• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

Obsidian Entertainment: Short Summary on current Projects

Teslerum

Member
Nov 29, 2018
1,196
1,741
415
A lot more details and some certainity about Obsidians upcoming projects has been released recently, so I thought I'll sum them up.

First up:

Outer Worlds DLC/ Outer Worlds 2

- As of December 2019 Outer Worlds DLC has been confirmed. Outer Worlds 2 not as of yet.


Grounded

Started after the conclusion of Deadfire, Grounded is a Survival Game *Honey I shrunk the kids* style. There's a focus on providing a semi-accurate insect biome and some other additional elements to set it apart from other Survival Games. Lead by Adam Brennecke.

Big Microsoft Project (Skyrim clone?)

- I'm saying Skyrim Clone here, but what this means is just a straight-up Open World RPG in a more fantasy setting with Microsoft money. Started shortly after the aquistion (but the desire hinted at as early as 2013) this project is lead by Chis Parker.

Non-Violent RPG (Sawyer)

- After leaving the PoE franchise and a short sabbatical Obsidian's Studio Design Director Josh Sawyer is now working on a rpg that doesn't feature any traditional combat at all. Considering Sawyer's prefrences and the freedom the Microsoft aquisition gives I'm highly speculating on a historical setting here. Possibly on Unity.

Source is a gamedev talk in graz, sadly there currently doesn't seem to be a video for it.

Additonal Game (Brandon Adler)

- Lead by Brandon Adler we actually don't know a lot about this project so far apart from its existence. Can't say if its supposed to be big or small, or anything really.
 
Last edited:

Kadayi

Probable Replicant & GIF PIMP
Oct 10, 2012
9,310
9,157
1,065
theconclave.net
Cool beans. Glad to hear that they aren't abandoning Outer worlds and that it should have some legs, also intrigued by this idea of a game not focused on combat. I must admit I do get a little fatigued with combat being front and centre in a lot of RPGs versus what happens when diplomacy breaks down.
 

Lupin3

Member
May 9, 2006
1,869
995
1,345
Visit site
I don't know... Something doesn't sit right with me when they talk about DLC, sequels and such before the original game is even out. Let's wait a little and see, shall we?
 
  • Like
Reactions: TurboSpeed

Teslerum

Member
Nov 29, 2018
1,196
1,741
415
I don't know... Something doesn't sit right with me when they talk about DLC, sequels and such before the original game is even out. Let's wait a little and see, shall we?
Well it's Microsoft, not Obsidian. And main reason this became that much of a question is due to the rights situation.
As the Outer Worlds IP is owned by Obsidian/Microsoft, while the publishing rights are with Private Division/Take2.
For a long time it wasn't even clear if that game had any possible future.
 

Lupin3

Member
May 9, 2006
1,869
995
1,345
Visit site
Well it's Microsoft, not Obsidian. And main reason this became that much of a question is due to the rights situation.
As the Outer Worlds IP is owned by Obsidian/Microsoft, while the publishing rights are with Private Division/Take2.
For a long time it wasn't even clear if that game had any possible future.
I can understand the reasoning, but in the end it is, or rather should be, all about the game that isn't even released yet. Not DLC or potential sequels. But it's really no big deal.
 

GreyHorace

Member
Jun 14, 2019
1,298
3,365
540
Wish them luck on their endeavors. Hopefully they don't make a descent into mediocrity like Bioware did with the acquisition with EA.
 

Agent_4Seven

Member
May 6, 2012
3,202
1,247
750
I want to see MS bringing back to life that Alien Sci-Fi RPG which got canceled, everything else... nah, I'll pass.
 
Last edited:

plushyp

Member
Jul 21, 2016
1,590
2,265
615
Hoping to see Tyranny 2 in the near future. The first game showed so much promise.
 

