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Feargus Urquhart talks Pillars of Eternity II and future Obsidian games at GameBanshee

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Feargus Urquhart talks Pillars of Eternity II and future Obsidian games at GameBanshee

Interview - posted by Infinitron on Sun 26 February 2017, 13:53:12

Tags: Feargus Urquhart; Obsidian Entertainment; Pathfinder Adventures; Pillars of Eternity; Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire; Pillars of Eternity: The White March; Tyranny

Buck from GameBanshee had a long chat with Feargus Urquhart earlier this month, during the height of the Pillars of Eternity II Fig campaign. The resulting seven page interview was published on the site yesterday. While some parts are now a bit out of date, there's a lot of in-depth information here, including details about Fig's investment model, the commercial performance of the first Pillars of Eternity and lessons learned from it, Feargus' thoughts about the companion relationships stretch goal and RPG romances in general, the Pillars tabletop RPG and earlier attempts to produce one, and more. Buck also tries to get Feargus to talk about Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky's Project Indiana and other future Obsidian projects. The Pillars II stuff is interesting, but I'll try to pack in that part of the interview in this post:

Buck: That's great news. Another thing I was hoping we could talk about - and this is going to deviate from Pillars of Eternity - but let's change course for a bit to reflect upon the super-secret project that Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky are working on.

Feargus: They're working on a super-secret project, absolutely.

Buck: Leo has tossed out a few hints here and there, suggesting that it'll be a single-player RPG and that it's his "dream game". I'm pretty sure we know that it's not Bloodlines 2 and it's not Arcanum 2 at this point, but are there any other nuggets of information you can give us?

Feargus: Not really. I think the thing is, obviously, for us, we want to make the games that we love to make and those are the games that people want to have from us. So I think that's a good hint as to kind of what you would expect. I can say that it's not Fallout, that is not what it is. So Leonard and Tim are not working on the next Fallout game or anything like that. But again, this is our opportunity to go off and do our digging, which I think is awesome. And we can’t announce who our partner is and all that. I think people are going to be really excited about it.

Buck: [LAUGHTER] I guess that's something. As far as I know, that's about the only thing that has been confirmed up to this point.

Feargus: We've said nothing about it yet. Just because it's the early days and we need to closely manage these things through completion and managing – you know when it's bigger, we start to think of managing staff and how does the whole PR marketing stuff work and things like that. And so yes, so I know it's just going to irritate people like probably for like a year that we're just going to be being coy. And it's not to be coy, it's just because it's not time to – even a lot of the ideas that we're coming about right now is we also don't want to do this thing where we release a whole lot of stuff that gets people excited. But for us it's still stuff that's not – it's not the stuff we know is going to be final. Because I've seen a lot games do that; they'll release stuff that's really early and get people excited and then when the real game is promoted it's like, "Wait a minute, what happened to the big robot with the thingies and the samurai sword and the dwarf?"

See what I did there?

Buck: [LAUGHTER] Yes, I see that... you alluded to the fact that it will be a year before we'll know anything. Do you have an announcement timeframe in mind?

Feargus: We don't. I would be surprised if we did announce anything in 2017. My guess is – it's literally just a guess right now – there won't be a public announcement as to what it is until 2018.

Buck: Okay. What more can you tell us about the other games you have in development outside of this title and Pillars of Eternity II, such as Pathfinder Adventures?

Feargus: We're still working on Pathfinder, and it's going to come to Steam pretty soon. We're looking at how much more we'll support it. We're looking at potentially doing another one of the whole box sets. There's three or four box sets. We've done one and all its modules. We'd do another one. We're continuing to support Tyranny and we're talking a lot to Paradox about what other kind of support we could give Tyranny. And that's the stuff we're working on right now. We are actively proposing other games and we have enough proposals out right now and hopefully we're going to know in the next, sort of 30 to 60 days. the kind of what proposals are there.

I'm also looking at, is there other kind of financing I can go get from different kinds of investors? It would be cool to do a turn-based game. A lot of people ask all the time about doing a turn-based game. It's not like we could put a switch in the Eternity engine and now it's turn-based but the engine is pretty mature right now. And so what would take to put in a rule system in or stick with the rule system up there and then make a turn-based game. And maybe that game is in the Eternity universe and maybe it's not. One of Josh's favorite games of all time is Darklands. So he really would like to make sort of a non-fantastic medieval game.

So yeah, me and Josh are going to talk this year about how to do that. I also talk about how we could take the Eternity engine and make a film noir RPG you know, black and white. I don't know. It sounds totally silly but with that kind of, like, how people talk and just that vibe. But we're talking about a lot of stuff and we're going to be pitching people. And also, I'm looking at other ways to get funding for games so we can maybe try some of this stuff and not spend Pillars of Eternity level money. We can try unusual things and we can make money even if 200,000 or 300,000 people buy it, and if they enjoy it, that's awesome. And that can get maybe some funkier games out there in the market.
Feargus also still seems enamored with the idea of making an "urban fantasy" RPG (although he thinks the genre has gotten too "romance-y" in recent years). So many ideas, and we're still a year away from even learning what Project Indiana is. The life of a game developer is full of interest.

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