The BEAMBLOG

Friday, December 21, 2018

Baldur’s Gate: 20-Year Anniversary Contest Winners Announced



Twenty years ago a legend was born! Baldur's Gate is a legend we're still in awe of. Our hats are off to BioWare for creating this masterpiece. We’re proud to celebrate this anniversary with all the Baldur’s Gate fans around the world!

In just seven days, we’ve heard nearly 500 amazing stories from fans sharing their favorite Baldur’s Gate memories. It shows how much a game released twenty years ago still means for many people.

Choosing our favorites from the shared memories was difficult. Many of the stories shared on Twitter, Facebook, and the forums were sincere, touching, and downright relatable. Many made us smile, while others are so emotional they nearly made us cry.

Congratulations to Dale (aka ZoGarth) for winning the Grand Prize - a Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear Collector’s Edition signed by the team. Here is his story:

“I was about 33 and my group of friends since High School had earlier stopped our DND gaming sessions due to moves, and just "gasp!" grown up responsibilities. Either way a gap was there, I had earlier played Diablo and enjoyed it, but I missed the AD&D Gold Box experience from my earlier Amiga computer times. Then, after the drought of good RPGs along comes Baldur's Gate with a promise of a Epic storyline and fantastic graphics. This gave me a reason to convince my wife that on our shoestring budget to upgrade from my older 486 DX66 computer to a new custom built (too save on cost) computer with an advanced 200MHz AMD CPU to run it (A disastrous, but educational 1st attempt, but I digress). It sounds silly now, but Baldur's Gate brought back that feeling I had as a 13 year old kid in '78 when I was introduced to the D&D Basic, Expert boxed editions & later multi-book laden AD&D game. The excitement of discovery, or the feeling of loss for companions, and yet the sense of satisfaction of overcoming an apparently impossible battle that consumed a good portion of my younger years weekend was again available when I turned on my computer. Later I would play Baldur's Gate1 & II and mod it until no end, eventually when my kids and a nephew got older we multiplayer the game on my home intranet, adding even more fun to the experience. Now here I am 20 years later I'm in my 50's, playing Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition on not only my Windows 10 turbo-charged, ram'ed up, mega-cored computer, but a tablet way more powerful than my first computer I built. And best of all and I still get that feeling of a 13 year old Jr. High kid when I now get online and play with my kids and nephew hundreds a mile apart. So, to point to one experience is impossible for me, because all of us have shared in it. Thanks for the keeping the memories alive.”

The winners of 8 Swag Packages are Chaotica and Renaske from the Beamdog forum, aARon cliffVRd‏ @EgoAnt and This guy‏ @neokarny from Twitter, Marko Infovich and Wojciech Pelczar from Facebook, plus two people who signed up for the Beamdog newsletter! Congratulations! Each of you will receive cool game & t-shirt packs!

20 years ago, Chaotica was a sad kid but Baldur’s Gate helped bring their family together: “I was in remission from an autoimmune disease; my parents had split up seemingly out of the blue; my brother left for uni and my best friend moved schools. I was a very disenchanted nine year old girl. It turns out, I just needed a little fantasy.

Getting to know my step-dad was a difficult process - we're not really 'people' people. I would go to this new house where my mum lived and this other bloke would be sat in the corner on his computer. My brother played computer games, but I was the annoying kid sister so I never really got to play. But my mum's boyfriend didn't mind me watching over his shoulder, and so sitting at my mum's PC to his left (he was the first IT expert I'd met) I would spend hours watching him slay mythical creatures and going on quests. Then, Baldur's Gate came out. Oh boy, did my life change.


When Baldur's Gate came out, I was asked if I wanted to play and of course I jumped at the chance. I created Chaotica, the half-elf ranger cleric, as player two to my step-dad's human fighter on our LAN game. With that, I became a gamer. Every weekend we would reveal more of the map as we explored the world outside Candlekeep, meeting characters that kept me company for so long. My memory is hazy (mostly because I threw myself into BG:ToB as soon as it came out and never looked back!), but my world brightened with the hours poured into these games. I consumed everything Fantasy and Fantasy-adjacent. I played all the games I could get my hands on.


BG brought my new family together, gave me a retreat from the difficult times, and opened my eyes to a whole world of magic.”


