Project Eternity Will Be DRM Free On GOG, Detailed

By John Walker on September 19th, 2012 at 9:00 pm.

A concept for the dwarf.

Watching the Project Eternity Kickstarter is a bit like watching a telethon for something like Children In Need, except instead of any of the money going to help boring sickly children, instead it goes toward making a game for me to play! The project that asked for an extremely ambitious $1.1m has already received $1.6m just five days in. It’s an extraordinary site, and there are still 27 days to go. While the popularity has somewhat broken the methods of KS predictions, we could be looking at around $4m by the time this is up. But what will it all be spent on? Below I’ve gathered together all the information we have so far.

We already detailed the stretch goals announced when the $1.1m was reached. But much more has been talked about since, for the not-a-sequel-to-Planescape Torment RPG from Obsidian.

There are the basics. The party, characters and races. I shall elaborate.

At the start of the game, your character will witness an “extraordinary and horrific supernatural event that thrusts them into a unique and difficult circumstance.” Heh, “thrusts”. It is with the burden of these events that you begin, as you try to find out what happened, in order to free yourself “from the restless forces that follow and haunt them wherever they go.”

And of course you can create your character from scratch. The boxes to tick will include name, sex, race, subrace, culture, traits, ability scores, portrait and class gear, skills and talents. He or she is intended to be someone who wasn’t born to be in this role of a hero, a victim of circumstance they say. And this means – they’re claiming – that you can approach the situation how you see fit.

“You can bear it with stoicism and restraint or fly off in a rage at anyone who gets in your way. The world will react to your choices, but the game is designed to give you the freedom to play your character the way you want to.”

The number of races involved is up for grabs, depending on how much money the project makes. But they’ve confirmed they’ll have humans, elves and dwarves, along with something more god-like, and others more strange. Then within each race there will be different ethnicities, subtypes and nationalities, and apparently all these aspects, along with their physiology, will impact upon how they relate.

You’ll of course have a party, and it’s a bigger one that RPGs tend to offer now. Along with your own character, you’ll be able to have five other companions in tow. And there’s still room for temporary buddies to join you. As you might expect from the lineage, you’ll never be forced to have a particular character join your party, and you could even go the whole game alone. Those who aren’t mad and take chatty chums along will then be able to employ tactical formations for combat tactics.

The latest news on the game comes as they tick over $1.6m last night (and are looking likely to be on $1.7m by the morning), which means a Mac version and a longer story. But they’re also reporting some new news based on feedback from pledgers. And the headline would be there’s to be a DRM free version. In a deal made this morning via Twitter, amazingly, Obsidian have agreed with GOG to have the game be published there alongside Steam, and that version will come without any form of DRM.

Also new are new tiers for the digital version of the game – it was a Kickstarter pretty heavily focused on goodies for a boxed version, and while it’s a kick-back to the 90s that’s perhaps a bit too far. Digital copies of books are now added in new tiers. And you can order additional digital downloads by adding on to your pledge total.

Finally, people who pledge at the hefty $140 level will now be getting beta access to the game, and they promise lots more additions to tiers over the next few days. Although, I’m not sure I really want beta access to a narrative single-player RPG. That sounds like it would spoil playing it rather a lot.

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158 Comments »

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  1. Dark Nexus says:

    Yes, that announcement made me happy.

    Hopefully they’ll find a DRM-free avenue for the Mac version, since GOG only supports Windows at the moment.

  2. Premium User Badge

    JoeyJungle says:

    I just got the update email! I’m so excited for this game, it probably won’t be released for 2 or 3 years and information about it will be limited, but I’m still so excited.

    Also, there’s a bit of a typo in the first paragraph. I think you meant “it’s an extraordinary sight”

  3. Answermancer says:

    Of course it was pretty clear that by “looking into it” they meant figuring out how to do it, considering they are not a publisher and have never published their own IP before.

    But then the internet loves to latch on to DRM issues and infer malicious intent wherever it can.

    • airmikee says:

      The internet latches onto DRM issues? Are you sure you’re not generalizing? I don’t see DRM issues mentioned anywhere on cafemom.com or randomwebsite.com, I usually only see DRM issues come up on gaming sites. But hey, what would life be like if we couldn’t generalize to make a stupid point?

      • Answermancer says:

        I am impressed, well done!

        Implying I meant the entire internet, when I was clearly talking about the most visible gamer voices on the internet, and then using that to insult my opinions. Man, that is a truly beautiful strawman you’ve constructed, fantastic!

        • susanna1415 says:

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        • tetracycloide says:

          This from the guy making the hasty generalization from this specific case to the general case as if this working out for the best implies ‘the internet’ just over reacts to DRM issues in general…

        • Kadayi says:

          @tetracycloide

          Get your eyes tested. Railing against any form of DRM is SOP for a lot of people on gaming forums. The fact that even being on Steam is a bridge too far for some people and therefore to placate them Obsidian are going to make Eternity available via GOG is a fine example of kowtowing to the crazies.

          • Emeraude says:

            But doing so for GFWL would have been perfectly normal; wouldn’t it ?

      • Kadayi says:

        This is a gaming site. I’m fairly sure it’s safe to conclude that he is referring to stuff that does the rounds on gaming sites.

    • Emeraude says:

      I love how you make it sound a fringe vocal portion of the already relatively minor anti-DRM crowd to be much more than it is – an much worse than it is.

      There was disquiet over the way Obsidian formulated their DRM line on Kickstarter. I don’t see how it was any worse handled than the disquiet for lack of precisions on international versions of the game – that is, relatively well overall, all things considered.

  4. Crosmando says:

    I love this, it’s such a culture shock to the rest of the industry. The idea of a major development having a game completely funded by fans, and then being subject to the input of fans through development, would be almost unheard of a few years ago.

    • woodsey says:

      “and then being subject to the input of fans through development”

      That bit is distinctly less exciting.

