Obsidian’s Project Eternity Will Be Built With Unity

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It seems no matter where you turn lately, Unity seems to be the game engine of choice for cross-platform game development. Personally, I have spoken to developers, both on Kickstarter and independant’s outside of crowdfunding campaigns. Everyone seems to favour the closed-source aspected for a commercial game engine for many aspects, mainly, capability. 

Read on…..

Obsidian Entertainment announced today that their upcoming old-school RPG ,Project Eternity, will be built using the versatile, cross-platform Unity engine. Unity is a stable and fairly mature 2D/3D engine technology now, although it has only recently begun to creep into the desktop/AAA space. Numerous excellent web-based and mobile games have been developed with it, however, including the excellent Aralon: Sword & Shadow, an open-world RPG.

inXile Entertainment’s Wasteland 2 is also being built with the Unity engine. Obsidian is lending some support to inXile in the form of writing staff, and it seems a safe bet that the two teams will also now support each other at a technical level as well. Granted, the two games themselves are very different, one being a post-apocalyptic RPG and the other being an old-school fantasy RPG, and presumably both will feature very different in-game systems. Still, any game engine will require a certain amount of grunt-work to prepare for a project, and Obsidian’s selection of Unity will almost certainly be supported to some extent by inXile.

(Honestly, I had hoped that Obsidian might opt to use a fork of their excellent, in-house Onyx engine, which powered Dungeon Siege 3…but, alas.)

The selection of Unity has had one other interesting side effect:

Mac and Linux will still require time and effort from us to test, maintain and support but Unity gets us most of the way there. In fact, our experience with Unity so far has made us confident enough that we have decided to remove Linux support from the stretch goals and just commit to providing a Linux version right here and now! Of course, we can’t take something away from our stretch goals without putting something else in its place, so what is that going to be?

Previously, a Linux port of Project Eternity would have been made if, and only if, the project succeeded in raising $2.2 million in its Kickstarter campaign. Since Linux is now on the table regardless, a new feature is needed for that level of success.

Some have been speculating that the $2.2 million announcement will see Obsidian bringing writer George Ziets back on board, which I have to admit would be pretty awesome. Ziets was the creative director for Dungeon Siege 3, which by all accounts was a pretty fine game and easily the best of the Dungeon Siege series. More importantly, though, Ziets was also the main writer for the Neverwinter Nights 2 expansion pack Mask of the Betrayer, which remains one of the absolute best pieces of fantasy RPG storytelling to date (and also one of the least cliche-ridden).

(Seriously, if you haven’t played Mask of the Betrayer yet, go and buy Neverwinter Nights 2 through Steam right now.)

Honestly, though, I kind of hope that they’ll announce a mobile port of the game. They are using Unity, after all; iPhone and Android publishing are supported out of the box. Oh, granted, it would be hectic for them to have to layer a mobile-friendly interface onto the game and then co-support that alongside the desktop interface. But realistically, Project Eternity is probably going to be one of those games that just can’t be put down easily…why NOT give players the option to make it part of their commute?

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