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What We're Up To

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlfO8y-Ax3s

 

Thanks to you, we're funded. Now the work begins. At this stage of the project, we are still in pre-production, so at Wednesday morning's team meeting we started talking about the passion-stirring topic of logistics. Before we start scripting quests and writing dialogues, we need to understand the full scope of what we're setting out to do. In some ways, the basics stay the same for us as they did a decade ago. But we have new problems to solve and we need to have them all worked out before we enter production.

 

The key elements we have been focusing on are:

  • The size and structure of the world - This game will be... large. And it will have two big cities, exploration areas, and a 15-level mega-dungeon. Ensuring that the world is planned properly requires examination of what has worked for us in the past and what hasn't. The original Baldur's Gate had a number of wilderness areas, but low density of content in many of those areas. Baldur's Gate II had much greater content density, but fewer wilderness/pure exploration areas. We'd like to make sure we have pure exploration areas while still maintaining good content density.

  • Dynamic environment integration - Animated objects, interactive objects, ambient visual effects, water, dynamic lights and shadows -- all of these elements can be featured even within a "2D" world. Our goal is to strike a good balance between visual fidelity, performance (including memory on disk), and the amount of time environment artists have to spend setting up their areas. We prefer dynamic solutions that are relatively easy to author, as we want our environment artists to maximize their efficiency.

  • Lore and story - What we've developed so far has been the result of a small number of impromptu discussions and high-level efforts. Last week, we (including George -- thanks!) had our first meeting to increase development of the setting and story. We discussed major themes we'd like to explore, the order in which we'd each like to develop aspects of the lore and characters, and what elements we each were having trouble wrapping our heads around. Our immediate focus is on the central conflict of the story and the various factions that have a stake in it.

As the song goes, we've only just begun, but the team is excited and determined to make a game that lives up to your, and our, expectations. You've put a huge amount of trust in us, and we want to repay you with the best RPG we can.

 

Next week, we'll be talking about system design and how we're approaching mechanics like class design, advancement, and the role of equipment. We're also working on fulfillment of some of the Kickstarter pledges and we'll have more info on that in the next few weeks. Finally, if you missed our D&D session from last week, we have it up on the

for your enjoyment!

 

Update by Josh Sawyer

 

PE-Dungeon-Levels.jpg

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Follow me on twitter - @adam_brennecke

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Are you serious? Still haven't updated the dungeon art? :o You didn't notice how many of us were asking for it?

 

Absolutely. It's really strange to see previous scheme of mega dungeon today.

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I love finding about the behind-the-scenes stuff for development.... Coolzers. :) Thanks for keeping it transparent (within reason).

 

 

P.S.: I'll keep whining for more art in the style of the first painted Sagani too. :devil:

 

FULL TRANSCRIPT

courtesy of mine typing (can't guarantee 100% accuracy, but it's as close as I could make it) :p

 

 

 

 

 

Good morning, America. How are you? And the rest of the world. Update 28. It's an exciting time. The Kickstarter is over--4.1 million dollars--thanks. But now it's time to work.

 

So in game development, when things are actually planned reasonably well, and this time, they're planned reasonably well--you start with preproduction. And preproduction is a time where you get really frustrated trying to solve a bunch of difficult problems. But it's also very exciting, because once you figure out the answers to those problems, then you can enter production. And then it's just fun... That's a lie, but it is fun. And identifying problems and solving them is extremely important.

 

So for us, we don't have a huge number of technical concerns, but we do have some logistics concerns. And so right away on Wednesday morning, the last week, right after the Kickstarter, we started focusing on those logistical problems.

 

So for us, there are a few things that pose issues. First is the size of the game and the size of the world. Thanks for funding our really huge game. Uh, we have two really big cities, and we have a lot of exploration. We're gonna have a bunch of dungeons; we have, like, 15-level mega dungeon. So building a world that big, even if it's all in 2D, there's still some planning that goes into that. A lot of those scenes can get really complex; they take up a lot of memory on the systems that are working on them. And even when they're rendered out, they can be pretty darn big. We actually sat down and calculated out at--I think we targeted like a 1080p resolution for minimum screen size and then did something like Baldur's Gate. Uh, well, I hope you have a lot of Blurays because that's not small.

 

Um, so we've been looking at a lot of those things, also talking about the logistics of how we handle dynamic elements within a level. When we first showed our screenshot, a lot of people asked, "Hey, is that water gonna be animated?" Yeah, of course that water's gonna be animated. We don't know how it's going to be animated but it will be animated. So we're trying to figure out what's the best approach for something like water. What's the best approach for things like shadows and occlusion--so determining the order in which things are sorted when you walk behind a tree. So there are a number of ways that we can set those aspects of data up, or those systems up. So we're experimenting, and we're talking about ways that we want to approach that, because we want artists to be able to make a lot of really beautiful levels, but we also want them to feel very alive. We don't want them to feel static.

 

We're also talking a lot about lore. That's less of a logistical issue, but it's something that we want more people to contribute to. Until now, it's been very narrowly focused just on the stuff we've talked about with Kickstarter. But now George Ziets is on the team--thank you again for helping to fund his involvement. Chris Avellone and I and George and Jorge and Adam and Bobby and anyone who's wanted to contribute to it, we've been talking about lore, ideas, talking about questions, criticisms of the stuff that's been presented so far, which is very good. Everybody has tons of ideas, and we do want this project to feel something--like something that is an Obsidian project that everyone working on it feels like they can be invested in, and feel good about the creative content that we're making.

