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Interview Interview with Urquhart at PC Gamer: PoE expansion to be released in 2 parts, TCG to be Kickstarted

Zed

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Codex USB, 2014
Tags: Chris Taylor; Feargus Urquhart; Obsidian Entertainment; Pillars of Eternity

PC Gamer, once upon a time a paper magazine of some decent repute, have posted an interview with Obsidian Entertainment's Feargus Urquhart. There's the usual Kickstarter and publisher Q-and-A, as well as some game design questions probably not best answered by Feargus. But there's more! At the end of the interview, Feargus reveals some information about Obsidian's near-future plans:

Speaking of expansions, can you give us any details on what might be coming in the future?

Sure. So, with the Kickstarter we announced that we were going to do an expansion, and so how we're approaching that is to actually do the expansion in two parts, and have one part out sooner than the other part. The idea being that people are really enjoying Pillars right now and they're going to get finished their first or second playthrough within in the next two weeks, a month, something like that. And so, we definitely want there to be content for them to enjoy and I think we're going to be talking about that pretty soon. I don't think we've released anything specifically, but it really ends up being this concept of this story that expands parts of what you would see in those sort of old school expansions we made for Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate. So not just these three, four hour downloadable DLCs, but definitely big chunks of a story and a new hub to go to and things like that.

So that's kind of how we're really approaching it, like we've done with Eternity throughout is this idea of, these games kind of went away but not for a reason they should have. The industry shifted to so much console with this idea that PC wasn't so much of a gaming platform, which I know no one thinks that anymore. So, back then when you got an expansion you got this meaty thing with hours and hours of gameplay. And that's really what we're trying to do. So, while we're splitting it in two, it is like one continual story that people get to play.

Do you have any plans for an Eternity tabletop RPG or anything like that? I mean, you created this new world and all this new lore, do you see that expanding out to other media?

Absolutely. So, actually one of the things we're going to announce very soon, I don't even know if I talked about it. Not in the latest backer update but the next backer update, we're definitely going to talk about how we're going to be Kickstarting... not us, but another group is going to be Kickstarting a Pillars of Eternity card game. This isn't like a CCG or anything like that, but it's more just a fun, kind of, four people get around and play a single session card game. You have heros, and you have a village, and all that kind of stuff, and you can take your heroes into a dungeon, and you can also take your heroes and armies and attack your friends while they're playing, so it's kind a very fun card game and it's actually designed by Chris Taylor. Not... there's two Chris Taylors. [Laughs] It's Chris Taylor, a friend of mine for many many years who was the lead designer of Fallout.

So, that's the first thing we're really looking at, and also, absolutely on the tabletop roleplaying. We're not sure yet how we're going to do it, we were kind of going back and forth on, do we use the game's rules, do we use someone else's rules, do we come up with another set of rules? And it's something we're going to be talking [about] soon. But absolutely, we want to expand. New books, roleplaying, all that kind of stuff.

HBO series, I presume?

Absolutely! I don't think George RR Martin has done enough with his work. [Laughs] So that's our goal. We need to one-up him.​

So the expansion will be released in two parts, and each part will have content spanning more than "just three, four hours." Adam Brennecke has previously mentioned that the size of the first expansion is going to be about the size of Baldur's Gate's Tales of the Sword Coast. The "being released in two parts" information is news, however. We also learn that someone - not Obsidian - will be Kickstarting a Pillars of Eternity card game designed by Chris Taylor. I bet this will involve Paizo, as they are already in business with Obsidian, and card games are kind of what they do.
 

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Zed It's not Paizo. He says in the interview that it's going to be Chris Taylor. Yeah, the Herve minion.
 

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I have misgivings about anyone even remotely connected to Herve and Interplay having anything to do with the Pillars IP. I hope this is an independent or Taylor alone + Paizo venture.

As for the expansion in two parts, I have to wonder why?
 
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Infinitron

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As for the expansion in two parts, I have to wonder why?

The interview explains that too. They want to have a first part out quickly, so that people who finish the game can pick it up immediately. Typical DLC release schedule strategy - don't let people "forget" about the game.
 

Diablo169

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As for the expansion in two parts, I have to wonder why?

The interview explains that too. They want to have a first part out quickly, so that people who finish the game can pick it up immediately. Typical DLC release schedule strategy - don't let people "forget" about the game.

