Inter-Play: Project Eternity Adds Wasteland 2 Pledge Tier

By Adam Smith on October 9th, 2012 at 2:00 pm.

I just spent ages photoshopping a bit of Wasteland 2 concept art into this picture and then lost the fruit of my labours. A tragedy.

There’s a new reward tier for Obsidian’s Project Eternity, which has currently raised more than double its $1.1 million goal. It’s a pricey tier – $165 – but rather than receiving a sculpted miniature of a distressed bank manager, backers will receive a digital copy of Project Eternity, its first expansion and Wasteland 2. That’s one way of Kicking it Forward, I guess. There are all sorts of historical connections between Fargo and the Obsidian folks, and Nathan spoke to Chris Avellone about his contributions to Wasteland 2. Basically, it wouldn’t be surprising to find Eternity and Wasteland 2 making out behind the bike sheds. More details on the expansion below.

“The expansion will come out approximately six months after Project Eternity is released and is not being funded by this Kickstarter. That’s right, it’s not DLC, but a real honest to God RPG expansion pack. We don’t have the details on the Expansion yet, but you can bet it will be what you’d expect from an Infinity Engine game expansion.”

I give it six months before a Kickstarter project becomes sentient, eats all the others and we have to nuke the site from orbit.

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71 Comments »

  1. InternetBatman says:

    Ugh. I’m one of their staunchest supporters, and announcing an expansion while the Kickstarter is going on makes me uneasy.

    • HothMonster says:

      It’s a planned expansion for 6 months after launch. So while I understand your concern it’s not like a week 3 DLC. They already said they want to make this an IP they can build on for years though so not really a big surprise. Quote from their email that makes me feel ok about it,

      “The expansion will come out approximately six months after Project Eternity is released. That’s right, it’s not DLC, but a real honest to God RPG expansion pack. We don’t have the details on the Expansion yet, but you can bet it will be what you’d expect from an Infinity Engine game expansion.”

      Of course we will see what comes, it could always end up being a collection of armors for woodland creatures.

      • Strangerator says:

        “Of course we will see what comes, it could always end up being a collection of armors for woodland creatures.”

        Wardrobe of Baaaaal

        No, it will be something that stands on its own right, but can be used to continue your PE characters’ progression. That’s what it seems they are promising anyhow.

  2. coffeetable says:

    Just to get this on the first page:

    ~expansions are always planned before the game launches, else you’ve got a pile of developers sitting around with nothing to do for two months while QA does their thang~

    Literally every expansion you’ve ever played – right back to BG1 and Tales of the Sword Coast – was laid out at this kind of stage in the development process.

    They’re not holding back content from the main game. They have far more than 18 month’s worth of ideas, and this is the only way to get it in without pushing the promised ship-date back.

    e: Whoops, too late already -_-

    • Acosta says:

      Never underestimate the need of some people to complain.

    • IchigoRXC says:

      This is basically what I was going to post, but I would add they have strictly mentioned the production of the expansion would be paid for by P.E profits (post release not KS funds) and Obsidians own coffers which I am sure they hope will be refilled due to P.E being successful

      • InternetBatman says:

        That still seems like counting your chickens before the eggs have hatched. It puts them in a difficult place if the game does not sell as well since now they have a new item to deliver, but might not have the money to make it good.

        • SanguineAngel says:

          It seems a lot like sensible development to me. If you are considering adding significant content/features in the future then it would be a good idea to try and figure out what that is likely to be so you can pre-emptively build in the facilities to accommodate it.

          Edit: Although they wouldn’t necessarily have to announce that they are making an expansion, or even go on to do it. However, it is clear how enthusiastic they are about this project and it seems they may well just go ahead and expand it even if it sells like poo.

          Edit edit: I’m on shakier ground here but the new item they have to deliver is someone else’s game isn’t it? so they don’t necessarily have to spend very much/anything on that. And if they do, likely they have arranged a set amount per game which will come out of the pledge (probably not very much) so they already have the funds by default

        • coffeetable says:

          There’s a risk/reward tradeoff, as there is with every business decision. In the case that P:E’s profits don’t cover the development costs of the expansion, then they’ll have to choose between losing a good chunk of cash on the expansion or losing the sponsor’s goodwill.

