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#1 Edited by Sanity (1949 posts) -

So for those of you who dont know Obsidian started a kickstarter for a new isometric rpg in the vein of Baldurs Gate and the other old infinity engine games. I sorta find it odd when big name developers do this but i can imagine that this style of game is hard to pitch in this day and age. The new game will be called Eternity and will be a new IP i guess, they already reached there goal in less then a few days which isin't suprising with how those games are loved.

Heres a linkto there kickstarter page if your curious, personally i threw 20 bucks at it as im want to see what they do with it but if your not into kickstarter its going to come to steam when its done in 2014 anyways. Will be interesting to see if they can live up to the reverence of the old games.

#2 Posted by Zereta (1370 posts) -

I think Obsidian is one of the most underrated game developers out there and even though their pass few games (Alpha Protocol, Dungeon Siege 3) haven't been that good and even their good games (New Vegas, KOTOR 2) being marred with so much technical crap, I'd support those guys.

#3 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@Zereta said:

I think Obsidian is one of the most underrated game developers out there and even though their pass few games (Alpha Protocol, Dungeon Siege 3) haven't been that good and even their good games (New Vegas, KOTOR 2) being marred with so much technical crap, I'd support those guys.

Most of your post is the "even though" bit!

They are pretty cool though. Kinda wish this was AP 2 though. AP but with more polish and all the issues like broken bosses and whatnot fixed would be frickin awesome. I loved what I played of AP (stopped when I got to the russian coke addict. On the hardest difficulty with the blank slate character specced as a stealthy guy, it's kinda hard.

#4 Posted by Jimbo (9988 posts) -

One of my favourite devs, but I totally get why some people don't like the games they make. I guess I just find it hard to criticise people for biting off more than they can chew in an industry full of people playing it safe.

I only went for the early bird $20 option (~2000 of those left atm), but I'd happily bump it up if they give a more appealing mid-range option. I'd like the box version with cloth map, but not at $160 delivered. If I could get it without the postcard, t-shirt, extra copy of game etc. that would be great.

AP2 would cost like $15M more to make than this game will.

Online
#5 Posted by BeachThunder (12410 posts) -

I just wish what they were making was something more imaginative =( It pains me to see talent squandered on another medieval fantasy RPG.

#6 Posted by Tylea002 (2295 posts) -

@BeachThunder said:

I just wish what they were making was something more imaginative =( It pains me to see talent squandered on another medieval fantasy RPG.

That. THEY MADE AN RPG ABOUT FUCKING SPIES. I don't want me any more cloth map equivalents. Fuck yo' mages.

#7 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7617 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos: Alpha Protocol is owned by Sega. They could have made a "spiritual successor" but not an actual sequel.

I probably would have preferred something like that, but I'm just happy to see Obsidian getting the chance to make an original RPG, without any pre-existing licences or publishers pushing them to get it out the door as quickly as possible.

#8 Posted by Doctorchimp (4055 posts) -

I'm glad the amount of money they asked for proved to be trivial. Hopefully they really make a nice piece of CRPG nostalgia.

Every time someone talks about how player choice can't help but being nothing more than an illusion in defense of Mass Effect 3, I can't help but think of New Vegas and how fucking crazy that game really is.

#9 Posted by MideonNViscera (2252 posts) -

I'll kickstart this by buying South Park.

#10 Edited by dungbootle (2428 posts) -

They could not have possibly chosen a safer kind of game for their audience. I'm sure it will be good, but it's pretty unoriginal. The decision to use the Infinity Engine (or a modern equivalent, whatever they're using) is a bit too nostalgia-pandering to me, but people who are into that and have loved those kinds of games will probably get a kick out of it. So it's fine.

#11 Posted by mandude (2666 posts) -

This seems to be the game they've wanted to make for ages. As done-to-death as fantasy is right now, I've no doubt that this won't be generic.

Obsidian are probably my favourite developer in the industry, for their writing alone, if nothing else, so I'm pretty happy about this.

#12 Posted by JoeyRavn (4983 posts) -

I'll gladly buy the game if it's any good when it comes out, but I never participate in Kickstarter projects.

