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We interrupt your regularly scheduled apocalypse to bring you some breaking news.
Project V13, status update
The much maligned Project V13, once known as "Fallout Online" is not as dead as some feared. Eagle eyed spotters might have noticed that Interplay had left its release as TBA...
Well, here's the skinny on what Project V13 is going to be now...
- Project V13 (PV13) is the first planned Black Isle Studios release in years, a post-apocalyptic strategy RPG. You will create a character to represent yourself within the game world. Your character will be a hardy adventurer from a variety of backgrounds; one of the last remaining humans, a new breed mutant, or a technologically advanced cyborg. The choice is yours.
- Once you have determined your character's background, you will found your "colony". From a deserted city, a broken down military base, or even the ruins of an oil pumping station, the colony will be yours to rebuild and control. Attract non-player characters for guards, peons, scientists, and other activities. Or, if you are the type that so desires, shanghai the NPCs. Put them to work rebuilding your society and improving your colony.
- Meanwhile, you will experience grand adventures to gather the resources and ancient technologies as well as fight back the enemy hordes. Your character will gain experience, advance skills, learn new talents and gain access to incredibly powerful equipment. Or die trying.
- Explore the world, meet friends, and fight your neighbors for control of resources. PV13 will be your chance to rebuild a devastated world.
Doesn't sound much like the MMOG that was promised, but colony/settlement building is a common suggestion in the threads.
I hate to editorialise, but I'm going to slap a great big "Buyer beware" on this. Here's some red flags for you:
- About the Team
- We're an experienced team of game developers. We love the post-apocalyptic genre and want to do something exciting with it. PV13 has been in development for years, but we've had to make some major changes recently. We believe the changes are for the better and we're excited about working on this new iteration of PV13.
Note the lack of names or detail.
The reward Tiers
- $10+ contributions will receive
- Access to a special Black Isle forum. You can read about the ongoing fight to save the world. (And PV13.)
- A copper BIMAR forum badge.
- A Certificate of Recognition at the end of 30 days.
- $20+ contributions will receive
- Access to the private forum as well as posting privileges.
- A silver BIMAR forum badge.
- A Certificate of Merit at the end of 30 days.
- And last, but certainly not least, the Top 20 Contributors. Those who really care enough to Save the World. Obviously the most Intelligent and Charming Visionaries among us. Those who should be honored by parades, statues, and overpriced stadiums.
- We'll put them on the Hero board. It's the least we can do. But, surprise, we will do more.
- When the Mayan Apocalypse is over the Top 20/Hero Board contributors will receive
- Access to the private forum as well as posting privileges.
- A gold BIMAR forum badge/banner.
- And a Certificate of Valor at the end of 30 days.
- Hero Board listing.
Notice the lack of "Copy of the game" in any of the tiers.
This isn't a kickstarter, you aren't contributing to get an end product, you're contributing to help them develop a prototype only, they'll then be back for more cash once this is done. This is quite literally beg-ware - give us money so we can ask you for more money later.
They're making a prototype?
According to documents in the Beth v Interplay courtcase, Project V13 was playable (thanks to Masthead).
I have a feeling this is a sign that all of that work, at least as development goes, has been thrown away.
Those of you who watch the recent changes might have noticed me working on a rewrite of the Bethesda v Interplay court case. According to the original deal, the game should be almost done by now.
Within of starting full scale development Interplay was supposed to get the game out within 4 years. If they started full scale development on the last possible day, it should have been done by April 4, 2013; with a possible extension of up to 12 months.
Follow the money
Take a look at the donor list.... Number 6 as I write this is:
- 6.Eric Caen $75
Eric Caen is the brother of Hearve Caen, the CEO of Interplay. This seems a bit of a conflict - have someone involved in the company donate high to encourage more to do it... Then again, if the CEO's brother can only manage $75....
Speaking of money, According to Thomas Bidaux a former employee of NCsoft, and now consultant to the online gaming industry, a MMORPG takes between 20-80 million dollars, depending on what quality you like. (pulled from his report in the Bethesda v Interplay case)
Wasteland and Project Eternity managed less than 10 million combined. Interplay's other well known kickstarter, Battle chess, managed 16k.
You're paying for access to a forum...
- Interplay will use its good faith business efforts to launch the forum on or before the estimated date. However, You acknowledge and agree that delivery as of such date is not a promise by Interplay and that unforeseen events may extend the development and/or production time. Accordingly, You agree that any unearned portion of the deposit shall not be refundable until and unless Interplay has not launched the forum within 6 months after the estimated delivery date. If the BlackIsle.com/Project V13 forum is not launched within 6 months of January 30, 2013, then the unearned portion of Your pledge (i.e., that portion not spent on Game Costs) will be promptly refunded, less processing costs and third party fees.
Basically, Interplay don't promise to launch the top secret forum you're paying for access for, and if they don't you wont be getting all your money back. If they spend it all in the meantime... TS, you get nothing!
Wrap and poll
Well, I think that's enough alarm bells for now. If you want to contribute you can head on over to Black Isle's website.
If you'd like to support interplay, but actually want something for your money, can I suggest instead putting your money into Interplay shares. Interplay shares are currently trading at $US0.01. Note, this is not financial advice.