The why of our third secret project

Dolores & Daniel got married the other day. They are one of the couples that used Divinity:Original Sin as a marriage proposal tool and represent one of my favorite examples of why I love my job so much. Their thank-you-mail complemented with wedding pictures arrived just as we were preparing the announcement of Divinity:Original Sin – Enhanced Edition for Xbox One/PS4/PC/Mac/Linux/SteamOS and was eagerly shared in the office – it really is the type of stuff that makes developers tick.

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Their mail brought to mind an image we used to pitch Divinity:Original Sin to console publishers, back in 2011. It features our two main heroes sitting on a couch, playing Divinity:Original Sin together with a controller in local coop. For some reason, the vision wasn’t strong enough to convince the publisher acquisition guys back then, even if I told them I thought this was the best thing to happen to console gaming ever. Maybe they would’ve changed their minds if we’d put in a picture of Dolores & Daniel.

Picturing them playing together fitted very well with my belief that a turn-based RPG with split-screen local co-op & good controller support will do very well, so I welcomed their mail as a good omen. I needed one because there’s no real precedent for what we’re trying to do on console and in an industry that often cites things like – “If it hasn’t been done before, maybe there’s a good reason for it” – it shouldn’t be surprising that I am slightly stressed about whether or not there’s actual a target audience for what we just announced.

But it seems so obvious to me and I always wondered why nobody ever came up with the idea of doing a turn-based RPG with split-screen support and pen & paper like freedom on console before.

I grew up playing games on the Commodore 64 & later the Amiga, and some of my fondest gaming memories consist of me playing coop games together with my friends. Once I discovered RPGs, I really regretted not being able to play them the way I played say … Spy vs Spy or Kick-off even. Yeah, I know. I’m old. But it goes to show – ever since videogames were invented, nobody did a turn-based split-screen RPG on console. At the very least they could’ve tried doing a split-screen version of Adventure on the Atari – that would’ve set the tone:)

spy-vs-spy-04

Spy vs. Spy was one of the games that pioneered split-screen

<Warning: marketing pitch>

In any case, for obvious reason I hope we didn’t make the wrong call on this one.

A shitload was invested in our Enhanced Edition and a lot of people have been working on it for a long time. Other than the small but not unimportant detail that it’s coming to PS4 and Xbox One, our Enhanced Edition features reworked dialogs all voiced by AAA actors, a story & world that has been drastically improved with hours of new content, not only during the game but also at the ending (that part that gets played by 5% of players), a truckload of new features & improvements and game modes that play incredibly different to the normal mode because we replaced pretty much every encounter.

And there’s more.

Given how much we put in there, I suspect that what we call an Enhanced Edition goes a lot further than what others call an Enhanced Edition. Chances are of course that all those changes don’t make much economic sense but then again, maybe they will. We’ll find out soon enough and for what it’s worth, I’m quite happy about having been able to make all these changes so that we could craft what’s essentially a new and more complete experience.

I do mean that.

KeyArt_Divinity_Original_Sin_Enhanced_Edition_BlackWhite_Collapse

Playing D:OS Enhanced Edition is more fun than playing D:OS and I’m quite proud of what we’ve accomplished. I was doing a review meeting the other day of the entire new ending we added to the game & it felt … complete. It really is quite remarkable.

<End marketing pitch>

Another thing I’m happy about is finally being able to talk about the bloody thing.

For months I’ve been wanting to talk about it, but I couldn’t because we were in the publisher pitching process. Publisher you say? Haven’t you been promoting independence all along? I have, and I do, but you need to pick your battles and this particular one is too big for us on our own, so we needed help.

A console release like the one we’re planning on has a big retail component (I’m told between 60% & 70% of sales are still being done in retail, probably less by the time we release) and that’s just the type of thing that’s inaccessible to a developer like us. The cost of goods on console can run up to something like 8 euros per unit meaning that if you want to sell say a million units, you’ll have to put in 8 million euros. And that’s just in cost of goods, you haven’t talked about the marketing yet that’s mandatory to make any kind of splash. Not only does it take quite some budget, you also need to have the staff to support it.

So how did we end up picking Focus and not one of the bigger boys who were in the running for this?

focus

Focus helped us with Divinity 2: The Dragon Knight Saga

For starters, they know us & Divinity well and were the ones that gave us the break we needed back in 2010 when we transformed Divinity 2:Ego Draconis into Divinity 2: The Dragon Knight Saga, the game that essentially forged the path to our independence. That wouldn’t have been possible without their support and it’s something for which I’ll remain grateful to them. They also always were very correct in their dealings with us, a rare thing in an industry that’s full of sharks.

I was discussing the Enhanced Edition for Xbox One & PS4 with some of the aforementioned bigger boys when a chance meeting at GDC 2015 resulted in me visiting the Focus offices in Paris. There I was met with great enthousiasm and given an overview of everything they’d been doing in the last year, and more importantly, what their ambitions were. It also became very apparent that a lot of the boys & girls in the Focus team were big fans of D:OS and would put their heart and souls into it if they got the deal.

This was followed up within the day with an offer that was in line with what the bigger boys offered, all without anybody at Focus even checking if the game ran on console.

It was a major sign of trust & respect, and it didn’t miss its mark. I didn’t even bother negotiating with the other parties anymore as I wasn’t interested in scraping the last penny out of the barrel. Rather my interest lied in partnering up with somebody who could complement us in all the areas where we had no expertise because it was clear this was something we couldn’t do ourselves.

And here was a partner that I could trust, that believed in us and that loved our game. What more do you want in a publisher?

Luckily for them, the game also happens to run well on console;)

But I deviate. This piece is titled “The why of our third secret project” with good reason. When we shipped D:OS my initial feeling was – that’s it, I never want to see D:OS again after having risked pretty much everything for it and having woken up with the monster it is for years. But then the feedback came in together with criticism I thought was correct, and I started wondering what it’d take to fix it. And I wasn’t alone. Most in our team had the same feeling and wanted to improve things further.

And so we started, first with small things intended to be included in the N-th patch, but soon with more drastic things that couldn’t be included that easily. Then, even more drastic things made it to our tasklist that conflicted with the “patch protocol”, a series of rules that ensure story changes don’t break savegame compatibility and would therefore only be present in new games.

When the UI, controller and split-screen experiments looked like they were going to be succesful, it almost became a no-brainer that we’d apply our re-engineering skills to the entire game. And so we did.

This caused a stream of new problems of course but what would life be without problems ;)

One of our biggest issues was that we suddenly had two games to maintain on PC. One was singlethreaded, the other multithreaded. One was based on DirectX 11, the other on DirectX 9. One had limited camera rotation allowing for certain pieces of level design to be incomplete, the other a 360 degree camera. One was live, the other wasn’t etc…

It quickly became impossible to do things on both games simultanously as the changes become bigger and bigger, and so at some point we had to make a choice. We decided to do only the really necessary things on D:OS and focus all of our creative energy on the Enhanced Edition.

