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[Interview] Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen: Brad McQuaid On What Comes Next

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Comments

  • GorillaGorilla Member UncommonPosts: 2,234
    I've always wondered whether Vanguard was making key milestones on time and on budget? Unsurprisingly backers often have a change of heart if those criteria are not being met.
  • AraduneAradune Sigil Games CEOMember RarePosts: 294
    Originally posted by uriel_mafess

    So he could had asked for 300k but he decided to go for 800k. You smell miles away. You just wanted to get a good fee and realized that not enough ppl is willing to buy smoke. So he changed his sights and now aims for "whatever I can get" to make a living redoing a game with 0 innovation.

    Its completely legit to do that, dont get me wrong, as it is completely legit that ppl dont back that project from a begging smoke seller.

    We chose 800K because it would have given us more time to develop the game further before showing it off to potential investors.  And it would have allowed us to lease some office space sooner.  Other than that, nothing magical about the number,  Yes, in 20/20 hindsight I would have preferred we approach the crowdfunding in smaller chunks, and asked for $300 or $400K at first, and then built up with future campaigns. 

    There was no selling or buying of smoke -- we have a playable prototype already and you can see it both in the video and in the screenshots we've released. Pantheon is real, not vapor or smoke.

    No innovation?  Well, first, it's the only MMO I know of that, right from the beginning, announced that it had a target audience, that the game was being made for MMO gamers wanting more challenge and who preferred grouping to soloing.  It's a niche game, but I don't think niche = bad.

    Also, check out the information on www.pantheonrotf.com about combat and other systems?  There's definitely innovation there.  How about becoming used to a climate and more effective in areas you frequent?  How about an emphasis on situational gear, meaning there is no 'best sword' in the game, but rather weapons that are more effective or less effective in different climates? And by Climates, we don't mean just the classic hot or cold, but areas of darkness, of silence, of confusion... regions where the world's physics work differently.

    How about making sure the world is full of challenging content, but also staying away from gameplay most people consider grinding and boring?  Or making sure that there is plenty of risk vs. reward, but that people can enjoy the game in 1-2 hour sessions.

    A lot of people are talking about Pantheon right now and are very excited about it.  Some people have been waiting years for an MMO that goes back to the roots of early MMOs and MUDs and the additional challenge those games provided.  The press coverage of the game is mindblowing, especially for a game that started off with crowdfunding and not some huge cash infusion by a major publisher.

    So give it a chance :)  Go to www.pantheonrotf.com and read up on the game and check out the community.  Read up on all of the guilds and groups that are already forming.  Check out some of the modern game design ideas and mechanics that are being debated and see how many people from the dev team are listening and participating in these discussions.

    thanks,

    -Brad

     

     

    --

    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Brad McQuaid
    CCO, Visionary Realms, Inc.
    www.pantheonmmo.com
    --------------------------------------------------------------

  • xAPOCxxAPOCx Member UncommonPosts: 869
    Originally posted by kishe
    Best brad could do with 200 million dollars is vanguard...just what do you guys expect him to do with 800k?

    Stop posting lies please.

    image

  • AraduneAradune Sigil Games CEOMember RarePosts: 294
    Originally posted by tom_gore

    Some people just don't know when to stop. The Kickstarter failure should have been all the signs they need to ditch their idea and go work on something else.

    Now they're asking for people's money directly without any goals or promises. I think that's called "begging".

    You know, if you let minor defeats crush your dreams, you're really missing out on a lot of life.  Give up because we didn't hit $800k, but still got more than $400k and thousands of pledgers?  Run away when you've received more than 150 write-ups in various game sites, including some of the big ones like PC Gamer and IGN?  Surrender after a fantastic interview with Boogie who decided to back Pantheon even though he'd preached out against crowdfunding for years?

     

    You know, a lot of people told me I was nuts back in 1996/97.  What was I nuts about?  Apparently it was impossible to create a 3D MMO back then, and extra impossible to create one with enough content to entertain people for more than a week or two.  'Unpossible' to make an MMO with a focus on PvE and not PvP!  Didn't I know that once players zipped through the content in a week or so that the only incentive for them to keep playing was being able to kill each other?

     

    How about all of the flames about changing EQ here and there, continuing to balance it after release, and not being afraid to nerf an item and upset people if it made the game better and more balanced overall?  Should I have listened then and just given people whatever they wanted in terms of in-game rewards, regardless of how much effort and skill was employed? Didn't I know that most people don't raid and want it  to be MUCH easier to earn powerful items?  Should I have listened to all of that and just simplified the game and allowed for mistakes in balance to continue on and not be addressed?

     

    I guess I don't listen very well and take making a challenging and balanced game far too seriously?  I guess I should have changed EQ into a PvP game like UO instead of focusing on content and new expansions with new features and new areas to explore.  

