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The Official, Unofficial, BoM Project Eternity Information Thread! - Updated Dec 7

Discussion in 'Pillars of Eternity' started by Marceror, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    [IMGL]http://www.sorcerers.net/temp/pe_t.jpg[/IMGL][IMGR]http://www.sorcerers.net/temp/pe_t.jpg[/IMGR]Why a thread like this? – The Kickstarter site for Project Eternity has a ton of information, but finding it all can be extremely time consuming. The goal of this thread is to bring together all of the major details of the game, including those from sources other than Kickstarter, and present them in an easy to access fashion. Feedback and game details from the community are very much encouraged. If you share a detail about the game, please be sure to share the source as well. I want to make sure that all information included here is legitimate. I'll be updating this thread regularly, so check back periodically. --Marceror




    [YOUTUBE]YyRAbDgHSlU[/YOUTUBE]
    The original version of the PE intro video:
    [YOUTUBE]oR0QsmFMTG4[/YOUTUBE]
    Background

    Project Eternity is a roleplaying game being developed by Obsidian in the much loved style of the Infinity Engine games (i.e. Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale and Torment). The intent of the developers is to create a game that has an epic story, a rich world, and deep, memorable characters. The camera view is isometric, to support strategic, party-based combat for a party of up to 6 members. The combat style will be real-time with pause, but we are told that there will be a number of options to go through the game with very little combat, if that’s what you prefer.

    The game is using Kickstarter to fund the project, which means that this time the fans are effectively the funders and bosses, rather than some big publishing house. That can only be a good thing, considering the seasoned game development veterans who are at the helm of this project. The project was successfully funded on October 16, 2012, bringing in more than $4.1 million USD (including PayPal donations) of its original $1.1 million goal -- making it the second highest funded project on all of Kickstarter!

    All Kickstarter Goals were met, including a final day 4 Million Dollar Stretch Goal. See the full list of Stretch Goals Here:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    • Estimated Release Date: April 2014

    Game Details

    Project Eternity will take the central hero, memorable companions and the epic exploration of Baldur’s Gate, add in the fun, intense combat and dungeon diving of Icewind Dale, and tie it all together with the emotional writing and mature thematic exploration of Planescape: Torment.

    Combat uses a tactical real-time with pause system - positioning your party and coordinating attacks and abilities is one of the keys to success. The world map is dotted with unique locations and wilderness ripe for exploration and questing. You’ll create your own character and collect companions along the way – taking him or her not just through this story, but, with your continued support, through future adventures. You will engage in dialogues that are deep, and offer many choices to determine the fate of you and your party. …and you'll experience a story that explores mature themes and presents you with complex, difficult choices to shape how your story plays out.

    We are excited at this chance to create something new, yet reminiscent of those great games and we want you to be a part of it as well.

    Development Team
    Notable members of the Project Eternity Development Team:
    • Chris Avellone - Fallout 2, Planescape: Torment, Icewind Dale, Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter, Icewind Dale II, Neverwinter Nights 2, Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer; Fallout: New Vegas
    • Adam Brennecke - Fallout: New Vegas, Alpha Protocol, Neverwinter Nights 2
    • Tim Cain - Fallout, Arcanum, Temple of Elemental Evil, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines
    • Josh Sawyer - Icewind Dale, Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter, Icewind Dale II, Neverwinter Nights 2, Fallout: New Vegas
    • Feargus Urquhart - Former leader of Black Isle Studios, Current CEO of Obsidian Entertainment
    • George Zeits - Fallout: New Vegas, Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer, Dungeon Siege 3
    • KERFLUFFLEUPOGUS, The Devourer of the Faithful: A strange and enigmatic being that was revealed to have a frightening and perhaps all-encompassing hold over certain Obsidian team members. Little is known about this great power, but I hear tell that it resembles an overgrown marshmallow!

    [​IMG]

    Contents

    Update Log
    • 11 Oct 2012 - Guide submitted including most written details about PE on the Kickstarter site; started "mining" video updates to add Combat Mechanics and Casting Spells sections.
    • 12 Oct 2012 - Added Races (Orlans and Aumaua) and other details from the PC Gamer Live Chat, such as level scaling details; Added artwork and name for Forton the Monk; Noted that the Mega Dungeon had grown to 8 levels (only 7 officially announced - but I added the paypal donation count that was shared by Feargus).
    • 13 Oct 2012 - Added this update log, noting all key previous changes; Renamed "Technical and Miscellaneous Details" section to "Mechanical and Technical Details"; Added information from Overclockers.com interview with Feargus Urquhart: Skills, Reputation, and Crafting; Included the Kickstarter Update 22 Video, and added some key details from that update related to Attributes (low INT) and Graphics.
    • 14 Oct 2012 - Cadegund's class and race confirmed; Sagani's name revealed; Culture entry added; Non-combat abilities added; Developer Team section added; expected release date added; UI; Mod Support; Puzzles; Firearms; Enemy AI; Crafting; Barbarian; Cipher; Resource Management, Health & Regeneration, Resurrection.
    • 15 Oct 2012 - Priest update; Multi-Classing; Life and Death Lore Update; Kickstarter Update 24 video.
    • 16 Oct 2012 - Minor updates primarily, to reflect the close of the Kickstarter campaign.
    • 20 Oct 2012 - Added a few small, but exclusive, content updates that came out of my interview with Adam Brennecke: An Orlan Cipher Companion, and more information about Priests and Paladins.
    • 21 Oct 2012 - Following comments from several folks around the Net, I have renamed the recruitable companions section to characters. While my personal opinion is that most, if not all, of these characters will be recruitable, I don't know it for certain, so I felt it was necessary to reclassify them based on what I do know (or rather, what I do not know).
    • 23 Oct 2012 - Included 15 level Od Nua dungeon artwork; Added update 28 video.
    • 27 Oct 2012 - Added an entry related to quest markers (or the lack thereof) in the game Mechanics section.
    • 29 Oct 2012 - Added additional information about the pace of leveling your character to the Class, Race and Characters section; Added details related to the expected level you will reach in Project Eternity to the Mechanics section.
    • 30 Oct 2012 - Added a new detail about the Dyrwood in Game Basic section, under Game Lore; Made some formatting changes to the Game Lore sub-section to make it easier to read.
    • 03 Nov 2012 - The "Obsidian Video Collection" section was renamed to Project Eternity Kickstarter Updates and Video Collection, and a Kickstarter timeline that includes all updates was added (previously only video updates were referenced); Moved the PE Announcement Video to the First Post; Divided Combat Mechanics and Technical Details into separate sections; Added Armor Design details from Update 29.
    • 09 Nov 2012 - Added a link to Kickstarter update 30.
    • 13 Nov 2012 - Added an interview with Feargus Uruqhart in the Project Eternity Kickstarter Updates and Video Collection, Other PE Related Videos section.
    • 20 Nov 2012 - Added Kickstarter update 31.
    • 23 Nov 2012 - Added Kickstarter update 32; Moved the Project Eternity updates to a spoiler tag as that section had grown obnoxiously long.
    • 25 Nov 2012 - Made a few formatting updates, too trivial to even mention in detail (mostly just to feed my OCD). ;)
    • 28 Nov 2012 - Added Kickstarter update 33.
    • 07 Dec 2012 - Added Kickstarter update 34; Added an audio interview with Adam Brennecke.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
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  2. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    The Basics

    [IMGL]http://www.sorcerers.net/forums/picture.php?albumid=276&pictureid=2811[/IMGL][IMGR]http://www.sorcerers.net/forums/picture.php?albumid=276&pictureid=2811[/IMGR]"One good life. An extraordinary life. What levy must be paid for such a thing? If the gods won't answer, it's for us to decide."




    Game Basics: Your Party, Your Characters, and More
    Project Eternity is still early in development and we are still working on many of the cultures, factions, and ethnic groups of the world and debating many of the system concepts. However, there are certain fundamental things we want to let you know about the game and the setting for Project Eternity.

    Your Party
    The maximum party size is the player's main character (PC) and up to five companions for a total of six characters. This does not preclude the addition of temporary characters in special circumstances. Companions are never forced on the player. Players can explore the entire world and its story on their own if they so choose. We feel companions are excellent sounding boards for the player's (and other companions') actions, but the story is ultimately about the player's personal conflict among the larger social and political complexities of the world.


    Formations
    A key element of the classic party-based tactical combat that we are developing is the use of party formations. As in the good ol' games, you can arrange your party in a large number of set formations. You can also construct your own formations if you want to get fancy. When moving companions, you have the ability to rotate formations for more precise positioning.


    Character Creation
    At a minimum, players will be able to specify their main character's name, sex, class, race (including subrace), culture, traits, ability scores, portrait, and the fundamental starting options of his or her class (gear, skills, and talents). We have not worked out customization details of character avatars, but we believe those are important and will be updating on these specifics in the future.


    Companions
    In Project Eternity, companions exist for both narrative and mechanical purposes. Companions are designed to have a driving interest in the player's central conflict. Their personalities and motivations open plot branches and generate conflicts for players to resolve over the course of the story. They are highly reactive to the player's actions and to the world around them. Additionally, companions exist to give players strategic management options in party composition that expand the party's capabilities in exploration, combat, and quest resolution. It is no coincidence that there are at least as many companions as there are classes. As stated above, companions are not required to play through Project Eternity's story, but we feel that they can add greatly to the experience.


