Thoughts after releasing Divinity:Original Sin and what comes next

Ok,  let’s do this thing. Lots of people have been asking me for numbers and thoughts on the release of Divinity: Original Sin, so here are a few.

Divinity:Original Sin did pretty well. At the time of this writing its Metacritic critic rating is at 87%, it’s user rating at 89% and it’s been at the top of the Steam charts for most of the summer, occupying the nr. 1 spot for around a month.

It has sold well over half a million units by now– mostly from Steam, with 10% from retail.  ”Break even” has been reached, our debts have been paid and we are now in the profitable zone. While not all of the money is for us as we had private investors on board, the game did sufficiently well for us to envision funding our next endeavors with it, meaning we’re pretty happy about its performance.

Divinity:Original Sin was received well by both players and critics

Divinity:Original Sin was received well by both players and critics. It has the highest user score of all recent PC games.

So much for turn-based fantasy RPGs not selling, crowdfunding not working and a developer like us not being capable of bringing a game to market without the help of seasoned publishers ;) .

It’s now been two months since release, so I’ve had the chance to recover somewhat and organize my thoughts.

Releasing D: OS has been a fantastic and rewarding experience, but it’s also been a very tough game to make. There were a surprising amount of hurdles we had to jump and negotiating them wasn’t always easy. I wish I could share my mailbox so you could appreciate some of the finer nuances of some the prose that was directed at yours truly, but alas, confidentiality obligations prevent me from doing so.

The release of D: OS was one big crunch period with all the good and bad that come with it. If the game ultimately did well, it’s because of the outstanding performance of the team when “the going got tough and the tough got going”.

A lot of the crunch was caused by our decision to listen to the feedback we received through our Kickstarter and Steam Early Access communities. While it often was tough to read through all of the criticism, it was clear that integrating the best parts of the feedback would be well worth the effort and improve the game massively. We didn’t hesitate for a minute.

This meant extra delays however, which in turn meant a need for extra budget. Steam Early Access was getting us some money but unfortunately that wasn’t sufficient. We needed to pay back our creditors who were all under the conviction that the game would be out sooner. When, to my surprise, it turned out that they didn’t share our belief that everything was going to be ok and even better if we listened to the feedback, I had to engage in a lot of fun conversations. Between “it’s ready when it’s done” and actually following up on that mantra, there unfortunately lies a big gap that can only be bridged with financial stamina.

I think we would’ve continued development even longer, but when I had to dash to a far away place where lived the one last bank director who still wanted to give us sufficient credit to pay a part of what we owed to another bank, it was clear that we needed to finish. I wasn’t joking when I said it was all in.

When D:OS finally shipped, a lot of us were exhausted. Perhaps surprisingly, but typically, not all of us were happy that it was finished, as there were still a ton of things we wanted to do. Our bodies and our families had different feelings however. They were very happy that it was over and we needed to make quite some amends.

Personally, I was completely worn out, both mentally and physically, and I needed to detox myself from “the game”.  I’d been waking up and crashing down with it for so long that I had a hard time getting used to “normal life” again. My partner took me to Rome the weekend after D:OS shipped and to my shame all I could think of was checking the forums to see if everything was ok. I’m very lucky that she’s still with me.

We worked on D:OS until the very last day before release, and while that in itself isn’t for the meek of heart, it did have some interesting consequences. For one, we didn’t have any review code to share with reviewers prior to release. This meant that it would take several weeks before we’d actually know what the review scores were going to be. It also meant that anybody interested in the game would have to either wait or check what other players were thinking.

I don’t know if there was any correlation between our ultimate review scores and the user reviews, but the latter were really good and when you went to the Steam page on the day of release, it was loaded with over 1500 user reviews, 93% being thumbs up. I think that fuelled a lot of the initial success of the game and I also think it made some reviewers pay a bit more attention to the game.

Like (I think) most developers, we were well aware of most of Divinity: Original Sin’s issues before release. However, the freedom the game offers, together with a very small QA team, ensured that it was impossible for us to test all permutations, so we had to take some risks. We quickly patched whatever caused too much grief and while the quick patching wasn’t without risk either (we needed to release quite a few hotfixes after releasing a patch), the vast majority of people could play without encountering game-breaking issues. Our biggest issues were with 32bit operating systems and to this day we are working on improving stability on those.

Our plan is to continue supporting D: OS for quite some time as this is the RPG framework on which we’ll build our next games. We’re fooling around with controller support to see if a big screen version with cooperative play would work well, something I’m silently hoping for as I think it’ll be a lot of fun, more so perhaps than playing coop in LAN with a friend sitting next to you. We’re also improving the engine itself as well as adding a bunch of extra features that not only make D: OS more fun and more friendly to players, but that will also improve whatever our next offering will be. We’re also adding extra content, like for instance the big companion patch, voiced et al, and I imagine that won’t be the last of what we’ll add.

The foreseeable future for Larian (i.e. the next couple of years) is going to see us making further progress in improving our RPG craft and creating dense game worlds with hopefully new and innovative gameplay systems based on old school values.  These last months I’ve been very busy expanding our development force so that we can continue to compete in tomorrow’s market.

As I mentioned in this interview, the current thinking is that we shouldn’t go back to Kickstarter. That’s not because we’re ungrateful of the support we received through our Kickstarter community or because all those rewards caused a bit of extra work, but because I think the crowdfunding pool is limited and it should be fished in by those who really need it. Since we now can, I think we should first invest ourselves and then see if we need extra funds to fuel our ambitions. Only then it makes sense to look at crowd funding. I know several of our backers will be displeased by this, so it could be that we still change our minds, but if that is the case, I do think the the format we’ll use or the way we’ll do it will be different than how we did it for Divinity: Original Sin. (Update: I forgot to mention in the original version of this post that we will be looking at ways of engaging our community sooner in development, but haven’t made any decisions on this)

Let me end this post with a few key observations I made for myself during the development of D:OS.  I hope they’ll help some other developers because they for sure would have helped me had I adhered to them from the very beginning.

In the modern game industry, content is king. It’s a good moment to be a developer, but you have to find a way of doing most of it yourself, without any third party being involved. For each third party you add, your development complexity is going to rise exponentially  because you get extra communication lines and there are no guarantees that throughout development, your agendas will continue to match. We had a lot of third parties involved during development, and it was the root of half our problems.

Content is also king when it comes to the game itself. Bad content means players will have no motivation to invest themselves in your game, and if you find yourself for whatever reason with bad content, cull it. Don’t release it, even if it causes extra delays and it brings you to the brink of bankruptcy. Bad is bad and players will recognise bad. Fix your content first. At some undisclosed point in development, we dumped more than half of what we had. It was the best decision ever, even if did tarnish the end result a bit and caused a lot of extra stress.

If content is the king, polish is the queen. The best content in the world will get low ratings if you have a poor UI and no gloss, or if players don’t understand your systems. These are easy things to say, but they are very hard to put in practice and sometimes you find that you may have to backtrack a lot. Don’t hesitate about this, just do it.

The posts on our forums are veritable goldmines of feedback but beware, for experienced miners only

The posts on our forums are veritable goldmines of feedback but beware, for experienced miners only

Listen to your community, but be aggressive in your triage and remember that game development requires enlightened despotism, not democracy. Communities are diverse and as such you’ll get conflicting opinions. You need a strong core vision to guide you through their feedback, and you need to stick to that vision, no matter how vocal they become. But you do need to listen and recognize the underlying causes of problems being reported. Often communities will complain about the symptoms of something that’s wrong and it’s not always easy to discover what the root cause is.

Also remember that the vocal minority does not represent the majority, no matter how hard their claims. The majority doesn’t have time to write thousands of posts. And if you encounter some uncivilized people on a forum,  ignore them. They’re not worth the emotional stress they may cause. You wouldn’t deal with them in real life either.

And finally, iteration pays off. I’ve tried countless things to avoid iteration, but all of them have been failures. At best you can try to reduce the amount of iterations, but you will need to iterate. Make it part of your development ethos; it’ll save you some hardship.

There is of course much more that I could say and I hope I’ll update my blog more frequently, but as it happens, I am pretty busy for the moment. In addition to strengthening our development muscle, we’re starting up our new productions, which is a lot of fun– but also a lot of work. The choices we’re making now will affect us for the next couple of years, so I’m trying to maximise the amount of mental bandwidth that goes into them. I remember all too well some bad choices I made when starting development on D:OS, and I’d very much like to avoid repeating them.

In conclusion, developing D:OS was a very rich experience and I think our entire team matured a lot in the process of making it. We do this job because we enjoy entertaining other people with our imaginations, and when it’s successful, it makes us feel all good inside. We’re very grateful for the many thank you messages we received from our players: it’s these shows of appreciation that fuel us when the night is dark and the task list long, and it’s what makes this job so incredibly cool.

Thanks for reading! There are a lot of topics touched upon in this post so I’m looking forward to your comments.

  • Triv1um

    What a blog. Proud to be a part of the 10% with the retail collectors edition from a great team with a good sense of the gaming scene. Thanks for the great game and I look forward to buying into your future endeavors.

  • mindtrance

    I just want to say that D:OS is hands down on of the best games I’ve played since I started gaming at age 6 (now 34) and you took my back to a place of fond memory while the mechanics and story.

    This is the way RPG games are meant to be. Thank you for all your hard work!

    p.s. – pretty sure the amazing reviews from actual players will make your next game even more successful. Good luck dude!

    • http://www.jokerslunt.com/ Joker Productions

      Agreed. Hands down the best RPG I’ve ever played.

    • E v i n h e r k o n

      “one of the best games I’ve played since I started gaming at age 6 (now 34)”

      That’s pretty damned sad.

      The mechanics seem pretty sound (a few wonky decisions not withstanding), but everything else is pretty bland and generic.
      RPGs today, from a narrative standpoint especially, suffer from an enormous shortage of imagination and daring, D:OS isn’t exactly bucking that trend or introducing anything terribly new in game-play mechanics/design to compensate.

      It’s a solid meat-and-potatoes game imo, but hardly anything special. Though I suppose it’s a matter of the best dish is any dish, to a starving man:p

      • mindtrance

        name me an RPG that has come out in the last 10 years that is better

        • E v i n h e r k o n

          Why 10 years?

