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vacant sky's failure and the trends of selling rtp to stupid humans

  • TFT
  • 06/25/2012 02:34 PM
  • 39167 views
vacant sky awakening recently tried to "kickstart" it's way to success by generating 20k from people via crowdfunding. "reinventing" classical rpgs. a very bold thing to say, almost as bold as penny arcade's rain precipice for darkness saying in a lot of way's saying their game is visually "superior" than snes rpgs. first of all, fuck you dude, please do not make these ridiculous statements, especially when penny arcade is throwing the least amount of money to create


ff6 edits: check
grandia battle system: check
hand drawn images not blending with pixels: check

i totally agree. it is vastly superior than:


-bird-

reinventing rpgs. with the crowdfunding goal of 20k. is 20k a lot? i would assume it is by any standard. let's take a look at the trailer, and you decide.


so you're treated with a lot of voice acting and then anime images panning across the screen. fair enough, that's not bad at all. i can let the anime slide because that is just, this generations standard for "art". the problem lies when you see actual gameplay. not only do you have charset move up, it's so hollow, so uninspiring that it's just, i couldn't believe this thing is trying to generate 20k. the battle system is unfinished there is absolutely no sneak peak in the trailer at all for the "reinventing" of rpgs. infact, the video software that does the impressive visual effects is more entertaining than the game itself.

i will tell you how much rtp move up generated just by this trailer alone. almost 10k. now, if the set amount is 20k, which is ridiculous, and if the guy who created this game (this is a team effort btw lol wut) does the crowd funding again, and drops it to 10k, you know he's just trying to get any kind of money for whatever reason. someone actually asked what the money would be used for and the reply was deadspace.

where is the reinventing? all i see is a guy trying to slip through the cracks trying to get a ton of fucking money for as little work as possible. i'm going to say this right now, because i truly believe this, and that is i want rm designer to succeed. i want nothing more than to see these amazingly creative people get taken seriously. but when we have guys like this saying you're reinventing rpg's with rtp garbage, and try to sell it commercially you're just apart of the problem.

if you're going to crowdfund. and if you're going to ask for 20k. that's a REALLY big step, and that's a really big deal. and you know what dude, the least you, or anyone else can do is put the fucking effort behind it. get a prototype, make the game on your own, stop using stock resources not even created for your game. it's a joke, man, that you have the melons to actually post a game like that asking for 20k.

you might be thinking, tft, get out baddie, fair enough, but i'm not specifically addressing vacant sky. let's take a look unemployment quest.


generated 10k. and for what? the guy has 10k, okay. he isn't even humanly capable of getting a composer to fit the games musical quality. that should be a red flag right there. this guy is so bad, he didn't even take the time and effort to do anything with the battle set up, yeah, he used the default "everything". why exactly is he being rewarded for this? 10 for a faceset with a weird rape face.

author=ciel
Anyone can produce something resembling an "old school" game in RPG Maker within several seconds. This does not mean they are an "indie" game developer, or capable of a level of design and production worthy of anyone's pledge. Before supporting a project, ascertain that the developer is communicating clear, specific ideas about his design and vision for the game. Vague, tired platitudes about how "classic" or "traditional" it's going to be are not a guarantee of quality. Design philosophy, gameplay specifics, and solid reasoning are things to look for when determining which projects to fund. Use your eyes and brain before throwing money at any kid with a copy of RPG Maker. Quality, skill, and dedication should be evident.

******************

A comment the creator made on this video and deleted:

Dude, why does my game's success make you so upset? If you? use RPG Maker you should be aware that it takes more than 30 seconds to craft something worth playing. And charging $5 for a copy is considerably less than most commercial RPG Maker games. I'm sorry my game upsets you so much. But it's not like I ever said it wasn't made in RPG Maker and the ability to sell RPG Maker games has long been one of the selling points of the program.

--

Even if you say it's RPG Maker, most people aren't aware of what that entails and don't know that the content you are showing already exists in the engine when you click "New Project". They just see something that looks like a "Classic RPG" and can't discern between pre-made content and a genuine effort. Asking for money when you can't even be bothered to change something as simple as the default monster formations is shameful, and presenting it as your own work (for which you expect to be compensated) is insincere. Buyer beware, etc.


unemployment quest guy, fuck you bro. people like you getting carried is the reason vacant sky thinks it can too.

here it comes. the grand daddy of all. holy shit it just might blow your socks off. i'm scared to even write about it, because it's so taboo. echoes of eternia. the mother of all crowdfunding scams when it comes to rpgmaker. where does one even begin? i... i can't. i can't do this to someone who might read this. it's just too painful. i refuse.

