Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition


#1

[size=5]http://baldursgate.com/[/size]


[size=5]WooHoo![/size]

I can’t even begin to tell you how awesome this is!
Though I’ll be rather sad if they change the ruleset to something I’m unfamiliar with.

http://www.baldursgate.com/news/2012/03/15/announcing-baldurs-gate-enhanced-edition/

[quote][size=5]Announcing Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™[/size]

March 15, 2012

Atari, Wizards of the Coast, and Overhaul Games are pleased to announce work has begun on the Enhanced Edition of Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate II.

Since its initial release in 1998, Baldur’s Gate has entertained millions of fans around the globe, and has received countless awards. This classic saga of mystery, intrigue, and adventure has set the standard for Dungeons & Dragons® computer roleplaying games ever since.

Re-forged by Overhaul Games

Overhaul Games has assembled a talented team of artists, programmers and designers to enhance this timeless classic. To remain true to the spirit of the game, the team includes original Baldur’s Gate developers.

Relive the most epic story ever told

Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™ and Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition™ will feature a re-forged version of the Infinity Engine with a variety of modern improvements.

The greatest roleplaying game of all time, enhanced

For all information regarding Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™ visit www.baldursgate.com, for press inquiries contact baldursgate@beamdog.com.[/quote]


#2

I’ll want to keep an eye on this one. It’s the only well-made non-text based computer game using the Second Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules. I’ve never had a chance to play the first (and the second desperately needed a tutorial to help a person become familiar with the controls, and refresh your memory of the rules if it has been a decade or so since you last read any of the rulebooks) so I’m definitely interested.


#3

http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/baldurs-gate-enhanced-edition/1220929p1.html

[quote][size=5]Baldur’s Gate 3 is Beamdog’s “Long-Term Goal,” Kickstarter Funding Likely[/size]

The legendary RPG series is back in a big way.

After more than a decade of spin-offs and particularly thick clouds of nothing, Baldur’s Gate is honestly and truly back. Headed up by BioWare vet Trent Oster, Overhaul Games is clearing the whale-sized fantasy spider cobwebs off Baldur’s Gate 1 and 2 and adding “new original content in the spirit of the original game.” But what sort of new content, exactly? And what’s this we hear about Baldur’s Gate 3? I spoke with Beamdog/Overhaul’s Cameron Tofer to find out.

"I truly believe that the story and the characters behind are timeless and will have no problem reaching a new generation."
Obviously, Oster, Tofer, and co have some big shoes to fill and the expectations of, oh, every self-respecting RPG fan ever to live up to. What’s to say their ragtag team of vets and “talented friends” can handle it? Well, there’s nothing substantial to show just yet, but in the meantime, Overhaul’s banking on a one-two punch combo of knowledge and passion.

“I think the new RPGs are great, but I don’t think they should be a replacement for classic strategic in-depth RPGs like Baldur’s Gate,” Tofer said. “I think that’s what makes Enhanced so relevant: Baldur’s Gate hasn’t been replaced.”

“I would have to say the characters are what makes Baldur’s Gate stay in people’s hearts,” he continued. “Those characters have so much history, passion and caring behind them. I remember D&D sessions with those characters years before we were even game developers. We had so much personal ownership in them.”

“I truly believe that the story and the characters behind are timeless and will have no problem reaching a new generation. Technology will be the access barrier that we’re hoping to eliminate.”

The Enhanced Editions, however, are being billed as “more than mere remakes.” So – beyond visuals that won’t send modern gamers fleeing for their snazzy CryEngines that apparently run on electric power instead of hamsters – what’s new?

“We’ve been adding side stories, stories to tie things together, unfinished stories,” Tofer said. “As far as new types of abilities, we have more announcements coming.”

"We’re totally thinking Kickstarter. It just makes so much sense and solves so many problems."
Which is, of course, great news, but it’s only the beginning. No, Baldur’s Gate 3 isn’t A Thing just yet, but if Overhaul has its way, it’ll only be a matter of time. Tofer explained:

“Baldur’s Gate 3 has been our long term goal. We have a lot of things to put in place before such a project can be launched. So currently there is no such project but that’s the one we want to do. Our thoughts have been that Enhanced Edition for BG 1 and 2 just make sense before there’s any Baldur’s Gate 3.”

