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Kicking Off Pathfinder Online

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

You've probably heard that Paizo is working with Goblinworks to produce Pathfinder Online, a massively multiplayer online roleplaying game. Goblinworks has been giving you snippets of our plans in the biweekly blog posts on goblinworks.com, and we've been getting your feedback on the Pathfinder Online messageboards here on paizo.com. Well, we're now ready to kick off the next phase of Pathfinder Online.

Today we announced a Kickstarter project to help us build the Pathfinder Online Technology Demo. Go take a look at the press release or visit the Kickstarter project page to find out what this Kickstarter is all about, and then come back here so I can share some details you'll want to know. Don’t worry, I’ll wait right here...

...Did you read it? Pretty darn cool, huh?

Goblinworks.com has its own blog today talking about the Kickstarter, so head over there when you're done here for more details on that. What I want to talk about here is the Thornkeep book!

Since the Pathfinder Online Technology Demo itself isn’t something that we can offer to Kickstarter patrons, we had to go outside the box for our Kickstarter rewards, and the Thornkeep book seemed like the perfect answer.

Thornkeep has a Pathfinder Online logo on the cover, but make no mistake—Paizo is handling this book just like any of our other Pathfinder products. It's set in the very same world of Golarion as our other roleplaying products, and contains 100% official Pathfinder campaign setting material for use with the Pathfinder RPG.

The first half of the 64-page Thornkeep book is a Pathfinder RPG sourcebook covering the town of Thornkeep and its surrounding area. Thornkeep is part of the River Kingdoms area, which is the setting for Pathfinder Online. (You could also drop Thornkeep into almost any wooded area in your own campaign setting.) As we mentioned in one of our earliest Pathfinder Online blog posts, Thornkeep is one of three starting locations for PCs in the MMO—it's the chaotic frontier town that Ryan dubbed our "hive of scum and villainy" (think a fantasy version of Deadwood). (You even helped us name Thornkeep in our first online poll!)

We thought it would be cool to allow folks to explore Thornkeep's various dark corners in their Pathfinder RPG sessions before Pathfinder Online is released. We will be using this book as our guide when we're building its digital equivalent. We're even going to have a small dungeon in this book that will map directly to the one featured in the Technology Demo. So not only will you be getting a guide to one of the towns in Pathfinder Online, but you'll also be getting the first look at how content from the RPG transitions to Pathfinder Online, as well as how content from the MMO might find its way to your gaming table!


Rich Baker, author of Thornkeep!

When we were looking for somebody to write the sourcebook material for us, we went to our good friend Rich Baker. This is Rich's first time working on Pathfinder, but he has been involved with classic D&D campaign settings from the Forgotten Realms to Birthright, and we figured it would be fun to see how he would approach Thornkeep! I've seen his partial turnovers already, and they're awesome!

So what about the second half of the book? That's going to be a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Pathfinder Online, including excerpts from our internal design document, plus design sketches and early artwork for the MMO, as well as essays from Goblinworks and Paizo team members designed to give you insight into the making of the MMO. Consider this a backstage pass to all of the goings-on at Goblinworks!

Of course, we couldn’t have a cool product like this without a Wayne Reynolds cover. The cover image you see here is a mock-up—Wayne should have the real Thornkeep cover done by PaizoCon, and we plan to unveil it at our banquet!

Thornkeep isn't the only Kickstarter reward, though. There are lots of fun rewards for folks at all levels of pledge support! You could even come to Paizo for a day, play a Pathfinder game with your dream Paizo GM, and have a four-hour dinner with your GM, Goblinworks CEO Ryan Dancey, and myself. Check out all of the Kickstarter rewards and help us get to the next step in the development of Pathfinder Online. We wouldn’t be here without you!

Lisa Stevens
Paizo CEO
Goblinworks COO

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Goblinworks Paizo Pathfinder Online Rich Baker
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Souphin wrote:
Bluenose wrote:
No, it hasn't. Shadowrun Returns was faster. Although that was for an actual game.
True, if this were for the actual game the number would be a lot better

That seems a likely assumption, yes. Although please note, I think a serious MMO is going to need to raise rather more than the Shadowrun KS before it can be made. $50,000 dollars is less than the median annual salary for one person in the VG industry, and there's a lot more to be spent.

