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How the Baldour Gate transformed Western designs

BingMag.com <b>How</b> the <b>Baldour</b> <b>Gate</b> <b>transformed</b> <b>Western</b> designs

The news of the construction of Baldur's Gate 3 provoked mixed but strong reactions. Some believed that the return of Baldur Gate meant the return of the pattern-making style to its roots. The reaction of others was, "What is Baldour Gate?" Cameron Tofer is a playwright who is well acquainted with Baldour Gate's long history and rich heritage. Not only is he one of the founders of Beamdog Studios (the studio that built Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition to keep the game up-to-date for the next generation of gamers), but he once worked as a programmer at Bioware when the studio "For the members of the Baldour Gate construction team, this is a mere mere accumulation of proponents of the proponents of Dungeons & Dragons," he said. It was the first game they worked on and they worked hard to make it. In fact, they wanted to find their passion for desktop role-playing games in the form of a video game. " The passion that Tuffer talks about dates back to high school, when members of Baldour Gate made religious games. "James Ohlen, the senior designer and artistic director of Baldour Gate, was our Dungeonmaster in high school, and Baldour Gate's worldliness and characters all came to fruition in the high school DNA campaign he was running for us," he said. .

For example, Minsc's character is inspired by Tuffer's own character while playing Dandy.

BingMag.com <b>How</b> the <b>Baldour</b> <b>Gate</b> <b>transformed</b> <b>Western</b> designs

He continues:" When it came time to add characters to Baldour Gate, we said to ourselves, 'Great, can we add Drizzt *? "Can we add something?" In fact, we have been cultivating Baldour Gate characters for years without knowing it. "When I play with characters like Zen, I basically see Ben and all the characters that the group kids played in their religious meetings."

E. Salvatore created him as a supporting character for the Icewind Dale trilogy, and then went into detail about his past in The Dark Elf Trilogy.

Tofer Like many others who grew up in the golden age of board games, he mentions black holes and dragons as constructive experiences in which there are no hard and fast rules by which you can sit with your friends and enjoy storytelling and storytelling. . The members of Beauvoir's young team wanted to bring the experience of the demon into the game world, but as Tuffer points out, the demon was a game that emphasized high probability. Trying to transfer this amount of possibilities to a video game had its own challenges.

BingMag.com <b>How</b> the <b>Baldour</b> <b>Gate</b> <b>transformed</b> <b>Western</b> designs

One of the biggest challenges was the Real Time With Pause game Team members knew from the start that they wanted to implement such gameplay in the game. "But then the question arose, How can this system be implemented in the context of gameplay? Because direct transfer of ideas was not possible, and if it was, I do not know if anyone would have liked to do so."

Transferring the gaming experience to video game media was challenging enough to retain the elements that made the mainstream experience special, but Biowire faced another problem: the growing market indifference to computer role-playing games in the late 1990s. The golden age of computer-generated games was in the 1980s, a year in which popular games such as Might & Magic and the Ultima series were released, which according to Toffer was one of the main sources of inspiration for Baldour Gate. But a number of factors have led to a decline in computer-aided design since the early 1990s. These factors include:

  • Development of other styles
  • Rising game development costs
  • Large and rapid changes in game development ( "I think 3D graphics was the main issue," Tuffer explains. At this point, everyone was changing their systems. Baldour Gate was released when 3D graphics were just introduced, but people were just getting used to it and learning How to use it. In other words, we had access to 3D graphics, but we still didn't know How to make it look as beautiful as 2D games. But the focus was on faster, more action-packed gameplay that appealed to more action-packed fans than to a bunch of professional gamers. Fallout proved in 1997 that pure role-playing games could still be successful, but game developers were forced to remove a number of hardcore game elements inspired by desktop role-playing games and replace them with simpler mechanisms; Like the fighting system of the game, which is inspired by UFO: Enemy Unknown. Baldour Gate tried to take a different path.

    BingMag.com <b>How</b> the <b>Baldour</b> <b>Gate</b> <b>transformed</b> <b>Western</b> designs

    Tuff about what caused the Gate "Baldour Gate was one of the first fantasy role-playing games that was truly world-class, and the player's choices had a profound effect on his story," says Baldour, different from his previous titles. This game encourages the player to explore, because its world is full of unique characters, trophies, stories and quests. The player can choose his own path of progress and the decision he makes in one part affects another part of the game and his story. "This system was a big change in the gaming world at the time."

