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Hello again, backers and fans! We have a few updates for you today, starting with our Slacker Backer totals. Slacker Backer Totals Sadly, today is the day where we stop counting Slacker Backer funding towards our stretch goals. At 5PM PDT our game will officially be 'content locked', meaning that no new content will be put into Pillars II. Here are our totals: Fig Slacker Backers - $124,940 Backer Portal - $172,986 The total amount of money we received from Slacker Backers was $297,926, bringing our grand total to: $4,705,524 We didn't hit $4.75M, which means we didn't make our Sea Monsters & Fishing stretch goal. However, we'd like to thank you for all of your contributions to this campaign. Because of you, Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is possible. We promise to make Pillars II an amazing sequel that will immerse you in breathtaking new environments and present you with brand new adventures as you journey through Eora once again. Thank you, from all of us here at Obsidian! Backer Portal Changes Even though our Slacker Backer funding no longer counts towards stretch goals, you can still back through Fig and our Backer Portal if you want to get backer rewards or add-ons! New backers (i.e. anyone who makes a new backer pledge after May 12th) will still be able to contribute to the overall campaign total up until we begin pre-orders for Pillars II, which will happen at the end of this year. Starting on Friday, May 12th at 5PM PDT, some of our reward tiers will no longer be available. These include: Create A Super-Pet Create an Inn Own An Island Build a Pirate Party Top Backer Additionally, also on May 12th, reward prices will increase by about 20% for new backers only. Here is the updated list of prices and tiers available: Digital Download - $35 Premium Digital - $54 Physical Box - $70 + S&H Ultimate Digital - $79 Complete Pillars Bundle - $95 Early Access + Credits - $115 Early Access + Credits + Box - $125 + S&H Collector's Edition - $175 + S&H Elite Collector's Edition - $240 + S&H Signed Elite Collector's Edition - $299 + S&H Name a Pet - $599 Create an Item - $899 Portrait IV - $2,250 + S&H Create a Spell - $3,500 Most Add-Ons will also increase in price slightly, starting May 12th. Those people who have already backed Pillars II and confirmed their pledges on our Backer Portal may modify their pledges at any time, without increased reward prices. Fig Slacker Backer Ending Date If you're interested in becoming a new backer and want to contribute through the Fig site, you will be able to do so until Friday, May 12th at 5PM PDT. At that time, Fig Slacker Backer funding will be turned off, and you will need to back through our Backer Portal instead of Fig. However, you can still come to Fig for any updates and news we release! Backer Surveys In other news, we are finalizing surveys for our $500+ backers who are creating content for our game, and will be sending out those surveys and emails at the beginning of May. At the same time, additional surveys will be sent out to everyone who will have their name in our credits. Thanks for your patience, and we can't wait to hear all of your awesome content ideas! Thank you again for all your support. We couldn't do this without you!
Hey guys! Because our Fig updates are only emailed to backers from the Fig site, we're going to start posting our updates to the forums when we release a new one. That way, more of you will be up to date with what we're working on. UPDATE #30 - We have an awesome environment art update for you this week, but let's start with our Slacker Backer totals: Slacker Backer Funds Fig Slacker Backers - $112,200 Backer Portal - $143,900 This brings our Slacker Backer total to $256,100 and our grand total to $4.66M. We have one more week to try and reach our $4.75M stretch goal. We believe in you! Spread the word and help us out one last time. Remember to confirm your pledge on the Backer Portal if you haven't already. We need this information linked so we can send you your rewards! You can read through our instructions for confirming your pledge in Update #25. The Environments of Pillars II In the Pillars of Eternity series, we make sure our environments look beautiful. Our area designers and environment artists work hard to ensure every last detail is placed correctly, from rugs and thrones all the way down to tiny bowls of fruit. However, the environments aren't just something nice to look at; each area plays an important role in revealing the storyline and teaching you