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#1184707 thank you!

Posted by J.E. Sawyer on 14 September 2012 - 04:39 PM

To everyone who has contributed, is considering contributing, or is just checking out the site: thank you so much for your interest and support. The site has had some ups and downs due to the high traffic, but we appreciate your questions and comments and will be trying to catch up with them as quickly as we can. To see such a dramatic outpouring of support from the community is truly astonishing. Thanks again.
  • The Guildmaster, Magnum Opus, Jaesun and 263 others like this

#1631723 Controversial Limerick Discussion

Posted by Firedorn on 03 April 2015 - 06:11 PM

"Asked". Meaning "change it or we simply remove it". There was no choice involved for the person.


Actually, there was a choice.  They asked me if I wanted to change in light of what happened.  I chose to change it so that they can concentrate on the game instead of this PR nightmare.  They weren't going to change it, they asked ME if I wanted to.  I can find another platform to write my controversial crap, and I will.  They, on the other hand, did the right thing and allowed me to decide the fate of the epitaph.  I chose to turn into something that made fun of the bitch-bastards that were complaining.


They went above and beyond what I would have expected them to do.

  • Oerwinde, Leferd, kirottu and 155 others like this

#1519097 Pillars of Eternity Early 2015: Beta Feedback and Game Polish

Posted by BAdler on 02 October 2014 - 09:21 AM

Through your help and feedback, the Pillars of Eternity team has spent the past two years creating a fun, fulfilling experience. An open development has enabled us to interact with our fans and backers in a way we weren't able to in the past, and this has really helped shape Eternity into a game that we all hoped it would become.  Plus, with the Backer Beta, we have been able to get excellent feedback from our backers that we are using to shape Eternity into an even better game. We really can't thank you enough.


To incorporate as much feedback as possible, polish every nook and cranny of the game, and make sure we don't ship a buggy game, Obsidian has decided to push the game's release into early next year. We are going to use the extra time to make Eternity shine for our backers, and a game that we were proud to call our own and would live up to your expectations.


Once again, we want to thank you for making this all possible. With your help we can bring Eternity across the finish line.

  • Kevin Lynch, kirottu, ^Rayne^ and 103 others like this

#1973008 The Deadfire Scavenger Codes - Everything we know so far

Posted by Ethics Gradient on 25 January 2018 - 06:40 AM

It's the final stretch before the release of Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire, and for the last few months, @WorldofEternity, @Obsidian, @vs_evil have all been secretly adding codes digital, print, and real-life media.

We didn't know what it was at the time, but they were laying the groundwork for The Deadfire Scavenger Hunt!

Go here and start entering codes:

Below are the codes the community has found, listed in order of discovery:

34/55 codes found. Keep up the chase!


[Cross-referenced Reddit Thread.]

Edit: Topic renamed now that we finally know what's going on with the codes.

  • Powerslave, hyno111, Infinitron and 93 others like this

#1508126 How to Fix the Attribute Design in Pillars of Eternity

Posted by Sensuki on 12 September 2014 - 10:20 AM

Greetings, all. Today we’re going to talk about the Attribute system in Pillars of Eternity. Traditionally, CRPGs have suffered from certain issues with character attributes that PoE’s Lead Designer, Josh Sawyer, believes detract from the character creation and gameplay experience – namely, the problem of certain classes being pigeonholed into pumping certain attributes to function properly, and the existence of dump stats. To that end, the attribute system in Pillars of Eternity is designed with a few fundamental design goals in mind:

  1. All attributes should be useful (in some way) for every class.
  2. No dump stats – that is, no stat should be overwhelmingly better or worse than the others.

These design goals aim to fix some systemic problems with the traditional D&D-based attribute systems. These design goals are admirable and worthwhile, and we believe that if realized, they will make Pillars of Eternity a richer and more rewarding experience. Unfortunately, the current attribute system fails to meet these goals. In particular, Perception and Resolve are simultaneously not useful for all classes/character archetypes, and are also very widely considered to be dump stats in most cases. However, this can be fixed. I (Sensuki) came up with a solution about two weeks ago and after many days consulting with Matt516 on the mathematical, logical, and balance issues with this solution, we have produced this paper.



It contains an introduction (which the text above is an excerpt of) that outlines our proposed changes to the attribute system and three sections. The first section deals with the inherent issues with Perception and Resolve and examines why they are widely considered dump stats by many, and too confusing to bother with by others. The second and third section outline our proposed changes for improving the attribute system, backed by mathematical and logical arguments to declare their balance, in support of their implementation. We also include detailed suggestions for how the game can be rebalanced if these changes are implemented.

Matt516 and I co-wrote this paper, and it represents 10 straight days of work on various calculations, logical and balance issues, and argument structuring. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Matt516 on this, and it would not have been possible without his help. The original idea was mine - but his math and Excel skills, combined with his adept academic writing talent, were paramount in producing the quality of work we have been able to produce here.

