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Prediction: Beamdog and the end of the Infinity Engine

billbiscobillbisco Member Posts: 361
There will likely be only one infinity engine game produced after Siege of Dragonspear. Below are the documented reasons for each case.

1. Adventure Z:

We know from the devs that Beamdog's Adventure Z is up next and that it will be a departure from previous games and that it will involve sharks somehow.

Given the description I highly doubt that this will be an infinity engine game. An underwater D&D adventure game would be new and unprecedented, but probably too radical a departure from what the infinity engine has delivered before.

Given Trent Oster's bad experience with Nintendo, my first guess is that this adventure z game involving sharks is more likely a mobile phone game than a console game. PC/Mac/Linux possible if the design makes sense for it.

Conclusion: Adventure Z = not infinity engine

2. Baldur's Gate 3 and other Infinity Engine Intellectual Properties:

The siegeofdragonspear.com FAQ states:

Q: Why didn't you make this expansion in a new engine instead of the Infinity Engine?
We wanted to create a cohesive, old-school gaming experience that meshes with the parent games, and we wanted to bring people the experiences that only the Infinity Engine offers.

The devs are already defending their engine choice before the game is even released. This is an indication that the devs have long been thinking about a new game engine and are only using the infinity engine for siege of dragonspear for ease of use and continuity's sake.

The faq mentions that BG:SoD is not Baldur's Gate 3 and other interviews confirm Beamdog's interest in making BG3. Wizards of the Coast has incentives to license games in in its current edition:5e The infinity engine was built for 2e and contains that ruleset's baggage. Why garner additional interest for a brand new game in a deprecated ruleset?

Conclusion: Adventure Z = not infinity engine, Baldur's Gate 3 = not infinity engine, Other IP = not infinity engine

3. Icewind Dale II Enhanced Edition:

Trent Oster said:

"The move to 3rd Edition rules would invalidate all the character classes and require a pretty thorough rework of the entire game to bring in the features from our Infinity Plus Engine. At minimum, nightmares abound."

You can clearly see Trent's thoughts as a manager here. Why go through a lot of effort to work on brand new enhancements to an engine that can only benefit one game? That's time and money that doesn't have as much return on a Baldur's Gate compatible game. Why invest into a likely nightmare?

Icewind Dale II did not have as many sales as Icewind Dale. Take a look at these recent Amazon.com prices of the original games. Icewind Dale is more popular than Icewind Dale II.

image


Why invest in a nightmare that will catch fewer sales?

The alternative would be to convert IWD2 to 2e, but that would anger people who preferred the 3e ruleset of IWD2. And go against Beamdog's current practice of minimal changes to games.

Conclusion: Adventure Z = not infinity engine, Baldur's Gate 3 = not infinity engine, Other IP = not infinity engine, Icewind Dale 2 Enhanced Edition = not happening

4. Planescape Torment: Enhanced Edition:

Amber Scott said:

It's pretty much a maybe. A lot of people in the office (including me) would LOVE to a Planescape update. It's one of my favorite games of all time. Trent has said "we'd like to, there are issues to work out first but we're interested" (I paraphrase). So nothing is officially in the works but maybe, someday, hopefully.

The original Planescape Torment was not a great seller despite having a cult following. Much of the problems that affect Icewind Dale 2 affect Planescape Torment even more. Outdated cutscenes, ugly brown and gray backgrounds, completely different icons: spells, items, paperdolls,

Torment has different engine features such as running which would need to be handled.

In order to bring the Baldur's Gate Enhancements, the engine would need to be converted to the BGEE one, but Torment was designed for single player and it shows. Having multiple Nameless ones show up at the beginning of the story would be weird story-wise. Having fully alive Multiplayer companions in the starting area wouldn't make sense in the story and would diminish the nameless one. A Kensai Half-Orc would trounce the Nameless One's combat abilty and a Sorceror at the beginning would be insulting towards the Nameless One's inability to become a Mage immediately and instead requiring several tasks first.