When Renaske discovered Baldur’s gate she was a 11-year-old girl with aspergers and no friends, but now she’s an engineer and has no problems in communication: “I remember how I beg my mom to buy me a game because it was very pricey at this time for her. And she bought me it for whatever reason. Then I was re-playing BG and especially BG2 so many times I couldn't remember. Every time after school it will be only books or Baldur’s gate. So when one of my classmates acknowledged that I’m playing BG he start to talk to me about it and we start interacting and respect each other it was really awesome, because he became my first friend in school. In fact communication between the characters in the game and a lot of scenarios in BG teach me how to interact with people and showed me how to treat people according to my intentions, so basically I own to BG creators a HUGE thank you. Now almost nobody (except close friends and family) can tell that I have aspergers because my communicative skills were somehow really improved in my teenage years by playing these awesome games series. And also BG is the big reason why I started to learn programming, now I’m an engineer. So this is my story. I treasure every bits and pieces in these games: beautiful landscapes, music and of course the story and dialogues. So far, my favourite is BG2 If somebody from BG creators will read this, thank you so much, I can’t be thankful enough. (And sorry for my grammar, english isn’t my first language) And yeah, I use Minsc’s phrases in my daily life.”

When aARon cliffVRd‏ @EgoAnt and his wife got together 20 years ago, he was broke and unemployed: “She asked me if she could give me a bit of money for rent - I said, "No, but I really want Baldur's Gate, if you're feeling generous". We are still together. I still have that copy of BG”.

The favorite Baldur’s Gate memory of This guy‏ @neokarny is when he was 9-10 years old, and just discovered cheat codes: “So of course I cheated my character up as much as possible and summoned demons to rampage the towns. The next day I told my best friend all about it during our science fair.”

Wojciech Pelczar has been playing Baldur’s Gate for almost 20 years, and now is doing it with his wife: “I started when I was in high school, just when BGI came out and I have been walking though this game countless of times. I tried almost every character and I have plenty memories with this game but the greatest one is that I instilled my wife into this game and now we're playing it side by side.”

Marko Infovich shared a truly touching story: “Saturday morning. Finally, no school today. The weather outside is grim, temperatures are freezing. Being inside is so cozy and exciting. Exciting? Yes! I’m gonna play Baldur’s Gate again! It’s been on my mind the whole week. Stupid school and basketball trainings. Nothing can stop me now! I start playing at 8. The story and the characters are so immersive and entertaining that the outside world seems so stupid and boring. Some of my friends call me if I’d like to go out tonight. Hell no, I say. I have to clean the whole mine of Nashkel today, and there’s also that intriguing new place to visit - the Friendly Arm Inn! My mom calls me now, it’s already late afternoon, lunch is ready. I throw the food into my mouth and run back to my 15” CRT monitor. I paused the game at the bridge, just before Edwin managed to approach me. I’m curious who this guy is. Only later I will realize that he’s the most powerful mage in the game. Too much annoying, but powerful. I clean up the mines and get a nice sack of gold, items and XP points. I pause for a second to check the outside world. Whew! It’s pitch black, it’s midnight already! Time seems to run faster on the Sword Coast. Well, better save the progress now, tomorrow I have to get up early and do it all over again. I love you Baldur’s Gate, you remind me of simpler and happier times. When the world seemed so much more interesting, the future nicer and with my mom by my side. Now, the world is boring and stupid, the future is already here and it’s not what I have expected would be, and my mom is not with me for 6 years already.”

Bubb, Zaghoul, and Mantis37 from the Beamdog forums, Galiskner‏ @Galiskner, AnaisAndStuff @AnaisAndStuff, and Lihvarček Miša @lihvarcekmisa from Twitter, Sophia Lamar, Edson Pagola, Yohan Lippert, Kathy Paxton-Williams, Igor Beczek, Colin Listner, and Gary Grant from Facebook, plus two people drawn from our newsletter list will receive their choice of a digital PC version of one of our games, or their choice of one of our games with all currently available DLC on mobile. Congratulations!

Another game package winner is John Winski, a famous writer, programmer, and designer on many games, including Baldur’s Gate (remember Winski Perorate, the Sarevok's mentor)! His favorite memory “will always be when someone decided to level up Gorion so that the opening battle with Sarevok would look more impressive.” He was really confused when Sarevok died and so was Gorion.

