Update #50: So... Project Eternity!
Update by Josh Sawyer, Project Director
Thanks to everyone who contributed feedback to our visual demo last
week. While we are still working out some aspects of our environment
art, we appreciate both the kind words and the suggestions for
improvement that we received.
Due to all of the coverage we received, we noticed a lot of new folks asking about the game as well as past backers who may have missed a lot of the updates that have happened since the Kickstarter campaign ended. We thought it would be a good idea to restate what Project Eternity is all about and update our FAQ.
While much of this has been covered in previous updates, we have also included a few new tidbits of information in the details.
What is Project Eternity?
Project Eternity is a party-based fantasy roleplaying game inspired by the Infinity Engine games (Baldur's Gate 1 and 2, Icewind Dale 1 & 2, and Planescape: Torment) set in an original world created by Obsidian Entertainment. The camera has a fixed axonometric (high angle) perspective (with zoom!). The environments are 2D backgrounds combined with 3D characters and visual effects.
Project Eternity's team is focusing on three core ideas that will capture the Infinity Engine experiences players loved so much:
- Unique, beautiful, dynamic environments that encourage and reward exploration.
- A story that is both personal and far-reaching, with believable characters and factions that create compelling dilemmas for players.
- Fun and challenging tactical combat that can escalate in difficulty through the use of optional game modes.
What does "party-based" mean in Project Eternity?
At the start of the game, the player can create and customize his or her character, choosing from six races and several ethnicities, eleven classes, and a number of cultural backgrounds. Over the course of the game, the player can expand his or her party up to six total characters. The additional characters include eight companions designed and written by Obsidian as well as any new characters players would like to build at the Adventurer's Hall.
What is the combat like?
Project Eternity's combat will feel very similar to the combat in the Infinity Engine games, which used a "real-time with pause" system. In such a system, events between combatants occur simultaneously, but the player can pause the game at any time. The player selects and commands one or more of his or her party members to issue orders, ranging from continuous activities, like making standard attacks, to the activation of limited-use tactical abilities, such as spells.
Like the Infinity Engine games, Project Eternity will support auto-pause features that allow players to establish conditions under which the game will automatically pause (e.g., if a party member becomes unconscious). It will also feature a slow combat toggle that can be used with or in lieu of the pause feature. In slow combat, players can manage the flow of combat without needing to halt the game entirely.
What are the different races we can play?
Players can select from six main races found in this part of the world: humans, elves, dwarves, orlans, aumaua, and godlike. Orlans, aumaua, and godlike are unique to the world of Project Eternity, though godlike have similarities to "planetouched" races in other settings. Orlans are small humanoids physically notable for their two-tone skin, extensive body hair, and extremely long ears. Aumaua are large, semiaquatic humanoids with a diverse array of skin patterns, elongated heads, and semi-webbed hands and feet.
Godlike are not a separate race, but a phenomenon found among all races. They are individuals whom many people believe were transformed by the gods before birth. Godlike have distinctive appearances that invariably make them stand out from other people, with different cultures and individuals holding wildly different biases toward or against them.
All of the races have different ethnicities from which the player can choose. For elves, Wood and Pale, for dwarves, Mountain and Boreal, for orlans, Hearth and Wild, and for aumaua, Island and Coastal. Humans have three ethnicities: Meadow, Ocean, and Savannah. Godlike can be found among any race and their appearance always sets them apart from their parents.
This is an Aumaua male and female hi-poly head model. The facial colors and texture will be coming later.
What about the classes?
Characters may be one of eleven classes: barbarian, chanter, cipher, druid, fighter, monk, paladin, priest, ranger, rogue, or wizard. The "core four" classes (fighter, priest, rogue, wizard) are most similar to their traditional tabletop analogues. The non-core classes, barbarians, druids, monks, paladins, and rangers, are somewhat similar to their counterparts but differ more significantly. The two completely new classes are the chanter and the cipher, which are unique to the world of Project Eternity.
