Kickstarter campaign – day 7 – 6666 backers – about learning things

One week – 6666 backers on our Kickstarter – Β a nice number to post another update on.
I am learning so much about our audience by seeing the comments in different channels. The reactions posted are a veritable goldmine of info on who we’re making this for (well at least, the vocal part) and I think it’s safe to say that the ideas we picked up from those posts are already good for quite a few improvements to Divinity:Original Sin. I’m happy with several of the articles that were posted today, especially the ones we didn’t ask for like the one from EurogamerΒ or this little gem of an interview (in German). Makes all the PR effort feel like it was worth it.
I’m also starting to get the feeling that our entire Kickstarter campaign is going to be good for sales of the final game too as I see awareness is building. That’s bound to help in the end. I learnt a lot about what media matters for these type of things as well as who to avoid in the future. Some people and Larian will never click, fact of life. (Don’t worry Roguey, I didn’t give up on you yet, even if I think the odds are not in my favour)
It’s also been a good test of how our PR/Marketing partnerships in the different territories work. Because we have several approaches for different territories we can make direct comparisons between what works and what doesn’t.Β Interesting stuff. If I were to do it all again, I’d definitely change my approach – I’ll write about that in a later update when I have more time and once I saw the entire roll-out. But there’s no denying that in making mistakes we learn, and sometimes it’s better to make the mistakes so you can avoid bigger disasters in the future.
I’m also learning stuff about my team. For instance, I have two guys, my lead animator and lead writer, who’ve been camping in London for the last four weeks, recording the voices of AAA actors for Dragon Commander(they call them AAA probably because they can charge us more that way, but admittedly, the actors are good). During the day they direct the actors, record their voices and capture their facial expressions, at night they spend long hours writing additional texts and reviewing existing texts. That’s dedication mixed with talent right there, of a level rarely seen. And they’ve been doing that for a month!
I’m feeling very proud about what they’re doing for the moment, and I can only imagine what the result of their work is going to be. I’m expecting it to be really good because the little I’ve seen/read/heard really is top notch. On top of that, back home, some artists have taken it upon themselves to improve the environments in which all that acting is going to take place. It’s going to be stunning. And in such dedication I recognize people who care about what they’re making. It’s important to care. I don’t like people who don’t care.
Anyway, you’ll see the output of all that hard work soon enough, but right now, I’m going to head back to my Kickstarter campaign. Got to answer some messages, check the facebook pages, perhaps try again to figure out how twitter really works and check out if Torment will hit its 4M€. Lots to learn from Brian Fargo. He even got Roguey to increase his/her pledge. He might even get 66666 backers. Really well done.
Here are the stats btw:

There's a trend there but it's still a bit shaky

Does anybody see IGN?


  • Mico Selva

    Always great to read Your thoughts on the matter. I hope that Roguey will come to his/her senses eventually. πŸ˜‰

  • LC

    Who is that Roguey guy? Just curious…. πŸ™‚

    About Brian Fargo: I’m a Torment fan as well but you guys at Larian are way better in communication and direct contact with your fans and customers. Even Brian Fargo could/should learn from you about that aspect…..Kudos for that! πŸ™‚

    • Swen Vincke

      Roguey is a long-time rpgcodex member. He/she’s pretty negative about anything we do & acts as my reality check whenever I think we’re doing well.

      • ERYFKRAD

        Roguey is negative about everything. An equal opportunity nitpicker, as it were.

  • Zed

    finally the codex passes rpg watch. ’bout time.

  • Kein Zantezuken

    Do not neglect RPS next time :3

    • Swen Vincke

      How do you mean ? We went to show them the game & their preview is listed on our home pages.

  • AlexF

    This is somewhat irrelevant but I had a question. Have you already planned the chronology of the Divinity universe as a whole or do you build it gradually with each game?

    The first Divinity had some hints about the past of Rivelon but not the very distant past, then Divinity 2 that takes place a few years after Divine Divinity also had some references to a time of dragons and dragon knights. Dragon Commander is set in the distant past in an age of technology now forgotten, Original sin is somewhere before Divinity 1 but a lot of years after Dragon Commander? Beyond Divinity I haven’t played but I guess it’s somewhere between Divinity 1 and 2?

