Meet the Developers - Steve Weatherly
As promised in Update #30, it's time to meet the people making the game. In today's update, we interview Steve Weatherly, a programmer on Project Eternity.
Q: Steve, can you tell us what you do on Project Eternity?
I'm a gameplay programmer primarily responsible for making combat happen. What that means is that I look at what Josh and Tim design for the game, and tell them it can never be done. After that, they tell me it has to get done, so then I figure out a way to make it happen. I spend most of my day writing code, either for AI (to make the enemies act like they know what they're doing), or the underlying code that makes characters fight and take damage, etc. I'm also our chief Reddit ambassador, which I sort of fell into but it has been a lot of fun.
Q: What are you currently working on today?
Today I'm actually working on building our equipment system. When I'm done, designers will be able to take a weapon that an artist models and drag it onto a character. The character will then hold it in their hand, swing it, and cause damage to their enemies. My weapon of choice is currently the flail, which Unity made surprisingly easy to create.
Q: What’s your typical work day like on Project Eternity?
When I start my day in the morning the first thing I do is check email and make sure there aren't any outstanding issues or meetings I need to think about. I frequently also log into Reddit to see if I have any fan questions. After that I fire up Unity, update my build to see everyone else's work, then run the game to make sure it still works like it did when I left the night before. If there are any major issues I'll take care of them, otherwise I'll start working on whatever the next thing is that I need to build. I usually head off to the gym at lunch because my office is a dark cell and I need sunshine (or the fluorescent lights of the gym). Then more programming after lunch. Around 3:30pm I'm about ready to fall asleep, so each day all of the programmers gather up and walk across the street for coffee. That might seem like a waste of time to some, but it gives all of the programmers a chance to talk about what they are working and bounce ideas off of each other. Also coffee.
Q: What feature are you most looking forward to programming?
I got into the game industry wanting to be an AI programmer. So, while I enjoy the challenges of engineering other systems, AI is where my heart is. I can't wait until we have a full complement of spells so I can write some cool wizard AI and give people an epic wizard battle!
Q: What's been one of the largest challenges so far?
So far the biggest challenge has really just been getting familiar with Unity and building stuff so that when the design team starts making levels they will have a solid set of tools, easy to use and ready to go.
Q: What other projects have you worked on at Obsidian?
I've been at Obsidian almost 7 years, so there's been a lot. I started out as tools programmer on the Neverwinter Nights 2 toolset, followed by my first job as an AI programmer on the cancelled Aliens RPG project, after that I helped out with Alpha Protocol's AI system doing bug fixes. Then I moved to Dungeon Siege 3 where I was responsible for building the AI systems both for the game and our Onyx engine. I served a tour of duty on South Park integrating the Onyx combat system with the turn based design of that game. They hired Tim Cain to replace me on South Park and I moved over to the (now cancelled) North Carolina project. Between North Carolina and Project Eternity I worked on various prototypes we were doing to try and pitch games.
Q: Where do you like eat for lunch?
Being a California native I really love Mexican food. We tend to go to Wahoo's Fish Tacos a lot because we can walk there from the office and it's pretty good.
Q: Who's your favorite programmer?
Well, I would say Adam Brennecke, but he's a producer now and is dead to me. So it's going to have to be Tim Cain. I definitely envy his ability to design, code, and bake well. He's a triple threat and that's also earned him a spot on my list of most job threatening co-workers. Fortunately I know his weakness...
Q: What's your favorite game?
That's easy, my favorite game of all time is Baldur's Gate. It was the first RPG I played and the first time I felt like I was in another world that I could explore. I'd never experienced that before and it's what inspired me to want to make games for a living.
Q: What do you like to do when you aren't programming?
Drink... heavily. Preferably whiskey, but I'm also happy with vodka.
Q: How many push-ups can you do?
More than the average programmer, but significantly less than Chris Avellone.
Q: What's your favorite Thanksgiving dinner dish?
Thanks for reading. We want to have weekly updates on Tuesdays from now on, so be sure to drop by every Tuesday for the next Project Eternity update.