Unlike in BGEE, where the protagonist starts out as any class and race of choice and with Class Kits, Barbarian, Sorceror, Monk, and Half-Orc from Throne of Bhaal being available in BG1 for a long time through BGTuTu and Baldur's Gate Trilogy mods, the same cannot be said for Torment: To add any other classes requires a rewriting of the game. To add any kits requires a rewriting of the game.
The Planescape setting was discontinued upon the introduction of 3rd edition over 15 years ago. Wizards of the coast has little incentive to generate interest in a setting that isn't being supported. Even though Baldur's Gate is 2E, Forgotten Realms still maintains great popularity and is still producing game manuals and novels.

The Torment Trademark is owned by the producer's of the spiritual successor to Planescape Torment, Torment: Tides of Numenera

"The applications were both filed by Roxy Friday LLC, a company previously linked to InXile Entertainment founder Brian Fargo, who also happened to be the head of Interplay during the development of Meantime and, presumably, at least some of Van Buren. Roxy Friday is also the company that filed for a Torment trademark in 2012, prior to the announcement of Torment: Tides of Numenera."

InExile may not want anything to spoil Torment: Tides of Numenera's release later this year or in coming years. After great sales, PIllars of Eternity set out to make an expansion. Torment; TIdes of Numenera would likely want to make an expansion if sales turn out good. Business-wise, why would they want a spoiler on the sales for their expansion either?

It may be a legal issue to sell an Enhanced Edition of Torment while another company owns it's copywrite. Even if not, there's still the chance of being sued anyway. The copywrite owners may demand a fee over use of the Torment name for a Planescape Torment: Enhanced Edition

Why invest in a game that will have fewer features than Baldur's Gate & Icewind Dale, will require a lot of rework to be made viable, has more potential legal issues and fees associated with it, and had a bad sales record with the original game?

Conclusion: Adventure Z = not infinity engine, Baldur's Gate 3 = not infinity engine, Other IP = not infinity engine, Icewind Dale 2 Enhanced Edition = not happening, Planescape Torment Enhanced Edition = not happening

5. Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition Trilogy

Trent Oster Stated:

"It all comes down to the terms of the business deal. We are on the hook for two products, BG:EE and BG2:EE. So for now, we make two products. Down the road we'll likely try to convince everyone to do a all in one version. Can't see this happening for a while though. With Atari's bankruptcy, all new ideas are on hold until it shakes out.

-Trent "

Phil Daigle Stated:

billbisco said:

2. Any chance in the future or an Enhanced Edition Trilogy game that combines bgee, bgSoD, and bg2ee in one game?

Yes, we would love to do that. Right now there are certain technical limitations for iOS and Android that don't allow for such a colossal game, but eventually that will change. If all else fails it could come exclusively to desktop.

We don't have a specific time frame to do build that, but it's something we've held in mind as a long-term goal since 2012. If it makes sense and we can do it, we will.
A game combining all the Bhaalspawn Saga into one game is something that the developers have repeatedly supported doing. Integration into one game is something that has long been proven with the Baldur's Gate Trilogy mod. BGEE and BG2EE both use the same engine with the same feature set, so integration is very viable.

A chance to get Interplay to allow changes to existing content would finally mean that players can get get the feature they've wanted for years: Keep your party from BG1 through the entire Bhaalspawn Saga and alter the start of BG2, integrated BG1 NPC project mod, integrated Ascension mod as well as other Enhancements such as 10 person parties, easy moddability for creating new classes, dual classes, and multiclasses, brand new massive quests, new areas, and more!

Even if Interplay never reneges on its insistence to no changes to existing content, Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition Trilogy will still likely be made, new quests and areas not within BGEE, BGSoD, or BG2EE would give more reason to buy the combined game as would the integration of the new SoD NPCs into BG2EE. Engine features such as 10 person parties, moddable more single, dual, and multiclasses, subraces, and more could be added.

