Pillars of Eternity, Torment Dev Planning 2014 Kickstarter, Urquhart Says

Pillars of Eternity, Torment Dev Planning 2014 Kickstarter, Urquhart Says

Obsidian Entertainment

Obsidian wants to crowdfund a new game next year, and it isn't Alpha Protocol.

Obsidian was the benefactor of some fairly substantial Kickstater success last year with its multi-million dollar Project Eternity, recently renamed Pillars of Eternity. Apparently not content to just work on finishing Eternity however, the developer already has its sights set on launching a new project and a new crowdfunding campaign in 2014.

"What's cool about Eternity... is having something else we can then use that tech for," said Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart. "I always look at the example of what we did back at Black Isle with Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale. And then Torment on top of that. Those games used the exact same engine, but they all felt very distinct. That's what we want to do now too." In turn, Obsidian is exploring ideas including an "open world" style game using the Eternity engine, among others. That said, as of the moment, Urquhart admits that Obsidian doesn't know exactly what it wants to do next.

It does know, however, that it wants to do something. "The hope is to come up with another Kickstarter that people would be interested in," explained Urquhart. "My hope is that by March or April of next year, we'll have something we can kind of start talking to people about." While Urquhart can assure gamers that some properties are off the table -"it's not Alpha Protocol"- the studio is settling in on some ideas, including both licensed and original properties. With 2014 just around the corner, we hopefully won't have to wait too long to find out what it is.

Source: Rock, Paper Shotgun

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I'm really sad that Game Studios are asking us to fund thier initial development now. Obsidian isn't a struggling indie or a startup, they should really just be polling their customerbase if they want to guage interest rather than saying "Hey, see this really cool idea? If you give us enough money up front we'll make it for you. If we don't get enough money then we shoot this game in the head after letting you get to know how cool it WOULD have been if you weren't such a cheapskate."

Well there goes some money of mine for next year I can bet.

Why such the hate for Alpha Protocol I know its not perfect but it wasn't awful. :/

Its Double Fine all over again, I know that parts of the team get to do nothing when their task is complete and someone else has to do the rest but this is Obsidian we are talking about, I really doubt that anything is as good as it could be with these guys (even their trailer already had visible bugs regarding their engine) so why not just grab those guys that think they already completed their work and have them tweak what they have instead of sending them to do something else?

Veldie:
Why such the hate for Alpha Protocol I know its not perfect but it wasn't awful. :/

Because it was plagued by technical issues, the AI was awful and it just felt unfinished, I loved what it was doing (Espionage RPG that had tons of gameplay options) but it fell short due to bugs and just awkward gameplay (hitting someones shoulder with a gun that had the crosshair on their head while being 6ft away)

I liked what it did right, but it had so many technical issues and game-play choices that marred the experience for me.

OT: Looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

Assuming Pillars of Eternity is good and if the new project sounds good then i will donate this time.

thetoddo:
I'm really sad that Game Studios are asking us to fund thier initial development now. Obsidian isn't a struggling indie or a startup, they should really just be polling their customerbase if they want to guage interest rather than saying "Hey, see this really cool idea? If you give us enough money up front we'll make it for you. If we don't get enough money then we shoot this game in the head after letting you get to know how cool it WOULD have been if you weren't such a cheapskate."

But it's a better system than the current "get a publisher" model we're plagued with, remember how Obsidian got shafted with Fallout: New Vegas and missing out on that bonus by a single point? I do, because ~~~~Metacritic & Publishers~~~~.
http://www.joystiq.com/2012/03/15/obsidian-missed-fallout-new-vegas-metacritic-bonus-by-one-point/
Publishers for the most parts are dickheads and will forever remain dickheads in the interest of profit, I don't really care that bigger-than-indie studios are looking into crowdfunding, why shouldn't they? it means they're not really interested in the publisher bullshit either, and that we need more of.

I played AP, with no bugs at all.

Tho i think there was a unofficial patch that fixed stuff by that time. Its been too long to recall for sure but i found it a solid fun game with good story.

Also played new vegas with far fewer bugs than skyrim or fallout 3 for that matter.

I dont generally get the utter hate for them, they write some of the best games out there, even if their execution leaves something to be desired.

I feel like Obsidian is coming down with TellTale Games syndrome. Finish the game you're working on before starting another.

