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Victorian era, fantasy action role-playing from the lead gameplay designer of TITAN QUEST!
Victorian era, fantasy action role-playing from the lead gameplay designer of TITAN QUEST!
12,457 backers pledged $537,515 to help bring this project to life.

Development mini-update and gameplay polls

Posted by Crate Entertainment (Creator)

Some interesting polls have been posted by playtesters on the forum and we're curious to see the results. I wanted to make sure KS backers had a chance to share their thoughts.

Game difficulty:

Ease of finding quest objectives:

Also, I just wanted to say, Act 2 is nearing completion! It is still a ways off but we're hoping it will be finished in the next month or two. Zantai is planning to do a livesteam of himself playing through some of Act 2 in the next two weeks. I'll post another update once we have a day and time. We'll also be expanding access to everyone who backed on KS at that time.

Also, here is the latest Misadventures from Zantai if you missed it.

Turtlepig, Humbleroots, and 23 more people like this update.


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    1. Dan Lowe on

      Have to throw in my two cents in support of those people who see kickstarter for what it is: a crowdfunding site. We can't even expect that a project we support on kickstarter will ever get made; we're simply donating in hopes that our contribution will increase that likelihood.

      I completely agree that if selling the game through Steam sales helps to fund your company and thus (hopefully) improve the quality of the product you deliver, that you should do it. Limiting your funding opportunities because your kickstarter supporters didn't have the same 'deal' is absurd. Kickstarter isn't about deals, it's about supporting projects we want to exist. I don't even expect more money to directly correlate to more time spent on the game. That's not how profit works.

      I understand people's frustration, but have to believe it derives from us not having bottomless financial resources. At the same time, though, I find it ironic that we commit time to complaining about not saving a few dollars for a game on the Internet (that would have cost $40+ from a studio with corporate overhead) while spending nowhere near that effort to correct the conditions that make us lack those resources in the first place. Take that how you will, and I'm not barking at people to 'go get a job' (I don't have one, and can hopefully afford to never have one again), but there are battles that need to be fought and this is not one of them.

    2. Jacob on

      @ermagruf "I'm not upset - what component of my posts suggested that I was upset?"
      Maybe this?
      "Good job guys - colour me impressed with the insensitive way you just emphasised to us all that we still don't have early access."

      if people want to have grim dawn have more resources to make a better game by purchasing early access on steam (and they needed a promise of a beta thats ready to go to make that purchase) that is quite alright by me.

    3. Egamruf on

      @Crate Entertainment
      1. Isn't that a little silly? Why cut yourselves out of the sales? Why not just do a kick starter backer survey and seek a mandate from your beta access backers on how to proceed with early access, and from all baskets re: steam pricing. You might be pleasantly surprised.

      2.Yes; I think I made that observation in the post you quote, up earlier where I say Early Access wasn't as much a thing when this KS happened, so you got stuck ;)


    4. Crate Entertainment Creator on


      "Presuming then, that at no point before I receive my copy, Steam has a sale which lowers the Grim Dawn price to below $16.00 you may be correct; I sincerely doubt you're willing to guarantee that fact."

      I guarantee it. In response to backer's displeasure with the 10% release week sale on the Steam version, I've made sure that Grim Dawn will not be included in any holiday or future sales until all backers have access.

      "I think you can limit the flack, by just being upfront about your intentions to hit Steam, on kickstarter, at the outset. All backers would need to be told so they wouldn't be offended is "we will also aim for Greenlight, and this is the price we're going to set/what you get, unless something unforeseen happens"."

      Steam Early Access didn't exist until after our KS campaign and so we had no way to know or plan for the game to be released on it prior to completion. We also didn't expect development to take this long. : (

    5. Egamruf on


      Yeah - I think that's right.

      There seem to have been a variety of perks tried:
      (a) exclusive early access, which receives complaint from Kickstarter backers as soon as the game is released anywhere else for early access (c.f. Grim Dawn, Leisure Suit Larry, and ALSO receives complaint if its released for early access elsewhere at Steam prices (c.f. Planetary Annihilation);
      (b) exclusive cosmetic items which people grumble about but generally seem not to mind (c.f. Shadowrun Returns exclusive NPC - who was obviously Jordan);
      (c) exclusive NPC's or quests, which makes some people explode and clamour about how they'd rather pirate than buy if they're truly exclusive (c.f. Expeditions Conquistador) or kickstarter backers rant about losing what they 'paid for' (c.f. suggestions of removing the Lifetime Insurance from starships pre-ordered for Star Citizen);
      (d) semi-exclusive NPC's or quests, which are then released as DLC to everyone else, and which people seem not to mind; and
      (e) physical rewards, which are a risky endeavour for developers to enter into, because pricing varies so greatly.

      There is a further category which could be called the "you get the game cheaper than retail" category. This extends to the same comment about DLC. Unfortunately this isn't really a 'perk' and nobody sees it as such - the reason for this is twofold, I think:
      (a) when you kickstart, you have no idea at what price the Devs will release the full game - some of the games I've backed have been released cheaper than I backed them for; and
      (b) I imagine the people who back the most projects (muppets like me) are likely to have more money than time, and have about 50 million games in their 'to play' list, so can happily wait for games to drop in price, unless they want to play them immediately.