Goblin Squad Member

Brian E. Harris wrote:
Dunno if this has been asked, but will the tech demo Kickstarter backers receive preferential treatment in regards to the subscriber caps when the MMO launches?

This is the best answer you'll probably get, from the Kickstarter project page:

Quote:

PLEDGE $30 OR MORE

You’ll become a member of the Goblin Squad, with a special icon on the Goblinworks messageboards. The Goblin Squad will receive special alerts letting them know about new information first, and we’ll give special priority to Goblin Squad members throughout the development process. This is your chance to identify yourself to us and to the community as a key supporter of Pathfinder Online. In addition, you’ll get the $15 reward level.

Osirion

Has their been any word as to what money in addition to their goal will be used for?

Goblin Squad Member

Wyldwabyt wrote:

Backed last night for 250 wish I coulda done more.

Sad to see this starting to slow down, you guys need to post something soon about stretch goals so not to loss momentum.

Kickstarters usually have a lot of activity at the beginning and end. And they tend to slow down as the US sleeps. It'll take a few days to really see the pledge patterns. Updated and stretch goals do help. I was sueprised not to see much at first.

Actually, the guys at SJ Games said they wished they'd run a smaller Kickstarter before tackling Ogre as practice. So a Tech Demo is a good first run. Paizo/Goblinworks will have experience running one when they go to fund the full game.

Paizo Employee CEO

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Cele wrote:
Has their been any word as to what money in addition to their goal will be used for?

Any additional money over the goal will allow us to hire more people and build more of the game during this tech demo phase. This in turn will allow us to get a bigger jump on the final game, since the stuff we are doing in the tech demo phase will be used in the regular production phase.

Also, additional funding above the goal helps us sell the game to investors. Hitting the $50k goal in less than 24 hours was amazing and impressive, but imagine if we end up with $350k at the end of the 30 days! A 700% success rate would look very good in presentations to investors. Since the main goal of the tech demo is to prove to investors that Pathfinder Online has a great customer base already, the higher we get that end number, the more this Kickstarter will help us sell the idea of Pathfinder Online.

-Lisa

Goblin Squad Member

deinol wrote:
Kickstarters usually have a lot of activity at the beginning and end. And they tend to slow down as the US sleeps.

I also expect you'll see flurries of activity around common paydays: Fridays, the 15th, the 31st/1st, etc.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
deinol wrote:
Kickstarters usually have a lot of activity at the beginning and end. And they tend to slow down as the US sleeps.
I also expect you'll see flurries of activity around common paydays: Fridays, the 15th, the 31st/1st, etc.

Which is funny, because the money isn't credited from your account until after the Kickstarter ends. A lot of people do star a project to get the last 48 hour warning email and decide how much they can afford then.

Osirion Goblin Squad Member

1,000 backers and counting!
$67,076 total.


I would consider paying four figures for a character artwork by Wayne Reynolds more than I would want to fly to Washington and see Goblins HQ. What are the odds of something like that happening later on? As long as it's limited I wouldn't think the time of his it takes would be too bad.

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

Lisa Stevens wrote:
Cele wrote:
Has their been any word as to what money in addition to their goal will be used for?

Any additional money over the goal will allow us to hire more people and build more of the game during this tech demo phase. This in turn will allow us to get a bigger jump on the final game, since the stuff we are doing in the tech demo phase will be used in the regular production phase.

-Lisa

I think Cele was more asking about stretch goals. Most of the kickstarters are offering backers "extras" if it hits certain milestones beyond the initial project goal, but the PFO kickstarter doesn't seem to be doing that.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Diego Rossi wrote:

A few Very Important Questions for people that will have to pay customs:

1) what will be the value of the merchandise for the invoice with the book/manifest/T-shirt?
If it is the full value of the kickstarter pledge VAT and custom tax increase the cost for the guy supporting PFO by a good margin.

2) what kind of merchandise will appear in the invoice if we get the book, book+manifest, book+manifest+T-shirt?

