DEVS: I am disappointed

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oldrocker99
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DEVS: I am disappointed

Post by oldrocker99 » November 23rd, 2017, 9:46 pm

I posted this on the Steam forums, and figure I might start it here. I am a 69 year old gamer who has :hangs head: finished exactly one CRPG. Obviously, it's Planescape:Torment. No other game of its time nor since have come close to the nearly-perfect and, still, hands-down, the best story gaming has ever told. So, I welcome comments.


I was an early backer, and waited far too long for the game to be released. I was especially tantalized by a spiritual successor to P:T, the best CPRG ever.

What I got, years later, was a very good game indeed. A great story, fascinating companions, and a gameworld which was, although reminiscent of Tekumel, pretty original.

I happily played through the Blooom, figuring I was about 50% through the game. More fool me. There was about an hour of gameplay past the Bloom. I have finished the game twice, in about 55 hours.

$5 million and you couldn't give us any more than this?

You could redeem yourselves by releasing a massive patch, with about 60% more content than the game already has, for free for backers.

A spiritual successor to P:T it was not. Had it been named just ToN, many of the complaints that people have voiced wouldn't have been made.

It is a big shame.

Devs, are you working on a big, FREE expansion or are you just counting your money?

Quantomas
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Re: DEVS: I am disappointed

Post by Quantomas » November 24th, 2017, 12:19 am

They spent over $8M but you don't get far with this amount these days. I guess D:OS2 cost above $20M, it's large and sprawling and absolutely brilliant.

It's a pity that Kevin Saunders didn't get to implement his much bigger vision for TTON, but as I understand InXile wasted too much effort initially and Brian Fargo needed to step in and limit the scope due to financial constraints.

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Re: DEVS: I am disappointed

Post by kilobug » November 24th, 2017, 12:41 am

oldrocker99 wrote:
November 23rd, 2017, 9:46 pm
What I got, years later, was a very good game indeed. A great story, fascinating companions, and a gameworld which was, although reminiscent of Tekumel, pretty original.
Which is what they promised, and what actually matters, isn't it ?
oldrocker99 wrote:
November 23rd, 2017, 9:46 pm
I happily played through the Blooom, figuring I was about 50% through the game. More fool me. There was about an hour of gameplay past the Bloom. I have finished the game twice, in about 55 hours.
How was it a surprise ? They were clear since the beginning that the game wouldn't be very long, but focus more on being highly replayable with different paths to solve most quests. And there would be two major hubs - not more. And honestly, if you remove all the trash mobs and filler fights of PsT, PsT isn't really longer. And PsT does feel even more rushed near the end (after Sigil) than TTON.
oldrocker99 wrote:
November 23rd, 2017, 9:46 pm
$5 million and you couldn't give us any more than this?
They added some millions of their own money, too, so it's more like $8-10 millions. And now, it doesn't get you very far those days. Making a highly non-linear RPG is very, very expensive. Lots and lots of text to write, even if you only see a part in a single walkthrough. Lots of scripting. Enormous amount of testing. Very large phases of pre-production to figure out interesting quests and companions. Translation of all those millions of words to many language. Money flies very very fast...
oldrocker99 wrote:
November 23rd, 2017, 9:46 pm
You could redeem yourselves by releasing a massive patch, with about 60% more content than the game already has, for free for backers.
As much as I would like that, it's just not going to happen. InXile can't afford it, they are a business, they have to pay wages and rent and ... they can't have a full team of writers, artists, programmers, ... work for months and months for free.
oldrocker99 wrote:
November 23rd, 2017, 9:46 pm
A spiritual successor to P:T it was not.
Seems quite contradictory with your initial statement.
oldrocker99 wrote:
November 23rd, 2017, 9:46 pm
Had it been named just ToN, many of the complaints that people have voiced wouldn't have been made.
Had it been named just ToN, it wouldn't have gathered nearly as much money on Kickstarter, and would have been much smaller - if it would have existed at all. Since while a short game, it came out as a great game, and the most PsT-like I ever played, I'm glad they did call it Torment.
oldrocker99 wrote:
November 23rd, 2017, 9:46 pm
Devs, are you working on a big, FREE expansion or are you just counting your money?
They very likely lost money already on TTON. You can't ask them to lose more, or they'll just go bankrupt.

Atsuico
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Re: DEVS: I am disappointed

Post by Atsuico » November 26th, 2017, 8:53 am

I agree with OP. The costs of inflation doesn't account for millions of dollars, and Planescape was produced with a meager budget compared to this game yet offered much more.

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Gizmo
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Re: DEVS: I am disappointed

Post by Gizmo » November 26th, 2017, 6:57 pm

oldrocker99 wrote:
November 23rd, 2017, 9:46 pm
I posted this on the Steam forums, and figure I might start it here. I am a 69 year old gamer who has :hangs head: finished exactly one CRPG. Obviously, it's Planescape:Torment. No other game of its time nor since have come close to the nearly-perfect and, still, hands-down, the best story gaming has ever told.
I agree!—but how can you tell? :mrgreen:

I'm all for the expansion; an enhanced edition/director's cut; even if it had to be a new* Fig/Kickstarter.
( *Though if that, I don't think it would get fully funded. :( )

What might help is to release some sort of editor. There are enough Planescape fans that we might get additional content that way. There were die-hard Dungeonkeeper fans... and (through Kickstarter) they made their own unofficial DK3, and even cast the original narrator to voice theirs.

