Divinity: Original Sin
Divinity: Original Sin Review
Corwin checked out Divinity: Original sin at his own pace and came back with a fine article about the game.
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Divinity: Dragon Commander
Dragon Commander Multiplayer Review
DArtagnan is our second reviewer for Dragon Commander and in his review he focused on the multiplayer part of the game.
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Recent info pages and articles
I Think It'll Be Fantastic
I Hope It'll Be Good
I Definitely Have Doubts
It will Utterly Fail
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Larian Studios - Interview @ GamesIndustry.biz
GamesIndustry.biz published a candid interview with Swen Vincke from GDC 2015 who reflects on the success of Divinity: Original Sin, his mistakes, and Kickstarter backers.
Not everyone has fun at GDC. With so many of the industry's key players concentrated in one relatively small area, there is no better time to forge alliances and seek out new opportunities. For many independent business owners a good week at GDC can mean a good year overall, but the opposite is also true. Making the most of that opportunity is a unique burden; a draining mix of excitement, anxiety and stress.
Swen Vincke, CEO of the Belgian developer Larian Studios, has shouldered that burden before, but this year has been markedly, refreshingly different. "It's the first time I've actually been relaxed. Actually, I've never been so relaxed at GDC. Normally I'd be fighting to be able to earn extra budget to be able to continue our game productions. Now, we're more confident. That's a nice feeling."
Larian Studios - Making Time to Develop
I have to fight to find time to breathe these days.
Things are moving so fast now and we’re doing so many things simultaneously that my previous concerns over our growth scaring the hell out of me can now be considered to be a big understatement. Still, I’m having lots of fun and I’m damn proud of what we’re achieving here at Larian. We finally figured out when we’ll start announcing some of our new stuff (around E3) and if things continue to progress as they are, I think we’ll be showing a lot between then and the end of the year.
I’m just back from lovely Quebec City where we’ve been interviewing candidates to join our new team there and I’m quite excited about the talents that’ll be joining us. Sometimes I feel like I’m in a candy store when the person in front of me turns out to be exceptionally gifted in his or her craft and indicates he or she’s willing to work for us. The complementing of our team with extra capacity & talent together with having a cool RPG engine to build our future work on is empowering us and I’m anxious to see all the little building blocks come together. Obviously, since we’re in the business of making RPGs, I’ll have to exert some patience, but from where I’m sitting it’s already clear that this will become something special.
Because we’ve picked E3 as the period to announce our next big thing, I can’t say too much right now (otherwise we won’t get the press coverage we’re hoping for etc…) so for today’s long overdue entry, I figured I might tell you a bit about something that’s been bothering me.
Larian Studios - GDC Postmortem Panel
Another video was released on the GDC Vault today. This time we have Swen Vincke of Larian Studios giving a Postmortem Panel about the lessons he has learned.
In this talk Swen will focus on Larian's experience of successfully turning into independent and self-publishing company after 15 years of working with different publishers. Structured into into 10 simple advises to both aspiring and experienced developers, this lecture will prove that setting up your own PR, marketing, localization and even distribution is well worth the effort.
Black Isle - The Cancelled Planescape Game
Eurogamer has another article style interview this week with Colin McComb about the story behind Black Isle's cancelled PlayStation Planescape game.
The Souls effect will reach fever pitch this week with the release of Bloodborne, and very important gaming people at lunch around the world will wonder how they can copy it. Feels like a recent thing, given that Dark Souls appeared in 2011 to really kick it all off. But as I discovered, in something of a crypt in London recently, the Souls effect was felt a long, long time ago.
It's 1996 and Super Mario 64 has come out, Quake has come out, Tomb Raider has come out. The Spice Girls are only just coming out (I could have worded that differently). Meanwhile, over in America, Colin McComb writes Planescape campaigns for Dungeons & Dragons. But he wants to go to California because there's this girl there. Then he sees his chance.
"Come on out and be the lead designer of this PlayStation game that we're doing with the Planescape licence," a company offers him.
The company turns out to be Interplay, a games company in full bloom; the man offering him a job is Feargus Urquhart, head of subsidiary studio Black Isle (now in charge of Obsidian Entertainment). What Urquhart wanted Colin McComb to make was something a lot like 1994 PS1 game King's Field. You know, King's Field made by From Software. You know, the King's Field series that would inspire Demon's Souls.
"Have you played King's Field?" Urquhart asks McComb in his first briefing. "And I said, 'I have not,'" McComb tells me. "And he said, 'Your first task is to play King's Field.' So they dropped me into an office with a PlayStation and King's Field and then said, 'Get going.'"
