Funded! This project was successfully funded on October 16, 2012.

Update #54

Update #54: Art Update - Work IS in Progress!

Update by Rob Nesler, Art Director

Larger version - Above is a UI mockup that Kaz has put over the original Kickstarter image. What do you think?

I know what you are thinking. What the hell have the artists been doing?? The art in this game should be half done by now! Right?

That's what I want to know! Why isn't the game half-done already?

Well, as I've said before we're "professionals." We proceed in a highly-complex collaboration/iteration loop of blending design wants and dos, programming cans, think-they-cans and dos and artist wants, cans, can-but-don't-know-how-longs and dos. As you can see - and please don't get angry - this is all very technical. Know that: work is progressing.

Yeeeargh! Enough with your silly stupid words, Rob!! What the hell does that mean??

Uhh... not sure, but I'll tell you what I think it means:

You've read about Prototype 1 and then Prototype 2. Those were efforts to implement features that represent the functional and playable standard of our goal: an Infinity Engine style of game. Those efforts were focused collaborations of designing, programming and art-ing things, trying them out, addressing problems as they came up (visual, functional or otherwise failing to live up to our standard) and repeating. The art goals were held to an 80-90% complete (aka: unpolished). The remaining 10-20% of work will be left toward the end of the "next phase," as always there will be edits and modifications after initial implementation of art. The basic truth of this interactive artistic endeavor that we are involved in is that you can't know it's a worthwhile experience, until you make it, people play it, and then provide feedback. We adjust our work to that feedback - a feedback loop. Boom! Consider yourself educated.

The "next phase" is a Vertical Slice. This is a goal in which we focus on one part of the game within a shell of what is essentially the fully-featured game - relying on the things developed in the prototypes, as well as implementing a fully-functional UI, attempting to finalize all art and gameplay to a more polished standard, and accommodate design changes that are required to make the player experience more complete - as if this part were a finalized, short game in itself.

Environment Artists

Hector - Wilderness Areas
Our Lead Environment Artist has been developing a couple of our larger external landscapes. He's doing this on the basis of a designer's block-out: a crude-but-playable space. This includes the sculpting of terrain geometry in ZBrush, application of grass and dirt via mesh painting and masking in Maya, placement of objects such as structures, trees, and rocks, etc., lighting and rendering the scene, which generates our super-cool depth info. He imports all those results into the game, and then Design says: "Hey, something has come up and we need a temple in the village." So, Hector moves and massages the scene around to accommodate the change and steps through the process again. In the prototype, iteration of the village, a temple wasn't required. For the Vertical Slice, having a place where one can get quests and learn some spiritual-magicky stuff, is an important feature to include. So, we find a way to happily put it in.

Sean - Dungeon/Crypt and village interiors
Our other Environment Artist has been working on interiors of village structures and dungeons! He uses ZBrush less for his environments as a whole, and more as a means of creating smaller natural-looking rocky things and dungeon walls. Beyond that the techniques for implementing his work are the same. The feedback and iteration with design usually yields similar tweaks and modifications. Changes like: "Uhh...we can't have a door here, anymore. Can we make it a pile of collapsed rocks, instead?" Of course the answer is "Yes!"

The answer has to be "yes," because the game is worthless if the gameplay isn't worthwhile. It could be that an important critical path encounter needs to occur, maybe because the story evolved or it’s just too good an experience to allow an alternate route to exist. Ultimately, we trust our designers to wrestle with these issues and come to us with changes that matter. So if they come to us with a change, and the adjustment is reasonable and the time exists to make it, we will do it.

Animators

Mark - Principle Animation of All Things with Arms and Legs
Our Lead Animator has been handling much of the animation requirements for the playable races. This process is also an iterative one. Design has ideas about how they want playable characters to interact with the world and enemies, and Mark then creates a set of individual animations that then blend into each other as needed, in Unity. In addition, he has created essential animations for the Skuldr and the Ogre. Essential animations are typically basic locomotion (including: walk, run and at least one idle) attacks (melee and ranged, if applicable) getting hit and dying. There are others. He blocks them in (a term for making things functional fast), puts them in the game, then he refines them. As team members playtest the game, they provide feedback. Mark continues refining until everybody is happy or the game ships - whichever comes first. No, no, no, just kidding! Mark will work tirelessly through endless nights to make certain everybody is happy with the animation.

Antonio - Technical Problem Solving of Physical Things and Process Improvement
I told you all you needed to know about Antonio in my last update. I showed you the rigs and rigs in rigs. These things take a while to refine, as he makes them and then people (Dimitri and Mark) have to use them. As they use the tools, they discover issues and then Antonio has to fix the issues and the process repeats itself until there are fewer and fewer issues to fix. Lately he has been working on a means of batch processing all the animations that Mark creates and efficiently exports them into the game. Mark says it's "awesome." (This is making Dimitri mad. I'll tell you why in a bit.) In addition, he has been developing some cool experiments with cloth and hair. Hopefully, in some near-future update we can show you how great it looks.

