Interview: Pantheon devs on funding, Unity, and the launch window

Brad McQuaid's Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen is an MMO that's suffered more than its fair share of drama and setbacks, but even detractors will agree that its creators appear utterly determined to see it made. In fact, this past fall, Visionary Realms acquired fresh investors, produced a new website, hired new employees, and demoed a playable build.

CEO Chris Rowan, CCO Brad McQuaid, and Creative Director Chris Perkins recently answered my questions about the game's stormy history, past and future funding, playerbase size, and release date.

Massively OP: Visionary Realms has obviously come a long way since 2014, when former employees made accusations about money mismanagement and work on the game slowed down. A lot of our readers have some serious trust issues with Pantheon given that and given the problems that preceded with Vanguard. What makes the current incarnation of Visionary Realms different? Why should they trust in Pantheon and its leadership?

Visionary Realms: Pantheon started in late 2013 as an idea and seat of the pants game development effort. In early 2014 a small team of game designers and programmers was trying to simultaneously juggle game development, a Kickstarter campaign, and running a company.

In contrast, the current incarnation of Visionary Realms has a dedicated, highly experienced business team that supports a talented creative team that is a balanced mix of industry veterans and fresh, ambitious young talent. The creative team builds the game, while the business team runs the company in a highly disciplined manner, enabling the creative team to focus on development.

Our CFO is the only person at the company who holds the pursestrings.
The business team has decades’ experience managing companies from inception through development, growth and revenue. The business team plans, schedules, budgets, reviews and holds the entire team accountable to those schedules and budgets. Process discipline has increased across the board. Over the last eight months, the company has run on a strict plan and has actually spent on average 14% below budget over that period. All spending decisions require the approval of both the CEO, Chris Rowan, and CFO, Tim Sullivan. Our CFO is the only person at the company who holds the pursestrings. Furthermore, management reports progress against the strategic plan and the budget to the board of directors of the company on at least a monthly basis. We’ve received strong praise from our investor for our frugal stewardship of his money and the progress we’ve made since he invested.

Thanks to the seed funding, growth of the team, more discipline, planning and process management, and the incredible passion and commitment of everyone involved, development has been steadily accelerating since Q1 2015.

thronefast-steps

News that Pantheon was bolstered by a round of seed funding was accompanied by a new employee tally: 14. Those are employees, correct? Not volunteers? And why not name the investor?

Yes, our team is now compensated, and has been since receiving seed funding several months ago. The investor is a private person who wishes to remain anonymous.

Every time we cover new screenshots from the game, our readers erupt and claim that anyone can snap pictures in Unity 5 with a default texture pack. Could you explain once and for all how the team is using that engine and how the tech has evolved from stock to now?

It is a common misconception that Unity includes stock assets and/or textures that we are using in Pantheon’s development - Unity does not do the automatic “heavy lifting” that some think it does. Rather, it works as a focal point for third party tools and/or assets, which allows talented artists to create and sell assets through Unity’s Marketplace which developers can purchase and use for prototyping or in the final product. You can see this in many projects currently in development as it’s common practice. For the purpose of prototyping, purchasing assets from the Unity store made sense for us in the beginning of development. It allowed us to research and develop a structured, cohesive art pipeline and direction, while concurrently prototyping holistic aspects of gameplay and level design.

However, our goal has always been to create original, lore-inspired art. Therefore, at this point in development, we are using robust, state-of-the-art software for production of Pantheon-specific art, such as Maya, Zbrush, and Allegorithmic’s Substance Designer and Painter. The images [accompanying this interview] are some recent examples of the original artwork going into the game from our lead world builder, John Diasparra, who is using much of the same technology for our environments as was used in games like Witcher 3, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Destiny, Far Cry 4, and many more.

Overall, we use a modular design approach to create customizable construction sets for building highly varied points of interest with racial or faction-based architectural identity. Creating art and building points of interest is just the beginning of the production cycle - various layers of systematic optimization must take place in order to maintain performance in our large, open world setting.

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Games like Camelot Unchained have rather famously maintained that they expect and can survive on a very small, niche playerbase -- much smaller than the number of players WoW lost last quarter! Is Pantheon similarly prepared for a niche playerbase? How will it sustain itself against the current field of mega-MMOs and mini-indies?

