Project Eternity Interviews

We have rounded up a number of interviews centered around Obsidian Entertainment's Project Eternity we've missed either during the Kickstarter campaign or immediately afterwards.

RPGFan chatted with Chris Avellone and audio director Justin Bell:
RPGFan: We know how you're looking to return to RPG roots with Project Eternity. What new features do you envision will cause Project Eternity to be looked at as a touchstone?

Chris Avellone: Without spoiling too much about the game, the central core spell mechanic of soul transference and how it makes itself felt in the world (both personally, socially, and theologically) is going to leave a lasting impression on players.

At the same time, however, one of our primary goals is to recreate a fun Baldur's Gate/Icewind Dale/Torment experience, using the strongest elements of each title. We want to create both a compelling RPG and also something that players who remember those titles have a chance to play again. The chance of seeing anything like this in today's market has been low to non-existent, and we want to prove that those RPGs can still do well and thrive, even if they don't have a huge budget attached to them.


RPGFan: What are your goals with the game, musically? Who will be composing the music? Will you be offering the soundtrack as a download for those who ultimately purchase the final game, or is it just for Kickstarter backers?

Justin Bell, Obsidian Audio Overlord: Above all, we want the music to enhance and support the rich narrative and setting of Project Eternity. To accomplish that we'll use strong themes that are performed by distinctive and interesting instrumental ensembles. Ultimately we want the score to be every bit as memorable as the Infinity Engine game soundtracks are. As for composer, we don't have anything to announce just yet, but you should definitely expect more on that in the future. Lastly, we do want to release the soundtrack after the Kickstarter ends and we're exploring the various options to do that as well.

Polygon has some words from CEO Feargus Urquhart:
They also toppled the previous video game funding record on Kickstater set by Double Fine Entertainment.

"We are really thankful for Tim (Schafer) and the rest of the people at Double Fine for trying Kickstarter out," Urquhart said. "If he hadn't there would have always been a big question about how far you could take it.

"He made this possible. I can't give him enough credit for taking that chance and going out there and doing this."

Reached for comment this afternoon, Schafer said he's glad there's a new record.

"I'm really happy for them and glad they broke the record-not just for them, but because I hope that the Kickstarter funding of games just keeps growing and growing," he told Polygon. "It's the best thing to happen to the games industry-and the whole entertainment industry-in a long time."

And Destructoid has an article-style interview with Chris Avellone, concerning the freedom the crowdfunding model grants to the developers:
"Games are large investments, so publishers tend to be risk-adverse by promoting brands and similar experiences," offered the designer. "I can't blame them, especially considering the budgets involved with AAA titles and the marketing of those titles ... if a game fails, they're taking a huge multi-million dollar loss. As such, they want to avoid anything that might alienate any percentage of their audience and make as accessible a title as possible to hit their numbers -- this includes multi-platform support, the removal of any descriptors or adjectives that could put a listener/reader off (the word (old-school,) for example), and more.

"Also, I'm going to go against the grain and say that I don't know for sure if Kickstarter games can succeed. They appeal to a passionate, niche market, sure. But no publisher I know of is going to be seduced by 80,000 backers, for example -- it's often not enough for them to take notice. And they're even more limited in their financial model because the publishers' backers pay a set price. With Kickstarter, backers can pay 100x the cost of the game if they like it enough, and they'll get bonuses and rewards that go far beyond what a publisher can offer (or makes sense for the publisher to offer in terms of logistics).

"I think Kickstarter-backed games have support enough to pay for themselves, but we don't know if they'll ever hit the profit of a summer blockbuster. Then again, we don't care -- the backers have covered the cost, and now we get to sit down and design a game. I also love the fact that with Kickstarter, I can now financially vote to see a game I like being developed, like a Double Fine adventure (I thought I'd never see another adventure game that wasn't on the DS or the iPhone again) or Wasteland 2 (I loved the original, and I'd play a sequel to it in a second)."