Character Artists

Dimitri - Skaen and Visual Differences Between Playable Characters (Races, Males and Females)
Dimitri has been modeling and texturing the dirty, bloody and villainous Skaen Cultists. In-between that he has been re-exporting our characters, as new attachments, bones, weapon attachments, etc. are added to the skeletons. This is a manual process hell that eats at his soul and to see Mark enjoying the fruits of batch process heaven that Antonio has provided him, makes him think of terrible things. One of two things will happen: Dimitri will get over it, or Antonio will help him out soon. He has also been working with our graphics programmer in developing the masking system for how we can increase variety in our characters via color changes on various elements of each. We intend this ability to be passed on to the player, so that they can customize their party's colors.

James - Creatures And Colors
James has been focusing on modeling and texturing a ton of critters, including wurms! - not: worms, nor wyrms, or wirms, but WURMs! That is what we call our baby dragons! He's also been tasked with making certain, that via the tinting and masking that Dimitri worked on, we can generate an infinite variety of People and Monsters, and nobody will know better. Shhhhhh...Wink Wink!

Concept Artists

Larger version - Polina's concept of lizard-creature-to-be-named-later.

Polina - Drawerings And More Drawerings
Polina has been all over the place since the presentation of the God-like Concept. She's done a bunch of interior concepts, some really cool malevolent spirit-like concepts, the lizard-like creature (below) and more! Polina takes concept development and collaboration very seriously. If I'm not paying attention, or give her a specific number, she will draw variants upon variants of thumbnails and roughs until...I think...forever. So we've restricted her to a certain number of thumbnails before a review. Otherwise we'll have to buy her a new tablet, and that is NOT in the budget!

Kaz - Drawerings And User Experience
As you've seen in recent updates Kaz has been tasked with coming up with cultural differences in in terms of skin color and style of clothing for the various cultural groups that we find in Project Eternity. With this and other concept-y things, he also has been tasked with developing and implementing the look of the UI and the presentation for "scripted events."

Note: Regarding the image with the menubar at the start of the update, as well as the image below. You will notice that they state: "Work In Progress." In fact, the images are screen caps of the source art file for the UI that is being developed for P.E. It represents stylistic choices meant to feel very Infinity Engine-ish. We're a little curious what you might think about it. Let us know.

Larger version - Scripted event image by Kaz.

Me??? - What have I been doing?

I don't know. I just run around and say some stuff, point to something and say "eww," or "nice," or grab a bunch of people to say stuff like "Yay!" or "boo" at something, draw some stuff, and try to direct stuff, repeat. I am hopeful that these efforts keep people motivated, aware and engaged.

That's it. Update Over. Now talk amongst yourselves...or use ALL CAPS, if you are feeling particularly passionate.

- Rob Nesler, Art Director, Obsidian Entertainment.

PS - Let’s Play Arcanum with Mr. Avellone is coming back soon to an update near you!

Kickin' It Forward: HEX MMO Trading Card Game

Article by Darren Monahan, operations guy

In this update's Kickin' it Forward segment, we're featuring the HEX MMO Trading Card Game from friends and neighbors over at Cryptozoic Entertainment. If you're a fan of trading card games and MMO's, HEX looks like a great game to bring these two types of games together in a unique and original fantasy world. They've got nine days left, and plenty of really cool rewards. Check it out!

Comments

    1. Missing_small

      Creator firesock on June 3, 2013

      Regarding the UI, it feels nice, but one thing I've always noticed with these games is how the health/mana bars don't fit in with the rest of the aesthetic - BG2 had it on here, portrait getting covered (or was that some other game, it's been a while...) Little details that just make it all flow together I guess...

      I wonder if there's any way to make the portrait BG more transparent and blend it into the UI bg but the character portraits still stand out...

      And I've always had a personal preference for bars on the side so maybe an option for that would be nice.

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      Creator Gavin | Waiting for WL2 on June 3, 2013

      I have spent the past few days thinking about this before commenting because I wanted to make sure I had my mind set...

      I like the old IE feel of the UI, but I also think it should be "modernized" in terms of the layout. Being able to switch it between bottom and top/sides, at any time, would really be ideal. That way players could keep it how they like it, or even switch it depending on the setting.

      That is my 2c. Everything else I wanted to say has already been said. In the end, I trust you guys & gals to make it awesome.