    The Set-Up
    The player witnesses an extraordinary and horrific supernatural event that thrusts them into a unique and difficult circumstance. Burdened with the consequences of this event, the player has to investigate what has happened in order to free themselves from the restless forces that follow and haunt them wherever they go.


    The Nature of You
    Your character is not required to be of any particular race, cultural background, sex, class, moral outlook, personality, organization, etc. The premise is that you are a victim of circumstance. How you choose to deal with your situation is up to you. You can bear it with stoicism and restraint or fly off in a rage at anyone who gets in your way. The world will react to your choices, but the game is designed to give you the freedom to play your character the way you want to.


    Races
    We are still developing the races of Project Eternity, but we are creating a range that encompasses the recognizable (e.g. humans, elves, dwarves), the out-of-the-ordinary (e.g. the so-called "godlike"), and the truly odd (?!). Races and subraces differ from each other culturally, but the races also have different physiological factors that can contribute to friction and confusion between them.


    Within even the recognizable races (including humans), we are creating a variety of ethnic subtypes and nationalities. This world's races did not all spring forth from the same place, and millennia of independent development have resulted in distinctive and unconnected groups. For example, the dwarf ranger below, is originally from a southern boreal region that is quite different from the temperate homes of her distant kin to the north.


    Additionally, Project Eternity's world contains some isolated races and ethnicities, but transoceanic exploration and cultural cohabitation have heavily mixed many racial and ethnic groups over time. This mixing is not always... peaceful. At times it has degenerated into genocide and long-standing prejudices are ingrained in many cultures.
    Souls: Souls are A Big Deal in Project Eternity's world.
    The mortal world has not unlocked all of the secrets of how souls "work" and differing schools of metaphysical philosophy can be found in virtually every culture. What is known is that sapient souls move through an endless cycle of waking life and purgatorial slumber among the gods. Often this slumber lasts for years of "real" time, but occasionally it is brief, with a soul immediately moving on to a new life.

    Far from being a flawless process, souls are subject to "fracturing" over generations, transforming in myriad ways, and not quite... working right. Some cultures and individuals place a high value on "strong" souls, souls with a "pure" lineage, "awakened" souls that remember past lives, "traveled" souls that have drifted through the divine realms, or those that co-exist with other souls in one body. However, the opposite is also true, resulting in negative discrimination and sometimes outright violence.

    Through a variety of techniques (e.g. martial training, meditation, ritualistic evocation, mortification of the flesh), some individuals are able to draw upon the energy of their soul to accomplish extraordinary feats. These abilities range from the mundanely superhuman to the explosively magical. Having a strong soul seems to make this easier, but sometimes even people with fragmented souls are able to accomplish the extraordinary. The individual's body seems to act as a conduit and battery for this power, drawing in replenishment from seemingly omnipresent "fields" of unbound spiritual energy in the world around them.

    Thinkers, spiritualists, and scientists of the world have theorized for thousands of years about the nature and purpose of this process, but others have turned to prayer for answer. Rather than illuminate the presumed higher purpose of this cycle, the gods have obfuscated the truth, at times spreading cosmological lies, pitting believers and empowered chosen agents against each other, and tacitly approving the prejudices of their followers to maintain power.

    Whatever the fundamental nature of mortal souls is, the people of the world accept the reality of what they have observed: that all mortal bodies contain perceptible energy bound to the individual, and that once they die, their energy will move forward in the eternal cycle that they are all a part of -- that as far as they know, they have always been a part of.
    Technology Level: Late middle ages (swords and shields with some gunpowder weapons, seafaring ships, and of course there is magic).
    The cultures of Project Eternity are in a variety of different technological states. Though some remote civilizations are still in the equivalent of Earth's Stone Age or Bronze Age, most large civilizations are in the equivalent of Earth's high or late Middle Ages. The most aggressive and powerful civilizations are in the early stages of what would be our early modern period, technologically, even if they are not culturally undergoing "Renaissance"-style changes.

    For most large civilizations, this means that all of the core arms and armor of medieval warfare have reached a high level of development: full suits of articulated plate armor, a variety of military swords, war hammers, polearms, longbows, crossbows, and advanced siege weaponry. Architecturally, these cultures also employ technologies found in Earth's Gothic structures, allowing them to create towering vertical structures.

    The most recent technologies seeing use in the world are ocean-going carrack-style ships and black powder firearms (notably absent: the printing press). Cultures with large navies and mercantile traffic are exploring the world, which has led to contact with previously-unknown lands and societies and settlement in new lands. Despite their intense drive, these explorers have been restricted from aggressive long-range exploration by monstrous sea creatures that pose a lethal, seemingly insurmountable threat to even the stoutest, most well-armed ships.

    Black powder firearms are of the single-shot wheellock variety. Largely considered complex curiosities, these weapons are not employed extensively by military forces. Their long reload times are considered a liability in battles against foes that are too monstrous to drop with a single volley, foes that fly or move at high speed, and foes that have the power of invisibility. Despite this, some individuals do employ firearms for one specific purpose: close range penetration of the arcane veil, a standard magical defense employed by wizards. The arcane veil is powerful, but it does not react well to the high-velocity projectiles generated by arquebuses and handguns. As a result, more wizards who previously relied on the veil and similar abjurations have turned to traditional armor for additional defense.
    Game Lore: Lore elements of the Dyrwood and Eír Glanfath are described. Though this corner of the world is not particularly large, the struggles of its residents will surround the heart of Project Eternity.
    Aedyr - People from the expansive Aedyr Empire and its former colonies, Dyrwood and Readceras. Aedyr literally translates as "Many Deer", but means "People of the Deer", referring to a 2,500 year-old tribe that became a kingdom 600 years ago. It merged with the elven kingdom of Kulklin in 2399 AI. Among the Aedyr, there is no significant cultural divide between humans and elves. Because of their close contact and integration in spite of physiological differences (such as longer elven lifespans), their culture and legal system have developed a variety of unique concepts such as the haemneg, or ceremonial marriage. Ethnic Aedyr (mostly humans and elves) have fair skin and a variety of hair and eye colors, with blue and green being common. Among other cultures, Aedyr clothing is known for being relatively simple in construction and often using large, colorful striped or checkered patterns for accents.

    Anni Iroccio - Year of Iroccio. This is the commonly-used calendar in and around the Dyrwood. It is only 150 years old and Vailian in origin, but has been adopted by the residents of Dyrwood and much of the surrounding area due to the hopeless inaccuracy of the Aedyre calendar. Though the Iroccian calendar replaced earlier Vailian calendars, the inventor, Iroccio, started from the same time as his predecessors. It is currently 2823 AI.

    biamhac - The most feared phenomenon of Eír Glanfath, biamhacs are "spirit winds" that rise up in cursed ruins, shearing souls away from the bodies of their owners. They appear suddenly and without warning, leaving victims little hope of escape. Strong-souled people are not harmed by biamhacs, but affected individuals are instantly reduced to a catatonic state. The discovery of numerous biamhacs in Eír Glanfath during its early exploration resulted in thousands of Aedyr deaths.

    Dyrwood - Strictly speaking, the forest northwest of the Bael River.
    Dyrwood, Free Palatinate of - The independent nation that was formerly a colony and later a large, remote duchy of the Aedyr Empire. Led by their duke, Admeth Hadret, the people successfully fought for their independence over an excessively burdensome campaign to colonize the dangerous ruins of Eír Glanfath. Despite the fact that they are no longer, properly speaking, a palatinate (nor a duchy), the people of Dyrwood continue to refer to their home as a "Free Palatinate" out of pride. Most residents of the Dyrwood are Aedyr humans, elves, and dwarves, but many are also culturally integrated orlans or children of Glanfathan elves. Despite having fought a war with the Aedyr Empire in the past, they are now trading partners and have maintained few grudges. Their one continued point of contention is exploration and colonization of Eír Glanfath, which Aedyr continues to push through official and unofficial means.

    Eír Glanfath - The name natives give to an indeterminately old elven kingdom that covered the entire forest southeast of the Bael River. Though they were not technologically advanced compared to contemporary civilizations, they had accomplished a number of architectural and astronomical feats that explorers and scholars are still trying to understand. Whatever the extent of Eír Glanfath's kingdom was, its ruins had been abandoned for centuries, possibly even millennia, before Vailians or Aedyr arrived in the area. The so-called "Glanfathan" elves in the forest seemed to have no cultural connection to the kingdom and were living in nomadic communities instead of the old structures. Eír Glanfath's ruins are not understood by anyone, and early misinterpretations over their significance resulted in two small-scale conflicts: The Broken Stone War and The War of Black Trees, the latter of which ended with a fire that consumed a vast section of the Dyrwood.

    Eothas - The Aedyran name for a god of light and redemption. While worship of Eothas is still popular in the Aedyr Empire and Readceras, the faith is outlawed in most cities of the Dyrwood due to events of the Saint's War that culminated at Godhammer Citadel. Though Eothas once communicated regularly with his faithful, he has not done so since the destruction of St. Waidwen at the Battle of Godhammer over 200 years ago.

