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J.E. Sawyer

Update #3: Game Basics - Your Party, Your Characters, and Races

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Sounds awesome. The build up part gets me all jiggly wiggely. Makes me think of the epic Mask of Betrayer plot.

 

Also I hope the scope of the story isn't too big. Don't let the player see the whole damn world and fight all the evil things in it, let there be something unseen. I hope the story is on a personal scale rather than global scale if that makes senes.

Edited by Playgu

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Awesome. But I have one question - is it going to be "dark" fantasy game? And when I say dark fantasy I don't exactly mean the precise definition, but something like Torment style (serious mature subjects like philosophy, faith etc., grim atmosphere, scenes like removing an eye and more) and definitely not like DA: Origins (it was said to be dark, but it didn't work for me - people there are doomed but they don't seem to care and one episode of drinking blood doesn't make it dark). Or is it going to have more Baldur's Gate-like atmosphere?

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I don't have a issue with this kind of set up maybe it is a bit cliche, but on the other hand why not. KotoR had one of the easiest ways to start a story - character with amnesia but whole story and this huge twist were epic. It is not about how the journey starts it's about journey itself and how it ends.

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The set-up reminds me a lot of the Black Hound. Sounds nice, I am highly interested.


"only when you no-life you can exist forever, because what does not live cannot die."

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I love the female dwarf art, but if it's boreal regions, why does she have bare knees and arms? She would get frostbite in no time. I know it's a fantasy game amd it's a very early art, but please please make clothing and armor designs realistic. :)

 

That being said, I don't really want to criticize. You're doing great work.


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Thanks for the update guys. Sounds very exciting. I was particularly excited to read about companions. It sounds very similar to BG2 or PST in that regard which is great, since I can't remember an RPG that did it better than those two.

 

I do have a query - you mentioned choosing the player portrait in character creation. Just for clarification - will that mean artwork portraits like in Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate & NWN1? I certainly hope so! That method proved infinitely more atmospheric and personable than the 3D representations of later years

 

Also, what Cantousent said sounds ideal.

Something I think would be kind of nice is if the player can put someone other than the PC in the 'party spokesman' role. I think that might be useful in a couple of different ways. For example, the most obvious is that the npc has a higher social/leadership attribute than the PC. For example, my mage, with a charisma of eight, lacks people skills while my cleric, with a charisma of seventeen is used to dealing with people much more often. Another siuation is dealing with particular groups. For example, my Paladin, while only a charisma of fifteen, has a nobility trait and therefore deals with nobles with exhuberant felicity. Finally, at least of things that spring to mind immediately, my elvish mage, while quite dour, might deal with other dour-assed elves better that my friendly priest.

 

I think the highest personality rating has always been traditionally used but actively choosing would allow the player a far more active role, make conversing more of a gameplay mechanic, rather than bland exposition (allowing you to make use of other character skills & stats in conversation) and would also make having a party outside of combat actually relevant.

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I think the highest personality rating has always been traditionally used but actively choosing would allow the player a far more active role, make conversing more of a gameplay mechanic, rather than bland exposition (allowing you to make use of other character skills & stats in conversation) and would also make having a party outside of combat actually relevant.

Automatically using the highest rated character's stats limits the player's ability to have his party operate suboptimally. If my PC is an egotist who thinks he's better at everything than everyone else, then he probably should be speaking, even if he's not very good at it. Similarly, if my PC lacks confidence (I played a Warden in DAO who had crippling social anxiety - it was a ton of fun) then he might never want to speak, even if he's the best choice available.

 

Having the game mechanics decide things like this for us robs us of roleplaying opportunities.

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God used to be my co-pilot, but then we crashed in the Andes and I had to eat him.

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Will we be able to create more than one party member, or are we limited to just the one?

 

I get that the core design is one PC + joinable companions, but that doesn't necessarily preclude the ability to create multiple PCs. Will we be able to?


God used to be my co-pilot, but then we crashed in the Andes and I had to eat him.

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I think the highest personality rating has always been traditionally used but actively choosing would allow the player a far more active role, make conversing more of a gameplay mechanic, rather than bland exposition (allowing you to make use of other character skills & stats in conversation) and would also make having a party outside of combat actually relevant.

Automatically using the highest rated character's stats limits the player's ability to have his party operate suboptimally. If my PC is an egotist who thinks he's better at everything than everyone else, then he probably should be speaking, even if he's not very good at it. Similarly, if my PC lacks confidence (I played a Warden in DAO who had crippling social anxiety - it was a ton of fun) then he might never want to speak, even if he's the best choice available.

 

Having the game mechanics decide things like this for us robs us of roleplaying opportunities.

 

I completely agree! Also, similarly, it'd be nice to see some of the NPC personalities shine through if they are spokesperson. Being able to choose who talks lends your entire party character

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This sounds so ****ing awesome. If the game becomes half as good as Baldurs Gate, then is gonna get really really good!

