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Hey, everyone! This week we are doubling up on the Project Eternity backer update action. Darren Monahan will be giving a brief glimpse into the Backer Portal and Hector Espinoza will share his work (and some screenshots!) in a developer Q&A. Enjoy.



It’s Finally Time… Soon :)

Update by Darren Monahan, Chief Intelligence Overlord



A year already...


Unbelievably, a year has passed by since we launched Project Eternity on Kickstarter, and a lot has happened. We’re almost to seventy project updates; we’ve made lots of levels, characters, classes, monsters, loot, and a whole lot more over the past year with more being made almost every day.


November’s right around the corner, and here in the States, we have an upcoming holiday called Thanksgiving near the end of the month. It’s supposed to be a time where we give thanks for the harvest and reflect on the past year.


It seemed rather appropriate to have a bigger than normal update coming before this holiday and we’re cooking a big one for you! This turkey dinner is going to be large and in charge... It’ll show a bunch of new stuff we haven’t shown anyone outside the studio yet and one of the side dishes coming with it is the new site.



Backer Website: Main and Media Pages


All of our previous updates are now easily available in one place, easy to browse through and include futuristic RSS technology!  We’ve also got a one-stop shop for all of the screenshots, wallpapers, artwork, and videos that we’ve released and will release.



Backer Website: Pledge and Rewards Pages


On the left here, you can make sure all of the pledges you made are connected to your account. If you backed the game on Kickstarter and then later added money via PayPal, you can make sure that’s all been confirmed. If it doesn’t show up, you can link it in by providing the e-mail addresses you used if they don’t match.


…and then, confirm that your reward is correct, or maybe even upgrade if you like! Did you give maybe give us more money thinking you chose one reward tier but accidentally chose a lower one? No problem, you can fix that up. Oh, and slacker backers… you might have some upgrade opportunities… :) Onward is the addon screen where you can browse through the available addons and confirm those choices as well.



Backer Website: Add-on and Game Info Pages


Then finalize everything! Don’t worry, even though you’ll be confirming your pledge selections, if you picked up physical rewards, you’ll be able to change your shipping address up to the point where we need to lock them. You’ve got plenty of time, and we’ll keep that open as long as we possibly can in case you move or want to have your stuff shipped elsewhere.


On the right there is our “Game” section of the site, where over the coming months more information and art about the various races, classes, characters, critters, and locations of interest in the game can be found.


OK, we’ll be back in a few short weeks… For those of you who have designs as part of your rewards, get your thinking caps on!


Developer Q&A with Hector Espinoza

Update by Hector Espinoza, Lead Environment Artist



Hector in his natural habitat.


Hello, Hector. What is your job on the Project Eternity team?

I am the Lead Environment Artist on Project Eternity.  Along with building assets and doing layouts of some the larger levels of the game, I help my team of artists create a visually exciting world for the players to explore.


What are you working on this week?

This week I'm working on polishing one of the states of the Stronghold and building a Keep that is contained within.


What is your typical work day like on Project Eternity?

I come in to work and read a little email. Sometimes I'll have a "breakfast snack" in the form of cheese and peanut butter crackers. This holds me over until lunch time. :) Upon my return from lunch, I'll continue to work on my current tasks. At times I help critique some of the work that is being created around me or from outsourcing. In the late afternoon I'll head out for a short walk to get my daily coffee, I'm really good about keeping this to one cup a day. :) Then in the evening as the sun sets I'll hook up the speakers and turn my office into a "discoteca" and work while listening to some of the baddest jams on the planet.



One of Hector's work in progress areas, the player's stronghold, in a ruined and restored state.


What are you most looking forward to on Project Eternity?

I'm looking forward to the day when people get to enjoy our finished product. We are putting in a lot of hard work and effort to deliver something special to our fans and backers, thank you all so much for making this possible! I also want to play it! Our playtests have been really fun.


What other projects have you worked on?

While at Obsidian I have worked on Dungeon Siege III and after that I have helped out on a number of "unannounced" titles. 

Before Obsidian the list is pretty big. At Black Isle I worked on Icewind Dale (as QA), Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter (as an Artist, yay!) and Icewind Dale II. The short lived "Van Buren", it was going to be awesome! Oh, and BG III: The Black Hound. The last title I worked on while at Interplay was Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 2. Outside of Interplay and Black Isle I worked on Vampire: Bloodlines, Full Spectrum Warrior 2, and Lord of the Rings: Conquest. Of course in between a lot of these titles there are more projects that unfortunately never got to see a release. 



Hector after 7:00 PM.


Which environment that you have done has been your favorite?

