Eschalon Trilogy Post-Mortem

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Eschalon Trilogy Post-Mortem

Post by BasiliskWrangler » March 24th, 2014, 4:38 pm

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Re: Eschalon Trilogy Post-Mortem

Post by john1v6 » March 24th, 2014, 5:44 pm

One thing is for sure: Eschalon is done. There will not be another Eschalon game, and the Eschalon engine will not be used again. Beyond this absolute truth, I am honestly just as as curious as our fans are to discover what is next for Basilisk Games!
Well, I certainly hope that you continue creating awesome games like the Eschalon series. We over-30 nostalgic retro-RPG lovers need our fix. It's been a great trilogy. Thanks for making it.
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Re: Eschalon Trilogy Post-Mortem

Post by Ssschah » March 24th, 2014, 6:01 pm

Whatever happens with Book 3's sales over the next 6 months, I hope you know that you have the communities full support. We will back you on the decision you make next. Great trilogy, and great company!
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Re: Eschalon Trilogy Post-Mortem

Post by Vroqren » March 24th, 2014, 6:02 pm

As one of the under 30's here, I would just like to mention that from the time my brother first introduced me to the series in 2009 or so, I have been completely hooked. I'll admit that this is really the only single-player RPG that I've ever played, and I certainly think I couldn't have had a better start. I was so entranced by the whole concept of everything that there was no room for criticism from me.
Once again, thank you for the wonderful series BW, and I have sincere hope that Basilisk Games has continuous success, both with the Eschalon Series, and any potential future series.

Cheers!

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Re: Eschalon Trilogy Post-Mortem

Post by MyGameCompany » March 24th, 2014, 6:08 pm

Although, I will give some advice to other indie developers: do not let a large project take over your life. It’s very easy to find yourself working day and night, weekends and holidays, all towards the dream that your game will be loved by all and will sell a million copies in six months. That kind of success is extremely rare and the mental burnout that you experience from such an extended, crushing workload can have long-lasting, negative effects.
I can second that - that's exactly what happened to me, and why I had to close My Game Company.

Definitely don't let that happen to you, BW!
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Re: Eschalon Trilogy Post-Mortem

Post by IJBall » March 24th, 2014, 7:40 pm

Prismatic Maelstrom wrote:
...and more than once I drew the ire of Eschalon fans for trying to add a feature that I hoped might draw in new customers.
You mean like that time you were going to add a game rule that gave the player full automap for a 20% penalty to the end-game score?
"Ire"? I'm not sure I ever saw any evidence of "ire" from the forum posters around here. Yeah, sure - a couple of times, myself and others said, "Why make this change?" (i.e. do the benefits outweigh the negative implications for game-series continuity?). But I don't think I ever saw "ire" in response to a proposal... :wink:
Last edited by IJBall on March 26th, 2014, 8:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Eschalon Trilogy Post-Mortem

Post by Weird Heather » March 25th, 2014, 11:13 pm

I have been very happy with these games. I am certainly part of that niche market that Eschalon is designed to satisfy. I am an old school gamer who grew up playing the early Ultima games on an Atari 800, and I have dabbled in game programming over the years, but I don't have the energy or patience to create a new game from scratch. Role playing games that offer good stories, opportunities for exploration, and game mechanics that do not require quick action and good hand-eye coordination are my favorites.

The big game studios try to come up with games that appeal to the masses, and in computer games, the masses seem to like fancy graphics and lots of action. A top-down 2-D game with turn based combat is unlikely to satisfy them, but it is precisely the sort that I like. I am glad that there are independent developers who are willing to market to niches and who are conscious of the origins of role playing games and understand what makes the old ones good.

This series has had a good run; it offers just about everything I want in a role playing game. Even though there will be no new official games in the series, there will be new content. Mods will certainly help to keep the series alive and will provide the new stories and places to explore that many of us crave.

I will eagerly await the next project from Basilisk Games. Meanwhile, thank you for taking the risk to provide a series of games that deviate from the contemporary trends that the big companies follow. I hope all the hard work has paid off.

