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Obsidian Hopes Project Eternity is a Series

An interview on GamesIndustry International talks with Chris Avellone of Obsidian Entertainment about their recent Kickstarter for Project Eternity, and how they managed to attract a record-setting four-plus million dollars in funding. As noted by VG247, this conversation includes indications they hope this role-playing game will become a multimedia franchise:

Our hope with Eternity is that it's just the first in a series of installments, and then obviously we want to do the full expansion packs, and then extra content, just because we know we really enjoyed doing that for Fallout: New Vegas. We'd want to continue adding new content to the world. The first game is only one moderately sized nation in a much, much, much bigger world where a lot of other things are going on. There's plenty more room for games in that universe and that's what we'd like to do.

It's kind of nice because not all of that has to be done in the games; we can go out and look for graphic novel tie-ins and novel tie-ins and stuff. It is kind of cool to be able to pursue that on our own without having to go through a publisher, or accept the fact that whatever franchise we're with already has the avenues all covered. It's such a nice feeling.

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26. Re: Obsidian Hopes Project Eternity is a Series Oct 21, 2012, 01:06 Xil
 
I am sort of getting more question marks with this, they keep going on about the expanstion packs and such while the game is not out yet and then this comment:

The first game is only one moderately sized nation in a much, much, much bigger world where a lot of other things are going on. There's plenty more room for games in that universe and that's what we'd like to do.

make me worried a bit that we gone end up with a small game which has the 14-15 lvl dungeon the city and that is about it.... lets hope I am wrong
 
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25. Re: Obsidian Hopes Project Eternity is a Series Oct 21, 2012, 00:06 Prez
 
I'm apparently one of the few people who enjoyed AP.

I thought it was REALLY good. Until Deus Ex Human Revolution it was the best choice and consequence FPS since the original Deus Ex imo.
 
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Goodbye my Monte boy. May you rest in the peace you never knew in life.
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24. Re: Obsidian Hopes Project Eternity is a Series Oct 20, 2012, 23:41 Acleacius
 
mellis wrote on Oct 20, 2012, 21:34:
It still bothers me how little $4 million is for developing a AAA game.....
One of us misunderstands Kickstarter. Afaik it's not intended to be fully funded by Kickstarter. Kickstarter was intended as the additional help they needed to make the game.

Additionally this is obviously not their only source of income. Iirc they are working on at least two, quite possibly three other titles for publishers. If these guys don't know what it takes or have to skills, heart and soul to build their OWN IP franchise, then no one can do it. It's really that simple, they are some of the most experienced RPG makers in the world.

Let's just hope it's not something as ridiculous as dragons turning everyone into zombies....err zombiespawn...darkzombies?
 
The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.That is easy.All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.It works the same way in any country.
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23. Re: Obsidian Hopes Project Eternity is a Series Oct 20, 2012, 23:32 RollinThundr
 
Bhruic wrote on Oct 20, 2012, 22:26:
Jerykk wrote on Oct 20, 2012, 21:32:
I'm apparently one of the few people who enjoyed AP.

No, you might have been one of the few people who didn't run into serious bugs in the game. The game premise and consequence system may have all been great, but the control system was horrible. I was never able to completely eliminate the problems it had, although I was able to limit them to some degree. But it was an extremely common problem that they never fixed.

That was the crux of my problem with Obsidian. They make some stellar games that often end up with serious flaws that never get fixed properly. I don't mind so much if a game has some bugs as long as they are committed to fixing them, but unfortunately, they weren't.

I'm not sure how the situation will be here, since they should get the majority of profits, and since the game is paid for ahead of time, that should mean they have enough money to commit to fixing the inevitable bugs, but they don't really have a good track record. Hopefully that's because of publisher funding (or lack thereof).

Agreed, sure LucasArts rushed them with Kotor 2, I get that, but when you sign a contract to deliver in XX amount of months, be able to do so.

Same with AP, Sega's not exactly rolling in the money these days and I always thought that was kinda a odd paring with them as a publisher on that type of game anyway.

For as good as a game FO:NV turned out to be it was pretty bugtastic at launch as well. Seems to be a running theme with Obsidian imo.
 
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22. Re: Obsidian Hopes Project Eternity is a Series Oct 20, 2012, 23:32 Beelzebud
 
Ok we get it. Your concern is noted.

 
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21. Re: Obsidian Hopes Project Eternity is a Series Oct 20, 2012, 22:26 Bhruic
 
Jerykk wrote on Oct 20, 2012, 21:32:
I'm apparently one of the few people who enjoyed AP.

No, you might have been one of the few people who didn't run into serious bugs in the game. The game premise and consequence system may have all been great, but the control system was horrible. I was never able to completely eliminate the problems it had, although I was able to limit them to some degree. But it was an extremely common problem that they never fixed.

That was the crux of my problem with Obsidian. They make some stellar games that often end up with serious flaws that never get fixed properly. I don't mind so much if a game has some bugs as long as they are committed to fixing them, but unfortunately, they weren't.

