When a really innovate game idea comes to Kickstarter, it somehow seems to be a unique RPG. And, Divinity: Original Sin is just that.
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First off, with Divinity: Original Sin there are a couple of things that always seem to catch my attention. Usually this has something to do with the in-game detail, commitment to support Linux, and also, not wasting time by making it a stretch goal. Which really shows just what a professional game studio is made of. Not to mention their confident in being able to handle cross-platform support.
Yes, if our KS campaign works out, it’ll be official. And if it doesn’t, it’ll be offical too, but it’ll take even longer. We’re currently focussing on Windows, then we do the OpenGL version for Mac and from there we jump to Linux.
Larian Studios LLC
At the time of writing, the $400,000 campaign is only six days in and the project is already close to three quarters funded. So obviously people know that Larian Studios are committed to cutting-edge and their talent to bring an epic game to life.
However, the two major features that have my attention are the world/level editor (which can be published online) and the drop-in multiplayer. Not that level editors are all that original, but the fact that one can build their own design and publish it online, that’s unique. Bringing back the good old days, when dungeon crawling and capturing a whole new venue of opportunity was expected.
The drop-in co-op multiplayer allows for a great deal more flexibility. Meaning, a player can join in or un-join a game without completely destroying the exiting progress in gameplay.
“Picture a modern version of a world not unlike that of Ultima VII, that can be explored either alone or with a friend, that sees you engage adversaries in tactical turn-based combat reminiscent of the great turn-based RPGs of the past. A world that is filled to the brim with choice and consequence situations, reactive NPCs, and a considerable amount of surprises. A world that captures the feeling of playing pen and paper RPGs with our friends. Then add the new stuff…” – Vision statement for Divinity: Original Sin
When making large-scale epic RPGs it often helps to summarise what you are trying to make in a couple of lines, just to ensure you don’t lose focus during development. You can spend a lot of time trying to come up with these vision statements, but when we started making Divinity: Original Sin, it didn’t take us long to come up with the one above. It’s simply what we’ve always wanted to do. The only reason we haven’t made this game before was that the following list never made it past the marketing departments of many a known publisher. Now that we are self-funding and self-publishing, we can get away with features like the following.
- Divinity:Original Sin is an Isometric cRPG.
- You can play in single player mode but also in cooperative multiplayer mode
- It’s a real epic CRPG so even in multiplayer, you’re engaging in much more than just combat and item fever. A nifty cooperative dialog system, a highly reactive world, a deep character development system andplenty of choice and consequence situations see to that.
- You can create your own RPG adventures with our powerful RPG editorand share or play them with friends
- Combat is very tactical. It is turn-based and features things like skill and spell combos, attacks of opportunity, action points and much more.
- Exploration is greatly rewarded.
- You can develop your character(s) to fit your playstyle using our classless skill and stats system.
- There are countless item interactions and item combinations waiting to be discovered.
- No Divinity game is complete without music composed by the brilliant Kirill Pokrovsky.
At the end of 2010, in no small part thanks to the success of the previous Divinity games, we finally earned sufficient money to start working on our brainchild on our own, and we decided to become a self-publishing studio.
Fast-forward two years (big RPGs take time to make). Today we are nearing the end of our development cycle and when we look at what we’ve created so far, we think that we have in our hands the best RPG Larian Studios has ever created. But, we also have the feeling that our job isn’t done yet. The game systems we put in place have a lot of potential and because it took us quite some time to create them, we haven’t been able to use them to their fullest yet.
That’s why we’re looking to increase the size of our development team. And because our budget is finite, we decided to come to Kickstarter to ask for your help.
Before explaining what we want to add to the game, let us first illustrate what we have already.
In the game, you control a party of heroes and guide them on a quest to learn a forbidden magic called The Source. This powerful magic was outlawed many centuries ago by the Council of Seven, the rulers of Rivellon, for it is written that from Source the lord of Chaos will spawn. Today, Source magic has been used to overthrow the Council. It’s up to our heroes to save the Council and to do this, they’ll need to uncover the mysteries of the Source and of those responsible for cursing the Council.
Now as to how you do this, that’s entirely up to you: this game is extremely non-linear and rewards exploration. There are many different ways in which you can complete the game successfully.
We want to put together a secondary design team, backed by extra programmers, artists, animators and testers. We want to make this team as large as we can.
The designers’ mission will be to increase the amount of interesting things you can do in the world, as much as possible. The artists, animators, programmers and testers are needed to ensure that all the necessary assets and features to do this are present.
Now is a good time time for expanding our team because we have a very mature RPG editor and the more people we put on it, the more of our game engine’s potential will be unleashed.
Our main interest is to increase the depth and diversity of the game. For instance, we want to guarantee that each quest has a meaningful choice/consequence mechanic. We want to ensure that where it makes sense, there are multiple ways to solve a quest. And when you move off the beaten path, no matter where, something interesting awaits you.
In practice this means that we will add
- more choices and consequences
- more quests and puzzles
- more areas to explore and discover
- more npcs and creatures
In places where we feel the interactions with the game world aren’t interesting enough yet. Our ambition is to create a memorable experience for you, and we know that that’s only possible if we offer you a very diverse, surprising and consistent game world. That takes a lot of time and effort, but it’s what we love doing.
Should we exceed our target budget we can start thinking on implementing systems that affect the entire game and not just the game world. Features such as perks, more character customization, more party members with extensive backgrounds,more playable races,more game editor features, more levels of interactivity, more skill classes etc.
Help the creators of Divinity make their dream RPG. Wield forbidden magic, battle foes in turn-based combat and explore a rich world!