Games Only Podcast 24 - DoubleFine's Kickstarter Project, GCI, KoA
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    This week...

    --HP and Doc try out Kingdoms of Amalur! Is it worth it? Is it trash? Find out!

    --Sunny revisits Mass Effect 1 and Virtua Fighter 5

    --Doc and Sunny both get exasperated with the problems of FFXIII-2!

    --HP spends some time with Gotham City Impostors and tells you...

    --DoubleFine's Kickstarter projects gets...a LOT of talk.

    http://traffic.libsyn.com/gamesonly/gop24.mp3
  • Oh ah new one, i will check it, i hope no bad talk on Dark sould or suffer the wrath of the fanboys! :p
  • Epke said:
    Oh ah new one, i will check it, i hope no bad talk on Dark sould or suffer the wrath of the fanboys! :p


    Dark Souls is not brought up, but I will likely incur someone's wrath because of my stance on Kickstarter - I think it's opening a bad, bad new chapter of things.
  • Oh god, I don't even know why, but Sunny's definition of "Done with it" had me laughing so hard.

    Oh, and Hp, buying better guns was already done in the first Battlefield: Bad Company.
  • Anywayz i agree with the sunster that kickstarter will (if not already) be used to screw over gamers.

    Aren't gamers not the most screwed over customers anyway?

    they nag and complain and buy the game anyway. Prices, through the roof, DRM etcetera.
    also i find it funny that the most ardent fans get screwed the most, oh you can but the special edition, or wait and get the game of the year/directors cut whatever edition to get it cheaper.

    oh and game addiction is less harmful than drug-, alcohol-, gambling- addiction (except when your asian off course they seem to play themselves to dead (stereotype and generalization :p) IMHO
  • Epke said:
    Anywayz i agree with the sunster that kickstarter will (if not already) be used to screw over gamers.

    Aren't gamers not the most screwed over customers anyway?

    they nag and complain and buy the game anyway. Prices, through the roof, DRM etcetera.
    also i find it funny that the most ardent fans get screwed the most, oh you can but the special edition, or wait and get the game of the year/directors cut whatever edition to get it cheaper.

    oh and game addiction is less harmful than drug-, alcohol-, gambling- addiction (except when your asian off course they seem to play themselves to dead (stereotype and generalization :p) IMHO


    EXACTLY. We bitch about it but we're slaves, man. It's hard to hang onto your money when there's fun in the distance. It's a shame.

    Uh, about it being less harmful, well, that's up for debate. That we might have next episode if we do a gaming addiction segment. Because I think it's real, and no doubt my life would improve without video games. Though I would miss my nerdly friends. But then again, is being an avid reader an addiction? They both can tell stories...bah! I shouldn't get into this.
  • I liked the show a lot, fellas. I have a few thoughts but I will go in order.

    I now own 8 Xbox360 games. Meaning I traded in 19 games which I would never play ever again in order to buy Kingdoms of Amalur. I played the demo for 3 minutes before it froze my xbox, and then I forgot to play it again, so me buying it was a completely rational decision. Also unemployment.

    I love the game, and I like it for a few complext reasons. Not everyone will like this game, but I am one who says that this game is well worth $60, unlike Doc, but thankfully he was able to give a few of the nicer details. HP addressed the ease of the combat and I will say that it deffinitely gets harder; enemies gain more powerful attacks and combos as well, so you need to be able to time moves and dodge and know when NOT to attack in order to make sure you arent caught into a 3 hit combo yourself.

    The thing that makes this game so rewarding is that when it gets hardest, it enables you to quickly solve the problem. There have been at least 3 times in the 12+ hours that I've played where I hit a really hard part, overcome it, and then unlock a new spell or weapon that makes the game fair again. I had an instance where I had a horribly hard fight in a cave and after I died a few times, I beat it and unlocked an upgrade to an ice spell. The quest after the fight sent me to a HARDER area, but with my ice spell upgrade, I was able to stun the new harder enemies there. I've had this happen a few times and it makes you feel really good. Boss fights are very hard as well. The game also likes to throw 3-5 enemies at you at a time which makes it really hard, going back to the coordinating and not hitting part.

    My one beef with the game is the crafting section. Like many RPG's, you can make gems, potions, and armors. Your skill in these areas depends on your level and collecting ingredients. Basic stuff. The lame part is you don't gain experience for actually making the items. I find myself intentionally hoarding items and negating my crafting skills while thinking "I need to wait until I level alchemy more." Not really the best motivator, but I craft as needed at this point.

