Baldur's Gate - All News
Monday - July 27, 2015
Baldur's Gate - In Depth Analysis
On our forums Lilura mentioned her/his blog is now covering the first two parts of the (expected) 10 part analysis of Baldur's Gate. The length of these two parts are already individually longer than an average review, so it is more than that. It is in any case an interesting read, if you are up to it.
Welcome to my Baldur's Gate review thing-a-mee! The following comments, criticisms and pro-tips pertain to BioWare's first RPG - Baldur's Gate (1998) & Tales of the Sword Coast (1999), patched to 5512; so, what follows is based on the original release and expansion only. While fixes, tweaks and various ambitious mods have long-existed that fix glitches, bugs and change the game-play, my concern is just with Baldur's Gate (& TotSC) as BioWare released it, "warts n all". Much of what I write here is from a somewhat fuzzy memory, so if I get something blatantly wrong please don't hesitate to jump down my throat, so that I can correct it before I mislead too many... ok, let's get on with this!...
...BioWare eschewed a traditional, tactical turn-based combat system in favor of real-time with pause (RTwP) or "pause n play"; and while I personally would have preferred the former - as seen previously in Goldbox and Fallout (and subsequently in ToEE) - apart from the niggling imprecisions related to pathfinding and spacebar tapping (ie, pause), combat is free-flowing and still fairly tactical and satisfying. The player controls up to six combat units (i.e, a party of adventurers) in "point n click" fashion, assigning them tasks singularly or as marquee-selectable groups. The basic combat flow is: "pause the game when enemy sighted, assign commands to your units (move, attack, cast spell, backstab etc.), unpause and observe what unfolds, pause again to make adjustments and assign more commands, rinse n repeat until enemy is dead". I'll write in-depth on melee, ranged and spell-casting combat in the follow-up to this post.
Monday - November 03, 2014
RPGWatch - The Nostalgia Files: Baldur's Gate
Aubrielle looks back at Baldur's Gate and just why and how it changed the world we live and play in. So please provide comments as it will be the first of a new series.
The future of the RPG is uncertain. Diablo lingers in our recent memory, revolutionary and ridiculously fun, but lacking the hard choices and character development of more involved RPG's. The star is waning for the Japanese RPG, even as Final Fantasy Tactics recedes slowly into the past. Hard RPG's remain mostly on consoles - mostly Japanese titles on the Playstation. Suikoden II will arrive this year to much acclaim, but it doesn't please many of the grizzled, dice-chucking Dungeons & Dragons veterans. They need something more. The age of the classic dungeon crawler is long gone, and even AD&D is dying a slow death. What will happen to the Western RPG?
Wednesday - August 13, 2014
Baldur's Gate - Retrospective @ PC Gamer
Andy Kelly has a new article on PC Gamer that revisits BioWare's legendary RPG.
Baldur’s Gate was one of my formative PC gaming experiences. I have vivid memories of sitting in the glow of my old CRT monitor on a Friday evening after school, dungeon crawling until the sun rose. I’ve never been one for misty-eyed nostalgia, but last week I felt compelled to reinstall it. It was almost midnight, and I had work the next day, but I didn’t think I’d be playing for long. Just enough to sate my nostalgia. Three hours later and I was still up. Its claws are in me again—almost 16 years after I first installed it on my old beige Pentium II—and, surprisingly, it still holds up.
Developed by BioWare in 1998, it’s a vast fantasy RPG set in the Forgotten Realms, one of the most popular and long-running Dungeons & Dragons campaign settings. You create your own protagonist using a deep character editor, then embark on an adventure along the Sword Coast, a stretch of rocky coastlines, deep forests, ancient ruins, bustling cities, and labyrinthine dungeons. There’s a story to follow, but you can pursue it at your leisure. The world map is heaving with fun quests and memorable characters, and you get to decide whether you’ll be a hero, a villain, or neither.
One of the most striking things about the game is how much personality it has. A lot of fantasy, especially in the D&D mould, suffers from being overly earnest and po-faced, but Baldur’s Gate fizzes with character, and is often genuinely hilarious. Even a random commoner on the street might have something amusing to say, and I think almost half of the 15 or so hours I’ve sunk into this replay have been spent talking to the many thousands of NPCs who litter the Sword Coast.
Thursday - August 15, 2013
Baldur's Gate EE - Back on Sale
So finally some good news for once.
Thursday - August 01, 2013
Baldur's Gate - 10 Year Retrospective
The GDC Vault has released another video with BioWare co-founders Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk.
BioWare co-founders Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk discuss how they formed BioWare and created their classic RPG on the 10th anniversary of Baldur's Gate 2, in this free video from GDC Europe 2010.
Their discussion explores implementing BioWare's four pillars of video games, establishing publisher relationships and handling their expectations, and hiring a 60-person staff that had little to no experience in the industry. The end of the video contains a hefty 20-minute audience Q&A, as well.
Thursday - July 11, 2013
Baldur's Gate EE - Dispute is Over Unpaid Royalties?
We all know that Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition was pulled at Atari's request, but we never knew why. Thanks to Gamebanshee they have an industry source that requested to remain anonymous tell us why.
Two weeks ago we reported that Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition was pulled at Atari's request, and also noted that Atari was selling the title on Steam themselves. Now that we have been contacted by an industry source that requested to remain anonymous, we might know why.
Apparently Beamdog hasn't paid Atari the royalties that they were owed, which led the publisher to ask them to pull the title from their services, and delay both Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition's patch and the release of the sequel's remastering.
However it has to be noted that the circumstances surrounding this aren't clear at all. Something like Atari informally telling Beamdog that they could delay payment is hardly out of the realm of possibilities, but right now we have no elements to assume that, and this amounts to pure speculation.
We contacted both Atari and Beamdog to comment on this. While, as of this posting, Atari hasn't gotten back to us, Beamdog president Trent Oster reiterated that they're working with Atari to resolve this dispute, though he wouldn't confirm or deny whether what we heard from our source is true.
We'll let you know if we hear more news, and I'm certain I echo the sentiments of the GameBanshee staff at large when I say my hope is that this gets resolved sooner rather than later.
Wednesday - June 26, 2013
Baldur's Gate EE - Pulled at Atari's Request
According to a quote from Trent Oster on GameInformer we now have official confirmation that Atari is behind the request.
Beamdog suddenly removed the game from its own site and the App Store citing a legal issue with a publishing partner. While CEO Trent Oster told us that there's not much more he can say on the matter, he did reveal that it was at the request of Atari's legal team that the actions were taken.
"At the request of Atari legal we removed the game from sale on Beamdog and the App stores," Oster explained. "Atari is still selling the game through their channels. We're trying to remedy the situation and I'm hopeful we can come to an arrangement."
Monday - June 24, 2013
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition - Short Talk with Trent Oster
Rock Paper Shotgun briefly talked to Trent Oster about the recent events related to Baldur's Gate Enhanced, Baldur's Gate 2 Enhanced and Baldur's gate 3.
“The prognosis [for resuming work on Baldur's Gate] is mixed,” he admitted to RPS. “Best case, we can sort this out soon. Worst case, this could be in legal hell for a while. I like making games, but this contractual dispute bullshit keeps me up at night.”
As a result, the team hasn’t given up on Baldur’s Gate III, but the road to the pie-in-the-sky sequel just got a whole, whole lot rockier.
“Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition is on indefinite hold, as is the current patch,” said Oster. “Baldur’s Gate III, we are still interested in the concept, but currently I’d say were very demoralized.”
No new information on which publisher is repsonsible for this though.
Sunday - May 26, 2013
Baldur's Gate - Endhanced Edition: Yes it Has Mods
Baldur's Gate - Endhanced Edition has a few mods on the TeamBG forum. I thought I would bring them to everyone's attention.
There is a dwarf, Kurtz Goldenaxe, who is outside of the Friendly Arm Inn who will sell you these armors. Some of the armors are color variations of what you find in the game and some of them are new. The magical armors are expensive so you will have to save a lot of gold to buy them. This works with BGT and Tutu also.
This mod is an weapon pack. There is a dwarf, Maltz, located outside of the Friendly Arm Inn who will sell you these weapons. Some of the weapons are color variations of what you find in the game, some from BG2 and some of them are new. The magical weapons are expensive so you will have to save a lot of gold to buy them. This works with BGT and Tutu also.
Level 40 Rule Set/High Level Abilities
This mod enables you to reach level 40 in Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition.
Deidre and Joluv in BG:EE
Deidre and Joluv, the bonus merchants from Baldur's Gate2, make a stop in Baldur's Gate before they head to Amn. These merchants bring along their treasure trove of goods from the far off places they have visited. Their items are exotic, magical and expensive. What they sell is not for everyone's tastes along the Sword Coast. Their feelings won't be hurt if you don't buy from them.
In the game Drizzt is a cheat thanks to the Bioware developers. This tweak will bring him back to his original AD&D stats.
Sunday - May 05, 2013
MaximumPC - Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition is a Disappointment
MaximumPC has a new editorial column that's a bit late for Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition.
This time, the ghostly visitor in the night is Baldur’s Gate, the game that put BioWare on the map and brought the classic D&D experience from the Gold Box age into a whole new epoch of awesome. Unfortunately, the new Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition couldn’t repeat the magic that turned X-Com (one of the best PC games ever, and now almost wholly unplayable for anyone but nostalgia-sadists) into the brilliant XCOM: Enemy Unknown.
In fairness to the makers of Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, they didn’t have the deep pockets and vast resources of 2K/ Firaxis. Beamdog/Overhaul just doesn’t bring that much stick to the table. Rather than getting a reinvented Baldur’s Gate, or even a heavily
I say that with the understanding that “significantly less impressive” is relative. Baldur’s Gate is still one of the best RPGs ever. It’s also still on my shelf, and available online for about $10. Nothing in the Enhanced Edition diminishes the original game, but it doesn’t enhance it that much, either.
This is Baldur’s Gate with Baldur’s Gate II improvements, a graphics bump, a better journal, and a tedious arena mode. They say they fixed or added 400 things to this version, but pathfinding is not among them. Also, it’s buggy and crashy as all hell. You can save your money, load up the original game, install the Tutu mod and a few others, and get a fine BG experience.
The bigger problem is that Baldur’s Gate is an old-school game that just hasn’t aged all that well, and remains little more than a nostalgia act. The fussy combat and bland narrative is something for a younger, more tolerant era of computer gaming. The most bizarre part is that you can trace a straight line from the concepts of BG right through all of BioWare’s products. Dragon Age and Mass Effect are Baldur’s Gate, done better. Why would we want it done worse?
Tuesday - April 16, 2013
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition - Postmortem
Trent Oster has written a postmortem on Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition for Gamasutra, talking about the development process of the game.