This had big implications for certain things that were in the pipeline like for instance the Linux version. Our decision essentially meant we could start over again and that obviously got some in the Linux community quite angry at us, but we reasoned that over the long term, it ‘s better the Enhanced Edition has Linux support instead of the original D:OS. It improves the chances of our future games having Linux support too, though I don’t want to commit to that just yet.

Another thing we needed to deal with was that because the Enhanced Edition has a lot better of everything, it has higher system specs (even if it has better performance) and doesn’t support 32bit versions of Windows or DX9. That means that some people who were able to play D:OS won’t be able to play the Enhanced Edition which is a pity as we put a lot of effort in supporting them. But for them D:OS will remain available and if ever they upgrade their machines, they’ll have a free version of the Enhanced Edition waiting for them in their libraries

In case you’re wondering about the latter, yes, we are going to give everybody who owns D:OS on PC (and on Mac if you bought it through Steam or Gog. And if we ever figure out a way of having a real communication line with the people running the App Store, then there too) an Enhanced Edition for free. It’s another way of saying thank you. That means that if you own D:OS now, you’ll soon see an extra entry in your Steam or GOG library for the Enhanced Edition. You’ll still be able to play the original D:OS too.

Finally, the last big reason I didn’t mention yet about the why of the Enhanced Edition is the strategic one.

We’re putting a lot of effort in getting the Enhanced Edition to run really well on Xbox One & PS4 with controller support, with multiplayer and with split-screen support because from now on those features will be basic features of our engine.

That means that if we decide to go multi-platform in the future, we’ll be able to. This without–dumbing down- or –simplifying- things because a lot of the hard work will already have been done. It makes us a lot stronger as a company and will allow us to do much bigger things in the future. I’m quite excited by that prospect.

So, there you have it. In addition to having two big RPGs in production, we decided we needed some occupation therapy and added a third project to our roster. It’s a big thing for us, the step to consoles, and I think we’ll do a lot better this time around than last time we tried.

It remains complex business, though bringing 80+ hours of complex content to different platforms, both on the engineering and on the business side. But it’s another step of growth for us and another step in the direction of that very big RPG that will dwarf them all. That’s certainly worth all the stress ;)

So what do you think? Good move or bad move? And do we stand a chance on console?

  • Twinchenzo

    The move you did with DKS was the one that told people that you are different and you do care about your games and about your gamers. I am really fascinated to hear that D:OS while being great from the start will receive a similar loving treatment.

    The thing that’s bugging me a bit is that the EE will have “A heavily rewritten story with a brand new ending”. Not that it’s not a good thing, it will surely be even better, but what about those folks who started the original game, got like 60+ hours into, but haven’t yet finished? Should the drop it and switch to the EE, feeling like it would be the same story but better while in reality never seing the conclusion of the story the started in the first place? Is it really so Heavy rewritten, and if it is, then why so?

    • Fox

      Many people complained that the main narrative in DOS was either insufficiently interesting or too difficult to follow (or both?)–in fact, that may have been the most common criticism beyond the countless, “this game is too hard, so I hate it” nonsense.

      You raise a valid point–revising the story is a tricky position. If it’s a heavy revision, it renders breakthroughs of the original DOS obsolete (and as someone who ones a Vita, I can tell you, nothing kills interest in a game than playing halfway through and then getting the news of a re-release with improved story/features/whatever); if it’s a light revision, it makes the revision too redundant to bother playing through after completing the original.

      • Hiver

        There you go guys….

        There are some “many people” who complained and whether you did a lot or little its all pointless and bad.

        You should really listen to this guy.

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      The story in D:OS imho suffered from cuts that we had to make. We’ve tried to fix that now and in general you should find that the important protagonists/antagonists have a lot more going for them now. For people who’ll replay or first time players, that will make the narrative experience a lot better. That doesn’t mean that for people who are playing D:OS there’s isn’t plenty to enjoy. There probably will be some even that prefer the D:OS version over the enhanced edition story.

  • Fox

    Good move or bad move?

    Undeniably, absolutely a good move. Especially if (and maybe this is a big if?) you can get the console release out in a fairly timely manner. Right now the console market is pretty barren when it comes to good games–which means less competition and better media/community coverage. Whether or not DOS will have the same appeal to console gamers as PC gamers… I cannot say. Right now it seems that the big niche for fantasy is overly serious “dark fantasy,” and not the lighthearted fare DOS provides… but at the same time, I feel that consoles have always been the main platform for quality turn-based experiences… and the recent (phenomenal) success of XCOM: Enemy Unknown has demonstrated that there’s a pretty big group of people out there who appreciate well-crafted turn-based combat experiences.

    And if I had to describe DOS in just one sentence? A “well-crafted turn-based experience”. Though if I only had the one I’d also probably toss the word “brilliant” in there somewhere.

    At first I was kind of surprised by this announcement, but then I felt kind of silly for thinking so. You’ve been teasing a console port (or at least controller support) for a -long- time, and a console port makes a LOT of sense–particularly now, as I said, at a time when the console generation is young enough to make each game hit with a greater impact than it otherwise would.

    All this talk of adding new content and revising the story? Well, it certainly sounds very good but I’ve been following games long enough to be pretty skeptical of how much (or little) the new version will differ from the old. I’m also curious to just what kinds of improvements will ultimately make the cut–there’s certainly plenty to the setting that DOS failed to explore (especially in terms of the underrepresented races of the setting–elves, dwarves and lizardfolk in particular).

    • LC

      I don’t think the light-hearted humorous tone could be too problematic. There are a lot of light-hearted games on console. I guess the hardcore, niche, no hand-holding-at-all vision of the game could be a bigger problem on consoles. I know that not every console gamer is a casual but in my 20 year long thorough experience in gaming the amount of casuals is much bigger on console. But maybe they will tone done the old-school hardcore experience. I wonder – for example – how they will solve the pixel hunting that was quite a substantial part of puzzle solving in the PC version. You obviously can’t do the same easily with a controller so they probably had to come up with new ways for solving these issues. I just hope that Larian hasn’t sacrificed their initial hardcore vision here. That would only hurt the PC version – and the people who already like this version for various reasons – in the long run.

      • Fox

        I hope you’re right. I just see the dark, overly serious stuff being much more popular these days, with stuff like Dragon Age, Witcher, Game of Thrones, and so forth, all taking themselves way too seriously and trying to be “dark” and “edgy.”

        Anyway, pixel-hunting is kind of the new go-to development trope for console games. They do it these days by making gamers constantly scan/ping to highlight items. I imagine DOS can do the same thing. (You know: what we were able to do painlessly in the IE games by holding the tab key).

        As for the lack of handholding… I don’t know. There’s not a single open-world RPG out there where I don’t see people moaning about omnipresent quest-markers. I imagine the script revisions in the EE will make the quests clearer, though it’s possible Larian might implement map-markers, too.