      An ancillary point is that the argument only holds water if the game is never discounted.

      Personally, I'd prefer actual exclusive content, but I don't think that's sensible from a business model standpoint - I just like the idea of having something exclusive as a reward for faith. I suspect the Kickstarter model is going to take a while to settle into its stride though.

    6. TrentJaspar on

      @Egamruf: I think we're pretty much in agreement, and like you say much of the issue is that Early Access wasn't around during the GD KS. For that matter, it was a pretty early KS game in the first place. Game devs will need to be clear about the their alpha/beta/Early Access intentions. Also, I don't think they have 100% control over pricing, discounts, etc. It's got to be hard to devs to keep all funding options open but still make KS backers feel "special." :-)

    7. Egamruf on

      II think a developer is always going to run into that emotive problem, however. People who hop on board a kickstarter are in a collaborative project - that's kind of what Kickstarter rants about - the problem (a little) is that dev's AND gamers are using it as a blend of pre-order and funding-model. If it's pre-order, then you're right, it's "you paid for this, that's what you get". The problem with that approach is that with every Kickstarter there is a risk that you *don't* get what you paid for - so obviously you aren't quite buying something. It is rare that an investment model penalises it's investors for hopping on board early and providing seed funding for a project. I don't think this is going to be overcome any time soon. You either have the Planetary Annihilation thing - where Steam early access is full of comments like "what a rip off" - or you have the Grim Dawn thing where they release on early access and then kickstarter is full of "why are people who buy it now, and have no risk, getting in first" comments.

      Part of the problem is that games just cost a crapload of money to make, and people like to eat. Dev's, I think, need to carefully set out on their kickstarter pages the parameters they'll later adopt on Steam early-access. That's the problem with (for example) Grim Dawn - early access wasn't anywhere near the big thing it is now, so the dev's couldn't comment. Later on they decide "you know what, making money is great, turns out we don't make games for charity, and like to live" and then they go to early access. The way early access works isin conflict with the way kickstarter works.

      That's really the issue that sticks in people's craw - they could have *not* backed, and (from their perspective) ended up 'better off'.

      For all Crate Entertainment's posturing of "X% off retail", when a game's in a bargain bin, you don't say "aha, I'm getting this at 97% off retail". People back kickstarters for 'perks', to help developers they believe in, or to get early access. There were no perks with this kickstarter, the developers (no offence) don't seem to understand that people backed them for support alone and the early access went to steam.

      Ergo - anger.

      I think you can limit the flack, by just being upfront about your intentions to hit Steam, on kickstarter, at the outset. All backers would need to be told so they wouldn't be offended is "we will also aim for Greenlight, and this is the price we're going to set/what you get, unless something unforeseen happens". Gamers aren't really that much worse than anyone else, it's the loss of control, or perceived 'loss' of something that they don't get in preference to what someone *else* gets which is odd.

      That's the same phenomena that leads Americans to clamor about 'poverty' when they aren't part of the '1%' in the USA, but are obviously part of the 5% globally, without any hint of irony. We all judge our own 'suffering' by our own situation, without reference to anyone else or logic.

    8. Daniel

      It seems there is no way to do beta/early access without getting flak.

      I backed Planetary annihilation too, and they set the early access price very high, to fall in line with their kickstarter pledges. Some of the words uttered at them on the steam forums for doing so wouldn't bear retelling. Suffice to say that there were some people that were somewhat aggrieved by such a high price for a game on early access.

      Here people are complaining about early access price as well, but in the other end. To me it seems that there is no way that everyone will ever be satisfied with stuff like that.

      In regards to the poll about dificulty level itself. I tried the beta up to level 10 or something in that range. Felt it was fun to play, but I didn't want to spoil too much for myself given that you had issued that even early stage rewards might change for better or worse. Do putting playing it on hold till it's not undergoing any drastic changes in those regards, but what I did try was fun and enjoyable to play.

      I remember playing Diablo2 and having fun with that game, and then patches changed the dynamics of the game too much so in the end it felt too much like a chore to do battles, and that game just stopped being fun. I especially remember my melee specced character that suddenly after a patch couldn't really survive in melee any more because of a ramped dificulty, so it is certainly possible to go too far in dificulty in these type of games (not to mention that I remember there were encounters with specific resitances/abilities that, if the dice had rolled unlucky for me, was just impossible to do. Frost immune against my icemage, for instance, would just make that particular run pointless).

      I'm getting the feeling the people actually voting in that poll have played the game 'till death' and thus would normally advance to the next dificulty level if one existed. I believe adding difficulty levels for the slightly more hardcore community, rather than making current ones harder, would be a better solution.

      Just my 2 cents.

    9. TrentJaspar on

      I just don't get it-- why do some folks who didn't pay for beta access think they should get access before people who paid it (via Steam Early Access), just because they backed via KS?