Edited by MiCkO

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I think it may be nice if when creating characters we were able to introduce trade-offs'. For example, create a character with some form of physical disability (missing an eye, arm etc) in return for, say, higher intelligence or linguistic skills. This is the sort of thing one would do in the Pen-and-Paper RPG's. This would allow a richness in the types of characters we could create, not assuming all able-bodied, bright eyed and bushy tailed; which may serve to increase the playing experience.

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Thanks a lot for the update. Were gonna be pretty rabid for information during the course of the kickstarter campaign and thats gonna shape how much we and new arrivals will give. But what you\ve shown so far has me intrigued, im particularly glad you stay away from the obvious over-used race cliches.

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I love everything I see here. You're on the right track, I can tell!

 

Also, the attached concept art is very refreshing. It's great to see something that's not simultaneously ridiculously exaggerated and comical, like so many other games these days. This is believable, different, and seemingly made to fit into a coherent whole rather than just look cool (even thought it does that, too).

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This sounds so good that I might as well jump around out of joy. Oh, what's the use of holdign back, I shall jump joyfully around. But anyway, awesome news, looking forward for more.


Dude, I can see my own soul.....

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It's quite fun buying into a game two years before release and getting progress updates as it's developed. The Kickstarter model can only be a good thing if it inspires greater dialogue between developers and the player-base. Keep the updates coming!

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When I read "Dwarf ranger" I groaned and prepared myself for a stocky dwarf in leathers with a blunderbuss. But that concept looks really fantastic! Relatable and original in equal doses. I'm officially looking forwards to this :w00t:

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Project Eternity is still early in development and we are still working on many of the cultures, factions, and ethnic groups of the world and debating many of the system concepts. However, there are certain fundamental things we want to let you know about the game and the setting for Project Eternity.

 

Your Party

The maximum party size is the player's main character (PC) and up to five companions for a total of six characters. This does not preclude the addition of temporary characters in special circumstances. Companions are never forced on the player. Players can explore the entire world and its story on their own if they so choose. We feel companions are excellent sounding boards for the player's (and other companions') actions, but the story is ultimately about the player's personal conflict among the larger social and political complexities of the world.

 

Formations

A key element of the classic party-based tactical combat that we are developing is the use of party formations. As in the good ol' games, you can arrange your party in a large number of set formations. You can also construct your own formations if you want to get fancy. When moving companions, you have the ability to rotate formations for more precise positioning.

 

Character Creation

At a minimum, players will be able to specify their main character's name, sex, class, race (including subrace), culture, traits, ability scores, portrait, and the fundamental starting options of his or her class (gear, skills, and talents). We have not worked out customization details of character avatars, but we believe those are important and will be updating on these specifics in the future.

 

Companions

In Project Eternity, companions exist for both narrative and mechanical purposes. Companions are designed to have a driving interest in the player's central conflict. Their personalities and motivations open plot branches and generate conflicts for players to resolve over the course of the story. They are highly reactive to the player's actions and to the world around them. Additionally, companions exist to give players strategic management options in party composition that expand the party's capabilities in exploration, combat, and quest resolution. It is no coincidence that there are at least as many companions as there are classes. As stated above, companions are not required to play through Project Eternity's story, but we feel that they can add greatly to the experience.

 

The Set-Up

The player witnesses an extraordinary and horrific supernatural event that thrusts them into a unique and difficult circumstance. Burdened with the consequences of this event, the player has to investigate what has happened in order to free themselves from the restless forces that follow and haunt them wherever they go.

 

The Nature of You

Your character is not required to be of any particular race, cultural background, sex, class, moral outlook, personality, organization, etc. The premise is that you are a victim of circumstance. How you choose to deal with your situation is up to you. You can bear it with stoicism and restraint or fly off in a rage at anyone who gets in your way. The world will react to your choices, but the game is designed to give you the freedom to play your character the way you want to.

 

Races

We are still developing the races of Project Eternity, but we are creating a range that encompasses the recognizable (e.g. humans, elves, dwarves), the out-of-the-ordinary (e.g. the so-called "godlike"), and the truly odd (?!). Races and subraces differ from each other culturally, but the races also have different physiological factors that can contribute to friction and confusion between them.

 

Within even the recognizable races (including humans), we are creating a variety of ethnic subtypes and nationalities. This world's races did not all spring forth from the same place, and millennia of independent development have resulted in distinctive and unconnected groups. For example, the dwarf ranger below is originally from a southern boreal region that is quite different from the temperate homes of her distant kin to the north.

 

Additionally, Project Eternity's world contains some isolated races and ethnicities, but transoceanic exploration and cultural cohabitation have heavily mixed many racial and ethnic groups over time. This mixing is not always... peaceful. At times it has degenerated into genocide and long-standing prejudices are ingrained in many cultures.

 

***

 

That's all for today's update. We'll have more information on the world and systems in the near future. Please give us your feedback and thank you for all of the ideas and support you've given so far!

 

Yeeeeeeeeeah bro.

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Additionally, Project Eternity's world contains some isolated races and ethnicities, but transoceanic exploration and cultural cohabitation have heavily mixed many racial and ethnic groups over time. This mixing is not always... peaceful. At times it has degenerated into genocide and long-standing prejudices are ingrained in many cultures.