     

    Guys, we're not the type to give up when we believe in something and when our future players believe in us.  I stuck to the 'vision' with EQ and it was the number one MMO for quite some time, peaking at approx. 550,000 players and making more than a half a billion dollars for Sony.  I listened to the players, and agreed with many and disagreed with others.  But I was out there on the message boards responding, because I cared.  The Pantheon team?  A bunch of guys who also care deeply about the game and who don't give up easily either.  We know there is a real audience out there for a game like Pantheon, and that audience includes us.  Setbacks, errors, and disappointments will always happen -- it's called Life.  it's what you do and how you react when the crap hits the fan that really defines you.  

     

    By sticking with Pantheon and by moving our crowdfunding too our own site, we've enjoyed some modest success.  By reaching out to angel investors, people with money who also want to see Pantheon become a reality, we're at the cusp of bringing in some serious funding that will allow us to lease some space, become even more productive, and to keep building the game.  Sometimes money comes easily (like when we founded Sigil and pitched Vanguard) and sometimes it comes hard (like it was initially for Pantheon, and like it was for Smed when he was trying to raise money to make EverQuest).  

     

    But ya gotta keep going, stay strong, and believe in yourself, your team, and your dream.  Otherwise you'll be kicking yourself for the rest of your life thinking, man, what if we didn't quit way back then... what if we would have stuck with it, through the good times AND the bad?

     

    -Brad

     

     

    --

    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Brad McQuaid
    CCO, Visionary Realms, Inc.
    www.pantheonmmo.com
    --------------------------------------------------------------

  • AraduneAradune Sigil Games CEOMember RarePosts: 294
    Originally posted by Coated

    Regardless of game mechanics and bringing back old school gaming, this game is the biggest crap fest in the history of MMORPG's to have ever been propositioned. You can bring back 'old-school' gaming and still be inventive. You can bring back Old-school gaming and still create something unique. This game is honestly the biggest joke in the history of MMORPG's. I feel like the creator of this game got together with people and said, "Watch this, I bet I can make the ugliest, most generic, uninspiring MMORPG and those idiot gamers will still buy it", as a test to how moronic the MMORPG community has become.

    Shame on anyone who is supporting this.

     
    Could you take the time and perhaps be more specific?  We are doing exactly what you claim we are not -- we are building a modern MMO with some new and cool ideas on top of the solid foundation that was EQ 1 and Vanguard. Pantheon is hardly merely a re-hash of old ideas and features.  
    What about our combat system and needing to prepare for the next battle, tactically deciding which spells to mem.  How about counterspelling and deflecting fireballs sort of like M:TG, but in an MMO?  What about not just finding rare and exotic items in the depths of dungeons, but also exotic spells and abilities? What about the Climate and Situational Gear that I posted about already in this thread?  What about some of the cool features that will really make playing a class feel unique again?
     
    Please post what you think is just a re-hash and not a new spin or something inventive?

     

    --

    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Brad McQuaid
    CCO, Visionary Realms, Inc.
    www.pantheonmmo.com
    --------------------------------------------------------------

  • xAPOCxxAPOCx Member UncommonPosts: 869
    Originally posted by Aradune
    Originally posted by uriel_mafess

    So he could had asked for 300k but he decided to go for 800k. You smell miles away. You just wanted to get a good fee and realized that not enough ppl is willing to buy smoke. So he changed his sights and now aims for "whatever I can get" to make a living redoing a game with 0 innovation.

    Its completely legit to do that, dont get me wrong, as it is completely legit that ppl dont back that project from a begging smoke seller.

    We chose 800K because it would have given us more time to develop the game further before showing it off to potential investors.  And it would have allowed us to lease some office space sooner.  Other than that, nothing magical about the number,  Yes, in 20/20 hindsight I would have preferred we approach the crowdfunding in smaller chunks, and asked for $300 or $400K at first, and then built up with future campaigns. 

    There was no selling or buying of smoke -- we have a playable prototype already and you can see it both in the video and in the screenshots we've released. Pantheon is real, not vapor or smoke.

    No innovation?  Well, first, it's the only MMO I know of that, right from the beginning, announced that it had a target audience, that the game was being made for MMO gamers wanting more challenge and who preferred grouping to soloing.  It's a niche game, but I don't think niche = bad.

    Also, check out the information on www.pantheonrotf.com about combat and other systems?  There's definitely innovation there.  How about becoming used to a climate and more effective in areas you frequent?  How about an emphasis on situational gear, meaning there is no 'best sword' in the game, but rather weapons that are more effective or less effective in different climates? And by Climates, we don't mean just the classic hot or cold, but areas of darkness, of silence, of confusion... regions where the world's physics work differently.

    How about making sure the world is full of challenging content, but also staying away from gameplay most people consider grinding and boring?  Or making sure that there is plenty of risk vs. reward, but that people can enjoy the game in 1-2 hour sessions.

