How Obsidian Entertainment Created The World of Tyranny

Obsidian Entertainment, the creators of Pillars of Eternity, is getting closer and closer to releasing a new adventure in the world of Tyranny, their most recent game where players work in the service of global conqueror named Kyros the Overlord. Obsidian sat down with Gamasutra to discuss the nuances of making such a world in the game.

The world of Tyranny is not a very nice place. To say nothing of living under the brutal heel of the godlike ruler of a world-spanning empire, even before then the various squabbling kingdoms that fell before Kyros’s invasion made the world a rather unpleasant place to live.

Tyranny takes you through the aftermath of this invasion, and shows off the inner workings of Kyros’s empire, ranging from their strict set of laws that you must interpret in your role as a Fatebinder, to the actions of Kyros’s armies on the landscape. As Fatebinders, players can interpret Kyros’s laws as they see fit, either finding loopholes to spare lives, or deliberately twisting them to engineer death.

According to Obsidian, in order to make the setting work they couldn’t simply have Kyros’s empire be just another self-destructively sadistic nation. It had to be realistic, and show that not only could Kyros conquer an empire, but that they could also rule it to still function. This can be best illustrated in two of the major factions you meet and interact with in the game: the disciplined and noble Disfavored, and the chaotic and sadistic Scarlet Chorus.

Much like the real world, the world of Tyranny isn’t divided into good and bad people. Most people in the game are doing what they think is right, or doing what they have to do in order to try and survive.

The Bastard’s Wound, the huge upcoming expansion for Tyranny, comes out on September 7, later this week. Tyranny is available exclusively for the PC.