The Oculus Rift; VR Finally comes of age? Page 21

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  • Phattso Moderator 29 Nov 2012 07:06:01 13,762 posts
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    I think it is patently potentially very dodgy. It's a matter of trust. I don't believe the cash is held in escrow: beneficiaries of Kickstarter are going to need the cash to, you know, develop the product and that.

    If you don't trust, don't take a punt. If they have fucked up royally then that sucks, and I'll have learnt my lesson. My only disappointment is that they will clearly have known they weren't hitting December for a while now.

    They've lost a lot of positivity from me for repeatedly stating "we're on it, it's handled" and then not delivering. That means they're capable of being utterly full of shit, which isn't good.

    That said, it does take time to do these things and they are now making a much more capable unit than was mooted before. But I doubt their reputation would survive another delay. Also means the consumer units are that much further away.
  • Ginger 29 Nov 2012 07:15:21 6,896 posts
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    LeoliansBro wrote:
    Can I ask what legal recourse you have if they never ship you one?
    as the backer of a failed kickstarter or two in my time, none at all seems to be the simple answer.

    London open taekwondo champion

  • LeoliansBro 29 Nov 2012 07:24:23 44,723 posts
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    Phattso, what I honestly see is this transforming from 'an early devkit' to 'a priority position on the devkit waitlist subject to your decision to buy one', or where you are asked for additional funding to secure your right to a devkit, or most likely of all a discount on the final commercial version with guaranteed shipping the day it hits stores.

    Funding creep is something I see every day, but usually with far more safeguards for the investor than 'none'. Hope it comes good though, truly.

    After all, if we have a pic of 'the latest working prototype', they'd obviously got the tech and are playing with the ergonomics, which begs the question: why not ship the tech now, as nobody was expecting it to be pretty? Or is that claim a little overblown...

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • Phattso Moderator 29 Nov 2012 07:29:02 13,762 posts
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    I think if this were a product with a waiting market then what you say is entirely feasible, @LeoliansBro

    However, the stated intention of this round of devices is simply to get widespread and eclectic developer support. That is still the priority. No point in that potential crowd of content creators getting it day and date with a commercial release.

    It's also possible that the extra cash injection from Kickstarter allowed them to build the bespoke 9DOF sensor solution of their own rather than an imperfect off the shelf model. Considering the lack of positional head tracking has been among the major complaints of the early prototype I'd say this is a sensible tradeoff. If they deliver in March, I think it will have been a good decision.

    If they don't deliver in March then any commercial release will be stillborn due to lack of content because indie developers (and possibly mainstream) couldn't trust them and therefore didn't make the content.
  • Phattso Moderator 29 Nov 2012 07:30:44 13,762 posts
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    (it's worth noting that I wasn't going to get to play with mine until March/April next year anyway due to being in a part of the world they can't ship to - it's possible that I'd be a lot less philosophical if this were not the case)
  • LeoliansBro 29 Nov 2012 07:38:37 44,723 posts
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    I don't have a problem with what they've told you - my concern is much more with Kickstarter really. The thing is, there's no pressure for them to deliver to the Kickstarter funders ahead of the wider audience - if I was running their business, I would prioritise the absolute fuck out of getting devkits to legitimate software houses and building a raft of launch titles, and worry far less about the interested individuals who've already given me their money. Sure they count, and collectively can lead to reputational damage, but that's nothing on having no games to play on the thing.

    If they have working prototypes, as they say, why don't you? If they don't, as I suspect, why are they channeling funds into making the thing look pretty?

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • Phattso Moderator 29 Nov 2012 07:51:37 13,762 posts
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    There are many legitimate software developers (thanks for branding the indie movement as irrelevant here, btw - on the contrary, I think they may come to define it) that have ordered larger batches of this.

    I believe early prototypes are already with the big hitters. The issue was that they were planning for 'hundreds" and ended up needing to deliver to 'thousands' which is a different scale entirely. Nutters like SB and I are probably quite a low percentage of $300 backers on this. I can't see your average Joe Punter spending that sort of cash, can you? So we are among the legitimate audience for this prototype.

    I think you're being quite absolutist about it. "I've seen a picture, therefore there's no reason in all of creation why there couldn't be 7000 of these out there already!" It's ridiculous.

    They've handled this poorly. But they can't work miracles (apparently).
  • LeoliansBro 29 Nov 2012 08:00:18 44,723 posts
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    I just think I'm being realistic. If devkits are with the big players then that implies two things: first that they've tried it and profiled it with their software in development to see if there's a match. That there aren't any announcements coming out of that, especially given how easy we're told this is to develop for, is worrying.

