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Originally Posted by Argyle
"I never expected us to be 400 people to make BG3"

I just happen to have my old Shadows of Amn manual right here! Let's look at the end where the credits are listed ... hmmm, I see about 43 voice actors, about 44 people in the QA groups, 21 people on audio stuff, tons of art, animation, and programmer people, etc. I am not going to count them all, and the list is several pages long. So I guess my question for Larian would be, then how many people did you expect to make BG III?

***

"let's not spend time thinking ahead at the beginning, we'll just do a quick-and-dirty first draft now, implement it, and later we'll iterate over and over until we've got something good"

I think that is the basic philosophy of "Agile" software development ... ever hear the story of Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby?

Counting everyone around 350ish for BG2.

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Originally Posted by sublimeclown
Sheesh everyone is so doom and gloom. For all we know, they’ve implemented all classes, races, day/night cycle, and reactions but they haven’t publicly released them yet because they aren’t polished, still need testing, or they’re simply holding things back for final release. We really have no idea the state of the game. Early Access is meant to give us a taste of the final game. It doesn’t reflect where they are in development.

Looking at history of video games, the state of a game we get in EA is usually pretty much 80% to 90% of what we will get.
And people who usualy say : <they are holding back, still in testing, arent polished etc....> are nearly ALWAYS pretty much wrong lol. For this game, they are too busy with CINEMATIC DIALOGUES and the multitude of bugs and game problems this creatures.
Hence why we are all bitching about it, since its been nearly 2 yearsEA ...with a TRINKLE of change. Yea more content, but little base game changes.

Last edited by mr_planescapist; 25/03/22 04:56 AM.
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It's very interesting to read this forum from a socio-psychological standpoint, and this thread is no disappointment. Poor Sven, what is he to do? grin

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The great thing about this forum is that just about everyone here is a real human, or perhaps a gnome in just a few instances. That is not the case on a lot other message boards, especially news feeds, where AI robots roam in great numbers. I have learned how to spot some of them, especially the mockingbird types which post the same exact phrases in multiple locations.

The power of the One Ring is to walk in invisible realms, and to know the thoughts of those around you, and to be able to influence their thinking and bend them to your will. How prescient Tolkien was.

I would rather have Sven work on a City of Brass adventure than do more cinematic segments. Look deep into my eyes ,,,

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Originally Posted by mr_planescapist
Originally Posted by sublimeclown
Sheesh everyone is so doom and gloom. For all we know, they’ve implemented all classes, races, day/night cycle, and reactions but they haven’t publicly released them yet because they aren’t polished, still need testing, or they’re simply holding things back for final release. We really have no idea the state of the game. Early Access is meant to give us a taste of the final game. It doesn’t reflect where they are in development.

Looking at history of video games, the state of a game we get in EA is usually pretty much 80% to 90% of what we will get.
And people who usualy say : <they are holding back, still in testing, arent polished etc....> are nearly ALWAYS pretty much wrong lol. For this game, they are too busy with CINEMATIC DIALOGUES and the multitude of bugs and game problems this creatures.
Hence why we are all bitching about it, since its been nearly 2 yearsEA ...with a TRINKLE of change. Yea more content, but little base game changes.

Um except Larian has LITERALLY stated EA is only going to be the first act and that they are even holding back things from Act 1 until final release. So unless they are downright lying and they haven’t even started working on Act 2 yet, I think it’s safe to assume they are much further along in development than it appears. It would be nice to have more communication from them so we could at least get glimpses of what they’re working on.

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Originally Posted by sublimeclown
Um except Larian has LITERALLY stated EA is only going to be the first act and that they are even holding back things from Act 1 until final release. So unless they are downright lying and they haven’t even started working on Act 2 yet, I think it’s safe to assume they are much further along in development than it appears. It would be nice to have more communication from them so we could at least get glimpses of what they’re working on.
I doubt he was referring to the percentage of playable content. Most likely he was talking about the general state of the game.

