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Obsidian Launches Project Eternity

TwinBahamutTwinBahamut Staff HealerRPGamer Staff
edited September 2012 in Latest Updates
Obsidian has decided to strike out on its own and make its dream game, free from the influences of restrictive publishers. Naturally, this involves asking fans to give them a lot of money.

[Link]
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Comments

  • TG BarighmTG Barighm Member Full Members
    edited September 2012
    And a lot of money the fans are willing to give. 330K already.
  • NekobasuNekobasu RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited September 2012
    There are 200 slots for supporters to design NPCs and 50 slots to design high-level artifacts.

    Who do I talk to about starting a campaign to convinced everyone who made the $1,000 pledges to name their NPCs Zach? Also, every artifact should non-coincidentally be a magic hammer.
  • DravDrav A Serious Man Full Members
    edited September 2012
    Awesome, except the concept art kind of sucks. Maybe if they raise enough money they'll hire back that guy who did the character portraits for Icewind Dale.

    EDIT: On further investigation it would appear that the guy who did the concept art in that video has worked on all the IE games along with most of Obsidian's more recent games, so I guess he's cool.
  • OcelotOcelot is not declawed RPGamer Staff
    edited September 2012
    Ooh, Amazon Money has mysteriously decided that my credit card is acceptable now. Party time!
    Becky Cunningham, Staff-at-Large
    Twitter: BeckyCFreelance
  • freykinfreykin Member Full Members
    edited September 2012
    Great day for kickstarters, one of my favorites, Planetary Annihilation, just hit every stretch goal as it finished counting down, and then this was announced. Add in that FTL just finished and released their kickstarted game, and the cycle has gone full circle for video games today!
  • JormungandJormungand Member Full Members
    edited September 2012
    Thanks for the link. They've got my money.

    And I've never even played any of those games.
  • DravDrav A Serious Man Full Members
    edited September 2012
    Good news, GOG has a suspiciously well-timed sale.
  • JitawaJitawa Member Full Members
    edited September 2012
    Wow... they're over $800,000.... they're going to hit a million within 48 hours I think.
  • TG BarighmTG Barighm Member Full Members
    edited September 2012
    Heck, within 24 hours. I wonder if that's a record for a $1 million+ Kickstarter.
  • ShayminShaymin The Gratitude Pokemon Full Members
    edited September 2012
    I seem to recall the Double Fine kickstarter made a million in 24h but I could be wrong.
    "The flowers all over its body burst into bloom if it is lovingly hugged and senses gratitude."
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  • AzilisAzilis Member Full Members
    edited September 2012
    They've hit their 1.1 million goal now. First kickstarter I've backed.
  • DravDrav A Serious Man Full Members
    edited September 2012
    Not really surprising, since the marketing campaign was a stroke of genius. Instead of just pitching something to Planescape: Torment fans, they cast the net wider and went for Baldur's Gate* fans as well (fantasy setting, BG listed first in the "spiritual successor" list, lead designer was also the lead designer of the cancelled Baldur's Gate III). People are making youtube videos of themselves donating! I wouldn't be surprised if this ends up being more successful than both Wasteland 2 and Doublefine's game.



    *cue jokes about Obsidian not even being able to make a spiritual successor to their own game.
  • 7thCircle7thCircle RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited September 2012
    ThroneofDravaris said:
    Not really surprising, since the marketing campaign was a stroke of genius. Instead of just pitching something to Planescape: Torment fans, they cast the net wider and went for Baldur's Gate* fans as well (fantasy setting, BG listed first in the "spiritual successor" list, lead designer was also the lead designer of the cancelled Baldur's Gate III). People are making youtube videos of themselves donating! I wouldn't be surprised if this ends up being more successful than both Wasteland 2 and Doublefine's game.
    So you noticed that they said "This 2D isometric WRPG will include influences from [list of every decent 2D isometric WRPG made from 1997 - 2003]." Name-dropping 1 Troika guy so Fallout, Arcanum, and Temple of Elemental Evil can be added to their legacy is pure marketing. The "we've talked to BioWare employees at some point in our lives, so we have a Baldur's Gate connection!" statement is ingeniuosly subtle.

