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Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Jun 6 2013
pledged of $1,350,000pledged of $1,350,000 goal
0seconds to go
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Jun 6 2013

Character Reveals and Game Structure Vlogs

Posted by Precursor Games (Creator)

Today we'd like to reveal two more characters and provide information on how the Episode structure is intended to work. We have mentioned some of this before in the forums, but this is a more in-depth look at our plan.

Shadow of the Eternals: Episodic Structure

Shadow of the Eternals is naturally broken down into a stream of episodes that when combined form a long story arc, involving the main character, Paul Becker, a police detective investigating a cult-massacre at an abandoned hospital/sanitarium. The story is actually comprised of sixteen stories, which may sound daunting but the way in which we intend to deliver the content should make it easily digestible.

Locations and Theme

Our story is based around events taking place in four parts of the world. Each location has its own story theme, explaining one aspect of Becker's “hub” story. This story is further broken down into three acts – introduction, development and resolution, which are themselves complete stories – and playable levels, with the action in each setting the stage for a later story.

As an example, the location themes may be “chicken wings”, “pizza”, “beer” and “friends” and the overall story then, would be a surprise party for the player. That is, by learning the stories of each location, an understanding of the wrap-around story is gained, driving toward the finale.

Stories and Characters

Some levels are what we label “dual” levels, which means there are two playable characters, each with their own story, but directly related to each other. The fate of one character influences the other in some way.

Nearly every other level has multiple story angles, meaning that they can be explored twice with different game-play set ups and things to discover, but take place within the same narrative structure. This means that while the general gist of the story remains the same with each play-through, signature sequences unfold differently, unveiling new revelations, game-play and potentially new mechanics.

Tiers and Level Progression

The entire game is broken down into three “tiers” containing four episodes, each of which can be played in any order. While the details of which order we will be creating the episodes has not been decided, we hope to ask the Order to vote on which episodes they'd like to see next, it is possible that in the final version of the game (once all episodes of a tier have been released, or all have been) that the player can select which story to hear/play next, as a result of his questioning John Smith and John Doe. When all episodes of a tier have been played, the next tier is opened up, until all three tiers are complete leading to the final story climax and resolution.

So What's in an Episode?

An episode, then, comprises content for the Hub level – the abandoned hospital that Becker explores – a complete story for one or two characters, and a denouement section dealing with what Becker has learned from the story.

In this way, the Hub level acts as an introductory “wrapper” for a historical level, which is Klára's story “A Dream within a Dream” in the first episode to be released – containing a mix of gameplay and narrative content.


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    1. Alessandro Saiko on

      Great information. What you're creating is just awesome. How the whole game works in terms of the single episodes and the hub system and how you can play it your own way. I also like very complex, history-connected and twisted stories. My appreciation and respect is totally yours for creating such a immersive universe/IP!

      P.S.: Try next time not to record the video in the server room ;)

    2. Missing avatar

      Martin Silver on

      Just tell McCulloch he's a hair away from losing his badge and you can say whatever you want. He'll either laugh or shake his head :p

      I'd like to say it makes sense but maybe you could help me out. You're talking about the EC that's eventually to be a book, right? That does make sense. Alternate question then: will you guys consider a PDF version of the EC as an add-on? That should significantly cut down on physical costs and it helps people like me who can't make the jump even though he really would like to.

      I'll keel over with happy happy joy joy with more info probably. But yeah, non-linear direction in story telling is groovy disco.

      Thanks again Denis!

    3. Precursor Games 2-time creator on

      Hi @Martin!

      You can never enough Ron Burgundy! :) I don't know if we said this or not but characters existing outside their own episodes it definitely is possible - if I say more Ken will kill me. ;) (Denis here)

      Parts of the design were planned to be put in the Ephemeral Codex. I will see what people what people thinks if this makes sense. I am glad you like our structural ideas.

      Thanks for the kind words! More updates are on the way today!

    4. Missing avatar

      Martin Silver on

      X1 has passed down some disappointing mandates. They've made it much harder for anyone but the big box developers/publishers to work with them whereas Sony and Nintendo have made themselves approachable and encourage interaction with indie developers. There is also something terribly Orwellian about the mandatory Kinect usage. Whether you want to use voice recognition or not, it is always on. It's just not good news.

      That said, the MS base is still strong with 360. There will be many people, myself included, that will at the least hold off on next-gen MS. Targeting current gen would not be amiss unless there are technical considerations that preclude this as possible. Prognosticators chart a PC resurgence on the rise :). With the Wii U and PS4 for the exclusives.

      Anyway, enough neg. awesome sauce has been made and you should bottle it. Great day.

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      Martin Silver on

      I posted this in the regular comments but this update compelled me to post it once more.

      It took forever but I was finally able to watch the last update and to quote the great Ron Burgundy, "By Odin's beard!"

      I freaking love branching storylines and choice/consequence that can significantly alter each respective playthrough. You are traveling the beginnings of an Obsidian or CDPR road and I love you for it. The characters sound great. One thing confused me, most likely because of the squee glee. Did you say characters could potentially exist outside of their own episodes and cross into others? Namely, each historical protag. That strikes me as bananas so I probably hallucinated that bit.

      I have got to ask something as a potential add-on. Your SotE design bible---could you potentially compile some of what's inside as time goes along and release a little of it for us? I know that's almost never done but a peek into your process might be the coolest reward I can think of. Or if that presents a problem because of the way the story is structured---could that be something that is available once the season is complete?

      Thank you! Woot!

    6. Precursor Games 2-time creator on

      Thanks Joshua! We are trying :)

    7. Precursor Games 2-time creator on

      Hi Xef,

      We are using the CryEngine 3 that supports all next generation platforms (Wii U, PC, PS4 and X1) and if we reach the appropriate funding goals we do plan to support these platforms. We are going leave it to the community to see which ones we plan to support first. It seems PS4 is seeing a lot of love right now. We understand your frustration with the recent announcements and rest assured we will do what our community prefers.

      Thank you for your support!

    8. Joshua Speer on

      ...That actually sounds pretty well organized and awesome!

    9. Xef on

      I mean if you make a PS4 version instead of X1 I won't mind at all, I could have written my first post better, but it's 4AM here so my brain isn't functioning properly XD You guys are doing great work, sorry for sounding so mad and angry I'm just disipointed in X1, not you guys. Hope this picks up soon and get funded. Good luck, and I'll keep trying to get my friends to help funding :)

    10. Xef on

      Does this mean you are making an Xbox nOne version or are you saying that it "may" come to the platform, because if you are saying that a X1 version is in the making I won't defiantly not back this game, sorry but I can't watch the industry go down the drain with required internet to play single player, kinect always on and always recording you(creepy), No compatibility with my headset(yeah it's true, google it). If you decide for a PS4 verison aswell go a head! :)