Obsidian Scrapped a Sci-Fi Skyrim

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Obsidian Scrapped a Sci-Fi Skyrim

Backspace Obsidian concept art

Obsidian has revealed some details on an action-RPG that could have been.

Obsidian Entertainment has a knack for building inspired games on the shoulders of other studios' engines. Bethesda passed the torch to Obsidian to continue the Fallout series with New Vegas, but it seems the two studios were considering another collaboration - this time on the Skyrim engine. Unfortunately it looks like the idea has been shelved for now, but a design document has surfaced that details what could have been a sci-fi action-RPG that blends Mass Effect, Borderlands, System Shock 2, and of course Skyrim.

The prototype game was known as Backspace, and the creative types at Obsidian seem to have put a lot of thought into the game's setting, story, and mechanics before it was abandoned. The game would take place on a giant space station - think Mass Effect's Citadel - which is ravaged by an alien attack. You'd play as a cyborg who somehow gets caught up in a time travel scenario, shifting between the present-day station (which is under active assault by the invaders) and a bleak decade into the future where the aliens have won and control the station. The design doc mentions several gameplay features, including skills that improve over time, fast-paced gun and melee combat, and a selection of AI "companions" to slot into your armor to give yourself stat boosts and provide dialogue in the mostly isolated setting.

Obsidian boss Feargus Urquhart commented that the team may work more on Backspace in the future, but it's just one of many ideas that the studio has considered and ultimately shelved. Still, it sounds pretty cool - and we can still dream.

Source: Kotaku

Permalink

Obsidian, release this, not only is it something new but it also sounds rather good, and its a rpg set in a sci-fi setting, not the fantasy setting which has been beaten to a bloody pulp with how many rpgs take place in it...

That and its obsidian, I loved Kotor 2 and new Vegas far more than there predecessors. Now if only there get the time to make it properly and not get screwed on the time tables...

Obsidian - you are killing me!

Obsidian always has great ideas for games. It's the execution that sometimes suffers. I would've loved to see Backspace rather than Project Eternity.

Doom972:
Obsidian always has great ideas for games. It's the execution that sometimes suffers. I would've loved to see Backspace rather than Project Eternity.

Who knows? Perhaps after Project Eternity Obsidian w.ill start work on Backspace

Doom972:
Obsidian always has great ideas for games. It's the execution that sometimes suffers. I would've loved to see Backspace rather than Project Eternity.

This. However, I wonder if the Kickstarter (assuming they did one for Backspace) would have had as good a chance at being funded. If Project Eternity sells well, who knows what they might be able to do with this concept.

Awww, that hurts! I would've loved to have played a Sci-fi Skyrim with excellent writing. Hopefully they'll return to it in the future, once Eternity and South Park are wrapped up.

frizzlebyte:

Doom972:
Obsidian always has great ideas for games. It's the execution that sometimes suffers. I would've loved to see Backspace rather than Project Eternity.

This. However, I wonder if the Kickstarter (assuming they did one for Backspace) would have had as good a chance at being funded. If Project Eternity sells well, who knows what they might be able to do with this concept.

Something done on the Skyrim engine would probably have to be done in collaboration with Bethesda, they probably thought doing that on Kickstarter wouldn't be cool. Also, Project Eternity is a lower budget idea than this, not sure Kickstarter would deliver the best product there.

Raiyan 1.0:
Obsidian - you are killing me!

You are tearing me apart Obsidian!
image

I Hate Everything. I hate everything because I don't currently own this! OBSIDIAN, YOU ARE GIVING ME THE BLACK RAGE!!!

Wait. Obsidian. That's my name. Whoa. Trippy.

Great premise, and while Obsidian don't always live up to the execution, I would love to see this happen.

UGhhhh..... My heart.... it cries out for this game to become reality, Damn it! this game sounded awesome and kind of like the game I've been dreaming of....... minus the the fantasy world worlds collide scenario.

The ideas sound great, especially the armor AI idea(kind of reminds me of RvB) of course knowing obsidian it would have been loaded with bugs but I really hope they get back to this idea.

The story is really promising. Although it is prone to time paradoxes it still could have been (and perhaps will be?) a great game.

i do wonder if one of the reasons for shelving it was the skyrim engine. its a pain in the ass to do anything in it. frankly its a buggy and twitchy mess even at its most stable

Yeah, but you didn't make it, did ya? So why mention it unless you you're going for the gaming cock teaser award? Trying to give Gabe Newell a run for his money?