DoctorEkkoUK

Member
Dec 14, 2014
620
617
550
Ctrl+F
Star
0 results
Wars
0 Results
Republic
0 Results

Sadface.
that's the dream, but would require Disney to not renew EAs exclusive contract first. but I have no doubt that Obsidian could make another fantastic KotOR game if they were given the opurtunity
 

brokenduck

Member
Dec 20, 2018
554
304
270
Just make outer worlds 2 in a huge open world, but they really need to prioritize mod support next time. I can tolerate ugly female characters for 30 hour game but certainly not 100+ hr worth of content. It’s simply illogical that so many years into the future technology still can’t make every girl look super hot shall they choose.
 

hariseldon

Gold Member
Aug 22, 2018
4,770
9,065
670
that's the dream, but would require Disney to not renew EAs exclusive contract first. but I have no doubt that Obsidian could make another fantastic KotOR game if they were given the opurtunity
Based on Outer Worlds I'm not sure modern Obsidian could create anything of the calibre of Kotor 2 - they don't have the writing chops to create someone like Kreia.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Zeypher

EHuntingon

Gold Member
Jul 30, 2013
386
511
685
Based on Outer Worlds I'm not sure modern Obsidian could create anything of the calibre of Kotor 2 - they don't have the writing chops to create someone like Kreia.
Obsidian today isn't the Obsidian from Knights of the Old Republic II, or the Obsidian from Fallout New Vegas, but they're still a good studio. Whatever my problems with the writing in the Outer Worlds, I don't think it was lack of talent. I think the humor and dialog just didn't do it for me. It's clear they were going for a specific tone. The same is true for Pillars of Eternity. Some of the dialog was great, and some was just verbose for the sake of being verbose. Obsidian's writers seem like good writers. Given the chance, I think Obsidian's writers could write a great Star Wars game. I think the larger issue with a Star Wars game would be Disney's creative decisions. Whatever Obsidian wanted to do would have to be vetted and approved by Disney. At this point, even if Obsidian had Chris Avellone, John Gonzalez, or whoever they had at their best time, I highly doubt Disney would even allow a character like Kreia anymore.
 
  • Thoughtful
Reactions: hariseldon

xrnzaaas

Member
Dec 9, 2013
9,120
2,016
635
I didn't play Outer Worlds yet, but from I've seen and read it looks like a very solid RPG that needed a bigger budget, not only to offer more content but most of all to make the world look like it's more alive and filled with various little details for the players to find. Hopefully that won't be a problem with the MS-backed sequel.
 

Lady Bernkastel

Gold Member
Mar 8, 2018
1,612
2,510
720
  • Define, document, and drive the vision for animation on a AAA next-gen RPG
They have 20 open positions. So far, we know that it is led by Chris Parker and Josh Sawyer(not Adam Brennecke, update the OP) and it is apparently a fantasy RPG(in Pillars of Eternity world or based of it). Almost 100 people in Obsidian are working on it(its now the primary focus).
 
Last edited:

Teslerum

Member
Nov 29, 2018
1,196
1,741
415

They have 20 open positions. So far, we know that it is led by Chris Parker and Josh Sawyer(not Adam Brennecke, update the OP) and it is apparently a fantasy RPG(in Pillars of Eternity world or based of it). Almost 100 people in Obsidian are working on it(its now the primary focus).
Yeah, a few things changed/got clarified since I posted the OP. The Matthew Perez Project got cancelled as well and another project lead by Brandon Adler sprung up in its place. And of course the Grounded announcement.

What your talking about is lead solely by Chris Parker though. Josh Sawyer isn't involved (apart from his role as design director of the company), not sure where you got that. He's still on his own project as far as we know.

Edit: Corrected all info.
 
Last edited:

Humdinger

Member
Apr 21, 2010
3,382
1,702
550
Big Microsoft Project (Skyrim clone?)

- I'm saying Skyrim Clone here, but what this means is just a straight-up Open World RPG in a more fantasy setting with Microsoft money. Started shortly after the aquistion (but the desire hinted at as early as 2013) this project is lead by Adam Brennecke.
Interesting. That's something to look forward to, although it's many years away.
 

Lady Bernkastel

Gold Member
Mar 8, 2018
1,612
2,510
720
Yeah, a few things changed/got clarified since I posted the OP. The Matthew Perez Project got cancelled as well and another project lead by Brandon Adler sprung up in its place. And of course the Grounded announcement.

What your talking about is lead solely by Chris Parker though. Josh Sawyer isn't involved (apart from his role as design director of the company), not sure where you got that. He's still on his own project as far as we know.

