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Backspace: Obsidian's unproduced "Sci-Fi Skyrim"

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Backspace: Obsidian's unproduced "Sci-Fi Skyrim"

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 11 July 2013, 17:50:40

Tags: Backspace; Bethesda Softworks; Obsidian Entertainment

The folks at Kotaku have uncovered the details of yet another Obsidian title that never came to be. It's called Backspace, and it may not be entirely dead. Here's the introduction:

Imagine, if you will, a massive role-playing game featuring guns, time travel, and a nasty alien invasion, all built on Skyrim's engine, with Skyrim's "Radiant AI" system.​

That's Backspace, a project that was once under development at the studio Obsidian, I've learned from sources. A small team was designing and prototyping the game in early 2011, and although progress never got very far, concept art and design documents reveal an ambitious project that could interest a lot of people, if it's ever made.​

Obsidian, of course, is the Irvine-based game studio responsible for Fallout: New Vegas, Alpha Protocol, and the upcoming RPGs Project Eternity and South Park: The Stick of Truth.​

I reached out to the studio yesterday to ask for comment, and Obsidian boss Feargus Urquhart told me that Backspace is still on the shelf somewhere.​

"Backspace was a project concept that we neither cancelled nor greenlit," Urquhart told me. "We had some great people work on the idea for Backspace for a bit of time and then moved them off to other projects as opportunities came up. We've been around for ten years now and have had a bunch of great ideas that we still have sitting around that we may be able to return to in the future."​

Hopefully this is one they revisit, because it sounds fantastic.​

So what is Backspace? Here's how an Obsidian design document described it:​

BackSpace is a single-player action-RPG set in a scifi space environment with simple elements of time travel. The combat is paced similarly to Skyrim, but slightly faster since there is no concept of blocking. The easiest way to look at it is a mix of Mass Effect, Borderlands, and System Shock 2 for gameplay and setting.

It was to be developed in some sort of partnership with Bethesda, I've heard, and it'd use the same engine as their ridiculously-successful role-playing game Skyrim. Although Backspace wasn't an open-world game, players would be able to travel between a number of planets as well as one large space station.​

The rest of the article has more excerpts from the design document, and lots of concept art. What do you think, Codex?

There are 143 comments on Backspace: Obsidian's unproduced "Sci-Fi Skyrim"

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