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Baldur's Gate III released into Early Access

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  • kanisathakanisatha Member Posts: 1,308
    I was simply pointing out that these games are not mainstream, and not that they don't have a market. But because they are not mainstream, even if they have a (small) market, increasingly studios (and especially the smallish indy studios that in the past made these kinds of games) may not consider it to be worth their while financially to cater to that small a market.

  • AdulAdul Member Posts: 2,002
    It could be a matter of perspective—CRPGs certainly seem smaller nowadays when you have popular megasuccesses like Skyrim to compare them with, even though such comparisons may not necessarily be realistic or useful.

    Though I do think it's the case that the CRPG crowd is aging and investing far less playtime than they used to back in the day, which sort of lowers the limit on how many CRPGs can draw large sales numbers in a given amount of time.

    I know I've been meaning to play through PoE 2 ever since it came out and haven't managed to get around to it yet, which makes me more hesitant to invest money in other CRPGs that are coming out.

  • kanisathakanisatha Member Posts: 1,308
    edited November 2019
    It also depends on your perspective as a company. Bioware of 1998 was just starting out, and as such bringing in 1.5m in sales was completely satisfactory. For Bioware of 2019 this would qualify as a colossal failure. So yes, very small indy startups like Owlcat and Ceres and Tactical Adventures may be open to catering to a market of 0.25-1m although their games will surely be small and cheaply made. For companies like Obsidian, inXile and Larian, that's just not financially viable.

    Now, Larian did manage to find a sweetspot where a game selling just 1.5-2m was very profitable. But I see that as an exception to the rule rather than the rule, and I have zero doubt that if BG3 sales numbers are in the D:OS2 range Larian would consider that to be a financial disaster. Given that Larian has doubled the size of their workforce from 150 to 300 (which btw is much bigger than Obsidian sitting at 185 and inXile at ~100), brought onboard another 400 contract workers, and now opened its fifth studio worldwide, Larian is effectively a AAA company. And that comes with AAA financial expectations.

    AdulmlneveseThacoBellZaxares
  • LottiLotti Member Posts: 66
    A triple-A game from a small studio?

    Or is Wizards of the Coast so rich that it can buy a triple-A company?

    BallpointMan
  • kanisathakanisatha Member Posts: 1,308
    Lotti wrote: »
    A triple-A game from a small studio?

    Or is Wizards of the Coast so rich that it can buy a triple-A company?
    I think it is the latter. D&D 5e has significantly enriched WotC, not to mention all the other games they've been making for mobile platforms. And their other big franchise, Magic: The Gathering, is also doing really well. WotC has long talked about being able to make D&D videogames themselves instead of relying on outside parties. I feel this is their way of trying to create such a reality now that they are in a financially strong place.

    mlnevese
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 22,065
    I think the new Kickstarter video can serve as a certain indication of the RP we'll be able to do in BG3. Of course, the rules will be different (DnD rules, not D:OS), but the player agency might be similar. I mean, the creativity of the player is a plus. Giving a teleporter pyramid to an enemy and then throwing the twin pyramid out of the window so that the enemy could drop in the same time. That's player agency, which should be the main point in BG3.

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/larianstudios/divinity-original-sin-the-board-game

    Mirandel
  • LottiLotti Member Posts: 66
    While it doesn't mention BG3, this is an interesting article about the revival of D&D in a mainstream news publication.

    https://www.theguardian.com/games/2019/nov/29/gamers-back-under-dungeons-and-dragons-spell

    Commercially it makes much more sense to appeal to this new generation of players than to revive the cult of 20 years ago.

    JuliusBorisovQuartzZaghoulArtona
  • AdulAdul Member Posts: 2,002
    edited December 2019
    Lotti wrote: »
    Commercially it makes much more sense to appeal to this new generation of players than to revive the cult of 20 years ago.

    If you're targeting a mainstream audience, it makes commercial sense to use their known gameplay preferences as design guidelines for your game.
    Just as it makes commercial sense to use the gameplay preferences of 20 years ago if you're targeting a market niche that favors those preferences.
    As a game developer, if you choose to grow large enough where investors become a thing you need to deal with, you go into it with the understanding that you'll be expected to cater to the whims of your markets (and your investors), which in turn puts limits on your artistic expression. We all love the thought of having a big budget to work with, but there are tradeoffs.