    A lot of people are talking about Pantheon right now and are very excited about it.  Some people have been waiting years for an MMO that goes back to the roots of early MMOs and MUDs and the additional challenge those games provided.  The press coverage of the game is mindblowing, especially for a game that started off with crowdfunding and not some huge cash infusion by a major publisher.

    So give it a chance :)  Go to www.pantheonrotf.com and read up on the game and check out the community.  Read up on all of the guilds and groups that are already forming.  Check out some of the modern game design ideas and mechanics that are being debated and see how many people from the dev team are listening and participating in these discussions.

    thanks,

    -Brad

     

     

    You cant talk sense into people that have no sense. Most of these Brad haters are filling with misinformation and dont even care to learn facts about the topic they choose to stick their nose in. I have been a Brad supporter since the begging and it will not change. VG, with all its problems, is still to this day the best MMO i have ever played.

     

    I will back any project your involved with. I wish you the best of luck and i PRAY this MMO gets backing it needs.

    image

  • AraduneAradune Sigil Games CEOMember RarePosts: 294
    Originally posted by grimfall
    Originally posted by DMKano

    Brad said something along the lines of ~ Pantheon is a game that no game studio is willing to dare attempt to make.

    The reason why - there is not enough of an audience to warrant the cost of making it.

    Step #1 - make sure there is a buyer for your product, otherwise its a waste of time and money.

    I say time to rethink the entire project.

     

    I think really they needed to show more art assets.  Who launches a kickstarter without a bunch of concept art?

    The grouping mechanics sound great, but I need a world to be excited about.

    Yeah, we should have launched with more features, mechanics, screenshots of a game further a long, more concept art, etc.  That's all great and ideal.  And we did hold back some of the features, which was a mistake -- we thought we'd build up interest in the campaign similarly to how you buildup interest in an MMO when it is nearing completion.  Turns out, if you want people to pledge for a game that's still 3 years away, you'd better have a lot to say about it.
     
    So yeah, we messed up.  We should have waited longer, starting hyping the game for a couple of months BEFORE launching the kickstarter.  And it would have been nice to have waiting a bit longer because we'd have more of the game to show, and more art, etc.
     
    But also please keep in mind that we were working completely pro-bono.  Another couple of months and team members would have been late on their leases and car loans, etc.  We didn't start the project with any money; instead we planned on using the $800k to really get us going  -- to 'kick start' us.  But crowdfunding has changed -- no longer is it somewhere you go to get your first money infusion -- investors are more savvy now and they want to see more and they want to see it right away.  We didn't understand that.  We didn't realize that by 2014 you'd better have found some money some other way in order to get your project to a certain point in terms of info, screenshots, in-game video, concept art, lore, etc.  THEN you go on kickstarter or elsewhere and keep pushing the game.  

     

    --

    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Brad McQuaid
    CCO, Visionary Realms, Inc.
    www.pantheonmmo.com
    --------------------------------------------------------------

  • AraduneAradune Sigil Games CEOMember RarePosts: 294
    Originally posted by craftseeker
    Originally posted by WillyWillers
    Originally posted by Bannuk
    Originally posted by craftseeker
    Originally posted by ITPalg
    Originally posted by xAPOCx
    Originally posted by GrumpyMel2
    Let me put this as delicately as I can. Brad,  it's not the game concept that people rejected. It's you sitting at the helm and being responsible for the finances that go into making it that people rejected. You are a talented creative guy...no one trusts you as an executive manager.

    -Brad "Aradune Mithara" McQuaid

    Chief Creative Officer, Visionary Realms, Inc.

    January, 2014

     

    Thumbs up for what I just pointed out to this person: that there is a difference between CEO and CCO.

    One of the features of being a CEO is the ability to fire anyone for cause.  Do you really think that any CEO appointed would have the power to fire Brad?  Would any CFO be able to over rule Brad on cost overruns?

    Sorry, titles aside, this is Brad's project and he has less than stellar credentials in project management.

    A better question.  Why would anyone ever trust this knucklehead ever again much less give him a job creating any form of computer game?

    Because some of us have really enjoyed the games he's helped create. 

    Would I hire Brad to be the creative force behind a new game?  Yes I would because of his past record in creativity.

    Would I put Brad into any project management position? No I would not because of his past record in project management.

    What role does he have in the Pantheon project?  Well he owns the whole thing and I am afraid the recent Kick Starter just confirms my opinion that he should not be in charge of project management.  So I will not be putting any of my cash into this project until I see it delivered.

    Please note that my past includes being the producer, project manager, and one of the lead designers for EverQuest, a game that was launched in time, was not over budget, that was almost identical to to the original design doc.   A game that took 23 or so people 3 years to make, at a cost of ~$8M, and which ended up making over a half a BILLION dollars of revenue for Sony. 