    Hylspeak - An old dialect of Aedyran only spoken by rural communities and older elves in the Aedyre heartlands. It is grammatically almost identical to Aedyran, but contains a large number of archaic words that have either disappeared from contemporary use or taken new forms over time. Speakers of contemporary Aedyran can understand Hylspeak, but it can sometimes be confusing. Hylspeak is only commonly heard in folk songs and poems that have survived over the centuries. Some people associate the spontaneous speaking of Hylspeak with an awakened soul. As a result, superstitious folk are easily angered when they hear it spoken, believing it may cause their soul to remember a past life.

    Magran - The Aedyran name for a goddess of war and fire. Her priests commonly employ firearms and some helped construct the "Godhammer" bomb used to destroy St. Waidwen. Following the Saint's War, she became the most popular faith in Dyrwood. In Aedyr, her symbol is a flame, but in Dyrwood, it is a flaming bomb. Worship of Magran is extensively persecuted in Readceras.

    Readceras, The Penitential Regency of - The ecclesiastic nation that was formerly an Aedyre colony and later an independent theocratic dictatorship (the Divine Kingdom of Readceras). Two centuries ago, a popular religious movement took hold in the countryside, in part sparked by the collapse of the nation's vorlas (purple dye-producing plant) market, its resultant poverty, and general civil unrest. The leader of the movement was a farmer named Waidwen who claimed that the Aedyre god of light, Eothas, had appeared to him in the night and told him to punish the colonial governor for leading the people to ruin. Waidwen's success led to his apparent transformation into a living vessel for Eothas, after which he became the first and only "divine king" of the country. His rule produced a subsequent purge of heretics and followers of other faiths across the nation. Events related to this purge led to the Saint's War with Dyrwood, which informally ended in 2618 AI when Waidwen was apparently destroyed by a massive bomb north of Halgot Citadel (popularly renamed Godhammer Citadel).

    svef - Svef is the Aedyran name for a potent narcotic produced from the berries of small shrub that grows in the dry, distant mountains of Tal Kness. Svef produces hallucinations and, according to some, allows users to actually see their own soul. The narcotic was introduced to the Aedyr long ago, but it is used more frequently in the Dyrwood due to its heavy trafficking by Vailian merchants.

    Vailians - Most Vailians come from the Vailian Republics, a federation of independent city-states made up of former colonies from the Grand Empire of Vailia. They are a powerful mercantile force in the southern hemisphere, trading with more partners than any other nation or empire. Five cities are considered "grand" republics and have greater voting power in their electoral council: Spirento, Ancenze, Selona, Ozia, and Revua. The federation is widely known for its access to most major commodities in the world, including slaves, and for its habit of impressing (abducting) foreigners into service on their naval vessels. Ethnic Vailians (humans and a small number of dwarves) have dark brown skin and tightly spiraled, dark brown hair. They most commonly have brown or black eyes, but occasionally have green, hazel, or grey eyes. Vailians pride themselves on their well-made and intricately-decorated clothing, often made with rare materials and dyes to which they have easy access.
    Life and Death in the Dyrwood: A Lore Update that Discusses the Topics of Life and Death In Project Eternity, Limited Medicine, and the Rarity of Curative Magic
    Project Eternity is a fantasy RPG inspired by several A/D&D-based settings in which death is, for those with means, a temporary setback (for the Nameless One, it's even less problematic). The priests of the Forgotten Realms run around with boatloads of cure x wounds spells, the ability to banish disease, and even the power to bring the dead back to life.

    In Project Eternity, prospects are not so bright. And when death comes, some try to stay, some choose to go, but most people believe that once they make the trip to the other side, there is only one way back: to begin a new life.

    Common Mortality
    Project Eternity's world is one with limited medicine and medical understanding. Unlike many fantasy settings, there is very little access to curative magic. Remedies for health problems often have only a palliative or placebo effect at best, owing their continued use more to folk beliefs and tradition than any basis in scientific methodology. Though soul-based magic has helped the great exploring cultures from suffering massive pandemics and has helped some individuals overcome illness over the long-term, there is no quick magical "cure" for disease or illness. Most people go through life and death in the ordinary way -- unless they put themselves in harm's way, that is.

    Stamina and Health
    In Project Eternity's combat, players need to be concerned with two elements of a character's vitality: Stamina and Health. The majority of damage a character takes is subtracted from his or her Stamina. Stamina represents how much general abuse a character can take before falling unconscious. Characters lose it quickly and regain it relatively rapidly, even without assistance. Soul-based abilities are able to help replenish or regenerate Stamina and are often used on the battlefield to turn the tide of combat. If a character hits 0 Stamina, he or she is knocked out. Intervention from another character can bring an unconscious character back into a fight.

    For players, the Health of their party members is a tether that makes them consider how far they are willing to venture from a safe resting spot. Though Health is typically lost at a lower rate, when the PC or a companion hits 0 Health, he or she is maimed (in standard play) or killed (in Expert mode or as an option in standard play). Magic may help mitigate damage to Health and slow the tide, but once characters have died (in Expert mode), there is no known magic that can bring them back.

    A Lottery of Souls
    The world belongs to mortals. As time has progressed, mortals have lifted themselves out of ignorance and into ages of increased self-awareness, harnessing the power of their own souls to amazing effect. So... why worship the gods, anyway? For many mortals, worship is a matter of respect and tradition. They consider their gods (or, in some cases, all gods) to be their creators. They follow the guidelines of religion because history tells them that the gods have punished individuals -- and entire nations -- for ancient episodes of religious disrespect and dismissal.

    For others, religious worship is a matter of karmic self-interest. Often, people believe that if an individual's soul arrives in the realm of a pleased god, the god will place that soul into the body of someone who will have a good life. To such believers, choosing to not worship or is to risk spiritual confusion and aimlessness in the afterlife. They speculate that the faithless are entered into a "lottery of souls" from which many will wind up no better -- or much worse -- than they did in their last life. Some of the same faiths also believe that religious apostasy or lax observance is a cause of soul splintering upon death, which many consider to be an even worse fate.

    Gods for All Seasons
    People worship many gods, but usually the ones who are most associated with their way of life. Farmers may worship gods of light, growth, or storms. Warriors worship gods of battle and fortune. Though some faiths are exclusionary, most people will say a prayer to any god when the circumstances are right -- farmers praying to a god of battle when their lands are invaded, warriors praying to a god of growth when they're starving in the wilderness.

    Sometimes the same god -- or gods -- may have a different identity in a different part of the world. The most notable is one of the most widely honored, if not warmly embraced. Called Berath in Aedyran and Cirono in Vailian, it is the god of cycles, of doors, and of life and death itself. People commonly place or carve the figure of Berath in doorways, windows, and other "portals" from one place to another, figurative or literal.

    In Eír Glanfath's ruins, explorers have discovered two common figures, Caoth i Bhád and Bád i Caothaí (Life in Death and Death in Life, respectively), semi-skeletal female and male figures who occupy positions opposite each other in doorways -- like a twinned display of the split aspects of Berath/Cirono.

    Necromancy
    Despite the assumed natural cycle of things, there are individuals in the world of Project Eternity who either want to know more about that cycle or who choose to alter that cycle. Broadly speaking, "necromancy" refers to any attempt to do either, whether that involves speaking with the soul of a dead mortal, attempting to tap into the unconscious past lives of a living soul, or to bind soul energy or a complete soul inside of a dead body.

    These acts are viewed with differing levels of criticism depending on the culture. Many folk share the interest of necromancers and would like to understand more about the eternal cycle, but are also afraid of what they might learn. Some extremists are opposed to any and all necromancy, and tales say that a quiet and powerful cult that has worked for centuries to discredit, trap, and even murder necromancers for their efforts. To the people who oppose necromancy with such violent passion, mortal understanding should have limits, and they fear the consequences for the world should those limits be unraveled.
    Culture:
    We want to allow players to select few more elements during character creation to define their background a bit. One of those elements is the character’s Culture, which is where he or she was raised. In our setting, race and culture are not intrinsically linked, so you can have people of various races growing up all over the place. We can then use the character’s Culture to unlock different dialogue options with and reactions from NPCs as well as open up character options in a manner similar to 3E Forgotten Realms’ Regional Feats.

