Divinity: Original Sin
Divinity: Original Sin Second Preview
After having previewed Divinity:Original Sin almost a year ago I got the opportunity to check it out again.
» Continue reading...
Divinity: Dragon Commander
Dragon Commander: Hands-On Preview
We had the opportunity to play Dragon Commander in the offices of Larian Studios, so off we went for more information and actual hands-on experience
» Continue reading...
Recent info pages and articles
Poll WatchDo you Kickstart?
Yes, I've supported a bunch!
Yes, but only 1 or 2.
I'm waiting for the right project.
No! No finished product, no money!
No - but only because of my tight budget.
Dragon Commander - Delayed, GOG Preorders Get Master of Magic for Free
Divinity Dragon Commander is being delayed to August. GOG is giving people who have pre-ordered the game a free copy of Master of Magic to apologize.
Divinity: Dragon Commander adds in gift for all who pre-order the game on GOG.com, delays release to 6 August 2013
DRM-FREE DIGITAL DISTRIBUTOR MAKES THE WAIT FOR DRAGON COMMANDER EASIER, ADDS THE TIMELESS CLASSIC MASTER OF MAGIC TO ALL PRE-ORDERS
(12 June 2013) -- Dragons with jetpacks are still coming to GOG.com, it's just that the jetpacks need a few more tweaks. Larian Studios, the developers of the highly-anticipated Divinity: Dragon Commander , currently available for pre-order on GOG.com, have moved their release date for the game to 6 August 2013. To make the wait easier, GOG.com will provide all the gamers who have already pre-ordered Dragon Commander--and everyone who preorders the game from here on out--with a fitting gift: a timeless classic, Master of Magic , added in for free! The similarity between these two titles may not seem all that apparent--especially since Master of Magic is nearly 20 years older than Divinity: Dragon Commander, but both games have an incredible blend of strategy, roleplaying, and tactical gameplay.
Originally released in 1994, Master of Magic has introduced many innovative elements to strategy and roleplay gaming, in fact, one can find traces of some of the creative genre mash-ups from Master of Magic in Dragon Commander itself. Additionally, for total customer satisfaction, each and every retail box of Divinity: Dragon Commander will come with a free digital backup on GOG.com.
By pre-ordering Dragon Commander on GOG.com not only can you take 5$ off of the retail price and get it for just 39.99$, you also receive the acclaimed Master of Magic for free!
Original Sin - Post-funding Update #41
Divinity: Original Sin has a new Post-funding Update. The update deals with paypal and a lost video.
Development is moving forward at Larian, and we're making steady progress on Divinity: Original Sin. As Dragon Commander is now almost finished, the team working on Original Sin is getting bigger and bigger and pretty soon almost all of Larian will be working on DOS exclusively. We'll reserve the big DOS content updates for later, but it sure is becoming an interesting RPG and thanks to the Kickstarter campaign, we're seeing a vast improvement in the quality of the world design. Thank you once again for making this possible!
Here are a few items that might be of interest to you:
Pledge management dated
We threatened him, we blackmailed him, we used every single trick in the great book of the Shrike, all to no avail. Then somebody had the bright idea of asking him in a polite manner, and lo and behold, he gave us a date.
We are talking of course about David and the pledge management system he's developing. Said pledge management system will allow you to indicate to us which add-ons you want, where you want your physical goods to be delivered, on what platform you want your digital rewards, what messages you want to put in the game etc... It's pretty much a must-have if ever we want to figure out who gets what and it is therefore with great joy (and some relief) that we bring to you today the news that the system will go online on monday June 24th 2013.
That's almost like tomorrow!
Role Playing Convention Award
Last week the Role Playing Convention took place in Cologne and there Divinity: Original Sin received the award for most promising game of 2013. We keep on being amazed at how people discover new ways of putting more pressure on our shoulders ;)
To mark the occasion, we made a little video, in which Jan & David have a small discussion on the statue we received.
We should've posted this one a month ago, but somehow it got list in the mix. PC Games Germany posted a highlights video of the live session we had with them with German subtitles. Sorry!
Larian Studios - To Listen or Not to Listen
Larian Studio's head honcho Swen Vincke has updated his blog discussing one of the big pros of being self-funding and self-publishing, which is the ability to make the choices they could not make before.
