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Hi! I'm a massive fan of Black Isle / Troika / Obsidian as well as a student majoring in Computer Science, a game hobbyist and an amateur game developer. (Disclaimer) So, my question for today is a very profound one, and one that carries a lot of meaning to me, personally, and especially from a game developer studio perspective: What's wrong with Obsidian? Everything starts with Black Isle and Fallout, which (if you're aware of the story around the production) was a general huge mother****ing mess. After Black Isle was shot down, the general messiness seemed to follow with Troika games, who made a couple of brilliant yet very flawed games. After that, the legacy, thanks to a few key individuals and their ideals, was transferred into what is today Obsidian. Now, as a disclaimer, I have to say, I love everything created by these guys: Black Isle Studios, Troika and Obsidian. BI's slogan: "By gamers, for gamers" is still something I keep as an inspiration very close to my heart every single day (as an unknown amateur developer), and what they created is simply beautiful. However, everything created by this troupe and their derivatives has always been somehow fundamentally wrong: bugged as hell, imbalanced as foobar, illogical as hell. My question is: WTF is wrong with Obsidian? Why can't they make solid products? I know there's a lot of tension between publisher - developer relations, that's always a handful and something for an entirely different discussion, but my presumption here today is that: There is something wrong with the communication between the designers and the coders in Obsidian? Because at many times it seems I'm playing a game with a beautifully designed world with lots of content and shreds of the designers souls visibly poured into every single detail, yet at other times I'm stumbling upon the very simplistic, childish even, mistakes that could be repaired with some simple programming with a little bit of forethought. Are you guys talking? Is there something between, even though this time (PoE) you were independently funded, and no publisher has a **** to say about yoru game? What's the problem? Now, I'm not blaming anyone, I'm simply tryng to inquire some details about your methods into developing games, and whether there'd be something to improve. No doubt I'm going to get a generic response of "yes, we're constantly improving our methods and processes in all areas", but what I'm really interested in is the actual schizms between the programmers and the designers, since that's what I think is the main reason for this outcome. Anyway, while any perspectives are welcome, obviously I'd rather take on some pov's from the crew.
I am currently working my way through Icewind Dale, and after a bit of a bad start(I didn't care for the first two dungeons at all, and combat felt tedious), I am starting to like the game, and understand why it was hailed as such a great game. My question is what would be a logical next step after I finish IWD? I am currently torn between Icewind Dale 2, ToEE or Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer. I'm not sure if I can handle such an action oriented game after I finish the first Icewind Dale, so I might consider playing NWN2:MoB, or properly playing PS:T, as I haven't finished that one yet. Your input would be greatly appreciated.
Sorry if this has been asked before, but one of the main things I'm curious about is the visual functionality and presentation of the game. I'm very curious as to whether this is going to be a purely isometric, top-down affair like BG, Icewind Dale, PlanetScape: Torment, Fallout, etc. or whether it's going to have a more dynamic camera that allows you to play isometric, but also zoom in closer, such as Dragon Age: Origins PC, NWN2, The Witcher, etc.? Personally, I'm hoping for the latter. While I mostly play with the camera pulled out during combat in the likes of DAO and NWN2, it's nice to pull it in for more personal matters and nice to have the more cinematic angles during conversations. I think DAO and NWN2 got the perfect mix of classic RPG and the more cinematic nature of modern games, and I hope this is what Project Eternity employs. I feel my character becomes more personal when I can get a good look at them up close and see them interacting more directly. I'm curious as to what other people feel about this? Has there been any direct indication as to what Obsidian are going for here?