    ThacoBellmlneveseZaxaresSjerrie
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 22,065
    So, not entirely about BG3, but I think this is one of the few official mentions why original BG1 and BG2 were RtwP games: just because of the popularity of RTS at that time, not because they thought RtwP was better.

    "With a solid licence secured and campaign setting in hand, the small but steadily growing team at BioWare got to work completing the transformation of their prototype RTS technology into an isometric role-playing game, aiming high from the get-go. “From the outset the BG games were intended to be the next-generation of the venerated Gold Box games,” says Chris. “At the same time, the RTS genre was proving what you could do strategically in a real-time environment. It seemed like a natural idea to marry the real-time strategy of RTS games with the depth and party-based play of past-gen RPGs – and of course, it worked out very well once we figured out pausing with the spacebar.”

    "It was a transition that flowed perfectly: Battleground Infinity was no more – and the Infinity Engine was born. The addition of pausing mid-combat allowed the player to issue commands to party members in the heat of battle without the timing pressure present in an RTS. This included managing spell books, quaffing healing potions or getting your injured frontliner the hell out of the fray so they could change from melee to ranged weapons. It was a simple feature, but central to the Infinity Engine, and the same technology would go on to drive the likes of Planescape: Torment and the Icewind Dale series."

    https://www.gamesradar.com/making-of-baldurs-gate/

    Time will show what system BG3 will use, but it's obvious to me the reasons (if there are reasons) to use RtwP today would be VERY different.

    StummvonBordwehrSkatanZaxaresQuartz
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876
    And it's also very obvious that using TB wouldn't be a better choice than RtwP. All it would accomplish is to garner towards a different customer group. Even Larian themselves created more games featuring RT than TB for the same reasons.

    On a similar note, it's also good to know that Chris Avellone will be on board again for the upcoming RtwP CRPG Wrath of the Righteous.

    AdulThacoBellkanisatha
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 22,065
    That ^ sounds like a very biased comment.

    Not sure you're right there. This is what Larian said:

    "So what was one of the biggest changes you made to Divinity: Original Sin during production?

    It used to be a real-time game. We made it turn-based. I see that Yakuza has been taking from our book. [laughs]

    I asked myself, “What are we doing? We’re making a real-time game because they told us.” Publishers told us that there’s no way you’re going to get your distribution deals if it’s turn-based. It needs to be real-time, blah, blah, blah. We’ve been conditioned into thinking real-time. I was in the shower, I was like, “What are we doing? We’re gonna be competing with Blizzard making an action RPG? We can’t compete with Blizzard, we don’t have the resources. But no one is making turn-based RPGs anymore. So maybe that’s where we should be going.” And that was a really good move."

    https://www.gameinformer.com/index.php/interview/2019/11/07/a-knight-in-shining-armor-swen-vincke-talks-the-long-road-of-larian-studios

    It's sad that Chris won't work on BG3, but he can't work on every game, right? ;)

    SkatanQuartz
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876
    “But no one is making turn-based RPGs anymore. So maybe that’s where we should be going.”
    That right there couldn't be more far from the truth. TB-based RPG's were always present across the board. Be it Western or Japanese ones. Now is no different. Guess even Swen isn't always right.

    kanisathaThacoBellAdul
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 22,065
    I think he meant big games and big successes. Just see https://www.metacritic.com/browse/games/genre/metascore/role-playing/pc?view=condensed and find how few TB games the list includes, omitting D:OS games.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876
    Even then that statement of his in the interview is plain wrong. Some of the greatest and most sold RPG franchises on the planet are purely TB: Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy being the greatest behemoths of all. Not to mentioning Disco Elysium, which recently netted four wins at the Game Awards earlier this month.

    I get that working on the same kind of game throughout two decades has tired Swen and his team out. But that doesn't make Larian something like the savior of TB RPG's by a long shot. Especially when including console games into the equation as well. The amount of TB RPG's out there is nothing short of humongous.

    kanisathaThacoBellAmmar
  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 1,266
    Some of the greatest and most sold RPG franchises on the planet are purely TB: Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy being the greatest behemoths of all.

    Final Fantasy's been gradually shifting to a more RT-based combat system in recent installments though. If I remember correctly, FFXV did this (and the trend may have started earlier), and FFVII Remake's going to use a primarily real time (with slowdown) system, although the option to use a more traditional TB-system will also be available for aficionados of the original.

