Divinity: Original Sin - All News
Saturday - May 25, 2013
Original Sin - Update #40, Message from the Trenches
Larian posted a new update on their funded kickstarter Divinity: Original Sin.
We're late with this update. We know and apologise.
The reason really is quite simple: We are in the middle of preparing the release of Dragon Commander, performing all of the final tweaks, putting in some last minute features as well as a host of different languages and at the same time also pushing forward the expansion of Divinity:Original Sin's game world. Between those two things, well, there's really little time for even eating, so please bear with us. It will get better and the frequency of updates will increase again.
But, behold, we did manage to come up with not just one, but three movies, showing you a bit of what's going on behind the scenes!
Behind the scenes of the Dark Forest
From time to time we perform a magical ritual called a review meeting - if you ever wondered what those look like, then look no further than the following collection of moving pictures in which our designers discuss what quests are going to be in the Dark Forest a.k.a. as the Phantom Forest. Beware - there are some minor spoilers!
The Pledge Management System
We caught up with David and asked him if there was any progress with the pledge management system. Since this is the first time he actually more or less committed to a date, we wanted to share the moment with you :)
One of the stretch goals was Kirill, our brilliant house composer, getting a symphonic orchestra to fool around with. We asked him about how the preparations for the recordings are going and managed to trick him into promising something for the musicians among you...
Because of the imminent release (relatively speaking of course :) ) of Divinity: Dragon Commander, we're in a bit of a crunch period. We asked Thomas for a youtube link that relates to our being-in-crunch feeling, but forgot that he can't spell very well...
Monday - May 20, 2013
Original Sin - Kickstarting the CRPG Genre
Planetivy has a article about Original Sin were the writer gives his opinion on how kickstarters are reviving CRPG's.
It’s difficult nowadays for developers to stay faithful to their games and to their audiences. Like the Scarlet Pimpernel it seems they’re lured in by the first bit of frilly trim or flash of thigh they see. Except in the case of the gaming industry it’s usually a large production company offering lots of cash and game-breaking deadlines, rather than a beautiful woman sporting polkadots. That’s why Kickstarter is so bloody great – it cuts out the middle-monster (that’s you EA) and brings games back to the people. You fund what you like. If enough people fund it, it gets made and the developers are responsible to you, not a corporate entity that thinks quicktime events are an engaging gameplay mechanicWhy are we returning to games of the past? One indie dev recently suggested that it’s because the developers of today were the children of yesterday. They grew up with these games and now, given the opportunity through projects such as Kickstarter and Steam’s Greenlight, they’re able to recreate them for the next generation of gamers. It could also be that, compared to the likes of Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty, these games have small budgets, and with small budgets there often simply isn’t the option for advanced graphics. Some other part of the game has to shine brighter than a spit-shined star, and lucky for us it seems to be the gameplay. And where better to look for tips on creating great gameplay and stories than the 90s: the home of pages of unspoken dialogue, bloodthirsty forest nymphs and, well, Peter Andre’s short lived singing career. But we’ll forget about that.
Thursday - May 09, 2013
Original Sin - Post-Funding Update #39, Scripting
In this post-funding Kickstarter update for Original Sin more information on scripting is presented.
In this moving pictures part of the update, Bert, our resident script guru, explains how it is possible to implement "generic behaviours" that affect all npcs in the game world, and thus increase the amount of reactions they have. He gives a bunch of examples of what you can do with Osiris, the scripting language used in Divinity: Original Sin, just to get you thinking of all the things you could be doing with it.
In other words - characters in Divinity: Original Sin react.
There is also information on Paypal closing soon:
Paypal pledging is still possible but will finish this weekend, meaning that in practice it'll stay open until monday morning GMT+1. Right now the counter is at $57.596,60.
We will add the total number of backers via paypal to calculate the size of the lair beneath the phantom forest, and at that time we'll also take stock of the amount of Facebook likes to calculate the amount of Bellegar encounters Divinity:Original Sin will feature.
And more information on precessing the pledges: and rewards
We've answered quite a lot of private messages and mails about how pledges are going to be managed, and in an effort to save our fingers a bit, here's an overview of how we envision things will work:
- All backers (Kickstarter+Paypal) will receive an account at The Larian Vault
- Your account will contain an overview of your rewards
- If we need information from you to send you your rewards, you'll be able to fill it in there
- You will be able to add extra add-ons to your reward tier via The Larian Vault too. Not all add-ons will be available, but there will be quite a few. You'll also be able to upgrade your reward.
Saturday - May 04, 2013
Original Sin - The Contemporary Comforts
GameSpot has a new preview among many others lately for the funded kickstarter Original Sin.
“They just don’t make games like that anymore.” When you first see Divinity: Original Sin, that could very well be your reaction, but you’d be wrong to assume that developer Larian’s upcoming isometric role-playing game is stuck in the past. It certainly might remind you of RPGs of old, such as The Temple of Elemental Evil and, of course, Divine Divinity, the game that originated the series. But based on my time with Original Sin, there’s a poignant cooperative element of choice and consequence in Original Sin that makes it more than just a retread.
It’s hard to say just how well Divinity: Original Sin will capture the essence of Divine Divinity and Beyond Divinity, the games that directly spawned it. (From a gameplay perspective, Original Sin shares little in common with the troubled Divinity II.) Larian’s fans certainly have faith, however: Larian’s Kickstarter campaign for the game has now closed, earning more than twice the amount of its original goal, and all stretch goals were met. Thus, your companions will have their own backstories and personalities, the music will be fully orchestrated, and there will be more character-defining talents than originally planned. I am cautiously hopeful that Divinity: Original Sin might be, in its own way, just as divine as the game that spawned the series.
Friday - May 03, 2013
Original Sin - Kickstarter Update #38, The Aftermath
This post Kickstarter update for Divinity Original Sin brings us a video where David esplains how they are dealing with all the pledges and add-ons.
Both RPGWatch and RPGCodex are mentioned in the video as gathering over $10K in their respective fundraisers. We are both linked to as well, although they managed to interchange the links so the RPGWatch link now leads to the Codex and theirs link to us :)
In addition they also refer to this gamespot review.
What I enjoyed most about the combat, however, was that you can perform cleverer tactics than just pounding on goblins and guards with steel and magic until they fall over dead. Instead, you can use the environment to your advantage, and at no time was this put to better use than in the final battle of the demo. At first I faced a number of skeletal archers who plodded towards me, eager to put an arrow between my character's eyes. Fortunately, I was able to turn the ground under them to ice, causing them to slip and fall, and buying me extra time to chop them into submission. Ultimately, I faced a giant elemental called an infernal twin, but was fortunate enough for a wall to shield me from its fiery blasts. Elsewhere, I put an end to a foe by zapping the water he was standing in with a bolt of electricity. Barrels of oil, puddles of poison goo--these elements and more encourage you to find creative ways of dealing with your foes.
Tuesday - April 30, 2013
Original Sin - Update #36, The Admin Part
Original Sin is back with another short update for the funded kickstarter.
Once again, thank you for all your support. By now you know that you have been absolutely fantastic, and that we consider ourselves very lucky to have such a nice group of people believing in us. But we'll repeat it once again - you have been absolutely fantastic! :)
We've received the backer data from Kickstarter and are now processing it. We will soon be sending out a number of surveys to everybody who ordered physical goods and/or add-ons so we can determine the exact nature of your pledge.
People who ordered Divine Divinity or the Anthology will be receiving their digital keys via email this week and of course we will also be sending through download information for Kirill's Divinity soundtrack.
It seems we'll have more manual work than expected in processing the Kickstarter data (we also need to merge it with the paypal data) but we'll do everything we can to accelerate the process.
We'll have another wrap-up update for you later this week, but wanted to let you know that we're back on the job after what proved to be a very fun Kickstarter closing event :)
The Larian Team
Friday - April 26, 2013
Original Sin - Update #35, All Stretch Goals Achieved + Retrospective Video
Well Larian's Original Sin kickstarter is officially funded. Congratulations to them, and a huge THANK YOU for all the backers from the Watch. Now on to the update.
All Stretch Goals Achieved + Retrospective Video
Everything together we reached the 1 million stretch goal! NPC Schedules are in!
This video shows what was going on behind the scenes during the Kickstarter campaign.
We shouldn't show you this, but we do it anyway. Enjoy!
Original Sin - 5 Hours and $90K to Go
1. If we make it or not to our last stretch goal remains to be seen, but we're extremely happy already. The results of this Kickstarter campaign have been fantastic and you guys are simply the best!
2. We still have a number of hours to go, so keep on spreading the word. All it takes now to reach the final stretch goal is everybody upping their pledge with 5$, or a few more backers.
3. Here's why you want that final stretch goal to happen
Original Sin - Ten Reasons Why It Deserves My Money
Kotaku has an editorial following the end of the Original Sin kickstarter. The article gives ten reasons why you should donate to the project.
Within the first five minutes of my play session with the alpha version of Divinity: Original Sin, I killed Larian Studios' Swen Vincke. "So I see you are readying a fireball spell," he said, and I shot him. I'm counting that as the first of ten reasons why the Kickstarter prequel to the Divine Divinity role-playing game series deserves my cash — being able to set fire to the founder and CEO of the studio making the game. Everyone mark that down.
It's not about the action, as pleasing as it was, as much as it is the freedom to perform that action. This is a cooperative multiplayer role-playing game where the 'cooperative' bits aren't mandatory. Like the pen-and-paper RPGs that spawned the genre, I don't have to either love or hate my party — should they need a reminder of my power, I'm free to give it.
Divinity: Original Sin, which Larian is calling its "dream RPG," does not need my money. Today is the last day of the PC game's $400,000 Kickstarter campaign, successfully funded back on April 9. The project's met all stretch goals but one, and at this rate it might even hit the million dollar mark before it ends. It's going to happen.
The question here is whether or not I should attempt to scrounge up enough change to jump on the bandwagon before the time is up. I've come up with ten compelling reasons, beginning with...
Thursday - April 25, 2013
Original Sin - Update #31, Less than 24 hours!! 800K reached!
Well it's time for another update for Larian's kickstarter Original Sin. I'm running out of ideas what to write at the pace the updates come at. Enjoy.
Less than 24 hours to go!!!
Well, you know what the final stretch goal is! We'll remind you in a next update, but that's all there's left to reach on this wonderful KIckstarter campaign. Think we can do 200K in 24 hours ? The game is on!
Including Paypal, 800K is now reached!
Companions, check. Congratulations all on reaching this stretch goal!!! This game is getting better and better, so much in fact that we're starting to wonder what's going to be left for us to do afterwards :)
Since we just did a big companion update, we're not going to redo it here. If you've seen it, you know that as a RPG aficionado you should rejoice! There are going to be some seriously wicked companions roaming around the world of Rivellon!
As behind the scenes as it gets
This is the type stuff our audience is never supposed to see, but which we deal with on a daily basis. Full monty! It's the type of stuff you can participate in if your tier includes alpha or beta access. Check out the add-ons below if you're in doubt.
Original Sin - Update #30 , Companions, Editor Magic, Mixing Physical with Digital
Larain is back with a new update with 27 hours left in the Original Sin kickstarter. The update covers a couple of topics as the countdown continues.
27 hours left!!!
Well, the title says it all. It looks like we're going to make the Companions stretch goal, but are we going to make the NPC schedules goal ? They say anything is possible on Kickstarter, but there's still some distance cover. The only thing that's sure is that we'll know tomorrow!
