Kickstarter and the Elephant in the Room

Or; Infinity the MMO: The Looming Shadow over Potential Kickstarter Backers.

So first off, I’d much rather have this discussed here and now than have it need to be addressed in the Kickstarter backer’s comments section.

I would also like to state that the following may be somewhat blunt, yet I have no intention of causing any offence and that the following criticism is based on how statements and plans of I-Novae may be interpreted during the Kickstarter rather than my own opinion of them and what they’re doing.

[Use of the word 'you" is henceforth intended to refer to the entire I-Novae team and not any particular individual]

It’s things like this that have me worried:

Yes, it was intended to be humorous, I get that, but thinking about how it would sound to one of the backers who’ve never heard about I-Novae, Battlescape, or the MMO before the start of the kickstarter, it’s more of a slap in the face. These people are going to be giving you guys money. Unless you’ve decided to go totally F2P for the MMO, you shouldn’t even think about saying stuff like that.

Almost all of the people on this forum are invested in your ideas for the MMO, but someone coming into the Kickstarter, who hears about and likes the idea of Battlescape enough to put money towards it, they’re not going to care about some possible distant future project. It’s not what they’re paying for.

If you don’t manage to alienate potential backers by harping on about a game they won’t care about (sorry, slipping into backer mind-set), you have openly stated that post 1.0, Battlescape is going to be left pretty much abandoned in terms of updates for all but ‘critical patches’. Even while you improve the engine and add additional features for the MMO, you’ll leave Battlescape without them to sit there and stagnate.

I sincerely hope that, before going ahead with the Kickstarter, you spend a good amount of time planning exactly what you want Battlescape to be and mean to I-Novae post launch and how to get that across to potential backers during the Kickstarter. I also hope you work out a way of presenting your ideas behind the MMO (if you choose to talk about it at all) without making people think you don’t care about Battlescape as anything other than a means to an end.

“Why back this when you only want the money to make that?” Is not a phrase I want to be seeing come the Kickstarter’s launch. I hope you come up with a good plan to stop people thinking it.

Also, I really hope I’m just being paranoid.

Thank you all for your time,


Hey no problem, the forums are here to address concerns =). That comment was a joke and it was made in the context of the fact that I:B will follow the natural life cycle of any game. When Epic Games shipped Gears of War it was followed by a support period and then all effort moved over to shipping Gears of War 2. We’re going to do everything we can to make I:B a great game however we cannot indefinitely devote 100% of our effort toward supporting I:B after it ships. At some point we have to begin focusing on our next product which hopefully will be Infinity the MMO.

When you move people over to a new product it’s a gradual process. We aren’t going to wake up one day and be like “ok everybody, today all maintenance work on I:B stops and everybody starts work on the MMO”. We’ll gradually move programmers and artists over to our next project as production ramps up at which point support for I:B will begin to atrophy.

Lastly, if I:B isn’t a good game it won’t sell. If I:B doesn’t sell there will not be an Infinity the MMO afterward as we’ll go bankrupt. We’re going to do everything we can to fulfill our obligation to our KS backers to make I:B a great game.


Have you guys thought about launching or framing the idea of Battlescape as being a full game which could potentially be part of a bigger universe later if it does well enough? In other words, instead of thinking about it as the first game and the full MMO as the second game, why not think about Battlescape being the first module much like Star Citizen is being released? This would guarantee continued support for Battlescape for those that like it and potential new backers because if you guys get enough funding for the full MMO, Battlescape will be integrated into it. Besides, that would be one less system for you guys to create in the MMO. In fact, you could do some cool storyline stuff with it, like this was a famous battle in the MMO universe and the people that originally played it were part of it or something like that.

Why trash one when you can integrate and also continue to use Battlescape as a testing ground for new engine features ect. It could be like how WoW sort of releases expansions. So you pay for the expansion and it simply adds on to the existing world, only the MMO would obviously be an expansion so large it would be bigger than the original game.

Just thinking out loud here, thoughts?

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There is one thing I:B could be good at for MMO players : a training tool. Be it for IPO wanting to train their troops or even try battle plans before the real attack, or lone wolves wanting to hone their skills, I:B could be very popular for those who want to get some combat skills before risking their hard-won ships in the MMO.
This reason alone would be enough to keep I:B or an equivalent running beside the MMO and made “MMO-compatible” balance-wise, preferably with an editor allowing to create the desired situations.