    3. Silver.small

      Creator Silver on June 1, 2013

      I like the UI style - with some additional work put into it, I think this would be a good starting point for the UI development. I'd reverse the character stuff and combat log positions though, or add an option for players to move parts of the UI around with settings.

    4. Missing_small

      Creator Florian Meinke on June 1, 2013

      Regarding the UI: "Baldur's Gate"'s UI was, for that time, pretty good, but it was also cumbersome, if had several caster classes in your group. Some of those usability issues have never been resolved up to (and including) Neverwinter Nights 2. Some of those issues can be accounted to the D&D rule-set - for example, the memorizing of spells, where a misclicked left- or right-click could delete a memorized spell, although you just wanted to have some info on that spell.
      Another issue is a caster with many many spells (see Baldur's Gate 2). Although you may have had the time to scroll through 3 bars of spells to find the one you needed (and if you weren't sure what the spell did, you had to look its effects up in the spell book, no context menu), it's not user-friendly to do so. BG/BG2 had a lot of those issues, because they were the first of their kind and technology hadn't evolved as far (plus usability wasn't considered as much back then (imho)). There were no games with context-sensitive menus or context menus at all - as far as I can remember.
      These days, though, we know about context(-senstive) menus and their use and that they can tidy up a lot of the UI, too. As much as I like a well designed UI, I don't want to spend too much of my screen on it. I mean, I use chrome because its UI is pretty small, so that I'll have more space for the webpage itself.
      I agree that the NWN2 UI was a bit too sparse - or too technical - but the BG/BG2 UI was much too...much and clunky. I don't want to click through several bars of spells (back and forth).

      But as a general idea for the UI, I would make the UI fully modable, which seems to be the best solution anyway. And I mean absolutely modable as in WoW-UI-Add-Ons-Create-you-Own-UI-modable. Because I see gamers here that cherish that old, clunky BG-design with all its quirks and misconceptions and I see gamers who're rather interested in a more modern design. You can't please them all and a compromise will not be accepted by either side. So let them create their own UI (but consider context-sensitivity and right-click-context menus ;)).

    5. Missing_small

      Creator Sebastian Koch on June 1, 2013

      Couldn´t disagree more with the people who feel this UI style is outdated. I really like it. Been playing a bit of Baldurs Gate: EE and Neverwinter Nights 2 recently and felt that the the UI of the latter was really inferior - both from an asthetic and from a usabillity standpoint.

      Heres hoping Obsidian stick to their guns and don´t end up taking a more "modern" approach instead.

    6. Av-316167-1259759646.small

      Creator mingxhin on June 1, 2013

      I have to agree, the UI is ugly - takes up way too much space and would be extremely weird in widescreeen. As someone mentioned earlier, please take a look at the UI in Divinity: Original Sin - way better - minimalist, non-intrusive.

    7. Missing_small

      Creator Mloren - Obsidian Order on May 31, 2013

      I think the UI looks great but it does take up a lot of space and would like to see the ability to adjust elements of it, especially minimize elements. For example, the text box in the bottom right feels unnecessary to me, I probably won't want to see specific numbers on every combat roll, a few floaty damage numbers will probably be enough, although it's great to have that for people that do want to see the specifics.
      It would be nice if there were a way to show and hide specific parts of the UI and maybe reposition them.

    8. Gig_d4.small

      Creator Azureblaze on May 31, 2013

      Oh, yeah - I'd also like to say to PLEASE have an option to enable floating damage numbers above the npcs you are slaying , Arcanum Verbose mode is a perfect example (yeah I've been playing recently lol). I realize it's planned to show damage in the combat log (as seen) but to have floating dmg numbers being an option would make my day personally. It's import that it be an on/off option though as certain people do not like floating damage numbers, I understand that.

    9. Gig_d4.small

      Creator Azureblaze on May 31, 2013

      I really like the old school look of the UI, with that being said I think that throwing in some modern elements would be wonderful, if not already planned :

      Being able to re-size AND move interface items via click and drag or via an interface config option (all hotbars/portraits,etc)

    10. Missing_small

      Creator RottenBrain on May 31, 2013

      @Jarrah The thing is this isn't supposed to be an RPG from 2014. It's supposed to evoke feelings of a late 90s/early 00s cRPG. Which, judging by the art so far they are more than nailing. As for the UI - IMHO it's awesome the way it is at the moment. Making the UI segmented so you can arrange it yourself, as someone suggested, is a really bad idea to me at least - it will really compromise the art and immersion having some floating...things everywhere around the screen.

