“You’re telling your story, and we’re shooting it for you,” explains our Cinematic Director, Jason Latino. “We’re taking that camera down from being above the players, and down into the drama, right into the action.”
“I can’t think of another Early Access game that’s done cinematics, on this level. There’s a lot of games where the moment you add cinematics, they have to get smaller.”
“We didn’t want to do that.”
Everyone - it’s time to talk about multiplayer. Cinematics, Crowd Choice, and Twitch integration. We’re creating a huge, sprawling RPG with all the tools you need to direct your own adventure, and weave your own tale. Or, weave that tale with your friends, or your audience online. No matter if you choose to play solo, with friends, or with your audience -- Baldur’s Gate 3 is a huge cinematic experience spanning over 1.5 million words, and that story can be enjoyed together through the games cinematics, in multiplayer, or as an audience in a stream.
If your character walks into a dialogue situation, the cinematic dialogue begins with you by yourself. If one of your posse comes close, they can choose whether or not they join you in the discussion. Once they do, they can tell you what options they would like you to select as you ponder your next choice.
Your party is of course free to roam around the world while you independently charm your way through conversation. They can even pick-pocket you while you’re in a dialogue. Or cause a fire. Or abandon you. Or, put an end to your waffling and kill the person you’re talking to.
Whatever you do, the game will react appropriately. Even if your friends aren’t.
Our ambition is to make all of this as seamless and interactive as we can and during Early Access you can expect us to continue building more and more ways to interact, observe, intraject, and subvert expectations. Raising the level of drama, and expanding the level of depth.
As far as we know, there has never been an RPG this large, with multiplayer, attempting these intimate, character driven cinematic moments throughout the entire experience. We put a lot of effort in it and are super curious to hear your feedback. Applying cinematics to a multiplayer game, and one launched in Early Access, means that our cinematic ambitions can grow alongside all the other iterations and tweaks that come with working directly with our community and that can only lead to good things!
TWITCH / CROWD CHOICE
With Crowd Choice, a Stadia Enhanced Feature, you’ll be able to choose the next story path and alter what happens next during your favorite YouTube Creator's livestream.
Twitch integration works by numbering each dialogue option, which corresponds to the viewer choices. This feedback is seamlessly integrated into the game, where both streamer and viewer will see each percentage vote next to each dialogue option. What’s more, players will be able to interact with the Twitch overlay to access the player’s inventory, character sheet, skills, and spells.
Both of these features are launching day 1 of Early Access respectively on PC or Stadia. This too is something we’re very excited about not only because it brings the community closer to the player, but also because due to the amount of permutations in dialogues, it enables streamers to “DM” their own adventure for their viewers, and have their viewers partake in their story regardless of whether or not the viewer owns the game.
You’ll be able to become a part of your favourite streamer’s own private canon. Or, as a streamer, or viewer, disable the feature entirely. It’s up to you. As always, the game reacts appropriately.
THE NEXT STEP
Today’s Community Update video begins with a memory of Divinity: Original Sin quite deliberately. Interactions in DOS1 were merely relegated to rock-paper-scissors (literally!), and dialogue moments between players were a wall of text that scrolled down the screen. We took this a little further in Divinity: Original Sin 2, as characters and players reacted to who you are, and what you’ve done, with many permutations spanning multiple races and tags. Still, dialogues between characters, and interactions in multiplayer were rudimentary though much evolved over DOS1.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is the next great leap and once you’ll start playing, you’ll find that the distance between DOS2 and Baldur’s Gate 3 is tremendously large, as we begin to push the boat out on not only cinematic dialogues, but also the ways in which you can interact with them. In Baldur’s Gate 3 dialogues have more permutations, more depth, and a cinematic layer that reacts seamlessly to any situation using custom adaptive camera technology (see: elves and dwarves are nay the same height) as well as performance capture. Now, not only do we retain the narration our games are so well known for, but you’ll often see the action on screen - whether it’s a vampiric bite in the night, or a slip of the tongue on a goblin’s foot. Long gone is rock-paper-scissors, as we’ve built tools for debate not only within the multiplayer party, but also as an extension to the thousands of people who watch at home, all in the spirit of the D&D spirit of bringing people together. And we still have some surprises up our sleeve when it comes to multiplayer, but we’ll leave those for another time. There have never been a greater number of ways to gather your party in a single game. Now’s the time!