#13 Edited by Chris2KLee (2338 posts) -

I dropped my $20. Obsidian is a great developer, with a couple of weaknesses that I hope this Kickstarter game will work around. Without publisher deadline pressure and by returning to a genre and play style they are familiar with, I think they can avoid the buggy uneven experiences that often plague their games. I'm excited, even if the project is about a year and a half off.

#14 Posted by Zaccheus (1805 posts) -

@Tylea002 said:

@BeachThunder said:

I just wish what they were making was something more imaginative =( It pains me to see talent squandered on another medieval fantasy RPG.

That. THEY MADE AN RPG ABOUT FUCKING SPIES. I don't want me any more cloth map equivalents. Fuck yo' mages.

This.

#15 Posted by BlackLagoon (1460 posts) -

@BeachThunder said:

I just wish what they were making was something more imaginative =( It pains me to see talent squandered on another medieval fantasy RPG.

Why do you think they're squandering their talents? I would think that their talents would ensure that this turns out as something quite beyond just "another medieval fantasy RPG". J.E. Sawyer's canceled Baldur's Gate 3 for example, was about taking a fairly cliched setting, looking it through at the seams, and coming up with a internally consistent reasons for things being the way they were - taking the setting into some completely unexpected directions as a result. As I understand Avellone did something similar with KOTOR 2.

The teasers they posted before the Kickstarter launched certainly suggest this is far more about a harrowing journey for the protagonist than your average epic quest to save the realm.

#16 Posted by Rincewind (256 posts) -

I was one of the first 100 to kickstart it and I can't wait at all.

I'm so glad they reached the goal in a day and the stretch goals are very cool and I hope enough people back them to unlock them all.

#17 Edited by Laiv162560asse (487 posts) -

For the reasons discussed in this thread, I am wary of most crowdfunding. In theory, a company as established as Obsidian shouldn't be waving the begging bowl around to fund a game with a comparatively small budget. In practice, it's clear to see that almost every one of their games has suffered due to publisher interference, lack of creative freedom or lack of time. Also with a more established company, they are less able to hide in the event of Kickstarter's worst case scenario, which is project failure. As such, I'm considering sticking down $20-$40.


As for the criticisms of the setting, I don't really sympathise, if only due to the alternatives offered up. 'Medieval fantasy' as a theme has certainly been well-explored, but no more so than espionage or post-apocalyptic settings. It's more about what you do with the setting. I remember writing this years ago in defence of the setting: 'Due to the flexibility of the universe, when the writing's good you genuinely never know what's going to be around the next corner - talking chickens, doppelganger mindfucks, child-killing dwarves, pocket dimensions full of hallucinations, etc. - which is less true of, say, the average space marine FPS (where the answer is usually 'more aliens with guns').' 

Also it speaks volumes that people still use the Baldur's Gate series as a yardstick when talking about medieval fantasy RPGs, since the Infinity Engine games remain unique in terms of their polish and quality of writing. I don't think it's nostalgic pandering to return to a formula that genuinely produces better results than most others. Namedropping some of the most revered classics in all gaming as part of your pitch seems anything but 'safe' to me.

#18 Edited by Funkydupe (3321 posts) -

I'd like to play a 2D RPG (isometric) set in a Mechwarrior universe. Can they make that next?

#19 Posted by BeachThunder (12410 posts) -

@BlackLagoon said:

@BeachThunder said:

I just wish what they were making was something more imaginative =( It pains me to see talent squandered on another medieval fantasy RPG.

Why do you think they're squandering their talents? I would think that their talents would ensure that this turns out as something quite beyond just "another medieval fantasy RPG". J.E. Sawyer's canceled Baldur's Gate 3 for example, was about taking a fairly cliched setting, looking it through at the seams, and coming up with a internally consistent reasons for things being the way they were - taking the setting into some completely unexpected directions as a result. As I understand Avellone did something similar with KOTOR 2.

The teasers they posted before the Kickstarter launched certainly suggest this is far more about a harrowing journey for the protagonist than your average epic quest to save the realm.

But surely you'd agree that a well made and interesting game is better than just a well made game. I honestly can't think of a reason that they couldn't think of a more original setting - especially considering how great Kickstarter is at providing a way to circumvent risk-averse publishers. Any setting would be better - A prehistoric setting, a western setting, an underwater RPG starring dolphins. Anything.

