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Development Info Josh Sawyer's Pillars of Eternity II Postmortem at Digital Dragons 2019

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
    Joined:
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Tags: Josh Sawyer; Obsidian Entertainment; Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Pillars of Eternity II was supposed to be the standard bearer of the second wave of crowdfunded RPGs, but although it was not a bad game, things didn't really turn out that way. What went wrong? Last week Josh Sawyer traveled to Poland to give a talk about that at the annual Digital Dragons conference. It's rather appropriate that the video should be made public on the same day as Baldur's Gate III's announcement and the release of Pathfinder: Kingmaker's Enhanced Edition. It's a 50 minute postmortem, the first half of which is an overview of the flaws from the first Pillars of Eternity that Obsidian sought to address in the sequel.

    Things get more interesting in the second half, where Josh examines several of Deadfire's more controversial features, throwing his bosses under the bus a couple of times in the process. These include the five character party (no regrets), the companion relationship system (an overambitious failure), the ship-to-ship combat system (a disaster that was actually cut from the game and then forced back into it as a stretch goal by Obsidian management) and full voice acting (also imposed by management, resulting in what Josh describes as the most stressful period of his entire career).


    That's not to say that the entire talk is about blaming other people. Josh admits that he failed as lead narrative designer, creating a story that couldn't decide whether it was about factions or gods. He admits that he failed to realize that turn-based RPGs were now more popular than real-time-with-pause, and that he didn't take complaints about the game's low difficulty seriously enough during the backer beta. Ultimately, Josh concludes that in the future he should work on a different kind of RPG. Congratulations Codex, you've beaten him!
     
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  2. Sacibengala Learned

    Sacibengala
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    It is really cool for him to actually address all of that. It is not common, or am I mistaken?
     
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  3. Cross Savant

    Cross
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    "It is such a quiet thing, to fall. But far more terrible is to admit it."
     
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  4. luj1 You're all shills

    luj1
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    Who are you, his lawyer? We don't need a fucking translator, ye vile shill!
     
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  5. Zeriel Arcane

    Zeriel
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    Kali Yuga is truly upon us, huh.
     
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  6. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    Serpent in the Staglands Torment: Tides of Numenera
    Actually, I ain't sitting here watching this for an hour, I would like a transcript of key points.
     
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  7. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
    Joined:
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Slam dunk post.
     
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  8. toro Arcane

    toro
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    Who gives a fuck!?
     
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  9. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

    Sensuki
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    Codex 2014 Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
    I failed in the manner and tone that I gave a lot of my feedback in the PoE1 backer beta. That said there's no guarantee that being nicer or less vain about it would have helped that much, if at all.
     
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  10. Transfiguring Roar Arcane Patron

    Transfiguring Roar
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    I agree that it wouldn't have made much of a difference. I think it became clear over time that Obsidian had their ideas, and they stuck to those and as a result produced a couple of mediocre-to-ok games.
     
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  11. HanoverF Arcane Patron

    HanoverF
    Joined:
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    MCA Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Timestamped an insight into Sawyer's damaged mind.

    :littlemissfun:
     
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  12. SwiftCrack Arcane

    SwiftCrack
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    lol
     
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  13. hexer Arcane

    hexer
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    1,463


    Admitting you have a problem is a first step in the process of fixing it.
     
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  14. boobio Cipher Trigger Warning

    boobio
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    Are you the one spamming this thread on 4chan Infi?
     
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  15. Diggfinger Arbiter

    Diggfinger
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Belgium

    Welcome to the Codex, Mr. Sawyer!

    If you sign up immediately you will get a personalized message from Infinitron himself and all the buttons you could ever dream off! (including all-time classics like 'Trump', 'meh' and more!).
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
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  16. thesheeep Arcane

    thesheeep
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    I had no idea the companion mechanics were not well received.
    I found those little remarks and reactions the NPCs showed to various dialogue choices pretty clear and a better way of doing things than only doing hard scripted reactions.
     
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  17. Shadenuat Arcane

    Shadenuat
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    xoti liks her tonge
     
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  18. Elwro Arcane Patron

    Elwro
    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Divinity: Original Sin Wasteland 2
    WAT

    this was in Krakow and I somehow missed it....

    I was, like, super-busy on the 28th tho, but maybe next year... did the Codex send anyone?
     
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  19. Van-d-all Learned

    Van-d-all
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    More like

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. holla_cabezas_de_mierda Arcane

    holla_cabezas_de_mierda
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    how is the turn based version of this game?
     
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  21. Gruia Educated

    Gruia
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    i dont like him as a person, and it translated into two failed projects i can barely get to 10h . coincidence?
     
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  22. Kit Walker Totally Not Captain Shrek

    Kit Walker
    Joined:
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    Codex did not beat Josh. Josh beat Josh. He has had enough feedback in the right time to change all that. He simply chose not to listen. But it is indeed good to see he can learn from his mistakes and can admit to them. I hope the codex can too. Because it was chiefly the asshats here that cheerleeded him on and still do.
     
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  23. TigerKnee Prophet

    TigerKnee
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    Fun successfully ended.
     
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  24. J_C One Bit Studio Patron Developer

    J_C
    Joined:
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    Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    It must be soul crushing to see that all that pen and paper RPG knowledge, all that Infinity Engine RPG knowledge, all that history knowledge amounted to nothing in the end.
     
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  25. Riddler Augur Patron

    Riddler
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
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    Bubbles In Memoria
    Still feels like he doesn't really understand why Deadfire got the underwhelming response it did but i guess it can be hard to make a truly critical assessment of one's own work when there is such major outside interference.

    How the hell are you supposed to deliver a good product when major alterations that you deemed bad and extremely time-consuming are forced upon you by clueless managers? He was practically broken by this development cycle and it seems OBS owners have yet another scalp to their name with burning out yet another of their star developers (although Josh is more of director/planner than a developer really).

    The rate at which senior developers are either fleeing from or are broken by their god-awful management is truly astounding.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
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