Yeah I read that, didn't really register though because it doesn't seem like a solid enough reason. I suppose it's a fair comment though, times have changed from the days of Heart of Winter or Throne of Bhaal.
 

Anthedon

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Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
I don't know how I feel about a new hub area (if they create one). Fleshing out Defiance Bay would be higher up on my list, it's pretty empty/lifeless.
 

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I don't know how I feel about a new hub area (if they create one). Fleshing out Defiance Bay would be higher up on my list, it's pretty empty/lifeless.
Agreed, Defiance bay feels like a let-down. I love strolling in cities and doing quests there. Give me the usual criminals/nobility/clergy/politics-related quests any day.

Stop gazing to abyss and rise your sight to new dawn.
The Dawn Will Come!
 
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evdk

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I don't know how I feel about a new hub area (if they create one). Fleshing out Defiance Bay would be higher up on my list, it's pretty empty/lifeless.
Agreed, Defiance bay feels like a let-down. I love strolling in cities and doing quests there. Give me the usual criminals/nobility/clergy/politics-related quests any day.
And yet it was the best area in the game. Sad.

It would really help the game if they added some quests to Defiance Bay in act 3, dealing with the fallout of the animancy hearing. As it is you get about a sentence from each of the faction leaders and otherwise everybody is pointedly ignoring it.
 

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And I think that Josh Sawyer, the game director, he had a lot of ideas about some stuff he wanted to do that was different than the normal model of the Infinity Engine games. So, he had a lot of these ideas and then with people playing the backer beta, he was able to have these informed conversations with people about what they liked and what they didn't like, and that then changed the game. And I think that was super cool. And something that we learned was that it's okay to go out and show people things really early, and then have a conversation with them and see how to make it better.

Oh yeah! I also think it was super cool. Thank you, all "informed people" who kept Josh Sawyer down! :lol:

Josh was trying come in with a very tactical way of players dealing with inventory in which you had sort of a restrictive stash and [restrictions on] how often you could actually get into your larger inventory.

And after he kind of talked to people, and we had very good reasons, sort of gameplay reasons for wanting to do that, a lot of people just sort of talked to him about it and said, "I can get all of what you're saying but it kind of just makes the game less fun to play." And he listened to that, and so that actually changed how that whole system ended up being in the final game.

So he actually saw what kind of shit the stash was going to be?! My hero! Too bad the casuals have dissuaded him.

And yet it was the best area in the game. Sad.
I haven't finished the game yet, but there are supposed to be two big cities, I remember from the kickstarter goals. You mean the other one isn't anything to write home about either? And I thought that Defiance Bay was the second one and in my mind I was excusing it assuming it had been done in a rush...
 
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Tigranes

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Defiance Bay is the 'big' city, although I don't think the two cities are hugely different. There's less to do in Twin Elms as the game narrows towards its conclusion.

I'd still pick Twin Elms in a heartbeat though. The architecture, the people, the temples... it's amazing.
 

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Good news :bounce:

Finished the game last thursday, already have started another playthrough on potd. Won't stop playing anytime soon at this rate.
 

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card game? meh

too bad josh listened to the casual fags about the infinite stash, it is one of the worst things in the game
 

naossano

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I don't get the point of cutting a DLC/Addon in two.
It would make more sense, IMO to have two separate DLC, than an unfinished one being released quickly.
 

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I don't get the point of cutting a DLC/Addon in two.

Faster development cycle for the first half, meaning they can keep the masses hooked before they forget about the game.

It is a good thing, because it means they have to add sellable "killer" features to both parts. As mindx2 mentioned, they were actually at some point referring to them as two separate expansions anyway.

Now Feargus is saying it's one expansion divided into two parts, which is good because it means I get both of them for my $20 expansion pledge.
 

evdk

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Defiance Bay is the 'big' city, although I don't think the two cities are hugely different. There's less to do in Twin Elms as the game narrows towards its conclusion.

I'd still pick Twin Elms in a heartbeat though. The architecture, the people, the temples... it's amazing.
Twin Elms is a lot more meh, mostly because the quests there are less interesting, at least to me. The quest in the Bay at least involve some opposed factions (even though it really doesn't play with it much) and some quest chains, in Elms the quests are mostly isolated.
 

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