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ender101

Quartertothree Discussion on Xenonauts

119 posts in this topic

I see a lot of arguements over motivations, subjective defintiions, perspective, ect...all topics that can't be proven/disproven. Chris and his team know of course, but many of the answers will be materalize when the game comes out. Their team has done enough to earn my goodwill (see my posts above). True, I was aware of the 2010 release goal, but like most indie developers (and AAA) they slipped, very common. Almost a certainty with a new indie team, come on! However they kept with the work for 2 years and moved at a stead clip. Recently kickstart craze offered them a opprotunity to inject some more resources to beef up their title. Good for them!

So, Here's my perspective, for what its worth. I think the backlash has to do more with the X-Com franchise. People went ape with the XCOM FPS announcement, and they put that on the backburner. People also had some heartburn and churn over some of the choices of the Firaxis effort. Now Xenonauts is getting some of the same, because people have a lot of expecations for faithful recreations and clearly have passion for the franchise. So, it is what it is.

Edited by ender101

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@Wig

Goldhawk did screw up by not using a 3D engine and characters. That would've saved both money and time and would've made the implementation of female soldier models an easy certainty rather than something that has to be skipped entirely. Maybe the resources freed up from that would've made it possible to expand the game in some other area. Chris admitted to this several times and it's pretty widely known.

This is what the KS funding has garnered so far:

The new UI design will be rolled out across the whole game (ideally with the background art updating as you research new technology)

Soldier combat medal system

Battlefield suppression mechanics

Animated tiles

DRM free release of the game

dedicated level designer

Further money goes to "would-be-nice-to-have" non-essentials and hopefully getting an office for Goldhawk employees so work can be done more efficiently and with less errors and hickups.

It's all very straightforward and simple. It's way more clearer than WL2's "we'll make a bigger game" for example, but apparently still a better approach due to people like you.

As far as Kickstarters go this one's pretty safe since the game is close to a beta and subsequent release and has a working demo. Other than that, there's not much difference. Unlike Firaxis or Fargo, Chris and Goldhawk are complete newcomers to the scene so naturally they don't have nearly the same level of fame but the KS has done quite well (and will do even better before the end) despite your dire estimates.

I guess it comes down to a difference of opinion. You think proxy-nades, human psi and BBs are important and necessary, Chris thinks they're not and that they could even hurt gameplay (especially in the case of BBs). It might very well be possible to, let's say, forgo suppression and add the motion sensor or the proxies instead but the established community here almost certainly wouldn't stand for it nor would Chris want to do such a things anyway.

In the end KS is about supporting the things you like or believe in, not imposing your own views or pretending you're an investor. If you don't like this game too bad, try the Firaxis one. Maybe they could start a Kickstarter for multiple bases and increased squad sizes. :P That would make a wonderful stretch goal, wouldn't you say?

ps: Sorry for insulting your sleep pattern, I didn't know such things could be insulted but maybe that's because my own sleep pattern is subject to so much abuse.

Edited by Jean-Luc

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What an ass.

Yes, it's an excellent idea to pocket the puny 50k or whatever, screw over the community and become one of the most hated indie developers of all time. Sure does make good business sense for the long run. Jesus.

Edited by Linque

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I'm personally glad they went with sprites because I love sprites.

But yeah, I'm kind of sad how bad experience stretch goals/Kickstarter have been to devs so far =/ I mean, I like stretch goals. Though I do dislike ones that claim "We can only implement this feature if we can get this amount of money!" ones, I mean Xenonaut ones are "If you get enough extra money to development, we will add this feature as thank you!" while former doesn't really make sense. I mean, if original goal is 25,000 and stretch goal is 50,000 does stretch goal really require that much money to put it in game? I prefer them when developer says it to be reward, not that they need that much extra to put it in.

...Ahem, I got sidetracked. Anyway, I meant that I'm sad at how there aren't going to be any more stretch goals in future (Secretly hoping Reaper Hive somehow getting in game), but its not like pledging has been very fast anyway. Anyway, I just hope stuff up to pilot pics/callsigns get added.

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With the exception of this guy,

What an ass.

Yes, it's an excellent idea to pocket the puny 50k or whatever, screw over the community and become one of the most hated indie developers of all time. Sure does make good business sense for the long run. Jesus.

Thanks to everyone for being civil --- I appreciate it.

don't get me wrong, its just you are too eager to believe that they will on purpose make game worse in order to hold more money for themselves later. I'm pretty sure most artists/developers/directors/whatever of any sort have pride in their own work,

I don't think it's a matter of making the game worse "on purpose." Rather, as the team gets more and more KS donations (which are essentially just purchases of the final game), they have less and less reason to put that money into the project.