    I've heard some complaints that the quests are boring. The game has a design similar to WoW where you turn in quests and go on your way. It's also set up like WoW in that your character doesnt seem to be a central player in the world; he's not some Dragonborn legend or anything. You're just a citizen doing deeds, making friends/enemies in the process. I'm still early in the story, because there are so many quests in a gigantic world, but this game tends to focus less on the story ABOUT the character and focus more on the story SURROUNDING the character. Your character is just a minor driver.

    I've said enough about it. As a guy who likes RPG's, liked Fable, liked Torchlight, didn't play much WoW, liked Skyrim, I can say that I will endorse this game for $60.

    As for Kickstarters, I can say that I totally understand Sunflower and share his similar dislike for the idea of what Doublefine did. I think kickstarter is a stupid concept to begin with.

    When I was in high school, I remember this website called SaveToby. Some guy found an injuired rabbit under his porch and nursed it back to health. He then made a website, naming the rabbit Toby, and saying "If you donate $50,000 to me, I will keep Toby as a pet. If you don't, I'll take him to a butcher and have him made into rabbit stew." Then the website's owner posted cute innocent pictures of the bunny. He basically held the rabbit hostage and made a lot of money off of it. It was a stupid idea.

    Kickstarter is the same shit. People making promises for ordinary shit that they should be doing, but instead make us pay extra shit for the EXACT SAME RESULT. Game developers shouldn't be making money for shit they havent made yet. They should get paid for making a quality product. If Doublefine turns out a shitty game, they still made $1 million off it. Developers shouldn't be asking for extra money unless they've put forth the effort to prove they can turn out a quality product.

    Sunflower is totally right. The industry is deffinitely going to shift into this realm more I'd bet. I don't think it's illegal for corporations to pump money into a kickstarter for advertisement and I wouldn't be surprised if a company starts using smaller developers to start pumping extra into their project that they don't have to pay for. EA can have Bioware start a kickstarter for the next ME installment and have the rest of us pay for it and then they proffit even more when we buy the game for $60 again.

    My prediction for the future of these projects; donate to our kickstarter and recieve:
    -Exclusive DLC at release, code emailed to everyone who donates, including exclusive game modes
    -Early access/early release day for digital content
    -Bonus levels, start at a higher level (like Call of Duty multiplayer)
    -Access to other cross-game content (like the way EA has their sign in servers/DLC shit), access to betas/demos of other games
    -Digital downloads of game related products

    The gaming industry is changing and it's going in a direction that we don't like and it has been for years. We have such little impact in the way of opinions and game developers aren't designing things to benefit us anymore. Now we need to use Facebook or play an iOS game to get DLC and have additional log-ins so they can email us. If we want innovating features, we have to pay for them (Call of Duty Elite) instead of getting them for free as we should with any normal game with new innovations. We have tools that prevent us from buying used games (Online pass) and and we have to pay for many of these additional features on top of our regular XBL Gold subscription. We even have online passes that restrict in-game content if you don't buy it new or pay extra (Batman: Arkham City). Games are going unfinished even, but make you pay for the real endings (Fallout 3). That's all before the developers are holding us hostage before the game is released, which is what kickstarter is doing.

    Let's face it; this idea worked for Doublefine. They made a shitload of money for typing some shit and making a short video. They haven't proven anything beyond their semi-good reputation. I guarantee that more developers will be using this for their benefit. If I could make a million dollars for promising to do my job on the internet, I'd get in on that shit too.

    In reality, what is it? It's not illegal, it's not mean. It's just dirty. Dirty, slimy actions performed by people who are trying to take as much advantage of their loyal, unquestioning fans.
  • I don't know if I mentioned this yet, but I'm glad you're posting these on YouTube. It ends up in my YouTube feed and reminds me to listen in another location, and it's nice to be able to give you a thumbs up there! So thanks.

    I like the idea of game companies asking for the public help to build games. I think of it less as a donation and more that I'm buying a very early advance copy of the game...which is more true as my thank you gift is a copy of the game. How often do we complain that publishers force or pressure game devs to add/subtract/do things to a game they don't want to do just for sales? Mandatory multiplayer, expensive DLC or removing content for later DLC, forcing multiplatform development, ect. This would be a way around that.

    It won't be perfect, but if the argument against used games is we don't support the developers when we buy, then this is one antidote do that. We can support the developers we like directly, without giving money to a big box store or a publisher...just the people who we want to see what they can do.
  • Kickstarter in niche genres, hell, let's even use DF's project as a jump-off point. Adventure games sell poorly these days. All of the contributors are given an advance copy of the game, basically - and it is the final product as well.