1: I can't answer precisely in terms of values as the rewards haven't yet been codified to our system to that degree, but speaking generally, we'll make sure the declared value is a fair market value for the contents of the package, not the value of the pledge.

2: As far as customs declarations go, books will be declared as "Books"; posters as "Posters"; T-shirts as "Clothing"; certificates as "Documents"; and challenge coins, plaques, and messenger bags will (I think) all be "Accessories." (I don't know what item you're referring to as a "manifest.")

Taldor Goblin Squad Member

uriel222 wrote:
Lisa Stevens wrote:
Cele wrote:
Has their been any word as to what money in addition to their goal will be used for?

Any additional money over the goal will allow us to hire more people and build more of the game during this tech demo phase. This in turn will allow us to get a bigger jump on the final game, since the stuff we are doing in the tech demo phase will be used in the regular production phase.

-Lisa

I think Cele was more asking about stretch goals. Most of the kickstarters are offering backers "extras" if it hits certain milestones beyond the initial project goal, but the PFO kickstarter doesn't seem to be doing that.

They just added one:Kickstarter Project Page

Andoran Goblin Squad Member

Vic Wertz wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:

A few Very Important Questions for people that will have to pay customs:

1) what will be the value of the merchandise for the invoice with the book/manifest/T-shirt?
If it is the full value of the kickstarter pledge VAT and custom tax increase the cost for the guy supporting PFO by a good margin.

2) what kind of merchandise will appear in the invoice if we get the book, book+manifest, book+manifest+T-shirt?

1: I can't answer precisely in terms of values as the rewards haven't yet been codified to our system to that degree, but speaking generally, we'll make sure the declared value is a fair market value for the contents of the package, not the value of the pledge.

2: As far as customs declarations go, books will be declared as "Books"; posters as "Posters"; T-shirts as "Clothing"; certificates as "Documents"; and challenge coins, plaques, and messenger bags will (I think) all be "Accessories." (I don't know what item you're referring to as a "manifest.")

Sorry, "manifesto" is a poster in Italian. Instead of translating the term I erred and Anglicized the Italian word.

Thanks.

Now the next question as the reply reassure me that I will not pay 30 $ in customs for a 75 $ pledge: there is a way to increase my pledge?
I would like to go from the 50 $ to the 75 $ one, but I don't see a way to do it in the Amazon site.

Edit: found it, I need to go through the Goblinworks site.


Yay for a Pathfinder game.

Boo to a MMORGG (whatever they are called)

I never liked those money-magnet games...
I rather see an offline RPG game made for Pathfinder. And WOW isn't a game its a horrid addiction that needs to become illigal.

Maybe gamerize the adventure paths into computer games instead? (and not have monthly fay)

Goblin Squad Member

Vic Wertz wrote:
Harrison wrote:
Please make the Half-Orcs sexy.
What do you think of Imrijka, our iconic half-orc inquisitor?

She's a hot chick and iconic, though. She's supposed to be sexy.

We need more sexy guy half-orcs. I'd use the assassin half-orc guy as an example, but we can't see his face. =C

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Sincubus wrote:

Yay for a Pathfinder game.

Boo to a MMORGG (whatever they are called)

I never liked those money-magnet games...
I rather see an offline RPG game made for Pathfinder. And WOW isn't a game its a horrid addiction that needs to become illigal.

Maybe gamerize the adventure paths into computer games instead? (and not have monthly fay)

A company needs to make money in order to continue to support a game, otherwise the cost of upkeep outweighs the profit that the game is bringing in (and once that happens, the game basically dies, which is never fun).

An offline Pathfinder RPG would be kinda cool if it was like TESV:Skyrim or something, but Pathfinder is a game that really shines when you have fun with your friends, and it'd be kinda lame if you couldn't play with your friends in a Pathfinder video game.

Also, you shouldn't judge every MMORPG based on the worst World of Warcraft players. Only a very small number of players actually play to the unhealthy severity that the media likes to harp on about all the time.

Goblin Squad Member

Harrison wrote:
An offline Pathfinder RPG would be kinda cool if it was like TESV:Skyrim or something, but Pathfinder is a game that really shines when you have fun with your friends, and it'd be kinda lame if you couldn't play with your friends in a Pathfinder video game.

