By Nathan Grayson on October 31st, 2012 at 8:00 am.
Here’s a neat and fairly unexpected thing. While I wouldn’t call Divinity II: Ego Draconis my favorite fantasy RPG ever (the writing was witty, but the rest of the game was super uneven), Larian’s supported it quite well over time, and a new Developer’s Cut edition sounds like the cherry atop that dragon-flavored sundae. Most enticingly, it includes a very user-friendly Developer Mode that gives you access to a dev console capable of spawning hundreds of enemies, turning you into any character or monster model in the game, letting you be a dragon anywhere, etc. Oh, and if you already own a previous edition of Divinity II, it’s totally free.
In addition to Dev Mode, the Developer’s Cut also includes all content from The Dragon Knight Saga, design documents, concept art, and a smattering of behind-the-scenes videos. So even if you’re not a super-fan, this is still a nice opportunity to peer behind the curtain in a medium that’s often obsessed with caking even the most wart-covered duds in gobs of makeup.
That in mind, this is definitely something I’d love to see more developers do. Dev commentaries from studios like Valve have always been hyper fascinating, but I think this kind of audience education can also serve a practical purpose. There’s a prevailing mentality in the industry that most people don’t really get game development – and I don’t think it’s necessarily incorrect. But instead of trying to bring people up to speed, bigger companies feverishly sweep flaws under the rug and pretend nothing ever, ever, ever, ever, ever goes wrong. The end result: trust breaks down, and so do games. Really, it’s the strangest thing; we live in an era with the tools to communicate more frequently and openly than ever. Why are we so afraid to use them?