Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
F4b7ac6d0da458bfd4f18cafa49627cd original
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.

Production 01 - State of the Project

3 likes

Update by Brandon Adler, Producer

Hey, everyone. As you know, over the past six weeks we have been working on our first production milestone - the cleverly titled Production 01 milestone. Our first target has been Defiance Bay (our first BIG city) and the team has been busting their collective butts to get as much fantasy roleplaying goodness as possible into the city.

In George Ziets' own words, "Defiance Bay is the capital and largest city in the Dyrwood, gateway to the riches of Glanfath, teeming with adventurers and explorers from all over the region. Defiance Bay is a city of the common people, where the most prominent and respected citizens are self-made men. It stands at the forefront of experimentation in soul magic and exemplifies the age of discovery."

A ton has been accomplished in a pretty short amount of time and we would like to share some of it with you.

New Hires

April Giron

April is our new Art Intern. She has been doing an amazing job in creating the interiors that populate Defiance Bay.

Holly Prado

Holly is an Environment Artist that joined us about a week ago. She has already made a large contribution in filling out the existing areas with new props.

Matt Perez

Matt is a new Design Intern. Along with creating NPCs, quests, and blockouts, he also does maintenance work on areas (hooking up transitions, loot passes, encounters, etc.).

Ryan Torres

Like Matt, Ryan is one of our new Design Interns. He also creates dialogues, quests, and blockouts.

Brian Macintosh

Brian is Project Eternity's Programming Intern. While he has been implementing many features, he most closely works with the Concept Artists to get our UI to Alpha.

Areas

Art

The Environment Artists have wasted no time in constructing an expansive Defiance Bay. For this first milestone our target was to get three of Defiance Bay's districts to Alpha level quality. It was a little ambitious, but the team did really well. The city feels full of life and character. I am pretty impressed with the speed that the team is able to get all of this together.

Design

While the Environment Art team is busy filling out the visuals, the Area Design team is meticulously planning and executing quests, NPC dialogs, and other goodies throughout the city. They were able to get three of the city's districts completely blocked out in under a week. Considering the size of the city, it is a pretty good accomplishment.

Two of those districts are now at an Alpha level and even at an early stage, are a lot of fun to play. In addition to that, our two new Design Interns - Matt and Ryan - have been filling in the areas with smaller quests and NPCs. It is really starting to make the city feel alive.

Characters

Creatures

The Concept Artists, Animators, and Character Artists have been burning through our creatures. We are taking a different approach in Project Eternity than we have on other projects. Instead of taking a creature from concept to a final, polished product, we have been taking creatures to a blockout stage before moving to the next.

This allows us to get creatures into the game much more quickly. It also lets us be more flexible with how we spend our polish time. Overall, we think it will lead to a better experience.

Even with this short amount of time, we have been able to get about eight different creatures into the game.

Since it would be pretty mean of me to talk about the creatures without showing one, here is a small taste of one of my "favorites" - the wicht.

I think Josh's description says it best: "Wichts are the bodies of children that were born without souls, grew to adolescence, and were then possessed by a malevolent lost soul or soul fragment that has been artificially inserted through animancy. This process arrests their physical development and transforms their outward appearance, leaving no doubt as to what they are."

Items

In addition to the creatures, our Character Artists have been filling out the remaining armor sets that are left. We have all of our basic armors in place for all of our races. This is a pretty significant feat this early in the project. Now that we are done with the base item and armor sets, we can focus on making magic and unique variants.

Features

Journal

We now have a fully functional quest journal in place that allows players to see their quest progress. The UI is currently being implemented, but it is looking great.

Conversations

While we have been getting more and more Alpha UI into the game, I was particularly happy with how the conversation UI came out. Take a look for yourself, though. Even though this is still a work in progress, I think everyone did a great job. Let us know what you think of the conversation UI in our forums.

Stronghold

Tim went on a tear and got most of the backend systems for the player stronghold in place. There are a ton of really fun things you can do with your stronghold like sending companions on missions, buying rare loot off of merchants, building upgrades, and even purchasing hirelings to defend your keep from attack. Watching Tim's stronghold get robbed blind because he has low security and high prestige never gets old.