The main obstacles to an official Enhanced Edition Trilogy game would be money and time. If Siege of Dragonspear sells well, it paves the way for an eventual Enhanced Edition Trilogy game. Timewise and moneywise, it would make sense to wait some years after the release of Siege of Dragonspear to release this game after sales have died down somewhat.

6. Prediction:
Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition Trilogy will be released some years after a successful Siege of Dragonspear game release. After that, there will never be another Infinity Engine game commercially produced.

Post edited by billbisco on
semiticgodDexterJustLeftAbelineth

Comments

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,982
    "Not to mention that Interplay would likely quash that with a demand to "prevent changes to existing content" as they did with BG1 and BG2."

    May I ask where you are getting the information you used to form this statement?

  • billbiscobillbisco Member Posts: 361
    @elminster Myself, Beamdog is contractually prevented in the Baldur's Gate games currently from making changes to existing content. Interplay is the most likely culprit behind this restriction. This restriction likely follows Icewind Dale 2 with no changes to existing content being demanded from them.

    Converting IWD2 to the 2E engine would very likely fall within the purview of "changing existing content" and would probably similarly be prevented.

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,982
    I'm not going to delve any further into this topic though I will say that to the best of my knowledge Interplay is really not involved here.

  • billbiscobillbisco Member Posts: 361
    elminster said:

    I'm not going to delve any further into this topic though I will say that to the best of my knowledge Interplay is really not involved here.

    Well good if that's true. Then that makes it most likely that Wotc is to blame for the "no changes to existing content clause." Alternatively if it's Bioware making that demand then they weren't involved in IWD2 and a conversion of IWD2 to 2E rules would be possible.

    Taking your comment and reading back again through other posts, it seems most likely that Bioware is to blame for the "no changes to existing content" clause. I will update the OP.

  • CalmarCalmar Member Posts: 685
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the engine more or less independent from the underlying gameplay mechanics? I mean, they could refit IWD II from 2E to 3E with tthe game still looking the same, no matter if it uses THAC0 or Base Attack Bonus etc. Torment has basically it's own version of AD&D rules. I see no reason why the IE couldn't be used with 5E rules.

  • billbiscobillbisco Member Posts: 361
    @Calmar, if you read the wikipedia articles and references regarding Icewind Dale II and description for the Cancelled Baldur's Gate 3: The Black Hound Game

    Icewind Dale 2:/

    "During this period, Interplay Entertainment relied on Black Isle Studios' games to alleviate financial trouble, which put pressure to release games quickly.[3] The decision to develop Icewind Dale II was based partly on the original Icewind Dale‍ '​s reception, and the development teams' ability to create a game with the Infinity Engine relatively quickly.[45] Sawyer said of the decision, "In all honesty, the reasons for making Icewind Dale II have to do with limiting risks and maximizing our chances for a popular title."

    Icewind Dale II was originally planned to be an incomplete conversion to the D&D Third Edition ruleset, with many rules omitted. The kit system (class specialization) introduced in Baldur's Gate 2 was to be used, but this idea was later abandoned.[8][45][48] Sawyer and several other members of the team pushed for the game's conversion to Third Edition. The development team was eventually granted an extension, which allowed them to complete the change to Third Edition rules.[45] The Infinity Engine required extensive modification to comply with Third Edition rules, as it had originally been designed for Second Edition rules; certain elements of the rules were removed due to interface and engine issues.

    Baldur's Gate 3: The Black Hound

    "The game was going to use the Jefferson Engine, which was Black Isle Studios continuation of the Infinity Engine. They had decided on using a new engine because to them the Infinity Engine was a mess and was being extensively overused, as it had already been used in six projects. The Jefferson Engine was said to be a very powerful 3D engine that would have incorporated everything from the previous Baldur's Gate games, the Temple of Elemental Evil and some elements from Fallout and put them into one. The engine would have allowed armor worn by the player to be shown in the game. The ability to import characters from one game to another was going to be available as well."

