Obsidian Entertainment CEO Feargus Urquhart has confirmed that the Pillars of Eternity studio has another Kickstarter project in the works, and he hopes to have it revealed by March or April, 2014. It’s based on a license and no, it’s not Alpha Protocol 2.
Speaking with RPS, Urquhart mulled over the days where games like Planescape: Torement and Icewind Dale shared the same engine, but produced wildly different results. It’s something he wants to explore again after Pillars of Eternity, as a way of squeezing more creativity out of the team.
He’s not talking about sequel as such, but he did state, “I’d be really surprised if we didn’t make an Eternity II.”
So what is this mystery new Kickstarter project? Urquhart wouldn’t say explicitly, but did give some insight into how he’d like to see the Eternity engine used down the line. “What I’m trying to figure out is,” he explained, “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.”
The idea of bite-sized development doled out in chunks is an interesting model certainly, and sensible given Obsidian’s size, along with the fact that it frequently juggles projects. We’re looking at you South Park.
While the method is currently up for discussion, Urquhart made clear that Obsidian is eyeing up its second Kickstarter at present. He added, “There’s something we’re talking about that I think would be really cool, but it’s not an original property. 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.”
Turning to potential claims that Obsidian is pushing its luck – seeing as the Kickstarter-funded Pillars of Eternity isn’t out yet – Urquhart explained, “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. 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.”
Still, many of you definitely want Alpha Protocol 2, right?
What do you make of the above?