World Map

Eternity now has a fully functional world map. When the party enters a qualifying transition, the world map appears. Players can then select to travel to a location by selecting that icon on the map.

Fog of War

One focus for this milestone was to get our Fog of War system in place. Beyond a few tweaks, Adam is pretty close to slaying that beast. It's a really robust system he created that takes some inspiration from rogue-like games. Using Adam's tool, designers can quickly create a fog map, edit it, and set locations that should only be revealed at specific times.

AI

Steve, our AI Programmer, has been putting work into spellcasting AI this milestone and it is coming out nicely. Enemies are more crafty than they were now that they are casting spells intelligently. There's going to be even more AI work - roles for our enemy AIs, for example - put into our next milestone.

10k Backer

We had our first $10,000 backer, Timothy, come for a visit. We all had a blast and it was great to meet one of our fans and show him the game. We even have a picture of Timothy preparing for Josh Sawyer's inevitable betrayal.

Josh Sawyer on Game Design

Lastly, I will leave you with a video that Josh put together about the importance of real-world knowledge in game design. Take a look.

 

Stop by our forums and let us know what you think. See you in a couple of weeks.

Dmitry Eliseev, TOD, and 1 more person like this update.

Comments

    1. Creator Themis on September 2, 2013

      Just putting one more voice on the font selection. Please, if you intend to invest on writing text that is worth reading don't prevent as reading it with gimmick-y goth-y fonts. Clean, configurable, good-sized fonts are so much better. The screenshot above scared me.

    2. Creator Chase Carnevale on September 1, 2013

      Timothy looks exactly how I expect a man with 10k to spare and the name Timothy to look like. Still, good for him, and good for PE. Keep up the good work.

    3. Creator Jessica on September 1, 2013

      @Richard Luijten: In German it means everything from "Little Kid" (the perfect translation would be "nipper". It's dialect.) to condescending terms for small people (or sometimes just pitiful people). I suppose here they're using the one for kids.

    4. Creator Jess Montgomery on August 26, 2013

      Great video and so true, the simple logic of reserching your idea is lost on some people.

    5. Creator Christopher Wolfe on August 23, 2013

      I thought the video was great. A lot of it seems obvious, but I never thought of it, so I can't say how obvious it was. Anyway, there wasn't a hint of being talked down to, he was speaking extemporaneously, rather than a prepared presentation, so there is that.

    6. Creator Lastan, The Penultimate Castoff on August 22, 2013

      BTW love the evil-overlordly moment with the cat. <3

    7. Creator Lastan, The Penultimate Castoff on August 22, 2013

      @Chet: I don't think Josh is talking down to us. But given your conjecture you may have been the boss for too long, I'd say it's not the *mutual* respect you're used to if Josh's tone irks you.

    8. Creator dungeoncrawl on August 21, 2013

      @chet - I don't get that impression at all. He seems very conversational to me and is speaking to us as equals. I'm glad he's not in 'upbeat selling mode' but rather conversational. I really enjoy the updates and feel like if I were sitting there and had a question, I'd get a straight well explained answer.

    9. Creator Mark L on August 21, 2013

      Ikanreed-
      Not sure I understand your point. The text that is descriptive is not set off by quotation marks - the actual dialog is, because it is what is being said by the characters. Presumably, if a scene had more description and less dialog, there would be fewer sets of quotation marks. I don't see a problem with using quotation marks to set off quotes. It did seem that the given example was a little choppy, and several quotes could have been combined into a longer narration, but I presume this is just a quick example, not a representative of the final product. I mean, we're not even close to alpha yet, right? Lots and lots of changes ahead.

      I agree with those that are saying a clear, easily legible font is important. I understand that this is just an early example and not final, but I hope the designers resist the temptation to use fancy, curlicue and Gothic fonts, and opt instead for simple, easily read fonts. Some ability to adjust the size would also be welcome.

    10. Creator Josep M. Pons on August 21, 2013

      Hm...

      The chat area wories me. At usual chat areas in rpgs of this style have two issues:

      1. Non easy readable fonts. Please tell me that I will be able to change the font, what I see is very unconfortable to read...
      2. Fixed size fonts. It is no problem when the game launchs (at usual) but after some years... and the game allows bigger resolutions (better computers) it becomes a big issue.