    And it really was. From the very first moment of the game when you are asked to build your character from a large number of options, the emphasis of the game on the player's choice becomes clear. After an armored and mysterious person in the beginning of the game kills your wizard master and transforms your world, you have to enter a big world. Although your character survives the attack of the armored person, he has no home and so he decides to put an end to the Iron Crisis, a crisis that has caused great destruction and problems in the land./p>

    The game's strong plot kept you engaged for decades on end. Although many years have passed since the release of the game, the impact of the player's choices on the plot is still interesting. The story of the game and the way it is told is such that you feel like you are sitting in front of a dungeon master and he is telling you the story. For Tuffer, the game's attitude is toward storytelling, which has earned him the nickname "Baldour Gate." " The game's dialogue trees, non-playable characters, and intriguing game quests are all artistically tied to the game's epic story. "Any game that bears the name of Baldur Gate creates the expectation in the audience that it has a rich narrative line and the player's choices affect the overall story of the game."

    BingMag.com <b>How</b> the <b>Baldour</b> <b>Gate</b> <b>transformed</b> <b>Western</b> designs

    The combination of important choices, extraordinary storytelling and classic dichotomous mechanisms made the game sound like a bomb when it was released in 1998. The sales of the game were so high that in the first two months of the game's release, copies of it could hardly be found in stores. Although the rapid success of the game convinced analysts and the game's publisher, Interplay, Baldour's goal was to become a phenomenon, Tuffer realized the game's uniqueness sooner.

    Tufer says "For me, the moment I realized the game was going to be a success was shortly after the sharp release of BaldursGate.com. People all over the world sent us messages telling us How much the Baldour Gate had affected them. The success of the game was very strange for me personally, because the story of Baldour Gate is the same story of Dandy that we played in high school and James Olen was our dancer At that time I did not think at all one day Minsk, the character I played, from my house "It spread across the Canadian meadows and people from all over the world showed interest in it."

    Fans at Baldour Gate were still with them. Their studio rebuilt Baldour Gate 1 and 2, as well as other classic designs such as Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment as Enhanced Edition. The process of recreating these games was done more out of a need to explain why people feel nostalgic for these titles than to a nostalgic one. For us, rebuilding the Baldour Gate meant rebuilding the game the way people remembered it, not rebuilding the game in the same way as it did in 1998. Baldour Gate was a great game for his time, but the hardware of the day limited him. We rewrote approximately 300,000 lines of code to optimize it for modern systems. We updated the interface, deleted all the loading pages, and removed tens of thousands of bugs, but not all of them. "Over the years, some bugs and glitches have become popular, so we've left a few of these popular glitches in the game."

    BingMag.com <b>How</b> the <b>Baldour</b> <b>Gate</b> <b>transformed</b> <b>Western</b> designs

    Although most of Bimdag's projects have been remakes of classic role-playing games, the studio has also created new content. In 2016, the studio released a new add-on package called the Siege of the Dragonspear for Baldour Gate. Although the feedback was mostly positive, some of the studio's choices for making the game were criticized. "After learning to make this game, they learned important lessons as a game studio," says Tufer. "What did we learn?" That expectations matter. People are looking for new but familiar content. It is difficult to describe. It's as if I want more content and I want it to be different, so don't give me the same content as before, but the content you give me isn't too different Creating a sense of familiarity is very important. Suppose you played Baldour Gate, you liked it and now you want to go back to it. What are you waiting for? . However, Tuffer points out that modernizing Baldour's greatest Gate ideas is challenging in an age where most dialogues are expected to be voiced and not dry-texted.

    That was a lot. I think this is the change that is ahead. For the last ten years we have been dealing with the same issue: sounding all the game dialogues as well as dubbing them in different languages. This takes a lot of effort. "But I think in the future there will be a big change in this area that will make it very easy." Allowing players to have more control over the game flow does not make much sense.

    BingMag.com <b>How</b> the <b>Baldour</b> <b>Gate</b> <b>transformed</b> <b>Western</b> designs

    Industry The game constantly oscillates between giving the player the right to choose and providing a pre-prepared experience. Of course, if the game is great in advance, that is not a problem. I want to play the game and experience the linear story that is going to tell me. But if not, it's better to give me the right to choose my own path and explore the game world at my own discretion. Both approaches are excellent. "I think the worst case scenario is when a player thinks he has a choice, but in reality he is on a simple, predetermined path."

    The game will determine the future of the Baldour Gate series, but Tufer and Bimodag Studios also played an important role in moving the Baldour Gate into the modern era. Making old classic games available to the new generation of gamers is important because it shows that the ideas of the creators of these games have no expiration date.

    Tufer says: I am trying again and looking for such moments, but honestly I think the game industry is moving in the opposite direction of reproducing such moments. The more profitable decision is to erase old experiences from people's minds in order to pave the way for new ones. It seems that the gaming industry wants to obsolete some things in a planned way. Games are like a kind of service. When a service is not profitable, it is left out and forgotten. This culture is really awkward, because economically logic dictates that it preserves old works. "But at the moment I do not see such a thing happening, and incidentally the process of clearing up past experiences is accelerating."

Source: Den of Geek

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