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Default Icewind Dale - Revisited @ GameBanshee

March 18th, 2007, 14:47
GameBanshee has published a truckload of new material in a huge Icewind Dale retrospective. Aside from content additions to their walkthrough and resources, there are interviews with Josh Sawyer, Chris Parker and Scott Everts. Let's take a bit from J.E. Sawyer:
GB: What was it like to be a part of the development team for each of these projects? Any fond memories you can share with us?

Josh: Icewind Dale was fantastic for me because I had somehow stumbled into my dream job. I didnít know anything about CRPG development, but I knew more about AD&D and the Forgotten Realms than anyone outside of TSR/WotC should. We didnít have any leads on the original title, so we sort of just… did things… with Chris Parker telling us when we were being dumb.

Scott Warner (the designer of Upper Dornís Deep) and I will always remember Greedy Ghost, which is referenced to this day. Someone (who shall remain nameless) asked why the dwarf priest ghost in Upper Dornís didnít charge the party for healing services. Scott and I explained that it was a ghost and ghosts donít have any need for money. That Someone then replied, ďMaybe heís a greedy ghost.Ē

After Icewind Dale shipped, Feargus forwarded us an e-mail from Brian Fargo in which he said that he really enjoyed Icewind Dale and it was the first game in years that he had finished. I knew Icewind Dale was a flawed game, but I grew up on Bardís Tale, so that meant a lot to me.

I was also pretty happy when we finally got most of the major 3E stuff into Icewind Dale 2. Danien Chee, Bernie Weir, Rich ďMalavonĒ Finegan, and Darren Monahan really gutted a lot of the Infinity Engineís game logic to make 3E work in it, and I think our implementation of the rule set was fantastic.
More information.
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March 18th, 2007, 14:47
Great interview! I love Icewind Dale 2 to bits.

I want Icewind Dale 3 so bad, my body physically aches.
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March 18th, 2007, 18:04
hmmm..I wonder if Obsidian is trying to find a publisher for an Icewind Dale 3 and that's the reason for all this info at Gamebanshee. Its not a secret that they bought the rights from Interplay after they left.
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March 18th, 2007, 19:04
i heart Gamebanshee ='.'=
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March 18th, 2007, 19:47
Icewind Dale was a special game, one too many gamers may have overlooked because it came in the shadow of the Baldur's Gate games. It was a great blend of unique and classic that offered a nice story in a beautiful gaming world. I played it on-line too and had a ball!
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March 18th, 2007, 20:11
I'm on record as claiming the Dales as my favorite IE games and I'm always glad to see them getting a little respect. To me they had the best dungeons I'd ever played, the best character creation and the best combat (other than the occasional sautee-ing of your complete front line by an ill-advised fireball) of any of the IE games. Some nice geeky nostalgia from Sawyer and the guys also.
Liked this quote:

GB: Why did you choose to put most of your development efforts into an Icewind Dale sequel rather than finishing Fallout 3/Van Buren or The Black Hound/Jefferson?

Josh: Both of those titles were using technology that was under development. Interplay wanted Icewind Dale 2 in four months. Finishing The Black Hound would have been impossible in that time frame. Creating an Icewind Dale sequel in that time frame was also impossible, but it was less impossible.

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March 18th, 2007, 21:37
I remember when Icewind came out i was rather dissapointed, i wanted another baldur. If i had known then, that it was one of the last real games we would get, i would have treasured it like i do today. I too would love a part 3, but we all know what would happen to it, its sad enough we are getting a kiddie fps fallout.
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March 18th, 2007, 23:26
I have played Icewind Dale 1 2-3 times I think. It IS a very good game.
And while I know that Sawyer said in the in the interview that it was to be more of a hack n slash fest or game than say the BG games, I really don't think it they were that different.

At least to me, the team made a game which has a lot of combat (but then again, so does the BG games ) and underneath all of this is a very sad story about man versus nature and how man triumphs over nature (sort of). In the Heart of Winter this is so. But then in the final battle in Icewind Dale 1, you learn that someone has done something to someone so that it only seems that way. And I like the way that villain's name is taken from a play by the French Author, Moliere. [I won't say anymore, because it would be spoiler of sorts].

I can certainly understand why people wanted another Baldur's Gate - but then again, I think people forgot that Bioware didn't make Icewind Dale - Black Isle & Interplay did. And so, the games, IWD1+2, would be very different. But as I stated above, I really don't think they are that different. There are still focus on story, character interaction, dialoque, choice & consequence etc. I remember fondly that you could get a man to give up drinking if you had high enough WIS and INT, I think.

