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Project Eternity by Obsidian

Written by xaraan on Saturday, September 29 2012 and posted in Features
Project Eternity by Obsidian

Project Eternity is the video game project that has taken kickstarter by storm, creating a mass of RPG fans eager to dive into this future game. We've tried to assemble the majority of information about the project so far for you here.

Source: Project Eternity Kickstarter

September, 29, 2012

   Obsidian is an independant game developer that has created projects for other labels.  You may have heard of some of the games they've made: Fallout 1 & 2, Fallout New Vegas, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II, Dungeons & Dragons and Forgotten Realms RPG games such as Planescape, Icewind Dale and more.  After running into a few roadblocks in trying to create a new RPG game like they had planned with Project Eternity, namely that game makers had little desire to make them anymore as well as a few shadier dealings; they turned to Kickstarter and their fans in hopes of raising the capital to do it themselves. Fans have been excited for the project and perhaps the idea of a new gamemaker like Valve that has a closer relationship with their fans than their stockholders.

   Project Eternity, which may have been a placeholder name initially, has been one of the top kickstarter projects, raising it's 1.1 million dollar funding goal within the first 28 hours of launch.  With seventeen days still to go they are nearly double their fundraising goal and have added more and more to the project as the honeypot grew.  It's hard to image them changing the name of the game at this point, unless they add onto it ala Elder Scrolls: Skyrim and do a Project Eternity: Something Something.  Everyone into RPG video games knows Project Eternity now.

About the game:

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.

   What started as a realistic goal based on the amount of money they were initially asking for has grown as funding rises.  The base game was to include three races, five classes and five companions but has now expanded to add additional races, classes and quests, a player home, and new unique equipment.  They have added Mac support on top of an initially PC only game, as well as no-DRM version for those interested.  And they are close to hitting their next two stretch goals which will add Linux support; French, Spanish and German translations, more quests, loot and NPC's and new game modes.  With seventeen days still to go, much more could be added as project funding grows.

   With their most recent project update, Obsidian head Tim Cain turned to reddit and took the top five questions from the Project Eternity subreddit.  Q&A below if you cannot watch the video:

Question: Class vs. Classless systems You're most famous for classless systems involved in Fallout and Arcanum. It sounds as if Obsidian will be using a class based system. What do you see as being the advantages of a class based system that you're hoping to leverage in Project Eternity?

Answer: We are designing a class-based system because we want the different characters in your party to fill different roles, and classes are the best way to achieve this goal. In a skill-based game, it's harder to tell if a companion gives you the skills you are looking for, especially before you recruit them. In a class-based game, you know what each class can do, so you can decide that you want a particular class even before a potential companion offers to join you. And when you have a lot of companions and can choose which ones you want to take on a particular adventure, classes make it easier to form the group and be assured that you have your skillsets covered.

Bonus question: Are you considering multiclassing?

Answer: Bonus questions are cheating…but yes, we are considering adding multi-classing to the game. A better way to put this answer is that we are not ruling them out at this time. If they work well with our final system, we will offer them.

Question: I was a bit discouraged when I heard that the combat was going to be RTwP (real time with pause), myself being a big fan of TB (turn based) and the possibility of tactical combat that it lends to a game. My question is then: how are you going to make the combat in P:E tactically interesting despite it being RTwP?

Answer: Hmm, this is a bit of a loaded question, as it implies that real-time games aren't tactically interesting while all turn-based games are. Believe me, I have played plenty of dull turn-based games with very few options on what to do on each turn, and there are lots of real-time games that are incredibly tactically rich. Look at all of the real-time strategy games out there!

So to answer your question, we are going to make sure that the distinct abilities that our classes will have will each provide different roles to those characters in combat, and that you will always have choices to make in combat about how to best position yourself and use your attacks. In addition, we are going to design the enemy encounters to be ever-increasing challenges, so that one way of fighting won't carry you through every encounter. You will be forced to mix it up a bit, tactically speaking, and use all of your combat skills to make it through to the end of the game.

Let me add that as an Infinity Engine inspired game, our pillars of design include isometric exploration of a fantasy world, a reactive storyline with interesting and believable characters, and real-time with pause combat. Those elements are expected in our game, and we feel strongly about providing them.

Question: How much reactivity can we expect from the world based in our character's race and sub-race?

Answer: We will provide a lot of reactivity in our game to your choice of race. We are planning on giving each race a set of traits that the player can pick from, and those traits affect everything from dialogs choices to skill bonuses to what kind of options you will have to finish some quests. There probably won't be quests that are just for one race, but one thing we are not going to do for certain is make race-restricted items. While many items have a cultural connection to some races, they will still be useable by members of other races. It might be unusual to see humans in elven chain, but they can wear it.

Question: What aspect of cRPGs missing from modern games do you most want to recapture with Project Eternity?

Answer: I can answer that in one word: parties. I like playing cRPG's that allow the player to control big parties of characters, and by control, I mean you can pick the actions of each party member if you want. We will have lots of pause conditions in our combat, and if you want to have the game pause whenever a party member can perform a new action, you can do that. Most modern games only let you control one character, or if they give you a party, you only control one member of that group. In this game, I want to control all of them.

Question: Will there be modding capabilities for this game? I know it's a tall order for this style of game, but I've wanted a definitive answer to this question. Knowing Unity, I know it's somewhat unlikely to offer this. But it'd still be nice to know for sure.

Answer: That is a very good question, but unfortunately, I don't have an answer for you. We are still looking at Unity and how it bundles up content in the shipped game, and we will have to see how much of that we can make available to the player. I can say that we want you to be able to mod the game, and if it's possible, we will allow you to do it. It's not our primary focus, which is to give you an amazing single player experience with our game, but we know a lot of people will want to tinker with the game and make their own content, so we will let you know how this objective is faring when we are further along in development.


   If interested in RPG gaming, check out their kickstarter and contribute.  Getting in on it now isn't just helping them develop a great game, but it is also putting the game in your hands for a much lower price than you will be able to purchase it after launch. 


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About the Author - Jeremy Shane

Jeremy was born in a small mountain village of a strange foreign land called Weystvurginea.  Banishment for liberal views saw him spend years wondering the east coast until he decided to bike to California.  When he saw how long a trip it was, he drove instead.  Now he's living it up in a low humidity climate, sometimes working on his photography and when not, he writes for us covering books (by way of his blog: Reading Realms), gaming, tv, movies, comics, conventions in the SoCal area, and creates a weekly webcomic: A Journey Through Skyrim.  If you look for him offline, start in the L.A. area; online start at: for his profile and all the social networks he's on... or just follow him on twitter, he seems to be on there a lot: @jeremyshane.


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