    For me, though, the absurd number of disparate homages is a turnoff. The info on this Kickstarter needs to become more specific to get my money today rather than 2014. Torment and Icewind Dale have nothing in common aside from being 2D and isometric, and claiming to pay homage to both of them in one game leaves me with no clue what type of RPG they're going for. Adding massive, Icewind Dale-like dungeons along with NPCs suffering from Torment-like diarrhea of the mouth into the same game sounds like a disaster to me, not a dream RPG.

    I would have funded a dialogue-heavy WRPG aiming to feel like Torment. I will not pre-order a dungeon crawl like Icewind Dale over a year in advance, no matter how well-written it is. There are plenty of games like that available now.
    The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.
  • DravDrav A Serious Man Full Members
    edited September 2012
    Based on what has been said so far, I'm expecting something like Baldur's Gate 2 with better writing and role-playing. I think there was enough backlash over the lengthier dungeons in Icewind Dale that they won't see anything like Dragon's Eye, and Chris Avellone has mentioned that he's not sure he'd ever try making a game as dialogue-heavy as Torment again.

    But I know what you mean; Obsidian are purposely keeping the details as vague as possible in the hope that we'll just make up the ultimate RPG in our heads and send them all our moneys. At the very least they should provide some sort of Torment-style vision document, as if they were pitching it to a publisher. Unfortunately the bar has already been set by Wasteland 2 and that Shadowrun game, so we probably won't see anything like this for the higher-profile Kickstarters any time soon.

    All that said, I'm a sucker and will be throwing in $80 for the boxed version at some point.
  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited September 2012
    People either have way too much money, or far more faith in Obsidian than the studio deserves...
    Lusipurr.com: One man's monument to himself!
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  • DravDrav A Serious Man Full Members
    edited September 2012
    Not going to argue the "too much money" part, but I think that Obsidian has made enough good, low budget games by this point (Mask of the Betrayer, New Vegas DLC) that they don't require any more scrutiny over this than anyone else. I certainly have more faith in them than anyone else running an RPG kickstarter so far.
  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited September 2012
    7thCircle said:
    So you noticed that they said "This 2D isometric WRPG will include influences from [list of every decent 2D isometric WRPG made from 1997 - 2003]." Name-dropping 1 Troika guy so Fallout, Arcanum, and Temple of Elemental Evil can be added to their legacy is pure marketing. The "we've talked to BioWare employees at some point in our lives, so we have a Baldur's Gate connection!" statement is ingeniuosly subtle.

    For me, though, the absurd number of disparate homages is a turnoff. The info on this Kickstarter needs to become more specific to get my money today rather than 2014. Torment and Icewind Dale have nothing in common aside from being 2D and isometric, and claiming to pay homage to both of them in one game leaves me with no clue what type of RPG they're going for. Adding massive, Icewind Dale-like dungeons along with NPCs suffering from Torment-like diarrhea of the mouth into the same game sounds like a disaster to me, not a dream RPG.

    I would have funded a dialogue-heavy WRPG aiming to feel like Torment. I will not pre-order a dungeon crawl like Icewind Dale over a year in advance, no matter how well-written it is. There are plenty of games like that available now.
    I'm uncertain as to how many of the Black Isles guys went on to work for Obsidian, but Wiki suggests that Black Isle developed Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II (not real BG, but still...) and Fallout 2 (for which Urquhart and Avalone were directly credited), so at least those name-drops seem somewhat permissible...

    That said, all of the shameless name-dropping combined with scant detail indicated to me that the game does not as yet have an identity of its own. As you say, if they had only dropped the name of one gaming classic then it would have meant something, but name-dropping an entire handful of very different games doesn't signify anything in the way of vision or intent. I struggle to see anything of substance upon which all this outpouring of consumer faith could be based on...
    Lusipurr.com: One man's monument to himself!
    9 out of 10 Dentists recomend UNDERBOOB!
  • scorpio_7scorpio_7 Tactic's Ogre I choose u! Full Members
    edited September 2012
    Awesome! Another title to look forward to. I am really ecited about the "return" to this classic type of gameplay. There are several titles in the works now, that are nailling major kickstarter results! With titles such as BGEE, BGEE2, Shadowrun, Dead State, Wasteland, and even the new Xcom game, shows a return to this classic style of gameplay. If anything this style of game is re-emerging. BGEE creators have also stated that they are determined to redo IWD, IWD2, and Torment, as long as their BG games find success.