      Please tell me that you will let us change these values in configuration menu :)

    11. Creator Lukas on August 21, 2013

      Text on plain background only, please.
      Different font would be nice too.

    12. Creator ikanreed on August 21, 2013

      It's not a matter of liking or not liking. I do a lot of descriptive writing for my own pen-and-paper games. It's more a matter than when 90% of your lines are surrounded by quotation marks, they stand out in a really jarring way.

    13. Creator Mordred on August 21, 2013

      Ikanreed-

      Just no. If you don't like descriptive text then that's ok but it's fine to me.

    14. Creator ikanreed on August 21, 2013

      The most disconcerting thing to me is the example dialog, with its use of quotes in a way that feels redundant. Video games are a definite show-don't-tell genre, even more than most, and if you feel its important that a character DOES something, they need to do it in game, not just in text. If its not that important that they do it, but adds character, give them dialog that alludes to it rather than stating it as an objective fact. It's disconcerting and, I hate to use this term, immersion-breaking.

      I mean, as a developer I understand the difference between test data and real data. Pre-edit dialog, and post-edit dialog are also understandable, but I really hope that's not representative of the underlying style of writing that goes it. It will deny a great deal of the potential of the "quipiness" feel that Baldur's Gate managed.

      I'm probably worried over nothing though.

    15. Creator Kaspi on August 21, 2013

      I really hope the interns are not only getting paid but will also in the end become permanent employees for your company (or at least do mandatory internship for their studies). I'd hate to support another game company that just exploits motivated people with high hopes because they are even cheaper than the regular guys. Been there and don't want to see it happen ever again...
      We are talking about a > $70 billion industry here. That should be enough money to pay a decent salary and provide permanent work contracts.

      Besides that: good work, keep going!

    16. Creator Gera Hmurov on August 21, 2013

      Please make the text bigger for HD monitors. Recently released Shadowrun was uncomfortable for reading due to small letters.

    17. Creator Chet on August 21, 2013

      I seriously doubt that this is how he talks to everyone, granted this is how he speaks to us in the videos though.

      I could be wrong and you may know him personally Matt, if so thank you for the insight.

      Please don't misunderstand my post, like I said, he is a fantastic game developer and is holding the reigns of what very well may be the next Baldurs Gate.

      And as Paydirt76 had suggested, I tend to stop the videos and just read the up date shortly after hearing him speak.

      Then again, maybe I've just been the boss for too long and am used to experiencing a mutual respect when receiving a report on the status of a project.

    18. Creator Matt Baker on August 21, 2013

      That's just how he always talks. He's not "talking down" on anyone.

    19. Creator ivanhoe1982 on August 21, 2013

      The dialog interface is 1:1 with the PST one as far as I can tell; I was toying with an RPG prototype sometime ago, and also took PST as a template, down to fonts and colors; this looks pretty much exactly the same;

      it's proven, and obviously works, but I wonder if this isn't too 'old school'

    20. Creator paydirt76 on August 21, 2013

      @Chet He's explaining what he does for work. He's sarcastic and has a dry sense of humor. It's hard to explain what you do for creative work on a granular level w/o starting at the basics. I learned from it and appreciated it. This level of transparency is something that was promised (I think?) with the Kickstarter campaign. I think it's cool.

      Also, if you don't like the videos, don't keep watching them :P

    21. Creator paydirt76 on August 21, 2013

      I want to order food and drinks.

    22. Creator Chet on August 21, 2013

      Can't edit comments, so I meant "our" way, darn iPad types what it wants.

    23. Creator Chet on August 21, 2013

      Maybe it's just me, but does anyone else feel as if Josh Sawyer is talking down to us?

      I can't help but always get the feeling that someone just spent an Eternity, (heh heh) convincing him that he should take some time and talk to us common folk.

      He always seems to have the attitude, well like someone forced to explain something to someone that he feels is beyond their comprehension.

      I get it Josh, you're a freaking genius, no kidding you really are and are certainly due a great deal of respect, but maybe throw a little are way too. :)

    24. Creator Jeff K on August 21, 2013

      I'm in agreement with a previous poster... I hope you're paying your interns. You take pride in doing this project the right way, and it'd be great if that extended to the way you treat the interns!