          You mentioned since you were a child, there’s my main
          bone of contention. I’m willing to accept that D:OS is a satisfying
          enough cup of water in what has largely become a desert of imagination; I
          simply happen to remember the shores of wild potential within the RPG
          genre…still poorly capitalized upon imo.
          But, since that’s the number you’ve chosen:

          For *this* type of RPG, i.e. Black Isles’ish style niche RPGs? Perhaps none…which is more an indictment of the industry/fan-base as much as it’s a feather in Larian’s cap imo.

          For other sorts of RPGs, there have been a flawed few…but I think they capitalized better on the implicit promise of RPGs to push the boundaries of imagination and possibility (teased at on the covers of all those wonderfully old-school D&D monster manuals, Gold Box covers, 80′s fantasy posters ect)…

          …and to create increasingly better realized and more immersive “fantasy” worlds and character sagas within which to create and play a role and go questing; participatory story telling.
          Shouldn’t that be the standard to improve upon?

          • ggrryyyyyy

            your a fucking tool m8

          • E v i n h e r k o n

            It’s “you’re” and “mate,” and thank you …nutrition and regular exercise.

          • Jack

            You didnt answer the question. Name one.

      • guest

        rpgcodex go back to your planescape pls
        at least D:OS is CRPG, not glorified point and click adventure with pointless combat

        • E v i n h e r k o n

          Go back to a game I’ve never played? Err…okay.

          If you want to hammer my taste for old school games, you’ll need to go farther back than that though, hell…Zork:p

          But their limitations were forgivable given the technological limitations, although, I think the Zork approach, with lots of lush static art assets and UI elements, could still produce some really terrific games for a (tiny) subset of gamers willing to be more reliant on imagination than graphics.

          If you’d like some newer RPGs to knock with strong story/character elements and/or strongly established worlds and imaginative lore, then have a go at KOTOR2, Everquest circa 1999, LOTRO, Morrowind, the Witcher games, maybe V:Masquerade Bloodlines…hell I’ll give you an even easier one…Mass Effect series!

          All flawed in one way or another (some deeply so), but they got the most important part right. D:OS got the fit & finish as well as combat mechanics right, but lacks creative vitality.

          “Rpgcodex”..had to Google that? Is that where you hang out? Say hi to your friends for me:p

  • Henry Ronson

    I am Texoru by the way!

    Thanks for everything Swen and Larian Studious!

    You were my first developers that I actually gave reports and feedback as somehow I can tell this game will be a huge success which it did!. You have made me motivated to support you because you are one of the true developers that really know’s what the gaming community needs in a game.

    I had allot of fun on the forums and the chat we made on twitter, forums and in game! – I feel like I have been recognise as a part of this community, and you have taken allot of my feedback (I do not post what I need, only WHAT the game needs for the community to enjoy and understand). You have taken most of them into the game, which made me feel noticed.

    Thank you again Swen and Larian Studious! I cannot wait for the futire games and the new conent coming into the game!

    P.S – *Cough* Left Hand mouse support *Cough*

    Thanks

    Texoru

    • Fox

      Left hand mouse support? Isn’t that as easy as moving the mouse from one hand to the other?

      • Henry Ronson

        I am a left hander and I bought a left hander gaming mouse and I did not know the main buttons (left and right) will be turned around. There is an easy fix this by going to the mouse settings to change it but the game will not recognise the change.

        Back in alpha and beta, you can change it manually into the settings but the file has been removed when the game has been released, they also thought that they did add the left hand support but it not make it to release.

        Also Swen now has mentioned that it is ready for this coming up content! I’ve already finished the game twice (tedious by forgetting which mouse button to click) and cannot wait to do my third play through with the new content!

  • Florian Emmerich

    Interesting as always, Swen. Your Blogposts will help some Indie-Developers, I am sure. Also I share your oppinion about the limited Kickstarter-Pool. I gladly gave my money for Divinity, since it was a brilliant game. I am looking forward to extra-content and upcoming games.

  • Kein Zantezuken

    > Also remember that the vocal minority does not represent the majority, no matter how hard their claims.

    Oh yeah, I recall that worked well: http://orogion.deviantart.com/journal/Save-the-Boob-plate-380891149

    • JackDandy

      I was going to post that to Swen too. Thought maybe in a private tweet, but if you already put it up, I’ll second your opinion.

      I still don’t think Larian crumpling in front of some vain threats made in the name of “social justice” was a good thing to do.

      What’s done is done, and the game is still great- SUPER proud to have backed it.
      But please Swen, try and avoid these kinds of things in the future.

      • Lyston

        However, let’s not forget the proceeding
        >I hope they’ll help some other developers because they for sure would have helped me had I adhered to them from the very beginning.
        That falls under the “mistakes we made along the way” category. That specific instance could have been in mind upon saying it.

        And to the devs, thank you Larian – and especially Swen – for not just making fun games but having good philosophy behind it. Listening Swen’s commentary on development throughout seriously rekindled my faith in the industry.

      • Pavel Drotár

        Did they really crumple in front of vain threats? Or was it correction of approach due to constructive feedback?

        I’ve been to the forums when this issue was being discussed. Yes, there was a lot of heated arguing going on, and yes, from time to time, an insult or a swear word was thrown around. But at the same time, certain mature individuals on both sides managed to remain on the level.

        • JackDandy

          There have been threats. Not on forums. I remember Swen (or Dave) saying how there was “too much negative energy” about the subject, on twitter.

          That doesn’t sound like the result of ‘constructive feedback’.

          I hope Swen can clarify it for all of us.

        • Benjamin Vanhees

          From the deviant art post:
          “A bare belly was for some enough a trigger to send our company enough hate and threatening mails to persuade my boss to ask me to change the cover. I did, but did so reluctantly. Disagreeing wholeheartedly with the claim of the artwork being sexistic, the better half of me decided to meet “offended-by-design” people somewhere in the middle.”

    • Benjamin Vanhees

      I’m glad they didn’t take it one step further.
      For instance: “The male figure holds a knife and the female has no weapon! Misogyny!”

    • LC

      Well, the world isn’t always that easy. There are powerful mechanisms and people in place on this planet and in the gaming industry in particular and it’s always reasonable to piss against the wind (even if you want to do so in the bottom of your heart)… :/

      • Kein Zantezuken

        >There are powerful mechanisms and people

        Yeah, like loud whining minority. A powerful force you must reckon with.

        • LC

          I meant the media and not some loud people on the forum. And it’s wrong to call somebody “whining” just because they care about something. We should be able to disagree with each other without calling each other names, don’t you think? Everything else is plain childish imo. ;)

          • Kein Zantezuken

            >just because they care about something.

            So it is okay to send threats because you “care about something”. Alrighty then, another example of the ignorance and self-entitlement I was talking about.

          • LC

            You make something up here, dude. I never said that harassment or sending threats or something is ok. I never even spoke about these people. You actually seem to misinterpret “vocal minority” with “people who harass others and send threats”. I never did that and I don’t see it that way. You can be part of some vocal minority on forums without showing bad behaviour…

            Maybe reading and not misinterpreting other people comments would help a lot before you call other people ignorant or self-entitled. Show some damn respect to the people you talk with.

          • Kein Zantezuken

            What? What forums? You didn’t even read the article I linked to yet you felt a great need to contribute your own very insightful opinion on the subject you are not familiar at all.

            Well, thanks.

          • LC

            Of course I read the article. But you equate Swen’s quote of the “vocal minority” (with which he very likely meant the forums) with people in the industry who somehow forced Larian to change the artwork according to your link.

            So spare me your irony and don’t misinterpret Swen’s quotes instead…

  • MightyVikingHamster

    Some great advice you impart there. Very happy to have put my trust in you and the whole team at Larian Studios. (and a big thumbs up also goes to GOG which exposed me to Divine Divinity)

  • lefauxfrog

    Thoughtful post. I appreciate the candor. I haven’t played an RPG since my Commodore 64 days and I’ve been following the development of D: OS from the sidelines for months. When I get a bit more free time I plan to purchase the Mac version and give it a whirl. I’m eagerly looking forward to it.

  • Washington Irving

    Thank you Swen and Larian for all the hard work. It is saddening to hear that your personal lives have taken a hit just to cater to us gamers, and I get the sense you’ve understated this party quite a bit. I hope D:OS’s success allows you to make some much deserved QoL improvements for your families too.

    That said, I had a blast with D:OS and am looking forward to Larian’s next releases (and support for D:OS). In particular I’m wondering where this puts you on the road to the Very Big RPG.

    On that note, I’m a little wary about the price of doing mega-projects. You might find yourself making compromises you would otherwise avoid just because a lot of money is riding on the game’s success. I do hope you find the golden path.

  • Pavel Drotár

    “Also remember that the vocal minority does not represent the majority”

    Sure.

    But:
    News reporters asked Albert Einstein what does he say to the fact that 200 physicists have signed a letter claiming that his Theory of Relativity is wrong.
    Albert Einstein gave it a thought and said: Well, if I was wrong, all that would be needed is 1 physicist.

    The vocal minority certainly does not represent the majority, but then again, sometimes even 1 voice may be right against millions of “majority voices”.

    And it’s really sad that your artist still doesn’t understand what is wrong with “Chainmail bikini”. But we can always hope that he will get it one day…

    • JackDandy

      “The vocal minority certainly does not represent the majority, but then again, sometimes even 1 voice may be right against millions of “majority voices”.”

      When that voice threatens and shames an artist for his work? No. Hell no.

      http://imgur.com/WdraGnT

      • Pavel Drotár

        I agree that some people expressed their objections in inappropriate form. Others did so respectfully. So?

        • JackDandy

          Look at the picture. No matter how ‘nice’ the argument is, the argument in itself is against art and that’s a big no-no. Doubly so when it comes from self-appointed moral crusaders.

          • Pavel Drotár

            I’m sorry, I don’t see the logic in there: Just because something is labeled “work of art”, it cannot be criticized / recommendations for improvement cannot be made?

            I could perhaps accept the notion “Once finished, work of art is what it is and it should not be changed anymore”; but this is a computer game, and the art is only a portion of it, and is meant to serve certain goals.

            ===

            Perhaps the reason why a lot of the criticism was so heated (to the point of being aggresive and thus unacceptable) is that people are talking about misrepresantion of women for decade(s), and yet still, the first thing an artist who was asked to draw a strong female character comes up with is a caricature which seemingly cares more about her eye lashes and seductive power of her boobs, than personal safety. This is disheartening.

            Of course, this is me (and others) trying to guess the thought-processes of the artists. I simply hope that the task was: “We need a cover art – one male and one female hero. Make it happen.” That’s why it’s so sad to see that “female hero” got converted to chainmail bikini.

