Divinity – Original Sin revealed !

[In which I discuss my surprise at the surprise regarding the announcement of Original Sin and give plenty of links to first look coverage ]

So now you know :)

Project E, the secret Larian project I tried to hype by sneakily dropping hints about it from time to time turns out to be a top-down multiplayer turn-based RPG called Divinity – Original Sin.

Judging by the reactions I’ve seen on various forums, about the only thing that apparently didn’t come as a surprise is that it’s set in the Divinity universe. And even that seems to raise some eyebrows, because it takes place before Divine Divinity and not after Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga.

I’m surprised by the surprise, so I guess that  now that I can openly talk about it, it might be worthwhile telling you what I was thinking when this game initially saw the light. Before you read on, you should probably have a look at one of the previews – otherwise a lot of what I’m going to say won’t make sense. Also, think of it as contributing to our chances of being covered by these media in the future, because if nobody reads what they write about us, they might lose their motivation to write about us ;)

Here’s a bunch of previews, which are the result of that press thing we did. Of course you can also check out the website, which features a kind of “inside look” video.

So, what was I thinking?

For starters, if you read this blog from to time, you might have figured  that I always wanted to go back to Divine Divinity and finish the job. One of the things that bugged me about that game was that it was originally supposed to have a multiplayer mode, which sadly got lost in the trials and tribulations of trying to ship our first major RPG.

Then with Beyond Divinity, multiplayer was back on the agenda, but the Divine Divinity code had evolved to the point that putting it in would’ve meant rewriting everything, and at that time, that was impossible.

And then, came Divinity II. That one too was supposed to have multiplayer (I have a video from a prototype of that which I’m trying to find so I can post it here). Sadly the multiplayer was scratched when the publisher realized what costs this would bring on the QA front, especially on console. In hindsight, given the effort it took to get Divinity II ready, they were probably right about canceling the multiplayer, but that didn’t prevent me from feeling frustrated about the entire thing, because that was the third time.

So now that we’re finally publishing ourselves, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that multiplayer was one of the very first things on the list. The why of it is quite simple – I really miss a RPG where you can play together with a friend, and discuss how you’re going to handle things. Nobody’s really pulled that off decently in my mind, so I wanted to give it a shot. Personally, I’m hoping that the editor that ships with the game will be good enough to seed a productive modding community, so that I can finally play one of my own games without knowing what’s going to happen & this together with my girlfriend.

The latter is also why I’m so hyped about  this cooperative dialog system we’re hinting at in the video & previews. What’s being show really scratches but the surface of our ambitions. I actually don’t understand why nobody did this before –  the moment you start thinking about making a real RPG with cooperative multiplayer in there, you can’t but end up with something like this. Anyways, if we’re the first & players like it, I guess that’ll be something cool.

Also, don’t underestimate what we can do with a system like this in single-player. If you make a storyline where you ensure that there’s always the opportunity for interactions between party-members to be potentially conflicting, you can make good use of that in single player too.

Next on the list of reasons why Divinity – Original Sin seems to have surprised people is the turn-based combat system. That one comes from the desire of doing something like the first Fallouts. I always wanted to do a turn-based game with action points but my problem was that I couldn’t find a publisher who agreed with me.

Active-pause was considered for some time (and we actually started out like this), but in my heart I really wanted to make one of those games that has epic tactical battles, where you really have to think how you’re going to defeat the enemy. And because I’m occasionally very impulsive, one morning I stormed into the office and told the team that we were going to ditch all the hack & slash stuff and go for turn-based. I was ready to go all despot on them should I encounter any resistance, but to my surprise, they were actually quite supportive of that idea. Then I discovered they were a little bit too supportive, because before I knew it I had an ultra-hardcore system on my plate. Eventually we settled on something that I think is quite accessible, but still offers plenty of opportunity for tactical depth.

The next cause for surprise was that Divinity – Original Sin wasn’t a continuation Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga. That was one that could be predicted.  I could tell you a lot of blah of how we needed to first fill in some gaps in the storyline before we end the story of Damian & his father, but the main reason is that we really did feel like doing something different. I know that some people feel disappointed that they have to wait a bit longer, especially those who only got into Divinity because of DKS, but the desire to go back to the first Divinity was quite strong, especially since  there’s so much stuff we can do now which we couldn’t at the time.

