TSM Episode 34: Icelandic Relations

Fun Fact: Oliver Motok is from Iceland.
Frosty, Cold, Apparently Full of Inbreds

Produced 2012.02.12

In a week positively brimming with hardly any news whatsoever, the panel discusses the Final Fantasy X remaster project, Valve’s security breach, Final Fantasy XIII-2’s sales figures, and Double Fine’s feeble and grasping attempts to obtain money.


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  1. What I have noticed about RPGamer is how they usually bash JRPGs any chance they get (maybe not all reviewers, but their main two reviewers at least) and pimp the scores for WRPGs despite being recognized as flawed mostly everywhere else, which is the main reason I stopped reading their reviews. They’re entitled to their opinions of course but with JRPG being my favorite genre, it doesn’t make sense to listen to the opinions of people that clearly dislike them.

  2. I dunno how to feel about the whole Tim Schaffer thing because you know someone will come around and do the same and then turn it in a Duke Nukem Forever scenario and much rage will be had, but it might also be the only chance some games publishers hate can be made. Wild Arms 6, Breath of Fire VI and even Suikoden VI (spin-offs not included) come to mind.

  3. And yes, the opening is very funny!

    @Epy – Well I kinda doubt anybody else will have exactly the SAME success as Double Fine did. It was partially the novelty, I’m guessing. All the stars just lined up.

  4. I don’t think this kickstarter thing works as a one size fits all solution to game development, and I also don’t think it was ever intended to replace the current model. What I do think this represents is simply another avenue for games to be developed, one independent of publishers who not only control how much funding you receive, but in many cases also hold the intellectual properties for the game you produce under them. If one could simply raise money for a game without need for publisher backing, I don’t see how the game or this industry could suffer for it.

    But Lusi is taking issue with the idea of paying for a game, in full and in advance, without seeing any proof of concept. There’s logic to this sentiment, but it’s not quite as simple as that. You can donate ANY dollar amount, even just 1 dollar. And low donations like this were the majority. The huge multi-thousand dollar donations…well, yeah. That IS nuts, and I don’t think anyone expected that, and those instances are clearly outliers. However, 15 dollars gets you full access to the game once it’s released, and about 30 gives you access to some special features as a bonus. PLUS this game will be for sale once it IS released. Pre-paying isn’t the only way to pay for this game.

    And sure they’re a known quantity but clearly within dedicated and tight circles. And Double Fine is hardly Naughty Dog or some other developer who’s name alone would get any publisher on board with anything they want and to the tune of whatever dollar amount. I think that by taking this route the game being made will be better than if they hadn’t done it, and that any worry about this method setting a precedence in the industry for other studios that people outside the know have actually HEARD of is a tad exaggerated.

  5. But Lusi is taking issue with the idea of paying for a game, in full and in advance, without seeing any proof of concept.

    This. The professional game production houses who saw what Schaffer & Co. had to show weren’t interested. Now Schaffer and his fellow developers are going to the public and showing them essentially nothing, for which the public is asked to pony up the money.

    I would feel much better about the whole situation if they were showing people what they were doing as they went along. Minecraft–though I loathe the game–is a fine example of how to do things properly. See what it is, put money in if you like it, get access.

    This situation is quite different. Believe promises. Put money in. Hope for best with result.

    It’s not the sort of approach I like to see rewarded.

  6. I’m not so sure they actually shopped the idea around before going to kickstart. I can’t prove that, and that may well be what they want us to believe, but…I just don’t look at this situation and see an EA/Ubisoft hand wringing scam. I see a small developer reaching out to its fans and getting an outrageous reaction.

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