        • LC

          I don’t think Dragon Age is that dark and serious. I actually see it the other way round. In some ways it’s even more comical than D:OS, especially with that cheesy character writing…

          And then again there are the whole bunch of Nintendo games which seem to always work, no matter the time or trend. There definitely seems to be a market for light-hearted game on consoles imho.

          About that “ping/scan” issue: you might be right on that. But I think that’s a horrible trend. I hated this kind of mechanic in Mass Effect and I hated it with special dedication in Dragon Age Inquisition. I hope it will at least stay a console/controller specific thing. I would be very sad if the traditional pixel hunting was replaced by such a ping/scan system for every version and input scheme in future games (you know, just for the tempting reason to make one-solution-to-fit-it-all…)

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      I understand your skepticism but I hope you’ll agree that we did do quite a lot once you get the play it, especially once you make it to the ending.

  • petit gars tout sec

    I think it’s a pretty good move from my perspective as a player. It’s the perfect excuse for a “second” play-through. I do not care about the console port, but I understand it’s a must-have from a strategic point of view.

    You are very evasive concerning what’s new. One concern (oh no, not the concerns already!) I note is the 360° view. I’m not sure I really like that. I would have been curious to read more about why it’s supposed to be better than fixed (“more or less fixed” + top-down strategic view) camera. Wasteland 2 did the same mistake in my opinion. It is confusing and it has a heavy impact on level design. But it’s like designers thought “it’s more freeedom so it’s better”. Nei!

    Anyway. I really hope you’ll step a sturdy foot on the console market. More sellings mean more excellent games.

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      I’m only evasive because we want to have something to talk about in the future in the run-up to the release. If we release everything now, media won’t cover it anymore closer to release and we need PR support.

  • kalniel

    Fully orchestrated soundtrack this time around? Maybe a minor thing to some, but for me, it really adds to games that use them well, enhancing the feeling of polish and quality.

  • LC

    Great news, for both PC and console gamers. :)

    But Swen: please promise me that you never adhere to some stupid principle like “platform parity” or something along that lines. Don’t sacrifice your PC in whatever you do.

    And please, for the love of God, never even consider a unified UI for whatever game you’re planning to developer…

    • http://www.iamnvidiaman.com I are Jen Hsun

      “And please, for the love of God, never even consider a unified UI for whatever game you’re planning to develop…”

      I will cry many (very manly) tears if the PC version of D:OS EE has a consolized UI. I am seriously allergic to list based inventories and consolitis in general.

      • Raze

        There are separate UIs for controller and keyboard+mouse, and playing on a computer you can switch between the 2 if you are using a controller.

        • LC

          Yes, and to make my intital statement a bit clearer: I wasn’t talking about D:OS EE but about possible future games.

          It’s tempting. Bioware fell for it. CD Projekt RED fell for it. They all once had a PC specific UI in previous games but now they haven’t anymore.

          Blizzard on the other hand is the best example of how to do it right, with two very different and distintively optimized inferaces for both PC and console. But then again, it wasn’t a evenly timed multiplat release. I have the slight fear that the temptation of a unified is the bigger the more important console versions get and the closer the release dates are pushed together…

          So see it as a warning. Just don’t do it, Larian. Never.

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

            Tbh, I don’t see how we could even consider having the same interface on platforms that are so different. We already made them very different when making DKS.

          • LC

            And that’s why I love you. Just stay that way. :)

          • AlienMind

            ..Microsoft fell for it (Windows 8)

          • Katrien Cornelis

            and is revoking it – windows 10

          • Vagrant Zero

            The problem with Blizzard is that they didn’t give PC Gamers who prefer to play with a Controller the ability to switch to the console UI which is just imbecilic. So I have to use a 3rd party fan-program to basically hack my PS4 controller into working like a keyboard/mouse. It largely works but it’s still fucking stupid. I’m all for separate UIs, but for the love of god give us the option to switch between them.

  • Henry Ronson

    Hi Swen,

    Long time supporter here during the early access of D:OS (Texoru, hope you remember me?)

    First of all, Wow! completely static of this update and this surely will get allot more attention then Divinity: Original Sin as it was still being worked on when it was released. You have now allot of time to work on this beast while “Focus” focusing on these issues. You made the right choice and I understand why you have chosen them due to your personal feelings in the past and the way it gives so much stress handling the packages and so on for you and your studio as I can tell by watching your updates on YouTube.

    Now, why I have supported you during the alpha stage of D:OS? It was also my first time EVER I supported a game development as I can tell the game will be a SUCCESS which it has, I know this because I can tell it has allot of LOVE and ALLOT OF EFFORT on making the game.

    Did you made the right decision? HELL YES, I can tell this one will sell even better on consoles (I do not own one) and will get even allot more attention from PC gamers who have not heard of this game or will get allot more chunk of % from the “social media” on the PC community to buy the game instead of selling the game to the oldies like ourselves.

    - It will grab allot of attention to all sorts of gamers who loves to play any kind of genre of games.

    Once you have finally have a build for consoles and all the other OS it means you will have allot more value for your games to come. Again you made the right decision.

    Have you made the right decision to make it FREE for PC (MAC)? BIG YES and just a tiny no but you are showing great respect to your customers and that is defiantly the best way to treat them as NOW many and many gamers seriously know that DLC’s and so on is getting a rip off BUT for a completely new game with better visuals, gameplay, story and just a ton of allot of improvement (it has to make D:OS like a child) THEN I would defiantly bought it.

    Yes, D:OS was not perfect and I am glad you as a developer is reading allot of criticism of the game when it was released as I know it was not perfect as well but EVERYONE knew it was still a masterpiece for this genre.

    So when your next game comes to alpha or beta, I will defiantly be there, hope you give me access to it and to many other users that really helped and supported the game through the early stages of D:OS just DO NOT make it that early make sure you know its the right time to look for our great feedback!

    Thanks again Swen, I do personally like to work for you guys as I have so much potential but I am still at university and seems it is taking me forever to finish this course. (IS)

    -Texoru

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      Of course I remember you Texoru. And thanks for all the support!

      • Henry Ronson

        Wow!

        I’m very glad you did and as always wish you and your studio the best on your development of the enhanced edition and the upcoming games in the future which I will be supporting when you decide to look for more feedback from us.

        It means allot to me that I have supported the right studio and a great person (I also live in my own cave too lol) but decided to just pop out to say this.

        Thanks for everything and hope you kick some asses this year especially at E3 which sadly I won’t be coming but a footage should be enough for me :)

        -Tex

  • Xodetaetl

    I’m wondering, why did you develop on DirectX for the Windows version, since you’re porting the game on Linux and Mac which require you to have the game run with OpenGL ? Why not going for OpenGL on Win too ?

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      That build actually exists but I’m not into the details of it. I think there were some problems on Windows but I’d have to ask one of the team.

  • AlexF

    I’m pretty sure I had at some point suggested here on this comment section to make the move to consoles. There are so few good games for the new ones and despite Bloodborne, Dragon Age and the Witcher 3, I’m sure console gamers will jump at the chance to play a good RPG.

