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Update 80: State of the Project - From Alpha to Beta

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Josh (Project Director) and Bobby (Area Design Lead) are heading up meetings to review all of the quests in the game. Each quest is played through by the team and analyzed. We ask basic questions like "Why is this quest fun?", "Does the player care about this quest?", and "What hooks the player into starting the quest?" If anything is lacking, the design team spruces the quest up to make it a memorable one.

 

>> this is honestly so nice of you guys it made my tear of happiness. Thank you for being one of those who care.

RPG, welcome back to life.

Was never THIS hooked to play a game!

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We have 0 intel that we will get VIDEO footage. Just putting this out here and I want to tell all of the fine folks over here to "brace for impact" in case we won't get video demo footage.

 

Since this has grown into a contentious point, I wanted to address it.

 

We will not be showing a video of the demo. The footage has quite a few spoilers in it and it isn't ready to show to the backers yet. We want to show you guys something much more polished and we aim to do that sometime between now and our backer beta. Just so you guys are aware, it will likely be closer to the backer beta.

 

When we show you things, we want it to be the real deal - no hacked together footage or faked content. I can remember seeing the gameplay video for Shadowrun Returns and being hyped up over all of the cool stuff I was seeing... only to be let down when a lot of that stuff never made it into the final game. I want to make sure that from this point on, if we are showing something to you guys it is representative of how it will be in the game.

 

To do that means we have to focus a large amount of polish on a very specific area we want to show. This ends up hurting other areas in the game because they will tend to get less polish overall. We did have to do this for the E3 demo, but because we were showing off a few key areas, it is work we had to do anyways. Since we will show you something off of the critical path, it means we need to be much more careful over what get shown.

 

When we get more information about showing gameplay you will hear about it from us first. No need to speculate.

 

That said, I know that some of you are disappointed that we are showing gameplay to the press first. While you may not agree with our reasons for doing it, please know that we are showing to the press in this manner because we feel it is the best for the game. I will try to explain those reasons in more detail in the next update.

 

I know we sound like a bit of a broken record, but we truly do appreciate the support you guys have given us - in helping to fund the game and in giving us feedback. Thanks for everything.

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Also I say this again. I really really doubt that Obsidian will even allow twitch streams or YouTube Videos of the actual Beta to begin with.

 

 

We have never said we wouldn't allow Twitch streams or YouTube videos of the backer beta. Please stop spreading this because it is completely untrue.

 We will encourage people to share their beta experiences with as many people as they can.

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When we show you things, we want it to be the real deal - no hacked together footage or faked content. I can remember seeing the gameplay video for Shadowrun Returns and being hyped up over all of the cool stuff I was seeing... only to be let down when a lot of that stuff never made it into the final game.

Yeah that was really frustrating. They pretty much removed everything that wasn't combat from the game.

 

Keep polishan br0, no dog and pony show.

Edited by Sensuki

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I disapprove. Show us a video of characters using laser rifles and plasma rpgs. Also have lots of explosions and dubstep music. I demand this for the next update video.

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@Brandon: Thank you for clearing this up :)

 

In retrospect I'm sorry for writing out the post like that, but from participating in some discussions and reading some comments I began feeling a sort of anticipation in the air for some video footage that could lead to potential "toxicity" in the future and I didn't choose my words wisely.

Edited by Osvir

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See? All that "what if" and worry, for nothing.

 

Unless you just plain don't trust Obsidian at all. In which case, I dare say there's not much to be done about that.

 

If you want to know why they did something, just ask. As is evident from Brandon's response, they will answer. Just because it's not within 10 seconds doesn't mean they're ignoring your question. They're busy folk. ESPECIALLY this/last week.

 

It's one thing to simply wish to know what their reason is for doing something. It's another to just go ahead and say "Oh my crap! It's so terrible of them to do this! They don't care about us, and have no good reason for doing it!"

 

Not-knowing something is not a good reason to slander anyone. Or is it libel...? I can never remember which is written and which is spoken.

