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Arnie
03-17-2014, 12:47 PM
Sorry we've been really quiet these days! Let me give you a brief run down on what John, Alex and I have been up to since launching the Saga and what we're doing right now.

Leading up to the launch of the Saga we were working about 16 to 18 hour days for weeks upon weeks. No exercise and fueling the body on a diet of pizza and beer for long periods of time can really take it out of you. Since then we've only intermittently been in the studio. All of us have given back some time to our families who were as exhausted as we were. My wife has been taking care of my two boys. Taking them school, to cub scouts, giving baths, reading books before bed, camping, mowing our yard, making all the dinners, basically keeping the house running and doing it solo for over a year. The same holds true for the other guys in similar capacities. John, Alex and I gave pretty much everything we had to The Banner Saga, but so did our families. We wouldn't do anything different. We knew getting this game up and running would be an effort but it was truly a labor of love (as cheesy as that saying is). Alex and family took off on a cruise, then went out to chill in Colorado. John hit Seattle then relaxed in Paris and ate really good fondue. I went skiing in Colorado then did a road trip to Florida to visit family. All of us needed to take a step back and enjoy life again...for a time.

That time is ending. We can't wait to get back into the next Chapter of the Saga! We'll be hitting GDC this week and attending the IGF awards where we were nominated for Best Art. Once we're back later this week we're into full-on production again. We finally got the King.com Trademark fiasco behind us thanks to everyone on the internet making such a huge stink about it, it really helped bring things to a quick conclusion. John is already moving on to the ports of Ch1. Alex and I will continue to work together fleshing out the Ch2 art/design in tandem like we did on Ch1. We know exactly where the story in Chapter 2 is going and already have the map all marked up with plots and twists and doodads to serve as waypoints for us over the next year (...or so) of development. There are some big surprises in store for the caravan of simple folk...

We'd like to thank Versus Evil (VE) for helping us launch TBS and get the word out. They've been handling all affairs while Stoic has taken a break and been doing an amazing job at it. I don't think a company has ever had as good a relationship with a publisher as Stoic has with VE. Also a big slap on the back for Strange_Carrots for helping keep us abreast of what the community is interested in and up to.

We started this whole thing with the intent of designing a game that would appeal to a small, but rabid fan base of Tactical RPG fans and I think we found you. We're full of gratitude for all the well wishes, all the support and most of all that our dream has resonated with so many. It really feels like we're all shouldering this banner together.

Feel free to post any questions and I'll see which I can answer!

Rymdkejsaren
03-17-2014, 01:08 PM
Welcome back, you have all certainly earned your time off! And while you have been gone it seems your game has been doing some work for you: from what I can tell, Chapter 1 is still getting some good sales, especially when it was recently on discount in most stores!

I do have a question: What are the plans for Factions in the near and distant future? I would love to see that getting some love soon and I certainly think it would help with keeping new players interested.

Good to see you back!
/RK

Arnie
03-17-2014, 02:00 PM
I do have a question: What are the plans for Factions in the near and distant future? I would love to see that getting some love soon and I certainly think it would help with keeping new players interested.
/RK

Dangit RK, I should have figured you'd be the one to ask this...it's a tough one to answer. Factions is near and dear to our hearts. It's my type of game, I love the competition of it and the fact that it's purely combat. We have in our hip pocket not only tons of great ideas on where to take it to fully flesh it out into a game that stands on it's own rather than a 'demo' of a full game, but also entire UI's like the Weavers Hut and Trophy Tower that are totally done and need to get in. We have improved gameplay GUI's that haven't been ported over from the Saga yet which would add a slick touch...etc. We also know that Factions brought us the most negative feedback from a large community that simply wants the single player Saga. We know it was the Saga, and not Factions, that has made Stoic a firm foundation monetarily for the next year of development, meaning our studio is officially 'alive'. Remember we only have 3 people working on this (not including music, sound and combat animation) and if we invest 5 or so months on Factions then that's 5 or so months that the Saga will be delayed...which is something we don't feel people want.

In a nutshell our current approach is to complete the Saga then perhaps devote ourselves to full time development on Factions (adding in huge new play like single player and co-op and war and...more), but lots can change when it comes to game development and Stoic is pretty damn nimble in our approach to it all.

Yellow
03-17-2014, 05:00 PM
Glad to see you guys back, i hope you enjoyed your vacations. I have a question:

Are you guys going to further patch chapter one? if so, will you only deal with bugs, or will you also add more content/address some of the issues the community have been vocal about?

Thanks in advance.

