Jump to content

Welcome to Obsidian Forum Community
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

Update #46: How (Proto-)Typical

project eternity prototype darren monahan

  • Please log in to reply
98 replies to this topic

#1
The Guildmaster

The Guildmaster

    Administrator

  • Admin
  • 635 posts
  • Location:Orange County, CA
  • Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

Update by Darren Monahan, dinosaur fan
 

pe-screenshot.jpg
Yep, you've seen this before - but not animating!

 
In this week’s update, we’re back with me for one more! We’ll cover what the team’s up to currently.
 
To start, every one of Obsidian’s games goes through a series of phases. Those phases, chronologically, are: Prototype, Vertical Slice, Production, and Finalization. At the end of each phase, the team and owners do an analysis of the progress; we verify that we’ve hit key goals, and (hopefully) officially move the project into the next phase.

Prototype!
So where are we at on Project Eternity?

We’re coming to the end of the Prototype phase. While you might think of a prototype as something you would consider before making a game, in our case, we use the term to mean a demonstration of the game that, when successful, demonstrates the game’s vision (AKA “pillars”) and concept. For Eternity, one of our biggest pillars is to recreate the Infinity Engine experience. To that end, we need to have a number of key things in place to make sure our prototype is a success. Things like:

  • Character movement and combat. We want to make sure we have a party of up to six characters, each of whom can be moved independently and/or as a group, which does then imply rudimentary support for formations as well as NPC and basic creature AI. Basic AI meaning to ‘see’ the characters, face them, and then move to them and start attacking. This also means we need character models that have enough animations to demonstrate this convincingly, as well as at least one monster. For our prototype demo, we have one known only as “Chompy” for now. More on him (or her?!) in future updates!
  • Basic RPG mechanics. We need to prove that we’re making an RPG here obviously! We need basics like loot management; for instance, inventory and opening containers like chests. We need basic conversations and quest giving, including receiving a quest, tracking its progress, and then providing a reward for it being completed.
  • Environments. We want to have a working outdoor area as well as a tileset-based interior that the player can move between and throughout. This makes us prove out area transitions too (I can hear it now, “YOU MUST GATHER YOUR PARTY BEFORE VENTURING FORTH...”)

For our outdoor area (see screenshot above), we’re bringing life to it by not only building out the rest of the level, but getting our technological solutions in place. We have a working waterfall now, with moving water, replete with foam around the rocks(!) and more.

Eeeert (sound of a record scratching…)! Wait, tilesets, Darren? What?
Believe it or not, a lot of the areas in IE games were actually assembled through tile pieces (granted, outside the game in 3D art packages), and then were beautified by hand to give them a more organic look and feel. This tradition carries on with Eternity.

pe-interior-concept-wip.jpg
Work in Progress Concept of an Interior

 
Our next phase of the project is called the Vertical Slice. At Obsidian, this is the phase right before Production. In Vertical Slice, we try to do two things:

  • Get Ready for Production. During Vertical Slice and definitely up into Production is when the team size grows. Early on, we’re getting all of our tools and processes designed, programmed, and with luck, polished up for our designers and artists to hit the ground running. Unity has been a dream for our developers so far, and it’s been easy for us to bring over our latest tools from other games for things like text and conversation management.
  • Produce a Final “Slice” of Gameplay. We also try to develop a ‘final slice’ of gameplay. It’s generally a short, maybe 5-15 minute demo that demonstrates all of the core pillars of the game, as well as taken to what we’re aiming for at a final quality level in terms of visuals, audio, and presentation. During our Prototype we try to make stuff look great, but it’s secondary to form and feel.

So, how are we doing?
Well, we are absolutely trucking along. We’ve recently added several new concept artists to the team, two longtime Obsidian designers have also come on board (more on them later!), and we are hiring for other positions too. The team all has their heads down pushing forward for our prototype review.

Fear... of the Dark
Periodically throughout the rest of the project, we’ll have a number of weeks where we’ll ‘be dark’ (or rather more succinctly, "won't have an update" :)) due to a variety of reasons, and next week is one of those instances. Don’t worry though, we will most certainly be working on the game, but we want to always make sure we’ve got cool stuff lined up for you, and our Prototype final is something we all want to keep focused on.

When we’re back the following week (3/26), we’ll start a series of fresh new updates from Josh, Rob and the Art team, Adam, me, and more Let’s Play Arcanum with Chris Avellone. You might meet a few new team members, and maybe even hear from George again soon too.
 
 
Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

-Darren and the PE Team


In case you're not sure who those folks are above:

- Josh Sawyer: Project director and lead designer
- Rob Nesler: Art director
- Adam Brennecke: Exec producer and lead programmer
- Me (Darren Monahan): Operations dude and co-founder
- Chris Avellone: Obsidian's creative director
- George Zeits: Narrative writer/designer


  • Jaesun, Archon, Elerond and 7 others like this

#2
Zoma

Zoma

    (9) Sorcerer

  • Members
  • 1353 posts

Awesome update.

 

2 long time Obsidian designers? I wonder who.



#3
SunBroSolaire

SunBroSolaire

    Custodian of The Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 242 posts
  • Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

Sooo... When are we gonna see that waterfall animating? Got my hopes up there, Darren. The dungeon concept art is really nice, though.

 

If you're finishing prototype now, any clue on how long till you have gameplay footage you want to show?

 

Thanks for the update, I'll start waiting for next Tuesday now.



#4
LordShifu

LordShifu

    (1) Prestidigitator

  • Members
  • 5 posts

XD I'm actually listening to Fear of the Dark by Iron M :)



#5
J.E. Sawyer

J.E. Sawyer

    Project Director

  • Developers+
  • 2743 posts
  • Location:Santa Ana, California

All of the water in the scene is already animating, the waterfall included. :)

 

We're still working on some of the alpha/thickness issues with grass in the scene as well as additional moving elements like trees.