     

    Yeah, I made some mistakes managing Vanguard.  I admit to them, take responsibility for them, and, most importantly, learn from them.  But even without those mistakes, Vanguard's pre-mature launch would have still taken quite a toll.  Being a more effective project planner wouldn't have stopped the regime change at Microsoft.  Being a better executive producer wouldn't have materialized an extra 6 months of additional funding into Smed's back pocket.  

     

    Anyway, just trying to keep things real... to consider the big picture... to consider both MMOs I co-designed, managed, and launched.  that's all :)

     

     

     

     

    --

    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Brad McQuaid
    CCO, Visionary Realms, Inc.
    www.pantheonmmo.com
    --------------------------------------------------------------

  • Ice-QueenIce-Queen Member UncommonPosts: 2,483

    I never played EQ or Vanguard so I didn't even know Brad even existed and was so despised before Pantheon Kickstarter, I was playing Ultima Online and then later DAOC at the time of EQ, so I don't dislike the guy at all.

    I was interested in the Kickstarter because Old School Mmorpg's and Sandbox Mmorpg's are all I'm interested in when it comes to gaming. I was on the fence the whole time waiting for something to make me want to pledge though.

    From the first poorly done video and all through the 40 days it felt like the Pantheon team thought their reputations would pull in the dough for them, and they didn't even have to try to gain trust. It was like they were too good to interact much with the community they were trying to reach out to for funds. It was a poorly thought out, poorly managed kickstarter, with hardly any interaction from the Pantheon team. They even gave up on it before the second week, and it was apparent that they did. I never got the feeling they were capable of bringing a quality game as they described, sadly.

    What comes next will be getting money from people believing in this team to deliver a game of nostalgia for many who played and loved EQ. What comes next is those people clinging to the forums hoping for scraps of information weekly/monthly, on a game that is years away. What comes next is Brad will be searching around for an investor, the game is no longer just the teams game anymore, and it will become something different than described because they needed an investor that will have a say in what is done. I hope they can pull it off, but I seriously doubt they could make a quality game, their ego's will get in the way every step of the way.

    image

    What happens when you log off your characters????.....
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFQhfhnjYMk
    Dark Age of Camelot

  • DruthlenDruthlen Member Posts: 18

    What can men do against such reckless hate.

     

    *looks out unto all the brad haters*

  • WereLlamaWereLlama Member UncommonPosts: 246

    I respect the courage Brad is showing by pushing forward on a project that so many players are strongly hostile to (mostly due to his failures with Sigil).

    That being said, I will not donate again unless a game play video or tech demo is available for immediate download.

    -WL

  • saxifrsaxifr Member UncommonPosts: 381
    Originally posted by wunderkind44

    The mmorpg genre has been thoroughly degenerated by greedy corporations. These darn companies only want to make money by getting stupid people addicted to stupid games for morons. In order to squelch competition, these evil corporations pay people to come onto these forums and incite hatred for anyone who has the temerity to develop a game which might be better than the junk produced by mainstream development studios.  

     

    Those who say that the failure of the Pantheon kickstarter proves that there isn't a market for Brad's vision are really just stating the obvious: most consumers are dumb enough to enjoy playing games that are designed for people with the IQ of a darn monkey. 

     

    How many of these Brad haters are going to spend money on ESO and Wildstar? 

     

     Out of the companies that make ESO, Wildstar, and Pantheon, which ones have actual products that are ready for sale?

     

    Hint: It's not Pantheon. pantheon is imaginary at this point.

     

     

    RELAX!@!! BREATHE!!!

  • VorthanionVorthanion Member RarePosts: 2,650
    Originally posted by Tygranir
    Originally posted by unclemo
    MMORPG.COM is failing to be objective with it's articles related to Pantheon. There were serious mistakes with this Kickstarter regarding the poor presentation of their 'vision', the purposed game has nothing innovative to offer, and there's a number of people that simply don't trust Brad McQuaid.

    While your points are correct, this game is for people not looking for innovation. This game is being made for those that want EQ1 Updated with todays graphics and animations

    EQ isn't a group only game.  Not sure where you make comparisons between the two when that is a huge feature being left out.

    image
  • saxifrsaxifr Member UncommonPosts: 381
    Originally posted by xAPOCx
    Originally posted by Aradune
    Originally posted by uriel_mafess

    So he could had asked for 300k but he decided to go for 800k. You smell miles away. You just wanted to get a good fee and realized that not enough ppl is willing to buy smoke. So he changed his sights and now aims for "whatever I can get" to make a living redoing a game with 0 innovation.

    Its completely legit to do that, dont get me wrong, as it is completely legit that ppl dont back that project from a begging smoke seller.

    We chose 800K because it would have given us more time to develop the game further before showing it off to potential investors.  And it would have allowed us to lease some office space sooner.  Other than that, nothing magical about the number,  Yes, in 20/20 hindsight I would have preferred we approach the crowdfunding in smaller chunks, and asked for $300 or $400K at first, and then built up with future campaigns. 