    • Duffin says:

      I don’t think so really, to the likes of Bioware and other ‘AAA’ devs 1.5-5 million dollars really is not much at all. They spend many times that on marketing alone. But thankfully isometric games based on good writing don’t cost all that much to make. If Project Eternity were to ship over a million copies after launch (not including to funders) then that might start turning heads. But right now, rightly are wrongly, the big devs will look at these projects as small fish, don’t cost much but won’t make much either.

      • InternetBatman says:

        The real harm these projects could cause to the industry is loss of talent. Most of the Kickstarters have been from people who were famous but marginalized by the industry. Obsidian somewhat fits that category. As kickstarters grow, things like the Banner Saga could easily draw talent away from major studios that need them, causing AAA games to become even less creative.

        Not that I think this is a bad thing.

        • SanguineAngel says:

          Now there I totally disagree. By all accounts (by which I mean first hand accounts from employees and ex employees) big AAA devs are no place for creativity focusing almost entirely on iterative processes. If kickstarter takes the talent away from AAA and allows them to actually display that talent then all to the good.

          As for AAA suffering, I suspect the nature of AAA means the effect of such a thing would be marginal. If not then maybe AAA becomes less creative than now (difficult) and so people look elsewhere, such as kickstarter and the indie sector in general.

        • Premium User Badge

          Drayk says:

          I think the real impact is totally different. One gamer can only play so many games each year. And most serious gamer already have a enormous backlog. In 2013 and 2014 I’ll have lots of kickstarter games to play. That + my backlog means there are several AAA games I won’t buy, or really cheap, month or years after. I feel it already. I haven’t buy Max Payne 3, Dark souls or Darksiders 2. And I am not sure I’ll buy dishonnored at launch and I really want to play those games.

          That will impact some publisher, I am sure.

          • Emeraude says:

            Yeah, the impact on sales, in the future, but also right *now* (the money being used to to fund projects tight now is not used to buy games), really is something I’d like we could evaluate properly.

  5. ReV_VAdAUL says:

    This is all great news and maaaaan am I so tempted to go up to the next tier, with so many days to go I don’t think I’ll have the self control not to.

    However this is a quoted comment made by Obsidian on Kickstarter:
    “@Steven We were actually contacted by some publishers over the last few months that wanted to use us to do a Kickstarter. I said to them “So, you want us to do a Kickstarter for, using our name, we then get the Kickstarter money to make the game, you then publish the game, but we then don’t get to keep the brand we make and we only get a portion of the profits” They said, “Yes”.”

    Which, while showing how cool Obsidian are, an unpleasant development regarding Kickstarter.

    • Vorphalack says:

      No one would be stupid enough to fall for that though, complete loose / loose for the developers, it’s just publishers asking on the off chance that someone is actually dumb enough to say yes. Because, well, they have nothing to loose by asking.

      • Baines says:

        Yes, but it is also disturbingly close to what some have considered a positive of Kickstarter, that a developer can use Kickstarter to sell a game to a publisher by showing there is enough interest in the title. (For those big titles where even a $1mil Kickstarter might be only a fraction of the total cost.)

        • Hoaxfish says:

          If I remember correctly that was the Takedown Kickstarter’s plan.

          • USER47 says:

            Quite close, but they were interested in private investors, not a publisher. They are still keeping the brand and supposedly the complete creative control over the game.

            Also, the had already some investors lined up to fund them in case of kickstarter success, so it wasn’t just a blind experiment:).

          • darkath says:

            People often assume there is only 2 ways to fund a game : By yourself or through a Publisher that takes over your soul.
            Kickstarter opened a 3rd way, but for a long time there also have been the “private investors/venture capitalists/business angels” way. Thing is as Obsidian said in a follow up to that post, those are becoming more scarce in the current economic context especially for Video games. But it happens a lot, especially on the MMO scene, were independant developers get funded through private investors, who then lose a lot of money because no indie MMO ever succeeds.

      • TimePointFive says:

        LOSE

        • Vorphalack says:

          DYSLEXIC. There I got one right. Thank you spell checker.

    • alundra says:

      More here:

      http://www.cinemablend.com/games/Publishers-Tried-Exploiting-Obsidian-Kickstarter-Keep-IP-Rights-Profits-47113.html

      I’ve said it before, the kickstarter movement needs some sort of oversee committee, it’s moving millions of dollars and there will always be crooks wanting to take advantage of it.

  6. Brigand says:

    This game will be a torment to wait for.

  7. Ghoulie says:

    Good stuff.
    Also, you really ought to post the series of pics they used to announce it between their twitter accounts.

  8. DarkFenix says:

    How did I only just find out about this?

    /me goes to throw money at Obsidian.

  9. Drake Sigar says:

    “Can’t the DRM free version be available for the people who choose the steam version as well?” – Someone doesn’t realize Steam is DRM.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      Yes, actually. The drm is optional. There are quite a few games that can be launched from the executable without even opening steam.

      • TillEulenspiegel says:

        Yep. It’s not obvious, but a lot of (most?) non-Steamworks game don’t require Steam at all. Just go into the folder and run the EXE.

      • Emeraude says:

        My understanding was that your credentials/certificates expire after some time though.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I’d just like it on my Steam and GoG accounts (which is what FTL gave me)

    • zeroskill says:

      Steam isn’t DRM. Steamworks is DRM. That’s up to the developer if they want to use it or not. Valve won’t force you to use their Steamworks if you want to release your game on Steam, but it’s there for developers that want to have a DRM solution, like for exemple Bethesda.

  10. Tuco says:

    After reading about how their GoG collaboration started, I had this crazy idea.

    They should totally try to reach an agreement with CD Projekt RED and hire The Witcher 2’s armor designer as an extended goal.
    People would go nut over it.

    • Duffin says:

      Or GW2’s, I’ve never spent so much time trying to pick which dress to wear!