    So, for example, you might make a boreal dwarf (like Sagani, the female ranger we’ve shown) and decide that he was raised in the remote southern island of Naasitaq, where many other boreal dwarves share the rocky tundra and snow-covered forests with far-roaming caravan elves who drift near the shoreline. Alternately, your boreal dwarf may have been raised in the cramped, humid, towering cities of Aedyr, among the aggressive explorers who crossed an ocean to colonize the Dyrwood. Ideally, we want your race and culture to help inform both how you role-play your character as well as how you mechanically play your character. Source
    Linear Vs. Open World: Obsidian would like to avoid linear sequences whenever possible, but there are usually a few choke points the player will have to go through even in open games. For example, you have to get the water chip and deal with the Master in Fallout. There are a lot of ways to actually do those things, but you can't avoid dealing with them in some way. That's as "linear" as Obsidian would like to get. Source


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    Map of the Principle Areas Where Project Eternity Will Take Place

    “Dyrwood and Eir Glanfath are a very small part of the overall world. The entire map that’s shown... is an area maybe a little smaller than Spain. In terms of Project Eternity, you will be spending your time exploring in and around Dyrwood and Eir Glanfath (though not necessarily all of it)” – Josh Sawyer.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  3. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    Class, Races and Characters

    [IMGL]http://s3.amazonaws.com/ksr/assets/000/190/780/e49917855934dcc9a6b2ee4bc18cf8e7_large.jpg?1349300271[/IMGL]

    Here are five of the characters that you will meet on your journey in Project Eternity (assuming they survive this encounter). Edair is on the left. Aloth is next to him. Then Forton and Cadegund. Sagani is on the right. It has not yet been confirmed which of these will be willing to join your party.


    Click here to see this amazing artwork in high resolution.















    Races: 6 races have been confirmed 3 of which were added by stretch goals. Most, or possibly all, races will include subraces, which have not yet been revealed. The races include:
    1. Humans
    2. Elves
    3. Dwarves
    4. Godlike
      The Godlike are modeled after the DnD Planetouched races, such as the Aasimar and Tiefling. No further details have been shared about them as of yet, however. They were added as part of the $2.3m stretch goal.
    5. Orlans
      Orlans are a race of people found mostly in northern, temperate climates but also as far south as the Dyrwood. Physically, they are notable for their small stature, two-toned skin, and exceptionally large, hair-covered ears. Due to their size, orlans have been victimized and marginalized by most of the cultures with whom they have come into contact. As a result, it is rare to find large communities of them and they have progressively retreated into heavily wooded environments over the last few centuries. Many orlan communities have also adopted brutal guerilla tactics including heavy use of traps and poison in the surrounding environment. As a result, even orlans raised in urban cultures often share their rural kin's nasty reputation.
    6. Aumaua
      Aumaua are larger than humans and are found in a lot of coastal and island areas. They look somewhat "different" but are still a bipedal race. (From Josh Sawyer during the 10/12/2012 PC Gamer Live Chat)
    Classes: 11 classes have been confirmed 6 of which were added by stretch goals. This is exactly the number of base classes in DnD 3x! We even have effectively all of the same classes as DnD, except that the Sorcerer is replaced with the Cipher. DnD fans, rejoice!
    1. Fighter
    2. Priest
    3. Rogue
    4. Wizard
    5. Druid
    6. Ranger
    7. Monk
    8. Barbarian: Barbarians come from many of the more remote cultures found across the world. In the Dyrwood, they are commonly found among Glanfathan elf communities. They are distinguished from fighters by their recklessness, ferocity, and their predilection to substitute raw aggression for discipline. Barbarians are a challenge to deal with on a battlefield, though they are vulnerable to exhaustion if they don't pace themselves.
    9. Cipher:Ciphers are uncommon and often misunderstood individuals with extraordinary mental abilities. Like wizards and priests, they have many talents that draw directly from their souls, but ciphers have the unique ability to peer through the spiritual energy of the world to manipulate other souls. While wizards use complex formulae in large tomes and priests tap into the passion of their faith, ciphers are able to operate directly through the power of their minds... and yours.
    10. Paladin
    11. Chanter: This is effectively a bard that chants rather than sings or plays an instrument.
    Multi-Classing: Obsidian is considering adding multi-classing, but they are focusing on getting the base classes implemented first. Source
    Leveling Your Character:

    [​IMG]

    Characters: These are the characters that have been introduced so far. While I personally feel that it is likely that most, if not all, will be willing to join the player character's party, this has not yet been confirmed by Obsidian. 8 recruitable companions have been confirmed. You can have up to 5 of these companions in your party at once, which makes a party of up to 6 members including your own character, which you will create from scratch.
    1. Edair, a Human Fighter who plays an integral role in the story.
      [​IMG]
    2. Cadegund, a Human Priest who wields an arquebus. For close combat she uses a military hammer - Her class and race were confirmed by Feargus Urquhart in the comments section of the Kickstarter site on 10/13/2012
      [​IMG]
    3. Aloth, an Elven Wizard
      [​IMG]
    4. Forton, a (Human?) Monk
      [​IMG]
    5. Sagani, a Southern Boreal Dwarf Ranger - Her name was revealed in this VGRevolution interview with Josh Sawyer
      [​IMG]
    6. An Orlan Cipher [name not yet revealed] - We are developing a character that is an Orlan Cipher, who is a detective of sorts. He isn’t necessarily upper class, but he comes from wealth, so he dresses very nicely. Because he’s a Cipher he has somewhat psychic abilities that help him as a detective, and he uses them to investigate murders and the like. Source
    7. TBD
    8. TBD
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2012
  4. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    Game Features

    [IMGL]http://media.obsidian.net/eternity/media/screenshots/0001/PE-TempleEntrance01-620x349.jpg[/IMGL]


    Project Eternity's team of crazed environment artists have been working hard on developing our first environment for the game. Early on in the Kickstarter campaign, we told you that we wanted to make maps the Infinity Engine way. That is, we wanted to build 3D levels, render them out as 2D images, and then have our artists paint in beautiful details, highlights, and color-tweaks before they went into the game. Looking back at the levels some of us worked on for Icewind Dale, we were still thrilled with the quality that we could achieve with this approach. For Project Eternity, we're using 10 years of improvements in rendering technology and hardware to get the job done, but we still love what we can do the "old-fashioned" way. We hope you share our enthusiasm.


    Click here to see this beautiful screenshot in high resolution. This sure ain't your dad's 2D isometric game!







    The Endless Paths of Od Nua (aka The Mega Dungeon): It seems that this dungeon will be the Watcher's Keep or Durlag's Tower of Project Eternity. It is a large dungeon, the size of which was determined based on the number of financial backers: 3 to start, +1 level per 2,500 backers above 50k, +1 for 20k Facebook likes for Obsidian. There are FIFTEEN confirmed subterranean levels that ended up in the dungeon as of the end of the Kickstarter campaign! Here's some more details:
    [​IMG]
    Adventurer's Hall: Like how parties were created in Icewind Dale? This option is for you then!
    Player House: You will eventually have your own residence to store your equipment, let your companions take a load off, and of course, to make you feel special and prestigious!
    Player Stronghold:
    Huge City: (Mega-Stretch Goal that was met at $3.5 million in donations)
    Crafting and Enchanting: [The crafting system] may be loosely similar to crafting in Fallout: New Vegas. You will find ingredients in the world (environment, containers, combat loot) and can then use recipes to craft items at certain locations. The main differences will likely be that our recipes will have slightly fewer ingredients (excepting extremely rare items) and the ingredients will be segregated from other items in your inventory. Source
    Puzzles, Hidden Doors, Deadly Traps: We will have these elements when they make sense, but I don't want to force them in. Often, dealing with them feels less like gameplay and more like guessing until you get lucky. Source
    Firearms: Josh Sawyer talks in greater detail about the inclusion of firearms, and their role in the game.
    Josh Sawyer of Obsidian didn't necessarily feel that firearms were particularly important to the game world in Project Eternity, but he wanted the world to feel like it was more technologically advanced in some (but not all) ways than a standard fantasy setting. He had an early idea that firearms would be interesting in a setting where warfare included dealing with enormous beasts and magic, meaning that their single-shot potency at range was not as much of a "game changer" in mass combat as it was in Earth's history. Having a reload time that's more than three times as long as a crossbow is important when you're being charged by something twice the size of a human that's moving at 30mph.

    Obsidian will have to experiment with firearms to see how integral they are to strategic loadouts and what their different tactical applications are. Josh Sawyer wants them to feel similar to historical firearms: inaccurate, powerful, and slow to reload, but he wants them to be a real choice compared to other ranged weapons. It comes back to the high-level design goal: if Obsidian is including something in the game, it needs to be a viable option, not a marginal gimmick or no-brainer. Source
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2012
  5. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    Game Mechanics

    [IMGL]http://www.sorcerers.net/forums/picture.php?albumid=276&pictureid=2811[/IMGL][IMGR]http://www.sorcerers.net/forums/picture.php?albumid=276&pictureid=2811[/IMGR]




