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Update #12: Reddit Q&A with Tim Cain

project eternity reddit tim cain classes modding reactivity

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#41
Knott

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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.


*Sigh*
So they are making it safe for the "Creatively and cognitively challenged"..
I can't beleive they'd settle for that after MCA's wonderful blog-post: http://forums.obsidi...l-set-symphony/

but oh well, One can only hope that multi-classing will be intelligently designed.
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#42
RosesandAshes

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Great update! The racial traits stuff sounds interesting, and I like that my human character can finally wear elven armor (even though it might involve breastplate stretching) because it's always frustrated me when I find a cool piece of armor and WHY DO I HAVE TO GIVE IT TO MY PARTY MEMBER?! I WANT IT!

#43
Ieo

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I wouldn't want shared inventory, but it would be nice to have all the inventories open at once, so I don't have to keep clicking back and forth between characters trying to remember where I last stuffed something


I rather like the overall micromanagement/AI combination in BG (though I didn't do the more custom AI scripts), but the inventory thing always bugged me. It was worse in BG1 because going into inventory unpaused the game during combat! It's true that having limited inventory per character is realistic, but having to manage the consumables/ammo among the party was annoying to me.... It's one thing I did like about DA's shared inventory setup--I didn't have to worry about different characters suddenly running out of stuff in the middle of combat and then having to drag-n-drop things across characters. I'd rather be deciding which enemy to attack with what spell or something.

I wouldn't mind a hybrid inventory system of some kind, where we still have our static character-specific inventory and quick-slots but maybe 1-2 special 'shared' quick-slots only for consumables like potions/ammo. But the option of having everyone's inventory open at the same time, like pausing in the middle of combat to redistribute potions, would greatly increase convenience as well.

#44
Elidar

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While I am looking forward to being able to control the whole party, I also don't want to go too deep into micro management for some easier fights and in case of a difficult fight I also would like to see my companions being able to handle themselves without me telling them their every single move.

In the IE games, there was a 'select all' button that became quite useful for those easier fights where you didn't feel the need to stop and assign everyone a unique action.

For example, you come across a group of about 5 Orcs. No need for micro-management in such a situation. Simply click "select all" then point your curser at one of the orcs, and your entire party will just start attacking the orc you clicked on until he dies, then they'll automatically move on to the next orc, then the next, then the next until there's none left.


Thank you, but I am quite aware of this option as I've played all IE games. I was making a different point.

#45
Oner

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Am I the only one who thinks that an explorable world, tight story, reactivity, party managemen, IWD quality combat and dungeons are too many focus points? I don't know how they want to make all those aspects as good as possible. Not that I mind Obs trying, far from it, but it just seems too good to be true on such a (relatively) low budget.
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#46
Ieo

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Am I the only one who thinks that an explorable world, tight story, reactivity, party managemen, IWD quality combat and dungeons are too many focus points? I don't know how they want to make all those aspects as good as possible. Not that I mind Obs trying, far from it, but it just seems too good to be true on such a (relatively) low budget.


Virtually all the devs involved with PE have been involved in other games that cover the gamut. For example, Josh Sawyer on IWD's great mechanics, Chris Avellone on PS:T's ridiculously good writing, and while I'm not sure just how much dev input they had with Baldur's Gate, Obsidian/Interplay (Tim Cain) published BG so they must have had some input for the product to have panned out the way it did.

They can make the Holy Trifecta work together because they don't have to worry about the larger publishers of current passive gaming audiences trying to cater to only one type (e.g. dungeon hack) and because they're stripping out those items that add giant budget requirements---full VA work, cut-scene cinematics, 3D talking heads, multiplayer.... and marketing (marketing costs can be ridiculous--twice the budget of actual development for some current AAA 3D games).

Just remember--the people at Obsidian has been in the gaming industry for a very long time, so they're very much aware of budget limitations on various aspects of content development; that they decided to make the Kickstarter a $1.1m minimum target means that's what they analyzed as possible even for that combination of Great Stuff.

Edited by Ieo, 29 September 2012 - 01:36 PM.

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#47
Archon

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There were a fair number of auto-pause combat conditions in Baldur's Gate.

Enemy Sighted
Weapon Unusable
Character Hit
Character Death
Character's Target Destroyed
Trap Found
Spell Cast

And any others I might've missed. I always went with Weapon Unusable (typically out of ammo) and Spell Cast (easier to manually chain spells without losing too much time). Everything else I managed with manual pause in combination with specifically chosen AI scripts. My friends ended up using most of the autopause options. Options are good. :)


Indeed, options are good :D
I suppose the 14 years since my last BG / BGII playthrough is ( a little ) too long because I didn't remember those conditions... Hopefully BGEE will help getting back into the mood before PE.

