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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 #51: Prototype 2 Update

Update by Adam Brennecke, Executive Producer and Lead Programmer

Larger version of the town concept

Last month we finished our prototype 1 build. In Update #47, Josh outlined our goals for the first prototype, which focused on establishing "that IE feel". Not only did we hit that mark with the look of our characters and environments, but we also hit our target with movement, combat, and gameplay systems. Core basics that you all expect from Project Eternity such as party movement, melee and ranged combat attacks, containers (with loot!), doors, using special class abilities and spell casting, area transitions, inventory and equipment are all in the game and functioning. We also established working character and environment pipelines - the art team is now able to create beautiful rendered areas, and we can model armor sets for all of our uniquely proportioned races. Additionally, we've established that we can efficiently concept, model and animate creatures for our soon to be growing bestiary.

The creature we built for the first prototype is the Skuldr.

Larger version of the Skuldr

Skuldr have poor vision, but they use a form of echolocation to perceive the spirit world. This allows them to “see” souls, making it difficult to use stealth to avoid them.

After the prototype 1 audit meeting, Josh and I came up with a plan for what we would like to see the team tackle in prototype 2. Josh has previously mentioned a few of the goals for prototype 2 which include fog of war, character voice sets, crafting, stores, AI patrols, and the melee engagement system. Besides the expanded feature implementation, we are going to put our pipelines to the test on another set of new environments and creatures before moving into production.

The plan for prototype 2 is to create a small village with a handful of buildings to enter, including a shop and inn. To the east of the village is a medium sized wilderness area with access to a small cave dungeon interior. The prototype also includes a large dungeon (I won't spoil the contents of the dungeon, because some of the ideas in the prototype will eventually make their way into the shipped game). All of these areas are connected by a complex multi-stage quest with several objectives (some optional) and with many different ways of completing it.

The team has been working on a second prototype for the past two weeks now. Here's a sample on what each department has been working on.

Art

  • Dynamic Cloth - We are doing further research into character dynamism, and are creating capes for our characters to equip.
  • Dungeon - Our goal for the dungeon is to make an interior area that lives up to the IE games. The dungeon has a variety of rooms that are unique and organic.
  • New Monster - One of the new monsters we are creating for prototype 2 is an Ogre. He has already gone through the concept and modeling stage and now is off to be animated.

Larger version of the ogre concept

Design

  • Complete Bestiary - The bestiary list has been worked over a few times by the area and narrative designers. We are now pretty close to having a complete creature list!
  • Class Abilities for the Monk and Ranger - The Monk's "wounds" resource is in, and next up is the mechanics for the Ranger's animal companion. The class progression for the Monk and Ranger has been designed out to level 12.

Programming

  • Town Guard A.I. - How do guards protect the village when you start casting fireballs in the town square? They beat you down... or at least try to. The guards will hook into the reputation and faction mechanics, which tells guards when they turn hostile towards the party.
  • Fancy Material Shaders - We now have fancy materials for creating shiny armor and translucent ghost skin. Another set of shaders are "Tint maps" materials that enable the customization of skin and clothing colors just like in the IE games.

In the future we will go into details into the design and implementation of the systems and features. Is there a particular feature that you would like to know more about? Tell us what you would like to see us talk about in future updates on our forums. We will be taking an update break next week so the team can focus on prototype 2 work. Thanks for reading and see you in two weeks!

Let us know what you think! Discuss this update on our forums →

Comments

    1. Creator Lukas Meindl on May 7, 2013

      that's a pretty small town, more like a small outpost

    2. Creator Patrik on May 7, 2013

      @Obsidian guys: Hey, I'm sure you know Malukah, right? She's done sooo beautiful Skyrim covers, and other TES, GW2, ...
      What about letting her do/sing some music for Project Eternity? I think that would be awesome!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch…
      http://www.youtube.com/watch…

    3. Creator Jostein Johnsen on April 30, 2013

      @Zan Lynx: "Perhaps the game should recall Edna the costume designer's advice "No Capes!" and allow capes to get caught in doors and machinery and also catch on fire."