#20 Posted by FLStyle (4918 posts) -

I look forward to playing it as much as I did with Dragon Age: Origins.

#21 Edited by Tennmuerti (8174 posts) -

@BeachThunder: You are straight up denying this game's chance to be interesting in that first sentence, which is imo wrong. Just because it's using a fantasy setting as a base does not mean that they cannot make something interesting and amazing with it. Baldur's Gate 2, Planescape, Witcher, Mask of the Betrayer and others all showed us that. A setting is just a setting it's what you do with it that truly matters.

#22 Edited by Laiv162560asse (487 posts) -
@BeachThunder said:

@BlackLagoon said:

@BeachThunder said:

I just wish what they were making was something more imaginative =( It pains me to see talent squandered on another medieval fantasy RPG.

Why do you think they're squandering their talents? I would think that their talents would ensure that this turns out as something quite beyond just "another medieval fantasy RPG". J.E. Sawyer's canceled Baldur's Gate 3 for example, was about taking a fairly cliched setting, looking it through at the seams, and coming up with a internally consistent reasons for things being the way they were - taking the setting into some completely unexpected directions as a result. As I understand Avellone did something similar with KOTOR 2.

The teasers they posted before the Kickstarter launched certainly suggest this is far more about a harrowing journey for the protagonist than your average epic quest to save the realm.

But surely you'd agree that a well made and interesting game is better than just a well made game. I honestly can't think of a reason that they couldn't think of a more original setting - especially considering how great Kickstarter is at providing a way to circumvent risk-averse publishers. Any setting would be better - A prehistoric setting, a western setting, an underwater RPG starring dolphins. Anything.

If you don't think Black Isle games were 'interesting' I don't know why you want Obsidian to be the team that makes your Western/whatever game. Likewise I don't know why you think Westerns and prehistory are innately more interesting than medieval fantasies. While there have been more medieval fantasy games than Western or dinosaur games, there have been countless more Western and prehistoric films and there are only so many tropes that those settings allow you to use. You might consider it original to play an RPG version of A Fistful of Dollars but I wouldn't, just like how Max Payne 3 might have been the first game to do the drunken bodyguard schtick, but it was fundamentally unoriginal because it cribbed so much from Man On Fire (RIP Tony Scott), which itself wasn't all that original in the first place. Medieval fantasy is basically 'we have swords, stuff looks vaguely like 1300's-Europe, and anything can happen', there's nothing that presupposes it's going to be lacking in ideas.
#23 Posted by buft (3320 posts) -

I seen a similar game from a small indie developer on greenlight and give it the thumbs up because I really want a big open world single player RPG, seems these days single player means linear and i find myself getting my old games again, the likes of KOTOR has kept me warm for way too long , i need a new game to keep me enthralled

#24 Posted by Packie (255 posts) -

Project Eternity is the second Kickstarter I'll be funding. After falling in love with New Vegas, I'm going back to play all their old games. So yeah I'm a fan.

#25 Posted by Stete (748 posts) -

It's a gamble, like all kickstarters are, but the odds of getting an awesome RPG out of this are pretty damn high. So ye, easiest 20 bucks ive spend in a while.

#26 Edited by FancySoapsMan (5818 posts) -

I really wish they had some info on the kind of computer you'll need to make the game run. The fact that it costs $20 makes me think it won't have the most high-end graphics but still, my pc is awful. :3 
 
Either way though, this sounds like one of the more interesting Kickstarter projects so far.

#27 Posted by Laiv162560asse (487 posts) -

In the Kickstarter comments there's already a vocal element calling for the game to be full 3D and insisting that it actually will be since Wasteland has already gone in that direction. IMO that shits up the entire concept behind this KS. Anyway they've already met their main goal and the stretch goals just strike me as attempts to tease out more money for very little return. I guess this is where I decide to hold off and wait until there's an actual product worth judging before I make a preorder, which is essentially what the $20-35 tier is.

#28 Posted by Sploder (917 posts) -

I look forward to it. Avellone is great and I've liked everything Obsidian made this generation apart from Dungeon Siege.