MMOs have moved away from a social and community-driven focus where cooperative play is rewarded. This has left a significant audience orphaned, and Pantheon is being developed for that audience.
Pantheon is a classically-spirited MMO. We believe the goal of developing MMOs needs to change: developers/publishers need to stop spending huge amounts of money trying to make the next big thing that appeals to everyone. Instead, especially in light of the amount and variety of gamers interested in online gaming, we want to see MMOs begin to target specific audiences. We want to craft games according to the tastes and preferences of a specific audience because we think this will result in better games. Over the last 10 years or so, MMOs have moved away from a social and community-driven focus where cooperative play is rewarded. This has left a significant audience orphaned and Pantheon is being developed for that audience. No one can prove exactly how big this orphaned group is, but with an estimated 400 million people worldwide having played MMOs to-date, or according to ESA’s 2015 Essentials, 45 million Americans who currently pay to play games online, we are confident ours is a significant group. That said, we are a lean and mean team and we are careful and frugal with our spending - no, we don't need millions of players in order to be profitable.

Does the team have any plans for another Kickstarter or round of crowdfunding? Are Patreon contributions continuing? What about crowdfunding and early access pre-orders directly through the site the way some other studios have done it?

We’re considering the pros and cons of all options for funding the game. We don’t have any funding-related announcements at this time, but we can say that we haven’t ruled anything out. Thanks to our wonderfully supportive community, pledge contributions continue at a healthy pace.

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With proper funding, we plan on releasing Pantheon in 2017.
Sites like VentureBeat suggested that another round of investor funding will probably be required. What will Visionary Realms do if that funding doesn't materialize? Is Pantheon happening come hell or high water?

Additional rounds of funding will allow us to more rapidly grow our development team. That said, however unlikely, the team we have currently assembled can finish this game. In a worst case scenario, it would take us longer to complete Pantheon without the funding we’re looking to attain, but we will indeed ship this game, come hell or high water.

In April 2014, McQuaid said the game could launch in as little as three years, given the proper funding. Is that still doable?

Yes, with proper funding, we plan on releasing Pantheon in 2017.

Thank you very much for your candor and your time.

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puilamcupcake
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puilamcupcake

