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Default Pillars of Eternity - Interview @ PC Gamer

December 15th, 2013, 16:01
PC Gamer interviews Josh Sawyerto talk about combat, companions, and character building in Pillars of Eternity.

PC Gamer: Were the new systems you've designed for Pillars of Eternity in any way responses to problems to you had creating the old Infinity Engine games?

Josh: Yeah, some of them were really fiddly sort of things. Dungeons and Dragons is based around the idea of people sitting around a table and doing basic arithmetic with a twenty-sided die. When you're on a computer a lot of those calculations can go a lot faster. You can do real-time division very easily, you can use a 100-point scale for things where normally that would be kind of onerous in a tabletop environment.

The thing that allows us to do is give finer granularity and do more complex calculations that scale better over the course of the game. Also things like combat rounds could be very limiting, so we're doing something else in the spirit of a fully real-time, continuous, purely time based system, while still feeling like you're controlling little RTS-type units. In the sense that you're not making guys do individual attacks, as much as assigning them actions and watching them go about them.

PC Gamer: In terms of combat: going back to the Infinity Engine games, one of the stranger sights is these two characters facing each other, swiping away with their swords and waiting for the dice rolls to hit. Is that a quirk you wanted to retain?

Josh: Well, we have eliminated the fake attacks, so that doesn't happen. We're not trying to have a super-high level of verisimilitude in the sense of having everyone attacking and parrying and stuff like that, because the characters are pretty small, and having all these weird creatures doing all these synchronised parries would actually be pretty difficult. Because we're not using rounds they can be active on more than just a once every six seconds basis. They're more continuously active and they have combat stances, which is something the Infinity Engine games did not have. They look a little more involved and engaged, but there still is a little hand waving there where they're pantomiming what they're doing.
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December 15th, 2013, 16:01
Hmm the last three screenshots look new!





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December 15th, 2013, 22:12
Love the zoomed out level in that last pic.I wonder if the game will ship and allow players to play at that level.The newest trailer looks to be much zoomed in and I fear this will be max judging from the zoomed in view most games ship with nowadays.

One other thing is I would love to see negative effects when in very cold harsh climates and fur overcoats and hats needing to be worn.Frostfall for Skyrim has me spoiled. That plus food and drink and the ability for the game to give better bonuses from hot meals and warm beds in inns etc.
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December 16th, 2013, 00:17
Do not want to offend any TB combat fans but: inxile… read it, and think about it in matter of tides of numenera…
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December 16th, 2013, 01:14
Those shots sure do look good…
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December 16th, 2013, 14:13
I feel infatuated by this game…the more screens I see, the stronger it is.
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December 16th, 2013, 15:57
Originally Posted by Aubrielle View Post
I feel infatuated by this game…the more screens I see, the stronger it is.
Infatuated? You need to get out more
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December 16th, 2013, 17:04
Thus spoke……
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December 16th, 2013, 20:24
I like the view on these new screens - the trailer made the character look waaaaay too big for my taste, almost disproportionate to the backgrounds. Hope it stays like this.
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December 17th, 2013, 20:07
Sad to hear that they are just gonna have the characters swing away at each other with no parry/hit or block animations.I get drawn out of the game when I see older games doing this and figured in 2014 it will be reduced a good amount.There has got to be a workaround IMO.I would even be fine with a character that is swinging but his animation is blocking an attack instead so that they look as though they are in a battle.PC's are super fast and it could quickly calculate that the next hit will be a kill or a critical hit and play the correct animations.
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December 19th, 2013, 13:02
. Dungeons and Dragons is based around the idea of people sitting around a table and doing basic arithmetic with a twenty-sided die. When you're on a computer a lot of those calculations can go a lot faster. You can do real-time division very easily, you can use a 100-point scale for things where normally that would be kind of onerous in a tabletop environment.

The thing that allows us to do is give finer granularity and
Where is the wood to build up a pyre and burn up that heretic? Telling outright that limiting a computer to the basic arithmetic involved in the tabletop session is a waste of computer potential calls no mercy.
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December 19th, 2013, 13:21
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
Telling outright that limiting a computer to the basic arithmetic involved in the tabletop session is a waste of computer potential calls no mercy.
I have once heard that developers of Chess programs actively had to build in "errors" and make the program weaker for Beginners.
Because otherwise no-one - no Beginner, that is - would be able to have a chance against it. Only Champions would.

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December 19th, 2013, 13:24
It is the case for many video games' AI. The first thing to do is to learn the AI to play the game. The second thing to do is to find (clever if possible) ways to dumb down the AI so that it makes mistakes and provides the game with some sort of verisimilitude. An AI that never errs would be unbearable for a human player.
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December 19th, 2013, 13:27
That's how I'd see it as well.

It's already bad in the AOW series, where the AI - as confirmed by the developers back then - already knows the whole map from the first turn on.

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December 19th, 2013, 15:17
Originally Posted by wolfen View Post
Sad to hear that they are just gonna have the characters swing away at each other with no parry/hit or block animations.I get drawn out of the game when I see older games doing this and figured in 2014 it will be reduced a good amount.There has got to be a workaround IMO.I would even be fine with a character that is swinging but his animation is blocking an attack instead so that they look as though they are in a battle.PC's are super fast and it could quickly calculate that the next hit will be a kill or a critical hit and play the correct animations.
It has nothing to do with computer performance. All those animations need to be made. It's all about the budget for the game and the time you have to make.
Last edited by azarhal; December 19th, 2013 at 17:28.
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December 19th, 2013, 17:20
There will be another kickstarter for Obsidian next year for a new game.

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