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Re: Eschalon Trilogy Post-Mortem

Post by KillingMoon » March 26th, 2014, 1:12 am

I doubt it has much to do with what you grew up with whether you're going to like a game like Eschalon or not. I purchased my first computer in 2006 and then knew nothing about computer games. Getting into Eschalon Book I wasn't nostalgia for me.
With me it's like with films; big budgets and special effects are dominating the scene, and I don't care for it.
Games are trying to mimic movies, and they're targeted solely towards a teenage audience that can be impressed by kick-ass explosions and expensive visual trickery. Chances are that if you're over 30 you will start to care less for that sort of thing anyway.

With films probably most people just care about the special effects, but with games I believe the market is different. Heroes of Might and Magic VI received an awful lot of stick from fans over its mechanics, good graphics didn't seem to pull anyone over. Civilization V in its vanilla form also received heaps of criticism, over shoddy diplomacy and cut features. The game had way better graphics than its predecessors, but that meant little to the fans of the series (expansions made a difference, they added a lot).
With films complete shallowness can be forgiven as long as it looks good, and a film only lasts 90 mins, but game fans like to spend way more time with a game, and that probably makes the demand for content bigger. I think the big game developers are slightly underestimating this, or it might be they're just taking the easy road, as reaching high standards with graphics is easy if you have the resources, but producing story lines and mechanics that fit together well and have some level of originality is much more difficult.

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Re: Eschalon Trilogy Post-Mortem

Post by Leezar » March 26th, 2014, 5:22 am

I dont agree with you BW.

While I am over 30, and grew up on Exile and Realmz and BG, meaning I perfectly match your target audience, it is not nostalgia that attracts me to Eschalon.

You see, I am all over the new stuff that comes out. I loved guitar hero and DDR and the WiiMote (especially Red Steel 2, why did that game get so much bad press? It is awesome!)

I actually did lack modern features, such as more dialogue, the world changes according to your actions (Eschalon is VERY old school in this regard) and even grinding, it it does not become to much. And of course, flashy moves and finishes (which Red Steel 2 does remarkably well, I would say even better than MK). I mean, we are given feats, but ... meh...

No, what makes Eschalon so enjoyable is the attention payed to game mechanics, balance and most importantly the "less is more" design (which, as it turns out with E3, can be to "less"). I mean, there are people to interact with and get quests from, but its like 30, not 300. The dungeons are just the right size. The enemies dies from just the right amount of spanking. The game is the right difficulty. Not keyboard mashing hard, not yawningly easy and not apathy inducingly lengthy (or grinding frequent). It is lagom.

I think the absolutely best made part of the Eschalon series is the E1 starting location. Much to explore, many skills that are needed to get all the little goodies, but nothing you find is overwhelmingly powerful, making subsequent quests to easy.

Some games, I almost like, but they have SO fucking broken game mechanics. Like Diablo. Max one skill and spam. How much fun is that? Neverwinter nights: your character ravage through everything with one hand tied behind his/her back, except for boss-like creatures that kill you with one hand behind he/she/its back. And all of these MMOs that I gave an honest chance but could never like. How fucking much do you have to grind to get ONE sword of kill-more? And then you need to bless it and put pebbles in it (that are also insanely rare) and, I shit you not, spend half a week PICKING FLOWERS to get that one rare mountain-lilly and so on and so forth. Now, even if you do all that, some other player will STILL defeat you easily, no matter what you do, because he/she invest even less RL time in basic hygiene than you, so they can grind more and get more pebbles and sunflowers and what the fuck.

The fundaments of a good game is that it should be entertaining and reasonably challenging through and through, and every now and then we are rewarded with some shiny object. Good fundaments is what pulled me in, not nostalgia.

Edit: Conversly, nothing can save game with bad fundaments. Like so many pretty looking FPS with moronic AI and snipers on the moon.
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Re: Eschalon Trilogy Post-Mortem

Post by Nevermore » March 27th, 2014, 4:39 am

It's better in this way, I think. Everything has an end. I don't want to see Eschalon ending up as franchises like Final Fantasy or The Elder Scrolls. Where every chapter is made in order to get more and more money, not to craft an enjoyable game for gamers.

