Paradox and Obsidian spoke frankly to Eurogamer at GDC yesterday about their Pillars of Eternity partnership.
"What we both know is there's no BS," Obsidian boss Feargus Urquhart said.
"A lot of publisher handling is just relationship management. It's asking what's going on, it's handling that relationship, everybody patting everybody on the back and burping them.
"I feel like I could just call Paradox and say - excuse my language here - 'What the f***?!' I probably never would, but we could have a quick conversation about a situation and not do this dance. And that's great."
"If we don't think Pillars of Eternity is up to standard, we're going to tell these guys"Fredrik Wester
Paradox boss Fredrik Wester agreed. "It's a personal relationship that I feel works. This is not like our first awkward date. We've both been in the industry for a while, we know the ups and downs. We've both had some failures, both had some successes. We've both released some buggy games in the past and now we both want to release a really great gaming experience.
"Two or three years ago we had to publish games we couldn't really stand behind and that damaged our reputation, because we needed the cashflow," Wester added. "Now we're in a totally different position.
"If we don't think Pillars of Eternity is up to standard, we're going to tell these guys. And we're opinionated people, we're going to come back with tons of opinions. We have a QA team of eighteen people who're going to play the game for weeks and weeks and give their feedback."
Paradox's role in marketing, distributing, testing and supporting the game - as well as fulfilling backer rewards - will allow Obsidian, and the budget, to concentrate on the game.
That's not to say Paradox is doing all of this out of the kindness of its heart.
"There's always a financial upside in a partnership like this," Wester said. "You should never lie about that. You take a risk by investing your money, your time and your QA resources, but we think this game deserves to be played by a lot of people.
"[Obsidian] is probably the most prestigious developer we've ever worked with. It shows that we can do games not just with smaller developers, but we can work with larger developers too. Experienced developers who really know what they're doing."
The partnership raises the possibility of boxed versions and special editions of the game, although "nothing is set in stone yet", Wester said.
There's the possibility the pair may go on to work together past Pillars of Eternity as well. The two companies - and men - clearly see eye-to-eye.
"In our industry, it's our job to get along with people," Urquhart said. "But having said that, after this we're going to go out and hang."