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Tim Cain Talks Project Eternity at Eurogamer

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Tim Cain Talks Project Eternity at Eurogamer

Interview - posted by Crooked Bee on Tue 18 September 2012, 12:55:45

Tags: Obsidian Entertainment; Pillars of Eternity; Tim Cain

Eurogamers offers a narrative interview with Tim Cain, focusing mainly on Obsidian's new project, Project Eternity. Let me quote the most interesting parts for you:

"Work has already begun on [Project Eternity]," Cain explained, "but the advantage of doing the Kickstarter this early in its development is that we can be guided by the feedback from our fans. We are reading the forums and noting what features people think are most important in the game, and then we are revising our work schedule accordingly."

[...] My main concern about Project Eternity is that fans expect too much. While $1.55 million - or $2 million, or $3 million - may seem like a big wad of cash, it's nowhere near the budget a team like Obsidian usually works with. [...] "Those budget numbers are just right for what we are trying to make," Cain answered. "We have an engine already, and we aren't using an established IP with pre-defined game mechanics and an art style that we have to mimic. Both of these things save us a lot of time, because we are now free to make those elements ourselves."

[...] The Project Eternity Kickstarter blurb mentioned taking your hero character through "future adventures", which seemed to back this theory up. "Yes," Cain answered, "we are hoping to make additional content for the game which you can explore with the same characters." [...] Team size on Project Eternity depends on final budget and feature set. "I'm the most comfortable with teams between 20 and 30 people, so that everyone knows what everyone else is working on," Cain responded, "but if we need to pull in more people to make this game as big and as high-quality as we want, I am sure we will do that."

Gameplay length of Project Eternity, again, "completely depends" on funding. "Adding new content is one of the most time consuming aspects of the RPG development," Cain stressed. There are stretch goals on Kickstarter that will add new races, characters and even entirely new areas.

[...] Cain is excited about developing mature themes for Project Eternity. "To me, a mature game deals with some issues of a serious nature," he elaborated. "Moral choices are a perfect topic. For example, is killing always evil? Is the act of sacrificing someone for the greater good a good act in itself? Does doing good things make a person good? Torment explored these ideas in exquisite detail, and we'd like to do the same." [...] Also, Project Eternity will be a more traditional fantasy game, whereas Torment was almost surreal. Nevertheless, Eternity "will have its own special twists"; "It is definitely not going to be a standard, cookie-cutter fantasy realm," Cain stressed.

[...] Project Eternity won't be built on Dungeons & Dragons rules. "We are making our own RPG mechanics," Cain revealed, even though D&D has been "a huge influence" on them.

At the core of the rules will be souls. In the Kickstarter video, Josh Sawyer said a character's soul was tied to the magic system. Cain expanded: "No, you don't have to be evil to access any abilities. They aren't categorised like that. Instead, in this world, your soul is connected to your power. Simply put, people who have whole, unbroken souls are more powerful than those people who just have fragments of souls. The nature of these souls, and how they might break, is something we will explore in the game.

"While there are social concepts of good and evil," he added, "the game does not track an alignment for the player. Instead we will use a reputation system to keep track of what different groups in the world think of you. Consequences of your actions will matter in Project Eternity." [...] Cain told me Obsidian plans to have unique traits for races "so that playing an elf doesn't feel like playing a human, even if they are both the same class".

[...] Multiplayer isn't ruled out. "Interest?" Tim Cain mulled. "Yes, but not if it risks reducing the scope or quality of the single-player game in any way. Single-player gaming is our focus."

Oh, and Project Eternity "will have guns", Cain told me, "but we are not going into their details right now".​

Click here to read the article in full.

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