    A timeline graph for when each of the five games fit into the Rivelon timeline would be interesting to see, if you have one or could be bothered to create one, I think it would be nice for clarity and for long time fans to know at what period they are playing and how the games are connected.

    • Swen Vincke

      We built it gradually, but we actually work with a universe timeline. I thought I’d posted it here this morning, but apparently not. I’m not going to explain AD/BD/AC/BC because they’d contain spoilers AND they might still change as we finalize lore for both games. But this is what we’re working with.

      8800 BC(7855BD): Dragon Commander; XXX Spoilers possible)
      Centuries in between: the Lost Times
      4 BC(945AD) – 0: Original Sin; XXX (Spoilers possible)
      100 AC: Chaos Lord emerges and is defeated by the dwarfs (~ The Prophecy).
      611 AC: Chaos Lord emerges again, Ulthring is by his side. They are defeated because of the collective sacrifice of the Council of Seven, but the Chaos Lord lives on in the Sword of Lies (~ The Prophecy).
      1218 AC: Divine Divinity
      1233: Damian is banished to Nemesis.
      1238 AC: Beyond Divinity
      1300 AC: Dragon Knight Saga

      • AlexF

        I just spoiled myself the plot of Beyond Divinity by reading the lore on Damian on a divinity wiki. I still may play it some time cause I like to be thorough with game series. I was looking for Ulthring, not many references in the web about him appart from his armor in Dragon Knight Saga.

        A random fact about dates, in the common calendar there is no year zero. It goes from 1 BC to 1AD. That’s why the new millenium and the 21st century actually started at the eve of 2001 and not 2000 as many believed at the time. As for decades the same thing should apply but it’s a comonly accepted convention to take the first year of each decade to be the one with 0 as the last digit, for example the 90s did start in 1990. Of course that leaves the first decade AD with just 9 years πŸ˜€ No reason you can’t have a year 0 in your callendar though, it actually solves these logistic problems.

        I know what BC and AD mean in the normal callendar but in the Divinity universe of course they must mean something completely different.

        As the change from BD to AD, apparently happened during the Lost Times, almost 8000 thousand years after Dragon Commander and a thousand before Original Sin, I doubt we’ll learn about what event was important enough to constitute a starting point for a calendar it in either of those games.

        The change from BC to AC is much more interesting. It seems the first year of the new calendar starts at the end of Original Sin. Given how almost every major event in the years since are about the Chaos Lord and the various tries to stop him (never succeeding completely although the Divine reached pretty close but failed out of compassion) I’m thinking that maybe this story, the main story of all 3 Divinity games so far, doesn’t actually begin at 100AC when the Chaos Lord first emerges but a little bit earlier. Now if you take the timeline into account the name Original Sin seems to be a really strong hint.

        First I thought it would be something the characters did before the game and can’t remember. However from the timeline it seems that the new calendar starts at the end of the game so the title probably refers to what you do at the end. The word Sin of course implies something trully bad. The word Original is the most interesting though. Original compaired to what? Certainly not any of the events that preceed the game, it wouldn’t be original then. Probably original compaired to what comes after, that is the emergence of the Chaos Lord, the sins commited by the black ring, perhaps by the Divine and Zandalore who weren’t decisive enough even though they knew the stakes and others like Ygerna who each played their part in the story.

        Given all this I’ll make a guess that at the end of the game someone, probably the main characters, set in motion the events that lead to the emergence of the Chaos Lord in the first place and that is the Sin mentioned in the title. If I’m right it will be interesting to see if they actually know what it is they are commiting and if yes what could be the reason to drive them to do it?

        As for Dragon Commander, I hope we learn a little bit about Maxos. I’m not sure if it’s set during his time or some time after but I seem to recall him being mentioned when the game was first announced, Of course I may be mistaken.

        • Swen Vincke

          I hope you don’t expect me to answer πŸ˜‰ But you have on thing right – our party will have a very big impact on the future, as hinted at actually by Zandalor in the backstory we posted on Kickstarter (update 2).