          However, with 55,000 marketers recruited, the odds of P:E not being a roaring success are pretty slim. For comparison’s sake, BG2 was expected to shift 100,000-150,000 copies, yet ToB was released only nine months later.

          • InternetBatman says:

            Alright, that’s a pretty convincing case. The only other complication I see is convincing people that the two pools of money/ideas stayed separate. That can be accomplished with stretch goals, and they’ll crush their existing stretch goals even by the lowest estimates. The other way would be a proportional breakdown of costs/effort by class, feature, or area, and I doubt they want that much transparency.

            By the way, do you have a source on the BG thing?

          • coffeetable says:

            I *think* I read it recently in one of the interviews with the Obsidian guys, so will look it up when I get home.

            That said, I might have seen it on Sawyer’s formspring, on the Kickstarter comments or on the forums, in which case I probably won’t be able to find it :/

        • Hoaxfish says:

          Not only is the expansion counting their own eggs, but they’re also counting Wasteland 2′s eggs in a completely different basket.

    • D3xter says:

      This sounds like DLC apologist logic.
      “Before the game launches” isn’t 2 years before the game is even created or anyone has even seen a screenshot of it, it’s bad form.
      They’re asking for funds for the game while not even having finalized the basic game concept and design, besides a lot of stuff can happen in 2 years. There’ll be delays, studio might get bought by EA who aren’t interested in such a thing, they could get some sort of profitable AAA deal they want people to work on instead or the games proves to be a commercial failure and not merit an expansion.
      The campaign still has over a week and they don’t even know what features they can still fit into the game or what won’t work and they’ll have to cut.

      And even if you plan it way ahead, at least be courteous enough to not mention it, when Blizzards product slate with planned Expansions and everything got leaked in 2010 people got fired over it: http://www.geekosystem.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/blizzard-product-slate-leaked.jpg

      • Kaira- says:

        Company which doesn’t plan ahead is a dead company.

        • D3xter says:

          Did you even read what I wrote?

          • Kaira- says:

            ““Before the game launches” isn’t 2 years before the game is even created or anyone has even seen a screenshot of it, it’s bad form.”

            You mean a company shouldn’t have a thought out plan for the lifetime of the product?

            “They’re asking for funds for the game while not even having finalized the basic game concept and design, besides a lot of stuff can happen in 2 years. There’ll be delays, studio might get bought by EA who aren’t interested in such a thing, they could get some sort of profitable AAA deal they want people to work on instead or the games proves to be a commercial failure and not merit an expansion.”

            Anything can ever happen. That’s why you plan, I doubt the expansion is their only plan for the future (see: South Park RPG).

            Now, wether it’s good idea to tell that there will be an expansion out before the game has even launched is up to debate.

      • Bremze says:

        This sounds like terrerist logic. Are you a terrerist?!

        So if they instead slapped on a “2″ on the name it would make it alright? Because they’ve already stated that they want to turn this into a series and that the expansion will contain significant amounts of content ala Mask of the Betrayer.

        • D3xter says:

          Speculation about how they’d like the series to continue if it does well isn’t exactly the same as pre-selling and announcing an expansion to a game that is barely in development, nobody outside has seen anything of aside from a few concept arts and they don’t even yet have the final budget for.
          Just two weeks ago they were “surprised” that they reached the initial goal so fast and didn’t really have much ready in the first days and had to improvise.

          “I was stunned. There’s no other way to put it,” Sawyer told Ars Technica. “Before we went live, I figured we had a 50/50 chance of hitting our funding in a month. To hit it in a little over a day was something I never thought would happen.”

