Revisioning and Ranting

Work continues, but I had to take a step back and revise code…

I’m revising all my code to use bit-delimited text as much as possible. I was able to use a lot less data tables for constructing interface screens, which reclaimed some memory and is, honestly, much more elegant.

I also made a major change to the game structure, adding in levels and experience. My main decision there was I wanted to provide some way for players to feel like combat is worth going through. Attaining a new level will increase health and stamina and give you a skill point, which can be used to raise any skill you can find a trainer for. Level requirements are, like Ultima IV-VI, exponential. So the maximum level you can have is level 10, which would take awhile to reach. Completing side quests and main quests will also give you both experience and skill points, so it’s not the sole method of advancement.

I think I’m still on track for a playable demo by Fest-West ’18, fingers crossed! One thing I am very glad about is that I have never asked for donations or money for this work, nor have I ever considered using crowd-sourcing. Case in point…

I am going full disclosure here. I’ve seen plenty of times on the Internet where people talk about drama and problems but then don’t disclose any details or say “Oh everyone knows about it” or “Read the forums/comments if you want the story”. I feel differently. Someone screws me and I’m going to tell you EXACTLY who it is so you don’t give them money.

I am one of the top tier investors on the Judge’s Guild “City State of the Invincible Overlord” reprint Kickstarter. The project was slated to be completed in December of 2014. It is four years past the original date. The project updates are just full of excuses as to why they haven’t finished it. (Moving, new job, sick family, etc.). They also mentioned they are trying to offload the project to an external company or group to complete.

I’m honestly really angry about this. This is the 3rd Kickstarter project that has failed to deliver anything that I’ve invested in. I’m seriously contemplating never using Kickstarter again. Talk to me AFTER you’ve delivered your product and are selling it retail, thank you.

The first Kickstarter that let me down was a massive dungeon module/setting by James Maliszewski of Grognardia. At some point in development his father passed away. He shut everyone out and refused to hand the project over to someone else for over a year. When he finally did, the new group immediately offered refunds to anyone who wanted them, which I took.

The second was the Knights of the Dinner Table Live Action series. It was produced by the infamous Ken Whitman, who afterwards I researched and discovered has been cheating gamers since the 80’s. I’m honestly more angry at Jolly Blackburn for NOT disclosing his history than at Mr. Whitman himself. Ken delivered three videos, one of which has awful audio problems, and then disappeared. I’ll never get my $50 back on that one.

Anyway, back to my own work… I’d like to do up game boxes and feelies and whatnot for it, but in the event they cost more than I can put out on personal funding, I may consider using a buy-in or crowd-source to do it. But I’m going to make sure the game is done first AND that I can meet the deadline I set. I won’t be one of those guys. You get very few chances to retain trust in business endeavors.

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4 Responses to Revisioning and Ranting

  1. arthurdawg says:

    Great news!

    I’m afraid the technical aspects are outside of my normal sphere, but I have enjoyed working my way through your blog’s back issues after seeing you mention it over on the CRPG addict. Looking forward to eventually trying to get a TI emulator up and running!

  2. Realms of Quest says:

    I got burned on an IndieGoGo campaign once, and they have yet to deliver the product that they promised six years ago.

    I actually considered spending the $10,000 on Richard Garriott’s Shroud of the Avatar crowdfunding campaign, only because I woukd get an orignal physical copy of Akalabeth and a personal tour of his famous Brittania Manor. But I suppose that the novelty of getting auch a collectible would have worn off fairly quickly. And I’m not really all that into MMORPGs–I am forever enthralled by the classic CRPGs of the 1980s. To me, Ultima peaked with Quest of the Avatar and everything after that was just excessive details piled on top of each other (though I do like the game mechanics of Ultima VII).

    I see too many crowdfunding projects fail altogether, and the general,public will eventually sour on these (if not already). It’s as if these people don’t think about what is involved in producing physical copies of their products, let alone actually completing the content for their project. And they always come up with excuses as to why there are delays. The crowdfunding part should only be attempted once you’re on the cusp of having a fully finished and working product and tat the extra dollars are for producing extras like professionally produced packaging, artwork and the like. Like what you said.

    • adamantyr says:

      Yeah, I’m just glad I didn’t put any money down on the System Shock reboot. That ended very badly; a blogger I like surmised that their actions were to not actually produce the game they promised but try and attract the attention of a AAA publisher to fund them to do a bigger game. Wasted a million dollars of people’s money in the process.

      I did back Shroud of the Avatar, although not for that kind of money! So far, I’m a bit disappointed. I wanted a single player game and they seem to be more focused on MMO design. And it’s rather too similar to Ultima Online in many respects. But I’d be happy if I got my cloth map I paid for.

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