If you have any additional questions for Steve - head on over to the Project Eternity Forums and he will be happy to answer some of them!
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Sep 14, 2012 - Oct 16, 2012
Pledge $5 or more
Thank you for your pledge! Everyone at Obsidian loves you! Every backer for this level or more will receive a KICKSTARTER BACKER BADGE on the PROJECT ETERNITY forums. We want to invite you to our forums where you get a place to speculate about the game, offer suggestions, and interact with the development team.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
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25000 backers All gone!
For early backers only! DIGITAL DOWNLOADABLE COPY OF PROJECT ETERNITY. This limited price point is only available for the first backers of PROJECT ETERNITY. All Kickstarter backers will receive a special Kickstarter only in-game achievement and item. (The item will not affect the game's balance). Includes Cooking with Tim – An RPG-themed e-Cookbook, and Making of Project Eternity Documentary (streaming).Estimated delivery: Apr 2014
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DIGITAL DOWNLOADABLE COPY OF PROJECT ETERNITY. This price is only available for those who help fund before the game is released! All Kickstarter backers will receive a special Kickstarter only in-game achievement and item. (The item will not affect the game's balance). Includes Cooking with Tim – An RPG-themed e-Cookbook, and Making of Project Eternity Documentary (streaming).Estimated delivery: Apr 2014
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Previous reward tier + DIGITAL DOWNLOADABLE SOUNDTRACK + DIGITAL COLLECTOR'S BOOK IN PDF FORMAT. The digital book will include concept art, player's handbook, monster manual, exclusive information about the campaign setting and characters, and the Making of Project Eternity Documentary (download option).Estimated delivery: Apr 2014
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DIGITAL ONLY TIER - All previous digital rewards + NEW NOVELLA BY CHRIS AVELLONE (PDF) + DIGITAL CAMPAIGN ALMANAC + EXCLUSIVE IN-GAME PET + DIGITAL HIGH RESOLUTION GAME MAP + DIGITAL HIGH RESOLUTION CONCEPT ART PIECES + WALLPAPERS FOR MULTIPLE MONITORS + RINGTONES . You will get a new, original novella written by Chris Avellone and multiple high resolution downloads of concept art and wallpaper (single through triple monitor resolutions). We've also added in a super high resolution PDF of the game map. Our great audio guys are also going to pick out some of the best sound effects and music for you to have a little of Project Eternity on your phone.Estimated delivery: Apr 2014
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Previous reward tier + BOX VERSION OF PROJECT ETERNITY. The boxed copy will include a DVD version of the game and a printed manual. This is in addition to the digital version of the game (so 2 copies total!). Please add $15 for international shipping.Estimated delivery: Apr 2014
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DIGITAL ONLY TIER - All previous digital rewards + DIGITAL STRATEGY GUIDE PDF + ANOTHER DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OF THE GAME. We are going to be working in conjunction with a great strategy guide company and at this reward level you will get a PDF of the guide. You will also get a second key to enjoy Project Eternity on another computer, platform, or as a gift to a friend.Estimated delivery: Apr 2014
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Previous reward tier + a PROJECT ETERNITY T-SHIRT + SPECIAL THANKS IN GAME CREDITS + THANK YOU POSTCARD FROM THE DEVELOPMENT TEAM + VIP FORUM BADGE. We really appreciate your contribution, and by showing our appreciation we will add your name to the game's credits and send you a thank you note in the mail. This tier will also unlock a special VIP badge in the PROJECT ETERNITY forums. Please add $20 for international shipping.Estimated delivery: Apr 2014