  11. Bhazor says:

    Dwarves and elves. Fuck.
    Can’t they at least just change the names?

    • Dark Nexus says:

      That which we call a Dwarf, by any other name would smell as… dwarfish?

      • Ultra Superior says:

        Like Warhammer 40K’s Demiurge…

        There’s a moment in the video (4:50), where they say “We don’t have just these BIG NAMES we also have dozens of other people”

        Camera cuts to anonymous black guy waving to a camera and pointing to a black southpark character.

        They don’t even bother to state his name or working position. He’s just a companion of another race they left in the pub.

        • Emeraude says:

          They don’t state the names of the other non-famous employees either (the girl, the sound engineer, the bearded guy) at that point. Unless my third degree humor detector happens to be broken, in which case my apologies, I don’t see your point. Fake polemic.

    • Brigand says:

      Yeah but look, a female dwarf with a bow! Which has led me to the creation of this aberration:

      What do you call a dwarf archer with a bad shot?

      Shortsighted!

      • Tacroy says:

        Do you seriously not remember Mazzy Fentan from BGII?

        • Duffin says:

          Can you seriously not remember she’s a halfling not a dwarf. :P

          • Dys Does Dakka says:

            Glorious.

          • Tacroy says:

            That lady doesn’t have a beard, ergo she is not a dwarf.

            But the point was, Mazzy is a character in a traditional Tolkienesque fantasy setting who breaks archetypes and game mechanics while still being recognizable as stemming from the archetype (she was a halfling who wanted to be a paladin so hard she got some paladin abilities, since the in-game rules stated that only humans could be paladins).

            Obsidian is good at that.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      midgets and beanpoles?

      I’m betting on at least something a bit more personal than “hurp, they’re short and fat and dig mines and drink beer” or “they’re metrosexual and live in trees”.

      The eskimo/red indian dwarf ranger art seems a nice step outside the normal bounds at least.

    • NathanH says:

      I don’t like it when they change the names, it just comes across as trying to pretend you’re being different and unique when you’re not really.

      I let people off if they change the names to some other name for dwarfs and elves in some mythology or other, that’s fine.

      • InternetBatman says:

        I agree with this, call a spade a spade.

      • Duffin says:

        Then why not do something a bit different? GW2 has Sylvari and Asura which are pretty much Elves and Dwarves but just different enough to get away with it,

        • InternetBatman says:

          Well they do have different races beyond dwarves and elves, there’s two more unannounced ones in the stretch goals.

        • Mordsung says:

          Asura are more goblins than dwarves.

        • Subject 706 says:

          I always wondered why dwarves never look like they live underground; they should all be corpse pale, and have huge eyes and ears, alternatively be blind and find their way around with some sort of echolocation.

    • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

      Would you prefer slargnarcks and boozlebobs or some other ridiculous made up thing that’s still essentially the same thing but oh-so-original simply because it isn’t called “elves” and “dwarves”?

      • Subject 706 says:

        It is pitch black. You’re likely to be eaten by a slargnack.

    • SiHy_ says:

      Whatever happened to the humble ‘bobbit’ or ‘fuzzy’?

    • Mordsung says:

      As a writer, you’re better off to stick with names people know.

      You could spend pages describing “The X”, or you could call them elves and make them just a little different.

      This allows you to spend less time setting up, and more time telling your story.

      A good story is a good story shoved into any setting, be it mundane and derivative or original and fantastic.

      • JackShandy says:

        The setting IS the story, especially in a videogame. Think about how much of Planescape was just talking to people about the setting.

  12. Premium User Badge

    equatorian says:

    I’m not sure I’d want to use beta access, either. Yes, the wait will be torturous, but that’s what makes the end of it all the more sweet. And eating the cake before it’s done seems to defeat the point in a game such as this.

    There’s a guy on the forums clamoring for beta access for lower tiers, though, so I guess it’s different boats for different floats.

  13. kyrieee says:

    The concept art for those KotOR II characters was almost enough to make me chip in on this, but I’ve just been too disappointed with everything they’ve done recently. I don’t think that a super limited budget is going to help them either. They’ve made some of my favourite games ever but I simply don’t trust them to make a good game again. I would love to be wrong though.

    • Vorphalack says:

      I think they deserve a chance to show what they can do without a publisher breathing down their neck. They have the talent to make extraordinary games.

    • Lukasz says:

      They had their chance with AP. Sega did not pressure them although marketing campaign was crappy…

      I do love AP tough. Thats why I am hyped about this game much more than Wasteland 2 because Obsidian does few things very badly but i don’t care much about them, yet what I care about in my games, especially in RPGs is what they do probably the best in the industry (I can’t judge CDPR as I did not yet play TW2)

      I do not believe the game will be much different from their other products. It will be buggy, there will be missing content and there will be irritating game mechanics.
      So was Bloodlines, so was Fallout 2, so was Arcanum, so was Alpha Protocol…
      I care not.

      • Premium User Badge

        drewski says:

        Seems a bit weird to criticise Obsidian for two games made by Troika.

        • Lukasz says:

          i am not criticizing Obsidian for bloodlines and Arcanum.
          i am saying that those games were also broken yet are one of the greatest games i had ever played. that “brokeness”, “buginess” are not an issue.

  14. cyrenic says:

    ” He or she is intended to be someone who wasn’t born to be in this role of a hero, a victim of circumstance they say. And this means – they’re claiming – that you can approach the situation how you see fit. ”

    I never asked for this.

  15. djim says:

    Just wanted to point out that Chris Avellone answered a question in the kickstarter page regarding which game would feel more like eternity and he said baldur’s gate 2 instead of planescape torment. The reason he cited was the combat, but we all know torment was not about combat.