“We’re totally thinking Kickstarter. It just makes so much sense and solves so many problems. I think what Brian [Fargo] is doing with Wasteland is very interesting.”

For now, though, Overhaul’s taking things one step at a time, and that means regaining Baldur’s Gate’s rightful throne atop the fantasy RPG kingdom. Daunting? You don’t even know the half of it. But to Tofer and co, this isn’t a time to leap into the panic room and throw away the key. It’s an opportunity.

“The pressure is intense!” Tofer said. “We’re doing everything we can maintain the magic and legacy. I totally believe that [Baldur’s Gate] is more relevant now than ever. We will be able to reach such a wider audience this time around. It’s amazing how global the game really is.”[/quote]


#4

Well look at that…
Looks like Beamdog is going to work towards the mythical BGIII we were suppose to get many years ago.


#5

They really are modernizing it!
Also, I wonder if this means we’ll see the PC EE before or after the release for the iPad, since it mentions it’ll be “available on the Apple App Store in summer 2012”.

For the iPad!

http://www.baldursgate.com/news/2012/03/21/baldurs-gate-enhanced-edition-for-ipad-3/

[quote][size=5]Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™ for iPad[/size]

Overhaul Games is pleased to announce Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™ for iPad.

Since its initial release in 1998, Baldur’s Gate has entertained millions of fans around the globe, and has received countless awards. This classic saga of mystery, intrigue, and adventure has set the standard for Dungeons & Dragons™ computer role-playing games ever since.

The greatest story ever told, better than you imagined

Running on an upgraded and improved version of the Infinity Engine, Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™ will include the entire Baldur’s Gate adventure, the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion pack, and never before seen content including a new adventure and new party member.

Your ultimate destiny, now in your grasp

Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™ will be available on the Apple App Store in summer 2012. For all information visit www.baldursgate.com[/quote]


#6

http://www.baldursgate.com/news/2012/03/29/announcing-baldurs-gate-enhanced-edition-for-mac-os-x/

[quote][size=5]Announcing Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™ for Mac OS X[/size]

March 29, 2012

Overhaul Games is proud to announce Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™ for Mac OS X.

Since its initial release in 1998, Baldur’s Gate has entertained millions of fans around the globe, and has received countless awards. This classic saga of mystery, intrigue, and adventure has set the standard for Dungeons & Dragons™ computer role-playing games ever since.

More of the greatest role-playing game of all time for your Mac

Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™ runs on an upgraded and improved version of the Infinity Engine. It includes the entire Baldur’s Gate adventure, the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion pack, and never before seen content including a new adventure and a new party member.

The Enhanced Edition will include a variety of Mac OS X specific features, including widescreen and iCloud support.

Epic story and adventure at unprecedented resolution

Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™ will be available in the Mac App Store in summer 2012. For all information regarding Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™ visit www.baldursgate.com.[/quote]


#7

http://www.baldursgate.com/news/2012/04/19/announcing-nat-jones-as-overhaul-games-art-director/

[quote][size=5]Announcing Nat Jones as Baldur’s Gate Art Director[/size]

April 19, 2012

Overhaul Games is happy to announce that Nat Jones has joined the team as Art Director for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™.

Nat Jones has been a popular figure in the comics and film industries for over a decade, working on such popular titles as Frank Frazetta’s Death Dealer: Shadows of Mirahan, ‘68, Spawn, 28 Days Later, Rob Zombie’s The Nail, 30 Days of Night, and many more.

“I am excited and honored to be a part of the talented team bringing Baldur’s Gate back to the fans. There is a lot going into Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™, we have some amazing things in the works”, says Nat.

Nat will continue award-winning Baldur’s Gate artwork with his own dark fantasy style. Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™ will contain new adventures, characters, and locations featuring Nat’s take on the Forgotten Realms universe.

For more samples of Nat’s artwork, visit his official website. For all information regarding Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™, visit www.baldursgate.com[/quote]


#8

so 1st edition has the books reprinted to come out internationally in August, and 2nd edition is getting a video game?

this makes it seem like D&D is actually still alive. Now for a remake of the SSI GoldBox series, and it will be something i actually played.