We'll see how good Eternity is. If it turns out well, I might throw some bucks their way one more time.

TizzytheTormentor:

Veldie:
Why such the hate for Alpha Protocol I know its not perfect but it wasn't awful. :/

Because it was plagued by technical issues, the AI was awful and it just felt unfinished, I loved what it was doing (Espionage RPG that had tons of gameplay options) but it fell short due to bugs and just awkward gameplay (hitting someones shoulder with a gun that had the crosshair on their head while being 6ft away)

I liked what it did right, but it had so many technical issues and game-play choices that marred the experience for me.

OT: Looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

I still think that was Sega's doing indirectly, and not Obsidian's.

I remember the whole debacle about Sega checking out the game when it was in Beta and told Obsidian basically 'make it less like Fallout'. And you can tell what Obsidian had in mind if you look at the game in a certain way. It's clear the idea was for the MC to start as a Spy with the basic spy skills first, and then as you leveled you could branch him out into different areas. It's why there's so many missions where the only 'right' way to get through them is being a sneaky spy, and why changing it to a class-based system made no sense because then you get classes without the skills the game expects you to have.

Changing the whole RPG system left them with literally zero time to polish the game, and then Sega just threw the game out to die after a while. So you had a game with a gimpy level system and glitchy graphics because Sega wanted a completely different game with limited time and resources, then just threw it to the wolves when they didn't care anymore.

It's a shame too, because there's parts of the game that weren't changed that were outstanding. The story, the acting, the dialogue system all had a ton of potential and personality. They were just wrapped around half-done mechanics. Alpha Protocol is a guilty pleasure of mine, and I wouldn't mind eventually seeing the game Obsidian initially had planned.

erttheking:
I feel like Obsidian is coming down with TellTale Games syndrome. Finish the game you're working on before starting another.

Obsidian has two games in production, (Pillars of Eternity and South Park: The Stick of Truth which may be completed but stuck in limbo when THQ went under), some personel are assisting InXile with Wasteland 2 (whether it its just coding or concept/story I can't remember) and have announced a new project.

They have a way to get to TellTale's two episodic games in production and two announced projects.

josemlopes:

Obsidian isn't a struggling indie or a startup, they should really just be polling their customerbase if they want to guage interest

Polling their customerbase, and then what? Hope that EA is finally willing to throw some production money at them in turn for the IP rights?

Like you said, Obsidian is not an indie. They don't have as much of their own capital as an indie studio that can fund it's own games.

Ed130:

erttheking:
I feel like Obsidian is coming down with TellTale Games syndrome. Finish the game you're working on before starting another.

Obsidian has two games in production, (Pillars of Eternity and South Park: The Stick of Truth which may be completed but stuck in limbo when THQ went under), some personel are assisting InXile with Wasteland 2 (whether it its just coding or concept/story I can't remember) and have announced a new project.

They have a way to get to TellTale's two episodic games in production and two announced projects.

i believe the stick of truth has a set date for march 4th now, so by now I'm not sure if obsidian is touching it much at all, depends on if they or ubisoft are taking care of QA and whatnot.

OT: I'm loving what I am seeing from pillars of eternity and south park, so I'll more than likely toss in money when this comes (or if I don't like it, then probably won't) as I haven't been disappointed by an obsidian game yet.

It may not be Alpha Protocol, but I hope it's a spiritual successor. That game had tremendous potential. I want to see that potential reached in another title.

As long as the main character isn't a dudebro burly mcsteroidabuse and Project Eternity turns out well then I'll be willing support them in another kickstarter.

Quiotu:

TizzytheTormentor:

Veldie:
Why such the hate for Alpha Protocol I know its not perfect but it wasn't awful. :/

Because it was plagued by technical issues, the AI was awful and it just felt unfinished, I loved what it was doing (Espionage RPG that had tons of gameplay options) but it fell short due to bugs and just awkward gameplay (hitting someones shoulder with a gun that had the crosshair on their head while being 6ft away)

I liked what it did right, but it had so many technical issues and game-play choices that marred the experience for me.

OT: Looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

I still think that was Sega's doing indirectly, and not Obsidian's.