And finally of course, there’s the top down. You don’t have to look far to find that reason. It’s all the Ultima stuff, which you can read about here. In Divine Divinity, lack of time prevented us going as far as we could’ve gone with that, and my hopes are high that this time we won’t have to make the same compromises.

So to end, I want to say that I have no clue if we’ll succeed in satisfying all of our ambitions, as there’s quite a few in there.  But at least now you know that once you get the final game in your hands, what the hopes & aspirations behind it were.

Let me know what you think!

  • Peter

    Very excited about this, and also pleasantly surprised it came to pass without having to resort to a Kickstarter!

    • http://twitter.com/VastAire Matt Delaney

      Only Larian & CD Project RED really understand how to make true, old school and intelligent games. They don’t streamline & dumb down their products to appeal modern gaming masses! No hand holding for couch derps! No political corectness! No compromises!

      And I would like to personally thank Swen for paying tribute [with Original Sin] to the biggest gem in the gaming history called Divine Divinity.

      Whole hardcore RPG crowd of Poland is waiting for the new Divinity installment.

      Fingers crossed!

  • melianos

    Keep the ultra-hardcore system as a bonus mode :D

    Will we be able to add new elements/objects to the game ? (like orient-themed environment)
    Will it be possible in additional content to make parties of 3,4 or just 1 ?
    Will we be able to make an entire separate game with those tools ?

    If the tortured guy is a representation of yourself, what does that make your undead-girlfriend ?

    Hyped and excited.

    • Arne

      Yes, this world builder to be included, will we be able to put some audio into it as well? Music, voices,..? Or maybe a selection of pre-recorded sentences? That sounds agreeable!

  • http://twitter.com/SeanRidgeley Sean Ridgeley

    Very excited, especially for the turn-based combat. “Accessible with depth” usually agrees with me, though I’m a little worried it’ll be more the former than the latter. It’s sweet you’re making a game for you and the missus.

  • Anonymous

    Dear Swen. Don’t you know that “accessible” is a bad word that means “dumbed down for the casual CoD crowd”? :P

  • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

    -Yes, you’ll be able to create your own objects & more
    -Party size is currently limited to 4
    -Pretty much – initially you’ll be able to make a new world/story with your own artwork. The scripting system is also quite powerful and you can do a lot with it. Actually, it’s based on the scripting system we used for *all* Divinity games 
    -You can play with either the guy or the girl, your choice. 

    • melianos

      I meant “you”, as a developper and manager are kinda living a constant torture, so the tortured guy is an allegory of what Swen Vincke is living. So what is your undead girlfriend an allegory for ? :D

  • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

    Yeah, I noticed that on the codex – I regret it already. But Facebook game, seriously ;) My definition of accessible is a bit different as in, “I understand intuitively what’s going on”.

  • Anonymous

    I was joking of course, and I’m pretty sure the Codex news post was too.
    But considering your definition of accessibility, you shouldn’t juxtaposition it against hardcore. I’m sure hardcore gamers want depth and challenge – not obtuse systems.

    An accessible system can be hardcore if it has depth, just as a needlessly complicated system can turn out to be shallow once understood. I’m hoping Original Sin will be both hardcore and accessible!

  • Nicholas

    Sooo hyped about this! I’ve said in other places, I’m gonna say it here too, this is on definitely on top of my wishlist, right next to Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition and Wasteland 2. What a great time to be an rpg gamer! Looking forward to more news, and since the projected release date is no sooner than 2013 I definitely need to get my hands on the whole Divinity series, I’ll have the time to finish all of games until Original Sin comes out. Best of luck guys, keep us posted and… don’t change, stick to your principles and I think you’re soon gonna have an (even bigger) army of fans :D

    Oh, side note: my fiance is thrilled with this game, she can’t wait for us to play it together :) )

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      @Nicholas That side note is probably the thing I’m looking forward to the most myself

  • Andrew

    I’m new to the Divinity series so thank you for making it a bit different. The wife and I were looking for RPGs we could play co-cooperatively as well so this ticks that box too :)

    Keeping the turn-based combat accessible and not holding up gameplay will be important for us as she prefers character stories and I prefer exploration/world lore, so we’d both rather do that than spend too much time in combat.

    The RPGWatch preview mentioned something about not needing Steamworks for local multiplayer.. does this mean you are thinking about breaking the mold and licensing one copy of the game for use on two computers (in the same household)?

    Really excited about this game now.

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      @Andrew We plan on using Steamworks if you want to play online, but since we want you to play with your friend or girlfriends also, it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to prohibit LAN play. I personally wouldn’t like that either. 