Edit: Corrected all info.
RPG Codex forums suggest that now Sawyer is also involved.
Interesting. That's something to look forward to, although it's many years away.
That Skyrim rumour was because Sawyer was playing Skyrim in office. But he was also playing Ars Magica.
 

Gashtronomy

Member
Apr 19, 2019
4,341
5,948
470
Keep churning out the games Obsidian!

These guys deserve to drop on to a gold-mine franchise after their dedication to gaming over the decades.
 

Lady Bernkastel

Gold Member
Mar 8, 2018
1,612
2,510
720
Ctrl+f "Alpha"

Come on, Obsidian.
Sega owns the ip. They have to licence it like Nintendo did with Bayonetta. The question is will Sega be interested in licensing a Xbox exclusive, when they can make more money creating a PS4 game? Obsidian should create something original.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Teslerum

Lady Bernkastel

Gold Member
Mar 8, 2018
1,612
2,510
720
I'm sorry I can't find it. Is it mentioned in the Sawyer thread? I've already searched the Obsidian General Discussion and found nothing of the sort.
- Obsidian has expressed interest in making a Skyrim clone in the past

- Microsoft gives all their new acquisitions an unlimited budget to make whatever kind of game they want

- Josh Sawyer has been playing Skyrim all week. Research probably.

- Its been confirmed that another secret project is in development alongside Outer Worlds, and presumably its related to Pillars of Eternity based on tweets from several employees working on Deadfire.

- It would be the perfect business move. Hit Bethesda on two fronts and steal their fanbase.
The whole Skyrim clone thing was because Sawyer was playing Skyrim. Also, it was in development alongside Outer Worlds before Microsoft acquisition. Also, it is supposed to be in the same world as Pillars of Eternity.
 
Last edited:

Teslerum

Member
Nov 29, 2018
1,196
1,741
415

The whole Skyrim clone thing was because Sawyer was playing Skyrim. Also, it was in development alongside Outer Worlds before Microsoft acquisition. Also, it is supposed to be in the same world as Pillars of Eternity.
This is outdated information. Sawyer working on a smaller project (the possibly non-violent thing) has been discovered, mentioned by Sawyer on twitter as smaller scale and discussed over the last year, so he's not on the big project. (The Obsidian Skyrim thing, as I originally mentioned before edit, started and was rumored even earlier by that with Feargus mentioning that he would like to develop such)

Back in 2016:


Of course, it's probably not the Eternity license (because Sawyer made it recently sound like there's nothing Eternity going on atm), but the Skyrim-like thing has been going for multiple mentions over the years. Not just Sawyer's one-off comment.

Edit2: I do want to mention that the Skyrim-like is pure speculation. The only thing we know are first-person meele combat (mentioned in a job description) and Chris Parker regarding it.
 
Last edited:

GeorgPrime

Member
Jan 9, 2020
268
354
280
A lot more details and some certainity about Obsidians upcoming projects has been released recently, so I thought I'll sum them up.

First up:

Outer Worlds DLC/ Outer Worlds 2

- As of December 2019 Outer Worlds DLC has been confirmed. Outer Worlds 2 not as of yet.


Grounded

Started after the conclusion of Deadfire, Grounded is a Survival Game *Honey I shrunk the kids* style. There's a focus on providing a semi-accurate insect biome and some other additional elements to set it apart from other Survival Games. Lead by Adam Brennecke.

Big Microsoft Project (Skyrim clone?)

- I'm saying Skyrim Clone here, but what this means is just a straight-up Open World RPG in a more fantasy setting with Microsoft money. Started shortly after the aquistion (but the desire hinted at as early as 2013) this project is lead by Chis Parker.

Non-Violent RPG (Sawyer)

- After leaving the PoE franchise and a short sabbatical Obsidian's Studio Design Director Josh Sawyer is now working on a rpg that doesn't feature any traditional combat at all. Considering Sawyer's prefrences and the freedom the Microsoft aquisition gives I'm highly speculating on a historical setting here. Possibly on Unity.

Source is a gamedev talk in graz, sadly there currently doesn't seem to be a video for it.

