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Default Icewind Dale - Past, Present and Future @ GameBanshee

October 29th, 2011, 00:43
GameBanshee has a piece called Icewind Dale: The Past, Present and Future. As I write this, our editor shows me our last Icewind Dale newsbit was a retrospective at GameBanshee, so I guess someone is a fan over there. This article is mostly retrospective but then turns to the "persistent rumors" that Obsidian might revisit the IP:
It's worth considering, however, what form or shape such a product would take in the modern gaming world. Given today's technology, possibly even Obsidian's own Onyx Engine (most recently used for Dungeon Siege III), it's fair to say that Icewind Dale's stunning landscapes could be realized in even more detail and with more life than ever before. However, given recent job postings at Obsidian looking for 2D character artists with Adobe Flash familiarity, it seems even more probable that such a game could be released across multiple platforms, or even in a browser-based format. Both possibilities hold a lot of promise, especially as a Flash-based option could make for a game that's playable on everything from smartphones, to tablets, to desktop PCs, and it's ideally suited for the point-and-click gameplay that touchscreens are able to support.
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October 29th, 2011, 00:43
…the "persistent rumors" that Obsidian might revisit the IP
As a first person shooter perhaps? It would be a great opportunity to fix everything that was wrong with the original franchise, specifically that technology of the time didn't allow you to have an eight party FPS or photo-realistic environments.

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October 29th, 2011, 01:50
Interesting. I finally got around to the game this month (via GOG). And I'm just about finished with the Icewind Dale 1. While the game is still playable (and fun) D&D rule sets are not for me. One thing about IWD, I only got about half way through with Balders Gate whereas I am almost finished with IWD.

I love snow environments, but too much of the Dale is spent in Dungeons. So any franchise reset will be a wait and see for me.
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October 29th, 2011, 07:23
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
As a first person shooter perhaps? It would be a great opportunity to fix everything that was wrong with the original franchise, specifically that technology of the time didn't allow you to have an eight party FPS or photo-realistic environments.
I assume this is writ ironic.

Pretty much exactly what I was thinking. Haven't enough classic IPs (okay borderline there with IWD versus BG) been slaughtered lately? (*cough* XCOM *cough*)
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October 29th, 2011, 10:21
I wish site and people would stop about Icewind Dale III as Obsidian. All it basically amounts to, is Feargus Urquhart saying in an interview that he'd love to do an Icewind Dale 3 and that he sorta brushed the subjects with the IP holders. Doesn't mean it's gonna happen or that they have anything IWD related in the works.

Feargus also said how much he'd love to do an Ultima in the same interview, and we all know how likely this is to happen

It feels to me than whenever he says something, it's getting blown out of proportion (I remember a few years ago when he mentioned how much he loved Chrono Trigger and would love to make a game like this… people just went crazy as to how Obsidian HAD to be working on a CT sequel. Yeah right )

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October 29th, 2011, 10:36
We all need to accept the fact there will ever be any more rpgs like the infinity engine games. I would buy it in a instant but the return profit on such games inst worth it to publishers.

Indie developers wont either its a pipe dream due to money and the amount of people to make one. Here have a cold one on me and remember the good old games.

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October 29th, 2011, 11:32
I love both the Infinity Engine games and i'd love to see a new Icewind Dale. The problem is that today, companies cannot make that kind of games anymore. They always adopt a more action based style to attract a more "wide" audience and ruin everything. I'm 99% certain that, if Obsidian made a new Icewind Dale, it would have all the core RPG mechanics removed and be something like DA 2, meaning a disaster!
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October 29th, 2011, 12:25
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
We all need to accept the fact there will ever be any more rpgs like the infinity engine games.
Really? I thought NWN2:MotB(2007), NWN2: SoZ(2008), Drakensang:TDE(2008), Dragon Age:Origins (2009), Drakensang:TRoT(2010) were rather like the Infinity engine games.
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October 29th, 2011, 12:28
Originally Posted by Giovanni1983 View Post
The problem is that today, companies cannot make that kind of games anymore.
Okay, explain why they can make games like "Disciples III" and "Grotesque Tactics 2" and not something like IWD.

You should rather have said: "Obsidian, as a pusher of "AAA" multiplatform action sequels cannot make that kind of game anymore"
Last edited by TheSisko; October 29th, 2011 at 12:39.
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October 29th, 2011, 12:37
Grotesque & Disciples were done by rather small companies.
No well-known names.

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October 29th, 2011, 12:46
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Grotesque & Disciples were done by rather small companies.
No well-known names.
"Companies cannot make that kind of games anymore" != "Multiplatform AAA developers aren't interested in making those kind of games"

The first statement is false, the second is totally obvious. IWD1&2 were not mainstream hits, why would anyone expect a mainstream company to make anything similar?

Sawyer stated that IWD2 sold a couple of 100K copies, that's something that could be published by a niche publisher like Paradox Interactive today - not EA or Square Enix or whatever other publicly traded AAA publisher Obsidian is talking to.

The problem is Obsidian's image - they want to be known as an multiplatform "AAA" developer and can't be messing around with niche games unless it's a throwaway iPhone game or something.

From Sawyer's Formspring:
"Do you believe that a modern game that is similar to IWD2 could be done with roughly the same budget and be profitable? Paradox Interactive is successful at making complex games with medium budgets, so why wouldn't it work for a tactical RPG?"