I'd like to ask you all, backers and developers alike, to carefully read our paper - not to make any pre-judgements about our solution before you have seen our arguments. We have striven to anticipate issues people may have with this design, and to provide our answers to them in advance.

After you have finished reading through the paper, I'd like to ask you these three questions:

  1. Would you enjoy creating and playing characters under our proposed attribute system?
  2. Do you think our solution succeeds in meeting the primary design goals of the attribute system?
  3. Do you think this solution is an improvement over the current attribute system?


Best Regards
Sensuki (and Matt516)

  • Jaesun, Leferd, GreyFox and 90 others like this

#1367854 Update #63: Stronghold!

Posted by BAdler on 03 September 2013 - 02:03 PM

By Tim Cain, Senior Code Wizard and Systems Designer
Hello! I have spent much of my time for the last few weeks devoted to making the game’s stronghold system, which was one of our Kickstarter project’s biggest stretch goals, into one of the best systems in the game. Josh has created an amazing and detailed stronghold design, with lots of upgrades and activities and random events that really make owning a stronghold fun and exciting. I want to spend this update explaining what we have made in the game, but first, let’s talk about the stronghold itself.
First, a caveat: I am going to describe the stronghold as it is currently designed. This design is mostly programmed already too, but as with all development, it might change as we finish the art and audio, fix any bugs, and tune the game play. So please view this as a snapshot of the stronghold development as it exists today.
You will be offered the stronghold early in the game, before you finish Act 1. But the stronghold itself is old and dilapidated, and you will want to upgrade it as soon as you can. These upgrades will, in turn, open up new activities and events that can happen, which will make the stronghold a dynamic and fun place to own.
So let’s go through the many reasons why you will want to have a stronghold.
There are five bonuses you will receive for getting and upgrading your stronghold.
  1. Resting bonuses. Some of the upgrades to your stronghold will grant temporary bonuses to your attributes or non-combat skills when you rest there. As examples, you can build Training Grounds to improve your Strength or a Library to improve your Lore skill. Some of these upgrades are expensive, but you’re worth it.
  2. Adventures for idle companions. You will eventually have more companions than will fit in your party, so you will have leave some of them behind. While they are idling away at the stronghold, they can take part in their own adventures, earning additional experience for themselves and extra money, items and reputation bonuses for you!
  3. Ingredients. Many of the stronghold upgrades will generate ingredients used by non-combat skills. For example, Botanical Gardens create Survival ingredients over time, and a Curio Shop produces ingredients for use by both Lore and Mechanics. 
  4. Special offers. Sometimes visitors to your stronghold will have rare items for sale, or perhaps they will offer you items in return for something else. Pay attention to these visitors. Some of these items may be nearly impossible to find any other way!
  5. Wealth. Don’t forget that by owning a stronghold, you also own all of the surrounding lands and impose a tax on all of the inhabitants. It will feel nice for a change to have someone recognize your high standing and give you the money that you so richly deserve.
These bonuses all sound great, right? Well, they are great, but they are just the passive benefits from owning and upgrading a stronghold. There are a lot of activities you can do too, once you take possession of your stronghold.
Tim in his typical Stronghold creation attire.
First and foremost, when you get your stronghold, you are going to want to upgrade it. Upgrades are improvements to various parts of the castle, usually to add to the security or prestige of the place. Security affects how much taxes you collect as well as helps reduce the number of “bad” random events, while prestige increases the number of “good” random events as well as increasing tax collections, too. Upgrades can also serve as prerequisites for other upgrades. For example, you cannot build your Training Grounds (and get your Strength bonus after resting at the stronghold) until you have repaired the inner bailey of the stronghold.
Every upgrade costs money and takes time to build, but as long as you have the prerequisites completed, you can have as many upgrades building simultaneously as you can afford. And you don’t have to wait at the stronghold while they are built, either. You can continue adventuring, and you will be notified when they are built.
You can begin collecting taxes from your populace as soon as you gain the stronghold. The amount of taxes you collect increases with your prestige (because people know of you and like you), but the amount also increases with higher security, since some taxes are lost to banditry. You will want to keep both of those values high.
You can also employ hirelings to stay at your stronghold. These people will provide bonuses to your prestige and security, but they cost money to employ. Some will leave your castle if you stop paying them, but others will wait around to get paid again (but not provide any bonuses until they are).
If you have cleared the dungeon and built a prison under your stronghold, then when you are fighting some of the named NPC’s in the game, you will be given an option to take them prisoner instead of killing them. Prisoners are kept in a cell in your prison, where you can visit them and talk to them, and occasionally use them as leverage later in the game. But you will need to keep your security level high, or you might suffer from a prison break!
Finally, several upgrades will produce ingredients used by non-combat skills. This feature, along with upgrades that can improve your skills, makes your stronghold a great place to craft and store items. You can stop by your castle occasionally and make food, potions, scrolls, armors and weapons, and any that you don’t need immediately can be stored in chests and other containers in a variety of places around the stronghold. You know, in case of an emergency.
Which brings us to random stronghold events.
Random Events
As you play the game after getting the stronghold, whether or not you are physically there, you will be told if a random event happens at the stronghold. Sometimes, you will need to deal with the event immediately, but usually you are given some time to decide what to do.
The most common event at your stronghold is having a visitor arrive. There are all kinds of visitors, but they all share one thing. They can adjust your prestige and/or security just by being at your stronghold. Some visitors are wonderful and give good bonuses, and you will want them to stay as long as possible. Some of these visitors can even be employed as hirelings and will stay on as long as you pay them. Others are not so great, and you will want to offer them one of your companions to act as an escort to their next location, or perhaps simply pay them to leave. Some visitors will offer rare items for sale, and some might even offer a very rare item in exchange for one of the prisoners in your dungeon. As you can see, visitors require some decision making on your part.
As mentioned above, your idle companions can take part in adventures as those events arise. You will be informed of what adventures are available, how long they will last, and what the rewards will be (in general terms). If you send a companion on an adventure, he or she is unavailable until they complete it and return with the rewards. You can recall any companions early, but then they earn nothing. Why would you ever want to recall them then? Because your stronghold can get attacked!
Attacks are the most potentially dangerous of all stronghold events. Occasionally troublemakers (of various sorts) will decide to attack your castle. You will be warned ahead of time of any such attack, so you can return to the stronghold and take part in it directly, if you want. Otherwise, the attack is simulated and you are told the results. A well-defended stronghold can repel any but the most concerted attacks, but there is always a chance of damage which can destroy upgrades, kill hirelings, and cost money. The threat of attacks is the most important reason to keep your security level as high as you can afford.
I hope you have enjoyed this sneak peek into the world of Project Eternity and the role your stronghold will play in the game. No matter how you play the game, your stronghold is certain to provide many benefits and also be a lot fun too!

