Jump to content
Black Chicken Studios Forums

The Ars Magica: Years of Conquest Kickstarter!


Legate of Mineta
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 79
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Awesome! :) You li'l pullets noir... you just rock, yes you do! :wub:

ArM has been my favorite game since long before Atlas got it, and their 5e is the best edition yet. :wub: :wub:

 

 

You create a mage, but you really play the entire Covenant, from top to bottom: mages, knights and peasants. :)

Hmmm... I realize it's as-yet-unfunded and likely has gotten very-little dev-work done, but I'm hoping you can answer some questions around this point...

 

If you create a mage as "your PC" but you also "play the entire Covenant," how is game-play planned to work? That is, how will Covenant-level seasonal/annual/multi-year play "strategic" level play interface with PC-level storytelling / RPG-adventuring play, and vice versa? Also, how much control do you have over character-creation of the other covenant-members? And how much of the supplementary material (Houses of Hermes books, "The Mysteries," etc) will be available for PC char-gen & play?

 

Also, can you clarify a point for me: is this planned as a set-timescale (100-year) game? It seemed so, from the text & video...

 

Finally: have you considered or investigated the possibility of integrating your product with the Metacreator Ars Magica toolkit?

 

Congratulations, kudos, best wishes, and ALL that sort of sentiment!

 

 

- Steve, the g33k

Link to comment
Share on other sites

g33k;

 

Haha, we quite agree about Ars Magica. ;)

 

For your questions:

 

Hmmm... I realize it's as-yet-unfunded and likely has gotten very-little dev-work done, but I'm hoping you can answer some questions around this point...

 

Actually, the core design is complete, so, we can answer.

 

If you create a mage as "your PC" but you also "play the entire Covenant," how is game-play planned to work? That is, how will Covenant-level seasonal/annual/multi-year play "strategic" level play interface with PC-level storytelling / RPG-adventuring play, and vice versa? Also, how much control do you have over character-creation of the other covenant-members? And how much of the supplementary material (Houses of Hermes books, "The Mysteries," etc) will be available for PC char-gen & play?

 

We won't be using any supplementary materials (unless we achieve Stretch Goals), and you will only be able to design the PC. However, your avatar, while integral to the overall destinies of the Covenant, is just one character in the game, and, if you choose, you can send out other people to quest in place of the PC. That is almost guaranteed to happen, actually- as you probably don't want mages involved in the commonplace events of the game. When you do, you play other characters in the Covenant, depending on whom you've selected. The strategic layer interface with adventuring is a few ways (some unexpected), but usually the Player will initiate an action to go embark on an adventure.

 

Also, can you clarify a point for me: is this planned as a set-timescale (100-year) game? It seemed so, from the text & video...

 

Yes, it's a set time frame, from 1000 to 1100 A.D.

 

Finally: have you considered or investigated the possibility of integrating your product with the Metacreator Ars Magica toolkit?

 

We've looked at it, but the problem are the options available in Metacreator vs. what will be available in the game. That said, anything is possible in the Stretch Goals.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We won't be using any supplementary materials (unless we achieve Stretch Goals), and you will only be able to design the PC. However, your avatar, while integral to the overall destinies of the Covenant, is just one character in the game, and, if you choose, you can send out other people to quest in place of the PC. That is almost guaranteed to happen, actually- as you probably don't want mages involved in the commonplace events of the game. When you do, you play other characters in the Covenant, depending on whom you've selected. The strategic layer interface with adventuring is a few ways (some unexpected), but usually the Player will initiate an action to go embark on an adventure.

 

Hmm. I only sort-of understand some of this response; most particularly (see below) the point I was most-confused about.

 

Not including the supplements (except via Stretch): OK, I guess that makes sense. Though there's a lot of fluff you wouldn't have to code, most of the programming would just be a few extra V/F's & skills & therefore easily adapted from existing principles if the core-book material is handled; still, it *IS* extra work, so it makes sense that it'd take extra funding.

 

Covenant-members can go on "adventures" without your primary PC, but you (the player) still play the adventure, right? They become "temporary" PC's as it were (hey! "troupe" style play! :P or maybe not so much so... :rolleyes: ) -- at least, assuming I'm understanding you correctly...?

 

(as an aside: if the non-PC members of your Covenant are NOT player-designed, how ARE they made? Random-generation via the same engine that the PC is built with? A pool of pre-gen's? Or...? )

 

Finally -- and most confusingly, as mentioned above -- regarding the strategic/adventuring interface: this has, for me, long been the sticking-point of all computer "RPG" games. Getting a computer/AI to understand my proposed approach to any given in-game problem -- or rather, my figuring out which one (or few) of the very MANY possible and/or likely approaches) have been encoded in the game as "solutions" -- other than "hit it with the sword/fireball/AK47/etc" and "use the 'solve this problem MacGuffin' you earned last level" solutions -- has rendered most CRPG's into "CRAP-RPG's" for me... :( The experience usually leaves me feeling like the dev-team has set back the Turing Test by a decade or more. :wacko:

 

When you add in the possible campaign/Saga/strategic consequences of (creatively-solved) adventure/story sections... well... the likelihood of a "good" (i.e., "accurate") strategic-level representation of the consequences of creative "adventuring" play just looks awfully unlikely. :blink:

 

Given that this is Ars Magica (with both the Order and the mundane society having "social" repercussions -- for good or ill -- of things the magi might do, and with Spont magic running loose in the game), having the Strategic AI understand the MANY ways that the PC's might legitimately alter the existing setting, is just... erm... boggling. :(

 

 

We've looked at it, but the problem are the options available in Metacreator vs. what will be available in the game. That said, anything is possible in the Stretch Goals.
As I understand the way Metacreator works, you'd just need a custom datasheet (I think that's their term) of the core-rulebook-without-supplements; assuming you are implementing the whole of the character-generation parts of the core rulebook, that should give exact 1:1 correspondence. Your programmers talking to their programmer(s?) might reveal that this is easier than you think (or harder than *I* think... :blush: ) .

 

 

- Steve, the g33k

Link to comment
Share on other sites

g33k;

 

Thanks for clarifying- right back at you: ;)

 

Covenant-members can go on "adventures" without your primary PC, but you (the player) still play the adventure, right? They become "temporary" PC's as it were (hey! "troupe" style play! or maybe not so much so... ) -- at least, assuming I'm understanding you correctly...?

 

That's it exactly. It's Troupe style. :0

 

(as an aside: if the non-PC members of your Covenant are NOT player-designed, how ARE they made? Random-generation via the same engine that the PC is built with? A pool of pre-gen's? Or...? )

 

Pre-generated. It's necessary, otherwise we would not be able to control the overall story.

 

Finally -- and most confusingly, as mentioned above -- regarding the strategic/adventuring interface: this has, for me, long been the sticking-point of all computer "RPG" games. Getting a computer/AI to understand my proposed approach to any given in-game problem -- or rather, my figuring out which one (or few) of the very MANY possible and/or likely approaches) have been encoded in the game as "solutions" -- other than "hit it with the sword/fireball/AK47/etc" and "use the 'solve this problem MacGuffin' you earned last level" solutions -- has rendered most CRPG's into "CRAP-RPG's" for me... The experience usually leaves me feeling like the dev-team has set back the Turing Test by a decade or more.

 

When you add in the possible campaign/Saga/strategic consequences of (creatively-solved) adventure/story sections... well... the likelihood of a "good" (i.e., "accurate") strategic-level representation of the consequences of creative "adventuring" play just looks awfully unlikely.

 

I'm not 100% on the concern here, but as I understand it you are worried that there might be too many options to choose from, in any given situation? And, as a result, you might choose a default set that you fall back on? To a certain degree, I doubt this will be too much of a concern- your options are contextual. You won't be using a fireball to negotiate with a sinister merchant, for instance. :)

 

The contextual nature of the solutions means that you will need to search for the ones coded; rather, they will be presented to you.

 

It's tough to answer about whether you will be overwhelmed by choice, though, at this stage. Certainly, it's not intended to be the case. ;)

 

Given that this is Ars Magica (with both the Order and the mundane society having "social" repercussions -- for good or ill -- of things the magi might do, and with Spont magic running loose in the game), having the Strategic AI understand the MANY ways that the PC's might legitimately alter the existing setting, is just... erm... boggling.

 

Each section of the game is contextual, so there are some things that a PC cannot do, even if, in the tabletop game, you might have the freedom (subject to your GM and the other Players cursing you from the other side of the table) to do them. Where actions are allowed, they have consequences, if that's the concern?

 

Let us know!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, based on what I've seen from the Kickstarters I've watched and backed this year, especially for videogames, being able to produce concept art, gameplay videos, and other multimedia assets for the duration of the Kickstarter is often integral for pulling in backers. Personally, while I've begun pimping the kickstarter on the fora I visit, I have already begun seeing the rumblings of "but they have nothing to show". Is there a timeline for updates on the kickstarter? I know, in the comments there, the expectation was that we'd see some concept art a week from today; can we expect anything before then?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

g33k;

 

Thanks for clarifying- right back at you: ;)

 

Finally -- and most confusingly, as mentioned above -- regarding the strategic/adventuring interface: this has, for me, long been the sticking-point of all computer "RPG" games. Getting a computer/AI to understand my proposed approach to any given in-game problem -- or rather, my figuring out which one (or few) of the very MANY possible and/or likely approaches) have been encoded in the game as "solutions" -- other than "hit it with the sword/fireball/AK47/etc" and "use the 'solve this problem MacGuffin' you earned last level" solutions -- has rendered most CRPG's into "CRAP-RPG's" for me... The experience usually leaves me feeling like the dev-team has set back the Turing Test by a decade or more.