tldr:
What was EQ?
- 3d mud. Why is this special? Lore, depth, real world
- remember feelings of playing zork or major mud
- simulated world, not just a vehicle for a video game
How is it different?
- immersion
- consequenses
- pace
- world simulation
- social dynamic
Why did these differences make it special?
- Bottom line: things mattered
- Not watered down, low inflation
- Greater than sum of parts
- People CARED
Why have games gone away from what made EQ special?
- No attention span
- Instant gratification
- WOW clones and economic risk vs reward.
Warning: there is some reminiscing in this post. I will attempt to limit the nostalgia for the utilization of making points.
What was EQ?
Remember your first time playing zork? Standing there at that mailbox, making your way into the house, finding your way into the darkness, getting killed by a troll? No graphics, but you were there. You were sucked in. And then the muds. Your mind was taken into them, you were immersed in the world, the lore, the descriptions, and the gameplay. It was like a fantasy novel or choose your own adventure book that you got to PLAY with your FRIENDS! How awesome is that?!? Need a map? Break out your graphing paper. Lose your gear? Um...got friends? And then came games like UO and EQ. EQ was truly revolutionary in the gaming industry. It was a 3D choose your own adventure novel that emphasized less is more, and it was the best game ever made.
Today what do we have?
- Skill/Spell inflation
- Fast travel
- Micro transactions
- Item/Loot spam
- Social Isolation
- Mini maps
We get mass produced games engineered to improve the bottom line, games with paper thin worlds and nothing but a graphics engine and marketing budget to support them.
How was EQ different and why were those things special?
Pace: Higher time requirements to level/explore, increased severity of consequences, loot being rare all go into making what you do in the game MORE VALUABLE. This goes back to not watering things down. Slow the pace, slow inflation, make the game amazing fun without throwing loot and levels at players.
Leveling was an entire game in and of itself. Because it was slow, players did not simply race to the end game and sit there. Was the end game of EQ at times a cluster anyway? Yeah. But it wasn't week 2. It took 4-5 months for most servers to start killing Nag and Vox and raiding Fear, and then Kunark was out and a new game was on. There were multiple stages of the gameplay, from leveling, to gearing up, keying up guilds, and then all the day to day gameplay of duoing and small groups.
No instances and the impact on server wide society:
Did the squating on Trak suck? And the competition for sleepers keys? Yeah, for sure. But think of the amazing social dynamic that EQ created. They created a world, we got sucked in, and things were created beyond your normal video game(see: Eve Online). Should we go back to entire guilds camping out for the cleric epic? No, try to strike a balance. But neither is the answer spinning up a new instance of whatever zone or mob everybody wants so everybody can have whatever they want when they want it. When that happens immersion goes out, and what makes a game meaningful disappears. It's hard, it's life, it's unfair, and when you succeed it's pure joy. Remember when the tier2 guilds would sneak into fear after you'd cleared the zone to garbage collect the respawn? That crap ticked me off. But you know what, it was because I cared so much. Don't ruin that amazing social dynamic.
Class uniqueness:
No game has ever approached EQ's level of class/role differentiation. I know some would argue this, but I feel very strongly that EQs classes are the best in any game ever. The whole concept and design of casters/priests/pure melee/hybrids was amazing. Don't pollute or water down the classes(EQ2). They were so special and so different in EQ. Were there balance issues? Yeah. Was the holy trinity a PITA at times? Yeah. But there's no gameplay in any other game like an SK fear kiting, a bard doing anything a bard does, an enchanter charming and CCing, wizards quad kiting, monks pulling, etc, etc, etc.
Is this is a real world or is this an arcade game?
Too many games, basically all of them, have forgone the true roleplaying and simulation aspects that made EQ so great. EQ wasn't just an RPG, it was in many ways a SIM game. You needed food. You need water. You need LIGHT!!! You crossed large bodies of water in a BOAT. Anybody ever play a human? Good grief. Getting that greater lightstone was amazing. Dying and having to make your way back through that cave in traks teeth(?) you are blind as a bat! It sucked! And then you pop out and breathe a sigh of relief. What games these days give that kind of immersive experience? All because of some little thing like night vision. Again, like a real world. Not a pretty facade, but an attempt at realism.
Difficulty:
What happened to death penalties or the risk of losing a corpse and all your gear poofing? EQ was unforiving in its attempt at reality. EQ was an attempt at simulating a real world. Games don't do that anymore. From instancing, to fast travel, to ridiculous mini maps and pointers and meta stat graphics all over the screen, players are taken out of the world. Lost is the feeling of beign immersed somewhere else. When I died 5 times one day and wanted to rage quit, the reason I was so angry was because it was important to me, because I cared, because the day before I didn't die a single time and gained 7-8 bubbles and was in heaven. And the day after I died 5 times I didn't die at all and it was fantastic. And why was it fantastic? Because I knew the pain of death. I knew the pain of losing a level. I knew the pain of losing 10 hours. Knowing that risk, that pain, those setbacks made all the successes in the game matter EVEN MORE.
When you're scraping up every rat whisker and spiderling eyeball to have money for spells and you've gotta give a necro a plat to find your corpse, it makes that money you're trying to make even more valuable. There's RISK. And that makes rewards oh so sweet. And when you hit that level and you can only afford 2 spells, you pick the 2 most important one and you cherish them. And a few hours later when you can afford another one, you cherish that too.
Rarity of loot:
If something is rare, IT'S MORE VALUABLE. Games today absolutely SPAM items at players. If you don't have a new weapon every single level, you're getting screwed! Right? No! It's the complete opposite. You're getting screwed out of meaningful gameplay when games just throw loot at you. EQ was not watered down. Items had such MEANING. Did KSing suck? Hell yeah. But the reason people did it, and the reason it sucked to have done to you, was because we all cared so much. Things were rare. They were hard to get. They were IMPORTANT. Ooh look, that guy has a bone bladed claymore. Maybe one day I'll have that. Next level I'm going to leave SRO and head to the commonlands so I can be near that zone when the time comes. Today it's: I don't look at anyone or care what anyone has. If I want an item I go solo the quest and click the exclamation point and click my reward. Joy. Items have no status.

jawbreaker23
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jawbreaker23

HolyAvengerOne ohforfs Which is why Brad doesn't have a management role in this title.

