Divinity’s Original Win

By Alec Meer on April 10th, 2013 at 3:00 pm.

Why is he surrounded by lips and dildos?

Another RPG sequel (spiritual or otherwise), another big Kickstarter victory. So it goes. And so Larian Studios go home with $429,508 of their desired $400,000 for Divinity: Original Sin, and that’s with 16 days left on the clock. Across its 9,472 backers, that’s an average of $45 per person. I don’t why I mention that, I just had the calculator program open anyway and thought I’d use it. For fun.

Larian’s Divinity series might have never quite set the world on fire, but it has a passionate following who’ll be clapping their hands with glee about this. As are Larian themselves.

Now begins, in time-honoured supper-singing fashion, the pursuit of stretch goals. Those being these:

They’ve also confirmed fruit and flightless bird flavours of the game.

Remind yourself what our Adam made of a very early build of the game, here.

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40 Comments »

  1. Ansob says:

    I’m fairly sure the promo still on the trailer used to have the lady wearing rather less sensible clothing. Quite happy they made that change, assuming I’m not misremembering.

    e; nope, not misremembering at all: http://www.larian.com/

    Compare the banner at the top and the still from the YouTube insert.

    • Svant says:

      I commented on their kickstarter page that the female character looked daft and that for example my girlfriend just scoffed at the game and killed the tab as soon as she saw the header image. Got a response from Larian that they would update it as soon as the artist got back from vacation. Apparently they did =)

      I must say the new attire does look much better even if the pose and walking is still kinda ridiculous for a fighting woman but still much better.

      Edit: Nice to see them actually listening to fans/customers

      • Ansob says:

        Yeah, the pose is still daft, but at least she looks like she’s wearing leather armour or something. Neat.

        • jaantahir says:

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      • tigerfort says:

        I’d had concerns about it, too. And yes, definitely nice to see a developer saying “maybe we should do something about that”, although I’d like to see a change in deeper attitude, beyond just putting actual clothes onto the female characters. (Don’t get me wrong, though, it’s a start.)

    • karthink says:

      This is awesome. I visited their KS when it began and I was immediately disappointed by that armor, especially because the in-game footage itself did not have this problem. I asked other backers about it but was rebuffed with the usual don’t-be-PC arguments.

      I think I’m going to back this now.

    • killias2 says:

      That’s definitely a positive change. I’m happy to see Larian being so responsive to fan concerns. I saw lots of people making fun of her clothes and, with the gaming community becoming more open to gender issues, this seems like a good choice.

    • Lev Astov says:

      Good eye, Ansob. I’m rather impressed by their responsiveness.

    • Geewhizbatman says:

      Lol though—Was it that big a surprise it had to be brought up by fans? That thank you montage had, I believe, one female voice?

      It is still wonderful that they heard the voice of fans and responded but it does seem like that perspective is going to need to be addressed primarily by the fans. So, ladies and keen eyed gents, assemble! One of the greatest benefits to a game being Kickstarted is that it’s a great opportunity to send in feedback about how given issues, of say–gender and representation, are important to you and you’d like to see it become an equally important issue for the team as well.

    • Slinkyboy says:

      I didn’t even think about that. I just want my TBS game!!

    • chargen says:

      Funny tho, Swen had said that the idea came from wanting to coop an rpg with his girlfriend.

    • Eldiran says:

      Thank you for pointing that out! That was my main complaint with what otherwise looked like an excellent game. I’m really glad they felt the need to change that. Time to go back it :D

  2. Rao Dao Zao says:

    I hope that heading picture is Bellegar. He had some totally sick rhymes in Divinity II.

  3. golem09 says:

    I did not pledge for this, although I just enjoyed my first playthrough of Divine Divinity this year.
    Now that I see that 1m goal, I’m quite motivated to do so. I’ll keep an on this from now on.

  4. mouton says:

    Tried playing Divine Divinity, bounced off. Had easier time getting into Spiderweb games, for some reason.

    • InternetBatman says:

      In general I’ve enjoyed the Spiderweb games more. They’re less trope, and I wonder if Vogel’s writing is a bit less alien to native English speakers (Larian are Belgian). That’s not to diminish Larian’s accomplishments at all. The game looks fairly impressive already.

      • arccos says:

        Divinity 2 has much stronger writing. You may want to take a look at some gameplay footage if you’re interested. It’s been awhile since I laughed so much at a game.