Brief in hand, McComb got going. It was just him and a programmer in a small office for weeks, months even. He hadn't made a computer game before, only tabletop games, but gradually ideas began to form, and the project known as Planescape PSX was born.
Original Sin - Interview @ One Angry Gamer
One Angry Gamer interviewed Thierry Van Gyseghem who was the animator & artist for Divinity: Original Sin about Boob-Plates, Sexism And Moral Outrage.
Billy: One of the things I was curious about was when the controversy broke out over the boob-plate armor, was it actually Kickstarter backers sending most of the criticisms or was it relegated to the gaming media and pockets of social media sub-communities?
Thierry: The original cover art had been used for nearly a year at that point, we even had a booth on E3 2012, without a complaint. It was a very small vocal minority that complained about the cover design when we went on kickstarter. Because of the kickstarter campaign there were certain gaming media sites that picked up on it and amplified the complains, I think we all know which sites are the most vigilant in their political agenda. I can only assume social media sub-communities will have added to it also.
Billy: Lately there’s been a lot of controversy over creative freedoms that developers can or should exercise with character designs. How much of it do you feel is legitimate criticisms and how much of it do you feel is social politics invading the creative design space?
Thierry: Criticism is formed by opinions, and opinions are formed by what we see, hear and read. So yes I do feel that social politics has a hand in the criticism that is thrown at creative freedom because it’s politics that decides what we see, hear and read. It’s remarkable that you can almost pinpoint the critiques to certain parts in the world, since different parts of the world have different politics.
So in that regard, no I don’t think there are that many legitimate critiques on character design as all of it is just pure taste and preference based. You can like something, or you can dislike something. Feel free to walk away if you don’t like it, but don’t harass the creator for it and wave your political flag.
Original Sin - Now Available in Italian
Larian Studios released a new video update for Divinity: Original Sin with information the game is now available to play in Italian. Thank you for the link MadGamer.
Divinity Original Sin is live on Steam in Italian! Made possible by fans from RPGItalia.net.
Larian Studios - Post-Mortem @ Gamasutra
Gamasutra has a sample of a new Post-Mortem presentation from GDC 2015 where Swen Vincke revealed that Divinty Ego Draconis almost destroyed the developer.
Divinity: Original Sin, the second self-published release from Larian Studios, has become the Belgian company’s “most successful title to date,” according to Swen Vincke, the studio’s founder and creative director. The co-operative role-playing game, which launched in June 2014, was the sixth release in the series, and, according to Vincke, helped re-establish Divinity’s reputation after the preceding title, 2009’s Divinity: Ego Draconis, “our worst title to date.”
In a postmortem talk delivered at GDC 2015, Vincke revealed that Divinty Ego Draconis left the studio saddled with debt and considering whether or not the company was viable. “We started to doubt the future of our studio,” he said. “We needed to look at what we were doing wrong and examine what we had to do to turn things around.”
Icewind Dale - Retrospective @ PCGamesN
Jeremy Peel of PCGamesN posted a new retrospective for Icewind Dale.
Icewind Dale was Black Isle’s attempt to bash out a quick action RPG in Baldur's Gate's Infinity Engine. Because they were the studio who'd built Fallout, however, they failed miserably: accidentally making a coherent world of Faerun's northern wastes, and filling its dungeons with tangled networks of tactical battles. It’s still one of the best mistakes you can play on the PC today.
Icewind DaleSP/MP: Single + MP
Original Sin - Patch v126.96.36.199 Released
Larian Studios released the promised patch from the last update on Steam for Divinity: Original Sin that adds the new cloud save system, and fixes a a few more bugs.
It’s time for the first update of 2015!
In addition to a number of bug fixes (thank you for all your feedback!), we’ve gone through all of the encounters in the game and made a ton of balancing changes that we think will make combat even more fun. We’ve also activated the Steam Cloud saves, and we have good news! PC & Mac savegames are compatible. For the modders out there, we can finally release the exporters that will allow you to import your own models and animations into the game.
Here’s the list of the most important changes and a few important remarks about Cloud saving:
When you enable cloud for Divinity: Original Sin, you will see your cloud quota in the save/load screens. Only new savegames will be uploaded to the cloud as they have a new, compressed format. So if you need your latest saves on the cloud, you will have to load them and resave. You will then see a cloud icon next to them. Hover over the different statuses in the save/load screen to see what will be added and removed from the cloud. You can remove saves manually from the cloud by deleting them via the in-game menu. Furthermore, the game will remove older saves from the cloud automatically when you have run into the max amount of cloud save data. Keep in mind that if you use the Steam Cloud for Original Sin, you will be uploading data on a regular basis if you make a lot of saves. Upload speeds will depend on your Internet connection.
