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Interview Swen Vincke Game Informer Interview, New Baldur's Gate 3 Concept Art, Larian Expands to Malaysia

Infinitron

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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
Tags: Baldur's Gate 3; Beyond Divinity; Divine Divinity; Divinity II; Divinity: Original Sin; Divinity: Original Sin 2; Larian Studios; Swen Vincke

This is not the Larian news you've been waiting for, but for the first time in months there's reason to believe that something may be about to happen. Last week IGN published a single new Baldur's Gate 3 concept art of an illithid floating in its nautiloid ship.


It also turns out there was an interview with Swen Vincke in last month's issue of Game Informer, which is now available online. The interview is about the history of Larian and Swen's career, a topic that's been covered well enough in recent times, but I'll quote some of the more recent bits.

So how did Baldur’s Gate happen out of this?

I wanted to license an RPG system, preferably D&D, preferably Baldur’s Gate. I got in touch with them through somebody I knew from the industry. They put me in touch with Nate Stewart, who was the head of D&D, and so I got kind of an exam. Like, “What will you do with it?”

I was like, “I’m the perfect guy to make it.” And [then there was] nothing. But we kept bumping into each other at every trade show.

Eventually he calls me and says, “Do you still want to do this?” And I said, “Yes!” He invited me to downtown Seattle and in a shady bar he presented to me the full map for Baldur’s Gate 3. It was pretty much everything we had talked about. A couple of weeks later he called me and they said yes. So we needed to present them with a design document as we were making Divinity: Original Sin II.

So what was one of the biggest changes you made to Divinity: Original Sin during production?

It used to be a real-time game. We made it turn-based. I see that Yakuza has been taking from our book. [laughs]

I asked myself, “What are we doing? We’re making a real-time game because they told us.” Publishers told us that there’s no way you’re going to get your distribution deals if it’s turn-based. It needs to be real-time, blah, blah, blah. We’ve been conditioned into thinking real-time. I was in the shower, I was like, “What are we doing? We’re gonna be competing with Blizzard making an action RPG? We can’t compete with Blizzard, we don’t have the resources. But no one is making turn-based RPGs anymore. So maybe that’s where we should be going.” And that was a really good move.

For Baldur’s Gate 3, how do you encapsulate the entire Dungeons & Dragons system in a video game? Where do you even begin?

It’s really how do we capture the books, the rule system, the feeling you have at the table in a video game, and how do we do that without alienating people that have never played D&D in their lives. Mixing that, I think we found it. You guys will have to judge. You can’t make a game without taking creative risks. You can, but then you’re just making the same game. We’ve taken a lot of creative risks, more than people will expect, I think, considering the amount of money we’re throwing at it.

For instance, in Divinity: Original Sin II, you can do almost anything. How do you build a ruleset that can handle all that?


We try to be very consistent about it. “Systemic” is the in-house word. If it’s not systemic, it doesn’t go in. Basically, we learned this over time, one of the errors that we made in our early games was we were so focused on getting the money that we were puting the systems in there as gimmicks so that we were going to convince people to put money into the games, right? We learned that if you put something in a game, it has to be consistent throughout the game, something that you can always use. If you can’t, you shouldn’t put it in there. We’ve gotten better at it over time because one of the criticisms was always [that] we were very ambitious, but [the games were] badly executed. What people start discovering in D:OS, we just make those systems work always. Whenever we put in a new system it has to work with the existing systems, and if you make those complete, you get stuff like this. That’s where the beauty comes from.

One of the developers came to me and was like, “I’m playing with my buddy, and I’m doing the exact opposite of everything he wants to do.” He said, like, “[The other player] is gonna ruin the game.” I told him, “Don’t worry about it. This game has got you covered.”
In other news, yesterday at a local gaming event called Level Up KL, Swen announced the opening of a new Larian office in Malaysia to help develop Baldur's Gate 3. And today Larian released another one of those silly Divinity: Original Sin 2 free Gift Bag DLCs. So what is all this leading up to? Maybe it's all just a coincidence, but note that Google Stadia is launching on November 19th. I doubt Baldur's Gate 3 will be out this year in any form, but it wouldn't surprise me if they showed us something to help promote Stadia.
 

l3loodAngel

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If they won’t add their sprinkle of turd to the d&d combat system to make it boring and add some competent writers it could be a massive hit. Otherwise it will most likely be a cringe worthy political statement with drying paint combat system that goes first spell, second spell rinse and repeat.
 