      • Tuco Benedicto

        If you guys are going to use Steam let me give a silly and yet wise advice: work with Valve to include some Team Fortress 2 gadget or a DOTA 2 extra skin with every copy of the game and enjoy your sales suddenly skyrocketing.

  • Jack Dandy

    This definitely sounds like a fun time.
    Only bothered about 2 things-

    1. How “Mend”-able will the characters be? I like to play as “my own” characters in RPGs.

    2. Can this game be enjoyed on single-player?

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      @Jack Dandy: The idea is that the inclusion of the cooperative mode actually increases the quality of your single player experience. How that’s going to work exactly I’ll reserve for a future post, but rest assured that we’re focussed on making single player as cool as we can. In terms of character customization, it’s not going to be like Skyrim, but you should be able to feel at home with your character. 

  • aReclusiveMind

    Fantastic.  Project E is better than anything I could have imagined.  To be honest, I couldn’t get the very action oriented mechanics of DKS.  I tried, but I just didn’t enjoy that type of gameplay.  The return of story oriented gameplay combined with turn based combat is excellent and exactly what I was hoping for out of Wasteland II.  Now it seems I will have at least 2 excellent RPGs to play in the near future.  Thank you Swen and Larian for thinking of us PC RPG gamers!

  • Paul

    Guys. Where the hell can I preorder this? I want to give you my money NOW!

  • DrBoom

    I have been a HUGE fan of Divinity. One thing that concerns me which isn’t that big of a deal is the graphics. The more realistic it is the better I LOVE playing it and after seeing your movie on the site of you guys playing it, I am kinda concerned as to how the graphics will be when it comes out.

    • Arne

      so you don’t like playing DeathSpank either? If it’s gonna be a funny game, why shouldn’t it look like it?

      • Wobbuvahi

         While I’m okay with the art style, I can see how some people would be upset–it does look a bit more cartoony than even Divinity II, which struck a neat balance I saw as a very sort of ’90′s fantasy illustration’ aesthetic.  I don’t entirely agree with it, but someone I was saying mentioned that part of what made the humor stick in previous games was its juxtaposition in a more realistic world.  A funny game doesn’t have to be a goofy game; just because you want to be witty doesn’t mean you have to be silly.

  • catfood

    Hi Swen,

    I’m happy to hear that you guys are making a turn based isometric RPG, God knows they come out only once in a blue moon. You and the guys at InExile have given me hope. But there is one thing which I didn’t understand very well while reading the previews. You mention that multiplayer will be playable with up to 4 people, and that 2 of them will control mercs hired during the game. In single player can we recruit mercs as well or are we stuck with only two characters? I feel that having more characters to control in combat will add more tactical depth to it. Also would these companions be fully fleshed NPC’s or will they have a strictly utilitarian role (such as the mercs in Diablo 2)?

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      @catfood: In single player, you can control a party of up to 4 characters. The two main protagonists are always present, and you can recruit different other characters to complement the party of two. 

      • Tuco Benedicto

        Can we expect some degree of social interaction with those additional “mercenaries” or are they going to be pretty much puppets for battles?

  • Daniel

    Wow, this game actually got me excited :)
    I didn’t expect that after reading it has a turn based system, but now that I read rpgwatch and this, it may actually be a lot of fun. (and something new for me ^^)

  • Caddy B

    I love the idea and the while watching the video I said to myself “Damn, this looks good.” Keep up the good work, Larian.

  • martin k.

    This will be a perfect RPG game.
    But, since everyone is throwing their ideas, I might throw some of mines:
    - make it dirtier and grittier. Too much bloom and screaming cartoonish colours may lessen the mood of Rivellon.
    - make the world huge. Huge as in Sahara-sized deserts and Russia-sized grasslands and forests where we can get lost, search for days to ultimately find only an abandoned cave or lost village with some nice surprises inside. 
    - somehow implement Cthulhu in the storyline. Monstrous Kraken of the size of a small town will suffice if the Cthulhu is not available.
    - Weapons should look like weapons. Not like fat toys :)
    - Oh, did I mentioned vast underworld level (or even better, lost city high in the sky)? Do it.

    Well, all in all, I just know this game will be a new benchmark for future RPGs.

