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Default Baldur's Gate - BaldursGate.com Stirs Awake

March 1st, 2012, 11:26
From 2008:

"At an Atari press event, Phil Harrison revealed that his company will be putting out further installments in the Baldur's Gate and Test Drive series, albeit not for a while"

http://ve3d.ign.com/articles/news/43…ate-Test-Drive
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March 1st, 2012, 13:25
Originally Posted by Zygo View Post
The levels in the IE were actually developed in 3d, then rendered into 2d bitmaps from 3ds Max. As such it's (if you have the original 3d builds available) far easier to do a HD remake- you might even be able to just render straight to a higher bitmap resolution without any significant alteration at all except rescaling and updating UI elements.
I thought the backgrounds were all hand painted.

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March 1st, 2012, 13:48
If Bioware's track record theese past 10 years is any indication much (if not most) of what made Baldur's Gate great came from Black Isle.
A Baldur's Gate 3 done by Ea's Bioware would just be a disservice to the series.
However this is most likely just a cheap cashgrab complete with dlc's and whatnot for a tablet and/or console verson of the series.
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March 1st, 2012, 14:46
Originally Posted by Biff The Understudy View Post
If Bioware's track record theese past 10 years is any indication much (if not most) of what made Baldur's Gate great came from Black Isle.
KOTOR was less than years ago. Jade Empire was in '05. Dragon Age was only 3 years ago (I know everyone seems to hate DA2, but DA1 was well received).

Given that IWD was Black Isle's baby and while an enjoyable game, it was vastly inferior to BG1 and BG2 in many respects, I don't think BI was the driving force behind BG's greatness.


A Baldur's Gate 3 done by Ea's Bioware would just be a disservice to the series.
Kind of agree, unless they learned their lessons from DA2.

However this is most likely just a cheap cashgrab complete with dlc's and whatnot for a tablet and/or console verson of the series.
If its just a re-issue for tablets with some extra DLC, I really hope that DLC become available for the PC game as well.

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March 1st, 2012, 15:08
Originally Posted by Biff The Understudy View Post
If Bioware's track record theese past 10 years is any indication much (if not most) of what made Baldur's Gate great came from Black Isle.
KOTOR was less than years ago. Jade Empire was in '05. Dragon Age was only 3 years ago (I know everyone seems to hate DA2, but DA1 was well received).

Given that IWD was Black Isle's baby and while an enjoyable game, it was vastly inferior to BG1 and BG2 in many respects, I don't think BI was the driving force behind BG's greatness.


A Baldur's Gate 3 done by Ea's Bioware would just be a disservice to the series.
Kind of agree, unless they learned their lessons from DA2.

However this is most likely just a cheap cashgrab complete with dlc's and whatnot for a tablet and/or console verson of the series.
If its just a re-issue for tablets with some extra DLC, I really hope that DLC become available for the PC game as well.

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March 1st, 2012, 15:28
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
I thought the backgrounds were all hand painted.
ditto - I know Arcanum did 3d rendering and converted it to 2d (which is why I thought it was in 3d). BG2 made a big deal of advertising it had some 3d if you had the right card - they had a green slime I remember that was absolutely awful and was a resource hog.

I've played one or two emulated games on my Android and they never work right with the second mouse button. Tap and hold is usually what its replaced with - its never smooth. Plus you tend to hold the tablet in one hand.

This is the sort of thing that could make a Microsoft a real player in the tablet game when Windows 8 is launched - a huge catalogue of backwards compatible software. But again, they'll have to figure out what to do with the second mouse button.

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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March 1st, 2012, 16:17
Black Isle's writers worked on kotor before the split and lets be honest the story and writing were the only good things about the game.
Gameplay was mindlessly simplistic and the levels in addition to being bland and uninspired were mostly tiny closed off maps or corridors connected by loadingscreens.
Not sure why you mention Jade Empire as it had some of the worst gameplay i have ever seen in an "rpg" and had the same world layout issues as kotor.
Fantastic setting and pretty good writing but on the whole it was at best medicore.
While Dragon Age Origins was arguably enjoyable it did not have a shred of originality in setting, story or gameplay and Ferelden is as generic as a fantasy world can get. And dont even get me started on darkspawn.
If you equate sales with quality then yes Bioware's track record is pretty dam good.

Why i believe Black Isle played a large part in Bg's success is because Bioware has shown time and time again that they are incapable of the kind kind of innovation and originality seen in Baldur's Gate and also seem to be completly clueless when it comes to gameplay. Black isle on the other hand had some incredibly inventive individuals (most notably Chris Avellone).
Take a look at what the ex Black isle members in Obsidian have been doing since Black Isle disbanded. While not allways sucessful they atleast come up with original ideas even when working on someone else's ip and the writing is usually far beyond anything seen from Bioware since the split.
Regardless even if all the credit belongs to bioware the bioware that created Bg nolonger exists.
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March 1st, 2012, 16:28
From a very hazily remembered article in a german gaming magazine (so don't take my word for it), Baldur's Gate's level art was a mix of pre-rendered 3D models (e.g. for buildings) and hand-painted backgrounds. Although hand-painted is maybe misleading as well, it is very obvious e.g. that for the landscapes they made heavy use of stock tree and other environmental object brushes. So the scenes were put together from these various elements and then touched up by hand, I assume. For a HD version this process would have to be repeated using higher res renders and brushes, hence to me "building level art again" made sense for a HD version, even if they use the good old infinity engine.
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March 1st, 2012, 16:30
Originally Posted by Biff The Understudy View Post
Black Isle's writers worked on kotor before the split and lets be honest the story and writing were the only good things about the game.
Gameplay was mindlessly simplistic and the levels in addition to being bland and uninspired were mostly tiny closed off maps or corridors connected by loadingscreens.
Thank you.