We received feedback today from a group of journalists about what they thought of a hands-on session with a beta-version of the game. Specifically, they were asked to name three things they liked and three things they disliked. From that list a few issues got flagged, and the question now is whether or not we’ll address those issues.
We are dangerously close to release, so anything we change now is bound to have a significant impact. But of course, not intervening means that for sure those issues will pop up in reviews, and if they’re bothering the journalists, they’ll probably also bother our players. Naturally, if we continue fixing things that pop up, we’ll never release because there’s no such thing as a perfect game. So, when is enough enough ? And should we listen to the feedback we received?
Had this been one of our previous games where we were paid via milestones, the decision would already have been taken, and no changes would be made, definitely not at this stage in development. But it’s not somebody else’s decision to make this time. It’s ours, and I am happy that we get to make this type of decision.
To make it concrete, the issue at hand has to do with the difficulty, pacing and tempo of the RTS part of Dragon Commander. Several journalists think it’s too fast and too hard. That would be a simple enough thing to solve if it weren’t for that other group who thinks it’s too easy. Go figure
Unfortunately it’s not something we can easily fix by introducing a gamespeed slider or balancing multiplier, so we’re either going have to make a real choice for who our primary audience is or introduce completely different sets of balancing data from which players can choose.
That obviously will impact development, because suddenly we’ll have doubled our balancing work, so it’s not a trivial thing because it means not only extra design work, but also a shitload of extra QA work.
For the purpose of my blog and my arguments pro self-publishing, whatever our choice in this is doesn’t really matter. The cool thing is that we actually can choose and that we know things like this prior to release, so we have a chance to do something about it. If we didn’t self-publish and wouldn’t have been that closely in touch with the journalists, we would never even have had this opportunity.
For the purpose of the success of my game, it of course matters a lot.
Dragon Commander - Development Update
There is a new video update for Dragon Commander.
Going into the final part of production, we wanted to give you an update on the status of the game. In this video, Swen goes around the office to ask the team what they are doing and how much work there really is.
Baldur's Gate 2 - Enhanced Edition Game Content and DLC
Shacknews has a small article about Baldur's Gate 2 - Enhanced Edition.
Things have been awfully quiet from Beamdog after the release of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition late last year. We know they are working on DLC for the game, and also a Baldur's Gate 2: Enhanced, so we contacted the company to find out just what was going on in the land of Faerun.
"We're hard at work on BG2:EE and it is going well," Beamdog president Trent Oster told Shacknews. "Phil (our design lead) mentioned to me there is over 350,000 words of new content."
He said all those words were related to quests and story across Shadows of Amn and the expansion, Throne of Bhaal, and is part of the bundle for PC and Mac, and DLC for iPad and Android.
He wouldn't go into too much other detail other than to say they hope to start talking about the sequel soon. Oster told us before the first game (pictured above) was released that BG2:EE would take precedence over their DLC plans for the original, and he confirmed that hasn't changed.
"DLC-wise, we have plans, but nothing completed, yet."
Information aboutBaldur's Gate 2
SP/MP: Single + MP
Original Sin - Update #40, Message from the Trenches
Larian posted a new update on their funded kickstarter Divinity: Original Sin.
We're late with this update. We know and apologise.
The reason really is quite simple: We are in the middle of preparing the release of Dragon Commander, performing all of the final tweaks, putting in some last minute features as well as a host of different languages and at the same time also pushing forward the expansion of Divinity:Original Sin's game world. Between those two things, well, there's really little time for even eating, so please bear with us. It will get better and the frequency of updates will increase again.
But, behold, we did manage to come up with not just one, but three movies, showing you a bit of what's going on behind the scenes!
Behind the scenes of the Dark Forest
From time to time we perform a magical ritual called a review meeting - if you ever wondered what those look like, then look no further than the following collection of moving pictures in which our designers discuss what quests are going to be in the Dark Forest a.k.a. as the Phantom Forest. Beware - there are some minor spoilers!
The Pledge Management System
We caught up with David and asked him if there was any progress with the pledge management system. Since this is the first time he actually more or less committed to a date, we wanted to share the moment with you :)
One of the stretch goals was Kirill, our brilliant house composer, getting a symphonic orchestra to fool around with. We asked him about how the preparations for the recordings are going and managed to trick him into promising something for the musicians among you...
