Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition Steam Czech Beta

Czech it out PST:EE fans! A new localization beta for Czech is available on Steam! We’ll be rolling Czech localization into the main version of Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition soon, but we wanted to get your feedback first.

To access the Czech beta, right click on Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition in your Steam game list and select Properties.

Select the Betas tab and the option to opt into the Czech beta should be choice in the beta dropdown menu.

Your version of PST:EE should automatically update. Afterwards, Czech should become a selectable option in the game language settings.

If you run into any issues or find any errors, please let us know in the Beamdog Forums!

For PST:EE fans playing on GOG, Beamdog, Google Play, the App Store, or the Mac App Store, we plan to include Czech localization in our next patch.

Polish version of the Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition box set. Czech is coming soon!
We’ve partnered with CDP to produce boxed versions of Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition in Polish and Czech. Learn more about them here!


Ins and Outs of the Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition UI

Our Art Team discusses what it took to recreate the original Planescape: Torment UI feel in 4K for Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition.

While Beamdog QA team is busy with patching the Enhanced Editions, we sat down with the Art Team for an exclusive interview about developing the UI for Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition.

How did you come up with the PST:EE UI?

At the heart of it, we wanted PST:EE to have the spirit of the UI Planescape: Torment fans remember, only without nearly as many warts and blemishes.

Since we didn’t have the source assets for the original UI screens and the existing PST UI simply could not support being scaled up to fit current generation monitors, we decided the best option available for a widescreen release of PST was to rebuild it from scratch using similar texturing and sculpting techniques used at the time of the original game, and then re-render those images.

What were the key areas to change from the original PST UI?

When going from 640x480 to 3840x2160, there’s significantly more resolution on every screen, so many of the UI details we’ve recreated are crisper, more defined, and easier to “read” while playing.

With more options exposed to the player, we had to reconcept the Options menus to fit all sorts of tweakables and modes. Popups have been rotated, so they’re less cramped. Icons were cleaned up or redone completely to be sharper. The world map framing is entirely new with some nice ease-of-use tweaks.

At the centre of all our changes the main quickbar has replaced the right click modal menu, that makes accessing combat and conversation options much simpler and cleaner.

What were the guiding points in creating an UI for PST:EE considering the existing UIs of BG:EE, SoD, IWD:EE and original PST?

While recreating screens, the art and design teams reviewed documentation provided by the original team on what they had planned to do, tried to do, and wished they’d done. We held these ideas at the center of any changes we felt were needed. Our beta testers brought up a number of features we added to the Enhanced Editions (Quickloot, adjustable combat logs, etc...) that felt absent during play, and late into development we made an extra push to add that functionality in.

We feel the new UI creates a much smoother, user accessible version of Planescape: Torment without changing the core gameplay or story found in the original.

Take us through the work on the PST:EE UI? Where did you start? What were the biggest challenges you encountered?

Our biggest challenge was to rebuild the original UI elements and insert them into the much larger frame of UHD with the same look and feel as the originals. Each new piece of UI started with an image of the screen being redone, which was used as a template. 3D elements were laid overtop, building details up until all the pieces were in place.

In the case of screens like the Inventory or Character Record, we didn’t just blow things up larger and stop there, we also repositioned and created elements extending further width-wise than they previously did. If a pipe or wire hit the edge of a frame, for example, we’d have to extend it further and create elements that fit together, as if we were seeing more of what was already in the original.

How did the design change during the development of the game?

Developing Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition was as much about preserving as much of the original as possible as it was about making necessary improvements. Issues arose when we started texturing and applying colour with a modern perspective on design. PST is a unique setting, and respecting choices that were made for the original was essential to preserving the same feel and mood with the UI.

This was also sometimes true with buttons, sliders, and widgets. We tried as much as possible to stick to the original intent and since launch we’ve had a lot of, fans tell us they appreciate that effort.

Was the tablet interface for PST:EE developed at the same time as the PC interface, or did development of the tablet interface start later?

We started with desktop version and there was a lot back and forth between the two as we iterated, especially when it came to adding some Enhanced Edition functionality late in development. We felt that the lower bar should be a similar solution regardless of platform, and that having the tablet interface option on desktop was welcomed by our testers.

Modders! Here's a link for the archive with all the UI wireframes. Have fun!

We thank the Art Team for the interview and already can’t wait to see what ideas the modding community will come up with using the UI wireframes uploaded above!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Fall-dur's Gate Sale!

Attention all heroes on the go! For the price of a pumpkin spice latte, hundreds of hours of adventure can be yours!

Now’s your chance to get special prices on all our mobile Enhanced Edition titles! We’re celebrating the recent release of our Enhanced Edition patches on iOS with the Fall-dur’s Gate sale!

From Friday, October 13 to 5pm PST Sunday, October 15 get the following discounts on Google Play and the App Store!
UPDATE: We're aware of the delayed PST:EE promotion on Google Play. We anticipate it will be live later today and we will be extending the sale on PST:EE by an extra day in that store. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

September Roundup - Patches, Conventions, & More!

September, we hardly knew ye.  