  • kanisathakanisatha Member Posts: 1,308
    And it's also very obvious that using TB wouldn't be a better choice than RtwP.
    Yup, it's a completely arbitrary choice for a developer to make (for RPGs that is). All arguments that TB is somehow the "appropriate" system for the game are total nonsense.

    KamigoroshiThacoBellAdul
  • spacejawsspacejaws Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 373
    edited December 2019
    I think what puts me of is turn based western rpg's just seem like turn based tactics games of old like Xcom but reskinned with fantasy elements. I'm not a fan of how those games play from Wasteland to Shadowrun to Divinity I don't see enough different between spending AP, slowly positioning around and waiting for health sponges to die if you get your percentage hit.

    There is more than that but they all kinda feels like the same DNA. I'd love for a western dev to shake up turn based but it seems turn based rpg is just a tactics game with a bit more exploration.

  • SorcererV1ct0rSorcererV1ct0r Member Posts: 2,173
    I get that working on the same kind of game throughout two decades has tired Swen and his team out. But that doesn't make Larian something like the savior of TB RPG's by a long shot. Especially when including console games into the equation as well. The amount of TB RPG's out there is nothing short of humongous.

    RtWP D&D adaptations like NWN and BG always sold more than TB D&D adaptations, for eg : ToEE and Pool of Radiance 2 : Ruins of Myth Drannor
    spacejaws wrote: »
    I think what puts me of is turn based western rpg's just seem like turn based tactics games of old like Xcom but reskinned with fantasy elements. I'm not a fan of how those games play from Wasteland to Shadowrun to Divinity I don't see enough different between spending AP, slowly positioning around and waiting for health sponges to die if you get your percentage hit.

    There is more than that but they all kinda feels like the same DNA. I'd love for a western dev to shake up turn based but it seems turn based rpg is just a tactics game with a bit more exploration.

    Try play Temple of Elemental Evil. Best turn based game ever.

    What i don't like about jRPG's turn based is that is "line A vs line B" with no tactics, salve use potions on low health, and other simple stuff. Also i don't like that in wRPG's, i can play with anything. On M&M VII(first rpg of my life), i could be a elf sorcerer who later becomes a lich or a goblin monk. On jRPG's, i an mostly locked into a androgynous teenager with a oversized sword.

    sarevok57
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 22,065
    edited December 2019
    Even then that statement of his in the interview is plain wrong. Some of the greatest and most sold RPG franchises on the planet are purely TB: Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy being the greatest behemoths of all. Not to mentioning Disco Elysium, which recently netted four wins at the Game Awards earlier this month.

    I get that working on the same kind of game throughout two decades has tired Swen and his team out. But that doesn't make Larian something like the savior of TB RPG's by a long shot. Especially when including console games into the equation as well. The amount of TB RPG's out there is nothing short of humongous.

    Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy are not western games. Disco Elysium doesn't even have combat (so talking about TB vs RtwP re/Disco doesn't make any sense), and it was released just a few months ago, much later than the interview took place.

    Look at the list again, please, and see how it were their games which kinda rejuvenated the interest for TB games among western RPG.
    kanisatha wrote: »
    And it's also very obvious that using TB wouldn't be a better choice than RtwP.
    Yup, it's a completely arbitrary choice for a developer to make (for RPGs that is). All arguments that TB is somehow the "appropriate" system for the game are total nonsense.

    I didn't talk whether it's more appropriate or not. I just linked an article explaining why RtwP came to BG1. It seems like that decision created - over the years - followers of RtwP and RtwP in BG in particular.

  • scriverscriver Member Posts: 2,072
    It's pretty hard to call it against the grain when it's been the grain for ~15 years and is still what is pushed by publishers (you'll notice that it's when devs get to make the game they actually actually want to make themselves, like as you mentioned through KS and Fig, that they start to make turn based games). For roughly 15 years the very idea of a turn based rpg was basically a taboo in the industry, it had to be realtime or realtime with pause, or it didn't get made. What we're seeing now is the release of developers from being shackled to the mechanics of rtwp that was being mandated from above and being able to make games in a more permissive environment again.

