Pillars of Eternity Interviews

We have rounded up a couple of recent interviews with Pillars of Eternity project director J.E. Sawyer, starting with this fairly short article on VG247, which focuses mostly on the Paradox deal:

(I think from the end-user perspective it's not going to change things from what they were expecting,) director Josh Sawyer told me at the show. Paradox typically distributes its games via Steamworks, which requires all copies of the game to launch through the Steam client, but Pillars will maintain its planned release strategy, which includes a DRM-free option through GOG. Paradox will be handling physical copies of the game, however.

(Physical distribution is something we were always concerned about from the beginning,) Sawyer continued. (We could try to do it, but why? We could try to handle all that stuff, but it just doesn't make sense. They're way better at that stuff.)

Another big bonus for Obsidian in this distribution deal or rather perhaps the largest headache they get to avoid through working with Paradox is in dealing with rewards for Kickstarter backers. They've got nearly 4,000 DVDs and 1,000 t-shirts to send out whenever the game hits, which is a hell of a thing to deal with. And they didn't really like thinking about that, Sawyer said.

(You see a lot of Kickstarter campaigns where you have these devs nobly struggling to do fulfillment themselves. I remember the video of the Banner Saga guys, and their entire house was filled with posters that they were all hand-rolling and shipping, and it's cool that they have such a great amount of support for their game, but they wound up on the hook for all the fulfillments. That's not what we really wanted to deal with.)

Then we segue into a potentially more controversial chat on games.on.net, which focuses on "dealing with grognards" (yes, really):

(There are certain aspects of that that we think are okay,) said Sawyer. (For example we don't have quest markers in Pillars of Eternity. At all. In our journals we try to be very descriptive and clear in our updates so that you can read them and figure out where you need to go but we don't use quest markers. And we're okay with that, because it's a different style of exploring and feeling and figuring things out on your own.)

Sawyer warned however that other elements, what he described as (GM-sucker-punch kind of stuff), were being carefully filtered by the team because (the vast majority) of Pillars of Eternity's backers simply won't enjoy them.

(Combat encounters that can only be completed a certain way or (situations where) you have to have one of these characters, or you have to have these two characters,) said Sawyer, (those .otcha!' moments that some gamers love, well. God bless you I guess, but we're not gonna do that.)

Sawyer laughs as he explains that even the most hardcore grognards will be the first to acknowledge that some of the things they're asking for are just completely unacceptable.

(I don't even think those memories (they have) are necessarily rose-tinted,) he says. (They'll straight up admit that they like stuff that's really grognard-ey, and they don't care. That's fair enough.)