2.4 Available on iOS!

Forget the fall pumpkin spice announcements, all of the Enhanced Editions on iOS are now 64-bit supported! If you’ve been holding off on getting iOS 11, now’s the time to get it!

Get the full list of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition patch notes here!

Get the full list of Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition patch notes here!

Get the full list of Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition patch notes here!

Chris Joins the Party

Another new face has joined the Beamdog team! Early last month we welcomed Chris as a producer/designer working on an unannounced project. Chris started his career in England during the Dreamcast days. Since then he's worked on nearly all modern gaming devices in a multitude of roles. He loves narrative RPGs, music with beeps in, and virtual reality. Welcome to the team, Chris!

The Edmonton Expo

Edmonton Expo was a great show and we’ll be back again next year! We met an amazing number of Beamdog fans and introduced the Enhanced Editions to a whole host of people who fondly remember the originals. We even had a bunch of the original Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate II team members (the ones we don’t already have working at Beamdog anyway) drop by the booth to share stories about the development of those games. Some of our newer team members banded together for a panel to do a great talk about their experiences in the industry and how they got their job with Beamdog. For those of you asking when we’ll be coming to a convention near you, plans are already in the works to take the Beamdog booth on the road in 2018!

What’s Next?

As mentioned in our 2.4 patch notes for Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition, we’ll be continuing to update and support our Infinity Engine games.. The next update series, which we’re calling 2.5, will be rolling out across all platforms and all stores on both desktop and mobile. We’re especially excited about this update as we’ll finally be bringing Steam achievements and the Shaman class, among other things, to IWD:EE. Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition 2.5 and Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition 2.5 will be coming shortly after IWD:EE 2.5. We’ll have more to share about this patch and plans for an accompanying open beta soon!

Don’t worry PST:EE fans! We haven’t forgotten about Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition, the other Enhanced Editions need a little work before we return to Sigil.

As we ramp up on the next series of patches, we’re improving how bugs are being reported. We’ve posted instructions on bug reporting on and frequent forum users may have noticed that our Community Manager, Julius has been helping players report bugs in redmine. If you’re ever having trouble filing a bug, just drop him a note and he’ll create a report for you.

Get the latest Beamdog news on Facebook, Twitter, here on the Beamblog, and in our forums!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition iOS Patch 2.4

Patch 2.4 for BG:EE on iOS is here!

The Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition iOS 64 bit patch has been released!

Good news for our Italian fans, patch 2.4 on iOS brings the Italian localization available on the desktop version of BG:EE to phones and tablets!

In addition to bringing most desktop 2.3 features and fixes to phones and tablets, the iOS version of BG:EE now includes the following:

Platform fixes
Added 64 bit support in preparation for iOS 11
Added ipv6 support


New character class: Shaman!
Italian localization!
Quest and conversation fixes!
The Priest of Tyr kit from IWD:EE
Legacy of Bhaal difficulty setting for experienced players
An easy one-click switch between using two-handed (ranged) weapons and dual-wielding in a quick weapon slot
Advanced AI scripts available for party members
An option to create party at the character creation in Single player
Graphical enhancements: toggles for greyscale on pause, sprite outlines, & infravision
Expanded color selection for hair, skin, and clothing
Candlekeep tutors now have additional dialogue that better helps new players understand the gameplay mechanics
And more!

Multiplayer fixes
Fixed a crash bug that happens when in the inventory and an area transition occurs
All devices should be able to connect to the multiplayer lobby on IPv6
Players should no longer see a Password Required box in the main game screen
The on-screen keyboard doesn’t obscure the multiplayer password box any more
The quickbar no longer appears on the UI when user is in a menu and another player opens a conversation
And more!

Gameplay & bug fixes
Fixed a crashing issue that sometimes occurred when importing characters from a save
Fixed a bug allowing for unlimited zoom out
Chapter text scroll no longer extends onto the background art
Long tapping then dragging party member portraits on the right sidebar now reorders the party
Double tapping an item in a store now brings up the "Choose Amount" pop up
Double tapping a save now loads that save
Double tapping a world map destination now invokes travel to the selected area
You can now rest while in the help section.
And more!

Get the full list of patch notes here!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

See You At Edmonton Expo Beamdog Fans!

Fall approaches and with it comes our favorite Canadian convention, the Edmonton Comic & Entertainment Expo! Beamdog will be there all weekend to meet local fans. Come visit us in Booth 812/813 near the tabletop gaming area in Hall G!

Throughout the event, the Beamdog booth will be staffed by developers, artists, and team members from other disciplines, so make sure to drop by and say hi! We’ll have Steam key postcards for all our titles and Siege of Dragonspear Collector’s Editions available for sale, and a special survey with a chance to win a collector’s edition! No matter why you stop by, we’re always excited to meet fans!

On Friday at 4pm, head on over to room 102/103 to catch four Beamdog team members new to the video game industry talk about getting into gaming and their first year on the job in My First Year - Experiences in Breaking into the Games Industry. We plan to film the talk, so if you can’t make it, watch for it on our YouTube channel! 

