Divinity: Original Sin - All News
Thursday - April 03, 2014
Original Sin - Post-Funding Update #58
As could be expected the news of the beta is followed by a Kickstarter update.
First of all: as promised the beta is now Steam Early Access. Grab your keys from the Larian Vault, and go try it out. The game isn’t finished yet; we still have a lot of balancing, bugfixing and tweaking on our plate, but it’s a big step up from the alpha and there’s plenty of new stuff for you to discover.
As per usual, we’re eager to hear your feedback and our excel sheets are at the ready to tweak and balance the millions of stats that define your RPG experience behind the scenes.
If you’re curious what’s in the beta and don’t have the time to discover them all on your own, there are over 400 improvements and a host of new features:
- 28 exciting new talents, including fun things like the Lone Wolf perk, which gives an avatar super abilities, but makes it impossible for him or her to hire a companion(s)
- More than 60 new skills, allowing for a new brand of synergies, such as combining Invisibility with Pickpocketing
- A new Witchcraft skilltree that can be combined with other skills to deadly effect • New areas to explore, new foes to fight, new items to find & new secrets to discover
- A brand new character creation screen with new presets such as Shadowblade and Wayfarer, and an enormous amount of customisation options.
- More environmental interactions – you can smash or burn doors, pickpocket characters & use staffs to electrify pools of water. Or how about burning wooden chests to get the loot inside?
- Improved AI, user interface, graphics, loading times, performance and stability mean playing Divinity: Original Sin has never been this smooth
- A truckload of new sound effects & music tracks
If you want to see the full report, go and have a look at the changelist.
Swen also explains what they will be working on next in this video.
Original Sin - Goes Beta
The Early Access of Divinity Original Sin has turned from Alpha to Beta yesterday on Steam with a big list of changes accompanying it. I did notice that my beta key on the Larian Vault has not been enabled yet though.
Here is a list with only a part of the changes, as the list is too long:
- Added pickpocket mechanic
- Added more crafting mechanics
- Much more accurate picking
- Added "guard" feature. This will delay your turn until the end of the round
- Added a large amount of new statusses
- Added environment/weather system
- Added a lot of new AI routines to give more intelligence to NPCs and enemies
- You can hit surfaces with melee weapons now.
- A lot of enhancements to pathfinding
- Poison clouds will react to fire damage now
- NPCs can use cone based spells now
- Added new SSAO option
- Added Chat UI
- Added invulnerable status
- Added CanSee and CanShoot calls to AI
- Show game over screen when players are dead
- Sitting or sleeping now heals the character
- NPCs can open doors now
- Added correct descriptions to potions and consume results
- Added new shovel system
- Show overhead text on answers of other players in multiplayer
- Character can enter sneak now in combat
- Added touch skill animations
- Added file packing to further decrease load times
- Added continue button to main menu
- Completely revised character creation system
- Added first tutorial system
- Added system to better manage status visuals
- Added Ash and Ice death models
- Oil will slow players down
- You can start a single- or multiplayer game
- Added effect when hitting with elemental damage weapons
- Added camera interpolation system
- Added texture packer to decrease load times
- Added rain of arrows skill
- Added trap detection talent
- Physics for character will animate now
- Added weatherproof talent
- Added Vase container
- Added new cursors for ground attacks
- Added toggle armour to character creation screen
- Added 3D scene to main menu
- Added system to highlight all characters in you view
- The camera will focus better now on events happening during combat
- Added intro video
Update: Here is the accompanying video.
Wednesday - April 02, 2014
Original Sin - Twitch TV Session Summary
A brave Larian forum member has summarized the recent Twitch TV session for the beta version, just in case you missed the session.
Here is something on the starting classes that you can choose from:
Wizard – Focuses entirely on magic.
Battlemage – Crossbreed between a wizard and a warrior. Melee attacks and spell-weaving.
Cleric – Hard-hitting healer.
Enchanter – Control mage - Crowd control spells.
Fighter – Straight-up fighter.
Knight – A Fighter who can heal and inspire fellows. has the Courageous talent (Cannot be Feared).
Ranger – ranger, focuses on ranged weapons
Rogue – backstabber (starts with invisibility spell, lockpicking, sneaking)
Shadowblade – Rogue/assassin who knows magic.
Wayfarer – a ranger/mage hybrid
Witch – focuses on darker magic, curses, necromancy
The Wizard and Witch classes weren't explicitly mentioned, but the first is in, and the second probably is as well.
Monday - March 31, 2014
Original Sin - Twitch TV Session Today
Lar and Forktong will play the beta of Divinity Original Sin today at 18.00 hours CET on Twitch.TV. You can see them play and ask them questions at the same time.
Original Sin - Preview @ Pixel Perfect Gaming
Pixel Perfect Gaming has posted a preview/review of the Alpha version of Divinity: Original Sin,. The writer is pleased with game and even adds a score of 5/5.
Just remember the game is not released yet, and is entering Beta.
Divinity: Original Sin is an outstanding game that does the series justice. It maintains all the beauty of the previous releases without compromising their integrity, and it delivers the type of gameplay that strategy gamers crave.
Friday - March 28, 2014
Original Sin - Post-Funding Update #57
Larian Studios have just announced in a Kickstarter update that next week will be the week the beta of Divinity Original Sin will become available.
This year, April is bringing more than mere showers: The beta version of Divinity: Original Sin is nearly ready for launch and will hit Steam the week of April 1 (no jokes!).
Those of you who have been making careful rounds of the alpha world will be excited to find the following:
- New region unlocks
- Hugely expanded character creation options, including visuals and presets
- Tons of new talents
- A new cache of new skills and spells
- Better AI and new enemy tactics
- Hundreds of bugfixes
- New and upgraded visuals, special effects, and music
- Improved loading times and stability
- Improved cooperative dialog systems
To explain lots more about what's going on in the beta, Swen did a tour of the office and let the developers speak for themselves about what their departments have been up to:
If you watch the video, you'll find a nugget of wistfulness among the litany of good news:
Some bad news can be found in the message as well as they had to drop day/night cycles due to time and budget constraints. Swen talks more in his blog about the difficult decision this was.
My main regret for D:OS is that we didn’t manage to do the day/night cycles. Killing your darlings never is fun, but it is an inevitable part of production. I guess we always figured that, if anything, this would be the one we’d cut. Up until not-so-long ago however, I did have some hope that we were still going to be able to make it happen.
Some have always considered overestimation driven by a good dose of optimism to be Larian’s biggest “problem,” but to be quite honest, I’ve never agreed. Instead, I’ve always thought of it as one of our best qualities.
“Who dares, wins,” “Optimism is a moral duty,” “No sweat no glory” – these are all part of the ideas at the core of Larian’s credo. We tend to feel that something that looks almost impossible deserves its fair chance at being realized. As long as we can put an adverb like “almost” in front of the “impossible”.
The thing that forced our hand in the end is the size of our buglist. Despite having made quite a few RPGs already, I’m still impressed by what’s being reported.
It’s not the quantity that’s scary per se (we’re used to large numbers like this, and we are making an RPG, after all) – but the types of bugs we’re seeing are in a category of their own.
The freedom we give players, coupled with the fact that we are introducing a unique type of cooperative multiplayer, makes for a very complicated quality assurance experience. You just have to look at a few of the “Let’s Play” videos to see that the level of imagination of players apply to abusing our game is boundless.