LongtimeSkeptic
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LongtimeSkeptic

ohforfs  Bingo. Smed it is.

LongtimeSkeptic
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LongtimeSkeptic

Drivendawn  It's not about "haters", it's about the reality that some of you just can't seem to accept. Look at the history of this team, of McQuaid in particular. Totally screwed his people in Vanguard, couldn't even be bothered to show up and face them when they got their pink slips and left them standing in the parking lot. A lot of people said at that point "McQuaid will never get money for a game ever again".

And then crowd funding emerged, and the suckers and dreamers poured out their hearts to Brad in hopes that he might actually deliver this time. And what does he do? Steals $30,000 in crowd funds "for personal reasons". Some speculate he's back on drugs again, others point to his wife's medical problems. Does it matter? The man can't be trusted and he is living in a dream world based on his one success in life (if you can call EQ a success, I do) and is trying to sustain his memories in a world that changed a long time ago and left him behind.

Guys. Stiffed employees. Unpaid staffers still owed money after McQuaid took his. $30,000 "missing" that Brad eventually owned up to taking "for personal reasons", and constant reshuffling of the team and the progress reports. No working demo even at this stage after McQuaid lied and said one existed eons ago.

What more do you need to smell a rat? This isn't "hating", this is using critical thinking to evaluate a business proposition.

JohnHolderby
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JohnHolderby

Love the game, am a gamer helping to support it with what little I have.  Want to see group play again, want to see challenge and skill play useful again.... I don't know who the patron funding it is but whoever it is thanks!

BeckAltarr
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BeckAltarr

sscarthiaasuranknightBeckAltarrjawbreaker23  There was never anything to mend really. I am commenting based on the information we have as it related to the events in the past. 
I don't follow the project that closely. I keep up on the notable events but our community has soundly stated that Pantheon is not a product our Community supported radio should be involved with. 
We had a host in the past who was very very negative on Pantheorn and he has since gotten back into bed with them for his own profit. AT the very least I have always been consistent and have only changed my opinion when the evidence supports it.
No one at Pantheon has reached out to us since after the Original Dev's left, but we did stay in contact with a few of them for about a year or so after.

sscarthia
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sscarthia

Khayotix BeckAltarr Exactly was glad to see Ben and Corey back..Go go Good Team. ;)

sscarthia
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sscarthia

EricSantiago BeckAltarr jawbreaker23 with friends like that who needs enemies..right Eric lol

sscarthia
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sscarthia

asuranknight BeckAltarr jawbreaker23 He's the main guy at K-tam..strange I thought all the fences were mended but it seems Beck has a knot in his face about something again...Oh well, the proof is in the pudding.

sscarthia
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sscarthia

LiamLightfoot been backing them as well Liam.  :)

sscarthia
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sscarthia

ohforfs I was thinking the same thing...ya never know. :)

HolyAvengerOne
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HolyAvengerOne

ohforfs I'm totally pessimistic about this game, but maybe you're right about the Smed thing. He was the one that trusted him with EQ back then and he also already saved Brad's ass with VG:SOH. Why not again, lol.

I'm very curious about those two. Great ideas, an awesome drive to make them happen but poor management skills.

Radfist
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Radfist

Wiexlon Radfist  Yeah I am thankful that I enjoy PvP and am looking forward to both CU and Crowfall. I really hope this one pans out for the PvE only crowd though.  Vanguard had amazing races and classes, would love to see something like that exist again.

tilles87
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tilles87

ohforfs I'm pretty sure if it was Smedley it wouldn't have been kept a secret. It's would be a good publicity stunt for both VR and Smedley.

BeckAltarr
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BeckAltarr

Khayotix BeckAltarr There were more than 4 that left. Tony and Salim were long time friends of Brad who perhaps were taken advantage of the most. Vu is working for another company now, Firefall I think. Not sure if Tom eventually left or not, there were rumors and I have an email from him saying he wishes he could have given people their money back back when the crap hit the fan.