    Can’t wait for this game. We need to be patient though as it seems we will have to wait a couple of years at least till it’s out

    • Premium User Badge

      equatorian says:

      He did say that ‘P:ST would also be an excellent choice’, which I take to mean that they’ll have some thematic similiarities. Since he’s also answering someone who’s new to the whole infinity engine legend, recommending a game that mechanism-wise doesn’t correspond with his vision for the new game is probably not a good idea, either.

  16. Seraph says:

    “they’ll have humans, elves, and dwarves…” Stop it. No more. It’s not okay.

    • NathanH says:

      It makes a reasonable amount of sense to do this if you have ideas for races and cultures that fit into some of them standard elf and dwarf moulds. It helps the player to be anchored a bit better in a strange new world. I’d say that’s more important in a video game than in say a novel, because you have less time to get the player familiar with the world and they’ll expect to feel at home fairly quickly (unless your intention is to make them not feel at home, as in say Morrowind).

      Of course, there’s no reason why this means you have to take your particular races and slot them directly into a dwarf or elf mould without changing things. You can, for instance, have a race whose themes include “industrialist, builder, greedy” and make these dwarfs, without having things like “honour, grudges” that are also typical dwarf features. I think you can make quite a few changes and the players won’t feel confused by it. For instance the three elf races in the Elder Scrolls satisfy a few of their standard themes, but violate quite a lot of others, but they feel right. Another example is the dwarfs in Dragon Age, they are quite generic dwarfs except for their political mischief, which was quite a new idea for dwarfs to me. But the idea fits pretty well with the normal stereotypes that were used, so I felt quite comfortable that here was a culture that I had a decent handle on and felt quite familiar but it was still something a bit different.

      Of course you can try to make everything new and unique but I don’t think it’s particularly straightforward to do and might lead to an atmosphere you don’t really want. If you want a certain theme for a race, and there’s a standard fantasy race that’ll work for that theme, then it makes good sense to use it.

      • Noumenon says:

        the three elf races in the Elder Scrolls satisfy a few of their standard themes, but violate quite a lot of others, but they feel right.

        Can you go into this a bit more, just for an Elder Scrolls fan? I can see Dunmers’ ancestor worship as a violation, but other than that I don’t know.

        • Tacroy says:

          Bosmer are cannibals.

        • NathanH says:

          Wood elves also have a reputation for thievery, which isn’t particularly normal even for the “wild elf” theme. High elves follow the wise-magic-proud-aloof elf theme but to me come across as a bunch of dicks and not at all noble, which is unusual for that elf theme. But yes, the Dark Elves are the most different.

      • iniudan says:

        Three elf race ? In Elders Scroll, there is 6 you actually encounter in the series (even more if you count text book also), 4 of which are playable :

        -Dunmer
        -Bosmer
        -Altmer
        -Orsimer (our good old green buddy)
        -Dwemer (“Dwarf”, still alive but not what we could call kicking, since only one representative left =p)
        -Falmer (Evolved into a bunch of blind monster)

        Can also somewhat add Breton who are “half-elf”.

        • NathanH says:

          Well, orsimer and dwemer may be mer but they’re rarely ever referred to directly as elves. That *would* be strange. Imagine if you had a race that was obviously orcs but you called them something-elves, that would be really weird for your players. Orsimer are also a good example of how you can make this sort of thing work for you: here we have orcs that are not evil or cowardly, a bit barbaric and warlike but not completely uncivilized, yet we can call them orcs and it’s a useful label.

          Falmer I forgot about. Also, Aldmer.

    • lordcooper says:

      Humans are definitely an overused cliché.

      • Eagle0600 says:

        Agreed.
        And before anyone thinks this is a joke: I mean it. I can get my fill of humans in almost any piece of media I want. This is pretty natural, seeing as we are (probably) human, but I would like to see a few more exceptions.

        • JackShandy says:

          I always think that the majority of people should be normal. I mean, you want to set most of the game in the weird parts of the world, but I always want to assume that most people are living normal lives somewhere else, or the weird stuff has no impact.

  17. Jad says:

    I’ve already backed this, but what I’d like to see is exactly how important combat will be to this story-driven not-sequel to Planescape Torment.

    I absolutely loved the world and the characters and the writing of Torment, I hated the combat, which is ultimately why I never finished the game.

    The combat in Baldur’s Gate was better, and I’m sure they’ll be basing it more off those games or the Icewind Dale series (which I did not play, as I heard they were more combat-focused than story-focused), but what I would love is if there was confirmation that most, if not all, combat could be talked out of by a suitably smooth-talking character, or at least skipped or made infrequent as possible.

    • InternetBatman says:

      They’ve said in interviews that the combat of torment was insufficient and they want it to be closer to Baldur’s Gate.

  18. kud13 says:

    Well, now I have to wait for the next paycheck to up my pledge. because DRM-free is just awesome.

  19. MythArcana says:

    Now if we can just clear the cartoon shader hurdle and get some depth into this thing, we’ll have ourselves a real game.

  20. pakoito says:

    They’re updating tomorrow with some RPG system stuff. Let’s just wait.

  21. Zombie Jesus says:

    elves and dwarves

    No.

  22. Metalfish says:

    Can I add my voice to those questioning why we need the obligatory short/pointy eared options in an original fantasy ip? Are there really no other ideas?

    • aliksy says:

      I think things based on traditional races are alright if they subvert them enough. “Dwarves like to dig, elves like trees” is kind of meh after so many iterations.

      That EA game that flopped and is owned by Rhode Island now, I think that had a bunch of made up, unpronouncable races. Didn’t make me like the game more, just made me stare at the character selection screen for a while until I figured out which one probably made a better mage.

      Which brings me to another point- racial adjustments are kind of stupid. I don’t want to have to play an elf if I want to be a better wizard, or a dwarf if I want to be a fighter. That’d be like saying you have to play a $race if you want to be better at whatever $race is stereotypically “good” at.

      And yes, a +2 bonus is still significant. No, taking a -2 to constitution doesn’t make it better.

      edit: I don’t know why I went off on that tangent. I guess that’s what happens if I try to write a comment with interruptions.