Answer: I think it could, but I'm not an expert on game economics.
Last edited by TheSisko; October 29th, 2011 at 13:01.
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October 29th, 2011, 13:03
Originally Posted by TheSisko View Post
Really? I thought NWN2:MotB(2007), NWN2: SoZ(2008), Drakensang:TDE(2008), Dragon Age:Origins (2009), Drakensang:TRoT(2010) were rather like the Infinity engine games.
Looks like someone is in denial. Only three of those games were like the infinity engine games. There becoming less common as the years go by.

Most indie studios only have 5-35 workers. The rest fall in the category of b developers who have the cash but will eventually either go bankrupt or change.

One Example is Larian Studios just compare there new games to there old. The other is Radon Labs who is now bankrupt and a shell that makes web based games now. Not good is it.

Even Obsidian is falling into this category and as you see there changing there development also.

You will never see another Dragon Age Origin's either as Bioware has joined the side of change to maximize profits also. The infinity engine type game are a dying breed. That is a fact.

As for indie games there graphics and game play mechanics don't even come close to any 1999 rpg. I cant even enjoy them.

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October 29th, 2011, 13:30
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Looks like someone is in denial. Only three of those games were like the infinity engine games. There becoming less common a the years go by.
Less common? As compared to when? Tell me please, who other than Bioware or Black Isle has ever made anything similar to the infinity engine games past 1998?
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
The rest fall in the category of b developers who have the cash but will eventually either go bankrupt or change.
I think you got it wrong there, the ones likely to go bankrupt are the "AAA" developers when their 100 million budget game flops. Or else they all leave and get replaced with only the name remaining (Infinity Ward).
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
One Example is Larian Studios change just compare there new games to there old.
Yeah, they've really gone totally mainstream with their new TBS+Combat Flights Sim game
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
The other is Radon Labs who is now bankrupt and a shell that makes web based games now. Not good is it.
Their first game exceeded sales expectations and their 2nd game wasn't even released outside Germany until after they went bankrupt. Hardly conclusive evidence one way or the other.
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
You will never see another Dragon Age Origin's either as Bioware has joined the side of change to maximize profits also.
Why would I expect Bioware, a developer of "AAA" console games, to make a good RPG?
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
The infinity engine type game are a dying breed. That is a fact.
They were never particularly popular outside of BG1&2.
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October 29th, 2011, 13:34
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
One Example is Larian Studios just compare there new games to there old.
Bad example.

Oh.. and it's "their" games.
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October 29th, 2011, 13:49
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Bad example.

Oh.. and it's "their" games.
Grammar Nazi.

I don't know I bother lately. Some people cant accept the genre is different and will never be as it was. Everyone can of course live in there own dreamland if they want. Keep reading these articles that except games that will never be made again. I'm going to bed goodnight.

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October 29th, 2011, 14:11
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Grammar Nazi.
I don't know I bother lately. Some people cant accept the genre is different and will never be as it was.
It never was what you think. Outside of BG1&2, the genre was always niche. The only ones deluding themselves are those who expect Bioware or Obsidian to make something similar. They have both transitioned into "AAA" console developers.
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October 29th, 2011, 14:26
Originally Posted by TheSisko View Post
They were never particularly popular outside of BG1&2.
There were only 5 Infinity Engine games: BG1&2, IWD1&2 and Torment. From memory, all 5 games were quite popular.

Really? I thought NWN2:MotB(2007), NWN2: SoZ(2008), Drakensang:TDE(2008), Dragon Age:Origins (2009), Drakensang:TRoT(2010) were rather like the Infinity engine games.
I don't think they are quite similar to IE games… rather they are quite similar to each other.

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October 29th, 2011, 14:33
Originally Posted by purpleblob View Post
There were only 5 Infinity Engine games: BG1&2, IWD1&2 and Torment. From memory, all 5 games were quite popular.
Not really, BG1&2 sold a lot more that the others. BG2 has sold 2 million units while according to J.E. Sawyer, IWD2 has sold " a few hundred thousand". PS:T sold less than 100K.

Originally Posted by purpleblob View Post
I don't think they are quite similar to IE games… rather they are quite similar to each other.
And what makes them so different? 3D and adjustable camera? You control a party and there's tactical combat. I fail to see the gigantic difference between DA:O and BG2 in actual combat, aside from better encounter design and monster variety in BG2.
And I'd gladly take another MotB over a new BG.
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October 29th, 2011, 15:26
Originally Posted by TheSisko View Post
Okay, explain why they can make games like "Disciples III" and "Grotesque Tactics 2" and not something like IWD.

You should rather have said: "Obsidian, as a pusher of "AAA" multiplatform action sequels cannot make that kind of game anymore"
You are correct in that. I didn't put it as i should so i make myself clear. I did, in fact, mean that Obsidian, Bioware and the rest of the "big" companies cannot or will not make games like that anymore. I agree with your correction.
I can think of many smaller companies still making good old school RPG games.
The bigger names in the industry just want to make action based games so they see a bigger income. They just aren't interested in good RPG's anymore.
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October 29th, 2011, 16:09
I think I'm missing something here… I haven't played all of Obsidian's games but they've never given me the impression that they compromised RPG elements in favor of more mainstream action, if anything I understood that some of their sequels are more focused on the RPG side than the originals… I don't see where the speculation that not only an Icewind Dale 3 will be made but that it won't even be a true RPG comes from.

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