Finally, thank you all for your organization across Reddit and Discord regarding the questions you’d like answered. We’re going to try and answer around 10 questions every update, which we’ll try and do quite frequently. Here are the answers to your questions for number 6. Having questions organized in this way gives us time to read them and respond to them, and also gives us a great sense of how to prioritize them based on how you all vote/rank them. We really appreciate the sense of community spirit and organization.
Will difficulty choices affect more than just enemy health and damage? e.g. increasing the DC on some rolls while exploring the world?
Yes there are many features planned for different difficulty levels, which we’ll go over in a future update - but EA isn’t launching with difficulty choices, as we prioritize everything you need to have an enjoyable experience.
How much of an impact will alignment have?
None, similar to D&D 5e we don’t have a strict alignment system. But your actions and decisions will have a major impact on how the world and people react around you. So you can be evil, or good, or something in between - but there’s no strict system. As we’ve mentioned, EA is about 25 hours of content “in a straight line” so to speak, but we’ve built everything you need to try many different types of characters, interactions, and combinations. The world in Early Access will react. Tell us what happens.
Will early access get modding support, like the steam workshop and its various modding tools?
We loved what our modding community did with DOS2, and we’re excited to see what they’ll do with BG3. Modding will be supported, but not before 1.0, not during EA. Again, we really need to focus on working with feedback and creating the game.
Is there a Lone Wolf mode planned?
This is actually a question already being asked by a number of our playtesters who are currently playing the game. A Lone Wolf mode is planned, but won’t be in the game at the beginning of Early Access. One of the many great discussions that come from people playing, and talking with us.
About how fast can you make an entire campaign now that you have the game engine made? I’m thinking it’d be absolutely amazing if you could make a few popular 5E DnD campaigns using the BG3 engine now that you have everything working.
This is a very interesting question. Indeed since launch a lot of our time has been put into creating the tools and pipelines (including entire new departments) needed to create a game much more ambitious than our previous games. All we can say at this point is that our pipelines are very much up and running, and we’re seeing the fruits of all that labour. Now that everything is plugged together, we’re able to work quite quickly when it comes to content - though many departments are involved, and many things are plugged into each other. However, it takes a long time to make a very big game with so many permutations.
Will there be ultrawide support?
Our previous games work well on UW so it’s something we’ll put effort in, we’re already taking it into account in cinematic dialogs so it's something we plan for the future. (Director of Publishing interjection here: I’ve been playing BG3 on UW at home and at the office since day 1. Ultrawide for the win! Let us know how you get on.)
Date + Time of release globally?
10am PST - assuming everything works out exactly as it should.
As soon as we hit the button you’ll be able purchase and install the game, or launch it right from Stadia without the need to install it.
What languages are coming for Early Access? And which will be included later?
We’ve confirmed English, Simplified Chinese, French, German, Polish, Russian, Spanish will be available in Early Access.
We have decided to include Brazilian Portuguese and Italian in 1.0, but not during EA. This is because it would be too cumbersome to add additional languages as we write the game during Early Access, but we want you to know that we will support you.
Will we be able to carry our characters over from early access into the full game?
Unfortunately, as with most Early Access games, there are changes, bug fixes and patches that dictate the fact that wipes will happen to saves. This is because certain fundamental changes to engine, story, etc create incompatibility issues. We will try and tell you when this will happen, in advance.
Will EA be available on GOG?
Working on that.
What integrations will be available for Twitch & Stadia streamers?
DIDN’T YOU READ THE UPDATE? :D