If you’ve been following my blog a bit, you’ll know I wouldn’t want to have it any other way. Being able to not only handle but encourage this abuse is what makes Divinity: Original Sin unique.
But sometimes, when I’m really tired, I silently wonder…
Maybe we should’ve gone for linear storytelling through fixed cut scenes with nice, easily manageable bottlenecks.
And oh yeah, maybe we shouldn’t have allowed the player to kill everybody.
Or steal quest items.
Or do everything in whatever sequence they want to…
Life would be so much easier.
But then I watch another one of those “Let’s Play” videos, and I know it’s worth every bit of effort. You may think I’m joking, but that’s really how it goes– I’m quite obsessed with this game but I constantly question what we’re doing so I often need to re-convince myself.
That’s why it took a lot for me to commit to dropping the day/night schedules and stick with the NPC routines we have now.
The money we received from Kickstarter and Steam Early Access has gone a very long way to improve the overall game experience and we could never have made a game with such a deep and involved RPG experience if it wouldn’t have been for our backers.
It makes it all the more difficult to disappoint those who were looking forward to NPC schedules reacting to day/night. But the realization that we need all of our energy to polish the game is strong.
We do not want to release a game that has as many bugs as Divinity II: Ego Draconis had upon release; that would lead to an even bigger disappointment. When people install the release version of Divinity: Original Sin, we want them to have fun right away and not have to worry about technical issues. Entertaining people is why we’re in this industry.
Thursday - March 20, 2014
Original Sin - Going for the Kill
Although no reference to a game is given, this video shows an animation of what the author of the video (jesse Cox) did when he played Original Sin at Larian's. He went about and killed everyone and everything that could give him a quest.
Wednesday - March 12, 2014
Original Sin - Preview @ Red Bull
Red Bull has taken a closer look at Divinity Original Sin and liked what they saw. The article combines a preview and an interview with Larian Studios' Swen Vincke.
Which isn't to say that Original Sin has to be played with diplomacy foremost in mind. Even in its alpha stage of development, the all-important combat system ticks the two critical boxes for any modern top-down RPG: good looks and complexity. This being a game about magic and wizards, brawls between our heroes and the trolls, zombies and mean-spirited wizards they encounter are all fireballs zinging back and forth, things exploding with lightning and glowing buff spells that heal allies or put them out if they should catch fire (which, as protagonists in a fantasy game, they frequently will).
But the spells and their different elemental effects are there to do more than just look slick. In the gameplay demo we see, the two heroes are badly outnumbered (and outgunned) by a Fire Elemental and an undead horde of zombies and ambulatory skeletons. One player summons an Ice Elemental – a towering frozen bullet-sponge who does a good job distracting the enemies and soaking up all their arrows and destructive magic for all of one turn, before it explodes into shards under the punishment.
Monday - March 10, 2014
Original Sin - Video Preview @ Video Gamer
Video Gamer has a new video preview for Divinity: Original Sin that wonders if the game is the saviour of the Classic RPG. So whats your opinion on the topic everyone?
Divinity: Original Sin is Larian Studio's attempt to reinvent the old-school turn based RPG. This ambitious Kickstarter funded project has been available on Steam early-access since January, so Jim decided to see how it was coming along.
Saturday - March 08, 2014
Original Sin - Post-Funding Update # 56
Larian Studios has posted the next post-funding update for Divinity: Original Sin. The update talks about the game delay. and a new Alpha update.
Spring is coming, but an alpha update is here.
In nature, the coming of spring is marked by longer days, warmer afternoons, and sightings of the first tender sprouts of nature's bounty.
At Larian Studios, the coming of spring is marked by impatient emails, a QA department inching rapidly toward the dark side of the Smeagol-Gollum continuum, and a wild Swen who's managed to replace most of his bodily fluids with caffeinated beverages.
Nevertheless, we're very happy to bring a new alpha/ Early Access update implementing lots of community feedback and revealing a variety of new features, improvements, and system enhancements.
Furthermore, we're excited to share two "spoiler" videos from the press discussing the game at length and showcasing several never-before-seen regions.
And stay tuned! This will be the last update before we make a new region of Cyseal, featuring new characters, combat, and (main) questing available for the alpha.
They also posted a new update video with some information on the the changes.
- Enemies now enjoy smarter target selection, meaning you'll no longer reap the benefits of what you thought was simple orcish idiocy.
- Combat now offers decreased experience points. You'll have to flex your muscles a bit more to get that next level-up! In addition, fewer ability points may mean an existential crisis (and a push to explore, fight, and quest even more) for the wizard who dreamed of being a charming, telekinetic, body-building powerhouse.
- You'll be able to plan fireball launches, winter blasts, and earthquakes with more precision now that skill previews have been implemented, meaning you'll see exactly how and where your spell will launch before you commit to it.
New (unfinished, but still very cool) music added
The hills are alive with the sound of Kirill! Our composer has leant some new music tracks for this update. Expect further improvements before launch, but these should add some new flavour to the areas you'll be exploring.
Statuses! Statuses everywhere!
Stoic heroes be damned! Now you can enjoy (or not) the thrill of being Chilled, Warm, Burning, Wet, Bleeding, Crippled, Blind, Cursed, Weak, Invisible, Slowed, Hasted, Raged, Lucky, Diseased, Infectious Disease, Fortified, Petrified, Blessed or Drunk.
Be careful! Each of these statuses will affect game play in some way. It may be fun stumbling around Cyseal as a drunken Source Hunter with increased luck, but be wary of your decreased initiative and intelligence. (Also, that buff to charm is only in your mind. Trust us on this one.)
Improvements to generic behaviours
Our in-house puppet masters have been hard at work regulating and improving the way NPCs react to you. Acts like theft, vandalism, murder, and breaking out of jail will now have more consistent consequences.
Thursday - March 06, 2014
Original Sin - Inteview @ Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Rock, Paper, Shotgun interviews Swen Vincke to talk about the near-closure of his studio, Divinity:Original Sin's future, and gender parity.
RPS: Conventional wisdom used to say that no one wanted these sorts of games anymore. And you’ve gone from making Ego Draconis, which was much more an RPG fused with an action game to Original Sin. But this is like, by many standards, a niche within a niche. You’re making a very specific type of game. Are you at all worried about a worst case scenario? A small crowd buys it and loves it, and everyone else says, “eh, not my thing”?
Vincke: Yeah. But you know, they’ve always said that about every single game I’ve made. From Divinity 1 onward. They went on to sell really a lot of units. We’ve calculated Divinity II sales at, what, 1.3 million units? That’s not a small crowd anymore. Divinity 1 must be over a million units now if you take the entire life cycle into account. That’s a lot of people already. I refuse to believe that our players currently are the only ones who want to have an evolution of the RPG genre as it existed and that was cut off. It was cut off because it turned out that the action-RPGs sold easier and were easier to make.
I personally think that, in the early 2000s, RPGs were cut off, because there were a number of production values that went up, and it was impossible to… Well, it was possible, but it was decided not to do it by the powers that be. So the genre stopped evolving. This was the case for a lot of genres. Now we have the resurgence of the indies. We have Steam Early Access and Kickstarter. Suddenly we have games that nobody would have ever invested in. Like Wasteland 2, for instance. Do you really think a publisher would have put a dollar into that? No. Look at it, how it’s soaring up the charts. That’s conventional wisdom for you.
The guys that have the conventional wisdom, I’m sorry, but I never agreed with them back then and I still don’t agree with them nowadays. It’s easy to go along the beaten path, but then you’re not going to have any evolution in games. You’ll have rehashes of the same thing over and over. There’s a lot of gamers out there, more gamers than ever, and they’re looking for a little bit more intelligent content. That’s where we want to be with this one
Tuesday - March 04, 2014
Original Sin - Early Access Preview @ The Reticule
The Reticule is the next site that to preview the Early Access version of Divinity: Original Sin. I'll quote a small part of the preview below.
My experiences with the combat have been very mixed so far, the systems work well in the turn-based environment and I particularly like how elemental spells can have a knock-on effect, so sending a lighting bolt to an enemy standing in water will cause some serious damage. So far though I’ve come across a few too many battles where I am too heavily outnumbered against more powerful foes. Whether I’m missing something during my character creation, I don’t know, but that is my one sticking point so far.
Monday - March 03, 2014
Original Sin - Lets Play Video @ GameSpot
GameSpot is the next to post a video playing the Alpha with a few developers from Larian Studios. Here is the video and a brief description.
Kevin Van Ord is joined by the folks from Larian Studios to get a look at Divinity: Original Sin.
Saturday - March 01, 2014
Original Sin - Lets Play Videos @ RPS
I corralled Larian in my very own (adoptive) hometown of San Francisco, and we played the opus-in-the-making’s latest build. I had to pre-record this one sans a camera, unfortunately, but Larian head Swen Vincke showed me nearly two hours of late-game (read: not in the alpha) gameplay and discussed how players can kill every NPC and still progress, non-violent approaches, how Larian *wants* us to break its systems, how it plans to avoid another disastrous Divinity II: Ego Draconis-style launch (despite some rather pressing bugs in the current version), comedy in a normally self-serious genre, talking to animals, and gobs more. This one is now near the top of my most-anticipated list.
Friday - February 28, 2014
Original Sin - Gameplay Commentary Video
IGN has a new gameplay video for Divinity: Original Sin with Swen Vincke.
Thanks for the link TheMadGamer & zentr.
Monday - February 24, 2014
Original Sin - Spring Is Coming
A new video has been made available for Divinity Original Sin showing what will be coming your way this spring. The video shows amongst others new landscapes and creatures.
Sneak preview of what's to come this Spring for Divinity: Original Sin. Now on Steam Early Access. The world is growing ever more vast and more interactive, and here you'll find a first look at some of Rivellon's previously unseen fairytale landscapes and creatures. If you pay close attention, you'll find that it's not only your elemental powers, but also tempestuous weather that can shift the winds in combat.
Does this mean the game will be available this spring or that the next update of the alpha/beta will have this?
Saturday - February 15, 2014
Original Sin - Post-Funding Update #55
Larian Studios has posted the next post-funding update for Divinity: Original Sin. The update talks about what changes have been made to the Alpha version.
What new features have been implemented?
Watch Swen showcase the following updates in the video below or read on for an overview of the things that kept us occupied these last weeks:
Affinity and Affection:
Scarlett and Roderick (or Jane and Joe; Joe and Joe; Lady Redgrables and Dame Rothschilders; or however else you'd like to name/ engender them after today's update) will now have opportunities to explore their like or dislike for one another via our brand new Affinity and Affection system. Certain in-game events (like levelling up, healing one another, and landing a killing blow in-battle) will occasionally trigger co-op dialogues in which your heroes can explore the trust, friendship, and affinity they, at your discretion, may share.
As the game progresses, the timbre of these dialogues will change depending on how your heroes respond to one another. They may become enemies, business associates, friends, or even lovers depending on how you develop them.
You are now free to customise the gender, hair colour, skin colour, and names of your starting heroes in our improved character creation system.
The options available in our current character creation system are limited, but many more features will be added soon. Before too long, you can expect to start your party with a fully-customisable pair of heroes.
Now, in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen, you'll have a log automatically tracking which actions you've performed (finding items, casting spells, levelling up, etc.) as well as cataloguing any automatic dialogue you might have missed.
This history log will be very handy in understanding the rules systems that are at the game's heart. And of course, the better you understand the rules, the better you'll be able to exploit the game's systems to your advantage.
Changes to rules and systems:
Action Points: The Action Points available to you at the beginning of combat now depend on your Initiative (that is, Perception and Speed). The number of Action Points available to you in subsequent rounds depends on your Speed. You can still save Action Points and shift them to the next round, but the maximum amount of Action Points you can collect is determined by your Constitution.
Intelligence no longer lowers the Action Point cost of all skills - it only lowers the Action Point cost of elemental skills.
Warrior skills get Action Point bonuses from Strength, and Ranger skills get Action Point bonuses from Dexterity.
Abilities: The ability Reflexes has been removed. If you want to have a chance to evade attacks, you need to invest in Dexterity. Intelligence no longer gives extra Ability points. Perception now also determines you Critical Chance.
User Interface: Tabs will help you organise your inventory by item type.
In dialogue, your clickable options will disappear after you've selected them, making it easier for you to organise which dialogue options you've already seen and which you haven't.
Map Markers will help you navigate Cyseal, so no more barging into the Legion barracks expecting to question the Duke at the King Crab Inn.
Improved skills feedback will alert you with handy information, like where teleporting is impossible and where you might not be able to cast a certain spell, and improved tooltips will give you a better handle on your gear.
Certain missing equipment models have been added, so now your wizard can finally enjoy a real robe instead of trundling around in nothing but his/her underpants.
Friday - February 14, 2014
Original Sin - Larian Helps Fan Propose
Since its Valentines day here is news about Larian, and how they helped a fan propose to his girlfriend in the Divinity: Original Sin Alpha.
When Daniel learned that one of his girlfriend's favorite game developers produced a game in which you can create your own stories to play with friends, he hatched a brilliant plan to win her heart...
You can imagine that we never expected to become a wedding agency when we started developing Divinity: Original Sin, yet that's exactly what's happened.
As we've been developing Divinity:Original Sin we've already played host to several proposals via the game's cooperative dialog system and we have a backlog of prospective husbands and wives looking to surprise their future better halves with unforgettable in-game proposals.
Divinity:Original Sin will release with a game editor so we can't wait to see what creative custom campaigns hopeful lovers will make to impress their beloveds.
Thank you to Daniel and Dolores for allowing us to share this moment with you.
Thursday - February 13, 2014
Original Sin - Release Date News @ Gamereactor
Gamereactor has news on the planned release date for Original Sin is April 25.
The German publisher of Divinity: Original Sin has confirmed to Gamereactor that they're planning a slightly later than expected release date for Larian Studios' crowdfunded isometric-RPG. The game, which is currently available in an unfinished state on PC via Steam Early Access (there's currently no Early Access version for Mac owning gamers), will get its official launch on April 25.
Sounds incorrect to me. What do you all think?
Friday - February 07, 2014
Original Sin - Alpha Preview @ Eurogamer
Eurogamer has another preview of the Alpha version of Divinity: Original Sin.
While it remains to be seen whether Original Sin manages to be the Ultima successor that both Larian and I want it to be, it's in with a fighting chance. Much rests on how it develops its elemental mechanics and main storyline, and if and how decisions you make come to influence what comes later. So far, it's the best attempt I've played in a long while, and one that offers plenty of hope that Larian can pull it off. Certainly, it's the first Divinity game that has hooked me in like I've wanted since the series began, to the point that I feel sad that - rough as it inevitably is - it's only a slice of the game. That's a great start for a RPG with big ambitions, and I eagerly look forward to continuing the quest in the spring.
Wednesday - February 05, 2014
Original Sin - more Previews
Here are some more previews for Divinity: Orginal Sin.
Stepping away from combat, each NPC in Original Sin has an opinion of you. Their thoughts on you are presented on-screen via the Attitude Meter. Accuse someone of something they didn’t (or did) do? They’ll probably like you a bit less for it. Get caught stealing in the market? People will not only think less of you for it, but they’ll (according to the game’s Kickstarter page, anyway) start spreading the word of your wrong-doings to other people in the city. On the other hand, people will think more of you for doing good deeds.
Jesse Cox has his fourth video up already.
The reviewer at 411Mania feels he should give these suggestions for improvement:
I'm going to make two suggestions to the developers (if they read this), or to those people who might try it out. The gold system, at present, appears highly broken. You can trade with almost everyone you meet, but almost none of them have gold. Even if you find someone with gold, like a merchant, the system in place is awkward to use. You offer an item up, and a number goes above it. But you have to manually click on a weight scale to add in the gold from a NPC to match the number. I think there is a system in place that is supposed to be a barter mechanic, like selling an item above its cost if your skill is high enough, but the first few times, it confused the hell out of me, as I was selling items for what I thought was gold, but really wasn't, due to the initial price number.
The other light suggestion would be that they either increase the running speed of the characters, or mildly scale down the first town. The town itself feels massive for some reason, but also kind of cavernous, since not a lot of it can be interacted with at present. This is partly a map issue as well, since aside from doors, it tells you practically nothing, aside from a disappearing quest indicator. I did unlock a character with a fun "Jump up and jump down in a different place" ability, that I could use to break into houses, so that was pretty enjoyable
Another video preview you could watch has been made by Flik.
Tuesday - February 04, 2014
Original Sin - Previews
Another set of previews for Divinity: Original Sin.
In its current state, Divinity Original Sin feels a lot like a mid-90s RPG. That’s both good and bad. The freedom to explore the world with which Larian Studios has provided is great, but it also feels like its brought with it many of the negatives of that era: no clear picture of what you’re supposed to be doing exactly, a progression system that doesn’t fully empower the player to tackle greater challenges, and perhaps a bit too much freedom at the start. These negatives aren’t bad in everyone’s book, of course, and this is an alpha so things could change. One thing that is definitely great is the freedom Larian gives to co-op play. Each player is empowered beyond just leveling up their character, he or she can craft that character’s personality and motivations. Player two doesn’t have to play along with everything that player one says and does.
Electric Banana think it's an RTS, but do like it
Divinity: Original Sin holds the potential to become a very exciting game, one that you can immerse yourself in. With a whole host of quests to undertake, characters to meet and buildings to explore, highlights of the alpha version are the beautiful landscapes to encounter, and the funny situations to encounter after failing to sneak into someone’s house, and be confronted with a very disgruntled woman in a bath. Divinity: Original Sin is a game to watch, as it could easily do spectacularly once complete.
Original Sin‘s focus is intended to be a player customized RPG experience and it is pulling it off nicely. There are some rough edges though this is expected considering we’re still in the alpha builds, but everything I’ve seen so far hints at a solid cRPG experience coming. The alpha build itself is 15-20 hours long, and Larian Studio says that’s only 1/3 of the content available.
Original Sin - Alpha Presentation and Release Date
Swen Vincke shows the alpha of Divinity:Original Sin in a video on the German site Gameswelt. As the German language is apparently not one of the strong points of Swen, they speak English, which is good for most of us I suppose.
One of the thing that is mentioned by Swen is that they are now in late alpha and that the release date is still a few months away. He also shows a new area of the game.
Aubrielle also sent us a mail informing us that Worthplaying mentions a shifted release date to 'Spring 2014'.
Sunday - February 02, 2014
Original Sin - Two More Previews
Here are two more Early Access previews for Larians RPG Divinity: Original Sin.
While everything is looking very promising so far, the alpha is extremely buggy. A lot of content isn’t implemented yet, there are various balancing issues and simple game-breaking bugs that will force you to restart every so often. Most importantly, save files will not be compatible with updated versions, meaning you will have to repeat a lot of the game later if you want to play it now. In its current early state it’s really only an attractive investment for die-hard fans.
There is still a while to go before Divinity: Original Sin sees a full release date, but this is a game that all RPG fans should be excited for. The part I’ve seen seems to be ramping up for an epic quest, and one that begs you to experience it as you see fit. There is a living, breathing world here to explore. Be the hero and complete every quest along the way or burn it all to the ground. With so many ways to play and progress, it really puts the RP in RPG. There are numerous big named titles in the genre releasing in the next year, but this might be the RPG to top them all.
Friday - January 31, 2014
Original Sin - Post-Funding Update #54
Larian Studios has posted the next post-funding update for Divinity: Original Sin. It's a large update that has news on the game delay, and Alpha changes.
Happy Friday, friends!
We're pleased to offer a new update on Steam for Divinity: Original Sin. Assuming you enjoy improved stability; massively improved rule systems for classes, spells, stats, and items; fixed bugs and new features (including one that could help your weary and deserving heroes take the occasional break from hunting Source and making pizza), this update will certainly please you.
In the following video, Swen discusses the update, explains how your contributions on the forum have helped us, and offers some encouraging news for Mac users eager to get their hands dirty hunting Source in Rivellon.
Also, did someone say something about the release date?
(Hint - In case you skip the video the game is delayed to spring)
Larian also has a second video with more informaion on the Alpha.
What about balancing?
Enjoy a world of better-balanced weapons, armour ratings, damage, resistances, saving throws, statuses, gold, and treasure distribution and generation.
Balancing is, of course, an ongoing process and while this update offers much improvement, you'll find that we've still got our share of tweaking to do.
How has stability been improved?
Causes for certain frequent crashes have been identified and fixed, and performance has been improved and stabilised for Windows 32 machines. Also, co-op campaigners can breathe easy: Multiplayer has been secured, and strangers will no longer be able to pop into your game at random.
Check out the complete change log for more thorough information about updated game elements.
Do you actually pay attention to feedback from the forums?
Absolutely! Many of the bugs and areas for improvement we focus on come directly from the Larian forums. Any likes, dislikes, frustrations, bugs, or suggestions Early Access players provide filter directly to the programmers and designers currently working on the game world. Your feedback is absolutely crucial to this process, and we are deeply grateful to everyone who contributes.
Original Sin - Preview Roundup
Here are some more previews for Divinity: Original Sin.
Divinity: Original Sin is getting there. It's approaching the territory of the grand old CRPG adventures, but it has considerable distance yet to travel. That it's doing some of that journeying on Steam Early Access is probably for the best, as gamers can give the developers plenty of additional work. Thus far, the combat is sluggish and clumsy: spell targeting in particular needs adjustment to remove those instances of accidental self slaughter. Navigation, questing, and map markers need to be properly programmed, and the opening area needs considerable balance. When I gave up in frustration on the murder investigation and wandered out of town, I was beaten at every turn by enemy squadrons that discouraged exploration. Amid the admittedly disheartening flaws, there is a lovingly crafted world rich with detail and personality, but it will take time for it to come to light. For now, it glimmers.
There's no doubting it's an early game: you can't name your characters nor select their gender, loading takes ages, and it has crashed a few times. More damningly one save game loaded my group of characters into a city of unmoving NPCs. I was lucky enough to have a working quicksave, or I'd have had to restart. Clawing back hours of progress is that clammy fear that we all hold when playing games, and it intensifies when you're playing a huge RPG that can claim it warned you this could happen.
OnRPG (found through GameBanshee)
As you can see, I was more than a little impressed with Divinity: Original Sin. It looked good on paper, and the real thing was fantastic. Rarely am I able to read up on a game, be hyped about it, and then actually have my hype rewarded with a fun, playable game. Even though it's in early Alpha, there's still a great deal of enjoyment to be had. If you're interested in Divinity: Original Sin, look for it on Steam where it's available on the Early Access program for $40. I had a fantastic experience and would recommend it to anyone that has friends to play with. However, I cannot stress enough that the game is still in early Alpha, so please don't buy it expecting a full and complete game.
Wednesday - January 29, 2014
Original Sin - Previews
Here are a few more previews for Divinity: Original Sin.
The first is from Games.On.Net
...it is a slice that invites you to view it from multiple angles and sides. Because Original Sin is a game made for the quick savers and quick loaders. Crafted for the curious and the completionists. For the tinkerers, thinkers and boundary pushers. Built for the sole purpose of being bent and broken, and watching how divergent the results can become. So while it may not be as inviting an early taste as the emergent, systemic survival games that thrive on the iterative process, Original Sin is, perhaps, the most fitting to bear Steam’s Early Access title. An early taste at a game in the process of being fleshed out and fixed, so that come release the curious at heart can break it in far more brilliant, entertaining ways. Even now? It’s a promise perilously close to being delivered.
The second is part 2 of Jesse Cox's video preview.
The third is another video on Gametrailers.
And lastly Gizorama checked out the game as well.
Despite some minor early-access glitches (the occasional crash, typos and placeholder text, a lack of customization options), Divinity: Original Sin shows an awful lot of promise. The combat should scratch anyone’s Baldur’s Gate itch, and the amount of freedom and customization it offers should offer anyone looking for a respite from the march of ‘me-too’ Skyrim/Dragon Age clones a damn good time. Even for someone like me who gets all nervous and sweaty when asked to pick out their starting stats.
Original Sin - Preview @ The Gaming Heretic
The Gaming Heretic takes a look at the Early Access version of Divinity: Original Sin.
Being an alpha build, the game often crashed, or I’d find myself in a place where I couldn’t advance. I had to start the game over a handful of times from my last save point and got to a point where I was saving every time I felt that I had just accomplished something important or if I just hadn’t saved in 10 minutes. I learned to do this the hard way after I had lost an hour’s progress early on due to a crash. In retrospect, it was really maybe only about 10-15 minutes of work but the game was new to me and it felt like such a huge loss at the time. Some of the other bugs included a door being locked that shouldn’t have been (thankfully it later unlocked so I could progress), and an instance where I accidentally started a chat dialogue with a sheep that the game wouldn’t let me out of; I had to force close.
All of these are, however, understandable, as the game is still under development. Annoying, but understandable.
There’s so much more to the game that I haven’t had the chance to play yet: multiplayer, larger battles, the crafting system, custom content, etc. If things continue as they are, I think the game will be worth its $40 price once it’s released if you’re a fan of RPGs. I really liked what I saw and experienced.
Monday - January 27, 2014
Original Sin - Dual Player Video Preview
Jesse Cox previews the alpha version of Divinity: Original Sin where he plays the game together with Crendor and explores what the possibilities are.
Sunday - January 26, 2014
Original Sin - Video Preview @ PCG Media
PCG Media has a new preview video based on the alpha version of Original Sin.
I got a first look at Larian’s Divinity: Original Sin way back in Feburary 2013, before their Kickstarter campaign. Back then, Larian were almost a million dollars short of the amount they finally managed to raise, and with promises of filling up the world with objects, quests, dialogue, NPC’s, buildings, and other features to make the world more life-like, Original Sin was shaping up to be the answer to a question I’d been asking for a while:
“Why am I so bored of modern RPGs?”
Original Sin has the answer.
As an bonus I also have news about the games release date from Kickstarter.
It's indeed taking us longer than we expected but we haven't decided yet by how much we'll shift the release date, which is why we didn't communicate anything official yet (because otherwise we run the risk of having to shift the date again if it turns out our estimate is wrong).
Development is racing ahead very fast for the moment and we want to assess where we are at the end of the month and where we think we'll be a month from now. A lot of the feedback we've been getting will be integrated by then and then it'll be a question of how much time it'll take us to finish up.
Some things which you suspect may take a lot of time take very little time to develop, but in the same breath it's also true that some things which you expect to take little time, actually take a lot of time.
In any case you're right, we should have communicated more clearly in the last update - it was there, but not explicit enough. But trust me when I say that any delay there is, is there because we're aiming high with D:OS.
Saturday - January 25, 2014
Original Sin - Video Preview @ ZTGD
ZTGD has posted a new video preview for Divinity: Original Sin.
Drew checks out this dungeon-crawling early access title.
Wednesday - January 22, 2014
Original Sin - Alpha Video Preview
Entertainment Buddha has released a video preview of the Alpha version of Divinity: Original Sin. Here is the video with a short description.
Divinity: Original Sin is quickly shaping up to be the kind of video game that any RPG fanatic has been dreaming of.
Even in its early alpha state, Original Sin plays wonderfully and shows its potential. Larian Studios, Original Sin’s developers, have built a game that wonderfully blends traditional RPG elements with a more modern appeal.
I took a quick preview of Divinity: Original Sin’s current alpha state, which can be found below. Check out my findings as well as an overview to the game’s combat and various other mechanics.
Tuesday - January 21, 2014
Original Sin - Now on Steam Early Access
Well by now most of you know Divinity: Original Sin is available on Steam Early Access. They released a new press release yesterday with more information.
Larian Studios’ Divinity: Original Sin Now on Steam Early Access
After last year’s $1M crowdfunding campaign, Larian is unleashing its old-school single-player and co-op RPG on players to get feedback and polish the final experience.
Larian Studios is taking RPGs back to their roots with Divinity: Original Sin, which is now available on Steam Early Access. Check out the brand new trailer here, then go grab the game on Steam.
The Early Access game is available at two pricing tiers:
Standard Edition: 39.99 EUR/USD – Gets you the Early Access game and the final game (this is the same price as the final version)
Co-Op Deluxe Pack: 59.99 EUR/USD – Includes two (2) copies of Divinity: Original Sin for cooperative play, and a double pack of Divine Divinity + Beyond Divinity.
Divinity: Original Sin goes back to the values of memorable cRPGs: isometric, party based, turn based, gripping dialogues, choice and consequence, deep story, profound character and party development, a big interactive world filled with characters and items, free exploration... There is only one main goal, and how you get there is completely up to you. But everything is more fun with a friend and so is Original Sin: drop-in, drop-out multiplayer takes care of that, both online and locally.
Friday - January 17, 2014
Original Sin - Post-Funding Update #53
Larian Studios has a new post-funding update for Divinity: Original Sin with information on co-operative multiplayer, companions, and Steam Early Access.
If you head over to your Steam library now, you'll discover a new update for Divinity:Original Sin which makes it possible to explore the world of Rivellon in cooperative multiplayer. It's a lot of fun, so you should definitely give it a shot!
There are now two alpha keys available on the Larian Vault for everybody who had the duo pack reward as part of their pledge. If your pledge didn't include two keys but you have a friend you'd like to play with, you can get new keys via Steam Early Access.
