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Larian General Discussion Thread

LESS T_T

Arcane
Joined
Oct 5, 2012
Messages
13,582
Codex 2014
Interview with Kieron Kelly on the board game: https://techraptor.net/tabletop/features/interview-larians-kieron-kelly-on-divinity-board-game

Interesting part about Swen's hands-on style:

My role in that team essentially ends up being a second hand to Swen [Vincke, CEO and Director of Larian Studios] a lot of the time, so Swen is so involved in the development of the game and the design of the game, that he himself ends up being quite a project manager as well because he's responsible for communication, he ends up doing all of that, so generally speaking I step in when he's busy and unavailable, as he is right now with BD 3 (Baldur's Gate III), and I work primarily as a kind of global man between members of the publishing team, the main Larian staff, and the outside world in terms of understanding the game and what we're doing. And generally speaking I'll end up communicating about the game with people like yourself.

The desire to make a game, it's not like it's satiated now that we've made a game. Like Swen our CEO is incredibly involved in the design process of every game we make. He's said often "If somebody wanted to buy Larian, why would I sell it? I'd just want to make games again tomorrow!" And it's the same for all of us.
 

Infinitron

I post news
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Codex Year of the Donut Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth


PAX South, January 17-19. Sure doesn't sound like Baldur's Gate III is going to be a focus yet...
 

LESS T_T

Arcane
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Codex 2014
That's a wrap, 1.8 million.

And they're using the fund to buy a local church for their Christmas party.



 

Not.AI

Learned
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Dec 21, 2019
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317
I think board games are seeing renewed popularity because multiplayer games with graphics up to expections cost so much to make.

The rules of the game end up being a tiny part of what actually goes into making it. People who want to have fun focusing on the rules make a board game. People who want primarily the do not have the video game - so they settle for board game.

Wonder what kind of things can drive down development costs, like what would allow ten to make a game that needs twenty, twenty to make a game that needs two hundred? Ubisoft at GDC talked about AI for replacing animation, art, sound. Too bad you need a huge team working for a while anyway to make the data set anyway for current AI to work. Every new object needs ... another data set.
 

Atchodas

Augur
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
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1,047
I think board games are seeing renewed popularity because multiplayer games with graphics up to expections cost so much to make.

The rules of the game end up being a tiny part of what actually goes into making it. People who want to have fun focusing on the rules make a board game. People who want primarily the do not have the video game - so they settle for board game.

Wonder what kind of things can drive down development costs, like what would allow ten to make a game that needs twenty, twenty to make a game that needs two hundred? Ubisoft at GDC talked about AI for replacing animation, art, sound. Too bad you need a huge team working for a while anyway to make the data set anyway for current AI to work. Every new object needs ... another data set.

They could start by cutting down on useless parts of Writing, then as a bonus you need less Voice Acting and tbh cut ALL of the Voice Acting first before anything, im pretty sure if someone is able to pay for the game and install it they will be able to read it, then cut all the trashy localisations fuck all the imbeciles who cant learn English in 2020.

By doing this you probably can save 50% of most games budget
 
Last edited:

Not.AI

Learned
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Messages
317
I think board games are seeing renewed popularity because multiplayer games with graphics up to expections expectations cost so much to make.

The rules of the game end up being a tiny part of what actually goes into making it. People who want to have fun focusing on the rules make a board game. People who want primarily the do not have the video game They simply do not have the video game- so they settle for board game.

Wonder what kind of things can drive down development costs, like what would allow ten to make a game that needs twenty, twenty to make a game that needs two hundred? Ubisoft at GDC talked about AI for replacing animation, art, sound. Too bad you need a huge team working for a while anyway to make the data set anyway for current AI to work. Every new object needs ... another data set.

Typos. Fixed.

... cut ALL of the Voice Acting first before anything

Actually voice acting is probably going to be free.

Only needs text and a few other recordings of a speaker, and ... done. AI. One of the things that will be nearly all AI in the future. The performance is probably not gonna win awards but ... it will be super, duper cheap. Free.

And not just cheap. On time. Less risk. Voice recording is going to be nixed as soon as more teams learn how to use machine learning because recording has a tendency to affect the schedule.