since theres no youtube, theres no official website for this i would post the crowdfunding link, but it is just too disgusting. 40k friends. 40k.

http://i.imgur.com/UJjGP.jpg
oh my god, dude, stop hiding your shitty game behind clever wording! now, you're probably saying to yourself. lolujelly bro. sure, why not. let's get that out of the way. i am jealous that people can produce no effort and no work, and get paid like a boss. i'm not jealous of their work though. um, it's just that there is all this weird stuff happening outside the rm community, i feel like this should be broadcasted to you because it feels like rm designers live on another planet sometimes.

even to the moon was a stretch. it was an alright concept, considering it had 0 gameplay. and the fact that it lagged so bad on my brand new computer.

look man, it sounds harsh, but believe me, i love indie games, i love games in general. i love the concept of creation and creativity. the power to do incredible things. i don't have a problem with people who want to toy around and make rtp games and using the resources available to them to make a project. i do have a problem with people who think they should be getting 40k for doing so.

if you're prepared to make that step, put the fucking effort into the game you assholes. i know the circle jerk community gives the illusion that your game is the new final fantasy 6, but it's not dude, there are people in the indie scene doing crazy amazing things while you're still using rtp tiles.

i love indie, i love supporting games. fez was made by 2 people, super meat boy is made by a few people. iconoclasts, let's talk about iconoclasts.


one guy, managed to create amazing music for himself, the most bitchin' graphics, incredible gameplay, and it's a unique experience. this should be the standard, but it's not. games like this should be funded. and it's a tragedy if it isn't.

as long as these games like unemployment quest keep getting successful, it just keeps pushing that idea that rm games are infact shitty, and a joke. there are many games here that i would easily pay 5 bucks to experience. but those games also put to time and the effort to be different and unique, even with the resource restriction, and you can tell the difference in quality.

if you think i'm a dick, don't agree, i'm jelly, etc, ect. fair enough. i respect your opinions, that's totally your right. i wouldn't blame you.

if these rants interest you, there will be plenty more at

http://audiomew.tumblr.com/

Posts

If you want you can learn to do the art yourself, but OH GOD THAT TAKES MONTHS OF WORK according to you that's basically a waste of time amirite?

This all depends on your aspirations!!! Okay!

Do you want to broaden your skills, impress others and yourself, and learn all parts of the design process? Do you want to enrich your mind and creative ability in the long-run? Go for self-help..

Do you just want to write a story, build an interactive world, and be more of a businessperson? Utilize maximum cash money.......

whichever path the children of the earth choose to take, have a ganbatte kudasai ^^
TFT
WHOA wow wow. two tails? that is a sexy idea...
357
lol jesus christ dude. is that really the current games visuals? incredible.
They're jpegs so it's difficult to be certain, but the assets themselves look good. It just looks like the programmer is the one making the environments with them.
author=Lita_LeCotta
If you want you can learn to do the art yourself, but OH GOD THAT TAKES MONTHS OF WORK according to you that's basically a waste of time amirite?
This all depends on your aspirations!!! Okay!

Do you want to broaden your skills, impress others and yourself, and learn all parts of the design process? Do you want to enrich your mind and creative ability in the long-run? Go for self-help..

Do you just want to write a story, build an interactive world, and be more of a businessperson? Utilize maximum cash money.......

whichever path the children of the earth choose to take, have a ganbatte kudasai ^^

You could do everything yourself that's cooler. Art is amazing and artists if paid should be well compensated. Maybe by commission upfront then a portion of sales, not many people would do that last part though lol (I would).

author=Jude
They're jpegs so it's difficult to be certain, but the assets themselves look good. It just looks like the programmer is the one making the environments with them.

This could be true, but I don't know I pray that you're right.
Ciel
an aristocrat of rpgmaker culture
243
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User was warned for this post
@Nightblade: An indie game is any game that isn't backed by a publisher. This includes everyone from individual hobbyists making games in their spare time to small to medium-sized studios. And professional indie developers don't make all of their own assets as a rule, because that takes a long time to do. I mean, yes, obviously anyone making games needs to be talented in at least one area of game development, but not in every single area.

Seriously, how do you not get how unrealistic your expectations are? If any indie game developer who doesn't make everything himself is a failure, why are your games full of rips?