For now, you can only play cooperative multiplayer with people who are in your friends list on Steam. Just invite them to your game (or alternatively, have them join your game). We're aware that you'll want a lot more options to filter people, kick people, chat with people etc...... and these will be added . Until we're ready with those UI elements however, you'll have to bear with the Steam interface.
Next they talk about companions.
We've added two new companions to Cyseal and more will be coming in the next weeks. You'll find Jahan who's a Demon Hunter in the library and Madora, the retired Source Hunteress in the tavern.
In addition to aiding you in combat, you'll discover that they have quite a few things to say about the quests you're on, perhaps even a bit too much. Should they become too chatty, you can always send them to the hall of heroes which has now also been opened up in your Homestead on the Shelter Plane at the end of time.
Speaking of your homestead, be sure to visit it at least twice during your play through - you'll discover that Zix Zax likes to decorate. A lot.
And finally we get news the game is now on Early Access.
Steam Early Access
From today on, Divinity:Original Sin is available on Steam Early Access. This will allow other people to join the community of people giving feedback, and aid us in these last months of development to make the game as good as we can. It also makes it possible for you to invite friends who didn't participate in the Kickstarter campaign to join you in your adventures through Rivellon.
There's been quite a lot debate about whether or not we should go to Steam Early Access with Divinity:Original Sin, but in the end we decided that is what's best for the development of the game because the advantages seem to outweigh the disadvantages. Swen wrote an entire blog about the pros and cons so those interested should head over to lar.net.
Saturday - January 11, 2014
Original Sin - Preview @ Eurogamer
Eurogamer has a new preview of Divinity: Original Sin were the writer comes to the conclusion it might be the RPG you've been waiting for.
Larian has a lot ahead of it, and it's an understatement to say that the vision for Divinity: Original Sin is ambitious. Uniting all those systems and ideas into a coherent whole is not going to be easy, but if the developer can succeed then it will have a very singular game to show for it, the likes of which, Vincke suggests, the world has not seen in 20 years.
Wednesday - January 08, 2014
Original Sin - Preview @ Strategy Informer
Strategy Informer has posted a preview for the alpha version of Divinity: Original Sin.
The best RPGs or fantasy stories grab you immediately with situations, scenarios, actions, characters and dialogue that straight away get you involved and interested in this new world and what’s going on. While I can’t say the previous Divinity games did that for me Divinity: Original Sin already has even in its pre-alpha state. I have every confidence that Larian will sort out any remaining problems, and if they can keep the pace up with a great story and ever-more-interesting locations and quests this could be a serious challenger for best PC RPG in 2014. Assuming it makes 2014, of course. We’ll be watching this one closely.
Monday - December 30, 2013
Original Sin - Preview @ GameBanshee
GameBanshee has posted a new preview for Divinity: Original Sin.
Assuming Larian Studios manages to keep the quality this high for the full title, irons out the balance kinks, and is able to polish up the title for release, they might just publish one of the most interesting role-playing titles of 2014 and the last 10 years. There's still a lot that's not been implemented at this point, like day-night cycles and NPC schedules, and I'm eager to see how all the disparate elements that have been promised will inform the final title. True, there's no guarantee the title will hold up to the promise it's showing right now, but I'm willing to give Larian the benefit of doubt, and I'm excited to get my hands on Divinity: Original Sin again at release.
Friday - December 20, 2013
Original Sin - Post-Funding Update #52
With update number 52 for Divinity: Original Sin, Larian sends us their Season's Greetings.
And some music has made it to the game. Let's see how Kirill explains what happened to the orchestra.
Tuesday - December 17, 2013
Original Sin - Post-Funding Update #51
Larian Studios announces that the alpha version of Divinity: Original Sin is now available for backers in the games latest post-funding update.
Alpha access available!
Before you rush in and get your alpha code, please watch/read the following messages. We know, you most likely won't, but still, there's some important stuff in here. The most important thing is:
If you want a a smooth, balanced & stable experience without performance problems, wait for release! Seriously!
What is in the Alpha?
About 10 to 15 hours of gameplay.
What's not in the Alpha?
Quite a lot. Currently co-operative mode is disabled, as are the companions. We're still working on getting schedules in, so those are not in either. Sound & music are still very much work in progress too. Further, there's a very long list of features that are not 100% working yet, or just not in yet. This really is alpha, with plenty of stuff unfinished.
What are the known issues?
Too many to list - we made a short summary for you but really, there's a lot of things that still need to be done.
How can I help?
We are testing the game ourselves so there's no need for sending us reports on bugs that are obvious. But we are very interested in those that are not so obvious. What makes a non- obvious bug? Well, something you don't see immediately, something that requires you to do a certain amount of things to trigger it.
You'll know it when you see it :)
If the game crashes, we would appreciate it if you could send us your crash report. It helps us locate the problem.
When can I expect an update to the Alpha?
We might still do a few emergency patches in the coming days, but then we're taking our X-mas break. The next big update is scheduled for January and will be a feature/balance update. Most likely, big feature candidates to be included then are companions and cooperative play.
We'll keep you posted.
Saturday - December 14, 2013
Original Sin - Post-Funding Update #50
Larian Studios has a new post-funding update for Divinity: Original Sin with news about the alpha version, and new twitch.tv stream.
Newsflash: Weresheep & Codex report, are we ready?
Everybody thinks the decision is already made, but that's not really true. The decision whether or not to release the Alpha next week tuesday December 17th will be made later today, live on www.twitch.tv.com/larianstudios and you'll be able to participate in it.
We decided that press, fans & producers need to be in agreement before we'll release it.
Press already had their say, so yesterday we asked a number of fans, in a long play-session which lasted 11 hours.
Here is their decision:
It's worth noting that they didn't finish half of the content that's in the alpha so we think we might want to re-adjust how long it'll take you to finish the alpha content. It's probably going to be more like 20 hours or so. Our apologies.
We also had one emissary from the Codex - he refused to go on camera, for very good reasons given the competitive environment he dwells in - but he had this to say:
So now we're waiting to see what David & Swen will say when reviewing Divinity: Original Sin's latest build. As mentioned, you can follow this on our twitch.tv channel and they will also be taking questions. Thomas guaranteed us that the sound problems will be fixed :)
At the end of their play session they'll give a go or no go. It is still possible that the release is postponed if something goes very wrong - don't kill us for it .
See you then!
Before I forget here is the link for the stream archive in case you missed it .
Wednesday - December 11, 2013
Original Sin - Post-Funding Update #49
Larian Studios has posted a new post-funding update for Divinity: Original Sin with news the Alpha has a release date, and explains they need feedback from backers.
Divinity:Original Sin’s Alpha Dated! Input needed! Live stream!
We keep on getting the same question – when, when, when ? - and we keep on telling you – soon, very soon, very very soon. Well, no more “soons” from us – we’re ready to put a date on the alpha release, or at least a date range ;)
Next to that, this update also contains a list of recent previews from our hands-on event, a call for input for the higher level backers and an invitation to a new live twitch.tv session, this friday, and yes, just because it's friday the 13th!
When is the Alpha coming?
The date is Tuesday December 17th 2013. The date range is next week. If something goes wrong, it might be December 18th or 19th or who knows, it might even be December 16th, but rest assured that it will be next week, unless of course calamity strikes. The exact hour, well that is still to be decided.
