Early Viewing of The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Rewards - UPDATE 5/21

For all Bard's Tale IV discussion that does not fit elsewhere, suggestions, feedback, etc. No spoilers allowed.

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Re: Early Viewing of The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Rewards

Post by huxi » May 20th, 2015, 2:51 am

Either add a $1 tier or reduce the price of $5 tier to $1. This tier simply serves the purpose of keeping hesitant people in the loop about the project since the lowest tier is enough to receive project updates and enables the comment sections to ask questions and discuss. It's the "subscribe to newsletter" tier.

I know that one can simply just pledge $1 and select no reward but this isn't apparent for people that never used Kickstarter before.

I'd generally structure the text a little bit differently:
- new item of this tier
- other new item of this tier

Also:
- item included from previous tier
- other item included from previous tier
This would make it easier to spot the exact differences between the tiers.
So "Guide to Skara Brae" would look like this:
- The Bard's Tale IV Strategy Guide (Digital)

Also:
- The Bard's Tale IV (Digital)
- The Bard's Tale IV Manual (Digital)
- Forum badge
Always list everything included in each tier - but I think you already do this.

Another small suggestion would be to generally include every backer in the credits and put the people that currently have the "Name in The Bard's Tale IV credits" perk into a more prominent section of the credits than the rest. The rationale for this is that it won't cost you anything (beside a small administrative effort) and increases the backer team spirit and identification with the project.

Cheapest tier to get the game:
- Wasteland 2 - $15
- Project Eternity - $20/$25
- Torment - $20/$25

I'd suggest you go for $20 for Early Bard and $25 later. If possible, even go for $15/$20.

$15 is a price where I wouldn't even think twice about backing a game if it's interesting while $25 is already at a level where I'd have second thoughts and would consider just waiting for the finished game and buy it if it's actually good.

I'm not saying that Bard's Tale isn't "worth" $25 or more. This is more about finding the sweet spot that won't prevent impulse buying while also taking into account that this isn't a pre-order for a game that will be released in 1-2 month but a "gamble" for a game two years down the road.

I'm not arguing selfishly here since I will definitely end up in a way higher tier.

Which brings me to a selfish question... ;)
Any idea how expensive international shipping will be for the physical tiers? I ended up in all-digital tiers in your previous campaigns but I consider going for physical this time around after seeing the Wasteland 2 box... 8-)

The physical tiers should definitely include a digital key for a game download, as others already suggested.

This game is DRM-free so you already trust us that we won't spread pirated copies of your game. (It will happen anyway but you know what I mean...)

I assume that the box will be delivered later than the digital release so it would be a bit unfair to keep people on high tiers waiting while others are already playing the game - and it also doesn't really make sense to just delay the digital release until the boxes are ready.

It would be more reasonable to just give everyone a download key and send the boxes without haste.

There seems to be no tier between "Premier Collector's Edition - $95 - Early Bard" and "Premier Collector's Edition + Alpha/Beta Test - $185". Shouldn't there also be a non-early Premier Collector's Edition with just beta and an early Premier Collector's Edition with alpha/beta?

Sorry for this wall of text. Hope it helps. :)

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Re: Early Viewing of The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Rewards

Post by CactusSinger » May 20th, 2015, 2:56 am

I also think the entry tiers are too high. To be honest, if this should be alright for your usual backers (the $50 looks good to me), but I'm afraid this would be a problem to bring new backers.

I think a lot of people will think it twice before backing at $25, not to mention the $33...

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Re: Early Viewing of The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Rewards

Post by eightbits » May 20th, 2015, 3:11 am

I think early bird rewards need to die. Releasing the game for a higher price after the kickstarter is over already gives all backers an early bird reward by nature. By giving a limited run early bird reward that is cheaper than the regular kickstarter reward, you're rewarding backers for being aware of the project before others and having the time and freedom to stop their lives and compete for a discount. What about those who simply don't have that time or freedom?

With the mad rush that ensues, the early bird tiers will be gone in hours, and in this case, probably even minutes. While this may look like a reward for people that are super fans of the company or franchise, it's actually a punishment for everyone else. Finding out that you could have gotten the game cheaper had you been in the know or not been busy with other more important issues really sucks. It feels like you got to the store 2 minutes after the "while supplies last" sale ended. But these are downloads; their supply is unlimited by their very nature!