BG was a good little system the hour i seen it played, and would have been good to have NWN based on, though i am foggy on the UI as that was YEARS ago that i even saw BG.


#9

http://www.baldursgate.com/news/2012/04/26/announcing-dave-gross-as-lead-writer-for-baldurs-gate-enhanced-edition/

[quote][size=5]Dave Gross joins as writer for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition[/size]

April 26, 2012

Overhaul Games is happy to announce that Dave Gross has joined the team as a Writer for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™.

Dave first joined TSR as an editor for Polyhedron Newszine. Later he edited Dungeon and Dragon magazines, while also writing fantasy fiction on the side. His Forgotten Realms novels include Black Wolf and Lord of Stormweather. More recently he’s published Prince of Wolves and Master of Devils for Pathfinder Tales, and was a co-author for Winter Witch.

“I was sitting in a coffee shop complaining about the lack of classic RPGs for the iPad,” says Dave, “when Trent appeared in a sulphurous cloud and said, ‘Have I got a job for you.’”

While the opportunity to play his favorite RPGs on a tablet was strong incentive, Dave says the most exciting part is working with a talented team whose knowledge of games and the Realms makes him insist they take the front in marching order.

You can follow Dave’s infrequent Twitter posts @frabjousdave. For all information regarding Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™, visit www.baldursgate.com[/quote]


#10

http://www.baldursgate.com/news/2012/05/10/sam-hulick-scores-music-for-baldurs-gate-enhanced-edition/

[quote][size=5]Sam Hulick scores music for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition[/size]

May 10, 2012

Overhaul Games is pleased to announce that Sam Hulick will be composing music for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™.

Hulick is best known for scoring BioWare’s epic roleplaying games Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, and most recently, Mass Effect 3. His original compositions for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™ will be featured alongside new gameplay content, complementing the games’ acclaimed original soundtracks.

“The music of Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate II was a huge inspiration for me as a composer who was just venturing forth into the world of writing music for games. So to be able to travel back in time, so to speak, and score original material for the Baldur’s Gate saga is a dream come true for me.”, said Sam.

You can follow Sam Hulick on twitter @samhulick. For all information regarding Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™, visit www.baldursgate.com[/quote]


#11

I decided to join the new forum the other day, and this post popped up.
Which gives an idea of what they’re actually doing to the game as well as gives a release date.

[size=][BG:EE] PLEASE READ - LIST OF THINGS THAT CAN’T BE DONE.[/size]

AndreaColombo
July 16

As much as we’d all like BG:EE to be limitless, this is unfortuantely not possible. The devs’ scope faces limitations due to the source art assets having been lost, contractual limitations and time constraints.

In light of this, it is of no consequence to request features or contents that is already 100% sure the devs cannot deliver. Hence, it is with Beamdog / Overhaul Games’ endorsement that I hereby provide what I hope to be a comprehensive list of things that can NOT be done in, with or for BG:EE, in order to help you focus your requests on things the devs can actually potentially deliver.

[size=]1. The source art assets for Baldur’s Gate, Baldur’s Gate: Shadows of Amn and Throne of Bhaal are lost.[/size]

All the original area art, paperdolls, monsters and character models are lost with the exception of a few 3D models of monsters from Throne of Bhaal. There is nothing anyone can do about it. Therefore, it is not possible for the devs to deliver Baldur’s Gate HD, and/or re-render any art at higher resolutions. Significant modifications to sprites, like displaying cloaks and hats, adding new/more armor styles, or removing the mirroring effect from BG2 animations, are also off-limits.

As per Trent Oster, the devs are currently limited to the existing animations. There will be no new animations in BG:EE, so it is no use to ask for them. Recreating character models from scratch and rendering them at high resolution is out of question, because it would take more time and resources than are currently available to the devs. Also, recreating character models alone is not an option, as they would look glaringly better than all monsters that weren’t re-rendered; if something got redone, then everything else should get the same treatment for the sake of visual consistency, thus making this an even more demanding (and unfeasible) task.