          • JackDandy

            ” a caricature which seemingly cares more about her eye lashes and seductive power of her boobs, than personal safety. This is disheartening.”

            There’s this thing again. A man filling in the blanks for a lady’s personality based on her looks.

            You people are more sexist and objectifying then this art could ever be.

          • Pavel Drotár

            Well, pardon me for making the assumption that women are rational. The rational thing to do when departing on an adventure filled with lethal danger is to think about how to increase the odds of survival.

            Dressing in the clothes the female protagonist showed on the original cover art does not seem the rational thing to do; as such, if this is what the artist came up with, then either the artist is irrational, or he holds the belief that this is the type of clothing a woman would wear, i.e., women are irrational beings unable to “dress appropriately”. That’s why I wrote “a caricature which seemingly cares more about …. than about her personal safety” – because that’s the logical conclusion of the above explained thought process.

            Nowhere did I mention her personality – I deducted the RATIONALITY / INTELLIGENCE of a woman who would, when embarking on a dangerous adventure, dress the way she were. And this, the fact that the artist ultimately drew an irrational woman as the heroine, is what makes us mad.

          • JackDandy

            Ah, the realism argument. Great.

            I’ll quote LC to save some time:

            “nobody said that D:OS is a realistic game or needs to be realistic. In the end, it’s a fantasy game about magic, elves and all that stuff. So there is no objective need for realism here.”

            You don’t like the game? Great. Don’t buy it.
            But don’t start pushing your agenda on other people’s work. That’s deplorable.

            http://techraptor.net/2014/09/12/interview-daniel-vavra/

            You might think you’re just offering criticsm, but all you’re doing is limit other people’s artistic freedoms, on the pretense of knowing what’s better for others. It’s disgusting and you should be ashamed of yourself.

          • twincast

            Of course, the accusations against Warhorse were ridiculous in the extreme, but that doesn’t mean such is unreasonable in every case (particularly when it comes to marketing).

          • Pavel Drotár

            Jack, why do you keep twisting everything? It’s really annoying to discuss the topic when you do that.

            I don’t demand REALISM – I don’t demand that the heroes have 8/5 jobs, or pay taxes, or have to go shopping for groceries, and I don’t demand that the female heroines have period bleeding or whatnot.

            However, the game presents a world filled with danger in the form of ambushes and battles, and presents a world in which it is necessary to cross large stretches of desert. If the game was set in space and the longest the heroes would walk is 5 yards from their bed to the nearest hoverchair, then wearing high heels would be justifiable. But in a desert?
            If everyone was surrounded by super strong energy shield that deflects damage of all types, then wearing chainmail bikini would be justifiable, but in a world full of archers and swordsmen, revealing any part of your skin is an invitation to abuse.

            I don’t demand realism. I ask that both male and female characters be DEPICTED as being at least survivalist-level rational.

            Is that really too much to ask for?

            Any work of art is subject to public scrutiny. It is great that artists have the freedom of expression to bring forth whatever is the product of their creative mind – but they MUST understand that “we the public” will comment on their work.

            Larian crowd-funded their game and asked for feedback. We gave it to them. They changed it, the game is better.

            Gearbox didn’t ask for feedback. We couldn’t give it to them. Duke Nukem Forever is a clusterfuck of misogyny and is forever going to be a big stain on Gearbox’s reputation.

          • Raith

            Pavel it is quite clear you never fucking even PLAYED any of the old Duke Nukem games if you are going to bitch at Forever for having muh-sogyny. Seriously, you and all your moronic little fucks that insist on claiming muh-sogyny every time someone makes an attractive woman needs to fuck right the hell out of video game culture, you are holding this medium back by attacking artists for doing what they want, and if you SERIOUSLY want to effect change do so with your wallet and not buy the game, not with threats to the artist and company like Larian received thanks to an exposed midriff.

          • Pavel Drotár

            Again, ignoring the uncalled for vulgarity of your post…

            1) I actually did play ALL Duke Nukem games, even the side-scrolling ones (1 and 2). I was freshly 18 when DN3D came out in 1996, even then the cheap sexualization seemed rather silly, but it was a different time. Back then, I admit, I used to laugh when watching Police Academy and its jokes about the Blue Oyster bar. Please stop attacking me and questioning my gamer credentials, they are not the topic here.

            2) “This is art” is not a magic phrase that silences criticism. Why should ART be treated differently from technical quality, user interface, music, sound, story, dialogues, combat system etc.? Why is it OK to criticize everything else, why is it OK to say “Guys, the button for “Fight!” is too small, please, make it bigger”, but it is somehow not allowed to say “Guys, she would not be able to walk around in the chainmail bikini and high heels, please, give her a rational choice of armor”?

          • Raith

            That’s just how I talk when I am fired up, my bad, oh but I’m probably not going to stop unless I make a conscious effort, which I won’t just don’t take this shit as an insult.

            As to that 2nd bit, art, quests, dialogue, story, and sound are different because it is subjective, things like the UI and combat systems are inherently objective. Now then, I don’t have a problem with people criticizing ANY of those things, I just take MAJOR issue with how social justice warriors like to “criticize”, which is generally in the form of threats and news outlets (many of which are infested with SJW) refusing coverage to smaller devs, when I see that I will dig my heels in and defend to the death the right of the developer to put whatever the fuck they want in their game that they want, and to hell with anyone that disagrees with that.

          • Pavel Drotár

            I am not a journalist. You have a problem with Social Justice Warriors, take it up with them (although, considering such battle will not be judged by a legal system but by the observant public, you may want to hone your argumentation skills before you do that, because at the rate you’re abusing the language, you’re likely to lose such battle).
            Furthermore, admiting that you are willing to dig your heels in and defend to the death the right of developers (…) makes YOU a “Warrior” of some sort. How infuriated will you be if people start calling you “Developer Impunity Warrior”? Social Justice Warrior is a label invented in order to be able to put ALL dissenters into one bag and mock them. It’s a propaganda system and doesn’t serve “The Truth” very well.

            I argued politely and without insulting anyone; I tried to rephrase my points every time it seemed that there’s a misunderstanding (English is not my first language). I focused on the issue, not on the people arguing against me – I play the ball, not the player(s).

            You are also incorrect when claiming that User Interface or Combat System are inherently objective – they are not. They would be if all we were talking about were individual pixels or numeric values, but since the User Interface is being built for users (Thank you, Captain Obvious), its functionality and quality are highly dependent on individual, subjective, users – some like big buttons, some like small ones, some like to see bar charts, others want numbers. There is no objective solution to this, there’s a lot of “feeling” involved.

            I’d also like to reiterate that Larian ASKED for feedback. Sure, maybe they didn’t expect so much discussion about a piece of cover art, but that just shows that even an experienced developer cannot predict or think about everything. They received feedback and reacted to it. No-one FORCED them. There was no judge saying: You have to change it, or you will go to a jail.
            But yes, “social pressure” is a powerful thing. Sometimes, when we benefit from it, we like it. I know nothing about you, but let’s say you’re black American – then the social pressure of 1940 – 1980 did a lot of good for your standing in the society. (it’s just an example). Other times, when others benefit from it and we are on the “receiving end”, we suddenly become squeamish and say “Stop (op)pressing us! Stop your Social Justice Warring!” If you are white American, then in that same period, you’d be suddenly pressured to let in black employees as your colleagues, to let them sit on the bus etc.

          • Raith

            You keep saying no one forced them when the artist himself has posted that they were getting so many threats and negative attention that he was forced to change it. That sounds like being FORCED to change something to me.

          • Raze

            The artist wasn’t necessarily involved in the decision, and could not accurately describe the objections to the original artwork, so his claim of why it was changed is equally questionable.
            If Larian was ‘forced’ to change the cover art by ‘SJW’ that group apparently has no interest in the game content, since that was not changed (see the design of female orcs, Astarte, the new female companion’s concept art).

          • JackDandy

            Fuck off, idiot.

          • Raze

            And that helps your argument? For someone who criticizes others for ‘threats’ and trying to ‘shame’ the artist, you have no problem making multiple personal attacks when you can not answer a question or counter an argument with reason.
            Not that the debate needs to continue, or needed to be rehashed again in the first place.

            When bikini armour proponents quote the mention of ‘negative energy’ from a Larian kickstarter comment, they like blaming that on everyone that objected, but as you’ve proven, that came from a small minority on both sides of the debate.

          • JackDandy

            Your argument is shit.

          • JackDandy

            Except this time you’re only benefiting yourselves. Pieces of shit.

          • twincast

            Above all, I am a man of reason.

            Therefore, I will defend to my dying breath his and everyone else’s right to say, write, draw or paint absolutely everything that doesn’t explicitly tell people to hurt, imprison or kill others for no reason other than being who they are. (Well, second exception is presenting something as science and/or fact which simply isn’t. People can promote their quackery and superstition any other way they want however.) That and wearing (or not wearing) anything they want. That the world is (increasingly) filled with laws against these basic rights outright disgusts me.

            But at the same time, he’ll have to deal with me (and thankfully many others, although many – but far from all unlike the common strawman you, too, employ – do get overboard to the point of being sex-negative) finding that sort of – at best irrational – depiction* of women abhorrent and being immensely uncomfortable with the thought of supporting such by throwing our money at it.

            “Because there’s magic, anything goes!” is both the most common and the laziest excuse for a lack of verisimilitude ever; Tolkien would be rolling in his grave. Fantasy works when the fantastical is added to a grounded, realistic world (and best so when it’s rare), not when it wholesale replaces it “just because”.

            People both real and fictional can run around stark naked for all I
            care, but when they go into battle, they better wear the best armor
            available to them if you want me to take them even remotely seriously.
            Even worse when the same piece of armor in games magically transforms
            from a fully armored, generally sensible (if often at least a bit spiky)
            design on male characters to a belly-free abomination on female ones.
            The only way I can excuse a chainmail bikini is if its stats are
            appropriately horrid in exchange for the supposed “pretti-” or rather
            “sexiness”.

            That the style in general is fairly cartoony excuses ridiculously ornate and overproportioned armor and weapon designs (although I still don’t care for them), but if you defy something as basic as how the human body works (and inconsistently so, to boot), your world is basically worth nothing, as people venturing into it can’t rely on anything not being suddenly changed on a whim with no explanation given – something that only works believably in trippy dream worlds.