    It’s also great that PC gamers profit from that decision and that you are giving the game for free to current owners of Original Sin. That will cost you some sales for sure but I think that will even itself out with all the good will you’ll get among the PC community. We are a vocal bunch and more likely to support a developer that we feel is fair. Developers that have charged for an enhanced edition, even one greatly improved, have usually met with loud protests.

    A suggestion, I think Enhanced Edition doesn’t convey the ammount of work that has apparenlty gone into this new version of Original Sin. Maybe you could consider another subtitle like Definitive Edition or something story related like you did with Dragon Knight Saga.

    • LC

      Enhanced Edition is a pretty good name imo. It’s probaly build in parts on the fame CDPR enjoyed for their Enhanced Edition. So it’s likely gamers link that two thinks together in a positive way. At least that’s what I was thinking when I read the name for the first time. ;)

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      You have a point but we couldn’t find anything that wasn’t abused yet and still carried the load. We’re hoping word of mouth will let people know that it really is enhanced.

  • Umair Khan

    Great news for all of us but hopefully that doesn’t mean dumbed down PC games from now on. It is hard to trust any dev these days. So many games were dumbed down or downgraded for Consoles.

    -Thanks for D:OS. My GOTY 2014

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      Errr… the E3 news we planned is the Enhanced Edition. It’ll be playable there.

      • Slimebeast

        No…. You have two other projects in development. We demand a tease at E3!

  • Asmodai

    I’m a Kickstarter backer and I’m excited to play the Enhanced Edition on Gog! I also own a PS4 and love to play games local “couch” coop with my gf. (Knack, Skylanders, Diablo III, etc.) We’re not big fans of split screen however as each split is pretty small (we only have a 40″ TV so cutting it in half makes for a tiny screen by couch gaming standards). The way some things about the EE are written make it sound like split screen only happens when you get too far apart though but if you stay near each other it would play more like Diablo III. If this is true I’ll gladly pay for another copy to play coop with the gf on the PS4. Again though, either way I’m excited to play the PC version!

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      The camera first zooms out as long as it can, and only then switches to split screen, so I think you’ll be happy.

      • Slimebeast

        Could you make so that the camera can zoom further in too? I play the game with the 360 rotation option (thank you!) but I would also love to zoom in closer to the environments and study every detail.

  • nobody72

    Well it is hard to tell if it is a good move or bad move at this juncture. Btw I don’t think it was much of a secret that you were working on the EE version :) . It is also good to hear that focus is a decent publisher. I sort of had a feeling that was the case but not being in the business never worked with them. The one concern i have is that the split screen and console additions will hurt the single player experience. I presume that you did this ‘right’ and if there is no controller you get a full keyboard/mouse with keyboard/mouse oriented menues/inventory/… and not the sort of thing that most developers do (such as witcher2, dragon age (after 1) and a bunch of other games) where the interface is stream lined due to controller limitations (radix menue and such designed for back/forward x/ya/b).

    As a single player person I’m amused by the co-op implementation but dont’ really want it to punish the single player experience.

    Anyways only time will tell I never prejudge things (well I hope i never prejudge thigns).

    -
    Btw I post on all of these but no clue what id i used last time.

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      If anything, I think the single player experience became better. But, that’s going to be up to you guys to decide. Obviously I would say that ;)

  • Windemere

    This is great! I’ll definitely be picking up the PS4 version to complement my original Kickstarter PC copies. I have scoured high and low for interesting games to play with the family in some kind of co-op mode on PS4 and always came away disappointed. This sounds really, really good. I hope you are all richly rewarded for the effort.

    I hope you don’t mind me taking a moment to ask about the toolset again. Is it possible that now that the toolset is reaching a more mature state like you originally envisioned for it that we’ll see some kind of engagement with the modding community? Any chance we will see things like multi-mod support, or some means by which developers and modders can discuss the most needed enhancements? About four or five months ago you promised it would be coming. ;-) I completely agree with the direction you have gone with your resources in making DOS a better game and I know you’re doing what is best for the long term health of Larian, but it would be great if we also had some kind of idea for what your vision is for the toolset. And by that, I don’t mean what you would *like* it to be, but what your realistic expectations are for its future.

    Thanks and best wishes for a successful EE launch!

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      Our core problem in updating the toolset it is that you need to have the latest engine to take advantage of the new features in it (which are supported in EE), so a bit of patience will be required.

      • Windemere

        Yes, I fully expected as much. My question was really more directed at whether or not *after* the EE is out, will the toolset be more of a focus such that we might see some developer-modder interaction, enhancements, or general support to help get it off the ground? But thanks for the comment, I know it’s hard to answer everything.

      • Hiver

        If this means that the toolset for the original Originals Sin will not get improved or fixed and that making mods on it for the original version of the game will be practically impossible as it is now, – you really need to say that to people who are still trying to work with it.

        Like really – really need to make that clear as soon as possible because every day that you dont means someone lost a day more of work on it.
        Not to mention everything that individuals put into it so far.

      • Red Shoulders

        Will you be doing anything to make a toolset a bit user-friendly? I realize it’s a professional development tool, but it would really help us amateurs if, you know, small things like accurate nouns for assets could be in there.

        • Raze

          There are some ease of use improvements planned for the editor (which will help the professionals as well).

          • Hiver

            Rather then assuming let me ask: Will modders be able to transfer their mods or any work they done so far into the new editor or will everyone be forced to redo their work from scratch?

            I would bet modders would love to know that.

  • Kio

    The complete VO sounds like a horrible waste of money, if you ask me. I do understand that console people “do not like to read”, as they say, but am I to understand that many lines got shortened/the dialogues got butchered in the process? I sincerely hope you didn’t allow that to happen, Sven!
    I’d much rather you had spent all that money on implementing the NPC schedules and the 24h day cycle Kickstarter stretch goal instead, I was reeeaaally looking forward to those, D:OS was such a close game to Ultima 7 in spirit and design goals.

    Big thank you for the free version of Enhanced Edition for everyone who bought the game, that’s INCREDIBLY generous.

    • Fox

      I really don’t think that’s a reasonable concern. Think about it: it doesn’t take a voice actor much more time to read ten words than twenty, than a hundred. The biggest expense with voice acting probably comes from re-recording lines after script revisions. Once you’ve got that audio file recorded, it’s prohibitively expensive to to revise dialog.

      (And let’s not get crazy here: gamers are gamers regardless of platform, and Steam was littered with people complaining about the lack of voice acting. Whether you think that was a valid concern or not, it was a concern, and attributing it to some bogeyman stereotype helps nothing).

      • Hiver

        Would be nice if you had any idea about what you are talking about.

        Instead its “probably” and then bunch of ridiculous ideas, some “people complaining” and “concerns” rubbish.

        • Fox

          Would be nice if you could keep you’re nonsense civil, but oh well.

