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DF Anthony

MASSIVE CHALICE Coming to Xbox One!

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Hey Everyone!

We had an exciting announcement at the Microsoft E3 press conference earlier today! We're bringing MASSIVE CHALICE to the Xbox One early next year! :D!

xbox-one-logo-wallpaper.jpg

We thought we'd kick out a quick update to clear up any confusion that this might cause. Nothing has changed with our plans to bring MASSIVE CHALICE to the PC and to make it available for our backers first. YEAH! During this time we'll be porting the game to the Xbox One.

As soon as we're done porting the game, we'll launch it as a console exclusive on Xbox One. We're super stoked to have this additional support in giving MASSIVE CHALICE the next-gen console treatment!

We hope that this clears up any questions that you might have had. We'll be back with a Teamstream real soon! :D!

Thanks so much for your support!

- Anthony

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Good to hear about the PC version focus. All DF games should of course be on every platform known to man (CD32 version plz), but when I backed this with $100, it was for a PC game. But with this information all is well.

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I think this is pretty good news--more platforms definitely means a larger reach, and hopefully MC can get some extra free updates or DLC to add some sweet features that were cut as part of original scope. Fingers crossed, of course.

Smiles

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I think this is pretty good news--more platforms definitely means a larger reach, and hopefully MC can get some extra free updates or DLC to add some sweet features that were cut as part of original scope. Fingers crossed, of course.
It's probably good news for DLC (Vanguard plz?) since it means more sales, but Microsoft has historically been against free updates. At least on the 360, I think that publishers/developers could only push a finite number of free patches, and everything after that had to be DLC. And when I say "finite," I want to say it was something like "2."

That doesn't preclude free updates for PC -- it's not like TF2 was held up by the XBOX version of The Orange Box -- but it probably introduces some new wrinkles.

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I hope it's only a limited exclusivity as I would love to see as many DF games as possible wind up on Nintendo's consoles eventually. (Hopefully everything from Psychonauts to Massive Chalice.) That said, if this means you're getting a ton of money from Microsoft it sounds like a good thing and I'm going to be playing the game on Linux anyway. Congrats!

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The kickstarter backers outside of the forums seem a little more skeptical about all of this, and foresee a dumbed-down game to accommodate the console. I don't get this vibe, but I'm sure they'll want some reassurement.

Smiles

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Nice to see. Not planning on getting an Xbone but more platforms is always good as long as it doesn't hurt us PC gamers getting it. I personally want to see tablets more though, since the interface on them is well set up for this sort of game (and there are far too few tablet games that aren't dumbed down).

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Yeah, I don't get all the negativity in the kickstarter announcements. We all backed a project that was planned for pc, nothing seems to be changing about that. The only new thing is that Microsoft is helping fund production of an xbox version which is nice for people who own that platform and nice that the game will be available to a wider audience. Exposing great strategy games to a wider audience will just mean that there is more of a chance of future great strategy games.

I presume the team has looked at the xbox version of xcom and will be making a version like that. From what I've seen it's a fine port.

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I don't quite understand the negativity, either! We're not sure how to respond to it since it might just make things worse... I thought our messaging was pretty clear and you guys really seem to understand. Thanks! :D!

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I don't quite understand the negativity, either! We're not sure how to respond to it since it might just make things worse... I thought our messaging was pretty clear and you guys really seem to understand. Thanks! :D!

I think the people who just follow the Kickstarter updates aren't as clued into the development as those of us who are here regularly and who have seen every livestream event. I mean some of it is probably simple entitlement issues, but you can obviously understand where it is coming from. People have been burned by stuff like this before, I get why people are worried, but most seem to be overreacting.

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I don't quite understand the negativity, either! We're not sure how to respond to it since it might just make things worse... I thought our messaging was pretty clear and you guys really seem to understand. Thanks! :D!

I think the people who just follow the Kickstarter updates aren't as clued into the development as those of us who are here regularly and who have seen every livestream event. I mean some of it is probably simple entitlement issues, but you can obviously understand where it is coming from. People have been burned by stuff like this before, I get why people are worried, but most seem to be overreacting.

