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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Original Sin - Post-Funding Update #57

Default Original Sin - Post-Funding Update #57

March 28th, 2014, 18:16
Larian Studios have just announced in a Kickstarter update that next week will be the week the beta of Divinity Original Sin will become available.

This year, April is bringing more than mere showers: The beta version of Divinity: Original Sin is nearly ready for launch and will hit Steam the week of April 1 (no jokes!).

Those of you who have been making careful rounds of the alpha world will be excited to find the following:

  • New region unlocks
  • Hugely expanded character creation options, including visuals and presets
  • Tons of new talents
  • A new cache of new skills and spells
  • Better AI and new enemy tactics
  • Hundreds of bugfixes
  • New and upgraded visuals, special effects, and music
  • Improved loading times and stability
  • Improved cooperative dialog systems
To explain lots more about what's going on in the beta, Swen did a tour of the office and let the developers speak for themselves about what their departments have been up to:

If you watch the video, you'll find a nugget of wistfulness among the litany of good news:
Some bad news can be found in the message as well as they had to drop day/night cycles due to time and budget constraints. Swen talks more in his blog about the difficult decision this was.

[quote] My main regret for D:OS is that we didn’t manage to do the day/night cycles. Killing your darlings never is fun, but it is an inevitable part of production. I guess we always figured that, if anything, this would be the one we’d cut. Up until not-so-long ago however, I did have some hope that we were still going to be able to make it happen.

Some have always considered overestimation driven by a good dose of optimism to be Larian’s biggest “problem,” but to be quite honest, I’ve never agreed. Instead, I’ve always thought of it as one of our best qualities.

“Who dares, wins,” “Optimism is a moral duty,” “No sweat no glory” – these are all part of the ideas at the core of Larian’s credo. We tend to feel that something that looks almost impossible deserves its fair chance at being realized. As long as we can put an adverb like “almost” in front of the “impossible”.

The thing that forced our hand in the end is the size of our buglist. Despite having made quite a few RPGs already, I’m still impressed by what’s being reported.

It’s not the quantity that’s scary per se (we’re used to large numbers like this, and we are making an RPG, after all) – but the types of bugs we’re seeing are in a category of their own.

The freedom we give players, coupled with the fact that we are introducing a unique type of cooperative multiplayer, makes for a very complicated quality assurance experience. You just have to look at a few of the “Let’s Play” videos to see that the level of imagination of players apply to abusing our game is boundless.

If you’ve been following my blog a bit, you’ll know I wouldn’t want to have it any other way. Being able to not only handle but encourage this abuse is what makes Divinity: Original Sin unique.

But sometimes, when I’m really tired, I silently wonder…

Maybe we should’ve gone for linear storytelling through fixed cut scenes with nice, easily manageable bottlenecks.

And oh yeah, maybe we shouldn’t have allowed the player to kill everybody.

Or steal quest items.

Or do everything in whatever sequence they want to…

Life would be so much easier.

But then I watch another one of those “Let’s Play” videos, and I know it’s worth every bit of effort. You may think I’m joking, but that’s really how it goes– I’m quite obsessed with this game but I constantly question what we’re doing so I often need to re-convince myself.

That’s why it took a lot for me to commit to dropping the day/night schedules and stick with the NPC routines we have now.


The money we received from Kickstarter and S…More information.
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March 28th, 2014, 18:16
The day/night cycle and NPC schedules stretch goal was not achieved in the original KS. Were they planning to add it in based on subsequent contributions?
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March 28th, 2014, 18:34
Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
Were they planning to add it in based on subsequent contributions?
I think it was something like "lets do it anyway", but in the end they just don't have the time for it.
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March 28th, 2014, 19:10
Actually I like day/night is out because I always hated "be at that spot at that time" quests/eastereggs.

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March 28th, 2014, 19:34
Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
The day/night cycle and NPC schedules stretch goal was not achieved in the original KS. Were they planning to add it in based on subsequent contributions?
IIRC they hit the stretch goal if they included the paypal money or something like that.
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March 28th, 2014, 19:56
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
Actually I like day/night is out because I always hated "be at that spot at that time" quests/eastereggs.
Yeah, I pretty much agree with that. Day / Night cycles add realism but sometimes more realism does not mean more fun. If quest giving NPCs are only available at certain times of day then that inevitably leads to either (a) missing the quest completely or (b) having to either rest or let the game sit until the appropriate amount of time passes; which is quite tedious. I know some people love finding hidden stuff in games (and I'm sure there still will be lots of secrets to uncover) but having NPCs hard to find doesn't seem fun to me. This could be a blessing in disguise.
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March 28th, 2014, 20:05
I'm a backer, and honestly am fine with this. Day and night cycles are nice, but not critical to my enjoyment of this kind of game. I just hope they can fix all those bugs he is talking about, eventually.
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March 28th, 2014, 20:44
Originally Posted by daveyd View Post
but having NPCs hard to find doesn't seem fun to me.
Didn't Skyrim have similar problems as well ?