As for Icewind Dale 2, I think that Interplay sort of shot themselfes in the foot when they demanded the sequel in four months. This means, (have I been told) that a lot of the location from Icewind Dale 2 were re-used and re-hashed. And this has, imo, a lot do with the fact that Icewind Dale didn't sell as well as projected.
I also think it confused a lot of people that you now had to spent points when creating a character instead of rolling the dice. [It was sort of execusable,( if that's a word), in PS: Torment, since the game featured a protagonist you couldn't make yourself, and the setting were, was and is very much different from other D&D games].

And these games do deserve to get full respect, credit and the honour that becomes them. Especially: Trials of the Luremaster is brilliant, imo.

And yes, these games seems to be the last of batch of the real games, we gamers got way back when Interplay & Black Isle were alive. I guess they forgot their slogan: For gamers - by gamers. And went after the money instead —- not a very smart move, imo. [Sort of off topic, but bear with me: I have seen Fallout: BOS for the Xbox, and it does look as if it is a typical shooter game, where you use your rifles and weapons to restore peace to the Fallout universe - not a game that the typical Fallout fan would buy].

Normally, I would say that I would like an Icewind Dale 3 game, but I don't think that I would do so - now. I don't know how the game would be if it were released -
but let's just be joyus and thankfull for the games we got .

And hope that the day will game when good stories are as important as good graphics….
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March 19th, 2007, 12:03
Originally Posted by Lucky Day View Post
hmmm..I wonder if Obsidian is trying to find a publisher for an Icewind Dale 3 and that's the reason for all this info at Gamebanshee. Its not a secret that they bought the rights from Interplay after they left.
What I hear about #2 is that it wasn't much of a commercial success (although I can't imagine that a lot of money was spent on making it). Also, Obsidian's next D&D project appears to be a NWN2 expansion pack. I'll take anything that they can provide at this point. I'm looking forward to J.E. Sawyer's recreation of Baldurs Gate 3 too.
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March 19th, 2007, 13:25
Originally Posted by doctor_kaz View Post
What I hear about #2 is that it wasn't much of a commercial success (although I can't imagine that a lot of money was spent on making it). Also, Obsidian's next D&D project appears to be a NWN2 expansion pack. I'll take anything that they can provide at this point. I'm looking forward to J.E. Sawyer's recreation of Baldurs Gate 3 too.
Well… Isn't The Black Hound more of an IWD3 than a BG3? (Not in dungeon romp-spirit perhaps, but the black hound was introduced in IWD2 cut-scenes IIRC)

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March 19th, 2007, 22:51
Originally Posted by The Watchman View Post
I remember when Icewind came out i was rather dissapointed, i wanted another baldur. If i had known then, that it was one of the last real games we would get, i would have treasured it like i do today. I too would love a part 3, but we all know what would happen to it, its sad enough we are getting a kiddie fps fallout.

I feel pretty much the same except I still think IW series are boring but ok games. I always thought IW was D&D disguised Diablo clone.
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March 20th, 2007, 02:48
Originally Posted by User Name View Post
I feel pretty much the same except I still think IW series are boring but ok games. I always thought IW was D&D disguised Diablo clone.


Diablo clone? That is a very strange (and in a sense, harsh) comparison. The one similar characteristic, to me, is the gameplay being combat heavy.

IWD had nice character customisation, decent party control and a nice storyline. Diablo is … kinda meh. *awaits impending firebolt*
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March 20th, 2007, 03:11
Dr. A.—no firebolt from on high for the "meh'-most here would probably agree with you. (Not me, since like an ex from hell, I've lost too many years of my life to Diablo to use that word. )

I love both games and I see little basis for comparison.

Icewind Dale was a dungeon crawler, yes, but you had a party, you had the dnd character and combat systems, you had lore, dialogue and a reasonable amount of story vs combat. You did many of your quests in towns, with npcs who said things other than "Andariel, Queen of the Demons, blocks the passage to the East. She must be slain!"

In Diablo you had a skill-based character system, loot, and hacking and slashing. Oh, and in D2, very nice cinematic cutscenes. And slashing and hacking, loot, a wooden leg that took you to a "secret' level where you could kill homocidal cows for more and better loot, and did I mention the hack-n-slash combat?

"Nuff said.

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March 24th, 2007, 21:47
I loved the athmosphere and the ambience of IWD, but found it too boring at some point, too much fighting.

So I gave up.

So … this game exists in my memory mostly as a fighting game, and nothing else.

I always think, that if they had really used and filled the whole world according to that athmosphere and ambience, it would've been a really great game ! - With "filling" I mean role playing apart from combat. I mean real talk, diplomacy, heavy use of the non-fighting skills etc. .

So I have all in all very mixed memories of that game. And I don't plan to play it again, except for the addons, maybe, one day.
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August 18th, 2007, 21:04
Icewind Dale Tweak Pack received couple of updates after two years and is currently up to version 7

more info and download http://www.gibberlings3.net/daletweak/index.php
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