Decision time - Live on Twitch
The decision will be made in a live twitch.tv stream on December 13th starting at 17:00 CET, 16:00 GMT, 8:00 PST, 11:00 EST. David & Swen will be playing the alpha, approve, or disapprove things, and then decide if it's ready or not.
Our Twitch.tv channel is www.twitch.tv/larianstudios
What can I expect?
You can check for yourself in this let’s play video from last Friday in which Swen reviews the state of the alpha. Contains minor spoilers, so consider yourselves warned.
We’ll be releasing a first chunk of the world, good for approximately 10 hours of play, known to the team as The Left Side Of Cyseal. (Which is pronounced by some as "Sigh Seal" while others say "See Zay-All"...)
It’s alpha – that means place holders, rude balancing, some missing features, plenty of bugs etc… But, it’s playable, and you can play quite a lot. But you might also get stuck.
Don't plan on playing this if you want a polished experience! Wait for the real thing instead! Even if you're tempted!
Also, you need to be aware that savegames will not be compatible between different versions of the alpha and at first we will limit gameplay to single player. Multiplayer will open up but at a later date.
That's a lot of disclaimers, but we know from experience that we can repeat over and over that something is not final yet still get mails from angry people yelling at us that they want us to fix their savegame because they don't want to lose their hero. For the record, we won't! :)
But, despite all the disclaimers above, we will be very appreciative if you do in fact play the alpha and give us constructive feedback. That's why we decided to spread it to all of you. The group that has played Divinity:Original so far is very limited and we're very much in need of extra opinions on what we did right & wrong and what we should fix prior to release.
Who can play the alpha?
For the moment, Kickstarter backers only. We might be opening up beta access at a later date for people who preorder, but with 20K backers, we’re sure we’ll know what to do on the short term ;)
How will I get access?
You’ll be able to redeem a Steam key via your Kickstarter account on the Larian Vault. We’ll guide you through the process once again once the alpha is actually live.
Tuesday - December 10, 2013
Original Sin - Preview @ Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Rock, Paper, Shotgun has posted a new hands-on preview of Divinity – Original Sin.
Preview events often involve around half an hour with a game, while carefully chaperoned through its corridors. I spent sixteen hours playing Divinity: Original Sin over two days in Belgium last week and nobody told me what I should or shouldn’t do. I spent two hours looking for a potato because I wanted to make some chips and Larian’s founder actively encouraged me in that mighty quest.
If I hadn’t had a flight to catch, I would have played for another sixteen hours over the next couple of days as well. There are more technically impressive fantasy RPGs coming out next year and there’s a great deal of work still to be done, but Larian’s latest is living up the early promise and is right near the top of my most wanted list.
Friday - November 29, 2013
Original Sin - Post-Funding Update #48
Larian Studios brings news that the alpha for Divinity: Original Sin is now delayed.
A big surprise!
It’s the end of November, and we said the Divinity:Original Sin alpha was going to be out in November, so where is it?
Ah, I wish I could write that it’s out now, but sadly it’s not. We still need to sort out a couple of things, so a bit more patience will be needed. How much patience? Not that much, but still a bit. We’re working really hard to get everything done and we do expect the alpha to be out before our X-mas break, but ... well maybe you want to watch the big surprise first.
The big surprise!
It’s a surprise so we won’t spoil it with text, but watch the video as it contains some good news. We hope it makes you happy! Errmmm... if you are weak of heart, don't let the title fool you ;)
We decided on doing this a few weeks ago because we realized it would be much more beneficial to the game, but since we only decided on it, it’s going take us a bit more time to put everything in place. We are committed to getting this all sorted out before the X-mas break though and we solemnly swear to do everything we can to get it to you asap.
Backers who explicitly pledged extra for alpha/beta access can expect refunds/extra credit to be in place before X-mas too via their Larian Vault account. We hope you understand that we want to maximize the amount of people playing the game because that’s how we’ll be able to strike the best balance between all the different items, spells, skills and creatures.
We will also be reaching out to backers who need to get their items, npcs, dialogs, object combinations or looks in the game in the coming weeks as we’re finally ready to implement those so expect some mail if any of these were included in your pledge.
Tuesday - October 29, 2013
Original Sin - Post-Funding Update #47
Larian Studios has released has a new post-funding update for Divinity: Original Sin.
Why do RPGs take so much time to develop? And how do you try to quantify the quality of what you are making? These and other questions are things developers like ourselves often think about, but seldom agree upon. That's because the answer to these questions is very complex, and cannot be summarised easily. In this latest update, we reflect a bit on on the metier of making RPGs. And we do a shoutout! And we want you all to learn Russian! And we found back a cool movie! And you need to tell us what you think of our new font. And there's also another Larian-leak, through which it is revealed that there exists such a place as Silverglen!
First we get a look at scripting with a new video.
The implicit revelation of Silverglen
It happens from time to time, more than often in fact, that the implementation of a quest takes much more time than a designer originally anticipated. Typical reasons are the game engine not supporting everything the designer wants to do or there being much more possibilities that need to be handled than originally assumed.
In this latest update video, Bert, our resident scripting guru, explains how Björn and Mara's problems caused him multiple headaches, and how regular exercise, healthy food and a strict lifestyle helped him through this particularly difficult period in his life.
He also discloses one of our closest guarded secrets - the existence of ... Silverglen!
Next they discuss the font that was chosen.
It's that time of the year again - we need to make final decisions about our fonts! Thomas has been diligently testing out various fonts on unsuspecting bunnies (see from the archives) and tell us that the following font is good for our eyes. While judging, take into account that it is none other than Jan writing the dialogue - meaning, expect many many many lines. Let us know if it's too big, too small, too ugly, too whatever, for once decided, it's going to stay for a very very long time. (Click here for new Font)
Saturday - October 12, 2013
Original Sin - Post-Funding Update #46
Larian Studios has released an interesting post-funding update talking about DOS editor news, 10 interesting things about Orcs, and a new stats screen preview.
The impact of Kickstarter: An example
For the first time in the history of Larian, we have people who are dedicated to making character development really fun. In the past, we always had the problem that we were spread too thin, and so the design and balancing of the character development systems were done almost between the soup and the potatoes. This may surprise you, but there are many many moving systems in an RPG and when you make them with a small team, you can't afford to have too much specialisation.
But now, thanks to your generous contributions, we can afford to have a team that is focussed on balancing our combat systems and tweaking the formulas that affect character development. It's a very big improvement ;).
Part of the job of our shiny new "stats team" is playtesting and adjusting the rule set that drives things behind the scenes. You know, stuff like "will constitution affect some resistances?", "What about initiative, does stuff in your inventory affect it?" etc... But they also decide whether or not strength affects the initial opinion somebody has about the player's avatar. After many discussions, the team came up with the following set of primary and secondary stats. We also have a list of abilities, traits and talents that go with it, but we’ll leave those for another update, because we’re interested in hearing what properties you think should be associated with each of these stats.
A picture tells a thousand words, so here's that picture :) Let us know your thoughts! (Here's a bigger version)
Monday - September 30, 2013
Original Sin - Live Twitch.tv Q&A
Are there systems that encourage roleplaying? Are there mechanics that will guide players to make smart in-character decisions?
Yes, every quest has multiple solutions and different solutions, not just your regular solution via a different method. At least one will be dependent on which character you’re playing. The Charm/Reason/Intimidation options will help determine which way you’re going to go – if you haven’t got the stats to intimidate somebody, then that’s not going to work.