      • Sheng-ji says:

        Why don’t you try not min maxing all the time and play the game as intended. Choose a role and play it – for example, be a crap wizard or a weak warrior, a dwarven bard or an elven barbarian. It’s more interesting that way and sometimes, if you push it really far, you have to really think on your toes to get out of a scrape.

        • aliksy says:

          Because most computer RPGs have shit for support for that. In a tabletop game I can play a dumb wizard and have a blast, but in a computer game there’s no DM to say “Yeah, that sounds good.”

    • Strangerator says:

      Well you could leave them out in a fantasy world, but if you do a couple of things happen.

      1. People call your game sci-fi, instead of fantasy. People have a problem when races begin to feel too “alien”, and will say that this is too much like mass-effect (even if your crystalline lithovore species is at the same sword/armor level of technology as humans in the same world).

      Now, there is some scientific credulity to this skepticism about very different alien species. The underlying idea behind dwarves and elves was a suggestion of a common ancestry. While these races have become “standard”, it was really a clever idea when tolkien came up with it. Fantasy has a weird line of believability to walk, and most stick with what has worked before.

      2. The other problem if you exclude elves and dwarves, is people comparing whatever you do give them to elves and dwarves. Or worse still, people moaning about not being able to be an elf (though usually the moaners want to be dark elves).

      Left to my own devices, I’d probably include the big three, and diversify from there. The important thing is to do the different races justice, and not slide into the lazy stereotypes we’ve all grown so vomitously sick of.

      That said, I want spear-wielding rock people.

      • Zenicetus says:

        The only reason why games that depart from the Holy Trinity of fantasy races feel “alien,” is that games keep perpetuating those hackneyed stereotypes. It’s a vicious circle that leads to drab, boring world-building like the Dragon Age games.

        It’s as if there were no great myths in human history before Tolkien that didn’t include elves and dwarves, and nothing original has been written since D&D locked down the stereotypes. It’s just the laziest possible approach to developing a fantasy-based game.

        Bah, humbug… (stomps off, grumbling)…

  23. Zenicetus says:

    “But they’ve confirmed they’ll have humans, elves and dwarves.” Please, no. You can do better than this.

  24. Kevin says:

    So I take it this isn’t a game set in the Forgotten Realms fiction?

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      It’s completely new, “original”* IP. No Forgotten Realms, or any other D&D present.

      *apart from the bits they nick from Tolkien and other fantasy authors, natch.

  25. Halberd says:

    @Everyone complaining about Elves and Dwarves.

    You all know that while there are elves and dwarves, there are going to be a variety of other races, right? Quoting the kickstarter page:

    Races
    We are still developing the races of Project Eternity, but we are creating a range that encompasses the recognizable (e.g. humans, elves, dwarves), the out-of-the-ordinary (e.g. the so-called “godlike”), and the truly odd (?!).

    I say, dwarves and elves, okay if they do them well (which it looks like they will), but lets speculate about the ‘godlike’ and the ‘truly odd’.

    EDIT: (Also, never used bold or quotes on RPS before (or on anything else for a long time), so Yay, worked first time!)

  26. MistyMike says:

    Dwelves and oarves! I knew it!

  27. TimMc says:

    I’m not a fan of isometric, but I’m a fan of Obsidian’s recent RPGs. Part of me hopes they decide to go 3rd person, isometric makes me feel disconnected from the character even more. Also kind of tired of elves/dwarves/orcs trium. Need different races.

    Still though, I will be contributing. We need more good RPGs and they’ve shown they have the talent.

  28. Lemming says:

    At first I was quite ‘meh’ about the Elves/dwarfs thing again, but seeing that female dwarf hunter art has really intrigued me. I’m on board.

  29. Ironclad says:

    You seem to have missed some important tidbits from the Eurogamer interview with Tim Cain:

    “Additionally, Project Eternity’s world contains some isolated races and ethnicities, but transoceanic exploration and cultural cohabitation have heavily mixed many racial and ethnic groups over time. This mixing is not always… peaceful. At times it has degenerated into genocide and long-standing prejudices are ingrained in many cultures.”

    “We have not worked out customisation details of character avatars, but we believe those are important and will be updating on these specifics in the future.”
    Multiplayer isn’t ruled out. “Interest?” Tim Cain mulled. “Yes, but not if it risks reducing the scope or quality of the single-player game in any way. Single-player gaming is our focus.”
    Oh, and Project Eternity “will have guns“, Cain told me, “but we are not going into their details right now”.

    Arcanum successor, is that you?

    linky: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-09-18-project-eternity-interview-new-information-tentative-spring-2014-release-date

  30. coffeetable says:

    Aside from the official updates, several of the developers have taken advantage of the lack of a marketing embargo to post post poset psot.

    Josh Sawyer on SA: http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3506352&userid=17931

    Josh Sawyer on Formspring: http://www.formspring.me/JESawyer

    Obsidian Ent comments on Kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/profile/obsidian/comments

    Josh Sawyer, Chris Avellone, Feargus Uruquart and Obsidian Ents on twitter.

    Steve Weatherly on Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/projecteternity/comments/10392u/iama_long_time_redditor_and_software_engineer/

    Doing an author search for “J. E. Sawyer” on the official forums

    http://forums.obsidian.net/index.php?app=core&module=search&search_in=forums

    gets you a pile of stuff as well.

  31. Premium User Badge

    ffordesoon says:

    Why exactly are we angry about elves and dwarves again?

    It’s like getting angry at the concept of dragons. Yeah, they’re usually used in a boring way, but that doesn’t mean they have to be boring. And when you have a big fucking flying lizard that breathes fire in your story, what else are you gonna call it? I’m no fan of Tolkienesque fantasy, but forcing people to learn a new name for what are basically elves and dwarves and dragons is just as dumb as stereotypical elves and dwarves and dragons. I notice also that nobody’s complaining about the inclusion of humans, even though they seem to be in everything. Are humans always boring?