more about cultures of the people who live in these places. A lot of work goes into making a scene in Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, and we'll walk you through from start to completion. The scene we'll be showing is part of the Vailian Trading Company's headquarters. In case you missed it, you can read about the VTC in Update #29! Blockout The blockout and design document is the first step to making an environment in Pillars II. An area designer will create a design document and provide all of the following information about an area: Summary and background of the area How large each scene should be Visual descriptions with concepts Creatures and NPCs present in the area Quests that occur Dialogue requests Encounters or Scripted Interactions Blockouts for each area Examinables and loot Specific asset requests for Art, VFX or Audio We'll focus on the art side of things for now. Below is the blockout for the VTC headquarters, created by an Area Designer in Unity: After the blockouts are approved by leads, we have the concept art team sketch out the general feel and style of the scene if needed. We didn't need a concept for this scene, so it was passed directly to environment art to start work in a 3D software package. On this project we are using Maya by Autodesk. Environment Art First Pass Click on an image below to view them at full size. The following are daily renders by our talented Senior Environment Artist, Daniel Keating. Scenes are built in Maya with the blockout as a guide, and are made up of both pre-made and brand new assets. (The pre-made assets were created in Maya and ZBrush by our artists in previous areas and fit with the style and overall feel of other scenes, so they get reused) Day 1: Focusing on flooring, walls, and some basic lighting: Day 2: Getting rugs and large props into the area, making adjustments to lighting: Day 3: Adding medium and small props, adjusting lighting even further: Day 4: Adjusting props, lighting, addressing any lead feedback that comes up: At this point in the development process, the first pass is complete. Basic lighting is laid out, all major props are implemented into the scene, and it is now ready for a basic navigation and collision pass. The Maya render itself is ready to be passed on for lead review. Basic Nav & Collision Pass Basic navigation is laid out for the level in Unity, giving a sense of where the walkable party area is: Collision is set up on walls and other objects to prevent the party from passing through solid parts of the environment or props: While the basic navigation and collision pass is being worked on, the Maya render is being reviewed by leads. Leads Review The first pass render of scenes is sent to our Art Director and Lead Designer for review. They look over the master beauty render and make notes for both VFX and the environment artist to address in the second art pass. When notes are finished, the environment artist begins work on a second pass of the scene. Environment Art Second Pass All of the notes have been taken into consideration, and the artist finishes their second pass: Once the final master beauty render is approved, we begin a 3D object pass, followed by VFX, audio, and paintovers if necessary. 3D Object Pass & VFX Our artists add anchor points, water planes for VFX, and any 3D objects requested to the scene. Anchor points are placed on objects to signify where lighting is needed for this scene: Additionally, our artists create custom meshes that VFX converts into water planes: Anchor points in Unity scene: Area with collision, navigation, and anchor points set up: In-Game After second art passes are completed, the render, VFX and collision are updated in the build so we can have final playthroughs of the area. While this scene looks massive, it appears zoomed in when actually playing the game. Each scene is broken down into a number of 'screens' - When viewing the scene in-game, your view is referred to as one 'screen'. This VTC Headquarters scene is 3x3, meaning that 9 in-game screens will cover the area. This view in the game represents one screen: Update #11 went into detail about new graphics and technology in Pillars II, so be sure to check that out if you missed it! In that update, you can learn more about the rendering process, improved shaders, and new technology you'll be able to experience while running around Eora. Stay tuned for next week's update, when we announce our funding total. Have any comments? Feel free to discuss below, and we'll answer your questions! Thanks for reading.