In light of the above, it doesn’t make much sense to request new monsters, as they won’t have distinctive animations to go (and I personally believe Baldur’s Gate already has enough monsters that share the same animation or a recolored version of the same animation).

[size=]2. Contractual limitations.[/size]

Beamdog’s contract is for BG:EE and BG2:EE only.
No contract exists for a remake of Icewind Dale, Icewind Dale II or Planescape: Torment as of now. Therefore, it vicariously ensues that the devs have no access to any resources from those titles, including portraits, animations, spells, and monsters. Modders may be able to port those contents to BG:EE once the game is released, but the devs are legally bound to work with the Baldur’s Gate saga resources alone.

The contract prevents Beamdog / Overhaul to alter the original game contents heavy handedly.

This is what Trent Oster had to say about it on the official Beamdog forum:

"1. Altering the dialog of the old joinable characters

-We can’t do this

2. Altering the dialog of encounterable npc’s in the campaign, including minor ones

-small scale text only changes are possible.

3. Adding new encounters to the old maps

-possible

4. Relocating encounters on the old maps

-possible, but at risk of introducing bugs

5. Retuning difficulty of old encounters, at the level of content rather than engine

-possible, again content tweaking risks adding bugs.

6. Adding/removing/moving gear in old encounters/npcs/containers.

*-Again, possible, but adding risks adding bugs.

Our stance is to try and avoid too much meddling in the original content and focus our efforts on the new content."*

Beamdog / Overhaul also face contractual limitations regarding the addition of new content to the existing games. They can build new content as “expansions”, but they cannot add to the core content in the main title. This limitation is due to the contracts for the original source content and limit the devs from adding new conversation for existing characters to the main game. Hence, adding banters, inerjections and romances to the original cast of characters is unfortunately not feasible. They will interact with new NPCs and react to new situations and areas, but that’s about it.

[size=]3. Time constraints.[/size]

BG:EE is scheduled for release by the end of the summer, which will occur on 21st September 2012.

It is therefore apparent that the time left at the devs’ disposal isn’t much. They are currently working really, really, and I mean REALLY hard (trust me on this, I’m a Doctor) (actually, a Doctor and a BG:EE beta tester) on fixing outstanding bugs, overcoming existing engine limitations and building the new GUI. They will likely have little time left to implement new features.

If what you have in mind is particularly big and/or time consuming, consider requesting it here as a post-ship DLC feature.


#12

Looks like they updated the homepage index today with all kinds of stuff that they’re adding including screens.

http://baldursgate.com/

[size=5]Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition Features
New Adventure: The Black Pits
New Character: Rasaad yn Bashir
New Character: Neera the Wild Mage
New Character: Dorn Il-Khan[/size]



#13

Here’s the promised followup forum post that goes with the other one, that followed the new announcements.

[size=][BG:EE] PLEASE READ - LIST OF THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED.[/size]

AndreaColombo
July 26 2:26PM

Since last March, when Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition was unveiled, the devs have been dropping several bits of information on the enhancements that can be expected. Be it via the official BG:EE website, their personal Twitter accounts, the official Beamdog forum, or these very boards, there have been more announcements than one would think.

The purpose of this thread is to gather and list all features, enhancements and new contents that have already been officially confirmed for BG:EE. Not only will this hopefully shed some light on the “enhancement” tag, especially in light of my recent post on the things that cannot be done, but it will also assist in directing feature requests toward things that haven’t been already done.

I’ll try to keep this post up-to-date, but by all means feel free to mention anything that may have been left out.

[size=]PLATFORM and DISTRIBUTION[/size]

[size=]• BG:EE will run on Windows based PCs, Apple Mac PCs, all generations of Apple iPad, and certain Android tablets, such as the Nexus 7.[/size]
System requirements will be slightly higher, mainly on the OS for OpenGL support, but any video card released from 2004 on should be able to run the game smoothly. Full support for, and good performance on, first generation iPad are confirmed.