        • Ringwraith says:

          Divine Divinity is very “stereotypical” for the most part, whereas the later ones start diverging into craziness.
          As much as people seem to dislike it, I found the writing in Beyond Divinity much better than the first game, as well as being the start of them really going all-out with the weirdness (though Beyond still stands as one of the weirdest as it takes place in another dimension so you’ll find yourself infiltrating the (insane) human armies of Chaos, using imp villages as base camps), you have someone constantly making comment on your travels, and mostly snarking at you for being a do-gooder.

  5. Snargelfargen says:

    The $65 deal for for two copies as well as the upcoming Dragon Commander is pretty great. Tried to contribute, discovered my credit card just expired. Now I have to wait for a new one in the mail!

  6. Lev Astov says:

    I’m really glad to see this make it. Larian’s games are odd things. My first exposure to them was at the launch of Divinity 2. I bought it for the whole “turn into a dragon” thing and stayed for the amazingly hilarious writing. I’m greatly looking forward to more of it.

  7. Michael Fogg says:

    He is about to conjure the ultimate sextoy in the entire Multiverse.

  8. elevown says:

    Looks realy good and like something i may back or buy but Im a bit worried.

    I think they can easy make the 500k goal- probably just hit the 650k one too, which both sound nice- but It seems like they dont have the time to reach the 800k one at this rate- and that goal seems fundamental to this game being realy enjoyable for me.

    I realy dont want to adventure with facless henchmen who have no story and goals etc, just fight for you. I always consider rpgs of this sort to live or die by the quality of the npc companions, and your level of interaction with them.

    • Kiya says:

      On the Kickstarter home page, under the pitch video, there’s a ‘Remind Me’ button – hit that and you will get an email a couple of days before the end when you can better judge weither or not they will make the stretchgoal that you want.

      Or alternatively, sign up at the lowest pledge tier so that you can contribute to the discussions in the Kickstarter comments, and if it looks like they aren’t going to make that goal in the last few hours you can withdraw your pledge.

      If you pledge through the Kickstarter website the money is not taken out of your bank account until the end – you can withdraw your pledge any time before then if you want to.

    • looptop says:

      I am fairly certain this kickstarter will get more money the last 2 days than they got the 2 first. Like Grim Dawn and Dead State did. All of these projects had a hard time getting publicity at first. RPS being the expection on all cases I believe.
      They will reach the 800k stretch goal. Just wait and see. And I think they have a good shot at 1million.

    • soco says:

      For a lot of the kickstarted video games there has been the pattern of a big opening few days, a lot of slow build in the middle, and then another set of big days at the end.

      While it isn’t ever dead on and these are just estimations, Kicktraq does a fairly good job as to where projects end up. In my experience the estimations are really high at the start, level out to the point where they are lower than they should be, then start to even out in the last few days.

      https://www.kicktraq.com/projects/larianstudios/divinity-original-sin/#chart-exp-projection

      Right now Divinity is aiming at about $900,000 according to Kictraq.

    • Blackseraph says:

      I really want those companions as well. Best part of the rpgs (for me) is usually party chatter, and companions own agendas and things like that.

  9. Robcat says:

    TL;DR – Larian and their kickstarter for Original Sin deserve your support, perhaps more than any other RPG studio. Here’s why.

    An open letter to all RPG fans,

    I would like to make the following argument, in particular to anyone who would hesitate to back Larian’s kickstarter for Original Sin on the basis that it is already funded or doesn’t need the money. Moreover, I feel this needs to be said…

    Larian have self-funded the game to this point. Just think about that for a moment. For sixteen years they have worked, sweated and fought their way out from under the yoke of publishers, to the stage where they are successful enough to self-fund a dream RPG project. They have EARNED it. They have not needed to come cap in hand, asking us to fund their dreams, unable to do it on their own. I do not mean to disparage other companies, or projects that would not have been possible without Kickstarter, far from it. Indeed, it is worth noting just how hard it has been (and still is) to actually produce quality, deep cRPGs. I am simply putting things into context so that Larian may get the recognition they deserve. Again, they have earned it. They have been working away at it for years, and have produced some quality RPG goodness along the way in their Divinity series, despite everything that comes with the current mainstream publishing model.

    Throughout the many years of trials and tribulations beholden to publishers, Larian’s integrity has remained, to be in my opinion, a beacon in the gaming industry. As a relatively small studio their community engagement is outstanding, and their responsiveness throughout the kickstarter to date has been nothing short of exemplary. The ethics and vision behind Larian Studios is especially revealed in the refreshing candour of Swen Vincke (Larian’s founder and CEO) in his blog about successful independent game development. His disapproval of DRM and distaste for DLC is a matter of public record, as is Larian’s genuine commitment to their fans.

