Author Topic: Kickstarter: my wish list for the different tiers  (Read 2550 times)

Offline Cyborg

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Kickstarter: my wish list for the different tiers
« on: August 27, 2016, 05:25:59 PM »
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Offline x4000

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Re: Kickstarter: my wish list for the different tiers
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2016, 08:24:50 PM »
This is freaking fabulous as a topic -- thank you for starting it. I really like these ideas, too. I really want to keep the rewards in the area of the game itself if possible, to keep fulfillment time costs down and make it all put back into the universe itself.

One thing that I want to do is have human and AI factions that have more personality, because previously everything was more distant and generic. So various design things along those lines will be possible, too.

This isn't a major design shift in the game, but it ties a number of existing mechanics together (with the ability to mod or customize completely, of course). Basically it should make for more of a feeling of place and purpose, and bring minor factions out more so that they are more interesting than the original game could do.

Minor factions were not a part of the original game design, so they were always really thing on your foot horned in. I don't like that. It prevented us from doing a whole lot of interesting things with them that we can do now. We learned a lot in SBR.
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Offline Aklyon

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Re: Kickstarter: my wish list for the different tiers
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2016, 05:12:03 PM »
'thing on your foot horned in'?
That took me longer than I'd like to realize what you meant there, Chris :P

Does that mean we aren't going to have (at this point) nearly-literally everything that is not a Plot as a minor faction this time?

Offline x4000

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Re: Kickstarter: my wish list for the different tiers
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2016, 05:35:26 PM »
Oops. :)

The data structure for what goes where is something that still has to be figured out. Keith has done a lot of concrete work already, but I'll be starting on a design document tomorrow most likely. Since we know the game so well, getting things well organized upfront is a good idea.
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Offline chemical_art

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Re: Kickstarter: my wish list for the different tiers
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2016, 05:41:49 PM »
1. Submit your voice to give a AI response (subject to QA approval)
2. Offer a ship idea (That will be refined to fit balance needs)
3. Submit a minor / sub plot
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: Kickstarter: my wish list for the different tiers
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2016, 06:09:08 PM »
'thing on your foot horned in'?
That took me longer than I'd like to realize what you meant there, Chris :P

Does that mean we aren't going to have (at this point) nearly-literally everything that is not a Plot as a minor faction this time?

That would be a good idea for starter. SBR and raptor thingy, and basically most of what he released since the last federation showed us all that Arcen underevaluates by a lot the time he needs to finish stuff.

I think the "base" kickstarter should have basically the barebone expansion-less AI war:
- moddable starting human-only factions & ships
- moddable turrets
- AI

Then stretch goals for "major" expansions:
- neinzuls (player faction, AI, "minor AI")
- spire (player faction, AI, "minor AI")
- (...)
- alternate game mode (1).
- alternate game mode (2).

I think it's already quite a bit of a wishlist given the amount of "functions" that AI War has by default.

Offline Aklyon

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Re: Kickstarter: my wish list for the different tiers
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2016, 06:16:22 PM »
No-expansions AI War is actually quite small if you look at whats left in the lobby to choose from when you've played with most of the expansions before. Even the vanilla AI (as in the one that is especially non-special, not the original set of AI choices) didn't show up until around LotS, I think.

Offline kasnavada

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Re: Kickstarter: my wish list for the different tiers
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2016, 06:29:08 PM »
I haven't see the code, so can't really tell. However, I worked 10 years in development (sadly, not video games, just "standard" banking, xml & pdf editing solfwares), and that experience points me to "base AI war" has most mechanics of the game in place, and therefore most of the code.

Expansions mainly have "fluff" that uses base mechanics in strange ways and adds a few other mechanics.

Also, if the game is moddable enough, players can make a lot of the extra content themselves, and there is therefore no need to code it in the very first version =).

Offline Captain Jack

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Re: Kickstarter: my wish list for the different tiers
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2016, 06:29:26 PM »
As someone who's followed a bunch of Kickstarters: having backers NAME things is good, having backers DESIGN things is asking for trouble. On top of the normal concerns of implementation, testing and feedback, there's a chance the submitter will disagree with how you've interpreted their suggestion or that it might not thematically fit. Take ideas for new content from the usual places, or ask Kahuna/Cyborg/Cinth. They'll have ideas.

Wonderful, horrible ideas.  >D

As the person who's all but certain to end up editing any journal entries submitted.... sigh Go for it. It's a good idea and takes very little effort for you to implement.

Also:  the very first tier should be $5 and get the donor's name in the credit scrawl.

EDIT: Oh, certain options above $50-$60 should include "AI War Classic".

Also, printable decals, Arcen themed wallpaper... Like that unused one from SBR.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2016, 06:31:29 PM by Watashiwa »

Offline Aklyon

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Re: Kickstarter: my wish list for the different tiers
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2016, 06:37:00 PM »
I haven't see the code, so can't really tell. However, I worked 10 years in development (sadly, not video games, just "standard" banking, xml & pdf editing solfwares), and that experience points me to "base AI war" has most mechanics of the game in place, and therefore most of the code.

Expansions mainly have "fluff" that uses base mechanics in strange ways and adds a few other mechanics.

Also, if the game is moddable enough, players can make a lot of the extra content themselves, and there is therefore no need to code it in the very first version =).
Well I'd assume it has most of the code, yes. I was just saying from the perspective of having looked at what happened if you turned off all the expansions in a lobby and being surprised at how much stuff was actually from some expansion or another.

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: Kickstarter: my wish list for the different tiers
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2016, 02:52:29 AM »
I'm not sure about what we are discussing here. I see two things: what the backers get as a "reward" for backing and what the studio will do ("goals") with that money.