  • http://twitter.com/sabin1981 Sabin Figaro

    Multiplayer, turn-based, Divinity.  So basically nothing whatsoever like Divinity.  Got it, thanks, will skip, not interested in purchasing and as someone who has bought all the Divinity titles so far, even the lacklustre Beyond, this should exemplify the depths of my disappointment.   I wish you luck though Lar and as for everyone else; flame me all you wish.

    • Paul

       It is singleplayer too. Turn based or realtime is a matter of taste, personally I can enjoy both, if they are well done. Wheeeew.

      • http://twitter.com/sabin1981 Sabin Figaro

        I’m not averse to turn-based games, I’m just averse to turn-based multiplayer-focused Divinity.  This isn’t me trashing the game without having tried it, I am simply not interested in playing a game from my beloved Divinity series being turned into a MP+Turn-based.  Like you said; matter of taste.

        • http://www.facebook.com/notrue.noture Notrue Noture

          But it’s still single player game with co-op multiplayer possibility, not multiplayer only.

          • Oldtimer

            No it will be a game with co-op  in mind. I have yet to play a co-op game in single player that felt right. Examples Dead Island and borderlands. I agree with Sabin Figaro. I wish Larain good luck but I have no interest in the two spinoffs of the divinity series.

          • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

            Sorry to hear that – do give it a try when a demo will be out. Perhaps the game will convince you otherwise.

          • http://twitter.com/sabin1981 Sabin Figaro

            If there’s a demo then I will, of course, be perfectly hope to try it first.. but it would have to be a truly spectacular game to convince me :  Especially coming from the excellent, real-time not co-op focused, DD and D2ED (which I bought and THEN also bought the excellent DKS :D )

  • Illusive Man

    As DOS comes first in History ( :D ) newcomers to the Divinity Universe will jump in without losing all the background already established, right ?

    By the way I was already overwhelmed by the turn-based / top-down choices but the Fallout mention as inspiration just made want to pre-order right now ( more than the Ultima one ) ! 

    Thanks again for the special video on YouTube. Much appreciated.

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      Yes, even if you haven’t played a Divinity game before you should feel at home. But if you have, then you’ll recognize a lot of seeds for events that take place in the other games. We’re actually scrambling to get our universe more solid, because when we made the first game, nobody was really thinking about this too much.  

  • Licaon_Kter

    @Lar: It’s spelled “Romanian” ;)

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      I knew something was wrong when I typed it, but I was in a bit of a rush. Fixed now, so thx for that.

  • Sylvia

    Playing with your girlfriend. That’s great. I guess this will imply Original Sin won’t be a boring boyish gory game. When developing this game, did/do you write off certain elements and/or add certain stuff, things you’d normaly not worry about, being more aware this time women would have to be thrilled about this game too? If so could you give some details? Do you have women in your team? Will there be female testers?
    I like RPGs (Gothic, Drakensang) and have played coop games on the console with my husband which was great fun.
    I’m looking forward to reading and seeing more of this game. I wish you all the best making a success of this.

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      We’re trying to give each of the heroes dialog options that fit their character, but yes, we’re aware that there’ a lot of women in our core audience. That actually took me by surprise when we released the first Divinity, but then I encountered my girlfriend & discovered she can be more hard-core in her gaming than me ;)

  • Marcel Meulenberg

    Heb deze link gekregen van een vriend. Moet zeggen dat datgene wat ik lees me erg enthousiast maakt. Heb net ook een review gelezen die dit gevoel alleen maar versterkt.
    Denk dat je uitermate goed bezig bent Swen.

    Sorry guys that I wrote this in dutch. To summon this comment: it’s a thumbs up :)

  • Wobbuvahi

    A thought for the people who feel like the game is a bit overly colorful: while I’m not inclined to say that ArcaniA was a good game, it did have an interesting idea in that it had a toggleable post-processing filter that added in some desaturation and harsher contrast.

  • Pawel

    Let me leave my comments as well. So, I generally love the idea of this kind of game. The top-down perspective, turn-based combat, innovative multi-player dialogues, it’s all great.

    But the visuals… It’s just my opinion and I believe you wouldn’t share it, as you made the game look like this after all :) Still, I honestly think it’s too colorful, most objects have too cartoonish shape (hope you know what I mean) and the male protagonist has like two times broader shoulders, than I’d like him to :) I’d love to see the game look a bit more realistic.

    Of course, I will play it anyway.

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      Well, the truth of it is that we actually haven’t spent a lot of time looking at the lighting. There’s still some layers of graphical detail that’ll be added to it, and I think as development progresses, you’ll see a lot of improvements.   

