Discussion in 'PA: TITANS: General Discussion' started by felipec, December 18, 2015.
Great article! Thanks for the rollercoaster ride, I really enjoyed it
Thank you everyone. I enjoyed writing it even though it took me a while. Reliving the entire 3.5 year span was more emotional that I thought it would be.
It had some very high highs and some very low lows.
The highest for me was just finishing the Kickstarter pledge drive. What an amazing time.
The lowest for me was the HR Kickstarter since that project was 'my baby'.
SupCom's budget was a bit higher than $11.5m.
Wow, nice! That was an interesting project to work on.
I heard that the budget was about $22 million. Campaigns are expensive.
Thanks for insider information. Can you please clarify do you talking about supreme commander only or include forged alliance as well?
I didn't take $11.5m from my mind, it's what Chris Taylor publicly shared in one of his interviews to FAF community.
Though he didn't said there if it's was SupCom only budget or included FA.
Where exactly you take $22 million from?
PS: Interview was in that video on twitch, but for some reason looks like it's wrong video now. Though I pretty sure that plenty of other people on these forums seen it.
Found correct link to that Chris Taylor interview: (1:45:20)
@scathis Excellent article, I really enjoyed it.
It's great to see the human side of all this, and to hear your perspective on what happened.
I just got five of my coworkers at TunnelBear to buy the game, with more on the way. I have a little noob farm that I'm training, and we're having the best time ever.
Be proud. When everyone looks back on this, I'm sure we'll all remember how this game was unprecedented and way ahead of its time, just like Total Annihilation and Supreme Commander. Nobody does what you guys do.
I like that you hinted at doing another RTS in the future. I'm not surprised, given that you're sitting on the most advanced Real-Time Strategy game engine ever made. I would love to see something else come out of this team at some point in the future.
rip gaming industry
fuk the h8rs (and a good portion of the human race)
I like that article a lot, but tears cloud my view each time I read one of these two paragraphs:
Collateral Damage (Two weeks later we shut down the project and were forced to reduce staff)
Final Thoughts (Will we do another? Maybe.)
Please, please don´t give up on Human Resources. As you said yourself, it´s your baby, don´t let it die!
not sure on that one considering the ammount of content both games have ...
the question would be how much did it cost them to make the engine for PA, how much did inflation matter between these 7 to 9 years? would making supcom be more expensive to make now than it was back then?
agree with this so much it needs to be underlined ...
I'd still like to see another kickstarter for something like.. "PA2: Titan Apocalypse".. Please consider it. PA needs to continue!! There are some vocal haters.. but there are more of us PA "fanboys"
Uber, you can only overcome your trauma when you are willing to face it. Here it means recognizing something that you never acknowledged, let alone apologized for. You fucked it up. There is some truth in the cries of the haters (for the record, I am not one). In @scathis' own words:
> The year is 2012, we at Uber Entertainment were looking for a new source of revenue...
> For perception reasons, we avoided setting the goal at a million dollars.
> This video was worth $2,229,344!
> For the next two weeks we continued to ... keep the funding coming.
> On June 6, 2013 we ... needed to start selling the game to bring in revenue.
> [In 2014] we tried another new funding style.
> An interesting thing that happens when you change a title from ‘beta’ to ‘released’. ... The game could be exactly the same from one day to the next but the human response is extremely different.
That last paragraph deserves especial attention as it proves that Uber really were disconnected. If you can't imagine that what you call your product has vital impact on its perception, this is not about your customers understanding game development!
Money was the primary motivator behind your business decisions. You crowdfunded but didn't tell people how much you really needed. You had no clear plan how much you needed for the goals you announced.
After that, the fact that you were surprised when people actually demanded what you had promised, is but a footnote.
Isn't that why it's called "business decisions"?
I think it's clear that no one from Uber going to share full financial information for each step of development. In same time I feel like everyone here must understand that when any company do something that won't be popular there always reasoning behind it. And even if they would share full financial information like Double Fine did with Broken Age in their documentary there will be plenty of people that won't going to understand these decisions.
And yeah you may like it or not, but even if there is full company of people that love game they work on they still has to keep funding coming. Outside of two guy startup business nobody going to work when not getting paid appropriately. So someone has to be there in control of finances because otherwise company will go bankrupt when project isn't nearly complete.
Almost every Kickstarter project did exactly same thing because there is absolutely no other way to collect funds needed. Do you think it's better to come out with $10M project that will fail without any chance?
What more important there likely was no understanding what's every goal actually mean. Some things are always limited by the technology and other just don't work as well as on they were on paper.
PS: Would be great if some magical fairies would just give money to game developers so they can work on what they like to, but that doesn't happen in real world. What's more important there is no publishers interested to invest money into PC RTS genre.