 

Besides, who's to say they didn't show at E3 stuff we've pretty much already seen (minus spoiler content). And who's to say the stuff they finally DO show to us won't be shown to US first, while everyone else has to wait? If you don't know stuff, find it out, or leave it alone until you do.

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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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 We will encourage people to share their beta experiences with as many people as they can.

 

 

And will those people who see the beta experiences and like them have any way to buy into it themselves? Would be kind of a shame if they didn't.

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 We will encourage people to share their beta experiences with as many people as they can.

 

 

And will those people who see the beta experiences and like them have any way to buy into it themselves? Would be kind of a shame if they didn't.

 

I they don't close backer portal then people will have way to purchase themselves in the beta.

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We will not be showing a video of the demo. The footage has quite a few spoilers in it and it isn't ready to show to the backers yet. We want to show you guys something much more polished and we aim to do that sometime between now and our backer beta. Just so you guys are aware, it will likely be closer to the backer beta.

I wanted to thank you for responding, and say that I think complaining about a company with multiple games in development, only one of which was kickstarted, going to E3 is stupid.

 

While I agreed with most of the post, I wanted to say that I disagree with the decision to only show off polished video.  I understand why Obsidian is doing it: You don't want to misrepresent the game or show off critical story; Obsidian has to contend with a somewhat undeserved reputation for bugs; each video of the game is advertising material for a hype hungry group of fans who did not back it; there's probably some of Obsidian's own money in the pot; everything you show produces a fair amount of nitpicking, much of it misunderstood; and it's the way the game industry works, so no one wants to break precedent and have fans see an ugly Alpha.

 

That said, I still thinks it shows a degree of mistrust in backers to only want to show off your finished, polished (and possibly best) material.  It's like backers couldn't understand that it's a work in progress?  Why not show an unfinished area off the critical path or combat with some random scrubs in a grassland?  

 

Furthermore, there's been a bit of a shift in development and tone that I think people are using E3 press releases as a symbol of.  The campaign started with talk about a new model of development, and there was an atmosphere of freedom of communication.  Many members of the team certainly helped further that with open and ongoing communication (Justin Bell and JE Sawyer are especially good at this).  But now it feels like those possibilities have closed, and there's little distinguishing Project Eternity from a traditional AAA game.  

Backroom deals with publishers that are announced after they're made.  

The fairly press previews which look bad because there hasn't been an actual preview of the game yet (even though that's misleading because I've read extremely few articles with information backers didn't have already).  Hell, if you're not reading between the lines, it looks like that utter ass Nathan Grayson has had more time with the game than most of the fans.  

The updates have stayed as preproduction descriptions of mechanics and polished pre-rendered shots.

The developers have stopped asking backers questions about the game, which is a consequence of shifting development, but still gives backers less information.

 

 

I don't think that because I gave Obsidian my paltry sum I own them, but I understand the discontent over E3 and press previews.

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It's like backers couldn't understand that it's a work in progress?

 

There are backers / non-backers that don't understand this and will comment on why it doesn't look right. Even when told it's not the finished product. So yes, some backers couldn't understand this is a work in progress. We saw this with the teaser trailer which was pre-alpha and the amount of complaints it received. I'd rather wait a few months for the demo gameplay myself to see how it'll look like in the finished game.

Edited by Hiro Protagonist II
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Also I say this again. I really really doubt that Obsidian will even allow twitch streams or YouTube Videos of the actual Beta to begin with.

 

 

We have never said we wouldn't allow Twitch streams or YouTube videos of the backer beta. Please stop spreading this because it is completely untrue.

 We will encourage people to share their beta experiences with as many people as they can.

 

I know that devs rarely speak on these subjects (squabbles on the forums) for a variety of reasons, so I highly appreciate you taking the time out of your day to talk about it.

 

 

there's little distinguishing Project Eternity from a traditional AAA game.  

AAA games are called AAA because of the budget, not the way business is handled. Just a clarification.

