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Pillars of Eternity is an isometric, party-based computer RPG set in a new fantasy world developed by Obsidian Entertainment.
Pillars of Eternity is an isometric, party-based computer RPG set in a new fantasy world developed by Obsidian Entertainment.
73,986 backers pledged $3,986,929 to help bring this project to life.

Choosing the Best Tool for the Job

Posted by Obsidian Entertainment (Creator)

At Obsidian, we have always tried to choose the engine and toolset most suited to the game we are making. When making a sequel to an existing game, we use the engine from the original game so that we don’t waste time recreating the inner workings and gameplay behavior in a new engine before we can even start developing new content. When creating a new game from scratch, we evaluate the options available to us and choose the one we think fits best. In the case of Project Eternity, we feel the best fit is Unity.

Unity enables small teams to be very productive. Unity has an amazing development environment that makes it very easy for programmers, artists and designers to work together to build great games. In a very short time we have already made great progress prototyping some of the core functionality for Project Eternity.

We do intend to use some of our in-house tools in conjunction with Unity where it makes sense, such as in the case of creating conversations and editing some of the RPG-specific game data. Unity makes it very easy to extend not only the game engine but the development tools as well, and we feel integrating some of the tools that have already proven effective on previous Obsidian games will get us off to a great start on the development of Project Eternity.

Unity also supports a wide range of target platforms. We knew that a likely request from the community was going to be support for Mac and Linux versions of the game, and we wanted to make sure we were in the best position to do that. While we could have ported Onyx, our internal engine technology, to those platforms, the time and effort required to do so would reduce the budget we have to make the game and result in less of the awesome gameplay and content our fans desire. Mac and Linux will still require time and effort from us to test, maintain and support but Unity gets us most of the way there. In fact, our experience with Unity so far has made us confident enough that we have decided to remove Linux support from the stretch goals and just commit to providing a Linux version right here and now! Of course, we can’t take something away from our stretch goals without putting something else in its place, so what is that going to be?

The $2.2 million stretch goal will still include a new Region, a new Faction, a new Companion and all the hours of additional gameplay, quests, NPCs and items that go along with those things. But we’ve also got something new coming to this stretch goal, and it’s big enough that it’s deserving of its own update to talk about it! So tune in this coming Monday, September 24th where we will reveal our new stretch goals, unveil a fun new tracker for them, and announce our schedule of guest stars for the week!

Thank you for supporting Obsidian and Project Eternity!

Chris Jones
CTO, Obsidian


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    1. Marceror on

      So what is her class? Based on the recent picture of 5 adventurers fighting undead, I'm thinking probably a priest? Edair was announced as being a fighter, but I haven't seen confirmation regarding Cad's class. Not set in stone yet, mayhap?

    2. Missing avatar

      reynum on

      Maybe you can have a look on Ogre3D.
      It is completly free, open source and multi os.


    3. September Abraxas on

      Whoops. Triple post. :(

    4. September Abraxas on

      What will be some likely minimum user system specs?

    5. George Sedov on

      Linux version is a go! I'm in.

    6. Ryan Kelln

      Linux version hurrah!

    7. Missing avatar

      unknown78 on

      That was the comment , which made my day :) Thanx and pledged.

    8. Missing avatar

      Paul Nemeth on

      Probably a good choice overall, but is the game going to be moddable at all? Those asset bundles are a tough nut to crack. Maybe adding mod support would be a good option for a stretch goal...

    9. Missing avatar

      Viktor Stärn on

      Pre-rendered backgrounds! You're doing everything right!!

    10. Missing avatar

      Georg Grabler on

      Amazing, a Linux version :). I just have to say I love you guys.

    11. Matthew "C4RB1N3" Toledo on

      With the budget you will have I think you could have done much better than Unity. Even with Unity though, I am very confidant that Obsidian Entertainment will make the game amazing

    12. Missing avatar

      Ami37 on

      I pledged exactly because of Linux support, my household using exclusively Linux.
      Thanks guys, and by the way you are the first kickstarter prokect I support!