SausageInYourFace

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They are opening yet another studio? Dat imperial overstretch is going to backfire once one of their games flop. I also heavily doubt all that remote coordination with different parts of the world is particularly practical.
 

Infinitron

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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
They are opening yet another studio? Dat imperial overstretch is going to backfire once one of their games flop. I also heavily doubt all that remote coordination with different parts of the world is particularly practical.

Apparently they're good at it. In his D:OS 2 retrospective at GDC earlier this year, Swen said that the secret of its development was that instead of trying to divide the game into parts and letting each studio handle a different one, they had all the studios work on the same content on a rolling 24 hour schedule.
 

Tavernking

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They are opening yet another studio? Dat imperial overstretch is going to backfire once one of their games flop. I also heavily doubt all that remote coordination with different parts of the world is particularly practical.

Apparently they're good at it. In his D:OS 2 retrospective at GDC earlier this year, Swen said that the secret of its development was that instead of trying to divide the game into parts and letting each studio handle a different one, they had all the studios work on the same content on a rolling 24 hour schedule.

A 7 year old could come up with this 'secret of development'
 

hexer

Guest
That concept art looks photorealistic.
I wonder if it's for the cinematic or for the in-game graphics.
Anyway, let's hope they optimize the game, I'm tired of replacing hardware every 2-3 years because most devs don't care to optimize their games
 

hexer

Guest
So basically Swen had to go to Malaysia for the art since no artists in western countries were willing to draw big tiddies any more.

What if the true reason for that is so they can more realistically represent ladyboys in the game? :lol:
 

Jack_Deth

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Insert Title Here
So basically Swen had to go to Malaysia for the art since no artists in western countries were willing to draw big tiddies any more.

What if the true reason for that is so they can more realistically represent ladyboys in the game? :lol:

moslem ladybois very diverse, how long til Larian is acquired by Disney?
 

Valky

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Woo RTWP niggers btfo the fuck out! Get your decline out of here.

Too bad Swen has declined and he will make this focused on a console port and multiplayer. Game will be shit.
 

Glop_dweller

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He did not say turn based, he said they had shied away from RTw/P due to concerns over competing with Blizzard; (with a smaller IP). This just says that they were doing RTw/P, in this case merely because they were told to, but BG is a RTw/P series from the beginning. They'd be lunatics (in a bad way) to implement anything but the already established series mechanics; in the same way that InXile [were lunatics] to make Torment as turn based—although for them there is an excuse... it's not really a Planescape II, and not bound or beholden to the original—not so with an official Baldur's Gate #3.
 
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The Wall

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Returned to Codex after a while, and reading your comments all I get is: fuck, are you guyz always about everything so bitter? And then remember, yes we are bitter fucks

Codex: NO HOPE ALLOWED!
 

Zeriel

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Returned to Codex after a while, and reading your comments all I get is: fuck, are you guyz always about everything so bitter? And then remember, yes we are bitter fucks

Codex: NO HOPE ALLOWED!

There is good reason in this case, if you weren't around for the initial reveal and based comments from Swen like, "Technology has moved on, dice rolls aren't cool anymore" you are out of the loop and don't know why people are so bitter.
 

Glop_dweller

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I don't really care if casual faggots get butthurt that their shit combat system isn't in BG3. Larian would be saints if they don't go near RTWP.
Whether one or the other combat system is better—is not the issue; what is appropriate for the series IS the issue. BG Series is RTw/P.

I by far prefer turn based combat—but it is obviously inappropriate for a Baldur's Gate sequel, same as it is inappropriate for a Diablo sequel; same as it is inappropriate for an Elder-Scrolls sequel; same as it is inappropriate for a Gothic/Risen/Two Worlds ~whatever the hell have you sequel, when the series was never turn based. Mechanics matter, and mechanics are not interchangeable. Baldur's Gate would not BE Baldur's Gate with the combat mechanics from ToEE—despite potentially being a better game for it.
 

Valky

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I'm very sorry for you if you attach a sense of identity to the series based on the requirement that it's combat MUST be shit, or it loses what made it special. It always would have been more appropriate for these games to be entirely turn based from the start.
 

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