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We’ve hit the $3M mark now on Project Eternity and it’s on to add another Big, Big City to the game! We have less than 50 hours to go before the Kickstarter ends! Before we announce some new stuff, some quick housekeeping is in order. If you are looking to add anything on to your pledge, check out our Project Eternity Add-On List page. This includes instructions on how to add on other options, as well as what our current offerings are. Also to reduce some confusion in finding what each tier contains (we’re no longer able to update some of our posts on the Kickstarter site), we have a comprehensive list of the Project Eternity Reward Tiers up as well over on our Tumblr site. Two last items, we’re hosting an AMA (Ask Me Anything) tomorrow on reddit. A number of Project Eternity staffers will be on hand at 10 AM PDT / 1 PM ET to answer your questions about the game! Then at 5 PM PDT / 8 ET, watch us on Ustream play some D&D in the studio! Project Eternity the Documentary The big news for the day is that we are adding a documentary covering the development of Project Eternity. After getting a lot of requests to do a documentary, like the Double Fine Adventure, we started looking into it a couple of weeks ago. We talked about it more last week and decided that we don’t have a visual history of one of our games, even after almost ten years as a company. We felt it was something we should just do and do it without it being a new stretch goal. So, we are happy to announce that we are going to include a stream, download, or physical copy of the documentary in all of our Kickstarter reward tiers. At the $20/$25 level you will be able to stream it, at the $35 level you will be able to download it, and at the $140 level (and physical tiers above) we will include a DVD / Blu-ray. We are not going to use the Kickstarter funding to do this however, since this is something we decided to do anyway. To us, it is a thank you to all of you for supporting us over the last month in making Project Eternity a reality and a historical record for everyone at Obsidian as well. Project Eternity Playing Cards Add-On As a fun new add-on for Sunday, we are now offering Project Eternity playing cards for $10. Designed by Scott Everts, one of our longtime technical artists who worked on Black Isle’s Infinity Engine games, and does a lot of work on board games, he designed this beautiful set which will feature characters and maybe critters (Kerfluffleupogus, Devourer of the Faithful anyone?) from Project Eternity. Check out the Project Eternity Add-On List on how to add-on items to your pledge. (Please note: Playing Cards only available to tiers including physical items. For digital tier folks, we’ll hopefully sell these as a future store offering.) New Wallpaper Last, but not least, we’ve received a lot of great feedback on the concept art for some of our first key characters. So here is a new wallpaper with each of the characters that we have released so far. Might we be releasing more art soon? Stay tuned… 1920x1080 | 1920x1200 Tomorrow, we will be updating everyone with a schedule for Tuesday and another fun add-on. Oh and we have some plans for a crazy new reward tier for Tuesday morning. Thanks everyone! Update by Feargus Urquhart Like us on Facebook! Next goal is 40,000 likes for another Mega Dungeon level. We're also on Twitter: @Obsidian. We announce ongoing PayPal figures there too.
For our weekend update this week (update 16!), we have another Q&A from our reddit readers in the Project Eternity Q&A Subgroup, with all of the questions having to do with the combat system of Project Eternity. Tim answers the top five questions below (as voted up by the community) as well as picking an additional question at random from all of those asked. Also check out the main Project Eternity group if you stop over to reddit. And now, on to the questions! Kaaaboom asks... Hi Tim! I'm curious how the close combat in P:E will turn out. Will the melee of P:E encompass stuff like reach weapons, opportunity attacks, flanking, grappling, charging, prone/standing-modes and so forth? Yes, we are looking to include many of these features into our close combat system. Specifically, opportunity attacks and flanking are definitely in, as well as charging. We're not sure about reach weapons yet (we need to figure out if that attribute on a weapon will be worthwhile enough in combat and will supportable with the appropriate UI), and while we will support prone positions, you won't be able to attack while prone because the animations involved are too different from attacks while standing that we would have to make every animation twice, once for standing and once for prone. This limitation also means that grappling abilities will not be included. There are too many new animations needed and special case limitations that apply, e.g. how does a human grapple a centaur or a dragon or an ooze?). DTKT asks... Are you guys designing some of the abilities/spells to be used in synergy with other spells? AKA, a grease spell and a fireball? Yes! We love abilities (including spells) that leave side effects on the target that subsequent abilities can take advantage of. So we may give you an attack that has a chance to stun a target, and another attack that does extra damage on stunned targets. Or you have a spell that catches targets on fire, and another that causes explosions on burning targets. These abilities work fine on their own, but when you learn the combinations, you will be much more effective. Karel_evzen