Limited quantity rewards for some things make sense, like special edition boxed copies, autographed posters, or invitations to a party. But to have a limited run on a lower priced download for the fastest people to click the button? It's an artificial and arbitrary limitation that doesn't actually help anyone except the people who have the time and freedom to drop what they're doing just to do this.

I think $25 is an excellent price for a digital copy of the game. I paid $25 - $30 for physical copies of Interplay games back in the '80s. Inflation says these games should be about $55 or $65 now. Physical publication and distribution doesn't cost $30 - $35 per copy at these quantities. $30 would be a pretty damned good price for a download of a top tier CRPG. $25 is just rock bottom.

Given the legendary status of the franchise and the people working on it coupled with their recently demonstrated success with Wasteland 2, the price doesn't need to go any lower than $25 for a download of this game, even if they do a limited quantity early bird reward.

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Re: Early Viewing of The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Rewards

Post by Crosmando » May 20th, 2015, 3:18 am

I think early bird tiers exist because they work, as in they raise money quickly and help the Kickstarter get off the ground and gain momentum. You can't really argue against something that works.
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Re: Early Viewing of The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Rewards

Post by eightbits » May 20th, 2015, 3:31 am

Understood. But for a project like this one? It's not needed.

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Re: Early Viewing of The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Rewards

Post by Drool » May 20th, 2015, 4:02 am

lionelhutzz wrote:What about including Bards Tale 1-3 into a tier reward? Wasteland 2 had the original.
Not at first, it didn't. I'm hoping for a cleaned up, properly patched and cracked version to be officially included. I'm also hoping those physical tiers include a digital copy of the game (or two).

Of course, inXile actually has the rights to the original trilogy, so you'd think they could announce right away. But who knows.
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Re: Early Viewing of The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Rewards

Post by -Archangel- » May 20th, 2015, 5:44 am

eightbits wrote:Understood. But for a project like this one? It's not needed.
Both WL2 and TToN rode on the back of successful games in end of 90is (Fallout and PST). BT4 has a smaller back to ride on. The rest will not give 25 to 33$ 2-3 years in an advance for a game they got no emotional attachment to. They will for sure not give 33$.

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Re: Early Viewing of The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Rewards

Post by huxi » May 20th, 2015, 5:51 am

eightbits wrote:I think early bird rewards need to die. Releasing the game for a higher price after the kickstarter is over already gives all backers an early bird reward by nature. By giving a limited run early bird reward that is cheaper than the regular kickstarter reward, you're rewarding backers for being aware of the project before others and having the time and freedom to stop their lives and compete for a discount. What about those who simply don't have that time or freedom?
I'm partially with you regarding early bird tiers. Then again, Project Eternity had 25k Early Backer $20 slots (of 74k total backers). Those are only a psychological trick that's giving potential backers a little final push. I'm very vulnerable to stuff like that myself... It's obviously a downer if you miss out on a slot but it's also causing a small endorphin shot if you catch one.

"Getting rich early and quick" is quite important for Kickstarter campaigns since it creates additional marketing buzz and ensures a good ranking on sites like Kicktraq.
eightbits wrote:I think $25 is an excellent price for a digital copy of the game. I paid $25 - $30 for physical copies of Interplay games back in the '80s. Inflation says these games should be about $55 or $65 now. Physical publication and distribution doesn't cost $30 - $35 per copy at these quantities. $30 would be a pretty damned good price for a download of a top tier CRPG. $25 is just rock bottom.
The difference is that you bought a game in the '80s. You paid, took the box, went home and played.

Kickstarter is very, very different in that regard:
  • you can't read reviews of the game before you buy it since it only exists on paper and in brains.
  • it's pre-order, only worse. In case of pre-order or early-access you usually get a much shorter release time-frame and sometimes playable but unfinished games directly after the purchase.
  • the project can fail altogether.
And there's another difference to the 80s:
we now live in a Freemium/99c-AppStore 80%-Steam-Summer/Wintersale discount world. That's just a fact, whether we like it or not. I own a huge pile of excellent games and just don't have enough time to actually play them all. Probably after retirement...
eightbits wrote:Given the legendary status of the franchise and the people working on it coupled with their recently demonstrated success with Wasteland 2, the price doesn't need to go any lower than $25 for a download of this game, even if they do a limited quantity early bird reward.
eightbits wrote:Understood. But for a project like this one? It's not needed.
I seriously hope you are right.