I remember the whole debacle about Sega checking out the game when it was in Beta and told Obsidian basically 'make it less like Fallout'. And you can tell what Obsidian had in mind if you look at the game in a certain way. It's clear the idea was for the MC to start as a Spy with the basic spy skills first, and then as you leveled you could branch him out into different areas. It's why there's so many missions where the only 'right' way to get through them is being a sneaky spy, and why changing it to a class-based system made no sense because then you get classes without the skills the game expects you to have.

Changing the whole RPG system left them with literally zero time to polish the game, and then Sega just threw the game out to die after a while. So you had a game with a gimpy level system and glitchy graphics because Sega wanted a completely different game with limited time and resources, then just threw it to the wolves when they didn't care anymore.

It's a shame too, because there's parts of the game that weren't changed that were outstanding. The story, the acting, the dialogue system all had a ton of potential and personality. They were just wrapped around half-done mechanics. Alpha Protocol is a guilty pleasure of mine, and I wouldn't mind eventually seeing the game Obsidian initially had planned.

I wonder what would happen if they made a Directors Cut of the game like Edios Montreal did for Deus Ex: Human Revolution, with the game fully polished and all the rushed bits fixed and completed, I feel it would be much better received.

Ever heard of The Last Remnant? Decent and fun game, but it was downright busted and fraught with technical issues that made the game simply unfun to play (the PC version fixes many of these I am told)

Veldie:
Well there goes some money of mine for next year I can bet.

Why such the hate for Alpha Protocol I know its not perfect but it wasn't awful. :/

They aren't saying 'we want to make a new game and don't worry it's not Alpha Protocol'

They're saying, 'we want to make a new game, and we're sorry but it can't be Alpha Protocol'

AP is the game they get asked all the time about by fans to make a sequel. Even during Eternity's kickstarter they were getting lots of messages like 'I wish this was AP'

The problem is Sega owns the IP and is not interested in making another game with it, so they absolutely can't do it again.

josemlopes:
Its Double Fine all over again, I know that parts of the team get to do nothing when their task is complete and someone else has to do the rest but this is Obsidian we are talking about, I really doubt that anything is as good as it could be with these guys (even their trailer already had visible bugs regarding their engine) so why not just grab those guys that think they already completed their work and have them tweak what they have instead of sending them to do something else?

The biggest problem there is that game development workloads don't end up quite fitting that. The one group of people who will still be working on the game probably until after it's released (Obsidian have always said they wanted to release patches but publishers refused) is the programmers.

But all the people who would be involved in the first phase of making a new game and who they're trying to keep employed after they've finished being useful are the artists, writers, designers etc.

The programmers are probably going to be bug patching whatever happens, whereas the people involved in the new project either have nothing to do or they work on the new project.

It's worth noting, there's a reason they're talking about potentially releasing a kickstarter in April or May instead of now. Unlike Double Fine or inXile they aren't doing it as soon as possible, because they want to make sure Eternity has reached a certain level of complete and that they've already done X amount of work on a new idea before they ask us about new ideas.

thetoddo:
I'm really sad that Game Studios are asking us to fund thier initial development now. Obsidian isn't a struggling indie or a startup, they should really just be polling their customerbase if they want to guage interest rather than saying "Hey, see this really cool idea? If you give us enough money up front we'll make it for you. If we don't get enough money then we shoot this game in the head after letting you get to know how cool it WOULD have been if you weren't such a cheapskate."

Obsidian might not be indie, but they are independent and there's a reason why they're pretty much the last big independent studio, because it's incredibly difficult and precarious. Obsidian have worked on so many projects for publishers which they publisher cancelled in the middle of development because they no longer want to make Star Wars games or they had to choose between Aliens Colonial Marines and an Aliens RPG and decided that a shooter was a safer bet...

And the big problem with the studio isn't the cancellation itself, but the 9 month process it takes to get a publisher to give you money. During which time you have to try and keep your staff employed. This kickstarter, like inXile's, gives them the benefit of being safe in the knowledge that they always have something they can be working on.

Obsidian aren't a rich studio, they barely have enough money to stay open, they've had to layoff plenty of staff over the years and they definitely don't have the money to make their own game. When you work with a publisher, they take all the profits except the amount needed to stop the developer from folding.

If Eternity makes a lot of money, then maybe they won't need kickstarter. But that would be too late, their staff would either have been fired or working on a publishers project where they don't have security and they won't get to own their own IP.

