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.
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.