While I'm not a friend of the "Kickstarter fatigue" notion, the gold rush is certainly over in that it's not as "easy" as it used to be.
There have been some failures, some huge delays, some bad games and some sudden changes in direction in several projects that made people a lot more careful about Kickstarter campaigns. I'd even argue that big names (Braben, Molyneux) have an even higher risk in that regard than "true indies".

I have zero doubts that inXile will deliver an awesome game. But I'm not the problem (and neither are you). I'll throw $$$ at the screen anyway. The less involved/informed people are the problem and it's necessary to reach them anyway.

A big number of cheaper-tier backers is more important than a small number of expensive-tier backers since every backer will function as a multiplier, telling friends and co-workers about the project and fueling the hype machine on social media.

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Re: Early Viewing of The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Rewards

Post by Lucius » May 20th, 2015, 6:34 am

huxi wrote:I'd suggest you go for $20 for Early Bard and $25 later. If possible, even go for $15/$20.

$15 is a price where I wouldn't even think twice about backing a game if it's interesting while $25 is already at a level where I'd have second thoughts and would consider just waiting for the finished game and buy it if it's actually good.

I'm not saying that Bard's Tale isn't "worth" $25 or more. This is more about finding the sweet spot that won't prevent impulse buying while also taking into account that this isn't a pre-order for a game that will be released in 1-2 month but a "gamble" for a game two years down the road.
I know I already said this but I wanted to quote this because it really conveys my thoughts I feel more clearly. If the game looks like it's going to be something interesting, I'll drop $15 on it based on past experience backing WL2. At $25, I'll probably wait till post release because I KNOW I can get it for around that price during the first major Steam sale post release. I ended up cancelling my Crowfall pledge because the cost of entry was too high for something I wasn't emotionally invested in. Their entry point was $30, btw.

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Re: Early Viewing of The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Rewards

Post by AngoraFish » May 20th, 2015, 6:49 am

Please don't use early bird pricing. Seriously, everyone who backs during a four week campaign is an early bird.

Why treat some backers as second class citizens simply because they paid for the game, unreviewed and sight unseen, 156 weeks out from release instead of 155? That's just shitty.

Sure, early bird pricing may encourage a bit of an early rush, but the trade off is pissing off people who miss out on the early bird tier and then have that rubbed in their faces when they arrive late.

Seriously, I no longer back any campaign if I've missed the early bird pricing tier. I'm just as happy nowadays to wait for the first sale three months after release, after the most significant bugs have been squished.

Also, early bird pricing is particularly dumb on Kickstarter, since there's typically a rush of upgrades in the last couple of days from lower tiers, freeing up early bird spots. In practice, this means that many slightly later adopters get a chance at sniping early bird pricing while people arriving in the middle of a campaign miss out.

In any case, $25 is well towards the upper end of a reasonable Kickstarter price already. And that in a softening crowdfunding market. Good luck generating much interest if you push even higher pricing after early bird sells out.

For what it's worth, on a related note, I'll typically pitch in for a game up to $15 more or less on spec. Above that amount I really, really need to be passionate, and Bard's Tale just doesn't trigger that kind of emotional response for me.

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Re: Early Viewing of The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Rewards

Post by HeartbreakRidge » May 20th, 2015, 6:50 am

I'd like a digital (and perhaps a physical tier) that lets you get a face/likeness in the game without having to cough up a kidney! $1,600 really (for 2 yes, but still!)? also, being a fan of your work, adding in copies of games I already have because I backed THOSE on Kickstarter really doesn't have a lot of value for me.

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Re: Early Viewing of The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Rewards

Post by junir19 » May 20th, 2015, 7:04 am

The 85$ digital tier should be lowered by 10-20$ because this pricing is very strange. During their KS both W2 and Torment were 15-20$. Now of course that was early bird but even if you make all of them @ 25$ this 85$ (25+25+33) pricing doesn't make any sense. As it is you can get W2 cheaper through Nuuvem and other places.

