PC Gamer

Divinity: Original Sin is coming to consoles! Actually, wait. We don't care about that. What we do care about is that it will summon forth Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition—a major overhaul to one of last year's best RPGs. It will be released, for free, to everybody who owns the original Original Sin.

Here's a trailer.

And here's the feature list:

  • New intuitive user-interface tailored for controllers
  • Dynamic split-screen for co-op
  • Fully voiced and remastered dialogs with AAA-actors
  • Hours of new content; quests, combat-styles, location and changes to the crafting system.
  • Entirely new gameplay modes and character builds
  • A heavily rewritten story with a brand new ending
  • Massively reworked visuals and sound effects 

Larian note that this isn't an update, as such, but will instead be released as a separate game. When it's given to existing Original Sin owners, it will appear as a new entry in their Steam library. This also means that save games won't be transferable.

Below, you can find an update video, containing a more detailed explanation of what the Enhanced Edition will bring.

First Wasteland 2, and now Divinity: Original Sin. Already great RPGs are making themselves better for free. This is a trend I can get behind.

Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition will be released "when it's ready".

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

Divinity Original Sin [official site] is one of the finest and most distinctive RPGs of recent years. That’s quite an accomplishment given the level of competition that exists at what is hopefully the dawn of a renaissance for the genre. When Larian told us that an Enhanced Edition of the game was coming later this year we spoke to Larian’s founder, Swen Vincke, to learn more about what exactly this massive overhaul entails.

Free to people who own the original release but also releasing as a new game on console, PC and Mac alike, it contains much more than visual polish. Quests have been rewritten, new side stories have been added, splitscreen co-op and controller support are in, and full voice acting has been recorded. We discuss all of that, as well as some of the smaller changes, along with some hints as to what’s next for Larian.>

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer

divinity

As spotted on RPG Codex, Larian Studios - the Belgian team behind Divinity: Original Sin - has inked a deal with Focus Home Interactive to work on a 'new title'. Details don't go much further than that aside from saying there will be a 'beautiful surprise' for players (and journalists) at this year's E3.

The better translation probably isn't 'beautiful surprise', but that's what Google Translate goes with so it's what I have to stick with - the French I picked up during school having left me the minute I left said school. You can read the full investors' information page here, if your French is a bit better than mine.

Focus is an independent French publisher that has brought titles like Styx: Master of Shadows, Blood Bowl II and Farming Simulator 2015 to shops in Europe. Safe to say it operates a mixed bag policy, but Larian collaborating with a publisher that can give it any additional distribution should be a good thing.

We'll have to wait until E3 to see what's actually going on though. And no, I don't have an inside track even though PC Gamer is involved with the PC Gaming Show.

PC Gamer

Organizers of the Game Developers Conference have generously posted many videos of the sessions recorded at this year's show online. You need to be a member to see some of them, but there's no shortage of fascinating talks that are available for free. After looking through them, these are some of the free sessions we think you shouldn't miss.

VR for Indies

Virtual reality was without a doubt the theme of GDC 2015. Sony had a new Morpheus model, Valve demoed Vive, and Carmack was on stage talking up mobile VR. However, the most down to earth, realistic session I saw about VR at GDC was VR for Indies, where Darknet developer E McNeill, Max Geiger, Ben Kane, Holden Link, and Vi Hart talked about how smaller developers can take advantage of this new technology, or if they even should. They weren't there to pitch you on a new product. They just talked honestly about what can be done now, and can hopefully be done in the future.

The Power of the Abstract

In this session, indie developer and game critic Liz Ryerson makes a really strong case for why we should stop chasing super realistic graphics and games that aim to emulate reality as closely as possible and instead consider the power of the abstract. It's not only a fascinating perspective, Ryerson also mentions several interesting games during her talk that you can download and play right now.

Growing the Participation of Women in eSports

Ever wonder why there aren't more women in eSports? This talk from professional players, Blizzard's Kim Phan, and Heather "SapphiRe" Mumm from the ESEA will not only tell you why, but what we can do to fix the problem.

The Dawn of Mobile VR

Look, I'm not even going to pretend that I understand what John Carmack is saying half the time, but I do know when I'm the presence of genius. Carmack made Doom, he dabbles in rocket science just for kicks, and he's doing a lot of important work on the current resurgence of virtual reality. Here he's talking about mobile VR, but you'll learn a lot about Oculus in general, and it's always interesting to hear him talk.

Divinity: Original Sin Postmortem - Success Stories and Lessons Learned

Divinity: Original Sin was easily one of the best games of last year, and a perfect example of what makes PC gaming so great. In this session, Larian Studio's Swen Vincke explains how they created Divinity. Spoiler alert: it wasn't easy.

