Baldur's Gate 3 - Interview with Swen @PC Gamer

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PC Gamer have interviewed Swen Vincke about Baldur's Gate 3.

Larian Studios always goes all-in. After nearly bankrupting itself to make Divinity: Original Sin, Larian tripled in size to pull off an ambitious sequel, growing to around 150 developers. With one of the best RPGs of the decade under its belt, Larian then set out to make Baldur's Gate 3. A year in pre-production let them build out estimates of how much work this even more ambitious game would take, hiring developers to work on fancy cinematics Divinity didn't have. "We thought we had it all figured out. We even estimated how big we'd have to become," said Larian founder Swen Vincke.

They were wrong.

"I never expected us to be 400 people to make BG3," Vincke told me. "Nobody expected it. But it's literally what we needed to do it. We had a choice. There was a moment where we started understanding what we needed to do to make this game. We thought we understood. Then we actually really understood. And so we had two choices: we could scale it down, or we could scale ourselves up. And so we chose to scale ourselves up."

[...]

Larian's currently working on Baldur's gate itself, building out the city, and also filling out D&D's spell library and implementing its remaining classes. Then there's time-consuming polish, which is why he announced that Baldur's Gate 3 won't be fully finished until 2023.

"This is a very specific niche of game where you have a lot of narrative with a lot of systems coming together," he said. "If your agency is [limited], you're guided down the routes, you're not gonna be happy when you're playing it. It breaks the entire thing. The problem is the only alternative is just, fuuuuck, you need to cover it all. But we figured it out, and we're doing it.
More information.
 
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Couchpotato

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Baldur's Gate 3 team is 10 times bigger than when it made Divinity: Original Sin
Summary we burn through cash reserves fast. The initial EA influx cash has to have slowed by now. Whats left is revenue on past games still selling and investors.

Once again just my speculation not fact for a certain member.:p

I seriously hope Baldur's Gate 3 doesn't end up like the Original Sin games were the last half falls apart due to developer fatigue at the end, and possible lack of resources.
 
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bjon045

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I really hope not Couch, because they left the actual city to the second half of the dev work - and the city of BG is what should be the highlight of this game. As Athkatla was to BG2.
 
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rjshae

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Talk about betting the company. I hope they survive the experience.
 
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Zloth

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Huh? I don't remember Original Sin falling apart at the end?
 
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Couchpotato

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Huh? I don't remember Original Sin falling apart at the end?
Yes it does in both games the story gets weaker midway through and you spend less time exploring new areas just fighting. The game endings are terrible as well.:(

Larian even revised Divinity: Original Sin 2’s final act.
“One of the key criticisms was that Act 3 wasn’t as cool as the others, and we could sympathise with that,” says Vincke. “So we asked a couple of our narrative designers to go through it and told them to be very heavy with their criticism. They came back with a 48-page document. They asked what they should fix, and we just said, ‘Do everything.’ So that’s what they did.”
 
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sakichop

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Why not just make the games shorter? I didn’t finish D:OS 1 or 2, they were just so long and I lost steam. Had they cut them in half I would have finished them and been plenty satisfied.

As a matter of fact they could have made 4 games from the same amount of content and I probably would have finished all of them and happily paid them 4 times instead of 2.

I like TB combat but 100-150 hours in one shot just starts to get long in The tooth. 4 releases would have sufficiently broke them up and I could have stuck with them.
 
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Zloth

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It took me 200 to get through D:OS2 before it got enhanced! I thought there was plenty going on at the end, too. (The end of whats-her-name's quest with the demon was GREAT!)
 
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JDR13

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Huh? I don't remember Original Sin falling apart at the end?

I wouldn't say it falls apart, but I definitely found Cyseal and the surrounding area more interesting than the later parts of the game.

I still finished it though unlike D:OS2 where I've never made it past the first chapter.
 
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bjon045

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I think BG3 deserves to be big. But yes, D:OS2 could of been trimmed down. I found Act 3 somewhat similar to three elms in Pillars of Eternity. Lower quality quests, less interesting characters and even some of the combat is just poorly designed.