Drivendawn
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Drivendawn

I wonder what the haters are gonna say when there is more game play vids and then alpha testing? Probably the same shit. >.>

Wiexlon
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Wiexlon

Radfist So true Radfist. Us old EQer's are playing an emulated Scars of Velious right now over at P99. 16 years later, we're playing the same game. Like others, I have hope Pantheon. That being said, I am really looking forward to Camelot Unchained and Crowfall. Both games look great.

Khayotix
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Khayotix

BeckAltarr Also what hasn't been stated, is that atleast two of the 4 people who left at the beginning have returned to the project. So if what was done was really so bad and so wrong, they would have never come back. They were paid, they were just led by some primadonna who wasn't happy enough with things and they were all riled up, the primadonna has not returned. The two team members who have returned from the original team are, Ben Deladurantaye, and Corey LeFever.

Again if they have returned, there cant really be bad blood as people like to claim.

MatthewYetter
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MatthewYetter
Saerain
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Saerain

asuranknight BeckAltarr agemyth Armsbend Yeah, there was a bunch of footage for a while. Though, it was all removed from the official site and YouTube channel in the last several weeks, which they say is because it was too unrepresentative, considering that they're gearing up to be more proactive with media/PR.
Honestly, I do think they should've left it all up, as I think it's always cool to see the stark differences years later. (Man, that EQ pre-alpha trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFKrlynZNtU)

BeckAltarr
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BeckAltarr

EricSantiago BeckAltarr jawbreaker23 My point is the game is tainted with the history of Brad. This project has a pretty notorious history already with more drama than it needed. So yes, I wish them luck. It's an up hill battle and it wont get any easier. It has a great base of white knights and I understand what it is like to pour in a bunch of money into something only to see it almost fall apart more than once and change fundamental story/lore more than once and so on. Some people walk away, some people fight tooth and nail to add as much value to their money, no matter how much, to it as possible. I was lucky and got mine back and watch from the out side. 
If it makes it to any kind of launch I'll give the trial a go. Likely it will have to be a high sub to cover it's costs. $15/m might be a little light. Closer to $20 is my guess to keep the lights on. They might even go free to play and go micro transaction heavy. Pay to win might be a good model for a game that is planned to be as difficult as older MMO's which for some of us is just the challenge we want. But for many of the younger gamers who grew up on watered down WoW and clones they will be happy to pay out for little boosts and what not.

ohforfs
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ohforfs

EricSantiago BeckAltarr agemyth Armsbend If they buy in a lot of assets (graphics) then I think 2017 is very doable. Asset creation is the biggest log jam in an MMO/3D game.

ohforfs
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ohforfs

Hanthos Me too. As long as Brad is kept creative and does not interfere with the development or production I will probably fund this.

ohforfs
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ohforfs

barantorfwl agemyth Damn I miss Vanguard. Best time I ever had in an MMO with friends.

ohforfs
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ohforfs

Mystery Investor = a certain Mr Smedley perhaps? That's my guess.

If they can make a game with the nature of Vanguard but without the flaws, I will be very happy. I am optimistic about this title.

EricSantiago
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EricSantiago

BeckAltarr agemyth Armsbend
It seems like what a lot of people want is exactly what they did, to get to work and produce something. If VRI has not asked for anything then why do we need proof of anything. They've done a few interviews. I think until they've started to ask US for money again let them work. If you want to donate on the belief they are cooking up something amazing then do it. If you still need time and more actual 'proof' then don't donate but they are not asking for money, they are working hard and keeping their cards close to their
What I tend to doubt is a 2017 release. But if they don't have enough to show off a demo at this stage in their development, 2017 will be tough. I think they can hit end of 2017 if they leave out crafting like they
said they were going to for launch. They prolly won't make 2017 if another large funding sum isn't received either.

EricSantiago
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EricSantiago

Armsbend agemyth it's not a scam operation. They have not asked for a single penny from the public since the failed kickstarter. You can donate to them if you want but they have not campaigned for any money therefore there is no scam operation.
You can choose to believe that they have something created, whether it is a lot or is a little is up in the air, or you can choose to believe they don't have squat. I'd like to believe they have something made because there are much easier ways to make money than to hope people donate to your fake game when you have such a bad rep as Brad does.

