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Kannon Fodda

Kickstarter Game vs Early Access Game

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I don't expect everything to be set in stone.  Things evolve.  But I hope it is helpful to compare Battalion as it exists today, compared to what was originally envisaged when we first started this journey and were invited to join the Kickstarter.  By looking at this perhaps both players and Developers can establish whether expectations are being met, and why some are happy and others are not.

Please take a look at the Kickstarter listing and in particular watch the official video. Let's try and compare what was offered and what we have, this might help understand what is working and what is not:

A word frequently repeated in the video is "authentic".  It's used in many contexts, weaponry, maps and environment, sounds, replication of classic fps like Call of Duty 2, Medal of Honor.  In particular we get statements from Howard Pilpot "authentic down the barrel experience"  There is reference to nostalgia but in high res technology.    In some respects I consider they have delivered.  Sounds seem good.  Graphics are OK (and no doubt will be optomised even more).  The game doesn't need unlocks to play so does rely on player skill, rather than time served.

But there are two key areas where the game is not delivering on the original promises.

Maps.  There are plenty of references to Carentan and Bastoigne.  There is a whole video scene with Joe Brammer talking about St Mere Eglise.  Copyright on previous games may make it difficult to replicate the maps we knew from the original CoD, MOH or whatever, and in many cases those game maps were interpretations, rather than the real thing.  But the maps we have now are really a series of things in a style of the Normandy or other environment, but do not even pretend to be some of those well known scenarios.

Movement.  This is the biggest challenge.  It is the love or hate that I see have become the deal breaker for players.  Joe Brammer talks of using mo-cap to make animations "genuine, authentic and just way more real".  Howard Pilpot refers to "authentic down the barrel experience"  The video also refers to stripping out overpowered abilities.  So here lies the problem.  In the trailer video players are firmly planted on the ground when shooting, even if they are also walking or running.  There is absolutely no indication in the video of jump kills, bunny hopping and such like extremes.  Let's repeat the word "authentic" and ask ourselves whether the strafe jump pin point accuracy gravity defying leaps we currently see in Battalion are "genuine, authentic and way more real"? 

 

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What you've outlined above is what has been frustrating for me as a Kickstarter funder. I watched their video and the same quotes you mentioned above were the ones that resonated with me - "genuine, authentic and just way more real" "the most authentic, down the barrel experience of world war 2" "authenticity is at the heart of Battalion 1944" "a more authentic world war 2 experience" and the emphasis in the video of getting things right and being authentic with the shots of them going to the real world locations, handling the real guns and sampling their sounds. They sold it as being on the more realistic end of the FPS gauge. The graphics look like a downgrade too compared to the very nice looking foliage in the Kickstarter video and the animation looks poor when they went to great lengths to tell us what they had done to make it look "genuine, authentic and just way more real". 

I wasn't expecting something hardcore because of the way they emphasised the influence of Call of Duty 2 in both words and the way they placed the game boxes next to their PC's just to hammer that home. I was hoping for something along those lines, something a bit more authentic than CoD2 (after all its their favourite word) but without the unlocks but what I got was something that seems like it was designed only by the E-Sports side of the team they mentioned. Its too fast paced, too much twitch shooter, bunny hop, strafe jump and not the "authentic, down the barrel experience of world war 2" we were sold on. 

I'm hoping its not too late for Battalion 1944 but so far its the most disappointing game I have ever paid up front for in a Kickstarter or Early Access format. I'm hoping the movement speed can be slowed down, that the bunny hopping can be reduced and something can be done about the strafe jumping around corners while getting no-scope headshot kills. Its killing the game and the participation numbers don't lie and you cannot spin that any other way than people being turned off by what they are finding. Please also look at the level design, it just doesn't feel like you are running around a war torn town. There is not much in the way of debris and the general rubbish left around, its like the council have been round in their street cleaners before the match has started - add a bit of grit and grime! The buildings don't flow right either, you'll see a window on the outside of a building yet run through a corridor and see no door into it, yes its a small thing but just add some doors even if they are locked just to make it feel right and please again add some grime and rubbish, at the moment its just all too clean, even PUBG manages to 'grime up' their buildings better. Rising Storm 2: Vietnam looks a lot better when you are fighting in towns so its not Unreal Engine 4 causing any issues and please please please, if you have mo-cap for the animation of soldiers then please put it in the game because currently they look awful.

