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Steve Weatherly

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Posts posted by Steve Weatherly

  1. hey I had another question. Some companies have a day a week or once a month that let the staff do anything they want no matter what as long as it's related to a feature in game. Do you guys do anything like that? If not you really should as time goes on :)


    We don't have a time specifically devoted to that no. But as long as time isn't taken away from planned features, we're usually free to explore those kinds of things (especially in pre-production).

  2. Thank you for the interesting responses, Steve.


    If I may, a general question I'd like to ask you is regarding AI: how much consideration do you think will be given to group AI by intelligent enemies? Will trained enemy soldiers attempt to fight in formation? Will they coordinate attacks so that, say, suppressing fire will be targeted at the party's PCs while the heavy fighters take on the PC front line? Likewise, will they work to protect their spell casters? Will they exploit bottlenecks and other terrain advantages? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this.


    Meanwhile, I hope your liver survives the PE experience. :)


    I don't know how much of this we're going to do, I like all of those ideas and I think it would be fun to build an AI that can do them. We'll just have to see which of those behaviors is a "fit" for the game. I think we'll almost certainly have smarter AI that will try to do things like protect a spell caster or other weak allies. That kind of things isn't too difficult to implement and makes for a more interesting challenge.

  3. -The game systems are DEFINITELY easy to prototype with Unity, in that regard it is the best engine I've worked with. It's not the best thing ever though, whiskey is.


    I assume this means that it's easier/faster to prototype with Unity than Onyx, so I'm going to base my question on that: some game developers, to my knowledge, have prototyped stuff on Unity and then moved to their own engines/licensed engines to work on the game past the prototype phase.. do you see Obsidian adopting this practice, or would you rather Onyx to be made more prototype-friendly? Considering Obsidian is small in terms of AAA development (but too big to be considered small or even mid-size), I'd think prototyping things fast would be a huge boon, but not being a developer (or even particularly knowledgeable in terms of tech) there might be a lot of aspects I'm not considering.


    I can't imagine us ever prototyping things in Unity and then converting them to Onyx. Because the two engines are functionally very different it would mean doing everything twice, I don't know of very many people that like to do the same job twice. ;) As we work with Onyx we work on maturing the pipelines to make building things faster and easier, generally if some process is cumbersome we try to fix the problem.

  4. Thanks for the answers!


    So, you drink whiskey. Me too! What are you favorites?

    Mine are Islay whiskys, preferably Lagavulin and Laphroaig. That stuff brings you straight to misty highlands and craggy cliff-sides when you drink it.


    Do you know if there's whiskey or some cool booze in Project Eternity?


    Is it easy to, I dunno, "implement" A.I.s in Unity? I mean, not the logic (because that is as challenging as you make it, as far as I know), but actually assigning an A.I. to a character. For instance, would it be possible to actually have a battle in which A.I. plays a huge role and the A.I. represents the actual challenge (and not the level/power of the enemy)?


    Have you guys thought about naming Project Eternity yet? Has there been any talk around the office about it?


    Also; watching someone programming and developing stuff is NOT boring. Markus Persson (Notch - Minecraft) did this stream and it was very nice to watch. And that was Java. I believe Doube Fine will attempt a similar behind-the-scenes/"watch us code" stream as well.


    -I mentioned this above but the best whiskey I've had is The Balvenie Scotch whiskey, if you can drink it neat you know it's good.


    -Haha, I'm sure there will be alcohol in there. I will demand a fine Orlan whiskey be included.


    -Unity doesn't have any sort of built in AI system. I've created one for us and tried to make it stupid easy to give that AI to characters as they are created. It's about 3 mouse clicks right now. :D


    -I don't think the final name has been seriously considered yet, I think think we're going to wait until the story is finalized and the lore more fleshed out.

  5. Wow, pretty damned impressive. You actually answered everybody. That's just plain cool, although I don't know enough about programming really to contribute to the discussion. :Cant's sheepish grin icon: ...But I do approve of the whiskey. I once made a trip to Scotland for, among other things, enjoying a bit o' the whiskey from the headwaters themselves, so to speak. Come to think of it, we talk way too much about booze on the Obsidz boards.


    Very nice! My dad's side of the family is actually from Scotland, so I'd love to visit some day as well and have some whiskey from the headwaters too. Cheers!

  6. Well well, what an interesting first person to pick to do your developer interviews. I now know the name of the person responsible for the either the amazing or extremely poor AI in P:E.


    Mr. Weatherly, please make sure you look at this thread and learn from the mistakes that BG and its ilk have made. Magic isn't the only place you need a robust AI. http://forums.obsidi...w-not-to-do-ai/


    Read it, internalize it, and make us proud. I really don't want to be screaming your name to the heavens when I play P:E. "Weatherlyyyyyyy!!! Where are my smart hobgoblins?!?!?!" Make me remember you as the first guy who did a fantastic job implementing AIs in fantasy RPGs.




    An AI enthusiast


    Yes sir, I'll do my best sir.

    • Like 1

  7. Hi, I don't know if it's possible, but will the opponent be able to set traps ? Create ambushs? Kill us while we sleep (maybe it's a bad idea), be "alive" ?


    Will you design a new type of AI or will it be the same as the one un BG ? I mean, will you program it from scratch ?


    I think it would be a lot of fun to make some sort of bad-ass AI that sets traps for you and makes ambushes and stuff. That being said, it sounds impossible to tune for such a huge game. I think we'll all be happier if we let humans design these levels and just make the AI look smart.


    The AI system is definitely written from scratch. CPU time and memory have come a long way since those days, we can make some fancier AI state machines than they did back in the day.