    25. Creator Willie on August 21, 2013

      Thanks for the update. Seems like the game is coming along nicely. Dialogue interface is also looking good, I approve.

    26. Creator Jon Austenaa on August 21, 2013

      About the keep and defending it, will we se a small horde of weak and not so bright enemies attack the stronghold? Maybe 15-25 or more creatures, depending on the cpu and gpu resourses you have in your budget. I remember I edited BG2 so when the brat of a man roenal arrogantly attacked my keep, he had with him a small army.

      Oh how fun iy was to see ensuing slaughter by me fireball and chain lightening spells. Gibs and physics can be very fun.

      Yes I kinda missed the groups of weak enemies you would encounter in BG1 if you where at a relatively high level.

    27. Creator Richard Luijten on August 21, 2013

      P.s. 'Wicht' means something like 'bitch' in Dutch. I am amused.

    28. Creator Richard Luijten on August 21, 2013

      This whole 'interns writing quests and dialogues' thing sounds really weird to me..is that usually what happens? I mean I'm sure they're very talented but isn't that sort of stuff usually done in-house?

      Great to read update though, it sounds like everything is moving along so well and the shot of that conversation UI makes me happier than a puppy wrecking a pair of loafers. Keep up the great work!

    29. Creator Rinu on August 21, 2013

      The cat is seriously the best part of this update :3.

    30. Creator Anthony Gosselin on August 21, 2013

      Damn, every time I read about Eternity, I just want to play Baldur's gate once again, but I have no time right now !

      I hope Defiance Bay ends up being at least as good as Athkatla in BG2 !

    31. Creator Theobeau:OOoE\Mad man with a box/Exiled on August 21, 2013

      Great update!

      The details regarding Defiance Bay were fascinating and left me keen to see the final product.
      The background regarding the wicht was unexpectedly sad, which could easily make for an interesting quest.

      Also: didn't know that J.Sawyer is such a double crosser!

    32. Creator Silver on August 21, 2013

      Great update, thanks for the detailed info!

    33. Creator Spot On J2K on August 21, 2013

      Your updates are always outstanding. Keep up the great work Obsidian!

    34. Creator Interstellar Marine on August 21, 2013

      thanks for the update!

    35. Creator Michael Melnikoff on August 21, 2013

      Looking good.

    36. Creator William on August 21, 2013

      Is that the board game "Betrayal at the house on the hill" ? :) Thats a fun one.

    37. Creator Cheesenium, Cheese Exiled in Torment on August 20, 2013

      Thank you for the update! Cheers.

    38. Creator Nicholas Russell on August 20, 2013

      Cool to hear Matt Perez has left Capcom to work on actual game design. Talk Radar was awesome with you man!

    39. Creator DeeK on August 20, 2013

      Cheers for the update. Good to know that everything is rolling along nicely.

      It would be good to put faces to the new hires. Would make them seem more like people, than words on a screen. Something for future updates, I suppose.

    40. Creator Dawn_ on August 20, 2013

      Seriously there is an intern called Macintosh who's a programmer ? : P

      Isn't that..what you should call destiny for him ? XD

    41. Creator Cutter on August 20, 2013

      Yes, pay the interns...in beatings! I'm a firm believer in the hands-on management style of 'the beatings will continue until morale improves!' Yes, the filthy lucre is a great motivator but nothing quite ensures the response of 'How high?!' when you tell them to jump or know they will suffer the lash! Rum, sodomy, and the lash, gentleman! And not necessarily in that order. If it was good enough for the British Navy for 200 years it's good enough for some damn interns!

    42. Creator Jean-Luc Picard on August 20, 2013

      The interns are probably being payed with "real world knowledge" that will serve them so well in future endeavors. :P

    43. Creator Drew Foster on August 20, 2013

      Sounds AMAZING!

    44. Creator Jack Hepburn Raine on August 20, 2013

      Great update and cool video keep up the great work, few more pics be nice and hope we get a peek at the city sometime.

    45. Creator Max Robitzsch on August 20, 2013

      Hey guys, great to hear about progress.

      Just a slightly off-topic question: You ARE paying your interns, are you? They aren't just "getting valuable experience" out of it (though I am sure they are getting that in plenty too).