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Early Access/Kickstarter funded games. Good or bad?

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  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 15,693
    edited November 2016
    Kyleran said:
    Iselin said:
    Vrika said:

    But even though it's not a zero sum game, all those games are competing for our free time and money. Kickstarter and Early Access games getting a part of that means there's less available for finished games.
    I'm not so sure that's it. When you see all the posts in all the game forums with people talking about whether the developers listen to them or not it becomes pretty obvious that the real attraction of KS is the promoted idea that by "donating" you will have a voice in the direction of development -- whether they actually mean that or not.

    Dreams of co-development and feeling like a special snowflake is the main thing they're selling.
    Wait, you mean MJ isn't incorporating all of the feedback I've emailed him as an "ALPHA" backer in CU? He promised!

    Betrayed I tell you.  :p
    Actually, he may be the one exception as evidenced by how he engages even here. Hell, even back in the DAoC days he was very active in the VN boards as I'm sure @LynxJSA can tell you. And they did come up with a system of class player reps to channel the feedback and report back.

    Mark actually walks the walk.
    "I don't wait for games. Games wait for me."
    -- CHUCK NORRIS

    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED

  • gervaise1gervaise1 Member EpicPosts: 6,919
    MJ was active on multiple forums prior to the launch of DAoC.

    And, as @Iselin says, he was active on VN whilst involved in DAoC - occasionally less so when some posters acted were trolling but by and large and on the whole he was active.
  • gervaise1gervaise1 Member EpicPosts: 6,919
    My view on EA and crowdfunding is that - potentially - they are two different things.

    As far as EA goes my general view is that it potentially gives developers a free pass to push out something that might not be "finished". Whether its EA from big companies or EA via "false" crowdfunding projects that are simply a form of pre-selling.

    Genuine crowdfunded stuff? Well first question is: "Is there much of it about?". How many "crowd funded" games are primarily equity funded - Elite Dangerous was mentioned as being mostly funded by equity.

    Some projects will be "chicken and egg" of course. Equity patners may only come in if a game attracts enough crowdfunding; whilst crowdfunders may only support a game if it looks like it will be released - which could be helped by equity funding! In these cases equity partners will usually crack the whip so to speak. 

    "Substantial" crowdfunding though - however rare it might be - certainly has a place imo. Why people feel they should have an input though I don't know. They might be listened to but if you are backing a project surely you are backing a vision as laid out?

  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Member EpicPosts: 16,775
    gervaise1 said:
    My view on EA and crowdfunding is that - potentially - they are two different things.

    As far as EA goes my general view is that it potentially gives developers a free pass to push out something that might not be "finished". Whether its EA from big companies or EA via "false" crowdfunding projects that are simply a form of pre-selling.

    Genuine crowdfunded stuff? Well first question is: "Is there much of it about?". How many "crowd funded" games are primarily equity funded - Elite Dangerous was mentioned as being mostly funded by equity.

    Some projects will be "chicken and egg" of course. Equity patners may only come in if a game attracts enough crowdfunding; whilst crowdfunders may only support a game if it looks like it will be released - which could be helped by equity funding! In these cases equity partners will usually crack the whip so to speak. 

    "Substantial" crowdfunding though - however rare it might be - certainly has a place imo. Why people feel they should have an input though I don't know. They might be listened to but if you are backing a project surely you are backing a vision as laid out?

    it has the 'potential' to do the opposite.

    i think people might be better served if they look at the actuals instead and weight said actuals appropriately.
    meaning a game with 3.7 million owners is worth more than one with only 1000 owners. Yes its true, it is actually worth more, so lets not try the special snowflake card.

    What science has disocvered around extremophiles is that the 'actuals' (as in the reality of what is actually happening) 'trumped' all 'potentials' 

    Please do not respond to me, even if I ask you a question, its rhetorical.

    Please do not respond to me

  • EldurianEldurian Member EpicPosts: 2,736
    As much as I would love to see a AAA with true innovation we are stuck with the fact it isn't happening right now. Kickstarters are bringing new MMO concepts out that would have otherwise never seen the light of day.

