Alphamania – Divinity: Original Sin Backer Alpha Kicks Off

By Nathan Grayson on December 18th, 2013 at 3:00 pm.

There are so many early access alphas emerging from gaming’s underbrush right now – bugs exposed for all to see, freely worming around in the loam – that my pointing it out is even becoming tiresome. So let’s skip all the run-up. Divinity: Original Sin, Larian’s heavenly-looking fantasy role-player, is now available to backers in alpha form. If you didn’t back it, no dice for now. A more open beta might take place at some point down the line, but for the moment the early wallet gets the worm, or 10-15 hour chunk of an extremely promising adventure, as it were. Video and details below.

So the game is functional, and you’ll be roaming through a decently sized chunk of its realm. But where are the borders, the proverbial chain-link fences and landmines at the end of the rainbow? Well, this is a true-blue alpha, so probably expect to come across some of them pretty quickly. Larian outlined what’s not in the alpha as of now in a Kickstarter update:

“Quite a lot. Currently co-operative mode is disabled, as are the companions. We’re still working on getting schedules in, so those are not in either. Sound & music are still very much work in progress too. Further, there’s a very long list of features that are not 100% working yet, or just not in yet. This really is alpha, with plenty of stuff unfinished.”

Thus, Larian advises that players steer clear unless they have a burning passion for all things game development – warts included. For the time being, extra helpings of funsatronicness, graphicsability, and turbogoodtimesplosions are still on the way.

If you’re a backer, check out Larian’s update for info on how to download the alpha, known issues, and a tentative update schedule. Are you ready to slay some monsters, play some roles, and file some bug reports?

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24 Comments »

  1. killias2 says:

    I played around some with this and came away excited. I don’t want to ruin the full game did myself, but I liked what I saw.

  2. harmen says:

    > If you didn’t back it, no dice for now.

    Then why post this? If you backed this Larian would have updated you via Kickstarter and you knew about this already, and the rest of us apparently don’t care, since we didn’t back it.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      Because some folks wanna know.

    • Pemptus says:

      Because PC-gaming news.

    • killias2 says:

      There could be people who are interested even if they didn’t back the game. There also could be people who backed the game but somehow missed the Kickstarter updates.

      In any case, why do you even care enough to post this? I never get comments on what shouldn’t be posted. Did somebody pee in your cereal or something?

      • harmen says:

        Sorry about my tone. I just feel there are so many “Look at this not-finished game!” posts. Maybe it’s just how things work nowadays.

        • Tacroy says:

          What do you mean, “nowadays”? It’s always worked like that. It’s only recently that we’ve had a chance to play those not-finished games, but games journalism has been like 80% about not-finished games since the dawn of time.

          • drewdupe says:

            Nonsense. When I was a kid, my favorite issues of Game Informer where the retrospective ones!!!

        • Seafort says:

          Most games aren’t finished when released. I mean look at Battlefield series. It’s never finished when launched :P

          Its just a change of times and how open some of the indie devs are now. I’d rather have it this way than waiting till release and buy it without any input into the game that the customer themselves funded.

          What I don’t want is developers taking advantage of their customers like Planetary Annihilation and Wasteland 2 devs by charging ridiculous prices for an Early Access on steam.
          Charge what you are going to at release and nothing more or don’t put it on steam till release. This way the kickstarter backers can’t complain and you don’t get bad PR from overcharging.

          • The Random One says:

            Eh. If someone is so desperate to play a game they’re willing to pay more for a bug-ridden unfinished version, I say let them. They get to play the game they want, the dev gets more money and testing to make a better game, and I get the better game when it comes out. Everyone wins.

          • killias2 says:

            I honestly don’t get the anger here. If you have lots of excess money, it might be worth it to you to buy early access as a premium. Otherwise.. ignore it. I really don’t see the harm.

          • Saarlaender39 says:

            Seafort says:

            What I don’t want is developers taking advantage of their customers like Planetary Annihilation and Wasteland 2 devs by charging ridiculous prices for an Early Access on steam.
            Charge what you are going to at release and nothing more or don’t put it on steam till release. This way the kickstarter backers can’t complain and you don’t get bad PR from overcharging.
            ——————————————————————————————————-

            You are aware, that the backers who wanted access to the early beta, had to pay essential more than the backers that wanted only the game (when it’s done)?