By far this has to be the first one, which is the original Kickstarter image. I learned a lot when creating that scene and the feeling of nostalgia was awesome.


What do you like to do when you aren't leading the environment art crew?

Outside of work I choose photography as another creative outlet. I like to go out hiking and shoot landscapes or if I'm lucky some wildlife. Animals can be tough to find and sometimes I don't have the patience. I also enjoy macro photography, this takes patience too but it's a much more controlled environment. I like that. 


Do you have a favorite artist or game developer?

This is a super tough question. I'll start with outside the industry. Favorite artists are Mark Ryden, Audrey Kawasaki, James Jean, and Ashley Wood. Inside the industry it has to be Akihiko Yoshida, Yoji Shinkawa, Robh Ruppel, and Sparth.


And where do you draw your inspiration from?

I mainly draw inspiration from the places I visit when I go out hiking. There is so much to discover when you can capture nature at a grand scale and at the macro level.  The music I discover on the weekend when I visit some of my favorite online music sites.  And from the people that work around me every day. 


What's your favorite Infinity Engine game? Why?

This has to be Icewind Dale. I feel so fortunate to have worked on that game. It helped me discover the world of D&D. It also gave me the chance to work with and meet some of the best people in the industry. I'm truly grateful for that. A super close second is Planescape: Torment, I mean, come on. HA!


In a Quake deathmatch between you and Adam Brennecke, what would be the final score?

I think the first round would be pretty close it could go either way really, haha, but once Adam finds his groove, oh man, this would be a no contest, he's a beast. Final score would be to embarrassing for me to write. HA!


Is there anything else we should know?

I got that purple, grape, I can bake a cake.


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MFW stronghold has a maze:

I know, right?! The stronghold screenshots look... a-maze-ing! 8)


Hedge maze hedge maze HEDGE MAZE! Hopefully, as an alternative to keeping prisoners in cells under your keep, you can just fill the hedge maze with traps and throw the prisoners in there! Maybe build a dome over it...




Apparently throwing women into the ThunderMaze is strictly forbidden, u_u



Thanks for the update, guys! It's good to see how the portal's coming along. It looks quite lovely! As does your environment work, Hector! Yours and your team's. Keep up the good work, and thanks for taking the time to share with us! ^_^

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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That second "repaired" stronghold also has trading carts out the front. And both screenshots have an amphitheatre! (Which I assume will be a cosmetic thing, but still; it looks awesome!) Also I love the subtle changes like cleared areas and lush greenery. 

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Aw yeah. This stronghold is going to be awesome.

Also interesting to hear that the lead environment artist is an ex-Bloodlines guy. That game dripped atmosphere.

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When in doubt, blame the elves.


I have always hated the word "censorship", I prefer seeing it as just removing content that isn't suitable or is considered offensive


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The stronghold looks good! I'm curious to find out whether the maze is purely decorative or if it serves some in-game purpose. One suggestion, however: the trees right by the outer walls in the restored state picture should probably be chopped down, otherwise they could provide cover for attackers.

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That second "repaired" stronghold also has trading carts out the front. And both screenshots have an amphitheatre! (Which I assume will be a cosmetic thing, but still; it looks awesome!) Also I love the subtle changes like cleared areas and lush greenery. 


This +1.  :)


Love the stronghold. 

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Yeah, I found myself trying to spot all the subtle differences. I went all "HEY, the dying brown vines on the walls are now nice and green! 8D!" Haha.


Also, Hopefully the amphitheater is more than cosmetic. I hope the stronghold has as much dynamic development/restoration choice/significance as possible. All I know is... it LOOKS splendtastic.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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The hedge maze and amphitheatre are both mechanical upgrades to the stronghold.  They can provide bonuses to characters who rest at the stronghold: Stealth for the hedge maze and Intellect for the amphitheatre.


Amphitheatres were the round ones with sits on all sides, theatres were the ones with half circular benches.

The first ones were used for family entertainment (lions, gladiators, etc.), while the second ones were used for more intellectual stuff (plays, stand-up philosophers, etc.).

Modern usage is inconsistent, but if it's meant to provide intellectual bonus, please name it as it should be named.

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Fantastic update and thank you very much for the early release of said update. Everything looks very fine, very fine indeed, however my one gripe would be on the cleared and restored stronghold: There is too much greenery present around the walls, I would want at least a few hundred yards of killing ground ideally. The peddlers and traders who seem to be gathering around the walls are to be expected and possibly encouraged, however I wonder what the situation is in regards to local townships and such?


Once again very much appreciated.

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.


Tea for the teapot!

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