Official Codex Discord Server

  1. Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.
    Dismiss Notice

Development Info Pillars of Eternity Kickstarter Update #75: All About Animation + GameCrate Feature

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    76,707
    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: Feargus Urquhart; J.E. Sawyer; Obsidian Entertainment; Pillars of Eternity; Rose Gomez

    The latest Pillars of Eternity Kickstarter update is one of those behind-the-scenes filler updates that they do occasionally. This one's about the game's animation pipeline. Normally I'd quote an excerpt from it now, but thankfully the update also links to something more interesting - a feature on Pillars of Eternity at GameCrate, a new gaming site owned by the well-known online computer hardware retailer Newegg. GameCrate's staff paid a visit to Obsidian, where they interviewed Feargus and Josh and were allowed to play an early version of the game. Here's an excerpt from their write-up:

    To anyone who enjoyed Baldur’s Gate, the following description of what we saw in the demo should be enough to get you excited about Pillars of Eternity: the yellow circles indicating your party formation are back, but when the circles appear in water they ripple and shimmer as if glowing from beneath the surface of a pool! That’s really the best and simplest possible summary of the gameplay that was on display during our visit to Obsidian: exactly like you remember, only better. Pillars of Eternity looks like a game that comes from a world where Black Isle never stopped making these isometric RPGs, but instead concentrated on refining the genre to the highest possible level.

    The visual effects accompanying environments and spells in Pillars are stunning – even a placeholder effect featuring a doge that includes the words “so temp” and “much replace” is impressive. Individual leaves fall from trees as you explore the forest and fire spells light up the darkness in ways that just weren’t possible in the days of Icewind Dale. We also had a chance to witness the dynamic day-night cycle present throughout the game – though we were told it’s mostly just a visual effect, rather than something that will have a big impact on gameplay.

    Dialogue options in Pillars of Eternity are clearly labeled, so you know at once if a choice is reliant on your character’s intelligence or if it’s the “diplomatic” option. These labels can be turned off, though, and here’s where it’s clear that Pillars represents an evolution of the Baldur’s Gate model, rather than just a copy of the old format: dozens of different game settings can be modified or turned off entirely, to allow players to turn Pillarsinto the game experience they want. Additionally, Brandon and Adam stressed that Pillars has a complex morality system, and that the “diplomatic” dialogue choice wasn’t necessarily the “good” one. “Sometimes making the diplomatic choice could mean something horrible will happen,” Brandon said, which sounds like exactly the sort of complex, shades-of-grey storytelling fans were hoping for when they supported this title on Kickstarter.

    Obsidian told us that most of the quests and content in the game could be regarded as “optional,” with the caveat that completing a certain amount of quests in a region will be necessary to build up alliances, gain information, and make progress. Understandably, no one wanted to quote a specific number of gameplay hours, since the game is still at a stage where small changes in animation speed could dramatically increase or decrease the length of the game overall. Regardless, everyone was keen to stress that Pillars will be a “huge” game with “a lot of content.”

    The party of adventurers we saw in our demo consisted of six heroes, which we were told is the standard size. Players will have the option of filling their party with either fully-realized, “official” party members or constructing their own at the “Adventurer’s Hall.” These customized party members won’t have the same depth of characterization and writing as the official ones, but the option exists to prevent players from being stuck with party members they don’t enjoy and to allow players to experiment with unusual party configurations (such as a party composed entirely of warriors or healers, which Obsidian stated is something they want to support as much as possible).

    As the demo unfolded, I was struck by how many of the design and gameplay decisions were clearly made by people who had been playing RPGs both on the computer and on paper for decades. The people at Obsidian know what is fun and what isn’t, and they are interested in making a fun game. That philosophy is seen in their new take on combat damage, which has players paying more attention to rapidly-regenerating stamina rather than harder-to-heal health. Obsidian said they wanted to avoid forcing players to reload the game whenever a character died in combat, and in their new system most of the time your party members will just be knocked out, rather than permanently killed.

