Project Eternity Post-funding Update #46

For the latest Project Eternity post-funding update, Obsidian co-founder Darren Monahan explains how Obsidian organizes game development in phases and that Project Eternity's prototyping is almost done, gives us a brief look at a new piece of concept art, this time for an interior area, and explains why updates might be slightly less frequent from now on. Here's a snip:

So where are we at on Project Eternity?

We're coming to the end of the Prototype phase. While you might think of a prototype as something you would consider before making a game, in our case, we use the term to mean a demonstration of the game that, when successful, demonstrates the game's vision (AKA (pillars)) and concept. For Eternity, one of our biggest pillars is to recreate the Infinity Engine experience. To that end, we need to have a number of key things in place to make sure our prototype is a success. Things like:

  • Character movement and combat. We want to make sure we have a party of up to six characters, each of whom can be moved independently and/or as a group, which does then imply rudimentary support for formations as well as NPC and basic creature AI. Basic AI meaning to '˜see' the characters, face them, and then move to them and start attacking. This also means we need character models that have enough animations to demonstrate this convincingly, as well as at least one monster. For our prototype demo, we have one known only as (Chompy) for now. More on him (or her?!) in future updates!
  • Basic RPG mechanics. We need to prove that we're making an RPG here obviously! We need basics like loot management; for instance, inventory and opening containers like chests. We need basic conversations and quest giving, including receiving a quest, tracking its progress, and then providing a reward for it being completed.
  • Environments. We want to have a working outdoor area as well as a tileset-based interior that the player can move between and throughout. This makes us prove out area transitions too (I can hear it now, (YOU MUST GATHER YOUR PARTY BEFORE VENTURING FORTH...))

For our outdoor area (see screenshot above), we're bringing life to it by not only building out the rest of the level, but getting our technological solutions in place. We have a working waterfall now, with moving water, replete with foam around the rocks(!) and more.

Eeeert (sound of a record scratching.)! Wait, tilesets, Darren? What?
Believe it or not, a lot of the areas in IE games were actually assembled through tile pieces (granted, outside the game in 3D art packages), and then were beautified by hand to give them a more organic look and feel. This tradition carries on with Eternity.


So, how are we doing?

Well, we are absolutely trucking along. We've recently added several new concept artists to the team, two longtime Obsidian designers have also come on board (more on them later!), and we are hiring for other positions too. The team all has their heads down pushing forward for our prototype review.