From the trenches, the development of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition was an interesting journey. We had early moments of exuberance as we played the first tablet version and proved our theory that Baldur's Gate did indeed kick ass on tablets. We had great moments of insight when we brought people from the modding community in and shared work-in-progress versions with them. We had moments of despair, such as the lost source art and subsequent sacrifices to salvage the deal. We had moments of great distress, such as when we negotiated the September-to-November contract extension for the game. Every day that we had to wait for approval of the new deal terms so we could tell the fans was like torture. We worked incredibly hard to come to terms quickly, but until we had sign-off we couldn't announce the schedule slip.
We had some great moments as a team, such as the first time we saw the new UI scheme in the game and the first time Sam's new music played in an area. It has been a great journey for us and we've formed a strong core team of thirteen people who are capable of some great works. Along the way we had the opportunity to work with some great talents such as Mark Meer, John Gallagher, and Sam Hulick. We've had the opportunity to leverage all the great work from the original title as we try to build something better, something familiar, yet improved. In short, Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition was a challenge, but we've all come out of the development with some sanity remaining and a great understanding of the game, the engine technology and what makes Baldur's Gate the legend it is.
Friday - March 29, 2013
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition - iPad Version Reviewed @ RPGFan
RPGFan has reviewed the iPad version of this game. They gave it a 69% and are not pleased. They ask the question if the game has been enhanced or improved:
I don't feel that it is. Sure, the game is still fun to me. But it is also frustrating. Nostalgia pulls me through the frustration of trying to find the exact pixel to touch to get through an open door. Knowing that the next plot twist coming up means I better save before dialogue starts doesn't change the fact that trying to actually select dialogue options is extremely difficult due to the size of the targets. Trying to operate combat without a space bar in this game is at times brutal. Why couldn't there have been some kind of swipe that paused to simulate that same feeling of control? And even with the ability to zoom in and out, battlefield control is a headache compared to the PC.
Sunday - February 24, 2013
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition - Version for Mac OS X Released
Beamdog has released the Mac OS X version for this game. Just as the PC version, the Mac version will cost US dollars 19,99. You can get it here.
Sunday - January 27, 2013
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition - Review @ RPGFan
Beamdog has clearly worked hard on Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition. There's a lot of love to be found, with the great new characters, ease of use, and general tweaks and improvements. Sure, much of what has been done here can be done with the original game, a few hours, and some mods. But for me, experiencing this classic journey with some new faces and abilities at my disposal was more than enough to warrant the price of admission, so if you're interested in trying out one of gaming's true classics, for the first time or the hundredth, this is a pretty darn good place to start. Now then, go for the eyes, Boo, GO FOR THE EYES, YAAAAARGHH!!
An ecxerpt from the review itself then:
I spend so much space discussing the character interaction, because it makes up a huge portion of what makes this game so special. These days, conversation choices, even in Bioware's games, are usually limited to two or three canned responses that, in most cases, are available to every kind of character. Seeing upwards of five two-to-three sentence conversation choices in Baldur's Gate will remind you that in our age of streamlining and mainstreaming, something has indeed been lost. It should also tell you that if you don't like to read, this is not going to be the game for you.
Friday - January 25, 2013
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition: iPad version Updated to 1.0.2012
Just noticed in iTunes that Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition's iPad version has been updated to 1.0.2012. Besides it bringing support for iOS 5 and thus iPad 1, it also brings the following:
Improved multiplayer stability
Fixed Black Pits sword crash
Damage notifications change colour depending on type of damage done
Option to turn off coloured player circles (enables original green circles)
Added roll total to ability screen when creating a new character
Elven Chain Mail now obtainable
Yeslick may rejoin the party in Jopalin's Tavern
Black Lily purchases stolen goods
Resolved random respawns occurring too often
Stat modifications for unidentified items now appear
Issue with Baeloth not returning solved (Black Pits)
Bounty Hunter class gains proper skill points
Eldoth and Skie removing and joining problem solved
Officer Vai will only purchase bandit scalps
Scroll case capacity increased
Improved chatbar (Multiplayer)
Fixed Yeslick infinite dialogue loop
Lothander and Marek's antidote will never vanish
Drizzt doesn't run away from gnoll battle
Shapeshifted spider no longer held in webs
Archers and Druids may now equip Ankheg Plate Mail
Characters respond appropriately during Obe's Combat tutorial
Charmed NPCs will give the player their promised gifts
Cat familiar now has an attack
Imp familiar polymorphing to orge and back works
Wand of Polymorphing's range has been increased
Improved Aldeth's Merchant League quest
Simmeon now gives XP
Some weapons not flagged as magical now are
Resolved issue with Kivan leaving the party
Characters with strength less than 5 are now able to complete the tutorial
Monks now able to complete the tutorial
Music restored to the Friendly Arm Inn
Issues with Elkart's ransom money have been resolved
Tersus will turn hostile if robbed
Tiax now properly summons Ghasts
Tiber will take his brother's body
Quiver/Case of Plenty now give proper damage bonus
Issue with Ring of Free Action not properly effecting mobility
Emerson no longer constantly updates player's journal
Imoen responds correctly to changes in reputation
Removed intelligence limit on certain miscellaneous items
Sorcerous Sundries accessible without force selling of nymph hair
Added an auto-save right before the opening cutscene (Black Pits)
Adoy's area is now correctly placed/coloured on map
Ambient noises can now be heard in Adoy's Enclave
Contagion spell now casts properly
Fixed Branwen refusing to join party when declined at first
Wizard Slayer and Beastmaster class have more weapon restrictions
Problem with Scar's character model dissapearing fixed
Increased text size of weight allowed in inventory
Dorn's starting XP and HP have been increased
Fixed exploit allowing Dorn to receive THAC0 bonus
Fixed exploit with Single-Weapon Style
Looping dialogue with Neera after Meklin encounter fixed
Spawning issue with Neera's initial encounter
World's Edge now glows
Longbow +2 and Composite Longbow +2 now give proper damage
All slings not usable by Kensai and Cavalier
Balanced certain pre-generated character's proficiency distribution
Fixed issue with some items not needing to be identified
Monks and Kensai are no longer able to equip shields
Prism and Greywolf's voiced lines added
Chaos Shield now has description when cast
Ring of Acuity/Captive Audience no longer equip-able by Monk
Treacle's gender no longer in question (Black Pits)
Travelling to other areas in Archaeological Site touched up
Fixed Enchanted Weapon Enchantment/Charm
Fixed issue with certain items playing the incorrect sound
The Vampires Revenge now has the correct effects
Tenya dialogue issues have been corrected
Bassilus's voiced line now plays
Issue with certain classes wearing armor
Thursday - January 24, 2013
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition Manuals
If you didn't play the original release of Baldur's Gate and the Enhanced Edition is leaving you a little confused, you can get the manuals on this page.
Thursday - January 17, 2013
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition - Patch # 6 and on Steam
Overhaul's Enhanced Edition of this game has been updated with patch # 6.
A few notes from the changelog, you can view the full changelog here.
Black Lily purchases stolen goodsUI improvements
Damage notifications change colour depending on type of damage done
Option to turn off coloured player circles (enables original green circles)
Added roll total to ability screen when creating a new character
Elven Chain Mail now obtainable
Yeslick may rejoin the party in Jopalin's Taver
Resolved random respawns occurring too often
Stat modifications for unidentified items now appear
Issue with Baeloth not returning solved (Black Pits)
Bounty Hunter class gains proper skill points
Eldoth and Skie removing and joining problem solved
Fixed issue with certain spell portrait icons not being removed
Officer Vai will only purchase bandit scalps
Apparantly, the game downloads the patches itself - according to this site:
The installer has a button that downloads the latest patch for you automatically. So does the client. Good luck to download Baldur's Gate ee patches!
In other BG: Enhanced Edition news, BG: EE now appears on Steam.
Tuesday - January 01, 2013
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition: Review Roundup # 5
Three more reviews have surfaced for this game. The first one is from Gaming Illustrated,
they give it a score of 85%. Here's a quote about the gameplay:
Gameplay is smooth and only minor glitches were experienced. Occasionally issues with the cursor would make combat and communication initiation difficult. The cursor would elongate into one solid bar and not re-shape itself to let the player know what action they were selecting but the glitch would usually correct itself. Sometimes response from characters would lag, such as commanding them through a doorway or to shoot their bow, but these occurrences were few and far between and did not greatly hinder gameplay.
The second one is from Video Game Writers aka VGW. They give it a 4.5/5.
Here's a quote from their conclusion:
Looking back at my time playing with Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, part of me is glad my younger self never got around to finishing it the first time I played. It's been both an interesting blast from the past, a head-shaking reminder of how much I loathed THAC0 while playing D&D, and an interesting look at early BioWare game elements which were refined for future franchises like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect and Dragon Age. Not to mention it's a good, meaty, straightforward RPG..........This is one masterpiece that, after removing a decade's worth of grime and age, still manages to take your breath away.
The third one is from PC Gamer, scoring 77/100. Even though they gave the game a
77/100, they don't recommed it much, calling it a "judgement call" if you prefer the old BG version or the new BG:EE version:
If you'd prefer the convenience of BG:EE, it's a perfectly acceptable version. But the fact that you're reading this here suggests that you have some PC gaming nous, and a properly modded copy of the original release is ultimately the superior experience. That fact alone is a saving throw against what should have been a glorious comeback.
Monday - December 24, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Endhanced Edition: Interview @ Eurogamer
Eurogamer interviews some of the people at Overhaul Games (Trent Oster, Cameron Tofer and Russel Rice) on how Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition came to be, their time at Bioware and BG3.
The eventual and ambitious end-goal of all this enhancing is to make, from scratch, Baldur's Gate 3.
"We kind of call it Baldur's Gate Next," Oster tells me. "Baldur's Gate 3 would be a tough concept: the Throne of Bhaal expansion really ties up the Baldur's Gate storyline quite well and, barring a God of War 2 where you basically lose your godhood and get smacked down to nothingness and have to start over, it would be really hard to follow up.
"With Baldur's Gate Next the idea is a top-down, party-based, isometric RPG set in Dungeons & Dragons, keeping the core values of the Baldur's Gate franchise - and see where we go with it. It could be a Waterdeep, it could be another city in the Forgotten Realms."
He doesn't want Overhaul Games to balloon in size because he really really hates the prospect of having to fire people, so think of Project Eternity rather than Skyrim when you read the words Baldur's Gate 3.
"We've just got to talk to the Wizards of the Coast people and figure out where they want us to go and what makes sense and see if we can get a deal done around it," he adds.
"It's pretty far off; we just had a really casual discussion about it and they were, 'You know what? Let's wait and see how the Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition does, and if that does well that will prove that there's a good market for this and it's something we can definitely talk further about.'"