  • Svenson

    LOVE IT! If it continues like this I’m already sold!
    I loved Divine Divinity, and this definitely has a solid bloodwork of it!
    THere’s some great suggestions here and I personally think you have a huge seller on your hands! Congrats!

  • Ryan Dann

    This is my top game of the millennium! F W2, though I’m excited for it, DOS is what I’ve been waiting for. Youve hit all the right notes with this consumer/gamer! Well almost: Please don’t let your focus of MultiPlayer ruin this game for us gamers whose wives/gf/friends aren’t gamers! Make the singleplayer game equally good, as it’s the only way I’ll be playing. Also the graphics, while I admire the work, I highly dislike the cartoony feel. IMO KoA failed to get a great following in no small part to its goofy graphics. Tone that down a bit please! That said, when can I preorder?

  • NewRaven

    While I actually like what I’ve read about Original Sin, I’m still one of the few people who had liked to see a Divinity 3 announcement a bit more. First Dragon Commander (which I could care less, to be honest… this genre mix just didn’t work for me, sorry) and now a “Divinity 0″? Thats a bit hard for the story lovers like me, who actually get a spoiler ending with DKS (well, at least better as the original ED ending ;) ) and now have to wait… and wait… and wait. Besides that, I have a strong preference for  3D open world rpgs and loved the complete art style of Divinity 2 sooo much.

    But back to Original Sin… well, the last real true rpg I played in local coop was Neverwinter Nights. And yeah, I did it with my girlfriend back then. I loved Ultima VII and I loved Divine Divinity… so I guess, nothing can go wrong with this game, right?

    The screenshots look good. And please, don’t make it darker, dirtier, “harder”. While Divine Divinity and Beyond Divinity may have used a darker art direction, Divinity 2 did not and I don’t want to have such a hard style change between light, clean high-fantasy and hard, gritty dark-fantasy in every new Divinity-based game. Just stay that way you are right now, that style just fits the setting.

    As for the “ultra hardcore combat system”… please, consider to use it. To be honest, you guys tend to “improve” things not always to the better. I can’t remember specific things in Divine Divinity and Beyond Devinity (besides I always liked DD much more), but remember how you (in my humble opionion) screwed up the flying fortresses in Divinity 2? They were great and challenging in Ego Draconis, but somebody at Larian just decided to “improve” it… and so what we got with the Dragon Knight Saga? Casual, boring shooter stuff… If I think long enough and maybe play a bit DD and BD again, I’m sure I will find a lot more examples of such “improved” things you actually made worse ;) Just use the ideas like you decide them without thinking about a targeted player groups, reviewers and such people, because thats the way your games become the best. Do it like the way you and your team would love to play it. Period ;)

    If I had three wishes for that game, these would be:

    1. Steam(works) is fine for me, maybe you could even get something worked out with valve to use steam workshop for mods (like skyrim). But please… PLEASE… don’t do that micropayments mini-dlc thing (like 1 armor set for just 1,99 EUR… 20 minutes questline for $2,49). While I’m not a fan of dlcs in general, this mini packages really can kill a game for me

    2. DO FINALLY SOME GOOD PR. None… absolutely NONE Larian game ever got the success these games deserved. Not DD, not BD, not ED, not FOV, not DKS. I know its a budget thing and I don’t want tv spots all the time (while, if I remember correctly, we had one for ED here in germany…), but if most people just simply didn’t know you games, they will also just not buy them. ED got at least some attention, but when it comes to Flames of Vengeance or The Dragonknight Saga, there was no advertising here I can remember. A lot of magazines doesn’t even reviewed these both. Considering that germany is one of the more important markets for games, especially rpgs, here in europe, I better don’t think about how much less the pr work must have been in other country’s in europe. And I don’t want to mention things like the united states… Guys, your games deserve it to be known and its damn sure that these investments in more pr work will pay out for you.

