This week's Q&A is a little different. I spent some time reading the questions that people were asking in various Project Eternity forums, including our Kickstarter comments, our Project Eternity Facebook page, the RPG Codex forums, the reddit Project Eternity group, and our own Obsidian forums. I have picked five questions to answer, one from each of these forums, and I have answered them below. For each question, I have included the forum poster who asked it, along with his original question text.
Let's start with Facebook.
Ockert van der Westhuysen asks...
Will back for psionics. Any hope?
I think you might find our cipher class to your liking, since their method of using "magic" is quite different from wizards and clerics and is instead tied to mental abilities. They feel a lot more like psionic abilities from earlier D&D editions. You can read more about the cipher class in Josh's update #15, which you can read here:
Wise Emperor asks
Is there any confirmation that Eric Fenstermaker will be involved in PE? Obviously it would be cool if yes.
Eric is currently working on another project at Obsidian, but there is a good chance he will move over to Project Eternity when that first project is completed. Until the Kickstarter campaign is over and we know the full scope of the game, the assignment of particular people to it will not be completed.
Back in the BG series, experience growth was relatively slow and it felt like an accomplishment to reach a new level. Since then, D&D v3.5 rules came out and level up began to feel almost like a cheesy accomplishment that didn't require much effort. That has become the trend in modern games: leveling up after every few battles. I have to wonder how this will be handled in PE? It sounds like Obsidian wants to return to the style of the BG series, which would seems to entail a return to slower level progress. If they do allow a more rapid level up, I hope they tone down the power growth rate so that lower level monsters remain a challenge for longer periods.
We are working hard to make Project Eternity revive the spirit of the older IE games, and this includes making leveling up an important accomplishment, one that makes your character feel substantially more powerful afterward. I agree that frequent level-ups make the event feel less special, so we plan to space out these events over the course of our storyline. The first few level-ups will occur relatively early in the game, but the pacing of the subsequent level-ups will be much slower.
For people who enjoy level-ups, they are free to use our Adventurer's Hall to swap out new companions frequently, so they are always leveling up new characters to use in later parts of the story. For people who aren't sure what character classes they will want to have available in the end game, it's always nice to have the choice of having all of them.
Stephen P asks...
After seeing this screenshot my anticipation for the game has spiked considerably, but it left me with a few questions. I understand the 2d portrait background concept, but will there be any overlapping animation with the river to make it appear flowing, even if the actual image doesn't move? The same question for the flowers? trees? will wind be simulated somehow?
We will certainly be adding animations to our backgrounds. The trees should sway, there will be birds or butterflies or insect clouds, depending on where you are, and the water in rivers and waterfalls will flow. We are using a rendering technique similar to the one we used in Temple of Elemental Evil, where the background is a pre-rendered 2D image and the characters and some props are 3D objects. This gives us the advantage of exquisitely detailed environments without the polygon cost, along with lots of animation without the memory cost that 2D sprites would entail.
Will there be low intelligence/charisma dialog?
Yes, we will have these dialogs. They are a great deal of work, since it means writing two versions of every dialog in the game, but I am sure that our wonderful writers are up to it. I really want these dialogs too! I find it fun to replay the game with a low intelligence character, just to see how the NPC's react to my slow-witted attempts to help them.
And there we have it! Five questions answered from five sites. Again, thanks for your support of Obsidian and Project Eternity. There are just a few days left before the Kickstarter campaign is over and we enter full production of this game, and we are all very excited about the prospect of working on a classic CRPG again!
Do you like to eat? Do you like RPGs? I am going to give out my favorite RPG themed recipes to all of our backers! The Project Eternity Cooking with Tim Recipe Book will contain 10 delicious recipes in PDF format. Enjoy the good eats while you play Project Eternity when it's released!
Troll Portraits by Chris Avellone
Chris Avellone has graciously volunteered to draw a custom troll portrait for you to help raise additional funding towards our last stretch goal target of $3.5m for Big City #2. Chris will number and sign the portrait, write a humorous message to you, and a print will be physically and digitally sent to you. This is a limited run of 30 at a $750 tier (includes all the goods in the $500 tier), so get in quickly.
If you are above the $750 tier and would like a custom troll by Chris Avellone please contact Obsidian and we will work with you.
Adam is currently live streaming all day long today at UStream. Join in on the fun and watch him play Icewind Dale II. We also hit 60,000 backers! Again, one more level to the dungeon is added!
Update by Tim Cain