    Another sign of Obsidian’s fun-first philosophy can be seen in how player choices in Pillars of Eternity affect gameplay. The developers want to make sure players don’t get punished too much too early for making “bad choices” (there shouldn’t be a certain class/race combo that makes the game much more difficult, for example) but they’re also interested in making sure that choices made in the game have real results. “Your choices matter” is something of a mantra for Obsidian, and we heard it repeated several times in response to our questions about how race, gender, and dialogue choices would play out in the game. This will be a game where your decisions have meaningful consequences.

    After the demo came to an end, Brandon and Adam walked us through some of the other plans for the game they weren’t able to show off just yet. The Stronghold system in particular sounds like a lot of fun, as it has grown from a small minigame into a fully-fledged sub-game experience, complete with resource management and interactions with party members in between quests.

    I left the demo more excited than ever to get my hands on Pillars of Eternity. Though there’s still a lot of work to be done before the game is complete, so far Obsidian is hitting all the right notes in their effort to produce a modern evolution of the classic Black Isle RPGs. We didn’t have a chance to see much in terms of combat in the demo, which will obviously be crucial to determining how enjoyable the game is to play, but if Obsidian is able to deliver on their stated goals in terms of strategic depth and meaningful choices then it should be a solid experience with tons of replay value.
    If that's too tl;dr for you, you might prefer to check out this succinct list of 10 details that the GameCrate staff picked up during their tour. I'd also recommend watching the interviews. The interview with Feargus is actually the more interesting of the two in my opinion. He admits that Obsidian were not sufficiently prepared for their Kickstarter, and also that they messed up by not announcing the game's delay earlier. The interview with Josh, in the meantime, confirms that the game will be "really long" and "very big", although he wisely refuses to commit to an exact playtime.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 5
    ^ Top  
  2. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    76,707
    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
    Man, the way they described the health and stamina system makes it sound a lot more popamole than it actually is. Inb4 rage from people who haven't been keeping up
     
    ^ Top  
  3. hiver Guest

    hiver
    god forbid thats too long to read for anyone. Maybe you should start writing more concisely for the codex target audience.
    great, exciting, awesome. me want. ughh. / the article.
     
    ^ Top  
  4. J_C One Bit Studio Patron Developer

    J_C
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2010
    Messages:
    14,375
    Location:
    Hungary
    Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Hiver is grumpy again. :)
     
    ^ Top  
  5. Monty Arcane

    Monty
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2012
    Messages:
    1,582
    Location:
    Grognardia
    Grognard setting confirmed? Thanks Mr Sawyer.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  6. Rivmusique Arcane Patron

    Rivmusique
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    Messages:
    3,359
    Location:
    Kangarooland
    Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Need some combat details. Really want to see how the 'engagement' stuff works. They were still unsure if they would proceed with the idea at last mention IIRC, understandable considering NWN2. But chasing down moving enemies with melee was pretty shitty in IE game (and making them chase you was a borderline exploit damage avoidance strategy), so I hope they get something fun in. I had thought we would get some kind of playthrough with commentary shortly after that ~2min trailer that featured gameplay, but it's been quite a while.
     
    ^ Top  
  7. Jedi Exile Arcane Patron

    Jedi Exile
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2010
    Messages:
    988
    Project: Eternity Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Actually, I hoped that they would show playthrough in December, but we got just a trailer instead. It seems that we'll have to wait a bit longer (a few months I fear, because Obsidian isn't as nice to its fans as Larian).
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  8. Abelian Somebody's Alt

    Abelian
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,283
    That's what Roguey said :smug:
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  9. Dorateen Arcane

    Dorateen
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2012
    Messages:
    2,958
    Location:
    The Crystal Mist Mountains
    Great to hear news about the Adventurer's Hall, and party size of six. Sounds ideal.
     