No, the rest of your extrapolary paragraphs are moot. Money makes a bad primary motivator, period. I did not try to claim it wasn't necessary or should be left out of consideration.
And there are countless such Kickstarters that are troubled because they oversold a vision they couldn't keep because inevitably the interests of proper investors are misaligned with those of the customers. You should drop your patronizing tone, I am fully capable of thinking things through. What I think would have been better was not at issue. What I was trying to point out is what I think has proven itself to be bad.
For the benefit of discussion, here is what I think is good Kickstarter strategy: Ask for the amount of money you need and explain exactly why you need that amount. If you don't ask for the full funding, be up-front about it and explain where the rest will come from. Don't bet on raising more money during development. If you can't secure financing, pitch a smaller product. This kind of accountability and diligence is the least backers can expect, given that they risk their money for negligible benefit.
I don't see why you think that money was their primary motivator for team. Still as far as I understand John one of few people at Uber who manage projects and money can easily become most important part there.
Game development it's too complex for any real budget planning especially when there is no huge design document. Most of companies don't do huge design documents and I don't see how it's possible to make one for completely new game mechanics.
Also most of independent developers raise money during development and this is standard practice too.
I think is that you take risk when pledge your money on Kickstarter or give them to developer by purchasing expensive alpha version. Issue that many gamers come on Kickstarter without understanding what crowdfunding actually is. Even with a publishers huge percentage of games never get to release state and sometimes die before official announce. Only difference with Kickstarter is that process is tend to be transparent and company that get funding will attempt to deliver at least something.
So it's your own opinion, but I think that real world game development don't work "good way". Though you usually don't see that more successful projects done many things wrong because everyone only looking on their positive sides. Unfortunately for one successful game there is likely 5-10 that less lucky projects and 50 projects that died before you even heard of them.
With that strategy most kickstarter funded games would not exist at all, including PA.
And money is always the primary motivator behind a company that makes games. They might like making games, but the moment you make making games your only source of income you can't just ignore financial realities. Sure if you're lucky and you for some reason have a lot of money on hand than you might be able to act not based on money. But most devs are constantly pressed to pay bills, including Uber. The fact they chose to make something as niche as PA is already quite a decision against pure "money making"-kind of games.
yes and no. Finance is not always so black and white, and there are many ways to game what is theoretically a good system.
From the investor perspective, they are generally ok with money being the primary business motivator even if it means churn and burn. From the customer perspective however, the motivator is providing good value, where money is only the reward for doing so. When the reward and the value align, then everyone is happy.
Veep however is talking about short term money. It breaks down with preorders and kickstarter backing where your goal is to raise money from customers before you know concretely what it is being spent on. Customers just happen to be 'dumber' and more easily exploitable for initial funding than sophisticated investors. I wouldn't judge if this was the case with uber since i'm not an insider, but i don't exactly blame other people if they perceived this had happened to them. I would say this is a risk that uber accepted when they chose the kickstarter route.
Uber did not manage expectations well. Even though pre-order customers take on risks similar to investors, they generally don't make contracts with that in mind for a number of reasons. So when the product is perceived to be lacking in the expected value for money, there will be claims that the company was more focused with the reward than the product. I think that is a valid complaint if so.
For example, no-one bought into the kickstarter for a trailer, but for a game. Wording the trailer as being worth $$ isn't exactly the strongest PR. It makes people think they got bait and switched.
There is absolutely no logical or factual based argument anyone can make to claim PA is a 'bait and switch'.
The game delivered matches the game proposed in the video. I backed and expected uber to deliver a TA like game, played in a solar system of spherical planets. That's what we got. Many of the negative comments through development was nit picking minute details (omg not enough swirls uber evil), or complaints about how the game didn't include x feature from y previous rts and how it was 'expected' even though it was never pitched.
Many in the community entered into this with wildly unrealistic expectations, which I might add had no foundation or basis in reality, and preceded to hound uber for not meeting them.
A point about kickstarter vs publisher. Kickstarter makes sense where there isn't the financial certainty that would attract a publisher. It has nothing to do with consumers being dumb or anything like that.
Consumers are motivated by wanting the end product. PA was in that awkward niche where there's just enough money in it to make it worthwhile to keep a small studio like uber going, but not enough to split with a big publisher. That is why kickstarter worked for PA, where a publisher wouldn't.
Kickstarter is also very important as it allows consumers a voice to say what we actually want. Star citizen and elite dangerous are examples where publishers got it totally wrong. There's been a decade of pent up demand for the genre yet publishers were too blind to see it. 100 million in crowd funding for SC should probably make them take note. I for one an tired of all the current rehashed fps titles.
I personally was disappointed to see HR do as bad as it did, if only everyone saw beyond the Kickstarter drive and knew that this meant more development of the beloved game engine....
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