    While you can present this as "Well, now they WILL turn a profit if they sell even ONE copy" what does this say? Probably poor sale numbers, as everyone interested in this niche game has a copy from financing it, and won't count towards sales or profit, as your investment is eaten during the development or who knows where. So you've got the diehards that have a copy, and then when it releases, unless it is a AMAZING game (which sadly, these days, I don't have a ton of faith that DF can deliver) then you're looking at EXTREMELY tepid sales.

    Toss in HP's comment about how he knew people who did a Kickstarter program (that they planned on doing the result anyway, but wanted extra money), was close to the goal but instead of it being canceled and the donations being given back, they pumped a small amount of money in to make it succeed from a 'contributor' - so that they'd get some extra money.

    Oboe, you also mentioned...this:

    Oboecrazy said:
    How often do we complain that publishers force or pressure game devs to add/subtract/do things to a game they don't want to do just for sales? Mandatory multiplayer, expensive DLC or removing content for later DLC, forcing multiplatform development, ect


    This is also a glorified preorder from Gamestop. "Backers for our Kickstarter will receive special character skins!" It all boils down to (and this is what everyone should remember) HOW MUCH DO YOU TRUST THIS ENTITY? Do you trust it enough to make a good game? Do you trust that they're not doing a cash-grab that'll manifest in the form of bonuses? How is any of this legally accountable? Do you trust them?

    Even games I loved...the developers or publishers have taken to writing fake accounts and PR in order to boost a Metacritic score. Why wouldn't a lot of them do this too? I might just be too jaded and negative, but I think there's a lot here that people aren't taking into account, and 'crowdsourcing a game's budget' is the start of a slippery slope.
  • OboeCrazy said:
    I think of it less as a donation and more that I'm buying a very early advance copy of the game...which is more true as my thank you gift is a copy of the game.


    The only way I seeing this as being a good thing is if a company has their kickstarter say "Whatever you donate towards our game, we'll give you a coupon for that much off the game when it's released." I highly doubt that'll ever happen. If it does, I'll jump on board with this practice, I guess, but what I just decribed is pre-ordering anyway.

    I understand buying a very early advanced copy of the game, but if they're just doing shit like this to make you pay more money, then how is that benefitting you? Next week, I'll probably be buying the Mass Effect Ipad game because they're promising unlocks in it for the xbox 360 version. They're making me pay for content that should already be in the game.

    I just feel like companies are going too far in trying to get us to buy their shit. Games are and should be $60, but instead we have to pay extra for iOS games tag alongs, subscription plans, DLC at release that should be on the disk but isn't, and more. Companies are charging more for the full gaming experience that we expect from $60, but arent improving the scale of what we already get with what we normally pay for $60. It's been 5 years since this generation began, but the games havent changed that much, but the marketing practices have and we're paying a lot more nowadays since the first 360 games hit the markets.

    (btw, I'm thinking of big companies on kickstarters, because I expect them to abuse this system the most)

    On the topic of Adventure games, and this was addressed in the podcast a bit; if they get poor sales numbers...why the fuck do people keep making them? It seems that through the fog of all this, doublefine is saying "we're going to make a game that's probably mediocre, most people wont buy it, and you probably wont even like it, donate now!"
  • Fuzzy said:

    On the topic of Adventure games, and this was addressed in the podcast a bit; if they get poor sales numbers...why the fuck do people keep making them? It seems that through the fog of all this, doublefine is saying "we're going to make a game that's probably mediocre, most people wont buy it, and you probably wont even like it, donate now!"

    How is this a bad thing? They are being honest about a project that hasn't been started. They don't want to goad or lie to people that they want supporting their dream project. I think this is the best thing they could do as the project doesn't even have a title yet. They're being upfront that maybe you won't like it so spend your money safely if your not sure. It's a niche market so they have go directly to the market.
    Which I think this is why we are turning this current non-issue into a issue. I agree with sunny it could be abused horribly. Is there a chance that it will, yes. It is good to be careful but what double fine is doing is not wrong. It is a more direct preorder that does more good then a regular one not much difference.
  • Loved the show as usual, guys. In light of the final topic: I'm not sure what it was that Sunny said, but something really spoke to me about games being an addiction. My entire family is made up of addicts, each of us with a different addiction. My mom and I have multiple, actually. Anyway, I've often told myself that I'm going to cut back on gaming because it plays such a large role in my life, but every time I do, the results haven't been so positive. When I cut back on gaming, my second obsession of working out took over. I worked out to the point of being incapable of walking up the stairs, semi-literally (it took me 5 minutes to climb 3 flights of stairs, 1 step at a time). However, since then, I feel like I've found a couple of new passions that I can devote myself to: reading, school, and simply defining myself in general. Right now, I'm just a 19 year old (halfway to 20) who does roughly 4-5 things a day: eat, workout, game, class, and internet (yes, I "internet" :P)