Edited by Bryy

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Not-knowing something is not a good reason to slander anyone. Or is it libel...? I can never remember which is written and which is spoken.

Generally: Slander is spoken, libel is written.

More specifically: Libel is recorded in some more permanent format that can be read/heard again and again, whereas slander is temporary and can only be repeated through hearsay. (So spoken on a DVD or Youtube would still count as libel, whereas writing it in the air with a sparkler at some festival party would still be slander).

 

---

 

 

Thanks for the info Brandon :)

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I get a sense of irony in this thread considering this is an update thread on the whole game; alpha to beta, area design, environmental art, systems design, UI, character art, narrative, programming, VFX including a youtube video on one of these effects, audio... but it seems a lot of people aren't so much interested in this and are more interested in an unfinished, unpolished gameplay video shown at E3.

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Nice update. I look forward to seeing more as things progress. Hopefully backers will get some updates on their inputs for the game soon as well :)

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I get a sense of irony in this thread considering this is an update thread on the whole game; alpha to beta, area design, environmental art, systems design, UI, character art, narrative, programming, VFX including a youtube video on one of these effects, audio... but it seems a lot of people aren't so much interested in this and are more interested in an unfinished, unpolished gameplay video shown at E3.

 

I think people just want the same access the game media folks are getting. That's all.

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I think people just want the same access the game media folks are getting. That's all.

 

Why wasn't there an uproar when the media went to Obsidian's office to see the game? Nobody seemed to mind then.

 

I only ask because there's been more than one occasion where the media has had access to the game. No raging from posters on the forum and 'why is the media seeing this and not the backers!!' Trying to understand why some media is okay and some isn't.

Edited by Hiro Protagonist II

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Why wasn't there an uproar when the media went to Obsidian's office to see the game? Nobody seemed to mind then.

It was also much earlier during the development cycle and seemed to happen around the same time we saw the teaser, so, while it wasn't much, people were satisfied they'd seen something. I understand Obsidian's reasons, but I disagree, they're being way too cautious on this (NeoGAF's terrible reaction to their first art update probably didn't help). I also have to admit I'm not totally convinced that the only alternative to not showing the game is to fake footage, but then again, I guess that goes back to Obsidian's absolute refusal to show unpolished footage. Ultimately, for me personally (and I can only speak for myself), it's not a big deal, there's been an inflation of gameplay/preview videos and betas already and I barely have time to keep up, and if this works better internally at Obsidian more power to them, even if I'd prefer for them to be more open and transparent about how development is going.

 

What I genuinely don't understand are some of the reactions here. I can understand people are unhappy with the fact that we're not seeing the game until it's much closer to being finalized and shipping, but acting like Obsidian has gone incommunicado and intends to keep Pillars of Eternity's gameplay a secret (while showing it to the press?) just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

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It was also much earlier during the development cycle and seemed to happen around the same time we saw the teaser

 

I was talking more about the media going to Obsidian's office in the last month or so. There wasn't an uproar over the last few weeks.

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Also I say this again. I really really doubt that Obsidian will even allow twitch streams or YouTube Videos of the actual Beta to begin with.

 

 

We have never said we wouldn't allow Twitch streams or YouTube videos of the backer beta. Please stop spreading this because it is completely untrue.

 We will encourage people to share their beta experiences with as many people as they can.

 

I never said that you guys would not allow it. I only said that I believe that you guys would not allow it based on the closure right now.  Good to hear at least that.  However I will not agree with your reasoning why not to show any material except really polished ones since I bought up a perfect example how Larian Studios handheld it up until now.  They also removed and polished quite a bit features and mechanics but they also explained why something was removed  or that this is still early alpha footage and a lot will change etc. 

 

It was really exciting to see a game come from Alpha with a very minimalistic  UI, bare skillset or graphics and sound to the game it became in the end.  However it is not my game so I can not  change your thinking. I only can say that I  am disappointed by it

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