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Default Project Eternity - Interviews @ Sorcerer's Place, GI.biz

October 21st, 2012, 16:22
Here's a pair of Project Eternity interviews, starting with out friends at Sorcerer's Place who visited Obsidian at their offices to catch up with Adam Brennecke:
[Marceror] With all the content that you’ve committed to including in the game, is April 2014 still looking like a feasible release date?

[Adam] Yeah. In the beginning it may have seemed like we were a bit caught off guard by how quickly things were happening, but we did have a plan for the stretch goals ahead of time. The development team will be ramping up in size to tackle the increased scope of the game.
[Marceror] With all the content that you’ve committed to including in the game, is April 2014 still looking like a feasible release date?

[Adam] Yeah. In the beginning it may have seemed like we were a bit caught off guard by how quickly things were happening, but we did have a plan for the stretch goals ahead of time. The development team will be ramping up in size to tackle the increased scope of the game.
…and over at GamesIndustry.biz, who focus on Kickstarter with Chris Avellone:
<strong style="color: #999999;">Q: [/b] Once Project Eternity comes out, do you have plans for more content?
Chris Avellone: Our hope with Eternity is that it's just the first in a series of installments, and then obviously we want to do the full expansion packs, and then extra content, just because we know we really enjoyed doing that for Fallout: New Vegas. We'd want to continue adding new content to the world. The first game is only one moderately sized nation in a much, much, much bigger world where a lot of other things are going on. There's plenty more room for games in that universe and that's what we'd like to do.
It's kind of nice because not all of that has to be done in the games; we can go out and look for graphic novel tie-ins and novel tie-ins and stuff. It is kind of cool to be able to pursue that on our own without having to go through a publisher, or accept the fact that whatever franchise we're with already has the avenues all covered. It's such a nice feeling.
More information.
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October 21st, 2012, 16:22
Interesting interviews,
Wonder if I can log into sorcerers forum still spent lot of time there around Baldurs gate 2

Doing a kickstarter seems like a lot of work, and much that you should have prepared in advance.

Im getting the itch to play IWD, never played it.

C
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October 21st, 2012, 18:06
We keep all the logins, so you shouldn't have any problems logging in.
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October 21st, 2012, 22:52
Quality interviews. Thanks!
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October 22nd, 2012, 02:28
Originally Posted by Crilloan View Post
Im getting the itch to play IWD, never played it.

C
Funny. I just finished playing Icewind Dale II. The 2 IWD games were the last Infinity games I'd never played. I'm glad I did. Especially because of IWDII. I liked this game much more than I. Not that I was bad, but II had much more characters and quests and most of these quests could even be solved in different ways. IWD is often just fighting and fighting and fighting…

Anyways, I highly recommend those games to anyone who likes the Infinity era.
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October 22nd, 2012, 18:36
i found this interesting:
[Marceror] Are you going for a more open feel to the game (ala Baldur’s Gate 1) or will it be more like Baldur’s Gate 2, where you basically couldn't turn around without bumping into a quest of some sort?

[Adam] We were just talking about this on Wednesday. We definitely want to have wilderness areas like in Baldur’s Gate 1. We want to encourage exploration, but it’s definitely not going to be as aimless as it was in Baldur’s Gate 1, or as tedious. We want to make fewer areas, but have more content in them, and make them a bit more focused.

Peronsally I want the exploration to be more like BG1 than BG2.
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October 22nd, 2012, 19:10
Originally Posted by Lemonhead View Post
i found this interesting:
[Marceror] Are you going for a more open feel to the game (ala Baldur’s Gate 1) or will it be more like Baldur’s Gate 2, where you basically couldn't turn around without bumping into a quest of some sort?

[Adam] We were just talking about this on Wednesday. We definitely want to have wilderness areas like in Baldur’s Gate 1. We want to encourage exploration, but it’s definitely not going to be as aimless as it was in Baldur’s Gate 1, or as tedious. We want to make fewer areas, but have more content in them, and make them a bit more focused.

Peronsally I want the exploration to be more like BG1 than BG2.
Agreed. But I can live with the middle ground (a bit less ground to cover, a bit more content to discover)
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October 22nd, 2012, 19:32
Originally Posted by Lemonhead View Post
i found this interesting:
[Marceror] Are you going for a more open feel to the game (ala Baldur’s Gate 1) or will it be more like Baldur’s Gate 2, where you basically couldn't turn around without bumping into a quest of some sort?

[Adam] We were just talking about this on Wednesday. We definitely want to have wilderness areas like in Baldur’s Gate 1. We want to encourage exploration, but it’s definitely not going to be as aimless as it was in Baldur’s Gate 1, or as tedious. We want to make fewer areas, but have more content in them, and make them a bit more focused.

Peronsally I want the exploration to be more like BG1 than BG2.
Agreed. One thing I loved about BG1 was just picking a direction and going exploring.

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October 22nd, 2012, 23:09
We want to encourage exploration, but it’s definitely not going to be as aimless as it was in Baldur’s Gate 1, or as tedious.
Eh? I never felt the exploration in BG1 was tedious. Some of the encounters with low-level enemies perhaps, but not the exploration.

That just sounds like an excuse for less nonlinearity to me.
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October 22nd, 2012, 23:11
Agreed.

Reading that, I get the feeling they don't really understand the appeal of non-linear exploration.
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October 22nd, 2012, 23:40
Hmm, hate to agree with Dart, but there it is. I think the open world exploration was BG's strongest defining feature.
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October 23rd, 2012, 03:32
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Agreed.