Building Fear in Alien: Isolation

Speaking of some of the best game of last year, this session will tell you all about how Creative Assembly created PC Gamer's 2014 Game of the Year, Alien: Isolation. One of the coolest things about this session is that at some point Creative Assembly considered making Alien: Isolation a third-person game, and there's even the footage to prove it.

Building a Sport: The Design Philosophy of League of Legends

If you play League of Legends, watching this session should be mandatory. Ryan "Morello" Scott, League of Legends' Lead Designer, and Frank Lantz, the Director of the New York University Game Center, discuss how Riot Games designs and balances an eSports sensation that over 70 million play every month. Lantz is a big fan of the game, Scott is surprisingly open, and it's really interesting to hear them nerd out about the design decisions, big to small, that make League of Legends tick, even if you don't play it.

#1ReasonToBe

2014 was a pretty difficult year for women in the games industry. In the #1ReasonToBe session, game developer Brenda Romero hosts a panel including game critic Leigh Alexander, developer Adriel Wallick, Uncharted writer and current creative director at EA Amy Henning, and others who work in different parts of the industry. They discuss the highs and lows of their experience in games, and how to create a more inclusive way forward. 

Community Announcements - Larian_Octaaf
Hi everyone,

The team at Larian is very happy to announce that -- thanks to the impressive efforts of the game's great fan community (Sciarada Team, specifically) -- Divinity: Original Sin is now officially available in Italian.

Larian put together a video to celebrate the occasion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzgR9cWhADE (you can turn on the Italian subtitles)

Work on the translation started in September, and the team has brought in four waves of testers throughout the process to ensure the translation is of high quality. Team leader Giuseppe "Chantalion" Cappariello told us that translating the orc language, finding the right words to make rhymes in Italian, and trying to preserve Larian's "surreal" humour throughout the game has been "delightfully hard and terribly fascinating." Other members of the team include Giuseppe's second-in-command Chris "Patarimanno" Benassi, as well as Marco "Malkot", Luigi "Jakelr", Enrico "Goatboy" and Enrico "Tanosblood".

You can find out more about the translation effort on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TraduzioneDivinityOriginalSinITA
or on the RPGItalia forums:
http://forum.rpgitalia.net/topic/24798-traduzione-italiana-divinity-original-sin/
PC Gamer

Larian Studios has been trying to make Divinity: Original Sin, in one form or another, since 1997. Founder Swen Vincke gave a great post-mortem on the development of one of our favorite games of 2014, focusing more on the business side of game development than the creative side. Or, more specifically, how business and creative clash and overlap. To make their dream RPGs in Divinity: Original Sin, Larian went independent, borrowed money from the bank, got outside investors, raised nearly $1 million on Kickstarter, sacrificed Divinity: Dragon Commander and still nearly ran out of funding. If Original Sin hadn t been a serious success, that could ve been the end for Larian.

But it was a success, which Vincke credited to Larian s philosophy in developing the game: not compromising its vision. He recounted a history of previous games, like Divinity II, that reviewed and sold poorly because they released too early. For Original Sin, Larian built its own technology instead of relying on middleware that couldn t support the features they wanted. Larian tried to make a co-op RPG for years, dating as far back as 1997, but inevitably cut the feature from multiple projects because it would be too difficult or time-consuming to implement.

Divinity II's premature release left Larian in debt, so the studio decided to go all-in on its next project. To keep the entire team of 30 or so developers together, they started two projects: the RPG that would become Original Sin, and strategy game Dragon Commander. Interestingly, Dragon Commander was meant to be the bigger project, while Original Sin was a smaller RPG that would be released first.

But Larian fell in love with the RPG, and decided not to release it until it was completely finished. In Vincke s words, Larian murdered Dragon Commander—releasing it before it was really done—to focus on Original Sin and pull in some badly needed funds.

The talk was remarkably candid: Vincke admitted how many mistakes and desperate decisions the studio made to continue developing Divinity: OS as long as possible. They delayed tax payments to spend more on development and spent money they didn t have to add voice acting to the game later in development. They missed releasing some languages at launch by a day, after crunching on localization for three weeks with an emergency staff of 20 translators. And when Original Sin finally hit Early Access, the developers added thousands of bug fixes to their tracker and made significant gameplay system changes based on player feedback.

Larian initially had 1.5 million Euros to spend on Divinity: Original Sin and hoped to build it on a budget of 3 million. In the end, the studio spent 4.5 million Euros. After listening to Vincke talk, it seems almost miraculous that Larian didn t collapse, and that the game made it to release with its openness and co-op multiplayer intact.

Vincke closed the talk by mentioning that Larian is working on two new RPGs, as we reported yesterday. Original Sin s success hopefully gives Larian the leeway to develop those games without nearly going bankrupt.