I've been saying the same thing for years, but I always get drowned out by all the KotOR fanboys here.

I found KotOR mediocre in nearly every aspect. If it wasn't for the Star Wars theme it would have been completely horrible.

I also agree that Jade Empire was pretty bad as well, although I did think the setting was quite interesting.
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March 1st, 2012, 17:15
While I'm no fan of Bioware, and thought Kotor, JE, and DA:O were nothing special… to play devil's advocate, it is my understanding they were responsible for all the written lore behind all those lovingly crafted items in BG. So, with regard to BG, I can't fault them

How did this get turned to Bioware & Obsidian/Black Isle anyway? Little chance in hell of either studio getting involved with this project directly.
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March 1st, 2012, 17:21
Originally Posted by Biff The Understudy View Post
Black Isle's writers worked on kotor before the split and lets be honest the story and writing were the only good things about the game.
Gameplay was mindlessly simplistic and the levels in addition to being bland and uninspired were mostly tiny closed off maps or corridors connected by loadingscreens.
Not sure why you mention Jade Empire as it had some of the worst gameplay i have ever seen in an "rpg" and had the same world layout issues as kotor.
Fantastic setting and pretty good writing but on the whole it was at best medicore.
While Dragon Age Origins was arguably enjoyable it did not have a shred of originality in setting, story or gameplay and Ferelden is as generic as a fantasy world can get. And dont even get me started on darkspawn.
If you equate sales with quality then yes Bioware's track record is pretty dam good.

Why i believe Black Isle played a large part in Bg's success is because Bioware has shown time and time again that they are incapable of the kind kind of innovation and originality seen in Baldur's Gate and also seem to be completly clueless when it comes to gameplay. Black isle on the other hand had some incredibly inventive individuals (most notably Chris Avellone).
Take a look at what the ex Black isle members in Obsidian have been doing since Black Isle disbanded. While not allways sucessful they atleast come up with original ideas even when working on someone else's ip and the writing is usually far beyond anything seen from Bioware since the split.
Regardless even if all the credit belongs to bioware the bioware that created Bg nolonger exists.
Here is a list of Obsidian's titles:
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (2004) (Xbox, PC)
Neverwinter Nights 2 (2006) (PC, Mac OS X)
Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer (2007) (PC)
Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir (2008) (PC)
Alpha Protocol (2010) (PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
Fallout: New Vegas (2010)[8] (Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
Dungeon Siege III (2011)[14] (Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)

Now, personally, I loved NWN2, but it got panned pretty good (at leas the OC did) for bad writing and a generic story. KNOTORII I never played, but it seems like people didn't like it as much as the first one. DS3 was roundly panned.

Fallout New Vegas I think was well received though. I don't know anything about Alpha Protocol.

Doesn't seem like overall they're exactly knocking it out of the part compared to Bioware.

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March 1st, 2012, 18:38
Dark Alliance 3.
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March 1st, 2012, 18:45
BTW, to confirm, Atari's announcement was just a $100k Pong Indie Dev Challenge.

In my opinion, all this publicity for Baldursgate.com is most undoubtedly ill-placed.
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March 1st, 2012, 19:32
And the $100k Pong Indie Dev Challenge is pretty much a terrible idea for indies:

Why Atari's Pong Indie Developer Challenge is Bad for Developers
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March 1st, 2012, 23:37
I'm sounding very negative of late, but please, no. This is worse news I've ever heard =\ No more BG series please… don't ruin the. best. fucking. series. ever. this way, Bioware. I beg you >.> You can make tons of other crappy games, but not this.

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March 1st, 2012, 23:37
I was certainly mistaken in my original statement about some of the parties holding rights to the game. I was not mistaken however to say that EA holds copyright on the original Baldur's Gate game and its expansion.

USPTO > Bioware on trademark ownership- it is the US Patent and TRADEMARK office
Well yes, that is what the T stands for after all -just as it would be a "C" if it stood for copyright. Copyright is listed in a separate database managed by US Copyright Office and maintained by the Library of Congress. It is not uncommon for one entity to own a trademark on some word/phrase/logo used in a complete work which is itself copyrighted by another entity.

Originally Posted by Zygo View Post
YA RLY.

2011 Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
First - where did you get the copyright statement with the line stating Hasbro held the copyright on the game and registered it in 2011. Much of the text you quoted does appear on that page, but several lines appear to be added and it does not appear on the page as you have quoted.

