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Default Project Eternity - Interviews @ RPS, IndieRPGs

October 6th, 2012, 04:53
Rock, Paper, Shotgun has interviewed Chris Avellone about Project Eternity, asking why they went with fantasy, innovation and more:
RPS: Why opt for a fantasy setting? I mean, gaming has quite a few of them. How will you set your mythology apart – as opposed to simply being another world of orcs and elves and dwarves and totally-not-hobbits?
Avellone: The type of races and concept art that’s been revealed for Eternity we hope display our commitment to showcasing seemingly-traditional races with unusual gear and traits – including the fact our women characters wear… appropriate armor. In addition to the more easily recognizable races, we have a number of specialized races as well, including the god-touched races and even more unusual races we intend to unveil later. In addition, the technology level and the concept of souls puts a further twist on the races and classes of the world in an interesting way.
RPS: Black Isle’s RPGs included all sorts of amazing, totally optional details. For instance, I always got a kick out of Fallout 2′s idiot dialogue options and how much thought went into that system. Will Project Eternity have any surprises along those lines?
Avellone: Yes, we want to examine the dialogue mechanics, and one thing we’re going to do is low-intelligence options – either based on Intelligence or a trait – and have the sequences play out differently according to the player’s intellect. As a narrative designer, I enjoy writing interactions like that, and I had a blast with the stupid options in F2 in Vault City and New Reno.
IndieRPGs also apoke with Chris, although the interview ranges past just Project Eternity. An excerpt:
You recently mentioned that you were tempted to crowd-fund a spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment. It wasn’t long thereafter that Obsidian launched Project Eternity on Kickstarter. Is this the aforementioned spiritual successor?
No, Project: Eternity is something different. We had considered doing a Planescape: Torment successor, and that seemed like a waste considering the powerhouses we already had in the studio – why not have them come together and collaborate on something? In my opinion, that would actually be more interesting to the public than a Planescape title, and that seems to have proved itself out.
More information.
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October 6th, 2012, 04:54
Some good stuff in here, especially the Indie RPG interview. Parts do feel a little too safe, and markety to me though.
Q: So, why a generic fantasy? Why not something more imaginative.
A: Why yes, the world we are building here is totally awesome. So completely totally awesome. Thanks for asking
Just answer the question Chris, stop trying to sell the current setting, and address the elephant in the room. Why would doing something different or more fantastic be "a waste" and yet this current setting is "more interesting".

From Jeff Vogel's arguments that it's simply easier to sell a fantasy RPG, I assume they have went that route to play it safe, and may get more creative if they get to do future self/crowd funded project. I wish I didn't have to assume though, and they would just answer the question honestly.

But yeah, that quibble aside, I like the interviews.
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October 6th, 2012, 15:05
Originally Posted by jwmeep View Post
Some good stuff in here, especially the Indie RPG interview. Parts do feel a little too safe, and markety to me though.

Just answer the question Chris, stop trying to sell the current setting, and address the elephant in the room. Why would doing something different or more fantastic be "a waste" and yet this current setting is "more interesting".

From Jeff Vogel's arguments that it's simply easier to sell a fantasy RPG, I assume they have went that route to play it safe, and may get more creative if they get to do future self/crowd funded project. I wish I didn't have to assume though, and they would just answer the question honestly.

But yeah, that quibble aside, I like the interviews.
Works for me, I prefer fantasy settings, high fantasy, not more of 'dark, gritty' that all fantasy games seem to use nowadays.
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October 6th, 2012, 15:23
Sometime I feel like some people are going to be deceived once the game is released.

See, Obsidian have the habit of taking a well defined setting (Star Wars, Forgotten Realms, etc) and doing something "unique" with it. It still feel like the old sauce, but it have an all new flavor to it.

So some people see all the "generic setting" stuff and they already believe they are going to live in a remake of the Forgotten Realms and once the "not so generic" stuff will pop-up they might end up annoyed by it.

Also, the settings have no Drow or Loth for that matter. Hehehe.
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October 6th, 2012, 16:37
Originally Posted by wolfing View Post
Works for me, I prefer fantasy settings, high fantasy, not more of 'dark, gritty' that all fantasy games seem to use nowadays.
Likewise. Plenty of variety on the market as it is. I like dark fantasy at times, just as like futuristic or post-apocalyptic, but my favorite is high fantasy.

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October 6th, 2012, 21:48
There's still plenty of room to innovate in the fantasy genre. Just look at the variety of "D&D" settings throughout the years - Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, Mystara, Dragonlance, Eberron, Golarion (Pathfinder), etc. They all have their own unique flavor but still fall under the medieval fantasy umbrella. As long as it's not yet another Tolkienesque re-hash I'll be happy.
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October 7th, 2012, 01:02
After 20+ years of gaming I never seem to tire of the fantasy settings. So I think I will be plenty happy with what they are putting together. Pledged 140 now let's hope they pull it off.
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October 7th, 2012, 01:04
Were does all this dislike of dark fantasy and Tolkien copycats from? I never tire of any setting. All that matter to me is the story is at least decent and I have another rpg to play on the pc.

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October 7th, 2012, 02:35
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Were does all this dislike of dark fantasy and Tolkien copycats from?
It's the "new is always better" mentality. I've actually read post of people complaining on the PE official forums about the lack of "innovations".

