Why did you say six months? He's coming. This matters. This is important. Why did you say six months? Why did you say five minutes?
Friday, March 30
Today's Greatest Thing Ever
A macabre fairy tale? As if there were any other kind.
In other news, I have a llama. Arrived this morning as a freebie with some t-shirts. Which were greatly discounted, then over-charged, then over-refunded, so they worked out being reasonably priced even with international shipping.
Another Kickstarter project shepherded safely across the finish line. So far every project I have backed has been funded. That streak looks set to break with Metacell 2, which hasn't raised much interest and has a pretty ambitious target.
I think everyone is still learning here. After the sudden outbreak of megaprojects like OotS, DFA, and that iPhone dock thingy (and now Wasteland 2), it will take a while for people to find the best balance between ambition and pragmatism.
...Has been the popular response to the Wasteland 2 Kickstarter project, which has reached its ambitious goal of $900,000 in under 48 hours, with 33 days left to go.
This is to be a turn-based, party-oriented, story-driven, isometric, tactical RPG. There was some argument on the Obsidian forums when a smilar idea was floated there, with some discounting the pent-up demand for precisely this kind of game and predicting that a Kickstarter drive would only bring in a few thousand dollars over the course of a month. Wasteland 2 is bringing in a few thousand dollars per hour.
Does this presage a new Belle Époque for cRPGs, and for old-school games in general? One can certainly hope. Obsidian just suffered the cancellation of a major project for Microsoft, so they have to be looking even more seriously at Kickstarter than they were before.
And then there's baldursgate.com (warning: plays music) which is currently showing a countdown timer.... And crashed earlier today under the load.
The load. Of a countdown timer.
I think the real limitation is not demand at all but the number of independent developers who can credibly propose this sort of project. Brian Fargo has reassembled much of the old team for Wasteland 2 and gained the trust of the fans; there's Trent Oster (of Neverwinter Nights fame) behind the Baldur's Gate teaser, and Chris Avellone of Obsidian (Planescape: Torment, Icewind Dale, Neverwinter Nights 2) floating the idea of a spiritual successor to Torment.
Beyond that, I don't know. I don't think fans would take kindly to Bioware trying this; they're part of EA now and they already told old-school fans where to shove it with the abortive Dragon Age 2.
Meanwhile, the Erfworld Motion Comic and Random Goodies Pledge Drive has closed at over 350% of the original goal, and... Oh, Kickstarter has fallen over.
I'll have to update the rest of the details later.
Wait, they're back. Okay! Here's those, and a couple of other neat-looking games that I've thrown a few dollars at.
For a lot of these games, a modern remake with identical game play sounds like the perfect outcome. That's what they're promising us for XCOM, for instance. The game play in the original isn't broken, and doesn't need fixing. But the graphics are woefully out of date. Giving is the original game with a modern graphics engine is just the ticket.
I think MOM could use a similar refresh, with maybe a small amount of tweaking to fix bugs and to adjust game balance. But overall it doesn't need to be improved, at the level of game dynamics.
But that's for strat games, which don't have a story built in. For something like Baldur's Gate, I can see why you'd want something new if you've already played the originals enough times to be able to quote the dialogue from memory.
Yes, updating MOM or MOO2 needn't be a long or complex task, and I expect a Kickstarter drive would for either would quickly be flooded with cash. What Firaxis is doing with XCOM looks amazing, but just bringing the games up to modern resolutions while keeping the gameplay identical would be enough to get me to buy in.
The team working on the enhanced Baldur's Gate say they'll be adding new content - they have the original source code - so it's more than just a fresh coat of paint. (Not that there's anything wrong with fresh paint.) I've played through each game twice, but I wouldn't mind another run through in the new high-res version. Particularly if they can get the original voice actor for Minsc back for the Throne of Bhaal segment. (That expansion was done by a different company, and they didn't/couldn't get the original actor, and his replacement just wasn't the same.)
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Friday, March 16 2012 08:52 AM (PiXy!)
I would love to see a sequel/remake/enhancement of MOM, or Age of Wonders, or Reach for the Stars (I will pretend the 2000 version never existed.) or MOO2 (I will pretend MOO3 never existed either.). I would throw money at a Kickstarter campaign for any of those. I would throw money at re-releases of the AD&D Gold Box games on DOSBox, but that might result in something crashing my HDD.
But then the question becomes 'We own the rights?' Knowing that is a big determinant on whether you can do so. I know Stardock, before they developed Elemental, tried to get the rights for MOM, but that fell through...
Posted by: cxt217 at Saturday, March 17 2012 01:05 PM (KRvkd)
6Reach for the Stars! There's a name I haven't heard in years.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Saturday, March 17 2012 06:09 PM (PiXy!)
I still have the C64 version of Reach for the Stars sitting around somewhere. Too bad I no longer have a system to play it on, and the PC version is not the same.
I have the 2000 version too, which ranks as one of the worst gifts I ever specifically ask for. Warlords is another SSG title that I want to see more of, since Warlords 3 appear to be the last turn-based version before they went completely to Warlords Battlecry and realtime play.
Posted by: cxt217 at Sunday, March 18 2012 10:19 AM (KRvkd)
There was a Warlords 4, but it was a bit rushed and lacked polish.
I really liked the Warlords Battlecry series, though. Not the same as the original, but enormously fun to play. You could build up a small retinue of elite units that would follow your hero from map to map. I usually ran around with a squad of maxed-out dryads and fairies shooting everything that moved.
Wouldn't mind seeing a Warlords Battlecry 4 at all, even if it's just a tweaked version of the same engine.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sunday, March 18 2012 01:44 PM (PiXy!)