    Sure, most of the are crap, sure, most of them fail but you get to choose who to give money to. They don't just take it from you. Do your homework, see which games you find worth the gamble, and give only to those games.
  • acidbloodacidblood Member RarePosts: 878
    edited November 2016
    Personally I'm still on the fence, as while we have gotten a number of very good games (and revived a few 'dead' genres) that would not have happened otherwise, platforms like Steam have been so inundated with rubbish that I basically have blinders for all but the AAA and very high profile 'indie' tiles anyway.

    One factor that does push it towards being an overall negative is that even AAA developers / publishers seem to be getting the idea that it is OK to release a buggy mess (early access or not) and 'fix it later'. Users are partially to blame for this, as most seem to just want everything 'right now' regardless of what state it is in, but it certainly doesn't set a good trend when some of the most profitable games of the last few years are ones that haven't even been released yet.

    All that said, I do think crowdfunding and early access have their place going forward, but I also think stricter rules (possibly with multiple 'early access' categories) are needed to better inform users and better hold developers to account.
  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Member EpicPosts: 16,775
    acidblood said:
    Personally I'm still on the fence, as while we have gotten a number of very good games (and revived a few 'dead' genres) that would not have happened otherwise, platforms like Steam have been so inundated with rubbish that I basically have blinders for all but the AAA and very high profile 'indie' tiles anyway.

    One factor that does push it towards being an overall negative is that even AAA developers / publishers seem to be getting the idea that it is OK to release a buggy mess (early access or not) and 'fix it later'. Users are partially to blame for this, as most seem to just want everything 'right now' regardless of what state it is in, but it certainly doesn't set a good trend when some of the most profitable games of the last few years are ones that haven't even been released yet.

    All that said, I do think crowdfunding and early access have their place going forward, but I also think stricter rules (possibly with multiple 'early access' categories) are needed to better inform users and better hold developers to account.
    this might help

    7 days to die which is not the best selling early access game has 1.7 million owners.

    crap games are us (making it up) has 1000 owners.

    that would require 17,000 games like 'crap games our us' to just balance out ONE good top tier game.

    Conclusion: The number of owners of a game DOES matter and is getting woefully overlooked.

    Please do not respond to me, even if I ask you a question, its rhetorical.

    Please do not respond to me

  • gervaise1gervaise1 Member EpicPosts: 6,919
    SEANMCAD said:
    gervaise1 said:
    My view on EA and crowdfunding is that - potentially - they are two different things.

    As far as EA goes my general view is that it potentially gives developers a free pass to push out something that might not be "finished". Whether its EA from big companies or EA via "false" crowdfunding projects that are simply a form of pre-selling.

    Genuine crowdfunded stuff? Well first question is: "Is there much of it about?". How many "crowd funded" games are primarily equity funded - Elite Dangerous was mentioned as being mostly funded by equity.

    Some projects will be "chicken and egg" of course. Equity patners may only come in if a game attracts enough crowdfunding; whilst crowdfunders may only support a game if it looks like it will be released - which could be helped by equity funding! In these cases equity partners will usually crack the whip so to speak. 

    "Substantial" crowdfunding though - however rare it might be - certainly has a place imo. Why people feel they should have an input though I don't know. They might be listened to but if you are backing a project surely you are backing a vision as laid out?

    it has the 'potential' to do the opposite.

    i think people might be better served if they look at the actuals instead and weight said actuals appropriately.
    meaning a game with 3.7 million owners is worth more than one with only 1000 owners. Yes its true, it is actually worth more, so lets not try the special snowflake card.

    What science has disocvered around extremophiles is that the 'actuals' (as in the reality of what is actually happening) 'trumped' all 'potentials' 
    Totally agree that EA has the potential to give a game "momentum". Especially if the developers respect that and - because they know they have X guaranteed sales - work to ensure the game is "worthy".

    When it comes to "potential" vs. "company reporting cycles" and "P&L reports to investors" - you will have to consider me cynical. Developers in larger companies get told what to do.

