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New stretch goals for companions and wilderness areas?

Stretch Goals?  

2052 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you like Obsidian to release new stretch goals to go along with the opening of the Backer Portal?

    • I would love new stretch goals.
    • No, I would prefer if Obsidian did not introduce new stretch goals.

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I voted yes. Even though I want the game to be released as soon as possible, I'd rather a more complete experience. The developer comments are clear indications to me that they feel the game should have more companions and areas to explore.

I hope class quests are considered as well. I always have trouble rewatching a movie/replaying a campaign that I've already completed. Class quests would provide a stronger incentive to do multiple playthroughs.

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I feel that i don't have the information i would need to answer your questions. So i would like more information before i answer:



- Would additional stretch goals delay the release of the game?


- What are the trade-offs involved with adding new stretch goals? Would there be less time/money e.g. for polish or reactivity?


- Would the improvements be available in the base game or only via expension or DLC?



Besides of that the intuitive answer is of course that more quality content is always better :)

Though to be honest i would probably not be willing to spend any more money towards this right now. But i guess other would just do that so i might just profit from that ^^

Edited by Mandavar
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Requotin' for a new page: 

More crosspostin' from SA (new ones at the bottom):

So will adding additional content make the game take longer to get released?

Probably a bit, mostly for companions rather than wilderness environments.  Additional content does take additional time to make, but not dramatically, not at the scale we're thinking about.
E: Personally, I think more wilderness areas would feel really cool and I believe players would enjoy them.  I also would like for players to have every character class represented by a companion.  Right now we're 3 short.  We don't want to go buckwild on this stuff, but we do think it would feel better with those additions.  If we thought it would fundamentally make the game worse, we wouldn't even be asking.

Would adding companions at this 'late stage' not limit the degree to which they'd be able to be tied into the story? There's no point doing it if they were going to be obviously subpar versus the initial envisaged ones.

No, actually.  While we do design our companions relatively early in development, we don't write them until we get closer to the end (e.g. I just started writing the first companion literally this morning).  We ignore them completely as far as the crit path design of the game is concerned because they are all optional.  Developing them later allows us to be much more reactive to the final designs of quests and areas.

I just have bad memories of NWN2 where they did the 'one-of-each-class' thing and it ended up really suffering as a result.

That's why they would have to be backed to be done at all.  MotB and PS:T were not games that emphasized tactical combat.  PE is, which is why I think there's a more compelling motivation to actually have all classes represented.  While the difference between 8 and 11 companions is not trivial, it's nothing like the 26 in BG or 17 in BG2.


You're creating a false dichotomy here. Do you think the OEI devs would be so eager to add new companions if they thought they'd compromise the quality of the first eight?

I don't want to give a false impression: certainly we debate (and continue to debate) the idea of adding more companions. They really can't be done at all without additional funding, which is the bottom line. The question isn't "Would you like more companions at the cost of the quality of current companions?" The question is, "Would you like more companions at the cost of $$$$$$ which would be necessary to make them good companions?"

What we do when a publisher isn't breathing down our neck is make a game where a release date is not the primary motivating factor for saying we're done.

I get what you're saying, but I know too well that falling short can be as damaging as being spread too thin. The first expansion I worked on was Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter. It was a modest expansion with a small number of areas and a small number of quests. It was pretty stable when it was released, but it felt short, and cramped, and not fitting with the precedent established by Baldur's Gate, Tales of the Sword Coast, and Icewind Dale.

We've never talked internally about just "adding stuff". It's always been about two things: wilderness areas and companions (and no more than 3). If we were just making "a game", I wouldn't suggest adding these things, but we're not making "a game", we're making something we proposed as an heir to established traditions. I think adding a modest number of wilderness areas and companions would make the game feel more Baldur's Gate-y (in a good way), and that's worth discussing.

Someone do me a favour and requote these on every other page or so, so new people will see them.


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[...]more wilderness areas and more companions[...]

more than? the comparison term is missing here and is not clear if there is an actual problem. If you (Obsidian) think the current content is poor or not adequate you should just say that you need more money and time to add content (I read this between the lines but maybe I'm wrong). On the other hand if you think the content is good already I'd rather play the game sooner than later with new content in the expansion instead.

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More companions sounds good to me; I would gladly pledge more for that. I know you guys are focusing on making each companion amazing and integral to the experience, like in Torment, and that this is time consuming, but the current amount of companions (8, I believe) doesn't feel like enough considering you can recruit 5 total companions. It feels like there should be at least 10 companions, but maybe a couple more to round things out, so 12 would be perfect to me. More than that is even better, of course. A lot to ask, I know...


More wilderness would be cool, but I'm not sure. Baldur's Gate 1 was an amazing first playthrough for me, but I noticed that subsequent playthroughs often resulted with me ignoring many of those wilderness areas. I would love to see them in the game, but I think companions would take a priority for me.


So companions > wilderness for me, but I'd go for both.

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This is pretty much out of nowhere.