      Mhm, yes.. Creeping down an oil-filled ditch, barely escaping the siege-towers and the lookouts. Unfortunately you trip a fire-trap on the way across the potato-fields, and arrive at the camp with a torn ashen grey napkin around the neck. No beard, no eyebrows, and short crispy hair. Conclusion: Capes are not for soldiers.

    4. Creator Claudio on April 28, 2013

      "Gavin | Bring Nobility to Life" moves an interesting topic.
      I suppose archers can shot anyway using and arc instead of "direct" shot but covers should grant a bonus to Armor Class or whatever its used in P:E.

      I know, adding "cover position" if not already planned, it's not easy. But that would be awesome.
      (Light Cover/Heavy Cover with fixed amount of bonus AC should be enough, without wasting time in a sort of gradient of cover mechanics).

      i should add a question? How is managed the Field of View?
      Crappy Image explaining the concept: http://imm.io/14eMF

      is there something similar? I suppose there is already something similar but i was wondering if the "back" area is covered and if, with which matching statistic :)

    5. Creator stephen lasky on April 28, 2013

      that's shrouded hills from arcanum! exactly like it!

    6. Creator Leokhorn on April 27, 2013

      One suggestion about hair, clothing and skin colors: if it is at all possible, please make the choice through a full color wheel, not just X pre-defined colors. This has been a pet-peeve of mine in many games allowing customization, yet arbitrarily limiting it in that area.
      That said, hair and skin colors may be suggested per race, just hopefully not enforced.

    7. Creator Benjamin on April 26, 2013

      I can't wait to see the prototype 2.

      :-)

      YOU ARE EXTREM COOL

    8. Creator ProtonAx on April 26, 2013

      I like the art style of the ogre concept piece -- it reminds me of 1e and early 2e AD&D before the art style went to hell. Not so sure about the elven ears on the ogre, though...

      Anyway, regarding the village concept art, the size doesn't bother me as long as we make the assumption that the local farmers live on many independent farmsteads nearby, but what I think is missing is an indication of pasturage and wheat fields in the art. There needs to be at least two hundred acres or so of cultivated land nearby to feed the village and local farm families (and possibly quite a bit more if this village exports its crops/animals to a larger settlement).

    9. Creator Nathan Reed on April 25, 2013

      @Gera, I don't know about capes - if you have seen the The Incredibles you know Capes are so very dangerous. http://youtu.be/M68ndaZSKa8

    10. Creator Silver on April 25, 2013

      Nice update - hoping to see more art and graphics related info in the future.

    11. Creator Shevek on April 24, 2013

      I think the size of the village is fine. I am in Los Angeles. Anyone from LA that has ever driven to Vegas has passed towns of that size.

      Some food for thought:
      http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4072/4717963928_6363826651_o.jpg

    12. Creator FaeTalan on April 24, 2013

      The idea of a Baldur's Gate meets Final Fantasy IX meets modern Obsidian RPG design excites me a lot.

    13. Creator Andy on April 24, 2013

      The information about Skuldr makes me wonder... Does some class has a form of stealth which lets them mask the power of their soul? Thus making themselves harder to track by creatures and NPCs who detect prey by the presence of their soul.

    14. Creator Zan Lynx on April 24, 2013

      Perhaps the game should recall Edna the costume designer's advice "No Capes!" and allow capes to get caught in doors and machinery and also catch on fire.

      Plus, seeing groups of characters running around with hair and capes on fire after a large fireball would be quite funny. :-)

    15. Creator Michal Pulda on April 24, 2013

      I *love* the first concept art! It would be great to see some video as well.