Aleonymous
03-17-2014, 05:08 PM
Hey, hey! Welcome back Arnie! Where were you guys? We were starting to fear that the Dredge got you, or something :D

I admit that the {no updates for Factions anytime soon} news was like a punch in the belly, but I daresay I understand and --of course-- respect your choices... It makes much more sense to finish with Parts 2 & 3 of the Saga and then, having all the material ready (and all the time in the world), work full-time on Factions. Anyway, I hope you'll keep in touch with the community by your presence in these forums or by a newsletter or something... Because, in my opinion, Factions (its quality, its gameplay and it being free-to-play recipe) was a big-push to the Saga.

So, questions... Lets see... Well, I'll just pop a couple of small ones for starters ;)

1. Are there any more updates for the Saga#1 to be expected? Small ones, I presume, with bug-squashing...
2. How much of the material planned for Saga#2 is "almost-ready", from the earlier stages of development? There should be cinematics and sprite-animations done, apart from concept art etc.
3. Will you be working with Austin for the following parts of the Saga?


Save Factions!

dboon
03-17-2014, 05:13 PM
We started this whole thing with the intent of designing a game that would appeal to a small, but rabid fan base of Tactical RPG fans and I think we found you.


It's true, you found me! However, as much as I enjoyed the Saga, it was just a tasty snack for me (lack of replayability was a bit disappointing), while Factions wants to be my meat and potatoes game. I understand that Kickstarter and economic pressure forced you to change your focus full time to Chapter 1 Saga, and I was satisfied that Factions became fairly well balanced and stable before moving away from active development, but not returning to Factions now I believe would be a mistake. Saga may pay your bills, but I think your hardcore fans would rather spend their time in Strand, and a few months spent there would non-$ pay off big time. You also hinted strongly/semi-promised that this was the plan…I think.

Factions doesn't even need too much love:
Wishlist:
- Fresher leaderboards (easy)
- New units from the saga (medium)
- Items (medium)
- New tournament modes. E.g. Random or Draft (medium+)
- End game/Purpose (hard - I could wait for the end of saga for this one).

Anyways, welcome back, and congrats on your well-earned success and vacation.

Brackstone
03-17-2014, 05:25 PM
This isn't exactly related to the games themselves, but are there any plans to release some of the various extras that have existed, such as the art book? I was unaware of the game until after the kickstarter, but I'd still very much like to grab an art book if it becomes available. Maybe an alternate suggestion for an art book is to wait until all 3 parts of the Saga are released, and make a large, print version, but either way, I think there are plenty of folks who would grab one if given the chance.

Also, while I already have Tryggvi, I think it would be good if people could access him in an easier way than Aleonymous' various workarounds. Maybe make a small update making him available to all?

Rymdkejsaren
03-17-2014, 05:38 PM
I understand your reasoning but on the flip side, Factions is out there and every day people who played the Saga come to play and get put off by how it is not up to par to the single player game. The UI is not as good, the classes that were once promised as rewards for playing the Saga are not there and new players have to struggle to find matches at low power levels.

I do believe putting some time into a minor patch that updates Factions to the UI we see in the Saga and some other small fixes and additions would go a long way to helping the game until you have time to do more significant updates.

GorillaKhan
03-17-2014, 08:55 PM
Good for you guys. That's the nature of indie games and there was never any question Stoic was anything but. Have you considered tapping a couple of these talented and die-hard fans as volunteers? Don't know if the required skill sets exist in these lonely woods, but the commitment and integrity has certainly been demonstrated for a prolonged period. Just for the Factions updates?

GreenDread
03-17-2014, 09:40 PM
Also, while I already have Tryggvi, I think it would be good if people could access him in an easier way than Aleonymous' various workarounds. Maybe make a small update making him available to all?

It would probably lead to another shitstorm from people who bought the preorder version, who were told that it's exclusive to them. Silly, but I guess Aleo's nice workaround is the best compromise for this.

Oh, and nice to hear from you again, guys :)
Sad, that you put Factions on hold for now, but it's the logical thing to do. Would be great, if we could help out with the balancing again, but I'm happy either way.

EDIT: Two questions: Are there already plans on new battle-mechanics for chapter 2?
And have you considered that new Early Access system on Steam?

raven2134
03-18-2014, 07:28 AM
Heya everyone :)

Well, as is most often the case with people that do/finish great work...more work awaits (haha). Kudos to Stoic for a solid start to what I still feel is going to be a great trilogy. Chapter 1 was a great foundation to build on and with the feedback that's been given, I can only hope Chapter 2 turns out to be the "Dark Knight" to how I felt Chapter 1 was a pretty good "Batman Begins" (no pressure Alex >:D he he he).

I have some questions! Here I go:

Some background first (in general strokes), Factions and Saga branch out of the same game engine. One of the issues right now making it difficult to do changes in Factions is that it's code is out of date in comparison to the Saga. Because both games are linked to the same engine, doing something in 1 could affect the other, which makes updating Factions harder and would also mean the need for extensive testing to ensure both games are 95-99% bug free.