  • Monte Carlo, Kevin Lynch, Gfted1 and 78 others like this

#1591277 Fanart | Custom Portraits

Posted by Wespenfresser on 22 March 2015 - 06:42 PM


If you want to share/repost these:

PLEASE, share them like they are (uncropped) and link back to me(http://wespenfresser.deviantart.com for example)




You may also link to or reblog them from tumblr or facebook. Thanks.



Hey guys!

No idea where to post this, because it doesn't really fit anywhere..


Anyways, I wanted to paint some portraits for some time now, and I finally “found” some time.

I have also seen some people making* some things that might have been custom portraits too, so...if any of you have some stuff to show, bring it on!

(* making as in painting, possibly manips , not “google&crop”..I'm not fond of that, since people rarely give credit and often crop signatures.)


So, here we go! 

Little disclaimer: They are not the same style as the default ones, and might be a little dark/contrast-y.  Also not cropped to proper size yet.

I sometimes didn't know which cues in the default portraits where intentional, and I might have ignored some on purpose. ( I'm dependent on what people are posting, I don't have the BB.)

Just fluffy messing around and twisting some things to my taste. Might still fix some wonkieness.




Intended as first character. Probably cipher, aiming to get a big gun.

Might still mess around with the skin pattern, but I like her.



Death Godlike (Aumaua Bodytype)

Currently fighting with the blue one over my attention. Intended as a Bleak Walker.

I have some spare heads for him, some like the ones I saw, and then ones that make him look more like one of my OCs. :) This is one of the latter. That's also why I rarely paint them though, black-on-black-on-black is just really hard for me to make readable.




Wild Orlan

The most fun one, just because. I like fluffy things.

Made it a little more...you know, less hairy-person like, more.. cute?


I still have a few unfinished ones, and I meant to try and make a little better poses for the one I play first. (I didn't mean to make any interesting poses anyways, but a little different wouldn't hurt.)

Not sure If I'll find time, though. (I might have more time if I wasn*t taking hours to type this...DX DAAAR!)

  • Azzy, TrueNeutral, Buzzn Frogg and 77 others like this


Posted by Sensuki on 28 August 2014 - 08:45 PM

Currently you can use a pistol with a melee weapon.
At the start of combat you fire the pistol, then attack with your melee weapon in the other hand.
Apparently this is a bug? (I think)

The pistol + shield thing is actually a bug. All guns are supposed to be two-handed.

  • agris, GreyFox, ShadySands and 65 others like this

#1609264 Memorials problem.

Posted by Fynnding on 29 March 2015 - 09:10 AM

This is also the first time I've posted here, and I backed the game as well. I love Obsidian games and all of the games made by its employees from before there even was an Obsidian.


Please don't change the memorial. There is currently a high-tension outrage machine tromping through cyberspace right now, and it has set its sights on Pillars of Eternity over one backer's limerick, and threatening to "not buy the game" and trash-talk it over such a miniscule thing.


