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.
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.
Information aboutLarian Studios
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.
Information aboutDragon Commander
Release: In development
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.
Original Sin - Update #30 , Companions, Editor Magic, Mixing Physical with Digital
Larain is back with a new update with 27 hours left in the Original Sin kickstarter. The update covers a couple of topics as the countdown continues.
27 hours left!!!
Well, the title says it all. It looks like we're going to make the Companions stretch goal, but are we going to make the NPC schedules goal ? They say anything is possible on Kickstarter, but there's still some distance cover. The only thing that's sure is that we'll know tomorrow!
Our latest companions video update wasn't very good. That's why we did a new one, containing much more information on exactly what it is we're planning to do, and what the difference is between Henchmen and Companions. It's a bit of a designer class and it features Swen's most horrible handwriting, but hopefully it'll answer the questions people have been asking.
We have a cool game editor and we like showing it off because we want the modding community to seriously start thinking about what RPG adventures they're going to make with it. In this latest editor update, Wannes, whizkid extraordinaire shows you how you can modify materials in Divinity: Original Sin to achieve some very cool effects. Cool stuff!
Physical Add-ons For Digital Tiers Now Possible!
Feel free to browse our physical add-ons, pick the ones you like and add their cost + shipping to your digital pledge!
- Shipping within Europe: $10
- Shipping to the rest of the world: 15$
We can't believe how fast the pledge counter is going. To be honest, while we dreamt of it, we never expected that we'd even have a chance of reaching the NPC schedule stretch goal. Now it looks like during the final countdown, it could actually happen, though it'll still require a mad end-rush. One thing is sure - if we make this stretch goal, we'll need extra room in the office! I wish I had a crystal ball.
Original Sin - Update #29, Henchmen and Companions
Update number 29 for Original Sin brings us the 'forgotten' update about Henchmen and companions, whilst being at $732K.
It also gives us an opportunity to add a bit more information about the "Design A Henchman" tier. Many people have asked us what happens to the henchmen they design if the "henchmen become companions" stretch goal is reached.
The way it is going to work is that the henchmen designed by backers will receive a background from the pool of available backgrounds. And they will have dialogues which correspond to those backgrounds. Additionally there will be companions that we will add to the game and these will be treated differently from the henchmen.
You may wonder why you would still want to hire henchmen if there are companions available. And the answer is that different henchmen will have different strengths and weaknesses as well as different abilities. It is very likely that while playing you might swap henchmen in and out depending on the challenges you are facing. For instance when dealing with fire creatures, fire spells actually heal them instead of damaging them. If you happen to have a companion that is specialized in fire spells, he will therefore be of little use. At such a moment it would be very handy to hire a henchman specialized in water spells.
Luckily you also have a homestead at The Shelter Plane At The End of Time where you can ask henchmen you encountered and hired, to wait for you.
You should also be aware that henchmen talk to each other so if you treat them badly, that might have repercussions in your dealing with other henchmen. Likewise, treat them well and you might find unexpected benefits.
And for the French there is a hands-on video available from Jeuxvideo.
Don't forget you can also donate at our fundraiser for Original Sin and get a copy of the game.
Original Sin - Update #28, 700K and Something Special
Including Paypal the $700K for the Original Sin Kickstarter has been achieved. This means Kyrill gets to play wih an orchestra and all backers get a bonus:
If we include Paypal in the total amount, the 700K goal goal is reached already and that means that the music of our brilliant composer, Kirill Pokrovsky, will now be performed by a symphonic orchestra!
This will be a first in the history of the Divinity games and we'll release moving pictures once the recordings are in progress. You can imagine that Kirill is very happy!!! Or perhaps not...his love for writing sheet music is legendary ;)
To celebrate this goal, ALL our Kickstarter backers will receive a free digital copy of a very unique Divinity audio CD with remastered and remixed music from "Beyond Divinity" and "Divine Divinity".
There is also this advertising of the Original Sin editor in which they show that they have the Aleroth part of Divine Divinity running in their editor.