In addition, John also has quite a bit to work out (ports, translation platform, hammering the bug feedback from after the last Saga patch).

And so...

1. Would a month allow enough time to do a few meaningful and significant changes to Factions? (The "bare essentials")
2. Does John have enough arms for this? (Is it feasible to even fit a month in the schedule, if ever)
3. Does Stoic want to spend even just a month on Factions (if ever)?

I ask this because:
If 1 month can't fit in any real significant changes and just delay Chapter 2, well I think the cost-benefit is clear there. It would probably be a better idea to get on to chapter 2. If there's not enough bandwidth, that's simply what the limitations are, can't do more than you can do :). And lastly, at the end of the day it's Stoic's call and you guys have pretty good judgement on getting things done in ways that generally that make sense, if it's simply safer not to do it, then understandable.

bruther
03-18-2014, 08:24 AM
Congrats on the successful release, Stoic!

I've got to admit, I'm right there with Aleonymous--- Eeek! No updates to Factions for two to three years until the single player series is totally finished? If indeed Factions just isn't bringing any money in, then business is business and y'all have got to do what allows you to keep making games *and* pay the bills; fair enough, and I respect your willingness to make a tough call. (I ran out and bought the eternal renown boost after I read this. Everyone! Go spend money in the Factions market and make it financially viable pls!!!)

A few thoughts: I think that Factions plays a role in community development that goes beyond the revenue stream it provides. It keeps people on your forums and playing your games during the year+ that a new single-player game is in development, and it keeps them around after the SP game is released and played out. I'm thinking of StarCraft: why are people still playing SC:Brood Wars twenty years after release? It's not because of the single-player campaign (which was quite good!). It's because the game's magnificent engine provides for a virtually unlimited amount of replayability when you introduce a human opponent. Single-player brings people in and teaches them the engine, multiplayer keeps them there for years (or decades). And, with Factions currently free-to-play, there's flow in the other direction, too: of course I don't have data to support this pattern in the aggregate, but I can say that I sold two additional copies of TBS (beyond my own) by pushing friends to play Factions with me.

How did/does Battle.net pay its bills? (I don't know, I'm wondering aloud.) Rather than setting Factions aside, I'd sure love to see y'all find a non-obnoxious way of monetizing it to a sufficient degree and making it into a flagship (flaglongship?) project for Stoic. I think it has that potential (I've played it more than any other online multiplayer game since HL:CounterStrike). I'm worried that if you really don't touch Factions until TBS:Chapter 3 is finished, you'll lose the community you've developed here; many of the strongest players already don't get on very often because they feel that they've pretty much learned what there is to learn and mastered the system.

I would really, really love to see Stoic take a month or three here just to pick the low-hanging fruit for Factions (up-to-date code-base and interface, any elements "that are totally done and need to get in") and, ideally, bring in just one more playable class (adding the Spearman would have a huge disruptive effect on the current metagame and give the power-gamers all sorts of new things to figure out and argue over) to keep the gameplay fresh.

But, again, you can only do what you can do, and you've done marvelously already. Looking forward to whatever Stoic does next!

Aleonymous
03-18-2014, 09:19 AM
OK, the tone is not dramatic enough in this thread :D So, lets make things more explicit:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/dbew8zug3w4vz29/NoFactions.png?raw=1


No Factions = Community dies

PS -- I don't really mind the green Thrasher dying... But the rest? :(

StandSure
03-18-2014, 10:01 AM
Haha, I am probably the only one who still comes to these forums that thought "yay! more Saga!"

Rymdkejsaren
03-18-2014, 04:49 PM
but I can say that I sold two additional copies of TBS (beyond my own) by pushing friends to play Factions with me.

What bruther is saying makes sense. Stoic, if your reasoning is that the Saga is more economically viable, please do not forget that Factions sells copies of the Saga. This is exactly what happened with me, I held an in-house Factions tournament in my clan and sold some copies of Saga as a result.

gripho
03-18-2014, 05:02 PM
Haha, I am probably the only one who still comes to these forums that thought "yay! more Saga!"

For sure, but seeing the new classes in the campaign, it made me all the more eager to play them in Factions ^^;

As to Factions, I already bought the colors pack and eternal renown boost long ago, but I wouldn't mind spending some more if there was other options than just bonus renown without new meaningful ways to spend it ;)

grumpyoldman
03-18-2014, 07:35 PM
What bruther is saying makes sense. Stoic, if your reasoning is that the Saga is more economically viable, please do not forget that Factions sells copies of the Saga. This is exactly what happened with me, I held an in-house Factions tournament in my clan and sold some copies of Saga as a result.

