Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 54

  Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.   Thread: So...what is Stoic up to these days?

  1.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #1
    Art Director Arnie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    319

    So...what is Stoic up to these days?

    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!

  2. #2
    Backer Rymdkejsaren's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Malmö, Sweden
    Posts
    72
    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
    RK/Magnus on Twitch
    @thewritemagnus on Twitter

  3.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #3
    Art Director Arnie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    319
    Quote Originally Posted by Rymdkejsaren View Post
    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.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Yellow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    265
    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.
    "Forged by Fire; Empowered by Passion"

  5. #5
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Greece
    Posts
    2,444
    Hey, hey! Welcome back Arnie! Where were you guys? We were starting to fear that the Dredge got you, or something

    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!
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

  6. #6
    Junior Member dboon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by Arnie View Post

    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.

  7. #7
    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?

  8. #8
    Backer Rymdkejsaren's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Malmö, Sweden
    Posts
    72
    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.
    RK/Magnus on Twitch
    @thewritemagnus on Twitter

  9. #9
    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?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Brackstone View Post
    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?
    Last edited by GreenDread; 03-17-2014 at 09:50 PM.

  11.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #11
    Developer raven2134's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Manila, Philippines
    Posts
    1,061
    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 > 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.
    Last edited by raven2134; 03-18-2014 at 07:34 AM.

  12. #12
    Superbacker bruther's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    8
    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!

  13. #13
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Greece
    Posts
    2,444
    OK, the tone is not dramatic enough in this thread So, lets make things more explicit:



    No Factions = Community dies

    PS -- I don't really mind the green Thrasher dying... But the rest?
    Last edited by Aleonymous; 08-23-2019 at 09:55 AM. Reason: Update URL to embedded image
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

  14. #14
    Superbacker StandSure's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Posts
    141
    Haha, I am probably the only one who still comes to these forums that thought "yay! more Saga!"
    Let the Sleeping Dog Lie!

    See my album of Banner Saga crests here. Many thanks to everyone who displays my work!

  15. #15
    Backer Rymdkejsaren's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Malmö, Sweden
    Posts
    72
    Quote Originally Posted by bruther View Post
    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.
    RK/Magnus on Twitch
    @thewritemagnus on Twitter

  16. #16
    Superbacker gripho's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    France
    Posts
    62
    Quote Originally Posted by StandSure View Post
    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

  17. #17
    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! )

    All the best for you,
    grumpy

  18. #18
    Junior Member natej11's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    22
    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.

  19.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #19
    Art Director Arnie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    319
    Quote Originally Posted by Yellow View Post
    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.

  20.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #20
    Art Director Arnie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    319
    Quote Originally Posted by Aleonymous View Post
    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.
    Last edited by Arnie; 03-21-2014 at 01:36 PM.

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •