By the the time you read this message you already know that the Kickstarter for Obsidian Entertainment‘s Project Eternity ended, raising, well, a lot of money. The current total for Kickstarter only is $3,986,929, setting a Kickstarter record for a single video game campaign, beating Double Fine by more than $600,000 and Wasteland 2 by over a $1,000,000. See the chart below for comparison:

Now, this can come as a little bit of a disappointment. Did Project Eternity fail to reach the extra $4 million stretch goal, which means live instrumentation for the soundtrack, developer in-game commentary and general enhancements to the game, not to mention Chris Avellone being chained to a desk until he finally plays and finishes Arcanum? Not quite. Obsidian stated at the beginning that while PayPal donations do not count towards the Kickstarter goal, they do count for the stretch goals. With the PayPal amount at around $140,000, Obsidian has reached all of the stretch goals outlined for their campaign and topped their original goal by nearly 400%. Quite the success I say.

But what does that really mean, you may ask? With this funding Obsidian plans to bring us an Unity-powered role-playing game in the style of the classic Infinity Engine games, that will feature:

  • an original setting, story and characters,
  • six fully developed races,
  • two very large cities (on par with Baldur’s Gate and Athkatla from the Baldur’s Gate series),
  • eleven playable classes,
  • eight companions,
  • megadungeon with 13 levels (possibly 14, factoring in PayPal donators),
  • player stronghold,
  • player house,
  • and a lot of other stuff.

Of course, Obsidian wouldn’t be themselves, if they didn’t share a ton of info about Project Eternity. First comes a composite image, showing how the first screenshot (or rather, the environment it depicts), came to life:

Full size here

It’s complemented by a very interesting post by J.E. Sawyer, on Life and Death in the Dyrwood, as part of his scheduled lore update. He goes into detail about the way Project Eternity handles health, dying and worship, both from a gameplay and setting perspective.

Although inspired by (Advanced) Dungeons & Dragons settings, where life and death is a relatively light matter (owing to the presence of a myriad different healing potions, spells and abilities that turn dismemberment into flesh wounds), Eternity is planned to be a bit more gritty in this aspect: the world has a limited understanding of medicine and magic is hardly the great cure it is in most fantasy settings. Most people go through life like normal people do (medieval normal people, that is).

Suspicious. Is this a ranger dwarf?

This has an impact on gameplay: characters have two resources related to their well being, Stamina and Health. The former is the primary pool, which characterizes how much abuse they can take before being knocked out in a fight. Health is lost at a lower rate, but the penalties for letting it run out are much more severe; they are maimed (standard mode) or killed (expert, standard with this option enabled) , with no known way to revive the dead.

The remainder of the update focuses on the importance of souls and religious worship in the world of Project Eternity, as well as the gods themselves and necromancy. Of particular interest is the fragment devoted to the god of cycles, Berath/Cirono (Aedyran and Vailian respectively). This fragment mentions that a common feature of buildings in the ruins of Eír Glanfath are two semi-skeletal figures of Caoth i Bhád and Bád i Caothaí (Life in Death and Death in Life, respectively), flanking entrances. This bit identifies the screenshot as that of a temple in the ruins of Eír Glanfath.

Another new update is devoted to a second Q&A session with Tim Cain, who answers questions about low intelligence dialogue, levelling frequency, involvement of Eric Fenstermaker in the game, psionics and minor technical details of the planned look of the game. He also announces the inclusion of a special recipe book penned by him in every pledge tier above $25. If you have doubts, don’t. Mr Cain has previously published his recipes in the Fallout and Arcanum manuals, with no reported casualties, only satisfied gourmets.

We covered older updates in previous summaries, but let’s recap the most important ones:

We sorted the updates in a (roughly) thematic order, rather than chronologically. We apologize for any inconvenience, confusion or early onset of balding due to hair pulling.
If you survived so far, here is a rough list of interviews given by Project Eternity developers, including the Trinity:

That’s a whole lot of words.  We’re not done yet, however. We’ve previously posted about developers’ blogs and it seems that a summary of them would do good:

Last, if you recall, there was a teaser countdown in place before Project Eternity was announced. The passages they hold seem directly related to the game. Let’s end the campaign right at the beginning:

What do the words mean? Nothing. The Dirge of Eír Glanfath is sound without form, a lone voice crying out in mourning because it must.

The book unread is unwritten. The reason we don’t explain it is the reason we use it. Its power is in its mystery. That is the Leaden Key, in part, in whole. Is it clear?

Digging for truth buries the seeker.

I recognize your pain. Your kind must learn it comes from straining against the turning of the world. It spins thus. You cannot stop it. One day, you will wake up. You will stop pulling. The pain will be gone. Until then, all your waking hours are suffering.

This world wants to drag us down, it does. It made you a Watcher. No one asks for that. And the weight, that guilt they want to hang around my neck, you don’t have to carry it one more step. You think they won’t let you rest, but it’s not up to them. It never was.