The growth of the crowdfunded project has allowed developers to work on games both they – and their fans – truly love. Yacht Club Games used Kickstarter to fund Shovel Knight, a love-letter to platforming of days gone by. The game shot past its backing expectations, and the final product ended up getting rave reviews, a series of award nominations and the title of Best Independent Game at the 2014 Game Awards.
Sites like Kickstarter have also allowed other game creators to look back to previous game styles deemed “outdated” and try to forge something new. Star Citizen, from the creator of the much-loved Wing Commander series, looks to recreate the space combat sim and so far has come up with gorgeous dogfight gameplay modules. It has also managed to surpass $63 million in funds raised between official site donations and its Kickstarter campaign.
Unfortunately, these independent projects can often be hit with setbacks. Those waiting for Star Citizen, for instance, are no stranger to delays. It looks as though another developer’s personal project has hit a bit of a road bump. Obsidian has announced that the Collector’s Edition of its old-school RPG Pillars of Eternity may get sent to backers with one noticeable omission; the game may be shipped without a physical disc.
Obsidian explained the potential of this strange release choice at the Obsidian Forums. Due to the strict timescale the developer is playing with, as well as its commitment to creating an authentic DRM-free game, it looks as though the chance of manufacturing the game’s discs in time for the 26 March release date is slim. In previous circumstances, the developer has shipped physical copies of games with a pre-load version of the game to make installation of any pre-launch patches quicker. Obsidian feels that, in this case, it would “fail” in its promise to create a DRM-free game.
So, instead of delaying the launch of the game until discs containing the final build can be manufactured, and therefore risking that the final build is then leaked before it is released, the developer has put forward some suggestions. The most interesting is possibility that Obsidian may ship the Collector’s Edition with all physical content other than the game disc. Although this sounds bizarre, backers from the physical reward tier would still get a digital copy of the game via Steam or Good Old Games, so would still be able to play the game on release. The disc would then be shipped separately when the game was released.
For those unfamiliar, Pillars of Eternity is an isometric RPG in the vein of Baldur’s Gate and Planescape: Torment, developed by a team including former Fallout: New Vegas lead designer Josh Sawyer. Obsidian took the project to Kickstarter, where it raised over $4 million in crowd-funded support. The game is not alone in the realm of Obsidian-created retro RPGs, either. Wasteland 2 released last year to plenty of acclaim. Let’s see whether Pillars of Eternity can be as big a success.
Pillars of Eternity is set to release on 26 March for PC, Mac and Linux.
Source: Obsidian Forums