          • AlexF

            No I don’t actually expect an answer about the Original Sin theory. It would be interesting to know though at what time period Maxos lived.

            I had read every update on the kickstarter page except for Zandalor’s diary. It was a bit long and thought to save it for later. You picked my curiosity though so I went ahead and read it now although I should be sleeping at this hour :p

            The contents are quite revealing I’d say. First of all we learn early on what BD and AD is. D stands for Divines and I assume B and A are for before and after. Then there is the letter of Bloodfurst. An excerpt: “Many prophecies foretell that from the Source, Chaos will spawn: Chaos, the herald of the End Times!”

            We already know that the two protagonists are source users (and novice source hunters apparently) and we do know that Chaos does spawn as the Chaos Lord emerges in 100AC for the first time. Of course Zandalor’s writing and the letter imply that there are other source users that may be responsible for the rise of chaos. Our heroes may actually help Zandalor set in motion the events that lead to the creation of the Divine and the almost defeat of the Chaos Lord.

            However the name Original Sin stirs me to believe that our two heroes may actually have a more negative than positive role in the whole situation.

            Anyway just musing here, no need to answer. I guess we’ll have the answers by the end of the year when the game ships.

      • Stabbey

        I’m glad to see the timeline more clarified, I was wondering about that. DKS is “50 years after the death of the Divine”, so after Damian returned to Rivellon, there was a 12-year long war or so. That makes more sense, I was wondering what the timeline was between the return and the death of the Divine.

        Divine Divinity was in 1218? Yay, I got it right. I made that guess based on only a note in the first dungeon dated 1207 saying that Thelyron would have to spend “more than a decade in Hell”.

        It’s also nice to see a fictional work where major historical events don’t occur “exactly 1000 years ago” for once.

  • Rod_Lightning

    IGN eh?

    Wish they didn’t spend like an entire week dedicated to Bioshock…Oh well.

  • Xodetaetl

    I’d be very interested to know what you actually discovered about your audience that you didn’t know or thought wasn’t that important.

    Likewise, what are the things that Brian Fargo and Obsidian where loud about that you finally understood? (i.e. your last blog update)

    I’m craving for this kind of hindsight. πŸ™‚

    • Swen Vincke

      Remind after the KS – this is a piece I want to spend some time on because I think it’s important

      • Xodetaetl

        Sure ! Just remind me to remind you, in case I forget. πŸ˜‰

  • Steve

    Time to start thinking about stretch goals!!

    • Swen Vincke

      I’m sitting here in the dark starting at my notes, trying to figure out which one will be the first, which one the second etc… With all the attention, the pressure is mounting too.

      • Binary Michael

        May I make a suggestion? I’m not sure if others feel the same way I do, but be the opposite of SotA stretched goals. I think funding slowed down because people were underwhelmed by the early stretched goals. I don’t think that’s a problem with you and your team though. You seem to have made all the most awesome choices so far πŸ™‚

      • Xodetaetl

        Just make sure to keep them realistic with how the campaign is going. Currently the cruising speed is around 18k per day and stretch goals won’t change that much, they are mostly efficient to drive pledges at the very end of the campaign. So, better have little stretch goals that take that into account, so we reach a few of them before the last few days. Then drop the big (but still reachable) ones !

      • Xodetaetl

        Judging from the many “Damn you! the stretch goal I want the most is the last, now I have to up my pledge” comments, you picked the right order. πŸ˜‰

  • Qeester

    I’ll be honest: still waiting on paypall possibility.

    • Raze

      From a kickstarter comment today: “We’ll update add-ons soon, add paypal and provide a solution for EU shipping.”
      In general, I think Paypal options are usually offered after the kickstarter hits its funding goal (otherwise refunds would be a hassle if it failed, though in this case that seems very unlikely).

  • Captain Person

    Quite curious to see what today’s referrer stats are.

  • Eric S. Macy

    unfortunately IGN is apparently so inept that they failed to include a link to the kickstarter in their article, a lot of the comments showed that even after reading the article people didn’t realize that there even was a kickstarter.