    Siege of Dragonspear website

    Q: Why didn't you make this expansion in a new engine instead of the Infinity Engine?
    We wanted to create a cohesive, old-school gaming experience that meshes with the parent games, and we wanted to bring people the experiences that only the Infinity Engine offers.

    RESPONSE

    If you read between the lines a bit, it seems that Icewind Dale II was released in the Infinity Engine because Interplay needed the money and the risk and cost associated with a new engine would have been too much and come too late. In order to differentiate the game and be more up to date with the current D&D system (3E at the time), it required a lot of changes to the engine and they still couldn't do everything that they wanted to do.

    If Icewind Dale II had more time and/or money, it probably would have been a different engine.

    With Baldur's Gate 3, they planned on using a successor to the Infinity Engine: The Jefferson engine, but Interplay's financial troubles caused the game (and the engine's) cancellation anyway.

    The same applies to NWN developing the Aurora Engine to best the infinity engine and NWN2 developing the Electron Engine to best the Aurora Engine. You can see clearly by Q&A from Beamdog shows that they have been thinking about using another engine given that they're defending using the Infinity Engine.

    So, it's not a question of the Infinity not being able to be modified for 5E rules, it's the degree of effort in modifying a legacy engine to bring in 5E features and the risk of not being able to implement all of them anyway. Not to mention the benefits of streamlined development possible with new engines. Both big name spiritual successors to Baldur's Gate, Pillars of Eternity and Torment: Tides of Numenera are both using the Unity Engine.

    I have mixed feelings about the above because I want to see those games successful, I am disappointed to see both a lack of multiplayer and a lack of moddability to both of them: something that 1998 Baldur's Gate had.

    Abel
  • AndrewFoleyAndrewFoley Member Posts: 743
    billbisco said:

    1. Adventure Z:

    We know from the devs that Beamdog's Adventure Z is up next and that it will be a departure from previous games and that it will involve sharks somehow.

    As mentioned in various places in this forum, Adventure Z was cancelled months ago. It was never an IE game.

    I'm no copyright lawyer, but I believe "Planescape: Torment" is sufficiently distinct from other use of "torment" in other videogame titles to insulate whoever might utilize the IP from trademark litigation, especially if the Ps:T name precedes the current trademarked use. I could be way wrong on that one, though, and even if I'm not, merit isn't necessarily the first thing people look at when it comes to lawsuits.

    Aedan
  • dunbardunbar Member Posts: 1,472
    I couldn't agree more with steelchaser, in fact everything he said applies to me as well (except that I'm 56, not 55).

    GallowglassJuliusBorisovatcDavelolien
  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    edited November 2015
    [Edit: rude reply deleted.]

  • BillyYankBillyYank Member Posts: 2,769

    I agree with atcdave, I'm too old(55) to waste my time on new rules. I started playing in a friends basement back in the 70's. Hey Beamdog, please don't forget about us oldsters, remember we have the money to buy stuff, (and don't know how to pirate.)

    I guess as a youngster of 49, I'm less set in my ways. I'm actually looking forward to learning 5th ed rules. If I could justify the expense, I'd buy the books.

  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    BillyYank said:

    I guess as a youngster of 49, I'm less set in my ways. I'm actually looking forward to learning 5th ed rules. If I could justify the expense, I'd buy the books.

    Ah, but just another few months and you'll hit the big 5-0 ... your brain will immediately fossilise on your birthday, and you'll instantly lose all interest in new rules, new games, new anything, as your body suddenly reconciles itself to inevitable mortality and starts winding down towards the end of your personal quest.

    DragonspearsemiticgodArdul
  • Troodon80Troodon80 Member, Developer Posts: 4,110
    BillyYank said:

    I guess as a youngster of 49, I'm less set in my ways. I'm actually looking forward to learning 5th ed rules. If I could justify the expense, I'd buy the books.

