Posts Tagged ‘Larian Studios’

Springing Into Spring: Divinity – Original Sin

It’s taken an enormous amount of willpower to resist the charms of Divinity: Original Sin since the Early Access version arrived on Steam. It’s not that I’m worried about playing parts of the game before it’s complete – I’ve already spent two days in its company – it’s that I’m in need of an RPG partner. Far too many of my friends are either unnerved by the idea of traipsing through a fantasy world with me while I talk to dogs, cats and cows, or they’re digging their heels in and waiting for the full game to be released. A new video shows some of the environments due when that happy event occurs, sometime in Spring. There are also weather effects. Around thirty seconds in, a big ol’ monster slips on some ice and falls on its arse.

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Uproariously Glorious: Divinity Now On Early Access

We’ve been eagerly watching (and, on some occasions, playing) Divinity: Original Sin ever since it launched a turn-based assault on Kickstarter, growing its already grandiose vision of a classic RPG world into one worthy of having its praises sung. Now it’s finally available to everyone, whether old and grizzled or so young that they think Baldur’s Gate was a middling action-RPG on the PlayStation 2. That said, this one traces its roots more to Ultima VII than anything else what with all its systemic complexity and obsessively detailed interactivity. There is, in other words, much to dig into here, even in Early Access form. But should you? Well, that depends on a few factors.

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Alphamania – Divinity: Original Sin Backer Alpha Kicks Off

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.

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Hands-On: Divinity – Original Sin

Preview events often involve around half an hour with a game, while carefully chaperoned through its corridors. I spent sixteen hours playing Divinity: Original Sin over two days in Belgium last week and nobody told me what I should or shouldn’t do. I spent two hours looking for a potato because I wanted to make some chips and Larian’s founder actively encouraged me in that mighty quest.

If I hadn’t had a flight to catch, I would have played for another sixteen hours over the next couple of days as well. There are more technically impressive fantasy RPGs coming out next year and there’s a great deal of work still to be done, but Larian’s latest is living up the early promise and is right near the top of my most wanted list.

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Divinity: Original Sin Condemned To 2014

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. The Bible said that, and – now that we will all be without Divinity: Original Sin until early 2014 – I’m pretty sure we’re technically allowed to throw rocks at each other for a few months. You know what that means, don’t you? STOOOOOOOONE FIIIIIIIIIIGHT! Hahaha, nearly got me Adam, hahaha there go three of my teeth, hohoho good one Lucy – you always did have the best throwing arm of any of us. Whew, what a riot. Also, I think we may have started an actual riot. While I tend to that, you go below to a) avoid losing an eye and b) watch a video explaining why stretch goals are to blame for Divinity’s definitively human error.

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Reptile High Club: Dragon Commander Out Today

I shouldn’t be surprised that Dragon Commander is out today, after all, we seem to be have been writing about it forever. Somehow, because it had been spotted in the incubation chambers of press events so often, I’d started to believe this was one speckled egg that might never hatch. Alec’s most recent preview identified the game thusly – “Dragon Commander’s a bit like an over-friendly dog that jumps up at you, headbutts you in the crotch, licks you on the eye and then farts in helpless excitement when you come home.” Is that a seven out of ten? It’s an odd game but there’s an unexpectedly descriptive launch trailer below that summarises incredibly well.

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Burn The Press: Dragon Commander’s Interactive Trailer

You 'orrible little man
My favourite thing about this interactive trailer for Divinity: Dragon Commander is the music it plays while you consider your position. It reminds me of dramatic quiz show music, adding a frisson of tension to the already taut situation you’re asked to involve yourself in. It makes me want to ask Noel Edmonds for his opinion on the matter, which is how all decisions should be made. You’re asked to mediate on a political dispute: the press are reporting on the more sensationalist aspects of the world’s leader’s lives. Should you allow them to continue, or should you stop them from printing? Listen to the arguments and make a decision. As a gamer, I’d imagine you have annotations on Youtube turned off. They’ll need to be on for this to work
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Dragon Commander’s Call To Arms Pre-Order


Divnity: Dragon Commander looks special. It looks mad and it looks silly. And it also looks like you can get into the beta right now if you pre-order. Adam has already played it, and he says: “I’d planned for dragons with jetpacks strapped to their backsides, but I hadn’t expected a skeleton to rebuke me for refusing to discriminate on grounds of gender and sexuality.”