Then there is more info on the add-ons and rewards that are available now:
- Divine Divinity Digital Version (HD): add $5
- Weresheep Forum Badge, In the Credits as a Weresheep, a hint: add $6
- THE Hint concerning the Weresheep: add $666
- Digital Artbook featuring the Art of Divinity Original Sin: add $8
- Digital Map of the World of Divinity Original Sin: add $8
- Digital Soundtrack of Divinity Original Sin: add $10
- Extra Digital Copy of Divinity Original Sin: add $20
- Beta Access for Divinity Original Sin: add $20
- Alpha Access for Divinity Original Sin: add $50
- Fanday Ticket: add $150
- Divinity Anthology (digital): add $20
- Divinity Dragon Commander (digital): add $40
- Cloth Map: add $25
- Signed Poster: add $25
- T-Shirt Weresheep Logo: add $25
- T-Shirt Divinity Original Sin: add $25
- Extra Box Copy of Divinity Original Sin: add $40
And there is this preview by TotalBiscuit.
Original Sin - Reddit AMA Results
It has been a few hours since our last news on Divinity Original Sin, so here is the link to the Reddit AMA they had yesterday. You can take out the interesting parts yourself...
Update: Dr A. made a summary of the more interesting parts on our forums.
Original Sin - Update #27, Secret Stretch Goal Reached
The secret stretch goal for Original Sin at $666,666 has been reached: The Weresheep are added to the game. Here are some details:
Dropping Hints And Picking Them Up
The weresheep are real. We are sure of it. But no one has actually seen one. Or perhaps that should be - no one has ever lived to tell of an encounter with these most bizarre and bloody beasts.
We've been told that to find them, many a hint need to be picked up. Some are so subtle that even a Source Hunter would be forgiven for letting the trail grow cold.
Everybody knows that if you can find a weresheep and kill it in combat, the great prize to be obtained is werewool! Its magical properties allow adventurers to craft weapons, pieces of armour and other items of great and fabled powers. Not to mention they're cosy, snug and warm!
But where to find a weresheep? Perhaps the legend of Falcon Black contains a clue...
Original Sin - Update # 25 & 26, 72 Hours Left and New Stretch Goal Announced
Well it seems to be a busy day for the Original Sin kickstarter. Larian has posted two more updates among many today.
We've been keeping an eye on our paypal counter today, and together with the Kickstarter total, it looks like stretch goal 2 was just unlocked!!!
Personality traits & talents are now confirmed, and it'll come as no surprise that we're extremely happy that we can add the traits & talents gameplay system to Divinity: Original Sin. It wouldn't have been the RPG we wanted to make without them, and we're very grateful that you made this possible.
To celebrate, here's a video showing how we'll go about including traits and talents. To be specific, it's a video about a prototype for the trait curiosity and the sixth sense talent, and while the actual implementation may vary, it should give you a good idea of how it'll improve the gameplay and bring more depth to character customization.
It's going to be awesome!
New Stretch Goal Announced
So many people were touched by Kirill's magical performance that we wanted to do something special. Therefore, without affecting any of the other stretch goals, we'd like to give Kirill something he's also wanted i.e. a live orchestra for him to fool around with and record the game music with.So, at 700K, there is now a stretch goal that unlocks a live orchestra for this man:
You want this. You really want this. It seriously will be awesome!
The Next Stretch Goals
Obviously with a stretch goal unlocked, it follows that we start looking at what the next stretch goal is going to be.
At 666K already, we'll reach a new secret stretch goal in which we'll lift a tiny bit of the veil that covers a well-kept secret. Don't expect big announcements, but do expect some of the lore surrounding this particular secret to be released. You can also expect more on THE HINT.
At 700K, there's of course our newly announced stretch goal, in which Kirill gets an orchestra, and then at 800K, there's a very big one: Henchmen become companions.
While our henchmen will have more background than what you've seen in the gameplay videos so far, upon unlocking the 800K stretch goal full blown companions will be unlocked, featuring complex storylines and adding gameplay to our gameworld. This is a pretty important stretch goal, so we'll soon do an update to illustrate exactly what it is we want to achieve.