Interestingly, Wizards of the Coast isn't keen on the idea of Kickstarter to fund a Baldur's Gate 3, if it ever happens.
Monday - December 17, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition: More iPad Reviews
Here are two more reviews of the iPad version of Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition.
Yes, it is back. Yes, it is magnificent. Yes, it is the FULL game and then some. Yes, we are delighted. But it is far from perfect. Veterans will wince but gamefully (pun intended) put up with the irritants of interface and the odd crash. But those who have heard of rather than played Baldur’s Gate are unlikely to be as forgiving.
As much as I love everything about the game’s mechanics, story, and artwork, this specific port does not work as well as it could have. I even encountered new bugs, the most annoying of which caused all of the game’s graphical interface to frequently disappear. The conflicts with panning and character movement are the worst, but fortunately don’t come up during combat.
Friday - December 14, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition Patch
Overhaul has released a meaty patch for Baldurs Gate: Enhanced Edition. Full notes are here, which are a bit long to post, so here's a partial snip:
* Fixed crash when changing areas
* Fixed crash when clicking outside of the map
* New movie for resting in dungeon and inn
* Adjusted introduction video due to customer feedback and Coriander's threats of violence (You may have thought that complaining about the Nietzsche quote was pointless...)
* Various UI screens touched up
* Thieves and bards XP cap has been modified
* Monks and clerics XP cap has been modified (Black Pits)
* Quest/Journal log fixes
* Damage Modifier display has been retooled
* Taerom no longer drops Ankheg Shells
* Fixed issues with Dorn's dialogue and alignment
* Fixed issues with Neera's dialogue
* Neera's encounter with Edwin has been touched up
* Minsc joining issues have been resolved
* Switching to default soundset works [...]
The iPad update is still waiting on approval.
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition - iPad Review @ IGN
IGN has now also reviewed the iPad version of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, where the intro sums the review up nicely.
I want to love Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition for the iPad. Really, I do. And in its first few moments, as I created a new character and assigned my stat points with its responsive touch controls, I dared to believe that my few concerns with the PC version last month would translate into success with this portable version of the 14-year-old classic. This, I felt then, was how Baldur's Gate should be played. And yet it insists on breaking my heart. Deep down, this remains the exciting RPG that inspired later favorites such as Dragon Age: Origins and Neverwinter Nights, but its iPad incarnation suffers from wonky controls that make the simplest actions a chore.
Wednesday - December 12, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition: Review Roundup #4
More reviews of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, including one with a rating of 6.
Pocket-Lint, iPad Version
What are, perhaps, most impressive though, are the touchscreen controls, and how they seemlessly fit the format. Tap to move, tap to select, pinch and zoom all work. The menus and options frame the play area, and it all feels intuitive to use. There are moments in the heat of battle that you may tap on the wrong opponent or character, but first, that's what the pause button is for, and second, you can really zoom in. Really.
Being negative about anything relating to Baldur's Gate is tough given lingering fond memories and how good the original game remains. Still, you can't view this remake in a fully positive light. Additions and enhancements are of questionable merit and are already largely available with very comprehensive, very stable mod packages for the original game, and major bugs have caused a lot of frustration. Even though replaying Baldur's Gate is a worthwhile trip down memory lane for anyone who appreciates a deep RPG, the lack of notable improvements and new features throws more than a few roadblocks in your way.
Inside Gaming, 8.5
Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition is a fantastic way for RPG fans to experience one of the true classics of the genre. Fans of modern RPGs like Skyrim or Dragon Age will notice Baldur’s Gate has a lot in common with them. The additional content like new characters, entirely new game mode, and the inclusion of the expansion’s content ensure you’ll be spending countless hours playing. However, even with the new bells and whistles the game is starting to show its age, and the complexity of gameplay will steer many gamers away. If you don’t mind sifting through a lot of text, I highly recommend this game to anyone who calls themselves RPG lovers.
Should you buy Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition if you own it on GOG? Probably not. A few optional characters, a Horde mode, and a few built-in modifications do not a Really Special Edition make. You should absolutely play Baldur’s Gate if you don’t mind isometric RPGs that give you a real challenge, since the writing is still amazing and both the world and combat system are still really deep and engrossing. This may be the one to get if you don’t own a copy, but it still needs a few more patches, a Steam release and a price drop before I can wholeheartedly recommend it. Nevertheless, a classic game given a questionable buff is still a classic game. Butt-kicking for goodness, indeed.
App Spy, 4/5
Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition knows who it's aiming for and hits the mark almost perfectly, but as a result, gamers yet to enjoy the deep complexity of such an RPG may be quickly overwhelmed and even put off by its clunky design.
Tuesday - December 11, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition: Review Roundup #4, iPad Reviews
Here are three more reviews of the iPad version of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition.
Though some of Baldur’s Gate’s relics sort of get in the way of gameplay, such as obscure D&D mechanics, mouse-optimized controls, and dated graphics, the spirit of the game still holds a ton of appeal. Rich character portraits and top-notch voice acting deliver convincing personalities, whileintense background music and steep difficulty curve can create truly gripping combat experiences. Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition is a fine example of bringing classic franchises back to life on mobile; I just can’t wait until Baldur’s Gate 2 comes out for iOS.
Mac Life, 3.5/5
Most of the enhancements in this portable edition appear in the form of subtle, behind-the-scenes tweaks, though additions like new unlockable characters -- via in-app purchases -- and a new separate arena battling mode side story named "The Black Pits" are welcome extras. Otherwise, Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition still looks and plays very much like the original, and the hard-edged, old-school formula can feel creaky and unforgiving at times.
Slide To Play, Must Have
Overhaul games took upon themselves the unenviable and mammoth task of bringing one of the most cherished and revered games of the past 20 years into modern times. And we should all be glad they did. If you had never told us that Baldur's Gate was originally a 14 year old PC game, we would never have thought it wasn’t specifically designed for the iPad. The story, characters, quests and gameplay almost seem timeless and are just as engaging and absorbing now as they were back then. Overhaul has done a masterful job of updating the game.
Monday - December 10, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition: Review Roundup #3
Here are some more reviews for Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, with 3 of them being reviews for the iPad.
Baldur's Gate was, is, and always will be an RPG classic. The writing is full of wit, the characters and their interactions are exceptional, and the tried-and-true D&D gameplay is deceivingly complex. Sure, there are some minor issues like character AI/pathing, overly chatty and intrusive party members, and the occasional crash, but they fall short of detracting from the overall RPG euphoria.
The revamped HUD works a treat, and the convenience factor of not having to install a huge number of mods is also a major plus. I recommend it, if you can play it, because Baldur’s Gate is a great game, because it’s more and more becoming “historically significant” in the RPG timeline, and because it’s not everyday you get to hear a peasant tell you, “wife’s been getting prickly on me arse” as you stroll through town.
The game is nothing short of epic. If you wished, you could put over 50 hours in this game and still not have everything done. The Sword Coast expansion is in the package as well. The new characters fit well with, and while still the experience is a very challenging one, it can also be very rewarding. If you have played Baldur’s Gate before and want to experience it again with some new features, there is enough here to garner the $20 price tag. Players of modern RPGs should give this game a shot as well not only to experience a classic RPG, but to see just how well the mechanics stand the test of time. The game may not be perfect, and it may not be particularly easy, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a fantastic game that RPG fans of all shapes shouldn’t try.
Hearken back to the good old days when stories were told in unbridled brilliance and gameplay complemented it with gusto. Not to say that newer games aren’t good at all, but so much can be said about games like Baldur’s Gate, wherein the narrative and gameplay experience were taken to unprecedented heights during its time.
PocketTactics (iPad version), 5/5
I view Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition not just as a smashing success, but as an important proof of concept for the future of touch-based gaming. BG and the other old Infinity-engine games have long comprised a Platonic ideal for the entire RPG genre. That ideal has always presupposed the PC platform or something quite like it, but in the years to come we may witness a shift. If a game like this can play so well on the iPad, what else might?
The Koalition. 78%
Overhaul Games has taken a lot of time and put much effort into bringing Baldur’s Gate to the new generation and show that this legendary classic can still even to this day provide the player with a deep, complex, fun and exciting RPG experience. The game does not reinvent the original by any means, but the polished wonderful world of the Forgotten Realms, the epic storyline, and the thrilling gameplay more than makes up for the dated graphics. If you’re looking for a challenging classic RPG, pick up Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition and find out for yourself why it’s regarded as one of the greatest video games of all time.
Modojo (iPad version), 4/5
With a steep entry price of $9.99, this probably isn't the game for anyone unsure about whether an unashamedly hardcore, old-school RPG is the right fit for them. If, on the other hand, you played and loved Baldur's Gate back in the day then you already know what to do, and let's be honest you've probably already had your money's worth from the last weekend alone.
Digitally Downloaded (iPad version), 5/5
Overall though these minor interface quirks that do very little to hurt the appeal of one of the finest RPGs of all time. Just comparing this game to Bioware’s later games (Dragon Age and Mass Effect, for instance), is revealing. It shows us that Bioware has lost a great deal of its ability to build open worlds where exploration is more important than quest completion, and it shows us just how unimportant the mechanics are to an RPG game. As long as the game is filled with such memorable characters (such as Minsc and his miniature giant space hamster pet), and as long as the dialogue hits all the right notes from humour to serious drama, then you’re going to have a game that fans will clamour to repurchase decades later.
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition - iPad Review
Digitally Downloaded sends word of their review of the iPad release of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, which carries a score of 5/5:
The most compelling reason to buy the game is there’s the fact it’s on the iPad for the first time naturally, and the delivery both succeeds and fails. For the most part the interface is comfortably laid out and the chance of death-by-accidental-tap is almost non-existent. On the other hand, there isn’t a clear enough indication when you have tapped on an enemy. A couple of times I’d lost a round of combat because I had thought that I told my hero to slash at the troll, but he instead moved next to the monster and stood there twiddling his thumbs.
It’s also slightly problematic that the movement of the heroes is mapped to roughly the same touch screen command as the map scrolling action. A tap and swipe will move the map around, and this is fine, but often when I took my finger off the screen after scrolling around for a bit, the game would register that as a “tap” and send my party of heroes wandering off somewhere I didn’t necessarily want them to venture. It’s workable, but occasionally irritating.
Friday - December 07, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition: Released for iPad
Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition has been released for iPad although is not available on all iPads. At the moment only iOS 6 is supported, so that rules out the iPad 1 owners, who are stuck at iOS 5.1. However fear not, support for the iPad 1 is coming.
Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition for iPad has been released!
Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition for iPad is now available in the Apple App Store!
Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition for iPad is currently English only, with additional languages coming in a free update. The iPad version also requires iOS 6, but iOS 5 support is coming soon!