    This post didn’t touch on the most interesting aspect of Sawyer’s, which was the fact that there’s been a lot of racial mixing and nomadic tribalism in this particular fantasy world, meaning that, for example, elves don’t just all hang out in the forest, and dwarves don’t all live underground. It appears to be an attempt to create a “melting pot” culture in a fantasy world, which I’ve never seen done in any serious way, except perhaps Arcanum. So yes, elves and dwarves exist, but those names tell you what you’re going to get about as well as learning that someone is Asian tells you what they’re going to be like. If you believe Asians don’t all know martial arts, elves and dwarves in this context shouldn’t bother you.

    Oh, John? The “godlike” are apparently a race comparable to D&D’s teiflings, not a “more godlike” race. I understand how you could’ve mixed that up, though; it isn’t clear unless you watch the video attached to the update.

    • MistyMike says:

      But why are flying fire-breathing lizards mandatory? Why not flying giant medusas which spray laughing gas? Why always stocky bearded guys? Why not a race of duckmen who live in castles made of pinecones? Etc etc. Resorting to the same bunch of archetypes again and again is somewhat lazy…

      • coffeetable says:

        Because the less human the creatures in the story are, the more work you have to do before the player can accept them as part of the backdrop rather than the focus. More, using familiar races allows you assume a huge body of prior knowledge.

        • MistyMike says:

          A writer worth his salt can introduce even complicated concepts into the narrative without much problem. Tolkien drew up the entire hobbit culture on the first few pages of The Hobbit. At this point reusing these same archetypes is flogging a dead horse…

          • coffeetable says:

            Yes, and he could do it in a few pages because hobbits are basically human. The further you stray from that default which we’re all familiar with, the more exposition that’s required.

            To get something truly original most of a century after Tolkein, you’d need to invest significant time in fleshing them out.

          • MistyMike says:

            Well, the duckmen I mentioned as an example would also be basically human… just different enough not to be mind-meltingly boring. Think Planescape Torment. That game pretty much dropped you into the middle of the action but still managed to introduce some very esoteric concepts of its world.

          • Premium User Badge

            ffordesoon says:

            No, he didn’t. He did it at the beginning of Lord Of The Rings, which was written before The Hobbit, and he did it with a prologue that’s among the most awkward, dull pieces of expository world-building ever written.

            I’m not a fan of Tolkien, as I perhaps hinted, so bringing him up as an example of a great writer will get you nowhere with me. I respect his abilities as a crafter of worlds, but I find his output tedious at best, and always have. I don’t say that to be iconoclastic; I’d love to be as into Tolkien as many people I know. I am simply unable to do it.

            As to your complaint that it is somehow lazy to put dragons in your fantasy story, I think the examples you put forth were lazier by far, because you simply presupposed absurd things that could just as easily be dragons and elves for all the thought you put into them. What gods do these duckmen worship? Presumably pine trees, since those are the source of pine cones, and perhaps other natural things as well. If we can presuppose nature worship, and all that comes with it, then they’re elves with duck bills. Your flying medusas are likewise just crap dragons.

            Building a believable fantasy race takes more than “Wouldn’t it be cool if…?” I’m not a particular fan of elves and dwarves, but they’re usually well-developed enough to seem believable. Your duckmen and medusas fail that test.

            Which is not to say there shouldn’t be entirely new races in the game too. There will be. And there will be elves and dwarves, and nobody will notice or care, because they’ll be playing an awesome new RPG.

          • NathanH says:

            Anyway, duckmen were already done in King of Dragon Pass.

          • MistyMike says:

            Yeah, I was being whimsical with my examples. Also, you are right that JRR is perhaps not a master of accesible exposition. But my general point stands: you can have a fantasy role-playing game set in a world that is not a recreation of Tolkien/Forgotten Realms for the nth time. Again I point you to things like P:T or Arcanum. The Germanic/Arthurian mythos was already overdone in 1899. There is so much untapped stuff: the mythologies of the Egyptians, Aztecs, Babilonians…

            But I’m probably silly to ask this of, of all people, Obsiadian, the sequel guys.

      • Snakejuice says:

        Duckmen? How is that original?

    • JackShandy says:

      “And when you have a big fucking flying lizard that breathes fire in your story, what else are you gonna call it?”

      Dragons are not exciting, mysterious or interesting in the way a new monster is, because I already know everything about them. You can change them so I don’t know everything about them, but at that point there’s no reason to call it a dragon. Same goes for elves and dwarves. That indian-american looking bow chick is pretty great. Why do you need to call her a dwarf? Just so I don’t fall off my seat with how crazy and new she is?

      • Premium User Badge

        drewski says:

        I’m astonished anybody gives a fuck what the races are called.

        • JackShandy says:

          Dude I am so sick of dwarves and elves. Have you ever been excited about an elf? Has anything about any form of elf ever captivated you?

          I don’t know, maybe you love them.

          • Premium User Badge

            drewski says:

            Huh?

            I don’t know how calling your elves and dwarves “Spacknuggets” and “Fondinglers” makes for a more interesting game. I don’t care what the races are called, as long as they’re well implemented and interesting. The “wah bog standard fantasy setting wah” complaint is at least coherent, but the “why didn’t they call the obvious elf and dwarf races some other arbitrary name” complaint? I’m incredulous.

          • JackShandy says:

            They have taken this fine american indian hunting lady and squished her down into the Dwarf race, so that she’s saddled with all the dwarf things that we’ve seen before. This is unnecessary. It’s better to have just an american-indian race, instead of filing down your creativity so that it slots into traditional labels.

            It’s not about calling your traditional race weird names. It’s about calling your weird race traditional names.

  32. Barberetti says:

    “Obsidian have agreed with GOG to have the game be published there alongside Steam, and that version will come without any form of DRM.”

