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Posted by J.E. Sawyer on 14 September 2012 - 04:39 PM
Posted by Karranthain on 16 September 2012 - 03:32 PM
Do I need to say more?
Posted by Staples on 11 November 2012 - 10:01 PM
I hope it's ok that I post this here, and I hope you all like it.
Posted by Karranthain on 16 September 2012 - 02:19 PM
Certainly looks better than this :
Second example :
In the examples, I've juxtaposed somewhat ornamental and a bit fantasy looking pieces of equipment with ones that look more like toys (which I consider to be a general tendency in fantasy cRPGS). Is the continuing urge for so called "epicness" really worth it? I think there's plenty of historical (and not so historical) arms and armour to draw inspiration from. Non-practical equipment is a real eye sore most of the time, IMHO.
And yes, I realize that the game is isometric, and we won't see arms and armour in great detail - but that'll only make the task that much easier.
While we're at it, please consider using something similar for item descriptions :
Posted by Shadenuat on 17 September 2012 - 08:15 AM
Posted by The Guildmaster on 29 January 2013 - 05:49 PM
Click for full size image
As some of the keen-eyed among you noted from last week's update, there was an unfamiliar portrait in our work-in-progress tileset screenshot. We read the debates and viewed the Blade Runner-esque enhanced images that followed with interest. Good work, sleuths, the character pictured is, in fact, an orlan. This orlan is engaged in some important work in one of the Dyrwood's busiest cities. Here's the full-sized portrait for your continued speculation!
Ziets on Pantheon Design
Hello all. This week, I will be writing the update, and we’ll be starting to talk a bit about world development. For a designer, this is the fun part, and it’s a surprisingly rare opportunity.
On all my previous Obsidian projects, the team has worked with an established IP (intellectual property) like the Forgotten Realms or Fallout. We’ve always had a wealth of existing lore to draw upon – cities, towns, characters, history, gods, etc. Sometimes we’ve worked in an area of the world that hadn’t been seen in a CRPG before (as in NWN2: Mask of the Betrayer), which gave us the opportunity to extrapolate beyond what was already established... but otherwise, we were working with established material and trying to be true to existing lore.
In contrast, Project Eternity is an entirely new setting that we’re creating from scratch. And at the start of development (around the end of the Kickstarter campaign), we didn’t have much more than what KS supporters have already seen: a map, a few high-level ideas about races, nations, and technology level, and the idea that souls play a major role in this world.
So where do we go from there?
Building a Pantheon
One of our first steps was to think about gods. Deities can be a good starting point when developing a world. They reflect the views and beliefs of the world’s inhabitants, and they can inspire ideas for characters, organizations, and conflicts.
You’ve already heard a few of our gods mentioned in passing: Magran, goddess of fire and war; Berath, god of cycles, doors, and death; Eothas, god of light and redemption. Josh invented these gods when he was first developing the world, and they play important roles in the region where the game will be set. But we’ll need a lot more gods to fill out the pantheon.
Here are a few of the elements we consider for each new deity:
- What is the god's name, and what are his/her "aliases" (e.g., "The Twinned God" for Berath).
- What is the god's portfolio? That is, what aspects of life or the world do they represent (e.g., mortality, greed, summer, commerce)?
- What allies and foes do they have amongst the other gods?
- What are their symbols?
- How do they manifest in the mortal world?
One other thing to bear in mind: for the most part, our deities aren’t good or evil. They’re somewhere in between – closer to the multi-dimensional gods of the ancient world. Every deity has his or her own agenda, which isn’t bound by notions of alignment. Sometimes they can be helpful and benevolent. Other times – not so much.
Woedica – "The Exiled Queen"
All the preceding info is important, but I wouldn’t want to leave you without revealing an actual example...
A lot of my design ideas start with a visual image. That applies to characters, locations, even narrative. I’m not sure where most of them come from, but examining them more closely will usually lead me to develop stories to explain who they are and where they came from.
One of the first images that sprang to mind was an old woman – a dethroned queen – wandering along an empty road in tattered finery. Despite whatever horrors she had suffered, she maintained a certain stubborn dignity, and she carried a heavy book of law.
