Right now Project Eternity has a tentative release window of spring 2014 and will feature "additional content" that can be explored with multiple characters, Cain tells Eurogamer. The budget may be smaller than previous Obsidian games, but Cain says that's just fine.
"Those budget numbers are just right for what we are trying to make," he says. "We have an engine already, and we aren't using an established IP with pre-defined game mechanics and an art style that we have to mimic. Both of these things save us a lot of time, because we are now free to make those elements ourselves."
Project Eternity is an exploration-based, real-time tactical game with a pause system, but it's going to have surprises beyond its Dungeons & Dragons-inspired roots. Obsidian is making its own RPG mechanics.
"I like turn-based combat too," Cain says. "I like the tactics involved in the precise movement, orientation and use of abilities. But it can tend to be slow with a large party of characters. Real-time-with-pause is faster and can feel more engaging, but I have found the abilities to be harder to use well. One reason for that is because many RTWP RPGs were made based on paper-and-pencil games that used turns, and their abilities were made for opponents that were not moving. I feel that RTWP can be an excellent combat model if the abilities are designed with respect to that model, and not converted from another system."