If you’re feeling charitable, head on over to the Edmonton Extra Life booth (after visiting us of course). They’ll be showing off all fantastic items in their online silent auction for the Stollery Children's Hospital, including a Siege of Dragonspear Collector’s Edition. We're told that the bidding starts at 3pm on Friday, September 22nd and ends at 4pm on Sunday, September 24th, so bid wisely! Find out more on the YEG Extra Life Facebook event page. The Beamdog team will be getting our bids in. See you there!

Are you thinking about making a game, but don't know how to begin? Beamdog game designer Alexei Pepers will be sharing some of the tips & tricks she picked up during her days in indie development during her panel, How to Start Making Video Games Right Now - No Experience Required! Drop into room 102/103 on Sunday at 11am to get started!

It's going to be a fun weekend! Hope to see lots of Beamdog fans throughout!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition iOS Patch 2.4

Patch 2.4 for Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition on iOS is here!

This update brings many of the features and fixes seen in the patch released for Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition to Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition! The 2.4 patch for Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition is coming soon!

In order to bring Icewind Dale to 64-bit, we had to bring it all the way from our 1.4 codebase to 2.4, a major jump to take with the ticking clock of iOS 11 looming over the team. As a bonus, the team was able to make all the engine & UI improvements without significantly changing the look and feel of the game. Our hats are off to the developers and designers who put in the extra effort to bring IWD:EE this far!

Before jumping into the patch notes, we’ve got exciting news to share!

We’ve hinted at what’s next for the Enhanced Editions in previous posts, now it’s time to share more! To start, we’ve already begun work on another patch for Icewind Dale, this time bringing all the 2.4 fixes, features, and more to Google Play, Mac Store, Steam, and other platforms the Enhanced Editions are available on. More you say? Absolutely! We’ve got a laundry list of fan feature requests and bug fixes to include alongside Steam achievements, and… insert drum roll here… bringing the Shaman class to IWD:EE!

After IWD:EE, we’ll be returning to BG:EE and BGII:EE to update each on Steam, GOG, Beamdog, Google Play, iOS, and Mac with the latest features and fixes.

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL! The team is hard at work on several projects that we can’t wait to share news about throughout the remainder of 2017 and over the course of 2018!

Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and the Beamdog forums for the latest Enhanced Edition news!

Patch Highlights
  • 64 bit support
  • IPV6 support
  • Engine improvements!
  • Added HD UI/icons

Area Map Background
On the local area map screen, players can now toggle an option to display a turquoise overlay showing the walkable parts of the current area, which can help when navigating dark dungeon corridors. By default this option is disabled; if you find that you want it enabled by default when you open the map screen, you can change this setting from Options > Graphics.

Health Bars
When in combat, creatures now display an approximation of their current health visually with a colorized bar above their heads: green for allies and red for enemies. You can disable this feature from Options > Graphics.

Expanded Color Selection
The available color options for Hair, Skin, and Clothing have been greatly expanded to give every player as many realistic options as possible for their character’s appearance.

Mage Specialists
Specialist mages have always received a +2 bonus (NEW: now shown in the description as a -2 penalty on enemy creatures) on saving throws to resist spells of their chosen school. Additionally, specialist mages have always received a +15% chance to learn spells from their chosen school, and a -15% chance to learn spells from all other schools. These features are now correctly reported in the description for each kit.

Greyscale on Pause
When the game is paused, the area is now set to display in greyscale, giving the player greater contrast when examining the battlefield. By default this feature is enabled. You can disable it at any time from Options > Graphics.

Sprite Outlines
Sprites now display a dark outline to make them stand out from the area’s background more clearly. By default this feature is enabled. You can disable the highlighting and sprite outlines from Options > Graphics

Dialogue box
The dialogue box can be resized vertically.

UPDATE: A full list of patch notes is available here!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition iOS Patch 2.4

Patch 2.4 for BGII:EE on iOS is here!

Patch 2.4 for Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition on iOS is now available! With this update, BGII:EE joins the ranks of 64 bit supported apps on the App Store. If you don't see this update immediately, please be patient as it makes its way to each regional App Store.

The iOS patch for Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition will be coming very soon! Now it’s time to move onto Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition! After IWD:EE, we’ll be turning our attention to patches for Enhanced Edition products on Steam, Mac App store, Google Play, and elsewhere. Watch for more news on future updates here on the Beamblog and on our Facebook & Twitter channels.

UPDATE: Find the full list of patch notes here!

Platform fixes
Added 64 bit support in preparation for iOS 11
Added ipv6 support


New character class: Shaman!
Italian localization!
Quest and conversation fixes!
And more!

Gameplay & bug fixes
Tapping for tooltip display is more consistent
New graphic options introduced
Party members should not automatically attack each other Items such as containers should not be shown on the map screen
Archer kit description lists the correct armor restriction Amulet of Seldarine description states correct weight Delver's Plate +2 description includes the saving throw bonus vs. Spell Wand of Cloudkill description states the correct saving throw type and penalty The Firecam armour has a proper description
And more!


Fixed iPad Mini crashes occurring after lengthy game sessions
Off-hand THAC0 now displays proper values when using a ranged weapon Game now scales properly to the screen on iPhone devices
Tapping on the multiplayer chat no longer creates a waypoint for the controlled character
And more!