I agree because I did it the same way! Actually, there is not much to add from my point of view, but I agree with Aleo's prediction: The Communitiy will die! At least in the way we know it. Now, I get your point, too. Let's be honest: Even if you decided to table Factions, we (the Faction players) would come back to have a look at Chapter 2 as soon as it releases. Period.

So, what remains is to plead: please, at least, reconsider what was said above! Time schedule, available capacities, monetizing. Be open and straightforward about your concrete considerations and we will be willing to accept it. You three already got our respect, I mean that.

Some last words in favor of the Factions Communitiy: We are true and loving hearts. And we are patient. If it was for your well deserved vacations, a single word, and we would happily wait another 3 or more months. Just be clear - and dont mention that thingies which "are totally done and need to get in" again! ;)

Sorry for stirring up emotions here, that said what must be said, my heart feels lighter - all in all its just a game. (though the problem is, we love it! :D )

All the best for you,
grumpy

natej11
03-20-2014, 08:21 PM
First off wanted to thank you for your work on both The Banner Saga and Factions. Both are incredibly solid games, elegant in their simplicity, and compelling. Even though I love games and follow them closely this is the first one I've bought to play myself in a long time. I played the first chapter through several times and then moved on to Factions and have been playing it regularly since then. It's sad to see the queue times are so long to find matches, though, but there's not much you can do about that beyond finding ways to encourage new players to start playing and veteran players to keep playing.

Which I hope you'll do. I'm really looking forward to the second chapter and I'm recommending the game to everyone I know. Best of luck moving forward, and I hope this game finds the success it deserves.

Arnie
03-21-2014, 12:59 PM
Glad to see you guys back, i hope you enjoyed your vacations. I have a question:

Are you guys going to further patch chapter one? if so, will you only deal with bugs, or will you also add more content/address some of the issues the community have been vocal about?

Thanks in advance.

Okay, I just returned from GDC and am ready to answer some more questions...like this one!
We will do another patch to Ch1, but it will be to fix bugs and add some missed names to the credits. We won't be changing any gameplay or adding any content. Good question, Yellow.

Arnie
03-21-2014, 01:05 PM
2. How much of the material planned for Saga#2 is "almost-ready", from the earlier stages of development? There should be cinematics and sprite-animations done, apart from concept art etc.
3. Will you be working with Austin for the following parts of the Saga?


Save Factions!

2. We will be leveraging art from chapter 1 for such things that need to be consistent so that all 3 chapters together feel like a cohesive experience. Stuff like camp, small towns...etc will be leveraged. Also the portraits will be the same...etc. I will be doing tons of new art for all the new travel, cities, characters...etc. All new cinemas will also be done as well as combat anims where needed. Chapter 2 is a new game, not just an expansion.
3. Yes! We just met briefly with Austin at the IGF awards out in San Francisco and he's raring to go. By the way, we did not win the award for 'Excellence in Visual art', Gorogoa won and good on him, the game looks really great.

Arnie
03-21-2014, 01:09 PM
...You also hinted strongly/semi-promised that this was the plan…I think.

Factions doesn't even need too much love:
Wishlist:
- Fresher leaderboards (easy)
- New units from the saga (medium)
- Items (medium)
- New tournament modes. E.g. Random or Draft (medium+)
- End game/Purpose (hard - I could wait for the end of saga for this one).


You are correct that I 'said', not even semi-hinted, that our plan was to refocus on Factions after Chapter 1...and I was telling the truth. Perhaps that's one negative of open communication with the players because plans do change. Really sorry about that. Sorry we need to refocus and sorry I blabbed about our intentions, but I'm doing it again here so maybe I just won't learn the lesson.
Along with your wish-list, of which I think is a good one, I'd add some sort of single player mode.
Thanks a lot for the feedback!

Arnie
03-21-2014, 01:12 PM
This isn't exactly related to the games themselves, but are there any plans to release some of the various extras that have existed, such as the art book? I was unaware of the game until after the kickstarter, but I'd still very much like to grab an art book if it becomes available. Maybe an alternate suggestion for an art book is to wait until all 3 parts of the Saga are released, and make a large, print version, but either way, I think there are plenty of folks who would grab one if given the chance.


Sorry about the art book. That being delayed is totally on me. We finished the Ch1 and then I took off with the family then out to San Fran for IGF. I've been compiling the art with my spare hour here hour there, but I wish I could have had it to you by now. It's something I'm actively working on right now though and want to make sure I go through all my old files and seek out the stuff I've forgotten about so I can bring it to light for you. Thanks a lot for being patient everyone.

Arnie
03-21-2014, 01:19 PM
Good for you guys. That's the nature of indie games and there was never any question Stoic was anything but. Have you considered tapping a couple of these talented and die-hard fans as volunteers? Don't know if the required skill sets exist in these lonely woods, but the commitment and integrity has certainly been demonstrated for a prolonged period. Just for the Factions updates?