Goldhawk doesn't really have a "reputation" to protect that is of any value, and so what's left is the goodwill of the developer. That has to prevail over his own economic interests in order for Xenonauts to be the best game it can be.

In the end KS is about supporting the things you like or believe in, not imposing your own views or pretending you're an investor.

Kickstarter is basically a good faith system. There's no way to make sure developers are actually going to use the pledges for game development. That's why I do not use Kickstarter for projects like this. I would be MUCH MUCH more comfortable with Xenonaut's Kickstarter if it did not come with the pre-order, actually, because then the team would still have a lot to gain through purchases.

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Thank you for joining us wiglafman, and thank you for taking the time to consider the comments you were presented with. It is a pity that you read into my comment on the futility of this particular debate as a personal attack, however, I look forward to any other topic you join in on as you are a spirited debater with a strong grounding in technique.

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Wow I take a couple days off forums proper to do some work an i end up with this popcorn fest. I have burnt through packets of crisps, 6 cokes and a kit kat.

Time for a cup of Tea.

In other news. Chris has my 100% appreciation for even starting such a risky and dangerous endeavor. I believe Chris is an honest man, who has a vision for his game and has made decisions to support his vision.

I believe he went to kickstarter to ensure that he had the funding to deliver a better game. Many have failed to do this.

I think that the stretch goals are part and parcel of the adventure since Double Fine smashed expectations. Remember they were planning a simple 3 man IOS game... when Kickstarter opened up a whole new universe.

The stretch goals were features that would make for a richer world, or add to gameplay. A vote was offered because people requested 1 and anyone who thinks other game cheaper stretch... Grim Dawn asked for 15k to make 25pieces of item art. Have you ever seen how big item art is?

Jane Jensen, well her exceedingly hot daughter helped, asked for 50k to support mac/linux. And they are making a point and click game. Double fines stretch was, we are making a video of our video game making. Wasteland 2's stretch was simply, we will make it bigger and better. Double fine spent so much money on rewards that people have been spoilt for them and nobody else can compete. The thing is after the first 2mil, they were long over funded and just blew the rest.

This game will be awesome. No matter what anyone says or thinks it will be awesome. I have spent my life around people who work long distances and it is aggravating and slow work. Even now my brother lives in Arizona and I have to talk to him daily. He also gets up at 3am PST to make sure that he is still working on UK time. Putting everyone in one room makes development 4xtimes faster.

The community asked for a level designer and a varied landscape. You know what I think freeing up Chris's time over 6months to implement the rest of the game will be great. He will no longer have to worry about adding maps, maps can be varied, maps can maybe be more intricate. The world you are fighting in will feel fresher.

Xcom Apocalypse simply had you landing and fighting in the same places over and over.

Peace out, long live peace and may peace smile on us all.

Edited by flashman

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This game will be awesome. No matter what anyone says or thinks it will be awesome

I really hope that is the case. It is really cool that new pledges and boxed copies are being offered on the Kickstarter. There is clearly a good faith effort here by the developer.

I've actually been enjoying the Kickstarter demo more in the last couple of days. Now, if only someone could promise they'd change the annoying air combat music to match the rest of the game's sound, I'd be much happier.

Here is a good observation from the Quarter to three thread, by the way:

I mean, sure, stuff like the motion detector or proximity grenades aren't really essential, but I was really hoping the devs of Xenonauts had learned something from the failed remakes, especially UFO:Extraterrestrials.

That game was fairly close to the original, closer than any other remake, but they'd left out a small number of features that didn't seem to be all that important, and they changed some other details that, at first glance, didn't seem to be so significant. But the sum of changes and removed features was enough to make UFO:ET play almost like a poor-man's version of a fifteen year old game.

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Extraterrestrials was a completely different approach to X-Com than Xenonauts. I'm also a fan of the game but not because it was as fun to play as X-Com, but because it utilized a made-from-scratch engine that is perfect for modding. I've never done any mods for that game myself but many others have and it made the game quite fun to play.

Creating a new game engine for an X-Com sequal must have been quite a feat in itself. The game certainly suffered from many bugs and missing features. It felt like they spent all their time on the engine itself then hastily put the game together.

I believe they are using an improved version of that engine for the sequel so I have some hope that ET2 will be a far superior game than the first. They should be able to focus on getting the content right this time. Knowing that Bman is on the team and having seen some of the planned features has me looking forward to its release.

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@Flashman: I recommend you to play Apocalypse again as it DOES have different maps. Maps for schools, cultist church, parks, hospitals, futuristic recycling station thing, senate, stadium, apartments, police station, sewer, factories, ufos, alien buildings, etc. It just doesn't have different short of terrains, but it has great variety of different locations.