Voice acting locks iteration at that point. If you change the text again, you have to rerecord. To do that need to find, again, the same voice actors. Bring them back and ... Coordination problem. So timing problem. It means text must get locked too early. Problem with that is Iteration is what makes sure a game is fun. Allows changing things found not to be fun. Getting things done on time means there will be games. But what is really needed are fun games. They sell better.

Recording voice restricts how much of the story can be rewritten during the last minute crunch without missing key dates. Specifically none. So yes, I agree, I think it actually will be nixed. That is gonna happen.

There will be voice acting by machine, all done overnight two days before release.

Voice tech is actually quite old now, oldest actual use was a Microsoft product facilitating real-time translation in your own voice in languages you do not speak. (It was already part of the plot of a Greg Bear novel. People getting called by somebody who speaks in their own voice to them.)

Ubisoft apparently already used this instead of recording for some speech in their production process in last AC and will be using it more and more.

Animation is also similarly going to be nixed. Be AI.

"Filling-in the world" is still probably going to remain a big expense. Will not be automated. Affects design too much.

When some parts are more detailed than others, it looks bad. Like in painting. All parts must be equally detailed. Some parts are now expected to be filled with things that make sense being there. In that past, worlds were mostly empty.

Some ways have to be found of making detailed but not repetitive open worlds inexpensively. Many rules in game form imply an open world if embodied in a game. That means, unless a bulldozer method found, most of the expenses still necessarily have nothing to do with the strictly game part of the game. With the game design. Not even with the story.

Like the world in the Gothics feels full and dense, and it is, when measured in terms of the things that are actually part of gameplay. At least half of the budget went into things that are part of the gameplay. But in terms of accidentals, objects that make it look full and dense, it is nearly empty. Expectations were not high regarding nongameplay parts of the world, so they were mostly omitted.

So the paradox is that, just when hardware is orders of magnitude better, when if most of the budget could go into things that are part of the gameplay, intrinsic to the game rather than accidental scenery, games could be amazingly interactive, like nothing that has existed previously, it is done less frequently than in the past, when interactivity itself was more expensive and had to be more limited. And people are back to board games, not using the machine at all, whenever the part of the budget allocated to the rules is the majority of the budget.

Larian one of the few the exceptions with DOS I and II.
 

LESS T_T

Arcane
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Codex 2014
https://www.flega.be/swen-vincke-to-receive-first-belgian-lifetime-achievement-award/

Swen Vincke to receive first Belgian Lifetime Achievement Award

Even though there’s still over a month to go before the Belgian Game Awards 2020 take place as part of 1UP 2020, we’re already happy to announce that Swen Vincke will receive the very first Belgian Lifetime Achievement Award during the ceremony. The award is a celebration of the career and achievements of a game developer who has made an everlasting impact on the #BelgianGamesIndustry, and this man fits the bill perfectly.

swen-vincke-1024x543.jpg

As the only soul crazy enough to start a game studio in Belgium during the mid nineties, the sole founder of Larian Studios is effectively the founding father of the #BelgianGamesIndustry. And while he currently runs an internationally renowned studio with 200 employees spread out over three continents, and is creating the sequel to one of the most treasured RPG franchises ever, his road to fame and fortune wasn’t without hardships.

Inspired by the freedom of Richard Garriott’s Ultima series, Larian Studios was founded to create world class role-playing games, yet no publisher believed this new kid on the block would be able to pull that off. While this contributed to the demise of their first RPG project LMK, they struck back with the action RPG’s Divine Divinity (2002) and Beyond Divinity (2004).

divinedivinity-1024x576.jpg

Unfortunately, publisher trouble would become a constant in Larian’s history. Divinity II, which had great design ideas like mind reading and the ability to roam the world as a dragon, was pushed out of the door massively undercooked, and got a very poor reception, almost driving the studio out of business. It wasn’t until Vincke unshackled himself from publisher control and turned to crowdfunding, self-publishing, and the community that Larian’s wildest design ideas could blossom into world class RPG’s.

