Obsidian Entertainment announced today that their crowd-funded RPG Pillars Of Eternity has gone gold. Now that the base game is finished and ready for launch, they're planning to build an expansion pack for the game.
"We are looking at doing an expansion that's about the same size (area wise) of Tales of the Sword Coast," executive producer Adam Brennecke said during a Reddit AMA. "I won't reveal much about it since it's early in development, but we've already have a small team working on areas and environments while the rest of the team focus on shipping the game.
"We will announcing more things about it over the next few months."
Tales of the Sword Coast, the sole expansion pack for Baldur's Gate, added several hours to the RPG. Instead of continuing the main storyline of the game, it added new side quests for high-level players to pursue. These quests took them to new areas including an island full of werewolves and a dwarven keep.
Pillars of Eternity was first announced as Project Eternity back in 2012. The game was billed as a successor to isometic Dungeons & Dragons RPGs like Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale and Planescape Torment. Players control a party of heroes navigating an original fantasy setting. The combat is real-time but allows for pausing so players can queue up actions for each party member.
According to Obsidian, the party leader is highly customizable and can be shaped through the player's decisions throughout the game.
"We started with 17 backgrounds, but then we added several additional layers of nuance to better define that background," Obsidian's Eric Fenstermaker said in the AMA. "You're a drifter, sure, but are you more of a swindler who gets chased from town to town or are you more of a roving psychopath? You make those choices early on in a conversation with an NPC, and then they show up in a procedurally generated biography. Then you play the game and the bio keeps getting longer with every major choice you make.
"By the end of the game you've got this entire memoir that you wrote by playing the game - a chronicle of the character you've been defining the whole time. And the odds are that because of all the different possible choices throughout the game, no two biographies will turn out the same."
It turns out there was a lot of demand for this kind of game. The Kickstarter campaign reached its goal in just two days. By the end of the campaign, the game had raised nearly $4 million in funds. This total set a crowd-funding record, though it was soon beaten by fellow old-school RPG Torment: Tides of Numenera. The additional funds Obsidian raised above their initial goal were used to add Mac and Linux versions, a crafting system, player housing and other features.
The game was initially scheduled for an April 2014 release. However, Obsidian and publisher Paradox Interactive decided to push the game to early 2015 for "additional polish." The game will now launch worldwide on March 26th.