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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.

Update #28: What We're Up To

Posted by Obsidian Entertainment (Creator)

What We're Up To

Thanks to you, we're funded. Now the work begins. At this stage of the project, we are still in pre-production, so at Wednesday morning's team meeting we started talking about the passion-stirring topic of logistics. Before we start scripting quests and writing dialogues, we need to understand the full scope of what we're setting out to do. In some ways, the basics stay the same for us as they did a decade ago. But we have new problems to solve and we need to have them all worked out before we enter production.

The key elements we have been focusing on are:

  • The size and structure of the world - This game will be... large. And it will have two big cities, exploration areas, and a 15-level mega-dungeon. Ensuring that the world is planned properly requires examination of what has worked for us in the past and what hasn't. The original Baldur's Gate had a number of wilderness areas, but low density of content in many of those areas. Baldur's Gate II had much greater content density, but fewer wilderness/pure exploration areas. We'd like to make sure we have pure exploration areas while still maintaining good content density.
  • Dynamic environment integration - Animated objects, interactive objects, ambient visual effects, water, dynamic lights and shadows -- all of these elements can be featured even within a "2D" world. Our goal is to strike a good balance between visual fidelity, performance (including memory on disk), and the amount of time environment artists have to spend setting up their areas. We prefer dynamic solutions that are relatively easy to author, as we want our environment artists to maximize their efficiency.
  • Lore and story - What we've developed so far has been the result of a small number of impromptu discussions and high-level efforts. Last week, we (including George -- thanks!) had our first meeting to increase development of the setting and story. We discussed major themes we'd like to explore, the order in which we'd each like to develop aspects of the lore and characters, and what elements we each were having trouble wrapping our heads around. Our immediate focus is on the central conflict of the story and the various factions that have a stake in it.

As the song goes, we've only just begun, but the team is excited and determined to make a game that lives up to your, and our, expectations. You've put a huge amount of trust in us, and we want to repay you with the best RPG we can.

Next week, we'll be talking about system design and how we're approaching mechanics like class design, advancement, and the role of equipment. We're also working on fulfillment of some of the Kickstarter pledges and we'll have more info on that in the next few weeks. Finally, if you missed our D&D session from last week, we have it up on the YouTubes for your enjoyment!

Update by Josh Sawyer

FORUMS: Discuss Update #28 in the Project Eternity Forums


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    1. Richard Roche on

      When go to the size of the Game would it be smarter to have the game as a client and the main part of the game on a cloud server. Maybe even where you can team up with other people and play together almost like a gamespy type of system.

    2. Thalon on

      Sorry if I will probably sound a bit picky and hasty, but I have a question for the guys at obsidian: don't you think it's time to stop the fundrainsing via paypal and start to organize a backer's account management system for all the persons that donated?

    3. Ink Vial Games on

      Great job guys, looking forward tot he finished product!

    4. Bryy Miller on

      @Benjamin Lee,
      I think I love that quote.

    5. Malte Mb on

      Somebody working on sunday? If yes i recommend to hurry up und use 60k of the "support other projekts"-pot : 30 k for "m.o.r.e." and 30k for "origin-The flood is comming". woukld be awesome, but i dont belife in wounders.

    6. Richard on

      I know this has been said several times but I really, really hope you guys will not spend too much time on the mega dungeon. This should be an RPG, not a hack 'n slash (which, sadly, is called 'action RPG' nowadays, as if adding some stats suddenly makes a game a role playing game) and this giant dungeon can only detract from the quality of the rest of the game. Honestly I wouldn't mind if you either made all the floors kinda small but interesting, or just procedurally generate the whole lot.

    7. Daniel Lawson on

      I wouldn't mind you guys just working on the core and then giving us the extra stuff as DLC... also wouldn't mind see this maybe sneak it's way on consoles

    8. tarasis on

      Love the idea of the massive game, please don't feel that every area needs stuff to find/ fight or do being able to just adventure / explore is enough.

      Btw is that a stack of Cinefex magazines behind Josh?