    JuliusBorisov
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876
    Indeed, I noticed. That TB combat had been the driving force in the RPG video game genre for shy 34 years straight. There just was no such thing as a “sudden“ disappearance of the TB subgenre. Plain and simple. That can be evidently seen on the console market

    Granted: RtwP is also nothing new by today's standards... it being pretty much invented by ELF for their Dragon Knight III/ Knights of Xentar RPG in 1991. A niche game amongst niche games by all account. The first big publisher using RtwP in RPG's was namco in 1995 with their first Tales title: Tales of Phantasia.

    kanisathaThacoBellMirandelAdul
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,835
    i think the reason why we see games that are turned based instead of real time is because creating turn based games are way easier to program and script then real time is

    especially if a game studio just doesn't have the funds or man power to do it, turn base is just the easier route

    i remember reading up one of trent's answers about the making of BG, and he said that they had to make the infinity engine from the ground up, and sometimes it was a huge pain because you would literally have a 1000 scripts going off at once especially in combat, not only do you have scripts for how your characters behave, but you also have scripts for your script per se

    with turn based games, its probably no where near as chaotic script/programming wise, since usually only a single action is going on at once

    also, back in 98, real time with pause i think was becoming more main stream i think, and if you wanted the "new and innovative" game design, real time was the way to go

    although with that being said, games still came out with turn based style afterwards, but i think the consensus with some of the gamer crowd was that turn based style is old news and was only done that way because of limited resources back in the day

    for me personally, real time is far superior to turn based, i always feel that turn based games rely on grind at times to get by, while with real time, there is more emphasis on realism, ( where baddies just don't come out of the ether ) as apposed to turn based where you take a step outside and randomly out of nowhere a bunch of baddies pop out

    although one system that i have always hated, is that wierd ass action time bar thingy, where everyone has a timer bar and when its full they get a turn and while you are trying to scroll through menus and items the bad guys are attacking you even though you have it on "wait mode" ugh, such an ugly ass system ( i believe this is the system that chrono trigger, final fantasy vii and x-2 used ) apparently its supposed to be some pseudo real time combat, but i find it more frustrating than intuitive, either have it completely turned based where i have all the time in the world to do actions ( ffx for example ) or have real time with pause

    Adulkanisathaleeuxbrunardo
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,835
    that is the one thing that annoyed me about PF:KM when you get into combat, all of your characters are now "slowed" because of "combat mode" i suppose, but if you are getting your ass beat ( which you will ) there is no retreating, because for some reason enemies can still move at their normal speed, but your chars are like; lewls, we always forget how to run during combat doop a doop doop dooo.... so when you try and get an injured character out of there, they just get turned into mince meat which is just silly

    i always though they added this to stop kiting, but i think its more of what Adul said and its because the team is in "combat mode"

    Adul
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 22,065
    edited January 2020
    This reply by Josh Sawyer to a question about a "somewhat dated drama surrounding CP2077? Cause personally I don't think the game looks... great", I think, should be used for every game and every situation. Please note that unlike BG3, CP2077 showed its gameplay, and yet Josh speaks about "really limited information".

    "Well, I know a fair number of people who work at CDPR and there’s a diverse range of political/social opinions in that company. I think it’s fair to criticize how any company develops and presents the games that they make, but individual devs should be given the benefit of the doubt about how they approach their work. I think people have developed a narrative about how gender is treated in CP2077 based on really limited information. I think it’s always fair to be skeptical and wait until a game is released before committing to buying it for myriad reasons. If you’re skeptical about gameplay, social issues, character development, story arcs, etc., just chill out and wait like two days after the game has been released. If it sucks, don’t get it."

    In the same way, any narrative about BG3 is based on limited information, the best way is to wait until the game is released before committing to your position regarding it for myriad reasons.

    mlneveseSjerrieZaxares
  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 10,210
    edited January 2020
    Well I've been basically saying that from day 1 :) Nice cinematics, reminds me of Diablo cinematics and that's a huge compliment. Otherwise I have no idea if I'll love, hate or be indifferent to the game. I just do not have enough information.

    KamigoroshiAdulJuliusBorisovSjerrie
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876
    Hence why the best course of action is for potential customers to not ride the hype train and instead just wait how it all unfolds. After a year or two it's save to assume all major bugs were fixed, all DLC's have rolled out and the modding community has firmly established itself on the nexus. And as a bonus it will by then have become reasonably cheaper as well.

    AdulmlneveseStummvonBordwehrSjerrie
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