Posts Tagged ‘Obsidian Entertainment’

Take-Two launch ‘indie’ publishing label Private Division

Reminding us all that the term ‘indie’ is meaningless, Take-Two Interactive–the multi-billion-dollar owners of GTA devs Rockstar Games, Civ and XCOM studio Firaxis, and 2K–have launched an indie publishing label. It’s named Private Division and that combined with the logo ↑ makes me think: Twin Peaks-themed porn site. But they have gathered a fair number of big names for their initial lineup, including Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey from the new studio of Assassin’s Creed creative director Patrice Désilet, a yet-unannounced RPG from Tim Cain and his Fallout cohorts at Obsidian Entertainment, games from fellas who worked on Battlefields and Halos, and Kerbal Space Program (which Take-Two now own). Hey, if leads to good games getting made, wank yourselves wild with your indie fantasies. Read the rest of this entry »

Judge Tyranny: Bastard’s Wound today

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If finishing Tyranny [official site] has left a hole that can only be filled by subjugating peasants and acting like a magical Judge Dredd, don’t fret. Bastard’s Wound, the first — but hopefully not last — Tyranny expansion is due out today. Better dust off that gavel.

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“If you treat them as the enemy, it’s not going to be a good relationship.” Obsidian’s Feargus Urquhart on publishers

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Since its foundation in 2003, Obsidian Entertainment has worked with seven different publishers. Commencing with LucasArts on Knights of the Old Republic II, Obsidian has since signed contracts with Atari, SEGA, Bethesda, Square Enix, Ubisoft and most recently, Paradox Interactive. In fact, up until Pillars of Eternity [official site], every single game Obsidian had made was funded and distributed by a different publisher.

This is a highly unusual state of affairs, and has proved precarious more than once in the company’s history. But it has also provided Obsidian with a unique insight into how the world of publishing works, and how the relationship between developer and publisher has changed in the last couple of decades. This topic is especially pertinent today, as new methods of funding and distributing games have seen a significant shift in the power dynamic between developers and publishers.

I spoke to CEO Feargus Urquhart about how it all works (and doesn’t).

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Beyond Infinity: Obsidian on modernising the art of the isometric RPG

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When Obsidian Entertainment started work on Pillars of Eternity [Official Site], the studio had two goals in mind. First, it wanted to recreate the style and tone of the classic Black Isle RPGs – particularly Baldur’s Gate. Second, it wanted to modernise that style, taking advantage of today’s technology, and avoiding mistakes made the first time around.
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Obsidian on Tyranny’s expansion & writing believable evil

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Most games that put you into the shoes of the bad guys are about reveling in evil, gleefully causing havoc and destruction like a toddler who’s got into the stationary box. Obsidian’s RPG Tyranny [official site] is different.

“I find a lot of fiction that centers around good versus evil tends to be unsatisfying, as evil always exists as a strawman for the ill-prepared underdogs to beat up with the power of naïve violence and good intentions,” says Matt MacLean, narrative designer for Tyranny. “I think video games often try too hard to make sure you don’t relate to your victims, and so villains are made unrelentingly villainous, and allies are made into some combination of saccharine hangers-on or tear-jerker red-shirts waiting to be killed in order to shock you into thinking death means serious storytelling.”

But how did it all work out, and what new cruelties will the upcoming expansion expose us to?

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Competition: Share your memories of Obsidian games

Our cousins at Eurogamer are running a competition between now and Tuesday 12th September in which they’re asking for you to share your memories of Obsidian’s games. They’ll then select their favourite reminiscences and reward the authors with prizes, from free games (on many platforms) to free consoles. You can find more instructions at the link above, as well as read the many existing entries in the comments including stories of South Park: The Stick of Truth, Fallout: New Vegas, and more. Read the rest of this entry »

Tyranny: Bastard’s Wound starts oozing in September

Oh so it’s fine for Obsidian to name the first Tyranny [official site] expansion Bastard’s Wound but it’s “inappropriate” and “a sackable offence” for me to rename the RPS news section to Horace’s **** Shower of ****shack Bucket**** [that is correct -ed.]. Wow, what a double standard! Fine then. Bastard’s Wound, you may already know, is off to a new area for ten or so hours of questing and to better get to know several companions. Now publishers Paradox have announced that Bastard’s Wound will launch on September 7th, two weeks away. Read the rest of this entry »

Pathfinder Adventures goes green in Rise of the Goblins

Won’t someone think of the goblins? For decades, the little scamps have existed for low-level players to bully and mock, treated as little more than rats with better loot. It’s not on. Now the goblins are fighting back in a story expansion for Pathfinder Adventures [official site], Obsidian Entertainment’s adaptation of the RPG card game. The ‘Rise of the Goblins’ expansion adds a new campaign where we get to play as the violent pranksters, eating slugs, messing about, and setting everything on fire. They’re free spirits! Read the rest of this entry »

Pillars of Eternity 2 video examines city life

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Dungeons are sometimes great and I guess dragons are OK every once in a while, but if I’m going to spend hundreds of hours in a fantasy world, I want to explore a big old city and mingle with its inhabitants for at least a few of those hours. Perhaps I haven’t been paying enough attention to Pillars of Eternity II [official site], but I thought its archipelago setting might mean smaller settlements and monster isles without any talkative inhabitants whatsoever. How pleasing it is, then, to see precisely the kind of big old city I want to visit in the latest update video. It’s called Neketaka, a name I will always enjoy saying out loud but will almost certainly mangle the vowels of every time I write it down.