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Re: Early Viewing of The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Rewards

Post by huxi » May 20th, 2015, 7:32 am

The most important reason for Early Bird tiers in Bard's Tale is the excellent Early Bard pun.

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Re: Early Viewing of The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Rewards

Post by thebruce » May 20th, 2015, 7:58 am

Early bard gets the wyrm!
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Re: Early Viewing of The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Rewards

Post by huxi » May 20th, 2015, 8:42 am

thebruce wrote:Early bard gets the wyrm!
Damn! How can I favorite a post?? :D

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Re: Early Viewing of The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Rewards

Post by Kordor » May 20th, 2015, 8:46 am

I think Early Bird is extremely important to gain momentum at the start. To make people think "If I back right now and don't think about it longer, I will get it cheaper!".

And due to this I also think that it's absolutely not necessary to make a big difference between Early Bird and Normal Pledge. There just needs to be some difference to make you pledge directly instead of later. But if the difference is big you might get pissed as eightbits implied.

So combined with the thought that general entry pricing is too high at 25 /33$, I think something like 22$ early / 25$ normal would go much better without doing a closeout (Doesn't mean I wouldn't like 17$/20$ instead).

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Re: Early Viewing of The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Rewards

Post by Zombra » May 20th, 2015, 8:52 am

Count me in as another consumer who sees fault with a higher barrier of entry. The interviews have begun and clearly Brian's strategy is going to be what it was before: going for tons of small pledges. (Which seems smart to me.) I gather this from all the references to other popular games such as Hearthstone, Bloodborne, etc. which really have nothing to do with an old school blobber.

I don't care if $25 is the "average" or most popular pledge - if you lower it slightly from that then it will be perceived as a bargain and the numbers will go up. Unless the real strategy here is to focus on fewer, more dedicated backers with more money to throw around - i.e. grown-up fans of the original series ONLY.

And having $25 as early bird only instead of the "base" amount - that really seems crazy if the highest possible backer total is the goal.
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Re: Early Viewing of The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Rewards - UPDATE 5/20

Post by RangerKeenan » May 20th, 2015, 9:11 am

Thank you all for your feedback. I have updated the reward tiers to now include a digital copy of the game in all physical copy tiers.

We're keeping a close eye on this thread and will continue to do so and make tweaks as necessary. Please continue the discussions as it's helpful for us to get these things nailed down before we open it up to a larger audience.
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Re: Early Viewing of The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Rewards

Post by KeyperOS » May 20th, 2015, 9:17 am

I will also echo most here and admit that The Bard's Tale series doesn't carry the same weight as either Wasteland (essentially because of Fallout) or Torment do.
I for one never even knew the 2004 game was a re-imagining and was indeed at first wondering why the jump from 1 to 4.

I would urge you to carefully weigh the price based on the potential dedicated Bard Tale fan-base because the rest will NOT be BT's fans but Interplay/InXile fans and, chances are most will already own the bulk of your back-catalog.

It might be a good idea to try and include games 1 through 3 in the mix, probably using GoG for the port, and perhaps use that combo to aim for the 33 USD price-point i.e, use maybe 20-something USD as the Early Bird, 25 USD for just this game and 33 USD for ALL the Bard's Tale games, 1 through 4. You could also include the 2004 game although that one might be better off as a digital add-on for, say, 5 USD.

Most newcomers will find a lower starting point to get hooked in while the rest will feel like their 33 USD (and up?) will have more worth.

EDIT: An alternate idea would be to (also?) add the 3 original games as an 8 USD add-on and/or the original trilogy plus the re-imagining for perhaps 10 USD or so.
Last edited by KeyperOS on May 20th, 2015, 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Early Viewing of The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Rewards

Post by Lucius » May 20th, 2015, 9:34 am

huxi wrote:
thebruce wrote:Early bard gets the wyrm!
Damn! How can I favorite a post?? :D
I know right! I thought the same thing. Unfortunately, this forum has never had any kind of 'like' function for posts.

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