@wiglaf: Actually, UFO: Exterrestials failed BECAUSE it was too close to the original game. I mean, original version of it was apparently changing guite many bits of it but mod that changes it to closer to XCOM is better than that one. Thing is, UFO: Exterrestials doesn't held up as its own game at all, superficially it has changed some points(Like completely new set of aliens, except for Sybians which are Snakemen renamed, different location than earth, different base system, less detailed research texts, more research, etc)

I do consider UFO: Exterrestials 7/10 game. It is okay and can be fun, but its good parts come from how much it copies from original game.

Though original version of game had revive from death soldiers and apparently only 20 soldier names considering that one of mods is "Thousands of new names, original only had 20 or so" so "poor man's" version might be actually accurate referring to non Gold Edition of the game with Brian's mod(I think it was Brian..: Maybe it was Bman... Anyway, some B guy's mod)

Edited by XenoMask

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I suspect that is because your are all big fans of X-COM and really want to see this re-imagining succeed. But it is important to be honest when Goldhawk messes up, so as to avoid further mistakes. This is one such mess-up.

Umm... you said yourself that they made a marketing mistake. Why should I care? Marketing mistakes will negatively effect the profit the game makes, but I'm not sure why you're all up in arms about it.

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Umm... you said yourself that they made a marketing mistake. Why should I care? Marketing mistakes will negatively effect the profit the game makes, but I'm not sure why you're all up in arms about it.

He believes that marketing mistakes will lead to devs possibly grabbing money in the "Welp, everyone who is going to buy the game has already pre ordered it through Desura or Kickstarter, no body will eeeeeeeeeever buy it afterwards so we won't get anymore money so better save more money for us at expense of game" way :P

Which doesn't really make sense considering that not everyone has heard of Xenonauts and not everyone uses Kickstarter or pre orders games. Besides, I have bought games from steam or gog that are years old, games will sell after years of release.

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You lot still here?

@Wiglaf I am not a huge fan of the air combat music as it is either.

There are planned to be 3 different versions so I will probably either remove the one I don't like from the cycle, or replace them entirely with Ride of the Valkyries in the full version :D

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Knowing that Bman is on the team and having seen some of the planned features has me looking forward to its release.

I quite enjoyed the original release, but with all the mods especially BMans, it became really entertaining. Had it not been for it's delay I possibly wouldn't have pre ordered Xenonauts.

I was nosing at the Open X-Com site earlier and saw a couple of names form the Extraterrestrials forums over there too.

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Umm... you said yourself that they made a marketing mistake. Why should I care? Marketing mistakes will negatively effect the profit the game makes, but I'm not sure why you're all up in arms about it.

It'll hurt the number of pre-orders, which will affect game features and quality. Also, I'm not convinced it's just a marketing mistake, for the reason below.

@wiglaf: Actually, UFO: Exterrestials failed BECAUSE it was too close to the original game. I mean, original version of it was apparently changing guite many bits of it but mod that changes it to closer to XCOM is better than that one. Thing is, UFO: Exterrestials doesn't held up as its own game at all, superficially it has changed some points(Like completely new set of aliens, except for Sybians which are Snakemen renamed, different location than earth, different base system, less detailed research texts, more research, etc)

I do consider UFO: Exterrestials 7/10 game. It is okay and can be fun, but its good parts come from how much it copies from original game.

The bolded parts contradict each other.

UFO should have just copied X-COM more rather than change things. The changes hurt it. No one wants to see that with Xenonauts, so it gives a lot of people pause when they cut out psionics, proxies, motion scanners, etc.

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You missed my point.

UFO: Extraterrestrials failed because it didn't have its own good parts, its good parts were copied from another game.

UFO: Alien Invasion is good example of that done right. Its another fan remake of original game, just like Xenonauts, but while it has core features from original game same, it has enough new features/changes to feel like its own game. It doesn't feel like its copy of XCOM, it feels like its part of same "subgenre" as XCOM. Thats what I meant. UFO Extraterrestrials doesn't feel like its own game, it feels like copy of xcom instead of just being part of the same genre. Xenonauts is doing it right by taking core features from original game, but changing some things for sake of balance or for better.

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UFO: Extraterrestrials failed because it didn't have its own good parts, its good parts were copied from another game.

can it really have said to have failed if they've managed to keep going for a sequel? semantics, sure but it's a strong word to use.

where it could have succeeded more - better marketing/ awareness, better communication with fan base, having the game not set on earth made a difference, the mods were so good that the vanilla game paled in comparison.

But it was lots of fun. I felt that the steps to get to the end game were a bit long, but I could see the extrapolation from Apocalypse.

no doubt I could go back and pick little bits and pieces, but sitting here now, I can't think of anything that made me think the game was broken.