[size=]• BG:EE will be available from Beamdog for Windows based PCs, Apple’s App Store for MacOS and iOS, and Google Play for Android tablets.[/size]
The game will launch at $19.99 (pre-order for $17.99) for Windows and MacOS, and $9.99 for iOS and Android. The pricing differences between platforms come down to the PC/Mac getting all the DLC content for free and iOS/Android having it as ingame purchases.
Launch date is set to 18th September 2012 for the PC version. The MacOS, iOS and Android versions will also launch in September 2012, but a hard date can’t be provided yet due to the different approval requirements of each platform.

[size=]• BG:EE will not require the Beamdog client to run.[/size]
The DRM will be a minimal system that does a quick check to start the download. After that, BG:EE can be played completely offline if desired. When launched, the updater will check for an update: if there is none, it will launch the game directly and shut down; if there is an update, a GUI will pop up asking if you want to update now or just play the version you have.

[size=]• BG:EE will be supported post-ship through several DLCs.[/size]
There are plans for both free and paid-for DLCs, though free DLCs will be the majority. The new NPC Rasaad, and the new adventure The Black Pits, will be free for all platforms.

[size=]• BG:EE will be multilingual form the get-go.[/size]
BG:EE will ship with all available languages in a single build, and it will be possible to select the language of the text and the language of the voice independently.

[size=]ENGINE ENHANCEMENTS[/size]

[size=]• Based on the Throne of Bhaal engine.[/size]
BG:EE is based on the latest Throne of Bhaal code, which means it includes all features from Baldur’s Gate: Shadows of Amn and Throne of Bhaal, as well as all bug fixes from those titles and their relative patches.

[size=]• Rebuilt Threading Model.[/size]
The threading model has been cleaned up and fixed, thus eliminating the no-ops that characterized the original and improving performance. Several “Windows-95isms” were removed to make the engine run smoother and increase new-OSs-friendlyness.

[size=]• Rebuilt Renderer.[/size]
The renderer was also cleaned up, and ported entirely to OpenGL for better performance. The graphics are now 100% hardware accelerated.

[size=]• Fixed up multiplayer.[/size]
Baldur’s Gate’s buggy multiplayer support has been fixed up and improved, eliminating bugs and introducing cross-platform compatibility. It will be possible to play a multiplayer BG:EE game connecting a Windows based PC, an Apple Mac PC, an iPad and an Android tablet simultaneously.

[size=]• ToBEx engine fixes.[/size]
The Overhaul team is working with Ascension64, author of the mods Throne of Bhaal Extender (ToBEx) and Baldur’s Gate Trilogy (BGT) to improve the engine and bring over all the major fixes from those packages.

[size=]• Extensive bug fixing.[/size]
BG:EE will feature a huge amount of bug fixes as suggested by the community, found by devs and beta testers, and found by modders throughout the years. Several bugs that currently require Baldurdash, Dudlyville, Tutufix, BG Fixpack or BG2 Fixpack - as well as a plethora of hardcoded bugs that require access to the source code to be fixed - will not exist in BG:EE.

[size=]VISUAL ENHANCEMENTS[/size]

[size=]• Native support for high resolutions.[/size]
BG:EE natively supports high resolutions in 4:3, 16:9 and 16:10 format up to 2880x1800. The source area art will be filtered via hardware to scale it as required and enable the zoom in/out feature.

[size=]• Dynamic zoom in/out feature.[/size]
It will be possible to zoom in and out of the battlefield dynamically during gameplay by scrolling the mouse wheel up and down, within generous limits.

[size=]• New, high resolution cinematics.[/size]
The original, low resolution 3D cinematics will be replaced with new, never before seen high resolution 2D animations drawn by BG:EE’s Art Director Nat Jones.

[size=]• New, high resolution GUI.[/size]
The Graphic User Interface (GUI) has been completely unhardcoded, thus making it possible to overcome its inherent limitations in terms of resolution. Beamdog / Overhaul Games are currently working on a brand new, high resolution GUI, which will be customizable / moddable to a generous extent (some limits still apply due to the original BG code’s resilience to Cameron Tofer’s attacks; hopefully, Cameron will manage to find a silver-coated machete with which to treat the old code post-ship, further expanding the GUI’s customizability).

[size=]• Flipbook animation transparency and Alpha blending.[/size]
As per this thread, BG:EE will feature flipbook animation transparency and alpha blending for BAM files. In the longer run, a new version of BAM files with multiple-layer alpha blending is being considered.