The person who wrote that Twitter post does not have your or anyone's best interests at heart. Just look through their history.


When I backed Pillars of Eternity, I did it thinking that I could finally help make a game that you would be able to make, totally free of publisher influence. Unfortunately, that was not the only front I should have been looking at.


Changing it will not change their opinion of you. It will not suddenly cause them to buy the game. Their attention will just flit to the next target their mob sets their sights on tomorrow.


On the joke in particular, a fictional man jumping off of a cliff because he discovered that the fictional woman he thought he was bedding turned out to be another fictional man, is not transphobia or transmisogyny. The fictional man is not entitled to sex with the other fictional man, false pretenses or no.


It's ridiculous that I even have to write this post, but please don't change a thing because people are just looking for something to get outraged over.

  • Volourn, Oerwinde, kirottu and 64 others like this

#1591978 Pillars of Eternity Beginner's Guide

Posted by Sensuki on 23 March 2015 - 06:32 AM



Here is my incredibly verbose guide to the Pillars of Eternity Character Creation. It contains pretty much everything you would want to know about making a character for Pillars of Eternity with an interest in mechanics (although I also touch on what exactly is reacted to in the game for RP purposes).

The guide is fully chaptered on the youtube page, so if you don't want to watch it all you can just skip to the info you want to listen to.

The guide is for everyone from completely new players to RPGs to Infinity Engine veterans who may not have the beta. There are many beta backers here that have already played the game, but there might be some information in there worth listening to.

This will be part one of a three part guide. The second part will focus on basic controls, options menu, mechanics and combat. The third will showcase a few encounters with each of the classes and showcase how to play them.

This guide will also be spoiler free if you have already seen the E3 Press Demo from 2014.

I hope you like it, and I hope it helps ease you into the game.

  • Pidesco, Meshugger, Starwars and 64 others like this

#1617087 Teen Modification - Swearing Discussion

Posted by sparklecat on 31 March 2015 - 06:14 AM

Just want to note that anyone who thinks modding out the swearing will make the game appropriate for their non-mature children may want to reconsider that.

  • Monte Carlo, kirottu, Hurlshot and 62 others like this

#1487265 Sensuki's Suggestions #008: A Feedback in Combat Comparison: PE vs IE

Posted by Sensuki on 21 August 2014 - 12:00 AM

Here is a video that focuses on highlighting and targeting characters in combat in the Infinity Engine games and showcases some of the functions that Pillars of Eternity should include in the game.

I also forgot to state in the video that selecting and mousing over a character will give you exactly the same feedback, except that when you mouse over a character, their selection circle will blink. Tooltips and the character's targeting reticle appears both when selecting and mousing over. You will notice this behavior between 2:57-3:03 in the video.

Another thing I forgot to say is that targeting reticles do not appear at all unless you have the characters that are targeting anything selected, but that should be obvious in the video.

Mimicking such combat feedback would help distinguish who is doing what in combat, the lack of this feedback is one of the reasons why people are finding things so confusing.

Not to be rude, but it does make me wonder how often the developers open up an Infinity Engine game when noting down necessary functions. Improvements have been made since this time but videos like this really highlight how many things the Infinity Engine got so right. Lots and lots of modern games don't even have this kind of combat feedback.

I will make a series of combat videos about this topic, it's hard to try and think of everything in the same recording.

I would also like to re-iterate that tooltips should include both Stamina AND Health numbers.
  • Leferd, GreyFox, Lorfean and 62 others like this

#1395775 Update #69: Pillars of Eternity

Posted by BAdler on 10 December 2013 - 01:35 PM

Update by Brandon Adler, Producer


After months of hard work we are happy to present to you with Project Eternity's BIG update. We have lots of stuff to go over, so let's get into it.

Teaser Trailer

Through the hard work of the Project Eternity team we are proud to present our first in-game teaser trailer.



Click to view the gameplay teaser.

New Name

If you've finished the teaser (and you've finished it, haven't you?) then you know we have another big announcement. Project Eternity is now officially known as Pillars of Eternity. In addition to that, we have a nifty new logo courtesy of Kaz:



The new Pillars of Eternity logo.

Backer Portal

Pillars of Eternity now has a new Backer Portal! You can visit it by going here.


First things first, let's get into how you manage your pledges.



To manage your pledge, click the link in the highlighted area.


In the image above you will notice a section outlined in a red box. Inside this box is a link to the pledge management page. There are actually a few different ways to get to the pledge management page (there is also a link on the top bar, for example), but this is the easiest from the home page. Click the link in the box and you will head to the pledge management page.



From this page you can manage all of your pledges or link new ones.