    9. Missing avatar

      JediaKyrol on

      I didn't think about that! That's even awesomer than a golem! Dig up a dead god and carve out its heart to power some stupid-awesome spell!

      Actually...wasn't it Planescape that had the dimension full of dead gods just floating in space, and people built cities on them? ...or was that my imagination...

    10. Kyle Robichaud on

      If it's going to be similar to a D&D ruleset I hope it's more 3.5 than AD&D. That was one of the hardest parts for me when trying to play BG.

    11. Prantare on

      TBH I think Baldur's Gate exploring was the only thing Baldur's Gate 1 did better than Baldur's Gate 2.
      These open wild areas were great. Traveling from Candlekeep to Bregost was an amazing feeling. In Baldur's Gate 2 it all felt crowded with too much detail everywhere.

    12. Michaeljack on


      It might not be a statue or Golem, look at the chains maybe it was a god who was chained down there and either turned to stone or slowly fossilized and maybe old Nua was excavating it...

    13. Missing avatar

      Roman Bakman on

      I would love to see the d&d ruleset used in bg2 makes a comeback in project eternity. Call me elitist, nostalgist, mad .. what ever i do not care. this system in modern game will be a blast, i dont remember single game since bg2 with such ruleset.. and i missed it so much...

    14. Ben Wolters on

      Wish they had hit it's toes. ;)

    15. Paul Andersen on

      One issue I have with the old Black Isle games is knowing who has what action queued up. Minsc will be up bashing heads or something, and I'd like to know how far Kivan is from his next shot and whether or not it's tactically viable to move him.

      It's not a big issue, but just a minor concern I wouldn't mind seeing addressed with an action bar or something.

    16. Mordred on

      @fluffy fiend

      That's exactly what I was thinking about the statue.

    17. Totus Von Sciara on

      We all waiting for news to italian translation! :P

    18. Paul Marzagalli on

      It's great seeing so many people clamoring for a return closer to Baldur's Gate 1 - a number of variable content exploration areas built around high density towns and maps. BG1 was superior to BG2 in this!

    19. Benjamin Lee on

      Amateurs talk about all the super awesome things they're gonna do when they start. Professionals start crying about the logistics and getting them done.

      Looking forward to seeing how you guys get this done.

    20. Merin

      Great update. Waiting (for this game to come out) is the hardest part, as the song goes.

    21. Missing avatar

      JediaKyrol on

      But...It HAS to be! It's so freaking awesome! I always eat scenery stuff up...hell, If there are ruins in a game...I typically try to sketch out what they would have looked like new...and what people would have done there even if the devs didn't assign a specific background story to that area.

    22. Fluffy Fiend of the Obsidian Order on

      Perhaps the statue was above ground once at the height of an ancient empire, and has since been buried by the centuries of time that has passed.

      Also I doubt that graphic has anything solidly tied to the actual dungeon design at this early stage. Other than the number of levels of course. There's no guarantee the actual dungeon will have a giant statue, for example, or lots of crystals on the 13th level

    23. Fluffy Fiend of the Obsidian Order on

      A few exploration areas are a good thing. If you don't like exploring, skip them.

    24. CowTippa on

      Please please please no to endless areas with nothing in them. It was baldurs gates worst feature!! Torment had no retarded wandering.

    25. Nicholas Russell on

      The Endless Paths: The third large city in Project Eternity. This game is going to be incredible.

    26. Missing avatar

      JediaKyrol on

      GAH The more I think about the Endless Paths...Was he excavating that statue? carving it? If it was being carved...why so far underground? Is it a giant golem? *brain asplode

    27. Missing avatar

      Chris Webster on

      I too would like to toss my hat in the "How can we get one or two more levels in the 'Endless/Mega Dungeon' to see the rest of giant stone guy's feet and such. :)

      Excited for news as it is released!

    28. Malte Mb on

      "GOD MORNING AMERIKA[...]. (and the rest of the world)"??? May somebody else make the next update!