    There was no selling or buying of smoke -- we have a playable prototype already and you can see it both in the video and in the screenshots we've released. Pantheon is real, not vapor or smoke.

    No innovation?  Well, first, it's the only MMO I know of that, right from the beginning, announced that it had a target audience, that the game was being made for MMO gamers wanting more challenge and who preferred grouping to soloing.  It's a niche game, but I don't think niche = bad.

    Also, check out the information on www.pantheonrotf.com about combat and other systems?  There's definitely innovation there.  How about becoming used to a climate and more effective in areas you frequent?  How about an emphasis on situational gear, meaning there is no 'best sword' in the game, but rather weapons that are more effective or less effective in different climates? And by Climates, we don't mean just the classic hot or cold, but areas of darkness, of silence, of confusion... regions where the world's physics work differently.

    How about making sure the world is full of challenging content, but also staying away from gameplay most people consider grinding and boring?  Or making sure that there is plenty of risk vs. reward, but that people can enjoy the game in 1-2 hour sessions.

    A lot of people are talking about Pantheon right now and are very excited about it.  Some people have been waiting years for an MMO that goes back to the roots of early MMOs and MUDs and the additional challenge those games provided.  The press coverage of the game is mindblowing, especially for a game that started off with crowdfunding and not some huge cash infusion by a major publisher.

    So give it a chance :)  Go to www.pantheonrotf.com and read up on the game and check out the community.  Read up on all of the guilds and groups that are already forming.  Check out some of the modern game design ideas and mechanics that are being debated and see how many people from the dev team are listening and participating in these discussions.

    thanks,

    -Brad

     

     

    You cant talk sense into people that have no sense. Most of these Brad haters are filling with misinformation and dont even care to learn facts about the topic they choose to stick their nose in. I have been a Brad supporter since the begging and it will not change. VG, with all its problems, is still to this day the best MMO i have ever played.

     

    I will back any project your involved with. I wish you the best of luck and i PRAY this MMO gets backing it needs.

    Can you show us the Pantheon product? Can I buy it and install it on my computer? I'm ready to go and Ihave 60 bucks with Brad McQuaid's name on it if it's something I can install and play!

    RELAX!@!! BREATHE!!!

  • wunderkind44wunderkind44 Member Posts: 14

    ESO and Wildstar may be on the verge of release, but that doesn’t mean I’m interested in what they have to offer. From what I’ve seen so far, these games do not really seek to provide an immersive simulation of a fantasy realm. Instead of simulating a living, breathing world, ESO and Wildstar are merely providing yet another mind numbing romp through a series of linear quest hubs.

     

    No thanks; I think I’ll save my money so that I can put it towards a game that at least has a chance of being worth my time. 

     
  • AraduneAradune Sigil Games CEOMember RarePosts: 294
    Originally posted by Epicon

    Brad McQuaid, should leave games all together, and be a used car salesmen.

    Not sure what's worse really, gamers falling for Brad's tactics once again. Or the many WoW fans thinking 60 dollars is a great deal for a boosted 90.

    Requiring a sub to post on forums for a game not even made yet? Gee Brad, could it be yet another tactic to have a filter in place to block most of your doubters out?

    I'm sure some people will hate him enough,h to pay for it just to get on the forums and bring up questions and fact the fans of this game don't want to hear. Just not most of them.

     
     

    Yes, let's be super clear here.  You are correct:  we are requiring a sub or a pledge at a certain level if the person wants full read & write access to the forums and other areas that that allow the person to express their opinions and thoughts, and, more importantly, to be heard.

    Now let's talk about why we set it up that way, and there is no simple or one answer -- it was a decision based on several different factors and goals.

    That said, before I attempt to explain our reasoning you'll need to first check out the site yourself and wrap your head around it in general.  No, you don't need to spend hours checking it out, but neither will just speed reading through it give you the understanding and context you'll need to really understand my points as they relate to why we chose to require subscriptions to participate in the Think Tank, the game design & mechanics, forums, etc.  Also, by visiting www.pantheonrotf.com you’ll see that there’s a whole lot more to the site than just creating an exclusive pay-to-participate forum.  It’s really designed to help build community for Pantheon now, so people don’t have to wait for the game to be released.  It’s designed so that people can start making friendships now with people.  Sure, anyone can set up a fan site or a guild site and interact there – they don’t need us for that.  But what our site can do, because it is the ‘official’ site, is help bring people together who didn’t already know each other. 

    You can find out all about the game reading through the site, the FAQ, the Wiki.  You can download official concept art, screenshots, and wallpapers.  You can watch the various interview videos we’ve participated in over the last 40+ days.  You can advertise and promote yourself or your guild starting now.  You can upload cool videos of your group overcoming a boss mob in EQ 1, Vanguard, and other MMOs.  You can reminisce about the past and plan ahead for the future.  It’s really a comprehensive web site with a lot of time and effort put into it to get it to this point (while we’re guilty of not planning enough and not releasing enough info on Kickstarter, I don’t think the same accusations can be made about our web site and this new, second phase of crowdfunding). 