Devil's advocate, but the best D&D games weren't the MMO.

Goblin Squad Member

hmarcbower wrote:
Sorry, you completely lost me with Rich Baker in the mix.

Really? I've never heard a negative thing about him. He did great work on the Alternity game and even wrote a fun novel. Zero Point i think it was called.

Goblin Squad Member

Brian E. Harris wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Is it hardcover? I'd presumed it was a "standard" paizo 64 page book.
Yeah, I have no idea where that's coming from, because it's not mentioned at all in the Kickstarter or the blog post.

He probably meant hard copy..as in not a pdf

Goblin Squad Member

Will it reach 90k?
I hope it goes passed it.


Man, I better not forget to donate...I want that book!

Paizo Employee Developer

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Man, I better not forget to donate...I want that book!

You can pledge to back at any time, and won't be charged until the end of the kickstarter campaign, so you can remind yourself by backing now!

Goblin Squad Member

It looks like about 150 people have reversed their pledges since the video was shot (video shows 1,426 current is 1,282).

[edit] - it looks like it's just an unfortunate screen grab from the animation and the total has not reached 1,426 yet.

Taldor Goblin Squad Member

They've included the goal of $100K in addition to the 2,000 backers.

A good move, considering how easy it would be to create additional accounts with different emails, and contribute $1 from each of them. Lots of backers is important to show enthusiasm, but the cash is where the rubber meets the road!

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Kradlum wrote:

It looks like about 150 people have reversed their pledges since the video was shot (video shows 1,426 current is 1,282).

[edit] - it looks like it's just an unfortunate screen grab from the animation and the total has not reached 1,426 yet.

There was another pledge at the $5K level that was reversed- I only noticed when I refreshed and the number went down.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kevin Cannell wrote:

They've included the goal of $100K in addition to the 2,000 backers.

A good move, considering how easy it would be to create additional accounts with different emails, and contribute $1 from each of them. Lots of backers is important to show enthusiasm, but the cash is where the rubber meets the road!

Stretch goal #1 is still tied to 2000 backers, not to any dollar figure. Ryan just put that $100K figure in there because he likes things that begin with dollar signs and end with lots of zeros.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

DeciusBrutus wrote:
There was another pledge at the $5K level that was reversed- I only noticed when I refreshed and the number went down.

We get emails every time somebody adjusts their pledge; it happens at the rate of about one every couple hours. Some go up, some go down.

Goblin Squad Member

Vic Wertz wrote:
Kevin Cannell wrote:

They've included the goal of $100K in addition to the 2,000 backers.

A good move, considering how easy it would be to create additional accounts with different emails, and contribute $1 from each of them. Lots of backers is important to show enthusiasm, but the cash is where the rubber meets the road!

Stretch goal #1 is still tied to 2000 backers, not to any dollar figure. Ryan just put that $100K figure in there because he likes things that begin with dollar signs and end with lots of zeros.

LOL...nice!

Grand Lodge Goblinworks Founder

Vic Wertz wrote:


Stretch goal #1 is still tied to 2000 backers, not to any dollar figure. Ryan just put that $100K figure in there because he likes things that begin with dollar signs and end with lots of zeros.

Less than 600 backers to go! Looking good

Goblin Squad Member

Will the online Pathfinder MMORPG work natively in Linux? I'd love to get in on this kickstarter project but if it doesn't work in Linux then I'll never be able to play the game. Yes there is Wine/Cedega/Crossover but that emulates Windows and games don't always run correctly in it.

Goblin Squad Member

Belkar wrote:
Will the online Pathfinder MMORPG work natively in Linux? I'd love to get in on this kickstarter project but if it doesn't work in Linux then I'll never be able to play the game. Yes there is Wine/Cedega/Crossover but that emulates Windows and games don't always run correctly in it.

If I recall they mentioned the engine they intend to use is not currently supporting mac but will in the future. The non-mention of linux leads me to think linux native is very highly unlikely. Once they announce the engine we can go to winehq look up other games and find out how many of them wine works for to know what our odds of playing it succesfully will be

Goblin Squad Member

Nappa: "Hey Vegeta, What's the funding at?"

