Tim Cain Talks Project Eternity

Tim Cain Talks Project Eternity

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Project Eternity is driving towards $2 million in Kickstarter funding and Obsidian's Tim Cain says that kind of budget is "just right."

Making videogames is an expensive undertaking, and a couple million bucks doesn't buy what it used to. Can Obsidian put together a classic, single-player isometric RPG that will satisfy the sky-high expectations of fans on such a shoestring budget? According to Cain, whose credits include Stonekeep, Fallout, The Temple of Elemental Evil and Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines, the answer is yes.

"Those budget numbers are just right for what we are trying to make," he told Eurogamer. "We have an engine already, and we aren't using an established IP with pre-defined game mechanics and an art style that we have to mimic. Both of these things save us a lot of time, because we are now free to make those elements ourselves."

Josh Sawyer is the project lead on Project Eternity, Chris Avellone is "doing writing" and Cain himself will handle system mechanics and programming. Beyond that, the number of people who end up working on the game will depend entirely upon its needs. "I'm the most comfortable with teams between 20 and 30 people, so that everyone knows what everyone else is working on," he said. "But if we need to pull in more people to make this game as big and as high-quality as we want, I am sure we will do that."

As well as providing funding for projects that might not be approved by publishers, Kickstarter allows studios a creative freedom they otherwise wouldn't have. Cain touched on how several characters and quests were removed from The Temple of Elemental Evil at Atari's request, and said that won't happen with Project Eternity.

"To me, a mature game deals with some issues of a serious nature," he said. "Moral choices are a perfect topic. For example, is killing always evil? Is the act of sacrificing someone for the greater good a good act in itself? Does doing good things make a person good? Torment explored these ideas in exquisite detail, and we'd like to do the same."

With 28 days to go, the Project Eternity Kickstarter is sitting a little shy of $1.6 million in pledges. The game is currently expected to be ready to launch in April 2014.

Source: Eurogamer

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I am so glad I spent 25 bucks on this.

Finally a true CRPG without all the needless dumbing down, and terrible additions.
I wish I had enough money to get to name and design a character in game though.

I'm super stoked for this thing! I am excited to see what kind of art direction they'll be going for. Wasteland 2 and Shadowrun were a pleasant surprise in this regard.

The largest chunk of content that was removed from Temple of Elemental Evil was the brothel IIRC.

Well we can rest easy, no doubt Cain will be able to deliver on this one as well.

Glad to hear this. Smaller, more focused projects seem to be the way to go lately. Too many big budget titles have been diluted or lost their focus this generation, either due to the need for mass appeal or too many cooks in the kitchen.

DVS BSTrD:
Well we can rest easy, no doubt Cain will be able to deliver on this one as well.

I saw what you did there.

65 dollars well spent.

It looks like we'll hit the second stretch goal by the end of the week. Looking forward to seeing how far we can keep this gravy train rolling. I wants me that new faction!

EDIT: And by end of the week, I mean end of the day. Love it.

Chris Avellone is "doing writing"...That's all I needed to hear.

The next year-and-a-bit are going to pass by so slowly while I'm waiting for this.

After what I call, "The Great Spore Disappointment" I didn't think I would ever get excited for another game. Ever.

Now, I get a knot in the pit of my stomach when I think about the potential for this to be something super special!

There will only be one thing missing from this project - Tony Jay's voice as the Big Bad.

This is actually sounding pretty damn good...I've been wondering why no one had tried this before.

And that's a dream team of RPG talent if I've ever seen one.

I'll be picking this one up, no doubt.

What engine are they using exactly?

Clive Howlitzer:
What engine are they using exactly?

It isn't Onyx, their own in-house engine. Avellone said they didn't want to bother with the middleware licensing cost that comes with the engine. I bet it's Unity, probably the most obvious and effective choice at this point.

Unity is a good likelihood. I believe that's what Shadowrun Returns is using.

I put my bit in as I loved Black Isle and love Obsidian especially the writing of Chris A. But...

I'd be lying if I said I didn't also have an interest just from being a curious gamer and fan. As much as I love Obsidian's games they tend to be buggy sometimes very buggy. The publisher is often cited as being partly or largely to blame. Also though I liked ToEE it was terribly buggy as well and I think (its been a while) that problems with Atari didn't help that release either.

With Obsidian in charge of the whole show it'll be interesting to see if and how the quality and polish are affected. I know the game will be good I'm just wondering about the initial state of it.

Will it have cover base shooting and chest high walls? No? Then fuck this game!

I am actually going to get it and possibly pledge some money :D

I've never decided I was gonna buy a game this quickly. I've been waiting for more story and character-heavy games for a long time, too.

Well with all the tools they already have vis-a-vis conversation/dialogue management; scripting; and experience with their engine (I believe the South Park RPG is using it as well); not to mention the vast collective experience they have just from the in-house talent, I'd say he's probably right.

Years of working together and finely honed familiarity with personalised tools goes a long way to streamlining development.

Besides, I think it's a pretty safe bet Obsidian will be throwing in some capital of it's own to this project if need be. This is their new IP, their baby, and they're going to want it to be something special. They must realise it's an investment that could potentially set them up for a long time.

DVS BSTrD:
Well we can rest easy, no doubt Cain will be able to deliver on this one as well.

Stop! pun police!

you have violated the pun name "abel"/"able", pay the court a fine or serve your sentence!

rhizhim:

DVS BSTrD:
Well we can rest easy, no doubt Cain will be able to deliver on this one as well.

Stop! pun police!

you have violated the pun name "abel"/"able", pay the court a fine or serve your sentence!

And I was just feeling a little neglected on these forums.

Andy Chalk:
Unity is a good likelihood. I believe that's what Shadowrun Returns is using.

Actually Shadowrun Returns is using the Moai development framework. It's an open source platform developed for mobile games. Wasteland 2 is using Unity though and that's looking great so far. I believe that the recently successful online Shadowrun kickstarter intends to use Unity though and prototype shots from that game look fantastic too.

 

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