Project Eternity Interview and Q&A

13 Oct 2012

In the last few days our frontpage has been covered in Project Eternity news, and I expect that to go on for a while longer, at least until the Kickstarter campaign has run its course, so don't surprise if we've rounded up some more interview coverage for the Infinity Engine-inspired title.

PC Gamer has a recap and full transcript of their live Q&A with the Obsidian team. Snippets ahead:
On the aumaua race:
“the other race we haven’t talked about yet are called the aumaua. they are larger than humans and are found in a lot of coastal and island areas. like orlans, they look somewhat… different, but they are still a bipedal race. we’re still working on their concepts (as we are with orlans), but we will show them when we feel they’re in a good place.” – Josh Sawyer

...

On player choices:
“Player choice and impact are very important to us, so “a lot”. We want players to feel like they can solve quests their way and take the story in a direction that they want to take it, from little things to big things”

we don’t really think about things in terms of good or evil choices, but in terms of choices that a relatively sane/rational person would make with an understandable motive. sometimes it makes sense to allow players to be cruel, but it has to work in the context of what’s going on. the game and its story aren’t about being good or evil but deciding what values (and people, and groups) are most important to you — and what you’re willing to sacrifice to defend them.” – Josh Sawyer

While Overclocking chatted with Feargus Urquhart:
Steve: I know it has been asked before, but can you describe the evolution of Project Eternity?

Feargus: Ten or twelve years ago, a lot of us worked at either Black Isle Studios on the whole series of Infinity Engine games (Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, Torment), or at Troika Games on Arcanum and Temple of Elemental Evil. We loved making those games, and along with Fallout, they really lead to a resurgence of RPGs in the late 1990’s. However, after Black Isle studios and Troika shut down, and Bioware moved on to making console games, no one was really making the Infinity Engine style of games anymore. That had always bothered me, but I never really took the thought much farther until Jon from Gamebanshee asked me (in 2010 at E3) why no one was making them. I didn’t have a good answer other than people just were not making them anymore. That led to a lot of conversations internally and some discussion with investors to see if we could get such a game funded. When we saw the success of DoubleFine and inXile on Kickstarter, we decided to see if others shared our passion for these games – would there be enough interest in bringing back the Infinity Engine style games again? With the reaction we have had, I think the answer to that is yes.

...

Steve: Can you talk a little about the reputation system which you are developing? How will you handle cause and effect in the wider world of Project Eternity?

Feargus: 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.

Steve: Will time be a factor during questing? Quests seem to lose a sense of urgency if players can’t fail due to delaying too long.

Feargus: I don’t think so. I really like letting players approach the game at their pace and in the order they want to do it. When we give them a lot of time based quests, what it feels like we are doing is making them play the game in the order and the way we want them to play it. I think that can work well in other genres – in RPGs, it is really about turning the game over to the player.
 
 

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