          I guess you’re also a fan of announcing “additional DLC” a year before a game comes out too, after all why not spend $/€80-90 on a game instead of getting a full product at full price?
          Obsidian aren’t exactly blameless of this either: http://www.theverge.com/gaming/2012/6/4/3063365/south-park-the-stick-of-truth-getting-kinect-support-360-first-dlc

          Personally whenever a game does this, like Borderlands 2 or Dishonored recently, I instead wait for a “Complete Game” edition and get it for like $/€20-30 later instead or don’t buy it at all.

      • jrodman says:

        We like expansions, remember?

      • derbefrier says:

        “And even if you plan it way ahead, at least be courteous enough to not mention it,”

        why the hell not? Because a bunch of idiot kids over react on the internet because its cool to hate DLC and they wanna get in on the circle jerk? This may come as a surprise but people like that generally get ignored and made fun of, at least in the real world. For us sensible people its great news to hear they plan on supporting the game with full fledged expansions.

    • Voronwer says:

      See, that’s not what’s bugging me about this. (Despite people on KS telling me that is what’s bugging me.) It’s the fact that you invest in this, then hear there will be more content but you can only get it if you throw down 165$. I like knowing when I buy something, that I have all the content. I don’t mind paying extra for an expansion because it sounds like they’ll put their work in it. If they offered it as an add-on on the lower end tiers, I would gladly up my pledge for it.

      As it is, I probably won’t get it until they release it in full, but that doesn’t change that I’m disappointed they decided to handle it like this as exclusive content for only higher level tiers. It does, however, change my mind about upping my pledge since it seems I’ll be paying more later anyway.

    • Branthog says:

      It’s also worth noting that there are differences between expansions and “DLC”. A few missions in an open-world game shouldn’t be considered an “expansion”. A whole new section of game. A whole new story. A whole new chunk of the title.. essentially, a new game that expands on the last but isn’t quite a whole new title iteration. . . *that* is an expansion.

      But DLC has kind of muddied and sullied all forms. Fuck you DLC. Fuck you in your DLC ass.

  3. skyturnedred says:

    It is a bit weird to announce a expansion already. If it will come out six months after the actual game, then they will no doubt start working on it during the development of the main game, and I only agreed to fund that. Not that I really care to be honest, but I can understand how people are reacting to this.

  4. Lekker Pain says:

    This machinations are starting to get smelly. After what they performed with Dungeon Siege III, I find it hard to believe that they will make a quality RPG like they boast about all the time. I also doubt that they will spend all that money on actual development of the game.

    Stuffed pockets here they come!

    • SanguineAngel says:

      What machinations exactly? They’ve been very open in their dealings with this.

      • Lekker Pain says:

        Tiers after tiers after tiers. They are clearly squeezing you for even more €/£/$, which is not needed.

        • Lars Westergren says:

          Not needed? All the extra money goes to creating a richer world, a bigger and better game. I don’t mind, no one is forcing me to increase my pledge if I don’t want to. Are you the project lead then, since you see fit to set your foot down and decide that a game budget is enough?

          • Lekker Pain says:

            I obviously didn’t. I am not saying don’t support it, hell it’s your money why should I care. On the other hand I feel the need to say (type in this case), that they have more than enough, and as someone mentioned, they are running towards broken promises.

            Support them, but know the limits.

            Also have you played Dungeon Siege III? I presume you didn’t, otherwise you would talk differently.

          • Lars Westergren says:

            I played it to the end, I thought was a fun game, but not exceptional. Much better action RPG than Diablo 3 though.

          • SanguineAngel says:

            Yeah Dungeon Seige 3 didn’t rev my engine. But then Dungeon Seige didn’t ever rev my engine. It’s a totally different game.

            As to the “Machinations” that are the tiers then, well I think it’s quite nice. The tiers have ended up being rather customisable. And who are you to say “they’ve got enough”. The point is that the more money the make, the more they can add to the game. They’re not really running the risk of break promises either since they have stated that each stretch goal achieved means they will be able to bring in more talent to make a bigger better game. They won’t cut anything else out to achieve those goals.

