The BEAMBLOG

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Five Years of Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition!




Happy fifth birthday, BG:EE!
Today marks the 5-year anniversary of Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition! It’s been a privilege for the whole Beamdog team to work on such an iconic title as Baldur’s Gate. 

A note from Beamdog CEO Trent Oster: 

“Five years of Enhanced Editions already. Wow, time certainly flies. We’re still patching the games and we’re still making them better. The Enhanced Editions of today are much evolved from our first release and we’re looking forward to the future. The 2.5 update is going to be a doozy and we’re really anxious to finish up the backlog and get it to our fans.”

A lot has happened since Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition first launched; over the last five years we’ve added new languages, fixes, features, an expansion pack and more. Updates started November 28, 2012 with v1.0.2012 adding roll total to the ability screen when creating a new character. Shortly after, the 1.0.2014 update introduced five new class kits (Dwarven Defender, Shadowdancer, Dragon Disciple, Dark Moon Monk and Sun Soul Monk). The Multiplayer Match-Making system appeared in v1.20.0. Then the 1.3.2053 patch implemented the Quickloot feature, while the 2.0 brought the Shaman class to BG:EE along with the new Cleric kit (Priest of Tyr) and a huge UI redesign. And, with the 2.5 patch just around the corner, the journey isn’t over yet!

And you know what? All these changes, all these fixes, all these neat new in-game tricks wouldn’t have been possible without YOU. Your support, bug reports, feedback, and your attention to details is outstanding. We’re lucky, as developers, to have such amazing and caring players as you.

In anticipation of this anniversary, we held a Fan Art Contest, and now it’s time to announce the winners! Before we start though, we have to say it really means a lot to see that the Beamdog community is so creative and that they’re willing to share that talent with us!

It was a very difficult to choose a favorite, but we’re proud to announce that Dynaheir, approximately four and a half seconds away from tossing a spell at Edwin's face, by Serabiet, is the Beamdog’s Choice Prize Winner.

Thou shalt not question my will once I present thy neck to the othlor! ~ Dynaheir
Serabiet will receive a special MYSTERY swag pack including a Digital Deluxe copy of our upcoming release, Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition! Congratulations!

We’ve also decided to reward Shaydh, Kirara and Buttercheese (who all tied as a close second for the Beamdog’s Choice. All three will receive a copy of NWN:EE, as testament to the quality of their submissions.

The Siege of Dragonspear Baeloth comic, by shaydh
As part of deciding Beamdog’s Choice, the team shared a few comments for the participants of the 2017 Infinity Engine Fan Art Contest: Enhanced Edition:

“I'm absolutely blown away by the talent of our fans, it's been making me smile every time to look at the thread. That people would put so much time and effort into making these submissions is inspiring, this kind of stuff is what makes game development worth it! (I can't wait to try making my own Bhaalin' Stuffed Avocado)” - Beamdog Designer, Alexei Pepers

“Wow, all of these submissions are amazing. Big thanks to all the people who submitted. There is such a talented group of fans around the Infinity Engine.” - Beamdog CTO, Scott Brooks

Magnificent Firkraag watching over his domain, by Kirara
“I love the variety! Pencil, colours, embossed leather, avocado--there is no medium untapped! Personal favorite: Annah about to carve a cutter.” - Beamdog QA Team Lead MarkR

“The "Minsc, Boo and Gram the Sword of Grief, by s0ulafein" made me giggle, Boo is so ferocious! :) Clearly going for the eyes.” - Beamdog QA

“My personal favourite was ‘Imoen and Haer'Dalis are ready to fight, by EmiDeClam’ - great piece!” - Beamdog Team Member

“Wonderful contest, I'm not very vocal in our community but it always makes me happy to see people engaging with fan art. Everyone who participated deserves a thumbs up!” - Beamdog Team Member

All Bad Things Must Come To An End, by Buttercheese

“A great collection of absolutely spectacular entries that make me proud to have worked in this world.” - Beamdog Team Member

Go for the eyes, Boo. GO FOR THE EYES! RrraaaAAGHGHH!
Minsc, Boo and Gram the Sword of Grief, by s0ulafein, is the winner of the Grand Prize (the Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear Collector’s Edition signed by the team, no less), chosen by forum members. The deciding votes for it arrived during the last twenty-four hours of the voting period, to make it 66 votes for the winner. Congratulations, s0ulafein!

