Obsidian have been hard at work getting Pillars of Eternity ready for launch next year, and recently that's meant getting the development team to do a mass playthrough test of the isometric fantasy RPG.
Project director Josh Sawyer goes through what the team discovered in a, and revealed some information on what they're working on next.
First off, a week wasn't nearly enough to complete the game for most people. "Only two of our developers managed to finish. One was a designer who developed a lot of the crit path and sprinted straight for the end. The other found an early ending and decided to wrap his story up there. About half of the developers had not yet made it to Defiance Bay (the first big city)."
Which bodes well if you enjoyed the ludicrous scale of something like Baldur's Gate 2. During the play test Obsidian noted that the game required several improvements to combat, from better visual feedback to tweaks to game speed. The developers have also changed the game's economy, and most of the services you can buy in game "have all been made more affordable, especially crafting and enchanting."
There's some other info on gameplay balance changes, but Obsidian has also been working on technical performance. The team has been "able to reduce memory overhead and loads times by a huge margin."
"Many of these optimizations were achieved by how data is packaged in our builds and loaded in when the game loads," explains Sawyer. "Today, backers who are in the Backer Beta will notice that we have a Mac build available for download and testing. We are continuing work on the Linux build, but are still trying to resolve some resource management issues.
It's a pretty extensive blog post, and a nice chance to peek behind the curtain of video game development, if you're interested in that sort of thing. Pillars of Eternity is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2015.