    Combat Mechanics:
    • The general combat dynamics will be, quote: "Close to BG2/IWD". It won't be based on D&D though, but rather a new realtime-with-pause ruleset developed from scratch.
    • Attacks: Attacks of opportunity, flanking and charge attacks will be included in the game. Grappling attacks will not be in the game, as implementing them properly would take far too long.
    • Reach weapons are not confirmed yet. If they can be implemented well, and meaningfully, they will likely be included. If not, and the benefit of the reach isn't obvious, these weapon types will be cut.
    • It will be possible to be knocked prone, and to knock your opponent into the prone position. It will not be possible to make any attacks or cast spells until standing up again. While prone, you are easier to hit.
    • Friendly fire will be included in the game, but it can be turned off as an option - except in Expert Mode, where it will always be on.
    • Enemies will seemingly not have immunities to particular types of attacks. They may be more or less resistant to particular attack types, but Obsidian wants to ensure that there are multiple ways to deal with every situation.
    Casting Spells:
    • There will be no individual cooldowns on spells, such as you might see in an MMORPG. You may be able to cast a number of level 3 spells, for example, in a single combat, and once you have done so, level 3 spells will require a wait period before you can cast them again. Most likely this will last for the duration of a particular combat. After the wait period though, you will be able to cast your limit of level 3 spells again as quickly as you like. Resting to regain spells won't be required.
    • For lower level spells there will likely be no limits to how often they can be cast.
    • Wizards cast their spells primarily from grimoires, but they will have a handful of basic spells that they can cast natively.
    • Wizards will have multiple grimoires to store their spells in. A grimoire will be limited in the number of spells it can hold, and only one Grimoire will be active at a time. If a caster wants to cast a spell from a different Grimoire they will have to wait a few rounds before that Grimoire can be used, so it isn't something that a wizard will generally want to do in the middle of combat. This will add a strategic element to how a wizard prepares for combat.
    Non-Combat Abilities: As you might have guessed, there will be more to Project Eternity than combat. An array of non-combat abilities will allow players to perform a variety of tasks outside of combat, or may even allow you to avoid combat altogether. Warning – This is very preliminary information shared by Tim Cain in the Update 7 Video. Much of it is discussed as still being in the "idea stage". I try to point out when Tim’s descriptions have indicated a heightened degree of uncertainty are a particular non-combat ability.
    Non-combat abilities will be kept separate from combat abilities. They will be “purchased” with a separate set of points as those of combat abilities, so a player will never need to forgo learning a fireball spell because they want to learn herbalism or mining skills. Furthermore, when non-combat abilities are used in the game, they will not use up the same resources as combat abilities, meaning that if you use a particular non-combat ability, then you are suddenly attacked, your combat abilities will be at full. You won’t use up mana, for example (should mana be included in the game) to power a non-combat ability, only to find that you have no mana when a fight begins. The non-combat abilities will use a separate resource.

    All non-combat abilities will be useful. If you invest in a lock picking ability, for example, you can be sure that there will be a lot of locks in the game – not just a couple here and there – and that picking locks will always lead to something beneficial, perhaps treasure, perhaps a combat avoided, but always something that makes the investment in the ability worthwhile.
    Using non-combat abilities to avoid combat will not result in less experience gained. Players will not be rewarded for killing things, but for completing quests. The player who goes through the game doing as little combat as possible should level up as fast as those players who kill every enemy in sight.

    There are 4 major types of non-combat abilities:
    Learning New Information
    • Finding Materials to Craft
    • Detect Secret Doors and Traps
    • Finding the True Name of a Demon
    Movement Abilities (These are still being considered for inclusion)
    • Moving Stealthily
    • Teleporting Across the World Map
    • Using Ships
    • Obsidian wants to ensure that there are abilities that allow you to avoid encounters when moving across the world map, or to move across the world map faster than you normally could.
    Obtaining New Items
    • In addition to killing an enemy to take their items, you can buy new items, craft new items, and steal new items. Obsidian wants to ensure that all of these are supported with an array of non-combat skills.
    • Obsidian also wants to make sure that there are ways players can support NPCs having items that they want to buy. This involves such things as the player finding recipes and material components, which the NPC merchants can then use to create items on your behalf, which you can return later to purchase from them.
    Companion Related – Because the companion system in Project Eternity is so rich, Obsidian wants to ensure that a player has abilities that assist him with finding companions, recruiting them, keeping them happy in their party and improving their abilities.
    For non-combat skills, we want every skill to have both a systematic application and the ability to develop scripted interactions. For example, we may have a Mechanics skill that covers picking locks. Lockpicking is a more-or-less standard interaction. Either your Mechanics skill is high enough to pick it without any resource (lockpick) cost or you fall short. If you fall short within a small enough margin, you can spend lockpicks to pick the lock anyway. We may allow the Mechanics skills of other party members to marginally contribute to the overall cost, but otherwise the interaction is standardized every time you find a lock.

    However, we may put some sort of crazy mechanical apparatus in a level that the player can interact with to accomplish a variety of goals. This will also allow the party to use their Mechanics skills, but the manner of interaction can be narrated through text and handled in a way that's scripted very specifically. Source
    Attributes: Not much has been shared about attributes as of yet, except this. Low intelligence characters will talk like dummies, and NPCs will regard them as the dimwits that they are. So if you crank that intelligence down, your game will play out differently as a result! Power gamers, you have been duly warned! :)
    Attributes will affect dialogues in the following ways: We are tying responses to attributes, but what we want to avoid in the mechanics is using attributes as "insta-win" buttons (for example, often in previous RPG titles, using the Skill option often is the instant win for quest solutions). What we'd rather do is have attributes and skills open up a range of new information that allows you to make a more informed decision about a choice rather than gate you to a solution.

    This may sound complicated, but it's like the Empathy skill in Fallout 1 and 2 - it would only tell you if the person you were talking to would react positively or negatively to your dialogue option, but that didn't mean it was the right option to choose in every situation, and sometimes you wanted to make someone mad to achieve your goal. Source
    Skills: Skill progress will be closer to Icewind Dale II where you get a number of points per level to spend on skills. We don’t have “skill” and “non-skill” classes, so with each character it’s more about deciding where to spend points rather than having one super-skilled character and five drooling buffoons dragging their swords behind them.
    Skills will not be class-specific, though classes may have inherent bonuses with certain skills. If you want to blast up Mechanics with your barbarian, you can do that. You probably won't be as good as a Rogue who is dedicated to Mechanics, but you won't be restricted from putting points into those skills. Source
    Armor Design: Josh Sawyer talks about the early considerations related to the design of armor in Project Eternity.
    Taken on its own, armor design isn't of eminent importance. It's just one of many subsystems that make up Project Eternity. However, looking at it in detail can expose problems that can be found across our various subsystems: by making something work well in a new system and setting, we can often put it at odds with the nostalgia of the old games (and "realism").

    Back in the days of 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, we had all sorts of quasi- or non-historical armor types like banded mail, ring mail, and studded leather. You wore the heaviest armor you could because it typically had the best Armor Class. If plate mail was available, there weren't many reasons to wear splint mail or (horror of horrors) chain.The default rules limited the viability of certain character concepts because most characters of a given class were funneled down a specific equipment path.

    [​IMG]

    3E sort of solved this problem by implementing Maximum Dexterity Bonus, which meant that characters with high Dexterity scores would generally equip whatever armor gave them the maximum bonus to Armor Class without capping the Armor Class bonus they received from Dexterity. There were a few problems with this.

    First, while it did help make previously "bad" character concepts (e.g., the lightly armored fighter) more viable, generally there were one or two choices per character build. If you had a high dexterity, you were not going to wear heavy armor. If you had a low Dexterity, you might wear light armor, but only for the higher movement rate it allowed.

    Second, there was an equipment dead zone in medium armor -- the Maximum Dexterity Bonus caps and movement penalties of heavy armor without the nice Armor Class bonus. Also, if you were a ranger or barbarian, technically you could wear medium armor, but in practice you would never wear it because it disabled several class abilities.

    The third issue is a common one with armor design: the ability to wear heavy armor has value (classes receive it as a benefit and it costs feats to purchase in 3E), but it's presented as something with trade-offs. This in itself is not bad, but as previously mentioned, typically the decision of what type of armor to wear can more-or-less be made at the end of character creation. If your character wears a chain shirt at 1st level, there's a good chance he or she will be wearing a +5 version toward the end of the campaign. This is sort of nice because it means that you can have a consistently viable character concept, but there's not a ton of decision making about armor types after your adventuring career starts.

    Finally, there's a way of naming and progressing things in A/D&D. Once you get your "base" armors introduced (for our purposes, we will include plate armor and its 2nd Edition kin, field plate and full plate), upgrades are expressed as +1 versions. It becomes pretty easy to understand once the hierarchical relationship and spread of armor types are established.

    What does this mean for Project Eternity? It means designing a new armor system that rectifies deficiencies of older systems while maintaining a familiar feel is tricky. Additionally, the more dissimilar the armor relationships are to those found in A/D&D, the more they will be re-evaluated for verisimilitude (i.e. "realism").

    We would like our armor system to accomplish the following goals:

    • Make wearing different types of armor a real choice for the player based on both character build and circumstance. E.g. a swashbuckling lightly-armored fighter will tend to wear one of a variety of light armor types (maybe a gambeson or leather cuirass), but in a circumstance where protection is of utmost importance, the player may still choose to wear heavy armor with a loss in build optimization.
    • Disassociate armor value from class type in favor of different build types. E.g. a wizard can wear heavy armor and be a different type of wizard instead of just "a wizard who is bad".
    • Allow a character to maintain a character concept throughout the game without suffering extreme mechanical penalties. E.g. a character who starts the game in some form of light armor can complete the game in some form of light armor with appropriate gameplay trade-offs compared to wearing heavy armor.

    Introduce new or upgraded armor types throughout the game instead of using ++ versions (which in itself would pose problems unless we directly duplicated A/D&D's d20-based attack mechanics).