And last but not least, thirty-two winners from  Twitter, Facebook, forum, and newsletter entrant pools will receive their choice of a digital PC DLC for our games: we drew 10 winners from the newsletter entrant pool, Kenji, Altair, Enuhal, ZaramMaldovar, Grond0, modestvolta, OurQuestIsVain, Aedan, WithinAmnesia, and MERLANCE from the Beamdog forums, Hansel Eldor @HanselEldor, Eevee @Lohapedrar, wedge @wedge_one, goblin @zipperblues, Michael J C @MercKilsek, shaydh @the_shaydh, and Lord Fenton Gaming @FentonLord from Twitter, Jampd Balodis, Björn Eknem, Liz Walker, Andy Landon, and Greg Scott from Facebook!

Thank you to everyone who shared a story! We’ll contact all the winners after the holiday period.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Beamdog.com Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Changes



We've made a few changes to Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition on Beamdog.com to help with smaller download sizes and to allow for individually purchasable DLCs. 

Multi-Language Pack
Language packs for French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Polish are available as free add-ons. You can install video and voice for your non-English language of choice by downloading the "Language Extras" from the dropdown menu.


Digital Deluxe Bundle Changes
The Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Digital Deluxe edition on Beamdog.com has been changed - the bundle has been spit up into the base game and separate DLC packs. 

Everything you bought is still yours! NWN:EE and all the DLC of the Digital Deluxe edition has been added to your account. If you’re missing any DLC, included in the Digital Deluxe edition, let our customer service team know via support@beamdog.com and we’ll get that fixed.


The old Digital Deluxe edition will no longer be updated. To continue getting the latest NWN:EE updates, please switch over to the base version of Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition (Retail) under the Beamdog Client dropdown menu and download the individual DLC packs. 

If you would like to avoid re-downloading Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition data, choose Options -> Open game location, and rename the numbered folder 00839 to 00785. NWN:EE DLC in folders 846~851 can be copied into 00785. If you experience any issues, try clicking the Verify button on the Beamdog Client. Contact Support@Beamdog.com if problems continue.
Writer

Friday, December 14, 2018

December 14, 2018 Livestream Recap


“I’ve been playing D&D since I was about 8 years old - it taught me to be creative, to be collaborative, and fostered a love for storytelling!” ~ Luke
During the last Beamdog stream of 2018 Beamdog CEO Trent Oster and Producer Luke Rideout shared the latest news on Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition, NWN:EE on Google Play, and Infinity Engine games. They also announced a contest to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of Baldur’s Gate! Find out more here!

Missed the stream? It's on YouTube and Twitch! Here's a quick summary of the highlights:

Trent remembers Baldur’s Gate was shipping 20 years ago!
  • December 21, 2018 marks the 20-year anniversary of Baldur’s Gate! To celebrate we’re holding a contest: Share a favorite Baldur’s Gate memory! Learn how you can become an owner of a Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear Collector’s Edition signed by the Beamdog team, or one of the other 56 awesome prizes here!
“D&D definitely influenced everything we’ve done!” ~ Trent
  • We rolled out a change to the Beamdog Client this week. In order to install Video and Voice for your language of choice for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition, you now can download “Language Extras” for each language from the Beamdog Client dropdown menu. Language packs for French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Polish are available as free add-ons to keep the core game download size small.
  • The next Development Branch build for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition is planned to be be released next week. The next stable patch for NWN:EE will come out early next year, with new main menu art, Steam achievements, bug fixes and features, including True Type Font support, keyholing, and fine UI scaling.
  • The 17 bone limit has been a long-standing limitation of Neverwinter Nights. We’re working on expanding the bone limit, and that will be included with the 64-bit update for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition.
  • We have a lot of things in the queue for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition. New emotes/combat animations is a feature we’d like to look at eventually.
  • We don’t have detailed official “recommended” specs for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition, but the hardware requirements for NWN:EE are not very demanding. Minimum spec is currently an Intel Core 2 Duo, 1 GB of RAM with any DirectX 9, OpenGL 3.0 compatible video card. Any PC built to run Windows 10 that isn’t running an integrated GPU, and many that are, should be able to raise NWN:EE settings to the Max. It all may change a bit once the new renderer for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition is done, though.

Thanks, everyone, for your tremendous support in 2018! On December 21, 2018, we’ll share a blog with a bunch of our favorite entries to the “Share a favorite Baldur’s Gate memory” contest! Good luck, everyone!