@Ghost:
Hourly rates: In the US, hourly rates for pixel artists vary from $15 per hour up to a cap around $50 per hour for the best artists on the most well-funded projects. This can be a lot of money for somebody in New Zealand, but sometimes not very much if you're in mainland Europe. However, a useful median that you'll see from large, respectable companies is about $30/hr for talented artists to work on high profile projects that look pretty hot on your portfolio.

(source)
There are plenty of other sources saying the same thing if you don't believe that one. So, sure, you can definitely pay less than $30/hour, but it's not like hiring someone for $20/hour instead is going to make all of your art not cost tens of thousands of dollars.

The thing is, when you contract a professional, you're not just paying for quality. You're also paying for timeliness and reliability. Some random person you just grabbed off of deviantART is a total crapshoot, especially if you're paying them peanuts. What if your artist disappears halfway through the project because they're working for you in their spare time and you're barely paying them anything? There's a reason the general industry practice isn't just grabbing people off of deviantART.

Also, how are you expecting a developer to get the assets he needs funding for before getting the funding?

As a side note, both VSA and EoE are moving to XNA and will therefore need fully original assets.

-----

Even if you guys think RM games don't count as "real" commercial indie games, it doesn't mean that the EoE and VSA developers aren't planning to pony up the industry standard rates for the things they need. When they clearly outlined what they're using the money for, and those things cost about what they asked for, you have no basis for accusing them of pocketing the money. I'm not arguing that game development is expensive because I think you shouldn't try to cut costs wherever possible; I'm arguing that game development is expensive because people here are accusing the EoE and VSA devs of being money-grubbing bastards without taking into consideration how much things cost at industry standard rates. So sure, they might be able to make their games for less, but that doesn't mean that they're stealing the money.

I also haven't actually seen anyone offer a good defense for TFT blatantly lying about the EoE and VSA developers not saying what they're using the money for, which leads me to conclude that his post is malicious. The only counter-argument I've heard is that the VSA developer supposedly didn't respond to an inquiry in the RMN thread, but my understanding is that the thread was deleted soon after it was posted, so how could he have responded?
I'm telling you to look into it yourself, what Gamesutra said refers to professional artists who expect hourly rates. What you're saying is not a fact and there are ways to get quality art long term without tens of thousands of dollars. What you get will be relative to your project and affordable in the grand scheme.

You can pay a fixed amount at either the rate of a good artist or a mutual agreement between the two, make a long term plan and work from there. I've seen many people successfully do this so don't take what your reading as a fact. That applies to professional level job offers, and btw game studios hire DA artists all the time.

author=Perihelion
Also, how are you expecting a developer to get the assets he needs funding for before getting the funding?

By finding an artist, paying them yourself or split the cost with your team to get some initial concept stuff done like graphical art, sprites, maybe music, stuff like that... Then show that to kickstarter. This would be a much more accurate representation of how the game would look or feel. I already told you that it isn't that expensive to do this, if you give me an example of what you'd want to do I could tell you what the relative costs would be around. If you can't pay for this stuff initially then do it overtime, enough for something presentable for kickstarter. What is the point of making a demo with free resources then say HEY MOVING TO XNA HEY REPLACING ALL GRAPHICS. This is a huge step and the demo doesn't reflect -any of this.

Using rtp initially then saying that is just temporary is just not cool. If you want to use it then use it and then adjusts your goals accordingly and make a RM game. At least show the crowd source community what you're really trying to make on your own two feet before you ask for 20k+. I don't understand how this concept is so difficult to swallow.
An indie game is any game that isn't backed by a publisher.


Oh good, I was worried you forgot what the subject for a moment there.

And professional indie developers don't make all of their own assets as a rule, because that takes a long time to do. I mean, yes, obviously anyone making games needs to be talented in at least one area of game development, but not in every single area.


Of course not, but the way you framed your argument earlier made it sound as if the prospective game developer was really nothing more than an IDEA MAN who had to hire people for every aspect of game development while paying some kind of ridiculous exorbitant fee. Something wholly untrue. Oh, and this is a bit off subject but can somebody explain why the hell Vacant Sky needs money for "LEGAL FEES"?

Seriously, how do you not get how unrealistic your expectations are? If any indie game developer who doesn't make everything himself is a failure, why are your games full of rips?


Well this a cheap ploy. Are you grasping so badly that you need to mention my games? It was a game I made while inexperienced practice if you will, and will serve as a draft for my next project. It's the same case for Phantom Legacy. Are we about done here?
Sailerius
did someone say angels
3304
author=Nightblade
Oh, and this is a bit off subject but can somebody explain why the hell Vacant Sky needs money for "LEGAL FEES"?

