Four Kickstarters Later, Skyrim is Still Boring

If there’s one hipster complaint about Skyrim that I agree with, it’s that conventional wisdom in RPGs today made it nothing more than a single-player MMO. Talk to NPC, follow quest marker, kill thing, rinse, repeat. You can get through the entire game without listening to a word that anyone has to say. So you’re not really “roleplaying” as much as you are checking off a “to-do” list. The Elder Scrolls series has widened its audience by appealing to the lowest common denominator of gamers, leading you by the nose so that you don’t have to ever think. But, believe it or not, some people actually like to think.

That’s why TeamGrump – which is actually one person (so much for there being no “I” in “team”) – has proposed the Skyrim Quest Overhaul. And all it will cost you is $10,000. Why so much for a mod? Let’s find out.

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“This project will cater to those that are looking for a different quest experience than the one currently offered in default Skyrim.”

I’m assuming that you mean it caters to people who like fun. So I guess we’re off to a good start.

“The quests will be revised to be playable without the use of any Quest Markers whatsoever.”

You see, once Bethesda subscribed to the quest marker design philosophy, there was no point in putting in all of the text and VO to actually give you information on where to go. So all of that has to be added in order for this to really work. Well, most likely not the VO, but at least the text. And a more detailed map.

“In short, this is a huge project being completed by a single individual :D”

You’re talking about modding about 300 Skyrim quests. You didn’t have to specify that you are single. I already read between those lines. And if you weren’t already single, the emoticon at the end of that statement, clearly showing your pride about doing this all yourself (with the help of $10,000) would certainly have made sure of it.

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The rewards are hilarious. For a mere $1, you can choose between TeamGrump’s appreciation – estimated to be delivered a month after the project was successful – or the full mod, around the same time. It’s a tough decision, to be sure. But to make it a little easier, you can also pay $5 for the mod. So for the $1, you should obviously go for the appreciation, because it’s more exclusive.

For $15, you can be mentioned in the credits “as contributor to production”. This apparently is not included in his appreciation tier, but more importantly, THIS MOD IS GOING TO HAVE CREDITS. Seeing how TeamGrump is one guy, I’m guessing the credits would be TeamGrump, and then the 600+ contributors at the $15 tier that it would take to reach his goal.

Our single individual TeamGrump is also camera and microphone shy, which would account for the absence of any video for this project. If you’ve read some of my posts before, you know that this is an instant kiss of death for almost any project on Kickstarter. It’s pure laziness, and is rightly ignored by anyone with common sense.

But Skyrim Quest Overhaul didn’t just die; it committed suicide. The project was only up for a week, with a mere 8 backers providing less than 1% of the goal in pledges. They must have realized that $10,000 was just too much to ask for, right? That’s why so few pledges came in. Maybe they’ll put the project up for less.

Not TeamGrump. He came back another week later, and doubled down with a $20,000 goal and a video. And what a thing of beauty it is.

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The video opens with a slightly nicer version of the Skyrim map image from before, with a note at the bottom that says “(Sorry for the poor audio quality)“. When our good friend TeamGrump begins speaking a moment later, sounding like he swallowed the $2 headset mic recording his voice, it’s obvious why the note is there. Don’t apologize for your shitty audio, invest the $10 that a decent mic would cost for this purpose, and show that you have some fucking respect for the twenty thousand fucking dollars you’re asking strangers to give you.

In the end, all that’s really said in the video is a long-winded version of the text in the previous Kickstarter, which was also pasted into this one.

BUT GUYS, haven’t you been jealous of all those cool kids wearing t-shirts of the Skyrim mods they play? Of course you have. Well, this time you can get a t-shirt of the mod as the $40 reward! TeamGrump’s appreciation, and therefore the mod itself, is now $15, and poster print of the map is $80. With such brilliant reward tiers, what could go wrong this time?

Well, TeamGrump could cancel it after only 4 days this time.

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Mr. Single Individual TeamGrump seemingly thought better of it, scrapped the $20,000 idea, and went back to the original $10,000 goal. And didn’t change one. Other. God. Damn. Thing. The shit audio is still present, complete with apology. Don’t apologize for your shit audio on your re-launch, fucking do something about it. It’s a meaningless apology if you don’t give enough of a shit to fix it for your THIRD KICKSTARTER LAUNCH, fuckknuckle.

To be fair, this one lasted almost 3 weeks before being cancelled once again by TeamGrump, leaving behind his biggest failure to date of a single individual backer for $80 during the 19-day campaign. That backer was suspiciously on the first day of the campaign, leaving it to wallow in obscurity for the remainder of its existence.

So TeamGrump finally learned his lesson after the third failure, right? Back to the original goal, video and all, and no one interested.

NOPE. The project gets posted ONCE AGAIN after being cancelled, this time for $6,000. It really is amazing how desperation can make game development so cheap, isn’t it? We’re given the same video from the previous two postings, but a single individual appreciation will only cost you $10 this time, and a download of the mod being his sign of appreciation. The shirt and map poster are discounted $5 at $35 and $75 respectively.

By some miracle, this worked enough to pull in 4 people at a total of $96 in pledges. By some further miracle, the project wasn’t cancelled, even with failure imminent toward the end, and it legitimately failed this time. Which means I can finally say this.

And then, the whimper of a dying Kickstarter.

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I’m glad that SingleGrump stuck to his guns this time. Most likely, though, he just forgot about it, or was too lazy to bother cancelling it, deciding that maybe the single individual Skyrim modder life just wasn’t for him. Maybe one day, someone will create a mod that makes Skyrim interesting.

Or maybe that person will realize what a waste of time that would be, and just make their own fucking game.

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6 thoughts on “Four Kickstarters Later, Skyrim is Still Boring

  1. Witch Killer says:

    But Dave, this mod IS going to have credits. Now that is some ground breaking shit. Thanks for the post, homie. You’ll think this is internet hyperbole, but sometimes I worry that you’ve drank yourself to death and that I won’t have any blogger to read and respect anymore. Stay safe David, and keep handling it up.

  2. Jabberwookie says:

    You suck dude. This blog is some of the dumbest stuff I’ve ever read.

    • davidgaames says:

      Were I only blessed with your eloquence, I would probably have a really insightful, perhaps cleverly sarcastic response. However, the world being unjust as it is, all I can say is..

      Shut up bro. YOU.. suck. Your.. face is the dumbest stuff I’ve ever read.

      But in all seriousness, I’ll stop making fun of Skyrim if it upsets you so much.

  3. sheilux says:

    Actually, you’re wrong – maybe not when you wrote this, but you are now. And, no, I don’t mean you’re wrong about Skyrim. There’s still plenty of RPGs that are nothing more than quest, kill, travel, repeat (it just doesn’t work as well as eat, sleep, rave, repeat, does it?), but recently a new offshoot of that genre is starting to get noticed.

    Some RPGs are being created without a linear timeline. In other words, RPGs with no quest, no grinding kills, and no levels. Exploration games may be rather short insofar as gameplay, but it’s kind of nice to just wander around while enjoying the graphics and trying to figure out what happened.

    They may not seem terribly exciting, but the people who play them aren’t really looking for exciting times. At the very least, it’s something different.

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