So I'm waiting to see the next big thing. :)

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Re: Eschalon Trilogy Post-Mortem

Post by IJBall » March 27th, 2014, 1:22 pm

Nevermore wrote:It's better in this way, I think. Everything has an end. I don't want to see Eschalon ending up as franchises like Final Fantasy or The Elder Scrolls. Where every chapter is made in order to get more and more money, not to craft an enjoyable game for gamers.

So I'm waiting to see the next big thing. :)
Yes. But, OTOH, I don't think we've come close to getting everything we can out of this game franchise, or its engine. That's why I really hope that BG does devote some of its resources to make sure that we get a good Editor and modding tools out of Book III, so others can push the franchise beyond its current limits.

I think it would be a shame if BG "moves on to the next big thing" before making sure that happens...

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Re: Eschalon Trilogy Post-Mortem

Post by Sslaxx » March 28th, 2014, 11:02 am

It sounds dubious as to whether or not there'll be a Basilisk Games in the next six months. Which is a shame, honestly - quite liked what's been done so far, archaic engine or not. Honestly, I'd not be surprised to see a lot of indie casualties over the next couple of years - it's an oversaturated market indeed right now. Wouldn't surprise me to see more indie publishers coming to the fore, and fewer indies self-publishing as a result (though I'd expect there to be a lot of these publishers going under as well).

The most I hope for with regards to Basilisk in six months is that it still exists, but maybe with someone else doing the publishing/marketing duties.
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Re: Eschalon Trilogy Post-Mortem

Post by IJBall » March 28th, 2014, 3:43 pm

FWIW, two of my community college students knew what Eschalon was when I told them I played the series. This quite surprised me - it tells me that Eschalon has gotten better word-of-mouth (and better market penetration?) than I thought.

Hopefully, this means that there will continue to be enough sales so that BG will still be around 12 months hence...
Last edited by IJBall on March 28th, 2014, 4:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Eschalon Trilogy Post-Mortem

Post by Randomizer » March 28th, 2014, 4:03 pm

BG will be around in 12 months, now whether it will survive to the next game release is a different matter since the next game is supposed to have a new game engine. Hopefully it will support pads and come out within 2 years.

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Re: Eschalon Trilogy Post-Mortem

Post by BasiliskWrangler » May 7th, 2014, 8:53 am

Prismatic Maelstrom wrote:Does anyone feel a negative vibe surrounding Basilisk Games? Facebook and Twitter are rarely updated and BasiliskWrangler himself is a very quiet man.

I get the unfortunate impression that the series as a whole has drained him. Perhaps he is quieter this time round because he is fed up with people like myself remembering his posts from years ago and bringing them up?
You're a funny guy, PM. You can bring up all the past posts you want- doesn't bother me a bit.

I'm quiet because this is a transitional period for Basilisk. I am trying to secure future promotional agreements for Book III (bundles and spotlight promotions), and I am switching the studio machines over to new software- Unity3D is replacing BlitzMax, Blender is replacing 3DSMax. There is much to learn, and the next game will require a new design process since I will be working with additional people.

Not to mention that I will likely need to secure additional funds for the next game since Book III is probably going to fall a bit short of our first year estimate by about 20%. This is, coincidentally, how much Book III's sales were down our first week compared to Book II). I dislike Kickstarter, so I am looking into private financing.

And yes, to a lesser extent, I am pretty burned out on Eschalon. I regret promising three games from the start. I should have switched over to a new engine after Book II and made a different game, and only now be starting on Book III with a fresh engine. I am sorry to all you hardcore fans that I did not do this- it would have been a great way to end the trilogy.

So...I will likely be quiet for a while, but I do come by the pub every couple days and read through the more active comments. I still do a lot of email support and correspondence, so that is another way to quickly get in touch with me if you need something.
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