We've thought of a number of ideas to get the updates out, but it's difficult. John can explain exactly why far better than I can, but here's the layman's version: Both Factions and the Saga are 1 code base. If we tried to update Factions now the entire game would fail. Lots of the code has been updated, moved around, expanded...etc for the Saga, which is why the Saga is slicker. To do an update to Factions, even if we aren't adding "content", to bring it up to speed would take a significant time of coding and lots of QA right now. Sometimes you need to break something to fix it.
To answer your question about using our talented die-hard volunteers the answer is we'd love to and plan to. We imagine a future of Factions that is far more mod-friendly, but we just need to get the tools/code in a place that is better for that approach.
Ps. I love that I'm hearing so much love for Factions.

Arnie
03-21-2014, 01:23 PM
1. Are there already plans on new battle-mechanics for chapter 2?
2. And have you considered that new Early Access system on Steam?

1. Do you mean new units? Yes! Do you mean changing the current combat mechanics? No! We have had some really good feedback from the Saga that combat could use some more variety in tactics and we are working on that for Ch2.
2. This question is out of my realm, I'll bet John and Alex have discussed it though. If I get any info I'll post it here.

Thanks for the questions, Dread! By the way, I just finished book 3 of the Saxon Tales by Bernard Cornwell...everyone should check it out if you dig historical fiction books about vikings.

Arnie
03-21-2014, 01:28 PM
Congrats on the successful release, Stoic!

I've got to admit, I'm right there with Aleonymous--- Eeek! No updates to Factions for two to three years until the single player series is totally finished? If indeed Factions just isn't bringing any money in, then business is business and y'all have got to do what allows you to keep making games *and* pay the bills; fair enough, and I respect your willingness to make a tough call. (I ran out and bought the eternal renown boost after I read this. Everyone! Go spend money in the Factions market and make it financially viable pls!!!)

A few thoughts: I think that Factions plays a role in community development that goes beyond the revenue stream it provides. It keeps people on your forums and playing your games during the year+ that a new single-player game is in development, and it keeps them around after the SP game is released and played out. I'm thinking of StarCraft: why are people still playing SC:Brood Wars twenty years after release? It's not because of the single-player campaign (which was quite good!). It's because the game's magnificent engine provides for a virtually unlimited amount of replayability when you introduce a human opponent. Single-player brings people in and teaches them the engine, multiplayer keeps them there for years (or decades). And, with Factions currently free-to-play, there's flow in the other direction, too: of course I don't have data to support this pattern in the aggregate, but I can say that I sold two additional copies of TBS (beyond my own) by pushing friends to play Factions with me.

How did/does Battle.net pay its bills? (I don't know, I'm wondering aloud.) Rather than setting Factions aside, I'd sure love to see y'all find a non-obnoxious way of monetizing it to a sufficient degree and making it into a flagship (flaglongship?) project for Stoic. I think it has that potential (I've played it more than any other online multiplayer game since HL:CounterStrike). I'm worried that if you really don't touch Factions until TBS:Chapter 3 is finished, you'll lose the community you've developed here; many of the strongest players already don't get on very often because they feel that they've pretty much learned what there is to learn and mastered the system.

I would really, really love to see Stoic take a month or three here just to pick the low-hanging fruit for Factions (up-to-date code-base and interface, any elements "that are totally done and need to get in") and, ideally, bring in just one more playable class (adding the Spearman would have a huge disruptive effect on the current metagame and give the power-gamers all sorts of new things to figure out and argue over) to keep the gameplay fresh.

But, again, you can only do what you can do, and you've done marvelously already. Looking forward to whatever Stoic does next!

I totally understand the sentiment here. As I stated a lot can change in our plans. Perhaps John will find the time to update Factions after he finishes the ports. Maybe Alex and I don't need as much support to get Ch2 running and John can mess about with Factions. We'll see. I can tell you that John is a huge Factions fan and the guy does prodigious amounts of work. Stay tuned...

Arnie
03-21-2014, 01:31 PM
OK, the tone is not dramatic enough in this thread :D So, lets make things more explicit:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/99633386/NoFactions.png


No Factions = Community dies

PS -- I don't really mind the green Thrasher dying... But the rest? :(

Hahaha...thanks man, as if I didn't understand. ;p
I can tell you that chess hasn't been updated in hundreds of years and still has some active supporters. Hah!
We will be communicating more during the development of the Saga and hopefully you'll find it interesting. :)

Arnie
03-21-2014, 01:35 PM
First off wanted to thank you for your work on both The Banner Saga and Factions. Both are incredibly solid games, elegant in their simplicity, and compelling. Even though I love games and follow them closely this is the first one I've bought to play myself in a long time. I played the first chapter through several times and then moved on to Factions and have been playing it regularly since then. It's sad to see the queue times are so long to find matches, though, but there's not much you can do about that beyond finding ways to encourage new players to start playing and veteran players to keep playing.