I felt like this goddess could cover a range of portfolios, and I liked the idea that the deity who was the "rightful ruler" of the gods (in her mind, at least), had lost her throne. That may have some interesting implications for the way in which mortals view the world.
So what was her story? According to her followers, she had once claimed rulership over all the other gods. But if that was true, she was cast down in the far distant past. Among the other gods, she has no real allies, believing that all the gods owe her fealty. She claims the portfolios of law, rightful rulership, memory, and vengeance. And she manifests in the world as the Strangler, a leathery-skinned old woman, always clad in tattered finery, who appears on an empty road or abandoned alleyway to murder those who break a solemn oath.
Her Aedyran name is Woedica, which evokes the “Old English” feel of the Aedyran language. (Maintaining a distinct sense of national/ethnic language and culture is important to us – more about that in a later update.)
There’s a lot more to tell about the Exiled Queen and the other gods (some of which aren’t even “human”). But that should give you a taste of our creative process. We’ll have plenty more to say about world-building in future updates.
Posted by salty on 17 October 2012 - 03:00 PM
Hopefully the majority of your backers
Posted by norolim on 25 September 2012 - 03:41 AM
Because translation is free, right?
Again. You are being ignorant and selfish. The game is not just for you. You didn't buy the rights to it, when you pledged. Translations cost money, but they also widen the reach of the game and consequently produce more income. Simple math. So, please stop being selfish and ignorant.
Posted by Darren Monahan on 09 April 2013 - 08:34 PM
Update by Josh Sawyer, Project Director
Welcome. Today's update is a big one, though not by volume of text. Today we’re showing you our game in action. Specifically, we're showing what we've been doing for our exterior environments. The Infinity Engine games were known for their art, and we wanted to hit the high standard of visual quality established by games like the Icewind Dale series. We also wanted to introduce dynamic elements into the environment that were mostly absent from the classic games, like dynamic water, movement in foliage, and dynamic lighting of the scene.
In a 2D game, this required our programmers and artists to come up with some creative solutions. What they came up with surprised us initially and it continues to amaze us. While we are still working on refining some of the dynamic elements, we're very happy with the progress we've been able to make and hope you feel the same way. Special thanks to Hector Espinoza, our lead environment artist, and Michael Edwards, our rendering programmer, who did a lot of amazing work to bring this environment to life.
Thanks for reading, thanks for your feedback, and we'll see you next week.
Posted by J.E. Sawyer on 17 September 2012 - 02:47 PM
The maximum party size is the player's main character (PC) and up to five companions for a total of six characters. This does not preclude the addition of temporary characters in special circumstances. Companions are never forced on the player. Players can explore the entire world and its story on their own if they so choose. We feel companions are excellent sounding boards for the player's (and other companions') actions, but the story is ultimately about the player's personal conflict among the larger social and political complexities of the world.
A key element of the classic party-based tactical combat that we are developing is the use of party formations. As in the good ol' games, you can arrange your party in a large number of set formations. You can also construct your own formations if you want to get fancy. When moving companions, you have the ability to rotate formations for more precise positioning.
At a minimum, players will be able to specify their main character's name, sex, class, race (including subrace), culture, traits, ability scores, portrait, and the fundamental starting options of his or her class (gear, skills, and talents). We have not worked out customization details of character avatars, but we believe those are important and will be updating on these specifics in the future.
In Project Eternity, companions exist for both narrative and mechanical purposes. Companions are designed to have a driving interest in the player's central conflict. Their personalities and motivations open plot branches and generate conflicts for players to resolve over the course of the story. They are highly reactive to the player's actions and to the world around them. Additionally, companions exist to give players strategic management options in party composition that expand the party's capabilities in exploration, combat, and quest resolution. It is no coincidence that there are at least as many companions as there are classes. As stated above, companions are not required to play through Project Eternity's story, but we feel that they can add greatly to the experience.
The player witnesses an extraordinary and horrific supernatural event that thrusts them into a unique and difficult circumstance. Burdened with the consequences of this event, the player has to investigate what has happened in order to free themselves from the restless forces that follow and haunt them wherever they go.