    In following the creation of the new Xcom game, from the videos, the developers (firaxis) have made statements that big companies won't touch rpg and srpg's, claiming they are not marketable. They were surprised that they got the green light on their (party-based, turn-based, tactical game). But when you look at the success of these types of titles on kickstarters, then it is obvious there is a market for them.

    Anyhow, "hello project eternity! *waves excitedly* Welcome to my wish list!"

    EDIT: Wow, they've already made their goal! Currently at 1.2 mil
  • 7thCircle7thCircle RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited September 2012
    SiliconNooB said:
    I'm uncertain as to how many of the Black Isles guys went on to work for Obsidian, but Wiki suggests that Black Isle developed Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II (not real BG, but still...) and Fallout 2 (for which Urquhart and Avalone were directly credited), so at least those name-drops seem somewhat permissible...
    I know all this. Putting that Urquhart is credited on a Black Isle RPG in italics is adorable. Like if I used a Wiki to tell you Sakaguchi was directly credited on Final Fantasy II. Thanks, though :)

    I meant "Fallout" as in Fallout 1, not Fallout 2, when I said a Troika name needed to be dropped to emphasize it. In JRPG terms, Tim Cain was to Fallout 1 and Arcanum what Kawazu was to Romancing SaGa.

    Dark Alliance had "Baldur's Gate" in the title because it took place in that Forgotten Realms setting, not because of gameplay similarities. Dark Alliance was nothing like BG2. It's like using a Wiki to say PopCap developed Mystery P.I.: Lost in LA, so they have the legacy to make a spiritual successor to LA Noire. Same setting, very different games and also different companies.
    The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.
  • The Last PaladinThe Last Paladin Member Full Members
    edited September 2012
    I don't know about this particular kickstarter. I understand Obsidian is an Independent company, but they're also not really hurting for funding like the smaller independent companies either. When I think of kickstarters, I think of the little guys or the the guys with talent trying to make it. I get nervous when some of the well knowns start doing these projects however. Ah well, as long as I don't see someone like EA or Ubisoft doing Kickstarters all of the sudden, I'm okay with this.

    Also, looks like the game won't be out until 2014, which I'm not really complaining about (my backlog is already big as it is), but it suggests to me that they got a looong way to go in the game development. Makes me wonder just how flush out their idea is for this game.
  • scorpio_7scorpio_7 Tactic's Ogre I choose u! Full Members
    edited September 2012
    The Last Paladin said:
    I don't know about this particular kickstarter. I understand Obsidian is an Independent company, but they're also not really hurting for funding like the smaller independent companies either. When I think of kickstarters, I think of the little guys or the the guys with talent trying to make it. I get nervous when some of the well knowns start doing these projects however. Ah well, as long as I don't see someone like EA or Ubisoft doing Kickstarters all of the sudden, I'm okay with this.

    Also, looks like the game won't be out until 2014, which I'm not really complaining about (my backlog is already big as it is), but it suggests to me that they got a looong way to go in the game development. Makes me wonder just how flush out their idea is for this game.
    If I understand correctly, Obsidian (being a developer) is doing the kickstarter to get funding to start and develop their project (otherwise they would need a company to publish the game for them). Hence a lot of companies will not fund a title like this anymore, therefore the kickstarter can alleviate this issue.

    I'm sure obsidian has money, but to get a game funded without them having to use their own resources is obviously more fiscally sound for the company.

    For example, Obsidian developed Dungeon Siege 3... but it was published by Square Enix. Fallout New Veges was developed by Obsidian, but published by Bethesda.