    The other thing this suggests is that they've cracked the tech but can't mass produce at this price point yet. That said, and with reference to your hundreds vs thousands point, how oversubscribed was this?

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • Phattso Moderator 29 Nov 2012 08:07:33 13,762 posts
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    They got way more cash, and way more interest, in the $300 pledge level than they had anticipated. Knocking up a few hundred units is hard work but doable. A few thousand (I believe it's 7,000 actually) is another prospect. So they had to step up to the next level of manufacturing.

    The "big players" have the old prototype held together with gaffer tape. They're integrating support into their engines. That is so developers, when they get their devkits, can immediately go to work. This is sensible.

    The Kickstarter focus was always to developers. That was the target audience. And, I believe, that is who has responded to this (with the exception of some outliers like SB and myself).

    Your conclusions are facile, given what little evidence there is. As for the ability to mass produce at the target price point, that's entirely possible to be an issue. Interestingly, the delay works in the favour of that. Panels will get cheaper and better. The longer they wait before pulling the mainstream trigger the better.
  • Deckard1 29 Nov 2012 08:07:56 29,126 posts
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    What happened to Bob anyway? I miss his updates.

    Fish fingers and chips pretty straight forward.

  • Phattso Moderator 29 Nov 2012 08:18:47 13,762 posts
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    It is possible to drown in a sea of man tears. I think we could all see it coming. ;)
  • LeoliansBro 29 Nov 2012 08:25:40 44,723 posts
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    I never said the indie market was irrelevent btw, sorry if I gave that impression. My choice of words was poor. But they are clearly not the focus for Oculus here. And if that mech game can support the Rift why are the other software houses taking so long?

    I like the tech and love the potential. What I'm not wild about is the lack of protection you have for your investment, and the lack of incentives the Kickstarter structure gives Oculus to live up to their early commitments.

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • Phattso Moderator 29 Nov 2012 08:33:32 13,762 posts
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    Isn't the Mech developer an indie?

    As for Kickstarter, that's a more general problem and not just an Oculus one. It's an interesting social experiment if nothing else.

    How much would you pay for potentially absolutely nothing? :)
  • kalel 29 Nov 2012 08:56:08 89,175 posts
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    So, with Kickstarter, is there any system in place to make sure that the funds are used for what they say they will be used for? Is it entirely done on trust?
  • LeoliansBro 29 Nov 2012 08:56:52 44,723 posts
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    Phattso wrote:
    How much would you pay for potentially absolutely nothing? :)
    Heh? With no upside? Zero.

    The only upside here is time. If you are willing to pay a premium for the chance to get something early with no recourse to the Kickstarter except public censure, then I have some containers out of China I'd like you to consider investing in, I* can GUARANTEE 12% per annum.

    The scary thing is, that's a real thing that you can do right now.
    Snake oil sales never went away, they just found new clothes.

    *my Chinese counterparts Tak Yo Cash and Go Fuk Yu

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • kalel 29 Nov 2012 09:01:06 89,175 posts
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    LeoliansBro wrote:
    The only upside here is time. If you are willing to pay a premium for the chance to get something early...
    Without the investment it wouldn't happen at all (definitely, as opposed to possibly).
  • LeoliansBro 29 Nov 2012 09:03:43 44,723 posts
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    kalel wrote:
    LeoliansBro wrote:
    The only upside here is time. If you are willing to pay a premium for the chance to get something early...
    Without the investment it wouldn't happen at all (definitely, as opposed to possibly).
    Yep, but without the investment you would still have your cash.

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • LeoliansBro 29 Nov 2012 09:06:48 44,723 posts
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    It pays to take apart investor propositions from an accounting standpoint btw. The guys who was running the Ebbsfleet international ownership thing? He'd factored a 300k annual salary for himself into the figures. I received an opportunity to invest in Brewdog which looked promising, but I soon realised that I was being incouraged to buy a very very small part of one percent of the company at a huge premium (presumably in part to cover and compensate the owners for the experienced marketing director they'd just brought on board, who'd asked for a 45% stake in the business).

    Edit: Have Oculus provided any MI or running costs? Are they incorporated?

    Edited by LeoliansBro at 09:07:26 29-11-2012

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • kalel 29 Nov 2012 09:13:52 89,175 posts
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    LeoliansBro wrote:
    kalel wrote:
    LeoliansBro wrote:
    The only upside here is time. If you are willing to pay a premium for the chance to get something early...
    Without the investment it wouldn't happen at all (definitely, as opposed to possibly).
    Yep, but without the investment you would still have your cash.
    Obviously.

    It's like paying for the possibility of something to happen. Is there really nothing you'd like to happen so much that you'd pay just to increase the chance?
  • nickthegun 29 Nov 2012 09:19:35 60,975 posts
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    Thats my wifes logic with lottery tickets; 'I would rather have the pound in my pocket, thanks'

    Also: WHERE IS BOB?

