Project Eternity Interview

While we wait for today's update for Project Eternity, I thought you might be interested in reading this interview from GamesIndustry with Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart, who talks about things such as the development process, publisher pitches, stretch goals and more. Here's a snippet:
Q: Do your stretch goals threaten your game design? Like instead of making the right number of character classes for the game, you have to make X number of them to fulfill a promise to backers?

Feargus Urquhart: Well, when you're making an RPG, that makes stretch goals easy in some ways. RPG campaigns and games are all about adding more stuff, in a lot of ways. It's about more choices, and having another class to play is a great thing to have in an RPG. But there's a certain point at which there are just too many and they're not impactful anymore. So we're not going to continue to just add another race every X hundred thousand [dollars]. There's not going to be 17 races in the game; we're going to think of other cool things to add in that expand not only what the game is, but potentially what our high level backers are getting.

Q: How do publishers feel about studios who Kickstart projects?

Feargus Urquhart: I think publishers are curious about the model and curious about what that can do. I think ultimately publishers are looking for good developers to make great games for them. They have their internal staff to make great games, and sometimes they need a particular type of developer to make a particular game for them. So I don't know if that changes things a whole lot on the bigger console level. On the smaller level, I think some publishers may really like the model. It's pretty scary when you're a publisher and you have to fund games because that's what you need to go ship. But now maybe some titles can come to you secondarily, or for distribution, or something like that where you don't have to worry about a cash outlay so much.

Q: Do you think Kickstarter is changing the balance of power between publishers and developers now that smaller studios just have other options?

Feargus Urquhart: I think so, but it depends on which part of the market you're talking about. For the $20-40 million, multi-SKU console game, that's not the Kickstarter world. I think what Kickstarter gives developers the capability to do-and this is how we're looking at it-is we're getting the opportunity to go build a brand, and it's a brand that we own. And that's what changes the power a little bit. Now I have a game that we're going to go make, and I have a brand. And I own that brand. And it's now something that if I go talk to a publisher to talk about doing something different with a brand-and this is years from now-they're not going to get to own that brand. That definitely changes whatever you call it, power or leverage. it changes the discussion. Absolutely.