Last edited by Tuco; 25/03/22 02:06 PM.

Party control in Baldur's Gate 3 is a complete mess that begs to be addressed. SAY NO TO THE TOILET CHAIN
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They did Witcher 3 with 250 people.

And we have 400 people for this mess.

It seems like a very poor resource management.

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Originally Posted by Argyle
"I never expected us to be 400 people to make BG3"

I just happen to have my old Shadows of Amn manual right here! Let's look at the end where the credits are listed ... hmmm, I see about 43 voice actors, about 44 people in the QA groups, 21 people on audio stuff, tons of art, animation, and programmer people, etc. I am not going to count them all, and the list is several pages long. So I guess my question for Larian would be, then how many people did you expect to make BG III?
I assume you don't know the process by which videogames are made and game credits are given.

Games are made by a wide selection of individuals, working for the developer, the publisher, a variety of sub-contracted companies, and freelancers.

Typically, all voice/performance capture actors are freelance. Some or all of the faciilities and staff used to acquire the voice/animation/performance data may be sub-contracted, localization is generally subcontracted, some or all of the QA may be subcontracted, and even core game engine code and art assets may sub-contracted. Similarly, publishing, sales and marketing may not be part of the company developing a game.

All these people are traditionally included in the game credits, whether or not they actually work for the developer. Not only that, but the credits contain lists of people that fulfill particular roles within the game development and production. If you go back to the SoA credits list, I'm sure you will find that some names appear many times in different roles.

Further, it's not really possible to know what a developer headcount means without having an organisational chart. For example, Larian are both developer and publisher, which might mean including publishing headcount that are normally external to the developer company.

In the case of our BG3 versus SoA comparison, we see Swen saying 400 people to make BG3, but we don't know which people Swen is including in this, while SoA has 220 final credits, some of which are duplicate individuals in different roles, while many others are for language localization, and other ancillary roles that are not usualy quoted in developer headcount.

From the SoA credits I would (gu)estimate Bioware was about 100 headcount at the time, developing their games at a relatively quick pace (1-2 years) because the capabilities of PCs at the time severely limited the graphical assets that had to be developed, and the cost of audio meant that very little was used.

Recent AAA studio team sizes for games such as Cyberpunk 2077 have been quoted in the region of 400, so Swen's quote of 400 seems aligned with the industry, depending on what he actually includes. Also note that the total development time when BG3 actually releases will be perhaps 4+ years.

The end result is probably at least 10x the input required for SoA, possibly much more. While some of the added cost for BG3 was predictable because SoA had almost no cutscenes, and very limited voicing, I think Swen was really saying he was surprised by how the development scope increased as they fleshed out their design, in order to keep the quality metrics they were aiming for.

Apart from some fuzziness over the expected duration of EA, I feel Larian have been perfectly clear about BG3 development. Unfortunately, interpretation of the meaning of language can be slippery, and judging by a number of the comments in this thread ( and others ), some people on these forums think they have been misled.

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Originally Posted by Wormerine
Yeah, but Larian wants all the cakes and eat them too. It is a game with robust multiplayer support but also dedicated singleplayer content. A top down, highly customisable adventure, but with pre-made, directed cinematics. It is adaptation of nerdy D&D property that triest to satisfy D&D, D:OS2 and non RPG players. In other words Larian tries to cram many conflicting goals into one game, and to their credit trying to do justice to all. It's one thing to create a product with wide appeal - it is another to create product that will try to be various different products at the same time.

Spot on. Larian want to please everyone, but have to compromise to do that. For instance, I would willingly drop MP to get a better SP game, but for many modern players, MP is their main interest. I accept that there will be aspects of this, and any other videogame, that I will find sub-optimal, and deal with it. I find it slightly disturbing how much bile some people throw at Larian.