            *Chaffing chainmail bikinis with exposed access to vital organs, boob
            plates that would in fact actively aid in killing the wearer (cf.
            acutely molded “ball plates” that would at the very least emasculate you
            at the slightest kick to the groin), submissive poses of supposedly
            strong female characters, impossible poses showing (nigh-)frontal ass
            and breasts at the same time which would necessitate a broken spine –
            the latter two added for the sake of completeness.

            And no, “barbarian brutes” in nothing but briefs or a loincloth are not
            the same. A) Because (mainstream) art picturing them in submissive ways is practically nonexistent. And B) because unlike their ever-present female counterparts, even visibly powerful male characters wearing such a ridiculous outfit haven’t
            been even remotely common in decades.

      • http://wellspringfoam.blogspot.com/ Mate Sršen

        That’s an ad hominem attack. You are claiming that the opinion is wrong simply because some of the people expressing it are assholes. Were the threats despicable, assholish behavior? Yes they were. But that has no bearing on the matter under discussion – except that emotionally it might make you take a position against the people making the threats, which is understandable.

        • JackDandy

          Here, I’ll post it again since you missed it.

          http://imgur.com/WdraGnT

          The very message is terrible, not just the way it was delivered.

          • twincast

            I don’t know that “original piece”, but other than the blatant ignorance of the photography business, I don’t see anything that isn’t perfectly reasonable in the posts quoted in those two posts.

          • teknoman

            that exactly is the problem. ignorant people are far more vocal about their (usually wrong) opinions than someone well informed. because the informed person would be able to understand why the developer made that choice and how changing that choice may affect the rest of the game, so he would speak of his disagreement and would propose a viable alternative or would hold his peace. the ingnorant would simply go into hater mode

          • Pavel Drotár
          • Raze

            So let’s see if I have this right:
            Quests can be criticized and the very plot of the game changed, and that is fine.
            Stats and skills can be criticized and stats removed, skills added, removed and changed, and that is fine.
            The in-game UI and artwork, opponent/summon character design, lighting, etc, can be criticized and changed, and that is fine.
            The cover art, though, is somehow sacred, and must never be criticized or changed, because… art? Even if it gives an inaccurate first impression of the game, and the game itself was unaffected by the change. If the artist you like to quote gave an accurate depiction of the objections to the original cover art, I’d find the description of threats more credible. The only example of a ‘threat’ I saw was some site saying they’d rather not review it if it meant displaying the original cover art on their site, which is entirely their prerogative, and in no way a threat.

          • LC

            Why does the artwork give an “inaccurate first impression of the game”? Why do you think so? Isn’t it instead the case that you already project an agenda into a simple artwork?

            And if some media outlets deny coverage of the whole game because of one such (neither illegal nor inappropriate) artwork it’s indeed a threat: an economic threat to Larian as a business entity. It’s not an insult, but it’s even something much more dramatic. And I think it’s worth to mention that media outlets are of course independent but they also have a responsiblity of fair coverage. If you are EA or Activision you have enough power to “force” media outlets to cover your game no matter which (legal and appropriate) artworks you use, just because they need the clicks as much as the devs need the coverage. But it’s different for a small indie studio like Larian. They don’t have any power to force media outlets to cover their games. So they have to follow the opinion of single journalists to gather public awareness through media coverage. That’s actually what #gamergate is all about. It’s about the power and misuse of power of gaming journalists and that’s why the artwork was changed. It wasn’t changed because a vocal minority on the forums was against the bikini mail.

            So yes, of course you can criticize the artist or Larian for the artwork. You can find it misleading, sexist or just bad. That’s all perfectly valid as long as it stays a simple opinion. But as soon as you use your opinion on art to force it on other people you’re in fact a threat to not only the developer but also to free speech in general. It’s a form of “censorship through the back door”, a silent and shadowy form of a political agenda pushed through what seems – and should be – objective journalism. Again, that doesn’t mean that journalism shouldn’t be critical – it just has to be marked as that. There is nothing wrong with journalists calling the artwork bad. It’s even their job to do so. But it’s wrong to deny coverage at all just because you’ve made something which someone doesn’t see fit or “politically correct”.

          • Raze

            The original artwork depicted the main characters significantly different, while in the game they are in fact equal. I don’t ‘think’ it was inaccurate, it was inaccurate. I answered several posts/email during the start of the kickstarter from people wondering if the disparity in the cover art was representative of the game, and reflected the character design in general. Fortunately, I could give examples from the previous Divinity games on the equality of playable characters and strong female characters existing in the game world as characters, not just eye candy.
            I assumed no agenda and did not project anything into the cover art. It just looked ridiculous, IMO. A gladiator/barbarian design for the male character next to the bikini armour female may not have looked ridiculous, IMO, but would still be an inaccurate representation of the game, IMO.
            I fail to see how ‘forcing’ Larian to change the cover art is somehow deplorable (and all those who argued for the change have some kind of agenda), but ‘forcing’ any of the many other changes to the game is ok (and arguing for the changes was apparently just personal preference/opinion/feedback).

          • LC

            You really don’t see your bias???

            Bikini mail has in fact nothing to do with “stong female characters”. So you indeed project something into the cover art. That’s like saying that Batman/Superman/superhero X can’t be a strong male character because he wears a really ridiculous costume.

            The only “inaccurate” thing was that nobody was forced to wear bikini mail in the game. But at the same time nobody was forced to play with a male and female character in the game so the whole artwork was inaccurate after all. What you do here is cherry-picking and transforming your own prejudices and opinions into something you see as objective fact while it is nothing else than following a bias (political agenda is not the best term here, that applies more to people who use the same or similar arguments to get their will). In fact, your first assumption is that a bikini mail is ridiculous. That leads you to the assumption that there is a disparity in depiction of male and female characters (while you don’t see it as ridiculous or sexist or whatever that the male hero looks like a muscle mountain).

            And while you could say with some validity that the whole arwork was not really representative of the game the change didn’t make it a lot better. The artwork still suggests that the game is about a male and a female lead who look exactly like the ones in the artwork which is just as wrong as the bikini mail in the first place. It’s like forcing somebody to change a wrong depition into a similar wrong (but politically correct) depiction. The core of the “problem” is most people (and more important: many journalists) didn’t criticize the whole artwork or want the whole artwork changed for something that depicts the game in a more accurate way, they criticize the artwork only for being sexist and misognyistic (let’s just be honest here for a second: that’s the true reason for most of the critique even if your own personal opinon was different). So the whole “inaccuracy” argument isn’t really the core of the problem after all IMHO.

            And I never said that forcing anything into a game is ok. I said that criticizing stuff is totally ok, no matter what it is. We all have our opinions. It’s just the matter at hand that Larian was kind of forced to change the artwork because of media pressure (and not fan pressure like it was wrongly assumed by some people). I suggest you read my post again because I never said that just criticizing the depiction was the same as following an agenda. Differentiation is king here, sry.

          • Raze

            How anyone chooses to represent a game (etc) in the cover art is relevant to the content of the game. It is not necessarily a direct correlation (artwork can be carefully planned and analyzed down to the smallest detail, or could be picked with no consideration other than overall aesthetics), but it is hardly a stretch to wonder if the inequality in the cover art was representative of the game. No projection or bias involved.
            That I think the original art looks ridiculous is an opinion, which I stated as such. That the artwork
            depicts them unequally and is an inaccurate representation of the game is a fact (and not just cosmetically, as you try to dismiss).
            The male character model is unrealistic, but fully armoured in the cover art that doesn’t stand out. In the game with the camera zoomed, the male hands especially look ridiculous, but are not that bad zoomed out (I would still avoid making a male mage, though). I fail to see what that has to do with the male being fully armoured in protective gear, and the female character in something closer to bikini armour, though.
            If the cover art can reasonably lead to questions about the depiction of women in the game, or the equality of the 2 main characters, but the game itself does not justify that, then the inaccuracy of the cover art is precisely the core of the problem.
            I have not seen anything from Larian about exactly why they changed the cover art.

          • JackDandy

            Also, in the game the characters are in no way supposed to be equal. It’s possible (and encouraged) to make one thief and one warrior. Or perhaps a mage and a warrior.

            And mages can have magic shields and stuff like that. No need for armor.

          • Raze

            I said equal, not identical. They are partners, not one hero and a sidekick.

          • LC

            The original artwork never implied one hero and a sidekick…

          • LC

            The artwork doesn’t depict them inequally. That’s only the case if you personally think that having a bikini mail isn’t as good as having a belly protection. That would be very much the case in a realistic medieval game, no question. But D:OS is no realistic game, it’s a fantasy game. So all your “the male person is better protected” argument is absolutely pointless.

            And don’t even pretend that people were upset because it was an “inaccurate representation” of the game. That’s something you’ve made up yourself imo. Most people were upset because they thought the artwork was sexist. That’s why people wanted it to be changed. That was the core reason why people wrote you messages about the artwork. That was the real motivation why this even was an issue at all.

            And it’s exactly your bias (and the bias of everyone asking the same question) that you think that the visual depicition of women in the game has anything to with the question whether they can be “strong characters” or not. You equal biki ni mail with weak female character. That’s the core of the problem. You can of course argue that the artwork is just lacking or bad because it doesn’t represent the game – I never denied that. But normally this wouldn’t lead to such a huge issue and even to the artwork changed. That was done because of people following a political agenda according to which it’s not allowed to make sexy women in games anymore. If you haven’t seen yet why it was changed I suggest you read the post of Larian’s artist (who actually made the artwork) on deviantart. The link was posted somewhere in the discussion here. Then we can talk again.

          • Raze

            They were unequal. Half is different than full. Magic existing in the world doesn’t change that.
            In Rivellon magic does not replace armour, it supplements it, otherwise the male character would not actually need full plate armour. If the male was not better protected, why is he carrying around all that extra weight for nothing?
            I never claimed that people were upset because the image was inaccurate. People were questioning the game design and content because of the original cover art, or just making incorrect assumptions about the game based on it. Because it was inaccurate.
            You can accuse everyone who doesn’t agree with you of being biased, but how a character is visually represented may in fact indicate how they are written and developed in the game. That’s why most people don’t show up for job interviews in sweat pants, or submit a resume with lots of spelling mistakes. If you have a chance to make a first impression, how you choose to do so is going to play a large part in whether a potential employer/customer takes a closer look, or not; the cover art and a brief description was what people were first greeted with on the kickstarter page.
            I read the artist’s claim of why the art was changed. If he could give an accurate description of the objections to the original artwork, I’d find it more credible.