The Nature of You
Your character is not required to be of any particular race, cultural background, sex, class, moral outlook, personality, organization, etc. The premise is that you are a victim of circumstance. How you choose to deal with your situation is up to you. You can bear it with stoicism and restraint or fly off in a rage at anyone who gets in your way. The world will react to your choices, but the game is designed to give you the freedom to play your character the way you want to.
We are still developing the races of Project Eternity, but we are creating a range that encompasses the recognizable (e.g. humans, elves, dwarves), the out-of-the-ordinary (e.g. the so-called "godlike"), and the truly odd (?!). Races and subraces differ from each other culturally, but the races also have different physiological factors that can contribute to friction and confusion between them.
Within even the recognizable races (including humans), we are creating a variety of ethnic subtypes and nationalities. This world's races did not all spring forth from the same place, and millennia of independent development have resulted in distinctive and unconnected groups. For example, the dwarf ranger below is originally from a southern boreal region that is quite different from the temperate homes of her distant kin to the north.
Additionally, Project Eternity's world contains some isolated races and ethnicities, but transoceanic exploration and cultural cohabitation have heavily mixed many racial and ethnic groups over time. This mixing is not always... peaceful. At times it has degenerated into genocide and long-standing prejudices are ingrained in many cultures.
That's all for today's update. We'll have more information on the world and systems in the near future. Please give us your feedback and thank you for all of the ideas and support you've given so far!
Posted by Adam Brennecke on 04 December 2012 - 05:51 PM
Right now, my intent is to bring you up to speed on what we’ve been doing for the last several weeks. It’s called: laying the groundwork; building the foundation, or doing the nitty-gritty.
Often, when starting a project, the artists and I just want to start drawing sh-ssstuff. Especially with contracted 3D games, we have a basic idea of the world we’re making, an initial list of some of the things in it, the basic parameters for making assets, and so we just get started. With Project Eternity, we are starting the development of a rich storied RPG from scratch, zilch, nada. Oh, and we rendered that really cool image for you all at update #20, and so we felt we could take a step back--Waayyy back.
We are stepping back some years in visual “perspective”: to a fixed isometric view--so, NO “perspective”--of an essentially two-dimensional world. The traversable environment is pre-rendered to a high degree of realism, but we’re using a modern 3D game engine: Unity, for 3D characters, creatures, effects and animated props to be rendered in real-time and to assemble it all together, seamlessly. With this decision we’ve opened up a whole kit and caboodle of possibilities in terms of visual fidelity, occlusion, lighting, effects, and physics. At the same time, we’ve created some immediate technical problems that needed to be solved, before we could all go out and start making sh...‘er...stuff.
If you’ve been reading/watching Josh’s updates, you must understand that we are creating a brand new yet substantially familiar RPG experience essentially out of thin air, complete with a fully realized fantasy world, including new rules, new races, new places, new nations, new lore, new creatures, new story, new characters, a whole new combat system, with specific armor and weapon types, new this, new that, and a whole bunch of other new stuff--really we’re creating everything from nothing but what spews forth from Josh’s blazing fingers and angelic vocal cords. “How does that work?” you ask. Well, I’ll tell you: what happens is we all sit around a fire, in a far off and desolate wilderness, as he chants: what things were, and are, and what will be and sometimes why. We listen, we ask questions, and we discuss. We in turn, propose thoughts and ideas that are considered, further discussed, sometimes dismissed, but also sometimes gathered up and swirled into the glowing embers of this primordial glowing emergent world that is floating--NO!...LEAPING!!--out of the creative fuel, breath of air, and heat of our collaborative works. As well, we’ve decided to abandon the application we would normally use to create everything, for a supposedly-more-popular-more-capable app, and nobody really knows how to use it...
...BOOM! Yep, I just wrote and you just read THAT!...
...So, with our new software: Maya (the old software was Softimage) we’ve been making test worlds--we call them gray boxes. We’ve been making test characters--we call them gray characters. We’ve been giving them gray animation, we’ve been giving them gray (actually sometimes white, we’ll make some black ones too, we’re not racist) weapons, and we’ve been inserting them into our prototype worlds to prove to ourselves and you, that we know what we’re doing, and to lay the groundwork for expanding these vacant golems into player and non-player characters, that can interact with the world and other characters in a more meaningful and varied way--you know: picking up stuff, and hitting others with it, and taking their stuff and putting it on, or selling it--oh yes, and with color! Just kidding! Haven’t you been reading what I’m writing: this game is going to be DEEEEP!