There is even a 15 hour NWN2 mod set in the Planescape campaign setting: http://www.moddb.com/mods/the-planescap ... purgatorio

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Re: DEVS: I am disappointed

Post by kilobug » November 27th, 2017, 5:09 am

Atsuico wrote:
November 26th, 2017, 8:53 am
I agree with OP. The costs of inflation doesn't account for millions of dollars, and Planescape was produced with a meager budget compared to this game yet offered much more.
First, we have no idea of PsT budget. Then, game development cost increased a lot due to the changes of the media, it's not just inflation. And remember that PsT reused the Infinity Engine (and tools) made for Baldur's Gate, while TTON did have to (in huge part, even if it did borrow from WL2 and PoE) implement most of the engine.

As for "offered much more"... in which way ? If you remove the "trash mobs" combat that takes a lot of time to play, but not much to make, the length of the two games are very similar, and TTON is actually much less linear, offers much more alternative ways to do things, which makes it much more complicated to do and test. And it supports more platforms, and is translated into more languages.
Gizmo wrote:
November 26th, 2017, 6:57 pm
I'm all for the expansion; an enhanced edition/director's cut; even if it had to be a new* Fig/Kickstarter.
( *Though if that, I don't think it would get fully funded. :( )
I would definitely back that with a significant amount of money, but I fear we won't be enough in that case.
Gizmo wrote:
November 26th, 2017, 6:57 pm
What might help is to release some sort of editor.
I fear that won't be possible for licensing reasons... both with Unity licensing terms, and the terms under which inXile licensed some tools from Obsidian's PoE. I don't have access to any detail legal-wise, but usually such licensing agreements are quite restrictive :(
Gizmo wrote:
November 26th, 2017, 6:57 pm
There is even a 15 hour NWN2 mod set in the Planescape campaign setting: http://www.moddb.com/mods/the-planescap ... purgatorio
Interesting I'll have a look, thanks for the tip !

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Re: DEVS: I am disappointed

Post by D-D » November 27th, 2017, 11:47 am

kilobug wrote:
November 27th, 2017, 5:09 am
First, we have no idea of PsT budget.
I’ll start with the most basic questions: how much did Planescape: Torment cost to make? How big was the team? How long was the production period?

Brian: I’m a little bit guessing, but would say between 3 to 4 million dollars. Keep in mind these were 1998 numbers, comparable to about 2 to 3 times that today.

http://www.rpgcodex.net/content.php?id=10604

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Re: DEVS: I am disappointed

Post by troybpierce » November 27th, 2017, 2:11 pm

oldrocker99 wrote:
November 23rd, 2017, 9:46 pm
Devs, are you working on a big, FREE expansion or are you just counting your money?
While the developers did make way more money on kickstarter than they had initially expected, all that money was spent developing the game (game development is way more expensive today than it was back in the 1990's when Planescape: Torment was being developed).

After all that money was spent, the game didn't sell well. So the developers didn't make a great return on their investment. Thus, they don't have much money to count, let alone enough money to make a free expansion.

The game was very well done - unique setting, great story, interesting characters, and good gameplay. But unfortunately this type of rpg just isn't everyone's cup of tea. While it is a great rpg, it appeals to such a niche market of rpg gamers that sales just weren't very good. I feel like this game is very underappreciated, and I wish it would receive the recognition it deserves.

I do think you could argue that it is a bit short, as it took me right at 40 hours to beat it, and I'm an OCD completionist who does very thorough playthroughs. But this game has very high replayability - quests have multiple ways they can be resolved and the game has many potential endings. Due to the high replayability of the game, I don't see a problem with it being short.

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Re: DEVS: I am disappointed

Post by Firkraag » November 30th, 2017, 1:58 am

troybpierce wrote:
November 27th, 2017, 2:11 pm
Due to the high replayability of the game, I don't see a problem with it being short.
How many times have you completed it, btw?
"I am a warhead of weaponized Truth." The Last Castoff (non-canon).

"Colin's period as Jesus was an interesting time." © Brother_None

troybpierce
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Re: DEVS: I am disappointed

Post by troybpierce » November 30th, 2017, 5:45 am

I've beaten it twice so far, first with a Nano and then with a Jack.

This game doesn't have as much replayability as say, Age of Decadence, but I could see myself going back for a 3rd playthrough at some point.

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Re: DEVS: I am disappointed

Post by kilobug » November 30th, 2017, 7:55 am

I finished it 3 times, Jack then Nano then Glaive, and I still discovered new things on the 3rd playthrough, but I think 3 is about it to get to see most of the content and paths for quests. I'll probably replay it in a couple of years when memory of it has faded, since it is a great game.

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Re: DEVS: I am disappointed

Post by Dork Mage » November 30th, 2017, 10:18 am

FYI - some change in quest availability between male and female.

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Re: DEVS: I am disappointed

Post by demeisen » December 3rd, 2017, 9:08 am

oldrocker99 wrote:
November 23rd, 2017, 9:46 pm
$5 million and you couldn't give us any more than this?

Devs, are you working on a big, FREE expansion or are you just counting your money?
$5 million is not very much by modern game development standards, especially in a western economy. A major AAA studio game can cost north of $100 million to produce.

In the 1970's, cutting edge computer games were made by 1 or 2 people for ten thousand dollars. Now, gamers want a level of art assets, UI polish, cross platform support, voice acting, and more, which can't be done on that budget, even inflation adjusted.

Grousing about a $45 game you can pick up on sale for $25 not delivering enough value... I dunno. It's under a buck per gameplay hour, if you play it once. I think I'll save my outrage for another target.

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Re: DEVS: I am disappointed

Post by Firkraag » December 3rd, 2017, 2:01 pm

I'm curious, how much Tyranny had cost to produce (discounting resourses left from the previous project).
"I am a warhead of weaponized Truth." The Last Castoff (non-canon).

"Colin's period as Jesus was an interesting time." © Brother_None

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