Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Crowfall: Kickstarter, More Thoughts

Crowfall announced its Kickstarter today. It is already more than half-way to the goal, which means there's a very strong chance it will be successful. I backed it, as I am always in favor of games that try new things. And Crowfall is especially good in that it is set up to try many new things as new campaigns with new rulesets start up.

The other interesting thing I saw was Crowfall's rules for Faction campaigns. There are three factions: Order, Chaos, and Balance. Very archetypical factions. But the win conditions are amusing. Order and Chaos win if they have the most points at the end. But Balance wins if Order and Chaos have roughly the same amount of points.

It's a very neat way of keeping the factions level, while also adhering to the lore. The only issue I can see is that the equilibrium selects for Balance. If Order or Chaos is dominant, Balance allies with the other. But if Balance is dominant, Order and Chaos cannot ally to defeat Balance. Allying only plays into Balance's goals.

Still, though, we'll have to see how it plays out.

I think Crowfall's Achilles' Heel is going to be performance and responsiveness. I know I harp on this a lot, but in some ways, performance is more important than all the creativity in the rules and game design. Games are a tactile experience, and a successful game must "feel" right when you're playing. You get that wrong, and your game dies.

Also, I think the developers should stop referencing Game of Thrones so much. It's kind of weird, in the "they're going to get sued" sort of vein. I'm not a fan of GoT [1], so it's a turn-off for me.

1. The problem with killing off all the characters the reader cares about, is that the reader is left with a book filled with characters she doesn't care about.


  1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks that about the Game of Thrones! It's why I couldn't make it through the second book.

    The connection Crowfall is trying to make is an odd one if they don't have some kind of license, but if they do shouldn't they just say that?

  2. I'm not sure if it's super intentional on Crowfall's part. They started with "it's like Game of Thrones crossed with X", only they may not be aware of exactly how much they are repeating it.

    After long experience with something, you often tune out the exact details, and can miss something which is jarring to someone hearing it for the first time.

  3. I really hate Kickstarter for games. Especially games with a large team and backing that aren't relying on Kickstarter for funding. It's like they're cheating the crowdfunding scene for free publicity to advertise a Founder's Pack promotion.

  4. My concern about the O/C/B factions are that they will need some means of forcing balance to fight. If balance has the superior numbers then they can just side with the loser each time to almost "enforce" balance. Even though it's meant to answer the "fourth faction" problems a lot of faction PvP games have, it has its own issues.