          • MikoSquiz says:

            I’m a bit shocked that someone liked it enough to finish it. How poor it was actually made me angry. I would’ve demanded my money back if I’d thought it would be any use to do so.

            I did contribute to this Kickstarter, however – it plays to their strengths, where making a Dungeon Siege sequel played to their weaknesses, like getting Jim Jarmusch in to do Bad Boys 3.

        • nzmccorm says:

          Most of the tier duplication is because there are different permutations of the higher tiers, and because people wanted digital-only versions of the mid to high tiers because of the expense of shipping and the clutter.

          As for the budget, adjusting for inflation Fallout cost about 4.2 million dollars. Also adjusting for inflation, Baldur’s Gate cost over five million. Realistically speaking, PE is going to top out at a little under three million. Then they give a tenth of that to Kickstarter and Amazon payments. Then they’ve got to put together all the bits and bobs (boxes, books, the strategy guide, the cloth map, the T-shirts, the wall papers, and on and on), and then what they’ve got left afterward is what they’ve got to make the game with.

          It’s kind of asinine to pretend that the 3 million they’re likely to get for the game is in any way “enough” when historically it’s seriously low-balling it. Especially since Kickstarter and Amazon payments take a tenth.

    • InternetBatman says:

      If they were really that concerned about money, they wouldn’t be kicking it forward. VGchartz has Dragon Age Origins Awakening (chose that one because it lacked the hype of Dragon Age, so only fans of the game would buy it) at 500k across platforms (largely excluding PC). Assuming that the retail game of this sells for half of that (which would be surprising since Alpha protocol sold much more) and it sells at $30 (a big assumption considering DSIII prices) they would lose $262k. The lowest tier that gets the expansion has only made them $40k right now, and the announcement of the expansion almost certainly won’t get 7x the customers at that tier.

      So they’re losing money in the newest update, and it’s not necessarily about squeezing extra cash out. I think it’s an attempt at transparency that didn’t go as well since they’re not indie devs.

  5. Inigo says:

    Squeeeeze those udders.

  6. jimjames says:

    While not fully regretting that I backed this, I’m not happy about supporting their method of adding countless stretch goals and massive amounts of content / features.

    Stretch goals are fine (as in the case of total annihilation and double fine adventure) but they’re running the risk of breaking promises, it would be nice if (as mentioned before) they created more jobs or allowed for more time to polish.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      They have already stated previously that for all the stretch goals they will be using the additional funds to increase the size of the team to handle the extra content precisely so that they are able to deliver everything they have promised to a high standard

    • jellydonut says:

      Having stretch goals that say ‘more polish’ or ‘more people working on it’ would not lend to people opening up their wallets. Shiny stretch goals with tangible things do.

      That’s how our monkey brains work, and they know it.

      It is obvious that more money will lead to more polish and more people working on it, but saying so wouldn’t make people enthusiastic about pushing the sum higher.

      • Lawful Evil says:

        With all due respect Sir… I protest! I find it unacceptable to be equated with an animal in any way! You hear me?! So next time you choose to post something please exclude me from your generalisations.

        That said, I very much agree with you.

  7. TsunamiWombat says:

    Oh lord, now conspiracy theorists and blind haters are going to come out

  8. MrLebanon says:

    At first i thought “oh cool maybe I’ll up my pledge I’d like some wasteland 2″

    and then I saw $165 dollars
    Nevermind

    • Cinek says:

      Same here.
      You can get W2 for 20$.
      I got my P.E. support for 20$, add 25$ for beta access.
      This makes total of 65$.
      Now: The pack: PE + some goodies + W2 runs for 165$
      Is pet, expansion pack, thanks in game, digital manual and forum badge worth 100$?
      I DON’T THINK SO.

      • SanguineAngel says:

        well, it’s not a straight sell though. the goodies are more like rewards or incentives for donating a larger sum of money. It’s still you giving them money to make their game first and foremost

  9. Bremze says:

    Everyone about to post stupid, read what coffeetable and jellydonut have said. Then continue, because video game zeal is impenetrable by mere logic.

