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Project Eternity is an isometric, party-based computer RPG set in a new fantasy world developed by Obsidian Entertainment. Read more

Irvine, CA Video Games
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This project was successfully funded on October 16, 2012.

Project Eternity is an isometric, party-based computer RPG set in a new fantasy world developed by Obsidian Entertainment.

Irvine, CA Video Games
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Developer Q&A with Kaz

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Update by Kazunori Aruga, Concept Artist, and Brandon Adler, you-know-what-I-do

Hello, backers. This week we are profiling another talented Concept Artist on Eternity, Kazunori Aruga. While Kaz wears many artist hats his largest contributions are area and UI concepts. Enjoy.

Q: Hello, Kaz. What is your job on the Project Eternity team?

Before I start I want to quickly thank all you awesome peeps who backed our game. I wouldn't be here working on my dream project if it weren't for you all, so thank you for making this a reality!


I have two responsibilities on Project Eternity. The first is supplying the asset and environment teams with concept art. The second is producing art for the game's UI. I'm occasionally tasked with scripted interaction art and will start producing character portraits further down the road.

Q: What are you working on this week?

I've been tasked with inventory and character creation UI. *leaps away as a massive fireball of community UI rage engulfs the land*

But seriously, I appreciated the feedback you all gave us for the action bar and conversation UI. I've taken notes and been implementing ideas that are in alignment with our design goals. As a side note, being a fan of the IE games and having a lot of experience playing them has proven very useful as it helps me identify what worked and what didn’t. I'm sure we all have fond memories of shuffling piles of arrows between characters.

Q: What is your typical work day like on Project Eternity?

My day usually starts by fighting off Robs and Polinas to get to the Keurig coffee machine in our room. Consuming the glorious bean drink allows me access to all two neurons in my head, which I then rub together as hard as I can to start making artwork. My day varies a lot from this point based on the task I'm on. For character and environment work a good chunk of time will be devoted to gathering reference and inspiration, or doing homework on a specific subject. I'll then do a rough sketch pass which gets reviewed by the leads and other artists. When I'm on scripted interaction art I work closely with our designers Bobby and Jorge, and for UI I interface with our project lead Josh and Brian who is our programming intern.

Q: What are you most looking forward to on Project Eternity?

Just the fact that we can put an IE inspired game on the market is enough to get me excited. It's been long overdue. I'm looking forward to seeing all the hard work we are putting in coming together as one complete package, and seeing reactions of people playing the game!

Q: Which concept that you have done has been your favorite?

Artists are typically never happy with their own work. Next question! :p

I've enjoyed working on art for scripted interactions, and been pretty happy with the results. I've also been putting a lot of work into inventory UI recently and am happy with the results coming out of that.

Q: What other projects have you worked on?

Before this job I was up in San Francisco working as a texture artist on a television series called Star Wars: The Clone Wars. I've also done some matte painting work in the film industry.
 

Q: What do you like to do when you aren't chained to your desk by your producer?

My off time often includes episodes of Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, a cold beer, and dual wielding our two resident cats Puddy Tat and Lil'Babs. They are the best. I also have an unhealthy and destructive relationship with Ramen. (No, not the vile instant noodles. How dare you call that Ramen!) Thankfully LA has an abundance of good shops to satisfying my craving.

Q: Do you have a favorite concept artist?

Here's a few that popped into my head. I'll link to their site and save you all a google search.

On the painting and illustration side...

And of course the greats from the past...

  • John Singer Sargent
  • Jean-Léon Gérôme
  • The Wyeths
  • Norman Rockwell
  • J. C. Leyendecker
  • Isaac Levitan

Q: And where do you draw your inspiration from?

Nature is a big one of course. I also think back on how blessed we are with powerful tools like Google image search. We don’t neglect traditional resources, but I honestly can't imagine working at our current pace without it.

Q: What's your favorite Infinity Engine game? Why?

BG1 for exploring the vast wilderness. I can still recall the music and hear the birds chirping in the distance. BG2 is a close 2nd for its story and companions. The only title I haven't finished is IWD2 which I am playing through currently, and I will say I'm enjoying the combat.