Since its initial release in 1998, Baldur's Gate has entertained millions of fans around the globe, and has received countless awards. This classic saga of mystery, intrigue, and adventure has set the standard for Dungeons & Dragons? computer role-playing games ever since.
Running on an upgraded and improved version of the Infinity Engine developed specifically for tablets, Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition? includes the entire Baldur's Gate adventure, the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion pack, and never before seen content including a new adventure, and a new party member: Rasaad yn Bashir, a monk of the Order of the Sun Soul. A variety of enhancements are available for in-app purchasing, including new portrait and voice sets.
If you have any issues, contact us at email@example.com and we'll get back to you as quickly as we can.
See you in the Forgotten Realms!
Thursday - December 06, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition: Review Roundup #2
Here are a new bunch of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition reviews.
Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition could have been great, a tribute to a classic RPG and a promise of things to come for the franchise and for party-based RPGs in general. Its creators clearly had their hearts in the right place in trying to update Baldur's Gate for a newer generation, that's hard to deny. It's also hard to argue with new characters, quests, areas to explore, and a new adventure, all of which are, for the most part, competently done, if ultimately non-essential.
The clue’s in the name. Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition isn’t a remake of the famed RPG classic; instead, it acknowledges the many improvements modders have created over the years while seasoning the content with some worthwhile content additions. Despite a dearth of immediately obvious changes, Baldur’s Gate has aged well, and new players will find many hours’ worth of fun if they approach it with an understanding of its increasingly antiquated framework.
But outside of these tweaks it’s still Baldur’s Gate. You still get to pick a team of six (or fewer, if you fancy a stiffer challenge or are just a bit of a hermit) characters and travel to classic fantasy-world places (forests, dungeons, medieval towns and castles), doing fantastic things (summoning monsters, hitting nasty things with big swords). The core of the game then, remains true to its 1998 incarnation, and that’s a good thing.
Since I first played Baldur’s Gate all those years ago, RPGs have morphed beyond all recognition into a genre driven by action and story, mutated to the point where the line between them and even frantic shooters has become blurred. Many of the modern games are brilliant. But this Enhanced Edition is a gentle reminder that just because the model they left behind is old doesn’t mean it has no value. Stat crunching is good. Slow paced combat is good. Dungeons & Dragons is good. And combining all three seamlessly together remains very good indeed.
Nevertheless, frustrating as these problems are, none of them derail the game. After all these years, it still stands up as gorgeous, engrossing, witty and bloody-minded RPG - and a difficult one, compared to the games it has sired. This is a faithful enhancement that hasn't diluted or modified the original game to bring it in line with modern tastes. There are no achievements to unlock, few second chances and plenty of completely unfair challenges to stumble into. I firmly believe everybody who loves RPGs should play Baldur's Gate; that's a given. The real question is, should you buy it in this enhanced form?
PocketTactics (iPad version impressions)
So far as the interface goes, my quibbles may seem many but they amount to little. With the exception of the blasted hidden doorways mentioned above, the developers have sidestepped all the obvious ways that the new interface might have harmed the game. Even better, they’ve taken advantage of the touchscreen to make Baldur’s Gate play better than ever in a lot of crucial ways. In my first hour of play my stance evolved from skepticism, to cautious optimism, to outright exuberance. BG:EE for the iPad works, and if you’re like me that’s all you need to hear.
The fog of war, rare in RPGs but common in strategy games, and the contiguous nature of the map are possibly a unique combination in RPG history. That seems odd because they work very well together. It's possible to crawl through the world of Baldur's Gate and explore every nook and cranny, feeling confident that you've mastered the Sword Coast. At its best, Baldur's Gate ties narrative progression, geographical progression, and character progression together better than any role-playing game before or since. That's enough to recommend Baldur's Gate as a game in and of itself, but it's a pity that it can't always be at its best.
Baldur’s Gate hasn’t aged well, but the modifications, tweaks, and additions from the Enhanced Edition do the classic justice. It remains a solid play today, but it feels like a markedly different animal from the majestic beast that graced PCs back in ages past.
The Escapist, 4/5
The Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition is a loving tune-up of BioWare's groundbreaking RPG, with visual enhancements, bug fixes and new content, but the game itself is the same as it ever was, wonderful and punishing in equal measures. It's a great second chance for RPG lovers who missed out on the original, but gamers after a more casual or relaxed diversion may find it more frustrating than fun.
Friday - November 30, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition: Review @ GammaSquad
GammaSquad have reviewed Baldur's gate: Enhanced Edition in a rather short article, here is a quote covering a third of the total review:
There are some nice subtle improvements, however. For one thing, they’re still sticking to the 2nd Edition rule set, but they’ve expanded character selection substantially. You’re no longer limited to the base classes, and it really helps give the game a degree of freshness. Also of note is quite a lot of Baldur’s Gate II is here, in terms of interface and gameplay.
Some things, oddly, were not fixed. The AI pathfinding is just as bad as you remember it being; you’ll still be retrieving party members humping trees and rocks. Similarly, your ranged characters require a close eye because they won’t automatically switch to the next ranged weapon with ammo when their one attack runs dry, but instead wade in with a melee weapon.
Thursday - November 29, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition: Review Roundup
With the PC version just being released here is a roundup of review for Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, including a first impression of the iPad version.
TochGen (iPad first impression)
The controls of Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition work really well with a simple tap to move scheme. There are a lot of on screen inventory buttons that make the HUD a bit cluttered. Still I have had no issues running the game on my iPad Mini when it comes to power, or screen estate.
Only SP, 8.5
Baldur’s Gate was a near-perfect game, and the Enhanced Edition has most of the rougher edges polished. As a standalone title, you’d be foolish to miss it. But it isn’t a standalone title, and I can’t pretend it is. By itself it is much better than the original – and it is the best commercially available Baldur’s Gate – but compared to the entire series with mods added, it is a slightly inferior product. For now.
I don’t want to leave this review on a sour note. What the Overhaul team have achieved is wondrous, and nothing can take that away from them. Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition is the same game I love. I just wanted more from it than I got.
My Gaming, 8
The bottom line: well done, Overhaul. You’ve proven that you can do it, and do it well – now bring on Baldur’s Gate II.
So has it aged like a fine wine or repulsive vinegar? More or less, fine wine (although I smelled a hint of vinegar being poured into my goblet). BG:EE proves that Baldur’s Gate is one of the milestones in RPG gaming, and acts as a reminder that even in their infancy, Bioware knew what made a game great. While it hasn’t aged very well in some aspects, the pros still heavily outweigh the cons in BG:EE. Plus, you can play with friends no matter which device they are using, and personally, that alone is worth the cost of admission. Now if only Blizzard would take this same approach with the original Diablo….
If you have Baldur’s Gate already, then you’ll likely already have an idea as to whether or not you’re going to buy this. I’d argue it’s worth it simply for the simplicity of getting everything working nicely without having to dick about with Tutu, and the additional content and fixes are icing on the cake, but that’s me; perhaps, for the $20 asking price, you want a bit more to pull you away from the original versions. If you’re a newcomer with no knowledge of AD&D’s arcane inner workings, then consider whether or not you’re willing to put a few hours into trying – and initially failing – to penetrate its mysterious rules before spending a lot of hours exploring this world. If so, then you shouldn’t hesitate. Go buy.
After playing Baldur's Gate for several days I have still not seen everything. The game is huge and every inch is more interesting than the last. I have to say it's about damn time someone truly captured the essence of AD&D in a computer game. Bioware has done it, and with the promise of further expansions (read: modules!) for this masterpiece, Baldur's Gate will keep you going for a long time coming. Just remember to eat and bathe, fanboys.
In the end, though, the game is still Baldur's Gate--a great RPG with new content and characters that hold true to the spirit and style of the original. The game is what the name implies: a truly enhanced version of a classic game.
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition: Released for PC
The PC version of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition is available for download now. As reported previously the iPad and Mac versions are delayed somewhat.
Some issues are also already reported the most important being that there is no support for PCs with Intel Integrated Graphics.
To go with that announcement an updated cinematic trailer has been released.
Tuesday - November 27, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition: iPad Version Could be Delayed
Trent Oster twittered a few messages today about a bug in Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition that is platform wide, but delays probably the iPad version.
The iOS build is not approved. We've found a crash bug and had to re-submit, which pushes us to the back of the line. I'd guess next week.
We aren't going home until the new build is submitted. We've done a lot of builds and testing and we are close now.
They are looking into using the fast expedited approval service of Apple that takes less than 48 hours to get an approval, so it might still be available with a short delay (unless something else is found I suppose).
And on the launch dates of the rest this was said:
Mac OSX approvals are taking longer than iOS, so it is hard to predict. PC is only launch date we can control.
Android is trailing iOS. Our current crash is cross-platform, so the fixes are for all platforms. Legacy code bites again.
We'll get Android done before Christmas. The list of supported devices might be very NVidia skewed though
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition: More Trent Oster Interviews
Soon the first reviews of Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition will appear. Before that we will have to do with interviews with Trent Oster. One showed up at 1 More Castle:
Jason: With the impending release of Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, what challenges did you face updating the game for modern systems? Specifically, was it difficult to port the game for Android and iOS?
Trent: It was very hard to remove all the windows specific coding in the engine. The code was started back when Windows 95 was just coming to market and it had a lot of assumptions on how windows works which are no longer true. We found the game was in some cases spending 70% of the time doing null operations as it was waiting for a thread (bits of code) to complete so other code could run. We tore down the whole threading model and started over. Once we had completed the core refactoring away from Windows, which took about six months, we moved on to a core re-write of most of the rendering systems, audio and input. After all that effort, we moved on to data wrangling. All told, we spent over a year getting BG:EE to run.
And an older one at PCGamesN:
PCGN: I’ve always considered Baldur’s Gate an evolutionary dead end for BioWare. Baldur’s Gate 2 was wonderful and sorted the structural blueprint for KOTOR and Dragon Age, but wasn’t nearly so open on a grand scale. In BG every blank square on the map represents a new, undiscovered area, and each of those areas holds at least one nasty surprise, self-contained story or easter egg within. Is that something you’ve looked to retain?
TO: We've kind of asked ourselves, ‘What if BioWare went left and focused more on open world areas instead of going right and betting it all on hand-crafted story?’ Our goal with Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition is to capture everything that was great about the original BG and add in some BG2 depth and polish through the new characters and adventures. With our work on BG2, we'll probably to do same, try to inject a little BG1 magic into our new content.
