Zeke365 wrote:All right this very funny, you know as well as I know there not much christian games like this yet you say it cheesy or it wont be any good. Did you ever think we don't get christian games is we can be to CRITICAL ABOUT EVERYTHING. I not saying it a bad game but for those who thinks it cheesy or something then I like to see you do better job.
The reality is we really want something like this and the concept is great plus I want that epic soundtrack but I just don't get it with you, here a christian game somewhat higher quality than others out there and your already bashing it. Give the game a chance and don't be so harsh to judge something, yes I know I opened a can of worms here but I'm not trying to be mad or troll but trying to point out something.
I have a lot to say about this, and some more pointed criticism and concern for the actual Kickstarter, some directly related to your comments. These are all my own opinions and don't represent CAA or anyone but just me.
First of all I agree with Peanut and David. So if you want my take on why criticism of a project like this is just fine, and probably should be done more often and aggressively read their posts again. The christian media industry as a whole is an embarrassment, and its due to severe lack of critical oversight and a sheep like consumer attitude that results in, as Peanut phrased it 'exploitation films' (or games or other media... see the wonderful world of christian romance novels for the scraping-off-slivers-of-wood bottom of the barrel). For more details and why I'm pretty loud regarding this sort of thing, you can also read 'Addicted to Mediocrity' by Schaeffer. It was written before I was born and its highly unfortunate that the book is still so relevant because it means that the problems it addresses haven't been addressed... pretty much at all.
So lets address a few of the things you said here.
'We don't get christian games because we're too critical'
I severely doubt this. I'd hazard a guess that, between the christian game companies shooting themselves in the foot with regards to larger publishers back in the NES days, by way of companies like wisdom tree essentially hacking, or breaking into Nintendo systems to make their games work, something I'm sure still bothers some people today, and the distinct lack of a filter for content or critique for quality that we've addressed above, the term 'christian game (or 'christian' media really) is shorthand for 'bad' similar to how comic book was a synonym for dreck a few decades ago (resulting in the use of the phrase Graphic novel coming into play to try to redeem the media for consideration as an art form.) With regards to their little skit in the video, I'd agree that they'd get laughed out of the room at a major company for the same reasons were panning the Kickstarter project here, the pitch is incomplete and underwhelming, and looks like its about 2 generations behind in graphics for the systems they're suggesting it be used on. Its like trying to pitch a shovelware game you'd see at Staples for 5 bucks to EA or Sony as a AAA game for their main system, especially if the insulting attitude they portrayed the big guns in the industry with came across during their pitch. Quality concepts sell, egos ruin projects. The concept art isn't bad, but the actual game graphics they show don't reflect that art style, and there's nothing about the actual type of game they're making. I will definitely be critical when I'm being asked for money for a game and my first reaction to the ONLY screen shot is 'ugh'.
As for 'I'd like to see you do a better job before being critical', go take a look at all those critics that review secular movies, then check IMDB. Siskel and Ebert between them have only 2 big screen writing credits, both Ebert, no directing, and one acting gig none of which many people would find outstanding. And yet they're the most successful critics in the western media. Leonard Maltin has some writing but its all documentary work, no dramatic acting to note, hasn't been behind a camera as a director at all, and yet per IMDB... 'one of the most recognized and respected film critics of our time'. Criticism is its own skill unto itself, presenting the good and bad... or the bad and worse of a project in a manner that both entertains and informs is something that does not require in depth hands on experience in the production side of the process.
Now to the nitty gritty of the actual kickstarter and some criticism more directly aimed at it, and explanation of why I'm being so critical.
I haven't actually seen much of the game for this game project. They show a very limited area with a few run/jump cycles. No real gameplay. 3D platformer is a huge range of possible game types, and their descriptions are less than useful, and even their demo video is less 3D and more 2.5D, with no indication of the 'massive' world.
As young David, travel back to your hometown Bethlehem. There, you'll meet Samuel who will change your life forever. On the way, avoid Philistine raiding parties and wild animals, and learn the state of your people.
Stealth? Combat? Assassins Creed stealth or Splinter Cell stealth? Combat like AC or more Dynasty Warriors? Or is it more about choosing the right path?
The journey to Gibeah reveals a nation in distress. You follow the soldiers to the capital, by clearing the road, overcoming obstacles and confronting resistance together.
Cooperative? Combat? RTS? Does it play like X-COM, Total War or Dynasty Warriors?
At the front lines, it becomes clear how different you are. Eager to end the giant's scolding of your people and your faith, you spread tales of defeating the giant. Will you convince the king to let you represent his army? And will you face the giant, alone?
How on earth will you actually do this fight, as its own game episode that isn't going to be insanely short. Play the war through? Total War: Bible Edition with a final faceoff? Or will this chapter be 10 minutes long, as you go pick up 3 rocks and sling them at the guy, with holy strength and perfect aim? Convincing the King is mentioned... will there be dialogue? Is this game going to be closer to mass effect? How far off from the bible could you veer if there are dialogue challenges? How long will that segment be, realistically?
Those are the first three, the ones they're trying to sell us up front.
With regards to the art, concept art is interesting. The game looks nothing like it, and retains none of the style, and is graphically disappointing so far.
And as for that epic soundtrack.