One final fun tidbit from the talk: Larian s commitment to open-ended gameplay means you can kill every NPC in Original Sin. If you re hankering for a replay, consider trying out the mass murderer route.

PC Gamer

In his GDC talk on the development of Divinity: Original Sin, Larian Studios founder Swen Vincke gave us a hint of what we can expect from Larian's next game. Or, rather, its next two games. If you missed the news back in December, Divinity: Original Sin was successful enough for Larian to start working on two new RPGs using the same engine. Vincke casually said that Larian may reveal those games at E3 in a few months—or in 2016. "Whenever they're ready," he said.

Larian is expanding to develop its next games more quickly. And a couple themes from Vincke's talk may offer some clues as to what Larian will (or, more likely, won't) be doing with its future RPGs. Vincke pays close competition to his competitors, both to avoid release overlap (he suggested not releasing an epic open world game starring a man looking for someone this May, for example) and thematic similarities. Don't expect the next Divinity to be too similar to Dragon Age, Pillars of Eternity, or The Witcher 3.

And no matter when Larian gets around to announcing its next RPGs, don't be surprised if their release dates get pushed back a time or two. For Divinity: Original Sin, Larian went all-in, pumping more and more money and time into the game instead of compromising their vision and releasing it early. That strategy nearly bankrupted the studio, but it paid off in more than 500,000 sales. With Original Sin's success under its belt, we wouldn't expect to see Larian's next RPGs until they're completely ready.

Announcement - Valve
Save 40% on Divinity: Original Sin as part of this week's Weekend Deal*!

*Offer ends Monday at 10AM Pacific Time

PC Gamer

Larian Studios has released a new patch for Divinity: Original Sin that makes a number of balance changes and bug fixes. However, the big hook in this one has to be the implementation of Steam Cloud saves—and, for modders, the release of a 3DSMax exporter that enables the importation of custom animations and models.

Existing save games will remain on your local PC, as cloud saves are stored in a new, compressed format that's not supported by previous versions of Divinity. Cloud saving can be turned on or off from the properties menu on Steam, and when enabled, saves will be automatically synced (and deleted as necessary) when the game exits. Larian also warned players not to start the game manually from its  folder while the Steam Cloud saves are syncing, as doing so could corrupt the Steam cached cloud files.

The patch also fixes a dozen specific bugs—the pet black spider given to Kickstarter backers will now be an actual black spider, and not the fleshy spider (this is important stuff, you know)—and makes a number of stat and balance changes as well: Magic weapons have been changed to do physical damage with a magical boost, willpower, bodybuilding, and various physical and magical resistances have been rebalanced, creature initiative have been changed, and armor has been "toned down" to help cut back on unnecessarily long fights.

Finally, for the modders, "We have supplied a 3DSMax exporter to allow you to import custom animations and models into your mods," Larian wrote. 

The update is a big one, just under a gigabyte in size, and will come in automatically, assuming you have automatic updates enabled on Steam. Get all the details here.

Community Announcements - Larian_Octaaf
It’s time for the first update of 2015!

In addition to a number of bug fixes (thank you for all your feedback!), we’ve gone through all of the encounters in the game and made a ton of balancing changes that we think will make combat even more fun. We’ve also activated the Steam Cloud saves, and we have good news! PC & Mac savegames are compatible. For the modders out there, we can finally release the exporters that will allow you to import your own models and animations into the game.

Here’s the list of the most important changes and a few important remarks about Cloud saving:

Cloud system:
When you enable cloud for Divinity: Original Sin, you will see your cloud quota in the save/load screens. Only new savegames will be uploaded to the cloud as they have a new, compressed format. So if you need your latest saves on the cloud, you will have to load them and resave. You will then see a cloud icon next to them. Hover over the different statuses in the save/load screen to see what will be added and removed from the cloud. You can remove saves manually from the cloud by deleting them via the in-game menu. Furthermore, the game will remove older saves from the cloud automatically when you have run into the max amount of cloud save data. Keep in mind that if you use the Steam Cloud for Original Sin, you will be uploading data on a regular basis if you make a lot of saves. Upload speeds will depend on your Internet connection.

