It's The PC Gamer Show! Episode two is an RPGstravaganza with special guest Josh Sawyer, who stopped by to demo Obsidian's Infinity Engine throwback Pillars of Eternity. The PC Gamer US team also discussed the greatest RPGs of all time, played some co-op Divinity: Original Sin, and talked to Sawyer about his time as the director on Fallout: New Vegas.
Pillars of Eternity
Obsidian's old-school RPG Pillars of Eternity is slowly but surely coming into the home stretch, and in fact the initial round of beta testing isn't much more than a month away—but only for those who backed the game on Kickstarter.
Obsidian's previous Kickstarter - for the Infinity-style RPG Pillars of Eternity - was a nominal success in 2012, so it makes sense that the team would go with the crowdfunding option for their next roleplaying game, whatever it may *cough* Alpha Protocol 2 please *endcough* be. Whether it's that, a Star Wars RPG, or something completely new remains to be seen, but we do have a date. Well, a dateish. OK, a suggestion that their next Kickstarter will launch "before the end of the year". It's an RPG, in case you were wondering, and Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart reckons it's a "cool idea". You know what's also a cool idea? Alpha Protocol 2. Jus' saying.
Update: According to Paradox, Pillars of the Eternity is "absolutely going to ship this year."
Paradox Interactive has just announced that they will be partnering with Obsidian Entertainment to publish the Kickstarted RPG Pillars of Eternity, as well as, potentially, other Obsidian projects going forward.
Paradox, best known for their in-house titles like Crusader Kings, Europa Universalis, and Magicka, has also published games from outside studios, such as the Warlock and Cities in Motion franchises. Paradox CEO Fred Wester said he's not sure what working with Obsidian might entail beyond Eternity, but he sees it as "hopefully a long-term relationship."
Update 72 of Pillars of Eternity's regularly updated Kickstarter development blog has a statement from "newest producer" Rose Gomez saying Obsidian are "looking good to release Eternity by Winter 2014". It seems so far away, but the cold season is a good time to settle into a massive, sumptuous RPG.
We're quite excited about Eternity. We spent ten minutes yesterday crowded around a screen looking at the reassuringly detailed map, pointing at places like the "Lake of Drowned Tombs" and "Fort Bonepicker" and saying "I'm going to explore the hell out of that". Obsidian have been dropping occasional screenshots into their Kickstarter update feed to provide a sense of how the old ruins and murky dungeons will look in the final game. Click on each environment, and imagine tiny fantasy warriors moving around like magical figurines. If you have some old dice nearby, give them a roll, just to get in the mood.
Obsidian's Kickstarted RPG will miss its projected April release date, giving us more time to figure out whether 'eternal' pillars would really be such a good thing – I mean, you'd never be able to see what was on the ceiling. The return to The Good Old Days of stat sheets and isometric viewpoints will have to wait a few months more – and the reason? You lot gave them too much money. 'April' was Obisidian's guess when they were asking for a paltry one million simoleons, but after raising four times as much and expanding the scope of the project to match, they've pushed that vague date back to an even vaguer Sometime Late This Year.
InXile Entertainment's upcoming Torment: Tides of Numenera is licensing technology from another prominent, in-development RPG—Obsidian's Pillars of Eternity. Both are reboots of classic RPG experiences we know from the past, but according to a new update from Torment project lead Kevin Saunders, the partnership should allow InXile designers to get a head start in some key areas.
The character sheet tells you pretty much all you need to know about an RPG. Is it riddled with acronyms such as ATK, DEF, LCK, ABC or XYZ? Does it list your character's Active Effects, their class, even their biography? Most importantly, does it feature a cool portrait of them looking all haughty/moody/demented? If the answer is no, there's a good chance you're playing Mass Effect 2. If the answer is yes, however, you're likely playing an old-fashioned RPG such as Pillars of Eternity, which is weird as it's nowhere near finished. Obsidian's latest blog update offers a work-in-progress glimpse of its beautiful character sheet, along with a big old environmental screenshot of an ancient Engwithan ruin near the city of Twin Elms. Look at it up there - you just know some giant fight is going to break out at some point.
The upcoming Pillars of Eternity remains mostly a twinkle in the mind's eye of RPG fans, but that hasn't stopped Obsidian Entertainment from peering into its own future. The studio's CEO Feargus Urquhart told Rock, Paper, Shotgun that it's his "hope" to have something more concrete to share by March or April about a second Kickstarter campaign.
It's been over a year since Pillars of Eternity - formerly Project Eternity - raised nearly $4 million through its Kickstarter campaign. Despite being set in a brand new fiction and using a redesigned combat system, Obsidian's isometric RPG is heavily and unashamedly inspired by Dungeons & Dragons based Infinity Engine games like Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment.
With production now well underway, I spoke to the game's project director Josh Sawyer, formerly the lead designer of Icewind Dale 2, about Pillars of Eternity's combat, characters and setting, and how the team are moving beyond D&D.
It took me an embarrassingly long time to notice the titular connection between Project Eternity, and the old Infinity Engine that was the inspiration for Obsidian's nostalgic RPG. Embarrassing, at least, if it weren't for the fact that by pointing this out, I'll cause someone new to go "oh yeah," and feel a little bit dim. Once that feeling has passed, dismiss that old name. This Baldur's Gate/Infinity Engine spiritual successor is now called Pillars of Eternity. To cement this title in your memory, there's even a new trailer.