    10. TrentJaspar on

      Hi Crate-- just wanted to let you know I'm part of the silent majority who didn't back at an early access level that doesn't see any problem with using Steam Early Access the way you did. As far as I'm concerned, the more money in your pockets and the more alpha/beta testers, the better game I'll be getting somewhere down the line. And I LOVE that you're giving peon backers like me free early access due to the delays after satisfying commitments to actual beta backers.
      I can see how how the beta backers might have thought their "exclusive access to the beta" would actually be exclusive (as in KS-only, although you didn't explicitly say that), but it was just a miscommunication, not a bad policy. And again, more beta testers is a good thing!

    11. Jean-Marc Therrien on

      Problem solved. Thanks for answering me guys.

    12. Egamruf on

      I'm not upset - what component of my posts suggested that I was upset? I'm just ventilating issues which seem quite well known on these forums ;)

    13. Missing avatar

      Neil on

      Does this mean us DRM Free backers will be getting DRM Free access finally instead of steam?
      No offense intended just backers like me can't use steam because they can't sign away their rights which is what the steam EULA requires as part of it's digital access management and it's getting friggan annoying being treated like second class digital citizens when we're footing bills for projects up front (you know instead of people pirating them, which is what happens when a game is steam only so theres no way to actually give the developers money for their hard work if your retaining the rights you have under law).

    14. Khalus on

      I bought the same bundle as Egamruf, and despite several attempts at contacting both Crate and Humble Bundle I still haven't received a response as to when I'll get proper "Steam Keys". I had thought there was an email saying we'd get proper Steam Keys once Grim Dawn earned Greenlight status and was added there.
      As of right now all I have are a pair of Access Keys that do nothing. How do these keys determine acquisition of the future expansion? Will I have to attempt contacting you Crate/Humble Bundle for several months with no answer when that time comes around too!?

      Considering that the release date continues being pushed to an unknown date far beyond the original Aug 2013, its had me worried. {Despite how annoyed I sound, I've read the reasons for the extended development time and I'm not upset, I'm very happy you're taking time to make the game 'good' and not release a half-assed game like say the devs behind Shadowrun}

      Also, even though I didn't purchase a tier that gave me beta access I don't agree with how the situation has been handled allowing "new" Steam pre-orders instant access to beta, before those of us here on kickstarter that supported you from the beginning! Regardless of how much more these new preorders supposedly cost compared to our backed tiers, and that we'll be given access in the next update, I feel this was handled poorly...

      Priorities man....think of who kept you afloat to begin with next time!

    15. Jacob on

      egamruf, calm down, all he did was link to two polls made by users on the forums. no need to be getting upset over some perceived "insensitivity"

    16. Egamruf on

      @Crate Entertainment
      (a) This is a public forum - you shouldn't be commenting upon users' otherwise private information.
      (b) I hadn't intended to play the game until it's finished - I'd much rather experience it for the first time then (and I have about 100 games in my 'pile of shame' anyway), but your post is obviously insensitive to those who do want to be in the Beta. I emphasise that - it's *obviously* insensitive.
      (c) The reward I opted for was lodged before the rise of Steam Greenlight. The Greenlight process is now making many query the benefit/relevance of 'beta access' rewards in Kickstarters (not simply this one). From my understanding, Crate Entertainment only vaguely controls the way Valve manages Steam's prices. Presuming then, that at no point before I receive my copy, Steam has a sale which lowers the Grim Dawn price to below $16.00 you may be correct; I sincerely doubt you're willing to guarantee that fact. Given you're only towards the end of chapter 2, it seems unlikely, especially when the Christmas sales are upcoming, that your position is correct.

      Further, and in any event, I chose not to select a 'beta' option on the basis that 'exclusive access' was given to the various people who did. I hadn't foreseen that 'exclusive' in the sense you meant it was 'those backers and the rest of the world'. I can almost guarantee you that those backers hadn't realised it was 'those backers and the rest of the world' as well. I can't remember the last time I played one of these things co-op and I backed for two copies pretty much to throw my money at you. I'm sorry you feel that my purchasing your product was a waste of my time.

    17. Crate Entertainment Creator on

      Egamruf, I'm sorry you feel left out. However, early access and all other rewards have always been based on the amount of money people contributed, not when or where that happened.

      You opted for a reward where you receive the game and future expansion at a discount in a co-op bundle. So, you paid to the finished game at a cost of $16 per copy. That's 60% less than what it cost for early access on Steam during the release sale. You did not pay for early access but will be getting it due to the prolonged development.

    18. Jean-Marc Therrien on

      I'm with the guys who didn't get a Steam key. I wrote to Crate Entertainment and to the Humble Store and no response after a more than 3 weeks. Way to take care of customers and you're seriously making me regret I backed this thing.

    19. Ettore Gislon on

      Yay! Also, you'll extend the beta to whoever backed? Just curious, since I gave enough $$ to get my beta key early on and already have it :)

    20. Egamruf on

      Hah - that's fantastic. "Hi early backers, you don't have access to our game (although numerous people on Steam do) but we still want you to comment on this survey which you can't understand because you've never played the game... Watch these videos of someone *else* playing the game, then fill in the survey! Remember to get it right!"

      Good job guys - colour me impressed with the insensitive way you just emphasised to us all that we still don't have early access.

    21. Humbleroots on

      When will we receive our Steam keys Please?