    16. Creator Peter Stevenson on April 24, 2013

      You had me at capes :)
      @Manaf: That would be so awesome

    17. Creator Rinu on April 24, 2013

      @Karambini: I realize it's a prototype and not a definitive version. However calling 7 buildings a town sort of indicated how extensive in-game settlements might end up; be it a village, town or city. I trust developers that they are doing their best but I think it doesn't hurt to point out my concern.

    18. Creator Gera Hmurov on April 24, 2013

      Hurray! Capes! Every good game should have dynamic capes!

    19. Creator Theobeau:OOoE\Mad man with a box/Exiled on April 24, 2013

      A rustic village, a bestiary and fashion stylings.

      Where else but on a PE update do you get this combination!

      Plus a recent TToN update as well....great mid-week pick me up.

    20. Creator Céline .S. Sauvé on April 24, 2013

      Things I would like to hear more about in future updates: the expected level cap for Classes, Multiclassing, if there is a new estimate on shipping, or if we're still looking at about a year.

    21. Creator Richard Luijten on April 24, 2013

      Great to see all this new art and read about what you guys are doing. It sounds like you're well underway which makes me more than a little excited.

    22. Creator Sensuki on April 24, 2013

      Tim's not a project lead - we're mostly hearing from Josh and Adam who are two of the most senior people on the project, Darren who does their IT/Web stuff and sometimes Rob who's their art director.

      A while ago there were a few of us who requested an update from George Ziets and we got one, so maybe if enough people make enough noise Tim might do an update to say hello, but more than likely it will be Josh presenting Tim's work (non-combat system etc) because he's their frontman for the project

    23. Creator Khanach - UnderwOOrlder sWoOSbuckler on April 24, 2013

      NOOOOOOO! Update break next week! :(
      Anyway, great update. Also, capes! :) .Dare I wish for...hats?
      Okay, now I'm gonna push the screen until I actually enter that ruined tower. Who's with me?

    24. Creator Manaf - Tormented Exile on April 24, 2013

      Call Of Cthulhu as the next Kickstarter Project

      Consider this... one of the most popular tag besides #rpg in Kickstarter is #cthulhu. There have been around 35 Cthulhu related campaigns that have been successful so far in kickstarter(Including, I kid you not, ”Cthulhu Knitted Ski Mask”). So you already have an existing fan base in Kickstarter eco system besides RPG fans to recruit into the campaign.
      We never had a proper horror CRPG ever(I am not counting Vampire:The Masquerade)....
      It should be everything what made H.P Lovecraft great. The story should be very adult and nihilistic. Sanity needs to be a major system and it could be even be necessary to be a little insane to survive the elder gods. Instead of fighting we can utilize investigation,sorcerous ritual(this should not be easy like D&D and needs to have a puzzle element to cast it and only in specific situations))and conversation(Like in Torment). Having some turn based combat with some cultists and deep ones utilizing guns would be awesome as well.
      We also never had a proper 30’s era RPG ever. Consider the characters and things you could show in a thought provoking manner.Cults, Organized Crime, Racism ,Sexism, Jingoism all the existing human horrors along with the Elder evils from beyond time and space.(Plus lots of people smoking)
      For adapting to a CRPG system instead of utilizing the original system you guys can also consider the Gumshoe system from Trail Of Cthulhu.It is more investigative and might be better suited for a CRPG
      By that time you guys would be experts in Unity and creating more 2.5D Graphics piece of cake
      Get a few horror writers like Joe R. Lansdale, Ramsey Campbell, Clive Barker(he already worked on a few games,so he would be already familiar with the medium) included and i think you could make at least 6 or 7 million out of the campaign.
      By that time most of the Kickstarted RPGs like Wasteland 2, Shadowrun Returns, Project Eternity would have come out so people complaining about Kickstarting another game while the first one has not been delivered would have been silenced by then.

      https://torment.uservoice.com/forums/197950-game-ideas/suggestions/3845992-call-of-cthulhu-as-the-next-kickstarter-project

    25. Creator JoeyC on April 24, 2013

      Whats going on with Tim Cain? He was advertised heavily during the kickstarter but we have not heard a thing from him since.

