There’s just a few days left on Obsidian Entertainment‘s Kickstarter campaign for Project Eternity and the developers are cranking up the heat! The updates keep getting harder, better, faster and stronger, not to mention more numerous, so here’s another summary of the updates so far. If you’re impatient, skip to the end of the article for information on Eternity’s universe, the Almanach and the first screenshot from Project Eternity.

Yes, you read that right. First early screenshot from Project Eternity. Just scroll all the way down to see it in its full glory.

We’re sticking to the chronological order and begin with Update #17. It’s a relatively short one, announcing that Obsidian is joining Brian Fargo‘s Kicking It Forward initiative. What’s more, they are also bundling Wasteland 2 with Project Eternity, from the new $165 digital only tier up.

There’s also a second announcement buried in the update: Project Eternity will receive a proper, full size expansion pack six months after release, in the vein of Infinity Engine expansions, such as Throne of Bhaal or Heart of Winter. This pack is not funded by the Kickstarter campaign.

Update #18 is longer, primarily announcing George Ziets as a stretch goal (or rather, that George Ziets will work on Project Eternity if the campaign reaches $2.8 million) and the addition of two new classes, the Paladin and the Chanter at the $2.7 million threshold. Both goals have been already reached, factoring in PayPal donations.

George Ziets was the creative lead and core writer for the acclaimed Mask of the Betrayer for Neverwinter Nights 2 and contributed his talents to the development of Fallout: New Vegas. His considerable talents will help flesh out the lore, locations and characters in Project Eternity.

The Paladin and Chanter classes bring the total number of available character classes to 11. Paladins are devoted, even fanatical, soldiers pledged to a chosen cause, combining the zeal of a priest with the discipline of a monk. They are responsible for the foundation of many elite combat units throughout history, from the original, two thousand year old order of palace guards (Darcozzi Paladini) to the freshly formed Fellows of St. Waidwen Martyr, responsible for defending the Godhammer pilgrim trail. In game terms, they are a class focused on teamplay, assisting allies with targeted commands that can keep them from dying, ignore fatigue or charge. They can also draw on their singular focus to blast foes in their vicinity.

Chanters are repositories of folk knowledge and common wisdom, storytellers and caretakers of legends. They are an unique caster class, which relies on chants, rather than traditional combat or soul magic. These chants are constructed from phrases and rhyming couplets, creating a chain of magical effects that play out over time. The key difference between a wizard and a chanter is that the latter can recite chants while doing something else, instead of having to focus on them, like a wizard casting spells.

The next update, #19, is mostly housekeeping, with Obsidian clarifying the exact contents of each reward tier. It’s a transitory update on the way to the Big One…

Update #20 is it. It’s one of the largest updates to date, including the first screenshot from Project Eternity and an introduction to the Important Things in Project Eternity’s universe. Project Director J.E. Sawyer casts light on the history and the people of Aedyr and the Empire, the Free Palatinate of Dyrwood, Eír Glanfath, the Penitential Regency of Readceras, Vailian Republics and more.

In fact, to make the entire lore of Project Eternity available to the players, Obsidian chose to compile a Campaign Almanach, a compendium of facts, figures, maps, lore and more about the world they’re creating, available for free to anyone pledging $50 or more (if one pledges less, they can still add it to their pledge for $15). And while we’re back in the real world for a moment, we’d also like to note the next two stretch goals. At $3 million, Obsidian will develop a fully fledged player stronghold for the game, with the ability for the player to make large scale changes, special quests, customization and light strategic gameplay. The $3.5 million goal is a Big City. Project Eternity is already planned to include one large city in the vein of Baldur’s Gate and Athkatla. This stretch goal will mean that Obsidian will add a second Big City to the game.

And now, back to fantasy. Obsidian mentioned they want to build a game in the vein of Project Infitity, complete with the isometric camera and pre-rendered levels that have been worked over by artists adding details, highlights, color tweaks and so on and so forth. Now it’s time to show the first results. Without further ado, Ladies, Gentlemen and unidentified magical creatures, Obsidan presents an environment screenshot from Project Eternity:

Last, a tidbit: the Endless Paths megadungeon is currently six levels deep, with a seventh level coming with 20,000 likes on Obsidian’s Facebook profile. Will Obsidian get there before the Kickstarter ends?