          • Pavel Drotár

            “That’s like saying that Batman/Superman/superhero X can’t be a strong male character because he wears a really ridiculous costume.”

            That’s strange: why do you think that as time goes by and these superheroes are getting reboots of their franchises, are their costumes becoming more and more grounded in reality?

            Why do you think Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne asks why the super-kevlar body armor never made it past prototype? Why do you think that in The Dark Knight, he requests that his costume be made more flexible?

            The movie Batman Forever got panned for a lot of reasons, among others the ridiculous “armor nipples” that the makers put on Batman’s suit. That is one of the earlier cases I remember when both the journalist critics and the general public said “Please, stop with the ridiculous costumes”. Wearing dark blue/gray costume when you are a dark city vigilante makes sense; placing nipples at the front of that armor doesn’t.

          • LC

            “That’s strange: why do you think that as time goes by and these superheroes are getting reboots of their franchises, are their costumes becoming more and more grounded in reality?”

            First, superheroes get reboots because people like them and pay good money to see them. Second, their costumes become imo more realistic because that is a current trend in cinema and especially in this genre.

            Many people found that the nipple armor of previous Batman movies looked ridiculous. That’s perfectly fine, I found that myself. Strangely enough, I can’t recall anybody claiming that the studio had to change the armour “because the armour objectified Bruce Wayne as a male sex symbol” or whatever. The discussion about the nipple armour was mostly about visual style and taste and not about gender issues and whether a more realisitc armour would add to the strength of Batman’s character. But I give you credit for choosing Batman since he is not the usual superhero with superpowers but a hero who uses intense training and (sci-fi) tech. So yes, Batman is a bit of an exception here because the whole world is very much rooted in reality (although it features over-the-top enemies and weapons and stuff). It’s a different thing with pure fantasy heroes like Superman, Green Lantern, Hulk, Spiderman or someone like Thor if you ask me…

          • JackDandy

            Because there’s a clear difference between technical flaws like UI and game balance (objective) and artistic flaws (subjective).

            It doesn’t sound like you play a lot of videogames. Are you the kind of person who only plays story-focused games?

          • Raze

            That in no way explains how fundamental parts of the game can be changed, but cover art is somehow sacred. Cover art is changed lots of times, especially pre-release and for different re-releases of games, sometimes just for different marketing campaigns, regions or retailers.

          • Pavel Drotár

            Careful there…

            For me, StarCraft II’s “Hard” difficulty is unplayably difficult; for veteran players, it’s “boringly Easy”. After several years, they still haven’t balanced the 3 races to a state with which every pro player would agree. Requests for “nerfing” or “boosting” of different units are a daily occurence on the forums.
            The same goes for User Interface: what may seem cluttered for one is “not enough info” for another.

    • LC

      Swen didn’t say that the vocal minority can’t be right. But gaming isn’t much about “right” or “wrong”. Games are (other than physics) a subjective matter which depends on the opinions of human beings and their experiences and expectations. You cannot compare these two fields that easily.

      What Swen basically said is that you should first and foremost listen to your own inner voice and following your own vision. Forum feedback is valuable but not in a democratic form (in gaming). The value of a forum and fan feedback is that developers can test their own work against the public opinion and that they might gather new ideas for their work. You – as a developer – can either agree or disagree with the people on the forum and the “vocal minority”. That depends on how you see the issue yourself and how it works with your own vision. The point is that you shouldn’t follow the opinion of the vocal minority just for the sake of pleasing them in the short term. It’s part of your vision that you personally think that something is good for the big majority – no matter if you are right and no matter if the vocal minority agrees. If you don’t do that you only make focus group tested games and games made for a specific type of (sometimes overcritical) gamer who usually spends a lot of time in forums. If that’s the core vision for your game: perfect. But if not…

      About the “chainmail bikini”: it’s sad that you think the artist HAD to understand anything. There are only two “valid” points speaking against that: realism or political correctness. First: nobody said that D:OS is a realistic game or needs to be realistic. In the end, it’s a fantasy game about magic, elves and all that stuff. So there is no objective need for realism here. Second: while you can see a chainmail bikini as sexist there is basically nothing wrong with that if you are not a fundamentalist. Games are entertainment. Their primary objective is to deliver fun and some form of “escapism” in game worlds. Stuff like “male power fantasies” are part of this escapism and they can be great fun. There is no place for the moral pointing finger in games for adults imo. We can discuss that stuff on a theoretical level and I agree with the notion that there should be more games which are not about male power fantasies (or even power fantasies at all). But at the same time that doesn’t mean that every game has to be like that. Like in movies, there should be games for everyone, serious ones with realistic male and female characters and more humorous or overblown stuff with exaggerated and even objectified characters. So there is basically nothing wrong with the artist at Larian designing Scarlett with a chainmail bikini in the original artwork. Is it sexy? Yes, some people think so. Just cope with it like an adult and enjoy the fine arts I think…

    • Phasmatis75

      You mean Henri Poincaré theory of relativity. Einstein stole it from him. He literally had hundreds of papers out on the subject before Einstein.

      • Runeweaver

        Umm… no, actually. Pointcaré’s work went in a completely different direction. Mind you, Pointcaré was a great physicist and mathematician; it’s just that the theories of relativity (both the special and the general) aren’t his. For more on this subject, read “Pointcaré’s maps, Einstein’s clocks”.

        On a completely different note: now that my computer’s been repaired, I can *finally* return to Rivellon (chainmail bikinis and all).

    • Raith

      That whole chainmail bikini bit just soured me to your entire post and you as a person. Simply put, fuck you. They have every single right to design the look, feel, and content of their game however they want and they don’t have to make any apologies for it, and if you don’t like it you are more than welcome to NOT BUY THE GOD DAMN GAME. Believe it or not my little easily offended mongoloid friend, but not all games are made for everyone and it is this absolutely retarded notion that all games should try to be as inclusive as possible that has caused so many AAA games over the past few years to be nothing but bland uninspired safe paste. If you seriously think games are an art, than you and your little buddies need to stop trying to fucking censor them of every little thing you find offensive.

      • Pavel Drotár

        Ignoring the unnecessary aggression in your post, please be aware that the chanimail bikini part has NOTHING to do with inclusiveness, and EVERYTHING to do with rationality.

        As I’ve already posted twice in the discussion before you even joined, the heroine is embarking on an adventure filled with danger in the form of swords, arrows and other weapons in the hands of her enemies. Wearing a chainmail bikini and high heels implies that she is not a rational person, because she does not feel the need to protect her body against these kinds of dangers. Therefore, by depicting her in chainmail bikini and on by giving the female heroine a high heels boots in a desert environment, the authors are making her irrational.

        No-one is censoring anything, it is not OFFENSIVE to me. They asked for feedback and they’ve got it.

        And, just like you got lost in the heat of the debate and reached for the parts of your dictionary better left locked, some people who did not like the chainmail bikini cover art have also got lost in the heat of the debate and posted insults, threats and other inappropriate stuff.

        I am happy to say that I did not resort to that kind of communication mode.

        Go in peace, Raith.

        • Raith

          It is a world of fucking magic man, in a REALISTIC setting the WOMAN WOULDN’T EVEN BE FIGHTING! Realistically speaking women are not as suited to melee or ranged (archery) combat as men, both of those things require a degree of body strength that women just don’t have, and even if they train CONSTANTLY they still won’t be as strong as a man who has trained half as much, so you wanting to cite “muh realism” over an already unrealistic scenario is absolutely ridiculous.

          • Pavel Drotár

            Quoted for posterity:

            “It is a world of fucking magic man, in a REALISTIC setting the WOMAN WOULDN’T EVEN BE FIGHTING! Realistically speaking women are not as suited to melee or ranged (archery) combat as men, both of those things require a degree of body strength that women just don’t have, and even if they train CONSTANTLY they still won’t be as strong as a man who has trained half as much, so you wanting to cite “muh realism” over an already unrealistic scenario is absolutely ridiculous.”

            Yep. Go in peace, Raith.

          • Raith

            Any particular reason why you think you need to quote me? Ohhhh you think I am gonna change that post because some whiny little feminist will bitch at me for not claiming some bullshit like women are just as physically strong as men? I’m sorry man, but women were not fighters in ancient times for a reason, and it wasn’t misogyny.

          • Pavel Drotár

            Women were kept in the rear because of their child-bearing function. If 10 men survived in a tribe with 100 fertile women, they could easily repopulate to the original size of 200; if 10 women survived in a tribe with 100 men, that tribe was lost.

            In the present world, this is no longer a concern (for majority of nations).

            Yes, female anatomy is slightly different from male, so for instance the fastest female sprinter is about 1 second slower than the fastest male sprinter – it has to do with the shape of their pelvic bone.

            However, history has shown remarkable female warriors – sword fighters, archers and the like.

            But let’s go back to the original point of contestion:

            The two characters are embarking on an adventure. Do you agree with this?
            That adventure leads that through desert-like environment, that means, they walk on sand. Do you agree with this?
            They engage in repeated combat with adversaries. Do you agree with this?
            The weapons their enemies use are swords, bows and other weapons. Do you agree with this?
            Uncovered skin, especially in the torso area (but also on thighs and arms) is easier to cut/pierce through than skin that is protected by at least some type of armor. Do you agree with this?

            Since by now you have agreed with all this (hopefully), the question stands: WHY is the female character wearing (or was originally planned to wear) something that left her skin unprotected, and was wearing high heel boots?

            Why, in the same situation, did the male hero opt for full body armor and heavy boots?

          • Raith

            Better question: Why do you care? In general yes, I am an advocate for sensible armors but really only in series where being sensible is a thing that is EMPHASIZED. If this was Dragon Age a setting that Bioware built up as a grimderp fantasy with lots of blood and guts all over the place (and then failed miserably at conveying it but that’s besides the point) then I would be pointing out that such armor completely clashes with the setting. The Divinity universe however has never claimed it is an ultra serious setting and has never tried to be realistic.

            Oh and as to that first bit, no there is not a grand history of actual women doing actual combat en masse, there is a history of SOME exceptional women doing combat. Also sure, while many people kept their own women in the back to repopulate do you seriously think the Romans conscripting some random conquered people would have cared if they were able to repopulate or not? Nope, they would have snatched the women up as well if it weren’t for the fact that they were not as useful in combat.

          • Pavel Drotár

            But there IS a lot of combat in the Divinity games, RIGHT?