    11. Missing_small

      Creator Mad Squ on May 31, 2013

      I ahve to agree to others that imho with the widescreens nowadays its not the best idea to put the UI completely at the bottom. I just looked at some pics how Baldurs Gate II did it and they also had this kind of frame thingy which allowed the bottom part of the UI to be considerably smaller. In my oppinion it would be better to head for something like that. Everything that can be put to the sides without losing the true meaning of the art should be moved.
      I appreciate on the other hand the overall look of the UI. The woody style fits very well with the scenario. But what do the two figures left or right do? Are they just for decoration? Or do they have an actual purpose. If it has no use, I think it should be replaced with something useful.
      Maybe the UI also could change while the game progresses and maybe becomes more valuable looking (golden, e.g.) when the party gains more reputaion or something like this. The style could also depend on the kind of race (or character you choose).

    12. Pttattooicon1.small

      Creator Radwulf, Obsidian Order's solipsist ken on May 31, 2013

      Haven't read comments. I think the UI looks elegant but inefficient. Widescreen means horizontal space is less valuable than vertical so more should be on the sides. Similarly I'm a fan of more minimalist GUIs so the option to remove/minimise certain elements (ala BG2) would be preferred.

      It could be a good idea to have elements of the GUI in the actual game world. Examples could be to have customisable colours for your character's selection rings like BGEE allowing you to easily recognise character or role. The selection rings could also be concentric with different colours showing character health and mana/stamina/etc so you don't have to rely on the GUI so much. Although this would require something like dither always when paused so that you could always see the characters and rings when the screen is busy.

    13. Hazard_e_black.small

      Creator BoMbY on May 30, 2013

      Hmm. I'm not sure I'm getting the "Scripted Event" screen? Isn't that a little bit too much retro?

    14. Missing_small

      Creator Nicolas on May 30, 2013

      PS Curse your faces for telling me about Hex, that's gonna end up costing me.... -_-

    15. Weeaboo.small

      Creator Richard Luijten on May 30, 2013

      So many complaints whenever something new is shown..
      For me the UI looks good, although I'd prefer it to be vertical too like many others. I don't really care though as long as you guys don't use that horrible right-clicking system Planescape: Torment used, that was absolutely terrible.

      As for the actual news in this update: ho-lee-shit! Keep 'em coming like this! It was totally worth the wait! I love reading about the kind of work that goes into the creation of a game and all the things you have to think of. Love the Lizard-dude artwork too.

      Keep up the great work, most of us have absolute faith in you!

    16. Missing_small

      Creator Tom on May 30, 2013

      Lies lies lies! The interface is good. Ignore any naysaing ne'er do well who says otherwise!

    17. Missing_small

      Creator Tom on May 30, 2013

      This is Cuntwarblingly nice.

    18. Missing_small

      Creator Nicolas on May 30, 2013

      I have to say, while I appreciate the style of your menubar I play on a 1080p monitor and assuming the game supports that resolution it seems that the height of that bar would end up leaving me a play area that is something like theatrical widescreen which just seems odd to me. I really do think having the option to move the entire thing onto the sides or maybe even break it up and place the pieces as desired by hand would be excellent.

    19. Missing_small

      Creator keto on May 30, 2013

      @AstralWanderer ... if "small minority" means roughly 50% of these respondents, sure ... you're right.

      Minimalist enough?

    20. Untitled.small

      Creator Jarrah on May 30, 2013

      I scrolled down here to say that on all my computers I now put task bars on the side as they are wide screen and vertical real estate is in high demand. Maybe characters in top right like Dungeon Siege? Less screen real estate given to UI means more of the game visible.

      Then I noticed a lot of other people saying similar things. I agree with those people. Make this look like an RPG from 2014, not the 90s. Make it as pretty as possible. Why choose function over style when you can have both?

    21. Missing_small

      Creator AstralWanderer on May 30, 2013

      @Keto: "Grim truth? ... I haven't played an IE game since they were released originally. And I never played any to completion...Reason?...The UI was horrific..."
      You're going to have to accept that your opinion, whatever its merits, places you in a small minority of backers here - most *do* want an IE style game and the UI will be part of that in much the same way as the gameplay was. If you value minimalism so much, then your posts might be a better place to start...
      For those going on about the "outdated" IE interface (and it's alleged unsuitability for widescreen displays), try BG/BG2 with the Widescreen mod at http://www.gibberlings3.net/widescreen/ (it works with IWD and Planescape too, but Planescape will need GhostDog's UI mod at http://www.spellholdstudios.net/ie/ghostdogs-pst-ui also). Assuming you don't run at too high a resolution (1360x850 seems best on a 30" 2560x1600 monitor), it works pretty well in my view.
      Project Eternity is using the IWD2 UI as a baseline which is the most "modern" UI of the series, and quite a change from the previous games (if anything, I would agree with those who argue that it is less suited for widescreen due to having everything along the bottom).
      Clearly Obsidian aren't going to satisfy everyone, whatever they do - but the UI as it stands looks attractive (IMHO) while providing the key info (and buttons) most players should need. Those who want minimalist have plenty of options elsewhere.