Which I hope you'll do. I'm really looking forward to the second chapter and I'm recommending the game to everyone I know. Best of luck moving forward, and I hope this game finds the success it deserves.

Many thanks for the kind words. We will do everything in our power to make this Banner Saga journey as interesting for our community as we can. I feel like this whole thing has just started and am pretty excited for the future of it all, hope you guys/gals stick around.

YaK
03-21-2014, 02:17 PM
We surely will Arnie, this is out of discussions.
With Chapter 1 and then with faction (that i discovered later and find AWESOME, cause it's SIMPLE in mechanics and you don't have thirty thousand ability and stat to choose, but you have to BUILD and master your strategy on what you have) you've done a wonderful Job.

I'd like there will be three clones of each of you, so you could work faster with the same quality level :)

Aleonymous
03-21-2014, 03:27 PM
Thanks for the reply-torrent, Arnie! :)

There's a saying that goes like: "Show me your game and I'll tell you who you are"... So, since we obviously liked your game(s) and stuck along with you along this road, it means that we love you guys and will march Onward, Together, be it in darkness or in light. Can't wait for more Banners, Sagas, Factions, ArtBooks, Updates etc etc! :p

From your reply to GorillaKhan's suggestion (and from other replies), it seems that John is the man to be "pressed" for all our "needs". Judging from his ancestry (;)), he's a die-hard relentless TBS-machine, so we can surely count on him. Don't hesitate to reach out to the community for whatever you believe we can be of assistance.


Would you mind some more questions, a little more specific this time? No? OK, here goes:


Are you thinking of co-operating with the community for the design and/or feedback for following parts of the Saga? Maybe some items, or godstones, or random events, or characters (personalities and/or abilities) etc.
How will the following parts of the Saga fit with this first part? How will they be marketed, as stand-alone products or as "mega-DLCs"? Will they require one to have purchased/installed the previous parts? (This question relates to save-transferring too, so I won't get more into that here).
Concerning the combat-system (one of my favorite components of the game, and the core of Factions): Summarizing the very few negative concerns, people expressed some concerns about [a] the abrupt difficulty spike in the Bellower fight and the[B] turn-sequencing becoming unintuitive and frustrating in the large turn-advantage situations (e.g. 6 broken heroes vs. 2 full Dredge Destroyers). The first concern, [a], can very easily be addressed, if anything by making the "Easy" setting a little harder (!); a lot of players said that "Normal" was very difficult and "Easy" was a walk... The second concern, [b], is more fundamental, but there are ways to address it (for the single-player game only); if you're willing to, please open a discussion.

grumpyoldman
03-21-2014, 08:06 PM
Thanks for your effort Arnie!
This is all I wanted to hear I guess:

Sorry we need to refocus
And please rest assured, there's no redoing of any mistake in your frankly speach. (Or you are just guessing you should "learn" the entirely wrong lesson from it!)

Considering the feeling right after your Kickstarter campaign, please remember that you three are the most important part of your Saga! (Including your well-being versus felt claims of given "promises" :) )

bruther
03-22-2014, 02:58 PM
I can tell you that chess hasn't been updated in hundreds of years and still has some active supporters.

True enough--- not to mention Go (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_(game)) ;)

netnazgul
03-23-2014, 02:51 AM
Yeah, but Chess and Go had a lengthy period of development prior to that :p

Well, I'm sad that I won't play Factions for [year? two years?]. Saying that at least I'm content with the conversation we're having here. We need more feedback from you Stoic guys! :p

Rymdkejsaren
03-23-2014, 03:42 AM
To be fair, there is still no release date on the Chess single player campaign.

Teomus
03-23-2014, 04:40 AM
Dear Stoic!
Thank you for this fantastic game again! :)
Is there concrete date for the upcoming patch?
My almost-complete hungarian localization needs it! :)

Thank you!

Lorddirk
03-24-2014, 09:59 AM
I just have two questions.

1. You know we can animate quadrupeds right, even without video reference! *wink wink, hint hint*
2. When can I get a chance to buy you guys a drink? Ironically last time we were Iced in. . . in Texas.

Glad you guys got some time off, and eager to see you back at the studio.
-Pat-

Aleonymous
03-24-2014, 10:18 AM
1. You know we can animate quadrupeds right, even without video reference! *wink wink, hint hint*

A direct hint at... playable Horseborn units?!? Can it be? PowerHorse Animation! :p

EDIT -- This Horseborn hint, reminded me of all that "2x1 sized unit" discussions, and how tricky that would be for moving around... Did you guys finally get anywhere? I am so tempted to propose "anisotropic" mechanics (e.g. a unit needs to spend separate points for moving and for changing orientation; a unit has different STR/ARM/AB stats when "viewed/attacked/attacking" from a different direction: face, sides, back)

Lorddirk
03-24-2014, 10:28 AM
A direct hint at... playable Horseborn units?!? Can it be? PowerHorse Animation! :p

Not a direct hint, more a hint that it would be awesome to animate them. ;) I can hope as much as any fan.