    3. Take your time, release, when its done, finished and polished… and please… give us a proper ending this time even if this ending means: now, play Divine Divinity, but don’t let important questions unanswered or even bring new ones on the table. Remember, it’s a prequel to a game, the majority of players probably don’t know because of its age, also these gamers deserve a nice ending. Unlike Divinity 2 you can’t just end with a cliffhanger because the “sequel” is already there since 10 years ;)

    Besides that: just announce Divinity 3 after release of Orininal Sin and anything is fine for me ;)

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      @NewRaven Thanks for the words of encouragement. We don’t have any DLC plans except for allowing people who make really good stories that offer hours of play time  to monetize their efforts On the PR front, we’re investing heavily in that and I think it already showed with the Original Sin announcement – I can’t remember any Divinity game getting that much coverage once announced. And in terms of taking our time, I know :)   

  • http://twitter.com/wolfr_ Johan Ronsse

    Some thoughts. This is from someone whose favorite RPGs are Baldurs Gate II and Arcanum. I finished Divine Divinity but never got to playing the 3D/Xbox type sequels because they felt too arcade-y to me.

    I’m currently playing Diablo 3 and it’s very shallow. I remember once playing some sort of Ultima game and being able to do anything in the world. In my memory (I only played it for a couple of hours) death was persistent, you could pick up flowers outside your house and interact with basically any object. There was a deep sense of “world”. Mobs would just be a specific level and wouldn’t “smartly scale” so you had to figure out where to go. You could talk to any character. Etc.

    Seemingly a lot of these values of what makes a true RPG inspired you guys to make Project E, which I guess henceforth shall be known as D:OS. I’m excited about the game, and I wish you the best of luck. I’m worried about the art direction and specifically the UI, and I also think it’s gonna be a hard balancing act to make a multiplayer turn-based game fast & exciting enough. Keep up the good work.

  • kpio

    too bad it has wow graphics. It looks like one of those christmas tree arpgs. I’m sick and tired of these kinder garden graphics

  • Iphigenie aka Joelle Nebbe-Mor

    All right – I am a huge fan, even bought Divinity 2 direct to support you, have given copies of the early games etc. Have high expectations of the game, sounds great, congratulations on finally revealing it, look forward to oodles more of your forking quests and cool responsive dialoue. And bring on co-op indeed!
    But all the good bits of exciting information were dampened by an overriding signal when I got to the site. I would have hoped that the first thing I would see coming to the new site would NOT be a variant on Leia’s slave costume. Really? Is the message you want to send to half the gaming community “you’re not our target public, you’re the eye candy FOR our target public”? Because that is what I got, slap in the face, as soon at the page loaded.
    Bummer, we women would love to hear “you’re a credible agent in the worlds we imagine” more often. Divinity 2 did that well, so I hope this new game, in spite of the silly costume, will happen in this game.
    Still a fan, no worries.

    • NewRaven

      Actually, I know a lot of girl gamers which like especially the something more revealing armors in Divinity 2. So “half of the community” probably isn’t that right. While I understand where you’re coming from, I believe Larian comes up with a good mix in armor/clothing design to fit different tastes like they already did in Divinity 2. I personally like such armors as long as they don’t went too far (like some mod armors for the TES-Games do). Eye candy doesn’t make a character less credible in a fantasy game in my opinion. And as long as everybody has the choice between great-looking-eye-candy and a kind of a more realistic look, everything is fine. Should be fine for girl gamers, too…

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      I don’t think our female heroine shouldn’t be underestimated, she’s definitely on par in importance with the male hero in the story and there’s no stereotyping that I can see. She starts of confused but she quickly grows into somebody who’s very sure about herself. TBH, that’s what she looks like to me in that image.

  • Arne

    Personnaly I don’t have problems with the graphics, they look very nice. Just don’t make the game as silly as Fable III, cause that’s not what Divinity is about. Death, murder, torture, rapes, demons, ghosts, war, plague, living dead, and every now and then a killer rabit or lunatic wizard, go for it again I say! Even a cartoonish layout permits designing creepy monsters or spooky places.
    My brother (14) never liked RPG’s before, but now that I showed him the screenshots and multiplayer mode he suddenly became interested at this game. He really was. (not that he was gonna buy it if I wouldn’t, but still…a miracle). He likes local multiplayer games a lot.
    So no matter what is to be modded between today and next year, you got the right vision already. Keep up the good work!
    Q1: will a demo be posted before 2013?
    Q2: will a level design tool (demo) be posted before 2013?
    Q3: will Larian head to Gamescom this year as well?

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      @Arne I don’t think we’ll be releasing anything before 2013, but we will most definitely be at Gamescom showing off both Dragon Commander and Divinity: Original SIn.