I'm not sure how the situation will be here, since they should get the majority of profits, and since the game is paid for ahead of time, that should mean they have enough money to commit to fixing the inevitable bugs, but they don't really have a good track record. Hopefully that's because of publisher funding (or lack thereof).
 
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20. Re: Obsidian Hopes Project Eternity is a Series Oct 20, 2012, 22:01 Jerykk
 
Grim Fandango had full VO, lots of cutscenes and tons of animation. All that stuff costs a lot money. In a 2D isometric RPG, the bulk of the work goes into writing and design, not presentation. Those things are significantly cheaper.

For reference, Fallout's budget was about $3 million: http://tinyurl.com/9jtvqfk
 
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19. Re: Obsidian Hopes Project Eternity is a Series Oct 20, 2012, 21:52 mellis
 
Perhaps it was Monkey Island 3 then - the 3D one. I can't find the link to back it up unfortunately. I did stick the numbers from that tweet into http://www.coinnews.net/tools/cpi-inflation-calculator/ and it came up with $3.8 million as the cost of Grim Fandango in 2012. Grim Fandango - an awesome, albeit short and linear experience vs Project Eternity - a content and consequence rich experience... all for $4 million dollars.

I honestly cannot see how it is going to be enough to deliver on everyone's (or even most peoples) expectations. This isn't FTL or Minecraft.
 
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18. Re: Obsidian Hopes Project Eternity is a Series Oct 20, 2012, 21:40 Jerykk
 
mellis wrote on Oct 20, 2012, 21:34:
It still bothers me how little $4 million is for developing a AAA game. Obsidian is not a small developer, their burn rate must be substantial. Their staffing levels certainly appear sufficient (based on the team photo) to actually get a AAA title out the door, but $4 million is going to disappear in no-time. Some analyst was recently quoted as saying that it costs $20-30 *million* to produce an -->average<-- AAA title. Granted that's likely to include cross-platform ports, but even so - $4 million is a long way shy of even half that number.

A high profile developer - I'm pretty sure it was one who made games for LucasArts in the distant past - commented that (And again, I can't find the damned link) that PC only Monkey Island 3 or maybe Grim Fandango cost in the region of $13 million to make. Those are not recent games and that's a lot of money, a lot more than $4 million...

People who chipped in (myself included) have Baldurs Gate/Planescape esque expectations - I wonder how realistic they *actually* are.

Your figures are wrong. Grim Fandango cost $3 million according to Schafer: https://twitter.com/TimOfLegend/status/178928061285277699

As for the $20-30 million figure for the average AAA game, that's about right. However, those are fully 3D games with high production values, full voice-overs, elaborate cutscenes, etc. Making an isometric 2D game with minimal VO is significantly cheaper, especially if your team has a lot of experience in the genre (which Obsidian does).
 
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17. Re: Obsidian Hopes Project Eternity is a Series Oct 20, 2012, 21:34 mellis
 
It still bothers me how little $4 million is for developing a AAA game. Obsidian is not a small developer, their burn rate must be substantial. Their staffing levels certainly appear sufficient (based on the team photo) to actually get a AAA title out the door, but $4 million is going to disappear in no-time. Some analyst was recently quoted as saying that it costs $20-30 *million* to produce an -->average<-- AAA title. Granted that's likely to include cross-platform ports, but even so - $4 million is a long way shy of even half that number.

A high profile developer - I'm pretty sure it was one who made games for LucasArts in the distant past - commented that (And again, I can't find the damned link) that PC only Monkey Island 3 or maybe Grim Fandango cost in the region of $13 million to make. Those are not recent games and that's a lot of money, a lot more than $4 million...

People who chipped in (myself included) have Baldurs Gate/Planescape esque expectations - I wonder how realistic they *actually* are.
 
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16. Re: Obsidian Hopes Project Eternity is a Series Oct 20, 2012, 21:32 Jerykk
 
RollinThundr wrote on Oct 20, 2012, 21:26:
TychoCelchuuu wrote on Oct 20, 2012, 19:26:
Alpha Protocl was delayed for a few months but they didn't let Obsidian work on it, they just delayed it for no reason so that it came out after Mass Effect 2 and got horrible reviews for not being more like Gears of War like Mass Effect 2.

At least some of the blame for both Kotor and AP should fall on Obsidian, when you sign a contract that you can deliver a title in a certain amount of time, you should be able to get it done.

I'm apparently one of the few people who enjoyed AP. I still think it has the best implementation of choice & consequence of any game. Almost every decision you make has some sort of tangible, long-term repercussion. The combat was the weakest part of the game but it wasn't horrible. If you played a stealth + melee character, it was actually pretty enjoyable. Flying knees to the face ftw. The worst part of the game were the minigames, which were tedious and didn't control very well with M/KB.

Deus Ex and System Shock didn't really have good combat or stealth either, even by the standards of their time. Those games were judged on their merits as a whole, rather than the weaknesses of their individual components. People don't seem to give AP the same lenience.
 