asks... On KickStarter you mention positioning will be an important aspect of combat. How important will this (and tactics in general) be? Will we see similar combat mechanics as in NWN2 (backstabbing, friendly fire) or something completely different? We plan to make positioning very important, since we will support flanking attacks and backstabbing. We want you to be thinking about where your characters are standing and facing, not only relative to the monsters but also to each other, because we will have friendly fire in the game. Some abilities will affect their target and other targets around the main one, so you will need to use these abilities carefully. You can always avoid using these abilities at all, as they are never required, or you can choose to use them around your other characters that have a good chance to evade such damage. And if you don't like it, friendly fire will be an option you can turn off in most modes, but not in expert mode. In expert mode, you will always have to be careful when using area of effect abilities or abilities that cause splash damage, because you won't be able to turn off friendly fire. DoubtfulGuest asks... A question about combat magic: I really enjoyed the complexity of the system in the Baldurs Gate series where a wizard's repertoire included contingency spells, spell triggers, spell shields of different magnitudes, "prep spells" like Malison, and so forth. It added an interesting amount of strategy to a wizard duel. Will the system in Project Eternity have similar elements? Yes, we will have spells that are useful to counter other spells, and we will certainly have buffs and shields that you can cast on yourself and other party members. However, we are not going to make encounters that require the use of a particular spell or that involve a creature with extreme immunities (such as a creature only harmed by silver weapons). We don't want to make encounters that only have one solution, and if you cannot use that solution, you are out of luck. Instead, our encounters will have creatures with various strengths and weaknesses, and you can pick several different ways to take them down, and some of those ways will be more efficacious than others. Few choices will be outright unusable, though. Wormix asks... In certain CRPGs you will regenerate all your health and mana after every fight, ensuring that you have your full power for every fight. In the IE games you didn't regenerate spells or health after each battle, making spell management a strategic concern.While this allows individual fights to be balanced for difficulty easier and is less punishing in general, it removes an aspect of strategy from the game that a lot of players enjoy. What is Project Eternity's aim in terms of strategic resource management? In the old IE games, wizards and priests had resources that got drained and did not regenerate before the next battle, unlike fighters and rogues that few or no such resources. We are looking for a middle ground solution, either one where the wizards aren't the only ones to make a hard choice of whether to "use up" a resource, or one where no class has to make such a choice. For example, we are looking into the idea that wizards are only limited in the number of times they can cast their higher-level combat spells in a fight, and other spell are castable as many times as you want. As the wizard levels up, spells that previously had a limit can now be cast an unlimited number of times, and the newly acquired spells are the ones with a limit. And we could make similar abilities for fighters, priests and rogues too. In general, we always want to the player to have a choice of what to do with a particular character, and we want those choices to change as the character becomes more powerful. Now for a bonus question! Diablo169 asks... Could you please provide a bit more detail on how skill/spell cooldowns are going to factor into the games combat system? Sure, let me give some specifics on how we are planning to incorporate cooldowns into the wizard class. First off, cooldowns are NOT on individual spells. For any particular spell, you cast it, and when you are done, you can cast it again right away. But one limitation is on spells of a particular level. When you cast a certain number of those spells, in any combination, then the whole spell level group goes into a cooldown, and you can't use any of them until that cooldown has passed. That cooldown is long enough that for short battles, you are limited to casting a certain number of spells for each spell level. For long battles, that cooldown might expire and you can start casting those spells again. The other cooldown has to do with your grimoire. A wizard may know a lot of spells, but he can only cast a few basic spells plus the ones that are in the grimoire that he is holding. Grimoires vary in size, holding various numbers of spells of different spell levels, and the player is free to load up his different grimoires with spell combinations of his choice. But once combat begins, switching grimoires causes a cooldown for all of those spells, leaving the caster only able to cast his basic spells until the grimoire cooldown passes. This means the player will have to think carefully about which spells he adds to a grimoire and under what situations he would want to switch one for another. And that's everything for this week, folks. Thank you very much for your support of Obsidian and Project Eternity. Tim.