So what the hell have art people been doing??
We have a very talented lead character artist, named Dimitri, and yep, he’s Russian, but he doesn’t speak it so well anymore--his mother is not happy about it, more on that later. In addition to a tremendous amount of early help getting basic traversable geometry, with a rendered scene that occludes 3D characters when they walk behind things (in essentially a 2D world--remember!) he’s been establishing the basis for weapon, armor and equipment attachment on our player characters, with Adam. As part of that he has to write documents. Booo!!! Documents Buh-LOWW!
Our other Character Artist; James is from China, but says he's from Fresno. He is essentially Dimitri's slave and willingly does whatever he’s told to do, because he doesn’t have to write documents. I sometimes give James direction, but I’m pretty certain that Dimitri tells him to ignore me immediately after I’ve left their office. Remember Dimitri is Russian, so he’s a little controlling, very direct and has high expectations. This isn’t a problem, however, because a) it’s his job and b) it just so happens that James is pretty good and making characters. He made our first character Edair, who can be seen running around with a morning star flail the size of a medicine ball--not his fault. He seems to know Maya better than Dimitri, but let’s his boss learn the hard way--keeping his ear buds in, pumping up the volume, and modeling and texturing his cares away. He’s making gray weapons now. For some reason Dimitri speaks Russian expletives perfectly.
Mark is our Lead Animator, and he knows his sh-tuff, but he made the Medicine ball. Needless to say, he will not be asked to make any more weapons. No no, it just so happens, that he was making it so he could test physics on weapons. So, it’s all good--we don’t care what things look like right now, we care about making things that matter, and making them right. Lately Mark has been testing cloth physics on our characters, as well as physics on weapons, and attachments. Prior to that he was building a basic set of traversal animations and getting them into the game. Crucial.
Antonio is our Technical Animator. He makes rigs, writes scripts that make rigs, and rigs the rigs. It’s all very technical. You wouldn’t understand. He’s a professional.
Polina is our concept artist, and is the only one really making pretty pictures, and you've seen a lot of her work, already.
Kien is currently on loan to Project New York, aka. The Stick of Truth. Don't worry, they are paying for him. We use code names for our projects, because we’re professionals. Project Eternity (also a code name) is Project Trenton. BOOM! Yep, you got it! And nope! I’m not gonna tell you any more about that.Environment Artists:Sean is making a dungeon! He’s been working with our programmers to come up with the correct way to build a massive and awesome level so that we can do all we need to do, as big as we need to do it, and in as little time as we can do it in. Again, crucial. Minecraft is his best friend.
Hector, our Lead Environment Artist is on a sabbatical. Yes! we get those here, again, because we’re professionals and only sometimes. Nobody knows why or how, but we're certain it's painful. And boy! is he in for a surprise when he gets back; he loves Softimage. People on sabbatical don't get images of their work posted.
Okay, so that’s it.
Oh, what about me? What the hell have I been doing all this time? That’s a really good question. Aside from running around and keeping everybody busy and doing meetings and stuff, and writing this update, I've been developing a style guide which involves a bunch of meetings and discussions, and I've been drawing a few things, which I will show, if I'm allowed, in the next art update.
Update by Rob Nesler
Posted by Death Machine Miyagi on 03 November 2012 - 07:06 PM
Posted by J.E. Sawyer on 19 September 2012 - 11:36 AM
Posted by Karranthain on 19 September 2012 - 11:01 AM
They were used to emulate the Pen and Paper experience, with the narrator substituting the Gamemaster.
The aim was to let our imagination work, and I must say it worked rather brilliantly. This technique was used very effectively by Obsidian in MotB (much better VA certainly enhanced the feeling) :
Most importantly, such method is fairly cheap and quick. Hence why it was used in the older titles, but I believe it's a viable artistic choice.
On that note, bring back Rodger Bumpass back!
Posted by Monte Carlo on 02 November 2012 - 10:47 AM
I've just left my wife, who has kicked me out of my crenellated condo. She also got both my horses and the magic boots I took of that Mind-Flayer in .92. Bitch.