"Get the Breastplate stretcher!" One of my favorite scenes with the king from Game of Thrones season 1


There's a bit of Lancel Lannister in every videogame designer who take the shortcut to "stretch metal" :D


They can make the Holy Trifecta work together because they don't have to worry about the larger publishers of current passive gaming audiences trying to cater to only one type (e.g. dungeon hack) and because they're stripping out those items that add giant budget requirements---full VA work, cut-scene cinematics, 3D talking heads, multiplayer.... and marketing (marketing costs can be ridiculous--twice the budget of actual development for some current AAA 3D games).


Indeed. For example, Swen Vincke from Larian Studios penned some blogposts where he explained how marketing can be terribly expansive, amongst many other things publishers charge on developpers.

#48
C2B

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Virtually all the devs involved with PE have been involved in other games that cover the gamut. For example, Josh Sawyer on IWD's great mechanics, Chris Avellone on PS:T's ridiculously good writing, and while I'm not sure just how much dev input they had with Baldur's Gate, Obsidian/Interplay (Tim Cain) published BG so they must have had some input for the product to have panned out the way it did.


Tim Cain had nothing to do with Baldur's Gate. I'm pretty sure you're thinking of Feargus.

Tim *created* Fallout, Arcanum and was the Project Lead/Lead Designer of TOEE, which is the single best D&D implentation to date (as in gameplay systems/combat).

Which is why I'm regarding him as a CRPG designer even more important than Avellone and Sawyer. And why this is a incredible trifecta.

Edited by C2B, 29 September 2012 - 02:32 PM.


#49
Ieo

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Virtually all the devs involved with PE have been involved in other games that cover the gamut. For example, Josh Sawyer on IWD's great mechanics, Chris Avellone on PS:T's ridiculously good writing, and while I'm not sure just how much dev input they had with Baldur's Gate, Obsidian/Interplay (Tim Cain) published BG so they must have had some input for the product to have panned out the way it did.


Tim Cain had nothing to do with Baldur's Gate. I'm pretty sure you're thinking of Feargus.

Tim *created* Fallout, Arcanum and was the Project Lead/Lead Designer of TOEE, which is the single best D&D implentation to date (as in gameplay systems/combat).

Which is why I'm regarding him as a CRPG designer even more important than Avellone and Sawyer. And why this is a incredible trifecta.


Ah crap, why is the edit window so short. :banghead: Factual! Error! Suck!

#50
swordsandroses

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Best update yet! They basically admitted they are catering for infinity engine fans, and as a guy who's beaten Baldur's Gate saga with every race, and each race with every class, I am happy. Honestly, I have yet to see an RPG that can tactically outdo Baldur's gate and Icewind dale. It's fantastic!

#51
NoxNoctum

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What's up with the comments on the youtube video? It's completely infested with hate spewing.

I don't keep up with Reddit or 4chan but it looks like they're using the video for some kind of flame war :/

Obsidian should just disable the comments.

Anyways, I don't understand the animosity, but I for one appreciated Tim doing this. I never use Reddit but I registered just to ask a question/vote up others.

Edited by NoxNoctum, 29 September 2012 - 03:23 PM.


#52
Auxilius

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I'm kinda disappointed my question on world-building didn't get through. It would have been very interesteing to know if the world map is going for an Arcanum or Baldur's Gate approach for example.

NoxNoctum: Well, it proves several things.
1) If the Q&A was made on 4chan, Tim would have definitely been asked how does it fill to be jizzed inside. I then don't see the point to do a Q&A there.
2) The game is considered as interesting by this community, meaning you better get used to the hate since they're known to bitch over insignificant things.
3) Internet wars are horribly smelling of failure and nerdiness. "My website is better than yours" is not a good reason to flame a video.

Edited by Auxilius, 29 September 2012 - 03:36 PM.


#53
Oner

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I'm more perplexed by the morons who think doing a Q&A with Reddit somehow influnces the design of the game.

#54
rjshae

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I'm more perplexed by the morons who think doing a Q&A with Reddit somehow influnces the design of the game.


Listening to your customers is usually a good business practice. I'm not sure if that is entirely true in the video gaming business, but it's probably at least good for generating buzz and looking for prominent areas of interest. :)

#55
Oner

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I'm more perplexed by the morons who think doing a Q&A with Reddit somehow influnces the design of the game.