Reading that, I get the feeling they don't really understand the appeal of non-linear exploration.
I don't understand the appeal of non-linear exploration either, I don't like it at all.
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October 23rd, 2012, 04:11
Exploration of BG1´s wilderness maps was quite often tedious and uneventful due to low amount of points of interest and slow walking speed.
The basic map setup was great, however.
Personally I´d probably like similar system with, as said in the interview, fewer areas with more content, and on top of that encounters/events that are random and/or tied to some character skills or plot developments that could occur when traveling between the main maps, sorta á la Storm of Zehir or Realms of Arkania.
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October 23rd, 2012, 10:33
Originally Posted by wolfing View Post
I don't understand the appeal of non-linear exploration either, I don't like it at all.
Fair enough, but then you probably shouldn't make games where non-linear exploration is a major feature.
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October 23rd, 2012, 10:38
The problem with exploration in BG1, and probably the reason why they call it tedious, is the fact that each map usually only has 1-2 places worth visiting (edit: As DeepO has already mentioned). Once you've played through the game a few times, BG1 is suddenly a 20 hour game because so many locations are completely useless. Killing a billion kobolds for the umpteenth time is neither challenging nor entertaining.

That being said, BG2 could've used a bit more exploration, so somewhere in the middle is probably a good place to land.
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October 23rd, 2012, 10:41
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
Exploration of BG1´s wilderness maps was quite often tedious and uneventful due to low amount of points of interest and slow walking speed.
I generally speed up everything 50% - which makes it much more bearable.

But without tweaks - BG1 is somewhat tedious overall, and I don't think the non-linear exploration is at fault. It's the slow pace in general.

I thought it was great, because it's completely optional - and you can just go back to the story or whatever quest at will. That's how it should work, in my opinion.

I don't think there's anything bad about their thoughts of providing less areas with more content - but the key is the balance. If it ends up feeling linear and limited - then more content won't save the non-linear appeal.

BG1 wasn't that huge or sprawling - so I'd be careful reducing the optional exploration areas too much.

Going by NWN2 and FO:NV - Obsidian tends to over-emphasize linear areas, but then again - that's just my personal opinion. I much preferred FO3 to FO:NV for exploration. NWN2 was huge and almost 100% linear - which was a big problem for me.
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October 23rd, 2012, 10:45
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
The problem with exploration in BG1, and probably the reason why they call it tedious, is the fact that each map usually only has 1-2 places worth visiting (edit: As DeepO has already mentioned). Once you've played through the game a few times, BG1 is suddenly a 20 hour game because so many locations are completely useless. Killing a billion kobolds for the umpteenth time is neither challenging nor entertaining.

That being said, BG2 could've used a bit more exploration, so somewhere in the middle is probably a good place to land.
Well, as with all things - that's subjective.

You can't get much exploration out of cramming areas with content - because it won't feel much like open world exploration.

Also, BG1 exploration had a lot of XP - and all areas were pretty generous with creatures and NPCs. So, it never felt that tedious - because you were progressing.

At least, that's how I feel about it.

In the end, it's the good old linear vs non-linear debate. Some people prefer a more directed experience - and som prefer a more open world approach. It's a matter of degree - and I personally prefer a good balance of both.

I just don't think Obsidian are particularly suited for non-linear exploration design - going by their past games.

That said, I think Storm of Zehir was actually pretty good in that way.
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October 23rd, 2012, 12:13
Somehow the isometric perspective makes exploration less appealing to me ( I guess I need that "what's that over that hill?" feeling to get myself curious), so Exploration was not a big thing for me in BG. Another factor was the non-continuous nature of the map, that also made it less appealing to me somehow. I basically went where the quests took me, and sometimes a bit to the side if I lost my way.
So to me, their plan sounds good in this case.
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October 23rd, 2012, 12:28
I agree that the non-continuous map structure was bad for immersion. But it also made it somewhat easier to explore in bits - as you knew exactly how much was explored at any given time.

First person is indeed better for exploration - but I don't think it's essential. It depends on the game and what it sets out to do.

As for PE - I think it will be a fine game - but I'm not buying into the whole "it's straight from heaven" thing. Not only has Obsidian never been good at developing under deadlines/pressure (judging from the results) - but they're also targeting first half of 2014. I just don't see a truly deep/complex CRPG happening in that time - without it being either vitally flawed or massively bugged.

If they DO manage to pull it off, I'll gladly eat my hat for doubting them. It would also go a very long way for proving the kickstarter model - and I'd definitely be strongly motivated to go all out on supporting similar titles.
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October 23rd, 2012, 14:52
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Killing a billion kobolds for the umpteenth time is neither challenging nor entertaining.
Hmm, did you play the same game I did? Because obviously my experience of the Firewine Ruins dungeon was different to yours. Fire arrow wielding and merrily yipping kobolds were much more challenging than you give them credit for, methinks. Walking through that dungeon often required careful planning…and it was plenty fun.

I rather enjoyed the exploration and experience of "removing the black" in BG1 and found it neither tedious or slow. I really don't understand the idea behind speeding up such a game or combat style; as for me it was definitely fast enough being what it is (real time with pause.)

I hope Project Eternity brings back that thrill of isometric exploration by incorporating more unique encounters and by taking a page out of FNV by offering a variety of role-playing opportunities through dialogue rather than following the traditional BG style of dialogue. For me, seeking out these interesting encounters incentivises exploration and when coupled with strong writing, really makes it immersing.

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