EricSantiago
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EricSantiago

BeckAltarr jawbreaker23 so when you said that this game will be the Nickelback of MMOs. Some people will like it but won't admit to it and everyone else will hate it. It just won't be as successful as Nickelback, you were wishing the team luck and stating it had some potential?? lol let's hope you never wish me luck for anything

EricSantiago
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EricSantiago

Samizdat you mad bro?

EricSantiago
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EricSantiago

Polyanna Game Dev Tycoon has Brad McQuaid and his previous mishandling of money in it?? Because that is exactly what that response was answering. It simply states that Brad does not hold the purse strings and that there is an actual budget plan in place.

asuranknight
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asuranknight

BeckAltarr agemyth Armsbend They have shown I think 3 different videos with movement, chat, combat, mob ai, etc. working. Its all very basic but most of them are a year or more old videos at this point.

asuranknight
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asuranknight

BeckAltarr jawbreaker23 I dont know if you work at the k-tam radio or whatever but it was my understanding that happened BEFORE the explanation I am talking about. I am also pretty sure that your (i guess) radio went on something of a slam campaign resulting in members of VR not speaking with you anymore. No offense, but I'll trust the more recent and detailed information which suggested that staff WERE getting paid (though not much being that the project really wasn't raking in that much and there may be some variables involved) and that the money Brad took was as he put it "pay for time worked" to that point. It was a bad idea to do what he did but it was not what so many present it to be.

BeckAltarr
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BeckAltarr

agemyth Armsbend They have not shown any examples of a game really. Mostly still shots of environments. Where is the playable pre-alpha builds that are talked about? If the game is coming out by 2017 then the foundation of the programming should be done already. Even if it is just wire frames, there should be some kind of system of game play. But there are not environments to speak of that look alive. A.I, quest structure, mob placements, loot tables all take a very long time to balance. Then you have to add all the game text and story elements.
They should at the very least have a controllable avatar that can run around in the world and use some basic spells/skills against some place holder mobs or NPC's to show there is at least a world. Unless I have missed an update, I have yet to see that recently. I remember seeing something a year ago with the Valley Wall Monty was building but so much has changed since then, apparently, that I wouldn't count that as being relevant anymore.

BeckAltarr
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BeckAltarr

Saerain Armsbend If you recall Brad had bragged about there being a playable snapshot of the game around their Kick starter. It never existed in reality.
The screen shots are pretty. Great art pieces, but where are the world photos with mobs, NPC's? Nothing looks alive.

BeckAltarr
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BeckAltarr

jawbreaker23 When we did several open line shows on K-TAM Radio where virtually every dev who was there showed up in our mumble, including Brad, to chat over voice or text chat and some had not been paid anything, some had been paid a fraction of what they were owed and some had been promised to be reimbursed for costs associated with the project that, at that time, were not given. It was shortly after the $30,000 went "missing" from the crowdfunded totals which was later admitted to have been taken by Brad for personal reasons. This created a new round of accusations he was back on or still on the pills. He later said it was for his wife who recently was diagnosed with Cancer or something like that based on a volunteer staff member at the time who was also a regular on a forum called Re-rolled. The sources, for the most part, I believe, but with every story there should be some benefit of the doubt, which is why my statements were not accusations, but rather questions.
That being said, I certainly hope the talented Volunteers are being paid. Monty, if he is still there I know he was at one time, then got asked to leave then came back again so I heard is very talented and deserves compensation. There are others that I hope were shown the door.
My points were that I hope the dev's who had not been paid, have since been paid. They deserved it. I wish the team the best of luck in producing this game. I think it has some potential and if it sees the light of day will have a very small player base unless the attitude of gamers changes when it comes to MMO's and how the majority of them race through content only to beg for more while only exploring a very small part of the over all game to begin with.

asuranknight
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asuranknight

jawbreaker23 BeckAltarr I kindof gave the source, aradune (brad's profile) on mmorpg's forums. I imagine it will take some digging because its like 6 months old or something (not sure if I remembered to bookmark it or not) but its definitely there if you feel inclined to look for it.

jawbreaker23
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jawbreaker23

BeckAltarr I would love some sources, or is your information first hand?