He also pushed his company to the brink of extinction in the process. Going all-in on the development of Divinity: Original Sin was a risky move, but one that ultimately set up the studio for international success and expansion. Upon release, follow-up Divinity: Original Sin 2 was named one of the best RPG’s of all time, an accolade that surely helped Vincke in his quest to obtain the keys to the legendary city of Baldur’s Gate.

originalsin2b-1-1024x576.jpg

It’s safe to say that the amazing work of his studio has inspired a lot of people to follow their dreams and get into games. Larian Studios has been the fire that’s fueled the #BelgianGamesIndustry for many years and while the success undoubtedly is a team effort, it all boils down to the idea of one man that just liked to see his friends have fun with the games he made. Congratulations Swen. We wouldn’t be here without you.

If you want to join the celebration of Swen Vincke and all the other winners to be announced during the award ceremony, you can still get your tickets here. If you fancy hearing more about how Larian convinced Wizards of the Coast to hand over the Baldur’s Gate licence, Larian’s Spencer Low will tell you all about it during his talk at 1UP Conference.

swenvinckeBGA19-1024x683.jpg

Larian Studios winning best game for Divinity: Original Sin 2 at BGA19
This celebration of #BelgianGamesIndustry success wouldn’t be possible without the valued support of WALGA, ScreenBrussels, VAF/GAME, Flanders DC, Wallimage, Game Mania and Cronos Interactive.
 

Roguey

Codex Staff
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Sawyerite
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Belgians never achieved anything worthy of an award before, no wonder they have that cultural inferiority complex.
 

LESS T_T

Arcane
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Oct 5, 2012
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Codex 2014
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PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
Not hard for Larian to win a Belgian game industry award when they are the only Belgian game company.

There are others, although I don't think any the Codex or really any halfway core gamer would care about: casual and mobile stuff.
 

LESS T_T

Arcane
Joined
Oct 5, 2012
Messages
13,582
Codex 2014
Huh, Gavin Jurgens-Fyhrie left Larian last year: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gavinjf/

Senior Writer

Company Name Larian Studios
Dates Employed Apr 2018 – Oct 2019
Employment Duration 1 yr 7 mos
Location County Dublin, Ireland


Baldur’s Gate 3
• Designing and writing branching conversations.
• Narrative design.

But don't worry, they filled their American quota with another junior writer: https://www.linkedin.com/in/zacheryshane/

Heh, Gavin joined Blizzard to work on Overwatch 2.

Also that American junior writer Zachery Sanford has left Larian too.

And for some reason they're looking for producer dedicated to the writing team: https://larian.com/jobs/64f4a0b6-2b3f-40fc-ba0c-26c7e4c96b68

Janitor for writer's hell I guess!
 

Gyor

Savant
Joined
Dec 11, 2017
Messages
734
i feel like larian epxanded too big too fast. if BG3 flopped it will certainly be the end of them.
I dont think so, there's something going on with google stadia it will be their flagship an AAA+ enchanced multiplayer, a game taking advantage of the online component. They just opened one more studio they are into something.

Exactly Google gave Larian piles of cash to bribe them into making BG3 for Stadia right from EA, it's why Larian can afford to spend shit loads more money cinematics, massively graphics upgrades, more races and classes then DOS2, upgraded Stealth mechanics, like 2.5 times more dialog options then DOS2 so far and nearly 5 times as many NPCs in act 1 alone, huge verticality, and who knows what (there are soul coins confirmed in the game, so there is a good chance Infernal Warmachines/Vechiles from BG: DiA will be in it, which is going to be insane.) No way they could afford all this on just DOS2 profits, even with the pandemic bump the sales of DOS2 have gotten, its shit loads of google money that payed for this game, but Larian is still the publisher and owner of the game, so Larian still gets all the profits on the sales of the game. He's going to make a fortune. It was smart to exploit Stadia's deseperation for a flagship game.

PS now that I have DOS2, those who say it looks just like DOS2 are on crack. The game is so different from DOS2 it shocking, with a few exceptions, like the conversations for example, BG3 is so cinematic compare to DOS2.
 

Phinx

Augur
Joined
Dec 15, 2013
Messages
113
Didn't know I needed this in my life, till now. :flamesaw:
5HCDL7K.png
 

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