    The same thought process though is why I feel that "proper" crowdfunding does have a place - which is a sort of EA. 

    Horses for courses.
  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Member EpicPosts: 16,775
    edited November 2016
    gervaise1 said:
    SEANMCAD said:
    gervaise1 said:
    My view on EA and crowdfunding is that - potentially - they are two different things.

    As far as EA goes my general view is that it potentially gives developers a free pass to push out something that might not be "finished". Whether its EA from big companies or EA via "false" crowdfunding projects that are simply a form of pre-selling.

    Genuine crowdfunded stuff? Well first question is: "Is there much of it about?". How many "crowd funded" games are primarily equity funded - Elite Dangerous was mentioned as being mostly funded by equity.

    Some projects will be "chicken and egg" of course. Equity patners may only come in if a game attracts enough crowdfunding; whilst crowdfunders may only support a game if it looks like it will be released - which could be helped by equity funding! In these cases equity partners will usually crack the whip so to speak. 

    "Substantial" crowdfunding though - however rare it might be - certainly has a place imo. Why people feel they should have an input though I don't know. They might be listened to but if you are backing a project surely you are backing a vision as laid out?

    it has the 'potential' to do the opposite.

    i think people might be better served if they look at the actuals instead and weight said actuals appropriately.
    meaning a game with 3.7 million owners is worth more than one with only 1000 owners. Yes its true, it is actually worth more, so lets not try the special snowflake card.

    What science has disocvered around extremophiles is that the 'actuals' (as in the reality of what is actually happening) 'trumped' all 'potentials' 
    Totally agree that EA has the potential to give a game "momentum". Especially if the developers respect that and - because they know they have X guaranteed sales - work to ensure the game is "worthy".

    When it comes to "potential" vs. "company reporting cycles" and "P&L reports to investors" - you will have to consider me cynical. Developers in larger companies get told what to do.

    The same thought process though is why I feel that "proper" crowdfunding does have a place - which is a sort of EA. 

    Horses for courses.
    by all reasonable logic and sound mind all of which I agree with 100% early access should not work. If I had heard about kickstarters before they really took off i would say its fundementally a system that is designed to fail. I would say that early access is a system that is designed to rip people off.

    However, the evidence of what is actually being produced in those two markets suggests my views on this matter are wrong.


    does that make it more clear?

    aka Extremophiles are not supposed to exist and yet they do

    Please do not respond to me, even if I ask you a question, its rhetorical.

    Please do not respond to me

  • 5Luck5Luck Member UncommonPosts: 218
    This is one of those topics that I dislike.

    Firstly early access in theory is just a really bad idea. Unfinished products should not reach the market save for complex devices that require specialty parts.

    But,

    When it comes to developer activity and feedback and great patches and player-dev interaction - all of those things that great development thrives on, early access usually does much better. That comes with a heavy price though in the form of lazy or "too small: dev teams running titles labled early access when what it really is just a cash grab on an unfinished product that no one has the inclination to finish.

    And while that seems to be the exception instead of the norm it does pull customers away from good devs and even potentially reduces the overall market base.

    So yea Im sitting on a picket fence wondering why Im sore on the bottom.
  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Member LegendaryPosts: 13,498
    I think it's a mistake to lump Early Access and Kickstarter together.
    They are distinct concepts.
     

    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

    Proudly wearing the Harbinger badge since Dec 23, 2017. 

    Coined the phrase "Role-Playing a Development Team" January 2018

    "Oddly Slap is the main reason I stay in these forums." - Mystichaze April 9th 2018

  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Member LegendaryPosts: 13,498
    Kyleran said:
    Iselin said:
    Vrika said:

    But even though it's not a zero sum game, all those games are competing for our free time and money. Kickstarter and Early Access games getting a part of that means there's less available for finished games.
    I'm not so sure that's it. When you see all the posts in all the game forums with people talking about whether the developers listen to them or not it becomes pretty obvious that the real attraction of KS is the promoted idea that by "donating" you will have a voice in the direction of development -- whether they actually mean that or not.