Sure. If I'm going to start selling a product commercially, I'm going to form an LLC.
@Ghost: Yes, that's exactly my point. I'm talking about professional artists. Why would you assume that someone who's making a commercial game doesn't want to hire professionals? I'm not saying there's no other way to get quality assets aside from hiring professionals, or even that you should hire professionals, I'm saying that it's a legitimate choice and that the people posting here shouldn't assume EoE and VSA aren't doing it.

It's fine to think that using RTP graphics as placeholders for your Kickstarter is distasteful. It's also fine to think that $20k is way more than you need to make a game, although I think it's reasonable to want to hire professionals if you can. However, that's just my opinion, and I'm not here to argue opinions. The point that I'm making is that given the costs that the EoE and VSA devs listed, there's no basis for calling them greedy and assuming they're pocketing the money because those things actually cost that much at professional rates. Feel free to criticize them for unnecessary expenditures if you think they're unnecessary, but don't say they're greedy unless you have reason to believe they're not spending the money on the games. I don't know if you personally are saying that, but other people are, and that's what my problem is. If you're not saying that, then I don't have a problem with you, so why are we arguing?

@Nightblade: If you thought I was framing my argument to say that the developer is just the "idea man," then we've miscommunicated, because that wasn't my point at all. I fully expect the lead developer of a project with a small team to do a lot of the work himself. I just don't expect him to do all of it, because not only is it too much work for one person (unless the project is small), it's really rare to find someone with professional-level skills in all areas of game development.

Also, I'm not saying your game is bad or that you're wrong for using rips. I didn't bring it up to insult you or anything. I was trying to point out that if you've made a game, you should know how much work it takes and how hard it is to come up with enough art assets if you're making them yourself. I don't normally like to bring up people's work in arguments that don't directly concern it, but I'm so incredibly baffled by your idea that you're not a "real indie" unless you make every last detail of your game yourself that I just don't know how to respond. Are you saying that games like Braid aren't real indie games?
Also, I'm not saying your game is bad or that you're wrong for using rips. I didn't bring it up to insult you or anything. I was trying to point out that if you've made a game, you should know how much work it takes and how hard it is to come up with enough art assets if you're making them yourself. I don't normally like to bring up people's work in arguments that don't directly concern it, but I'm so incredibly baffled by your idea that you're not a "real indie" unless you make every last detail of your game yourself that I just don't know how to respond. Are you saying that games like Braid aren't real indie games?


...And now you're resorting to jamming words in my mouth. Lovely.

Braid is a fine game, not my cup of tea but you can see the amount of money poured into this game. As outlined by Ghost and many others to the point of being nauseating; this game does not have a budget of 20,000 dollars. If this guy requires this much money to produce work of this caliber; he is spending his money incredibly unwisely. My argument earlier was that you're framing these expenses as necessary when the work shown does not reflect what the kickstarter contains. "I'll change it after I get monies" is not a good gesture, and while you're looking sailerius can you (honest question) explain why an LLC is necessary for your game's distribution?
Sailerius
did someone say angels
3304
while you're looking sailerius can you (honest question) explain why an LLC is necessary for your game's distribution?
Because it's just a good idea for a small business to form an LLC (edit: or other incorporated entity) to protect yourself from potential liability. There are also certain tax benefits to filing as an LLC. See here: http://voices.yahoo.com/should-form-llc-small-business-1329751.html or Google it if you're interested in more information.
I'm not intentionally jamming words in your mouth. Have I misunderstood you? I was going on this:
The less people involved in the creation of a game, the better off it is; budgetary or otherwise.

This with your use of Cave Story and Dwarf Fortress as examples seemed to imply that you thought games should only be made by one person, but if that's not the case, I'm glad we got that cleared up!

Again, I'm not trying to say that these expenditures are absolutely necessary, I'm saying they're reasonable. This applies to you too:

Perihelion
It's fine to think that using RTP graphics as placeholders for your Kickstarter is distasteful. It's also fine to think that $20k is way more than you need to make a game, although I think it's reasonable to want to hire professionals if you can. However, that's just my opinion, and I'm not here to argue opinions. The point that I'm making is that given the costs that the EoE and VSA devs listed, there's no basis for calling them greedy and assuming they're pocketing the money because those things actually cost that much at professional rates. Feel free to criticize them for unnecessary expenditures if you think they're unnecessary, but don't say they're greedy unless you have reason to believe they're not spending the money on the games. I don't know if you personally are saying that, but other people are, and that's what my problem is. If you're not saying that, then I don't have a problem with you, so why are we arguing?
DE
*click to edit*
1313
The guy's making his FIRST RPG MAKER GAME and you think 20 grand is gonna result in a decent game? Why not make it 100k, heck, 500k and see what masterpiece he comes up with? Get a fucking clue.