You must gather the party before venturing forth.
A notebook leather cover, by CRUXPL, is the first of the three runners up, scoring 64 votes. It’s an amazing cover for a notebook if you’re planning a new adventure on the Sword Coast!

The Watcher’s Keep is beautiful in Autumn!
Seldar enhanced the in-game picture of Watcher’s Keep and added colors of Autumn to the area. This lovely result got him 50 votes!

What story will the Crumbling Chapel tell?
The Crumbling Chapel, Infinity Engine inspired area art, by SFisch, received 49 votes. According to SFisch, these games inspired him to learn how to Photoshop portraits, how to 3D model, how to make music, and have completely altered his life’s course (for the better, of course). We certainly feel the inspiration, SFisch.

Congratulations, CRUXPL, Seldar and SFisch, for winning 3 Runners-Up Prize Packages which will include their choice of Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition / Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition / Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition physical copies, OR a digital version of Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition, OR a digital version of Siege of Dragonspear, OR their choice of an Enhanced Edition on mobile with all the DLCs.

We congratulate not only all the winners, but all the participants of the contest. Your fan art is a reminder of how important the legacy of Infinity Engine games is. Everyone who took part in the contest will get a special forum badge as a small token of gratitude from us in the weeks ahead.

What’s next for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition and the other Infinity Engine games? Patch 2.5 for BG:EE, BGII:EE, and IWD:EE is coming soon! Watch out for more details here, on the forums, Facebook, Twitter, and Twitch!

4 comments:

  1. You people have VERY excellent tastes! I would have chosen the exact same arts in the exact same order (Dynaheir as Beamdog's Choice, Minsc and Boo for Grand Prize, and Watcher's Keep, Crumbling Chapel, and CRUXPL's Leather Journal for Runners-Up) had I been the one to decide! Congratulations to the winners, and excellent work everyone! I probably would have given some special consideration to the creator of the Bhaalin' Avocado, for how unique it is!

    BTW, I am Garvin77 on the Beamdog Forums. My first experience with Infinity Engine games (and, really, with true-to-form D&D mechanics, lore, characters, and locations at all) was through BGEE! Great work, everyone! I just bought the parts I need for a gaming computer (I also LOVE The Elder Scrolls!) and am definitely signing up for the NWNEE Head-Start once I have the money! Hopefully we'll have some Christmas sales by that time! Keep up the great work!

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  2. Yay! Thank you Beamdog! Thanks to everyone who supported me and especialy to the Russian BG community! Without them, I would never have won ^_^

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  3. Thanks for your words, Ben Barefoot!

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    1. And thank you for also supporting such a great modding community! I do enjoy seeing all the tweaks people make to such fantastic games! Of course, the games by themselves are still excellent! I'm eager to try Neverwinter Nights, especially considering I just encountered Lord Foreshadow recently in BGEE! Oh, and I just LOVED some of the things you can say to Portalbendarwinden on the same map; the very last option you can say to him, and his response, CRACKED. ME. UP! Apparently, the protagonist can get sick of adventuring real quick (not that there's much he can do about it; if he wants back in to Candlekeep, he's got a long road ahead of him)! One thing I'm wondering, however: was someone on the original development team German? Not that I have anything against it (quite the opposite, in fact), but I just learned that 'Gurke' is German for 'cucumber' (shows you what someone thought of that character...); 'Portalbendarwinden' certainly sounds German.

      Anyway, see you in Never-Never(winter) Land -- err, Nights!

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