Our latest companions video update wasn't very good. That's why we did a new one, containing much more information on exactly what it is we're planning to do, and what the difference is between Henchmen and Companions. It's a bit of a designer class and it features Swen's most horrible handwriting, but hopefully it'll answer the questions people have been asking.
We have a cool game editor and we like showing it off because we want the modding community to seriously start thinking about what RPG adventures they're going to make with it. In this latest editor update, Wannes, whizkid extraordinaire shows you how you can modify materials in Divinity: Original Sin to achieve some very cool effects. Cool stuff!
Physical Add-ons For Digital Tiers Now Possible!
Feel free to browse our physical add-ons, pick the ones you like and add their cost + shipping to your digital pledge!
- Shipping within Europe: $10
- Shipping to the rest of the world: 15$
We can't believe how fast the pledge counter is going. To be honest, while we dreamt of it, we never expected that we'd even have a chance of reaching the NPC schedule stretch goal. Now it looks like during the final countdown, it could actually happen, though it'll still require a mad end-rush. One thing is sure - if we make this stretch goal, we'll need extra room in the office! I wish I had a crystal ball.
Original Sin - Update #29, Henchmen and Companions
Update number 29 for Original Sin brings us the 'forgotten' update about Henchmen and companions, whilst being at $732K.
It also gives us an opportunity to add a bit more information about the "Design A Henchman" tier. Many people have asked us what happens to the henchmen they design if the "henchmen become companions" stretch goal is reached.
The way it is going to work is that the henchmen designed by backers will receive a background from the pool of available backgrounds. And they will have dialogues which correspond to those backgrounds. Additionally there will be companions that we will add to the game and these will be treated differently from the henchmen.
You may wonder why you would still want to hire henchmen if there are companions available. And the answer is that different henchmen will have different strengths and weaknesses as well as different abilities. It is very likely that while playing you might swap henchmen in and out depending on the challenges you are facing. For instance when dealing with fire creatures, fire spells actually heal them instead of damaging them. If you happen to have a companion that is specialized in fire spells, he will therefore be of little use. At such a moment it would be very handy to hire a henchman specialized in water spells.
Luckily you also have a homestead at The Shelter Plane At The End of Time where you can ask henchmen you encountered and hired, to wait for you.
You should also be aware that henchmen talk to each other so if you treat them badly, that might have repercussions in your dealing with other henchmen. Likewise, treat them well and you might find unexpected benefits.
And for the French there is a hands-on video available from Jeuxvideo.
Don't forget you can also donate at our fundraiser for Original Sin and get a copy of the game.
Wednesday - April 24, 2013
Original Sin - Update #28, 700K and Something Special
Including Paypal the $700K for the Original Sin Kickstarter has been achieved. This means Kyrill gets to play wih an orchestra and all backers get a bonus:
If we include Paypal in the total amount, the 700K goal goal is reached already and that means that the music of our brilliant composer, Kirill Pokrovsky, will now be performed by a symphonic orchestra!
This will be a first in the history of the Divinity games and we'll release moving pictures once the recordings are in progress. You can imagine that Kirill is very happy!!! Or perhaps not...his love for writing sheet music is legendary ;)
To celebrate this goal, ALL our Kickstarter backers will receive a free digital copy of a very unique Divinity audio CD with remastered and remixed music from "Beyond Divinity" and "Divine Divinity".
There is also this advertising of the Original Sin editor in which they show that they have the Aleroth part of Divine Divinity running in their editor.
Then there is more info on the add-ons and rewards that are available now:
- Divine Divinity Digital Version (HD): add $5
- Weresheep Forum Badge, In the Credits as a Weresheep, a hint: add $6
- THE Hint concerning the Weresheep: add $666
- Digital Artbook featuring the Art of Divinity Original Sin: add $8
- Digital Map of the World of Divinity Original Sin: add $8
- Digital Soundtrack of Divinity Original Sin: add $10
- Extra Digital Copy of Divinity Original Sin: add $20
- Beta Access for Divinity Original Sin: add $20
- Alpha Access for Divinity Original Sin: add $50
- Fanday Ticket: add $150
- Divinity Anthology (digital): add $20
- Divinity Dragon Commander (digital): add $40
- Cloth Map: add $25
- Signed Poster: add $25
- T-Shirt Weresheep Logo: add $25
- T-Shirt Divinity Original Sin: add $25
- Extra Box Copy of Divinity Original Sin: add $40
And there is this preview by TotalBiscuit.
Original Sin - Reddit AMA Results
It has been a few hours since our last news on Divinity Original Sin, so here is the link to the Reddit AMA they had yesterday. You can take out the interesting parts yourself...
Update: Dr A. made a summary of the more interesting parts on our forums.
Original Sin - Update #27, Secret Stretch Goal Reached
The secret stretch goal for Original Sin at $666,666 has been reached: The Weresheep are added to the game. Here are some details:
Dropping Hints And Picking Them Up
The weresheep are real. We are sure of it. But no one has actually seen one. Or perhaps that should be - no one has ever lived to tell of an encounter with these most bizarre and bloody beasts.
We've been told that to find them, many a hint need to be picked up. Some are so subtle that even a Source Hunter would be forgiven for letting the trail grow cold.
Everybody knows that if you can find a weresheep and kill it in combat, the great prize to be obtained is werewool! Its magical properties allow adventurers to craft weapons, pieces of armour and other items of great and fabled powers. Not to mention they're cosy, snug and warm!
But where to find a weresheep? Perhaps the legend of Falcon Black contains a clue...
Tuesday - April 23, 2013
Original Sin - Update # 25 & 26, 72 Hours Left and New Stretch Goal Announced
Well it seems to be a busy day for the Original Sin kickstarter. Larian has posted two more updates among many today.
We've been keeping an eye on our paypal counter today, and together with the Kickstarter total, it looks like stretch goal 2 was just unlocked!!!
Personality traits & talents are now confirmed, and it'll come as no surprise that we're extremely happy that we can add the traits & talents gameplay system to Divinity: Original Sin. It wouldn't have been the RPG we wanted to make without them, and we're very grateful that you made this possible.
To celebrate, here's a video showing how we'll go about including traits and talents. To be specific, it's a video about a prototype for the trait curiosity and the sixth sense talent, and while the actual implementation may vary, it should give you a good idea of how it'll improve the gameplay and bring more depth to character customization.
It's going to be awesome!
New Stretch Goal Announced
So many people were touched by Kirill's magical performance that we wanted to do something special. Therefore, without affecting any of the other stretch goals, we'd like to give Kirill something he's also wanted i.e. a live orchestra for him to fool around with and record the game music with.So, at 700K, there is now a stretch goal that unlocks a live orchestra for this man:
You want this. You really want this. It seriously will be awesome!
The Next Stretch Goals
Obviously with a stretch goal unlocked, it follows that we start looking at what the next stretch goal is going to be.
At 666K already, we'll reach a new secret stretch goal in which we'll lift a tiny bit of the veil that covers a well-kept secret. Don't expect big announcements, but do expect some of the lore surrounding this particular secret to be released. You can also expect more on THE HINT.
At 700K, there's of course our newly announced stretch goal, in which Kirill gets an orchestra, and then at 800K, there's a very big one: Henchmen become companions.
While our henchmen will have more background than what you've seen in the gameplay videos so far, upon unlocking the 800K stretch goal full blown companions will be unlocked, featuring complex storylines and adding gameplay to our gameworld. This is a pretty important stretch goal, so we'll soon do an update to illustrate exactly what it is we want to achieve.
Original Sin - Update #24, Announcing the Final Countdown
Here is a new update for the Divinity Original Sin Kickstarter. They are currently only $16K away from their $650K stretch goal. So if you are fast and pledge you can still say that you made it possible that they reached it....
In this update there is a reference to some of the previews we reported on separately and som einformation on the final day. On that day Swen and David will be playing Divinity original Sin on twitch.tv. They will listen to you and try answering you while they are playing. After that there will be a party to celebrate the success of the Kickstarter and we are all invited.... to watch it live.
After the live playthrough of Divinity: Original Sin, Larian Studios will host a small party to celebrate the success of Kickstarter, featuring Kirill Pokrovsky playing live. We will keep the twitch.tv cameras rolling!
Tune in to our twitch.tv channel this Friday, at 13:00 GMT, 14:00 CEST, 5:00 PST, 8:00 EDT
Swen and David will be playing for four hours. The celebrations, with Kirill on the piano, will start at 17:00 GMT, 18:00 CEST, 9:00 PST, 12:00 EDT
Original Sin - A written and Several Video Previews
Games.On have written a preview of Divinity Original Sin:
So if you want to throw yourself against a challenge, Rivellon only says “all the more power to you”. It’s a variety of roleplaying that’s been buried three feet deep under the modern RPG’s lovingly rendered snow, and Larian is the latest to attempt to excavate it among the Kickstarter craze.
As ever, this early look is a brief one, even more a game still in production and in constant Kickstarter flux. The conversation system, that encourages co-operation as much as it does disagreement? The stats system? The weapons themselves? Even the minutiae of lighting, contrast and the game’s colour palette are under the microscope. Larian have always been a studio with strong ties to its community, and like its Kickstarter, every backer, update and forum post in turn brings a change, tweak and addition.
And here are some video previews of Divinity Original Sin as well.
Monday - April 22, 2013
Original Sin - Update #23, 600K and Previews
While hitting the $600K mark update #22 is made available to us, promising more awesome updates.
In the coming 72 or so hours, we'll bring you a cavalcade of neatly lined up, and in no way hastily made, updates ;) Each plumed with the feathers of pheasants and presented in perfectly clipped standard English!
Then there is Kirill's concert in case you missed that.
Also there is news that the number of 4000 likes on Facebook is getting closer, which means a new encounter with Bellegar coul dbe added, once they reach that.
And finally there is a 51 minute video of a hands-on session from Ohmwrecker.
Original Sin - Pre-Alpha Developer Walkthrough
Yes I know Myrthos posted another video from the kickstarter, but dsogaming has a new walkthrough video that's almost an hour long.
In order to further spark gamers’ interest, Larian Studios has collaborated with YouTube’s ‘quill18′ and released an one hour long gameplay developer walkthrough for Divinity: Original Sin. Naturally, this is early footage that does not represent the final product. Divinity: Original Sin is planned for a late 2013 release, and there are four days left on its Kickstarter campaign. Enjoy!
Original Sin - Update #22, Starting the End-Game
With just $45K (probably includes Paypal) to go to the next stretch goal a new update for Original Sin has been produced. In it two new tiers are announced at $80 and $28 to replace the sold out (or soon to be) tiers of $65 and $25. Furthermore there is a live Let's Play session with Games.de (don't worry it will be in English) at 17.30 CET today. Watch it via their website, via twitch.tv directly or via PCGames.de.
Then there is also a gameplay summary from ForceSC2Strategy.
This game is worth every penny, especially as RPGWatch is in it too. And to make that presence even bigger and help Larian you can throw your money at us or increase your existing donation and also get a digital copy of the game if you make it big enough (to get in the top 20 you need to donate $30 or more). Even if for whatever reason you do not want that, go to their Kickstarter page and throw it at them directly.
Let's make these last 4 days for Larian awesome days. They deserve it. And remember if your payday happens to be after their Kickstarter our campaign for Original Sin is running longer.
Sunday - April 21, 2013
Original Sin - Update #21, Live Streams, Reddit and A New Quest
Just 4 days to go for the Original Sin Kickstarter and to reach the next stretch goal ($650K needed, currently at $578K). This update brings us information on Gragt's preview, we reported about earlier today, an upcoming live stream with PCGames.de, an upcoming Reddit section and a video on what reaching the stretch goals would mean.