There is no difference in dialogue options if you put character A’s intelligence high, and character B’s intelligence low, they both get the same stuff.
When will Kickstarter backers of certain tiers get to give their input on designing X and Y?First, make sure that you create an account on the Larian Vault and link it to your Kickstarter account. They’ll automatically know what rewards and such you are entitled to, and you can fill in the design X and Y things. There are some things you can fill in, there are other things that Larian still needs to get the parameters of from their design team.Will there be an organized way to post mods and new adventuresThey’re still working on the logistics of that, but yes.Can mods be released as a commercial product?Maybe. There will be come kind of agreement that will let you sell your game if you want to, but details are still up in the air. They’ll be finalized before the editor is shipped.
Thursday - September 26, 2013
Original Sin - Post-Funding Update #45, Delayed
With the success of the Kickstarter this might have been expected, but Divinity Original Sin has been delayed to next year February as is explained in the latest Kickstarter update.
We are very determined to implement all the extra features gained through stretch goals the way they should be implemented, which essentially means that we want to incorporate them in the story, the world and the gameplay mechanics.
This is taking us more time than we originally thought, and so, rather than cancelling a feature or a goal, we decided to move the release of Divinity: Original Sin from this fall (as originally announced) to this winter, specifically to February 28th 2014.
We realize this may be disappointing for some people who had hoped the game would still come out this year, but really, we think you'll have a much better RPG experience when everything we wanted to put in, is actually going to be in.
For backers that have Alpha access, expect to have the rough and rugged version of Original Sin by November. Beta should be your New Year's present in January!
For more details on the reasoning, check out Swen's blog.
In our official communication, we’re explaining the delay as the result of wanting to properly integrate our stretch goals. Thanks to Kickstarter these are becoming very integral to the game, so much in fact that parts of the game were completely re-engineered to make room for them.
That last statement can be read in two ways, and both happen to be right: A) Some stretch goals were incompatible with design decisions we had already taken e.g. our character development system wasn’t robust enough to accommodate for companions, and so we had to change things more than we expected. B) Some things in the pre-Kickstarter version sucked, and we took opportunity to fix them as we were re-engineering the game world anyway.
Another reason is simply that we can. Between the funds received through Kickstarter, and the money we’re making from Dragon Commander, we have sufficient budget to invest more in our newest baby, and so we will. Our aim remains to eventually make the very big RPG that will dwarf them all, and this is just another step in that direction.
In addition there is news about the development
Deeper character creation (traits and talents) made us rethink the stats system, the inclusion of companions meant we had to have more party support, and the day and night schedules affected all the behaviours of NPCs. And even the world they live in! Because where else would these people live and sleep?
The following video has Swen & Axel explain what including the stretch goals meant for the development of the game, and features an example of how schedules for instance influenced the game world.
Then there is news about a Q&A this Friday
We can imagine a lot of you have questions because of the moving of the release date, and to answer those, we'll be doing a live QA session via the Larian Studios channel on Twitch TV tomorrow, september 27th, 17:00 CET. Join in, and you'll be able to ask David or Swen pretty much anything you want about Divinity: Original Sin via the chat channel. They'll try to answer as many questions as they can, and perhaps even show a bit of the game.
And a video from the Fan day
Wednesday - August 07, 2013
Original Sin - Post-Funding Update #44
Divinity: Original Sin has a new post-funding update about the Phantom Forest.
It's been a while since our last update, but as you can imagine we've been frightfully busy with communicating about Dragon Commander. That doesn't mean that in the meantime Original Sin hasn't been receiving any love, but our understaffed part-time communication department just couldn't handle talking about two games at the same time.
Some of you were mad about this and rightfully so, but there's only that many hours in a day. Still, Dragon Commander is out of the door now, and that means that we'll start shifting our online activities to Divinity: Original Sin again.
Work in Progress: The lair beneath Phantom Forest
Our very own Axel has been working very diligently with his team on several areas in the game and especially the fabled lair beneath Phantom Forest! Have a look at the video in which he gives you an inside look, deftly manoeuvres around spoilers and explains what exactly 'dummies' are.
Friday - June 28, 2013
Original Sin - Post-Funding Update #42, Pledge Management
Divinity: Original Sin has a new post-funding update that covers the pledge management system. It also introduces the "Imperial Edition" of Divinity: Dragon Commander, which includes a documentary, a digital soundtrack, a "Dragons on Earth" campaign map, a golden dragon skin and beta access.
The Larian Vault now allows all of you to manage your pledge. In case you are wondering, that also includes everybody who backed via Paypal.
So, how does it work?
- Log in with your existing Larian Vault account or create a new one
- Once logged in, click the Kickstarter logo in the menu
- Fill in the email address that you use to log in on Kickstarter OR that you use to log in on Paypal
- Click the "Look up and link" button
- Check your email and click the link
- That's it!
Should anything go wrong or if you have questions, send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. We're there to help you.
Free upgrade to the Dragon Commander Imperial Edition
Everybody who has Dragon Commander in their tier gets a free Imperial Edition upgrade. What's that you say ? An Imperial Edition ? Tell me more!
Immediate & free beta access
When you log in on the Larian Vault, you will find that there is a shiny Steam beta key waiting just for you. Use it, and you'll be able to practice your multiplayer skills in Dragon Commander before the game goes live. And help us make the game better in the process!
An Imperial Edition upgrade key
When the game goes live on August 6th 2013, you'll receive a key that will unlock all the bonus content that is included in the Imperial Edition. Just because you were so very cool to back us and believe in Dragon Commander!
Don't have Dragon Commander in your tier yet?
Well, if you pre-purchase the game on the Larian Vault now, you'll get the upgrade anyway, and you'll receive immediate beta access. Instant gratification guaranteed (at least in multiplayer)
Saturday - June 08, 2013
Original Sin - Post-funding Update #41
Divinity: Original Sin has a new Post-funding Update. The update deals with paypal and a lost video.
Development is moving forward at Larian, and we're making steady progress on Divinity: Original Sin. As Dragon Commander is now almost finished, the team working on Original Sin is getting bigger and bigger and pretty soon almost all of Larian will be working on DOS exclusively. We'll reserve the big DOS content updates for later, but it sure is becoming an interesting RPG and thanks to the Kickstarter campaign, we're seeing a vast improvement in the quality of the world design. Thank you once again for making this possible!
Here are a few items that might be of interest to you:
Pledge management dated
We threatened him, we blackmailed him, we used every single trick in the great book of the Shrike, all to no avail. Then somebody had the bright idea of asking him in a polite manner, and lo and behold, he gave us a date.
We are talking of course about David and the pledge management system he's developing. Said pledge management system will allow you to indicate to us which add-ons you want, where you want your physical goods to be delivered, on what platform you want your digital rewards, what messages you want to put in the game etc... It's pretty much a must-have if ever we want to figure out who gets what and it is therefore with great joy (and some relief) that we bring to you today the news that the system will go online on monday June 24th 2013.
That's almost like tomorrow!
Role Playing Convention Award
Last week the Role Playing Convention took place in Cologne and there Divinity: Original Sin received the award for most promising game of 2013. We keep on being amazed at how people discover new ways of putting more pressure on our shoulders ;)
To mark the occasion, we made a little video, in which Jan & David have a small discussion on the statue we received.
We should've posted this one a month ago, but somehow it got list in the mix. PC Games Germany posted a highlights video of the live session we had with them with German subtitles. Sorry!
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.