Author Topic: Realms Beyond Status & Future

daveyd

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#2513 July 14, 2021, Wednesday, 03:17 pm
RB is not currently being worked on because the business manager / level designer who owns 50% of the company & was supposed to be finding the game a publisher basically abandoned the project in late 2020. This year he has been unresponsive when Hobgoblin42 the programmer (other 50% owner) contacted him with anything pertaining to the company.  Unfortunately as 50% owner they require his approval to sign with a publisher or make any business decisions (he could legally shut down any attempts to sell anything related to RB).

Ceres is expected to go bankrupt very soon. Why? The company received a portion of a government grant in 2019.   But they are expected to show progress and release a finished product. Since they cannot, Ceres is required to pay back what they've received... as some of the money has been spent, the company will be forced to declare bankruptcy.  Then assets & IP of the game will be auctioned off to pay down company debts.  The programmer personally owns the RB game engine so he will retain that no matter what. 

After bankruptcy, the programmer and the lead writer plan to form a new company and attempt to buy the assets back with personal funds.  If all goes well, the programmer and writer will resume work on the project with the new plan of first making smaller adventure modules that can be made in a relatively short time period with a small budget.  These would be standalone stories (similar to some of the premium Neverwinter Nights modules).  They will give the small module/s to RB backers and sell to anyone else interested.  If it sells well, then they will probably make some more small modules, with the eventual goal of  resuming work on the larger "Ashes of the Fallen" game as originally pitched. 

If they are not able to get back the RB assets & IP from the auction, then they still hope to create a new game project with the RB engine.  It would likely still be similar in many ways (turn-based party cRPG with 3.5e rules).  But obviously this would be a major setback as they'd have to commission or acquire new art, music, etc. and start from scratch with the lore & world-building. 

So is the game cancelled?  Vaporware? Call it what you'd like. For now, I'd call it development limbo or Hell.  We'll hopefully get more definite news later this year. 

As the lead writer said on the RB Discord channel

wrote: Tharagavverug
It's not "cancelled". Nobody sat down and made the decision to stop development on the game. One owner is unresponsive and his actions interfere with the company's work, but Hob and me are still willing to keep working on the game and finish up something releasable, even if it's just a smaller module for the start. Were it not for the other owner, we would resume development part-time right away.
Last edited: July 14, 2021, Wednesday, 09:46 pm by daveyd

Dark_Ansem

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#2514 July 15, 2021, Thursday, 05:31 pm
I'm embarassed. I promoted this game for so long and now it ends like this.
One who knows nothing can understand nothing.

Sapistas

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#2515 July 15, 2021, Thursday, 09:42 pm
This is the second time this game gets "cancelled" (first as Choas Chronicles). Being a designer/developer is one thing. Running a business is another. Maybe they don't have it much? :/
Anyway, hopefully we'll finally see a reincarntaion of it in a few years. Fingers crossed.

daveyd

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#2516 July 18, 2021, Sunday, 02:17 am
This is the second time this game gets "cancelled" (first as Choas Chronicles). Being a designer/developer is one thing. Running a business is another. Maybe they don't have it much? :/
Anyway, hopefully we'll finally see a reincarntaion of it in a few years. Fingers crossed.

Things may look bleak now, but I still think there's a non-zero chance they'll be able to salvage the project and release something.   For what's it's worth I believe the writer and programmer really want to.

But obviously first we'll have to see how the bankruptcy goes and whether they're able to get back all or most of the assets & content that was created for the game.  If they do, it might not even take that long to release something now that their plan has changed to make smaller adventures first.  The writer said he already has ideas outlined for three good short adventure modules.  They'd be short enough that they could work on them part time so it wouldn't require much of a budget. 

Sapistas

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#2518 July 19, 2021, Monday, 07:49 pm
This is the second time this game gets "cancelled" (first as Choas Chronicles). Being a designer/developer is one thing. Running a business is another. Maybe they don't have it much? :/
Anyway, hopefully we'll finally see a reincarntaion of it in a few years. Fingers crossed.

Things may look bleak now, but I still think there's a non-zero chance they'll be able to salvage the project and release something.   For what's it's worth I believe the writer and programmer really want to.

But obviously first we'll have to see how the bankruptcy goes and whether they're able to get back all or most of the assets & content that was created for the game.  If they do, it might not even take that long to release something now that their plan has changed to make smaller adventures first.  The writer said he already has ideas outlined for three good short adventure modules.  They'd be short enough that they could work on them part time so it wouldn't require much of a budget.