I think some people didn't understand the project idea.
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October 8th, 2012, 00:58
Personally, I don't like "dark fantasy" at all. For my taste, there's already far too much of that around right now.
But - I guess that you all already kow me …

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October 8th, 2012, 06:18
I think they chose the setting based on the poll here on Rpgwatch. They start with a fantasy setting which is number 1 on the poll and then add in some steampunk elements because it is number 2 on the poll.
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October 8th, 2012, 10:08
Originally Posted by jwmeep View Post
From Jeff Vogel's arguments that it's simply easier to sell a fantasy RPG, I assume they have went that route to play it safe, and may get more creative if they get to do future self/crowd funded project. I wish I didn't have to assume though, and they would just answer the question honestly.
KS brings a difference. This project was sold mostly by the reputation of the studios.
The seduction operated through their reputation, not the content.

All these projects are going to go paths they are already walked. They go this route for the same reason they go the route they chose for their technology: they know how to deliver and developpment costs are amortized in the past. Today, it is about replication costs.

Being innovative requires additional money.

One interesting side of KS. I though at first that KS would be used as a platform for small, innovative projects, trying to explore one or two gameplay paths.

Nope, it is the opposite: KS is a platform to promote old proven recipes, cashing on the decrease in production costs for those recipes.

Innovation is still lying in the hands of publishers.
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October 8th, 2012, 12:38
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Were does all this dislike of dark fantasy and Tolkien copycats from? I never tire of any setting. All that matter to me is the story is at least decent and I have another rpg to play on the pc.
Yeah, like people would complain if there would be another TV series or movie set in current times. "I'm so sick of the contemporary genre, I wish they'd do something new!" hahaha
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October 8th, 2012, 14:07
I don't have any particular favourite setting, as long as it isn't traditional generic high fantasy, but I certainly am a fan of "original" and "unique". So I normally welcome new ideas, settings, etc..

I fully agree with azarhal in saying that Obsidian (and including their time at Black Isle and Troika) is known for providing originality, depth and uniqueness. While reading the OE forums, I feel that many people are somehow "stuck" with a D&D mentality and some expect PE to be just a BG2 clone. But knowing the people involved at Obsidian, we can expect the game to be everything but "generic".

Originally Posted by Thaurin View Post
Yeah, like people would complain if there would be another TV series or movie set in current times. "I'm so sick of the contemporary genre, I wish they'd do something new!" hahaha
Bad analogy. It isn't about the era but about the theme. Imagine if all contemporary TV series were about the Police.
Last edited by Asdraguuhl; October 8th, 2012 at 15:31.
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October 8th, 2012, 14:31
That's actually why I wish they would talk a little more about the story or central conflict for this game - I am fine with classic high fantasy, there is any number of interesting stories that can be told in it. At the same time it is absolutely no guarantee for something interesting, by itself.
Namedropping, BG, PS:T and NWN just confused me in that respect: these are games with vastly different style, mood, and story.
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October 8th, 2012, 14:47
In one of previous updates they mentioned black powder firearms and cultures on technological level ranging from tribal to victorian so setting will probably be lot different from standard Tolkien high fantasy it sounds like it will have more Arcanum flavor to it.
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October 8th, 2012, 15:12
Originally Posted by Nameless one View Post
In one of previous updates they mentioned black powder firearms and cultures on technological level ranging from tribal to victorian so setting will probably be lot different from standard Tolkien high fantasy it sounds like it will have more Arcanum flavor to it.
Sadly yes.
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October 8th, 2012, 15:20
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
Namedropping, BG, PS:T and NWN just confused me in that respect: these are games with vastly different style, mood, and story.
They didn't just "namedrop", they actually said (from the Kickstarter main page):
Project Eternity will take the central hero, memorable companions and the epic exploration of Baldur’s Gate, add in the fun, intense combat and dungeon diving of Icewind Dale, and tie it all together with the emotional writing and mature thematic exploration of Planescape: Torment.
So you know which part of which game they wish to emulate and why. Although, it seems that we are going more toward Fallout with attribute affecting dialog choices going by a recent interview by Avellon. Feargus also said he want the writers to go nuts…
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October 8th, 2012, 16:04
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
They didn't just "namedrop", they actually said (from the Kickstarter main page):


So you know which part of which game they wish to emulate and why. Although, it seems that we are going more toward Fallout with attribute affecting dialog choices going by a recent interview by Avellon. Feargus also said he want the writers to go nuts…
Yeah, but that's just a wishlist of features and properties, and tells me nothing of what the game is actually about and how they want to achieve that. Regarding the mechanics and more specific design goals we got some useful info since, but initially it was just "we'll take the best of all these previous games and it will be totally awesome! You know you can trust us!"
And, to be honest their reply regarding the story: "The player witnesses an extraordinary and horrific supernatural event that thrusts them into a unique and difficult circumstance. Burdened with the consequences of this event, the player has to investigate what has happened in order to free themselves from the restless forces that follow and haunt them wherever they go." Is so vague that it's impossible to judge if it is really generic or something more interesting.
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October 8th, 2012, 16:09
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
Is so vague that it's impossible to judge if it is really generic or something more interesting.
The first thing I though of when I read that was the Cataclysm in Dragonlance with the dude responsible.
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