Because of the imminent release (relatively speaking of course :) ) of Divinity: Dragon Commander, we're in a bit of a crunch period. We asked Thomas for a youtube link that relates to our being-in-crunch feeling, but forgot that he can't spell very well...
Original Sin - Kickstarting the CRPG Genre
Planetivy has a article about Original Sin were the writer gives his opinion on how kickstarters are reviving CRPG's.
It’s difficult nowadays for developers to stay faithful to their games and to their audiences. Like the Scarlet Pimpernel it seems they’re lured in by the first bit of frilly trim or flash of thigh they see. Except in the case of the gaming industry it’s usually a large production company offering lots of cash and game-breaking deadlines, rather than a beautiful woman sporting polkadots. That’s why Kickstarter is so bloody great – it cuts out the middle-monster (that’s you EA) and brings games back to the people. You fund what you like. If enough people fund it, it gets made and the developers are responsible to you, not a corporate entity that thinks quicktime events are an engaging gameplay mechanicWhy are we returning to games of the past? One indie dev recently suggested that it’s because the developers of today were the children of yesterday. They grew up with these games and now, given the opportunity through projects such as Kickstarter and Steam’s Greenlight, they’re able to recreate them for the next generation of gamers. It could also be that, compared to the likes of Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty, these games have small budgets, and with small budgets there often simply isn’t the option for advanced graphics. Some other part of the game has to shine brighter than a spit-shined star, and lucky for us it seems to be the gameplay. And where better to look for tips on creating great gameplay and stories than the 90s: the home of pages of unspoken dialogue, bloodthirsty forest nymphs and, well, Peter Andre’s short lived singing career. But we’ll forget about that.
Original Sin - Post-Funding Update #39, Scripting
In this post-funding Kickstarter update for Original Sin more information on scripting is presented.
In this moving pictures part of the update, Bert, our resident script guru, explains how it is possible to implement "generic behaviours" that affect all npcs in the game world, and thus increase the amount of reactions they have. He gives a bunch of examples of what you can do with Osiris, the scripting language used in Divinity: Original Sin, just to get you thinking of all the things you could be doing with it.
In other words - characters in Divinity: Original Sin react.
There is also information on Paypal closing soon:
Paypal pledging is still possible but will finish this weekend, meaning that in practice it'll stay open until monday morning GMT+1. Right now the counter is at $57.596,60.
We will add the total number of backers via paypal to calculate the size of the lair beneath the phantom forest, and at that time we'll also take stock of the amount of Facebook likes to calculate the amount of Bellegar encounters Divinity:Original Sin will feature.
And more information on precessing the pledges: and rewards
We've answered quite a lot of private messages and mails about how pledges are going to be managed, and in an effort to save our fingers a bit, here's an overview of how we envision things will work:
- All backers (Kickstarter+Paypal) will receive an account at The Larian Vault
- Your account will contain an overview of your rewards
- If we need information from you to send you your rewards, you'll be able to fill it in there
- You will be able to add extra add-ons to your reward tier via The Larian Vault too. Not all add-ons will be available, but there will be quite a few. You'll also be able to upgrade your reward.
Larian Studios - Being Selective
Larian Studios' Swen Vincke has penned down a new article, which this time is about the press attention (or lack thereof) in their Kickstarter campaign, the effort it took them and the quality of (p)reviews in general, concluding that it is better to be selective in where you devote your attention to.
Anyway, it was observations like the above one that lead me to conclude that we should start screening who we show the game to, and review the quality of their articles, prior to actually demonstrating the game to them. In the past I abstained from doing that, even when I wanted to know, but now I think it’s good practice. We’ve been perhaps too eager for attention past, and happy to show our creative babies to anybody who passed by. That delivered us some good but also quite a lot ofbad results, the most memorable one being PC Gamer UK giving Divine Divinity 56% wheras their US sister magazine gave it 84% and later put it in their top 100 games of all times. The irony
Perhaps there’s another more focussed approach that might yield more benefits. I remain intrigued by the click-through numbers in our Kickstarter campaign and the link between article appearing/pledge counter increasing. It was clear who had what impact, and the results were very counter-intuitive, at least to my traditional view of games media.