Anyhoo, I've just bought a new racing chariot, yeah I know younger adventurers like them but after I got that druid to cast a spell on my greying temples I just feel.... invigorated. That elf chick at the tavern has noticed too.
So, here I am, aged 40, which is the new 20, right? Right?
Can't wait to get into that dungeon. OK, that old arrow-wound to my knee plays up now and then, and I like to get home in time for eight hours sleep, but there's still plenty of life left in this old dog!
Posted by Madzookeeper on 02 October 2012 - 01:42 AM
that's really all i have to say about anything right now. but think about it, and try to not just react to information that you receive. try to think about what it means before you post. emotional responses aren't going to help anything, and might make this whole thing a big mess. and i don't think anyone here wants that.
and maybe if you have to overreact, or just react to something in a negative way... keep it in here so it doesn't clutter up discussion, or make it so that we end up talking about it for pages trying to clear up a misunderstanding or misread word? come back with a thought out comment and concern. not "o noes! the sky is falling!"
Posted by Alweth on 21 September 2012 - 04:14 PM
I don't care which you include. Maybe you should have a poll and only include the most popular race and class.
Also, I don't like doing sidequests, so none of those, please, and no extra regions. I find a world-map that's too large to be confusing. Please make the main quest the best you absolutely can. Maybe you can release sidequests for those who want them as DLC later.
There should be exactly 5 characters that will (not may) join your party. I want every moment of gameplay specifically crafted for my exact party, with each character chiming in with the perfect dialog at exactly the right time. Obviously, once you start multiplying party makeups, there's no way you can make so many different cohesive narratives on such a small budget.
Please, please, please no multiplayer. I'll never use it. I would prefer that you focus on making the game the best that it can be when experienced by exactly one person. You basically have to make the whole game over again for each additional player you allow.
I don't know what other features you're planning to add, but I would really prefer that you focus on crafting the best versions of the features I am going to use and leave the others out.
Oh, I almost forgot. I am a male that is almost overflowing with testosterone and manliness. If I am not looking at a humanoid female's sexy body I have to immediately leave the computer and go do adult-things with my girlfriend. I will not be able to spend the 15 hours I expect the main quest to take looking at a tiny digital man-butt. For this reason I expect to play as a female. Please remove all other sexes.
Her name will be Alwethia. Now you won't have to waste your tiny budget programming a field to enter the PC's name.
EDIT: I plan to have my character look like the babe in my avatar picture. I don't know what she's from, but if it's not a copyright issue, please use that image for the PC. Otherwise, something as close as possible.
Posted by Darren Monahan on 07 May 2013 - 05:09 PM
Hello! I'm sorry I haven't done an update in a while. I've been working on classes and everything related to classes: abilities, skills, spells, combat...you know, the good stuff. For the past several months, Josh and I have been refining the designs for the non-core classes, the classes that are most unusual, classes like the chanter and the cipher and one of my favorites, the monk.
Monks in Eternity are different than you might expect. There are no restrictions on armor and weapons – you could wear plate and use a sword, if you wanted to, and the talent system is flexible enough so you could build a great monk that specialized in that gear. But at the core of this class is a little rule about how monks take damage. You see, when a monk gets hit, only part of the damage is inflicted on him or her immediately. The rest is redirected to a Wound, which is an effect that causes damage over time (called a DoT effect) to the monk. That slowly-ticking Wound would only seem to be delaying the inevitable result except for one thing: the monk can get rid of that Wound by using special attacks.
The monk gets all kinds of cool special attacks that do extra effects beyond simply damage and, as a side effect, also eliminate his Wounds. Some of their special attacks include:
- Torment’s Reach - this ability increases the range of melee attacks by 200% for a short duration. Enemies between the monk and his or her target are also attacked. Costs 1 Wound to activate.
- Turning Wheel - if the monk suffers from a DoT effect (including Wounds ticking down), he or she adds a proportional fire bonus to his or her melee damage. This is a passive ability which works automatically whenever the monk has any DoT effect.
- Clarity of Agony - when used, this ability cuts the duration of hostile status effects in half. It lasts for a brief amount of time, halving both incoming effects and ones that are currently on the monk. Costs 2 Wounds.
