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Pillars of Eternity Kickstarter Update #80: State of the Project - From Alpha to Beta

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Pillars of Eternity Kickstarter Update #80: State of the Project - From Alpha to Beta

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 11 June 2014, 20:16:27

Tags: Brandon Adler; Obsidian Entertainment; Pillars of Eternity

Although the guys from Obsidian are currently at E3, it looks like they've found the time to release a Pillars of Eternity Kickstarter update this week. It's a comprehensive status report, with the usual assortment of eye candy to go along. Have a snippet:

Hey, everyone. Due to E3 crunch we are going to push off Josh's next class update for a couple of weeks. Instead, I will give an update about the general state of affairs for each department on the project now that we are getting ready to head into our Beta period. The next update will feature Josh's final class update along with info from the Eternity E3 presentation. Let's get into it.

Area Design

All of the areas have been in the game for about a month now, and the area designers have been revisiting each area to make sure everything is in order. They're using specially crafted Alpha checklists to make sure that none of the major items are missed. For example, designers are checking that the area has a proper navigation mesh, ambient sound effects are placed, and scene transitions are working as intended.

Josh (Project Director) and Bobby (Area Design Lead) are heading up meetings to review all of the quests in the game. Each quest is played through by the team and analyzed. We ask basic questions like "Why is this quest fun?", "Does the player care about this quest?", and "What hooks the player into starting the quest?" If anything is lacking, the design team spruces the quest up to make it a memorable one.

Over the Beta period the designers will continue fixing bugs and polishing content.


The narrative team finished up the critical path a few weeks ago and now they have their focus on completing side content in our various regions. Eric (Lead Narrative Designer) has been tweaking and polishing the E3 demo areas, while Carrie (Narrative Designer) has been hard at work finishing up some of our companions. Narrative is also polishing up the areas that will be used in for our Backer Beta.

Over the next few months narrative will finish our companions, and we are going to start finalizing and locking down on the writing to prepare for localization and voice over.


The team is continuing to crank away at VFX. It is one of the areas of the game (along with narrative and audio) that are not at an Alpha level, which is intentional. The later on the project that you can bring the VFX team on, the lower the amount of rework that they will have to do on assets that may get changed.

We have added VFX on a little less than half of the spells and abilities, on all of our VFX creatures (creatures that are VFX driven instead of our normal creature pipeline), and on all of the critical path areas. We are scheduled to be finished with VFX in a couple of months.


Overall, the project is coming together nicely. We have a ton of work that still needs to be done, but the team is starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. There are no major roadblocks ahead of us at this point and now it's a focus on getting as much polish done as we can before our final release candidate.

I wonder if that narrative content that's being polished for the Backer Beta will actually be unique, to prevent spoiling the final game.

There are 25 comments on Pillars of Eternity Kickstarter Update #80: State of the Project - From Alpha to Beta

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