Asking for money for your first game when you know full well you're not going to deliver regardless of how much you rake in is simply a scam to me. It's no different than assaulting a bunch of kids with a baseball bat and taking their lunch money to finance your RPG MAKER magnum opus, just with fewer concussions involved.

Still, I'm on the fence regarding who's the bigger idiot in this, the guy for sucking money out of other losers in hopes of making his dream game that will never materialize, and at best will be a letdown for all parties involved, or the backers who believe the guy has a modicum of talent. I'd rather donate $5 to a local bum so that he can drown his sorrows in a bottle of cheap wine than give it to this hack.
Sailerius
did someone say angels
3304
author=DE
The guy's making his FIRST RPG MAKER GAME and you think 20 grand is gonna result in a decent game? Why not make it 100k, heck, 500k and see what masterpiece he comes up with? Get a fucking clue.
It's far from my first game.

I'm going to step out of this, though, because this whole argument is really embarrassing to read. Anyone who asserts that 20k is an outrageous sum of money to develop an indie game is living in their mother's basement. You can't use Chrono Trigger and FF4 rips in the real world. The average XBLA game costs $750,000 to develop. I'm hiring a professional staff to help create the game, and professionals don't work for free.

To insist that you have to have wholly original assets for a Kickstarter is completely missing the point of Kickstarter. If I had the money to hire someone to do completely original tilesets for it, I wouldn't need the Kickstarter in the first place. It's just nonsense to think that you have to have a finished product before you can secure the funds to create it.
The only reason I responded initially Peri was to clarify what TFT was trying to say, and despite all the naysayers, Sailerus had every right to post his game because that's how Kickstarter works. There's nothing we can do about it.

Personally, I think the game should have been more organized with its goals, but in all honesty I frankly don't care. Who am I to him or the pledge folk? A nobody, my input doesn't matter, the site won't let me speak my mind so why should I get all flustered?

If he did get funded however, I would feel the same way I felt about Echoes. Good intentions, not really the best planning / goal settings. Best wishes to the authors, I'm not a hater do whatever you want.

The reason I posted more was because you were giving a false sense that art costs infinite amount of money, you were placing filler details to justify the 20k. "Industry rates are X". This is misleading, I encourage people to take their game to the next level but saying things like that makes it seem like a pipe dream. There are other routes, just make sure you plan and surround yourself around people who can actually help you propel your game project. Set good goals etc.

I think this discussion has gone way past its life so I'm gonna bail, peace.
@DE: I don't think the EoE guy's first game is going to not be terrible (you were talking about him, right?). I agree that making a commercial project for your first game is an awful idea, and I would never support it personally. This is exactly the kind of legitimate criticism that people should be making about the project! There's plenty to complain about without insinuating that he's intentionally setting out to screw people out of their money.

@Ghost: I was never intentionally implying that art absolutely costs a huge amount of money in every single case. Again, I wasn't saying that you have to spend that much money, just that it's reasonable to for a commercial project, and that therefore VSA and EoE aren't just laughing all the way to the bank like some people seem to think.
DE
*click to edit*
1313
Of course it is not illegal, but it is morally dubious and I have all the right to call him out on this. It would be like me setting out to produce an indie movie (and let me tell you, I never held a camera in my life) and promising wonders when I know full well I know shit about film-making. When there's no money involved, fine, it's a waste of time and a a bunch of people let down, but nothing major. But begging for money and amassing 40 grand or however much it got in the end? That's a fucking joke!

I wasn't talking about you, Sailerius, so don't get your pants in a bunch. You've proven capable of producing quality content, so I have nothing against you Kickstarting your game.

And let me tell you this - you can use RTP, I don't give a shit, but you HAVE TO HAVE SOME EXPERIENCE IN THE FIELD before kicking off a fund raiser! Otherwise you're no better than a hobo begging people for money, you're simply lying through your teeth about what you will do with the money. Well, at least there's a chance the hobo honestly doesn't have any for food and won't spend it on crack or something...

But, and that's a big but, if he's confident in his abilities, then he's simply an idiot and should never be let anywhere near other people's money.

Oh, and, like, there's nothing stopping him, or anyone else for that matter, from producing a 15-minute game and stating "but I made a game with your money, see, it's a game, what do you want from meee!" and getting scot-free. KICKSTARTER! SCAM-PROOF!