And finally a rather large quest will be added to the game in which the red imps of the Codex and the army of The Watch are heading towards a conflict.
We want to thank both the RPGWatch and the RPGCodex for the fundraisers they’ve been holding to back Divinity: Original Sin. To show our gratitude, we came up with a bit of extra lore that we’ll happily include should both communities agree.
We probably shouldn't refer to the little red guys as imps, but the troll-position is already taken in Divinity: Original Sin.
The Curious Tale Of Commander Myrthos And The Little Red Riding Imps
You'll find many a curious place in Rivellon, but none - Zixzax the Imp Historian will tell you - is quite as curious as the Shelter Plane At The End of Time. Fabulous indeed, would be the heroes who come to inhabit this enigmatic abode, and just as fabulous (as they'd soon find out) are the critters that live there!
No one - and when we say 'no one' we mean 'not even Bellegar' - knows where these red, diminutive demon imps come from, but even though they live at the very edge of the cosmos, a hunter haunts their path ...
Myrthos he is called, and rumour has it he is not alone. Does he stalk them because they wronged his kin? Have they broken a sacred oath? Are the forces of the very Divines at work? We can only guess, but the fact of the matter is that a sinister feud is slumbering beneath the surface of an already troubled realm.
Myrthos and his guild obey the mighty Watch. The Red Riding Imps swear by the ancient Codex. Between the two of them there is no common ground; by every oath imaginable they are sworn enemies that seek one another's destruction.
You decide the outcome...
Original Sin & Dragon Commander - Previews @ RPGCodex
RPGCodex have their previews of Original Sin and Dragon Commander online based on their visit to Larian Studios.
As enjoyable as the combat is though, most of the fun came from the exploration of the world. Swen told me that this game is a return to their roots and it is obvious after a couple of minutes. Forget the extended dungeon crawl of Beyond Divinity or the somewhat limited maps of Divinity 2, this time it's a big seamless world like in Divine Divinity. One returning feature is the distinct lack of loading screens, so cities, villages, dungeons, caves, beaches, forests, cliffs and other assorted locations are all part of the same big map. It's amusing how much this widens the scope of the world, and yet you likely won't notice it because it feels so natural. In my case it only hit me when Swen jokingly asked me if I had counted the loading screens since we started playing and I realise that I had seen none apart from when we started. That he was proud of this was evident. They couldn't avoid loading screens entirely, and so far the game counts 4 big maps, but that's far less than what most games do these days, as D:OS isn't limited by console hardware. He laughed when I shared with him that when I played Divine Divinity for the first time, I naively thought that I'd explore the whole map outside of Aleroth and then go to bed — for those who never played the game, exploring the whole map took me around a week and that was back when I had a lot of free time to play.
And on Dragon Commander:
Once you're done with the conversations and other social interactions, you will discover that there is a whole new game for you to play with. The strategic map is where you plan out your battles and it has a nice board game feel to it — I'll also add that I love the illustrations of marine monsters in the sea zones of the map. While it does not look like it, every region is in fact a hex in disguise and the map wraps on itself, à la Solium Infernum, which means that you are always in the middle of the board and so are your opponents. The map isn't fixed and, just like in Civilization, you can choose the size of the map when starting a new game, thus allowing you to set the length of the campaign according to your preference, or you can pick one of the pre-made maps available. This also applies to the multiplayer. Since the Raven is not available in multiplayer, the strategic map is also where you'll pick your upgrade and research objectives. Each region you own has a population value and also brings you some gold each turn. Population is the reserve from which you build your army in the RTS phase, but since it is a shared resource this means that everyone involved in a fight will draw from it. The higher the population, the more units each player will be able to build in the RTS mode. That's where cards that let you play with the population numbers come in handy: increasing the population means that you will be able to create more units during the battle, but so will your opponents; on the contrary, by imposing a genocide that will leave the country empty, you make initial invading and defending armies more important since nobody will be able to create new units. Other cards can be very useful as well, like increasing the revenues of a region by 200%, increasing productions, reducing the price of units, or even simply but effectively making one of your countries immune to invasion.
Saturday - April 20, 2013
Original Sin - Overview of Add-ons and Tiers
With 5 days to go the Original Sin Kickstarter is just $63K away from reaching their next stretch goal and in their latest update an overview of the add-ons and reward tiers is given.
Shipping physical goods
- All physical goods ship free if you are in the US or Europe. If you live in Europe, you need to select US shipping when you pledge. We'll know from your address that you're in Europe, so don't worry.
- If you already added an extra amount to your pledge to cover the shipping cost and live in Europe, you can remove the shipping cost by using the "manage your pledge" button.
Dragon Commander inclusion
- Every tier above 95$ as well as the 95$ digital tier receive a copy of Divinity:Dragon Commander. The physical 95$ tier does not get a copy of Divinity:Dragon Commander.
- Lower tiers can get a copy Divinity:Dragon Commander by adding 40$.
Divinity: Original Sin Add-ons
Digital add-ons (Require base tier pledge of $25):
- Divine Divinity Digital Version (HD): add $5
- Weresheep Forum Badge, In the Credits as a Weresheep, a hint: add $6
- THE Hint concerning the Weresheep: add $666
- Digital Artbook featuring the Art of Divinity Original Sin: add $8
- Digital Map of the World of Divinity Original Sin: add $8
- Digital Soundtrack of Divinity Original Sin: add $10
- Extra Digital Copy of Divinity Original Sin: add $20
- Beta Access for Divinity Original Sin: add $20
- Alpha Access for Divinity Original Sin: add $50 (includes beta access)
- Fanday Ticket: add $150
- Divinity Anthology (digital): add $20
- Divinity Dragon Commander (digital): add $40
Physical add-ons (Require physical tier at $65 or higher):
- Cloth Map: add $25
- Signed Poster: add $25
- T-Shirt Weresheep Logo: add $25
- T-Shirt Divinity Original Sin: add $25
For those wondering how to get add-on(s) on Kickstarter, you must add the amount over your base tier selection. Select your tier - or leave your current tier selected - and then change the amount in the top box that is your total 'Pledge Amount' to cover the cost of the add-on(s)
Friday - April 19, 2013
Original Sin - Update # 19 Looking Back Already, And Looking Forward
Larain has posted another update on their kickstarter Original Sin.
What an exciting couple of weeks we've been having. We've been telling a couple of journalists, that didn't believe us, that we had no idea if this campaign would even reach its goal. "Oh come on," they said. "You're just in it for the stretchgoals. Everyone takes half of what they actually want as a funding goal!"
Well we didn't. We were really amazed to reach our goal so fast, and happy to reach our first stretchgoal.
The success of this Kickstarter does give us a morale boost. It tells us that we're making something that people are looking forward to, and are supportive of.
In his blog, Swen looks back on the past couple of weeks of running a Kickstarter campaign, and what we have learned from this.
Read it here: http://www.lar.net/2013/04/19/one-week-to-go/
Live Stream On PCGames.de
We're going into overdrive next week. Well actually, it already starts tonight. We're doing online coop playthroughs with Youtube channels, independent journalists, and magazines, such as Games.on.net, Kotaku, RedPandaGamer, Jesse Cox, Quill18, DenOfGeek, TotalBiscuit, Gamer.no, Jeuxvideo.com, Angry Joe, Gamespot, GMBox, Kanobu...
We will announce when they're online and here's the first announcement:
We will be playing live with PCGames.de this coming Monday at 17:30 (GMT+1 with daylight saving)
Original Sin - Kirill Pokrovsky Concert
If you missed Kirill Pokrovsky's concert today. Here it is:
Thursday - April 18, 2013
Original Sin - Dev. Walkthrough Video
GamersDissent has uploaded a video of about an hour to Youtube showing the starting area of Original Sin he is going through with Larian's Original Sin producer David Walgrave.
Original Sin - Update #18, Community Input
In update #18 for the Original Sin Kickstarter it is explained why community feedback is so important to Larian Studios. A new creature is in the game because of that and the lighting schem is changed as well. Also Kirill will be on twitch tv in less than two hours from now and there are 3000 Facebooks likes now, so that means there will be 3 encounters with Bellegar in the game.
Here is something about the new burning zombies:
The following message was sent to Swen, and unfortunately, it will not be implemented as a surprise, it will just be implemented.
"Sorry for two PM's in one day, this idea I want hidden and made as a surprise if you like it enough to implement.
(...) fire can burn the skin off a zombie and they become a skeleton. When they became a skeleton, their traits and attack methods changed to that of a skeleton. Their HP remained where it was from the initial attack of the fire or previous attacks. The fire would simply burn off their skin over a few attack rounds (...)
Since so much detail has gone into this, that would be interesting to have implemented."
Thanks to this successful Kickstarter, we can give monsters more interesting behaviours, more specific attacks and powers (and weaknesses), so why not create this effect for the zombies? As it turns out, an unknown scribe had already reported on this in his "Source User's Guide To Adventuring". What a coincidence!
Wednesday - April 17, 2013
Original Sin - Update #17, Maxos Speaks and Major rewards update!
We added a number of new reward tiers today, and also added some extra goodies to existing reward tiers. Don't worry, nothing was removed. On the contrary, chances are high that you received some free extras.
- Dragon Commander: If you pledge more than 95$, you by default receive a digital version of Divinity: Dragon Commander.
- Kickstarter badge/credits: If you pledge more than 25$, you by default receive a Kickstarter badge on the Larian forums. You are also included in the credits as a backer.
- Dragon badge/credits: If you pledge more than 95$, you by default receive a Dragon badge on the Larian forums. You are also included in the credits at Dragon level.
- Weresheep badge/credits: If you add 6$ to your pledge at any tier, you will receive a Weresheep badge on the Larian forums. You will also be mentioned in the credits as a Weresheep and might even have a surprise in the game! You'll also receive... a hint.
A number of new all digital reward tiers were added today. They are present in the sidebar at the 95$, 135$, 150$ and 200$ level.
Tuesday - April 16, 2013
Original Sin - Update #16, 9 Days Left
With 9 days to go there is a good chance that the Divinity Original Sin will make its next stretch goal and more, but need more backers to get there.
he next goal which we hope to reach is the Personality Traits and Talents goal:
This goal will see us introduce traits and talents that further define your party members. They will help you in combat, in dialogues with NPCs, and in all kinds of other interactions. You get to choose some at character creation, by exploring the world, and occasionally through leveling up. For instance, Animal Empathy allows you to talk to animals. Slippery Eel allows you to evade attacks of opportunity. Interdimensional Touch lets you send items to far away party members but also to your Homestead on the Shelter Plane At The End Of Time. And like this, there will be many more. Essential stuff really, so please help us out.
They also have a video on the art in Original Sin and what lead to how it is now. In addition there is also a bit on Dragon Commander and teh editor.
And with them adding another 1000 backers a new level is added to the Phantom Forest.
Monday - April 15, 2013
Original Sin - Update #15, First Stretch Goal Reached
With passing the $500K milestone the first stretch goal for Original Sin has been reached. The next goal is at $650K, talents and personal traits.
Besides that lair below the Phantom Forest will get deeper with every 1000 backers.
From now on, for every 1000 backers that we gain, the lair of the monster beneath Phantom Forest will become deeper and deeper. (This means, we start counting at 10'000 backers.) Or in the words of Jan, our writer extraordinaire:
"As you travel onward beyond the woods of Luculla, it doesn't take long to reach the outskirts of Phantom Forest: a vast, towering woodland shunned by almost all that lives. Once entered, a few steps suffice to be engulfed in absolute nocturnal darkness that even the eyes of a cat would have great difficulty in piercing. Armed with a torch one might proceed, but it requires an iron will not to turn and run in fright when beholding the torturously contorted grimaces that seem to slither through every coarsely barked trunk. Dead bodies hang from twisted branches, silent and still, for not even the winds dare penetrate the foreboding canopy of Phantom Forest."
