Avencast

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 Post subject: Unfair.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:02 pm
Posts: 1
This game deserves so DAMN much more than it ever will get. It saddens me to see how unfair life is. This must be at least 10 times better than Hellgate: London which will sell ALOT more just becuase of all the PR and Diablo blablabla, but only turned out to be plain boaring with a good item system.
However, thanks for this great game, I will recommend it to all my friends and hope you sell a decent number so you can make a follow-up :>


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 Post subject: Re: Unfair.
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 11:07 am 
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Kyranian Master

Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 12:21 pm
Posts: 353
Absolutely! The problem is that ClockStone is a young company and publishers just didn't believe in the product. Can you imagine that even if you put a zero behind the number of Avencast`s budget you are still far away from Hellgate London and alike... it's crazy...


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 Post subject: Re: Unfair.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:21 pm 
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Aventroll
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Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 2:07 am
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Location: Croatia
Perhaps a good PR team would help matters? Clockstone definitely needs people barking around, it could well enough use individuals proficient in spreading the word, or simply forcing things upon people. It's not too nice, but it's the way things are done these days. Hellgate London was mentioned above - it's a horrid pathetic game, but before it was even released, rumors started circulating about it being diablish etc.. then rumors of mixed genre came, and the game was still not released. Lots of other rumors arose, and in the precisely correct amount of time away from rumors, the game was released, at the peak of people's anticipation. Thousands bought it, not knowing what to expect, only to express their sincere disappointment later on. Those rumors, reviews and previews were all the work of one single PR team, formed specifically to rile people up and make them all horny for the upcoming title. It's all about hyping up the public, sadly.

While Clockstone probably has some PR people, they're obviously working well beneath their full capacity. I myself haven't heard of Avencast until I saw it on a Torrent site, and only after playing the illegal version did I get my original from a friend abroad. I searched and searched for reviews and previews, but all I could find was a few amateur self-proclaimed critics who played the game only after I did. So, in my opinion, it's about pushing important people into playing it before it hits the general public. Providing free copies to IGN and other sites well known for reviews. I don't know whether or not it was done, but it didn't seem like it...

Either way, the sequel, no matter its budget, should be greatly announced, and should have a permanent play mode - something like diablo's eternal 3 difficulties, or any kind of exciting multiplayer mode (high potential here) to keep people at their PCs. I've got expert RPG players around me here who haven't heard of Titan Quest, for example, until I introduced them to it, and to this day they say it's the best Diablo clone they've ever played, a clone even far surpassing the original in EVERY single aspect, and I agree with them. However, the part of the gaming population that actually heard of it remains minute - the work of a sloppy PR team.

Well, to sum things up, I think the majority of responsibility for the low fame Avencast endures at the moment can be accredited to the people in charge of spreading it around.

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 Post subject: Re: Unfair.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 7:10 pm 
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Kyranian Master

Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 12:21 pm
Posts: 353
ClockStone, as a developer studio, doesn't have an actual PR team. This is why publishers exist. Of course there was some advertising, but is simply wasn't effective. And with our financial possibilities there is nothing we could do about it. Maybe with the xbox 360 port (and a new marketing team) Avencast receives more attention.


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 Post subject: Re: Unfair.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 4:16 pm 
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Adept

Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:54 pm
Posts: 8
Actually I think it can have a future at least if people starting to look after quality instead of quanity like all those people who play Blizzards WoW and as you said, HellGate London and those shit.
=)


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 Post subject: Re: Unfair.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:44 am 
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Adept

Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:43 am
Posts: 18
Vael wrote:
Actually I think it can have a future at least if people starting to look after quality instead of quanity like all those people who play Blizzards WoW and as you said, HellGate London and those shit.
=)


Wow is actually a pretty amazing game... but anyway, yeah I hadnt heard of Avencast anywhere, and most reviews were fairly average online, about 7 to 8. I decided to go ahead and buy it anyway tho. But really, Blizzard could make a game that lasts like 1 hour and took like no money to make, advertise it a bunch, and they would make millions, just because they're popular.

Avencast is cool, very cool in fact, but it seems like the only way games like this get any recognition these days is when the developer joins a big company like EA or Bungie etc.

