In an interview with Rock Paper Shotgun
, Obsidian Entertainment head honcho Feargus Urquhart has touched on the studio's plans to continue leveraging the CRPG revival technology they have developed for the much anticipated Pillars of Eternity, hinting at at least three prospective pitches with crowdfunding in mine, one of which is apparently a licensed property.
“There’s something we’re talking about that I think would be really cool, but it’s not an original property,” he says. “It’s a licensed property. But it’s not Alpha Protocol! It’s something we can still do a ton of creative stuff with, though. And then the other thing is an original property. Also, there’s a third thing that somebody approached us with, but I really don’t think that’s going to work out.”
“We’re very grateful for what people have given us, and I don’t want to go back to the well before we’ve proven anything,” Urquhart confesses. “That would be really lame of us. But I think we have a good idea and we’ve kind of proven things with Eternity to a point. Obviously we have a larger studio, so we actually have people to work on stuff [beforehand]. But I don’t want people to feel like we’re taking advantage of them.”
“I’m happy to make Eternity, and the hope is to come up with another Kickstarter that people would be interested in. My hope is that by March or April of next year, we’ll have something we can kind of start talking to people about.”
Also in the interview, Urquhart describes another potential project concept the studio has kicking around, which would marry the classic isometric CRPG visuals they are retooling for Pillars, with the open world concept and user-modability of the PC version of Bethesda Game Studios' Skyrim:
“What I’m trying to figure out is, how could we make something that is more like a Skyrim for PC – forget console for now – with the engine we made in Unity for Eternity? Where we are with our conversation, quest, data editors, and all of that. If we were careful about scope and let Chris Avellone go wild with creating a new world, more of an open world, what could we do?”
“How much would it cost? Would it make sense for it to be episodic? Because going out there and saying, ‘We’re gonna make 100 hours of gameplay,’ everyone goes, ‘Oh my god, how could it not cost millions?’ But could we create ten hours and have people pay ten bucks? And generally when we say ten hours, it’s usually 15. But if we go with five episodes, then people get between 50 and 75 hours.”
It's looking more and more like Obsidian is channeling the mojo from its Black Isle Studios roots and well positioned for that to thrive in the current indie-friendly environment.
“What’s interesting is, right now, between Steam and Kickstarter, developers are creating the brands,” he observes. “Not publishers. It hasn’t been this way since the ’90s. I’m not sure what it means yet, but it’s exciting.”
Read the Full interview
for all of the insights.
Pillars of Eternity is due in 2014 for Windows, Mac and Linux, watch the latest video footage here