Right, I think this sums things up pretty well.

@Brad, I think simply keeping the folks who only check kickstarter updates just more in the loop about progress will probably help alleviate their worries -- if they can see the sweet progress, and the things aren't getting "dumbed down" for consoles, things will probably be okay.

Smiles

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Also, people generally love their righteous indignation. It's easy to pull that out on the internet, and it feels like people get addicted to it. Everything that doesn't directly benefit them becomes an affront to them. It's sad, and childish, but this is what we get for giving everyone a platform to yell from.

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I don't quite understand the negativity, either! We're not sure how to respond to it since it might just make things worse... I thought our messaging was pretty clear and you guys really seem to understand. Thanks! :D!

It seems that the angry posts on are a mix of people that are angry that you got money from a large corporation and think you sold out, Sony fans angry you made a deal with Microsoft, and people that think you made a shady deal with "their" game.

The first category is the same kind of hate that Oculus Rift got from some of their backers. People feel that they invested their money in a crowd-funded indie game and that any other funding the game gets is a big company stealing their game or unjustly profiting from the money they pledged. They feel that Microsoft is now dictating how the game will be designed or that by porting it to a console the game they get will be made worse.

The Sony fans are angry that you went with "M$" over their console and mad that you didn't ask the backers which console they would prefer to have the game on. They feel that the exclusive deal is somehow taking away a version of the game from them even though that version was never promised to anyone. They feel robbed of something and mad that they have the wrong $400 machine. A game company they like isn't validating their ideas of who the best console maker is and they're mad.

Then there are people that feel like any sudden announcement like this without vetting it with them first is a misuse of their money. These people feel that as a backer they should have a say over every major decision that comes up while making the game. They're very emotionally invested and think that anything they don't completely agree with is a misuse of the money they gave you.

A lot of comments are a mix of all three opinions. I think the best thing to do would be to keep emphasizing that you're still 100% focused on making the same great game they helped fund on the PC. People get very emotional when they feel that control of a thing they "own" is being taken away from them and there probably wasn't much you could do to mitigate the crazy feedback. They think that by pledging $20 or more they now have a seat on the board of directors, which is just a general problem across kickstarter. If you're having a teamstream tomorrow I'd be prepared for some haters in the chat.

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Okay, this negative reaction has totally blindsided me but this all amounts to maybe 1 or 2 dozen people who posted comments to the Kickstarter page.

I guess you guys need to get out in front of this with the messaging. No backer money was/will be used to create the Xbox port. This Xbox port will not delay the release of the PC version of the game. Microsoft is exercising no creative or executive control over the project. This is a PC first game and that design will not be compromised for the Xbox. It might be worth it to emphasize that previously the game was only coming to PC and nothing about that has changed. This is a 100% value-added scenario. If not all of these things are true then I think you'll have a slightly rougher time.

A bunch of people just don't get how these kinds of deals work. If Microsoft wants to use your game as an announcement in its E3 presser, you can't be letting thousands of people know what you're doing beforehand.

A majority of the posters seem to have a moral objection to console exclusives. They hold DoubleFine partially responsible for participating in a culture that they disagree with. I don't know what you could tell these people except that Microsoft is paying the development costs for the Xbox port and so they required exclusivity. Think of the Xbox port as a first party Microsoft game.

Some people clearly belonging to BillTheCat's first group don't understand how indie development works. They are expecting DoubleFine with a studio of 60 people to operate like Vlambeer with a team of 2 people and never take money from any major publisher ever. I guess you could try to explain that indie studios are always partnering with publishers to make games, but I'm not sure it would help.

I implore anyone from the forums who wants engage with dissatisfied posters to keep a few rules in mind: 1) Acknowledge their concerns rather than belittling them 2) Keep a very calm and civil tone.

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All I have to say is that it's good to see Microsoft didn't hold you guys calling them bastards in the Kickstarter video against you. :P

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I don't quite understand the negativity, either! We're not sure how to respond to it since it might just make things worse... I thought our messaging was pretty clear and you guys really seem to understand. Thanks! :D!

