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Default Obsidian Entertainment - Interview - on IWD3 and More

February 26th, 2011, 23:37
Feargus Urquhart has been interviewed at Joystiq, discussing their past games but also the future, including a new game they are working on with a small team, a new IP for the future, the possibility of doing Icewind Dale 3 and more. A sample:
Before Obsidian begins on its own work, Urquhart says there are a few other projects in the pipeline, and one is an unannounced title we'll be hearing about soon. "There is a property that we are working on, that we can't talk about yet," he teases. "It's something we've been working on since the middle of last year, just with a small team, it's only been five or ten people. It's a license that you would go, well you gotta do it. It's not a license where it's, 'Ok, we'll take that and we can do something with it.' It's more like, well that's once in a lifetime." (Presumably, this is the Wheel of Time game, but Urquhart didn't say more on the subject.)

Obsidian is also pushing on updating a former Black Isle property: Icewind Dale 3. "I was talking to Atari last week," he confides, "and said why don't we do this?" The old series, he says, didn't end because of low sales. "They stopped being made because of licensing issues, and Interplay going out of business, and BioWare moving on to console, and a whole lot of things. So a part of it is, why not go make Icewind Dale 3? You can't spend $20 million on it, but why not go make it?"

And if Obsidian had their pick of any property to update and make their own? "I'd like to do Ultima," says Urquhart. " I think doing an Ultima would be awesome. I think it's been long enough since Ultima 9. Those Ultima games that Garriot did were cool, and I think doing an Ultima would be awesome."
More information.
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February 26th, 2011, 23:37
icewind dale 3. lol

it'll be bad

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February 26th, 2011, 23:43
Lots of good news to my ears here. I put Obsidian on my deathwatch a while back assuming that with Aliens falling through and AP being lackluster they might be on hard times. Dungeon Siege 3 being a make or break project but this does sound reasonably positive.

I would love another IWD though not sure what engine they would use. That series tends to catch a lot of flak but I liked it mostly due to Infinity engine. Hard do see DA engine being licensed from EA/Bioware for an Atari property but could happen. They probably dont have the budget to develop one from scratch based on the $20MM comment. Maybe use whatever they have from DS3 but I have to see more from DS3 before that interests me. It would be nice if they could get the ToEE engine though Atari and update it but think that is unlikely due to it being 3E and WotC/Hasbro would probably only want 4E games being made.

I'd like to see Planescape universe reused but thought that WtoC/Hasbro discontinued it a couple of years ago which would make that unlikely. Biggest problem I see is that if none of these are not already in the works then we have 2-3 years before seeing them materialize in any form.
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February 26th, 2011, 23:50
I'd love to see IWD3 too…it's nice to hear from someone in the industry who still has a passion for RPGs and a fondness for the older titles (and the older fans who go with them).
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February 27th, 2011, 00:00
I'd much rather a Planescape 2 than an IWD, but JS did have a LOT to do with the originals!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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February 27th, 2011, 00:01
To me, this interview sounds fairly positive. I'm not sure whether I'd buy IWD3, but the thought alone that they'd like to make it … This is imho very "old school", and therefore - in my opinion - very positive to me …

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February 27th, 2011, 00:03
Been hearing a lot about Ultima's lately. Interesting.
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February 27th, 2011, 01:10
IWD3 sounds to good to be true in todays game market , i know they have been working on The Wheel Of Time which sounds interesting too. Remember the game they are making has to be realistic for PC and console.
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February 27th, 2011, 01:35
I'm extremely interested in an IWD3 by these guys.

Ultima I'm a little more leery of… but I must admit I'm one of the "unfaithful" who enjoyed the new Fallout games just fine, so I'd probably be fine with it. I am a little more worried right now about the idea of Bioware (which is now part of the company that owns the Ultima license) doing an Ultima. I guess I've just fallen out of love with those guys, somehow.
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February 27th, 2011, 01:45
+1 for an IWD 3. As long as they stay true to the originals, and not go the way of Bioware.
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February 27th, 2011, 02:03
I'm interested in IWD3, a new Ultima or a Wheel of Time game from these guys. Heck I'd even be interested in a Twilight game if that's what they wanted to pursue. As long as it's a RPG and not some dumbed down abomination from "insert other North American RPG studio here".
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February 27th, 2011, 03:14
IWD3 mini wishlist!
-4th edition rules,
-isometric perspective,
-full co-op enabled campaign,
-heart of fury mode,
-expanded selection of races/classes
-no cinematic camera angles.

BONUS: the ability to play through as chaotic evil killing 100% of storyline NPCs, who present themselves to be challenging battles with unique loot drops for a maximum action version of the game.
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February 27th, 2011, 03:21
Originally Posted by figment View Post
I would love another IWD though not sure what engine they would use. That series tends to catch a lot of flak but I liked it mostly due to Infinity engine. Hard do see DA engine being licensed from EA/Bioware for an Atari property but could happen. They probably dont have the budget to develop one from scratch based on the $20MM comment. Maybe use whatever they have from DS3 but I have to see more from DS3 before that interests me. It would be nice if they could get the ToEE engine though Atari and update it but think that is unlikely due to it being 3E and WotC/Hasbro would probably only want 4E games being made.
The DS3 engine was originally made for Aliens, which was a tactical game, so I can't see why they wouldn't adapt that. Why would they want BioWare's Dragon Age engine?