    22. Gerardo_chico3.small

      Creator Gerardo Uribe on May 30, 2013

      I really like the interface. It has the old school feeling with a touch of modern. Im just worried because my monitor is 16:10. What will happen with the interface/gameplay? I dont want a back border or something.

    23. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Matthew Van Andel on May 30, 2013

      If that we're the final UI, I'd be fine, but I would personally prefer something more Planescape or TOEE and a little less BG2/IWD. You know... low-key, minimal, and contextual... fewer buttons. :-)

    24. Alan.small

      Creator Alan Villarreal on May 30, 2013

      leave it to a mexican to know landscaping lol, im kidding hector i tease

    25. Missing_small

      Creator Alexhosen on May 30, 2013

      I think the interface should go more in the direction of Temple of elemental evil, with dropdown right-click menus depending on your selection, and less in the way of the old IE. I think the only thing not to imitate from IE rpgs, is UI.
      I personally prefer a less intrusive UI, the smart aplication of an icon based right click UI could be really nice IMO.
      Also, i would go for a dialog box that activates in conversations but hidden by default, with a button to show it, and two labels, one for dialogs and story related messages and other for combat and gameplay statistics.

    26. Lenghin.small

      Creator Vladimir Lenin on May 29, 2013

      Holy shit I miss Infinity UI.
      Since most of the monitors are widescreen, it would be better to have vertical UI, not horisontal. Or something like IE's "ALL YOUR WINDOW BORDER ARE BELONG TO US" style.

    27. 23290_boxshot_1._preview1.small

      Creator PegasusOrgans on May 29, 2013

      I second Vince's question. How IS South Park? I preordered that game and I have no clue where it stands ATM.

    28. 23290_boxshot_1._preview1.small

      Creator PegasusOrgans on May 29, 2013

      PLEASE take as long as you need to make this as good as can be. Me and many other PC gamers have massive backlogs of games we need to play/finish. Hell, Shin Megami Tensei and Kickstarter games alone count as many hundreds of hours yet to play, so I beg you, TAKE YOUR TIME!

    29. Hat_kid_profile_pic.small

      Creator Vince Vazquez on May 29, 2013

      "I know what you are thinking. What the hell have the artists been doing?? The art in this game should be half done by now! Right?"

      Actually, I'm wondering how South Park is doing? :)

      I mean, Ubi Soft picked it up after THQ's sad demise, right? How come we haven't seen or heard anything about it? The reason I immediately think of South Park is because, well, I assume you have some artists finishing that up. Which has to affect the other games going on there, including Eternity here.

      I would just like a quick word on the status of Stick of Truth. Even just a, "We'll have it at E3! Wait a few weeks". That'd be cool....

    30. Adam-cropped.small

      Creator Adam Thompson on May 29, 2013

      Just remember that this game means different things to different people, as did the old IE games. Nobody said to cut combat because they prefer story-telling closer to adventure games, or not to have a party system because they prefer RPGs like The Witcher.
      Instead the game should embrace the variety of its fan base. Those that like to role-play should be able to do so, evading combat should be an option for those that do not enjoy it or find it difficult... etc.
      One thing that is universal to all players however is that the game should be accessible and enjoyable. Nobody should ever have to fumble or feel frustrated over the controls or the UI.

    31. Adam-cropped.small

      Creator Adam Thompson on May 29, 2013

      I too would like to chime in and agree that the user interface NEEDS to be different to old IE games. The reason myself and many others backed this game was NOT to get another game that felt like it was made in the late 90s. Some of you might have, but it might be worth taking off your rose-tinted glasses and helmets of nostalgia, and try to think reasonably.
      What most of us want is *not* to have a 1 : 1 feeling of playing an IE game from the 90s, but instead to have those same feelings of excitement, wonder, temptation, and intrigue that those games so competently made us feel. Baldur's Gate and Planescape were both games that had wonderful settings, fantastic characters , writing, and excellent role-playing, and we want more of THAT.
      Project Eternity is the opportunity to take all that was GOOD about those games, all the best experiences and memories of playing them, and to give it a modern overhaul.
      One shouldn't live with the frustrations of past games and ignore the past 2 decades of improvement in game design just because this game is a love letter to games of yore. Instead it's about taking the absolute best parts, trimming the bad parts, and making the play experience joyful. In the same way the graphics have been modernized (yet still hearken back to the old IE games), so too must the design.
      If you so desperately love the old IE games and don't want things to change - then excellent. You don't need this game, because it so happens that Baldur's Gate, Planescape Torment and Icewind Dale are all still available for you to play.
      Remember, less is more. Trimming is always better than adding. Art isn't ever finished, only abandoned... etc, etc.