To give you an example – There exists no such thing as IGN, the person. There’s only Joe, John and Daisy working at IGN reviewing and previewing games. If there’s a John who like turn-based fantasy RPG’s and played several of them, it makes sense to show him Divinity: Original Sin, if his editor will let him.
But if Joe, John and Daisy think the world ends with Assassin’s Creed and Battlefield, then perhaps we should not send a version to them, because nothing good can come from it. You wouldn’t offer mushroom-only dishes to a gourmet critique who hates mushrooms and is the editor of “fabulous cooks that don’t use mushrooms monthly” either.
Original Sin - The Contemporary Comforts
GameSpot has a new preview among many others lately for the funded kickstarter Original Sin.
“They just don’t make games like that anymore.” When you first see Divinity: Original Sin, that could very well be your reaction, but you’d be wrong to assume that developer Larian’s upcoming isometric role-playing game is stuck in the past. It certainly might remind you of RPGs of old, such as The Temple of Elemental Evil and, of course, Divine Divinity, the game that originated the series. But based on my time with Original Sin, there’s a poignant cooperative element of choice and consequence in Original Sin that makes it more than just a retread.
It’s hard to say just how well Divinity: Original Sin will capture the essence of Divine Divinity and Beyond Divinity, the games that directly spawned it. (From a gameplay perspective, Original Sin shares little in common with the troubled Divinity II.) Larian’s fans certainly have faith, however: Larian’s Kickstarter campaign for the game has now closed, earning more than twice the amount of its original goal, and all stretch goals were met. Thus, your companions will have their own backstories and personalities, the music will be fully orchestrated, and there will be more character-defining talents than originally planned. I am cautiously hopeful that Divinity: Original Sin might be, in its own way, just as divine as the game that spawned the series.
Original Sin - Kickstarter Update #38, The Aftermath
This post Kickstarter update for Divinity Original Sin brings us a video where David esplains how they are dealing with all the pledges and add-ons.
Both RPGWatch and RPGCodex are mentioned in the video as gathering over $10K in their respective fundraisers. We are both linked to as well, although they managed to interchange the links so the RPGWatch link now leads to the Codex and theirs link to us :)
In addition they also refer to this gamespot review.
What I enjoyed most about the combat, however, was that you can perform cleverer tactics than just pounding on goblins and guards with steel and magic until they fall over dead. Instead, you can use the environment to your advantage, and at no time was this put to better use than in the final battle of the demo. At first I faced a number of skeletal archers who plodded towards me, eager to put an arrow between my character's eyes. Fortunately, I was able to turn the ground under them to ice, causing them to slip and fall, and buying me extra time to chop them into submission. Ultimately, I faced a giant elemental called an infernal twin, but was fortunate enough for a wall to shield me from its fiery blasts. Elsewhere, I put an end to a foe by zapping the water he was standing in with a bolt of electricity. Barrels of oil, puddles of poison goo--these elements and more encourage you to find creative ways of dealing with your foes.
Original Sin - Update #36, The Admin Part
Original Sin is back with another short update for the funded kickstarter.
Once again, thank you for all your support. By now you know that you have been absolutely fantastic, and that we consider ourselves very lucky to have such a nice group of people believing in us. But we'll repeat it once again - you have been absolutely fantastic! :)
We've received the backer data from Kickstarter and are now processing it. We will soon be sending out a number of surveys to everybody who ordered physical goods and/or add-ons so we can determine the exact nature of your pledge.
People who ordered Divine Divinity or the Anthology will be receiving their digital keys via email this week and of course we will also be sending through download information for Kirill's Divinity soundtrack.
It seems we'll have more manual work than expected in processing the Kickstarter data (we also need to merge it with the paypal data) but we'll do everything we can to accelerate the process.
We'll have another wrap-up update for you later this week, but wanted to let you know that we're back on the job after what proved to be a very fun Kickstarter closing event :)
The Larian Team
Dragon Commander - Preview @ PCGamer
PCGamer has a new preview for Dragon Commander.
It’s tough being a king who’s also supreme commander of a steampunk army and also fights in all his battles and can also turn into a dragon with a jetpack and also has to manage social policy for the lands he conquers. Interesting, but tough.