Additonal Game (Brandon Adler)

- Lead by Brandon Adler we actually don't know a lot about this project so far apart from its existence. Can't say if its supposed to be big or small, or anything really.
I couldnt get into Outer Worlds....

... iam not interested in Grounded.

Hope the rest can catch me.

Maybe i pick up Outer Worlds down the line with some great mod support
 
Last edited:

GymWolf

Member
Jun 11, 2019
4,385
4,782
435
Only interested in the skyrim clone if it's not on the same quality tier of outer worlds.
 

TheContact

Member
Jan 22, 2016
3,147
1,035
585
Good guy Obsidian watched the Outer Worlds speedrun during AGDQ and donated 3k afterwards. I loved OW despite its flaws and I can't wait to see their new projects.
 

abcdrstuv

Neo Member
May 15, 2018
46
14
120
I've wondered a lot about the potential for RPGs without violence - and for open-world shooter/slasher/action-RPG games with similar pace and intensity that don't rely on shooting and slashing.. a different "conversation" mechanic that action-izes argument, persuasion, charm, negotiation? Some kind of Guitar Hero style pattern-matching? Dueling emotes? It's kind of an imaginative bottleneck - the pressure and energy of moving and attacking and surviving and expressing power with guns or swords or fists is vital to so much game design.. Interesting to hear that's being worked on. But it would be easy to inadvertently make some kind of "simulator"
 

abcdrstuv

Neo Member
May 15, 2018
46
14
120
Sega owns the ip. They have to licence it like Nintendo did with Bayonetta. The question is will Sega be interested in licensing a Xbox exclusive, when they can make more money creating a PS4 game? Obsidian should create something original.
Or Microsoft could buy back the IP..
 

hariseldon

Gold Member
Aug 22, 2018
4,770
9,065
670
I've wondered a lot about the potential for RPGs without violence - and for open-world shooter/slasher/action-RPG games with similar pace and intensity that don't rely on shooting and slashing.. a different "conversation" mechanic that action-izes argument, persuasion, charm, negotiation? Some kind of Guitar Hero style pattern-matching? Dueling emotes? It's kind of an imaginative bottleneck - the pressure and energy of moving and attacking and surviving and expressing power with guns or swords or fists is vital to so much game design.. Interesting to hear that's being worked on. But it would be easy to inadvertently make some kind of "simulator"
You’ll be wanting Disco Elysium.
 
Feb 17, 2020
494
805
375
How do you go from Alpha Protocol to New Vegas to Outer Worlds?

Its like these people learn game development in reverse. "Lets take all the stuff people liked and throw it out the fucking window".
 
  • Like
Reactions: EHuntingon
Feb 17, 2020
494
805
375
Edited the above as I ran out of time.


Shut up. OE are like the game dev equivalent of an internet pop up. Piss off, you annoy me.

How do you get so many opportunities and go from Alpha Protocol, to New Vegas, to Stick of Truth, only to end up with next level trash like Outer Worlds that loks like it belongs on last gen tech but has the stench of current year cuntopolitics.

Its like these people learn game development in reverse. "Lets take all the stuff we excelled at and throw it out the fucking window".

I simply dont care about these utter clowns anymore. They've had so many chances to just make a game like normal human beings and yet they always end up making something that isnt even coherent to those in the room during the brainstorming phase.


The problem with this industry is that game devs get too much attention for merely existing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: EHuntingon

Flick

Banned
Mar 9, 2020
178
278
195
Edited the above as I ran out of time.


Shut up. OE are like the game dev equivalent of an internet pop up. Piss off, you annoy me.

How do you get so many opportunities and go from Alpha Protocol, to New Vegas, to Stick of Truth, only to end up with next level trash like Outer Worlds that loks like it belongs on last gen tech but has the stench of current year cuntopolitics.

Its like these people learn game development in reverse. "Lets take all the stuff we excelled at and throw it out the fucking window".

I simply dont care about these utter clowns anymore. They've had so many chances to just make a game like normal human beings and yet they always end up making something that isnt even coherent to those in the room during the brainstorming phase.