Damonvile
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Damonvile

melissaheather I couldn't disagree with you more about this. These are games not charities. It's one thing to say a charity or cause is sucking all the funding away from others and more could be helped by spreading it around, but people spend money on games they want to play not for the good of everyone. To assume the industry would be a better place if the giants never were and everyone played little niche titles instead is making a rather large assumption on what people want.

I'm sure if someone told you the games you play are bad and you should really play this other game because it'd be better for the industry, you'd be like everyone else and tell them where to go. It is exactly what you just did here though.

Radfist
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Radfist

If they get it working it will definitely have a niche playerbase.  There really aren't many old school PvE games around or on the horizon.  I like PvP so there are plenty of upcoming titles for me, but old school EQ crowd is doing it tough.

asuranknight
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asuranknight

BeckAltarr The first round of staff were actually supposedly paid (according to several sources, one of which is mcquaid himself and that information can be found in the mmorpg (site) forums). The valunteers are also not gone, they are just paid now and thus are being referred to as employees (this is known because the at least 4 of the volunteer staff is still active at the pantheon website). 

The problem is that people keep passing around the same 'sensational' information around (such as your comment) even after it has been addressed.

Armsman
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Armsman

melissaheather  As an SC backer, I can tell you that I backed SC solely because I love a space-based science fiction setting, LOVED the 'Wing Commander" and "Privateer" series of PC games; and have ALWAYS wanted a 'Wing Commander-esque" MMO.
Had SC never been pitched, it doesn't mean I would have thrown money at a High Fantasy themed MMO because honestly; the MMO market is OVERSATURATED with them and while I did play EQ and WoW back in the day - it was more due to wanting to game with RL friends I had that also played these games. I have myself never been much of a High Fantasy/Tolkien fan (although I have many friends who are, and are completely enthralled by the genre). Me, I've always been a 'Star Trek'/'Star Wars'/'Space Battleship Yamato' (known to most in the U.S. as 'Starblazers')/'Robotech, etc. fan. If it has science fiction and spaceships, I'm in. Tolkien-type magic/fantasy...I might play but I'd never crowdfund  any such genre based project of that type.)

ChristopherPierce
Guest
ChristopherPierce

breetoplay Cramit I really appreciated how you asked about the art assets as that was a big commenter issue back when I had time to comment more often. Great work, guys, and I am still interested in seeing this game finish.

Dawnlord Ed
Guest
Dawnlord Ed

*So thick

Dawnlord Ed
Guest
Dawnlord Ed

I surfed over to check out their site.  I hope they hire a writer with some of that money because their backstory is so think as to be impenetrable.  It needs a much lighter touch.

LiamLightfoot
Guest
LiamLightfoot

Have total faith in this game and VR. Been backing them since kickstarter and will do so until i can sub to the finished game. This game is being made for a niche group and that is why it will be very successful for those people. If you havent done so i recommend perusing the game site. Lots of exciting stuff going on.

blackcatcrosses
Guest
blackcatcrosses

melissaheather Because of course, the people who wanted the game SC is intended to be, /really/ wanted a medieval fantasy game, they just don't know it!

breetoplay
Guest
breetoplay

Karl_Hungus agemyth But he said plox.

Karl_Hungus
Guest
Karl_Hungus

agemyth JosephDeStefano 
Reading is too much effort for millennials. Articles need to be written in emoji for them.

enamelizer
Guest
enamelizer

Fantastic interview, and big props to the Pantheon peeps for addressing these questions.

BeckAltarr
Guest
BeckAltarr

They had dev's that quit because McQuaid got paid but they didn't and to my knowledge never have been paid for the work they did. Have they since been compensated now that there is funding? Then they spent a year or so with a 100% volunteer team, some of which changed many of the core elements of the game from its original conception with the old Dev team.
Now the volunteers are gone, replaced by paid members for a 3rd round of let's make this happen. I feel sorry for the people who have put time, money and effort into this project only to be replaced. Yet to see a playable demo which was stated to exist way back at the first Kick Starter but was confirmed to have never existed.
This is going to be the Nickelback of MMO's. Some people will like it, but wont want to admit to it and everyone else will hate it. Only it wont be half as successful. This game will need to survive on about 1000 subs. Which can happen... Look at Defiance.

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