The thing is the situation is unclear. We don't even know *if* they get to keep the assets etc. This might take long. And even if things go well, will a couple of short modules be enough to save the project?

arhel

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#2529 July 27, 2021, Tuesday, 06:27 pm
Thanks for the information, daveyd. I do not like developement prosesses like this, but hey, it is still a long time in europe for smaller studios or backer projects. I remember the long project of "Siebenwind", what was attacked from Ulysses games, before it became real. Or the long story of d&d games which were forced to close by the money oriented wizards of the coast. There is an adventure beside every adventure. :-)

I will still back this project. Realms Beyond will be a full release sometime because the soul of the developers is fine, thrustworthy and real. See you adventuring forth.

daveyd

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#2530 July 28, 2021, Wednesday, 08:53 pm


The thing is the situation is unclear. We don't even know *if* they get to keep the assets etc. This might take long. And even if things go well, will a couple of short modules be enough to save the project?

Well, in an ideal scenario, they make a few modules that sell so well they'd have enough funds to finish the main game.  But I think that's probably highly unlikely. I think it is more likely that they would sell OK and get decent reviews on Steam. Then they could go to a publisher or other private investor and say "hey we've been making these small games that people really like, with your funding we could make a bigger one".  A game like this, sadly, was always likely to be pretty niche.  But it could definitely still be profitable.  Especially if the toolset attracted a modding community.

But yes, it could be awhile before we know if this back up plan is even possible.  We won't know more until after the company goes bankrupt and exactly when that happens is ultimately up to their government. 




Sapistas

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#2531 July 28, 2021, Wednesday, 09:50 pm


The thing is the situation is unclear. We don't even know *if* they get to keep the assets etc. This might take long. And even if things go well, will a couple of short modules be enough to save the project?

Well, in an ideal scenario, they make a few modules that sell so well they'd have enough funds to finish the main game.  But I think that's probably highly unlikely. I think it is more likely that they would sell OK and get decent reviews on Steam. Then they could go to a publisher or other private investor and say "hey we've been making these small games that people really like, with your funding we could make a bigger one".  A game like this, sadly, was always likely to be pretty niche.  But it could definitely still be profitable.  Especially if the toolset attracted a modding community.

But yes, it could be awhile before we know if this back up plan is even possible.  We won't know more until after the company goes bankrupt and exactly when that happens is ultimately up to their government.

I'm gonna buy and play every "small module" they release (should they ever get to it) but, if you ask me, I don't see how a game as niche as this is gonna make it with this plan, especially since double their target fund wasn't enough. Partially I blame the stubborness of the devs for not wanting to innovate at all or at least try some contemporary things because "new rpgs suck". I mean come on, RB combat is 90s if not 80s basic...

daveyd

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#2532 July 28, 2021, Wednesday, 11:02 pm

I'm gonna buy and play every "small module" they release (should they ever get to it) but, if you ask me, I don't see how a game as niche as this is gonna make it with this plan, especially since double their target fund wasn't enough. Partially I blame the stubborness of the devs for not wanting to innovate at all or at least try some contemporary things because "new rpgs suck". I mean come on, RB combat is 90s if not 80s basic...

Hmm, I can't think of any 80's or 90's game that plays much like RB combat beta. The closest comparison is Temple of Elemental Evil (2003).  It's a bit simpler and still got some bugs, but it's definitely more similar to that  than any other cRPG.  So they're at least stuck in the Early 2000's.  :)  But the real appeal of the game to me was that it was going to be so much than combat.  There was supposed to be a big emphasis on dialogue and quests that could be completed in multiple ways. 

Honestly 120K Euros is nothing for game development. Certainly not in Germany which has a relatively high cost of living.   If they wanted to avoid getting a publisher they basically had two options.  Ask for more money on Kickstarter or reduce the scope of the game.  If they had asked for more money they very likely wouldn't have met the goal.  (Maybe when KS peaked in 2013 they could've gotten more but KS fatigue and skepticism have really made it harder for small projects to raise a lot).  In hindsight they should've reduced the scope and gone with the smaller module idea from the beginning. 

But as they say, hindsight is 20/20.  If HobGoblin had a crystal ball I'm sure he wouldn't have gone in business with someone who was going to sabotage the game either.  They've said that the main problem at this point is not financing at all. More money wouldn't even help right now. They need to get out of the business situation which prevents them from selling anything RB related.
Last edited: July 28, 2021, Wednesday, 11:10 pm by daveyd