    Even with these three goals, there are a number of problems to solve. One of the biggest questions is how to break up and "advance" armor by type. In AD&D, you had something that looked like this:

    Padded
    Leather
    Studded Leather
    Hide
    Scale
    Chain
    Splint
    Plate (Tier 2)
    Field Plate (Tier 3)
    Full Plate (Tier 4)

    Players typically couldn't afford plate, field plate, or full plate at character creation, but everything else was often within reach. It's not uncommon to see a hierarchy of armor types like this in many fantasy games, despite some of the questionable elements (did studded leather exist? Is raw hide armor actually better than cuirbolli leather?). You can get plate/field plate/full plate later in the game, but otherwise, you're getting +x versions of the base types at higher "tiers" of character advancement.

    We could (as an example) structure some of Project Eternity's armor advancement like this.

    Tier 1
    Doublet
    Hide Armor
    Scale Vest

    Tier 2
    Gambeson (from Doublet)
    Leather Cuirass (from Hide Armor)
    Scale Armor (from Scale Vest)
    Mail Shirt

    Tier 3
    Armored Jack (from Gambeson)
    Leather Armor (from Leather Cuirass)
    Lamellar Armor (from Scale Armor)
    Mail Armor (from Mail Shirt)
    Half-Plate

    This could probably accomplish our stated goals (we can assign them whatever stats we'd like, after all), but it does raise some questions for us:

    Should something like hide armor be supplanted/made obsolete by leather as an "improved version" or does that effectively kill the visual concept of the rough-hewn rawhide-wearing ranger or barbarian?
    If armor types like hide (or scale, or mail) should remain viable on their own, how should that "upgrade" be expressed to the player? Functional descriptors like "fine scale", "superior hide", etc.? Cultural or material descriptors like "Vailian doublet", "iron feather scale"? Olde tyme numerical descriptors like "scale armor +1", "half-plate +2"?
    Is it okay for an upgrade from a visual type of armor to maintain its relative position to other armor types even if "realistically" that upgraded armor is now probably superior in protection to other armor types? E.g. an armored jack or brigandine armor is probably more protective than even nice suit of leather armor... but mechanically, we're presenting it as an upgrade of a padded (doublet) armor type.

    Source

    [​IMG]

    Resource Management:
    I think that capturing the dungeon-delving feeling of the Icewind Dale games and many tabletop AD&D adventures means that there should be both strategic considerations and tactical considerations in exploration and combat. To me, that means that there's some level of upfront resource planning going on as well as a moment-to-moment consideration of "is it worth spending Resource X now or should I save it for later?" I.e. a tactical consideration can also be a strategic consideration if resources are part of a running series of battles (as most dungeons are).

    However, I don't think all resources need to be per-rest, only the more powerful ones at a character's disposal. For casters, this means shifting slightly away from the AD&D/3E paradigm of most spells being linked to a per-rest spell count. Within a battle, there should be tactical considerations to using any spell, and we don't want resources to be spam-able, but a caster's base abilities will likely not require a full rest to recover. Source
    Health & Regeneration:
    [Regarding] regeneration, I'd like to experiment with handling health in a manner somewhat similar to the 1992 RPG Darklands. Characters have two health resources: Stamina and Health. Proportionally, the character takes much more Stamina damage from an attack than Health damage. Stamina recovers relatively quickly on its own (and with the aid of magic) but Health damage requires rest. If a character hits 0 Stamina, he or she will go unconscious. If a character hits 0 Health, he or she dies.

    This sort of a system provides a buffer for characters so they can be temporarily defeated in combat without being brought to the verge of death every time. Similarly, allowing a character to recover to full Stamina over a short period of time does nothing to help his or her Health, so walking around with full Stamina and low Health would be extremely dangerous. Source
    Reputation: There will be no alignment system or morality meters in Project Eternity. Instead, your actions will be judged based on your reputation.
    Our reputation system will be similar to what players may have seen in Fallout: New Vegas. As you interact with people in the world, you start to generate a variety of reputations, positive and negative, with the world’s factions and communities. The system tracks both good and bad impressions, so if you save a basket of kittens from a burning house and later punch an old lady in the face, your reputation in that community is not “neutral”, it’s “mixed”.

    People from those communities will react to you based on your reputation, but it isn’t always a case of “positive rep” = “good times”. Sometimes being disliked by one group may actually cause another group to approach you favourably. And being liked by a group may result in their enemies coming after you — even if you’ve never done anything to harm them directly. --Feargus Urquhart, from Overclockers.com interview
    Level Scaling: Project Eternity will have very little level scaling and almost entirely in critical path areas since there’s a lot of variability in when players approach them. Especially when it comes to optional content and general exploration, there will be no level-scaling. In this regard, Fallout: New Vegas might be a fair comparison (from the 10/12/2012 PC Gamer Live Chat).
    Level That Will Be Reached in Project Eternity: Obsidian expects that leveling will be a bit quicker than in the original BG and Pool of Radiance, but not as brisk as it was Icewind Dale, so somewhere in the 10th-12th level range (A/D&D equivalent) seems likely.
    Enemy AI: We will probably develop encounters in a manner similar to the IE games, hand-placing groups of enemies in the environment for staged encounters and using patrolling or wandering enemies to add in a "wild card" element. To me, it's not as important to make enemies clever as it is to make enemies distinct in their behaviors and strengths. It's up to the designer to be shrewd about how the encounters are staged and scripted. Source
    The Loot System:
    We will rely more on placed loot than randomized loot. The IWD games had a huge amount of unique items and most of those were hand-placed (e.g. Pale Justice). I like writing the unique histories of those items, anyway. :)

    There might be a tiny amount of randomization, but that will likely happen at that the individual gear level. E.g. 5 bandits are placed on a map. When the map loads, each will randomly be given a pair of shortswords, a longsword and shield, or a bigass mace. Source
    Game Modes: Even among the ranks of RPG superfans, there exists a subset of players who can't get enough challenge. They want all of the difficulty features set to "I am pro." Collectively, we've worked on a bunch of these challenge modes in the past and enjoyed the results. Project Eternity seems like a very appropriate place to highlight suites of these difficulty options as distinct gameplay modes that players can opt-into at the beginning of any game. We've come up with three modes we'd like to support, which also includes the ability to turn many of their sub-features on and off on an individual level in an ordinary game: Expert Mode, Trial of Iron, and Path of the Damned.
    Expert Mode will disable all of the common ease-of-use / in-case-you-missed it gameplay elements like the display of skill thresholds, influence/reputation modifiers, and similar "helper" information. In a fashion similar to Fallout: New Vegas' Hardcore Mode, Expert Mode will also enable more punitive and demanding gameplay elements, in and out of combat. We're not saying we're going to have weighty gold (for real, we're not saying that), but if we did, you can bet that would be automatically turned on by Expert Mode.

    If you guessed that Trial of Iron is like Temple of Elemental Evil's Ironman Mode, you guessed right. When you start a Trial of Iron game, you have one save game that persists for the entire campaign... or until you die. And if you die, your save game is deleted. Enjoy!

    Path of the Damned is a spiritual successor to Icewind Dale's Heart of Fury mode. In our encounters, we like to turn individual combatants on and off based on the level of difficulty. If you come into an area on Easy, maybe casters are replaced with weak melee enemies. If you come in on Hard, maybe the casters are augmented by a tough melee enemy or two. With Path of the Damned, that goes out the window. All enemies from all levels of difficulty are enabled and the combat mechanics are amplified to make battles much more brutal for everyone involved.

    The first question you may have is, "Can I enable multiple challenge modes at once?" Yep, you sure can. They have to be selected at the beginning of the game, but if you want to play with two or all three at the same time, you can certainly can do so. If you're not quite sure you want all of the elements that come along with a given mode, this funding level will also cover implementing the ability to enable and disable the individual sub-features.
    Quest Markers: It is a common trend with current games for massive magical arrows to show up on maps that tell players exactly where to go to complete their current quest, and quest related NPCs have similar magical arrows announcing them in a most unnatural way. Obsidian wants to make the game feel old-school, so they won't be including quest arrows that point players exactly in the direction to go next. Source

    [​IMG]
    Hi-Resolution
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012
  6. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    Technical Details

    Voice Acting: We want to give our designers a free hand when it comes to writing dialog, which means we are going to have to limit how much of that will have voice acting attached to it. Our goal is to have a lot of the critical dialog voiced along with things like greetings and important things that the companions have to say.
    Music with Soul: Here are links to 3 musical pieces associated with PE (I wasn't sure how to imbed these to play direct from the browser, so sorry for the links)
    Souls, the supernatural, a fantasy setting, mature themes... These are just a few of the big ideas behind Project Eternity's story and world. As with any great CRPG story, music plays an important role in communicating those ideas. This was true for the Infinity Engine games as well. Looking back they all had one thing in common with regards to music: all are known for having strong and memorable soundtracks that drew you in as a listener and set fire to your imagination. That's exactly what we're aiming for with the music for Project Eternity.