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On 24 febbraio 2018 at 7:11 PM, Revvin said:

What you've outlined above is what has been frustrating for me as a Kickstarter funder. I watched their video and the same quotes you mentioned above were the ones that resonated with me - "genuine, authentic and just way more real" "the most authentic, down the barrel experience of world war 2" "authenticity is at the heart of Battalion 1944" "a more authentic world war 2 experience" and the emphasis in the video of getting things right and being authentic with the shots of them going to the real world locations, handling the real guns and sampling their sounds. They sold it as being on the more realistic end of the FPS gauge. The graphics look like a downgrade too compared to the very nice looking foliage in the Kickstarter video and the animation looks poor when they went to great lengths to tell us what they had done to make it look "genuine, authentic and just way more real". 

I wasn't expecting something hardcore because of the way they emphasised the influence of Call of Duty 2 in both words and the way they placed the game boxes next to their PC's just to hammer that home. I was hoping for something along those lines, something a bit more authentic than CoD2 (after all its their favourite word) but without the unlocks but what I got was something that seems like it was designed only by the E-Sports side of the team they mentioned. Its too fast paced, too much twitch shooter, bunny hop, strafe jump and not the "authentic, down the barrel experience of world war 2" we were sold on. 

I'm hoping its not too late for Battalion 1944 but so far its the most disappointing game I have ever paid up front for in a Kickstarter or Early Access format. I'm hoping the movement speed can be slowed down, that the bunny hopping can be reduced and something can be done about the strafe jumping around corners while getting no-scope headshot kills. Its killing the game and the participation numbers don't lie and you cannot spin that any other way than people being turned off by what they are finding. Please also look at the level design, it just doesn't feel like you are running around a war torn town. There is not much in the way of debris and the general rubbish left around, its like the council have been round in their street cleaners before the match has started - add a bit of grit and grime! The buildings don't flow right either, you'll see a window on the outside of a building yet run through a corridor and see no door into it, yes its a small thing but just add some doors even if they are locked just to make it feel right and please again add some grime and rubbish, at the moment its just all too clean, even PUBG manages to 'grime up' their buildings better. Rising Storm 2: Vietnam looks a lot better when you are fighting in towns so its not Unreal Engine 4 causing any issues and please please please, if you have mo-cap for the animation of soldiers then please put it in the game because currently they look awful.

I don't want to sound mean but dude there are lots of games out there that are exactly how you want battalion to be and many others are coming soon, on the other hand the cod2/cod4 community has been looking for a spiritual successor of those games for years and battalion is the game which resembles the most old CoDs, why do you want to turn the game into the average realistic fps game the market is already full of? I get you were expecting something else, but let me tell you the game is never going to be like you want it to be, yes in future there will be mods aimed to make the gameplay more realistic, but I doubt they'll ever be as good as a game built from the ground up around that concept (Post Scriptum, Hell let loose i.e)

Edited by Zane
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14 minutes ago, Zane said:

cod2/cod4 community has been looking for a spiritual successor of those games for years and battalion is the game which resembles the most old CoDs, 

I'm pretty sure that COD4 promod community is more or less contented with B44, not sure about truly old CoDs communities. B44 resembles nothing from vCOD/COD2, besides World War II setting of course.

@Revvin Rising Storm 2 was made on Unreal Engine 3 :D 

@Zane It's not about changing this game into a war simulator. We don't want it to be another Red Orchestra, for that we'll get Hell Let Loose or Post Scriptum. We just want this game as realistic as it can in terms of an esport game, a game without strafejumping with 100% accuracy or (example) caliber .30 BAR giving lower damage than 9mm MP40 (and don't start here with stopping power, will ya).

Edited by craven.
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19 minutes ago, Zane said:

I don't want to sound mean but dude there are lots of games out there that are exactly how you want battalion to be and many others are coming soon, on the other hand the cod2/cod4 community has been looking for a spiritual successor of those games for years and battalion is the game which resembles the most old CoDs, why do you want to turn the game into the average realistic fps game, the market is already full of? I get you were expecting something else, but let me tell you the game is never going to be like you want it to be, yes in future there will be mods aimed to make the gameplay more realistic, but I doubt they'll ever be as good as a game built from the ground up around that concept (Post Scriptum, Hell let loose i.e)

You've not read what I posted, I play a wide variety of games, from Doom, Fortnite, PUBG, CoD WW2, Battlefield 1, SQUAD, RS2:V, I'm not asking for a Post Scriptum or a Hell Let Loose, I will buy those games because of what they set out to be. What I'm disappointed with is despite many uses of the word "authentic" and quotes such as "genuine, authentic and just way more real" "the most authentic, down the barrel experience of world war 2" "authenticity is at the heart of Battalion 1944" "a more authentic world war 2 experience" they have delivered something more akin to an arena shooter like Quake in the speed and way its played. I don't think anyone expected a hyper realistic shooter but a lot of people are unhappy to find something described as being "authentic" is plagued with bunny hopping and strafe jumping no-scopers. The market for a more realistic CoD WW2 is there IMHO because the current twitch shooting CoD4 promod fans certainly are not when you look at the significant decline in numbers playing. 