[size=]• One Pixel Production (1PP)[/size]
Erephine has agreed to include the 1PP work into BG:EE. The devs are currently trying to make it play nice with the BG:EE setup. Share your opinion on which components would suit BG:EE better here!

[size=]AUDIO ENHANCEMENTS[/size]

[size=]• OpenAL based audio engine**[/size]**
The audio engine has been completely ported to OpenAL, thus ditching the now obsolete DirectSound API, thus bringing back environmental audio support for newer OSs.

[size=]• Original music by Michael Hoeing**[/size]**
Purists have nothing to fear, as the original soundtrack by Michael Hoeing will remain untouched in BG:EE.

[size=]• New music by Sam Hulick**[/size]**
Sam Hulick, the composer who scored the soundtrack to Mass Effect 3, will write new music to go with the new contents in BG:EE. He is an admittedly huge fan of Michael Hoeing’s work, and is trying his best to remain faithful to its spirit and atmosphere.

[size=]• New voice sets for player characters.[/size]
A new collection of player character voice sets is bundled with BG:EE.

[size=]NEW CONTENT[/size]

[size=]• One new playable kit.[/size]
BG:EE will feature one new playable kit never before been seen in an IE game: the Blackguard.

[size=]• Three new joinable NPCs.[/size]
BG:EE will feature three new joinable NPCs: Rasaad, a human male Monk; Neera, a half-elven female Wild Mage; and Dorn, a half-orc male Blackguard. Their dialogues and interjetions will be written by fantasy novelist Dave Gross.

[size=]• One new adventure.[/size]
BG:EE will feature one new adventure with dedicated, newly developed area art and “nasty AI”. The Black Pits (codename: Adventure X) is a standalone arena mini-campaign consisting of 15 fights and taking place in the Underdark. New and old NPCs will react to the new content with interjections.


#14

They posted Sam Hulick music samples that will be used in The Black Pits adventure.

[video width=425 height=344 type=youtube]Imca73o350k[/video]
[video width=425 height=344 type=youtube]m4_hLiXUKm8[/video]
[video width=425 height=344 type=youtube]3u4IGKZ0IXY[/video]



#15

[size=6]Racketboy Podcast #42 – Trent Oster[/size]

An interview podcast with Trent Oster.



#16


Another interview with Trent, on the horror of the original BG code.

[SIZE=16]The PA Report - Salvaging Baldur’s Gate: the “horror” of getting the original code in shape for the Enhanced Edition[/SIZE]

[SIZE=15]Salvaging Baldur’s Gate: the “horror” of getting the original code in shape for the Enhanced Edition[/SIZE]


#17


I can’t wait to hear them!

TrentOster

[quote]10:31AM

We are adding at least three new male and three new female player voice sets to the game. The cast is pretty skilled voice actors, so we have high expectations.[/quote]



#18

Looks like new portraits are being added as well…

• New portraits for player characters.
A portrait pack drawn by former Black Isle Studios portrait artist Jason Manley is being added for free to PC/Mac, and as paid DLC to iOS/Android.

http://www.gamebanshee.com/news/109113-jason-manley-is-creating-baldurs-gate-enhanced-edition-portraits-while-reminiscing-about-it.html

[quote][size=5]Jason Manley is Creating Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition Portraits While Reminiscing About It[/size]

It’s unclear if he’ll be contributing to Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition as well, but it’s definitely worth noting an update to Jason Manley’s Facebook page that brings the good news that the former Black Isle Studios portrait artist (and former Massive Black CEO) has been recruited by Overhaul Games to work on “a big batch” of new portraits for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition. Hearing him reminisce about the good times at BIS makes me even more excited that so many of the original members are involved in this latest endeavor:



#19


Sadly, it looks like it’s pretty much going to be digital only.

