The effects of crowd-funding the development of Project Eternity have been nothing but positive, Avallone said. The development team is overjoyed to share what they're working on as they're working on it, and in turn is bolstered by the community's immediate feedback. That feedback has come in the form of suggestions for the game's artistic and systemic design — sometimes even volunteer work on the game's environment and character art.
Avellone was never worried that their input would evolve (or, as the case may be, devolve) into a sense of funder's entitlement.
"Their sense of entitlement wasn't really 'Oh, you must have this,' it was more like, 'Here's what we feel about this,'" Avellone said. "Like, they didn't want social tie-ins, for example, and like, if you don't want that, and you don't want to back a project that has elements like that, there is absolutely no need for us to put that in. We're absolutely fine that you're telling us this now, and not two months before ship, which is normally how people react to things like this with today's publishing models."
Aside from that feedback, the team at Obsidian has almost no external input on what kind of a game the studio is going to make. Starting with a clean slate has its fair share of benefits and problems, but before weighing them against one another, Obsidian had to decide what kind of an RPG it wanted to create. That core inspiration, Avellone explained, came down to one question.
"What were exciting RPGs we've played, and why," Avellone said. "We all got together in a room and said, 'You know what, there are certain things we love about Forgotten Realms, there are reasons that's appealing to us.' Not because we want to do Forgotten Realms, but it seemed like wherever you went in Forgotten Realms, there was some cool locale that was waiting to be explored, some dungeon to loot. And from all the D&D days from long ago, that's what we love about dungeons: Solving puzzles, going through the dungeon crawling experience."