11 minutes ago, craven. said:

I'm pretty sure that COD4 promod community is more or less contented with B44, not sure about truly old CoDs communities. B44 resembles nothing from vCOD/COD2, besides World War II setting of course.

@Revvin Rising Storm 2 was made on Unreal Engine 3 :D 

Well I stand corrected and even more unfortunate for Battalion 1944 that a game based on an older engine that has better looking war torn streets and towns. Unfortunately that CoD promod community is very small and its not sustaining the interest in this game based on the activity numbers from Steam.

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I was never expecting (or wanting) a realism game.  CoD 2, CoD 4, etc aren't realism.  But the movement mechanic we have now has moved far past the capabilities of authenticity.  The physical height and distance of single and repeated leaps and bounds is far beyond the capabilities of an athlete.

I get that the devs have taken the game they have built in a certain direction.  That may have been what they intended, or it may have evolved.  It is also their right to do that with their game. 

Battalion in it's current form may well represent Bulkhead's interpretation of the classic games they played years ago.  It may be that they weren't playing the vanilla versions of those games and were parts of the modding communities that existed so that they were used to different game behaviour.  Unfortunately those of us who are "whinging" are doing so as what we are being presented with is not our recollection of those classic games.  Yes in the standard versions of those classic games there was some bunny hopping and dolphin behaviour, but it wasn't the technique for whopping the opposition.  It wasn't something that you could retain tremendous accuracy whilst bounding around.  It was frustrating to be on the wrong end of the classic bunny hopper, but it didn't stretch the incredulity that the casual player was immediately deterred.

I suppose the question was and is one of whether Battalion 1944 was intended and designed to be a game purely for competition and thus a specific enthusiast, or should it be aimed more generally at the masses?  It did seem from the Kickstarter that they wanted to appeal to all.  I haven't the skill to play competitive (my user name is an accurate summary of my inability).  I had hoped to see a game that by stripping out all the kill streak perks and such like that accentuated the good player over the bad, and took things back to basics, meant I at least had a point and shoot chance.  But with the mechanic as it is, that has no reference to authenticity, I and many others stand no chance at all.  At the simplest of levels that makes the game a frustrating, and disappointing experience.

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42 minutes ago, craven. said:

@Zane It's not about changing this game into a war simulator. We don't want it to be another Red Orchestra, for that we'll get Hell Let Loose or Post Scriptum. We just want this game as realistic as it can in terms of an esport game, a game without strafejumping with 100% accuracy or (example) caliber .30 BAR giving lower damage than 9mm MP40 (and don't start here with stopping power, will ya).

Realism and competitive don't go very well together, also the desciption of what you'd want them to change goes against the kind of gameplay Battalion has, if those changes were to be made the game would turn in a mess with no identity, it would be a cheap version of CS but with ADS (btw no competitive game bases damage values on caliber)

27 minutes ago, Revvin said:

Well I stand corrected and even more unfortunate for Battalion 1944 that a game based on an older engine that has better looking war torn streets and towns. Unfortunately that CoD promod community is very small and its not sustaining the interest in this game based on the activity numbers from Steam.

Well it's not like realistic games are doing that great either, RS:Vietnam has a playerbase similar to Battalion's, despite being a fully released game and Squad has just 2k more players currently. The numbers are so small because the game is still under development and doesn't have enough content to entertain most players for a long amount of time

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As I said, it's not about realism. It's about taking certain approach to the topic. This game is rather more like Quake than COD/MOH. Nobody stands that vCOD was realistic, but compared to B44 it looks like freakin' Insurgency against Team Fortress... I have this tiny hope that resolving netcode issues will improve gameplay a lot but it's a long shot and can't get really hyped for that unfortunately.

