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Icewind Dale II EE

Several years ago, this article came out in which they had talked about why Icewind Dale II and Planescape: Torment would be harder to make Enhanced Editions of because their rulesets were so different from BG/IWD/BG2 (though Planescape still uses the AD&D 2nd edition ruleset, just with some modifications.)

Now that Planescape: Torment has seen an Enhanced release, how do we feel about IWD 2? Is the jump from AD&D 2nd to D&D 3rd edition still insurmountable?

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Comments

  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,414
    They cannot locate the source code to IWD2. Without it, it isn't economically feasible to create IWD2EE.

    http://blog.beamdog.com/2017/07/real-talk-icewind-dale-ii-enhanced.html

    XeknosJuliusBorisovRelSundanrede9
  • XeknosXeknos Member Posts: 8
    That's super unfortunate. Hopefully they'll find it eventually.

    semiticgodAedanGrammarsalad
  • ReibornReiborn Member Posts: 156
    how does one lose a source code?

    RelSundan
  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 4,595
    edited July 2017

    how does one lose a source code?

    That's exactly what I've being wondering to myself.

    Hope those guys don't have a kid.

    Balrog99DJKajuru
  • RelSundanRelSundan Member Posts: 917
    Ugh. I have been looking forward to some kind of EE version for Icewind Dale 2. I find it hard to play the game like it is.

    Is there any widescreen mods for the original game?

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,355
    More like certificates for high school exams. You know there's a possibility you might need those in the future and that you should really look after them, but that incentive may just not be enough ...

  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,414
    RelSundan said:

    Ugh. I have been looking forward to some kind of EE version for Icewind Dale 2. I find it hard to play the game like it is.

    Is there any widescreen mods for the original game?

    Yes, the G3 widescreen mod will work with IWD2 (http://www.gibberlings3.net/widescreen/). However, running in certain resolutions can cause a the game to freeze in Fell Wood.

    http://gibberlings3.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=16904

    Section 5.2 of this guide recommends running at 800x600: https://zeckul.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/icewind-dale-2-ultimate-installation-guide/

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,948
    edited July 2017

    how does one lose a source code?

    The whole remake reboot remaster thing is a fairly recent trend. Before, people basically never thought the code for such a game needed to be kept around safely or carefully. It was packed away somewhere, with 99% certainty that it would never be used or needed by anyone ever again. And then it got lost as studios changed, dissolved, merged, etc.
    This. Also I'm not sure the industry back then was expecting to go back to "2D" RPG games. Fully 3D was the direction the industry was expecting to go (and really before crowdfunding that was largely the direction it went).

    ShikaoArtonaRelSundanJuliusBorisov
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,066
    Eh, game remakes are a fairly old trend. Both in the Eastern and Western markets. After all, we already saw them way before Pool of Radiance was even released in 88'. Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness, anyone? :p

    Only difference is that some studios managed to have their source data survive and use them as base for re-releases. While others recreated their older titles entirely from scratch, without even needing the original files. And then we have cases like this where things got misplaced over the years, never to be found again.

    RelSundan
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    There were remasters already for other media, and reboots, but I think video games were treated differently.

    That said, I don't think IWD2 was a runaway success, I could see people "saying why bother". Still sounds awful fishy though.

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,089
    DreadKhan said:

    That said, I don't think IWD2 was a runaway success, I could see people "saying why bother". Still sounds awful fishy though.

    Never underestimate people's capacity for laziness and sloppiness. This is just plain ol' "we don't care", not a conspiracy to prevent the secrets of the IWD II code from falling into the wrong hands.

    And this is by far not the only example of this. In fact, it's probably the norm for old games. You'd very likely have trouble locating the source code for the vast majority of games made before, say, 2005 or so.

    ThacoBellsemiticgodAstroBryGuytbone1
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 1,988

    how does one lose a source code?

    Surprisingly easily, particularly when a company is small and facing the end.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,066

    You'd very likely have trouble locating the source code for the vast majority of games made before, say, 2005 or so.

    Try around1990 and you're right on the mark. Past 2000 though? Not so much. At that point loosing backups was indeed not rare. But it also wasn't the 'norm'. Not like it changes anything here though.

    Black Isle made a rather large blunder, that's all there's to it. No way sugarcoating it. Whenever it was born out of sloppiness, short sightness, or something else we don't know. What we DO know is that Beamdog's typical way of doing remakes won't work here.

    But, well, I guess there is always the possibility we see an all-new HD remake of Icewind Dale 2 in another 20 years or so. One can dream.

  • ArtonaArtona Member Posts: 1,044
    Could someone tell me how source code looks like and how it stored? I know basically nothing about making games and I'm really not sure how to imagine such thing. Is it like lines of text?

    batoor
  • lefreutlefreut Member Posts: 1,422
    Yes it's a bunch of text files. In the case of IE games, the language used is C++. This code is then compiled to produce the executable.

    For example:
    #include 
    
    int main()
    {
      std::cout << "Hello, Beamdog forum!\n";
      return 0;
    }</code>
    But the code is not the only thing that is lost. The resources are also missing. That is the 3D models used to render the game sprite so they can't re-render the textures in HD :/

    batoorAedanJuliusBorisovelminster
  • batoorbatoor Member Posts: 669
    So is that to say that the source code for a lot of Troikas old games could also be lost? Arcanum, ToEE and Bloodlines for example.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,066
    RelSundan said:

    20 years?

    Realistically speaking. Considering that recreating everything from scratch in high definition 4k+ resolution would require more money, time and employees than Beamdog can muster. Both now and probably in the near future as well.