Original Sin - Best Indie Game @ RPG Site
RPG Site has awarded Divinity: Original Sin three awards. The first award is for Best Indie Game, the second for Best Big Screen, and the third was for Best Overall game.
The past couple of years have brought upon a bit of a renaissance when it came to the cRPG genre thanks in large part to the crowd-funding platform, Kickstarter. The likes of Wasteland, Shadowrun, and Torment have all seen very successful campaigns thanks to help of a very hungry player base whose needs have not been met in the better part of a decade that coalesced around the timing of Black Isle Studios’ original closing.
What Divinity offers up more than many games of the genre in recent memory is player choice in the truest sense of the word, promoting the practice of role-playing especially during conversation. You can decide whether to work with your party or against your party while talking to NPCs, and their feelings towards you will change as a result and affect the rest of the game. The developers also seem to encourage bending the rules, whether that means attacking enemies before a proper encounter or wiping out entire towns to satiate your bloodlust.
The turn-based combat is incredible. There are so many ways to manipulate the environment to work against the enemy to create some fascinating combination attacks. There is also a fun dynamic where one can mix and match the different base elements to do things such as create traps in order to capitalize. It’s easily the best part of the experience and provided plenty of incredibly tense moments with a nice sense of accomplishment.
By pulling the best parts from the classic titles in its genre to build its own modern interpretation while also paving its own path sure to help the series grow into something fun and exciting that’s accessible to both veterans and newcomers, Divinity: Original Sin is an easy choice for our Overall Game of the Year award of 2014. Plus, there’s a full-scale editor (the same one the devs used) and the Steam Workshop waiting for you once the game is over.
Original Sin - Interview @ Venturebeat
In-case you missed out votes for GOTY Divinity: Original Sin was both our team members, any our sites pick for 2014. The reason why is Fan feedback helped shape the game.
Heather Newman of VentureBeat even has a new interview about ths topic.
Larian Studios developers didn’t start out expecting to use fan input for their fantasy role-playing game Divinity: Original Sin, which recently completed its journey from Kickstarter to retail.
After all, Divinity wasn’t designed as a massively multiplayer RPG, where developers could make lots of iterations down the road. They were making a traditional, write-once-and-release RPG.
But then the player suggestions poured in during the Kickstarter campaign, beta testing, early access, and digital release.
“We realized quickly that if we’d listen to these suggestions, we’d have a much better game, so the decision was easy to take,” Larian founder Swen Vincke said.
In the end, Larian incorporated more than 130 player suggestions Original Sin, contributing to its strong review scores and earning it a place on store shelves in December.
“Every day, we compiled all the feedback across communities and sat together deciding what we were going to do and what not,” Vincke said. The task list ended up holding 872 changes players wanted to see.
The result was a PC and Mac game that GamesBeat Managing Editor Jason Wilson called “the best role-playing experience of the year” for 2014.
Original Sin - Post-Funding Update #66
The Kickstarter page for Divinity Original Sin has been updated with the news that they have won the Gamespot PC game of the year award, being named by RPS the Bestest Best Kickstarter of 2014 and winning the Best RPG in Spain. For this update they also made a 16 minute video:
This also contains info on using DOS with a controller, the hardcore mode, the economy of the game, redesigning how the main story is told and the stories of the companions, banter between the companions, the Linux version, tweaks to the engine to better utilize high power gaming rigs, perfermonce improvements which also could allow creation of persistent campaigns, positions for a job at Larian Studios and the new RPG(s) for which there is actually no news.
In addition there is also a 9 minute video in which they look back to what happened in 2014.
Larian Studios - Updating D:OS & New RPGs
According to a new blog post, Larian Studios has ambitious plans for 2015. While they are celebrating Divinity: Original Sin's critical and financial success, they are not resting on their laurels:
Progress can only be made if you’re aware of your faults and intend to do something about it, so explaining our plans starts with explaining what I think sucked about D:OS and more importantly, why those sucky things made it to the final game....
Anyway, can you guess what is keeping us busy for the moment?