Edited by craven.
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5 minutes ago, craven. said:

As I said, it's not about realism. It's about taking certain approach to the topic. This game is rather more like Quake than COD/MOH. Nobody stands that vCOD was realistic, but compared to B44 it looks like freakin' Insurgency against Team Fortress... I have this tiny hope that resolving netcode issues will improve gameplay a lot but it's a long shot and can't get really hyped for that unfortunately.

THe netcode is a massive change. Also the SMGs have also been nerfed. I think you'll find the game is a little slower.

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50 minutes ago, Zane said:

Realism and competitive don't go very well together, also the desciption of what you'd want them to change goes against the kind of gameplay Battalion has, if those changes were to be made the game would turn in a mess with no identity, it would be a cheap version of CS but with ADS (btw no competitive game bases damage values on caliber)

Well it's not like realistic games are doing that great either, RS:Vietnam has a playerbase similar to Battalion's, despite being a fully released game and Squad has just 2k more players currently. The numbers are so small because the game is still under development and doesn't have enough content to entertain most players for a long amount of time

I'm asking for the game that was advertised in their Kickstarter which wasn't ultra realistic but not what we have now. It seems pretty pointless to go through all the motion capture (still waiting to see evidence of that in game though) and to sample sounds and textures on the weapons when the twitch E-Sports gamers they appear to now be targeting could not care less what the sounds or textures were. Joe Brammer dramatically holds up a gun in the Kickstarter video and talks about the sounds but your E-Sports player doesn't care about that, it may as well just be a beep for all they care, its quicker and doesn't distract from other sounds so why bother? the guns may as well go "pew pew" it doesn't matter. What was the point of visiting real locations? that doesn't matter to E-Sports, its just an arena. It gave the developers a couple of nice holidays granted but seems wasted if all along this was going to be an E-sports title and not the "authentic" game Battalion was described as being, that it was going to be "the most authentic, down the barrel experience of world war 2" "authenticity is at the heart of Battalion 1944". 

RS2:V and SQUAD are niche titles that never set out to be mass market titles and the same goes for Post Scriptum and Hell Let Loose but with Battalion what they described was aiming down the middle of the road where they stood to pick up a lot of jaded Call of Duty fans. Instead of creating what they described they went down the route of creating a title to cater for that incredibly niche and not "authentic" in any way shape or form CoD4 promod player who will then look to mod it further and create an even narrower niche. Thats why the numbers are tailing off. Those hopeful jaded Call of Duty players came here off the back of that Kickstarter campaign and see a niche subset being catered for. Why not make that game for the masses and if modding is going to be so popular let someone create a promod  mod for that niche but to be a competitive shooter you need an online community and they don't have that because the game is dying on its feet.

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Simply put me, and probably many others, gathered from the very first kickstarter videos that we'll get something close to MoHAA and CoD1. Instead we got this ADHD CoD4 turd dressed up in a WW2 skin. Frankly I wasn't paying much attention to the subsequent videos and press releases, or whatever, only to the kickstarter e-mail news. Regardless that doesn't matter because I gave them my money at that point already so the damage has been done whether I knew it or not.

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2 hours ago, Tygrys said:

Simply put me, and probably many others, gathered from the very first kickstarter videos that we'll get something close to MoHAA and CoD1. Instead we got this ADHD CoD4 turd dressed up in a WW2 skin. Frankly I wasn't paying much attention to the subsequent videos and press releases, or whatever, only to the kickstarter e-mail news. Regardless that doesn't matter because I gave them my money at that point already so the damage has been done whether I knew it or not.

I never funded anything on Kickstarter, that's why I'm asking you. When you give money to a Kickstarter project can you get it back?

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On 25/02/2018 at 8:53 PM, Tygrys said:

Simply put me, and probably many others, gathered from the very first kickstarter videos that we'll get something close to MoHAA and CoD1. Instead we got this ADHD CoD4 turd dressed up in a WW2 skin. Frankly I wasn't paying much attention to the subsequent videos and press releases, or whatever, only to the kickstarter e-mail news. Regardless that doesn't matter because I gave them my money at that point already so the damage has been done whether I knew it or not.

I totally agree .I did watch updates and later videos and soon discovered that I had bought a pig in a poke. I would never have backed it if I'd known how it was going to change.

On 25/02/2018 at 11:12 PM, Grasshopper said:

I never funded anything on Kickstarter, that's why I'm asking you. When you give money to a Kickstarter project can you get it back?

When you back on kickstarter your backing an idea and your moneys gone 

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