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    My man gives real loving that's why I call him Killer
    He's not a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am, he's a thriller

  • Deckard1 29 Nov 2012 09:26:07 29,126 posts
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    Maybe he's in cyber space now. Like the Lawn Mower man.

    Fish fingers and chips pretty straight forward.

  • mrpon 29 Nov 2012 09:26:42 29,393 posts
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    Finally realised what his username is.

    Give yourself 5 or gig, you're worth it.

  • LeoliansBro 29 Nov 2012 09:29:59 44,723 posts
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    kalel wrote:
    LeoliansBro wrote:
    kalel wrote:
    LeoliansBro wrote:
    The only upside here is time. If you are willing to pay a premium for the chance to get something early...
    Without the investment it wouldn't happen at all (definitely, as opposed to possibly).
    Yep, but without the investment you would still have your cash.
    Obviously.

    It's like paying for the possibility of something to happen. Is there really nothing you'd like to happen so much that you'd pay just to increase the chance?
    Of course there is. I think we're saying the same thing. I'm not saying it's not a worthwhile investment, it has ably demonstrated the financial backers are out there. I'm just saying it's an unusual structure.

    (You know this but) Most people will either invest for a fixed return (debt or quasi-debt) or a share of the business and potential growth (equity). This is neither - people are effectively pre-ordering without the right to cancel, and with no commitment (or incentive) on the part of the supplier. It's a very skewed system. The only upside is that things happen as planned, which is no upside at all. The downside is limitless.

    And to answer your question, there are plenty of things I'd pay to increase the chance of happening. But it isn't that simple. If it depends on me alone, then the risk is huge but the eventual result mine alone, which makes it potentially worth it. If it depends on lots of people and I'm the only one investing it won't happen so I should keep my cash. If it depends on lots of people and everyone is investing they don't need me to put my money on the line, so I should keep my cash.

    Edit: Put it another way: Would you, today, pay 500 to guarantee you get the new Xbox on launch day? Despite MS's track record being far better than Oculus', despite their deeper pockets and greater expertise, despite the fact they have multiple large software studios and independents geared up already solely to work on games for it, the answer would be no. I'm sure they'd appreciate your money, but you won't because it'll get made whether you pay or not. Likewise this'll get made whether I preorder or not.

    Edited by LeoliansBro at 09:46:03 29-11-2012

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • Phattso Moderator 29 Nov 2012 10:22:59 13,762 posts
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    There is no joy in your heart, LB. :)

    I'm fortunate that the $300 isn't a vast sum for me. I was excited at the risk, and delighted at the opportunity to potentially help a childhood dream (VR) get realised in a meaningful way.

    If it flops I'm down $300, absolutely. This isn't an investment. This isn't a preorder. This is something I felt I wanted to help happen. For the good of all mankind.

    So please stop saying it's a preorder. Please stop saying its an investment. For me, it's neither. For the studios that took a punt, it was against an opportunity to make their games better and I'm sure $300 isn't going to cause them any concern either.

    The Kickstarter debate is an interesting one. Worth having. But it has been done to death a bit I think.
  • Phattso Moderator 29 Nov 2012 10:25:20 13,762 posts
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    Full disclosure: the only other Kickstarters I stumped up cash for are Project Eternity and Broken Sword 5. The former because I'd love to see what Obsidian can do with some self funding; the latter because I love Charles Cecil and still feel guilty for pirating Lure of the Temptress on the Amiga.

    Humans are complex things, LB. Let's not always reduce it to rational numbers. :)
  • LeoliansBro 29 Nov 2012 10:30:08 44,723 posts
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    I am the very definition of the selfish ape. I totally agree though, rational thought doesn't always come into it.

    And I did stump up for FTL :)

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • silentbob 20 Dec 2012 19:14:51 29,025 posts
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    Fuck me it got gloomy in here. :)

    VR News: www.roadtovr.com -- Follow us on Twitter.

  • Fake_Blood 20 Dec 2012 19:45:34 4,375 posts
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    I tried keeping stuff up to date but then it turned into a kickstarter philosophy thread.
    So, you've been in a coma or something?
  • silentbob 20 Dec 2012 21:07:43 29,025 posts
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    Between work, family and building the new RtoVR website I've had fuck all time. Thanks for taking the abuse in my place though. :)

    VR News: www.roadtovr.com -- Follow us on Twitter.

  • pinkpanzer 10 Jan 2013 17:29:49 51 posts
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    From CES. At least one of these guys gets pretty hysterical about the Rift.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyUMUMtCqGY#t=34m5s
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