  • Jaesun, nikolokolus, Rostere and 12 others like this

#6
LordCrash

LordCrash

    Grand Weresheep of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 607 posts
  • Location:Germany
  • Steam:LordCrash88
  • Gold Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

Cool, can't wait for the first gameplay and/or animated scenes. The artwork of the dungeon looks great! :)

 

Edit: That's great, Josh, but we want to see the animatons ourselves! ;)


Edited by LordCrash, 12 March 2013 - 07:53 PM.


#7
SunBroSolaire

SunBroSolaire

    Custodian of The Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 242 posts
  • Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

I've been waiting for this waterfall for months, man. I can't take this teasing.

 

But, uh, the trees are also animating? :w00t:

 

Also, that's actually pretty awesome news that you're using that same "screenshot". To be honest, I didn't expect that to be in the final game at all. Thought it was just a pretty concept for the Kickstarter.


Edited by SunBroSolaire, 12 March 2013 - 07:56 PM.


#8
Stiffkittin

Stiffkittin

    (1) Prestidigitator

  • Members
  • 9 posts
  • Silver Backer

Dinosaurs make everything officially 93.4% better. There you have it. Go forth and make dinosaurs!

 

Thank you. My pleasure. I charge by the half-hour.


  • Darren Monahan likes this

#9
Elerond

Elerond

    One of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 919 posts
  • Location:Finland
  • Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

It good to hear that progress has been good, bit sad about dark times, but undestanding. Eager to see scene animated, but prepared to wait until it's fully animated and will blow my mind away. Wondering will we see final slice of gameplay or is it purelly in house thing? Because it sound  like cool demo to see.



#10
LordCrash

LordCrash

    Grand Weresheep of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 607 posts
  • Location:Germany
  • Steam:LordCrash88
  • Gold Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

Please give us more updates from Tim. This guy is just so relaxed, it's a pleasure to listen to his explanations. :)


  • Lysen, SunBroSolaire and some guy like this

#11
SunBroSolaire

SunBroSolaire

    Custodian of The Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 242 posts
  • Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

I think there's supposed to be another picture there? Like, above "In case you're not sure who those folks are above:".

 

and the one with the animated waterfall, but I'll let that drop now.



#12
MaximKat

MaximKat

    (1) Prestidigitator

  • Members
  • 41 posts
  • Backer

So can we see the animated water? Or maybe even, gasp, trees?



#13
aratuk

aratuk

    (1) Prestidigitator

  • Members
  • 20 posts
  • Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

I'm a bit curious about how some of the developer roles actually play out in terms of typical daily involvement and interaction with one another. (I guess I mean the ones that aren't self-explanatory from job title, like maybe animator.)

 

And where is Tim Cain in all of this? I read something about him recently and I had no idea (or had forgotten) he was working on this.



#14
LordCrash

LordCrash

    Grand Weresheep of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 607 posts
  • Location:Germany
  • Steam:LordCrash88
  • Gold Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

I'm a bit curious about how some of the developer roles actually play out in terms of typical daily involvement and interaction with one another. (I guess I mean the ones that aren't self-explanatory from job title, like maybe animator.)

 

And where is Tim Cain in all of this? I read something about him recently and I had no idea (or had forgotten) he was working on this.

 

Tim is gameplay designer, like Josh. :)



#15
Losse

Losse

    (0) Nub

  • Initiates
  • 2 posts
  • Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

Sounds good and glad to hear you are growing bigger.  I would like to request that you dress up or do some sort of rabbit face paint for easter.  My favorite update was your halloween skeleton face update so I think a rabbit would be a hit too ;)  Although the hunting bird of prey screech was pretty good too...



#16
Wombat

Wombat

    Obsidian Order's Mysterious Stranger

  • Members
  • 1007 posts
  • Gold Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer


Feel bit sad about the news that update will get less frequent but, hopefully, most of the backers can behave better than some publishers and do away with "the dog and pony show" (cf. An interview to Adam Brennecke).
 

I'm a bit curious about how some of the developer roles actually play out in terms of typical daily involvement and interaction with one another. (I guess I mean the ones that aren't self-explanatory from job title, like maybe animator.)

 

And where is Tim Cain in all of this? I read something about him recently and I had no idea (or had forgotten) he was working on this.


I think the official wiki is a good starting place to check out things if you haven't followed the news for a while.  In this case, follow the links at developers section.  They are just basic, though.



#17
Azure79

Azure79

    (10) Necromancer

  • Members
  • 1501 posts
  • Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

Thanks for another glimpse into the overall production process. Its very interesting to read about. Looking forward to more!



#18
Sensuki

Sensuki

    Subway Apathist of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 2049 posts
  • Location:Australia
  • Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

While the Concept art of the underground area isn't my favourite art style - a bit colorful and cartoonish looking ... the layout and design is VERY reminiscent of Dragon's Eye cave from IWD1, which is very pleasing :)



#19
harhar!

harhar!

    (2) Evoker

  • Members
  • 68 posts
  • Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Produce a Final “Slice” of Gameplay. We also try to develop a ‘final slice’ of gameplay. It’s generally a short, maybe 5-15 minute demo that demonstrates all of the core pillars of the game, as well as taken to what we’re aiming for at a final quality level in terms of visuals, audio, and presentation. During our Prototype we try to make stuff look great, but it’s secondary to form and feel.

     

 

So what are the chances of getting to play that or at least see a video (like the Wasteland 2 guys did)?



#20
ryukenden

ryukenden

    (1) Prestidigitator

  • Members
  • 40 posts
  • Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

I was very excited about the animated water screenshot but was severely disappointed that I didn't get to SEE it.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: project eternity, prototype, darren monahan

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users