 

When you add in the possible campaign/Saga/strategic consequences of (creatively-solved) adventure/story sections... well... the likelihood of a "good" (i.e., "accurate") strategic-level representation of the consequences of creative "adventuring" play just looks awfully unlikely.

 

I'm not 100% on the concern here, but as I understand it you are worried that there might be too many options to choose from, in any given situation? And, as a result, you might choose a default set that you fall back on? To a certain degree, I doubt this will be too much of a concern- your options are contextual. You won't be using a fireball to negotiate with a sinister merchant, for instance. :)

 

The contextual nature of the solutions means that you will need to search for the ones coded; rather, they will be presented to you.

 

It's tough to answer about whether you will be overwhelmed by choice, though, at this stage. Certainly, it's not intended to be the case. ;)

 

Rather the opposite: The computer (game-play AI) won't be able to parse out what the player wants to do. The possible ways for magi to "solve" a problem are so many, and the methods are so diverse, that I envision it being VERY tough for the game-play engine to grasp many -- in fact, the vast majority -- of the entirely-viable solutions; in particular, even moderately-specialized magi tend to be able to finesse their Arts so as to find entirely-reasonable applications, solve problems in entirely-unforseen ways.

 

Let's take your "negotiate with a sinister merchant" instance, for example. As you note, popping him with his own very personal bonfire probably isn't a good solution. :D (no matter HOW tempting, or HOW deserving he seems). But there are 14 other Arts than Ignem, 49 TechForm combo's besides Creo Ignem. The Corpus mage might PeCo him into thinking he's been poisoned -- and the PC is his only hope of getting an antidote; the Herbam mage might ACTUALLY poison him; the Intellego specialist may have arrived with all the leverage needed to soothe the merchant's sinister; and the Mentem mage may just ReMe "convince" the guy to cooperate; etc etc etc... Players usually pick the character-concept and magical specializations that they want to play... but how can one game-engine with pre-coded "solutions" offer even a tiny fraction of the viable solution-sets available to spont-equiped magi? It's a dramatically-worse case of my usual problem with CRPG's.

 

Relying on the pre-coded solutions -- as CRPG's must, by their very nature -- has always rubbed me the wrong way: it may be good for situations involving traps/puzzles/etc (such devices have a fixed method, by their nature), but NPC-driven obstacles should be more complex, the possible solutions likewise; and given the robust nature of ArM's spont-magic & ideosyncratic nature of magi & their specializations, I suspect that the pre-coded NPC's -- and the pre-coded solutions to the problems they present -- may be even more-frustrating than usual, making a mockery of the very joy that is spont magic.

 

 

- Steve, the g33k

(who really wishes he wasn't coming across so negatively... :( )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

g33k;

 

No negativity there- rather sound questions about what's possible in the engine!

 

There is no real way to capture the true gamut of possibilities presented by any video game situation, whether 'real' or 'fantastic', because all video games must be procedural. That's why, even in this day and age of games, we still play on the tabletop. It's also the reason we chose Ars Magica: because, even more so than other tabletop games, it's the one with the most role-playing. In our game, what you have available to use is contextual, so it's definitely limited in what's available for you to use at any given time. Those boundaries are further out than any other rpg we're aware of, of course, but in the end, they're still there.

 

Hope that you rubs you slightly less the wrong way. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Given the length of the game, longevity rituals will be needed to keep the 'main' character alive assuming that the magus never gets into trouble.

 

I take it that under the circumstances in which the 'main' character dies, either the game 'ends/reloads' or it continues with the rest of the characters moving onward. Which of the two/three ideas is correct?

 

Also, please answer the apprentice one, please...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quelan;

 

Unfortunately, we won't have Apprentices in this game. We want them, but they'll have to come as a stretch goal because of the complexity you mention.

 

Mr. Shades;

 

If the 'main character' dies, the game is over- so, you will need to conduct the Longevity Ritual. In this time period, you'll need a potion, mixed by your Parens, and you'll also want to learn the recipe as well. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I contributed to you on Kickstarter and encouraged others as well, so I really hope this gets made, but realistically, I think that raising $290,000 in advance for this type of game is unfortunately far too ambitious. Almost all successfully funded games have raised between $5k to $50k; only vary rare and unusually large projects from well known & established authors have reached mid 6-figure goals, many of which have large dev teams and costly technical features like 3D graphics. I hope Atlas Games wasn't requiring a high upfront license fee that made a large budget necessary, hopefully you can negotiate with them in view of the fact that Ars Magica is still a fairly small niche & this will actually promote interest in their books.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

orlanth;

 

We can't really speak to those other projects, but ~$50k is not really a valid budget for most games, especially not games (such as this one) which are filled to the brim with content. The budget we are hoping to fund on KS is not even the full amount needed to make the game- it represents the funds we need, but do not have.

 

Like you, we hope that the game can overcome its niche status and fund! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I, um, may have somehow manage to back this last week without really noticing it is from Black Chicken until I got here today. :mellow:

You aren't the only one, a bunch of new posts on the comment said they never heard of this until just now too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...