    Fucking yesssssssssssssssssssssssssss!

  33. InternetBatman says:

    In interesting news, it won’t be made using the Onyx engine because of middleware licensing fees. That makes me a bit sad, since it will me time money/wasted, but in happier news I just did a paper on videogame kickstarter trends and this will probably make somewhere from three and a half to five million.

    • coffeetable says:

      Mind linking this? Would be an interesting read.

      • InternetBatman says:

        If you or anyone really is interested, I went to kicktraq, compared the data from Wasteland 2, Planetary Annihilation, Solforge, Space Adventure, Castle Story, Carmageddon, Project Fedora, Shadowrun Online, Dead State and Clang. I really wish I could have done Doublefine and Shadowrun, but they don’t have Doublefine and Shadowrun is missing a few days.

        On the first four days, the projects got an average of 29% of their total funding. On the last three they get about 21%. The rest get 50%. However, Wasteland 2, which is probably the best guideline we have got 42%, 14%, and 43%.

        So if you do it by the average, Obsidian should get about .29x=1540171. for 5.31 million. If you do it by Wasteland 2 numbers, .42x=1540171, and it gets 3.66 million.

        Personally I think it’s going to be a bit higher than 3.5m because Obsidian has more famous names, a better recent track record than Brian Fargo, comments to Dragon Age 3 news will advertise, and a larger fanbase that is equally fanatic. But then again, Wasteland did get a huge bump in the middle when the writing staff was announced, which may have made it disproportionately large.

        • Tom OBedlam says:

          This is awesome. I love RPS commenters.

        • SKapsniak says:

          Double Fine, is two words, that might be your problem finding it? Double Fine Adventure Kicktraq

          • InternetBatman says:

            Curses! I could have used that two days ago. But Doublefine is probably anomalous anyways because of its historic nature, the fact that it’s two products, and all the news it generated.

  34. Strangerator says:

    Isn’t anybody sick of humans?!
    I want the primary race of this game to be anthropomorphic cherry popsicles!
    ***RABBLERABBLERABBLERABBLE***

    Fantasy without dwelves is like sci-fi without spaceships… people have done it, and people always complain about what you “left out”. I say do them in a new and interesting way and add more to the world on top.

    Do original things like…
    Have elves wear actual protective armor, and be of varying body types. They needn’t be always naked, or attractive. They also needn’t live in trees, and all be hippies. Make them less human in some ways, since they are usually long-lived. Or you could make them very short-lived, a shorter lifespan than humans. Have this fundamentally effect their philosophy and way they look at the world.

    Give dwarves some other kind of accent, or varying degrees of accent based on “how deep” they live. Make some who are not abusive, incompetent, alcoholics. I understand that Tolkein had some disdain for Scots, but it’s time to move on from his prejudices. Really delve into what it would be like to live for centuries, and what that would do to your worldview. They wouldn’t be reckless berserkers, but would always play a cautious, long game.

    Give them all a full range of traits and personalities, just like you do with humans. The only major differences need be their lifespan (shorter for elves and longer for dwarves) and their culture (which would of course be vastly influenced by their lifespan).

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Just wanted to point out that Tolkien treated Dwarves in his world as quite a lot better than humans and elves. They were created in secret by their “God” who hid them and loved them and fought for them to be saved when the others found out. They are hardier to the evil of the rings (compare ringwraiths and elves being emo to the only effect the seven had on them was to make them lust after treasure).

      Tolkiens only problem with the Scots, was the same problem he had with anyone who didn’t speak the perfect queens English with that Oxbridge inbred silver spoon accent. I believe he based them mostly on quite obscure Norse mythology – they aren’t based on the Northmen, but the people who they killed off in Scandinavia to take over, often mocked in the stories for being small and weak. They only became comic relief because The Hobbit was intended for a much younger audience and they featured heavily in that, but they were written for children to love.

      • BurningPet says:

        Dwarves were based on the Jews and it was officially confirmed by Tolkien himself so no need to speculate here.

    • Archipelagos says:

      ‘Dwelves’ as you put it are not remotely equivalent to spaceships and it’s narrow minded opinions much like that which plague the genre and stop it from expanding creatively. The main reason dwarves, elves and orcs are the mainstay of fantasy is because it’s easier to write and easier to sell. It’s a business decision first and foremost, don’t pretend that somehow the genre is broken if you don’t include certain races. Go read the Majipoor series and educate yourself. If that came across as condescending so be it, I’m sick to the back teeth of people accepting the bland and accusing people who have the audacity to prefer something different, or gods forbid original, as being unreasonable. Get some perspective.

  35. Bureaucrat says:

    A guess: this game will be to the cancelled Interplay BG3 (a.k.a., “The Black Hound” or “Jefferson”) as New Vegas was to the cancelled Interplay Fallout 3.

    The “Jefferson” project was a Black Isle game to be made in the Forgotten Realms setting, nominally called “Baldur’s Gate III” for licensing reasons, which was cancelled when Interplay ran out of money to pay their employees. As with Eternity, Josh Sawyer was in a leading creative role. “Jefferson” was said to be set in the Dalelands region of the Realms, and Sawyer has commented that the map they sketched up for Eternity was based loosely on that location. What they’ve told us about inciting incident of the story is pretty much spot-on identical to what was leaked about the inciting incident for “Jefferson”– the player character witnesses a tragic event of cosmic significance and has to decide what to do about it.

    They’ll have to transition it out of the D&D ruleset and out of the Realms setting (much as the previously imagined Fallout system had to be transitioned to the FPS-hybrid that Bethesda worked up), but enough of the core narrative ideas will transit over to be recognizable to those in the know.

    • pilouuuu says:

      That makes sense. And it would explain the reason why they included dwarves, elves and humans, which everyone seems to be complaining about.