    Dreams of co-development and feeling like a special snowflake is the main thing they're selling.
    Wait, you mean MJ isn't incorporating all of the feedback I've emailed him as an "ALPHA" backer in CU? He promised!

    Betrayed I tell you.  :p
    Did you send it to his puiblic Email or private one?

    I always get responses...
     

    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

    Proudly wearing the Harbinger badge since Dec 23, 2017. 

    Coined the phrase "Role-Playing a Development Team" January 2018

    "Oddly Slap is the main reason I stay in these forums." - Mystichaze April 9th 2018

  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Member EpicPosts: 16,775
    edited December 2016
    5Luck said:
    This is one of those topics that I dislike.

    Firstly early access in theory is just a really bad idea. Unfinished products should not reach the market save for complex devices that require specialty parts.

    But,

    When it comes to developer activity and feedback and great patches and player-dev interaction - all of those things that great development thrives on, early access usually does much better. That comes with a heavy price though in the form of lazy or "too small: dev teams running titles labled early access when what it really is just a cash grab on an unfinished product that no one has the inclination to finish.

    And while that seems to be the exception instead of the norm it does pull customers away from good devs and even potentially reduces the overall market base.

    So yea Im sitting on a picket fence wondering why Im sore on the bottom.
    ok speaking for myself I dont play 'feedback simulator'

    but I will say this, by all logic and reason early access should not work. many of the games should be crappy however the exact opposite turns out to be the real reality (at least when looking at what people are actually buying instead of games that are not selling well).

    I like playing 7 Days to Die because the game itself is fun. not because the 'feedback simulator' back on the devs blog is fun.

    Please do not respond to me, even if I ask you a question, its rhetorical.

    Please do not respond to me

  • DreadToothDreadTooth Member UncommonPosts: 150

    I'm not a fan of early access, in it's current form. It used to mean you just got a head start, for whatever reason you were allowed it. Now it means the game isn't finished but they'll gladly take your money and move quite a bit slower in production because, well, people paying for it and playing it really means it is acceptable enough to be considered pretty much finished, riiiight?

    I think kickstarter games aren't going to be finished. May or may not be the case, but I definitely view them as failure prone, as in dead before release.

    Currently Playing:

    Fallout 4 (Xbox One)

    Puzzle Pirates (PC)
    Dreadtooth on Emerald Ocean

    "Dying's the easy way out. You won't catch me dying. They'll have to kill me before I die!"

  • BestinnaBestinna Member UncommonPosts: 190
    kickstarter is really good. 

    early access is shit.
  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Member EpicPosts: 16,775
    edited December 2016
    Bestinna said:
    kickstarter is really good. 

    early access is shit.
    see that is what cracks me up

    Early Access = pay money and instantly get The Forest, Kerbal Space Program, Space Engineers, 7 days to die, From the Depths, Stranded Deep, Rust, SubNautica to name a few

    Kickstarter = give money to something, maybe get something in return later, then again maybe not

    Please do not respond to me, even if I ask you a question, its rhetorical.

    Please do not respond to me

  • BestinnaBestinna Member UncommonPosts: 190
    Thane said:
    well, let's face it, having indi devs able to create their games without big publishers weighting in. surely good.

    you think it's bad bc games end up half finished? that has NOTHING to do with kickstarter. there were enough games unfinished before kickstarter, you might have missed em, but those were no small titles.

    biggest examples are surely all points bulletin and warhammer online, both released WAY too early, bc of publishers, money, and the system they were made in.

    both games had a really nice potential, which got raped really hard by the publishers decision to have it released when they said and not the devs.

    it's surely a good thing people can now at least TRY to make games without EA :)
    this one.
  • RhomsRhoms Member UncommonPosts: 174
    edited December 2016
    Like many of you, I'm still on the fence.  The perception out there is that players and backers have been burned by a number of half-baked crowdfunded titles.  Personally, it raises a yellow flag when game developers turn to players rather than large investors to get a game off the ground.  It makes me wonder why they weren't able to secure funding through traditional channels.  If investors didn't pony up to fund a particular game for any particular reason (game concept, market forces, dev team composition, leadership, ability to return profit, etc.), what evidence can be presented that the game will be a successful venture?