    So what will the music sound like? Great question! Describing music with words alone can be a tricky thing to do because so much of that is subjective and wide open for interpretation. Even still it's important to have some sort of plan in place before writing a single note. You need an idea that will guide you towards creating an effective score. To help paint that picture more clearly, here are three words that we believe best describe what the score will ultimately sound like:

    Mystical

    Ancient

    Emotive


    Now you might be wondering, out of all the possible descriptive words, why these three? The answer to that goes right back to those big ideas mentioned above.

    We chose mystical because of the importance of souls and the supernatural in Project Eternity's world. Ancient because we want the music to be grounded and appropriate to the setting. Emotive because the role of music in any game is first and foremost to provide dramatic and emotional context for the player. At the end of the day, that's what we want out of Project Eternity's score. We want you to be swept away by the music and the imagery it evokes. By keeping these three descriptive pillars in mind while developing the score, we’ll be able to support and enhance the narrative goals of our game.

    Of course these three words are not all the music will ultimately be. It'll also be adventurous, ethereal, and wondrous when appropriate. Ominous, dark, and mysterious when called for. Scary and horrifying at just the right moments. And yes, driving, bold, and colossal when absolutely necessary.

    Along with defining what we do want the score to sound like, there are also some things we know we don't want it to sound like. It won't be overly heavy or oppressive, nor will it be bombastic and grandiose from beginning to end. We want the score to be as dynamic and nuanced as the story it serves, and the last thing we want to do is weigh that story down with leaden music.

    As you can see Project Eternity's music will be many things when all is said and done. But perhaps most importantly, its music will have a unique and original voice that we hope will leave a lasting impression, the same way the music of those awesome Infinity Engine games did in the past.
    Graphics: Project Eternity will use high-quality isometric pre-rendered background graphics, like the Infinity Engine games (but at a higher resolution). The character models will be in 3D though, and also some special effects will use 3D technology where it makes sense. (Nothing that will require a very powerful or modern computer though.) Rotating the camera will obviously not be possible, but zooming might be.
    We will certainly be adding animations to our backgrounds. The trees should sway, there will be birds or butterflies or insect clouds, depending on where you are, and the water in rivers and waterfalls will flow. We are using a rendering technique similar to the one we used in Temple of Elemental Evil, where the background is a pre-rendered 2D image and the characters and some props are 3D objects. This gives us the advantage of exquisitely detailed environments without the polygon cost, along with lots of animation without the memory cost that 2D sprites would entail.
    User Interface (UI): The UI Direction Is Not Yet Set, But Developer Josh Sawyer Shares His Early Thoughts On The Matter
    The Infinity Engine games' UIs did a good job of feeling like they were part of the world, but they had a lot of scaling issues. By Icewind Dale II, we had worked out most of the functional issues and I think a lot of people enjoyed having most of the major options at the bottom of the screen. But there's still a lot that could be improved.

    The other big source of inspiration has been Temple of Elemental Evil, since that had an elegant UI that managed to handle a huge spectrum of D&D spells and abilities. I've also looked again at the UI for Dark Sun: Shattered Lands, since that had some nice context-sensitive UI elements that kept the screen mostly clear of icons while exploring. Finally, I've always liked Darklands' method of handling special interactions in the world, using a simple "ink" and "watercolor"-style image with descriptive text, almost like a mini choose-your-own-adventure. Source
    Supported Platforms: Project Eternity is going to run on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. No console platforms will be supported, and it does not look likely that mobile platforms will be. So dust off that PC!
    Digital Rights Management (DRM): The game will be DRM free!
    Language Support: The initial release will be in:
    1. English
    2. French
    3. German
    4. Spanish
    5. Russian
    6. Polish
    We are also looking for ways of translating the game for our fans all over the rest of the world. As we have more information and our funding increases, we’ll make sure to keep everyone updated on what languages will be coming with Project Eternity.​
    System Requirements: It's too early in development to give hardware requirements. Our target is to run on older machines and to support a wide variety of hardware. We will be announcing the system requirements at a later date so stay tuned for an announcement down the road.
    Multiplayer: Nope. Obsidian is focused on creating a great single-player game.
    Modding Support: We've partnered with the Nexus Network to host mods. Additionally, we will be releasing file format information and leaving a lot of our data tables open for easy modification. Source

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012
  7. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    Project Eternity Kickstarter Updates and Video Collection

    Obsidian Project Eternity Post-Kickstarter Updates

    Update #34: First Art Update
    December 4, 2012 - Art Director Rob Nesler gives us some early glimpses into what's going on in art land. Behold the Aumaua wizard:
    [​IMG]

    Update #33: PayPal Ends Soon! Current Developments
    November 27, 2012 - In addition to PayPal closing soon, Adam shares some of the key areas of focus for the development team. Among them, the look of two of the new races, the Orlans and Aumaua, is being figured out.

    Update #32: Meet the Developers - Steve Weatherly
    November 20, 2012 - Not technically an update about Project Eternity, but as Obsidian stalls for time while they figure out exactly what PE is going to be, they share some background info on one of the PE developers.

    Update #31: Enter the Story Zone
    November 15, 2012 - Josh Sawyer discusses his thoughts regarding story development, though he manages to share absolutely nothing specific in 5 minutes of talking!
    [YOUTUBE]Qto3oORvRf4&feature[/YOUTUBE]

    Update #30: How Stuff is Made
    November 09, 2012 - Adam Brennecke shares details related to the pre-production process.

    Update #29: Fulfillment and the Pros and Cons of Nostalgia and Realism
    October 30, 2012 - A skeletal Josh Sawyer talks about Obsidian's early thoughts on the mechanic of armor in Project Eternity.
    [YOUTUBE]fWWBDt2Bjlg[/YOUTUBE]

    Update #28: What We're Up To
    October 23, 2012 - Josh gives the first video update since the Kickstarter campaign ended. He discusses the realities of pre-production, budgeting, etc.
    [YOUTUBE]mlfO8y-Ax3s&feature[/YOUTUBE]
    Update #27: How’d we do, and what’s next?
    October 17, 2012 - Darren Monahan provides a written update to let everyone know the the final outcome of the recently completed Kickstarter campaign.

    [​IMG]

    Obsidian Project Eternity Kickstarter Updates

    Update #26: One Final Stretch Goal
    October 16, 2012 - Mere hours before the completion of the Kickstarter campaign, a final stretch goal is announced, if we reach $4 million USD in donations.

    Update #25: The final hours. One end, and to new beginnings
    October 16, 2012 - $3.5 million USD achieved; a new reward tier and more.

    Update #24: Less than 30 Hours to go! Life and Death, and Audio CD Soundtrack!
    October 15, 2012 - The Kickstarter campaign is winding down, and the goal of reaching $3.5m is looking more and more likely. Josh shares some additional lore updates around life and death in PE, and many topics that surround these concepts.
    [YOUTUBE]hxDpewmig9g[/YOUTUBE]
    Update #23: Less than 50 hours to go!
    October 14, 2012 - $3 million USD achieved. The Project Eternity documentary announced.

    Update #22: Q&A with Tim, Cooking?, and Avellone Trolls You!
    October 13, 2012 - Tim answers 5 questions from 5 different fan sites.
    [YOUTUBE]IbyFqrEYSFw[/YOUTUBE]
    Update #21: 5 days left!
    October 12, 2012 - $2.8 million USD hit. Paladins and Chanters are now in the game and George Zeits will be joining the development team.

    Update #20: Lore Tidbits, Big Ol' Stretch Goals, and... Environment Screenshot!
    October 11, 2012 - Josh gives us a big update. The Kickstarter campaign is in the final stretch, and is really heating up!
    [YOUTUBE]_LtpG02bZDw[/YOUTUBE]
    Update #19: (Updated Oct 11) $2.6M Achieved! Adventurer’s Hall in! Full List of Rewards at Every Tier, Art for T-Shirts and Mouse Pad
    October 10, 2012- The title pretty much sums it up.

    Update #18: George Ziets, Paladins, Add-Ons, Rewards, and More!
    October 9, 2012 - Adam Brennecke talks about the newest stretch goals, including some details on the new Paladin and Chanter classes (unlocked at 2.7m)
    [YOUTUBE]9oPKIzyGos8&feature[/YOUTUBE]
    Update #17: Brian Fargo from inXile Kicks In, Obsidian Kicks it Forward, New $165 Tier, and Expansion
    October 8, 2012 - A short update where among other details, NPC Aloth's name is revealed.