GreenDread
03-24-2014, 10:30 AM
1. Do you mean new units? Yes! Do you mean changing the current combat mechanics? No! We have had some really good feedback from the Saga that combat could use some more variety in tactics and we are working on that for Ch2.
2. This question is out of my realm, I'll bet John and Alex have discussed it though. If I get any info I'll post it here.

Thanks for the answers, this sounds great.
I'm pretty sure, you can make Chapter 2 even better than the first one.
Regarding 1) Yes, the only somewhat lacking fact about many Saga-battles was the variety in combat. More varied battlegrounds, more enemy-variety or some special rules (special tiles, weather-effects...) would surely help against it.
2) I think, it would be a great way to get the community involved again in the process, be it balancing or bug-squashing.

SectionOne
03-25-2014, 02:50 AM
Hey Guys, Hope you had a great Time with your Familys.

Can you says something about the actual State of the Translations? My English is not the best, so I wait to play TBS in German.

Greetings

Arnie
03-25-2014, 08:57 AM
I just have two questions.

1. You know we can animate quadrupeds right, even without video reference! *wink wink, hint hint*
2. When can I get a chance to buy you guys a drink? Ironically last time we were Iced in. . . in Texas.

Glad you guys got some time off, and eager to see you back at the studio.
-Pat-

Patrick, first off I totally dig your icon here. Now...
1. Yes, I know you can animate anything. Quadrupeds? Wait until our next meeting...we've got some fun coming your way, we just need to get our ducks in a row before talking with y'all.
2. I think we should buy you guys drinks!

Yeah, we're glad for the time off too, but are chomping at the bit to get back to it all.

Shameless plug time: All check out this link, send it to friends and vote please!
Most Promising Start*Up of 2013 - The shortlist:
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2015-03-10-gamesindustry-innovation-awards-vote-now

John
03-25-2014, 09:15 AM
The game is being worked on by the translators right now. They started work approximately March 5, and we expect the work to continue for another month or so before completion. We are translating into 6 languages:

German
French
Russian
Spanish
Polish
Portuguese

Thanks!
JW


Hey Guys, Hope you had a great Time with your Familys.

Can you says something about the actual State of the Translations? My English is not the best, so I wait to play TBS in German.

Greetings

Arnie
03-25-2014, 09:16 AM
A direct hint at... playable Horseborn units?!? Can it be? PowerHorse Animation! :p

EDIT -- This Horseborn hint, reminded me of all that "2x1 sized unit" discussions, and how tricky that would be for moving around... Did you guys finally get anywhere? I am so tempted to propose "anisotropic" mechanics (e.g. a unit needs to spend separate points for moving and for changing orientation; a unit has different STR/ARM/AB stats when "viewed/attacked/attacking" from a different direction: face, sides, back)

I'll be avoiding the 'horseborn' topic for the time being ;)...but the directional topic I shall tackle! It sounds fun in theory but when we play tested it a long time ago it became a silly dance of each unit moving behind the other units and attacking and so on and so forth. Plus it adds another level of clicking complexity to the combat for players that bogs down the flow. Every turn would end with a decision on which way to face the character at the end of their turn. There are other related problems we had with it like AoE's and whatnot going off. At some point it would appear to the player (who is already having a hard enough time tracking all the stats) to be somewhat random as to why this unit took 3 more Str Dam than the unit next to them from AoE and whatnot. We want to keep the combat as streamlined as we can so we made the decision to bail on any facing rules and it really cleaned it up. Perhaps in the future we can look into really shaking up the mechanics (specially for something like Factions) but for now we don't want to iterate on the Saga combat to this degree. We're pretty happy with where base combat stands at the moment.

YaK
03-25-2014, 11:24 AM
1) Is planned a translation to Italian? (Personally i prefer to play and watch *things* in their native languages if i could understand them, but there a lot of people out there that could enjoy a translation :D)
---2) If not, how do you realate to fanmade translations? Would you mind if i propose the project in a quite famous and serious forum (Oldgamesitalia)?
---3) How many lines of text there are in game, approximatively?

Thanks guys!