And as monks level up, they get more than just these special attacks. They can gain room for more Wounds, so they can have more of them at once to use at the same time for an extraordinarily powerful attack or use them across multiple special attacks. Monks can also change how their Wounds function. For example, they can choose to have their Wounds do less damage at the start and more at the end, so getting rid of them faster is advantageous. Monks can also choose to do their damage sequentially, letting the monk build up a lot of Wounds to fuel a crazy powerful ability and not take much damage for doing so.
So as a monk, your goal is simple: you want to take damage, so you get Wounds, so you can perform extraordinary attacks. But remember when I mentioned the monk in plate mail using a sword? Sure, you can do that, but that plate armor will inhibit your ability to get Wounds, which means you don't get as many special attacks. And unarmed attacks are among the fastest types of attacks, so a weaponless monk can get rid of his Wounds faster than any armed monk, so he will suffer very little of their damage-over-time effects. That's like having extra hit points for free! FOR FREE! Who wouldn't want that?!
This is why you see a lot of unarmed and unarmored monks running around. Not because the rules say you can't use those items, but because in most situations it's one of the best ways to play. An unencumbered monk can be a terror on the battlefield, a nightmare that just won't seem to die, no matter how hard he gets hit. Blows that seem like they should kill him only serve to make him stronger.
Trust me, you are going to love playing a monk. But if you ever feel the need to use a magical sword for its raw damage potential or wear enchanted mail to gain fire resistance for battle with a dragon, you can do that too. Because Project Eternity is all about bending the roles of each class, so you can play how you want, resolve conflicts how you want and solve problems how you want.
After all, this is *your* game.
Concept artist Kaz Aruga has been developing the look of some of Project Eternity's various cultures. So far, he's created concepts for people from the Dyrwood, the Vailian Republics, the Aedyr Empire, and the Valley of Ixamitl. We hope you like the range we've come up with. Let us know what you think!
Posted by J.E. Sawyer on 27 September 2012 - 09:42 AM
Posted by The Guildmaster on 11 October 2012 - 10:14 AM
The campaign is winding down folks, so it's time to bring out the proverbial big guns. In today's update, I'm going to be talking about a bunch of lore tidbits, a Campaign Almanac we'll be offering as an add-on, new BIG OL' stretch goals, and finally, a work-in-progress screenshot of an environment we're developing. As a quick reminder, we are getting close to 20,000 likes on Obsidian's Facebook page, which unlocks another level of the Mega Dungeon the Endless Paths – if you get the chance, please head on over there.
That's a lot of stuff, so let's start with the...
After thinking about a variety of topics for today's lore update, I decided to describe some of the major (and a few minor) people, places, and things in the world of Project Eternity. I hope these elements help frame the landscape of the Dyrwood and Eír Glanfath. Though this corner of the world is not particularly large, the struggles of its residents will surround the heart of Project Eternity.
Aedyr - People from the expansive Aedyr Empire and its former colonies, Dyrwood and Readceras. Aedyr literally translates as "Many Deer", but means "People of the Deer", referring to a 2,500 year-old tribe that became a kingdom 600 years ago. It merged with the elven kingdom of Kulklin in 2399 AI. Among the Aedyr, there is no significant cultural divide between humans and elves. Because of their close contact and integration in spite of physiological differences (such as longer elven lifespans), their culture and legal system have developed a variety of unique concepts such as the haemneg, or ceremonial marriage. Ethnic Aedyr (mostly humans and elves) have fair skin and a variety of hair and eye colors, with blue and green being common. Among other cultures, Aedyr clothing is known for being relatively simple in construction and often using large, colorful striped or checkered patterns for accents.
Anni Iroccio - Year of Iroccio. This is the commonly-used calendar in and around the Dyrwood. It is only 150 years old and Vailian in origin, but has been adopted by the residents of Dyrwood and much of the surrounding area due to the hopeless inaccuracy of the Aedyre calendar. Though the Iroccian calendar replaced earlier Vailian calendars, the inventor, Iroccio, started from the same time as his predecessors. It is currently 2823 AI.
biamhac - The most feared phenomenon of Eír Glanfath, biamhacs are "spirit winds" that rise up in cursed ruins, shearing souls away from the bodies of their owners. They appear suddenly and without warning, leaving victims little hope of escape. Strong-souled people are not harmed by biamhacs, but affected individuals are instantly reduced to a catatonic state. The discovery of numerous biamhacs in Eír Glanfath during its early exploration resulted in thousands of Aedyr deaths.