#29 Posted by Brodehouse (10129 posts) -
@Jimbo Only if they made AP2 a third person action game. What if they made it a party based isometric game where you and your team of spies infiltrated buildings and underground bases? You'd have your customizable guy, then you'd have the stealth guy, computer girl, heavy weapons guy, gadgets and traps guy, the field medic. Heavy weapons guy lays down covering fire over a 3x3 area while stealth guy sneaks around the back for critical hits, gadget guy throws a stun grenade while computer girl remote hacks their weapons and field medic patches you up.

So on.
#30 Posted by Brodehouse (10129 posts) -
@Laivasse How does polygonal models rather than sprites affect the base gameplay? The only thing it'll change is give you rotation options.
#31 Posted by Animasta (14719 posts) -

it sucks, I hate isometric RPG's.

#32 Posted by AlexanderSheen (5090 posts) -

@Tylea002 said:

@BeachThunder said:

I just wish what they were making was something more imaginative =( It pains me to see talent squandered on another medieval fantasy RPG.

That. THEY MADE AN RPG ABOUT FUCKING SPIES. I don't want me any more cloth map equivalents. Fuck yo' mages.

This. More spies less mages!

#33 Posted by Animasta (14719 posts) -

@AlexanderSheen said:

@Tylea002 said:

@BeachThunder said:

I just wish what they were making was something more imaginative =( It pains me to see talent squandered on another medieval fantasy RPG.

That. THEY MADE AN RPG ABOUT FUCKING SPIES. I don't want me any more cloth map equivalents. Fuck yo' mages.

This. More spies less mages!

you know what? I would play a game about a mage who is a spy.

#34 Posted by AlexanderSheen (5090 posts) -

@Animasta said:

@AlexanderSheen said:

@Tylea002 said:

@BeachThunder said:

I just wish what they were making was something more imaginative =( It pains me to see talent squandered on another medieval fantasy RPG.

That. THEY MADE AN RPG ABOUT FUCKING SPIES. I don't want me any more cloth map equivalents. Fuck yo' mages.

This. More spies less mages!

you know what? I would play a game about a mage who is a spy.

A spymage who uses magic to gather info, smoke fools and to be in general a badass? Okay, I'm back on board.

#35 Posted by Phatmac (5727 posts) -

I'll buy it when it comes out.

#36 Posted by Laiv162560asse (487 posts) -
@Brodehouse said:
@Laivasse How does polygonal models rather than sprites affect the base gameplay? The only thing it'll change is give you rotation options.

It changes the entire graphical character of the game. As soon as you make the decision to render in 3D you massively increase the workload required to make your environments believable. There's a reason why those Infinity engine games still look great today while games from a few years ago don't (some examples: 1, 2, 3, 4).

Creators tend to compromise by just half-arsing it when working in 3D. 'Imagine how awesome it would be if we did Baldur's Gate, but in 3D??' has been the philosophy behind 3D fantasy RPGs like Dragon Age and The Witcher, yet those games ended up with multiple copy-pasted areas and several stilted, unbelievable environments, plus all the uncanny mannequin action you end up with once you aim to reproduce photorealistic humans. The only way to really make a 3D environment seamlessly believable is to up the budget and put the work into a graphics bonanza, like what was done with The Witcher 2 - but then you have enormous costs and a highly linear game in 4 chapters. Go 2D and you can have dozens upon dozens of unique areas with unique assets for each, with the only real concern being how well you draw and animate things. You can also have map rotation as in Stronghold, Commandos 2, etc.

#37 Posted by Tylea002 (2295 posts) -

@AlexanderSheen said:

@Animasta said:

@AlexanderSheen said:

@Tylea002 said:

@BeachThunder said:

I just wish what they were making was something more imaginative =( It pains me to see talent squandered on another medieval fantasy RPG.

That. THEY MADE AN RPG ABOUT FUCKING SPIES. I don't want me any more cloth map equivalents. Fuck yo' mages.

This. More spies less mages!

you know what? I would play a game about a mage who is a spy.

A spymage who uses magic to gather info, smoke fools and to be in general a badass? Okay, I'm back on board.

SpyMage would reel me back in, too. TAKE NOTES, OBSIDIAN.

#38 Edited by AndrewB (7689 posts) -

Since Madden stole the Infinity engine, let's see how the Eternity engine stacks up.