Then there is a video on this:
Like in the previous Divinity games, something seemingly small and trivial can unravel a whole new world in Divinity: Original Sin. Or how one lonely lamenting ghost above ground unlocks an entire society of ghosts living underground... (Minor spoiler alert.)
And in closing they let us know that Kirill's performance is this Thursday and a first fansite is spotted.
Sunday - April 14, 2013
Original Sin - Update #14 , Stretch goal ahoy, Designer Talk, Join the Forums
Larian is back with update #14 for Original Sin. It includes talk about new stretch goals, designer talk, and there forums.
It's Sunday and the sun is finally shining here. What better way to start the day than a small Divinity:Original Sin update?
With a bit of extra support, it looks like we may make our very first stretch goal today!
In case you missed out on the description of our first stretch goal - The Shelter Plane At The End of Time – here are 3 out of at least 7 reasons why you want us to make this:
- The Transcript of Unravelled Destinies: See what consequences your actions have on the future of Rivellon, while you’re playing.
- The Coffers That Have No Bottoms: You can pretty much pick up anything that looks like it can be picked up in Divinity:Original Sin. Now you’ll have a place where you can store it all.
- Secrets Galore: There are some really juicy secrets to be found on the Shelter Plane. It would be a pity if they remain secret. Maybe you’ll even discover whatever happened to this fellow…
A lot of people underestimate the impact of their comments in our forums. We often involve forum posts in our discussions at Larian, and it’s fair to say that several of the better features in our games were born from forum discussions and many more features were improved as a direct consequence of a post there. We also love getting feedback - it makes us better at our jobs.
That’s why we’d like to invite you to participate in the discussions on the Divinity: Original Sin forums. These forums are the place where discussions are going to continue post-Kickstarter and they are visited daily by many developers at Larian.
Drop a note on the forums if you have an idea for something you’d really like to see in Divinity: Original Sin. You might be surprised at our willingness to pick it up.
And of course here is the Designer Talk Video.
Friday - April 12, 2013
Original Sin - Update #13, Update Song and The History of Rivellon
If you are interested in the history of Rivellon, the world of Divinity and what the place in this history is for each of the Divinity games, this update for the Original Sin Kickstarter is a very interesting read. In addition they also let us know that they are only $25K away (including Paypal) from the Homestead stretch goal, provide the link again to the updated info on the rewards and there is the update song:
Thursday - April 11, 2013
Original Sin - Spread Too Thin
Swen Vincke writes a short blog update on the Kickstarter status of Original Sin.
There’s four of us @Larian who are busy with managing the KS campaign, and that’s really not enough. Because we try to isolate the rest of the team as much as we can from all the extra work so that they can focus on development, we can’t really muster more resources & so we find ourselves sleeping very little and spending a lot of time typing. Obviously, we get a lot of energy from all the positive feedback & I have to say the friends & family support has also been amazing, but it’s still pretty tough. To give you an idea, here are the channels we’re monitoring/managing/posting on:
- The mails both in our mailboxes & via Kickstarters personal message feature
- And www.lar.netIn addition we’re doing plenty of interviews & presentations (David & Farhang for instance did 12 presentations in Berlin yesterday) & we’re still prepping more. And obviously we also have the stress of trying to do one update per day on Kickstarter because we noticed it really does have a big impact on the campaigns counter.I’m not complaining though – imho we funded really fast, considering the circumstances & I’m curious to see what the end-game is going to look like.But yes, it is more work than I expected. I’m not the first one to say it, I’m not the last one to say it, but I did want to add my 89kg to those who are saying – prepare well if you want to do a KS campaign. It’s tough to add/change course once you’re rolling.
Original Sin - Update #12, Story, Homestead and More
Quite a bit of info in this update for the Original Sin Kickstarter. Dragon Commander is now available as an add-on, more reward tiers in Paypal, free shipping in the EU and US, updates on the rewards table and an explanation of how Original Sin fits in the Divinity Universe.
Furthermore new info is shared about the shelter plane at the end of time.
Created by imp historian Zixzax the Almost Wise; located on the Precipice of Ages - where time itself ends in endless black - you will find your homestead. It is a barren place; arid and forlorn, but beggars can't be choosers, and neither can a couple of Source Hunters down on their luck. In time, though, perhaps your Shelter Plane might turn into quite a cosy abode really: a place to put up your feet and relax by the fire, staring out unto the very edge of oblivion.
What are some of the nifty things you can expect to find in your Shelter Plane?
The Transcript of Unravelled Destinies
As you play through Original Sin, you will encounter a great many characters, and like any respectable RPG hero worth their salt, you will be able to alter these characters' lives through your actions and decisions. For some, the consequences will be tangible and immediate; for others, they might seem imperceptible at first, but become more apparent as time passes.
Each time you visit your Shelter Plane, you can consult the Transcript of Unravelled Destinies and learn about the consequences of your actions, for it is a magical tome which registers the fate of every single being in Rivellon. By flicking through its pages, you will learn about what happened to all those people whose lives you affected. Did the young couple you reunited live happily ever after? Did that swindler you dragged to court really learn the error of his ways?
Did you impact past or present and did you thereby influence the future? Can you jump back to reality and still make changes?
Yes, the Shelter Plane at the End of Time is a lonesome and empty place at first, but never you worry! Its appearance will change, though not as the result of a wholesale shopping spree. Instead, decisions you make during specific quests will change its initial shape and give your Shelter Plane a distinctly different atmosphere...
Henchmen, the Gathering
As you recruit henchmen throughout your journey, there will come a time when you'll want to leave one of them behind (because you just cannot resist hiring that bull-sized battle mage you just met!). Yet fear not, for they will not hold a grudge against you! Instead, they will patiently wait for you until you require their services once more, safe in the comfort of your Shelter Plane.
The Coffers That Have No Bottoms
Each player gets his or her individual storage chest, where they may safely store their loot without fearing their loyal partner (or Zixzax...) might 'borrow' any of their belongings. Even the best of couples need their privacy.
Shelter from the Storm
If things get a bit much for you on the battlefield and you see no other option than to flee, you can quickly retreat to your Shelter Plane and catch your breath. After all, there's no shame in surviving, and when you feel ready to head out again, you can simply pick your waypoint of choice.Of course, you'll need a bit of space to make the transition, so make sure your enemies are not too close when seeking shelter...
There is more to The Shelter Plane at the End of Time than meets the eye; much more! Seek and you shall find. Great wonders await inquisitive souls...
Original Sin - Update #11, Kirill Interview, Character Stats and More
At $441K we get the next update for Divinity Original Sin. This time it features Swen interviewing Kirill Pokrovsky, who has been making music for all of the Divinity games. At the end of the interview Kirill has a surprise.
Then there is more information on character stats:
Sitting together and talking about all of our ideas, we learned where everyone was coming from. So, still on paper, the first stat system we came up with was called SPAM, which was an acronym for Strength, Presence, Accuracy and Mind. After trying it out (still not in game, we were actually building characters on paper, and rolling dice when fighting monsters, persuading characters, picking locks...), we noticed everyone was putting a lot of points in the Presence stat, because that stat was really carrying too much weight. And back to the drawing board we went. A couple of times.
Through trial and error, and discussion, we ended up with the following character stats, and we implemented them in such a way that it is easy to change the values, the rules and the formulas. We have already changed it often, and even added stats, simply by reading our forum (and other forums) and by playing the game.
We know there are nuts here (on Kickstarter, on internet, and at Larian Studios) that love stat discussions, so don’t hold back! (The names of these stats are programmer names, and may still change. Well, anything is open for discussion and balancing, really.)
Also take into account that skills play a big role as well. We’ll tell you more about those later. And hopefully we'll also make the 650K stretch goal, because then we'll be able to add talents and personal traits to the system, which will make it pretty cool.
The NPCs have the same stats and formulas as the player. One level makes a big difference: they have more hitpoints, do more damage, and are generally harder to hit. But it’s still doable if you know what you’re doing.
As the hero, you start the game with 5 points in every stat, and you get 5 statpoints for customizing your character. Per level-up, you currently get 1 statpoint. But 1 statpoint makes a difference.
Items that have an impact on stats, have their positive and negative effects, so there are trade-offs that help building a character. There are items that support different types of character builds. We'll talk about items in a future update.
Stats are also used for saving throws against different effects. For instance, a high dexterity lowers your chance of falling down when walking over ice, and strength gives you a saving throw against being caught in a wall of ice (you can break through).
Then there is info on the Fanday (9th of August). A Dragon Commander livestream at TwitchTV (which doesn't work to well on my PC, so I haven't watched it) and finally there is a video made by Gmboxru where Swen is talking about his most favourite games.
Wednesday - April 10, 2013
Original Sin - Why Larian Studios Should Get Your Money: The Current State of RPGs
Michael CromWell wrote an editiorial that explains why we should give our money to Larian. It's a pretty lengthy post, but it's full of infomation. Well read on and share your opinions. Do you Agree or Disagree?
It sounds almost self deprecating as a PC gamer to say it, but RPG’s really are a niche genre now’days. Far be it from me to define what an RPG is, but in recent years we’ve seen a slew of visually appealing, highly polished titles that aim to deliver an overall immersive aesthetic, or context, with swaths of nuance and plenty of legend and myth. A lot of time, these games seem more like references to RPG’s than RPG’s themselves. They dabble with RPG mechanics, and deliver open worlds to explore – but they often feel manufactured, lifeless, and heavily scripted.
You can program the AI of a fox to react to its environment, and you script and record (that’s the important bit) as much dialogue as you want, but in the last – perhaps 10 – years I’ve felt like many of these games are trying to be RPG’s by ticking boxes, and substituting depth for gimmicks – tokens that allow us to ignore our intuition, and really immerse ourselves in the world. Distractions.
Tuesday - April 09, 2013
Original Sin - Update #10, Kickstarter Funded
The Kickstarter for Divinity: Original Sin has been funded. In honor of that here is a big thank you from Larian Studios.
And from that video it looks like we are going to have weresheep in it.
Also Bellegar (from Divinity 2) might make a reappearance in Original Sin. For every 1000 likes on their Facebook page one encounter with him will be added in the game.
There’s been a lot of demand and a lot of rhyming to summon Bellegar and he let us know that he’s not insensitive to your prayers. But this is Bellegar, right, so nothing comes easy.
He sent us this message:
Divinity fans, rise and cheer For Bellegar shall soon appear!
Yet, my friends, when push comes to shove First I'll want a little love!
So 'Like' me on my facebook page
And everybody's favourite mage
Will soon arrive on the glorious stage!
For each and every thousand likes,
I'll cheer and clap and yell out 'Yikes!',
And to your great, your utter delight
Brighten the day by stepping in sight,
For no greater joys or pleasures there are
Than meeting the mighty Bellegar!
Yes, Bellegar now works (interim he assures us) at a social media marketing firm and yes, he's indeed shamelessly looking for more likes on his Facebook page. So his deal is that for every 1000 Facebook likes, we can add an extra encounter with the might Bellegar to the game! What are you waiting for? Share, like, invite, you know the drill.
Also Paypal is available now, it will come to Mac and Linux and there are some new rewards and add-ons.
Original Sin - Update #9, More on the Editor
With a bit more than $5K to go in order to reach their goal of $400K another update for the Original Sin Kickstarter sees the light. This update continues with another video showing the editor featuring the butcher but with input from their 3D artist.