[URL=“http://twitter.com/TrentOster/status/235763658767101953”]http://twitter.com/TrentOster/status/235763658767101953[/URL]

[QUOTE][B]TrentOster[/B]

The Collectors Edition talks are completely stalled. I do not believe they will be successful and as such a boxed copy will not happen[/QUOTE]



#20

Interview w/ Phillip Daigle

http://truepcgaming.com/2012/08/21/baldurs-gate-enhanced-edition-interview/

[size=5]Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition Interview[/size]

Posted on August 21, 2012 by Adam Ames

The head of Beamdog, Phillip Daigle, spoke to TPG about their upcoming classic remastering, Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition. Philip discusses the technical difficulties behind getting the game to run on newer systems, why Beamdog will be the only place to get your hands on a copy at launch, the use of hamsters as a marketing tactic and much more.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your role with the development of Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition.

I’m Phillip Daigle, and I’m the Producer for Beamdog and Overhaul Games. I’ve been in the game development world for almost seven years, and I’ve been at Beamdog for two years. My work on Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition has been largely production scheduling, design, writing, and a little bit of voice work that will never see the light of day.

What was the motivation behind releasing Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition?

*Baldur’s Gate deserved better. It’s such a fantastic series, and yet it’s largely inaccessible to modern audiences.

The version you can currently buy requires loads of workarounds and mods to get running at an acceptable level, and that’s just not a good experience to our mind. We wanted to bring a classic game to a whole new audience with as little hassle as possible. Combine that with our familiarity with Baldur’s Gate, and it seemed like the obvious choice for our next project.

Our end goal with this project is to leave the Baldur’s Gate community better off than when we arrived. We’re definitely going to do that.*

Walk us through the development process of creating the new characters and stories in Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition.

*We took a look at the existing game, what we were going to be adding, and started to see what was missing. There were classes and kits that were never used for party members, and we wanted to fill those gaps and tell and interesting story while doing so. Using Baldur’s Gate 2 NPCs as our guide, we started to explore what interesting stories these new NPCs could tell.

In the case of Dorn, we wanted a character that would be unapologetically evil, without any remorse for his actions. His tale is quite different from most NPC villains; most of the evil characters have some redeeming feature, or they were forced into their path. Dorn is simply a bad man who knows full well the depths of his evil and does not regret it.*

Are you nervous as to what the fan reaction will be given that Baldur’s Gate is a such a beloved series?

*I’m terrified beyond belief. Baldur’s Gate is a sacred icon for many gamers, and any meddling could be considered heresy. We’re doing our best to remain true to the original spirit of the game while at the same time adding new and interesting content, but I know you can’t please everyone.

I wrote most of the story outlines for the new content, and then our lead writer Dave Gross went in and drastically improved upon them. If someone hates the new stuff, they can hold me personally liable for their emotional distress.*

Talk about your decision to stay with 2nd Edition AD&D rules for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition.

Baldur’s Gate, Baldur’s Gate 2, and Baldur’s Gate 2: The Throne of Bhaal all use 2nd Edition AD&D rules. Rather than rip all of that out and implement 3.5 or 4th Edition, we decided to keep the original game mechanics. Implementing a new edition of the rules would have been a massive undertaking resulting in a different game.

Discuss the challenges you faced in ensuring Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition would run on modern PC system configurations?

*Lots and lots. The Infinity Engine, which is what the entire Baldur’s Gate saga runs on, was built in the late 90s. This was a time of strife, with Titanic terrorizing theatres and Pathfinder crushing a tiny Martian civilization as it landed. These trying times were reflected in the now 15-year-old code, with terrifying Windows-95-isms scattered all over the place.

There were a lot of nasty things lurking in the code, like the assumptions the original team made about how multi-threading was going to work in the future. To be fair to the original team, they did a stand-up job. Taking any game and converting it for use across multiple platforms would result in a similar mess.*

Do you plan on releasing a Linux version?

I can’t comment on that at this time, but wouldn’t that be SO COOL?

Will Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition support proper widescreen and multi-monitor resolutions?

Widescreen yes, multi-monitor… that depends. It won’t span across multiple monitors automatically, if that’s what you mean. But you should be able to have it full screen in one monitor while you browse Reddit in the other.

Talk about developing the multiplayer portion of Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition and which modes will be available at launch.

The entire Baldur’s Gate campaign, along with the new adventure ‘The Black Pits,’ will be playable in cooperative multiplayer, without having to futz around with Netsock and IPX. Up to six people can play cooperatively, and all from different platforms. Do you dare draw the ire of the charred god by having an iPad play with an Android Tablet?