It says nothing about the setting. It sounds generic. It sounds completely out of place, and will NOT please much of the audience. I might like it as its own CD, if it were less 90s casio electronic sounding on the first song and not associated with a game set in the BC era for the later ones, especially the Goliath piece. It sounds like a Sci Fi game soundtrack, something for an older version of Deus:Ex. Especially the dubstep in Episode 5... that makes no sense.
Theres other strange things, like the bizarre limited nature of their early bird perks. These would be, maybe ok for a more cutthroat genre of Kickstarter, like music, but... limited Family based content? Isn't that sort of the opposite of what you want to give out for a family game? Also, usually the limited things in KS are physical copies of digital rewards, like a actual CD of the soundtrack, or printed artbook, not easter eggs in game... and I don't even know how you would limit those O.o. Its a strange sort of push for people to hurry, hurry, hurry, buy, buy, buy. I think this is due to inexperience and lack of research, but its just bizarre.
So overall looking at the kickstarter what am I seeing.
First of all, this is an under described project. There's not enough information about the actual project to make a good decision about the game. No idea how it plays, the type of game. The first thing I'd be looking for is gameplay demo, even just a short segment, especially if its a good way towards being finished for the first 3 chapters like they indicate in the video. I'm not sure if it's deliberate or just poor Kickstarter management, but its not a good thing to try to sell something based on your name alone. Numbers, especially unrelated or inflated sounding numbers are pointless. I've been playing games for years and never heard these guys names, and even games on kickstarter based on the reputation of well known developers have not gone so well. (Tim Schafer, looking at you. I know it got fixed eventually but still, not a good day. Also Rick Priestly, seriously his first campaign was sad.) So based on this fact I have to come to one of two conclusions.
Option 1. They're trying to sell this to parents, not actual players of games. They're trying to sell based on their reputation, big numbers, big promises, and very little actual technical information, assuming that the audience isn't literate enough in games to actually care about the information I was asking about up above. In my opinion, huge misstep, but not malicious, just insulting. They clearly have some ego driving this here, given the attitude in the video and their reliance on big numbers, so it could just be misplaced marketing. I hope so.
Option 2. This could be a cash grab stunt or a really poorly planned project. They're firing out big numbers and very little information. Unrelated sounding music that could literally be from anywhere that isn't well known. One single CGI model that a student could whip up in senior year of college, or earlier. A setting that could be constructed in a weekend. A lower end game engine (Unity). The art is pretty cool, but thats the only thing that really catches my eye, so that may have cost them a little, but as I said, not impressive overall. Their attitude bugs me. Their big names don't really relate to gaming even for gamers. Their training numbers are meaningless and possibly unverifiable.
Heres the real problem for me. They have lowest goal I've seen for a project like this, and even with a bare trickle they'll possibly fund. 35,000 isn't a massive amount, Five Iron Frenzy only put up $30,000 for their new album. It's not a big number to hit. So first of all its low... really low. Another partially finished game, Warmachine: Tactics had a budget of $550,000, mostly for publishing, not game development. Broken age had a budget of $400,000 to make the game from scratch. Both of those much larger games were selling for less than this game, $25 and $15 respectively as opposed to $25 for the incomplete game (3 chapters), or $35 for the full version which could... still only be 3 chapters. :/ That in itself is a little bit disturbing but...
Thats if they deliver a game at all.
Heres the really dark part of this option. If they do fund, and they've given themselves an astounding amount of time to do so, per Kickstarter rules as I currently understand them, they are not obligated to actually deliver a product. The only regulation in most states right now in the US to protect backers on Kickstarter is the reputation of the person that started the Kickstarter. There's started to be some blowback and lawsuits against people just taking money from kick-starter and running, even for projects with much more information presented from the start about the actual project (Doom that Came to Atlantic City). I hope this isn't the case but for me the numbers seem very strange and VERY low, and they're bothering me enough to mention that its very much a possibility that one could get a very substandard result, not what was promised, or literally nothing at all, not due to malice just due to asking for too little money, and with little to no recourse available for the backers. If they want this to make sense they need to post some sort of budget summary so backers know what that 35K will buy.
In summary, they seem to be selling the idea of a game... and I'm not entirely convinced that there's actually a full game of the caliber they're suggesting behind it.
I know that sounds depressing and I really do think mostly that the off kilter nature of the project is inexperience with kickstarter but the numbers and information isn't transparent or abundant enough to make a decision, and it has more than enough strange things going on that its worth pointing out. They've also broken a core comment they made when they launched the KS:
Scope: Rather than promising to make the game work on every platform out there (mobile, tablets, consoles, etc) we're keeping our focus small for now (Mac & PC).
SONY PLAYSTATION ANYONE?
Our game is submitted to Sony, pending approval for Playstation 3, Playstation 4, PSVita. Approval is up to Sony and we're waiting to hear back. The technology is in place to deploy to these devices, so we can't wait to see if they'll let us distribute this epic game on their platforms.
Scope shift nearly killed that $400,000 dollar Tim Schafer game (which funded for over 3 MILLION BTW).
They also seem rather excited to have reached partial funding especially with their expanding scope, so I'll try to attribute these to inexperience with KS as well. If I was only 50% at two weeks I'd be pretty concerned honestly, most campaigns level out until the last week unless they have a steady stream of updates, increased information about the project, response to commenters and added stretch goal information, and even then there's a measurable lull. Me, I'd be excited if I funded 30K+ in 2 hours.