Goblin Squad Member

Vegeta: "IT'S OVER $90,000."

Goblinworks Executive Founder

What!?! Ninety thousand?!?

Taldor Goblin Squad Member

New update on the Kickstarter! #6

Goblin Squad Member

Considering the stretch goal is to get 2,000 backers as opposed to any dollar amount; I think the reward isn't designed to achieve that effect. I think the best way to increase the number of unique backers would be to include a minor yet tangible reward at the lower donation levels.

Goblin Squad Member

Deane Beman wrote:
Considering the stretch goal is to get 2,000 backers as opposed to any dollar amount; I think the reward isn't designed to achieve that effect. I think the best way to increase the number of unique backers would be to include a minor yet tangible reward at the lower donation levels.

This is true for adding more backers, I agree.

But for increasing at the 2k level, maybe add some more value, eg demo + something a bit more lasting to take away as well as the experience itself ; such as some virtual features such as "help design something" for the demo?

Goblin Squad Member

1500!

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

We need a big push for the next 500!! Tell your friends, wife, husband, kids, uncles, aunts, enemies!!!!

Goblin Squad Member

That $175,000 reward is very enticing, but so far away! :(

Fingers crossed we finish with a sprint.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

c'mon everybody - lets do this!

Goblin Squad Member

I just broke into a new group with my Aikido instructor, who has a group of Pathfinder buddies and another group of MMO buddies he's making sure are aware of this.


Belkar wrote:
Will the online Pathfinder MMORPG work natively in Linux? I'd love to get in on this kickstarter project but if it doesn't work in Linux then I'll never be able to play the game. Yes there is Wine/Cedega/Crossover but that emulates Windows and games don't always run correctly in it.

They've said they are custom integrating their software from multiple middleware solutions.

The question to ask is whether or not the software will be runnable via Wine/Cedega/etc.
Maybe so, maybe not. If so, that is a temporary solution to Mac AND Linux clients.

Honestly, I'm curious to hear DETAILS on this custom middle-ware mashup. !?!?!?!?

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I would much rather see printed dungeons in the Thornkeep book than a "behind the scenes" look at Goblinworks. However that stretch goal may be unattainable in only 8 short days.

Goblin Squad Member

Deane Beman wrote:
I would much rather see printed dungeons in the Thornkeep book than a "behind the scenes" look at Goblinworks. However that stretch goal may be unattainable in only 8 short days.

Me too. It's hard to predict the final tally - I believe kickstarter projects often finish in a rush, but that $175k does look a long way off. :(

I'm hopeful we'll be able to entice Erik Mona to dust off his adventure writing pen though. Maybe get him back into the habit. :)

Goblin Squad Member

Next stop, $150k and 2500 backers. That thing has been flying up tonight.

Goblin Squad Member

Hell yeah thornkeep is going to be some good epic dungeon fun ^_^

I haven't stopped advertising to people to support the project for the last few days but most don't like the incentives unfortunately as tabletop holds no interest to them.

On top of that they see all the dev videos getting leaked anyway so that base induction incentive holds no sway either :(

But power to the goblins, we few, we proud, we green lil beauties! (I would have used something else but I can't remember the rules on it).

Goblin Squad Member

Hey guys I upped my donation to $50 if we can get some more people to upgrade we will get new levels and the book will be printed. This could be like the Keep on the Borderlands and we could get a new video game out of it. The book would feature levels from four great writers with their own style on each level they create. If you haven't told your gamer friends about this please let em know. I perfectly understand not everyone can afford $50, but for those of you on the sidelines $15 for a PDF with this much promise should defiantly be an affordable bargain! Please jump on board.

Goblin Squad Member

I started at $50.00. Having my book defaced by the Goblinworks staff is not worth the extra $25.00 for me to kick it to the next level. I wish there was another level in between $100 & $250 but I must admit I can't think of a suitable award that comes between a shirt and a certificate.

Goblin Squad Member

I just thought of it an exclusive set of goblin works dice!

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