I don't need many companions, I just want good companions o.o

Is wilderness lacking somehow or something?

I'm quite confused about this poll. More - has no end. You can always add more and more. I would like some more details before I even cast a vote.

✔ Certified Bat Food

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I have voted yes.


Same concerns as so many before on this thread - more content is fine but absolutely NOT at a cost to existing planned content (although this doesnt seem to be a worry from most comments I have seen).


I'm more interested in increased reactivity of companions than the number of them.

Adding more is great, as long as the additional companions also have a good level of depth to them (and again, as long as this is not at the expense of depth to existing companions).


Additional wilderness can be fun as long as there is a reasonable level of content density to explore. For me the focus should be on expanded possiblities to explore the world, history and lore - ie interesting things to discover and explore... not necessarily anything mission critical or particularly beneficial in terms of character power etc, as a wilderness should theoretically be optional.


As a side issue (apologies if this has been discussed.. I read through several pages, but not all) - how would these additional stretch goals be funded?

Will it be "X amount for first additional companion, Y amount for first additional wilderness", and alternating between the two?

or will companions be funded separately from wildernesses (to let people vote for their priorities with their money)


Would this be purely fundraising?

is it going to be funded with the backer management portal? (and if so, are any new rewards going to be introduced to incentivise backing the goals? or will it just be the existing kickstarter rewards?


For my part, I'm happy to back more, but I also dont see anything in the current rewards above and beyond what I have already backed that particularly interests me (except possibly the expansion pack... but thats just a $20 addon, and different rewards might be able to tempt me out of more money).

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I voted yes, but some more elaboration would be be nice, such as the current progress, timeframe until release etc. If Obsidian thinks it can deliver more quality content in the current timeframe, I would be happy to help fund additional content. 


As other posters have pointed out, I would rather have a higher level of polish and increased reactivity in quests and companions rather than just more content. 

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Need more info.


What will be the cost of these new stretch goals?

- Delayed release?

- Additional funds required?

- Less testing, QA?

- Other features dropped?


I like the proposal but can't vote on it until I know the costs and impact on the base game.




More Wilderness Areas:


Wilderness Area Environment Art is currently being outsourced to an outsourcing company. The most expensive component of creating areas is environment art creation. This will cost money, but it will not stop the Obsidian team from working on less content or add (much) longer time to the project, as their environment artists won't have to really worry too much about it.


It will however require Level Design time and Paint over time from a 2D Artist, and of course QA / Testing. All probably trivial compared to the Environment Art cost.


More Companions:


I do not know how much work it is to create a companion for an RPG like this, but I have heard repeatedly that it is A LOT.


More companions MOST LIKELY means that Obsidian will hire another writer, or bring a writer across from within the company. That means roughly 75% or so's worth of yearly salary plus benefits, so your guess is as good as mine $75-100K or whatever.


The associated area design & QA / polish cost may add a bit more time but it is trivial compared to the writer time (Chris, Josh and Eric probably have enough on their plate already)/

Edited by Sensuki
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Yeah, I agree with everyone else. Just throwing this out there with no context doesn't really give us much in the way of information. I appreciate Josh's clarifications, but without actual costs and knowledge of how the extra content will affect what's already being developed it's difficult to have an opinion. Presumably if they do decide to go this route, there'll be a full update with all the details, and we'll have a better idea of what it'll actually entail then. And hell, if Sawyer thinks he can manage it without leading to feature creep and with the content being of the same quality of the rest of the game, I'm happy to take his word for it.


There's still the question of where the money's going to come from though...

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I'm not a big fan of late stretch goals. I kind of fear they could somehow distract or delay the original game, its QA... Let's by a bit frank about it, as much as it saddens me to say it,Obsidian is mostly known because of their incredible writing skills and is also infamously known for less than polished releases. Obviously, some of them are mostly due to outside constraints but nonetheless, between a polished game and more content, I'll choose the polished game.

I've nothing against seeing such stuff appear in whatever form extentions might take though.

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The only thing that concerns me about making additional stretch goals is further delay of the game. I am sure the game is complete enough without these additions and would prefer to see the game sooner than later just for some extra content that was not part of the original design.

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You see, once you actually ask the community to fund your development, and ask them for development direction, you need to provide the full resource and funding picture for us to make good informed reccomendations.


EDIT: BTW, OT, why don't I have a kickstarter badge?

Edited by Thrasher91604
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I'm down with more companions.  I would like to see one NPC companion for each class.  


I can't really think of anything else I want to ask for, mostly because we really don't know much about content yet.  I could ask for more outdoor levels, but I don't know how many there are now, so I how could I possibly know I want more of them?  


If they decided to keep the extra money and invest it into PoE II, I would be just as happy.

Edited by decado
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I can't believe some people are moaning! We have a chance of an even bigger, better game. Surely it can only be a yes vote?


I always love exploring new areas best of all. Once i've seen everything, my interest begins to fade. And more companions. I need a beautiful female Elven Druid in my party...

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