Will old saves from the original games be compatible with Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition?

I don’t believe so. We’re making some structural changes to the engine that prevent this from happening.

What type of DRM will be used for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition?

On the PC side, Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition will initially be available through Beamdog, or as a stand-alone download. In both cases, the game will have a launcher that performs a check when you first install the game to make sure you own it, and after that you can play offline as much as you want.

Talk about your relationship with Overhaul Games and the work they have done on Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition.

*Overhaul Games is a division of Beamdog, and so there’s obviously a lot of crossover. In my case, I run a bunch of Beamdog stuff in addition to my Overhaul Games duties.

We were able to work on Baldur’s Gate largely through our tenacious attitude. It took over a year of contract negotiations to get the rights and data needed before we could work on the project. Hasbro, Atari, and EA were all involved in making this project a reality. Bioware was gracious enough to let us go spelunking for a few days in the server room for the old Baldur’s Gate source code, and we appreciate that.*

Did you have any difficulty acquiring proper licenses to begin developing Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition?

As I mentioned, it was a rough, year-long ride to get everything sorted out on the legal side. And of course there are still restrictions regarding what we can and cannot do, but that’s to be expected when you’re dealing with a licensed intellectual property.

Will Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition be made available on any other digital distribution platform other than Beamdog?

*Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition is launching exclusive to Beamdog, but does not require the Beamdog client. It can be downloaded as a stand-alone application for those that don’t want to use another game store client.

The reason for making it an exclusive to Beamdog, at least at first, was one that largely related to funding and trying to promote our own store. We’re not blind, we fully realize that Steam or GOG have more customers and could theoretically result in more sales, but the percentages on those sales would be drastically different for us as a developer. Our goal is to keep producing games, both overhauls of existing games and entirely new ones, and directly selling BG:EE will help us accomplish that goal.*

Does the likelihood of Baldur’s Gate 3 solely depend on the financial success of Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition?

Just so everyone is clear: We haven’t been awarded a contract to create a Baldur’s Gate 3. But if Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition and Baldur’s Gate 2: Enhanced Edition do well financially and we’re able to demonstrate that we can make good original content, I believe we would have a strong chance of making it happen.

How did you come to the $19.99 price point?

*Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition will be $19.99 on PC and Mac at launch, and on iPad and Android they’ll be $9.99. The PC version can be pre-purchased on Beamdog right now for $17.99.

The reason for the price difference is because the PC and Mac version have all of the new content we’ve created included in the price, whereas the iPad and Android versions have some of the new content held back as in-app purchases. The different pricing structures are based on consumer expectation.

We felt that $19.99 on PC and Mac was a reasonable price point due to the number of features we’re adding, and for the size of the game. We realize that there are people who already own the previous version of the game and may not see the allure of spending $20 for some new features, but there’s a vast sea of people out there who will be getting an entirely new (to them), epic 50 hour adventure for only $19.99 (OR $17.99 IF YOU PRE-PURCHASE, BUY NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW).*

Will there be a demo of Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition available on or before launch?

Probably not. We’re working like Canadian beavers up here to get the game ready for release on September 18th, and creating a demo is a significant undertaking. It would be great to have a demo ready to roll, but I don’t see it happening.

Have you given any thought to releasing Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition in retail stores?

*We would absolutely love to have a boxed collector’s edition. We’re currently in talks to make it happen, but talk have stalled out and it isn’t looking like they will be easy to restart.

If it were to happen, every single copy would come with a real live hamster. Each box will have enough air, water, and food for the hamster to survive for two weeks. After that, it’s up to you. If we don’t sell out inside of 14 days, the blood of countless hamsters will be on your hands.*

Do you have any plans to release post-launch DLC?

Yes. I can’t comment on when or what, though.

Will modding tools be released for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition? Will current mods work?

Many existing mod tools will continue to work, but some older mods might require some effort to convert for use with the various versions of the game.

We would like to thank Phillip for taking time away from development to answer our questions. You can pre-order Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition for 17.99 via Beamdog.