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Game News Project Eternity Kickstarter Update #51: Onward to Prototype 2

Infinitron

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Tags: Adam Brennecke; Obsidian Entertainment; Pillars of Eternity

In this week's Project Eternity Kickstarter update, it turns out that the prototype we saw last week was a lot more advanced than was apparent from the demo video. Now, the guys at Obsidian want to release a second, even more advanced prototype. Adam Brennecke explains:

Last month we finished our prototype 1 build. In Update #47, Josh outlined our goals for the first prototype, which focused on establishing "that IE feel". Not only did we hit that mark with the look of our characters and environments, but we also hit our target with movement, combat, and gameplay systems. Core basics that you all expect from Project Eternity such as party movement, melee and ranged combat attacks, containers (with loot!), doors, using special class abilities and spell casting, area transitions, inventory and equipment are all in the game and functioning. We also established working character and environment pipelines - the art team is now able to create beautiful rendered areas, and we can model armor sets for all of our uniquely proportioned races. Additionally, we've established that we can efficiently concept, model and animate creatures for our soon to be growing bestiary.

The creature we built for the first prototype is the Skuldr.

pe-skuldr-ingame-580.jpg

Skuldr have poor vision, but they use a form of echolocation to perceive the spirit world. This allows them to “see” souls, making it difficult to use stealth to avoid them.

After the prototype 1 audit meeting, Josh and I came up with a plan for what we would like to see the team tackle in prototype 2. Josh has previously mentioned a few of the goals for prototype 2 which include fog of war, character voice sets, crafting, stores, AI patrols, and the melee engagement system. Besides the expanded feature implementation, we are going to put our pipelines to the test on another set of new environments and creatures before moving into production.

The plan for prototype 2 is to create a small village with a handful of buildings to enter, including a shop and inn. To the east of the village is a medium sized wilderness area with access to a small cave dungeon interior. The prototype also includes a large dungeon (I won't spoil the contents of the dungeon, because some of the ideas in the prototype will eventually make their way into the shipped game). All of these areas are connected by a complex multi-stage quest with several objectives (some optional) and with many different ways of completing it.

The team has been working on a second prototype for the past two weeks now. Here's a sample on what each department has been working on.

Art
  • Dynamic Cloth - We are doing further research into character dynamism, and are creating capes for our characters to equip.
  • Dungeon - Our goal for the dungeon is to make an interior area that lives up to the IE games. The dungeon has a variety of rooms that are unique and organic.
  • New Monster - One of the new monsters we are creating for prototype 2 is an Ogre. He has already gone through the concept and modeling stage and now is off to be animated.
Design
  • Complete Bestiary - The bestiary list has been worked over a few times by the area and narrative designers. We are now pretty close to having a complete creature list!
  • Class Abilities for the Monk and Ranger - The Monk's "wounds" resource is in, and next up is the mechanics for the Ranger's animal companion. The class progression for the Monk and Ranger has been designed out to level 12.
Programming
  • Town Guard A.I. - How do guards protect the village when you start casting fireballs in the town square? They beat you down... or at least try to. The guards will hook into the reputation and faction mechanics, which tells guards when they turn hostile towards the party.
  • Fancy Material Shaders - We now have fancy materials for creating shiny armor and translucent ghost skin. Another set of shaders are "Tint maps" materials that enable the customization of skin and clothing colors just like in the IE games.
In the future we will go into details into the design and implementation of the systems and features. Is there a particular feature that you would like to know more about? Tell us what you would like to see us talk about in future updates on our forums. We will be taking an update break next week so the team can focus on prototype 2 work. Thanks for reading and see you in two weeks!​

Sounds awesome, almost like a fully functioning game. It seems like the distinction between "prototype" and "vertical slice" is getting a bit blurry here.
 

Scruffy

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“town concept”
Can a town be made of… what? 20 people, judging from that shot?
And the monster… has echolocation… so it’s a bat… I see…
So what happened, did you guys think “it looks like a bat’s head, let’s give it echolocation” or “this monster will have echolocation, let’s make it like a bat”?

In case anyone misunderstands me, I’m very happy about this update, of course.


edit
i'm mostly happy because there's no Arcanum LP
 

stony3k

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I really like the look of the village, the monster (Skuldr) not so much.
 

Semper

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“town concept”
Can a town be made of… what? 20 people, judging from that shot?

FWIW, the text of the update describes it as a "small village".

besides that those are just test areas which probably won't make it into the game. of course they won't "waste" months to create a fully functional and realistically sized village/town/whateverthecase. it's about to test the gameplay features and the time they need to produce areas.
 

Infinitron

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Why not include the picture of the village in the newspost?

It's just concept art, and that post is already too long.

I can't believe you of all people are asking me to copy paste even more. :)
 

winterraptor

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Spirit world echolocation. Interesting concept. I wonder if that's to say they emit a form of sound or shadow of it in the spirit world, or actually bounce 'soul-stuff' around more directly.
 

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It's kind of weird that spiritual version of echolocation requires the same kind of ears as the real echolocation. Or are souls detectable with a sonar? ;)
 

Arkeus

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It's kind of weird that spiritual version of echolocation requires the same kind of ears as the real echolocation. Or are souls detectable with a sonar? ;)
Obviously, the soul adapts to the body, and develops ability suited to it.
 

MRY

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Skuldr have poor vision, but they use a form of echolocation to perceive the spirit world. This allows them to “see” souls, making it difficult to use stealth to avoid them.
I picture these guys continuously banging into walls as they try to reach the spirits on the other side.

Not totally sold on their art, which has a little bit of that "wow, I just discovered zBrush" feel to it. Still, at the small size (and presumably it'll be even smaller in game) it looks perfectly fine, and they can animate it with a generic biped rig, so there's that!

Everything else sounds very cool. Hopefully this engine will become their Infinity Engine for use in settings that are a little less FRish.
 

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