            Regarding women in combat: It’s a vicious cycle: At some point, women are not used in combat to safeguard their reproductive function, so daughters are not trained in strength and flexibility. So in the next generation, you do not have trained women, so when you need to go to war, you use men.

            But just like women proved their usability in the industries (when men left for World War II), they also proved their usability and combat prowess when they were given the chance (Israel armed forces would be a suitable example).

          • Raith

            The Israeli armed forces are a modern army using modern weapons, a woman is perfectly capable (in MOST circumstances barring a few) of being an effective combatant in a modern war. That is not a point in favor of women fighting a medieval war.

          • Dan The Man

            WoW. This is unreal. Some “people” were actually complaining about the outfits of a char in a game? No this cannot be. Can one be so freaking stupid to do this?

            Rationality? Misogyny? Hahahah. Much arguments. very cretinism. True stupidity. I cannot believe, in this day of age, people are capable of this shit. Sad, sad people are out there in this world.

            Shame on you.

          • TheHarpoMarxist

            Raith… This is a fantasy game where animals talk and orcs exist. There are crab monsters, undead “source” kings, and sentient wells. You can kindly take your “in medieval times women wouldn’t even fight!” nonsense and zip it. Your interpretation of history is 100% besides the point.

            It is telling that you couldn’t answer Pavel’s question, and instead had to misdirect to “why do you care?” I’m curious as to why it offends you that someone is advocating for a character to wear sensible armor, and for an artist not to utilize a lazy trope? It is worth noting that the designers did, in fact, make the decision to change the armor. If you’d like to see some cartoon woman in chainmail bikinis, I’d kindly suggest you have plenty of other options and can probably let this one go.

          • Kami3k

            SJW faggot spotted.

          • JackDandy

            Israeli here, there are no girls in combat roles in the IDF. It’s mostly just for show.

  • http://thevproject.blogspot.com/ MaJu V.

    Thanks for all the hard work, everybody at Larian’s. I recently bought the game and enjoy every hour spent on the game.
    I love the many maps with so many different kind of enemies and so many possibilities to fight. I love being challenged with puzzles and traps trying to blow me to smithereens if I screw up or make a bad decision.
    I’m happy to see that more game developers other than Firaxis can make good turn-based games!
    This is, without doubt, the best game I’ve played all year.

  • Geert van der Heide

    Thank you Swen and everyone at Larian for the amazing game you’ve produced! D:OS is among my personal top 10 best RPG’s ever and I’m glad to see it’s doing well and being well received by critics and gamers alike. I’m confident you’ll develop more great games in the future and I hope you’ll be able to do it without crunching too much. It’s always horrifying to read what developers have to sacrifice to get great games made, with crunch time being so common. May your time and money constraints dissipate like lava by a tornado spell.

  • Fox

    Three points:

    1. “I remember all too well some bad choices I made when starting development on D:OS, and I’d very much like to avoid repeating them.” One of the more… striking criticisms of the Games industry I’ve heard from developers is that most developers are unwilling to really talk about their failures–their mistakes, where they went wrong in development. Everyone has a thousand words for every success, but not a one for a failure. This results in the same developers repeating the same mistakes over and over again. With that in mind, I think it would be to the benefit and interest of all if you would consider sharing some of those dead-ends in a blog post.

    2. As a gamer, I am intensely looking forward to your next project. I would love to see the Divinity Engine leave just as wide a footprint on the history of this medium as the venerable Infinity Engine of Baldur’s Gate and Planescape Torment fame.

    3. I understand and agree with the decision not to fall back on Kickstarter as the primary funding method for future projects. This seems a wise move given the inherent unreliability of crowdfunding and… inconstant nature or our community. That said, I think Larian’s development of Original Sin benefited enormously from how open it was–from the communication between developer and gamer over the course of the alpha and beta–and became a much, much stronger game than would have otherwise been possible. Engaging directly with your target audience–who, by the very nature of the communication, will always represent the most passionate (for good or ill) of your audience–may be more stressful than traditional, insular development, and may result in more work… but it is a crucible through which a good game can be made great. I dearly hope that other developers look to Larian’s development of D:OS as a model going forward, and also that you at Larian continue to engage with your community in an ongoing effort to produce the best games you can. Developers’ passion + gamers passion do not double, but square.

  • Linearskillz

    Hi Sven, I loved D:OS. Happy to read that it did well. Can’t wait to see what comes next. If it’s a new game or an expansion pack or whatever, consider my money already in your bank account :)

    Take it easy for a while and don’t crunch too hard! It’s bad for your health – I’ve been there. Hope you’re back to regular hours for the foreseeable future.

    I must say it was disheartening to read orogion’s post on DeviantArt. You should be free to create whatever you want without being harassed/threatened.

    • Linearskillz

      Ack I spelled your name wrong, sorry Swen. Realised seconds after posting and there’s no edit (at least not for guests).

      <3

  • http://www.theouterhaven.net/ Keith D. Mitchell

    Please do add controller support. Ever since I built my HTPC, I’ve been playing 90% of my PC games on it. Needless to say it’s not longer a lowly HTPC and rivals my main gaming PC. Big picture + controller support = bliss bliss bliss!

    • LC

      I think Larian is more interested in console versions of D:OS. Controller support for PCs might only be a side effect of that. ;)

    • Paul

      Same here. I play most of my PC games on plasma TV these days. I am actually kinda hesitant to start Divinity, because I want to play it on TV with controller (and also I want fully finished version with the companions and all that is coming). I hope Larian will not put controller support only into the console version, and leave PC version without it.

  • LC

    Thanks for the insights, Swen, as always. It was a pleasure to read them and D:OS was a pleasure to play. I hope you’ve recovered from the release stress now

    I raise a toast to Larian and Swen! May the future of the company be bright and productive and may you come up with new cool ideas for RPGs for us to enjoy. :)

  • kozzy

    Wonderful blog and a wonderful game that was a breath of fresh air. Can’t wait to see what you guys have coming up next!

  • Zewks

    D:OS is a great RPG. One of the best in years. You have gained a loyal fan of any future rpgs you make.

    That said, the thing that drew me to D:OS was the co-op hype, and unfortunately, despite it being such an amazing single player RPG, the area it falls short the most in, is Co-op. Most of the downfall revovles around the dialog system and how difficult it is for 2 players to stay in sync with the NPC conversations going on, as well as following the story. Its like seeing a movie with a friend (true co-op) vs having your friend go see the movie, and then come out afterwards to tell you what happened in the movie. (D:OS co-op)

    • LC

      Well, if you stay together in the game it shouldn’t be all that extreme. But I hope that this will be something they’ll address in a possible sequel to D:OS (or in a new IP/game). An even better co-op with a more integrated and shared story mode is something which would imo be really appreciated by a lot of fans.

      • Zewks

        game proximity doesnt help with the story and dialog being out of sync between each player. No different than if your friend stood on one side of the theater door, while you waited on the other side of the door. You would be less than 5 feet apart, but you are still missing the entire movie until he comes out and tells you. Maybe, if you are lucky, you can slightly overhear some of what is being said in the audio, but aside from that, you feel very disconnected from what is going on.

        I read they have a new patch planned that is going to make some changes to the dialog system. What these changes are have been kept hush hush, but I do hope it improves things none the less. Id love to be able to play the game through a 2nd time with my fiancee, who refuses to continue playing with the game in its current state of co-op.

        • LC

          Good news for you: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/larianstudios/divinity-original-sin/posts/982419

          Follow the Dialogue: A significant improvement for co-op players

          It’s no secret that the old system for following other players’ dialogues in co-op needed a makeover; fortunately, the latest update will do just that.

          Now, instead of reading lengthy dialogues displayed over your teammate’s head or in the journal, you’ll be able to see the conversation in its own dialogue box with the toggle of a button.

          • Zewks

            this is wonderful news. thanks for the heads up. Gonna go get the patch now.

  • Paul

    Swen, did you reach the break even point only at 500K copies as Eurogamer writes? It seems to me like they misrepresented your post somewhat.

  • BartholomeusJ

    Hi, do you have a timeframe for the linux version? I’ve got the game sitting in my steam library and would like to know how long before I can play it. Thanks.

  • Drapetomania

    Always looking forward to what Larian is doing next! Your prior games were good but had issues (which you well know about, many thanks to the publishers) but now I think it is time for Larian to truly shine!

  • huntardtr

    Thank you for breathing fresh life into the D20 genre. The world needs more devs that take as much care as you do, and good luck in your future endeavors. I’m certainly keeping an eye on anything you announce ;)

  • Darthdavy

    I’m actually surprised DOS “only” sold half a million copies (hence the quotes :) ) up until now. We live in a world where the next main stream FPS easily sells 1 million copy in the first 24 hours (see: http://www.businessinsider.com/destiny-day-one-sales-500-million-2014-9 ), it’s a sad truth it will need a couple of steam sales to get DOS to the magical 1 million barrier, if it will even ever get there (i think so it will eventually). The US gaming media has been immensly positive about DOS and that’s not a small feat for a product that’s not produced in the US.

    • huntardtr

      Think about the society we live in. What is going to sell better? A brainless on rails fps with low skill ceiling, or an rpg where you actually have to think a bit? C’mon….the answer is obvious. It’s a credit to how good the game is that nearly every rpg fan has it in their library at this point.

      • Darthdavy

        I hope there are more than half a million RPG fans in this world. :)

        • huntardtr

          Not likely considering how bad the genre has been lately. Square is pretty much dead, Bioware has been dead for a while, the list goes on. Those sales are also without a heavily discounted sale as well, and I’m sure it will top the charts when we see a big discount during an upcoming seasonal sale. Again, it’s been a long time since a technically more complex rpg has done so well (since DAO in all honesty), as it is a niche genre.

          • arne

            DOS is Larian’s greatest success thus far. And you’re right, I bet this december, when DOS might get a discount and the best games of the year are announced (surely DOS must be among the best RPGs) sales will improve once more. Personally I was very impressed DOS was able to stay #1 on Steam’s best sales list. And did I mention I completely agree with the not-doing-kickstarter-when-you-can-do-it-on-your-own-thing? That’s for studios that haven’t proven they can make money yet. That have -regardless the mistakes he’s made- a solid CEO at the wheel?

            Once more, well done Swen & team. You rock! Let us know as soon as there’s news on your next title!

  • Dave Lens

    Kickstarter backer here, living about 2 miles from your offices in the lovely Gent, Belgium!