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Originally Posted by etonbears
From the SoA credits I would (gu)estimate Bioware was about 100 headcount at the time

BG1 had about 30 people (90 man-years) per Ray Muzyka. I imagine BG2 was not that different.

https://www.gamedeveloper.com/design/-i-baldur-s-gate-ii-i-the-anatomy-of-a-sequel

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Originally Posted by RutgerF
Another important aspect to consider is where they added these people to?
Cinematic dialogues probably called for a new department in itself.

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I want to know what caused them to decide to do the game with 100% cinematics. That was not the initial decision and changed during EA.

I would have much rather resources go to other aspects of the game.

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Originally Posted by etonbears
I feel Larian have been perfectly clear about BG3 development. Unfortunately, interpretation of the meaning of language can be slippery, and judging by a number of the comments in this thread (and others), some people on these forums think they have been misled.

Yes, the meaning of language is very slippery, like when you name your game "Baldur's Gate 3" but then decide not to create any more of its franchise-defining gameplay, or market your game off the official D&D license but then ignore critical class and mechanical features of D&D. Man, it's so weird that some people on these forums "feel misled" by a company that spends enormous amounts of development time on producing a 3D fantasy drama, but no time on including basic mechanical features that brought the actual fans of D&D and Baldur's Gate here in the first place.

I can't wait to watch 100 hours of carefully cinematographed 3D fantasy drama, and then not be able to choose when to cast Shield as a reaction during the game part of the game.

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Originally Posted by etonbears
I find it slightly disturbing how much bile some people throw at Larian.

*points to writing on the wall*

"What writing? confused"

--- --- ---


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Juding by this alone thread, I truly hope nobody at Larian reads a single post on these forums. This is a toxic wasteland

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I think you should look up the definition of toxic and reassess your judgement. It seems these days any criticism or anything negative is construed as ‘toxic’.

Conversely, one could easily besmirch those who praise every aspect of this game and Larian with the phrase ‘toxic positivity’.

Anyway, back to the thread. It’s no surprise to read these quotes from Swen. I have no doubt this will be a good game, perhaps a very good one but a worthy successor to its predecessors? Not a chance. It’s trying to be too many things to too many people and suffers for the lack of concise, coherent vision.

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Originally Posted by Etruscan
I think you should look up the definition of toxic and reassess your judgement. It seems these days any criticism or anything negative is construed as ‘toxic’.

Conversely, one could easily besmirch those who praise every aspect of this game and Larian with the phrase ‘toxic positivity’.

Anyway, back to the thread. It’s no surprise to read these quotes from Swen. I have no doubt this will be a good game, perhaps a very good one but a worthy successor to its predecessors? Not a chance. It’s trying to be too many things to too many people and suffers for the lack of concise, coherent vision.

Yeah, I don't really talk much on these forums anymore because everything that needed to be argued has already been stated. It's actually been a whole year since we've had major debates on the absence of reactions most of all, and like nothing has really happened on that front besides an assurance from about half a year ago saying that they're supposedly working on it. Meanwhile the cinematic stuff has been a focus in every patch. I've pretty much increasingly distanced myself from the community, seeing the discourse around this game distilled into its present state along with the overall messaging seemingly being so unfocused and increasingly filled with buzzwords as is. I mean I already bought the EA and don't regret it as I know full well what I was getting into, but I'd highly discourage against a day 1 purchase with the pre-release Cyberpunk level vibes that I'm sensing from everything associated with this game now. And I'm not talking about bugs and stuff being unfinished on release (which DOS2's last act clearly was on release), I'm talking about deep fundamental flaws present in the actual gameplay that would take a definitive edition to address, if they are even acknowledged at all.

They've deliberately avoided implementing the classes highly reliant on a working reaction choice-based system so far, to the point where the last couple of classes implemented have been accurately predicted months ahead of time by some of the most pessimist people on these forums. One would think reactions are a high priority to work something out to test, but one also has to wonder if the reason for this isn't so much that they need time to figure something out, but... Because the coding base for this game can't actually handle reactions, and any possible solution is being delayed because development on the actual gameplay is seemingly taking a complete back seat to this cinematic focus. A mod on these forums gave me shit a year ago for insinuating such a thing about the engine, but again, it has been a year since then and we've barely had whispers on something that's clearly a major issue for a lot of people following this game.