    32. Xofus_avatar.small

      Creator Laurent Maire on May 29, 2013

      Haha, hilarious discussion. No need to take it so seriously guys. It's just a first pass. A concept at best.

      I like the central element. It's compact and clear. I LOVE the columns separating this and the other elements. They bevel the edges and make the UI elements a bit more organic. The portraits could use a something like this (albeit less complex) to soften their lines and make then less square.

      Powers and skills arranged above the portraits is a great idea imo. Much better than the disconnect between character portraits and abilities in some of the older games.

      Sure it's a bit large but I imagine reducing screen wastage is a primary concern to the devs. So undoubtedly this is just exaggerated for the sake of ease of viewing.

      Hey Zombra! Stiffkittin here, howzit? I kinda agree about the statues. They're not too much but they don't really add anything to the overall feel of the UI either.

    33. Missing_small

      Creator keto on May 29, 2013

      I'll say it again in a post all it's own ...

      Pro/Con for/against the UI ... seems to be 50/50.

      I think that warrants at least a revisit on the concept ...

    34. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Keichi Morisato on May 29, 2013

      i don't like the look of the UI personally.

    35. Missing_small

      Creator keto on May 29, 2013

      @Dan ... bingo.

      @Everyone else ... The reason I picked up those IE games when they were released is because I enjoyed the party aspect, the story, the atmosphere ... I enjoyed the spells and the skills and the tactics involved with defeating the scenarios.

      I hated the UI, and they eventually drove me away. Because for every moment I'm having fun? I'm also looking at a UI I don't like. Managing an inventory through a series of screens that feel clunky and are getting in the way of my enjoying the nuances of the game.

      It is very possible, and in fact is implied in the very pitch itself, to recreate the positive elements of those experiences ... without weighing it down with a UI that is big, largely a waste of space, has icons/quick slot layouts that don't promote the utilization of skills in an efficient way.

      @Adam, favorite RPG? ... The Witcher 1 n 2. Both have their flaws ( in point of fact, the UI for The Witcher 1 wasn't all that fantastic, and The Witcher 2's UI made concessions to its porting to consoles that I wasn't a fan of at all ). Legend of Grimrock is a great example of updating the look of a UI, and making a very solid RPG, too. That game evokes the style and feel of old dungeon crawl RPGs, but makes some elegant design choices to keep the UI smooth and clean, but making it easy to see/use and understand within the game-play elements. Vampire: TM:B is also a fantastic RPG: great style, great story, great character choices and presentation. I thought Star Wars Old Republic ( original one, not mmo ) was a good game ... although Republic Commando is a better game, and tells a more compelling story, to me ... although one left unfinished, unfortunately. Incidentally, again, Republic Commando does some very interesting things with the UI and HUD that make playing the game a very immersive experience.

      @Gorbag's first post, you're missing the point. It doesn't matter if that game was "based on/built upon/whatever" an old IE game ... they're making a game from exactly the same genre, utilizing a gobsmackingly overlapping set of features. Therefore, the UI demands are going to line up a whole lot more than your dismissive remark would let on.

      If you want to make the UI elements Look like they came out of an old IE game? ... Fine. But do it in such a way that reflects modern gaming. Put the bar on the left/right. Make the icons/quickbar more easy to read and pick up from the background in dark environments. Make it adaptable to the situation, and take the best of its modern contemporaries to mesh it with the best of what was there before. Just because you are sold on this idea of nostalgia, doesn't mean everyone who backed this project must reload Icewind Dale 2 tomorrow and play that, and any deviations from that game in form or function are mistakes. No. Absolutely not what I heard in the pitch. This is a modern take on it, Reminiscent of those old games. So ... utilize what modernity has given you, stop ignoring it. And recognize the demands of modernity ... ignoring the fact that many of us ( majority, I would say ) play on widescreen monitors ... and then making a UI that occupies 20% of the bottom of that long edge of the screen ... thereby creating a postage envelope shaped gameplay space? Just doesn't make sense to me.

      And why have I suddenly spoke up now? ... Because ... as I said ... I have no desire to see that format of UI. I have no desire to play with a UI stuck 15yrs ago. I have no desire to play a game that forces me to do it. If the game is released with it, and there are no customizable options and no mod support for the UI? It wont be a game I will enjoy, and I'll probably give away my key.

