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News & Features Discussion  » General: You Can't Always Kickstart Your Heart

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30 posts found
  SBFord

Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 13468

 
OP  5/03/12 6:11:11 PM#1

Last week, PitchBlack Studios announced that it was shutting down production of Dominus and fans of the game began calling for a Kickstarter campaign, today's answer to funding woes. In our latest Developer Perspectives, we take a look at KickStarter projects. See what you think!

Sometimes, in the vale of tears we call the game industry, your startup shuts down before launch. Mine did, on Monday. I'm reasonably sure some of you reading this article are here today hoping for a post-mortem, or at least some juicy gossip. Fortunately for me, I was raised right. My mentors over the years have taught me that you never draw to an inside straight, you never pee outside on a windy day, and you never write a post-mortem until the body is cold. Instead, today I'm going to try and address the most common response to cancellation in this modern age: "Why don't you just try Kickstarter?"

Read more of Sanya Weathers' Developer Perspectives: You Can't Always Kickstart Your Heart.

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

  comrademario

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/19/11
Posts: 98

5/04/12 10:15:40 AM#2

Good article overall, I would honestly question anyone who looks to restart a project anyway. It depends on how the first one went down in smoke in the first I guess, but modern MMO players tend to verge on being overly negative about every flaw in a game. You see titles like LOTRO trying tto add a bit of life to the game with F2P, but lots won't give them a chance. You see Allods Online completely dismantling the majority of the reasons people left for in the first place, but you still have guys bad mouthing their company for things that happened two years ago.


It's sad when a title dies a death, particularly when it never really came to full life, but often it's best to use it as a learning experience and move on to a new project I think.


  Talonsin

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 7/19/06
Posts: 1049

5/04/12 10:20:51 AM#3

This is very sad.  I helped do some of the initial testing and everyone on the dev side seemed like great people who cared and wanted to make a great game.  Sad to see all that work go down the drain, they had some very nice artwork and other systems in the game.  Good luck to you all, I hope you find something you can sink your teeth into very soon.


  fenistil

Novice Member

Joined: 9/22/11
Posts: 3016

5/04/12 10:53:06 AM#4

Funds for MMO > funds needed for indie single player game


 


By ALOT.


 


Too much for a kickstarter.


  Vyeth

Novice Member

Joined: 12/17/07
Posts: 1464

Celebrated pariah of MMORPG.com

5/04/12 11:33:22 AM#5

Originally posted by comrademario

Good article overall, I would honestly question anyone who looks to restart a project anyway. It depends on how the first one went down in smoke in the first I guess, but modern MMO players tend to verge on being overly negative about every flaw in a game. You see titles like LOTRO trying tto add a bit of life to the game with F2P, but lots won't give them a chance. You see Allods Online completely dismantling the majority of the reasons people left for in the first place, but you still have guys bad mouthing their company for things that happened two years ago.




It's sad when a title dies a death, particularly when it never really came to full life, but often it's best to use it as a learning experience and move on to a new project I think.





 


In our society, negative is so much more interesting than positive..


In any entertainment medium.. A show about a bunch of people living in a house, going to church and saying nice and positive things about each other probably wouldn't have many viewers.. But a show about people living in a house getting drunk, having lots of casual sex and shouting curses at each other attracts the many..


Just as..


Death is more popular than birth.. Sure they have a few shows about babies being born and pregnancy, but I honestly would be willing to wager that the Investigation DIscovery (I.D.) channel and shows lke the First 48 have alot more viewers..


So translating this mindset to the MMO industry, you will see why so many raise their torches and pitchforks with a mighty rebel yell when they see someones masterpeice burn to the ground.. It's just how we roll as a "people"..


  solarine

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/25/06
Posts: 1204

5/04/12 11:38:38 AM#6

Yeah, an MMO is too big to kickstart.


A single player adventure game, a turn-based RPG or a simulation game is just perfect for Kickstarter; as "niche" as they have become, these genre of games have dedicated fans with the power of nostalgia on their side - not to mention gratitude towards the pioneering names of the genres' golden eras.