    So the developer needs funding from the publisher... with no publisher they need to get money from somewhere. Just because a developer has a big name... doesn't mean it is guaranteed to get every game concept funded/published.

    I'm sure Obsidian could easily get funding/publisher for say fallout 4... but for an original IP, based on an older style of game, doubtful.
  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited September 2012
    7thCircle said:
    I know all this. Putting that Urquhart is credited on a Black Isle RPG in italics is adorable. Like if I used a Wiki to tell you Sakaguchi was directly credited on Final Fantasy II. Thanks, though :)

    I meant "Fallout" as in Fallout 1, not Fallout 2, when I said a Troika name needed to be dropped to emphasize it. In JRPG terms, Tim Cain was to Fallout 1 and Arcanum what Kawazu was to Romancing SaGa.

    Dark Alliance had "Baldur's Gate" in the title because it took place in that Forgotten Realms setting, not because of gameplay similarities. Dark Alliance was nothing like BG2. It's like using a Wiki to say PopCap developed Mystery P.I.: Lost in LA, so they have the legacy to make a spiritual successor to LA Noire. Same setting, very different games and also different companies.
    Oh, I see that my use of italics has left you with your Woman's period, I'm sorry for that. I just thought that it stood mentioning that they were a little more entitled to name-drop the Fallout and Baldur's Gate franchises than you had initially let on to. I do apologise if all this has left your bottom sore, matey.
    Lusipurr.com: One man's monument to himself!
    9 out of 10 Dentists recomend UNDERBOOB!
  • NimNim _ Full Members
    edited September 2012
    I haven't donated yet, because I don't know if I should go for the $500 or $1000 tier. Decisions, decisions.
  • 7thCircle7thCircle RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited September 2012
    SiliconNooB said:
    Oh, I see that my use of italics has left you with your Woman's period, I'm sorry for that. I just thought that it stood mentioning that they were a little more entitled to name-drop the Fallout and Baldur's Gate franchises than you had initially let on to. I do apologise if all this has left your bottom sore, matey.
    The tone was silly condescension, not menstruating butthurtness. I was giggling while writing it.
    The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.
  • DravDrav A Serious Man Full Members
    edited September 2012
    The Last Paladin said:
    Also, looks like the game won't be out until 2014, which I'm not really complaining about (my backlog is already big as it is), but it suggests to me that they got a looong way to go in the game development. Makes me wonder just how flush out their idea is for this game.
    The April 2014 release date strikes me as really, really optimistic for this kind of game. That would be equivalent to the amount of time The Temple of Elemental Evil was in production, which was notoriously buggy and generally unpolished (weak writing, terrible voice acting etc.). I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up being more like January 2015.

    And yeah, Josh Sawyer has confirmed that the game is still very early in production.
  • Rya.ReisenderRya.Reisender Member Full Members
    edited September 2012
    The time put into a game doesn't really have to mean much. There are games from "Make a game in 168 hours" contests that were good and bug-free and had no budget at all. Here we are talking about a game where you have more than a million $ to spend for the development.
  • DravDrav A Serious Man Full Members
    edited September 2012
    This isn't a fishing game, and it isn't being made by art grads who'll work for food.
  • Rya.ReisenderRya.Reisender Member Full Members
    edited September 2012
    Still. I know how much progress I can make if I work 16 hours every day on an RPG. If I imagine other people would do the graphics and music (and dialogues) for me and I didn't have a job, I could probably make an amazing 2D RPG with 100 hours gameplay time in just a year.
  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited September 2012
    Rya.Reisender said:
    Still. I know how much progress I can make if I work 16 hours every day on an RPG. If I imagine other people would do the graphics and music (and dialogues) for me and I didn't have a job, I could probably make an amazing 2D RPG with 100 hours gameplay time in just a year.
    Umnn OK? Regular people, even those who are workaholics don't tend to work 16 hours a day 7 days a week.
  • Rya.ReisenderRya.Reisender Member Full Members
    edited September 2012
    It's just me doing games when I have a "phase". =p

    Bigger companies would just hire more people to multiply the time they can work on a game.
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