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March 28th, 2014, 21:00
Pretty sad to hear about this actually. It would have really added to the immersion and gameplay (as it invariably does ,imo)

I was hoping for a living, breathing world (something like the Gothics) for this one…

I guess implementing all those extra NPC schedules and nighttime states would have taken a huge amount of resources considering how much behind schedule these guys seem to be right now…
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March 28th, 2014, 21:11
Sad news indeed but not really a shock as this happens with every game Larian develops. Just read Swen Vincke's blog he talks about this recurring problem.

Anyway I will wait for the final version to be finished which should be late this year. I wont touch the alpha, or beta and ruin the game for myself.

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March 28th, 2014, 21:13
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Didn't Skyrim have similar problems as well ?
Not hardly. Skyrim has quest markers that guide you right to the person you need to talk to. It's almost impossible to miss a quest. Many people turn that feature off to add to the realism.

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March 28th, 2014, 21:29
Having made many YouTube videos myself, they should have focused dropping the NPC schedules until later in the vid because the first couple of minutes are what 90% of people watch before they close it. The main impression people will get is that a big and important feature was dropped but I don't think it was that important, considering…

As the video shows later on, other stuff is being done such as bug fixing and smaller features that add perhaps just as important to gameplay and overall experience.

Can't wait to play it!! I hope they provide good post-release support.
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March 28th, 2014, 22:27
im dissapointed but still anxiously await this game. i guess i will sit in quiet desperation and mourn the loss.

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March 28th, 2014, 23:18
I'm not sure if the news make me sad or indifferent. With such a huge world full of possibilities I'm not going to miss some "stats changing because of the night". It still is my most important game for 2014.
I'm playing Dragon Commander these days (at last) and I freaking love it. I suck horrible at the RTS part but thankfully it's not that complicated for a begginer at strategy games.
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March 28th, 2014, 23:34
That's disappointing news.

A living, breathing, simulated world is to me one of the main draws to any game. I gladly accept a great amount of inconveniences to have the illusion of a "real", believable world.
The passage of time is certainly part of that - especially if the game world reflects it on several layers. I actually forgave the Elder Scrolls series quite a few of its many flaws for offering that illusion - especially once I modded that passage to an approximation of real days instead of hour-long ones.
I believe Lar suggested that stretch goal had been met taking into account Paypal pledges. Even if not, having D:OS modelled in the spirit of the great Ultimas, it just makes sense to include day/night cycles to the game. Still, if the budget does not allow for this at this time, I have no problems accepting that, no matter my disappointment.

However, I have to wonder: Larian has provided significant post-release support and improvement for its games in the past. Why not offer day/night cycles as an update further down the line?
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March 28th, 2014, 23:44
Originally Posted by Moorkh View Post
Why not offer day/night cycles as an update further down the line?
Yes, sounds like a great idea for an expansion/DLC instead of the traditional sort of stuff we get!
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March 28th, 2014, 23:49
Originally Posted by Moorkh View Post
However, I have to wonder: Larian has provided significant post-release support and improvement for its games in the past. Why not offer day/night cycles as an update further down the line?
They could probably do it, but I'm sure it would affect our gamesaves (if they add it months after release).
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March 28th, 2014, 23:50
Day/night cycles are always a pain in the @ss and I am happy it's out.
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March 29th, 2014, 00:00
Originally Posted by Ovenall View Post
Day/night cycles are always a pain in the @ss and I am happy it's out.
Well, so are combat, puzzles, inventory management, dialogues, micromanagement and cut-scenes, it could be argued.
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March 29th, 2014, 02:08
Really disappointed that day/night cycles are out. Imo that's one of the biggest additions to immersion in RPG's, it adds tons of atmosphere. No idea how people who claim it's tedious etc can even stand to play RPG's, clearly they're much too impatient and uninterested in immersive roleplaying like U7 etc.. I was really hoping for something very similar to U7, a new "simulation like" RPG, damn.

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