Project Eternity Q&A

The RPG Codex staff recently rounded up some questions from the website's community and sent them over to Project Eternity project director Josh Sawyer to answer. As a result, the questions are fairly varied, and touch a number of subjects, from voice overs to combat design to the setting's future.

Here's a couple of snippets that caught my attention:
Zed developed his own franchise to ask: With Eternity as Obsidian's own IP, how do you guys feel about taking risks (in game design and narration)? With this in mind: Have you talked about where you want to take Eternity as a franchise in future titles? A continuation of the Baldur's Gate-like formula as set by Project Eternity, or perhaps derivations towards something that plays more like IWD/ToEE, or perhaps something more like Torment/MotB?

Project Eternity is relatively conservative as far as new IPs go, but I think we can grow it in more unusual ways over time. One of the best ways we've found to test out potentially "wild" (sometimes more wild than others) ideas is through expansions or DLCs, but as the IP grows overall, I think we can find a lot of opportunities to create more risky stories and corners of the world to explore.


Mindx2 seeks to crowdfund this question: Based on the recent problems Double Fine has had managing their Kickstarter project what precautions/ steps/ safeguards/ etc. have you put into place? What major problems/ issues do you most fear and want to avoid? How do you make sure your team can/ will avoid these pitfalls since Kickstarter money is finite (unless you go all Tim Schafer and scrounge for money through Humble Bundles/ Steam/ pre-sales/ episodic releases)?

We have consistently tried to focus on the specific features we told players and backers we would provide. Projecting the specifics of such a large game is not exact, but we can always look at the list of things we need to provide: 11 classes, 6 races, two big cities, a 15-level mega-dungeon, etc.

The most resource-intensive element of the game is, unsurprisingly, the creation of environment art. We have known this from the beginning and have been watching our development pipelines closely all the way through our vertical slice. We're continuing to look for ways to improve our efficiency to make sure our areas meet the visual quality standards we and players expect but don't prevent us from making a large game.


Rake took a minute to describe the environment before asking: What are your thoughts on descriptive text in the log and in dialogues? It's more of a Fallout thing than an IE one, but Planescape:Torment had it and was better for it. Do you think it offers much to an isometric game fleshing out the world to be worth the effort?

We are currently writing our dialogues with descriptive text in the general style of Planescape: Torment. We don't use it on every node, but we do use it when we feel it adds something to the conversation.