    I'm a little older than what most have said. Age has nothing to do with it. I'll always be set in my ways about 2e being the best edition—it's subjective, I know—but I wouldn't object to there being a Baldur's Gate game made with 5e. I looked into the 5e books—from what I've read so far, it does look interesting.

    brusGallowglassAbel
  • CahirCahir Member, Moderator, Translator (NDA) Posts: 2,097
    Guys, thank you so much, I feel young again :smile:
    Anyway, I didn't realize so many forumites already hit 50. It's... well... insightful.

    RodrianBelgarathMTHJuliusBorisov
  • brusbrus Member Posts: 944
    edited November 2015
    50's are new 20's.
    It's like you are 20 years old with 30 years of experience. And, of course, there is no level cap.
    @Troodon80, does 80 mean something in your avatar name ?

    I would also like to see a game (BG or something new) in 5e rules but slightly modified and improved.

    Abel
  • RodrianRodrian Member Posts: 421
    I second @Cahir, it feels like my "Bhaalspawn age" (22) is so well placed for another Faerûnian adventure! :smiley:

  • Troodon80Troodon80 Member, Developer Posts: 4,110
    @brus,
    brus said:

    @Troodon80, does 80 mean something in your avatar name ?

    Yes and no. Yes, it means something to me, but 80 was a mostly random number when I created my first Troodon account many, many years ago—'random' in so far as there being other numbers I could have picked and that it has no relation to my age.

    elminster
  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,429
    Hmm... the end of the Infinity Engine, huh? I had always thought that this engine was infinite.

    TuthatcDaveAbelDaevelon
  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    my first Troodon account many, many years ago—'random' in so far as there being other numbers I could have picked and that it has no relation to my age.
    So, @Troodon80 ... "80" already had "no relation" to your age even when you created it "many, many years ago", and indeed you're named after a genus of dinosaur ... folks, I think we have a real veteran amongst our number! :grin:

    [Paleontological note - Troodon was an unusually brainy type of dinosaur.]

  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356

    I had always thought that this engine was infinite.

    ... so that explains the download time, then!

    DJKajuru
  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    I've been pretty set on 2E since my 20s!
    I have played other rule sets, with other DMs; but I run 2E, it's what I like.

    Now as a 50-something I'm just sayin'; I have a life. I have other hobbies and interests and obligations.
    If they do more 2E I'll buy it. If they don't I won't!

    And I don't mean to say those who look forward to every new rule set don't have a life! I know many gamers who are so invested in the hobby they are constantly wanting to try the latest and greatest.
    But I just have too much going on. It's not going to happen.

    marcellusBelgarathMTH
  • marcellusmarcellus Member Posts: 22
    atcDave said:

    I've been pretty set on 2E since my 20s!
    I have played other rule sets, with other DMs; but I run 2E, it's what I like.

    Now as a 50-something I'm just sayin'; I have a life. I have other hobbies and interests and obligations.
    If they do more 2E I'll buy it. If they don't I won't!

    And I don't mean to say those who look forward to every new rule set don't have a life! I know many gamers who are so invested in the hobby they are constantly wanting to try the latest and greatest.
    But I just have too much going on. It's not going to happen.

    So be it, but please note, 5th ed is awesome. I'm a fan of 2nd ed also, and 5th ed just got it right. It feels less... cheesy.

  • kanisathakanisatha Member Posts: 682
    BillyYank said:

    I guess as a youngster of 49, I'm less set in my ways. I'm actually looking forward to learning 5th ed rules. If I could justify the expense, I'd buy the books.

    Ha! Me too! I'm 48 and I've looked into 5e rules. They look to be very interesting and I'm open to giving 5e a chance. But also, I don't care for 2e. It's certainly better than 4e but not nearly as good as 3.5e.

  • GemHoundGemHound Member Posts: 799
    Well, if they do a 5e game thats better than SCL, I'll buy it.

    brus
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