The pledge management page is your first stop in collecting rewards. On this page you can do the following:

  • Review any pledges linked to your account’s email address.
    • Under the Your Pledges section we will list all of the pledges that are linked to the email address you have listed in your account. You can review these pledges and make sure that everything is correct.
  • Link an additional email address to your account.
    • You may have multiple pledges from multiple email addresses that you would like to associate with your account. By clicking the link in the Your Pledges section you can enter in another email address to link to your account. You will then be sent a confirmation email to the address provided. Once confirmed, any pledges linked to that email address will be shown under the Your Pledges section.
  • Confirm what pledges should be used for.
    • If you have pledged an amount equal to your selected tier on Kickstarter or PayPal the Backer Portal will automatically figure out what your pledge should be used for. On the other hand if you pledged an amount different than your selected tier level you will need to specify what the additional money or pledges were intended for. This can be anything from an add-on, to shipping, to a donation. If you need help you can select the option for Obsidian to contact you. We will contact you as soon as possible and get everything squared away. Keep in mind that if you choose for an Obsidian employee to contact you, your account will be locked until a representative has helped you. This is to prevent any incorrect selections.



You can confirm and upgrade your tier on the reward management page.


Next, you will be taken to the reward selection page. On this page you will be able to confirm your reward selection by selecting the appropriate tier listed. If you are eligible for a tier upgrade, you can select one of those options instead of what you originally pledged. Don’t worry about the price differences, we will take care of that when you checkout.



If you missed any add-ons during the Kickstarter, you can add them here.


Did you forget to grab a Pillars of Eternity t-shirt during the Kickstarter? No need to fret, after selecting your rewards, you can choose any add-ons that you would like to add to your pledge. You will find everything from shirts, to mouse pads, to Chris Avellone’s novella.



You can review your order before finalizing it.


Once you are finished choosing your rewards and add-ons, you will have an opportunity to review your order before checking out.



Fill out your shipping info, if needed.


If you have any physical goods, you will need to enter your shipping information.



If you upgraded or added rewards, you will need to pay with a credit card or PayPal.


If your pledge covers all of your rewards and add-ons you have selected then you just need to confirm one last time. If you have selected a more expensive tier or additional add-ons, then you will be prompted to pay with a credit card or a PayPal account.



Fill out surveys for any in-game rewards.


For those of you that have in-game rewards that require your help (Credits, Memorial Stones, NPCs, Items, Inns, Portraits, Adventuring Parties, etc.) or add-ons that require more information (shirts), we have surveys for you to fill out. Just click on the link once you have checked out or go to your profile to find all of the surveys you are eligible for.


Filling out the surveys is as easy as choosing whatever you would like from the various selection boxes and filling out any text for in-game rewards. If you don’t have enough time to fill out the survey in one sitting, just press the save button at the bottom of the page. Your answers will be saved for the next time you enter the survey. Once you are happy with your answers, you can choose to submit your survey.


Congratulations! Your rewards are now confirmed and any surveys you have are filled out. All that’s left to do is check out the areas of the Backer Portal. You can find more information about the game, videos, screenshots, and wallpapers.

Stretch Goal Poll

We've always taken your pledges seriously and we remain committed to giving our backers every stretch goal you reached during the Kickstarter campaign. Budgeting a game of this size can be daunting, but we always remember the cornerstones of our pitch and the features you funded. Even so, there are two things we know a lot of you have asked for: more wilderness areas and more companions. Both of these are very time-consuming, but we understand why so many people want them. Because we've seen these requests more than a few times, we would like to ask the community if you would be interested in new stretch goals to fund additional development. If not, no worries: we're still going to deliver on everything you've backed. Please let us know your thoughts in this threadon our forums.

Interviews and Articles

That’s not all. We also have a plethora of new interviews with members of the Pillars of Eternity team. Check them out below.

GameBanshee Interview
Eurogamer Article

Kotaku Article
PC World Summary Article
PC World Interview
Rock, Paper, Shotgun Interview
VGS - AM 640 Interview (YouTube version here)


That’s it for the update. The Pillars of Eternity team and the whole Obsidian crew would like to thank you for all of your support and help in creating the game over this past year. You can’t imagine how rewarding it is to get to work on this game with all of our Backers. Here’s to another great year!

  • Pidesco, Amentep, Monte Carlo and 62 others like this

#1633845 Twitter outrage over the "[spoiler]" quest

Posted by vattghern on 04 April 2015 - 05:15 AM

Guess that's the next thing they'll secretly patch out since twitter now dictates what content goes in a game.

  • kirottu, Haucusuchus, GreyFox and 61 others like this

#1483683 Please bring back the pencil drawings of items

Posted by Grotesque on 19 August 2014 - 07:07 AM

I really miss the simple pencil drawings of items & weapons in their description windows.

It would greatly increase the feel of a Infinity Engine RPG game.


Those drawings gave items personality because the artist was introducing graphical elements and details to the item that was impossible to reproduce in the engine.