  • daniel

    You know what this sounds great, I haven’t played any of your games since the original Divinity, (although I just picked up DKS on a sale and shall play it at some point) I think it’s the turn based and party aspect that appeals to me the most that and all the Ultima VII connections! Looking forward to this. :-)

  • Cybu

    It really looks back to the roots ! Sure brings back a lot of memories…

  • Bpstrat

    Thank you! This looks awesome and I’m so glad it is going to be top-downa and turn-based. Plus, I love that you are keeping the spirit of Ultima alive. Keep up the good work.

    P.S. – I visited Belgium for the first time last year (I’m from the US) and I thought of Larian Studios when I went by Gent on the train. You have a great country!

  • Anonymous

    Now THIS is what I’m talking about! While Dragon Commander might or might not be my cup of tea, this here is what I was hoping for when you guys went independent – a turn-based, isometric RPG from one of the best RPG makers out there. Thank you!

    And regarding the combat system: An intuitive UI (e.g. smart use of the screen real estate) will allow you to use a reasonably hardcore combat system without making any compromises.

    Oh, and while I’m fairly old-school as far as RPGs go, I do actually like the idea of co-op play, and I do like the colorful graphics.

  • http://www.facebook.com/katrien.cornelis Katrien Cornelis

     Oh my getting spoiled with all the reviews,vid,screenies..

    1st of all, as stated in one of my previous posts(sorry for spamming your blog,I’m just really interested),TB is (or has not ever been) a prefered style of mine.I was very much a fan of the action-pause system (so exhilirating taking on a boss that by all definitions should squish you like a boss and win, after an obscene amount of potions ^^)..BUT Larian would not be Larian if they wouldn’t have succeeded in somehow (the vid) convincing me that this might actually be AWEsome (am I this easy?! =)

    2nd – Art style is a wee bit less my thing, although again not true exactly, I have no outspoken opinion on artstyle, but I am wondering about the “glow”?.I’m hoping it’s like in GW some sort of result of maxing the graphs, so that it can be disabled or minimized by toying a bit with graph settings.The cheerfullnes doesn’t bother me, the glowing is not really my thing (sorry lar)

    3rd – The dialogue system seems fabulous, it even received some very interested looks from my BF who is not realy an isometric fan (so I’m rooting for that ^^).I agree that it also offers some very nice SP possibilities.Also I’m quite curious how/if the choises you make will have an alignment/reputation/-ish influence and if yes, how that influences the world around you (In dd it was very well present if i recall correct, and it was so..lifelike)..and yes ofcourse I’m looking forward to some very funny conversations :)   ..Maybe it’s wishfull thinking but in DD and BD I sometimes really had the impression I could hear the flemish humour in the conversation, maybe I can rustle up an example as I’m playing DD again

    4th – storyline..Ofcourse for this I need to play the game but I’m not worried.This is one of the things where you guys have never dissapointed me so, I shouldn’t see why you would start now =p

    5th – world interaction and combining (bit on same tree for me) – finally..a game that does this again..I remember doing the dishes in DD,or pouring a beer ^^ creating a bed from two haystacks..the more the better, a vision you clearly share *hero*

    1Q though, I thought somewhere I read something about moving on “zeshoeken” (sorry don’t know the english word)..I’m presuming/hoping this is only in combat mode, and that exploring is just RT no?

    I am very much looking forward to this, very curious about the music too..I remember with DD it was playing in the background for hours sometimes before I noticed, because it was just that good..Twas the soundtrack of my life during the times I played it ^^..  If your revenue could be ensured by my mouth-to-mouth commercial you’ld all be rich, but since that’s not happening I’ll just keep sharing this and talking about it to whomever wants to listen.. (and even those that don’t want to :p )

    • http://www.facebook.com/katrien.cornelis Katrien Cornelis

       minor detail I forgot..I love how the game is PC/MAC only ^^  no console affiliation whatsoever..marvellous

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      Thx Katrien ! I really don’t know where this hexagon rumor comes from – I guess somebody assumed this to be the case because of some of the the editor screenshots, but that really was just an AI grid which is invisible to the player. For all practical purposes, you’ll never notice that under the hood there is a grid, just like you don’t notice there’s a grid in Diablo 3.

    • Daniel

      Lol, I never knew there was a game were you could do stuff like the dishes xD
      So what was the purpose of that? could you do that in a tavern to earn some money or something likewise?

      • http://www.facebook.com/katrien.cornelis Katrien Cornelis

         It was in the castle, but I don’t remember if it was quest related or not..I just thought it was very fun :)   Larians games are full of these teeny things, I think it’s in DD also that they put an easter egg abount AA Ghent (a soccer team) =D

  • GuyWhoLikesOlderRPGs

    Hi Swen, a couple of comments.