RAGERAGERAGE

Hmmm... I like the words, "Sci-Fi Skyrim," but am slightly bothered by the story premise.

Well. Now I'm disappointed.

I suppose it'll be a good idea for them to make this game only when they're truly up for it. If they don't pour everything they have into it, the quality will suffer.

This would have been such a cool game to play though.

There's nothing that makes me more wistful then mentions of Obsidian's games that could have been.

Sci-fi RPG on Skyrim engine?

Is this a dream or reality? Nevermind, just a dream.

Alpha Protocol 2?

Unlikely with Sega holding the strings.

Kotor 3?

If anything, then Disney will give the rights to Bioware.

Wheel of Time RPG?

No funds probably.

Might and Magic RPG?

Hell, nobody even knows this series! It's as dead as it can be.

This is a real shame, I've been looking forward to sinking my teeth into a new Sci-Fi Action RPG. Nothing has really been able to scratch that itch since Mass Effect and I would like to see how Bethesda would tackle that sort of setting. If its was going to be anything like Skyrim, the map would have been massive

Too bad, would've liked to see it.

Have to say I hate time-travel based stuff in 90% of the cases though, it's often used as a cheap trick to explain otherwise ridiculous plot holes + it almost never makes sense.

Really hard to do it right, but it can be great if handled well.

Obsidian. Kickstart this NAO! I have money here, and you could be the one I am throwing it at!

Ed130:

Doom972:
Obsidian always has great ideas for games. It's the execution that sometimes suffers. I would've loved to see Backspace rather than Project Eternity.

Who knows? Perhaps after Project Eternity Obsidian w.ill start work on Backspace

Sure, but that's not my point. I just don't get why some of the most creative guys in the industry work on another medieval fantasy RPG when there are more than enough of them already. These are guys who worked on the Original Fallout, Planescape: Torment, and Alpha Protocol - If there's someone who can make a good RPG that's not medieval fantasy, it's them.

frizzlebyte:

Doom972:
Obsidian always has great ideas for games. It's the execution that sometimes suffers. I would've loved to see Backspace rather than Project Eternity.

This. However, I wonder if the Kickstarter (assuming they did one for Backspace) would have had as good a chance at being funded. If Project Eternity sells well, who knows what they might be able to do with this concept.

If I recall correctly, Project Eternity's kickstarter got several times the original goal. While Backspace wouldn't have been as successful, I'm sure it would've managed to get to its original goal and quite a bit past that.

Oh my word, I'm practically crying, WHY WOULD YOU DISCONTINUE AN IDEA LIKE THIS?!?!?! Wow, I mean purely the objective description of

a sci-fi action-RPG that blends Mass Effect, Borderlands, System Shock 2, and of course Skyrim.

had me almost pissing myself with adulation! Good lord I would be a happy panda if they decided to continue development on this.

Karoshi:
There's nothing that makes me more wistful then mentions of Obsidian's games that could have been.

Sci-fi RPG on Skyrim engine?

Is this a dream or reality? Nevermind, just a dream.

Alpha Protocol 2?

Unlikely with Sega holding the strings.

It's already been said, Sega doesn't want anything more to do with AP, so it's going to end up decomposing in a ditch.

Karoshi:
Kotor 3?

If anything, then Disney will give the rights to Bioware.

Too late, Disney already announced that they were selling the Star Wars game rights to EA.

Karoshi:
Wheel of Time RPG?

No funds probably.

I think this one's actually still a thing, though I haven't heard anything recently about it.

Karoshi:
Might and Magic RPG?

Hell, nobody even knows this series! It's as dead as it can be.

Ubisoft has the rights to it. The last "RPG" in the series was by Arkane Studios about five or six years ago. The odds of Ubisoft and Obsidian playing nice? I'd have to say slim.

Noooooo :(
I want Sci-Fi Skyrim!

Why are they even talking about this? Are they planning a kickstarter or something?