            Now, imagine they would put the same early beta on Steam for everyone, but would only ask for $15,-
            What do you think: how would those “extra-paying-for-early-beta”-backers feel?

            Exactly!

            And now you know, why they charge, what they charge – has nothing to do with “taking advantage of their customers”.

            Don’t be afraid – there will be a price reduced version for you…naturally without:

            -Two digital novellas set in The Wasteland world.
            -Mark Morgan’s Wasteland 2 original sound track in digital format.
            -An incredible digital concept art book showcasing many of the world’s characters and environments.

            Because all this was also part of that early beta pledge level.

            Oh, sorry…now I spoiled your fun of finding that out on your own…but worry not – you’ll find other reasons to get angry over Wasteland 2 – at the very latest, if you’ll find out, that they’ll charge you more than their early bird backers. ;-)

    • scottossington says:

      Oh my goodness, someone needs a christmas hug

      • bstard says:

        Didnt backed since I’m a cheap bastard and never heard of it back then, but I rather like to read bout it now. Maybe it’s super strange, and I should get a christmas kick in the knockers for it..

  3. colossalstrikepackage says:

    I’m reading this as ‘everyone who gambled on this being a good game gets an early preview to see if they’re right’. Which is fair enough. I’m just interested in RPS’ views on it.

    • Bi9GY says:

      Isn’t it more like: “everyone who helped fund the making of the game gets to try it and help in the further development”?

      • colossalstrikepackage says:

        That is a positive way to look at it, but ultimately it ignores the question of whether it will be any good. Play testing does help with bugs and polish, but I’m not convinced it can shift the core game significantly.

        I’m speaking as a backer of other Kickstarted projects, all of which are still being developed. I think it’s cool to get worthwhile projects off the ground, but I do worry if I’ve chosen well.

        Only time will tell, but I’m cautious about success rates.

  4. Reapy says:

    Wow I’m 5 minutes in some really cool stuff. Interesting to run the conversations of your party, basically choose how the conversation goes down rather than your companion reacting to what you picked. Interesting there.

    Crate stacking/draging is nice, I haven’t seen that in an RPG in a while, I see what the other article was talking about with that ultima feel to it. Then the water turning to steam as a fireball hits it…very cool. Man going to try to watch this whole thing eventually but starting to look forward to this game more and more.

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  6. adammtlx says:

    Didn’t get into Divine Divinity too much, but this looks absurdly fun. Keeping my eye on this one.

    • socrate says:

      Divine divinity is actually the best of the series sadly and i doubt it will get any better then that,all the other title after that in that series were a total disaster in terms of gameplay the game are also notorious in terms of bug and stability issue,the story also tend to be extremely dull and boring and the combat and difficulty are totally broken…europe tend to make really poor game overall with very few exception like Witcher for example,germany tend to stick with always the damn medieval setting and russia post apocalypse for the longest time now and it wouldnt be that bad it they wouldnt be so horrible at it offering broken and unfinished product all the time also doesnt help them in game creation…its sad because back in the day europe ended up making alots of beautiful game..but nowaday they make terrible product that seems only to be hyped by the dumb patriotism of their country.

  7. Kein says:

    Oh wow, people who had a whole month to put their money into development of this game has a right and chance now to try amazing alpha while other don’t? WORSE THAN 8 BILLION THETRAHITLERS.

    Let’s get mad for no reason.

  8. forgetdeny says:

    Starting to wonder how many “Alpha” releases will ever get proper ones. My suspicion is that releasing public alphas (or even betas, especially these Steam Early-Access affairs) will ultimately kill all marketing hype in full release. My further suspicion is that many developers are releasing unfinished alphas with the hope that their user-base will continue to fund them playing around in a toolbox rather than actually finishing a product. It’s just a suspicion at the moment, but I guess we’ll see how the industry goes.

    • denthor says:

      Nah, I whole heartily disagree. If its a good game, IT WILL SELL. An alpha/beta will just help spread word around – and all i’ve heard of both this and wasteland 2 is predominately good things. Deus Ex is another alpha which i downloaded off a piratey site and it immediately resulted in a pre order from me and a few friends that i recommended to check it out. Alphas legal or not are definitely a good way to promote the game BUT if its a shit game – it’ll do the opposite. Much like poor reviews or word of mouth.

      Of course this totally depends on the state of the alpha too – it needs to have most core systems in place.

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