Latest developer video below. Aren’t they handsome?
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Have A Half Hour Of Dragon Commander

What's Dragon for 'Left a bit'?
Hooray for the person who decided that dragons can have jetpacks. I get the impression that the from that moment on, Divinity: Dragon Commander was set on a path to Sillyville. Any further questions about lore were probably answered by the lead developer pointing to artwork of a dragon blasting jets out from his backpack and then a shrug. It’s a decision that ends at the inevitable cul-de-sac of an overly verbose and racist lizard man trying to get out of having a party with an imp, as is shown in this video. I’d imagined this offshoot of the Divinity series to be a lot less personable, but there’s plenty of of political maneuvering in 30 minute play through, as well as a pile of characters to talk to and make plans with before the Dragons are released.
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Breath From Above: Dragon Commander

Dragons wearing jetpacks are far from the strangest thing in Divinity: Dragon Commander. The politically charged fantasy world is a carnival of the unexpected. Take the undead – far from being clattering bags of bones with nothing to say for themselves, they include among their ranks a tragicomic princess and her fearsome fundamentalist father. It’s easy, as I did, to become distracted by the game’s abundance of character, but strategic planning and rapid-fire reactions are necessary to succeed once battle begins. The game finally has a release date – August 6th – and the video below shows various members of Larian preparing to apply the final touches.

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Divinity’s Original Win

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.
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Hands On: Divinity – Original Sin

“Can I steal from these market stalls?”
“Of course, but there are guards…”
“Can I lead monsters into the market and if I do will the guards attack them?”
“Of course, but…”
“Can I kill that chicken? Will the guards mind if I kill that chicken?”
I’m playing Original Sin with one of the people who is responsible for making Original Sin and I am trying to cause trouble.

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Hands-On: Divinity – Dragon Commander

Divinity: Dragon Commander contains two distinct components and in just over an hour of playing, I found much to like in both. I’m not entirely sure that the parts combine in a particularly meaningful way, but the total package managed to surprise me more times in that hour than many games do in a week of playing. You may well expect one side of the game, if a fast-paced RTS revolving around dragons wearing jetpacks is ever truly expected, but it’s the remainder that inspires the strongest response.

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Dragons With Jetpacks – Divinity: Dragon Commander

HELP. EVERYTHING IS HAPPENING.

Divinity: Dragon Commander‘s title used to confuse me. I couldn’t help but wonder: do I command dragons, or am I a dragon who’s also a commander? Turns out, the answer’s a resounding, fire-belching “both!” The strategy spinoff of the semi-traditional fantasy RPG series sees you corralling mad steampunk armies and strapping into the jetpack (yes, jetpack) of a mighty alpha-reptile. My brain’s typically disparate tactical and dragon lobes are lighting up in a fashion that best resembles one of those cheapo party disco ball things. I am, in other words, quite interested. Have a lizardly look for yourself after the break.

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Larry’s Mod: Divinity II – Developer’s Cut

The troll has quite an impressively sized belly, yet he does not appear jolly in the slightest. Poor troll.

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.

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Divinity: Original Sin Casts First Trailer

Man, that's always what happens when I go camping too. I can so identify.

It is the year 2012. We have magic rectangles that contain our entire lives and an invisible web that connects all of humankind. And while I can’t claim to own a hoverboard, I’m still pretty OK with a future in which Divinity: Original Sin defies both Father Time and the shareholder mothership to exist. I mean, it’s an Ultima-inspired, turn-based RPG that’s doing its damndest to conjure fond memories of Cheeto-stained tabletop role-playing campaigns, and it looks damn impressive. I’m afraid that I’ll wake up any moment now, and it’ll actually be a modern FPS reboot set in a future where magic was given a swirly by Totally Rad Soldier Men – a swirly that killed it forever. Somehow, though, it is a thing with its very own trailer, and the elemental magic system paired with turn-based combat looks like it could actually make for some tantalizingly tactical co-op. Marvel at its implausibility after the break.

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Divinerest: Divinity – Original Sin Announced

Following Divinity II: Ego Draconis, Larian Studios are returning Divinity to its Divine roots with Original Sin, which may well be the Divinest Divinitude of all. PC Gamer have seen the return to isometric RPGing in action and Larian head honcho Swen Vincke tell them the game is being created to “address frustrations with Divine Divinity”. Turn-based combat is in, as is a story tailor made for co-op play. Sounds good to me.

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Interview: Dragon Commander Commander


Swen Vincke is the bossman at Larian, they of the Divinity games and now ambitious Dragon Commander, and he’s taking his studio in a bold new direction: free of the publisher contract, they are going to develop and publish the game themselves. Vincke talks about this strategy – and few other issues like the real reason people said the PC was “dead” – in this wide-ranging and fascinating interview.
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Larian: Retail Important To Indie PC Studios


In an interview to be published tomorrow on RPS, Larian boss Swen Vincke argues that digital delivery should not necessarily be seen as the dominant channel for PC games distribution, and argues that retail could be valuable for self-publishing studios such as his: “Nowadays people are all talking about the indie revolution and the power of digital distribution, but retail has always been the powerbase of publishers and remains very important as a sales channel. It is still the dominant sales channel, in fact.”

When asked whether retail was still an option for self-publishing on PC he replied: “Of course it is! We did a deal in Germany with a local distributor for the last Divinity game and we sold more than 100,000 units in Germany alone. Convert that into revenue. That’s quite a lot of revenue.” Larian are intending to self-fund and publish Dragon Commander, after having moved toward self-publishing their previous games and taking more revenue than they would have done with a straight up publisher deal. More tomorrow!