What I normally look at when im thinking of getting a new game is X Play reviews, and online reviews like IGN. Get X Play to review the game if you havent already and, so long as it gets a good rating, you have a good half of the show's audience interested. Just bought a new game myself that they rated a 4/5.


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 Post subject: Re: Unfair.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 12:11 pm 
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Kyranian Master

Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 12:21 pm
Posts: 353
On the whole we are quite happy with the press feedback and the reviews. Avencast is close to AAA titles event though our budget is in no way compareable to AAA. The biggest problem from the sales' point of view is the degree of awareness among people.


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 Post subject: Re: Unfair.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:39 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 2:49 pm
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Keep in mind that Avencast contains a fair amount of innovative gameplay (controls, spellcasting mechanisms, etc.).

From a publisher point of view, "innovative" means "risk", because it does not have a clearly identify public/market yet. In the end, investors want their money back, plus extras: this explain why major games are just clones of clones of things that already exist, with minimal changes (FPSs are a good example...).

Only 2 kinds of development studios can really push boundaries: very large studios, that can develop their titles without a publisher (fully self-funded projects), or small studios with new concepts but low budgets.
All the other intermediate developpers are tied to marketting rules.

The risk for Clockstone, as I see it, is to attract a publisher for a bigger project, for which they would be massively limited in terms of innovation in order to maximize the investors' confidence and cover the largest market with pre-formatted gameplay concepts. Speaking as a game developper, this is highly frustating :(


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 Post subject: Re: Unfair.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:04 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2008 7:15 am
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Well, it may be interesting for you, Michael, if I related my experience about how I found out about Avencast, because I was quite upset that it totally slipped under my radar. I usually make an effort to never "miss" any new releases for the PC, especially from smaller developers, because I feel rather disenchanted with the growing number of soulless games from major publishers and big developers lately. Innovation and surprises seem to only come from independent developers these days. And the most important ingredient: Passion.

I had just *accidentally* found out about Avencast 3 weeks ago (March 2008), when I was shopping for some household appliances at a larger retail chain that also has a small section for PCs and TV sets. Out of boredom I quickly browsed through the PC games shelf to see what they had stocked, which I would normally not do, since this store has the worst prices in the city, and I usually research game releases and reviews online, not in retail stores.

And there it was: A very appealing game box with the title "Avencast", adorned in beautiful art that reminded me of the classic Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale games and boxes. "What the...? Is this an older game?" I thought, since this store is notorious for carrying outdated stuff. "No, actually it's a new release" when I checked the year of its release. "Hmm, maybe it is a cheap shovelware budget title? ... but it doesn't look cheap at all, neither the box nor the in-game art in the screenshots... very strange".

I was dumbfounded.

I just couldn't get over the fact, that as a hardcore gamer I possibly missed the release of a good action RPG, and (to add insult to injury) had to learn about it by shopping for household appliances!

So, I went back home with the title burned into my mind, did some online research and found the demo. "Austrian developer, small, ambitious... sounds promising" I kept thinking, since a lot of unique and good stuff has exclusively been coming from Europe in recent years, especially Germany, Austria, France, UK, and eastern Europe, Poland, Hungary, and Russia. Much better and ambitious stuff than the mass-market drivel from american developers (a flood of rehashes and clones).

The demo convinced me of the quality and care that was put into the production of the game. Enough to decide to give the game a chance.

So this is my little story about discovering your game. I'm glad I found it and that I played it. It's a good game.

I'm NOT so glad that I almost missed it, if not for pure luck. Something went really wrong in promoting and raising awareness for Avencast from your and/or your publisher's side.

Not even Metacritic had it listed under its "What's new" page for new releases (http://www.metacritic.com/games/pc/). And many gamers rely on it as a digest of new releases and reviews. They list every obscure niche adventure game and self-published indie-title like Stardock's Sins of a Solar Empire, but they won't list Avencast? It's a real shame.

I actually cross-check several sites several times a week for news, and I would have taken notice if a new RPG/action-RPG was mentioned.

I think that's how you lose many potential customers. Your game is too obscure. Not enough talk and coverage about it.

A little feedback on your demo:

It is good at showing the game's mechanics and well-designed spell-tree (which was enough to convince me), as well as the beautiful GUI and item graphics, but it does a poor job at representing the sheer beauty of your artists' work in most of the game's levels.