Aleonymous
03-25-2014, 12:39 PM
...but the directional topic I shall tackle! It sounds fun in theory but when we play tested it a long time ago it became a silly dance of each unit moving behind the other units [...] it adds another level of clicking complexity to the combat for players that bogs down the flow [...] We want to keep the combat as streamlined as we can so we made the decision to bail on any facing rules and it really cleaned it up. Perhaps in the future we can look into really shaking up the mechanics (specially for something like Factions)

Yup. It surely adds another degree of potentially unwanted "complexity" to the battle system... All these stuff (this directional thing, or a full-pillage turn-queuing, battles-with-timer etc) could exist as optional "modes" in for a true hardcore experience :)

celeir
03-25-2014, 05:31 PM
The game is being worked on by the translators right now. They started work approximately March 5, and we expect the work to continue for another month or so before completion.
Well, it looks like ZoG (http://notabenoid.com/book/49615/)'s fan-made-almost-done* Russian translation was started for nothing :( Or maybe it could be used somehow?

*because we all remember how long we was waiting for localization of Shadowrun Returns since Russian language was announced

netnazgul
03-26-2014, 04:19 AM
Well, it looks like ZoG (http://notabenoid.com/book/49615/)'s fan-made-almost-done* Russian translation was started for nothing :( Or maybe it could be used somehow?

*because we all remember how long we was waiting for localization of Shadowrun Returns since Russian language was announced
Translation was announced and promised long ago, but some people just can't wait and force some other people to do unneeded and duplicate work :p

celeir
03-26-2014, 05:31 AM
but some people just can't wait
Did you read texts after * ? Translation for Shadowrun was announced soon after game's release but was added in a year - and this is not an exception from sad rule.

franknarf
03-29-2014, 11:49 PM
Glad you hear you've got A Plan, even if it puts Factions on the back burner. Personally, I'm pretty satisfied with Factions as-is, but simply don't have much of a draw to play. It might not be Chess, but it's pretty well balanced and interface- and performance-optimized already. :)

Good luck with the next steps! And I hope you maintain "open development" (or whatever it's called) going forward.

Henly
04-13-2014, 08:57 AM
The game is being worked on by the translators right now. They started work approximately March 5, and we expect the work to continue for another month or so before completion. We are translating into 6 languages:

German
French
Russian
Spanish
Polish
Portuguese

Thanks!
JW

) You will not make it in two month or so, belive me. There to many strings in app.game-saga1.air.swf, my favorite is checking Yes No button by =="Yes". what you will do in other language)? Many string in msg:"" in files over all game directory. Many strings have too small place to write something not in Enlglish.
and we have over 5 hundred png file with text on it.
I'm pretty sure testing will take several month.

sorry for bad english.

John
04-13-2014, 11:21 AM
Fortunately I have already removed all the hard-coded strings from the game, including from the SWF, and including the Yes/No problem that you mentioned.

Regarding the too small places for non-english text, we have a system that automatically makes the text fit by shrinking it. We'll have to test that part to make sure nothing gets shrunk too much :)

Also, the PNG with text should only contain 'proper names' like 'The Banner Saga', 'Vedrfell', 'Skogr', etc... and those will not be translated.

So, hopefully the hard parts are complete and we are just waiting on the translations.

JW


) You will not make it in two month or so, belive me. There to many strings in app.game-saga1.air.swf, my favorite is checking Yes No button by =="Yes". what you will do in other language)? Many string in msg:"" in files over all game directory. Many strings have too small place to write something not in Enlglish.
and we have over 5 hundred png file with text on it.
I'm pretty sure testing will take several month.

sorry for bad english.

Henly
04-13-2014, 11:32 AM
Glad to hear it

celeir
05-08-2014, 10:25 AM
Well, it looks like ZoG (http://notabenoid.com/book/49615/)'s fan-made-almost-done* Russian translation was started for nothing :(

Hurray, ZoG's full translation (http://www.zoneofgames.ru/games/banner_saga_the/files/5109.html) has been finished, tested and approved by happy community! (And there is no official localization (still)) :cool:

Aleonymous
05-08-2014, 02:25 PM
Hurray, ZoG's full translation (http://www.zoneofgames.ru/games/banner_saga_the/files/5109.html) has been finished, tested and approved by happy community! (And there is no official localization (still)) :cool:

Aye. Here is a recording of a Twitch-streamer playing that translated version: http://www.twitch.tv/ripper_and/b/526614686 that I fell upon the other day (that guy had like 100+ live-viewers). It looks complete to me, but some Russian friends expressed an opinion that the translation felt a little "crude" at certain points...

celeir
05-09-2014, 12:47 PM
Aye. Here is a recording of a Twitch-streamer playing that translated version: http://www.twitch.tv/ripper_and/b/526614686 that I fell upon the other day (that guy had like 100+ live-viewers). It looks complete to me, but some Russian friends expressed an opinion that the translation felt a little "crude" at certain points...
And they may be completely right at some points. For example, descriptions on the global map still have not been reviewed.