Q: Existential question of the day: Who are we and why are we?

We're just here, man. There's no why, everything just IS. You feel me?

Q: Anything else you would like to share?

Long live the glorious PC gaming master race. *lets out a nerdy war cry and bangs mouse and keyboard together*

That's it for this week. Hope you guys enjoyed getting closer look into what Kaz does for us. See you guys in a couple weeks.

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

Comments

    1. Creator Dirk Schlobinski on September 21, 2013

      What a great Q&A. Thanks, Kaz!

    2. Creator descalabro on September 20, 2013

      I always find it curious that people usually resume IWD2 to combat, when the game has upgraded everything from IWD1, specially the puzzles and the way most areas were designed to seem larger and add meaningful playing time to the game. The only "complaint" I could have about IWD2 was that there were much more moments without music when it would have been suitable.

    3. Creator Kazunori Aruga on September 18, 2013

      Edit: @Xanares - I'm comfortable with both to be honest. I'd say line art is a bit easier on the Cintiq.

      @Kaeroku - Yes those shortcuts are already functioning in the current build.

      Hm. I guess there is no way to edit comments here?

    4. Creator Kazunori Aruga on September 18, 2013

      @Xanares - I'm comfortable with both to be honest. I'd say line art is a bit easier on the Cinti

    5. Creator Jean-Luc Picard on September 18, 2013

      Long live the pc gaming master race!

    6. Creator Sir Chaox on September 18, 2013

      Oh, it's one of THOSE updates...

    7. Creator Godewijn on September 18, 2013

      Fun.
      And I loved shuffling piles of arrows.
      In fact, arranging inventories in ultima 7 and the like was like customizing your character before that was possible: if your backpack was arranged just right so everything was perfectly laid out etc.
      Yes I remember fondly the times (no pun!) where I spend hours putting arrows and the like in all containers in my party just right :)

    8. Creator Silver on September 18, 2013

      Thanks for the update. I'd clang my mouse off my keyboard, but I invested too much in them to do that... which is probably equally nerdy. ;P

    9. Creator Jeremie Lariviere on September 18, 2013

      Great update, thanks!

    10. Creator Glen Hewson on September 18, 2013

      @Kaeroku Josh Sawyer has said somewhere on the forums that they've made it so.

    11. Creator Christian on September 18, 2013

      "I'm sure we all have fond memories of shuffling piles of arrows between characters." Hah, so true :)

    12. Creator Kaeroku on September 18, 2013

      @Kaz: I'm echoing Tobi here, I never saw the UI spoiler sadly. So on that note, I don't know if this has already been said or not but: when you do the conversation UI, can you PLEASE make the response options (that in previous UI games have been labelled 1, 2, 3, etc...) mappable to the numpad?

      Sometimes in previous games I've been stuck in conversation loops (I know they're trying to avoid that) or long dialogues which I've heard before and I just want to either Enter to scroll through the "next" prompts or hit 1, 1, 3, 2, 1, 4, 5, 1, 4, 3, 7, 1 to get to the next scene. Clicking is far slower, and us 'powergamers' prefer anything that makes life easier.

      Thanks for your work on this game. We're all looking forward to it (almost?) as much as you are. Congrats on living your dream. :)

    13. Creator Gojal Krogsgaard on September 18, 2013

      Great work Kaz! (Orlen detective huh?) :)

      Was wondering how much of a difference in productivity, enjoyment, greater quality, etc, you get as an artist when working on huge tablets like that vs the good old small and pretty unresponsive ones most people start out with?

      Keep up the great fight for Coffee-machine-justice!

    14. Creator Tobi (Crusader Kickstarter pls!!) on September 18, 2013

      "But seriously, I appreciated the feedback you all gave us for the action bar and conversation UI."

      wut?? there was a preview of the UI? where?? nice update btw! love the concept art!!!

    15. Creator Romiras - Super Mutant of Obsidian Order on September 18, 2013

      The reason I do not read updates btw - I do NOT want to know ANYTHING before I get the game, install it and explore, explore, explore... I've been waiting for this like 14 years...