  Thorbrand

Novice Member

Joined: 3/06/04
Posts: 1217

5/04/12 11:43:08 AM#7

So sad that this game went under. I was so hyped to play the game and loved the stress test even without most of the game available.

  User Deleted
5/04/12 11:53:46 AM#8

There is so much out there now it is hard to pick the good from the bad. Best you can do is read site reviews(Then you see accusations from some gamers that those reviews have been purchased), and even better is to read what other gamers think,but that is getting harder because of so much dissension anymore. You young men with your tattoos and funny hand signals frighten me.  Get off my lawn.

  VowOfSilence

Novice Member

Joined: 6/13/09
Posts: 581

5/04/12 12:03:41 PM#9

Animators are hard to find? Oo


Odd, I wasn't aware of that at all... Why is that?


Hype train -> Reality

  GeezerGamer

Elite Member

Joined: 4/03/12
Posts: 4769

5/04/12 12:13:04 PM#10

Even if they were to scrape together the most minimum funding absolutely required to finsihs the project through Kickstarter, you know the quality just won't be there. I'd really have to wonder if this would turn into another Earthrise. How could they not have to cut corners?


It's the sad state of the genre. The next big title has as many threads discussing issues with it's business model than issues with the game itself.

  gaeanprayer

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/08
Posts: 2360

5/04/12 12:14:31 PM#11

Originally posted by VowOfSilence

Animators are hard to find? Oo




Odd, I wasn't aware of that at all... Why is that?





 


Animators aren't hard to find, qualified animators are. Everyone wants to be an animator but not everyone can create interesting animation, and for every one decent animator out there, there's 20 that think a stiff and standard walk cycle is enough to get them a job.


Thought this article filled in some holes for me. I didn't think money would be an issue, yes Kickstarter isn't appropriate for the entirety of an MMO, but not all MMOs at 200mil projects, and they've got some of the work done already. Funding like what Double Fine got, I thought, might help them progress enough to get investors interested again (why the hell is Double Fine so popular again?), but the other issues are still there and that seems like the real stumbling block. 


Cancels are always unfortunate. Shame :-\


"Forums aren't for intelligent discussion; they're for blow-hards with unwavering opinions."

  Slampig

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 2391

Whatever you do, do NOT speak ill of Asheron's Call 2...

5/04/12 12:39:51 PM#12

Maybe YOU can't kickstart your heart, but Motley Crue sure as s**t can!

That Guild Wars 2 login screen knocked up my wife. Must be the second coming!

  Velocinox

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/15/06
Posts: 647

5/04/12 2:24:52 PM#13



Originally posted by gaeanprayer






Originally posted by VowOfSilence



Animators are hard to find? Oo




Odd, I wasn't aware of that at all... Why is that?


 




Animators aren't hard to find, qualified animators are. Everyone wants to be an animator but not everyone can create interesting animation, and for every one decent animator out there, there's 20 that think a stiff and standard walk cycle is enough to get them a job.





Thought this article filled in some holes for me. I didn't think money would be an issue, yes Kickstarter isn't appropriate for the entirety of an MMO, but not all MMOs at 200mil projects, and they've got some of the work done already. Funding like what Double Fine got, I thought, might help them progress enough to get investors interested again (why the hell is Double Fine so popular again?), but the other issues are still there and that seems like the real stumbling block. 





Cancels are always unfortunate. Shame :-\



Most of the time, true. There are plenty of wannabes trying to get in the business. But, just as equally I've seen plenty of times a 'qualified' but passionless primary dev (art/anim, server programmer, whip cracker/organizer/cheerleader) goes from one faceplant title, on to another project without so much as a difficult question in their interview and proceeds to pump out more boring (but technically superlative) product. When that project faceplants he's off to another shoe-in job in the industry.


There comes a time when you have to be willing to kick the burn-outs to the curb and invest in a wannabe with a heart. (oh no he brought passion up about game development.... what a noob. Time to stop reading his poat and get back to making WoW LXIV)




 


'Sandbox MMO' is a PTSD trigger word for anyone who has the experience to know that anonymous players invariably use a 'sandbox' in the same manner a housecat does.