Traditional classes vary in how high- or low-maintenance they are based on their traditional counterparts. E.g. fighters are generally lower maintenance than wizards. However, the advancement system allows players to bend those roles, making higher-maintenance, active-use fighters or more passive wizards (for example). Class balance is important to us, but we also want playing each class to feel distinctive and complementary to other classes.
What will the art style be like?
Our art style is fairly realistic and uses a somewhat subdued, natural color palette, especially in outdoor environments. Character proportions are also fairly realistic. Equipment designs and proportions are based on their earthly historical counterparts, with an overall emphasis on function in their form. However, because this is a fantasy game, many environments will also be fantastic, with unearthly architecture, unusual materials, brilliant colors, and beautiful embellishments when appropriate.
How about the setting and story?
Project Eternity is set in a world created by Obsidian Entertainment, where mortal souls are bound to an eternal, and often mystifying, cycle of life and reincarnation believed to be watched over by the gods. Though cultures and individuals have different beliefs about the nature and purpose of this cycle, it is only recently that mortals have made significant advancements in understanding its fundamental mechanics through the science of animancy.
The story takes place in a small nation in the world's southern hemisphere called the Dyrwood (DEER-wood). The Dyrwood is a heavily forested, coastal region where colonial powers from across the ocean have settled and formed an uneasy relationship with the local residents, tribes of orlans and elves who are protective of the ancient ruins of Eír Glanfath on the forest's interior. Eír Glanfath was an ancient melting pot of races that built elaborate, often massive, structures out of a living shell-like substance called adra. Though the fate of the ancient Glanfathans is unknown, their dangerous and complex ruins show evidence they possessed extensive knowledge of how souls work. For this reason, all of the surrounding colonial powers aggressively fight for the chance to explore and plunder Glanfathan structures, often bringing the local tribes into conflict with their relatively new neighbors -- and the neighbors into conflict with each other.
The central character in the story is a newcomer to the Dyrwood, a man or woman who is caught up in a bizarre supernatural phenomenon. This event puts them in a difficult position, where they must explore the new world to solve a series of problems that have been thrust upon them.
What engine does Project Eternity use?
Project Eternity uses the Unity engine in addition to proprietary features developed at Obsidian.
What platforms will Project Eternity be available on?
We will be releasing Project Eternity for Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs. It will be available through Steam and GOG.com.
Will Project Eternity use any form of DRM (digital rights management)?
The GOG version is DRM-free. The Steam version works like any other Steam game and does not have any added DRM. There is no online requirement to play the game nor any additional DRM imposed by us.
What languages will you be supporting?
In addition to English, Project Eternity will be released in French, German, Spanish, Polish, and Russian.
What resolutions are you supporting?
Project Eternity will support resolutions from 1280x720 and up. Our environments are rendered out at a high resolution and support a wide range of scalability.
What other cool stuff will be in the game?
Thanks to our backers, players will have access to both a player house as well as a full stronghold in the game. Also, players will have the chance to explore all fifteen levels of the backer-funded mega-dungeon, the Endless Paths of Od Nua. Players who want a more extreme challenge can enable up to three optional game modes: Expert Mode (turns off "helper" features), Path of the Damned (dramatically increases the difficulty and complexity of encounters), and Trial of Iron (only one save game, party death = game over, save game deleted).
That's all for this week. Thanks for reading!
Season 1: Cowardly Cops, Meddling Merchants, and Shrouded Hills. And trash bins.
Article by Chris Avellone, Creative Director
We’re doing something different with the Arcanum playthroughs with this update – instead of filming a large portion at once and then releasing that one session over several weeks in small 10 min chunks, we’re going to release smaller updates that allow us to respond more quickly to your feedback on the playthrough and then iterate on the next playthrough. In this episode, Avellone explores the small town of Shrouded Hills, deals with cowardly constables, explores trash bins, and finds out more about the cryptic ring from the Zephyr’s zeppelin crash. Virgil guest stars.
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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:
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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:
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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:
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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:
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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:
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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:
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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:
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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:
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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:
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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:
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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:
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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:
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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:
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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:
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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:
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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:
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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:
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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:
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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:
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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:
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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:
- (32 days)