Besides, I:B and the MMO can’t exactly be compared to GoW and GoW 2 (or even the yearly Call of Battlefield, to take multiplayer examples). The MMO will be a different type of game, with different gameplay, not a direct sequel.
Sometimes I want to go and find a new vibreryllythritium spot that I can exploit and shoot at those filthy pirates infesting the sector with my dear warship. Other times, I want to go in a big brawl without risking ships that took hours upon hours of game to obtain.

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In my oppinion don’t mention your future plans at all.

I:B is a massive multiplayer game!

Infinity will be bigger and better … but why draw the dog away with a steak if you only can offer a sausage. (Don’t take that comparison to literal)

If the dog thinks sausage is cool but what he really wants is steak, the suggestion that the sausage might lead to the mother of all steaks could encourage it to eat the sausage.

I completely agree with Naiba’s sentiment though. It’s really important how IB & the MMO are portrayed in relation to each other.

Exactly that
Why doing two games?

I said this on old forums shortly before it got hacked.

Start with battlescape, make it a prologue. Hello Geodesa… dyeing star… anyone?
You most likely wont be using different engine for mmo :slight_smile:

And if you make good bucks then great. Expand the game by adding jump/hyper/whatever drive.
Allowing people to just jump out into wast universe.

We actually have considered what you’re proposing. At this juncture it’s too early to say how exactly I:B would evolve into the full MMO using an iterative approach but I think the idea definitely has merit. In the event we decided to do something like that it’s likely we’d still keep I:B a separate product and just branch the code into a new game: Infinity. We could migrate user accounts so players wouldn’t lose any information however there will likely be gameplay tweaks to combat that make sense in the MMO but not for I:B that would require us to keep the games as separate entities.

There’s a good possibility that, if we were to start work on the MMO by just branching I:B, that we’d start with @DirkLarien’s suggestion of adding inter-stellar warp and going from there. However at this point it’s all just speculation. Our primary goal at the moment is to have a successful Kickstarter to fund I:B and to make I:B a great game.


Sounds good, thanks Keith!

What if the dog doesn’t know steak excists at all?

I honestly don’t know what the dog would do if the steak doesn’t excists.

As someone who grew up with a dog I think it’s safe to say the dog would happily eat whatever is available, whenever it is available, without any sort of existential crisis ;).

But the sausage has an existential crysis! :meat_on_bone:

What if it was gourmet sausage made from triple ground tenderloin steaks and fused with artisan cheeses? Wait… I’m not sure how that fits into the metaphor…


If someone doesn’t know that MMOs exist, where have they been for the last 10 years?

Fortunately players and your perspective customers aren’t dogs and do have preferences.

I’m thinking how would I react to the KS if I hadn’t discovered infinity back in 2008 or whenever it was.
I’d think Battlescape looks kinda cool but I’m not really into arena games. What I want is EVE but bigger and deeper… Oh well… off to browsing KS projects.

Alternatively, if the KS told me about the Infinity MMO and that by supporting the KS I’d be indirectly supporting the MMO, then I’d back for sure.

For people with income to throw down, they might back BS anyway. For impoverished students the prospect of the MMO may make the difference between backing and not backing.

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What if it was marketet like an MMO? I don’t get the whole Arena Game “Naming”, what games do you call arena games? Is Planetside an Arena game? What do you call it?
Still you would probably see the feuture list and say … not nearly enough. Though EVE is in development for more then a decade now.

I can’t tell whats better. Not saying that the Idea and plan for Infinity exist or revealing it …

I think you can basically slap the “arena game” label on any “round” or “match” based combat game. Battlescape applies because you can beat the other team, and then the game resets.

Yeah I’d say that’s pretty much it.
Planetside does rather blur the line but I’d stick it more to the arena end of the scale, albeit close to the middle. Yes on a global scale the battle is persistent, but control changes very rapidly and the actual gameplay experience is very much ‘arena’ style. - The outcome of the battle is largely irrelevant, as is a players death.

The issue we currently have with naming the genre is that if we only raise minimum Kickstarter the game actually will be “round” based. If we hit enough stretch goals the game will be semi-persistent combat until one side destroys the opposing side through resource management, strategy, tactics, and the raw skill of its pilots - something more similar to what will be in the MMO. This is largely why we have a crisis of identity with I:B I think. The game we ideally want it to be is closer to how combat will actually work in the MMO but if we don’t raise enough money the game will have much more of an arcade/arena style unless we’re able to raise enough money via on-going pledges after the KS.

What is the difference other than the length of the match?
Minimum won’t have resources and pace will be faster due to faster & more vulnerable ships?