    You'll also need to understand one of our core tenets, because most of the reasons explaining why we did what we did are based on our belief in that tenet and may not make sense if you are unaware of the tenet, or even if you don't agree with the tenet.  Ok, here it is:  We believe very strongly that not only is a solid community necessary for a game like Pantheon to work, but that we, the developers, have a responsibility to help support and build that community.  And that if we’re going to make a game for a specific audience, that we darn well better listen to that audience and get into the game what’s important to them.

    Ok, let's jump into the reasons for requiring a subscription to interact with parts of the web page.  Note please that they are in not in any particular order.

    1. Fan sites are very important and we need to support them, not compete with them.  We like to support these fan sites for a variety of reasons and in a variety of ways.  We want to do interviews with them.  We want to occasionally give them some exclusive info or exclusive artwork (early on concept art, but then, later on, actual in-game screenshots). We want our team to occasionally go to these fansites and support them by posting on their forums.  We want fan sites that are general, but we also like fan sites that have specific audiences... say one that is focused on PvP, or role playing, or raiding, etc.  

    But we don't, especially early on, have the resources and time (and even sometimes the desire) to set up sites similar to these fan sites… and we usually don't have the manpower to properly moderate open forums.  We also usually don't have the time or people to set up official sites dedicated to specific aspects of the game (like PvP, role playing, documenting quests and item rewards, etc.)  Most fan sites have forums.  These forums are usually open to everyone who signs up.  These forums are usually moderated, but to what degree varies.  We realize that many people like open forums with minimum moderation.  

    So, bottom line, we don't want to allocate resources to try to compete with our fan base by creating sites that are really just another fan site, but 'official'.  If we do, this is what happens (and this is supported by history, because I've been involved with projects that have done just what we are saying we don't want to do):  we either end up supporting a fan site or two (usually the better built ones and/or the more popular ones) by contributing, posting, etc.  This results in those who frequent the official site wondering why we have official sites at all, and so they either sit around and complain that we're not frequently supporting the official sites too, or they simply leave and migrate to one of the sites we are actively supporting.  Or, the exact opposite occurs:  we end up only posting to and supporting the official sites.  This draws traffic away from the fan sites, which just isn't cool and certainly not community-friendly behavior.  The fan sites then typically don't take off because hardly anyone is visiting them and there is a genuine feeling of negativity and disappointment towards the dev team because those running the fan site and also those participating in the fansite feel ignored.  And rightfully so!  So we don't want either scenario to occur.  We want fan sites that are sufficiently well done and well moderated enough to warrant us visiting their site, participating in interviews, posting on their forums, etc.  

    Quite simply: we want a community that is not only interested in the game, but also in participating in various fan sites depending upon their interest in different aspects of the game.  We don't want to mirror those efforts and create 'official' versions of fan sites.  We're not interested, we think it's bad for community, and we likely won't ever have the resources to do everything all fan sites do.  Instead, we like to see various fan sites appear and bring to them different types of players, focusing on this or that.  

    2.  We want the community to participate in the development of Pantheon.  Yes, I know, almost everyone says that.  It's almost cliché.  But in our case, harnessing the community, listening to what they want, seriously considering their ideas, etc. are core to what we're up to.  Look at how we began things:  we brought the game to you all via kickstarter in an attempt to not only raise money to help pay for developing the game, but also to make sure there were enough people out there interested in what we were specifically trying to do.  (And there are, btw, even though we didn’t reach our goal – KS showed that there are easily enough people out there who want a game like Pantheon.  The number of people willing to fund a game that is still somewhat vague and also 3 years out is a small number.  The number of people willing to pay to play a game like Pantheon after it’s released is a much bigger number.  It takes some math and some metrics, but the way investors have been looking at our numbers has been very encouraging). 

    Anyway, so because we are not trying to make an MMO that does everything and attempts to appeal to everyone, it is extremely important that we reach out to those who ARE our target audience.  If we make a game targeting a specific audience or niche but we end up building an MMO that actually doesn't appeal to that audience but instead maybe to another audience or even to nobody at all, then we are screwed.  A larger more general purpose MMO can survive this kind of scenario -- maybe they really screw up and make a horrible PvP system.  Well, they may not get PvPers to subscribe to their game, but because their game is so broadly focused, they still bring other types of players to their game.  They survive unless they somehow fail to appeal to absolutely everyone.  We don't.  We either make a game that appeals to our target audience, or we don't have a game worth developing, launching, etc.