You chose the possibly worst-looking levels for the demo, the drab-looking little guest wing and the bland tomb (which by its nature cannot look much better because tombs have little decoration and don't allow for spectacular lighting). I appreciate that you altered these locations for the demo and added custom-made rooms and different fights, giving the gamer a broad taste of various aspects of your game.

It was enough to convince me that the game was good, because I can look beyond the surface and appreciate the quality of a game without being awed by the graphics. But it might not be enough to impress the average gamer who plays your demo. When your game DOES have much better graphics and lighting, you should really show it off in a demo.

I was actually shocked when I played the full version. I expected decent graphics on par with what I had seen in the demo, but the real game had so much better graphics than the demo! The other sections in the Academy are simply breathtaking, combined with the lighing (god-rays) and bloom flares. I would say you missed an opportunity there when you put together the demo.


To conclude, you should be proud of what you have achieved in your first game. Some things might not have worked out as well as you had hoped for, but with so much talent and ambition, it can only get better for you from here on out. I hope you can retain the artists on the team, they are very gifted.

Oh, and fire the programmer responsible for the graphics renderer... :) Building a 3D engine from the ground up WITHOUT any abstraction or dynamic LOD and relying on pure brute-force CPU power to push all the redundant polygons and sub-pixel detail and distant NPC shadows -- such an approach should be considered criminal in the realms of game development.

Wantonly wasting vast hardware resources for no tangible benefits other than supporting the lazyness of a crude and un-optimized 3D engine design, will not win you any appreciation -- or strong sales. You are well aware that the only way to ensure good sales for a niche product on the PC is to make sure that it runs smoothly on hardware that is 5 years old or more.

It is *much* easier and cheaper for gamers to upgrade their graphics card, than to upgrade their WHOLE SYSTEM for a new CPU. As a game designer you are always dealing with a customer base that has much better GPUs than CPUs. If you ignore this fact, you ignore potential sales.

-markussun


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 Post subject: Re: Unfair.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:02 pm 
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Mage

Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:58 am
Posts: 27
You know avencast does have the most bitchin retail box ive ever seen.if soemone at clockstone made it id be suprised. not the first time they'd have suprised me though. i hope the 360 version has a cool box too.


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 Post subject: Re: Unfair.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 4:11 pm 
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Kyranian Master

Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 12:21 pm
Posts: 353
The graphics on the box are desigend by ClockStone. But to be honest we are not entirely happy with it as it may not be eye-catching enough to attract people who haven't heared about the game before. It takes a closer look to appreciate it's style. Also, the North-American hard-paper box is much cooler than the European standard DVD box. However, it's the retailers that decide about the type of box, not the developer or the publisher.


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 Post subject: Re: Unfair.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:05 pm 
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Mage

Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:58 am
Posts: 27
welli never heard of it and the us retail box attracted me. :)

edit: .(btw, i dont think the us box should change, its vary RPG/Action adventure. and its a good representation of the art quality in game. witch i think is totally whicked art and model styles. and to be honest.... i kept the box, wounder how many others did the same, lol. it does take a closer look, but, thats why i got the game. look at the witchers box, its shiny as a chrome bumper, i was going to buy that game, waited for it, like xmax eve night for a week... went to the store, and.. shinny box... eye cetching, but unreadable and way to bright and flashy. and i threw it back on the shelf and baught a copy of Fate. lol. but when i saw your box i went home and looked it up and ended up buying it... you love your game, and it shows in the box. it says "this is our world, our story"


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 Post subject: Re: Unfair.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:54 pm 
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Adept
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Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:25 pm
Posts: 15
this my flava game :D

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 Post subject: Re: Unfair.
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:32 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:21 am
Posts: 2
You know when this came out, you could have had like all your fans contact like Xplay and asked them to do a review. I think this game is very cool. I just discovered it on Amazon.


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 Post subject: Re: Unfair.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:48 pm 
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Adept

Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:17 pm
Posts: 6
it an amazing game no doubt
and since ur talking how much its great than at least one of u guys completed the game
coz iam having a problem
i have defeated his brother and done all that and cleared the way
and i made the cure for the ill master and than iam stuck where to go
so i went to through the portal where the deamon i set free in the academy prison me there
so where do i go
and what to do ????
plz reply
plz


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