The Project Eternity Kickstarter currently sits at a hefty $2.4 million mark. In response, Obsidian gives us words. In over thirty thousand characters a lot of relevant information is divulged, expressed and otherwise published for our perusal and enjoyment. In other words, here’s yet another summary of Project Eternity updates.
Let’s start with the reddit update, where Tim Cain answers questions posted and upvoted on reddit. Mr Cain details the class system Eternity uses (more on it below), the reasoning behind picking the Real Time with Pause combat system for the game, the impact our player character’s race has on the game (thankfully, there will be no arbitrarily race-restricted items), what Obsidian plans to recapture with Project Eternity and whether or not the game will receive a modkit (again, more on that below).
The next update follows the 50,000 backer milestone. Is that important? Certainly! This milestone introduces a new location into the game, The Endless Paths of Od Nua. Lying in the western reaches of Dyrwood, the Endless Paths is an ancient network of cobbled trails that wind through arches of dense overgrowth, twisting within the confines of a high castle wall as they make their way to the gates of iron-shuttered towers that jut forth from the interior.
Once it was the residence of the relentless, crazed Od Nua, stretching forever deeper into wandering catacombs and bone-cramped oubliettes. It is the subject of many tales and myths, speaking of hosts of lost souls that relentlessly stalk the living, cathedral-sized tombs overflowing with the restless victims of a horrific plague, lightless chambers sealing in the remnants of Od Nua’s failed experiments… One common theme persists, that of myriad forgotten vaults of death and darkness glittering with Od Nua’s enchanted creations and the abandoned treasure of ill-fated interlopers.
This impressive, centuries old location will be made available to players to explore, pillage and plunder (provided they live long enough). Originally designed with three subterranean levels in mind, the Endless Paths will receive one additional level for every 2,500 backers. With over 53,500 backers at the moment, the dungeon will have four underground levels to loot (or suffer a horrifying death, your mileage may vary).
The update also summarizes the $2.4 million stretch goal, that will enable crafting and enchanting in the game. As the name says, it will allow players to create consumable items like potions and scrolls as well as give their gear custom upgrades that can’t be accomplished by other means. Easy to use and flexible, it’s meant to allow greater customization options to the player, making their equipment more distinctive and unique. Yes, you will be able to custom name weapons. Can Opener the Magic Morningstar, anyone?
Next, an update about Eternity‘s music, coinciding with reaching the $2.2 million stretch goal. The aforementioned $2.2 million stretch goal adds a new faction and a new companion into the game, as well as French, German, and Spanish translations of Project Eternity. The update itself is written by Justin Bell, who editorializes on the key themes he has in mind while writing the music for Project Eternity and the intended “feel” he plans for it to has. Aptly summarized by three adjectives (Mystical, Ancient, Emotive) it’s planned to support and enhance the narrative goals of the game. Mr Bell also details the process of creating the music for the Kickstarter campaign video. He also reminds us of Obsidian’s SoundCloud, where the first samples of Eternity‘s music can be heard.
The next update is a big one: J.E. Sawyer announces the Polish and Russian localizations, PayPal support for Kickstarter, lays down the next stretch goals and details the four “core” classes in Project Eternity.
The Slavic localizations will be handled by local distributors in Poland and Russia. Hopefully, they will not make it as terrible as the Polish/Russian/Czech release of Fallout: New Vegas. The 1c version was (and still is) considered an entirely separate product on Steam, resulting in months long delays in patch and DLC releases, effectively alienating Fallout fans in Poland, Russia and the Czech Republic.
Those who did not or could not donate through Kickstarter can now pledge with PayPal, via Eternity‘s homepage. While PayPal donations do not count towards the Kickstarter total, they will be accounted as far as stretch goals are considered. And those stretch goals are quite worthwhile: the $2.5 million stretch goal introduces two new classes into the game, that of the barbarian and the Cipher. Barbarians are commonly found among Glanfathan elf communities, distinguished from fighters by their recklessness, ferocity, and their predilection to substitute raw aggression for discipline. Ciphers are rare, oft misunderstood individuals with extraordinary mental abilities, like the unique talent allowing them to peer through the spiritual energy of the world to manipulate other souls. Unlike “traditional” adepts of magic, ciphers are able to operate directly through the power of their minds… and those of others.
The $2.6 million goal is even more interesting, as it adds an Adventurer’s Hall in the Free Palatinate of Dyrwood, where adventurers and mercs from the entire world are hired for various jobs, from simple security to salvaging the ruins of Eír Glanfath. In gameplay terms, this will allow players to hire help and fill in vacant spots in their party, should they dislike companions. That way, they won’t be locked out of using a particular class, reducing their array of tactical options.
However, the meat of the update are the classes. Joshua Sawyer describes the Fighter, Priest, Rogue and Wizard classes, as well as the principles that lay at the foundation of the entire system. In short, it can be best described as purpose-ready, rather than purpose-limited, with less arbitrary restrictions on equipment and more options in creating characters. The entire update is by far the longest and chock full of insight and information. Worth a read!
The latest update comes as the Kickstarter campaign enters its final week, providing a short roadmap for the final stretch. Obsidian plans a lot of stuff for the coming week, including new rewards (stop spo– no, wait, keep spoiling us!), an inside peek into Obsidian and a first look at Eternity.
By far the most important annoucement is that yes, Project Eternity will have a modding kit. Obsidian partnered with the Nexus Network (famous for its hosting of countless mods for Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim, Fallout 3 and, of course, Fallout: New Vegas) to create an official spot for Project Eternity modifications. Obsidian also plans to release their file format information and expose as much of the data in the game as possible (they really hate hard coding data). Localization tools will also be provided, to allow community translation projects for languages Project Eternity will not include at launch.
For those interested in more behind the scenes material, J.E. Sawyer answers questions on his Formspring, which include the problem of spellcasters and the magic system in Project Eternity, Kickstarter and the future of gaming and health regeneration/permadeath in the game.
One cannot fail to mention the interviews with Chris Avellone. We ourselves picked Mr Avellone’s brains a few days ago, but the competition is intense. Pennies were traded for thoughts on IndieRPGs.com and Obsolete Gamer.
That’s it for this roundup. Let’s see what the crazy last week brings in.