The problem with this industry is that game devs get too much attention for merely existing.
is this a copy pasta?
 

abcdrstuv

Neo Member
May 15, 2018
46
14
120
You’ll be wanting Disco Elysium.
yeah I’m an Xbox and Mac guy so I’m waiting patiently on that one...

but I’m trying to get at, like, how to have something as viscerally engaging as “combat” as a core gameplay dynamic without actually having combat.. some way to have risk and antagonism and challenge without existential violence..

Platformers have you stomp on people or spit magic gems at them, stealth games make combat optional, RPGs can foreground dialogue as a circumvention of violence, or you can have a dialogue only RPG/simulator..

The best I can imagine is an RPG where combat is figurative - like, you encounter a character and you “fight” or compete in some kind of shared thought bubble, and the outcome shapes the conversation and relational options after that.. you’ve simulated some kind of “sizing up”

Splatoon would be a good example of an action shooter without violence, but it’s a cartoonification of violent combat, not a transcendence of it, or an alternative..
 

Gashtronomy

Member
Apr 19, 2019
4,341
5,948
470
yeah I’m an Xbox and Mac guy so I’m waiting patiently on that one...

but I’m trying to get at, like, how to have something as viscerally engaging as “combat” as a core gameplay dynamic without actually having combat.. some way to have risk and antagonism and challenge without existential violence..

Platformers have you stomp on people or spit magic gems at them, stealth games make combat optional, RPGs can foreground dialogue as a circumvention of violence, or you can have a dialogue only RPG/simulator..

The best I can imagine is an RPG where combat is figurative - like, you encounter a character and you “fight” or compete in some kind of shared thought bubble, and the outcome shapes the conversation and relational options after that.. you’ve simulated some kind of “sizing up”

Splatoon would be a good example of an action shooter without violence, but it’s a cartoonification of violent combat, not a transcendence of it, or an alternative..

Like in Monkey Island where the sword fights are a duel of words?
 
  • Like
Reactions: hariseldon

SenjutsuSage

Member
Jan 23, 2010
9,690
932
940
Obsidian today isn't the Obsidian from Knights of the Old Republic II, or the Obsidian from Fallout New Vegas, but they're still a good studio. Whatever my problems with the writing in the Outer Worlds, I don't think it was lack of talent. I think the humor and dialog just didn't do it for me. It's clear they were going for a specific tone. The same is true for Pillars of Eternity. Some of the dialog was great, and some was just verbose for the sake of being verbose. Obsidian's writers seem like good writers. Given the chance, I think Obsidian's writers could write a great Star Wars game. I think the larger issue with a Star Wars game would be Disney's creative decisions. Whatever Obsidian wanted to do would have to be vetted and approved by Disney. At this point, even if Obsidian had Chris Avellone, John Gonzalez, or whoever they had at their best time, I highly doubt Disney would even allow a character like Kreia anymore.
Are they still the south park stick of truth team? Cause they fucking NAILED that game. My GOTY that year. So, yea, Obsidian is one of the best devs out there.
 

EHuntingon

Gold Member
Jul 30, 2013
386
511
685
Are they still the south park stick of truth team? Cause they fucking NAILED that game. My GOTY that year. So, yea, Obsidian is one of the best devs out there.
Half of them are still there. Obsidian's director is still there, but Obsidian's story head isn't there anymore. The lead programmer is there, but some of the producers aren't. It's been a long time since Stick of Truth. A lot happens in 6+ years in game dev.
 

peter42O

Member
Aug 9, 2014
3,040
721
470
I really want to see the big next gen AAA RPG that they're working on but im hoping that it's NOT The Outer Worlds 2, features a voice protagonist as a preset character with a background and goes into third person so the combat can be a lot better. Doubt any of this will happen but im hoping it will. The rest are of no interest to me.
 

Lady Bernkastel

Gold Member
Mar 8, 2018
1,612
2,510
720
I really want to see the big next gen AAA RPG that they're working on but im hoping that it's NOT The Outer Worlds 2, features a voice protagonist as a preset character with a background and goes into third person so the combat can be a lot better. Doubt any of this will happen but im hoping it will. The rest are of no interest to me.
The Outer Worlds had a AA budget and was made within 3 years. Outer Worlds 2 with AAA like other ongoing Xbox 1st party games would(like Hellblade II vs Hellblade). Although now they are making a fantasy action RPG probably set in the same world as Pillars of Eternity.