    So we need to listen... really listen.  This is not lip service, but the real thing.  And that requires setting up a way for those people to effectively communicate to and with us.  So instead of creating general forums and reading countless posts about all sorts of things, we want to create forums and other means of communication where we're hearing not only from our target audience, but also those specifically within that audience who have the time and talent to come up with really good and new ideas… to supply us with specific feedback regarding specific game features and mechanics.  This simply is not achievable with more general boards you see at your typical fan site.  Without the proper setup, you get all sorts of people in your forums with all sorts of different agendas.  Some want to try to convince us that we're making the wrong game, that bunches of people don’t want a challenging game that focuses on grouping (for example) -- they're there to try to get us to change our vision.  Then there are those who are interested in Pantheon, but really prefer to talk about more esoteric topics, or topics that are too general.  And then there are the trolls, who come to your site and really just want to create contention and discord.  They want to turn the community against the developer.  They want to try to make people think they're smarter and better at making MMOs than the devs and therefore the actual developers had better listen to them.  They encourage other people to reject or heavily question game features and tenets.  Why? Whew, there are all sorts of reasons and 1. I'm not a Psychologist and 2. this post is too darn long in the first place.

    So if we truly desire and need feedback and ideas from people in our target audience who enjoy thinking about game design theory and who want to participate in game development, then we have to come up with a better way to listen, respond to, and even engage in dialog with those people.  We have to weed out those who want us to instead make a different game.  We have to weed out trolls who just want to make trouble, or who want to be heard so badly that if they don't feel like we're listening they go into some sort of rage.  We need to weed out those who are indeed part of our target audience, but really prefer to talk about all sorts of things with their fellow fans.  Instead of wanting to get into serious discussion about MMO game mechanics, they'd rather simply meet friends who have similar tastes, or simply don't care -- they really don't think hard about what make MMOs tick, but when they hear about a game that appeals to them they want to be involved, but just not at a super deep detail level.

    So, that's it, albeit a bit long winded:  in summary we want to support fan sites, we don't want to run and moderate general forums.  We do want to engage in dialog with people who are part of our target audience and who have great ideas and a desire to articulate them.  We have no patience and time for trolls.  We can't overly worry about upsetting a person on the forum who one minute was a big Pantheon fan, but then, in the next, a hater because they don't feel listened to, or felt that while we were technically listening, we really were not truly listening because we didn't simply agree with them and promise to include a feature or two that has been dear to them for years. 

    So we thought long and hard about how to accomplish our goals.  We looked at other message boards, official and unofficial.  We looked at some of the newer social media methods of dialoging with your audience (reddit and the like).  And we came up with the following:

    1. Create a system that requires people to pay monthly to participate.  Why? Sure, to make some cash on the side, but that's not the biggie:  the biggie is to weed out those who aren't really serious about having that dialog with us.  Most people who just want to casually interact with developers don't want to spend money to do so.  Most people who want to mandate to developers that their pet mechanic or feature be implemented or else they'll never play another one of your games until the day they die, don't want to spend money to be heard.  And then most people who actually derive pleasure by seeding discontent and flaming not just ideas but people... most of those troublemakers don't want to have to pay to do this -- there are plenty of other places they can do their thing without having to pay for it.  Also, when you have to pay for something, anonymity generally goes out the window.  The game developers will know who you are, have your contact info, etc.  And while some people will do horrible things in a mob, most will not do horrible things as an individual whose name and info is known by those they would have normally wanted to attack.  

    2. It's also hard to really have effective communication if there are just too many people to communicate with.  So charging money removes some of the good people too because they can't afford to participate, or perhaps they can afford it, but having that dialog just isn't sufficiently important for them to pay a monthly fee.

    But we also felt that charging money wasn't enough. This is where we started looking at reddit and the like.  In those kinds of systems they deal with the problem of getting too much feedback all at once.  They also deal with the problem of the developer feeling obligated to answer everyone's ideas, no matter how strange, because, well, they did pay to be heard.  This is where the voting system comes in.  When a subscriber brings an idea or comment or concern to the developers, other subscribers have to agree that the idea or comment or concern is a really important one.  There is a realization that the developer simply doesn't have the bandwidth to really consider each and every idea out there, even if those ideas are coming from very serious people who were willing to pay to participate in the creative process.  So you set up a voting system and, hopefully, only the ideas and issues that really resonate with most of the subscribers make it to the top where they are heard and considered by the dev team. This means less ideas or issues for the developers to have to take seriously and devote time into addressing or implementing.  Only the really popular ones make it to a point where a developer is going to really devote time and money into researching and possibly even implementing.

    Now, none of this is of course fair or efficient or a perfect system by any stretch of the means.  What about the guy who really wants to be involved, who really cares, but simply cannot afford to subscribe?  Or, what about the guy who has some crazy cool ideas, but for some reason his fellow subscribers don't understand what he's really trying to say?  He might be onto something absolutely genius but his 'peers' don't understand and so it doesn't get up-voted and the developers then don't hear about it.  In those scenarios the pay and be voted-up setup fails or isn’t sufficient.  It's like democracy -- it's a sucky political system, but it's also the best system we human beings have come up with thus far.