    29. mrfatso ~ Defender of The Goat on

      @paul: but that's the thing, they have to think of the little guys, those who are still using a low end game to those dude who are using a super computer. So, like it or not, they are gonna aim for a wide variety of democratic

    30. Manolis Krestas on

      i fix it... i must clean the cache on the browse ... F5 or ctrl F5 did not work

    31. Manolis Krestas on

      what happen to the 15 levels PHOTO ? last night when i got the email it was there. now is on the 13 lev one ! It had some wall type building (marble?)

    32. Missing avatar

      staubundsterne on

      Now that's an update. Thank you so much for keeping us posted.

    33. Adrian Zaza Vic on

      support the low content on many wilderness areas on the forums where there's a poll on this subject already. I also want a BG1 approach, many wilderness areas with relatively low content

    34. Shaz on

      How strange it is that I feel horribly teased by being able to *almost see* a giant statue's feet. But I do! It's a visual representation of how far we came, but yet there's STILL MORE!

    35. John GT

      Aw, c'mon, guys...can't you just throw in one more Endless Path level just so we can see the giant statue's feet? Not even a whole level... maybe just one extra hole to jump down into?

      Just kidding.

      Unless you're gonna do it.

    36. Missing avatar

      Alexandre on

      Like many others have already stated: I am also very fond of the low-density areas of Baldur's Gate 1 (that I've reinstalled a few days ago, by the way ^^): it really gives a feeling of exploration, and I just love these open areas.

      Of course, big, dense, cities are great too but, once you feel a bit bored of searching in every corner for quests, items, companions, it's always nice to have the possibility to leave for a while and visit a region you've never been to; just for the sake (and the pleasure) of exploration.

      So, don't hesitate to put some of those :)

    37. Missing avatar

      leafspring on

      "performance (including memory on disk)" - While a game should certainly provide the best possible performance, please don't make the mistake of all the other studios, thinking too much about resources.
      There are so many games out there looking so much worse than they should be because of this. Mass Effect (esp. 3) and Skyrim are prime examples.

      I understand that you need to make the game work properly on a wide variety of hardware but for once I'd really like to see an all-out version as well for people who have the necessary hardware (and bandwidth for download).
      Especially since PE is inherently way less demanding than the two games mentioned above and by 2015 you can fully expect Retina displays to be widely available.

    38. Tobi (Crusader Kickstarter pls!!) on

      awesome update, keep it coming! oh and @Hardeep - THANK YOU for the image upload of the 15lvl-dungeon. only seeing the 13lvl was drinving me crazy :) the final version is so beautiful! props to the artist!!

    39. Elfwyn on

      There are 15 underground levels. Just imagine a black line in equal spacing between each level.

    40. Missing avatar

      deleted on

      This user's account has been deleted.

    41. Missing avatar

      azurit on

      Why has 'The endless paths' picture only 13 levels?

    42. Michal on

      I agree with comments about low density content in some of the exploration areas. That's one of the things I hate in Skyrim and other Elder Scrolls games. In the wilderness there is something every few steps, bandits, house, giants, travelers, etc. I would like to feel like Hobbits with Aragorn, wandering through uncharted areas, old ruins, forests, meadows, but without meeting an NPC in every five minutes.

    43. Elfwyn on

      If you need a fullfillment site to manage upgrades, t-shirt sizes and so on you should ask Revolution Software for their Sollution, because their Broken Sword rewards are simmilary structured and their Fullfillment Site is quite professional.

    44. Fredrik Sivertsson on

      As a few ppl have already stated. I don't mind if there is a LOT of areas with low density of content. Makes the exploration part of the game so much more rewarding

    45. Tomimt on

      You guys keep at it and bring us one great game.

    46. Rasmus Storm Bjerreskov on

      The game is going to be large? I have a 1.4TB hard drive. Bring it, bitches :D

    47. Don Reba on

      Nice shirt. Amon Tobin rocks.
      Also, budgeting is not only super-fun in itself, but also good for making sure that a few months from now, you are not stranded with no programmers, trying to teach yourself Go.

    48. Zolt on

      Low density of content, at least in some areas is absolutely fine with me! I like having t work a little to get to the goodies.