No game is more fun than the one you can't play, and no game is more boring than the one you've become familiar with.


How to become a millionaire:
Start with a billion dollars and make an MMO.

  kishe

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/28/04
Posts: 1963

firefighter lvl90

5/04/12 2:41:42 PM#14

You can make solid single player game with million dollars...ten million can roughly get a MMO to alpha stage.


 


 


  Panther2103

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/09/08
Posts: 2075

5/04/12 3:00:23 PM#15

Definately gave me a different perspective. I always wondered why they didn't just set up a kickstarter, I forgot about different code and employees that would have to learn whatever they coded, or work around it. I also didn't know that server programmers were so rare, why is that?


  Games888

Novice Member

Joined: 2/06/12
Posts: 244

5/04/12 4:05:39 PM#16

there is just no way ppl are going to play this game instead of gw2 WvW which is 100x better anyway.


  dotdotdash

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/01/11
Posts: 349

5/04/12 5:10:00 PM#17

Sanya,

My name's Matt. I made a comment on the Dominus Facebook page about this (a lengthy one at that). And by the looks of things, your article is an almost direct response to my Facebook message.

IF that is true, thanks for the response. Whilst I certainly see your point, I obviously have counterpoints to make. I'm not going to make them because the conversation is fruitless when it comes to Dominus.

Tis flattering that I got an article, however :P

Matt.

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5799

5/04/12 7:36:54 PM#18

I'm sorry Sanya. I really am.  I hope better fortune comes your way soon.

Curse you AquaScum!

  Sanya

Pitchblack Games Director of Community

Joined: 5/01/03
Posts: 41

5/04/12 8:43:04 PM#19

Thanks for the kind words, y'all :)


@Matt - yours was certainly the longest and most reasoned response, but there were so many people suggesting Kickstarter that I really wanted to do a response. I couldn't on the Dominus page, because that would have looked like I was speaking for the company and as of noon Monday, I wasn't. As it was I was dancing on the line, but that's... what I do ;)


It really made me (and the rest of the team!) feel good to see so many people saying they would have supported the concept out of pocket. But it's not my IP to Kickstart (#1) and we never did find a server programmer after months of looking (#2) quite aside from how many people might have supported us.


There's a market for this game. There's passion for it. I hope the next team to take a swing at it gives me a call, because I'm SO THERE.


Sanya M. Weathers
Queen of the Galactic Universe
http://eatingbees.brokentoys.org

  Thorqemada

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/30/04
Posts: 1207

5/04/12 9:52:59 PM#20

 


Kickstarter worked for Wasteland 2 and some others but a high profile mmo is beyond the limits what Kickstarter and crowdfunding can do.


Sandbox games have the problem of being a niche with to many underfunded competitors releasing products that hurt the reputation more each time "proofing" that sandbox games do not work.


Games like EvE seen as exceptions and EvE almost covering the size of the playerbase that would spend money on a sandbox game. (It covers only its specific niche of people who like technocratic Sci Fi game worlds with cuthroat competition, force and treason).


With the success of Skyrim and Minecraft and others over the time of gaming history we know that there be millions of gamers/fans who would like to play a virtual world mmo, adventure, socialize, craft, be inhabitants of such a world if only it has a good quality and well thought game mechanics that do not favour the destroyers over the builders and thinkers, that offers regions of peace and security and is not a war torn appocalypse anywhere but having the possibility to take part on realm wars or adventuring throughplaces of low security.


But the funds for virtual world/sandbox mmos be spread thin between some/many part time and start up developers who cover only the most hard core gameplay never realizing what tiny niche they work for.


The Virtual World/Sandbox MMO Developers should gather together their stuff as long its compatible and work together on one or two games with higher quality instead of strugling to survie seperated.


"Torquemada... do not implore him for compassion. Torquemada... do not beg him for forgiveness. Torquemada... do not ask him for mercy. Let's face it, you can't Torquemada anything!"

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