Ya! You have been clear from the beginning that the game was being built for the PC, but that it could get picked up and ported to other platforms.

I am super excited about the news. I've been hoping for a console port because more people will get to experience this game. It's that simple. I've been telling my brother about the game for some time now, but he doesn't play PC games so he never really paid attention to me. Now that it’s coming to the XBOX ONE he wants to help me create our Bloodline.

I also can't wait to see the card you designed for M15 Brad! Keep up the good work!

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@Anytus / @BillTheCat - Dang you guys that is a seriously thoughtful breakdown of the situation. Thanks for posting! It's really helping me think about what our next step should be!

@Latti - That's so cool about your brother! I'm stoked to see console-only gamers get a crack at the game. And my M15 card should be announced soon! I'm pretty excited! :D!

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As others have stated above, I suspect the biggest problem is lack of engagement by some backers with the MC team.

Those people who backed on Kickstarter, but do not watch the MC teamstreams, probably don't have the same understanding of Brad and the Team's (good) intentions. A certain level of trust and high esteem has been developed over the months, which is hard to replicate via occasional text updates on Kickstarter.

As a result, some people jump to understandable (though largely unfounded and incorrect) conclusions regarding development.

Don't let it get you down Brad (and the Team), we still love you! Most of the unhappy comments are just the result of a misunderstanding, and only a temporary bump on the road you've allowed us to share.

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I think another issue is why Microsoft seems to be interested NOW. Perhaps people feel that you must have presented the idea for this game to Microsoft before the Kickstarter and they turned you down hence the reason for a Kickstarter. So now that the project got funded and the game was made a reality, it's only NOW, for some reason, that Microsoft was interested in funding an Xbone version.

I can see why people might be upset or confused from that point of view.

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AFAIK, Massive Chalice was never pitched to any publishers, it went straight to Kickstarter.

Brazen might have been pitched to Microsoft at some point, I'm not sure exactly what publishers they showed that game to. The "bastards" line in the Kickstarter video was referring to Microsoft owning the IP rights to Iron Brigade, just in case there's any confusion that that might have been referring to Microsoft turning down MC or something like that.

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Brad and all the Massive Chalice forum I just want to address a misconception I see on this thread. It seems that some of the people here seem to think that those of us that aren't posting are not engaged in this development. While I mostly lurk on the forums I have watched nearly every minute of the team streams and try to keep up to date where I can. Let me address at least how I felt as a backer on this announcement in the hope that you can understand my feelings.

I am thrilled that this game will see a console release. I am however very disappointed that I will most likely not be taking part. Please understand that I would have been more than happy if the game was announced as exclusively debuting on a platform. I realize the costs associated with porting the engine and game are non-trivial as well as the costs of keeping a team on a game. Just taking other platforms out of the discussion completely is unfortunate. I also worry about what this means for SteamOS as it could potentially be seen as a console platform depending on contract wording. Will we see problems there?

I guess ultimately the biggest frustration is the way that this was announced makes it an absolutely opaque business decision to us. If we were told that it was a decision made because otherwise it wouldn't make it to consoles it would be more understandable. I think honestly ever a simple statement that "this wasn't an easy decision but we felt it was with the best interest of the game would have helped." The way it was announced felt very much like we, your backers, were indirectly devalued.

TL:DR/conclusion

This won't change my feelings about Double Fine and I still look forward to nearly all your releases. Ultimately I just wish there had been a lot more clarity about this announcement and the reasons behind it as it felt somewhat disingenuous after all the talk of independent and open production. In any case congrats again on 1 year of Massive Chalice development. It is looking amazing and I can't wait for release. Maybe this can become the second DF game to find a sequel!

(Also I cut this down significantly as it was incredibly long and rambling before. If anything doesn't make sense I apologize and it was probably at least partially because of something else I cut out.)

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AFAIK, Massive Chalice was never pitched to any publishers, it went straight to Kickstarter.