  10. lofaszjoska says:

    Mention Infinity Engine in conjunction with PE again and they’ll have lost a backer. Not that it’s a terrible loss, but still.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      > Mention Infinity Engine in conjunction with PE and they’ll have lost a backer.

      Not to be confrontational, but why the heck were you a backer in the first place? The very first Kickstarter announcement said this was for making a new game in the spirit of the old Infinity Engine games!

    • Bremze says:

      Did you drop your pledge because of the Infinity Engine namedrop? Am I understanding you correctly?

      Dropping a pledge for a game that’s been pitched as a throwback to the Infinity Engine games, with three of them listed several times in the first page of the kickstarter, with the words “Infinity” and “Engine” showing up not further than three sentences away every time Project Eternety is mentioned?

    • lofaszjoska says:

      أ) I haven’t dropped my pledge yet.

      ب) While I do really love most Infinity Engine games, I hate IE itself. That obsolete, broken heap of code should be something to be ashamed of, not being put in the storefront. Now, if they likened it to ToEE, for example, that would be entirely different.

      ج) Can’t they just refer to those games as “classis Black Isle RPGs” ? Quite a few people on their team did work for Black Isle, and it’s not like there’s a Black Isle studio still around to threaten them with lawsuits for misusing the name.

      • Cinek says:

        +1 – valid points. At the date of release it was quite solid engine, but right now, with better techs avaible one can judge how lacking it was in many ways.

      • Hoaxfish says:

        Didn’t Interplay just resurrect Black Isle (or at least pretend they did)?

        But yea, the Infinity Engine isn’t any more important to what kind of expansion, or other game features they’re planning on, any more than Unity is. They’re underlying engines that don’t really give any indication of what particular aspect they’re talking about when they name-drop it.

        What about their other game which don’t use IE? Are they still “learnt lessons”?

        Frankly, I backed Obsidian, not some vague mishmash reference to Black Isle/Bioware games.

    • equatorian says:

      It’s probably because most of the backers were all INFINITYENGINEINFINITYENGINEINFINITYENGINEINFINITYENGINE. Their forums go without saying. Some blokes even asked if they could license the thing. (And they actually pick up some ideas from the forum, too. George Zeits, the neverending dungeon and the Adventurer’s Hall were popular ideas from there.)

      I’m sure their newer games are learnt lessons, too, and probably more important than the old ones because that’s what most of their staff would surely have worked on. But, as they say, those things are harder to sell, supply what they demand—-especially since their newer ‘party-based RPGs’ efforts weren’t exactly sellable. NWN2 and DS3, anyone? (Yeah, they weren’t what Obsidian is good at, not counting MoTB since most people don’t seem to know it, but it explains why they have to keep reaching back that far. And once you’ve gone that far, ‘Infinity Engine’ is a convenient, fan-accepted way of calling them.)

  11. Arehandoro says:

    165$? Fuck off.

    I cannot stop thinking in all that people who have pledge games in Kickstarter and they will die before the games are finish.

    Can we, somehow, inherit their accounts?

  12. emertonom says:

    The only thing about this that really makes me nervous is the reference to Icewind Dale. To my way of thinking, BG and BGII were really good, and Planescape Torment was quite good too (I know the consensus is “masterpiece,” but it wasn’t without flaws in my book); but Icewind Dale went in completely the opposite direction, discarding story and character in favor of the clunky infinity engine combat. Well, and that previously “Dragon Age” and before that “Neverwinter Nights 2″ were referred to as “spiritual successors” to the BG saga, but didn’t seem to quite capture the same magic. I’m hard-pressed as a player to explain why I liked Baldur’s Gate quite so much, and I’m not completely certain that they have special insight in to this. I’ve still pledged, but I’m getting wary.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      What I remember from my experience of BG1 was the relatively simply plot (and some “redirects” along the way), and then a lot of open space you could just go and explore (at least a couple of areas were big outdoor areas, with almost nothing notable in them… no massed monsters, no dungeons).