FAQ for Cloud:
  • Do the cloud saves work cross-platform (Mac <-> PC)?
    * Yes, you can sync from PC to Mac and Mac to PC.
  • What happens to my old saves?
    * They remain locally on your current PC. Only new savegames made in patch 1.0.251.0 and beyond will be uploaded to the cloud.
  • What happens when my quota is full?
    * Your newest saves are uploaded to the cloud and oldest saves are removed from the cloud. This does not mean you lose your saves. They are just removed from the cloud, but stay locally on your PC.
  • What do the icons mean in the save/load screens?
    * "Cloud with arrow" means the save will be uploaded to the cloud upon exiting the game. "Cloud with x" means the save will be removed from the cloud upon exiting the game. A normal cloud means the save is correctly in sync.
  • How do I turn on/off Steam Cloud?
    * You can do this by clicking through the following steps: Library > right click on game > Properties > Updates > Steam Cloud > Check or uncheck the checkbox at the bottom.
  • Note: since the game is DRM-free, it can be started manually from the game folder while steam cloud is syncing. Do NOT do this, as it can possibly corrupt your steam cached cloud files. You will not lose any saves, but the cloud will be confused as to what is in sync and what is not. Please only start the game via steam, if steam is running.

Update:
We added the following hotfixes with 1.0.252.0:
  • loading of a save with missing mod dependencies now throws correct error message instead of crashing
  • fixed possible crash during/at end of combat (texture issue)

Bug Fixes:
  • Gameplay Blocked when talking to Leandra while escaping from Death Knights
  • Bairdotr party size issue fixed. You were no longer able to recruit a 4th party member. Loading your savegame should allow you to re-hire a 4th companion immediately.
  • Fixed Homestead room-opening issue if you spoke to Zixzax with a companion first, while other player characters were arriving. If you had this issue pre-patch, you can try loading your save and returning to the Homestead.
  • Fixed Zandalor being interruptible when you first meet him. This could cause story progression issues.
  • Evelyn NPC blocked and remains in clinic before and after going through the lair scene
  • Equipment usable in skill bar
  • "Send to Homestead" appears in context menu if you start new game after loading save
  • Change Tenebrium weapon damage calculation: Tenebrium ability is now a requirement and you get the damage boost from your weapon ability
  • Kickstarter pet black spider should now be the black spider model instead of fleshy spider
  • Ingame time incorrect after loading a save and then starting a new game
  • Due to cloud being enabled, the way the player profiles are shown in the game has changed. All existing profiles are scanned and available, instead of only the profiles linked to your steam account.
  • Fixed issue that could get your character stuck in skill preview mode after spamming skill keys when leaving a dialog

Mac specific changes:
  • VideoCardBlackList expanded with all the reported models for Yosemite (Lockup on first screen on old hardware)
  • OpenGL specific fixes for flickering objects
  • OpenGL performance improvements
  • Effects library updated with camera effect
  • Smoother zoom and scroll
  • Books rendering issues with OpenGL
  • Mouse right click in fake full screen was not working

Balancing changes:
Cyseal
  • Chimaera (script improved)
  • Dietmar (bugfix: enemies won't turn invisible again on save/load)
  • Lighthouse Horror (bugfix: scripting error)

Black Cove
  • Crab Summoner (now summons more, hits harder, can teleport back to the player if too far away)

Luculla Forest
  • Blue Mushrooms (bugfix: summons will not be of a different faction anymore)
  • Void Shepherd (bugfix: killing the shepherd now ends the fight)
  • Drunk Goblins (bugfix: goblins were not ending turn when drinking from flower)
  • Rafflesia (bugfix: now summons level 14 flowers)
  • Shadow Summoner (now stronger & faster)
  • Spider Queen (bugfix: now summons level 14 spiders)
  • Kromkromkris (bugfix: doesn't get attacked by his own summons anymore)

Hiberheim
  • Boreas (bugfix: made non-teleportable & doesn't move when it's not his turn anymore)

Dark Forest
  • Anguish Demon (removed one summon, making the fight a bit easier)
  • Fire Demon (summons void dogs faster)
  • Kalgruuda Cloudpiercer (doesn't end turn after summoning and summons don't skip their first turn anymore)
  • Braogg Spiritchaser (doesn't end turn after summoning anymore)
  • Tunnel Mushroom (made non-teleportable)

Stats changes
  • Rebalanced Constitution & Damage: from Luculla to Dark Forest, overall, creatures go down faster but deal more damage
  • Toned down Armor: some Armor scores were too high, resulting in unnecessarily long fight
  • Rebalanced Initiative: some creatures had too high an Init, others too little. NPC Init scores will now be closer to players' score
  • Rebalanced Willpower & Bodybuilding throughout the game
  • Rebalanced physical & magical resistances
  • Some creatures had high dexterity and were difficult to hit
  • Pure elementals (fire, water, air, earth) now have proper resistances and immunities
  • Magic weapons changed (example: a flaming sword would inflict pure fire damage. Now, it inflicts physical (slashing) damage + a fire boost)

Editor Update:
  • We have supplied a 3DSMax exporter to allow you to import custom animations and models into your mods
...

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