Black Isle Studios Launches "PV13" Fundraising Campaign

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Black Isle Studios Launches "PV13" Fundraising Campaign

The once-famed studio needs help getting its new post-apocalyptic RPG off the ground.

Black Isle Studios, which you may remember from such games as Icewind Dale, Planescape: Torment and Fallout 2, was resurrected [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/119214-Interplay-Resurrects-Planescape-Studio-Name], at least in name, by Interplay earlier this year. The idea of Interplay, a shambling corpse in its own right, resurrecting anything might seem a little unlikely, but it looks like they're serious about it. The studio has a new(ish) project on the go and it wants your money to help make it happen.

The Black Isle Mayan Apocalypse Replacement program is based on the relatively simple idea that the looming Mayan end of the world can be faked out by a virtual doomsday, which actually makes no sense whatsoever - but that's alright, because what they're really after is your money. It's kind of like Kickstarter, with two major exceptions: One, the money is taken immediately rather than on the contingency that a funding goal is met, and two, you get nothing for it beyond access to a private forum and the satisfaction that comes from doing a solid for destitute game studio.

The game in question, by the way, is currently known as "PV13," which may sound familiar but has absolutely nothing to do with Fallout, a game that Interplay and Black Isle seem to be legally precluded from even thinking about. It will be a post-apocalyptic strategy RPG, however, in which players assemble and lead a colony of survivors while experiencing "grand adventures" in a devastated world.

The money raised will go toward the development of a "proof of concept" prototype, which will then be used to attract further investment required to finish the game. "We've got some great ideas, but they haven't been tested in the crucible of actual play," the studio explained. "We'll have most, if not all, systems in the proof of concept. We'll be able to run around the world, interacting with NPCs and objects, basic combat, building and worker management, and test the other core gameplay mechanics."

Okay, it's not the most rock-solid proposition ever. I'd love to see a new Black Isle Studios RPG, but "give us money" isn't the most compelling sales pitch I've ever heard. I also can't help but notice that Interplay President Eric Caen has kicked in a whopping 75 bucks to the cause, not exactly the most inspirational bit of leadership-by-example I've ever seen. Do I really need to say this? Dare to dream, kids, but caveat those emptors.

Source: Black Isle Studios [http://blackisle.com/]


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lRookiel

Lord of Infinite Grins
Jun 30, 2011
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Oh my god. Black isle are back!?!

They are by far some of the finest developers in existence. This can only mean good things will happen :3
 

Sidmen

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Jul 3, 2012
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I wouldn't get your hopes up Rookie, there is nothing in Black Isle from the original except the name.
 

IndomitableSam

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Sep 6, 2011
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I'll cross my fingers and maybe hold off donating for a bit until I see more. It doesn't say donators will get a copy of the game/prototype (I may be missing something), so I'll just wait and see.
 

Ruairi iliffe

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Sep 13, 2010
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lRookiel said:
Oh my god. Black isle are back!?!

They are by far some of the finest developers in existence. This can only mean good things will happen :3
Yeahhh, sorry to break it too you, but the team seems to be mostly new. Its just Interplay using the name to build interest, as most of the Old guard devs are at obsidian entertainment, bioware or setting up their own projects...

Atm, We would be lucky to get anything good out of this.
 

gardian06

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Jun 18, 2012
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what the hell. so it is a funding drive for a game in the video they say "get a cool game" but nowhere does it say this amount of backing gets you the game, and then almost everybody worth anything from Black Isle is at Obsidian, so what the heck they don't even have the right to say Fallout, and really they talk about not making a clone, but this sounds like a Fallout (you just get to focus on a single community. this is not as bad as when GOG was doing pay what you want, but come on people.
 
Apr 28, 2008
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So they're holding a kickstarter to kickstart a kickstarter?

Looks like the game industry finally made a joke out of kickstarter. Well, more of a "straw that broke the camels back" type thing. For me, at least.

lRookiel said:
Oh my god. Black isle are back!?!

They are by far some of the finest developers in existence. This can only mean good things will happen :3
Not... quite. It's only Black Isle in name only. Most of the former Black Isle employees went on to form Obsidian. So... yeah, this is Black Isle in name only.
 

Lever

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Jun 30, 2011
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The corporate zombie has begun to feed...



(more serious now)While I've enjoyed a few BI games, I want to see what they're working on before I give them money. Hell, I'd be more comfortable if they'd done something on kickstarter. Call me cynical, but they want donations for a prototype project, to get funding... I'll hold off until I see some gameplay.
 

uncanny474

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Jan 20, 2011
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Irridium said:
So they're holding a kickstarter to kickstart a kickstarter?

Looks like the game industry finally made a joke out of kickstarter.
Pretty much this. You're so broke that you can't afford to make a friggin' prototype? I think at that point you kind of have to officially shut down, because no amount of crowdfunding is going to save you.

When was the last time Interplay put out a game, anyway? What have they been doing since the Golden Age of PC Gaming? Sitting around with their thumbs up their collective asses?
 

Shinsei-J

Prunus Girl is best girl!
Apr 28, 2011
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Sorry guys and gals,
I'd like to help but you're not giving me much to go on here.
I'd also like a little more back than just goodwill and reassurance that you'll make a solid game.
Your name alone ain't selling it for me.
 

Lectori Salutem

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Apr 11, 2011
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After the reaction of Black Isle's 'resurrection', I can't help but think this wasn't that great a move.
Looking at the Facebook feed on their site I almost feel bad for them.
 

lRookiel

Lord of Infinite Grins
Jun 30, 2011
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Irridium said:
So they're holding a kickstarter to kickstart a kickstarter?

Looks like the game industry finally made a joke out of kickstarter. Well, more of a "straw that broke the camels back" type thing. For me, at least.

Not... quite. It's only Black Isle in name only. Most of the former Black Isle employees went on to form Obsidian. So... yeah, this is Black Isle in name only.
Irridium said:
So they're holding a kickstarter to kickstart a kickstarter?

Looks like the game industry finally made a joke out of kickstarter. Well, more of a "straw that broke the camels back" type thing. For me, at least.

Not... quite. It's only Black Isle in name only. Most of the former Black Isle employees went on to form Obsidian. So... yeah, this is Black Isle in name only.
NOOOOOOOO! Now I'm sad :(
 

Mamzelle_Kat

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Aug 23, 2010
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They really don't seem to be doing much to encourage people to back this project.

It looks like they rely on the name "Black Isle" alone to get those funds.

I don't think projects like this one should be encouraged..
 

Kahani

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May 25, 2011
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Sidney Buit said:
I wouldn't get your hopes up Rookie, there is nothing in Black Isle from the original except the name.
Chris Taylor is still involved, so technically there is slightly more than nothing left. Not really enough to inspire much confidence though. Especially when their entire pitch is basically "We haven't done anything in ages. Please give us money so we can do something.". Which is a shame, since it does sound like an interesting concept. But the world is full of people with interesting concepts. Hell, I have a few myself. It takes a little more than just a concept to convince people to start throwing money at you.