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Project Eternity Interview and Q&A Round-up

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Project Eternity Interview and Q&A Round-up

Interview - posted by Crooked Bee on Sat 13 October 2012, 11:01:18

Tags: Chris Avellone; Feargus Urquhart; J.E. Sawyer; Obsidian Entertainment; Pillars of Eternity

Three new Project Eternity-related interviews have appeared lately, plus a transcript of the PC Gamer Q&A. Have a snippet from the latter:

On level scaling: “We will have very little level scaling and almost entirely in critical path areas since there’s a lot of variability in when players approach them. Especially when it comes to optional content and general exploration, there will be no level-scaling. In this regard, Fallout: New Vegas might be a fair comparison.” – Josh Sawyer

On player choices: “Player choice and impact are very important to us, so “a lot”. We want players to feel like they can solve quests their way and take the story in a direction that they want to take it, from little things to big things”

"we don’t really think about things in terms of good or evil choices, but in terms of choices that a relatively sane/rational person would make with an understandable motive. sometimes it makes sense to allow players to be cruel, but it has to work in the context of what’s going on. the game and its story aren’t about being good or evil but deciding what values (and people, and groups) are most important to you — and what you’re willing to sacrifice to defend them.” – Josh Sawyer​

Also, 1UP has talked to Chris Avellone:

Cultural themes from the real world added so much to Fallout: New Vegas. Negative and positive traits of the American government were reflected in NCR. Caesar's Legion wore the influence of the Roman Empire on its sleeve. Well, its shoulder pads. These familiar concepts were used as launching points to dig into the setting and its society. Have aspects of Project Eternity's world been similarly inspired by real cultures?

Josh, our project lead, is very interested in these takes, and it'll be apparent when more on the cultures are revealed. I tend to err on the side of not building on real world historical elements (which I'd argue is a failing) and instead focusing on extrapolating on the actual nature of the location where a people came to be as well as cultures that have been influenced by game-specific events or game-specific causes.

One of the best Game Developer lectures I attended (with Ken Rolston and Mark Nelson) outlined how he proceeds from creating an interesting, explorable, and potentially never-seen-before type of fantasy locale/dungeon, and then building a culture or area design around that cool region, which I don't think is a bad way to go... it's a lot of fun to build cultures and people when they live on a plane where matter is shaped by your thought (githyanki in Torment, for example). It lets you imagine how they would survive, hunt, feed themselves, and what they would focus on and deem their most important philosophies as a result (which we brought to the fore with the Unbroken Circle of Zerthimon, the "bible" for the githyanki in Torment). That kind of creative effort really interests me.​

Shadeheart has interviewed Josh Sawyer:

Apart from other games, what would you cite as your influences (with regards to Project Eternity)?

JS: Personally, I take a lot of inspiration from history. Because Project Eternity is set during an era of exploration and colonization, I’m looking at the interactions, violent and otherwise, between colonizing and colonized cultures. I’m interested in exploring daily friction and the difficulties that people run into when they try to live in the area between two (or more) cultures. There are famous “great men of history” examples like T.E. Lawrence, but I’m more interested in figures of lesser notoriety like the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci or Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, the son of Sacagawea. Also, I find some of the more contemporary “reverse” colonization trends like the French Congo’s La SAPE movement fascinating. I’m also starting to look in more detail at the state of epistemology and metaphysics in the medieval world prior to the rise of humanist thought, mostly exemplified by writers like Thomas Aquinas and William of Ockham. The printing press doesn’t exist yet in the world of Project Eternity and academic disciplines still tend to be elitist and exclusionary. Popular movements, on the rare occasion that they do occur, tend to be driven by passion and basic human needs rather than any sort of widespread philosophical movement.​

And finally, Overclockers have had a chat with Feargus Urquhart:

How will non-combat skills be earned? Will skill progress be similar to Skyrim, or closer to Icewind Dale II where you get so many points based on intelligence or other various attributes?

Feargus: Skill progress will be closer to Icewind Dale II where you get a number of points per level to spend on skills. We don’t have “skill” and “non-skill” classes, so with each character it’s more about deciding where to spend points rather than having one super-skilled character and five drooling buffoons dragging their swords behind them.

The original Neverwinter Nights had a vibrant community due to the online worlds fans were able to make. Will there be fan created content and modding in Project Eternity?

Feargus: We talked recently in one of our updates about modding Project Eternity. We are working with the Nexus Network to host mods for Project Eternity. Right now we are going to open up our file formats and make sure that everyone can change RPG data the way they want to change it. As we get more familiar with Unity, we are going to support more and more modding. We really love to see how everyone extends our games and think that modding is one of those core things about PC gaming that makes it so awesome.​

No new Tim Cain interview? Aw.

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