 Gorgon_Plate_item_artwork_BG2.png The_Equalizer_item_artwork_BG2.png Dragon_Scale_Shield_item_artwork_BG2.png Drow_Scimitar%2B3_item_artwork_BG2.png Cloak_of_Non-Detection_item_artwork_BG2. Firecam_Full_Plate_Armor_item_artwork_BG  Boo_item_artwork_BG2.png  Moonblade.png Carsomyr_item_artwork_BG2.png Helm_of_Balduran_item_artwork_BG2.png Crossbow_of_Affliction_item_artwork_BG2. Wondrous_Gloves_item_artwork_BG2.png


Maybe items would not have the extensive lore backgrounds they have in the past games but at least Pillars of Eternity would preserve this exquisite and simple pencil  presentation of them.



EDIT: If you agree and feel the same in this regard, please like this post to send the message across to anyone from the dev team that maybe is reading it.

Thank you.

  • agris, Bendu, Tuckey and 61 others like this

#1609254 Memorials problem.

Posted by Meretrelle on 29 March 2015 - 09:07 AM

Anti-trans joke? Jesus... I swear SJW are compeltly nuts.. it's actually a pretty funny poem and this is me saying, a bisexual who has a transgender brother who doesn't have any problem with this little poem either.

  • Pidesco, Oerwinde, kirottu and 59 others like this

#1465170 Backer Beta: Coming August 18th

Posted by BAdler on 07 July 2014 - 07:43 PM

Hey, everybody. I just wanted to announce that we have decided on a release date for the Backer Beta: August 18th.


We will discuss all of the particulars in a formal Kickstarter announcement, but we wanted you to hear about it first.

  • Pidesco, Bendu, nikolokolus and 58 others like this

#1275041 Cadegund Fan Art

Posted by Staples on 11 November 2012 - 10:01 PM

Here's a digital painting of Cadegund I've been doing over the last few days. I've just been getting really excited for this game and I felt the urge to draw a character. I don't think I got everything accurate from the concept art.

I hope it's ok that I post this here, and I hope you all like it.

Posted Image
  • Jaesun, Director, sesobebo and 57 others like this

#1387948 Update #67: What's in a Game?

Posted by BAdler on 12 November 2013 - 03:24 PM

Update by Brandon Adler, Literal Task Master



Welcome to my world...


As a producer, one of my jobs is creating and understanding the game's master schedule. It's a never-ending task that requires constant refinement and adjustment. Anything that is added or changed can cause a cascade of unintended consequences which is why as game developers we have a responsibility to vet everything that goes into the game.


Today I'd like to give you a glimpse into how we approach game development from a scheduling perspective and what our typical thought processes are when figuring this stuff out. You will be able to see how each part of our area creation fits into the schedule and why changes and modifications can lead to difficult decisions for the team. Hopefully, it will give a bit more insight into the tough decisions that we make each day when crafting Project Eternity.


The Schedule


One thing to remember is that when we are in the middle of production the schedule has already been created for just about everything in the game. What I mean by this is that we have identified all of the major tasks that will need to be accomplished and allotted time and resources in our budgets to match those tasks.


Depending on the team's familiarity with the type of game we are creating, this can mean anywhere from a tiny bit of guesswork to larger amounts of... estimation. With Eternity we are very familiar with what it takes to make an isometric, Western RPG with branching dialogues and reactivity. It's Obsidian's bread and butter. Because of this our initial estimates are good approximations.


Since most of our features and assets are budgeted at the start of the project, any changes to those items have to be accounted for in the schedule. This can mean a few different things - anything from reducing time spent on other tasks, to changing previously scheduled items, to outright cuts - and when changes need to happen project leads consult with each other to try and figure out the best option. Keep this in mind when I start talking about changes to features and assets later on in this update.


One Small Interior Dungeon


Alright, let's stop talking in generalities and get into the meat of what it takes to create a first pass area in Eternity. I'll discuss a generic small interior dungeon area.


This area will have the following characteristics and constraints:


  • Uses an existing "tileset." We don't have tiles in Eternity, but we do have sets of areas that share similar assets.
  • Will have one unique visual feature in the area. This visual feature is something that will make the area stand out a bit. It doesn't have to be incorporated into the design, but we may want to do that to get the most bang for the buck.
  • An Average complexity quest uses this area. "Average" is a flavor of quest in Project Eternity. It refers to the overall complexity of the quest. Quest complexity is determined by the amount of dialogue, branching, and steps a quest has.
  • This is a 3x3 interior. A 3x3 interior is the equivalent of a 5760x3240 render. An easier way to think about it is that a 3x3 area is nine 1920x1080 screens worth of content. You can imagine that making an area even a tiny bit larger can actually lead to enormous amounts of work. As an example, a 3x3 is nine screens of work, where a 4x4 is 16 screens of work... almost double the number of screens.


To create our small interior dungeon area, the following has to occur:


  • An area designer (Bobby Null, for example) puts together a paper design for the area. This is usually part of a larger paper design, but for this purpose we can say that it is a separate element. For a small area like this, a paper design wouldn't take more than a quarter of a day.