    D:OS turned out better than I’d have hoped. Gameplay magazine also scored you guys a rare 90% (one of the few minor critiques was that stealth was fairly useless, which is
    not true in my opinion. How else am I going to steal/flog all those
    pictures in town?!), which seems to be what the majority of the playerbase reflects.

    It’s reminiscent of the great Baldur’s Gate, without making it obvious or losing its identity. It must have been exhausting for you and your team, but especially for you with all the additional responsability. Thanks for hanging in there!

    I hope Larian can squeeze out a few more games of this calibre!

  • chickenhed

    Swen,

    Thank you. Thank you and your team. Thank you and your team and their families. You guys created a piece of art here and to say you should be proud of yourselves is an understatement amongst understatements.

    I have poured countless hours into this game and they have been the most rewarding gaming experiences I’ve had in over a decade. Ten years! I wish I could find the words but I simply cannot say enough about your game. Truly a masterpiece.

    It was very hard for me to read the parts about how you and your team struggled both physically and mentally during your many “crunch-times”. However, I knew deep down that you had to have gone through it. Why? Games like these, games that are so obviously made by people who love the genre, aren’t made easy. It’s painful, it’s hard, it’s frustrating, and in the end what do you feel? You feel you could have done better. You feel it wasn’t finished yet. You feel incomplete. Don’t be disheartened by these feelings, Swen. They are borne from the love of a project and the desire to see it succeed.

    You HAVE succeeded Swen. You have given us gamers something that we haven’t seen in many years and thought we would not see again. Know that whatever you create next, I will buy. Period. After what you and your amazing team just pulled off, you have earned that trust. And that, Mr. Vincke, is another understatement amongst understatements.

  • http://stephenstrange.com/ Stephen Suelzle

    Thank you Sven. I always enjoy your posts. I hope it doesn’t sound trite to say that as much as I love D:OS (and I really do) I looked forward to your updates during the Kickstarter and these posts almost as much. I really appreciate them since they are so fun, interesting and teach me so much about how a video game is made. I also often wonder what it would be like to have Sven Vincke for a boss. What is he like when the cameras are off? Is he authoritarian and demanding or laid back and whatever?
    Anyway, I look forward to whatever Larian works on next.

  • Binary Michael

    I feel for you guys. I can’t imagine what stress you guys had to endure building this amazing game. Not just with the long hours, but being separated from those you care about. It takes special people to understand and support these passions. I remember the feeling of playing the “innovative firsts” for the first time. Wolfenstein 3D, Dune 2, Master of Orion, Ultima 7, Privateer, Half Life. The games that people play and say “wow, this new and amazing” and then others attempt to imitate for years after. I haven’t felt like that for a while until played D:OS. It was great to feel that again, like a new age of gaming had begun. I know you guys will continue to put out awesome stuff, so even if you do or don’t do kickstarter, early access, etc, as long as you make the games, I will buy them. Cheers to the future!

  • waltc4

    For me it’s impressive to realize that this blog covers barely two months of elapsed time from the official release date of the game and that “well over 500,000 copies” means the game is still selling briskly as we speak and that given a few more months I’d not be surprised to see that number double and possibly even triple, or more! The game hasn’t stopped selling, of course, at the time of the writing of this blog. All of this is great news for Larian. Great to see a company blowing its horn while resisting the temptation to sit on its hands to gloat and pontificate and wax defensive.

    Nothing is a bigger turn off than hearing a developer say of his just-released software, “Whaaa-a-a-a? You don’t like it? You’re *daring to criticize us*? You must be crazy–game is great and 7.5 people out of 10 say so! Get a brain transplant and try again, loser….!” I can think of a couple of recent releases whose developers had similar verbal reactions to criticisms after the initial release of their games. To act that way is both immature and somewhat stupid, imo. (Something we might expect to see from Apple, typically…;)) Larian seems blessedly free of this kind of defensive self promotion and I for one very much appreciate this lack of condescension and entitlement sentiment from Larian, even though I think D:OS is hands-down the best game Larian has ever done and if Larian *wants to brag* this is the game to brag about…;)

    From what I’ve seen, Swen & company know how hard achieving success can be and certainly seem to have a far more level-headed idea about that than some other companies I’ve known. Sure, some companies can artificially stimulate Day One sales by spending enormous sums for advertising around release day, but I’ve never seen much logic in spending ~$25M in initial advertising and promotion just to realize an extra ~$15M in Day One profits. If advertising and promotion budgets eat up most of your profits–or even back you down into negative territory initially–what’s the point in moving ~1M units in the first 24 hours? Don’t see one, myself.

    Personally, I like the “snowball-to-avalanche” approach much better! You start off slow and sure with a solid and well-received game release, and then you continue to build on the initial momentum by relentlessly improving the game at a steady pace for a respectable amount of time. I think for a developer that’s the ticket. Larian is right on the money, it seems to me. Again, I think D:OS is easily the best game to come out of Larian since its creation, and speaking of “numbers,” if Larian continues apace to improve (and patch) the game–at least through, say, June 2015–they’ll have put a year of refinement, improvement and polish into the game that simply wasn’t there on Day One. And they’ll keep right on selling lots of copies all the way through that period and beyond. And when they are done they’ll have created a gem which has sold millions of copies for them, and I think that’s the whole idea. Customers get good value for their entertainment dollar, and Larian pays salaries, the bills, makes profits and everyone walks away from the effort fulfilled. I think that Larian has the judgment to pull that off, frankly, which is not something I can say about a few other developers.

    One quick example: M&MX by publisher Ubisoft. http://might-and-magic.ubi.com/mightandmagicx-legacy/en-US/news/index_details.aspx?c=tcm:152-148871-16&ct=tcm:148-76770-32 The game shipped end of January 2014 but by the end of March 2014 Ubisoft had pulled the plug on future development for the game. Two skimpy months of incomplete bug patching and very slight game improvement, and Ubisoft pulled the plug. (The Mage promotion quest was among the most ridiculous I have ever seen in a game–needed to be completely reworked, wasn’t touched…)

    Nothing speaks “take the money and run” louder than that, and the customers who buy these games duly take note of such unfortunate and slipshod attitudes by game publishers. Ubisoft could have polished and improved the game for twelve months, instead of two, and I think it’s possible they’d have doubled or tripled their early sales figures for the game–whatever they might have been. And they’d also have had a gem of a game that would bring them in income from sales years into the future. Doesn’t make any sense to me…and all I can say is that Larian’s idea of game support is blessedly different–takes more work but the rewards ought to be much greater, too. These things follow a somewhat commensurate pattern, everything else being equal.

    One last comment in keeping with the spirit of Swen’s blog: As someone who has seen both sides of the fence in the past, I’m not sure that “early access” and customer involvement in the alpha state of game development, right up through beta, and then on to the initial post-beta release version is necessarily a “great” or even “good” idea. My first objection is that it circulates publicity about the yet-to-be-released game that maybe shouldn’t be released for public consumption at all–because between conception and release a game can change quite a bit, quite a few times so that what we end up with isn’t what we started with–or maybe even just intended to start with. Because of that, retail customer involvement in these very early game development stages can wind up being distracting and wasting a lot of time, imo. OTOH, customer involvement in a *closed* beta cycle might be excellent, indeed, since much more of the game has firmed up by then, both in terms of details, engine deployment, and your code-base…! Also, I see throw precious development resources after 32-bit ram limits and other low-end environments is very wasteful because computer gaming is almost ubiquitously 64-bits these days…32-bit support is the *very bottom* of the PC hardware spectrum–not even mid-range anymore, really. I don’t think anything in a game should be sacrificed in order to achieve 32-bit Windows compatibility, for instance. 64-bits is here and nearly ubiquitous, and the extra-advantages of ram usage in game development alone is worth pursuing at the expense of 32-bit Windows support.

    OK, Sorry for the length here, but Swen and Co. have put in a monumental amount of work for D:OS so I figure I owe them the most complete commentary on the game that I can give…! Thanks again for a great game, guys!

  • Poovanna

    just started playing…wonderful game…keep it up..looking forward to see more from you and your team! all the best..your hardwork payed off!

  • Hiver

    Playing Original Sin, both during the beta stages and changes going on all the way to the release, then after – has been one of the best gaming experiences i had. Certainly up there with the greatest games of the genre, which is of course the best genre of all ;) , in amounts of pure fun of just playing, enjoying the game itself. Up there with the Fallouts, BG2, Icewind dales, Mask of Betrayer, ToEE, and others.

    Additionally, for me personally, it was the first meeting with Ultima7 type of designed interactivity and style in general.
    And i feel like i skipped straight to the best one of that whole style – genre.

    The combat system itself is just a joy to play with. Kind of those that you are just happy and enjoy just being able to play, in on itself, while enjoying its specific outcomes is an additional layer of fun.
    You guys are the first ones that actually evolved the old true action points based Turn Based system forward, with the additions of saving APs for the next turn and other things, that make it even more fluid and great to play with – while the fully implemented co-op gameplay takes the experience to a even more free-form interactive fun, on top of everything in the game.

    It is a particularly rewarding long awaited pay-off for a certain older group of players in that sense too.

    Apart from that, i did imagine that the last few months were a hell of a crunch time in the studio, seeing how many things were improving every few days and even every day until the release day. Really great, expedient work of engineering and crafting by the whole team, from coding to different arts.

    I kinda agree with your view on future kickstarters. It doesnt seem as something that should be used without a specific need for it, no matter the potential marketing use of doing it.
    I find that approach more honest and fair, to which a lot of people tend to react favorably.
    And as we have already seen with several crowdfunding projects, a more direct connection with the interested fans can be established, where a middleman like kickstarter isnt necessary or the source of the most of the income in the end.

    With Original Sin doing so well, continuing upgrades and additions and of course sales over the whole year and more, i see no specific obstacle for whatever other kind of collaboration. :)
    Great to hear there will be new better, deeper harder mode developed. Awesome stuff.

    Congratulations on becoming fully self funded, independent company guys.

    Audentes fortuna iuvat.

    p.s.
    we need more support and materials for the editor, pls.
    more dev tutorials (preferably dealing with just single smaller features but a bit more in detail) and various minor improvements to the functionality and relative ease of use. tnx!

  • Jacko

    Just to add a voice: this game rocks!!! You guys sure made some excellent design decisions, especially the level up system. Each level earned feels like a reward and a big step. However, looting could have been more interesting (so many empty vases). But here is not the place to complain. You guys done well nevertheless. Keep up the good work and try to stay independent. I don’t want to wake up the next morning reading EA has acquired rights to your future IPs. Star wars was more than enough. Good luck dude!