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COLLECTORS DIGITAL ONLY TIER - All rewards from the previous digital tiers + SPECIAL THANKS IN GAME CREDITS + THANK YOU POSTCARD FROM THE DEVELOPMENT TEAM (sent physically) + VIP FORUM BADGE + EARLY ACCESS BETA KEY + all the other digital rewards of the $140 tier available now and added during the Kickstarter campaign. If you are looking for all the rewards of the Collector's Edition, but you don't need the physical goods, then this is a great reward tier for you.Estimated delivery: Apr 2014
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Previous reward tier + we will upgrade your box to a COLLECTOR'S EDITION BOX. You will find a CLOTH MAP OF THE GAME WORLD and the PROJECT ETERNITY CLOTH PATCH inside the box + EARLY BETA ACCESS + PROJECT ETERNITY MOUSE PAD. The collector's edition box will include a cloth map just like the old RPGs that we love. You will also get early access to the game with a BETA KEY. Includes Making of Project Eternity Documentary (DVD/Blu-ray). The game patch is an embroidered high quality non-iron on patch. Game patches are a tradition at Obsidian, and we want to share that tradition with you! Please add $20 for international shipping.Estimated delivery: Apr 2014
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FIRST EXPANSION/WASTELAND2 DIGITAL ONLY TIER - All rewards from the previous digital tiers + PROJECT ETERNITY'S FIRST EXPANSION + DRM free digital download copy of WASTELAND 2 + all the other digital rewards of the $250 tier available now and added during the Kickstarter campaign. If you don't need the physical goods, then this is a great reward tier for you.Estimated delivery: Apr 2014
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Previous reward tier + you get your COLLECTOR'S EDITION BOX signed by CHRIS AVELLONE, TIM CAIN, JOSH SAWYER, and the rest of the development team + full color printed PROJECT ETERNITY COLLECTOR'S BOOK + an elite version of the PROJECT ETERNITY CLOTH PATCH. The book will be a full color book that includes concept art, player's handbook, monster manual, exclusive information about the campaign setting and characters, and a special behind the scenes look at making the game. Please add $30 for international shipping.Estimated delivery: Apr 2014
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30 backers All gone!
Obsidian-AMD Loot Bag (US. ONLY). The Loot Bag contains an AMD Processor donated by our incredible friends over at AMD, a signed Obsidian game (not Project Eternity), and a random assortment of Obsidian loot such as pens, coasters, t-shirts, game patches, doodles, etc. The AMD Processor is an A10, does not have a heat sink attached, and will be shipped OEM style. The Loot Bag includes everything in the $250 tier level too. Since we are shipping computer parts, we can't ship outside the USA with this one.Estimated delivery: Apr 2014
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The Complete Kickstarter Obsidian Pack: signed COLLECTOR'S EDITION BOX (cloth map, elite cloth patch, and printed manual included) + your name and a personalized message on a MEMORIAL STONE IN-GAME + full color PROJECT ETERNITY *HARD COVER* COLLECTOR'S BOOK SIGNED by the development team + A GOLD PLEDGE SPECIAL THANKS in the credits + T-SHIRT + DIGITAL DOWNLOADABLE COPY OF PROJECT ETERNITY + DIGITAL DOWNLOADABLE SOUNDTRACK + A GOLD PLEDGE VIP FORUM BADGE. Your name will also go on our top pledger plaque in our office, so we can always remember your special contribution.Estimated delivery: Apr 2014
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Chris Avellone draws you a CUSTOM TROLL PORTRAIT. Chris Avellone has graciously volunteered to draw a custom troll portrait for you to help raise additional funding towards our last stretch goal target of $3.5m for Big City #2. Chris will number and sign the portrait, write a humorous message to you, and a print will be physically and digitally sent to you. This is a limited run of 30 at a $750 tier (includes all the goods in the $500 tier), so get in quickly. If you are above the $750 tier and would like a custom troll by Chris Avellone please contact Obsidian and we will work with you.Estimated delivery: Apr 2014