    Nevertheless, I understand that crowdfunding does present opportunities for developers.  Perhaps a game was overlooked by investors, or perhaps the developers want freedom to create independently without the pressures of large investors dictating how and when a game is developed and released.  If I were a developer looking for independence with a concept I believed in, perhaps I would do the same thing.  

    A few significant crowdfunded titles should be coming out in the next year.  A lot is riding on their success.  We, the players, backers, and watchers on the sidelines, need our faith in crowdfunding to be validated.  If they fail, both the players and the industry will suffer.  We will end up with more jaded players who have lost faith in the genre and developers' ability to deliver quality games.

    Edit: I would encourage potential backers to thoroughly review every aspect of a crowdfunded game and the leadership behind it.  Does the company have people who have successfully launched other quality games?  Does the company have talented veteran leadership and quality staff?  Would the game appeal to a broad enough audience?  Is the time table realistic?  We may believe in an awesome game concept from an amazing individual, but that doesn't mean the stars are aligned to a degree sufficient enough to move it from concept to actual game.

    Current game: Pillars of Eternity

    Played: UO, AC, Eve, Fallen Earth, Aion, GW, GW2 

    Tried: WOW, Rift, SWTOR, ESO 

    Future: Camelot Unchained?  Crowfall?  Bless?

  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Member EpicPosts: 16,775
    edited December 2016
    Rhoms said:
    Like many of you, I'm still on the fence.  The perception out there is that players and backers have been burned by a number of half-baked crowdfunded titles.  Personally, it raises a yellow flag when game developers turn to players rather than large investors to get a game off the ground.  It makes me wonder why they weren't able to secure funding through traditional channels.  If investors didn't pony up to fund a particular game for any particular reason (game concept, market forces, dev team composition, leadership, ability to return profit, etc.), what evidence can be presented that the game will be a successful venture?

    Nevertheless, I understand that crowdfunding does present opportunities for developers.  Perhaps a game was overlooked by investors, or perhaps the developers want freedom to create independently without the pressures of large investors dictating how and when a game is developed and released.  If I were a developer looking for independence with a concept I believed in, perhaps I would do the same thing.  

    A few significant crowdfunded titles should be coming out in the next year.  A lot is riding on their success.  We, the players, backers, and watchers on the sidelines, need our faith in crowdfunding to be validated.  If they fail, both the players and the industry will suffer.  We will end up with more jaded players who have lost faith in the genre and developers' ability to deliver quality games.
    what I would suggest is to look at the current output and not the theory. (output being what games are in early access now, not released from)

    sometimes in life the 'actuals' defy the logic. in the case of early access I think that is the case. it shouldnt work but many of the titles in the program are friggin fucking awesome sauce

    Please do not respond to me, even if I ask you a question, its rhetorical.

    Please do not respond to me

  • TalonsinTalonsin Member EpicPosts: 3,619
    edited December 2016
    Early Access and Kickstarter are two different animals.  Lets start with Early Access...

    Early Access should have rules it must abide by.  Hiding behind the early access tag for 3 or more years and using it as an excuse for poor game design and lack of content is just bad business.  The first rule I would impose if I were running steam is that no game can launch in early access unless it is within 2 years of being ready for launch.  You only get two so after that you are launched, ready or not.  The second rule I would impose is that if you go 4 months without an update you are removed from EA.  These people who launch games under EA and then do nothing while they collect money and hide behind the EA tag are not helping the games industry.

    Kickstarter - The people who fund a kickstarter should have the same rights as a regular investor.  The financial statements and reports should be open to them and if they want to pull out when the game changes direction from what was proposed, they should be allowed to.  The current trend where kickstarter means free money with absolutely NO accountability is just insane.  Just look at Greed Monger, less than 10,000 of the 100k they were given is actually accounted for.  Jason A walked away with 90k and did nothing.

