That Cyan Kickstarter: Obduction

The rumor-noise was for the beginning of November, but I guess they were ready sooner than that. Greet Obduction:

All-new sci-fi graphical adventure game. They're headlining Rand Miller as head pooh-bah, and Stephan Martinière and Eric A. Anderson (Myst Online, The Witness) as lead artists.

Obduction begins with... well… an abduction - your abduction. On a crystal clear, moon-lit night, a curious, organic artifact drops from the sky and inexplicably whisks you away across the universes to who-knows-where (or when, or why). -- from the Kickstarter page

And there's an abandoned white house with a picket fence in the middle of a fantastical landscape. Adventure-game history acknowledges the nod.

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9 Responses to That Cyan Kickstarter: Obduction

  1. They're past 20% in the first day -- seems like solid progress. (If a Kickstarter hits 50% in the first day it's a shoo-in; 10% would be glum news.) We'll see what the drop-off rate is like, but I'm reasonably confident about this one.

    (*Shipping* is another question, as any reader of my HL posts can say. But Cyan has a fairly good history of project management, when it comes to single-player games.)

  2. James Wilson says:

    Day four and only at $460,000--this seems to be going a little bit too slow for comfort.

  3. It's not comfortable but it's a little early to be worried, either.

    I could go into handwaving numbers analysis, but eh, it would be hand-waving. I'll be happier when they cross the psychological threshold of 50%.

    Note that I have not actually contributed money myself yet. :) My checking account is in a temporary dry state. Embarrassing! Money will be moved around in the next couple of days, and then I'll pitch some in.

  4. What the heck, I'll do some hand-waving.

    Looking around, I see a couple of sites that say that nearly all KS projects that reach 50% will reach 100%. (E.g.: )

    That sounds good, doesn't it? Don't start cheering just yet.

    The problem is that million-dollar projects are a small slice of Kickstarterdom. And most of them are bad jokes that fail. (Like the "Build the Death Star" project.) So *serious* million-dollar projects -- like Cyan's -- are an even *smaller* slice of the pie, and there just isn't enough information to make predictions about them.

    For example, this paper: ...looked at projects up through July 2012. In that period, *no project with a million-dollar goal succeeded*. In fact none got higher than 3%; they were *all* bad jokes. (See footnote 2.)

    That is no longer true; there have been several successful projects at that goal level in the past year. But the point is, that's a new phenomenon, and we don't have a good enough sample to make predictions about them yet.

    (I also posted this comment on Cyan's web forum: )

  5. Rand did a Reddit AMA thread this evening. Here are some of his answers:

    [Progress:] "We've got design images, and story arches, and gameplay elements to start with. We still have plenty of items to flesh out - including the script for Obduction."

    [Question about Obduction sequels:] "We're taking one at a time, but the story will certainly allow more."

    [Obduction soundtrack:] "We've got someone lined up for the music - but I just can't talk about it yet. Stay tuned! (Pun intended.)"

    [General questions:]

    "My favorite Age is Ahnonay - it's an Age in Myst Online (Uru). It is by far my favorite Age, and my only regret is that I can't play it because I know too much."

    "Oh yeah - I remember the first time I had that feeling. It was a long, long time ago. Really, really long time ago. Like time-sharing-computers long ago. There was a text adventure game called (creatively) 'Adventure' that just spit out sentences and then waited for you to type in what you wanted to do. [...] I was hooked. No instructions. No maps. Just figuring out where I was and how things fit together."

    "Tolkien was inspirational in his ability to FULLY create a new world. He went beyond the elements that were just part of the story, and actually designed huge amounts of the world that were just "behind-the-scenes" information that would help keep him consistent and make the "visible" part of the world seem so much more real."

  6. And now I've backed the thing myself -- finally.

    As best I can tell, I pushed it past the 50% mark.

  7. James Wilson says:

    Three days to raise $115,000! It's cutting it close but it just might make it

  8. Actually, given the acceleration curve of the last couple of days, it's looking like a shoo-in. Although I don't want to say that too loudly. :)

    Someone had a graph of funding rates for different scales of KS projects. I'm afraid I've lost the link -- but it seemed to indicate that giant projects have proportionally less of a home-stretch boost, and less of the "if you reach n%, you've got it made" effect. There's *some* of each, but not as much as you think. (And, as I noted above, the data set for megabuck-scale projects remains very thin.)

    Nonetheless, the pledge rate has been creeping upwards for the past week. It would take a complete last-minute washout to miss the goal now. I'll let the Oculus fans argue over how likely they are to get their stretch goal.

  9. There, see. :)

    Congrats to Cyan and all of us who helped.

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