I don't even have a horse in the whole 'not like BG1 or BG2' race as I haven't played either game. But in the game's current direction, I'm sure it'll make for a wonderful first playthrough. But it wouldn't be something I'd bother replaying, as I discovered during each attempt to replay the EA and found that the moment to moment gameplay was... Off and feeling like an absolute slog as a consequence, somehow. The combat is heavily focused on offense since a lot of the defensive tools present in 5E such as reactions aren't in the game, and may not even be implemented at all. On the other side of the spectrum, it lacks the environmental reactivity and build variety that DOS2 had. In the months leading up to DOS2's release, you had people swearing up and down that it was the ultimate proof that turn-based combat still had a place in the gaming industry, and it would herald the beginning of that combat style being embraced by the industry once more, which it arguably did. BG3? A blip on the radar in an industry dominated by other studios far more experienced with story and cinematics. The camp that values gameplay over story/writing seems rather tepid about this game, but the story-craving camp (or well, the camp that likes this style of writing and cinematic focus) seems to be loving this.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that hedging the majority of effort into the writing and cinematics at the expense of the moment to moment gameplay is a BAD long term idea. We've seen plenty of examples of other games that had done exactly this and failed. They still sold a lot due to hype culture, but no one heralds them as masterpieces. Coincidentally, all of them are plagued by stories coming out years later of troubled development that broke the development studios in some way.

Maybe the sooner we accept that the game is meant to be this way and move on, the better off we'll all be for it. A dozen forumers arguing in circles holds little sway in development, compared to the tide of people that will judge the game upon full release. Only then will we see if we were more than people making delusional rants. Not that anyone who thought we were only here to be mean to Larian would admit to that.

Last edited by Saito Hikari; 26/03/22 11:15 AM.
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Originally Posted by gaymer
I want to know what caused them to decide to do the game with 100% cinematics. That was not the initial decision and changed during EA.
I am not sure where you get the impression from - from the very reveal cinematics were as they are now. Sure some of them were missing, resulting in overhead view (some goblins, corpses), just as Astarions bite scene didn't have a cinematic in previous patch. At no point those were to stay that way, even though I really wouldn't prefer if Larian did fewer, better cinematics, then add "cinematic" for every bark a character has.

Originally Posted by Saito Hikari
I guess what I'm trying to say is that hedging the majority of effort into the writing and cinematics at the expense of the moment to moment gameplay is a BAD long term idea.
Overall I agree with you - issues with core camplay loop are a big worry in BG3. I am not sure how much cinematics are to blame, and how much is Larian attempt to marry D&D and D:OS2 - no matter which you lean toward prefering, those are very, very different system. While I didn't find D:OS2 combat very interesting, it was enjoyable. BG3 combat neither gives justice to D&Ds dice roll buff/debuff based combat, nor D:OS2's positioning/skill usage one. D&D is a system with strict classes forcing cooperation, while D:OS2 had classless, mix what you want approach.

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Originally Posted by Bercon
Juding by this alone thread, I truly hope nobody at Larian reads a single post on these forums. This is a toxic wasteland


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One can only imagine the dream project if that man extra power for once weren't put into "cinematics" but actual core RPG stuff such as added choice, player agency, world reactivity/interactivity and all that stuff that actually does aim to emulate tabletop freedom as opposed to a hollywood movie / Netflix show experience. (Mind you, I also don't understand how like three decades after the hype surrounding Interactive Movies cinematics are seen as such a hot thing again, especially in AAA gaming).

Not gonna happen anytime soon though, people obviously like that stuff (and developers/publishers think it's a safe bet due to movie and Netflix shows being so popular). laugh

Last edited by Sven_; 26/03/22 06:55 PM.
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