Baldur’s Gate: 20-Year Anniversary Contest


Celebrate 20 years of Baldur’s Gate!
December 21, 2018 marks the 20-year anniversary of Baldur’s Gate. 20 years! Twenty whole years! Let’s say it again for folks in the back. TWENTY YEARS!

The world has changed dramatically since 1998, but we still love Baldur’s Gate. Over the last two decades Baldur’s Gate has become an important part of video game history, influenced the design of countless RPGs, and entered lives of many people around the globe.

Baldur’s Gate is a work of art. For many fans, Baldur’s Gate isn’t just a game, the characters, quotes, and events found on this journey through the Sword Coast have become embedded in the memories of millions of players. Not only that, the community of players, artists, and modders surrounding Baldur’s Gate continues to thrive today.

To celebrate this incredible milestone, we’re holding a contest!

Contest Rules

The theme of this contest is: Share a favorite Baldur’s Gate memory.
You can enter the contest in four different ways:

Twitter
Head on over to this post and follow the Beamdog account. Retweet the post and leave a comment about your favorite Baldur’s Gate memory. We’ll be taking entries here until December 19, 2018.

Facebook
Leave a comment on this post with your favorite Baldur’s Gate memory. We’ll be taking entries here until December 19, 2018.

Forum
Share a story about an experience you had with Baldur’s Gate in this thread. Submissions must be made before the end of December 19, 2018.

Newsletter
Sign up for the Beamdog newsletter before December 20, 2018! If you’re already signed up, you’re in the draw!

Our team will read each of your stories, and pick their favorites!


Contest Prizes

1 Grand Prize Package
The winner of the Grand Prize will receive a Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear Collector’s Edition signed by the team.

8 Swag Packages
Two winners will be drawn from Twitter, Facebook, forum, and newsletter entrant pools. Each will receive game & t-shirt packs!

16 Game Packages
Sixteen winners will be drawn from across all pools. Each winner will receive their choice of a digital PC version of one of our games, or their choice of one of our games with all currently available DLC on mobile.

32 DLC Packages
Thirty-two winners drawn from  Twitter, Facebook, forum, and newsletter entrant pools will receive their choice of a digital PC DLC for our games.

On December 21, 2018, we’ll share a blog with a bunch of our favorite entries! Good luck, everyone!

Friday, December 7, 2018

December 7, 2018 Livestream Recap


“True Type Fonts support, keyholing and fine UI scaling will come to the PC version of NWN:EE soon!” ~ Luke
During today’s livestream Beamdog CEO Trent Oster and Producer Luke Rideout shared the latest news on Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition, the mobile version of NWN:EE, and Infinity Engine games. They discussed features of the next patch for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition and answered a few community questions.

Missed the stream? It's on YouTube and Twitch! Here's a quick summary of the highlights:

  • Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition and Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition Official Soundtrack are 40% off on Beamdog.com this weekend!
  • Web Developers, Programmers, Lead Programmers, and Technical Artists - start 2019 off right with a new job at Beamdog! Check out our career page and apply!
  • The 20th anniversary of Baldur’s Gate is coming up, and we’re preparing a special contest! Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to learn about it!
  • Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition went live on Google Play this week, and it’s on the second spot in the current Top Paid Apps list!
  • A big thanks to all the beta testers who jumped in to play Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition on Android early! Your feedback really helped the team.
“The work on the new renderer for NWN:EE continues!” ~ Trent
  • The 2.6 patch for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear, and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition will come later than we initially planned, as we ran into an unforeseen problem with the Dice, Camera, Action! Voice and Portrait Pack and the team pack.
  • According to Luke, Beamdog’s expansions, DLC and addons should be considered canon in the same way the original games are.
Luke shows dynamic scaling for different screen sizes in Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition on Google Play.
  • We’re working on the next patch for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition. New main menu art, achievements, bug fixes and features, including True Type Fonts support, keyholing, and fine UI scaling will come to the desktop version of NWN:EE with the next stable patch.
  • Achievements are already available in Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition on Google Play, and they cover the original Neverwinter Nights campaign and two expansion packs (Shadows of Undrentide and Hordes of the Underdark).
  • Pirates of the Sword Coast, Infinite Dungeons, Wyvern Crown of Cormyr, and Darkness over Daggerford Premium Modules for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition on Google Play are purchasable through the in-game store menu. Once you do, they will automatically download to your device. Classic Premium modules are $2.99 (USD) each, and Darkness Over Daggerford on Mobile is $4.99 (USD). The size of each module is different and depends on the module: Pirates of the Sword Coast is only about 170MB, while Wyvern Crown of Cormyr is over 1GB.
  • We’re working on implementing a solution for multi-language builds of Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition in the Beamdog Client. We're shifting to a singular core game that includes text for all available languages, with audio and video available as a free separate download.
  • NWSync will soon get updates, including auto-removing old manifests from clients when servers generate new ones, auto-reconnect users after a transfer finishes, and live-reloading resources from override.
  • Currently we do not officially support Chrome OS devices for the mobile version of NWN:EE. We’ll look into the possibility of adding such support.
  • Rendering skyboxes in the Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Toolset can be implemented, but it needs to be fit into a queue of other Toolset tasks.
  • We still have a little work on decrypting some of the NWN:EE Premium Modules and cleaning up some old remnants of internal DRM that needs to be done.