    13. Jason VandenBerghe on

      Amazing. I continue to be impressed by this dev team. Three thumbs up!

    14. Missing avatar

      Kymus on

      SO glad I upped my pledge. Thank you, Obsidian, for not leaving out us Linux gamers!!

    15. Missing avatar

      Daniel Grinton on

      Unity, as with any engine properly set up, will allow for modding if the developers choose to implement it.

    16. João Bertoncini on

      Does Unity allow modding? Because one of the most amazing things, if not THE MOST AMAZING THING about the Baldur's Gate games was the ability of creating the "UNFINISHED BUSINESS" mods.
      There is ALWAYS some content that have to be cut so the game can make it to release, and being allowed to modify and complete such files was such a cool feature, adding re-playability to game.
      That was so nice in BG2, when former game programmers made it, that even fans started to do such with BG1.

    17. Missing avatar

      James Tiberius Kirk on

      As someone that's used Unity in a game jam, that thing rocks! Definitely the way to go for this kind of game.

    18. Duong Nguyen on

      Unity is a competent engine, in the hands of Obsidian a AAA team they will make it sing.

    19. dulBIRAKAN on

      I have been holding out for the Linux stretch goal. Now there is no reason for me to hold back anymore!

    20. Missing avatar

      Fredrik Lundgren on

      Oh on the wacky side. The way it was handled in New Vegas was a good way I say. Something optional. (Low key pop references in general I do not mind. But the thing is they should be well hidden and low key. That what fun about them.)

    21. September Abraxas on

      I'm concerned I won't be able to play this game once it's released. Do you have a guess at minimum system specs?

    22. Missing avatar

      Parmenides on

      I know many games these days look like they try to hard to look "dark". But I hope there is plenty of room for some dark too. Doesn't sound like they will go too far on the wacky humor part, I hope. Maybe South Park will get it out of their system. ;) Still New Vegas was done well, though that genre requires a little extra on the wacky side. But also you can't have interesting characters without at least some quirks. Super excited about this all nevertheless.

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      Kimuji on

      So pre-rendered backgrounds and real time characters... Does that mean tons of polygons and details for the characters since the CPU/GPU won't have to render backgrounds? :D

    24. João Varandas on

      Following these updates is so much fun! I'm already getting my money's worth!

    25. Obsidian Entertainment Creator

      @Shatterbrain - And characters will be real-time 3D.

    26. Obsidian Entertainment Creator

      @Shatterbrain - We are going to pre-render, but we are pre-rendering at 1920x1200/1080 at the least.

    27. Missing avatar

      armisael on

      @Shatterbrain - If they're using high-res renders to begin with, it's a non-issue. But there's little sense in using renders for characters nowadays.

    28. Missing avatar

      Shatterbrain on

      God, I hope Obsidian doesn't listen to these dunces begging for prerendered graphics. I don't want the final game looking like a stretched-out piece of crap in different screen resolutions.

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      Kenny Debacq on

      @Filipiak You can have better performance and higher level of detail at the same time with prerendered graphics.

    30. Michał Filipiak on

      Georgi, you do realize the 2D you laud is actually a render made from a detailed 3D model? Why use a render, if the source model can be used directly?

    31. Missing avatar

      armisael on

      Some people seem a little confused about what sort of graphics the old Infinity games had. The art was generally pre-rendered, with the backgrounds (in Planescape: Torment and Icewind Dale at least) touched up manually by the artists. If I understand correctly, Eternity will use the same sort of pre-rendered backgrounds with 3D character models. Think of Troika's Temple of Elemental Evil if you played it. It's a good art style that doesn't quickly date.