    So that's it.  That's why we're doing what we're doing.  We don't want to compete with or hurt fan sites.  We don't want to have to create forums with uber-strict moderation that ends up stifling everybody, not just the troll.  We do want to hear from members of our target audience who are serious about being heard and who have ideas and comments that their fellow subscribers also want us to hear.  And so that's why we came up with the system we did.  It's nothing new or super innovative -- others have done it before, and it will be done again.  It doesn't work perfectly, but it's the best setup people have come up with thus far.

    And then, of course, here I am posting on a forum that I don't control, that is free, that doesn't have voting, and where I will almost positively be flamed for what I just wrote.  You have to love the irony :)  But really it supports our assertion that we still want to participate in forums that we don't control and that we still want to reach out to the general MMO public and talk about Pantheon.  Our more complicated official system that requires people to subscribe is of course very important to us and we hope that it succeeds in making the signal to noise ratio something easy to deal with and where we can get some great ideas and feedback that then make it into the actual game.  But we also know that our new system is not perfect and that by remaining committed to reading and posting to boards and threads like this one we will come across some good ideas... diamonds in the rough, so to speak.  The difference is that all or even most of our time won't go into supporting fan sites and posting to forums we don't control.  We'll still be around, but a lot of our time will now be allocated now to our own site, to our Think Tank.

    Sheesh I need to work on making my posts more succinct and less rambling and long.

     *bonks* self.

    -Brad

     

    --

    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Brad McQuaid
    CCO, Visionary Realms, Inc.
    www.pantheonmmo.com
    --------------------------------------------------------------

  • GrumpyMel2GrumpyMel2 Member Posts: 1,832

    Brad,

    I respect that you had the courage to come here but here is the reality....

    - I played EQ1 and enjoyed it.

    - I pre-ordered Vanguard and not only was it so buggy and resource intensive as to be virtualy unplayable....it was one of the most poorly done MMO's I had played to date. It had some interesting features but the Quests and Quest Text and much of the content I experienced was so poorly done they looked to be the work of a child.

    - From my perspective, it really doesn't matter why VG failed. You were the person in charge. The buck stops with you. That's what being in charge means. If a janitor in your company belch's, your the person ultrimately accountable to the customer.

     

    Now you are asking for donations to produce a new product. So are dozens of other game producers with thier projects. Sorry, I'm going with the ones that don't already have a history of producing a product that I consider a failure.

    I wish you luck in getting funding for your project. IF you do and IF you end up producing a quality game that I am able to try before making a commitment of cash, I may even end up purchasing it.

    I have no personal animus toward you.... but you've already burned the opportunity to get cash from me in advance of providing a product. No one gets more then one shot at that from me and there are plenty of other folks out there in the wings that haven't gotten a single shot yet.

    P.S.  It really didn't help that you guys miscalculated on the KS launch.

  • ketzerei84ketzerei84 Member UncommonPosts: 81

    [quote]“Under no circumstances are we going to relinquish control of the company... we're not going to lose control. We are going to launch the game that we want to launch. The investors we are talking to, especially these angel investors we're talking to right now, these people are gamers. They believe in Pantheon and they have zero desire to change it.”[/quote]

    I have a lot of respect for Brad as a game designer, but he said this about Vanguard, then sold out to Microsoft for 10mil, then sold out to Sony for a song. EQ was mutilated beyond belief when Brad went off the dev team, and Vanguard is being shut down. So I hope he means it this time, because, as a visionary, he is a threat to the established game companies and if he sells out we WILL lose this game.

     
     

    Playing: Secret World: Legends

    Waiting for: Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

  • DarkEvilHatredDarkEvilHatred Member UncommonPosts: 162

    This isn't Brad McQuaid's first rodeo. Dumb mistakes should be something of the past for this guy.

     

    For him to say they made another mistake in not publishing enough info about the game before asking money on Kickstarter is beyond belief.

     

    You are supposed to be a seasoned veteran now. Kiddie mistakes should be a thing of the past.

     

    I see your game failing. Sorry.

  • LFGroupLFGroup Member UncommonPosts: 36

    Mr Mc Quaid must be the laziest MMO "creator" I've ever seen.

    I played EQ and VSOH, and swore he'd never get another cent from me. He doesn't even deserve the time I'm spending to write this. I just hope all his projects fail before he can cheat people and get away with his pockets full of $$$ like he's used to. Some will say I'm just a Brad hater ... actually I'm just fed up of his lies ... and anyway if Brad haters exist, there must be a reason !?

  • danadutescudanadutescu Member UncommonPosts: 2

    another kickstarter scam  :S 

    next

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