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Pillars of Eternity - Interview @ Ausgamers

by Couchpotato, 2014-03-22 05:36:02

Obsidian Entertainment's Josh Sawyer was interviewed by Ausgamers to answer a few questions about the recent Paradox deal, and other topics about Pillars of Eternity.

AusGamers: Now I don’t know how specific you can get on this but, how many separate projects are in the works at Obsidian now? Even with South Park wrapped, it seems like there must be a few? Has the team expanded significantly in recent years?

Josh: Recently it did expand, because South Park was winding down, so we’ve wrapped up on that, and of course we’ve just had our announcement about Armored Warfare, which there’s a lot of folks at Obsidian working on that. Then we always have other projects that are in progress -- things that we’ve started up and are working on in the background. So we always try to be a two or three project studio, and that will probably continue for the near future.

AusGamers: Has the creative freedom afforded by the crowdfunded Pillars of Eternity noticeably altered studio culture at all? Has there been a measurable envy from the devs working away on the big publisher licensed stuff, or do you even have strictly defined teams for each project in that sort of way?

Josh: Well I wouldn’t say it’s strictly defined, but people don’t just kind of float around. People will move over to our project sometimes then work on something else for a while and maybe come back later. Obviously it’s nice to be able to work with your own IP, but there are other certain nice advantages of working with someone else’s IP, but you know, the grass is always greener.

It’s very hard to build an IP from scratch. We’re not really making any bones of the fact that we’re trying to make a game that feels very much like Forgotten Realms; we’re trying to capture the feel of those old Baldurs Gate and Icewind Dale games. So there is a certain framework to what we’re doing, that we’ve already pre-established, but even so, we do have a lot of freedom to make up things: we don’t have to run them by a publisher; we don’t have to run them by an IP holder; we’re the IP holder, we’re the ones making it.

Really we’re just beholden to the fans. So for example, early on when we were developing the races during the Kickstarter, something I talked about internally with people was: I’m pretty sure there are plenty of people that want to play elves and dwarves [laughs]; I’ve got a feeling a lot of people want to play those two races. I don’t necessarily know if anyone wants to play gnomes or halflings, so we’ll just kick those guys right out and make up some new races. But elves and dwarves I’m pretty sure people want to play those guys.

So it’s not about whether I personally like elves or dwarves, it’s about, if you played Baldurs Gate, you probably have some sort of an expectation of elves and dwarves. So we do still have sort of boundaries and restrictions about how to develop things, but it is nice to be able to take those in directions that we want to.

Information about

Pillars of Eternity

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released