    Update #16: Reward Updates, Combat with Tim, Mods, and the Mega Dungeon Grows!
    October 6, 2012 - Another Reddit Q&A with Tim Cain, focused on combat this time. Ability synergies will exist, grappling opponents won't.
    [YOUTUBE]UpBqLbyR7o8[/YOUTUBE]
    Update 15: PayPal, 2.5M/2.6M stretch goals, new reddit QA, classes, and art!
    October 3, 1012 - Josh gives us the latest, including the announcement of the Adventurer's Hall at 2.6 million (still not reached as of this posting)
    [YOUTUBE]Cdf2wHt1vBo[/YOUTUBE]
    Update #14: The Music of Project Eternity
    October 2, 2012 - An update all about music

    Update #13: 50K Backers Brings New Mega Dungeon, Stretch Goals and More! (PayPal Too!)
    October 1, 2012

    Update #12: Reddit Q&A with Tim Cain
    September 29, 2012 - Tim Answers the top 5 voted questions of Reddit
    [YOUTUBE]1Uyzap5FcgI[/YOUTUBE]
    Update #11: Reached $2.1 Million and Getting Close to 50k Backers!
    October 28, 2012

    Update #10: Characterization with Chris Avellone
    September 27, 2012 - A rather "goofy" update with Chris Avellone. I think that a few important tid bits about the game were included, but mostly this video shows us that Chris isn't always the most serious guy, and we get to find out who has problems with motion sickness!
    [YOUTUBE]8o8GTA8-EPU[/YOUTUBE]
    Update #9: The power of MODES and Godlike Races: Our $2.3M Stretch Goal
    September 26, 2012 - Josh gives another update and reveals game modes.
    [YOUTUBE]zn-9PAJsBPI[/YOUTUBE]
    Update #8: New Digital Tier, Novella by Chris Avellone, and Translations at $2.2M
    September 24, 2012 - NPC Edair is revealed for the first time.

    Update #7: Non-Combat Abilities
    September 22, 2012 - Tim Cain gives a nice, detailed overview of non-combat abilities. It sounds like you can actually play much of the game by avoiding combat entirely.
    [YOUTUBE]sG8xycSQqnQ[/YOUTUBE]
    Update #6: Choosing the Best Tool for the Job
    September 21, 2012 - Obsidian CTO Chris Jones announces that Unity will be used to create Project Eternity.

    Update #5: Souls, Technology, and Adventuring Companies
    September 20, 2012 - A high level update on souls and some other game details, including some details about how people regard the gods, once again by Josh Sawyer
    [YOUTUBE]kjqb1y_CYuU[/YOUTUBE]
    Update #4: Add-Ons (Updated Oct 11), Digital Tiers, and DRM
    September 19, 2012 - $1.6 million USD has been reached!

    Update #3: Game Basics - Your Party, Your Characters, and Races
    September 17, 2012 - Josh Sawyer gives us some real details about the game for the first time.
    [YOUTUBE]af2VRQKaZEk[/YOUTUBE]
    Update #2: Stretch Goals! (PayPal, Mac, Linux, and more!)
    September 15, 2012 - Stretch goals are announced.
    [YOUTUBE]OIOPrc-rP4Q[/YOUTUBE]
    Update #1: We are funded, 1.1 Million! Thank you!!
    September 15, 2012 - The Kickstarter campaign has only just started and the $1.1 million goal has already been reached!

    The Project Eternity Kickstarter Campaign Launches
    September 14, 2012 - The PE Kickstarter is launched, raising more than $700,000 USD in its first day!

    [​IMG]

    Other PE Related Videos

    Project Eternity Interview & Developer Insight
    November 29, 2012 - Adam Brennecke talks "Why Project Eternity?" and more with TotalBiscuit
    [YOUTUBE]9-TBCrqERus[/YOUTUBE]

    Project Eternity Interview: Feargus Urquhart "This is the game, I always wanted to make"
    November 11, 2012 - Feargus talks at a very high level about Project Eternity with Video Game Sophistry
    [YOUTUBE]R2ZeTKc7Cyc#![/YOUTUBE]

    Here is a recent Matt Chat, where Matt Barton interviews Josh Sawyer about our favorite new CRPG in progress! Josh still seems to struggle with microphone issues, but the video is fully intelligible (still listening to it as I type). There is some great information about spell casting in the later part of the video.
    [YOUTUBE]YoRDtNag8rE[/YOUTUBE]
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
  8. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor ★ SPS Account Holder

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    WIP It Good!

    (I realize this will make absolutely no sense once the above posts are edited, but I couldn't resist. :D )
     
  9. Topken

    Topken Elven-dragon wizard ★ SPS Account Holder

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    The reason I think their systems closely resemble DND is because that is what they are most use to working with which is a good thing in my opinion. It makes everything familiar and yet fresh at the same time to most of here us here.
     
  10. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    Yes Topken. Rather than doing something off the wall, Obsidian really appears to be sticking as close as they can without infringing on the DnD IP. I see this as having our cake and eating it too. We all love DnD, but we don't (or shouldn't) love the strings that are attached to that title. That appears to be the mindset of the developers. Hell, there are even 11 base classes, and all of them but one are directly modeled after the 11 DnD base classes. The only 1 that isn't in is the sorcerer, and that's because the way mages cast spells in PE largely makes the sorcerer irrelevant. The class that replaced it, the Cipher, is also based on a DnD class. So yeah, expect a lot of similarities.

    I updated to include art for Forton the monk -- who I love already -- and for the extra Mega Dungeon level. We will soon be at 60k backers and 20,000 Facebook likes, so that's 2 more levels coming soon.
     
  11. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    Quick update. I have made a number of "stealth" information updates over the past couple of days. In order to remove the stealth aspect of those updates, I am now including an update log in the first post, where I plan to point out what changes are being made day to day.

    I think I have pretty much included everything relevant that has been written in the various updates on the Kickstarter site. I am now in data mining mode, pulling out details from the various update videos and adding information that is being shared in interviews and updates around the web. I continue to encourage other community members to bring any details that I may have overlooked to my attention, for inclusion in this update.

    Also of interest, I have been invited down to Obsidian's offices next week for an exclusive tour with Adam Brennecke. Sort of a funny story how that came about. I'm trying to see if I can fit it into my schedule.
     
    Taluntain likes this.
  12. Rawgrim Gems: 21/31
    Latest gem: Pearl


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  13. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    Awesome, do tell!
     
  14. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    Well okay. It's actually a little embarrassing actually. On Friday morning Obsidian included this post on their Kickstarter site:
    Emphasis added by me.

    I read this post while I was rather exhausted, after working 16-17 hour days all last week to meet a major deadline. I didn't notice that at the end of that post was a schedule of events, some of which included a "livestream" link next to them. Maybe if I had been less tired I would have realized that the livestream link was most likely an indication that Obsidian's comment about literally opening their doors was just poor wording on their part (they actually meant they would open their doors, virtually).

    I also thought it strange that they included no address, but I'm resourceful enough to find that. At the end of the day, they are only 30 minutes away from me, and I needed some fresh air after delivering on my deadline at work. So, I hopped in my car after the lunch hour, and drove to their office. I had no problems getting into their parking lot. The parking attendant was very polite, in fact. I had no problems getting into the lobby of their building (it's a large office in Irvine CA, shared by numerous companies). I easily found that Obsidian was in suite 200 by looking at a large legend in the lobby. I went up to floor 2, and sure enough, I was looking at their reception area. I was already feeling a lot like a stalker at this time, as there was absolutely nothing to indicate that Obsidian was expecting company, but I had come too far just to turn around.

    The receptionist, not surprisingly, had not heard about any public invitation. I showed her the Obsidian post on my iPhone, and she seemed to agree with my interpretation. She made a couple of phone calls. I'm not sure who the first was to, but the second was to Darren Monahan, their CIO and one of their founders. I heard him laugh as (I believe) he reread the post I was talking about, and soon after the receptionist simply apologized, telling me that a literal visit hadn't been their intent. Given no other option, I turned around and left.

    I was angry, frustrated and embarrassed at my experience. When I got home, I proceeded to share about it on the Kickstarter site. As you might expect, I had a number of people backing me up and saying that it was shameful of Obsidian not to at least come out and say hi to me, and a number of people who were flaming me for not understanding the intent of the post to begin with. After about 15 minutes of fairly heated chatting back and forth (much like a bar fight, my "supporters" and my "opponents" began arguing with each other), Darren Monahan popped in and apologized, and invited me to come back next week for a tour with Adam. Shortly after that I believe Feargus (he's the only one who doesn't sign his name when he posts using a shared Obsidian account on KS) also chimed in that he was sorry about what happened, and that he was looking forward to having me come by.

    Once Darren and (most likely) Feargus said their peace, all the Kickstarter posters were happy, agreeing that Obsidian is a great company to take care of a fan like that, even a misguided one.

    So I just need to contact them with some proposed times next week and see what we can work out! This will be far cooler than what I had originally expected, as I never thought I'd get this sort of 1 on 1 attention. If I end up doing it, I'll certainly share about it. :D

    @Rawgrim, I'm aware of the artwork for Forton. I added it here shortly after it was posted by Obsidian yesterday. :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2012
  15. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    Marceror, that's hilarious, but in a good way. All's well that ends well? :shake: Great to hear that one of our own will be getting a private audience at Obsidian - take some pics! If they let you, of course. ;) You can flash your imaginary SP press card around for better effect. :p
     
  16. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    I will definitely try to come back with some pics! I'm also hoping to see if I can get an exclusive game detail or two, to be posted here first. I'm not sure what to expect, but will try to make the most of it.
     
  17. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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  18. Scot

    Scot The Small One

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    So, one question that I have not found the answer to, on Kickstarter or here, is, when is the expected release date?
     
  19. Ineth

    Ineth Instigator ★ SPS Account Holder

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    On the kickstarter page, all the rewards that include at least 1 copy of the game, say "Estimated delivery: Apr 2014".
     
  20. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    Scot, good point. Estimated release date has been added to the introductory post. :thumb:
     
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