    16. Creator Romiras - Super Mutant of Obsidian Order on September 18, 2013

      Hey guys, I didn't track progress on this project for quite some time, Did Obsidian send the backer survey, or have the backers website up and running? It's being pretty long time since they were funded...

    17. Creator Johannes 'Waldgeist' Rebhan on September 18, 2013

      Yes. Definitely feelin' ya. :)

    18. Creator Kazunori Aruga on September 17, 2013

      @Shiroco - I backed it in a heartbeat!

    19. Creator Bryy Miller on September 17, 2013

      I.... I want that desk set-up.

    20. Creator Weilard on September 17, 2013

      Like this update. In all old games i love read "credits" because i always want to know - who really do this game for me. Now I have additional possibility to meet with team members. Thanks for this Update. Please don't stop with that! ;) You have a time, and good team... tell us more!

    21. Creator Cutter on September 17, 2013

      His name is Kaz? Is his brother's name Huma? :P And if you're going to be a CRPG artist and reference the greats you need to know guys like Boris Vallejo, Jeff Easley, and Charles Vess!

    22. Creator Nathan on September 17, 2013

      The water tunnel image is absolutely amazing. Instant save-as desktop/phone image! Many thanks for the great update.

    23. Creator Bobby on September 17, 2013

      I made the "water tunnel" image my desktop, you people should release more of the like.

    24. Creator Shiroco-Librarian of Unwritten Tales 542 on September 17, 2013

      @Kaz
      Could it be that you backed PE at the time where you were still working in San Francisco? That would be really awesome ;D

    25. Creator Shiroco-Librarian of Unwritten Tales 542 on September 17, 2013

      Ok, that's it. During that interview I got the feeling that Kaz is a really nice guy and that war cry at the end made me smiling. I'm glad that he's on the project and I can't wait to see the UI he is working on. I wonder if a real trailer would be released this year.

    26. Creator frederic tarabout on September 17, 2013

      " *lets out a nerdy war cry and bangs mouse and keyboard together* "
      Haha that one got me good. This is my new favorite warcry.

      Thanks for the artists websites too, will dig those for inspiration! :)

    27. Creator Kazunori Aruga on September 17, 2013

      Thank you for the compliments everyone. :)

      @Mark Chen - Haha! I actually did. I showed up with some friends but was shocked to learn the wait being close to 2h. We were a bit pressed for time so had to turn back.. Should have avoided peek hours in hindsight.

    28. Creator Charles Burns on September 17, 2013

      "My off time often includes episodes of Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, a cold beer, and dual wielding our two resident cats Puddy Tat and Lil'Babs. They are the best. I also have an unhealthy and destructive relationship with Ramen. (No, not the vile instant noodles. How dare you call that Ramen!) Thankfully LA has an abundance of good shops to satisfying my craving."

      This guy is an optimised form of awesome.

    29. Creator herve 69 on September 17, 2013

      Thank you for a very fun (fight for coffee !) and informative post (artists sites !).

    30. Creator Siobhan Mooney on September 17, 2013

      Great update. You come across as a really cool and interesting person, Kaz. Thanks for sharing!

    31. Creator barbarian_bros- Cayne Corp.Shareholder on September 17, 2013

      19 updates since update 45 (March 6th). Last time we had news about the 'backer portal'. When Darren Monahan said : "it’s still going to be a few weeks as I work everything out, but we’ll keep you in the know", but since, we know nothing more...

    32. Creator Ryan Murphy on September 17, 2013

      Oh wow, this was great haha.

    33. Creator Kahuna Kevin on September 17, 2013

      Ship it when it's done, well. That's all that matters.

      And the first concept (all black) of the demon lord look the best, just change the background to red fire and lava. Black/onyx looks downright evil!

    34. Creator Mark Chen on September 17, 2013

      omg did you go to the ramen yokocho fest in Torrance?? http://www.yelp.com/events/torrance-ramen-yokocho-fest

      also... great update, as always! :)