I've been asked a few times, ‘Are you trying to build BioWare 2.0?’ The answer is no, I'm trying to build kind of a ‘Bioware 0.6 Mark 2’. A small team, oriented at the sweet spot of RPG development with a commitment to making great games as our first priority. Basically trying to recapture the awesome feeling of the early days of BioWare with the benefit of nearly 20 years in the industry to lend us direction. A company with a strong commitment to building empowering, efficient technology and a talented content creation team focused on making amazing games.
Thursday - November 22, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition: Trent Oster Interviews
Trent Oster was interviewed recently by Pocket Tactics on the tablet version of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition
OF: Can we expect to see iOS & Android platform support from you on future projects?
TO: I’m personally a big believer in the tablet space and I feel it is a great place for game development. I think console development is too huge and the technical and team requirements are simply beyond where we want to go. On the tablets and desktops, we can make more fun games that are less beholden to technology and massive teams. We can build a small company that is fun to work at and each person can make a real mark on the game we are developing. When the teams get up into the hundreds you really lose the personal connection with a title and I think that personal connection is what makes some games truly great.
MAC: How did the deal to work on an Enhanced Edition of Baldur's Gate even come about in the first place?
TO: War, Bloody war. We talked about making an HD version of BG and I went to work, digging through the ownership and spending the next 14 months getting a contract together. Late in the negotiations, we got a drop of all the BG content and we couldn't find the art source. After a number of trips to BioWare HQ, we came to the understanding all the art source was lost and we would have to back down on the HD plans. This sidelined the deal for a while, while we re-thought and came up with some ways to use technology to use art we had and make the game look great. In the end I think we've made the game look great and we've got plans to improve it even further in the future.
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition: Trailer @ Kotaku
Kotaku brings news of a trailer for Trent Oster's Beamdog's Enhanced Edition of Baldur's game. You can watch it on Youtube here.
Wednesday - November 21, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition: Trent Oster Interview @ Tor.com
The people from Tor.com have interviewed Trent Oster on the upcoming release of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition.
Tor.com: The name, Overhaul Games, suggests you enjoy breathing new life into classics, but does the studio have any plans or desire to create a new, unique standalone title or IP?
Oster: I view Overhaul Games as more than taking old games and bringing them back to life. We chose Overhaul Games as our name to represent our attitude around game development as well. We think game development is about skilled developers working hard to make great products—we wanted a strong blue-collar association. We chose to embrace the idea that game development is mostly about execution and the best way to execute well is to have skilled developers and to stay out of their way, giving direction, not micro-management. Our goal is to remain a small team of committed individuals who work hard and make great games and I think the Overhaul moniker keeps us in touch with that ideal.
Tor.com: As dedicated PC gamers, we’re interested in an insider’s perspective to this next question. Digital distribution outlets like Steam and Beamdog have helped breathe new life into what may previously have been considered a dying genre. In what direction do you see the future of PC gaming heading? Are you concerned at all with its current state?
Oster: I see PC gaming growing. I think digital distribution is just starting to open up the rest of the gaming world. I think PC gaming is going to grow; for some game formats (RTS, FPS) the PC is the undisputed king and will remain so. For other types of games, the PC is still a very strong choice ( I play almost everything on the PC, Skyrim, etc). I think the PC is a great gaming platform as a whole and with digital distribution allowing the creators to connect directly with the players, I look forward to some amazing new PC games.
Sunday - November 18, 2012
Baldur's Gate - How Fans Translated "close to a million words"
PC Gamer talks with Trent Oster about hooking up with community efforts to translate Baldur's Gate into 19 or so different languages. Here's an amusing story on localisation back in the NWN days:
PC Gamer: I’m curious to know if, going through all those source files, you know just how much writing is in Baldur’s Gate. It must be tens of thousands of lines.
Trent Oster: I’m not sure the exact number of lines, but if I remember correctly, I think there’s close to a million words of dialog.
PCG: Wow, a million? I ask because the other day the Dishonored guys were talking about the number of dialog lines in their game. I thought it was an interesting statistic, because we don’t always think of it in that sense—that these are novel sized or bigger works.
TO: Yeah, the most hilarious example I can think of is when we [BioWare] signed Neverwinter with the Atari guys. So they sent us their localization form and it had three boxes on the form, and it said: “Number of words of dialog: Less than 100; 100 to 1,000; 1,000-plus.”
I made a fourth box on there, checked it off, and wrote “1.2 million words.” I sent the e-mail back to them, and got a call the next morning from the translator saying, “You’re kidding, right?”
And I’m like, “No, I’m dead serious. There’s 1.2 million words of dialog in Neverwinter Nights.”
And they’re like, “Oh my God, oh my God.”
And they hung up on me and I didn’t hear from them for a week. Apparently they had a big meltdown in their localization department as they realized the volume of what they committed to.
Saturday - November 17, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition: Trent Oster Interview @ ShackNews
After the previous announcement that Sony wanted Baldur's Gate Extended Edition on PSN, Shacknews now also brings us their full interview with Beamdog's Trent Oster about about the game's initial delay, the new content, plans for DLC and, Baldur's Gate 2 Enhanced Edition.
Shacknews: When the release date for BG:EE was first announced as September, you knew that you were adding new content and new characters. What happened along the way that ended up pushing the date back?
Trent Oster: We were a little over confident we could whip the existing Baldur's Gate codebase into a shippable shape in a timely manner. Early in development, we made good progress. Later, we hit a brick wall. We'd try to work with the existing system, it wouldn't work, we'd start spelunking around looking for the problem and the complexity we encountered was off the charts. We'd cut the complexity down and introduce new bugs. We'd fix the bugs, introducing more. We really were in a hard cycle of code cleanup and bug fixing. In September we had a brittle version of the game that simply lacked polish and didn't feel well executed. We worked very hard to fix bugs and improve the game, but the progress just wasn't what was required to make a game we could be proud of. We approached our partners, telling them clearly that we were unhappy with the state of the project and we wanted to extend the ship date. The Wizards people were very supportive and in full agreement, they understood the importance of making a high quality product. It took a while for us to work out the business terms for the extension and that forced us to wait on the delay announcement much longer than we would have liked. As a small developer, funding two more months of additional development and going two months without revenue was a hard call to make, but we are certain it was the right decision.
Thanks Lucky Day for the reminder.
Thursday - November 15, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition: Sony Wanted It For PSN
ShackNews has interviewed Trent Oster and are providing a preview of that interview with the news that Sony wanted Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition for PSN.
"We were approached by Sony to bring the game to PSN, so I counter-proposed what I thought it would cost for us to do it right," Oster said. "For me, to make BG:EE a good experience on a console would require a very heavy redesign for the entire control and input scheme. We're big fans of Baldur's Gate, so we want the game to be great. Without a large scale effort we just could not make a product we could be proud of and Sony decided not to proceed. I believe they wanted to proceed with a quality product, but we just couldn't make the numbers work."
Wednesday - November 14, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition: Interview @ Sorcerer's Place
Sorcerer's Place has interviewed Trent Oster on everything that is enhanced in their upcoming release of Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition with 22 questions:
2. SP: Which enhancement in BG:EE are you most proud of?
Oster: I'm most proud of the new content. I was playing through with Neera in the party and had an encounter with an NPC that had me laughing out loud and thinking "that is exactly how I imagined her acting". I also think the Black Pits is brilliant and Mark Meer of Commander Shepard fame did an outstanding job with the voice acting for the antagonist.
3. SP: Conversely, which enhancement in BG:EE are you most worried about? I mean, you're touching the holy grail of CRPGs after all! ;)
Oster: I think the fact we've touched the game at all is what I'm worried about. It will play as Baldur's Gate, but there are some major changes to the front end UI and it will feel quite different to people who have played a lot of vanilla BG. I think the improvements are mostly pretty logical and straightforward, but there is a bit of a curator role we've had to adopt. I think working at Bioware during the development and remembering the rationale behind some key decisions had really helped us walk a line I think most fans will agree with.
Tuesday - November 13, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Interview @ Red Bull
An unusual place to find a Baldur's Gate interview but Red Bull caught up with Trent Oster to discuss the Enhanced Edition. Regular followers will find little new and the focus is the iPad release:
“The project came about out of frustration and playing with an iPad for the first time,” he says. “We were frustrated with the lack of deep gameplay in many recent games. In my opinion, many games have gone too far simplifying gameplay to make it appealing to the casual gamer. We wanted to work on games that were deep and entertaining.”
And despite the success of pick-up-and play games like Angry Birds and Temple Run, Oster says the iPad is the perfect format for the game. “The first time I picked up and iPad I said, ‘You know what would be awesome on this? Baldur's Gate would be awesome on an iPad.’ It is.”
Oster, who served as the original game’s 3D Department Head and oversaw artwork for the game, as well as multiplayer QA (quality assurance - checking it’s actually fun), has been hard at work on Enhanced Edition at Overhaul Games, a development studio based in Edmonton, Canada.
Friday - November 02, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Release on Nov 28th
Trent Oster tweets that Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition should be available on November 28th, two days earlier than the previously announced delayed date. This is on PC, at least - other platforms may depend on rights-holders:
We are targeting November 28 for all platforms. Since we have approvals, etc, we can't 100% control the date on iOS, Mac and Android
Interestingly, they are expecting their sales on the iPad:
We're expecting the majority of sales on the iPad.
Friday - October 26, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition Interview, Composer Sam Hulick @ The Escapist
The Escapist talked with Sam Hulick, the composer for this game. In the interview they talk about that he made music for Mass Effect and that it is
totally different" than on Mass Effect. "With Mass Effect, composers were brought in fairly late in the game, meaning there's a lot of material and working gameplay to look at," he explained. "With Baldur's Gate, especially the material I'm working on now, a lot of it is still being designed, and so I'm working mostly off of concept art and static map art, and of course direction from the team. I think with a more old school RPG like this, you can get away with coming in early, which is nice. There's more breathing room and time to soak things in." He also has the benefit of having a tone set by the pre-existing and much-loved soundtrack from the original Baldur's Gate games. While he hasn't been in touch with original composer Michael Hoenig, Hulick said he made a point of ensuring that the new music would ring true with fans of the game, some of whom had "mixed reactions" to his hiring.
Wednesday - October 24, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition: Interview @ RPGFan
Sam Hulick, the composer of the music in Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, has been interviewed by RPGFan on what he did for the game.
RPGFan: Somewhat related to my previous question, did you try to "mimic" the spirit of the original music, or did you feel comfortable going off and blazing your own trail?
Sam Hulick: I wanted to ease people into the new music gently. It would have been in bad taste, I think, to just write whatever I felt like without thinking of the audience. This is a franchise that's been around for nearly fifteen years now, and especially since I'm writing new music that's going to be used for new quests within Baldur's Gate 1, veering off in a new direction would have been jarring. So, for the new content in BG1 and especially The Black Pits, I stuck fairly closely to Hoenig's style by using some of his orchestration techniques so that the music would sound true to the original soundtrack. With any new content going into the existing games, my goal is consistency. Once the Overhaul Games team ventures into new territory, then I'll put my own personal spin on things.