          • Hiver

            Since you are the one writing complete nonsense and cheap emotional blackmail arguments you dont deserve any civility, but rather to have your skull bashed in.

          • Hiver

            I of course meant that figuratively. A joke. Ha. ha.

          • Red Shoulders

            Being an ass online is a joke that no one has ever found funny in the entire history of the Internet.

            Do you honestly believe something as silly as “voice acting means less dialog?” Really? Of all the possible fears a person could have for this rerelease… And then to belittle anyone that dares to point out that maybe, just maybe, it’s an (extremely) unlikely possibility?

            …Where, exactly, do you see the humor here?

          • Hiver

            Nowhere. The trick of it is that it isnt a joke at all. Which is a joke in on itself.

            And yes, voice acting means less dialogue. Thats something so obvious i didnt think it even needs mentioning. So i didnt.

            What i was objecting to is declaration by genius there that it makes no difference if the voice actor reads a few lines or hundreds. Ten, twenty or hundreds by his words.

            As if the voice acting is not charged by the hour, as if each line or sentence that is spoken comes perfectly right the very first time anyone tries it, as if going around making statements based on complete ignorance and lack of cognitive abilities is something that should be accepted.

            As if answering with an obvious empty assertion “oh that is nonsense” and false self-victimization while asking for “civility” is not obvious.

          • Fox

            I’m just astonished you think that any developer would simply cut dialog because they ran out of time for the voice actors to read lines.

            I mean, really?

            And there’s no “self-victimization” going on anywhere here. What’s nonsense is your vitriolic tone. And you just keep digging that whole deeper. Here’s a hint: people who have valid arguments seldom feel the need to use insults to convey their points.

          • Mairsx

            Voice actors reading their lines takes time to do right, and that time costs money. Which is a basic of game development everyone except you knows.

            And then most of that dialogue is skipped over by the same dumbasses who demand it.
            Such as you.

            Might want to listen to your own hints in the future too.

          • Vagrant Zero

            Wow. Please have children so your stupidity can lead to their demise. It’ll be poetic.

          • Mairsx

            Your target audience will need some moral support soon Larian.

          • Mairsx

            Ah well, Larian seems to like stupid imbeciles such as you so much that they leave comments like these around.

            And then they ask me to just take it, and not respond to an idiotic shithead like you.
            Just like they do it on their forums, to pretend what a great interaction they provide for their “fans”. You should go there for full protection and endow them with your wisdom and wit of a incoherent retarded shit.

            What you said there must have been some childhood memory of your parents fishing you out of a toilet triggering due to extreme emotional engagement for who the fuck knows what reasons.
            Probably some retarded imbecilic reaction to “voice acting” or something, that you wish you could support with any sort of logical argument but cannot, due to your brain literally being a turd.

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      There’s actually more dialogue now. A lot of the dialogue that bored people came from a generic dialogue system which in hindsight was a bad idea but did allow us to take shortcuts. The extra dialogue/rewritten dialogue dominantly serves to add more personality to the inhabitants of Rivellon or obviously to set up the new quests etc… Also – the voice does do a lot to the immersion level of the game. You might be surprised.

      • Hiver

        The voice overs that you did previously in OS were of very good quality.
        But there is no real need to have all of dialogues voiced over and you know it.
        As well as you know that most people that demanded it and complained about it will skip majority of it, as people always do in any game ever made.

        This was done only to satisfy one small percentage of players that created a lot of noise over nothing, over voice overs they will be first to skip over.

        You obviously earned enough to cover those expenses so im not worried it took away anything now, obviously, since the game was already made previously. But it is a PR move that will make it a mandatory thing to do in any future games…

        And when i add that you are doing console versions that keep versions for the core audience back, and late and opening several new studios …

        You seem to be on a classical road to console doom.

      • Drapetomania

        You will not be taking the cheese vendor out, I presume? He must not go, Swen. He must NOT GO!

        He’s my… he’s my friend.

      • Fox

        When you talk about rewriting dialog to add more personality… does this apply solely to NPCs, or will the dialog options for the Source Hunters also be revised?

  • Fox

    I do have one question for you Swen: with all of the extra polish, spit-and-shine, you’re adding to this Enhanced Edition–especially the full voice acting–do you think the game still qualifies as a “AA” title, or do you think you’re able to get it to the loosely-defined “AAA” tier? And if so, are you able to polish it to that AAA level while still staying in the AA budget range?

    I ask because full voice acting and heavy polish are often considered benchmarks of a sort for AAA games, and Larian is fast becoming a AAA studio (how do you feel about THAT, I wonder) what with the long development time of DOS, and massive increase in size.

    (I’m fairly certain you, on this blog, is where I first heard the term “AA” being bandied about; if I’m confusing you with someone else, I’m sorry.)

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      Good question. I’ll let people judge for themselves but one Microsoft employee who does a lot of evaluations told me – “this is AAA”.

  • Arne

    To answer the question: a co-op multiplayer game is most accessable from your couch … And most people have only one screen. So the combination of console and split screen is gold. Happy to hear you’re targeting higher requirements for pc too, and still have a grip on retail market. The only way to fail is by overestimating your new features. Are the biggest flaws in DOS past time in this enhanced edition?

  • Slimebeast

    Congrats for getting the opportunity to release Divinity: Original Sin on consoles. 500,000 copies sold lifetime on XBone/PS4 should be practically guaranteed for such a highly praised game, which I guess would bring in a few million Dollars to Larian to add to their other RPG projects.

    Because I just can’t wait for the big RPG that will dwarf them all!

    Some developers don’t have the resources (Swen has talked about this for years in this blog), and some game designers (like Todd Howard) won’t add new features to their games unless they really add meaning to the experience, but personally I love HUGE, complex games with tons of features.

    Thank you for making Divinity: Original Sin.

  • Washington Irving

    Will it be possible to play splitscreen with no controller? (i.e. with dual mice or sthg)

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      No – you’ll need a controller.

      • Red Shoulders

        How will the new UI work? Will it replace the old AI, be a toggle in the options menu, or only appear if a gamepad is detected or something else?

        • Raze

          It will replace the standard UI when you enable the gamepad (so it does have to be detected), and switch back if you return to the keyboard and mouse.

  • http://www.boxeisland.it Tuco Benedicto

    The only thing i don’t like about this news is that by the sound of it this “Enhanced Edition” is not coming as soon as I was hoping for (well, when it was supposed to be just a big patch).

    Don’t give a damn about the console versions and controller support either, but I wish you best luck with the former and I’m somewhat curious to try the latter.

    I’m ecstatic about all the improvements you are listing, however, and I can’t wait to have a good excuse to replay the whole game once again.

    Oh, and… Any chance a reworked loot system is part of the unlisted improvements, too?
    …Fine, FINE, I’ll drop the topic. Don’t shoot.

    • Raze

      Yes, there are changes to the loot system, and the game economy in general.

  • Hiver

    Good move for you? Probably. The game will sell on consoles.

