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Baldur's Gate 3 Community Update #6: Multiplayer & Cinematics

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Baldur's Gate 3 Community Update #6: Multiplayer & Cinematics

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 11 September 2020, 02:05:46

Tags: Baldur's Gate 3; David Walgrave; Larian Studios; Swen Vincke

This month's Baldur's Gate 3 community update marks the welcome return of the funny Swen video tradition. The topic of the update is multiplayer and dialogue cinematic integration. As the video demonstrates in an introductory skit featuring Swen and executive producer David Walgrave, Larian have come a long way since the simplistic rock-paper-scissors game from the first Divinity: Original Sin. In a Baldur's Gate 3 multiplayer session, a character who is engaged in dialogue may be approached at any time by another character controlled by a different player. That character will be able to join the dialogue cinematic and suggest which dialogue options the first character should choose. The game will also feature Twitch integration, allowing audiences to vote on which dialogue options should be selected. Another new multiplayer feature unrelated to dialogue is the ability for two players to act simultaneously during combat if their characters have the same turn. Here's the video and an excerpt from the update, which is basically a summary with some additional details:

Everyone - it’s time to talk about multiplayer. Cinematics, Crowd Choice, and Twitch integration. We’re creating a huge, sprawling RPG with all the tools you need to direct your own adventure, and weave your own tale. Or, weave that tale with your friends, or your audience online. No matter if you choose to play solo, with friends, or with your audience -- Baldur’s Gate 3 is a huge cinematic experience spanning over 1.5 million words, and that story can be enjoyed together through the games cinematics, in multiplayer, or as an audience in a stream.

If your character walks into a dialogue situation, the cinematic dialogue begins with you by yourself. If one of your posse comes close, they can choose whether or not they join you in the discussion. Once they do, they can tell you what options they would like you to select as you ponder your next choice.

Your party is of course free to roam around the world while you independently charm your way through conversation. They can even pick-pocket you while you’re in a dialogue. Or cause a fire. Or abandon you. Or, put an end to your waffling and kill the person you’re talking to.

Whatever you do, the game will react appropriately. Even if your friends aren’t.

Our ambition is to make all of this as seamless and interactive as we can and during Early Access you can expect us to continue building more and more ways to interact, observe, intraject, and subvert expectations. Raising the level of drama, and expanding the level of depth.

As far as we know, there has never been an RPG this large, with multiplayer, attempting these intimate, character driven cinematic moments throughout the entire experience. We put a lot of effort in it and are super curious to hear your feedback. Applying cinematics to a multiplayer game, and one launched in Early Access, means that our cinematic ambitions can grow alongside all the other iterations and tweaks that come with working directly with our community and that can only lead to good things!

Today’s Community Update video begins with a memory of Divinity: Original Sin quite deliberately. Interactions in DOS1 were merely relegated to rock-paper-scissors (literally!), and dialogue moments between players were a wall of text that scrolled down the screen. We took this a little further in Divinity: Original Sin 2, as characters and players reacted to who you are, and what you’ve done, with many permutations spanning multiple races and tags. Still, dialogues between characters, and interactions in multiplayer were rudimentary though much evolved over DOS1.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is the next great leap and once you’ll start playing, you’ll find that the distance between DOS2 and Baldur’s Gate 3 is tremendously large, as we begin to push the boat out on not only cinematic dialogues, but also the ways in which you can interact with them.

In Baldur’s Gate 3 dialogues have more permutations, more depth, and a cinematic layer that reacts seamlessly to any situation using custom adaptive camera technology (see: elves and dwarves are nay the same height) as well as performance capture. Now, not only do we retain the narration our games are so well known for, but you’ll often see the action on screen - whether it’s a vampiric bite in the night, or a slip of the tongue on a goblin’s foot. Long gone is rock-paper-scissors, as we’ve built tools for debate not only within the multiplayer party, but also as an extension to the thousands of people who watch at home, all in the spirit of the D&D spirit of bringing people together. And we still have some surprises up our sleeve when it comes to multiplayer, but we’ll leave those for another time. There have never been a greater number of ways to gather your party in a single game. Now’s the time!

Reading this update, I can't help but feel like I'm watching history being made. Clearly, Larian are sparing no effort in their mission to appeal to the modern audiences that their game needs to reach in order to succeed. Purists will scoff at this stuff, but make no mistake, what we're seeing here will likely become the standard for premium roleplaying games going forward. According to Swen, the next community update is going to be about romance.

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