Tuesday - October 02, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition: Everything We Know @ PCGamesN
PCGamesN has an overview of everything they know about Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition.
If there’s one thing that won’t be Enhanced, it’s the background art
While character models are already improved by the shift to the Throne of Bhaal engine, the game’s famously ‘hand-painted’ environments - actually hand-rendered, and much better looking in the sequel - will remain much the same. Source files were stored on a separate drive during original development and, according to Oster, the only art assets left from the Baldur’s Gate series are a handful of 3D files for some of Throne of Bhaal’s monsters.
On a less wistful note, all of the original’s cinematics have been replaced with animated cinematics, directed by Overhaul’s Nat Jones. What’s more, we’re in for a brand new world map, drawn up to take new areas into account and slot them into the existing Sword Coast.
Thursday - September 27, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Dorn Il-Khan
Overhaul's Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition site has new short story (and a sample of the voice acting) that features the new NPC, Dorn Il-Khan:
"Let them pass," said Dorn. "They're useless to us."
Dorn scowled down at the muddy road. The caravan was the smallest they had seen all day, only two wagons with a pair of lancers in front and another pair behind. Two armed men sat on each driver's seat, a third with a crossbow sitting atop the tarpaulin-covered cargo.
"They're headed for Luskan," said Dorn's mother. "And there are no dwarves among them."
Twelve-year-old Dorn had never raided the dwarves, but he knew they hated half-breeds as much as they hated the orcs of his father's tribe. He guessed the wagons carried iron ingots from the mining city of Mirabar. They would not stop to help a half-orc and his mother.
"Let them pass," said Dorn.
"We'll never make it to Luskan without help," she insisted. They had not eaten in three days, and she could barely walk. Dorn could carry her only a few miles each day. He had no idea how much farther it was to Luskan, where she said they would find civilized men.
Tuesday - September 25, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition: Preview @ MMORPG
MMORPG.com checked out the upcoming Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition in a session at PAX together with Programmer/Scripter Coriander Dickinson.
Coriander spoke very proudly of what the team has accomplished since announcing BG: EE including the cleanup of the game code to suit today’s standards. Included in that cleanup is native wide screen resolution support. She showed me the game on an iPad and it looked terrific. Players who remember the original game will immediately feel at home with the UI and the look of the game. Interestingly, for those who play on tablets, the pinch to zoom in/out will be included so, for the first time ever, you’ll be able to see your party up close. Unfortunately, due to the loss of the original assets, character and companion models aren’t as spiffy as the team would have liked but, still, it’s awesome to see them up close and personal. They really don’t look that bad either.
Wednesday - September 19, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition: Neera the Wild Mage
Overhaul has posted a new story snippet from BG: Enhanced Edition for Neera the Wild Mage, as well as an audio sample of the voice actor:
"Oh, my aching noggin." Moth cradled his head as he slumped down the great oak's winding ramp. His iridescent wings drooped.
"You should know better than to drink so much nectar the night before class." Pollae planted the foot of her oaken staff in the moss and raised a fine elven eyebrow to look down at him.
Neera didn't like the way Pollae used her height to belittle the pixie. At barely over two feet high, Moth was small even for a sprite. He had spent half the night flitting from bloom to bloom, sampling every night-blossoming flower he could find.
Neera understood the allure of spring. The same perfumes had tempted her outside to tease the boys when she knew she should be studying. As a result, Neera was also completely unprepared.
Saturday - September 15, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition Delayed to November
Overhaul/Beamdog sent us an announcement delaying Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition to November, just days before the expected release:
Dear Friends of Baldur’s Gate, When we first announced Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, You set fire to our servers and we were overwhelmed by the huge wave of support from the fans of the original game. Once the fires had subsided, thousands of you posted suggestions and requests on our forums. Dozens of volunteers from all over the world helped us improve game play, squash bugs, and generally fine-tune the game. Even more came to help work on translations from English to more than 16 other languages. Executing on our plan to make the best Baldur’s Gate possible and responding to that overwhelming feedback, we’ve added new characters, areas, and story, creating many new hours of game play. Yet the suggestions, fixes, and translations continue, and more volunteers keep joining. After recently reviewing the game and then consulting with our partners, we've decided to ensure that Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition is the best possible product on launch. Thus, we have pushed back the release date of the game. Our release date is now November 30th, 2012. To all who have pre-ordered, we ask for your patience as we move toward our final release date.We will be working on something a little extra for you. To all who have volunteered, we thank you for your dedication and support. Trent Oster By way of apology, they have a story snippet from staff writer Dave Gross and a voiceover audio sample.
President, Overhaul Games
Dear Friends of Baldur’s Gate,
When we first announced Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, You set fire to our servers and we were overwhelmed by the huge wave of support from the fans of the original game.
Once the fires had subsided, thousands of you posted suggestions and requests on our forums. Dozens of volunteers from all over the world helped us improve game play, squash bugs, and generally fine-tune the game. Even more came to help work on translations from English to more than 16 other languages.
Executing on our plan to make the best Baldur’s Gate possible and responding to that overwhelming feedback, we’ve added new characters, areas, and story, creating many new hours of game play. Yet the suggestions, fixes, and translations continue, and more volunteers keep joining.
After recently reviewing the game and then consulting with our partners, we've decided to ensure that Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition is the best possible product on launch. Thus, we have pushed back the release date of the game. Our release date is now November 30th, 2012.
To all who have pre-ordered, we ask for your patience as we move toward our final release date.We will be working on something a little extra for you. To all who have volunteered, we thank you for your dedication and support.
By way of apology, they have a story snippet from staff writer Dave Gross and a voiceover audio sample.
Wednesday - September 12, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition Interview @ RPGFan
RPGFan has interviewed Trent Oster about what Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition will offer:
RPGFan: How did the team go about adjusting the graphics, UI, and assets for a higher resolution? Were they stretched, or were you actually able to return to the source material? Is the new Retina iPad supported?
Trent Oster:The puzzling part. We started with the BG2 UI graphics as a guideline and repainted every single UI screen by hand. For the background and character art, all the source was lost, so we were unable to return and were forced to improve on what was there. We've added the ability to play at much higher resolutions and added zooming support with Catmull-Rom Bicubic filtering to ensure the art still looks good as you zoom in and out. We created the UI with the Retina iPad as a target. Since we are having size issues, we'll likely ship with the iPad 2 UI base and add the higher resolution assets down the road in an update.
Monday - September 10, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edtion: More Screens
The Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition site has nine additional screens on offer.
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition Screenshot
Overhaul kicked up a Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition screenshot that slipped past us last week, showing the PC interface. The intro mentions they received approval to release a further 10 screens - hopefully they'll be more convincing than this first one.
Sunday - September 02, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition - Mark Meer as Voice Actor
The Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition Facebook page has been updated with news of Mark Meer voicing a character in the new content for the Enhanced Edition.
We're happy to officially announce Mark Meer as one of our voice actors adding new content to the Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition. Mark has previously appeared in the Baldur's Gate series and is best know for his work as Commander Sheppard of Mass Effect fame.
Thursday - August 30, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition AMA @ Reddit
The folks from Overhaul Games participated in a Reddit AMA, despite being Obama'd. Some eight or so Overhaul developers answered questions and here's a snip from Trent Oster:
I'm really hoping to break 500,000 copies across all platforms. It is a great game at a low price. I'll speculate with those numbers we could persuade the parties involved to do a BG3
Regardless of sales we are doing a BG2:EE. We've committed to it contractually. It might be three of us working out of a cardboard box, but we're committed to making it happen.
I think what makes this version better is the performance and graphical improvements, the new UI, the new content, the new music and VO. I think the inclusion of many mod fixes into the base product give a much better starting platform as well. I also think putting some mods on BG:EE will probably be the best experience you can have.
As well, our goal is to continue development to further support modders and the end users access to mods.
Wednesday - August 22, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition Trent Oster Interview @ True PC Gaming
True PC Gaming has talked to Trent Oster from Beamdog, the company behind the Enhanced Edition of this game. They talk about the price point, the reasons behind giving Baldur's Gate the "Enhanced Edition" treatment, as well as questions about the new NPCs, and much much more.
A quote on the new NPCs:
Walk us through the development process of creating the new characters and stories in Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition.
We took a look at the existing game, what we were going to be adding, and started to see what was missing. There were classes and kits that were never used for party members, and we wanted to fill those gaps and tell and interesting story while doing so. Using Baldur’s Gate 2 NPCs as our guide, we started to explore what interesting stories these new NPCs could tell. In the case of Dorn, we wanted a character that would be unapologetically evil, without any remorse for his actions. His tale is quite different from most NPC villains; most of the evil characters have some redeeming feature, or they were forced into their path. Dorn is simply a bad man who knows full well the depths of his evil and does not regret it.
Thursday - July 26, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition Pricing and Release Dates
The countdown on the Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition site has finished and Beamdog/Overhaul has revealed pricing and availability, as well as PC preorders. The game will be released on PC, iPad and Mac on September 18th (Android TBA). Pricing varies - which will annoy some fans - $19.99 fo PC (10% discount for preorders) and $9.99 on iPad, for example. New player voices and portraits are available on iPad via in-app purchases and they appear to be included on PC, which might explain the pricing.
New content has also been revealed and 400 miscellaneous improvements are claimed, though we still don't have real screenshots (some widescreen shots are on the site but with no UI). From the PC section:
Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition for Windows contains the following enhancements:
- New Adventure: The Black Pits
- New Character: Dorn Il-Khan
- New Character: Neera the Wild Mage
- New Character: Rasaad yn Bashir
- A new collection of player character voice sets
- Native support for high resolution widescreen displays
- Over 400 improvements to the original game
- Improved multiplayer support, with connectivity between all platforms
Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition for Windows will be available as a direct download from Beamdog, with no client install necessary. Pre-purchasing will allow you to preload the game, so you can access it immediately after release.
Wednesday - July 25, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition Site Countdown
Beamdog's Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition site has a new countdown timer - 30 hours to go as I type...
Sunday - July 01, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition Paid DLC Planned
In a series of tweets yesterday, Trent Oster revealed plans for DLC for Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition. Trent promises the full Baldur's Gate experience will be included with the initial release but they have more content - including paid DLC - planned:
We plan to support the game after release with DLC.
We'll be doing free feature improvements and existing content improvements as we go, but we are also planning some paid DLC.
We would never DLC existing content. Any DLC content we plan to sell will be all new.
DLC=Downloadable Content, not furry earrings +3. The big guys have overcooked the term with badness. New BG storylines, New characters.