In addition a Larian forum member made this summary of the Matt Chat reported about yesterday:
- (9:30) Quests aren’t going to hand-hold you through them. There isn’t going to be a “Quest Completed!” pop-up. Instead, your journal will have little parts of information, like “we found a book by a dead guy that talks about lying statues”, later if you talk to a statue, you might find “we met a statue, It might be one of the lying statues from the book”, and if you deal with the statue somehow, it’ll just be a thing, and you may not even realize that it was a quest.
- (13 min) In that demonstration battle on the 10-minute kickstarter video, they died three times. That’s one reason why they never showed the conclusion to that battle!
- (22 min) The main characters relationship is not specifically a love story. You can certainly take it in that direction if you wish, though. Their relationship is defined by two different axes: Affection and Affinity. Affection is how much they like each other, Affinity is how well they agree with each other on moral dilemmas. So they might hate each other, but work well. You aren’t going to accidentally end up as your friend’s gay lover, it’ll be a conscious choice if you go for that.
- (23:30) The main characters are Source Hunters, and one of the perks they get from being trained in that area is that they can talk to animals.
- (24 min) No sheep henchmen at the moment. They are thinking about adding weresheep in the game, but you cannot have a deep meaningful personal relationship with sheep yet. You will have to make a tough moral decision about the sheep at some point in the game. And the rabbits. And a cow.
- (25 min) I think there may be multiple different ways to try and get your way in a dialogue (Charm/Reason/Intimidate), instead of the current “I agree/I disagree” system. I’m not sure. The context of the situation is also important. I think that for example, the “dead body on the beach” would probably be a Charm or Reasoning situation, and Intimidation would have a penalty.
- (27 min) No mini-games. Lockpicking will be item based and dexterity based.
- (28 min) The Source (elemental) magic is not just for mages casting spells. It also gives you Source-based warrior and Survivor skills
- (28:40) The editor is not about making it easy for a novice, it’s more of a tool to do powerful things. They’ve used that technology (or parts of it) for over a decade to make their games, and that’s why as a small team they have been able to make such big games.
- (30 min) They’ll integrate the modding scene with Steamworks, and there will be another TBD thing to centralize mods for those who don’t use Steam. If the community picks it up, Larian will support the hell out of it.
- (31 min) “Have you thought of adding any DRM to this?” No.
- (32:20) Larian admits that some of the reward tiers for the Kickstarter may not be cost-effective for them.
- (33:30) What’s the minimum pledge tier for fans to get the full experience? Just the $25 for the base game, although it does play well with a friend ($40 for the duo-copy pack).
- (35 min) If Divinity 2: Ego Draconis had been a PC game, it would have been released a year earlier and in much better shape. Development for Xbox lead to a lot of compromise just trying to finish the production.
- (36:10) Beyond Divinity was bad, it was a game they company made just to survive. They never got a dollar of royalties from Divine Divinity (from CDV). They were only able to get a deal to make Divinity 2 because they were going to do it for Xbox. If they asked to do it for PC only, the game wouldn’t have happened.
- (37:50) "Why did you end Ego Draconis the way you did?" (I’m going to save my fingers from typing and just link to that spot in my LP. Watch the videos for the actual experience, not the text I added.)
- - It goes back to Divine Divinity. They decided not to cut the game at the end of the Council of Seven sequence and instead went ahead and added a new “Wastelands” zone, despite warnings they’d never finish it. (Spoiler alert: It was a huge combat zone with no quests.) The publisher wanted them to show variety in the environments. “If there is not a screenshot with orange stuff, we’ll sue you.”
- - For Divinity 2, Swen figured it would be better to stop with a cliffhanger and cut hard, instead of making another weak ending area.
- (41:40) Dragon Commander is going to take a lot of people by surprise. The leader writer and animator spend a month in London recording dialogue – more dialogue than they’ve ever done before (Divinity 2 had like 9 hours of dialogue, and it felt like more). That’s just to cater for the choice and consequence in the game. Dragon Commander is probably the most complex game they’ve ever made from a gameplay point of view.
- (43:50) “What would you need to personally hear or see about Original Sin to get you to buy it?”
- If you invest in it now, you’ll have more fun in a couple of months. If you’re planning on buying it anyway, buy it now and get it better later. It’s future profits from the game being invested into the game before it’s released. They’re not taking your money for an already funded game, they’re taking your money and giving you a much better game (at a discounted price!). They’re not pushing Original Sin as far as it could go because they haven’t enough resources, not enough time, not enough budget.
- (48 min) Final thoughts: Other non-human playable races is a huge, impossibly high stretch goal, because it would be so much work, because of how the game reacts to how the players are. If you wanted to play as an orc, they’d have to cater for that all over the dialogue lines in the entire game.
- - He’s not keen on full voice acting, because there are more tangible gameplay things that can be added instead for the same price or cheaper.
- - They hope to get enough for the Perks stretch goal (650,000), and do things like have synergy bonuses if the party affinity go up if they perform combos with each other, or maybe solo bonuses if they don’t work well together.
- - In Dragon Commander, there is an extraordinarily complex depth to your generals/councillors/princesses, because of the way that game was specifically constructed with that in mind. You couldn’t do that for Original Sin at this point, but at the 800,000 stretch goal, they hope to add more depth to party interaction and give the henchmen more personality and story presence, with branching choice and consequence based on how you treat them. Ideally, tying that into the players social stats and perks as well.
- - It’s a bit tough to get professional authors in at this part of the development. They’ve worked with a bunch before, but it’s tough it they’ve never done videogame work.
- (55:10) The game would work well on the console with a controller, but that was killed early in development. Maybe as another stretch goal in Kickstarter, but they probably would react poorly to that idea.
Monday - April 08, 2013
Original Sin - Matt Chat Interview
Matt barton interviewed Larian Studio's Swen Vincke about the Divinity: Original Sin Kickstarter.
In this one-hour interview with Swen Vincke of Larian Studios, we chat about the team's Kickstarter project for Divinity: Original Sin. Unlike the previous, publisher-pleasing action-based RPGs, the new game will be just like Swen wanted all of them to be--turn-based tactical PC-centric awesomeness. They've also done some important innovations here to accommodate the drop in/drop out co-op mode. Even if you haven't played the other Divinity games and have no idea who these people are, go watch their KS video. This is some really impressive stuff.
Help Larian reach their Stretch goals! It'd be tragic if they fell a few dollars short of their goal, and we ended up with another lame game without proper DRM. Those Lenslocks don't come cheap, you know.
Original Sin - Update #8, Single Player, Talents and Traits
The Kickstarter for Divinity: Original Sin is now at $375K, which means there is only #25K to go in order for it to reach it's goal. In update number 8 they talk about single player, somebody else dropping in and out of the game, traits and talents and more.
You start the game with two avatars in your party. Let's call them Roderick and Scarlett for now. Obviously when starting the game you can name and customize them. And yes, you can also play this game with two men or two women, it doesn't always have to be man/woman.
Roderick and Scarlett are the true heroes of this tale, and they'll always be in your party, but should you feel the need for reinforcements, you can recruit two extra party members.
Except in a few special circumstances, your party doesn't need to stay together. Sometimes the game will ask you to gather your party first, usually only when going from zone to zone, but our zones are very big (think Divine Divinity big).
But in one zone, including its houses, cellars, and dungeons, it means that you can control Scarlett to explore an underground cave while Roderick buys some fresh fish on the market. (Each hero's henchman will follow his master.)
Because Divinity: Original Sin features a turn-based combat system, this can lead to pretty interesting situations.
For instance: you switch to Scarlett, and in the cave, she encounters a friendly community of unfortunate ghosts, and has lengthy conversations with them, trying to understand why their souls aren't floating towards the Hall Of Echoes.
You switch to Roderick and, shopping around, realize he doesn't have enough gold to pay for his fish. So you try your hand at stealing. Lacking the necessary skills and talents for conducting successful theft, another shopper catches Roderick in the act and calls for the guards. Roderick is a bit short of temper and he's also on a mission to save Rivellon: there's no way he's going to put up with such foolery as going to jail, so he resists arrest and draws his sword.
Turn-based combat starts on the market, and several guards, as well as some market-goers that feel up to it, join the fight. Roderick has a high initiative, and in your first turn, you manage to conjure an earth elemental to even the odds a bit before any of the guards can even make their move. But there are a lot of guards...
Read more at their Kickstarter page.
Saturday - April 06, 2013
Original Sin - Update #7, Stretch Goals and Music
While the Kickstarter campaign for Original Sin is getting closer to the $400K (currently at #348K) the stretch goals are announced.
500K - New Area: Your Homestead on the Shelter Plane At The End Of Time.
We'll implement a new area to which you can travel at all times. An accidental gift by the Imp Historian (you know, the slightly bizarre time traveler that also gives you the Teleporter Pyramids)...
The Shelter Plane At The End Of Time is a barren place at first, and not without its issues, but with the proper care, we're sure you can turn it into a cozy, homely place. You can then recruit NPCs who will perform special services for you, provided they can overcome their initial fear...
650K - Talents and Personality Traits
We'll introduce talents that further define your character. These talents help you in combat, in dialogues with NPCs, and in all kinds of other interactions. You get to choose some at character creation, by exploring the world, and occasionally through leveling up.
For instance, Animal Empathy allows you to talk to animals. Slippery Eel allows you to evade attacks of opportunity. Interdimensional Touch lets you send items to far away party members but also to your Homestead on the Shelter Plane At The End Of Time.
Personality traits reflect the choices that you make and may shift during the game, depending on your decisions. These personality traits give your characters benefits and penalties. For instance, a Ruthless character gains certain bonuses in combat but becomes more infamous. A Loyal character receives bonuses when fighting back to back, but gets a penalty when trying to flee.800K - Henchmen Become Companions.
Companions will have a background, their own story to tell, their own goals and their own personality. The world and its inhabitants will react to them. The companions have their own dynamic story arc and quests. Their fate will change depending on the party's decisions.
Companions will have their own talents and personal traits, and will affect the party's spirit. A high party spirit means that in combat the party is more efficient.
Companions will be able to stay at the Shelter Plane At The End Of Time. Because it's handy to be able to switch sometimes if the situation calls for another approach...
1M - NPC Schedules, Day/Night Cycles, Weather Systems.
As the ground warms to the rays of the morning sun, NPCs wake up, and start going about their day. When evening falls, they go to their houses, light their candles and fireplaces, then get ready for bed.
The day and night cycles and the moons of Rivellon have an impact on magic and on monsters. The weather changes, and has an impact on the environment and affects magic as well.
And here is a preview of one of Kiril's darfts for a piece of music for the game.
Friday - April 05, 2013
Original Sin - Update #6, Beating the System
In this update for the Divinity:Original Sin Kickstarter, Swen Vincke shows us how he can solve a situation in different ways by manipulating the gameworld.
Thursday - April 04, 2013
Original Sin - Update #5, Shorter Video, Overview of Rewards & Downloads
Update #5 for Divinity: Original Sin brings us an overview of the digital and physical rewards and some downloadable avatars icons and wallpapers.
You want it, you got it: we posted some avatar icons which you can use to customize your portrait here on Kickstarter or on other forums. We also posted two cool wall-papers. Click the links to have a look, and we hope you find at least something to your liking. Look, here's one of them. Completely totally randomly picked. (Well, no, it's my personal favourite really.)
GOG.com,DRM-free digital purveyor of all that's good in gaming, has announced that they will be partnering up with us for Divinity: Dragon Commander and Divinity: Original Sin. That means that if you want, you will be able to get your digital version of Divinity: Original Sin via GOG.com.