Excited for what’s next? Come and join the next livestream next Friday!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Launches On Google Play




Today’s the day, Android Neverwinter Nights fans! Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition has just launched on Google Play!

It’s been incredible seeing the Neverwinter Nights community react to the Enhanced Edition. We’re seeing fans of the original returning to build new content and all-new players exploring persistent worlds. 

Now, for only $9.99 USD, you can take your adventures with you and play with friends on other platforms, all from your phone or tablet. That said, we’re not done yet! Like the desktop version of NWN:EE, we’ll be continuing to release fixes and features to keep making your Neverwinter Nights experience better! Keep an eye on our social channels and livestreams to find out more.




Thank you to all the dedicated adventurers who played the Google Play Beta, provided feedback, and helped us finalize the Android release. You are awesome and the provided feedback will help make NWN:EE on Google Play even better! Everyone who purchased the Beta now owns the full Android release of Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition on Google Play. 

Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition on Google Play includes all the playable content of the desktop version:

The original Neverwinter Nights campaign: Find yourself at the center of intrigue, betrayal, and dark magic in Neverwinter Nights. Journey through dangerous cities, monster filled dungeons and deep into uncharted wilderness in search of the cure for a cursed plague ravaging the city of Neverwinter. 

Two expansion packs: 
Shadows of Undrentide: Another adventure begins in Shadows of Undrentide! Charged by your master to recover four ancient artifacts, travel from the Silver Marches to unravel mysteries of a long-dead magical civilization. 
Hordes of the Underdark: Continue the adventure started in Shadows of Undrentide and journey into the ever-more bizarre and hostile depths of Undermountain to challenge a gathering evil.

Three free downloadable premium modules: 
Discover over 40 hours of new stories in Kingmaker, ShadowGuard, and Witch's Wake, then go on to sample the hundreds of modules created by community members just like you.

Writer

How to Install Custom Content to Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition on Your Android Device






In order to install custom content to Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition on Android, you will need a way to add files onto the Android file system. We suggest you use a desktop computer and a USB connector cable (data cable).


In order to view your Android device’s file system from your desktop device, please see the following Google Support Page: https://support.google.com/android/answer/9064445


On your desktop browser, open the Android Device as a remote drive, and navigate to the following folder:


Android > data > com.beamdog.nwnandroid > files > user


NOTE: There is also a “data” directory. This is used by the game to store base game data. Patches will overwrite or delete your modifications. Make sure to only modify the “user” directory.


If the device does not show any content, please ensure that you have chosen to “Allow access to phone data” when prompted on the phone.


Custom content downloaded to your desktop can be installed to Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition on Android by dropping files into the appropriate sub-folder:
  • Modules should be installed to the modules folder
  • Hak packs should be installed to the hak folder
  • Talk tables should be installed to the tlk folder
  • Override packs should be installed to the override folder
  • Custom portraits should be installed to the portraits folder
The directory layout in user mirrors what the Desktop version of the game uses. If any of the above folders do not exist, they can be created and placed into the user folder.


In order to import a save file, navigate to the following folder:


Android > data > com.beamdog.nwnandroid > files > user > saves


Save games can be dropped into this folder, and can also be copied from this folder into the desktop version of the game.

For hundreds of community created modules and more, check out neverwintervault.org, a fantastic Neverwinter Nights community of content creators.
Writer