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Reader Comments (16)

Posted: Oct 22nd 2010 1:15PM ScottishViking said

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Having followed the 38 Studios and Copernicus story for quite a while, and having been to PAX East and seen Schilling on panels and talked with him personally, I think the word "vaporware" is not inaccurate. Every time someone asked him concrete questions, all I heard was vague blandishments and marketing generalizations. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, because the guy is super-friendly and unpretentious and he seems like he really cares. But still...after reading as much as I can about this project and the studios..."vaporware."

Posted: Oct 22nd 2010 1:36PM Kamokazi said

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Vaporware is more commonly associated with questionable funding stability and unknown people and things of that nature....not lack of details. None of those other factors are present here...in fact quite the opposite. The man himself has a reputation that transcends gaming, he has some high caliber talent on staff, and there is a lot of cash involved. I think the vaporware tag IS innaccurate in this case.

I'm attributing the lack of details to the fact that he announced the game VERY early in development (I think I remember hearing about Copernicus almost three years ago), where often MMOs are announced a couple years into development or so. How many other MMOs have fallen flat after failing to meet pre-launch hype? I would imagine he is trying to avoid as much of that as possible by not being specific as anything can change, even a system you think is 99% final.
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Posted: Oct 22nd 2010 1:40PM ScottishViking said

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I'm not sure we share the same definition of "vaporware." The term has often been applied to situations involving large and reputable development bodies, not just "unknowns" are you refer to.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaporware
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Posted: Oct 22nd 2010 2:09PM DevilSei said

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Eh, I ain't calling it Vaporware until it pasts the 10yr mark, Duke Nukem Forever set that bar, and is an actual game being released now so, hey...

Should be a world record or something.
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Posted: Oct 22nd 2010 3:41PM Kamokazi said

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No, we're talking about the same thing. The 'major' vaporware is pretty few and far between, and as that wiki entry indicates, often ends up in a release at the end. Major vaporware also consists of lots of missed timelines, and often they have a decent amount of detail about the product, which is partly why they become so infamous. In this case, we're seeing the opposite...little detail and no timelines.

Given that no other indicators exist, I stand by my statement that the main reason you misconstrue this as likely vaporware is because it was announced much earlier in its development cycle than most MMOs typically are (this was announced from the start of the company...most are announced 2 years into development). There are lots of very good reasons as to why there are no details that are far more likely than the scenario that no details exist.

I guess maybe a reason I don't chalk it up to vaporware that you may not be aware of is their single player RPG based on the same lore/universe due out next year. Also IIRC, R.A. Salvatore is going to kick out a book or two with some of the lore he has written for the game.
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Posted: Nov 1st 2010 11:11AM (Unverified) said

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This is absolutely not vaporware. We're talking about a company that has a SP game near ready for release and has shown enough of what they're doing to get the State of Road Island to invest nearly 60 million in their company. If you've actually followed this game at all you would already known all of that. You would also know that Curt won't talk about this game in specifics because it's still a work in progress and he does not want to be mentioned in the same breath as Brad McQuaid when it come to making claims about this game that won't be there at release. He is paranoid to a fault about this. Drives me nuts.
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Posted: Oct 22nd 2010 1:25PM Tom in VA said

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I am certain this will be the best MMO that no one's ever played. :-)

Posted: Oct 22nd 2010 3:45PM Pingles said

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I hope he had enough sense when hiring folks not to just hire artists and coders.

I hope he has some folks in there to wrangle the whole squad into actually accomplishing goals.

As an artist/writer I'm no fan of managers but then again I have a novel that has been 75% done for 15 years.

Posted: Oct 22nd 2010 3:49PM ScottishViking said

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Oh I'm very aware of the SP RPG component. It was raised in the same breath as Torchlight throughout the panels I saw Schilling speak at. It was also raised as a positive example.

I thought the Torchlight claim for SP-MMO transition was bollocks at the time and it's proved true, and nobody seems to be calling them on it. The original Torchlight and the MMO are completely different games. They sold the original as an embryonic MMO -- use your same characters! etc. This was a false bill of goods. It was a SP action RPG. A good one, but no MMO.

Schilling really admired that model, and talked openly about emulating it. So, I am aware of their development goals. And making a SP RPG and calling it a "potential" MMO is asking quite a bit from your audience.

And I am not saying that it is impossible that this will be made. As I said, I like Schilling, and believe him to be sincere in wanting this to work. And the studio certainly has some great financial backing. But none of that will actually produce an MMO. So until they announce anything concrete, AT ALL, I hope you'll understand my scepticism.

Posted: Oct 22nd 2010 3:50PM ScottishViking said

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ARGH! Massively, get a better comments system. Sorry, Kamokazi, that was supposed to be a reply to you.
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Posted: Oct 22nd 2010 4:25PM Kamokazi said

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Well, this happened in the opposite transition...MMO first, then SP thrown in after. In case you haven't seen it, the SP game's website is here:

www.reckoningthegame.com/

And notably from their FAQ:

"Kingdoms of Amalur is an original fantasy universe that serves as the setting for both Reckoning and 38 Studios’ upcoming massively multiplayer game, codenamed Project Copernicus. "

With Schilling being a long-time MMO geek, and the top-notch talent (Salvatore, McFarlane (Spawn comics), and the Lead Designers from Everquest and Elder Scrolls), I really have a hard time believing that their ultimate project will be vaporware.

If I were marketing his games, I would use hype for the MMO to drive interest in the single player title closer to release. You give out too much too early and interest wanes. Release a playable title in the middle of pouring out MMO details, and you are sure to rake in the sales.

Of course it could then turn to vapor after that, hahaha.
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Posted: Oct 22nd 2010 7:35PM TheGreatMachine said

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I think the driving force behind the idea of doing a SP game first has more to do with establishing a brand.
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Posted: Oct 22nd 2010 4:07PM (Unverified) said

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I've followed Schilling in interviews and stuff for at least 3 years. It all sounds great, but the biggest problem I have is McFarlane. I guarantee he's overpriced and he has a style that is likely to turn people off.

Posted: Oct 22nd 2010 4:51PM Space Cobra said

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His style sure tuned ME off when he was working on Ultima 2...
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Posted: Oct 22nd 2010 7:38PM TheGreatMachine said

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I disagree, the monster NPCs will look amazing at the very least. Imagine the raid-bosses
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Posted: Oct 23rd 2010 3:54PM karnisov said

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lets hope its not a themepark.

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