Material concepts for a high wealth interior.


  • After the paper design is constructed, it is passed to the area design team for revisions and approval. For the most part, this goes fairly quickly and normally wouldn't take more than a quarter of a day for a small area.
  • A concept artist (Hi, Polina and Kaz) creates a concept for the unique visual element of this area. Let's say for our purposes the unique element is a cool adra pillar that is holding up a portion of the ceiling. This takes half a day to a day, depending on prop complexity. This may seem like a luxury, but making sure that the areas feel cohesive can save lots of revision time down the road.
  • After the concept work is completed, it is reviewed by the Art Director (Rob Nesler) and the Project Director (Josh Sawyer). Any necessary changes are then made before being approved. Overall, it probably takes about a quarter of a day for review and any revisions that need to be done.



An initial pass on a blockout before it has had a review.


  • After the paper design and concepts, an area designer creates a 3D blockout of the area in Unity. This allows the designer to walk through the area and make sure it flows well. This also helps to give the environment artist assigned to the area an idea of where the various elements should be laid out. A full blockout of a 3x3 area normally wouldn't take more than half a day. This is an extremely important part of the process. Sometimes an area seems great on paper, but in practice it is clunky or frustrating.
  • Once the blockout is finished it's passed along to the area strike team for review. The area strike team includes people from most disciplines. This is the point where revisions are performed and the layout becomes finalized. The changes can be as simple as moving some props around or as complicated as redesigning major portions of the layout. Again, for a small area of this size, we aren't looking at more than half a day for all of the feedback and revisions.
  • With the blockout in place, the area can move to environment art (For example, Hector "Discoteca" Espinoza) for the art pass. This includes putting together existing pieces and creating new assets to make the area. A large portion of time allotted to an area is spent in environment art. A 3x3 area that uses mostly existing assets would typically get three days of environment art work, but, because we want to have a cool, unique piece in the area we will add about a day of environment art time. This gives a total of four days for the initial art pass.
  • Like the blockout, the art pass is usually reviewed by the area strike team. Revisions can vary wildly depending on how everyone feels about the area, but it isn't uncommon for another quarter to half a day to be spent on review and revisions for this size of area.



The blockout above with revisions, 2D render, and initial design.


  • Now with the 2D render in place, the area is ready for the real design work to be done. An area designer will typically get about three days to do the first pass on the area. This includes things like a loot pass, encounters, trigger setup, temp dialogs, etc.. Because this area has a quest that is running through it, though, it will get an extra day to work out all of those kinks. That puts us at four days for an initial design pass on the area.
  • Remember the part about this area having a quest? Well, now is when a creative designer (Like Mr. Eric Fenstermaker, for example) comes through to write the dialogs. To be completely honest, this usually comes much later, but it works for our purposes. The narrative designer creates the NPC dialogs, quest dialogs, and companion interjections for the area. Usually an area designer will stub these conversations out and the narrative designer will come in and complete them. Depending on the amount of dialog this should take around a day or two for everything.
  • Finally, a concept artist will take a pass at painting over the final 2D render. This pass is used for "dirtying up" an area and adding in the little details that might be difficult for an environment artist to create. As an example, we can cover up texture seems, add in variation on repeating textures, paint in lighting highlights, and even add things like patina or moss on objects. Due to Photoshop magic from Kaz, we can even propagate those changes into our diffuse maps so they show properly in any dynamic lights. This is a fairly low cost procedure and Kaz can cover a small area like this in about half a day.
  • There are other considerations (Like animation, sound effects and visual effects, for example), but we will stop for now.


So, for those keeping count at home, to get a first pass area that is borderline Alpha (as in no bug fixing or polish work) it costs the project about 13 man days. This is little over one half of a man month of time for a small, simple area. Larger areas with more content take significantly longer to develop.


Our time estimations used for scheduling are determined in preproduction (prepro) phase. Our vertical slice (the end of prepro) is the culmination of the team identifying what it will take to make the game and then actually doing it. We get these numbers by seeing how long it takes the team to perform those tasks in our prepro, and then we can extrapolate those numbers over the course of the time we have budgeted to understand how much work can get done.


Tough Choices


A milestone will have 15 to 20 areas of varying complexity going at a time. A minor change in an area can cause a domino effect that starts schedule slippage. Remember that on a small team like Project Eternity we have a limited number of people that can work on any one part of the game so taking someone off of their current task to work on changes can gum up our pipelines and prevent others from completing their tasks. We can get around that by switching up the tasking, but it can quickly get out of hand and lead to inefficiencies.


That being said it's the team's responsibility to give our backers what they have paid for. If we are playing though part of the game and something feels off from what we promised to our fans, we need to seriously consider making changes - even if it pushes us off schedule. There have been times where an update leads to some serious discussion on the forums and within the team about a direction change. Ultimately all of that gets added into the equation as well.