      And while it's easy to point at me as the "only one" who feels this way because I am being the most vocal ( or at least making the longest posts ) ... skim through the comments. I have. We're looking at a 50/50 split on people who like or dislike the UI. And many of us are pointing out the same things ... It's too big, we don't like the colors, there's too much wasted space, we want it on the side of the screen, we want to see some changes in how information is displayed and we want to be able to see the backgrounds unhindered by the UI ... because we love them.

      Go back to my earlier posts. I said "give Kaz a day to come up with something new."

      Did I demand, form a petition, or otherwise saber rattle and make stupid threats about the UI? ... No. I asked for the person behind the UI to be given some creative license to come up with something new. The rest of that dev team has proven to be creative, from the writing to the creature design to the way the engineers made that cool waterfall. Give Kaz a chance to do the same.

      I am voicing my opinion because my opinion was asked for. Gorbag, love it or hate it ... it's my opinion, and I am entitled to give it. They showed us the work, they asked us for our thoughts on what they had done.

      And hopefully she gets a day to try her hand at making something innovative and interesting. Maybe she'll come up with something that evokes your old school nostalgia, but is also a modern take on it and serves modern considerations.

      @Gorbag's second post, now you're just being hyperbolic and not in a very compelling fashion ... so, I'm not going to engage the tangents you're presenting, or postulating that I should support/represent.

    36. Missing_small

      Creator Gorbag on May 29, 2013

      Same here. A matter of personal preferrence that no amount of seemingly objective arguments could justify. The only difference is that I liked the way UI was done and I would not like to see it simplified just because this is how the trend goes now. I liked how they blended in the game, had a distinct look and feel and even sound. This is one of the things that made IE games unique.
      BTW you do realize that they are pre-rendering everything in 3D, right?

    37. Logo_2.small

      Creator Dansgaming (Twitchtv) on May 29, 2013

      The line is simple: What aspects of the older games did i like and what aspects did I not like. What aspects are critical to recreate the experience, and what aspects are not.
      __
      I want the things I liked brought back over, I don't want the things I didn't like because of technological limits brought back over. We tend to look back with rose tinted glasses, but the IE were not perfect games. They were amazing for their time and still fun to this day but there is always room for improvement.
      _
      As for 3d, they simply don't have the budget for that for the size and scope of the game they are trying to make. I would love if they went the way of wasteland 2 and made it all 3D, but I'll settle for 2D if the gameplay and storytelling stay top notch. But these are wants beyond the scope of reality. The UI is something much more simplistic, but still very important as the player will be looking at and using it more than any other thing in the entire game.

    38. 883659762.small

      Creator Zombra on May 29, 2013

      One more note on the UI ... the statues do look cool, but are we really going to "see" them any more after a few hours of play? Better to clear out that space to see the game world.

    39. Missing_small

      Creator Gorbag on May 29, 2013

      Then again they could have made the game in 3D because technology is already advanced way past the flat 2D visuals and they could have made the six companions into one AI controlled henchman as AI is significantly better than it was 15 years ago and two characters are much easier to manage than six. Why don't these throwbacks bother you, but the old school UI does? Is there some unseen line that this addition crossed and where is it drawn? What is considered old school fun and what is archaic outlived stuff?

    40. Logo_2.small

      Creator Dansgaming (Twitchtv) on May 29, 2013

      If they wanted to create a true IE game, they would make the game in the Infinity engine. They are not because technology has improved drastically over the years. You can have an IE throwback game with an updated more modern UI, just as they are enhancing the graphics they should enhance the UI.
      _
      I didn't enjoy Baldur's Gate, Planescape, Neverwinter because of how awesome their UI was, I enjoyed it because of the combat and storytelling that won't be changed because of a more modernized, user friendly, customizable to the user's taste's UI.

    41. Missing_small

      Creator Gorbag on May 29, 2013

      @keto I am only assuming you stand behind your posts, and I read them without going as far as to isnult you.
      Divinity would never stir this kind of argument as it never had much legacy in terms of interface. This game does and there's the difference. It's not just an old school game, it's an IE throwback and you can't have that without the game actually resembling the IE games. Sure, they could remove the statues or shift buttons around or make the panel smaller, but it will be there as it is an integral part of IE. It's not a matter of backer gain, it's a matter of the game being true to its roots. Am I supposed to be convinced otherwise because an arbitrary percent of the posters think differently?

    42. Ice.small

      Creator Adam on May 29, 2013

      keto
      what are your favorite RPG games?

    43. Missing_small

      Creator keto on May 29, 2013

      @Bryce, I backed this project because I want to see variety in gaming. I want to see the resurrection of the RPG genre, and at their core I love rpg games. I want to see a new take on the classic rpg scenario ( a party, a quest, items, inventory, skills and spells ) ... but that doesn't mean I want to see the UI.