    So chances are that within 20 years another studio will show up to handle recreated HD remakes of Black Isle/Bioware/Troika game ports for Win24, Mac pineAPPLE, PS8, XBox666 and Holodeck2, ect. Wouldn't be the first time something like this happened in gaming history. :p

    ArtonabatoorRelSundan
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,089
    batoor said:

    So is that to say that the source code for a lot of Troikas old games could also be lost? Arcanum, ToEE and Bloodlines for example.

    It would not surprise me.

    Games development is a volatile business. Studios go under all the time, are bought up, restructured, merged, moved. Every step is a new opportunity for stuff to get lost, either accidentally or on purpose because nobody cares. And the further back in time you go, the more these add up until you can't find jack anymore.

    By no means exclusive to video games, either. Doctor Who still has a good number of lost episodes from the old series that cannot be located (and thus cannot be rebroadcast).

    Shikaobatoorsemiticgod
  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    edited July 2017
    Given that IWD2 failed to make a profit first time around, it seems unlikely that an EE would do any better, even if all the resources where available.

    The original still runs anyway. It's not that old. So what would an EE add? Since it doesn't use 2nd edition rules you can't add the BGEE classes and kits.

    Cvijetasemiticgod
  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511

    batoor said:

    So is that to say that the source code for a lot of Troikas old games could also be lost? Arcanum, ToEE and Bloodlines for example.

    Doctor Who still has a good number of lost episodes from the old series that cannot be located (and thus cannot be rebroadcast).
    They recorded over the original video tapes, because they hadn't invented reruns.

    tbone1
  • RelSundanRelSundan Member Posts: 917
    lefreut said:

    Yes it's a bunch of text files. In the case of IE games, the language used is C++. This code is then compiled to produce the executable.

    For example:

    #include 
    
    int main()
    {
      std::cout << "Hello, Beamdog forum!\n";
      return 0;
    }</code>
    But the code is not the only thing that is lost. The resources are also missing. That is the 3D models used to render the game sprite so they can't re-render the textures in HD :/
    Is there a difference between the ones in Baldur's gate and the ones in Icewind Dale?

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,089
    Fardragon said:

    They recorded over the original video tapes, because they hadn't invented reruns.

    A very comparable situation, though I'm fairly sure the original masters were film prints and not recordable tapes...

  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,414
    Fardragon said:

    batoor said:

    So is that to say that the source code for a lot of Troikas old games could also be lost? Arcanum, ToEE and Bloodlines for example.

    Doctor Who still has a good number of lost episodes from the old series that cannot be located (and thus cannot be rebroadcast).
    They recorded over the original video tapes, because they hadn't invented reruns.

    I Love Lucy invented the rerun 10 years before Doctor Who premiered.

    tbone1Balrog99semiticgodGrammarsalad
  • rorikonrorikon Member Posts: 105
    Sorry for going off an a tangent here, but Doctor Who is one of the few things I'm more into than Baldurs Gate, so I'm going to :)

    Fardragon said:

    They recorded over the original video tapes, because they hadn't invented reruns.

    A very comparable situation, though I'm fairly sure the original masters were film prints and not recordable tapes...
    Classic Doctor Who was definitely recorded onto videotape originally, which isn't that unusual for shows in the UK. Shooting tv programmes in 35mm film is more of a US thing I think. When film was used it was just for location stuff, and then it was only 16mm.

    Most of the existing copies of those older black and white episodes are film prints though, since before the master tapes were wiped they made a telerecording for international distribution, essentially by pointing a 16mm camera at a tv playing the tape.

    The missing episodes situation could be a lot worse though. About two thirds of the 1960s episodes exist in some form, and because fans literally pointed microphones at their televisions during the original broadcasts, there are still full audio recordings of the ones that are missing, which makes things like animated reconstructions possible. Everything from 1970 onwards exists.

    Right, finished now.


    As for IWD2:EE, I'm actually less bothered about this than I would have been before SoD / v2.0 came out, since I mainly wanted IWD2 ported to the EE engine so it would bring over better weapon switching support, and we finally have that now anyway. It's still a pity there'll be one infinity engine game without the EE treatment, but If I'd heard this news two years ago I'd have been crying in despair.

    Grond0
  • XeknosXeknos Member Posts: 8
    It feels less complete, to be sure. Throughout the 2000's, I had thought that IWD2 was my favorite IE game, until I played through BG:EE and BG2:EE a few years go. I finally managed to replay IWD2 last year, and... it didn't age well. I have a lot of complaints about NWN, but D&D 3ed works much better in that game than it does in IWD2 for some reason - IWD2 feels like it ought to also have been in AD&D, though I understand that 3ed was the new hotness at the time.

    I sometimes wonder what it would have been like if Beamdog ported IWD2 into the AD&D ruleset, but that'll probably never happen.

    Doubledimas
  • rorikonrorikon Member Posts: 105
    I wouldn't be surprised if the IWD2 developers were outright refused permission to use the AD&D ruleset. My understanding is you can use whatever the current version of D&D is for your game or you can simply not use D&D. There's some flexibility for expansions and such but that's it.

    I'd prefer IWD2:EE to somehow use 2nd edition rules myself, but I'm fairly sure that's impossible legally and even if it were not it'd be far too much effort to rework an entire game to make a change many people wouldn't even agree with!

    That's just the impression I get, if I'm wrong someone feel free to correct me. I don't claim to be as sure about D&D licensing as I am about missing Doctor Who episodes from the 1960s :)

    Grond0Raduziel
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