    First, this is pure awesome. Thanks for courageously undertaking making such a classics-inspired game. Second, I would like to echo other’s comments for “Make the ultra hard core combat optional!”, or a mod or something. It sounds amazing! Last, several people have commented on the colors. I have to agree, it does look overly bright / cartoonish. The modeling is nothing like WoW but I can’t help comparing the coloring / texturing… but all things being equal, I will buy original sin even if you used a film noir palette.

  • Rupert

    Top-down, turn-based, and what is most important, hopefully a trademark Larian-level-of-fun game. What’s not to like? 

    • Rupert

      Edit: Although I would also appreciate tuning down the cartoonish visual style a bit (or at least the magic fairyland lighting), if at all possible.

      • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

        I think you’ll see a difference when E3 footage comes out already – we didn’t really decide on the lighting yet & are fooling around with it for the moment. 

  • Marquess Cornwallis

    Swen, one thing I am curious about that I haven’t seen confirmed explicitly about the dialogue system so far: playing in single player mode, is the player given control over both of the main characters’ dialogue choices or do they get to control only one of them, with some sort of AI planned for the other character that might occasionally contradict you (much like another player would in co-op mode)?

    Either way, best of luck with the game. 

    • Farflame

      Yes, I have in mind the same question. It seems so far that you will control one hero of your choice. The second should be full-fledged AI hero who will comment your actiosn and react to your dialogues and NPCs – am I right, Sven? 
      I assume that basic dialogue system will be the same for both co-op and single player. So while in co-op your friend will choose reaction of his hero, in single player this reaction will be scripted by designers, but outcome will be the same – the second hero will state his opinion which may be different than yours. 
      Then charisma and other things come in to judge the result. I wonder what will happen if AI hero is more charismatic than your hero? Does it mean that in most dialogues player will lose and will be forced to accept opinions of his pre-scripted AI team-mate?

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      @Marquess – so the idea is that in single player you can select a character type for the AI in which case the AI will answer in line with his character. Alternatively, you can opt to always have it your way, in which case the AI will not interfere. It’s really up to you personal preference, though putting the AI on random will give you the most fun imho.  

      • Farflame

        And will the AI hero react to players actions and dialogues with standard comments, jokes etc.? If so will the “character type” for AI incluence content of these comments? 
        For example – player plays as male and choose his female AI to be something like “compassionate and helpfull simple woman who dont like fighting, big egos and struggles for power”. So she may have sympathy for his torture, but on the other hand if player plays like usual fighter there may arise tension between the two.

  • Arne

    I last bought DD at gog but unfortunately lost my savegames when I had discovered almost the whole of rivertown…so I had to try again. First time I chose the way of the mage, now the warrior. I got to say, it was damn hard to be a mage when your out of mana. I hope last sin will see to that, in DKS auto mana recuperation was available so don’t forget to include it this time as well.

  • Arne

     Not that I have something to say, I just wanted to post the 75th reply so badly!

  • Lightinglockey

    I’m glad to hear of this project.  While DKS was a great game, it was heavily lacking in story/lore.  Also the books didn’t have any concept art or short stories as found in Sword of Lies (a.k.a. Divine Divinity), that was kind of fun.

    The turn based fighting looks like it will be a lot of fun, provided the monsters you kill stay dead like in the other Divinity games.  Exploring dungeons and trying to solve puzzles usually gets too frustrating if combat keeps interrupting my train of thought.

    Also, I’d like to see books that have short stories where you have to collect the whole series and with concept art like in Sword of Lies.  Well I’m definitely looking forward to two great games coming out within the next year.  The only problem with that is I seem to get temporary insomnia every time you guys release a game….

    • http://www.facebook.com/katrien.cornelis Katrien Cornelis

       ” The only problem with that is I seem to get temporary insomnia every
      time you guys release a game….” Hehe i recall suffering from the same
      condition,when I played DD it was on a crt with 60MHz refresh
      rate,killer for the eyes..but I woke up sat,immediately behind the
      PC,barely being able to see the game or even looking at my screen,but
      just keep on gaming =) good times..their games tend to have that effect
      on people hihi

  • http://www.boptions24.de/ Binäre Optionen handeln

    Touche. Sound arguments. Keep up the great spirit.