Listening to your customers is usually a good business practice. I'm not sure if that is entirely true in the video gaming business, but it's probably at least good for generating buzz and looking for prominent areas of interest. :)

But they just asked questions. They didn't supply design docs Obs has to follow or anything. They asked questions! o_O

#56
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Q&A are interesting, but why don´t you ask your fans here, on Kickstarter, or on forums? Why only Reddit users? I, for one, didn´t even knew you were doing such an event :/

Nonetheless, I like the answers. My only question is: why it a problem to do Unity moddable game? No tools available? You´d have to create TDK yourselves?
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#57
Gorth

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I'm more perplexed by the morons who think doing a Q&A with Reddit somehow influnces the design of the game.


Listening to your customers is usually a good business practice. I'm not sure if that is entirely true in the video gaming business, but it's probably at least good for generating buzz and looking for prominent areas of interest. :)

But they just asked questions. They didn't supply design docs Obs has to follow or anything. They asked questions! o_O

They may have been loaded questions, sneakily manipulating Tim to change his mind accordingly :shifty:

#58
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Update 12 was a pleasant surprise. I just wish I would have watched the video instead of reading the text. I would definitely enjoy seeing more of these Q&A updates as they reveal more about the game and I get to see the developers(if there are going to be more videos that is). I also wanted to mention that of all of Obsidian's games I've only played KOTOR: II and Fallout: New Vegas both of which I enjoyed immensely, seeing as I already enjoyed previous to them KOTOR: I and Fallout 3. However, I've never played an isometric cRPG. I tried playing Baldurs Gate but it was to much to manage. I hope that there will be a companion Gambit System so that I don't have to micro manage my allies during every fight. But when I do want to micro manage during a pause or on the fly, switching between companions and selecting actions and targets for them should be easy. And by easy I mean the amount of time it takes to select an action and a target, and how many prompts or layers I have to go through to make that selection happen. Personally, I hope that the target and action selection will liken to that of KOTOR or Dragon Age which are both fairly easy to use(or something better :) ). I also know you guys are good at stories and I'm glad that the narrative and the companion interactions are going to be at the forefront of the game's development. I enjoy reading books of the fantasy genre such as The Sword of Truth Series, Wheel of Time Series, Raven King Trilogy, The First Law Trilogy, The Merlin Trilogy, Drizz't Do Urden, and others. So whatever Project: Eternity's story/adventure is going to be about, I'm sure it will good. Keep up the good work!!!!
-David

Edited by 509dave16, 29 September 2012 - 04:58 PM.


#59
justaleaf

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Are you going for the more modern approach of having "hubs" where all joined companions await for party choice on a particular quest? Or the approach the "IE" games took where you basically chose a party and stuck with it, often (unless modded) permanantly losing choice on some companions because you said no at one point?


I assumed (and I'm hoping) it's the latter :) I don't think you should be "stuck" with a party though. I would hope that you could ask members to join and leave and even rejoin later if you wanted to (as long as you didn't upset them in some way). Personally I prefer building one party and leveling them all up at the same time, only asking a member to leave if I find someone with better skills for what I need in the party.


Maybe it's less obvious than I think. But, deduction would indicate that we have an answer to this, potentially, by the inclusion of player housing. It could work somewhat like the campsite or normandy, from DO:O and ME respectively.

#60
Ieo

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However, I've never played an isometric cRPG. I tried playing Baldurs Gate but it was to much to manage. I hope that there will be a companion Gambit System so that I don't have to micro manage my allies during every fight. But when I do want to micro manage during a pause or on the fly, switching between companions and selecting actions and targets for them should be easy. And by easy I mean the amount of time it takes to select an action and a target, and how many prompts or layers I have to go through to make that selection happen.


Did you try playing BG on the easy setting and using all or most of the available combat autopause features? There are also special AI scripts, although I can't remember them off the top of my head at the moment (like attack caster first, I think). I'll be honest; given that PE is supposed to pay homage to the IE gameplay styles, I recommend you try again--the isometric party tactical combat style is a major part of the marketing, and with a party of 6, I expect players used to the newfangled 3-4 party 3D cinematic auto-do-everything-for-you games will have trouble at first, but pause is the key power that the player has.

PE will have an "easy" difficulty level somewhere, but they haven't determined exactly where that will be; I rather expect it to be similar to the IE games' "easy" difficulty.

Planescape:Torment has the same basic combat structure but the UI is different and the game can be played almost entirely without combat (like 4 required combat areas last I read). From what we know about PE so far, the devs do intend to allow players to skip at least some combat using dialogue and depending on other factors.

Personally, I hope that the target and action selection will liken to that of KOTOR or Dragon Age which are both fairly easy to use(or something better :) ).


In the old IE games, you just click a party member, click an action you want him/her to do (e.g. a spell) and then click the target you want the member to do it on (if the action requires a target). It doesn't get easier than that.

If you're a reader and you haven't played PS:T yet, I highly recommend it.





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