They also announced that they’ll be participating in the pre-order campaign for Divinity:Dragon Commander (part of the 65$ tier here on Kickstarter) and to promote it, they will host a live Google+ Hangout On Air Q&A session on Wednesday, 10 April 2013 at 2:00 GMT (10:00 AM EDT), which will reveal new gameplay footage from Divinity: Dragon Commander.
And finally they have a reduced size of the opening video.
Original Sin - 7 Days of Kickstarter
Swen updated his blog with more info on the Kickstarter at the seventh day.
One week – 6666 backers on our Kickstarter – a nice number to post another update on.I am learning so much about our audience by seeing the comments in different channels. The reactions posted are a veritable goldmine of info on who we’re making this for (well at least, the vocal part) and I think it’s safe to say that the ideas we picked up from those posts are already good for quite a few improvements to Divinity:Original Sin. I’m happy with several of the articles that were posted today, especially the ones we didn’t ask for like the one from Eurogamer or this little gem of an interview (in German). Makes all the PR effort feel like it was worth it.-I’m also starting to get the feeling that our entire Kickstarter campaign is going to be good for sales of the final game too as I see awareness is building. That’s bound to help in the end. I learnt a lot about what media matters for these type of things as well as who to avoid in the future. Some people and Larian will never click, fact of life. (Don’t worry Roguey, I didn’t give up on you yet, even if I think the odds are not in my favour)-It’s also been a good test of how our PR/Marketing partnerships in the different territories work. Because we have several approaches for different territories we can make direct comparisons between what works and what doesn’t. Interesting stuff. If I were to do it all again, I’d definitely change my approach – I’ll write about that in a later update when I have more time and once I saw the entire roll-out. But there’s no denying that in making mistakes we learn, and sometimes it’s better to make the mistakes so you can avoid bigger disasters in the future.
Wednesday - April 03, 2013
Original Sin - 5 Days of Kickstarter
Swen Vincke shares some info and statistics in his blog after 5 days of the Kickstarter campaign for Original Sin (which was monday).
This going to be a very short post because I need some sleep, but I just wanted to mention how motivating it is to see all these shows of support and how helpful all our fans and backers have been. I’m exhausted but reaching 63% of our funding goal (252K at present) in 5 days is just amazing and it’s very easy to find energy amidst so much support. And the feedback we’ve received is worth gold – that alone is a reason to do a campaign like this – now I understand what Brian Fargo & the guys at Obsidian were shouting about all the time. It’s one thing to be reading about it, it’s a completely different thing to be in the middle of it. Anyway, that’s it – I actually just wanted to share a few stats from our campaign
The average pledge amount so far is $44.23 (really high imho so we have generous backers). We’ve had 30118 video views and of those 17,78% finished the video, both numbers low imho so we need to do something there. We are now at a conversion rate of 18,9% so that’s dropped but it’s still pretty high.Tomorrow we’re going to launch an update that is going to change our approach a little bit, focussing less on the features of what we’re doing and telling more of the story & world that we’ve been creating. We’ll also modify our rewards as much as we can & introduce a few new things. And, we’ll emphasise single player a bit more – it’s true that we didn’t do that enough whereas it’s actually the most important bit.
And with a bit of luck, there’s also be Dragon Commander news, because obviously, that team hasn’t been sitting idle!
Tuesday - April 02, 2013
Original Sin - Update #4, Reward Updates, Undies, SP Video and Zandalor
The fourth Kickstarter update for Original Sin ($270K out of an asked $400K) brings us new reward updates based on the feedback they received thus making them more attractive, a story by the hand of the resident Divinity mage Zandalor, more on Zandalor's undies and a video showing the single player mode of the game.
Here are a few of the award updates:
Digital Artbook and Digital Map ($75 and up)
If you pledge $75 and up, you will receive the digital artbook and a digital version of the map along with your rewards.
Physical Artbook ($95 and up)
If you pledge $95 or up, and your reward tier contains the physical Collector's Edition Kickstarter Box with printed manual, soundtrack CD and cloth map, this box will also contain a physical artbook!
Name the undead ($125 and up)
The "Name the undead" reward, which is available from $125 onward, will no longer simply be an undead in your personal copy. We will gather names from all supporters that pledged $125 and more, and put them in one big pool. Several undead creatures in the final game (ghosts, skeletons, zombies in all their glorious variations) will pick a random name from this pool.
Design a henchman ($250 and up)
The "Design a henchman" reward, available from $250 onward, has also been upgraded to being included in the final game, and not just your personal copy. That means everybody who plays the game might encounter your henchman.
We will gather names, stats and looks from all supporters that pledged $250 and more, and put them in one big pool of Kickstarter-created henchmen. Everybody will be able to hire these henchmen via representatives of the inter-dimensional mercenaries guild. Depending on your personal preferences (Do you need a healer, a priest, a ranger, a rogue...) the agent will make a recommendation and you will then be able to hire them.
Combo designer ($500 and up)
Concerning the combo designer that starts at $500, here is a clarification. Your item combo will be available to everyone. You will come up with two items combining into one item. You define the use of that item. If we don't have any of these items, we will create them. You will be able to name the items and write its description (lore or history).
Create an item ($1000 and up)
The item you create (starting at $1000) will be a unique item (i.e. it will be a reward for exploring or a quest). There will be some constraints (balancing/type) but we are open minded. If you want a specific flower pot, we'll do that. If you want to create a unique weapon, you can. You will name it, tell us what it should look like, what its stats and special properties are, and you can give it a description (for instance a history).
One of the four statues ($2500 only)
Pledge $2500 and you will become one of the four statues of Prophecy. Yeah, yeah, but we forgot to mention: the statue in the game will be custom modeled so that the 3D model in the game actually looks like you! Oh, we forgot to mention - they are related to the genesis of the mighty Bellegar!
Original Sin - Interview @ The Jace Hall Show
For more Original Sin information you can check out an interview with Swen Vincke on the Jace Hall Show site.
JHS: The disagreement system sounds really interesting. Can you elaborate on this for us briefly?
SV: The idea is to replicate what you have in a traditional pen & paper RPG. There the concept of a party leader isn’t that common and instead it’s the party members as a group that decide what they are going to do. So we allow discussion in the game via the form of interactive dialogs between players. And if you don’t agree with each other, the game looks at your persuasive abilities and you get to choose between for instance intimidation, reasoning or charming. Who wins is decided by your stats (e.g. persuasion+strength=intimidation) But it’s also based on the particular situation. No use charming when you’re trying to figure out which route to take in a dungeon as you’re being hunted by a maniac zombie. The game also remembers the nature of your decisions as personal traits, and this in turn affects the relation between the party members.
And because we have this system to support cooperative play, we can also have an AI control one of the party members if you are playing alone. Which makes for really fun RPG gameplay. You can set the AI’s personality to for instance loyal friend (the other will always do what you want) or mute (you decide on your own) or to another type of personality that doesn’t necessarily agree.
Original Sin - Preview @ Colony of Gamers
Colony of Gamers report in with their opinion on the hands-on session they had for Divinity: Original Sin.
Around the very beginning of the game, as my companion and I wandered around getting our bearings, I found a book next to a corpse. My character read it aloud to the other character: apparently this man leaped from the top of a cliff because his Gods told him if he did, he would fly. My partner's character said that the man was obviously a fool, and I was offered a choice of dialogue options. I could either agree, disagree, or not make up my mind one way or the other. I disagreed, and said that sometimes you have to trust the gods. My character gained two points of Faith, my partner's gained two points of Cynicism.
You can read more about the Party Dialogue System in the Kickstarter, but it was constantly enjoyable to play. When the characters disagree, there's a hidden system that measures their persuasive abilities against one another and you get to see the outcome. There may have been more than one occasion I overruled my partner and insulted some guard's mother just so I could test out the combat system.
Sunday - March 31, 2013
Original Sin - Update #3, FAQ
The first part of the FAQ for Divinity Original Sin has been made available on their Kickstarter page, which explains amongst others these:
Can I back this with PayPal?
We are working on this. It's not difficult to do, but we want to wait a bit because the pledges through PayPal do not count in our Kickstarter total. And we need to figure out the more logistic way of handling the rewards done through PayPal.
Shipping outside US? I thought you were from Belgium? That's Europe!
Yes, but we're on the US Kickstarter, and the only options we have, are "No Shipping", "US Shipping", and "Non-US Shipping". We are looking into a solution for this. If we can organize shipping within Europe, and the costs are lowered, we will change that.
Do monsters level up or become stronger the bigger your party is?
No. Monsters do not scale to your level. If you are level 1 and you see a level 10 monster: run. If you are trying to take on 10 monsters all by yourself while the rest of your party is somewhere else: good luck. Combat is balanced against a party.
If you want to try it with one party member, and succeed, you'll get all the XP. (Total XP is shared over the party.)
Saturday - March 30, 2013
Original Sin - 3 Days of Kickstarter
Swen Vincke is providing some insights on the Kickstarter campaign for Divinity: Original Sin on his blog.
Personally, I think we can still have a campaign that can go way beyond our funding goal, though admittedly, we will need to fix a few obvious things (well, they’re obvious now ) like the rewards, part of the story we tell (less features, more who and why), and what happens if we fail in this Kickstarter. Thank you to DarkUnderlord,Robcat and the rest of the gang for helping us get these insights btw.
When I look at the stats of the videos: we have 4452 backers out of 22344 video views at this moment. That means that 1 in 5 people who see the video are backing it. I think that’s an incredible conversion rate, so I’d think that even if we don’t change anything in the messaging, if we manage to get more people to see our page, we could reach our goal in no time. Something to work on.
Original Sin - Update #2, Rewards and a Video
Update 2 for Divinity: Original Sin has been made availabe at the 50% funding mark (currently at $205K). In it a new early bird reward is announced.
As a token of appreciation to all our fans who pledged already (and the ones we hope are going to pledge in the very near future) we’re giving away Zandalor’s trunks of epic intelligence to the first 5000 backers! Wear these and you’ll be able to discover an easter egg in the final version of the game – but beware, these trunks are rumored to have an opinon about things! (Item does not unbalance the game.)
This piece of concept art shows these trunks off. As to Sir John himself, I don't know if he, or his utility-belt-system, is still in.
Friday - March 29, 2013
Original Sin - Update #1, Editor, Add-ons and Translations
The first update for the Divinity: Original Sin update is online and it brings us more information on the editor with a video showing more details.
Furthermore they now offer the opportunity to update your pledge.
On popular demand, we have decided to enable backers to tailor their reward tier.
How do you do this? You add one (or more) of the following amounts to your pledge and you keep your selected reward tier. If (think positive: when!) this Kickstarter is successful, we will contact you so that you can specify what add-on(s) you wish to receive. We may add stuff to this list if the comments demand it so ;-)
Digital add-ons require a base pledge of $25. Physical add-ons require a physical tier (starting at $65).
Divine Divinity (our first Divinity game from 2002) Digital Version : add $5
Digital Artbook featuring the Art of Divinity Original Sin: add $8
Digital Map of the World of Divinity Original Sin: add $8
Digital Soundtrack of Divinity Original Sin: add $10
Extra Digital Copy of Divinity Original Sin : add $20
Beta Access for Divinity Original Sin : add $20
Alpha Access for Divinity Original Sin: add $50
T-Shirt of Divinity Original Sin : add $25
An Extra Box Copy with Printed Manual of Divinity Original : add $40
Original Sin - Video Interview
Dagon from Dagon's Lair let us know that they did a video interview with Swen Vincke on Divinity: Original Sin. The interview is in French, but it has English subtitles.