Dyrwood - Strictly speaking, the forest northwest of the Bael River.
Dyrwood, Free Palatinate of - The independent nation that was formerly a colony and later a large, remote duchy of the Aedyr Empire. Led by their duke, Admeth Hadret, the people successfully fought for their independence over an excessively burdensome campaign to colonize the dangerous ruins of Eír Glanfath. Despite the fact that they are no longer, properly speaking, a palatinate (nor a duchy), the people of Dyrwood continue to refer to their home as a "Free Palatinate" out of pride. Most residents of the Dyrwood are Aedyr humans, elves, and dwarves, but many are also culturally integrated orlans or children of Glanfathan elves. Despite having fought a war with the Aedyr Empire in the past, they are now trading partners and have maintained few grudges. Their one continued point of contention is exploration and colonization of Eír Glanfath, which Aedyr continues to push through official and unofficial means.
Eír Glanfath - The name natives give to an indeterminately old elven kingdom that covered the entire forest southeast of the Bael River. Though they were not technologically advanced compared to contemporary civilizations, they had accomplished a number of architectural and astronomical feats that explorers and scholars are still trying to understand. Whatever the extent of Eír Glanfath's kingdom was, its ruins had been abandoned for centuries, possibly even millennia, before Vailians or Aedyr arrived in the area. The so-called "Glanfathan" elves in the forest seemed to have no cultural connection to the kingdom and were living in nomadic communities instead of the old structures. Eír Glanfath's ruins are not understood by anyone, and early misinterpretations over their significance resulted in two small-scale conflicts: The Broken Stone War and The War of Black Trees, the latter of which ended with a fire that consumed a vast section of the Dyrwood.
Eothas - The Aedyran name for a god of light and redemption. While worship of Eothas is still popular in the Aedyr Empire and Readceras, the faith is outlawed in most cities of the Dyrwood due to events of the Saint's War that culminated at Godhammer Citadel. Though Eothas once communicated regularly with his faithful, he has not done so since the destruction of St. Waidwen at the Battle of Godhammer over 200 years ago.
Hylspeak - An old dialect of Aedyran only spoken by rural communities and older elves in the Aedyre heartlands. It is grammatically almost identical to Aedyran, but contains a large number of archaic words that have either disappeared from contemporary use or taken new forms over time. Speakers of contemporary Aedyran can understand Hylspeak, but it can sometimes be confusing. Hylspeak is only commonly heard in folk songs and poems that have survived over the centuries. Some people associate the spontaneous speaking of Hylspeak with an awakened soul. As a result, superstitious folk are easily angered when they hear it spoken, believing it may cause their soul to remember a past life.
Magran - The Aedyran name for a goddess of war and fire. Her priests commonly employ firearms and some helped construct the "Godhammer" bomb used to destroy St. Waidwen. Following the Saint's War, she became the most popular faith in Dyrwood. In Aedyr, her symbol is a flame, but in Dyrwood, it is a flaming bomb. Worship of Magran is extensively persecuted in Readceras.
orlan - A race of people found mostly in northern, temperate climates but also as far south as the Dyrwood. Physically, they are notable for their small stature, two-toned skin, and exceptionally large, hair-covered ears. Due to their size, orlans have been victimized and marginalized by most of the cultures with whom they have come into contact. As a result, it is rare to find large communities of them and they have progressively retreated into heavily wooded environments over the last few centuries. Many orlan communities have also adopted brutal guerilla tactics including heavy use of traps and poison in the surrounding environment. As a result, even orlans raised in urban cultures often share their rural kin's nasty reputation.