UPDATE #31 Slacker Backers We decided to extend our Slacker Backer funding until Friday, April 28th at 5pm PDT! This gives us a few more days to try and reach our $4.75M stretch goal - Sea Monsters and Fishing! Here are our current numbers: Fig Slacker Backers - ~$122,900 Backer Portal Pledges - ~$170,000 Our Slacker Backer total is ~$292,900, which brings our crowdfunding total to $4.7M. We have only one day remaining, so be sure to spread the word. On Friday, April 28th at 5pm PDT, we will no longer count contributions towards stretch goals and the game will be 'content locked', meaning that we will not be putting any new content into the game. However, we will continue to take new backers on Fig and our Backer Portal if you'd still like to get rewards. We will share an update on Friday with more information on the Backer Portal and what you can expect in the near future. Remember to confirm your pledge on the Backer Portal if you haven't already. We need this information linked so we can send you your rewards! You can read through our instructions for confirming your pledge in Update #25. If you have already backed Pillars II, you are able to modify your pledge at any time. PoE Deluxe Edition OST & White March OST Now Available for Download! For those backers who purchased the Pillars of Eternity Deluxe Edition OST or The White March OST, these soundtracks are now available for download on our Backer Portal! Head over to the 'My Products' tab of your Account Profile to view the items available for download, and you should see your Digital Deluxe and White March soundtracks. If you have questions or need help with claiming your available digital rewards, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you haven't purchased these soundtracks yet, you can still get them as an add-on for $15 (Deluxe Edition OST) or $9 (The White March OST). Pillars of Eternity Digital Deluxe Edition OST ($15) - The most complete version of the soundtrack to Pillars of Eternity I, containing 27 new tracks! (Includes the soundtrack to The White March). Pillars of Eternity: The White March Digital OST ($9) - The previously unreleased digital soundtrack to the Pillars of Eternity expansion, The White March (does not include the tracks from the base game). New Campaign Shoutout - Phoenix Point There's a new crowdfunding campaign on Fig, and if you're a fan of the X-COM series, you'll want to check it out. Snapshot Games and Jullian Gollop, creator of X-COM, are back with another game called Phoenix Point. The game features turn based tactics and world based strategy in a fight against a terrifying, alien menace. Check our their Fig page, and if you're interested, consider contributing to Phoenix Point. They have some pretty cool rewards! What Are We Up To? In development related news, the team is hard at work on another production milestone. Our milestones last for four weeks, and we aim to deliver certain features, areas, dialogue, and system functionality within that time frame. You can see our previous state of the project update in Update #24. Here are some snippets from our internal blog - taken straight from the development team. Character Art and Animation All of our godlike races have been completed by the character artists! More importantly, all of our races and genders are now implemented into Pillars II. Our most recent completed race is the Moon Godlike: Environment Art Our Lead Artist, Kaz Aruga, is experimenting with color correction passes in Maya to make our scenes feel more vibrant. See the difference below: Before Maya color correction (Unity screenshot): After Maya color correction (Unity screenshot): Programming, and New Cloth Physics! In Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire we've upgraded to a new cloth solution for capes, robes and other garments using the cloth physics in Unity 5. The improved pipeline lets us add more cloth items to the game, as well as have good cloth simulation across all platforms - including Mac and Linux. Great! Well... it wasn't all great... Game development is never easy, and there's always a problem or an unforeseen issue. And with our new cloth, we soon ran into a problem with it, as we couldn't get it to work on our full-screen paper-doll characters that are shown in our Inventory, Character Creation, and Level-up UI. As we implemented capes, we found that Unity only has one physics "world", and our paper-doll characters exist in a separate scene from the rest of the game - but they share the same world as the rest of the game. When the game world is paused, the cloth sim in paper-doll would be paused as well, completely still and non-animate. We couldn't find a way around it. This was unacceptable of course, and we needed to find a solution. Our solution sounds crazy, but the only choice we had was to write our own cloth simulation for paper-doll. Thankfully, it didn't have to be as efficient or fancy as Unity cloth, as we only show a single character in paper-doll. Our solution uses a simple verlet-physics sim to get a stable physics simulation that was is fast and was easy to implement. The results are shown on a Vithrack character - hopefully you can agree that the simulation looks close-enough. In addition, we are exploring leveraging this system for flails and other dynamic simulations too! - Adam Brennecke, Lead Programmer VFX The VFX team continues their work on abilities and areas for this milestone. Because we have so many unique abilities, the VFX team is spending the majority of this milestone implementing ability effects and getting them to look awesome. The ability shown below is called Minoletta's Missile Salvo. With this ability, the wizard braces to launch a series of missiles at the target over 4 seconds. The missiles do force damage and cause reflex shockwaves. Overall We're continuing forward at a fast pace and getting a lot done, but we still have a lot of functionality to implement over the next few months. The overall structure of Pillars II is starting to take shape. Areas and quests are beginning to flow more smoothly, more quests are implemented every week, and the text from our narrative designers has already immersed us in our journey back to Eora. Thanks for stopping by!