      When you actually arrived in the city, it was roughly enough to feel different from the open fields, while still having a lot of detail in there.

      The plot wasn’t as tight as Planescape, but the areas allowed more for you to just run around a bit, but not quite so “loose” as Morrowind (where you could find yourself completely lost, with no sign of the plot at all).

      BG2 pushed the plot a bit more at the cost of open space, but expanded the city-style adventuring (beggars, smugglers, paladin politics, pirate towns, prisons, etc)… though not quite the same sort of jumbled city of Planescape.

    • equatorian says:

      I honestly think that part of BG1′s appeal was that the entire ‘oldschool story-driven RPG stat-based RPG’ was dead back for a few years back then, with everyone trying to do Myst clones or Diablo clones or Doom/Quake clones. There was a lot of goodwill for Bioware for it, as it was a GOOD game. Not a GREAT one, but a very good, solid one in a time where good, solid ones just weren’t around, a good solid game obviously made with love, with plenty of small details. It has a standard plot and setting and memorable if undeveloped characters, but the thing is everything was just WELL cobbled together. (This is in comparison with the luminaries from the RPG clut a good six years or so prior. In the case that you were young when it came out, well, what else could’ve competed with it in during the drought years?)

      Now BG2, THAT is something truly special.

      Icewind Dale was a throwback to an even older time. I liked it for what it was; it’s the stat-and-tactics answer to Diablo, a callback to the days when CRPGs meant throwing six yahoos together and off on an adventure you go. It’s not great by means of story/characters/plot, but it was a very good example of its genre, and balanced and polished to a sheen, with JUST enough story to make the whole thing meaningful. Still one of the finest things in the ‘six yahoos, dungeons, loots and numbers going up’ genre, and there’s plenty of people who like that. If you don’t like it and instead prefer the story route, it’s probably a rather bewildering thing to like.

  13. thesisko says:

    Unless Obsidian’s game becomes one of the worst-selling PC game of all time, there’s no chance they won’t afford an expansion.

  14. Slinkyboy says:

    Those people are Kickstarter heroes. They make the sacrifices to get the game going.
    I’m a loser, I always stay under 30 dollars. I gotta eat >)

  15. nzmccorm says:

    No mention of the fact that George Zeits is onboard at 2.8 million?

    To my mind, that’s the more exciting piece of news.

    Although I am kind of wondering what the fuck a Paladin is going to be in PE since PE’s Priests basically are Paladins (Holy Warriors/Knights with an emphasis on a narrow range of Holy spells)

    • Hoaxfish says:

      At the time this article was posted… I don’t think that update had come out.

      I kinda wish they’d put George out at an earlier goal, rather than building more classes (which could go very wrong in terms of diluting each class’ place in the game/playstyle).

      The update video explains Paladins as basically Warlords From DnD 4e. If I remember correctly, that’s basically a battle strategist role.. so they co-ordinate the team (I suppose through non-magical tactics/buffs/etc) rather than toss healing spells and smiting.

  16. equatorian says:

    George Zeits. Oh man, I want to increase my pledge, but I’ve already pledge all that I could afford. I’m passing up on getting new games and books until December, dammit! I wish he could’ve been an earlier goal, but I guess he’s not cheap?

    Also, now I’ll have two copies of Wasteland 2. Not sure if good idea as a reward for this tier, since many of the people willing to pledge >100$ for this one probably gave something for that one, too. It probably would work better as an incentive for a lower-tier award, but I guess they can’t do that since it’ll devalue Wasteland 2 and make people who pledge the first time feel cheapened?

  17. MentatYP says:

    I was toying with the backing this project, but the mention of an expansion is making me second-guess that. Part of that is a general dislike of the DLC concept (yes I know–this is an “expansion” and not DLC strictly speaking), although this isn’t Day 1 DLC which is the worst. I don’t know… I don’t have a fully formed opinion on the matter but it feels like they’re walking a fine line and for whatever reason it makes me slightly queasy.

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