"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?" pondered Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart. "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?"
Good question, but given Avellone's earlier epic roleplaying games, giving him free rein could very easily result in George R.R. Martin-style roleplaying game that's 500 hours long and involves 200 different characters. Even with modern technology that's not feasible. Solution? Episodic games.
"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?" states Urquhart. "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."
Obsidian's plans are actually further along than anyone suspected, and as Rock Paper Shotgun grilled Urquhart, he let slip that the company is working toward creating a game based on a licensed property. "There's something we're talking about that I think would be really cool, but it's not an original property," said Urquhart. "It's a licensed property ... 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."
It appears that the massive outpouring of crowdsourced cash and support has emboldened Urquhart and his colleagues at Obsidian. There's no telling which of these project they'll aim for once Pillars of Eternity is complete, but we can always cross our fingers for a new Planescape: Torment, huh?