Cognimancer:
The design doc mentions several gameplay features, including skills that improve over time, fast-paced gun and melee combat, and a selection of AI "companions" to slot into your armor to give yourself stat boosts and provide dialogue in the mostly isolated setting

Fast paced gun and melee combat in a game based on the skyrim engine with AI companions who were written by Obsidian? I really hope they decide to come back and work on this

These type of ideas are exactly why Obsidian is probably my favorite AAA dev team out there today. Really hope they revisit this in the future.

That said, its probably for the best that its shelved for now. Because while I do love Obsidian, their quality control at release needs work. And between Eternity, the work they're doing on Wasteland 2 and finishing up South Park (plus any other stuff they've got on their plate) it sounds to me like they've got their plate full at the moment. Help inXile get Wasteland 2 out the door in a manner it deserves, get Eternity in a good state, and then look at Backspace. I'm fine waiting a bit for it to be good, rather than you guys trying to do a ton of stuff at once and having bugs or oversights wreck it.

Cognimancer:
Obsidian Scrapped a Sci-Fi Skyrim

Backspace Obsidian concept art

Obsidian has revealed some details on an action-RPG that could have been.

Obsidian Entertainment has a knack for building inspired games on the shoulders of other studios' engines. Bethesda passed the torch to Obsidian to continue the Fallout series with New Vegas, but it seems the two studios were considering another collaboration - this time on the Skyrim engine. Unfortunately it looks like the idea has been shelved for now, but a design document has surfaced that details what could have been a sci-fi action-RPG that blends Mass Effect, Borderlands, System Shock 2, and of course Skyrim.

The prototype game was known as Backspace, and the creative types at Obsidian seem to have put a lot of thought into the game's setting, story, and mechanics before it was abandoned. The game would take place on a giant space station - think Mass Effect's Citadel - which is ravaged by an alien attack. You'd play as a cyborg who somehow gets caught up in a time travel scenario, shifting between the present-day station (which is under active assault by the invaders) and a bleak decade into the future where the aliens have won and control the station. The design doc mentions several gameplay features, including skills that improve over time, fast-paced gun and melee combat, and a selection of AI "companions" to slot into your armor to give yourself stat boosts and provide dialogue in the mostly isolated setting.

Obsidian boss Feargus Urquhart commented that the team may work more on Backspace in the future, but it's just one of many ideas that the studio has considered and ultimately shelved. Still, it sounds pretty cool - and we can still dream.

Source: Kotaku

Permalink

From the sound of this, I would have preferred this over Skyrim, by quite a lot.

rofltehcat:
Noooooo :(
I want Sci-Fi Skyrim!

Why are they even talking about this? Are they planning a kickstarter or something?

I really hope not. People have a limited amount of money to throw at Kickstart projects and I really dislike the idea that companies who have the ability to create games/movies/whatever without the money are starting to use Kickstarter to fund projects they can afford themselves. There are ways to guage interest in a product that do not involve actively trying to hurt smaller/independant creators by shrinking the potential investment pool.

On topic, I'd definately give this a shot if they ever made it.

they also found a cure for aids/herpes/cancer a fuel that can be easily produced and used with every fossil fuel powered motor and a fully functional iron man suit.

as much as i like obsidian and their old black isle days, i am getting really annoyed to constantly hear from them about their shelved ideas.

first get eternity out, get your shit together, get money and try to fund your ideas with the income of eternity. dont get into a stupid deal with a publisher since you can digitally distribute your games in this day and age.

How is it that Obsidian shelves more interesting ideas then most triple A studios put out in their lifetime? I really hope Bethesda gives them another Fallout game to make.

wombat_of_war:
i do wonder if one of the reasons for shelving it was the skyrim engine. its a pain in the ass to do anything in it. frankly its a buggy and twitchy mess even at its most stable

Congratz!

you may have just figured out that the The Creation Engine[1] is just a modified version of the Gamebryo engine used in FO3 and oblivion.

[1] yes, not even the writer of this article knew the name of the game engine. The Skyrim Engine? That's just lazy.

Scorpid:
How is it that Obsidian shelves more interesting ideas then most triple A studios put out in their lifetime?

Because ideas are cheap.
It's the first thing any aspiring game designer learns: You can have the best idea in the world, but if you can't execute it right, you might as well have not had it.

Though to give them the credit, most studios don't have any good ideas to begin with.

Seriously? they don't see the trend that Scifi is IN right now?

O wells we still have Cyberpunk 2077... that's close enough right?

Great concept, and a terrible, terrible name.

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