I remember there being this demon called "the doctor" or something, and he could basically one shot your entire party (playing on tactical difficulty) if you tried to fight him straightup. You basically had to spam consumables (tea leaves) and cheese the hell out of it. Then there was the "lone wolf" difficulty that actually makes the game easier (unlike the first one). The combat system just had too many flaws and it wasn't really challenging, just goofy and viable character builds for each class were actually pretty limited (on the highest difficulties). The first game had a better combat system in my opinion.
 
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JFarrell71

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Big doesn't just mean long. Big also means broad. They're going for a lot of reactivity, alternate paths, specific interactions options for some classes, stuff like that. Building that throughout a long game takes a lot of time.
 
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Morrandir

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I really hope not Couch, because they left the actual city to the second half of the dev work
I guess I'll get really excited about the game as soon as they reveal infos about the city. I'm sceptical though if they're able to create good city experience.
 
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largh

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I guess I'll get really excited about the game as soon as they reveal infos about the city. I'm sceptical though if they're able to create good city experience.

Hey, c'mon! Wandering in the wilds was and still is the best part of BG1. The city was perhaps impressive back in then but is pretty meh these days.
 
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crpgnut

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I won't play till I see if the constant environmental hazards are gone. D&D isn't about barrels and spills. Also, I hope they really made a stealth mechanic this time rather than the garbage that was stealth in their earlier games.

That said, I'm interested in the title but will wait for reviews because I haven't truly enjoyed a Larian game since the first half of Swen Draconis...um Ego I mean.
 
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Nereida

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This game looks like it'll be way too well developed, made with a lot of care and count with state-of-the-art technologies, and besides, it will be made by a company that became successful too recently, we don't like those here. If it didn't become successful in the 80's or the 90's, when there was no competition and making video games was barely a professional activity, then it's all a product of marketing and social media, with no merit whatsoever. They won't get me with their awesome games and pretty graphics, fleshed-out character creation, dynamic storytelling, choices that lead to character growth and development, professional voice acting, crispy and clean controls and so on.

I feel the urge to announce to all of you that if the game has certain modern features I don't like, I won't play it. I know you don't care, the developers don't care, hell, my mother doesn't care. But there I said it, so you all damn well keep it in mind. I hereby hold Larian in ransom with this threat that I intend to follow through - change it to be the way I want it to be, or I won't play it, and stubbornly make its number of sales dwindle from dozens of millions of copies to the same minus one - you have been warned.

I remember in the olden days when games were good. These days it's all about making games too fun, and I refuse to move on with the times.
 

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I really love both Baldur's gate and played most of rtwp and tb crpg's. But every time the worst part of the game is big city. It is to much loading, entering every house and talking with to much people, and remembering every location and trying not to miss something important (I like to finish 100% of the quest and find all secrets).
Also I cant play any more 24/7 like like when I was younger because of jobr/wife/kids, so sometimes days pass before I start playing again and returning to big city after few days outside of the game is really traumatic experience.
A usually do not like when game babysits you and holds your hand while playing, but I really appreciate that in big city.
 
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Philistine

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I just hope this doesn't end up as another Cyberpunk debacle, with bad console versions torpedoing the company.
 
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I am pretty sure Wizards did also significantly invest into the game. I wouldn't be surprised if it was them who increased scope of the game after they decided to give Larian the license.
They want to use it as a promotional tool for tabletop and to attract new clientele to D&D in general, too.
 
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Morrandir

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Hey, c'mon! Wandering in the wilds was and still is the best part of BG1. The city was perhaps impressive back in then but is pretty meh these days.
Yes and No. :)
Of course wandering in the wild inherently gives a much better sense of adventure and exploration.
However one thing I like about RPGs is that you often can decide on your own what to do next. When you have been doing a thing for some time and you feel a change of pace is necessary, you just do another thing.
And playing in a city always a good change of pace compared to wandering in the wild or fighting through dungeons.
 
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SveNitoR

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I like what he says in the interview. Still not that much information, but I'm looking forward to playing it sometime 2023/24 :)
 
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