Obsidian Entertainment’s Project Eternity continues to amass support in its Kickstarter campaign (its present total, at time of writing, is $1,763,616). And today, Josh Sawyer from Obsidian released a lengthy project update in which three key points of Project Eternity’s plot come up for discussion: souls, technology, and other adventurers.
Concerning souls, Sawyer explains that they are…kind of a big thing in the world of Eternity:
…souls are A Big Deal in Project Eternity’s world. The mortal world has not unlocked all of the secrets of how souls “work” and differing schools of metaphysical philosophy can be found in virtually every culture. What is known is that sapient souls move through an endless cycle of waking life and purgatorial slumber among the gods. Often this slumber lasts for years of “real” time, but occasionally it is brief, with a soul immediately moving on to a new life.
…Through a variety of techniques (e.g. martial training, meditation, ritualistic evocation, mortification of the flesh), some individuals are able to draw upon the energy of their soul to accomplish extraordinary feats. These abilities range from the mundanely superhuman to the explosively magical. Having a strong soul seems to make this easier, but sometimes even people with fragmented souls are able to accomplish the extraordinary.
I don’t know the concept of a soul “immediately moving on to a new life” is a tacit hint concerning a resurrection mechanic in the game (I rather doubt it, actually), but it would seem that both the supernatural power of the soul and the cycle of reincarnation are going to be major themes in the game. And if I had to guess, the magic system will in some way be tied in to this element thereof.
And here’s Sawyer on technology in the game:
The cultures of Project Eternity are in a variety of different technological states. Though some remote civilizations are still in the equivalent of Earth’s Stone Age or Bronze Age, most large civilizations are in the equivalent of Earth’s high or late Middle Ages. The most aggressive and powerful civilizations are in the early stages of what would be our early modern period, technologically, even if they are not culturally undergoing “Renaissance”-style changes.
…some individuals do employ firearms for one specific purpose: close range penetration of the arcane veil, a standard magical defense employed by wizards. The arcane veil is powerful, but it does not react well to the high-velocity projectiles generated by arquebuses and handguns. As a result, more wizards who previously relied on the veil and similar abjurations have turned to traditional armor for additional defense.
This is a bit more of a recent theme that’s cropped up in other games, including Obsidian’s own Dungeon Siege 3 and Runic Games’ Torchlight series. Even the Ultima series flirted with the idea of more Renaissance-type technology and innovation, with the inclusion of a musket in Ultima 7 and rather large, rigged sailing ships in Ultima 6.
I actually kind of suspect that Project Eternity will be set in a kind of distant future. I can’t remember the source for this, but someone at Obsidian — perhaps even Sawyer himself — was talking about the Godhammer Citadel location and mentioned that it wasn’t so much a hammer as a…well, some sort of nuclear weapon, possibly. And I kind of suspect that at least part of the game’s plot will involve uncovering some sort of technology or relic from a past, yet more advanced, civilization.
Finally, because support for the game has been overwhelming, Obsidian also announced a new $5,000 reward tier for the game:
We started with a $5,000 tier that allowed the backer to set up an inn and receive some additional items. Fortunately or unfortunately, that sold out almost immediately. We’ve come up with a new tier that is aimed toward (but not limited to!) the forum communities that have shown (and continue to show) us so much support. Some of the most fun we’ve had as players, DMs, and game designers has happened when we got to deal with a group of enemy adventurers — mercenaries, thugs, whatever you want to call them — squaring off against the party. This new tier allows you to build a fighting force of extraordinary magnitude to throw at the player.
If you’ve got $5,000 and you’d like to put your name on someone that will at some point ruin my day while I’m playing through Project Eternity, click on over and pledge your support today!
And by the way: if you haven’t pledged your support yet, I should probably ask what you have against the RPG genre. Because clearly — clearly — you must harbour some sort of dislike for it.