Obsidian Information Dump
Any RPG fan knows why the word 'Obsidian' is an important part of their collective vocabulary, as they are the makers of some of the finest (albeit buggiest; at least initially) modern RPGs ever made; which is why it's worth arching your brows in curiosity, every time their name comes up during those water cooler chats.
First on the docket: SCREENSHOTS! A handful of screenshots of Obsidian's ridiculously successful Kickstarter project 'Project Eternity' was leaked to the internet like some...some kind of liquid that...leaks out of...GAH! Anyway, take a look at the gorgeous 2D—YES, 2D visuals on display in these relatively high resolution shots.
Now that you've cleaned that mess you inadvertently made on your floor (leaks, man) let's move on to some more Obsidian-related news; while speaking at Rezzed 2013, the very handsome Chris Avellone let slip some rather intriguing information on their canned Alien game, 'Aliens: Crucible'.
"It was third-person, obviously over-the-shoulder [perspective], you create your own avatar in the Aliens universe, you guide a squad of - it's not like a Marine squad, it's a whole mix of different individuals who happen to be in this one location at this one time, which allows for a lot more variety.
If you're dealing with a ship repair mechanic who may have no combat experience whatsoever, that obviously would serve a vital function in surviving in this predicament. So it's more of a third-person, two companions with you survival game, but it had a lot of the RPG trappings in terms of you could set up your own stronghold and base and build that up over time, explore more of the environment, figure out how you get all of the resources and stuff to survive."
Being the Xenophile (context people) that I am, I would figuratively violently impregnate any living being if it meant that the game described would one day grace my monitor! It's worth noting however that the game wasn't quite as "ready to ship" as Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart had once claimed. According to Mr. Avellone...
"It was mostly just focused on the vertical slice of gameplay that was solid.
There was a lot of game design being done: obviously the narrative was down, the systems were down for what we wanted to do, all the companions had all the breakdowns for all of their narrative arcs, the concept art followed that."
I still think an Aliens RPG, especially one developed by the lovely folks at Obsidian, would've finally lifted the "GAME OVER, MAN!" cliché when it comes to the quality of recent games based in this historic franchise.
Oh ho! We're not through yet! Apparently Obsidian were also working on a Snow White game, under the working title of 'Dwarves', that would've played like a third-person action game set as a prequel to the fairytale. The game was promptly canned by Disney after some managerial shuffling within the company. Also, Alpha Protocol 2...
"Although, like with Alpha Protocol 2, there are systems and learning experiences that we took from that game that would be applicable to just about any other role-playing game, because they're not intimately tied with that title, so there's opportunity to see elements like that in the future."
The developers were apparently considering a sequel to the polarizing espionage RPG, but with SEGA holding the IP rights it's not a call for Obsidian to make.
"They've come out on record as saying that they will never do a sequel, or that they weren't planning to do a sequel for Alpha Protocol, and because they own the IP that's probably the last that will be said on that."
A series of promising games being canned yet the stalwart RPG developers carry on. It's also worth mentioning that the firm is currently hard at work on three separate games, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Project Eternity and another, secret, project that they're just not yet ready to talk about.