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[Updated] Summary of the Q&A in the Kickstarter Comments page

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Okay, going to toss this bit up now. It's from last night with Feargus. More incoming as I sift through the 100 or so pages of the Comments:


Question: So, how crazy is it that PE is now #1 in everything except number of backers? Did you have any hope we'd get this far? :)

Feargus: Hoped we would do well, but this is ca-razy!


Question: any chance you could confirm whether each item will get it's own little lore write-up, a la BG/IWD?

Feargus: I think all important items will have lore written up about them. Standard items will have information, but not a ton of lore.


Question: you dreaming up a crazy last minute 3500000+ stretch goal?

Feargus: Well, we have a list of things and have one in mind - we are debating about making sure it sounds cool and not crazy, since announcing something as big as another Big, Big City wouldn't make sense. Kind of a conundrum


Question: Do you have some idea of the size of the game map in general at this point? Are we taking twice as big as BG? ten times as big?

Feargus: No specific size just yet. When this all finishes up and we tally everything (including fulfilling all the physical good), we figure out how to make the game as huge as we can within the funding that we have. Goal = Make Big (but polished and dense).


Question: can you make sure that quests don't get cut off if we're already in the middle of them? what i mean by that is this: when you change chapters in NWN2 you can have quests gone, just because the chapter change. and my brother is playing it right now and finds it REALLY annoying to have that happen. just a suggestion to cut down on potential annoyances.

Feargus: Understood and not our goal, although it is possible that, under certain conditions, some quests just won't be valid anymore as the story moves forward. I don't want to hold us to 100% of quests always completeable based upon the story state, since that makes us compromise other things. Fair enough?


Question: Ok, so I'd like a physical copy of the almanac. Any chance of this being an add-on?

Feargus: We are talking about doing that after Kickstarter. We felt we needed to research that more, before adding it on. We were concerned about the double impact of large hard cover and weight for shipping.


Question: One thing I really like in my RPG's is a roomy level cap. Is the plan currently to leave some headroom for us to really stretch out our gaming experience?

Feargus: We usually design our systems so you don't hit caps. All the way back to the original Fallouts, we worked to have there be something to stretch towards.


Question: Can you confirm if you will release documentary in episodic format throughout dev or post launch?

Feargus: We will be releasing the documentary in some stages, but probably not every month. We will be doing a lot in the way of sharing with web blogs and other materials on top of the documentary more frequently.


Question: No chance of a poster?

Feargus: No poster at this point, but something we are looking at for the store.


Question: Can you give me some more info about the memorial stone, how does it work/look, how many words can be written. Can there be chosen how it looks? (maybe a husband and wife in arms?) or gravestone ingame?

Feargus: Sorry - there will, most likely, be some options to how it looks. We are expecting that when you hover just look at it you will get a short description. If you examine it you will then get a box with a much longer piece of text.


Question: I'm in a digital only tier but would really like one of the physical add-ons. Any way to get a physical add-on and pay for shipping?

Feargus: We are looking at putting up a store after KS at some point. That will let people order just what they want and then pay shipping that applies to where it is going.

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Okay, up to date Q&A as of this posting. It's a mix of the rest of last night's and this morning's:


Question: Romances in PE?

Obsidian: Don't have a definitive answer yet on romances for PE. It's definitely on our list of discussion points though!


Question: I'm getting aware of the importance of level designers as more as I delve into the world of game development. they don't only do games

Obsidian: Yep. To be more specific, Bobby's a level designer. Level designers at Obsidian do all of the level placement (things like loot, encounters, NPC's) and they'll also work on quests and some dialogues for their areas. Our designers participate in a lot of the overall design of the game. Even though Bobby may have the role of level designer, he'll undoubtedly give feedback on our game systems, and even come up with ideas that would get incorporated. Pretty fun honestly. :)


Question: The reason I ask regarding the house and stronghold is, generally, it's easier to obtain a house, while a stronghold isn't called a stronghold for nothing since it's bigger, meaner, and harder to obtain (I would imagine so, at least). It would be a good idea to have a "basic" house people can have, or a house that's large enough to be adequate, quaint, and homie, but have a stronghold for the folks who really want to dish out the time and effort.

Obsidian: that's my current understanding (a separate house, and then a meaty stronghold). But as a general disclaimer, I'm a programming/back-office type, and designers give me the willies... :)


Question: So can someone tell me if I have this right? If I add $20 under manage pledge but don't change my reward tier then I get to choose what I want to spend that $20 on? (ie. me wanting to add on the expansion)

Obsidian: Yep! I wish there was an easier way with KS to do addons, but Bruce P is spot on. We'll be sending a survey a few weeks after the KS to make sure everyone's getting the right stuff and settle any size issues, shipping addresses, etc. Thanks!


Question: Any update on if the physical tier cd/dvd will be for all platforms, or we have to choose between the one? :)

Obsidian: Don't know but I'm hopeful it'll be all plats. I personally prefer a key agnostic of platform, but I'll need to talk to the other wizards about how that will work. It's on our "FAQ Items to Figure Out List" though. Wish I could be more definitive!