@Laivasse: I agree with you, but I just wanted to point out that Temple of Elemental Evil didn't use the Infinity engine, though it had a similar and fantastic art style.

Also, Dragon Age looked absolutely stunning at times when seen from the originally intended isometric perspective.

Some examples.

Although, yes, huge budget, looooong dev time, and you still get "tilesets." But then, Baldur's Gate 2 had a lot of those same re-used rooms.

#39 Edited by falling_fast (2279 posts) -

@FancySoapsMan said:

I really wish they had some info on the kind of computer you'll need to make the game run. The fact that it costs $20 makes me think it won't have the most high-end graphics but still, my pc is awful. :3 Either way though, this sounds like one of the more interesting Kickstarter projects so far.

I think it might be running on the Onyx engine? not sure, though. they haven't said anything about this, but it seems the logical move. pretty sure they own that engine themselves.

#40 Posted by Jimbo (9988 posts) -
@Brodehouse said:
@Jimbo Only if they made AP2 a third person action game. What if they made it a party based isometric game where you and your team of spies infiltrated buildings and underground bases? You'd have your customizable guy, then you'd have the stealth guy, computer girl, heavy weapons guy, gadgets and traps guy, the field medic. Heavy weapons guy lays down covering fire over a 3x3 area while stealth guy sneaks around the back for critical hits, gadget guy throws a stun grenade while computer girl remote hacks their weapons and field medic patches you up. So on.
That would be awesome.
Online
#41 Posted by AndrewB (7689 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

@Jimbo Only if they made AP2 a third person action game. What if they made it a party based isometric game where you and your team of spies infiltrated buildings and underground bases? You'd have your customizable guy, then you'd have the stealth guy, computer girl, heavy weapons guy, gadgets and traps guy, the field medic. Heavy weapons guy lays down covering fire over a 3x3 area while stealth guy sneaks around the back for critical hits, gadget guy throws a stun grenade while computer girl remote hacks their weapons and field medic patches you up. So on.

That, I would kickstart twice.

#42 Posted by Tennmuerti (8174 posts) -

@AndrewB said:

@Brodehouse said:

@Jimbo Only if they made AP2 a third person action game. What if they made it a party based isometric game where you and your team of spies infiltrated buildings and underground bases? You'd have your customizable guy, then you'd have the stealth guy, computer girl, heavy weapons guy, gadgets and traps guy, the field medic. Heavy weapons guy lays down covering fire over a 3x3 area while stealth guy sneaks around the back for critical hits, gadget guy throws a stun grenade while computer girl remote hacks their weapons and field medic patches you up. So on.

That, I would kickstart twice.

So kind of like a better Jagged Alliance/Commandos but with Obsidian actually making those concepts into an rpg with stats, leveling, builds, complex gear choices? But most importantly deep mature story, interesting dialogue and narative choices?

#43 Edited by Laiv162560asse (487 posts) -

@AndrewB:  Yes, all points worth making and thanks for pointing out the difference with ToEE - I clumsily lumped that in with the others since I stole the image links from another guy's post. The ToEE screenie is interesting though because on close inspection it contains some 3D assets, which look horrible compared to the 2D illustrated elements.

I didn't mean to make out that Infinity Engine games never re-used assets, but as you echoed, the point is that with 2D it's easier to achieve graphical fidelity without development costs spiralling. Personally, while those Dragon Age screens don't look bad to me, they don't look great either. There is an inevitable trade off in detail and a blockiness of geometry which occurs when you allow your environments to be viewed from any angle. If I was asked whether I wanted a bookcase with a flat looking book texture that I can view from any angle or a meticulously detailed bookcase I can only view from one fixed angle, I tend towards the latter as long as it features within a believable space. 

I have nothing against high poly counts and flashy graphics, but I think the key is artistic consistency. Instead of going for photorealism, a simplified, stylised art style like, say, TF2 makes it very easy for me to believe in the characters of that game. I feel like that 2D isometric formula falls within the same bracket of 'fewer elements, rendered consistently and believably'. I find it way more jarring to discover the occasional PS1 era texture in Rage or Max Payne 3, than I do to discover occasionally reused tiles in Baldur's Gate 2. I actually just got done playing BG2 for a couple of hours and I still find all the environments thoroughly immersive. I genuinely don't think this boils down to 16-bit retro gaming style nostalgia like the last Penny Arcade game - it's about revisiting an art style that really works (for non-galactic budgets, at least).