Well, see, this is a problem isn't it? Because isn't the whole point of doing a Kickstarter because you couldn't find a publisher? i.e. the game couldn't be made any other way? But apparently it could be because Microsoft is interested in it being on their platform.

That seems like people have a reason to be upset. *shrug*

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AFAIK, Massive Chalice was never pitched to any publishers, it went straight to Kickstarter.

Well, see, this is a problem isn't it? Because isn't the whole point of doing a Kickstarter because you couldn't find a publisher? i.e. the game couldn't be made any other way? But apparently it could be because Microsoft is interested in it being on their platform.

That seems like people have a reason to be upset. *shrug*

Just the amount of money and risk needed for a platform conversion is on a completely different level then funding a full game.

In that way it isn't even comparable.

Also for steamos this doesn't matter anything this game will be released for Linux and Linux games will work on steamos.

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Well, see, this is a problem isn't it? Because isn't the whole point of doing a Kickstarter because you couldn't find a publisher?

I don't really understand the idea that Kickstarter is only for developers that have already spent months pitching to publishers and are now desperate. I haven't watched it in ages, but I was pretty sure that even the pitch video said that MC was a brand new idea brought straight to Kickstarter, and MC is definitely not the first or only game idea to go straight to Kickstarter instead of being shopped around to publishers first.

I view Kickstarter as an alternative to publishers, not a last resort. For some games, Kickstarter just makes sense and is the go-to choice. For others, maybe a traditional publishing deal is the best way to go.

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AFAIK, Massive Chalice was never pitched to any publishers, it went straight to Kickstarter.

Well, see, this is a problem isn't it? Because isn't the whole point of doing a Kickstarter because you couldn't find a publisher? i.e. the game couldn't be made any other way? But apparently it could be because Microsoft is interested in it being on their platform.

That seems like people have a reason to be upset. *shrug*

The idea of a kickstarter is just to realize a project, that could not have been made otherwise. Even if MS would have been interested, it would have been a whole different situation then what they got with the kickstarter - no livestreams, not owning the IP, publisher influence in the development, etc (based on what I know about games development as a fan, I work in different field of software development myself).

I had reservations about this, because you worry that developers will loose focus, but I feel reassured after DF's explanation, so all good for me. Keep up the good work, Brad & the team. :)

I hope that the XBOX One version will bring more money to DF for future projects, but I have pretty much zero interest in that version otherwise, since I have prefer to not be more of Microsoft consumer then neccessary (Windows, Visual Studio) since I don't trust or like them as a company.

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Some good analysis in this thread from Anytus and Billthecat - I would second the recommendation that saying nothing is probably not the way to go.

Kickstarters do have a way of descending into righteous indignation; a good portion of the projects I have backed end up with people talking about something in an update being a 'slap in the face', but for backers who are suspicious of shenanigans, meeting their (admittedly unfounded) concerns with silence is only likely to increase the suspicion...

I think a lot of backers have taken the idea of the kickstarter as a situation where they are helping the underdog DF to produce a game in defiance of the narrow-minded traditional publishers (a view which the promotional stuff for the kickstarter may have helped to create, to be fair). From that perspective, becoming involved with Microsoft at any point seems like some kind of ideal has been sold out (even if that ideal is one that has been imposed on you in people's imaginations rather than one you ever specifically claimed to represent). This might be a tricky message to get across, but an update making clear that MS will not be dictating anything about the direction the game takes would probably help.

For the folks who are annoyed because they think that making a console version will 'dumb down' or otherwise ruin the game they are excited about, I presume the majority are not following the forums or video updates, or they would better know how the design is coming together. If they're not following along here or in the streams, and kickstarter is their only source of ongoing info then a explanatory update may be the only way that their concerns will be allayed. Maybe point out that the video streams have lots of footage of the game as it comes together, so people are welcome to watch and draw their own conclusions about dumbing down.

