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How I tried to save Divine Divinity
Editorial - posted by VentilatorOfDoom on Tue 14 February 2012, 10:52:39Tags: Divine Divinity; Larian Studios; Swen Vincke
Swen Vincke blogs about the hardships his company went through back in the day before the first Divinity was released.
Back in 2001, Divine Divinity was in serious trouble. Several people at our publisher, CDV, wanted to kill the game because it was late, and our publisher’s producer needed help defending the game at an important internal publisher meeting. The goal of that meeting was a re-evaluation of their entire portfolio, and I was asked to write up a list of what I considered to be the strong and weak points of the first Divinity.
Being quite the idealist in those days, I made what I thought was a fair assessment of our own game, not realizing that it’d actually be used against us afterwards.
I figured it might be interesting to share the mail I sent to the producer with you.
It’s quite long, but it reflects a lot of the hopes and aspirations we had at Larian in those days. Re-reading it, I recognize the idealism that drove us, as well as the hope that the publisher was going to forgive us for being late and give us the extra fuel we needed to finish the game the way we wanted to finish it.
For the record, it didn’t work out that well – several months later, just after the release, I had to downsize my team to 3 people from the original 30, because I refused to accept that I had no budget anymore, and spent everything on trying to finish the game as good as we could . My thoughts were that if the game was good, money would find us somehow. It didn’t of course. I caused quite some traumas with that attitude, and to this date I have regrets of how I handled the situation back then, but that’s another story.