Question: Would it be possible to get the Chris Avellone novella in the .mobi(kindle) format instead of pdf? Pdfs render horribly on kindles.

Obsidian: We're going to produce other formats besides PDF: ePub and Mobi. I'm all about those other formats and will make sure we get those. :)


Question: I'm contemplating adding a Strategy Guide because knowledge is awesome and the more pdf's the better, but I don't want to if it is just a walkthrough. So, Strategy Guide, what is it?

Obsidian: It should be similar to a guide you'd get from say Prima. It'll have the walkthrough stuff, but also inner details about stats, classes, critters, bosses, and more. Hope that helps!


Question: It does, thanks! So then, is it fairly close to the printed game manual you get in the boxed set? Or are they two totally different animals?

Obsidian: Mmm, I would expect the strat guide to have more detailed information. Like having designers comment on the stats, classes, and critters (with more internal details about them) versus just flat information if that makes any sense. Like the manual would explain the spell list and basic stats about them, but the strat guide would go into more detail about each item, perhaps explaining it's under-the-hood effects, etc.


Question: question about the screenshot. Is that going to be the angle at which we play the game? If so, why is it at a lower angle than what most of the isometric style games seem to be at?

Obsidian: Not necessarily. That'll be played with quite a bit over the coming months. That was one of the first things I mentioned when I saw it too. :)


Question: you know of any word about giving us the GDD?

Obsidian: No, although not sure that we'd do that. Our game design documentation is usually spread out over lots of different documents and filed in wiki-type pages generally, but who knows!


Question: So Darren, what is your job title? I am unfamiliar with a lot of the staff and it's a little weird/creepy but I like to know a little about the people making this game. Feargus' name was so unique to me when I first heard it many years ago, that as soon as I heard his name, I came to see what game he was making. I'd like to know about what you do.

Obsidian: No problem! I'm one of the co-owners of Obsidian. My official job title is "CIO / Vice President of Operations" but it's stuffyness intended only for business cards and non-game company communication. My actual job is managing the non-development aspects of the company (so the admin folks like HR, IT, etc.) and I also involve myself on our game projects in 'special' capacities. I do a lot of different things, typically involving programming of business info systems and stuff. Sounds incredibly boring, but I love it. I was also the producer of NWN2 and Dungeon Siege III, but I do less production stuff now.


..oh and at Black Isle Studios, I have 'additional programming' credits on Fallout 1, 2 and Torment, and I was a producer on Icewind Dale 1, the producer of Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance and Icewind 2.


Question: I agree with walkir. You should use any more money for better quality assurance. More stretch goals would be nice, but what we really want is an almost bug free and polished game. :)

Obsidian: Truth be told, that's what I want too. The producery-type in me wants more solid polish and QA time, but that would be a HORRIBLE stretch goal to announce!!!


Question: so if you're using unity, is stuff done in Boo or is it all C# and javascript?

Obsidian: The guys all use C#. No Boo usage currently. :)


Question: I have to admit, I'd love to have multiplayer as a stretch goal, but I have no idea how costly adding it would be. I'd be content with additional players just being unimportant sidekicks of the main player that can't advance the story by themselves.

Obsidian: Sadly it's a lot to make sure it's done right. It has a lot of implications both on the game's design (moving away from a 'party leader' who moves the group vs. six independent people wanting to do their own things [entering buildings while others are outside], etc.) and also on testing (cross platform connectivity expectations, low latency testing, etc.) If we did MP, we would want to improve on how BG/IWD worked, but that would be a lot more expensive to do. :(


Question: Any word on the XP for kills?

Obsidian: The XP for kills thing is still an ongoing discussion here. Our goal is to make this a game that is reminiscent of the IE games and in my mind that does mean XP for kills. We just need to balance with other systems.


Question: I hope you have a plan for the next stretchgoal, even if it's a "dedicated buffers for Q&A testing" or some such! No losing momentum!

Obsidian: We have an update planned. Adam should be here soon and then we will get it up and explained. We have talked a ton about it, and it might be a lot of what you are talking about.


Question: [some people really dislike] stamina/health ... not that you've even written 1 line of code yet [thoughts]?

Obsidian: I was on the fence about the Stamina / Health thing as well. My thought on it right now is that it is worth implementing (not a ton of work) and then we can see how it feels. If it doesn't feel good, then we will change or pull it.


Question: The loot bag US only is really a bad move. Really disappointed, there isn't only USA people that are backing this project.

Obsidian: We can't ship the processors internationally. We are very sorry about that. AMD donated the 30 processors and we are not allowed, legally, to ship them out of the US. It is not because we love the US more than the rest of the world. We are pushing hard to support even more languages and seeing how far we can get PE across the world.


Question: Then don't propose it ! It feel incredibly unfair for the others !

Obsidian: AMD was nice enough to donate the processors, so it felt like we should give them out. I guess we could have just kept them, although that feels sort of strange.


Question: Why not full symphonic, orchestral music as a new stretchgoal ? Music is half the experience in a game or movie... and we still don't know what the castle is since you keep putting the current pledge on the map as if it were to reach it. :/

Obsidian: We are talking about that. We wanted to have Josh here for that conversation, but the was delayed this morning.