  • A Fanboy

    As a game dev I’m grateful that you share your experiences and thoughs since the beginning of your studio. This is an epic journey that you and your team are living ! I get the same feeling about the kickstarter decision, I always feel kind of itchy when i see sucessful companies going into crowdsourcing. I will always look up to Larian as the most amazing example of what can an indie studio achieve.

    As a gamer i thinks you’ve created a masterpiece ! Nothing compares to D:OS since the Baldur’s Gate series. You’ve always made ambitious, innovative games big respect and keep going I can’t wait to see what’s coming next !

  • ZeeZee

    Your fucking game does not work on 32bit windows systems at all. Just write that it is not working on the store page, dont lie the people.

    • Raze

      Some people are playing the game on 32 bit versions of Windows without any problems. Some with 4GB memory who have had problems have been helped by increasing the setting in Windows for how much RAM is allocated to programs. Email supportdos@larian.com for details, if you have not seen that in the forum topic about this issue.

      Other than that, playing at a lower resolution, with lower graphics settings, and shutting down all background programs may help.

      • ZeeZee

        I dont care, i just wanted to post this here because I was never frustrated by a game like this.

        And see what in that topic? 16 pages of complaints?

        • LC

          And you think 16 pages of complaints is a lot given the fact that Larian sold more than 500,000 copies??? Don’t you think the thread would be much longer if everyone having a 32bit system couldn’t play the game at all? Think a bit before you call other people liars…

          The simple truth is that the game works on MOST systems flawlessly, 32bit systems included. It’s sad that it doesn’t work for you but Larian didn’t make that on purpose. They actually released a lot of patches already addressing the issue.

          I feel for you, butyou shouldn’t buy games on Steam at all if you don’t accept their no-refund policy. It’s really as simple as that. And you just show some bad and childish behaviour here with your swearing and name-calling.

          • ZeeZee

            Yes they did that on purpose, they had fucking 6+ months of early access to fix that bullshit but they didnt care. And they still didnt patch it, 2 months after release. So 8+ months of not giving a fuck for 32 windows bit users. But at least they sold 500k+ copies, cash is there.

            “One of the major solutions to the problem is taking some time to implement and test, as this might affect other users as well, hence the delay in its deployment.”

            They dont want to affect other users like you, fuck me and my 32 bit game and their store page description.

            As I said before, update the store page of your game and dont lie to people.

          • LC

            You don’t get it: the game WORKS ON MOST 32BIT SYSTEMS. And they already released several patches to increase stability on 32bit systems. So stating that they did that on purpose is just a bland lie. And sorry, you don’t seem to have much knowledge about game development. Some issues are hard to find and even harder to solve, no matter how much time or cash you have.

    • http://www.flickr.com/avaviel Avaviel

      I didn’t see any sex in this game.

      • waltc4

        Ah, a joke I hope…;) “Sex” abounds on the Internet in ever-increasing quantities. If you have to have make-believe sex you will have no trouble finding it. As for games…putting cartoon sex in games has got to be as gratuitous as it comes. I for one am delighted I have not seen any cartoon sex in this game! Glad you raised the issue as it hadn’t occurred to me until I read your post. Just one more way in which D:OS distinguishes itself, imo.

        If, otoh, you were joking…it was a darn good joke…;)

    • waltc4

      *Why* are you running 32-bit Windows? (I don’t know who to kick about that…Microsoft or Intel or both. Intel’s original Core cpu was 32-bits before the company got smart and licensed x86-64 from AMD and produced Core 2 and i7, etc. I can scarcely believe Microsoft is still shipping 32-bit versions of Windows 8.1…but they are, amazingly enough. 32-bit x86 just needs to hurry and expire.)

  • Shin

    Are you really looking forward to the comments, or just looking forward to supporters? You are bragging to IGN&Gamespot, about your content… yet, you locked in-game items behind a pay wall. How does that make you different from the “evil” Publishers? If you have no moral problem locking small content, then you won’t have a moral problem locking massive content as days go by.

    • Raze

      You’re complaining about Kickstarter DLC items being included in the collector’s edition, which in no reasonable way limit the regular version of the game? Zandalor’s Trunks make infrequent comments on things you do, and the Golden Grail it primarily cosmetic, given the ease of acquiring gold.

  • AlienMind

    Fix the inventory!
    Just Joking.
    Remember when people go apeshit about something it’s mostly because they are very much interested in something you made, which is, like it or not, the world to them.
    I am thankful you now didn’t get bought by EA now, and hope to see also your next game on GOG.
    Cheers for games done right. They are maybe harder to make (imagine the extra money you can do with all the mechanisms the other AAA games do today, like microtransactions…), but I get to play them too. Thank you!

  • archaven

    I must say Swen is a very cool, awesome leader at least on making public announcement. Not sure if his staff afraid of him *lol*

  • Stabbey

    I’m not sure how much the game cost to make, but I’m thinking $4-6 million, if not even more, so it being profitable after only two and a half months is pretty amazing, especially after going all-in.

    Congratulations to Larian Studios.

    After the 460 hours i put into the Alpha/Beta I admit that I got a little burned out on the game and took two months off without thinking about it much at all (and some personal stuff interfered as well), but now I’m finally ready to actually play the game.

    Deciding not to go back to Kickstarter is very magnanimous of you.

  • Can Avar

    Nice post, what about the Linux version?

  • Dawnyaaa

    Sad to read you guys won’t come back in kickstarter. It was probably the most enthusiastic campaign i’ve been in with nice people, community and a real accessible team and i’ve been in 234..campaign (atm, probably more at the end of the week :P ).

    But, i understand, it’s probably not the best for your health and it’s time consuming. If you can do without it, it is better.
    Then again, some backers may think that after having seen, Star Citizen, Wasteland 2, D:OS, Pillar of Eternity, Kingdom etc being on KS if all the devs have the same way of thinking that you do aka “I think the crowdfunding pool is limited and it should be fished in by those who really need it”.

    It will not help those people that needs real help. Since, it is those big project that make (new) people come and in fine it help other little project getting funded. I came with Project Eternity and end up pledging so much more but if it wasn’t for Obsidian, i wouldn’t have gone to KS and that would have been waste for all who i gave money.

    Plus, while all those dev criticized publishers when they were doing their campaign on kickstarter and how they were proceding. In the end, when thinks work well it seems those same developpers would rather go for the big fat money those publishers can bring. It gives a sad reality to what Brian Fargo used to think when he was stating that you doesn’t need publishers now and that crowdfunding was the best way to developp your game and your vision.

    I hope other developpers, won’t have the same limited vision.

  • Martin

    Controller and local co op??? This would be amazing. Please do this. Brilliant game and I wish you all the success in the world. I’m sure D:OS will continue to sell for years to come.

  • http://www.evolve-pr.com Tom Ohle

    Swen – you all did an amazing job on the game and it really showed. Everyone at Larian deserves the success, and I can’t wait to see what you do next. Also, please send me some beer.

  • Daniel

    I backed this on Kickstarter, and I thoroughly enjoyed playing through the game with my friend. Now I’m looking forward to checking out the new companions when I am able.

    I’m a software engineer myself. Although my projects have not been as demanding or interesting as video game development on a financial tightrope, I understand “crunch time”. I can barely imagine the wondrous terror of community feedback. I think you are correct that communities are good at identifying problems but poor at proposing solutions. You do need to be an enlightened despot. My experience with customers has been that they don’t always know what they want.

    So, I applaud your bravery to solicit such feedback and incorporate it into the game. I imagine this is a thankless task at times, because there will always be someone who is not satisfied, perhaps loudly so. Keep doing the best you can, and *know* that silent supporters like me do exist. We just tend to avoid the crazy Internet threads for obvious reasons. (see below)

  • MIKEWRX

    Hi Swen!
    As so many have said, thank you for all your hard work and dedication, to you and your entire team, D:OS is absolutely amazing.
    That being said, since the comments seemed to have moved away from the actual game, I would just like to add my upvote to your “fooling around” with controllers for local play on the same screen. This would be absolutely AMAZING in D:OS, thanks again!

  • ryan moszynski

    if controller support is an option, please add it. i moved my pc to the living room and controller gaming is what I do now. i feel good about kickstarting the game, it seems like you guys did a great job, but I just don’t play with a mouse and keyboard anymore, and so I’ve only put an hour or so into D:OS. i just don’t have a way to use a mouse and keyboard from an armchair, and when I get home from work I have no interest in sitting in an upright, work like position while trying to relax with a game. As someone who is currently loving diablo 3 on my ps4, if you were able to release on my console, i’d buy it again.

  • Solastar

    I sincerely hope you will consider local co-op with controller support. I would gladly pay $10 or so for this option as a dlc. I would like to play with my partner in the living room, and there is no option of a second computer anytime soon. Thanks for a great game I look forward to your next endeavour.

  • concerned fan

    please revert the 80% max resistance change. it was one of the cool features/mechanics of the battles in D: os. I get over 100% = heals, just like elementals. when I first discovered it, I was like fucking cool! please don’t just listen to vocal cry babies as stated in the blog.

  • Hume

    Congratulations! Glad to see crowdfunding can bear such a fruitful outcome.

  • DanB

    It’s hard to nail down a single game over a period of 20 years of gaming but D:OS is definitely right in the conversation for me. Thank you guys for making such an amazing game.

  • Apocalypse

    Thank you for sharing this with us. And thank you for a great game, the misses and I enjoyed the game together like no RPG before. In this the game was really unique to us and we hope to see more content like this.

    Hearing of the financial pressure at the end of the development, I really feel a little bad about pre-ordering a boxed retail copy and not taking part in the kickstarter, I literally had the credit card in my hand but decided against it. The main reason for doing this was the kickstarter was already for sure successful and founding seemed to no real issue anymore.

  • http://www.freshfaithbites.com Melissa

    Thank heavens we have Jesus and his holy scriptures to help us overcome our sin nature! Great article!

    Sin: Defeating It With Scripture

  • John

    This game was probably one of the best RPGs I’ve ever played in my life time, I wish there is a sequel.

  • Chris

    Just finished the game today – you guys did such a great job, thank you! I look forward to playing more games in this series! Cheers,

    Chris

  • Sammy

    I personally would like to see another Divinity game done in the style you did with Divinity II Developer’s Cut. I love the way that game plays!

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