I had some great missions narrowly avoiding being overwhelmed by sheer numbers, let alone alien types of attack.

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Wiglaman - your arguments do have a certain twisted logic to them, but your economic arguments strike me as weak because they both assume the worst case financial scenario (that the game won't sell many copies when it comes out because we've done a Kickstarter - likely incorrect because a large number of people will wait for reviews to decide whether to buy it or not, so there's plenty of incentive for us to make a good game anyway) and that we're only interested in short term financial gain rather than building a sustainable business. I quit a job earning $80,000 plus bonus to set this studio up - if I was only interested in short-term money generation then I wouldn't be a game developer.

You can actually say that about most game developers, as even if they are artists or coders they can generally earn a lot more and have more social hours plying their trade in other industries.

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Also, funds aren't running dry - we had more money in the bank before launching the Kickstarter than we did at any previous point in our history of the development. We could have carried on without the Kickstarter but we thought we'd be able to make a better game by raising the extra funds from one.

The assumptions you've been making are basically all wrong, and you've consequently drawn some rather bizarre conclusions from them.

And finally, I'm essentially "acting the victim" here because you're a pre-orderer and I'm acting in your best interests to make you a better game at the end of release, and yet you're complaining about it. You can argue with me as much as you like, but I'm the one in possession of the facts and you're the one with an argument based on assumptions and conjecture.

Your advice to me a few posts back was not to ask the community what they think on things they don't know anything about - so having explained my position in detail, I'm going to begin not listening to people by not listening to you any more. You've made it abundantly clear you don't understand our basic mindset or goals, so while your advice may be well-meaning and I appreciate that you've been civil in delivering it right the way through this thread, it does not relate to the reality of the situation.

Yes, the game has taken longer to develop than we thought. We're sorry about that; here's an explantory link.

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It'll hurt the number of pre-orders, which will affect game features and quality. Also, I'm not convinced it's just a marketing mistake, for the reason below.

Really? Do you have a shred of evidence to back that up, or is it just your opinion? As for your claim that "it gives a lot of people pause when they remove features like," you're projecting your opinions on "a lot of people." I know my opinion on them (garbage) and you know your opinion (essential) and that's about it. Sure, you can probably point to a half-dozen forumites that are howling in fury about those features, but beyond that... oh, hey, we have a poll from a "lot of people" who ranked those features pretty low. Huh.

Kinda reminds me of a youtube comment I saw. This guy was saying that he didn't know anyone who voted for Bush, so obviously the election was rigged. I sarcastically replied "None of my democrat friends voted for him! Obviously he couldn't have gotten many votes!" He says, "I know, man, I don't know anyone who voted for him either!"

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howling in fury

have we had much howling in fury round these boards? It's been quite nice really.

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Also, funds aren't running dry - we had more money in the bank before launching the Kickstarter than we did at any previous point in our history of the development.

That fact hardly disproves that funds were not running dry. You wanted more money for development and didn't have enough. That means funds were too low --- i.e., running dry.

Wiglaman - your arguments do have a certain twisted logic to them, but your economic arguments strike me as weak because they both assume the worst case financial scenario (that the game won't sell many copies when it comes out because we've done a Kickstarter - likely incorrect because a large number of people will wait for reviews to decide whether to buy it or not, so there's plenty of incentive for us to make a good game anyway) and that we're only interested in short term financial gain rather than building a sustainable business. I quit a job earning $80,000 plus bonus to set this studio up - if I was only interested in short-term money generation then I wouldn't be a game developer.

It is in your best interests to use only a small fraction of KS donations to fund development of the game, because you have absolutely no idea how many people will buy the game on release. You have reason to suspect you won't have many sales (because this is a niche 2D strategy title with no marketing budget), but you just can't know how few sales you will get. You have a serious information problem, since presumably you aren't hiring a consultant.

Whether you will act in your own economic best interests, I can't say. Perhaps you will burn through all $100k from the kickstarter, sell your house, and all your kidneys to make development better, all in the name of improving Goldhawk's reputation in the hopes of getting more sales of a future title that will take another 4 years to produce. But it wouldn't be wise, and that gives me pause.

Edited by wiglafman1225

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So you're assuming that games make more sales prior to release than they do after release? Without wanting to be rude, I'd suggest that you're the one with the information problem.

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He's trolling you, let it go. If he really thought that is the only sensible economical thing to do he wouldnt bring it to your attention (assuming ofc that he wants the game to be released). He is either really stupid or contradicting himself and his interests in that particular regard.

I see no point in continueing this discussion. He is either trolling or too pessimistic to spread any sunshine, and wants everyone else to have his gloom outlook on the project instead of trying to make it better.

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