This is a nice little history of them
http://kotaku.com/5968952/the-knights-of-new-vegas-how-obsidian-survived-countless-catastrophes-and-made-some-of-the-coolest-role+playing-games-ever

BrotherRool:
Lots of good stuff

Thanks for that, I wasn't aware of some of those challenges the developer can face. Given that info I'm even more in the camp of digital distribution as a means of circumventing the publishers. Heck, game stores could clean up if they had service kiosks that let you purchase digital games then burn them on the spot to pyhsical media for those without good internet connections or who prefer physical games. Hmph, surprised that isn't already a thing... Get on that Steam (and gimme a cut for the idea :P).

By the love of god please DON'T BUY INTO IT!
This is what Obsidian does: Start project after project never really finishing any of them delivering bugged half assed programs with good intentions and abandoning them as soon as possible for the next project.

Halyah:
Project Eternity turns out well then I'll be willing support them in another kickstarter.

You know if Eternity is good then go ahead!
But you know what? Eternity won't be out when this hits Kickstarter.
You will know nothing about how good or bad Eternity is when it does.

Guys seriously let them prove to you that they are worth your money. Let them deliver Eternity first and THEN decide to support their next project.
Not the other way around.

Ishigami:
By the love of god please DON'T BUY INTO IT!
This is what Obsidian does: Start project after project never really finishing any of them delivering bugged half assed programs with good intentions and abandoning them as soon as possible for the next project.

Halyah:
Project Eternity turns out well then I'll be willing support them in another kickstarter.

You know if Eternity is good then go ahead!
But you know what? Eternity won't be out when this hits Kickstarter.
You will know nothing about how good or bad Eternity is when it does.

Guys seriously let them prove to you that they are worth your money. Let them deliver Eternity first and THEN decide to support their next project.
Not the other way around.

It depends of the person right though? I've played through KotoR2 and Alpha Protocol more times than almost any other game and Fallout: New Vegas is probably one of my favourite games ever. I agree if that's not the case then investing in a new kickstarter would be a terrible idea and if you invested in Eternity that would've been a generous act of your behalf.

But the only games Obsidian have ever made that I have no interest in was Dungeon Siege III (which was by far their least buggy and most complete game), so they aren't conning me, and considering only 70,000 people invested in them, I hope it was the same for the majority of them. I know I'm not alone in loving these games

I'm gonna hold out hope for a Sci FI themed BG type game. But hey, i'll probably back it whatever it is (Unless it involves South Park).

Hmm kind of bold of Obsidian seeing how they're not exactly a safe bet and we only funded them out of faith that they could do good without a publisher lashing their back demanding they make a deadline. Prove to us you can put together a solid none broken game with our money first Obsidian before you start asking us for more.

Ishigami:
By the love of god please DON'T BUY INTO IT!
This is what Obsidian does: Start project after project never really finishing any of them delivering bugged half assed programs with good intentions and abandoning them as soon as possible for the next project.

They might have some bugs, but their games are also some of the most fun games on the market, and I would never call their stuff "half assed."

OT: I backed eternity and I look forward to seeing how it turns out. Hopefully if they KS another project it will be something completely different than another medieval fantasy game, ideally something sci fi or cyberpunk.

thetoddo:
I'm really sad that Game Studios are asking us to fund thier initial development now. Obsidian isn't a struggling indie or a startup, they should really just be polling their customerbase if they want to guage interest rather than saying "Hey, see this really cool idea? If you give us enough money up front we'll make it for you. If we don't get enough money then we shoot this game in the head after letting you get to know how cool it WOULD have been if you weren't such a cheapskate."

Personally I would rather them pitch an idea to us gamers, and have us fund it rather than see them go to a publisher like EA and say "Hey this is a great idea, but here, lets change everything about it to make sure it appeals to the lowest common denominator, oh and be sure to cash in on some dorittos and mountain dew tie ins!"

And it would be better that they pitch the idea to everyone, rather than give it to a publisher, get it forced out there then not sell and have the publisher left holding the IP. If the cool game doesnt get funded, chances are they wouldnt just shoot it in the head and we would never hear from it again, chances are iit would be presented to us once again after they found out WHY it didnt interest us. That way it isnt stuck rotting in some publishers IP vault like so many other awesome games that the developers cant touch because the publishers are assholes and copyright/IP law is fucked sideways.

 

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