Thursday - March 28, 2013
Original Sin - Hands On @ RPS
Rock, Paper, Shotgun's Adam Smith provides his hands-on experiences with Divinity: Original Sin.
And that’s why I ended up leading a group of monsters into the marketplace, watching the vendors flee in terror even as the guards drew their weapons and prepared to fight. I look forward to advancing my character, building a personality and gathering loot when I play the game in the discomfort of my home, but on that day I was more interested in seeing just how much Original Sin’s world would stretch and engage with my efforts to play. I wasn’t disappointed. Original Sin may have clever co-op conversations and a huge open world but it’s also a game that has been built to be broken.
Rather than providing specific stage directions for every eventuality, Larian tag and code their world and its inhabitants, instructing every element how to react to the players’ presence and actions. That’s why it’s not only possible to ignore the main quest and head into the wilds, it’s also possible to involve NPCs in your own subplots, simply by having the systems that drive them collide and intertwine. The reactions to the situations you concoct may be less perfectly executed than a cutscene containing a motion captured and fully-voiced argument involving Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, but Robert Zemeckis will be bringing that to the cinema in his take on Don Quixote (Stewart is the windmill). Original Sin isn’t about perfect execution, it’s about a world that reacts, providing all manner of possibilities, from tactical use of artificial behaviour to accidental farce and disaster.
Original Sin - Two Other Previews
Here are two other reviews of Divinity: Original Sin.
Larian will be the first to admit that we didn’t really get the time we needed to fully experience Divinity: Original Sin. I did get a good impression of the depth, scale, and combat mechanics, though. What I saw was a deeply impassioned team who, it seems, are building a game as a response to a dry spell in RPG’s within the last few years. Divinity: Original Sin clearly isn’t being built as merely a good Divinity game, it’s being built as a good RPG in its own right. It’s not a spin-off, and it’s not the bare necessities. The scale and richness of Original Sin‘s game-world was a breath of fresh air, and whilst the combat handed my ass to me literally on the first fight, it’s because I sucked – not because the game was unfair or unbalanced. I need to get better at Original Sin. It doesn’t seem to be pandering to anyone, and that doesn’t mean it’s stubborn and arrogant, it means that Larian knows what makes a good RPG, and they know there’s a demographic for that. Prepare to be reintroduced to RPG’s.
The first thing I noticed about combat is that it was turn-based. Using an initiative system, turns are carried out by using action points from a combination of movement, attacking, or using magic and items. I moved to an enemy, which drained a few actions points, then attacked with the rest of them. On my next turn, I decided to give my fire spell a whirl. To my horror, I aimed the spell incorrectly and ended up setting flame to both myself and our enemies. The person playing with me decided to cast ice on the floor on his turn, and I promptly slipped on it on my turn (yes there is friendly fire). I melted the ice with fire, creating a puddle. Craftily, my ally electrocuted the puddle and made a sizzling trap. After the combat ended, I marveled at all of the different things we had done with the environment and spells. There is true potential here for two players to really plan out strategy, and thanks to the turn-based combat, take the time to plan out moves carefully. It is a system that I have always thought would translate well into a cooperative format, and I can’t wait to play more.
Wednesday - March 27, 2013
Original Sin - How I Caused a Kickstarter to Launch
Swen Vincke has written an article on his blog with information on the launch of the Kickstarter for Divinity: Original Sin.
And you are doing this without any notable PR ? Are you bananas ?
And you’re doing this during the week of GDC and PAX ?
it’s a long story…
Since I don’t have that much time right now because I find myself doing plenty of work I thought I was only going to be doing next week, I’ll keep it short, but it is worth writing about.
You see, we didn’t plan on announcing our Kickstarter today. But somebody else decided for us, and that somebody was…
Yes, the Myrthos from RPGWatch, my first stop in the morning to get my RPG news. He wrote a really positive hands-on article about Divinity: Original Sin (calling it Divine Divinity on steroids) for which we’re really grateful, but…
He published it today!
And… we only expected it to be published once the Kickstarter page was live, next week…
Everything suddenly went into overdrive. Now for clarity, Myrthos is not to blame – it’s bad communication on our side combined with the complexities of running a Kickstarter campaign from Belgium that caused this, but that’s a different story altogether. But still, it did leave us with a major problem.
To be honest I don't recall it being under embargo. I have several hours of audio recordings I went through for the article and it wasn't on those either. The only embargo was on not mentioning the Kickstarter itself.
It's a good thing I am very slow in making my articles I suppose.
Original Sin - Kickstarter Launched
A Kickstarter has been launched for Divinity: Original Sin. This is a Kickstarter for a game that will be released anyway, so why take this step you might wonder. They have some very valid reasons for this. The main one being that they are making a good game with the funds they have, but with additional funds they can turn it into an even better game. These are some of the details on their motiviations for starting this Kickstarter:
At the end of 2010, in no small part thanks to the success of the previous Divinity games, we finally earned sufficient money to start working on our brainchild on our own, and we decided to become a self-publishing studio.
Fast-forward two years (big RPGs take time to make). Today we are nearing the end of our development cycle and when we look at what we've created so far, we think that we have in our hands the best RPG Larian Studios has ever created. But, we also have the feeling that our job isn't done yet. The game systems we put in place have a lot of potential and because it took us quite some time to create them, we haven't been able to use them to their fullest yet.
That's why we're looking to increase the size of our development team. And because our budget is finite, we decided to come to Kickstarter to ask for your help.
We want to increase the development budget so we can increase the size of our development team. This in turn will allow us to further increase the amount of gameplay present in our game world. We are convinced that we are very close to making a great RPG and we want to rise to the occasion by investing everything we can into it. So far the game has been funded by investors and by our own funds, but we have reached the limit of what we can do on our own. Here's where your help becomes very valuable. Here's where you can make the difference.
Without your support, we think that the result of our efforts will make for a good RPG, but with a bigger budget we'll be able to go the extra mile, and accomplish our full vision for the game, as fantastic as it deserves to be.
RPGWatch Feature: Original Sin - Second Preview
I had the opportunity to play Divinity: Original Sin at Larian Studios a few weeks ago and my findings of that visit can be found in this article.
One thing that has completely changed during the last year is the background story. There are two main characters, a man and a woman, who are both students at the headquarters of the Source Hunters. This organization has been created by the council of seven to ban the use of Source, which is used for magic. The reason for this is that even though Source can be used for good, it can also be used for evil. The Source Hunters are responsible for locating the users of Source and stopping them from using it again.
Tuesday - March 19, 2013
Original Sin - Attack of Opportunity
Larian Studios showed on their facebook page that Divinity: Original Sin now supports attack of opportunity.
We've been implementing the Attack of Opportunity mechanic in the game and we'd like to give you a little sneak peek. The indicators on the ground are still in infamous 'programmer art' but with that in mind; here's what it looks like (for now):
Friday - February 01, 2013
Original Sin - Preview @ Buffed
A lengthy preview of Divinity Original Sin is available on Buffed.de. It is in german, so if you do not master the language you might want to try the google translation, but as usual it gives some real odd translations.
They are very pleased with what they saw, but what the preview also mentions is that part of the funding for Origin of Sin will be from a Kickstarter campaign that is supposedly to start a few months before the currently scheduled release date of September/October.
Thursday - January 17, 2013
Original Sin - Primary Stat Discussion
I'm a little surprised this hasn't been long settled but Lar posted a new thread on the Larian forums a few days back for feedback on the primary stats in Original Sin:
Every single RPG we make we have these huge discussions about what primary stats we should expose to players for putting points in. Routinely, these discussions happen multiple times during development and we change our minds all the time, and for DOS it's not been no different. Given how long some of you have been active here and the amount of ideas you gave us already, I think it's only sensible to have you also part of the debate so please let me know your thoughts on the following set of stats, taking intou account that this is a turn-based game. Let us know what you think each stat does, which stat you'd really like to add and which one you think really sucks.
I on purpose don't list what they're intended to mean in DOS, because I'm curious about your initial response to them. For the same reason I'll leave it up to your imaginations which primary stat affects what secondary stat.The secondary stats btw (i.e. the ones impacted by the above, but also by items/equipment & spells/skills) are
Plenty of resistances
Cost of movement
Chance to hit (melee/ranged)
Chance to be hit(melee/ranged)
Damage absorption (melee/ranged/magic)
Critical hit chance/damage
and then also a whole bunch of things you'd probably call perks or abilities (Lockpicking, trading, convincing, luck etc...)
I might have forgotten a few but it's the primary ones I'm really curious about. As further info, we're thinking of only giving ONE stat point per level, and capping the primary stats at 15 or 20, giving you X points to start with (e.g. 30)
Let us know your thoughts and thx in advance for the feedback!
Tuesday - January 08, 2013
Original Sin - Ideas for Weapon Types?
From the Divinity: Original Sins forums:
We've already launched the question on our facebook page, but we thought our regular forumites might have something to say on the subject:
Anyone have any input on extra weapon types for Original Sin?
Tuesday - November 27, 2012
Original Sin - Brief Look by Examiner
A very short look into the current development status of Divinity Original Sin is to be found on the Examiner site. It is based on the internal review meeting video, so does not give much new information beyond that. Although I do think that Larian Studios never committed to the release date of Q1. I belief they had that for the release of Dragon Commander.
It's not a terribly long video, but it shows off a surprising amount of the game (albeit not in high quality, as it is a video recording rather than actual game footage capture). And the team's discussion as the video progresses is pretty hilarious. They hate how the seagulls look. They think the southern area of the game's world is just about ready for prime time, but the northern area currently only offers a mediocre play experience...and evidently looks very pretty.
Thursday - November 22, 2012
Original Sin - Thanksgiving Special
Larian Studios are showing us in this Thanksgiving video how hard live is on Turkeys in Rivellon, but that you have a choice to let it live or die.
Wednesday - November 21, 2012
Original Sin - Internal Review Meeting
Larian Studios gives us some insights into an internal review of Divinity: Original Sin with the developers:
Every week, Larian Studios organizes review meetings to evaluate the progress of the games. Here's a sneak peek at last week's review meeting for Original Sin.
Wednesday - November 07, 2012
Original Sin - Level Design Comparison Video
Larian has kicked up a very short bit of Divinity: Original Sin footage to show "the progress our designers have been making".
Tuesday - November 06, 2012
Original Sin - Early Look @ Indie Game Magazine
Indie Game Magazin has an early (and short) look on Divinity: Original Sin, the game currently in development by Larian Studios. There is no new info as far as I know, but it might refresh your memory on the game.
Divinity: Original Sin is Larian Studios‘ first turn-based game in the Divinity series. Previously, publishers had disallowed the team to develop a turn-based strategy title, so Larian Studios decided to make one on their own.
Larian Studios promises class-free character customization, allowing player to play the game however they wish. Divinity: Original Sin focuses heavily on co-op gameplay, as there are two heroes and an interesting dialogue-choice mechanic that allows both players to select different dialogue choices, with the computer randomly selecting decisions when both parties are split. This is very similar to what was seen in last year’s Star Wars: The Old Republic.
As seen in the gameplay teaser, items can be combined in a variety of ways, for a variety of outcomes. “If it’s not nailed to the ground,” says Larian Studios, “it can be moved, used, or combined.” Ontop of in-game interactivity, Larian Studios is also including a level designer within Divinity: Original Sin that will allow players to construct and share their own levels.
