Lurker question

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Telkanes
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Lurker question

Post by Telkanes » Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:04 pm

Hi all,

I've followed SOTS since development both 1 and 2 and have been checking in on North Star for sometime,

I understand Mecron being vague about its status but seeing some screenshots and such I was nonetheless excited about it, now several years later it seems to have become a bit vapourware.

What I'm asking for is really what sort of development has gone into this game now? Will we see it this side of 2015? Should we be looking at Star citizen and X rebirth over this title?

I have the upmost respect for Kerberos and if anyone can pull off a game like this they can but I'm beginning to wonder if they have the resources to look at it or worse, the inclination.

Kind regards
And then you will be as unto gods amongst the newbs. -Mecron
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Nspace
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Re: Lurker question

Post by Nspace » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:21 pm

The last "official" word I've seen on Northstar was in this intreview. The TL;DR version: North Star is on a backburner... Backburner means it’s not receiving programmer or artist love at the moment. But backburner is not dead. :)

However with the new direction Kerberos is trying to forge (read about it here), there seems to be a longer term plan for getting Northstar off the backburner:
Mecron wrote: Assuming there is an audience for this, then you can safely expect 2 or 3 crowdsourced titles (not counting expansions) of increasing size and budget over the course of next year and this will hopefully establish a stable of self-published titles that will keep dedicated support programmers, artists and designers in the office.
... Assuming all goes well with our ramping up approach, from there we will go on to bigger projects like Fort Zombie 2 and Northstar.
"Quando omni flunkus, mortati" - "When all else fails, play dead"
SotS 1 wiki: http://wiki.swordofthestars.com/sots1/Main_Page
SotS 2 wiki: http://wiki.swordofthestars.com/sots2/SotS2_Codex

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Mecron
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Re: Lurker question

Post by Mecron » Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:24 pm

Actually I think I laid it out pretty straightdforward...if you want Nstar, (as we do), then these smaller projects HAVE to show that crowdsourcing is a viable model. Its as simple as that. Both fortunately and unfortunately ;)

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Space Voyager
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Re: Lurker question

Post by Space Voyager » Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:11 am

Crowdsourcing is good for crowd-lovable games. It also heavily depends on presentation, flashy updates, shown art and already done work. Success is equally dependant on what the developer is promising and how he is promising it.

If your smaller projects fail, it will (IMO) tell little about whether the crowd would finance NS. It is a separate game and will have a separate fund-raising campaign.
ErinysSolForce Intelligence has great difficulty penetrating Liir society to that depth, for obvious reasons. fibioLack of scuba gear?

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Re: Lurker question

Post by Cpt. Awesome » Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:54 pm

Telkanes wrote:I understand Mecron being vague about its status but seeing some screenshots and such I was nonetheless excited about it, now several years later it seems to have become a bit vapourware.

What I'm asking for is really what sort of development has gone into this game now? Will we see it this side of 2015? Should we be looking at Star citizen and X rebirth over this title?


Take this with a huge grain of salt as its merely my opinions/observations and do not intend to put words in any developer's mouth.

I believe its fair to expect that when it comes to programming and art assets, they will pretty much be starting from scratch when they do get around to it. However all concept development they've done up to this point will always be useful for the future. Also its safe to assume a large amount of work has probably been done in terms of design and content, but you can be sure that there is always more to add and/or tweak.

Ultimately a game like Northstar, even with the work already done on it would easily take 2 years+ to create. So while not impossible, I don't think its likely to expect to be playing Northstar by the start of 2015 (at least by traditional concepts for releasing games).

As for looking at Star Citizen or X rebirth OVER Northstar? The games do many things in commo in terms of planned features, but they are all greatly different experiences. Also this genre is far from being "over saturated" and there is definitely room for all of them.

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Mecron
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Re: Lurker question

Post by Mecron » Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:06 pm

SV...that was mostly stating the obvious and then applying it to a dubious point. We are incorporating all that updating and flash etc etc into this intial campaign. It would have been extremely foolish to try and perfect that pipeline on a million dollar project. I suspect what you want is an easy path to the candy you want the most all wrapped up in a fantasy of it working perfect the first time. Sorry but I suspect that sort of thinking will lead to danger in a couple of the more recent megaprojects. Sorry if you are not into The Pit, but we can not use that as an excuse to risk everyone's money on an untried system for Nstar.

A succesful crowdsource is NOT about just collecting the money, despite what the media is presenting. Success is about making the game and bringing it to market with as low a risk as possible. Sorry that is not as sexy as you would like but contrary to some opinions, we plan on earning people's money and THEN being responsible with it.

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Space Voyager
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Re: Lurker question

Post by Space Voyager » Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:00 am

I agree completely and I can only bow to Kerberos' commitment to investors' safety. I don't recall ever commenting on The Pit in any way though, me being into it or not. I was, as you said, stating the obvious and was doing so because it seems you are linking the destiny of one game to the success of another or others, which is unfair to NS (going into drama extremes).

I'm all for small games, especially if available for Android. :)
ErinysSolForce Intelligence has great difficulty penetrating Liir society to that depth, for obvious reasons. fibioLack of scuba gear?

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Nspace
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Re: Lurker question

Post by Nspace » Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:32 pm

Space Voyager wrote:it seems you are linking the destiny of one game to the success of another or others, which is unfair to NS (going into drama extremes).

Speaking as a fan (but with no special knowledge of the game industry), I'd say that it is unfair to NS, but it is also the truth. If crowdfunding a small, low risk game doesn't work, how can anyone expect crowdfunding a larger riskier game to work? Without being able to show that crowdfunding could support the development of NS, Kerberos would probably have to depend upon getting a publisher to fund the game. And so far it seems that funding NS through a publisher hasn't worked.

The argument that a game like NS would attract a different or larger crowd is a interesting one, one that may or may not be true. But the danger is that if you fail in your crowdfunding, it seems like it would become much, much harder to then go back to a publisher and convince them to fund development of something that the crowd has already shown that it "doesn't want".
"Quando omni flunkus, mortati" - "When all else fails, play dead"
SotS 1 wiki: http://wiki.swordofthestars.com/sots1/Main_Page
SotS 2 wiki: http://wiki.swordofthestars.com/sots2/SotS2_Codex

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Mecron
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Re: Lurker question

Post by Mecron » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:05 pm

well said nspace!
It also needs to be pointed out that this view of a design studio as this episodic entity that is either doing what you are interested most in or is in some safe cashless limbo is a dangerous one. That often leads fans to shout "How could they have folded!!! I loved Dungeon FartSmith:Destiny Dwarves a couple years ago!!!" Indeed you did...but did you or anyone else see what they were up to since? ;) Game production is a continuity and the days when publishers were supplying millions to indy devs to work on things in secret for years, is mainly over. On the one hand thats good because it does, in the long run, mean more content...but the bad I suppose is that you can't always get what you want or treat want as something in of itself. The days of just announcing enough that you want something and Daddy Publisher will make it happen are pretty much over unless you move in herds of hundreds of thousands :P

Nstar is tied to a basic reality...and that reality is a business model. And I am not ashamed in any small way to say if some folks have their heart set on Nstar, thats awesome, but then you have to hope The Pit and what follows does well. And hope can be defined as sitting there occasionally posting about how much you want Nstar or going out there and trying to alter the world so that your chances of getting Nstar goes up. The former is emotionally satisfying but the latter is all that changes anything. Posting here about nstar is nice, posting elsewhere about the pit achieves something. That's simply the bottom line

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