Prior, Trent also said they were in a "holding pattern" for approval to release more news and that cloud saves were planned.
News-wise, we're in a holding pattern on approvals and getting new content submitted into the approvals pipeline.
We've got cloud saves in our plans. Those plans have yet to be realized. I'm hopeful, but it could be pushed post-ship.
Monday - June 25, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition: Interview @ Gamebanshee
Buck From Gamebanshee has interviewed Trent Oster from Overhaul Games, the company behind the re-make of the classic rpg. As you probably know it is called Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition.
It'll be out later this summer so let's start with a quote about what we should expect:
GB: So what exactly is Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition? What should we expect when it hits later this summer? Trent: Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition is the best version of Baldur's Gate we could imagine. We've added new content in the form of new adventures, new characters and new items. We've rebuilt the User Interface to make it work on all resolutions and aspect ratio screens. We've rebuilt the rendering system to utilize display hardware for better graphics, better performance and we've brought the game to new platforms. Basically it will be the Baldur's Gate you remember, but broadly improved
A quote about the platforms, then:
GB: With BG:EE hitting the iPad, PC, and Mac, are there any other platforms that you'd like to bring the title to? Have you considered consoles? Trent: We've done some hard thinking about console versions and we feel the user interface of Baldur's Gate would be a huge effort to re-target at a console control scheme. We think it is possible (we just had another request for a PS3 version today), but well outside our scope as an independent developer to deliver at the quality bar we hold ourselves to. GB: How will you be distributing the Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition at launch? Will it be exclusive to Beamdog, or might we see it on Steam and other digital download platforms on day one? Trent: Day one Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition will be exclusive to Beamdog on the PC, the Mac App Store and iTunes for the iPad. We're working out a Beamdog player-free solution for the BG fans that really don't want another client, so the user experience should be great.
A quote about the ex-Bioware members working on the Enhanced Edition:
GB: Can you give us a quick rundown of all the ex-BioWare folks who have come on board? Trent: So, Cam and I both put in some time on BG. I ran multiplayer testing for three months at the end of the project, Cam did some help with code and rendering optimizations. We also have Marcia Tofer, who did environment art on Baldur's Gate and art directed Baldur's Gate 2. Marcia is building the new area content along with another BG2 alumni, Russ Rice. Russ did area art and special effects for BG2 and he's hard at work on area art for us right now. John Gallagher who concepted all of BG1 and BG2 has provided a ton of great area concepts for our new content. Keith Soleski is hard at work on scripting. Keith made a tour through QA, then technical production at Bioware. After Dragon magazine and writing some Forgotten Realms novels, Dave Gross did his time at Bioware, going through the James Ohlen design bootcamp and digging into the Bioware method of writing games. We've had some audio assistance from Dave Chan, former audio lead at Bioware. Mike Sass was there to help us early on with the updates "Enhanced Edition" logo and ongoing work. Mike was responsible for all the BG character portraits and a lot of the original promotional artwork. Since we're a small shop, some people have already completed their work and have moved on. For example, John Gallagher is back doing movie / television concept work. We're trying to plan again to ensure we can pull him back for all out future content needs. We're also in the process of bringing another person on to help who people might recognize from another game, but we'll talk about that later.
Thursday - May 31, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition Tidbits
I thought we'd quickly check in on Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, via Trent Oster's twitter:
We've been quiet for a while as we continue to work on the game. The new UI code is going well, but it will be a while before screenshots
Really there are two targets, Desktop and Tablet. Each get a different UI scheme. Mac and PC, only major difference is right mouse button.
I'd feel very silly if we did all the UI rework and just released the same old UI functionality in #bgee. ;-)
Custom button mapping will be in game.
The desktop is getting a UI overhaul. How far Cam's data driven UI lets us change things is coming clear. Char gen is all data-driven now.
Friday - May 11, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition Composer Announced
Sam Hulick (Mass Effect series) has been named as the composer for the new areas in Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition.
SAM HULICK SCORES MUSIC FOR BALDUR'S GATE: ENCHANCED EDITION
May 10, 2012 - Overhaul Games is pleased to announce that Sam Hulick will be composing music for Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition™.
Hulick is best known for scoring BioWare's epic roleplaying games Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, and most recently, Mass Effect 3. His original compositions for Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition™ will be featured alongside new gameplay content, complementing the games' acclaimed original soundtracks.
"The music of Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II was a huge inspiration for me as a composer who was just venturing forth into the world of writing music for games. So to be able to travel back in time, so to speak, and score original material for the Baldur's Gate saga is a dream come true for me," said Sam.
You can follow Sam Hulick on twitter @samhulick. For all information regarding Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition™, visit www.baldursgate.com.
Sunday - May 06, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition Interview @ TabTimes
Overhaul Games' Cameron Tofer has been interviewed by TabTimes about Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition. The conversation focuses heavily on the iPad version but before you draw any conclusions from that, bear in mind the site is all about tablets:
What’s your proudest accomplishment since you started development of the new version of the game for the iPad?
We’ve had some pretty happy moments. We spent a lot of time in the code and, for lack of a better word, butchered a lot of MSC stuff and old Windows junk out of there. I think we reduced the size of the binary by a third almost. It was originally 10MB. We were able to get it down to 2MB or something like that. We’ve made some major changes to it.
Of course, there’s the effort of making it portable too. Now we’re redoing the UI. That’s going to be really exciting because it’ll open the game up to UI mods and all kinds of other wonderful stuff. I can’t say exactly how it’s going to do yet. We’re still iterating it to find out.
With our first passes, we were reworking the UI to be more flexible, where we can start making different changes, and then see where it goes. The benefit in that is that we can do different versions and different themes—we can have a couple of different styles of interface.
Designing for a tablet is significantly different from designing for PC so we’re playing with it to make it really good. I don’t pretend to know exactly the way the interface should be and then make it that way.
Thursday - April 26, 2012
Baldur's Gate - EE Edition - New Writer
Beamdog/Overhaul announces a new writer for Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition - Dave Gross:
Dave first joined TSR as an editor for Polyhedron Newszine. Later he edited Dungeon and Dragon magazines, while also writing fantasy fiction on the side. His Forgotten Realms novels include Black Wolf and Lord of Stormweather. More recently he’s published Prince of Wolves and Master of Devils for Pathfinder Tales, and was a co-author for Winter Witch.
Friday - April 20, 2012
Baldur's Gate - EE Edition - New Art Director
Beamdog/Overhaul Games has announced Nat Jones as the Art Director for Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition. Nat's bckground is comics and film, as you can see from this announcement:
Announcing Nat Jones as Baldur’s Gate Art Director
Overhaul Games is happy to announce that Nat Jones has joined the team as Art Director for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™.
Nat Jones has been a popular figure in the comics and film industries for over a decade, working on such popular titles as Frank Frazetta’s Death Dealer: Shadows of Mirahan, ‘68, Spawn, 28 Days Later, Rob Zombie’s The Nail, 30 Days of Night, and many more.
“I am excited and honored to be a part of the talented team bringing Baldur’s Gate back to the fans. There is a lot going into Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™, we have some amazing things in the works”, says Nat.
Nat will continue award-winning Baldur’s Gate artwork with his own dark fantasy style. Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™ will contain new adventures, characters, and locations featuring Nat’s take on the Forgotten Realms universe.
Sunday - April 08, 2012
Baldur's Gate - EE Interview @ Neogamr
Beamdog's Trent Oster has been interviewed at Neogamr about Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition. There are no surprises, though Trent does confirm the PC as the lead platform:
What can you tell us at this time about the graphical improvements that Overhaul Games has planned for the Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition?
The first major improvement is going to be the user interface. The old Baldur's Gate interface was created around 640x480 resolution. Even with BG2 the user interface still had elements which were locked to 640x480. We are going in and re-writing the UI system to work for multiple larger resolutions and we are using the iPad 3 (at 2048x1536) as one of our target resolutions so the new UI is going to look amazing. One of our other major improvements was to convert the graphics completely over to OpenGL. By using the hardware present in all devices, we can run BG at higher resolutions and run it faster and smoother that it ever could before.
Our third major enhancement is the addition of the ability to zoom in and out dynamically during gameplay. Zooming out allows the player to be more tactical in the positioning of their party. Zooming in allows the player to search the environment in detail and have greater precision with actions. With regards to the background art and character art, we are limited in what we can do from a purely graphical context as the original art assets were lost. Since we have no 3D models or textures from the original games to go from we have to make the best of what is available.
We are currently researching a few upscaling algorithms to try and improve the quality of the existing assets. We are still experimenting with the game and testing out various ideas on how we can further improve the existing content, but we also took the feedback from MDK2 HD to heart and are focusing our content creation efforts on creating new content, not just prettying up content you have already played through.
Is it safe to say that the game will be released on the PC as the lead platform?
Yes, the PC is the lead platform. We work day in and day out on the PC, so we build the content and test the content on the PC first which really keeps it front and center through our development. The other platforms are built and tested frequently, but by working on the PC it really gets the majority of our attention.
Friday - March 30, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition for Mac OS X Announced
Announcing Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™ for Mac OS X
Overhaul Games is proud to announce Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™ for Mac OS X.
Since its initial release in 1998, Baldur’s Gate has entertained millions of fans around the globe, and has received countless awards. This classic saga of mystery, intrigue, and adventure has set the standard for Dungeons & Dragons™ computer role-playing games ever since.
More of the greatest role-playing game of all time for your Mac
The Enhanced Edition will include a variety of Mac OS X specific features, including widescreen and iCloud support.
Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™ runs on an upgraded and improved version of the Infinity Engine. It includes the entire Baldur’s Gate adventure, the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion pack, and never before seen content including a new adventure and a new party member.
There are photos on the site but it's hard to know if these are representative or just mockups.
Wednesday - March 28, 2012
Baldur's Gate - EE Interview @ Kotaku
Kotaku has interviewed Cameron Tofer from Beamdog/Overhaul Games about their Baldur's Gate update. It seems the PC version "won't be changed much" but the iPad version is getting a major UI overhaul. The article also draws a long bow in speculating about new IE titles down the track - we know Beamdog wants to make BG3 but Planescape: Torment 2 is another thing altogether:
The desktop versions of both games won't be changed much, Tofer says. They'll have higher resolutions and full-screen modes, as well as "working" multi-player, but they won't look too different from their original incarnations in 1998 and 2000.
On the other hand, Tofer says the iPad version will be a "radical departure from the interface." The text will be bigger. You'll be able to pinch the screen to zoom in and out. You'll be able to gesture between screens instead of clicking the tab. The whole game might be zoomed in a little more.
"We want to bring it forward, make it nice and swishy and smooth and things like that," he said.
