Project Eternity Q&A recap: Obsidian on the aumaua race, beard technology, and more

Tyler Wilde

We've just finished moderating a live Project Eternity Q&A with the Obsidian team -- thank you to everyone who participated! Project Director/Lead Designer Josh Sawyer did most of the talking, but also in the chat with us were Obsidian CEO/President Feargus Urquhart, Project Manager/Lead Programmer Adam Brennecke, Gameplay Programmer Steve Weatherly, Senior Environment Artist Hector Espinoza, and Lead Sound Designer Justin Bell. If you missed it, the highlights and full transcript are below.

On the aumaua race:

"the other race we haven't talked about yet are called the aumaua. they are larger than humans and are found in a lot of coastal and island areas. like orlans, they look somewhat... different, but they are still a bipedal race. we're still working on their concepts (as we are with orlans), but we will show them when we feel they're in a good place." - Josh Sawyer

On the variety of beard options:

"BEARD TECHNOLOGY CANNOT BE FUNDED BY A MERE $3.5 MILLION!!!" - Josh Sawyer

On level scaling:

"We will have very little level scaling and almost entirely in critical path areas since there's a lot of variability in when players approach them. Especially when it comes to optional content and general exploration, there will be no level-scaling. In this regard, Fallout: New Vegas might be a fair comparison." - Josh Sawyer

On map size:

"Dyrwood and Eir Glanfath are a very small part of the overall world. The entire map that's show on our KS page is an area maybe a little smaller than Spain. In terms of Project Eternity, you will be spending your time exploring in and around Dyrwood and Eir Glanfath (though not necessarily all of it :))" - Josh Sawyer

On voice acting:

"We plan on having limited voice acting. Only for major characters and companions, and not for all conversations. We will have voice-sets for characters. Very similar to how the IE games handled voice acting." - Adam Brennecke

On player choices:

"Player choice and impact are very important to us, so "a lot". We want players to feel like they can solve quests their way and take the story in a direction that they want to take it, from little things to big things"

we don't really think about things in terms of good or evil choices, but in terms of choices that a relatively sane/rational person would make with an understandable motive. sometimes it makes sense to allow players to be cruel, but it has to work in the context of what's going on. the game and its story aren't about being good or evil but deciding what values (and people, and groups) are most important to you -- and what you're willing to sacrifice to defend them." - Josh Sawyer

On music inspiration:

"One of the things people seem to remember from IE games is the music, and we're definitely looking at those old scores and picking out the elements we think work for Project Eternity. Personally I really enjoy the unique instrumentation from Planescape Torment, and the magical/mystical vibe from Icewind Dale, but really we're still just developing these concepts. My favorite score of all time is from Elder Scrolls III Morrowind. Its so haunting and beatiful, I love it! Regarding the music on SoundCloud. Yes, we definitely looked at BG and Icewind Dale as references for the trailer. We wanted to evoke those Infinity Engine games, and I'm happy you picked up on that! It means we succeeded :)" - Justin Bell

On spell creation:

"spells in P:E will probably be closer to classic A/D&D spells with the ability to modify them with special abilities and items. outright spell creation/fabrication is out of scope for the project." - Josh Sawyer

On regenerating health and spell cooldowns:

"in cases where design mechanics tend to lead to degenerate gameplay (e.g. savescumming, rest spamming), we try to think of ways to remove the degeneration without harming the enjoyable mechanical elements. if a mechanic seems like it's not adding genuine challenge, we question if it should stand as-is.

"with regard to regenerating health and spell cooldowns, we're not intending on having the former (though we have talked about a darklands endurance-like stat), and spells will not have cooldowns in the way that some people have assumed (per spell). when we discuss spell mechanics, i've tried to use the term "lockout" to communicate that it's much like a sorcerer exhausting an entire level of casting in 3E D&D."

- Josh Sawyer

On Dwarf romance:

"who can say what the stars hold? / (me, i guess) / (i'm not going to :))" - Josh Sawyer

Full transcript below

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