 

Seeing this sort of attention to coherence and world-building in a mature, realistic way despite the fantasy setting ? That's the sort of thing that made me want to invest in this game.

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I love the female dwarf art, but if it's boreal regions, why does she have bare knees and arms? She would get frostbite in no time. I know it's a fantasy game amd it's a very early art, but please please make clothing and armor designs realistic. :)

 

That being said, I don't really want to criticize. You're doing great work.

Fair concern but maybe that boreal dwarf has some innate resistance to cold. Non humans races are known for having different biologies than that of humans. But as I said, fair concern.

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Josh the man! With sweet, sweet news. Seriously considering upping my pledge.


Perkele, tiädäksää tuanoini!

"It's easier to tolerate idiots if you do not consider them as stupid people, but exceptionally gifted monkeys."

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Project Eternity is still early in development and we are still working on many of the cultures, factions, and ethnic groups of the world and debating many of the system concepts. However, there are certain fundamental things we want to let you know about the game and the setting for Project Eternity.

 

Your Party

The maximum party size is the player's main character (PC) and up to five companions for a total of six characters. This does not preclude the addition of temporary characters in special circumstances. Companions are never forced on the player. Players can explore the entire world and its story on their own if they so choose. We feel companions are excellent sounding boards for the player's (and other companions') actions, but the story is ultimately about the player's personal conflict among the larger social and political complexities of the world.

My only fear in this is that with so few companions, it will end up akin to Bioware's "catch-em-all" BFF-collection "parties", with very little true choice in the way your party plays out or is shaped. This is doubly true if you "just happen" to get one of every class - something that by itself stifles replayability, but is also such a trope, as if you're making them for the sake of making them, rather than to have interesting, fitting characters. Mechanically fitting or appropriate choices is in no way mutually exclusive to good storytelling, but it is just so incredibly boring to see "The Ranger", "The Warrior", "The Mage", rather than characters developed for their own sake.

 

Is there no chance that we'll be seeing more companions than there are classes, or more relevant class-options than there are companions assigned to their roles? I was so very, very, very much hoping that we'd be able to get away from the ever-shrinking party options of modern RPGs. I want to do themed parties again. :(

 

[...] elves, dwarves), [...]
Bleh.

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The update and plans for the game sound very promising indeed. There are a few issues I am personally interested in and have some questions about. So, if possible, I'd really love to see them answered. So, let's have a look at those.

 

First. You've said that the companions are going to respond to lots of in-game events and situations and that looks like a good start. However I'd like to know to what extent are the companions responsive? Are we talking about some major events e.g. a grand conflict between races/cultures that the party was involved in, personal disagreements, situational events? What I mean will we see something like: You're walking down the street and one of your companions starts rambling on about how the streets are dirty and the other responds with somewhat annoyed cue, which brings the third party member into the arguments, so on, until, perhaps it even turns into a major fight about town/city and nature/wilderness preferences among your followers with a possibly necessary intervention on the part of our PC? I believe such kind of interaction can bring more life and immersion into the world and the party banter as well. So what scale of this interaction are we potentially looking at?

Plus to this, I really liked the Cantousent's idea about allowing your companions to talk you out (or talk you in, you never know) of different situations OR, perhaps even assign certain followers to deal with particular situations on their own (on your behalf naturally).

 

Second. Formations sound great. I am especially pleased to know we will be able to invent out own formations. Great opportunity for different tactical approaches there. However, I believe there will be some fixed formations. Will they be similar to those in BG 1/2 or will you go along a different path?

 

Third. Character creation sounds promising, though there's an issue that's bugging me a little. As I understand from what's been said we will encounter quite a few different cultures, sub-cultures, etc. This, in my opinion, is a great opportunity to exploit in terms of attitudes and origins. I believe most of us are acquainted with Dragon Age: Origins, where you could choose your origin and you story will be partially tied to that. My question is, do you plan to do something similar in PE? For example, will choice of your race, culture, standing, etc. affect your performance as a fighter, politician, etc.? I strongly believe it would be great if similar feature could be implemented in the game. For instance, if you pick some "odd" race does this mean that your character will be looked askance at by some or may be even most? Or have difficulties finding common grounds with others (perhaps even your own companions if they decide to join you)? It seems like a vast area to explore and develop.

 

Fourth. Do you plan to have, say, canonical classes/ sub-classes or are we talking about free development (similar to the upcoming Age of Decadence) where you're able to invest points in skills and traits and shape your character as you see fit? I think such system may prove to be very useful and handy in such a game. The less restrictions you have, the better.

 

Well, for now that's all coming to mind. Anticipating the answer and next updates. Perhaps more questions will arise.

Thanks in advance!


Patience is always rewarded... ©

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I like your idea of having "Odd races". Here is a list of races that I think would be cool to see in a "Baldur's Gate" type game:

 

Steam Punk mechanical constructs

Demons

elemental half breeds

Insect-like humanoids

... Zombie Koala?

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