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. I think Feargus is feeling out the response and applying some gentle public pressure on Atari - but there's no sign yet they've signed up for it.

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February 27th, 2011, 03:57
I like the idea of a low-budget IWD3 for PC, iPad and whatever else. I think that could do rather well.

I also agree with him that Fallout 3 (and by extension New Vegas) are satisfying despite radically different gameplay because you get to explore that world again. His phrasing there very much mirrors my own, but then I am the type of RPGer who enjoys exploring, immersion and story over mechanics.

In any event I look forward to hearing about Sawyer's new project. New Vegas was amazing if you ask me.
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February 27th, 2011, 04:08
~giggles~ To me, Obsidian is the last great American RPG developer left that isn't an indie(can't wait for Dead State and Age of Decadence) so I may be a little bias but these guys are the Troika of now. Alot of great ideas, willing to try new things and horrid coding. I welcome anything they can think bring to the table.
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February 27th, 2011, 04:16
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
The DS3 engine was originally made for Aliens, which was a tactical game, so I can't see why they wouldn't adapt that. Why would they want BioWare's Dragon Age engine?

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. I think Feargus is feeling out the response and applying some gentle public pressure on Atari - but there's no sign yet they've signed up for it.
I would think it would be more likely that they would license the engine for the upcoming Neverwinter sequel from Atari. Personally I'd rather see another game in the Planescape setting, though licensing of that setting is probably far more difficult.

An Ultima sequel would probably not be all that difficult to license though - as EA seems to be interested in making money off of that franchise though has no interest in developing anything for it beyond crappy web based "free" to play games. This would be an opportunity for them to make some profit off the the Ultima name without having to allocate their own development resources away from things they consider to be more important - namely console sports titles.

Obsidian definitely has a distinct track record in terms of the kind of games they end up making though. They are consistently buggier than their predecessor but more intelligent and ambitious at the same time. What is not consistent is whether the intelligence and ambition of the game and plot outweigh the lack of quality assurance testing. Even some of their more critically and financially successful titles, such as New Vegas, cause quite a bit of debate about this point.

I generally like their games but I always find myself wishing they'd end up partnering with a studio that demanded more testing and debugging before release - and perhaps took on some of the responsibility for them. They just seem to be slightly worse at it than they should be. I'm also always disappointed with the scope of post-release patching too. Still, they're better thank Troika was as I think Troika must hold the record for largest and most comprehensive community-made patch required to play their games; though it's hard to blame a company that went out of business for not continuing to patch their product.

Anyways, I am excited about some of the things they want to work on. I think they'll have a lot of potential; I just wish to god they would hire some competent QA people and spend more time polishing their games.
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February 27th, 2011, 04:40
Originally Posted by jhwisner View Post
I would think it would be more likely that they would license the engine for the upcoming Neverwinter sequel from Atari. Personally I'd rather see another game in the Planescape setting, though licensing of that setting is probably far more difficult.

An Ultima sequel would probably not be all that difficult to license though - as EA seems to be interested in making money off of that franchise though has no interest in developing anything for it beyond crappy web based "free" to play games. This would be an opportunity for them to make some profit off the the Ultima name without having to allocate their own development resources away from things they consider to be more important - namely console sports titles.

Obsidian definitely has a distinct track record in terms of the kind of games they end up making though. They are consistently buggier than their predecessor but more intelligent and ambitious at the same time. What is not consistent is whether the intelligence and ambition of the game and plot outweigh the lack of quality assurance testing. Even some of their more critically and financially successful titles, such as New Vegas, cause quite a bit of debate about this point.

I generally like their games but I always find myself wishing they'd end up partnering with a studio that demanded more testing and debugging before release - and perhaps took on some of the responsibility for them. They just seem to be slightly worse at it than they should be. I'm also always disappointed with the scope of post-release patching too. Still, they're better thank Troika was as I think Troika must hold the record for largest and most comprehensive community-made patch required to play their games; though it's hard to blame a company that went out of business for not continuing to patch their product.

Anyways, I am excited about some of the things they want to work on. I think they'll have a lot of potential; I just wish to god they would hire some competent QA people and spend more time polishing their games.
Didn't Bethesda/Zenimax handle the QA for New Vegas?
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February 27th, 2011, 05:38
Originally Posted by Lemonhead View Post
Didn't Bethesda/Zenimax handle the QA for New Vegas?
QA is up to the publisher, standard. I'm sure Obsidian corroborated but yeah, it's primarily up to Bethesda, who as a publisher do not have the best track record for polish.
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February 27th, 2011, 05:44
Originally Posted by jhwisner View Post
I would think it would be more likely that they would license the engine for the upcoming Neverwinter sequel from Atari.
Eh? What Neverwinter sequel?
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February 27th, 2011, 06:01
Originally Posted by Lemonhead View Post
Didn't Bethesda/Zenimax handle the QA for New Vegas?
I read somewhere, maybe on Sawyer's formspring, that Obsidian has an internal QA team that took a pass but Bethesda handled most of it.

Honestly New Vegas wasn't buggier for me than Fallout 3 or Oblivion. Reviewers bashed the game either because it was Obsidian, so it was "allowed," or just because the third similar game in a row should be more polished, not the same or slightly less.
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