J.E. Sawyer on Project Eternity Gameplay Footage

After the release of the first in-engine footage of Project Eternity, J.E. Sawyer has taken to the official forums to clarify a few things about this demo:
To answer a few comments and questions that have come up in the thread:

* The baked-in 2D lighting will not shift with time of day. This is an acceptable trade-off in our opinion because the shadows can be very high quality and it puts no burden on the system. We really do want this game to look great and run well on a large spectrum of systems, so we want to be careful about processor-intensive lighting operations.

* Dynamic objects (like the characters) can cast dynamic shadows. We are already exploring how we want additional dynamic lights in the scene to a) light the objects and b) affect their shadows.

* There are some known character animation glitches we weren't able to work out before we finalized the demo. Our idle is very subtle right now; it will be more pronounced and include fidget animations in the future. The walk animation is also new and hasn't been tweaked much. Finally, there is some odd blurring/artifacting that appears in the compressed videos of the characters, which is why the walk cycle seems to have a blur/stutter in it. That doesn't appear in game.

* The scene where the characters enter the scene and the sabre guy walks across the creek is our current default zoom level. We currently control zoom on the mouse wheel. It can get closer than what's in the demo and as far out as the "wide" shots, so you have a lot of flexibility there.

* We are still experimenting with the tree, grass, and bush animations. Our goal is for them to look natural but add life. If they are distracting/odd or too still, that doesn't work.

Thanks for all of your feedback.

He also added a few more snippets on NeoGAF:
Zooming in and out is already in the game.


My one complaint is that it's zoomed out so far that it's hard to make out the characters. I loved how relatively "close" the camera was in Planescape: Torment versus BG1/2, as it allowed for much more detailed party members.

We are trying to split the difference between the two at the default zoom level. BG/IWD characters were 64 pixels high on a 640x480 display. PST characters were 50% bigger, 96 pixels high, at the same res. I haven't done actual ratio of character:screen space measurements, but the zoom level when the characters enter the scene and the guy crosses the water is our current game camera.

You will be able to zoom in closer if you would like and you can zoom out as far as the "big" shots. We don't want to make the default camera too close to the characters because tactical combat is a core element of the game and we feel like a close default zoom can harm that.


[On the differences between the video and the screenshot shown at the end of the Kickstarter campaign] It's a new render (the first was done in XSI and the new one was done in Maya) that only had a small amount of 2D touchup.