    What it means for me? Nothing.
    A few minor upgrades, maybe?

    No proper Hard mode, no improvements to some crucial systemic problems that should have come with that and no support and improvements for modding tools and community during all this fucking time you were doing full voice overs and console versions.

    Extremely delayed Linux version that was promised, and not a fucking word about it all this time.

    Its almost surreal how console versions make even the bets devs into hypocrites.

    Nice to hear about local co-op.
    I thought that should be done some time ago and had to fight screaming retards on some forums for pages because of it. Your target audience.

    Feel free to correct me on hard mode and improvements to the game main mechanics if there are any.
    But in normal human language, not doublespeak.

    • Raze

      There will in fact be a hard mode in the Enhanced Edition; that is part of the other gameplay modes that were mentioned, with more details to be given later. There will also be balancing changes to skills and abilities, etc.
      The voice recordings were started relatively recently; they couldn’t start until all the new dialog, tooltips, etc were pretty much done, and have not diverted any programmers away from the Linux version.
      There were multiple updates about the Linux version, if mostly brief: see the topic ‘So where is that Linux version anyway?’
      http://www.larian.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=564100&an=

      • Hiver

        Great to hear about hard mode and balancing changes. Strange that wasnt clarified in the update since it was pretty obvious a feature a lot of players were waiting for, and waited for months to hear anything about.

        I obviously did not claim voice overs diverted programmers from Linux version so i dont see any point in that remark there.

        As much as i dont see any point in not communicating with your own backers more regularly and more clearly, even if it means saying “you are not getting your linux version and hard mode and other stuff because we are making the fucking console versions first”. But thats just me.

        Havent noticed that thread since i dont read you forums since i got banned from them, for many splendid reasons we could or not discuss here at length, but that was posted only in march this year.

        /

        Oh but i do understand the necessities.
        And i was surprised and appreciative of the financial risks and of the pressure of the beta, and i could sense how “hard” was it for dev to communicate with the forums based on their disappearance from them, among other things – but it all panned out in the end.

        And since it all worked i dont see the need for or like the new direction.

        • Raze

          The harder difficult mode and balancing changes have long been known to be coming, since this was just going to be an update, and were talked about in recent Kickstarter updates, etc. I assume there was little point in announcing them again until there are details than can be revealed.

          It was a temporary ban, though other than mentioning that I don’t see how discussing it would be constructive.

          • Hiver

            They were “known to be coming” – theoretically.

            Nobody really knew if its something that is actually worked on or not since it was only mentioned in broadest of terms and that very rarely. And nobody knew anything about what general form that will take because it could have very well been some very superficial version – or get abandoned in the meantime.

            You dont need to “re-anounce” it. You do need to keep people informed about it, you do need to avoid months and months and bigger parts of the year going by in complete lack of communication.

            -

            No it would not be constructive. You got that right. And you can forget about “temporary”.

          • Slimebeast

            I assume Hiver meant a more sophisticated difficulty mode than the current Hard mode in D:OS, so can you say something short about it? It will be something more than just i.e. increasing enemy damage (and reducing player dmg)?

            I love a good challenge.

          • Stabbey

            Larian has said that it involves changing every single encounter in the game. There will be different enemy placements – some enemies will be changed, added, removed, moved around. Enemies will also get new spells. There’s probably other things that they haven’t told us yet.

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      There are actually quite a lot of systemic improvements and we’ll be talking a lot about them in the coming months.

      We did much more than I think people expect on the Enhanced Edition. Given the level of development that went into it, it was impossible for our team to support both the “old” version of D:OS as wel as the Enhanced Edition.

      Sadly that meant there was no perfect solution for the Linux version. I think we took the best possible path even if I know we’re not going to win any brownie points for it. But we are making it and we are investing a lot in it. Once it’s there running well, I hope we’ll be forgiven. I also hope we’re going to break even on it as the middleware joke made it a lot more expensive operation than we anticipated.

      • Hiver

        I understand all that. Youve said as much in the update and the above post.

        Fine. Ok.

        What you should have done is communicated that sooner and more often. Dont be like Inxile Swen, dont avoid communication with your backers and instead talk to the f.ing gaming media.

        Thats much more annoying and negativity producing thing then any delay or reasons for it.

        And you guys really, really need to improve the editor. Ive given up on it but i see through other commenting on it it still has some big problems that make whole maps unusable suddenly. And other smaller problems and things that need to be clarified and what not.
        Now that you are finishing with all this other business, hopefully you guys will also invest effort in that.
        And it would help a lot if someone was talking to modders more often.

        I dont know if you will break even on Linux. For example, i was meaning to buy a second copy of the game when the linux version came out but due to politics of avoiding communication – in a crowdfunded project – i really doubt i will do so.

        It will probably get on the positive side over more time, with Vulkan drivers and Steam OS etc.
        And as investments into future games design process. Sometimes even if there is no big market immediately (like fing consoles) you can help create one that maybe works differently but it is still positive in other ways. Like for example, not needing to make any publisher deals or invest millions into marketing. A market that is more loyal and supportive then rabid consumers markets.

  • Michael

    Great news. I just hope that you maintain distinct control systems for platform and PC. I hope that your great games can be played by as many people as possible on all platforms, but playing games on a PC that have obviously been designed for consoles comes across as feeling wrong and often less interesting.

    I’m used to having fine control with a PC but for console use fine control needs to be turned down. I assume this is why Divinity 2 had auto-aim.
    Despite all my enjoyment of Div2′s setting, story, humour etc, I ended up dropping it early because the combat was simply unsatisfying. It required no skill. I couldn’t snipe creatures because arrows would simple disappear after a certain, not significant, distance. I couldn’t pick off enemies or throw a fireball around a corner because everything came under the control of the auto-aim. I just pressed buttons. It felt really pointless. I want to be able to sneak around a corner, and let loose an arrow that, if I aim correctly, hits it’s mark. I want to have to mentally compensate for movement as I aim to hit my target, not have arrows that home in on their targets (give it as a skill). I want to be able to throw a fireball into a group of enemies of my own choice rather than waiting for auto-aim, and run the risk of missing. I want to feel like I’m in control of combat, and the possibilities are restricted by my skill. Otherwise, I’m not playing the game. I’m just pressing buttons.

    So yea. I’m really happy about your commitment to your games. I’m really happy you want many people to enjoy your games. But please don’t give us a lowest common denominator when it comes to control, UI, game mechanics etc.

    BTW, developers edition was great. I think all games with open environments should have teleport. Running around is so damn boring after the 10th time. So I used the teleport developer tool to move around, It was about the only skill based thing in the whole game (teleporting into the sky, then quickly looking around and teleporting to my final destination while falling through the air) Please include this in all further open games you make! (Along with having actual control over combat)

    • Michael

      Woops. This one didn’t show up after I posted, so I posted again. Any way to delete?

      • Raze

        I don’t know if it will remove the comment, but you can try editing it and delete the content.