    I think it's time I tried to develop myself as a more rounded person. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet; if I'm going to cut back on the games or something. However, I would like to take steps in the right direction.
  • Sunflower said:
    Toss in HP's comment about how he knew people who did a Kickstarter program (that they planned on doing the result anyway, but wanted extra money), was close to the goal but instead of it being canceled and the donations being given back, they pumped a small amount of money in to make it succeed from a 'contributor' - so that they'd get some extra money.


    I don't see this as a bad thing. If you need $1000 to complete a project and get $900, isn't it better to just fork over that last $100 and be able to do it and make those who sponsored happy then let it fail for want of that last 10%?

    Fuzzy said:
    I just feel like companies are going too far in trying to get us to buy their shit. Games are and should be $60, but instead we have to pay extra for iOS games tag alongs, subscription plans, DLC at release that should be on the disk but isn't, and more. Companies are charging more for the full gaming experience that we expect from $60, but arent improving the scale of what we already get with what we normally pay for $60. It's been 5 years since this generation began, but the games havent changed that much, but the marketing practices have and we're paying a lot more nowadays since the first 360 games hit the markets.


    I think this ties into Sunny's discussion about trust. I trust Double Fine and Tim S to deliver a product I'm at least interested in playing. In exchange for that trust I am paying a LOT less then normal game prices ($15 as opposed to your standard $60) and I'll get all the bonus extra stuff. It's a gamble sure...I could hate the game. At this point I don't have a Steam account so I don't even have a way to GET the game. But it comes back to trust and saving money.

    Maybe I'm a bit more forgiving of Kickstarter as a whole. My boyfriend had a very successful Kickstarter that means he's working right now on a comic project that he wouldn't have had the time or funds to be able to do othewise. And I've been organizing my own so I can try and expand and upgrade my online performance capibilities. So seeing it succeed with a company I like is just preaching to the choir for me.

    In the end is it right for all game developers? Absolutely not, especially the big ones with budgets in the millions. But another avenue for devs of any size to get the funding they want to make a game can't be bad in my opinion.
  • I just remembered, did you guys want me to make a specific GOP logo to put in the videos? The font I used was just a quick thing for the sample, I can make something new.
  • Chip said:
    I just remembered, did you guys want me to make a specific GOP logo to put in the videos? The font I used was just a quick thing for the sample, I can make something new.


    I think the only brand we need is a blown up picture of HP.
  • The whole kickstarter conversation started to sound a little paranoid to me, but then I'll probably be proven wrong and Sunny right at some point in the not too distant future. As you guys said, if some bunch of improv guys in deepest, darkest Wisconsin think they can get away with setting up a questionable kickstarter, someone else will and the game industry is still feeling its way with various nefarious ways of taking money of gamers.

    The Double Fine example at least sounds like it's being done in the right way (although how much input are they really going to take from the unwashed general public). Also, don't they have history of this sort of thing? Wasn't another one of their recent games funded by a rich fan?

    How old is Virtua Fighter 5? I only ask as I picked up a VF game for my PS2 years ago when I wanted to get back into 3D fighters after a few years off. Research told me that was the most deep and complex of the bunch so I was happy to find a cheap 2nd hand copy, only when I got it home the disk was busted and the only game I could exchange it for was Soul Calibur 2. I really enjoyed SC2 but, to date, I still haven't played a VF game.
  • Littleg said:
    How old is Virtua Fighter 5? I only ask as I picked up a VF game for my PS2 years ago when I wanted to get back into 3D fighters after a few years off. Research told me that was the most deep and complex of the bunch so I was happy to find a cheap 2nd hand copy, only when I got it home the disk was busted and the only game I could exchange it for was Soul Calibur 2. I really enjoyed SC2 but, to date, I still haven't played a VF game.

    Virtua Fighter 5 made it to the US in 07, so it's pretty fucking old by today's standards. Still a very solid fighter though, certainly holds up.

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