Beyond Good and Evil 2 teases its ships and characters

bge2

Last night, Ubisoft Montpellier hosted a livestream for Beyond Good and Evil 2, spilling more details about the space-pirate romp’s story, characters and wide variety of flashy spaceships. The livestream is an hour long and is mostly the devs chatting away on a sofa, so if you want a more condensed version, you can also watch a dev diary that touches on the same things below.

Since revealing the game at E3, the team’s been trying to reinforce its motivations and double down on the pirate conceit, from officers, crews and their relationships, to how the ships look and function.

“We decided we were going to make a space-pirate game,” says senior producer Guillaume Brunier, “so everything that a pirate is doing in the mythology of pirates, you put space in front of it, and we do it in the game.”

Narrative director Gabrielle Shrager is currently in writing mode, but it sounds like nothing it set in stone. “I’m throwing out ideas and basically nourishing the team and Michel [Ancel] with as many possibilities as we can until, with the artists that we’ve been working very closely with to create the characterisations, this all comes together.”

The main take away is that this is still super early days. Ubisoft Montpellier admits that most studios wouldn’t show off their game at this stage, but — oh no — they want to develop it in tandem with the community.

“At some point they could be considered part of the developers,” says Ancel. “We want to blur the lines between developers and passionate people.”

So Beyond Good and Evil 2 is probably going to launch in 2028.

24 Comments

  1. shinkshank says:

    Well, despite not seeming that related with BGE 1, the game seems pretty promising.

    I wonder how they’re ruin it with microtransactions.

  2. khamul says:

    What’s interesting here is that what they *say* they’re doing – i.e. talk to the users early and often, get real feedback and use it to drive the next step – is very much real Agile development.

    And that’s interesting because Agile has been like super-popular out in the real world of building websites for Banks, and so on. Not that it’s always very true to ‘real’ Agile… but I think the experience of using a lot of software and products has improved over the last few years, and I think Agile is a big part of why.

    Applying it to big, very expensive projects with a very fixed release date and all the money riding on it though… is pretty tricky. Very very tricky. It’ll be interesting to see how they get on.

    Dunno. I work in software, but not in games. From the outside, it looks like you’re still using processes most of the world left behind years ago. Are you? Or is early access the acceptable face of an iterative Agile/Scrum methodology?

    • sosolidshoe says:

      If by “improved” you mean “simplified and over-designed to death in order to cater to mouthbreathing numpties who can only interact with the web by vacantly mashing their lumpy appendages on a tablet touchscreen, at the expense of a solid desktop browsing experience”, then sure, all that Agile Scrumming has improved the hell out of things over the last few years.

      • khamul says:

        Um… kinda yes, and no?
        Personally, I appreciate buttons that are visibly distinct from the rest of the text. I appreciate clear layout. I think the trend, in general, has been in the right direction. Which doesn’t mean all the instances have been.

        If you put 100 monkeys behind typewriters, and then iterate based on meaningful measures, eventually that chaos will be cajoled into some kind of useful order. But it’s going to take a hell of a long time. Having intelligence driving the thing makes a big difference: and unfortunately Sturgeon’s law (link to en.wikipedia.org) applies.

        No process is a substitute to actually applying your brain to a the problem. But blindly following a process is much easier and feels *much* more secure – so it’s definitely the popular option, no matter how much arrant wonk it generates.

      • Paj says:

        Unnecessary complexity is unnecessary. It doesn’t matter how powerful or useful a piece of software is, if people can’t figure out how to use it, or (even worse) actively dislike using it, then all the features in the world aren’t worth a thing.

    • Paj says:

      I work in web development, and I definitely understand what you’re talking about. I think you see it a lot more in things like Early Access, where the developers are much more engaged with their audiences and continue to iterate and support the game post-release. Amplitude also do it in a limited way with their Endless games, as does Paradox with Stellaris.

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      Ninja Dodo says:

      All game development is iterative and many games studios use some form of scrum or agile development.

  3. Spuzzell says:

    I was very worried by the emphasis on co-op play.

    I really, REALLY don’t want to play Beyond Good and Evil co-op, I want to explore the world as obsessively as I did the first time around, and be rewarded for it.

    That does not lend itself to co-op friendly game design. I’m suddenly concerned, dammit.