Taking that into consideration, the team has to make difficult choices every day. Do we go through and do another prop pass on a level? What does that cost us in the long run? Will we lose an entire area in the game? These are questions that the leads struggle with everyday. We are always weighing the cost of assets and features against everything that still needs to get done.


Luckily, like I mentioned above, we have a bunch of smart, talented, experienced people working on Eternity. The pitfalls we have experienced in previous games give us a leg up when we are trying to navigate this project's development. I wanted to send out this update to give the fans a little insight into our daily processes and demystify what probably seem like arcane decisions. If you enjoy these types of updates, let me know in the forums and I will try to write more of them for you.

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#1407663 Update #70: New Year Project Update

Posted by BAdler on 14 January 2014 - 01:44 PM

Update by Brandon Adler, Producer


Hello, everyone.  Like everyone here at Obsidian, I hope you had a great holiday season and were able to gorge on lots of treats and good food. This week I am going to go over a bit about the new Backer Portal (please log in if you haven't already), give a general update about where we are in our production, and show off some of the cool things that are happening in the game. In our next update we will be taking a more detailed look at some of the classes in Eternity.


Backer Info
Just a reminder to all of our backers, if you have not done so already, please head to the Backer Portaland complete your order. All backers need to go through the process so they can receive their rewards - even those that only have digital goods.


To start the process, click on "Manage My Pledge Now" and click on the "Select Reward" button on the pledge management screen. From here, you may select the tier you backed (or upgrade to a new tier), select additional add-ons, fill out any shipping information, and file your surveys.


Also, please make sure you fill out your surveys as soon as you can. If you have an NPC, item, inn, or portrait the sooner you get the information to us, the sooner we can make sure it gets into the game.


If you are having any issues, e-mail us at support@obsidian.net and we'll help you out quickly.


As most of you know, we finished up Od Nua (our mega-dungeon) in our last milestone. I have to say, I think it looks pretty amazing. Currently, the area team is working on our second big city, Twin Elms, and it is looking just as good. Here, take a look for yourself.

Ancient Engwithan ruins near Twin Elms.


Without getting into too much detail, the Area Designers are fleshing out the end of the game right now and everything is really coming together. The area in the screenshot above looks like the perfect place for a big fight, huh?


Our character team has been cranking out new creatures and equipment.


We are almost completely through all of our A priority creatures. Soon we will be working on our B priority creatures and lots of equipment variations.

One of the creatures that was just finished to Alpha quality is the Cean Gŵla. These banshee-like undead are the spirits of women who died under particularly tragic or traumatic circumstances.


Take a look at the comparison images below.

In-engine and concept comparison of the Cean Gŵla.


Most of our UI has either been implemented or mocked up to an Alpha level. The interface that we would like to show you today is the character sheet, which shows character and party information. You can find lots of useful info on the sheet including various party statistics, your reputations with Eternity factions, and character stats.

The character sheet has many useful player and party statistics.


Features have been going into the game pretty regularly.


We just recently moved to Unity 4.3 and, while this might not seem like a big deal, 4.3 has ushered in some long awaited features. Animation annotations, for example, were added to Unity. We can now call sound effects based on specific frames of animation. This makes things like footsteps possible.


A majority of our spells and abilities are in-game and usable. Josh has started auditing them and requesting changes for gameplay balance purposes. Tim has been quite busy with all of the small edits.


Strangely, one of our more minor features has gotten me the most excited. Just recently we have gotten the ability to set custom party formations and I am having a blast testing it out.


Have you been wondering what some of the Pillars of Eternity gods look like? Wonder no more.

Representations of the gods Galawain and Woedica.


Above you will see the representations of Galawain and Woedica, gods in the Eternity pantheon.


Woedica is known by many names including "The Exiled Queen," "The Burned Queen," "Oathbinder," and "The Strangler." Her domains include law, justice, oaths and promises, (rightful) rulership, hierarchies, memory, and vengeance.


Priestesses of the Exiled Queen serve as lawyers and judges in towns and urban centers, and the most prominent among them are advisers to kings and lords. They are of particular importance in the Empire of Aedyr, where by tradition, business contracts always require their endorsement. Her devotees are typically found in the upper classes, but any conservative person who longs for a vanished past will find a place in her faith. “When Woedica takes back her throne” is a common saying amongst her followers, signifying a utopian future when society will be properly ordered once again, and she will take her rightful place as ruler of the gods.


Galawain is patron of the hunt in all its forms, and he is honored by those whose occupations are concerned with pursuit and discovery. His faithful include frontiersmen, constables, treasure-seekers, explorers, and even scholars, many of whom wear his carved symbol – a dog’s head – around their wrist or neck. He is also protector of wild places and untamed wilderness, where the hunt manifests in its purest form as a daily struggle for survival.


That's it for this update. Make sure you head over to our forumsto let us know what you think of anything you see here.

  • kirottu, Bendu, nikolokolus and 54 others like this