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Orlan First Look Josh Sawyer 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 George Ziets 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? We list this information for each deity, as well as providing a detailed description. Players won’t necessarily get to see all this stuff, but it’s useful background for the art and design teams, so that the world feels like a consistent, coherent whole. 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.
http://www.formspring.me/GZiets/q/414930203056307948 George also talks a little bit about Woedica (click his name, to get to his Formspring account and you can see for yourself). However, found this and thought "That would be really cool". The God thing that is, and praying for survival. [Tribute to God] stuff. [Camp]-stuff as well as [Temple]-stuff? Thoughts?
When we hit the 2.8 Million mark, George Ziets should do a youtube video talking about what he's looking forward to / some of the ideas he might bring to the table for Project Eternity, would be cool to hear from him
Update #18: George Ziets, Paladins, Add-Ons, Rewards, and More! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oPKIzyGos8 Hey everyone, there's exactly one more week left in the Kickstarter, and we are going to be kicking it up with bigger and better updates every day! New Add-ons and Rewards We were looking at the $140 tier and thought it needed something more, so we decided to throw a Project Eternity Mouse Pad into the Collector's Edition. The mouse pad features the painting from Kiernan Yanner. You can also add-on additional mouse pads at any physical tier for $15. $140 Reward Tier and Above (excludes the digital only $165 tier) - Now includes a Project Eternity Mouse Pad. Project Eternity Mouse Pad Add-On - $15 each* Also we've been asked if we are going to have more physical rewards and add-ons, and we are listening. Today, we are announcing new t-shirt add-ons for you: Obsidian T-Shirt Add-On - $25 each* Project Eternity T-Shirt Add-On - $25 each* For more information on how to add-on rewards, please see Update #4. Sizes will be asked during the survey that will be sent to you after the end of the Kickstarter. *You must be at a physical goods reward tier to add on any additional physical add-ons. New Stretch Goals for $2.7m and $2.8m We are happy to announce two more classes for the 2.7m stretch goal. With your pledges we now have Barbarians and Ciphers as playable classes, and now we would like to add Paladins and Chanters to round out our class selection for Project Eternity, bringing the class total to 11. Paladins are extremely devoted, often fanatical, soldiers who have pledged themselves to a chosen cause, combining the zeal of a priest with the ascetic discipline of a monk. They have founded many elite fighting forces, from the original Darcozzi Paladini, a two thousand year-old order of palace guards, to the fledgling Fellows of St. Waidwen Martyr, zealous defenders of the Godhammer pilgrim trail. Often found at the vanguard of many conflicts, paladins are natural leaders and have the ability to quickly assist their allies with targeted commands. A paladin's commands can stave off impending death, overcome fatigue, or hasten the charge to close breached defenses. And though they are not always pledged to the service of a god or gods, paladins are so singularly focused on their chosen cause that their souls are continually creating a wellspring of spiritual energy from which they can blast groups of foes in their immediate vicinity. Despite their often stoic presence and explosive combat style, paladins work best alongside allies. When isolated, they can be vulnerable, especially against singular powerful foes. Chanters can be found in almost any culture, but are most often seen in communities with a strong oral tradition. They are repositories of folk knowledge and common wisdom, tellers of tall tales and hallowed legends. Though chanters have a bit of minor talent in traditional arts of combat and soul-based magic, their true power lies in their chants. Chanters construct chants from individual iconic phrases and rhyming couplets they have memorized from hundreds of stories and poems, creating a chain of magical effects that plays out over time. While chanters do use the power of their souls to work their magic, chants are exhortations to the unconscious memory of wayward souls and the diffused spiritual energy of the world. That is, ambient spirits respond to the evocation of ancient, common story elements and play their part in reconstructing the chanter's tales. While a chanter's magic may seem modest compared to that of a wizard or a priest, chanters are able to recite their chants while occupied with other activities, making them extremely versatile. It’s our pleasure to introduce our next stretch goal of George Ziets at $2.8m – with your help, we’ll be able to enlist the skills of George Ziets in shaping Project Eternity. For those not familiar with George’s work, he was the creative lead and core writer behind the acclaimed Mask of the Betrayer - the first expansion pack for Neverwinter Nights 2. George leant his talents to many of Obsidian’s other games including Fallout: New Vegas. George is gifted in designing lore, levels, and companions for role-playing games, and Baldur’s Gate 2 is one of his favorite titles. His impact can be felt in Mask of the Betrayer, and the character concepts, story, and his narrative decisions to take a disused section of the Forgotten Realms and use it as a backdrop to weave a fascinating story is testament to his design skills. We’ve given him the rundown of Project Eternity, and he’s eager to help shape the lore, design areas, and bring the characters in the world to life. More DUNGEON! Yesterday Project Eternity hit 55,000 backers! Everyone loves bigger dungeons, and The Endless Paths Mega Dungeon is now 5 levels deep. We will add another level at 57,500 backers and another level if we get to 20,000 Likes on Facebook. Don't miss the update on Thursday - Josh will be talking lore, and our first screenshot will be revealed. Everyone at the studio is really excited to show you what we've been working on. Lastly, if you haven't checked out the Wasteland 2 Store that opened yesterday - head on over here. You are still able to donate money towards Wasteland 2 to make it bigger and better! FACEBOOK: Like Obsidian on Facebook - We are about 6,000 more Likes away for another dungeon level! Update by Chris Avellone, Josh Sawyer, and Adam Brennecke