  • Michael

    Great news. I just hope that you maintain distinct control systems for
    platform and PC. I hope that your great games can be played by as many
    people as possible on all platforms, but playing games on a PC that have
    obviously been designed for consoles comes across as feeling wrong and
    often less interesting.

    I’m used to having fine control with a PC
    but for console use fine control needs to be turned down. I assume this
    is why Divinity 2 had auto-aim.
    Despite all my enjoyment of Div2′s
    setting, story, humour etc, I ended up dropping it early because the
    combat was simply unsatisfying. It required no skill. I couldn’t snipe
    creatures because arrows would simple disappear after a certain, not
    significant, distance. I couldn’t pick off enemies or throw a fireball
    around a corner because everything came under the control of the
    auto-aim. I just pressed buttons. It felt really pointless. I want to be
    able to sneak around a corner, and let loose an arrow that, if I aim
    correctly, hits it’s mark. I want to have to mentally compensate for
    movement as I aim to hit my target, not have arrows that home in on
    their targets (give it as a skill). I want to be able to throw a
    fireball into a group of enemies of my own choice rather than waiting
    for auto-aim, and run the risk of missing. I want to feel like I’m in
    control of combat, and the possibilities are restricted by my skill.
    Otherwise, I’m not playing the game. I’m just pressing buttons.

    So
    yea. I’m really happy about your commitment to your games. I’m really
    happy you want many people to enjoy your games. But please don’t give us
    a lowest common denominator when it comes to control, UI, game
    mechanics etc.

    BTW, I only played the Developer’s edition. I think all
    games with open environments should have teleport. Running up and down the same valley gets so boring after the 10th time. The teleport developer tool made it fun, It was about the only skill based thing in the whole
    game (teleporting into the sky, then quickly looking around and
    teleporting to my final destination while falling through the air).
    Please include this in all further open games you make! (Along with
    having actual control over combat)

    (I know this doesn’t directly relate to Div:OS which I haven’t yet played, but I only just finished playing the developer’s edition of Div2 so my thoughts about it are fresh. I hope you will make another game in the Div2 style, but for me it would need more active combat where I have to think more and take control. I really look forward to Div: OS EE. Thank you for your commitment to your games.

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      We really focussed on improving things – not dumbing things down. It’s hard to explain without people actually having played the Enhanced Edition, but I hope player will recognise it once they get in their hands. Won’t be that long.

      • Michael

        I don’t believe you are dumbing things down. I have heard how you speak about your games, I think you care too much for that.
        “dumbing down”, while my knee jerk reaction is to think this as a primarily PC gamer, I play console games with my brother and I understand that playing style and controls vary between the two. As someone developing for both platform types, you want to save as much resources as possible.

        But a one size fits all scheme leaves the PC version reduced. Anyway, I’m sure original sin will be fine! It’s a turn based RPG, so I think it doesn’t suffer as much from PC vs Console differences. It was DIV2 which I think suffered from dual platform development. Combat could have been much more tactical and involved, without relying on auto-aim in the PC version. Hopefully with you’re increased sales, you can afford to have more separation between your development pipelines to make future games better tailored for their respective platforms (I really would like another DIV2 style game, but only if it had more tactical combat mechanics).

      • LC

        I’m really curious how you deal with pixel hunting puzzles on console with controllers. I hope you won’t dumb that element down for mouse/keyboard as well or even cut all that stuff out and replace it with something else for everyone…

        • Stabbey

          No actually please do replace it. Pixel hunting sucks even with mouse and keyboard. Pixel hunting is not a true puzzle – thought is required for puzzles.

          Pixel hunting doesn’t fit very well with a far-off, isometric camera. I’d much rather have puzzles where the parts are not too hard to spot, but how to properly use them requires some thinking.

          • LC

            I don’t have anything against ADDITIONAL puzzles. But I do like pixel hunting if you do have a good chance (clues) to find the solution without too much trial and error.

            And since you can zoom in I don’t see the problem.

            But I simply don’t want game mechanics changed for everyone because they “don’t fit to controller input”.

          • Stabbey

            Sorry for taking so long to get back to you on this, but after thinking it over a bit, I do want to address some of those points.

            In D:OS’s case, a lot (maybe even most of the time), you DON’T get clues you need – and sometimes you get MISleading clues instead.

            I got stuck in the Immaculates Trial (after already completing it earlier) because I missed a tiny button. I’d found it on my first go at the trial, but had since forgotten about it, and this time, my camera was in a different place and I never saw the button light up as a character passed by it.

            And zooming in is not the ideal state for most of the game. Even if you know you have to zoom in that still isn’t always helpful. The compass puzzle in the Luculla Temple was quite frustrating as even going around the room several times zoomed in I still missed the button I needed.

            THAT’S “the problem”. (and don’t even get me started on all the tiny, high-perception-requiring buttons in the MAIN QUEST at the Source Temple)

            And I wasn’t suggesting game mechanics be changed because “they don’t fit to controller input”, I was suggesting that pixel hunting be changed because pixel hunting is not very fun. It’s frustrating if you can’t find the spots, and even if you can find the spots, it’s not terribly interesting, just “ah here is the button I need.” Although my experience is colored by frustration because I did not easily spot the buttons.

            A more thought-provoking puzzle might go something like “clues from this book tell me that the code is blue-yellow-green, and there are several levers around here, but the green lever turns on the red light and the yellow lever turns on the blue light, so I actually need to flip the levers like…” or “The first initial of a sentence spells out a word if you put them all together” (although the localizers would bite the brims off their hats).

  • dodge

    Hi Swen,

    Will there be an English retail PC version available or just for consoles?

    I mean UK or EU release of Enhanced Edition in the box with printed manual and perhaps a map?

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      I actually don’t know yet. There will definitely be console retail releases, but retail sales for PC really are quite horrible these days so it doesn’t really make sense. Obviously if there’s sufficient demand for it, we’ll make it.

      • Kio

        As a Kickstarter backer who opted for the Collector’s Edition box, I’d be DELIGHTED to be able to buy a boxed copy of the PC version of the Enhanced Edition, Sven – please consider printing a few copies, even a limited amount available for purchase via the Larian Store.

        • LC

          A limited signed version would be very cool. Like they did with the Anthology that has a prominent space in my gaming shelf.

  • Stabbey

    The Enhanced Edition is an awesome idea, so thanks for that.

    I’ve got a lot of little questions, but I don’t think that they’ll be answered. Thanks for answering some of the other people’s good questions though. There’s a great deal of worry about releasing for consoles – not so much for D:OS, but for Larian’s future games.

    The fear is that Larian’s future games will end up being diluted like Ego Draconis – designed around getting them to fit within the console limitations. That is a legitimate worry… but on the other hand, Larian does tend to overreach on occasion and have loftier ideas than what time and budget will allow. And even within limitations, Dragon Knight Saga was one of Larian’s better games.