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Uyzap5FcgI This update is going to be a little different. Instead of doing an update on a topic that we chose, we asked readers on reddit to submit questions and vote them up or down, and on Friday we took the five highest scoring questions to answer here. You can visit the Project Eternity reddit group here: http://www.reddit.co...rojecteternity/ and the Q&A subgroup is here: http://www.reddit.co...ns_answered_by/ Let us know if you like these Q&A updates, and we can look into doing more of them. Tim. AtheistBots asks... Class vs. Classless systems You're most famous for classless systems involved in Fallout and Arcanum. It sounds as if Obsidian will be using a class based system. What do you see as being the advantages of a class based system that you're hoping to leverage in Project Eternity? Answer: We are designing a class-based system because we want the different characters in your party to fill different roles, and classes are the best way to achieve this goal. In a skill-based game, it's harder to tell if a companion gives you the skills you are looking for, especially before you recruit them. In a class-based game, you know what each class can do, so you can decide that you want a particular class even before a potential companion offers to join you. And when you have a lot of companions and can choose which ones you want to take on a particular adventure, classes make it easier to form the group and be assured that you have your skillsets covered. Bonus question: Are you considering multiclassing? Answer: Bonus questions are cheating…but yes, we are considering adding multi-classing to the game. A better way to put this answer is that we are not ruling them out at this time. If they work well with our final system, we will offer them. Kaaaboom asks… I was a bit discouraged when I heard that the combat was going to be RTwP (real time with pause), myself being a big fan of TB (turn-based) and the possibility of tactical combat that it lends to a game. My question is then: how are you going to make the combat in P:E tactically interesting despite it being RTwP? Answer: Hmm, this is a bit of a loaded question, as it implies that real-time games aren't tactically interesting while all turn-based games are. Believe me, I have played plenty of dull turn-based games with very few options on what to do on each turn, and there are lots of real-time games that are incredibly tactically rich. Look at all of the real-time strategy games out there! So to answer your question, we are going to make sure that the distinct abilities that our classes will have will each provide different roles to those characters in combat, and that you will always have choices to make in combat about how to best position yourself and use your attacks. In addition, we are going to design the enemy encounters to be ever-increasing challenges, so that one way of fighting won't carry you through every encounter. You will be forced to mix it up a bit, tactically speaking, and use all of your combat skills to make it through to the end of the game. Let me add that as an Infinity Engine inspired game, our pillars of design include isometric exploration of a fantasy world, a reactive storyline with interesting and believable characters, and real-time with pause combat. Those elements are expected in our game, and we feel strongly about providing them. Elthosian asks… How much reactivity can we expect from the world based in our character's race and sub-race? Answer: We will provide a lot of reactivity in our game to your choice of race. We are planning on giving each race a set of traits that the player can pick from, and those traits affect everything from dialogs choices to skill bonuses to what kind of options you will have to finish some quests. There probably won't be quests that are just for one race, but one thing we are not going to do for certain is make race-restricted items. While many items have a cultural connection to some races, they will still be useable by members of other races. It might be unusual to see humans in elven chain, but they can wear it. NeuroArcanist asks… What aspect of cRPGs missing from modern games do you most want to recapture with Project Eternity? Answer: I can answer that in one word: parties. I like playing cRPG's that allow the player to control big parties of characters, and by control, I mean you can pick the actions of each party member if you want. We will have lots of pause conditions in our combat, and if you want to have the game pause whenever a party member can perform a new action, you can do that. Most modern games only let you control one character, or if they give you a party, you only control one member of that group. In this game, I want to control all of them. Zinicel asks… Will there be modding capabilities for this game? I know it's a tall order for this style of game, but I've wanted a definitive answer to this question. Knowing Unity, I know it's somewhat unlikely to offer this. But it'd still be nice to know for sure. Answer: That is a very good question, but unfortunately, I don't have an answer for you. We are still looking at Unity and how it bundles up content in the shipped game, and we will have to see how much of that we can make available to the player. I can say that we want you to be able to mod the game, and if it's possible, we will allow you to do it. It's not our primary focus, which is to give you an amazing single player experience with our game, but we know a lot of people will want to tinker with the game and make their own content, so we will let you know how this objective is faring when we are further along in development.