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Pillars of Eternity: Josh Sawyer talks mods, PC-first focus, Big Head mode, and more

Hayden Dingman | Feb. 23, 2015
Pillars of Eternity is about a month away from release, so with the game mostly finished I got the chance to sit down for one last, lengthy chat with Obsidian's Josh Sawyer to talk expansion plans, sequel rumors, why PCs are amazing, fast/slow mode, Big Head Mode, Gothic castles, and why Might affects the damage inflicted by a pistol.

[Last time I talked to you, you said probably no new maps because it's really hard. Is that still true?]

JS: It is really hard. Maybe they'll be able to find a way to do it, but right now it's still a very difficult process even for us. I shouldn't say it's difficult for us, but it's a very time-consuming, multi-step process to get stuff in.

[How hard would it be for people to take the maps you've made, rip all the characters out, and put new stuff in?]

JS: Much easier. People inserting their own content will probably be a lot easier than someone creating something from scratch. Easy is relative, but I think they could do that. People have already messed with our conversation files and stuff like that. A lot of our conversations are just in XML format, so they're easy to open up and [imitates typing].

On expansions and sequels

JS: They're going to be extensions of the main game. We are making an automated save for you, it's actually called the Point of No Return Save. So if you complete the whole game and you're like "Oh %#&^, the expansion came out," great. Load that save, you can go straight into it, it's fine. It's something connected to the main game but its own separate storyline, and you take your normal characters into it. We're in the very early stages of planning it.

We have to see exactly how it integrates in terms of location and how it shows up on the map, or whether it's its own separate world map. But we have a ton of locations. Baldur's Gate was about 100-110. Baldur's Gate II was 200-and-something? Ours is 150. Pretty big. It's a long game, even if you play just the crit path. If you play all the stuff it's a very long game.

[Are you looking at save imports for a sequel too?]

JS: We'd very much like that. People like the idea of taking their characters on a long, epic journey. Even going back to the classic RPGs, it was nice to bring your character in and keep going with it.

Contrary to what someone interpreted what our CEO said, we're not working on a sequel at all yet. We're not even really talking about it except to say "That'd be cool. Hope people like this game." But we do think about, if we were to make a sequel we do want the player to be able to bring their character from this game, come over into the next game, and of course reflect the choices they made in the previous game.


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