    I sure hope that talk of “new quests” means that we’ll be seeing the Phantom Forest dungeon. I won’t expect it, though. I also hope there will be a bunch of new talents and skills/spells. (And maybe even a new “Inquisitor” preset class ;-) – just kidding!)

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      If we manage to get the Enhanced Edition right on console & PC simultaneously, then hopefully that worry will be gone. But really, we don’t think like that – we’re just trying to make something fun, and we’ll try to make it fun on each platform we release it on. And no, the phantom forest dungeons haven’t been made bigger. We’ve actually trimmed some of the combat in the Phantom forest zone so that we can get people faster into the new ending zones.

      • LC

        There are completely new ending zones? That’s pretty cool.

        But I really hope you give players some better “advice” at the beginning of act 2. I stayed in Hibernheim long before I should be there, suffering from rot all the time without knowing a damn about it.. ;)

  • MrAptronym

    Does it make financial sense? I don’t know, but it does help reinforce customer loyalty, at least from me. Seeing a developer really support a game post launch is a big deal to me. So is being able to recognize the flaws in one’s game.

    I feel bad for linux users, but personally I am thrilled by this news. I think very highly of the work you guys put in to really make something great, not just push units.

  • SniperHF

    Curious about the change from “Eyes of a Child” to the D:OS Source hunters/Guardian’s story. Why did you guys decide to make that change?

    Also, try not to break too much in the editor for the small handful of us still trying to make campaigns for D:OS =P

    • Stabbey

      I think originally, the first concept of the story had two characters with fixed backstories: A man who could heal from any injury… but was being tortured by some bad folks, and a woman who had suddenly returned from the dead, and was seeing everything with the “eyes of a child”.

      Later on, Larian moved away from that to what they usually do – an unimportant or ignored backstory. I don’t know the reasoning behind that.

      • Hiver

        That sounds about a hundred times better then what is now in OS.

        Going for that sweet mass market money Larian? What a waste…

        • Red Shoulders

          …Or maybe they figured blank-slate protagonists would work better for a game modeled after Ultima VII that encourages multiplayer?

          • Hiver

            Could be, yeah. Although that description above doesnt necessarily mean the characters had predefined stats. I wouldnt think so.

            I was actually commenting on the type of the story when i read that description. I thought they were aiming to do something different then OS main plot which is extreme epic high fantasy, based around big bad evil and good guys stopping it. The details of it in gameplay weren’t so cut and dry, but that had its own highs and lows and sometimes clashed with that simplistic base of the main plot.

            But maybe it was not that different, maybe its just a different description of the beginning, different description of characters while the rest would be the same.

            As for how predefined characters are storywise, it seems the same.

        • Gnostic

          Hi Hiver,

          Good to see you from the Torment: Tides of Numenera forum. Sadly I only get to know you bickering over the Turn Base / RTWP issue. Sorry if I had give you a rough time over the topic.

          • Hiver

            Cant say i remember you at all Gnostic.
            Or any “rough time” over that or any other topic.

      • SniperHF

        There’s an RPGWatch article that outlines all that stuff here:
        http://www.rpgwatch.com/articles/divinity–original-sin-preview-192.html

        It also apparently was to go more in depth on the Orc invasions referenced in Cyseal.

  • Red Shoulders

    Wait… 360 degree camera movement? I thought the 3D assets were built “hollow” the game wouldn’t have to render fully 3D objects… did that change?

    Anyway, sounds good. The only problem I ever really had with DOS was the occassional camera funniness.

    Though if it’s going to be fully rotatable, I’d appreciate it if there could be a “snap back to default view” button.

    • Raze

      There were a couple 2D assets used, but most of the shortcuts that could be taken with a fixed angle camera were with lighting and item placement (no decoration required for corners of rooms blocked from view, etc).
      There is already a camera reset hotkey: Home (re-centers on lead character and resets angle).

      • SniperHF

        Will the EE continue to support the option of keeping the camera rotation semi-locked?

        • LC

          If not that should be possible by modding in a few minutes. But maybe they use the full rotation for puzzles in the EE and so it wouldn’t be recommended to use a semi-locked view.

  • Fox

    One more question you probably can’t answer: does this Enhanced Edition (+the other two secret games) mean we’re not going to see a meaty expansion for the game? Or is the new content in the EE possibly enough to consider IT an expansion in and of itself?

    • Stabbey

      Earlier they said that there wouldn’t be an expansion for D:OS, they were focusing on two new RPG’s instead. They’ve said that there will be more quests, but I’m not getting the impression that it’ll be an expansion’s worth of new content. (Swen just confirmed below that the Phantom Forest dungeon is not happening.)

  • Gnostic

    As for consoles investment is good or not, I think it will be good for a few years before the return on investment thinned out. Be prepared for alternatives when the ROI falters.

    Look at the numbers for the install base / sales of PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4. are they increasing or decreasing?

    And consoles have no or limited backward compatibility (console creators want to push customers into new console) hence there is only so much people who will buy your games.

    Can the hardware vs price of consoles keep up with the smartphone or PC? While new phone / PC is improved every year / month console are improvement take quite a long time. It has been just 2 year since PS4 and already there are people complaining Witcher 3 false advertisement and dumbing down Witcher 3 for consoles.

    So where is the advantage of consoles? Will they last long? How long will it take till a smart phone becomes as powerful as the consoles? For now, it should be still beneficial to develop for consoles, keep an eye of it in the future.

    But don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the smartphone market is a good investment now as it is flooded with competition and FTP games that you hardly see much high price games. Maybe 5 – 10 years in the future when the market accept higher price games like Final Fantasy now.

  • Kein Zantezuken

    Complains about “too light” female armor on the Enchanced Edition poster/logo incoming in 3.. 2… 1…

    Regarding the EE itself: will there be promised day/night cycle?

  • Olivié

    Hello Sven, thank you for sharing your experience with us. Your blog is probably the most honest and insightful look into the RPG business I came across. Keep up the good work and the good will!

  • Kristina

    Dear Swen,

    we are a Belgian production company (www.eklektik.be), very interested by the game Divinity – Original Sin; we would like to use an extact of the game in our new short movie (about the life of a gamer), shooting this summer in Ostende.

    I am sorry to contact you here, but I could not reach Larian Studios in Belgium by phone or email (only info mail is available, and I got no answer). This request might be unusual, but we are really enthousiastic about your game D-OS and we would like to collaborate with Larian Studios! In order to discuss property rights and other details, please could you contact me kristina@eklektik.be so I will be able to tell you more about the project !

    I am looking forward to hearing from you soon. Best regards,
    Kristina.

  • Michal Michi Gen

    Considering that D:OS is so good that it didn’t really need enhanced edition, is there any chance that Divinity Dragon Commander will get enhanced edition as well? The game is really good, but it could have been incredible. There is a lot of potential to make it even better.

  • Tibério

    I know it’s asking a lot but a version in Portuguese would be divine!

  • Ryan

    Awesome, you guys rock. Can’t wait to play it.