Readceras, The Penitential Regency of - The ecclesiastic nation that was formerly an Aedyre colony and later an independent theocratic dictatorship (the Divine Kingdom of Readceras). Two centuries ago, a popular religious movement took hold in the countryside, in part sparked by the collapse of the nation's vorlas (purple dye-producing plant) market, its resultant poverty, and general civil unrest. The leader of the movement was a farmer named Waidwen who claimed that the Aedyre god of light, Eothas, had appeared to him in the night and told him to punish the colonial governor for leading the people to ruin. Waidwen's success led to his apparent transformation into a living vessel for Eothas, after which he became the first and only "divine king" of the country. His rule produced a subsequent purge of heretics and followers of other faiths across the nation. Events related to this purge led to the Saint's War with Dyrwood, which informally ended in 2618 AI when Waidwen was apparently destroyed by a massive bomb north of Halgot Citadel (popularly renamed Godhammer Citadel).
svef - Svef is the Aedyran name for a potent narcotic produced from the berries of small shrub that grows in the dry, distant mountains of Tal Kness. Svef produces hallucinations and, according to some, allows users to actually see their own soul. The narcotic was introduced to the Aedyr long ago, but it is used more frequently in the Dyrwood due to its heavy trafficking by Vailian merchants.
Vailians - Most Vailians come from the Vailian Republics, a federation of independent city-states made up of former colonies from the Grand Empire of Vailia. They are a powerful mercantile force in the southern hemisphere, trading with more partners than any other nation or empire. Five cities are considered "grand" republics and have greater voting power in their electoral council: Spirento, Ancenze, Selona, Ozia, and Revua. The federation is widely known for its access to most major commodities in the world, including slaves, and for its habit of impressing (abducting) foreigners into service on their naval vessels. Ethnic Vailians (humans and a small number of dwarves) have dark brown skin and tightly spiraled, dark brown hair. They most commonly have brown or black eyes, but occasionally have green, hazel, or grey eyes. Vailians pride themselves on their well-made and intricately-decorated clothing, often made with rare materials and dyes to which they have easy access.
That's a lotta lore! There's more lore where that came from, but to encapsulate all of the things going on in the world at this time, you'd probably need more space, like a book. Maybe a...
Was that an awkward transition? A little. Is this actually an almanac? If you look at a "dictionary" to get "definitions", probably not, but that's what we're calling it. It's a PDF (and other formats) compendium of facts, figures, maps, lore and more about the world of Project Eternity. Looking to run a PnP campaign in the world of Project Eternity or just want even more detail on the world? This will be your first, of what we hope is many, "go-to" sources. And it will be a real (digital) thing that you can add to any pledge for $15. Also, if you've already pledged at the $50 tier or more, you get it for free!
Big Ol' Stretch Goals
You've asked for big stretch goals, and we're finally ready to give you some. These are mighty stretch goals, ones we're confident that a lot of people will enjoy but we know require serious funding to do well.
$3.0 Million - Stronghold
At $2.0 Million, your support funded a player house. Inspired by features like The Sink found in Fallout: New Vegas Old World Blues, the house is a convenient place to store gear, interact with companions, craft items (thanks to the $2.4 Million stretch goal), rest, and buy and sell from special merchants. Some of you wanted something that went beyond the standard player house, allowing you to take control of a full stronghold and its surrounding lands. Well-done strongholds provide players with the ability to make large scale changes, undertake special quests, customize the contents of the stronghold and the surrounding environment, and engage in light strategic gameplay between adventures. If we hit $3.0 Million, we will build a stronghold worthy of the title!
$3.5 Million - Big City #2
Baldur's Gate and Athkatla are big cities. Spanning multiple large maps with a ton of interiors, characters and quests, big cities are a lot of fun. Like strongholds, they also take a lot of work to do well. We're going to have one big city in Project Eternity. Would you like two? If you take us on an exciting adventure to $3.5 Million, we will take you on an exciting adventure to another big city.
Project Eternity's team of crazed environment artists have been working hard on developing our first environment for the game. Early on in the Kickstarter campaign, we told you that we wanted to make maps the Infinity Engine way. That is, we wanted to build 3D levels, render them out as 2D images, and then have our artists paint in beautiful details, highlights, and color-tweaks before they went into the game. Looking back at the levels some of us worked on for Icewind Dale, we were still thrilled with the quality that we could achieve with this approach. For Project Eternity, we're using 10 years of improvements in rendering technology and hardware to get the job done, but we still love what we can do the "old-fashioned" way. We hope you share our enthusiasm.
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That's all for today's update! Thanks for reading.
Update from Josh Sawyer