    44. Missing_small

      Creator keto on May 29, 2013

      @Gorbag, you're wrong on multiple counts in your post about what I like, expect or otherwise hoped to get from this project.

      Be careful what you assume ... you're looking the fool, there.

      Now go read the rest of this thread where 50% of the respondents are in agreement with me ...

      We want an old school game ... We don't want the old school UI.

      We want something updated, something modern, something that doesn't look 15yrs old in the execution you are saying will be done with today's standards in mind.

      Look at that link I showed you to another "old school" RPG title ... look at the UI. Now look at this one. See the difference? ... No wasted space on statues. I can see the background. Playing to the strengths of the viewing surface. Utilizing the programmers ability to surface and hide elements that are required based upon the situation.

      Now think about how many artists your pledge dollars paid for, and how much of their work you're covering with a gigantic UI from 15yrs ago ... and how much of your funding is being obscured.

      There's being nostalgic ... and there's being dedicated to an idea that can be improved without compromising the integrity of the project.

    45. E-cyclecov.small

      Creator Rob Vespa on May 29, 2013

      It would be nice if the GUI could be sized, repositioned or hidden.

    46. Missing_small

      Creator Gorbag on May 29, 2013

      @keto So you might be at the wrong place then. Grim truth, or something equally poetic. This one is a throwback to all those games you didn't play or like. You can expect it to be somewhat modernized in terms of execution, but you cannot expect it to look or feel much different. That is what they've advertised from day one and that is what it is shaping up to be. You might have wasted your money backing this one if for some reason you expect it to resemble Guild Wars or WoW or DotA or something like that. I'm not saying you did or that such resemblance is out of the question, it's just likely.

    47. Missing_small

      Creator thelastdodo on May 29, 2013

      I really don't like the old-school UI. It fulfilled it's purpose back in the day and characterised the look of the IE games, but it was clunky and took up too much of the screen, much like this one. I'm very much in agreement with those who prefer a more modern, minimalist UI. I could also do without the text box at the bottom (or anywhere else) telling me who hit who: important events can be shown above characters heads, much like in many other games (and the amount of detail should be customisable).

    48. Missing_small

      Creator Bryce on May 29, 2013

      So why did you back this project if you hated the UI enough to not want to play the predecessors? I thought the IE games had very organic UIs personally. There were a lot of icons to navigate, but we were dealing with a 2E ruleset, and once you learn the UI it's fairly simple. I didn't feel it was very intrusive. I don't really have strong feelings about PE achieving it's own style or mimicking the IE games because I frankly feel like it worked for them.

    49. Missing_small

      Creator szpada87 on May 29, 2013

      IMHO the UI mockup obscures the map. Could you make char portrait on the side and skills on the bottom section (BG style) with some transparency? This should result in better view on the battlefield. You shouldn't stack too many UI elements vertically because it will make the game screen wider. We need more of a 4:3 battle map than 16:9.

    50. Missing_small

      Creator keto on May 29, 2013

      @Gorbag ... So, I should play the game with absolutely no UI because I don't like the UI that came with the game. And to do so, I should memorize hotkeys in order to access functionality required for the successful completion of the game.

      And people wonder why the RPG market suffers from inaccessibility.

      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/larianstudios/divinity-original-sin

      Scroll down about half way to see a screenshot of the UI, or watch the videos that show gameplay. Isomentric RPG. Multiple characters in the player's party. Contextual UI that fades in an out as needed ( Dialog boxes ). Portraits along the left side. Skill buttons that are large enough to see, easy to see and colorful enough to stand out against a background. Doesn't take up a huge amount of space on the monitor.

      On a related point, look at how dynamic music works in any rpg game. When combat starts, the game shifts into "combat" mode. The music changes, sometimes the lighting changes, too. The game knows what's going on. An extension of that, in some games, is the surfacing of a combat UI or HUD. I am not asking for the impossible, Gorbag ... to insinuate otherwise is to deny the evolution of gaming.

      Your solution is only a solution if you want to tell your player base that your game is inaccessible, unfriendly and a "take it or leave it" scenario.

      Grim truth? ... I haven't played an IE game since they were released originally. And I never played any to completion.

      Reason?

      The UI was horrific, and I couldn't stand it. I didn't want to look at it any more. I exited the game. I uninstalled it. I put it back in the box. Those boxes are now in storage. BG. BG2. Expansion packs. IWD. IWD2 ... IWD expansion packs. Original boxes, all sitting my storage locker. And I'll never play them.

      Only reason. Bad UI. And your "solution" ... doesn't make me want to run screaming like a giddy schoolchild off to my storage locker to finish any of them. Sorry.

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