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15. Re: Obsidian Hopes Project Eternity is a Series Oct 20, 2012, 21:27 John
 
I don't see a problem with them already thinking about future games in the series. If the first PE game is going to be a small part of a much larger world then it's good that they design it that way from the beginning so it can be tied in better later on.  
This space is available for rent
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14. Re: Obsidian Hopes Project Eternity is a Series Oct 20, 2012, 21:26 RollinThundr
 
TychoCelchuuu wrote on Oct 20, 2012, 19:26:
Alpha Protocl was delayed for a few months but they didn't let Obsidian work on it, they just delayed it for no reason so that it came out after Mass Effect 2 and got horrible reviews for not being more like Gears of War like Mass Effect 2.

At least some of the blame for both Kotor and AP should fall on Obsidian, when you sign a contract that you can deliver a title in a certain amount of time, you should be able to get it done.
 
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13. Re: Obsidian Hopes Project Eternity is a Series Oct 20, 2012, 20:26 Linthat22
 
I would support the project, but I'm afraid my tastes in games have moved on. But I'll definitely check out a demo  
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12. Re: Obsidian Hopes Project Eternity is a Series Oct 20, 2012, 20:06 Creston
 
Prez wrote on Oct 20, 2012, 13:59:
One thing at a time - let's first make a great game worthy of a series, m'kay?

Yep, agreed. The game is the #1 thing here, Obsidian. Worry about your graphic novels, collectible card game and breakfast burritos later.

Creston
 
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11. Re: Obsidian Hopes Project Eternity is a Series Oct 20, 2012, 19:26 TychoCelchuuu
 
Alpha Protocl was delayed for a few months but they didn't let Obsidian work on it, they just delayed it for no reason so that it came out after Mass Effect 2 and got horrible reviews for not being more like Gears of War like Mass Effect 2.  
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10. Re: Obsidian Hopes Project Eternity is a Series Oct 20, 2012, 18:47 RollinThundr
 
Falelorn wrote on Oct 20, 2012, 18:13:
RollinThundr wrote on Oct 20, 2012, 16:28:
Bet wrote on Oct 20, 2012, 15:52:
Axis wrote on Oct 20, 2012, 15:06:
Considering they were behind what many consider to be the greatest PC RPG's of all time, I'm already convinced of it's coming greatness.
I just hope they don't abandon post-apocalyptic games. Considering so many of their lead devs were Fallout-related.. oh well, maybe after PE3.

I hate to say it but I'm taking a wait and see with Eternity. Obsidian has this habit of not finishing or polishing games. KotorII, Alpha Protocol, etc.

I just hope they take their time and finish it/polish it. Since with all the stretch goals they set up they have a lot of work ahead of them. Finish the first game before talking about sequels.

  • KotOR2, Alpha Protocol, etc were games forced out by the publishers... KotOR2 had their development time shorted by LucasArts and Sega wanted AP out quick before their year end.

    Not exactly their fault

  • AP was delayed a year for polish if I remember correctly, it was still pretty much a pos when it shipped.
     
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    9. Re: Obsidian Hopes Project Eternity is a Series Oct 20, 2012, 18:13 Falelorn
     
    RollinThundr wrote on Oct 20, 2012, 16:28:
    Bet wrote on Oct 20, 2012, 15:52:
    Axis wrote on Oct 20, 2012, 15:06:
    Considering they were behind what many consider to be the greatest PC RPG's of all time, I'm already convinced of it's coming greatness.
    I just hope they don't abandon post-apocalyptic games. Considering so many of their lead devs were Fallout-related.. oh well, maybe after PE3.

    I hate to say it but I'm taking a wait and see with Eternity. Obsidian has this habit of not finishing or polishing games. KotorII, Alpha Protocol, etc.

    I just hope they take their time and finish it/polish it. Since with all the stretch goals they set up they have a lot of work ahead of them. Finish the first game before talking about sequels.

  • KotOR2, Alpha Protocol, etc were games forced out by the publishers... KotOR2 had their development time shorted by LucasArts and Sega wanted AP out quick before their year end.

    Not exactly their fault
  •  
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    8. Re: Obsidian Hopes Project Eternity is a Series Oct 20, 2012, 16:28 Sho
     
    They've got people who were instrumental in or worked on Fallout, Planescape: Torment, Baldur's Gate and Arcanum. It's really a dream team for this sort of game; I can't think of any group of people on the planet who would be better equipped to make the game they were pitching. This Kickstarter was as sure a thing as you can get IMHO.  
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    7. Re: Obsidian Hopes Project Eternity is a Series Oct 20, 2012, 16:28 RollinThundr
     
    Bet wrote on Oct 20, 2012, 15:52:
    Axis wrote on Oct 20, 2012, 15:06:
    Considering they were behind what many consider to be the greatest PC RPG's of all time, I'm already convinced of it's coming greatness.
    I just hope they don't abandon post-apocalyptic games. Considering so many of their lead devs were Fallout-related.. oh well, maybe after PE3.

    I hate to say it but I'm taking a wait and see with Eternity. Obsidian has this habit of not finishing or polishing games. KotorII, Alpha Protocol, etc.

    I just hope they take their time and finish it/polish it. Since with all the stretch goals they set up they have a lot of work ahead of them. Finish the first game before talking about sequels.
     
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