Tofer says that earning the rights to this project has been a long and difficult process. It took the team 14 months to convince Atari, Wizards of the Coast, and BioWare to all get aboard Beamdog's Baldur's Gate campaign. Beamdog doesn't have the rights to any new Baldur's Gate games, but they do have a large chunk of the team that worked on the classic RPG series.
Tuesday - March 27, 2012
Baldur's Gate - iPad Version Supports MP, Costs <$10
Kotaku has teased a snippet from a phone interview with Beamdog's Cameron Tofer. Apparently the iPad release of Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition will support multiplayer and sell for less than $10:
The enhanced iPad version of classic role-playing game Baldur's Gate, slated for release this summer, won't cost you more than $10. Also, it will support multiplayer.
An enhanced edition of Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn is in the works for iPad later this year as well.
This is all according to Cameron Tofer, COO of developer Beamdog, who told me today in a phone interview that it would be "crazy" to charge more than $10 for the 1998 PC game.
Thursday - March 22, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition for iPad Announced and More
Overhaul Games has announced an iPad version of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition. From BaldursGate.com:
Overhaul Games is pleased to announce Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™ for iPad.
Since its initial release in 1998, Baldur’s Gate has entertained millions of fans around the globe, and has received countless awards. This classic saga of mystery, intrigue, and adventure has set the standard for Dungeons & Dragons™ computer role-playing games ever since.
The greatest story ever told, better than you imagined
Running on an upgraded and improved version of the Infinity Engine, Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™ will include the entire Baldur’s Gate adventure, the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion pack, and never before seen content including a new adventure and new party member.
Your ultimate destiny, now in your grasp
Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™ will be available on the Apple App Store in summer 2012. For all information visit www.baldursgate.com.
Just to be clear, this is in addition to the PC version. To finish up, here are some tweets from Trent Oster over the last few days:
For #bgee we have all the creatures from bg2 and ToB. Some will be making appearances.
We've got five former Bio people working with us now. We'll likely be adding another two soon. Five worked on BG/BG2
We're interesting in the concept of including some of the great mods out there into BG "canon".
We have some ideas on mod management and how to improve the experience.
Sunday - March 18, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition Interview @ GameSpy
GameSpy has an interview with Cameron Tofer from Overhaul Games (and the original BioWare team) to talk about Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition. He also discusses their goal of Kickstarting a BG3:
"We've been adding side stories, stories to tie things together, unfinished stories," Tofer said. "As far as new types of abilities, we have more announcements coming."
Which is, of course, great news, but it's only the beginning. No, Baldur's Gate 3 isn't A Thing just yet, but if Overhaul has its way, it'll only be a matter of time. Tofer explained:
"Baldur's Gate 3 has been our long term goal. We have a lot of things to put in place before such a project can be launched. So currently there is no such project but that's the one we want to do. Our thoughts have been that Enhanced Edition for BG 1 and 2 just make sense before there's any Baldur's Gate 3."
"We're totally thinking Kickstarter. It just makes so much sense and solves so many problems. I think what Brian [Fargo] is doing with Wasteland is very interesting."
Friday - March 16, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition Tidbits
Here's a collection of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition tidbits gleaned from Trent Oster's twitter feed. I'll summarise, rather than linking and fully quoting each one:
- "There will be two games. Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition and Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition #bgee=BG+TotSC, bg2ee=bg2+ToB"
- "new content for the game you love, made by some of the original team members"
- "...Beamdog exclusive. As for other platforms, tune is same time next week"
- "We take mods seriously. (I led NWN after all) mods both current and future are important. More announcements to come"
- "We're using the 2nd Edition D&D rules"
- "Infinity Enhanced is based off the latest Throne of Bhall codebase"
- "We're 2D isometric all the way"
- "We're going to stay with the BG model of only voicing some of the content. We feel it allows for more in-depth writing."
- "we are trying hard not to break mods"
- In answer to comparing the look against BG + Widescreen mod: "it will be better. We've got the code to rework the UI and rendering"
Thursday - March 15, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition Revealed
The countdown is done and BaldursGate.com promptly crashed. What I can tell you is Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition was revealed for Summer 2012, so great news. I'll update this post as soon as we get more information but, for the moment, I'll point you to a tweet from Trent Oster:
Update #1: Another tweet - new content in this version:
Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition is going to have new content for the game you love, made by some of the original team members
Wednesday - March 14, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Countdown!
Yes, I know you hate announcements previewing an announcement but the recently revived BaldursGate.com site now has a countdown timer - there's a bit over 21 hours to go as I type. So, looks like we'll get a reveal tomorrow. Trent Oster seems to be having fun, as he teases in Twitter:
Thursday - March 08, 2012
Baldur's Gate - Announcement gets closer?
Trent Oster from Beamdog tweets he just met with Atari, so it looks like we are inching closer to finding out what is happening at BaldursGate.com:
Wednesday - February 29, 2012
Baldur's Gate - BaldursGate.com Stirs Awake
Vurt posts on our forums that BaldursGate.com is suddenly alive, over a decade after the trilogy ended. As I post, the site seems to be down but earlier there was a single page with the logo, main theme music and an in-game quote. A Whois search reveals Trent Oster - former BioWare employee and founder of digital vendor Beamdog - as the registrant.
GameBanshee let us know they reached out to Trent who told them they were hoping to make an announcement soon.
One theory would be some sort of remake - you may recall Beamdog has previously released MDK2 HD, an official HD makeover for BioWare's old action/adventure.
The source code for the page is certainly suggestive, with text such as:
<!— February 13, 2012 —>
<!— Shadowy Figure- Raise Dead : Infinity Engine —>
<!— oh dear it's coming soon —>
<!— February 28, 2012 —>
<!— Shadowy Figure- Raise Dead : Infinity Engine —>
<!— You haven't guessed it yet! —>
Hmmm...should we get excited?
Wednesday - November 09, 2011
Baldur's Gate - Gaming Execs' All-time Favourite
Eurogamer reports on a vote by the World Gaming Executives network that resulted in Baldur's Gate being elected their all-time favourite game. Apparently 1000 members from the site dedicated to gaming executives (duh!) voted. Diablo and Monkey island were next along.
Monday - May 16, 2011
Baldur's Gate - Matt Chat
Matt Barton has a Matt Chat retrospective on Baldur's Gate. If you've ever watched (or read) Matt's stuff, you'll know it's worth a look. The Rampant Coyote has embedded the video, so I'm going to link via them.
Monday - October 25, 2010
Baldur's Gate - Contest @ Sorcerer's Place
The contest is not that difficult, so if you don't have these games yet or want to get a digital version try your luck.
Monday - August 16, 2010
Baldur's Gate - Retrospective Interview @ RPS
Via GDC Europe, Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a retrospective interview with BioDocs Greg and Ray on their breakthrough hit, Baldur's Gate:
Ray: We ended up sending out our first game Shattered Steel to ten publishers. Of those publishers, only one is still in business- EA. We originally called Baldur’s game Battleground Infinity; it was going to be an MMO [about a pantheon of different mythologies]
Greg – there really hadn’t been any kind of MMO then. Even then we were too ambitious. Looking back at the documentation, the cover art was done by the lead programmer. It would have been interesting because Bioware’s first game would have been an MMO.
Ray: Interplay had the Dungeons and Dragons license through TSR so what they provided was converting the engine to Dungeons and Dragons instead. We thought that would be a good license to develop in.
Greg: what we always wanted to make was the experience of that top-down experience. That top-down world exploration of Ultima was a really big inspiration for us. One thing that’s important to realise was we started it back in the mid-90s, and that was when RPGs were dead in North America. People would kind of scoff when you said you were making one.
Friday - November 13, 2009
Baldur's Gate - Retrospective
Resolution Magazine have a short retrospective on Baldur's Gate - a timeless classic so sayeth the wise Greg Giddens.
Baldur’s Gate defined a generation. A wealth of role-playing games were born from the success of BioWare’s classic, and the generation of gamers at the time were inspired and amazed by its achievements. It’s games of this impact that push the boundaries of what the medium is thought to be capable of.
Baldur’s Gate wasn’t a difficult game to learn. Its design allowed the modified AD&D Second Edition rule set to work its magic behind the scenes, leaving the player to concentrate on enjoying the experience of the narrative and characters. Knowing how the rule system worked and taking the time to master all the elements involved made the experience a little less punishing along the way. But the true magic behind the game was that, whatever the player’s level of knowledge, Baldur’s Gate remained accessible to all. Nothing was overly complicated, and the initially harsh combat simply encouraged a more cerebral approach. Simple controls and well designed menus kept things tidy and intuitive, all adding to its phenomenal success.
Saturday - January 10, 2009
Baldur's Gate - Memories #2 @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault has posted the second part of their Memories of Baldur's Gate retrospective, with James Ohlen recounting some brief thoughts:
I had a lot of fun as lead designer on Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II. Those games were a chance for me to bring everything I love about Dungeons & Dragons to a computer game. I remember trying to cram every creature, setting and class that I could think of into the latter in an attempt to outdo the first game. As much fun as those titles were to make, we did go a little crazy, and built a world that really was just a pastiche of everything that had been done in fantasy. The main city in Baldur's Gate II had a beholder cult, a lich, vampire assassins, a crazy illusionist, etc. While we did try hard to bring it all together into a consistent story, in the end, the world still felt a little like a comic book.
Wednesday - December 24, 2008
Baldur's Gate - Retrospective @ RPG Vault
The Dragon Age devs look back at the making of Baldur's Gate.
"Huge, beautiful and highly replayable, it is a 'must-have' for any serious or even casual RPG fan... Baldur's Gate will... return serious role-playing games to their rightful place at the center of the computer gaming universe." These words were part of the concluding paragraph in RPG Vault's review of BioWare's landmark late 1998 release that signaled the genre's emergence from a relatively barren half-decade or so. Published by the Black Isle Studios division of Interplay, it was a rarity, a title that generated extremely high expectations, then proved able to meet and even exceeded them. As a result, it garnered awards galore including best of the year from this site and many other publications. It also sold exceptionally well. This parlay launched the inexperienced Canadian studio toward the very top echelon of developers. The rest, as they say, is history.
Source: Blues News
Sunday - October 07, 2007
Baldur's Gate - Review @ Megascore
Time for a trip down memory lane with Morbus sending in this review of Baldur's Gate. The score is 3/5, with several criticisms:
Often acknowledged as one of the best Role-Playing Games ever (even if arguably worse than its sequel), Baldur’s Gate did broke some boundaries, but lacks some things other RPG’s have, released both earlier and later. However, it meant the practical start of BioWare as we know it today, and most of their RPG’s have been working upon that which Baldur’s Gate set (or not). For that reason, most of the traits and features we usually find in BioWare’s titles are also present in this game, for the good and for the bad. Let’s look at it in detail…