For the folks who are anti-exclusivity, I think it will be a harder sell, since the basic fact is that yes - you are going to release a console exclusive version of the game. If you're allowed to talk about it, then probably at least filling backers in on how long the exclusivity period is likely to be (if it is time-limited) would be a good idea. Maybe also emphasising that this is all additional good stuff on top of the PC game which was promised, and is still the main objective would be a good idea too. (If you're not allowed to talk about it, then I think telling backers that is probably your only recourse, and be prepared for a shitstorm in that circumstance, since it would seem to verify that the project is headed into evil corporate territory).

Basically I think all the negativity really comes down to being the bad side of what is actually kind of a good thing - people are really invested in this game. We feel like we helped make it happen, and look forward to a little slice of the pride that goes along with that when it comes out and we see it in the flesh, with ideas we saw in early form manifested in cooler ways, and maybe contributions from people we have seen around the forum etc.

People have different ideas about what the crowdfunding model means, but an expectation that seems to be shared by a lot of backers is that the communication will be different - that it will be more of an informal relationship where we get to watch things take shape and problems be overcome, and where things will be discussed with us. I think some backers take this to mean that they ought to have more control over what direction the game takes, or at least an opportunity to be heard on these subjects. Even if they disagree with what you have to say, a response would go some of the way to letting people know that you're paying attention.

In any case, my $0.02 is that it would be a good idea to respond on kickstarter to some concerns. It would at least help mollify the backers who are angry for uninformed reasons. Part of what made the Ouya launch disasterous was a combination of silence at the wrong time, and responding in marketing speak when they did actually provide an update. I think an evasive HR language update would be about the worst response at this point, followed by no response at all. Remember that the delusional idea that we're all friends who are working shoulder-to-shoulder on something can work both ways - it might make people unreasonably entitled, but it also means you are not compelled to respond in too formal a fashion. How would you explain the position to someone who approached you at the pub and said they'd heard your cool game was going to be shafted by Microsoft?

In any case, keep the faith! The game is looking fantastic.

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I totally understand the distrust and even antipathy toward the large publishers and console makers who rarely offer anything innovative and original. And while the Kickstarter video was explicit that MC was being brought directly to the public instead of after failing to pitch it to publishers, the re-enactment of Brad's experience pitching Brazen created an implication that MC might (would?) also be denied.

While it would be nice to hear if there are design changes coming for the Xbone version, I don't understand why people are expecting a dumbed down PC experience. Brad got inspired in a major way by the console-focused new XCOM. They've talked about supporting gamepads for PC users, so the UI and controls shouldn't be altered by the port's existence. DF were never shy about wanting to take MC to more platforms than PC/Mac/Linux and were clear that more money would be needed before they could make any additional commitments.

I for one am excited that this awesome game I Backed is going to be on one of the major consoles. This is the first game announcement to make me consider a Xbone. I'm guessing that last gen consoles are too underpowered, otherwise a 360 port would make me very happy. I understand that PS gamers are disappointed that MC won't be coming to them (at least not soon), but much like the Grim Fandango announcement, an outside party is funding the development of the port and unsurprisingly they want exclusivity. I certainly don't feel betrayed or swindled by this announcement.

If this didn't happen and MC didn't become a big success, there might never be ports to the consoles for anybody. Now, it's guaranteed exposure to a wider audience.

The only thing I would like to know is what design and post release (DLC/expansions) differences there may be between the PC/Mac/Linux version and the console port. I imagine that the answers for some of the Backers' questions are contractually bound to silence for now (Microsoft likely wants some control on messaging for the port) and it's very likely that others are simply too far out for DF to answer reliably.

I've really enjoyed watching this game's development and I have zero worries that the initial release is going to be adversely affected by this news. Thanks again DF for pitching this game and for letting us watch it get made!

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hey for the extra copy backer reward could we get a xbone download code instead of a steam key? that would be cool

I am also curious about this as well, as I'm picking up an Xbox One soon. I know Steam is really gracious with letting developers give away Steam keys, but I wonder whether Microsoft would allow keys to be given so readily. Still, I am curious whether it would be an option (although obviously there is no obligation since the kickstarter expressly stated PC, Mac, Linux keys)

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