I am personally interested in neither. I already know how many I'll give to Arcen and all I want back is the game, no "rewards" (however I understand the need for rewards in a KS campaign). And for the goals (what does the community want), they have been listed by Chris in the RR's refund announcement:

an AI War sequel with a better UI, better performance, better networking, better graphics, moddability, and so on.
I want nothing more. For me, "and so on" could be a point.

Also:
having backers DESIGN things is asking for trouble.
if the game is moddable enough, players can make a lot of the extra content themselves
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Offline ElOhTeeBee

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Re: Kickstarter: my wish list for the different tiers
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2016, 06:17:39 AM »
The one thing I really have to add is that I feel that backers should not get exclusive game content. Having them involved in assorted creation processes is fine, an early bird discount is fine, but if you say that - for example - Backers get an exclusive map or ship type, then you're saying that everyone that does NOT preorder the game a year or more in advance will never have access to that map or ship type.

With that said, an interesting idea from a kickstarter for a procedurally-generated Zelda-like was that backers would be able to 'spread' their exclusive content to non-backers. Maybe there's something interesting to do there. (I'd give you the game's name, but I honestly don't remember it; I just recall that the kickstarter was successful, but the game was never finished and presumably never will be. TB did a video on it at some game expo, though; maybe digging through his video archives will find it.)

Offline ptarth

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Re: Kickstarter: my wish list for the different tiers
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2016, 03:02:30 PM »
My major thought is price point. Programming good games is hard work. Titles should be appropriately priced. Having kickstarter tiers start out at $5 is creating a problem where having people think games are only worth $5. The most consistent enduring small indie developers I can think of are Cliffski at Positech and Toadie at Bay12. Toadie doesn't count, because Dwarf Fortress is an exception to everything (like all runaway industry hits). Looking at Cliffski's work, $25 for a solid title is what he thinks is reasonable, and his games are not that deep. They are entertaining, but not deep. I think Chris is under-valuing Arcen's work quite frequently.  I think $25 for a copy is probably too low. $50 per title is probably a little high, but that's because I'm super cheap. Looking at similar sorts of games we have: Endless Space did alpha access for $32 and pushed out an expansion really soon after wards for another $10-15. And Endless Space is pretty shallow, but very pretty. Distant Worlds goes for $60. Master of Orion doesn't really count. Star Citizen ... not sure if this has a real price tag other than $+.  I can imagine that things would have been different had The Last Federation been $25+ instead of $20. AI Wars itself is weird on pricing due to its developing history. You might argue that this will drop immediate sales, and sure, I think you are right. But the profit is in the tails of the distribution, so will it change long term profit in a positive or negative way? I think it would be a positive impact in the long run, due to increased income leading to increased support and development periods. Which then leads to more sales, and so forth.

Then again, I'm an imaginary person on the internet.
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Offline tadrinth

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Re: Kickstarter: my wish list for the different tiers
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2016, 05:00:45 PM »
Also:  the very first tier should be $5 and get the donor's name in the credit scrawl.

Ptarth: I don't think he meant for that tier to include the game.  It's literally just paying to get your name in the credits and nothing else.

Backers could be granted access to 'what content should I implement next' polls, possibly with higher tiers getting more weight in the polls.  A slippery slope, but if there's a particular unit or minor faction you really like, maybe people would be willing to pay extra to see it available upon release.

Or, you can sell vetos!  +$20 to guarantee your least favor unit (*cough wrath lances cough*) never returns!

On pricing: I've paid, I think, $16 for AI War; $4 for the bundle when i first got it, $4 for Destroyer of Worlds, and two $4 bundles to try to get friends into it.  I've paid $25 for Endless Space total (including the expac).  I've played 50% more AI War than Endless Space; I have almost nothing left to do in Endless Space that interests me, and I've barely scratched the surface of AI War.  I think you guys are releasing expansions faster than I can finish campaigns based on those expansions (I love this game but FARK am I slow at it), and those campaigns are only getting maybe half the content from those expacs. I have a loooot of AI War left to play.   AI War is a ludicrously, insanely cheap game for the hours of fun I've gotten out of it. 

I've seen tons of games sell the soundtrack separately or as a premium bundle. 

Wallpapers, or other downloable goodies?

Challenge Scenarios! Okay, so I don't know if this makes any sense really, but there's the various Lobby setup scripts, right?  What if, rather than just having your name in the credits, you had your name in the lobby as a setup script? I dunno what a Kahuna scenario would look like, but I'd guess it involves Raid Engines and Black Hole Machines and pain.  I think this would be a great way to honor some of the great AARs that have been posted on the forums, as well; thinking of the epic RockyBst cage match and Ride the Lightning.  Take the essential elements and condense them into a script.  This might also help people explore the different ways people play AI War, which is always good.  It should avoid some of the usual problems with backer-contributed content, as well, since they'll be building out of existing components rather than having to try to implement their vision for a unit, or whatever.   

« Last Edit: August 29, 2016, 06:43:36 PM by tadrinth »

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Kickstarter: my wish list for the different tiers
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2016, 06:47:14 PM »
I haven't see the code, so can't really tell. However, I worked 10 years in development (sadly, not video games, just "standard" banking, xml & pdf editing solfwares), and that experience points me to "base AI war" has most mechanics of the game in place, and therefore most of the code.

Having seen the layout of some of Arcen's other titles, I can tell you that "the base game" includes all the code.  The expansions are litterally png images, sounds, and other runtime data as well as a doodad that says "expansion installed" to the code.