    ^ Top  
  10. Gangrelrumbler Arcane

    Gangrelrumbler
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2014
    Messages:
    2,027
    I really hope that they will explain it in plot somehow. I never liked overly abstract mechanics in RPGs.
     
    ^ Top  
  11. Abelian Somebody's Alt

    Abelian
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,283
    [​IMG]
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  12. GarfunkeL Racism Expert

    GarfunkeL
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    Messages:
    15,267
    Location:
    Insert clever insult here
    Hopefully they will make it so that modders can increase party size to eight or even ten. Six is good, eight is better.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  13. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Messages:
    24,731
    Back in 2013...? Josh said he had no intention of devoting resources to explaining conventions like these.
     
    ^ Top  
  14. Doctor Sbaitso SO, TELL ME ABOUT YOUR PROBLEMS. Patron

    Doctor Sbaitso
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Messages:
    3,123
    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands
    Instawarp to a bottomless stash in a distant location is cheese.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  15. Lord Trousersnake Scholar

    Lord Trousersnake
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2013
    Messages:
    70
    It's too late to worry about this sort of stuff now, we've just got to accept that everything that may frustrate a casual player with a mental disability will be streamlined out of the game. Forget the kickstarter references to 'bringing back classic games'.

    Frustrated because you want to pick up every piece of vendor trash? We have a infinite stash with no weight limit!

    Don't like dying because you might have to reload or wait to raise dead? We'll make them unconscious instead!

    Annoyed because you were too retarded to understand character creation and created something suboptimal? Don't worry, no more wrong decisions in our game, everyone's a winner!

    Want a party of 6 similar characters without any drawbacks in certain situations? Don't worry, everyone's a jack-of-all-trades anyway with NO HARD COUNTERS!


    At this point I just hope the writing is ok and the game is mildly entertaining. Good for what it is. Hopefully Sawyer will work on the Obsidian MMOs from now on which he is obviously better suited to.
     
    ^ Top  
  16. FeelTheRads Arcane Patron

    FeelTheRads
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    Messages:
    12,418
    Don't worry, SOME people at Obsidian can't do SOME optional encounters. It's totally gonna be challenging.
     
    ^ Top  
  17. Athelas Arcane

    Athelas
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2013
    Messages:
    4,502
    Pillars of Popamole actually looks like it's shaping up to be a lot more hardcore and thought-through compared to other recent Kickstarted 'old-school' RPG's, warts and all. :M
     
    ^ Top  
  18. Dorateen Arcane

    Dorateen
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2012
    Messages:
    2,958
    Location:
    The Crystal Mist Mountains
    I'm as serious as a heart attack.

    Party size of six does not sound ideal to you? I'd even welcome an additional two spots for NPCs to tag along, in the grand tradition of Might & Magic I - V, the Gold Box series, and Wizardry 8. But that would be expecting a bit much in Pillars of Eternity, being an Infinity Engine-inspired product.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  19. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

    Sensuki
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    Messages:
    9,414
    Location:
    Australia
    Codex 2014 Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
    I think he just was expressing a "wtf" that you didn't already know that, since those features were announced in Sept/Oct 2012.
     
    ^ Top  
  20. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    16,317
    Location:
    Terra da Garoa
    "Ah..., escuse me, Mr. Sawyer, Sir...."
    "Speak."
    "It seems like Chris Avellone got stuck on the main menu..."
    "Oh. Again."
    "Yes... I gave him the colored post-its you wrote, but he just drew doodles over it, then posted it on twitter"
    "Need Aid. Call Howard, Todd."
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 15
    ^ Top  
  21. Arkeus Arcane

    Arkeus
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Messages:
    1,394
    Chris Avellone will never survive those wolves.
     
    ^ Top  
  22. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator Patron

    Jaesun
    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Messages:
    36,922
    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    Torment: Tides of Numenera Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech
    :lol:

    I can't brofist this enough.
     
    ^ Top  

(buying stuff via the above buttons helps us pay the hosting bills, thanks!)