    26. Creator Sam on April 24, 2013

      Loving the sounds of it so far.
      If it turns out half as good as you guys want it will be a real classic

    27. Creator Karambini on April 24, 2013

      @Maxim & Rinu: I see where you're coming from and I felt the same as soon as I looked at it, but then I realised two things. 1) This is probably one of the first towns in the game, so it shouldn't be something overwhelming to the player. 2) Use your imagination. This is the town square. Not all people can fit in the middle of the town, there are people living in the surrounding areas and roads.

      I say if you populate the town with sufficient NPC's it will seem alive enough and more realistic, instead of filling the screen with houses which could be irrelevant and frustrating for completionist players that want to explore everything to the most minute detail and be disappointed to get into a house and only find a boring NPC and an apple for loot.

    28. Creator Rinu on April 24, 2013

      @Maxim: I agree. If they are after this type of "town", it'd be easier to just place a log cabin into the woods and spend more time on cities.

    29. Creator Tuhalu on April 24, 2013

      I wish you guys would stop typing IE for Infinity Engine. I always get a bad feeling until I remember what you mean (ie. not Internet Explorer) >.>

    30. Creator Nathan Destler on April 24, 2013

      Actually, Maxim, if the town is surrounded by farms (too spread out to be worth mapping most of the time), a small hub area makes perfect sense. Mill, church, inn/tavern, market, blacksmith, all these things would typically be in a central village area, with the supporting community being much more spread out. The only people who actually lived in the village proper would be the staff for the mill, church, inn, and smithy, which would easily be one or two families. If anything, three houses in the village proper is large for such a community.

    31. Creator Koshinator on April 24, 2013

      Echo-location on the astral plane? Have to say, that's something I've never seen before... well done :)

    32. Creator Maxim Bardin on April 24, 2013

      For a prototype, the concept is very good.
      However in the final game, I don't want to see such small towns - they seems illogical: watermill, church, Inn......and 3 houses?! more houses, many many more... you don't create all those buildings for just 3 houses.

    33. Creator Tobi (Crusader Kickstarter pls!!) on April 24, 2013

      town sketch and monsters look great, keep up the good work :)

    34. Creator Vincent Boucher on April 24, 2013

      Great great great development!! love the town sketch, love the IA description about guards, rly a modernized old school-ish mechanic! thx for the update guys, makes me proud to be a backer!

    35. Creator Geoffrey Kelly on April 24, 2013

      @Dynamic Cloth... Could you please make this more than simply capes? I am honestly sick and tired of all NPCs in every game I ever play wearing what appears to be hard leather shirts, pants, and undies! Where are the dresses, the loose shirts, the baggy undies?!

    36. Creator Casuals on April 24, 2013

      The town sketch looks amazing; very soothing, somehow...

      Keep up the awesome work!

    37. Creator Lukáš Kucharczyk on April 24, 2013

      Lovely, lovely capes! But don't forget about hoods for mages and rogues, that's a must, hehe.

      Anyway, I was wondering if the local conflict will somehow affect the global attitude of some factions, e.g. you attack accidentally cast fireball and instead of fighting you leave hurriedly, hoping the guards will calm down since you didn't respond aggressively. Will the guards still be attacking you when you return and will other guards from other locations attack you, too? (even though they probably have no way of knowing about the incident).

    38. Creator Peop'Is The Sheepish Werepig of Sin ∞ on April 24, 2013

      Omg.. I so read that a Dynamic Sloth... hehe baaah...
      Anyways great update! :)

    39. Creator Gavin Reading Rainbow KS backer! on April 24, 2013

      Totally awesome progress!!

      I am interested in how projectiles will work as far as line of sight and arrow arcs. If an enemy is behind cover, will ranged attackers be aware of their inability to hit?

    40. Creator samea nasar (deleted) on April 24, 2013

      this all sounds so freakin awesome