Wednesday - October 31, 2012
Original Sin - Haloween Pumpkin
On his blog Swen Vincke has a short item about Haloween and that you can use item combination on a pumpkin in Divinity: Original Sin.
Where I grew up, the concept of Halloween festivities was completely alien. We had things like All Saints and All Souls days, but those were very serious affairs. That’s clearly changed now, and having 4 kids of which at least 3 remind me regularly that it’s Halloween ensures that I cannot escape the party, but to be honest, I still haven’t figured out why people say Happy Halloween. I tried wikipedia, but tbh, that didn’t really educate me on why it’s a party.
I do like the pumpkin thing however – so much that we did this with them in Divinity: Original Sin (edit: for some reason video links aren’t working in WordPress, so I put a link to facebook for the time being) – and now we’re looking for some inspiration as to what special powers this particular item combination will give you. Anybody who comes up with an idea that gets implemented, gets a Larian pumpkin !!!
And, happy Halloween to you all
Thursday - October 25, 2012
Original Sin - Interview With David Walgrave @ Gaming Bolt
Gaming Bolt talked to David Walgrave, producer for this game. They talk about the
dynamic ascpects of the game, the attitude and reputation as well as various spells in
the game - and much much more. An excerpt about the story and narration:
Rashid Sayed: Given that story and narration are an important aspect of role playing games, what steps is the development team taking so that Divinity: Original Sin tells a cohesive and an interesting plot?
David Walgrave: We have the main story pretty much written. The main story and the main characters can be explained in one or two pages, depending on how much detail you want. I believe we have a very interesting main plot with lots of secrets, surprises, and plot twists to keep the player interested and entertained. We try to make sure that all the sub-quests, non-main characters and storylines on the side, have something to do with the main story. They add color to it, make it richer, give it a background. The player doesn’t need all this information to understand or finish the story, but they all do add credibility to the main story and makes the world feel as one big whole.
A quote about the attitude system:
How does the attitude system work? Is it totally reliant on the options the user selects?
Actually, there is attitude and there is reputation. Attitude is personal, individual: everyone in the world has a different attitude towards you. You can have a direct impact on that depending on your actions. Everyone has an initial attitude which defines whether they will fight you or help you in a fight, or whether they’re simply neutral. For instance, merchants are neutral. If you trade often with one specific merchant, he will start recognizing you as a returning customer, and he will start liking you. That affects his prices. If you tick him off, you can offer him more money or trade something for less money than it’s worth, and that will raise his attitude towards you again.
Wednesday - October 24, 2012
Original Sin - About the Advantages of the PC
In a sneak preview of a yet to be published interview, David Walgrave, producer of Divinity: Original Sin, talks about the advantages of working on the PC.
“It’s probably a very personal opinion, but I find interacting with the world and the user interfaces a lot more intuitive on a PC,” he said.
“I just asked a programmer’s opinion, and he says developing for PC is more flexible, more forgiving. It’s a more open platform where it’s easier to do something the way you want it to, rather than having to do it the way the console expects you to do it. On PC, you don’t need to adhere to TCRs and other specific requirements and expectations.
“The hardware limitations of a console not only have an impact on textures and framerates, they are also limiting the amount of different characters and items you can put in a region. Development cycles on a PC are faster too. Developing tools, testing out something, all that goes faster. On a console, you need to build to specific formats. On PC, you define these yourself.”
Thursday - August 30, 2012
Original Sin - Gamescom Screens
Larian has updated their Divinity: Original Sin Facebook page with some screens from Gamescom - worth a look if you haven't seen the latest ones.
Wednesday - August 08, 2012
Original Sin - Preview @ PC Gamer
PC Gamer serves up a preview of Divinity: Original Sin that originated in the print magazine, which probably means there is nothing new here, but fans might want to check it out. On the co-op conversation system:
Conversations require dual input. I’m shown an example: both characters are informed of a drug problem among the wollock (think kobolds, but taller) population. Sven and Original Sin producer David Walgrave pinpoint the illegal source of drudanae (Rivellon’s take on class A drugs) to a nearby house. After some mild home invasion, the source of the stuff emerges as a local woman. She gives both players the choice: to turn her in, or to help her out, clearing a nearby cave of enemies, sorting her woes and curtailing the drug trade in one move. Sven sticks rigidly to the law, choosing when called first in conversational order to hand her over to the fantasy fuzz. His partner swings the other way, preferring to go adventuring and clearing the woman’s name in the process. Sven considers it for a moment, before acquiescing, via written dialogue, to his pal’s decision. If they’d disagreed, the decision would be down to a roll against both characters’ charisma stats.
Sunday - July 01, 2012
Original Sin - Swen Vincke Interviewed by TotalBiscuit @ Youtube
Total Biscuit sat down with Swen Vincke from Larian Studios and talked about their two new games: Divine Divinity:Original Sin and their RTS game Dragon Commander. It runs for 28 minutes and is audio only; footage from the two games are shown.
The interview covers choices and consequences in the game, the co-op gameplay, the editor and the turn-based combat.
Source: RPG Codex
Sunday - June 24, 2012
Original Sin - Preview @ Gamercast
Gamercast has a preview for this game.
A quote about the combat system:
Contrary to their previous games, Original Sin features turn-based combat and is fuelled by action points that determine a players ability to move, attack, and even equip items and use skills. To add a bit of variation, in combat your most useful weapon is not some fancy sword or magic, but your environment; barrels of oil can be split open and set alight, water can be turned to ice, you can even make it rain to your advantage, however your enemy will also use the environment against you, so if you do not act fast you may well find yourself in a sticky situation.
A quote on how Larian sees the digital version:
What is very exciting, and different about Divinity: Original Sin is that the developers see it as the digital version of a pen and paper roleplaying game, which in essence is a very cool idea, and they see it as a potential couch co-op where players work together for a variety of systems, more importantly the unique conversation system that hopes to emulate the group conversations that would take place in a roleplaying game. When one player starts up a conversation everyone can get involved, make their own choices and start long dialogues with each other in real life pertaining the the questionable choices they have made in game, suddenly Original Sin is not just a game where three clients play with the host, but where four players play as a real group.
Thursday - June 21, 2012
Original Sin - Preview @ Kotaku
Our reader Jonathan points out a preview of Divinity: Original Sin that can be found @ Kotaku.
But for all that Original Sin looks to return to the franchise's RPG roots, there are key differences. Divine Divinity and the games that came after featured a Diablo-esque "click it until it's dead" kind of combat, to go along with their class-free leveling. Original Sin chooses to forgo the free-for-all killfest of its predecessors, instead opting for turn-based combat.
And of course, for turn-based combat, you really need a party. And that's the other place where Original Sin deviates from the franchise's tried-and-true pattern: there are two player characters, not one, and they travel together at all times.
The pairing of two characters—one male, one female, each with some kind of "dark secret" in their past for the story to uncover—worried me greatly. Larian has tried this once before, with Beyond Divinity. It did not go well. Larian head Sven Vincke grimaced when I mentioned Beyond Divinity, and acknowledged that the ideas hadn't worked well. This game, he promised, is different. And the studio has learned from the past.
Wednesday - June 06, 2012
Original Sin - Preview @ Destructoid
Destructoid offers a look at Divinity: Original Sin:
As one might expect, the battles are no less strategic. Turn-based conflicts were decided upon in order to emphasize the need for strategy, and otherwise difficult fights can be made far easier with a little forward planning. One presented scenario involved a room with a giant skeletal robot, and healing shaman, a gang of skeleton warriors and suicide bombers. One player snuck around the group while the other shot an oil barrel with a fireball. The barrel exploded, causing the suicide bombers to blow up and take out half the opposition. Then he shot an electric bolt at a puddle near the skeletal robot, but the puddle was too small to reach it. Cue the second player, who cast a spell that made it rain, extending the reach of the puddle and bringing it to the enemy's foot, which was then stunned by the current running through the water.
Tuesday - June 05, 2012
Original Sin - Preview @ IGN
IGN takes a look at Divinity: Original Sin, though I can't see anything new if you've seen the developer video or read our own article. A sample:
This kind of incredibly in depth development extends to the combat, too. Despite being turn based, it’s impressively fluid, based heavily around use and manipulation of the elements. Cast a rain spell and you’ll create a puddle that can then be electrified, evaporated or frozen, each with their own appropriate effects. There’s even the threat of slipping up on the ice, knocking yourself over for a turn. Despite being relatively simple with its elements, it’s obvious that there is that breadth of experimentation that made, say, Magicka so successful.
Wednesday - May 30, 2012
Original Sin - Site Launched, Developer Video, Blog
Larian has launched the official site for Divinity: Original Sin, featuring a 4:30 developer walkthrough video - a must see for anyone interested in the game. Swen Vincke and producer David play through some sections in multiplayer, demonstrating the interaction, dialogue system, combat and more.
Swen Vincke also posts on his blog about some of the history leading up to the development, their motivation for some of the features and fans' reactions (there's also a list of international previews for those who want to read a press article in their native tongue):
And then, came Divinity II. That one too was supposed to have multiplayer (I have a video from a prototype of that which I’m trying to find so I can post it here). Sadly the multiplayer was scratched when the publisher realized what costs this would bring on the QA front, especially on console. In hindsight, given the effort it took to get Divinity II ready, they were probably right about canceling the multiplayer, but that didn’t prevent me from feeling frustrated about the entire thing, because that was the third time.
So now that we’re finally publishing ourselves, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that multiplayer was one of the very first things on the list. The why of it is quite simple – I really miss a RPG where you can play together with a friend, and discuss how you’re going to handle things. Nobody’s really pulled that off decently in my mind, so I wanted to give it a shot. Personally, I’m hoping that the editor that ships with the game will be good enough to seed a productive modding community, so that I can finally play one of my own games without knowing what’s going to happen & this together with my girlfriend. [...]
On the benefits the MP dialogue system brings to SP:
Also, don’t underestimate what we can do with a system like this in single-player. If you make a storyline where you ensure that there’s always the opportunity for interactions between party-members to be potentially conflicting, you can make good use of that in single player too.
...and on being turn-based:
Active-pause was considered for some time (and we actually started out like this), but in my heart I really wanted to make one of those games that has epic tactical battles, where you really have to think how you’re going to defeat the enemy. And because I’m occasionally very impulsive, one morning I stormed into the office and told the team that we were going to ditch all the hack & slash stuff and go for turn-based. I was ready to go all despot on them should I encounter any resistance, but to my surprise, they were actually quite supportive of that idea. Then I discovered they were a little bit too supportive, because before I knew it I had an ultra-hardcore system on my plate. Eventually we settled on something that I think is quite accessible, but still offers plenty of opportunity for tactical depth.
Monday - May 28, 2012
RPGWatch Feature - Divinity: Original Sin Preview
Larian Studios is working on a new Divinity game, which we had the opportunity to see. A game that brings us back to playing style we know from the original Divine Divinity - but with a few surprises...who would have expected a turn-based Divinity game?
A few weeks ago I was invited by Swen Vincke to visit Larian Studios and have a look at both Dragon Commander and their newDivinity game. I did not want to let that opportunity pass, so a week later I drove to their studio in Gent (Belgium). I didn’t go their unprepared but came with a list of question about Divinity 3, like what improvements were made to dragon flight, if the dragon had ground combat, if the game would go in the same direction as its predecessor or be less of an action game and many questions more. A list I quickly found out was useless as they are not makingDivinity 3; they are making Divinity: Original Sin - a prequel toDivine Divinity - a game that inherits everything that was good from the first Divinity, adds a lot of new features to enhance it even further and is Swen's hope to getting his Ultima VII vibe back. It was quite an amazing experience.