      Personally I don’t mind it as long as they make them interesting. There are guns! So they can make a bionic drunkard cowboy elf who likes collecting its victims’ heads and a narcisistic sniper dwarf who is a poet or something. I think that Tolkien archetypes are really strong in the collective mind, just like dragons, werewolves or other mythological, fairy-tales creatures, so there’s no big problem with that.

      • Premium User Badge

        drewski says:

        Exactly. A good game is a good game, games don’t always have to be acid trips of design creativity.

  36. Unrein says:

    Sounds like we are going to get some Mask of the Betrayer/Kotor II/Planescape: Torment -like story goodness. Bring it!

  37. Merktera says:

    I don’t get what all the hubbub about elves and dwarves have to do in a fantasy setting. The key is depth, not the fact that there are elves and dwarves. Who bloody well cares if the characters are rich, well-written characters with depth to them, and they happen to be elven or dwarven? It seems like an entirely silly complaint, especially in a fantasy setting.

    I mean, Witcher 2 has them. Most fantasy seems to, and yet they’ll happily make them more complex and give them depth and breadth of characterization, yet no one really bitched about their being elves and dwarves. Makes no bloody sense at all. Names don’t change anything either. At the end of the day, whether you call them elves, elvenhan, scoia’tel, edhel, moredhel, or dueragar, derro, urdinir, naugrim, they’re still elves and they’re still dwarves. Lore-wise yes, giving them a good elven/dwarven language based name is a good idea, but outside of their culture people will not bloody well care what they call themselves. They’ll still call them elves and dwarves. I’m just saying, though, it’s a silly complaint that makes very little sense. It’s not like their inclusion will hamper any experience.

    It’s like you’re expecting it to be Game of Thrones except high fantasy. Which doesn’t really work, since Game of Thrones is low-fantasy. Even if you’re expecting it to be of Berserk-quality, that bloody pixies in it, as well as magical girls. Granted, it also had a lot of rape.

    So what if they’re included? It doesn’t preclude the whole thing’s going to be awful or terrible. What matters is the execution, the depth and breadth of the characters, the culture, the politics, and it seems like they’re going out of their way to do this instead of just springing them forth or some stupid contrived bullshit.

    • wu wei says:

      I can’t speak for anyone else, but my dislike is over the very narrowband definition of “fantasy”. Call it “Tolkienesque” or something more accurate and I wouldn’t mind, but I’d still be bored shiteless by the constant Tolkien dick riding.

      • Crosmando says:

        The way you talk makes it quite obvious you’ve never read Tolkien. In Tolkien’s Middle-Earth magic is pretty much dead, there’s only like four wizards left in the world. In Project Eternity’s world, magic is going to be common. If you get “bored” that easily then I don’t think RPG’s, let alone fantasy RPG’s, are for you.

        Also, what’s with the crude language, do you think saying “shit” and “dick” makes you sound cool?

        • Premium User Badge

          jrodman says:

          I can’t speak for everyone, but as a fan of gay porn “constant dick riding” really perked up my ears!

          • iucounu says:

            Joe Orton’s play ‘Prick up Your Ears’ is a famous anagram.

  38. bathoz says:

    It’s kinda depressing that my first thought was: Which stretch goal covers them actually finishing and beta testing their game before release for once?

  39. Wizlah says:

    Whilst I’d rather see a a fresher feeling fantasy world than another Forgotten Realms or similar genre-fantasy retread, the problem is that writing original fantasy worlds is really hard and most of them aren’t to inspiring. I’ve worked on and off in genre fiction for over 10 years now, and during that time I I think I’ve read somewhere between 5 to 10 genuinely engaging and fresh new fantasy visions. The rest have been been variations on a theme.

    I tend to think of an engaging atmosphere as more crucial to a fantasy-themed computer game. The Witcher is the best example I know of something which mixed old and new but still gave a compelling fresh experience with its central european c1400 feel mixed in with some new kinds of monsters (like the drowners) and a bit of a macarbre tone. If Obisidian could match that, I’d be happy.

    Now it’s going to be on GOG, I will be kickstartering in some way, hopefully for the collector’s edition, and maybe for the level with the artbook, if I can find a way to make the finances work. I’m wary of Obsidian. I found the writing in Alpha Protocol extremely bland with one or two exceptions (although some of the mechanics of consequence and the perk system were excellent), but I think they could do something interesting.

  40. Premium User Badge

    Ninja Dodo says:

    I too am skeptical of standard fantasy as a base, but if Witcher 2 can do something interesting with it I’m sure these guys can. I was more put off by the use of the phrase “chillax” in one of the updates. Actually seriously considered withdrawing my pledge for a moment. Not sure chillaxing elves is a thing that I want.

    Ultimately though, poor choice of words does not diminish the potential of the game and I’m curious to see what goes into creating an elaborate RPG. I’m finding increasingly with Kickstarter I’m more interested in learning about the development process of different studios than I am in the finished product. Big part of why I supported the Double Fine Adventure and the main reason I backed Planetary Annihilation as well (once it looked like they were going to make the documentary stretch goal). Never seen a strategy game get made before, nor an RPG.

  41. Rao Dao Zao says:

    DRM-free from gog is good, but will the boxed edition be the gog or the Steam version? The same choice reflected in the box would be nice.

    Kind of wish gog would start selling boxes, like all those SoldOut classix range reprints that used to float around but perhaps with classier artwork.

    • Emeraude says:

      Yeah, I gather the boxed version will just have its own installer with no use for an external client, but it would be nice to just see it said.

    • Bootsy81 says:

      Obsidian replied as follows:

      “@armisael You will get a choice on the box, whether you want it with Steam or DRM-free.”

      To this question:

      “armisael about 19 hours ago

      @Obsidian Entertainment – I’m assuming you guys will be incorporating Steamworks into the Steam release, correct me if I’m wrong; will the boxed game be the Steamworks version, and will you be using Steamworks’ DRM component in that release?”

      So it seems it will be up to the individual backer.