Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Update #15, $3,056,636 and Counting

With 3 days left in Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire's crowdfunding campaign, a $3 million milestone has been reached. The accompanying update teases some big cool announcement without going into details, building up some intrigue for the final funding surge. For now, the update mostly talks about pigs of the space variety, showing off the physical pin and plushie that are quite adorable. A bit on that:

While we have more in the way of stretch goals and -- only a few days left to achieve them! -- we'll save them (and a big announcement about a really important, super cool, and heretofore extremely hush-hush game feature) for our next update, which will be coming very soon. For now, we'll keep it brief and just say thanks.

And by way of saying thanks, we want to announce that we're including two new rewards for several of our backer tiers, both of which feature the unofficial, super cute, pet mascot of Pillars of Eternity, the Space Pig!

First, we have the Space Pig pin[.]

The pin is shiny, fancy, and awesome, and will be added automatically for anyone who's backed us at Collector's Edition ($149) level or above.

For everyone who is a true pet lover, though, we've gone one step beyond. If you've backed us at the Name a Pet ($500) level, you'll be getting the pin, and the squishy, squeezy, Space Pig Plushie[.]

It's. So. Fluffy! More details on both of these items to come in our next update, along with a whole lot more Pillars II goodness.

And if you still have a craving for Pillars of Eternity news, MMORPG.com, of all places, has an interview with a couple of Obsidian Entertainment's designers about NPC schedules and dynamic weather:

MMORPG: In building a more dynamic world for Pillars of Eternity 2 you have set about creating NPC behavior across the game. Why is this so important?

Bobby Null, Lead Designer answers: One of the key elements in good world building and roleplaying is immersing the player in a fantastic world. NPC schedules are one of the tools that make environments feel like they are populated with real people, as opposed to stationary exposition objects the player can click on. It also builds on existing animation libraries from the first title and that is always a good thing. These animations can be used in cutscenes, both large and small, to enhance story-telling and overall visual fidelity.

MMORPG: How do the NPCs work across the game, are they set in their own timelines and break from them when they interact with the players?

BN: That’s the basic idea, yes. Most NPCs have other things to do when the player isn’t interacting with them. Their schedule may change based on various things like, the time of day, the weather or something more specific.

MMORPG: How does this system tie into questing for the player?

BN: In various, if sometimes secret ways. We don’t want to force the player to follow someone home after dark as the correct, or only way, to finish a quest. As much as possible, we want the player to think about a logical way to approach a quest and not have the game tell them “No, you can’t do that”. The more we allow players to push the boundaries of how they want to accomplish quests, the more rewarded we believe they will feel.

Here are a few hypothetical examples of things designers can choose to implement for a single NPC. You might follow someone to the local bathhouse and steal a vital object from their unattended attire as they bath. Conversely, the bathing NPC might have a sensitive dialogue with a city official you can listen to if you sneak up on them undetected. Since this NPC is not home, you might find you can access a part of their home they previously would not allow you to, unless you feel killing them in their home is warranted. Killing them in their home may have consequences you were not expecting. Killing the NPC, or being caught picking their pocket, as they travel to the bathhouse will certainly alert the guards, or other onlookers. Waiting to rob/shank them in an alley can be done undetected.