  4. Sin Vega says:

    I’ve wanted more games about piracy for absolutely ages, but that last trailer made the game’s tone so excruciating I’ll take a hell of a lot of convincing.

  5. Michael Fogg says:

    Wasn’t it previously reported that BGaE II was supposed to be an open space pirate game where you visit proc-genned planets, much like No Man’s Sky, but testers found the game to be empty and devoid of meaning in the long run (as has proven to be the case for NMS) so the whole team had to go back to the drawing board? I really dislike that chimp character. Miss ol’ uncle Paige already.

  6. Banks says:

    I don’t like what I’m seeing. We already have one Star Citizen and that’s enough.

    • Daymare says:

      You know, I like all their ideas. I like the idea of space open world coop piracy. I don’t even care if it’s using an old beloved IP (BG&E) as long as it’s a good game (sorta like nuPrey). I even liked the sweary fuckin’ ape because I think uplifted animals are cool.

      But I’d rather the devs told me about their open world space pirate multiplayer proceduarally generated universe sandbox game with a campaign when they’ve got more to show than a Zef CGI cutscene and hundreds of grand but unrealized ideas they talk about at length.

      Because I’ve seen that before, and I know where it’s heading. Either it’ll turn out like NMS, totally unfinished “but we didn’t promise anything!” (sure talked about it at length though!) because the game was overambitious and/or the devs lacked a clear vision.
      Or it’ll end up in development hell, like whatever early but semi-playable vertical slice of proto-BG&E2 was shown years ago. (The one with the chase sequence in the slums.)
      Or maybe both.

      I think technically it’s called “doing a Molyneux”?

  7. JarinArenos says:

    This looks very much like a case of continual overpromising, with the attached problem of never delivering. They don’t have a design, they have a pile of ideas and they want to do all of them somehow.

  8. Fade2Gray says:

    I really don’t think the more “realistic” visual design is doing this game any favors…

  9. Dachannien says:

    I still feel overfucked from their last video.

  10. April March says:

    I was going to make a joke about the beginning of the trailer about how if they were making something completely new it wouldn’t have a 2 at the end, but since this is obviously a brand new game that just had its name forced upon it, I guess they’re correct.

    While we’re talking about the beginning of the trailer, classic architecture and a tram pretty much describe my dream city. I’m that easy to please.

  11. Blad the impaler says:

    Did no one lol hardily at that last line? I sure did.

  12. Avus says:

    For AAA developer/publisher, UBIsoft has a lot more “heart” and willing to innovate and try “different thing” than like EA, Activision and even Blizzard which only pump the same things year by year (or in Blizzard case mike their few IPs FOREVER). Developer like Ubisoft Montpellier will be long gone if it is under garbage publisher like EA.

  13. Caiman says:

    Ancel says this is a prequel, so no resolution of that cliffhanger that we’ve been waiting for a sequel to resolve for the last 15 years. I could be less interested in this, I suppose, but not by a lot.

  14. Matys says:

    To be fair the cliffhanger left things in a heartful and interesting place that I think is better left undisturbed in BGE1. What we really wanted is an experience that captures the illusion of a world with believable characters and a strong narrative you can tell the creators cared deeply for, but devs don’t really make games like that anymore. In any case it’s been long enough since our initial playthroughs we can probably go back and have a relatively fresh experience. Seems to be a better option than holding out to hope devs will stop disappointing us. That said-

    How you take a beloved single player game with fans simply calling for continuation or closure and turn it into this is well beyond me. I get you want to carry the marketing weight of an established brand but this really is just an insult to everyone who has wanted an actual sequel, especially after years of small teasers with Jade and Paige. The head of these projects and companies couldn’t be farther disconnected from their audience.

  15. Ham Solo says:

    I hope they this doesn’t end up like No Man’s Sky, promising the world while underdelivering tragically. I’m cautiously optimistic for this game.

  16. Masked Dave says:

    I’m willing to trust Ancel, as far as I’m aware he’s yet to make a bad game and someone at Ubisoft is clearly very happy to support him.

    And space pirates rock.

  17. Kelvin says:

    “The solo experience, also.”

    There goes my interest in the game. BGaE was great: light-hearted, colorful, characters were agreeable – all that jazz.

    Here’s BGaE2: a multiplayer “experience” with added swearing in the skin of an old, beloved game.

    No thanks.

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