Yep, we’re fixing parts of the story, improving the UIs, revisiting the encounters, rebalancing the loot, rewriting certain dialogs, adding extra feedback, looking at what we can do to fix character progression, improving the companions etc…
Of course, this is only the beginning, as Larian is expanding their team size and even starting a new office in Quebec City. Why all of this expansion?
Fixing things is not all we’re doing however, far from it. We’re not hiring all those people just to transform D:OS in a better experience, no, obviously we’re also working on our new RPGs.
Notice the ‘s’. It’s intentional and while I’d love to tell you more about them, I need to refrain for fear of losing whatever press momentum we’ll be able to muster when we’ll announce them. But there’s one I thing I can already tell you, and it fits well with the second big thing we’re doing to improve the quality of our future offerings – both RPGs are being built on top of the D:OS engine.
So new RPGs are incoming from Larian! Sadly, more information will have to wait.
Original Sin - Gamespot's PC Game of The Year
Gamespot has named Divinity: Original Sin their PC game of the year, and before I forget, thanks Joxer for bringing this to my attention earlier today. Here are the details.
If you haven't played Divinity: Original Sin but have only seen screenshots, it would be easy to dismiss its success as owing to its grab at PC-enthusiast nostalgia. That isometric perspective? A party of four? They recall the good-old days of Planescape: Torment and Baldur's Gate II. Could a game really be blamed for appealing to our fondness for the past?
In the case of Divinity, however, appearances are deceiving. What makes Divinity special isn't how closely it hews to an old recipe, but how far it deviates from it. This is a game in which the most innocuous of choices have consequences that you may not have foreseen, but which nonetheless make sense within this internally consistent and varied world. Making decisions in Divinity isn't a matter of following dialogue paths to predesignated story beats, but about deciding whether a conversation is even worth having in the first place. And should that conversation occur, it's up to your own personal gifts of persuasion--and a little bit of luck--to determine whether it will go your way. Violence is an option, but it's not the only one.
Violence is nevertheless an enjoyable option, however, thanks to Divinity's excellent turn-based combat, which harbors surprises of its own, most of them due to elemental reactions that could blow up your entire party if you aren't paying close attention to your surroundings. In Divinity: Original Sin, every encounter, every discussion, every step into the unknown is an event. And you know a game is special when you know that the simplest of choices might create lasting, heart-pounding, game-changing drama.
Original Sin - Retail Boxed Version Available
Larian Studios announces that you can now buy a boxed retail copy of Divinity: Original Sin at all major US retailers. Again here are the details from a press release.
Divinity: Original Sin Conquers America
The little RPG that could, Divinity: Original Sin, began as an idea funded by the
fans. From there it proceeded to a critically-acclaimed launch on Steam, and now it rolls into all major US retailers including Wal-Mart, Best Buy, GameStop, and Target just in time for Christmas.
Looking for the perfect gift for that special someone (or for an excuse to ignore
your uncle's political opinions at dinner)? Divinity: Original Sin features a 50 hour campaign - and co-op, if you want to bring a friend! - and the retail version is patched and available at major retail stores near you when you need an excuse to get out of the house. It also comes with the Source Hunter DLC included, for even more relative-avoiding action, and all for just $39.99.
The end of this journey requires a small celebration and the Larian team put
together this video to commemorate their journey from Kickstarter to major
retailers and to show how the feedback from the fans helped to shape the game.
Divinity: Original Sin is also available in major digital outlets including Steam.
For more information on Divinity: Original Sin, visit:
Larian Studios - A Larian T-Shirt Campaign
Larian Studios are using RedditMade to run a campaign for selling Larian Studios T-Shirts. The cost of a shirt is $20, unless you are a very big boy or girl, in which case the extra fabric will cost you. Sales of the shirts isn't going fast at the moment apparently, still if you want a Larian shirt or support Larian in some way, this is your opportunity.
Original Sin - Mac Version Released
Larian Studios announced that you can now buy the Mac version of Divinity: Original Sin on the Mac App Store. Here is the information sent in a new press release.
Divinity: Original Sin hits the Mac App Store
Larian Studios announced today that the best-selling RPG Divinity: Original Sin is now available on the Mac App Store.
This edition of the game has been optimized for OS X Yosemite and Mac hardware, including desktops like the Mac Mini and iMac, as well as a special laptop-optimized mode for MacBook hardware that also supports gesture controls.
It features all the latest patches to ensure a smooth experience and sports a free content pack that includes The Bear and the Burglar DLC.
Check it out on the Mac App Store now:
For more information on Divinity: Original Sin, visit: http://www.divinityoriginalsin.com/