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      Georgiy Kovshov on

      I realy hope that the game will have 2D backgrounds. Baldurs Gate 2 and Planescape still look great, 'cause they were made in 2D, when 2D was perfected. Right now artists have no limits in terms of this tecnology, except of the skill of the artist himself. With 2D obsidian can make another game which will be timelessly beautiful. Anyway with such budget they сouldn't create realy good-looking 3D, skyrim had great funding and still it was average on the eye... so obsidian have two options: create game in beatiful 2D, or crappy 3D. I hope they choose wisely.

    33. Yuri on

      Guys, thank you, guys. Thank you very much.

      //Linux user

    34. Zigmar on

      @Anton Like many retro-games in this genere they will probably use 2D background with 3D characters, which is technically very good combination. Check out how it looks for another in-works Kickstarter game Shadowrun Returns:

    35. Lars Westergren


      Handdrawn 2d backgrounds, 3d generated characters, and an isometric perspective. It will likely look just like the infinity engines, only better.


      Unity is more than capable enough. How the game will look will only be limited by the artists, not the engine.

    36. Missing avatar

      Elevenbit on

      Unity is ugly. Please forger about it. Use Unreal Engine instead.

    37. Missing avatar

      ph on

      I'd love to see the base game, instead of more and mroe stretch goals.

    38. Missing avatar

      Anton on

      The game graphics will be in 3D? I thought it will be in 2D, like all classic RPGs such as Baldur's Gate, Planescape Torment and Icewind Dale.

    39. Liana Lixandru on

      Yay for Linux! Great news.

    40. Björn Fallqvist on

      Tenebrael, agreed. If they make an update where they announce that they will also release it for consoles, I will remove my pledge altogether.

    41. Lars Westergren

      @Andrew Cathie

      I think you are underestimating the time and money that goes into a port.

      Porting to a TV would have major implications for UI layout, for instance, this is a very text heavy game and they would have to adjust font sizes to fit on a screen. Also, Nintendo probably have many design guidelines that you have to comply to in order to be allowed to publish a game for the WiiU. Third, they may object to mature themes in the game which might necessitate a big rewrite of major plot elements. Forth, they might take big fee for certifying patches like Microsoft (and to a lesser extent Sony) does, which could hold back patches on the PC too so the versions don't get out of sync. Fifth: If modding support comes as a stretch goal (which I suspect it will) these portions would have to be rewritten for the WiiU too.

      In essence: Just because the Unity engine supports consoles and tables doesn't mean porting a game to these platforms is trivial.

    42. Vervain: Obsidian Order Warlord Prince on

      You could port it to WiiU without losing anything, just add a virtual keyboard onto the gamepad screen and voila!

    43. Evgueni Baldin on

      Good decision about Linux support.

    44. Tenebrael on

      I'm totally against releasing the game on consoles, or even thinking of it. It could end like with Witcher 2, where we theoretically have the PC-oriented game, but with many things made to fit to consoles (circular menu for the witcher signs, 16:9 proportions as a default, list-oriented inventory etc).

      I don't hate consoles, but PE should be PC and ONLY PC game, so to be sure that nothing is cut-out or re-made to fit the consol style of gameplay.

    45. Missing avatar

      MaddogZenon on

      Unity3D does support both PS3 and Xbox360.

      But it's really upto the developers.

    46. Luke Woods on

      I am thrilled that Linux is now supported! I am upping my Pledge! Thank you!

    47. Missing avatar

      Miroslaw on

      So project is going to be more platform independent.
      Maybe you will release it on xbox and playstation ;).
      After it comes out of course.
      Hmm, I Hope that unity technology will help also to better cooperate with backpackers who went to design npc, items, enemy team and tavern/inn.

    48. Kyle Alexander Thompson on

      As a Linux user I greatly appreciate this. Thank you for supporting our platform!

    49. Vince Vazquez

      Cool! I love Unity! I learned Unreal and Source in college, kind of hated Unreal, and was only meh on Source. But Unity, I checked out independently and found it awesome. So well organized, so flexible - it's so easy to get anything working in it. I mean, I hate programming and even I could do this: And it's so easy to optimize it for different settings and platforms. Good pick Obsidian!