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NAME AND DESIGN AN NPC (Non-Player Character). Help us design PROJECT ETERNITY! We will send you a PROJECT ETERNITY NPC character sheet for you to fill out for our design team. We will turn your personalized character design, with your name, class, and race into an NPC in the shipped game (within reason of course). You will also receive The Complete Kickstarter Obsidian Pack ($500 reward tier) + 5 EXTRA DIGITAL DOWNLOADABLE COPIES OF PROJECT ETERNITY to gift your friends and family.Estimated delivery: Apr 2014
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HELP DESIGN AN EPIC HIGH LEVEL WEAPON, ARMOR OR ARTIFACT. Help us design PROJECT ETERNITY! Your personalized item will be used by thousands of players and will be one of the best in the game. You can provide the lore, look, and type of the item (within reason), and we will put it in the shipped game. You will also receive The Complete Kickstarter Obsidian Pack ($500 reward tier) + 5 EXTRA DIGITAL DOWNLOADABLE COPIES OF PROJECT ETERNITY to gift your friends and family.Estimated delivery: Apr 2014
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7 backers Limited (13 of 20 left)
BECOME A CUSTOM PORTRAIT IN THE GAME + GET A SIGNED ART PRINT OF YOUR PORTRAIT. Help us design PROJECT ETERNITY! Your personalized portrait will be seen and used thousands of players. With a supplied photograph and some additional input from you, a talented Obsidian artist will make a custom portrait to be used in the shipped game. The artist will sign a print of the portrait that will be sent to you. You will also receive The Complete Kickstarter Obsidian Pack ($500 reward tier) + 5 EXTRA DIGITAL DOWNLOADABLE COPIES OF PROJECT ETERNITY to gift your friends and family.Estimated delivery: Apr 2014
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3 backers Limited (3 of 6 left)
NAME AND HELP DESIGN AN ENEMY ADVENTURING COMPANY. What beats the classic RPG challenge of squaring off against a diverse enemy party with skills, abilities, and equipment to match your own? Nothing, that's what! Now you can design a crew of knuckle-cracking skull-crushers to ambush players at the worst possible moment. Ha, HA! You are the devil himself! We will send you six PROJECT ETERNITY NPC character sheets for you to fill out for our design team. We will turn your personalized party design into a lethal wrecking crew to oppose the player in the shipped game (within reason of course). You will also receive The Complete Kickstarter Obsidian Pack ($500 reward tier) + 15 EXTRA DIGITAL DOWNLOADABLE COPIES OF PROJECT ETERNITY to gift your friends and family. You also get the top tier WATCHER FORUM BADGE.Estimated delivery: Apr 2014
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5 backers All gone!
NAME AND HELP DESIGN AN INN OR TAVERN. Help us design PROJECT ETERNITY! Your personalized area will be prominently seen in the shipped game. You can name it (within reason), and with your input, the design team at Obsidian will create an inn or tavern in your honor. You will also receive The Complete Kickstarter Obsidian Pack ($500 reward tier) + 10 EXTRA DIGITAL DOWNLOADABLE COPIES OF PROJECT ETERNITY to gift your friends and family + DESIGN AND NAME AN NPC + DESIGN AN EPIC WEAPON. You also get the top tier WATCHER FORUM BADGE.Estimated delivery: Apr 2014
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The Ultimate Pledge Pack. We really want to thank you for your generous pledge in person. You will receive an INVITE TO THE OBSIDIAN PROJECT ETERNITY DEVELOPER LAUNCH PARTY + AN INVITE TO COME PLAY A GAME AT OBSIDIAN. You and a buddy get to party with the game developers at Obsidian and get a behind the scenes tour of the Obsidian office. You get to have a once in a lifetime opportunity to play a board or pen and paper game of your choice with Chris Avellone, Tim Cain, Josh Sawyer, and Feargus Urquhart! You must be able to pay for travel and accommodations to the Obsidian office in Irvine, California for the party and game day. You will receive everything else: The Complete Kickstarter Obsidian Pack ($500 reward tier) + 10 EXTRA DIGITAL DOWNLOADABLE COPIES OF PROJECT ETERNITY to gift your friends and family + DESIGN AND NAME AN NPC + DESIGN AN EPIC WEAPON + CUSTOM PORTRAIT. You also get the top tier WATCHER FORUM BADGE.Estimated delivery: Apr 2014