Question: Tbh I am a bit dissapointed that the 200k surplus money isnt being used to put there where its needed. Right now it sounds like its only used for Quality Control. Which it wouldnt have cost if they "only" got 1.1mill as projected on day 1. I rather would have seen some new features, maybe a new companion. With more then 7 hours to go well get as least 300k (incl . paypall) over the 3.5 of City 2. PErsonal prefference ofc.

Obsidian: It is not for Quality Control, it is for making the whole game better. We were worried that just adding stuff at this point would make the game feel like it was getting out of control.


Question: Still think there should be a new stretch goal that can be done with the xtra bucks over and above the 3.5, just stick a 4mil one in and see how it goes, what can you lose its a win win, spesh with an xtra 500k + paypal :)

Obsidian: We are going to talk more about it and are trying to come up with something that puts a capper on this amazing month. Now, the complete lack of sleep is hampering us a bit. :)


Question: I would have loved to have seen a live Orchestra for the last stretch goal.

Obsidian: That is a big thing we are still talking about. Josh feels very strongly about how the music should be handled, so we didn't want to decided without him. He unfortunately was delayed this morning.


Question: Will the physical shipment be declared as gift with the production values on it?

I really don't intend to pay lots of taxes/customs on a pledge.

Obsidian: We will declare the cost of making the goods, not the pledge amount.


Question: ive learned to believe what i read and what i hear from developers. "Making it better" is simply not clear. you can put a value on it.. but you dont know either. Thats the simple truth. Be open what you do with money.. 200-300k is alot money to just say.. "well use it to make it better" . All my personal oppinion ofc.

Obsidian: We will do things like the following - add quests, variations on attack animations, unique spell effects, unique animation rigs with less rig sharing, art time spend on unique item art, more portraits. I guess that is "more" stuff, but it is to make the game more dense than broadening the borders. It will mean more game time and more replayability as well.


response to a later comment related to this - Ink Blot And yes, we will have some more resources to put more work into the mod tools.


Question: Can I make a suggestion unrelated to the processor drama? How about releasing some of the digital stuff over the next year and a half gradually so folks don't lose interest, similar to what's been done here. A little bit of map now, a little bit of fluff next week and so on. Maybe even give us the Campaign Almanac, map and some of the music beforehand? You guys probably already have stuff like this planned but i'm just throwing it out there in case you're as exhausted by these last few days as I think you are and haven't given it any thought yet.

Obsidian: Absolutely what we are planning, we want to keep on talking with everyone and keep on releasing info. We will have some of the documentary to release as the months go by, web blogs, updates and maybe even some of the design documents.


Question: Personally I would like to see more companions, only 8 isn't really a lot of choice, I know we can make our own but I and many overs prefer the ones who chat to us and have interesting quests etc. So how about an extra companion for every 100k or 150k or even just 2 extra companions if we hit 4m? :-D

Obsidian: We are going to talk about more companions, but we did not want to promise it. It is a ton of time and there are not alot of writers that can do as indepth ones as we are planning. Our hope is to do more, but, in case we don't end up being comfortable with it - we didn't want to promise.


Question: As an aside, how about an extra level to the mega-dungeon for every 100k over 3.5mil? I mean, people are already crazy about it. Why not make it the truly /endless/ depths?

Obsidian: Not a bad idea. I will talk with Adam about that.


Question: Do use some of the extra funding for the documentary (if needed) so it really becomes a big one and not just a camera in a certain meeting or viewing an art guy for X minutes. Could be a small stretchgoal for a little of the "extra" funding.

Obsidian: We said we would fund the documentary ourselves, so I would worry that would feel disingenuous


Question: How much do you figure making that documentary will cost?

Obsidian: We have a couple of bids right now, but we aren't sure which way we are going to go just yet. We do know the guys, so we are getting a really good deal as well.




So here's what sounds like the top wants: - A character like Boo - Town built outside of stronghold - Bard class (we have chanters though, but maybe people want the instrument part?) - Another class - New game + (but we have the three [stackable too!] difficulty modes?) - Sea travel (I liked this one) What else that wouldn't be a ton of new work? :) -Darren


$125K in PayPal

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Just going to post this for posterity. Likely the last update from the Q&A sessions (why does it feel like the end of an era?)



Obsidian (Darren): Hi everyone! I'm basically the last one in the office at this point - everyone's headed over the our local watering hole. On behalf of all of us, thank you. I've met some new friends here, and have seen some old, and we look forward to getting going. We'll be in touch soon with another update on how the survey will work, etc. BTW, PayPal is still open so if you just missed the KS, you can still hit that up. Not sure when that's coming down yet though (in place of pre-ordering). ANYWAYS - Thank you all, and it's time for a beer! :)

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Thanks for all your hard work on this, Ink Blot. It's invaluable for those of us who can't keep up with KS comments. :p


End of a chapter. Beginning of an era.

The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Write your own romance mods because there won't be any in PE.

"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy?" -(Digger)

"Most o' you wanderers are but a quarter moon away from lunacy at the best o' times." -Alvanhendar (Baldur's Gate 1)

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