 

So it's been really fun and very productive. On the really, really exciting side of thing--Adam Brennecke has been working on budgeting. WHOOEY! Um, so Excel sheets, day in day out, pretty rad. He's been working on exactly where all that money you gave us is going to go in terms of staff, time on the project, all that stuff.

 

Again, it's a big, big game. Content and quality of content is extremely important to us. We want your experience to be really rich. You should have a ton of options. So thinking about how we're going to break all of that up in terms of the number of areas, quests, characters, all that stuff--has to be accounted for.

 

So that's everything we've been focusing on, very early in the project. Obviously as time goes on, we're going to be giving you more detail. One of the nice things about being in preproduction is we can kind of mess around; we come up with lots of ideas and allow lots of people to contribute.

 

So keep in touch, keep reading our updates. We do have a link in our update to our D&D session from last week, which actually went surprisingly well considering Adam prepared for it very well. They won. The party did very well. They rescued the hostages. They beat the weresharks even though they didn't have any sulfur weapons, and it was a good time for everybody. So thanks for watching. Keep the questions coming. And thank you for your support.

 

 

 

Edited by Ieo
  • Like 9

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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So, either they haven't run away with the money or they left Josh behind to keep up appearances.

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Say no to popamole!

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@MaximKat When they first posted it had the old 13 level image up and he literally just updated like 60 seconds ago when you and I posted so the first poster didn't see it.

I still see 13 levels...

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aw low content density for some wilderness is good too. I liked that vacant and open feeling of BG1. And not everything should have the same 'content density', right? Too much balance makes for a boring composition to look at! ^_^ Forest areas in BG2 felt constrained and maze-like. That's one of the few areas I felt BG2 took a step back. :)

 

Looking forward to your updates :D

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I like Josh's shirt. Not because I'm familiar with Amon Tobin (something I'm going to rectify now) but because I like the design. It's cool.

 

And of course, I like the update. Updates make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Plus the updated dungeon picture is coooool. Can I get a cloth tapestry of that instead of the world map? I'll send $30 extra. ;)


“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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The mega-dungeon is only one level away from having as many as the original Diablo had. The floor size may not end being the same but that's still pretty nuts that we might end up having essentially a game within in a game.

Edited by Zap Rowsdower

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At 04:50 is he speaking of weresharks?

Really? I had no idea those things existed!

 

*shudders at the imagination of weresharks*

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In terms of size of the game, I wonder if the physical copy is going to reach 4 CDs like BG2 did, or if the technology nowadays will allow them to optimize it better.


"Console exclusive is such a harsh word." - Darque

"Console exclusive is two words Darque." - Nartwak (in response to Darque's observation)

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Behind the scenes are always intresting for some reason.

 

And I must say that I love idea of pre-rendered backgrounds with animated stuff in it.

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Not the most exciting update, but still good to know what's going on. :)

 

Edit: I still see the old 13-level dungeon artwork also.

Edited by Piccolo
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In terms of size of the game, I wonder if the physical copy is going to reach 4 CDs like BG2 did, or if the technology nowadays will allow them to optimize it better.

 

CDs have been abandoned some years ago as a physical medium, in terms of art, the sizes of the textures alone will be huge but we have to consider some huge games were also surprisingly small considering optimization like you said (Skyrim is a noteworthy example, being only ~5 gigs in size).


tsgUO.gif

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In terms of size of the game, I wonder if the physical copy is going to reach 4 CDs like BG2 did, or if the technology nowadays will allow them to optimize it better.

 

They invented these things called DVDs recently, they're pretty good.

 

:p

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tl:dr translation

 

"I hate you all for giving us this much money... My migraines are all your fault. This is to much game.

 

P.S. I hate you all" -Josh

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Ok, I'm done drooling over the dungeon pic and wondering if I could have it turned into a poster or something...so I'd like to make a couple other comments:

 

The original Baldur's Gate had a number of wilderness areas, but low density of content in many of those areas. Baldur's Gate II had much greater content density, but fewer wilderness/pure exploration areas. We'd like to make sure we have pure exploration areas while still maintaining good content density.

I'm very happy to hear this. That's just about exactly how I felt about those two games. I remember when I went from BG1 to BG2, how I felt some of the exploration feeling had been lost. But it's also true that BG1 had maps that felt very "low density." Something inbetween (or whatever) would be great, and I'm glad to know y'all are trying to think up ways to address it.

 

Dynamic environment integration - Animated objects, interactive objects, ambient visual effects, water, dynamic lights and shadows -- all of these elements can be featured even within a "2D" world.

So does this mean we will not only have crates, but smashable crates?

 

 

....you know I had to say it. :-

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“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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When I saw this My imediate thought was 'Weeee update. Yay'

 

Lol. But, Thanks for the update. It's awesome to get little snippets of information.

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18hg6f.jpg?t=1350556308


The shadow in the corner of your eye. The cold steel pressed to your throat.


The beautiful vision that may be your last.


Do not breath, for the Petite Death has your Soul in her hand.


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did he say blue-ray? :p


Here lies Firedorn, a hero in bed.
He once was alive, but now he's dead.
The last woman he bedded turned out to be a man
And crying in shame, off a cliff he ran.

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