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Baldur's Gate III Community Update #3: Early Access coming August (maybe), new gameplay on June 18th
Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sun 14 June 2020, 01:10:16Tags: Baldur's Gate III; Larian Studios; Swen Vincke
Today was the first day of the Guerrilla Collective, another online gaming event formed in response to the cancellation of E3 in association with Larian Studios, Paradox Interactive and many others. Among the countless indie games, including a ludicrous number of "card RPGs", there was the long-awaited Baldur's Gate III Early Access release date announcement. It begins with a new trailer, featuring a devil whom the protagonists will have apparently have to deal with to get that pesky illithid tadpole out of their head. That's followed by a message from Swen announcing that the game will probably be out on Early Access in August. He's not sure because of coronavirus-related delays, which have been a particular problem when it comes to motion capture. According to Swen, the game has come a long way since we last saw it. The graphics have been improved, the combat initiative system has been changed, and the much-criticized narration has been overhauled. There are more details in the new community update that was published shortly after the broadcast. Here's the announcement and an excerpt:
We’re really excited to show you how the game is continuing to shape up. There are many improvements between what you saw at PAX and what you’ll see later in June. The narration in BG3 has been totally overhauled, the impact of your choices is becoming impressive, Origin characters have been adjusted, many visual improvements are already implemented, and the game’s UI continues to be tweaked and shifted around with a new UI style in development (But not ready for prime time yet). We started refining how the DnD fifth edition ruleset is integrated and are having loads of fun seeing the emerging gameplay that comes from so many systems working together. Combat is starting to be really fun with many tweaks getting implemented and we have a new initiative system which adds a lot of depth to the gameplay. We also have the new, official key-art nearly ready to be revealed. And we haven’t even started Early Access yet!
That pretty much covers where we’ve been, but where are we going? SO MANY PLACES. Today we’ve released the first official trailer for BG3 featuring the latest up-to-date visuals and mood we’re targeting. This trailer, functionally to announce the release window, comes with the caveat of a MAYBE. MAYBE is a real thing, because the world of development is a complex one with a lot of challenges, especially in the face of a global pandemic, and we wanted to be 100% honest with you. Secretly, all release dates are targets. Games are ready to be released when they’re ready to be played, and that’s true for Early Access games too. Though we’re back in the office, equipped with hand sanitizer and face-masks, and performance capture can continue with a two meter distance, we’re still playing catchup on the last three months. But that’s okay, because on June 18 we’ll be kicking off D&D Live with another massive chunk of live Baldur’s Gate 3 gameplay, and we’re incorporating that community spirit that’s inspired us ever since that initial press tour.
We’ve never created vertical slices or “press builds” of the game, it’s always been the latest we had. While we have a good idea of what we want to show you, we’ll try to let the game do the talking and that probably means we’ll go off script. It instills horror into the hearts of our QA team but we like doing it because it’s super fun when people shout out directions, laugh at our mistakes, and cheer on our successes. That’s the way of the dice, right? So during D&D Live you’ll be able to choose - live - if we delve deep into The Underdark, or take on the nefarious Dror Ragzlin. Maybe.
Between the initial announcement and today, we’ve had an ongoing game of spot-the-difference, and that’ll continue towards August as we roll into Early Access. We can’t wait to start getting that feedback when you start playing the game for yourselves. It’s a huge game, much deeper than anything we’ve ever done before. The visual and systemic target is also much higher than anything we’ve done before.
We hope that today’s Announcement Trailer gives you strong mood-vibes, and sets the tone for the live session we’re hosting with our friends at Wizards of the Coast on June 18th. We haven’t gone into a huge amount of detail on what’s changed in BG3 over the course of the year, because it’s fun when you find it. We enjoy that engagement. Expect many more changes, improvements, and announcements of content the closer we get to August. And after.
The road to Baldur’s Gate is paved in friendship, and the adventure defined by the party. 2020 is a weird year. We’re used to seeing you in person at PAX and elsewhere, and we hope that at least this live-stream and today’s announcement will bring us a little closer. We’re very eager to see you again, and to share some more memories and talk about Baldur’s Gate 3 before we really start the journey together in August.