    So, for years now Larian has been striving, learning and growing, and upon gaining their freedom from publishers what is the very first thing that they do? Begin creating a classic isometric turn-based game with Ultima7-like levels of reactivity, well before the Kickstarter revolution had even begun. At the time people called them crazy. They didn’t care, and have now freely produced what looks to be an already excellent game. Yet they know it could be something more, they want it to be bigger, better, more fully realised. I believe it has the potential to be one of the all-time greats, never mind an important milestone towards the company’s stated objective (and the very reason it was founded) to create an RPG that overshadows all others. Larian exists simply to scale the heights of RPGs, as high as they can go. I say, this is a company worth supporting.

    Like any RPG fan, Larian yearns for more features, more content, more reactivity, more, more, more. They understand that RPGs are never really finished, that is part of their allure, their magic. Why do we get so excited about stretch goals? And now here they come, fresh from over a decade of hard work following the RPG dream, with a kickstarter that is essentially all stretch goal.

    Larian have been able to follow their dream, create it and show it to us. They have even included a very comprehensive modkit, essentially the same tools they used to make the game. Not as a stretch goal, but simply because they believe that this is how things should be.

    My point, if not already abundantly clear, is that if you believe in supporting the development of RPGs and you have any interest in Original Sin whatsoever, then I urge you to be an RPG fan and back this game.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/larianstudios/divinity-original-sin

    * I am a fan of the RPG genre and wish to see it flourish. I am in no way associated with Larian apart from backing their kickstarter and participating in their forums.

  10. NotToBeLiked says:

    Even though this game excites me to bits, I didn’t want to join the KS because they would be funded anyway and I prefer to help games that have a harder time. But 50 euro for two copies of Original Sin AND Dragon Commander is just too great to ignore…

  11. fret_burn says:

    The previous Divinity games were pretty good but this looks like the game they have always wanted to make. The recent Matt Chat is really interesting and reveals the compromises Larian have had to make to satisfy their publishers in the past… including having to rush a whole section into Divine Divinity because the publishers wanted some screenshots with “orange” in it!

    This game looks like a much more worthy successor to Ultima 7 than anything Lord British is making.

  12. MichiGen says:

    This is the most promising RPG of this year. I believe we will achieve at least the 800k stretch-goal without any troubles. Larian is a great studio, they’ve been in the gaming industry for a long time developing great RPGs. They deserve a chance to make their dream RPG even better, a chance to deliver the best possible game and really shine.

  13. Jimbo says:

    I enjoyed Dragon Knight Saga probably more than it deserved, but I think Original Sin looks great.

    • RProxyOnly says:

      DKS was a REALLY good, lengthy and satisfying game.. well worth a recommendation. It’s just unfortunate that what it was originally before the updates, Ego Draconis, had such a screamingly bad ending that ENTIRELY shit all over the good parts of the game.

  14. Eddard_Stark says:

    Damn shame this project is getting so little exposure and attention. It’s by far the most solid Kickstarter. And 9k+ backers only? Mind-boggling. The game looks fantastic. If everything goes well it might turn out to be a gem akin to the best of Ultimas.

  15. JayG says:

    This really looks like a return to the classic style of the great Ultima games. Hope it’s a huge success and a sign to others that this style of game has an audience still.

  16. Moorkh says:

    Not nearly enough comments on this!
    That 1M goal looks so juicy that it might acually – finally – get to be the game that surpasses Ultima 7 for me. Nothing is certain, but if I trust anyone to pull that off these days (Garriott not seeming up to his game), that would be Lar and his bunch.

  17. iridescence says:

    I can’t decide whether I want to back this game. On the positive side the combat and dialogue systems appeal to me but I feel companions with personalities should be a core feature of the game in a CRPG not a stretch goal. I also dislike the graphics I’ve seen which seem cartoony and ugly and I don’t know whether their sense of humour will appeal to me (often, in games that go out of their way to try to be funny it ends up coming across as forced and filled with memes and pop-culture references which I hate.)

    I’ve never played the earlier Divinity games although I did pick a couple of them up on Steam recently. I should probably fire one up and maybe that will get me off the fence.

  18. Arhu says:

    The magic, for me, lies in the 1M stretch goal. I so hope they make it.

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