I double checked by running a search at loc.gov (Library of Congress) in the USCO (United States Copyright Office) database. EA and Bioware still have hold copyrights related to the game software and its contents; though their own abilities to use the material as copyright holders is limited by applicable trademarks.

Though you to quote a statement claiming Hasbro to be the copyright holder, there appears to be no such copyright registered with the USCO. The copyright statement appears then to be a mistake on the part of whatever website you have pulled it from as it does not match the records of actual copyrights registered.

What you had said, and what I responded to with "ORLY?" was:

Bioware does not own either the copyright or the trademarks- buy one of the BGs and it specifically lists the copyright holders as Hasbro/ WOTC and Atari and Hasbro as trademark holders
EA holds some copyrights on the first game and pretty much all of its significant content - this includes dialog scripts, art assets, and all other original works contained within the game. You said they had no copyrights whatsoever besides the engine. This is not true.

You are, as I said, correct about them not holding baldur's gate trademarks. I had incorrectly beleived they had trademarked logos assiciated with the game itself though not trademarks associated with the setting. The dialog script, art assets, engine code, and all content of the first game is however still protected by copyright held by EA and they hold trademark protection - the only protection which might be argued to have lapsed - on the name Infinity Engine.

Their own rights to excercise their power as copyright holder are of course limited by the fact that relevant trademarks are held by another. That does not however limit their power to defend their copyrighted material against infringment - and that is why any remake or port of the fist game would require their approval. That is not to say that it would require their approval alone; this would only be true if the agreement which allows for the continued publication of that game to this day.

Additionally, Atari does hold the publishing license for the game. While they have sold the license to publish and develop new DnD based properties back to Hasbro, they still hold exclusive license (by permission of multiple trademark and copyright holders) to publish those specific existing games from before they released the general license back to Hasbro.

You are correct that some of the information on the bioware page is outdated though. It lists Interplay as holding license to publish and use the Baldur's Gate trademark and the copyrighted game material for the the purposes of manufacturing and distributing that game. Those rights - and soley those related to publishing the existing Baldur's Gate games - were transferred to Atari. The more general license to publish and develop DnD games has of course - after much contention - been transferred back to Hasbro.

So, for the first Baldur's Gate game, EA appears to hold the copyright on the software and original works (dialog scripts, most art assets) created by the game developer. Hasbro owns the trademark on many terms, titles, and names used in the game - there may also be small pieces of material excerpted from dungeons and dragons rule books and fiction which they would hold the copyright too. Atari looks to have publishing and distribution rights, although a 2009 suit appears to suggest that while this is exclusive to them it is also highly limited.

Even if the text pulled from baldursgate.com had not included hints that it did indeed intend to use the Infinity Engine (either in modified form or at least the trademark) - an update of the original game will still require some sort of approval from EA unless it was going to be completely new Baldur's gate game. Atari's publishing rights for the game (formerly held by Interplay for Baldur's Gate and Tales of the Sword Coast) mean that unless these rights were exclusive to specific platforms not including iOS, then they would have to grant permission for such a release - either acting as publisher or by sub-licensing the publishing to the developer.

Depending on the specifics of the license to publish the existing games held by Atari - the existing license may allow for ports and updates for the purpose of compatibility and use on new platforms/devices. If so, then permission from Atari would possibly constitute permission already given by EA. Considering Hasbro's position on Atari's attempts to sublicense games in the past and the fact that they recently regained control of the general licensing, such a project would almost certainly require there permission - as it obviously would with any game using DnD settings and/or rules.
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March 2nd, 2012, 00:28
Originally Posted by purpleblob View Post
I'm sounding very negative of late, but please, no. This is worse news I've ever heard =\ No more BG series please… don't ruin the. best. fucking. series. ever. this way, Bioware. I beg you >.> You can make tons of other crappy games, but not this.
He's ex-Bioware, and it seems like he prefers to call Bioware "EA: Edmonton" nowadays. I wouldnt want a new Bioware (EA) BG either…
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March 2nd, 2012, 01:15
Originally Posted by jhwisner View Post
First - where did you get the copyright statement with the line stating Hasbro held the copyright on the game and registered it in 2011. Much of the text you quoted does appear on that page, but several lines appear to be added and it does not appear on the page as you have quoted.
Copied direct from the copyright notification of the newest release(s)- the IE D&D anthology at Gamersgate specifically. Impulse also has exactly the same copyright notification too, so it ain't being produced by the imagination of a random Swede.

Though you to quote a statement claiming Hasbro to be the copyright holder, there appears to be no such copyright registered with the USCO. The copyright statement appears then to be a mistake on the part of whatever website you have pulled it from as it does not match the records of actual copyrights registered.
Or it [the USCO listing] hasn't been updated- all the relevant settlements of rights issues have happened in the past few years. Hence the trademark being transferred, re-releases made etc.

The biggest problem with EA holding copyright is that they would want it to be acknowledged- even if they could not actually get royalties for it they'd still want it to be acknowledged. It isn't, so the simplest explanation and the one that best fits the evidence is that the same agreement that switched the trademark from Bioware to Hasbro/ WOTC did the same with the copyright.
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