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Tyranny adds a New Game+ mode, but I’m not sure why

Tyranny‘s [official site] announcement of an expansion pack coming this September somewhat overshadowed the more immediate news of a DLC pack with core game tweaks released yesterday, as well as the introduction of a ‘new-game-plus’ mode in a new patch to the core game. Tales From The Tiers is a £4.50 collection of bits and bobs that makes changes throughout the game, introducing new quests, new random encounters, and generally fleshing out the already very fleshy game. But as someone who always finds ambiguously defined DLC additions bemusing, the simultaneous patching in of a new game plus (NG+) is what most intrigued me about a game I’d quite enjoyed last year. Read the rest of this entry »

Tyranny: Bastard’s Wound due later this year

Tee hee hee. They said a rude word in their videogame title. Isometric RPG of evil-doers Tyranny [official site] will be getting an expansion “later this year”, say developers Obsidian. Tyranny: Bastard’s Wound (tee hee) will take players to a new settlement and offer new companion quests and other storylines. Meanwhile, a free update is separately bringing some more stuff to the game’s third act and an “all new path to an unseen ending”. Anyway, you can find the trailer for the expansion below.
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Obsidian’s Pathfinder card game coming to PC

Obsidian Entertainment, the makers of Alpha Protocol and Pillars of Eternity, have announced they’re bringing Pathfinder Adventures [official site] to PC on June 15th. Pathfinder Adventures is a card-driven RPG they released for pocket telephones in 2016, which is an adaptation of the physical Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, which is itself based on the Pathfinder pen & paper RPG. In short: Pathfinder Adventures has cards and dice and you get to fight goblins. Paths are being found all over these days, as both an MMO and a singleplayer RPG are in development too. Read the rest of this entry »

Pillars of Eternity 2 barrelling on through stretch goals

Following the launch of its crowdfunding campaign on Thursday, Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire [official site] reached its goal in one day and has already started barrelling through stretch goals. Turns out, quite a few folks are up for Obsidian continuing their fantasy RPG – this time with pirates aplenty. Our own John declared the first game “A wonderful, enormous and spellbinding RPG, gloriously created in the image of BioWare’s Infinity classics, but distinctly its own.” I’ll have to quiz him on pirates. Read the rest of this entry »

Pillars of Eternity 2 announced, crowdfunding launched

Obsidian Entertainment today formally announced the sequel to Pillars of Eternity, their 2015 throwback fantasy RPG which John enjoyed so. Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire [official site], for that is its name, is set across the Deadfire archipelago, obvs. A god has unexpectedly returned to life and gone a-wandering there, which may cause a few problems. Better go ask him politely to knock it off. As with the first game, Obsidian have launched a crowdfunding campaign to collect pennies. Read the rest of this entry »

Obsidian are making a new game and/or trolling us

‘Project Louisiana’ is the name of oft-revered RPG studio Obsidian’s next game, they’ve revealed, along with a graphic implying farmlands and a quote about facing up to some grim reality. Now, last summer rumours flew that a ‘Fallout: New Orleans’ was in the offing, based on an unverified and subsequently removed European trademark registration.

A whole mess of people looked at Obsidian expectantly, given that they were behind – don’t mention the war – well-received Fallout 3 spin-off New Vegas. They all but shot down the idea – but now they’ve pointedly codenamed their new’un after New Orleans’ home state. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Tyranny

It’s been a long time coming, but finally here’s my final review of Tyranny [official site], having completed the very lengthy game. You can read my thoughts at about the mid-point here, and I’d say I’ve changed my mind about very little, other than to have a greater respect for where the story was heading. Here’s wot I think: Read the rest of this entry »

Tyranny Is Quite Good At Letting You Be Extremely Bad

Tyranny [official site], a new RPG from genre masters Obsidian, is about being bad. Or at least, being in a bad place, surrounded by bad people, with the choice to be bad. The evil Overlord Kyros has conquered swathes of the lands of Terratus, and now has his sights set on the Tiers, a desolate and desperate region, populated by surviving armies and the resilient, whom you are commanded to dominate. Perhaps to enslave, perhaps to slaughter, but as Kyros’s trusted Fatebinder, it’s your job to manage the misfits and warring factions under his rule.

Which is interesting, isn’t it?

Well, I’m struggling to make up my mind. Tyranny manages to be fascinating and ordinary, novel and plain, engrossing and detached. And big. Far bigger than we were led to expect in the game’s promotion, where it was suggested that it was a shorter, time-limited experience, driving replays to explore different paths. In reality it clocks in at apparently 25 hours. I say “apparently” because despite working flat-out all week on this, I’m nowhere near the end, and I’d say the hour count could be an awful lot higher if you play anything like me.

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In Tyranny, It’s Good To Be Evil

Tyranny - Primary

Evil in Tyranny [official site] is so ordinary. That’s why it’s successful, I think. In a medium prone to cartoonish overexaggeration, where villains are barely more than mustache-twirling caricatures, Tyranny tells a bleaker story. It’s the evil of numbers, the evil of tax collectors and bureaucracies and negligence and “I was just following orders.” A real-world sort of evil. The type that’s much harder to stomach.

The type that, when you’re given the chance to go hands-on with Tyranny’s first few hours, leaves you unsettled.

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Obsidian’s Tyranny Coming November 10th

“I begin to find an idle and fond bondage in the oppression of aged Tyranny; who sways, not as it hath power, but as it is suffered,” said WillzShakalaka in his preview of Tyranny [official site], “Come to me, that of this I may speak more.”

Yeah yeah come on mate, enough with your New Games Journalism patter. Tell me if Obsidian’s upcoming fantasy RPG is a good game or some sort of crime. How many spells does it have? What’s in the options menu? Score out of ten? You’re useless.

Here’s how it’s done, Shakespeare, with facts: Tyranny will come out on November 10th, publishers Paradox announced today. Booom. Lick my dust, Willz. Read the rest of this entry »