Your long-term goal is the same as that of anyone who can turn into a dragon: conquer the world. The campaign map is divided into a few dozen large territories, and from there you can build units, move them, buy upgrades for them, or get new spells for your dragon form. When you’ve finished, you end your turn, and your enemy moves.
Everything gets built quickly, there’s no fog of war, and the cap on recruits means a single battle never takes too long. Once it’s over, you can fight or auto-resolve any other conflicts that happened on the strategic map that turn. And when everything’s finally dealt with, you return to your giant steampunk airship.
A turn is a long time in Dragon Commander: it’s not unusual to have five conflicts going on at once, each of which you might want to play out as an RTS match. In fact, the whole singleplayer campaign is only expected to take about 20 turns, although obviously that’ll vary a lot from player to player. So when you return to your ship between each one, a new chunk of story stuff unfolds.
That takes a few forms. There’s a main story that’s the same each time, but I didn’t see how that progresses in the few hours I played. The rest of the story stuff is randomised, and there’s more of it than you’re likely to see in one playthrough.
Original Sin - Update #35, All Stretch Goals Achieved + Retrospective Video
Well Larian's Original Sin kickstarter is officially funded. Congratulations to them, and a huge THANK YOU for all the backers from the Watch. Now on to the update.
All Stretch Goals Achieved + Retrospective Video
Everything together we reached the 1 million stretch goal! NPC Schedules are in!
This video shows what was going on behind the scenes during the Kickstarter campaign.
We shouldn't show you this, but we do it anyway. Enjoy!
Original Sin - 5 Hours and $90K to Go
1. If we make it or not to our last stretch goal remains to be seen, but we're extremely happy already. The results of this Kickstarter campaign have been fantastic and you guys are simply the best!
2. We still have a number of hours to go, so keep on spreading the word. All it takes now to reach the final stretch goal is everybody upping their pledge with 5$, or a few more backers.
3. Here's why you want that final stretch goal to happen
Original Sin - Ten Reasons Why It Deserves My Money
Kotaku has an editorial following the end of the Original Sin kickstarter. The article gives ten reasons why you should donate to the project.
Within the first five minutes of my play session with the alpha version of Divinity: Original Sin, I killed Larian Studios' Swen Vincke. "So I see you are readying a fireball spell," he said, and I shot him. I'm counting that as the first of ten reasons why the Kickstarter prequel to the Divine Divinity role-playing game series deserves my cash — being able to set fire to the founder and CEO of the studio making the game. Everyone mark that down.
It's not about the action, as pleasing as it was, as much as it is the freedom to perform that action. This is a cooperative multiplayer role-playing game where the 'cooperative' bits aren't mandatory. Like the pen-and-paper RPGs that spawned the genre, I don't have to either love or hate my party — should they need a reminder of my power, I'm free to give it.
Divinity: Original Sin, which Larian is calling its "dream RPG," does not need my money. Today is the last day of the PC game's $400,000 Kickstarter campaign, successfully funded back on April 9. The project's met all stretch goals but one, and at this rate it might even hit the million dollar mark before it ends. It's going to happen.
The question here is whether or not I should attempt to scrounge up enough change to jump on the bandwagon before the time is up. I've come up with ten compelling reasons, beginning with...
Original Sin - Update #31, Less than 24 hours!! 800K reached!
Well it's time for another update for Larian's kickstarter Original Sin. I'm running out of ideas what to write at the pace the updates come at. Enjoy.
Less than 24 hours to go!!!
Well, you know what the final stretch goal is! We'll remind you in a next update, but that's all there's left to reach on this wonderful KIckstarter campaign. Think we can do 200K in 24 hours ? The game is on!
Including Paypal, 800K is now reached!
Companions, check. Congratulations all on reaching this stretch goal!!! This game is getting better and better, so much in fact that we're starting to wonder what's going to be left for us to do afterwards :)
Since we just did a big companion update, we're not going to redo it here. If you've seen it, you know that as a RPG aficionado you should rejoice! There are going to be some seriously wicked companions roaming around the world of Rivellon!
As behind the scenes as it gets
This is the type stuff our audience is never supposed to see, but which we deal with on a daily basis. Full monty! It's the type of stuff you can participate in if your tier includes alpha or beta access. Check out the add-ons below if you're in doubt.