are not bugs. They are arachnids.


 
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17. Re: Developer n-Space Closes Mar 30, 2016, 13:44 ldonyo
 
BurntSoul wrote on Mar 30, 2016, 11:58:
You know, I think the reason why Sword Coast Legends devs closed their doors was not because they had a shit game. I believe it was closed due to reviews made by a part of the community that felt/thought they were told one thing about the game and it didn't meet their expectations. Then you have the, 'yeah, me too' crowd that pig pile on top of those initial reviews causing a tipping point where no one will buy the game - merely because the Steam or Metacritic review score was bad. I can understand where they are coming from, but the issue itself became what the game was about to those who don't care to read. In short, a small group of Rabid, very loud fans of D&D (and what they think a D&D game should be) destroyed the chance of the game getting better. The devs in turn made less money than what could sustain themselves and the game in the future. Boom.

If it were advertised without D&D attached to it, the game would have had a much better survival rate and the devs would have probably continued working on it. When you attach D&D to your game, you'd better make it just like the tools in NWN, I guess...maybe they should have developed for another year?

It's too bad, really. The game itself never had any game stopping bugs, the story was good, it has an interesting multiplayer game mechanic that looks like something not seen in many RPGs (an easily accessible, live action dungeon master role using on-the-fly randomized dungeons + tilesets).
I know of at least one game-stopping bug. My wife found it while fighting the humongous spider right before you go into Underdark. As far as I know this has not yet been fixed.

You fight the gigantic spider, then kill off the waves of little spiders. This happens three times, then the large spider is supposed to drop down for the final fight. It drops down, but then goes right back up, never to be seen again. Meanwhile, you're stuck in combat mode until you exit the game. You can re-fight this over and over, you can choose to reset as far back as the game allows, but it always ends the same way once you get this bug. The only option is to start a new game and hope it doesn't happen again.

This comment was edited on Mar 30, 2016, 13:56.
 
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16. Re: Developer n-Space Closes Mar 30, 2016, 13:30 CJ_Parker
 
HorrorScope wrote on Mar 30, 2016, 11:32:
We'll here might be a good case at hand... It takes online connection to play single player.

No. It doesn't. The game often time fails to connect to the servers when you start it and then switches to offline mode automatically. You don't have to be online luckily.
 
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15. Re: Developer n-Space Closes Mar 30, 2016, 13:29 Cutter
 
I still say there was some sort of payola scam going on here because all the press previews don't come remotely close to jibing with the actual game they released. And n-SpaceDE's marketing was really scummy to boot, implying that this was the next NWN when it clearly wasn't. This is one of the few games I feel I actually got scammed on by a company's marketing - classic bait n' switch. And because I bought it through GMG there's no chance of a refund. Sigh.
 
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14. Re: Developer n-Space Closes Mar 30, 2016, 13:18 Icewind
 
BurntSoul wrote on Mar 30, 2016, 11:58:
You know, I think the reason why Sword Coast Legends devs closed their doors was not because they had a shit game. I believe it was closed due to reviews made by a part of the community that felt/thought they were told one thing about the game and it didn't meet their expectations. Then you have the, 'yeah, me too' crowd that pig pile on top of those initial reviews causing a tipping point where no one will buy the game - merely because the Steam or Metacritic review score was bad. I can understand where they are coming from, but the issue itself became what the game was about to those who don't care to read. In short, a small group of Rabid, very loud fans of D&D (and what they think a D&D game should be) destroyed the chance of the game getting better. The devs in turn made less money than what could sustain themselves and the game in the future. Boom.

If it were advertised without D&D attached to it, the game would have had a much better survival rate and the devs would have probably continued working on it. When you attach D&D to your game, you'd better make it just like the tools in NWN, I guess...maybe they should have developed for another year?

It's too bad, really. The game itself never had any game stopping bugs, the story was good, it has an interesting multiplayer game mechanic that looks like something not seen in many RPGs (an easily accessible, live action dungeon master role using on-the-fly randomized dungeons + tilesets).

Are you Dan Tudge, by any chance?

Seriously though, the game had a lot of faults, and saying you can "remove" the D&D license and it would be fine is ridiculous. Yeah, they could have, but then it would just be another bland CRPG amongst a sea of bland Steam CRPGs that already exist. Go play Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms if you want an example of that.

SCL barely used 5th edition. It used it in much the same way Pool of Radiance 2 used the 3rd edition rules...which is to say *barely*. The system they implemented was extremely watered down and bared little resemblance to 5th edition. Not the way ToEE/BG/IWD or any other D&D license game used their own rule edition at the time.

the mediocre reviews it received were deserved. The game's combat was abysmally bland, the story was bland, and the character creation? Yup. Everything about the game was middle-of-the-road average. Not bad per se, but just "bland". We live in an age where a hundred RPGs get shoved out onto steam every year, so if you want to make money you better make something with some real heart behind it, or risk going out of business.
 
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