#44 Posted by crusader8463 (14428 posts) -

I trust them to make an interesting game and since no one else seems to be making these games I threw in $20 just to see someone start making them again.Will see if it turns out good or not.

#45 Posted by Draxyle (1895 posts) -

Obsidian has talented people that have been constantly squandered by publishers pulling the rug out from under them. I really want to see what they do when they make the game that they want to make. I'm also glad they're not just continuing another franchise like Icewind dale or Planescape; this is a whole new story so they can probably go to some interesting heights to separate it from the others.

I threw in my twenty dollars; my first kickstarter since the Doublefine one. I complained a lot about the total lack of isometric RPG's in this era, so when someone comes forward saying that they're making exactly that, I had to jump in. It seems like these guys have their heart and direction in the right place for it. If anyone was going to make this kind of game, it's certainly not Bioware anymore.

I just hope that they land the artstyle down. BG2 was beautiful, but Dragon Age was ugly, drab, brown, uninspired, and boring to me. I have a feeling that Obsidian will go with 3D backgrounds this time around, but it would be pretty sweet if they went back to the pre-rendered artwork backgrounds for it. It was such a shame that these RPG's (Final Fantasy included) decided to move away from them in this era.

#46 Posted by sergeantz (143 posts) -

I put my money in on this one. They're a talented group that knows what it takes to get a game out the door.

#47 Edited by Laiv162560asse (487 posts) -
@Draxyle said:

I just hope that they land the artstyle down. BG2 was beautiful, but Dragon Age was ugly, drab, brown, uninspired, and boring to me. I have a feeling that Obsidian will go with 3D backgrounds this time around, but it would be pretty sweet if they went back to the pre-rendered artwork backgrounds for it. It was such a shame that these RPG's (Final Fantasy included) decided to move away from them in this era.

Totally agree. FF7-9 crossed my mind when I was defending pre-rendered/illustrated backdrops further up. For me the nature of the art is a big factor in Project Eternity, so without knowing enough about it and considering they already met their main goal I decided not to pitch in.
#48 Posted by Brodehouse (10129 posts) -
@Draxyle They moved away because they featured dynamic cameras, and there wouldn't be much difference between art rendered in-engine. Technically, modern games still feature per-rendered backgrounds with every skybox or distant things beyond the actual in-engine space (think Reapers attacking Vancouver and blasting cruisers out of the air).

If you're jacked on about isometric RPGs, it's too bad you missed out on the Wasteland 2 and Shadowrun kickstarters (though I bet they're still taking donation/pre-orders through paypal). The Shadowrun seems farthest along, they've shown off some in-engine character models and landscapes, 'exploded' them to show off all the distinct assets, so on. They're also planning to put in user-created campaign tools for people to make their own runs.
#49 Posted by FateOfNever (1855 posts) -

This is probably the first Kickstarter that I'm legitimately considering backing. At the same time, however, knowing that I have to lay down 140$ if I want a cloth map is ridiculous. I may end up just not backing the Kickstarter, but just buying the game at retail when it launches. I at least have some amount of time to think about it. I completely understand why these guys went Kickstarter though. This isn't the kind of game you can sell to a publisher. Look at Dragon Age: Origins. That game did great. Then they were bought by EA and DA2 ended up being a drastically different game because of what publishers want out of titles these days. It's not to say that I don't think Obsidian could have found *someone* to publish and back this game, but it is far easier for them to just approach the fans with it because then they don't have to try and sell the game to a publisher AND to the fans, they can just sell it to the fans, and also frees them from the shackles that publishers could put on them that would risk ruining the game. Obsidian may be a well known company, but, they're also not some massive studio or something. This is the kind of game that these guys want to make, and I fully believe they have the talent to make something truly compelling out of a well worn setting. So I fully support them in this (even if not financially, yet.)

#50 Posted by MattyFTM (14432 posts) -

I think making that game for $1,000,000 is extremely ambitious. I honestly think they'd fail if they only got that much money. But it seems they're going to get well over that, so it's possibly doable, and I hope they do pull it off.

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