  8. Weapons, eh?


    I am simply going to assume we will have swords, axes, bows, daggers, clubs (and flails), but what about other weapons - crossbows, polearms or spears, for exa,mple. Any truly exotic weapons? Any "oriental" weapons (shuriken or "ninja" weapons?)


    That's a good question for Josh Sawyer, I'm currently building the underlying architecture so he can make whatever he wants. :)

  9. Great way of introducing various members of the PE team.


    Interesting in that it is suggested that Reddit is the main forum where PE team members engage with the fan base.


    I wonder where the official forums fit into that picture



    Q: How many push-ups can you do?



    More than the average programmer, but significantly less than Chris Avellone.


    My very important question is


    How many can Avellone do? :biggrin:


    Reddit is not the main forum where PE team member engage with the fan base. Our official forums here are. I'm a long time Redditor and volunteered to help bolster the project eternity subreddit because I like Reddit. The voting system there also made it easy for things like Tim Cain's top 5 question updates. But the main creative types on the project (Josh etc) engage people here, not Reddit.


    Haha, sneaky question. I specifically avoided numbers in the interview and will continue to avoid them. ;)

  10. My question to Steve: In a recent interview (question 16), Trent Oster (of Overhaul Games, i.e. BGEE) said he wouldn't use Unity for an eventual BG3, citing optimization concerns. What are your thoughts on that quote or on using a pre-made engine like Unity instead of developing your own specifically for the game you're building?


    Obviously performance has to good. Because we aren't rendering out everything in 3D I think the requirements are going to be a little different for our game than what Trent was talking about. We're going to be less about CPU power and more about memory, which is something the PC doesn't have much of an issue with.

  11. Fun read guys! Can I make a suggestion or request? Can you code the data in such a way that the stats change the animations? So that maybe someone with low dexterity is a lil clumsy or sluggish, while someone with high Dexterity is very smooth and fluid in their attacks or animations? Maybe a wizard with average Intel or magic juice does his thing like normal, but someone really smart & awesome casts a spell and their animations are more exaggerated and hands have much more followthrough. Similarly since you guys have more $ than Uganda, can you ask your animators to animate different idle animations that give the characters some personality, so they're whimsical, bored, angry, flirty, or whatever. I have a feeling there's gonna be more words than a room full of stuttering Rainmen, and I hope the hero's expressions show how they feel, as well as hope you and your team can take time to code some mannerisms and cool combat encounters.


    Unity's new Mecanim stuff is pretty cool and saves our animators a lot of time which can be devoted to adding more flavor to the game. So, we'll see how it shakes out I guess.

  12. What would happen if you Fraps'd your work on the inventory system and sent it to me? Would you lose your job?


    How fast are the game systems shaping up? Is unity like the best thing ever? Will we get some UI screens soon?


    Have you played Arcanum?

    What would happen if you Fraps'd your work on the inventory system and sent it to me? Would you lose your job?


    How fast are the game systems shaping up? Is unity like the best thing ever? Will we get some UI screens soon?


    Have you played Arcanum?


    -If I fraps'd my work and sent it to you I imagine you would fall asleep seeing how boring writing code is to watch. Would I lose my job over it? It would definitely be grounds for firing me, but Feargus loves me so much he'd never do that. ;)


    -The game systems are DEFINITELY easy to prototype with Unity, in that regard it is the best engine I've worked with. It's not the best thing ever though, whiskey is.


    -*hangs head in same* no I haven't played Arcanum. I do have the original game box at home though, I've been meaning to bring it in and get Tim to sign it for me. Only then will I actually play it!

  13. Do you read RPG Codex?


    What do you have on your walls besides a Blade Runner poster?


    What programming languages do you know? Which ones are your favorite?


    What is Tim Cain's weakness?


    You say Avellone would outperform you in Push-ups. Are there many gym dudes at Obsidian? If the zombie apocalypse strikes during work hours, who would you team up with?


    -I do occasionally read the Codex yes, not with any sort of regularity though.


    -I am very comfortable with C/C++/C# and pretty comfortable with Java. I've got experience with Pawn because that was what we use for scripting in Onyx. Other than that I've just had a smattering of experience with other languages in college. My favorite is honestly probably C# because it cuts through the BS of C/C++ and let's you write code. That being said, the language just is a tool and I'm happy to use the right tool for the job.


    -I don't know if I should answer that... but I'm definitely not NOT saying that it's chocolate.


    -Myself, a few of the animators, and Avellone are the guys I know about. I'm sure there are others.


    Edit: Oh! Forgot the zombie apocalypse question. That's tough, my gut reaction is to "team up" with a slow producer so I can leave them behind and feed them to the zombies at an opportune moment. But in terms of who I'd want to have my back, probably our lead animator Mark Bremerkamp. I know he lifts and since he's an animator he should know how the zombies will move.

    • Like 2

  14. Hey, Steve! If you don't mind me asking, what does it take to be a programmer in the gaming industry? Does it depend on what I as a programmer want to focus on in game development? Or should I know a sprinkling of everything? I've been interested in game development, because I want to see AI improve. But I'm going for a BS in Computer Science. Got any suggestions for me?



    In school you should focus on whatever area of computer science interests you. I just started out taking general courses and actually started getting bored. Because of the boredom I started exploring becoming a doctor instead, that lead me to neurology because I was interested in intelligence. I then realized how much work becoming a doctor is and decided it wasn't for me. That was when I sort of put 2 and 2 together and became really interested in artificial intelligence. That re-sparked my interest in computer science and led to a specialized career as an AI programmer in the game industry.


    As far as getting a job in the industry though, my advice is to make games in your spare time so you become a better programmer and can show companies you have a passion for it. So many college grads don't do this, it will put you ahead of the rest!

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