    The bottom line is, both these methods offer total control to the developers and no protection for the players.  When used within the spirit for which they were created, they are awesome and allow for some great things to be created.  Sadly, it is over run with scam artists like Jason Appleton / Sergi Titov and narcissistic idiots who may have great ideas but could not manage to turn them into a viable product without wasting half the funds thrown at them like Chris Roberts.

    "Sean (Murray) saying MP will be in the game is not remotely close to evidence that at the point of purchase people thought there was MP in the game."  - SEANMCAD

  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Member EpicPosts: 16,775
    Talonsin said:
    Early Access and Kickstarter are two different animals.  Lets start with Early Access...

    Early Access should have rules it must abide by.  Hiding behind the early access tag for 3 or more years and using it as an excuse for poor game design and lack of content is just bad business.  

    but again look at this illustration

    Kickstarter = give money, dont get a game, might get a game later
    Early Access = give money, download game right then, play game. if game is fun = player wins. unless of course they play 'dev communication' simulator and instead of just being concerned if they are having fun they instead are concerned about if the game is 'released' or not.

    The games I have played on Early Access like kerbal space program and 7 days to die just to name a few are outstanding games. more over, my 'fun' level was not affected by them being out or not. That is a myth. it really dose not affect the fun level.

    Please do not respond to me, even if I ask you a question, its rhetorical.

    Please do not respond to me

  • RhomsRhoms Member UncommonPosts: 174
    SEANMCAD said:
    Rhoms said:
    ...
    what I would suggest is to look at the current output and not the theory. (output being what games are in early access now, not released from)

    sometimes in life the 'actuals' defy the logic. in the case of early access I think that is the case. it shouldnt work but many of the titles in the program are friggin fucking awesome sauce
    I wouldn't say I'm looking at things from a theory perspective instead of the actual data.  I prefer to look at things from a per-game micro level rather than a grand macro level.  The development platform can't be ruled out as "poor", but the individual games sure can.  Nevertheless, for general perceptions of crowdfunding, it is very easy to extrapolate general future genre expectations from past performance, especially if that performance is perceived to be sub-par.  We had a few instances of E. coli and now folks are reluctant to eat the bagged spinach.

    Current game: Pillars of Eternity

    Played: UO, AC, Eve, Fallen Earth, Aion, GW, GW2 

    Tried: WOW, Rift, SWTOR, ESO 

    Future: Camelot Unchained?  Crowfall?  Bless?

  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Member EpicPosts: 16,775
    edited December 2016
    Rhoms said:
    SEANMCAD said:
    Rhoms said:
    ...
    what I would suggest is to look at the current output and not the theory. (output being what games are in early access now, not released from)

    sometimes in life the 'actuals' defy the logic. in the case of early access I think that is the case. it shouldnt work but many of the titles in the program are friggin fucking awesome sauce
    I wouldn't say I'm looking at things from a theory perspective instead of the actual data.  I prefer to look at things from a per-game micro level rather than a grand macro level.  The development platform can't be ruled out as "poor", but the individual games sure can.  Nevertheless, for general perceptions of crowdfunding, it is very easy to extrapolate general future genre expectations from past performance, especially if that performance is perceived to be sub-par.  We had a few instances of E. coli and now folks are reluctant to eat the bagged spinach.
    i dont think you actually are because you havent mentioned any title.

    I am suggesting you open up steam, go to the top selling early access titles and look at them. games like The Forest, Kerbal Space Program (now gone from early access), Rust. Instead of not doing that and fantasying how things might be

    because the logic being early acccess pretty much manidates that the games should be crap but in reality they are not.

    Please do not respond to me, even if I ask you a question, its rhetorical.

    Please do not respond to me

  • MendelMendel Member EpicPosts: 4,557
    I really wanted to vote 'apricots', but bad was the closest choice.

    Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  • ste2000ste2000 Member EpicPosts: 6,194
    edited December 2016
    Not really sure I khow I feel about it, EA is basically what once was called Beta, and I always paid to get into Betas, so I am not really bothered.
    If I think the game looks promising I have no problems paying for EA.

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